Showing posts from 2016

The Year That Was...

For the first time in my life, I was quite hesitant to write this post. Throughout my adult life, I have made some very curious choices. Sometimes I have let my heart guide me, and at other times I have allowed my head to guide me. In both cases, sometimes the path I took worked out and sometimes it didn't. However, when things went wrong - I found it far easier to forgive myself, pick up the pieces and march on, when the decisions were guided by the heart. Was it 'cos I could justify it to myself saying "Oh, well, I was anyway being an emotional fool !" ? I am not sure. It is far tougher when a decision taken with your head, results in an undesirable outcome. 'Cos then you have to question not just the outcome, but the process itself - and its scary ! And boring ! And cowardly too ! 
So, if there is one life lesson I will carry with me to my grave from 2016, it is this - Always, always, always follow your heart ! Even if the entire universe tells you you are on…

As The Years Roll By...

I was browsing through a stationery store the other day and was surprised to see 2017 diaries on the aisles ..and then it stuck me that the year is winding down to a close.

Browsing through my old posts I realized that I have been posting my New Year Resolutions and their reviews for close to ten years...I also realized that there are dreams which are more than ten years old, which haven't come true yet..Some of them of course have lost their charm - we change after all !

But, instead of framing any new resolutions, I decided to spring clean my dreams and the ones which are still shining in my heart - I will try to make them happen in 2017.

Travel - This has been a great passion of mine, and I have seen quite a few places in the past years. But, Venice, Leh and Switzerland still remain dreams. I hope next year, I can do at least a couple of these places.

Declutter and Styling - Yes, I have cleaned out a large portion of my house, but there are few areas pending. Hubby enjoys living…

The Game of Life

I was browsing through Quora the other day, and this tagline caught my eye "The game is not over until I have won it"...The images that came flashing to my mind was that of a tantrum throwing child, followed immediately by a confident youth...

And then I realised...the impermanence of youth...and how it has more or less passed for me...The past couple of months have shown me how the game can be over when you least expect it...many lives don't even get a chance to play the game, let alone win it...Some have a winning lead, but are forced to quit due to an unexpected turn of events...

Maybe, its the red car syndrome, but the past month saw a friend lose a new born baby, another one lose his wife during child birth and a cousin lose his baby in-utero at 7 months...

My grandmother's brother passed away suddenly due to a massive stroke, and the incidence of memory loss/stroke in my maternal side is scary...All my grandmother's siblings (including her) are suffering f…

The M Factor

Way too often, media (the kind that you and I consume mostly these days – whatsapp forwards, FB videos, Twitter links etc) overhypes the importance of creating memories over accumulating money, adding alongside a liberal dose of reminders about our mortality – about how when we are on our deathbed, we don’t worry about the money we made, but about the memories we didn’t !
Well, let me call the bluff – it is a big fat lie! It has been created to pander to the frail egos of middle aged men and women, who suddenly realise that maybe they have missed the bus as far as getting seriously rich goes, so might as well go create some memories…
‘Cos given the advances in science today, you and I are likely to either die a sudden and violent death – accident or murder, in which case the time left for retrospective regret is minimal, anyway; or die a slow, prolonged death – mostly due to old age, and lo and behold, associated memory loss ! So, if all those memories you created, those experiences …

"Women are a Woman's Greatest Enemies"

I am sure you would have heard this statement at least once, if not more often in your life time. Often, you hear this if you are bitching about your boss or your in-laws or your siblings or your colleagues or even friends. Basically, the situation can be professional, personal or social…The only criteria is that both parties involved are women, and then the listener (gender agnostically) often responds with this statement.
My response to this factual rubbish varies depending on who says it, what the context is, what frame of mind I am in etc..
But, the focus on this post is on why this is factually wrong. First of all, I feel that the herd mentality ingrained in our psyches expect that birds of a feather flock together and by extension, all women should always stand together and support each other. However, the whole idea of feminism is to make people think beyond gender…So, women are not all birds of the same feather…Yes, biologically women are more similar to each other than to m…

Strange are the Ways of the World !

I wrote my previous post from a place of deep agony…But it did throw up some amazing insights into how humans behave…Yes, adversity is a great teacher after all ! Some of my loyal blog readers reached out to me – no surprises there.
But, the depth of understanding that each of them showed surprised me. It was not the usual (not usual by them, but in general how people react to someone’s sadness) combination of sadistic curiosity that often gets wrapped as concern. That pseudo concern gets manifested as a statement in the lines of “Don’t worry, what happened? oh it happens to everyone, we all take decisions we are not comfortable…please move on” or some combination of this…
But each of the people who reached out to me perfectly understood my pain, gave me space, reassured me, and held me in their arms (albeit remotely !). Here is a heartfelt thank you to each of you …Your kindness in my moment of grief means a lot to me…
Sadly, despite having both sides of my family in the same city,…

This is a very graphical rant, so stay away in case that’s not your style…
Sometimes, the sorrow is soo deep that its easy to fake happiness. You act as if everything is normal. You wake up, do your duties, go to work, laugh with colleagues, check whatsapp, type non sense in it and giggle for good measure…
And then you wonder what the hell were you doing with 36 years in this planet, if you are all alone at 3:00 in the morning feeling faint in a pool of blood in the bathroom while your hubby is happily snoring in the next room. How come there was not even a single human being to hold your hand then?
You ignore the physical pain that ravages your body and carry on the act of appearing normal…you even fight about the same silly things…knowing fully well none of it matters any more…but that’s the best you can do…’cos the only other alternative is to end up in the mental asylum. Any rational analysis will only take you there…
They say time heals…they forgot about the scars left behind..…

Decluttering - Mind and Matter

When I moved to my current home back in 2013, I had dreams of keeping a beautiful house – replete with a vegetable garden, beautiful paintings and bed linen, reading nooks, an amazing wardrobe and drool worthy cutlery. 
Well, then life happened! Shuttling between multiple cities, a major illness, pregnancy and child rearing, back stabbing by colleagues and non-co-operation from one side of ‘family’,  saw all dreams – both professional and personal – crumble into dust. My house turned into a pig sty and I turned into a person I never wanted to be … I was overwhelmed by the lack of space – in my house and in my brain. I initially thought of moving into a bigger house, but realized that it would have to wait – at least another couple of years.
Last month, I celebrated my younger one’s second birthday and I realized that I no longer have excuses to postpone spring cleaning – within and without.
When I started taking stock, I realized that I had unconsciously already started the proces…

The Magic of 7

Ever since I learned about the 7 Wonders of the World, I have been enamoured by the number. I always believed in the magic of that number, and by God, when I knew about your birthday (incidentally, much before I knew you) I was thrilled…That was 1996 – seems like a past lifetime now!
Much water has passed beneath the bridges, but there has never been a July 7th since, when my heart wasn’t filled with thoughts of you !Now, that’s some magical charm you’ve woven in my heart. So, my dearest magician, here is a huge thank you for all the new experiences you have enriched my life with! 
In no particular order, here goes…
Thank you for introducing me to the pleasures of:
1.English Music & Movies 2.Parenting 3.Travel & World Cuisine 4.A Warm Hug 5.Perfumes 6.Water Skiing; and finally… 7.The Magical Trips to the Moon !

         Wishing you health, happiness and all the amazingly enjoyable experiences you could ever wish for !

Misogyny, Marriages and More...

My dear friend Anu, has been writing quite a bit about these topics and although I am usually lazy to link up, here is a link that I would recommend. Being a feminist is not an easy tag to wear and mostly it is used to denote (wrongly) a woman who does not believe in the traditional institutes of marriage, is too inflexible in her views and is someone who hates men. This is highly unfortunate...'cos feminism is just about doing the right thing. Yes, generations of doing the wrong thing means that sometimes you have to stand in the roof top and scream. Pulling out a weed is far easier than uprooting a giant tree with deep roots - obviously, it is a slow and ardous process. But it has to be done - for the human race to survive !  So, let me talk at some length on some common misconceptions about feminism.

Myth 1: Feminism and Marriage Can't Go Hand in Hand: Your views on how women should be treated (whether you are a man or a woman) is just one factor that determines the succes…

10 Yrs

...of being married ! My rational brain is quite surprised that I managed to survive this long in a relationship :) My emotional brain of course fiercely counters - "I am still madly in love with him !". However, if there is one thing I have realized over the past 10 years, it is this - the success of a marriage has no correlation whatsoever to the amount of love you have for each other ! Better predictors include the nature of your profession, the relationship you share with your in-laws, and your ability to tolerate nonsense of various kinds. 
 We did celebrate this achievement by sneaking away for a weekend to Maldives - surprisingly, hubby missed the kids far more than I did ! It was a lovely resort and a much needed break.

We've had our ups and downs and it's been a roller coaster ride...the memories and experiences though have been priceless !

Uniforms and Gender Equality

A couple of weeks back, my son's school sent a notice that from this academic year onwards, girls would wear maroon t-shirts and maroon skirts on Wednesdays instead of maroon t-shirts and white skirts. It went on to clarify that the uniform of boys would remain unchanged - maroon t-shirts and white shorts. There was a round of cribbing by moms who had already purchased the uniforms for their kids about the economic loss.
I was surprised that no one seemed to be worried about what to me seems a clear step backwards - why is menstruation such a huge taboo? I was even more disturbed by the fact that educated people in my network told me that this change could have come about 'cos parents specifically asked for it !
As a parent of 2 kids - one boy and one girl, this is what my utopian view of a co-ed school is:
There needs to be enough awareness among both boys and girls on how menstruation is a natural process. Boys need to be taught that, yes, it may not be regular in the init…

Thoughts - Some Random, Some Deliberate

The other day, couple of my male colleagues were discussing how important it was for them to reach home early when their spouses are ill. A strange wistfulness filled my heart and it took me a herculean effort to supress it from outpouring into my face ...that was a random unexpected thought.."I wish my hubby was like that". Given the nature of his profession, and his own nature (and mine too), he hardly comes home early "just 'cos you are not feeling well".

And then I deliberately thought about it some more and realised that it was just a case of grass being greener on the other side...My hubby is quite a hands on father and though he might not come home early when I am sick, he will make sure I am cured...
The last time I threw myself behind a truck, he didn't come rushing to me...but, he did say "If you bleed from your ears or nose, come to the hospital immediately...else just relax, put some ice on your bruises and take it cool !"
Practical a…

Desert Rose

Desert roses bloom ever so rare –
With rapturous beauty and fiery fragrance!
Paradise descends on a moonlit night;
Golden sands invite you home!
Oh, Knight of the Universe; Martyr of the Achilles’ Race;
Crusader on your journey - stop and stare!
For the desert rose blooms just for your eyes!
Fill me in your senses -
Neither prey nor predator be.
Talonous thorns amidst healing softness
Queen of Paradoxes – the desert rose!
Caress or Crush – it’s Your Choice!

S for Son

Yea, my son's name starts with an S too...This one is for him. 
My Dearest S,
The last time I wrote a letter to you on this blog was quite a while ago. You have evolved from then on and so have I. Needless to say, our relationship has evolved too...You have turned out to be a loving and caring guy. You are a charmer like your dad and can hold an audience with your limitless repertoire of stories - your dimpled cheeks help too!. You enjoy travelling, are a foodie and love the good life ! Unlike me, you are not very fond of animals. Though you resemble your dad in looks and external behavior, you are my carbon copy at heart - a sensitive soul. 
Now that I have done the mandatory parental gloating about 'how my son is the best on earth', here is a bunch of anecdotes around which I hope we can have a great laugh 20 yrs down the lane.

Context: Teaching about plants to my son Mom: sunflower always bends towards sunlight. Doubtful son: So, if I keep a sunflower plant in the dark an…

Diving for Pearls... far easier if you have supplemental oxygen. If you have to dive for them without oxygen, every time you don't reach the needed depth, you have to resurface for oxygen and all your efforts are in vain...Every dive tires you out and there is only a limited number that you can do in a day...However, its only with several failed experiences that you learn to hold your breath long enough to find that perfect pearl !
Still, the added oxygen would have been would have at least made the memories more pleasant !
P.S. It is said that the ugliest of oysters have the most beautiful pearls inside...

Of Stories Untold...

We all have them, don't we? I used to write stories as a child, when my imagination had wings - just like my dreams. I guess the biggest disappointment that experience brings is knowledge - knowledge that forces you to cut your dreams to size! Yea, that's ironic, I know.
Shouldn't experience actually give you the power to dream bigger and better? But, unfortunately that never happens ....Most people slowly turn their colourful dreams into monochromatic goals as time goes by...Add limited resources of money and time into the mix and you have a lousy cocktail - recipe for a hangover headache !
As a child, you are never worried about whether your dreams can turn into reality...You live in that heady cloud where dreams seamlessly blend into reality and vice versa..I vaguely remember reading in my Malayalam text book ages back about how Vivekananda used to fall asleep as a child - apparently, only enlightened souls such as him and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa fall asleep like that…

Red Love

Loved you once and held you close,
Like a child enamoured by a fragrant rose !
As I bled from your thorns,
I vainly believed -
You are reflected in my soul !
Your cursed arrows no longer bruise -
They are droplets off my oiled fins;
As I dive off to the nadir of sorrow ,
From where the zenith of joy begins…

Of Idols and Feet of Clay...

This post was lying in my drafts since 2012. I saw it and didn't want it to remain in drafts anymore...

She writes about her idols...and the mention of "Men have taken over my list entirely." cracks me up and I laugh out loud in my otherwise sober surroundings...though I doubt that was the intent ...

I wondered for a moment what being an idol means...Does it mean you want to emulate them at some level? Or that you would love to live their lives, given a chance...If there is one quality in a person that you admire a lot and several others that you despise, then would that person be still an idol? As usual, a lot of questions, and no easy answers...

As you grow older your vision starts improving...and you see the feet of clay that most of your idols have...Starts with your parents, realise how human they are, and that is one of the key steps in becoming an adult - the quiet acceptance of your parents as who they are, rather than who you think they are...


R for Random

Often life is strange and meanders through paths hitherto unknown to you - and then you get surprised - by the way you act and the way others react ...On that note, here is a list of random thoughts for you dear reader to chew on:

1. Sometimes there is no logical explanation ...and sometimes there are more than one. 2. Often you think you have simplified and you end up complicating it further. 3. Sometimes an act of kindness is perceived as anything but... 4. You try to bring happiness to someone's heart and you end up having quite the opposite effect.. 5. Sometimes you think you have the freedom only to painfully realize that you exceeded your brief. 6. One day you feel like a princess and then you realize the clock has struck 12. 7. The human brain is a complicated organ, the human heart is even more so.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to being a child, when mistakes are more readily forgiven, people are easier to please (good behaviour and good acads is all that you need) and…

Q for Quest

A birthday is as good a time as any to do some serious introspection and figure out what is your life's quest.

But, I am not going to do that. April-May are usually extremely happy months for me and though the heat this time around is oppressing, my natural cheer that comes with the season is very much on !

I am doing things I love and I am happy to be alive !

Yes, there are day to day challenges, but what is life without a few mountains to climb?

So, yes, the quest for oceans to swim,
for clouds to float on,
for rainbows to watch
for magic to unfold ... continues...
The quest for ...
The healing touch
The warm embrace
The passionate lips
The eyes that speak a thousand stories...
..all are satiated !

P.S: This one is for my sweetheart...whom I hardly ever thank...

P for Passion

...and the title says it all doesn't it?
If not, here is a quote:
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
Here's to the unreasonable dreamers out there !

O for One..

'We pave the path towards justice, one small brick at a time', said Tim Cook while revealing his sexual orientation to the world. Much as it should not concern anyone else, unfortunately mundane things such as your personal preferences of partner, solace (religion) etc occupies the mind space of corner offices and related stakeholders far more than they should ! I can only vaguely imagine, how Tim must have felt doing this. I salute his courage to stand by his convictions - even when the stakes are high !

Every journey starts one step at a time - we often forget the power of that single step ! So, as the Nike ad goes 'Just Do It'. Experience anything that is fun at least once. (only exception being addictive substances - 'cos you can't stop with just one.) After all, O also stands for Open - over the years, I have realized the advantages of keeping an open mind !

P.S. Dear reader,(you know who you are) the answer is ...even sweet revenge happens one small ston…

N for Night

The night sky is one of the most beautiful sights that nature prepares for us every night ! I remember several years back there was a shower of shooting stars and we hauled our beds to the terrace to watch that beautiful sight - a treasured memory.

The waxing and waning of the moon is like poetry - one can just smile at the very thought.

Recently, I spend a good part of the night near the beach with a dear friend, reminiscing about old times - it was fun.

These days, night is the time that things quieten down at home and you feel content that you waded through one more day without getting bruised - at least nothing that sleep cannot cure.  A sense of calm descends, you express your gratitude to God and then let sweet sleep wash over you like a blanket.

My deepest desire is to spend an entire night lying down in a quiet beach all alone staring at the sky and then slowly dozing off listening to the waves ...I end with a quote I read here. "You will want some things that you will…

Taking a Break..

...from the alphabet series, primarily 'cos I have something far more important to write about, and also because I can't get a word for N.
Recently, there was a news article about a new bill proposing that husbands pay wives for household chores. This got shared in my school WhatsApp group (only girls) by someone who said 'finally, we would get paid for all the back breaking work!' . This was accepted with much cheer from SAHMs and also by some working women who said that it is good for women in lower economic strata.
I, for one, found the law totally sexist, and also flawed. Any law, should be implementable. How is the beurocracy going to roll this out, and how is judiciary going to ensure adherence? In a country where majority of the working class earn their salaries in cash, implementing this is not going to be easy.
But, even if it was, I would really oppose it - it presumes that household chores are the duty of a woman. I can never see it as a step towards '…

M for Money

They say you need to love money for money to stay with you. Among pseudo-intellectuals, the saying 'money can't buy everything' is popular. I am more fond of the statement 'there is no such thing as a free lunch' and believe in the power of money. As for things which money can't buy, well a lack of money doesn't ensure you have those things either !
Money makes people do strange things - I have seen greed make monsters out of otherwise perfectly normal people. On the other end of the spectrum, you also have people who don't even have enough money for survival - they also go to any length to get money.  I guess, just like everything else in life balance is the key here. 
But, money is a crazy addiction and people often forget that it is just a means to an end and not the end in itself. Which makes me wonder whether the barter system of yester-years is a better option. The non-perishable nature of money is also a problem - you tend to hoard it. The incen…

L for..

what else, but love ! With so many definitions, poems, stories et al, what more could I possibly write about the sweetest, nastiest emotion!

Well, for starters, love is as unique as a fingerprint - everyone loves differently...In fact, love is a combination of what transpires between 2 objects - which means the sheer permutations of it is unimaginably huge ! I may love different people differently - add the dimension of time to it and you realize how varied this complex emotion can be !

Anu (regular readers know her by now, and I am too lazy to link up) asked me in my previous post as to why I like to make someone's day so much - people are responsible for making their own day ! Well, the short answer is 'love'. The long answer is - well, that is also 'love' - or maybe the need to be loved - or both. I feel happy seeing a smile on another person's face - I can't see my own smile unless I pose vainly in front of a mirror - so it is easier to focus on other …

K for... sweetheart. His name starts with K. As on date, I have known him for more time than I have not known him - knowing and evolving with a person over half a lifetime is no easy feat! I have had my share of ups and downs with him - but like I have told several people, and I think even in this blog earlier, he is kind of a part of me. You don't consider changing your hands or legs or brain or heart unless they are irreparably damaged. Even when one part of your body causes intense agony to the rest of it, you focus all your attention on it and try and heal it! And that's the crux of our relationship - I don't consider life without him a possibility. It's just easier that way !

J for Joy

I used to have a friend in primary school named Joy - I used to think he was always happy and hence had the name Joy :). I got back in touch with him after nearly 27 years and needless to say, he didn't even remember me or anyone else who remembered him ! Still, I was happy to have found him - not because I suddenly got a new friend or anything, but more from a quite confidence that hope still exists in this world and that people may just come back into your life when you least expect it !

Conversing with him also made me realise that as time passes, friendships, in fact all relationships, should evolve. Very often, unless you have certain things in common, conversations can become strained - there are exceptions, of course.

Often when friends go through extremely tough times, I wonder if I am stepping on their toes. I then end up remembering them far more frequently in my prayers - I know instinctively that my friends are feeling better when they stop appearing in my prayers - …

I for..

I. Yes, this is gonna be the year that will be post, albeit a week late. This year, the theme is going to be I, me, myself. I want to focus on me as an individual. I will spend time on improving myself as a human being - spiritually, professionally and economically. It also means that i will try to improve my performance in various roles - that of wife, mother, daughter, friend etc. But, I shall ensure that the focus is on me and I will write the definition of what success means, and which roles matter. 
Over the course of a lifetime, several roles get thrust on you. Being a woman and that too in a conservative small town, means that you are guilt tripped into donning all those thorn-crowns. This year, shall be about celebrating the things I value most. In an earlier post, I wrote about how some of the realities in my life have been far better than what I could even dream of. This year will be about enjoying those realities. No more postponing anything to a later date. I shall also b…

H for Holidays

..specifically the one which I recently took. I went off on a vacation with my son to Singapore. It is unheard off in my part of the world to be travelling without your hubby, especially if it is not on official duty ! Having a small child who also got left behind, meant that the gossip mongers in town had a field day...Doubts were cast on the stability of our marriage and were put to rest only when people were reassured that it was hubby who helped me book hotels and plan the itinerary. I was irritated by members of family who were taken aback by the idea - they have never even casually asked why I wasn't accompanying my hubby on the numerous vacations that he took post marriage, without me in tow !

Anyway, my son and myself had an amazing time - we enjoyed thoroughly, and I realized that I wouldn't have had the courage to take such a vacation in India, thus reinforcing my belief that I want to live abroad - someday ! The sheer freedom and variety of choice in other countrie…