My punching bag..

My Punching Bag

I am a boxer and my parents are my punching bag! This is what I realised today. I also confirmed the fact that I do have the coolest set of parents and that fills me up with gratitude. I look back 25 years of my life and I can’t figure the last time I asked my parents before I took a decision, either personal or professional. Yes, I may have discussed and debated with them but I have gone ahead and done things exactly the way I wanted to. They have been at the receiving end of all my antics, sometimes stupid adventures and what not.

The first major decision and the point when I took charge of my life goes eight years back, when I was 17. I can’t forget that day and the look on my dad’s face. I was sitting in a room ,my leg on the table across me. My right knee was as big as a pumpkin due to swelling as I had just twisted it real bad the day before. All my well wishers sat around me. This included Prakash Padukone, Vimal KUmar, and Hemant Hardikar all my coaches, the Sosale family, and my dad. Prakash sir was telling me to consider choosing DR. Anand Joshi to do the surgery on my leg. I all of 17, didn’t exactly know what the A in an Acl surgery stood for was convincing him that I wanted Dr. Sundresh to do my surgery. I told him that i liked Dr. Sundresh from the moment I met him and besides I felt that Dr. Anand Joshi was a really busy doctor and I wasn’t sure if he would give me enough time after the surgery (rehab) which I thought was crucial. My dad sat there baffled at my confidence. He realised how helpless he was, and his  daughter was at a risk of never playing a competitive sport ever again.  Looking at how stubborn I was to do it my way, he let me go ahead with my decision anyway. I still have no idea how he got a lakh of rupees cash needed for my operation. When i asked him about it he would just tell me to focus my energy on the surgery and forget about everything else. I  also remember in my first session of rehab, my dad came upto the physiotherapist and while telling him to take care of me made the useless attempt of holding back tears. I still regret the fact that I didn’t give him a hug that day on the contray I chose to forget about it. As children we are just used to thinking that it’s ok if the mother cries but fathers are supposed to be like a rock. Today I do know that fathers are allowed to cry too and they have as much right to emote as the mother.

All my decisions regarding my complicated badminton career (thanks to my love for injuries) has always scared my parents off. They are excellent actors they hide their fears, and insecurities in front of me. They replace it with confidence and belief and make me feel that I can achieve everything that I want to. I remember my mother was so tensed when I told her that I am planning to go for a 3 month stint in Europe. I also told her I would have to spend  a amount of 2 lakhs and her eyes went wide with fear. Though my company really helped me I was still short  of a lakh, my dad got the money anyhow from his savings and let me do that stint.  At that time I didn’t realise that we were a middle class family with limited resources all I knew was I had a dream and I had to get to it no matter what. I wanted my parents to provide and they just magically always provided. 

I have always been a dreamer,a wanderer. In the past two years especially as I have played less and been more injured I have indulged in so many things. I learnt the guitar for two months, joined a wildlife group, worked as an intern in an NGO, learned tennis, I plan to join a jazz club and to buy a cycle, I also want to do an MBA and I also am in the process of giving one last shot to my badminton dream.
I also do a lot of things alone, by myself. I go and listen to public speakers,  go see a painting exhibition,watch plays and movies , I randomly go talk to strangers and write blogs on them,etc.  Two years back I would have thought of all this as strange but not today. I realise life is too short to not do something because you don’t have company. Fortunately I’m not a loner I have some amazing people as friends and I love them and have a blast with them. Though I realise that I also love my own company,I need my space  and I’m capable of enjoying by myself too. My mom gets worried and rightly so.  Some months back she sat me down and asked me about my lonely adventures, she thought I was depressed. I laughed my ass of on her dramatic conclusions. Just to make her feel ok I showed her myself dancing like a crazy woman in a friends party, I think she calmed down after that. She doesn’t question my behaviour anymore, but still thinks I am crazy.( this I know for sure as my grandmom confirmed that my mother told her so)

I have always kept my parents on their toes,they have no idea what to expect next. I have always thrown  the weight of my dreams on them and they have absorbed everything. They understand to be happy I need to jump, I need to fly. They have never confined me or set boundaries. They have let me take my decisions, make mistakes, let me fall and rise again. They taught me about love,honesty,integrity and responsibility without even my knowing it. They have always taught me by example.

Being parents is the most difficult job in the world. Every parent is different he has to be because every child is unique. There is no book which tells you one right way to be one. It’s a everyday job with no theory but only practical. A parent has to experiment everyday finding ways to teach a child. The experiment might fail on that day the next day you start from scratch again, make changes and hope to God that your child learns. You are his first teacher, his first friend and also his first enemy.  

I wish that I could be at least do fifty percent of what my parents have done for me. If I can achieve that then I know for sure that even if my child may not be the smartest or the greatest , he will surely be the happiest. I know this because when I see myself in the mirror I see a really happy person.

Oh! I love you so much, My Punching Bag!


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A love story!,,,

A love story

This story is based in Mumbai, my favourite city. Though it’s not the Mumbai that I know about. It’s when Mumbai was Bombay, where the  road on Marine drive didnt exist as the sea shore almost hit the buildings still standing there. Where the parsis ruled Bombay, with their cute Parsi colonies. When the pace of living was slower, when the Biharis,Muslims,Hindus lived in complete harmony and brotherhood.  When life wasn’t about winning some kind of race but more about enjoying the ride. Bombay where Rajesh Khanna roamed on the Juhu beach singing ,”zindagi kaisi hai paheli hai”. God! I sometimes  wish  I was a time traveller. 

Anthony was a navy man.  He was tall, fair, with a beard almost 6 foot in height and looked good in anything he wore. He was living in Bombay with his aunt and was working on land in the naval force then as well as giving exams for a promotion. He was  charming, and had his way with women. He was a smooth talker and street smart. He wasn’t rich and his budget a month was 5 rupees. His family that lived in Poona had nothing to give him, he knew he had to survive on his own so he did, in the best way he could.

At the age of 21 Anthony was dating Anne, who worked in an advertising agency Colaba. She was an absolute bombshell.  Just like Anthony she wasnt too serious about relationships it was a perfect match. They had fun, watched movies,got drunk and danced together. Anthony was happy, but then he saw Kaira and his world changed forever.

Kaira!! She was a beautiful, simple and a small town girl. Her father was in the administrative services so she finished her education studying in all different places, mostly small towns.  She always travelled first class and was very protected. She would never go out with a guy if not in a group.  She wanted to get independent and break free from her comfort zone so she came down to bombay as soon as she finished her college.  She as luck would have it got a job in the same advertising agency as Anne and also became friends with her.  She found Anne ‘chalu’ and
she made it a point to not hang out with her much and keep things professional.

Anthony would always go to meet Anne in her office. Just like usual he was chatting with Anne  when Kaira walked past by. Anthony looked at her and couldn’t stop staring at her since. Kaira had worn a yellow chiffon saree, her long hair untied were flowing, and her eyes wore a thin line of kajal. Anthony couldn’t help himself as he blurted out a ‘wow’ aloud. Kaira heard it and ignored him completely. He asked Anne about Kaira. Anne gave him the details and also immediately told him that she would  never go out  with men alone. 

The sight of kaira would just not let him sleep. He knew there was something special about her. He made a plan he asked Anne to invite Kaira for a movie and tell her that it was with a group of friends. When Anne asked Kaira, her first response was a definite no. She told Anne that she couldn’t because she would not be allowed in her hostel after 9 in the night. Anne promised her that they would be back before that. After a lot of convincing on Annes part Kaira accepted. 

Anthony and Anne  with some other friends picked kaira up in a taxi. Kaira wore a pink floral dress and looked ravishing. They watched the movie and Anthony watched Kaira. Kaira was aware of this, a woman knows when a man is staring!.. She smiled to herself. She wasn’t used to this kind of attention, she liked Anthony. He was funny,charming and always made her comfortable.  Though she made sure that he would never know about it.

After their first movie adventure, Anthony kept finding ways to meet kaira, but always in a group. He realised he had to build up courage and ask her out on a date. After picking up the phone and calling her 10 times and  banging the phone down as soon as he heard her voice, he finally on the 11th attempt asked her out for a movie. The phone on the other side went silent for almost 30 seconds, they were the longest 30 seconds of Anthony’s life. Kaira finally said,” I will tell you on Wednesday I am a little busy.” 

Anthony had to wait for a full 4 days before hearing her answer. He didn’t sleep for all the 4 nights, waiting for wednesday. There was another thing that he was worried about , Anne. What about her? Anne had gone to kerala to visit her parents. Anthony was an honest guy with a good heart. He had to write to Anne. He wrote her a long letter telling her about how he felt about Kaira and that he realised he loved her. He knew though Anne would be upset at first, but both of them knew that they were better  friends than lovers. They really liked each other but never  really felt love!

It was 10 am when the phone rang. Anthony picked up, it was Kaira. She said, “well, I am free in the evening if you want to go?” Anthony started jumping and dancing much to the amusement of the other silently working officers. It was a YES! He told her he would pick her up at 6. They met at 6, kaira though a little shy and awkward slowly started relaxing. She really was happy when he was around. In the movie interval he got her a hamburger. The hamburger was wrapped in a tissue paper. Anthony had written ,” kaira I really like you.” on it. Kaira turned red and held Anthony’s hand. That one gesture sealed their future together. 

After a few days Anthony called up back  home. He told his mother that he was going to get a girl with him. When he told kaira about his plans, kaira panicked. She said she couldn’t come with him just like that. She had to talk to her father, if they approved only then would she come. Anthony told her she had a day to get her permissions and that he would be waiting at the station for her. The train would leave at 5. 10 in the evening. If she didn’t make it he would take it as a no from her family. 

The next day Anthony reached the station at 5. Kaira wasn’t there. It was 5.07 and the first honk of the train when it sunk in that kaira was not going to come, he held his head in his hands and sat on his seat. The train began to move that’s when he heard, kaira shouting his name. She was running, smiling,crying all at the same time! Anthony pulled the chain got down and hugged her and lifted her up. They both were together now, forever. The people on the station started clapping, cheering and whistling! That’s how Anthony finally took Kaira home. That’s how Anthony found his Kaira!

This story is real. They both are as much in love as when they were 40 years younger.  They are also my 60 year old friends. They fight,cuddle, make up ,get drunk and go nuts together, and it’s an absolute joy to see them when they do. Anthony still has that tissue paper with kaira’s name on it safely kept in his dairy. They also have their first photo taken together dancing in the Bombay rain, framed.

We belong to the instant make up and instant break up generation. We keep our ambitions before our heart. We suffer through broken relationships, commitment phobias, and divorces, we believe more in lust less in love and we believe in moving on very quickly. But that’s not entirely true, is it? We all want to believe in love we all want a Anthony- kaira love story. We want to find our true companion. Even as we ,move  along with our broken hearts we are hoping that we will finally find someone who would mend it, fill it up with love. The more we potray we are practical, the more we know we are emotional. We have I think just stopped thinking with our hearts and relying only on our brains.  Let’s give our hearts a chance and may be we would see our Anthony or Kaira waiting. Let’s try believing in love again!!
















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