Ask me the Time

I have been disciplining my kids too much, I think. What goes in, comes back. The way I’ve been instructing them, my girls are learning well, especially the younger one. Many times in a day I am telling them the right time to do things pointing the watch and what it says, like “It’s eating time”, “It’s sleeping time”’, “It’s playing time” and blah blah blah. Today the little one was wearing her watch and here is our conversation :

ANIKA : Ask me what the time is.

Me : What time is it, ANIKA?

ANIKA : my watch says it’s ICE CREAM time. It says we have to eat the ICE CREAM right now. Can we?

Me : Uh..

ANIKA :

Me :

ANIKA :

Me :

ASHITA : (whispers) Say yes.

ME : (sisters conspiracy I’m sure) Hmmmm

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One thing – always – leads to another.

The problem is always the same.

I am looking at Mark from across the glass pane and I’m thinking about the fact that he asked me out – kind of – a few months ago. I loved – Kevin with everything I have to give, but when he storms out of the apartment and disappears without warning for days on end, it’s impossible to not feel left behind. He is nowhere seen, no messages, no calls. I try to stop myself and my mind from spiraling out of control and thinking he’s left me for someone smarter, safer, a wench or a bitch. There’s this worry that he’ll get sick of me. I’ll stop being enough.

And I’m just looking at Mark from across the glass pane but that’s the thing. That’s the one thing that always leads to another. I’ll look at him and he’ll smile, and then I’ll smile, and then he’ll ask if I want to go for a walk. He always know that I need way to clear my head and I always need a reason to avoid the apartment when it is empty.

Then a walk turns into drinks. Neither of us ever drink too much but somehow we always drink enough to feel comfortable saying whatever comes to our mind. Sometimes I tell him how charming he looks when he’s not dressed up for a war and he’ll say how jealous he is that I already have someone to love, and it feels innocent until I’m walking with him back to his car at the parking lot. I linger at his door and from the outside it looks innocent but it feels anything but…..

“Kevin is very lucky,” he’ll say to me every single time. We’ll stare at each other really long and I know that I do that sideways grin that Mark laughs at and I’ll hear him laugh in the back of my head. I’ll feel sick to my stomach, then stumble down the stairs, and then just wave at him. I know he has to go, I want to stop him, stay with me longer than before.

“I think he probably feels the same,” and when I’m walking away from him he says in a flat voice that he thinks I don’t hear: “Probably isn’t the answer you deserve.” I know I should feel more confident in Kevin’s love for me but I think I doubt it because I doubt myself. I doubt if we still miss each other, if he still thinks of me, the missing communication says it all.

And here I am, just looking at him from across the pane wishing that he were Kevin instead of Mark. I know I don’t love him the way he wants me to, and I know that Kevin would dump me if he ever thought I was being anything but a good friend to someone that I trusted with my life, but I don’t stop myself.

One day the real problem won’t be that one thing lead to another but that I let one thing become many things. 

“Do you want to go for a walk?” Mark whispers. I didn’t even see him come up to me. Everything in my head wants to decline, I promise it. I try to recreate that laugh so much. I try to imagine him cooking with me in my kitchen or repairing the iron in his shorts while trying to read his notes from some big conference. I swear I try it all.

For now, though, what’s the harm in one thing? “Sure thing, Mark!”

When my reckoning comes, I hope I get the hell that I deserve.

Happiness is Temporary

I don’t know  why, but on a few occasions I start crying, I think about all the bad things in my life and…..I just get so depressed.

I am not better at all. Everything is shit.

But for you I am just a girl smiling as she passes by.

Sometimes I wish I was a SOCIOPATH. Honestly.

Life would be so much easier without feelings and compassion.

Like sure, if someone you have feelings or feels the same way it can be great, but then they have the opportunity to hurt you so badly. Or just anyone who means a lot to you.

Funny how I start writing, as soon as I feel sad. And it terrifies me how easily I get upset and my whole night can turn bad. I feel like I’m getting into that “I just want to sleep all the time habit”.

I just want to be happy, to be genuinely happy, for a long time. But this sadness keeps coming back. On few days I feel so happy… but now I feel terrible.

Why can’t things just get better permanently for once ???

All things have endings, sometimes happy ones, sometimes bittersweet and sometimes saddest of all.

 

My writing has taken two simultaneous purposes. One to figure out my weaknesses and other to figure out my strength.

Except, If I look close enough, it’s neither that makes me what I am inside. Nor does it compromise a single aspect of my existence. Not when I have a BRAVE HEART.

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And then comes LOVE: “although science could pinpoint the exact spot in the brain that ignites rage, they had yet to identify the location that produces love.”

I’m doing good, as I always say. Because maybe I am. Despite monotone and turbulence, somehow, I am doing okay. On a scale of chirpy to exhausted, I’m dangling right in the middle, but a little bent to the brighter side.

Dandelions and daisies, turned into dried rose petals behind huge glass walls. Numbers are dreadful, but I now know how to complement substitutes and figures with piano tiles; playing my favorite Bollywood song, sometimes I feel all I’ve written has already been written down, told days ago, I feel I say the same things over and over, and YOU listen anyway.

People are beautiful, with their sleep poses and weird expressions and slightly nasal voices when irritated, they undeniably are. I had all the time I wanted and yet I never knew how I suddenly was in a relationship with YOU and how you can literally spend all your time with someone for days and still not know their favorite color , hahahaha.

Friendships are a little like sex, intimate but concealing. Stress has gotten to my head and every time I try to spit words like venom out of my system, my eyes smile a little less than they did the last time.

But I would say Happiness is still temporary!!

I wonder what life would have been, If you were here

I think about you constantly.

I wonder what life would be like if you were still here. I imagine all of the things you’d say. I imagine all of the different adventures we would have gone on.

I wonder who I would be if you were here. I wonder what we would all be like. I think about all of the different ways things would’ve turned out with you in our lives.

I miss you all the time. I miss you so much that my heart hurts. My heart literally clenches tightly when I think of you, as though it’s trying to hold itself together while my thoughts try and tear it apart.

Time is supposed to heal all wounds but, it seems as though time just provided me with a band-aid that gets old and falls off more often than not.

I know you’d hate it, but I still cry for you. I still sit up at night and wish that you were here. I still talk to you and ask you for advice.

I can’t help but want you here. Life has moved on but my heart and emotions haven’t. I can’t move on.

I have your picture everywhere. I think it’s because I’m afraid that one day I’ll forget your face.

God… I hope that never happens.

I don’t remember your voice anymore. I remember things you said, but it’s been so long that your voice has faded from memory.

I refuse to let you fade completely.

I won’t do that to myself. You are the memory that I cling to when things get bad. You are the hope I hold onto when things get dark.

I need you, and your memory is all I have left. So, I’ll keep it alive for you.

I will carry you in my heart wherever I go in life. I will petition God to have you as my guardian angel if that’s what it takes to keep you with me.

I know that you are up there watching me. I know you look down and keep guard over me.

I can only hope that I’m making you proud. I can only hope that I’m what you imagined I’d be in life. I can only hope that you’re smiling at me and not up there shaking your head.

I won’t hope that you miss me as much as I miss you, because missing you is painful. Missing someone is too painful for Heaven to allow inside its gates. It’s too painful for me to wish on anyone, especially you.

I love you.

And I miss you more than you’ll ever realize.

I miss my DAD

My younger one was 3.5 months when she lost her father. She holds no memories of her daddy and never asks questions or brings him up. She is a happy, well-adjusted, smart, and lovable four years old. She just also happens to be a kid who’s dad died way too young. Truth be told, I don’t worry about my younger one nearly as much as I do my older daughter, because she was a little older and seems to have a harder time with her loss.

This all changed recently.

As we drove to a trip to Pondicherry my little lady piped up from playing on the beach and said:

“Mommy, I miss my daddy.”

Just like that, out of the random blue, and like a sword, through my heart, she uttered those words that rendered me utterly speechless. Through quiet tears and a cracked-voiced, I just responded…

“I know buddy, and I miss him too.”

We continued to talk about HIM, and as the questions poured out of her, I could see by the expression on her little face that it was all soaking in. She continued to probe until she was done and the subject changed just as quickly as it had come up in the first place.

 

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I dropped my happy go lucky little girl from my hand, and she ran off laughing and smiling like she always does. However, I was left reeling and feeling a pain that has become all too familiar in the past four years. Through quiet reflection and lots of deep breaths, I came to a straightforward conclusion.

I can’t fix this.

There is nothing I can do to give my children their father back. There is nothing I can do to give them their innocence lost or security they may have had in their invincible parents back. Death stole these things from them, and I am incapable of fixing that reality.

My kids know loss.

My kids know death.

My kids miss their dad. Period.

End of story. End of discussion.

Or is it?

What my children also know is resiliency.

They know that life is made up of choices and that when all seems lost, we can still make the choices in this life to be and do more. They know from a tender age that bad things happen, but that buoyancy can help to carry them through very dark days. They have learned that why we may never move ON, we can move forward in a new and different path.

My children know love.

They know that people die, but even in death we still can love them beyond this world. They know that the people who remain in their present life love them deeply and care for their happiness. They know that community matters, choices matter, LIFE matters.

My children know joy.

We practice happiness in our house because we have known the worst sadness possible. We grasp at the good and practice counting the blessing that surrounds us daily.

I can’t fix what has happened in our lives.

All I can do is continue to live, answer the hard questions when they come up, and show my babies why we all deserve to live a beautiful life.

NO, Sorry ! I can’t CHANGE !

As a mom, I’m carrying a lot on my shoulders: Taking care of my house, myself, work and my (adorable) kids. With so much to juggle, I’m not going to get it right all the time. It’s normal to feel like I could do better (everyone does!). You see those moms who look like they’ve got it all — perfectly cropped hair, a smiley, happy kid/kids, a killer framework of body and floorboards that sparkle — and it’s hard not to get jealous.

 “When I first had my daughter, I judged all of my mommy friends for the things they did because I wasn’t doing them. I felt like I had to give myself the confidence boost by thinking that they were doing something wrong.”

 

I have two girls. The elder one is almost touching 10 and the younger one is rolling towards being 4.5. Of course motherhood has changed me completely and it has been an overwhelming experience till now . I have been a hands-on mom from the day they were born. With little help around, I juggled my postpartum, diaper saga, baby food, vomits , their massages & baths and every milestone alone. Infact, while the younger girl was born, I was a SOLO mom. I believe that I have evolved and grown beautifully as a Mom.

All was well and I thought I was doing pretty well as a mom , till about recently when my elder one threw a bombs at me. One fine day she asked me nonchalantly – “Why can’t you be like the other moms ?” Me under the shock of her statement had no clue what she meant as till now I felt I was good at my craft and was doing well but suddenly I felt like a failure. So I sat down focusing not to lose my calm and asked her to elaborate so I could decode the hidden meaning of her statement. She started off like she has been waiting to tell me all this.

She started by saying “I DON’T THINK OTHER MOMS BEHAVE OR DO STUFF LIKE YOU DO MOM” ! and I was like okaaaay ..no ? really ? LIKE WHAT ?? And then came out a long list of the things which me as a mom should not be doing at all.

 LIST AS PER HER ! 

  • Why can’t you stop giving us these weird lovey dovey names which make no sense and just call us with our real names instead?
  • Why do you keep dancing around the house with your earphones and don’t care about what if someone is watching you?
  • Why do you sing for us loudly using all those weird names ?
  • Why do you have to be so friendly with my friends when you meet them?
  • Why do u keep putting ghee in my Rajma-Chawal, Dal-Chawal ? I don’t want to turn fat like you ! Ouch .. and that was for me
  • Why do u make funny faces and make me laugh when I don’t want to?
  • Why can’t you be serious like other moms?
  • Why are you fat and short and not slim like the other Moms around?

Time to speculate . My girl wants me to change me and my ways of showing love. I gave her a tight hug and said that I am going to seriously think on these points . Contended she went back to her room and left me reeling under the thunderous effect of her TED Talk ! She doesn’t like me doing all this ? Really ? I am fat ?

And So, it was time for some real thinking and a glass of chilled wine .

 

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We never know what destiny holds for us. So why don’t we stop rushing and slow down and live each day to its fullest today. Any which ways one day she will have to move away from me for the sake of learning or earning. Wish I could change/edit the list on her mind and excuse myself.

So do you think I should abide by all her rules and surrender and change my ways …? I have written this for my kids and I want them to learn and understand each and every sentence of this letter.

 

Hey kids,

I’m not like the other moms.

I’m not all that different from them, either. But, I’m not competing. And, I’m not comparing myself to them. I’m not trying to do what they do, because I’ve worked a long time to try to accept that I can only do my best.

You see, there’s a big life lesson I want to teach you here. I’m not like the other moms because I don’t want to be. I want to be YOUR mom. And, I believe I was meant to be your mom for a reason. Imperfections and all.

That means there will be days where I yell, and days where I have the patience of the Dalai Lama. There will be days when I forget it’s a party at school, and days when I’m so on top of it that I craft things I find on pinterest.

Here’s the thing. I don’t want you to be like the other kids just as much as I don’t want to be like the other moms. I want you to be you. Be confident in who you are. Own your mistakes and live up to your full potential. Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s accomplishments, and don’t gloat when you succeed and someone else doesn’t.

In fact, don’t look to your right or to your left at all. Look ahead. Do your best. And, be you.

I’m not like the other moms because I can only be me. There is only one you, too. It’s a miracle how unique we all are, and I believe the universe brought your mom (me) and you together for a purpose. So, don’t be upset if you see another mom doing different things than your mom is doing. Your mom is tailor-made to help you in the way you need it.

I’m going to try every day to do my best as I parent you. Remember I love you fiercely.

 

The name tags given to you originate from the deepest love and affection I have for you. The extra ghee in your food is so that you grow healthy and strong. I make funny faces to cheer you up during your tiring and sometimes boring tuition classes and it sure does bring a smile to your face. I wish to make your friends feel at home and so the little chat with them is important at times. So basically things are going to be stay pretty much the same but one thing that is going to change in that list is your concern on the way your mom looks. Though I know what a lazy procrastinator I can be when it comes to working out but I understood your outlook on this and I promise to be a fitter-slimmer mom for you, at least I can try, so that you don’t feel embarrassed any more.

But till that time let’s make more wonderful memories for you. Please remember how cool and chilled out your mom was . My only endeavour now is to be a friend to you that just being a mom so you could confide in me anytime.

Sorry, but there’s no easy answer here. We wish there was (really, we do!), but for every mom, dealing with the mommy wars is different, so it’s going to take some time before you get this whole mommy gig right. Think of  your mistakes more like bumps along the road. It’ll take some time before things are totally smoothed out, so in the meantime, do your best to make it through. It’s really not about what (or who’s) right or wrong — it’s really just about learning to trust your choices and those mom instincts. You can’t be perfect all the time (and besides, who would want to be?) — but as long as kids are happy, healthy and cared for, we think we’re doing a great job.

Love the LEMONS that life gives you

Why do life gives us lemons  and not oranges or apples???….or mangoes??? It would be easy to make fruit juices or smoothies. Maybe lemons are fine as well, as they are expensive these days. You can dry them out and make pickles. No, don’t worry, I am not discussing about the price and the tastes of fruits and veggies.

It’s about the hardships and the difficult times in our lives. At some point of time we all have faced challenges, difficult situations created by someone or as gift from life or misfortunes. We lose hope, fail and regret things. What can be done about such situations……..nothing much but nothing less too!!

While hardships are hard to deal with, they all have the tendency to work out in the end. Make every BAD thing as an opportunity to change, grow and learn. Nothing remains forever, not even the GOOD. You can’t be always eating desserts and chocolates in life.

Think about it…..why measure your life by Lemons??

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Instead, lift a glass and toast it looking on the brighter side. Take the lemon moment……. reminding yourself that it’s possible to make lemonade from the sour times. Offer comfort, care and love to yourself. Rebounce and say I am happy though am having difficult times. Reassurance and confidence is important…..and then lots of chocolates, stupid movie, crazy friends, night outs, party, drinks or whatever makes you chill. When everything turns out super and life starts giving you apples then ask…..…..

AHHAAN!!! what happened to the lemons?????

The old optimistic proverb is “when life gives you lemons,make lemonade”

I would say “When Life gives you lemon detox your life.” Best time to know your friends and foes, time to declutter your life, to understand who really cares and who will stay forever.

 

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So what would your saucy, funny, or pungent line be? Share and complete the phrase………………..

“when life gives you lemon…………….”

CHEERS!!!!!!!