Happy tenth!

A decade – ten years it has been – of togetherness. Should I be saying – ‘you complete me‘? Nah, I would rather say – ‘I am incomplete without you‘! 🙂

It has not been a easy ride (is anybody’s ever?) – there have been ups and downs, triumphs and trials, laughs and lows, tears and toasts… moments when one’s felt euphoric, that life can never be better and others when one has felt down in the dumps, like it was the worst!

Marriage, they say is a life-changing event. I would agree whole-heartedly, especially it still is, in our society and is an important milestone in each of our lives. It’s important that you have someone to share your thoughts with, to laugh-along or to find solace when you’re upset about something – a friend, a companion, a lover, a guide, a protector, a provider, someone who needs your care and attention like a child. I’d say, we experience a plethora of relationships through our spouse. The demands are different and the roles you need to essay keep changing, it’s a dynamic relationship – ever-changing and that’s what makes it interesting. And no matter how many years pass, each day is different.

The initial years are all about moments that set your heart a-flutter – when you’re discovering each other and what makes him/ her tick. You’re fine-tuning your frequencies, being in generous moods to adjust and accept, all in the name of love/ tenderness that you feel for the other person. Whoever said that one has to be in love to get married, was ill-informed. There can be love after marriage too – as has been proved by the several hundreds of arranged marriages over the generations of our parents and grand-parents. You might argue all you want – that these marriages were not on equal terms, that the women didn’t have much choice and the men had the final word always. But you can’t deny that there was love – that’s the beauty of it, isn’t it? that love can have so many manifestations!

Slowly as you settle into the humdrum of married life, a few years down the line, life starts losing it’s rosy sheen and you begin to see the flaws and the idiosyncrasies in the partner – what used to amuse you once, might just irritate you or worse still, might be disgusting in some extreme cases. You begin to make further adjustments and a slow sense of familiarity and sometimes resignation – looking at the bigger picture, sets in. Also around the beginning of these years, a child makes an appearance and priorities shift. The bundle of joy becomes the attention-seeker and all efforts go in trying to appease and take care of your child. The child is the apple of your eyes and every single routine begins to revolve around him/ her. The marriage and the sense of seeking comfort in each others’ arms takes a back-seat.

Further years cause more adipose tissues to be built around the relationship as each settles into their own comfort zones and the keen sense of sensitiveness (which is a given during the early years) starts disappearing and you begin to take your partner for granted. Another child or two doesn’t change the equation much and each gets busier with their own lives, there’s hardly any time or opportunity for heart-to-heart talks. And romance? Well, if you are a keen observer, you can surely see it fly out of the window! 😀

I guess, it’s the latter years which again gives opportunities for rekindling the romance?! After running non-stop being a part of the rat-race, when you finally retire and take a breather, that’s when you look at everything around you afresh, with new eyes. The small gestures and sacrifices which would’ve gone unseen and unappreciated over the years get a second look.Sometimes the enormity of the sacrifices which the partner has had to make – which inevitably in most cases in our society turns out to be the woman, begins to dawn upon you. Or maybe not. You just begin to appreciate your spouse a teeny bit more. It’s also the time when the birds have flew the nest, the children are all grown up and busy running the rat-races of their own lives and don’t have much time and don’t need you any longer (till they have kids of their own, that is! 😀 ). You find solace in each other’s company. Further additions to the family in the name of the grandchildren keep you busy and you rediscover the pure unadulterated joy that children can bring to one’s lives. And so it goes on… The lucky ones get to spend these golden times together, the unlucky ones not so.

I guess I’ve generalized a lot in visualising the life-scenes played out above, but most often this, with a few tweaks and side-plots here and there, is the story of our lives 😀

Parenthood and the companionship for the latter years of one’s life – these are reasons enough for marriage, according to me. Parenthood is an inexplicable joy – there are people who are single/ married-with-no-kids who are happy doing their own thing in life. Ha ha, we too were happy go-lucky, travelling around and enjoying the various perks of not having kids, for quite some time. But then, once you are a parent there’s no looking back. That one tiny bundle makes all the difference, you wouldn’t want to trade that feeling for anything in the world. It becomes the focus of all your thoughts and energies and deeds. All you want is the well-being and happiness of your child. Heck, we tried doing a couples-only trip for the tenth anniversary, but couldn’t get the little imp out of our thoughts! 😀 Sights and sounds and actions and happenings reminded us of him all the time and we missed him badly, while he was having a rocking, rollicking time with cousins at his grandma’s! 😛

Having a friend and partner for old age helps one lead a complete, fulfilling life, I believe. We see so many single elders sad and depressed due to lack of company when their world slows down. From the looks of it, the spouse in this case is irreplaceable. It also helps to keep each other busy, active, chirpy and occupied, without causing unnecessary interferences and upsets with the kids’ lives. After all, what can be more satisfying than having your life-long companion by your side as you watch the years pass by, your children grow up, your efforts bear fruit, and you walk together, hand-in-hand into the most gorgeous, brightest sunset of your life?! 🙂

And that, is what I wish for us, on this occasion! Happy tenth PK, and here’s looking forward to spending many many more, with you by my side! 🙂

 

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Talk of the Frangipani and the lure of firang-lands

Hellooo, I say ** and wait for the echoes to come back to me** ‘coz obviously there aren’t any readers here any more! 😀
Before I change my mind and think that it’s too much effort to type out a post, let me get on with what I have to say.

Firstly, I am thrilled that the very first flowers on my ‘Frangipani‘ plant have bloomed and there are many more buds ready to burst-forth! 😀 I’ve always wanted to have this plant (also called the “temple tree” as someone mentioned) in my home, mainly for it’s heavenly fragrance and the flowers themselves, which are so beautiful with their velvety shaded petals. And I was particular that I wanted this variety which had the smaller yellow flowers – not the pink ones or the long-petal-ed white ones! The gardener who got the plant for us must’ve prayed, and prayed hard – I’d threatened him of dire consequences if it turned out to be of any other variety! Did I already mention that I am thrilled?!! 😀

Sometimes I go back to my old blog posts and read what I’d written. Sometimes I flinch, but those occasions aren’t many – mostly I am left wondering if I indeed wrote all that at some point in time. I seemed to have so much to say! An opinion on everything, I’d find topics to write about so easily. Books that I read, movies I watched, trips that I went on, the everyday happenings, the events unfolding around the world – sporting and otherwise; I seemed to be so “tuned in”. These days if I think of writing something, I feel “zoned out”; like it is so much of an effort. It’s like I have this a sudden urge to write – something, anything! But most often I’m unable to type out a post at a stretch and later in the day I am back in the seemingly thought-less void!

Nevertheless to get on with the post, amongst other everyday happenings we managed to catch a night show of the movie “Airlift” recently. We liked the movie – although it is not an exact representation, it is a take of the events that unfolded in Kuwait in the early 90s and how a couple of individuals and the Indian government came to the rescue of the 1.7 lakh Indian refugees who were holed up at Kuwait after the Iraqi attack. Akshay Kumar‘s character is based on the lives of two businessmen whose almost heroic efforts were instrumental in getting these people back home during the crisis situation. I especially loved the role played by the seemingly inconsequential Joint Secretary in the External Affairs ministry; all said and done he had a major role to play in getting the Indian govt. to act! At the end of the movie as they flashed the statistics of it being the single biggest airlift operation in the world – with Indian Airlines flying in nearly 490 flights over 50 days to evacuate all those people, I had goosebumps and my heart swelled with pride! The movie brought a lump to my throat, a similar memory I have is from my school days when we’d watched Border – the story of how a few dozen men fought the fierce battle at the border to wrench control from enemies, for the country’s sake; not caring for their lives or their families.

When I look at friends and aquaintances and hear of them flying away to far-off lands in search of better opportunities and a better lifestyle, I wonder. As it happens, most often, once you go and start living elsewhere, especially when it offers a more conducive atmosphere for your work and life, doesn’t it become more and more difficult to get back to the homeland knowing the harsh realities that await you here? When we as adults find it so difficult to adjust, just spare a thought for the young kids who’re bundled off, who’ve never seen anything of the kind to be even prepared for! No doubt the foreign shores have much to offer but does it outweigh the feeling of being at one’s home, amongst family and friends? And what about these external factors on which one doesn’t have control – like the harsh weather extremities or the insurgent revolts or the terrible terror attacks? One has to be ready to sign up for all these too, along with all the niceties, isn’t it? Of course, there’s no guarantee that one’s own country is free from all these – but doesn’t it make sense to have one’s family, friends and support systems firmly around, to face such difficulties?

January also saw me making a quick trip to Kerala to attend a friend and ex-colleague’s wedding, with family and another colleague’s family in tow. The wedding itself held at the famous temple premises in the town of Guruvayur was a quickie and we spent some time exploring the surrounding attractions. The said collegue has already flown away from her nest, to settle in the hinterlands of Amreeka. Sigh! One can’t help but feel for her aging parents – who of course were thrilled to see her getting married! But how about being around when they need you the most in their sunset years?

Guess, it’s a very debatable topic. I, for one, have always believed and will continue to believe that with all it’s flaws and fantasies, India is the place to be, for me. There’s nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing that is really worthwhile enough, to leave and head away from here! India – with her myriad extremes is truly incredible – while there is beauties galore, there are several beasts one has to battle with too. But as I mentioned, at the end of the day, it’s home! 🙂

Dream come true!

There are few instances in life that one can actually call a ‘dream come true’ moment. The kind, may be when you land a job at your dream workplace? or get a seat at a top-notch university that you coveted and worked hard for? or hold a much loved and wished-for new-born baby girl/ boy in hand after 9 months of nourishment in the womb.

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

We had one such ‘dream-come-true moment’ last week when we stepped into our very own newly built home on the auspicious occasion of the gruhapravesha, in the valley alongside a small hillock in our beloved city of Bangalore! 🙂

I don’t clearly remember when exactly it was that this became our dream… may be after 2-3 years of being a happily married and carefree couple with no real responsibilities on our shoulders. That must’ve been around the time when we saw friends and family making investments and buying/ building their homes to settle down and a seed was sown in a corner of our minds that we’d like to have a nest of our own too.

We were on the look-out for houses/ plots/ flats from then-on but never really seriously got around to buying anything. Mainly because we were confused – we wanted an independent house but the ones we saw were way beyond budget and more so, needed repairs and renovation to suit our needs. Only a flat would fit into our budget, but we weren’t very keen and also couldn’t find good ones in the localities we were looking in. The plots in the city had sky-rocketing prices and the affordable ones were a good 10-15 kms in the outskirts…nothing seemed to fall in place.

It was around 5 years back that the hubby came across this layout while he was on one of his site-scouring trips on the bike. He mentioned it to me and it sounded promising. We went around soon enough and I was excited, this looked like the place for us! It was well within the city and what’s more, very near and well connected to all the localities that we’d normally traverse regularly; most importantly it would be close to his mom’s place for the hubby. It was just 10 mins ride away from our present much-loved locality of stay. One wouldn’t have to travel for hours daily along the A/ B/ C roads in Bangalore to reach the place. It was a locality inhabited and maintained by decent, well-cultured families. The layout was on a small hillock and just riding-up one could feel the dip in temperature with a cool breeze to caress, with a panoramic view of the entire city. And what’s more, the cost – although it would require us to stretch a bit, wouldn’t be beyond what we could afford!

The cons were – the approach roads weren’t all that wide as it was through a locality which was previously a village and had been converted into layouts without any planning. There was no Cauvery water supply piping yet, although it had reached the neighbouring locality down the hillock – we would have to depend on the layout’s water supply till that fell into place. The pros seemed to outweigh the cons and our minds were made-up and we initiated the discussions to buy a site in the layout. There were many months of tense waiting and the hubby did the rounds of several BBMP and government offices to make sure that the titles and papers were all in the clear. With the number of scams tumbling out of the govt. closets these days, we didn’t want our life savings to go down the drain!

After much running around, finally everything was sorted and we were ready to sign on the dotted line and after spending a tiring morning at the registrar’s office the house papers were in our hands. Or the bank’s hands rather, as we’d taken a combined plot+construction loan to be able to invest. Nevertheless we were thrilled with our very own piece of land, on which we dreamt looking fondly into the future, that our home would stand one fine day. For a couple of years after that we lay low, paying the EMIs and getting on with life… and soon we got busy with our bundle of joy who arrived to further add to our happiness. Soon enough as the months rolled by, we realized that we had to begin the construction – as the combined loan requires one to begin construction within a stipulated time period after the loan is taken.

Then began the exercise of trying to find the right contractor/ engineer/ architect who could translate our dreams into reality. We visited some architecture firms, spoke to many contractors, got the design done by some contractors, who’d also design homes, considered the option of going in for alternate construction methods, had various debates on what was good and what was not, visited several under-construction houses to check if we liked something… this went on for some months. One such day we walked into a house nearing completion of construction in one of the cross-roads of our locality and immediately fell in love with the way it was designed. It was spacious and well-thought-out with lot of importance given to good-lighting and ventilation. That was what we primarily wanted in our house – it had to be well-lit and well-ventilated giving us a sense of wide spaces throughout in all the rooms. We quickly got the contact details of the architect and got in touch – it was a lady, freelance architect who was just getting back into her working groove with a young daughter on hand.

We fixed up an appointment and went to speak to her; we told her our needs and looked at pictures of some of her previous assignments. She frankly told us that she took up few projects and only with people whom she felt comfortable with; one – because of her young daughter and secondly because she would be involved in every stage of the construction right till we moved into the house. Her job wouldn’t end with just handing over the design drawings and so her rates weren’t cheap either. We contemplated and said ok and she came up with the design of our home. It was exhilarating going through that design with her – seeing our needs being transformed into nooks and corners of the various rooms in the house. As with all her designs there was scope for ample light and air and the house would be crowned by a huge skylight! We loved the design and said yes; of course it had to go through many refinements with various sittings and rounds of discussions later.

Thereafter came the choice of the contractor – we spoke to one of our liking and another recommended by her, but the rates quoted were too high for our budget we thought – which in hindsight was probably a mistake, we feel at times, but nevertheless we decided not to choose either. Around the same time, my sister’s family were planning the construction of their home, for which they had approached my engineer uncle to handle everything – right from the design to the planning and construction. We decided to talk to him also to check if he could supervise the construction for the design we’d already gotten from the architect. Our uncle said yes, mainly because both the houses would be fairly close-by on the same side of town, only a few kms apart, but with the condition that he would hire a maestri to oversee the daily work and we would have to do all coordination for the materials purchases and payments etc. This way he wouldn’t be involved in the financial aspect of the construction and would only serve as the facilitator for getting the construction done. We agreed to it, knowing that it wouldn’t be easy for us – full-time working individuals with a small child to manage all this, but atleast this way we’d be able to significantly control the cost we reasoned.

And thus began the saga of the house construction which went on for a good year and a half. There were many highs and many lows… lets suffice to say that we were involved with every single aspect as the house came up through the various stages right from the foundation to getting the loads of sand and cement, from the laying of the bricks & concrete to the roofing and plastering as the structure came up in a matter of months. But then began the various travails – as more parties got involved and when we had to do the various selections, the co-ordination and the involvement and decisions increased multifold. The architect gave us good options, but since we were literally doing lot of research to get the best suited products at as less cost as possible, the decisions were very difficult. The flooring selection took ages after lot of dilly-dallying and we rushed to place the order for the sanitary-ware as there were rumours that the prices would shoot up post the festival season. We ran around for the tiles and when it came to choosing the carpenters we had more worries evaluating the options. Whatever we chose had to go through 2 level of approvals – one with the architect and then by the various working-teams for feasibility.

There were tons of arguments and heated discussions and we got to the point of going crazy with the confusion and issues we faced sometimes, the hubby having to deal with most of it. Taking the painting, carpentry and flooring work to a point of logical conclusion before the pooja can be a story by itself! The hubby was on-site getting last-minute stuff and cleaning done till 11 PM on the eve of the pooja. Well, at the end of it, we do have a beautiful home to go to, as every single person gushed on the d-day. But the stress and heart-burn we went through was something we could have done without. In hindsight sometimes we do feel that having a contractor would’ve probably saved us most of this trouble, but then we wouldn’t have been so much richer in experience! 😀

All said and done, we’re nearly at the end of this journey of building a home from scratch – there still are minor things to be fixed and completed and it will be sometime before we can actually move in.

The courtyard leading to our hearts!

The courtyard leading to our hearts!

And then it will be a whole new journey altogether, with the excitement of setting up everything afresh; but more importantly of filling our home and hearts with enough love and joy, to envelop us and all our loved ones in it’s folds of warmth 🙂 And that feeling is aptly described by the name we have chosen for our nest! Wish us luck, won’t you?! 🙂

In search of solutions…

As I was saying in my previous post, I am ending up traveling 2 hours each way to office daily. During one such soujourn back home where the roads seemed to be stretching on and on, me and my colleague were discussing the possible steps that we could take to overcome this daily commute issue. Suddenly one of us had this idea and I thought a lot about it later too. I even discussed it with the hubby and it was he who gave the idea of putting it up here.

Well, the idea we had was nothing ingenious – it’s a pretty commonplace one. The question I have is – why hasn’t it been implemented yet? We were basically discussing that the IT companies should build living quarters for their employees at a distance which is within the 5 km radius from their workplaces. Now, as all of us are aware, this is a pretty common thing with the Government and Public sector units. Any big government organization or a PSU have living quarters built and allotted to their employees. The companies which come to mind are the IIMs, IISc, HMT, BEL, HAL, ISRO, DRDO, NAL etc. The size, quality and comfort of the quarters allotted of course depends on the hierarchy levels and is decided based on the seniority of the employees. Now, why can’t IT companies take a leaf out of their books and implement a similar idea? Here are some points why I think this needs to be done:

  • This will help scores of employees (like me, me, me!!) who have to travel from far-off places everyday to work – staying close-by helps in better time management, productivity improvements and better work-life balance with more quality time to be spent with family
  • This will help reduce the traffic on the roads to a big extent I believe – with the office cabs having to ply only between the quarters and offices as opposed to going all over the city and also the scores of people who ride/ drive to work might not need to do so, atleast not for long distances
  • This will help companies in retaining their employee base – after all what do we want in life? – a workplace offering good opportunities and challenges, a good working environment and a good team to work with – all these apart from a decent salary of course. But the most challenging aspect of working these days has become the daily commute which eats into a major chunk of our everyday lives. We spend hours on the road – neither working nor spending time with family. So if somebody offered me the option of staying within a vicinity of 5-10 kms from work in decent company provided accomodation, I wouldn’t mind taking it even with a few concessions on the other fronts like salary and facilities!
  • The real estate prices in Bangalore have gone spiralling upwards ever since it became the IT-hub. Scores of apartments have sprung up in all corners of the city – thanks to the crowds from other parts of India who typically find the apartment-living therapy more convenient rather than staying in independent houses. What this has resulted in is flats being built and given out on rent – even on small gullies with hardly space for more than one 4-wheeler to move in. I sometimes wonder at the quotes of rent I hear from my colleagues who live close to the ITPL/ Whitefield hub – it has become a means for good money-making – if you have a place to stay in this area give it out for rent and find yourself another rented place elsewhere at a lower cost! We can try to curb this trend if companies can offer living accomodation to its employees.
  • Lastly, living in quarters builds a beautiful sense of community living. It’s a lovely experience with kids of all the families coming together to play, learn and grow up together – irrespective of caste, creed and status. Some of my earliest memories are times spent growing up in the living quarters of the institution that my dad worked in. I remember the fun times we had as kids – running around bare feet on sunny afternoons chasing butterflies, playing kunte-bille and kalla-police and generally running around in gay abandon, sliding down concrete stair slopes and scraping our knees, visiting each others’ houses on festival days and revelling in all the fun! And all this within the safe confines of community living where our parents didn’t have to worry about their kids running out into the roads… I believe this adds hugely to our personalities and defines the kind of people we turn out to be.

The hubby was of the opinion that this model won’t work out – he said look at the condition of all those govt. quarters which were built years ago – the maintenance costs will run into lakhs of rupees. I say – you are looking at companies which mostly run on government funds – the reliability of which, we all know and can imagine. But here I am talking about private companies and that too not the small fry, but the big giants who declare their profits every quarter with pride and who’s revenues run into billions. As for maintenance, take that money from our salaries, I sure won’t mind paying a few thousands from my pocket yearly for the maintenance of the house I live in, provided it is properly accounted for and managed efficiently. It would be equivalent to the maintenance charges collected as part of rent by the house owners even otherwise!

Well, what do you think? Is it really a non-do-able prospect? I’d sure like to hear what others think…

The accident

It was like any other day… the last Tuesday. Having gotten up as usual we went about doing our daily chores – the usual cooking, getting ready for work, giving the little one a bath and getting him ready for the drop-off at his grandma’s place etc. Yes, the one not-so-daily-feature was the early morning argument with the maid, which ensued in an exchange of words between us and her, resulting in her ouster from the job, effective that day itself. It went as far as that because she really did cross her limits that day and I must say that we’ve been pretty patient with her, having put up with her tongue which seems to run away with her many times. But that day was the limit and the hubby was livid. In retrospect we really are glad to have gotten rid of her – considering that we’re the employers here it really shouldn’t have been so difficult to dismiss her from her duties, but believe me when I say it was a near-Herculean task!

Well, that really isn’t what this post is about. As I was saying, it was like any other day. After a few talks on how we would manage our commute with the deviation of having to drop the kid at my sis-in-law’s place (with the mil stationed there for a couple of days), we decided to take our two-wheeler, leave the kid there and carry-on further together to the workplaces, with the hubby dropping me off first and then getting to his office – the same as what we’d done the previous day. As per the plan, we started from home and bid goodbye to the little one after ensuring that he was comfortable with his grandma and cousin brother. The hubby decided to take an alternate road – one which we didn’t normally use. This was only a slight deviation and we would soon reach our regular road by going up another ramp of the same fly-over. We started up the fly-over ramp and I was glancing at the ads lining the huge glass windows of an adjoining mall along the road below – that’s when it happened. Suddenly our two-wheeler wobbled and with the hubby trying to apply the brakes to control it, it seemed to skid completely and I got thrown away a couple of feet onto the hard tarmac. The first thing I remember is the throbbing pain on both sides of my head. I didn’t realize how exactly it happened and how I got thrown away – I just remember getting up immediately amidst the pain and looking back – my first thought was to get away from the vehicles behind and check if the hubby was doing the same. As I turned back, I cannot explain how relieved I was to find that there weren’t many vehicles behind us and the hubby too was up and trying to get to the side of the road. A couple of other 2-wheeler riders had stopped and were trying to help us. I was in a bit of a daze, I held my head in both hands and stood next to the side-wall of the flyover – I saw my phone lying some distance away, the husband was bleeding from near his eye and nose, people were offering to take him to the hospital and all the while I was thinking that my head was going to split open with all that pain.

In spite of the bleeding my husband quickly gathered his wits and we decided to go to the hospital which was right below the flyover. We reassured the kind people who’d stopped to help and started on our way. I don’t know how the hubby rode, he had closed his injured eye and was riding, all the while deciding the best course of action. We decided not to go to the nearby big hospital and instead go to the specialist eye clinic which was a slight distance away – probably it was foolishness on our part, but the decision was taken since it was the eye in question and acted upon in that split second. Enroute I began sobbing uncontrollably – the worst thoughts kept coming to mind and my life seemed to flash by my eyes in those few minutes. The hubby kept consoling me, saying that he won’t be able to think clearly if I lose faith and asking me to remain calm and that everything would be alright.

We soon reached the clinic and they rushed the hubby into an ophthalmologist’s consultation room while I attended to the formalities at the reception. I rushed in and the doctor soon reassured me that nothing was wrong with his vision, the cut which was bleeding was below his eye and above his cheek, it had not affected the eye though there was some internal hemorrhage which had already caused the eye to swell with redness. After the initial scare subsided about the extent of his injury, they asked me – are you not hurt? That’s when I spoke about the severe pain in my head and as I did so, I touched the side of my head only to find something dark and sticky in my hair . Needless to say it was blood and they soon found that I had a deep cut in my scalp about a cm long which was bleeding and needed a few sutures to patch it up.

To cut a long story short, we got back home after the initial treatment; further follow-up check-up and doctor visits confirmed that the extent of injury was luckily limited. It took us a few days to overcome all the body pain and bone-aches and the initial shock of the accident. Needless to say it gives me the shivers even now – just the thought that we met with an accident and how easily it could’ve been anything worse. It makes me look at everything with a new perspective and I have sent a billion thank you’s to God that we didn’t have the baby with us when this happened. I cannot but think of the what if’s – what if we didn’t have to go to the sil’s place? what if we had taken the car? what if we hadn’t chosen the alternate route? was that slight anxiety I felt when I switched off the puja-room lights before leaving, an indication? what if there were some heavy vehicles coming behind us when this happened? I have worried so much thinking of the scary things that could have happened to us; but my heart has been equally gushing with the gratefulness for the positives.

Even as I type all of this down, I really am not coherent on what I need to say – probably a few months or years down the line I will be able to look at this objectively and say something; but definitely not now.  All I want to say is – thank you God for saving us, for being there for us when we needed your blessings and most importantly we can’t thank you enough for keeping our baby safe!

ಒಂಟಿತನ ಮತ್ತು ದೇವರು

ಜೀವನ ಎಷ್ಟು ವಿಚಿತ್ರ ಅಲ್ಲವೇ? ಹೇಳೋದಕ್ಕೆ ನಾವು ಸಮಾಜ ಜೀವಿಗಳು… ನಮಗೆ ಸಂಸಾರ – ಅಪ್ಪ, ಅಮ್ಮ, ಅಕ್ಕ, ತಂಗಿ, ಅಣ್ಣ, ತಮ್ಮ, ಗಂಡ, ಹೆಂಡತಿ, ಮಗ, ಮಗಳು, ಅಜ್ಜಿ, ತಾತ … ಹೀಗೆ ನೂರಾರು ಸಂಬಂಧಿಕರು; ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಶಾಲೆಯ, ಕಾಲೇಜಿನ ಸಹಪಾಠಿಗಳು, ಕೆಲಸದ ಸಹುದ್ಯೋಗಿಗಳು, ಅದಲ್ಲದೆ ಅಕ್ಕ-ಪಕ್ಕದ ಮನೆಯವರು, ದಾರಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹೋಗಿ ಬರುವಾಗ ಸಿಗುವ ಹಾಯ್-ಬೈ ಸ್ನೇಹಿತರು… ಅಬ್ಬ! ಅದೆಷ್ಟು ಜನ!

ಆದರೆ ದಿನದ ಕೆಲವು ಕ್ಷಣಗಳು ಇರುತ್ತವೆ – ನಮಗೆ ಯಾರು ಇಲ್ಲವೆನ್ನಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ, ಯಾವುದೂ ಬೇಡವಾಗಿರುತ್ತದೆ – ನಾವು ಎಷ್ಟು ಒಬ್ಬಂಟಿಗರು ಎನ್ನುವ ಕಹಿ ಭಾವನೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಮನದ ತಿಳಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬೇಸರದ ಅಲೆಗಳನ್ನು ಎಬ್ಬಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಅದಕ್ಕೇ ಇರಬೇಕು ಮನುಷ್ಯ ಇಷ್ಟು ವೈಜ್ಞಾನಿಕವಾಗಿ ಹಾಗು ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞಾನದಲ್ಲಿ ಮುಂದುವರಿದರೂ ಎಲ್ಲೋ ಒಂದು ಕಡೆ – ಆ ‘ದೇವನಿರುವನು’ ಎಂಬುದು ಒಂದು ನಿಶ್ಚಲ ಸತ್ಯ, ಎಂದು ಇನ್ನೂ ನಂಬಿದ್ದಾನೆ. ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಸಂಬಂಧಗಳ ಬಂಧನಗಳಿಂದ ಮುಕ್ತರಾಗಲು ನಾವು ದೇವರ ಮೊರೆ ಹೊಕ್ಕುತ್ತೇವೆ!

Month-long motherhood

How do you feel about being a mom?

How is motherhood treating you?

These are some questions several of my friends have asked me over the past month and a half. My replies have been varied – the feeling is still sinking in – I am taking it one day at a time without thinking too far ahead – it’s a novel lovely feeling etc. I don’t know about the other moms, but one fact I have realized is – motherhood is anything but easy! 😀 At every step you face situations where you gotta deal with a gamut of absolute blinding-ly new emotions and experiences. You gotta learn and unlearn skills and quickly too! You can never relax and say – yes, this is it! I have done it! ‘coz each day brings along new surprises and challenges.

There’ve been days and nights when I’ve been at a complete loss, beset with all sorts of self doubts, weeping in sheer frustration and helplessness – not knowing why he cries and throws tantrums, what his feelings are and what troubles him. And then there have been others where I’m overwhelmed by thankfulness that he is at peace and in comfort. What makes it all worthwhile is that tiny little soul who has stormed into our lives. As I lie down at night, listening to his gentle rhythmic breath, I get up and peer over the cradle at his peaceful countenance, fascinated and unable to believe sometimes that I am now a mother of this little child!

As he gurgles and plays, flailing his little arms and legs and listens beady-eyed as I coo sweet nothings to him, I cannot but smother him with kisses. Needless to say, he is already the apple of everyone’s eyes at home – from being his ajji’s puttanna to his thatha’s puttaani, his doddajji’s kullanti to his appa’s gunda and his chikkamma’s chinnumunnu! As for his besotted mad mother, she comes up with a new name every minute! 🙂

I continue to discover new joys and lessons on this journey of motherhood and all I can say is – being blessed with a child is the most life-changing event that can occur to you, ever! I’m sure the other parents will nod their heads sagely, in agreement! 🙂