I think, therefore I write

Category: US & ADITI (Page 1 of 2)

A worthless gift

Something I wrote in a bleh state of mind, thinking about children of today who are to be the keepers of this world tomorrow.

Oh my precious little one, my hope was still bright
When you stepped into this world
Today, I am not so sure if I was right.

The world I gave you doesn’t seem so ideal
Most days, it does not show any promise of getting better
Nor does it promise you anything that’s real

The rational part of me says, this is not your battle to fight,
Do what you can to your best and teach as much
But I cringe, wondering if you even got your birthright.

Clear air, water and a place to live is all you need
Even those are hard to come by and,
Nature’s already looking for ways to trim the weed.

I really hope you get a chance to
Love what you have, and
Live how you want,
Cherish your life as you rest.

But hope is all I got,
For I am also one part of all this havoc,
Nothing else can I say except that I am sorry,
For giving you the world in this state.

Until later 🙁

Recreating memories

By this post, you would know that my interest in cooking is fairly recent. It still is a chore for me on most days but I manage to get by knowing that I can cook up a delicious meal, when needed. Anyway, as I made my way through different dishes from amma’s culinary repertoire, trying one at a time, I realized that the newly discovered interest has a backstory after all. One that’s so obvious that I am surprised that I missed it.

I miss my mom and her cooking.

Though this has happened when I first moved out from home to my hostel, then dealing with various cuisines of PG food (ugh!) throughout my spinster life and so on. I have missed amma’s cooking earlier too but that was different. This time, with each of us locked in different cities in the pandemic, it’s been a while since mom got a chance to pamper me and my daughter I got a dose of her pampering. It’s amazing how she never gets bored with cooking and always has the energy to cook up something delicious.

Anyway, this week as I tried my hand at making Vaazhaipoo urundai (A type of falafel made from banana flower), Vaazhaithandu adai (A patty with banana stem – a variant of the first dish), paruppu dosai (My favorite dish with coconut chutney, always ready when I visit home from hostel), Mushroom curry fry, Masala dosa and many more of mom’s signature dishes, the aromas wafting through my kitchen reminded me of my childhood memories, particularly around food that I enjoyed the most as I grew up. I could just close my eyes and see amma working her way around in that dingy kitchen of the monumental house that I grew up in.

Amma in the kitchen was the norm for us. I was a pathetic daughter who didn’t help around much, I did an odd chore here or there but that was it. Yes, I do feel bad that I didn’t do more for her. I would ask her why she keeps at it and how she is not bored day after day, doing the same chore and she would reply, “You enjoy the food, right?” I couldn’t imagine the level of selflessness it took to have that attitude, even if it is for one’s own daughter.

For more than 30 years, she has never tired of the kitchen and cooking. Every time I cook something, my mind automatically compares it with amma’s. The comfort of childhood memories with amma combined with the comfort of food just makes my heart fill with content to the brim. That’s probably what made the experience better for me with time – else I was unhappy that I had to work to develop the interest unlike amma for whom it just came naturally.

Of course, there is a benefactor to all this – my daughter. She is happy that she is getting a variety of dishes as opposed to the mundane routine of rice and sambhar. I don’t think I’ll ever get over amma’s cooking, no matter how old I get. I hope my daughter retains some of these memories as nostalgia when she’s all grown up. I am surprised that she, unlike me, shows an interest in cooking and household chores at such an young age. She loves sitting in the kitchen and watching me cook. And narrating the recipe to her as I cook does make the chore less boring. Sometimes, I put on music and we do a bit of dancing jumping around as well.

So if my daughter looks back at one of these evenings and thinks of it as fondly as I think of my mom in the kitchen, I’d consider it my greatest reward.

Until later 🙂

P.S: Maybe, I should start posting some recipes. Lemme think about it.

Weekend nothings

Haven’t you heard about sweet nothings? Not just when you are in love, but you can have those when are deep into marriage and then once in a blue moon, when you have a toddler too. Yeah yeah, I hear desperate parents asking, “Really?”. But I am telling you out of personal experience. It can happen. Don’t keep looking out for it, just enjoy it when it happens.

Adit and I were always the too-lazy-to-go-out kind of people (him more than me :P). So the first 5 years of our marriage, with just us and no kid (directly translating into no great responsibilities), we had weekends and weekends full of time to do nothing. Yeah, while some were out partying, meeting up with friends, exploring different pubs and restaurants, we were very comfortable in the cozy nest of our home, more specifically, our bed.

We had a week full of our jobs, then evenings filled with watching TV/shows mixed with office meetings and then we had the weekend nothings. We would sleep in, get up late and scramble something together for breakfast. We would then have a long debate about whether we can cook lunch or eat out. It ended being 50-50. And then with all the time in hand, we would eat, sleep, play some games, watch some shows, blog, read books, repeat.. You get the point. There have been weekends when we closed the door to our home on a Friday evening and then came out only on a Monday morning, with the exception of taking the milk delivered at our doorstep in.

Yeah, I hear you. We were that lazy but the point is that we kind of enjoyed it. Here’s probably why: We were brought up in highly ambitious families, running behind grades, winning contests, and scoring seats in acceptable colleges and this independence to slow down and enjoy not-running-a-mad-race actually helped us unwind. We had also had a pressured couple of years trying to get our parents accept our decision to marry each other, then trying to get them to actually marry us off, then being coerced into booking a flat when we practically had no money and hence ending up with a huge house loan… you get the point, right? I don’t know about others, but it caused a lot of subconscious tightening. So the weekend nothings were actually enjoyable. As for seeking out friendship, we had each other as best friends. So I guess that part never bothered us either.

After 5 years of doing this, we decided it was time for a kid. Again, we spent a few months being backed into a corner by friends and family telling us it is time and us not really knowing whether to cave or stand up until we are ready. Not to mention, we caved. So once Aditi was born, our weekend nothings vanished without a trace. There was some chore to be done. Always. And we got through all of it just like most parents do. Cribbing and then dusting ourselves off. Okay, I did most of the cribbing and Adit did most of the pick-me-up bit. But that’s also because of the chore imbalance in our situation. Practicality dictated that I take care of the baby and household along with my job while he focuses on the primary income of the family and his health.

Anyway, I had given up on our sweet weekends as our baby grew up into a toddler, demanding more attention and time when this weekend sneaked up on me in being nice. It just fell into place. We did get things done, like deciding the pre-school for our daughter, taking a picture of our daughter for school and going out on an impromptu snack trip to the mall. But, the rest of the weekend was relaxed with minimal tantrums, playing around at home, cooking the bare minimum that was needed (I never really enjoy cooking). In fact, this afternoon, my paranoid mind started to think that there was some storm coming up this week to make up for this calm. But then, whether I worry or not, I will have to deal with the storm when it comes. So here I am, sitting on my couch and writing a post (something I haven’t done in a really long time) enjoying the rest of my doing-nothing-weekend.

Until later 🙂

Inching towards a better me

As the clock slowly inches towards 12 AM, I am stepping towards being another year older and another year wiser. Every year when I think of having done with another year in the calendar, I wonder if I have really gotten wiser. Change doesn’t come that easy to me.

However, this year is a bit different. I realize that I have started accepting myself for who I am, albeit very slowly. For starters, I see that I am more comfortable in my skin. I have started enjoying myself and the choices I make with lesser doubts. I have accepted that I don’t have to like cooking to cook healthy and tasty food for my family and more importantly I have accepted that it is okay to not like cooking. And parenting. When I became a mother, I expected selflessness and sacrifice to come easily. It did not. And there are not many people who feel the same way or are willing to share out even if they feel so. Being non typical fed to my guilt and overthinking. However, I have come to accept that feeling so is just fine.

Being a working mom with a toddler has pushed me in improving myself as a person. I am running so much that I hardly have time for myself. My schedule is like clockwork and depends on a lot of people/things being perfect, say, my babysitter, my maid, my husband, my work, my colleagues, the delivery guys etc. Trying to run a life that demands this level of a perfection with so many factors is terribly exhausting and I just get by. So the sheer frustration of being the primary caretaker for everyone else but me drove me to take steps that I was refusing to.

I have now started dressing how I really want to rather than based on what I want others to think about me. I step out of my comfort zone and experiment and I gotta say, the results are good. My self confidence is increasing with every extra thing I manage and every previously unimaginable thing I accomplish. I am becoming increasingly confident in the fact that I do not need to be protected and that I can be a role model, if need be, to my kid. The number of guilt trips I take have reduced. The number of times I question myself or my decisions have reduced. I am capable of letting go of some things that would otherwise drive me crazy. I have learnt to agree to disagree. I have learnt that my choices may not be acceptable or likeable for others. Today, I truly believe that I can stand and deal the challenges that life gives me. Of course, I will cry, crib and worry, there is still a lot of work in progress, but I believe that I can pick myself up.

Sometimes, I wonder if I am pushing myself too much and there is a bigger cost to all this but right now I feel like it is worth the life I am living today. Being a full time working mother who manages both work and household without a typical support system is not something I ever thought I would be able to do. But here I am! Doing it, living it and having it all. I am not bragging here but I am merely astonished at the fact. It has not been a easy journey, with a type 1 diabetic spouse who needs additional help in managing his health and lifestyle that are otherwise a given for most people, a toddler who is as adamant as her parents put together, if not more, and almost zero support system.

10 years back, I wouldn’t have believed that I’d feel like this ever. But today I am proud of who I am and the life that Adit and I have built. So here’s to a better year that helps me progress and gives me the strength to handle life even better.

Until later 🙂

Constant oscillation

A paradox of a title, I know!

Parenting – Constant oscillation between hopeful and hopeless, peace and drastic panic setting in, relaxing and exhausted till your life oozes out of your bones. Up and down and up and down and up and down. Never ending ups and downs. All within a matter of seconds.

Well, amidst all that, it’s a big thing that I even remember that this place exists!

Calling it a day with lots of phew!’s and sighs.

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