The Shiny Blue Car


Photo by 𝗔𝗹𝗲𝘅 𝘙𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘳 on Unsplash

Meera walked in to find a desperate Jessie trying to reason with Danny while he continued unabashedly. His tantrums were getting increasingly difficult to handle. Both caught a glimpse of Meera together and for a moment there was silence accompanied with hope in Danny’s eyes and relief in Jessie’s.

She nodded to Jessie, her eyes conveying a thank you as well as a confirmation that she would now take over. A grateful Jessie took the cue and was gone for a welcome weekend even as Meera looked into Danny’s eyes. However, Danny was looking towards the door in anticipation knowing that unlike Jessie, Meera would take him to the park to show him the shiny blue car. He had calmed down by now, tantrum forgotten.

Meera barely had time to catch her breath but she knew Danny was waiting for this moment. She shut the door after her and led Danny to the elevator. He refused as always, so they went down the stairs. She thanked her stars, yet again, that they were on the first floor. As they exited the colony, there was a sense of purpose in Danny’s steps and expression.

They talked about a lot of things, at least she did and asked Danny many questions but his eyes and ears were on the prize. And then he spotted it first as he always did. He turned to Meera and gave his broadest toothless smile! Meera was laughing. Danny’s happiness was always infectious.

Meera thought of her own childhood. Oh yes! She was a wilful child. She had to go to the park every evening. Her mother would chide her on days it was raining or if her father were late and a tantrum would ensue till her father got home.  No matter how tired or how late, her father used to take her to the park. She would ride the merry-go-round to her heart’s content and then onto the swing; higher and higher till the air was filled with her mirthful laughter.

Danny was inspecting the car from all angles. Once done, he looked at Meera and broke into a limerick. She laughed. Clearly, Danny was on cloud nine. They walked in the park for a bit and headed back home. Another day came to an end. Meera looked at Danny’s peaceful expression. He was fast asleep. He looked so vulnerable. She kissed him on his forehead ever so lightly and went to make herself a cup of tea.

Meera thought of all that had happened in the past five years. Danny needed to go to the park whenever he got restless and there was no talking him out of it. Meera never tried. And that was the cause of her divorce. Her devotion to Danny was something her husband could not stand. He never felt like a priority. She loved and cared for him and he did know that but at a pinch, she would stand by Danny. Then, that day came. Meera skipped an important event of his life, a milestone, to be with Danny. That was the last straw. She could have called Jessie, he had screamed.   

Her life was mostly confined to the home and the park, of course. She worked from home and was in a healthy place, financially. Every Friday, she would spend the day out of the home for shopping, a movie perhaps, catching up with friends and recharging her batteries. On Fridays, Jessie filled in the long hours, patiently. Meera sent in a silent prayer for her. She was instrumental in keeping her sanity and she was so grateful for her.

Thus, life carried on.

One beautiful spring afternoon, Danny looked restless again. There was still time for the park. The weather was beautiful and Meera was somehow in an exceptionally happy mood. She humoured him and asked him, if he would like a walk to the park. His face lit up. They went up to the park, this time leisurely. For the first time, in a while, he held on to her arm. This surprised her and made her very happy to the point where she had to battle her tears. And then, her worst fears came to pass. The Shiny Blue Car was not there.

She sensed panic in the hand that gripped her. Why had she come early? Danny started showing symptoms of the tantrum. Meera kept the calm in her voice and said a million things to soothe him but it began to get worse. He was beside himself. She had not seen him get this bad before. She had no clue what to do. As her mind began to race, the shiny blue car appeared and parked itself on the spot. Danny began to calm down. They walked towards the car as the driver exited. Danny looked at it slowly but for the first time without mirth. He was quiet. And for all the scene he had created, he was ready to head back home.

They walked backed quietly. Both visibly shaken. On getting home, instead of sitting on the chair by the window which was the ritual, Danny went to his bed and lay down. Meera sat beside him and held his hand without saying anything. He drifted off to sleep. A slumber he never woke up from.



How majestic is the car that’s blue

Nothing to match its hue

It stands there all day

Not in anyone’s way

No matter how old, it’s shiny and new!


In the fond Memory of

Shri. Ajit Krishnakant Dandekar

11Nov1929 to 22Oct2015

A Good Human Being. A Good Citizen. A Loving Husband. The Best Father.


You will be missed Daddy…



Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of Dementia affect more than 55million worldwide as on date and is estimated to cross 78 million by 2030 (Facts & Figures: Bright Focus Foundation). Most of the caregivers are unpaid, usually members of the family. Two-thirds of the caregivers are women and one thirds of these are daughters.

 It affects 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men. It can be prevented and delayed with healthy dietary habits, physical exercise, meditation, social interactions, keeping the brain active and getting tested when early signs of memory lapses set in.

When we retire from work, we do not retire from life. Let us keep ourselves engaged and if we have aging parents, let us keep them occupied and give them the attention they gave us when we were growing up. Let us make them feel relevant. Let us use their experience to better ourselves and our world. Life is precious no matter what age. Today it is someone else, tomorrow it could be us.


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