Parenthood etc.

Being a parent is a feeling that absolutely cannot be put into words. It is easy and hard- all at the same time. You swing between exhaustion and elation so often that eventually the lines start to blur. But it’s awesome!

Before I became pregnant, my husband and I constantly questioned our ability to give up our life as it was, at the time. We read all the blogs we could, spoke to as many friends (who were parents) as we could and tried to figure out a pattern. There is not one single kind of parent or parenthood experience out there. For the most part I would categorize them into these 5:

  • The complainer: The parent who constantly complains of how their life has changed after a baby. Who talks only in past tense, and tries to live life vicariously through you.
  • The Struggler: The parent who will give rise to every hidden OCD instinct you may have. Constantly struggling to keep it together, this parent seems like they are on the brink of a breakdown and seriously need to unwind.
  • The Adventurer: The parent who thinks all the stuff people talk about on Baby center is common & old school. This parent is the pioneer of all things new age from advocating formula feeding against breast feeding to engaging in infant yoga to naming their child “Mango”, this parent is as unconventional as can get.
  • The Stickler: The parent who’d prefer death over doing the opposite of “What to expect, when you’re expecting” says. This parent is constantly researching, can possibly give up showering in favor of reading the 5000-word essay on breast feeding frequencies. This parent is likely to have a panic attack if something goes out plan, or the way it’s referred to in India- if they are asked a question outside of the syllabus.
  • The gangsta: The parent who reads all the information, does all the research, tries the baby yoga, struggles occasionally, but for the most part just goes with instinct, good sense and wings it sometimes. This parent knows that life does not stop because they had a baby, accepts that it’s going to be difficult at times but also knows that there is no bigger joy. This is the parent that knows for a fact that in the end, you gotta do what you gotta do. Basically, me! 🙂 Nah! Just Kidding. I try though!

Just like each child is different, so is each parent, and there is no way to decide which is better than which. Just because somebody is a complainer, doesn’t mean they are taking care of their baby any less than I am. In fact, they are probably doing a much better job. But it’s the constant complaining that undermines all that effort.

When I was pregnant a very dear friend (sort of an older brother really, and the biggest gangsta dad that I know) told my husband and I that those who complain about babies deterring them from “living” their lives, probably weren’t really living their lives the way they wanted to, in the first place- True Story SB! He told us the key was in  adopting some new stuff and letting go of some old stuff.

Till we had the baby, this was just another piece of advice. The first time we went out after the baby, this Became a reality. We realized very quickly that life doesn’t stop because you had a baby. It takes on a new direction. You have new purpose, renewed energy and new plans.

There is no doubt in my mind, that when you have a baby, there are times where you will have to give things up, your needs may be on the backburner to accommodate those of your baby and maybe, just maybe you’ll have days when there is no peace.

But when your baby smiles at you for the first time, rolls over, or starts crawling, you know that everything was worth it just so you can be here in this moment.

The hospital in which my baby was born is an hour+ away from my house. It’s the best in my city and we made the trip every 3-4 weeks in the beginning and now every 7-8weeks for her vaccinations and checkups. Every time we meet my daughter’s pediatrician, he asks us to talk about her. I give him all the updates, talk of her achievements, milestone progress and discuss whatever concerns we have. At the end of it all when he says, “You’re doing a fantastic job, guys”, there is no bigger award in the world!

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Good Enough

I used to dream that we’d be a family,

Once again, But then I was faced with reality

You weren’t there by my side,

and my life ain’t nothing but a tragedy.

 

I used to dream that I’d be whole again

But how can that happen in this world of pain,

How can I rise above it all?

When I ain’t got the strength to even break my fall?

 

I go to bed every night, feeling the same way

I’m tired with myself and just how I behave

When there ain’t no spark, how can I rage a fire?

Everytime I look in the mirror, I see a liar

 

I used to think nothing could ever touch me,

That your protection would always cushion me

But my naivete came at a price,

Coz life made me pay a fee.

 

Every promise said that, “you got me”

And Every hug meant that we’ll always be

Together, that makes us strong

But twin you just pushed me back and broke free

 

What do I gotta do to get your love?

I keep trying but you always shove

Me away and I know I should learn

But all you ever do is watch me burn

 

I’ve paid all my dues, gave away all my stuff

Moved across the world for a chance to earn your love

We were born together, heart, body & soul

How do I get you back? How can I be good enough?

 

Sibling rivalry and fallouts are a serious problem in this day & age. I recently witnessed one of the worst sibling fallouts I could have ever imagine and my heart goes out to the twins who were born together but now their life choices have pulled them apart. I’m praying for them and their situation brought my words to life. I hope they reconcile soon.

 

xx

The Love of my life

As opposed to what everybody assumes, my husband isn’t the love of my life. He knows this; we talk of it often but the truth is the truth and there’s no denying it.

Without revealing too much about my one true love, it’s pertinent that I tell you what makes him so special and what he truly means to me. He’s never going to read this and he knows I love him but the extent? I doubt he will ever understand.

Very few people know that we used to live together at one point: He & I and it was the best thing ever. I remember so many drives home from work when I’d invariably be having a bad day but just the thought of seeing him would cheer me up. Coming home, seeing him, I’d just light up and my happiness knew no bounds.

Our midnight drives, coffee runs and ice cream hunts: some amazing moments spent with him. He is the most avid listener I have ever come across. He never complained when I was in a bad mood, and as a matter of fact, he was never in a bad mood himself. One of the best things about him though, he was always so supportive. He never threw a tantrum and never did he ever get angry at me.

We had our moments of disagreement, I won’t lie. He often did things that I just could not deal with and many a times even failed to understand. I’d try to reason with him but he’d become this stone cold wall with no reaction, no justification and never a word of defence. His looking down was most certainly a sign of guilt that was near well impossible to miss.

He is a ladies man! Always has been, always will be. I never really see him deny it nor make any effort to hide it. I mean he & I would be walking alongside each other and he’d just leave me to walk up to some lady across the way. Unabashed and super chill! If that doesn’t surprise you, what will? I mean when he was with me, I was his be all and end all! But outside our home, he didn’t carry the same sentiment. You know he’d never eat anything unless I served it to him. He wouldn’t take care of himself, instead he’d wait for me to take care of him. Ask him why!

Other than the near philandering ways I’d say he was perfect! When he and I separated it was one of the worst things to have happened. I was inconsolable and I cried like a baby. It wasn’t possible for us to live together anymore due to circumstances that led to that moment but I knew my life would never been the same. You know when you’ve experienced that kind of love, nothing can ever compare.

I put him out of my mind for a while. Moved on, did things to keep busy. Met new people, made friends, travelled, but he was always there, in the back of my mind. He is still close to my family so he’d pop up in every family picture and somebody or the other always had their arm around him. I used to miss him more than words can say and Mukul could see my pain. There wasn’t much we could do about it but I began to feel that my life had lost the colour it needed.

And then, a few months ago, Mukul asked me if I’d like to bring him back into my life. I couldn’t deny its what I had been wanting to do myself but was unsure if Mukul was ready for it. But he was supportive and encouraging and just like that he was back! My friend, my love, the ruler of my heart, my Buddy!

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Isn’t he the cutest?

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When we moved to Bangalore, we had to leave him back home in Delhi with our parents because we couldn’t take care of him alone, but he’s finally moved in with us and I couldn’t be happier. He makes everything better! Our lives, our health, our sense of peace and calmness…everything seems so great! A Blessing and a Gift and unending pool of love, this munchkin is everything and more that I could ask for, and his name is Buddy!

xoxo

 

 

 

The secret ingredient

When I was 15, I never imagined living away from my parents. I wanted to, but I didn’t think it would ever happen. When I turned 17 my parents sent me away to university and I couldn’t have been more greatful. It was freedom the kind I’d craved and it meant making my own decisions and it also meant a ‘HUGE’ bump in pocket money!!!  😮

In university, I learnt to wash my own clothes after I put all my clothes together in the washing machine and all the colors bled onto one another. I learnt how to make my own bed because, the lack of our housekeeper Roopa meant I’d come back to my dorm after classes to be greeted with a messy bed and a wet towel on top of my comforter. Also, learnt that I need to put my towel out on the line to dry if I didn’t want it to be smelly & gross & eventually grow mould. I learnt how to share a bathroom and keep all of my junk together in little bags as opposed to my dressing table back home, which if I have to be really honest with you, was my dumping ground for the wet towel I mentioned earlier.

But, the most important thing I learnt in University (besides the extremely expensive education my parents paid for) was how to cook. I mean I always knew how to cook, I mean who doesn’t? It’s easy to learn the technicalities, follow recipes available in books and online but you’re never quite sure if it turned out exactly like the pictures are you? It took me a while to bridge the gap between following instructions and the food actually tasting good.

Before I came to Uni my mom taught me how to put things together, no doubt about it. She was trying to teach me how to cook but I felt no need or interest in learning. But I soon developed the need to learn how to cook and that eventually became a point of interest, especially when I moved out of my hostel and into a private apartment building. A best friend I made in college taught me nuances, a few things to add or delete from some basic recipes and things started looking up. With every trip back home I took an active interest in what my mom was cooking, and she always made it a point to cook my favourite things. I’d go back to college & my shared apartment and always try out what I learnt, and if I must say so myself things I made turned out to be so great. Everybody loved it, but every morsel I put in my mouth tasted so so different from what my mom made. Why? How? I always seemed so confused about it. I’d cook the same things for my mom and she couldn’t find anything wrong with them either but I could.

I continued my cooking journey even after college and kept dazzling my friends (they were quite surprised that I knew how to turn on the gas, let alone cook) and my mother but I knew in my heart it was always missing something. Some years later when I got married I learnt some great things from my mother- in- law (also a great cook). I recreated those in her absence and for her approval as well and although she gave me a A+ it just wasn’t…

When Mukul & I got a place of our own I couldn’t get a cook for sometime so I took it upon myself to cook and with every vegetable I chopped, every pot I stirred, every dish I prepared, every time I plated it and served it I knew what I’d missed. Every bite Mukul would take and every time he’d open his eyes wider and say “mmmmm”, I’d take a step closer to acknowledging what gave my mother’s cooking that extra taste. Every time I cook his favourite meal and when he clears the dishes, he makes it a point to give me an extra few kisses and it always makes me smile and I finally know the secret ingredient..Love

If you cook, then you’ll know that when you’re in a good mood, the food that you make is always tasty, however small or large a portion it is. But when you’re in a foul mood things never tend to work out. My mother once told me that the key to making sure I cook good food is to remember to dump all of my stress, my sorrow & my grief before entering the kitchen. She told me that the food that I make (or anybody who cooks for more than themselves actually) not only feeds me but somebody else as well and I have to make sure I always add that extra ingredient: Love. Because that’s what I want in the bellies of my family & friends instead of all my life’s worries.

I have stood by this thought and I strongly endorse it too. Whenever Mukul & I fight we get take out or we pause the fight and go out. Another great idea for all you couples out there but that is another story for another time. For now I leave you with a little something on love: ” The only thing we never get enough of is love; and the only thing we never give enough of is love.” – Henry Miller

xoxo

 

40 Fantastic things about Delhi & Delhiites

Being a Delhiite (any person who belongs to New Delhi, India) there are soooo many things we see and experience every day that are actually outside the ordinary. Interestingly, some of those things we have actually fallen into a habit of seeing or even doing without giving it much thought and it certainly doesn’t strike us as odd. But, then along comes an email like the one I got today called: 40 fantastic things about Dilli (that’s how you pronounce Delhi in Hindi) and you realize “Holy Crap! That shit is so true” 🙂 I actually admire the man/woman who took the time out to write down these quirky little things that only Dilli-wallas (again people from New Delhi India) can relate to.

Read for yourself and if you are from Delhi or know somebody from Delhi, then you know this is true! Read and enjoy and thank you to the perceptive and observant person who put this list together.

40 Fantastic things about saddi Dilli (our Delhi)

You know you are from Delhi when…..

  1. You drink alcohol only on Monday, Wednesday , and Thurday to Sunday evenings. And try not to drink on Tuesday.
  2. Treating a friend means – Daaru Shaaru te kabbab shabaab. (Booze and Kebabs)
  3. Even in the most posh colonies, you hear, “Aaloo lelo !!!, Bhindi le lo !!!! Pyaaz le lo !!!!, Tamatar le lo……” (Potatoes for sale, Okra for sale, Onions for sale and tomatoes for sale)
  4. And you hear women asking the vegetable vendor “Bhaiyaa dhaniya hari mirchi nahi diya!” [Even with Half a kilo Carrot – Dhania & Hari Mirch (coriander and green chillies) is expected to be free ] 😉
  5. A place to meet is Mocha, (CCD), Barista, Hookah.
  6. You use the word “setting” or “jugaad” at-least once a day. (Jugaad:  a colloquial Hindi word that can mean an innovative fix or a simple work-around)
  7. You have not visited either of – Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Lotus Temple. That’s only for tourists, so Delhiites say.
  8. You ride on the cycle rickshaw in NOIDA (more populary known as NEODA) – haggle over the price, but still pity rickshaw walla’s condition and give him what he asked.
  9. You glare at people who call Gol Gappas as Pani Puri!
  10. You always ask the vendor “Bhaiya yeh Gol-Gappe Aate ki hai ya Sooji ke?” (Are the Gol gappas made of flour or semolina?)
  11. Schools are the best is Delhi not because of CBSE, but because you’ve had school cancelled thrice due to cold in winters & summer vacations preponed due to sudden increase heat in Summers and at least two Rainy Day off during Monsoon.
  12. You have been to a wedding at a Mehrauli farmhouse at least once.
  13. You understand all important words in Punjabi & Punjabi “helping verbs” like teri maa di, teri bahen di… oye madar @#$% … oye bahen @#$$. Almost every Delhiite understands Punjabi to an extent. PUNJABI unites everyone.
  14. You call the waiter in the restaurant “boss” or “Pappey” & tack on “yaar” “bhai” to almost every sentence.
  15. You know that Pappay Da Dhaba or Kake Da Hotel has better butter chicken than Taj. You’ve at least tried it once! And you see a BMW, a Porsche OR a Mercedes parked outside it!
  16. You describe practically every other person on the planet as “Vella”. (‘Idle’ or Nikamma in Punjabi).
  17. You see middle-aged Aunties wearing Gucci shades and holding LV bags having Gol-Gappas in GK or Bhelpuri in South Ex along with Diet Coke !
  18. You call every stranger ‘Bhaiyya’.
  19. You refer to East Delhi as ‘Jamuna Paar’.
  20. You refer to AIIMS as Medical.
  21. Pretty girls as Totta, Maal or Bamb (Punjabi for Bomb).
  22. Aashiq mizaz boys as Majnu di Aulad !
  23. You dont buy tickets for a music concert or cricket match, but try to use political contacts… of the deputy secretary of the chief secretary of the Minister of State for Khadi.
  24. You overtake everyone from the wrong side and stare into his/her eyes while doing so.
  25. You have at least two cars and a motorbike at home.
  26. And you have fought at least once every month with neighbors over parking…
  27. You park your Car and take a Auto-rickshaw to Lajpat Nagar / Rajouri/ Kamla Nagar/ Karol Bagh. But CP, you don’t get parking space easily, yet you go always in your own vehicle.
  28. And then you say apni Kanvense (conveyance) howe na ta badi Kanvinyance (convenience) hondi hai ji !!!!!
  29. You have bribed a traffic cop (Mama) at least once.
  30. You know that a farmhouse has nothing to do with cattle or farming. It is luxurious hangout for whole night.
  31. You use “contacts” (jugaad) for everything, from getting movie tickets to restaurant bookings to play-school admissions.
  32. You have had Anda parantha outside Vikram hotel and Bun Omlette at Dhaula Kuan, Kulfi at Karol Bagh, Gol Gappe at India Gate, Dosa at Madras Hotel, Chana/Kulcha at Scindia House and Chaat at UPSC.
  33. Metro rail is your Pride but you travel in your Car.
  34. You think going the mall for shopping is equivalent to walking the ramp at Milan fashion week. You break out all the labels, because when else will you use your Prada, Dior and Louis Vuitton bags?
  35. You feel indicating which way you are going to turn your vehicle is an information security leak.
  36. You are a good driver coz you are correct in your guess of what the driver in the front vehicle will do.
  37. The only time you went to the Chidiya Ghar (Zoo) was on a school picnic.
  38. You expect around 10 FM STATIONS in every city! Woho.!
  39. DESPITE all the good and bad……..You still Love Delhi…
  40. You keep singing ….. Dilli hai Dil Walon ki….. Oye Balle Balle !!!

 

Mothers. Where would the world be without them?

I love that line “Mothers. Where would the world be without them?”

Where would the world be without mom? Probably in ruins 🙂 A mother is the most loving, understanding, steadfast and merciful person in your life. She is our consolation in sorrow, our hope in misery, and our strength in weakness and I cannot imagine a life without my mother.

Somebody once told my mom that she had an insane, old world, past life connection with her daughters: that’s my sister and me and you know what? When I heard that, I wasn’t really surprised because I think we all have some inexplicable deep connection with our mothers, because it seems so bizarre for somebody to just lay down their life for you, after they have known you for a mere 9 months. I mean 9 months isn’t enough time, is it? And most of that 9 months, you’re just a kidney bean.

Maybe I will understand it better once I become a mother but till then, I am awed by the extent a mother goes for her child and I feel maybe there are several lifetimes worth of connections being carried forward which causes a mother to know you better than yourself, to understand your needs even before you comprehend that there is such a thing as need, to scold you when you’re wrong and immediately turn to mush when you start crying. How? How do you do it mom?

I asked my mother once, if it was tough for her raising rebellious, unruly children such as my sister and myself, and all she did was smile and stroke my hair and tell me if it weren’t for all that we wouldn’t have turned into the people we are today, and we wouldn’t have truly been “her” children if we hadn’t been rebellious 🙂 Turns out, mum was a bit of a rebel herself (cue in my mom’s big rebellion for true love and her marriage to my dad- a story for another time 😀 )

In our time of need, our mother went through hell and high water to make sure we were ok. In our time of weakness, she hid her own pain and tears, to wipe ours away, in our time of happiness, she cleverly disguised the weight she was carrying (to ensure our happiness remains intact), and in our time of success she silently, and slowly slid into the shadows somewhere while we stood in the limelight, basking in the appreciation.

How is a mother this selfless? How is she able to do so much with no reward and sometimes even no recognition? How do we repay her for all her sacrifices, her strength, her love, sympathy, wisdom and support? And when we try, she rewards you with such gratitude, that I am humbled, ashamed and truly taken aback.

My mother gave me this greeting card for my birthday this year. I was so surprised and moved, I had tears in my eyes and couldn’t even bear to finish reading the whole thing. All I ever did was hold her hand, she did so much more for me, when will she ever realise that? Do mothers ever realise it? Do they even keep count?

From mom to me, 2013 August

From mom to me, 2013 August

From mom to me, 2013 August

From mom to me, 2013 August

From mom to me, 2013 August

From mom to me, 2013 August

Mother’s are unanswered questions. What drives them, what supports them, what gives them the strength, I don’t know but I agree with George Washington in what he said,  “My Mother is the most beautiful woman I ever saw. I attribute all my success in my life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her”.

My dear darling mother Rekha,

I love you mom. I promise to be your strength, your heart, your support, your confidant and your friend along with being the good, obedient daughter that you deserve. I can never quite thank you for all the times, you brought me back from the dark places I have been in, I can never quite understand how you dive into situations to rescue me without knowing anything, just the fact that I need you being enough to drive you. I can never see you as somebody other than my mother, (as if that is your only role in life 😀 ) Every, time your knee pains, or every time you forget something, I curse the stupid rules of the world and society, for taking me away from you. Whenever I see a new wrinkle appear on your face, I am painfully reminded that you are an year older, but even then so beautiful. If there was anyway I could go back to the beginning of my life and choose a mother, I would still choose you, and put in an application to God, to Bless me with you (as a mother) if ever I am reborn, because I know as much as you do that I would be lost without you. 🙂

 

mummy and me

mummy and me

My mommy-My hero

So, I realise I haven’t blogged in a while but here’s the thing, with work and a commute of over 2 hours (everyday- ONE WAY) and a complete home to take care of (including cooking) with no help whatsoever, can be tough!!! phewwww…! 🙂

And nothing gets better when on top of it all you have the flu. Your nose feels like its gonna fall off because it’s so raw from the constant wiping. You feel like your body is heavier than lead and you have a 2 year pounding on a drum inside your head. Uggggghhh!!!

Falling sick is the worst thing that can happen to anybody, especially me. Why? you ask? I guess it’s because I can’t feel as sorry for anybody else as I do for myself now, can I? 🙂

I was so unwell last week that I could barely get out of bed. But, my husband dropped me off at my mommy’s for some serious TLC.

Whether you are 5 years old or 50…. I honestly think that whenever you are sick all you can think of is your mom.

I don’t know about anybody else, but whenever I am sick I crave for my mother’s hands, stroking my hair like she used to whenever I used to fall sick as a child. My mom pouring me a hot bowl of soup, fluffing my pillows, tucking me in…. Aaah! The works. 🙂

A mother’s love is a mother’s love and nothing can stand up to it, not even you-oh flu virus..!

When I was younger, I used to fake being sick on school days (as I am sure everybody has done so when they were children). Atleast I used to try. My mom would never buy into my bluff and would always say “go to school, and if you start feeling sick, come back home”. Disappointing as it was, I’d still go to school because you see my true motive was not to avoid school (although that was an added bonus) it was to get my mom to stay home with me. 🙂
And funny as it is ironic, I know for a fact, that’s exactly what I’ll be saying to my kids when they try to fake being sick on school days 🙂

It wasn’t the “quality time” we would spend together, it was just the idea of knowing she is at home because between my teenaged sister and me and my dad (who, by the way my mother claims, was no less than a 5 year old child, when at home) and a full time job, I used to think my mom doesn’t have any time dedicated especially to me. But I realise now how much time she actually did dedicate to me. She took years off from a full time career to be with me, she tucked me into bed every night, said my prayers with me, made me delicious food whenever I wanted it, irrespective of how tired she was, and how she sacrificed sleep, food, comfort, basically everything to sit next to me when I was in the hospital for an appendectomy.
She was unwell herself but she did not move from my bedside. She wouldn’t eat but she would make sure I am well fed, she wouldn’t sleep but she would make sure I got several hours of sleep.
Even today, she manages to take care of me even though we don’t live together anymore. I have a home of my own now and I am the “go to for anything” person in my house, I am the one who “takes care of everybody” but my mommy, still takes care of me.

My husband and I continue to be amazed and surprised at the amount of energy, enthusiasm and quiet strength that lies within her.

We appreciate you Mom, we love you and we inspire to be like you-more and more each day- My mommy, my hero! 🙂

Have you thought of all the things your mother has done for you in the past? Or continues to do even today?

Take some time off, call your mom and tell her you love her. She may know it, but would be so nice for her to hear it, out of the blue, randomly, because she did and she does all that she does for you because of those 3 words.

Thanks for reading everybody, and don’t forget to tell your mom, how much you love her. That’s what I do, everyday! 🙂