Saturday, December 14, 2013

Louuu and all that... :)

I would really not be amongst those to talk openly on this subject. Four (actually seven!) years of togetherness means a lot to me. I wrote this long ago and after debating for a while on whether I should post this, here I am - talking about it..

Falling in love, is the most beautiful feeling in the world. I don't think there is any other emotion that can beat it. Then you get married and this person becomes a part of your life. Everyday mundane things from the dirty sink to attending to work and social life becomes top-prio. All of a sudden your focus temporarily changes. But something happens that makes you realize how much love you are still in with this amazing person.

Sometimes I wonder how fate works. What if our paths would have never crossed, what if we would have both gone to different places. And I shiver to think, what if I would never have moved to the city we met in...But that deserves another blog post. ;)

It was one of the most hectic weeks at office and things were edging on madness. There was hardly any time to breathe. So when my husband left for this native place, there was no time to miss him on the first day. I was so tired, that I flopped on the bed and fell asleep. I was supposed to join him in his native place the following week.

At home, I had planned to start my cleaning up spree. I came across his "107 pile of clothes". To those who do not know this concept - its a huge pile of washed clothes that we do not fold, because "they have to be anyway opened up to use again". I came across his numerous shoes, little Yoda, hidden chocolates, empty Flipkart boxes and just didn't have the heart to clean up - he was right there amongst all his stuff :).

Then came the cold and fever. Colds can really annoy me a lot. Whenever I fall ill and he is not around, I miss him sorely. By the end of the week, I was missing him so much that I could not believe it myself. Finally, on Friday, I got onto the train. Considering my very poor sense of direction, he was worried if I would ever even get onto the correct train. I can find my way on any airport in the world, but train stations confuse me a lot and I get onto correct trains only if I am with him.

When it had been dinner time on the train, I had opened my Egg-Rice packet from Comesum and started eating alone. At the end of my meal, I stared at the remaining rice and had a lump in my throat. There was no one to help me finish it. :( 

That day, I had been praying that I get sound sleep. I simply cannot sleep in moving vehicles, especially trains - I stare for hours at the berth above or the whirring fans - but luckily, that night, I did sleep well.

I got off the train very early the next morning and waited for a couple of minutes amidst the unfamiliar swarm of people all around me. It was still very dark and in the minimal lighting on the platform, I saw a familiar tall figure walking towards me. Relief swept all over me and it felt like I found the other part of me - quite literally. I clung on to that hand and did not let go of it for very long. I could not believe I missed him so. Yet, I loved every bit of that whole episode..

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Of Things That Matter Most...

(Dear readers, it has been ages since I updated my blog. I have had so many thoughts and opinions about so many things that I could not decide what to put up here. Some of the topics I have wanted to post on, have been on matters that may create a bit of melodrama here or some personal stuff too. So, I'd keep away from those. 
Some of my thoughts have revolved around home and my beloved city. In order to not bother everyone with my stories about Mumbai, I plan to start a separate blog. :) For now, here is a tiny post about an unforgettable incident that took place a few years ago...)

Even the smallest gestures in the world can make the most amount of difference. In a world where hatred breeds and petty matters are blown out of proportion, I have been also seeing another part of the world where people find absolute love and affection for each other.
Sometimes I actually feel it is sad that humans have words to express themselves in. We misuse them - more often than we think. With increasing virtual connectivity, we forget that it is not a must to put across each of our thoughts onto the online world or mobile phones.

There is a very old man in my husband's native place in Kerala - we call him Achu-eshan. He is very thin but extremely active. He has been with my mother-in-law's family for a very very long time. He took care of her when she was a little girl and used to be a caretaker of the family. Even today he plays the same role in the family very happily. He always has a welcoming toothless smile - no matter who he is greeting.

It was a hot summer's day 2-3 months after my wedding I was at this village for some occasion. It was Holi back home and I was a little sad as it was my first Holi away from my parents in a new, unknown place - where I was not familiar with a lot of things around me - the food, language, culture, festivals, etc. I was missing home a bit and it probably showed.

Achu-eshan speaks only Malaylam and back then I could not understand the tongue at all, so we would not converse with each other. He has probably never met too many people outside Kerala until now, so I was almost a complete stranger to him in every way. He was doing some work when I was trying to keep myself busy by reading a book. But I was not able to concentrate. 

After five minutes I was startled to see him standing next to me. His hand was extended with a little flower in his hand that he had plucked from the garden, as a gesture of compassion and friendship in a place where I was so out of place back then. It was so touching, that I will perhaps never forget it. This old man sensed the turmoil in my mind without exchange of any words between us, and tried in his own tiny way to soothe me and bring a smile to my face. Sometimes, only tiny things matter...

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Story of the Working Mother...

Recently, a leading newspaper published a poem, "Where are you, Mother?". It was a poem to convey to a working mother that she is basically ignoring her child and giving more time to her job..(Can you believe it?) The wordings were somewhat as follows: "When I find my Math tough, you teach other children..When I am feeling ill, you treat other people.." and so on. I cannot believe that someone wrote a poem like that! It was absolutely shocking. Let me tell you the other side of the story - the story of the working mother - that most people do not know.

I see working moms around me, in office, literally struggling in a bid to strike the right balance at work and home. I know what they sacrifice at both places in order to do this. We have been brought up in a generation in which we were told quite vehemently that men and women are equal. We were allowed to study as much as our brothers or male counterparts in the family. An equal amount of money was spent on our education and grooming. But somehow, the moment some of us stepped out of our schools or colleges we were made aware of our limitations.

When a mother comes to office in the morning, she's had already done a million things before leaving her home. All day, half of her mind is with her kids who are in daycare. There is a phenomenon called the "working mother guilt" which all these women go through. By the time they reach home in the evenings there is another list of things pending for them to finish while their husbands (invariably in higher positions at office) come home late.

A working mother reserves her sick leaves to use them when her child is sick. But when she is sick she drags herself to office. She reserves her yearly leaves so that they can be used for such emergencies which may arise in case her kids or relatives fall ill. 

A working mother feels awful, because on one hand she has been hammered in her childhood to stand on par with the men, but on the other she has to dial down her talents and abilities so that she is able to pay equal attention to her family life and kids. I see some men at workplaces who take it very easy, but most women stretch and work really hard so that they make up for lagging behind. 

It is sad, believe me. These women give up a lot of opportunities (for e.g. traveling abroad, promotions, better ratings, rewards.) The so-called fact that women can be on par with men is false in the current generation. I have seen very few women in top-most leading positions. Why? Because they drop-out on the way to the top. They get overwhelmed and the working mother guilt consumes them eventually. 

The competition today is tremendous because the work-force has doubled since the time women have entered technical and managerial fields. The expenses and standards of living in most cities is very high. Schooling has become extremely expensive and so has real estate.  So women also have to support their families - they do not have a choice.

On top of all that, they need to make sure they fit into the so-called norms of an "ideal woman" that the Indian society still expects them to fit into.
It is said that a woman is expected to..
"Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man and work like a horse." Very very true.

Most of my friends' mothers were working women. They had 9 to 5 women-friendly clerical or teaching jobs. That generation was a stepping stone for us. Our generation went one step further by entering technical/managerial fields - traditionally avoided by women. I think it will take one more generation, a better support system and a better society for working moms to really be comfortable to march ahead confidently...