Posted in The Chronicles of A

You are One!

The year 2014 was when we celebrated our 1st Anniversary and it was a real roller-coaster year. In the midst of all that chaos, we had you. You were our sunshine. The reason we held on to our sanity and the reason we had a smile. You see, your father and I celebrated you. Over and over again, we celebrated your arrival. We spent months planning, talking about the type of parents we wanted to be, the things we would do with you as you grew up, the things we wanted to teach you.
Becoming a mother has been life changing for me. The minute they pulled you out of me, a part of me started living outside of my body. You came into this world and you made me want to be better. So much of my attitude and quite a lot of my character has changed and I can’t think of anyone else in this entire world that has that sort of power over me. I have made mistakes and I know I am not the perfect mother. But you my dear has been the perfect little daughter. I have gathered my strength from you and you have given me the courage whenever I have felt that I am not doing a good job.
My dear Ami, I look at you sometimes and see how innocent you are. In such a short span you have managed to teach me some of life’s biggest lessons. You fall and get up a zillion times but manage to keep trying until you are up on your own. You smile at everyone and everything and force me to believe that there is goodness in the world after all. This world isn’t always a pretty place and I look at how you’re untouched by the negativity in the world and I wonder how or if this world will change you. I pray it doesn’t.  I pray you always know how beautiful you are inside and out, and how amazing you are. I pray that God keeps you safe always. There will be people that don’t believe in you, but I believe in you.  There will be people that say things about you that you may not like, things that hurt your feelings or make you feel a certain way, but I believe you’re strong enough to ignore them and continue down the path that is destined for you.  You’re destined for amazing things and I truly believe that whatever you set your heart and your mind to, you will succeed.  You are our daughter and we will make sure you are equipped with the things you need in this life to be a good person with a huge heart. I want you to be good to others. I hope you always lend a helping hand to someone in need. I hope someone will lend a helping hand to you when you’re in need.  I pray that no matter where this life takes you, you always know your mom and dad are here for you, and that you always have a place to call home. No matter what happens, we will stand by you. I want you to count your blessings everyday and say thank you for all that life has given you.
Its been a tough year Ami. The only nice thing that has happened, is you. However, I am grateful that your dad and I were around to see your first smile, to see your first set of tooth, hear you say “acha”, watch you roll over and stand up.
Oh Ami, I pray so hard for you to one day find someone to love you the way your dad and I love each other. I want you to know that unconditional love does exist. I want you to see that inspite of all the hardships, turmoils, fights and arguments that your father and I have, we love each other and stand by each other at all times.
I’m still so very uncertain of whatever I have done to deserve such a beautiful and amazing baby girl. You are the center of our universe and that will never change.We love you more than anything in the whole world.
Happy first birthday my dearest. We love you forever and a day. May you always smile and may you always be blessed.
Love always,
Acha and Amma
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Posted in m@dness

Ramblings-5

Mental peace is all about being able to maintain a balance between the extremes that we are soooo used to in life. A balance between work and pleasure, between being a complete workaholic to being able to take it easy. A fine balance between family responsibilities and social life. This balance doesn’t necessarily come into the picture when you talk about the bigger things in life. Of late I have noticed that it’s the smaller, seemingly unessential, inconsequential things that really make a difference. Like finding the right balance between wild, crazy weekends and ones spent at home doing nothing in particular, giving your body the rest it unconsciously seeks after 5 stressed days at work. The balance between downright madness and laughter and uninhibited fun and those moments of quiet solitude, doing all the planning and thinking one needs to do, something that we cannot do without, no matter how much we tell ourselves that we can.

As we grow older, our circumference of acquaintances expands every minute and the core of those true, real, 2 am friends, decreases. The superficiality of relationships increases. But then again, more often than not, it’s these superficial acquaintances that eventually help you network, something that is fast becoming indispensable in our world, especially as far as career moves are concerned. So again, the balance between networking with acquaintances and spending quality, “no hang ups” time with close, “real” friends.

Emotional attachments, yet another thing that screams attention when it comes to balancing. One of the most difficult things according to me is being able to find the right balance between being emotionally independent and letting your guards down and opening yourself up to hurt and despair. After all, you win some, you lose some. Acceptance doesn’t come easy, especially in our world when we condition ourselves to hold up these guards. But to find happiness, a lot of times these guards have to come down. Easier said than done, but that’s the way it is.

And then comes the balance between holding on and letting go.Something I don’t want to detail on, for reasons known best to me.

Somewhere between planning and dreaming about my future and getting nostalgic about my past, I was beginning to forget that I have a present that’s completely mine. Probably the only thing in my life that I have complete control on. And I knew I had to balance it out… Again! It might sound funny coming from someone who had always been at extremes with everything and someone who never believed in shades of grey and always saw life only in black and white until a few years ago, but I seem to have found my balance. Not the perfect one, but a balance nevertheless. The balance between being wise. And otherwise. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Posted in close to heart

I am back, for good.

I know I have been doing disappearing acts quite frequently from the beginning of this year but yeah, i am back. And I am back to being “jumpy in a nice sort of way” from “jumpy in a horrible sort of way”! You, as regular readers would know I have had two horrible years in a row and to be honest I was expecting this year to be horrible too. But, no(touch wood, now!!!!!! and only then continue reading). I am glad things are working out to be great(Touch wood again.)My head has been full of thoughts. All that I am going to write in this post would been written on separate days and in separate posts if I were around the last few weeks. But fortunately I was learning to keep my thoughts to myself. At least until it’s OK to spill them out. If you ask me, that indeed is a big thing for me to learn, if you knew me and my verbal diarrhea!

After very long phases of desperate fighting and proving and longing, I think I just about managed to reach a point in life where I had no complaints. But along with it has come a lot of cockiness. My edges have been smoothed out in the last few days, and for that I am thankful. I might just be a little more patient from now on. And a lot less cocky. But that doesn’t mean I am going to stop ranting about morons. I will just be more patient with them. But if someone gets on my wrong side, I will still wish hell upon them.  I have a lot to learn.

I think I have become so used to not bein happy that I am worried when I am happy. And I am so damn happy. Happy in a way that is scary. I smile a lot now. I sing most of the time. I laugh with people. I help random people. I am happy!The worst kind of anxiety is when your troubles show signs of ending. I am scared of this feeling of being on top of the world(which I, as a matter of fact was on top of at exactly this time last week. In the real sense.)Haa so I cant believe I can actually be so happy. Its like a new world for me and the best part is that life hasnt even started with Ro and I am actually already this happy! I believe in god now. I believe that when people say things dont work out because there is something much much better out there, it really is true!

I admire people who have the kind of faith in themselves that they can let go of clinging on to someone so “intangible” – God. For me faith was that last and final thing that brings me hope just when I am on the verge of losing it completely. Ro is spiritual and not religious and that I am glad. I have never been religious. But faith and deriving strength from it is a different matter – I am glad I have it now! i thank god every single day for giving me what I deserve. Yes, I cried to god for all sorts of things , fought with him because he didnt give me what I asked for and questioned him as to why he was making me go through so much and then finally I prayed to him and told him this,” Dear lord, I am sorry for all the mistakes I have made in my life. I promise not to repeat anything ever. I will forgive all those who have hurt me and will wish them well and pray for them all my life. I want you to forgive me as well. I want you to  make sure that you leave me with no options other than what  you want me to do and above all no matter what I want in life, I want you to give me what you have in store for me. That is my prayer to you.Today and everyday.” And this prayer gave me the strength to change my life and it has made me a much better person. I have found a man who loves me unconditionally and I am irrevocably in love with him too. And that I think is my true blessing from the skies above.

Friends. WHat would one do without them? I have a lot of friends but only a few have managed to form a lasting bond. Div and Deeps are my sisters in arms. The ones that I turn to when I need tht push. Joeey I wonder how miserable life would have been if you hadnt come back into my life at a time I needed someone the most. Bless you, girl. Mangu, my soulmate! Sin, the one that plans to stay behind the scenes for the rest of my life, Ol woman, there is no problem that I have that cannot find an answer when shared with you, I cant wait to get to you in September. Psycho, Captain you guys definitely make my world a better place to live in and last but not the least, my family. Thanks for accepting me with everything that I am.

Ro, a mention on a post is not enough to explain what you mean to me.So I shall not speak now. For now, remember that you are right at the centre of my world and you fill me with a love I have never ever known. During my times of struggle – major and minor – I have been told two things – “keep the faith” and “don’t forget to see the humour”. In the last few weeks of desperate anxiety and uncertainty, I tried my best to do both (see how grown up and all I sound? :P). I can’t go into the details here, but all I am saying is that Ro and I have overcome our first struggle as adults and as a couple. And no, we were not fighting. Not this time 😉 And we have come out of all this stronger. Happier. More drunk on life. And I think more in love too.Thank you for loving me.

For now, there is work to do before I take a break, people to thank, songs to sing, prayers to say and a lot of love to give. I will see you around!

Posted in m@dness

Remembering 26/3

As I sat on my couch ,I sent a friend a “Happy Birthday” message telling him that his birthday coincided with an unforgettable day in my life. Then I went to bed and dreamt about randomness all night long. I awoke to a gloomy morning, attended a few phone calls, had breakfast and glanced at the calendar. And then it hit me. It was the 26th of march today and it was a day i could not forget, a fact that seemed so casual last night, and so painful today.

I reminisce about the very same day, 20 years ago. The picture is not very vivid in my mind but the memories that I left behind are. I remembered how the previous night she had called me and asked if I would be sad to leave her and go? If I would cry whn I wouldnt see her again at all. and then when I looked confused she told me she was going to god and that I would have to take care of dad and everyone at home,that I would have to be a good girl and to live the life she always wanted to live. I slept off. Next morning I was woken up and taken to the hospital where the only memory I have is of acha giving her holy water. She was lying on the bed with near and dear around. I was asked to come,hold her hand and give her the water. I gave it to her,but it never went down. We had lost her.People cried,my brother,dad,grandma,uncle. Everyone but me. I didnt know what was happening or y it was happening. but I knew somethin was not right and I knew it would not be for a long time to come.

She passed away on 26th march. 6 years after I was born. My mother. I was shocked. I was a child and did not know the significance of the cancer that you were fighting.

Did I ever tell you that I loved you? Did I tell you that I was proud to be told that my personality matches yours? I was happy when people told me i sing like you and that my voice was exactly that of yours? WHen people told me I would grow up to look like you, i would grin! Well I am getting married this year and I know for a fact that wherever you are, youd be watching. Das has definitely done you proud. He has raised me into a fine woman(no no I dont say this, people tell him that he has done a good job of raising me) and is giving my hand to a really nice man. SO yes you should be happy. I know you will be.

I sit on the couch wondering when those pictures will fade, tear, and not be good enough to save anymore, and whether as I age, my memories of you will gradually fade away. I do not want to be sitting on a couch 15 years from now struggling to remember what you looked like, how it felt to rest my head on your lap and you stroking my hair, and how your gentle soft hands fed me as I throw one of those tantrums.How you used to cajole me when I used to be angry at you by singing your song?

And so my dearest amma, here is a weak attempt to capture those memories into one page. I hope that we meet someday up there where I know your soul is resting in peace.

Posted in m@dness

Run through the rain!

Well, I was at the Avial Concert last evening and just as the crowd and the band were getting on to full swing, it began to rain. Not just rain, pour.  Since this was unexpected, the crowd went berserk and it turned into utter chaos. But,amidst all this chaos, I found the time and space to enjoy the rain in all its glory. You would know that I am fascinated with rain, if you are regular readers.So while I was  getting soaked n thinking about how much my life has changed since it last rained, I suddenly remembered an old mail a friend had sent and I knew I had to post that here.

“A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in a supermarket. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. All stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Wal-Mart. Everybody waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child come pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in:

“Mom, let’s run through the rain,” she said. “What?” Mom asked. “Let ‘s run through the rain!” She repeated. “No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,” Mom replied. This young child waited about another minute and repeated: “Mom, let’s run through the rain,” “We’ll get soaked if we do,” Mom said. “No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,” the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm. “This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?” said Mom. “Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!”

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes.Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s’ life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

“Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD let’s us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,” Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But….. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories…So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Last night when I got drenched in the rain inspite of having a vehicle and a shelter, I realised  a lot of things. My life is changing every day but somewhere I seem to have lost the ability to enjoy the things that I used to. I seem to have excuses for not doing things I was supposed to and seem to have less time for people I genuinely love. When the rain washed away all my thoughts yesterday, I smiled like a little girl who was just given a large ice cream to finish! I promised myself that I’d make time to do things and take time to spend with people who really need me in their life. I promised myself that I’d take the time to make more memories.  I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN. They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them. Take the time to live…and don’t forget to run in the rain!

Posted in m@dness

Where it all began

It rained the night before I was born. An unexpected rain. Susrusha Nursing home found itself walked on by women with lifted sarees and men with their pants hitched higher than the high it already was.

Mother must have screamed, her first and perhaps only emotion when concerning me. And I cried for I hadn’t wanted to be born.

After the many nurses touched me, cleaned me and handed me over with forced emotion to my mother’s mother. It was she who first held me. I remember my grandmother mentioning years later that the doctor came out and said to her that my mom delivered a doll for her to play with. I’d fallen asleep in her arms, tired from my journey.

Taking one look at my not so pink cheeks and the lower half of my body that was wrapped snugly in a clinical white Turkish towel, she’d prayed that my father wouldn’t be too unhappy. The child being a girl.

Father was too high on  joy and cigarattes. He couldn’t have cared less. He was a father, once again! The elder one being a boy was more than enough for him. After all the boy would take care of all his needs when he grows up. What was the use of two boys anyway?

Before handing me over to him, my grandmother had pinched my cheeks to make them redder. And I’d woken up to cry in protest. Through his sleep deprived eyes, father held me uncomfortably and awkwardly. When placed into his hands that formed the most uncomfortable cradle ever, he looked at everyone around foolishly and showed me to my brother. My brother who cared a damn about what it was. it could be a cat for all he cared.He was annoyed because he hadnt slept last night coz he was in the car with mosquitoes buzzing all around him and more so because he thought all the attention his mother and grandmother had showered on him would now go to this thing. He thought.

Already in a strange land, I was moved from place to place. I’d stopped crying because I was tired of crying too- yes, even then.The last person to hold me was mother. And when she did I’d realize that maybe she hadn’t wanted me born either. After all, maybe she knew that eventually I’d be the one taking her life away. Maybe. The hostility and hatred penetrated through the warm folds of the blanket and making an effort through all the fear I felt, I’d screamed; terrified.

How do I know all this?
Because I remember everything. That’s the curse I am born with.

Posted in Uncategorized

A better generation

Recently, I was out with my cousins to a restaurant when something caught my attention. A mother was engrossed in a conversation with a group of people. Her daughter kept pulling at her shawl, asking her something. The mother would keep brushing her off, too caught up in the conversation. Ultimately, the child lost her energy and went to a corner of the room and sat quietly. The mother may not have realized it but the child was so obviously craving for her attention. And how disappointed she was when she didn’t get it.

Children are so innocent. We’ve all been told this but have we really realized the implications of their innocence? They’re like a clean blackboard. What they grow up into is a result of what we, as adults, write on those blackboards.

I have friends who are parents and I have seen the difference between children of working parents and  children who have atleast one parent at home. I have observed that children who have been bought up by aayas or maids or just grandparents have this strange insecurity and attention seeking issues.  These children do just about anything to get a little attention from parents and these children grow up into adults who are insecure about people, relationships and begin to do really weird things just to get attention. The slightest dent on their emotional side could make them lose their confidence and so on. On the other hand, children who have been bought up basking in attention by parents grow up to be confident, secure and bold individuals. They know to get what they want and does not need any motivation or boost of confidence.

Now let’s come to our education system. It’s based on rote learning and not on analysis. As a student, I was weak in Mathematics. Before I could wrap my mind around a concept the teacher would move on to the next point and I was lost. After a while I would give up trying to understand. I’d think to myself that I’d go home and work it out myself. But of course, this was too difficult for me. And I never had the courage to raise my hand or go to the teacher after class and ask her to explain it to me.

Are children of today also facing this difficulty?

As a society, our education system encourages rote learning. I remember mugging chapters of History for my 10th boards – the independence movement, the partition of the country, the constitution of India. But did I really think about all those events? Did I wonder why Gandhi’s strategy of non-violence worked so well in India? Did I empathise with Lord Mountbatten’s herculean task of smoothly transitioning power from Britain to India?

We need to teach the children of today how to think and behave. We need to spend time with them, play with them, listen to them and make them understand how to treat one another with respect. Parents need to imbibe the qualities of honesty, respect and patience in children at a young age. Boys need to be taught to treat girls with respect, they need to be told to protect themselves as well as the girls, they need to be taught the value of money, the sense of equality, the importance of education etc. At the same time, girls need to be taught to protect themselves, react to anything that they dont feel comfotable about, value of money,patience and most importantly education.

I think its time we took a stand to make our next generation a little more armed in terms of personal security and lets tell them to react and say no when you have to and to treat each other as equals and with respect. Lets teach them qualities that would nurture them as good human beings. Lets listen to them and spend time with them for a change.I think that would make the whole difference.