Dor


एक धागा है

एक नाज़ुक रेशमी डोर

जो मुझको ज़िन्दगी से बांधे है

वक़्त के साथ मैंने जाना कि

उसका एक नाम भी है


– माँ

Being a daughter, old age and the empty nest


This is a Blogadda Spicy Saturday Pick

Best Spicy Saturday of 2010. Top 25 .Yay

“Mother wait a little longer,
Till my little wings are stronger,
Then I will fly away.”

When my first-born Adi started school he was barely three. I remember how happy he was on the first day of the pre school on that fine winter morning. All dressed in a new set of clothes, carrying a small colorful school bag and a million dollar smile in his eyes which travelled to his lips the moment we reached the school gate.

He just ran inside and suddenly realising that he had forgotten me, turned and waved. I gave him a flying kiss and just as I turned to go back I felt the first pang of loneliness. My child had taken first step away from me in a new direction which led to his own world where I will be just a spectator.

I held back the tears and smiled. I had given him the wings now it was his turn to soar.

I don’t think I really felt that I had taken that first step towards ” empty nest syndrome”. It was all about Adi discovering, exploring and learning. That is what we were taught as little kids. To blossom.

After four years Shubhang came into my life and again the same process of preparing him to expand his horizons began and soon he too started his play school. Both the boys were very fond of their school and never missed a single day. Life was opening it’s gates for them one by one and each one of them was taking a new step every day just a little further from me.

It was at that time I remembered my parents  and how they  had given their unconditional support and love  for me to spread my wings and fly.

Now at the age of 78 she is alone. My father passed away four years back and since then I have seen struggle between the independence she is used to and the love and support she needs due to frail health and old age. My parents always believed in living independently and while my dad was alive they stayed on their own inspite of raised eyebrows and wagging tongues. Everyone thought it was my brother’s moral duty to look after the aging parents and he never shrugged from it but  dad believed in “not being dependent” till they can manage.

They left for Pune and stayed in Athashree , a unique housing complex only for elderly. The decision made the relatives gossip. Although it was their own decision and I think a right one then also everyone made us feel guilty. The place was well-connected, and had all the facilities but because Old Age Homes are such a taboo in our society that both of us kids had to listen to hundreds of accusations.I don’t know why sending old parents to old age homes has such a negative connotation in India. Sometimes we are left with no option.

Putting children on guilt trips is not right in my opinion. Some children do leave opportunities, like my hubby did , to stay with their parents  but ultimately how right it is , is the question.

With my father gone , my mom wanted to live independently and pursue whatever she had dreamed of. Travel, attend concerts, plays, meet friends, and much more but the idea of her staying alone in a big city scared us.

I felt for the first time the disadvantage of being born as a daughter. Why is it that once a girl is married her role in her parent’s life finishes and it is the always the male child who is suppossed to look after and care for the old parents. I realised that for every visit, for calling them to stay over when dada was busy or touring, for going out with mom , I had to seek permission and face lot of questioning and hear continuous saga about why I should bother about them when my brother and his wife  are  there, once married I was supposessed to only look after my parents in-law. Daughters are ” paraya Dhan” once married off they belong mind ,body and soul to the their husbands and in-laws that’s the norm and I question it very strongly. Why should a girl leave per parents who gave her birth, taught her the basics of life and made her what she is today ?Twice when one of my parents was ill and brother needed help, I was forcefully, accusingly denied to go and care for them by my in-laws. Things changed a bit when my ma in law herslef fell ill and I came to her rescue. Still she very grudgingly “allows” me to go see ma when I am needed by her. As if she is doing me a favor by allowing me to visit my old mom. How disgusting that is.

That really irritated me. Why do we expect the girl to look after the guy’s parents only and leave her own to their own destiny? How many times is it that a guys takes interest in caring for his in laws?

When I got married into a traditional orthodox family ( mine was a supposed love marriage , I knew the guy but not the family), on every step I discovered how further I was getting away from my own parents. It was a transition I had to make from a daughter to a daughter in law and trust me it is not easy at all.

Many parents expect the kids to sacrifice their happiness for the sake of the their ego and that leave me speechless, because I always think that Parenthood teaches selflessness, to love and respect your kids unconditionally.

There are always two extremes , of children throwing parents out in their fight for property or any other issue and the parents accusing children of  leaving them behind ”  to pursue their dreams. Both the situations are sad. Why can’t their be a solution. There the role of housing societies for elderly comes.

Coming from a liberated, modern background of free thinkers, it hit me hard to accept and mould myself  most of the times unwillingly to age-old customs, rituals and doctrines. The battle continues. Having no financial independence has limited my say.

Job opportunities  take children away leaving old parents to themselves and in such cases if there is not much choice why not opt for such a society where elderly people stay and enjoy life with all facilities, safety and medical care.

Here in our society people are too rigid to go to counsellors, to live in homes for the elderly, to pursue interests and plan their own lives after retirement and once kids start living their lives, whether living with them or  far away. Parents thing they own their kids and treat them like puppets. one statement that I often hear in my in law’s home is ” we have given them birth, educated them , spent so much on them, now its time to pay back. “.. I often think how cruel this mentality is and what effect it will have on children and their future.

I feel parents should give their children their identity and wings to fly and children. In our society it’s a sad situation for both girls and boys. The goal of the parents is to get the daughter married and here I talk of the majority of parents and for boys they have a set pattern of educating them to get them on some job depending on their ability and then demand the payback of all their years of raising them up. They are slaves who have to follow every thing parents tell them from job to marriage to their choice of girl and then how to lead their lives without becoming Joru ka Gulam ( thanks IHM for the phrase). They never let go , clinging on to them, judging each decision kids take especially the mothers for they have little else to involve them in later years.

Erma Brombeck says.

It is those mothers who cannot accept the loss of the supervisor’s role who turn themselves into controlling mothers/mothers in law in later years. Adults should not only teach their children to be independent and rejoice in it, they themselves should learn to be independent and rejoice in a job well done too.

I always wonder who eventually becomes their Budhaape ka sahara , the DIL or the son? While he continues to enjoy life as before , she leaves her job and sits at home to care for them and listen to their taunts. The fact that feel unwanted is nothing to do with old age , I know friends who keep complaining about their school going children esp sons and how they make the parents feel unwanted so the question of old age loneliness is nothing to do with feeling of being unwanted.

There is always a comparison to joint families of their times but now a days where there are 1-2 kids and nuclear families  the old-fashioned thing can’t work out and that becomes beyond their closed understanding.

There are parents who have progressed and moved ahead with changing times but what’s the percentage ?

We are all conditioned to the thought of ” not to let go” and that creates the problem and old people have difficulty in filling the void.

I feel blessed that my parents gave me an upbringing where I can detach myself from my kids and let them be. When Adi turned 18 this year I posted a post for him. I gave him roots and wings as a present.

Life is a bitter-sweet symphony and one loves to be wanted but not really at the cost of the happiness of our children. I hope the mind-set would change and kids will be treated as people and not just a part of the parents.

As Gibran says ,

“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”

I love my mom, go and meet her at times, care about her and so does my brother in his own way but from parents to children we are all independent beings above all relationships. The teachings I got from my parents I have instilled in my children inspite of all the pressures from my orthodox in-laws and I hope the kids too will never hold their children captive, physically or emotionally.

Blogging , writing , music, travel I have a lot of things I would love to pursue when my boys go away . What is your plan ?

Agony and Ecstacy


It was the night of Pain. It came slowly and gently. Caressing the entire body, making it numb, overpowering it. I was aware of it’s coming. I was conscious of the pain. I accepted it and slowly gathered my positive healing energies to befriend it.

I allowed the natural forces to heal my body. My senses were alert, I became the pain for that moment. The physical pain is part of life but it is the psychological pain that needs to be tackled.It needs to be dissolved. When my mind took over the physical pain it turned it into the psychological pain and created a problem. Thinking about it always does. Reality never is a problem but the ideas that come with it are the real source of problem. If you are able to dissolve that pain you start living in that moment.

Psychological pain is a thing of past as the mind exist only in the past or future, reality exists in the present.

Osho says

“The mind and body are closely related and not antagonistic towards each other as other religions depict them. They tell you to deprive the body of its needs by fasting and torture it to enrich the soul. Osho says exactly the opposite. Love your body, talk to it, share your problems with it and it will respond.”

So I talked with my body and asked it and myself if I was holding up any grudge, any tension or any suppressed emotion. Consciously I started to dissolve it but I needed professional help. My Akka is a pranic healer and has done many distant healing sessions for me.

I called her and explained . The pain, the heat ,the drained out feeling everything. She advised me to have a spoonful of onion juice to cure the inner heat and relax. Slowly the pain started to melt away.

How did it happen? What is pranic healing?

I need to do a write up on this soon. It has helped me in past too, in conditions of extreme discomfort and pain. I found that it brought immediate relief to me.

Pranic Healing is an ancient science and art of healing that utilizes prana or ki or life energy to heal the whole physical body. It also invloves the manipulation of ki and bioplasmic matter of the subject’s body.

It not only makes you­ aware of the aura aro­und the­ huma­n body -­ t­he ­’chakras’­ (energy centers) and their effects o­n our health, but also teaches us how to feel or scan the­ aura and determine which parts of the chakras may be affected. By learning about energy, we become more conscious about its ubiquitous presence.

I learned that by focusing on a specific area, or specific illness I was able to reduces it’s symptoms. Having faith in the healer and her therapy helped me concentrate and release the discomfort. Guess it is time to learn the art.

I have been doing healing myself but do not know what to call it. I have seen my son’s temperature go down, even distant healing had proved very beneficial but one needs to learn the correct method and maybe if my mind and body are receptive to the healing energies around me, I should learn to use them for friends and family.

Awareness, acceptance and loving oneself is the key to good health.
So the pain subsided and i found the reason. Maybe I was stressed and fatigued emotionally, mentally and physically and the more I though about it the more I suffered.

Time 10 o’clock in the morning.

The board results are finally out and Adi has done wonderfully as expected by him. The best gift to him is that the friend whom he was teaching and who had no chance of even clearing the boards got 62%. It made both the kids so proud of their hard work. I saw the happy smiling faces and said a little prayer.

It is a good thing to be humble and helpful. Adi has these qualities and it makes me feel good as a parent.

The party is due now for all the friends and Sunday seems a good day for it.

Here’s wishing them luck for the future.

Rock on guys !!!

The agony turned into ecstasy and the body in a state of lovingness, healed itself completely.

Life is beautiful once again and it is because I am beautiful within..

A NaBloPoMo post

I WON !!!!! YAY!!!! A Thank You Hug to All


The feeling is yet to sink in. 😀 .. After weeks of networking I finally made it to the top three and won the third place in the Mother’s Day blog Contest organized by IndusLadies.

Here is my entry which got me the prize

I Am What I Am Mamma Thanks To You(Indus Ladies mother’s day blog contest entry)

This entry got the maximum number of blog comments and was picked up by BlogAdda as

Spicy Saturday pick

I thank BlogAdda for the recognition it gave me as a blogger.

It was an out n out networking competition and many prolific writers participated in it. Some entries did not reach the top ten or top three due to lack of proper networking but they do deserve a special mention here .

Pal of Crocodile Tales

Ugich Konitari Guppa
are the two which really were awesome posts and deserved to win .

I would like to Thank IndusLadies, Ritu ( my friend, mentor and organizer of the contest), all those wonderful friends who voted for me, my kids and their friends who did major chunk of networking for me, Indiblogger and other communities,My firends ,communities on social networking sites like like Facebook, Orkut which supported me all through and most of all My Mother without whose love and unconditional support this would not have been possible.

A perfect mother’s Day gift for me 🙂

So here is a PKJ to everyone (pyar ki jhappi)

Thank you and Cheers!!!!!!!!!

Time now to celebrate 😀

I Am What I Am Mamma Thanks To You(Indus Ladies mother’s day blog contest entry)


impressions

The telephone rang in the morning.

“Can you come over this weekend to help me pack?”

“Help you pack? Are you going somewhere?”

“Yes, I am off to Greece.”

I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Then my initial disbelief turned into a smile. That’s my mom, full of tremendous courage, sense of adventure and a never-ending passion for life.

It was an inspiration and a joy to watch her child like enthusiasm. She had always dreamed of traveling around the globe.

Not at all concerned about her frail health, her age factor, or traveling alone or any such issue she went on to live her dream and came back beaming with excitement and fond memories of the two countries she visited Turkey and Greece.

We were happy for her and thought that now that her desire to travel has been fulfilled we can relax. But within a year she was packing for her sojourn in china. I asked her if she had any more surprises up her sleeves. She laughed and said, “Life is short and there is so much to see and enjoy”.

Recently the whole family had gathered to celebrate her birthday. The laughter, sighs and animated voices filled the house as my mother narrated stories from her life and recent travels. Working in the kitchen I smiled as I imagined the 78year old graceful woman, full of life and joy surrounded by her teenage grandchildren.

I wondered why it took me so much time to really understand and know my mother and the answer was simple enough, maybe I never looked at her beyond the image of a parent. I felt a wave of regret pass over me thinking how much I had missed in life

I went and kept my head in her lap trying once again to be the child whose life completely revolved around her mother.

I had always admired the inner strength and courage and her belief in herself that she had all through the life but it was amazing to see her so full of life even with declining health and old age.

Eldest amongst her five siblings, Ma was born in an average middle class family of educationists. She spent her early years in Theosophical Society Banaras. Her parents supported her in pursuing higher education. She had a very sound cultural background and always mentioned that she was fortunate to have been born and brought up in that time and place.

She had to share the responsibilities of taking care of an ailing mother, younger siblings and had to work from an early age. She taught in residential schools at many places away from her family for a long period of time. Marriage and children added to her responsibilities as she singlehandedly managed home and work.

Nine years after her first child she could finally afford to have another baby. I was born under difficult circumstances. A complicated case of Placenta Previa put our life in danger with nil chances of survival especially for me. As they say destiny is nothing but the strength of your desires we both lived and there in my mother’s arms we reassured our bond that would last a life time.

Ma wrapped up all her dreams and desires and although she had many opportunities she made us her fist preference.

At the age of 60 she retired from govt. service and was just picking up the loose ends of her life when my father fell ill. For the next 10 years it was a test of her mettle and took a toll on her health but even in those adverse circumstances she never gave up.

My father passed away and suddenly there was a vacuum in her life. Tired and broken from the struggles of life she intended to live quietly in some old age home but we insisted that she start her life afresh.

Slowly the spark which had got weighed down by work and responsibility became a flame again and her passion for life returned.

Once again we saw the glow and child like curiosity and sense of adventure in her. Even now people find it difficult to believe the kind of enthusiasm and zest she has for life.

After 17 years of marriage and becoming a mother myself I realized I had lost myself somewhere and felt empty from within. Ma constantly encouraged me to find my place in the bigger scheme of things and do justice to my existence on earth. Her attitude toward life inspired me to become what I am today.

I learned to fight my own battles, to speak for myself, assert my individuality and un-warp my dreams and realize them. Protecting and nurturing me, she gave me courage and unconditional love and support to rise above the challenges, just the way she herself did.

Now at the age of forty one, with my boys grown up, I too have decided to follow my passion to write, to explore the possibilities that lie ahead of me. I am now truly proud to be my mother’s daughter in every sense of the word.

She helped me become a better human being, a much more confident woman and a responsible person.

It is such a joy to watch her take on life with so much zest. At her age she is one of the most daring mothers I have come across. Always ready to try and do something new. She even enrolled herself in a Spanish language course lest her wanderlust should take her to the land of Flamenco dancers.

I closed my eyes as her soft fingers caressed my hair. Slowly a tear tricked and slid down my cheeks. I wrapped my arms around her and snuggled closer.

I could still hear the continuous rambling of the four friends around me and now it was her joyous laughter and children’ chirpy stories that filled the evening air.

“Did you have a blogger mom and a net savvy super cyber grandma, Nani?” My little one asked her.

“I have.”

I heard the pride and affection in his voice.

Oh yea, Net savvy all the way I smiled to myself. She signed up on Facebook and Orkut to communicate with people of different places and learned the tricks of cyber world in no time.

It is with a very warm feeling of pride and love that I write about her today. A mother every girl would want to have, a grandmother whom the grandchildren treat like a friend and above all a woman of substance that even the Creator would feel proud of.

The treasure of life and the small things that I learned from her about living life have enriched me and made me what I am today.

I wish her good health and many a glorious years ahead.

IL Mother’s Day Competition