Few Middle class chronicles (Story of every middle class household)

We all have that one dinner set in our kitchen and a silken bedsheet which is reserved only for the special guests.

We believe in optimum utilisation of resources, hence toothpaste, shampoo, ketchups, lotions are squeezed till their last drop.

Our old tees are never thrown. Oh they make the best mops after all.

Our TV remote is packed in two layered plastic covers.

That red ribbon on our new cars, car seats poly covers, stickers of brand new TV, refrigerator etc. are kept for quite a sometime to get the feeling of “bought something new”.

Soft drink bottles and cookie cans are always reused for storing water and keeping miscellaneous stuff.

Buffets are blessings for us.

Exotic fruits and juices are overfed in marriage parties.

We all have that huge polybag with hundreds of polybags inside in the store room or backyard of our houses. Optimum utilisation, remember 😉

We treat wrapping paper with equal respect as the gifts packed in it. Gifts are unpacked so delicately that the wrapping paper is saved for reuse.

Our kids never grow older than 3 years in buses and trains. Half price travelling 😉

In rajdhani/ shatabdi trains, we never refuse curd and ice cream even in extreme winter and asking for extra soup is obvious.

We can adjust in any and every situation. Don’t be surprised to see a crowd coming out of a five seater car.

Breakfast must be included in room rent and the hotel must supply new soap, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser everyday.

While buying dry fruits and cookies, half is gone in tasting itself.

Getting free salad, pickle, extra sauces in restaurants is a fundamental right.

Bargaining is in our blood. We never forget to take chillies and coriander for free from the grocery seller.

And how can I not mention asking for free golgappa in the end.

 

Let him be an individual, a Man…not joru ka ghulam or Mamma’s boy

It was Friday evening and Mihir thought of giving a surprise to Kanika by reaching home early from office. He was very excited to imagine the happiness on her face on seeing him. He planned a movie followed by dinner, already bought the movie tickets which Kanika wanted to see but Mihir was not able to make it as he was occupied in his meetings all that month. He was humming song and driving towards home.

As he rang the doorbell, his mother opened the door and without uttering a single word, went into her room. He could sense something wrong and went upstairs directly to see Kanika and surprise her. Kanika was sobbing in one corner of the room with her parent’s pic in her hand. By now, Mihir was clear that he himself is going to direct a movie that night being the so called Hero and two protagonists. He was agitated as this was not the first time he had to go through all the drama and cool down the situation by a midway solution maintaining a balance between the two ladies in his life. He was stressed and all his excitement and happiness disappeared.

The entire evening was spent in listening to both the parties, settling the matter and giving it a temporary fix. By then, Mihir was quite exhausted physically and mentally. He threw the movie tickets in the dustbin and went to bed empty stomach.

I think this is not only the situation of Mihir. Many of us have seen the same scenario in our families or relatives or friends. Recently, one of my friends was diagnosed with diabetes, despite maintaining good eating habit and exercise too. Reason was stress, depression. He was shuffling between his mom and wife and trying to breathe in a highly suffocating environment.

Why can’t we just treat man as an individual? Why do we always expect him to be a balancer between wife and mother? Why he is always judged? Why? By getting married, is he just going to spend rest of his life in resolving issues between the two? Might as well he remains single and get some peace of mind. Why can’t wives understand that he can’t leave his parents just for her or even he can’t change his attitude towards them just because you want more importance in his life. He still has things to talk to his parents, seek their advice, suggestions, discuss future plans, family, financials and many more. So if you have a mindset to have him around 24/7, please get him some life.

At the same time, why can’t mothers understand that your son is no longer single. He needs time to know and understand his wife more as she is her future. If you expect him to be your good boy all the time, better don’t marry him. He will always be at your service.

We always talk about the ill treatment done with the women in our society but are men not judged or ill treated? If not more, equally? They already have a mental pressure of managing the finances of the family. Can’t we just keep him away from all the unnecessary drama? Why can’t we just understand that by doing all this, we are pestering him and there is a limit to everything. Once that limit is crossed and your man is unable to handle the situation, he looks for peace outside. Love vanishes for both of you –  mom and wife. So, just think about it before it’s too late and we lose our loved ones!

Yay, its Children’s Day…Love laugh live and be a kid again

Ogilvy says, “The best ideas come as jokes, so keep your thinking as funny as possible”. Grow up but never kill the child inside you.

My craze of Children’s Day is yet not over and I don’t think it will ever be. Even after being a Mom, I still have that child within me and I want it forever. Sometimes it’s very relaxing to be a child again, play, laugh, shout without any worries and forgetting all the tensions of life. No judgements, no politics, no mind games, no drama…just fun and selfless love.

Children’s Day brings so many cherished memories of those golden days, celebration in school, cultural programs, games, competitions, prize distribution, grabbing handful of goodies, flaunting our new hairbands and shoes, oh we get to wear fancy clothes instead of school uniform. Searching your crush in the crowd and see how she/he was looking in civil dress. That was fun.

Not just this single day, I miss everything about childhood. That school uniform, those black shoes, two plaits with ribbons, my pink water bottle, school bag, long gossip sessions at cycle stand during recess, nicknames of teachers, writing name of crush on school tables secretly, exams fever, copying notes, punishments and so much more.

Back home, playing and fighting with my brother, visiting family on holidays, summer vacations, lazing around, last minute preparation during exams, treat by parents after every result. Those were not very fancy days but surely the best days of my life. Didn’t realise when those innocent minds become a part of this manipulative and tricky world.

Wish I had a time machine to go back to that time and live those precious moments once again.

 

 

 

Letter to my twin little hearts on their second birthday

To My Little Hearts,

It was your 2nd birthday a week ago, and now it has started to hit me. You’re already 2. I know there are still a few more years for you to be full-fledged KIDS when you will be no longer “little”. I mean, technically you’re still only about 10kgs, wear diapers, look for me for poop but big enough to walk around and turn our home sweet home to a crazy nest. But soon you will be tall enough to ride your bicycle well without my help, ride the big kid rides at the waterpark, zip up your jackets and eat your meals well. You won’t need me everytime then. I will miss the cuddles, you crawling into my lap, your own cute language, silly giggles and laughter and much more.

When I look back now, to the time when you were born, those NICU days when I used to shuffle between home and hospital twice a day with my stitched belly just to hug you, feel you closer, touch your tiny fingers, hear your heartbeats and if lucky, get your smile. Spending those nights without you at home was no less than a punishment.

The first year with you was tough, really tough. While juggling between diapers and formulas, I was always worried that I was not able to bond with you like my other singleton mommies were doing with their babies. But soon I realised it was a pointless worry. As the days passed by, those challenges seemed easier and today on your second birthday I feel so accomplished. Yes we did it, we made it this far. And we will make the coming future also more beautiful and memorable. I know it’s never going to be easy, as you will grow, there will be other challenges but I’m sure we will together do it.

Today when I see the endless pics and videos that I captured, for your and my memory, it helps me piece together the moments that I stumbled through in a sleep-deprived fog. Gradually it got better with every passing day. The best advise I got from my fellow moms was this phase will pass and I relied upon it. Today it feels it passed in a blink of eye and I’m already missing my little babies.

And today here we are, you are two. I  feel bit sad about it because you are my only children and I’ll never experience the little kid moments again. It will be over soon. I can see you are already big in mind and spirit and soon you will be going to the kindergarten, make new friends, learn coloring, crafts and much more, we won’t be together the whole day then. People say I will get some breathe once you are away in school but I know I will feel incomplete, I will miss you. But I’m sure seeing you grow, discover, learn and blossom will be more exciting and worth those hours of separation.

I thank God daily that you will be there for each other today and always, to help each other from any problem, any trouble, when I can’t be there. I feel so relaxed and embrace the feeling that your best friend with always be with you.

You will outgrow my lap one day but never my heart. For me you will always be my little babies, my little love my little world.

 

 

 

Fest, fast, feast in India…A glimpse of festivals in my beautiful country

It’s festival time in India. Time to celebrate, time to take a break and enjoy the festivities, time to satisfy your sweet cravings, time for togetherness, time for family.

This was the first time I was far away from home and thus missed everything about it. Though I celebrated here with my husband and daughters but still a part of my heart was there in India.

Last month was Navratri, a beautiful festival of  9 holy days when different forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped every day. It is believed that the Goddess will take all their pains away and fill their lives with happiness, strength and prosperity. Since childhood, me and my brother used to be very excited for this festival as my Mom used to fast on these days and cook many delicacies. I continued the rituals of my family and celebrated it to the best possible away this time too. On the 8th day, we invite 9 little girls  to our home, wash their feet, offer food and gifts to them as they are treated as various forms of the Goddesses. I performed this ritual with both my daughters only.

These days are celebrated with great joy and happiness across India. People dress up in their best ethnic attires studded with mirrors and stones and play Garba, a folk dance from the state of Gujarat in which people dance with sticks in their hands. I badly missed this part this year.

 

The 10th and last day of Navratri is Dusshera, a Hindu festival which is celebrated for the victory of goodness over the evil. It is believed that many years ago, on this day, God Rama killed the demon Ravana. It is also known by the names of Dasara and Vijayadashmi is different parts of India. People worship God Rama along with their tools, weapons and stationary this day.

dussehradusshera1

Next was Karwachauth, a one day festival when wives fast for their husbands, from sunrise till moonrise. They get up at dawn, take bath and dress up well in Indian attire, preferably red, orange, yellow, green colored saree or salwar kameez, wear all the fortunate ornaments like bangles, anklets, necklace, toe rings, rings, bindi, sindoor etc. Then they eat the first meal of the day before sunrise only. This includes fruits and sweets. After this meal, they do not eat or drink anything till moonrise. In the afternoon, they perform a pooja where all the married and sometimes unmarried females too sit in a circle and exchange their plates while singing a sacred song. Unmarried females fast for their fiance or for marrying a suitable match. They keep fruits, nuts or a gift  in their plates which they give to their mother in law after the rituals. If someone does not have a mom in law unfortunately, they give it to any elderly female. It is the most favourite day for the ladies in India who fast, as they get a lot of time to pamper themselves and dressing up in the fineries. After moonrise, females worship moon, offer water and sweet to it, then see the moon with a sieve. And then turn towards her husband or fiance and look at them through the sieve and touch their feet. Husband, in turn,  bless her and offer her water and make her eat some sweet to open the fast. Now the wives are free to eat whatever they want. I personally find it very romantic festival when the couple expresses their love for each other in front of the family (which is not so common in India). Nowadays, few husbands have also started fasting for their better halves, breaking the stereotype. We can thank our daily TV soaps for this gesture.

 

Within a week of Karwachauth, there is another festival Ahoi Ashtami, in which mothers fast for the safety and long life of their children. They worship stars in the night, offer sweets to God Ganpati and then open the fast in the night. No doubt, females in India have a strong will power to celebrate these fasts like festivals being hungry throughout the day. Kudos!

After 21 days of Dussehra, there is a festival of lights – Diwali or Deepawali. It is believed that Lord Rama along with his wife and brother returned back, after 14 years of staying in the forest, to his home Ayodhya, now a pilgrimage in UP. It is my favourite festival as it’s full of love, lights, sweets and happiness. It is celebrated with huge pompous and joy in India. People extensively clean their houses, sometimes even whitewash them, decorate their homes with the best possible ways using lights, earthen lamps, candles, flowers and murals too. At the entrance of the houses, we prepare rangoli which is considered to be a fortunate custom as it is believed that Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of money) comes down to the Earth from the Heaven in the night of Diwali and enters the most beautiful and clean houses and stay there. Hence people leave no stone unturned in beautifying their houses. Various sweets are cooked this day and offered to the Goddess Laxmi and God Ganpati in the night during the pooja. Lotus flower is also offered along with sweets, other flowers, mango leaves etc. People worship the new utensils which they bought on Dhanteras, which is celebrated two days before Diwali. People buy utensils, gold, silver coins, jewellery as it is treated as blissful. So all such new belongings are worshipped then after pooja, people burn crackers irrespective of their age. Kids, adults everyone wait every year for this festival so that they can burn crackers and enjoy. Later, people visit friends and families and share gifts, sweets and other delicacies. I tried my hand for the first time on jalebis (pic below) and it turned out well in taste, will work on the looks next time 😉

I’m getting so nostalgic while writing this. Missing family, missing home, missing being there with them, missing everything, Wish to celebrate all these festivals at home, back in India next year.

 

mejalebi

 

No, the list of the festivals is yet not ceased, rest festivals in the next blog. Happy reading till then.