Kadam Chhota, Change Bada!

Let me at the very outset confess that I wasn’t going to participate in this.

What could I add that hasn’t been said already? But the recent events in my own small sphere have been instrumental in my penning this post.

Scintillating_Sonny has been interning in a new city. A packed semester left him very little time to finalize a place to stay in his chosen city. Scintillating_Sonny was to stay with his seniors from college for a couple days and then move into his own quarters.

As parents of grown-ups, we are simply expected to stay back and watch the scary proceedings while flaunting a benign understanding smile, with tsunamis exploding in our stomachs. Plus transferring the money as and when required. The itch to set things right is so overpowering that your knuckles turn white because you are holding onto the chairs to control yourself and avoid saying ‘I told you! But you just don’t listen to me!“.

Thanks to GyaaniGoogle, we knew all about his trysts with destiny. I think my hotline with God worked because Scintillating_Sonny soon found a place to stay, where all the checkboxes were ticked. (Well Lord Supreme had to respond. I was buzzing him non-stop, 24/7)

During his stay with his seniors, Sonny made the breakfast every day. As luck would have it when he was vacating the seniors’ house, there were no flatmates present. My boy cleaned the entire kitchen, washed the dishes, restocked the fridge, cleaned up the bathroom too. Like a typical mom, I wailed away singing, “Badi nazo se pali Hamara Banna“. It was Hmm_Husband who brought back some needed clarity. “We should be proud of the way we have raised him. Self-sufficient and highly responsible. Take pride in that and stop moping! He is a survivor!

Bhale hi mere Kadam Chhota ho, yeh Change Bada hi hai!

Because Sonny is completely house-trained. Countless times he has rustled up food for the family while I was busy with my own work. Washed the dishes when the maid didn’t turn up.  Hmm_Husband has been the pusher here, saying everyone needs to contribute to the efficient running of a home.

Right now, in her summer holidays, Darling-Dotty is being trained to look after the morning routine of the kitchen.

As a family, we may not be bringing in the revolution. But we are making a small change in our own sphere, where there is no gender associated with chores and all four of us are equal entities making a beautiful whole.

In the FB group (SeniorSchoolMoms) that I admin, Moms query freely and frankly about the educational options ahead for their children and seek assistance for their teenagers’ troubles like cyberbullying, peer pressure, relationship issues.

 I am happy that I have been able to create a supportive and an idea-sharing platform where Moms could be free of harsh judgments.

My ‘Happy Hours’ are 5-7pm when I tutor teenagers of the condo. No topic is taboo enough. We discuss everything.

I often say that Rational Thinking should be the only religion because increased Misogyny is the vile by-product when misplaced machismo gets heralded as exemplary.

When we raise sorted, rational, fair children, unburdened by the narrow schisms of society, we would have contributed to nation building.

The change begins with me.

Let us keep walking.

Every change begins with a small step, whether it’s a change within your family or the whole country! India’s hero, Padman, had its digital premiere on ZEE5, on 11th May. Don’t miss this inspiring true-life story, on ZEE5. Download the app and subscribe nowFor every subscription, ZEE5 will donate Rs. 5 towards the personal hygiene needs of underprivileged women.

30 Minutes Timer To Just Write

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

30 Minutes timer to write

To write whatever comes to your mind, without the worry of corrections and paying attention to grammar. It is a cardinal sin, one part of me screams.

This from someone who wrote -Florence Nightingale was a promiscuous lady ( I thought this was some kickass word ).

About 4 years back, as i struggled with a major disease, i started writing these lil daily snippets on facebook. Then gingerly ventured into story writing. One fine day, a mail came asking for permission to print a story of mine – Awright! No one fools in June right? That is an April Trick. Turned out the mail was as true as sunrise.

One thing led to another and now i feel incomplete unless i write something and unleash on the poor unsuspecting world. How they react to it? Well that is the thing about fb. It does announce to the world when so and so become friends but when someone unfriends you, you wouldn’t even know. So in the comforting bliss of my ignorance, I flood the cyber-space, that they are eagerly lapping it up (shh- even if you are not, don’t say it!)

But these days, there is a ritual to be followed once you decide to write your quota of 400 words.

  1. Charge your Mac
  2. Check into fb – shower the like/love on posts you love and like ( yeah it is the other way round) – hoping that you will be showered with similar love. Fingers crossed.
  3. Now that Amazon Prime has been picked at 11:30 pm on the last day of the 499/- offer, check if any new shows/movies have been added. Curse self for not seeing House of Cards completely, before they spaced out Kevin.
  4. And frown at web.whatsapp with its crazily mushrooming groups and the ‘Hello it is a beautiful Morning! You are super special! Go seize the day!” pings. Everyone gets the same message okay? So everyone is unique and special no? Aila! First of all, Mine was a terrible Sunday where i suffered the whole day with the knots in my stomach – Wisdom tooth as is expected is coming horizontally (that explains everything!) and I stare at a root canal thrown in as a bonus. Okay I love ‘Buy one- Get one Free’ But this is bumper bonus!  Plus the washing machine creates Madras Flash floods in the kitchen the moment I switch on. The service engineer cannot come because his stock of gasket has been eaten by rats! I swear i am not making up anything. While I lie groaning holding teeth, husband and daughter cook. Something positive did come out of the mayhem.
  5. And on cue son calls. He was always a nut, now he is a health nut. He starts off with a grandiose ‘I am disappointed with you’ Oh yeah that means I am top notch mom. But this time because we haven’t kickstarted our health fix. He then proceeds to give a dressing down to hubby and daughter at the skewed gender bender. They should be more self-sufficient! Have you ever been in liquid oxygen? The type that can not kill you yet wont let you die – same thing I feel – don’t know whether to be exhilarated or cry in agony.
  6. Finally to actual writing. Funnily, without fail, always my daughter takes out her ukulele and belts out top 50 chart busters in UK and USA too. Though the expenses of her music classes now seem to be well worth it – there are times i want to be like that uni-dimensionally angry poppa of secret-superstar – You know, Ukulele’s strings magically get &*^&&. But I know what hell will await me, if that were to happen. Did we forget that husband? He chooses that very moment to share something that happened in Tunisia or those seminary innocuous news bits but will be counted tomorrow as the footprints that changed the world. I nod, I also listen though sometimes, I just hear.
  7. Finally peace! But by now, I have quite forgotten what I was going to write. So i start the loop again – Now you know why I am an eternal Work In Progress? 
  8. Phew I have been writing for  the past 28 minutes continuously- Just whatever came to my mind.
  9. This is the unedited, first draft as the rules demand. I started at 10:30pm and at 11:00PM 😀
  10. So it is a Yes I Can – There is Hope and tomorrow is a better day! Amen
  11. Pens down

An Unforgettable Friend

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

I carry your heart…I carry it in my heart

Thought the teary-eyed, recuperating patient, lying on his bed, in the intensive care unit.

In a split second, he was back in time and to the very place where it had all started.

They were childhood friends, who grew up with same tastes and who then developed intense feelings for each other. The boys knew, they couldn’t let the world sneak in on their secret. It wouldn’t understand with its draconian divisions of people.

So they masqueraded their affection as ‘close-friendship’ lest the hyper vigilante society separated them, punishing them.

They then decided that the first world with its more liberal outlook might be safe for them to disappear, to breathe free, to be alive.

The families definitely had no clue about this. Otherwise, all hell would be let loose.

They even acquired the requisite permits till a killer truck played the spoilsport, while they were returning from a night-show.

It is a perfect match. Both are of same age, build and height. Ravi has a chance to live if Sarath’s heart is used for implanting.”  The good doctor had advised.

Beta, I see my lost son in you.” cried Sarath’s mother, clutching Ravi.

I carry your heart…I carry it in my heart!

And in death, we are finally together, away from this rigid society’s judgements and rancor. Rest in peace, my love, my unforgettable friend. For now, I will protect you with my life” Thought Ravi, clutching his beloved heart.

I am Seshu

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We are having our monthly picnic in the hills now, as I speak to you.

I, Seshu, my twin sister Diya and her beau Raghu – Her Beau who is my best pal.

There they go again, hugging and kissing, right in front of me, as if I don’t exist, my views on this display of love, don’t matter! Anytime and anywhere is PDA time for these two love birds!

You must be wondering, why do I fret so. After all, these two, are my sister and my best pal. What else would one ask in life?

Ha! Ha! You see, God( if he exists that is!) has been flagrantly unfair to me. My sister Diya, is youth and beauty personified with the grace of a gorgeous gazelle. And I? Bound to a wheelchair, because of my cerebral palsy. Even with this disease, I am an Einstein when compared to my sister. She is a bimbette, you know. You could say a kind one at that. She looks after me with a smothering love! There have been enough times when I have wondered, how does it feel to snap her delicate neck, whenever she came running to bestow upon me, her innate, albeit grating kindness! If only my hands could derive the requisite strength from my burning anger at the unfairness of it all – She being the destiny’s chosen one and I, it’s cruel joke! But then, almost immediately, I feel ashamed at my vile thoughts as Diya fusses over me, narrating her – as is usual – a spectacular day.

Oh! how I hate this see-saw of naked emotions! You can almost feel my blood boil when the public goes gaga over her! How often have I heard them whisper conspiratorially to my father, (an unfortunate widower, who has to bravely bear the vicissitudes of life namely his wife’s death and thereby, looking after the crippled me!! )

How beautiful and dutiful is Diya! So caring! Can’t believe these two, are twins! Tch Tch! Don’t worry, you poor man. Your darling daughter will be the pillar of strength to your handicapped son! He will not be left alone. All will be Ok!

I’m not handicapped, dammit! I have a brain, I have feelings, my heart can feel love and conceal vitriolic hatred too, Thank you! Then, just to rub salt on my festering wounds, my father would come in and ruffle my hair, check the settings of my wheelchair! Eesh father! stop pitying me. They don’t make like you, even in the movies anymore!

To this saccharine sweet setting, to save me from further disaster entered Raghu, Diya’s classmate, as my savior. Raghu is virile, the quintessential Alpha-male. Raghu’s views and tastes match with mine. We would often chat about books, politics, events and he would read out to me, interesting excerpts. He was the first one to see a soul hidden deep inside my crippled and under developed body. He drew me out. I mattered to him, my opinions did.

Diya would often join us, not to contribute but to nod periodically and to eye her dishy classmate.There were fireworks all around. Between Diya and Raghu and unknown to all, my heart beat violently for Raghu. I would wait for him to touch me, lift me, help me around. Those were electrifying moments. But sadly only to me. Raghu had no inkling whatsoever of how I felt. I couldn’t dare let Raghu or for that matter, anyone else know.

This society wasn’t ready yet, for a brother and sister to have the same lover. But if my sexuality or my sexual preference made others uncomfortable or did not fit into the ‘usual’, is it my problem? Should I be the one, always adjusting and conforming to what is ‘Kosher’? Why can’t I be accepted and left alone? I am neither abnormal nor abominable. I just am!! 

As I vacillated between these extreme thoughts, Raghu proposed to Diya. Everyone celebrated except me.

Why good lord? Why? To have your sister touch what was supposed to be mine…All mine. Can you imagine the choking ache that sat permanently in my chest, in my throat? And it was open season now. That open, anytime PDA was enough to pierce my heart. Incensed at this new betrayal by fate, I tried to hog Raghu’s time, whenever he came visiting us, often asking him to help me out with various activities. Seeing Diya get irritated at my being a nuisance, hogging her time, somehow satisfied me.

Father, though, encouraged my growing dependence on Raghu as it somehow comforted him that there would be someone who would look after me, after he was gone.

All was honky-dory, till yesterday. I asked Raghu to help me change my shirt. As his hands struggled with my body, my fingers grabbed his hand and…You should have seen the revulsion in his eyes. As if he had touched a snake. His mental rebuke, killed me on the spot. Wordlessly, he walked out, closing the door behind him, leaving me to battle with my darkness, my demons, my insecurities. The longest hours of my life!

Today is the scheduled day of our monthly picnic in the hills. I thought, Raghu wouldn’t keep up with his date. Surprisingly, he did come but there has been no eye contact with me so far. Today Raghu seemed to hug Diya more, as if to drive home the point.

I am elated nonetheless, just to feel his presence around. I turn my head away, lest someone sees my hot scalding tears. I vow that I will do whatever it takes, to get the status quo back. He is just too precious to let go.

Now, please don’t advise me to forget him, to move on and that there are other fish in the pond as I agree to these already. The heart always craves for what it wants, you see. I don’t think I have the strength to tell father the truth, or to start all over, with someone else. Maybe time will be the best healer.

I move to the edge of the cliff. I can see the valley deep down. I turn back to see them kissing. Raghu’s eyes meet mine. There is that searing hatred in those black orbs…I know it clearly then, that it will never be the same again, come what may!

In a flash, I Seshu, am flying. I can feel the wind in my arms, my legs are dancing, mother Earth is eagerly waiting to embrace me.

I am one with the approving universe, finally.

A Valentine Tale

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Aslesha looked around her office. Somehow there was too much red all around, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner.

Aslesha hated February. It was the month that had given her love and also had asked so much of her.

Aslesha instinctively looked at the date and shuddered.

14th Feb, was just a week away. It took her a whole year to recover from the effect of this day. Year after year. A never ending emotional ringer

For, it was the day, when Amir had proposed to her and years later, on the very same day, she chose to pull the plug on him.

Amir And Aslesha, were as different as chalk and cheese. She was a beauteous brainy. He was a brawny charmer. They were classmates at the university. Amir was struck by the thunderbolt as soon as he saw her. He pursued Aslesha ardently. Aslesha came from a very conservative background and she knew that religion would be the deal breaker. She tried her very best to keep away but soon succumbed to his wooing. Two years whirred past, while they became closer and closer.

They both acquired their degrees and were now ready to take on the world. They decided to get hitched. All hell broke loose in their respective families. Hastily alternate alliances were settled after threats of suicides and mass killings.

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One fine day, Amir and Aslesha escaped to the Maximum city, after tying the knot and disappeared into the pulsating crowd. It was the 14th of Feb. They both found jobs and set up a small loving home. Soon Shehzyada, their son, arrived on the scene. Everything was just perfect though Families had disowned them

They say,  life comes in waves of crests and troughs.

One evening, Amir wound up his work quickly and was on his way home. He was already running late. They were to watch the latest flick and then plan about their 5th wedding anniversary.

He never made it home.

Aslesha collapsed in a heap when that dreaded call came. His parents came running but her parents hadn’t forgiven her yet. All called her vile names and said she was bad luck personified, who claimed  her husband’s life.

The doctors soon gave up. There was no question of reviving him. It was just a matter of time – Unplugging the ventilator and seeing the flatline.

Yes, some of his vital organs could give a breath of life to some very needy. It was her decision to take and her’s alone.

As her world came crashing around her, as her relatives, who were supposed to be her strength, castigated her, as they threatened to take away her prince, she became rock solid and took the toughest decision of life. She made Amir live on, with her supreme sacrifice. She saw hell on earth while she became the angel to many.

It was 14th Feb. She then rose like a phoenix from hers ashes. Work consumed her and her son became her strength.

It was the constant ringing of her phone that finally brought Aslesha into the present.

It was Aaron on the other side, confirming their dinner plans, for the evening.

Aslesha, wearily made her way towards her pad. Sheh, her now strapping son, was in his room, studying.

How was your day? Have your dinner on time. I’m going out..”Aslesha said.

Aaron?” Sheh asked. Aslesha merely nodded.

Mom, what are you going to do about his proposal?

Sheh!!” Aslesha was angry now.

Mom, you deserve your share of happiness. Put your past behind. We have had so many discussions on this. You cannot let the poor guy hang around forever. You will never see those days again. Don’t hurt so much. Embrace the joy that Aaron promises you!

Sheh! You are talking beyond your age. I do not appreciate this. And..

Mom, just give it another thought. Okay?” Aslesha fell silent as Sheh got up to hug her and comfort her.

Aslesha then went for her dinner. Loving Aaron was waiting patiently. He popped the question again.

Aslesha, My love for you, is enough to see us through. I won’t leave you. Ever! It is a promise. Abide with me.” Aaron held her hand as she wept.

Aslesha finally took a leap of faith and a shot at embracing life again.

Aaron and Aslesha got married with Sheh being the best man.

It was the 14th of Feb. marriage3

Upma and AnUpma

Scintillating_Sonny shook All_Jazz, as she gentle snored at around 10 am, on a wintry morning.

Damn! another earthquake? Where the hell is that handy backpack carrying all the essential documents?” All_Jazz mulled as her limited zonked out  brain cells tried to comprehend the enormity of the situation.

We need to talk!” Scintillating_Sonny sternly suggested, as he continued to shake All_Jazz, his mom!

Have we reached that stage in our relationship already Sonny?” stuttered All_Jazz, slowly coming to life, in the man-kind infested world.

Yes! And it is high time! I have to be independent now! Teach me how to cook!” 

What?

This from the First-Born when the Second-Born, the Darling_Dotty, sprawled in front of the TV, had screamed, “Khana Milega? Ya lena Padega?” Uff you never know with these ones really!

Huh? Sonny? Are you ok? Anything serious? Are you setting up another home?

Mom! Why do you go off on a tangent, always?

I haven’t had my caffeine fix yet!

Go and finish your ablutions and I will get you a steaming cup of coffee!

Seriously? Were Gods on her side today?

As she came out of the loo, her coffee was ready and Scintillating_Sonny had fired up his laptop…Oh Oh!

Mom, today we start with the basic tiffin- Upma! I have done all the research online. There are various types – Rava, Cornmeal, Oats and..

Oats? You had to search online for that? I am paid to write about oats! And here, you search online? Here is the link to my blogpost containing the recipes, all made from oats!” All_Jazz was reckless!

All_Jazz never knew when to stop. She was forever putting her foot in the mouth – kind of making the ends meet really. May be it was the caffeine that was doing the crazy talk.

Mom, today we start with Rava, tomorrow oats and day after we try corn-meal!

Scintillating_Sonny never saw All_Jazz fainting.

And so it went on – Sonny’s experiments with Upma. The family gamely indulged.

On a crispy Sunday morning, as All_Jazz sat solving Sudoku, Sonny served up this bowl. She started believing in heaven again!!

It is up to us Moms to make sure gender bias doesn’t creep into our upbringing of our children. The children have to be self sufficient and independent!15400565_10154915523983846_5622098262640255483_n

Open Letter to be Opened Really

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Dearest Bachhas,

I’m back with another open letter to you guys. Seriously! No one reads these open letters anymore. It is time, they got a closure.

Anyway, let me not digress as I am wont to. Sometime back, there was a mail with the breaking news of blogging contest in a parental forum. ‘Having a Baby Changes Everything’. I quick glanced it and got back to work. But in the background, a process was running furiously.

The mind was ticking/mulling/thinking – Did it really change me? Did I undergo a sea change?

Did the change happen at that precise moment, when the pee-stick gave me back two resounding lines and made me bawl my lungs out to all-round mortification?

Or did the change creep in quietly and slowly while I bloated like a whale the first time( Now I am a mini whale but that is besides the point. Stop sniggering at this instant, You two!) Or simply fed up with life, as a seven month pregger, bundled you, my first born into the car and jaunted off to Mussorie as your dad took over the steering?

Maybe it was that instant when the good doctors held you, my first-born as a lil piglet and walloped your bum or when the second-born (of course the most perfect newborn ever!) was presented grandly as a delicate pink rose bud, I fathomed?

Why? It did sink me when you, my first-born, my Scintillating-Sonny, as roly-poly four year old, refused any form of physical outdoor exercise and was the happiest playing with lego-sets at home? But surely I soared when the same ladoo grew up into a strapping six footer. Now you do deep trekking which requires great stamina! How times and situations change!

It did pinch terribly, when you my second-born, without an iota of sadness, sauntered off to school, on your first day. But then I was happy, you were settling in fast and winning hearts all over.

Did I not shed a thousand silent tears, when you, my second-born, my Darling-Dotty, teary-eyed and scared as a kitten, announce the first periods? You are growing up way too fast honey and it is a big bad world out there. My lil flower, I do hope I can succeed in making you strong enough to watch out for all the hyenas out there and sensible and generous enough.

Did my heart not break into a hundred pieces, when you, my Scintillating-Sonny, chose to leave home and make a mark on the world’s stage? You exulted far more at a hostel seat than at a college seat! It was the hardest thing to do, letting you go, cutting my apron-strings. But then I held on resolutely because that is the only way ahead.

And the heart preened and the Manva did a rain dance as Scintillating-Sonny notched up successes and the world loved Darling-Dotty.

when my event and Dotty, your event clashed yet I obsessed over yours, like a mother hen.

Let it be known that, you both drive me insane. Thanks to you kiddos, My BP has shot up by several notches. I am suspicious, I am beginning to sport a bald pate, the expensive giggly twelve year old wala hair cuts not withstanding. I can also pass off as the friendly neighborhood Santa thanks to my jiggly-wigglies!

But would I ever have it any other ways?

I’m a Mother till I’m boxed and I’m warning you guys, I will be watching you from the world above too. Yeah I’m going to heaven, First Class! No way in hell. So, no respite there too.

I finally wind up with these words ( That is the pattern – I Praise, I then Castigate, then give the finishing touches by giving you some Ceolho worthy Gyaan)

I sincerely hope that I have been able to pass onto you what my parents have taught me. I can only fervently pray that you achieve all that you dream and more – That I was scared even to think of.

BTW, Dad also feels the same for all the above. I made him say so! Remember he is 50% responsible for all the mayhem that got unleashed.

So there!

Yours Eternally,

Your (S)mothering Amma/Mom