Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Unseen Life

How do you mourn the loss of something that didn’t even exist? How do you say bid adieu to someone a soul who enriches enriched your life, changes you forever—without even existing?Last April….The day had started like any. I had woken up happy and contended, a feeling that had been elusive these last few months. But finally everything was falling into place for me. After months of struggling with an inter-regional marriage, people around me seemed inclined to give me a chance. I was finally going for that long over due honeymoon… and I had that great job lined up…yes, life was felt good that day.As I brushed my teeth, I had felt a sudden shrill pain on me lower abdomen. It was gone even before I realized it. “Well, its time” I had thought wearily. My periods were 2 days overdue, and I was never late. “What if…” I had left that thought unfinished, it was highly improbable; just one unprotected accident was unlikely to be the reason behind my late period.But as the thought lingered on. I had felt a slight thrill.. “What if..”“A penny for your thought” a smiling hubby had said as he watched me stand with that loony smile on my face. “Well, I think you better go and buy me that Home Pregnancy Test” I had told him with that a naughty grin.I hadn’t expected him to be back within 30 minutes with the HPT. My hubby was had been trying hard to be the good husband, but for him the HPT was nothing but another of my eccentric fancies.At 28, I was still a child. My hubby called me ‘my little woman’.“Should I do it”? I had asked excitedly, taken up with the idea of trying something new. Without even waiting for his response, I ran to the bathroom. I came out victoriously holding the test. “There I did it, If I was pregnant, there would have been another line right there” I pointed out to my hubby. “You mean that faint line”? “Which line”? I hurriedly took the test from his hand. The faint blue line was pretty evident now.“Oh Shit!” I felt the world blurring around me. Yes, I was pregnant.I had decided to wait for another day. There had been cases of false positive tests. I had been certain that I couldn’t possibly be pregnant. I was too young. I had been married for only 1 year.I was restless. I thought of my honeymoon plans. “Everything will be ruined”. I rued. Why? why now? Just when everything was falling into place. Finally when I could start enjoying my marriage. Why did this have to happen and rock my world?I had gone out and bought another test. The line was still faint, but it was there. As if the life in there was shouting “I EXIST”.My hubby had taken me to the doctor after coming back from office. The doctor told us that it was most likely that I was pregnant. But the line was too faint for anything to be certain. She had asked me to wait for a few days, to have patience.I sat with my hubby, numb. Nothing was discussed. It was obvious that we were not ready for the child.But something was happening to me. Unknown to me, a feeling of tenderness had crept in, tenderness for the life that was struggling inside my womb. Life that wanted to survive, that wanted see the green trees, the blue sky. “Maybe it will be a girl”, and maybe she too would like Elvis”. I sat dreaming, looking out of the window. Unconsciously touching my abdomen.Suddenly I realized! I was going to be a mother. My body had already accepted the fact. It was evident from the way I climbed the stairs, careful not to hurt my tummy. From the way I ate a little extra, as if already the life was seeking nurture from the world outside. Life suddenly took on new colours that I had never comprehended in all my 28 years on the planet.But my hubby went on with his life, oblivious to the fact that I was changing, that I no longer looked towards him for happiness. The doctor had asked us to come after 10 days. He was just counting the days, so I could pop that tablet, and this unwanted ‘worry’ could be put out of our minds. He was busy planning for our honeymoon…Seven days after the appearance of the faint blue line, as I stood in the kitchen, watching the milk boil over…dreaming of her “AAryana” that’s the name I had picked for her…suddenly she screamed with pain. A sudden throbbing pain shot through my abdomen. I clutched myself and ran to the bedroom. I tried to sleep. But the pain was so acute that I couldn’t sleep. I felt a sudden dread creep in. I went to the loo, and yes there it was, a drop of blood.I had struggled to go to bed, I sat there, without thoughts, without emotions…That’s how my hubby found me when he came back from office. “WEhat happened sweetheart”? My hubby had asked worriedly.I had looked up at him, with that blank dead look. And then I burst out, hugging him tightly, I had let the tears flow… “The baby is gone, the baby is gone” I kept repeating….He had held me, feeling my pain but not understanding it.He had taken me to the doctor, where the doctor had told us in a very matter opf factly, fact way that this was an early miscarriage. 80% of the women go through this, In fact if we hadn’t gone for that HP Test, we would have just thought of it as a late period!But I knew. I knew it wasn’t just a late period. It was my baby.

For days, I mourned the loss of ‘something that didn’t exist” for the world. In medical terms it was just a ‘false positive’, a fertilized egg that the uterus didn’t hold. How could I explain to anyone? Most people probably thought I was over it as no one asked me how I was doing, not even my best friends. Maybe they thought they shouldn’t bring it up. Most people thought that it wasn’t that far along so it shouldn’t be that big a deal. As if it shouldn’t hurt because I couldn’t feel it. No one else understands the emotional pain you go through months and months after a miscarriage. It feels like it will never go away. Not a day went by that I didn’t think about it what seems like a million times.I will now be terrified with my next pregnancy, no room for happiness thinking something could go wrong again.Things did get easier. I eventually stopped crying, could see other babies, could hold other babies. But I still feel alienated when people talk about other people’s babies and show me baby stuff.It was an accident. We were not even ready for a baby at that time. Yet it hurt so badly when I lost the baby. Life goes on, but the fact is what I lost was also my baby, a baby I would never hold or see. ‘That life’ will never be a part of my life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I wrote this when I was 14...I had forgotten all about it....was bored yesterday and was going through my old diaries, and discovered this….clumsy yeah, but funny what I felt at 14!!

Gone are the days of childhood
the days of innocence
the days of grace
the day when the sun never set

the days were happy
and the smile was bright
temple with a flag
or flowers in a tag....
all were made my small unsteady hands
playing was for fun
and not for exercise

the days have sped by
take with them my childhood

maturity have replaced the innocence
maturity which I wanted once....

the bright smile is now so placid
the dirty hands are now so clean
the temple is broken
the flowers have dried
the blue eyed doll has been put aside

Oh give me back my childhood
let me be free
like the birds in the sky
give me back my childhood..

let it be the last thing in my life...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I learned..

Religion, to me, had always been a very personal relation with God. Till a few years ago, this relation was just about the vague knowledge that there was this Supreme Being. And that was good enough for me.
But a couple of years ago, I was introduced to Buddhism and I remember asking a senior leader, “Why should I chant or pray? I have a good job, a great family, people who adore me and I am engaged to the man I love” She did give me a reply, just smiled. But the answer came, a year later. I had always experimented with my life, so joining this Buddhist organization was another one of those experiments. I was not a regular member of the organization, I tried hard to attend meetings, to do my prayers, but my hectic job schedule always created problems, and I had start all over again, but I did not worry too much because my life was perfect! Well almost. Until it all came crashing down.
January 12th 2005 was like any other day. There was a nip in the air, just the way I liked the weather to be, I was traveling to my office in an auto after a seemingly innocent fight with my brother. And suddenly, I broke down, I send an SMS to all my friends and family saying I was sorry to have let them down and I switched off my cell. There I was, the girl who never shed a tear in front of her closest friends, sitting in front of the whole world and howling like my life had just ended. That seemingly innocent verbal duel with my brother had opened the floodgates to emotions I had buried deep inside. Feelings of rejection, self-pity, worthlessness….I had to force myself from jumping off the auto and killing myself. If there is a Hell, then I experienced it at that moment. My life made no sense. The small part of my rational self knew that I had to do something, so I asked the driver to take me to a psychologist. I sat there, sobbing and praying for that darkness to go away. Years of suppressed emotions, years of pretending to have the perfect world, of being strong, that mask of perfection crumbled, as the doctor told me that it would take years of weekly counseling sessions and medicine to finally be free of the demons in my mind and soul. I took it in my stride. But after 2 sessions I was not feeling anything at all, I was still in the midst of my hell. Although venting all that emotion was helping me in a way I understood only later. It was dark all round and I just couldn’t see any propose in my life. I felt no confidence in my doctor and frequently had suicidal thoughts. A fellow Buddhist asked me to try and chant, even if only for 5 minutes and even if it made no sense. I tried, but I had no strength, my mind was just not in my control, I was losing the battle, and the prospect of years of counseling did not brighten up my existence. I couldn’t think that life could get any worse, but it did.
On 14th February, the blessed day for lovers, I discovered a fact that changed everything. I got a call from a girl claiming to be my fiancĂ©’s girl friend and I knew instinctively that she was telling the truth. She was abusing me and that is when I had my first victory. Instead of shouting back at her, all I said was please stop using such language and that I have too much culture and maturity to do the same. After putting down my cell, I collapsed, I couldn’t breath, my world had just ended. I had been in love with this man for the last 4 years. I had dreams about my future with him. To discover that he had been cheating on me these 4 years was shattering to say the least. At this point of my life, I called my friend and fellow Buddhist, not any of my family or friends but her. And she said what we always hear, Chhandita chant, it will be fine. But I couldn’t do it, my heart and soul just refused to listen. I popped 2 sleeping pills and went to sleep.
Next day my fiancé called, and I got my second victory. He said he was sorry and I said, its ok I forgive you. But I just was not ready to forgive myself. So I started chanting again, my mind was blank, my spirit had died, dark clouds surrounded me. Suddenly something happened. The tears stopped and a smile spread across my face. A weight lifted and I could see everything clearly now. I suddenly knew that I had just paid for my bad karma and now I was free. From a moment of hell, I had reached the stage of complete bliss.
People ask for actual proof. Well a girl who was diagnosed with chronic depression has not gone to the counselor and nor does she need to now. A girl, who did not share her feelings with her closest friends, is writing this and sharing her life with all of you. For me that is actual proof. And for people who say that HELL will return, I say “Bring it on mate, I am waiting”.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Published in the 'Independent, 1991. Thanks to Chary!

In the evening
Near my stormy sea;
seated on my sturdy rock,
I pray with downcast eyes,
with closed eyes i search,
for my own GOD!

I want Buddha to be burnt
and Krishna
In the black Yamuna waters to be submerged
for EVER!

I do not want a borrowed GOD,
when with my eyes closed,
I shall find my own GOD,
Though alone,
the sun will rise in MY sky!!!