Recite

 

I knew what to recite today. It was his favourite song. A hymn from my school almanac. Every time I sang it brought a smile and a tiny tear to his eye. Maybe he liked it as much as I did. The high notes of this hymn did agree with me ,without my voice going into a shiver. So we waited , me and my sister for the evening and for him to return from work. A daily competition between me and my sister of who will sing the best tonite. And the judge being my Papa .

We waited for him to change and settle. For him to finish his dinner with the daily dose of his news at 9 took 30 minutes.

We never recited together. Our voices never matched and still don’t . She wanted to go first and I would always let her. Thinking the last song I sang would garner more praises and would have a good recall value. Or so I thought !

She sang, she was good today and It was my turn now.

I sang with all my heart, I sang to take his tiredness away  so his day would end on a sweet happy note. I sang with reverence in my heart for the one who was out for 12 hours a day. Never took a day off . He who had 3 shirts and 6 days of work. He who never shouted on us a single day. He who had no demands . He who was and is still a pillar of strenght.  He must smile throughout my song today and a tiny tear in his eye would mean he is touched, and that would be my medal for tonite.

The song ended. He called us both to hug us and pat us on our back. We were hoping for his verdict on who was the best amongst us. But like each day he said  “ How lovely you two sing , Very good, very beautiful songs, thank you for singing for me.”

We both wanted to know who was the best singer from papa but he never said , never compared. As we both lay in bed she said “ I think I was better today” and I argued “ No, I was”. As I closed my eyes I thought which song would I recite tomorrow for my dad to be the best. But the verdict till date remains the same and He still is the best dad.

Morning Tea

An every morning affair …

Tea

It’s 6 am as the alarm goes off and I struggling to get 5 more minutes of my time on the bed. Snooze it man! It’s now 6:15 and I hear my husband cajoling my kids to get up. It’s a signal for me too to get out of bed before he roars on all 3 of us.Me finally out of the bed and into the kitchen now feel a bit of stiffness around my waist, a bit twisting and turning helps and I begin the process of making 4 tiffins for the day. Each day a new struggle what to cook and then to convince them to please finish their tiffins or else….!

So while I am at it my hubby has already ushered them into the bathroom for their morning ablutions and rushes back in the kitchen for a quick hug. Boys are now at the table and me trying to recollect what went into the sandwiches yesterday as my boys don’t like a repeat in their tiffins. Gaurav my hubby serves them each a banana and 7 almonds to munch and comes back to the kitchen again,no not for a second hug but to warm their milk. “I need the microwave so hurry up with the milk please”, I sprout. Today they want cheese on toast which needs me to pre heat the oven. The milk is done but the boys still focusing too hard on the banana. My hubby’s ‘Late ho Jayega, c’mon fast be fast’ is still making no difference to their speed. I serve the boys some butter toast to go with the milk and the younger one declares its potty time for him. So while I am laying the breads in the oven Gaurav takes him to the loo. Now since my younger brat wants someone always around as he sits on that throne, his father uses this time to re-iron and straighten the folding lines from their school uniform while listening to the younger one yank about what this boy did to him and what that teacher told him and why and how he lost his pencil yesterday yet again. Meanwhile the elder one who has finished his breakfast declares that he wants to use the bathroom. FYI,  we have 3 bathroom but my boys are in love with this one alone coz the other 2 has imaginary spiders in them which are always visible to them but always invisible to me.

A war like situation near the bathroom, my 2 tiffins are done yet 2 more to go . It’s 6:50 and the younger one still has to finish his food.He is brought back to the table by his papa and he is non stop chattering about this girl who troubles him in the bus.Morning is the only time he remembers the past future and present and wants all his answers too. My husband now sits down with him to help him finish his toast while checking his office mails in between replying him with a wow yes and no . The elder one my accha bachcha is almost ready and so is their second tiffin . Today they have pasta for lunch in white sauce as requested by them last night. What an accomplishment , but the water bottle still needs to be filled and I call out for my assistant to help and my knight in shining armour appears back in the kitchen to have them filled as I pack up their lunch boxes into their bags. It’s 7:10 I rush in my room to change my clothes as it’s time to drop the boys.  As I comb my hair to look civilised I see my husband struggling to get my younger one wear his shoes while  the elder one is out of the house and threatens to leave as the lift arrives and the little one hopping on one legs shouts ‘Bhiya wait na’.. We are finally at the bus stop and I exchange my greetings with the moms around while reminding my boys that I want their tiffin boxes empty. As the school bus rolls in and I kiss them goodbye I say a short prayer as they alight to keep them safe while they are away.

Back home and its time I always look forward to for my morning cup of chai (tea) with my husband just the way he makes it ekdum kadak masala chai. This tea just makes my day as we to sit down with the newspaper and the hot cuppa and our usual chit chat.

So this is like what happens every morning. Things go a little berserk when he is travelling. I have to do everything on my own. Not that I can’t but he has certainly spoilt me in these 16 years. And NO, I haven’t trained him at all , he has been like this since I have known him. Once I even told my MIL this “ If your man treats you like a princess its a proof that he has been born and raised in the arms of a queen”. She was so delighted and happy to hear this.

I am blessed to have a companion in him who helps me day in day out. Gives me my freedom. Supports me and guides me as a mentor. He is all practical and I am emotional and so I rely on his advice and decisions many times. He is the best dad my boys could have, one who reads them stories at night, attends all the PTM’s with me , takes them for their games and classes over the weekends , shops with them while keeping a tab on their academics as well.A hands-on-dad for sure. Touchwood.

I am secretly hoping that my boys too will turn out like their father when they grow up. But just hoping won’t help here . How do I make them responsible and humane ?  I am sure there is an indirect learning as they see their Papa take on house work with so much ease each day. Very often my elder one pitches in to help. On other days I call out to him for small chores he can manage.  Some simple ones like –

Help me prepare the table for dinner

Help me clear the table post dinner

Folding his comforters as he step out from his bed

Using the wiper to clean and dry the bathroom after his bath

Fill the empty bottles for the fridge in summers

Water the plants

Help me in the simple task of the kitchen at times

Clean his study table and organise his drawers.

Keep his shoes back in the shoe rack. Et al…

Some simple rules. Small steps – one at a time. Won’t be long before I create thorough gentlemen out of my boys. It is very important they understand and realise that it’s not a women job alone to run the house.

So, Don’t hesitate to delegate and ask for help whether you have a girl child or a even a boy.

Happy families have Happy Helping Hands. 🤗

 

 

 

Fragrance

Fragrance

So vivid yet strong

Each different from the other

It trickles my memory 

A feeling so known

This fragrance brought with it

A whiff of days bygone 

Of stories still fresh

It brings back a memory

Mostly sweet

Seldom pain

Is this some kind of factory

My olfactory sense

So sharp and precise

With many stories

Some fullfilled 

Some divine

 Acts like a time machine

Takes me to that place again

As you pass through my breath

 I reminisce we meet again

Yes , I liked you back then

  Dear Fragrance 

Is it why that you stayed ?

                                             The Daily Post : One word prompt : Fragrance

                                             Preeti Manaktala

 

Lollipop

Lollipop

Those summer nights

still fresh in my mind

as we lay on our roof top

gazing the stars

finding their look alike

spotting the Orion

drawing shapes in the sky

joining the dots

flaunting my calibre

made animals and virtual flowers

But waiting to spot

the shooting star showers

and just then again like each times

bedazzled by it’s light

I forget to wish upon it’s swift flight

now thinking what to wish for again if I see

breaking my thoughts

softly he speaks

‘the moon is on leave today

and so is the breeze’

I listen with rapt attention

to my dad as he knows more

about galaxies and world beyond our reach

seeing a cluster he pointed joyfully

that’s an Andromeda my darling

many light years away

the name as big as the distance

made no sense to my compact mind

though it looked like a lollipop 

I promised to pronounce it right

on our next star gazing night.

 

                                             

                                            Daily Prompt Lollipop

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.

 

A Callow Mother..

A child gives birth to a mother 

And a mother was born 

She was amateur and callow 

Her life seemed a bit hollow

Vulnerable to the dreaded postpartum 

Luck turned her into a spartan 

Fear of being clumsy and confused 

She perpetually felt abused

She didn’t know what to do 

With this bundle she just delivered

Who seems so selfish crying and howling 

Even as she quietly quivered 

Found no love for this being and no bond

She only waited  for a magic wand 

So she took each day as it came

Alone battling this game

And with no help around 

Dopamine was nowhere to be found 

Days turned into weeks 

And weeks into months

She hit a all time low

But had no time to slow

It dawned on her , one fine day

Its not easy being a mom

Dripping and smelling of lactose

And no time to comb

She walked around like a milking cow

In her XXL maternity gown

Then a transformation came slowly 

When postpartum said goodbye

She learnt to make time for herself

Made herself some pie

She got better as the days passed 

By stealing time in between

To make herself a cup of Chai

I Hope that’s not called mean

Learning new things each day

She was now on her own

This bundle became her prized possession 

Oh this soul she had known 

 His angelic smile, his babbling and his cheer

Melted her like a candle  

She was now on top gear 

A day came when she patiently watched him in sleep

The bond grew deeper and stronger 

But why did she weep ?

Guess her feelings were now truly deep

A mother was born with feelings so pure 

Now she is not just a mother

But a nurturer to cure

She longed to hold him and cuddle 

As he learnt new things each day

Adding feathers to his cap

He will be a big boy one day!

Now she is a pro and an experienced mom

Before she knew it, the second one came along

She’s truly out numbered 

As now they are three! !

Not a moment for her

Will she Ever be free?!?

Her eldest being a quadragenarian 

This one’s a tough nut 

But he loves her deeply

There are no ifs and buts

Three men in her life now

Keeping her on her toes

Can’t imagine her life without them 

Like a Phoenix , she rose !

I have to leave this unfinished here ..

And come back some other day

To tell you more stories

Of her nights and her days…! 

Preeti Manaktala

Vivid

Vivid
Some dreams are vivid, takes me somewhere I don’t know. But, I know this place. Have I seen it before? Some faces some places look familiar to me..some dreams bring back a memory and some go poof ..never to be seen. Some dreams are like fireflies they look alluring for sometime and disappear into vastness. Sometimes you want them to reoccur so you good fix the broken puzzles and draw some meaning out of them.

I have vivid memories of my childhood and school. Some are close to my heart and some still aches my soul. Sometimes the breeze brings with it a vivid fragrance that I know. I seem to be pulled towards it and it brings with it memories of a person I had known.

“A strong emotion, especially if experienced for the first time, leaves a vivid memory of the scene where it occurred”  Algernon Blackwood

I tasted some garden cress seeds a couple of years back and when I chewed on it , I experienced the flavour of something that I had tasted a long long time back. Was it the flavour of a leave that I chewed on as I played Kho Kho with my friends, or was it the taste of a blade of grass that I chewed on as I lay down in the park with my friends.. I haven’t been able to trace the taste of this seed or found the memory that still holds in me. The taste is vivid and it transports me to another place in time .. and so I often like to visit this taste at times…

“Live in moments that consume your heart and mind, but be distracted by the music from the leaves, birds, wind, rain, sun and people”
― Val Uchendu

“The days of the monsoon and the dark clouded sky, brings back vivid memories of my school days I wish I could buy.”

One rainy morning it got dark due to the overcast sky . We were in our classes and it was getting pitch dark. The teacher switched on the lights in the class and I saw the classroom in a new light today. The whole class looked so wonderful and different that day. But I could never focus on studying that day. What took my attention was the cool breeze and smell of the earth. The dewy petrichor pulled me and all I wanted to do was to look at the swaying Eucalyptus trees outside my class window, the wet road the grey skies and the thunder. And on a rainy day like this when my kids are off to school and I sip my cup of tea looking out to the grey pouring sky, I wonder if they feel the day as I did .. Oh ! such vivid memories …they always fills me up with cheer ..I hope my children also make some vivid memories as they grow..