I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived…

Life sometimes really teaches you so many things in so many different ways.
I have realized this as I was growing up.

I remember it was spring time when I used to see this dark skinny guy wearing white shirt and white lungi (a traditional outfit for men in Southern part of India) with a black framed specs. The first thing I noticed was his smile where in I could see few twisted or broken teeth.
He used to come to our neighbor’s house where he used to make the ladies stitch the clothes. In a way he was making living for himself but at the same time he was giving a way of living to the ladies who were our neighbor’s sisters.

My dad used to come from office whether during lunch time or even after office hours this guy used to come and chit chat with him. They used to exchange cigarettes, at times my dad would prepare tea and invite him and things started moving on in this way.
I was a little girl watching him all the time as to me he was still a stranger…though people used to address him as Tailor Master. He used to give sweets to me and during summer vacation time he used to play with us carom board just like kids…he was an expert and I always had this in mind that I want to defeat him at least in one game.

He used to coach me at times, he used to get mad at me at times when I am making mistakes while hitting the coins. He used to challenge me and many times I have accepted it and won as well and as a reward he used to give me money.
Important thing to note was not how much but whatever he could figure out the amount that is rolled into his shirt’s sleeves he will remove it and give it to me.

Taking money from anyone is not considered a good habit and I was very scared to do so. The first time he gave me the reward that was in front of my parents and when parents said that’s okay…he said, ‘No, but I gave her the word so in my case you should let your daughter to take it and since then taking money from Tailor Master as a reward or bet became common. I felt proud one time when I defeated him in the game in fact Tailor Master was surprised and he was amazed too.

“As we struggle to make sense of things, life looks on in repose”





Tailor Master was a guy who had no relatives, no family members. He was a single guy – working as a Tailor in Goal Market in National Defense Academy (NDA) – Goyal Clothing Store. He used to decide whether he will go to work or not. At times his absence from work will lead to no money and at that time my granny who was visiting us that summer used to invite him for lunch and dinner.

That’s the time I actually came to know he was alone and has no one to be called as his own. I used to ask lot of questions to my granny on this…as how can one be without anyone – isn’t it sad?
I used to be nice with Tailor Master, my granny went back and I took her place when it came to lunch, dinner or tea for Tailor Master. He used to tell my parents that I am very kind heart and it could be a problem for me as people can take advantage of my this nature.

There were times when I used to get angry with Tailor Master as he used to tease me and play pranks on me – even though his age was more than my dad – his childish attitude gave me freedom to play pranks on him, or tease him etc.
My mom always used to tell me call him uncle and not Tailor Master but I never could change as everyone else used to call him that way.

I remember my school uniforms were all stitched by him. I tell you he was an expert in that and hence no wonder his leave of absence never lead him to be jobless. In school when other girls used to see my uniform they used to ask their tailors to stitch that way and when they couldn’t get it exactly then they came to me asking for my tailor. His work was amazing – he used to always remind me of a traveler whether sunny, rain or winter he used to be in the same outfit.
I remember one time he came to my mom and said I don’t know by the time your daughter gets married will I be still alive so let me contribute some money as and when I can so that later you can buy a gift for her from my side.

I still feel that was such a touching thought…I used to collect the coins and bills in the powder tin and bought a golden locket for my necklace.
He used to speak his heart for which some liked him and some didn’t. I always liked him for what he said, what he shared and always enjoyed the part where I used to fight with him – but it was very sad to hear yesterday when my dad said he is no more…!
He was supposed to meet my dad this month. It’s true one can’t say anything about humans.
I pay my tribute by remembering him since my childhood till date. May his soul rest in peace. I am sure he is watching me and giving his blessings too. Even though he came to this world all alone ..he lived all alone as per his will and he made friends and family along the way as he crossed through places in life and I am pretty sure he has touched many lives who will be thankful to him and will be praying for him.

”A man does not die of love or his liver or even of old age; he dies of being a man”

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Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons


I still remember my first day in 2nd grade. It was a new admission for me in KVK NDA. I was kind of nervous entering the class as the 2nd A class was in a different building altogether. I had reached after the prayers hence the filled class made me more nervous. Everyone was staring at me. Those eyes were screaming and telling me as if ‘you’re late!’.

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly, show them how”.

My class teacher Mahajan Maa’m called me close to her and introduced me to everyone in the class. She was very nice, I felt someone knows me here.
The teacher asked me to be seated and asked our class monitor Arunima to help if anything is needed.
Arunima, was a tall girl in our class and her caring nature always made us felt like she is our elder sister. She used to help with sharpening our pencils and making sure we have our homework done. If not she will ask us to do and when and where ever needed she will help us.
The boys in the class were naughty and hence I don’t remember a single guy from my class except A.R. Manoj.
Manoj was a short and cute guy. Our parents knew each other and hence we felt it’s okay to be friends.
I was so afraid to walk around in the class as I remember one of the classmate Anagha who used to scare me out with her big eyes. She was my bench partner. Arunima made me feel so comfortable that I wished if I could sit with her but she was sitting at the last bench as she was the tallest girl in our class.
I remember telling Arunima about it and she used to make sure Anagha behaves with me.

“Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are”.



I can say I learned singing and dancing from there. Arunima used to make sure that all the girls are engaged with one or the other task. Arunima and her sister Gaitry both were in the same class and we used to dance on the number that they used to sing – Dhitang -Dhitang bole oh madhurletal tole – a bengali number which Arunima and Gaitry used to sing and make all of us dance. It turned out to be a action song for us.
I used to be amazed when I first heard Arunima singing the song ‘My heart is beating’. She was like our role model. I used to do things that will make her happy and never missed an opportunity where she used to smile and give a hug.
We became so close that after school Arunima and Gaitry used to visit my home and all evening we used to play until it’s 6:00 p.m. when they used to pick up their school bags and say bye to go home.
Evening always brought those parting sadness. But the next dawn was with hope to meet them in the class.
Arunima was one of those monitors who not only used to monitor the class but always took care of the classmates as if they were her own kids. If anyone fell or not playing… sitting hungry or alone, she used to make sure that child is taken care of. A very soft spoken with a melodious voice – that’s the Arunima I have in my mind even today.

“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

I still can’t forget those ‘booth (ghost) dance’ in Arunima’s own words…she used to make sure that after our lunch time we don’t go and mess around outside hence she used to tell all of us to let’s play ‘booth dance – ghost dance’ – but the way she taught us was all like the tribal dance. We used to make similar noises and jump around and dance like the tribal in South Africa. In short, there was a not a single opportunity where we didn’t enjoy.
How life passed since then was never noticed as happiness takes you through all ups and down and then she was moved to Southern Command KV school.
She came back to our class again but this time she was a matured girl only to be reserved.

“Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things”

I always cherished – Arunima of 2nd grade. Never got to know what happened but inside our heart we had that warmth for each other.
Today after many years I happened to talk to her and I could feel the same soft voice of hers which used to sing and make everyone soothing.
It’s true, we say past is past but how much happiness they bring to present is a present in itself.

“Bring the past only if you are going to build from it.” ~ Domenico Cieri Estrada

Thank You Arunima for bringing those moments alive once again in thoughts!

This post of mine is dedicated to all my school and college mates – with whom I have spent my best of childhood and teenage life which brings back all that moments alive as I am meeting them one by one.

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older” ~ Tom Stoppard

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else

Life is so complicated, that I always refer back and wonder there was nothing wrong with my childhood. Why life doesn’t remain a child always?

As a kid we fight with our best friend and we also know how to make it up. But its only when we grow up we don’t know how to make up and why is that? Specially, when we say kids don’t know anything they are still growing..they are still learning.

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today” ~ Stacia Taushcher

I think it’s time for a change in understanding that kids are not mere kids who don’t know anything. In fact we can learn a lot even if we have grown up we have our kids or kids around us from whom we can learn.

I always like to go back to my childhood and many of my friends say that I am going in my past. There is nothing wrong in taking tips and learning from past – isn’t it?

My dad many times supported me as a child on my decisions and I think he knew exactly what he was doing at that time even though it looked to my mom that my dad is unnecessarily spoiling me!

This reminds me of an incident it was my 12th birthday. I remember I had few friends who used to fight to be my best friends. Why if you ask, I am not sure may be because of my fun loving nature or something else but they used to make me say it and make me write it on my rough book that – so and so is my best friend.

“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget”


I remember my nature was that I used to do it just to make them happy. Because prior doing that I always used to tell them that you all are my best friends and one is under one arm and the other is another and I used to put my arms around them. I realize still they had this insecurity of loosing me as a friend.

Hence I used to write it and I think this nature of mine make them take me for granted! Something that we all complain today about it isn’t it?

In all this we had another rival friend who always wanted to be the boss. I am pretty sure these things exist even today in school with kids. The names might have changed like a popular group and not so popular group.

Anyway when this ‘want-to-be’ popular person tried to influence my friends it didn’t work out in her favor and it so happened that she tried to play in a bad way – which we might call it as bad politics! See even kids know how to play politics and those who don’t will never learn anyway!

This friend – why I call her a friend is because she used to act as our friend and we trusted her. She tried to influence my friends and it so happened that they all came for my birthday celebration – wished me, brought presents, sang with me and had a ball of time. Everyone went home and around 10 p.m. we get a knock at our back door. When my mom opened the gate we see all of my friends along with this ‘want-to be’ popular friend and they started complaining about me to my mom.

Your daughter said this about her and that and what not and it came to a stage where my mom was getting so furious that she called me with anger and said, you call them your friends? Now on you are going to school only to study and no friendship. You don’t go to school to make friends. Hence forth you will not talk to any of them.
My mom told my friends that hence forth my daughter will not talk to you anymore. Please don’t make any friendship with her. If she is so bad then you shouldn’t be having such friend.

That night was a terrible night for me – the fun and excitement of my birthday ended as if a beautiful piece of glass vase was thrown down from top only to crush it into tiny pieces.
The night went in thinking as what made that my friends who were looking for me to be their best friend changed them so bad that they were complaining about me to my mom? and then my mom’s decision that was just thrown at me. No one asked for any explanation, nothing as if I don’t have a say!
I was very upset and waited till the night took me into the darkness till where I unknowingly went to sleep.

Next day when I woke up it was rough and sour – the feeling. I was kind of unhappy and was angry with everyone I suppose and hence I got ready for school. When my mom was about to leave for her office she came to me and said, ‘so you remember what I said yesterday? I don’t want you to be friends with such kids who come on your birthday and complain about you. You don’t need such people as your friends.’

I was like mom, now in school what will I do? When everyone is going to play I will have no one to play… !
My mom said, ‘you have only these friends as friends in school? You don’t have any other kids? and this made me think…and I just took my bag and walked out of my house to go to school.
I felt the way to school was longer today than the other days. I was feeling as if every one on the way, every shopkeeper from Gole Market and the people around there knew what happened yesterday night. I was some how looking down and walking towards school.

I reached my class and kept my school bag on the bench. My friends so called who just added cherry on my birthday cake last night were sitting and observing me as what will be my next move.

I am very scared of my mom’s anger and hence to follow her instruction is the only way and hence I went to other friends in my class and started talking to them. I went for my assembly with them. I didn’t look at anywhere else and made my self comfortable with my other friends. These friends were the nerdy ones who are very good in studies – very good in the sense they don’t come below 97%. Some may find that very good but I always felt education is not all about percentage. Probably I used to understand life’s core ethics from my dad’s heavy duty proverbs that we live for today and live it fully as we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

One thing I noticed that I started completing my homework in school during the free time as these kids were like that. When I used to go home, I used to walk home with these kids. Though life was a bit different but I didn’t mind the change. Some how my dad always taught me to adopt the life style of ‘when you are in Rome be like Romans’ !
“Life’s not always fair. Sometimes you can get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow” ~ Terri Guillemets


I didn’t even come to know how time flew away that it was the year end where I had participated in a fancy-dress competition and guess what none of my nerd friends were there in this.

It was awkward for me as I was dressed up as a native from State Kerala – which is in the southern part of India. I had worn the traditional sari and I had to say two sentences – ‘I am a lady from Kerala and I am proud about its culture.’
I had to say this in the native language of Kerala – i.e. Malayalam.

It will be funny to say that no one was with me yet I got first prize and it started raining like cats and dogs.
I was very happy. The day was done for all the students after the fancy dress competition and other cultural activities. My so called friends who spoiled my birthday didn’t participate in anything but I saw them coming behind me.

I was walking in the rain with my umbrella as that was part of my fancy dress, these friends behind me whispering – call her – you go – you talk to her.
I was still walking without letting them know that I know now the tables have turned.

I crossed the road and the school seemed to be going far and the Gole Market came near by, the smell of sweets like balusha, jalebi and ladoos from Karachi Sweet Mart.
Suddenly, the so called boss came in and said we all want to say, sorry to you’ and they gave me a greeting card which I still remember had a blue peacock and inside was – We are sorry, please forgive us. We will be friends forever.
I stopped and looked at all of them and smiled – it was a feeling where I had already forgiven them in my heart. Life is much more than this and I had these realization when I was ten and hence at that time I just smiled at them and said, I would like you to come and tell this in front of my mom so that if she allows me to be friends with you only then I will re-unite with you all.

We all walked together and reached home. We didn’t talk through out as we were walking in the puddle and splashing water. My off-white sari was getting spoiled yet the feeling of getting wet and playing in the rain is something you can only feel no one else!

Today mom had a weekly day off and hence when I knocked the door she opened it and excitingly she asked, how was your fancy dress competition?’ and believe me I was all excited to show her the trophy and certificate that I got. My mom gave me a big hug and that’s when she saw my these friends.
My mom gave a look at me as – what’s all this about now? and she asked them – did my daughter do another mistake this time?

And, I was like mom please, they want to be my friends again! and I showed the card that they gave me.

My mom invited them and we all had the sweet porridge that I love – it was a celebration.

All I can say is my mom was happy that I kept her word and everything turned out to be as she expected. But my question was, what made to happen all this?

The so called boss was way elder to us and it was her mind that created all the differences among us. I maintained my friendship with all nerds and these ones and never showed any difference but my friends came to know what one should believe in and what one shouldn’t.

Kids learn from their mistakes but elders not necessarily!

“I brought children into this dark world because it needed the light that only a child can bring” ~ Liz Armbruster