Posted in m@dness

The Wind Beneath Our Wings- Of Daddies and Daughters

Dads, like moms, are the guiding lights along that dark path of life’s struggles.If you look on the internet, there are more conversations around mothers than fathers. For someone who were raised by just the dad, it is unfair. Not just my dad, my husband proves it everyday that he surely is the wind beneath our daughter’s wings. There is just something in this bond which is inexplicably strong. It gives strength in ways unimaginable and it’s filled with so much love that it’s actually overwhelming. Sometimes I am jealous too.

Blog Therapy, Therapy, Therapy Blog, Blogging Therapy, Therapy,..

Everyday when Ro comes back from work and walks in through that front door, I am reminded about this unconditional love the girls have towards him. Every night that the girls and Ro have conversations, I witness how much the girls need him and I know this isn’t going to change anytime soon, or most likely ever. A few months back when Ro was out of town, there was this one question Ami asked me every night before going to sleep. When will achan come back? She just needed to know how many days. And even if cookie was too small to really understand, I knew she was missing him too. I could see that she was. Fathers can’t be replaced and if you are a daughter, there is that special bond you have with your father that’s hard to replicate with anyone else.

The girls are a replica of their “acha” in every way possible.  Cookie looks like him and Ami behaves like him. I am not sure which one I should be more concerned about. Both, I suppose! Ami has that special jump and dance since she was a kid whenever Ro comes home. If he is late from work, both the girls will wait up for him. Truth be told, I remember looking at the clock and waiting for it to be 5: 30 whch was when Das would come home from the University. Dads are special for us girls and I think it’s a bond we draw strength from.

We need them dads and I now know they need us too.

Superhero Dad Gift Free Printables (With images) | Super hero dad ...Daughters look up to their dads as the first Super Hero. They are the superheroes without capes though they sometimes even don the capes for their little ones. They are the ones whose mere existence gives the confidence that everything will be okay even on the worst of days. They are the shoulders to cry on when the world gets too much. Of course, every dad has his heart stored away with his kids and there is nothing he wouldn’t do for them. I have seen that with my dad. I see it on the days that I am working relentlessly and he steps in without saying a word with a cup of hot coffee. I see it when he tells the girls stories about my childhood. Above all I see it in his eyes when he is around our girls. Silent bundles of love they are, I must say.

I cannot imagine a world without my dad. I had a close shave twice but he is a survivor and a fighter. I act as an adult but I know he still thinks I am a 4 year old. I know the girls love both Ro and me equally, but if they had to choose, I know he would score half a point more than me 😉 I assure you it has nothing to do with the secret meetings they have with countless ice creams and chocolates nor does it have anything to do with the bike rides they go on when either of them are upset about something.

I’ll stop with the conversation Ami and I had just the other day;

Amma to Ami: I don’t like your Acha. Please let’s go and exchange him.
Ami: No Amma. He is nice and I like his head.
Amma: No Ami. I am going to go exchange.
Ami: Oh Amma please stay with us!
AMMA: 🤦‍♀️

Here’s to a love that only gives! Happy Father’s Day to Mine, yours and theirs.

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Lets Really Talk About Depression

The death of Sushant Singh Rajput has forced conversations even in circles beyond whats app about Depression and suicide tendencies. When Anthony Bourdain and Robin Williams ended their lives, I recall some buzz. Buzz. Thats all there is. I remember writing a post almost 10 years ago on suicide in which a friend of the victim commented about how society pushed her to take the extreme step. Today, after a lot of deliberation I decided to write about the social media activism and hypocritic nature of human beings.

DepressionI have quite a few people in my ” network” who have posted these long dramatic posts about what depression is and how, if you have depression you should reach out to them without any hesitation. I have been associated with quite a few organizations in the past that deals with counselling people who have manic depressive or suicidal tendencies and one of the key takeaways I have had from that association has always been that people with depression or such negative thoughts are highly unlikely to reach out and ask for help. Despite influencers like Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt coming out and asking people to get help without hesitation, tackling depression is difficult because most people do not even realise they have it. One could be laughing but battling with negative emotions inside. Another could be posting happy pictures on social media but really feeling low. None of these people are likely to reach out and speak to you about whats silently and slowly killing them and pushing them to take extreme steps. So these hashtags like #iamlistening #youshouldtalk #talktome etc are in my opinion are really not helping. In fact, if you aren’t trained, refrain from this. You really will have no clue how to handle someone if they are in that mode.

Let me ask you this. When was the last time you pushed your ego aside and asked an old friend who used to be very close how he or she is? You would hesitate to reach out because your ego wont let. You hold yourself in the highest regard hence you think that he or she should reach out to you. After all you havent done anything wrong.  How many of us would push egos aside and reach out to people that we haven’t been in touch with and ask if they are alright. When was the last time you checked on old friend that you haven’t been in touch with; or a relative; an ex colleague? Out of sight, out of mind that’s how it is for most people. Yes, we all keep in touch with the ones we love and cherish the most. We expect the other person to keep in touch with us because we consider ourselves royalty.

What IF? The so called long lost friend or relative or colleague is not doing well. What IF they are so low in terms of mental health that they cant get themselves to call you or anyone for that matter. A lot of studies have shown that people who withdraw from the limelight and maintain a social distance among peers and friends are highly likely to have some sort of mental health issue. They are the ones who need help. The ones that are on the verge of a mental breakdown and need some help and support without asking for it. Quite honestly it gives them a mere boost if someone reaches out to them without they themselves asking for it.  That is the kind of belonging and encouragement and positivity they are looking for. The question is, how many people are ready to go beyond the public display on social media and hash tags and really reach out to those helpless people?

depression black and white blog depression blog pain-before-pleasure •

It is all easier said than done. The emotion filled posts after a person dies will not help revive lost ones. So, dont wait. Set your ego and royalty aside. Call, message or ping people you haven’t heard from in a long time and simply ask how they are doing. Meanwhile, also go read this lovely article on how to speak to a dear friend and tell him or her that you need help without making a hue and cry about it or others noticing.

For those who are thinking how can she write all this or how dare she etc. Here are some facts:

#1- I have battled depression on and off. I am lucky to have a really strong circle. Thank God!

#2- I reach out to a lot of people who were a part of my life but no longer are and ask them how they are. Randomly. Some of them have later on circled back and thanked me then because it made them feel less lonely.

#3- Depression doesn’t go away. Its an everyday battle. You just learn to overcome negative thoughts and focus on good things.

#4- If you aren’t trained, do not offer counselling. Just ensure that they reach out to specialists.

http://www.aasra.info/helpline.html

https://thelivelovelaughfoundation.org/helpline

http://www.healthcollective.in/contact/helplines/

http://www.seraniti.com/http://itsoktotalk.in/find-help/

#5- If you do not have the guts to push your ego aside, STOP pretending like you care and more importantly stop this crap about wanting to help on Social Media just to garner some likes and comments. It is RUDE and downright INSULTING.

If you really want to make a change, start having more conversations. Nothing more, nothing less.

Never bend your head, always hold it high.

Look at the world straight in the eye.

-Hellen Keller

Posted in m@dness

All In A Day’s Work

It felt nice. Waking up, getting dressed, putting on some lipstick only to realise that the mask will cover 3/4 of my face anyway. Ugh! Transparent mask makers anyone? When I woke up today I felt a strange mix of emotions. I was happy that I was going back to office for one day! I could travel today in an Auto(rickshaw) and listen to my top 7 songs before I reached office. I’d be able to see the canopy of trees that line the 80 ft road in Koramangala and also curse the damn traffic at Silkboard. FOR HIRE! – BANGALORE RICKSHAW | Animation, Print pictures, How to ...I also felt sad because I would have to leave the girls behind at home. I wouldn’t be privy to their chatter the whole day; the 1000 times they’d call me “amma” throughout the day; them dropping kisses when I am attending calls and all the fun we had in the past few months while I was working from home. Damn, I miss that but I am also glad to be back doing something I love. Yes, I am THAT mother.

Once i got dressed and waited for the usual auto bhaiyya to pick my call, my dad started giving me orders to follow through the day. For parents, despite having kids of our own, we’ll never grow up. He went on to say things like; “Make sure you put the mask on at all times. Wash your hand when you get to office and when you get out. Dont touch the railings on the auto or the staircase. Press the buttons of the lift with your knuckles. Try not to drink water or go to the loo. Use the sanitiser well even if it stinks. “, among others. The husband too had his own set of instructions. Since he knew the list dad gave, he just added the protocol to be followed after I was back from office. He said, ” Try washing your hands at the gate. Open the door using your arm instead of the hand. Go straight to the bedroom, change your clothes and wash, wash, wash with soap. Make sure you rub wih soap for some time and then wash it all off. Put the clothes for wash in the washing machine and THEN hug the kids!” Phew.

You cannot blame me for missing office!

The auto bhaiyya had his mask on but his eyes were smiling. He was glad to get a trip. People rarely used autos these days and he knew that this office trip could get him some much needed cash. So, off we rode through Bannerghata Road and Silkboard and Madiwala till we reached the office. I have to say that it was a very different ride. I noticed buildings that I had never seen before on my office commute. Green, yellow and blue buildings. Most people were wearning masks but there were idiots too who I think found it humiliating to wear one or maybe thought of themselves as the Invincibles. God help them.  I saw a few godly souls providing food to the dogs on the street and felt good to know that even in the midst of such a huge crisis, there were people looking out for these 4 legged wonders.

It felt like that first day in high school. Same bag. Same formal clothes. Faces- some old and some new. The securitu at the gate always with a smile. That strange feeling when you enter class the first day of the new academic year. I felt the same when I pressed the lift button with my knuckles and waited for the 3rd floor to come. Just as I got down off the lift, I sneezed. It must have been the dust from the carpet or the fan in the lift. Everyone standing in the foyer looked at me as though I dropped a bomb.

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Sneezing And What Make ...Talk about making a grand entry! I know its the same old people and same office. But, something had changed. Something was different. Maybe it was the continuous effort of being concious enough to not touch anything. Maybe it was the fact that I couldn’t do a high five with my buddies. Maybe it was the fact that I couldn’t take the chai breaks anymore. Or maybe it had something to do with all of us looking like masked warriors!

Eyes speak. I now know. You just need to pay attention and you’ll know if people are angry, sad, happy or cursing. The eyes move in different ways for each reaction. All you have to do is pay attention. Thats it.

Take care and stay safe.

P.S- I am back home. I followed all the instructions to the T. I even mastered the art of sneezing without making a sound.

Posted in close to heart, m@dness, The Chronicles of A

The Other Side- Corona Diary 2020

Social Media | SENSITIVE NEW WORLD

 

Last week, when I published The Corona Diary, a couple of friends people hinted subtly that I was a bad person because I was raving about how lovely life was for me when the world was suffering. Isn’t life after the advent of Social Media exactly this? Humans putting up statuses and photos of their beautiful, fake lives and pretending that everything is great in our respective lives? Yep, I fell for it too. But, I also got up, dusted myself and decided there was no way I am going to let my girls read that Diary and think that their mom handled it all so well, that their mother was invincible etc. I need them to know good and bad so that they understand that there are always 2 sides to a coin. SO, let me take you to the other side of the Corona Debacle.

A few days into the lockdown, Ami’s teacher called me to say that they were begining online classes for her. My instant reaction was, “WTF”? I went on to argue about how Amu was just 5 years old and this was supposed to be Summer Holidays etc etc. Clearly, I was the first mother who argued about NOT letting their child attend the online class. I just said NO and went on to do my chores. I think before I hung up she said your girl is just like you. Shameless me took it as a compliment.  It is, isn’t it?

Before March, on any day that I’d be working from home, I’d be happy. I used to even argue that remote working for everyone must be unlimited and companies should just allow people to chose how and where to work from. I laugh when I think about it these days. How ignorant and naive I was! These days, I am crumbling and aching to go back to work from office. I’m one person trying to juggle the schedule for 2 kids, an elderly parent, a dog and everyday I oscilate between moments of having it together and losing it completely. Yep!

In May, Ami’s teacher called me again. I think my Hello reminded her about my temperamant and disposition and she insisted on listening to what I though about teaching going online. I told her that this was not an environment conducive for learning. It’s just not. Our girls have a loving and safe home, but no, it’s not a school and it shouldn’t be. I am an adult (Only my dad would disagree) and I can’t focus on getting some work done even if I hide inside a room. How can a 5 yr old pay attention and sit in one place without supervision? And really. how many of us have so many rooms or computer peripherals to spare? So no, she cannot concentrate, neither can  she  completely sink in what is being taught to her, nor can she hide from her sister or Tango even for 2 minutes!

You see, although some folks might act and sound like they are aliens. We are humans. All of us. We were not taught to handle an endemic or pandameic or alien invation or even an earthquake. We cannot menader through a global pandemic that reaks havoc and utter chaos and just snap our fingers and act gracefully.  It’s impossible. I am not saying that its all bad. There are good days and bad days. Most days are like a game of Jenga. It is an art of balancing. One wrong move and it can all come crashing down. I can’t think about tomorrow or the next day or how I’m going to get through next week. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m literally taking it one day at a time and focusing on surviving the next few hours.It really is no longer survival of the fittest. It is survival of those willing to adapt to the most freakingly crazy and anamolous time of our lives.

That’s IT. Nothing more, nothing less.

If you’re still wondering how to survive this year.. the good news is, you already are.

As I write this and watch the rain lash against the window;Why women score over men - The Hindu BusinessLine

  • There’s a sink in the kitchen with vessels that need washing
  • Cookie’s bottles need to be sanitised
  • Clothes need to be folded
  • I have writing assignments with tomorrow’s deadlines
  • Tango wants some treat because I was leaning on him the whole time I was writing
  • Ami wants to see if there is a ranbow visible
  • I am supposed to go cycling today
  • Cookie is on her way to pick up Tango’s food

 

You see, when I started writing the Corona Diary, I did not want to rant and whine. I chose to look at the positives and good things because somewhere in between the having it and losing it, I felt blessed and happy for what I have.

Ah, the husband just arrived from office and is craving for some ginger tea that must be made by his wife. Blush. No, it is certainly NOT because he is lazy and tired from all the work at office. He just loves the ginger tea prepared so lovingly by his wife.

Here we go.

Multi faceted, multi tasking super heroes. All of us. Cheers!

 

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

The Corona Diary- 2020

Disclaimer: It is one long post. And I mean, long!

I haven’t written a single post this year. Hey, it is not me. Let’s just blame it on Corona like everything else these days.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus: 11 Things People with Autoimmune Disease ...

2020 was to be a great year, personally. When I woke up on January 1st smiling, little did I know that 3000 km away, a micro organism was just about to shake the world and change it for all or most of mankind. Although it was around in 2019, the Covid-19 gained momentum in February 2020. News of the virus spread like wild fire and soon it was knocking on India’s door too. By mid march, 196 countries were affected. India had reported around 600+ cases by March 26th and 11 deaths while the global numbers were a whooping 6,00,000+ with 20000 deaths.

To contain a community spread and the virus altogether, the Prime Minister mandated a 21 lockdown and thus began this Corona Chronicle. My girl Ms A, penned down a gist of what ensued in the days that we were all locked down in her article. This post is dedicated to the days that we were coronaded!

Lockdown Can't Be Extended: Here Are 10 Things We Must Do By Mid-April

Days 1 to 7

We got up whenever we wanted. Worked. Played. Ate. Slept. No problemo! Thank god.

Days 8 to 14

This doesn’t feel right. Lets make full use of this time. We I got up at 5 30 am. Looked at the alarm and went off to sleep till 6.30am. The plan was to wake up, walk and all that jazz. Zilch. So, wake up, eat, work, scream at kids, eat, work, walk, eat, Netflix and sleep.

Days 14 to 50

When is this going to end? Are we going to be stuck like this the whole year? Was the year written by Stephen King? What if Corona is Thanos’s micro army? I don’t have time to do anything other than work! Wake up. Check emails. Eat. Get the kids activities ready. Work. Work. Work.  Pee. WOrk. Work. Eat. Sleep during Netflix binging.

Days 50 and beyond

Ok, that’s it! This is the new normal. Might as well turn around and get used to it. Wakes up early. Cycles. Drinks green tea. Reads Paper. Eats. Works. Wake the kids up. Works. Eats. Puts the kids down for nap. Works. Works. Works. Eats. Netflix. Sleeps.

Hope is what keeps us all alive.There comes a point when it all becomes too much. When we get too tired to do anything anymore. That is when the real work begins. To find hope when there seems to be none.

Quite honestly, we were all happy to spend time together. From those zillion forwards that were going around, one particularly I liked. It was about wishes coming true. After a long time, the father was spending time teaching the kids games and skills. Kids were happy to have both the parents around for a change and showering with all that they wanted. Come on, this was one god given chance to live the guilt free life and indulge the kids in whatever sane things they wanted. We weren’t going to let go of this once in a lifetime chance. So, suddenly the house had hula hoops of different sizes, puzzles, carrom board, books and blocks! Every day was a different experience. I think I was very concsious because I knew the 2 monkeys were constantly observing us and I was pressurised more than ever to be at my best behaviour constantly. It was after all only for two or three weeks, after which the world would go back the way it used to be. Or so we thought. Silly!

Coronavirus outbreak: 9 crucial tips for parents and kids during ...

For an entire month the husband was working from home. Thank god! The weeknights did not tire him like it usually does, so, we got to do a lot of talking and planning. Whether or not the money was there in the future to act out those plans, we had the plans yeah! We made a list of the places we want to go to; the things we wanted to do together; the risks we wanted to take; the movies we wanted to watch; the way we want to retire and a lot many other things that we always postponed to think about another day. Yes, we finally had the time and no excuses. However, what I will never forget are the days I got with my girls, Ami and Cookie. The days I’d wake them up; the days I’d watch them sleep in; the times I’d cuddle and sleep in with them; the days they’d run to me and smother me with chocolate kisses; the days I’d cook them their favourite meal and feed them; the days we fall asleep in the noon just talking; the times we baked and cooked together; the nights we’d just binge watch some cartoon or movie and sleep off on the couch and so much more. We taught Ami to ride the cycle while she showed us how exemplary and elegant her acrobatic moves were. Cookie was talking a lot more and I couldnt be happier! The husband learnt to cook more than tea and noodles and he even managed to cook up an entire meal to prove his father in law wrong! Yes, it was a good time and it was exactly how I have always pictured my home to be. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) | COINS Construction Blog for Asia Pacific ...

Apparently, the lockdown for 2 weeks was a teaser. Just when we think we have it all figured out, the universe throws us a curveball. So, we have to improvise. Whenever there is a crisis that I go through, I have learnt that it is best to take it slow and look at it as one bad day. The hashtag that has kept me going the whole time was #OneDayAtATime and it has been working well. When you look at 21 days or 40 at a stretch it can be overwhelming. You could choose to be afraid of it, to stand there trembling, not moving, assuming the worst that can happen or you could step forward slowly and assume it will be brilliant. So, I took it one day at a time. I plan out what I need to accomplish when I wake up and plan the kid’s day too accordingly. It became a routine as the days passed and it was fun. Yes, there were mad days too. Yes, there were times I got frustrated because of the workload, but in the end I think we will all make it through in one piece. However, honestly I was terrified. How was I suppposed to keep the kids occupied wihen I had work to do? How would they react to this lockdown? What would their little minds remmeber about this period when they grow up? I think, with all these activities and things we kept doing with the girls, for the girls, the point I was trying to make to them was that hardships are bound to happen at some point or points in life. When they do, I want them to know that home is one place they can come back to and take it slow without a care in the world.There were quite a few lessons we learnt along the way and I am sure it will all make sense one day.

So many things changed in the world. Some good and some bad. I dont want to remember this time as a bad thing, although it was for a lot many people around the world. Maybe Ill write a post on that later. For a few days at least we woke up listening to birds chirping. There were horses and donkeys and monkeys on the street.Stars were more visible and we even saw a space ship!For us, the kids got new friends. Old friends reunited and chatted about cooking and parenting all day long. Ami now tells me which song she wants me to sing to her at night or when we are having that rendezvous on the balcony. Cookie speaks a lot of 3 word sentences. Tango listens to the girl’s commands. Dad binges on Netflix and Amazon Prime late into the night with us. We no longer cared about whether it was a weekday or weekend. I think somewhere during this period, we learnt to live the moment. We learnt that there is no point trying to fight the time we are now in. It is best to take it one day at a time.

O' Donnells Crisps on Twitter: "So many of you nominated friends ...

I do know that there were millions who suffered and some lost loved ones. I am sorry and I can only fathom what they must be going through. Banging plates and lighting lamps wont bring them back. The future changes quickly unexpectedly and completely and most often we are left wondering what to do next. We find happiness in unexpected places. We find ourselves back to the things that matter the most. The universe is funny that way.  In all these days, the front liners; the health care professionals; the police; the social workers and those noble volunteers who gave it everything and risked everything to ensure that the world gets through this pandemic a little less scathed. A lot of people have lost good friends. Family. All good people. Some died because they put their life at risk while trying to save someone. They will all be remembered as heroes. We will neither forget those who served out of the spotlight, to whom we owe our highest gratitude. 

Day 75

As of today, the world numbers stand at 5596550 and has claimed 353373 lives. Nations have been feeling the economic, political and socio-emotional impact of the lockdown and striking a balance looks tough. Work from home is not as easy as it seems. For anybody if you ask me or for a majority at least. Bachelors and bachelorettes who are staying alone suddenly crave companionship to break the montonous life. Married folks with a full house are rearing to go out to office and get some “me time”. There are reforms and small revolutions. The barely visible enemy did not just come to destroy our things or our people. They seem to have come to befoul our way of life and turn it upside down. To foul our beliefs. Trample our freedom. It will take a while for us to bounce back and it is mostly on each one of us. In this however, they granted us the greatest gift – a chance at our rebirth. Rebirth of the planet, at large. We will rise like never before, stronger, wiser and ever more resilient.

54 Best What doesn't kill you-- images | Words, Quotes, Make it ...

One take away or maybe three that I have from this period is:

#1- Do not take anythnig for granted. Never.

#2- Remember, the best things in life always come at a cost, they are never free.

#3- Saare Jahaan Se Acha Hindustan Humara- Modi or Soni, I am proud of my country and always will be!

If I am still inside the house on Day 100, I’ll write another post as long as this one 🙂

Do not let the miniscule thing with spikes ever kill your spirit. Stay Safe!

Epilogue

Quoting (after cutting out some not so relevant parts) one of my personal favourite dialgoues of President Thomas Whitmore from Independence Day:

“Mankind. That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We’re fighting for our right to live. To exist. We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! “

Hope You're Well': Emailing Through a Time of Pandemic | WIRED

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

The Year of Awakening- 2019

To begin with, unlike 2018, this year has been kinder. I am resisting the temptation to use other nice adjectives, lest I jinx it! As I write this post, Tango looks at me thinking when will she get up and coddle me; Cookie is running around, trying to coax me into going after her; Ami is doing practice work from school. 1 can speak; 1 hardly; 1 cannot. So, how can I convey that I need some time to finish things I started? Well, that was what most parts of my year involved. Mastering the art of Work Life Integration.

Image result for work life  balance women

2019 has been the year that I decided what really I want to do, professionally. I realised that I can really love the job I do. With multiple roles to fulfill and countless deadlines, a friend asked me how I manage with a full time job, consulting gigs, family etc. I had to laugh. In the beginning of the year, I had no clue how this year would be and no idea as to what I wanted to do professionally. Now, towards the end of 2019, I am in a happy place, fully understanding what I am capable of and what makes me tick!

Last year, the brother explained why planning was so crucial and how you can actually negate exigencies by planning. Although it did not make much sense then, today it is clear to me and it indeed is true. I know because I learnt it the hard way. Life is bound to throw hurdles, what you make of it is entirely upon you and nobody else. The way I see it is quite simple, if I care about something enough, I would do things to ensure that nothing happens to it and I’d never make any excuses to avoid it. It matters to me so I’d do what it takes. Be it my circle, profession or things I love. Period.

Eg; Exercising? Another day! Food? Bring it on! Get the flow?

Coming to what we call burnout culture, the new craze of being busy and being  exhausted by work and the world. Most people I know are busy. They are busy at work; busy at home; busy on the commute or just busy. And I am not complaining. Am just laughing at this new term. Twenties and thirties and even mid forties are about working hard so that you have a better quality of life later on. I don’t mean kill yourself , ignore your health and make money! I mean, move around and make things happen and be busy. It really is okay. Like I said, make time for things you cherish; things that inspire you and makes you happy!

Whether you call it Work Life integration; balance; jenga; or harmony, the truth is that humans fundamentally crave a simple and similar desire to create easy joy and meaningful engagement between the interconnected roles, relationships and responsibilities that make up their lives. World. Inc does not need another term that talks about creating a seamless,meaningful existence that is common to all areas of an individual’s life. Personally, in the era we live in, it is not difficult to achieve this as we are all mostly technology enabled and so much can be achieved on the go. In the end, it all goes back to, how much do you want it?

To all those who still think I have an army of maids at my disposal and full time chef and “support” from the family, you will be disappointed to know that I have in fact none of these. What I do have is a family that knows my jobs are important and a husband who knows that raising the kids and managing the house is his responsibility as much as it is mine. And like Danielle Steele says,

“There are no miracles. There is only discipline.

As for me, this year turned out decent. Resolutions you ask? Just one. Be a better person than yesterday, holistically. That covers attitude, health, wealth etc right?

Happy 2020. Fancy number there, let’s make it a year to remember! Nicely.

Posted in m@dness

Fitting In to Moving Out

“It’s the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance. It is the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance. It is the one who won’t be taken who cannot seem to give. And the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.”

~ Bette Midler

Once upon a time I used to be the person who craved for acceptance. I used to say yes to people just to be a part of their circle. Yep, used to. Many a times I’d be a part of their world, but I soon realized that it was for a brief moment in time. I’d do things even if I didn’t want to and then fret over it later and ponder over the scars that would be left behind.

People say that the society at large decides what the perfect way to live is, but I ask all those people who have always lived by the rules of the society whether they really are happy? Nope!

Then, in all probability there is no perfect way to live. There is no right way to live. Our rights can be someone’s wrongs and vice versa. You see, its all about choices after all. Yes or no. To do or not to do. To fight it out or succumb. Right or wrong. Jump in or avoid etc.

Parents/guardians teach us good values to guide us through life. Teachers give us knowledge and information to secure a vocation or job in order to get through life and  society at large dictates how you should live life; what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. ‘The society’ or in my dictionary, the “Circus” disguises itself as friends, relatives, colleagues and acquaintances that we come across in our day to day lives. They jump right in to pass judgement and question our beliefs, ideologies, choices, options and even go as far as offering solutions to the problems that were created purely due to their interference in the first place! These are people you lean on to, trust or relate with daily and slowly their ideologies replace yours, their choices soon become your choices and slowly, your own beliefs fade away. Suddenly, the very same people who instilled these beliefs and behaviors in you, start pointing fingers at you and treat you like an outsider. (Refer Sivagami-Bahubali equation)

Image result for Lisa Kleypas dreaming of you quotes

For me, things took a turn when I wasn’t expecting. People who I considered my own, turned around to suit their convenience. Although I was in a spot then and felt humiliated to say the least, the husband shook me (both literally and figuratively) out of the zone and gave me a sound reality check. So, this quote from Dreaming of You by Lisa Klepas is my Mantra these days, encouraging me to be who I am and not what I am expected to be.

I will do things or take a stand that others may deem selfish, ungrateful, shameless etc but I am finding peace and happiness in the most unexpected places and beginning to understand the things that matter the most. Some may say that it a sign if weakness.But again I no longer care what people say. I crossed that line, the line I drew around myself and I am proud and glad I did. A tad late, never mind. I’ll just proudly walk away and say, that the scars on my heart can tell their own story of sleepless nights, cut wounds and tears but they can also tell a victory story. Of lessons learnt.

I still carry around some of those wounds and though the scar is healed, the pain still lingers. However, gone are the days I’d let it affect my life. Unstoppable is my word now and if I ever sound brash or ungrateful, sorry I am just being honest and whether you like or not, I don’t care!People get tattoo to remind them of experiences. I chose to keep my scars instead.

Image result for stepping out of your comfort zone

Posted in m@dness

Ping, Don’t Ring!

We all have that one friend who hates to pick up the phone and talk, right? That friend who will reply to whatsapp messages and fB messages instantly, but hates to talk on the phone. Ha, you won’t believe it, but that’s me these days! My friends who have stuck around for years would refuse to believe it, but the Image result for person who hate to talk on the phonemore mature ones seem to understand this new little behavior of mine, strangely because they too seem to have metamorphosed into this Hate to talk to anyone, at anytime, for any reason kind of person! And if you have already labelled me as an introvert, darling, please don’t assume just yet.

It looks like all this started when the world was introduced to WhatsApp. No, I am not playing the blame game here. Lets do a bit of flashback and take out the thinking cap. What really is the need to make a call? To talk! Wrong. To communicate! Now, ever since WhatsApp came into being and became the most widely used tool for messaging with Facebook and Snapchat following the lead, most users realized that there was a way to communicate with people without having to talk.  Tada! It did not take long for people to understand that this whole chat or ping mode was more efficient, less time consuming and quicker! Let’s just accept the fact that for the next generation that we are raising, phones will be how snail mail and newspapers are to us (no offense- snail mail is dying and so are newspapers).

Coming back to why I don’t use the phone to talk much and mind you during my childhood days, my dad was forced to pull out the detailed telephone bill to see why his bills were so high. Well, my brother was to be blamed then, but I had my share too. So, these days everything from family updates to birthday wishes, news to service requests

Image result for hate to talk on the phoneare in the form of messages. People talk lesser and lesser and the device which was invented to help people converse, is being used these days to do anything but that. Earlier, I would run next door and ask the aunty next door whatever information I wanted and run back home. These days, I have had chats on the phone with neighbors I have hardly ever seen face to face! When weddings were fixed way back in the pre-whatsapp era, couples would talk for hours together on the phone and these days most people type away into the night.  That said, I must spare a moment to acknowledge people who still like to hang from their phones for hours on end, talking, talking, talking, dissecting every little detail, discussing every issue with complete disregard about what is happening around them or whether the world stopped spinning on its axis. Thankfully, not everyone is afflicted with my strange illness.

Now, there is one more reason behind this trend, if you ask me. Look, when you talk on the phone or directly for that matter, there’s a chance that the person on the other end of the line may have an opinion regarding what you are saying and also the chances of conflicts and arguments are higher. Chats and pings too come with their own problems. People tend to read tones on messages depending on their take of the situation or conversation in hand. All said and done, the reason I do not like talking on the phone much is still a mystery. I can pick up and talk to random people. I mean, that is my job and I have to live with it. Now, if it is someone I know or used to know and all that, it is just weird. I find my insides screaming- don’t ring, just ping!

Well, no matter how technologically advanced we are, for every app that promises to save you a call, there’s a situation that requires one. So the psychologist in me knows  that I do not have social anxiety as I am an extrovert and otherwise perfectly fine with social interactions.  I just have a weird deep-seated fear of making or receiving a call with known people and that, I will someday, get to the bottom off.

Until then

Image result for dont ring,ping

Posted in m@dness

Celebrating Marriages

These days, when relatives and random people pass comments on my 4 year old daughter’s marriage which is anticipated to happen 25- 30 years from now, I smile and pray that someday it really does. Until a few years ago, I was a critic of this institution called marriage. However, over the years I have realized the significance and have begun to appreciate it. Nope, this is not a fan post dedicated to Ro, my husband.  Nope, I am not getting old either! I sneered at it and made fun of all the people who were married but this infuriating and irrational togetherness of 2 people is truly intriguing and baffling in every way possible. So, this post is for the Gen whatever who is thinking of whether or not to get married. I genuinely hope this helps you decide.

Until a couple of months before I got married, fully knowing the implications of long standing relationships and the hardships, the pain and the cost involved, I was hovering dangerously close to writing off this whole concept of marriage. Although, I must agree that I am  a wedding aficionado. Not to mention, the number of married people I came across who were married for all the wrong reasons and were now debating on whether or not to get a divorce. Some, who decided against a divorce just because of the paperwork involved! Then there were these married couples who had made an absolute mockery of their legal relationship by indulging in everything illegal! To be honest, I was almost prepared to give up. I did. Almost.

Image result for Marriage

When you grow up in a single parent household, you are privy to this inside view of an independent human being becoming super dad and super mom all at the same time. For me, all the growing up years were masterclasses in being independent. I grew up seeing my dad raise me single handed. There was no confusion and absolutely no chaos as every decision was for most parts independent! I mean, why would I even think of getting married when I was taught to do it all alone. I was raised that way! Like one of those Tshirt quotes- Born to be alone! Except that, eventually I realized that we cant really live alone for all our life right?

That jolt came when my father battled cancer a couple of years back and I spend a considerable amount of time in the hospital corridors, it really used to get quite lonely. I had friends and I did have some dear ones who made sure I felt less alone. However, on more than one occasion, I saw him fight it out alone, unwilling to concede defeat and I really wished that he had someone to hold his hand all the time. You see, even if I was a hundred years old, to him, I was still a kid and he would dare not vent or show his irritation, lest I get scared! It slowly dawned on me that it is indeed reassuring  to have someone to call your own when the body breaks down or when you really need some encouragement to do something spectacularly extraordinary. But hey, you certainly don’t get married to get yourself an unpaid caretaker in the twilight years. Nope, that is not really what marriage is all about. Although you cannot deny that, as nagging and cranky as each one of us can be, there could exist at least one person in the universe who, by a weird stroke of luck, adores you enough to commit to tolerating your personal brand of obnoxious and crazy personality. Someone who is still in your life, even when you’ve given them a million and one reasons to walk away and take their love with them.

Today if you talk to me I would tell you that in 6 years of being married, I think it is all  about putting your patience to test every single day and still coming out of it, unscathed! There are so many things Ro and I hate about each other and really we ought to. We were raised in different manners and lived different lives before we started this life together. Ro cribs about my fetish for chinese food, but will make sure he takes me out to eat chinese at least once in a week! I hate Ro wearing boxers and stepping out to the neighbourhood shop , but will accompany him for shopping and pick out that pair of boxers, even if he forgets. His laid back attitude, my short temper. His love for boxers and socks, my affair with books and photos. His impulsive behavior, my deeply thought over plans. His spy movie and action genre craze, my inclination towards all things romantic. Good days; bad days; happy days; frustrated days; we are done days; I cannot live without you days; Up day; Down day, but, that is okay. It really is fine.

No photo description available.You see, it is a dance! It is about balancing and really, it is all about pretending not to notice the monotony of the awkward things we all tend to do or repeat. Every argument against marriage is rock-solid. Especially in the era we are living in. Some say it is boring, some thing of it as an obligation and that we’d all probably live a whole lot longer and more peacefully if we didn’t have someone breathing down our backs, feeling entitled to our time, attention, and energy. With the passive-aggressive wife jokes that almost always portrays the woman of the house as the nagging shrew making the rounds and researches making a compelling argument for women to stay single, by suggesting that unmarried and child-free women live longer and report being more happy than their married counterparts, people begin to wonder, why, when so many inmates of the institution are so desperately miserable, the institution of marriage continues to be the benchmark and platinum standard for romantic relationships.

Image result for MarriageOn the contrary, perhaps the very idea that we’re meant to spend our whole lives with one person is what makes it appealing. It is more or less like a lifelong undertaking and  its adventure lies not in its beginning, but in its ability to look at all of each other’s ugly in the eye without turning away.  It is about having enough love left over to hold on, in the darkest hours, despite knowing that everything that is bad has the potential to get exponentially worse. SO, go find that person, now! And, if you did not find all these reasons compelling enough, try renting a house as a singleton and you will get convinced and how!

Meanwhile, Happy Anniversary to us, RO! I simply LOVE you!

 

Posted in m@dness

Small Little Life Changers

“Maturity is all about losing your innocence”

I have always maintained that children; be it Kalyani, the first child I spent a lot of time with; Lil, the special one; or 2 of my own, can actually teach you very valuable life lessons if  you really just listen to them. And I mean listen, not you talk and they must listen scenario or not the time they are forced to talk to you scenario. That time when they are in the mood for some harmless banter, they are better than the best life coaches! They are little philosophers with an uncomplicated life view and the truths they utter are often profound, refreshing and very applicable to our lives as adults. If you have your own children, then I am sure you’ll agree with what I am talking about. If not, then closely observe them, next time you are around them and you’ll see I’m right.

Related imageHere are some thoughts I have had after those little banters or rather, here is what my girls are teaching me…

Everyday is a fresh, new beginning!

Ami wakes up everyday with absolutely no baggage from yesterday! In terms of food, activities or even fights that I have with her, the girl doesn’t carry over anything from yesterday. One night I asked her if she wants Rava Idli as dinner and she said yuck! The next morning, assuming she would not eat them anyway, I was munching on one when she asked me why I didn’t give her one! When I reminded her what she said last night about it being yuck, she amazed me when she replied with a “but that was yesterday, amma!”. This is true for everything! Everyday is a new beginning. How many of can start afresh each morning, forgetting all the bad stuff of yesterday?

Show some courage

Say the word dance and my younger one who is turning 2, would get on the floor and shake every inch! Kids can sing out loud and dance when they feel like it without any inhibitions because they are not confined by fears of failure or humiliation. They march forward with hope and determination because they don’t know any better and even if they have been beaten down, they do not know to give up! They embrace life and all it has to offer with open arms. What an attitude to keep!

Laugh, silly

Kids, they don’t need a joke to laugh out loud. The girls have taught me to see laughter in the most silliest of things. I am slowly learning to find joy in the most negative of places and sunshine on the darkest days. It is a work in progress, but this one trait I will hold on tight and make sure they never shed when they grow up.

Be thy Hero

Have you noticed that when children narrate the events of the school every day, they tend to be the center around which the story will revolve? And also, the fact that they love saying their name a lot? Like, a lot! As children, they really do feel that they are the best and they are just not ready  be put down. As we mature, we don’t want to be conceited or egotistic, so we downplay our accomplishments and achievements. We don’t want to brag. But in doing so, we often slip to the side of self-deprecation. We put ourselves down to make others feel better or to be more social! Modesty becomes an admirable quality and we start to convince ourselves of our own mediocrity. Sad, but true.

Beauty is in everything

Tango, our 2 year old Labrador is a constant source of delight and is the joker of the family. He can make us happy just by lying down with all 4 legs up in the air. The sound of our shoes when we approach the door, after our day in the office, makes him happy. Ami loves it when we give her surprises and Cookie loves being tickled. Something simple that we take for granted brings them such immense joy and profound inspiration. When did we stop noticing the tiny miracles that surround us daily? How much more beautiful would life be if we could see these miracles again?

Above all, something everyone must also remember is that as an adult around a child,  it is a behemoth, immense and a terrifying responsibility—the fact that you are being watched and that everything you say does matter and makes a big difference. However, imagine what a lovely world it would be if we could just hold on to all that innocence a tad bit longer.

So, whether you have kids or don’t, whether you like them or don’t; whether you want to make a difference to a child’s life or don’t, remember this poem every time you spend time with a child;

Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

-Dorothy Law Nolte

 

And each day, I feel terrible that the girls are growing up and slowly on a day not so far away, they will become one of us…adults.