Sunday, 6 September 2015


After a long time, I met my doctor friend of 15 years. He is getting married soon, so obviously it also became our topic of discussion. When I asked him about the girl, he told me she is also a doctor. And? And she is a good girl. And? Well, I hope she would have the same passions that I do, but I don’t know what she likes.

I knew someday this good friend of mine would end up marrying a doctor girl. His parents always wanted that, as if he is going to bring home a clinic, not a wife. Or perhaps, two doctors will give birth to a doctor baby. Or perhaps, they will have more topics to discuss at home, like new medicines, new procedures, new cases, new patients. Life would be fun.

Now before I proceed further, I want to make it clear that through this post I have no intentions of hurting my friend, because I can’t even think of doing that.

Two doctors, two lawyers, two techies, two entrepreneurs, two any for that matter, can make a happy couple only if they share the same passions, not professionally, but personally. Don’t marry a doctor only to open a clinic, don’t marry a lawyer only to start a law firm, don’t marry a techie only to make an app.

Marry someone only to make a life.

And ya, life is not about making babies. So don’t think that your decision to marry someone because he or she belongs to your profession would have a very positive impact on your child, or it would give an extra edge to your child. In fact, it would only give him or her the extra tension to perform better, to become like ‘daddy and mommy.’

Say for example, “Oh of course beta, you have to score well in Biology because your parents are doctors...” or “Beta, you have to act well because both your parents are actors...”

There are innumerable examples of children going wrong because their parents are passing them a so-called legacy. Look at your TV screens and you will find a live example in the form of Rahul Gandhi. Perhaps he wouldn’t have been a pappu politician if his father, grandmother, great-grandfather had not been in politics. He got that extra tension to carry on the legacy of being a Gandhi. He lost what could have been a great life in his struggle to become a great politician.

Taking the same example, look at Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal who both have become great politicians without that ‘extra edge.’

Abhishek Bachchan, Siddharth Mallya, Tushar Kapoor, Amit Kumar (Kishore Kumar’s son) are all living examples of successful parents’ unsuccessful children because they were born with that extra tension to pursue daddy’s and mommy’s profession.

Having said all this here, I wish my dear friend gets to live his life on his own terms, I wish he has a kickass married life and doesn’t end up talking medicine all the time, and I also wish his children become something that they really want to be.

And ya friend, don’t open your clinic to make it a burden on your children’s shoulders, and hire doctors, not your wife at your clinic.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Two blue ticks and a heavy rotten potato

He was my best friend in the university, and he was simply the best. Most of the days we would travel to our respective Delhi University colleges together, which was some 20 kms from our homes. Many a times we would make the return journey together too. With him, I felt as if my introvert personality had found peace with another introvert personality. I wanted our friendship to be forever, but then, all wishes don’t come true.

My friend, this extremely intelligent but very shy boy, was hiding a secret. I still don’t know how he managed to keep it hidden from me, but nevertheless, he did. When it was time for him to let it out of the bag, he developed cold feet. Our friendship broke, but what hurt more was that I didn’t know why. This was in 2008.

I kept searching for answers without any luck. No, I wasn’t roaming around with a magnifying glass or torch, but I would try to start conversations with common friends. With my busy work schedule, I had to eventually lose hope.

One day, a call came. I would prefer to call it a small atom bomb... my own little boy or fat man. Here was the secret my friend had been hiding for years, and I was being told about it on the phone by someone else. I wouldn’t like to reveal it here, and someone’s secret is not why I am writing this post. My reason is much bigger, if understood.

That day I wanted to run and give my friend one big bear hug. I wanted to tell him how sorry I am for not even being worthy enough of his secret. I couldn’t do any of those. I had somehow obtained his new number, but I didn’t call.

Today, after almost seven years since I met my friend last, I sent him a text on WhatsApp.
There were no sorrys, no tears, no past. I was stuck with something I was reading and the only person I could think of was him. As upfront as I usually am now, I just asked him my query.

Bang came his response, ‘I am sorry, but who is this?’

‘Poorva here. I know you might block me after knowing my name, but my intentions are not wrong. I never intended to not tell you my name. I thought it would come on WhatsApp.’

‘Hi Poorva. Hope you are good.’ The response was delayed, but it came.

‘Ya... I am good, hope you too are. See, I am stuck here, in this problem. Can you help?’

‘Yes... do this...’

‘Thanks man. And listen, I forgive you and hope you forgave me too.’

No response.

‘May I come back for help if you are okay or are you going to block me?’

‘Let me know if required. I will try to help.’

‘Thanks. Good night.’

‘Good night.’

In between my small query, I had solved the big one. This was an apology to a friend I had been wanting to make for years, but never could. Either there was no courage, or a lot of hesitation.

My Baaji once told me a story which has taught me numerous lessons...

A teacher asked her 10-year-old students how many enemies they have. Some said two, some three, and some even ten. The teacher then asked the students to carry as many potatoes as the number of enemies each one had. The students were supposed to carry these potatoes for a month. A week passed, then two weeks. The potatoes started to rot and give a foul smell. Still the students had to continue carrying them for a month. Into the third week, the students could not bear it at all. They requested their teacher if they could stop, to which the teacher taught them the lesson for life:

‘The more potatoes you carried, the more number of days you carried them, the more tired you became. Then came a point when you couldn’t tolerate the rotting smell, but you had to continue carrying them. The potatoes you were carrying represented your enemies, your egos, and your worries. Imagine how your heart must be coping up with so many rotten potatoes you have been carrying for years. Let go of them.’

When I spoke to my friend today, I let go of one of the heaviest and smelliest potatoes I had been carrying for seven years. Though there was no response by him to my apology, the blue ticks on WhatsApp told me he had read it. The good night from his side just confirmed that my message had been conveyed and most probably accepted.

You have no idea how light I am feeling right now, sitting here and writing this post. And if you want to get the slightest idea, identify your potatoes and just let go of them.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Hi. I have shifted my blog to Thanks for searching, and for reading.

Sunday, 23 February 2014


After a very long time, I took out my old bicycle from a dusty corner of the house. The tyres had got cut from places, the pink colour was hardly visible, the brakes were not in working condition. I had to take it four storeys down to the road and I struggled with that. I had no stamina and eventually gave up on the third floor itself. Embarrassed, I called for help and someone came to lift my bicycle.

Thankfully, I had exhausted my energy, but not my will. Once on the road, I somehow managed to drag the bicycle for almost a kilometre to the repairing shop. The man over there asked for a hefty amount but promised to make it new. A few hours and ten cups of tea later, my old bicycle was like its heydays again.

But this is not the end of the story.

After so many years, I struggled to balance on my bicycle. I had forgotten which brake was for which tyre. I had to drag my feet on the road to stop. But the biggest problem was something weirdly different. I was confused between my bicycle and my car.

At every corner, I habitually gave the indicator and tried to push the right handle up and down. Every now and then, I looked into the rearview mirror and found myself gazing up in the sky. I pushed the right pedal extra hard at every speed breaker confusing it with the car's brakes, and obviously went jumping after that. I rode my little bicycle in the middle of the road like it was no one's business.

A few hiccups later, I was riding like my old self again.

And it was then that I felt the cool wind blowing on my face, a feeling lost in the AC of my office and the closed windows of my car. It seemed as if my eyes opened after a long time, strained with the computer and TV screens.

I heard some kids playing, I saw aunties chatting, I went to roads I had never been to before. These roads were in my locality itself, those aunties were always around, the kids had grown up in my area, yet I had never seen them in the past few years.

So engrossed was I in work that the sun always set inside office and always rose when I was still in my bed. I was appreciating the beauty caught on camera but I never took out time to step out and see the real beauty that lies abundantly in the world we live in.

Today when I rode through that breeze, the colours were again brighter, the sounds were again louder, the thoughts were again clearer, the world was again the same place I once loved.

As I lie on my bed writing this blog, my calf muscles hurt after being made to do some real exercise after such a long time. But this pain is truly worth it, because it gave me my lost feeling of freedom back today.

Sunday, 27 October 2013


On 6th December 1992, I was in Lucknow. About five years old then, I was a toddler unaware of the tension prevailing in the city of my birth. One of my next-door neighbours was a Hindu, another a Muslim. So it's hardly a surprise that the air had a whiff of what was happening some 130 kms away, in Ayodhya.

We were in the safety of our homes, and it's only after these twenty-odd years that my mother has told me what were the scenes like in our locality. After Doordarshan aired those horrifying visuals of karsevaks bringing down the Babri Masjid, my Hindu neighbours had a small hush-hush celebration at their home. My Muslim neighbours did not step out of their home for a few days.

It might sound weird to someone reading this, but my mother, a Jain, was quite upset too. However, her reasons were not religious.

She is an archaeologist, if not by birth, at least, by love. Just a few months before Babri was demolished, she had accompanied her friends in an excursion to the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. None of those archaeologists knew then that it was the last time they were seeing it, else they would have at least clicked one picture with the mosque. They were all shattered to know that a structure of such historical importance had been demolished.

In 2001, after the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan, my mother was again upset for days. She got hooked on to BBC and CNN. There were times when she would keep muttering how magnificent those Buddhist statues were, and how she wanted to see them in person one day. Those statues were UNESCO World Heritage Site and were destroyed with dynamite on orders of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. The reason? Taliban declared them 'idols'.

For my mother, even though they belong to different religions, the men who destroyed the Babri and the men who destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan are the same. Both have brought down two archaeologically-important structures. The reasons cited by both are religious. Both did what they did to satiate their egos, nothing else. The Gods of both's religions preach peace.

And then she ends it with, 'It's the archaeologist, not a Hindu or a Muslim, who finally bore the pain of their actions.'

Sunday, 18 August 2013


For a long time, I was a Muslim on papers. Due to an error in my driving license, I had become Poorva Khan. I didn't mind. My parents are secular to the core, so we did not take the pain of getting it changed too... until I started suffering.

After I secured this Muslim driving license, my PAN card, my car loan, my phone connection, everything took so long that I gave up hope. I thought that's how it happens in India. But I did not know that that's how it happens with the Muslims in India. And this realization dawned upon me at the Bengaluru International Airport.

I look like a normal girl, just like your next-door neighbour's daughter. But if you are a normal Muslim girl, you are not normal. After the cop on duty checks your documents at the airport's entrance, he will 'request' you to step aside. He'll then ask you some questions very matter-of-factly... where do you work, where are you going, etc.

Initially you will feel the police are doing a good job. When this 'good job' becomes a routine JUST FOR YOU every time you go to the airport, the extra security starts making you feel insecure. You feel that a shadow is following you everywhere at the airport. Those policemen have an eye just on you. They are taking a bit longer in screening your hand luggage. In that massive crowd of people, you suddenly feel all alone.

When my fear got the better of me and I told my parents about these regular airport questions, they knew they had to act, and quickly. They took a break from their work just to stand with me in queues and get my documents corrected. Since we don't believe in bribes, our queues were longer too.

My first journey with the new corrected non-Muslim documents was something I will never forget. I stood at the airport entrance, holding my ticket and driving license, ready with the same old answers. But instead of questions, I got a smile from the cop. Poorva Jain was not a terrorist, Poorva Khan was.

We all know that deep in the heart of almost every Hindu, a Muslim is a terrorist. And every Muslim knows that Hindu mentality deep in his heart as well.

Today when I look back at my 'Muslim' days, I know how insecure a Muslim feels in this country. I have felt it for a couple of months. If you could feel it for just one day, you will know what I am talking about. Perhaps after knowing that, you will also truly understand why even Shahrukh had to say, My Name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist.

Friday, 16 August 2013


These type of people are present everywhere... during a boardroom meeting, at resident welfare association meetings, interfering in your conversations, poking their nose into your personal stuff, etc etc... they are there. They are everywhere. And they don't understand that they are not required anywhere.

They don't know a shit about what you are talking. They just know which person is THE man they must impress. Mind you, they are very good at that, at this impressing thing. In fact, howsoever intelligent you may be, you can never ever be as good them.

So what is the strategy of these people? They take this THE man's side in everything. And how do they do it? They repeat the words of this man, just after him. They might include a yes sir, a true sir along with it. But most of the times only repeating the words with a more convincing tone does the trick.

And what happens to you? You, who are so hardworking. You, who spend those extra hours, put in that extra effort? Nothing. You look like a fool in front of THE man. After sometime, you even start feeling like a fool because you hardly speak anything. Only THE man and the repeater are the ones involved in the conversation, supporting, well, THE man and his beliefs.

There will be times when you too will think you should be like him, the repeater. You will even try, but will soon give up. The original you will ask the fake you to give up. Relief will set in after giving up. And if you have waited enough, if you have held on, you will be lucky enough to see the repeater fail.

This repeater, he always eventually loses, because he has nothing original within. He is just a master PR whose irritating behaviour is only there to test your patience. The original will win, no matter what. I know, because I have experienced it, and am still experiencing it.