IBMC #9 : Breaking the barriers

IBMC #9 : Breaking the barriers

The IBMC #9 Prompt says:

As a baby everything around is new to them. They slowly learn things by keenly observing how each and everything is done. It’s a pleasure to watch a baby learn new things. They learn that they need to cry to get something. They learn that they need to put forward their hands to reach out for something. Many such slow incremental things accumulate in order.

Now the task is if you were to see something with a fresh new perspective, what would be it? Give a baby step to something and explore this new perception and dimension with your engaging thoughts. You can give a fresh meaning to a new word, sentence, concept or anything weird or meaningful.

Some time back, my nephew took a really innovative aptitude test. One of the section had an exercise, you were given one word, and you had to draw the first thing that came in your mind after reading the word. He was given the word : Tension. I would have drawn a haggard face, rubbing his forehead with his thumb and index fingers, depicting the ‘feeling’. Surely, I later found out that google image search agrees with me. Just look at the below picture:

And here’s what my nephew drew (Well not the same, but, pretty much the same):

 

Untitled

Which one is correct, do you say? Obviously both! But I wouldn’t have thought the second solution in a million years, at least not as my first thought! and I started wondering, why would I think about a negative feeling rather than a really simple and common concept in physics. Am I a negative person? No! Am I stressed out? Probably, but I know how to de-stress myself. I remember a time when , I too, like my nephew was full of innovative thoughts. Then what made me into this person, who subconsciously picks up a negative feeling over its much simpler and familiar homonym? And what is it that makes my nephew so full of simple yet amazing ideas?

Kids play, jump, run, fall, get up, shake the dust of their clothes and play again. We adults, after we fall, indulge ourselves in self-pity. Why don’t we think it as an inevitable event, shake the dust off and go about our task again? Have you ever seen two kids fighting? Sometimes their fight escalates to such an extent that adults need to intervene. But for how much time do you think the fight lasts? Not for long. They make up and resume playing with each other. What about us adults? We can hold a grudge for years! Isn’t it despicable? We teach them all the good habits and don’t follow most of the things. We tell kids TV, Laptop, Tabs, Smartphones are addictive and that they should avoid the temptation and do their homework. And when they sit across us doing their homework, we indulge in all these addictive things.

We limit ourselves by building boundaries around our thoughts. We think we have knowledge, but that knowledge should serve as a bridge to connect with new ideas, not as a fence, to limit our imagination.

So, if I can go back in time and change something, I will change the conditioning of my mind. I will try to become more open to different possibilities, let my thoughts lead me to the unknown, instead of me leading them to the (boring) known places.

 

 Incredible Blogger Marathon Challenge #09

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Daddy’s little girl

Daddy’s little girl

Who are you? What’s your Origin Story?

Father-Dad-Daughter-Son-Free-Illustrations-Free-Im-7891

 

I wonder who I am. Actually I still struggle to find out who I truly am, what I want to achieve in life and how am I going to make there. If I would have been a character in some game, or a comic book Super-Person, writing my origin story would have been easy as a breeze. Read more

The birds are learning to fly

The birds are learning to fly

I know I was a little wobbly before
Now I smoothly surf on fierce tide
I have gained a lot of things so far
But there is always some more to find
Don’t worry mom I will be fine my own,
Just promise that you will not cry…
The birds are learning to fly,
And soon they will soar in sky!

The world is bigger than I thought it was,
There are men –both evil and kind
And I want to feel both day and night
All parts of life that god has designed
Don’t worry mom I will be fine my own,
Keep on smiling and say goodbye…
The birds are learning to fly,
And soon they will soar in sky!

 

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The woman of the house

The woman of the house

She sank on the sofa after the day-long training. It was supposed to be fun – the training. The faculty was good and topics were engaging. A lot of brainstorming was done at the end of the session. But ‘The brainy one’- as her colleagues used to call her, was unusually quiet. The reason was simple – her heart was not at it.

She had no reason to be upset about this whole training thing. She had only asked for this. Actually, she had asked for a few quiet days, still as backwaters. She had everything a woman dreams of, a nice home, a jolly life partner, a bright kid (She should not mention him as kid, though! He’s entered his teens now). The only thing she lacked was peace of mind. She was always bursting with tasks at her hands: getting up at 5, making meals, giving ‘the boys’ a wake-up call, setting up breakfast for them, sending them off to their destination, gobbling her own breakfast, getting ready for office and finally leaving house at 8 o clock. At night: Coming home at 8PM, making dinner, serving dinner, cleaning afterwards, and finally taking updates of her son’s studies and activities. Weekends were also full of activities.

In this busy schedule, she never got a chance to sip a mug of coffee in solitude, curling up on the recliner with her favorite book in her hand. She had many hobbies like gardening, painting, and playing squash. But her life didn’t permit her to take timeout for herself. She never complained about it too, well certainly not until now.

Though, now this had changed. She used to think that nobody cares for her or the things she does for them, or cannot do because of time crunch. Agreed, this was her duty, but that didn’t mean she shouldn’t get a reward. She used to get incentives and awards at work for her excellent performance. Well, she was performing at home too, and she didn’t expect any fancy award here. All she expected was a hug, or two words of gratitude showing that they appreciated what she was doing. But she got exactly opposite of the same. The things that were running smooth were never recognized, and whenever there was a glitch, she was the one to blame. She was also astounded by her husband’s tendency of bashing her whenever her son performed badly. But when the same son would win over something, he used to take the credit.

All these things along with the menopausal hormones led her to think that she was not loved anymore. That whatever she would do, they would never appreciate her. This negativity was weighing her down. So she asked, no, prayed for some quiet days, where she would be free of all this drama (according to her, anyways) and worries. She wanted to live that bachelor life again, just for few days. She wanted to taste the freedom of getting up late, sipping bed-tea, eating meals that were not cooked by her and sleep whenever she wanted. She wanted full access to the TV’s remote control, wanting to watch all the sappy movies which normally she missed because of the game of cricket. She wanted to go street-shopping.

And so, when her boss wanted to send her to the One-month long training to Pondicherry, she pounced on the opportunity. This was the break she was dreaming of. She sought after peace and what other place could be better than Pondicherry to find peace? In her mind the countdown had begun, her travel plan was set. She would visit the Auroville on the first weekend there, then Aurobindo Ashram. Next weekend would be reserved for the beaches. Then she would visit all the temples and churches. And on the last weekend she would go on a shopping spree. But she would not exert on weekdays. Just be the coach potato for the weekdays.

And she followed the routine too, for a couple of days. But at nightfall, she used to become restless, checking her cell phone for countless times hoping to receive a call from ‘the boys’. She missed them a lot. But was this feeling mutual? She sometimes doubted it wasn’t. In the next instant she used to brush them away saying that they simply didn’t know how to show love. Every night she was the one to call them. Interestingly, whenever she called them, they were out having fun.

‘Well, like father, like son. They don’t need me anymore.’

She used to think.

This feeling was what triggered her loneliness. She was in a paradise, but she didn’t wish to open her senses and enjoy nature’s abundant beauty. Every day she met with many intelligent and influential people at the training, but her mind couldn’t focus on the interaction. In her mind the countdown had begun, again!

Finally the day of return had come. She was going back to her old life. She was tired suddenly. The training had been very informative, but extensive too. This demanded a lot of energy. Plus, she also spent significant amount of energy thinking about her husband and son and how they were doing. She was exhausted mentally and emotionally.

That night she slept like a log.

***

She was a little surprised when her husband insisted that he come to receive her on the airport, but as she had planned to take a pre-booked cab, she told him not to come.

As she entered the lobby to her apartment, she automatically reached in her handbag to take out the keys, assuming that nobody will be home. But as she inserted the latchkey into the slot, the door flew open and her husband greeted her, an apron tied around his waist and a sheepish smile on his face.

“Hi, uhh… You are early!” He said tentatively.

She just stared at him as he stepped aside to let her in and took her luggage to the bedroom. she threw one quick glance all over the living room. It wasn’t messy; they had tried their best to clean it up. But to her eyes everything seemed out of place. The flower vase was out of sight; in place of it sat her son’s helmet. The sofa was adorned with same cushion covers that she had changed one month back. There was dust on the coffee table. She couldn’t even imagine how the rest of the house will look like.

She looked up only to find her husband staring at her. She shielded the reproachful look on her face and asked, “Why are you wearing an apron?”

“Umm… I thought you will be tired after the journey. So I am cooking dinner.”

Her jaws dropped at the unexpected answer. She was about to say something when her son walked in the room and hugged her. She heart was warmed with their gestures. The last time they hugged was his 11th birthday, or was it 10th?

“Hey mom, when did you come?” he said.

“Just now. “She said her voice heavy with joy.

She knew he wanted to say many things but just like his father, he didn’t know how to express things. For a quiet moment they all looked at each other.

“I am happy to see you guys.” She finally decided to break the awkward moment.

“Me too” they said in unison as she laughed at how similar her son had turned out to his father.

“Well it seems you guys have lot of activities lined up for me” she said suggestively as she glanced over the room.

“You know well how hard it can be to cope up with all this with an angry teenager at your side.” Her husband muttered under his breath.

“Dad! You better check what has happened to whatever you were cooking, because I smell carbon.”

Her husband hurried to the kitchen.

She was amused. She couldn’t remember when the last time they had such light-hearted conversation was.

“I think I should go help him” she told her son, who simply nodded.

“Hey mom!” he called out as she rose and took a few steps towards the kitchen. She stopped and turned.

“I just… I just wanted to tell you that I missed you a lot.” He said awkwardly and was quiet for a moment. “And … dad is a terrible cook. We had to eat out every day.” He said with a sheepish smile which reminded her of his father. “And yes, that was not the reason I missed you.” He finished and stared at her, his eyes full with love she hadn’t seen in months.

“I know, I know!” she said, her voice thick with emotions.

She continued walking towards the kitchen to her loving husband who was at present attempting to cook for her. She knew he wouldn’t make it without getting third degree burns, so I was wise to intercept at this stage only.

She smiled broadly as she saw him desperately trying to salvage whatever was there in the saucepan. She was home now, and she was suddenly at peace.

FBB

 

 

she serves the dinner and does the laundry,

She is the liveliness of house, she is the beauty.

without her the house is nothing but a mess,

She is wife, mother, and a perfect hostess.

Do you know who is she? I know without doubts!

She is the one and only: The woman of the house.

 

 

 

Completely shaken and utterly stirred

Completely shaken and utterly stirred

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Shaken and Stirred.”

This incident dates back to 1996 when I was in sixth grade. Me, my brother and my little cousin sis were alone at home, when my parents were out for a day. We decided that we will cook meal all by ourselves. Now, my brother is a foodie and likes to experiment since the beginning itself. So we (read HE) decided that we will make ‘Batata wada’ (Fried potato dumplings) which can be eaten as a snack, and also some chapattis (Indian flatbreads). I know this isn’t exactly an elaborate meal (at least not by the standard of the meals I cook today). But for a 10 year old, making chapattis was a ‘Task’.

So we gathered all the material, made the Batata wadas (Which turned out quite good in taste, if not good-looking) and there ends my brother’s involvement. After that, I and my sis (Aged 7 years that time) were supposed to make chapattis. I kneaded the dough and then started rolling the chapatti. I expected the chapattis to take the shape of our loving mother earth. But fate had different plans; it transformed them into the maps of different countries. And the best part was when my sis baked them on tava (griddle). We had no idea how much we should bake them and the result was stiff and rubbery chapattis which required lot of chewing before swallowing. I feel all three of us were quite strong to finish them of (and digest, of course!!)

Today also, when we recollect those chapattis, we couldn’t help but laugh our guts out!

I have made a lot of progress in kitchen today and can cook various elaborate dishes from Pulao to pasta, but when I read today’s prompt, somehow I could think of this fond memory from my childhood.

PS: Making a chapatti is an art, which takes lot of efforts and skill at each stage (Kneading, rolling, baking). Not everyone masters it. But when you make a perfectly baked soft chapatti, you will feel like you are king (Queen, in my case) of the world!

Aside

Made in heaven

“What do you think about inter-cast marriage?” a friend asked me on chat.

“I don’t have any problem with Inter-cast, inter-religion or inter-racial marriage as long as it’s not a loveless marriage.” Was my instant reply.

“But how can we judge that before taking decision? Especially in arrange marriages! I’m so confused!” came her reply after few moments delay.

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I knew the reason of her confusion. I myself went through an arranged marriage and I was telling her that I didn’t support loveless marriage. It was natural for her to worry over how I found out that I loved my husband before getting married.

She’s not the only one who is in this dilemma. ‘Conservative’ is the word to describe Indian culture. My grandmother saw my grandfather after their marriage. My mother might have seen my father one or two times before marriage. But then they didn’t have much choice to reject the ‘Boy’ anyways. Today we have it. Our culture has evolved a bit and even if it is an arranged marriage, the decision lies with girl or boy (Mostly. In rural India it’s a different thing). Today if a girl doesn’t like a boy, she can choose not to marry him and vice versa.

But my friend’s problem was not this. It was: how could she decide that she wanted to marry the person in typically one or two meetings? And she expected an answer from me because I had done that and I am totally happy with my decision. Well, her question was simple, but the answer to that is complex and highly subjective. I couldn’t tell her how I choose my husband, because frankly I myself didn’t know exactly what made me take the decision. Things just clicked and I had this intuition that we will be happy together.

Now, some may say it was love at first sight. Yeah! I don’t believe in love at first sight. Actually, I don’t like to label love as one single feeling. Rather, love is a combination of different feelings such as affection, companionship, trust, attraction, responsibility and many more. And these feelings won’t develop in one or two meetings. Okay, maybe you can get attracted to someone because of their looks. But again, your decision shouldn’t be based solely on these superficial things. Look for someone whom you can relate to, someone whom you can trust. And believe me; you can judge these things in a few meetings. One of my friends who work in HR department of a multinational company once told me how they select prospective candidates for job openings. “The technical knowledge is being judged by some geeks”, she told me. “We judge if the person’s overall body language. Words might be misleading, but body never lies.” This applies when you are meeting your prospective bride/groom also.

I remember a scene from a famous Indian movie ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’, where a girl asks the same advice to Munna, about how she can make sure the person she’s about to marry is the right one. He tells her to check how he behaves with the people below his stature. She observes her date and makes a decision. Superb scene. I totally agree.

How a person might behave with you can be judged by how he behaves with his own family, too. You cannot expect respect from one who has little respect for his own family. You should also observe the relationship between the family members. A marriage is not just a union of two people, but two families too. If they themselves don’t get along, how will they get along with your family?

And the most important point is, don’t wait for that ‘Perfect match’. It’s a myth. Nobody’s perfect and if you think otherwise, be ready to remain single all your life. People are nice as an individual, but here we are talking about marriage, where essentially two genders are involved. And they are from different planets. So it is not just important to marry the right person, but creating the right relation with your life partner is equally important. Everybody has arguments, fights. But how they affect your relation is of prime importance. For some, the arguments leave bitterness behind. For others, it may show them areas of improvement. After all, we don’t choose our parents and siblings; still we love them in spite of all the arguments. If you are at fault, don’t hesitate to say sorry. If it’s your spouse who botched it up, be forgiving. If you are going through rough patches, have faith in one another. Only this can build your relation.

Do marriages are made in heaven? Not at all. They are made on earth. It is easy to find a person, but the tough task is building a healthy relationship. Focus on it, rather than other meager issues, and you will get your happily ever after.

Letter to my sweet son

Letter to my sweet son

Dear little one,

Happy children’s Day!

Oh! I forgot that you are yet to know the significance of this day. But then you might not read this till you go to school and learn to read. And still you will not get most of the things I am going to write here. But I will write this anyways. Because I want you to know how much I love you and care for you.

I know you will feel it’s a lie when I will wake you up with a jerk, because you are running late for school. You will hate me when I don’t allow you to go down to play, because your homework is not complete. You will think I don’t like you anymore when I will admonish you for the window pane you broke while playing cricket. But at times like this, please remember, if I don’t do this, you will not be disciplined.

You might request me or your dad for many things; some of which we will provide, some we will decline. Keep in mind that those things that we declined are either things we cannot afford, or they are not good for you. And even if you think otherwise, it is not your fault. You might not know what is good for you and what is not. But whatever you feel, please speak out loud. We don’t want to repress your wishes. And to be honest we also don’t want to fulfill all of them, just the wise ones. If you get everything so easily, you will not understand the importance of hard work.

baby

Right now you smile whenever you see me, no matter who is holding you. That smile gives me energy to fight hundreds of battles. I hope you will smile at me when you are chatting with your college friends and I pass by. It will be good to know that you don’t shy away in front of your friends to accept me as a part of your life and that I am successful in imbibing the importance of people in your life.

Whatever happens to you in life, never give up. You are precious to us and we will never give up on you. Please don’t hesitate to discuss anything that bothers you with us. We will always be there for you. Just have faith in us. We want to create trust between us, not generation gap.

You will come across many situations where you will feel it is easier to go with the flow, even if it is wrong direction. But even if it is easier to take the easy way, don’t do anything you will not be proud of in your later life. Remember, there are many unfortunate children who are devoid of basic necessities of life, and still never leave the right path.

Dear child, I have gone through most of the situations which you will face in your life. I too felt my parents worry a little too much whenever I returned home late. I too thought they are being impossible when they denied me the permission to go on a trip when I was suffering from cold. I too felt they are being extra sensitive when I told them about my relocation to another city for training. It is when you entered my life, and then I understood their concern about my safety, my well-being. If at some point I refrain you from going anywhere or am simply uncomfortable about the idea of you going anywhere, please understand that I don’t want to tie you down. I just want you to be safe. I cannot bear the thought of being away from you just now, and it is highly unlikely to change it in future too. So when you will think I am being obstacle in your progress, I am simply being a typical possessive mother. Kindly adjust with that.

If and when you will bring home the person you have chosen as your life partner, don’t feel bad if I appear to be displeased. I might actually like the girl. It is the realization that now I have to share your affection saddens me.

Seeing you smiling, gurgling, babbling, sleeping… everything is just pure delight. The joy you give me cannot match with anything in the world. I will always love you and care for you. I might not be the best mother in the world, but I will be the best for you. Just promise me this one thing: Give whatever I will give you to your child, just double in quantity.

Someone once told me that babies choose their parents when they come to this world. If it is true, I just want to say ‘Thank you’ for choosing me. I will try not to let you down and be a good parent. I promise!!

Love,

Your mother.