The story of an innocent butterfly 

The other day, I had been to my mom’s place. As the kids were sleeping, I was going through the various photo albums that my mom had stored. I always love going through the old pictures, they bring back so many memories. My parents wedding albums, my 1st birthday and my younger brother’s birthday albums are my all time favourites. This time I also found my school pictures.

I came across this photo of me dressed as a butterfly. It was my first fancy dress competition in school. I was in grade 1. We had started doing the preparations days before. One of my cousins had painted the chart paper, my dad had cut the shape of the butterfly and mom had done the remaining finishing touches including the crown.

I remember that day very clearly even today including the lines that I had recited along with the actions that I had done.

I had come hopping on the stage and said, 

“I am a butterfly, 

I hop from flower to flower sucking nectar.

I am colourful and delicate 

If you try to catch me, I fly away!”

And then I was supposed to exit by hopping again, but I had forgotten to do that and I just walked off the stage.

Eventually, the competition was over and the results were announced. To my surprise, I came 2nd. All of us including my class teacher were very happy! Back then, these competitions were not compulsory and I was the only one who had participated from my class. So, I was the pride of the entire class!  The first prize was given to a girl dressed as a mermaid. I do not remember her, but I think she was a year senior. 

My parents were ecstatic too. They never pressured me to win, they would just encourage me to do my best.

The euphoria of winning the second prize lasted really long, so much so that the fancy dress competition for the next year was due. And this time too, I wanted to be a butterfly. But my parents insisted on trying something new. They were quite creative and enthusiastic. So they made me a match box. But I did not get any prize for that. I was heart broken.

And the girl who won first prize was the same girl who had won last time. This time too she was a mermaid!

As soon as I reached home, the water works started. I told my mom that if I would have become a butterfly I would have won too! My mom was explaining to me that participating in something is equally important, winning does not matter always. But my innocent heart did not understand all that. I was stuck with the thoughts of the butterfly and the prize it got me.

Eventually, I grew out of it. And the next year, I became ‘Mother India’. This time too, I did not get any prize, and that same girl became the same mermaid again and won the second prize! But, I did not cry for not winning. In fact the butterfly in me was doing a happy dance that atleast I participated in the competition and did something new. 

My parents were indeed proud of me.

In a matter of three years, I grew up by leaps and bounds. Although its been years since then, even today the butterfly in me comes out and flutters it’s wings when I’m with my sons!

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

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My favourite teddy

I finally found my favourite teddy bear back after 3 long years! I thought I had lost it. It was lying in the darkest of the dark corners in my mother in law’s wardrobe. I never imagined in the wildest of my dreams that I would find it there!

It’s a very special teddy bear for me. It was my first valentine’s day gift from my then fiancé and now husband. It is a cute little thing with a girl and a boy teddy sitting on a heart shaped cushion and when you press on the boy teddy’s chest, it says, “I love you”. 

I was in love with the teddy as soon as I had got it. And I would play with it at every chance I got. After some days I decided to wrap it in a bubble wrap and keep it in my cupboard to prevent it from damage. 

This was before I had kids.

After my first born, I got a collection of teddy bears of different colours and sizes, most of them as gifts. Then when my newborn grew into a toddler, the teddys were no longer fascinating for him. He was done cuddling with them. One by one, each teddy lost its ear, its nose, its eyes and finally the stuffings inside! I tried to repair them as best as I could and kept them away.

Then one day, as I was cleaning the clutter, I came across my favourite teddy neatly wrapped. I removed it from the wrap and pressed on the chest of the boy teddy. To my surprise, he still said “I love you.” I was jumping with joy and thought it would be an interesting toy for my toddler. So I gave it to him. Little did I know that it was the last time I would be seeing it!

After a couple of days, I could no longer find it. I asked everyone at home, but nobody had seen it after the day I had given it to him. I was really sad. My husband was laughing at me; crying over a toy. He told me he would get another similar one. But I only wanted that one and I was really upset.

And now almost three years later, I found it again! Actually my mother in law found it in her wardrobe while she was cleaning it. It was tied up among her clothes and though she regularly de-clutters her wardrobe, she never opened that ‘potli’ until a few days back. I really wonder how it got there in the first place!

And it was still working. The boy teddy still says “I love you.” Now, my younger toddler and the older preschooler both started fighting for it. So, when both of them slept in the night, I took it, wrapped it again and hid it in my cupboard. That is my favourite teddy. And I will not be sharing it with anyone. Sorry.

My husband was rolling with laughter at my antics. But I don’t care. He can buy them a new one. I won’t be giving mine to the little brats, even though they are my kids. Go figure.

Over the last few years, I have found many such ‘lost’ things from the most unusual places while de-cluttering the house. I feel so relieved and free after each round of de-cluttering. It’s like a weight being lifted off my shoulders.

It’s strange that there’s a similar feeling when we de-clutter our minds and hearts from the unwanted stress, anger, ego and resentment. We feel relieved and liberated and we can direct our attention towards our priorities and goals in life.

I know I will be finding more things and throwing unwanted things each time I engage myself in de-cluttering my house. But nothing beats finding my favourite teddy bear back! 

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

Hot cross buns go round and round! 

When my elder son was three months old, I had started singing a few nursery rhymes to him; while putting him to sleep, while changing his diapers and sometimes while playing with him. It had a calming effect on him, he would quieten the moment I would start. I only knew a handful of them, the ones that I remembered from my childhood. I’m not a good singer, but the tune itself would be soothing enough for him.

Then at 2 years as he started going to playgroup, I learnt (had to learn, actually) dozens of other rhymes some of which I had never even heard before. He would come home and tell me what he wants to hear. 

Him : “Mumma, didde fidde”

Me: “What? What’s that”?

Him: “Didde fidde..” (stamps his legs for insistence)

Then, I would search through the CD that was given by the school and find out what he was trying to say. And I realised that he wanted me to sing “Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle..” I had never even heard of such a rhyme. “The cow jumped over the moon?” Wow, something different. 

Each day, he would tell me to the best of his ability, which rhyme he wanted me to sing. And he also wanted me to do all the actions! Now, how am I supposed to do the same actions that he learnt in school? So, I learnt ‘kookaburra’, ‘two little dickey birds’, ‘hickory dickory dock’, ‘wheels on the bus’ and ‘hot cross buns’ and many more!

But, one day he came to me and told me, “Mumma, birdie”.

Me: “Okay. Wait dear. I’ve never heard of it. Let me search in the CD.”

Him: “Birdie, Birdie.. Mumma.”

Then he started to do some actions. First, he did twinkle star action, then he kept his arms by the side and flapped them, then he wiggled his bums and then he clapped his hands. He kept on doing that and saying ‘birdie birdie’. 

Finally, as I failed to find it in that nursery rhymes CD, I did some research on the Internet and found out that he was talking about the ‘birdie dance.’ At the end of the day, the entire family was dancing the ‘birdie dance’! It was fun though.

Now, at three and a half years of age, he is familiar with most of the nursery rhymes and so am I. So much so that sometimes we end up talking in nursery rhymes. 

Him: ” Mumma, today the wheels on the bus went round and round and I went to school. Uncle was selling hot cross buns. And my brother finger got hurt and it was pouring and raining and all the dogs were snoring. And then, I did row row row your boat in the water!”

Me: “Wow, that’s really good. Today,  mumma’s dish ran away with the spoon when mumma was cooking. And Peter and Paul also flew away. Mumma then did rock-a-bye baby with your little brother and Kookaburra was sitting on the old gum tree and laughing and then the clock struck one, and you came home!”

My husband gets so annoyed sometimes when he hears us talking like this. And more so when he hears me singing them! “Stop croaking!” He says. But I don’t think I can do that. I have become so used to it that now if I don’t sing atleast one rhyme per day I get restless! And the best part is when I sing them, my younger one year old becomes so quiet that I can change his clothes and his diapers very easily. Otherwise it’s a nightmare!

 I know that this is just a phase in our lives which will be very soon replaced by loads of books and homework. So let us enjoy this phase till it lasts!

My son’s favourite rhyme is the ‘finger family song’ and mine is ‘old mac Donald had a farm.’

What is yours??

Happy singing!!

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

Rhyme“>Rhyme

I promise (A love story)

It was the last Saturday in the month of May. Shraddha was very restless and was eagerly awaiting the arrival of Atul and his family for dinner. Shraddha and Atul’s parents were best friends and they had these meet ups on the last weekend of every month. Sometimes they would have lunch at Shraddha’s house, sometimes dinner at Atul’s. Or sometimes they would all meet just for tea and snacks. This was going on since many years and all of them enjoyed bonding with each other and spending time together. 

Shraddha always had a crush on Atul, who was three years older to her. He had an elder sister but she was settled in a different country and would join them when she would be around. She never realised when her innocent crush transformed into something more. And since the last few years, she would always be thinking about him only. They were great friends and they would chat on and off, but she never got the courage to tell him about her true feelings.

“Enough is enough,” She thought. “Today I will tell him about what I feel for him, no matter what. It’s okay if he doesn’t reciprocate but I will still let him know.” And Atul was travelling abroad to study further. “It’s now or never”, she thought, “I may never get this chance again.”

Feeling more restless and worried that she might change her decision, she went out for a walk. She went to the park that was close to her house. As she walked, she thought about all those times she spent with Atul. How he would always make her laugh, how he would help her with her projects in college. Sometimes he would hold her hand unknowingly and her whole body would tingle with anticipation. Sometimes they wouldn’t meet or talk for days, but she would be eagerly awaiting their monthly get togethers. She knew she was risking their friendship with what she was going to tell him, but she couldn’t live not telling him how she felt. As she was lost in her thoughts, her phone started ringing and brought her back to reality. It was her mom telling her that Atul and his family had arrived.

Shraddha ran back the entire distance home and even took the stairs instead of waiting for the lift. She entered the house panting as if she had run a marathon. Everybody was amused looking at her state. Atul said, “So you are finally training to run the marathon, eh?” He winked at her and all the stress that she was experiencing vanished just like that. She was too deeply in love with him. 

“Sorry, but I’ll just change and join you all,” She said not particularly looking at anyone.

Fresh and cleaned up, she wore her favourite dress that was peach in color and it made her wheatish complexion glow in the light. After adorning her favourite jewellery, she joined her family in the dining room. As she helped with laying the dishes, Atul joked, “So, why are you so dressed up Shraddha. It’s just our normal dinner.”

She blushed but failed to hide it and said, “I have a date later” and winked at his shocked expression. She thought she saw something flash in his eyes but it was gone as fast as it had come. Thinking she must have imagined it, she shrugged it of.

After a very enjoyable dinner, as their parents sat in the living room discussing politics and sports and TV serials; Shraddha and Atul went out to the balcony. 

“You are unusually quiet today,” he asked and he kept his hand on her shoulder. 

She jerked at that instant but covered it up with a cough. Yes, she was unusually quiet from the outside, but there was a war going on the inside. She was almost in tears when she turned to him and told him, “I’m sorry I can’t do this anymore..”

Atul did not understand where this was coming from. He was about to ask her when she raised her hand asking him to stop and let her speak. She continued, “I’m sorry, but I can’t live my life like this anymore. I can’t behave with you as if we are best friends because I want us to be more than that. I’m in love with you Atul. I don’t know how and where and when this happened, but this is the truth. I had to tell you this sooner or later. And now, after telling you I feel as if a burden has been lifted off my chest. I don’t know whether you feel about me that way, but it’s okay. I will always love you. I promise.”

Atul was speechless at this new revelation. He din’t know what to say. Seconds turned into minutes, and Shraddha was still sobbing, when he finally spoke. 

“Relax Shraddha. Please stop crying.” He hugged her and as she calmed down he said, “Don’t be sorry for what you feel. I have always considered you as my very good friend but I don’t want to start a relationship with you now as I’m going abroad to study further. Had I been here, we would have given us a chance. But now being in different countries and in different time zones, it’s going to be difficult. Please understand.”

Shraddha was happy that atleast he had considered giving them a chance. And she had prepared herself for the worst which was losing his friendship entirely. She said, “But you are going after six months. That’s a long time. Let’s try this out. It’s okay if it doesn’t work. But let us try atleast. Please.”

Atul kept pacing in the balcony and running his hands through his hair. He din’t know what to do. Yes, he did like her as a friend but actually dating her? 

“I need some time to think about this, Shraddha. Please. I will call you later.” And he left with that.

Shraddha had a sleepless night wondering what Atul would decide. She din’t want to lose their friendship. But she had taken a big risk by telling him what she felt, and she knew that. Now what was done was done. She had to brace herself for the consequences. 

Similarly, even Atul had a very sleepless night wondering what to do. He really like Shraddha as a friend, but if their dating din’t work out? He din’t want to lose her friendship too. He was getting a headache thinking so much, so went to make himself some coffee. He was surprised to find his mother in the kitchen. “Ma, what are you doing here at this hour?” He asked.

“I can tell you the same thing son. If you don’t mind, can I ask you something?”

He nodded a yes and his mother continued, “I saw you and Shraddha in the balcony last night. She was crying. Is everything alright?”

Atul was in a fix whether he should tell his mom or no. He finally decided to tell her. After he was done, he was happy that he shared his feelings with his mom. Atleast his confusion was over.

The next morning, Shraddha was eagerly awaiting that phone call from Atul. The morning turned into evening and night fell, but that call never came. She went to college the next day, but she wasn’t in a good mood at all. As soon as she reached home and closed the door, doorbell rang. Irritated, she opened the door and found someone standing there hiding their face with a bouquet of red roses. Already in a foul temper, she was not in a mood to be messed with. As she was about to bang the door shut, the bouquet was moved aside revealing a very handsome and smiling Atul looking at her. She was shocked to see him. He asked her, “Will you be my date for the evening today and everyday?”

She squealed in joy and hugged him tight. Later that evening as they were enjoying the sunset, Atul told her what had transpired between him and his mom the previous night. How his mom had encouraged him to go ahead and pursue the relationship. 

As months passed, Atul started falling for Shraddha and he considered himself the happiest man on earth. He loved every thing about her and every minute spent with her. He wanted to cherish every moment as he was going for two years for his further education.

Finally, the day of his departure arrived. As he left to board the plane, he told Shraddha, ” I will be back for you. I promise.”

Their time apart was painful for both of them. They spoke everyday through video calling and chats. Even though they were far apart, their bond grew stronger with each passing day. She graduated and started working. And just like that, it was time for him to come back.

Both of them got engaged in a close family function as soon as Atul returned. Both the families were very happy with their union. In less than two months time they would be getting married. Shraddha felt that she was the happiest and luckiest girl in the universe. Had she not taken that risk, she wouldn’t be here today with Atul by her side. As they both went to their respective homes after the ceremony, Atul told her, “Remember, I will always be there for you. I promise.”

“And I will be, too. I promise..” She said.

The next morning, they both met to plan for their birthdays. They both had their birthdays in the same month, September, only a few days apart. She was turning 23 and he, 26. So they both decided to host a common party for friends where they would also announce their marriage. 

Both, Atul and Shraddha were enjoying the birthday party planning. They would take half days from work almost twice a week and do all the arrangements. It was one such day when Shraddha was waiting for Atul at their usual cafe. She was annoyed as he was half an hour late. His phone was going unanswered. Another thirty minutes passed. Now, Shraddha was getting restless and worried. He would never be so late, she thought. She was calling him like a maniac when finally she got a call from him. But it was not him on the line.

“I’m calling from the reception of City Hospital. Do you know Mr. Atul Joshi? “

“Y..y..yes.. he’s my fiance. What happened? Is he alright?”

The extremely polite voice said, “I’m sorry ma’am, but he has met with an accident and I request you to inform his other family members and come here.”

Shraddha almost dropped the phone on the table, but gathered her senses, informed her parents and rushed to the hospital. When they all reached there they found that his car was crushed by a speeding truck and he had multiple internal and external injuries. They all waited in anticipation for some news from the doctors. Finally, the doctor spoke to them and said, “He has multiple injuries. We are trying our best. Let’s see how he responds.”

After battling for 24 hours, he lost. Atul was no more. He succumbed to his injuries. Shraddha couldn’t accept it. She broke down near him and told him, “You had promised me you will always be there for me. Why? why did you break your promise?” She was sobbing hysterically. 

She was in grief for a very long time. She simply could not get over him. How could she? She had promised to love him always and she would not break her promise. Her parents tried very hard to divert her attention, to get her to start working again. And she did start working, but she was like a robot. Just surviving. Not living her life.

Her mom would tell her that Atul would be very sad seeing her in this state. That would sometimes make her go out and try to live again. 

Three years later, she finally agreed to get married. Rishabh was from a good family and he too had lost his girlfriend in a freak accident. They both understood each other. But Shraddha couldn’t love him, not the way she loved Atul. And Rishabh completely understood that. He never forced her for anything. It took another year for Shraddha to finally accept him as her husband and move on. She respected him a lot. She had started to like him. But she could never love him.

She had built such strong walls around her heart, so that no one could enter, make promises and break them.

But, one boy managed to do that. He entered her heart, broke all the walls but one thing he did not do was to promise anything. In fact she promised him that she would love him unconditionally all her life, no matter what. His name was Atul. He was her just born baby boy.

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

“When you went to work, Mom..”


Dear Mom,

As you know, I am a proud father to a beautiful daughter now. The other day I saw her throwing tantrums when her mom wanted to leave for work. As I saw her doing that, I remembered my days as a child. 

When you went to work, Mom; I felt very miserable and lonely. Dada dadi were very loving and caring, but they could not replace you. I remember the tantrums I used to throw when you would leave to work. I know that in spite of working, your love and care for me never reduced. But, I was selfish. I wanted you all for myself only. I din’t want to share you with anyone or anything.

As days passed, Dada dadi would still encourage you to continue working saying that my tantrums would reduce with time. But, as I told you, I was very selfish; I increased the frequency and severity of my tantrums. Dad was very busy to look after me. Because of that, you had to stop working. You were happy initially, but a few months later, I saw you becoming sad with each passing day. Although physically you were with me, mentally you were somewhere else. Your smile never reached your eyes. No matter how cheerful you tried to be with me, I knew you were not fully happy. And I somehow felt responsible for it.

As I grew, I realised what I had done. I had taken four years of your happiness from you. I remember that day when I had told you, “Mom, you can go to work now.. I have full day school and then homework and other activities. You will be back by then”. You were so happy on hearing that. And you told me that you don’t want to work now. But I had insisted, literally forced you and then you relented. 

I remember you resumed work after 6 months as you had told that it would be difficult to find work after a huge gap. But you finally did it. And I got my happy mom back. I could feel the excitement from you each day as you were looking for new challenges along with raising me and looking after everyone in the house.

Mom, today I want to say sorry to you for what I did. I was very naive at that time. I din’t realise that you were working very hard to support me and to give me a better future . And dad was hardly around. He too, worked very hard. 

But, I am also thankful to you that you joined your work again. I learnt so many things in your absence. From doing my homework to household work, I learnt so much. And the confident young man that you see today is all because of you.

I couldn’t tell you all this before, as I din’t know from where to start. I’m writing this letter to you as I will not be able to speak to you without breaking down and you may not let me complete what I’m saying when you see me crying. But today as I saw the same thing happening to my wife, I couldn’t stop myself.

I will not let that same thing happen to her. I promise you that I will look after my daughter when she is not around. I will not make the same mistake that Dad made, because of which you had to suffer for those few years. I will let my wife pursue her dreams. Whether she wants to work part time, or full time, I will support her. And I will support our daughter emotionally too. I know this is a matter of time, but I won’t be able to see her losing her happiness even for a few years. 

I love you, Mom. Thank you for making me so self sufficient and capable. I will try my best for our daughter too.

Always.

Your loving son.


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

Pic courtesy: Google pics.

An infant’s diary

Hey there! I have finally turned one month old! Yes, I’ve now officially graduated from a newborn to an infant. Yay! 

Stay tuned and I’ll keep you updated about the events in my life!

Hey there, I’m two months old now. I can make out day and night now and I’ll tell you a secret.. sshhh.. I love staying up late in the night. My mom tries very hard to make me sleep. But I love staying up. You know this my only time when I can be an owl. Then as I’ll grow up mom will make me sleep early saying I have school in the morning. So let me enjoy this time now. And I also love staring at the ceiling. My parents think that I’m looking at the fans and lights, but no. I’m just wondering what treasure lies under that ceiling. I’m rolling with laughter now. But ooh… ouch… I had an injection a few days back.. it hurts so much! I was wailing and crying but my parents din’t listen. In fact I overheard the doctor saying that I’m going to receive many more in this one year! Oh my God! Please help me!

Hey there! I’m four months old now! And now I can turn my neck freely around. Wow! What a view I get. Yes, I also recognize my parents and I smile at anyone who cuddles me. I love it when I’m the centre of attention. And please, I don’t like to be swaddled now. I love kicking my hands and legs. So can you please tell my mom and dadi to stop trying so hard..

Hey there! I’m six months old now! I’m going to get a change of diet now. I’m so excited. Mom, no offence, I liked milk, but I was kind of bored with it. I’m eagerly waiting to try something new. And yes, oh my! The pleasure of sitting! I simply love it. I’m not perfect at it still, but I’m enjoying it. And I simply love to put anything that I can grab in my mouth, except that soft thing (she calls it a soother) that my mom gives me.

Hey there, I’m eight months old now! How I feel that milk was only better. Can you believe I’m being fed mashed khichdi and mashed veggies and fruits and different types of porridge with absolutely no taste! Can’t I get some real food please? Puh-lease! Please dear reader, request my mom to give me some edible food! I have two teeth now. If she doesn’t give me tasty food, I’m going to bite her and you will be responsible for it, dear reader! And one more thing, I don’t like being held my strangers please. All they do is pull my cheeks, kiss me and take pictures of me without my permission. How dare they? 

Hey there, I’m ten months old now! And I love corners. But someone or the other is always following me around to pull me out of my favourite place. Can’t they let me be in peace for sometime? I love my solitude! I can very nicely pick up even the tiniest of things from the ground and eat it and I can do that only in my corners. I have become an expert in crawling; I’ll go back to my favourite corner again! I can even mange to walk holding the sofa and the bed, so going there won’t be a problem. And now, in spite of having 4 teeth, I’m still craving for ‘real’ food. Puh-lease reader! Can’t you see my puppy dog eyes and request my mom?

Hey there! I’m one year old now! Yippee! I try to talk to my parents in my language and they only laugh listening to me. And sometimes they bring their phones in front of me. God knows what they do. Always with their phones. You know, I’m getting very scared. My dear family is planning to parade me for my birthday! I don’t want that. I’m going to cry a lot. And plus I can’t even eat my own birthday cake. This is so unfair. Please, tell them to celebrate on their own. I’m happy in my room. I’ll play with my toys. I’ll be good. I’ll go to my birthday party when I’m a little older. This is my birthday wish. Dear reader, will you please tell my parents about my wish? No, I shouldn’t tell you. You haven’t still told my mom about my food, have you? I’m still craving for tasty food. But the best part of being one year old is, I can walk! Ok, only 3-4 steps before falling, but so what? I can still walk. Yay!

I’ll take your leave now. I hope you enjoyed reading my diary and thank you for stopping by! I’ll see you later. Bye! 

P.S.: Please remind my mom about my food issue. Thank you again. And bye again!

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

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?