The lost world

Standard

lostworldSundays for working women are typically the most hectic ones. All the preparation done on this day defines how smooth or chaotic the week ahead is going to be. Hence, there is a constant caution given to the lazy mind not to get distracted seeing the cozy pillows and the bed and the TV and the “rest day” theory labelled for this “action packed” day.

However, as most of the poets would agree, mind has limited control over a strong heart and if heart has a strong desire to convince us that we need rest for ourselves, no power on earth can control this happenings.

Last Sunday was a similar story for me. Morning was a motivated one, with a to-do list ready over a cup of coffee and a clear plan on goals of the day and a achievers feeling about my great planning skills.

My day was flowing well, exactly as per my plan. And then came a trailer on the TV. Coming soon – movie – the lost world. Something in me got hooked to it. Not that I love seeing the scary dinosaurs, but the title – THE LOST WORLD.

I sat and thought to myself. Where is my world? Am I living in it? Or is it lost as well? These questions disturbed me. Come on, what all nonsense are you thinking – said my inner self. But deep down, I knew. These questions were real. They were staring at me, waiting for answers – the REAL answers.

My thoughts kept wandering. Has life become just a routine to follow? Or a race to ensure perfection, hoping someone will appreciate it – and then hiding the disappointment behind an “understanding” face?

Where are the laughs that had no reason, just had a comfort of being together? Where are the dreams that kept me energised to face every day? Where are the success stories that made me feel an achiever? Where are the failures that reinforced presence of my dear ones when I needed a shoulder?

Has it become a rat race? Really?

All the motivational books and the inspiring blogs teach us that life is how we take it. Our positive thoughts are going to shape a positive and happy life for us. Listen to music and you will feel good, watch a movie, get that immersive experience and come out of the theatre with a feeling of – let me do something!

But is that what the heart wants? How much can you really motivate yourself? What if someone just did something to make you smile? What if someone just cared enough about your feelings? What if answer to all your frustrations was just a hug away? What if someone was with you – just unconditionally?

Aren’t these magical things more powerful than those external stories from the outside world?

I was left with a messy mind, with questions travelling in all directions. Still.

And then my ears heard an innocent voice – Mumma, I am hungry! 🙂 🙂

May be god has his own way of reminding you of what you should care about, what is important and what makes your life beautiful!!

A letter from a working mother to her son

Standard

mother-and-son-5Since last couple of days, I have come across a lot of articles on mothers – working and non-working ones.

The working mothers most of the times feel the pressure of managing family and work – they carry a bit of guilt of not spending enough time with their kids and how they sometimes miss the most important moments when their kids are growing.

On the other hand, there are feelings expressed by the non-working ones that reflect how they choose motherhood over career, how they left their well-paying settled jobs just to be with their kids and cherish each and every moment.

And then I sit and wonder – where do I fit in?

As the mother’s day approach near, I would like to tell something to you my son – through this letter.

I want to tell you, that I am a working woman and I work because I have the passion to work – more than the need. I enjoy the status of “getting noticed” in the crowd. I dream of being a respectable and recognised professional. I work to fulfil my ambitions.

Then you may have a question for me – that – mom, are your dreams and ambitions more important than me?

No, my son, absolutely not. You are the most precious gift I have got in my life. There is nothing more important than you – not even my own self.

I stepped back from my dreams when you came in my life, and I will always do the same whenever you will need my complete attention – without any second thought.

But by me working, there are a lot of lessons I can teach you – that may not be as effective otherwise.

Do remember my son, I don’t want to teach you feminism, I want to cultivate that in you by giving you those experiences. I want you to know that like your dad, your mom shares equal responsibilities and enjoy equal authority at home.

I want you to remember that as I have you in my life, I have my parents too, who have struggled enough to ensure I succeed in life. Would it be a nice thing to be dependent on my spouse to take care of them? Or should I leave them with whatever available resources they have – even though I have the capabilities to give them a better life?

Yes I do miss some moments where I wish I didn’t have this hat of a working women. But then, don’t I have hats of all other relations that I maintain within the family? Aren’t there times when I was away from you for a family emergency in your grandparent’s home. So my son, don’t relate my working with me being away from you. We just have a lot of things to manage at the same time.

You may say that, mom, you only taught me that money can’t buy happiness. My son, don’t ever under estimate working with earning. Earning is one benefit why people work, but then there are many more such things above money – satisfaction, self-respect, confidence – a complete package.

Money is the mean to lead a life as per your wish.  Money is not life.

Whether working or not working, your smile is the most affectionate thing I crave for. Your upbringing is the most important responsibility of my life.

I take pride in ensuring that I capable of being your support system – in whichever form you need. I am a happy person and I want you to be the same – without guilts, without sacrifices, without any burden on the heart.

I just have a silent wish – that when you grow up as a mature adult – you come to me and say – Mumma, I am proud of you!

 

Old Age (NEW) Home

Standard

takingcareofelderlyMy neighbors – the sweetest couple I have ever seen in my life. Ajji-Ajoba as I call them (grandpa and grandma).

Ajoba, in his late 60s, is a retired person from a manufacturing company. Ajji has been a home-maker ever since she understands “marriage” – since just a decade minus her age.

Every day I have multiple “eyes-breakers” with them. In the morning, when I open the door to collect the milk bags, both of them are going for a walk; when I leave my son to school, they sit relaxly on their sofa enjoying breakfast and tea; when I leave for office, there’s a quick instruction of “go safe” for my ajji next door.

They do not believe in the modern – close doors and sit policy. Their home welcomes everyone with a smiling face – anytime of the day.

It’s been 6 months now that I know them and they have become our extended family.

I just love the way they complement each other, they understand each other’s need without uttering a single word.

Last month..

They decided to go to an old age home and stay. Initially, I didn’t understand why was this even needed as a thought?

They do have 2 kids, both settled in the US. Neither the children want to come back to India, nor Ajji-Ajoba wanna go and settle in the US. Their children though, did buy a flat for these old parents – as a part of social responsibility.

I wasn’t at all convinced of this whole idea, still decided to give an ear to why they think it’s a great deal to be in an old age home. They have their own reasons. They had a struggle every day for cooking, cleaning home managing their needs on their own and so on.

They looked very excited about the shift. They described the old age home as a place with all the amenities they need – just under one roof. An ATM, Hospital, Medical Shop, Recreation Club and most importantly – people of their own age to mingle with.

The room they had chosen was a beautiful one room kitchen kind of arrangement, with tea coffee was just a button press away!

They explained me the ease they will have there with no tension to think of buying groceries or vegetables, no tension if maid doesn’t turn up, no worry if there are power cuts and they don’t find things in the dark.

Hmm, not such a bad idea, I thought for a moment.

With a lot of enthusiasm pumped in their blood, they left and I also happily waved a  bye-bye to them promising that we will surely be in touch.

Few days later..

I started missing that elderly presence on our floor. In this busy world, you need someone to tell you that you need to have food on time, you need to pray etc etc and etc… :), isn’t it? Ofcourse, our parents do that. But practically, we have come far from our parents too..

I decided to visit them. They welcomed me with the same happy gesture. They looked content. They shared stories of how Ajoba was thrilled while playing Carrom with his “new” buddies after many years, how Ajji goes to temple with her new girl friends 😉 How they loved that small picnic to Japanese garden! And yes, not to forget, the coffee was really a button press away. The well dressed staff of the old age home got us coffee in just 5 mins.

Amazing! I felt so good for them. They are delighted to the fullest! They are making the most of the life after retirement!

With the satisfaction of meeting them, I came home and got back to my routine life..

Last week..

I was surprised to see Ajji-Ajoba back in their flat. A thunder of questions hit my brain – did they come just to collect some stuff? Were they not able to manage in the old age home? Are they ok? This is something wrong with them?

I went running to see them and figure out. The same smiling face revealed that they have shifted back to their flat and cancelled their stay at the old age home

What?? I said? You were so happy there?? A curious me questioned.

Gathering courage, Ajoba said.. Yes, we were very happy. But the fact is that we are old. And we are going to die soon.

People in the old age home are also our age.

It breaks our heart in pieces hearing news of death of people in our group. Our heart is not so strong. It doesn’t let us sleep whole night. It makes us restless. NO.. we are not that strong to take it.

A moment of silence…………………………………………………………………………

I couldn’t utter a single word, just came back.

It’s been 2 days now since they are back. I see them settling again in the flat, keeping up with their routine.

Is this the life they had imagined when they were growing their children? Wouldn’t they be wishing to play with their grandchildren? Wasn’t they imagining a relaxed life on retirement assuming their kids will take care of them from now? Didn’t they dream of a complete family time?

Why is our generation not considering these points and running after success leaving parents to suffer?

I am not blaming only others. Even I make mistakes. How much time does it take for me to call my mom and ask if she has taken her medicine? Don’t we have even this much of time really?

How happy will they feel when we hold their hand and say – don’t worry, we are there for you! Why do we need old age homes ever in this world? The way their cared for us, can’t we give it back the same way?

I am speechless.

An evening (like) in Paris!!

Standard

stock-footage-paris-france-circa-eiffel-tower-at-night-light-show-timelapse-paris-franceParis – the city every tourist dreams to visit. The city of love, the city of lights!

I am no different! I too imagine myself roaming in the crowded streets of Paris, clicking myself under the Eiffel Tower, witnessing the magic of lights under the open dark sky – somethings I have only read about.

What happens when I get the same experience – here – in Pune?

Aeem.. Are you thinking I have lost it? Comparing Paris to Pune?? 😐

Don’t know really. But the emotions I felt that evening weren’t any less than of being in Paris.

I think the inner happiness is felt from the moments we live, the emotions we feel in a certain situation – place is just a plot of the entire experience.

We started from home at 4 in the evening. It was a small plan – taking my son to a park, dinner in one of the restaurants nearby and back to home. A simple family weekend.

While on our way, I saw a newly opened amusement park. A temporary one built on a playground, huge hoardings of exciting rides, balls and balloons, ice creams and chocolates – a vibrant environment. The tall colourful lights on every ride were surely the most powerful attraction of this park. A lot of kids were standing in front of the park with their families and friends excitedly waiting for their turn to enter.

That momentary sight tickled my mind. Reminded me my childhood memories. It had been years visiting such a place. My father used to take us to amusement parks after our exams – a simple way to distress our little brains. 😎

Would it be a good idea to take my soon turning 2 years son to this place? A thought pricked. Well why not – I said to myself. But isn’t he too small for this place? Caring mom in me peeped.

After a couple of thought exchanges between my caring side and my practical side, we made our way to the amusement park.

We entered the amusement park. Every ride had a queue of kids waiting desperately for their turns. The Mary-go-around, the Columbus boat, the dash-the-car, the jumping jack – all were full of joyous screams! I must say – those innocent smiles have an extra ordinary power of refreshing our lives!

Out of the few rides suited for my son, we made him sit on a play car ride. A simple one with 5-6 cars rotating on a small horizontal wheel like structure.

His way of holding the steering, the joy in his sparkling eyes, the way he waved his little hand every time the car passed by us – the complete experience was a speechless delight!

I think more than he enjoying his first time visit to such a park, we were amazed seeing his play. 🙂

He played few more rides – a bike ride, a small dragon ride, a helicopter ride – with the same enthusiasm and energy.

At last we went to the jumping balloon ride. It was a huge balloon with a netted flat base where kids can keep jumping. They had kept some balls inside to add more fun.

There were few more kids inside the balloon – between 2-5 years of age. I was scared initially – fearing he will get hurt if another kid falls on him while jumping. So I stood a bit far while my husband dropped his inside the balloon.

At first, he didn’t understand what to do. The moment he used to try standing, the balloon would shake by the jumps of other kids and he used to fall down. He tried couple of times, then just sat in the middle of the floor wondering what to do next. My husband read his mind, made some signs asking him to crawl and come to us, which he perfectly understood and followed. Then my husband holded his right hand and said – jump. He jumped and yay!! – he was doing exactly the same as other kids. He was happy for his success!! He kept jumping, losing his balance, kicking the balls that came near him. Adventurous – for him and for us.

Ahh, what a heartfelt experience was this!! 🙂

After the rides section was a small market area. We bought some toys for him, which he proudly carried. We got our family photo clicked in sketch style – that has become a frame in our bedroom now.

Wow, a great evening spent!!

I don’t know when I will go to Paris, but I am sure when we have our loved ones with us, every place has a Paris in it!! 🙂

Inhumanity? Insanity? What would you call this?

Standard

girlI saw her on a bed in the hospital. She was all alone, no relatives no friends nearby. Only tears in eyes and a 1-day old baby next to her. Her face showed her helplessness, her disappointment, her anger, probably her urge to end this life.

I wondered what would have happened to her? For every woman, the day when she gives birth to baby is the most special day of her life. The happiness cannot be compared to anything else in this world. Then why is this lady so depressed?

I didn’t know if it was fine to go and ask her directly. I was in the hospital for my regular check-up when I had a glimpse of her. Do I have any rights to interfere in others personal space?

I know how a would-be mother and a new mother feel about the baby. I am counting days myself. Then what’s wrong with her? My mind couldn’t get her out of my thoughts. These questions kept poking me.

Should I go and talk to her? Are my words going to break her more? Or should I simply hold on my silence?

Probably god understood my dilemma. So he sent a nurse in her room to give her medicines. I got my way. When the nurse came out, I took courage to ask what’s happening.

I was shocked to hear the truth. This lady had given birth to a baby girl and so all her family members including her husband were upset and didn’t bother to be with her in this situation.

I can’t believe this still happens in India? Not in rural place but in a city like Pune, in a hospital like this which only a middle class and above can afford, not with illiterate people but with people who look so well educated?

For a moment, I couldn’t digest this fact. No, come on this can’t really happen.

I saw her again, and her baby as well. The baby was no less than a cute little princess. Any stranger will fall in love with such an innocent tiny-tot, then how can her father and family hate her so much? What’s her mistake if she is a girl?

In these months, I have seen so many couples in the hospital who are praying hard to god and spending thousands and thousands to have a baby of their own. And when their treatment fails, I have seen their hearts broken through their eyes. They wait for years and years for this happiness.

And look at this family; they don’t even care about the just born?

Can people be so inhuman?

For a moment, our education system, our awareness campaigns, our society – everything looked meaningless. Where are we heading really?

I glanced back at my own life. Are there any drops of this acid in my life?

Unfortunately, the answer my heart gave was “YES”.

Post marriage, whenever I have visited temples, whenever I have taken blessing of elders – specially elderly women – they have all blessed me to “HAVE A SON”. I have been ignoring this fact, thinking they are from older generation. But today I feel, are these the people who are making India like this?

Isn’t it ironic for a woman to bless another woman to have a boy not a girl?

I looked back further..

We are two sisters to my parents. I mean “NO SON” to my parents. I thank them to give us this life. Imagine if they were like this family, we wouldn’t have been in existence even.

I remember my relatives asking – “Oh you don’t have a son?” Then trying to sympathize with my parents.

When I got married, people teased my parents that “one daughter is leaving you and second one would go soon, wish you had a son to take care of you in old days”. I wondered since then, why can’t I take care of them in their old age?

My mom dad are strong. I have never seen them feeling low that they don’t have son. They have been boldly answering that they don’t need a son, their world is complete with their daughters.

How blessed it feels to have such parents.. 🙂

I am proud to say that me and my sister have done nothing less to my parents that a son would have done.

I always thought that if I can be a daughter and not a daughter in law to my husband’s family, my husband can also be a son to my parents. And I was proved right all the time since I am married. I don’t have any restrictions to take care of my parents. Why should I have even?

Are parents a responsibility of son only?

If my experience of being a girl is good, then why are women facing this problem still?

Will a baby be hated just because she is a girl? Will she be taken as a burden lifelong without her mistake?

This 1-day old baby doesn’t even know what a girl and a boy is.

Are we living in a society that can be called “well-educated”and “modern”?

THINK ABOUT IT. 

Mom’s lap.. ♥

Standard

Mom 1My mom – the first one to know me when I was not even born. The one who cared me before me seeing this world, the one who understood me before even me understanding myself. The first and the most special relation I made in my life.

That’s what god says – “just because I can’t be present everywhere, I have given you a mom” 🙂

When I was born, my mom would have felt that I completed her world. I am sure she spent all these years dreaming about my future, praying for my well-being, protecting me from all the evils of the world.

In my childhood, she molded me to be a good human-being, gave me values of life that define what I am today, became a teacher (rather the most strict teacher :P) so I get the importance of education, played with me as a friend, taught me value of social life and the various relations that we hold. She sacrificed her own dreams for me and would have seen them come true through me.

Like a potter, she molded the pot of my life ♥

As I grew to the most rebellion age of teen, friends became priority. Mom became a character who imposes restrictions all the time. Listening to friends and being with them all the time was like a prestige of life, ignoring what mom had to say about it. Mom was like a old-fashioned person in life.  Though I loved her so much that time as well, I never bothered to tell her the same. She was more of a person whom I can take for granted anytime and everytime.

Mom silently absorbed all that and still kept caring the same way as she was.

Then came the age of early twenties. Mind and heart were full of dreams of bright future, college, career. Enjoyment of life was at the fullest.  New friends, new jobs, new environments kept coming and going and I got too involved in these attractions. Mom was at home, for me, just to be informed where I am. That’s it. Yeah, sometimes to order her to cook my favorite dishes.

Mom still adapted to whatever I did.

When I told her that I want to marry the person I love, of course her dreams of my marriage would have got scattered. However, just for my happiness, she agreed and made sure the biggest event of my life was made the most memorable one.

Even today, when I am busy managing work and home, she keeps calling me everyday to know my well-being. Sometimes I speak with her sometimes, sometimes disconnect her calls when I am in meetings, sometimes forget to call her back due to work, but she has not given up her consistency.

That’s what my mom is!!

Today, when I am taking this journey to be a mom soon, I realize what all my mom has done for me and what all I have given her in return.

Of course I never forgot my responsibilities towards her health, towards giving her those small surprises on her birthday and all, but when I look at what she has done for me, they all look too small to be done for her.

I feel lucky to have her in my life and feel sorry that I couldn’t do much for her that she really deserved.

I feel like silently putting my head in her lap and ask her forgiveness. I am sure whatever stage of life I am, my mom’s lap is the most secure place for me in this whole world where I will get unconditional love without any second thought.

Love you mom!

♥ Love just needs.. TIME.. ♥

Standard

We have many loved ones around us – our family, friends, well-wishers. They all love us and so do we. However life has become so fast-paced that we hardly get time express our love for them. We hardly get the time to think what is working right, what is going wrong in our life or hardly care to find roots of our own feelings. We just keep running every minute, every hour, every day ignoring our inner self that seeks peace and satisfaction.

Today, as I sit in the window looking at rain, I am trying to figure out that missing block in me. Rain has always given that freshness to my mind to think right. When the tiny rain drops sprinkle on my face, I feel that all the wrongs are going to be wiped out of me and I will come out clean 🙂 So I start clean, thinking, analyzing my life and making sure to rectify my mistakes.

I am sure many of you all would agree that though you wanted to call a friend, or visit your parents – something came up and you couldn’t. Call it our poor time management skill or just overload of work, we really don’t have time.

Being a working woman, I too have to keep juggling between roles of a home-maker to a manager to a cook to what not. My time flies so fast that at the end of the day, I don’t have time to talk to myself, and so to my loved ones too.

Thanks to the medical leave I took that gave me breathing space to reflect back on my life, to analysis what my people expect from me and what I am not able to give them, to realize that I am hurting people who mean the most to me.

“Its better now then never” – truly said and that’s what I followed! 🙂

My mom calls me every day without fail just to check whether I had food on time, whether I am doing fine. However most of the times, I just disconnect her call or make it short saying I am busy and I will call her. Not that I don’t want to talk to her, just that I can’t manage time well in my tight schedule of the day. I wondered today how much time it takes for me to just give a buzz to her and tell her I am fine, I had food and ask her not to worry – hardly 10-15 mins I would guess. Can’t I manage this much? What do our parents expect from us, just a little time to care them, or at least respect the care they have for us. These 10-15mins call will give her so much happiness and sense of relief and its so easy for me to do this! Mom, I hurted you till now but I promise I won’t repeat this from today!

Thinking all this, I called her and trust me, I could feel her smile over the phone. Love you mom! 🙂

Then my thinking cap turned towards my friends who care so much for me. I have been missing calls from my best friends due to a meeting or a client call or just because I was into something important. In short – I was taking my friends for granted that they understand, unknowingly giving them a feeling that I don’t care for the care they have for me, which of course is not true.

Now was the time to call them and tell them that I am privileged to have them in my life and apologize. For sure I knew, they will take it light and we ended up our call with laughs and light heart 🙂

And now last, but definitely not the least – my husband. Though we are a nuclear family and have all privacy that we need, there is a little time that overlaps for us where we are together at home. I have been cribbing about this to him since we got married but we never reached any solution for this nor were we determined enough to do so.  Our routine for evening is to come home and then me getting into cooking and he busy watching TV.

However, since the time my health got little upset, I saw a change in him – rather a BIG change. 🙂 In a day, I get many sms’s asking about my lunch, my snacks, my work tension. Now, the TV watching time has become our “evening walk together” time and the “morning getting up late time” has become salad cutting time for us. 🙂 The alarms that he hated for all his life have become reminders for my medicines now. I am happy with this change, just that I didn’t convey with to him yet. Now, I have decided to call him and tell him how much it means to me 🙂 That’s what is my next call now.

Today with this blog, I want to thank all my loved ones for their love, care and support. I want to tell them that they mean the world to me.

Time is the basic expectation our loved ones have from us no matter how busy we are or what is keeping us occupied. Someone close to me once said – couple of minutes spent for loved ones when we don’t have time carries more value than hours spent with them when we are free. How true is that!

At the end of the day, the memories we have with them and the smile on their faces matter the most in this world. Is that not what we are earning for?