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FROM THE PEN OF AN AMATEUR WRITER.

Pretence or love??

 

She looked at him all amazed.

He was the heart and soul of the party.

Jovially surrounded by his friends.

She sat there looking at him. Her two kids played with each other, while she tried to hide her tears. Her eyes still fixated on her him.

What went wrong? She contemplated.

When the whole world finds a friend in him, then why can’t she?

Is the world wrong or is she??

Why can’t she love him like before? Or the day she met him for the first time?

The first time when their eyes met. Was it love at first site or did she just just assume so?? Where did she go wrong in judging him?

There love story was one which their friends could swear by. Something that could aspire generations ahead. Then what went wrong?

Why was she sitting aloof, away from the sacred crowd hiding her tears??

Abhi was the man of her dreams. Sheetal never imagined that she could ever find a life partner like him. They were head over heels in love from the very moment they saw each other.

They got hitched pretty soon.. rather too soon.. may be, they should have given more time in knowing and understanding each other rather then jumping in for marriage.

Only hell knows how eager she was in getting married. And so it happened.

Love. Love. Love. Love in the air. So much love that she couldn’t hold with two hands. She felt blessed. Lucky.

But then, one day, they had an argument. Abhi lost control and hit her for the first time.

She cried, he too cried. They kissed and made up. She thought of it as an one time thing and forgave him.

Love wins.

A few years later, the same thing was repeated. Abhi lost control, couldn’t manage his anger and Sheetal had to bear the consequences.

She forgave once again for the sake of love.

Time passed. She gave birth to two beautiful twins. Forgot what happened in the past to decorate her future.

But, yet again. The same thing happened. But this time, she couldn’t forgive. She just couldn’t. Every time she saw Abhi, she shivered. Every time he came near, she felt suffocated. Communication collapsed to zero. She hardly talked. He tried to speak. At times she spoke, but soon succumbed to the ongoing pain in her heart.

She wanted to leave him and go. End the so called fabulous- too good to be true love story. She had a flourishing career. Financially secured. She could have easily filed for a divorce. But her twins loved their dad like crazy, unaware of their ongoing Cold War.

Sheetal herself was from a broken family. She knew the pain, she could feel it till date. She didn’t want her kids to feel the same. She wanted them to have a daddy.

So, she sat their wiping her tears, hiding her tears, watching her husband enjoying the party.

His friends saw the fun Abhi in her husband, while she saw the punches, the thrashing, the beating, the abuses.

How could the world not see the dark side of Abhi? When she could feel it gruelling her every second. Was she wrong? Or the world was too blind to see? Or was Abhi’s pretence camouflaging the real Abhi?

She didn’t know whether she loved him anymore. But, she wanted a father for her twins. Cause, Abhi was a wonderful father. And she didn’t have the heart to take that away from them.

P.S. This is a fiction or may be a reality in many households. Women adjust a lot for the better future of their kids.

 

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The fast and furious #MyFriendAlexa

I love to drive. I simply love it. Driving to me is like an expression of freedom. It saves me from the hassles of searching for an Ola or Uber, waiting for them to arrive, often wondering about, what if the driver misbehaves, etc. But this blog is not about Ola or Uber. It’s about our mismanaged traffic.

My present city of residence is Kolkata. No matter how much I hate the gruelling traffic of Kolkata, it will forever remain my favourite city. But, driving through the city roads often makes me think, that most of us are untamed, unruly, when it comes to obeying and respecting traffic rules, and my list also includes the guardians of traffic aka Police.

  • We don’t like to follow the basic traffic rules.
  • We don’t like to wait, or give way to others.
  • We don’t drive, we race.
  • We love to overtake. Actually, we can’t bear the fact that someone can drive in front of us.
  • We don’t understand something as simple as driving in a lane, or following a lane.
  • We love to squeeze into any available space. We wish we as well as our vehicles, were more like Elastic Girl from the movie, “The Incredibles”
  • While driving a two or a four wheeler, we feel like fighter pilots.
  • We love to bribe the honourable police officers whenever we commit a felony.
  • Jumping signals, replenishes our adrenaline.
  • And honking would be our favourite pastime
  • And so on. The list is endless.

Anyone who has driven on the roads of Kolkata, would understand the dilemma of driving through our beloved city’s road. But, the same set of people, when they visit any developed foreign country, they are awestruck in admiration of the strict traffic rules, and how diligently the people follow them, or how courteous the drivers are, to allow the pedestrian to pass by, or how they avoid unnecessary honking.

Luckily I too had a chance to witness the organised traffic in few developed countries.

In Switzerland, I totally forgot that the vehicles had horns, Paris though very crowded, but nobody dared to break the traffic rules. In Dubai, I noticed that the drivers would slow down to allow the pedestrians to cross the roads and so on. Traffic etiquettes, I would say. Strict laws, strict and un-corrupt officers and most importantly, strict implementation of the traffic rules, along with strict penalty.

But once, I’m back in India, especially in Kolkata, all I hear is the buses honking, the autos racing, the bikes whizzing past at jet speed, all I read is about road accidents due to rash driving. If you notice, we have a traffic personnel at every crossing, almost at every signal. But, still, we are unruly. We don’t want to wait. We don’t want to learn to drive in lanes, even at places where there are well defined lanes and bus-ways.

You want to turn left, your left indicator is blinking, you are about to make a turn, when your car suddenly jolts as you suddenly brake. Why were you forced to brake? Cause some idiot wanted to pass before you. He was in so much hurry that he failed to notice your blinking indicator. You would feel lucky if that idiot chose to warn you by a honk. Otherwise, just count your blessings. And such idiots are not uncommon. You will find them waiting at every signal.

Red means stop. Even my four year old knows that. But cycles, rickshaw and police cars do not consider themselves as the part of the traffic. They can cross even when the light goes red. God must have made them accident proof.

Zebra crossing is hardly used. Bus stops everywhere. All you need to do is signal the bus. The designated bus stands have become the shelter for the dogs and homeless. Autos ply recklessly throughout the city, they defy almost all traffic rules, but still continue as one of the most important means of commute.

Kolkata can become an accident free city by following the traffic rules, be it the one driving or the pedestrian.

Yes, we are huge in number. We are one of the most populated nations, but that doesn’t gives us the green signal, to break traffic rules, or become unruly.

Waiting for a accident free country, due to rash driving.

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The Tiffin Box… #MyFriendAlexa

 

The morning sunshine has been invaded by the rain. It was the perfect day to plant an excuse and prolong her stay in bed. But she woke up to her favourite smell in the kitchen. She knew what was cooking. She hurriedly got ready for school. Ate her sandwich, finished the tall glass of milk without any fuss.

The rain did not deter her spirits, from going to school. Rather today she was all excited about going to school. She could hear the raindrops thrumming on her blue raincoat, but she hardly cared. She hopped, skipped and jumped over the puddles to make her way to the deserted bus stand.

From a distance, she could see her school bus piercing through the torrential rains. Sadly, the bus appeared a bit desolate. Two of her friends had chosen to stay at home. Many others were missing too. Her face looked forlorn as she gazed through the window. But every cloud has a silver lining, and her was, in her school bag.

As the bus jostled its way through the unwanted rains, she could see the troubled passer-by. Soon they reached school to be halted by the fleet of buses.

 

Someone shouted, “Rainy day, Holiday!!!”

 

She was all ears.

 

Yes…It was…A holiday… Rainy day…Holiday. She heard it right.

 

HappyElated….She hugged her bag…………

While the whole bus was rejoicing the moments of a perfect holiday, she opened her tiffin. It was piping hot…intoxicating…mouth­-watering….Irresistible..Delectable..

So leaving everything behind, she plunged into the luscious noodles. They have never tasted like this before.

That was the best noodles she ever had in her life. The most memorable noodle of her life.

That was one day that will remain etched in her heart forever. She waited for more such days. But memorable things happens once in a blue moon.

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The story behind the blue door….

She ran and ran, till she could run no more. Tired and drenched in her own sweat, she found a place where she could rest. She leaned on the blue door, to catch her breath.

She wanted to knock on the doors, just to check. Who could be the owner of this pleasant place? Suddenly, the doors opened, like that in the fairy tales. She stepped inside, to see her initials scribbled on the name plate.

“No, no, it can’t be.. Does this house really belongs to me??”

“Yes.. it’s the house you were looking for. So you ended up landing at it’s door.” Said a familiar voice.

“But, never in my life, I had the privilege of owning anything. Everything I ever owned was either gifted or bestowed. The house I was born in, belonged to my parents. A pampered child I was, I must tell. My wish was their command. Only sister of three brothers, they tore the city down to find me a perfect match. Soon I saw myself getting married off to a wealthy man. His house was bigger than ours though his cars had the same number of wheels as ours.

Soon, I found love in the wealthy man. And he loved me back. His family became my family. We celebrated our joys together, we shared our sorrows together. Soon I delivered the the most beautiful creature in this world. Flying in the seventh heaven, I rarely looked down to see the earth beneath. Never for a moment I thought I was not happy.

But then, one day, we had a fight, a huge fight. We have faught before, well, it’s not uncommon for any married couple. But, that day, our voices lost their control, and all I could hear in the storm, was, get out of my house.’

‘My house, I wondered. Wasn’t it supposed to be our house? Aren’t we in this relationship together? So how come, it’s your house? If it’s not mine, then I chose to leave. Carrying my little one, I packed my bags. I reached home, my home, the home where I was born. They greeted me well, they treated me well, but at the same time, they kept asking me, when would I go back to my home?

But, how could I tell them, that, that was not my home, it was his home, where I stayed as his wife. It was his home, that I cherished and cared. It was his home, that I cared for as mine.”

“But, that’s your home my child. You disowned this house, the day you got married.” Was my father’s stoic reply.

“Confused about my house, I cried, I wept. I knew I had lost my self respect. But sitting beside me, was my angel. She could understand every word that remained unsaid.”

“Come back home, my dear.” Begged my better half. With a happy and a heavy heart I left the place where I was born.

The search for my own house, never came to an end. Time and again, my existence was being questioned. I covet for a house, that I can call as mine, where I can live without the fear of being chased out.

Now you say, that beyond this blue door, is the house which has my name. But, I’m too scared to enter, to see it’s splendour.”

When all of a sudden….

“Mumma, wake up. The lawyer must be waiting. Don’t you remember, we are going to sign the deeds of your house.”

“My house?”

“Mumma, now hurry up. We are getting late.”

“My daughter has bought me a house with my name. After all these years, I finally have pride over my head. She made a promise, which she has kept.

“Mumma, I will find your house one day.” My angel had said.

“Can I paint the door blue?” I asked.

“Mumma, it’s your house. Paint it, in the color you want. But make sure, the blues of your life remained locked outside the blue door.”

The cushioned basket… #MyFriendAlexa

She drove the van rickshaw through the dusty road of her village. The remnants of the tar could be seen peeking at few places making her journey utterly gruesome. But, the past few months have seasoned her backbone to challenge the adversities of life.

The road to the town shared similarities with her life, distant yet friendly, unpleasant yet dulcet, unwanted yet desired.

She was hardly eighteen when her drunk father found an alliance for her and married her off, without her consent. Two months later she realised that she was pregnant and exactly 8months later, she was abandoned for birthing a girl child. Her birth parents, shrugged her off. Clueless about raising a child, she struggled from door to door.

Adversity did make her emotionally strong… but physically, she and her angel, couldn’t stomach the ravenous hunger. She would have died that day, if not salvaged by the old lady. She gave her food and water. The little one was too dehydrated to even shed a tear. It took time for their parched lips to heal.

Initially, Sarita was too weak to even breastfeed. But the adamant infant would adjust to none. She hung on to her mother as long as she could. Finally, the mother was strong enough to sustain her kid.
“Amrit hai Amrit.” The old lady would claim. “Never deny her of what the almighty has prescribed.”

The old lady owned a small farm which yielded vegetables in abundance. But, paucity of help, made them rot. Sarita offered to sell the vegetables for her. But the nearest town was miles away. And her only child was just a few months old. Burdened with endowments from the old lady, she couldn’t settle for a no. She, with her mere knowledge, researched till she found an answer.

A van rickshaw was all she needed to take her to town. Soon, one was found. The old lady, joined her for a month in her new venture. Soon, she was ready for her solo ride. The baskets of veggies, were loaded every morning along with a basket cushioned for her little angel. She carefully drove through the tattered road. In between her destination, she rested. While her little one, laid well nested on her bosom.

Initially Sarita would search for some seclusion to nurse her angel. But soon, she got used to the passers by’s useless convictions. Few stared at her with scornful eyes, few tried to demean her with lust in their eyes, while a few appreciated the love for her child.

She nursed her angel whenever she cried, wherever she cried. She fed her while weighing the scale, she fed her while the customers tried to bargain, she fed her while driving down the dusty lane, she fed her while her angel cuddled under the cotton wrinkles.

“Amrit hai Amrit” her new mother had said. She couldn’t choose to defy the two souls that were tightly knitted to her own.

Once in a while they went to the city, lured by the hustle and bustle of its prosperous melody. They would laugh as they sipped the tea, while the little one carefully suckled under her “Anchal.” The ladies, in the city would often envy, the courage of this village lady, who nursed her child gently. They wondered how an uneducated rustic, could nurse her child without any apprehensions, while they chose to allow their child to wail, in search of seclusion.

Life is tough, but Sarita was tougher. At the end of the day, with hopeful eyes, she returned to her home while her child slept peacefully in the cushioned basket.

#MyFriendAlexa

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The gold bracelet!!! #MyFriendAlexa

She was waiting for him. Finally she saw him creeping sheepishly through the dingy dark alley. She kept following him, and he kept prowling through the alley, unaware of the eyes behind him.

Something rustled. He turned to see. She hid behind the enormous garbage bin. Oh! It was just an alley cat. He hushed it by throwing a pebble. It shriek broke the eerie silence. The cat jumped past her. She stumbled to balance. She sat there, motionless, yet watchfull.

He opened his bag. Unloaded it. Out came the purses, the bags, and all his steal. Then something tingled. She peeked hard to get a view. The dim street light made it glitter.

Oh! It was her gold bracelet. The one that her dad gifted her on her 13th birthday. It was her favourite. She had never let it go. But today, it was in the hands of this demon. She felt like pouncing on him to retrieve her priceless possession. But, she felt powerless, she felt intimidated.

The man emptied all the cash into his dirty pocket. Then he took out a knife. She could see the blood stains on the knife. She felt a sharp pain in her throat. But she continued looking at the ghastly demon residing inside that man.

He dropped the blood stained knife inside the bin. It made a thumping sound which made her uncomfortable. He left the spot. She followed him down the lane.

She kept following him, without any plan of action. How was she supposed to confront him? She lacked the strength to fight with him. But she kept following him. After a while, her fear started subsiding. She somehow felt an insurgence of strength. Was she ready to take him down? What would be the repercussions of her actions? This was all a new experience for her. She has been doing it only for a few hours now. What if her plan backfires?
He kept walking. She kept following him. He stopped by a cigarette shop. Lit a cigarette. She saw his face for the first time in the bright light of the shop. She saw remorse. There was something the man was not able to come in terms with, and his face reflected that exact feeling. He sat down, looking at his hands. He rushed out of the shop and vanished into the street.

She kept following him from a distance. She could hear him sob.
“I shouldn’t have done it. I’m not evil. Why did I do it?”

He kept mumbling as he moved forward.

“Ramesh, you did it for your daughter. Now she will be saved.” He kept talking to himself.

“But, at what cost? I’m evil. I have no right to live.”

The mumbling continued as she kept following him.

“But, you did it to save your little girl.”

“No. No. No amount of convincing can help me overcome my guilt.”

“Why is there a crowd outside my house?”

She could hear his palpitations rise, as they pierced through the crowd. He could see horror in everyone’s face, and she could see it too.

“Meera is no more.” A lady cried, as he entered the shanty.

He staggered.

“She paid the price for my misdeed.” He started howling.

“I was going to give her, her lunch, when she collapsed in my arms. Her heart couldn’t take it anymore. It was too weak to even breathe.”

“Lunch?” He thought. “That was the time when I murdered the lady for her gold bracelet. I didn’t mean too, but she wouldn’t let her bracelet go. And I needed all the money I could, to save my Meera’s failing heart.”

“I killed her. I killed her. She paid for my misdeed.” He shouted as he started hitting his head on the wall.
She plunged forward to help him. But she passed through him. She saw a little girl sitting near her father.

“My father was wrong. I know. But all he wanted was to save me.” The little girl said.
“Meera, don’t worry. I have forgiven him. Wish he had told me his problem, then I would have helped him in a better way. But, what is done cannot be undone.”

He clutched the bracelet in his hands. If only, he had not killed her, may be Meera, would have been alive…..

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#monalisadey03writes

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Bhai phota(Bhai dooj)

It was almost noon. And it was drizzling. On any other day, Binodini would have run to her home to escape from the nonstop drizzle. But today, she was standing under the shelter of a roadside tree, draped in an embroidered yellow saree. A small bag lay beside her, almost wet. One could see the eagerness through her weary eyes. She was waiting for the bus all alone by the highway. She wondered how long her wait would be, as the buses, never maintained a scheduled time in most of the villages. But, she kept waiting there, without an umbrella. Fortunately, the drizzle subsided after sometime.

Her face brightened at the site of the overcrowded bus. Somehow, she managed to squeeze into the little space provided by the standing co-passengers. It was almost an hour’s ride on the bumpy road before she could reach her destination. She knew that someone will be waiting for her at the end of her destination.

Chandan, was waiting on his bicycle, for his ‘Didi’. He eagerly looked at every passing vehicle. And finally, his wait was answered. As he saw his beloved ‘didi’ getting down the bus. He ran towards her, and touched her feet. He snatched her bag from her, and rushed towards his bicycle. He put the bag on the carrier and gestured Binodini to sit with him. To which, Binodini pulled his ears.

There was a burst of laughter, as they walked through the village roads. Today was “Bhai Phota”(Bhai dooj) The day when the sister gives a sandalwood “Phota ” on the forehead of her brother, as a symbol of the eternal bond that a brother and a sister shares.

Binodini, eagerly waits for this day every year. Prior to her marriage, she would wake up early morning, cook all her brother’s favourite delicacies, pray to god before applying the “Phota”. And eat only after her brother has eaten. But, after her marriage, things have changed, and so has her priorities. Now, she wakes up even before the crimson rays makes its way through the dawn. While her family enjoys their deep slumber, she hurries to the kitchen to start preparing for the special day. Her husband has two sisters who wait with all eagerness for Binodini to finish cooking their brothers favourite dishes.

Once Binodini had finished doing the necessary arrangements, the sisters happily start with the rituals of this auspicious occasion. Binodini stands their watching her sister-in-law’s putting ‘Phota’ on her husband’s forehead. Her heart smiles, thinking she will do the same. But her empty stomach churns to remind her that she had to rush. With a smile on her face, she tackles all her responsibilities with ease. Her in laws were very strict about the uninvited visits of her family member, and over the years, she had learnt to oblige to their hypocritical demands. But this was nothing new to her. It was something she has witnessed her mother doing and it was something that she was taught as a child. Her formal education was mostly about the do’s and don’ts at her in laws place.

Her 9year old brother rushed to take his seat on the mat placed on the floor. Her mother had made all the arrangements for her. She sat down and completed the rituals. His ‘phonta’ was shining bright on his forehead, as Binodini offered him his favourite ‘Luchi’ (Poori). But, he pushed her hands and said,

“Maa forced me to eat. Told me that you will be late. She was even uncertain about your visit. But, I knew for sure that what may come, you will be here today. And I also know, that you have not eaten a morsel since yesterday. You eat first, while I go and check your bag for my gift.”

Binodini had tears in her eyes, as her brother jokingly stuffed the ‘Luchi’ in her mouth. It was tears of happiness, that somebody cares. She hungrily savoured the delicacies cooked by her mother. Her little brother was overjoyed by the simple gift she has got from him.

Later she dozed off in her mother’s lap with a contended smile. She was happy that she could make it, for the occasion, even if she was very late. She was happy that her husband allowed her to visit her mother’s house every year. There was not a speck of remorse on her face. May be cause, she knew that this is how life will always be for her or may be cause, she knew that this is how a life of a woman has always been or supposed to be. Or may be cause, she had never experienced what being independent feels like.

P.S. This is the life of millions of women in India. And somehow or the other, they have found contentment in their lives. We may shout about equality, about our rights, but there’s a section, who are still drowning in the sea of unawareness.

The things I learnt while weaning my baby…

Like any other mum, I had my own set of anxieties related to weaning. I had an idea that once my baby turns six months old, he will happily accept solids/semi solids and I would be relieved of the breastfeeding duties immediately. Not that I didn’t want to continue breastfeeding him, but the countless sleepless nights, have somehow raised my expectations.I had high hopes that from six months one day, I will get a full night’s sleep. But, once I started with the weaning process, I realised that there was more to it, than I had visualized. And within a week, I knew that sleep was not scheduled in my calendar for may be another year (which BTW turned into 1.5years).

I had procured a list of do’s and don’ts from the paediatrician, my mum, MIL, friends etc. But that list just added to my worries. There was a wide array of suggestions, including the quantity, the menu, the meal schedule. Few even suggested me to stop breastfeeding, so that my son gets accustomed to solids. But, my son was so much in love with breastfeeding, that he wouldn’t leave it for the world. And to tell you the truth, no matter how exhausted I was, I was happy that I continued breastfeeding.

It took me some time to realise a few things. And at times I wish, I had known it beforehand. It would have made weaning a much more pleasurable experience for us. Fortunately, I learnt it at an early stage. Hope the first-time mums finds some solace after going through these points.

1. Always remember that your baby is just 6 months old, only 180 days. All he has done for the past six months is breastfeed whenever he was hungry. And you can’t take that away from him in a day’s or a weeks’ time. He needs more time to adjust to the fact that other source of food exists. So bid adieu to your dreams about a full night’s sleep.

2. The first six months of weaning is basically meant for introduction of different food, different textures and colours to his palate. Breast milk still should be the major source of nutrition for the baby.

3. Breastfeeding is not only about filling up his little tummy, it’s also about filling up his big heart. It’s his special time with mommy. Nothing can be compared to this special bonding over breastfeeding.

4. Don’t expect the little one to master the art of eating in a day’s time. Every baby can take different time to get used to this new taste. Mine one took almost four months.

5. What to give? Start with something very light like dal ka paani, or blended/puréed rice, boiled puréed apple. Keep on introducing new fruits and veggies after few days, keeping a note about the allergies. Few kids may be allergic towards certain food items, so stop that immediately. Different states of India has different food culture, so feed your baby accordingly. But make sure the consistency is more towards the liquid. Remember that your baby is used to breast milk, he cannot gulp down food that is of thick consistency. And mark my words, no one has to guide you as to, when to increase the consistency or to move onto something coarser or solids, you will know it, all by your instinct. Your baby will help you out with it.

6. How much is too much? This is one question that has baffled almost every mum. When I started with weaning, it was just a few spoons, mostly rejected. But, I kept on offering. I won’t lie, once he accepted the taste, there were times, when he kept on eating and I thought ‘wow’ he must be loving the food, when finally, he ended up puking everything he ate. Babies can hardly tell when they are full. And it took me quite some time to realise that he puked cause, I had overfed him. So, once I understood this, I reduced the quantity I was offering him. Let the baby decide the quantity he wants to eat. Kindly don’t go by the websites as to how many ounces of food or milk your baby should be consuming daily. They are not only misleading but also adds to your tension about your baby not eating enough. Initially, I too fell into these misleading trap, and was worried sick, but later checked myself. All kids are different and so is their appetite.

7. The size of their stomach is the size of their fist. Though the stomach can expand, but it’s advisable not to expect it to expand as per our wish. Let the baby be the judge.

8. Yes, like any mommy, I too had my set of doubts. I too thought that what if my baby is not eating well and he is sleeping empty stomach. But, no baby will sleep in empty stomach. And, there’s no point in overfeeding them, just to clear your doubts.

9. Overfeeding and force-feeding, are equally bad and should be avoided under any circumstances. You certainly don’t want an unhappy baby who leaves a huge mess to clean, because overfeeding makes the baby vomit.

10. Some may suggest, to offer your baby a heavy dinner, so that he can sleep through the night and allow you the same. I don’t want to dishearten you, but it doesn’t work for all babies. A heavy dinner cannot guarantee a full night sleep. Rather it may cause colic pain due to indigestion. Your baby will sleep through the night only when he wishes to, so till then all you can do is adjust your life accordingly.

11. God forbidden, if your baby is sick, stick to breastfeeding. This is what I used to do, and it really helped me and my baby. Nothing works like breast milk.

Mommies please feel free to add your experiences on weaning. Every mum’s experience can be a huge learning for another mum. I have learnt a lot from the experiences my friends shared with me. Happy reading!!

The mother of a special child!!

Parth was crying inconsolably. There was a birthday party next door and he was not invited. Preeti, his mother tried hiding her tears from her only son, trying to console him. But, Parth kept on crying. At one point of time it became too tough to hold Parth in his room. But, the couple was quiet accustomed to dealing with such situation.

Preeti and her husband, had shifted to their own flat in one of the very posh localities, a couple of months ago with hopes of making good friends. But, it’s been almost 5 month, and their neighbours hardly ever talked with them. But, they have definitely become the topic of discussion for them, that too, in a hush hush tone. Parth would often wander in the huge glass corridor only to get puzzled looks from his neighbours. But, it didn’t matter him much. He would proceed to greet them, but his posh neighbours invariably chose to shut their doors, many a times, on his face. But, all this hardly ever effected Parth. He was indeed a very happy kid. But that day, the 10 year old was hurt, he was wailing like a 3year old unable to understand why all the kids could go to Guddu’s Birthday party and he couldn’t.

Time had taught Preeti to be patient. And most of the time, her patience has paid her well. But today she sat down weeping beside Parth’s bed, who had fallen asleep while crying. It was nothing unusual for her, she had done this a countless time. She knew that tonight, Parth won’t be having his dinner. But on a more positive note, she also knew that hopefully he will forget it by the time he wakes up.

The day Parth was born, was the happiest day of her life. But after sometime, she realized that her son was special. More special than any other kid in this whole world. Not cause, he was Autistic, but cause, he was her life. While the mum and dad was madly in love with their special child, family and neighbours chose to hate him. Yes, a bland truth, they chose to hate him, chose to reject him, chose to deny him his status in the society, chose not to see him as a little boy who wants only love.

Well, I met Parth(name changed), this Durga Puja. Looking at him, I could realize that yes, indeed he was special. Again, not cause, he was Autistic, but cause, he was sitting alone looking at everything with super excitement in his eyes, enjoying every bit of the festive aura that the goddess has created by her presence. He was quieter than other kids of his age and was very well behaved. Then I met Preeti di, a charming jovial lady, who could make friends in matter of a few minutes. Later after hearing the story of her struggle with her special child, I felt guilty.

Though I have hardly known him for a month, now, but, I felt guilty and responsible for being a part of such a ridiculous society which finds pleasure in intimidating a perfectly happy child. I felt sorry, that adults like us forced a child to grow in seclusion, forced his parents to keep him in seclusion. And how can anyone have the heart not to invite her neighbours kid to a birthday party just cause, he is special?

My question is why this seclusion, this rejection? Why talk in such a hush hush voice and gossip, ‘Are uska beta to pagal hai’? Do you know what autism is? Do you know how to deal with an autistic kid? You can have fun taking about him, then why can’t you have fun talking with him? Why do you end up secluding a kid because of your lack of understanding about a particular syndrome?

But the irony is, time and again, our society has succinctly demarcated, the rich from the poor, the fat from the thins, the fair from the dark, the brains from the dulls, so why not the so called normal from the specials? And while doing so, they don’t even care if the person not matching their ‘Set’ criteria of a perfect human being, is a small innocent child. Nobody is perfect, but still everyone is in search of the perfect person. And no matter, what I say, majority will be still busy drawing their own special demarcation line, and be happy with their choice. But, all I can say is my child is special to me, just as Parth is to Preeti. If someone appreciates my child I will be happy, if someone rejects or neglects my child, I will definitely feel offended. And so, will Preeti. Cause, she too is a mother just like any other mum, and Parth too, is a kid, just like any other kid. But, with time Preeti, has learnt to shrug away the negative people around her. And I pray, that Parth too learns to slay all the negativity around him. I admire Parth and Preeti for their positive outlook towards life. I appreciate them as a family.

P.S. I have just one thing to tell all my readers, a special child needs special attention, special care, special love, so be there to give them what they want. If required, find some time and read about the problems they deal with, and how to help them have a normal life, or how to include them in your life or be a part of their life? Don’t treat them with hatred or pity.

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