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 :)