Saturday, October 13, 2012

Urgent Request for Cheat Codes to Win Against Cancer

“Have you downloaded the latest Space Angry Birds?” Jaideep asked me a few days ago. True to my reaction to everything related to games, I ended that particular conversation by replying, “Nope. I don’t like video games.” In hindsight, I believe that that was the precise moment when a gaming enthusiast God/superpower decided that He would ensure that I would never answer that question with so much indifference ever again.

If you ask me today, I believe in video games. In fact my mom’s battle against cancer is akin to a video game. Each level is difficult and full of dangers that we had never imagined or were ever prepared for. Once we cross a level, it seems it was not too difficult. As in a video game, the Maker of this game ensures that the next level is more difficult and the challenges are different. He leaves no room for mundane in the battles that need to be fought. 

During the first level of the battle, I had it easy. I can say that it was easy now because, I had family in full attendance in Jaipur. Mama and mami were there to take the important decisions. Sign the documents that said we understood the risk to the life of my mother. They, my elders, were there to provide transportation, food and shelter at every step of the game. Most importantly, mami was there to ensure that my player, my mom’s, mood or morale never dipped. 

Then the Game Maker decided to give me some resting time, little too short if you ask me, where I breathed and took in the scenery and before I knew it I got involved in the mundane. Decorating my room, trying to find a husband (still unsuccessful), putting everything I had into work and arguing over small things with my mom kept be busy.

Then, very rudely, I was shaken up and even before I could open my eyes and ready myself for the challenges ahead I was in the thick of things trying to figure out the switches that will help me cross this level of the game. This time, though mama and mami are still just a phone call away, they are in a different city. I’m a year older and so much wiser. I need to take decisions and sometimes put my foot down. Thankfully, in my own eyes and in my expert opinion, I’m really good at the game. Though shocked at first (every bloody time), my player and I do handle stress very differently from most of the people around us. After a stressed visit to the surgeon’s office at 9 am, even before most roadside hotels start serving breakfast, where he gives us not the best of news, we decide to head for an Akshay Kumar film. We laugh our hearts out. We have a lunch which roughly comprises bhel puri, sev puri, 2 glasses of cold coffee, a chocolate muffin and a black forest pastry. 

This video game, CANCER, is a tough one to crack but my player (who is not just my mother but also my teacher) has a wicked sense of humour that she transfers to me and sometimes I return the favour. The result of this exchange is a very confused group of co-passengers aboard the Ajmer-Delhi Shatabdi Express. They are confused because they see two women, a 55 year old and a 29 year old, crying and then laughing loudly through their tears, talking about cancer, surgery, PET CT scans, blood tests, etc. on phone and then animatedly discussing with each other how good a person SRK is, how Akshay redeemed himself (in their eyes), and how Aamir Khan will never be able to amount to any good (at least in their eyes).

This game, like any other popular games available in the market, comes with its share of cheat codes. About this I’m sure. The cheat codes are in the form of prayers, thoughts, positive vibes that I get from my family, friends, colleagues, well wishers, readers of my blogs, twitterati, relatives of people who know me, people who don’t know me, etc. I strongly believe that these cheat codes help me win. 

So, here I’m again asking you to pray for my mother and her recovery, strength for Akshat (my lil brother) and me. Help me cheat so that we can win this level of the battle as well.

Thank you!   

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


You know, you and I, we can become friends. You with your shy smile and me with my gregarious laughter. I know you hide behind the walls of silences you build and I suspect you know that I hide behind the curtains of noise I stitch. You and I are weak, vulnerable and cowards. But one day, we will be given the chance to rise to the occasion. You will have to become more like me and I'll have to be more like you. We can fight it for some time if you like. But destiny has something else up its sleeve. When the day of reckoning comes, remember I warned you. Also, remember to forget. For if you remember and I don't forget either the magic of the moment will be lost and we shall never experience the emotion that has inspired generations to fight wars, to forgive enemies, to give birth, to write epics, ballads and poetry.