The boy on the bench

Sympathy

I was waiting for a friend, we had plans to have coffee together. I decided to sit outside and wait for her. He looked beautiful, innocent. He was sitting on the bench across the road , must be all of 9 or 10 years. Same age as my boy. Almost the same built, dark hair and deep eyes. Sitting on the bench he watched people pass by. What was he observing ? What did he first notice on them as people walked past him in a rush , some on the phone and some pretending to be on the phone, some rushing with a purpose and some without. It’s not strange why no one observed him. Was it because he has no shoes on him or was it because his t-shirt was too big for him. or was it because he sat there without a purpose ? He seemed lost maybe disillusioned. His hopeless eyes sought nothing it seems. Briefly troubled by a fly as it was hovering his head for quite some time now. Tired , he stopped moving his hands to shoo off the adamant being . He gave up on the fly but the fly was in no mood to. They became friends it seems.

The wisdom in his eyes didn’t match up with his age. He stood up to stretch and to scan the dustbin near by. He picked up a thing to taste it and threw it back inside. He searched again and then discovered a half eaten banana. The earth below me was shaking or was it me ? I had shivers and tears rolling down my eyes. My boy would be in school eating his healthy lunch at this time. So, why is this boy less deserving ? We may name destiny, karma or fate ? He doesn’t belong here and why just him and million kids like him surviving this irony called life.  We went in as my friend arrived and sat down for our coffee, my eyes still on him as I chose to sit by the window. Saw him playing with a broken toy which he must have discovery next from the shacks he scanned. He seemed happy and contended. I couldn’t eat a morsel fearing what if the boy outside spots me  enjoying my sandwich. I felt ashamed eating.

I directed my driver to come across the road. I stood close to the bench he sat on as he continued playing oblivion to my presence. He made roaring sounds with the broken car. Don’t all kids play alike , all have small little hopes , all expect a little love and attention except for this one boy on the bench. I couldn’t gather courage to approach him or even look at him. Though I wanted to sit and talk but I didn’t. I wanted to ask his name but I didn’t. Why ? What was I ashamed off ? He looked at me for a few seconds and then looked away. I must give this to him before my car arrives I thought . I held out the box to him and said ” this is for you”. He stood up and stared at me. “Some food for you in this box, please eat”. He took the box with a wide grin and his smile reached his eye. As my car rolled up on our side and I was getting in he asked me my name -” Preeti ” I said. He folder his legs and sat back on the bench to open the box and shouted “Aur main hoon Srikanth”(and my name is Srikant) and waved me an animated bye. He must have sat there since morning with some amount of wamble in his stomach but what kept him contended ? What kept him going each day, what did he expect from life each day? He did not beg around for food as if he expected nothing from the world around him it seems. Moreover, he wasn’t ashamed of asking my name. His name and his life state didn’t agree . ‘Srikant’ – which means lover of wealth and fortune.

Sympathy was what I felt for myself after meeting Srikant. Antithetical is life.

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Mom, You seriously need to change !

Mom’s Life !

 

I have two boys. The elder one is almost touching 14 and the younger one is rolling towards being an 8. Of course motherhood has changed me completely and it has been an overwhelming experience till now . I have been a hands-on mom from the day they were born.With no help around, I juggled my postpartum, diaper saga, baby food, vomits their massages & baths and every milestone alone. I believe that I have evolved and grown beautifully as a Mom and as human being more so after becoming a Mother.

All was well and I thought I was doing pretty well as a mom as I continued to nurture them in my own sweet ways, till about recently when my teenaged son threw a few bombs at me. This happened – one fine day while I was serving him lunch, he asked me nonchalantly  “Why can’t you be and behave like the other moms ?” Me under the shock of his statement had no clue what he meant, as till now I felt I was good at my craft and was doing well, but suddenly I felt like a failure !

So I sat down next to him focusing not to lose my cool and asked him to elaborate so I could decipher the hidden meaning of his statement. He rattled off like a road runner as if he has been waiting to ask / tell me all this.

He started by saying “I don’t thing other moms behave or do stuff like you do mom” ! and I was like Okaaaay ! NO ? Really ? LIKE WHAT ?? And then came out a long list of the things which me as a mom should not be doing at all.

 Not -to -do -list as per my elder son ! 

Why can’t you stop giving us these weird lovey dovey names which make no sense and just call us with our real names instead?

Why do you also need to have fun with the bubble wrap that we lay hands on ?

Why do you keep dancing around the house with your iPod and don’t care about what if someone is watching you?

Why do you steal our chocolates and candies ?

Why do you pounce on us in bed and cuddle and tickle us whenever you fancy?

Why do you sing for us loudly using all those weird names ?

Why do you have to be so friendly with my friends when you meet them? That’s why I don’t get my friends home often.

Why do you call my name and wave good bye and throw flying kisses as I board the school bus?

Why do you come to the bus stop at all? I am big boy and don’t need an escort.

Why do u keep putting ghee in my Rajma-Chawal,Dal-Chawal ? Though it tastes yummy but I don’t want to turn fat like you ! Ouch ..

Why do u make funny faces and make me laugh while my tuition class is on?

Why do you keep checking my phone?

Why do you pretend you know nothing and ask me help you to download something for you when I know you know it all ?

Why can’t you be serious like other moms?

Why are you fat and short and not slim like the other Moms around. I am embarrassed to get my friends home.  Double Ouch! That did hurt.

Hmm time to ponder . My boy wants me to change me and my ways of showing love. I gave him a tight hug and said that I am going to seriously think on these points . Contended he went back to his room and left me reeling under the thunderous effect of his TED Talk ! He doesn’t like me doing all this ? Really ? I am fat ? so fat that  he is now embarrassed ? ?

And So, it was time for some real thinking and a glass of chilled wine .

The wine did good to my serotonin and I understood his point of view. He was growing and having his own tussle of being called my baby and a young boy now… Of course he doesn’t appreciate my PDA  (Public Display of Affection) anymore ..He doesn’t like me pulling his cheeks anymore .. How I wish I could tell him to soak in this love of mine for a little more time before he leaves my abode in pursuit of higher education and knowledge to far away lands.. Sigh ! We never know what destiny holds for us. So why don’t we stop rushing and slow down and live each day to its fullest today. Any which ways one day he will have to move away from me for the sake of learning or earning. Wish I could change/edit the list on his mind and excuse myself.

So do you think I should abide by all his rules and surrender and change my ways …?

Nah ! I don’t think so.. So I sat down to explain a few things to him. The name tags given to you originate from the deepest love and affection I have for you..Your chocolate that I share is because i want to prepare you to pay Income Tax in the future. The extra ghee in your food is so that you grow healthy and strong. I check your phone as I need to know what are you upto. I make funny faces to cheer you up during your tiring and sometimes boring tuition classes and it sure does bring a smile to your face. I wish to make your friends feel at home and so the little chat with them is important at times.The goodbyes will keep happening till you make it a point to say a polite bye on your own as you board the bus. So basically things are going to be stay pretty much the same but one thing that is going to change in that list is your concern on the way your mom looks. Though I know what a lazy procrastinator I can be when it comes to working out but I understood your outlook on this and I promise to be a fitter-slimmer mom for you so that you don’t feel embarrassed any more.

But till that time let’s make more wonderful memories for you. Let me keep sharing more stories with you about my childhood and growing up years and my amazing episodes of success & failure and tales of my childhood masti and legend adventures. These things which I do is to only make you smile and I hope you will fondly remember all my silly tactics that made you smile as you were growing up. Please remember how cool and chilled out your mom was . My only endeavour now is to be a friend to you that just being a mom so you could confide in me anytime.

I think he understood that cause that night as I was tucking him in bed with his favourite comforter he asked me to sit beside him and share one more incident from my childhood and he also did let me stroke his hair that night. And as I watched him slip into a sweet slumber I smiled at his innocence and love for me . And tomorrow it’s time to keep up the promise and hit the gym with a vengeance.

 

Is Suicide = Heaven ! !

 

This life is a gift for some and a burden for a few. How you perceive it as whether as a gift or burden depends upon many factors.The most important factor is your innate nature that you carry with you.This innate nature is not influenced by the DNA you got from your parents or your upbringing. This innate nature is you, purely you and the nature of your soul that you have been carrying for perhaps many decades now. This innate nature makes someone a fighter, a giver, a doer, an achiever, a go-getter, Or a loser, a taker, a cynic, gullible, a pessimist. Which category you fall into decides your course in life and the same decides how you well or poorly you will live your life. 

A recent news about Arjun Bhardwaj, the 24-year-old student who jumped off the room on the 19th floor of Hotel Taj Lands End in Mumbai,has been doing the rounds.What was going on in his head ? ! He was the son of a business man, supposedly a well to do family. The boy checked into Taj using his credit card, recorded a tutorial of his suicide act. The reason for suicide in the newspapers was depression due to failure in college. What was wrong with this boy ? Just because he could not accept failure so he decided to end his life ! 

⦿According to the WHO suicide data over 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and there are many more who attempt suicide. In fact every suicide is an encouragement for those who are contemplating this act in their minds as the survey says there are indications that for each adult who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.

⦿Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 5,240 attempts by young  children between grades 7-12.

⦿ According to the International Suicide Statistics – On average,1 person dies by suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world.               

⦿1.8% of worldwide deaths are suicides.

⦿ The Global suicide rates have increased 60% in the past 45 years.

Reading all these facts and data there are questions that hover in my head about all those people who try to commit suicide. Under what circumstances did they do it ? Was there not even a single moment of happiness in their life to latch on to life? Were they expecting something different than we normally expect from life ? Did they talk about their state of depression with anyone? Did anyone around them tried to approach them or counsel them? Was it the fault of a bad parenting ? What was their mental state that led them to a decision like this one ? Do they feel life after death to be more colourful than this one? Did they feel life as hell and hoped to find heaven on the other side? Where did they finally reach ? Heaven ! ?  

I can’t comprehend ending life this way.Is it merely the lack of courage to face the ups and downs of life Or is it because one expects too much from life? Who is to be blamed ? The parents for not teaching the required life skills to the child or the child ? Do the sufferings really end after a suicide when they finally enter heaven?

Oh! but wait ..Isn’t this Heaven ? ! ?

“I have always believed that Heaven and hell both are present on this earth and all around us. There is no Heaven or Hell up there. Its all in here. Within us . Around us. There are so many ways I find happiness and it feels like heaven. The first gentle breeze that touches my face as I open the windows early morning, the sweet singing of the nightingale, the first ray of sunlight that passed through my body, the morning hug from my husband, the forceful cuddles the I give my kids, the first sip of my morning tea, the people I meet  and greet throughout the day. There is music and happiness everywhere and all around. I feel blessed to feel all this every day. I do have my drag days for sure, I have my days when I want to shout out loud and bite everyone who gets on my nerves,  but hey those days are limited to specific cycle and holds true for every women. There are more days of pleasantness and gratitude”.

 

Valley-of-flowers-uttrakhand-700x420

The power of living our lives lies in belief. On the belief that All Is Well..if not , All is going to be well soon. The Belief of not giving upon yourself. To share our thoughts and emotions with our loved ones.To not shy away from breaking down and crying. Cry out loud or shout from roof tops, vent your stress or anger- let it pour. Talk and share. Believe that you have the power to heal yourself and set things right. Believe that the one you call God is listening.Stay Positive always.

What would be the difference between a person who knows exuberance and one who does not? Why one person is happy and gives more to life whereas one trying to take away this very life? Why ones perspective is always positive and hopeful while the other is always complaining and yearning for sympathy? I believe it’s the Innate nature. Upbringing and a congenial environment do play a role in shaping up a personality and bring about a positive perspective on life. 

For the children : Share with your parents all your worries and turmoils. They are your BBF. Don’t be scared of being a failure.Its completely alright to fail in life. Dust yourself. Move forward in life. 

For the Parents : Strike a conversation with your child. Listen, but don’t judge. Do NOT label your child. Act as a friend more often than just a parent. 

As it is life is short and its ticking away. This world is beautiful and a happy heaven. Let’s hang on. And when we finally reach our end the natural way I am sure God is gonna ask us all –

                                 “ So, How was Heaven down there ?” 

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Our very first time..

Our First time…

Initially, I was scared as my heart raced faster than the speed of light…Oh! I was confused. I didn’t know if I was ready for this just yet !  An adrenaline rush to hold you and turn you on was stronger in me today . I needed to do this now or never , you had driven me to this level of madness.

I wasn’t in a position to judge my own decisions today. But what if the world judges me ? Were we really ready for this ?  Isn’t it too early ; you and me alone for the first time. I hope we don’t hurt each other. What if I was too slow or came across too fast.

I wasn’t sure if I knew everything about this. No ,I wasn’t sure , if this was the right thing to do. This was my first time, but I so much wanted this . My mind was chanting continuously “Go for it – lets just do it baby”!! 

AND SO WE DID ! Our Very first time….

The light breeze had a calming effect on my face which was still warm and red from the apprehension and nervousness inside. We will be good at this, I knew it and this didn’t look to me as a bad decision at all .

This decision— to drive out with you today ! As we went past my society exit gate, I saw the security guard giving me a send off salute, I faked a smile hoping he didn’t read my nervous vibes . I firmly gripped you a bit more closer with both my hands, my foot closer to the brakes now. I wanted to feel in control. Wanted to come back in one piece to prove to that security guard that see ‘Madam can drive and she is back’!!

I heard my heart pound a million beats as I sat upright holding your steering closer than I usually do.I was a tad more careful today ,eying the road like an eagle to make sure I ran over no one. I also wanted to make sure nothing goes wrong on our first date-ride together. It was a day to prove myself. My confidence was at stake.The world was watching or so it seemed that day as we drove along the lanes of Bengaluru.It was the summer of  2006 ! Just you and me together !!! Oh, how much I loved you. It was Our First Time out alone …

Just a couple of meters away from home, the fear- the inhibitions left me, well almost !😉

I was more in control of both myself and you now. I was happy we did this. No regrets at all. My confidence rocked ! The sunglasses over my head which were securing my tresses from flying now came down to the place where they belong. My chin went up , abs tucked it and a sat up tall and straight. Today I felt like the most beautiful girl on the roads of Bengaluru !  As the mobile buzzed a few times getting me back to the reality of being a wife to someone !! I could see my husband called me 3 times during my adventure day out .He must have been hell worried, he had asked me not to venture alone and to wait till he comes back from work. He promised he will take me out and let me drive over the weekend…but I insisted that I was ready and could not procrastinate this any longer. I just had to do this someday and that someday was Today.

Smiling and beaming with my new found confidence and wings, I was happy and much relaxed. Dhano too, seemed calmer now.I could sense that as the drive was less jerky now. Dhano is what I fondly called my first car.

Over the years ,It is this beauty who taught me how to drive – who taught me to be fearless but cautious on the road- who taught me to wear my attitude when I drive and never let any moron take advantage of me on the road ! She taught me Never to give way to a honker who tried challenging my inner peace. My car taught me how to be a Queen on the road, Oh yes, that’s just I feel. It has taught me to be patient and roar ahead yet always be in control.

Driving her has been a pleasurable and evolving experience and in all these years she has been my best friend who made me evolve and build up my confidence. She made me Independent !

So, Thank you!  Thank you that we have always gelled so well and we have taken care not to hurt each other Eva!   Never rubbed each other the wrong way – no scratch no dents in these 10 years of driving with you !!😍

Some memories always bring back a smile ! 😌

Who am I ..

Who am I ..

I am still looking for that answer

My humble Soliloquy attempts

Seems so blank.

I belong everywhere yet I don’t owe a thing.

Came to life 40 years back.

Have behind me a lot of memories

Some are good – some not so bad.

Lots of learnings more baggage.

I want to drop each bag now, that I carry

Don’t like the way it weighs on me.

I love myself and my life

So polishing my every piece

I am sociable , yet a loner.

Faithful , yet detached.

Seeking for something

I don’t know what

Search is on before my soul is despatched.

My life seems ticking away

And I take my time with things

Like to observe the world around

Take deep breaths when nothing is found.

Sometimes I go into a shell and

Sometimes throw my weight around.

I sense the vibes whether good or bad

Read minds too, now don’t be mad !

I wish I had known less

But yet I feel I know nothing at all

I trip over my insecurities

And I do fall.

But since my core is strong

I get back up again

To find myself each day

and to write a new song !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Faux Pas of getting wet..

I So believe in crying. I can cry at the drop of a hat. Crying is like breathing for me. I always carry a handkerchief and a couple of tissues with me in my bag to the PTM’s ( I tend to cry at the accolades, praises or even the criticism showered by the teachers for my kids) . At the movies – my eyes go wet with patriotism for our National anthem to begin with and then to all tender,mushy,emotional moments while my quaint husband squirms looking at me as I blow my nose out. At my kids annual concerts – why ? Of course their performance on stage obviously makes my heart swell and my eyes well up ! 😭 At discourses / lectures about life – its overwhelming, the thoughts that whizz through my mind and the realisation that Oh! I am almost on my way to spirituality and wisdom. So much so for the enlightenment ! So in short any thing that touches my heart makes me cry. Crying is extremely cathartic.

Sometime back , I read somewhere — ‘Tears of happiness drop from your right eye and the tears of hurt flow from your left eye.’ Don’t know if thats true , but one thing is certain – Crying has healed me, my heart , my soul. 

So, am I weak, as I openly declare  that I do cry ? No!!  I cry to stay strong . I cry when I am unable to contain the burden of stress, worry or hurt , also because that is the need of the hour as crying makes me less angry ,less anxious,I can cry because I have a strong heart.No  I ain’t weak !

Crying has made me make peace with reality .. as confronting my feelings has always helped me move forward in life . I mean c’mon ,what’s the point in trying to be strong when you are crumbling on the inside ? If you are broken and hurt – just bleed – let it flow. Keeping it inside whether its the hurt or the tears will weaken you more than you know it.

Crying purges negative energy and allows for new, positive energy to fill us up. Even though I prefer to sometimes put up a brave front and try to let the taps on only  in my solitude moments but having said that ,I firmly believe that crying makes me reflect and introspect, have a dialogue with my own self and fix things in my head. It declutters me.

Some crying facts to ponder :-

  • There is a reasons for women crying more often than men. Women have 60% more prolactin in their bodies than men. Prolactin is a protein that affects the endocrine system, which may cause women to cry more often than men.Well then crying doesn’t make you the weaker sex – it certainly makes you much more stronger. See how we women bounce back at life and tough situation after a loud bad cry in the shower !! Oh that Shower cry is good ! You come out looking more beautiful.Really .
  • Your tears are of 3  basic types

Basal tears – which clean and lubricate your eyes.

Reflex tears – which drain when your eyes are irritated by things like onions, smoke..

Emotional tears – And this one needs no explanation !

  • According to William Frey II, a biochemist and director of the Psychiatry Research Laboratories – “It’s important that we evolved this ability to cry, if you can alleviate stress by crying , you can prevent stress damage to the heart and brain, and improve long-term survival. You See that !
  • Resolve the unresolved issues with someone with your meltdown – It is this moment when one person bursts into tears that the flow of the conversation shifts toward a more serious discussion. You crying means ‘its time to talk’ for someone and it brings along a shift in the attitude of the one who cares. Crying shows that something very important is bothering you down. Tough and rough egos makes way for a smooth communication. So,Please don’t hold back those tears, just let them roll. Let the negativity and hurt flow out. You will feel lighter – Calmer. Crying is humbling, it makes you look inward.It makes you know your true self.

And now for the Men out there – Didn’t you cry as a child ? Do you feel that this state of vulnerability would makes you look fragile ? Or , Do you feel,crying is for women alone ? The most loved President of United States – Obama has made crying look good. He has wept numerous time during his speeches quite effortlessly.

All the men out there need to learn how to let go and cry from Obama!!

Believe me when depression strikes and the going gets tough – a good cry really helps. Crying with someone or alone is better than no crying at all. Keep your male ego aside, save yourself a heart attack and let the tension stress pass out through those salty tears. No one will judge you ..

Very often, our kids whine and cry when hurt but sometimes it could only be to gain your attention. Don’t just run up to them , if the issue isn’t big and doesn’t calls for your attention just let them be. Don’t wipe away their tears , give them some time alone of course while still being around.Let your child take control of his / her emotions & tears once in a while . Tears are healers. Let them learn to self console themselves at times. Remember, you’ll be not around forever. Crying will help them reflect and self correction. It’s OK to cry sometimes. For both children and grown-ups, crying can be a healthy way to deal with a significant loss, pain or sadness. When your child expresses these feelings to you, try to listen, comfort and reassure him that his feelings are OK.

And As for me,when I pour out and cry like a child, it resets my emotional meter. I feel Alive. I feel more in control . I feel braver. So, I am not afraid of looking weak because it takes only a strong person to cry. Crying grounds me.

This faux pas of getting wet is what I am not ashamed of  !! 😉 😂