Love you Life

Toyna 16

The constant travel, the time away from home, the conflicting time zones, are all a conspiracy of Life to force me to miss you. Makes me wonder how little life knows about this emotion.

Dear Life, here is a lesson on this emotion for you.

One is only possible of feeling this emotion when something close to the person is taken away from them. For example: I miss walking when I don’t get the chance. Or I would miss Toyna when she gets married. How can I miss Pavan? He is a part of me. He has been for a long time now.

Maybe you are still living in those times when we used to be two different beings. I agree, I used to miss Pavan in those days. But dear Life, that was a long time ago. Haven’t you grown up since then?

When he roams the Swiss Alps, or shops through the streets of Paris, I of course wish I was there with him. Not because I miss him, but because I would love the feeling of me shopping in Paris and he footing the bill for it. 🙂

The good thing about two people being one, in this world, is that even though you have a single soul, you are still entitled to hold two different bank accounts. Who can complain about an arrangement like that!

Love you Pavan! Love you Life!

Creating Happy Memories

Happy Memories

Human mind is a very powerful thing. Irrespective of what is physically happening around us, it is capable of creating a world of it’s own making, for us to live in, not only for the present but also the past and the future. I learnt about this fact from Toyna when she was six years old.

When Toyna was 4 years old, she had a freak accident playing on a slide in our neighborhood park. Her right elbow was smashed and a sharp bone piece also injured the nerves in the arm. The injury was so severe that at a point there was little hope of ever recovering the movement of her arm. In my mind, this is one of the worst memories of my life. Till date, even the slightest reminder of those days lead to a lump in my throat and a glisten in my eyes. I can still feel her trembling in my arms in pain. I still vividly remember her screaming her heart out in the operation theater calling for me to come in. The moment is so strong for me that it is etched in my mind in the minutest of detail in pain.

Thanks to a great doctor, Toyna recovered completely from the injury in about six months. While the physical wound healed long ago, the memory of those days continues to haunt me. About two years after the incident, during a long drive back home, I tried to casually check with Toyna if she remembered anything about the accident. I wanted to make sure she was not haunted by the memories, like I was. She immediately responded in her usual chirpy self, “I remember Dr. Yusuf who was really nice to me. I also remember Dr. Maqsood who came home for my physiotherapy. I really liked the hospital room where we stayed. It had really nice cartoons and you let me watch cartoons the whole day!” Then she turned to look straight in my eyes and asked, “Mama, can we go and stay in that hospital again some day?” I had to turn my face away to hide the tears in my eyes. I had no words to answer her question.

The exact same incident which had scarred me for life,  had left such a beautiful memory in the mind of Toyna. That too, when she was the one actually going through the pain and I was a mere spectator. That day, Toyna taught me that our mind has the power to create our world exactly the way we want it to be. In our mind, we choose to remember what we choose to remember. These memories  create visions of our past lives that we carry into our future. So if we feel that the past has been cruel to us, maybe it is what we have chosen to remember from the past.

Since this moment 5 years ago, whenever I am haunted by my memories of the past, I pull out this memory of Toyna sitting in the car with me, happily wanting to go back to hospital room, as if it was a the best 5 star hotel she had ever visited. If that is a happy memory for her, I have not a single memory in the world which is not happier than that.

ORS

Yog first drawing

Yog used to love drinking milk. He used to so look forward to his night time routine which ended with a milk sipper and a warm blanket. Milk was also the first thing that he liked to have after he woke up in the morning.  The ritual was so deep in our home that any deviation from it could cause pure havoc.

Given this context, imagine my worry, when doctor forbade milk completely for Yog due to a very bad stomach infection.  As night time approached I debated in my mind what substitute I could use in place of milk so that Yog didn’t throw a fit.  Given his upset stomach and a cold, the options were very limited.

The one liquid that doctors heavily suggested during this time was ORS ( in our days it was called namak aur chini ka ghol. Now it comes in fancy tetra packs and multiple flavours.) Given that it was the healthiest option available for the circumstances,  I poured the ORS in his sipper and told him, “Yog, no milk today. Only Apple juice!” Yog looked excitedly at the sipper thinking that Tetra packs and the word juice would mean something nice for sure. I had very little hope that this trick would succeed. Afterall who can possibly compare the taste of ORS to milk.

Yog in memory of his bed time routine, got his sipper to the bed, pulled his blanket towards him and gulped the whole portion down. Contented he lay down to sleep. My first reaction was shock, which soon transformed to immense relief. Atleast he had replenished some of the lost electrolytes of the day.

As soon as he woke up in the morning,  he pointed to his empty sipper from the night and said, “Juish!” I poured him another pack in a clean sipper and he downed it happily again. The weakness from the infection was persisting so he hugged his blanket again and went to sleep. We have been following the same ritual of Juish now for the past three days, so much so that Toyna got envious and demanded to drink Juish too, before sleeping.

Thanks to the Juish and multiple other factors, Yog has recovered now. I am planning to introduce milk for him starting tomorrow morning.  As you can imagine, now my worry is whether he will like to drink milk again or not.

Although  I am still shocked at how he could hook onto ORS (apple flavour) so easily, I must admit that I am really thankful to Trinity Fructa Ltd. for creating something so useful.

Wondering about the ease with which Yog transitioned from milk to ORS has also made me wonder – Is it the milk or the ORS which completes Yogs routine, or is it the bottle? If it is the latter, then I am more worried now. I wonder what contents he will replace in the bottle as he grows older!!!

This just proves that a mothers mind can never rest in peace!!!

From one life to the next

If there was just one thing that I could remember from this life to the next, it would be the name of my website.

It would be a shame if all that I have learnt in this life, gets to be implemented by me for one life only. 🙂

Mother Enough

Mama you are the best

Have you ever snickered at a Mom who has a dirty house, or who is lagging behind at work or worse still whose children are unkempt and ill behaved? The most cardinal sin of all, is a mother who is so busy that she doesn’t even care about her childrens school or extracurricular classes. I admit, I have at times wondered how a mother could possibly not manage to do all the above with just one hand and use her other hand to dress up, go partying and have a life. Somewhere deep inside me, I used to think they must not be “Mother Enough” to be in such a bad state. After all, the ability to cope up with all of the above is just ingrained in the DNA of a good mother. If someone is Mother Enough, she would by default never forget her childrens classes, their medicine schedules or her house chores.

Yeah! The second confession of the day is, “I was SOOOO WRONG!!!”

With two kids and one more than a full time job, I am in such a deep sense of self realization. The first time I was late to pick up Yog from school, I was shocked at myself. It must have been a one off case and of course, it could never ever be repeated again. Few days back it happened twice in succession. By the time I finished the first meeting of the day, I was already 30 minutes late for his school. Was the clock running faster, or my sense of time just screwed up?? Anyhow, that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that, as of today, I realize that maybe I too, am not Mother Enough.

This experience has taught me never to judge anyone on the face of things. Till I have never stepped in their shoes, I don’t know what makes them do what they do. In my experience, whenever I have looked down upon someone for anything in life, Life has ensured that I stand in that very spot looking down upon myself a few years later.

I hope the opposite of this also holds true. If I constantly seek the goodness in people, maybe I too someday, will be good enough for myself. Till then, maybe I should just try to be Mother Enough. Perhaps the best news is that, no matter how good enough I am as a Mother, I know I will always be the best mother in the eyes of my children.

Love you Mom

I love you Mama

What is that about being a mother that brings out the worst behavior of your child in front of you!?!! This question has been bothering me for days now. My kids, behave very well with grandparents, school teachers and others, i.e. till the time I appear on scene. The minute they see me, all their bottled up emotions, spill over in one devastating flood. Whenever I pick up Yog from school, I try and observe him from a distance before he gets to know that I am around. He seems to be all happy and playful and not the least bit stressed out. But that is until he sees me. A split second image of me, will have him scream and cry as if he was being subjected to third degree torture in school and I should rescue him immediately. Teachers smile at his behavior and reassure me that he was just fine till…

The same scene repeats when I get back from office in the evening. Not only Yog, Toyna too goes through such emotions once in a while. She will be strong and responsible when I am not around, but the minute I appear on the scene, her worst fears and worries will all pour out. Come to think of it, it is not just Yog and Toyna but most children in my family, who tend to behave like this. I babysit for nieces and nephews once in a while and always have them behave so well with me, until their mother appears on the scene.

Handling such regular pour outs can be immensely draining for a mother. It takes a lot of emotional and physical strength to be constantly dealing with such powerful emotions from your children. Wondering what to do about it, I thought I should consult my mother on the subject. That is when, I realized that leave alone the children that I know, I, myself still do that in front of my mother. I will be strong and in control when I am on my own. But as soon as I meet or talk to my Mom, all the bent up worries and problems come out like a broken down dam.

Hah! If I can continue to do that in front of my mother till date, I have little hope of trying to control my children.

I guess, for the entire mankind, Mother is the only haven where we have the freedom to be who we really want to be. We don’t need to be in control. We don’t need to be polite. We don’t need to be on our own. We can just close our eyes and trust that when in the company of our mothers, the world will be just fine. Even when she is sixty five years old, she will still be able to guide us, protect us and hug us in a way that the world feels safe. I guess I am blessed to be a mother, and to have a mother who still can make me feel like that even when she is thousands of miles away from me.

Love you Mom!

Walking in the Rain

Walking in the Rain

There are days when I want to break down

When being strong is not an option found

When tears want to flow and sobs like to be heard

When I want to curl up inside a blanket and shut out the cruel world

 

But something stops me from breaking free

From showing to the world how fragile I can be

From crying out loud, lest someone might hear me

 

On days like these, I take out my walking shoes

Plug in some music and set out into the streets

The sound of the music inside my head

Drowns the last few barriers dead

 

The breeze whistles past my tangled hair

The road welcomes my thoughts without a stare

The honking horns shout above my sobs

No one can hear me amidst this chaos

 

The drizzling rain falls on my cheeks

Mixing with the tears which had refused to break free

Anyone who catches the sparkle on my face

Would think of it as a rain drop resting, in its place

 

Such is the beauty of the world around me

It gives me the space that I need to be me

When the inner world is screaming to come out

I just don my walking shoes and get lost in the crowd

 

(Drawing of Walking in the Rain from Toyna)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Me from Inside

 

Read me Inside

When I was growing up, I used books to help me find my way in life. Not the way, one would traditionally expect books to be used (by reading them). Whenever in doubt, I remember opening a random book at a random page and reading out a random line from that page. I was once told that random lines, like these, can help one find the answer they are seeking. Looking back, I understand how it worked.  The random line helped put into words, the deepest thought that I was not able to find on my own. The answer was always there inside me, but sometimes it needed a little help to get it out, in front of me.

The good thing about this technique is that if the answer is not already inside, there is no answer that comes out. I remember, at times, turning many pages and still not finding the answer. The lack of an answer forced me to think/seek more, till an answer was finally formed inside me.

In the world of today, Google is supposed to play the role of books for us, both literally and metaphysically. Any question you type, you are bound to find an answer. Want to know if your child has a serious disease, you can search everything about it online. Which degree should you enroll for? What clothes are in fashion? What is the best way lose weight?  Even questions like, how to find out if your partner is cheating on you?

Information is just a click away, but sensibility eons away. Because Google makes it so easy for us to find an answer,  I think we have lost the ability to even ask the right question. In place of searching what’s in fashion,  shouldn’t we be asking ourselves what do we really like to wear? In place of searching which course we should enroll for, shouldn’t we be asking what is that I really want to do in life. Rather than reading “10 signs that your spouse is cheating on you”, shouldn’t we listen to our heart and our spouse instead.

I believe the biggest answers are always inside. Twenty million Google put together can never ever get that answer out. All Google can do is give us the satisfaction that we have found an answer and disable us from seeking the answer meant for us.

 

The drawing is that of a card gifted to me by Toyna. Outside the card it says “Read me from Inside”. The inner wordings have always  been, “I love you Mama”