Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Buddha Lesson For Me

I think I am turning into a borderline Facebook addict. Well, it’s just me. Sitting on the fence is an old habit. Can be pushed either way, but will take my sweet Mother Mary time and thankfully I am not yet a total addict. Anyway, I seem to find a lot of gems on the networking site and this is one such. Thanks to friends and acquaintances I am able to share words of wisdom. This is a beautiful story and really hits the home run especially for an impulsive person like me. Lucky me, I have my own Buddhas in my life who keep me grounded and calm.

Once Buddha was travelling with a few of his followers. While they were passing a lake, Buddha told one of his disciples, "I am thirsty. Do get me some water from the lake."

The disciple walked up to the lake. At that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy and turbid. The disciple thought, "How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink?"

So he came back and told Buddha, "The water in there is very muddy. I don't think it is fit to drink."

After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake.

The disciple went back, and found that the water was still muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the same.

After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back.

This time, the disciple found the mud had settled down, and the water was clean and clear. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said," See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be, and the mud settled down on its own -- and you have clear water.

Your mind is like that too ! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don't have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless." Having 'Peace of Mind' is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process!

Picture Courtesy: Google images (600 × 446 - Budha Painting - Budha Fine Art Print. Budha Painting by Pc fineartamerica.com)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Children Have Rules Too....For Us

It was the Parent Teacher Meeting at Tamanna’s school. When she turned two and a half, she followed big sister Aarzoo into the portals of Little Feat Montessori. Insha-Allah, she should be there till it is time for her to move to Grade I.

I met her Teacher, Ms. Paromita, who has nothing but praise for her wards. And when one has had both sisters under one’s wing as a teacher, comparisons are bound to arise, much as Ms. Paromita hates it. Heretofore, she always maintained that the two girls were very different in temperament and attitude. But this time, her report was entirely the opposite.

“Tamanna, is so like Aarzoo!! It’s not funny,” she exclaimed. “Remember, how Aarzoo used to be such a perfectionist and had to cross her t’s and dot her i’s?” I nodded, recollecting the times when I had gone to fetch Aarzoo from school and was made to wait because she had not completed her work to her satisfaction and insisted on doing so.

“Tamanna is just the same. I am amazed,” said Ms. Paromita.

“Well, don’t blame me”, I replied. “It’s their Bengali genes that are responsible. They get it from their father. Next time Parag is in town, I will send him to school and you can give him a piece of your mind”.

“I am guilty of that too”, said Ms. Paromita, who is a Bengali herself, laughing.

We had a good laugh.

“I am very laid back, I assure you,” I said and was pleasantly surprised at the work that the brat had churned out that term. Owe it big time to her teacher and her school.

Waiting to meet Ms. Munira Akhtar, the Principal, I came across this eye-opener message on the notice board.

Unspoken Words From The Heart Of A Child

My hands are small; please don’t expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture or throw a ball
My legs are short; please slow down so that I can keep up with you

My eyes have not seen the world as yours have; please let me explore safely. Don’t restrict me unnecessarily.

Housework will always be there. I am only little for a short time, please take time to explain things to me about this wonderful world and do so willingly.

My feelings are tender; please be sensitive to my needs. Don’t nag me all day long. (You wouldn’t want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness – would you?) Treat me as you would like to be treated

I am a special gift from God; please treasure me as God intended you to do, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guideline to live by and disciplining me in a loving manner.

I need your encouragement to grow. Please go easy on the criticism; remember you can criticize the things I do, without criticizing me

Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail, so that I can learn from my mistakes. Then someday I will be prepared to make the kinds of decisions that life requires of me.

Please don’t do things over for me. Somehow that makes me feel that my efforts didn’t quite measure up to your expectations. I know it’s hard but please don’t try to compare me to my brother or sister.

I realized then how important it was to keep going back to school. Those walls are teachers of the immortal kind!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mommy's Boyfriend

It was evening and I was ready to go over to Kavita’s for a hot cup of chai and some chill out time. And loads of laughter of course. Inevitable when two mad hatters catch up, considering a full 48 hours had gone by without meeting up.

I go upto Devamma, my angel housekeeper, to tell her of my plans and this is how the scripts played out eventually. Enjoy

Me (tongue firmly in cheek): Devamma, today I am not going to meet my boyfriend but am going to call on my girlfriend instead.

Devamma (Giggling away and blushing): How many chappatis should I make? And (pointing to the casseroles) is this enough or do you want me to cook something else?

Me: Hmmm.....this is enough. Make about 16 chappatis. And come early tomorrow.

Devamma (laughing): You have a boyfriend??!! Who is he? What is his name?

Me (trying hard to keep from laughing): Well I am not about to tell you. What if you two meet and he falls for you and ditches me!!

Devamma (blushing beet): Haiyoooooo!!! What are you saying?!!

Me: But of course Devamma. Look at you. You are very pretty.

Devamma: You are mad. You have lost it completely. Please go and let me get on with my work.

(Both of us burst out laughing)

A little voice rises with insistence and we turn around to see Tamanna (my three year old) standing there

Tamanna(like a stuck record): Mummy, mummy, mummy, mummy

Me (irritably): What is it, Tamanna? I have to go now.

Tamanna: Mummy, Mummies don’t have boyfriends!!

Silence into what sistah girl Tulsi would term a “bowtie” moment.......before we are in splits again

P.S: Ranjit Menon, this is for you. You urged me to write again. And, the little critter needs to know Mommies can have boyfriends too, no matter that the definition has to be tweaked around a bit!! Big hug......of the grizzly kind.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Romance of Want

Population explosion played a very significant role in my life too. The genesis of this lies in the fact that my parents (read Father), decided on only one kid, as their solution to the burgeoning population!! But I digress.....

The summer of ’89 was a kind of turning point in my life. I turned 18 in July, that year. I am aware that this age is special for most of us, but to me it marked the planting of a seed of want that was to remain and grow within. It continues to do so, to this day. I prayed and prayed and prayed for my heart’s desire for atleast ten years after. And yes it hurts like “Billy O”!!

I still send petitions in all directions now and then. But the Power that is, does not seem to hear. And I blame it on the Homo sapiens that have taken over the planet. With the numbers running into billions, the Power is bound to get stressed out and goof up a little. “A little!!” you may exclaim given the botched up lives a whole lot of our brethren lead.

Maybe, the Power did not plan for that many of them. Or maybe, somewhere along the way, the Power forgot to pull out the “Rabbity DNA” and is now paying the price for over production. Everything is part of the larger PLAN!! It has been scripted and planned to the littlest detail, so says vox populi. Wonder if the person who made the plan, if there is such a person, should have been put in charge in the first place. I mean if this person is the CEO of the Universe, I am sure there is a support staff; administrative in function at the very least. As I see it, the war between the CEO and the erstwhile Number 2, who according to a handful of so called wise men claiming to be in the know, resides in the netherworld, is reaching holocaust proportions. (For each of you who confuse netherworld with Netherlands, I convey due apologies to my Dutch brethren. Especially Marlen, Guus, Sandra, Anouke, Hanna, Evelyne......).

Coming back to what I was saying, in order to stem the damage that the war is causing the favourite creation, Planet Earth, head honcho CEO is getting bogged down and is receiving no quality support from the celestial staff. The less said about those appointed to take care of matters on Earth, the better. Be that as it may, I got the bite out and two of my best friends got what I prayed for. Bummer!! That’s the script that the Universe handed out to me.

Or maybe that is the power of prayer. I prayed so hard and for so long, that the best that I wanted went to, not one but two wonderful women. Now this is where the above mentioned population explosion comes into effect. Even answers to prayers have to be apportioned if possible. Maximum utilization of available resources and all that jazz. Who cares if the answers to those fervent words, were given to those who had not asked in the first place? You just got to get those piles of petitions off the desk!!

However, that does not stop me from wishing, wondering and getting all misty eyed. As pointed out earlier, this is another case of negligence in circuitry by the Supreme Planner. This is what I call, the “Romance of want”. Like all romances, it needs a lot of work. It gnaws and aches from within. But that’s the baby I am left holding.

Laugh out loud folks.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Baby to Man

29th June, saw me at my emotional best (or worst). The heart surged like never before and it was tough to keep the tears in check. It's been a long journey and it does seem like I am stuck in a time warp.....Manoj, my oldest child, a football fanatic and a living, breathing, walking, talking encyclopedia on the Beatles, turned 21. I guess it is a good training ground for the time when my girls get into this phase of transition......but for now, I am amazed at the level of my vulnerability and the roller coaster ride I am having with my emotions. Wrote this for him hoping to soothe myself!!

The years,
They slowly crept by
Day after day
Season after season
The highs and lows
Of the tides
That saw the Moon
Turning from new to full
And full to new
The cycle of life
And in time, you turned
From Baby to Man

Born not of my womb
But my heart
You were the first
Hence will always
Hold that special place
It was not you
That made me prove
My fecundity
To the world
You nursed not
Of my breasts
So how do I explain
The enslavement
That snatching away of freedom
That took place
The instant
The very instant
You wrapped
Your chubby little hands
Around me
The little beads of sweat
That formed on your upper lip
Wet my neck
And your innocent little breaths
Oh so softly
Brushed its nape

Funny though
That I who cherished
My liberty
Did not complain
I am aware that
Like most loved ones
I gave you the right
To hurt me
In more ways than one
Things will not be the same
The passing moments have
Wiped away some
That I took for granted
And I wish in vain
That time stood still

But you are twenty one
At the threshold of life
Waiting to unlock your potential
And change is here to stay
As you go forth
Know that I will
Always cherish the times
I had with you
Hope there will be a gazillion more
You will always have
My love, prayers and blessings

Even though you may not need it
If ever such a time comes
I will be there
To hold your hand and walk
Through the tough times
With you
Just my way
Of thanking the Universe
And your parents
For weaving your life
With mine
And making you
An inextricable part
Of me.....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Moms - Past, Present & Future

Minal, my wonderful and gorgeous, sister-in-law sent me this piece a few years ago. It makes a beautiful and emotional read, so I suggest you keep those tissues handy. I had stored it in my Inbox and stumbled upon it recently.

My friend and Godmother to my daughters, Elizabeth once told me about these lines that she had read which went

“God could not be everywhere
So He made Mothers”

Well I prayed hard for siblings and got two sets of parents instead!! So either God is dyslexic or I am the Numero Uno Problem Child that needs the supervision of not one but two MOMS!!! Mummy is what I call my birth Mom and Amma is my heart Mom. They can nag me up a creek but.......... Anyway I dedicate this piece to the two of them.

To me becoming a Mom is not just about bringing forth from one’s womb. I was a Mom long before I gave birth.... The instinct laid its foundation the day I carried new born Lakshmi on my lap and was strengthened with the arrival of Tulsi. She was barely a month old when I lay down beside her and felt the stirrings within. And the day the soft breath of a little boy, who clambered up my lap, brushed the nape of my neck, I became a Mom.....just like that!! His little chocolate arms went round and clung to me. A strong, seminal, protective and nurturing instinct overtook me and there was an instant connection....I was never the same, life was not the same......

Enough of my rambling, read this......and God Bless the Author.....


We are sitting at lunch when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of starting a family." "We're taking a survey," she says, half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral. "I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations...."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die. I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is,
becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a souffle or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.

I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of her discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years -- not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs. I want her to know that a caesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honour. My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving. I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or a cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real, it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reach across the table, squeeze my daughter's hand and offer a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all of the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings. This blessed gift from God . . .that of being a Mother.

Please share this with a Mom that you know or a future Mom you know.

- Author Unknown

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mommy!!

We share a rather tempestuous relationship
You and I.
I seem to do no right
And we hit the rough notes
Often enough
But this I know
That no matter what
You have always been there

In private
You berate me often enough
I will be hitting forty
A couple of birthdays down
But it takes just a glance
From you
To send me packing to four!!

There could not have been
A more ferocious
Tigress with a cub
Or a Grizzly with hers
It has not been easy for you
Raising me
But you have stood by me
Rock solid
No matter what

It was tough
Facing the odds
That were stacked
Against you
You bore all the pain
Sacrifice came easy to you
For my sake.....

Saying I don’t
Want to be like you
Is perhaps nothing
Just a reflection
Of my own inadequacies
And the insecurity that gnaws
Telling me that I cannot be
Half the mother you were
And continue to be

Love you Ma,
Wish you a very
Happy Birthday

Friday, June 11, 2010


Mother, Sweetheart,
Lover, mistress, wife, pawn
Used, abused
Scarred, tortured
Mentally, physically
The soul destroyed
Dreams and aspirations
Blown apart
Doomed to a life
Of subservience

She was violated
Battered, bruised
Broken in spirit and body
Yet it was trivialized
But when it dawned that
A torn piece
Of tissue
Was a matter of honour
She was killed!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Someday, somewhere
In not too distant a future
I shall be enslaved
Shackled and bound
By the diktat
Of the regime
I who thought
That I shall always soar high!!

Is this hallucination?
Or a dream?
For am I not
Fettered already?
Makes me wonder
Was I ever free?
Or, is freedom
A mirage?!!