last day at work: august 2007

In the end, it was a nondescript day.
I went to the Genpact office in Gurgaon, sat in on a meeting that did not go that far…. saw hostility, bitchiness, aggression, laziness, dishonesty… all the concomitants of success, the emotions that define the workplace.
So in a way I’m glad it was just another usual day…. it didn’t make me feel even half a pang about leaving. My job after 12.5 years.
It made me feel free and strong.
bye, bye, nondescript world.

p.s,: in this entry that I am copying out from a scrap of paper as I clean my room… I am trying to project how plaid and unemotional my last working day at NDTV was.
But actually I was very emotional. Intensely emotional about it,

Rajani left us today


September 2007.
Rajani left us today. Rajani, my children’s Didi.
Rajani who allowed me to go into my depression. Who gave Aliza so much that it freed me to be myself, to rebuild Natasha. To go back to work and find my self-esteem again.
Rajani left us today. And how the both of us cried.

But we protected the children well. They talk to her on the phone, hear her voice and wait for her to return when it is time.

Rajni Betila Tete
Village Ganjhiyadi, District Kolenjharia, Chattisgarh.
Neighbour Manjeet’s father’s cellphone: 09406057439

The moon wants a toffee

october 2007
We were in the car, evening traffic in Kalkaji. I saw the moon, 3 days short of full moon. Being publicised on TV these days as closest to the earth than it will ever be again in our lifetime. It was a large luminous yellow.
Aliza said, “Mom, when u go up the next time, get the moon for me.” Mama, jab aap agli baar upar jaaoge, mere liye chanda le kar aana.
I think she was imagining me flying on my work trips.
A little while later, while I was still recovering from the warm flush of maternal pride, she seemed to realise that it may not be possible to get the moon for her.
“But the moon is with me anyway,” she said. “Look, it is following me around. I am going to the shop to buy a toffee and it is following me all the way.
The moon wants a toffee too.”

Aliza and Allah

I love Aliza’s relationship with Allah miya.
He lives in her heart, she associates her heartbeat with him.
Yesterday, we bought jalebis, she was hungry, so as soon as started eating, there was a surge of happy hormones in her.
She placed her podgy hand on her heart and said, See, Allah Miya is happy. My heart is beating louder.
Dhak, Dhak, Dhak, Dhhak!

She’s 3 yrs old

one sane, one insane


A friend was visiting yesterday and he said he was asked a difficult question at his daughter’s school admission interview. The principal asked him, “so what is the difference between your two children?”

I said, “oh, that is a really easy question for us! One is sane and the other is insane.”
How do I capture Aliza’s personality…. words, images, sounds…? I don’t have a clue right now.
Ever since she started pre-school 15 days ago… she is so HAPPY. Its like she has fallen in love for the first time. She is out of control…. so HAPPY, so PROUD, so HYPER….( a word easy to use for small children who are running around singing to themselves, and not open to conversation!)
Sitting on the pot and singing, Ba Ba Black sheep, Hanoo Wanoo Woo!
Its March adn we hear, Jingle bells, jingle bells….
ANd her version of Dhobi aaya, kapde laaya….(a jingle I am not familiar with)goes Gobhi gaya, kapde laaya…teen, chaar paanch!