Category Archives: RealLife

Role reversal

(Thanks Pandu for editing this 🙂 )

I got a call from my cousin stating that my father needs to go through a check-up. I asked him to plan it on a weekend, if that was possible. While discussing with another friend that I will be going to Aurangabad on the weekend, he asked me about why I am going and I told him the reason. He happened to have visited that hospital before. Also, he told me about the hospital rules that even in the ward only 1 person can accompany the patient and said that if your cousin is a doctor, then let him be there. He suddenly asked, “What you will do when you are not even allowed to stay with your father?” I didn’t utter a word and left to visit him there.


During the journey, all I could think was the situation just a few years back when he used to travel all the way form Maharashtra to Rajasthan just to accompany me to IIT-JEE and AIEEE exams. He was asked by his friends that what exactly he does when he accompanies me. He used to say, “I don’t know, I just go there with him. Other parents keep telling their kids what to do. I don’t know those things so I just try to be there with him. I wait for him to come back after the exam, outside the exam hall ”

I reached Aurangabad and went to my friend’s home, lived just a kilometer away. I was aware of the fact that I have reached earlier than my parents. I got a call in some time that my parents have reached the hospital. I asked them to enter the hospital and told them that I will meet them in a few minutes. I took more than few minutes and thought that maybe they would have entered the ward. I didn’t call them and was trying to figure out a place for me to sit. Again I got a call from my mother asking about my location.  With her help, I reached where they were and was surprised to see even my father was waiting at that gate. He was a bit tensed, but looking at me had a moment of relief.

The doctor kept us waiting for more than 6 hours. My dad was asked not to drink even a drop of water, so he was without food or water from morning itself. Even in that hospital building, the sun was showing its effect. The air around us was hot, maybe the context added some temperature to it and the sun was not the only one to be blamed. But my dad was calm and at peace when we were there with him. There was this tiredness and nervousness on his face and so was on ours, but we were still able to smile. As only one person was allowed in the ward, I asked my mom to be there. I knew she would be more tense, if she was out of the ward. I was the one who was sitting in the reception area, which reminded me of how my father used to wait for my exams to get over. Just like he used to be tensed for my results, this time i was for his results.

Finally, the test was carried out. He was bit unconscious because of the anaesthesia. I was looking at him. The only think that was moving around was a machine making beep sounds. I was in a standstill position. I didn’t realized I had a smile mixed with tears in my eyes. I only acknowledged it when one of my friends texted me. While replying to her a tear dropped on the mobile screen. This reminded me how he used to have tears in his eyes after my results. I used to ask him, “Why are you crying?” He used to say, “You will know it some day”. Maybe he meant that I will know once I will have a kid but never knew I will know it in some other way when the roles will reverse and I will become the caretaker.

Trade off


Today was Diwali. The calendar reminded me about it and so did Facebook. But I don’t know why it didn’t feel like it was indeed Diwali. After roaming around the college till 4.30 a.m., I woke up at 2.52 p.m. I checked my mobile, everyone was sending good wishes for Diwali, effectively reminding me that its Diwali. So I replied them back and I wondered what to do next. Nidhi called me and invited me to join the group to watch a movie. But I didn’t have enough energy to do so. So I chose to visit my first love once again. That is, I chose my beloved sleep.

Again, I got a call from Nidhi in the evening. She enquired about my whereabouts. I told her that I was still sleeping. She tried to sound angry (I know she can’t get angry in real life) and asked me to get ready ASAP and join others over dinner outside the campus. I couldn’t say no and had to accept her request. I again checked those messages and found one of them to be really nice and sent it forward to my friends. Realising the late timing of the message, one of them even asked me how many times was I gonna wish! How was I supposed to tell her that I still didn’t feel like it is Diwali.

Then my fellow council member asked me to come to Pooja (the prayer ceremony, not the girl), so finally I said goodbye to my bed and freshened up. I went to the venue where the Pooja was organised, people were happy and jovial. Everyone exchanged wishes on Diwali. But I couldn’t conjure that feeling. I was merely reciprocating to people but hardly did I initiate a greeting. Finally, I tried to get myself busy with my newly found love at IIM Lucknow of taking photos.

When I was a kid, if someone would have asked me what is Diwali, maybe I would have answered that it is a day for which I buy new clothes, a day for which a new market is set up in my village, which I visit multiple times. A day on which I light so many firecrackers that even the neighbouring aunty, who otherwise found me most adorable, starts hating me. A day on which we light Diyas and go to the temple, a day on which my mom cooks for hours, a day on which all the employees of my papa’s shop come for dinner, a day on which we can’t locate dogs in our colony (I always wondered where did they go), and so on….. But today, if someone asked me what is Diwali? I would say a day on which I am with my family.

When I informed her about having got no holiday, my grandmother had asked me what kind of education was I taking? And I had replied, “This is the way it is, nowadays.” But today, even I don’t know what exactly is this way! A few days ago, one of my friends had lost her grandmother and she couldn’t go and see her grandmother for one last time before the funeral. She had asked me, “What’s the use of the world becoming faster and people saying it has come closer, when I can’t even go and see her?” I had told her, “ It’s all about trade off that we have made.”

She replied while wiping her tears, “Indeed. My friends doing business always tell me that I am living a tension free life, but they would never understand its cost!”

Same was the case with another of my friend who had to unwillingly part ways with his first and only love. The reason being the different lifestyles that they had to live were incompatible. One was MBA and the other was in the technical field, and both had their own fledgling ambitions.


One of my friends even had posted this on social media: “Score is 1/26, not at home on Diwali.”

I wanted to comment, “Now that you have chosen this side of the trade off, it’s surely gonna increase.”