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Last Build Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2016 10:12:57 GMT

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Letting go!

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 10:12:57 GMT

How long does it take to wean a child from you? Most breastfeeding mothers would say in about two years from birth, they let their child naturally wean away. Mothers following the attachment parenting route would agree and also look at co-sleeping with their child believing that it helps them to be secure and confident, also less whiny. Don't know about the less whiny bit, but what they don't tell you about attachment parenting is that some mothers like me find it really tough when their kids finally do wean away. Not just weaning from breastfeeding. Even the emotional Cancerian that I am, I was happy that it came to an end. It seemed like a never ending process and the amount of time invested in being a human pacifier is mind boggling and exhausting. All wonderful but exhausting. The weaning that Im talking about is when the child finally sleeps in their own bed, away from the parent.

In all my attachment parenting splendour, the boys always slept with us and we made a cosy foursome, snuggling with each other. But those snuggles often turned to territorial wars with a fight over blankets, a bony jab in the ribs, the many changing sleep positions and the groggy mornings after. We soldiered on though muttering that the children will grow up soon and then we would miss this. It was more me than the husband but the husband is just as mushy lest you think otherwise.

What we weren't prepared for though was one fine night, just out of the blue, the older boy decided he liked his room. We had rejigged it for him and made it comfortable but didn't think he would take to it so instantly. Well, he did and he announced that he would sleep in his room that night. And just like that, he made this transition so easily. While he was excited about this move, I wasn't entirely prepared to let go.

Way into the night, as I lay awake, with an empty space beside me, I missed not having his little body near me and his little arms around my neck or even his bony legs poking me. Just like that they grow up to be independent and just like that, we realise how quickly time has flown.

The next morning, as I visited him in his room and kissed him 'Good morning', he was thrilled to wake up in his room. I asked him if he missed anything and he happily said that he missed his old bed!.

Ah well, parenting, attachment or not is an exercise in letting go!



Siblings

Tue, 24 Sep 2013 07:26:53 GMT

It's interesting to see how communicative you are. You coo and gurgle a lot more than your brother at this age. It's almost like one can have a conversation with you with your cooing responses. Your gurgling began quite early, within two weeks of birth.

With the first child, this rush of love comes instantly given that it is the first experience and the excitement around is on a high. With the second, it's all a lot more controlled. Besides, when it is the same gender as your first child, the comparisons are inevitable. Nobody shows as much excitement though I have to be ever grateful to my parents for taking such good care of us. This second delivery is probably going to be my last so I nay We were hoping for a daughter so when it turned out to be a boy, I was disappointed. Yes, it took sometime to wrap my head around it. Yes, I was grateful for you and that you were healthy and yes, I so wanted you but I wanted you as a girl...

As I mulled over this and went through the motions of feeding you and ensuring that you latched on properly, I was slowly taken in by you, irrespective of gender or expectation...just you and all that you brought into my life. Your gurgles, coos and the way you were was so uniquely YOU...no one could compare you to your older brother or expect anything but this cuteness that was you. It really dawned on me that children choose us to be their parents. There is a reason why they come into our lives. These are souls that are not defined by gender or expectations. They are to be nurtured, loved and treasured for what and who they are.

I had so many preconceived notions about brother siblings and how it is that most often we see brothers not getting along later in life, whether it's post girlfriends or wives coming in or even before such supposed intrusions with intrinsic male competitiveness. This thought plagued me, being privy to so many such cases around me. I always thought it would be better if the gender was opposite.

With each passing day, all these negative thoughts of mine were folded away, one thought at a time and shoved in a deeper recess of my mind. You smiled ever so willingly at your brother. You woke up only to turn around in search of him, you cooed and gurgled when he was near, you watched as he pranced around singing his songs to you, you didn't mind his many kisses even if you soon yelped when it was one too many, and when you started your attempts to crawl, you would crawl towards him. I was silenced by both of you and what you had begun to share.

I don't know how the future unfolds but I so hope that the two of you will always be close, that you appreciate each others' uniqueness as much as you celebrate your similarities. I do hope those negative thoughts of mine are forever flushed down the memory sink.

I look forward to seeing you both grow stronger in the bond you share...there is no greater joy than this for a parent.



Momma Love

Mon, 03 Sep 2012 20:25:17 GMT

Being a mother is by far the best thing I've ever done. Cliched as it may sound and tough as it is in reality, it is the most life altering act, in a good way.

There is something about the decision of wanting to be a mum. In doing so, you choose to make a little person more important than yourself. You choose to raise someone as an equal yet put yourself on the back burner. All your choices and decisions are made keeping this little person in mind. No other relationship takes as much from you and no other relationship makes you want to give all of yourself. Mothers are often depicted as self sacrificing martyrs and though I may not agree with the martyr bit, sacrifice is a word that resonates with most mothers. In choosing to raise a child, you devote your life to making them the best possible versions of themselves, of hopefully raising them to be loving, well adjusted adults, knowing that they will grow up and leave to have their own lives and we we will have to smilingly let them go.

Sometimes, I often think that this motherhood experience has a greater spiritual root. I view this as an opportunity of gaining karmic points, in the larger scheme of Life and if you take this responsibility with great awareness and no expectation, it is perhaps one of the greatest spiritual lessons to learn in one's lifetime. It's one of those things that nurtures your soul. This could be true with taking care of a pet or old parents; any experience that has made you give of yourself selflessly.

I must remember this especially when faced with a toddler tantrum that has me losing my sanity and wanting to fling this little person like Krishna's chakra. Being zen about it should be a deliberate decision and not an uneasy option.



Set me free

Sat, 09 Jun 2012 07:14:37 GMT

It's a funny feeling, letting go of your child as he takes his first steps out of the confines of home to explore the world and interact with other little people and large ones too through a seemingly happy medium termed the play school. I was getting all emotional about the day and went on about how fast the boy had grown. I was working up a huge emotional faucet. Just that, when I reached school, there was no time for such high drama with too much action all around, what with 20 kids, looking around in wide eyed wonder accompanied by 20 more anxious mothers and in some cases, the father.

The boy seemed alright, a lot more reticent than usual, observing this new space but not wanting me out of sight. I sat inside with other mothers. Some kids were bawling, others clinging on to mums, some others sitting independently with the teacher, involved in 'jack in the box', clapping his hands. It all seemed surreal. All mothers seemed bonded by one simple aim, all wanted their kids to settle in as smoothly and as soon as possible.

When exactly does one set our children free; and ourselves free in the process? It's not just at the symbolic cutting of the umbilical cord. We are really tested at every step of the child's growth. If the child clings to us, we are pressurised by the thought of whether we are being too protective, if the child is overly independent, we stress about whether we spend enough time to bond with the child, if the child prefers being on his own, we persecute ourselves thinking he is a loner and needs company of kids his age. This never ends. God forbid, if the child acts up and throws a massive tantrum that only a toddler can, especially in public, most often we take this as a personal shortcoming. The many childcare sites, help books and psychoanalysis attempts only leads to one simple fact...there is no
best way. We all do the best we can and we really owe it to ourselves to feel less guilty and during the times these children act stellar,
however brief a period that may be, we can take solace in knowing that there must be something we did right. In the end all one can
do is sigh and take refuge in Khalil Gibran's verse from The Prophet, "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are
sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might That His arrows may go swift and
far. Let your bending in the archers hand be for gladness; for even as he Loves the arrow that flies, so he also loves the bow that is
stable."

Within the trinity of love, patience and stability is developed the entire bible on parenting.



I see people!

Sat, 28 Apr 2012 04:58:13 GMT

I love observing people. If there was a way I could learn to monetize this speciality, I could do wonders. I could be a psychologist but that is way too much effort. Being a stay-at-home mum (never knew I would end up using this term for myself), I often feel isolated in a world where one's life is largely dictated by this toddler and his whims and though he is adorable and mine and all of that, it does get to me sometimes. In such times, I choose the outlet of attending a house party or some such social evening. Watching other like species often rejuvenates and at certain times leaves me very grateful for what I have. So, it really is a win-win. - Going to these dos often leaves me baffled. For one, most of the Indian women these days seem to be dressed in attire that suddenly seems very alien...cleavage showing tops, short dresses....shorter the better. Not that I mind it. I wear some of these myself. Super if people are comfortable with their bodies. I am all for confidence but what irks me is when dress sense is equated to being liberal or  'modern' or 'hip'...it's truly sad when labels like 'behenji' becomes such an easy stamp, almost like a "made in india" tag, for anyone who chooses to dress Indian (read, ethnic salwar kameez/ sari) So, while I was fitting in and doing the social talk, I happened to be caught between two women, meeting for the first time. One, who was down on a brief visit to India from the US and another, who was married to Mr. Moneybags, who kept US time and hence was on conference calls at twilight hour, India time. So, given her predicament, the lady sadly exclaimed that she wasn't getting any. That took me some time to register. Once I heard loud guffaws from the US return is when it 'chamkoed'. Ah, funny or not! Talking sex is again viewed as being'cool' and this chick was trying so hard. Another cool factor these days is having nannies / maids around to help with the kids. These are now the new fashion statement and they are taken everywhere, to restaurants and even out of town vacations. I seem to be the only sore thumb to this rule. So, while I try and feed the boy, I see several nannies run around kids while the mothers have some time socializing. Maybe, I am a sucker for punishment but I just can't get used to the idea. I have to admit that the idea is fantastic, anything to get some time off but for me, getting the 'right' nanny whom I would be comfortable with seems a far more daunting task. Besides, most of them seem more stylishly dressed than I. Having a hip nanny may end up making me look like the maid! So, in wanting to keep my mummy status intact, I abandon the nagging nanny thought.Then, there are the single men who on seeing a kid, love to look involved and interested by wanting to carry them. If you pay close attention, there will always be a girl around to impress. Nothing gets a woman better than a man with paternal / nurturing instincts.Then, there are those, who are truly talented and gifted and completely ill at ease at these cool dos. I find them most interesting actually. I kept observing the one person who seemed to be observing everyone else. He happened to be one of the stalwarts of Indian advertising. As my eyes tailed him, I realized he was the most down to earth person there. Quiet and observant, he was just taking it all in. Later as I heard his loud laughter and his easy banter in pure Hindi, a language not spoken as well these days, I was in awe. I think that's what people with pure talent and charisma do...they don't work too hard at creating perceptions with trivial banter. They are comfortable being themselves and in being who they are, they truly stand out. It's not surprising that this deep person had come up with such amazing creative lines like... "Har ghar kuch kehata hai". As deep as his baritone and as loud as his laughter[...]



Be a Child, no matter what they say...

Wed, 29 Feb 2012 20:33:16 GMT

Dear Boy,Childhood is a great time. Enjoy this time thoroughly. Please do not be in a hurry to grow up. Once you do, you will so miss these days of carefree abandon. I had a good childhood and a pretty secure and sheltered life throughout actually. With two older male siblings to contend with, I also had my share of growing up to do, through supposed and real sibling dynamics. I am not certain if you will have another sibling yet but having one, for sure will define you and your character quite substantially.As of now, as I see you grow, I hope the characteristics that are part of you today continue to define who you are...Enjoy the small things: I love motherhood, if only for the times that I witness such sense of awe in everything that you see and do. It is so un jaded and so pure that for once, I am made to drop all cynicism and be so excited about a passing truck, the setting sun, a scraggly dog, an approaching train and the full moon! Children really do that for you...they bring in the sunshine to everything mundane. I so love your excitement and your sense of Wow in all that you see and narrate. I wish I could be like that...more than anything, I really wish you always have this amazing trait as part of who you are.Stay positive. Stay Happy: As a child, you don't know how to keep grudges and you don't spend too much time worrying. As adults, we make that our preoccupation. Now, if you don't like something, you whine about it but then get distracted with something else and move on. That's how it should be with life. Don't mope around. Find a solution, do things that make you happy and really be positive.Don't be quick to Judge: The beauty about you right now, is that you just don't judge or notice people's differences be it in skin color or religion (yes, that is too far fetched, as of now) or even financial status. The best part for me is when you meet white or black folks and don't flinch or think anything different of their coloring. That's fantastic! As you grow, you will be influenced by society and your peers and will be more tuned to see these differences but I want you to know that there was a time when none of these preconceived notions were part of you. A time, when you judged someone on the basis of how they treated you rather than who they were.Believe in Magic: Just after your second birthday, we celebrated Christmas, as one big family at our home. I wanted you to feel the excitement of Christmas and really built the entire anticipation of Santa Claus. I wanted to create that illusion for you. So, I was thrilled when I saw you so super excited about Santa and the gifts under the Xmas tree. You just couldn't contain yourself. You woke up everyone else, pleading with them to take a look at all the presents that Santa had got. It was the most beautiful sight. I was so drawn that I forgot to record that moment. I wish I had. I hope you will always believe in Magic, in knowing that all is possible. With older siblings playing spoilt sports, I had to forego that sense of wonder, when I was told that Santa didn't exist or that the coin under my pillow wasn't kept there by the tooth fairy. It really broke my heart. I hope we can prolong this sense of magic for you as long as we can....and as long as we can warn our extended family of dire consequences if they chose to blurt it to you. Waking up with a sense of excitement on Christmas day is pure magic. May you never lose that for a long time...Love your traditions: Be it Diwali, Christmas or any family traditions, enjoy and embrace it. Be just as happy as you are right now about the Diwali early morning bath ritual or lighting sparklers and putting the 'diyas' around the house. About adorning the Christmas tree and listening to carols as we do it. We try to keep these traditions alive for you, knowing that somewhere in your subconscious mind, this is all being registe[...]



Go Goa?

Sat, 04 Feb 2012 07:10:25 GMT

An old house?...hmmmm ok ...NOW .... a 100 year old house? WOW... get it?That's what my husband and I thought too. Well, the husband being an architect was educationally qualified to go cuckoo over the construct and conduit of a house. Not me, the humble Corporate Communications person. But cuckoo we both are about house decor and of beautiful things in general.Now, I would never have the gumption to move anywhere, if it weren't for someone to push me in the rear or at least make some good logical sense to make me want to move from my comfort zone. I will have to admit...I am human...I like being in my comfort space, surrounded by the familiar and the family and the routes and sights I have known for all my life. In all my 30 + years of existence, I haven't moved away from Bombay. I guess it was time to do some experimenting, by moving into our own home, away from home.What better time than just when you've had a baby, right? Wrong! Which morons in their right minds would want to change their lives so drastically? US! Having a baby was in itself was the most life altering act and to make it even more interesting, we had to embark on this journey, with no family support, no house help, no maids and no nannies and no creches! How brilliant. I don't know what it was that made us do what we did but we did and have survived to tell the tale.I do believe in Signs, signs that the universe signals at us, for our inner antennae to tune into. The one big sign, that I couldn't possibly miss, even if all my tuning was kaput. My little boy decided to come into this world on December 19th, Goa's Liberation Day! What more can I say...besides all the many other rational reasons to this move, this one for me spelled it out loud. Go Goa, is what i heard.It's been a hard one year, there have been several battles that escalated to full blown wars as we tried to cope with living in Goa. I have to say, Goa does not embrace you immediately. She loves the dalliance of fleeting tourists but for people who stand ground, she makes them work hard and only when she was convinced in some strange, twisted way that we had earned her respect, is when she relented. Relented, to make it easier on us, relented to be patient with us as we were struggling to come to terms with all the challenges she threw at us and finally, accepting US as we accepted her. It is only now that we can say, yup...this is home...even if i may say so reluctantly...for now... as my love, Bombay is seen smarting over my supposed infidelity.Through all of these struggles, I can't help but be so damn proud of ourselves. Where most people are risk / change averse in their mid life, we took a plunge into unchartered territory with baby in tow. The husband took it upon himself to shoulder on the responsibility of being the sole bread earner while I took it upon me to be a mum, the best way I know, hands on, often on my fours.And from that position of utter humility and despair at times, I see the bigger picture. The bigger picture of shaping this child in this fantastic environment, the quality of family time, the essence of being who you are and enjoying the simple things of life and really for once Living...living a dream that I possibly didn't dream for myself but am so happy and grateful that it is part of my destiny.Living under an open roof while the roof was being repaired.[...]



Prayer of a toddler's mother

Fri, 14 Oct 2011 16:39:37 GMT

Prayer of a toddler's mother: Lord, give me the strength to handle this child, the serenity to not punch him when I'm tried and the wisdom to know better than to cry....



Big tantrum

Tue, 04 Oct 2011 06:45:02 GMT

Our Bangalore trip was fun. The highlight was seeing our friend, maaku on lavell road. That was a sight. You were so taken aback to see him right there, in front of you. The best part was him scratchings his crotch...you now imitate that well!

We had fun at Bangalore club and with shweta, shachi and yogi. You used to follow shweta and keep calling out to her, since she was your arbitrator. The drummer boy that you are, she also got you a drum.

I have been trying to get you off breastfeeding, not that I mind it but I think if I dont stop you or make attempts to stop, you may want it at all times. anyway, post this trip, after my on going commentary to you to stop, we have achieved the impossible...that of sleeping at night without maamam. Yippee. So now we have just the morning nap feed to contend with.

You will soon be 2 and with it you are showing signs of the foray of the terrible twos. You threw such a tantrum at the Bangalore airport, the biggest.one yet. I didn't know what to do...at one point, I thought I would cry. Anyway, I hope it's a one off...I don't know how you strayed into that toy shop.



Full time mum

Wed, 25 May 2011 18:34:34 GMT

It's a tough one being a full time mum, giving up a supposedly good corporate job, chuck away the secure money, trade the confines of an AC cubicle to being a harried mum on call 24/7. Not a pretty picture.This was a decision that was also spurred because of our larger decision to move out of Bombay (at least for a while) to the more relaxed Goa. Yes, that sounds ideal but I'll talk about that later.After having Dhruv, I was kind of certain that a full time job wouldn't do justice to the boy and me. I would have been a holy mess trying to juggle it all and I think I would have screwed up on either or both. Flexi time was what my employer did give me for 5 months after I resumed and I was ever so grateful to them but I knew the honeymoon would end and they would obviously expect me to do full time. I also have these strong views on grandparents raising your kid. Though it's wonderful to have grandparents around, I think it is extremely selfish on the part of parents to parcel their kids to the grandparents. Firstly, they have already done their bit in raising these parents (and having dealt with Dhruv for 17 months, I can safely say that it is bloody exhausting), secondly they need to live their lives. Most of them (grandparents) are at a much older age than before given that our generation is having babies later. So that option was clearly out for me...not that my mum was offering, wise woman that she is.So the next option was to find a maid / care giver that I could completely rely on. So I did just that. I got a lady who was at large a lovely person who also loved my boy and took good care of him. She was of great help when I resumed work post maternity leave. It was alright while I did flexi time and given her timings, she couldn't be there full time for me either. So it was apparent that I was coming to a dead end soon. In India, I could never rely on day care centers so that really wasn't an option. So in the end, all signs seemed to indicate what I always thought would be the only option...to quit and commit my time to the boy. I can't but help recall the various reactions I got at work to my throwing in the towel. What amazed me were the reactions from other women in office. For a lot of single women and those who were reporting to me, it was like I had let them down. I can understand why. Here they were, trying to climb the corporate ladder, doing all that they could to make it happen and then they see me just give it up for a baby. I remember my colleague asking me..."so is this it? You work all these years to get where you have and you just give it up for a baby? And, how dead boring can it be just being with a child." I couldn't give her any conclusive answers and I really didn't want to deject her with the 'glass ceiling' stuff or go down the road that women have to make tougher decisions. To each his own. I never was a big one to define my life by a corporate designation but there are others for whom it is a lease of life. So was I not living up to the image of a superwoman who could triple hat and manage career, home and baby with the dexterity of a composer? Nah, I was just being human.To some other women (and I did have a few of them) who had delivered within months of my delivery, it was a twinge of envy camouflaged by an outward dismissiveness. A lot of them were of the opinion that I would get bored with such a mundane task. It was so important to have mental stimulation. How could I tell them that to me, the job at times was the least stimulating but who was I to argue. I was only a pro baby quitter. For most of the men, it was such a chauvinistic reaction....almost like they were expecting it. I mentally slapped a complete prick of a Marketing guy who suggested that I do some NGO work. Fucker.Now, though largely I enjoy the time with Dhruv, however exhausting[...]



Annoying Adults

Mon, 30 Aug 2010 09:51:31 GMT

I am new to this parenting experience and one of the things that pisses me off the most (thankfully it has nothing to do with the boy)is the need for most people to come up with prompt comments on who the child looks like.

Why do people have this inherent need, almost like a Eureka moment to declare their hypothesis as the Gospel truth? In my family, we suddenly have a plethora of grandkids with all my siblings having kids at the same time. The good part to all of this is that it's fantastic to have three children of the same age and I am sure years down the line, they would all connect (or maybe not!). At this point in time however, it can get a little annoying when everyone (grandparents, brother, sisters-in law) finds it so important to find similarities in the way these kids look. What is even more annoying is when they feel the need to go through the entire ancestral tree to figure who my progeny looks like while we, the parents stare at them waiting to be acknowledged.

I often fly off the handle when comments are flashed at me...Oh, he looks like S's brother when there is no iota of resemblance between the boy and my brother in law. Similarly, when my brother goes on about how the cousins resemble each other, I often bite my tongue when I want to yell out that they don't have to look like each other...that each of them is an individul in their own right and they could be better versions of us, if we only gave them some credit and allowed them to be their own persons.

Really, adults are annoying.



Exciting Times

Mon, 12 Jul 2010 10:56:15 GMT

One of the most interesting things that parenthood throws up is paranoia...a kind that you think you would never succumb to.

Ever since I knew I was pregnant, my mind was often in a tizz on how best I could manage the nine months and ensure that the child is given the best embryonic treatment possible. Then, it was about trying to ensure that the birth experience would be fine...that the child is well nurtured, breast fed and so on...

Now, as I see him grow, I am daunted by the fact that there will come a time, when things will well be beyond my control. Well, the entire process of babymaking in itself is quite a mystery, but what I mean is that as the child grows, there will be a zillion other influences that will tug, lead and control him and I may not have much control on all of these. Varying from the relatively minor choices like wanting junk food or a lavish birthday party or competition to the more scary stuff like drug addiction, molestation, I am often gripped by fear! Earlier, these used to just statistics, now it hits home hard.

Visions of my dad come to mind and now I understand why a NO was so important at times. I can't see myself as a monster mum who says 'no' to everything but where does one draw the line between helping a child explore and giving him too much independence.

What is the right path and how does one ensure to whatever extent that the child will not need to take recourse to any perverse addictions. Apparently, in the first three years of the child's life shapes its emotional intelligence. As I write this, I realise that this experience is going to push my boundaries. In being a parent, a lot of my beliefs will be questioned, a lot of my knowledge will be analysed and a lot of who I am will be redefined.

And therein lies the beauty and challenge of parenting. I hope I can keep it simple, honest and minimalistic. More than ever, life is now giving us as parents an opportunity to be better people and walk the talk coz only in doing so, will I be able to understand and appreciate this being I am so honoured to nurture.



Cheroid on Steroid

Tue, 21 Oct 2008 09:06:36 GMT

My little Cherie has now grown up.
Today I went to fetch her and boy, she looked so spiffy.
The adolescent her, is raring to go ...so aware of her beauty, youth and rev.
Though her physical self may have changed a bit, she still has the same spirit.
She is still Red and responds to me quite swiftly
Always ready to be my companion on those long journeys over great music
With her new mature self, here's to more conversations on even longer, uninterrupted, smooth journeys!











P.S. My little Alto has now turned into a Swift ... Maruti all the way!



Indian MediocrityDrone of computers

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 11:52:20 GMT


Mediocrity is rampant and pretty much thrives all around.

It is disillusioning when I try to find my niche or try and see what best fits me or interests me.
I was told of an opportunity in Media & Entertainment, a domain I am fairly comfortable with given my earlier stints.
But now when I look at what exists, I just can't relate to any of it. Will I ever be able to promote these silly TV serials and reality shows convincingly, given that I don't even watch any of this? Do I care if Rahul Mahajan  canoodles with Monica Bedi to rouse viewer ratings to rival any Sensex?

Obviously Not.

India, for all its shine and glory, given the economic indicators has such few limited quality job offerings. In the Banking sector, you can pretty much count the number of banks we have, similarly in Telecom or Retail.....where is the choice?

What is worse is the quality of execution. If you have to check out any Reliance store, it's a shame and to think this is the largest Indian company, we are talking about. A company  which between the two brothers, is into every perceivable domain, including bailing out Spielberg with the enormous USD 500 - 600 million deal. Similarly companies like Pantaloon or Big Bazaar, doing well with the moolah but qualitively?...Yuck!

The common comment that is thrown at me is that these ventures don't cater to people like me...they are targeted towards the larger consumer base, the least common denominator. If all of these targeted at this audience, where do people like me go?

Are we to continue to feel stuck in a system that doesn't allow for any choice, a system that works well in dumbing down content, encourages a uniform / clone like culture and makes questioning redundant.

Where do we go? 



Lesson in Humility

Thu, 08 May 2008 08:07:02 GMT

Oh damn, this is my first lesson in running a home.

Hard as it is coming to terms with having to deal with settling into a home, my ignorance and impatience in these matters was made even more obvious recently.

Meena had made an entry into our lives at a telling time, when we needed someone who could help us with housekeeping (jhadu, poocha, bartan as the lingo goes)...Not that there was too much effort involved, given that we are two relatively disciplined people living under a roof. I was happy to have her help especially since she did a decent job. She then told me about her ill child and of her husband who walked out on them and her brother who just lazed around while she single handedly supported her mother. Poor thing I thought and so I raised her salary, I got her my mum's old clothes. Life was good...till she started playing truant. She had many excuses, wanting to take her kid to the temple to a tooth ache to a leg ache....soon my patience ran out.

True to my style, I told her that if she couldn't be consistent, she could leave and to my horror she exercised that option and left ! Uggh! I didn't think a little skirmish and a little argument would result in a walkout. My pride took a beating but I told myself and her that I could well do without her.

I have now been on a hunt for her replacement and the horror story continues... I had two maids come over and demand twice the salary. It seemed more like my interview than theirs... I have been made to swallow my pride and take a hard look at my management skills. I obviously lack tact and I may have thought that she was so easily dispensable but now have had a change of heart.  

With my tail drawn between my legs, my search continues... 
  

 



Hiatus

Thu, 20 Mar 2008 11:16:40 GMT

 ...And I'm back after a fairly long hiatus. 

I am now married. After being so wary of marriage and what it would entail, I now think...damn, I should have done this long ago. It's no big deal !

These are some takeways from things on marriage that I'd like to share in Cosmopolitan style.

Marriage is fun. I always was wary of marriage and doubted if two people could ever be together for life. I now know that sometimes it's good to take your chance and enjoy being with each other rather than intellectualising too much about it. 

You will be swept by the emotions of the moment. I couldn't  believe it but I actually choked on my wedding wow! And it wasn't because I was shit scared but because I genuinely felt the significance of that moment. So while hubby was zapped and hoped that I'd not end up a crying mess, the women around ooohed and awwed. Thank God, I held myself together...would have kicked myself if I had sobbed.

Do not get stressed by stereotypical expectations. I cannot understand what the fuss about shopping during weddings is all about. It's not like we lived like Neanderthals before marriage so why is there a pressing need to shop for inane things.  Thankfully I kept away from it all  and didn't get swayed by this overriding expectation.

Plan it all yourself. No one is going to feel as involved so it's best if you do all the planning on your own. Right from what the ceremony would be like to the ceremony, the priest, the venue, the photographer yada yada yada was totally planned by us. In fact I did kinda feel like a bridesmaid rather than a bride!

Make this occasion your own. This was about us so we decided who we wanted to invite for the wedding. We were certain of only including those people who were close to us, who touched our lives in some way and who would be genuinely happy for us. Of course one had to work around my parents guest list but that's another story and no one has found the solution to controlling parents.

Engage a good make up person. Thankfully, I got this right. I didn't cake myself up  since I am not big on make up but kept to a natural look, with some highlighting. I have always wondered about makeovers and have been in awe of professional make up artists. I've realised that a marriage is the best time to actually figure out what it is like to be pampered. If ever there is a good time to feel like a princess, this is it! 

In Mixed marriages, try and keep it simple. You may get caught between trying to please everyone but always be yourself and do not put up an act coz it will show sometime and it's better that they know you for who you are rather than pander to every whim. 

Decide to enjoy the day! I enjoyed my marriage so much that I wouldn't mind getting married again. We loved all the little things that made it so beautiful.

Be prepared...the first few months after marriage can feel strange especially when your defenses are up and when you're still trying to understand the new found extended family but then that phase passes on too....

Now, I am at peace with it all.  












 



Marked for Life

Sun, 14 Oct 2007 11:00:16 GMT

Seven years ago, I met an interesting guy who saved me from a long wait for a cab by generously offering me a lift.

I didn't realise then that I had embarked on a journey, quite unknowingly. Time ticked  by as we happily engaged in deep conversations, even deeper arguments, to soon realise that we were the best of friends. 

In ten days from now, my best friend and I will have given this journey and relationship a new label.

As we exchange marriage wows, and call each other 'husband' and 'wife', we hope never to lose out on where we started...enjoying the journey and continuing to be the best of friends.

Life couldn't be more magical.

Wish us luck.




Random ThoughtsJanis Joplin-Piece of My Heart

Fri, 11 May 2007 08:05:14 GMT


I caught myself thinking of how I've been running, thinking and doing a zillion things when all I need to do is slow down. Need to just take a deep breath and enjoy life for what it is rather than making it a practise in ticking off the chores in my head. My head in any case is a time bomb waiting to explode. I sometimes am amazed at the constant buzz in my head. I don't just leave the worrying to me. I extend it to those I hold dear...my dear dear friends who are beseiged by my need to talk to gain clarity. This often happens in the midst of job changes and I send everyone in a tizz. A friend of mine recently joked, that he doesn't think of his own career  changes with as much intensity as he does to mine! The perils of being my friend. Very soon, I'll have no one to lend me a ear.

I've also been thinking that it's time one gave back to society in whatever way possible. Monetary help is the easiest thing to do but it should transcend beyond that. 

I also have a bug in me ...a bug that makes me want to do different things. I am never satisfied...always looking for more. I may be a good candidate for a meditation class.

I also hate pretentious people with double standards. It annoys me to the point of wanting to sock them in the face. 
They affect me...even when I know better. 

Another part of growing up (albeit a little late in life) is in knowing that there will always be only a few who truly care for you. The rest of the morons who you give a lot of credit to are just that, MORONS. It's important to decipher the difference and take away some of the credit you so easily dole out to them.

...And I like Simon Cowell and his straight, forthright and acerbic comments. Love him for that.

And for once I like Bush and his dithering self. So big deal if he made that gaffe at the Queen. It actually made him seem like a little vulnerable boy. Besides, the way it was handled both ways definitely helped the Monarchy project a less stuffy image as for Bush, I'd wink at him.


Happy Weekend you all!






The Abhi-Ash Syndrome

Mon, 16 Apr 2007 12:45:15 GMT

The  saccharin sweet story of the Knight in Shining Armour and the Princess of Bollywood is getting me quite queasy.

What's worse is that everything about this Ace wedding is so annoyingly traditional and steretypical that it makes me cringe.
One would think that the Bachchans would be a progressive and liberal but of course that's far from the truth. If they could actually perform a ritual and make Ash marry a tree because of her Manglik status, that just shows the state of their minds. The Big B's (Amitabh Bachchan) numerous temple yatras across India to solicit divine intervention and his various rings on his fingers only add credence to their deeply whacko minds. 

Then the mother-in-law to be be, Jaya Bachchan goes on to elaborate the qualities of her daughter-in-law as being dignified, quiet,  knows when to step back etc etc. This, in a way riled me because it is so important for these people, and by them I mean, the majority of Indians, to have women cow down, be a source of strength and support by their quiet demeanour. Let's not topple the apple cart, let's not question, let's just go with the flow and if they tell you to marry a tree, if they tell you to go through umpteen number of rituals to appease the various gods, do so quietly in the bigger interest of being a Bachchan bahu. Whatever happened to the Woman of Substance or maybe this is their definition.

What irked me even more was when JB went on about how her daughter is no more a Bachchan....this again is another deep rooted traditional belief amongst the majority. If a daughter gets married, she goes into another house and her place in her maternal house is no more. These traditional, inane and deep rooted expectations are so regressive that even in today's day and age, to have people being party to this nonsense is infuriating. 

Even as I vent, I know I will be subjected to much torture with the many updates of their wedding. And I know, I will still read them and still get affected and continue to vent.




The Gospel Truth...according to Me!

Tue, 10 Apr 2007 11:23:19 GMT

Blessed are those who make their passion their vocation.

I have envied people who have had the good fortune to do so and often wonder why and how we choose to do what we do.
Often conditioning plays a huge part in our choice of profession. I wish more of us were encouraged to take risks early and were guided to develop our potential.


Blessed are those who can stay calm in the midst of turbulence.

I am in awe of people who manage to have a sense of detachment and calmness when all around them are losing their heads.
It takes a rare strength of character to be able to be this way.


Blessed are those who find joys in the small things in life.


The small, insignificant things often have the most significance.


Blessed are those who have the ability to deal with both kings and paupers alike.

I am amazed at people who can master this art. In India, somehow if you are nice to all alike, you tend to get taken for granted. It's strange to actually get the right mix, in knowing when to be stern yet yielding to niceness when required. This is a tact that I need to master.


Blessed are those who can believe in themselves.

...even when life seems tough.
 
 
 
Blessed are those who are truly happy in their skin.

With more pressure, less time, more choices and the many demands on being perfect, it's so tough to be happy with who you are. Comparison and competitiveness seems to have taken such a toll that people feel the need for pretence and often portray what they are not. 

....Well that's it for now...Too much of a good thing...need to get back to my evil ways.




Ya-Ya SisterhoodBruce Hornsby- Just the Way it is

Fri, 30 Mar 2007 11:52:42 GMT

Watching Little Miss Sunshine left me grinning and thinking to myself that this is pretty much what all families are all about. Dysfunctional if you look closely yet so real that you can empathise with each of them and understand where they come from. It's the same with friends, who are the external family that we choose, the family created out of our choice.It got me thinking of my pals...the five of us, who have known each other for more than a decade.  Amongst the five, each has their own preferences and dynamics within the group yet we are part of that inexplicable bond. Sometimes, I can't fathom what it is that brought us together. Maybe the spiritedness of youth, the hanging together in college, the crazy times together and the fun and laughter that we shared then have kept us together, even if we do not share that much anymore on a daily basis.Each one of us is so different and so cuckoo in our own ways.Gee was the boisterous one in college who often intimated others in her 'Punju' aggressive manner. She wasn't too concerned about fashion or clothes or anything feminine. She was the life of our group though, with her mad laughter and mimicry. She was also prudish (but so were we all) and always wondered how she'd manage with the boys.Mirch was the fat, insecure one who hid behind loose clothes and who hated being photographed. She was happy to merge into the foliage. She actually was the tree in one of our plays in college and I haven't seen anyone more happy to play that role.Shwets was the studious one, and the sexy one, with her curly long locks and long legs. She also was the one to ace her Psychology papers. She was more keen on having many relationships rather than getting married to the first right person that came her way.Fats was the sporty one who had the ability to bond with a stranger in record time and could get them to discuss the most private parts of their lives. She could sit with complete strangers and discuss the most personal, embarassing and uncomfortable issues with such ease. No wonder, she went on to be a counsellor. She has had some of the most arbit relationships with arbit people.And then there was Me, the safe one. I loved observing and continue to do so...I could be part of the group  yet be detached and guarded my personal space. I was the people's person so pretty much got along with most yet didn't know when and how to say No. I was constantly wanting to do the 'right' thing.Cut to today, a decade later these very same people have changed so muchGee is living in with her boyfriend and is more concerned about the way she looks and actually wears designer stuff! Thankfully, her mad laughter is still intact and never tires of repeating the same old stories over and over again. She is also into Crystal therapy and meditation and connecting with the spirit world! As whacko as it gets.Mirch, from being the fat one in college, has now turned into the most svelte one in the group, with an amazing figure and an even more sassy attitude. She is doing stellar in her Sales job and turns down men like they don't exist. Payback time!Shwets has done her Phd in Psychology and from wanting to have many relationships, she ended up marrying the first guy she had a serious relationship with.Fats continues to bond with strangers but with a one year old in tow, doesn't ge[...]



Loss

Tue, 13 Mar 2007 10:31:20 GMT

Hope and Doubt...my friend has lived through these emotions so strongly in the last few years that the true meaning of these words becomes even more real for me today.


My friend went through her third miscarriage and however close I am to her, I don't think I'll ever fully understand her pain, depravity and despondency. What it is she goes through everytime she is filled with joy and hope at the prospect of being pregnant only to be left despondent and questioning after each miscarriage. I don't think I want to know what it feels like.


In the past I have often trivialised the issue of couples trying hard to conceive. I couldn't understand why they'd be so obsessed with wanting their 'own' child. Why can't they just adopt or not have a child at all were some of the juvenile comments I'd easily make. Even for myself, I have never obsessed over my biological clock or go nuts thinking that I should get married soon if I am ever to have kids. If I did, I would have perhaps been married by now.


But now I realise that being a mother is an important part of a woman's life and perhaps one of the most significant. To be able to feel and nurture a life that comes out of you is a miracle. To want it so bad and to bear the loss each time is killing.


She doesn't show it...her stoic nature comes through in the few lines she wrote to me


hey dee,

This one was ectopic so just had a procedure to clear the uterus and had to take the anti cancer injection too.
Got home after a long day ..have to wait and see if injection works or I need surgery .
Hope that doesn't happen ..
Talk to you soon



...and while I read it, I cry...cry for her loss, cry for the death of Hope and the triumph of Doubt.



Women's Day and all that...

Thu, 08 Mar 2007 08:22:10 GMT

On Women's Day, I'd like to doff my hat to the men who have made my life so interesting.

If it weren't for my older brothers, I perhaps would not have been so inclined to various genres of music. They introduced me to Rock, Jazz and Blues which laid a strong foundation for my ear for music.

Also, thanks to them I know what it is to 'hang' with the boys, be one of the guys and know what they're all about. I don't have a unidimensional view of men and I do think men and women could be friends without having to burn the bra or shed the pants.

Without my dad, I wouldn't have known what it is to fight for my rights and insist on my freedom of choice. I wouldn't have had that rebel in me questioning the need to be married or settled or the rationale to be questioned about my late nights while my brothers had it easy. So ya, thanks to him I am a woman who seeks out equal opportunities.

Without my many male friends, I wouldn't have realised how lovely and fascinating men can be. They all come in various hues and it would be rather disappointing to box them and dismiss them all as "All men are the same." They, like us women, are so varied and thank god for variety! Some of them teach us what the term 'pricks' truly means and then there are those who have inspired me, cherished me and supported me to be the woman that I am today.

Without my boss and some of my male colleagues, I wouldn't have understood what a 'glass ceiling' in the corporate world meant. I realise that there are so many issues that working women face and are not being addressed adequately in the world, and more so in India. Despite our juggling act of maintaining a home and career, we hardly get the support we need. We need flexible hours, creche facilities and more 'work from home' options.

We women are ever dynamic and multidimensional...we do a lot more partly because of our conditioning and partly because of our innate strength in being a woman. Men, acknowledge us and continue to help us change the world that we co-create. Because if we're happy, trust me...YOU will be infinitely happier!



I want to believe...

Thu, 01 Mar 2007 09:38:24 GMT

Sometimes I am just so bored with an adult existence. In having to prove yourself, in getting a good job, in earning the big moolah, in playing the rat race and in being part of the serious corporate rigmarole, in showing interest in the implications of the Budget, in getting wrapped up in EMIs and where to invest what. Sometimes I wish I could just break through ...

I want to be a child once again
I want to find joy in doing the small things
To play to my heart's content and climb trees
To make my little sail boats and laugh in glee to see them set sail
To trust people and question with abundant curiosity
To believe in angels and tooth fairies and Santa Claus
To imagine a Hansel and Gretel kind of life and the chocolate cottage
To laugh out loud without fearing embarassment
To not know fear
To believe that nothing really can go wrong
To know that my mum and dad will be here forever
I want to believe that this world is fair
I so want to be a child again.



Venice - Of Venetian Masks, Murano Glass and WaterwaysCarla Bruni

Wed, 07 Feb 2007 18:02:01 GMT

I have been meaning to upload some pictures from my Europe trip in Sept 06.

The most beautiful part of the journey was my visit to Venice. I can't think of a more magical place that actually seems to float on water. It's weird and so very enchanting to see people commute by water taxis...One can get lost in the maze of lanes and canals but in getting lost, you discover the beauty and romance of this place like no other,

Venice by Night is a completely different experience. The St. Marks' Square, often described as the finest 'drawing room' in Europe transforms itself almost in a flash...from the many pigeons that flock this square, suddenly by night, you have live musicians all around the square with jazz bands and blues singers ...just in a light flick of a magic wand. The air is filled with romance, with couples doing an impromptu waltz or jive keeping up to the beats thrown at them by an ever entertaining host.

I had my first Bellini (an interesting cocktail of champagne and peach juice). This drink was inspired by the 15th century Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini. This set the mood for an amazing evening with music, Bellini and getting inspired myself topped it by a waltz with a fellow traveller...I felt like I was "living a lifetime in an instant" ...now that's a line from "Scent of a Woman" but it so defines the charm of Venice!

You should take a cruise by night to view some of Venice's sights, the Byzantine architecture and the many beautiful homes and villas that have been converted to hotels...with candles and flowers dotting windows, it truly is a sight to cherish.

Some of the must see and must do's: The Murano Glass Factory, The Doge's Museum, Rialto Market and ofcourse the Gondola Ride and you should cross over to the Lagoon and visit the vibrant Island of Burano.

I can well imagine the despodency at the "Bridge of Sighs", aptly named so, as prisoners literally heaved a sigh at this Bridge, savouring the last sight of Venice, before going into prison. Oh what torture that must be!

Viva Venezia!

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And this is Burano, vibrant and so very exotic. I had some fabulous sea food here.


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