Sunday, July 26, 2020

Travelling Down the Rainy Memory Lane

What is the thing about memories, that makes us so energized and so happy?
Is it the nature of the memory that it is treasured deep in mind like a diamond?
Is it the very fact that memory can be relived in our head but can never be experienced again?
Is it the reality that good memories even if volatile, have the power to keep us get going!

As the downpour got heavy and the raindrops started slashing my windows fast and hard,

And as the sound of the rain pierced through my mind, holding a mirror to memories,
I went into a trance, trying as much as I can to hold on to that haze of memories...
The memories surfaced one by one reminding the happening and the happiest times!

I was a child, wearing a sleeveless smocking frock stitched by my Mama!

I ran to the window, to watch the raindrops in glee and jumped up and down, to show my love.
Letting down the umbrella and getting drenched in the torrents of rain used to be pure joy.
The heavenly happiness rains used to bring was unmatchable for me...
For some the dark grey clouds set in the gloom, but for me, they always filled the heart with rainbow colors!
source of Image: here

I grew and life kept going, I got too busy to observe the dancing droplets on the windowpane.

But I tried to keep the child in me intact and started writing my thoughts, whenever rains welcomed me!
The hostel life gave plenty of time and opportunity to fill the pages of my random journal.
I scribbled away to glory, all those seen, unseen, shared, and unshared feelings in me!

The greenwashed leaves and all the rain hues still don't fail to impress me.

In my child, I again search myself when she dances delightfully on catching the glimpse of rain.
The excitement and the amusement she feels on seeing the rain reminds me of my older version!
Decades back I was her and now she is my younger self exposing the same flashy toothy smile.

How I wish I could reflect the same unconditional happiness and the smile once again in life?

Does life always stay simple and the same, and only we complicate it with our expectations, dreams, and desires?
Does life plead us to be the same carefree soul, where the happiness and worries are not chained to any?
Does life hint you to live your childhood again through your child and keep counting your stars?

PS: A random poem scribbled by me during the rainy season of  Covid Lockdown!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Labour Room Saaga - Finale Episode (Part 1) - "The Enchanted Epidural"

Continued from Episode 2

At first, it just felt like a minor jolt, the one you have when you are tensed before the exam and your mouth becomes dry and watery at the same time, that kind of feeling. I was feeling nauseous may be because of the stress I was facing as I would be entering the most dreaded phase of the pregnancy but still I was not sure if that can be called a contraction. I was with my dad at that moment as mom went out to get fresh and come back maybe! (I really didn't bother even till date to know what happened behind the screen during my event ;) ). I told my dad about the minor movement and about me being unsure of whether or not it is a contraction. He who had no idea what to do started searching for a doctor or nurse. I was continuously hoping this is it and the errand would end in an hour or two. After getting the contraction, I was given a stopwatch or a buzzer - I am not sure what it is called and asked to press the button and record, every time I feel the contraction. They were timing the contractions. I felt like a celebrity is gonna pop out, for whose arrival everyone in the hospital is waiting with a ticking stopwatch. I was not even sure half of the time, if it was a contraction or my anxiety or if I was just hungry (though I was not at all in the mood to eat). In my experience, the most horrific part was the dilation examination done by my doctor or any visiting gynecologist available at that time. The way they shove their hands like it is an easy peasy lemon squeezy, I really  wanted to kick hard with whatever energy I could muster, so that they faint and not repeat that on me again! "I am not a chicken to be marinated for Gods' sake. I am a to be mother lying in labor not dying in labor," I thought to myself.

After a while, I was shifted to the actual labor room, where I can wait along with staff and one person from my family as a companion to me. My mother and husband took turns to be with me and I was dressed up in a maternity gown (or do they call it labor gown??) and asked to relax. The pain induction worked and the intensity of contractions started to increase. I could feel a pull, a push, a blow, an extension, a contraction, a wave-like pain, and some crawling and so much weirdness, which I really can't recollect on the present day. It did feel like period cramp at first but slowly it became the "Baap of it "シ (If I loosely translate in English, the labor pain when intense felt like the mother of the period pain which felt like a baby). I laughed at my own stupid joke and tried keeping calm. I was slowly dilating and was in pain and got a slight fever by late evening and felt like I may pass out any minute, or I may puke. Irrespective of my resistance and denial, I was fed some juice, some coconut water and don't know what else, to stay energetic and revived. When I said I couldn't bear the pain and requested the doctors to give me epidural, they happily obliged. An injection or maybe a catheter was pierced somewhere in my spinal canal and the drug was induced. It is funny how I did not pay attention at all, on what actually they were doing. I completely submitted myself to the staff and I guess only half of my senses were working, so I could not understand the step by step processes.

I lied down on the elevated labor bed, which extremely felt uncomfortable to me. The pain subsided a lot. I guess up to 40 - 50 %. Epidural works in different ways for different people. Some people completely get relieved, some partly relieved and for some, it may not work at all. I took the risk and I fell in the second category and was mostly relieved. My body mostly became numb below the waist but I could still feel sharp nabs of pain on the right side of my waist and hip. It felt weird as only my sides were paining. May be baby is struggling to move inside and kicking in my sides, is what I thought. So the wonder drug injected through the epidural helped me stay calm but refused to work on one side of the body. I screamed is what I thought but I actually was pleading... "Can you please increase the medicine dosage!?" I was still in pain. I never knew I could throw a tantrum in a hospital but I did. I was in trauma and I guess you can do all the drama during the trauma, just for that one night and none would dare to stop you, but the hospital staff who is used to labor so much day in and day out, will not be patient or pleased with you...was the fact I soon realized :-) . I was covered in woolen rugs and sheets and I requested the nurse to increase the room temperature, as I was shivering. She curtly said in an irritable tone, that it is common AC and I can get one more rug if I want. I told I will play music and was instantly reprimanded to reduce the volume to the lowest possible number as I would be disturbing other women in labor :) So I immediately sensed that being a drama queen may not be the choice we can implement involving everyone around us! シ

When all this was happening, the lady from LifeCell who came to collect my umbilical cord eagerly waited near my feet peeping now and then to see if I was ready. A nurse/doctor (really not sure who) came and checked the dilation and said it was 5 - 6 cms. The clock showed 9 PM. I came early in the morning at 3 AM and from then till now I moved from 1 to 5 cms. I was never such a poor performer. I perform well under pressure. Come on Afshan, You can do it. You can dilate quicker if you mentally train your brain, but my poor squishy brain... I didn't even know where it was anymore. I was feeling dizzy, pukish, hot and everything felt hazy. I found my mom in the corner reciting the prayers she knows and reading a page or a verse from the Quran. Even in mid of so much trauma, that scene moved me. I felt painless even if it was just for a fleeting moment.
source : here

I was squeezing my husband Imran's palms tight and hard, whenever there was a shooting pain in my right waist. The rest of the body was numb with minimal bearable pain. The nurse expressed displeasure as my mom was hovering around. My mom said she will just stay for a while and kept praying, checking on me and kept moving in and out. When Imran left my hand as he had to do some e-payment, I screamed. I screamed aloud as I just wanted to keep squeezing his palm. I felt it could be at any moment. I was counting numbers and strangely humming the song, "O humdum suniyo re , O chaliya suniyo re..." from the movie Saathiya (one of my fav songs). Maybe it played last on my iPod... but I was humming it too loud in my head. I also don't know what business I was doing down there which now was like a late-night party hangout to all the nurses, doctors and rest of the staff...

To be Continued .....

PS: I am clearing my head and recollecting that day after 2 years, hence I would like to break it here, and finish the ordeal soon :) Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Unfinished Stories!

I was an empty page fluttering away, happily waiting for the letters to be written and colors to be filled 
You filled it with gibberish and I thought you bled that ink from your mind
The colors, Ah!, those colorful colors made my everyday visions happy and happening
Those colors seemed to blind the real you and masked the grey hue, as I wore rose-tinted glasses

When I shed the glasses and turned the pages,
There you were again, bright with all new scent, that crispy glory, and many new words 
I wanted to turn the page back and dive into the story I already knew
But like everyone, I got attracted to new stories, new beginnings, happenings, and new everything...

I took the brush, painted the new page and scribbled to my heart's content
Dancing to your tunes, your rhythm and writing what you would love to read
I trusted the story to stay with me until I give it a shape. I nurtured it, till it firmly got rooted in my mind
Few invisible letters started showing up in between my written words and my lines had new grey lines behind...

I wanted to hide the grey, subside it and kill it wearing again my rose-tinted glasses
I groped in the dark for the glasses, and my old thoughts and weaved stories became carcasses
"Oh! This just can't be the end", I thought to myself. A story would never have a plot so loose!
But the universe hinted that all stories may not end, some of the ends get hanged from a tight noose!

I huffed, I puffed, I screamed, I cried. I did everything I could, to breathe life into the stories
All my efforts were in vain as I saw that the pages got decayed, whilst trying hard to stay alive.
I no longer had the authority on the pen, as the words were getting jotted by someone else
I tried reading and succeeded only partially. The meaning of the words felt vague but dense and intense!

I was reprimanded, to tear the worn out pages of the book and to start scribbling afresh
How could I do that, when the decayed page devoured a piece of my heart and bits of my flesh
I waited and stared at that page, hoping it would magically become colorful again
A tinge of hope, that the rust would turn to glittering colors, washing away all the thoughts and the pain...
source: here

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

How to get rid of EavesDroppers!

You have them all around you. Some keep peeping, some just seem like they have extendable ears. Their auditory, olfactory and visual senses are all, 10 times more intense, than the normal folks who don't sense simple things happening around.
The eaves droppers know every thing happening at your home, in your life, your love life, marital life, about your kids, your dog and anything and everything related to you. They perfect the art of knowing you. They are your fans and follow you where ever you go. Today I made a crude doodle, which is a lame attempt to display how to get rid of eavesdropping on my blog ;) Do comment if you like it and share your experiences!
Please zoom to properly read the cartoon


Friday, August 31, 2018

Office Webexes

I have opened the blog and made an office cartoon after so long! Something and anything, which can dust my blog is ok after such a long hiatus 😪🙂!

Premise: We are located in different cities and try calling each other to discuss project statuses and so much more, weekly and biweekly, but fail hearing or seeing each other. We keep on shouting, "CAN U HEAR US?" in a booming voice but we cannot hear

We manage to hear a dog's bark, wind chimes, a baby crying, a thunderstorm, an asteroid falling, a ghost laughing and what not! ;)

A funny depiction of the technical glitches faced during office meetings.

This cartoon is made with the help of a site

Happy Friday. Happy Weekend! :) 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Jab We Met 10 years back :)

Jab I met Imtiyaz Ali's characters Geet and Aditya Kashyap a decade back, I instantly knew that these characters would be etched in my heart! As Oct 26 2017 marked ten years of release of Jab we met , I saw posts floating on Facebook which discussed the movie, the best scenes and so many other memories linked with it, when I fondly remembered how that movie helped me grow mentally! This post is to revive some unforgettable scenes from the movie and to remember few lessons life teaches us !
JAB WE MET : source : here

Geet -
A hunky dory , happy go lucky kind of a girl, looking at whom you may think nothing can go wrong with this girl and even if it goes wrong, with her optimistic spirit she would just correct it or solve it. She is the agony aunt, the love guru and behaves like a know it all where as in reality she turns out to be the one who lives in the dream bubble and hopes that nothing can burst that bubble but life happens to every person and her bubble bursts and like how! Geet, the energy ball, the fun-frolic girl doesn't know how to handle it all. She tries embracing the sorrow and fails. This taught me that even if you are the most outspoken and most optimistic person embedded with high energy, there is a possibility that you can get depressed, you may be put in spot and can become vulnerable and you may cry and lose hope too. Geet's character taught me  that just because you are a happy person , it is not a rule that shit may not happen to you. Shit happens to all and it is up to us to see that the shit doesn't hit roof, walls and gets propelled just around us. Geet does slowly come back to life with the support of Aditya Kashyap and it feels so good seeing her old self. It instilled hope in me that nothing is  permanent!

Aditya Kashyap - First look of Aditya gives an impression that he is the brand ambassador for boredom, a  geekish personality who is quite vulnerable and cold hearted, but then you realise he is sensitive, loving, and a caring  person and his love failure plus other happenings make him a less intrusive personality. He doesn't like to share or talk much. I used to feel that men can never be sensitive but Aditya's character felt so real, that I started believing in the existence of warm and sensitive men too, and came across few such men myself. It feels so beautiful how Geet and  Aditya rub off their personalities on each other a bit. Aditya learns to live from Geet which he again subtly teaches her. They just fit with each other like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Who doesn't want to spend life with a friend like that? Though life may not seem or end up like the movie, one can always try! I love the scene where Aditya hugs Geet in the second half in hotel room and says, its ok, such things  happen, as she gets very cautious! Even if he knows there is chemistry and spark of romance between them, his priority becomes resolving Geet's issues and reminding her what she was - this point stole my heart! 

Aditya is a  good singer but forgets his hobby and creativity in his run-of-the mill life. I loved how Geet persuades him to sing and he starts singing in bus and also in mid of the crowd in Bhatinda at Geet's place. He always remembers the things Geet taught him, and never forgets her or his singing.  He surprises every one with his singing skills in office, and this is my all time favorite song. Everytime I watch this song, it makes me smile broad and inspires me to keep pursuing my own hobbies and interests, no matter what!

Tum se hi ...... tum se hi.....

If first half of the movie, makes you roar with laughs, second half will make you self-introspective, as you may remember few critical junctures of your life, when you tried coming out of a situation and nothing  helped. It feels sad to see Geet as the sad school teacher, who is trying to fight her depression and still clinging to Anshuman (with whom she plans her future), hoping some miracle may happen which will make him finally accept her but that doesn't happen because things will not fall in place in the timezone you want them to, even if you are passionate, persuading and a positive personality like Geet. Some times you have to struggle and struggle more than usual people do for things you desire. This lesson stayed with me as I did not achieve  many things in life easily! If the songs  Tum se hi and Ye ishq haaye make me tap my feet and smile, Aaoge jab tum shared below always leaves a lacuna in stomach and heart! Imtiyaz makes such songs in every movie which slash viewers' hearts :)

Imtiyaz's stories are all about emotions. How you can make them, break them, restore them, fight them and fight your inner demons is the gist of all his stories! This movie is all about knowing your priorities, setting them straight, learning from your struggles and just learning to live again and loving yourself again and loving yourself little more than before. I cannot pick a favorite scene from the movie, as I love each and every bit of it and ended up watching it zillions of  times... but at this moment I can only remember the below climax scene where Geet just knows what to do and does the right thing once she knows who deserves what kind of treatment!

Climax scene, source : here
Geet became a house hold name after the movie and whoever loves talking a lot got tagged as Geet Dhillon! The movie became so famous that it is remade in some foreign language. I exactly don't remember which one now!

We all love living in our own shell sometimes and refuse to come out of it. We all need that one special person, a  partner or a friend who can bring us out of it. We may seem happy, positive and energetic but we all need help sometimes and we should not hesitate in seeking help and should not feel low just because someone reached out to us. It just means that the person loves us and cannot see us that way and goes out of his/her way to just make us smile! With a wish that all of you get one such person in your lives and also become your own favorite just like Geet is her's :) , I end this post which is my last post for the year 2017!

PS: It took me 2 months to finish this post as office and baby are keeping me busy, but I am glad I at-least finished it now, because, like Aditya Kashyap, I too dont want to stop doing things I love the most! :)

HAPPY Holidays to all!💜😎

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Labor Room Saga - Episode 2 - "Onset of the Contraction"

Continued from Episode 1

I entered the hospital and asked for the emergency wing. After all the classes, I was sure that I had to go to first floor but still that was the moment when I seeked reassurance from any one in the vicinity about everything I already know. I was eagerly waiting for my pains to start. I think labor is the only time when pains are welcomed the most and then you wish for the pain to just wash over you so that the ordeal ends!

I was taken to a  common ward, where different types of patients were resting. While entering in, the staff stopped the people who accompanied me (dad, bro, mom and husband)  and said that only one person can accompany me in the ward. Natural choice, I thought  was Imran as I felt that I was being prepared for delivery, but my mom came with me after a brief discussion on who should go. The labor wards were attached to this ward from where I could hear screams and  screeches. Two three voices went like this - "Push push push . You can do it. You are almost there. Yes Yes Yes!"

If it was not hospital, one would think, some cricket or kabaddi tournament is going on and the crowd is cheering for the team! That was the second when I actually got the thought about that most awkward and embarrassing moment of pushing! In the common ward there was one young girl who underwent  some complicated surgery for fibroids or something. The overheard details did not register in my brain. From her cries and screams, I could figure out that she was in lot of pain :-( . Ultrasound gel was applied,  wires , tubes, machines were connected, beep sounds followed and nurses started monitoring every thing. My blood pressure, temperature, heart beat and every reading which can be monitored. Baby's heartbeat was  continuously being monitored  on a screen and I was eagerly looking at that mini monitor as if those changing readings of 148 ..158..170 would magically get transformed to baby and he or she would jump out of the monitor in to my arms! If only the origin of new life was that easy ;)

I just slept on the bed, immobile like a log, taking in the surroundings. In the attached room behind me I could still hear the muffled cries of pain of the same girl. It did not do me any good. I first thought she was in labor, later I realized she underwent a different kind of surgery, when a team of anesthetists and many other specialists came to talk to her. In the bed adjacent to me one more lady seemed to be in a different kind of pain from a different kind of surgery. I will not go in to intricate details but both these scenes ignited fear in my mind which was till then happily sleeping in corner. A lady who underwent C-section was brought in to the ward. First thing I saw was , her pretty face with arched eyebrows. She gave a weak smile holding her baby and then dozed off after placing the baby next to her. "She must be facing the after effects of drugs", I thought! Then came her husband, when I understood she is a Muslim too as the husband gave an azaan, before he named the boy and told the name in his ears, a ritual which some follow! I was watching all these events around me when my doctor arrived by 5 A.M. I think, to check how much I was dilated. Doctors invading private parts became a casual event through out my pregnancy but at that moment everything seemed strenuous and painful!

As I was just 2cm dilated, she said there is still a looooooooooooooong way to go. I obviously was disappointed. I was given some antibiotics and then some pills to kick start the contractions. I was like, excuse me ? Medication to start the pains.  Have you all gone bonkers! Seeing  everyone around me,  I started panicking. I called my mom and told , "Mom, can we please request for Cesaren!  Pretty please?"

My mom told, let us  first wait and see. I  was stubborn that I needed surgery. Different doctors were checking on me for different things and readings and I was already exhausted and started checking whatsapp and facebook and even informed a couple of close friends that I was in labor. One of the doctors, who is my mom's friend's daughter came to increase my moral boost and monitor everything like everyone else. When we asked about C-section, she said, "When everything is perfect , why do you want to go through surgery!? Let us see , we will decide when it comes. OK Afshi?", she said. I felt little OK. May be it was because she called me Afshi, which gave me courage that I know some one from the team or may be  it was the fact that I still have time to decide, but I felt lot better than before.

I was given different foods,  Idli at 9 A.M. Chapathi and curd at 11 A.M. Tea at 12 P.M. and the servings continued. I was not given anything heavy and I was not in a mood to eat anything light too as I felt that may delay the C-section procedure but my doctor felt that I need all the energy to push :) I was continuously being given increased doses of some tablet (the name of which I don't recollect) to induce pains!

People were taking turns to be with me. My mom was there for most of the time. When she went out. Imran came in, all fresh in a neat kurta pyjama. I didn't even know when he went home and came back. I realised it was  12:30 P.M. already and wondered, where the time went. I was super agitated as I felt I was  dirty and every one  else was clean. I badly wanted to take a bath. I secretly combed my hair, as I was in a sensitized zone, and tied it in a bun. I  was careful to not throw litter around. I was being given appy , frooty or the coconut water.  I  was not relishing any of it!

Then my dad came and huge concern was written all over his face. He told me or rather assured me that the long journey is finally going to end and I will have my child in my arms by EOD.  I hoped for the same. It is funny how the job of parenting is always on. More than the child to which I was going  to give birth, my mom, dad were only worried about me, my comfort, my pain , my bed sheet, if I am warm or cold , if I  need anything etc etc.. Even during all that fuss, I was quite moved when I saw my mom who suffers from severe arthritis hopping around doing errands for me. The question of whether or not I can be a good mom danced in front of me for the nth time!

I think it was 1 P.M. and it came. At first it was very low, a blink and you miss occurrence. Contraction arrived, but it was hard to tell, whether it was the normal pain or the actual contraction but  oh yaaaaaaaa it came again ending my dilemma. It was like, some one pinched me hard from inside and slowly released the grip.  I really am not able to recollect the pain, but ya it did feel like a low level menstrual cramp.  I told my dad that it may be a contraction!

source : here

The finale episode shall soon be written :) ....