Memories, Entwined in Music… 

It was a perfect moment in time. 

My mom was visiting and I had cancelled all commitments to be with her without rushing around and stressing unnecessarily. She noticed this and conveyed her appreciation through a gentle smile. 

As I booked tickets for a movie followed by a leisurely lunch and discussed our day with her, she couldn’t help beaming. I hugged her and expressed my pleasure at having her home. She hugged me back with a tightness that surprised me. It held in it so much…. Love, pride, gratitude, blessings… Suddenly, my eyes brimmed with tears… My mom had given me everything she thought I might need to manage my adult life with equipoise and now she stood within my arms, frail and delicate, straight – backed and proud. 

As we headed home after our ‘date’, soft music filtered from the music system in the car that cocooned us from the outside traffic. Then that song started playing, the one my dad used to sing ever so beautifully…”Chain se hum ko kabhi..aap ne jeene na deeya…” I cast a sideways glance at my mom and saw a small tear form at the corner of her eye…. I skipped it, to the next one… But she requested me to put it back on… By this time a huge lump had formed in my throat too. 

“It’s been thirty-seven years… ” Mom said, “so much was taken away from us that day… But his music? That no one can can take away… Let it play…” 

We reached home, the sound of my dads singing reverberating in our individual memories… Rich, mellifluous, so him, so me, so mom, so Us…. 

That can never be taken away….. Ever…

A Bird Thinks…

A Bird Thinks…
Deep and safe in the bushes, it’s time to make a nest

Perfect, secure and comfortable, a quiet place to rest

I’ll have to work fast and hard, short list a bush or two

See if it fulfils my criteria, that is the very first thing to do
Now, collect the most flexible twigs, make sure they are the same size

They’ll be easy to curve and mold, make a perfect bowl to hold the precious prize

I’ll work fast and furiously, letting nothing get in my way

Soon, when the nest is ready, thats where my lady will stay
The eggs come soon enough and there is excitement in life anew,

Between caretaking, safeguarding and nurturing there is little else to do

Oh! The babies are so small and helpless, they fill my heart with pride

I’ll take care of their every need, I’ll never leave their side
They are growing up so fast now, how beautiful they look

Stronger and sturdier by the day, giving back more love than they ever took

Life is so perfect now, my lady, my babies and I 

I wish I could hold on to it, delay the time they’ll want to fly
One day when I come from work, I’ll be greeted by a different sight

The young ones, on the periphery of the nest, ready for their very first flight

Their joyous laughter will fill the air, I’ll try and steady my heart

Despite trying to slow time down, it’s finally time to part
They are ready for their maiden flight, I give them a tip or two

But deep down I know they’ll manage, they’ll know the right thing to do

So, fly my babies, fly high, new journeys you undertake

Remember, no matter where you go, our love will follow in its wake….

Two Wedding Bands… A story from Reader’s Digest

I have worn two wedding bands for more than a dozen years. The rings seldom get noticed, but when I am asked about them, I respond, “I have two wives,” an answer that is met with a chuckle, a groan, or a weird look.

Recently, after leaving a business meeting, I stopped in the hallway to check text messages on my phone. As I was typing, a stranger paused and inquired, “Why are you wearing two wedding bands?” “I have two wives,” I said. This time there was no chuckle or groan. “No, really,” he said. “Why?”

I explained that I’d lost my father in 1999, shortly before the turn of the century, something he was really looking forward to experiencing. As we were saying our final farewells at his funeral, my mother, his wife of 50-plus years, removed his wedding band and handed it to me. Surprised, I placed the gold band on my left middle finger, next to my wedding band. There it has remained.

I told the stranger that I wear my father’s wedding band to honor my father and my parents’ marriage. I also wear it to remind myself to be the son, brother, husband, and dad that my father wanted me to be. I am now 60 years old and have been married for 30 years.

The stranger nodded and, without a word, turned and walked down the stairs to the parking lot. I returned to my mobile phone and messages. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the stranger walking back toward me. He said, “Sir, you know, I have my father’s wedding band in my sock drawer at home, and beginning today, I am going to start wearing it.” I silently nodded, and the stranger quietly turned and walked back down to the parking lot. And I smiled.