Category: Blah

Twisted

Dear Power-above-of-all-things-ankles,

2013 I will remember, for you and mostly only you. First one friend and then another,  at work, had major ankle issues and surgeries this year. While I was just about realizing how difficult these injuries are, you ensured I really did understand. In the same week a dear dear blog friend, Paa and I hurt our ankles. The degree of severity were different but suffered we all did.

It is true that we don’t realize the importance of any part of our body till we hurt it and hence can’t use it. While doctors advised me to stay off my feet and reduce my activity level to bare minimum, I hobbled behind kids and went about my day to day life. I still pay the price of that excess activity but it can’t be helped.

I have not cribbed much, I can not cursed a whole lot, but I really could have done without this latest curve ball that you threw our way. A happy, smiling, active kid, doing exactly what kids do – ran, stopped, turned and feel down in pain. A trip to the store where she was excited about the new bedding we were buying for her, ended in tears and an ER visit.

Do I thank you that it only turned out to be a twisted ankle and not a broken bone? Or do I tell you about a child’s inability to deal with extreme pain? Or do I talk about the child who is so brave that even though she dreads the icing sessions because they hurt so much she goes ahead with them because they will make it all better? Or do I talk about a super active kid who sits in one place smiles and asks for books as we go around doing things? Or do I tell you about the child who woke up crying in the middle of the night saying she was scared? Or do I tell you about how she wanted to go to school because her friends would be there and smiled through all the pain to get there, only to burst out in tears when she could not practice for her winter performance with her friends, which she has been looking forward to for a while now?

I know it is part of life and part of growing up but can we be done with all this now? We have had enough of you and I would not wish you on anyone but can you please move on? Or better still with the festival season and the new year around the corner, can you please go on a long, extended vacation? I promise we will not miss you.

Thank you much,
-An angry mom

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All the world’s a stage

Act 1:

Buzz and I were having a conversation as we waited at the airport to board our flight here. An old Indian lady commented on how well Buzz spoke Hindi. Buzz has to chime in of course,

I know English, Hindi, Spanish and Chinese.

‘Chinese?’, we both exclaimed at the same time.

Buzz went on to say a couple of words in Chinese to prove her language powers.

She has a few kids who speak the language in her class and has picked up a handful of words from them.

Act 2:

We were at Delhi airport waiting for our flight out. There was an Air India plane standing at the terminal we had to board our flight from. When boarding started Buzz wanted to board as well but we told her we were flying another airline and we had to wait for the Air India airplane to fly off and ours to come before we could board.

Why are we not flying Air India, Mumma?
It does not go to the city where we have to go?
The pilot does not know the way to our city?
No, only our pilot knows how to get to our city.
Which city can this pilot fly to?
London (it was a flight to London)

Act 3:

Buzz’s class got introduced to the concept of Maps. They looked at the world map and the country map. Their homework for the month was to mark on a map all the places they had visited and may want to visit. I printed a world map and a country map, sat Buzz down and we marked the placed Buzz had visited, starting from the latest thinking it would be easier for her to remember. We were half way done when Buzz was done. With so many other interesting things that go on in her life, sitting still for homework was a bit much. Any future attempts for moving forward with the homework were rejected for the rest of the week so that is how the homework was submitted.

One evening a week or so after the homework was submitted, during pickup from school, Buzz was mad at me. I asked her what was wrong.

We had to mark places we want to visit on the map too. I did not mark those.

Aah! so she had presented her homework in front of the class and was mad.

Which place did you want to visit?
China and London.

Act 4:

Which airline goes to China, Mumma?
err..Air China maybe (praying there is an air carrier by that name)
Which one goes to London?
I don’t know.
Air India, Mumma, Air India!
Oh yeah, from India Air India goes to London.
When can we go to London, Mumma?
I don’t know, during our vacation?
You always say that! You never take me to China and London!

Closing Monolog:

London and China you will be the end of me. Need to find ways to get to you two sooner than later. Or pray real hard that she gets over her visit places phase.

On this world’s stage we travel on!

Re-evaluate

Years later, when I look back to this time of my life, the one things that will stand out most in my memory is the sound of the kids crying.

There is stubborn Bugz, who wants everything her way and can cry endlessly to get her way. There is the over-sensitive Buzz, for whom even the slightest perceived slight is enough to burst in to tears. One starts and the other joins in. Highs and lows; sometimes in sync, sometimes cacophonic; crescendo reached?, who knows; climax not in sight.

Kids have the knack of getting you this close to your break point; shatter all your notions about yourself; make you abandon all your rules; bring you down to your knees; and kick you over the edge.

The kids are asleep. The hellish day that was, is done. My ears still ring with never ending cry fest. I sit and look at all I know about myself, all I thought about myself, all my views on parenting and I come back with a blank. Nothing I do seems right, not one thing seems to make it better. Anger, that I could not keep a handle on; something I would regret, I avoided by sheer will; so close, so close.

What/why/how/which/when, I wonder, as anger still simmers. Till I find the answers, I guess, an Ibuprofen for the pounding head will have to do.

Life and all it’s questions!

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG-WDXk36TE%5D

It is a pity party!

And you are all invited.

He who would have others pity him must pity others!
-Yiddish Proverb

We need not..
..you will get through it
..it will get better
..you are doing just fine
..hang in there
..there is light at the end of the tunnel
..don’t be too hard on yourself
We need..
..laughs
..to feel we am not alone
..to look at issue bigger than ours
..the dark clouds to go away
..to have a pity party

What better way is there to have a party than invite friends? So welcome one, welcome all. Tell me what is bringing you down currently. Share.

Bring your humor, snark, nastiness, poignancy, seriousness, sarcasm. Let go a little. Let us peek in to your burdens of the moment. Let the load rest here for a while. Win a badge for the best written self-pity note as extra bonus.

Let the party begin. Pity and be pitied!

The problem with..

..wearing clothes with extra stretch for days at end is that you get so comfortable that you eat whatever you can lay your hands on. Then you stand on the weighing machine one fine day and can only look on with disbelief.

..praying for the sun to show its face constantly is that it comes out of the cloud cover on a weekday when the only thing you can do is look out the window and sigh, knowing fully well that the weekend will be back to the usual grey.

..giving in and letting a little someone to sleep with you early morning one day is that you have to walk her back to her room 2-3 times at night as she drags her blanket along for days at end.

..agreeing to work over the weekend is that some people don’t know when to back off and let you have some time to actually have some kind of a break.

..being stressed is that the frustration comes out on everyone but the one person you are upset with.

..taking a week’s break from the regular workout schedule, no matter what the reason, is that it is very difficult to get back on track.

..filling out your review once a year is that you are rusty at your creative writing skills and they take a while to brush up.

..not talking to your ex-officemate for a real long time is that you don’t get to hear gems like, ‘binna baat ke kyoin tension le rahi hei? Kitna farak padega? 1%?’*

*Why are you stressed for no reason? How much difference will it make? 1%

Beliefs – yours and mine

Alert – If you are a religious person please STOP, don’t read any further.

A few months back a very close friend of ours invited us for a puja at their place. I got the call while I was at work and happily made my way to their place directly from work, Buzz in tow. Time for puja was set for 6:30 P.M. and we made it by 6:20. Only a lot of other people were still to come. The wait went on till 7:15 and then started the puja.

I know what followed is my fault and I should have planned in advance even when I did not get a lot of notice. But in my defense I was clueless on what was to happen, but I will not pass on the blame. It is mine to take. After having spent her day in daycare Buzz generally comes home hungry. I get her through bath time and the 20 or so minutes it takes me to cook by giving her some fruits and milk as soon as we come home. Even then 7:10 in dinner time.

On this particular day as is her way, especially since she did not get her fruit or milk, Buzz started asking for khaana (food) at her usual time. My friend told me to go get Buzz something to eat from the fridge when another guest at the puja stopped us.

Milk was part of the puja (since it was a Shivji puja) and so was water, fruits were also kept as part of the offering and the prasad made up of some vegetables, puri and halwa. This meant all food groups were covered, which further meant no one could eat till the puja was done.

No matter how much my friend tried to argue, ‘God comes before everyone’ stood firm. Anyways the puja started and went on for an hour. No shortcuts allowed.

For that one complete hour Buzz was heard crying for ‘khaana’ without a break while my friend looked on helplessly and I cursed myself (along with getting really mad) for not having fed Buzz before I came by.

I grew up in a house where prayers, a temple inside the house, pictures or idols of God, or even visiting a temple regularly were not part of life. I was taught to respect beliefs of others no matter the religion but more importantly having a clear conscious as I went about my life was the bigger thing than praying every single day. So I can except that I don’t get the customs that others follow. And as a Mom whose kid was screaming with hunger in this situation, I get that I don’t understand the entire point of marking all food as inconsumable till the puja is done. I somehow got Buzz and myself through that hour, fed Buzz and let things be.

A few days back, another invitation to another puja on another weekday. Having learned my lesson, on my way over I stopped at a grocery store, bought two bananas and some yogurt, feed them to Buzz knowing they would even do as dinner if need be. We got there to have a repeat performance. Wait for people..Puja starts late..A child cries out of hunger..Some lady with same ‘God comes before everyone’. The only difference was the child was a 6 weeks old baby and her mom was going to breastfeed her.

Well the other difference was a super mad me.

You want to deny a 6 weeks old baby.. SIX WEEKS..milk? Really? And this is breast milk.
Oh but milk is milk and milk is part of the puja.



How can they not be part of the puja. That is disrespect to the God.
And you think God will want the baby to go hungry, crying all the while?

Fed up with all the useless argument, my friend and I asked the new mom to step into another room and feed the baby. Turned our back on this lady and started the puja.

I got to hear a lot of snide remarks about having no concept of respect for God, look at the way I came dressed in Jeans and T-shirt, look at how I wore no mangalsutra or sindoor, look this, look that. And this is where I draw the line. I respect your customs and what you do. I don’t comment on things that don’t even make sense to me. Can’t I expect the same curtsy? But more importantly, I do have a practical side which thinks before blindly following when there is a kid screaming from hunger. Or for that matter when you/me/we are harming someone or something as we follow our beliefs. For example I got equally sad and mad when I read this even when most people went about liking it on FB.

I want to know, would God really want a kid to stay hungry in his name. Does wearing so-called ‘suhag ke nishaani’ make you more of a wife? Will polluting and in turn destroying a fragile natural habitat please the Gods or provide moksha to the dead? Is the main reason behind praying not to attain a few minutes of calm in our hectic lives? Were religion and customs not started to show us a way to lead a good life? When did we become so rigid in what have been handed down from one generation to another that we forgot the human aspect of it? When did we forget to use our brains to question right from wrong all in the name of God and will God really be pleased about this?

Again maybe I just don’t get it. Maybe because I don’t pray every day or can’t remember the last time I went to a temple, I should not be the one asking all these questions. All I know is my beliefs stand in stark contrast to a lot of super religious people (and here I am not saying all religious people. I know enough people who are religious but not rigid in their beliefs). And that it does not seem to upset me one bit, even when I am called names. And I would do the exact same thing if there were to be a next time.