Monday, 31 December 2012

Enough has already been said....

As someone who is normal, trust me, I share all the emotions that each one of you has for everything that has marked our existence in the last 15 days. I am someone who has led a city life- to be precise, I have led the Delhi life. I have been to college in this city and having traveled in the public transport I know how it feels when someone touches you without your permission! I am active on social media hence I have read each and every post that has circulated in this regard. I am a mother, so I relate to the pain of the girl's mother who saw her baby suffer for days. I am a woman whose husband once slapped someone in the middle of the market when she raised an alarm that a guy was trying to 'act' smart, whose brother literally wraps her between his arms when we are making our way into a crowded cinema hall, whose father bought her a car when a Blue Line bus driver almost killed her one afternoon.

But in a way I am not all that normal too. I have a set of family living in the smaller towns and even rural part of our country. When I witness the anger, anguish and apparent practicality of my FB or twitter contacts, there is only one thought that makes me NOT believe in the urgency with which the myriad solutions are being provided. Because I have interacted with 'Indians' who belong to 'the other India', I know that these solutions are not easy to come by. They aren't long term. They are so NOT the solutions!

Respecting a woman is not one of the things that are part of a normal Mother-child curriculum in these parts of our country. Boys learn about the women, by observing how their fathers treat them. They have better things in the world to worry about- like how will they go to school everyday or how will they pass the exams. They have things like- how to kill time when there is no electricity for 12 hours- to worry about. I can imagine that if today I sit down with some cousins and uncles who are still in my native place, they will say- "Hua to bahut bura par raat ko ladke ke saath bahar jaayegi, to aur kya hoga uske saath?". Its not that they are insensitive. They are just conditioned to equate a woman's freedom with her being "loose" or "prone to disaster". And they are not even wrong. For years they have protected their women from other men! Hence all the notions of a "proper" time to come back home and "proper" way to dress were developed.

That is why I say that by putting up possible ideas on twitter or blogs or FB, will not give you the REAL solution. You know what will? Going to the root of this mentality which still exists in those parts of our country where you have not yet been. Reaching out to the "majority" of India and curtailing these thoughts from where the seeds are sown. Not assuming that rapes do not happen in richer societies but definitely the brutality or shamelessness of even assuming that a girl who is alone is definitely "open" for your trespass- starts in these pockets! Those cousins of mine and their friends, will never ever get to read how you think women are not objects or are stronger. Yes, if your insistence makes the rape law strict, they will get capital punishment when they commit this crime, but its the solution of the AFTER. Figure out a way to prevent the BEFORE. 

Be angry- but channelize it to where it is required. Heard enough about how you FEEL, time to tell everyone how you can CHANGE THINGS! Because the former is mere convenient, its the latter that will uplift us as a nation.....

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Have you answered it yet?

The most potent question in every homemaker's life is a one she inevitably has to answer every single day. No, its not about how she passes her time or how much 1 kg of sugar costs these days. Its nothing to do with her children or husband. Its not even to do with her interests or dislikes. Its one which is of even graver importance. One that determines and governs how the moods (and everything to do with it) will remain of her family members.

Being a homemaker for some time this observation is in my opinion the biggest hurdle in conducting our day to day lives- smoothly. My education at D.P.S, DU and even an MBA degree prepared me a great deal in handling problems related to time management, multi tasking and organisation of household chores but it has so badly failed in giving me a permanent solution to this particular problem. This question, however insignificant and easy it may sound, definitely is the seed that builds happiness and cheer around the house. Still every time I ask my family members to answer it on my behalf I get a similar answer- "Is this even a question?"

Oh c'mon it is! Try answering it each day- each day without fail. Try answering it wrong for one day and all you will hear from everyone is- "What is this yaar?", "Why this?", "Again???". And every time you will hear all this, you will appear like a criminal. A criminal who despite being punished many times, repeats his mistakes out of sheer habit!

So much so that I think its a great business idea to connect home makers around the world on a platform where every day they can together answer this question and those who are not actively answering, can at least benefit by reading other active members!

How many have guessed what question it is?

It is:

"Aaj khaane main kya banega?"

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Dear Santa, please take over....for real :)

So everyone who is reading this knows Santa's reality. Some of us did believe in him when we were kids. Some were always smart enough to doubt him. Me and my brother belong to the category where even when we knew he wasn't the one giving us gifts, we rushed to our parent's room with absolutely false but totally jubilant cries of : "See Papa, Santa Claus gave us this and that"! I am not saying that our parents were playing along without knowing that we know- but it was all so much fun :)

Today when I am the Santa for V and N, the fun is different. With so much exposure to Santa, Mickey Mouse and Superman all around, poor kids know from now itself that I am their Santa. So when I tell them that if they do not behave properly Santa will not gift them anything, they smile back at me and say -"Don't be so angry Mom". This is so not good. Is there anything left now which is fantasy for my kids?

I am unable to control this exposure. I cannot lie to them blatantly when they ask me if there is an Uncle inside the Donald Duck suit. Because while it was easy or seamless for me to not come up with this question when I was a kid (as such occurrences were rare), its fairly commonplace for my kids to know whats inside the suit. They are smarter and definitely more aware than me.

You know what is my solution to still let the innocence and naivety of these rituals remain? I never cease to practice them anyway. I never tell my kids- "There is no Santa Claus! So you will not get anything from us". Even if they know its us, I always keep a gift under their pillow and when they thank me, I look up in the sky(in front of them) and thank the Santa Claus I grew up with and say : "Thank you for making me gift Viraj and Nevaan the things they love" and trust me they join in too :)

No, I do not want V and N to not know the "truth" behind everything. Its not that I don't want them to be practical and mature about life. Its just that today I have realized how my parents have shaped my life by insulating me from certain realities. I know what it meant to believe and trust them blindly. If I cannot STOP them from knowing even the 'bad' side of things, at least I can up the quotient of 'goodness' in their basic life learnings.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Dilli shilly tey winter weddings

Having lived in Delhi all my life it may sound criminal to not like winters. Actually its not that I don't like them.....I HATE them. As October begins, and the slight chill settles in, you can see me literally shivering around the house. As time progress and winters assume their most monstrous nature, I wear 2 socks, one dirty monkey cap, 3 layers of sweaters and my hands are never out of my sweat shirt pockets. Also please add a continuous sound that I make while moving around to complete the image (its like "Oooo...hoooo.....sheeeee"). These layers don't even come off while sleeping and my husband fails to understand how can someone HATE winters. No prizes for guessing that he adores this weather. This is one more point in our list of "Opposites attract" category.

Tonight I have a wedding to attend. And a Non-Delhite must know that how much ever the temperature drops or fog descends, women cannot carry shawls or cardigans in Dilli. Its how we attend weddings. We wear heavy sarees and sleeveless blouses! Our husbands and kids will be in jackets and gloves, but we will ALWAYS be without any such protective gear. I mean if we have to cover our silk drapes and jewelry with shawls, why are you making us attend a wedding dude? 

So what will we do? We will smile our best. Answer silly questions thrown at us like "Thand nahi lag rahi tumhe?". Quietly rub our hands when no one is looking. Hunt for a angeethi and force our husbands to accompany us around it hence restricting their movement. Sip on hot watery soup and then coffee. The time when we hold those heavy plates and finish food, our hands are frozen. But we go on....and on and on. If the wedding is a 'courtesy one' (like the one I will be attending tonight), we finish up with a hot gulab jaamun and make quick exit towards our car. But god forbid if we have to stay till the feras, we will put our sleeping kids on the sofas, and eventually give in to our husband's pleas of getting that shawl out from the car. Now the decision whether the shawl should cover our kids or us- is a tough one to make! But we still decide either ways and sail through the torture.

But Delhi and its weddings are best only in its signature winters. Because Delhi and its summer weddings are a punishment. Having made my family and friends endure this punishment during my own wedding, I better repent all my life by giving up on my shawls for all the wise people who have winter weddings :)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

You and this unromantic world :)

A few days ago Twitter, Facebook, News and everything else that reaches out to millions was filled with Yash Chopra's demise. YAWN. Nothing new with that. Happened with Jagjit Singh, Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand , Rajesh Khanna, Jaspal Bhatti blah blah.

It is sad no doubt. The whole process of losing someone and coping with that void is tedious, overwhelming and rather painful. In all the above cases though, since the loss isnt personal, its easier to simply type a RIP and move on.

I was myself coming to terms with a recent personal loss when I happened to check my FB wall and got to know about Mr Yash Chopra's end. Instantly a smile sat on my lips. Death definitely evades no one. However unfair it may seem, it is undoubtedly something we must learn to deal with!

But I have a connection with Mr Chopra. An uncanny one. Its silly but its my connection (most things about me are silly, no?). I owe the planning of my Honeymoon to him! The fact that I carried a chiffon saree on my honeymoon is all courtesy him. Eventually I did not show courage like his heroines to wear it- now thats a different matter! Till date if Saurabh teases me to have carried one- is because Mr Chopra made me believe that ITS POSSIBLE to wear it in the snow clad Swiss Alps!! I may not have worn it, but I did make Saurabh stand like Shahrukh with his arms stretched (he looked such a horrid version of SRK) and I ran quite a distance into his arms. The minute I did that Saurabh said- "Ho gaya honeymoon??"

I dont know if my sons will ever relate to this cheekiness of a romance (their father never does) but one thing is for sure- I fully do!

And why just romance? Its the typical tear jerking and strikinlgy effortless Indian-ness that he froze and framed in my head. For me when Amitabh Bachchan told Preity Zinta that -" Apne Ma bauji se kaiye ki ek Saath saal ka hindustani unnano diye tere sanskaro ko salaam karta hai"- I cried :)

Friday, 2 November 2012

To Saurabh....on an empty stomach :)

We move along
night and day
We fall and rise
you hope, I pray.

You think about it
I feel
You act on it
I deal.

We are not alike
infact poles away
Still we do not want it
any other way.

A fast will not reinforce
it will neither strengthen
A day cannot determine
so I will not even mention

You and I
till we exist
will continue to surrender
to the promise a midst

Our two extensions
Our friendship
My reverence for you
and your admiration :)

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Does every mother have a choice?

Last evening was a bad one. No idea why so much gloominess is packed in this one year for me but definitely I am tired of this now.

Saurabh surprised me by coming back home from work at least an hour earlier than his usual time. I was so excited to see him that I got down (we live on the 1st floor) to our gate to receive him. As soon as I step out of the gate, I hear someone wailing inside my next door neighbors house. Instinctively, instead of going towards Saurabh,  I turn to the house from where the voice is slowly increasing. To my shock I see our old maid -Laxmi-running out with her 2 year old son in her arms. Behind her is my neighbor frantically collecting his car keys and locking his house door. I rush to Laxmi to ask what happened just when I see the small baby bleeding profusely from his head. The blood dripping to the ground, his shirt soaked in red. Laxmi (she must be barely 22 or 23 years old) is crying while trying to somehow stop the overflowing liquid. I have not seen such a terrible sight so close and I try and hide my helplessness behind words of encouragement that her son will be fine.

In the meantime Saurabh too makes his way closer to us and then it hits me, how alone Laxmi is midst strangers with a severely injured baby clutched in her arms. As the neighbor pulls out his car, she looks at me and says- "Aap chalo mere saath". I do not think twice and we both get into the back seat. In my faint glimpse of Saurabh on the road, I remember him stuffing my phone in my hand. 

The neighbor (matching Vettel's caliber)  rushes us to the nearest hospital's emergency ward and then begins the ordeal with hassled doctors who finally (after half an hour) shout on us saying: "This is not a joke. We are bogged down with Dengue emergencies Madam. First aid has been provided to you. Now please rush the child some where else". Do we have a choice? No!

Now we are on our way to a private nursing home but Laxmi has not stopped crying. I take the baby from her who gives me his first smile of the evening. As the neighbor scouts for a parking space, I rush the baby to the clinic's emergency room and to my utter relief 5 senior doctors immediately spring into action. They take the injured baby from our hands and disappear into the minor OT before assuring us in a calm, relaxed tone  that if the child has not vomited or fainted after the fall, he is perfectly alright and some stitches will do the trick. 

The wait outside the OT, where the father of my kids has joined me now is excruciating. I decide not to break down in front of Saurabh because he needs to be assured that I am strong. But I am not. I am not a strong mother. From the inside, I was shattered. In every word of comfort that I spoke to Laxmi, was sheer pretense as I knew that if I was in her shoes, I would have myself required some medical attention. Within 10 minutes Harsh was sewed up and I can only imagine what Laxmi must have felt, but when I saw him in the Doctor's arms, stretching his hands to his mother, I choked in my throat. 

Harsh accompanies Laxmi to all the houses when she is working. My neighbor has often told her not to bring him along as when she gets busy with her cleaning and washing, Harsh climbs up and down the stairs or touches sharp objects without supervision. Last evening too as she got busy with the utensils, Harsh climbed a chair, lost his balance, fell and hurt his head on the kitchen slab. When I asked her last night why she brings such a small kid with her when she cannot clearly take care of him she said softly: "I have no one to take care of him at home when I am out earning".

These words of her reminded me of my own situation. I too did not have anyone to take care of my kids back home if I worked outside. Hence I decided to quit rat race and stayed home raising them. Difference is that while we could afford cutting our household income by half, Laxmi cannot. She had to and has to pay the price of this decision......this situation of hers :(

Monday, 29 October 2012

And we all have the "Kabhi aao" relatives

There are always 2 specific kind of relatives. And the best part is that we all have them. First are of course the ones we want to meet (TYPE 1). Others are those who dont want to meet us!(TYPE 2)

2012 turned out to be a particularly bad year for our family as we lost 2 close relatives. Their loss made the entire family get together for prayer meetings etc. Even though the over riding emotion was grief, being the observer I am, I couldn't help but notice a sort of commonality in the general interaction between people who are 'related' somehow.

Ever noticed that at weddings, funerals or other family functions there are some people who while leaving for home will say to you- "Kabhi Aao......Ghar". While "kabhi aao" is said with the head moving up and down and in a firm tone (sounding like a question), "Ghar" is said so faintly that I am assuming they say Ghar and not something else which probably means- dont come!

Be assured that here, I am not complaining or pointing fingers at anyone because if I have relatives, I am also someone's relative! Right? So I am talking about each one of us. We all have a set of people who we know are our family but there is no reason, excitement or intention to actually meet them any longer than what weddings. funerals and family functions allow. We are all courteous to remind them that "Well....since God made us a family, he automatically opened the doors of our houses to each other"- But neither do I  take it seriously, nor should you bother to do so. 

You are still wondering who these people are in your life? I dont know if I can help you fully but there are some characteristics which I have noticed in my set and may be if you apply these to your own situation, you will recognize them instantly. 

  • Firstly of course they will ALWAYS say to you- "kabhi aao" especially when they are on their way out.
  • Funnily when they met you first that evening(or day) they will complain-"Arre tum aate hi nahi kabhi humse milne!". And they do so with so much conviction that you are almost embarrassed why they aren't part of your TYPE 1 category.
  • They will huddle up with their TYPE 1 relatives and from the corner of your eye you will see them clearly discussing you.
  • They will always ask your parents about what you are doing, when will you get married, whether you are working or unemployed- But they will never ask YOU directly.
  • They will always compare your physical looks to the last time they saw you. Since 'how you look' is the only legitimate conversation they can have with you, you are bound to play along.
  • At least once in your conversation, both of you will put one finger on your chin, look up in the sky while wondering- "Kahan mile the hum last time?"

Next time someone uses the code word- 'Kabhi aao' on me- my answer will definitely be- "Quickly give me your address". I will also take out my phone pretending I am serious about noting it down. Lets see if they prove me wrong :)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Some things are best as they have been :)

Along with my earlier confessed disorders like the celeb mania or the fancy TMJ (and my lack of talking as a result), there is one more thing I am compulsively passionate about. God knows why the hell but- Its my dream to stand on the Times Square in New York with my arms stretched, getting clicked in order to freeze the memory of having fulfilled this silly fantasy! You must know that Saurabh is under tremendous pressure to quickly turn this dream into reality as every time he asks me- "So what do you want from me?", I only say- "Take me to........"-and he knows where! He just doesn't know WHY!! Many friends and family who have been there (and done that) have come back and told me- "Kya khaas hai wahan? Its very normal. Its like the Piccadilly Square in London which you have seen!" . But a dream is a dream. I have eaten hazaar other Raj kachoris but the one which is served at Haldirams at Mathura Road in Delhi- Is unbeatable!

So what is the context of this dream sequence I elaborated above, you must be thinking? 

Last weekend when we caught 'English Vinglish',we couldn't help but sample the Manhattan razzmatazz and loved the American way of life. After criss-crossing through the New York high rises, while returning home, we were all hungry and the time matched the time of our neighbor hood halwai's time to fry samosas. Hence the decision was made to take our car as close as possible to the halwai's narrow street so that I can be dropped off and attack his freshly fried matar samosas which are so famous that I had to wait half an hour to fetch my meager 250 grams! How much ever Saurabh tried, he could not halt his car for more than 10 seconds because the street got clogged with rickshaw wallas, scooters and 'on shopping spree" aunties who banged on the car saying- " Kindly make way!" 

As I stood there, just above the huge kadhai in which the small Samosas were getting fried, I witnessed the frenzy of hungry people grabbing their lots and the excited look on their faces to see their "melting in the mouth" treats being made so fresh. The uncanny comparison of where I was just 30 minutes back- in the streets of New York, yet again promising myself that one day I shall too walk as fast as these busy looking Americans and fulfill my Times Square dream- brought a smile to my face. For now I was in a market where one could buy anything from a Ship to a needle, where matar samosas attract janta from far off distances, where no one bothers if the halwai uncle washed his hands before touching their samosas, where commotion and unruliness is the way of our lives- in fact it only adds to the experience of enjoying these fried savories!

The question then I asked myself while carrying the brown packet, that got stained of oil the minute I started walking was- What do I prefer? Did I not enjoy this process of having these super famous samosas? 

The answer was- Oh yes! I loved it! In fact I look forward to the madness that engulfs this market in the festive season. I love it when I have to haggle and struggle for small things that make my big festivals and I love it when all the shopkeepers recognize me or my Mom in law and on seeing us worried they shout through the 'unruly' crowd- "Paise baad main de dijiyega! Aap abhi bas samaan le jaiye!" :)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Handpicked for the Impossible!

Shit happens! It happens to everyone. But what when a particular kind of 'shit' happens to you where you are damn sure you have been targeted?  Its like if you have a sweet tooth and you are diagnosed with Diabetes. Or you love to get angry and you have High BP. Or you want to spend a fun weekend with your wife but your in laws come visiting. Very lame attempts at giving corollaries but I am hoping you got the point.

The point is that till today I thought I had only one such problem in my life. Just two days ago, however, I have been diagnosed with another fatality. The latter one has taken away my entire sense of being. It violates the basic rights of my existence. It so shamelessly challenges who I am- or like to be!! It almost seems to have answered the prayers of my husband (and my Mother in law), which is painfully disturbing!!

Ya so what are the two things in my life which are blatant examples of the stuff that JUST SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED to someone like me?

  1. I love to eat! One of the three crucial reason why Saurabh and I got married (the other two, I shall touch upon later) was that we love our food. Food has to be the center of why we earn, we live, we travel, we breathe so on and so forth. But the same food, for some strange reason after my pregnancies, has led to serious weight inflation sprees. Its so bad that if Saurabh insists that he and i should spend some 'quality time' in our balcony every morning inhaling "fresh air', I am unable to do so because even air shoots up my weight by a couple of significant grams! I drink water and hey my weighing machine starts talking. So for someone who loves to eat- weight gain is such a rude way of making her curb those desires. Its another thing that I DO NOT curb them but yes every second spent on top of the weighing scale and Saurabh peeping from behind my shoulder- kills me one bit each day!
  2. This first problem will seem like a molehill in front of the one you are about to read. For some weeks now I could hear a distinct 'click- click' in my mouth. Every morning I woke up, I would not be rubbing my eyes like all of you- I would be adjusting my lower jaw because it seemed stuck. Oh yes- STUCK. I moved along thinking- Hoga kuch, till the condition got severe and now not just mornings but whole day long, I had to bear the bloody click-click and a sense of "Jaw Freeze". So I go to a doctor and guess what?? I have Temporomandibular Joint Disorder- So fancy a name for a disease (Almost like lymphosarcoma of the intestine). Lets call it TMJ disorder where due to a manufacturing defect in my jaw, it has finally dislocated and if I open my mouth too wide (like for yawning), boom it gets stuck! Sounds so ewww, but along with it being irritating- its damn painful!! Ya so what is the cure you ask? Just imagine what it could be??? For everyone who knows me it will be impossible to believe that a Doctor had the audacity to suggest  this treatment- She said- "Talk less!!" 
What the hell? Talk less?? How on earth does Parul Tyagi do that?? I have 2 sons and now I am officially not allowed to shout on them! I cant fight with Saurabh as I cant 'raise' my voice! Ever since this diagnosis, my Mother in law has reminded me at least 4 times- "Arre chillao mat bachcho par. This is God's way of telling you not to!". I cant even laugh out loud in my signature tone because every time I do that, Saurabh says-" Haso mat. Just smile!". IMAGINE!!!

So I will reiterate- Shit has happened. Such an unfair one with me. But I will laugh, I will talk and I will yell at my kids- Because if I will not do these, I will die of something more disturbing than a silly Jaw dislocation :).

Oh yeah and I forgot to ask my doctor if I can eat Gol Gapaas!!!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Coming a full circle with a School Bus

The memories of the school bus slowing down at a place that looks comfortingly familiar, we standing one behind the other and moving towards the door to disembark are so fresh in my head- even today. After school, the bus journey to home is a crucial part in the memories that fill up our association with school life. Grabbing the window seat, opening the test papers to wonder where we lost out on marks, our ONLY bus friends, seniors bullying juniors,  the Conductor bhaiya who is trained to NEVER be friendly with his little travelers,  Driver bhaiya who is perennially sweating, by hearting every stop till our stop comes, throwing paper balls at those in front, emptying water bottles on those who have just gotten down and pass our window and so much more....I am dramatically emotional hence I still remember my last day in the school bus, when as I got down and it went past me, I stood on my stop holding Rahul's hand and waving it Bye. Rahul (that is why) is also an important character of everything I remember of my morning School Bus- I have carried his ID card, belt, comb, almanac, tiffin box, exam board in my bag because he woke up late and was too hassled to bother about them :).

12 years on, from the day my school bus deserted me forever, there is another School bus that is shaping my memories of a lifetime. Every single day at exact 1:07 pm, I pick up my car and drive down to V and N's bus stop to pick them. The distance is not worth a car journey but I pamper them in summer months because after a whole day at school, I don't want them to walk 2 considerably big lanes. Trust me- this daily routine of mine is one I am extremely proud of. Its bliss to see your babies come down the bus, brimming with joy and energy on seeing you. I hug them every day, offload their heavy (yes they are heavy) school bags from their tiny shoulders and ask with a renewed vigor each day- "How was school??". The question may be the same but the answers are different and that is exactly why I repeat it everyday. Our little car journey to home is enough for both of them to gobble out every minute detail that made that day special. 

As I wait on the stop, being the observer I am, I feel a little out of place because I do not apply lipstick or even comb my hair especially to make that trip. The other mothers are prim and proper, they talk non stop (about their husbands or holidays) and look every bit dressed for the occasion. It seems okay if the bus is delayed for a few minutes because that would mean more conversations! There are some maids and grandparents too who are treading this path more out of responsibility than will. I am the odd one out who is there to pick up 2 boys who the Conductor thinks are twins, who is always punching into her phone (to avoid eye contact with the manicured mothers just so that they do not indulge in small talk), or if the bus is taking way too much time- pacing back and forth on the pavement desperate to see the Yellow and Blue bus emerge.

I am lucky we are able to build these memories. These small things which may not matter in the long run when kids are big enough to come back on their own from the stop, but I have definitely paved way in these initial years of schooling- of a definite happiness of finding your mother waiting for you each and every day with a tight hug, a bond that we share because I am as bound in this routine as they are and a sense of fulfillment in myself because no phone call, no meeting, absolutely nothing else can come in the way of this duty of mine.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Belated birthday learnings :)

Yesterday was my husband's birthday- (you know I really find it weird to call Saurabh "husband" especially when there are so many cliches attached to this one word- but anyways that's what we are- Husband and Wife!!). So being the kind of person he is, understated and NORMAL, he does not believe in mentioning his birth date on a medium like Facebook- which is a window to all the superficiality that exists in our times (in his words).

Everyday our news feed is flooded with birthday wishes followed by a "Thank you all for your blessings and wishes. You guys made my day" message by the birthday boy/girl. Isn't the number of wishes that a person gets on his best day, a sort of a measure of how loved he/she is? Oh c'mon please admit that when suddenly at least 70 people flood your wall with ultra sweet wishes, you do feel very loved, very important! I do! Everyone who have had no intention or time to connect with me throughout the year wake up to FB's notification of my birthday, click on my name, type a few words proving that they still remember me and I love it when I see the messages and realize- Oh yes, this one is also on my friends list.

This is NOT an attempt to lessen the significance of FB- being an ardent FB addict, I will be blasphemous to even think like that. But at the same time I learnt something yesterday. Since it was not on Facebook, Saurabh was not flooded with any messages there. What did that mean? Only those got to wish him who remembered his birthday. Who had either put a reminder on their phones or just simply remembered it in their heads because Saurabh mattered to them. Throughout the day he was as flooded with calls as I am on my birthday (despite my birth date being flashed on FB) and that humbled me so much. His family, his cousins, my family members who love him as much as they love me and some friends who he truly and rightly values- All these people did not need anyone to remind them and whatever their schedules, they HAD to pick up the phone to SMS or call him. Somehow all these people seemed more important than the ones who were aided in recall in my case or anyone else's.

It made me think. Hence I shared. Saurabh-There is no need to reiterate or claim that I love you but these are small things that make me respect you more and learn in the process :)

Friday, 14 September 2012

Whose time is it to visit Melbourne?

Interesting contest I must say. Not just because it promises an opportunity to the winner to visit a magnificent place but also because it tests imagination! We bloggers, I am assuming most of us, are blogging because we are creative. Whatever we write about- our travels, relationships, food or kids, at the end of the day we are doing so because we believe that we can express ourselves through our writing better than those lesser mortals who cannot. Some of us click- some do not! But we still write and write because.....well again- we have a unique ability to articulate thoughts, structure them into words/phrases/poems and have an urge to share it with a significant number of people- be it for publicity/acceptability or (I don't know what?)

Okay so why am I writing about this contest? And what is it that I am doing different? I (maybe like no one else would) admit that I read through some of the other submissions. I mean please tell me if they are published before the submission deadline then we ARE supposed to read them right? Ya so I was saying that I went through a couple of submissions and I saw one thing common in them. Lets say they are all under 2 categories:

  1. Those who have been there- so they are talking about how wonderful their visit was and how much they would love to go there again. Fair! If your talent (in this case your writing) can take you there again- why not? For that matter, if I can write and win tickets I would love to go to Shimla or Manali too. Wont I ?
  2. The next category are the people who have not been there and are imagining the experiences. So what are they doing? They are either googling or talking to friends who have seen the place. Then they are carefully listing out the "touristy things to do" and detailing how wonderful it will be to do all that.
In both the above cases what is common? The excitement! The exaggeration of how 'beautiful' and 'a must do' city Melbourne is and ofcourse how something would be amiss in their lives if they do not get this opportunity. But given this commonality and repetitive tone and thought- hats off to the judges who will HAVE to device new parameters to judge the best entries (trust me after reading a few only, I feel I have already been there!!)

The above observations have definitely thrown me out of the race of "Its your time to visit Melbourne" because I am not confirming to the popular way of approaching this contest but what to do! I owe these admissions to ......what is it called? Conscience? No lets call it- Observations (its less controversial and more believable!)

Because if I would approach it I would think about it this way- I have an Aunt living in the city of Agra. Agra, for the world , is on top of the list of the "must visit" places when one even thinks about India. It houses The TAJ MAHAL. Now I have obviously seen it but that was when I was very small. The aunt keeps inviting us to her place often making us emotional by saying :"Atleast come for the TAJ if not to see us!". We are ashamed that due to our busy schedules we disappoint her so much because technically its just 3 hours drive from where we live! But the only thing that doesn't take us there is the thought " Oh its so close. We can go there anytime". However when we hear in the news that whoever visits India from Princess Diana to Obama to Oprah to Clinton- All may or may not eat our food, but will definitely visit the TAJ- we do wonder why we should not visit it monthly. If I understand it correctly, the beauty of TAJ is what draws them to it. The stories they have heard about how it was built, the rich culture and heritage that it reflects is magnetic. Hence the curiosity to see it.

So as an Indian, if I want to visit someplace outside my culture and heritage, and think about what experiences I want to get back from there- its very simple. I am also like these hot shot celebrities in my take aways- I want to closely touch and feel and experience, the true essence that makes that place! Isn't it extremely simple and fair? Who am I to google and see what are the popular places to see and do at any city. I am supposed to be served that experience by the city itself- whatever it wants me to come back home and talk about with my peers, family and friends. 

Hence I am taking this risk. Instead of being diplomatic, I will be truthful. I will not visit the official Melbourne website ( have just typed it here and not clicked  it at all!

Bring on the experience to me which you feel will best showcase your culture, your spirit, your dreams and your ideas of a great and  best Melbourne experience. Post that I promise a blog which will also have pictures of all your famous landmarks- difference is- I will be in them too- Happy and contented :)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

There's a lot in a name!!

The morning newspaper for me is an absolute essential! I can do without tea (very rarely but still can manage) but if there is no Newspaper- my day is ruined! I am not complaining about this habit as I would love my kids to pick it from me. So why am I mentioning it? Because yesterday's newspaper is stuck in my head and I must vent it out. Blogging is a good way to vent I must say. For the very same reason I waited a day as I don't want my 'venting' to be someone else's 'fainting'! How? This is how-

So you all read about the Nicknames story of Delhi Times front page yesterday? Those who did- know what I am talking about and those who didn't- will know. It was a story on whether calling your partner with a special name is testament to the depth of your love for him/her. In a nut shell whether "Shona", "Baby", "Jaanu", "Buttercups" are your entries into your loved ones heart or not? I am nobody to say they are or they are NOT (stressed it just like that- no puns intended), but I am everybody to say that I am with them or against them- right? 

All those who know my husband do not even need to read any further. Even if you gave him electric shocks to 'express' himself, you will fail. But when it comes to labeling each other with our self stylized proper nouns, you can try giving me those electric shocks too. I mean I literally get a bad crawly sensation under my skin when I hear someone say on the dinner table- "Sweetie pass the Achaar bottle na!"- I could throw the Achaar bottle on Sweetie's love interest at that very moment. Why Why Why are some people so eager to display their love on dining tables, weddings, parks, malls,parties, markets? Yeah I know to each his own and like I believe in taking care of Saurabh or making good food for him as my way of showing him love- others might not be realizing that 'sweetie' is being blurted out of their mouths almost like a habit! 

 Along with calling your loved one with a creepy name there are other things under this category which again give me goose bumps- 
  • Like holding hands while walking (Aaarghhhh it kills me!!). Or holding hands even while sitting with each other in a party!
  • Eating in the same plate at a wedding (unless the hosts tell me that every plate is costing them 2000 bucks and that I must 'help' by making 5 of my family members eat within 2000 rupees- I never do that!) 
  • Winking at each other while they are with 50 people in the same room (trust me I have seen people do that- it insults me dude and dudette!!)
  • Discussing silly details like "You know he cant open his eyes unless he sees me every morning"/ "you know I iron his shirt and socks and underwear- that's how much I love him"/ "She is my lifeline- the best wife in the world" (Why say when you know? Its like me telling someone how V and N came into my tummy!!)
  • Tagging your partner on FB photos as "Aww hottie"/"My stud" (We know!! We too feel the same for ours but we believe that if we say it we don't mean it!!)
  • The behavior that definitely tops the list in irking my senses is this display in front of your elders. I think its not only derogatory and shameless but also "so not required" ( You think I am a behanji to think like that? Then behanji I am because I was raised to maintain a line of decency in my speech and conduct by my parents- they maintained it and I will never cross it too because my love for my husband is not a point I need to prove- Its in the fact that we laugh uninhibitedly in each other's company and our eyes light up at each other's sight)
The list can keep growing but I think I HAVE made my point and I HAVE attracted enough scorns :).

I am only saying- get rid of these habits. Love - but show it to THE one. Others either aren't interested (atleast we are not!-so try and tune your system accordingly when you are around because we laugh at it till the next morning) or are disgusted (Yes we are and many others too who smile it off in front of you).

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

If they made mornings illegal, I will never sin!

My morning started with SRK's tweet that he is so not a morning person. Some relief! Not because he is also not a morning person- he can afford to be anything he wants to be! But because it fueled my latent urge to share and know that how wrong is it to not be a morning person? Especially when you married someone who loves the morning breeze, the first ray of the sun and every other blah thats related to that time of the day. Also when your Mom always filled your brains with 'how people who sleep till late tend to be real losers in life!'

Ya so where were we? I was telling how some people are normal even when they are not- a morning person! What if I say my morning does exist. Its just maybe 3 hours delayed than yours but it still is my morning right? I wake up like you do. I pull the curtains like you do. I enjoy my tea like you do. I bathe, wear fresh clothes and YES I go to work, like you do! If I have chosen my work station to shift to a special corner in one of the rooms where a table keeps my laptop, my land line, my cellphone charger, my reading lamp and loads of exciting pending/finished jobs lists that (along with currency)  give me an eternal satisfaction (because I write now)- so what? I also manage my home front and 2 school going kids( BOYS!!)- unlike you do!!

One justification to my utter dislike to mornings and shameless laziness also could be that I have for the past 5 years worked my ass off raising two little cubs who growl me out of my slumber every time I remotely tread into it.I have, after all, sailed through a seemingly impossible task of getting them to a stage where they pull their pants down, climb to the potty, use the jet to clean themselves, climb back down, flush their crap, come out of the loo announcing "Ho gaya", wash their hands in the basin and go back doing what they were before answering the nature's call.

After all the negativity above I do have some good qualities too! I am- woo hoo- very much a Night person. You can keep me awake and expect all the enthusiasm as if I have just started my day. All my good ideas for my writing or consultant based assignments come at that time. But alas all this excitement is not witnessed by the boys around me because the younger ones have school the next day and the older one- well didn't I tell you he wakes up early to feel the morning breeze- EVERYDAY!!!

Are you wondering how a mother of 2 can afford to be a "No Morning person' ?- Do not forget that all this is when I wake up at 6:30 am everyday (your favorite time of the day) and send my kids to school. Its legitimate to go back believing it was a small 'break' to my night and continue the luxury of sleep. Trust me for me it is "either Good or its Morning" :) . Anyone else admitting yet???

Monday, 27 August 2012

You smart? Wow! Me stupid? How?

Boman Irani is so right when he says that he likes movies which do not want him to be stupid! Its like he read my mind and said that. He said this in an interview being telecast around 6pm on my TV and 3 hours later the same TV was showing me Housefull 2. My Facebook friends know that while I was watching that movie in the theater (circumstances forced me), I had updated my status that this movie is evoking the emotion of anger in me. I was angry because someone was assuming that I am a total idiot and thus I will like this crap. 

But hey! To each his own. I met several people post this "Housefull" encounter who made such a sympathetic face when they could not understand 'HOW ON EARTH' could someone not derive the true "meaning" of that cinema. 

Now when I merged what Boman had remarked and what Sajid khan offered in the name of a movie like Housefull, I decided to spend just a couple of minutes on figuring HOW people appreciate such movies or better still- why is it that I do not confirm to such a view? C'mon!! I live in a world where Rowdy Rathore is a super success!! Again do not assume that I am a jhola chaap, pseudo theater loving chick who thinks only alternate cinema can satiate my "oh so elevated" creative hunger. I loved Dabangg. Yes I loved it for the pure charm of Salman Khan but I can argue for hours that he did not want me to become stupid to believe him. I was also okay with 'Cocktail' because that was a point of view and it too boiled down to- is the creator of that stuff assuming that I am stupid? No.

So the crux of the matter is that I found the answer to why I do not like the justification- "Dimaag ghar par rakh kar aao" cinema. My brother and I grew up on a very basic principle set by our Dad. What he taught is almost like the foundation of our every move and a reference point for every decision that we take. He told us: Its okay if you think you are smart. But its a blunder if you think that the one in front of you is stupid.

Our thinking towards how we dealt with this world and its people is now clearly playing on material stuff that we like or dislike. I do have a problem with anyone who even before beginning a conversation with me, assumes that I am stupid. How many times have you all felt that you meet someone who is not only thinking he is smart but also discounting your brains by almost half its true worth? Many a times right? Hence not just to Mr Sajid Khan, but to anything and anyone who deals with me thinking I am STUPID- I choose not to let him make this assumption and succeed. 
After all, this is a primary reason why our Parliament doesnt run, why Chidambaran thinks he did not drain out our money because coal has not yet been mined, why we continue paying our taxes which swell Switzerland's infrastructure and yet are too lazy to do something about it :)

Image Courtesy:

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Am I mother-material for preparing potential Bharat Ratnas?

Why cant my kids be Olympians?

You know when I saw Indians biting those medals I only saw V and N in them! But I also see them lifting World Cup trophies, Grammys, Oscars, Indian Idol titles and more and more and more. So just sports is not my worry. My worry is larger! I am just confused that what is it that can take my kids there? Where the world is on their feet and where they are proud of themselves. Okay stop sobbing you guys- Its no "Mere bete yeh banenge wo banenge" rant. Its this:

The P&G Olympic ads put a lot of pressure on me as a mother. Saurabh stays out of the house for 12 hours everyday to earn the bread we eat with him when he returns. For the time that he is out slogging, I am spending every minute of my life with our two contributions to the "future generation" of our country. I know very well that due to lack of 'this' and 'that' the true potential of our country's talent is not coming out in its full bloom. But imagine whatever is coming out DESPITE those shortcomings is doing so because there is some will, some effort, some intention of these achievers and of course of their families- their mothers. 

So I do have 2 choices- either I could just sit and hope that a miracle will happen and my destiny will make me open my eyes one morning and 2 passes to the awards ceremony (and a gala dinner post that) will be lying on my side table- left there by either V or N and all I have to do is think about- "What should I wear to this one?". Or I could put in some serious thought in how I can mould my two delicate lumps of clay and make them 2 strong individuals who have been exposed to a variety of such opportunities where they can make themselves and their country proud!

Now c'mon how difficult is that to do? So what if I am,

  • Miserably lazy: So much so that brushing teeth also is a huge task every single morning!- I am sure if they opt for a sport I will have to be up early morning to take them there?
  • Compulsive drama queen: Do I need to quote instances here?- If they fail and I cry more than them, will it do any good to their morale?
  • Not talented in any which way: Facebook has shown me how big a loser I am! I have absolutely no talent of which I can click pictures and expect likes!!- So its not even in their genes!
  • Get bored so easy: I need a constant boost to a mundane routine- How will I ever take them for their classes each and every day?
Does this mean I should give up? Does this also mean that because I am all of the above, V and N have any less chances than anyone else whose parent is none of the above? MAYBE if I do not do anything about it, right? Hence let me now change the question I asked in the beginning of this post differently and more relevantly- 

Why cant I be a mother of 2 Olympians? :)

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Rakhi-Shakhi...Haai Tauba!!

Every year at this time, the newspapers, the commercials on TV/Radio or the story lines in all Hindi serials focus on/around just one sentiment. They are all milking the brother- sister relationship and selling innovative ideas on how to show your gratitude and love through their chocolates, spa packages, diamonds or holidays. Some over enthusiastic News channels are also telling you what color Rakhi you should tie your brother if you REALLY love him! So basically everyone is madly riding the wave of making sisters and brothers make utterly thankless and guilty if they are not doing what is expected out of them as per these marketers.

On the other end are some sisters and brothers who are insulated from such guilt trips because it just does NOT matter to them what this emotion is trying to bring out in them. Some who are raised to learn to ignore the idea of tying a knot around your brother's wrist and gift your sister anything. For them this day just comes and goes. When they were in school they enjoyed this holiday with complete silence and no sign of fanfare  of a festival in their house. When they are in office and its an off day, they just dont know what to do all day. And if they are married into a family who celebrates Rakhi, they simply play along giving fake smiles and even faker blessings that this bond means something to them.

You must be wondering WHO exactly are these creatures who were destined to never enjoy this spirit. Well  these people are my FAMILY :). Due to a certain untoward occurrence in our clan over 100 years ago, our family (and every family in a cluster of about 10-15 villages) stopped celebrating Rakhi, Bhaiya Dooj and another festival called Ahoi Ashtami.

Well its not important to know the names of these days, what is important to know is that for the 1st 25 years of my life this festival did not evoke any emotion in me- for good or for bad. I did write essays on Rakshbandhan but that was it. My association ended there. One day before Rakhi, our school saw a number  of girls tying Rakhi to 'the Bully boys' to teach them a lesson and for me it was all simply crazy! Its true that your upbringing shapes your social and cultural inclinations. So for me and my brother, Rakhi has always been a chutti- thats all :)

Even when I have gotten married and experienced the whole process of making an effort to see your brother, gifting your sisters, sharing sweets, hugging and blessing each other- I am detached. Not in the form of showing disrespect! Certainly not ! But in a positive way. How?

I exchange about a 100 messages with my brother Rahul everyday( Half of them are sentences from me and monosyllables from him). I do not sleep till he reaches home-even when I am not in the same home as he is (I get scolded from Saurabh for this and Rahul has cheat codes to escape this emotional stress). For me he is my first son, before V and N (So what if I am the one who turns to him for advises on life saving matters). He has to just know that I need a particular thing and he will go to any extent to get it (Al Bake shawarmas are a classic example which he now orders on phone for convenience). He advises me on every little change that I want to do in my house ( and when I do just the opposite- he still loves it). I advise him on how to deal with his friendships ( and he never adheres to it!). I share my secrets with him (Yes Rahul! Bas wahi secrets hain meri!). He loves my husband as his older brother and respects him so much that it makes me proud ( so what if he is as scared of him as he is of Dad). I know for sure that I will love his wife as much (Dude- get a good one). So on and so forth :)
Even with my cousin brothers, I know all of them will come to me in a matter of hours if I called them at 2 am in the night ( so what if our communication is just through Facebook but touch wood I have never had to use the 2 am call- But pretty sure about it!)

Batao Rakhi isse zyada aur kya karti? It would have celebrated this beautiful relationship of ours? We celebrate it everyday :)

Same to you Brothers !

Monday, 30 July 2012

Its a huge ballgame!

Its so true that if we all threw our problems in a pile and saw other's, we would immediately take ours back.

How many times in our life do we feel that no one can be as burdened, as miserable as we are. Its a universal truth maybe bigger than even the existence of GOD who we ultimately either turn to in such situations or blame!

Anyways! Since I am also normal (human being and may not be in the head or behavior), I am finally humbled and settled because I seem to have cracked the 'toughest spot' one can be in. Trust me I am convinced that whatever I have faced so far was 'hardly anything' and whatever will be ahead will be a by product so atleast I know the answer to: "Why me?" :)

Lets start from the start. An account of milestones where I felt completely "alone" in my doomed-ness (Okay there is no word like that but how beautifully it captures my feelings....ill keep it). Ill sum it up by pointing out why I have resigned to sobriety after the biggest challenge and thus become normal in handling "other problems"

  • In the year 1996 (silly of me to NEVER hide my age no?) when I gave my first board exam, I had no idea I was not alone! I thought only I had to deal with that pressure cooker year and Ill be the last one to do so. Have already mentioned in one of the earlier posts how I reacted at result time. 
  • In 2000 when I had to suddenly move back to Delhi from Chennai in between my graduation, I was confronted by the monster called - "Inter University Migration" system of Delhi University, which was given to me conditionally- Condition being- Crack 2 years of Economics Hons course in 4 months- if you Pass you are IN, if you flunk (odds being 1 to 100) , you are OUT. When I traveled in the U special those days and giggling girls pointed in my direction saying-"This is the loser who is attempting that impossible feat"- I was sure I was singled out by a foreign hand to go through this ordeal. Its another story that I passed and rest is history :)
  • Then in 2001 when I was figuring out if I wanted to become a rocket scientist or a MBA, I chose the latter. The Quantitative Analysis section of this Exam, hit me like a tornado. I was absolutely sure by now that no one in his/her life has ever gone through what I am- every night, every day. I hated that section and was almost sure that the IIM profs who will be checking my CAT paper will use it for years to laugh away their gloomy days just looking at the way I performed in QA.
  • Somehow this tide was overcome and few years later I got married. Not many hardships here but like every girl, I did face the usual turmoils of adjusting to a new house, new locality, new family and so on. Luckily, since I had married my best friend, I often banged my head on his, complaining- "Its all happening because I loved you" and he smiled back ....saying nothing (as usual) :).
  • Now cut to June 9th, 2007! The night I will remember forever and ever and ever. Despite knowing the population of our country, the way I blamed the system, the Gods, the people, the constitution and everything else I could for my ordeal- is not even funny. Thinking what was it? (or have you guessed it?)- Well....I was undergoing a "Normal (whats normal about it?) Delivery" in the night of 9th and 10th June and the fact that my doctor refused to operate on me( because I was doing "fine") and administer an epidural (because it had side effects and anyways I was doing "fine"), made me absolutely sure that my Karmas have led me to this day- this pain, this non stop suffering! Not to mention that even after going through this night, I bore it in less than 2 years- AGAIN!!
  • My struggle with my 80 kg frame after Nevaan requires an entry into some other hall of fame as it was a phase of numerous break downs and complete chaos. But again that was something individualistic- some thing I had a choice of either tackling or giving in to- on my own. 
  • But nothing beats this. I believe everything I have listed so far is NOTHING in front of this ultimate realization that I have to deal with now- with my every breath. The milestone that has humbled me now and makes me wonder if there is anything more difficult than this? Trust me I have faced severe situations at work place, tough decisions in life otherwise but when it comes to this, its even harder, even riskier and even more fragile. I am talking about- Parenting. A situation where you cannot read for a solution to a problem you face, where you cannot compare with others and take notes or where you cannot pray and get out of it. Its not a joke, in fact this can only be understood if you undertake it. There are good days and there are bad days in other aspects of life but when it comes to raising a Child, in shaping a Human Being, in making a person out of a small baby- I wake up every morning with a new set of challenges to deal with and sleep with a new learning of the day. It is fulfilling, it is worth the grind but when your tears fall with theirs and your laughter comes with theirs you know there is nothing more draining in experience than this :)

I am not saying all your problems are nothing in front of me. I am saying I have the same problems but I am also a Parent. And when you are one, you are nothing can never be :)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Saas-Bahu and so what?

In the year 1844 when some Mr Thomas Haynes wrote "Absence makes the heart grow fonder", he would not have imagined that 168 years later a random blogger like me will use it in a context that no one imagined it could apply to!

In my opinion and through my experience of coming across several examples I am certain that this saying is most appropriate for a relationship between a Mother In Law (MIL) and a Daughter In Law(DIL). No? Okay honestly tell me all the women who rant continuously about a "cordial" and "enviable" relationship with their MILs or DILs aren't they actually in an arrangement where they meet 'regular' intervals. For others, there isn't anything to brag about!

Especially in our generation when its either - You love me or You love me not- who considers a permanent stay with in laws anyways! Even where it seems like a requirement(when you have jobs away from home)- trust me its known to be more convenient that way. So if you know you do not have to stay together for an unknown time- you are bound to be sharing camaraderie with your MIL- I mean c'mon that's the least you will do right?

So lets talk about the ones who stay with their MILs because if they say that their MILs love them, now thats newsworthy. That's extraordinary and yes- that's worth writing for :)

Stop jumping the gun people! I am in perfect harmony with mine and I am not using this platform to brag about it. Infact let me clear a myth- there is NOTHING to brag about this relationship and thats exactly the point I will make here. Its actually very simple- If there is no "peace" in this arrangement, we have a choice to be out of it-Its sad but its true. So if I have stayed on and more so- if she has let me stay on is because of another famous quote- this time in Hindi: Taali ek haath se nahi bajti. 

Its a complicated arrangement where you have to literally share a person who both of you love. Its a risky proposition because both of you may have references of "ideal" behavior ( you have a mother and she has a daughter). Its a volatile equation because the reason because of which this relationship came into being is a living human being who has feelings and is the worst sandwich in the world.

After glorifying this co-existence to such an extent I must make my point right? My point is that if you are in such an arrangement, be in it by choice and not force. Be in it with dignity (both yours and hers) and not compulsion. You know why? Because everyone who is NOT in it, has no business to wreck your brain by claiming tall stories of their "immense love" as they simply do not qualify.

You KNOW how you  make every day beautiful by accepting someone who loves your favorite possession as much as you do. Only you know how she tries to fit you in her household seamlessly so that you do not feel like an outsider. Dont you know that its a different ball game when both you have to make room for each others opinions, views & preferences while making even smallest of decision pertaining to your house/kids/husband and yourself. Hence just you know that this relationship is not a stereotypical one where "Love" is a huge thing- its like any other one which is a part of your identity and thus you do not make it look like anything out of this world :).

Wondering what makes it so effortless for me?
Well..... my Father taught me this- "She gave you Saurabh. After this she does not have to prove anything to you". 

Thursday, 12 July 2012

I am like this only!

  • Have you ever met anyone who once when shook hands with Anil Kapoor, didnt wash them for a day?
  • Have you ever known anyone who once saw Baba Ramdev on the airport and felt tremors below her feet? 
  • Have you heard of this girl who was, when about 10 years old, got lost on the sets of a Bollywood flick "Zindagi ek Juaa"  and when her Dad slapped her out of sheer helpness on finding her, she quietly wondered "What if I was not found ever and turned into a big Bollywood actress one day!!"
  • Have you thought that there is someone who is when visiting Mumbai (sorry Bombay), keeps her eyes WIDE open because her cousins once told her that TV and Film people roam around our streets like Janta. And this tip paid when she managed to see Sadashiv Amprapurkar (Maharani of Sadak Fame), Shiamak Davar and some forgettable TV actors! 
  • Have you ever imagined there could be someone who considers even Rajesh and Nupur Talwar celebrities (and wont mind getting to 'see' them just because she has seen them on the news?)

No? Sounds too silly to ever find such person right? Well...then introducing the creator of this blog -Parul Tyagi- who has done all the 5 above and even more shameful deeds (shameful only for those around her and never for herself). Yes I confess I am suffering from a disease. I am calling it a disease because it needs therapy! I mean who gets excited to see Baba Ramdev??? Only a person suffering from serious malfunctioning of the brain can. And here I am!! 

I have searched the internet to find a name of this psychological problem. There are exotic names given to all the kind of fears in this world and some so weird that I wonder if I need help or them! But sadly I haven't found any fancy name to my 'trouble' which involves anyone in the name of a celebrity. Celebrity in which case is anyone who has ever appeared on TV or Newspaper. Someone who everyone recognizes. Someone ....who is just anyone!!! 

I have settled down with two terms which I could be 'suffering' with- Celebrity Fetish or Celeb Mania? Sad that none of them sounds even remotely technical so that at least when I mention my problem to someone,  it sounds serious!! So even if I have this "Most silly, absurd and harmless illness of my brain" why am I writing about it? Because guys, I need help. No! not in getting rid of it! If that was possible those who have borne the brunt of this disease first hand would have achieved something till now. Dont you think my husband mocked me enough when he saw my skin crawling at the sight of a horrendous looking Baba on the airport? Dont you think my brother would have disowned me for that entire day when I refused to wash my hand just because a certain Anil Kapoor shook it amongst 50 hands he shook that night? 

I do not want to be cured people. I need help in fueling this passion further!! I so want to meet anyone who qualifies as "a large number of people know him/her" through anyone who can help! A seat in the audience of Barkha Dutt's 'We the people' is something I have managed and cant wait to see her in person and feel as if I have achieved a bloody huge thing in life! Other such seemingly stupid encounters in your perspective can mean a lot to someone like me who admits it maybe a problem, but what harm is it if I just want to have a LOOK and no exchange of phone numbers!!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Which Daddy strongest? I say both:)

Okay great. So what I believed in for so long is finally vindicated by a suitable specie. The morning newspaper tells me how a Male Tiger is exhibiting parental instincts by protecting his 2 cubs as the tigress died a few days ago. Woo hoo!!- he is a TIGER! So if he decided to nurse his kids when the need arose, a male human should also not feel "any less tiger of the house" if he is required to take care of his- OWN kids :)

I was born in a family where my Grandmom enforced and almost forced Men of her family to "dare not do the household chores". Hence the kind of influence my Dad had on my young, impressionable mind was- "Its not a Man's thing" for a lot of daily chores that my mother would almost get killed doing but never complained. While I still have some preset, rigid notions of stuff that Men should certainly never do- like buying vegetables and fruits or cutting bhindi or baigan- I have mellowed down with some other things which I believe is OKAY if your man wants to do.

I know its more out of lack of choice and self interest but as I told you - If a Tiger can do it, its okay for my Tiger to do it too. Things which have slipped into my "Okay for men to do" zone are related to Parenthood and just that! Since I was raised the way I was, I had zero expectations from my husband to help me with kids. When there are zero expectations, even a 1 percent help seems like a big (very big) deal. So when Saurabh would be up all night, rocking Viraj in his arms, I would get so emotional (the hormonal imbalance ably helped this overflowing). Whenever he helped me in preparing a milk bottle for the kids, I would try and stop him but his insistence on not over burdening myself with small things where he can help too- often made me thank my stars that I had him and pity my Mom for doing it all alone :). Of course my Mother in law was instrumental in letting this happen as she (even if she did not like it) at least did not object to it. In fact at times I saw her encouraging Saurabh to relieve me of tasks like maintaining a vaccine schedule or overseeing the kids if I wanted to sleep at odd hours after a long day.

However when I got used to Saurabh being a Hands on dad- entered my Dad who would stare at him whenever he held V or N his arms to put them to sleep. We decided to lessen Saurabh's interference into the woman's world in front of my father but one day when Nev was crying inconsolably and I was just half way through my lunch, I dared to ask Saurabh (in front of my Dad) to check(only CHECK and never change- trust me I never took advantage of his willingness to be part of parenting by making him do things he would otherwise not want to do- like changing the diaper too ) if the baby has shat in his diapers. My dad almost dropped whatever he was holding in his hands and quietly told my brother-"Yaar tu mat karna ye sab".

I am not saying my Dad was wrong :). I love him for how he raised us. He might not have changed our nappies, but he never let us cry too :). So what if he never patted us to sleep, he always peeped into the room when we were sleeping to kiss us Goodnight. But at the same time what Saurabh has done or is doing for his kids by being a father who is on top every thing related to them, is damn right too. No- not just because it suits me- I am sure men who do dusting around the house or helping in folding dried clothes also suit their wives- but because you are no less a MAN if you help the woman who got your babies into this world.

So while I am okay with Saurabh being a father- I promise you Papa- I will never let him down in your eyes by making him do things you do not want him to(or even in my head men should NOT do)- Because I hate it with equal vigor (I have your genes after all!!)

Monday, 2 July 2012

A life less ordinary.....

July. This month was my favorite month of the year. I guess when we are growing up, our birthday month is special. I know it may be a girlie thing but when I see V&N waiting for June and January respectively, it sort of takes me back to how I longed for July to come and I am made to feel special by everyone around me. 

Today my stomach curls when my birthday approaches. Its a strange feeling of being both happy and .....I have not yet named this other feeling. Ofcourse the people around me who made this day special for me still do the same. Infact the number has increased with Saurabh and my sons joining them but something- no someone- is not there. 

3 years ago when a few days after my birthday (15th) life took a very rash turn and took him away in a road tragedy- Life sort of ....stopped. I did not know if I was sad or angry. I was not sure if God existed or willed it. I forgot if it was for real or a joke. I just knew one thing- which was- that I will never be able to see him again. Not that I saw him often. Not that I even spoke to him everyday. But aren't there people in your life who you know are there and do not need reminders and courtesies to keep a place in your hearts? Abhyuday was that one for me. A friend, a kid brother, a strong boy of a very strong mother who inspired me every time I thought of him. He left and I am still groping for answers and logics behind everything that happened- and everything that didn't!

They say time heals everything. It does not. Time just goes on but some things and some people stay back in the time which stops when they lose someone dear. Yes my life has moved on. Being a hands on Mom, I have no time in the world for any thing else but that has not healed anything. It just masks my thoughts for a while but the silence of the night takes me back to the same times where I am confused what I should remember and what I should forget.

They also say that its destined. Well, yes it is. But what when destiny is silly and illogical? I think then its fair to curse it forever and not fight it- because what will you fight? Definitely not a coward, invisible enemy!

You know what actually works? Or atleast worked in his case (I am saying his and not mine because I have done nothing to aid my solace- Its him). Its the fact that every time I shut my eyes and remember him- I get a smile on my face! And its not because of the good times we had but because of the smile that he carried FOREVER on his face. A smile that was so reflective of his good upbringing, his strength of character, so characteristic of a unique charm that pulled every damn thing to him, even if he did not touch it. Best part being that when I shared this thought with others who knew him- each one felt the same! At a tender age of 26 years when most of us are still coming out of the shadows of our parents and making a name and space for ourselves in this world, Abhyuday had already done this job and as it is said- when you have done what you were meant to- you must leave and make space for others.

You did leave, but the space will never fill. We can never become what you were. We will never be remembered like you are. I know you cannot read this but everyone else who is should know how to live! And for them I summarise YOU in these lines:

Ki marke bhi kisi ko yaad aayenge.....
Kisi ke aansuo main muskurayenge....
Kahega phool har kali se baar baar...
Jeena isi ka naam hai :)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

How to sail through the 7 wonder(s)ful years of marriage

I am the best wife in this world. No really, I truly am. I mean which other wife would make the 1st 7 years of a marriage pass like 7 minutes? And yes- Saurabh too is the best husband in this world. There is a reason why I can say this with full assertiveness here- Its MY blog :)

Saurabh and I were both a little too ignorant about -"whats the big deal with the term 7 year itch!!". So me being the "reading one" in our marriage, googled it and tried to understand the whole shit around this phenomena. And as I got to know about it, I realized- "Woo hoo!! It so does not apply to us!!!"

To all those who still do not know (and like us even do not care) about the 7 year itch all it means is that a marriage tends to lose its love and charm after a period of 7 years. Several newer researches although put this number to 2 years or even a few months. Now 1st of all being Indians, this silly rule anyways does not apply to us! I mean in a country where parents, movies and the pandit who convenes our marriages reinforce that now you are stuck for 7 births, 7 years is not even a toe nail of the amount of time we are mentally conditioned for. But anyways with changing times, it has become acceptable to understand that "yes our marriages too can fall apart".

Okay so coming back to me being the best wife in the world(and well...he the best husband) - the "charm and newness " of any relationship would weaken if mundane and routine takes over and GOD has a hand in making me someone who can do anything but be a believer of routine! This is when I am married to someone who can take out  a particular kerchief from his almirah in pitch darkness and he is married to someone whose almirah changes the routine every single day on its own because I have NEVER managed to have a set pattern of how everything in it should be kept (I am working on it but.....I am not).

So the 7 years that we completed on 24th June were marked with such grave "challenges" that this time when we sat and wondered why we did not realise that such a long time had passed is because we were too caught up with the "variety" each year bestowed on us which never let our relationship slip into the "routine" zone!

2005- We get married. Even having known each other for 3 years before that does not help us in coming to terms with each other. While I realise that his cleanliness and discipline are far greater than what I guesstimated, he realised that my performance in both these areas is much below the benchmarks he could imagine!!

2006- Everything had just begun to normalize when he comes back from work one day, I rush to him from across the room, jump to hang on his waist, begin to cry and announce- "Main tumhaare bachche ki ma banne wali hoon"

2007- Viraj falls from the heavens into our laps and the 6 months that he keeps us awake all night (and days), we develop serious psychological ( and physical and behavioral and multidimensional) issues.

2008- As an after effect of Viraj's night-waking sessions, I change apperance from what Saurabh had fallen in love with. Dark circles and zombie looks were just becoming part of our lives when one fine afternoon I announced again- " Main phir se tumhaare bachche ki...blah blah blah". We anyways pass that year assuring ourselves- "Ladki hogi"

2009- Nevaan shows up. Excitement of having Viraj's sibling and hurt of not having a girl consume better part of this year. Saurabh's love has also spread to a frame of 80 kgs who has started looking the age of someone who could pass off as his mother.

2010- Kids gradually become manageable and I have just finished the tedious task of shedding 25 kgs. Saurabh recovers from the upheavels of managing 2 kids, evading the nonsensical questions of many "Why did you do 2 kids?" and getting back his Parul who by 'losing' the weight 'gained' so much back- her confidence, her life :)

2011- Just when we thought- "Ab sab theek hoga"- Viraj needs to join formal school and here goes another year on "Not living for each other". Those who do not understand the big deal behind this must know that getting your child a Nursery seat in a Delhi school is tougher than getting through to the Ivy league Harvard University!

2012- Phew!! The first half of this year went in repeating the 2011 act for Nevaan.

So you see how we did not let any "boredom" creep into our marriage? I mean, we did not have space for any thing!!! We filled up our 7 years with so many revelations, shock, hope,perseverance,exploration and an unmatched feeling of " I am with you, around somewhere" that there wasnt any chance of losing each other to what I call- Mundane and routine :)

And the truth is that now that we have come so far in terms of settling into our relationship with 2 beautiful babies and so many highs and lows- we actually begin our journey together from where it ends for many.

Lets see when we complete the 7 years of this beginning what my thoughts are :)