Posted in m@dness

Note in the Mood- 32

I have always opined that a low phase in life is something we humans must get used to. The age old adage about the ups and downs in life is certainly true but there is something very eerie about getting used to hardships. The state of mind, where you consciously stop counting what it takes to survive – to evolve and to keep standing. Its is when you understand that you are not just the seed, but also the air, water, and light.  This is where the real human potential starts to unfold – The state of absolute accountability and survival. It is blissful.

However, to reach there, you need your wings clipped and chopped, your back broken and bruised, your ego ruined and shattered. And to soar again, you need your faith to be undaunting, your hopes undiminished, and your values un-compromised.  When you have all the above, you will emerge unbreakable.

After working or rather slogging  away in the corporate jungle, I realised that when you are a woman (read: just because you are a woman), you need a couple of things more – a smiling face, a kind heart, never say die and most definitely the art to say “Buzz off” to everything that does not matter anymore.

 

 

That my dears is an art that I just mastered. Oh and Happy Independence Day!

Posted in m@dness

All in a day’s work

I have always been proud of the fact that I am very good at adapting to situations. I still am, I mean. Like when 2011 happened or 2015 or that time when I was jobless and sitting at home looking up at the ceiling or now when I am balancing a full time job and parenthood. I have adapted quite well!  SO while at home, I’d hate it if someone bugged me from work or ate into my home time. At work, I like being a workaholic! Staying immersed in it and completing task after task gives me a strange sense of achievement and peace. Not that I love every tiny bit of it, but I feel good that I am delivering value. I don’t know what people really mean when they say that one should love the work one does, because there is nothing that one can consistently love or hate. I love some parts of the work I do, I hate  some others. What motivates me is the hope that the value I am adding at my end would create a difference in the chain ahead. After all, at the end of the day, I must feel worthy of what I earn; and in the instances I feel that, I think I love my work, too.

It is the same thing while doing stuff at home. I have to put in my heart and soul into what I am doing. Be it cooking, cleaning or any of those home errands. Oh and these days I have a puppy and my baby and then the husband too. Its like managing 3 offices in different locations while constantly keeping track of what each other is doing! This is one area where I know I am contributing directly to the lives of 2 humans and a dog! What bliss!I earn the love of each of these beings in return and we all know, love is what makes the world go around.

On puritan grounds there is nothing like complete job satisfaction. The satisfaction comes, when we are able to do justice with the skill set we possess or think that we possess. I love writing, but then I do not want to do arbitrary writing on topics I like. I want to do things more powerful than just expressing my thoughts, I want people to find value in what I write, be it personal or technical.  With time I have realised that writing is not the thing my soul really longs for (Thats not the excuse for not blogging often. I am lazy!), it is about using the words to get people’s attention and focus. And the moment I bring this perspective into my work, I find my work very significant; and automatically my focus and dedication towards it increases. I so hope the boss isn’t reading because he is going to question the work I submit to him!

I remember a quote about contentment that said that contentment is about enjoying what you have right now. It has actually very less to do what you want in future. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all understandings and accepting your value is the key. Of course, accepting yourself is not as easy as it sounds. It is very important to know yourself and be comfortable in your skin to really be better. Pretense helps no one, neither does believing that we are better or worse than other people. But whom am I teaching? As the age old adage, charity begins from home.

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Posted in close to heart

Love long. Live Longer.

When you are loved, it shows. It does.

It beams and shines bright with the delight of being wanted, of being admired and longed for.Image result for Love
It shows in that swing of your waist, when you are free. It manifests in the song that you hum around.It shows in the way you put your foot forward when you have nowhere in particular to go and everywhere to reach.
It shows in the spirit of your laughter, when you are happy from inside. The mirth that springs through mouth and twinkles through eyes.

It matters when you know you matter that you are loved by the one you love. The glow, the waist, the swing, the spirit, the laughter, the heart. It all becomes a part of one – the Universe, your Universe.

Oh and people who love long, live longer! After all, love is vast and elusive. Much like the Universe or the God. How else can you explain the greatness of human intellect and its incapacity to yet explain it.

Happy Valentines Day! My y’all love long and live longer!

 

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Note in the mood- 31

 

imageI am the loneliness of the crowd

I am the silence of the talk

I am the dryness of the rain

I am the oneness of the many

I am the softness of the hard

I am the wetness of the dry

I am the happiness of the sad

I am the oneness of the many

I am the solitude of the open

I am the darkness of the light

I am the shallowness of the depth

I am the oneness of many

Coz’ I have been the one among many and many within the one

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Girlfriends- The Real SoulMates

For oft when on my couch I lie,

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye,

Which is the bliss of solitude.

-William Wordsworth

Quite unlike a normal day, I have a few minutes to spare and I was in the mood for some introspection. Happened to overhear a conversation between 2 college going girls and it bought a rush of memories. The girls were discussing about what to wear to work and what hairdo to adorn to college the next day! I remembered making calls to my bestie asking her what I should wear to the parties, to a function or just to go out. Oh the hours those phone calls used to last! While in school, a minimum of 5 calls after school was a must. The joy and satisfaction was priceless. Conversations would range from normal Wassup to philosophy and life!

Unlike men who never let anything come in between their manfriends and man -time, we women tend to get tied down to a lot of things. Especially after marriage. My bestie and I have been friends for decades. Longevity doesn’t necessarily elicit a deeper friendship but it sure keeps you from having to explain yourself. She knows my story. The ups and downs, the good, bad, ugly. She is my “Remember when” girl.

It’s hard to nurture friendships when you’re busy raising kids. Some days, I don’t have the time or energy. I pick up the phone to call her but something comes up. Despite all this, in some strange way we are connected. There are times when I have received a call just when I needed to speak to her. In my weakest moments  I have noticed that while faith keeps you standing, more than family, friends hold your hand as you slowly move forward. They help you find a new normal, continue checking on you and show love in a million heartfelt ways. And now listening to those girls having fun, I realize the laughter is only part of the story, what comes after the complicated grown-up stuff. And while we certainly need the wonderful men in our lives, for they play a crucial role, too, men simply aren’t designed to understand us like one of our own. Sometimes it takes another woman to intuitively recognize what needs to be done — then do it. Or to sense what needs to be said — then say it. Or to take the thoughts and emotions we don’t voice — and know what to make of them.

Here are the unspoken rules. I want my girl to know..SO…

  1. True girlfriends will tell you the good and the bad stuff. They will also find a way to make you feel OK about both.
  2. Your best friend may have other friends too. Accept it.
  3. We are imperfect people. Your friends will disappoint you. Forgive them even before they as
  4. A lack of phone contact should not breed insecurity, just excitement when you finally do connect.
  5. Don’t be a high maintenance friend, life’s hard enough. Just love well and often
  6. Apologize when you screw up, because you will.
  7. Don’t just say you’re going to pray for her, actually pray, even when she doesn’t ask.
  8. There’s a fine line between sharing information and gossiping. Don’t cross it and ask your friends to do the same.
  9. And lastly, no matter what it takes, catch up once in awhile. It will be worth it!

I hope this acts as a friendly reminder of why girlfriends matter in good times and bad, laughter and tears, and through the highs and lows that reveal who’s with us for the long haul, and who’s willing to share in our suffering so that one day, when we’re laughing together again , there will be a history that makes the laughter sound richer and stirs the curiosity of anyone in earshot.

Call your girlfriend. Now.

Image result for girls looking out

 

Posted in The Chronicles of A

A mother speaks- Chapter 4

In the past 26 months, I have learnt a lot. Changed as well. My toddler teaches me life lessons everyday. I am a mother. A working mother. You know what does it take to be one?  Lets just say, “a lot”!

“The obligation of working mothers is a very precise one:the feeling that one ought to work as if one didn’t have a child , while raising one’s child as if one didn’t have a job.”

There are days (read: most) when I feel guilty about not being able to spend time with Ami and about how I am missing out on her tiny milestones because of commitments. Commitment to work, family, home and so much more. There are also days when I cannot give a hundred percent to my work because of my commitments at home and because my heart is out there with my girl. My heart feels overwhelmed when I see the lives of some people around me. And I do not feel like this on why their lives are difficult, I feel this for the strength that they display despite of it. My dad is one such person. But that is a post for another day.

Parenting is difficult for anybody. I do not believe in anything that stereotypes us based on our genders. It is equally difficult for everyone. Raising a child well is indeed one of the most painstaking things one will ever do. It burns you out. And even if you are doing everything that you could, it still leaves you with the guilt that you could have done better. Especially if you are working too. And the worst thing is that the result of your most precious investment is very vague and fragile. You can only wish and hope that what you are doing today will someday transform the little one into a good person – a kind, sensitive human being who will have enough potential within, to earn himself a respectable and happy life. I can only pray that the little time I have for my own girl and the time that I teach her about life in general will lay her foundations and lay it strong.

Unfortunately, for the millenial generation, we no longer live in the times where kids were surrounded by a large family. Ask me and I’d say that those were the best of times. Everyone was involved in raising each other’s children. Everyone was responsible to lay the foundation for a child. In reality, now, we raise our kids in isolation. The only people they interact with regularly are the parents. The mom and dad inadvertently become the single source of all that that will constitute the child’s memory, thoughts, actions, behavior and to an extent the very personality of the child.  In that case, what about children of working parents who don’t really have the time to even contribute to that little bit? 😦
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There is no way you can rationalize to a child about why you cannot attend that sports day or annual day because you got caught up at work. You cannot explain to them either as to why  you couldnt sit and watch that cartoon with them because you had to finish the work at home. And you certainly cannot expect them to understand the reason you are working extra hours and extra jobs because you want to make sure that their life is good in the long run.They don’t understand your job is their lifeline too. They don’t understand anything. They just see what you do with them, to them, and will remember that always as faint memories of their childhood – some strange feeling. That is why it becomes even more important to ensure that they end up feeling good, even if there are momentary bouts of discomfort or discontent.  Every parent needs to show double the love of what they would do otherwise when they have the time.

Thankfully, love is a resource that is inexhaustible. In fact, it is that one thing, which if you allow it to do, will surround your entire being with itself and transform your sufferings from pain to contentment. Probably the reason that our(Ro and I) world stops and our smile appears as soon as we see our girl in the evening. That hop, skip and jump with a peck on our cheek assures  that everything is alright. We tell her everyday how much we love her. And she smiles, like she knows, like she understands. Maybe she does.

Posted in close to heart

Remembering an Iron Girl

” I was a failure in my personal life.My life is a open book. Everyone loves MGR ,even I did. But I was not accepted in a legal relationship. That made a fire in my mind to make an identity for myself. I would always feel that if my mother was alive in my crucial hours ,my personal life would have been more better than this. But I want to prove that Dr.MGR is my identity. So I entered the politics. An Indian tradition is that a girl is born as a daughter, then a wife and should die as a mother. I couldn’t achieve myself as a wife. But I will definitely die as a mother”.

A lady radiating poise and charm , making the men in general go weak at the knees passed away to the other side. At 11:30 PM on 5th December 2016, the nation or the world at large, lost an icon who had been a sensation in her early years, an encouragement to women all over during her prime and an absolute fighter towards the end. Jayalalitha Jayaram or “Amma” as she was known. The world lost a woman who was a rare concoction of vanity and valour.

Most of my girl pals are dumb and totally ignorant when it comes to politics and political figures. So it kind of surprised me that they were all quite emotionally posting stuff online as the news about Jayalalitha’s death gained momentum. As I read through the posts , i slowly realized that I shared the same sentiment. It wasn’t like I knew her personally or even followed her on any social platform (pun intended). On a serious note, till very recently I was confused between who was who in TN Politics. Of course I had heard about “Amma” from my dad who claims to be a distant relative of MGR who is her, well lets just say mentor. A few years back, i happen to see a video of hers and I started reading up on the person she was. A lot of my perceptions began to change within a few days.

Her first political campaign was called a ‘Cabaret Campaign’. Even for a woman as intelligent and charismatic as Amma with unmatched oratory skills, honour was still considered to reside between the legs.What differentiates her from you and me? Nothing. She was as much a girl as you and I am. I prefer to call her a girl, because when I look back and think of all the discussions and interviews I have seen of hers, she has constantly adorned a sense of innocence, stubbornness and recalcitrance that is more often seen in children than adults.  However, unlike most girls, she made the difficult choices and stuck through them despite almost always being in the wrong place or situation as fate would have it.Well behaved women rarely make history and it wasn’t very different in her case. Broken heart, glass ceilings, slut shamed and every other disgrace and depression that most of us are subjected to. What kept her going in spite of all this was her assertiveness, poise, sense of humor and grit.

The lady was corrupt in the sense that she did amass a lot of wealth but she was also extremely philanthropic. She made sure the people of her state had every item necessary to run a house. She empowered women. She made sure girls were given education. She built hospitals for the poor and she convinced the people of an entire state to elect her as Chief Minister 6 times! Down south, when everyone makes fun of the way we speak English, Amma made sure to give it back to any media person who ridiculed south indians. She spoke impeccable English and her control over 7 languages, stunning the world at large. She was bold, direct, fierce and powerful. What was most important was that none of this had come to her on a silver platter. She took pride in the fact that unlike a lot of people of her generation, she was self made. There are rumours that she was mentored by MGR but a little probe reveals that while it is true that MGR was her political guru, she took centre stage and revolutionized politics in TN with no support. She rose from the ground. It was her impudence and head strong attitude that paved the way for her, politically.

Everyone knows her as the person who silences opposition and who creates sycophants who fall at her feet and worship her. This was the only possible way she could command, consolidate and hold on to the otherwise elusive power. If she was any more cordial than this, she might have as well been an airhostess.

It will be several years, even decades, before another woman can even remotely achieve what she did in nation like India. In a few generations, I hope the tags attached to a woman changes. From “wife”, “mother”, “subtle” and “peaceful” to “brave”, “strong”, “powerful”.  To the woman who didn’t ask to be treated equal to a man, To the lady who was strong enough to stall even death several times. Last but not the least, to the girl who silently addressed millions of girls to not succumb to the ever dominant male society and to keep listening to your heart no  matter what the world says or thinks!. Ms. Jayalalithaa may your soul rest in peace. You will always be second to none. Thank you. God Speed.

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 This one if for the girl in you. Hope you listen from up above.