Friday, November 11, 2011


Sham stood at the entrance, in sparkling white pajama kurta, accepting condolences. He blinked as he saw his aunt come up with a stricken look. "How did it happen?" she asked quietly. He hugged her, his heart in his throat, excepting some women would tell her the details.

His wife Rani's voice surely enough drifted through the silent hall. "We were so stunned when we got the call from bhabhi! How could this have happened to Ram bhayya! He was so young...such young children! Sham was devastated! We have been planning to visit him for a long time. So tragic that we should come here and see him like this!"

A new round of lament started. Sham felt he had to escape the oppressive atmosphere.

Ranu hadn't been wrong. They had planned several times, he had wanted to plan several times... But it had not worked out somehow. He felt a dull anger at Rani as he remembered how every time she managed to find an excuse for not visiting him.

"Why do you always find a reason for avoiding Delhi!" he had even asked her once.

"Darling," Rani had responded. "Where is the question of avoiding them! But they have never visited us once, have they?"

"Is that a reason!"

"No dear," Rani had put her arms around him. "How silly of you! But maybe they don't like to have people over. Maybe they think they will inconvenience us! If they think so much about visiting you, his brother, shouldn't we respect that? And then," she had looked at him with that innocent look, "What will you gain by staying there for a day or two? We must visit them properly, you know!"

That had sounded so much more logical at the time. But now? Here he was, very much staying for the next 10 days. And what would he achieve? Could he talk to his brother?

But always, head had ruled over heart - the cost of travel, the inconvenience of dropping in, the fear of discomfiting them... how many doubts, how many excuses.

Could he blame Rani alone for his lethargy? Wasn't he to blame too for going with her logic and reasoning? Where was his brain when she gave excuses for avoiding visiting his brother!

The questions plagued him, but even if he found the answer, what of it now? He couldn't unwind time, could he?

As they boarded the flight back, Rani sighed, "Thank god we were able to spend the time there and you didn't have to get back in a hurry. You were wonderful, Sham, doing your duty for your brother's family. But I think, rather than calling the children to us and dislocating them, isn't it better that they stay put in Delhi? Bhabhi has her own people she will be more comfortable with. Send them money once in a while - when they need it, if they ask... You know, otherwise they may mistake us..."

She prattled on. Sham stared ahead, his heart and head busy with their own debate not very different from Rani's.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One Earth: The Power Problem

One Earth: The Power Problem: One of the recent jokes on the SMS that I love: as the mobile, the net and something else compete as to who is going to rule the world, elec...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Anubavangal: Chinthanaiyilla Manam

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