Life after a 100 days of rebranding ; celebrating life : Day 1, the magic of extended families

So those of you care enough to follow my blog (thanks guys am indebted),must be wondering where I disappeared to…well have been too busy partying to write. The first was a family wedding, no there is no blood relation there but my mom cannot express just what the family means to her and to us by extension. It is three generations of love and concern. I looked pretty, ate and played the part of an elder sister, aunt to my nieces, danced a little, drank littler, smiled a whole lot, it was magic.The in between time was spent connecting with my aunt’s and cousins who were not a part of the wedding…and most beautifully my Babaji who is more special than anyone else. These parts of the visit lacked glamour but were even more magical than anything.

The wedding ended and some more partying started, this was at Jaypee Residency Manor, Mussoorie; one of the hotels that were an integral part of me, where every single thing had something of me…be it the signage, the brochure and the few of the old staff who were still working there, it was like a homecoming.

I went there with my brother, sister in law, the girls and my extended family from Bangalore.It was a relationship that spanned three generations and 17? years. I felt something like between a mother and an elder sister to these two wonderful kids I am so proud of, and their mom who is like a daughter to my parents (think dad’s favourite child) and like an elder sister to me (for the vacation, she played mom). It is so wonderful to see the way these relationships blossom. There is love, care, concern and an acceptance with who you are…Like my nieces I worry for the kids, yet am so happy to see them blossom and so ready to conquer the world…so proud of their achievements yet pray that may God hold their dreams with both hands like a cherished dream…and then it was so wonderful to talk with these immensely well read, well brought up kids. I got back the same, maybe more, but then who is counting, I am just celebrating the power of love, expressed and not expressed. And I see that shared in the generations to come, I see it between my nieces and my kiddies. Coming back home to mom and dad was as special. There are times in life when I wonder, what do I have and then I look at love all around…what more do I need.

Thank you every one of you, for all the love…love you back…Thank you mom n dad for such a beautiful gift, the family that could not have been without you, and the ability to love and be loved, which could not again have been without you!

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A 100 days to a new me : Day 13, blame it on mom!

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image link :http://www.examiner.com/article/is-dennis-the-menace-s-mom-taking-steroids

I am not taking blame for what happened, not this time… My day was lousy and  I can’t think of anyone else to blame. Well it’s all mom’s fault.. Why? Well it is…

She did not wake me up in the morning. No I did not ask her to, but she should not have assumed I needed to sleep in! Once I had woken up and was lazing still, should she not have asked me, what I was doing and why was I not being more productive?

I could not go for my walk! It was raining… and mom has the sofa guys making sofas in the exercise room! Fine, no one ever uses it! I understand the sofa is for my room but why can’t mom understand, these rooms are for rainy days!!

What’s worse! Mom and my sister-in-law went out the mall, and got yumlicious DONUTS..Well why mom? I asked, with my mouth more full than an over-stuffed cushion, “WHY did you get these?”

Seems it was my partner in crime, my elder niece’s cue to ask the same question from her mother as she licked the gooey chocolate off her fingers,  “Why did you get  THESE?” and the sugar sprinkled bundle of spice the younger one, “Mom, why did you get (ONLY) these (MUCH) ?

I think moms are like a well made sponge cake. Light and refreshing by themselves, they soak in any flavor you put in them, good or bad, and make it taste good. I don’t think I have ever felt like spitting out a sponge-based pastry made by even the most inept of bakers, it’s all the magic of the sponge. It has a wondrous virtue of toning down whatever the negative elements of the icing, or the soak and tends to play up the finer elements. It is the base of almost every traditional birthday and wedding cake and ever notice, how even the most sloppily dressed sponges are still endearing.

If ever the cake does not turn out right, it is almost always the base to blame, not the sticky icing that makes your teeth look like an ick spewing monster’s, not the teeth-breaking icing sugar roses… It’s always the sponge base! Analogously, if a child is ill mannered, bad at studies or plain lazy; it’s not the negligent teacher, never the tobacco spewing father…  it’s always the base, oops! I mean the mom.

So when you don’t know what is wrong with the world, just blame it on mom:

  • If only mom had made sure I eat breakfast, my day at office would have been better!
  • Why is mom always asking me about work?
  • The least mom could have done was ask how my day in office was?
  • Mom is always asking me, what should I cook?
  • Why does mom always cook the same boring stuff all the time?

Just send in the key words, and I shall tell you how your mom is solely responsible…  and don’t hold back… the topic could be anything from your bad hairstyle  to World War II ( She wasn’t born then? …don’t worry there is always a connection.)

I remember the day, when my younger niece was all of two and a half, she wiped her dirty greased stained hands on her mother’s trousers. On being reprimanded she says to her mom, “Why did you not say anything yesterday?”Well she is right! Shouldn’t her mom have noticed the first time she did it, why now?, when she had kind of gotten used to it!

Here is a story from this collection of ultra short stories, that I am working on (stories in a 100 words or less) that so fits this topic!

                                          Mother of a Break!

Anne was tired. Six years of being a mother of two, had exhausted her. She was a good mother but no-one seemed to remember she was more. She envied her sister, who had their mother, to help out with her three.

As the baby-sitter entertained the kids, Anne felt just a tinge of guilt. She shrugged is resolutely, she was a woman too with needs and wants. Determined, she stepped out with her bags…leaving her husband a note.

  “Dear, take care of the kids. I am heading out to stay with mom for the weekend.”  

***

Am reminded of this IIT, IIM guy, who someone was trying to fix me up with … (that would be an MIT,HBS equivalent for the non-Indian reader), who it turned had the mother complex on me. He blamed me if I did not call or if I did. He blamed me if my phone connection was not okay or if it was too clear and hurt his ears, he blamed me for whatsapping when I could have called or calling when I could have whatsapped… well lucky for me, I wasn’t his mother and I decided it was a no-go after exactly four conversations. His mother, or for that matter mine…  is not so privileged.

Rebranding me today’s resolution : Tomorrow morning I wake up and give mom the biggest hug ever, for taking all the blame,all the time!Why does she do it? Why ask me? Ask her, after-all, she is to blame!;)

A 100 days to a new me: Day 11, the good and not so good of it all!

If you are reading this, this video is dedicated to you!

These ten days of ‘change’ have been more volatile than the census in an unstable market. My stock has risen with some, fallen with others and I am a write off. I have had the most surprising reactions to the blog and most of them positive.

I have had friends come up and tell me I am doing a great job, they have shown solidarity, they have told me anytime I need them they are there, they have told me they are reading me, encouraged me from the day I showed the intent. …I have spoken to friends, I hadn’t in the last so many years. I had a friend who I hadn’t seen since college, who suddenly pinged me the other day saying, let’s catch up. Another called up to say he just had told me in person, how special it was… dear friend(s)… so are you.

My biggest apprehension was my family’s reaction, ever notice how one keeps their most personal feelings from people who are the closest ? I was pleasantly surprised when my cousin from the US messaged me to say, she was proud of me; when one of my most special cousins told me that she was following me and the first day every morning she looked for my post, my SIL just smiled… 😉

My writer friend is now my confidante and I can never forget MM who pre-read my first post before Day 1 …and all he said was, “This is poetry in prose.” Thanks M, that response was poetry. I have another friend in UAE, who offers me the most stoic feedback on it …thanks for keeping me sane buddy JI asked several people about should I stop blogging on one of the ‘sadder’ days, and every single one said, “No.”

A heart-felt thank you, each one of you for going through my ups and downs, good-write and bad-write days. Thank you everyone who I don’t know  for reading me ‘cos it gives me strength, keeps me knowing, I am moving in the right direction. If I touch even one chord a day, we are ok…

I also feel distanced by a lot of people. Oh yes! For some, I am suddenly a spotlessly clean glass door; the kind you look through and don’t know how to react when you actually bump into it. I am okay with that. I think the process is also about testing relationships, about separating the grain from the chaff.

As for the non-readers I am cool, if you were a silly, fat, middle-aged woman just cribbing about this and that; am not sure if I would read you either 😉

Day 11 is a day of forced sunshine. I wake up early, rather am woken up by my angel who insists I drop her to school; her parents are travelling. These forced moments of delayed labor pains are such a joy; thank you God for letting me be a part time mother.

I come back, get a little bit of work done and it’s time to fetch  my spicy angel. A piece of advice; never go pick up a toddler from anywhere in 4-inch heels. You never know, when they might decide to let go of your grip, for a game which is a combination of hide and seek  and catch me if  you can,  friends in tow …on a dirt hill!

After much  cajoling and some threatening (through which the other mothers give me dirty looks!), I get her and her doll – toys are not allowed in school! – to the car and off to her sister’s school! We reach forty minutes early, so I buy myself a pen and a pad. I also decide to take Miss Spicy to the local market, so that I can buy her something to stave off hunger. I buy her favorite yogurt based drink, only to be told that the  ‘only’ thing  she likes in the world is Kinder Joy. Sorry darling but you shall have to make do without your ‘only’ like; at least till you have had lunch. Given the circumstances, her loyalties are back with the ’favorite’ drink in a jiffy. Talk of making the best of life! Sweet comes complaining of a headache, she hates the drink. Suddenly Spicy is sleepy, so with one in my lap and a hand over the other, I get back home. (I have a driver thankfully!)

Home is a session of studies  and headache management. As, I decide to step out for my walk, it starts to rain. I compensate by a few sets of jumping jacks and running a few laps around the dining table. The Spicy brat decides to emulate! After dinner,  blog and cutting a  frivolous connection out of my life…read meaningless, selfish and eating into my emotional energy (pls refer to post on empathy, in case I’ve lost you), I feel drained.

All of a sudden, I feel my emotional energy flowing out at a never before rate, sensitivity is heightened. The last words I scribble on my pad are, “ I know I have hurt someone and I sense it. I sincerely apologize, please forgive me.” I am emping and I am completely sorry that someone is feeling as bad as I am …and I don’t know who it is! If you are reading this, I feel with you …I hope you feel better and if there is anything at all I can do to lessen the pain, just say the word.

I suddenly blame it all on the blog. Am I saying too much? Am I paying a price by writing? I shoot off an email to MM asking the same things; using him as a sounding board… he seems to be becoming, indispensable to this blog :-).

I feel exposed, depressed, engulfed as I sit down, unable to pray. Just sit motionless, staring at the ceiling, until sleep comes and claims me at 2am…