It’s your story.. dear woman!

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womanbAlarm rings.. 5am.. With drowsy eyes and a strong undesire to get up, I try locating my mobile – just to swipe the snooze button and get that “10 mins more” sweet sleep..

10 mins gone…. alarm rings again.. Why can’t gadgets too feel lazy sometimes? 😐

Finally I make my mind to get up.. Do I have an option?

Slow pace and rubbing eyes, I am out of the bed.. Yet another long day ahead..

And then it strikes me – ohh its special day today.. it’s Women’s Day.. it’s a day to celebrate the pride of being a woman.. to cherish the achievements.. to feel like a queen!! 🙂 🙂

As I start my home chores, I think.. how is women’s day gonna be different at home? I still have to go for walk, make my own coffee, cook, get my handsome little one ready, drop him to school.. aemm.. countless big and small to dos.. So am I really proud of being a women with an endless dance on the toes?

Yes, I am proud – A strong voice shouts from within. Look at the way I multi-task the whole day. I manage my home, my work, my son’s home-work ;), my husband’s taste buds, my parents, my friends, my maid (most importantly), my hobbies, my aspirations!

My world – just a perfect one! 🙂

And then I become a role-model.

TO my son, unknowingly I am teaching him that woman deserve equality, they are not meant “for-home chores only”. I am teaching him to be independent, I am letting him grow more like an individual – obvious reason – I am not around him all the time. I am working!!

TO my husband, I am assuring him that I am there – to share responsibilities – he is not a one man army! I am there to contribute in every little thing we do for our home, an ear for his office troubles – as I have them too! a strong back-up, when he wants to fly for his professional aspirations – he doesn’t need to be holding his discomforts for the sake of home responsibilities.

Wow – what a proud feeling – a working woman, yes I AM!! B-)

9am, I drive Avneesh to school, and keeping my cool, drive through the traffic jams and honking to reach office. I do a bit of make-up before settling on my seat 😛

and then there are e-mails flooded with wishes – happy womens day – from bankers to marketers to shopping sites – all are in full swing to please women!!

HR team makes sure we feel on top of the world today! Flowers, special gifts, games, motivations speeches – I love every moment of this enjoyment! Yes – I tell myself – such a blessing being a working women – happy, independent – full of self-esteem! 🙂

As the day passes and the clock strikes 1, all head for the “special lunch for beautiful ladies”. My heart runs home to see if Avneesh had food? Did he like it or left it halfway? Did he take his morning fruit?

I assure myself that all is going to be well and I don’t need to stress. Wasn’t I convinced with the thought of making him independent??

Day passes by. My mind keeps wandering around home. Did Avneesh do any new thing today that I missed to see? Did he speak a new word?? He must be missing mumma for a garden play, poor chap! 😦

Evening arrives as I start wrapping-up my work. What a pleasant weather it is – perfect for family time with coffee and chitchats! I smile with this thought.. I am sure my husband too would have been missing this! A day-dreamer in me visuals us together!

And then comes an e-mail – urgent action needed. Errr.. Does that mean I am going to be late? Is it yet another miss to a great family evening?? Hmm..

I know my people will understand.. They won’t complaint at all.. They know it’s a need to support family.. Still.. what is this feeling of incompleteness? Would it have been better to let go career, stay at home and enjoy every moment with family?? 😦

SO I finish the urgent tasks and get back home.. It’s too late for a refreshing coffee in the “tiny-fortune paid” home with amazing view from balcony.

Let’s cook-eat-sleep. Simple plan now. 😐

And the day gets over.

This is not just my story – but story of all the women in this world – working or not working doesn’t matter. It’s the story of tremendous patience and balance in a woman’s mind.

It’s about the power a woman has to handle these extremely opposite emotions of pride and guilt every single day!

I am proud of this power, I am proud of this balanced mind. I am proud of being a woman – god’s complete package deal!

Happy women’s day!

 

Old Age (NEW) Home

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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.

Old is Gold!

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My parents-in-law celebrated their 35th anniversary last week. It was a very special moment for our whole family. More than a celebration, it was a lesson for the young couples to follow their footsteps and lead a happy life.

They had recently visited Pune for a 1-week vacation to stay with us. This 1 week was full of learning for me.

When you have elders at home, it’s that extra moral support you get just by their presence. Their experiences are like teachings for us that help us lead our life in a better way.

I remember one such evening I spent with my mother-in-law and father-in-law sitting in our balcony having a cup of tea and listening to stories of their life, their struggles, their achievements, their experiences, all about their life. At the end of the talk, which I never wanted to end, I felt like yes I want to be like them.

To my surprise and a bit of disbelief, let me share with you, that in their 35 years of married life, they have never fought!! I think it’s more to do with that ‘’give-up” and “have patience”attitude the earlier generation had that helped them to be in sink with each other. I think this is a big achievement in itself. Isn’t it true that our relations are much bigger than our egos?

When my in-laws got married, my father-in-law’s salary was around Rs. 350 a month and even in that, they used to save 10-20 rupees. I had my eyes wide open when I heard this. In today’s world, when most of us have a five digit salary, we have no clue where the salary flows. Atleast I admit that I am poor at managing finance.

Not just savings, in that same salary, they had some school kids come home every Thursday for lunch. In villages we have this system to feed outstation kids that come from poor background once in a week as charity. I felt small hearing this. Though I do charity once in a while, this is something that raised respect for them to a much higher level.

Earlier generation was “people oriented”. May be that is the reason they don’t prefer cities with “closed doors” culture.They valued people more than money. And so, they never faced problems like feeling lonely, depressed or lost like our generation. For us, we prefer speaking on facebook, mobile or sms instead of meeting face to face. Think when was it last time you met a friend or a close relative?

For every small thing they purchased, be it a telephone, a pair of new clothes or shoes, they planned for months and saved and then bought. They never opted for loans 😛 And so, they had value for every small thing they owned. For us, we think it and we get it and so we don’t value our belongings so much.

The best thing I liked was the satisfaction they had throughout their life in managing everything with limited resources.

They are not just one example, there are plenty of them around us. My parents are one of them. Think about your parents, what all we can learn from them?

In this modern lifestyle that we have, we lack the important aspects of life – patience, satisfaction, adjustments, and sacrifices. They have all got covered with ego, self-importance, competition, jealousy and what now.

I believe our earlier generation is a deep ocean of experiences and more than books or anything else, we should learn life lessons from them. I feel lucky to be a part of such an amazing family!!

It’s really high time to sit and analyse where we are heading and where we way we should take to achieve real happiness of life.

The bottom line is Old is truly Gold!