Em and Big Hoom

Em and the Big HoomEm and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When you go to a home, you knock and wait for someone from the home to open the door and let you in.There is a certain premise to enter the home, make oneself comfortable and then have a chat.And when it’s finally time to part, you might or might not have understood the reality of that home or the family.But that was not the case with Em and Big Hoom.

When I started reading this book, I was literally put in the middle of the lives of Em, Big Hoom and their family. I felt warm and welcomed to their home.Not one time did I feel I was not a part of their family.I literally lived and breathed with them.

I felt the burning and suffocating smell of beedis in my eyes and nose.I understood the bits and pieces and was able to read in between the lines from Em’s talks.I felt ashamed at the same time intrigued at her adult talks.I felt the silent, yet the roaring presence of Big Hoom.I sensed the tender love between these folks.I could hear all the thoughts of em for endless hours.I also shivered when she tried to let go of her life.And I was part relieved and a part sad when she finally left.I knew I was somewhere becoming the shadow of the narrator, who has poured his hearts out!

Our mothers are very dear to us.She somehow has been bestowed with the power of holding all the members of the family.Now, it’s very scary situation if something happens to such a strong link.And even scarier if it related to being mentally disabled.Imelda, aka Em, is one such person, who slowly and at times looses the grip of reality.

‘After you were born, someone turned on a tap. At first it was only a drip, a black drip, and I felt it as sadness. I had felt sad before . . . who hasn’t ? I knew what it was like. But I didn’t know that it would come like that, for no reason. I lived with it for weeks.’

‘Was there a drain?’

‘No. There was no drain. There isn’t one even now’.

‘It is like oil. Like molasses, slow at first.Then one morning I woke up and it was flowing free and fast. I thought I would drown in it. I thought it would drown little you and Susan. I got up, got dressed and went out onto the road and tried to jump in front of a bus. I thought it would be a final thing, quick like a bang.  Only,it wasn’t.

I don’t know if there is any better way of defining depression.It’s akin to drowning in one’s sadness, though we don’t want to be drowned and we know how to stop oneself from being drowned but yet, yet simply could not help but sink down.That’s depression.

And how can one forget Augustine, the Big Hoom ?. When there are people who simply choose to stay out of trouble by avoiding ill people from their lives, here a man who stays and fights for a normal life.His love for Em, cannot be said in words.It can be known only from the heart.

“Love is never enough. Madness is enough. It is complete, sufficient unto itself.”

Such a brilliant portrayal of a dysfunctional(?) family amongst us describing the vivid emotions and the broken thoughts of a depressed, bipolar, suicidal mother but more importantly reading this book showed me the difficulties, that sort of numbness and the absence of normalcy in the lives of the caretakers of these mentally ill people.

I wonder if one day, I fall as hard as Em, will I be lucky enough to be surrounded by folks like Em’s family?

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If I were having coffee…

If we were having a warm cuppa of coffee, I would love to tell you how glad I am to return here and have a heartwarming chit chat !!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we celebrated my hubs birthday this month and it was super fun.I baked him a dates-carrot cake and finally did icing as well.Long overdue!! It was really horrible but it was also super fun.Hubs being a gym freak, I made him this.

If we were having coffee, I would also tell you that I watched a couple of good movies, was able to read 4 books and I enjoyed “Em and Big Hoom” thoroughly!! I would also tell you that I was able to post about my journey more consistently

If we were having coffee, I would love to tell you how excited and happy I was when my blog “That Day “ got featured in BlogChatter.It meant “something_big_and_unexplainable” to me.I would tell you that how now I truly understand the meaning of “grass being greener where you water”.Spending a definite amount of time every day in my blog-haven have definitely increased my happiness and fun quotient


If we were having coffee, I would tell you about our impromptu trip to Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi on our anniversary day.We have celebrated our day drenched in rains, being mesmerised by the dilapidated beauty of Dhanuskodi.Clouds, sand, sea and a hot cuppa of tea….made my day! Though I don’t like PDA, ahem ahem especially in FB or any other social networks :P, I would still love to tell my hubs “R” that every day being with you makes me love me more and more.You made me believe I am worthy and so is my journey!!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you all about the rating and stuff from my work and what I was thinking about my future with this organisation.Meanwhile, I would also talk about how stunned I was hearing about this tragic news.I have no words to describe my anger towards the human being who simply destroyed the hopes of a young life.

If we were having coffee, I would simply love to show you this entertaining piece much better than the original movie Raees. I would go on and on about how crappy SRK movies have become.I am afraid he has lost his lucky charm!!.From being an ardent fan, now I find excuses to miss his movies.I hope he comes back with a bang!


My Husband and Other Animals

My Husband and Other AnimalsMy Husband and Other Animals by Janaki Lenin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What made me reach for this book was the title,”My Husband and Other Animals”.Since I had never read any of Janaki’s columns in The Hindu, I didn’t know what the book would be about.While reading this book, a bunch of articles gave me a totally new experience.
We live either in a city or in a village or in a flat or a good old mansion.We make god friends and enemies with your neighbours, relatives, friends etc.But we never would have given a thought about the various “other” beings around us.Reading this book made me literally me sit up and think about the toads, cats, dogs, birds, worms, flies and even mosquitoes[the beings around me].It did make me wonder about their conversations :).

Ms.Janaki favourite and recurring topic in her articles is her husband, Mr.Romulus Whitaker-who is an herpetologist and founder of Madras Crocodile Bank. They together have been living in Madras Crocodile Bank, and later on moved to a farm house near Chengalpet.While reading through the experiences of the author I was quite envious about her adventures and most importantly the fun she had while on them.Be it “always finding a way back to home toads” or “cyclone crocs” or “trekking deep forests”, she has had a great run which we can only imagine.

Laughing and giggling to myself, I finished the book in no time.It was a quick and hearty read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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A Fullstop.

As I held my child last night, all I could see was her prick marks, her bald head, her hopeless eyes and her small body writhing in pain.

So, I did what I could and helped her move to her painless world.

Because I am happy

I see the clock showed that I am up before my alarm
and not that I lost my hour of sleep

I see the dancing dust in glittering sun rays
and not my dusty room which needs a clean up

I see the messages “Happy Birthday” from my dear ones
and not the faked reminders from social media

I see I have time to be lazy, read a book and have a coffee
and not needing to rush to my office

I see the yellow Maggi packet tucked away in the shelf
and not the empty fridge with my grumbling stomach

I see my new floral skirt to wear for office today
and not the loaded up dirty clothes in the machine

I see the quick drizzle end with the rainbow
and not my new floral skirt dripping wet

I see  all my friends for a quick cup of coffee
and not the usual cordial running away with one

I see the finally working prototype
and not the lines of code I have to write to make it working

I see  I have closed more bugs than another day
and not the piling up ones

I see I have time to eat my golgappas
and not the missed bus by minutes

I see I have a choice to give away a few of them
and not the begging hands of little children

I see I have hope for another beautiful day
and its because I am happy and I choose to be so 🙂



Monday Blues ~


Is it that simple is to achieve our success?

We all have troubles in making our goals a reality and I think it is because we always see only the final picture of our outcomes.This, either gets us motivated and working which is good, but I believe for most of us [ atleast for me ] this over-dependency on the outcome makes us fatigued.

We make ourselves believe that we have almost achieved the target and rest are achievable or we tell ourselves “Argh, why did I do this to me? “, either way, we are doomed with some guilty pangs.

There is nothing wrong having big goals, the only thing to keep in mind is to do that small bit every single day without fail which accumulates and by the end of the year, we might just have achieved our targets without any fuss.

Doing that bit every day consistently produces more results than trying and doing everything all at once.But this is difficult as we are accustomed to seeing only the big picture and feel bad.I too often beat myself up and forget that all I need to do is to read some 30 pages every day to reach my goal of 52 books this year or do a single workout circuit every single day without fail to realize my gift body.The quicker we realize that smaller steps are easier to conquer and lead us to a faster and solid way to our final goal.

Cheers to taking smaller steps to reach bigger goals.