Hope and a little patience

Hope was merely eleven years old when she lost her father. The third child amongst eight siblings and the eldest daughter, she had a whole lot of responsibilities at a tender age. Having lived her eleven years as a princess, she lost everything in a matter of days. But, she did not give up.

Hope supported her mother and her siblings very patiently and also managed to study upto 12th standard. She got married when she was 19.

In her new house, which was a huge joint family, initially she found it very difficult to adjust. But where would she go? With a widowed mother and four younger siblings to take care of, it was difficult. So she stayed there and decided to be patient. Things would improve with time.

She raised her two sons single handedly and along with household responsibilities, made sure that they did well in school. Her husband was always working for their better future and was hardly around to help her with the kids.

Her patience finally paid off a few years later when their socioeconomic status catapulted to an upper middle class. Now, they had the best of everything. Her sons were doing well, husband was around more and they were now in a nuclear family. But, that was the silence before the storm.

Hope was out for shopping, she wanted to buy an oven for her kitchen, when she got the news. She rushed home and was shattered. She had lost her twenty two year old son in an accident. She couldn’t believe it. 

She cried. For days. She felt numb, void.

But, she din’t lose her faith in the Almighty. She waited patiently as she believed that every dark cloud has a silver lining. She devoted her time in looking after her younger son who was twenty years old then. A couple of years later, I entered her life.

Yes, Hope is my mother in law. I have named her ‘Hope’ because that’s what she has taught me. Never to give up hope and be patient. She’s my inspiration. Whenever I face difficult times, she’s always there for me. And when she’s not around, I remember her struggles and that inspires me to never give up. She has taught me patience, a virtue which I believed I never had. 

Today, when she searches for her lost son in her grandson, it moves me immensely. She looks after him like her own son, and sometimes even more than me. I feel I’m blessed to have her in my life. And the way she patiently handles everyone at home, I can only pray that may the Almighty give me atleast fifty percent of her patience and my life would be much much easier!

She’s indeed an inspiration for me. I’m very lucky to have her as my mother in law. She treats me like her daughter and she’s like a second mom to me! 

Love you mom! 


Author’s note : This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform.  

She’s always happy!!

Kumud and Saloni were sisters and although they had settled in different cities, they used to chat regularly and would also meet up once in a while. 

Both their husbands were managers in their respective firms and both were pure workaholics.

Kumud had a 8 year old daughter, while Saloni had a 6 year old son. Both of them were working part time; Kumud in a salon, and Saloni was a dance teacher.

Over the last couple of years, Saloni had noticed a drastic change in Kumud; from an always complaining, crying woman to a cheerful and bubbly person. She would always be happy. Whereas Saloni would always keep complaining about the missed date nights with her husband, Kumud had become totally the opposite. Saloni had been wanting to ask her sister whether the ‘happiness’ was just a mask under which something sinister was happening or was she genuinely happy. 

Not able to withhold her curiosity any longer, she finally went to meet Kumud. Kumud was in fact surprised seeing her sister out of the blue. “What do I owe your gracious presence for, your Highness Saloni?” She joked.

Saloni said with pleading eyes,”Sis, please tell me the secret of your happiness, honestly?”

Kumud arched her eyebrows and with a smirk replied,”Oh my God, seriously? You came all the way here to ask me this? You could have simply called.”

“No, then how would I come to know whether you are lying or speaking the truth. You know I’m a pro in reading body language.”

Kumud then made her sister sit down, offered her tea and said, ” The secret of my happiness is that I have started loving myself.”

Saloni had a question mark in her eyes.

Kumud continued,”You remember how unhappy I was in the initial years of my marriage. I did not have any problem with my husband as such, but I somehow felt that he was not paying attention to my needs. He was a workaholic at that time and he still is. But I was totally dependent on him to make me happy. So I was always dissatisfied. I always wanted more and more. Then, when our daughter was born, our priorities changed completely. Again, I felt as if I was being left out. I would always be sad and complaining. You have bore the brunt of it, I hope you remember Saloni.”

Saloni said, “Yes sis, I remember your late night calls, bawling your way for hours together. So, what happened then? How did you start loving yourself?”

Kumud replied, “It’s very easy actually. If you love yourself, you are not dependent on anyone to make you happy. You make yourself happy. The day I realised this, my life has changed completely. Initially, I would totally rely on my husband; like he will take me out to a restaurant or movie or a picnic. But when he wouldn’t, I would feel devastated. So, what I do now, is I don’t rely on him. If I want to watch a movie, I ask him. If he says no, I go alone. Or take my daughter or any friend or whoever is free and wants to come. Similarly, if I want to try a new cuisine in a new restaurant and husband is not free, I go alone. Basically, I do all those things that make me happy. I go to the beach, I go for long drives. This doesn’t mean that I don’t love him or he doesn’t love me, he too joins me whenever possible. And the best thing is, he doesn’t stop me from doing these things that I love. He knows that he can’t be there with me always and he is at the peak of his career now and he is very content with the way everything is going. And one more thing Saloni, why do you want to take the obligation of your husband or anyone else for that matter to make you happy?”

“You are so right sis. It’s high time that I take charge of my own life.” Saloni said.

Kumud replied, “You are already doing what you love to; dance and teaching others too.. So now, learn to love yourself and be happy always!”

Never give the responsibility of your happiness to others. Love yourself and be happy.

This is true for both; men and women and for all ages too.

Author’s note: This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform. 

‘I used to tie my son at home’

The other day, as I was home alone with my two kids, I realised that how difficult it is for a single person to handle two little brats who are not even a quarter of their age!! My mother in law was out of town for a couple of days, husband was out of town for work and maid was on leave! And I was very confident that I will handle everything properly; the kitchen, the house, the kids and myself. But I guess I was living in a fantasy land, because when reality struck, it was a different scene altogether!! By the end of the day, everything was a mess! After I managed to put both my kids to sleep, and hubby also returned home in the night, I breathed a sigh of relief.

The next day, when the maid came, she was shocked to see the condition of the house! She asked me, “Kya hua yaha? Koi toofan aaya that kya?” (What happened here? Was there a storm?)

I told her, “Ha, toofan ke saath bhukamp bhi aaya tha..”(yes, there was an earthquake along with the storm too..) 

And then I asked her that how did she manage to raise her kids alone. She was working with us for the last 20 years; and I knew that she had 4 kids- one girl and three boys. But I din’t know how hard she had worked to raise her kids to be what they were today. I actually saluted her after she was done with her story!

She got married at a very early age and was staying in a village near Karnataka. She got 4 kids, each after a gap of 2 years, the eldest one being a girl. But, when her husband lost his job and started abusing her, she left him. She then came to Mumbai, where she had some relatives. Her kids then were aged 8, 6, 4 and 2 respectively. She managed to get a shanty somehow using her relatives’ help. Then she started searching for work. She joined our house first and started with the housework. Gradually, she got more work. As she had saved up some money and with my mother in law’s help, she paid the rent for the shanty and enrolled her elder 2 kids in a local school. 

When the eldest girl and boy would be in school, her 4 year old would be looked after by their neighbour, but she would keep her 2 year old son in her house only. I had asked her that why she din’t ask the neighbour only to look after him? But she said, that he’s too small and what if he runs out on the road. There’s so much traffic outside and the neighbours are already looking after one boy. So she told me, “Main uske ek pair ko rassi se baandh ke jaati thi..”(“I used to tie my son with a rope”) She then said that it was easier that way. The rope was long enough to help him move freely within the house. And he din’t understand how to remove the rope. She would go home in between her work and would feed him and check on him. Then, when her elder kids would return from school, they would look after him. This continued till the 4 year old was eligible for school too. Then, the youngest one would be looked after by the neighbour. After a couple of years, when all her kids would be at school, she increased her work and was able to earn more. 

She told me, that her husband had come back to her after a few years and was asking for forgiveness. She did forgive him, but did not let him stay with her. He used to stay at some relative’s house. 

She worked very hard to educate all her kids and that too all on her own and in a new city. Today, I can see the pride in her eyes when she tells me about her children. The eldest daughter runs a beauty parlour in the town where she stays with her husband and 1 year old son. The second and third son are married too and have kids and are working as executives in some company. The youngest is in college and wants to do MBA. Their socioeconomic status had catapulted from lower to middle class. 

I then asked her that why does she work now. She can be at home and enjoy with her grandchildren. Again her answer surprised me. She says that since she has been working since so many years, she doesn’t like to sit at home. It is suffocating for her. She has reduced her work considerably and only works for us as my mother in law had helped her when she was in need. She says till she is fit and fine she will work. And she also says that she doesn’t want to be dependent on her children for her survival!

What an excellent example she has set! Hard work and determination can never fail. You always get results, if not sooner then later..

I had renewed respect for her after I came to know her entire story. And she really deserves a standing ovation! And I really applauded her for her courage and hard work!!

Author’s note: This post has first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform. 

Catapult“>Catapult

I wish..

I wish I could fly high in the sky

I wish I could laze around the whole weekend and do nothing

I wish I could be alone for atleast a day leaving all my worries behind

I wish I could dance

I wish I could have a melodious voice to sing

I wish I could do this

I wish I could do that

I wish for all that, that can never come true

Though I still wish; how would it feel if all my wishes come true?

Her first poem

Somya was participating in her first ever elocution competition in the 8 years of her life. It was not that she din’t like to talk or anything like that, but she was in a state of shock due to the sudden demise of her dad a year back. Normally, a very outgoing child, she had withdrawn herself from everyone around her. She would barely go out, or talk to anyone except for any work. Her mom, Deepti, tried her best to get her daughter out of her grief, but she just could not succeed. She, herself, had to suppress her emotions so that she could help Somya. She also left her job to look after Somya, give her enough love and care to make her accept the truth and try to live a normal life again. But Deepti couldn’t fill the void that was left behind in Somya’s life.

Then, in the school, when her teacher told Deepti that they have an elocution competition, and Somya should participate, did Deepti realise that she really needs to do something about it.

So, after struggling for a couple of days and nights to write something that would motivate Somya to participate, she finally succeeded. She was no poet, but she tried her best to pen down something meaningful for her daughter. She then showed her creation to Somya, who after reading it burst into tears. Deepti told her, “It’s time for you now to start again dear. This will help you to conquer your grief now. And it will be a salute to your dad too.”

Somya finally agreed to participate.

It was the day of the competition. More than Somya, Deepti was nervous. She was getting all jittery. The competition was not that important to her, but the fact that Somya should be able to speak out was more important. Finally it was Somya’s turn. As she came on the stage, her eyes started scanning the crowd looking for that familiar face! As she made eye contact with her mom, she started her poem.

For my dad:

If I could write a story

It would be the greatest ever told,

I’d write about my daddy

For he had a heart of gold.

My dad, he was no hero 

Known around this world

He was everything to me,

For I was his baby girl.

Somya just couldn’t continue further. She started crying on the stage. Her tears just wouldn’t stop. Deepti went to her and urged her to continue. She told her, “Imagine your dad sitting in the audience. How proud he would be my dear. Complete your poem for him..”

Somya wiped her tears and started again.

He was everything to me,

For I was his baby girl.

I’d write about the lessons,

He taught me right from wrong.

He instilled in me the values

That one day I’d be strong.

He taught me to face my fears,

Take each day as it comes,

For there are things that we can’t change

He would say what’s done is done.

Somya was in tears again, but she continued..

He would say hold your head up high,

Carry yourself with pride. 

Thanks to him, Now,

I will never run and hide.

If I could write a story,

It would be the greatest ever told. 

I’d write about my daddy,

For he had a heart of gold. 

And there, she had done it!!

Deepti went to Somya and enveloped her in a warm hug. After consoling her, they went to their seats. Somya may not have won any prize in the elocution, but she had won over her grief! She had finally conquered it! It was her first poem on stage and the first ever poem that Deepti had written. Both their firsts had liberated them from the emotional baggage that they were carrying.

Deepti was happy that she had finally got her daughter back. She silently thanked the Almighty and her husband for showing her the way to relieve Somya from her grief.

P.S: Poem source : familyfriendspoems.com 

Conquer“>Conquer

My new role: A referee

The other day, as I was watching my elder son make different shapes out of playdoh and the younger one trying to pull out the teddy’s nose with his gums; I felt content and at peace. I was so happy to see and playing on their own, none of them interfering with each other’s toys.

Thinking about them, I fell asleep.

I woke up about 10-15 minutes later to ear splitting screams! Wondering what is wrong, I went to see in the other room. I was shocked at what I saw! 

and had grown up a few years! was 7 years old and was 4. “How did that happen?” I wondered. I started rubbing my eyes to confirm what I was seeing!! As I was staring at them, screamed again. was pulling a toy car out of Q’s hand. And before he could pull out his fingers, I had to intervene and stop them. 

Again, after some time, came complaining that was not letting him study. So, I had to intervene again. 

In the meantime, as I was making snacks for them, I kept thinking, “How did they grow up so fast? Where did the time go?” 

And I got a cricket ball that shattered the glasses in the kitchen as the answer!  

and were playing cricket in the house and were fighting over whose turn was it to bat. I was about to yell at them, when a brilliant idea struck me. I ran to their room and started searching their toys like a maniac. Both of them stood at the door and were watching me with their mouths open. Alas! I found what I was looking for. A whistle.

And then I blew it! Every single time when and fought, I blew the whistle. They understood that they have to stop fighting and arguing and get back to their work when they hear the sound of the whistle. 

My husband called me a referee, as whenever and would be home, most of my time would be spent on settling their disputes. Yes, it was my new role.

As I lay down to sleep, I got really scared thinking about and Q. How much they were fighting and arguing all the time. But then I also realised, that this is all just a phase. As they grow older and busier, their disagreements will reduce. I may not have to use the whistle for a very long time! Anyway, whistling is a good exercise for the lungs!!

After some time, as I woke up, I found still playing with his playdoh and still trying to pull out the teddy’s nose! What a dream it was!

I hugged my and tight, and smiling at them I thought, “There’s still time for my new role as a referee! Let me enjoy this phase till it lasts!!”

Happy reading!!

No! Please don’t prick me!!

An irrational fear of needles.

 Yes. That’s it. I dint know I had it, until I got pregnant. Never before in my life had I gotten a blood test.

It was my first blood test in the first trimester of pregnancy. So, I went to the lab with my husband. The lab assistant was very sweet and told me what she would be doing. 

First I was made to sit on a very comfortable chair. Next, she applied a tourniquet on my arm. Then, she wore gloves. After palpating my veins, she applied a spirit swab over the site where she intended to prick. And then, she removed the needle from the cap and asked me to close my fists tight.

As she was about to prick me, she said, “It will feel like an ant biting you. A very minimal pain. Just take deep breaths and relax.”

But the site of that one inch long steely pointy instrument approaching my skin gave me goosebumps. 

And so I yelled. On top of my voice.

The lab assistant was surprised as she hadn’t even touched me.

My husband came running inside to ask what happened. 

He held me and told me I would be alright.

Then, the lab assistant again asked me to relax and breathe deeply and told me it will feel like an ant biting. I shrieked again, without even being pricked. I told her, “I don’t like ants biting me. Go away.”

My husband felt really helpless, so did the lab assistant. Even I felt that way. I din’t know what was happening to me. 

After about an hour of counselling by my husband and the lab assistant and after my husband promised me of multiple gifts, a vacation and what not, I reluctantly agreed. A five minute thing was stretched into an hour long ordeal. And after I thought the lab assistant would murder me (quite literally), I let her prick me! With lots of prayers going on in my mind, I finally relented. 

It felt like a really big ant biting me to glory and then I saw the red liquid being collected into red, purple, yellow and grey capped bottles. It was finally over and done. Every body in the room including my husband, the lab assistant and myself were sweating.

My husband was really very shocked at this behaviour of mine. And so was I. And I also realise that the pain was indeed minimal!

The next day, we went to my obstetrician to discuss the reports. When my husband narrated the ‘bloody’ incident to him, he was rolling on the floor with laughter. Quite literally. He told me,  “You yourself are a doctor. You have pricked hundreds of patients and look at you. You tell your patients ‘nothing will happen, just a small prick’, so the same applies to you too.. Don’t be so stressed dear, you will get used to these pricks.”

And yes, I did get used to these pricks. I had another test in the second trimester as my hemoglobin was low, then another one in the third trimester as I had developed pregnancy induced hpothyroidism, and now, I have blood tests every month to follow up for my thyroid problem. 

Sometimes I still say, ‘please don’t prick me’, but I have overcome that fear to about 80 percent. I’m sure the remaining will also go away soon.

And the best part of the whole thing was that my husband took me to a long ‘babymoon’ and pampered me silly, so much so that I felt like creating a scene everytime I went to do a blood test. But ofcourse I din’t. Now I cannot be that cunning, can I? 😉

Minimal“>Minimal

When I caught my husband RED handed! !

After a long and tiring day, I finally retired to sleep. As soon as I hit the pillow, I fell asleep. Some time later, I woke up to drink water. It was 12.15 am. That’s when I saw that my husband was not on the bed. Thinking he must have gone to the washroom, I went back to bed. But, I could not sleep. I waited for him to come back, thinking ‘How much time one can take to come from the washroom, 10-15 minutes max.’ But I kept waiting and waiting. It was 1 am now. He still hadn’t come. So I went to check the washroom, but he was not there. 

That’s when I saw him sneakily opening the main door. He had come from outside. I thought I should ask him where had he been.. But then I thought may be he must have gone out for some fresh air. Big deal. He must have not disturbed me as I was in deep sleep.. After justifying my assumptions, I went to sleep.

Everything was back to routine in the morning. And even I forgot about the night. But then, the same thing happened again.    12-1 am my husband would mysteriously disappear. I simply couldn’t sleep after that. And there was no particular change in his behaviour, he was his usual self!

The midnight disappearance continued for a couple more days. I wanted to confront him on that matter, but I thought that if it was important he would share it with me. I started with my assumptions again; maybe he was discussing some work related issues with colleagues, maybe some of his friends had some problem, maybe this, maybe that.., the list was endless. 

I was getting restless with each passing night. I was itching to check his phone when he was in the bathroom, but I controlled myself. I had decided to catch him red handed tonight.

Finally, the golden hour arrived. I was pretending to be asleep, and when I was sure he had left, I too sneaked out behind him. He went to the terrace., I followed him quietly. I decided to hide behind the terrace door, in case anyone would come or if I could hear any sounds from inside. But, nada.. There was nothing, no one came and no noises. So, after waiting for about 15 minutes, I gathered all my courage and confidence to face what was there on the other side of the door. With my head held high, I marched inside.

What did I see?? Oh my God!! It was absolutely shocking and unbelievable to me..

Hubby darling was extremely engrossed in playing some game on his phone!! 

I tapped on his shoulder from behind. He turned back, and his expression was priceless!! Like a kid caught eating icecream in the middle of the night. He got up sheepishly.. I started crying and hitting him playfully. He was surprised as to why I was crying.  I told him, “I’ll tell you in the morning. Lets go back.”

Then, the next morning, I explained everything to him. He burst out laughing.. 

He said, “Sweetheart, you only made me promise that I won’t play games on my phone in the house, otherwise I’ll be setting a bad example on the kids. So I went out.. And the games which I play require a lot of concentration; they are strategy games..”

I told him, “you and your stupid strategy games!! You can play in the room also.. you could have just told me.. you scared the hell out of me!!”

Men will be men!

Women will be women!!

Phew!!

P.S.: The above writeup is fictional 😀

Happy reading!!

The wedding gift

Meera was super excited for her wedding which was a month away. And more than that she was excited about her Bachelorette party. She had planned every possible detail for it along with her closest friends Anjali and Nikita. All three of them worked together, they were Co owners of a fashion boutique. 

Meera was getting married to her boyfriend of three years, Rohan. They had a very unique meeting. Meera was travelling to London for a holiday. She loved travelling to new places and at times she would travel solo. This was one of her solo expeditions. Rohan was seated next to her on the flight. He was going for a project for his job. They struck a conversation and time flew by. They talked about their lives, hobbies, work and goals. In no time their flight was about to land and they would be on their separate ways. So they exchanged numbers and decided to keep in touch.

Back in the city, they met with their friends, invited each other for various parties and events. They hung out together many times and became very good friends. Meera realised that she really liked him and she wanted to take their friendship to the next level. So she asked him out, and he agreed. And after dating for almost three years they decided to tie the knot.

Now, their wedding was just a week away. Meera always wanted to have an elaborate wedding complete with mehndi, haldi, Sangeet, pheras and reception. She had decided to have a Bachelorette party before all other functions begin. 

The party was planned in a club. Meera along with her friends had a blast. They danced their way through the night. And after cutting the cake, they were on their way home.

On the way, at a signal, she saw some guy drop a parcel in front of their car. So shocked to see that, she ran out, along with her friends but the guy was no where to be seen. They were staring at the parcel and wondering what was in it and who would do that, when suddenly the parcel started to move! 

The girls shrieked and were about to run, but Meera went forward and opened it. She was shocked! She dint know how to react. She lifted the tiny newborn baby in her hands and she was mesmerised! 

Meera relived her childhood in those 5-10 minutes of holding the baby; how she was abandoned by her parents, how she grew up in an orphanage, how she would cry looking at other kids with their parents, how she had to work hard to get anything that she wanted, and the list was endless. Until she got adopted by an old couple when she was 9 years old. Then things were better for her. She experienced all the feelings that had deserted her since birth. She learnt to make friends, learnt to love and more importantly, she learnt the art of kindness and perseverance. Meera never knew her biological parents but her adoptive parents gave her everything that she had missed and she was ever grateful to them for that.

Anjali and Nikita shook her from her reverie and they then drove to the nearest police station and handed over the baby after completing all the formalities. 

After a disturbed sleep, in the morning Meera asked Rohan to meet her urgently before the functions of the wedding started.

Meera narrated the entire incident of last night to Rohan.

Meera said, ” I know that this is something very difficult for you, but I want you too, to be a part of this.” 

Rohan said, ” What is it Meera?”

“I want to adopt that baby, Rohan. That would be my wedding gift.”

Rohan was silent for a minute and then he said, “Don’t worry dear, that baby will be your wedding gift. I understand your emotions Meera. I know where you come from and I totally support you. And I am very touched by the fact that you discussed this with me before taking the decision on your own. I love you and I will be proud to be your husband.”

“I love you too, Rohan. Thank you so much. This would be a wedding gift that nobody would have ever received. And I am really relieved that you accepted it. I cannot even imagine what that little one will go through.. thanks again.. I am very happy to have you in my life..”

After all the marriage functions were over,  they completed all the legal formalities and finally got the little one with them. They named her ‘Diya’. Because she had lightened up their lives..

Baby“>Baby

How I learnt anger management from my son!!


It is a usual day in my house where a tsunami hits every morning and things go helter skelter.

Well, it’s time to go to school for my 3 year old son!!!

So he has his breakfast and gets dressed.

And as the wave subsides, we are finally on our way to school. I am usually a calm person by nature but all that changed after my first son was born. So anything that doesn’t go as I have planned riles me up. It’s like my patience has reached its limit. 

And then we reach his school, and as I am struggling to find parking, I have an argument with the school bus driver. And that’s like a turning point in my life.

 My son steps in with a finger on his mouth and tells me, ” Mamma sshhh.. sshhh. . chup chup.. dont shout..”

Oh my God!!! I’m shocked!! Wow..!!

 I just don’t know what to say and so I drive ahead instead. I kiss him goodbye, tell him to behave well in school, and listen to what the teacher says. And I’m on my way back home. 

After he comes home I have a usual conversation with him about what happened in school. At that time, the maid breaks a cup. And as I’m about to yell at her, my son tells me, ” chup chup chup Mamma. .” I just stare at him and go in another room.

And it’s bedtime for him now. But he is not sleepy. He never gets sleepy for that matter. So he is running around the house throwing his toys in every possible nook and corner. Now I’m bubbled with anger and I open my mouth to shout at him when he puts his finger on his mouth and tells, ” Mamma chup chup chup..” 

I begin to laugh and cry at the same time.! Poor thing, he gets scared and goes off to sleep without saying a word.

Pondering on what happened throughout the day, I realise a few innocent words from my little one has indeed made my life better. Now, the tsunami comes every morning and all of his toys are throughout the house at the end of the day, but I’m much calmer.

And, whenever I’m about to yell at him or anybody else for that matter, in his presence, he puts his finger on his mouth and I’m quiet. Even when he isn’t around and I’m all riled up, I just visualise him with a finger on his mouth and I calm down.

It’s like he has cast a spell on me with those few words.. It is amazing how we learn some big lessons in life with such small things..

He has indeed taught me anger management!!