Friday, April 11, 2014



In the last week I made two back to back trips. My second trip of the year was a personal trip with family to Tirupati. As usual we opted for the one day package of IRCTC which we find to be perfectly suitable for us as it takes care of train reservation, accommodation, darshan, transport and even food. On this trip however we faced a few problems. The train was three hours late and reached Tirupati at nine in the morning instead of six. This delay affected the entire program. It took us more than three hours to come out of the temple after darshan. We had lunch at half past four. I felt nauseous sitting in the back of the Tata Sumo coming down the ghat road, something that had never happened to me before. However, we were able to catch the train for the journey back home.


Two days later I was off to Delhi again for the second time this year. Exactly a month ago, I was in Delhi to attend a workshop and on the same dates there was another workshop I was told to attend. I was reluctant to go but I agreed because there was a personal matter I had to deal with. I wanted to go because I wanted to meet and console a friend who lost his young son to cancer. The workshop was on Monday and I sat through it listening to the various speakers. Afterwards I went to Nehru Place to Nanda Bookstore to check if there was anything I could find worth buying. I bought a new copy of ‘Musicophilia’ by Oliver Sacks. I had finished reading ‘Red Leaves’ by Robert H Cook on the plane while coming to Delhi and had nothing to read on the way home. I bought ‘Never at Ease’ with the idea of reading it on the way back home. Earlier at Janpath I had bought a new copy of ‘ Never at Ease’ by Chinua Achebe that I read on the way back home.

Every parent’s worst nightmare is losing a child. It is very difficult to imagine how someone whose child dies feels. It is more difficult to console such parents. A day after the workshop when I met BN who was my friend in college while doing my post-graduation, I couldn’t hold back my tears. It was gut-wrenching to listen to him tell about the ordeal that the family went through watching the boy’s life fade away before their eyes after numerous sessions of chemotherapy. I felt miserable that no one could do anything to save the life of the child. I did not know what to tell my friend. My heart felt empty like it had a hole from which every feeling had gone.

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