Category: Family Page 1 of 3

The Story of a Break-in and How Our Sherlock Solved It

We always read news about crimes – house break-ins , thefts, murders, rape – they are always stories to us because they happen to someone else. Never to us. We often wonder what the victims must have gone through.

My place in Worli was one of the safest I’ve known – the house break-ins in the colony were a handful in the last 37 years since the colony was first built. However, in the last few months I did hear of break-ins in the colony but did not know to what extent the damage was done.

In November 2012 we were away on a Rajasthan trip with my family – on the last day of our trip we got the news that my uncle’s house – (in the same building as mine) was broken in. I could not believe that we were now the victims.

We reached home the next day and were shocked to see my  uncle’s house – the main bedroom was in complete disarray. They lost valuables worth 2 lakhs and that very day we rushed to register the FIR. A basic one had been filed by my other uncles, but they needed the owners of the house to put down a list of all stolen items. It is definitely not an easy process – filing the FIR and giving a statement. From that day for the next 10 days we spent our time  finding contacts in the police so that the case could be expedited. Some told us that we would probably get back nothing as it was difficult to locate these petty thieves while some assured my uncle that they would do their best to find the culprit.

After 3 days when he visited his bank to withdraw money he realised his bank account was emptied – luckily it was not his primary bank account and the amount was around INR 30,000. I enquired with him if the bank had provided the details of the ATM from where the card was accessed. He said his bank’s branch  manager has not even extended him the courtesy to listen to his case. They put their hands up saying they could do nothing as the money was not taken out from their bank’s ATM. I was fuming, I’m a banker and I’m well aware of all operations and networks and how easy it is to get the ATM details. I was appalled at the apathy exhibited by that man – here was a 69 year old senior citizen telling him that a theft had happened in his account and he had refused help. Luckily next day, there was another manager at the branch who was kind enough to help us get the requisite information about the ATM location within 15 minutes. It was a Citibank ATM in Vashi and the withdrawals were done at around 3.30-4.00 in the morning.

Then with the help of a friend who worked in Citi and additional help from the police my uncle managed to retrieve the CCTV footage – we were hopeful that this clear evidence would help the police move swiftly. However it was not to be – the thief went undetected for months. Honestly, my sister and I had given up hope. We told him to forget and move on. We thought we had tried our best. However my uncle was not the one to sit still and he decided he would do his bit. He has always been restless and I know how disturbed he was – one feels so violated. A stranger walks into your home that was built with so much hard work and sweat, money earned through years of toil – and just rummages through your abode stealing your hard earned money. He realized that he may not get his valuables back but he knew he would not be at peace until he knew who the culprit was.

He started keeping track of all break-in stories in different newspapers. He visited police stations in Thane, Chembur and even the Mumbai Crime Branch with all his case papers to check if the modus operandi of those break-ins was similar and if he could find any common clues. I have to admit that a lot of senior officials at different departments and police stations gave him a patient ear and helped him out. Heard his case , kept his papers and assured him that they would let him know if any clue or opening came by.

Finally last week mom messaged me that my uncle had nailed down his thief. He had read about the Pune police nabbing a thief whose description seemed to fit the one who had broken into our home. He contacted the Pune police, sent them the CCTV footages of the ATM and they confirmed it was the same thief.

My uncle taught us all a lesson – when everyone around him was telling him to forget and move on, he refused to do so and went about his parallel investigation. He could have let his hands up and blamed the police and stayed at home brooding over his loss. He did not. It is easy for us to fault the system but how about trying a little bit more to help the system? My uncle did. Yesterday Mid-day covered his story and I was very very impressed with the reporter who did this story (Do read the story here.) It was to the point, no wrong details and no exaggerated melodrama in the coverage.  All the police officials whom he had met called him personally to congratulate on his efforts and how he was a role model for many citizens.

My uncle the Sherlock – I cannot tell you how proud I’m today! At 69 you have set a fine example to us youngsters who give up on the system. You have taught us that if we want we can help ourselves, help the police; it is all about taking the initiative and going that extra mile. 

I take this opportunity to thank all my  friends (online and offline) and my family who shared his story yesterday – it is indeed an inspiring story . We search for heroes all around us forgetting the ones who live with us day in and out.

Didi was right – Papa (That’s what I’ve always called him as a kid , Didi’s Papa also my Papa :-)) You are our Superhero and today I wish you a very Happy Father’s Day – Fathers like you remind us of what we must aim to be – A Fighter for Life – at any point , against anything and never ever give up ! Kudos to you!

Say what mumma?

Mumma and I – perfectly matched. We have serious trouble expressing our feelings to people who are dear to us.

On this post wherein I wrote about our women in Olympics and how their success should inspire a change in our country w.r.t women – my Mumma sent me this reply:

“Our country needs women like you to come back to India”

It’s not about how great her daughter is or can be. Unlike most parents who live in the illusion that their kid is the best gift to mankind, my mother never had such illusions about her only child. She knows her daughter’s limitations very well. I’m an average woman – no special talent or not in any position to reform the country.

That line is simply about telling me how much she misses me and wants me to be back soon for good.  As I just told you – we both have serious trouble saying the simplest words out loud; but I absolutely love my Mumma for her reactions – they are so different than what most other moms would have!

You are missed

15 years today.

I took the journey from a lost teenager to a woman – without you.

I never got to see how you would have reacted to my first crush, my heartbreaks, my first love, my boyfriend, my husband, my anger, my dissent, my low confidence, my confusion, my fight, my living away, my struggle, my determination, my success.

I have often sat in the corner of my room  and imagined your reactions – your anger, your happiness, your love, your long lectures, your pep talks, your belief in me, your sky high confidence in me.

Confidence – the one that you always had in me, the one that you gave me, that crazy faith, that unabashed defiance you taught me – that I confess I lost this day 15 years ago. I manage to salvage some of it time and again, but for the last 15 years I’ve searched for the old one and it is lost for good – it went with you.

Don’t get me wrong – mumma has been wonderful but she has missed you too in this topsy-turvy journey of mine.

Papa, you have been missed – every single day, every single hour, every single minute in the last 15 years. The memories have not faded, they have only got stronger – for they are all that I’m left with and I can never let go of them.

What Makes a Great Husband?

If you ask this question to our friend circle all the ladies will probably point to my husband for the mind-blowing surprises he has thrown for me over the years during our 7 year marriage. A few I managed to pen down here, here and here. He did better like every year last weekend as well  before my birthday – it was wonderful like always.

Then I fell ill, for last 7 days I’ve been drained out, bed-ridden, low on energy, dehydrated and advised strict bed rest by the doctors. The viral fever attacked, intravenous drips, saline drips, blood tests, multiple medicines, zero appetite, the whole doctor routine. This was not enough that  the body reacted and a rash erupted that as per doctors will take another 2-3 weeks to go. Office missed for a week, unlikely this week I’ll be able to go to. Full on depression mode – the only positives that all the expected serious causes ruled out and all tests came out negative. The body is like me lazy, lazy to recovery and giving me the worst time ever. I hate being ill, I hate not working – whether at home or work.

In the last 7 days, MDH has been rock solid, smiling, energetic, and my Rock of Gibraltar. We are alone here – away from family, no real close family here either whom we can call upon to stay with me. So he had to manage everything singlehandedly. He had to take 2-3 days off from work to take me to the doc, get the tests done, be with me at home, feed me, give me medicines, make/get food, boil water, do the housework, wash vessels, get grocery, wash my clothes separately ( as the rash was suspected to be infectious, which it is not anymore), wash the rest of the clothes, ensure no dust zone around me, ensure I sleep well, rest well. He hasn’t slept in the last 7 days while I’ve only slept. And in all this chaos he also has managed to go to office and work.

Marriage isn’t only about being a great spouse, it’s sometimes also about being a parent. He has not made me miss my mom by taking care of me just like she would. Yes as a husband – the love and the surprises and all the little things he does – he has always been special but in the last 7 days of my illness he has been not just my husband, but my mom and my dad all packed into one  – and to me that is what makes a great husband.

To My Love Addiction – My Little Bundle of Joy

This post was selected for BlogAdda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks


This day – 12 months ago I held the tiny little you in my arms; you refused to open your eyes or even smile. All you did was cry and cry, and sleep peacefully in your mom’s arms. Day 1 in this whole new world would have been intimidating with too many big creatures moving all around you. You the tiny 5 lbs baby just like your mom, when she was born. The moment you let out your cry, everyone in the room realized you were blessed with my decibel levels – your mavshi’s voice. Hahahaha I smiled, God has a funny way of doing justice, Didi has been irritated with my voice for her entire life as far as I can recollect and now she’d have to face the little me in you and love you even more! Revenge is sweet they say.

When I held you in my arms that day, we made a silent pact – I will love you to no limits and spoil and pamper you loads. Grandpa, grandma, mummy, papa are there to discipline you; but our bond is different – it’s special isn’t it?

I’ve watched you grow over the last 12 months online (God bless Skype). Throw tantrums, shout at will, talk endlessly (only your uncle MDH understands what you talk), fiddle around with the keyboard, look in awe at your own videos, laugh loudly when mom says “Telling Lies, Hahahaha”, prance around the house, refuse to sit still when talking to Mavshi, try and hit the computer screen to see if you can get hold of us, and dance the moment you hear the song “Darrrrling”.

You are hyperactive, you are naughty, you are endlessly chattering, my dear little princess Ira I see the little me in you; that is what my mom and Didi’s mom tell me, that’s what Didi tells me.  But you are a bit of us, when you are lost in thoughts it reminds me of your mother, when you smile you resemble your paternal grandpa, when you are in high spirits you look like your dad, but overall you look like our youngest cousin – almost a replica!

You know you are special, you just know that; born after years to my family’s favorite person. Your mother is my mom’s favorite niece; well she is just about everybody’s favorite person.  She always gets precedence over me. I hated her when I was growing up – Miss Perfect, Miss Obedient, Miss Who-never-raises-her-voice, Miss Mature, Miss Who-takes-care-of-one-and-all, Miss Who-never-argues. All my life I heard, “Minu learn something from Didi, why are you just the opposite”. You do realize what torture I went through as a kid. She was not all Miss-Two-Goody-Shoes always, she troubled me, pulled pranks on me and then put up her innocent face and since I was the naughty one, it was always my fault.

I don’t know when we became friends from sisters, when I realized she is my favorite person in the world, when I had to confide in her all my secrets, when I had to seek advices on all things that mattered! And after all these years, she and Jiju gifted you to all of us!

You my princess, my bundle of joy, you whom I have to see once in 2 days, you whom I cannot wait to meet and hold in my arms, you who are my love addiction, you my niece? No, you are my little daughter.

You celebrate your first birthday today, my little angel, my little thinker; we wish that may all your wishes come true and life be full of happiness for you and the people around you.

There will be many more to come – but this one will remain special – just as the moment when I first held you in my arms.

Mum’s the Word…

When my best friend’s mom used to praise the 10-year old me: “Minu’s mumma, she is such a quiet child, so well behaved”. Mumma would say calmly,”Who are you talking about, my daughter the rebel, talks at the top of her voice and argues incessantly, can I exchange this girl you mentioned with her?”

When my uncle was praising my mum’s voice and how they regret that she never pursued singing; I asked her why she did not, she replied calmly,”Cause your loud voice shut me up”

The day before my marriage when all my aunts and mom cried, I did not react at all; I then woke up mom at 1.00 in the night after I realised I won’t be returning home that day and started crying, she consoled me and told me me calmly, “Now at 1.00 in the night, when I have to get up at 5.00 in the morning, you realise and decide to cry your heart out”

When I got married and would land up at her place twice a week, “Minu atleast reduce the frequency of visits , I don’t even feel you are married, it’s almost like you stay here and visit your in-laws once a while”

When I moved to Dubai and would insist on calling her everyday or asking her to come on Gtalk,”Minu what do we talk everyday, give me a day’s breather to gather some fodder to tell you”

When I call her at will, when she is least expecting, “Minu I’m out right now or Minu I’m sleeping now, can we talk later”

When I bump into her online unexpectedly, “Hey mumma and you know what happened today, and so I was telling my friend the other day…”, after being patient for 10 minutes I get the following message in my Google Talk Chat Box: “I’m in the middle of my Solitaire game, I’ll buzz you later”

When her son-in-law emails her daughter’s surprise birthday party pictures, she replies only to him, ‘She looks lovely, tell her it takes great luck to find a wonderful husband like you, glad you emailed me, she is too lazy”

When she calls me to wish on my birthday, the phone conversation begins with, “First tell me what did he surprise you with”

When I see her lovely collection of gems and jewellery and say selfishly, “This all is mine, isn’t it? After all I’m your only child”. She looks at me calmly and then recounts the list of her favourite nieces and nephews and their sons and daughters; and how she has kept things for everyone, and says, “No you don’t get to own it all just as a matter of default.”

Sigh! My mumma sure knows how to keep her daughter grounded!

My mumma – sarcastic, forthright, practical, impartial, loved by one and all. There was a strong reason why God chose her as my mother. My dearest mumma – I don’t give her enough credit for the person I’m today!

Another birthday…Another surprise…

MDH is known for his surprises. I’ve often been asked by my friends if I can get him to start a consultancy service wherein he can guide husbands/wives on unique ideas to surprise a spouse. I see it as an idea with loads of potential – can you all help me convince him? If you need proof of his surprises given till date – here are a couple I had blogged about:

The London Surprise

The Big ‘O’ birthday surprise last year

So after a eventful birthday last year – I was expecting a simple one this year. When he gifted me my precious book – Pride and Prejudice I thought there would be no more surprises and we’d spend the day quietly.


But Mr had other plans and so I was told that he had booked a breakfast at Dubai’s famous hotel “Atlantis” – little did I know that we were to go above the hotel not in the hotel!

Ever wondered how Dubai looks from 5000 feet? The Burj Khalifa standing in front of you, the Burj-Al-Arab below you surrounded by the deep blue sea, the Palm Tree entering the ocean, the un-built world islands – giving you the picture of what the world would look like – almost staring into a real-life Atlas, the lovely villas in Jumeirah and finally your own house from the skies!

Last birthday he swept me off my feet with his surprise but this time he ensured I stayed in the skies. Sharing some lovely pictures from the thrilling helicopter ride

Awaiting our turn


The Palm Jumeirah


Burj Khalifa & Skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed Road


Jumeirah Villas


Burj-Al-Arab & The Atlantis


The World Islands in the making


And if this was not enough, he had planned a yacht party with our few close friends which had to be cancelled last minute owing to bad weather:-( Dubai has been having quite chilly winds over the first two weeks of February. We still do get to aboard the yacht and that should happen in a couple of weeks once the weather settles down. So all our friends came home with some incredible gifts making me feel like I was 13 again:-)

Well in a way we both got what we wanted – MDH stuck to his reputation of exceeding his surprises year after year and me – after the unexpected helicopter ride, a nice house birthday party in the evening with few close friends like good old days:-)

Now my friends and family cannot wait for my next birthday – just to check what MDH pulls out of his big “surprises” bag!

Another year…

As another year goes by , you may want to look back and recollect  –

The good, the bad and the ugly,

The people who stood by you and the people who hurt you,

The changes life went through and the challenges that lie ahead,

The little angels to whom you are their favourite uncle & your favourite nephews who were taken away from you cause a few adult egos were hurt,

The relationships that grew stronger and the relationships that fell apart,

The friends who grew closer and the new ones who added joy,

The best friends who moved to different lands but don’t let a day go by without missing you,

The happiness you brought people and the sadness some caused you,

That every year brings a basket full of blessings and a pocket full of miseries,

That you need to remind yourself of only the pleasant experiences.

As we grow older & mature  a lot of things change but some remain unchanged and constant – 

The love of your mother, the pride of your father, the naughtiness of your little sister,

The warmth of your mother-in-law, the smile on the faces of your nieces,

The bliss of a loving family and the peace of nurtured friendships,

And more than anything else – the wife who drives you mad every day, every moment but can’t stop loving you for every single moment of her life…..

So as another year passes by and a new one dawns – we all get together to wish you like we do every year – HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY DARLING – may all your wishes come true on this day and in the year to follow and only happiness and love surround you forever!


The Story of My 2 Daughters

I’ve never been a kids person that is MDH’s domain. I’m rather miserable at it honestly – I don’t know what to entertain them with after a point and how to take the conversation ahead.

Blame it on the fact that I’m one of the youngest among all cousins; and was the kid in the family for long until my nieces and nephews came along. I was 6 when my first niece was born and I did not identify with the concept of “aunt”. My nieces in the age-group of 18-24 are more like my sisters. While they were growing up I was never entrusted with any responsibility, I was their friend or sister. I pamper them like a sis would, not the way an aunt would.

I didn’t identify with what exactly they call “motherly” feeling until I met little “C”. My first neighbour in Dubai, my first family. C used to spend tons of hours at our place entertaining us with her newly found tales of wisdom, song recitals and dance performances. MDH was her best friend, I was her “Mavshi ( mom’s sis)”. When they moved back to Mumbai, MDH and I were left with a void impossible to be filled up again. Fortunately, her parents (P & A) live close to our place in Mumbai and there has not been a single time in our visits back home that we do not meet them and their little angel.

When she started her schooling, she’d wave out to me every morning as she waited for her bus. Not a day went by without our little ritual. Today I have her snap on my mobile  – when my alarm goes off, it’s her smiling face that wakes me up every morning.

As P once told me, I treat you both like her second set of parents. So for me, C will remain my first daughter – the little angel who taught me to love:-)

You pine for someone for so long that when they arrive you don’t know how to react. That’s what happened when my Didi and Jiju’s little angel – Ira stepped into our lives. When I held the little one in my arms on day 1 – I was in complete awe of her. She was so special and she had brought million dollar smiles to the faces of everyone in my family. Didi is the first grandchild on my maternal side and hence her little one was always going to be the special one for all uncles,aunts and us cousins.

Ira is just 4 months old and growing up fast, I last saw her in June – all of 2 months. She has the most sweetest smile in the world, she makes me go weak in my knees. I miss her, I have her picture up on my desktop and the sight of her eases my tensions in office and brings back my lost smile. Yes she has that effect on me. I’ve a lovely video of her on my desktop, the one that MDH shot on his latest trip to India before Didi left for UK.  Ira is crying, laughing, and yawning at the same time. I laugh and cry at the same time every time I see that video. When Didi sends me her latest snaps ( which I get after much pestering cause when it comes to updating my sis is pretty lousy), I land up getting all emotional and start crying – yeah my hormones are playing havoc! Ira is my second daughter:-)

I hate living abroad, I cannot hold my little angels and hug them when I miss them dearly. I can’t be part of their daily lives. All I get is telephonic or email updates and I will get to see them for a few hours/day every year. But I thank god, for blessing me with the presence of these two little wonders in my life.

When I have my kids, will anything change – Nope. I’m an only child but my mom has her two daughters – my Didi( Ira’s mom) and Tai (my paternal cousin) and similarly for me little C and Ira will always remain my 2 daughters for the rest of my life.


Minu you are just like your dad – every time I hear that line, I beam with pride. I have been an out and out daddy’s girl. I’ve inherited his forthrightness, his in-your-face attitude, his loyalty, his faith, his discipline, his practicality, his meticulousness, his tidiness, his organization skills, his temper, and yes fortunately a part of his intelligence.

A brilliant writer with impeccable knowledge, if circumstances were in his favour he would’ve made a brilliant lawyer. A brilliant teacher , I don’t have the exact number of people he taught and trained to clear the promotion exams in Mumbai Municipal Corporation. The house would be full and he would be touring multiple BMC branches to coach the officers without charging a single penny. He believed money cannot compare to the joy one gets from imparting knowledge and seeing your students do well. Even after his retirement I rarely saw him free from work – his work was his passion, his life.

Always the one to help anyone and everyone who came to him, I don’t recollect anyone returning disappointed from our house. A strict disciplinarian and well respected in both families, always the one most sought after for guidance. A mentor, a guide, a loving family man.

The reason behind all the good I’ve achieved in life, the one responsible for my self-belief and confidence and my mumma’s lifeline. The one who built the bridges when mom and I had our numerous fights. The one who made me steaming hot dal-rice when I returned home from my 10th prelim exams. The only one who loved the tea I made ( I do not make tea very well:-()

The person behind my cricket craziness, who encouraged this stupid passion and hobby of mine. The one who got me addicted to the lovely game and watching matches live at stadium. The one who recorded all the cricket matches I missed due to school and college, so that I could watch every ball again. The one who built me a mini-library of books which hooked me onto reading. The one who made me independent and ready for survival in this world. The one to whom I rarely mentioned how much I loved and respected him.

His only flaw – to him his daughter seemed the most perfect person and there was none like her. I would be often embarrassed when he would go on praising me to family and friends but he was always the first one to keep me grounded to earth. All you need in life is balance – my papa taught me that!

I can write a million pages on him but will end this tribute with a poem I wrote for him 5 years ago on his birthday:

Your face lit up
The day you held her in your arms,
Years of waiting, years of prayers,
Had finally brought the smiles.

The man above chose a wonderful day,
To let her walk into your world of two,
The same auspicious day,
He had chosen to unite you two.

Home of two,
Now abode of three,
Two faces smiling and glee,
A little toddler binding thee.

Little lady growing into a brat,
She was your raja, beta and a champ at that,
Driving her mom crazy and mad,
You would convince her mom she wasn’t that bad.

You held her little hands,
Taught her to walk and run on the sands,
Sands of time they were to be,
She knew you would always be there to guide thee.

Every evening she would wait at the door,
For the bell to ring twice,
The unique bell to remind her,
You had come to make her day twice as nice.

Mom knew she was becoming you,
A little version she said,
How will she be without you,
She worried and said.

She would often ponder how you would react:
At her graduating into a young rebel lady,
At her independence in thoughts,
At her getting her first salary,
At her friends who were lovable brats,
At her choice to live away from home,
At her choice to marry the guy she loved,
At her constant arguing with mum,
At the values and principles she developed,
At her every little thing!

She still ponders over and over,
She tries to gauge your reactions,
From the 17 years you spent with her,
Would it be similar to what her mind mentions?

She questions and finds no answer,
Why did god love you so,
To keep you with him forever,
Why was he unfair to take you so.

She is treading carefully on the sands of time,
Looking up to find your assuring smile,
She reaches home and waits aside,
Hoping someday that the doorbell will ring twice!

It is 13+ years since you’ve gone and the void remains, time does not heal and I still miss you Papa every single day of my life.


This post is an entry to the BlogAdda contest – Tribute to Dad. Hoping the lucky ones pick up a great gift for their dads from and wishing all the wonderful fathers a very Happy Father’s Day!

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