Thursday, September 26, 2013

Diplomat at home

Its been ages since I wrote a post on the naughty little brat I have at home a.k.a my son, just a few months away from his fifth birthday now.

I quit my job last year and have been a full time SAHM (Stay at home mom) for some time now. I think I have now developed an intuition for those moments when his quests for worldly knowledge, his inquisitiveness and his creativity make him do things that would make me go "Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!! Oh My Gooooooooddddddd" with a lot of huffing-puffing anger directed towards our common creator in the heavens above.

Like when he opens the fridge and mixes the juice in the water bottles ; or tip toes to the bathroom, fills the basin and empties the hand soap in it in an attempt to bathe his plastic lion and tiger; or silently creeps to my dresser, takes my kohl and nail polishes out and does some art work on the wood.

My intuition is actually facilitated by those moments of absolute silence and quiet like a calm before the storm when he is really engrossed in some activity like the above. (He is oblivious to the big wide world around when concentrating, a trait supposed to have transferred from my genes.)

With my intuitive sensors sending out blaring alarms I would get up and go looking for him with a 'V , What are you doing?'

He would come dashing out, then slow down his pace and nonchalantly walk past me with his hands at his back, like going out on a stroll. Sporting the cutest of his smiles he would say 'Nothing!' with an air of reassurance. From past experiences I am perfectly aware that it's synonymous to 'Something is really wrong!'.

I would step forward to go to where he came from and he would put both hands on mine, stop me and say "Amma, dont go there. You stay here" and point to the sofa. That translates to 'Something is definitely really really REALLY wrong.'

I would pray to the Gods for the damages to be within my resilient boundaries and also for oodles of patience. Once I find out what he has done I would go on with my usual. 'I told you that you should not do this. Amma is really angry V' blah blah blah.

He would run off to his room and try to do something for a few minutes after which he would slowly approach me. He would sense that I am still upset and come near me and ask "Amma , are you happy?". My look would remain stern and then he would edge closer to my face and ask again "Amma, are you HAPPY?" with a lot of stress on the last word.

He would whip up an expression hosting the entire innocence existing on the planet and say  'I am sorry Amma. I can't do that.' After two seconds he would ask again 'Are you happy?'

Mind you , he knows the perfect tone to use; the right mix of childish innocence and sympathy.

Then he would hold the ends of his lips with his fingers, pull them upwards to imitate a happy smiley and say "Amma, be like this!"

As a final measure he would fling his arms around me, give me a peck on my cheek and say "I love you too Amma." . Now, after a high dose of a super effective drug like that, how could I not smile and ruffle his hair. "Dont do that again, ok?" and he would nod vigorously like its an oath for life. But both of us know that storms and the calm before that don't come only once.  "Are you happy?" he would ask again just to double check that peace has been restored!

I have a diplomat at home!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Falling in love - A social taboo?

I recently saw a talk show on TV between some couples who had eloped and married on one side and their parents on the other.

One such parent, a teacher, mentioned that to vent their anger against their daughter, she along with her husband had burnt all her educational certificates from LKG till degree. The girl in question happens to be a BTech graduate. The mother said this with absolutely no remorse as if it was a totally justified act. She also said that they had totally cut off all relations with their daughter.

There are two things that are really hard hitting here.

One - There are still a lot of communities in India where parents cannot accept their wards choosing their life partners on their own accord. This woman said that she had faced extreme humiliations in her neighbourhood and relative circles when her daughter ran away with the man of her choice. There are families where the youngsters do not discuss such matters openly with their parents and are not given the liberty to do so. Even if they did, they would be chastised for tarnishing the family name. No opportunity would be given to make their point. Immediate steps would be taken to somehow find an alternative bride or groom within their community and marry them off. Parental egos and so called social image would hold high and the young couple would be forced to take measures like eloping and marrying. Of course, movies, media etc. do misguide the youth and in some cases the decision they take is a little rash and immature without any proper attempts to convince their not-so-conservative parents. On one side we have places where even live-in relationships are accepted with dignity. On the other side we still have places and communities like these where 'falling in love' is like a crime or an antisocial act. There is definitely a small percent of cases where men with no moral intentions lure girls in the name of love and then exploit them and leave them stranded. Without taking these into consideration, some communities have a long way to go to stop treating unarranged relationships as a taboo.

Two - This lady was a teacher. This is the quality of teachers that teach in our schools. Teachers impart 50% academic knowledge and 50% life and social skills. What kind of social lessons or life lessons would such a person impart to the kids? Who gives her the right to destroy her daughter's future in the name of anger or revenge? What kind of example would she set to her students and how narrow-mindedly would she view the camaraderie between her own students if they belong to the opposite sexes?

Somehow the latter point above troubles me more.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Happy Senses - 3

Any more absence from me and people might conclude that I have actually lost one of the senses about whom I have been blabbering away in this series.

You can see the first two at Happy Senses -1 and Happy Senses - 2


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

After a long and arduous journey, the first sight of food would fill one with a kind of bliss. Be it a simple roti dal at a roadside dhaba, idly chutney sold on a cart or a table laden with an array of home cooked items.Food that reaches and satisfies one at the hungriest of hours is the tastiest on earth. 

A cup of coffee my husband makes after forcing me to sit and take a break from the household work, the single grape my son pops into my mouth, the bowl of curd rice my father used to bring to my room during the uncomfortable days of my pregnancy, every meal my mom prepares with gusto each time I visit her - When love gets mixed, food always becomes delicious.

The cup of steaming tea on the highest points of Ooty or Kodaikanal, hot crispy molagai bajjis(chilli pakoras) on a rainy evening, A lick of that icecream or a bite of that watermelon slice after being out in the scorching sun - Weather and surroundings have a huge impact on the taste buds.

I have always been a foodie, a vegetarian one though. Food is something man has been experimenting with, since time immemorial and we have a million varieties under the sun . In todays globalized world we need a lifetime to try out all thats available - Indian, Italian, Lebanese, American, Mexican, Thai, African, Japanese, Chinese - Sweet, Spicy, Hot, Sour, Hot, Cold, Bitter!. Being healthy, eating it right is definitely good. But every now and then, one does need to indulge, immerse and relish. After all we live to eat don't we? Once in a while say good bye to that no-carb, no-fat diet and pop some pani puris in. Your system deserves it.

Image courtesy of twobee /

At a function or in general, whenever an elder touches me on my head to wish me good and bless me, it gives me a feeling of being loved , cared for and protected.

A hug, a pat, a tap, a hold, a kiss any expression of affection is amazing. That's why perhaps the emotion is called being touched.

In our marriages we have a practice where the bride has to hold her fingers like a closed lotus and the groom would be asked to hold it and not let go till all rituals are over. Its a lovely symbolic representation of the life long promise to love, share,care and safe guard.

At the end of an exhausted day, sitting next to a loved one and dozing off leaning on their shoulder - one of the simple nice things in life.

The most cherished touch I have had is something my unfortunate male friends will never get to experience. Every time I felt the baby in my womb move or kick . I don't even know if it can be classified as touch but its an extraordinary and a beautiful feeling indeed.

Our touch can make a huge difference in so many lives. A simple pat on the head to a boy acting as a waiter at the small restaurant, holding a blind person while helping her get aboard a bud, helping an injured sick relative to move lending him a shoulder support, handing out books to some poor kids- These are very mediocre examples that came popping in my head. A touch can go a very long way in adding a new meaning to people's lives.  The first and strongest expression of love and affection is nothing but a simple touch.