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…

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. 

Whatever Happened to Love?

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I had a conversation with my daughter a few days ago ( as compared to the shouting matches we generally have). She wanted to know if I was ever in love before I got married. The conversation was obviously about Love and Relationships and all that humbug about who is “with” whom in school. There was a time when this was an issue only with college students or at least high school girls and boys. But I am noticing this between children below the age of 14. Really? You decide whom you want to spend your entire life with at the age of 14?

I got hitched when I was 21 years old, and although I did make the right choice , at that point in time, I was not sure if I was ready for such a commitment! And at the age of 14? 14? And this is a serious issue that actually needs to be discussed with your mother!

I am a teacher too. I have seem how my colleagues react to linkups that happen in middle school nowadays. In this day and age, why do we still cling on to link ups and affairs?  Why can’t there be friendship between boys and girls and just leave it at that!

I asked her to make a list of Pros and Cons of having a boyfriend. The list contained, the “getting noticed”, the popularity, the “coolness” factor. The best feelings that any teenager can hope for. The cons column was empty. She wasn’t sure what to put in there.

Time getting wasted chatting and dreaming, the heartbreak that follows and how it will effect studies, the unwanted attention, the gossips, the jealousy, the break up. Each of these causes a roller coaster of emotions in us. That added to the adolescent changes can bring about disasters of the worst kind. Some even ending their lives because of the embarrassment.

Just remain friends with everyone. Get to know your friends. Discover what traits that you like in others. Develop them in yourself. Create an identity for yourself first. Then and only then, give a chance for love to step in. Anything that makes you jump into mistakes is not love , it is just an infatuation. Let those slip by until your mind is ready to understand and accept the real thing.

Nothing had happened to love. It is still very much there. It is just highly misread and misunderstood these days.

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

Acknowledgement

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Festival of Words

Festival of Words

Is that the same shirt you were wearing yesterday, son? I gathered my courage to ask him. Yes! Came the uninterested reply. The fact that I had placed that shirt in the laundry basket myself this morning along with a set of used socks and sweater ,that I gathered from the bed in his room, had no impact on him!

It is futile expecting the kids’ rooms to be perfect during exams. At least there was no leftover food or sticky stains anywhere to wipe off! Thank you mom, came a loud roar from his room. Music to my ears.

Written for the Second Festival of Words at Write Tribe – Day 4 – Music.

vecchio libro con stilografica

NaBloPoMo December 2013

On the Menu

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Festival of Words

Festival of Words

Life was much simpler when all I had to worry about was cooking food for just the two of us. We were happy with rice gruel even for dinner. Or maybe just a vegetable soup!

Now everyday is a struggle to decide what to cook for dinner. Four people, four choices. We were a family of five. My father and we three sisters were quite happy with whatever my mom decided to place on the table. Am I spoiling my kids giving them such choices?

And by choices I mean the set of restaurant menus I collected over the years!

Written for the Second Festival of Words at Write Tribe – Day 2 – Food.

vecchio libro con stilografica

NaBloPoMo December 2013