My name is H and it has been 26 days since my last post. Ouch!

Two days ago I received a message from a friend on FB asking whether and I quote, “the Blog was a ‘THING OF THE PAST’…waiting.” Then today I finally logged on to the Blog and saw the message from my first Blogging buddy Maura who ‘hoped I hadn’t quit Blogging and that all was well’. All is Well in a manner of speaking Maura, and No I haven’t quit blogging and I’m sorry I made you think I had, and here’s the post to prove it! The Universe conspires…how many times have I heard that. A long conversation with a BFF, this morning (quite a morning I’ve been having eh?!), also began similarly…”Where have you been? No posts, No pictures?! What’s happening?!” With so many people missing me and hopefully missing my writing…well it made me very happy but not a little guilty. In fact, I’ve been living with separation anxiety and dealing with the massive guilt of not having written a line in a long while, for the last few weeks. I started revamping the Blog a while ago…sorting through posts, streamlining categories and generally trying to make the Blog feel more cohesive. I should have realized the futility of starting such an exercise just before school closed for Summer holidays! All I can say to that now of course, is Live & Learn! What with Ishaan’s Annual Day, yet another wedding in the family (It’s almost like the new code in town – a wedding is not a wedding unless it’s spread out over 3-4 days :P), the start of Ishaan’s holidays and my loss of those 4 priceless hours of freedom, two huge Birthdays in the first weeks of April (Ishaan’s & Hubby’s) – my Life has been one, crazy, mad rollercoaster of a ride!! I have a lot to say with no time to say it in…and it’s left me edgy, nervy and not a happy camper.

Some things will not change for a while…the Holidays stretch looooooooooong & eternal (You know you feel like this too Moms! Don’t you deny it!), and my time will not be my own until School finally re-opens. Until then, the best I can do is snatch a few minutes here, an hour there and try to scratch together a few words. The reason this post is titled Confessions, is because this crazy time (like most crazy times do), has taught me a few things about myself. These are not startling revelations, rather stuff I always knew but have had reinforced recently! And since I have to start somewhere and there’s no time like the present, I thought I would just list a few here.

  1. I SUCK big time at multi-tasking. I know it’s supposed to be a skill we women are born with, an in-built universal genetic code, but I must have been elsewhere or drunk while the Good Lord was distributing this particular skill-set! Juggling is not a skill I have acquired nor one I plan to acquire anytime soon 😛 I’m at my best when focusing on one thing at any given time, two things…I can usually handle, three things…I can still manage, but beyond that…amnesia, lethargy, procrastination and indifference, set in, leading to general chaos and resultant discontent!
  2. I’ve had my FILL of Weddings!! Truly!! In my opinion, the only people who enjoy them are the Bride & Groom (if they’re lucky!); people who love dressing to their T’s no matter what the weather (which I observe includes all the teens and twenty-somethings); people who love eating a rehash of the same menu every season; young couples in love who either fantasize or have nightmares about their own nuptials; people who have the energy and inclination to make conversation with the same set of people over a period of 3 days; and busybody ‘aunties’ masquerading as matchmakers! Needless to say, I do not qualify in any category 😉 I’m not good with sameness and the amount of time I’ve been away from Goa has done nothing to endear its weddings to me. Au contraire, I’ve attended three family weddings in the last two years (more than I’ve attended in the last decade!), and I can honestly say – Give Me A Break!
  3. I tend to live my Life in Phases. Perhaps it has something to do with being the Moon Goddess in a previous incarnation 😉 At any given time, I’m usually deep in the middle of one of these; the ‘Book & Reading’ phase, the ‘TV’ phase, the ‘DVD’ phase, the ‘Writing’ phase, The ‘Mad Photographer’ phase, the ‘Farmville’ phase (though in all honesty, this one is not a phase, more an addiction :P),  the ‘Leave Me Alone or Risk Your Life’ phase (this one often runs concurrently with most of the above!)…you get the picture. While I’m in the midst of a particular Phase, everything else takes backseat, and I mean backseat. I can be very obsessive about whatever it is that has my fancy at the time and ignore most everything else. So when I’m in the ‘Reading’ phase, I have no clue what’s on TV, I don’t feel like taking pictures and I don’t write. I can’t! (Refer to 1). I’ve discovered over the years that this can be a fabulous if rather unpopular and uncharitable existence 😛
  4. Disorganization is the one constant in my existence at the moment and it looks like it’s here to stay for a while. Thoughts imitate Life and though there’s a lot of buzz and static and noise…there’s very little coherence and productivity. It doesn’t help that inspiration always seems to strike when I’m least prepared or deadbeat, usually post midnight when I’m physical exhausted but can’t seem to silence the brain 😛
  5. I live in what can only be termed ‘The Henhouse’ 😉 But that’s a whole other post!

I know the list sounds like a litany of excuses, and honestly it is that too. But it is also the unfortunate reality of my Life at the moment. I know people with much busier lives than me, with no support, still manage to get the stuff they need to get done, done. That leaves me wondering about my priorities. I know what they are, but I have a tough time sticking with them. Perhaps it’s my inherent flighty, easily bored nature? You think?! And yet, ever so often…someone or something will remind me of how much I love to write and of how I’m a much better version of myself when I do it regularly, and some force will propel me to sit down and write…like it did this post!

And so this post is dedicated to M, and to Maura & to A, who jolted me out of my laziness & complacency 😀 Here’s my reply to M’s short, succinct message, “Actually, the Blog is a Thing of the Future…soon!” So here it is, my comeback post of sorts. It’s not great but it’ll have to do. And you know I cannot sign off without thanking all my friends on & offline who haven’t given up on me and who have been patient beyond the call of duty. I love you all and I couldn’t do it without you 😀 And no, I have not given up Blogging and I hope that makes you as happy as it makes me 😉

See what writing does to me? As I write these last few lines, suddenly All is Well with the World and I’m smiling at the screen 🙂 Ishaan is outside playing cricket. Later tonight, a quiet birthday dinner with Hubby and hopefully tomorrow…a new post. Sounds like a plan? Now if I can just stick with it!! 😛

Happy Monday People 😀

I can’t think of a title for this one…

What a time to be re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird.

I started after the news and images of the Japan quake and tsunami had shocked the entire family into a kind of numb withdrawal. I don’t know what made me reach out for that particular book. Call it instinct if you will coz I have no better explanation to offer. Maybe it’s coz that’s what I do increasingly these days when stressed – reach out for an old friend, one that comforts and offers escape from the harsh realities of Life. This Harper Lee classic is my favorite book of all time. And yet it’s not like this book is all sunshine…far from it. A serious book about serious stuff if ever there was one, and yet one that’s written in a wonderfully uplifting optimistic way. Even while dealing with the inevitability of Life, we see the good people behaving as we expect them to, doing the right thing, making the tough choices and doing it quietly, steadfastly, without any fuss. As I revisit Maycomb and the Finches, Tom Robinson and Boo Radley, all I can think is, how Atticus Finch…is whom you need in a crisis. Cool as a cucumber, measured, a man of deceptive calm and quiet valor. A good, solid man. One gets the feeling he would know exactly what to do in a tsunami and would then do it to the best of his ability. Thankfully there are real Atticuses in the world, who know how to deal with the serious stuff as well as their fictional namesake.

All I did, on the other hand, for the last three days, is sit glued to the Telly, in turns exclaiming in pity, horror, sympathy, rage & frustration as the World collapsed around the Japanese. Quakes, tsunamis, nuclear explosions, volcanic eruptions…is there any form of Nature that’s not furious with Japan right now? Why is it, that though I have no conscious wish to see one more image of  devastation, or listen to one more report on how the Government is rallying, the people are rallying, the World is rallying; I cannot seem to stop flipping news channels to catch the latest. It’s as if this tragedy has me hypnotized and has turned me into the worst sort of disaster-junkie! I have stared at the screen and watched what seemed like a low wall of sludge move surprisingly quickly over the countryside, a hundred times now, if not a thousand, and every time I gasp in fascinated horror. Don’t ask me why, but the first time I thought – ‘Oh Good! It’s just farmland, there’s no people here, thank goodness!’ Such colossal stupidity! One would think after the amount of disasters I’ve watched over the past few years, I should have known better.

Now I watch stunned as new videos surface documenting the horror, flooding the screen with countless new images of doom. I watch the mushroom clouds over the nuclear reactors. I watch fires burn incessantly. I watch matchstick towns, with cars and ships stuck on remnants of roofs. Towns that were once alive with laughter and joy and sadness and children playing. Towns that are now dead, dead, dead. I see planes buried in mud. I think of all the people who drowned, got buried and crushed. I watch experts debate over what constitutes a ‘meltdown’, as if getting the definition correct will reduce the trauma. I watch as a woman wonders whether the fact she survived is good or bad, and in that instant I know exactly what she means. All around her are the ruins of her life, her home, her world as it once was. I wonder whether a tsunami is powerful enough to wash away even our best memories. Amnesia seems like a great option right about now. I felt the same way after Indonesia, after Haiti, after Christchurch…numbed and helpless. And the children…when I think of those lost…all I can see in my mind in an image of a dead mockingbird, its beautiful melody silenced forever.

Japan has always been special to me, coz I spent four gloriously fun years in Kobe when I was a kid. I have fond memories of the country and its people. I remember them as proud (in the best possible way), calm, hard-working and decent people. They’re used to earthquakes and tsunamis and I suppose their legendary resolve & fortitude will see them through this tragedy, like it’s done through many that came before. I guess that’s what Life’s like really. It’s about surviving disaster, assimilating lessons and rebuilding, but also about moving on without bitterness and anger. With Hope.

I salute the spirits of those that didn’t make it, the valor of the survivors who did & the courage of the incredible people who are out there helping them in the crisis. May they find success in their endeavors and peace in their souls.

Something’s Gotta Give!

Last week I forgot a birthday. That in itself is unremarkable. I do it all the time. I’m one of those people who remembers a Birthday months in advance and usually up to a week of the actually date…only to have it slip away entirely from memory on the Day itself! Truth be told, I have now reached a stage where I can’t even remember that I’ve forgotten (if you get what I mean!), without someone reminding me, like my friend did a few days ago! You know those nagging sensations one relies on…the ones that warn, ‘You sure you’re not forgetting something?’ or ‘Wait a sec, isn’t it so & so’s B’day today? What’s the date? Geez is it March already?!’…turns out those dim with age too (lets hope it’s just age and nothing more serious!). So you see, the whole thing is pretty hopeless!

With the advent of memory-enhancing tools like Facebook, one would think forgetting Birthdays, Anniversaries and any number of important dates and events would be a thing of the past…apparently not! Turns out, the mind only remembers what it’s focused on in the moment (at least mine does!), and so I am perfectly capable of logging on to FB, ignoring all important reminders, and heading straight to my farm for an hour of relaxing, brainless activity 😛 I know! That’s just me! These last two weeks have only served to make matters worse. It’s almost like 2011 has ushered in a period of frenzied activity. There’s been some cosmic shifting of gears and Life is taking on a rogue treadmill-like quality…repetitive, unending & perpetually rushed! Maybe I should just blame it all on Saturn? The scariest thing (to a lousy multi-tasker like me), is that it doesn’t feel like a phase. I look into the future and all I see is more of the same. When did Life turn into this giant hamster-wheel??

I know time-management is the key…whatever you may think, I’m not an idiot! But lets face facts here…I suck at it! I do! Being a ‘go-with-the-flow’ kind of person has it’s advantages but one of the biggest cons is that I suck at planning and sticking to schedules. I generally let my interests of the moment consume me to the point where I’m neglecting important but boring stuff, like helping Ishaan with his homework (although in principle, I don’t think toddlers should even have homework!), doing groceries, deciding menus (ugh!!), doing laundry, collecting laundry, returning calls and the like. Unfortunately, this level of involvement doesn’t affect my fondness for food, enhancing it instead to humongous proportions! There goes that particular weight-loss mantra 😛 No, what bothers me now, is that in all of this constant running around, the tables have turned and I haven’t even noticed! Suddenly I’m swamped in the mundane and it’s leaving me no time to do the things that keep me from losing my mind…writing, reading, taking pictures, having fun, breathing!!

But it isn’t just the physical activity that’s draining. The frenetic brain-buzz’s the real killer! There are many changes happening and innumerable decisions to be made…it’s causing serious brain-drain. It seems these days as if I’m always weighing pros and cons, considering alternatives, anticipating problems and researching solutions…whew! Who would have imagined ‘thinking’ is one of the most exhausting activities there is! Most days I live in a kind of fugue, moving from one thought to the other, one task to another, mechanically. Something’s gotta give! This is not a state of mind I want to be in for long, as you may well imagine. Who would?

Prioritize…that’s the key, but I find that easier to do with chores and the physical stuff than thoughts. Have you tried it? It’s much more difficult, given that, thoughts don’t obey any rules, popping in and out of the mind with irritating nonchalance! It demands an extraordinary amount of discipline and a steely resolve, none of which I seem able to drum up right now. So forgive & forget if this post irritates you as much as it’s irritating me right now! I’m just trying to write myself back into…writing. Trying to build up the discipline and gather the steely resolve, bit by bit, one post at a time. This post has been in my head for a while now, jostling for space with a million others, and I’ve only just managed to get it on paper, in short bursts of free time, over the last couple of days. It’s been frustrating, but I’ve got it done. I know I must find time (somewhere, somehow), to write at least 3 posts a week or suffer insanity. I think I can. I know I must.

Thanks for listening, People.


This morning I had a moment. You know – the kind of moment that arrives without warning, usually offering a calm oasis in the midst of chaos. The kind of moment that comes sometimes from recognizing the truth but mostly from just accepting it. Yup…an epiphany.

I had a rather thorny start to my day. Granny had a fall on her way to the loo early this morning at 4 am. I was completely unaware of the fact until I came down all bleary-eyed in the morning. Thankfully, nothing’s broken, just some nasty bruising. At her age (she’ll turn 85 in April) though, I’ll take bruises over a fracture anytime! Unfortunately in characteristic fashion, I had been rather short with her. It’s just like me that. My concern always seems to manifest masquerade as irritation, especially with those I love. I don’t why that is, except to blame it on some genetic character flaw beyond my control or maybe it’s a defensive mechanism to mask my fear of losing my loved ones. Whatever the reasons, suffice it to say, when it’s time for Ishaan to leave for school, I am not in a good place.

He is outside as always, playing cricket with our driver and Pushpa, utterly oblivious to all of Mom’s flaws for the moment 🙂 Oh that it would stay like that forever! Hubby calls out. It’s time to leave and there’s a flurry of Goodbyes to Pushpa, Grandpa and Grandma. It’s a familiar scene, repeated every Monday through Friday before he leaves. Just before he climbs into the car, I hug him and hold him close, tousle his hair and tickle him while he lays his head on my shoulder, in the crook of my neck (a perfect fit :)). He erupts with laughter and climbs onto Hubby in the car. The sun is shining and my boy is happy. His eye’s are sparkling and his tiny nose is all scrounged up, crinkled with joy 🙂 Suddenly I am in awe of this perfect moment when nothing else matters but the happiness that radiates from my son in great big tidal waves 🙂 I know, I know, it’s crazy…we’ve done this a million times before, but today, although I’m laughing with him and squishing my nose against the car window making funny faces, inside I’m still. Something is different.

Magic smile!

There’s a strange duality to the moment. I’m suddenly aware of its fragility. Of the power of laughter & the healing that comes with happiness. Somewhere deep within, a load feels lighter. There are a million good things in this World and a million bad, but there’s not too many things that can’t be made better by the sound of your child’s laughter 🙂 But the moment is also symbolic of the power my son has over me. Of how my happiness is now forever linked with his and my eyes get teary – whether from joy or sadness is hard to say. Probably both. It’s scary but I feel cleansed.

I stand still and watch the road after the car is long gone. He’s growing up so quickly…too quickly. And that’s when it struck me. It’s always like this between parents and children isn’t it. Children moving away, parents left behind, happy, concerned, and proud. Did I think it would be any different for me? This is how it’ll always be…him leaving, me watching him go…happy, concerned, fingers crossed, like mothers everywhere.

I take a deep breath and walk back inside.

Navigating Landmines…

Tough and treacherous – Agreed?

When the field is family and the ticking mines are people you love…What then?

Lately the feeling has been growing on me, especially after the scary story last week. Obviously I’m nowhere near over it…don’t think I’ll ever be. It simmers within and boils over unexpectedly and in mysterious ways, when I’m least prepared and often on poor Ishaan :(I’ve become quite short with him this last week and I don’t like it. Since my usual inappropriate strategy of ‘denial’ & ‘burial’ doesn’t seem to be working…I guess I have to finally face stuff head on. Easier said than done…I hate confrontations and am a total ‘chicken’ when it comes to discussing serious issues with the family. We’re all like that actually – Ostriches!

But this living on tenterhooks – tip-toeing around issues, skirting boundaries and testing the waters – preparing ground as it were, not for any one thing in particular, but rather for everything, makes for an exhausting existence and I’m done feeling tired without any physical activity to blame! Ever since Dad’s accident, the need for ‘change’ is omniscient. I feel like I need to be doing something I’m not, being someone I’m not, changing things I’m not. I think what I mean is that I have this nagging feeling of having to ‘do’ something, anything, but without a clue as to what that something might be. In my head, vague ideas and imaginary scenarios float about, where I’ve been very clever, said & done all the right things and rather like a magician waving his wand, made everything alright, whatever ‘alright’ means. Doesn’t help much ‘coz as I’ve mentioned, all solutions at the moment are imaginary!

Yesterday unexpectedly, Mom and I had a talk. It started ‘coz Dad’s Parkinson’s was acting up more than usual and he called from the shop saying he needed help getting back home, ‘coz he felt like he was falling (a common symptom). The shop thankfully is within our compound and just a few minutes walk from our front door, so Mom rushed over with a walking stick belonging to Grandma and brought him safely home. Dad rested and the two of us sat at first silently pensive in the living room until we got to talking. As I mentioned, we are not a family of ‘talkers’, we don’t ‘discuss’ stuff with the intention of reaching consensus but merely for the enjoyment of arguments, (well my Dad & I do, my Mom hates arguments and will go to pretty much any level to stop them), and so ‘talk’ rarely helps instead leading to fights, discontent and sometimes tears. Luckily this was an unusual day and Mom, (who is otherwise one of the most reserved people I know), opened up and shared both her fears and plans for the future. As so often happens in such cases, we realized that we had both been thinking and worrying about the same things, just separately! We even seemed to agree on possible solutions! Ironic huh? But such a load off my mind and my soul 🙂 Such a relief to know that I am needed and that I am doing the right thing by my parents.

There are big changes coming. Not in a hurry but they’re coming. It’s inevitable really, coz deny as we may…the only constant in Life is change. Change by itself has never frightened me. I can go as far as to say, I’ve always enjoyed change and hated monotony. My parents however are the exact opposite (perhaps in the manner of all parents?), they abhor change of the tiniest kind and resist it with every breath in their frail bodies. It’s surprising the fight that lives in old bones! So it’s a huge comfort to know that we seem to be on the same page about what the future may hold. I would never do anything that changes my parent’s lives without their complete acceptance and agreement and so it’s good to know that I won’t be 🙂 They need time of course and their concept of time is very different from mine…I say hours, they say months, that kind of thing! Still, this time Mom seems determined and since she actually initiated the conversation, I’m daring to be hopeful 🙂

And for navigating this particular land-mine in satisfactory fashion and coming out tops…Thanks Mom!

Packing ‘Life’ in a suitcase…

One day...this will be me...legs & all 😉

We’ve all been there…especially us women with our need to pack for a week when we’re gone for a day! Most women I know anyway…if you are among those who have perfected the art of packing perfectly…I bow to your superior knowledge and self-control 🙂

Me, I’m seriously challenged and either pack too little or too much; forget the essentials or cart along numerous unnecessary baubles! Who knows what one might need? How does one pack a life in a single suitcase? So everything goes in – toiletries in large sizes (the small travel sized ones never last the length of my trip unless it’s just for a day or two and I hate having to watch how much shampoo I use!); too many clothes; two pairs of glasses, sunglasses, reading material (a minimum of two books and a few magazines); a makeup kit filled to bursting with stuff that I know I’m not going to need, but feel compelled to carry, ‘just in case’; way too many accessories; shoes (am I the only one who thinks two pairs are a minimum requirement and why doesn’t hubby ever share my shoe-dilemma?); bedroom slippers; my first-aid kit; odds & ends – nail clippers, detergent (Uh huh!), pens, safety pins, wipes, a pocket mirror, ear buds, the cell phone charger, the iPod charger, the adapters for those chargers…sigh…it goes on and on. I am not even thinking about having to pack when we start travelling seriously with Ishaan…packing for a toddler is just too scary…I’ve seen the humongous amounts of stuff they travel with…diapers, toys, and food, food, food! I know one can buy a lot of the stuff along the way or at your destination, but you can never be sure, can you? Better be safe than sorry…isn’t that what the wise women say? I know my Mom does and my Granny has lived by the dictum her whole life! I love to travel light. I’ve gotten better at it over the years, especially with the clothes and accessories, but it’s still very much a work in progress. I think it’s a woman thing, but also an ‘Indian’ thing. Traveling with an Indian family by train can be a great adventure – for one, you’ll never ever run out of food! Nor conversation (be prepared for every personal question that’s nobody’s business except your own.)! Nor entertainment (think children running around, women chattering, singing songs, men chewing paan and striding in the passage ways, getting in your way, until your head spins.)! I exaggerate! I exaggerate! It’s a circus of sorts, that if you let it, can end up becoming an experience of a life-time 😉 All it takes is patience and lots of alcohol 😛

The hubby of course with his irritatingly, annoying efficiency, has a neatly typed out travel check-list that he primly ticks off during his short, focused hour of packing! Ugh! I’m not a list person and the only thing I manage to do with a list is lose it! That’s just who I am.

I’ve realized I’m still dragging my feet on packing for Kerala…I leave tomorrow evening and I don’t even know what bag I’m going to be taking. It’s just 5 days with 2 days spent travelling, which means jeans, which is simple. But then there’s the tiny matter of the wedding…and that means sarees, which mean blouses that match (not to mention fit ;-)), a petticoat (a kind of skirt) that goes under the saree, and jewellery. That’s an issue – ‘coz carrying jewelery by train is a risk. And yet, this is a wedding…sigh…decisions, decisions….will have to resort to the time-tested method of stuffing what little stuff I do take into a velvet case and stuffing said case at the bottom of my hand-bag and using said hand-bag as my pillow. Of course now that I’ve disclosed my brilliant strategy for the whole world to read (ambitious much ;-)), it’s rather self-defeating. Oh well, wasn’t much of a strategy anyway!

Ah, hubby’s just signaled that we start packing at 7 pm IST, that’s in 10 minutes from now…so I had better wrap up this post and prepare myself for the ordeal that lies ahead! Oh and don’t even get me started on unpacking! A whole other post! Again I say, Wish me Luck!

p.s. I know I said, I wouldn’t bug you guys with any more posts until next week, but this one just sort of wormed its way in 😛


“Lets start at the very beginning…a very good place to start…” goes the famous line from one of my all time favourite musicals, The Sound of Music. With the approach of every New Year, we humans, make a huge deal about ‘New Beginnings’…new resolutions, new commitments, new jobs, new lovers, new diets, new plans, new hopes, new dreams…a new Life!

But pause…a deep breath…before we rush to make the first in a litany of new promises to ourselves, our friends and the world in general…consider…are these truly ‘new’ or just ‘renewed’? Cause, be honest, what is a new life, but a renewal of the old? Recycled resolutions, reaffirmed hopes, plans, dreams, renewed commitments to old, incomplete goals, projects, jobs, and people! Ah! Guilty as charged! Although in recent years, the sweeping statements and passionate declarations of my youth, have taken a backseat, I haven’t been able to resist making the same resolutions, if only, in the more subdued tones of my alleged adulthood :). So instead of appearing a fool in front of the whole world, I do so now, only to the one person that matters – ME! How sad that the fact now offers NO consolation!

So recently, with such profound thoughts 😉 occupying my generally distracted mind, I’ve been thinking about how human beings in general and me in particular, ignore the importance of a good ending, except in movies or books, where they are essential, nay, crucial! What got this train of thought started, were a couple of books that began promisingly, only to fizzle out with weak, unsatisfactory endings. You know what I mean! An utter let down! And yet, I continue to ignore and underestimate the value of a proper ending in Life. And by proper, I do not mean fairytale! Nah, am not that naïve! I mean, the feeling that I get, when I know (in my bones) I’m done, I’m through…for better or for worse, this far and no further, generally accompanied or followed, by a sense of moving forward, letting go.

I have begun now to appreciate the importance of a solid ending, in Life, especially my own. An Ending – that says closure, completion, a tying up of loose ends, that allows fresh perspective, clears the air and the mind for the inevitable new beginnings that must follow! Yes, I am grateful for endings  🙂

So now, at the ending of this life-changing, coming-of-age year that was, I am thankful to have survived it all and made it this far, battered and bruised, but stronger and wiser. Thankful for letting go the past, abandoning fractured dreams and hopes and for the ability to recognize the difference between what’s good and what’s good for me! I can honestly say, I’m happy with the way 2009 is ending for me. I have no new resolutions for 2010…the old ones, still linger and will do, but they are not my focus anymore. If 2009, has taught me anything, it is the futility of the ‘best laid plans’.

And so, I surrender, to the ending of this, my 41st year of Life on Planet Earth – tumultuous, life-altering, chaotic. No doubt, 2010 will be identical! Bring it On!


Yes, mine is a few days away. A few friends have asked me, what my plans are and all I can say is…for the first time in my life, I’m clueless! I have no clue and certainly no plan…not even a figment of one!  It feels kind of strange…maybe cause this is the first birthday in a long time at home with my parents and without my brother. Or perhaps it’s the fact that I am now so busy with everyday stuff…work, Ishaan, house, that I have no energy nor the inclination left to celebrate.

My 40th last year was a Blast – in more ways than one! It was the day after the horrendous Mumbai attacks began and for the rest of my life, I know I’ll always associate my birthday with violence. It was all just too close to home! Still, my friends pampered me with an intimate lunch and many gifts 🙂 and we all had dinner together. That’s how I’ve spentmost  birthdays; with friends and the hubby (who if I’m lucky sends me flowers!) Gifts are harder…he usually gives me stuff at odd times during the year (most often on return from a trip) and will say something like, “This is your birthday and anniversary gift for the year

This year, I feel lost. I’m still getting settled in Goa and life here is so different from the one I’ve led so far, it might as well be a different universe! I have friends – dear childhood friends and I have close family who care deeply – but things are different here or maybe it’s just me – I’m different! Changed somehow by all the stress and craziness around…

So, here’s my Birthday wishlist…lets start with the basics, shall we?

I hope the family remembers my Birthday! Don’t scoff!!! They’ve forgotten before!!

If they do remember, I hope they find it in themselves to get out of their various depressive moods long enough to smile for a while…

Flowers, cards and gifts would be in the present circumstances – nothing short of a miracle!

Hoping for Miracles 😉 One will do 😛

A cozy dinner & a long drive with hubby would be a welcome change 🙂

To get through the day without major fights with anyone!

And of course…World Peace 😉

There, is that so much to ask for?

We’ll see…

Happy Birthday to Me!


Is what I am after the last 10 days! It’s been a roller coaster ride and not half as much fun…

Where should I begin… my Granny,  fell ill. She had a severe attack of viral diarrhea and needed IV fluids for 2 days to bring her back to the living. I monitored her two nights, heart in my mouth, praying.  She’s 84, which doesn’t help or so I thought…but I believe now in the strength and will power of old bones. They were made to last, to survive, to fight and they do! Thank Goodness 🙂

Mom kinda lost it…she was so terrified of losing Gran, she just froze. She couldn’t think up a menu for the day without help and it seemed like tears had taken up permanent residence…you get the picture. I’m not good with emotions, as in, I can’t handle my Mom’s! There…that particular cat is out of its bag! I can advise the whole world (good advice too!) and help them through the tough times, be patient, understanding and compassionate…and all of it disappears like a whiff of smoke when it comes to Mom.  I’m sure the universe has a plan, which is why we’re together – Mother & daughter – but it’s going to take a whole lot of lifetimes to figure this one out – so help me God, Universe, Anybody!

I must be the bane of her existence – a daughter that is forthright to the point of rudeness, abrasive, stubborn and extremely short-tempered. That sees faults in everything she does and says and is constantly trying to get her to change her ways. She responds by crying, which just makes me angrier or by moping, which is no better.  For my part – I long for the strong woman I knew – the one that raised a son with DMD with courage, resolve and a total lack of fear in tough conditions. Who dealt with his loss in the best way a mother who has lost her child can be expected to. A woman who though she cannot figure out what to cook for lunch, has a photographic memory for telephone numbers – a gift she passed on to my brother 🙂 The woman, who hates to cook but won’t admit it; hates housework but won’t admit that either – not to herself and certainly not to me! The woman who volunteered in school, entertained friends and managed her daughter’s wedding with aplomb and confidence…this is the woman I’m seeking, the one that is lost somewhere under the drudgery of routine and the burden perhaps of my own expectations.

So, the bottom line – I’ve had to deal with a sick Gran, a depressed Mom, a generally spaced out Dad, a husband who doesn’t know how to sit still, a toddler – much the same and my new helper – Pushpa (thank heavens for her)!!  Pushpa has been a Godsend!! The one silver lining, apart from Ishaan of course, who can make me laugh, no matter what 🙂 Truly – I have my fingers & toes crossed – but she seems to be working out – she gets along with Ishaan, helps Mom in the kitchen, pampers Granny and stays out of my dad’s way. Now if only I could be that way 😛

To add fat to the fire as it were, I’ve taken up a part-time job of answering medical questions online. It’s not hard, it’s even interesting, but it takes up every moment of time that I would have spent reading, writing this blog, just chilling…sigh…don’t ask me why I took it up at all, let alone now…I don’t know the answer to that or any other question right now…

All I know is…Gran is better, Mom is not and I’m exhausted…drained physically and mentally… conversations with my aunt and friends keep me sane and recharge my batteries…a big Shout – Out to you all. You know who you are 🙂

And now…the weekend is here…no questions to answer…just chilling time, with my boy and Facebook 😉

Thank God or whoever, for small mercies 🙂

Learning Curves

These days it seems like I’m on several…all at once. What is it they say…”When it rains, it pours!”

So, here I am, one, trying to cope with living in a big sprawling house filled to its teeth with stuff (i’m being kind here…it’s mostly junk!), most of it, not mine!

Two, trying to make said house livable for our family, which involves renovations, which involves service-men, which means agony as I’ve mentioned in practically every chance I get! Oh and by the by, every person should try getting rid of stuff (read junk again!) that belongs to their parents…every once in a while – excellent lessons to be learnt in the art of diplomacy, patience and perspectives!

A conversation usually goes something like this.

“Mama, I really think we can let that vessel go!”

“Arre beta, lets keep it for Ishaan (my son)! See, it’s just the right size to make his fish curry in!” At this point, I’m already cursing the poor fish in my head!

“Mom, we have a dozen vessels that’ll fit the bill! We don’t need another one!!” By this time, when I’m working myself up to a steam, over a damned vessel (for God’s sake!), she plays the emotional card to perfection.

“But it was a gift from so and so! What will she think? Why are you getting so worked up about one little vessel? We have so many, what does one more matter?” Which brings me back to “Exactly! We have so many, why keep one more?” And so it goes, on and on…

Three, follows from two – trying to find a way to peacefully co-exist with one aging acerbic matriarch of a granny, one indecisive mother, and last but certainly not the least, a distant father who for the most part, rules our lives, while living in a parallel universe, all his own!!

Four, learning to be a ‘Mom’ (I don’t care what anyone says, it does not come naturally, well, not to me!) to my 18 month old toddler boy, who could easily be the devil incarnate 😉 he’s so naughty! And though he brings great joy, he also brings much exhaustion and leaves much destruction in his wake!

Need I go on?? What? you thought that was it? Think again…

Four, learning to live with a husband who’s always around!! Oh come now, you what I’m talking about! In a space of 4 odd months, he’s gone from being ‘husband in absentia’ to ‘always-present pain in the butt’,  who thinks he’s mastered the art of running a household and is plagued by the need to point out how everything that needs doing, can be done better, quicker, simpler, if we would only listen to him!! Of course the fact that I’ve run the household for the last 17 years, all comes to naught! ‘Coz hey, what do I know?

Five, re-learning how to live in the country and state I once called home. A place that is now vaguely familiar at best. Some things have changed for the better while others remain unchanged. Friends who have been here for years, have their own circles of life, their own set patterns, that I have to try and weave my life around and into, if I want meaningful social interaction. Most of my friends work, drive and live across the river in the more civilized city of Panjim. I live across the Mandovi in Porvorim, which is sort of like living in limbo, neither here nor there, and what used to a 10 minute drive to Panjim city now takes a good half hour and that’s on the good days! And I don’t drive yet, which makes me a virtual prisoner in my home! If there’s anything worse than Goa’s servicemen, it’s the abysmal state of its public transport system. In this one way, it reminds me of small-town USA, where no vehicle is kind of synonymous with no life!

So there, what do you think? Wanna switch? HEY! Where are you running off to? Aaaaaaaw…come now…don’t be like that 😉