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Showing posts from August, 2013

I Hate You Histio

“Mama why am I suffering so much?” he asks. My sister replies, “Because you are the bravest of the brave.” I am sure there are plenty of other conversations that this mother-son duo share in that hospital room where the doctors are constantly monitoring my 12-year old nephew fighting a battle with a demonic disease called HLH. I get a few glimpses into their conversation on days when my sister is free to talk. The heaviness of her breath, the pause, the tone and texture of her voice is so embedded with this inexplicable grief that it makes me want to liberate into a howl. But I hear myself lying and telling her ‘it’s not the time to be sentimental, stay strong, keep pepping him up and keep feeding him’. I can say this much: I feel pain to the bone and I wish nobody, not even my worst enemy, suffers from ill health.
At other times sick of the nurses and doctors fiddling with his veins, he angrily tells my sister, “You just keep looking at me, you don’t tell them anything.” Right now, …

A Date With Saroo Brierley

Saroo Brierley is such a lovely, lovely man. It was at the leafy, green suburb of Eltham that I was invited for an in-conversation at a not so prosaic Indian restaurant with this young man who has suddenly been thrown into the limelight after the story of his life became public, unintentionally.
The story of Saroo is the stuff films are made of. He was born to a very impoverished family in Khandwa, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, who spent their time scavenging or begging for food while his mother worked as a labourer carrying stones and bricks in construction sites. His father a Muslim left the family when Saroo’s younger sister was a few months old. His two elder brothers and mother toiled away to bring food home while Saroo spent his time looking after his younger sister. Saroo’s Hindu mother never remarried but used all her time and energy to look after her children. One fateful day, Saroo accompanied his older brother Guddu for some fun and adventure. They caught …