I think, therefore I write

Tag: 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.

The life of a working mom

Don’t you feel bad for leaving your kid with someone other than family?

Do you miss her when you are away?

But you don’t have a constant eye on her!

She got sick because you let her play outside so that you could get some work done.

It is only a job for the caretaker, but it is your kid. You should have been more careful.

You could easily take a break, this is when she needs you the most!

How can you leave your kid with your parents to go on a business trip? OMG!

Are you sure she’s okay being away from you?

The many many questions I face, every working mother faces, from others and from their own minds. Sometimes my chest constricts and I can’t take a breath from all the pressure. While motherhood is blissful, it is also extremely restraining. Being tied to someone all the time and knowing what they ate last, what they are trying to tell you, what color their poop was, whether they filled enough diapers, whether it is time for potty training, if they are sick because they played in the sand or because they caught it from one of the other kids they played with, who they play with, whether the babysitter followed all your instructions, if they ate too little or too much… Yes, if reading this is exhausting, one can imagine how exhausting it would be for the ones living it.

I am not judging anyone for their opinions but I would personally like a breather from all the questions (including the ones of my own making, running amok in my mind). A working mother has enough on her plate. If possible, help her get going. Else, please reserve your opinions – that’s the least you could do.

The answer to my questions

Every time you smile, I realize how blessed I am.

Every time I hug you, I realize how gifted I am.

Every time I inhale your baby smell, I realize how happy I am.

Every time I crib about being tired, I realize there are a lot of people who would give anything to be this tired for this reason.

Every time you rub your face against mine, I realize heaven is not impossible.

I asked myself a hundred times, why do I want to have a baby? I never knew the answer before but now I do.

You are the answer to my questions. I might have a million of them but you answer them in a million ways. Ways that I could never comprehend until you show me. Ways that would seem highly impossible until you show me.

I have always considered providing and taking care of a family to be the biggest challenge and yet, the biggest achievement of my life. And I had thought I had done it even before you came along to show me that there’s more. You showed me I can do more when I thought I couldn’t. Just like your dad. You both push me to greater heights when I myself have given up and settled. And I don’t often remember how blessed I am to have that. To have help to realize your purpose in life. But when I do remember, it overwhelms me so much that I am at a loss of words. So here’s a thank you. Thank you for everything.

I hope that someday you read this and realize how much I love you and how grateful I am to have you.

Until later 🙂

Motherhood

So fulfilling, yet so brutal. So precious, yet so frustrating.
So awesome, yet so tiring. So proud, yet wanting to run away.

The journey is amazingly detailed with attempts at prying open tired, sleep-deprived eyes to take care of someone other than your own self. Zombie-walking through the day and praying that she should sleep through the night at least once in a while so that I don’t drop from lack of sleep.

The only way out is to put one step ahead of another, to conquer yet another day with minimal disasters, to enjoy small victories like an easy burp and a proper poop from the little one, and to just keep going.

Everyday I keep reminding myself of this wonderful line from Stopping by woods on a snowy evening by Robert Frost:

I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

Until later 🙂

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