It has been a while…

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My blog tells me that it has been 5 months since I wrote something here. I guess it is time to start writing again. If only planning to write , wanting to write and writing were all easy to do as they used to be.

Collecting thoughts and putting them down on paper (ahem) isn’t easy anymore. There is so much to say, so much I should not say and so much more that should have been said a long time ago. 

But one has to restart somewhere. Let it be now and let it be here. At the moment that I am still sad that my first born is not at home anymore , yet happy and proud of the man he has turned out to be. He has flown the coop . He is happy at a college in the US. This moment is precious to me. I just realized he misses home. I also just realized how selfish I am!

Let the feeling sink in, I keep telling myself. It hasn’t yet. He is still a child. He still behaves the same. He still is the same. I know it is wishful thinking to hope that he will always remains the same.

I started blogging when my kids were small and blogged through their teenage. In this new phase as a college mom, I am not sure what to blog about anymore. Until I figure out what to write about, I am leaving you with something that’s close to my heart these days :

Missing someone is bad enough, but being missed feels even worse…

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Being Hurt

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Being hurt is a sign of being human. Maturity should not take that from us.

   

When we are in a situation that has no solution, what can we do? 

I saw an ad recently issued in public interest about men and crying. It seems it  is something that has been grilled into boys for generations. 

Boys don’t cry!  Ladke rote nahi hai!

My first born is a boy and oh boy , the way he cried just after birth. His cries have kept me awake for nights together when he had the hernia and he couldn’t express what was hurting him. 

My husband cried the day our son was born. He cries when he sees any of us in pain. It’s a natural feeling to be hurt or to cry. Gender has nothing to do with it. Neither does age or maturity. 

It’s all about how much of a human we are. The daughter and I are a bit too human that way. Some insensitive people call us “too” sensitive. We are proud of it though! And no, we were not “taught” to cry because we are women. 

Yes, I am hurt. I am not embarrassed to express it. My life isn’t what I wanted it to be. I am not all what I could have been. 

I never thought being a mother would make me want to not want anything more in life. But it did. Even though it hurt every step of the way. The hurt of seeing my children grow. The hurt of them preparing to start a new life. The hurt of the first few harsh words that teenagers use. I have been there , done that and I have a few grey hairs and wrinkles to prove it. 

I see pregnant ladies in parks and malls and wonder if they have any idea how dramatically their life is going to change. The second child adds to that equation, the complexity of being “fair” and of equality. It never a ends, the battle against hurt. Yet we embrace each new hurt with a smiling face. We are only human. Humans that need love, care, understanding and a reason to continue living.

Laugh when you feel happy, cry when emotions overwhelm you.

That’s what life is all about. The simple essence of it. The essence of being ourselves. About being open to hurt and gaining the ability to overcome that pain. We mature, we learn, we grow. 

A Free Write

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I haven’t the faintest idea why I have embarked on this mission today. I am not able to blog these days. It is driving me crazy. I get email updates when my friends blog and it irritates me because I am not able to do so myself. Then I hear that November is the month to get back to writing. To that , add the magic words “500 words”. I am a fan of such short post challenges that don’t expect much from you other than just writing 500 words a day. How difficult can that be?

I speak a lot to people these days. My talks with myself thus reducing with each passing day. That is what this blog is all about. Me speaking to myself. Yes, I am self obsessed that way!

When I read about My500Words at Write Tribe , I knew that this was it. I need something like this to blog again. So here I am, doing a free write. Just letting the world know that I pledge to write for 31 days.

I am guessing the prompts are going to come into my email everyday. Thus, pushing me to write for the day. I hope so. I really need that reminder to go on.

Facebook is a long lost dream now. So no joining groups for a while. Maybe when I sit up and write continuously for a few days and get into the habit of it, I shall consider using facebook groups again.

Yes, I am thinking out loud. This is a free write remember!  Being a teacher, my mind is always busy planning something or the other. So why not plan my blogging too. Writing 500 words a day can’t be difficult at all. Considering there is so much happening these days for me to share.

My job keeps me engaged, my kids keep me on my toes and my writing keeps me sane. Yesterday , I wrote the first few scenes of a screenplay for a movie making competition. I needed to give a sample of a script to the students to work on. They need to work on different story lines based on the few scenes I have written. That is when it struck me. I miss writing. I miss it a lot. My English might not be perfect, my technique might not be right. But I love to write. That is a good sign isn’t it?

There is a story that I started on this blog a few weeks ago. I haven’t been able to give it a part two so far. Maybe I will continue with that. Maybe I will write one  short story a day. Maybe I will just ramble through the 500 words everyday. That is the beauty of this. There is no theme, no restrictions. I just need to write 500 words about anything.

There is so much joy in writing, only now do I realize how important blogging is to me. I will try and be regular. My word count is at 510 now. And here I stop for the day…

Why do I still have this blog?

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There are times when I want to say something to the world. There are times when my feelings need to be expressed. There are times when I just need to talk, not bothering about whether I am being heard or not. I am not a professional blogger. I blog for fun and I always have. I have changed domains and self hosting and done a lot of research on blogging platforms purely because I love doing it. I love the idea of blogging, I love the idea of connecting, I love the idea of expressing, I love the feeling of being a blogger.

I got rid of my Photograph blog and Photography Page a few weeks ago. It was long overdue. In the life that I am leading now, stuck between home and work  due to various reasons, I do not have the opportunity to take my DSLR out. In fact at this very moment, I do not even know in which corner of my house the DSLR is in. That is the situation I am in right now.

Blogging has helped me through a lot in life. I have made online friends who have remained only as online friends for a very good reason. I am not a very social person in person. I love my loneliness and my privacy too much, I guess. But I am in no way anti social. Maybe that is the reason this blog survived my wrath and is still functional. The fact that I had only 101 comments in my Spam folder after all these weeks is a proof that my blog is literally dead.

But I am not giving up. No way. I have so much more to say. So much more to contribute. So much more to share. But now, my family needs me more. So writing is taking a back seat now. But I am sure once my children fly the coop, my writing , blogging and photography will continue in full swing. Till then I need to nurture every spare moment I get with my kids. Life is too short to completely ignore the blog for such long periods of time. So, I have decided to post something or the other on this blog at least once a week.

Something that can be shared, needs to be shared. I am going to find time to share my thoughts before my talks with myself die a slow death. I want to keep that communication line open. Between me and my inner thoughts.

Hope to see you around.

P.S : It feels so good to blog again. I missed it sooooooo much. 🙂

blogging

A small one

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My mom grew up in a farm where everything was home grown. Well, almost everything. Some of the vegetables that my aunt used to pluck from the garden and cook for us, during the vacations in our ancestral home in Palakkad ,were mouth watering delicious. She was a very good cook too.

I still remember those “cheena mullaku” chutneys she used to make for breakfast. A strong chilly flavour packed into those ever so tiny chillies. The flavour, the smell and its combination with soft, white melt in the mouth idlis is truly unforgettable. During the initial years of shifting back from Dubai to India, my mom had managed to grow those at home here in Thrissur. But the plant dies off soon. And we are left with only memories of that flavour. The “look a likes” in the supermarket these days don’t even taste quarter as good!

Why am I talking about those tiny, adorable highly spicy chillies? Well, I am at my parents’  home right now on a short break. That too alone, without my family. This house is packed with memories of my college life as it was built during my first year of college. In fact, I left the day after the house warming  to join the hostel and start my second year in college.

Yes, that was in back in 1993. A very long time ago. My mom’s garden has undergone many changes since then. Today I went ahead and clicked a few pictures of the area surrounding this house. The small garden at the back of the house is definitely the highlight. So sharing those pictures here. Collecting memories, I guess.

Out of Focus Ash Gourd

Out of Focus Ash Gourd

Ash Gourd again

Ash Gourd again

One Bunch of Bananas

One Bunch of Bananas

Two bunches of Bananas

Two bunches of Bananas

Okra

Okra

String Beans

String Beans

Inspiration

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Nurturing Mom

Nurturing Mom

When this prompt was announced, I was in a dilemma. Maybe it is weird that there is not a single person who comes to mind when I think about the people who have inspired me. Maybe this may sound like an arrogant disclosure, but I assure you it is not!

I get inspired each morning. When I feel the winds blow, when I see flowers bloom, when I hear the birds chirp away. I find inspiration from the books I read, the blogs that I follow, the Facebook interactions I have everyday and the children I see around me. Some of these young children can really make you wonder if age is the only criteria for gaining knowledge and understanding. Some people are definitely born with a nurturing nature.

I see women struggle to make ends meet. I have seen mothers trying to make a better future for their children. Most of them smile through their misery, while most of  us whine through the day on comfortable beds and sofas and complain about the things going wrong in our lives. I have wondered how these people live their lives with no luxuries of any kind and yet smile their way through life.

There was a woman who used to come in to help with the house work every morning when my kids were younger. It was a time when I was considering going to work and trying to find someone trustworthy to leave my children with. This particular lady was a good cook. She never smiled much, she just did her job and that was it. It is obvious that she has a lot of problems back home in India. Or else she wouldn’t be here working as hired help in houses. Her employment visa was getting over and if we wanted to keep her, we could hire her and get her a visa. This was a long time ago, before the maid visa rules became so strict in the UAE.

She was a strong woman. I mean a well built woman. To be honest I used to be scared of her. But then I knew better not to judge a book by its cover. So I entrusted my just a year old daughter in her care while I sat with my son helping him with his KG homework. I left my daughter in her care for less than an hour. She was listening to news on her radio while keeping an eye on my daughter who was playing in the kids room with some toys.

After the homework was done and the lady went to start on dinner, I picked up my daughter and took her into the sitting room where her brother was doing his colouring work. She couldn’t speak at that point, but she looked sad and was pointing to her right hand. I lifted the sleeve of her top and I saw a black circle mark on her arm. I was furious. When I asked her what happened, she pointed towards the kitchen.

I couldn’t control my anger, I went into the kitchen and confronted the lady with it. She initially denied it, then she admitted it that my daughter wanted to come into the sitting room where I was seated and the lady was so engrossed in her radio news that she just held on to my daughter’s hand tightly so that she won’t leave the room. I didn’t hear my daughter cry, or else I would have run to her. I am not sure how her cries failed to reach me in a two bedroom apartment! I shudder to think if she scared my child into keeping mum!

There is an inspiration for you. This lady inspired me in more ways than one. Anyone who rarely smiles is definitely not someone you want around your kids. If your instincts tell you not to trust someone, follow it. After that incident I decided to care for my children on my own. I didn’t look for another nanny after that.

My mom was a good student in school. She was majoring in Botany at a college in Thrissur when she got married. She was more capable than any one at that point in time to work and make a career for herself. She would have definitely made a wonderful teacher. She was an amazing athlete in school too. She was good at basket ball and she was quite a champion at shot put too. But she chose to leave all that and take care of us three girls. In this part of the world getting help was next to impossible in the 1980s. She grew up in a house with three to four maids doing all the work for her. Here she was doing all the work and tending to three daughters and their needs. She managed to give us good education and also got us married to respectable people in the society. All with the salary that my dad brought home. She still strives to do her best to help the three of us and our families as much as she can. My dad is with her in everything she decides to do. Together they are the best set of grandparents a child can ever have.

If that is not Inspiration, then what is? They have not accomplished wonders in their lives. But they are miracle workers in our eyes. Lives which seem so perfect from the outside, need a lot of work to survive on the inside. They believed in not showing to the world the pain that came their way and not flaunting the gains either. A perfect balance and a well lived life. I wish we could give them something in return. But they don’t want anything from us. They don’t need anything from us other than love and respect. Not a difficult task at all considering how loveable and adorable they are. 🙂

Written for the Festival of Words 3 Day 5 @ Write Tribe : An Inspiring Story 

I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3
Photo Courtesy : Cherished hearts at Home