SISTERS

I was recently encouraged to revive my blog again.

It has been years since I buried this passion of mine. What shall I write about I have been asking myself ever since I was told “start blogging again”.

Then it came to me, why not write about the people who encouraged me to revive this hobby of mine.

My sisters.

A sister – sister relationship is a special one. She is your safety net of sorts in an otherwise chaotic world. Ideally a friend for life, who is always there for you.

I have one such sister, I thought all these years.

Whom I adore. She is my rock. My go to person in moments of self doubt for courage and also when I need a swift kick in the butt, it is she who I always lean upon.

Someone I felt I could always learn from. For her success with her career, her success as a mother, for her positivism and for her ability to belly laugh at even the smallest of jokes. I looked up to her all through my childhood. Not to forget that I disliked her with a passion at times too 🙂 , but the admiration and love overcame it always.

I thought she was the only one true sister friend for life I had.

Then over the past few years, life has offered me the opportunity to reconnect more closely with a wider circle of some more amazing sisters.

Some connected to me by birth, some just made family by the universe.

Impressive women of courage, mettle and personalities like none others.

The new bride who catalyzed me back into writing again. I admire her capacity to adapt, to have the valor to move on, to have the chutzpah to do what she needs to remain happy. New life, new career, new beginnings in a new city she’s handled it all with ease and grace. On her road to a new role now, I know she will outshine in.

The exceptional sister who battled an illness for years keeping it to herself and achieving such success professionally and personally all that while. Her love, her courage, her determination an outstanding example for her children to learn from, attracting only the best in people and moving those around her to be selfless and kind. I learn from and admire her every day.

The sister sent to us by the universe, always smiling always happy always accepting of every individual around her. Finding joy in a happy colour, a well cooked meal, a movie, or a favourite shirt worn to work, to simply a game night with friends. May I learn to cherish and enjoy the simple pleasure in life like you always do.

The baby spice of the family, the sister who has surpassed all of us academically, traveling to lands afar, making new friends, adjusting to new surroundings, studying and following her passion with admirable fortitude.

The universe in all its wisdom sent me two more sisters, both younger than me in age but far older than me in their wisdom and bravery. One who took on new roles, new lifestyle, new languages purely fueled by her determination. She swam upstream when everyone thought it almost impossible to do so, carving an indelible place for herself in the family as a wife as a daughter as a friend.

The other who in the quiet demeanour that is her signature managed to fit into a new life, affectionately and beautifully she brought about happiness to all around her, beautiful inside and out.

Such are my sisters. Women of spirit from whom I can learn, whom I can admire and from whom I can grow.

Thousands of books and articles may have been written about sisters, rivalries and the bond between sisters. True sisterhood in my opinion is more than just a blood relation, it is women who nurture each other who learn from each other who support each other. Who let us be who we are unapologetically and with no pretense.

While there are always exceptions to the rule and all relationships are not utopian in their existence I have been blessed to have this amazing circle of sisters and to them I shall remain ever thankful.

May our sisterhood grow from strength to strength.

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MY GRADUATION

“Didi” a Hindi word for – big sister.

Or a more commonly used form of respectful address to any older woman of the household.

Usually not a term used to refer to one’s own mother though.

However, this was what I was referred to as, by my son for the first two years of his life with us. DIDI.

My daughter called me ‘mama’ but he firmly referred to me as DIDI.

I tried ignoring him when he called me ‘didi’ on a couple of occasions, hoping he would be forced into calling me ‘mama’, but his confused and hurt eyes melted me into responding right away.

He called my husband ‘papa/daddy/pa’ all the various connotations and endearing terms for a Father with ease. But I remained firmly didi for a long time.

I joked about it when we met friends, stating my apparent youth has my newly adopted son completely confused. He thinks I’m his older sister! When we went out friends joked about it too.

All the while secretly, I feared that he hadn’t truly accepted me fully as his mother. He doesn’t love me as much as he loved his Dad, I felt. I haven’t connected with him quite as well as I should have, I blamed myself.

What if he never accepts me in the role of a mother? His Mother more specifically! I fretted many nights over this.

My beautiful baby boy, who came to us at the tender age of one, was only just learning to speak. He was adjusting with all the huge curves life had already thrown his way at such a fledgling stage. New surroundings, new family, new languages, new Country, new sibling, new parents. He coped admirably with it all! He continued to smile, play, and be what we now know to be his impish humorous self through it all. He took to all of us with ease and made loving him so easy and natural for all of us.

My beautiful girl born to us 8 years before, adjusted to her new brother, the unusual circumstances and all the life changes that go with a new baby in the house with such maturity and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt how big and kind her heart actually is.

So amidst all of this emotional palaver, when God had been kind enough to grant me a smooth transition on so many fronts with the new arrival I was left questioning the universe as to why is my boy not ‘accepting’ me as a Mother. Why does he still see me only as ‘didi’ I wondered.

After a while of such fretting I let it go. In more ways than one, my son had clearly depicted his affection and his attachment to me along with the rest of the family. I decided not to agonise pointlessly over a name tag as such.

Then one day I chanced upon a story of a foster mother who had felt compelled to adopt a little girl who on the very first meeting with her then foster mum referred to her as ‘mummy’.

A combination of various aspects of the story, fuelled by the fact that I had finally taken the time to step out of my self-indulgent thoughts to think beyond only my own need to be accepted, that I think I may have seen some sense at last.

My baby boy, in his limited time at the facilities before coming home to us, had grown in an environment of mainly women. There the primary caretaker, the head honcho of sorts who fed him and cared for a majority of the kids daily needs was referred to as ‘didi’ by all. The child knew not of any different term. She was the closest to a motherly figure for all the children there and they knew no different. So when my son came to me, despite the household having a nanny and visiting grandmothers, he had linked me as the ‘didi’ in his life. He had associated and singled me from all the women in his new home, in that role.

I had indeed, this means been accepted as a mother, it was only left to me to decipher it appropriately.

Recently one day he just very naturally switched to calling me ‘mama’ in the course of his garbled baby conversations. He simply switched to calling me mama and while we all clapped with glee behind his back, drew no attention to it in reality!

I am pleased to say that I am now firmly mama in his vocabulary. My love for him remains just as strong and deep for him as it did during my didi days. The new name tag bore no effect on the emotions, I realised. I felt like I was destined to be his ‘mama’ from the minute he entered our lives. I intend to remain his mama for the rest of my days. The fact that he has chosen without any duress of his own accord to call me so now, I hope is a reflection of the fact that he now understands a mother’s love.

And so it was that I graduated from ‘didi’ to ‘mama’.

 

 

Unspoken

 

Words left unspoken
Thoughts left unsaid.
Sentences unfinished
Dreams unshared.

Words Unuttered,
Feelings unexpressed.
Should they have been said?

Set free from within
To do as they wish
Laden with all that they mean?

Would they have bridged the gap
Or would they have widened the deep
Would they have mended fences
And finally ended those unexplained recesses

Left unsaid they could grow into seeds that sow
Deep dark roots into your soul
Perhaps unburdened by these roots the heart could have grown
To Joyous heights otherwise unknown

If you love somebody say it
If you appreciate someone say it
Thoughtful words left unspoken
May leave a heart broken
Life is too short to leave some words unspoken.

 

Words left unspoken
Thoughts left unsaid.
Are they infact always better shared?

Once uttered, sharp arrows they become
That can pierce with its severity all ears they fall upon

Should they remain buried?
Are we not worried
That hearts could get broken
With words that are spoken
In haste, with anger as their base?

Things get ruined
Lives get damaged
How often can things get remedied by a spoken word,
How often can things deteriorate by an ill spoken word,
A delicate balance if ever there were any,
Some silences are never to be broken.

Words left unspoken
Thoughts left unsaid.
Sentences unfinished….
Empty words with nothing to gain
Causing no more than mournful pain

Perhaps at times it would be best to live with some words left forever unspoken……………

Learner Mother(on)Board!

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Mother’s Day passed by recently. One day in the year when everyone takes that special effort to make their mothers feel especially loved and important.

Flower greetings, dinner dates, spa surprises, handmade cards and in today’s day and age the all-important social media platform public declaration of affection to one’s Mum were the order of the day.

I made the usual mandatory greetings to all the Mothers in my family as well as among my friends too. I briefly considered online shopping, gifts for both my Mum and my Mother in law. But then that urge passed me by :-)! Instead I took to social media and made public declarations of my heartfelt respect and admiration of these two and few other inspirational women.

Said to myself I should blog about these wonderful women. Pay homage of sorts to their aspirational skills first as women and then as successful mothers too. In my head I had various snippets of incidents in particular that I would like to share with the world, which perfectly depicts their skills as successful mothers.

My mum’s grace under the toughest set of conditions that life had meted out to her, her intelligent mind, her charm, her poise, her strength of character, her faith in a higher power and her beauty has set the bar high for me to follow now not just as a woman but also as a Mother myself. From her I learnt that I must lead my children by example. I strive to try and bring them up with faith, with honesty and as a wife I also strive to learn from her the crucial ability to ‘stand by your man’ unwaveringly in the true sense of ‘through good times and bad’. I must blog and share with the world these I thought.

My mum-in-law’s strong will, her ability to take control, her no nonsense stand for mediocrity of any sorts, her absolute refusal to cut corners in any situation, her passion for cooking, her ability to rule her children with an iron hand that was guided by a soft heart (oxymoron-ish almost to hear but it’s true), her unwavering allegiance to her children and her family, her ability to make them the centre of her universe, her methods of frugality, all ambitious bars of achievement for me to aspire towards. I should pay homage to her too this Mother’s day I told myself.

My sister is another inspirational mum who always comes to my mind when I set myself goals to achieve. Her sheer grit and determination, her single minded focus, the skill with which she has brought up her girls to be individuals and not cookie cutter products moulded by peer pressures of society, her own ability stand out and achieve so much as a woman in the corporate world, I can only hope to juggle as many hats as her and not drop the ball on one or all of them! Another person to whom I should accredit as an inspirational source of learning for me, I thought.

And as I put together meaningful words, snippets of thoughts into coherent sentences in my mind, I thought of my own children. The reason I am what I am today, the primary driving forces of my life. Both of them fledglings as yet I wondered how will I lead them by example? How will I know if I am doing right by them? What is to be considered as the parameter of success? Who will truly show me the way on a more micro level with this huge responsibility of life.

Then it hit me. They themselves! It is from them that I can draw all that I need. My inhouse God gifted, teachers. Infact my children tender aged as they are, have a wealth of wisdom to impart to me already albeit unwittingly.

Watching my children grow, each one of their arrivals has offered me a new perspective on several aspects of life.

Some mornings I drag myself out of bed while others I positively leap out, however with my kids each morning is a new day a new beginning and new opportunity to do new things. I can learn to greet each day with more enthusiasm from them.

Persistence. Ever watched a two year old try to do something beyond his physical capabilities? That rarely ever stops them from trying though. They keep at it seldom giving up. Some strong life lessons on steadfast determination to be learnt there.

Questions. Are we there yet? Can I have ..? Why not? Why? Annoying questions each parent faces multiple times on a daily basis. However to think about it these are valuable questions perhaps we need ask more often ourselves too. Ask that ‘why’ when it’s most required, put myself out there with a ‘can I’, clarify with a ‘why’ or challenge with a ‘why not’. Set myself a goal and ask myself ‘are we there yet?’

Emotions. Laugh out loud more, cry when you need to, cry when you just feel like it, yell when you are pent up with untold words, say what’s on your mind, share your joy, spread your happiness to all around you, childlike behaviours which well perhaps we could as grown-ups do with expressing rather than bottling it all up to accumulate into insurmountable walls within ourselves. Here as an adult though I shall need to show some restraint with some of these emotions I am guessing. The essential essence of it all is to be more honest with my sentiments.

Enthusiasm, acceptance, the ability to move on and not dwell, opening my mind to receiving new ideas, constantly evolving, growing this never stops. It shouldn’t too!

So as you see I am learning that Motherhood is not just about imparting wisdom, or setting an example for my children to follow, it is also about learning valuable life lessons from these little teachers God put into my life. It is a two way street where although I give and invest immeasurably into, I also receive infinitely back.

So this Mother’s Day I dedicated my reverence to not just the inspirational mothers I know but to also the unwittingly astute little teachers I know.

I look forward to a lifetime of learning from these mentors in my life!

Fragapanophobia

 

Fear of Birthdays.

Fragapanophobia – The fear of celebrating a birthday- one who does not wish for anyone, including family and friends, to acknowledge or celebrate their birthday.

As a child the most exciting day of the year would always be my birthday. You get cake, you get presents, you stand out in the sea of uniforms at school in your brand new spanking colourful outfit, you get to generously distribute treats amongst your friends and for that one day you are ever so ‘popular’!

As one grows older however, the excitement surrounding becoming one year older somehow began to diminish. The day just did not seem just as exciting as it did to me once upon a time.

I found that I was torn between remnant emotions of ‘cake anticipation joy’ and an underlying sense of dread. Dread that another year had been added to my credit, another whorl to my tree as it were.  Have I indeed grown any wiser, have I indeed achieved any of the goals that I had set for myself during this past year? Have I earned the additional stripe? What achievement do I have to announce or share with friends and family who call me on the day? “Hey thank you for the wishes….oh yes yes all is well……hmmm what’s that now… what’s new you ask? Well, I’ve gained about 10pounds since last year. Besides that not much else, quite frankly!” That’s a conversation halter if any!

Invariably the dread would magnify in intensity as I approached the day and I would dig myself into a dark hole of depression most birthdays of late. The day would come, with friends and family reaching out in their own ways to make the day special for me. Gifts, calls, flowers, wishes and all I could think of while receiving all this positive love was ‘I don’t deserve any of this. I am a total imposter! I have done nothing all year and now all I have are several could haves and should haves.’

Then on the boxing day of a birthday (can you call any annual event+1 day that?), the cloud begins to slowly lift. I begin to get hopeful, excited even about the year ahead. This would be the age when I get my act together and make some long overdue tweaks to my life. This would be the year that will change me as a person entirely. Or so I would think. Days become night, routine becomes mundane and before you know it another birthday is round the corner. Once again my biggest achievement would be nothing.

Well, this year magically all that’s changed! I am positively hurtling at high speed towards another birthday once again and this time, surprisingly the black hole has a lid on it! I bet you did not see that curve ball in this story now did you? J

The past  year or two have been momentous and action packed. I gained a child, I gained a new job, I gained oodles of weight and I gained a sense of direction quite literally. I mean this in its literal sense and not metaphorically. I am no longer always lost on the roads driving around in circles. All of a sudden my brain no longer freezes and I manage to recollect roads or actually find my way around town. I don’t have an unhealthy dependence on my GPS anymore. Strange as it may seem, this is actually an achievement for me. I have figuratively grown a spine and discovered courage too.

I suddenly find that I am increasingly becoming impervious to negative comments and have now learnt to switch off from toxic people. Perhaps it’s the added layers of experience or just the added layers to my hide! Maybe that peak once crossed in my mind I have begun to care less and less about keeping up with perceptions and accepting wholeheartedly my realities.

Perhaps my brain needed to reach a certain level of usage and maturity for me to discover a “who gives a f*&^k” attitude.

This year I am positively looking forward to my birthday. Bring it on new age! Grey hair? More weight? Slower metabolism? More work? More challenges? Bring it on! Challenges accepted!

Because I have finally figured out the fact that I have another birthday in itself, is a cause for celebration. For many lose this privilege abruptly and much too soon. The unpredictability of life is such that life deals you with sometimes a cruel hand when you least expect it. So many I love and so many whom I respect each carry their own individual crosses and my insignificant insecurities at each birthday seem to fade away as negligent in comparison.

So this year for those who decide to actually wish me, be warned you are going to be greeted by an alarmingly chirpy and upbeat person.  I haven’t lost my mind, I am not intoxicated and neither am I faking it!

My joy is merely down to the fact that I am just grateful for the prospect of one more year to try and get it right this time!

CHANGE

CHANGE

 

“The Secret of Change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the New” – Socrates

Metathesiophobia – A Morbid fear of change.

Fear of change is one of the biggest characteristics in a person and also one of the biggest challenges presented to a person.

What makes us fear change so much?

In reality, fear of change is one of the main reasons that hold us back, stopping us from taking that much required step towards something new.

Fear of change convinces us that the change is bad for you and convinces people to resist the change with all their might.

The high levels of anxiety created by this fear of change can be brought about by false rumours, unnecessary gossip, not knowing what to expect and sometimes sadly purely by malicious vested outside influences. All these can be crippling and could well completely deter us from taking that one essential step towards accepting something new, something which perhaps may well in the long term prove to be a positive change for us.

Not knowing what to expect and the fear that stems from it, is natural, but quite often this fear comes from a sheer lack of knowledge or lack of information.

As humans we are naturally creatures of habit. Routine becomes automatic, becomes second nature and any occurrence that threatens the safety of this routine immediately makes one wary.

The apprehension caused by the prospect of change, something new, the possible loss of control even transitional or worse still the possibility of the change bringing about more work makes us dig our heels in and resist change just for the sake of it.

This is exactly why many people do not like sudden surprises even if they are meant to be pleasant ones. We resent the messengers of change, we suspect their motives, we invest ourselves mentally and physically to finding ways and methods to hold off the change permanently. To retain what is familiar, to retain the existing for fear of the unknown becomes of paramount importance to us.

This is not to say that all change in always good. There are cases in which perhaps the change may not have always been for the best. However what is the parameter by which we decide what is best in life? Is there a tangible quantity or state of things to which we can assign the term “this is the best”. I’m not sure there is.

I question our ability to accept change or to adapt to new situations of late purely because of recent events globally. Unexpected electoral results, unexpected Governmental moves so on and so forth have truly brought out the inner beast in all of us. In some the beast has heartily accepted the new path shown and is willing to tread it trustingly. In some the best accepts the new set of circumstances warily, in some grudgingly while in some the best has reared its ugly second head and is intent upon creating a bubble of discord, distrust and a general climate of unbridled fear among all around them.  Preying upon the latent fears of the innocent igniting them with flames of malice, creating discord with their words, with their negative soothsaying. Majority of these double headed beasts are steaming ahead in their righteous beliefs with little or no view of anything beyond their own myopic blinkered visions of what they want to see. Or rather what they want to hear.

I am angered with the juvenile displays of disrespect shown by such fractions, thinly veiled as humour. I am angered by those wolves in sheep’s clothing who claim to care but their words sadly give them away. I am angered that while the changes that are being brought about certainly come with their own fair share of uncertainties and concerns, we lack the faith, patience or open-mindedness to allow some time for the results to show themselves. Our natural biases prejudiced our good judgement.

At a time when ideally we should be reaching out as communities as humans to each other helping one and other traverse the trying times we instead devote our energies into bringing one and another down.

There are no guarantees of the future, few years down the line we may well look back upon today and wish we had not spent quite so much time resisting rather than accepting. While in life some changes may well be within your control to accept or decline, with some changes there is no way around it. The only way is through it.

So surely the journey can only seem easier if we decide to travel as one in harmony. Surely the need for an individual to prove themselves right cannot be more important than the proposed greater good of many.

change

MOTHERHOOD

So clichéd I know, Mothers day and I decide to blog on exactly this topic. But hey! Here goes.. Personally the past few months have been tumultuous to say the least. Emotionally, physically and psy…

Source: MOTHERHOOD