Tag Archives: Daughters

181: Defining Normalcy

1 Jul

When we went to receive ma late last night, the first thing she did after hug me is scold me for coming all the way to receive her at the hour that we did. It was followed by a barrage of some more scoldings which invariably led me to snap at her. Of course she means well and is only perpetually concerned, which she expresses in the way she does. However, that ended up in a quick tiff, which I’ve come to accept as normal. I’ve come to learn that this is how the women in my family show love and concern. This; and via food.

I’m not going to be surprised if we have numerous more tiffs during this short visit of hers.

Sigh.

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In Ma’s Words

13 Sep

I got an email from ma today; a precious letter filled with everything that symbolizes my mother. She has a way with words and now it’s evident that she thinks and talks in poetry. Something told me I’d find an email from her in my inbox after that heavy previous post of mine; though I wasn’t so sure given how she’s at work despite the sorry state of affairs Bangalore is in. Here are some of her words because there’s no way I could or would want to paraphrase them. They’re splendourous with a capital S.

Love you!!  I thought that its rather ambitious for either of us to
sit down and pen letters and post them though I pretty much want to do
it. The joy of receiving letter is so huge that I dont know how I will
feel to get one. I open the letter box to only get insurance papers or
BSNL bills..

This phase of being alone with both you and sam now on your own
journeys has been of sorts. The small corridor from the living room to
the bedrooms looks so deserted but I begin to listen to peals of
laughter of you and Saby and Sam springing out of his room and asking
me hey mom do you want to order something?. These memories that should
make me sad are so precious that I would never allow them to be greyed
with sadness. Time has flown just as it flies for everyone and I don’t
rue it. I like being alone as if its a joy. I am joyful that you both
are now living your lives with the small battles amid big victories of
self discovery.

Even as it’s difficult for you to change not because you dont want to
but because you dont wish to attribute to others for the change know
that in change lies the universal destiny.. You will always belong to
yourself and years from now you will realise that it was you
chartering your path most often with fellow travelers and often times,
alone. Make every day a day of personal discovery and celebration.
Watch the birds in your balcony as they nest or fly for food..the
trees that are still and suddenly burst in a rhythmic dance..the sky
that turns blue,grey, orange and a dull pink before retiring for
night..the moon and the million stars…

… find yourself and
your laughter; with your friends, in the books that you read and
mother nature. Be the child born to freedom.

I love you.

—-xxxx—-

I told you so.

Have you picked up the phone and said I love you to your parents?

Have you ever felt so rich with just words?

Isn’t it the best feeling ever?

Yesterday, Once More

31 May

While I was preparing to get married, and boy does that take a lot of preparation to the extent where you even become unaware of just how much you’re going through, there was a whole host of things I had planned out for myself. I made lists, I made a lot of lists; some in new diaries which I thought I’d use to chronicle my journey, some on my phone, many in my head, some as whispers that passed my mouth when I didn’t even realise I was talking to myself. There was a lot to do and a lot that I needed to do for my own self, my own sanity; for my own awareness because sometimes these sort of events overshadow one’s abilities to realize just what’s happening and what’s to come.

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I remember the juggling of decisions and responsibilities, the balancing of work and of these many items I had conveniently hung on the hooks of my to-do lists. I remember the madness that it all came down to, the rise and fall of my thoughts, confidence, patience, stress and my entire planning. I remember the crescendo it reached when I was in my final week of work and counting down my days in Bangalore. Time seemed to stand so still that I was passing each day of my notice period in a weird haze that rendered me incapable of thinking beyond that single day. And then once time permitted me its luxury post my office hours, I would run right past the secured gates of what would soon be my erstwhile second home into the madness of my wedding and its million chores. They call it taking the plunge for so many, many reasons, they do.

My bank was perpetually starved of money thanks to the many things I had dreamed of having. The small things, mind you, take the largest part of you sometimes. I never really imagined the big things to come my way because they were beyond my grasp. It’s at times like that (and many others) when you wish you had more not because you wish to be greedy and get more than you need, but because sometimes the mingling of dreams and reality can prove to be more expensive than one realizes. There were always so many trials, so many visits, so many considerations just so I could get what I wanted without having to feel completely drained out. It’s a fine balance and quite a task. Assembling my trousseau was my favourite part because I’d been doing that years before I even decided to get married. It was my special collection of the things I wanted and of the things that I held dear to me. I remember skipping meals from outside just so more money could be saved because weddings need money, you see. And the day I saw my wedding sari, I remember the feeling – it felt bespoke, it felt like it was only mine to be… it felt like it was made just for me. It’s a grand feeling especially when something as simple as a piece of clothing can make you feel that way. Imagine the feeling of discovering the bigger stuff out there that’s made just for us? Special.

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I remember evenings drowned in yards of sparkling silk, grand designs, special trinkets and accessories as it poured outside. Those days were especially difficult to sleep by – I hardly slept the night before my wedding – which is why I’d spend them designing my suits and figuring out ways in which my lists could feel more complete. Hurried auto rides, rushed chai and snacks, my mother and her bountiful support and strength, her stresses she made invisible to me, my stresses I gave her by the bundles, her small and plentiful wedding gifts which made me realise I was really going…leaving, our bickering, my frustration… We made it through. We made it through all that and more.

This universe makes things happen when you really want them to happen. Sometimes we’re so caught up with all that’s going on, we often fail to see just how the universe works in our favour. I’m a true believer in things happening for a (good) reason, I always have been. Those times were crazy but will always be cherished. Always.

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I came to write this post because I’ve been looking back and forth a lot these past few days…of what’s changed and what hasn’t. What has changed is that I’ve managed to put on all that weight I’d magically lost when it was time for my wedding. A bride magically manages to glow during her time…she manages to look a certain way, almost so that that moment can always stay timeless to her especially. I don’t remember doing much to lose all that weight barring those trips to Commercial Street and that occasional yoga. I spent a lot of my last days in Bangalore eating just so I could stamp every single corner of my memory box with its tastes, sounds, smells, experiences. I didn’t hold back. There was no reason to hold back especially when you know your time at home is limited and you have days marked on your calendar disappearing in front of your eyes. My hair was in place (I had cut it 45 days before my wedding much to the shock of my beautician), my skin was disciplined and my hips and thighs were extremely kind. Today is a different story and I’m pretty sure I don’t fit my wedding clothes already.

Yesterday I had a plan, a goal, a schedule. Today, I don’t. Yesterday was filled with byes. Today isn’t. Yesterday was heavier on my mind and body. Today is more forgiving. Yesterday was brimming with home food. Today has been taken over by FreshMenu more than I would like. Yesterday was full of celebration. Today is quieter and more sober. Yesterday was more painful. Today feels more healed. Yesterday was precious to the very last second. Today’s worth lies hidden and unseen. Yesterday I had one family, one home. Today, I have two of each. Yesterday I had the comfort of friends and their company. Today I have their thoughts and memories for instant gratification instead.

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I remember the last day of work and this is a picture from when I was getting back home. Being a believer in symbolism, this spoke to me in more ways than one – of things to wash away and of things to come. The universe has its way of speaking to us, if we listen or look carefully.

A lot has come to happen in these past six-seven months. There is more to time than a calendar’s flipping pages. A lot has changed, a lot has been reborn into something new. And while I love today even with all that has changed, I sometimes, just very rarely but sometimes, I wish for yesterday, once more.

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Today’s That Day

20 May

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It’s mamma’s birthday today and I’m not anywhere near her, physically, though I make up for the fact that my brother is with her, as are our friends who love her. This is what I made for her last year because I knew 2015 was the year I was to leave home which made it all the more necessary to live every single moment of it together. It’s funny how we take each other and time, most importantly, for granted. It’s when we’re given a deadline that that panic attack sets in, that urgency to do all the things you wanted to do and had kept on the back burner for no apparent reason. I miss her terribly, but the heartening bit is that I love her much more than how much I miss her. That sort of love is infinite and overpowering, often making everything else seem smaller and less significant. It’s almost a catch-22 sort of thing but I’d rather not get overly intellectual about it. My love for her is a love only I know and only I can have. That’s the beauty of it – we all get to love and no one’s love can be the same as yours, which makes it feel all the more exclusive and special, no? I cannot love her like my brother loves her, or her sisters love her…I can love her only the way I can.

It’s a tough but important lesson – to leave home and the fine wings of one’s parents. I really wish it wasn’t necessary but it is. Sometimes I hate it and sometimes I’m happy that it happened sooner than later – it gets harder to leave, you know.

Today I would’ve taken her for her customary Friday beer which she savours and loves, and gotten her a few surprise ones more.
Today I would’ve smelt her cheek as I kissed her face.
Today I would’ve made her her tea and laid it by the side of a springy, vanilla tea cake.
Today I would’ve bickered with her anyway, because she would’ve wanted to go to office and I, for her to take a break.
Today I would’ve baked her another cake, if I was there.
And today, we would’ve had our fresh, crunchy Greek salad and fries along with our drinks.
We would’ve clicked some selfies after another round of bickering because she likes to click pictures of her children especially when they’re engrossed in enjoying their favourite meals.
We would’ve gone for a drive if I could muster the courage to drive,
Or gone for a walk and found poetry in every passing tree and flower.

But I’m here and she’s there and there’s no room for sadness, heartbreak, or yearning today; because those are for days when you’re not feeling too good or for days that aren’t so good. And today’s a great day, so I’m only going to wish her the very best, which I always will. I’m going to power her with only great things – energy, thoughts, wishes and magic – as she reaches for that beer and gives me that big, satisfied grin which only a beer lover can give you after that first sip.

<3

Un-Settled

17 May

Bereft of inspiration, that drive and motivation coupled with my rapidly dwindling capacities to handle the heat here – even my uncle’s car thermometer freaked out a bit when it claimed 49 and 50 degrees C were taking over us – I’m sitting right on the not so cool but manageable marble floor, far away from the sight or temporarily false comforts of my sofa and bed. My seemingly insipid lunch of rajma chawal has long been had and the need to get as much off of me and as little back on to me feels both necessary and refreshing. Off with the constrictions, hooks, buttons and straps and on with, well, the lesser the better, as all my mind thinks of as an add-on is rose lassi or chilled mango milkshake. It’s a tough choice.

Everything has a colour to its tone, its mood and its movement. The day goes from yellow to brown to beige to white and the heat is just telling of a white beyond this current shade…a tone and a mood that I’m unfamiliar and certainly uncomfortable with. But my ringing phone and that mandatory conversation with mom eases things back a little till you hear the click of a mother-daughter’s tête-à-tête coming to an end on the other side of your phone. The hope is that it is for the time being, for today, but who knows? We never really were talkers like how some mum and daughter relationships are. But distance and time have played their cards well and the result is that we are, after all, a normal mother and a normal daughter sharing a very normal and crazy mother-daughter relationship. She nags, I argue, she hmms, I grimace, she counsels, I listen, she listens, I open the floodgates of the many things that have happened and not happened since I last spoke to her and as if I haven’t spoken to her for ever, she is patient -sometimes, I am child-like, she laughs, I chuckle…see, it’s all normal. And in between all this, the white heat is forgotten and kept for the next day to worry about.

Even in this scarcity of inspiration, the newest thing I’ve done just because I needed something new, was to change the blog’s background. It isn’t very different from the previous one, but slight shades brighter, which makes me feel inspired and motivated, weirdly. There are ideas brimming in my head as always, but fail to see the light of day because they seldom make it to an actual platform where they can be worked on. This journey looks lonely and maybe it will be, from time to time, but there’s got to be a start for it to even become a journey.

I was just wondering about the state of being settled as I wrote an email to a friend earlier today. To me it looks like an illusion more than a goal to be reached because it seems just as fleeting; perhaps because of changing priorities or because of that never ending thirst that seldom seems to be quenched or satisfied. Today, not much comes to my mind…there are no exciting details or events to share…there is nothing to crib about, either. It’s a strange kind of limbo – to be where you are yet dream of being elsewhere, to find stillness yet comfort even when you’re always thinking of your next move. And in between all this incompleteness, it’s the achievement of small things that makes a lot of us feel complete.

Like conversations with mum, a glass of perfect cold water, the idea of rose lassi or mango milkshake, emails to friends, and oh, unhooked bras, isn’t it ladies?