Happy Birthday, Amma!

When people talk about mothers, in general, they usually highlight their patience and the ability to take on bullshi* and not react. You were the complete opposite Amma. From challenging every norm thrust upon you, to trying to find loopholes in every rule there was. I remember being seven months pregnant and feeling like a beached whale, with a long day of family and rituals ahead. I had just woken up and we had an hour to have a bath and get ready. Five more minutes, I said when you came to wake me up – and you sat massaging my feet for fifty instead. I whined and said I was in no mood for washing my hair. You closed the door quickly, came back again in an instant with a mug of water and a wet towel. You sprinkled some on my head and asked me to just wrap around that wet towel around my head and put some deodorant on – no one would know the difference. And that’s what I did. Here’s me, grumbling an hour later about how tight the bangles were – so you just pretended to put them on for the photos.

1

 

You’ve taught me to constantly question authority, put my foot down, do things my way, be it the right way or not. You hated wearing jewellery of any kind and did the most blasphemous thing of not wearing a mangalsutra, constantly and faced quite the flak for your choices and mine, but never ever stopped doing things your way. You’d cheat on the Ugadi pachadi, hide my school uniform the day we had any outdoor picnics. You’d warn grown men from even daring to say anything against your children, even in passing. You’d never take your eyes off of us, or your granddaughter. “Let me watch for some more time.” you’d say when she’d finally fall asleep.

2

You’d start new traditions, like putting up the Christmas Tree, because I saw a neighbour’s and wanted one for the house too. Indulgence was your middle name, Amma. And I miss that the most. Asking you for something and getting something 10,000 times it’s worth. Like the time I asked you for a jigsaw puzzle and you bought me the whole box because I couldn’t decide which one to take.

3

I hope I can be at least one-tenth of the mother you were, Amma. Happy Birthday – I hope they serve cake up there.

 

 

Advertisements

Of beauty and the beasts who deem it important…

We had quite a bit of a scare last evening, with the brat falling and hurting her chin so deeply it wouldn’t stop bleeding for hours. A trip to the doctor resulted in me having to make a decision whether to stitch it up or not. Being the old school person I try to be when it comes to parenting, and after years of conditioning that I’m still trying to recondition myself to, I made the choice to say no. It’s okay if it leaves a little scar, I’d rather have that than to force something to happen and also have to deal with a squealing child. That moment, I closed my eyes and tried to not think about what happened when I was exactly that age.  But I couldn’t.

People who know me in real life, know about the quite visible scars on my face and treat them like a part of me. A childhood accident that resulted in years of torture at school, something that I have made my peace with, but only after quite a bit of work, to say the least. Strangers still ask me about the scars- questions that I chose to answer, if in the mood, or brush off or ignore, if not. Some at school even made fun of my name, that I was christened with – “Soundarya” so much so that I refused to be called that, to date.

I still remember the first time H fell on her face, six or seven years ago. The first thing that I heard in response was – “Not on her face, she’s a girl!” As if that should make a difference. “Make sure her teeth are alright – there’ll be problems in the future – you know when she has to get married.” This, when she was hardly even a toddler.

Then, I didn’t have the courage to say what I wanted to. But now I do. To make decisions that I want to, for mine and my child’s, without having to think twice about it.  Beauty is so much more than how you look, on the outside, and runs so much deeper than your skin. Thank God, I have incredible friends, like the one who threw a whole fistful of peanuts in my face, when I told her I feel ugly, and drove it into my head that I’d never ever ever call myself that ever again.

I hope H does find good ones too – people who care for her, regardless of how she looks or doesn’t. People who actually care about what matters, on the inside instead of superficial fluff that just fades away over time. And I hope she finds the courage to wear these scars like medals, over time – that she fought with life, and won, and has something to show for it. Like I am trying to, every day.

Happy Birthday Rockstar!

Another year has come to pass – and you’ve only continued to amaze me with your grit and your courage to live your truth, head on. Your unconditional love continues to drive me through everything.

1

You’re an amazing mother, and it surprises me how similar our lives seem to get – now we’re both mummies of three little darlings – I know there are times when we don’t even talk for ages but knowing that there is one person I can always count on, no matter what the situation is, to be there completely and truly – and that’s you.

2.PNG

 

May you have a brilliant and beautiful year ahead, full of doggy love and human love, travel, music and all the things I’d want too. I’ll stand here and watch you take on the world. And because I have to make this post as sappy as me – here’s a song for you doll – Teri aankhon ka jaadu, poori duniya pe hai – duniya ki is bheed mein, sabse peeche hum khade 😉

I love you to the moon and back, baby!

1 Book A Month Challenge – Want to join in?

Although I’d hate to admit it to anyone, and here of all places, given the name of the blog also, I have been a complete wuss at reading anything for the last 6 months. Except for magazines that I can’t even flip through, I’ve barely held a book in my hands these couple of months. And as a part of my New Year’s resolution, I want to get back to being the old bookworm that I always was, than someone who’s binge-watching something or the other on Netflix.

I have two shelves of books that I’ve picked up from friend’s bookshelves, received as gifts and hand-me-downs from friends who were shifting, in multiple genres and I swear to finish at least ONE book a month if not more – I’m doing this here so I *am* accountable somewhere :D.

Am starting off with this book, that I took from good friend S’s place last year and never got around to reading.

Cecelia Ahern’s  – One Hundred Names :

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-04 at 19.24.18

I’ll write up the review in a week from now, here – if anyone wants to take up this challenge, feel free to join in 😀

Of the last year and rented furniture

One of the biggest challenges of a separation or a divorce that no one really likes to talk about is literally giving up everything you *thought* you owned. Including the security of calling a place your home. About the same time last year, I moved into possibly the only place I can truly call home – after falling in love with the colour of the building (yes, I can be terribly childish like that) and then the balcony, and then the children’s park and then the swimming pool, exactly in that order, with the barest possible things needed to live.

1

I rented some beautiful furniture from Furlenco (no, this is not a sponsored post but I’m a fan for life after their customer service experience) but didn’t realize the amount of brain space I’d be wasting on worrying about the said furniture being safe – a 9-year-old, a cat and a dog are not exactly the controllable kind – or a good combination with a leather lazyboy – you get the picture.

And then one day, the inevitable happened – Mischief – who truly wants to live up to her name, broke open my kajal stick and smeared it all over the futon. And I lost it on the child, and everyone else around me – a day I wasn’t really proud of my actions as a mother of the furry and the non-furry kind. That was also the day I decided that I’d rent no more, and would buy furniture in bits and pieces when I could afford it.

Cut to this month – I gave up everything I rented and bought things I absolutely fell in love with – a cute bright red dining table – some sofa-cum-beds for the living room, and finally, this home is full again – full of things that I’ve slogged my a** of for, and struggled to put together. The best part was when H spilt chocolate ice-cream on the dining table and said –  “Now you don’t have to clean it right away, Amma. It’s our’s.”  So I let the chocolate stain stay for a day. Because I could! 

This year has truly been one of the most rewarding, and I truly am thankful for the way it is ending.