Saturday, May 1, 2021


Z is for Zohra

why don’t you get married?

i like my life like this

who will take care of you when you get old?

i will

who will love you when you get old?

i will

who will provide for you when you get old?

i will

you are impossible

 i am!

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Friday, April 30, 2021


Y is for Yumna



“Why is Bhabhi praying now? The panditji will be here any minute for the pooja.

“She`s reciting a prayer for Ma- I think it’s called a Fatiha.”

“But why? Ma is a Hindu- that too a Brahmin!”

Yumna folded her prayer mat and smiled, “Are you worried that Allah will grant her jannant instead of Bhagwan welcoming her in swarg?”

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021


X is for Xia



She knew she could not live with him anymore. Not when he told her in the third month of her pregnancy. “It has to be a boy. There is still time. Let`s do the sex-determination test. I know a doc who will do it unofficially for us. It will save us from heart break later if it turns out to be a girl…”

She knew then that they had no future together.


It was time. She dialed the clinic. "My water just broke Doc.”

“Come now. Take a cab please. Don`t drive.”


“You are almost there. What took you so long,” chided the doctor as they wheeled her in the delivery room.

In a few minutes she was holding on to a miracle. She kissed her little Xia.

"Xia? Unusual. What does it mean?" asked the doctor

“Sunrise.” she smiled weakly.

A new beginning.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021


W is for Waheeda



and then he kicks me out of the door

slams it shut on my face

i sit shivering in the cold

the chai wala gives me a steaming cup of tea

why do you argue?

i look at him wordlessly.

on such nights I also wonder

why do I argue? protest?

nothing changes.

every time it happens

 i spend a night on the street

waiting by the door

till next morning

he opens the door and drags me in

why do I argue? protest?

nothing changes.

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Monday, April 26, 2021


V is for Vidhi


“How liberal is your husband! So forthcoming. He has never stopped you from pursuing your career,” Mini screamed.

“Yes. He has never stopped me because he has been busy pushing me.”

Mini declared, “Well, you are really a thankless woman! He is so supportive!! Here is a husband who is letting you travel for work and you want to complain. What more do you want?”

“I just want to be. Not be a Trophy wife he can flaunt at every gathering. I want to spend time with the girls. Can I not decide what I want from life? It`s not that we need the money. I can work flexi-hours. I am happy to not climb the ladder.”

“Talk about whiny women. Here you have a plum opportunity, a supportive husband and you want to complain. So what if he pushes you? That is the reason you have reached so far!”

“Don`t you get it. I don`t want to.”

“You can`t decide suddenly that you don’t want to. Not after all that he has sacrificed for you. He didn’t take up the overseas posting. He chose to be home when you had to travel. He loves you.  It is payback time now. You have to do what he says. Don`t say no to this opportunity.”

“Payback ? My own husband? Is it even love or just a well-planned transaction?”

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Saturday, April 24, 2021


U is for Uma


He loved kheer. That was the first dish she had cooked for him when she had married him 42 years back.

“Bahu you have to make something sweet. It is a shagun,” her mother-in-law had instructed her.

A shy Uma had offered to cook Kheer. And he had loved it. Taken 3 helpings as she had looked at him from the corner of her eyes. God knows how devoted she had been to him all these years. Everyone around them could see it too.

“Mukul bhai you are lucky to have Uma as your wife!”

“Moti daan kiye honge jo asis biwi mili.”

He had been a good husband too. Never uttered a harsh word-not even on the night when they learnt that she could not bear him any children. He had hugged her, “We are a family. We complete each other.”

Her eyes brimmed with tears as she stirred in the sugar in the kheer. She chopped the pistas as the kheer simmered. She washed and gently wiped the fresh rose petals. Most days he would gobble it down hot but some days he would wait patiently for it cool in the fridge. He loved it when she served the cold kheer in a bowl garnished with pista and rose petals.

She looked at him tenderly as he stared blankly out of the window. He had been confined to his bed for 12 years. 12 long years since the stroke. Last 6 months had been a nightmare. Most days he struggled with her name and some days he did not even recognize her. But last night he was lucid- “Uma make some kheer for me tomorrow.”

Hence the kheer today. She sat next to his bed with the bowl. She sprinkled the powder – she had crushed 12 sleeping tablets-one for each year- on the kheer and mixed it gently. She then sprinkled pistas and the rose petals.

She gently turned his face and looked into his eyes. Her eyes brimmed as she lifted a spoon and gently fed him.


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Friday, April 23, 2021


T is for Tashi



you chose him

we told you not to marry

different religion, different city...

it`s all your fault

you don`t listen

you don’t understand.


but ma do you understand?

do you listen?

I am a failure

But do you have to be one too?

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