A letter to my daughter.

A letter to my daughter.

  My dear Princess,
      HAPPY 16th BIRTHDAY, SWEETHEART!!
May you always be healthy, happy and keep spreading cheer everywhere you go!
     Did you like your birthday gift? I know you will love the one in the bigger package..you always wanted it! But I hope you like this one too. I have been meaning to write a letter to you, just pour out my heart to you, since quite some time. And, what better day than your 16th birthday!  Its a  milestone in a girl’s life…and I wanted to make it special. Now, stop rolling your eyes and read on, young lady!
     You know, Anu, I always wanted a daughter; even when I was a little girl myself. So, when I came to know that I was going to have a baby, I made a demand to God to bless me with a baby girl, a healthy, happy baby girl.  I even thought of a name for you and not a boy! Every one would tease me about what I would do if I had a boy, but I was very sure I would have you. So, when you were born and the doctor announced, ” Its a girl!” I just wanted to grab you in my arms and run to the rooftops and dance with joy! I know you will ask me if I actually did such a ‘ridiculous’ thing- in my hospital gown!
But, you WERE the most beautiful little girl I had ever seen and you were MINE! Honey, I can’t tell you how happy you made me. And your dad…he had a very funny look on his face- as if he was the only dad in this world to have a daughter! He was so happy!
     I simply enjoyed looking at you…how you crawled around the house, trying to grab your own shadow! You would keep following me as I rushed to finish my chores….you were my little tail! And your prattle….your cooing….these were like music to my ears! Every time I scooped you up in my arms, I felt  blessed. You exuded such warmth, even as a baby…And, you are still the same…warm and loving.
    And Missy, do you know, how naughty you were? My God, you were quite the tom boy! The number of complaints I had to face because of your pranks!! You really drove me up the wall! Don’t you laugh now, girlie! Just wait till you have kids of your own.  But, at the same time, you were also very  caring. Do you remember how you carried our howling Nidhi when she fell from the slide and was all bruised and bleeding? And you were yourself a little girl then!  You are my Miss Congeniality, sweetie! Stay this way….always!
  And, look at you now…all grown up!  My little devil is turning into a pretty, young lady! Its really such a beautiful time in your life, Anu! Enjoy it, my darling.  Go out, meet new people, explore the world. Its really a wonderful place  out there, although a tad scary. But I know you are a smart girl and know how to handle situations. You have got it from your dad, that streak of fearlessness. I am so relieved you aren’t like me in that matter. I trust you fully to make the right decisions and take care of yourself. You are my hero, girl! Oh, yes, you are!
    Okay, okay, I will finish my ‘borring’ letter here.  But, first,  let me say it…you have made me the happiest, luckiest mother in this world and I am so proud of you! I don’t ask for anything from God except to keep you healthy and safe. I hope, in fact, I know, you will fulfil all your dreams and desires. Just remember, whenever you need me, I will always be there for you…always. Enjoy your birthday, enjoy your life. Do the best you can. Just go for it, sweetie!
   Love you like no one else ( yes, I know it is your line, but now its mine too!) God bless you, my baby!
                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                     Lots of love
                                                                                                                         Mum.
A ray of sunshine

A ray of sunshine

         It was a grey, August evening. I was awaiting the arrival of my husband who had gone to Shirdi for a couple of days. I was finishing my chores when he called, “I will be reaching home in about 45 minutes. You see, I had been to Pune on my way back. Now, I am at Lonavla. And…I have bought a puppy.” before I could ask “What?”, he had disconnected the call.
       “A puppy? Did he just say he bought a puppy?” My mind was instantly brimming with all sorts of questions laced with anger and irritation. What would we do with a puppy? Who would take care of it after we left for work? And when had we made such plans? We did not need  a pet, for heaven’s sake! And what a mess it would make of my house!!
       The phone rang again. My husband had reached our   building’s compound and was requesting me to help him carry his bags so that he could carry the puppy upstairs. I did not realise I had been fuming and fretting for so long. I was furious and curtly asked him to get his baggage and the puppy all by himself and slammed the phone down. But, my conscience gave a nod of disapproval at my immature behaviour, so I stomped downstairs to help my spouse.
      No sooner had I reached the last step than this tiny, brown ball of fur looked up at me in wonder and tilted his head. And….I was floored! I just melted, like snow in bright sunlight! He was the cutest puppy I had ever seen! Without realising it, I had fallen in love. I instantly named him Satin after the satiny, honey coloured fur on his back.
        As soon as he entered our house, he marked his arrival on the doormat! The house was now his territory. It was a ‘sign’ of things to follow. Torn bedsheets and mattresses and chewed up furniture made it to the ‘daily news’ I gave my husband. I would often find the shivlingam and idols of Ganpati and Shree Krishna from the temple touring our house! I am very sure the gods must have enjoyed those picnics after sitting in the same place for ages! My neat and tidy house was in quite a state of disarray. But we enjoyed it all.
      Satin was a clever little fellow. No sooner would I say “bath time”, than he would rush and get his towel to the bathroom! All his toys that he dropped down from the balcony would find their way back up whenever he went downstairs during his playtime. Once as I was trying to change the curtains, the curtain rod fell down creating a racket. And the chaos that followed…..! Satin held my kurta and just would not let me anywhere near the rod. He barked at the rod and held on to me by turns. I had a hard time freeing myself to get the curtain rod back up. Since then, every time I climb a stool, a pair of brown eyes watches over me like a hawk.
      He is also the most caring member of our family. Whenever  some one sneezes, he looks at them with  concern and the “Are you okay?” look in his eyes. He does not like it if  we argue with each other or speak in raised voices; he is a peace loving fellow.And he is also the first and the only ‘person’ to wipe away my tears during my depressed moments. The unconditional love that he showers on me is next only to my mother.
     It has been 9 years since Satin came into our lives. He has become the most important and pampered   member of our family. He is now a ‘senior citizen’ and has thus calmed down a lot. Satin is now known as Chikoo…yes, now my pet has a pet name too! Chikoo is very fond of kids and is very patient with them. He happens to be the best friend of a ‘special child’- a differently-abled girl with whom he hit it off in the very first meeting. She simply enjoys chatting with him as he is the only one who listens to every thing she tells him. He has also become extra clever as he recognises the horn of our car and no one can argue with him on that matter! He follows every word of his mother tongue, Marathi, and at times it does become very difficult saying certain things in his presence !
     I quit my job to care for him and haven’t once repented the decision. His ever-wagging tail and the love that over flows from his chocolate brown eyes gives us immense joy. He has changed our life in ways we had never imagined. He has filled the vacuum that we felt before his arrival. His adorable habits make me fall in love with him all over again. Be it holding my kurta  and following me all around the house or licking away my tears when I am sad, he is every bit the child I always wanted. He is truly our ray of sunshine that has brightened up our lives! 
Motherhood

Motherhood

Some years ago an incident took place, which I haven’t been able to forget, till date. I was out one evening, walking my pet dog, when a woman residing in  my building met me for the first time, and the following conversation, or should I say interrogation, ensued..
   SHE : Is it your dog?
   I      : Yes.
    SHE : Why do you have a dog?
   I  : Because I like dogs.
  SHE : Don’t you have any children?
   I : No.
  SHE : Why ?
   I kept silent.
   SHE : Do you have a dog because you don’t have children?
 I was agitated and had no intentions to answer her questions so, I just mumbled something and walked away. Now, this woman didn’t even know my name, but, she wanted to know the reason why I didn’t have children! Being a stranger, she should have had the courtesy to simply ask me my name. And she being a stranger, I did not want to disclose any personal matters to her. But, what is it about a woman without a child, that arouses curiosity in people? Does the absence of a child make the woman different or incomplete? And why can’t people accept that there might be certain reasons behind such decisions, that is, reason why the woman is ‘ not a mother’? Why don’t people just leave us alone instead of badgering us with all sorts of questions?
    Agreed, that having a baby, or rather, creating a human being in her womb and bringing it safely into this world is a blessing bestowed by our creator on the woman. Agreed, that it is a privilege for the woman to be a part of this miracle called ‘child birth’, but, does not being able to use that privilege make her less of a woman? That is how it is perceived in our society So, If I look at myself from society’s point of view, I am not a complete woman, is that so? Am I a disgrace to my creator because I have not made use of His special blessing to me? I don’t think so.  I think , and know, that I, and many women like me, have made the right decision. We may not have brought a human being into this world, but, we did save a human being from leading a life of misery and pain had it been born in spite of the health risks involved. And doesn’t a mother do her best to protect her child from adversity? So, doesn’t that make us much more loving mothers?
    I do have a child, though-my pet dog, And he may not be born in my womb, but, he grew in my heart! I have brought him up well. I shower him with my maternal instincts and love him unconditionally. I look after his health and understand his moods and his needs perfectly well. And I just read that ” being a MOTHER doesn’t mean being related to someone by blood. It means loving someone unconditionally and with your whole heart”!  So, we – I speak on behalf of all the women in a similar situation- may not have used our ‘ privileges ‘ ,but, we have surely used our hearts in a way He wanted us to, thus making Him proud of his creations!
    Every woman on earth is a mother, making use of her blessing and special privileges. She showers a child with her endless love and affection. The child may not belong to the human race, or may not be born to her, but, that does not make her less of a ‘mother’. And, I think, this is what the world needs to understand and appreciate.

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My weighty issues.

My weighty issues.

  A few weeks ago I met an old friend after nearly two decades. The first thing she said on meeting me was, ” You look just the same even after twenty years!!” For those who don’t know me, well, I weigh the same that I used to twenty years ago.
  Now, there is a section of the population who would love to swap places- or weights- with me. But, I started counting my blessings and thanking my lucky stars only recently. I have been through the entire gamut of negative emotions ranging from jealousy to hatred to an inferiority complex to depression and to any other there might be there. I was told not to worry, that I would surely put on weight and look ‘better’ once I got married. The magic of marital bliss would bring a glow to my ‘sunken’ face. But, even after several years of my marriage I was just the same. My doting husband ,who was imagined by some to thrash me if an extra morsel entered my mouth, would buy all the hunger inducing tonics and ‘ magic potions’ that he could lay his hands on in the hope that there would be a miracle. But the needle on the weighing scale didn’t move an inch! I was depressed, but, hubby dear goaded me to not give up and to start eating with a vengeance ALL that I loved to eat.
   I decided that enough was enough. There was really no point in crying over what I could not change. I would accept my ‘slim figure’ and make the best of it. So, I stopped climbing the weighing scale. And stopped stressing over my weighty issues. And started enjoying my God given ‘size zero’ body! During lunch break at my workplace, all the desserts were passed over to me. My colleagues grumbled that by merely sniffing the sin foods they would pile on a few kilos. I was looked at with pride ,with a hint of jealousy, by the girls! Ah! I was ecstatic! I felt re-born! Gone were all the negative emotions . Instead, I started revelling in my luck! I wouldn’t ever have to worry about fitting in those old jeans. I would always ‘fit in’, no matter how old the jeans or the blouses. I wouldn’t have to step into a gym ever. No huffing and puffing at the gym along with a hundred sweaty bodies. Just a stroll in the fresh air and I am done exercising. Ah! I hate being sweaty anyway!
   So, bring on the cakes and the pastries, the rosogullas and laddoos and all those ‘sin foods’! Why are these called sin foods anyway? What did you say? Calories? What are calories? Who gives a damn about calories? I say, what’s ;life without a few sins along the way?!!
My mother, my best friend.

My mother, my best friend.

Its Mothers’ Day today
and there’s something I need to tell you,
but no words would be enough
except, Mother, I love you!

You know my every single tear
and the magic to wipe it away.
You drive away my fear
with your boundless love
    that comes my way.

You added colours to my dreams,
distant hopes have now come into being.
You helped me taste success,
you are the wind beneath my wings.

I cannot imagine living
a single day away from you.
Life would be so lonely
in this world, without you…

Mother, there is one wish
that I ask of you…
please don’t ever leave me
coz’ I cannot live without you.

For, the times can be dark
and so full of fear
but I will have the strength to face them
only if you are near.

I want to thank you, dear God
for truly blessing me,
with a mother so dear
who changed my destiny!