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Archive for the ‘Confessions’ Category

Still Alive And Kickin’ 

That’d be me.

Yup! I’m around, even though most of the folks who used to read my posts, aren’t. Can’t blame them! One can press the refresh button only a finite number of times before one gives it up as a bad joke and quits. My apologies folks, I was too busy soaking in the laziness of doing nothing, yet everything!

(Being a housewife has its perks, but after years of being a working woman, household chores can never entice me. I am terrible at them 😦  )

In case you’ve been wondering, I’m over the honeymoon phase now. Experienced the Chicago winter and summer at leisure and now, I’m ready to get back to business. Enough of the house-wifery thingummy-jig 😀 .

Tons have happened in the last few months. I posted some deets on FB (those on my friends list might have seen the updates). FB was the only social networking I was following (since all my friends are on it), consciously keeping away from twitter, WhatsApp and even  Wordpress. Frankly, I have very little time to give for browsing/replying/chatting when I have to do every single thing at home (including the kids and their homework 🙄 ) all by myself.  And then one day, I read a very relevant FB post which said :-

“We all need to know our limits. We are living in an age where we are so free to express our opinions, that we are kind of reckless in sharing our opinions on matters that we are not fully knowledgeable of. That’s what social media has turned us into. Everyone has a very strong opinion, and that has to be undone”.

I had become disillusioned with  the kind of opinions (political/social/religious) being put forward by people, who really didn’t have the faintest idea of the truth, that for a while, I kept away from FB too. I’ve been able to prevent myself from expressing my opinions on FB, but the mind! How does one silence the mind which churns out thoughts and words and scenes in loop mode? The answer is simple. One gets back to blogging 😀

So here I am, once again. This is my space. I can vent, howl, scream and do whatever I want to here and give two hoots about whether someone ‘likes’ it or not. Here, I don’t need to be politically correct all the time. The mistakes I make, the errors of my judgement, my opinions, are solely mine. To be honest, I really don’t get why I abandoned this space for so long 😦

So its adieu FB (I’ll drop by once in a while), Hello WordPress.

This time, I’m here to stay.

Love,

 

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Feeling Blue

The BF left for Pune yesterday. I accompanied him to the airport, something that made him happy because no one in the US had ever come to drop him off at the airport before  🙂 (the little things that make one happy 😀 ) . It was a long train ride to the airport but the best part is that the train stopped right in the belly of the airport. A couple of escalators and a transit train ride later, he could check-in for his flight. The airport was so well laid out and organized that I quite forgot what I had come there for.

Once the BF went in for security check, I said a small prayer for him and made my way back. It was another long journey back home. This time, I felt worse than what I had ever felt before. When we were in Pune and the BF left for Chicago, I would miss him terribly. But the security of family and daily chores/office was enough to keep the mind busy and occupied. When I got back home here , it stuck me that I was in a new place, all alone with two little kids. I knew enough about the city to get along fine. I know I will not have any trouble, specially now that I have made friends with a Indian lady two floors below and also with the wives of a couple of the BF’s colleagues. All of them were sweet to call me after the BF left, offering support and help in case I needed it. It was the only warm feeling in the otherwise cold emptiness of my heart. I worried for the kids, who were rather upset that they would not get to see their father for the next ten days. But like the burst of sunshine that only children can provide, they cheered me up today, excitedly counting down the days, telling me not to worry because they will behave and not trouble me 🙂 (Alhamdulillah).

It is nearly 2am local time and I cannot sleep. I’ve been listening to some dopey songs, wallowing in misery because I miss him terribly and for once, I think I know what he must have gone through for the last one year. Every time he called up to say he dreaded the weekends, I would chide him and tell him to get a life and go out and find things to do. In his absence, I can’t think of a single thing that I want to do, even though I need to think up something quick or the kids will cry out of sheer boredom (we disconnected the cable here…..the rates were exorbitant for the one hour of cartoons that the kids watch. We show it to them on the laptop now. Netflix can wait). I thought of taking them out for a walk in the evening, but it got cold and windy so I dropped the plan.

The kids are deep asleep and I’m left blogging and humming the sad songs. Frankly, there is no rhyme or reason to this post. I’m sorry you read till here and got – nothing! In my apology, please accept this lovely song from “Pyaar ke side effects”. Feeling blue…yup! That sums up what I’m feeling right now!

 

Good Night 🙂

 

 

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Operation Clean-Up

Life back home was simpler.

Cleaning the house was an easy chore. If you dropped something on the floor, you just grabbed a broom and swept the area clean. If the kids dropped water, you dumped a mop over it and the floor was clean in seconds.  In fact, if the kids dropped something, they knew they had to sweep or mop themselves and went about the task with due diligence 🙂 .

Like I said, life was simpler :).

The apartment we have now is pretty plush. By which I mean that the entire house is carpeted with an inch-thick rug. The fuzzy kind of rug you know which sinks when you walk on it giving you the sensation of walking on air.Unfortunately, the same rug generates gazillion micro-fibres which coat every surface of the house. Initially, I wondered where all the dust came from since the house is packed to prevent the cold air from coming in. Every morning, I would wipe the tables, the TV, the cabinets and by evening you could see the film of dust again. The BF told me about it coming from the rug. Vacuuming every few days became a must (doesn’t mean that I actually vacuum it every other day 😀 . Am still fine with the once a week routine 😛  ).

Cleaning around the house

The other problem with rugs? The horror of dropping fluids on it!

I have two 5-year-olds in the house. You have any idea how on-the-edge I am when these two butter-fingers have their milk or tea? Every other minute I’m jumpy, believing that that they have dropped their paints or bumped against the tea-table which held my tea-cup or simply dropped the bowl of soup!

The other day, Lui puked and I did something I never did before. I caught her puke in my bare hands before it could hit the floor ! (The things these rugs make you do !). Yup, more than why she puked, I was mortified with what would happen if the rug got soiled ! Yeah, call that being a bad mommy, but seriously, I’d rather be a bad mommy for a few seconds than be a mommy who’s down on her knees, scrubbing that damn rug! How much easier it was back home. The kids could puke all over the floor and we just grabbed a mop and cleaned up. *Sigh* (But mostly, we had house-help to do the sweeping and mopping. Days or luxury, right?)

Yesterday, I was talking to the BF on the phone, sprawled over the carpet, giving the newspaper a cursory glance. As I disconnected the call, I noticed a strand of my hair caught on the rug. I tugged it free and immediately noticed another one. I pulled that one too which led to another and then another. Pretty soon, I was once again sprawled over the floor, tugging out a million hair from the rug. Looks like the vacuum simply doesn’t have the suction to pull out the hair. And going by the length of the hair, they were obviously all mine. I seem to be shedding more than a dog on a high sugar diet 😦 . Worst part is, I’ve got only half the house done. Will have to spend today tugging out my hair from the rest of the house !

But with every cloud comes a silver lining! In my case, the dishwasher and the laundromat do the honors of making my life easier. What would I do without them?! The kids can pull out as many clothes as they want, the sink can pile up with as many dishes as possible but my forehead remains as smooth as a baby’s bottom 😀 . Not a single wrinkle of worry can mar my looks 😉

I think I’ve been pretty lazy all these years. Looks like going to office and minding the kids was possibly the ONLY thing I ever did in Pune. For a person who had house-helps all these years, having to do everything at home can be a little trying , sin’t it 😐  ?

Like I said before, life back home was really simpler 😐

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3d9bd-one-lovely-blog-award

“Hah!!”, you wonder, “Why the heck would I want to know more  about her anyway?”

Good question. And try as I might, I have no answer to that!

But since RM was sweet enough to tag me (because she is a regular reader and after all these years realized that no one tags me, ever ,or awards me for that matter 😀 😛 ) I think I have to honor her request.

But first, I’ll just quickly list eight things that you already know,

1. I have twins.

2. I have no desire for any more kids.

3. I’m a hair’s breadth away from putting up my kids for adoption.

4. I’ll rip out the hair of people who come near my kids to adopt them.

5. I’m prematurely graying.

6. I blame the twins for my ageing. And my extra weight. And my troubles at work.

7. My children promise to make all my troubles away.

8. I believe them.

*Whew*

Now that we have the groundwork done, on to the bigger issues at hand.

Much of what I write here gives people some indication about the type of person I am. Yet, some things are never written about. Unconsciously, I hide some traits and some others take a front seat.  Its not that I want to portray a very wonderful picture about myself here! I have my flaws, its just that I prefer fewer people knowing about it  😀

But since I got a tag and my blog is a place where honesty rules,  I’ll be truthful and speak up about myself. Some things are good, some are nasty and all of them make me the person that I am today.  So, buckle up, coz here it goes ;-

1)  I’m rather affable by nature and love to meet new people and make friends. But most don’t know that I’m happiest when I am alone. Even an hour or so of complete solitude (no family, friends or phones) makes me feel recharged. It is the time when I would revel in my “Me-time”. I could just be sitting in a corner and staring at the wall. It still makes me happy 🙂 . The problem arises when my sudden urge for loneliness strikes me in the middle of a gathering! Then, life gets tough 😐 !

2) As a child, I suffered my share of molestation. I was too young to know or understand what was happening then. But as I grew up, I realized the horror of it all 😦 . This makes me supremely cautious of people who get too close to the twins. I’m suspicious of EVERYONE 😐 !

(On an aside, when I was appearing for my SSB, I found out that 29 out of 30 girls had faced the same fate. Shockingly, NONE of us had the guts to confess this at home 😐 ….Deplorable state of affairs 😦 . Will write more on it later)

3) I am a sloth! I hate, Hate, HATE hard work. I do it when I have to, but it doesn’t mean that I like it!  I’m lazy right down to the ends of my little toes and nothing that anyone says or does can correct this problem. I LOVE being a sloth 😀

4) I can’t handle money. Sad as it may seem, money and I aren’t really good friends. I’ve been working and earning for ten long years but in all these years I have never saved up enough to buy myself even a single pair of gold earrings. Not that I like gold, maybe thats why I never bought them. Bought lots of fancy artificial stuff though 😀 ! Anyhow, I digress. I am incapable of handling money. Period.  The BF does it for me these days and I am thankful for his help. At least now, even around month-end, I still have some cash in my account 😀

5) I am an ice-eater. Meaning, I can munch on ice-cubes throughout the day (or night), any day of the month and any month of the year. Winters are no excuse for skipping ice-munching. I eat up to a tray a day on average. Got into the habit when I was a little more than a toddler and ate fresh snow outside our house in Srinagar. I can still remember the taste of it 🙂  *sigh* . Alas, the refrigerator cannot replicate the same flavour…each time I fill up the trays, I hope and pray that I get that taste again 😀

6) I use men’s soaps and talc 😐 .  They smell a lot better than the stuff available for women! I get nauseous at the whiff of fruity, flowery,citrus-y aromas. Alas, all women’s soaps/talcs/perfumes are made along those lines. I’d rather have an Axe than a Ponds! I use Davidoff though…the only thing till now which doesn’t smell, fruity,flowery or citrus-y 😀 😛

7) You know how they show people breaking eggs into a bowl? They crack it, dump the contents into the bowl and throw away the shells. Not me. I use my right  thumb to clean the insides of the shell which have considerable amount of albumin clinging to it. I mean, given the size of an egg, it is a shame to throw away a teaspoonful of egg-white just because you are too lazy to wash your hands afterwards!

Or maybe, am just too stingy. Whatever!

8) I have a violent temper. It is not something I am proud of and in the last decade or so, I have learned to curb it , albeit with limited success. The only person who has experienced the full wrath of my anger , is obviously the BF 😀 . He is the only one with whom I can vent out without fear and he understands and accepts it. Maybe his acceptance is the reason I have toned down over the years. I still get angry and feel the surge of it, but now I keep quiet instead of lashing out. Sure it makes my head spin and I’m almost trembling with my efforts to control it, but I’ve realized that by keeping quiet I save myself from saying things that I will regret later. The BF says I do more damage by keeping it in 😐 . Still trying to figure out the right way to handle it !!

Thats it folk…..just laid bare my true self for you to judge. Or not. Your choice 🙂

And now, to the most difficult part…..tagging other  bloggers to take this up. Such a difficult task…specially when a) most of them have already done such tags ten times over and b) there are just so many out there that its a shame to pick out just five 😦

I’ll just call out to people I want to know more about. If you have already done the tag, do send me the link as a comment to this post. Else, take it up and send me the link as a comment to this post. See, I just gave you a choice 😉 . And yeah, don’t forget to add the little image given above to your blog. Its a cute little award from my side 🙂

Pallavi, GunjanTulika, AshreyaMom, Deepti, Deepika, Seema N and Seema K, looking forward to hearing from you all 🙂

Love,

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Thank You

Dear Readers,

Thanks a lot for sending your good wishes for the twins. Lui and Shobby are the sole reason this blog exists and it is humbling to see the kind of love that is being showered on them….mostly by people the twins don’t even know!

(Neither do I 😦 )

If there is one thing I’d like to do, is to meet you all and express my gratitude. I’m sure that one day, when the twins visit this space, like me, they too will be equally overwhelmed to see such goodwill . It sure brings me immense cheer and it will do the same for them 🙂

Once again, thanks for dropping by 🙂

Love,

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So It Happens Again!!!

Lightening never strikes twice in the same place. Heard that one?

Well, I’ll let you on in a little secret.

It does. It really, totally, mind-bogglingly does!! Take the cases listed here (Some of them are rather bizarre and NSFW. Just saying).

Forces of nature are random, they cannot be predicted. They follow their own chart, picking their own targets. Some people are lucky, never falling prey to these forces.

And some, like me, fall for them head over heels every single time 😦

To cut a long story short, a couple of years back, while I was deputed to work from the client side, this happened to me. It was a planned fire-drill.

(Old time readers of this blog will already be sniggering at this point)

Now I have a love-hate relationship with fire-drills (anyone in my situation would have the same). I love it because I like the safety angle, getting people to evacuate at a short notice, taking a head count, making sure all are safe and sound, getting to demonstrate how to use a fire-extinguisher, etc !

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I was an ERT (Emergency Response Team) member once and was quite capable of handling a crowd. I also know that a lot of ERT members are cursed under breath for disrupting work, disturbing meetings, disallowing coffee on the stairways and also for preventing people from talking on the phone during evacuation.

I understand their plight. Been there, done that.

B-U-T. one thing I’ve never done as an ERT member, is to target an innocent 😐

But, before I further my tale, let me tell you what happened with me first.

So there I was, my first day at the client side,  talking to my manager, taking in the surroundings and the silence (used to a loud,  boisterous work-culture at my company), getting spooked at the eerie way people were glued to their monitors , with not a whisper from anywhere, when suddenly, a voice pips up.

“You need to go down right now”.

I turned to see a young lad (may be older, but the stray whiskers on his upper lip indicated otherwise) with a notepad and pen in his hand.

“Excuse me”, he repeated, “You need to go down right now”.

I looked at my manager. She looked at me, both puzzled deeply. It was my first day on the job there and I don’t think I had a run-in with the law or something!

“Err…why”, I asked politely.

“Because we are having a..”, he straightened up considerably,”…fire drill”.

I looked around. Everyone else was seated, quietly doing their business.

I was specifically being asked to go down first in a fire drill.

Déjà vu much??

Hell yeah!!

The ignominy, the irony, the sheer lighting on my head was enough to set a blaze in my eyes. My entire body stiffened with indignation, at which, the astute lad (he must be astute, to be an ERT member) immediately changed his track – “Is there any pregnant or unwell member in your team ? If yes, they need to evacuate immediately before we can start the fire-drill”.

Quick thinking, I must say. He realized, within a fraction of a second, that the woman he had assumed to be much pregnant, was indeed, not!

Without a backward glance, the lad quickly made his exit, no doubt exhilarated at the thought of escaping my wrath.

I looked at my manager, who, by now was a helpless mass of giggles, clutching her stomach and almost doubled over her seat.

“Yeah yeah, laugh away!!”, I lamented, “YOU were seated, that’s why he didn’t target you!!”.

My manager couldn’t reply to that. She was still busy laughing her guts out.

Me, I made my way to my seat, cursing for the umpteenth time, the extra fat clinging on to me .

Of course I was furious, of course my face was burning with humiliation and of course I had to share this news with the BF.

Trrring trring……I called him later that day.

“Hello, whats up”, says the BF.

“We had a fire drill today”, I started.

“WHAT?!! OH NO!! DON’T TELL ME!!! I THINK I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT”, saying which the dear husband started guffawing as loudly as the international lines would allow him!

And therein, dear friends, lies my sad tale.

I am struck again and again and again 😦

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Warning :

a)  Long post ahead.

b)  Post talks about periods.

c)  I can get pretty graphic at times.

I’ve been wondering whether to write this post or not for a pretty long time now. There were considerations for the menfolk who drop by my blog occasionally. Didn’t want to gross them out. But then, most of the guys I know are either married or have girlfriends. So finally, I decided that it wouldn’t harm them to know what I’m going to say here. They can even forward my opinions to their wives or girlfriends (Notice how I’ve cleverly replaced the ‘and’ here 😀 ) if they wish to.

For people who get nauseous at the very first mention of ‘periods’ or ‘menstruation’, you may close the browser now. OR, you may head to my post on baby poop, pee and puke. Less revolting. In fact, I didn’t get graphic about the poop and puke at all!! Maybe it was in this post? Umm no, thats too decent too. Damn!! Why can’t I find a gross post when I’m looking for it?!

(Nah. Just kidding. Close the damn browser right now 🙂 )

mfln3290l

Coming back to the topic. I’ve hated periods all my life. They ruined most of my carefree nature, landed me in embarrassing situations more than once, took away much of my freedom, cramped my lifestyle (literally) and in all, appeared to be the worst thing that could ever happen to me. Or to any woman for that matter! Then I had the twins. Everything seemed worthwhile , even the rashes and the PMS. At least for a while. I still don’t have a benevolent attitude towards periods. If I didn’t fear early setting in of osteoporosis, I’d have gladly gone in for a hysterectomy right after the twins were born! No seriously, am not kidding.

My earliest memory of suffering was when I hit puberty. That was the age when I’d just begun excelling at sports. Badminton and swimming were my personal favorites. I had a large group of friends with whom I used to go to the pool regularly. If the pool schedule wasn’t too hectic, we’d have a round of badminton before heading back home. Or sometimes, we played badminton after reaching home. Blissful days those were 🙂

Then one fine day, when the gang came to collect me, I just shrugged and said I couldn’t come with them. No explaining done because in those days, we didn’t talk about it openly in front of guys 😐 . A couple of girls in the gang understood, a silent communication that happened without my saying a single word. Later on, I’d realize just how close women can get sharing this one secret! The next day, when the gang dropped by, I refused once again. After day 3, they stopped dropping by my place. It felt terrible. Not just because I was missing out on some great activities and fun but also because I was sitting in my house, sitting through a terrible napkin rash that had broken out on my thighs. It hurt like hell but I had to let it heal so that I could attend school the next day.

The rashes. Its not something that assailed all girls but for me, maybe because my skin was sensitive, I’d have the worst case ever. Getting through a school day would be an ordeal. We didn’t get exempted from physical training or sports (in a co-ed school), so  I had no option but to grit my teeth, grunt through the pain and just get on with life. The only thought while going back home was to sink myself into a tub of ice-cold water! And stay there forever. But a tubful of ice-cold water was not readily available those days, so one got by with generous doses of neosporin powder or sometimes, just plain talcum. The skin was allowed to heal in the privacy of home before facing the next day’s challenge!

With age, the intensity diminished, but with every month, the rashes dutifully came back. I have tried every single napkin that has come out in the market. I even bought napkins from international brands. Nothing helped. The rashes came back just as stars come out each night 😐

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A couple of years back, after much contemplation, I switched to tampons. We get only one brand in India (OB, by J&J), the one that doesn’t come with an applicator. Needless to say, the initial trials were utter failures, not to mention painful! Gradually, with time, I learned to use it successfully. Tampons helped with the rashes immensely. I no longer feared the periods. For a good 18 months, I was happy that I’d made the switch.  The only drawback was that the tampons cause severe dehydration of the vaginal walls towards the end of the periods. Sometimes, it is dry enough to cause severe pain or cramps.

Then one day, while going through IHM’s blog, I came across a post on Menstrual Cups.

This was interesting. I had never heard of such a thing before and before I knew it, I was hunting all over the web for it. I asked plenty of people, posted queries on forums, but like me, most Indian women were waiting for reviews on it. None that I knew had ever heard of it, let alone used it. After much contemplation, I took the chance and decided to use it myself rather than wait for someone else’s feedback. But good intentions don’t necessarily come with prompt actions. It took me a good year before I finally decided to make the switch.

The BF, bless his soul, had bought me a box of Diva Cup (purchased through Amazon). The Amazon offer included one Diva Cup with two bottles of Diva wash, a pH neutral wash to clean the diva cup. It was a pretty good deal, really. After using the cup for a few months, all I can say is, I’m never going to back to the conventional methods again!

The Diva cup is steeply priced. But it pays for itself after a year of use. In India, we can purchase the SheCup which is currently available only online (visit www.shecup.com for more information).  A rough calculation is as follows :-

Suppose you spend an average of 30/- per month on sanitary napkins, then you would spend 30×12= 720/- for a year’s supply. The SheCup comes for approx. 675/- . A single menstrual cup can last for up to 10 years if used as directed.

Imagine! One purchase and for a good enough decade, you don’t need to spend on any other sanitary product! A drop of any pH neutral hand/face/body wash is good enough to clean the cup. Once in a  while, it would be a good practice to sterilize it by boiling it. Now I’m sure some women would be averse to using kitchen utensils (or even gas-stove for that matter) to sterilize a menstrual product. They can go the normal soak-in-dettol-solution-for-ten-minutes route. It works too. Also, if you wash the cup regularly with the prescribed liquid cleaner you needn’t sterilize it every cycle. But then, the level of hygiene you want to maintain depends on you.

Coming to hygiene, the menstrual cup is by the cleanest method I have come across so far. Since the cup sits inside your body, collecting the fluid, there is no exposure to air and hence, no oxidization and mercifully, no odour. Yup! You heard that right! Menstrual cups have ZERO odour. So even at the peak of your periods, you wouldn’t smell a thing! At all!

Also, because it sits inside, there is no leakage. One can go up to 12 hours at a stretch without the need to change. In case of heavy periods, the cup may get full earlier, so a  quick trip to the washroom is all you need to dump the contents, wash with water or wipe with a tissue and re-insert. Thats it. you are done!

I’m going a little haphazard in my glowing review of the cup, so I’ll just quickly summarize the key features that make it click. Hopefully, you will be convinced enough to make the change 🙂

So, here goes :-

1) A menstrual cup lasts much longer. It is made of medical grade silicon and is allergy free.

2) A menstrual cup is environment friendly. Very environment friendly. Sanitary napkins are made with chlorine bleached wood pulp and polyacrylate gel and polyethylene film as the cover. Though this makes the napkin super absorbent what it also does is to make it virtually non-biodegradable (it takes nearly a hundred years to decompose a used sanitary napkin). With the number of napkins you use in a month, multiplied by 12 and then multiplied by the number of years you’ve been using it, imagine the extent of toxic waste created by you! It is never to late to switch to a more environment friendly version of sanitation!

3) Like I mentioned before, there is zero odour. I know many women get grossed out changing their own napkins. Much has to do with the menstrual fluid which gets exposed to oxygen and oxidises to release odour. With a menstrual cup, the duration of exposure to air is so minimal (while you are dumping the contents) that there is no time for oxidization to occur and hence, no chance to generate odour. No smell means feeling wonderful and radiant even during the peak of my periods 🙂

4) A menstrual cup, when worn properly, does not leak. Not even a drop! Unless you are lazy and cross the 12-hour barrier. Even then, there is very minimal leakage. There are no embarrassing episodes! You can sleep through the night without an ounce of worry of staining your clothes or the bed-sheets. You needn’t opt for mile-long sanitary napkins just to get a sound night’s sleep 😀 .

5) It is pocket friendly. One purchase and you are set for many years! At the max, you may need to carry a few panty-liners in your purse, for the days close to the actual period days.

6) You no longer need to let anyone know that you are having your periods! No more carrying your purse to the office washroom for every change! No more hunting for old newspapers to carry to the bathroom at home.

7) Extreme comfort! Menstrual cups do not harm the insides of your vaginal passage and are allergy free. There is a bit of learning curve associated with using it. People who have used a tampon would find it much easier to use a cup. For first timers, instructions are available in plenty on the net. You can start by going through this video first. I did experience initial discomfort , which I later found out, was because of the stem of the Diva Cup. I trimmed it a bit and now it sits like a dream. I don’t even remember that its in there 🙂

There are plenty more benefits, I’m sure. I’m still new to the cup but the experience has been more than awesome. I wonder why such products are not advertised here, why menstrual cups are not manufactured and sold in bulk?! One reason, of course , would be the direct hit that the sanitary napkin industry would have to bear! But since we still haven’t figured out a good way to dispose off those napkins, I think we should resist from using them.

In case any one of you is interested, you may find more information on menstrual cups here. It has a nice list of all available types and sizes, the usage, the squish factor and much more.

One word of warning though. The menstrual cup  cannot handle your PMS and your cramps 🙂

( As the millions of tissues in your uterus contract and expand to discard its lining, sending shooting pain signals starting from the tips of your toes to the back of your head, the only thing you can do is grin and bear it as you’ve been doing all these years. Sorry, but that is the sad truth. And if you feel like killing someone while going through it, please feel free and do it. Millions of women around the world will back your right to do so 🙂  )

Hopefully, you’ll become a convert like me 🙂

Have a happy period, people 🙂

Love,

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Sticky Wicket

No, this isn’t about cricket.

I abhor cricket from the depths of my soul and it would be sacrilege of me to dedicate a post to it on my blog.

(I need to do a penance for the last two lines itself 😐 . AND for the title 😦 )

I’m in a little tricky situation these days.

My children go to a day-care that is run by a lady who is Jain. She is very good with the children and I don’t have to worry about them while they are at her place. She makes pretty good lunch dishes for them and I must confess, she is responsible for making the twins enjoy their cabbages and bhindi. Being an ex-English-language faculty, she is also responsible for the twins picking up English faster than their classmates. Also, she’s the only available day-care near my place and I’m heavily dependent on her!

My only concern is regarding what she feeds into my children’s minds.

Earlier, I didn’t pay attention to the one-off comments, but with Eid-Ul-Zuha around the corner, she has upped her ante and keeps bombarding the twins with statements which are disrespectful of our religion.

“Only cruel people kill goats”.

“So many animals will die. When they go to heaven, they will complain against you”.

“Eggs are nasty things. They make normal people like me vomit”.

Obviously, the twins are mighty influenced. They are ready to give up their eggs and chicken because the day-care lady says so !

I did try to convince the two that sacrificing of a goat to feed the poor is not a crime. It is ordained in the Quran and is by no means sinful. Also, it is possibly the only ‘ritual’ in Islam. For people who cannot afford a goat, giving even grains to the poor is acceptable. The crux of the ritual is to feed poor people what they would not normally afford to eat.  Also, the leather from the goats is used in leather factories for making shoes, belts, etc. What I want to say is that the sacrificial goat is not wasted.

This was a little heavy for the twins to understand, though I put it forward in the simplest manner possible.

My concern is, should I confront the day-care lady about this? Communal statements aside, she is rather good with the twins and takes care of them well. For this reason itself I’ve been keeping quiet all along. But it irks me to find her feeding negativity about our religion to my children. I don’t force vegetarians/vegans to change their choices and I don’t expect to change mine for them. Then why should my children be coaxed to do so?

There is a lot more cruelty towards animals happening around us. Hundreds of birds are killed annually during kite-festivals, of which some birds are already in the endangered species list. Plenty of animals suffer food poisoning around Holi and Diwali, not to mention other ailments due to loud sounds (We lost a much loved pet due to a rocket that landed in his food bowl). 80% of the western world survives on meat as their the only diet. Situation is worse in countries like China & Japan. More animals are killed in road accidents than by any other means. These deaths are not accounted for or repented. But a goat sacrifice during Eid-Ul-Zuha that becomes an act of cruelty, knowing that all that meat is given to the needy & poor people?

Explaining this to a hardcore vegetarian may be next to impossible and that is one reason I’m skeptical about bringing this up with the day-care lady. But then, how exactly should I ask her to stop making my kids follow her beliefs? My kids sit with her when she performs her puja, I’ve never objected to that. My kids fold their hands and go around in circles chanting “Ram, Ram”, I’ve never told them that they cant do that in our house! I’ve been as liberal with them as I’ve been brought up to be. But there are times when a line has to be drawn.

My problem is, I just don’t know how exactly to draw that line?

Any suggestions??

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Anyone Missing Me??

Its time I made my presence on this blog again.

I’ve been away for long, so long that its a wonder I was able to login to my profile 😛 . But now that I’m in, its time I started putting my thoughts out here. The last few months were a welcome break, but I’m keen to start posting again, so help me Lord 🙂

So where was I all along?

Well, I was home. Being a SAHM for a few months. I took break from work and dedicated a few months to the kids. A few months in which we spent more time together than we had ever done since they were born 😀 . I did try to drag myself to the laptop and blog about each day, but try going through a day with two over-active pre-schoolers and see if you have the stamina by night time! I swear, there were days when I blanked out much before them. Both would then settle carefully on both sides of me making sure I had no room to turn. Not that I had the strength to int he first place!

This month, I rejoined office. Its seems strange, coming back here. A part of me is eager to get hold of a project and jump into work right away. The other part of me still questions if I was wise to come back. Classic Libran in me, I guess. Till the scales even out, I guess I will continue to work and sort out my inner conflict. The kids aren’t happy about me coming to work though, which is obvious 😦 …but I guess they’ll have to get used to my decision.

My visa hasn’t come yet. It was a disappointment initially but like the BF says, everything happens for a reason. I got to spend the time with the kids and take a break for some introspection. There’s a lot I want to do and pursue and InshaAllah, I will. I just needed the time to collect my thoughts and plans.  The BF will still be away but me and the kids are dealing with it much better than before.

In the meanwhile, I’ll be frequenting this space more often than not 🙂

So if any of you old followers are around, do drop by once in a while (as I will be dropping by you 🙂 ) . Blog friends, see you around.

Much love,

 

 

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Some time back, I’d read a wonderful post on OM’s blog about her daughter’s love for Krishna. The little girl loves her idol of Krishna and even lines up her barbies as his devotees 😀 . It was a very cute post and I confess I felt a bit teary towards the end. A child’s love is so pure!! Do check out that post.

Reading the blog, I was reminded of an innocent question a colleague asked me at lunch one day. We were talking about goodnight prayers and I was narrating the twin’s prayers to Allah to keep their Big-Dadi (The BF’s grandmother) trouble free in heaven. I also mentioned that whenever the kids get hurt or fall ill, I ask them to ask Allah for relief. They do this without question. At this, the friend quipped, “Do your kids understand the concept of God?”

I was a trifle startled at this question but realized that the answer was Yes, indeed they did. They did believe in a God up there. I’m not really sure when exactly they started believing, but the truth is that they understand the concept of God, of a power much higher and greater than us, a power that is invisible, no form, no image, without representation.

I realized early in life that being a Muslim was purely about believing in Allah. That there was a power up there which wrote our destinies, who gave us a choice in everything we did and decided our fate based on the choices we make. As a kid, we didn’t realize the depth of believing in that power with our eyes closed, with no visual aids, no images, no pictures, no idols. How exactly could we believe in something that we knew nothing about? I personally believe that most muslims don’t become muslims by birth. We become muslims the day we realize that the power exists, that our prayers do get answered (and I’m not talking about the wishes for extra helpings of ice-cream or a lifetime supply of chocolates 🙂 )

We become muslims the day we understand that there is someone out there looking out for us. That one day, we have to go back and meet our maker and on that day we will have to answer for all the good or bad that we did in our lifetime. I’m sure my children aren’t there yet. The only thing I’ve instructed them to do is to believe in their hearts that even when it appears that no one is watching over them, there is someone up there who is doing so. For now, they do understand that Allah is watching over them, so they have to be good 🙂 .

The kid’s day-care lady is a Jain. She adores the twins and sometimes, she takes them along to her Society’s Mandir for a puja. I don’t mind it. The kids enjoy the visits and tell me in the evening that they went to see ‘Bhagwan’. Its only when  I accidentally kick a book which is lying on the floor and a kid says, “Mummy, say sorry to the book. Issmein Bhagwan hai“, that I feel the need to correct them. I know that there are other religions that equate many things with God. Islam doesn’t. For us, the Lord above is too mighty and too sacred to be compared or even represented by anything on this mortal planet. This is just our belief and not meant to offend anyone else’s sensibilities. But yes, a book is a book, it helps one get education, so respecting it is fine. Keeping them in its place, is what I teach them to do. But I draw the line when they start referring to it as God.

Being a muslim is not easy. Specially when it comes to teaching the kids about Allah. We have no aids, only books written in a foreign language that the children will understand only much later. Till then, they are on their own. I can just let them know what I’m doing, I cannot make them do what I do. I can teach them prayers, but the only ones which are answered are the ones which are offered from the heart. They may not offer namaz, but whenever one gets hurt, the other quickly asks Allah to heal the hurt. Though this is not a formal prayer, it is true in its expression and I’m sure Allah understands 🙂 .

I send my daughter to school with a headscarf. She is free to remove it if she wants. This is just my way of introducing her to the beauty of this most misunderstood concept of Islam. As she grows older, she will make her own choices, but till then, I do my bit and introduce her to it. Alhamdulillah, she has taken quite a fancy to it, though she does remove it after school and goes to the day-care. One day, in office, as I was showing the snaps of my kids in their uniform to my colleagues, one was offended to see Lui with a headscarf.

“Why is she wearing a scarf?” she asked me.

“Because I like her to”, I replied.

“Doesn’t the school object?” she asked further.

“No. They don’t object”, I replied.

“But why not?” she asked vehemently,  ” They should ban it . It is against National Integration”.

At this point, I was too stumped and stupefied to reply.

Our country’s National Integration was at the mercy of my daughter’s headscarf! That was quite a burden she was carrying on her head, I say!!!

Over the years, I’ve met many people who have zero knowledge about Islam but consider themselves an authority on anything Islamic. Like, for instance, believing that the huge population of muslims in India exists only because the Mughals forcefully converted the Hindus.  By that logic, the Christian population should be almost neck-to-neck with the muslims, right?

Anyhow, that is an argument for a different time. For now, as I see my kids grow older and learn new things, I need to show them that there is lot of beauty around them. That though some people may doubt their loyalties (Heck! My Dad served in the Indian Army and yet there were certain people who made snide remarks about his loyalty. Imagine! A man who gets war medals for his country, was looked upon with suspicion. What chances do my kids have? ), there will be others who will give their undying love and friendship. That there will be hurdles in their lives, surprisingly the kind which never appear for their friends, but for them alone, but still, the One above will sail them over it.

Faith is all about believing. I believe that though there is a lot of hatred in this world, my children will find their share of love and kindness, of friendships and happiness. Of loyalty and togetherness. Not just with each other but with most of the people they come across in their life.

I pray that my children will not be stigmatized as adults, if they chose to wear a headscarf or a cap. That no one will question their loyalty towards their country. That they will be accepted for who they are and how they chose to live. InshaAllah, those days will come.

Because Allah is watching over them 🙂 .

Note : The contents of this post are my opinions alone. I apologize if any sentiments are hurt and want to assure everyone that such was not my intention.

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