A Gift of Discernment – For A Better World


I believe that Parenthood teaches selflessness, to love and respect your kids unconditionally. Parents teach the children to be independent and rejoice in their blossoming. Both my sons are adults now and when I look back I think all I ever taught them was to shed everything that hindered their growth as human beings and accept themselves as and who they are. This covered almost everything that needed to be said.  As a mother I believed that what I could teach by example I could not by words.

My parents taught me the value of discernment and take independent decisions and that is exactly what I instilled in my boys. To be discerning without being judgmental. It was an uphill task in the kind of environment they were growing up in. To keep their minds from being polluted by  age-old rituals, customs and doctrines was an everyday struggle but I stood my grounds and made sure the boys learned to use their minds and not follow what the adults in the family or in the social milieu shoved down their throat. Since early years both the boys were encouraged to travel, explore, learn from the way people lived. To have a hunger for experiencing life at different levels. Independently. It was a challenge they had to undertake to refine themselves, to shun the comfort zone. To survive in all sorts of conditions. Build immunity, sensitivity, compassion towards life in all its forms. To value life and engage with it with an open mind and a student heart. I believed that exposure would enhance the personality and it did. Most of the times the ordinary things, the experimentation, the willingness to ask question does extraordinary things to children’s psyche. It teaches them important skills and to look beyond what is right in front of them.

I knew the importance of a dialogue, conversations, questioning, airing the differences fearlessly and with a trust that they will not be judged or reprehended. Freedom to converse without inhibition or fear helped them form their own opinions and choose what was right. That they could speak up their mind was largely due to the trust we shared.  It is a friendship that we share even now.  Once you rise above the relationship and treat the children simply as fellow human beings the approach to life changes. They become confident, curiosity helps them to expands their horizons inwardly as well as outwardly and a foundation for critical thinking is laid.

My boys had a privilege to experience two very different perspectives on ‘how to live a life’. A liberal, freethinking one from their maternal side and an orthodox, ritualistic one from the other. I think it helped them form their own set of values for life. They also learned from my limitations and sufferings. It made them a champion for women’s rights. Another major aspect was to make them aware of themselves so that they accept themselves as and who they were. I remember one of my sons asking me how I would react if he told me one day that he was gay or bisexual. I said it was his life and his sexual orientation or the way he is biologically. There was nothing to ‘react’. It is what it is. He asked if I would accept it. I replied that the question of acceptance doesn’t arise because it is ultimately His Life not mine. The fact that I would be by his side if needed was enough to make him comfortable with his choices I guess. I belive and taught them that unless you love yourself as who you are you can not love others nor others can love you. Loving oneself is an important lesson in life. To value the life we are given and live it well. Brief as it is.

The knowledge that I neither considered or treated the boys as my extension nor tied them to my apron strings helped them and me to lead a normal guilt free life in which we had mutual respect for each other, learned from each other and grew up together. Children are keen observers and often make decisions based on their understanding of life. To help them in this process all that is needed is a slight nudge. They have an agenda of her own. Suddenly one saw that the role of a mother as imagined or perhaps, vaguely understood could be questioned. Please! Can I not live my own life? Do I have to answer for each little thing I do? I am disgusted with this refrain “it is for your own good”. I know what it means and I can take care of myself – thank you! There is much heartbreaking pain and avoidable conflict. An uneasy kind of friendship develops as the teens are about to end, and one hopes that some understanding and maturity comes along to make life a little less rough – not for the daughter or son alone but also for the mother too. It is phase that strengthens the bonds without turning them into a noose. All one has to do is understand where they are coming from and help them deal with it if required. Unnecessary involvement in their daily struggles irks them at times.

I feel children who do not carry the burden of ‘teaching’ turn out to be better adults. I have seen around me the all engulfing apron strings, the controller moms who invade the very fabric of their son’s life till the core and leave it tattered. Mothers who just do not know where to draw the line. The worse thing a mother can do is to smother the child with ‘love” stunting their personalities. I cut the umbilical cord for my sanity and for the betterment of my children. They were loved and cared for but never became the primary focus of my passion and preoccupation. For the children to grown up without any mental, emotional, sexual dysfunction it is essential not to suffocate them. Being a free-spirited person myself it wasn’t difficult to instill it in my boys.

Growing up with them has been a wonder filled experience. Still is. I know I am the most unconventional mom but I love just the way it is. Now, I am looking at my life afresh, from their perspective, sharing a more mature friendship which began from the  time I conceived them. A beautiful detached attachment. Motherhood has made me a better person and to sum it all in one sentence I would say, “Let your children be. You can’t teach a sapling how to grow; you can only give it all it needs, sit back and watch.” In doing so you are not just making them good citizens but most importantly better human beings; and in the end, that is all that matters. This post is written for the #MomsforaBetterWorld Project

Update 

Participation Prize Winner 

Advertisements

On Being A Mother And A Woman , In That Order


“If you don’t like where you are in life, there comes a point when you must give up the part of you that’s keeping you back.” –Dr. Sonya Friedman Best friends- mother and son Kid 2 embarked on a new adventure in his life today. It gives me immense pride to see my little boy begin his college life. Till the time children are in school we usually consider them as kiddos and then in a blink of an eye  they grow up.  Since last few years I saw the handsome lad mature into a responsible, thinking young man. Something that happened too quickly in the case of my first-born. The kid grew up too soon. That’s another story most of you know by now. It is hard to be a mother and harder  to be a woman at the same time. Why am I reversing the order? Because that is how I want you to look at it for now. I had thought I will never bring up this subject again but things don’t always go the way you want them to go.

Once a female child is born, she  immediately sides into the role assigned to her by the society – of a daughter, sister, wife, mother so on and so forth. The first robe of role-playing that the baby girl is wrapped in grows with her infant body, taking her through the long tedious  journey into womanhood. Somewhere she shrinks into nothingness and all one can see is the role she is playing at a particular stage in her life. Am I being too bitter and judgmental? Maybe, but this is how I see an average woman’s life especially in my country. So what happens when this infant begins to acquire a mind of her own, when her body begins to stir  and revolt under all those layers of responsibilities etc? What happens when she finds she has a voice? What happens when at some point of time in her life she throws away those cumbersome layers that draped her individuality and breaks free? She is condemned for life. She is called names. She is looked down upon and  society begins to foam at mouth and picks up weapons of filth to fling at her. Thinking for oneself is not acceptable. How can a woman think for herself? Who is she anyway? Some women disagree and step out of their “boundaries” their “line of control” irrespective of  the repercussions that would follow. Some “adjust” and ” compromise” for various reasons and stay confined within the four walls of their “home”.  Consumed by the fire that burns in them.

In a society where maternal love is revered it is difficult to digest the fact that a mother can walk out of  a bad marriage leaving her children behind. Men do it all the time but women are judged harshly. They are called “cold-blooded” “inadequate” “shameless”. How can a mother leave her children? It is sacrilegious. Taboo. “What kind of mother are you?” Someone asked when I said my boys stay with their father and I have been away from them since last two years. “You abandoned them?” Pat came another question and by this time I was beginning to feel guilty again for the umpteenth time since I crossed that threshold of the house I lived in with my kids, husband and in-laws.

“No, I did not abandon them. (The word is very upsetting ) I see them regularly, talk to them almost daily. They come and stay over at my place. We are closer than ever before.. I think so..” my voice began to fail me here. Leaving your marriage is the biggest challenge one faces in life. For twenty years I stayed in an unfulfilled marriage not knowing which way to go. I was economically dependent and had no confidence to break away and start all over again. The boys were small and needed me. I wanted to stay with them, watch them grow, give them all the love and support they needed from a parent, be their friend, be there when they needed me. I did that as best I could but then something snapped within one day. I had to take the hardest decision of my life. To stay in the marriage which had lost its meaning or walk away. Choice 2 meant leaving the boys behind. At that moment I did what I felt was right. I left. I broke the news to my sons (15&19 at that time) and hoped they would understand. I believed they did. convinced myself. They put up a brave front and stood side by side with me but the sound of their hearts crushing into trillions of pieces shot through me like a comet leaving me throbbing with unsaid hurt and a permanent feeling of  guilt. Still somehow I could not bring them to stay with me nor could I go to live with them. We had to part to discover each other. The fact that I did not ever feel guilty enough to reverse my decision made things worse. In the eyes of others it was “cruel” in plain and simple words. I often talked with my boys about it and knew how difficult it was for them to show support for my action when inside they were hurting. No child can be happy in such circumstances but I often wonder if they were growing up as happy kids in the kind of environment they were living in. What changed by my leaving? The house was same, people were same, it was same shit they were facing anyway and now without my support. It was worse or was it? Only they can tell.

I have heard people whisper “All that fight for dignity and respectful living is fine and dandy but how could she do this? I could never leave my babies at any cost.” Well, it is what it is. I left at a time I believed they would understand my action. I am sure they did or they would not have had anything to do with me. The fact that we are still together no matter where we are speaks volumes. Some day I would want to know honestly what went through their minds but till then i am not assuming. There are times when I ache for togetherness. It is a lonely battle one has to fight if one chooses to break the norms. I began to start afresh, learned to be financially independent, though still legally married and still dependent on my mom and brother as I stay in their home, I am finally able to choose what I want to do with my life , with myself. Sometimes it feels like a bigger trap , more space but still a sand box. It is fine till the time I play inside it, stepping out isn’t an option but for now I am good with it. At least I am breathing without ventilator.

It is unfortunate and very tragic how the course of events in one’s life can affect children. They do bounce back and begin to live a normal life but somewhere the heart longs for the times spent together. It is the same with parents. I won’t say its just the mothers who go through this, fathers too suffer. I told myself over and over that kids need love and support and don’t want someone to fight their battles that they do on their own. They chart their own paths. One just needs to be there to encourage and give them that opportunity to grow and expand their horizons. It doesn’t matter if that’s done living together or elsewhere. I have been there for my boys no matter what  and whenever they needed me but today somehow the deluge was too much to contain. Caught between rock and hard surface I sat here in my room getting updated on the progress of how things were shaping up as Kid 2 prepared to leave to other city to join the college. An important mile stone in his life. I wasn’t there in the last two important years of his school life and the fact that I could not give him a proper hug and wish him luck by physically being there broke me completely. Some emotions are private and I cried my heart out into the pillow. For the first time I longed for two strong arms around me. A shoulder to keep my head on and just pour it all out. We weren’t engineered for being lonely. It is tough at times especially when you are mushy and a sucker for love.

The sun is about to set in my city and soon the night will come bringing another rush of memories. Memories of all that I lost and found in my struggle to juggle various roles as a woman and somewhere I would stand and watch myself , the “me” that is now and wonder was it worth it ? I don’t know what the answer will be today but most of the day it is “YES”. Even with this burden of gratitude I am carrying of being “taken back in the fold of my maternal home”. Even with the knowledge that I owe my “independence – economical and otherwise” to someone without whom it would have been a different story all together. Even though it is a bumpy, uphill task to live day-to-day and struggle to keep my voice strong It is Worth every bit of it. I will miss our weekly meetings, fun and laughter, cooking especially for him, hanging out in favorite joints but we will be connected none the less. he didn’t meet as often as Kid 1 but his absence will be strongly felt.

This is the second time the brothers are being separated. Earlier it was when I had to send Kid 1 to he boarding school. Another hard decision I would have preferred not to take. I know they will miss each other more than anything. One day each one has to take their own path and go in different directions, the hearts say connected none the less. I know my boys will understand and not judge me harshly. I know they will treat the women in their lives and for that matter any woman anywhere with the respect they deserve. I know things will not stay the same.  I know that wherever we go we will never be far away. The love and friendship we share will strengthen with time and we will always be able to float above the so-called ” social norms and code of conduct”. I wish my boy all the very best in life and success in the path he chosen. I am there for him always in any way he wants. I have a lot to say to the elder one and some day we will sit down , just the two of us, and talk to each other as two friends should but till then I just want to say I am a very proud and happy mother. Thank you for being in my live and enriching it. You guys are the best friends I have .

Stay strong , Stay Focused. Love you. please excuse the typos and random flow of thoughts.   Republished on BellBajao Blog 

UPDATE – It has been eight years now and I have no financial stability, very little saving, no job and my search for a ‘home’ continues. Natal home is not where I want live for my remaining life. It is a burden too heavy to carry.  Not having a steady income and healthy issues among other things have tightened the noose around my neck but I am striving hard to find a way out. This post may have shades of sentimentality but I am wiser now and perhaps a fresh post is needed. Some day I will get down to write it.

Monday Memories 1 – Bottomless Pits, Edible Weapons and More


I was looking for more ways of wasting time and thought of starting a new series called ‘Monday Memories’ .  There are times when some little thing in the present takes you back to some moment in the past. Some bittersweet memory comes floating to you and then the things you remember are more real than the things you see in the present. I always wondered if a moment from past tasted the same . Sometimes it does. You can actually feel, hear, see touch exactly the way you did at that moment or maybe you believe you do and that’s all matters. It keeps you going in hard times, in times of loss, separation, loneliness.

My boys are now grown up and many a time a simple little thing as a pack of cookies, a box of crayon, a song or a sentence in a book sparks a memory of  their childhood, a childhood that was an adventure for them as well as for me, and I realize how those memories are piles in endless stacks inside me.

My elder one is now 21 and I guess we spend 3,000 more hours on our first-born than the second one. Every little thing the child becomes precious. I don’t think I remember his “Firsts ” or  “Lasts” but I do remember some particular incidents that filled my young mother’s heart. Raising boys is not for wimps. It is a challenge only some can endure. I guess I developed eyes at the back of my head when Adi was growing up. He was one little explorer who was curious about anything that he could lay hands on. A complete foodie and an absolutely fearless boy. While I struggled to keep things under control without going insane he invented different ways to bring the house down. Those were moments when I cried and laughed at the same time unable to decide which was the best thing to do.  Never thought that these very incidents will become irreplaceable with time.  I had to think two steps ahead to find a way to involve him while  I went about doing my household stuff. One of them was colors. He would sit for hours totally immersed in various types of coloring material, old newspapers etc and create masterpieces on everything in the color zone including himself. He would then look around quietly, make sure I am not watching and then slip through the door with a riot of color in his little hands. He would pin it somewhere or place it where I will surely see and then hide. Waiting for me to make the move. As I said, I had somehow developed superpowers so I would know exactly what to do. I would pretend to do something right where his treasure lay and accidentally discover it. It was such a joy to see him creatively involved. I would say ‘ look what I found. This is such a beauty and who made this gorgeous piece of art? ” and he would shyly emerge from his hiding place , his eyes sparkling with joy and pride and his a big dimpled smile lighting his face and say , “me’. I would hug and kiss him and we would sit and talk about his masterpiece all covered with colors of love. For many years I kept those paintings and drawings till they were discovered by another curious adventurer who had found the art of dismantling, dissecting, tearing and making new objects what could be  anything from weapons of war to some new inventions of a technical genius. 😀 My second boy was exact opposite of his elder sibling. four years his junior he loved a leisurely peaceful life most of the time. Another bottomless pit was added to my misery. At times I thought I was created for just two things- cook and clean.

Shubhang was always curious about the “hows” and “whys” of life and he practically dismantled anything and everything to observe the intricate machinery that lay within the mundane looking objects.  If a watch was missing we knew where it would be or for that matter bigger things like camera carelessly left unattended. It would all end up in the junk box or will be discovered months later buried under something neatly tied in a bundle. One really needed a high IQ to figure out what that originally was.  Watching him working with rapt attention on some complex toy or gadget that he had decided to open up I would often marvel at the working of his mind at such a tender age. Of course I went into a rage on finding something destroyed for good but then there was some magical spell these boys put on me every time they screwed up something. Yes, they were a gang of two. Partners in crime and vowed to defend and protect each others honor at all times Unless there the offered bait was a better option :D. I had to shell out big time in kind more than in cash to get the desired information. This was the beginning of a very strong bond between them which I can see even now.

One thing one must remember as a mother of growing up boys is that anything can be converted into weapons and landmines. It is through cuts and bruises and spilling of blood one learns this unless you are prepared for it and you never are. You never can possibly know what will burst under your feet or hit you from nowhere. It just isn’t possible to know. I realized it when I watched these brats chew their toasts in shape of guns and shoot each other or target strategic places or people with things they found uninteresting to eat. Although I hovered like a chopper to watch over the proceeding they managed to turn almost anything into a missile. I just had to learn and master the art of being alive.

The space between these memorable moments were filled with hair-raising tales about which I will talk some other time and between those tales of horror I cooked endlessly to fill those bottomless pits. It was something I loved to do till it became the sole purpose of my living. “WHF, I would say , You guys just had your meal” and they would look at me with those innocent puppy eyes and I wold melt like butter on toast and tie my apron once more.

But you know what, although I could kill with bare hands and I got so tired at the end of the day that I wanted the earth to split wide open and take me in I never restricted them in any way. I disciplined them but not at the cost of snatching away their childhood thought they may feel differently.

That bond which we three developed grew with passing years and slowly we rose above the mother-sons  relationship without even noticing it. This is a friendship which I think should be there between all parents and children where the kids aren’t extensions or your subordinates but individuals. You got to respect their uniqueness and intelligence to gain respect and love. You got to listen to them, praise , them, guide them and make them believe in the fact that they can count on you for anything and you value their presence in your life.

Anything is possible in the house with growing up boys. It is fantasy land where you can trip on cars, you got to dodge flying objects and things popping out of no where, where there are no time zones, where there is battles are won and lost every day and you can hear one of the finest remixes and music pieces ever written. It is also a warm cozy zone of love and togetherness, of laughter and craziness, of pains and pleasures that life offers. Here you will find yourself floating in a cocktail of emotions almost all the time. From birth every stage of their enchanting life is an irreplaceable miracle.  You learn the biggest lessons of life and the greatest strategies of survival in this world. You got to enter at your own risk but once in you are part of the gang. Once in never out. That’s what friendships are all about.

This is for my boys with love and a warm hug. I treasure them and very proud to see them all grown up into sensitive, discerning young adults.

Memoir : The Black Trunk


Sharing one of my old posts from another site I used to write for.

An old trunk stood in one corner of the store-room in ma’s home. Black in color. It was a little dusty, reminder of the fact that it has not been opened for some time. I went and wiped it clean and it gleamed again. A smile came to my lips. It was not locked.

My Mother’s trunk.

I remembered how she used to open it on the small terrace, slowly taking out all the contents to air them on a sunny day. The curls of her freshly washed hair played around her lovely oval face. A stray strand of hair would bother her again and again and she would push it back with her slim silvery fingers.

I would stand hiding behind the door ,peeping at the proceedings when she would open her arms to me and say “bitia (little girl), come here and see what’s in here”. I would run and park myself in her lap, breathing in fragrance of her sarees and touch the soft silks, completely mesmerized.

I loved touching them because they resembled her own soft skin.

I would pick up the carved walnut box and open it slowly. A treasure hunt would begin. An old silver surme dani(old-fashioned silver bottle for kohl), some age-old coins, some small pictures of ma when she was a kid and of my grandparents, two curls of hair neatly wrapped in paper which had turned yellow with time. The names on them ..TIKULI AND SUBODH. Our first curls of hair.

I would look lovingly at her and she would smooth my flowing hair. Our eyes would do all the talking. The thought of my mother’s lap still makes me warm all over. I would open the velvet covered small lids of the compartments by inserting my little finger in the holes and discover some old memory.

The box had a mirror on its lid’s inside and that was a secret compartment which opened if you pressed it hard. Some old letters lay behind that, yellow pages tied with a red string. A dry rose in one of them. She would take them lovingly from my hand, watch them and put them back. They certainly were not from my dad,I was sure of that.

The vibrant colors of silk, the reds, blues, greens and gold would create magic with their shimmering texture. I loved the deep red one. My mother’s wedding sari. A benarsi sari with booti work done by hand. A rare sight. They all smelled of clove and of a fragrance which only mother’s clothes have.

Some more little jewelery boxes would emerge from below. A lot of traditional silver arm bands, waist band, necklaces, bichiyas (rings for toes) and rings. I would try them all and pretend to be a princess and ma would laugh and say she will give them all to me in my wedding. That would make my heart swell and I would wrap them all again in the safety of the boxes with expert little hands.

Once the trunk was empty ma would lift the old news paper and under that some hidden money or more letters would see the day light. Letters written by my brother and me as little children to her. She was a working woman and many a times I remained alone at home with dad as my elder brother was in the hostel.

We would read them again together as always. A special bonding session.

Slowly the lot would go back in the trunk to be tucked under one of the diwans.

Today I saw them again the sarees, the letters and the boxes. Two things were missing ..the letters behind the mirror and the walnut box. Letters, ma had decided to keep some place else and the box was given by my dad to their grand-daughter as a remembrance. The heavy silver jewelery remained with her except a few ear rings that I took.

Ma still airs the trunk with the help of the maid and I, at my home, feel the warmth of all the beautiful memories safely tucked in it.

I miss being the little girl. I miss ma’s lap and my dad’s tender love(he is no more). I miss the care and affection and all the fights and tears of joy and pain, the time spent with my brother in what was my home.

I miss being a daughter. I miss home.

Indus Ladies Indian Mommy Bloggers Ebook released


Indus ladies has come out with the ebook for Indian mommy bloggers and I am part of it . It is an honor to be selected among so many entries. Five of my posts are included in the book.

My posts

The IL team has always been very encouraging  and every mother’s day there is something special.

Congratulations to all the wonderful mothers who are part of this lovely gesture from IL.

The link to  ebook of Indian Mommy Bloggers

(749.8 KB, 486 views)

In this ebook, you will find blogs of 59 best Mommy Bloggers in India and over 200 of their best posts.

Feel free to download and share.

once again thank you IL .

🙂  🙂

Yay!!!

cheers to all the mothers everywhere !!!!

Mommy Bloggers List On Indus Ladies


Indus Ladies always has something special for the mommy bloggers. Last year I participated in the Mother’s Day contest and my entry won the third prize.

I Am What I Am Mamma Thanks To You

This year they plan to compile a list of all Indian Mommy Bloggers. It will be a great platform to showcase our blog with the entire 90,000 members and the 6000 facebook fans and twitter followers.

This is what I did

My Blog’s Name – Spinning a yarn of life

Blog URL – spinning a yarn of life

I have been blogging for a long time now and it is a personal space where I voice my thoughts about the social issues esp women related issues, society, nature, travel, parenthood and most of all share poetry and fiction.

Writing for me is being the change I want to see as a woman, mother and as a human being.

Some posts I would love to share

1. Being a daughter, old age and empty nest

Being a daughter, old age and empty nest

2. Have it flaunt it

Have it Flaunt it

3. What’s love got to do with it

What’s love got to do with it

4. Adi turns 18- Remembering special moments

Adi turns 18- Remembering the special moments

5. The day I was born – A true account

The day I was Born – A true account

Being a mom has changed my life forever.

Being a full time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs.. as the payment is pure Love .. Mildred. B.Vermount

I have two teenage brats and it has been a challenge understanding them.

Each moment that we shared till now was an unrepeatable miracle, thats what it was , unrepeatable and miracle.

Mother’s Day is on 9th and I guess I already have the perfect gift. Two handsome Boys and a platform for sharing rants  about them:D

Of chocolates and secret hiding places


Who moved my chocolates?

“Life is like chocolate, it’s the bitter that makes one appreciate the sweet”


The scene opens at T’s Den 😉 ).

The main Male protagonist visibility shaken by the events of the day is speaking on the phone with his MIL. The anxiety writ large on his face.

The main Female protagonist is furious and is holding a court . The accused or for now I can call them suspects are her two teenage children.

The offence – robbing their mom off her two precious bars of dark chocolates .

The question that baffles MP is How can the mother control the kids if she herself is equally childish ?

Childish ?????

The FP is pained. Only those who have passion for the sacred thing called chocolate or chocolat as the French call it can understand the feeling .

Sensuous, silky, bitter, sweet, nutty, fruity, intoxicating aromatic chocolate.

The arguments continue and the tension mounts . The suspects plead not guilty  but their plea is brushed off .

The MP is still trying to find some logic and calls his wife’s mother for some much-needed help but discovers that  the chocolate crazy MIL is proving to be of no help and is actually siding by his tantrum throwing wife.  He is not amused. He curses and slams down the phone .

The boys have taken a vow of silence (any thing you say will be held as an evidence against you) and are pretending to look as innocent as they possibly can.

The questioning continues.

The bars of chocolate in question were hidden at a secret (supposed to be secret) place to be eaten at leisure at some perfect time but now that box stares at the owner. Empty. Not even some leftover crushed pieces. No sign of any evidence.

The situation is grim .

After  long session of one woman verbal onslaught everyone is tired.With damp eyes and broken heart the FP declares that the suspects are grounded till they confess or at least find the culprit.

There is a loud protest and slogans about child abuse and freedom of children and their rights .They all fall on deaf ears.

The court is adjourned .

The MP tries to put in his efforts to calm the situation but there seems to be no end to the flying tempers .

The boys want the sanctions to be lifted. The FP wants her prized possessions back. The MP wants peace on at least one Sunday of his life.

FP decides to take a day off from the kitchen and pulls a quilt over her head and sulks. NO Chocolates,  No FOOD.

The suspects bang the door to their cell (room) and accuse each other of having put the other one under suspicion.

The MP picks up his car keys and rushes out in rage .

Uneasy Silence descended at T’s den.

The scene closes.

Scene 2 opens with the MP placing two new bars of liqueur filled dark chocolates on the table with strict orders to the boys to lay off them.

After an endless wait the FP finally decides to work on her beloved  PC and leaves the sulk bed to come to the other room.

Her eyes catch the gleaming bars of deliciously sinful bars of chocolates on the dinning table .

With rising emotions she picks them up and places them close to her heart. In a matter of a moment all her anger, hurt and pain  melts away.

Such are the magical soothing effects of chocolate.

There is a sigh of relief from MP who knows that it is time for one more happy ending .

The suspects sit on their beds waiting for the verdict.

FP finally gathers her emotions and sets them free of the charges under Benefit of doubt.

The younger of the two boys gives a tempting mischievous smile to his mother, who in turns hugs him fondly but one thing is clear.

Nothing in the whole world can make her share her chocolates, you have to earn it to eat it .

Afer the incident the kids learned some new state of the art tricks to outsmart their mom. They say every generation is better than the previous one. 😀 My kids certainly are proving it right and my mom never fails to give that evil smile that says .. “I am loving every bit of it,  you deserve it all honey.”

Zephyr’s post Hide and Seek reminded me of my childhood days when mom tried her level best to hide food stuff  like laddus, toffees, burfis, cookies, chocolates and other such sumptuous delights and I would always ferret them out. It was a great advantage to a die-hard foodie like me that my elder brother had lactose intolerance and all the sinful basundi, ashrikhand and other yummy stuff came my way including the nuts and raisins which he disliked in the smooth flowing kheer etc.  but still I resented that ma should make that extra effort to hide laddus ets.

She would tell dada where exactly she had managed to hide the laddus for him and he would look at her with pity, knowing the box would certainly be empty. I never disappointed him. Ma still hid things.

The fun part was that the places she decided as the safest easiest to find. Something to do with my being super sensitive sniffer. It was not just the usual things that mom had to hide, unusual stuff like imli, anardana, etc needed much more protection. The case of the missing imli ( tamarind) remains a popular story that ma loves to narrate to my kids when I complain of their  hide and seek adventures.

As a little girl I loved to eat raw tamarind and ma would hide it at most unusual places and one day when she would be off and in mood to make that delicious aamti or sambhar  she would call dada to recover the goods only to find that her plan had failed . She would only find traces of the tangy delight and some pits. 😀

I would close my eyes ,ears and pretend dead till the storm died down. Never had I imagined that I would get boys who would shame me with their awesome skills of not only finding the hidden things but also hiding them.

Blackmail is the only thing that sometimes works with them when I discover something missing. Unfortunately both my boys have developed exactly the same tastes as me and every time a drama like the one above takes place I feel guilty of doing all that I did as a kid. But these are the joys of childhood I guess. Childhood, did I say ? ;D

Well, you can’t blame someone for doing this,  it’s all about having undying passion and love for that particular delicacy.

It’s jungle rule here.

Take care of your stuff,.

Beware of the robbers.

Eat or drink as soon as the thing enters home to avoid being left out.

Eat your fill 😀

Keep cordial relations even with the enemy, you never know when you will need allies.

Discover new unthinkable places to hide your booty and

If you can not do any of this just show who is the authority here. 😉 That pretty much works.

One of the best places to hide chocolates is the vegetable tray in the fridge. Just put the bar or box there and load the veggies on top of that. Till now it has worked. 😀

The idea is to keep changing the secret hiding places every now and then and always keep your super sniffing nose clean 😀

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 ?

Adi turns 18 : Remembering the special moments


Aditya

Today my first born will turned 18. Its five in the morn’ and I watch him sleep peacefully feeling warm all over and remembering the special moments we shared since he came into my life. How we overcame each handicap like a hurdle in a steeple chase, riding smoothly with courage and confidence and throwing our hearts over it so that we could cross it too.

There were times when every debate would start and end with two sentences. I would say,” Not till you are 18.’ and he would say ,” Wait till I turn 18″. It scared me at times but most of the times I would smile and wonder,
“Will the excitement of turning an adult be as much as it is now?”

There was always something special between us. Though I never pampered him like all Indian mothers do, there was an unexplainable unsaid bond with which our heart strings were attached. Somehow I had the feeling that he understood more than the other children of his age. He had a very rough childhood and for me as a mother It was an extremely difficult time. Many a times I would look into his deep questioning eyes and have no answers to anything. He would watch the drama unfold in the house scene by scene everyday and cling to me unable to express how he felt. Helpless and sad. It was heart wrenching and I tried to instill love, compassion, forgiveness and taught him not to judge and be independent of any thing that hinders his growth as a human being.

Just as I was given a choice to discern and take decisions on our own, I wanted my child to do the same. There were never any social or religious bondings. The child was free to blossom and I tried to do my best, under the given circumstances, to see it happen.

There are times when I felt guilty of bringing him into a world where I myself was finding roots. At times I would takeout all the frustration on him , knowing it was wrong… but still.. He would never utter a single world of rebellion or throw tantrums making me feel even more guilty.

A lovable, calm child, he would spend hours playing by himself, reading books, coloring or just observing nature in the park from the little terrace. He is a wonderful dancer and loves music just like the rest of us.

I had my share of “Oh please not again” times, when he would quietly empty a shampoo bottle in tub or hide in a corner behind the curtain with ladoos or any mithai. He loved to sing and we would have sessions of music and book reading. It used to be a joy to watch this little thin lad run after butterflies or chuckle at the sound of some bird or on spotting a ladybird.

I would smile and watch him observe the line of ants and marvel at the amount of curiosity he had. Always open to learn anything new. During his middle school, the teachers used to call him ” walking Encyclopedia”.

Sometimes I would find him hiding and watching me put a freshly painted picture on the refrigerator door. I can never forget the look of pride and love he used to have at such times. Cleaning his room was like shoveling the path before it stopped snowing.. At night the last thing I did for years was , pick up dinkies, toys, books, pencils, colors, clothes, half eaten fruits, empty cans and some mysterious looking objects which I never could make out what they actually were.

The time he fell sick was the most difficult period for all of us. Glumer Nephritis and Nephrotic Syndrome were new words for us and It was unbearable to see a child of three suffer so much. The disorder took a toll on his health. Although he recovered fully, It was remarkable the way he handled his illness. Silently he would observe everything and everyone including me and tell me to rest for sometime, eat something etc, assuring that he was feeling better and there was no need to worry. With moist eyes I watched my son’s courage and consideration.

Sending the cynosure of my eyes to the residential school simple broke me and him, although he was keen and it would have helped his frail health aslo. Ranikhet is a beautiful place and I thought the mountain air would help him build up his stamina. Four years of residential schooling changed him completely. He matured into a handsome athletic independent boy. All the pain and tears of seperation were washed away.

Although both of us pretended to be happy at the end of it , each one knew there was a hidden guilt and sorrow behind his going. Sending him away from a younger sibling and the rest of the family wasn’t a right step, but there was no other option. It was a sacrifice he had to make because of our mistakes. I still feel guilty about it.

Now when I watch him paint and draw and pursue his passion for animation and visual graphics I thank the creator for giving him a creative mind. Be it food, music, dance, art or anything he is always experimenting. Both my boys are complete foodies and love to experiment.

Adi and I shared some wonderful moments cooking, baking, reading, dancing, traveling to new destinations, enjoying local cuisines, doing window shopping and our love for all creatures big and small especially snakes and raptors and all the creepy crawlies made life one big adventure.

The best workout sessions were helping him take baby steps, running all over the house after him, walking along his bicycle, and then going for long walks. we explored the hills wherever we went discovering new flora nad fauna. Those are the moments of unexplainable joy and comradeship.

Each moment that we shared till now was an unrepeatable miracle, thats what it was , unrepeatable and miracle.

Though I had my share of troubles with him , I think I enjoyed it. The foundation of our love and friendship is laid on solid grounds and we grow seperately without growing apart. He is the best friend I have and we share all the secrets , almost all 😉

I support all his dreams even if that means he moves away..I hope he takes the right direction and takes right decisions, makes right choices.

I had the highest salaried job ..Motherhood… coz the payment was Pure love..

I live though him and when I see him excel in things I could not pursue it gives me immense joy.

Now from today his life takes a new dimension. As a young adult there will be added responsibilities towards self and others and I am sure he will take life with serenity and poise.

Seeing the fan following he has and the girls of all shapes and sizes that hover around him like delicate butterflies, I call him ” love magnet’ and he calls himself ” LOVE GURU”. There are long sessions of confessions, suggestions, advice, over the phone and chats. I am glad in a way that he is able to change lives and make people feel good in some way. Few people have that gift.

Each of his growing year has been a new learning process for me and I attained a new avtar each time. Some of the best teaching and words of comfort came from my first born. In times when things seemed bleak and the darkest clouds wrapped my life , he , as a bright shinning sun brought so much strength and showed me the light. I am thinkful to each of my boys for enriching my life in one way or the other.
love you guys.

Happy18th Birthday sweetheart .. may you always be blessed with good health, peace and joy ..

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