Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Iffat tagged me with this meme recently. The rules are:

Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 16 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 16 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

  1. Almost every day, I am humbled by the human body, by the study of God's creation

  1. I used to collect neckties. The first tie I ever bought was bottle-green one with Daffy Duck faces on it. I still have it.

  1. I wish I could fold clothes as well as the people at Macy's.

  1. I love bananas. Sweet, simple, versatile - I wish more people were bananas.

  1. I'm not quite sure how it happens but sometimes, when I meet someone, I tend to see them as the child they were. It's usually not very difficult. A lot of people retain that essence.

  1. I love daal chawal

  1. When I was younger, I used to read indiscriminately, just swallowing books whole. Now I get into arguments with them. It's amazing how much of modern literature is centred around this general predatory obsession with sex and misery. This annoys me. (And what makes it worse is that, a lot of the time, people, especially young people, come to a book for consolation or advice and they make themselves impressionable to the book's opinion only to absorb its cruelty.)

  1. I like driving through the car wash

  1. The lady who cuts my hair is an ICU nurse

  1. While I think money is important, I don't think I'm particularly materialistic. Me and mine are words that dissolve societies, not make them.

  1. As a family, we watch a lot of movies together. It's one of my favorite things to do when I'm home, watch a movie with my parents. The last one we saw was Taare Zameen Par. I remember my father, who was educated at boarding school, say that it was one of the best and worst experiences of his life.

  1. Have you hugged your mom today?

  1. I get migraines

  1. Gol guppay are irresistible

  1. I like myself when I'm working hard

  1. I love to laugh

I don't think I know 16 people but if you want to tag yourself please feel welcome.


It's almost 5 am and I'm on call finishing off the last of the night's admissions. It's been a light night and I've had a chance to catch some sleep so I'm awake now. As I walk by one of the rooms I notice the sound of the shower running. The child is sleeping comfortably but the mother's cot is empty. Maybe she's having troubling sleeping, I think to myself. I was in the child's room at midnight when he tripped over his pyjamas and bumped his head. Mom was up then, fretting over him, simultaneously trying to console him and make him finish his homework at the same time. "I don't want him to be missing no school," she told me.

A few minutes later, I happen to walk into the room to see the child in the next bed and Mom is putting on a jacket and gathering her things. She leans over the child and kisses him. "Ok, Zach, Mommy's gotta go to work now. You be a good boy. Mommy loves you." The boy mumbles something back. She strokes his hair.

The sky is still dark outside. It won't be dawn for a few more hours. The mother wraps a scarf around herself and leaves for work.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Baby Mine

Sometimes, when you least expect it, things have a way of surprising you.

Last night I dreamt I had become a father. A pair of twins, named Amina and Wafa, had been bequeathed me and I was their dad. They were fat and gurgling and when they laughed it made my heart ripple. I called my dad to share the good news and we were both incredulous. I couldn't explain their provenance. There was no wife in this dream. (Maybe they came from eggs.) But there they were, a pair of chunky babies with roses in their cheeks, emanating a pure luminous joy. I carried the feeling around with me all day. It's strange but I've never really considered myself dad material before. Yes, I love children and I'm excited about spending my career taking care of them. But to be a father? I don't think I have the necessary wisdom yet to raise a child. And yet, when I walked into a room this afternoon and saw a baby girl with chubby cheeks, swaddled in that milk-soft smell, I couldn't say it wasn't Amina. Or Wafa.

But it wasn't.

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