Friday, January 25, 2013

Childhood matters when it comes to parenting.


"You have to perform better."
"85% is not good enough!"
"Dress better."
"Don't make a fool of yourself."
"No phone calls from your friends."
"Get up early..that is what good kids do!"
"X is better than you."

If you have heard these phrases from your parents as a child, and now you are a parent, read on. This post is
for you.

Whoever said parents know the best and are always right has to take a reality check. It is not true. Parents are also humans, they could also make wrong choice of words, behaviour and parenting skills. And when they do, the child suffers irreparable damage. The damage, I would say can be minimised but not eradicated. If you, as a child have had parents who have been emotionally overbearing, over expecting, demanding and perfectionist, you will know what I am talking about.

Now for hard facts, which many may not be ready to accept. But it is what it is: TRUTH.

1. Parents can go wrong, terrible wrong.

2. All those words which you hated to hear as a child, all those restrictions which you disliked, is most likely
to come out of your parenting behaviour towards your child. (Under most circumstances) You could reason it as your childhood which gets deeply rooted in your psyche without your knowledge, or genes, or imbibed behaviour.

3. You will have high expectations out of your child too. (Under most circumstances)

4. Either you realise that you have parenting issues which is good. Or you are in denial. Either ways parenting
will be tough for you. It is laden with guilt due to wrong behaviour towards your child.

So, you had tough parents, you wished you had an easy home...you really couldn't do anything about it. Now what?
The good news is you realise you have issues. I strongly believe that every generation is a refined version of
their previous one. The chances to adapt to solutions and change are better. So here is what you can do:

1. Take small steps. If you say to yourself, "I will never shout or raise hand at my child from tomorrow.", the
stakes are very high. You are constantly under pressure and the day the pressure bursts or stars to devour you, you will fall back on your words. Most importantly, never make such a promise to your child. One, you are teaching him/her that it is ok to break a promise according to your convenience. Second, your child will stop trusting you.

2. It is okay to falter. Many years of bringing up and the shadow of your parents will have deep rooted affects on you, which is very tough to remove in a few days or even months. It takes time. And n this process, you may make mistakes, repeat them too and it is OKAY.

3. Make friends who understand your issue. I strongly recommend this. Friends can make or break you. Right words, right emotions can pick you up or make you fall flat on your face. If you speak to ten people, I am sure you will be able to find atleast one with whom you can relate this issue which you are facing. You are lucky if both of you become a mutual support system.

4. Stay away from 'perfect'parents. They do not exist. When people say that they never scold their children or shout at them, they are lying. And if they are not lying, they are harming themselves and their kids. Anger is a normal emotion like happiness. A child has to be taught to deal with anger too. He/She needs to understand that it is okay to be angry and how best he can work with his anger. Anger comes with guilt many a times, which is not necessary.

5. Make small doable and practical rules for yourself: Eg,
  • I will not teach when I am tired or having PMS.
  • I will find better ways to teach which doesn't make me sit with my child constantly during study time. For eg: 
  • Prepare question papers and ask the child to write answers. The chances that you will lose temper is more when you 'hear' wrong answers. 
  • I will not put him in more than one hobby class and one coaching class. 
  • If I am unable to teach properly, I will choose tuition. No, there is nothing wrong to put a 1st grader in a tuition class if you are short of time, are a working parent, have more than one child, have no family support to pitch in with household chores, are yourself poor in a language subject, and so on. 

6. Be protective about yourself and your child. Let no one judge you or your child. Let them know you do not like comparing yourself or your child with anyone.

7. "Is my child going to love coming back to his home, if I do this?" Ask this question to yourself as much as possible. You will find answers yourself. Aim at having a home your child would love to come back to. Ask yourself this question as much as possible, you will surprised at the result.

8. Choose the right school. If your child is in a perfectionist school (There are few springing up now!), it will not help you in anyway. The school will pressurize the child and you, and the vicious circle is unending. The choice of school for such parents should be the ones which deal with kids with patience and treat each child as individual. They do consider that a child can be 5 or 6 years old in 1st grade, and it is not the same. A child is not a parrot. They have to be dealt with humanity and courtesy. If it was all about grades, then there would not be so many great men and women coming out of college drop outs!

9. Don't fear or feel uncomfortable taking professional help if you just cannot deal with your situation. Many a times, a few sessions of professional counselling is all it needs. It is as simple as consulting a doctor when you have a cold or fever.

I am not a professional counseller, but these small steps can really help you. It is not word of mouth. After all, we are all products of our experiences.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Use this when in DOUBT.

So, Anne Hathaway won the esteemed Golden Globe award for Best supporting actress for Les Miserables. What caught my ears was what she said while she received the award. She said,

"Thank you for giving me this blunt object which I can use as a weapon in the future when I am in self doubt."

I kept thinking about it for a very long time. The proof is this blog post. I couldn't stop myself from writing about it.


This is you and me too. We have a lot of gimmick going on around us. Each side pulls us their way. Every choice has a common component: SELF DOUBT.

Am I going to succeed?
What if people hate me?

She will call me a 'loser'.
Am I looking good?
Is this going to be bad?
What if this is the wrong decision?

Heard these statements inside your head?

And then let's say there is that one thing in your life, in your closet, in your shelf, on your table, on the wall, which asks you, " Why are you doubting yourself so much? If it hadn't been you, then how am I here?"

That thing could be an award, a love note, a medal, a souvenir, a tape, a CD, a message, a mail, a FB status update, a blog, a newspaper column on you....

Well, I am not a great singer. But I sing anyway. My husband who sings pretty well smirks every time I sing and asks, "Why??"

I stick my tongue out and swoon away to glory. But in my head I say, "because I have performed in a school choir in 12th std for an inter school western music competition and we won the 3rd position. That is why I still sing." Psst...I still have the certificate in my folder.   

I believe in the future because I see the proof from the past. And to make that kind of a past, you have to believe in your present.



Monday, January 14, 2013

Yeh hain India meri jaan !


Last evening we were out and what we experienced was the usual traffic jam which is quintessential to Bangalore. While thankfully we started to slide through the snaky vehicles, the opposite lane had begun to form a jam of its own. The reason was oh-so watchable!

Right in the beginning of the slow crawling traffic was a buffalo cart. Yup, a buffalo cart with 2 sturdy buffalos and a man trying to manoeuvre the cart loaded with sugarcane.  Buffalos being what they are and doing what they are supposed to do, walked with a definite slow rhythm, swaying their tails and lethargic bodies.

And just behind the village personified was a….hold your breath….an Audi Q7….Heehaw!  The driver was but obvious pissed off to the core.

A ‘oh-just-out-of-the-showroom’ looking Audi + ‘I-am-the-owner-of-this-Audi’ looking driver + a honking exasperated moment + the calculated gait of the buffalo + unbaffled cart rider + a road full of watchers with a smile, rather a laugh, on their faces.

Clearly, India is running 2 parallel worlds. One, which is completely oblivious of technology, infrastructure and luxury. And the other other which is the epitome of "India Shining". 

While we too had our share of laugh, I was left wondering about the concept of economic paradox which I had learnt as a student and taught as a teacher. Finally I got to see it firsthand!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

2012 Highlights: EFFORTS = REWARDS.....really??

HIGHLIGHTS 2012 - POST 3

This post starts with a warning:

It is a very subjective topic. This is my opinion which I have formed; with the way situations went down and came way up in 2012. I strongly feel one's life's principles are born from the situations one faces and the way it has been successfully dealt with.

2012 started with a big time low for my family. We were already dealing with the sudden demise of my father in late 2011, but it turned out that was not the only issue we had to endure. I cannot divulge the facts of the dismal turnout of the events, but it was a very trying period.

Friends moved away, people who we thought were the 'good' people in our life proved us otherwise, true colours of  few family members came alive (that was the most painful)....and all we could do was watch.

And PRAY.

We prayed for a miracle. We prayed saying, "This is the time to reward us for all the good things we have done till now in our life." Every morning we got up thinking this would be the last day of the wait. But it turned out to be a longer wait than our prediction.

I was left questioning whether really it is all about hard work and being good? If that was the case, then where did our rewards vanish?

On a particularly frustrated morning, I said, "What is the point even trying this hard, when anyway things are happening in its own way?!!" My husband (who looks cool even if there is hurricane within him) responded, "Actually it makes sense. Why don't we stop trying hard for some time, and see what happens?" I gave him the most 'you-really-want-me-to-take-that-shit' look and asked him, "And that's your solution?" That is when he introduced me to a wonderful concept which Stephen R.Covey penned down.


The blue area is the Circle of Concern. This area includes all our worries: Career, job, family, kids, money, investments, losses, profits, health, time management, and so on. Essentially we would want to to make a difference to all of the concerns.

The orange area is Circle of Influence. This area includes all that we can do to make the requisite change in our life or resolve the Circle of Concern. For eg: Meet right people, take up a hobby, make new friends, learn about new investment avenues, spend time with family, go for regular heath tests, go for a walk everyday, etc.

The aim is to reduce the Circle of Concern, so that we are successful emotionally, physically, mentally and socially. This can be achieved by increasing the Circle of Influence. By being better equipped and taking steps towards personal development, this Circle of Influence can be increased. Automatically, Circle of Concern becomes smaller.

What I am trying to speak about in this post is the gap between the 2 circles.

No matter what, at any given time there exists a gap between the 2 circles. There is a limitation to how much you influence to reduce your concerns. The reason could be many. If you think about it spiritually, then it is destiny. Or if you think about it practically, the reason could be that we live in a social set up, where our life is influenced by other people who may or may not be a part of our life. And this is something we cannot control. This is where an unknown hand plays its part. This is where we have to teach ourselves to be patient, to trust that no situation remains the same and that things will finally pitch in positively.

The concept made complete sense. We had been in a  situation where nothing we did fixed it. It was like no matter what we did, the probability of its success was in the hands of some other people who were completely unknown to us. We did not know what they thought or what they would do. So what we did was HAVE FAITH,  ACT PATIENT, SPOKE TO FAMILY AND CLOSE FRIENDS FOR INSPIRATION AND SUPPORT, ATE GOOD FOOD (Yeah..that never fails!), LAUGHED A LOT AND BASKED IN MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT (to keep up the positive energy).

None of this is easy, I know. But we did it. Finally the time came and right people entered our life. And just like that, the right pegs fell into the right holes. VOILA!

A lot of it is about the right efforts. Well, you don't get to eat yumm Aloo Paranthas unless someone or you make it. But some of it is also about things you cannot control. If the plate of Aloo Paranthas fall down at just the wrong moment, then you HAVE to wait till a fresh batch is prepared. Ultimately you do get your mouthful. :)




Friday, January 11, 2013

2012 Highlights: Relationships too sometimes come with an expiry date

HIGHLIGHTS 2012 - POST 2

Being a single child, I have grown up on a steady flow of friends. They fulfilled all that which the lack of siblings did for me. I guess that is why I value friendships like something sacred. I still continue my friendship with a few people who have been with me since my kindergarten days! And there are some who have come into my life just recently but I know I have a past life connection with them.

The year 2012 made me come out of my safe cocoon and move away from a few 'friends' (or I thought so). And it was not easy in any way. I was hurt and I bled for many months. It was drastic for me to even consider the chance of friends turning foes in a matter of minutes or days.

I spoke to my close friends hoping to find a closure, but sadly it never happened. The only way I could help myself was...well, by helping MYSELF. I gave myself time, analysed, read books and coincidentally came across apt words at the right moment.

The first stint of a good friend moving away from me started in late 2011, when I lost my father. I found it weird that she refused to ever speak about the feeling of 'loss' I was experiencing. It went to an extent that she very insensitively made casual talk when I spoke about my father! I felt cheated and run over. This continued into early 2012, and a few more episodes made me slide away from her slowly but surely.

I really do not intend to write about the other people who too parted ways in their sour way in 2012. The crux is that I was left wondering what the hell happened here? Was I wrong somewhere? Was it a mistake? My mistake...or theirs? I was left questioning friendships in my life.

So let me just write what I understood or rather made myself understand.

What happens?
1. People sometimes do not know how to handle some one else's grief. Some feel if they move away from the person, the grief won't affect them. Some feel that if they keep in touch, it is like inviting negative energy...so they move away. And some are just insensitive. Either of these persons in your life are not worth it. Because friends do not behave like this. Period.

2. Priorities change. People move away because either or both feel that the other does not match the plane they are in, anymore. And thus, they want new people in their life. This is good. This way friendships don't stale and people don't 'linger' in your life. These people may re-enter in your life. It has happened to me, and I was more than happy to have them back. I genuinely felt that they looked upon getting me back in their life. I have not been wrong.

3. People mess up...big time. They mess up for wrong reasons, at the wrong time and wrong place. Wrong reactions, words, expressions...et al. There is no explanation to it.

What do you do?
1. Give yourself time. There is no healer like time. Meanwhile nourish yourself with the other lovely friends you have in your life.

2. Question the other person, speak your heart out and move on.
This does not specifically apply to me. I did not question the friend who hurt me the most in 2012. The reason: I felt she had fallen way below the level of mutual discussion. I did not want to hurt myself more and also, my self respect warned me against speaking to her. I preferred moving on.

3. I came across a rightly timed quote. It goes like this,

"Sometimes people come into our life for a purpose. The purpose is to teach you how to let go. They leave, you learn and then you move on." 

It is a very simple quote, but quite meaningful. It explains everything in a few words.

Let me finish this post with something I loved reading:


Thursday, January 10, 2013

And that is what parenting is all about

I will be soon completing 7 years of motherhood. Yayyy! To say that parenthood has changed me by poles would be an understatement. I have realised my undermined strengths as well as weaknesses. The thing about becoming a mother is that it comes without training but with a lot of intuition and gut feeling. It is like being an intern for the rest of your life. You fail yourself a lot of times and there comes a moment when you feel pure marvel. Somehow parenting books have never worked for me. I have a Dr. Spock lying in my library though, and there have been times when I have picked it up in doubt, but I cannot really say it has been a big help. What has really helped me are my fellow mother-friends, my family and most of all my intuition (it has never ever failed me). Having said this, all the factors mentioned above have limitations. None of them really tell whether you have succeeded mothering or parenting a child. The one and only person/s who can tell you so is your child or children.

Children have this ability to teach you in a very subtle manner the many intricacies of life. I am thankful to my kids for being the teacher I never had in my life. They have taught me qualities which I can bluntly say even my parents could not. This post is all about that.


Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

THE ART OF LETTING GO and ACCEPT WITH AN OPEN HEART

(When it is time to let go)

Between Anirudh and me (on a busy morning)
Me: Drink your milk and go to potty...fast!
A (Flashes me his pissed off face): How many times do I have to tell you not say 'potty'?! Can you not say 'toilet' or 'loo'? You think I am a small kid like Nia? (his kid sis)
Me: Ok, sorry. Could you please go to the toilet...fast?!

(When it is time to accept with an open heart)

He was about to leave to school and was going to enter the lift alone.
A (with the look of a lost puppy): What if the power goes off and the watchman forgets to switch on the generator?
Me: No, baby. It will not happen. They are very careful.
A: Promise me, you will stand here till I reach the ground floor.
Me: I promise, I will.

(When it is time to let go)
It was evening time and I was going for my walk, while A was unlocking his cycle in the parking lot.
Me: Bye, enjoy with your friends (And I hugged him)
A (pushing me away): My friends will see you hugging me. I don't like it.
Me: What is the big deal? I am your Amma.
A: I know you are my Amma. But you don't still get to hug me when we are out.
Me: Sighhh

(When it is time to accept with an open heart and realllly not lose cool)
At 9 pm, when it is time for the kids to sleep, I am dead hungry and my latest fav TV show is about to begin.
A: I just remembered I am supposed to make a class project for English!!
Me: What???
A: If I don't take it tomorrow, the teacher will scold me.
Me: Serves you right. You have to learn to be more responsible.
A (with the same lost and guilty puppy face): Please Amma....you have to help me.
Yup, I did help with all my might and a rumbling tummy. The end result was a beautiful English project and a tight hug, kiss and 'I love you, Amma'.

And then there was this: (with my 2.5 year old!)

(While we were going for a walk, I tried holding her hand)
N: No hold hand. Nia big girl.
Me: Ok.
And then she sees a dog sleeping and starts screaming at the top of the lungs.
N: Ammmmmma....Doggie!!! Nia hold.
After I pick her up and kiss her.
Me: But Nia is a big girl, so why are you scared of a dog?
N: Nia no like dog. Nia Amma hand hold. My Amma.
I swear I could have gobbled her down! :)

It was later that I pondered upon what my kids did. They simply taught me that as parents we need to do just one thing correctly. Everything else is not a big deal. And that is,

No matter what age a child is at, they want us to let go when they feel they are big enough and accept them with an open non-critical heart when they feel they are not big enough. And this does not change when they turn into adults too.

Most of the days, I don't want my mother to mother me. I want her to listen to what I want to say. And then there are moments, when all I want to do is call my mother and no one else. I want her to speak to me and tell me, "It is all going to be fine." No strings attached. And that is what parenting is all about.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012 Highlights: F.R.I.E.N.D.S (Post 1)

HIGHLIGHTS - 2012: POST 1

2012 has been remarkable in many ways for me. And it would be unfair if I don't mention it on my blog. In the Highlights 2012 series, I will be writing about the biggies :)

2012 has been the year of friendships. I took a big leap of kindling new friendships and nurtured it like there was no tomorrow. And I can happily say that I gorged on the sweet results too. Sonny had his share too. Take a look:


The above note was written by Anirudh's class-buddy and best friend. Actually they are a
 set of 3 boys, and apparently the class teacher has to change their seats regularly because they end up chatting from wherever they are!

And then there was this:


The picture was taken on a holiday trip to Mysore, which we took in December 2012 with my best friend's family. The looks on their faces are evident of the amount of fun these bachchaas had!

And then there was me. The book Eat, Pray, Love very aptly speaks about the possibility of soul mates being a lot more than just spouses. I cannot help agreeing more. While my husband remains my best friend and first soul mate, 2012 gave me one more best friend and soul mate. (Yeah, I do believe that there can be more than 1 'best' friend...I am challenging English grammar now.) The above pic has 2 of her kids.

This post, in no way, undermines the fact that I have identified a few more friends who mean to me as much as my family. And the year 2013 is going to be a lot about them.

Like the saying goes, You cannot choose your family, but friends are the family you can choose. So, choose...I did. Choose the right people. The people who flatter you, who criticize you, who love you and hate you for the right reasons, who you can call at 2 am and bitch, who you can sms under the blanket just before going to sleep. And don't forget to add a prayer for them and their family every day. Most importantly, thank your stars every single day for sending a friend like the ones you cherish in your life.

I leave you with one of my favourite quotes from EAT, PRAY, LOVE:

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. 

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. 

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master...” 

Friday, January 4, 2013

The 'Dil Deewana' girls


Every adult has super embarrassing moment/s from their growing up years. Yup, I have had them too. And today when I think about those times, I want to laugh, grin, duck under the bed and poke myself, all at the same time.

The last time I remembered one of my all time favourite silly moments was while I was in the park two days back. I have known couple of boys from my apartment complex since they were about nine years old. Today they are all at the threshold of entering teenage. They look, talk, play and behave different now.

That particular evening I saw all of them sitting on a swing with iPods and sharing their earphones. And all four of them were singing an English song. (It ofcourse has to be English! There is something about becoming a teenager and suddenly shifting gears from Hindi songs to English ones. It was the same then and...now) The boys shifted their tempos, tried to reached the higher pitch stretching their necks as much as possible and when they were unable to do so, started laughing. They surely were having fun. And looking at them, I couldn't help smiling and remembering 'those' days of mine.

We were a group of 3 girls who always sat together to and fro the school bus journey. It was weird that though we were in the same class, we never sat together in the class. But we sure were 'bus buddies'. The journey was a good 45 minutes each way. And those days there used to a trend of playing Antakshari to kill time. And we played...EVERY SINGLE DAY! That was also the time when "Maine Pyar Kiya" (The super duper Salman Khan-Bhagyashree movie) had been released, and there never used to be a single day we missed singing atleast one song from that movie. And slowly we realised that the letter 'd' would come up every day, and we ended up singing "Dil deewana bin sajana ke maane na" from the movie, each time. I think we three ended up 'loving' the song to such an extent that Antakshri was taken over by just singing songs. We would pick up any Hindi song and just sing it. And everyday we would start with our anthem: Dil deewan bin sajana ke maane na!

Imagine, 3 girls with pig-tails and school uniform, singing this song, the whole song, every single day! Gradually everyone started noticing. (But obvious). And we started being called the 'Dil Deewana' girls. Now I seriously want to hide. The seniors used to say, "Oh no, they have started again!" But no, that would not stop us. It used to make us give them the "look" and then...sing again.

This went on for a long time. We sang, we got commented upon, we did not care and we sang again. I don't remember how it got stopped though. I think we got bored eventually. And we also moved apart. We made different friends, and I moved towards the back of the bus. But this memory stood intact within me. There was something about it.

It is all about growing up, I guess. We do stupid things, we laugh, we think it is 'the' thing to do and it does not matter what others think about it. But today as an adult, we are scared to do stupid things, we cannot afford to be silly, we can hardly laugh at ourselves, there is no such 'the' thing to do...we just carry on our responsibilities and expectations, and if there is anything which matters, it is what others think about us. No wonder, life was much easier when we were young.

But these small, silly and seemingly insignificant memories still bring a smile to our face. And I ask myself, was it really that insignificant?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Oh look what I basketed!

I love my weekends! I know everyone does, and I am not really flying a rocket when I say that I do too. But  I reallly wait for the weekend like a a little child waiting to get a piece of cake at a birthday party. You know, with the look in the eyes and joined hands.

But I have a party pooper which takes away half a day of either my Saturday or Sunday. And it is: GROCERY SHOPPING. I declare with my hand on the Bhagvad Gita, I love shopping, any kind...even vegetables! It gives me a feel good factor. How pathetic is that?! You will say. But I cannot help being myself.

But lately I haven't been particularly enjoying my trip to the grocery mall. For one, I need to do a lot of things. I have to drive, park, sometimes tag along the kids, stand in the queue to pay while the air conditioning is but obvious switched off, see men coming out of their Honda City in boxer shorts (Jaws dropping big time and mouthing YUCKKKK). I am gonna stop here. It is pretty understood that there are issues. The last thing I want is issues on a weekend.

I was cribbing about it to my friend, and she suggested (God bless you) BigBasket. An online grocery shopping portal, which sells and home delivers every grocery requirement of your home. I have to mention here, if I love shopping, I super love online shopping. It is convenient, less time consuming, does not need a parking charge and I don't have to stand in a queue to make the payment.





About my experience: 
Pros:
1. I have shopped twice till now. And both the times, I could get whatever I needed, except for salted butter which was out of stock and mushrooms which they do not stock yet.
2. Every fruit and vegetable was packed hygienically in plastic zipped pouches.
3. They have offers running at all times and if I compare the prices with the discounted priced grocery mall I usually visit, I felt I was not shelling out more. I did find rice costlier but again, I am saving on petrol, parking, out of the list purchases, snacks, sugarcane juice and time.
4. They have a good variety of stock of non veg too. I tried chicken and found it not bad at all.
5. I am not a big fan of the individual plastic wrapping of veggies in the grocery malls, in order to be billed. I think it is an environmental waste. I am glad that big basket encourages recycling. They give you an option to return back all the zipped pouches and plastic trays used to pack the perishable items.
6. Home delivery: It is a huge factor for me. They give you a choice of time slots and they have delivered on time both the times.
7. They have a customer care number which helps you with the issues, queries and complaints if any.

Cons:
Nothing as yet. Maybe a remark: I would prefer to buy fish from my local shop, coz I feel fish has to be super fresh always and I like to see what I pick up.

At the moment, they are operating in Bangalore, Mumbai (including Navi Mumbai and Thane) and Hyderabad.

Now, the next thing in my list is to think what can I do with all the time I save while I am not in a grocery mall.
 :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

GUILT vs ME

Past one week has been the "shopaholic-week". I have been shopping shopping and just shopping, only for myself. I have been splurging...well, lets just say...A HELL LOT! I shopped for clothes, footwear, bags, jewellery, cosmetics, netbook, iPad and good food. I should have been happy...just blissfully happy. Did I mention that my birthday is coming up? Aaaah, who am I kidding?!

But women, I feel, come on this earth with a few extra emotions (which I swear, we can do without). The worst of these emotions is GUILT. (Did I just hear trumpets blowing and bells ringing?) To say the least I was riding pretty high on this particular emotion. Every time the credit card got swiped, and I signed the slip, GUILT made its grand entry. As I arranged the new purchases in its order, GUILT gave me a side-long glance, and did I just hear it say 'tch-tch-tch'? I think I just saw Flipkart and Guilt shouting cuss at each other, Guilt showed a middle finger and Flipkart showed two. And I wanted to run for cover.

And then God showed mercy on me and the schools re-opened today. Getting up at 5:45 was in itself a pain. You do know the feeling of having to get up from a warm bed and blanket when it is foggy outside, right? It is killing! And then making a 7 year old get ready on time, when he wants to play games on the iPad for just 5 minutes, is really not a cakewalk. And then there is the button which refuses to unbutton, an unbuttoned button which refuses to button, a tie (which has been knotted the night before) which refuses to go down the head, breakfast which is either very hot or very cold and body lotion bottle which ensures to get hidden somewhere. Meanwhile I am resisting the urge to take a peek in the loo!

No, no...it does not get over yet. There is a 2.5 year old too, who wants to keep hugging because she is sleepy, wants to talk to the picture of the monkey on her T-shirt instead of drinking milk, potty refuses to come and wants to wear a bindi just when I am juggling between making dosas, heating milk, making rotis, taking the dal off the heat, preparing tadka for coconut chutney and dal, packing 3 lunch boxes, 1 snack box and 1 breakfast box, making salad. Please excuse if I have missed out on anything.

Just when you thought it has got over, dearest husband wants to talk to me about his razor not working and not able to find matching clothes to work.

Finally, it was 7:45 am, and my son was off to school, husband was having breakfast, I could finally make the much required visit to the loo and daughter was still not looking quite in a mood. I managed to sit down with a warm cup of milk and warm milk quenched not just my dry throat and raging tummy, but also GUILT. Yayyyy! And I declared to my husband, "I so deserve all the things I bought for myself. Guilt can go and fly a kite"

Finally, my daughter also left for school and husband for work. And here I am with my laptop. The washing machine is buzzing to tell me to pick up the washed clothes, the milk packets have to be boiled, the kitchen looks like a war zone, I look worse, but what the hell! The guilt is nowhere to be seen, and did I just realise I need to do some shopping for the home as well. Aaaah, bring it on...I say.


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