Two years and going strong…

  (This Valentine Special is a guest post by my friend and blogger Mini Singh.)

…I told him, “ I love you “. He was too busy checking out the new wheels and didn’t answer. I was dumbfounded! I waited for a few more seconds and then I said with little more emphasis on those three simple yet most important words, “I LOVE YOU”. He gave me one long look, which went right into my soul. I noticed him taking in my chunky nerdy glasses, dishevelled hair and a tired looking face. But he finally lisped the sweetest words, “I ove you”.

I couldn’t be more happier hearing these words. My little boy has turned two this week. He can’t yet pronounce words with letter ‘L’ in them and tends to say lollipop as ‘wayapop’ and love as ‘ove’. The only L-word he has mastered is ‘Lets go’, perfect to remind us that it’s time to go out for a walk. He likes spinning things, pretty much every thing that he lays his eyes upon and is always on the move. He can be especially seen in our wooden corridor near the entrance as the house is fully carpeted and the little explorer has already understood there is less friction from wood than other surfaces. And after spinning every new object, he turns around seeking an audience, and then our eyes meet and he beams with pride borne out of great accomplishment. I feel great to be a mother at moments like this. Motherhood is indeed blessed!

I have learnt with time and maturity that endless love comes only from a child and all they need in return is time and attention. We need to nourish them well, nurture them into fine human beings and try to be there always. Because they are what we will leave behind.

Have a look at my little beloved, who has changed my life forever!

  

‘I Love You’ in the Snow

  What a lovely morning! Yesterday’s snow blizzard has left the world around me covered in a sheet of soft snow. It is a sunny day today and sunlight is gently alighting on the snow, giving it a sweet golden glow. 

  
Have you ever noticed? The sun and snow make a gorgeous, passionate couple. But their romance is always shortlived as they are extremes. They refuse to compromise and live together, respecting each other’s identity. I know, sooner or later, either sun will make the snow melt into oblivion or a snow storm will overpower the warmth of the sun. But for now, they look angelic together!

 As I slide the blinds of our little window, to admire this shortlived romance, something catches my eye. A big ‘I Love You’ on the snow carpeted ground takes me by surprise. Perhaps, last night or early this morning, someone braved the cold to engrave that for his or her beloved. It looks sweet and reminds me of sunny, sugary, youthful romance.

  
It is the month of February and Valentine’s day is nearing. Love is in the air and now engraved on the ground. Ah! I inhale the purity of love! 

 After a while, I want to play Sherlock and find out the lovers involved in this wonderful display of love. The footmarks around the engraved letters ‘I love you’ seems to be that of a man. The lover has written it hastily to surprise her. I keep a watch and wait for the beloved to arrive there. No one comes! Perhaps, she has seen that through her window. “Who is the lucky girl?”, I wonder!

Since a college is nearby, there are a lot of college-goers in our apartment. And such love extravaganza can only be expected from someone in his 20s. I make a few guesses and keep looking out at intervals.

  
My mind wanders back to the romance of sun and snow. Unearthly, sublime, stunning! But so shortlived! 

Love was dreaded and considered a frivolous word when I was growing up in a conservative set up. I never wanted anything to do with Love. I loved my books and the characters in it. That was it. Gradually, I learned to be comfortable around the four letter word. Lo and behold, now, I enjoy observing it!

I take my seat by the window to play Sherlock again. I wish this lover and his beloved have a life like the sun and snow but not short lived rather everlasting. I hope they respect each other’s individuality and not try to win against each other.

The glorious glow of love seems to be everywhere at this time of the year. My watch is on…hope the mystery lovers show up!

( This is based on a true incident. All pictures are mine except for the first one, ie, courtesy Google.)

On the other side of the mirror!

 I see her everyday. The mother, the wife, the homemaker! I witness her pitter patter since morning as she packs lunch for husband and kid, in a hush hush way as to not rouse the baby sleeping in the bedroom.

But the baby is a light sleeper, he wakes up. She rushes to him. She has become an expert in doing chores while balancing the babe in one arm. She manages again!

When the hubby and kid leave, she catches her breath before tending to the little one. Juggling between bathing him, diaper change, feeding and cleaning up, she manages to gulp down her cold breakfast.

She has to plan out her day according to the routine of the baby. The bathroom and lunch preparing time would be when the baby sleeps. She puts the baby to sleep. The baby acts cranky. Her arms and back ache but she tries to soothe him.

Perhaps, the baby feels sympathetic towards mommy and sleeps at last. She enters the bathroom, just then the phone rings! She rushes out of the bath fearing the baby would wake up, but thankfully he doesn’t. She rushes through the conversation and hangs up quickly. She takes a quick shower and performs her ritual prayer.

It is time to prepare lunch. The baby wakes up before time. She has to play the jugglar again. She cooks as well as humours the little one. They play hide and seek and funny little games. She finds heaven in these moments.

She tries to relax after lunch. The older one returns, excited and chattering about his day in school. It is time to pay exclusive attention to him. The kid wants her to play with him. While his energy level is high, she has just her will power to hold on to. She has to keep an eye on both of them now.


Evening times are chit chat time. But I seldom hear her talk. She enjoys listening to them. Dinner is prepared and served. The husband helps as much as he can. He always does. She knows it was a long day for him too and feels loved!

Her body is sore when she goes to bed, ready for nighttime waking and feeding. She thinks and plans for the next day…food, grocery, kids’ school, doctor’s visit… a myriad things. She sleeps ready to wake up with the slightest stir or movement of the baby.

It is during her night time waking, between feeds, that she comes to me. It is the only time she looks at me closely. I, her mirror image, stare back at her! I try to look for that once carefree girl with a hundred dreams in her eyes…I do not see those eyes. The girls’ eyes were bright, ambitious and playful. Her eyes are different. She is different, the girl is gone.

These eyes are of a mother, who seldom thinks of herself. She is illkempt, preoccupied and always in a hurry. Everyday I look at the different shades on her face…sometimes she is irritated and tired, at other times she looks contented and occassionally she is ruffled, but one shade is dominant throughout – It is that of pride! Pride in fact that she is doing her duty well.

She knows the dreams of the ‘girl in her’ can wait. But the heavenly moments of motherhood will never ever come back. Her kids need her now, nothing else matters. After a few years, she will have enough time for herself then she will miss it all…hugging, feeding, playing…everything. The lady in one of the stores had rightly advised her – pay attention to your kids, they grow up very fast. The woman on the other side of the mirror has put motherhood above everything else that matters, like millions of mothers across the world.

She believes Motherhood is a ‘tapasya’, a state of selflessness that enables one to experience the sublimest and divinest emotions.

I look at her and read her mind everyday. At times, I feel sort of restlessness in her. It is a fact that not many admire or value a homemaker, and this affects her sense of worth. But next moment, that feeling of pride returns, her temporary conflict disappears and she becomes a contented mother again. I, her mirror image, admire her soft face at such times.

But I also want to keep reminding her of the girl, she once was. And I will resolutely do that. For I know, when her kids grow up and there will no more be aching arms, swollen eyes and lullabys, the dreamy girl in her, will keep her company. The girl will show her purpose of life further…after the kids move on in life. The girl is her essence, and she should be in touch with her.

Till then, I wish happy motherhood to her…to my beloved mirror image!

(This post is dedicated to all mothers, working and non working, who I am sure have great stories to tell about motherhood. This is my story! I have been a SAHM ( Stay At Home Mother) since the past five years and it has been the most memorable and rewarding phase in my life.)

My Grand Uncle and the Mother Goddess

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One of my great grand uncles was a deeply spiritual man. A great devotee of The Goddess Kali, his life was one long prayer. Born in a royal family in Orissa (India), he had distanced himself from luxuries and riches of life from an early age.

His sole purpose in life was self realisation through invoking the Mother Goddess. She was the world to him. Early morning, he would make adorable garlands and perform elaborate ‘puja’ by decorating the idol of Mother Kali. His royal room resonated with mantras of the divine Mother. In the evenings, he would sing devotional songs to please the Mother. He would cry and beg Her to visit him once.

His siblings would often make fun of his ‘obsession’. Some people called him mad and all this worried his parents.

But one day, something happened that brought a huge impact on everyone in that palace. My grandmother often recounted this story to us and would end it with a message. I shall convey my grandmother’s message towards the end of this real life story.

One day, few of his friends thought of pulling a prank on him. It was a mean thing to do. But they thought that he needs to be jostled out of his devotional stupor. They paid money to a fierce looking dark Harijan(formerly known as untouchables) lady and asked her to dress up like Goddess Kali and materialise in front of my uncle. She was not to touch him.

It should be remembered that in olden days, caste system was rampant in India and touching a Harijan meant defiling one’s religion. They were not allowed inside the temples and lived in the outskirts of a town or village.

The dark lady was coerced into doing this and she relented. Adorned in red sari and overladen with jewellery, the lady hid herself in my uncle’s prayer room. She had painted her tongue red and looked quite intimidating. On the dusky evening, my uncle arrived for his evening ritual.

He did his customary Shashtang Pranam ( it means that eight limbs of the body, namely, two hands, two legs, two arms, chest and forehead, touch the ground while saluting. A form of complete surrender and letting go of the ego). And then he raised his head to see the lady sticking out her tongue in the form of Kali. For a moment, he just laid there too stunned to speak. It was a horrifying sight for a non-believer.

But he experienced an unspoken joy within him. He washed her feet with tears, took her hand and made her sit by him. He looked like a little baby enjoying the company of his dearest mother.

Meanwhile, the Harijan lady was too uncomfortable to speak. But seeing him in that state she was transformed. She actually felt like being his mother, his goddess Kali. She touched his head and cried out of affection for the pure soul.

His friends soon entered and shooed the lady away. But my uncle was in the state of bliss. They told him that he had been fooled. She was not Goddess Kali but a low class Harijan. He was defiled and needed to be purified by a priest. He just thanked them and said, “You don’t know. I am pure now. This is all my Mother’s doing.  She came to me in the form of that great lady”.

My grandmother said that great grand uncle immersed himself all the more deeply in prayers after this incident. People left him alone to his worship. His faith remained unshakeable till the end and some say that he achieved enlightenment.

My grandmother would sum up the story by telling us, “People had laughed at him for touching the feet of a Harijan lady, but they were fools. He was actually touching the feet of ‘his’ Mother Goddess. He had actually seen ‘his’ God. It was the integrity of his faith that mattered.”

People say and interpret things according to their own convenience and perspective but what matters the most to a person is his own faith. Faith really makes one do and achieve the unthinkable!