Showing posts with label Motivation Cuppa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Motivation Cuppa. Show all posts

Sunday, 28 October 2018

My NEST is empty; I am not DEAD!

"Moms, don't miss the opportunity to make the most of your time with the little ones while they are still little. Cuddle them, squish them, smell the top of their heads, shower them with a hundred kisses! Let your clothes soak up their tears and let their grubby fingers ruin your hair as they fling their arms around you. Etch each moment in your memory because no pictures will ever do them justice.
Trust me, time flies. Soon, these days will seem like a distant dream and you will wish for them all over again!"

These lines have not been written by me.It's been pretty viral on Facebook and it made me think. Literally pause and think.

Undoubtedly, beautiful words, heartfelt emotions and just so TRUE.

Then what's the discomfort?
It's painful and unfortunately unavoidable. The nest one day will be empty.

Can you prepare for it? NO.
Can you ensure it doesn’t pain? NO.
What can you do? Make the best use of your time RIGHT NOW and know that every phase of LIFE (and not only MOTHERHOOD) brings itself two companions- a longing for the past and worry for the future.  Seeing our teenagers, we will yearn for our babies, seeing the adult we will miss our teenagers, once they get married, we will miss all the years they spent with us. WE ARE GOING TO MISS come what may. I have often heard my mother in law get nostalgic over the days when all her three teenage sons ensured her 24 hours were utilized well in cooking, cleaning, caring, how much she loved/hated it then and misses it now. J

Just the way we miss our school days and college days, as we progress through our age, these two companions steal from us the beauty of living in the present. The past keeps pulling you back to how good it was and the future towards fear and worry. 

It's difficult but that doesn’t change the truth. The nest will get empty no matter how many times you kiss your child right now. What you can warrant is that the nest is never empty of emotions. You can ensure that when you look at the nest you don’t feel regret about anything. The empty nest should give you satisfaction for all that you could manage to do, forgiveness for all that you couldn’t and peace by seeing the abundant emotions residing peacefully. 

Every phase of life has something to offer and something to take away. Try to accept with gratitude and let go in peace. When you look back you will smile at the thought of giving birth to a child and raising him to become his own person in this world. 

Let's come down to some business- Why does the world cease to exist when the child has flown? Why do we, as parents, feel the need to draw the curtains and not let sunshine in? A child is the source of life's chock-full joy and occupies not only the entire of the house, the home , but every artery, every vein, every nerve and every ticking second of life;so much so that there is no room for anything else. Herein we start the journey of subjecting ourselves to the suffering of empty nest syndrome. Didn't we also give the same dolor to our parents? Our priorities changed; the time we had for them at age 2 has shrunk considerable at 32. Why do we then find it so difficult to let our children go? You were not bringing them up to stay back. You would not like it either. Stagnation at any age or stage creates the same stench that a water does when stagnated and not allowed to flow. Try not to lean on your child for all your emotional needs. To do that is to become  a parasite.  Attachment is inevitable but dependence can be and should be managed. 

Most importantly, engage yourself in productive work that adds meaning to your life beyond your child. You can be gainfully employed or voluntarily working ; spending your time wisely and efficaciously will make you look beyond your motherhood and help you cope with your empty nest. When you fuse your identity around the 6 alphabets--------M-O-T-H-E-R, define yourself by activities of a mother, there is bound to be affliction. Not the best choice.

My mom had a way of dealing with her children- She ensured we did not take precedence over her husband- her life partner. Guess she knew we would leave the nest one day. She had left it too. Later, when it happened, she was in deep agony but both my parents chose not to suffer. They had each other. Nurture your bond, your relationship with your life partner. A child has come from the bond you share with your husband, he cannot be the reason for your relationship. You and him exist, love, thrive independently.
Another strong, parallel voice doing the rounds these days is- YOU ARE A COMPLETE AND WHOLE PERSON. There is no other half somewhere to be found and fitted in to make you complete and happy. While this does have a pragmatic, hard-boiled and reasonable amount of truth, I choose to go with my mum right now.

Easier said than done? YES
Do you have a better choice? 

Image courtesy-Pixabay

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Wife and Husband

So I was asked this question today by one of my readers who also happens to be one of my friends “Why did you change your name after marriage?  Nobody does this nowadays. Why should we women do this all the time? We are equal and not need to change our surnames or our identity. You went ahead and included his name and surname too.Phew!

I looked at her in bewilderment, because I had never thought of this and said rather meekly- " Our name together sounds really nice to me. It has a melody to it which makes me" That's all.

Sometimes it's really not about empowerment, equality, and identity. Beyond the frontiers of man vs woman, lies a sweet spot where I feel nice to be married to my husband, feel fortunate to have him in my life, cradle him to sleep when he is tired, serve him warm food because I know he likes it, dust his shoes when he is running late to work, try to keep his tea ready once he is back from work and stand by him at all times. I do it not because he asks me to, or commands or expects. I do, because I like to do it for him. He may not return in equal measure in the same proportion or in similar nature, but he does what he can with love, and commitment and I respect that. He doesn't fall off the cliff of manliness and respect when he washes the dirty plates in the sink  or changes diapers of our son, nor do I start floating  because I earn more than him.  

Sometimes... it's only love, care, companionship..whatever you call it.

शादी है, कोई प्रतोयोगिता नहीं जहाँ हार जीत, नफा नुक्सान का हिसाब किताब रखा जाये. दो कदम वह चल लें, चार हम, फिर कुछ कदम वह चल ले और हम थोड़ा आराम कर लें। 

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Driving, Driving in my car, going really far!!!

I love this speed. It gives me much better control of the car and life:)

Dearest non- driving moms,
Don’t fret over not knowing how to drive. Don’t let it hit your self -esteem and when the other mom asks you – “do you drive?”, don’t get sheepish and wrinkle up your nose with a malcontented smile. IT IS OKAY. DRIVING IS NOT THE KEY TO A HAPPY LIFE or a TESTAMENT TO ONE. I wonder if it even figures in the list. He!He!He!Guess, to some it may. To some, it may not -SO, NO JUDGMENTS.

I know driving. It's just that I prefer 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Special . Below that, it doesn't suit my taste. Yeah! it is 26.4 million $ and hence I have not been driving. You have no idea how misery strikes in life? Ha!Ha!Ha!

Jokes being said, back in Chicago, when I tried to merge onto a freeway, I had my first nervous breakdown and after that I swore to myself that I will drive into anyone’s home but not on a freeway.

Amongst the biggest fears of life, driving figures somewhere on the third place after cockroaches and messing up the Math’s question paper. The first fear I get to face once or twice a week STILL, the second fear has been buried well. It came true every time I confronted the Math’s exams until I crushed it under my love for humanities, changed my stream and cremated it with all the hatred nurtured since childhood. Yaay! The third one I faced when I landed here in the US and after few months dictated to my hubby with pride and prejudice- ‘I need to drive around.”
“Did you drive in India?” He raised his eyebrows quizzically, creasing his forehead with in trepidation as if I am going to bust my extramarital affair scandal. (I wish ;))
“Yes and No. Without dissecting this answer, can we please start the process?” I tried to avoid the prying eyes of my hubby.
Three months down the line and I was driving on the streets of Chicago, dropping the kid, picking up the kid, dropping the kid again and picking him up as I wondered whatever happened to the freeways, road trips, nirvana  drives etc. Right then the freeway fiasco happened.
A cardiac arrest followed few months later when I  stepped on the accelerator when I needed to use the brake. The third was the final icing and it sealed my antics behind the wheels completely. In a smart move to change lanes, I screwed up the blind spot trick so thoroughly, I was amazed at my own expertise of screwing up. I haven’t touched the driver’s seat of the car after that. Phewwww! It’s been a year and I am feeling fine. But, I need to do something about my fear.

On the spectrum of success, driving should rank at the upper end.  Indian girls are not raised to be ‘DRIVERS’- either cars or their own life. Please note when we talk of India, we do not only consider the liberated, evolved metropolitan cities. India has tier 1, tier 2, tier 3 cities in abundance which constitutes a major part of its population and it will take time to Amazone, Applefy, Facebook and Googlefy them. Also, we didn't grow up playing video games, or obsessing over trucks and Hot Wheels. The sensation of having hands on a steering wheel is a foreign notion to many of us.
I was an urbanite but wasn’t raised ‘to drive’ either. My older brother though learnt the scooter by 16 and car by 22 and I was ferried like a princess everywhere I went. Aah!  
My hubby didn’t bother to bring this up during our courtship. Men back in India don’t find this a deal breaker. Hahahah! I guess they should ;)
Driving came to me out of necessity. It was tough to learn. Learning to drive from your hubby is equivalent to printing a divorce paper. Yes! Driving lessons can disrupt the happiest of marriages. Numerous successful and unsuccessful lessons, I was on the verge of divorcing my instructor, when I finally learnt it.  It's many ways it was  liberating and let me tell you why?
Driving boosts confidence. It did for me.I cannot say more on this. Getting a license in your hand is like a big tequila shot, the hangover of which continues for days(unlike tequila) and then settles nicely making you feel wonderful from within. It brings an added dose of swag and elan in your dealings with your husband. You see what I mean.” Hey sweety, it’s okay , I will pick you up, no big deal!” I exclaimed to my hubby, picking up the car keys and walking out in style leaving the front door ajar and a gaping husband behind. Pheww! Panache apart, maneuvering the steering wheel on the road, reverse parking, merging lanes is a SKILL. No wonder, it pumps up your self-esteem big time. 

And the SENSE OF INDEPENDENCE that comes is phenomenal. You can get almost anywhere by yourself and not wait for ‘him’ to come and ferry the Cindrella in you. The flexibility it offers is immense in terms of moving around, networking with people, picking and dropping , doing household errands, occasional shopping sprees( if you have money ), meeting friends and a lot more.

During CRISIS/EMERGENCY situations in your life, you will be better quipped to respond and take care. One day in times of need, you will thank me and I might not be available…you see, I would be driving too.

You may choose to say – I am a stay- at-home -mum. We do groceries on weekend and I have a big circle of friends within my apt community.  You may also feel that public transport is working out well for you, why drive?Sure! suit yourself. No judgements here. But, if you feel the necessity and are procrastinating due to fear of any kind, take the first step. They are the hardest but required to move. The next steps are much easier.
You may also chip in- What do I drive? We have one car which the breadwinner drives to go and buy the bread. AGREED! Suit yourself. No rulings here. The financial burden of buying and running a car for sure is an impediment. Don’t run to buy a second car just because you WANT TO DRIVE. That’s foolish. Drive when your husband is back from work. Drive him to work. Drive for fun.
And while you learn driving, engage in the process of thinking and reading, interacting with friends about buying, owning, and maintaining a car. It can teach you invaluable lessons about money management. Learn how to change a flat tire. If not call your auto-insurance for help.
At the end, you deserve the right to choose whether you want to drive or not.  Make your own choice stemming from your own life realities. DRIVING DOESN’T DEFINE YOUR WORTH or YOUR CAPABILITY. And if somebody tries to be the umpire in your life and label you 'hit wicket', look back at him/her and say 'wide ball'. :)
You see, in life ...“स्वाग से करेगें सबका स्वागत - with license or without license.

Signing off for now. I got to study all over for the driving written test. Time to renew my license and myself too, I guess.

Image courtesy-Pixabay

Monday, 12 February 2018

This Valentine Day- a HEART story-a FART story.

“I am wondering how will I fart post the wedding? What if he hears? Oouuchhhh! What will he think about me? All the romance will be flushed out right there. So unsophisticated! But, you tell me, a fart is fart is a fart. A body mechanism and how am I supposed to hide it forever?” I looked at my laptop screen in disbelief( Yeah! I was reading -How to have amazing sex every time!) while my bestie poured Harpic around the rim of the commode in our bathroom and mockingly answered “he would also have all kinds of noises coming out of his body, so, just chill!”

I remembered this conversation today, early morning, when I let out the infamous fart while stuck in a yoga pose(Bhujangasan) right in front of my husband, Kuchipoo(his puppy pet name given by me), for 5 years. Because we sit opposite each other while doing these aasanas, it caught his attention for a millisecond and we moved on. The fart disappeared in the humdrum of regular life.  

I remembered my days just after my wedding where I would try to drown the weird sounds coming from my body by opening the tap next to the commode, flushing right at the time, and flush again in case the sounds persisted and above all coughing when nothing else seemed to work. I would spray the toilet before I left lest the Odonil betrayed my trust.

Somehow for a year and a half I survived but the pregnancy brought out uncontrollable, untimely, loudest farts and all I could do was sit in embarrassment and wonder. The first time it happened was nothing short of a scandal. I am one of those effeminate and fastidious people whoes major goal in life is to be PROPER no matter what happens. In front of the husband, the partner the goal became larger   than the word itself. But, how long could I have sustained this delicacy and daintiness? As the days passed, from a stained underwear to a stained apron, from a loud fart to a silent burning smell of food, all the ideas of perfection went out of the window and I was left with ‘me’.

The good part, with time, this ‘me’ settled with my husband and found her own space in his heart and life just the way he and his sounds, including the thunderous snoring, found in mine. ‘Pretense’ is a laborious task and I sucked at it. My energy and will power, my ‘PRIM n PROPER’ forever idea vanished in thin air for I realized after my first few successful farts that this is unworkable. I guess when you start living with someone, any kind of charade is futile. You see, marriage is not about perfect situation for perfect couples, it is a real-life situation for imperfect couple living an imperfect life and yet finding peace, happiness and companionship to last a lifetime.  I do not know the secrets of a happy married life nor I am interested in unraveling any. The journey of everyday, unfolding into the known and unknown is good enough. Marriage, as they say, is not a noun but a verb and to me this verb goes beyond candle lit dinners, raunchy sex and red roses on Valentine day. I don’t say they are not important but what happens when you suddenly fart while caught under the sheets with your partner trying a  'pawanmukt aasan'? Think about it! Burst into laughter and start it all gain…isn’t it? Not all love stories sound perfect. 

Image courtesy-Pixabay

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Orange County Indians Holiday Meet- Solidarity, Togetherness and Celebrations

...and Phew!!! it ended. The gaiety, the merriment, a giggle here and a guffaw there, warm hugs, 'Hi, how are you?' , chit chats, joshing and the color ‘RED’ tinted the OC sky with empressement of togetherness and Indian-ness at the  Orange County Indians holiday meet today.

Dear Santa,

Thank you! you see a better vocabulary other than this is hard to find so I will stick to the ordinary yet the sincerest and impacting. Thank you for this community which every Indian woman and her family has found here and is an integral part of. Every flight that lands in Orange county has that one Indian family who becomes our valuable member. 

It's fun to have a  group which constitutes of such variety- the 6:00am 'Good Morning' senders , the 10:30pm 'shayaras’, the questers in search of information ranging from plumbing to calculus tutor and the responders who never fail to impress. We are the ultimate Google for each other. Sundar Pichai, are you listening?

To an outsider, we are just a WhatsApp group, to each other we are no less than a floatation device. It may not appear so but try us during hard times or a rainy day. Our umbrellas magically spread out far and wide, sheltering each other. 

Don't be mislead but. It is not as utopian as it sounds.We do have our own share of problems. As a group, just like any other, there are countless bickering’s, cribbing and complains,  backbiting and begrudging, we suffer from our own human frailties, however we accept them with a pinch of salt and chili (I like that combo hence;))When we have umpteen dance academies, educators, caterers, beauticians and homepreneurs, isn't it reasonable to clink and clatter? The pandemonium has its own benefits...we get to know we exist, though that is not all to make a community thrive? It thrives when all learn to coexist with their imperfections and make space for each other, reach out, touch and say 'I care'. This is exactly what happens in a FAMILY and this is just one of them.  

So, while we ‘sayonara’ the year 2017 with Holiday meet ups,  Disco nights and New Year parties, I have something to say to each OC Indian woman-

I feel secure here (away from my family and all the faces which are stamped 'near and dear' back in India) because I know you exist.

You may be a silent follower of the group or an active enthusiast, you may be someone or no one or anyone, I truly value that you are with me and I am with you. In times of need, I promise to stand by you and would look up to you when adversity strikes me. We all want the coveted piece of pie, to some it is the bread butter, dosa and samosa, the competition is acceptable, justifiable, pellucid and to a large extent necessary. This doesn't, shouldn't stain the bonhomie, the camaraderie, the neighborliness, folksiness we share and the identity that we carry - Being Indian. 

I am glad I have a family to fall back on. You have no idea how lonely and scary it can get here. It might not be the perfect family but who has a perfect family? I accept you the way I accept my own family. I know you do not come to pay my rent or buy me grocery from Ansar, however that is not all. 

It's a commonly expressed and rather nice, romantic notion that we are all "sisters" and "brothers."

Let's be real. Fact is, we might be better served to accept that we are all siblings.

Siblings fight, pull each other's hair, steal stuff, and accuse each other indiscriminately.

But siblings also know the undeniable fact that they are the same blood, share the same origins, and are family.

Even when they hate each other.

And that tends to put all things in perspective.”
Vera Nazarian

Have a good night my Indian sibling.


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A Meaningful Life- Return home by evening.

It is the way some evenings welcome themselves in our life. Some are enveloped in the shade of deep orange and some in clear blue sky with white clouds floating like cotton balls, some are wrapped in darkness with no stars to twinkle and a pale dark blue blanket all over. And, some are washed in the moonlight, shining so bright that it becomes difficult to differentiate the day from the night.
In every way, evenings are my favorite. The day is too bright for me and the nights too dark. What makes me feel comfortable are the silken evenings. Or maybe there is something more to that. Evenings I guess symbolize 'return'. It's reassuring to see the birds fly back to their nest as we wait to get back to ours.
The children gleefully playing in the green parks, bathed in sweat look forward to going back to their homes where their mother wait with baited breath. They shall be washed and scrubbed and made to sit and study in their warm beds. Somewhere, old melodies play making wives anxious for their husbands to return home... safe. At another traffic light junction, a mom stares at the red light, waiting for it to turn green and excited to go back to her children and hug them.

The pressure cooker whistle blows and the aroma spreads all over creating the magic of home. The moment it hits the senses while climbing the staircase that people realize the familiar smell of the food, the crackling noise of their little ones, the loving smile of their wives, the warmth of their parents, the cushiness of their sofas in the living room, the warm water in the geyser, a cup of hot ginger tea, the bathing towel neatly lying next to the shower, the lamp lit on the altar of God, the big clock ticking and stealing our life away. It's so good to be back to all that is and all shall forever be our comfortable space where love resides in abundance and where every face is reminiscent of a deep bond, a bond which is the very essence of our existence.
The TV soap operas are at their emotional peak as the dough gets prepared and the women folk rush to finish off the chapatti bit till the time the break lasts. Somewhere from the other room, one can hear the sound of a battle between two siblings as they come rushing to their father for justice. The breaking news keeps breaking hopes and dreams of a bright and peaceful tomorrow.The breeze is turning into a chill wind and the clock just announced that it's dinner time. A family that prays together stays together. And, it is also true that a family that eats together their hearts beat together as well.
A glass of hot milk follows as children are carried to their rooms and lullabies start. It's good to have people on whom you can shower your affection. It’s when you have children that you realize how much one can
selflessly and unconditionally love. Just how much you have within you to give and give. For older children, the evening has just started. Messages of
friends, tweets, and Whatsapp all have to be responded to. The school /college assignments, exam preparations seem to overshadow the need to talk a little more to that special someone who made the young heart go fluttering wild. Do they understand love? Do they really need to? This is the age when life is lived one beat at a time thinking about her. Good to be at that stage. Every life stage is as interesting as the one gone by or as the one coming by.

The lights are getting switched off one by one. The doors and windows are checked for security by the male members and the women folks are clearing away the dishes, putting the house in order. The night is finally in. The world is slipping into deep slumber. The mind, the body and the soul need rest; for tomorrow a new day awaits. There is a silence that befalls. No traffic noise now seems to be heard apart from distant patrolling cops, the humdrum of activities has stopped completely, the trees are at peace gently swaying as if enjoying the serenity of life, the pitter- patter of rain seems to be falling gently on the window panes and the world finally goes to sleep.

She is on her way to the bedroom after switching off the kitchen lights and he meets her just there in the corridor. The glance they share speaks volumes. For a husband and a wife who have a nest which they have built bit by bit, they seem content that the day went well, that life is secure and that tomorrow shall be as beautiful as today. They retreat in their bedroom
hand in hand with a silent prayer on their lips.

For her evenings are for him. And all that he brings with himself. She loves him immensely and the truth reverberates within her with each passing breath. He doesn't express much for he is a man of very few words but she means the world to him. Cliche? haha...Sometimes, it is as simple as that.

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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Motivation Cuppa- Don't underrate 'STRUGGLES'.

Dear Words,

I am struggling and I am new. Everyday tracking of page views, Google AdSense & affiliate account earning (if any), umpteen social media accounts, followers and following, stumbling and pinning, posting and reposting, Facebook groups and their admin, gaining entry and getting blocked, FB pages and no.of likes,  and the list is endless. I am overwhelmed by the vastness of this world. I am out of breath already. Collapse I may anytime or quit. Should I?

When I see myself in the ocean that I am in, I feel scared. There are so many people writing so good, blogging so well, skillful and artful, earning and thriving.
And here I am scrambling to survive. When I quit my corporate career to follow 'WORDS' I was unsure if I am doing the right thing. I followed 'WORDS' and I am still unsure if I am doing the right thing. Everyday a new revelation, a new learning and a new lesson. It's when you see millions of people who have been there, done that, you question yourself- Do I belong here? What can I add? It’s all done and dusted, written, read, rewritten and re read. Do I have anything to add? And the competition makes you nauseous. Where does your 66 cents stand in front of the $5,000 the other guy earned over a week. To add insult to the injury, here are people who truly pull you down, hoard information, are unkind and blunt and so very unfair.
You feel a pit in your stomach as if you will never make it. You don't stand a chance. Jostling in the crowd, not for a piece of that coveted pie but just the dust of it... it’s one of the toughest game we all are playing in our own respective field. As if all this wasn't enough, I have the human emotion of envy and jealousy lurking around to pounce at every opportune moment when I am bogged down, breathless and hopeless.

So, do I quit? I have asked this to myself many times, every day, every hour, every moment.
No, I won't... until I have fought with all my might. I know it's not going to be easy. But it wasn't supposed to be a duck soup anyways. I look fragile but have a whale of a determination. I may take a while to arrive but arrive I will. Slowly and steadily like the old adage tortoise. The only difference is that I am in no race. I want to do my own thing with the best that I have. Will I  write what nobody has written? Maybe/Maybe not. But I will write like nobody has written...

I know there is a deluge of talented people out there.  I am one of them. The icing on the not so yummy cake are the copy cats. What do I say to them? Copy with all your might. You cannot copy my mind and my talent. You just cannot. I am there to stay because I am original. And you will eventually stay one step behind. You have to wait for me to take a step before you copy. 

And not a penny to my name today, I have inexhaustible faith that one day I will. May the best one win. May we all win. May hard work and patience, grit and determination, persistence and patience, focus and motivation win. I am heavy duty. I know it will take enormous hard work, grit, and patience. I am ready to wait and hold on.

Just one bit- Let not the hope die. I shall keep my morale high.
 I love you.

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