Unjumbling…

8 Sep

The afternoon is still; the family is asleep. My chai is hot and I intend to drink it that way, minus the chaos that will ensue when eyes open to realise mommy is the next best place to head to after a comforting nap.

What I lack in absolute knowledge where discipline is concerned is what I want to undo and relieve my brain of. Every single time I feel the need to whir the machine on, is the time I tax my brain with my overconfidence yet again…that I will remember. Of course I don’t. The smallest of details are most telling, and most assigned to the mind’s capacity to hold; albeit at a loss. They’re the most pleasurable to read and recollect.

The other day we were driving from the doctor’s and I couldn’t recollect a phrase A used to use as a child which I was so sure I would not forget…(how could you, after all? Also, how could you not. Come on!) It came back to me though…not at the lightening speed one expects…but come back it thankfully did. I was teary-eyed. Time flies. These small nuggets of gold are worth more; and age will testify.

The line from Alice in Wonderland read: “Alice spots a white rabbit rushing all around.” which A read all together as “alaposhing”…fascinating is the acquisition and development of language; as is every part of development.

So, SO much has happened since I last visited. I’ve even forgotten my way around here. But stopping by to say hello and giving my mind a reprieve is more therapeutic than keeping it all locked inside. Hello, you. :)

Just so I don’t forget

6 Nov

You’re asleep and while I should be picking up after you and getting things into place, I rarely ever do. This is my time of just me and maybe a beer if my heart desires, yes, even at day time. I’ve tried the picking up and clearing up after you every time you slept. It didn’t work. I was left tired and even more irritable. Clean, beautifully kept houses; yes, I love. But when it already feels like things are in place, mess and all, there’s no pressure for me to meet standards of people I’m never going to meet. After all, have you ever seen a spic and span house with a baby living in it?

You’re my purpose, I can’t stress that enough. I love being with you despite just how exhausted I am at the end of each and every day. My body is unkempt and my feet could really do with a pedicure, and perhaps I will when I really wish to get one done, but I love spending my time with you.

My life is at that phase right now where it aligns only with you. And your papa of course. And your nani and mama too, since we’re here. I dislike looking at my body, my clothes don’t fit, my flab as stubborn, if not more, to cling on.

But this is my life in this now. This now where I am here for you. For your laughs and gurgles. For your (absolutely senseless to me) meltdowns. For your cuddles. For your mischief. For your help; oh how I love it when we do things together. For all the times we cook, clean, iron, do laundry, fold clothes, dust together. For getting ready together. For barging into the loo when I’m in only because, well, I rationalise, you want to learn how we brush our teeth, and use the pot.

My now is you in all your totality. All the madness. All the learning. All the immense joy. All the patience. All the times I lose my shit and you yours. All the times we pick each other up so spontaneously and naturally. All the times you show me just how much you observe and listen. All the times we read together and name body parts together and read crazy difficult words like alligator instead of apple for A.

You speak in English, Hindi, and gibberish which is you learning Kannada. You speak in sentences minus the articles. Papa gone office. Mamma tired. Fwimming (swimming) pool toys ball catching falling water. Nani office. Shamat (how you call your mama…the first ever name you pronounced on your own) going office. You say it all. And then lots more with your eyes, your frown, your smile, your irritating cries especially when you’re crying for the heck of it.

I love you. My darling child. Papa’s shona, Nani’s naughtoo momo, Shamat’s noodle pop…and my soul. I love you.

If I could…

15 Oct

… I’d be here every single day of the year, if not more, to let tumble out all that life has been about. There’s been zero writing despite the many beautiful sentences that weave themselves ever so intricately just when slumber laces my eyes at the end of each day…only to vanish the very next day, like a dream that’s so real because it was mine and in my very own words.

And then I’m left wishing I’d written more, especially when I look inward at the times when everything around me is still and silent. I’ve been able to do that thankfully…to immerse myself in experiences that have been mine over the past year. Specific details may evade me, but I feel hopeful enough to believe that life’s lessons and ways are more than just passing calendar days.

My baby is growing up faster than I envisioned or even wished. Before I knew it, she’d tumbled right into toddlerhood and I didn’t even get a chance to hold on to her babyhood…her tiny being whose birth birthed a new me. But that’s the thing with being a mother…your baby always remains your baby until you shake yourself off and realise you’ve to grow up and walk the new path that time lays out for both of you.

I miss her babyhood. Her gurgles. Her chubbiness. Her small body that my body created (and I stick firm on this debate my husband and I were having about a woman being the sole creator vs her body being a haven for the baby to come into its own being). I miss being able to hold her entirely in my arms…no spillage, no kicking, no desperation to break free and do all that a toddler loves doing. I love this current phase just as much…but allow me to wallow in sentimentality.

The thing I’ve come to realise through this whole journey in general and my absence in specific is just how invested I’ve made myself be. There seems to be no other inlet or outlet barring the necessities for sanity and survival. I can’t seem to want it any other way, I beamed the other day when my phone sent me my weekly usage — which I must share was 0 minutes on an average. I honestly couldn’t have been more chuffed. But you know it’s more than just being away from the phone. It’s insane amounts of work. Work that I love doing at the cost of compromised hours of sleep. My razor is my new best friend, Modern Family my companion, my husband my cushion, my cooking my therapy…and my baby my everything.

When I look back, it’s been a massive year at all fronts. We’ve relocated cities, there’s a wedding in the family, we’re settling in, there’s insane amounts of work that’s underway…and in this rush I find my stillness. I’ve been taught the meaning of letting go and actually having to let go. I’ve been shown adversity that I’ve known more seriously of as a child, but when you’re an adult who has her own family, it’s a different ballgame. I’ve learnt to break through, to breathe, to smile, to move on.

Life is enriching in its lessons. There’s no way but up from rock bottom. And there’s no better place to be than in the embrace of faith and hope. I’m here even though I’m not. And I know you know it’s okay. :)

How have you been, my friend?

I’ve never felt more alive

6 Jan

It’s strange how I’ve been almost annoyingly wide awake at 4am nearly every single day since the new year began. I made no resolutions, no active efforts, no secret hopes…just the desire for a good night’s rest, which seems to clock its time at an hour that I’m not ready to embrace yet.

Here I am, again today. However, instead of doing the usual, which is coaxing myself back to sleep again before my baby wakes me up, I’ve gifted myself a hot hug of the perfect mug of filter coffee while I wait for the sounds of dawn to tell me I’m not insane — the gentle sounds of houses being swept and washed, the whir of vehicles ushering in the presence of a new day, distant azaans from mosques near and far, and soon the rooster who will remind us, as he has been for years now, that he’s the king of all alarm clocks. The best, amidst of all this, is the silence, the stillness, and the encouraging sound of my keypad telling me to continue.

I have Michelle Obama’s autobiography lying next to me, waiting to be savoured one line at a time. It’s a book I’ve been wanting to pick up and relish, for I know I will even before I can begin reading it. There’s something refreshingly wondrous about finding people you look up to, people who seem so real despite the distance, people who exude all that you believe in. Something tells me that I’m up and about at this hour instead of cozying up to my daughter, because of the magic that lies inside this journey I’m about to undertake with MO. And I cannot wait.

I’m feeling particularly alive and positive. There’s a sense of coming into my own that I’ve been experiencing over the past few months. My silence hasn’t meant that my heart is quiet or that my head is still. Even on those days when everything felt too numb to be alive and kicking, there’s this unmistakeable fire within me that’s kept me going — my own hearth of everything that makes me who I am, and who I mould myself into for each demand and challenge that decides to come my way.

2018 has been an overwhelming year where I’ve felt elated and defeated in equal measure. There have been times when I’ve questioned my sense of self, my worth, my need to exist, even. There have been moments of blackness and zero answers to my questions. There have been days when I’ve wanted nothing more than to vanish. But those were the troughs. Troughs can be deep and treacherous. I did, for most parts, look like I was on a mission from hell. Or maybe that was my signature look for the year. But when the highs came, they were immeasurably and intensely enriching. They were the breaths of air I’d been flailing my arms for. They were intoxicatingly full of life. They made the acuteness of these troughs less sharp and painful. They made me whole again.

I guess in this world of faux perfectionism and “goals” as hashtags, life makes you feel like you’ve been dealt an unfair hand, especially if you fall into the trap of comparison. But I’m certain that 2018 has been the only year in all of my lifetime which has made me look older than I am, feel more challenged than I ever have been, and given me the realest meaning of what living life actually means. I’ve been swimming this entire year in an attempt to find some footing, some shore, some air, only to realise that that was all in me right from the start. When I say I’ve never felt more alive, it’s because I realise that I am life, that I am that breath of fresh air, that I am the footing I’ve been looking to find all this time. And that I have arrived to the shores that feel like home.

See?

23 Jul

I’ve started something new. Becoming a mother has brought so much my way, and while I’ve been turning to (mostly) nocturnal Instagramming, I’ve been wanting to do this for such a long time now. Do stop by and spread some love too?

The new blog can be found here at Mamma Babska.

Thank you! :)

I’m here

18 Jul

…and I’m going to make the time to write. Don’t know how that going to happen but I’m going to try nonetheless. Take it one day at a time. One post at a time. One thing at a time.

There’s been so much happening and I’m learning the cost of doing it all at my own expense. Trust you’ve been great, dear reader. Let’s get these walking shoes out now, shall we? :)

Day 7

30 Mar

It certainly isn’t January 7th, as I so wished this rather non-existent writing pact would synchronise with the fast disappearing dates of our calendar. In fact I’m so far off the mark with this ambitious APostADay idea which I’m proud I started, but knew so surely I’d not be able to keep up.

My life has changed so drastically since, and it wasn’t going to be a surprise. All I did manage to write was during the first week of January that I had off for my winter break. And the roller coaster has not stopped ever since.

We’ve had a baby girl, yes we did. And it’s been so overwhelming and amazing all at once. Days have tumbled into this rather huge snowball of all things frightening, lovely, crazy, beautiful…and there’s been no time to breathe. As much as countless thoughts all woven into rather fine words tumbled around in my head very, very regularly, I couldn’t muster up the will to give them their release. Hormones took precedence. The rest just tagged along, muted, but very much alive.

Let’s just say that so many days have passed since 6th January, and yet it feels like I’ve lived a forever in this one day.

Day 6: Pivotal Unhappiness

6 Jan

I read a headline on my fb wall in passing, courtesy a friend, which spoke about the business of perennial unhappiness. Of course I now wish I’d saved it for later, but neither did I click it open to read, nor did I bookmark it for further exploration. If I were to go by the title, I’d presume its content was primarily based around how the world thrives on all of us being incessantly and constantly unhappy. I didn’t give it much thought back then, like I do 99.9% of the times when I see my feed. However, it did stick on to revisit me from time to time; perhaps because I think it’s the most real and truthful statement I’d read in a while.

Come to think of it, everything today does seem to run on our need to want something, to fish into this endless depth of perceived nothingness and perpetual have-not-ism. Maybe that’s why we’re constantly trying (so hard now) to actively catch moments and whatever it is that makes our world seem a little more sunshiney and happy; in a somewhat desperate attempt to convince ourselves that yes, we do have something. It’s strange how we’ve digressed (?) from where we started. Doing nothing was normal, engaging in even the most mundane was exciting and something to look forward to, being bored was the gateway to more interesting avenues of simple and uncomplicated discoveries…and none of it was a big deal. There was no parading of this sense of being, no platforms were stood on and boasted from, none of it felt fake or fragile. In fact, it was matter of fact, usual, and blatantly extraordinary in its casualness.

A lot of me doesn’t understand this constant need to show, talk, prove, highlight. It just doesn’t make sense. I reckon that’s why we even had someone write that article anyway – being unhappy is a trend, a business, a way of normalcy connected very directly, in my opinion, with the fear of being happy. I know I’m afraid of being happy, or at least talking about it to the world. Coming from an intensely private sense of self, I find it almost alarming to speak about my experiences, which people around me seem to do so effortlessly. A check-in here, a photograph there, a few hundred likes here, the display of very private moments there. At the cost of sounding judgemental, which certainly isn’t the intention or idea, I feel rather misplaced and not up with the times. And of course I have this added fear of expressing my states of happiness and being. Something really seems amiss.

I do hope to find that article and then share it here. In the mean time I sincerely wish this pivotal unhappiness goes out of business for good. We’ve got a lot going and maybe it’s best to use one’s time more wisely than thinking about all that we do not have. And what a fabulous outcome that’d be, no?

Day 5: Silence

5 Jan

…coffee, and reassuring sunshine.

That’s all I want, and that’s all I would like to ask for just now.

Peace.

Day 4: Change

4 Jan

It was bang in the middle of last year, when I was seat-belted and on my way to Bangalore, that my life was changing in the serious adult sort of way. A change that has no excuses, no escape routes, no shortcuts, no alternatives to comfort the commitment-afraid me. Half of me saw marriage as a life change that still had the potential to give me that leeway, should I ever want or need it; much to my husband’s utter shock and then ire. It’s an all or none deal, he told me. There can be no frivolity in judgement no matter how hard it gets, he explained to me over a phone call before we were to get married. He was still aghast at my way of thinking, which to me was very natural and completely normal given the history I’ve been woven from. It was scary; exciting yes, but scary to get into something so final. Little did I (reallyknow that there were changes with a grander and firmer foundation of finality than getting married. And so it happened – suddenly, hugely, and startlingly – in the form of two very defined pink lines on the pregnancy test I held in my hand once I got back from Bangalore, after two weeks of delayed periods and a nagging subconscious.

We’d begun talking about the idea of it, the possibility of it, and the plan to start working on it with immediate effect. But perhaps the universe suspected we were fooling ourselves and decided to conspire against us, in this case. The first sign was of course my delayed period, which I panicked about but then shrugged aside owing to changes in diet and what have you. The second stronger sign was my rather sudden dislike for alcohol every time I’d sip on it. Beer tasted strange, whiskey didn’t appeal to me, and again, I shrugged it off as something to be ignored. The third sign was this unnecessary fatigue I felt constantly. Back then I didn’t realise or even know that this was an early sign of pregnancy, which I blamed on the comparatively fewer trips we made to Comm Street. Something was amiss, and ma did voice what I was pushing into the recesses of my consciousness – is it possible that you’re pregnant mun?, she gently asked while I washed my teacup one evening. Of course I scoffed and kept it aside for another day.

There are two things I’ve learnt – never scoff at your mom, and never question her acute sense of intuition. These instances have always, and I mean always, backfired in my face every.single.time. And it was to happen to me yet again. It would be just a couple of hours after I said my byes to her that I would call her up again and mumble the words – ma, I’m pregnant; the stick shows two, very clear, pink lines. She was quiet (perhaps respecting my feelings and state of mind regarding it), and then congratulated the two of us and blessed us. We were to travel the very next morning to my in-laws, and I got no sleep that night.

If there’s a feeling I won’t forget, it’s the indescribable experience of watching that white nothingness turn into a second pink line. I remember staring at it, keeping it aside, and then revisiting it again. Repeatedly. It was that kaleidoscope of emotions that constantly switches from surprise to shock to excitement to fear to tears to this tide of overwhelming feelings that kept washing over me for what would be sometime to come. I was granted and bestowed with a gift, a responsibility, a job, a journey, a learning experience, a chance within a million chances to be *it* for someone who had chosen to come to us. It was a lot to take then.

When I look back, the two of us have come a long, long way. From feeling completely lost and left in the unknown, to where we are today – a little less lost and lot more sure of ourselves as parents and individuals – it’s been an intriguing journey. We’re far from perfect and will never be because that’s not what we’re gunning for. We’re here today, standing together, a little more ready and a lot less unsure from where we started off. Faith, trust, love, togetherness, and madness – I reckon this is all it takes to get by.

PS, trust me on the not scoffing at your mom bit. It’s true.