Not another one

Dear Love,

I heard something the other day, that was so apt for my situation. ‘Bhai chale jaye to bal chale jaye. Baap chale jaye to chhat chale jaye aur mayri jab jai to jag chale jaye!’

Sweet, na. I miss you so much but I’m so glad you weren’t around to see this. I don’t think you had the stomach for it…honestly I don’t think I have the stomach for it, either. I’m hanging on to the side of the cliff, by my fingernails, holding on as tight as I can.

Days go by like they do at the hospital, one muddled into another. Forty days later, the father tells anyone who will listen, ‘I can’t take this torture anymore, I don’t feel better, we’re right where we started. Please take me home.’ He woke up right now and the first thing he was worried about was how much is it costing? Somethings don’t change. He’s so frail and withering away…at times better at times the same. Ageing, is too difficult man. My mind keeps going back to the astrological prediction- someone in the family will pass away before the end of January, that was made when you went. I kept thinking of that when we came in this time, hoping somehow we would survive the month to only realize Amma, went later. The mind is a trickster, it constantly looks for loopholes to make situations more tolerable…making connections where there are none.

Speaking of khurafati dimaag, sometimes it saves me, too. The father has always made fun of how, I have a plan A, B and C …thankfully, my backup plan or the back as we used to call in Masjid Moth, has been here for almost a month, now. It was nice not being alone for a change. The father in any case prefers his calm, collected ways to my volatile ones and it was nice to have someone around who is so used to my volatility, he actually finds it amusing! He’s so much better at tackling human beings…you know I’m a fit thrower who won’t believe anyone…who will want to see a report and won’t take anyones word for anything! Nope…just can’t do it…SB won’t let me. He on the other hand, like you, knows how to give people the impression he trusts them completely without really doing so. Tact…I wish it would rub off on me but twenty three years with you couldn’t make me nicer, nothing else is going to.

Speaking of nice, you know when you’re at the hospital, everybody is in the same boat, everyone has a story to tell. I was sitting at Nescafé and got chatting with someone whose mother had recently had a stroke. As we discussed medicines, things digressed to families and brothers and somehow landed on you. ‘ He must have been a really nice person…extremely generous and sweet! I’ve noticed the good ones go early!’ Ain’t that true about you! Cho cute you were! So was our mum. But our father isn’t…so you two make do without him! It ain’t fair that you all always thought, that I could handle everything. Sorry, I can’t! No…not!!!Leave him with me…we got to trouble each other and the world a lot more!

The stages of grief

Someone said to me the other day, ‘ You lost your brother at such a young age and took it in your stride. You’re older now, you should be able to handle this better!’

Maybe, I should. But I suck at most things that are practical and come naturally to others. So I’m wallowing in self pity, while people are dying outside. My personal grief has taken over any part of me which is capable of watching, hearing, knowing or empathising with another.

Yes, I know, I should be shaken and whacked. As my Bp shot up yet again today, the Diastolic levels upto a 111, SB kicked in. ‘ Enough!’, she yelled at SC. So here we are, trying to figure out, how to get our shit back together. If I don’t stop myself now, I’ll fall into an abyss. I do have concerned friends and family, who are just a phone call away but other than a loving aunt, who messages regularly and an ex assistant ( now a very close friend) who has seen me go down that rabbit hole, no one will be able to drag me out, from that place.

So, I look at the Alprax the doctor prescribed, look at my mum’s picture when she was addicted to Corex and say, ‘Oh no! We just can’t go down that road!’ If you are genetically inclined towards addiction (which in my case, I am from both sides) when you’re grieving is when you need to stay away from drugs, pills and alcohol. A few sleepless nights, ain’t going to harm no one. So let’s see what we can do.

There are five stages of grief. Some even suggest there are seven. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are the five, Elisabeth Kubler- Ross, wrote about in her book On Death and Dying.

In her later years, she discovered that these are not necessarily, linear. My first reaction, when I feel helpless, is anger. SB usually kicks in with full force, so the more hurt I feel, the angrier I get. Maybe it’s due to the lockdown that I am more melancholic than pissed. Which is a bit scary and exciting.

To know that you are on the edge of your sanity-alone, terrified and tired, cornered just because you are a single woman and the only child of your parent’s ( if my mother didn’t own stuff and had been in and out of hospitals for 31 yrs of my life, trust me, the story would have been told differently) is in a way terrible but empowering. No? After all, how often do you get to play the hero, of your own story? So here I am trying to keep myself in one piece. If I fall, I’ll make a lot of people very happy, if I rise, I’ll be defying all the odds. I just have to find the white horse and the gleaming sword, within and rise to the occasion.


Dear Love
A decade’s gone by. Slowly I think of you less, every day but the thought of of you flashes through my mind suddenly and without intent. It’s a funny thing though, we humans are so terrified of the inevitable yet we tend to glorify it. No one tells you that one day the person you loved will start to fade away from your memory. I don’t think of you or miss you or love you, every minute of each day.Slowly, I begin to forget how your voice sounded…sometimes I watch a video to hear your squeaky little mouse, voice. There’s a boy at the gym who looks a little like you, I find myself staring at him rather shamelessly, though.
Six out of ten days I curse you and hate you for leaving, for dying on me…for leaving me in a life which is yours. You stole my thunder…I the reckless, restless being was supposed to die young and you the sorted, afraid of all things unpleasant creature…the apple of every one’s eye was supposed to live a nice, long, regular life. God does have a sense of humour…I must grant him that.
You know how people tell you time heals all wounds…balls! They should meet our parents. Or I guess it’s just you. You were the perfect one. I may forget all the little details but I’ll never forget the way you looked at me. Trust me no one’s looked at me like that in over a decade.


Jaswin Kochar


Happy Birthday, My Love. This January I promised to let go off you, just a bit…’Remember no man ever lived without dying. Remember the things that you wanted to be. Nobody ever failed without trying…Through time walk with me. With your hands set me free.”

But I have missed you more this year than any, since you made your way across the moon. It’s not just because everything I clung to since your passing has disappeared into a black hole. Nor because I realized that blood is thicker than water. I’ve missed you because you were the only person who could make smile when I cried. it’s not loneliness. God has always been kind to give me enough people, who will hear me whining away to glory. But to understand the obsessiveness of it, they would have to be our mother’s child.

The last year of your life keeps playing on mind, these days. The hopelessness, the sheer confusion, the need to cling to anyone and anything and still feeling lost all the time. Partying one minute, crying the other. Forgive me if you ever felt alone in that state.

I think it’s part of our genetic disposition to chase rainbows. You were chasing yours and I can’t fathom what I have been doing. All I know, is that I miss being in your corner and I miss so much having you in mine.


Happy Birthday

”Nafas na anjuman-e arzoo se baahir khainch:
Agarr sharaab naheen intezaar-e saghar khainch.” Ghalib


You departed from the tavern of life in haste…I guess all that I can do now is wait.

You were the adhesive that held all the broken pieces of me together. Now I’m just splattered all over the floor. You were my Achilles’ heel even when you were alive…now that you’re not there what should I say?

The world is a harsh place my love…it’s eyes are too cold and it’s tongue too bitter. It won’t even spare the memory of you!

I’m lost and splattered with nothing that holds me together. Forgive me, if I don’t speak of you again. For now I will take all 100 pieces of me and sweep them into a corner…never to be seen and never to be touched.