Saturday, June 26, 2010

A visit to Home Depot

This evening I went along with D and the family to Home Depot. I am living with them for the summer as what I can best describe as an Au pair. His wife, K is an exuberant lady and they have the two most adorable kids- a 4 year old girl T and a 11 month old baby N. This evening we decided to go to Home Depot since D felt that we needed more fans in the house, thanks to the rising Atlanta heat. As usual I decided to be the entertainment for the kids, while the parents set out to get what they had come for. We got the two kids in to a race-car cart and I wheeled them along the aisles, trying to answer all of T's questions which invariably would begin with WHY?, while N amused himself with the steering wheel. I still am getting used to pushing carts with kids in them, so it wasn't a surprise that I managed to run right in to stack of blinds. I fervently hoped that nobody had seen my clumsiness, but unfortunately, an elderly gentleman had witnessed it all. He came over and helped me and said jokingly that if this is the way I drove, I would never get a licence. I was kinda surprised that he knew that I didn't have a licence here. I wondered if I looked like someone who just landed in America......didn't bode too well. So I just gave him a polite smile and rushed to find K and leave the site of my accident. I found her in an aisle looking for screens for the bathroom. I decided to stay close to her...I had lost faith in my cart pushing abilities. Just as I was recovering from my embarrassment, the elderly gentleman(who, I now realised, worked in Home Depot) came towards us with two little Home Depot aprons. T was suddenly very coy and accepted the aprons after a little coaxing from him and N just snatched it out of his hand and put it right in his mouth. The gentleman, whom we shall call G, looked at me and said," Well I don't have one for you....but then you are grown up now, aren't you?"  Once again all I did was smile, since I didn't know how to respond. He continued "You know, you need to get your driving improved if you want to get a licence...wait do you have a licence?"
"No...not in this country."
"You have it in India?"
"How old are you?"
"Err....old enough to have a licence."
"No seriously, how old are you?"
"I am 25"
At this point T shouts out,"And I am 26"
G looks at me startled" You are joking don't look like 25"
"I am 25. "
"I feel like such an idiot talking to you like you were a look like a you get that a lot?"
"Sometimes...not a lot though "
"So what do you want to be when you grow up?", he joked
"Jokes aside, what do you do...wait let me are Indian, so you must be a software engineer"
I cringed. He was going for the Indian stereotype and I fit half the description.
"I am an engineer, but not software."
"So what kind of engineer are you?"
"I am an electrical engineer specialising in cardiovascular engineering."
He stared at me blankly.
"What do you do with that?"
"Well I will probably get in to a company that makes pacemakers and stuff"
"Oh so you are in you are going to be a doctor?"
"No. I am an engineer that will work with doctors."
" I knew it.....Indians are either software engineers or doctors. So is your dad a doctor?
I wanted to explain I wasn't a doctor, but I knew it was a lost cause so I just answered his question.
"No. He isn't"
" Then why did you want to become a doctor?"
I just smiled.
" So do you go to school here?"
" No. I go to school in Fargo, North Dakota."
" Woah! Fargo? Who would you wanna go there? Have you seen the movie? I thought it was such a scary place after watching it. But are there any Indians in Fargo?"
"Sure. A few hundred Indians"
"But why would you go to Fargo? You should go to a place like New York.I am from New York. Beautiful city! Girl like you should live there."
Even this man felt I was made for New York. If only God agreed.
 By this time D, alarmed by the sight of me, unchaperoned with an elderly gentleman, came running to us with K in tow. 
G was even more excited to meet them.
"I thought your niece was a teenager......I can't believe she lives in Fargo....."
He started to pick a conversation with D, while K, as any good Indian chaperone steered me out of that aisle and took me away to safety looking apologetic for having exposed me to a conversation with a stranger. 

Monday, September 07, 2009


It was a cold, dark night. There was not a sign of life around. Everything was frozen. I walked alone. I was tired. The wind wailed like a banshee. I could feel it trying to smother me with its cold, unfeeling hands. Each breath was a knife in my lungs. It was a battle I was sorely losing. I wanted to give up, surrender.I was too far away from home. Home seemed like a distant memory that was beginning to fade. I had nothing left in me to go on. Perhaps this was the end. I looked up to the heavens for one last sign. Out of the darkness came a light. A star blinked at me. A star, far, far away, was smiling down at me. It spoke to me. "Don't lose hope ,little one. You can make it." I didn't believe him. But I wanted to. Something in me wanted it to be true. "But I have no strength left in me", I said."I am too cold and it is too dark." The star smiled its sweet smile again."I will shine upon you and light up your path. I shall burn brighter so you may feel my warmth". So I walked on. The star was my companion. I felt a warmth that seemed to radiate from within. Every time I faltered, the star pushed me on. I didn't feel so lonely anymore. The wind didn't bother me and neither did the cold. I t was like walking inside a warm bubble. Before I knew it, I was standing at the door of my home. Suddenly a sadness engulfed me. I was time to bid goodbye to my star. With glistening eyes, I looked at my star. But he was smiling. Did he not feel the pain of our parting? He didn't say goodbye. I opened the door and walked in. But it wasn't dark inside. I wasn't alone either. The star was still with me. He was in my heart. I went to bed with a blissful smile. Life was never going to be cold or dark again.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Being the person that I am, there is nothing more I would love to do than wallow in self pity. But I can’t anymore. Each time I begin to feel sorry for myself, an image pops up in my head. An image of a young boy I had seen a few years ago. I was still a teenager then. It was a cool evening. The sun had just set and the whole world around me was bathed in a pink glow. I was at the window, letting the cool breeze caress my face, my eyes gazing at nothing in particular until it fell upon this boy. There was nothing special about this boy. My eyes had found him because he was the only moving object on that empty street. He was on an old, rusty bicycle. His skin was dark as the night, but there were gray smudges on it indicating cement. His hair was brown and dry as a coconut husk. The muddy, brown shirt and khaki shorts he wore had holes in them. These were the things I saw at a glance, and my brain subconsciously registered it and made its conclusion - he was a labourer at a construction site. There was a huge steel container tied to the carrier on the bicycle. It was the kind of container that labourers usually carry their food in. The boy was cycling back to the construction site to bring food to the labourers working there. One of the old ladies, who was no longer fit to be a labourer, must have cooked it and him being so young must have been sent to get it. The boy looked tired as he cycled along the empty street. Out of nowhere, a dog appeared and ran across the street. The boy was startled by this. He lost his balance and came crashing down on the road, bicycle and all. There was a huge clang as metal met the tar road. My eyes were no longer following the boy absent-mindedly. They were now focused on the heap of human and metal on the road. They soon found the huge container. The huge clang had come from the container hitting the road. The lid flew away and rolled on the street like a runaway wheel until it came to rest with a noisy clatter. All the rice that was previously in the container was now all over the street. My eyes shifted to the boy’s face. There was an expression on his face that I can only try to describe. It was a mixture of agony, grief, anger and fear. He looked at the rice on the street with this strange expression on his face. This was his dinner; the dinner he had waited all day for, the dinner he had worked all day for; the dinner that all the labourers had worked for and were now waiting . The look on the boy’s face tore at my heart. Suddenly he looked so small and frail. My eyes began to well up and there was a lump in my throat. I wanted to run outside and hold this child to my heart and protect him from the harshness of the world he lived in. But I didn’t. I stood rooted to the spot as he silently salvaged all the rice he could, tie his container back to the carrier and then pedal away, watching him grow smaller and smaller and until he disappeared. But the image of him, lying there, looking at the spilt rice, never left me. That image is a reminder of how sometimes I can take life for granted. It is a reminder of how bad things could really get; how lucky I am to be me, to live the life that I live. Now every time I have one of those days, I think about this nameless boy, say a prayer for him and look at life in a positive light.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I wonder...

Where has my life gone?
Where has the love gone?
Deep in the ditches,
Alone in the darkness,
I wonder,
Where has my life gone?
Where has the love gone?
How did I get lost,
In this maze of misery?
How did I lose,
My sense of identity?
Deep in the maze,
Alone in the mist,
I wonder,
Where has my life gone?
Where has the love gone?
Uprooted from the land I grew,
Thrown in to a cold, gray sea,
Spurting and gasping for breath,
Drifting away from all I knew,
I wonder,
Where has my life gone?
Where has the love gone?

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Yesterday I was having a conversation with my teenaged friend about my failed relationships. This is an excerpt from that conversation that will make you go,” THE KIDS THESE DAYS!!!”
Me: I can’t believe I went out with him for so long.
Friend: Well I always thought you were too good for him and that you deserved better.
Me: Then why didn’t you tell me that?
Friend: Well you seemed to like him and he did gift you some really pretty clothes…
Me: Pretty clothes aren’t everything, you know…
Friend: I know, but they are SOMETHING.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


In life, sometimes, we do things because we believe we have no choice. But we do. It is the consequence of that choice that frightens us; the fear that we might not have the strength or the courage to face it. So we fool ourselves into believing that there is no choice and take the easy way out. But there is; there always is a choice.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Thought I'd try my hand at haiku...........

Night swallowed by light
Stars bid a dewy farewell
Rebirth of the sun.