Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mommy Diaries - 8



Dear Mahati,

Today let’s talk about beauty. It is such a complicated concept you know. But still, I want you to try and understand what actual beauty means. Beauty is not wearing a good dress, beauty is not wearing perfect shoes and beauty definitely doesn’t lie in wearing good necklaces and bangles. Beauty lies in respecting the other person, beauty lies in being sensitive to the other person’s feelings, beauty lies in helping people and trying to bring a smile on their faces. It is so tough to recognise this kind of beauty in a person but being beautiful means not being beautiful on the outside but being beautiful inside , having a kind heart and treating people for what they are worth – there is no reason why you shouldn’t consider another person’s feelings and disregard them. I want you to know that a person is beautiful when he does good things.
Outside beauty is so over-rated. I hate the attention they get and I am left wondering how they single-handedly captivate the other person’s attention just with the way they look. You can try it for yourself, these days social media is such an easy access. Try positing a beautifully written story and see how many likes it gets and try posting a well-dressed picture of yourself and see how many likes it gets. The post with your picture will definitely win. And with that you get the drift, you have absolutely no idea how the person behaves or what his or her personality is, yet the picture wins. Un fortunately that is how the world is.
The popular perception might win, but it doesn’t have to be right. Dare to be right and dare to be good. Always try to understand what a person actually is, how he talks, how he behaves , how he treats you especially. Compassion is becoming a rare thing. Irrespective of how he or she looks, observe how they treat a waiter at a restaurant. It’s says it all. Any fool will respect a person at a honourable position, but only a good-hearted person respects even a waiter at a restaurant and only a beautiful person inside-out will respect the watchman at your doorstep.
Invest in people who are good at heart and who are beautiful in character. Outside beauty always fade, remember that nothing in this world is permanent and among them your body is the first thing that never stays the way it is. One fine day when you are gone, people talk about what you did to make a difference in the world and not how you looked.

As your mother, I have to tell you these things you see. I have to jot them down somewhere, where you can see them even when I am gone.

Love you always!! :)


Monday, August 21, 2017

Gratitude Journals – 2


20th August 2017, Mushroom Park: One of the ever peaceful sights that I could capture. This is probably one of those pictures where the picture captured less than what I felt at that point of time. I am so grateful for this date and time in my life. Mahati and myself went to Mushroom Park to enjoy the sun and sand on a ridiculously cold afternoon. And just that morning, I bought her a small pocket diary at CNA which fascinated the kid so very much that it surprised me. She spent almost the whole day writing in that book. So here we are sitting under the sun, the both of us , lost in our own thoughts and the kid jotting them down in the book. The amount of peace and gratitude I felt at that moment is so hard to put into words. Mahati, so comfortable and in peace with herself, sitting in a quiet corner completely lost in her own world. And I desperately drinking in the sight like a traveller at an Oasis. God bless us with more of these days.

Killarney Mall in the morning at Europa :

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mommy Diaries - 7 ( Picture Post )

2 Days late at posting this. Independence Day 15th August 2017.




The Indian Daughter-In-law


In India we have this patriarchal system in our culture where after marriage a woman needs to now move into or belong to the Husband’s family. She is a “Paraya Dhan” which means that she is somebody else’s asset from the beginning.  Let’s look at it from different angles.

Probably around 70 years ago :
Young girls were married off at the very young age of 10 or 12 years old , sometimes after the girl attains puberty and sometimes even before the girl attains puberty. So at a very young age her perspective is set, she now knows that she has married somebody and belongs to that family and settles down as a part of that family at a very young age when she is probably not even a teenager. Of course the patriarchy exists , of course the husband is god exists and of course the in-laws are everything exists and the mom-inlaw remains in charge exists. But the good point to be noted is that the daughter-in-law is exposed to them at a very young age and it definitely makes it easier for her to adjust to the new ways of life. Everybody comfortable ultimately.

Now moving on to my mom’s generation ( around 60s and 70s ) :
Woman were married off at probably 20 or 22/23 years. They spend their entire childhood with their actual family and now all of a sudden, they are asked to leave the actual family and settle down with the husband’s family. Such a big change. Even here, the patriarchy exists , of course the husband is god exists and of course the in-laws are everything exists and the mom-in-law still remains in charge. But the point to note is that girls are probably mentally conditioned to be less than the boys and are always raised keeping in mind the fact that they will get married one day and will have to listen to their husbands. And the point to also be noted is that woman used to struggle with the change of suddenly belonging to the in-laws family and ultimately submit to the in-laws and the husband’s needs whether happily or by force. Women silently struggled in this generation and some of them only found freedom after the death of their in-laws or husband. In-laws happy, Husband happy but the daughter-in-law probably not. But everything looks okay, ultimately.

Now let’s move on to my generation, probably the late 80 and 90’s.
The first change is that girls and boys, both are sent to study and they are treated equally in childhood ( well in most cases. I am not denying the fact that gender discrimination exists even in this generation from the parents ). The girls believe that they are no less than the boys and they study equally along side the boys and somehow realize that there is actually no difference between them and boys are not greater than them. Girls study, sometimes go abroad for higher education and get a job and sometimes support their parents. The sense of independence is so much and the parents are proud of them. And then starts the whole drama of looking for a bridegroom. Even here the patriarchy exists, of course the husband is superior exists ( at least in the social sense if not the attitude from the poor husband ) and now all of a sudden in-laws are everything after marriage exists. Sometimes the actual parents want you to believe that you no longer belong to them and now bear the name of your husband’s family. And in the husband’s family , the mom-in-law still wants to remain in charge. But the poor daughter-in-law, who in her entire life up until then believed that boys are equal to girls gets it hard on the face that ultimately it is she who has to leave her family. And now it is ultimately she who has to adjust to the in-law’s family and it is ultimately she who has to silently adjust.

Who do you think in the above three scenarios suffers the most? I am not undermining any woman’s situation or suffering but the girls who are made to believe that they are no less than the boys all their child life are the people who suffer the most. Because the expectations that are set are different and what they see later in life are different. And also because now you have your own voice, you cannot silently suffer like the generation of my mom. Now-a-days girls are independent, they have jobs, they are not dependent for anything on either the parents or the husband. But still, when it comes to marriage and In-laws, the societal normal remain the same? Even in our so called nuclear families it is very much there. The only difference is that the poor husband would want to help in many cases because he too would have had the same education and he too would have grown up with the same girls in his childhood thinking that they are no different. But then later on, these boys who grow up to become responsible men are silenced by the family’s reputation and the societal norms.

You live your life with your parents and siblings up until 25 or even 30 and then suddenly marriage changes everything. I am a daughter-in-law and a sister-in-law and so I am speaking from both the sides, how on the earth are we suppose to belong to a new family now and become their own all of a sudden? You now bear the family name of your husband, you bear children who have their family name and your parents always take a back step because now you are married and they don’t own you any more. And you are left struggling to fit in………………………..sometimes your entire life !!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Gratitude Journals - 1



Last Saturday , we had to attend a birthday party of one of Mahati's friend from her old school. I was very excited and so was Mahati. But the husband did not want to miss his Tennis Class and so I decided to try and go alone. Boy, the best decision ever :-).

First of all , I am terrible with routes and don't remember them at all. If you take me on a certain route and even though I am concentrating and looking at the directions , if you ask me to come back on the same route , I will not be able to do it. Yes , you heard it right. probably something to do with my brain or probably my Achilles heel. I just cannot comprehend those rights and lefts and copy them. So for a person like me , typing out a location on GPS and actually following it and reaching the location can be one of the superb achievements ever. I achieved this last Saturday , I drove Mahati to the destination safely and successfully. Boy am I glad about this :-).

Secondly , and for a change , going alone was so much fun. I mean , really. Whenever I go with the husband , we generally tend to stay together and keep each other's company even though we venture out to greet others. And this time  because I was alone , I had to find my own company. Though I struggled initially to talk to someone , with Renate's help , I was deep in conversation with 3 others. The topics varied from our children and what schools to send them to ( co-education or girls/boys ) to extra murals , jobs , satisfaction in jobs , women being underpaid despite their capability , feminism , the wife earning more than the man and the implications and how to keep each other happy. You name it and we discussed about it. I almost went to the length of ignoring Mahati so much that I didn't even know when she left her jacket in my lap. Boy , did I enjoy it. And I ended up exchanging phone numbers. It was indeed very nice talking to them and getting to know their views. It was a healthy discussion.

Sometimes , I really wonder. We just have to leave our nest and look out and the opportunities and experiences are endless. I enjoyed the morning so much whereas just the previous day , I was sulking that the husband was not coming and leaving us alone. Why didn't I take these kind of leap-of-faiths before ?

Its like discovering yourself after so many years. You really don't know how much capability you possess unless you try it out first. This is so true with me. I am like the Aanjaneya who never really realises my true potential.

I am so glad that I learnt driving ( even though I drive an automatic now ). I am so glad that God gave us the money to have my own car. I am so glad that I have a proper working human body to go wherever I want ( I recently had a foot fracture and I only realized then how thankful we should be if each and every part in our body is in a working condition ). Thank you God for everything. Thank you for providing a roof on top of us and thank you for all these little things that I experience and that we are able to afford them. A BIG thank you. I feel so blessed.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Of Bunk Beds and prayers !!

Kiddo got her first proper furniture last Friday. We have been postponing buying her a bed of her own for several reasons and finally the day had to come. It was supposed to be delivered on Friday provided there was no rain in Joburg ( there have been surprise showers the whole of the week and it was quite unpredictable ). Taking this as an opportunity , we told her that the bed would arrive provided there was no rain and why don't she pray to God that it doesn't rain. So we find her folding her hands in front of the God and praying quietly that morning. And yes , God did listen to her, so here goes :-). The excitement was unlimited and the faith in God restored.

 


Monday, February 27, 2017

10 Years of Blogging !!!



Yes , 10 years it has been since I started blogging. I remember very well as how I started my blog. One of my friends had one and that's how I got inspiration to start one. I haven't blogged too often but then whenever I have blogged , I put  my heart and soul into it and that reflects when I read them now.It was my 10 years younger self and I can see the transformation within myself so clearly :-).

Thank you dear bloggie for being my friend for so long. I could reach out to so many unknown people because of this blog and Mahati's birth story and my post on PPD are the special ones.
I will not vouch like some of the people that I am going to blog everyday and then apologize when I don't do so. Blogging is not for others and mostly for keeping  myself happy. My mind will be my own guide.

This probably is the first post in 2017 and that is because I have had a rough start to the year. I had a small accident back in India and had a foot fracture. While I really enjoyed my stay there and met so many people after so long and felt so good , this one last glitch took away all the attention. I came back home through wheelchair and eventually on cast from then on. Never expected it. But then , our body is such an amazing thing no , we take it all for granted up until something happens and its taken away from us. Something as small as missing a single step had landed me with a foot fracture and mind you , I haven't been able to walk normally yet. Funny how everything falls apart when the routine gets broken.



Well , apart from that , Mahati started Grade R this year. Main stream school and one of the milestones for us.The transition has been pretty much smooth because of the fact that she and her best friend are in the same school. And with Mahati , I get reminded of the way she has aged and matured. She was so cooperative at the airport. Apparently , children are not allowed to be seated with the mother when the mother is on the wheelchair. And since I traveled alone this time , Mahati had to walk beside me all the time at Hyderbad airport , Dubai airport and then at Joburg airport. She didn't complain and she was so cooperative that I was really amused at her understanding levels. Proud of you ra kanna. My injury has affected her a bit emotionally. But I guess its good that she gets to know that parents cannot always be on their toes all the time and fully operational. I have to show you guys a picture she drew and it tugged at my heart , this one.



The above scene actually happened and Mahati drew it in her class sometime after that week. The one in red is me with a bandage on my leg resting on the bed. And the three people standing on the side are Mahati , her friend and Ravi. Ravi took them to the swimming pool which is to the farther right in blue colour while I rested at home. This actually happened and I am amazed how well Mahati could express it in drawing.

So , I end with this positive note. Life is not always fair. As they say , when life throws lemons at you , make lemonade out of it :-). And just keep swimming..... :-)
Hurray to the Blog Anniversary. Raising a toast to many more years to come :-).