Monday, March 22, 2010


There are a few things I cannot live without. Red Wine. Coffee. And maybe internet. I am collecting my thoughts to write something. But the sheer happiness of finding internet and coffee makes me dumbstruck. I am feeling the key board gently like a teenager on a first date!

I am in the Toyota service station. I was told that it would take at least three hours. Toyota had recalled the gas pedal and it had to be replaced. Moreover, I had been traveling a lot and the servicing was long overdue. But three hours! I asked if they had a complimentary shuttle. The affable man shook his head. It was a Saturday. No shuttles. But you can sit in the lounge and have a coffee and some cookies and watch television. I hate television. its aptly called the idiot box.

Then casually he mentioned. Almost apologetically. There’s a wifi too! I almost screamed with delight. If they had arranged wine, I could stay there till the next morning.

So here I am tapping happily on the keyboard.

But there are a few things I could love to live without. One of them is clichés. As much as I avoid them they keep coming to haunt me.

So if its at the Chinese restaurant and you order a curry, she jumps with delight. “ ah you are Indian! You love cully!” “ NNNNNNNNNNNNNNO”. I want to shriek. I am a human being. And human beings cannot eat rice without a curry!

I am not even spared by Indians. As I explained to the kindly owner of the Motel, the Gujarati gent, that I may have to sit for some time in the lobby after checking out, he tries to make me comfortable. “ open you laptop and watch. There’s a cricket match going on”. “ Sir , Most don’t watch IPL even in India !!”

All I needed was someone to ask me to defragment his laptop as I am an Indian so naturally must be good in computers!

Earlier his wife was scandalized that I was in the room for three days and wasn’t watching the television in my room. And how did she know? There was no remote in the room.

To make her happy I watched Oprah and was spell bound. A very powerful story was being unfolded. An uncle had murdered his brother and his wife leaving the children orphan. These children were meeting their uncle for the first time after fourteen long years just when he was going to be shortly executed. I was struck by the poise and maturity shown by the kids. The daughter said that he ceased to be her uncle the day he killed her parents. But she doesn’t want him to be executed. Taking away a human life is not the answer. It cannot bring back her parents.

It was a very powerful viewing as they faced each other without any television audience. The daughter told her uncle that she forgave him because she didn’t want to live with all that hatred. But when he killed them , he did not take away her parents. He took himself away from them. Tremendous.

He was in prison for fourteen long years. A life wasted!

Soon he was executed.

Remember when Priyanka Gandhi went and met the assassin of her father. Cynical that we are, we gave it a political twist. There might just be one small chance.

She felt the same way too.

Taking away one life cannot bring back another.

I wanted to end with something really compelling. But I am afraid of clichés. They keep coming back to me!


  1. Helloooooo Sudhir...
    Why in god’s name do I not get your blog updates on that stupid blog update section on my page?

    I always live for a long while in the impression that you have stopped writing and then tumble on your page suddenly and notice I have stopped reading. So I get back into action to catch up on all that you’ve written behind my back (just figuratively of course) and again get all smiley like one does after reading some very good and effective writing....

    At the risk of making a clichéd statement...
    Loved all your clichés and the little story you’ve retold after being moved by it on Oprah:-)

    Always a pleasure reading you*so please forgive my sparse footprints here*

  2. Hi Suruchi,
    Pleasure receiving accolades from someone who is not only a great writer herself but a teacher herself.
    Thanks so much for the kind words. Honored.