Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘The heart says…’ Category

Dearest Lui and Shobbs,

I’m visiting these pages after ages! For no fathomable reason, I had stopped writing. I convinced myself it is because I’d rather ‘stay in the moment’ than mentally take down notes to blog about it. I wanted to be an active participant of your life than be an observer of your growth (of which I’m guilty at times!).

But I was wrong.

Capturing the precious moments of my life with you is what makes this blog so special to me. Each time I pull out an old post and read about your antics, it brings a smile to my face 🙂 . I may not immediately remember the incident, but reading about it does jog my memory and everything becomes clearer, as if it happened recently. I’m sad that these last two years, which have brought about such tremendous changes in you, have not been penned 😦 . It is my fault and now that you are turning 7 (Gosh! I still can’t believe it !!), I think its high time I do justice to you and my blog.

But first, a confession.

I sit here sobbing a little as I type. Tears flow down my cheeks because I feel overwhelmed. You two have turned out to be so terrific in every way that I feel incompetent as your mother, your guardian. I can’t think of any single good deed that I did to deserve you. I sob because I want to give you all that you desire, but you never demand. You both derive pleasure from the smallest things in life, making me realize that it isnt money that buys happiness. I’m proud to say that you both are my sunshine. You are the brightness that fills every crevice of my heart and make me giddy with joy 🙂

Lui sweetheart,  you are our resident angel, bet you already know that 😀 . You can spin me and the BF around your little finger just as easily as you did 7 years back! The only difference being that you’ve got a loud mouth to go with it now 🙄 ! I have watched you grow into a wonderfully confident little thing, quiet unlike the shy, gawky me of yore. I puff up with pride at your grace, your kindness and generosity, your impeccable manners and your readiness to apologize for your mistakes. Believe me darling, it takes people many many years to achieve all that! You are just seven, but I have seen how wonderfully  you go about making friends, being kind towards the underdogs, helping out friends and classmates as best as you can and pleasing your teachers with your impish smile 🙂 .  These are not things that I have ‘taught’ you, they come from within you. I can only pray to Allah to keep this warmth in you forever.

Shobby darling, you are our bundle of joy, wrapped in multiple layers of humour and mirth 😀 . I can’t believe that a kid as young as you has a wicked sense of humour, but you do! It is a great gift and I seriously pray that it stays with you forever, for there is no medicine like laughter, right 😀 ?! You are seven but people ask me if you are 4! Some even ‘recommend’ that I feed you 🙄 . At times I feel offended, but then I realize that those people don’t know how tough your beginning was. You put up a good fight champ and and in the last 7 years I’m grateful to Allah for giving you a healthy constitution. Though tiny, you are sturdier than most kids your age. Like Lui, making friends comes so easily to you! This is all the more surprising because earlier you were quite the shy guy, offering nothing more than a smile! Your confidence has blossomed and I’ll confess that I preen a little when people complement me on your kind disposition.

Seven years back today, as I lay on that hospital bed, I marveled at the beauty of Lui and the fragility of Shobbs. Today, I see character in Lui and strength in Shobby. So much has changed, for the better I’m glad to say (Alhamdulillah) and I can only pray that you progress towards your own betterment. I have not set any benchmarks for you, I do not expect you to do great things, frankly, I feel just honoured being your mom.

We’ve reached the lucky seven, you and me together, although for me, it is twice the luck 😉 . You are neither little kids nor young adults. It is a difficult phase for me because you have grown curious about so many things. You ask questions and I do my best to answer them (ex: What does showing the middle finger mean?) . It is difficult to gauge your level of comprehension and I worry that I might push you across the border of innocence (frankly, NO mother likes to believe that her kids grew up!), but there are so many things you need to be prepared for. The world today is not as kind as before, people around you would be quick to judge, quick to blame and quick to demean. But you need to hold on to the goodness in your heart. Keep that flame of kindness alive, no matter how others treat you.

And laugh. Laugh as you laugh today, from your belly, with abandon, with the sparkle in your eyes.

Because that’s all it takes to make your world a better place to live in 🙂

Many Happy Returns of the Day my Babies…….!

PS : Here’s a little collage of you two over the last two years! Am sure you’ll find pictures of before somewhere in this blog 🙂

Six to Seven :)

Six to Seven 🙂

 

Love you forever 🙂

Yours,

 

 

Read Full Post »

This morning, I got up to a new world.

When I opened the blinds, everything was white. Glossy, clear white. Everything was coated with a thick layer of snow. We had around 5 inches of snow the previous night! The trees, cars, buildings, electric poles, church-tops…..everything was white.

I’m sure that snow gave man the idea of the colour white. Surely, nothing could be more cleaner or purer than fresh snow??

The early morning view

The early morning view

Since the last couple of days had been more than pleasant, this snowfall came as a rude call! I mean, its officially spring time, I had even discarded the bulky winter coats for spring jackets. But winter doesn’t want to let go yet 🙂 . So I had to pull out the heavy jackets, gloves, scarves and boots once again. For and Lui and Shobby (Its takes a whole 15 minutes just to get the kids ready to step out. And by ready, I mean just putting on their winter-wear 😐 )

As I  walked the kids to the school, I realized that today’s snowfall was different. It was thicker, fluffier (if you know what I mean), more like puffs of clouds sitting everywhere. Even though there was no sun, the snow was pretty blinding in its white intensity. By the way, this is the twin’s school…..the building is kind of heritage you can say, dating back to 1895.

The School

The School

The school is named after Ruben Salazar, a pioneer for encouraging the use of Spanish language in America. So yes, the kids are learning Spanish at school (I knew my ‘gracias’ and ‘amigos’ and ‘senors’ and ‘nachos’ would come in use some day 😀 ).

As I walked around the block (along the sharp 90 degree turn), I saw the path ahead .

The side-walk

The side-walk

Alas, my camera phone does not do justice to the picture.

The air was crip with a chilly draft, but everything around looked so beautiful that I couldn’t resist taking a walk (I shouldn’t have, as I realized later!). So I walked on and on and on and saw these beauties on the way.

20140312_085635_LLS

A tree beautifully loaded with white

20140312_090707_LLS

Quaint houses with snow clogged stairs 🙂

20140312_091449

People gave up on their cars

I was a bit hesitant while clicking the snap of that white tree. There were passers by giving me the look and it made me feel a little uncomfortable. And then I saw a Japanese fellow taking a pic of the same tree from further ahead! He seemed totally unconcerned about the looks and from him, I learned my lesson for the day. After that I clicked away happily and unselfconciously 🙂

After walking about a kilometer from my house, I came across The Lake. It is lake Michigan, one of the largest lakes in the world. In fact, so large is it appears like a sea. Here’s a picture taken from a friend’s residence (I envy their location 😐 ) when I had newly come to Chicago.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

Beautiful , isn’t it?? And I had no idea that the lakes’ shores were so close to my place (that would explain the killer winds!). In fact, I really couldn’t see the water because much of the shoreline was frozen over. This is what it looked like .

20140312_091057_LLS

The lake…..errr…or what you can see of it.

The picture isn’t very clear, but if you zoom it a bit, you can see the frozen lake bed beyond the cars. Its all white now….the blue waters are much further ahead. If I were taller, I guess you could see the blue. Alas, I drew the short stick.

Also, this is the lake shore drive road (Something like that Queen’s necklace road in Mumbai), so you have some uppity complexes here. I’m sure the rents here are as high as those skyscrapers.

The lake shore skyline

The lake shore skyline

I turned back from here. The primary reason being that the winds blowing from the lake were definitely far under zero and even though I had my thermal, jeans, jacket and boots, the persuasive winds were successful in sneaking in ! *Shudder*

I walked back as fast as I could . If I were to lose my toes to frostbite, I’d rather be at home when it happened. It took hardly 10-15mins to get back home. I’m sure once summer is here, I’m going to visit the lake every single day 🙂 .

Oh, by the way, I practically lost sensations in both feet after reaching home. Had to soak them in the tub for a good half hour before I could walk again 😀

To end this post, here’s a little thing that happened this morning.

See the top pic?? It is the parking lot for our apartment. While I was sipping tea this morning (around 6:45 ), I saw a young man with a large shovel clearing the snow around one of the cars. Then he cleared away the snow from all over the car. As I watched him, I pitied people who had to go through that routine each morning. He must be going out far to get up so early!

Once I was done packing the twin’s lunchboxes, I went to the bedroom to wake them up. As I stood there, I noticed that the cleaned up car was still there in the parking lot. The guy was nowhere in sight. But, he had left a message behind. On the snow in front of the car, he had traced, ” H ❤ C ” in large captions. It brought a smile to my face. A simple gesture that spoke volumes….doing something for a loved one! There’s only one word for it.

Cute 🙂

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Wallowing In Misery

Okay, I confess.

I’m not as strong as I’d assumed I am. Or will ever be.

I’m a sissy and a nincompoop and I miss the BF. Terribly, terribly miss him 😦

Its been two months plus since he’s been away. There’s not a single day when I haven’t mailed/chatted/called him at least three times each. Yet, I think this wait for his return is driving me nuts. I didn’t know I would miss him this much. Or maybe I just miss our arguments and repartee’s. Life’s less than appealing right now. It doesn’t help that the twins are not keeping well and refuse to eat anything! Nothing I make of feed them makes an iota of a difference. They are both getting skinnier by the day, not that it hampers their activity levels. They can still out-run and out-scream the best out there 😐

Anyway, this post isn’t about them.

Its about the BF…and how his absence is driving me insane !!

I haven’t had a single night’s restful sleep since he left. I call him up at 3am, only to be scolded to go back to sleep 😦 . Mushy, sappy songs are the order of the day and bring tears to my eyes …especially when I’m alone.

I look like this!!

I look like this!!

By the way, am not sure if I’m the only one here…but when I think of sad, sappy songs about  separation, I cant recollect even a single new-age song that belongs to the year 2K and beyond. I’m mostly left humming “Ayegaaa…..Ayegaa……..ayega aane waaala….Ayegaaa…..” or “Afsana likh rahi roon...” or maybe even a peppy, “Imtihaan ho gayi…..intezaar ki“. What makes me recollect the oldest numbers out there, God knows 😐 . But the old songs do have their charm….they mirror my sentiments better, I think. Like the song “Afsana“. One stanza starts with, “Tu jo nahin to kuchh bhi, nahin hai bahaar mein….nahin hai bahaar mein“. How apt 🙂

Goodness! I digressed again! This post isn’t about the songs!! Its about the BF!

Did I say I miss him??? Well, that’s an understatement.

I miss him as much as I would a limb or a vital organ. I think, I’ve grown so used to him over the years that his separation seems to almost deprive me of something critical….like breath. In all the years we’ve been together, we’ve barely been away for more than 2 months, at the max 2.5. Since I’ve already crossed the 2.5 threshold, the coming days seem almost painful. I know its just a matter of time before we’ll be together but the ‘matter of time’ isn’t really happening all that quick 😦 . Its summertime and the days just seem longer than usual. To add to the misery, the US Consulate is still holding back my visa. No update on that front yet! I’m so ticked off right now that if you were any closer to me , you’d hear me growl!

Dear BF, if you are reading this, I’m sorry for adding to your misery. I at least have the kids. You are alone….and it breaks my heart to think of what you must be going through.

Simply counting the days till you get back.

Love,

Your wife.

*Sigh*

I seriously wonder how all those Army wives manage without their spouses. My mom did it….I think she deserves  a gallantry award herself. As for me….I’d rather have my BF back 🙂

For those of you interested in songs of heartache, this is what I hum these days . Enjoy the B&W :-


 

Read Full Post »

For a few months now, I’ve been contemplating going on a sabbatical. The thought first crept in when I was busy on my previous project and didn’t have the time to breathe. I was cranky, tired and snapped at every given opportunity. Working 12 hours at a stretch for weeks does that to some people. I’m among one of those weak, insipid ones who fall prey to long working hours 😦 . It didn’t help that I also have kids and a family to tend to.

Somewhere along the way, it didn’t seem worth the effort. I was putting in all the hours I could. I know I’m good at what I do, yet, I wasn’t happy. Satisfied maybe. Glad to be doing something with my brain. If I were a housewife, I would most likely be found in the corner of my room, cobwebs hanging over my body, hair in dreadlocks, drool over my chin as I chewed my pencil over Sudoku, level Hard. The kids would be forgotten, cooking would be a distant memory and the BF would  almost be on his way to becoming one.

But I digress.

I like what I do. Which doesn’t really translate to “I LOVE what I do”. I don’t love it. Period. I don’t like taking work back home (though, there are times when I cannot avoid it). Each evening, as I lock up for the day, I’m glad about leaving. I hold my head high and rush out as fast as I can. I never look back. Its not about the work, I’ll admit. I’m sufficiently engrossed when I’m at it to forget to call the BF for his morning call. I’ve even missed out on calling the Pediatrician regarding some ailment of the twins only because I was busy debugging a script (bad parenting example here). I’m glued to the PC because I’m interested in what I’m doing.

Working From Home

Working From Home

The current project I’m working on is much better than the previous one. I like the easy familiarity with the tools and the platform I’m working on. I like the good vibes I share with the people at the client side. Though I’m busy, I’m not neck-deep in it. I do have time to breathe these days 🙂 .

Yet, I think I need the break.

I’ve been contemplating a lot on what I really want to do in the long run. Should I continue in IT or should I venture out to doing stuff that I love?? A really long time back, I’d written a post on how I want to start my own boutique. There was a time when every single dress that I wore bore results of my painful contribution to its look. A little thread-work here, a few sequins there, a little mirror-work on one and sometimes, a little painting on the fabrics. There were other times I thought of taking up writing full time (thats a joke really. And like I said, I was just ‘thinking’ about it 🙂 ) because some people who read me liked what I had written. It was a powerful boost of self-esteem and confidence. It felt good to be appreciated for doing stuff that I loved to do.

When I decided to take a break, I also decided to hunt for other avenues of income, things which didn’t take up as much time as the current one does. I was in a dilemma, because I’m one of those people, the jack-of-all-master-of-none types. There’s a lot I can do, but not good enough to guarantee a regular income! So I thought that maybe I could start writing short stories or articles (only problem being, I suck at social commentaries and my kids HATE my stories 😦 )

So imagine my surprise and consternation when I read this article by my favourte movie reviewer, Baradwaj Rangan ( Since 2007, when I first discovered his blog, I swear I haven’t watched a film unless I read his review first. He is GOOD!!) . A snippet from his blog states this :-

“That’s one thing you’re not really prepared for when you begin to “follow you passion,” that one day it will become a job, and the pieces you used to write at your leisure, for fun, for a break from the daily grind, now come with deadlines. No one tells you that, one day, the passion becomes the daily grind.”

This is exactly what I was afraid of all along, just that he presents it in a much better manner.

I have my work on one side and my hobbies on the other. I like writing. But I also like writing at my leisure, when I feel like it or IF I feel like it. I did a short stint for Parentous. Contributed for a month(thats a total of 4 posts) and then suddenly, it seemed too much. Though I had to contribute just once a week, the pressure of coming up with a meaningful post every week seemed too much. I realized I couldn’t do it. That I was uncomfortable sharing my blog-time on someone else’s blog 😐

When I read BR’s blog, it made sense. My insecurities were not my whims. There was someone else who was facing the same issues. Today, when I get bored of my work, I know that I can turn back to sewing a few sequins or weilding that paint brush. I can sit back and read a good book or turn to my blog to spout my feelings. But what happens if I do all these for a living? I’ll probably enjoy doing all this…..but one day, when I’m tired and bored of it all, what do I do? If my comfort hobbies become my work, then what would be my comfort when I feel like getting away from it all?  Some would suggest that I would need to build up diversity in my hobbies, learn new skills (you are never to old to learn) but after an age, its not everyone’s cup of tea to chart new paths(you cant teach an old dog new tricks!!) .

I’d applied for leave, hoping that I’ll find my calling in something else and follow it. Probably submit my resignation and follow the dicatats of my heart.

But now, I think I’ll just use the leaves for what they were meant to be…..a break. I’m still not ready to change my track. Sure, my work doesn’t bring me big-time happiness. But it brings in the moolah, which kind of compensates for everything else. Plus, if I ever get bored or need a break, there’s so much more I could turn to, to bring me comfort.

For now, I’ll not give in to the temptation to make my passion my work. I’ll let it be what it is……so that when I want to get away from the grind, it is right there, welcoming me as always!

Please do take a few minutes to read BR’s article (link given above). It is brilliant! Puts a lot of things in perspective.

Do let me know if anyone of you has given up their job to follow their heart….I want to hear your side of the story too 🙂

Love,

Read Full Post »

Letters

Dear Mr.Bell

What would we do without a phone?? No, no, I don’t mean the smartphones that let us do all but communicate with the dead! I mean the simple little thing you made that made talking across miles possible. The simple wires carrying sounds to lands far and away…making it possible for a very sappy me to talk to my one true love across the oceans!

Yours,

Eternally-Grateful.

===============================

Dear Mom,

How did you do it?? How did you survive for months on end without Dad?? How did you cope when there was no provision of a phone call? I know Dad called up once in a while (make that once in 2-3 months as phone used to be a luxury in border areas his unit was manning). I know you wrote letters, piles of them, but there was no guarantee they would reach him. Or that he would reply 😀

I call up the BF at least thrice a day. He calls me up an equal number of times. And then we have a video chat. We drop mails. In fact, its as if he’s still in town but doesn’t have the time to drop by home 😐 . I hardly realize that he is far far away and that we live in different timezones. What matters is that we are so constantly in touch. He is updated with each day’s activities of the kids. He knows what they’ve been up to, the things they say and the way they behave. Apart from the slight difference in their size (when he sees them next), I doubt he would find anything new!

I cant imagine how you went through those years. Must have been terribly tough, isn’t it? I realize it just now 😦

Yours,

Forever-In-Awe!

========================================

Dear Lui And Shobby,

You’ve taken your father’s absence much better than I had anticipated. I know you miss him and he misses you two, in fact, terribly so. If there is one reason (make that two) for him to give up his work and fly back home, its you. But rather than saying “Abu come back home” all you ever told him on the phone is, “Finish your work and come back home”. Well, he better follow those orders, right? Its cute you know, the way you ask him if he’s done a ‘good job’ of his work 🙂 . I’m sure he’s tickled pink each time he hears it!

I think you are handling his absence admirably well. You were a little whiny initially but lately your temperaments have improved. You don’t give me much trouble and though I risk jinxing myself, I must admit that you two actually listen to me! Your temper tantrums are down by a notch and we actually have reasonable discussions *gasp* (will wonders never cease?!) The only thing you have conspired to do is to keep me running around the house after you two. It is an activity which I thoroughly despise and there seems to be no respite in sight. Alas, I’ll pick the pros over the cons for now 🙂

Please keep up the good behavior even after your father comes back. I do want to take credit for it all 😀

Yours,

Forever-On-The-Toes

================================

Dear Unix,

Where have you been?? I know, I know, I deserted you…left you for Windows.  Worked on GUIs and became depressed and morose enough to think of quitting my job. Nothing I did seemed worthwhile. I was disillusioned and listless. Work didn’t interest me anymore and I had serious doubts on what I wanted to do next.

Then you came along. My old friend. You forgave me my defection and welcomed me back with open arms.  All those forgotten commands came flooding back -grep, ls, pwd, rm, ant, awk, sed……. So engrossed am I in my VNC that I no longer find the time to blog ( :O ) . I’m totally lost in your console and your prompt ensconces me like home. I’m once more charged up and can see some meaning in the work I do.

Never again am I working on a Windows-based project again. For me, its just gonna be U(nix).

Yours,

Eternally-Smitten.

=================================

Dear BF,

We’ve been together, we’ve been apart. We were then together and then apart. In the last 14 years, I think we’ve had enough instances of being away from each other. Yet, each time it hurts terribly. I miss your presence and your PJs. Being away from the family has robbed you of your under-appreciated sense of humour. Its been ages since I heard you laugh. Okay, maybe not really. You do guffaw out aloud when on video chat with the kids 🙂 .

The twins miss you terribly, but they are more concerned about what you plan to get for them. Me, I miss the fights and the arguments over the use of cupboards, tables and bed. Having all this space to myself is getting a tad unnerving. I’d rather have two shelves in the cupboard after a good, well-deserved win, than having it all to myself on a platter.

*Sigh*

Do come back soon. After you wrap up your work, of course. Wouldn’t want to harm the hand that puts the bread-n-butter on the table, right?!

Yours.

🙂

==================================

Dear US Consulate,

I have no idea what Section 221(g) means. I have no idea why it is termed so. All I know is that I’d like to spend a few months with my husband while he is in your land. I swear that my kids have no ulterior motive other than to fleece their father of his last hard-earned  penny, all in order to help your economy. Why then would you, dear people, label my visa as “Administration pending”. What exactly does it mean? No one seems to give a proper reply. The Visa Officer was highly apologetic when he said my visa was in pending state but he gave no reason for it. Its been more than a month , I haven’t heard a thing from anyone. The pending case_status document hasn’t been updated at all for the day when I had my interview. Pray, give me one hint as to whats going on? Even if my visa is rejected just LET ME KNOW!! I need to plan my leaves accordingly.

Eternally Hopeful.

===================================

Read Full Post »

I recently read a book called “Break In” by Dick Francis. Its a story of a steeplechase jockey and his twin sister set in  the backdrop of Francis’ forte – horse racing.

Right from the beginning of the story, it is made clear that the two leads have a bond that is strongly telepathic, they can both read each others mind and even as kids, could figure out where the other was , when the elders got tired of searching for one.

As I went deeper into the narration, I felt as though this book was written for Lui and Shobbs !! The invisible bonds that tie Kit and Holly together, is creepily similar to the bond between Lui and Shobby. It is fascinating, to see them both together. They fight, they yell, they squabble, they land punches and usually beg us to get rid of the other. But the second we, the adults, try and reprimand any one of them, the other gives out a banshee call and literally goes for our throats 😐

Lui will complain about Shobby, I turn to scold Shobby and Lui will whack me with her plastic bat, indignant that I dared to raise my voice on her brother! Shobby, not the whacking type, tends to hurl himself on us to put maximum distance between us and his sister. A kabaddi-champion in the making, is my wild guess!

I can list a hundred different instances when they both abhor the intervention of any third person between them. At school, they may completely ignore each other, reveling in the company of other friends. But the day Lui skips school or Shobby is at home, the others gets restless, refusing to talk or play with the other kids 😐 . Their teachers have time and again pointed out this behavior in every parent-teacher’s meet.

Recently, since the BF is away, the twins sleep with me. One night, since Shobby and Lui were involved in a major fight where Shobby was the main culprit, I punished him by making him sleep on his bunk bed. What I didn’t bargain for, was the effect on Lui. She was awake most of the night. She kept waking me up to convince me to bring Shobby to our bed. She was worried that he would be scared all alone. Apparently, she was deaf to his snores 😐 . Each time she woke me up, I would ask her to go back to sleep and not disturb me. Eventually, she woke me up to inform that she was joining her brother on the bunk-bed.

By the time the two woke up the next morning, they were back to screeching and clawing at each other.

Frankly, I’ve given up on the two. They might bring the house down with their yelling, but I desist from playing the referee. Let them fight, they’ll obviously make-up after a while. Then they will shoot accusing looks my way and hold me responsible for all the misunderstanding between the two 😦

Its funny and sad at the same time…..I mean I know the kids love me and all but somewhere, I believe they have their own little space where I’m not invited. As they grow older, I can feel the space expanding. Earlier, they used to come and talk to me directly about anything. Nowadays, they discuss among themselves before approaching me 😐 . They crack their own jokes, get under the blanket and laugh their guts out, play peek-a-boo with each other…and I, stand outside like a silent observer, simply watching them and thanking Allah that they don’t need me to keep them busy. That they have each other.

But it hurts too 😦 . A teeny tiny ache in the vicinity of the heart……

Read Full Post »

With the BF out of the country on work, I’m busy fretting what to do next. I mean, since every second of my spare time was spent in needling him towards the abyss of irritation, I have no idea how I will use up my time now 😐

I’m still writing him enough mails but this time, I think he’s actually enjoying them (he hasn’t yet begged me to stop the deluge). Fret. Fret. Fret 😦

Its terrible, you know, to get so used to a person around you that you have no clue how to go on when the said person isn’t around. I think I went around in circles back there but again, I’m too lazy to correct it.

*Sigh*

My mind refuses to be still. I’ve been day-dreaming about him since morning and its doing me no good. There’s a status report that needs to go out to the clients today and you know what?! I couldn’t care less 😐

Somebody help me !

BF, if you are reading this, then let me tell you how I feel right now –

Read Full Post »

Dear Friend,

I made a resolution this year that when I felt something was wrong, I would make sure that I voice that opinion. I’m speaking out now.

After more than a decade of friendship, of ups and downs, of cramming for exams and scrounging for projects, of late-night Maggis and late-night movie shows, of early morning coffee and CDs played on my computer, we’ve done it all. You were always the quiet and shy one and I would be the brash one, speaking out for when you when you clammed up!  You would goad me into asking the teachers for an off if you didn’t feel like attending class. I would do it.I used to bargain for you when you went shopping (remember the time you liked a particular pair of shoe but didn’t want to pay more than 100/- for it? I haggled with the shopkeeper for it the next day, insisting that I wanted that very pair, even though it was a size small for me. He must have thought me a nut-case, buying shoes that don’t fit!). I could have left you to fight your own battles but I didn’t.

And this is why, I blame myself as much as I blame you for what I feel about the status of our friendship now.

For the last few years, I’ve realized that the equation of our friendship has changed. I’m not sure if you realize when exactly this change came about but I can pinpoint the exact time frame – August 2005. I’m sure this date must have triggered some dormant memories. Dormant for you but not for me. Because I remember the days that followed after that very well. Days, that didn’t turn out too good or favorable for me.

Before I go into the specifics, I’ll let you on a secret. You are a joy to be with – when you are not in the circle of your family. Maybe that’s why the first year of college with you was so much fun. You were gay, unabashed, spoke your mind and were a riot. In the second year, your family settled in town and you moved in with them. Though you were still fun to be with, you weren’t as gay and unabashed as before. Cautious, is what you were. You were careful about what you said and did. I did irk me a bit, but then, I wasn’t so into dissecting personalities.

Honestly speaking, over the last few years, I’ve thought a hundred times about breaking ties with you. I realized that my friendship meant nothing to you. You never really were around during my bad times and when I was around for you, I was reprimanded by your family while you stood by meekly. You neither defended me nor apologized later for the insults I had to bear. At one point, I realized what a grave mistake I had made by taking your side when you came to me for help. Remember this line. You came to me. Till then, I had NO IDEA what was brewing. I had NO IDEA what trouble you were in. I was about to leave town to return God-Knows-When and there you were, sobbing buckets. I did the best I could, FOR YOU. I stood up for you when there was no one besides you. I faced your family FOR YOU.

And that, in Aug 2005 was my biggest mistake.

For years after that, your family has been more than rude to me. Maybe you didn’t realize it. Or just maybe, you realized and chose to keep quiet. Like always. Even before Aug 2005, when results came out in college and I was interrogated on my marks in each subject. Like the time I got my first job and I was asked to give a salary break-up description. Like the time, after a late evening show, I waited with you at a lonely bus-stop till your parents came to pick you up, since no autos were going your way (I could still hail down autos going my way). At 11:30 in the night, when your parents finally came, you hopped into your car and drove away, leaving me alone on a deserted stretch of road. Neither you nor your parents realized the slight. For a whole 10 minutes after that, I stood there in shock, my mouth agape. I waited, because I thought you guys might come back to pick me. My house was after all, almost half-way through to your’s. You didn’t come back (didn’t it bother you one bit that I waited there at the bus-stop for your sake?! Didn’t you owe me anything??). Somehow, when I reverse the position and think of you in my place, I KNOW that my dad would have driven you home even if your house was in the other end of the city. Sure he would have given us an earful, but that would have been out of concern for our safety. For days and years after that, you acted as if that incident didn’t happen. You never acknowledged, nor apologized.

Around 12 am, I finally gathered the guts to call the BF, who woke up from his slumber  and drove halfway across the city to drop me home. He gave me a tongue lashing throughout the ride. I didn’t deserve that flak. What surprises me is that when you have to be dropped at the airport at an ungodly hour, your parents called up the BF and asked him to do the needful. Not requested, mind you, just told him to do so. Somehow, their daughter is precious, but someone else’s isn’t?!  If we weren’t old buddies, the BF wouldn’t have. But frankly, he isn’t as heartless.

It hurts me terribly as I type this. I’ve been meaning to vent it out to you personally over the years. But then again, I realized that being vocal isn’t your strength. Instead of a discussion, I would be talking to a statue. You would sit patiently, waiting for me to get over and offer nothing in return. Not even the benefit of a good yell. Even as you read this, I don’t expect a reaction. I’m a little miffed that I’m taking the cowardly path and writing this down instead of confronting you. I can’t help it. I just have the consolation that maybe, someday, you will read this post.

I really cannot carry this load anymore. Each time I decided to severe ties with you, the BF calmed me down and pointed out that this lifetime was too short to hold grudges. He’s right. So even though I was insulted a hundred times, even though I vowed never to step into your doorway again, I did. Each time I did it for you. You are aware of the first time the insults started.  This was when your mom called me and another friend to reprimand us for being a wrong influence on you.

Wrong influence?! You were 25+ at that time. Not a teenager!

What was our crime?? We had boyfriends. I went ahead to marry mine. The other one is yet to marry hers. But do you remember the actual accusation?? I do. It was implied, directly that I pushed you into doing what you did. That I was the one who initiated the actual problem. I vehemently denied the accusation and looked to you for help. You sat there meekly, letting your mom do all the talking. We understood that with deference to your mother you would not be able to say anything. But what about later?? Wasn’t an apology due from your side? At least a confession that you agree we were misjudged and wrongly accused! You gave away nothing. It was almost as if along with your mother , even you were convinced that we were at fault! For months after that, I and the other friend wondered where we went wrong. How could your actions be cleanly dumped on our shoulders?? We weren’t even aware what you were up to!! What hurt more, was the way you used us.

We were invited to your wedding and though the BF would be missing out on an extremely crucial office meet, against our better judgment, we agreed to go. The other two friends’ family kept a condition that they would allow their daughters to travel the distance only if me and BF also came along. For their sake, we agreed to come. Since we couldn’t leave the kids behind, I dragged them along too. That was another terrible mistake. In the peak of summer, you were magnanimous in giving us a dorm that was without air-conditioning. Your reason of keeping the four of us together lacked substance. How exactly do you suppose the other two girls would have managed to change clothes or sleep with the BF in the same room? With the blistering heat outside, the friends were kind enough to adjust for the BF’s sake so that he didn’t have to step out in the heat each time. Not only that, the dorm was converted into a dining area, with breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet throughout the day. The workers would come early in the morning for setting up the tables and would walk in till late at night after the last of the dinner was cleared up.  Your guests would linger on, chatting. We didn’t get a moment’s peace or privacy throughout the day. The children didn’t get a decent hour’s sleep(at the age of 1.5 years they deserved it though). The heat made my daughter ill. When we requested for a room change, we were told that none were available. This was before the last batch of your friends turned up on the day of the wedding.  They got AC rooms, by the way. The BF suggested that we move out to a better hotel outside, but on discussion with the others, we collectively thought that it’d be rude to your family. Surprisingly, no one from your family was considerate about us. Frankly, only because all four of us protested vehemently that the dorm wasn’t converted into a bar for the daru-party planned for later on the wedding night.

I doubt you can feign ignorance about all this, or maybe you can. I really don’t know anymore.

All I know is that your family has treated me beneath your status, class, whatever!! You, in turn,  have treated me more like an errand boy than a friend. In fact, I wouldn’t mind running the errands, its just that your acknowledgement of my efforts doesn’t exist. Each time you need something you give me a call. Each time I decide I wouldn’t do it anymore and then I give in. I end up at your doorstep to help you out.

When you came to town this time, you called me up to get a lady to help with the massage. On my kid’s birthday, leaving the preparations behind, I came with the said lady to your house. What did I get for my efforts?? Just a lot of flak on how massages are useless and not really needed. I think you should have had this conversation and come to a decision with your mother before calling me. I didn’t need to make an attempt to convince her on why exactly it would be good for you. With the first word of dissent from her side, I could have walked out. I didn’t. For YOU. Because I knew it would do you good. Because I knew you needed it. You kept quiet while I argued your case with your own mother!!! Your silence is what irks me the most!!

When I suggested places where you could buy diapers for cheap, I was told rather rudely by your mom that they could be bought for the same rate at other places. Made me whack myself for even bringing up the suggestions for you. I’ll never learn, I guess. I did keep my distance from you after that. Each visit to your house leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Now tell me, how do you expect me to react when you send me a message and ask me to deliver 150 diapers of varying sizes, from the very place I had suggested before, at your doorstep before you leave town? How exactly do you suppose I’m expected to carry out the feat?? Take an off from work to travel to the heart of the city? Strap the huge packs on my scooty and travel right across the city? What would I get in return for all my efforts?? Why should I do it??

Let me remind you again. I’m NOT your errand-boy. I’m a married woman who works full time and has two kids to boot. Your assumption that I’ll always be available at your beck and call is highly misplaced. However terrible your circumstances, they aren’t so bad that you can’t call up JustDial, take the number of BigBazaar and have the diapers delivered to your home. By the way, you do have other friends in this city, don’t you (the ones we lovingly call your ‘AC friends’)? Why don’t you ask them for these favors? But you won’t, I’ll tell you why? Because you care for what they might think. You are apprehensive of approaching others, whereas with me, you simply call up and order. Words like ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’ or ‘Sorry’ were never a part of your vocabulary. After all these years, I don’t expect them either.

The only person who’s hurting right now is me. I never expected it to reach a situation like this. But I’m sorry to say, it was long due. I’m tired of taking insults from your family and grinning through it. I’m tired of being treated like a sidekick. I’m upset that along with making me run errands, you have no qualms in expecting my husband to do the same.I’m upset that in all these years, you kept quiet when you shouldn’t have. You may argue that this is the way you are. But darling, I’m tired of standing up for you when you cant stand up for yourself. Its a pity you allow your parents to run your life even now. I know for sure that your mother disapproves of me. I don’t want to continue this farce of being friends when your expectations from me are solely based on what I can do for you. Try to remember, when was the last time you did something for me, however trivial?!

I’m not sure when you will read this or whether you ever will. I don’t care. Whenever you do, please remember, it is harder on me as I write this than it will be on you as you read. The first draft of this post was much scathing. But like the BF says, this lifetime is too short to carry grudges. I don’t want to carry that weight. If you are upset over this post, I’m sorry, it couldn’t be helped. If you want to burn the bridges, then call me. If you value even a percent of our friendship, call me and let me know if you realize the injustice meted out to me. The ball is in your court now. If you don’t call, its okay. It would be something that I would expect from you.

But for once, break the mould. Surprise me. Speak up!

I wish you and your family all the happiness in this world. May you enjoy your new city and your new life.

Read Full Post »

Is it true that what you do on the first day of the new year is the indication for how the rest of the year will be?

If yes, then no doubt I would want my year to go by just like it did yesterday 🙂

It was a working day, sadly. All my friends had an off and I didn’t. Not that it really mattered. I’m not the types to party late to bring in the New Year. I did bake a cake though. A Chocolate-walnut delight which was better by my own standards. Its a different matter that the cake still wasn’t ready by zero hour (the idea to bake the cake struck me around 10:30 pm in the night, after which I scavenged around for the ingredients and somehow rustled it up). The in-laws gave up waiting for the cake. They are early risers and its a tough task to keep them awake beyond 11pm. They bravely fought off the sleep but eventually, it took over and they trudged back to their room. The BIL, me, BF and kids passed the time by watching some inane awards ceremony which looked like the king of ‘so-blatantly-rigged-you-can-figure-out-the-winner-by-just-looking-at-the-nomination-list. It was fun though…we were bang-on! each time 😀

Anyhow, it struck 12, we wished each other , smothered the kids with kisses, had a last look at the still-rising cake, checked the timer and sighing heavily, clambered into bed. We had a long working day ahead.

First of January began like any other day. Into the kitchen. Rush rush rush. Wake up the kids, rush rush rush. Get ready, rush rush rush. In between, old friends BFS and BFG messaged to check if we could meet for lunch. We hummed and hawed, called up each other, calculated the time required for lunch and our other appointments (me and the BF had work, BFG had to attend a wedding) and finally decided on a venue close to my office. I left immediately for work, aware that I needed to show my face around before I would disappear for nearly 2nhalf hours around noon. The BF would drop the kids at their day-care before joining us.

The lunch was wonderful. The company, even more so. I’m SO glad that after all these years, the BFFs and us (me and the BF) are still together  that we can still have a good time and catch up from wherever we had left off in the last meet . We missed BFC, though she’s in town, she now has a bonny little boy to take care of. The  said bonny-little-boy does not like his Momma leaving him for even a second and him being a barely 3-month-old, we couldn’t risk having BFC getting him across the city to where we were meeting. Anyhow, lunch was serious fun. We ribbed each other, pulled the BF’s leg (he was a minority 😐 ), ate heartily and if it wasn’t for our respective schedules, would have continued to sit there and gossip.

Something happened as I stepped out of the restaurant. I don’t know what it was, but it struck me so strongly that I was breathless for a second. It was the realization that I didn’t want to go back to work !! The feeling was so fierce, that instead of thinking about it further, I made a decision right there. “I’m not going back to office”, I announced.

“What??”, said the BF.

“Wow!! Thats great”, said BFS.

“Want to plan something?” asked BFG.

I looked at the BF, waiting.

“Err…..I need to be in office for at least an hour…some work….”.

“I’ll wait”.

“Alright then, hop in!”.

And so, it was decided on the spur of the moment that I would bunk, the BF would quickly wrap up his work and bunk too. We had no plan in mind, but were excited to just spend time together 🙂 . I called up my manager with a fib, but it really wasn’t required as there was no particular work I was assigned for the day and even before I could state my excuse, he said ‘okay’. Oh well!!

(I’m seriously hoping that the said manager doesn’t read this 😐 )

We dropped BFS and her mother to the wedding venue (BFS declared she was incapable of  eating even a morsel more 😀 ) and drove to the BF’s office, which was miles and miles away. It was a nice long drive, some good songs for company and a nice stuffed feeling in my tummy. Frankly, I did dream of doing an about-turn, going home and getting into a deep slumber. But then, opportunities like these, of me going absconding with the BF, rarely come by and it would be a shame to let it pass by, wouldn’t it?

Once at the BF’s office, I settled into the plush couch in the reception and pulled out the latest book I’m currently reading (The Immortals of Meluha. Yeah, I know….caught this train pretty late, didn’t I ? 🙂 ). After an hour we took a coffee break in the cafeteria. The BF still had some work. I didn’t mind waiting, since I had a captivating book to keep me company. In between, I even entered his cabin to check if he really was working 😀 . I am suspicious of people who sit in cabins. For all we know, they are the picture of  utmost concentration as they struggle to place the next card in the Freecell/Solitaire deck 🙂 .

Alas, the BF was working. He wrapped up quickly though.

It was long, lovely drive we took back. From one end of the city, we drove right till the other end. The BF had to collect a few clothes from the Raymond showroom on MG road. Parcels in hand, we shopped around a bit for the kids, new shoes for Lui and a sweatshirt for Shobbs. Finally, with our arms laden with purchases, we headed back home.

After a nice homely dinner with the family, I started readying the kid’s school bags and uniforms (assuming that their school commences today after the winter break. Alas, it starts tomorrow). After a session of storytelling , the kids finally dropped off to sleep.

And as I lay my head on the pillow, I realized how terribly happy I felt 🙂 . I had spent the day with my best friends and my loved ones. I seriously wish I have many more such days to spend time with people who matter!

I didn’t do an iota of work and didn’t have the slightest tinge of guilt about it (now, that’s worrying!). My forecast for the year says that I should look forward to drastic changes on the work-front. I wonder what it means. Either I’ll be quitting my job for some other line of work, or maybe, just maybe, I’ll be chucked out of this place and remain jobless.

The best part is that, unlike earlier, the possibility of being jobless doesn’t rankle me any more . If thats my fate, so be it. Oh man! I sound so……so  mature!

Looks like 2013 is the year when I finally grow up 😀

So, how was your new year?? Anything  interesting  happened?? Do let me know 🙂

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: