Friday, June 08, 2007


About twenty yrs back from today a three yrs old kid was sitting along with her grandfather in his lap in an arm chair in the porch of the verandah….JJ (Grandfather in Oriya) chair that is what we used to refer that chair as.It was his favourite chair.

Kid : JJ what does puuo mean??
JJ : It means son
Kid : Why do u call Appa as puuo??Is he ur son??
JJ : Yes, he is my puuo
Kid : Who is my puuo??
JJ : Ha ha, who do u want ur puuo to be??
Kid : Can I choose my Puuo JJ??
JJ : Yes, u can…so whom do u choose then as ur puuo??
Kid : U….u be my puuo from today JJ…will u be??
JJ : Ha ha sure my dear…but then who ll be ur JJ if I be ur puuo!!
Kid : (After some serious thot) we will shorten JJma’s name as JJ….if I need a JJ
JJ : Ha ha ha ok

And so he became my puuo from being my JJ :).He used to feed me when I used to throw tantrums and find excuses for not eating making my mother give up on me in frustration.He wud bribe me with chocolates and toys and make me drink milk and then take all the credit for accomplishing the great task.My puuo and I wud together have bitter gourd curry together…..I eating on his behalf and he on my behalf….. and the bitterness of the curry would get drowned in our laughter and togetherness. He taught me alphabets before joining school.He taught me the difference between multiplication and divison…when I could never differentiate between them.He taught me multiplication tables till 12th table and I could never learn higher than 12th table till date.And today he’s taught me cooking even :)!I wud coax him to tell me the story of his childhood and he wud willingly accept to narrate the incidents of his childhood to me umpteen number of times without getting tired of it.He wud listen to my endless ranting and answer each and every single question that I ask.He wud blackmail me saying that if I had my bath early in the morning he wud allow me to enter the puja room and have Prasad and I wud always manage to sneak in and have the Prasad without bath.And he wud behave as if he could never make out tht I had sneaked in and finished the Prasad.I wud ask him “what do u do with the Prasad when I am not around Puuo”…and he wud reply “feed it to the sparrows so that they take it to u in their beaks”!!And I wud keep searching for sparrows at my place for the Prasad.He wud say “Grow up soon dear I am getting old”…and I wud reply “Don’t worry Puuo I ll grow up soon and we will both get old together”.Days passed and distances grew.I got tied up with studies and cud manage to meet him only once in a yr.He wud complain “U call me puuo and don’t care for ur puuo.U simply disappear”….I wud reply “No JJ!!Me really tied up.I need to secure a seat JJ.After that I promise I ll always be with u”…..he replied “Fine!!I will get it for u…will u be happy then and not worry”….It sounded like those days in my childhood when I used to cry for toys and he wud say “Fine now don’t cry I will get u toys from my secret trunk…ll u be happy then”……and I wud forget all abt the toys and secretly sit down to ransack the secret trunk when my grandfather was not around. My puuo couldn’t see me worried ever.Whenever I wud get worried abt my results my puuo wud motivate me by narrating his experience and the way he had pursued his dreams by making it to Stanford University and completed his Phd .He had taught me pursuing ur dreams is all that matters ….don’t worry abt the results…just never give up. Tears filled his eyes when I had gifted him a dhoti and kurta with my first salary.He put away the dhoti and kurta in his secret trunk as usual :)!!
I wud say “Puuo come and stay with me.Then we can have lot of fun” and his reply wud always be “No my dear just like that is ur house this is my house…ur Puuo is happy in his house…Next I ll go to God’s house from here”….And I wud retort “JJ!!Don’t talk nonsense.You had promised that we ll get old together”….”Yes my dear I remember my promise. We will get old together.U and I togther.That is why I made the prev. statement”.I never understood then what he meant.

But today I understand the true meaning of his statement that he had made then.He had meant he wud always be there with me in my memories and we wud together get old.Isn’t that what u meant Puuo?? :)! Life is so strange really….we are forced to accept the rules of nature.Much as we wud love to hold on to our dear ones we know that if we do so it will only get worse.Although its painful to depart from your loved ones u will have to console urself telling that its better if they are taken care of by God in his house than they withering away infront of ur eyes.U can’t pause time…u can’t stop age.And its also strange that when ur loved ones depart its only then that all the memories of the days that u spent together surfaces and u try clinging on to them like u never did before.U get so tied up with other responsibilities in ur life that although u know u love them dearly and they are there waiting impatiently to just catch a glimpse of u ….u just don’t have the time to be with them…and the memories just lie at the back of ur mind undisturbed….u don’t have the time to re-live them.So, that is what he had meant then that he can always stay in my memories and I will realise and relive the long lost childhood days with him all over again while he watches me do so from God’s abode…..and that’s how he will watch me getting old , sitting in the JJ chair , along with him :) !Hope you are keeping a secret trunk there too in God’s house Puuo.And I am sure this time God will make sure that ur secret trunk is not ransacked by any naughty kid around. And here I will take care of your favourite chair :)!

One Min Plz!!

There are these times when you feel like requesting life “Please, give me just a min off and I will get back to you”. But your request goes in vain. Life stubbornly sticks on to its routine. The storm that is boiling inside you gets on to you and you plead and cry and life turns a deaf ear to your pleadings. And you realise that you are not going to be empathized with. Life is not going to sit down and empathize with you and let the storm pass. You got to get down to your feet and stand up with life. It is in no way going to give you time to pause or give you time to sit down and take a breath. Life doesn’t have place to accommodate your anguish. You finally give up and put one foot forward hesitatingly into life and the moment you do that life drags you and engulfs you like the tides of the sea and you sail along its waves. Rising up and down. The showers of Life rain on you and your anguish is washed away. Time, a friend of Life, provides the healing balm and the pain and anguish stop hurting without your knowledge… you were busy trying to learn manoeuvring through the waves. Eventually you learn and you start enjoying and experiencing every crest and trough of the waves and then you pause and ask yourself “Did I ask for some time off from life…and when was that :)!!!”
That is why it is rightly said ‘Life is Beautiful’ :)! Isn’t it!!