Mom, she is one whom I will never see physically anymore. Its been 26 days since she passed on and I am left with her memories… that is all I have
now, to reflect back. Funny, how it does not bear in mind when we are making them memories.. but how it comes to haunt us and sometimes pain us after the physical body is no more. Making it all so illusory and impermanent…

I remember : 
The first memory of my mom, she standing by the door watching me play and my aunts and dad recording my voice on a National Panasonic tape. I am maybe 2 years old, words not being able to form completely… yet

I tell her … (jao jao nana kono) go go go to the kitchen and cook.. in kiddies language..
Dad and mom teaching me how to tell give me water in “Assamese and Bengali”.

I remember : 
Me waiting with pigtails and kajal smeared on my eyes looking out of the window and waiting for mom and dad to come back from office.. and calling out with my arms outstretched to my mom’s friends to come and visit me…

I remember : 
My mom coming from office every evening and after her tea, she taking the newspaper and reading it intently. She did not want to be disturbed whereas I wanted to play with her.. or talk to me but no, she had to do her reading.. I realise now, that at that time, it was her time to unwind… and to be in her space..

She was a serious woman, but cracked humor without batting an eyelid.. and it was that which endeared me to hear her laughter more often than I used to. She did not entertain me being flighty and laughing out loud but it never stopped me forcing out many moments of laughter with her..

It was just some days before she passed on.. I was here.. at home and she was resting by my side.. To divert her from her condition, I told her some humorous things about her sister and she laughed out weakly.. and I had thought to myself.. I should make her laugh more…

I remember : 
We would have hordes of relatives coming by and she would whip up a multi course meal inspite of having a job and not miss a beat.

She would tolerate my inviting all my friends for my birthday without me thinking to give her a notice and she would make sure they were fed.

Not much of a talker, she was an extreme disciplinarian. She would be strict about my homework and well she was competitive. Well and yours truly did not have those qualities and I smile now at the rows we used to have.. I must have been a handful.

She was never much of a musician or a person who liked to stitch like other moms but she liked music and good art and craft a lot. And yet, she was the first to teach me the notes of the music and the harmonium and made sure I learnt this art well and did my practice every morning after having a glass of warm milk. I thank her for that.

She taught me how to sew my first stitches.  Making me interested in intricate patterns and learn the art of a needle and a thread. She even taught me how to knit but after a while, I did learn the art but it was never my forte.

Overall she was an introvert and I was an extrovert those days and never understood her reticence towards extra curricular activities. It used to bother me when she wanted me home with her while others played outside. But she would relent later and send me out.. but for a short time..

I remember : 
Her anger was passive and very strong. She was a Scorpion and she would behave like one when slighted. Always at odds with her since she came on very strong with what she believed in, I cannot say I had the easiest time with her. It was quite tough and though when I was away it was the interaction with her that I missed the most.. so what if it was to cross words with her..

I used to say it lightly to her that we are star crossed she and I
We rarely saw eye to eye.. Our unconditional love for each other would last for 3 to 4 days to say the least and well we were back on our natural grounds of crossing words with each other.. It did make me respect her albeit grudgingly since she never backed out without a fight..

Yes, she was the strong one in the household whilst me and my Dad did float around with our dreams and trigger happy emotional ups and downs. Dad with his passion for flowers and card games in the winters of Shillong  while me with my books, music and friends.

Her keen sense of commitment and responsibility was something I admired. She was fair too. Never one to ask for help, she would tell me to always be prepared for everything without reaching out to others for help.. Did not agree with her but it was a strong principle for her.. She would be prepared for almost anything, I saw.. never lost her cool in the worst times… we had..

I remember : 
Her getting sweets from her office canteen as often as she could.
She did not like sweets but she liked to have her food storage stocked with sweets.

I would wait for her to return from office.. sometimes I would test her to see if she caught my mischief… which she used to … LOL…

Oh how I loved to test her patience by stealing the chicken she would make and keep for later.. just to make her mad.. and boy would she be mad..

I remember : 
Her love for movies. Oh how can I forget that ? She would be the one who would take me to Kelvin Cinema. That was alone time with mom.
Shopping was not something I would like to do with her.. That was Dad’s basket since mom had this habit of promising me something and getting me quite something else and then making me work for that gift.,.. Hahahah !!

Ice Castle, Ben Hur, etc were treats with my mom I missed when I grew up.

I remember:
Her love for Swami Vivekananda. She would read a lot especially about Swami Vivekananda. She also liked Shakespeare and was proud to have some unabridged edition of Shakespeare’s works in her collection. It is still there. Even in her last days, she would take her magnifying glass and at least try and read the headlines or ask us to read it to her. The verbal news in the television channels did compensate for reading but not totally.

I remember : 
She liked to be on her own and well though I did not understand then, I do now.  She liked her company and liked reflecting and talking about philospphy and politics. Politics in particular was her favorite conversation.

I remember:
Her stoic devotion in her faith so much so that it had become a must for me too and well that became another cause for my rebellion to rituals..

She was the one who taught me the Gayatri mantra. She was the one who would wear a talisman for me so that I lived longer and my obstacles were removed.

I remember : 
Her long letters to me with my pocket money when I stepped away from home. It was a ritual for her to send me a letter with her draft whilst I was struggling to keep multiple classes going and making a life far far away from home.. Always encouraging me, always telling me to be strong and always saying that I am here with you.. sending
me her love and her prayers.. always motivating me to move forward and be independent and successful..

I remember: 
When no one supported me to go and become a part of what I am today, she was the one who stood my me financially and permitted me to go and chart my life and career. Even after I married, she was the one who would understand my little issues of balancing work and family.. and where it got me sometimes..

I remember
Her love for Samosas, and all things spicy. She loved meat and fish. She liked to eat out, have tea/coffee out in a place like Cafe Coffee day or in our Shillong days the Restaurant EC or New India after shopping spree.. in Police Bazaar.

I remember : 
Her last words in a pained faint tone over the phone: “I don’t know whats happening to me, I cannot breathe… I don’t know why I cannot breathe.. I dont know why I am feeling so weak.”  It was the beginning of a heart attack that she would succumb to and would pass on to the bardo of transitional period.

Cremating her was the toughest task I have done in my life..

Ma, I will miss you… miss talking to you, miss arguing with you… miss just holding your hands…miss just riling you so that you get at me.. hahah !! Miss your smell that made me feel safe, miss your hugs when you would curl up beside me.. as you slept.. miss you calling me lovingly by my name..

Not perfect, very stubborn, not overtly motherly, not so attached, very strong, very independent, … yet supportive, fair, determined, practical, never letting me down, never letting me give in to my weaknesses, always there …. no matter what… just by being my mom… she is one of the reasons I am here in this universe.. and for that I will eternally be grateful…

We had a complicated relationship but yet it was a meaningful bond. One which I will cherish and miss till the day I die.. She always said… Everything will be alright… its ok to face hardships and the downs but in the end everything will be just fine… and I believe at the end everything is fine..

Thank you for being You and teaching me in your own way to be Me.

Movie Review : My Name is Khan

My Rating : **

Directed by Karan Johar

Produced by Hiroo Yash Johar, Gauri Khan

Written by 
Story and Screenplay: Shibani Bathija

Dialogues:  Shibani Bathija,Niranjan Iyengar

Starring  : Shahrukh Khan, Kajol

Music by : Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Cinematography : Ravi K. Chandran

Editing by : Deepa Bhatia
Distributed by : Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release date(s) :  12 February 2010 (global)[1]
Running time : 161 minutes [1]

Review

Well watched My Name is Khan finally. Out of curiosity, I thought what it was that stirred so much interest and publicity to have such a ruckus.. Much Ado about nothing I would say.  But well lets admit, it generate the initial interest to go and watch the movie.. like it or not.

A few minutes into the movie and you cannot help up bring up comparison of great movies likeForrest Gump and then bits of Rain Man and then more of Forrest Gump and then so many more ofAdam.

Trust Karan Johar to make a Kichdi of all of it and make a movie.. I mean I was laughing to myself.. and thinking, how easy it is to sometimes sell stuff…. but being inspired is fine as long as the inspiration gives of originality and not scene to scene takes from other movies.

As a whole, the movie had its moments and I am going to elaborate what touched me. But it could have been weaved better. Shahrukh Khan as an actor was trying to add texture to his characted and he succeeded to a certain extent but well only to a certain extent. Cannot blame him if Karan Johar had a certain bit on his mind and the film will shape as per the director’s ideas right.

What I liked in the movie.

Shahrukh’s interaction with Kajol. That was the best part.  The young Shahrukh also did touch my emotional sliders..

I think I also liked his interaction with the kid. It was quite touching. Some moments were painful but that was well played and it did reach me. But thats it.

I loved the music.

I appreciate SRK trying something new.. but work on the story first next time.. it would go a long way..

What spoiled the movie for me :

I did not get the hurricane in Wilhelmina and then the hero walking all over US being intact and clean shaven.

Did not get how a hurricane in Wilhelmina could show striped mattresses which you can get in the local shops. I have not seen them mattresses in the US.. hahahaha !! It was too silly and it took me off the moment.. LOL..

Anyway, all that was unecessary.

The whole political hullabaloo was not well stitched. It was kind of fragmented.. Did not enjoy it

Walking is fine but where was he walking to and from.. show a map or something.. suddenly you say I am here and I am going there.. I mean .. it did not work for me..probably because I was comparing… it just shows that he is walking and he is clean and well I have to assume that Shahrukh cannot grow a beard and do without make up even under trying circumstances.The only time when he was unclean was when he was repairing the car and that too the grease looked wiped on..:)

As a whole, there were many disjointed.. ends which kind of did not do the magic for me..

I would say, you will like it if you have not see any of the movies that it was inspired from. And if you did, please forget it and do not compare scenes and movies..

So well, that’s that.. I think we do have brains to do some original movies with some messages for us .. Aamir is doing it.. why cant others..:)

But then thats ME..

You go and watch it and you might enjoy it thoroughly.

*********************************************************

Ad Rant :

The Nirma Ad is something which is getting to me.. the women swishing the sarees, the girl dancing, all looked nice… but giving a lesson to the dirt puddle.. Downright silly.. GAHHHHHHHHH

Where has all the creativity gone ?

Cannot stop laughing at this.. blublublublublub.. I feel like doing the same.. hahahaha !!!

Its just too much..

Noted while surfing on a lazy Sat eve :

Disgusted at NDTV Imagine’s Rahul Dulhaniya Lejayenge.. Reality show.. Now, I understand we need to give everybody a chance but come on.. I also could blink for a second if the show was interesting.. I mean take a guy who is an addict and a womaniser… and wife beater according to the very same media who is now proclaiming his swayamvar… and then adding scripts for him.. where he finds out the secrets that the gals have hidden in their past boyfriend and goes to question her on TV if she had a physical relationship and well makes sure that her “lie” is found in front of the cameras…

BLAHHHHHHH and BLEEEEEHHHHHHH !! !

Are there people still interested in not so known faces with an almost criminal fighting it out.. over who was and is sleeping with whom… Arghhh !!

( anyway… now I stop)

And I could not stop smiling at the new ad of LEMON mobile.. come on !! Didnt you get a better name.. !! The ad looks like a drunk has done it. the mobile flies from the engines of an aeroplane and into the hands of the guy.. What is the concept ?? Pray tell me.. Arghhhh !!!

Ads are the bits in my mind.. these days..

Sometimes one wonders where one gets these ideas.. It looks so stupid..

But its interesting how silliness can be quite a catch phrase.. as its interspersed with humor.. LOL like the video I uploaded.

Anyway, hope you had a good weekend.. have a great week..

Today morning, was reminiscing on how my world that I was born in and grew up to expect has changed for however good or bad.

Lakua, my ancestral hometown, is a small village which contained our ancestral home. It was a ritual or a done thing to visit this place annually, typically during our winter vacations. Shillong had long winter vacations and my folks would take me to Lakua,

Lush green paddy fields, bright orange sky due to ONGC operations happening night and day and the soil yielding oil, the smell of sweet humid air, and little hut like shops, one shop in particular where I would go and sit and get some candies to eat just because he knew my family.

I was the only girl child then and in the line of more than 5 boys.. So I could very well do as I wished.. Not to far off though. There was always someone who would be keeping an eye on me wandering off around the property.

Mornings, I would go to the nearby “Pukhuri” or the pond and watch the fish flit around hither thither. It was fascinating. Though the whole house was “pucca” built but the kitchen like any traditional one would be made of mud and thatched roof. In my head that was one of the most interesting places where all the daughter in laws including my mom would be busy doing something or the other.

I remember my granny would cook for herself and her food would be the tastiest.

I would find my corner in the warm clean mud floor and make my space and it was never cold. It was as if the earth would hug my body and keep me warm.

The house was big and at that time, TV was not yet upon us.

I would skip along the different rooms of the house, sleep a little, play a little and dream a lot..

We would be having our breakfast of milk from our cows and home grown rice items.. And filled to the brim, I would skip around.. The portico was long and airy and it had some antique bits along with my late grandpa’s painting. I would spook a little when there was no one and I would like to build my own dream castles.. Walking and sitting and humming a soft tune to myself… after a while I did feel comfortable about the painting.. It seemed to protect me.. So well, off I would go via the portico door to the yard which would be full of beetlenut trees. I would just love to wander.. Around.. Listening to the silence, then filled with joy at the singing of a bird… it was my fantasy world.. My very own space..

I would skip to and fro and then go to the back yard which had rows and rows of vegetables. Nearby was the Assamese version of the barn. Inside the barn I would chase the chickens.. And then smile to myself.

I came to know a tall dark lady ” Sobi” who would be in charge of our animals and our garden. She seemed scary to me and did not speak our language but she was ageless and timeless, it seemed. She was mystical to me and I would love to go and speak to her and run behind her asking her questions which she would patiently answer. Of course, it was all about the animals and their babies..

She would bring the cows and the buffalos home. She would gather the milk and the eggs the chicken laid and she would also sit by the corner at the end of the day and chew on some wholesome tobacco and I have this memory of her standing at the big gate and looking far away.. As if in a different world. She did not have any family and she just stayed with us.

Sometimes, it would be a warm wintry sunny day when Grandma would want to make “Gamusa”, the traditional handcloth/towel that Assamese people use. I remember her walking round and round the implanted bamboo sticks and weave this cloth.. It fascinated me.

We had the loom too but then I guess I was too young to appreciate that.

It would be a grand day to celebrate days important to us with group gathering at our temple where the villagers would gather to sing the praise of the lord with synchronized clapping and cymbal beating. It put me in a kind of trance. We did not worship the idol on my Father’s side so it was all very different from my Mom’s side who were pure idol worshippers. I would try to sing along with them and clap my hands with them, and without realizing be in a trance along with the group..

Festivals at home would be fun with family rushing around. Many people coming in and out, specials being made. A little me would did not have enough time to stop and wonder. I was too busy flitting from one activity to the other.

There would be an all night kirtan/bhajan “naam” singing with the singers actually dancing with their dhols..

No one would fall asleep and it would last the whole night to the early morning.. Singing songs in the name of the divine, dancing to the name of the divine and then eating… in the name of divine..

Rice would be roasted in bamboo hollows and jaggery and home made butter and curd would be distributed. We would also have meat specials later on.

I would go with my friends to visit different houses.. And all would be extremely hospitable. They would call from afar and invite me home to treat me with their homemade goodies and ask me questions which I would generally answer with a shy smile, looking at my friend to help me out. She was my confidante and my kaleidoscopic looking glass to the village. She would take me skipping with her across fields.. And show me around.. Take me to her small hut and give me savories… and laugh with me and my accent. I generally loved being with her since she seemed to know so much and more so because she was patient with me.

She would show me tamarind trees where ghosts lived. Tell me stories.. About it and a haunted house would make us shiver.. As we walked by.. She would make it real with “real” stories.. I loved it..

She would teach me how to grind rice with our traditional “dheki” and how to scale the “koi” fish with ash. Sometime, I would have leeches stuck to my hand while sorting greens from our backyard to which I would scream and she would laugh and quickly get salt and have the leeches drop from my hand..

Oh joy !! The very memory lightens the mood and transports me to a joyous euphoria… !!

It was always a special time for many years.. And I was loath to go back to Shillong where all things “modern” awaited..

FAST FORWARD to present!!!

We stopped visiting Lakua sometime after my Grandma became sick and everyone shifted to the town house in Sibsagar. Slowly, as the family shifted base, it was as if the life was sucked out of that place. It grew old and shabby in days.. It seemed…

I got busy with my studies and the life started deteriorating back there. Many people died being a part or a victim of the outlawed group.

It was as if a shadow of death and dissent dawned upon this one beautiful place and made it sucked all the juice of life and living literally.

My dear friend is a mother of 3, still has that house but is abused by her husband.. and still living.. she has grown old by many years it seems and the child is lost..

People still live there, farming still happens there but the feeling of being one with the earth is missing.

Money has corrupted many a mind… outlaw activities for the sake of misleading goals corrupted many a house and took away many a professions.. And well it is like just another place..

Last I visited our family home.. It was rented, to some stranger, it was cemented all over.. Made into a modern living quarters, The pond was full of scum and well it was very empty of life..

I understand that we all have to move forward in life.. But have we thought of what we leave behind, our legacy, our very roots that we come from.. ?

Sometimes, I wonder, is it worth all this to leave behind the very connection with nature and earth who so lovingly sustained us and allowed us to grow in it without wasting any part of it.

Sometimes, its nice to be in that ” Once upon a time ” where needs were few, joys were many and life was long !!

Nostalgic :  Today back home, everyone would be celebrating Bihu. Wish I was with them. Its been years but times like this is when I wish, I wish I wish.. for that warm laughter, exchanging greetings face to face with loved ones, having a feast with the family, generally having that happy undertone of being together.Happy Bihu to all !!!

Excited : to be in this moment. Travel is happening on and off so am excited about that. Not to far away places but lets call it quality travel.. meeting friends and family..

Overjoyed : over a new recipe which I tried. Its very simple and traditional but since I am not an expert at traditional, I was feeling pretty high on getting this done.. More of this on my food blog..

Exasperated : at meaningless text messages or text marketing that I seem to be flooded with for no reason at all. Its like the system has conspired against me to have my cell bombarded for nuts.. I cannot hate it.. since its a part of technology and evolution but heck I do not have to like it either.. Sigh..

Tired : of paying and paying and paying … I am imagining myself to be loan free soon and the very thought perks me up..

Looking forward : To the new house. My mezzanine level got done and it looks good ( at least to me)  Now for the kitchen and then my home office aka misc room and then bathrooms… and well then the whole apartment which I have been looking forward to for so many years.. yes it will happen.. exactly the way I imagined it.. and I look forward to it. Time in this case does not get measured.. it seems to be working on its own version of time.. but heck so be it.. !!

Thankful : for all the good people around me online and offline.. I know I do not meet you often.. but know it that  you are all in my prayers.. and in my thoughts.. I do appreciate your presence in whatever way possible in my life.. all of you inspire me. !!

Thinking : Its time !!!

Praying : for all the souls who have fallen prey to unfortunate incidents natural and unnatural.. Haiti, etc

Glad : that mercury retrograde period  is finally over..  onto some new ventures.. We do have an eclipse which does say that its time to shed the old and bring in the new.. so I am anticipating all new things..

Dreaming : my way into reality…

Missing : Rider Mania  this year but well, I have to choose my misses.. No regrets though !!

Asking :  what next ???