Celebrations With A Difference – A Wedding, An Award And Other News


I have been away from serious blogging since many months and I apologize for that. The thing is I have been preoccupied with health issues, my book release and two big events that brought absolute joy to me.

First was the wedding of my elder son Aditya   to his girl friend Snigdha. Beautiful, talented and compassionate this daughter of mine is like sunshine on a rainy day. I had loved her from the day we first met some years back. Something had told me that this was going to be a bond for life for these two. It is a beautiful feeling to see the strong threads of friendship in a marriage. Rest everything is superfluous.

I never liked the statement, “they complete each other”. I think both of them are complete and fractured in their own way and respect that. For me this is the basis of any good relationship.

It is a perfect match and I am very happy for these two young adults starting a new chapter in their life. I am sure with Snigdha on his side my son will continue to grow into a better version of himself each day. He is a sensitive, caring boy fiercely independent yet very giving and exceptionally talented. Just needed someone to rein his wild temperament a little and all is well 😉 . These kids deserve all the awesomeness in the world.

Did I tell you she’s an awesome poet apart from being a very fine journalist? Well, now you know. I have been nagging her to publish her poems. She is way better than me and needs to be read.

The wedding was nothing too ostentatious. I do not believe in pomp and show with people dressed up like Christmas trees exchanging pleasantries for the sake of it. The simple sobriety and intimacy of the occasion was what made it memorable. With the melodious sounds  of shabad floating in the air the whole atmosphere was beautiful beyond words. The reason I love Sikh weddings are many. It is a short ceremony, happens in daytime and there are no long dragging rituals.  The Anand Karaj ceremony is one of the most beautiful wedding ceremonies I have ever witnessed and I am glad we opted for that.

The interesting fact is that this union was in line with the tradition of ‘love marriages’ my side of family has, beginning with my maternal grandparents. You choose your partner for life and are responsible for the consequences. 😀

We are also slowly becoming a very fine example of  cross culture family in the true sense, leaving behind the shackles of caste, creed, religion etc.  You get to know different cultures, eat different food, learn different languages and it is such a good cocktail of happiness even with the problems it brings at times.

In this case the ‘meeting the parents’ happened much later than ‘meeting the girl’. Like always the moment my son began dating her I was one of the first to meet. Not for so called’ approval’ but to break the ice and for us to know each other better. A fellow Mirandian, a poetess, a girl who loves to travel, read, is fun to be with and is highly balanced and focused in life, she can talk with just rolling her large eyes.. finally I have someone with whom I can gang up against the brats..oh the joy of having her as part of the family are many.

Meeting her parents extended my faith in ‘friends are the family you choose’ . By the time the couple were engaged to be married we were already partying hard. I was happy because my son was.  He had been through some of the hardest times a child has to go through for no fault of his and to see him beaming with happiness was the only thing that mattered. This coming together of two families gave me strength too but that is another story for another time.

Overall, it was a fun wedding where the close family and best friends spent the time of their life along with the gorgeous couple.

The newly wed had a great time and so did we. It was a celebration with a difference though like a true blue Punjabi wedding we had the dhol, bhangra and over loading of food and booze. 😀 And of course the DJ (a friend of my son in this case, the fact that he is a celebrity is a different matter all together) churning out the apt songs for the occasion.  We made the best memories together with so much love and craziness. The task force behind the entire celebration were the fantastic friends of the Snigdha, Adi and Shubhang, the kid brother. Without them rang pheeka reh jata. They made the fuctions come alive. Such energy and joy… irreplaceable.

Indian weddings are huge projects with a deadline one can not surpass and if there is no masala in an Indian wedding it didn’t happen. So, we debated, argued, threw tantrums and had bouts of emotionally charged episodes with tempers flaring and tears flowing.

I do not have much of an experience of wedding planning as my own marriage was a quick simple affair but this one was an overwhelming experience. Stepping away from the traditional, ritualistic customs and doing away with a lot of stuff that made no sense whatsoever except for an overload of expense and waste of time wasn’t easy.

At many points in this adventure I was convinced we’re going to screw up in a big way. Even the groom was certain there would be a disaster. We ranted, glowered, decided to part ways and all that. We were worried, tired, clueless about many things and behaved like jerks, myself included. There were long telephonic discussions, arguments over guest lists, outfits and unlimited shopping expeditions. The fact that we were based in three different places in the city wasn’t helping much and to top it I fell sick. But,  I am a sucker for emotions and to see my first born getting married was too much to joy to handle. On one hand I was jubilant and on the other his entire life flashed before my eyes like a movie, turning me into a sentimental wreak.

It was insane. The bride’s side had meticulously planned even the minutest detail and we were in disarray to the point of being hilarious but we survived.

For years I would be very scared and spent sleepless nights wondering if our broken home will bring the unfortunate stuff people said it would, would I fail in the end as a mother, as a friend, as a pillar of support I always tried to be but as it turned out there is a power in being true to oneself and doing what is right. In believing in oneself and one’s children, in listening to them and understanding them as individuals.

Even in the times of raging wars we are one and love each other unconditionally. The boys have outgrown my lap but not my love and that keeps us afloat even in the strongest of storms.

Kid 2 has started a new job and is living his life on his own terms. I wish him well for that he aspires for. Now, with his best friend, an elder brother who practically raised him up in the most crucial years of life when I was away, settled in his new phase of life, I know he will feel the void but that is what growing up is all about. Physically we may be away but there for each other always.

Unforgettable, irreplaceable magic of holding my first born and the crazy journey called Life that we share. Unmatched bond of friendship. 

 

#Adikishaadi #Snigdog

Don’t they look gorgeous? 🙂 #kalatikka These precious moments will stay with me forever.

The newly weds are back from their travels and already back to work. I wish them a life full of love and adventure.

Now,  let us get back to poetry, blogging and a very special award that I won.

2017 marked the tenth year of Indiblogger and my association with them entered its ninth year and what a fabulous journey it has been. Indiblogger is a credible platform for bloggers who wish to showcase their work and a recognition from them is highly cherished.

When they announced the nomination for Indian Blogger Awards #IBA2017 I was slightly hesitant to nominate my blog as I hadn’t been posting much of poetry lately but ten years of blogging nudged me to at least nominate, perhaps to get more readers if not anything else.

There were 3500 nominations across 117 categories. Not in my dreams I had thought that I will win the special #VOW award for poetry.

The awards were announced at a very interactive blogging conference #BNLF2017 at Dehradun in November and were judged and given in association with Valley Of Words Literature Festival.  

This award is very special to me not just because it validates my hard work but also because it came just two days before the release of my second book of poetry ‘Wayfaring‘.  I couldn’t be there at the ceremony so the team requested for a short acceptance video which I finally managed after hundreds of retakes, that’s how challenged I am technologically. 😀

Here’s the lovely poster indiblogger team made for the winners.  I would like to thank them for the commendable work they are doing by bringing the Indian bloggers at one platform from across the globe. Thank you to my readers, those who voted and the esteemed jury. We Blog. Therefore We Are. 

Winner of The Indian Blogger Awards 2017 - VOW Awards

I also received Google Chromecast as a gift from the Inditeam on winning the award. Now waiting for the certificate and trophy if that happens. 🙂

 

In another news, the praise for my poetry books is pouring in.

My debut book Collection Of Chaos reached a reader in France and she posted this beautiful message on FB. She is reading the second one too and I am eagerly waiting for her feedback. Thank you Anne for your kind words.

Common Wealth Prize-Winning Author, film maker Siddhartha Gigoo. chose his most interesting reads of 2017 for a HT feature  and I was pleasantly surprised to find my new collection Wayfaring in the list. What a joy to find a media mention within a few weeks of the release.

He also reviewed it on amazon bringing the much needed cheer in my life.

Praise for Wayfaring

Thanks for appreciating Siddhartha.

 

Keep me updated if you buy any of my books. Reader’s feedback is very essential for the growth of a writer.

Here’s to poetry and other adventures of life. I will try to keep the blog afloat with regular posts. Keep visiting and do leave your comments.

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Ten On Tuesday – Gaming With The Boys


When we got tired of playing the mind games these are the ten games me and boys played and mastered. We were always good at being escapists, prefered the imaginary to the real and often yanked ourselves from one world to plunge into another. We all had our “me time” but still we spent a lot of time together bonding over board games, singing, telling stories, doing some sort of art/craft, playing some real-time games which would leave the house looking like as if it has been hit by a tsunami. It was tough but it was fun.

Computer games were a new rage and the boys were fanatic supporters of  this new religion. All my efforts to keep them away from this growing menace failed and then I thought,’ if you can’t beat them join them’. WTH.. but I still laid down some rules.

And what did we play ? Here are the top ten.

1.Claw – Because I love wild cats 😀
2.Soldier of fortune – The first gory game I played where it was all guts over fear. Imagine that after yelling at the boys for behaving like bloody psychopaths.
3. Need for Speed/ Roadrage – I could never learn to drive but always dreamed of the mean machines I could control. The need for speed was satiated here and it was so engrossing that sometimes the line between virtual and real just disappeared. It was fun all right.
4. James Bond Nightfire –  The only time I could be more than just a bond girl 😀
5. Delta Force Land Warrior – My initiation into first person shooters. It was cathartic in some ways.
6. XMen Arcade Game – For the love of classic X-Men characters. Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Nimrod, Mystique and many more. At times it was ridiculously funny but a lot of fun with the boys. A comic book come to life perhaps. 🙂
7. Batman Arcade Game – Chaos in Gotham – My love for the dark knight began much before Nolan. When you have two superheros in the house you need to learn the survival techniques for anything could happen anytime.
8. Solitaire and Freecell – These were the games to zone out when the house was not a war zone with aliens  spaceships landing on your head and cars flying from between your legs.

9. Don’t think we just engaged in virtual games. There were a lot of indoor and outdoor games that were invented at the spur of the moment. Missions planned and executed, Rooms turned into makeshift WWF arenas (I was always the referee trying to save my head) 😀 , paper planes flew out of the balconies and windows with their tails in a blaze of fire, The entire house turned into an obstacle racing fast track where all sorts of cars, jeeps raced like lunatics. (my participation was limited to providing unlimited power boosters ( especially made in my kitchen) and occasionally tripping over some invisible flying object. ).. Oh yes, and picking up the debris later on while chasing the boys around to clean up.

10. Yes, I had my collection of WWE and Pokemon cards, tazzos and what not. These were guarded like prized possessions and traded occasionally with great deal of negotiations. We did play all the games with these interesting loot.

Raising boys is not for wimps and they kept me on my toes 24/7 but then it was also an adventure and great fun to grow up with them.

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 

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 cherub begin his college life. Till kids 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 

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.

Sensitivity Is Awareness : Are we ready for change ?


Shivani’s blog post  Happy Periods? Hah!! is a must read for all. Here is what she says,

” If you are calling the menstrual cycle impure, you are calling whole process of reproduction impure. It is nature’s rule, how can you judge it to be pure or impure being an insignificant human? I don’t think girls need to be ashamed of it. Can you men bleed a week and not die working? You won’t come to this world if this reproduction cycle doesn’t exist, and you make fun of a girl and enjoy in her despair? Shame on you!

If our strictly traditional elders loosen their mythological, ancient, superstitious-and add whatever adjective you wanna add-traditions, and men become more understanding and start treating us as humans when we are down, we might really have a Happy Period. Mere saying doesn’t make it happen.”

Taking off from her post and the fact that even when the TV advertisements scream about various kinds of sanitary pads and their benefits I still feel it is something no one wants to talk about openly as if it a “tainted thing” to go through this monthly cycle. One day when my periods came earlier than usual time accompanied by severe cramps  I sent my elder son to the chemist explaining which pack to get.  The teenager came fuming with anger and told  he “fucked the happiness of the shopkeeper and a lady customer there”. I was interested to know more.It turned out that the guy did not have “black plastic bag” and kept searching for a newspaper to stash away “the thing”.

When my son demanded that he hand over the pack and forget the bag etc the lady standing at the counter told him,

” Beta these things are not carried openly. Doesn’t look good. waise to your mom should not send young boys to buy it . It is so embarrassing or at least she should have given a bag or something.”

It seems the young man blew them apart in front of the whole crowd before leaving the shop. I gave him a proud smile.

After reading Shivani’s post we all remembered the incident and this started a series of debate at home.  The taboo topics- Sex education  including masturbation, mensuration, sexual orientation and other things.

It became obvious that the father was aghast that I being a woman could openly talk about “such things” with grown up boys and even share “adult jokes” or tease them. Horrifying .

Well, if I don’t talk about it to “grown up” boys do I talk to toddlers then?, I asked

Why can’t a woman talk to her young sons or for that matter anyone about it as part of discussion?

“Not dignified ” came the answer. “Balls to it”, I said. Hypocrites.

During our talks we discovered how most of the schools, offices are not equipped with any disposable facilities mainly because the thought never entered the minds of men who designed the place.

“It is time India had some vending machines installed in bathrooms in malls, offices, schools etc ” , a teenage girl joined the discussion. LMAO,  vending machines? First let them become sensitive and most of all aware of the natural process on which we have no control. Let them puke the age-old formula that has been shoved down their throats by the elder women of their homes.

It is ironical that women themselves make it look like a curse. Hiding, feeling guilty and embarrassed about it.

Another one made a face,” it is a private thing. I would not like to advertise it to the world.”

I asked her politely, ” is asking for sanitary pads or tampons and carrying them unwrapped or telling your boyfriend or son or husband to get it for you if they are going to the market an advertisement?  Is it not normal to say,  ” I have my periods and need napkins etc. or I have cramps or heavy flow so need rest? Is it something abnormal ?”

She didn’t know how to answer that. Obviously her parents never talked to her openly about it and this view was never expressed. What is privacy and what are socially imposed taboos, are two concepts one needs to be clear about.

When a biological body function experienced by half the world is limited to the confines of home and only between members of the gender experiencing it, it needs reviewing. Making menstruation a tainted issue or something to be hushed up and never spoken about with the other gender is counterproductive and completely unnecessary

It  is an integral part of our  body and being forced to feel extra discomfort or shame about  it  is not only unfair but it  also affect our  mental well-being, productivity, self-esteem among other things

During the discussion the boys shared how the jokes go among male friends about women taking pause from men, looking  like train wreaks and  are things not to be trusted for they bleed for 5 days and still live  and so on.

The younger one said that during their class on reproduction all that they could hear was giggles and sly remarks. I and the elder one were the ones who gave him the real lessons.

It also turned out that major section of their male friends either did not have correct info or did not care to talk about it openly. Even in their homes the topic was ever discussed even if they had sisters.

Is menstruation a taboo undercover topic because it is a woman related thing? Would it become a hot conversation if somehow men began to menstruate? A masculine event to brag about ?

My boys think that media is not helping in any way to make the pea brain men aware and in breaking the taboo. How? Well all the advertisements are women based and if men were introduced as supporting understanding factors things just might improve.

A really good thought to ponder on but will it really work?

In her post Shivani talks of  absurdity of calling a period “happy” and I fully agree with her. It is the most painful thing mentally, physically and emotionally and the men easily blame it on the hormones and get away during those PMS days. One thing I noticed was the names given to the products, “whisper”  a name like this says a lot about society’s attitude towards this important bodily function.

It pushes my button very hard if people use euphemisms for these things. I hate this culture of shame. it is disgusting to see some women subject themselves to self-shame giving in to some stupid deeply ingrained social religious beliefs. .

As we sat thinking on this issue another vein opened. Talking sex is taboo too. Well, talk about it.

Everyone enjoys  a good laugh at its cost, sex is talked about  in hushed voices and practiced behind closed doors, people drool over magazines like playboy and FTV  but when it comes to openly discuss or educate young children a very moral approach is taken.

I have seen parents who are themselves so ill-informed and riddled with misconceptions that they have nothing to offer to their growing children. Also they are too reserved to broach the subject and somehow shove it under the carpet if the kids raise it .

Not all parents though but most.

Masturbation is something most kids learn about on their own. While talking to my boys it turned out that between friend these days girls openly talk about all these issues among themselves and with guys too but that’s a very tiny percentage. Maximum people feel extremely shifty when the topic comes up.

The mindset of parents in so-called modern India is still orthodox when it comes to discussing/ debating sexuality,  puberty, live in relationships and relationships in general, sexual preferences etc.

I was stunned when my son told me that his sexually active friends choose not to use protection even after knowing  the implications of unsafe sex. Reason ? “It doesn’t feel the same” .

WTF I said.

“Is it the boys who feel this ? What do girls say?”, I asked.

“Well , most of the girls are desperate to experiment and experience the real thing  so they agree to it and take morning after pills etc” . He said.

I understand , even adults are curious about sex so it is natural for young boys and girls to be curious and experimenting.

“Pills off the counter I believe ” I said.

Of course , you think they take advice from docs or their parents ? “, he replied.

It sucks.

Why is it that these kids are not guided properly ? Is it that parents don’t spend quality time with their children and that they are no longer role models for them ? Is it that the younger generation sees through the faults in the previous generation and rebels against the system not knowing where it is taking them?

Why do parents think that the child will be automatically educated about sex, is it not their responsibility to guide them?

It is not surprising that Sex is the top search topic on internet by youngsters.  I feel it is a huge risk as internet dishes out a lot of titillating garbage  which these young brains can not filter.

India is still a country of sexually repressed people with half baked knowledge and utter confusion leading to various problems at all levels be it health, society or anything else.

Is it not time to wake up to reality and break the shackles . To be aware and sensitive.  To shake the age-old chauvinistic taboos.

If the urban India is steeped in such muck how do we plan to uplift the rural India?

The junkie and the workaholic


It is a lovely romantic Sunday afternoon. Rains always make me nostalgic and dreamy but today I am in laughter mode. 😀 Feeling better after days of weakness and worry. Those who missed the update This iron lady has iron deficiency 😀 … how Iron- ic  😀 !

Well , after a pampering stay at ma’s home I am back in Hell but this time to rule . When your spirit rebellious is unleashed it gives a thrill beyond comparison. Being away from the mess gave me a sure idea about my place in the universe, goals and the path I want to choose.

I make my rules and live by them irrespective of anything. That’s my motto for the time being  and the biggest task is to get back my health..physical, emotional as well ans spiritual.

What happens when you leave the house to a junkie ( younger brat) and a workaholic ( hubby) ?

The main door opens with a lot of effort. The dust makes me wonder what hit my house when I was away. I carefully make my way through wrappers, papers, dust and clothes hanging everywhere. One look at the kitchen tells me – Avoid it .

The beds are hardly visible under heaps of clutter which includes crumpled bed sheets, half nude pillows, men’s clothing of all shapes and sizes. Under the bed are bottles, cans, wrappers ranging from toffee to wafers. Old news papers are shoved near the computer which is struggling to breath from behind the cables dangling all around it.

“Who strangled the computer ? ” I ask. No one responds. I sigh and closed the kids room. My own bedroom is wrecked beyond recognition. Losing my temper I question with whatever energy left after a long drive in the sun.

“What the Fuck ..  Is this the way to live? How were you guys living in such a mess?”

The six-feet tall brat and his over worked dad averted their gaze and mumbled something about work, matches, school, time etc.

Something about “No woman around the house” made my blood boil. I picked the line and gave them back with such vengeance that who ever said that ( I am sure  it was my hubby) will remember to think again before stereotyping gender roles.

I am not impressed. Although I am not a cleanliness freak but this was too much. I cleared six feet of space to lie down. My body revolting at the touch of the dirty bed but I needed to rest a bit.

After a while I decided to make the dinner. The elder brat had pushed off to buy the daily  grocery as the placed lacked even the usual stuff like cookies etc.

The other men in the house had quickly shoved all the clutter in various ” not easily noticable” places. I ignored and moved on to the bathroom. Maybe a shower will help.

Jesus christ in heaven ..I said , remembering that I was sinning by taking God’s name.

I cursed the lazy lot and cleaned the bathroom, took a shower and entered the kitchen

It seemed freshly scrubbed. The men had decided to bury themselves in newspaper and football highlights. I felt like smashing the idiot box but the love of the game made me check my moves.

After a hard work of exploring the entire kitchen for various ingredients I needed a simple meal of Veg pulao was dished out.

All this time my monologue continued. The master and little devil had lowered the shutters on their ears.

No sooner my elder one returned I poured my heart out to him. The large tears hanging precariously in the corner of my eyes and the tired look helped and I got my first hug of the day.

“Don’t worry matee, all will be well chill maro. ” He said sweetly.

I nodded like a good girl and digged into the sweet, juicy ripe flesh of the mango. Some things are just too good to resist especially in such circumstances.

The night slowly brought the desired calm and I made a mental note of what all I had to do next morning. It included a separate session for all the three junkies.

The next morning revealed hidden treasures. A Box of Pink color Barbie Band-aids ( my FIL’s) 😀 was the biggest find of the day.

The dusky maid  and her magic broom brought out  banana peals, broken hammer, screws of various sizes, dirty smelling socks ( explaining the cause of the strange smell), some hard soiled edible things which resembled alien stuff, broken compass, colors etc .

The latch of my godrej almirah was brutally damaged and broken. The Jr. brat  explained that he needed an ID proof so he had to break open. What all is missing remains a mystery till now.

The worse thing that happened was destruction of the Mayna Nest.

Third time in a row , the beautiful Mayna couple (   permanant residents of our store window) had build a lovely eco friendly nest. Something like a high rise building with green shinn ing leaves at the four corners. It was a beauty and we were early waiting to film and shoot the whole thing but unfortunaely My inlaws removed it at the first sight.

They believe in an old wives tale that Mayna who does a lot of chitter chatter  brings bad omen and fights between family members. So the home was wrecked and thrown out. 😦

Today things seem to be under control. The threat of heading back to the comforts of my ma’s place worked beautifully and they have made less mess in the last 48 hours.

The weather has helped immensely to cope up with this devastation. Everything inside the four walls of this house seems to be breathing easy. The trees outside are swaying gently. There is a slight drizzle and the birds are chirping merrily.

The junkie is happy that the issues were resolved without bloodshed all thanks to the football matches and my love for them.

The workaholic is busy working more hours as the hell has its rightful queen.

I am feeling good

and

All izz well in my world :).

Raising Two Boys is not for Weak Hearted


The eerie calm in the house is always indication of some dramatic event ahead. Yesterday was one such day. The city was wrapped in a cover of heat, dust and sand. The humidity was killing. I decided to make a tall glass of lemonade with crushed mint and retire to the coolness of my room with a book.

The maid was happily humming the latest song while struggling with the mud soaked socks of my Beckham. The boys were glued to the Play station and seemed oblivious to the world around them.

I scanned the home one last time cuddled in the bed with the book. After ten minutes The peace was shattered by the cries of “khoon , khoon” (“Blood ,Blood “). I leaped out of my bed and ran out.

The WWE match had come alive in our bedroom and in a state of hyper excitement the two boys had tried the pedigree, STFU, tombstone , RKO, spear etc.. Blood was gushing out from the upper lip and gum of the younger one and the older one was trying his level best to control his emotions.

I gave him a ” you just wait for me” look and went to see what was happening in the kitchen. The bleeding wrestler had managed to clear the mess when I noticed a vampire bite on his chest. “What the F is that ?” I asked perplexed by the red teeth markings .With tear filled eyes he said ,” He bit me “. “What ?” I could not believe my ears. I was loosing it by now .

I screamed at the elder one for being such an animal and drawing blood every time he got a chance. He raged and fumed about my partial behavior and accused me of melting every time there was a fight. I ordered him to zip his lips and tucked the junior in the other room.

My temples were hurting by now. The lemonade forgotten.

The bai was scandalized by the whole scene and kept repeating that all was well. She could not believe that within ten minutes the serene calm house was resembling a battlefield. I told her I had had enough of these brats and how they will be grounded for the next few days, their play station confiscated. She sympathized with me from the bottom of her heart. Another kind of calm was descending in my home. I went to check on the other one. He was standing bare chested in the bathroom inspecting his torso. I told him to turn around and the sight was horrifying. Deep red welt like marks were visible all over. Starting neck downwards. My heart stopped beating. “Are you hurt badly? Does it hurt “? I was at loss of words. I called the retired hurt boy and showed him the marks. Ones again a verbal battle began. It appeared that the junior had tried to chock the elder one and he had to bite in order to get free and breath. He had boxed him in the same process when the strong arms of the younger one had rendered him helpless.

That’s it. I told that the play station along with the WWE CD will be packed for good and some sanctions will be put on both for creating such a havoc in the house. Not one day goes without some such incident. Vacations Suck big time.
One room turned into war zone, a continues never ending supply of ration for the warriors. You call this Life ???

After my soliloquy which hardly anyone was listening to I realized my temples were throbbing again. I told them to stay away from each other or else…

Half an hour passed in silence and then a giggle and a laugh. I wanted to kill. After spoiling my whole afternoon the boys were having a gala time. They requested that the matter should not be reported to dad and all is well in their world. I just looked at them.

What are these guys made of I wondered.

Everyday I discover new stuff, every day I learn new cuss words. Everyday is a new challenge.

Some things I could never understand. They do all the text messaging shitting in the loo. When something is private and personal ( not for dad’s hearing) a SMS will appear in my mobile from the other room. I thought only girls spent hours chatting on the phone ..

” Yes they do” came the reply , ” we listen”.

Sigh!!!

The mobile blinks and vibrates every second with Facebook updates, messages, calls. They lead a busy life.

Most of the days I try to fill their bottomless pits called tummies and still fail miserably. I wonder where all the food goes.

All through the day and night they roam around the house searching for something edible. Anything. From raw tamarind to cheese toasts and pasta.

They never ever tire of eating. Unless you eat your fill the moment something arrives you will never see the sight of it again. Empty wrappers of Biscuits, chocolates, dilapidated bags of wafers and other goodies are recovered daily from under the beds, mattresses, behind the sofas , inside the cupboards and book shelves. It is a tough life. 😦

The innocent faces will stare at you as if you are the culprit.

Vacations always add to the miseries. The days are too long and I feel more sleep deprived than ever.

There are good happy times too but when the six feet tall beasts are unleashed from the depths of their inner it is every mother’s nightmare. Daily I sharpen my claws to be ready for yet another surprise lurking to flung at me.

Lying down emotionally spent and tired at night I pray and hope for a better tomorrow which never comes.

It pyz 2 enrich ur wrd pwr :D Lingo fkd


The summer holidays have began and my brats are busy gaming, eating ,texting , chatting and endlessly talking on the phone. ( when I said I thought only Girls talk so much . they replied Yes they do we just listen 😀 )

Growing up with kids can be fun and a new learning experience.  If the title of the post sounded like Greek to you  then it is time for some lessons in language or the lingo of  youth.

The Gen -X has brought a revolution in the spoken and written language  and to understand this criptic lingo I asked my boyz to help me.

Over the period of time I am sort of a pro now 🙂 .

If you ain’t slanging, you ain’t bangin’ (hip, fun or exciting)

These youngsters bend rules, twist and turn the words, make comboz, shorten the words by even adding the numbers ( L8 for late)

New phrases are added every day and one needs to sharpen the claws all the time.

This generation is in a hurry, they have so much to say and the characters in the mobile are less so to fit in , the shorter the better.

Then there is a whole new text and internet lingo with all its abbreviations ROFL – rolled off floor laughing ,  ROTFLWTIME (rolling on the floor with tears in my eyes) and the rest of it. The C is replaced by K so COOL becomes Kool and S by Z – boys becomes Boyz, folks- folkz please – plzzzzzz , you can add as many z as you want)

They speak in plurals and vowels are dropped easily , one can cut the double letter also so cool will be kool or kewl or better will bcm betta. Sometimes some letters are understood better by being silent like OK  will be just K

Inovation is the key please can be written as plees, plz , pls etc.

Yes the baby talk is so much IN

cho chweet ( so sweet),  awwwww, hugsie wugsie , mela shona,kishi wishi, dudnite ( good nite/ night) are rolled out easily.

Nouns are a big put off just call it Thingie – whts dat thingie?

The dudes and babes or dudz  n babz love to experiment.

Local flavor spikes the lingo and I have a whole collection of thz

They have their own pharases and idioms

In Hindi

Hath me aana or phat ke hath me aana 😀  ( to be very scared) or the shorter version Phat gayi, lag gayi

When they mean someone is getting after or nagging  they say

meri to leni kar rakhi hai . lolzzzzz

Haandna is roaming around

funda is Point .. funda kya hai – whts ur point?

there are a lot like Chat mat – don’t eat my brains or bug me)

Chep is a Pile on

Bhais ki aankh is  is a phrase used by thoz who do not want to use cuss words

they have their own way of greeting also

Bhootni ke kahan tha ab tak

abuses are used randomly in greetings ,the closer you are the bigger the cuss word

totta is used for a hot girl

Dimag ka dahi and bheja fry are also two popular phrases  which may mean  got brain fucked . 😀 we will come to the use of this golden word later 🙂

They even join the two words to make fantabulous ( fantastic and fabulous), chillax ( chill and relax), Offum ( d F lingo) , Fucktard ( fucking retard)

Gosh  the list is endless

Dhakkan is uttely stupid so is dick head or shit head

English, Hindi or any othe regional language can all be jumbled up even bambaiya hindi is IN.

They may not pass the spell bee bt they are aweffun ( awesome and fun)

That brings us to the golden four letter word FUCK. the word has immence possiblities in terms of usage and can express anything , any emotion, it can be used as trasitive and intrasitive verb, noun, adjective , adverb you name it. It is that magical word that can describe pain, anger, pleasure just about anything.

😀

I saw this video of  Osho on you tube. do watch , it is hilarious

Here is a usage list:

1)Greetings…………….”How the fuck are ya?”
2)Fraud………………..”I got fucked by the car dealer.”
3)Resignation…………..”Oh, fuck it!”
4)Trouble………………”I guess I’m fucked now.”
5)Aggression……………”FUCK YOU!”
6)Disgust………………”Fuck me.”
7)Confusion…………….”What the fuck…?”
8)Difficulty……………”I don’t understand this fucking shit!”
9)Despair………………”Fucked again…” or Fuck it
10)Pleasure…………….”I couldn’t be any fucking happier!”
11)Displeasure………….”Fucking shit man…”
12)Lost………………..”Where the fuck are we?”
13)Disbelief……………”UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE!”
14)Retaliation………….”Up your fucking ass!”
15)Denial………………”I didn’t fucking do it, I swear!”
16)Perplexity…………..”I know fuck about it.”
17)Apathy………………”Who really gives a fuck anyway?”
18)Suspicion……………”Who the fuck are you?”
19)Panic……………….”Let’s get the fuck out of here!”
20)Directions…………..”Fuck off.”
21)Incomprehesion……….”How the fuck did you do that?”

It can be an anatomical description………….”He’s a fucking asshole.”
It can be used to tell time…………………”Its five fucking thirty.”
It can be used in business…………..”How did I wind up with this fucking
job?”
It can be maternal………………….”MOTHERFUCKER!”
It can be political…………………”Fuck Lalit Modi !”

The way you say it explains what you mean by it  watch the video of  Raknish who had a remarkable sense of humor . 😀 that’s fuckin amazing I must say

No other word can be so versatile  as Fuck and it is One global word understood by one and all all across the globe.

Osho ends it withand I quote

” And it is very healthy too. If every morning you do it as a transcendental meditation… just when you get up… the first thing… repeat the mantra, f*** you, five times… it clears the throat… that’s how I keep my throat clear….enough for today!”

Indivine post. plz vote