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FROM THE PEN OF AN AMATEUR WRITER.

The freedom that she wanted to see…

75 years and she was still waiting. Her wait has been long, patient, at times suffocating, at times agonising and desperate. She wanted desperately to remove the shackles that tied her hands. But, how could she?? Her shackles were unique, unlike the others, she had seen. It was cursed with the invisibility charm.

She complained about the painful shackles which no one could see. The few who did see, ignored her completely. Even her own tribe, failed to understand her misery. Her tribe assumed and assured her, she was as free as one could be. And yet, she felt as free as a caged bird could be.

Over the time, she had learned to make peace with the bound freedom, that was graciously bestowed upon her and for which she was supposed to grateful throughout her life.

Many pitied her. Many sympathised. Many cunningly asked her, why she could not do it on her own?? She could, she definitely could. She was that rare diamond who could cut the glass, but never had the heart to break the glass with her hands. Yet she felt, she needed someone to acknowledge her fight. Few joined her. Few even succeeded in breaking free. But, not everyone was as unlucky as was she.

Repeat a lie often, and it becomes the truth. Everyone around repeatedly told her that she was free, and she started believing that she was indeed free. And the more the believed, the more the shackles faded. Until one day, it became invisible to her and the world around her.

Her hands ached as the shackles held them tightly. She cried in agony. But her voice remained unheard, her tears unseen, but her thoughts and aspirations, roamed around untamed.

Free to do anything she wanted, free to be anyone she wanted, free to live the life she wanted. But was she?? She was the educated as well as the illiterate, the working as well as the homemaker, the decision maker, the manager as well as the dependent, the subordinate, the inferior.

She wanted to let go off the invisible shackles. For centuries, she had been trying, and to that she added another glorious 75yrs. But, it seems the shackles wouldn’t let her free. So all she could do, is gather more and more courage, and hope in the next 75years she could defeat Patriarchy.

Maa

Maa, that special feeling,

Maa, that special smell,

Maa, that power of healing,

Maa, that magical spell…

Maa, that soothing sound to calm us down…

Maa, that gesture oozing love in abundance..

Maa, the teardrop that falls from our eyes…

Maa, the balm for all my pain..

Maa, the one who keeps me sane…

She is one person, who can be anything that you want her to be. As an infant, she was the lullaby that showed me how to dream. As a kid, she was that hand, that encouraged me to stand on my feet. As a teen, she became the punching bag, carrying the burden of my thoughtless selfish desires. As an adult, she became turned out to my bosom friend.

She is the one person who has been through my thick and thins. Surrounding me with a halo of unending blessings. She is my strength, my rock, my advisor, my conscience.

She is the one, who carefully picked up all my broken pieces, and wove them into a new dream. She is the one, who transferred my tears into her benevolent eyes.

I may have left her side to enjoy my life, but, not for once, she had let me go out of her sight.

The love I see in her eyes, is as rare and as precious as can be…

She is the prize that I have won…She is my moon and my bright sun!!

Now my little one tells, he loves his “dida” more than me. It’s an achievement for me, to have been blessed with such a wonderful soul, and I’m so proud that my son loves her more..

She is an integral part of me. We may be miles apart, but she is the closest one, forever, for me. Her face calms down the storm inside me, She had taught me to be a better person, and she is exactly what, I’m trying to be.

Love you to the moon and back, Maa.

The noodle story..

“I can make you some instant noodles, if you want.” Said he.

“Noodles??” She sighed..

“How about some eggs and bread?? I can make that too!!”

“Can you make some chicken curry and rice?? Somehow I am craving for chicken today.”

“Nah!! I don’t know how to make that. But I can order some from the restaurant. The chef there is damn good. He makes mouth watering chicken bharta. Let me just order.” Said he.

“Did he say, he makes mouth watering chicken bharta?? A he??” She wondered.

Why is it that the chefs in most restaurants are men plus excellent cooks. Whereas most husband’s culinary skills end at boiling eggs or making instant noodles.

“Most chefs at restaurants are formally trained or Hotel management graduates. But what about our moms, grannies or even me in that case??”

She argued with her own thoughts.

No one taught her, she learned it watching her mother. The men in her house never entered the kitchen. The women ruled the kitchen or may be the kitchen ruled over the women folks in the household. Whatever!! She never got a formal training for cooking. Yet she knew how to cook. In a way, she was grateful to the patriarchal society to make her self dependent. But what about her better half?? He too grew up seeing the women in his house ruling the kitchen, under the rule of the men. But, never ventured into the kitchen.


However, he did make a span as compared to the rest of the men in his family. He knew how to boil an egg or make some instant noodles or tea. But she knew that wasn’t enough. She looked at her husband, who was laying the plates for lunch.

The aroma of the delectable chicken bharta and steaming rice, and the warmth in the eyes of her husband, chased away her thoughts. He was a caring man, who couldn’t cook, but made sure she didn’t have to either.

While caressing her womb at night, she couldn’t stop asking her husband,

“What if we couldn’t afford a cook, and I couldn’t cook either, would we survive on instant noodles or restaurant food for the rest of our lives??”

“Are you crazy?? Our digestive system would have gone bonkers. And what do you think of me?? If you couldn’t cook, I would have learnt to cook. And I wouldn’t let my kid eat noodles.” He replied.


She smiled, rest assured that their child would grow up in a beautiful environment with lots of noodles to eat.

Am I really strong??

What made you think that I had the strength to bear it all?? What made you think that I will be able to survive this at all?

What extra did you see in me, that you showered me with pain, the very thought of which, can make others insane??

Or did you add some special power or quality while sending me in my mother’s womb??

What was it God?? What was it?? Why did you choose me?? Why me??

I’m just an ordinary human, like anyone else that you brought into this world. But why couldn’t you provide me with parents or people who could show some care and true concern?? The orphanage turned a blind eye towards my wails and cries, as I took to the concrete for more sleepless night. The lady in the car said, they have the strength to bear this difficult life. But, I don’t want this strength, all I want is a life to live by.

I’m just an ordinary human. I can’t recall of any superpowers that you bestowed. But you took away the child I nurtured in my womb, without even giving me a chance to see him grow into a man, I wanted him to be. You took away something that I created with so much pain, hardship and love. What wrong did I do to bear this pain? If I were you, I wouldn’t have the heart to take a child away from her mother. But you did, and the world consoled us by telling that you give pain to those who can bear. But really god, really?? Do you really think we had the strength to deal with the loss?? No..No, one has. I am weak, the weakest of them all, yet I’m made to believe that I have the strength to bear it all.

I’m just an ordinary human, not a warrior at all. But I fought till I lost my consciousness, praying for their conscience to hit them hard. Their conscience didn’t intervene, as they tore my dignity apart. I still hear the whispers of my neighbors, as I sheepishly pass by. But, how am I at fault?? Where was I wrong? You weakened me further, thinking I had the strength to bear it all. It’s a tough world to fight against…that too with so little support. I wanted to end it all, escape from this humiliating life..but, someone said, god is there with you. If you are there, why can’t justice be served?? Why can’t the culprits hide, while I walk my head held high??

I’m just an ordinary human, with no place to go. My hungry daughter cries in my arms, as I struggle for some food. I could give away my life to save her, but will you look after her, when I’m gone?? Or will she be left all alone in this tormenting world?? Will she be tested a million times for her strength??

I’m just an ordinary human, a mere puppet in their hands. With strings tied so hard, that I dare not try. I want to cut those strings and run away, but my wings were cut, even before I was born. My strength and endurance is tested everyday, as they know, I can’t escape. I pray, I keep praying for a better life, until one day I finally close my eyes. I wasn’t that strong, as you thought. I heard them say, she should have fought. But, did they even know, how badly I tried??

If living in pain is what we define strength as, then I want to be the weakest person on Earth. Even when the whole world thinks, that I am strong enough to bear all the pain, ask me once to see, how weak am I?

I don’t know how much more, I have to bear, but somehow I feel this is how life is supposed to be..But, at the end of the day, please refrain from saying that I had the strength to bear it all. Because I know, there’s a point when we all breakdown, we reach our low…but then we pick us up, and continue the show..

The day I got lost…

The other day I got lost..

But getting lost, was perhaps the best thing that happened to me in a while…

I should have been scared, as in front of me lay the darkest of dungeons and the vilest of creatures with the power to wreck the very essence of a fairy tale..

But within that cacophony of chaos, fear, love and betrayal, I rediscovered my happy…

Sadly, they found me and brought me back to the face of reality..

But the devil in me smirked, as they fell

One cold wintery December night…

“Hmm..” she sighed, as she tossed for the 7th time. She knew that pretty soon she would lose the count. But counting helped, at times.

Someone suggested her to count sheep. Huh!! She must have counted a million by now, but so far sleep seemed like a distant dream.

She recollected, those lazy Sundays when they slept like a baby, sometimes, till 12 in the noon. The milkman, the doorbell, the newspaper boy, the cricket matches, nothing had the power to wake them up. The kiss, he would plant on her forehead, on waking up. The warm cup of tea..

Huh! She sighed..and silently wept as her baby rolled to the other side.

May be, its a dearth of fresh air. She got up from the bed. A gush of cold air bypassed her heart. She sighed, as up ahead was another long wintery night.

December. It was her favourite month. But this year she just wanted it to pass. She remembered, how he would hug her and pull her blanket while sleeping and then how she pulled it back and how their legs crisscrossed even when they turned their backs. How important was that one touch. How that touch, made her fall asleep, within seconds, in his arms. The warmth he gave her, in those chilly wintery nights. And now, all of a sudden it was all simply gone.

She went near the door. She could hear him snore. She remembered how pitifully she begged him to come to her room, which he shrewdly denied. He told her, it was work pressure, but her heart could sense the reason behind. She knew something was terribly wrong in her life.

Never before, he had slept a night without her, by his side. She was his warm blanket, for every single wintery night. But this winter, his preference have changed.

She went back to hit her cold bed, her bundle of joy, sleeping tight. She looked at him and closed her eyes. The clock, kept ticking, ignoring her, like all the other nights. She kept tossing, till her body could bear no more. But, still sleep managed to maintain a distance, from her pain stricken eyes. Finally she, succumbed to the provoking pills lying by her bedside.

After a long struggle, she could finally sleep like her baby. Finally, she could ignore those uncanny chatty voices talking to her, in her mind. Finally, her world became calmer. Finally, her blanket became warmer.

“Mumma!! Mumma!!” She struggled to open her eyes. But, he gave her a brilliant smiled. For him, she shall embrace, life.

The ignorant snores, kept bothering her for many more nights. The pain kept piling up. She lamented while wondering, how he could sleep with it, and how she could not, even when it was he, who was at fault.

She wondered how weak was his love, a slight provocation and it was all gone…But, it was time for her, to be strong.

After a while, things changed. He changed. He apologised. But by then, she too, had changed.

One night, he came back to sleep in her room. But by then she had learned to sleep without him.

Her tossing and turning started once again. Those cuddles, that once she starved for, were now gnawing her. That touch, which she had craved for, felt filthy. Once again, her fingers, foraged the bedside table, in hope of some sleep.

He begged..She cried..but by then accepting him back, had become an unbearable pain.

Her love got frozen during one of those cold wintery December nights…December used to be her favourite season..but now it has lost its reason…

Tomorrow will be better…

“I am sorry. I am so sorry. Tomorrow will be better.” I kissed him goodnight. As usual, with teary eyes.

There’s something mysterious about a sleeping child. You can’t stop yourself from pouring all your love, when they fall asleep. And they, with their adorable sleepy faces, can unleash all your hidden love and guilt. One glimpse of that innocence, and there begins your long unendurable guilt trip.

But, the moment they wake up, you are ready to take back your words, break your promises, without a second thought. Such is the power, of our little ones. One moment they make you regret your actions and the very next moment, they force you to find that secret safe space.

They can throw all the possible tantrums in a matter of few mili seconds, and tempt you to lose your cool. And then, confuse you almost immediately, with an endearing grin.

But, life wasn’t this bad or this complicated before. Was it?? It was better, I guess. After a year of dealing with the pandemic and a semi/full house arrest, somehow we have managed to let our demons free. And that demon, never fails to turn our lives topsy turvy.

Initially, when it started, I thought, Oh! Never mind. This is just a one time thing. It won’t happen again. I won’t lose my cool.

But that was the first time. I was totally unaware that there was more to follow. I had always been very proud of myself for following a minimum scolding and no hitting policy. My approach has always been very friendly.

However, over the time, I kept losing my cool. Somehow, the frequency of me losing my cool, kept gaining pace with every passing day. And somehow, it soon became a habit. And it would invariably, take me on a guilt trip, every night, especially at bed time.

“Oh! What a horrible mother I must be..no one shouts at their child like I do. What has become of me?? What if, my behaviour damages his childhood memories. Already we are dealing a lot of emotional stress due to pandemic. How should I work towards changing my behaviour towards my child? I must be ruining his future. May be this irritation and frustration has become a part of me..No…No.. Tomorrow will be better. I promise you baby that from tomorrow, I will be a changed person. I will deal with your tantrums, more empathetically. I will try to maintain my calm, no matter bad the situation gets.”

And so on..My thoughts on being a good mother, kept pouring inside my already disturbed brain. I immediately googled to find methods of dealing with the tantrums of kids and how to control my temperament, how not to lose my cool. I read and re-read, promised myself. But more than learning my lesson, I did that to get out of that guilt trip.

Yes..Tomorrow will be better. I promised, once again.

Wow!! Today indeed was better. I have become a much better and calmer person. I have managed the whole day without yelling. And my son, too, was at his best behaviour.

But, my subconscious mind said, “Don’t get so happy Momma. Wait until tomorrow or day after.”

“Tomorrow will be better darling.” I kissed him goodnight with welled eyes, yet again.

And to my dismay, the saga continued on and off.

To be frank, writing this blog is also a part of that guilt trip, may be. I’m trying my best to be at my very best. And my little one is trying hard to be in his best behaviour. But at times, we both lose it. We both know, what we are doing is wrong. And we both are aware that there’s room for improvement. And may be this is how life actually is. Pandemic or no pandemic, we do few things, that we regret. But, the fact that we keep searching for areas or methods to improve ourselves, our behaviour, is proof enough, that we have not given up. We care for one another and have each other’s back.

My mother had scolded me, but still we share a very special bond. May be, my son too will realise the same. What may come, no matter how bad the day has gotten, we both have always reached a point, where we had apologised to each other for our bad behaviour. And I think this realisation is all that is important. The fact that we realise and accept our mistakes, probably brings us one step closer towards a better tomorrow.

And believe me mommies..Tomorrow will be better.. No matter how bad today has turned out to be. Have faith!!

With love..From Indian National Flag..

“I don’t know how many more…

I don’t know how much more..

I don’t whether this will ever end..

But, what may come..never for once, they let me bend…

I feel overburdened with their selfless sacrifice…

Oh!! How I wish my flutters , came without a hefty price..

They gave up their existence, but never abandoned my side..

For them, I have to flutter….flutter forever with pride…

Even when the petrichor emanates the uncountable bloodlines..

Even when I see them grieving, the departure of their precious lifelines..

The uncountable orphans, the widows and the childless parents..

I flutter because of their perseverance…

I have to flutter..flutter with pride..

Because in my flutters, lies their sacrifice…

Indian National Flag #kargildiwas

The little gentleman who stole my heart…

“You are the worst mumma in the whole world.”

Yelled my little gentleman.

And almost immediately my heart skipped a beat. His words pricked my heart.

I was tempted to screw his ear but I refrained. Self realisation has always been the most reliable teacher, and I chose to leave it on the teacher.

Though deep down in my heart, I knew, he didn’t mean a word he said, but somehow the sentence made me question my parenting.

“Am I really the worst mother??”

I knew that this was probably just the beginning of all the “ I hate you’s” …and there was more on the way.

But, the question remained, when and how did he get so old and insensitive?? He was just 7year old and he had already started hating me. I felt dejected.

It was just yesterday when he was cooing. And then the coos transformed into indecipherable babbling. And then he uttered his first words with a touch of lisp. Pretty soon, he mastered the art of joining small words to form cute sentences. And now all of a sudden, he has nominated me as the worst mumma of this world, using his limited vocabulary.

And that too, for what?? For Something as silly as the TV.

It made me wonder, when did that idiot box gain so much importance that it shuddered my parenting.

I understand the undying love of a 7year old has for the TV. I truly do. Once upon a time, I too was a 7year old, who was fascinated by the animated characters. And I shouldn’t be blaming him for the same.. But the title of the “ Worst mumma in the world” was definitely not acceptable.

May be, with time, both of us will learn to accept and appreciate each other’s flaws and learn to work towards them. It might take some time for him to understand the underlying consequences of the words he speaks. As humans, we tend to showcase the worst in us, when we are angry. But as parents, we have to help channelise his anger in a more productive way. And this was just the beginning of our journey.

That night, while putting him to bed, I asked him, “Am I really the worst mumma in the world?” I looked at him. His innocent eyes, narrated a different story.

“No mumma, your are the best mumma in this universe. I love you. You know, my friends mumma scolds him more than you scold me for watching Tv. I know you are the best. And I am sorry. But I also love the Tv.”

I planted a kiss on his forehead. This unconditional love from my little gentleman, will forever remain as my most treasured gift from him.

Time flies..I know…We all know…And within a wink, he will grow into a thorough gentleman. But this little gentleman, will remain the most unforgettable person of my life. He will be the one person, who loved me and hated me for the same reason, at the same time.

Parenting isn’t cakewalk. There are times when I cant have enough of him and there are times when all I want, is some space for myself. No matter, how overwhelming or how frustrating or how tiring or how redundant, the job of a parent is, but the rewards associated with it is also immeasurable.

This little gentleman stole my heart, the first time I held him and I will cherish all the beautiful moments we share. He will forever remain the most unforgettable gentleman of my life and I would do anything to relive these moments of sheer joy, pain and unconditional love.

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