Showing posts with label Musings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Musings. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Of Buckets and Lessons- 2018 reminiscences

Here I am, sitting on the upper deck of sun-soaked cruiser, floating amongst the ancient ruins along the majestic Nile. As we watch yet another sunset, I realize that we are about to close out one more year.  And step into a new one …. a full circle of ending and beginning…. The resilience of life.

Our year has had its moments. It’s pleasure to watch the girls grow and come into their own. Anya had to live through a painful surgery this summer; which, as a mother, I pray is the last hardship of her life. Baby P, no longer the baby who fit into the crook of my arm, is still my baby forever. Then us- A and I. We both started to see the gray in our hair and crow’s feet around the eyes, albeit with the help of glasses. Without those damned glasses, I bet we wouldn’t look a mite different than the winter morning we got married on, 18 years ago!

In his typical spur of the moment style, A booked us a trip to Egypt this December. Amongst the excitement of finally making it to exotic Africa & knocking one out from my bucket list of destinations to visit, I learnt a few lessons:

  1. Giving it time. A and I have grown accustomed to a comfortable silence. In a world with no pressing demands on life, we can sit around with a cup of chai and no conversation, without feeling awkward. We can throw out random comments at each other, and understand where that came from. We can almost finish each other’s thoughts, given the right place and time. Considering that we were strangers entering matrimony almost two decades ago, and how low our relationship quotient had fallen once – this level of friendship is enlightening. Don’t get me wrong. We still have our differences, some of them seem almost insurmountable. Despite that, there’s a companionship that I had always longed for.  He remembers places from my bucket list, he is trying to knock them off. He pays no heed to budgets or financials when he plans our vacations…but, he tries. I just need to give him another decade or two to come around :-). Letting time take its course will be my life lesson in 2018.

  2. Living the moment. I’ve grown cynical with time. My mind wanders off to what SHOULD be, rather than what IS. Planning this trip was filled more with anxiety than excitement. My brain churned around the lists of what to bring, and where to find places to feed the kids. On this trip, baby P brought me back to earth, to the wonders of exploration and mindful meanderings. She had collected all the books on Egypt from her library. Read every mythology she could lay her hands on. And in all my fretting, I didn’t know!! I loved traipsing the museums and temples of Egypt with her, reacquainting myself with history and culture through her babbling and wide-eyed wonder. She was exceptional with her memory. Once she knew what we were looking at, she connected the stories together and built me the bigger picture. Even when I missed a couple of excursions because of a stomach bug, she stored it all in her dad’s camera and her memory for me to look at. Becoming a 10-year old again is my goal this year.
  3. Motherhood is hard. Letting go is tougher than it looks. My daughters are young, pretty and old enough to attract unwanted attention. Nowhere is this more evident in a patriarchal society of a third world country. As a mom, that’s a hard pill to swallow.  I wanted to wrap them up in a cocoon or smack the fellows around us. Good thing the girls are still oblivious to oblique comments we encountered! Keeping them safe whike letting them grow up at their pace is all I want to do. Giving them this freedom to experience life  - is the hardest thing about being a mother. Trying to not be such a mother hen and giving them space will be my task for 2018.

Sunset on River Nile, Dec 2017
I am not the one for making resolutions or writing down goals. Just because sometimes, I feel like achievement is over-rated. The fact that you tried, and tried again; then changed strategies…. that you didn’t just break and not mend…. that is more important. Being whole, staying positive and persevering on. That is my new year wish for myself and everyone of you.

Wish you all a very Happy New year. Bright beginnings. Contentment. Happy Endings.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My Happiness Project

What do you like to do?” someone asked me recently.

It took me a while to comprehend, and a lot longer to put in perspective.

It seems like it’s been a lifetime that I have done anything that “I” liked.  I cook food that the kids would eat without a fuss and we go to restaurants that they like. Most times, I sit in front of the TV, and watch whatever the family’s watching. More often than not, I just walk away with my book and hide until they are done with TV. We go on vacations that A thinks of….which isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy them. But it isn’t quite the same as doing “what I like”.  After all, I am a firm believer in the saying, “Do what you love or Love what you do”. I think I don’t mind taking the back seat.  So I don't know what bothered me when I couldn’t think of an that simple, direct question; 

Early on in our marriage, I remember dragging A to a PhilHarmonic concert. Around the same time, he took me to a Zakir Hussain concert. The experiences were ….interesting, to say the least. He yawned the whole time, and slouched, sighed and annoyed the heck out of me. I tried going to the movies with him – a few of those popular Bollywood ones – he laughed till he cried and fell off his chair, clapped his hands and had an insanely entertaining time. I sat and fidgeted and wondered why I had to endure that 3h torture when I could have done something more productive (like reading a book!) Over time, we both gave up; never having found a middle ground for our likes.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tidings of 2015: and a Salute to 2016

Tampa, Florida, Dec 30th, 2015.

“You don’t need to be the tide to rise and fall, 
you don’t have to be a wave to touch the shore; 

just be a little sand-grain and feel them all” 
― Munia Khan

2015 was a giant tidal wave that left me breathless. 

I ushered it in with promises of a new career  - one that would offer me the flexibility that I needed while taking me a step closer to the path that I had always wanted to carve out for myself. The experience was still very new when I was challenged to confront the ghosts of the years past. Fears and my insecurities mocked at me, gave me no choice but to look them in the eye, surrender and embrace.

I had been looking forward to new professional path; just as fervently as I had been avoiding facing my own sorrow and despair.  Grappling with both, within the first half of the year, caught me completely off-guard and exposed my deep-rooted, carefully-hidden vulnerabilities to myself again. The first change was the one I consciously made, and was excited about; the second- even though I made the decision of my own will, was enormously heart-wrenching. But with both, I learnt that accepting the change as inevitable is the most difficult concept of all. Emotions and fear of the unexpected is just a way to come to terms with; and to cope with the change - of any kind. 

Krabi, Thailand, June 29th  2015.
The second half of the year threw more transitions my way. Not as emotionally exhausting; but equally inordinate. Looking back at 2015, I have learnt that however unforeseen or painful; life-lessons are meant to take us places we would never dare to go and transform us into people we were meant to be.

2016; will be.......2016.  An invigorating step forward in the path of life that is yet to come. As the sun sets on 2015 tonight, I promise to reflect on the years gone by; and ones yet to come; to again remind myself to face my fears, surrender and go with the flow of the inevitable, to be that grain of sand that soaks it all in and emerges stronger than the biggest tsunami.

For you, I will wish for Hope & Happiness; Goals & Successes; Love & Laughter.

I wish you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Turning a Page; and a Year.

Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering 'it will be happier'…” 

---Alfred Tennyson--

Sometimes, there are years that you can’t wait to be done with. Other times, the year flies by in a blink. Thinking back a year might make you laugh out loud, smile with love or cry your heart out. The year changes, we turn a page in the calendar and hope for things to change. In recent years, through this space, I have started taking a peek back at the year past; and re-living moments that weren’t significant enough to be etched in memory forever, but momentous enough to deserve a mention.  Well over a week into the year 2015, I want to recount to you some of the tiny, unforgettable moments that made up my 2014. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Momspeak: A Mother's Day Post

A lifetime ago, deep inside my stomach, I felt the stirrings of a longing to be a mom. I blame it all on the fact that it was Christmastime and we were in the Toys R Us, in New York. There was no escaping dressed up little babies in strollers or adorable toddlers hanging onto their mammas for dear life. I didn't really "think" my "want" then.

Nine months later, I brought home my first little one. 

She was beautiful. Perfect. A headful of black hair, milky white smooth skin, all fingers and toes intact. For the first year, I loved dressing her up and cooing over her every milestone. I fed her every hour; stayed up with her  most nights. I couldn't put my camera down. In her two's, she made me grit my teeth and curb an urge to hand her over to another mom.  Right after she turned three, I started to have serious doubts on my mental stability when I decided to have a baby. By the time she'd turned four, I'd totally decided that my being a mom was all a big, scary dream. I was sure I'd wake up soon….

A week after her fifth birthday, we brought home our second one.