Saturday, October 25, 2008
Ever wondered when a house suddenly starts to feel like home? A flat in an unknown city, taken in a building that's close to work is how the process usually begins. You walk in the first day and look around you and think.. hmmm.. this is where I will come from work each day, this is where I will build my hopes and see my dreams and more mundanely..this is what will protect me come rain or shine!
The walls are bare and white, the floors cold and uninviting, the kitchen scrubbed but empty, the bathroom dry and unfamiliar..the windows - gaping holes staring at other homes. What does it take to make this space fill up with joy and love? Warmth and music? How does this house become a home? Dear friends it all starts - with a list of things required, made by two fond hearts.
A bed and a wardrobe, a table with a couple of chairs, a TV, a Fridge, an oven and cylinder, pots and pans, bucket and tumblers even a broom and a mop make it to the list. Each day henceforth the stores are scoured for the goods, prices bargained, at times compromises made with a promise tag saying.. later when we have enough we will go for the best, at times giving in to an impulse and taking the budget way beyond the allocated amount. Are these the memories then, that fill up the bare space? The tired, after work evenings of unending traffic to reach a particular store, the cool lemonade sipped while choosing from rows and rows of curtains, the mirth of bargaining for doormats, heaving the supplies all the way chivalrously, the impressed smile and the back rub making the fatigue worthwhile.. the tussle over the brand of the fridge, the kiss and make up night thereafter.. these memories are intermittently linked to each piece of furniture.
Then comes the frills.. the rugs and the shades, the lamps and the frames, the rocking chair and the bookshelf, the Sony wireless Home Theater(ouch).. the cushions, the candles, the fridge magnets - all gifts of love, all giving the house the warmth of a home. Nightlong discussions on the placement of each item, the shared pleasure in finally getting it right, the exhileration of a single wall painted RED.. the counting and recounting of the salary left at the end of each month, the worry of having gone beyond means, the faith of a shared future, the trust of undying love. Are'nt these what make a house come to life?
Now when you walk in at the end of a long day.. the bare, uninviting space of before opens its arms for you.. each corner holds a smile, maybe even a few tears.. each nook has a story to tell, the wet bathroom floor could bring a scowl to your face, the slippers left haywire might irritate you, the strewn magazines might provoke you to a fight..but then isnt this much better than a neat and scrubbed empty space of white walls and bare floors...isnt this a home?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Have you ever wished for something and got it? Probably then you would know what I feel each time I see Toshali. She is my prayers... in my arms. When I was carrying her I somehow knew I would have a daughter and that made me very happy. I have always felt deeply connected to her.
She took her own sweet time to get into this world, so much so that the doctors worried and almost prepared me for a last moment unplanned C-section. Ultimately though she did find her way out of me. As the nurses brought her to me I counted her fingers and toes and marvelled at the miracle of life. She was truly a bundle of joy. A baby girl made of dreams, the picture perfect pout, the thick black curls and so chubby you could cuddle her to your hearts content.
She being the first born, my energy level and time on hand were both high..and so I could afford to sit up nights and admire my precious gift, sing songs and weave dreams spun in golds and pinks. It is during one of these moments that I first saw her look up to me and smile - a wide, toothless smile that cannot be captured by a camera, a smile of trust and hope, faith and bonding, a smile that told me that this pretty girl in my lap is mine to take care and cherish.
The first time mom is an obssessed mom. Each monthly chkup chart from the doctors visit monitoring her growth was given the importance of board results. every step, every look and every new syllable uttered were a source of pure unadulterated joy and pride. Similarly every fall, every tummy ache, ear ache or just plain lack of appetite made me plunge into the deepest pit of depression. I wonder now, how my baby coped with this obsession. She did so and continues doing so as all first borns have to, for with them like with toshali, the dreams are limitless.
Small wobbly steps going to preschool, making friends, sharing the tiffin, red sweater over a blue skirt, the hairband that struggled to keep her curls in place, innocent eyes searching for a familiar face in the crowd..are all images that never age in my mind..seems like yesterday when she learnt her alphabets. she grew and each passing year made me think what a blessing it was to be a mom. Toshali was the easiest child to deal with as a parent for she never had any complaints. A happy, trusting and lively kid.
With her, we relocated quite a few times, and each time she said bye to her friends I felt the lump in my throat. She was always so quick to notice it and made it a point to tell me each time,'Dont worry mom, I'll make new friends', Her concern and care towards her parents and her grandparents is a defining trait in her even today. It amazes me to see how everytime she has her meals she asks whether I have had mine. She has happily coped with all my whims and fancies till date.I put her into as many activities as possible, never bothered to think if she enjoyed them, if she was inclined towards them.I put her because thats where the other kids were going, making her schedule choc-a-bloc. She always complied, running behind me with her small feet to each and every class learning to dance, to sing, to swim, to play the piano, to sketch and then at home to do the homework. Where I wonder now, was her time to play, to be a kid, to be naughty and throw tantrums. But it was not all that depressing and I would be exaggerating if I said nothing good came of it, Shes now a good swimmer, a great dancer and enjoys to sketch and sing.
Toshali was and I fear will always remain my learning ground, my moulding clay..with her I ran and fell, made mistakes, reached heights, jumped with joy and fell faint with agony..with her I wanted the world and she in turn brought it to me happily. If my second child has taught me to pick up pieces and not give a damn, Toshali has taught me graciousness, love and caring, she has taught me to be fair and in her sweetest way she has taught me that the greatest balm for the human heart is a fond hug and a loving kiss from your child.
Way to go my Princess!! You are and will always remain my motivation to be good!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I distinctly remember the day I had him..I was not overtly tensed, as he is my second child .Infact I was more concerned about the hampered routine of my first born, Toshali. I felt tired and cranky and dont know why I felt a bit guilty each time I looked at Toshali. It was shoshti..and the city was all geared up for the five days of festivity. I had my small suitcase packed and ready from days before and reached the nursing home at the pre appointed time without any hassle. That particular day when I kissed toshali while she left for school..the only thought that lingered..when she sees me next I will be shared..blame it on the hormonal overdrive or whatever else..sentimentality was at its peak for me!
Unlike Toshali, Soumya entered the world with a lot less effort from my side..guess he was rearing to go even then! Holding him, the first thought I had..hes so light..Tosh was just perfect! Yah comparisions start early!! As a rejoinder to my thought came his deep and stretched out breath..almost a rebuking sigh. The days of the Puja that year passed in a haze for me..I was kept busy trying to make sense of the sleeping and feeding patterns of my new born. I brought him home on Doshomi.
With Soumya I have had to unlearn all my parenting guidelines, none of the tried and tested formulas worked..He has made me realise first hand that each card you are dealt with is different, so play differently. Now I realise that with him around I have grown too as an individual, my mind is constantly stimulated in thinking of new approaches to deal with his pranks, his zest for life and his bullish energy has definitely rubbed on to me..and also I have come to know the joy of having a real good fight head on, crying hard as if the world would end and within 5 minutes picking up the pieces and not giving a damn..A child that refuses to obey easily, helps you to grow..
I look at him and search for Dad..at times he gives me a glance that takes my breath away with its obvious resemblance..and the next moment he is his own self..the search is futile and I have come to realise that the search is very unfair too..to love him for all that he is..without comparision either to my family or his sister, is his right. His identity is his own..like his pranks, his mischieveous smile, and his 'driving me up the wall language skills' hahaha but what the heck!! Thats the Soumya Card..and I will play him to the best of my ability..
This one is for my Bond..the handsomest hunk in town!!