Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Some knotty thoughts & an incident!!!

It was the morning of Durga Puja MahaNavami. We woke up quite late as slept around 2AM last night after having a super MahaAshtami. We wanted to reach Puja Pandal early because the Puja committee starts distributing the Lunch-Bhog coupon quite early and reaching late meant getting a slot in last batch at around 4PM. Also, I wanted to participate in the couple games organized by the puja committee along with SG, which was slotted to start around 11AM.
Being a last minute person, I realized that my saree needs to be ironed so I sneaked out to the ‘Presswala’ whose shop was nearby while SG was taking a bath. I knew being a perfect planner he would be damn irritated if he knows that I went for this at the last minute. So, I rushed in jet-speed to the shop, got the work done in record time and started almost running to come back home.
Suddenly, I heard a voice from behind “Aunty, Aunty”. I turned back and saw a small girl of about 8-9 years along with a smaller boy of around 3 years age who were calling me. They seem to be kids of some maids/rickshawpuller who were dressed in their best attire for Navami.
Generally, during Navratri there is a ritual of Kanya Pujan where people feed small girls on the 8th & 9th (Ashtami & Navami) day and give them some money. So in those days, you can find these small girls loitering around and gathering Prasad from various houses. Anyway, coming back to the scene, I thought these kids must have called me for asking for money or Prasad. My first reaction was irritation. I was getting late and wanted to avert the argument with SG.
Still I stopped and said “yes”.
Girl: Aunty would you take us to our home?
 Me: How can I?? Where do you stay?
Girl: We stay in abc area.
Me: So, you have lost the way??
Girl: No No….I know the way but I am scared of crossing that main road. Can you help us cross that?
Me: Okkk…. (Here I was about to refuse bluntly but suddenly something from inside held me back)
Me: OK..Come with me. Are you sure you can go to your home once you are on the other side of road?
Girl: Yes Aunty, I know my way to home.
I took them to the main road helped them to cross it. I stood there till the time those kids disappeared into their lane. She waved me before taking the turn. I waved back and again started rushing towards my home.
I felt so good. It was nothing like I had done some great social-service but a streak of contentment lingered in my heart. I don’t know what happened to me or what compelled me to say yes to them. I am quite a non-believer in Puja rituals and also generally try not to promote begging by giving alms to anybody in traffic signals or near religious institutions. But here I want to admit that this thought did flash in my mind that GOD may visit you in different form and test your character. And somewhat, I felt that those kids were just some heralds of GOD who wanted to check out me. I feel amazed at this thought of mine as it is quite unlike me. Human mind is so strange & complicated. It behaves so eccentrically sometimes!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Wow - 5

The best thing in life is…… as per me it is quite relative & subjective to every individual and circumstances. It changes its face value depending upon the dreams & desire of the character. The definition of best thing keeps on altering even for the same individual with due course of time.
A regular life-cycle of a person may witness lots of different ‘best things’ happening to them. But, there is always something ‘better than that best’ which dethrones the previous best phenomenon.
For a little kid the best thing in life is might be the moment when he/she gets permission for that extra time to play in the park even it is getting dark.
For a teenager the best thing in life is might be the little attention he/she receives from their latest crush.
For a young adult the best thing in life is might be the successful clearance of hurdles spread in the path of their desired educational institution.
For a destitute the best thing in life is might be the place he/she secured in the shelter – home for that particular chilly winter.
For a bomb-blast survivor, salvaged life might be the best thing in life while for euthanasia seeking patient end of life can be the best thing for that moment.
For an unwanted girl-child born in a family of patriarchal society getting educated can be the best thing in life.
For a woman suffering domestic violence for years, that momentary courage which helps her to stand against that suffering can be the best thing in life.
For someone the best thing in life can be their wedding day and for some other it can be selection in their best dream job.
A new mom, who had considered other beautiful moments of her life as best things till now, might reallocate this tag to the birth of her newborn. It can also be possible that the same lady after few years consider her grandchildren as the best thing in her life.
Thus this phrase keeps on changing its meaning, its connotation. It depends upon the frame of reference of a person’s life at that particular moment. The occurrences once deemed as best might be outshone by some other ‘better than the best’ happenings.
So, the best thing in life is actually the constant change which keeps on assembling new phases substituting the older ones.

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

I really liked this initiative of Blogadda of Writing over Weekend and it seems like it is churning out some decent write-ups from me. Till now my posts WoW-1 & Wow-3 has been selected as best entries, though missed the WoW-4 due to festive season.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Motherhood: A Song for life

This post is written as a part of initiative by Women's web - The ‘Motherhood: A Song For Life’ contest in association with Mom & Me, a one-of-a-kind store for mothers and children.

Six years back when I got married, me & hubby had our priorities clear in our mind. ‘Kids!!!...Nahh, We are not ready yet’, both of us were on the same page. Couple of years passed and we still thought the same. Other factors like home loan, achievements in career track reinforced our thought. We were happy & comfortable in a childless life. Then gradually change of mind happened though it took couple of years more.

Like a perfect project flowchart, everything started happening as per our planning. I conceived, confirmed the news by the gynecologist, informed family members and started planning for my pregnancy. But God has some other plans for us. ‘Thud’….. Our dreams crashed with my sudden miscarriage after a month. Array of mixed feelings flooded my mind in the following months. Strange void replaced that earlier contentment of childless life. I started making use of internet to fish out more information about terms like ovulation & follicular study and took particular interest in TTC forums of various pregnancy sites. I waited for those twin pink lines to appear every month with bated breath.

Finally it happened. This time we were extra cautious and rushed to doctor at slightest discomfort. My pregnancy as well as delivery procedure was smooth as hot knife passes through butter. But the real test commenced after that. Handling that 3 month old all by ourselves evolved me into a "Real Mom". Initial days were quite testing and even a continuous sleep of 4 hours was a luxury for me. I am not embarrassed to confess that many times I just felt like running away from everything to Himalayas or simply say 'I am not gonna play this game' like we used to say as kids while playing with friends.

I know it sounds really horrible feeling for a mom while ideally I should have been mushy and cuddly with my bundle of joy. But here I am jotting down the facts. After working for 6 long years I willingly took the decision to be a SAHM. Decision was tough and the change took its own time to get synced with my system. It was hard to adjust with so many changes simultaneously: soiled nappies, breast-feeding, sleepless days & nights, post delivery low phase, the emptiness which I felt after leaving my job, my health issues....list continued.

But I was able sail through all those changes & turbulent times.  I admit that sometimes I do miss those Pre-Mishti days but I really cherish my life with Mishti as well. I may not be an ideal mom but yes, I have my own criterion of being a "Real Mom". I might not fit into typical stereotyped mother figure and some of my parenting techniques even raise eyebrows of many people. 

My notions are very peculiar about parenting. I may not be a typical parent but now I realize the feeling when people say 'having a kid is like letting a part of yourself roam outside your body'. I get scared for her when I see any so called breaking news crime involving small kids. I feel superb when I see her imitating us. I feel contented when she rushes to me leaving everyone else. I love to hear her gibberish talk. I secretly feel proud whenever she achieves her behavioral & development milestones. I crib when she keeps me on my toes the whole day but pine more about the silence when she sleeps off. I freak out when she throws her ‘toddler tantrums’ but somehow feel fantastic that a new individual brimming with emotions is evolving in front of my eyes.

Actually, she has made us complete. Since her birth Mishti has gradually helped a clumsy, gawky, and klutzy girl transform into a paranoid mom who googles all day about parenting tips & tits-bits. It is because of her I started my blog (somewhat wanted to maintain a baby journal) which carted out my veiled love for writing. But altogether, now I love being a mom….yes, a ‘Real Mom’.

Our Family - Complete with Mishti

Saturday, 13 October 2012

WoW - 3

She cannot remember when actually she started believing this cliché and made it a pattern of her behaviour  Every time she does something which follows an awaited result to be declared, she would keep her fingers crossed. And how cannot she forget to mention the chocolate treat after that!!!
Sneh, a bright girl, always showed her mettle is every aspects of life she explored…be it academics, sports, cultural activities, social networking or even in managing her relations. As a kid her dad always encouraged her girl and somehow she aped him in believing on this cliché. ‘Keeping my fingers crossed….’ she had murmured numerous times,hiding her crossed fingers from public eye while eagerly waiting for the winners list. The moment her name was loudly announced as a winner for various diverse activities as elocution, dancing, dramatics, board exams, various entrance tests….the list is long, her dad has treated her with a big bar of chocolate.
She enjoyed her winnings moments in school prior to which she always ‘kept her fingers crossed’.
She topped the city in her college final year and she does remember herself muttering ‘keeping my fingers crossed….!!’ under her breath the whole morning the day results were out. She duly received the big bar of chocolate from her loving & proud dad.
She made it to best corporate giants of the country in the campus interviews. I was ‘keeping my fingers crossed’ till my name was publicized…she recalls.
She met that tall dark handsome colleague….., it was ‘Love at first sight’ for her!! ‘I had been keeping my fingers crossed so many times while we dated’, she recollected. And it worked…he proposed her in the best romantic way over a beautiful candle lit dinner. She ordered Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake for dessert that night.

Her wedding was a dream come true event for her. Her parents ensured grandest wedding of the city by spending a fortune beyond others imagination. Sneh walked the mandap glittering in diamonds, expensive silk and oodles of gold. Although couple of years has already passed since that eventful day, relatives & guests still talk about that grand extravagant wedding.
But her life took a curvaceous turn from there. Dreams shattered after hitting the harsh world of reality. Her confidence, self-esteem & trust were trampled bit by bit by the same person around whom she has woven her silky dreams. Her soul was insulted each day with worse form of verbal abuse. Her inner self was stripped naked by that beastly alcoholic spouse embellished with filthy abuses. She blamed it all on his addiction to alcohol. She thought ‘Otherwise he is such a nice person…just that this alcohol dependency catalyses his inhuman behavior. I am keeping my fingers crossed…..one day everything would be fine’.
But it did not. Apart from verbal abuses he swung to merciless beating. He did not even budge from his violent behavior when she was pregnant. Sneh tolerated this cruel domestic violence with the hope that the birth of their child might bring the betterment in his personality.
Then on a fateful day, inebriated with alcohol he hit her in her tummy and crushed all bleak hope she ever had. He killed their unborn child. She was numb with mental & physical trauma. He unabashedly projected it as an accident to everyone else. She literally lost her voice after that and never protested his version. He has now the perfect alibi even in front of public for seeking refuge in alcohol and drugs.
After few days, an ambulance had to be called to their house to take him to hospital. Hospital staff carried his unconscious body to the hospital…..She accompanied them with a stoned expression on her face. Doctors diagnosed it as overdose of alcohol. He died within couple of hours.
But during those two hours nobody noticed her crossed fingers beneath her saree’s pallu. She muttered continuously ‘I am keeping my fingers crossed…..’ which everyone misunderstood as a prayer of a devoted wife for her dying husband. Finally doctors released his death certificate citing reason of death as ‘natural’ (overdose of drugs & alcohol).
Sneh rushed to the departmental store next to the hospital.
She asked: Do you have that dark chocolate bar whose advertise campaign says ‘You just don’t buy it, YOU EARN IT’…. Can you give me two of that!!!

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

E.T.A. : This also got selected as one of the best entries for the theme. :-)

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Strange, weird ...Hallucination!!

Yeah...I would love to hallucinate about a neat & clean home, with lunch-dinner-whatever already cooked, Mishti engrossed in her books & crayons and me- sipping a tall glass of any damn soothing drink, dangling my legs over the sofa armrest while reading a book!!!
But this post is not about my hallucination…I heard about very strange incident yesterday, so thought of sharing it on my blog.

I am learning to drive (four wheeler!!) from a local driving school……and yes, has already completed six-days out of 15 days course.

This story is what has been told to me by the person who is teaching me to drive. It happened like that while I was nervously clenching the steering wheel and praying that all other vehicles on road just vanish, my instructor suddenly became very busy with his swanky phone( it speaks the numbers when dialed…just like train numbers in those robotic announcements!!). He started talking very loudly in Bhojpuri or eastern UP dialect to his ‘Mai’ while giving instructions to me to change gear & apply brakes. After around 5-6 minutes of this loud conversation, I was visibly irritated. Then he said, Madamjee I was talking to my Mom…we are very worried as my kids are missing!!

Me: What!!! Kids?? How many?? ( the way he said 'Bachhe' prompted me to ask how many..!!)
He: Madam, my 4 kids along with my wife went missing 10 days back… You know, I was sending them home with lots of silver jewellery and cash for my sister’s wedding…..but everything is gone now…
Me: Have you informed the police??
He: yeah…but they are doing nothing…actually I know who has abducted them…he was my neighbor who knew about their journey with so much cash…even one of my co-villager saw him with my family in Gurgaon Bus-depot.
Me: So, you told Police about this person….? Your wife knew that person?
He: Arre…they want some witness…Don’t worry…I am going to settle all these things…Last night I saw that her mind is now on track and she wants to come back to me.
Me: (Just ignoring his blabber..) Why don’t you get in touch with some politician regarding this incident…it can speed up the search.
He: I have already met one, they are of little help….Let’s see if at least I get my kids back….?
Me: ( not very comfortable though...) What…you don’t want your wife back?
He: She can come back but you know Madamjee nobody would talk to her in my village anymore…she would be ostracized!!
Me: (Shocked…trying to change the track) so you said you heard her last night…is that on phone?
He: No no…you know there is a very famous ‘Bangali Baba’ nearby…he showed me in a mirror that my wife is now shouting on that kidnapper to get her back to me. He has taken Rs.4000/- and see already my wife’s mind has changed….now this baba is working on to change that guy’s mind as well…so not to worry, he himself would send my wife back!!
Me: Stunned…aghast..Appalled!!

Array of thoughts engulfed my mind after this conversation. This mixed bag of feelings continued to jumble up within itself. Few were:
  • I was taken back that how indifferent that person was about the missing of his wife and all he was worried about his cash/ornaments and kids in descending order.
  • May be it is all planned by his wife and she has ran away with the neighbor & cash.
  • Some serious kidnapping has happened which links to human trafficking.
  • The minuscule rate of literacy and awareness in our country facilitate these crooks (that Bangali Baba) to widen their fraud business while they conveniently play with the mind of emotionally weak harried person.
  • Somehow, I felt that he has been smoking pot, thus most of his narrative is his hallucination.

Anyway, I was not comfortable throughout the conversation and was quite relieved when I saw another girl sitting in the car today (it was her first class and she wanted to shadow somebody else.)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

WoW - 2

‘Paradigm shift ‘can be fitted as most the appropriate term for my life. A person who was kind of workaholic or to be more precise loved to spend time in office finishing various assignments at the earliest  or just covering up for various other colleagues( who were on leaves) while handling their team members is now afraid of the word ‘going to work’ . Discussions about her second innings in professional arena after the maternity sabbatical initiates ‘anxiety pangs’ in her biological system now.

During six years of my professional life there were numerous days when I had spent almost 10-12 hours at work…and that too willingly!! I went to work even couple of days before my baby was born. No one ever assumed even when I was pregnant that I would leave my job & would be a full-time SAHM. But then I made my mind understand and took that difficult decision in my perfect senses….and believe me I am not at all repentant about it.

Initially we decided that I would leave my current job & take a break of around six months and would start searching job by March 2012. But, then my sister’s marriage got scheduled later this year. So we postponed the plan as being the only sibling my presence is quite inescapable in all the arrangements & functions…..and expecting & asking leave just after joining job is quite a turn-off for me. Throughout the whole course of discussion I remained torn between excitement to join work & anxious to leave back my baby at home.

However, I would like to admit here that somehow secretly I felt bit relaxed & happy to be able to spend more time with my kid. I hushed away all the anxiety & sloppy thoughts which hovered my mind whenever I thought about my li’l princess being alone with maid or in an alien environment of day-care. Akin to an Ostrich I denied the presence of storm by shoving my head in sand. I even dreaded to discuss this maid vs. daycare option with my spouse and slyly slipped away whenever he initiated the discussion.

But now, it seems that I can no longer avoid this scenario. Sister’s marriage would be over in November…….So I am waking up, now that September has ended.  I have to shake myself to be awake from my blissful dream to face the reality…..I cannot delay my job hunt more. This is turning out to be a tricky situation….. One part of me wants to join back the league pretty badly while the other part want to be with my kid all the time. I am not weighing any rationale behind this state of my mind……these are just pure ‘wants’ of my soul.

My mind is now taking over my heart and is waking up, now that September has ended. I have started extensive search for good daycare and a full-time maid after settling the required criteria with my hubby.  The next in pipeline is updating my resume in various job-portals. Along with all these search & researches my mind is conditioning my heart to be prepared for the forthcoming change & its twin sister turbulence. Let’s see how I am going to face it…..Kya kare Dil hai ki Maanta nahin!!!

I am so thankful to Blogadda for these topics of WoW which is helping me to blurt out my ramblings in form of blogging.
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda