Wednesday, 28 December 2011

My Last Post

A small clarification about the title. No, its not my last post forever types, it's only the last post of the year.
2011 is almost done. 3 days to go. I don’t plan to work for the remaining days of the year. That also goes to say that I would not be touching my laptop for the coming days of this year. So 2011 has been a good year so far and 2012 will be much better and more satisfying in all the ways (I hope and I want to believe).
I started blogging this year. I end this year with 50 posts and around 2000 + hits to the website. I have been happy and satisfied with the things I have written here. I wish to write better and write more the following year.
Now, it’s my time to tell everybody “Happy Holidays”. Enjoy the remaining days of the year. Be Happy. Be safe on the New Year’s Eve. Remember you are important to so many people, whom you may not even know. So be safe for them. They care about you.  
Hope the New Year brings in a lot of positivity to this world. Cherishing the lessons 2011 taught me and welcoming 2012 with open arms.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Coolest Month of the Year

December, the last month of the year; the thoughts it provokes in my mind are all here for you to read.
Ø  27th December is an important day in my life. This was the day my husband asked me to be a part of his life, many years ago. It was a wonderful feeling to have fallen in love.
Ø  Happy Birthday Mr. Salman Khan.
Ø  Anna Hazare is fighting a noble cause. Hope God is with him and helps him win this fight against corruption. I feel ashamed to do nothing about it although I am less than half your age. But Sir, I promise to not be corrupt myself.
Ø  New Year is just 4 days away. Yes, I know, everybody would be feeling how quickly 2011 went by. That is the same feeling every year, believe me.
Ø  The world is celebrating. Everywhere it is the “Happy Holidays”, Christmas and New Year mood. This season is beautiful. Winter is my favorite season and December is my favorite month. It reminds me of Santa Claus, snowflakes, reindeers, Santa’s sleigh filled with presents, Christmas tree, beautiful wreaths decorating the door ways, jingle bells, decorated cribs with sheep’s and cows and Jesus Christ born amidst them, cozy woolen wear, snow capped mountains, a cool breeze kissing my cheeks and so much more. December is my month of the year. As the McDonalds saying goes,” I am loving it”.
Ø  I feel people born in December will be famous. Don’t ask me why? I have no reason.
Ø  I love this “margazhi” month and listening to the “thirupavai”. I like getting up early and going to Vishnu temple early in the morning. Looking forward to Vaikunta Ekadasi. It seems people who die on this day go directly to Vaikuntam (Lord Vishnu’s abode). I was born on this day. So now you know where I came from?
Ø  Oh no, it’s the tax savings time of the year. I hate that.
Except for the last thought, I am thoroughly enjoying December. How about you?

Friday, 23 December 2011

A valuable lesson from my new Guru

After I have become a mother, every day I am learning something new from my little angel. She is my new Guru.
Yesterday, she had 'Sports Day' in her Day Care. When I picked her in the evening, she told me with excitement that she participated in the running race. After going home, I asked her who stood first and second in the race. I did not expect her to answer it, but she so matter-of-factly said two names. I was taken by surprise that she understood what it meant to be first and second in the race. Then I realized that the care taker must have just told “A” is first and “E” is second (or vice versa; I am not sure of the order). So, that must have registered in her little brain.
As a mother I felt bad that my daughter did not stand first in the race. I agree it is my bad. It’s the same old competitive attitude we mothers have. No matter how many ever times, I asked her, her reply was the same every time. It could not be any different. I should have known better. Then I realized how stupid I was trying to be. She was not bothered about the outcome of the race. It did not matter to her. She was so happy she ran the race. It was pure fun for her.
I was being really bad in instilling the competitive attitude in my little angel. I refrained myself and stopped asking her that stupid question of mine.
Lesson learnt dear princess. I will never make you feel inferior for not being first in any competition what so ever. I will ensure I instill this in you. I will enjoy the race as you did yesterday.
You made me realize, “running is all that matters not winning”.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

My Resolutions for 2012

11 days to get into the New Year, (probably the last living year *rolling eyes smiley*) so I am into the resolution mood. Here is what I strictly resolve to follow this year.
ü  Stick to my Yoga schedule every day.
ü  "Eat healthy and avoid a junk body" than "Eat junk and avoid a healthy body".
ü  Avoid talking about anybody at his/her back. While I talk about him/her, somebody else might as well be talking about me (does not feel good even as I write this).
ü  Try to see a positive in every situation. (No, I am not being over-optimistic. I am seriously bugged of focusing on the negatives).
ü  Avoid gossips. It steals me off so much of my energy. It might seem juicy, but the nutritional content is ZERO.
ü  Do not judge anybody based on one stray incident. I am also erratic at times.
Yes, these are going to be my primary goals. Hope GOD gives me the wisdom to abide by the rules I set.
Make resolutions and also stick to them. Happy Resolution time of the year!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Can B'lore Central be more courteous?

I had a splendid weekend. I did a lot of shopping on Saturday. It was almost a ‘shop till you drop’ experience. No, I literally mean it. Shopping is not so easy, with a two year old hyper active kid. Yesterday, I went to Bangalore Central, caught a good Kannada movie in Mantri Inox after close to 3 years.
One thing I noticed was some of the staff in Bangalore Central was wearing a head band/headgear (I will stick to a head band). The head band was really pathetic. It was shaped like a crown and it was white in color. There was a blue outline to it and it had some text written in blue in between. It read something like “May I help you get your payback” or something similar. I felt very bad to see the staff put on something like that. I mean, fine you pay your staff, but asking them to look funny is something I sincerely don’t approve off.  I somehow personally felt very bad to see men being used like puppets. Whoever has come up with this idea, please imagine your boss asking you to wear something like that? How does it feel? It is definitely not the same feeling one gets when dressed as a Santa or his elves. That kind of dressing makes one feel good, because children around you are excited. But this is ridiculous.
They are less qualified and paid less but they are fellow human beings with emotions and they need to be respected. The head band could be replaced with some signboards everywhere and a common counter where there are people to assist customers in the offer that the shopping mall is providing. Or the staff could be provided with a “May I help you?” badges. I was deeply disappointed with this attitude of Bangalore Central towards its employees. I am not sure how they treat them in other aspects, but this is a definite no-no for me.
It is not long before; somebody told me that Indians lack respect for life and fellow countrymen. After seeing this yesterday, I was forced to believe the latter to some extent.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Will the World come to an End on December 2012?

This is an interesting topic that is doing the rounds these days. It seems the world will end at Dec 2012. It seems there will be a “pralaya” (a deluge) and everything will come to an end. I have heard that Lord Maha Vishnu will take the “kalki” avatar. It would be his 24th incarnation sometime at the end of Kaliyuga. But if next year the world is coming to an end, I wonder where is Kalki? Ok, I am moving off the topic.

Every morning while cooking, I listen to the radio. Today even on the radio, this was the topic of discussion. The RJ was confirming that the world would not come to an end. She said she would site a reason why? But for some reason, I could not get to her reasoning and analysis. Some days back this was the conversation I had with my maid. She had seen this topic being discussed on the television. She was happy that the world is coming to an end. I always told her not to believe in such things, for she would be disappointed if it didn’t happen. Today when she heard the RJ saying the same, she was visibly upset. She said, after working in 12 different houses, I need to work at my home. She said, she is fed up of this life and she would have been happy if the world would come to an end. I felt very strange when she got so serious about this.

I, on the other end don’t want to believe it is true. I am not yet prepared to die. I don’t see my death anywhere close to me. I have so much to do, so many places to visit, so many people to meet, so many things to explore. If death is happening in December 2012, I would be disappointed. I thought of making the TO DO list, in case we are all going the following year. These are some things that came up without much thought.
Ø  I would quit my job. Ask my husband to quit his job. Spend the rest of the year with him and my kiddo.
Ø  I would go on a trip to Manasa Gangotri. See the Himalayas from up-close. I would also go to Leh and Ladakh on the way.
Ø  Send a sorry card to all those people whom I might have hurt. I would call them and apologize. I am not sure I have anybody on that list now? I have this gut feeling that I am a good human being with no enemies. Not sure what others perceive of me?
Ø  I would give a big bear hug to my mom, grandmom, my brothers, my in-laws and put aside all the hard feelings, if any once and for all.
Ø  I would go travelling to Europe, Australia, Sri Lanka and South Africa. I dont think I have the money to go to all these places. But, I have a backup plan; I would sell off our house. My husband being a travel buff would surely agree. I know him.
Ø  After setting aside money for the travel plans that I have, I would give away all my gold and silver to buy good food and clothes to some of the homeless children and the aged.
How wonderful it is to think that tomorrow is the last day to live. That reminds me of a quote by Mahatma Gandhi.

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
There is no security to worry about, no savings to worry about, no old age to think about, and no tomorrow to think off. The thought about making our life secure and safe is what causes all the stress, isn’t it? What do you say?
Share your to-do list and views on what if December 2012 is the end of the world?

Thursday, 15 December 2011

I love Bangalore

This weekend, we had two different experiences with the auto drivers. At one junction, we asked the auto driver, if he would come to our area. He demanded Rs.50, when we refused, he asked to pay Rs.40. Then he said, pay Rs.10 extra on the meter. My husband M sensed he was drunk and he said we won’t get into that auto. When we started moving away, that auto driver got down and started coming towards us. We walked away, he was yelling from behind. He was asking us to walk home, ridiculing us. We did not care and walked to the next auto and got into his auto. He demanded more, knowing that we were walking away from that drunk driver. Although, we were pi**ed off with him, we were forced to leave and went by that auto.
When driving towards our home, one biker cut in front of our auto and tried to overtake him. The auto driver was so angry that he cornered him and made him stop, after which they almost got into a fist fight. I guess the biker was drunk in this case. In a matter of 10 minutes, we saw two drunk drivers on a Sunday evening.
So many drunk drivers let loose on the road. They are posing safety threats for themselves and people travelling by public transport. How can I endorse public transport, this being the case? Are the Traffic Cops of Bangalore listening????
Please help in making Bangalore safe. I love Bangalore.

Unplanned trip to Mantralaya

We went on a one day trip to Mantralaya. It was totally unplanned. My husband M is like this. He loves to travel and is always ready to go. I often tell him, you are always with one leg set outside the house on the weekends. He gets so restless when he has to sit at home on the weekend. So Mantralaya happened this way. My mom and grand mom joined us. Three + two = five of us set off on Saturday, the 3rd Dec.
We had no tickets with us. It was a similar situation on 17th Oct, when we went to Tirupati. It was 10 in the night and we were in Majestic with no ticket. Then for some reason, my husband assumed Mantralaya bus was Tirupati’s and he got in, while outside I stood wondering what he was doing? Then we got a comfortable bus to Tirupati. So, we assumed there would be many Volvo buses to Mantralaya (wrong assumption), as is the case for Tirupati. We luckily got a bus and some manageably comfortable seats. The conductor and driver were good and my husband got into a good conversation with them and was thrilled to know that the bus had actually come to Bangalore from Chintamani (his home town). We reached Mantralaya, had a wonderful and quick darshan. You would not believe me; Manchamma Devi’s darshan took longer. We filled our eyes with the wonderful sight of Guru Rayaru. I feel the Brindavana he is in, oozes out grace and kindness. I am still in that state of peace. We were tired of the night journey, so we went to the room and got some sleep after having had ”anna prasadam” from the temple.
After having slept well, we started off to Panchamukhi Anjaneya temple. That was pure fun. We went in a coracle (Teppa in Kannada), then waded through knee height water to reach the autos/cars standing on the other side of the Tungabhadra bank, hired a sumo to get to the temple. We got a nice and pleasing darshan of the god. Here we saw some rocks, which were supposedly used by Hanuman as a pillow and a bed. It was exciting to listen to these stories and imagine Hanuman having slept on that very rock. And yes, do you know that Hanuman never went to Vaikunta along with Sri Hari? Hanuman said that if Sri Hari promises him that he would continue to be Lord Rama and if Vaikunta is going to be filled with Rama Nama, he would accompany him. But when Hanuman learnt that would not happen, he said, he will continue to stay on earth and be present where ever there is Rama Nama. This temple also houses the sandals of Sri Hanuman. I just get carried away with such stories and I feel very excited seeing these things and listening to these stories.
So, after the Panchamukhi visit, we did some shopping on the streets of Mantralaya, we rushed to the room and packed and left to catch the bus. We were back in Bangalore at 5 AM on Monday morning. The unplanned trip happened to be exciting, fun and safe. Sometimes, unplanned trips offer an excitement for there are a lot of unknowns involved. But, I know it’s not always advisable and I am also not too “for” it.
However, I leave you all with this quote.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

Thursday, 1 December 2011

World Aids Day

Why this kolaveri kolaveri kolaveri di???

No matter how hard I try not to think this way, there is a difference between North India and South India. Be it the food, the appearance, the skin complexion, the culture, everything is so different. This is a sensitive topic and I am not comfortable writing about it. But, I must say that many people still dont feel connected with South India. "We are from the North", kind of feeling exists in many of them. I dont want to offend anybody. But all that I care to say is that people feel divided within the same country. The sense of belonging is not seen. I feel sorry to say that and I want to truly see India as one country. The other day, on Radio One 94.3, a girl said she was from the North India. In some context, she said in "our side", we dont do it this way. The RJ caught her on that point and said, "What is this our side, your side? Please dont divide India into the North and South. And remember, please say you are from India. That is enough". I loved that RJ for this. Kudos to him. We all belong to one global village and should seek ways to connect to one another rather than disconnect. Nobody is superior or inferior. The ways are different, but diversity is what makes our country so beautiful. Please dont divide India by religion, caste, creed, color of the skin, language and state. We have enough problems as a country, let us not create problems within the country too. We are educated and matured to understand that all these does not matter when it comes to interacting with a person. All that matters is the person. Dont let all these useless differences poison your mind.
All said, today I rushed into a meeting as I was late. The meeting progressed and a mobile started ringing loudly. We always forget to put our mobiles in the meeting profile. The "murderous rage" song, "Why this kolaveri, kolaveri, kolaveri di?" played loudly, bringing a smile to everyone's lips. The otherwise serious meeting cooled down a little. The owner of the mobile, very conscious of the loud ring tone dug deep into his pant pocket, trying hard to reach it. He ran out of the conference room, letting the meeting continue. Anyways, the point I was trying to make here was that, he is from the "North" India. I truly was amazed to see him set a typical kuthu song from "South" India, as his mobile ringtone. Is this a sign of diminishing difference between the North and South? Its not false when people say Music has no boundaries, is it not? How about the Chamak Chalo song - the chartbuster song? It has Tamil lyrics in it. Another encouraging sign.
I pray many more such barrier breakers come and break all the differences within and between South, North, East, West and Central India. I just hope to see India as One country, one lovely Country.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Running is all that matters

Today was one of the frustrating days at work. I am stuck with the same old thought of what the hell on earth am I doing here? Do I love this job? Was I meant to do just this, stare at a stupid  monitor all my life and fix some bugs in the software code. I know I am not born to do just this. But I am not able to think of other things I could probably do, to make my otherwise mundane life interesting. I write, but I cant write to make a profession out of it. I dont think I am there yet. I sing, but only in the constraints of the house (a little more than the bathroom), I appreciate painting, but cant get a single stroke straight, I can sketch, but not a pro there too. I am not a great cook, creative but not so creative. Yes, I understand I am a bit of everything and a bit of nothing. A completely confused desi girl. I am wondering what I could pursue, to make an alternative career. But I just end up thinking, thinking and thinking.

While I was thinking hard about this an idea struck me. It was about asking my husband to travel abroad and find himself a job there, so that I can quit my job and go along with him. I was telling him to try abroad seriously. Just after I told him, a series of questions were popping up in my mind. I have no answers to any of them. They are plain thoughts captured here.

There are so many memories that surround the place we are born and brought up, the school we studied, the locality we lived in and so many simple things. Simple things are what make us most happy. That reminds me of a beautiful saying "It is so simple to be happy, but difficult to be simple". It could be the Pani puri shop that we regularly visited or the theatre we often freaked out to. These are the small things that have made us happy once upon a time. The very thought about these things, light up our mood and bring a smile to our face. But, with a decision to leave our country, we would leave behind all these places. With the progressive growth rate in every city, God knows how the place will turn out to be in a year (let alone when people come back in years). So, may be its not a strong enough reason to stop anybody from going.

Another fun part is festivals, going to a temple just whenever you feel like and attending functions (marriage, engagement, etc etc). I am not sure if anybody misses these things much, while they are abroad. People who are abroad may form a group or community and celebrate festivals together. They may be attending functions of the new friends there. And may be cross community friends makes their life more interesting (not sure, so I am unable to comment).

How do people leave their parents, sibblings and just go away to a far off place, just like that? Some people settle there to never return again. How can such a tough decision be made? So many people are married to a NRI who has settled abroad. They have to leave behind all their people, just to be married. They have grown up with their sisters and brothers. How can one relationship become so important in life, that we just leave all the others for good? I have my own sisters who have settled abroad and I wonder how they could make that decision. I am sorry to ask but I is there a bit much of selfishness about their lives and their happiness? I am not sure. I am not talking with any gender bias here, for it must be as difficult for the men to leave behind their family as it is for a women.

I cant imagine not seeing my mother for a long time (yes, I know webcam and all that technology exists but still you could not hug and kiss the real person on the webcam). May be there are options to make them travel. In the long run, when they grow old and when we have to be there for them, how can we make them travel? We have dependent visas, tourist visas but I have not heard of any old-parents-no-longer-able-to-take-care-of-themselves visa. The country is happy to take us in, for they are convinced that we will generate money for their economy. But they do not want our parents to tag along, who made us who we are. Afterall, why should they be concerned about our parents and other relationships when all that we care is about our comforts? Who will care about them, when we dont have the time to sit and think through these issues? All that we are concerned about is Me, My spouse and my children. Parents become an excess baggage after some point of time for most of us (I am not generalising here, please pardon, no offense intended).

However, why do we want to go abroad and settle there? Is it for more money, a greater lifestyle, to enjoy the luxuries of a more developed country? When we have all the money in the world and turn back to see nobody is there besides us to spend that money on, what do we do with that money? How much money do we really need to be happy? We want a big house, a big car, some bank balance, some pension plans, some money stashed up for our old age and some money to get our kids educated and see them settled. Do we stop at this? Does our wish list ever end?

They say "Participating is important than Winning". At the end of the mad race that we are all running, I am not sure if one is even going to feel satisfied that we ever ran this race? In all the running, we perhaps forgot the important point. Its not about running, its about how we run?

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Pain....... feeling it


Pain can never be expressed,
nor can it be felt by others.
It’s something I can’t talk about,
Words make it less hurting.
Loneliness and depression
come hand in hand with it
bringing along tears in the eyes,
and a sharp sting in the heart.
Losing a loved one or missing one,
Being betrayed or hurting someone.
The reasons being so different,
evoke the same pain at heart.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Assorted thoughts

*      No matter how many times I read Ramayana and Mahabharata, I find it interesting to read a newer version of it. It is retold by so many authors. It’s interesting to see how the same EPIC is interpreted so differently. How great is the story that it keeps us engaged although we know what is going to happen. I never get bored of these two EPICs. Now I am reading a version "Prince of Ayodhya" by Ashok.K.Banker. I am just waiting to go back and lay my hands on that book.
*      Such a beautiful sunrise today. Early mornings are such a pleasure; the crimson red sky and the light breeze refreshing the dull sleepy mind. I thought I would go back to sleep when I got up, but the beauty of the morning forbade me from wasting my time sleeping. It refreshed me so much that I was all charged up to do my house chores.
*      Festivals are fun. How would life be without festivals? Yesterday it was Tulsi Puja. I did not find time to do an elaborate puja. Just a small rangoli, few lamps and a small puja, was so soothing to my senses. Definitely the festivals were created with a purpose. It was to fill in positivity to the soul.
*      I want to lead a more disciplined life. I want to do yoga every day. Want to read the newspaper every day. But I don’t find time. No I am not making excuses. I have improved a lot after becoming a mother. But still, I have to go a long way in time management I believe.
*      I am feeling very bad for mom somewhere in the depth of my heart. I want to do something for her. I am not sure what.  I want to see her happy.
*      No matter how much I tell myself to work and not expect anything in return, when it comes to practicing it, I fail. I fail miserably. When I have toiled hard and somebody snatches away all the credit, I still cannot handle it. I feel very depressed and take some time to come out of it. I hate such personalities, who live on other people’s hard work. According to me, they are the worst lot of the mankind and are very tough to deal with.
Just after writing this post, I see the words that are bold in the above points. The good and nice outweigh the bad and sad bolds. That is a good enough reason for me to be happy today. Don’t you think so?
No matter what confronts you today, be happy. Spread the disease of happiness around. I accidently hit this site and found it beautiful. I can’t relate more to it.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Review of the book "Dancing Bear"

Written by Manasi Subramaniam
Art by Gwangjo and Jung-a Park

This post is written for

The ‘Dancing Bear’ book begins with Altaf's birthday, the central character of this story. Every child would love to get a teddy bear, but Altaf gets a real bear, a living one and what’s more, a dancing bear. Altaf is thrilled with his gift and feels very proud that now he can follow his father's footsteps of being a good entertainer at the Mughal Kings' Court.

He tries to make his bear friend Somu dance by tugging at the rope around its nose and is shocked to see Somu hurt and bleeding. He is pained and goes to his father to seek help to heal the bear's wounds. He is disappointed with his father's apathy. Meanwhile he meets his uncle, Bhavik Chacha who tells him that being nice to the bear will only make him lazier. He teaches him that by only tugging at the rope will Somu ever dance.

Altaf tries to follow his uncle's teachings but feels guilty about the way he is treating Somu. From this point the story takes a sensitive turn. Altaf gets to know that his conscience was true in its indication and he had not felt guilty without a reason. The book captures the feelings of Altaf very beautifully. He not only rescues his bear friend Somu, but moves on to become a bear rescuer and sees the ‘Dancing bear’, the way he wanted to see it.

The book is simple and lucid and can be easily read by young readers. The paintings capture the various moods of the story. The emotions in the paintings are admirable, where we can sense and feel the joy and pain of Altaf and Somu. The title says ‘Dancing bear’ but the painting shows a bear in distress. This contradiction draws the reader to this book. This book is good to teach young children to respect animals and to instill the sense of freedom for every living being. A commendable book for kid’s!


Friday, 21 October 2011

An entry into the Passport To A Healthy Pregnancy Contest

This post is written for the "Passport To A Healthy Pregnancy Contest".


I said, "The test showed positive". He looked at me with fear. "Yes, it is positive", I said and looked at my husband with fear. His eyes acknowledged the fear we both had. I was pregnant. Every couple in this world who see a positive pregnancy test result would have been 'super' - happy. Was I not happy? No, it was not that I was not happy. I was afraid. This was my second pregnancy. I had conceived twins the first time and miscarried them. Miscarried miserably, losing one twin at 4 months and the other at 6 months. The Internal OS had opened up without any fore warning. I did not have signs, and then came some stitches to the cervix which failed and I lost it all. Doctors suspected I had an "Incompetent Cervix", but they were not sure as I was carrying twins and miscarriage with twins is a common problem. I swear I am still trying to come out of that loss. Every time I hear the word twins, I feel something tugging at my heart. I feel pained. I feel why did I have to lose mine, if only I had them?
So, this time when I was pregnant, I was scared how it would go? Will we ever have a baby was a huge question haunting us day and night after having lost the first pregnancy. I conceived after a year and half, but the wound seemed fresh and it still hurt. This pregnancy, we resolved to be extra careful. In the initial days of the pregnancy, I had some spotting issues. So, there was no way I could travel to work. I stopped going to office and started working from home. I had made up my mind to do everything right this time. I wanted to pull this pregnancy through. After the initial glitch of spotting, things seemed to go smooth. After the 12th week, the doctor decided to put in a cervical stitch (precautionary - just in case). Then the doctor assured me that I need not worry and everything seemed to be going fine. It seemed so till the 23rd week. I went for an anomaly scan and then my Internal OS measured 0.7 mm. The same day two years earlier, I was in the hospital with the same cervix measure. I felt the whole world came crashing on me. Was I paranoid?? Don’t ask me. I lost all hopes. I was not sure I would make it. The doctor said he would be placing another cervical stitch. I cried my heart out, when I went into the minor OT this time. My doctor did not know how to console me. (I later heard from the nurse that he sat in the OT for 5 minutes, with his hand on his head) He was also emotionally moved by all my crying episodes. I had cried for a whole day, from the time I came into the hospital till the next day I was forced to sleep under anesthesia. The risk of this surgical process was while putting the cervical stitch in, the needle could break my water bag and I would deliver on the table. I did not know how I would be out of the OT? Luckily, everything went well. I stayed in the hospital for 10 days and the doctor asked me to go. I was scared and did not feel like going home without the baby. I stayed in the hospital for 3 and a half months after that stitch and came home with the baby. Yes, I did that, believe me.
Everyday posed a new challenge. If one day it was about the baby's weight, one day it was about going to the bathroom and one day I would assume the gastric pains as labor pains and panic. I don’t know how I passed that phase. I just stay put in the hospital. I was only allowed to go to the bathroom for 10 minutes. I was on a laxative, so that I don’t put any pressure on my abdomen. Every day, going to the bathroom, used to be dreadful. I was scared where I would put pressure and where the baby would move down. By the feel of my abdomen, my doctor had told me the head was in the downward position. So that posed more threat, as it would put more pressure on the cervix, as the baby weight increased. Days passed slowly and I grew friendly with all those nurses. They were suggesting me a thousand things to increase the baby weight. One nurse asked me to soak almonds in water overnight, remove the peel and eat it the next day morning. They said that would increase the baby weight. I followed that for baby weight was extremely important in my case. Since I was under the constant threat of premature delivery, an early born baby with a good weight would definitely mean a higher survival chance.
One "ayya" (a caretaker in the hospital) asked me to eat pomegranate every day saying the baby would be healthy and pink. This I did not do, as I didn’t want any constipation problems. I had read somewhere that pomegranate seeds would lead to constipation. So I completely avoided it. Another lady asked me put saffron in milk and drink it every night. I asked the doctor and she said there is no evidence of saffron of either harming or benefiting in any way. So it was completely my choice. I had it just in case it helps my baby grow fair. A nurse asked me to drink 1.5 litres’ of milk every day. She said that calcium would aid in building the bones of the baby. I could not make 1.5 litres’, but I did drink a lot of milk. I stayed in a sharing room and I met many people there. Many people gave me many suggestions and some I followed and some I could not. I met some old uncle, with whom I had elaborate discussions about Mahabharata and Life and Death and Karma. I still remember how interesting those conversations used to be. People came and went, but I never left that room. I had become a talk in the hospital. I read a lot of books and listened to a lot of music. I believed that would make a positive impact on the baby.
30th week arrived and they gave me steroids. This was for the babies lungs to develop, to help in case of an early delivery. When I reached the 32th week, my doctor for the first time smiled at me (after having got admitted there) and he patted me on my shoulder. He said, we had pulled through and the risk was becoming lesser with every progressive day. We had crossed the danger period. He asked me if I want to go home. I refused and stayed back. My mother and my husband stood by me through this tough phase. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. I did not have a normal pregnancy; it was a phenomenal roller coaster ride. I have cried, laughed, have thrown tantrums, have been rude, have been mad and what not, but I survived it. I was blessed to go through this kind of an experience. It made me strong and more humane. It was tough, I admit, but the fruit of it was special. It was lovely. I was blessed with a beautiful baby girl on September 20th, 2009. She is fair (don’t know if that was due to saffron), she is interested in music and books (don’t know if that was due to me reading so much during pregnancy) and she is completely adorable. What worked for my pregnancy was staying positive and having the faith that I will pull through every single day and ofcourse the prayers and blessings of all my well wishers. She turned 2 years now and I tell you, if not for this contest, I would not have recalled those tough times.
I am thankful to this contest (Passport To A Healthy Pregnancy). It made me recollect an important phase of my life, which makes me grateful to some important people in my life and to the almighty GOD.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Guilt Pangs of a Working Mother

Today morning was slightly a different morning for me. My husband went early to work as he had some teleconference with his client this morning. I was getting ready and my princess was still asleep. While I was doing my household chores, she got up. She usually calls me from where she is sleeping, while I am busy running like mad, cooking, packing and cleaning. Today was no different; she called me "amma". I dropped whatever I was doing, went to see her, wished her a good morning, pulled her out of the bed, gave her a hug and took her to show her GOD (That is the first thing we do, every day morning. A general practice taught early in life). After all the "Namaste’s" and brushing, I gave her, her morning dose of energy drink, a glass a Junior Horlicks. She drank it peacefully.
I am trying to potty train her. So, I asked to her finish her morning due. She refused. I forced her, but she was not in a mood to go. Then she went to lie down on the small carpet in our living room. While I was busy decorating the GOD's photos with flowers in the puja room, she pee'ed on the carpet and started calling me, informing me of the same thing. I got pretty upset that despite asking her to go, she refused and now she had it done all on the carpet. I scolded her (I feel sorry for it now, no I am not joking). I asked her, how many times I had told her to use the bathroom and she did not and how she was a bad girl (now I am guilty for what I did.. :( ). I was getting late to work and that frustration was getting dumped on the little child. I hate myself for that act, I seriously do. I could see it that she was visibly upset. She picked up her chintu (her favorite doll) and went into the bedroom and stood there quietly. She picked up zandu balm and opened it and took a little in her fingers. I luckily saw that and scolded her yet again, to not touch it again. I came out after snatching the zandu balm from her. It was my mistake to have left it there the previous night. But she had to get those scolding’s for the curiosity she had. She was looking at me like what is wrong with you, early in the morning mom? Why are you yelling at me, for everything I do? Now I feel so bad and guilty for having scolded her, as I sit here far away from her and type on this screen.
I gave her a bath and let her watch Oswald on TV, while I was busy finishing the last bits and pieces to get to work. She quietly sat and watched and when I was all done, I went to the room to get my dupatta. As soon as I emerged out with it, she got down from the bean bag and pulled out her slippers and started wearing it. She knew I am supposed to leave to work and she had to go to her day care. I felt so much pained and guilty that I had to leave her and go to office. I was also feeling guilty of having scolded her. Without my knowledge, tears started rolling out of my eyes. I did not want to leave her in day care, but I have no much choice. Or rather, I am afraid to quit my job and sit at home. I am not sure of it at least now. I can’t make that choice. I don’t want to justify me working but I sometimes feel why am I in a situation where I have to choose between two things I like most? I like to work, I love my daughter. But why can’t they co-exist? Why should I compromise on one, to get one?? I have no answer. I am sure many working mothers don’t have an answer.
She saw me crying and she came up to me and gave me a hug. She asked me not to cry. I picked her; she tried to wipe a drop of tear (it was stuck to my eye, not sure of whether it had to roll down in front of her or not) putting her little finger into the space between my spectacles and my eyes. I told her I won’t cry and picked her, kissed her and tried moving on with my life, our lives.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Second attempt at the First timer series

Few months back, I had promised to do a first timer series. This is the second attempt. In case you have not read the earlier one, here you go.
Now for the second one.
She hated seeing his face. She turned away from him and walked towards her classroom. They had contested for the College president post. She had lost and the prince charming that he was, he just swept the crowd with his looks and his sweet words. They had campaigned hard. She had a decent fan following in the college. But he had outsmarted her in the elections. She was walking through the corridor and was fretting, seeing the congratulatory posters all over the walls with his name written all over the place. It was like the congratulatory posters were making fun of her. It was like the Prince Charming was making fun of her. She bowed down and walked quickly towards the class room.
This was the final year at college. They only had some projects to be completed and then they had to start looking for a job. So, she decided to put these elections behind and start preparing for the job interviews. She thought it was good to have lost the elections. With the post come responsibilities, with it goes a lot of time. And this was God’s way of asking her to prepare for the future. She wanted to start focusing on preparing for her career. Had she won the Presidential post, she would have to take responsibility of bringing up the issues the students face with the Trust that run the college and follow it up and see to it that the issues are addressed. She had to arrange the inter-collegiate events in her college, follow up the events occurring in other colleges, take students there, and make sure they win in the events and so many things. As she thought about all this, she let out a sigh of relief. She did not have to do any of it, though deep down she would have loved to. She consoled herself telling now all this headache was his. She would be the vice president anyway. But she decided not to do much and let him handle it all. She further thought she would resign from that post. He would have no time to plan his career, while she could do all that was good for her future.
Two days passed quietly. It was like the silence after the storm at college. She had the practice of looking up at the notice board before she entered her classroom. When walking into the college a Friday morning, there was an announcement of celebrations on the notice board. It read “Welcoming the New College President”. She felt all that anger for the new college president rushing up again. He had not harmed her in anyway. The only fact that she lost to him, hurt her like crazy. She did not know why she developed such a dislike for him while the entire college adored him. The elections proved it. She knew she was wrong, but she could not help her negative emotions towards him.
He had been a dynamic student in the class. He sat somewhere behind and had been an active participant in all the college day events. He had won several events in inter-collegiate programs and contributed to the many feathers in the cap, her college possessed. He had also been the founder of the “Jagruthi” group in his college. They started it to help the needy and he would go around collecting funds, organizing blood camps, donating clothes and Braille sheets to the blind and so many such activities. Despite all this, he managed to score fairly well in the exams. She had admired him before the elections. She always wondered from where he mustered up all that energy? But the elections had changed it all. She despised the amount of ego she had. She felt so cheap about her attitude towards him but she could hardly help it either.
Finally the day of the celebrations had come. Big banners, colorful papers, buntings and decorations sprung the otherwise dull college walls to a celebrative mood. She wanted to bunk attending the function, but later decided against it, since it would be pretty obvious that she was jealous. There was an inauguration song, followed by funny skits, some famous dance numbers. Lastly came the speech from the “new president”. She did not want to hear it, but she stood no choice.
He looked magnificent in his blazers. She had to admit he was handsome. He walked up to the dais and smiled at her. She smiled back hesitantly. He spoke in elaborate about what changes he wants to do to the student unions. He explained the new proposals he had in mind, which he had already shared with the principal of the college and the trust. All the students listened to him with utmost attentiveness. There was pin drop silence in the auditorium when he stopped talking. Then slowly the auditorium roared with the applause from the students. She was dumbstruck with the vision he had for the college. She had to admit, he deserved to be the President and even had she won, she would have done the mundane things a president would do. But he was going to be a great leader. His proposals about inter collegiate events, “Jagruthi”, the involvement of other students in all this, labs in the college, library, canteen, everything was so impressive.
When the applause died down, he spoke again. He said let us extend the welcome to the vice president as well. He asked her to come on to the stage. He spoke so highly of her. He said she was so diligent and hard working and they together would make a lot of difference to the college. He said she was always his secret inspiration for many things. He also went ahead and said he was her fan and her secret admirer. She could not believe what she had heard and she smiled sheepishly for the hard feelings she had for him. Finally she was swept off her feet when she heard this from him. He said he felt she deserved to be the president more than he did and he had voted for her in the secret ballot. She hung her head in shame. She did not know how to react. With all cheers, the speech ended. She managed to speak a little as the Vice president.
After a lot of applause from the students, they both stepped down from the dais and walked behind the stage. He said thank you for sharing the stage with him. He said he always wanted to tell her things he did in the stage, but somehow never got the right moment. He was glad he finally did what he did today. She could barely speak. She managed a few “ugghs” and “hmms” with a smile. Then finally he pulled up a colorful cover and said he had jotted down all his feelings for her in this letter. He also asked her to read it and not let it affect their friendship in case she did not feel the way he did. He said they could still be good friends. Before she realized what was happening with her, she was holding the letter in her hand. He wished her good bye and started walking away from her. She turned her back and started walking in the opposite direction with the cover still in her hand. Was this all a dream?? What was she holding in her hand? Had the ice cream started melting? She walked with a thousand thoughts and her first ever “Love Letter”.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

A sincere prayer from the depth of my heart .....

We dont tend to think about many things until we are forced to do so. The situation I am in today is forcing me to think about the many aspects that are associated with our lives. Earlier, when I used to see a widow, I never felt anything abnormal or strange about them. I have never felt things I feel today. Words are short of expressing what I feel about them today.

Mom is a widow now. I feel so disgusted to use that word for mom, but I am left with no option. My dad passed away on August 4th, 2011. That day mom lost the man of her life. Since I am the only daughter, she kind of lost her home (we stayed in a rented house and she did not need it anymore), she lost her family (Only dad and She were a family, I am long married off). I did not know losing a partner would bring in such great changes in her life.

She had always been a simple woman. She never wore anything extravagant but she dressed neatly. She is very good looking but she never did anything extra to enhance it. She hardly wore flowers in her hair. All thanks to the ever lasting migraine attacks of hers. After dad passed away, she stopped wearing even those little flowers she seldom wore in her hair. I forgot to mention she had very long and thick hair. For her age, she still has good hair. I always have asked her to style her hair and wear flowers, but now I understand its never to happen again.

When I go to temple, it has always been a practice to bring home vermillion and flowers and give it to mom. But recently, when I was in the temple with her, I just noticed her not taking vermillion. It was a general practice to put vermilion in the parting of her forehead. But this time, I saw her pick up only viboothi. For a moment I did not understand why she behaved in the strange way she did. Within a flash of a second my dad thoughts came pouring back. He was no more. Mom was not the old mom I had always known.

In all the marriages and other festivals at home, she was the main organiser. She used to do everything, running around everywhere. Although she was shy of the crowd, she was doing everything in the background with great enthusiasm. Everybody talked about Malliga (my mom). She used to look so beautiful in her pattu sari and that bindi and vermillion. Now, she hesitates to come out of the house when a function is going on. One day I suddenly saw her briskly walk into the kitchen of the house. I did not knw why she was doing that? When I asked her, she said she had seen my neighbour uncle stepping out of the house and they were going to see a bride for his son. She did not want them to face her. I know most of you who read this would definitely feel, which century am I talking about? But these are the thoughts instilled in her. And she is silently putting herself through this. In a way even the society is responsible for whatever she is doing.

So many small things about her are so tough to digest. I am so used to seeing her the way I used to and now I am struggling to see her the way she is. Its just not tough, its really really tough. Even small festivals used to bring in so much energy in her. Now she has nobody to cook those dishes for. I cant promise to be with her during all the festivals. Sticking to the old school of thought, she is scared to come and stay with her son-in-law. She is afraid, she might have to hear something from the so-called society. I wonder what would be running in her mind now, when she thinks of all this. I can only pray, GOD give her the strength and GOD give me the strength to see this and endure it. GOD, please set things right for us.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A welcoming doorway

A Welcoming doorwary at home. May lord Ganesha always bless you and clear all the obstacles to make your life smooth.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Please Excuse Me

It hurts as I write this. I feel some part of me has been torn out of me for ever. Can I ever be normal again? I wonder. I think. I am not sure. I dont have an answer for it. I try so hard to conceal my tears and hold them back to where they do not belong. It feels like there is a lump of pain stuck in my throat. I cant swallow it, no matter how much water I drink. I cant bring it out, no matter how hard I try. It would have been so good if life had not done this to me. I feel life is not fair, but I am not sure if its fair to complain? I am not sure, when I am going to be myself again. When I will feel I can put this behind and move on.

Its been 40 + days. He is not been around. He has left this place once and forever. His memories haunt me. The small things he has done for me, come back to my mind. The way he used to sit, talk and walk, everything runs as a motion picture in front of my eyes. The days I have upset him comes lashing back to tease me. When I see my daughter piggyback on my husband, I remember and miss those days I was being carried around like that. He has carried me around that way even when I was in my 10th standard. I used to sleep on his lap while we watched movies and I used to comment and he used to smile and nod. Often they were due to silly remarks from me. We both had decided to buy a diamond crown for the richest lord Venkateshwara. I never thought it was impossible when I told that. The thought of his smile and little jokes now brings tears in my eyes. He was a man of temper, I feared him the most. I have been angry and upset with him many a days. But, now there is no reason for any of it. For he has left me, to never be angry with him ever again. There are so many unfulfilled dreams. There were so many moments yet to be lived with him. Now, its impossible. I wish to turn back a few years of life and change it all. But, I know that is not possible.

I remember the days when he was very sick. When once in the last days, he hugged me and said he is not able to bear it any more, I cant explain what I have been through. Strange is this life. Weird is this situation what I am going through. Not many can relate to this pain too. I feel the world is very cruel sometimes, but is this God's way of bringing us back to normal? I am not sure. Do I miss him?? How should I answer this question? I am not sure. I dont have anybody whom I can run to as Dad. I have lost him forever. I miss Dad. I miss him badly.

P.S: I had promised I would not write anything negative in my blog. But this post goes against it. Please excuse me for that.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Just love ......

Off late I dont know why, I am ending up hearing about things related to Divorce, Ending a marriage, Married Unhappily every after and things of the kind. Some thoughts are crossing my mind and here it is for all the readers of this space to contemplate.

  • We cant divorce, that is basically terminate any relationships other than a husband/wife one. Yes, we can do it with friends. But relationships I meant, like father, mother, brother, sister etc.
  • When we can adjust with so many people in this world, why is it so hard to adjust with a spouse?
  • When we were able to love the same person some time back, how hard is it to try to love them again?
Its disturbing to see some people fall out of love. Life is beautiful, try to love each other and dont talk about ending relations with somebody you longed to live with. I am nobody to tell this, but please try to love your spouse.

You are married because there were days when you felt you could not do without each other. You are married because you wanted to. You are married because you were in love so much. Remember those times when you wanted to be with each other. Try to revive those special moments for which you are together. Focus on the things that you are married for, instead of focussing on why you cant see each other any more.

Just love ...

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

A tale of him and her

They built their nest of love with care and affection. It was that time of the year, when they wanted to have babies. He asked her to rest and wait till he builds the nest for her. But she didn’t like being idle. He collected small twigs from the trees while she also collected sticks from the broom sticks kept in front of the house and a few pieces of thread. He came to the branch that they had selected to make their home. Choosing the place for the nest had not been so easy. They had to ensure that the place was not exposed to strong winds or a downpour or harsh sunlight. They searched a lot, before they finally decided to rest on the branch of a peepal tree. It was quite high from the ground, so there would no risk from the children and safe beneath a small bunch of leaves. The nest would almost be hidden from bare eyes. They thought this place would be safe.
As they got the initial materials required to build their home, she started putting them together. She twined one twig into another, making a pattern. She intertwined them well, so that there would be no weak links anywhere. She rolled the pieces of thread around the twigs she felt, might give away. After the base of the nest was built, he got a few dried leaves. She laid them on the base, making soft flooring for the nest. He kept bringing in more twigs, longer ones this time and she kept weaving it round and round. After a while and after lots of hard work from the couple, a beautiful nest was ready. He still felt something was amiss. He searched around, if something else he found could help. He found some cotton discarded. He carried it to her. She spread it around the nest to make their home really cozy for the new ones to arrive. She slowly settled in it and he sat at the edge of the nest. She rested on his feathers, while he let a sigh of relief.
Soon, it was time for her to lay her eggs. He was beside her all the time. He knew it was a tough time for her and she would need him. He got her the leaf she had to eat for an easy delivery. It pained a lot. She did not want to cry. She quietly bore the pain and after much patience and perseverance, she delivered two healthy eggs.  He was proud of her and knew she had the strength to pull through. This was a tough phase, but the remaining days would be tougher. They had to safe guard the eggs from the predators. She sat in the position to give maximum warmth to her eggs. She sat there endlessly. It was like she was meditating or in some form of tapas. She sat there day and night. He would get her food. She would eat it from the same position. She did not disturb the position a wee bit, fearing she would hurt the growth of her babies. She could not wait to see them. In the evenings, they discussed how their babies would look. He wanted them to look like her. He said she was beautiful and he wanted his kids to be like the love of his life.
Soon, she felt it was time for her to move away from her eggs. After a few days, they saw their eggs hatch. Two cute looking kids had emerged. They thanked God endlessly. They were really proud to be parents. They had looked forward all their lives to be one. He went out in search of food and got varieties of healthy fruits and vegetables for them. He would feed them lovingly. He got some juicy fruits and bit into them and gave them only the pulp. He was extra protective about his wife and his babies.  They were a happy family.
One morning, the babies were happily chirping till their father left. Then they were desperate to fly with their father and started crying out loud. The mother consoled them to no avail. The father was just around the big peepal tree, when an eagle flew down making a screeching noise. There was a lot of cacophony. The eagle was trying to attack their nest. It was trying to pick the young baby and fly away. She pulled both the babies under her wings and cried out loud. Hearing the noise around the nest, he turned back to see what happened. He was thrown out of gear to see the eagle attacking the nest. He flew with all his might to knock the eagle with his beak. While the eagle was attacking his love, he flew hard and knocked the eagle with his beak. The eagle hardly moved. The eagle started attacking him fiercely. He did not give up. He knocked the eagle again with all his might. The eagle suffered a little by the mighty blow. But being the big bird that it was, it attacked again. When she saw him suffer, she also attacked the eagle with all her might. They both pounded on the eagle and hit it repeatedly to save their babies. The babies were watching the event with a shock and crying out loud. The otherwise quiet place was filled with a lot of commotion from the birds. After having struggled hard they managed to chase the eagle away. Their babies were safe, but for how long they did not know. The fight today had got in a lot of confidence in them. They knew they could protect their babies under all circumstances. Or at least they will try to fight against all odds, beating on their lives. With a sigh a relief, she pulled her babies, under her wing and he pulled her into his.
This write-up was an inspiration from a post here. A visual impression was created in my mind after reading the post and I tried to narrate it. But the post has a tragic ending. I didn’t want my hero and heroine to lose the fight, so I gave a twist to the ending. Hope all readers enjoy it. :)

Only if I were......

When I miss my love a lot,
I wonder why he is so far away,
I wish I could sneak up to him,
and kiss him on his cheek.

When my baby is playing,
She knows not what her obstacles are,
She trips and slips several times,
I wish I could hold her before she falls.

When somebody is rude with people,
I wish I could beat them up.
Teach them a lesson to behave,
And to never dare ill-treat others.

When I hear of mysteries,
I wish I could see them for real.
Explore things that were never found,
Unravel the truth for generations ahead.

I think about all this several times,
if only all this was possible.
It could all come true,
If only I had the power to be invisible.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Lord feels he is robbed!

OOPS!!! What I feared for generations has finally come true. They have uncovered the last few remains of Gold I had kept hidden. Now, it’s out for the media and public to see and for the politicians to misuse. I lived peacefully for about a century and a half. I was saving this fortune for my bad times. Oh, come on. Don’t ask me, what bad times I could possibly have. See, from last Saturday, they have not let me sleep a wink. People are constantly pounding at the underground chambers and there are so many people coming to the temple. Strangely even atheists are coming to see me. I should say they are coming to see my fortune. I don’t trust you humans any more. I have not seen any two-timers like humans. I hate myself for creating you people. It’s like a vicious circle in which I am trapped, after creating you humans.
Long long ago, I should say those were the best days of my life. There were some good kings, who really cared for me. They made temples for me. They adorned me with gold and beautiful gems, draped me in soft silk. They had my temple decorated. They ensured I was always attended to and pampered me a lot. My abode smelled so sweet. It was so peaceful. Every evening, there would be bhajans sung in my praise. I was so pleased that I saw to it that all are happy.
Off late, I have become someone whom people come to only to drop their petitions. They don’t care about my needs. People are more bothered about themselves. For example see my temple in Tirupathi. It has become a commercial business center. You humans tell you sacrifice your hair for me. What will I do with it tell me?? It’s just because I created you such that your hair will grow back you are ready to let go off it. If otherwise, would you still give away your hair?? Just don’t fake it anymore. I am not as innocent I used to be. I have learnt to handle you humans. How about my gold ornaments and belongings there? All you so called pious priests have replaced them with counterfeit ones long ago. No wonder you priests have such big bellies. All the sins lay hidden there. Wait till you meet me. I will ensure I give you a special treatment. After all you are all so special to me.
Thiruvanathapuram in my times or Trivandrum in recent times was my last ray of hope. See I had safeguarded so many chains, coins, all kinds of stuff hidden. I also had an artisan who did an 18 feet sculpture of me, with so much love. Now all is gone. I myself don’t know who is going to eat up all this money. Which Swiss or US bank this money will get deposited into?? Somebody will become rich in my name. Generations to come will be happy. But I am not happy. I am robbed. They have opened all the 5 vaults, only one vault remains. There is a snake embossing on it. The Supreme Court has stalled opening of the sixth vault. Wait till you open it. You have only seen gold so far. This is the Pandora’s vault (box). Wait till you humans unleash misfortune on yourself. Now every human is looking at the opportunity of usurping my fortune. Wait till you open the sixth vault. Then I will have my final laugh.
Disclaimer: This is just a fictional piece of what God feels about this Padmanabhaswamy Temple Episode. I did not intend to hurt anybody’s sentiments. Its just an attempt to make people smile.