And she turns 5!!!

I still remember vividly when my husband held his niece, the just born baby, in his hands 5 years ago. What a moment it was to see a life which has come to this world only a few seconds back! Ever since It has been a joy to see her grow from a baby to a girl.

Last weekend we celebrated her birthday with all the pomp and show. How happy she was to be surrounded by friends. One particular act of hers during the party really was thought provoking. One child complained of not getting chocolates and the next moment she spits out the chocolate in her mouth and gives it to her friend. How unconditionally she shared! A lesson we need to learn from this little being. Day in and day out in her small acts we have seen divinity. Of course not to forget the element of naughtiness too.ūüôā

With every year passing by we are struck with awe at the little things she expresses. The affection and love she pours on us is unimaginable. How she would enact Krishna stories and make us role play. There are numerous such memories – the little games she plays everyday, the chattering, the work of art she does with her tiny hands, the way she recites hymns, her dancing, her singing, her laughter and the list goes on. The way she runs to us with her arms spread out for a hug makes my heart melt even today!

God Bless this adorable angel! And we are delighted and proud to have her in our lives.

Its all about Mom

As I grow older (yes, I have started feeling pretty old now), you are more connected to your parents than never before. Though would like talk about mom first!ūüôā

People talk of various stress busters from listening to music to yoga to meditation and many more things. I have come to understand after all these years that talking to my mother is the best pill I can take for stress and nothing else is as effective. She understands me inside out! Everyone may think their mom to be the best in world. I would take a step back and view this lady objectively. As a person what she is and what makes her my role model.

She is made of iron and steel! I don’t doubt that with every year passing by. A few facts about her will speak for itself how true I’m in making this statement.

  1. She had the guts to stay in a hostel away from home when going to college was a rarity for women of her era. Even today she cherishes her hostel days both while doing her post grad and working as a lecturer in a college.
  2. She had the power to take the decision to let go that independence and marry a person miles away to be a housewife.
  3. She had the capacity to blend into the extended family that she was introduced to, who were very distantly related to her husband himself!
  4. After all the luxury of staying away from household chore for all those years she had the guts to take charge of the family.
  5. In a society where women think only of her husband and her kids, she not only was a moral support both to her mom and mom-in-law but had the courage to be beside them come what may. And even after them she had the commitment to pull everyone out of any difficult situation in the family, at times even at the cost of sacrificing her happiness.
  6. After 7 years of marriage and of having kids, she stepped out yet again to work in a place where she hardly knew the language and that too amongst Punjabi women!
  7. When she underwent her dental treatment which was quite long drawn, she took care of herself and used to walk long distances to go to dentist all alone when I know of women especially of her age who needed company even to step out of the house.
  8. She worked like a horse morning to evening and yet would smile at the mockery that her brother-in-law would make of her (who stayed with her under the same roof for many years).
  9. She would go that extra mile not just for her family but her friends and acquaintances, very very distant relatives who would visit us from south India in search of free stay and food.
  10. She had the courage to let go her emotional self and let her only daughter to stay away from home for her studies.

And the list goes on…

I have been influenced by her thoughts and actions in many ways. Most of my life in any situation I would always think what my mother would have done. She has been a mother, friend, filled the void of a sibling and also acted as a role model to me.

With age, if not understand, you atleast are able to guess as to what your mom would have gone through when she was as old as you are now. She was able to make place in hearts of many more by this time than I would in my entire lifetime.

There were so many people who would flock into our house saying Bhabhiji/ manni (sister-in-law) with reverence and share their worries, look for advice and have their cuppa too! So many of her students would touch her feet and get blessings for their exams with the faith that she is the one who can wish them always with all her heart. I have seen her anxious a day before her students used to have their board exam. Such was her dedication at her work. Her colleagues would seek advice for both personal and professional challenges. The heights of trust is one of the Maths teacher approaching her for tax calculation! LOL!

This one post is not enough to describe her benevolence and to say how purposefully she has led her life so far. I’m sure to write a sequel for her.

Love you Amma and looking forward to meet you soon!ūüôā

Are we really Free?

Indian Independence day is round the corner. And we have been as a country been independent since 1947. But what does freedom or independence mean to a country. Does is it mean that we are not ruled but have a democratic government that operates this country? What is freedom in true sense for a nation, for a person?

We are bound by so many aspects of life that we are not able to taste the nectar of freedom even though we are not ruled by a king. To be honest I don’t think I’m free in a true sense. I’m bound by what my family thinks, what my friends think, what this society thinks. Isn’t everyone following this norm. Are we really going beyond the clich√©. or is it just me who is in a web of others opinion?

I have seen some of my friends proving themselves so that others don’t think that they are dumb! If so much thinking just goes in pleasing how are we going to be free?

Freedom doesn’t mean you are in a free environment, a free country or you belong to a family with folks who are broad-minded. Freedom is a state of mind. You are free the moment you take the decision to be free – without changing anything around.

Born not to judge

As I begin this post, it makes me think – is the mother more unconditional or the child? Yes, I understand the mother has to sacrifice so much of herself in bringing up a child. But isn’t the child more unconditional than the mother?

I remember a few days after my son was born, he  started looking at me and smiling. What an experience. No, not even a high resolution SLR camera can ever capture that expression or emotion. I felt like a cow- fat, struggling to lose weight, unkempt, no semblance of dressing up and yet I have this marvellous being who just smiled at me.

Everyone around only talked¬†about how to reduce, get back to original form etc. I looked nothing less than ugly with no grooming, but he did smile at me. Even now, one and a half years later whatever state I’m in my son would pounce on me with so much affection, kiss me, hug me tight, bite me, demonstrate his love in every possible way. He never sees how beautiful I am, what work I’m doing, how intelligent I am, what I am even feeding him. For that matter these are not the parameters that he judges anyone on this earth with.

So as beings God created us to be non-judgemental. Then from when did we really start to pick that tendency¬†to judge people? We weren’t born with this trait. How did we acquire this?¬†We judge everyone under the sun, including our kids, spouse, parents, in laws, relatives, friends, foes, anyone walking on the road, anyone you hear across the bay speaking while at work….

I think the day we unlearn being judgemental, we will be more at peace – very much like a baby!

Shades of grey

Life can never ever be black and white. Your decisions can’t be just right or wrong. There’s always a grey hue. Your principles and environment you have been exposed to are behind your decisions. Next time you criticize anyone’s decision live their life first and then talk about it -which is simply impossible. So better not criticize. No you can’t even imagine being in their shoes and claim your right to being critical!

Feeling blessed and grateful! :)

It is so wonderful to be among relatives. Even better if its a function specially for your parents. Dad’s¬†Bheemaratha shanti (done at the start of 70th year) happened as wonderfully as it could. All the relatives, well wishers and friends are what we are. Our life revolves around them. I’m happiest when I’m with my loved ones. Its true for anyone I believe.

You feel so connected with your family. There’s no bliss or sense of security higher than being part of that big extended family, the family that cares for what you care, folks who understand you inside out, the cousins whom you can rejoice the moment you see them, the elders who are always doting and treat you as a baby for the lifetime, friends who always stand by your side. We can never experience true happiness without this connectedness.

Thanks to all who were able to make it for Bheemaratha Shanti and also to those who were not able to come -I’m sure they¬†would have had a compelling reason for not coming and would have had their heart and soul in the event.

When we met after 17 years

I think I’m obsessed with reconnecting with friends – especially childhood friends. Thanks to the social media and more because of whatsapp. I try my best not to lose a single opportunity to connect face to face with old time friends. The joy of seeing a classmate after 17 full years is the¬†awesomest (stole this word from the character Barney of HIMYM :)) thing to do on earth! One needs to experience it. We started¬†chatting as if we have been seeing¬†daily. I don’t know if even the proverbial started from where we left applies here. It felt like we never stopped to even start again. We were revisiting our classrooms. Talking about other classmates.. giggling¬†about the sweet teen crushes. It never felt like we are meeting after so long!

Ok this was a threesome meet- Lakshmi, Satya and me. Have been speaking to Satya and have also met her a couple of times since a few months now. But Lakshmi as I said earlier met after just 3 years short of two decades.¬†I have always known Lakshmi as a very kind person. There’s something in her which makes anybody under the sun comfortable¬†connecting.¬†Laskhmi had planned her vacation with her two adorable boys to Bangalore to visit her parents. Her parents’ house is quite close to my workplace. Her father who is so concerned and protective about his daughter-literally dropped her at the venue. I really admired him for that! The venue was a food court near my office. Lakshmi arrived and called me. I sprinted down to see her.

We talked about us, about our husbands, about our kids and many more things… After a while Satya joined us. A chirpy girl who is never devoid of enthusiasm. She is a friend who is always there the listen and help. She too lives in Bangalore not very far from my house.¬†My connection with Satya has blossomed in last few weeks… Its nice to have a good friend in the same city. Though we may not meet often, but just the thought that we are reachable is quite comforting.

We kept on chatting over lunch. Don’t remember how the food tasted though! After all we were busy sharing our life stories. And the thought which Lakshmi expresses had a profound reality- You can’t talk the way you talk to school friends with anyone else. With no hesitation you can share anything under the sun. No inhibition, no second thought whether to express or not to express…no pretension.

I’m gearing up to meet one of my¬†BFF this month end and I’m sure our rendezvous¬†¬†will be as memorable as ever!