Monday, May 27, 2013

Confessions of a control freak

Hold tight, don't let go.
Keep close, don't let it show.
Steady. Don't crumble. 
Control. Don't fumble.

Keep it together.
Do not falter.
Head held high.
Breath. Do not sigh.

Be fearless. Be brave.
There are some close shaves.
But hold the reins tight.
Never give up without a fight.

Persevere. Tirelessly.
Work. Effortlessly.
Focus. Relentlessly.
Improve. Constantly.

When can I stop?
Can I even get off?
Should I release the hold? 
Will it spiral out of control?

I want to try.
To start with a cry.
Then loosen the grasp.
Without so much as a gasp.

To stand back.
And cut some slack.
To cease pulling. 
To stop controlling.

My grip is loose.
And I wish to choose.
Faith over fear.
Smiles over sneers.

I won't be in the driving seat.
My heart will probably miss a beat.
But I will let go.
And the universe will know.

I am ready. I am willing.
And I won't be as controlling.
I will let the universe decide.
And take it all in my stride.

I will try and let go.
I believe I will gain more. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wish List

'Ask and you shall receive'. That is what I was taught by the nuns in the convent school. It's one lesson I never learnt. I can't ask anyone for anything. I may imply things, and my logic is people who know me well enough should know exactly what I want.
I have recently discovered that this is not a fool-proof plan. In fact its a plan for fools. Which is what I am...most of the times...

So I am trying to change, and ask for things I want, or at least need.

Hence when someone asked me to make a wish list of all things I wanted and guaranteed it would be fulfilled, I thought this was my chance to prove I can practice the 'ask and you shall receive' teaching. 

So here goes nothing...

My wish list in no order of priority:

 1) Knight in shining umbrella- I hate carrying umbrellas. So anytime it rains, I want a knight who will give me shelter under his umbrella. Or offer me a spare one. Either way. Am not fussed.

2) Lady's Maid- because of the Downton Abbey hangover, I too want my own lady's maid. Who will do my hair, dress me up and be at my every beck and call. And I want her to be just like Lady Mary's Anna.

3) Personal Chauffeur- With the cab situation in Singapore, this is a very reasonable ask.  I need a personal chauffeur who will be a phone call away. On weekends, he should pick me up on a motor bike, and during office days in a car. It need not be a Rolls Royce. Am not demanding you see. And if its raining, he needs to get the Knight in shining umbrella along, or double up as one.

4) Back and neck massages- Twice a day for an hour each 

5) Teletransporter to Bombay- whenever I fee like a good bhel puri and/or pau bhaji. Or just when I want see mom and dad. 

6) Movie watching partner- Must be happily willing to watch the movie of my choice without any whining. And stand in line to buy the popcorn. Salted. 

7) Sky diving pusher- Someone who would push I.e. encourage me to sky dive and when the time comes actually push me off the plane too. I really want to sky dive, just don't have the balls to do it.

8) Unicorns jumping over rainbows- Yes I know that does not exist. But want someone who can make me close my eyes and believe that it does. 

9) Twinkle Toes- Once in my life I want to dance high heels...and a flamenco skirt...and twirl a fan. All at the same time.

10) Finally I wish for the power to believe that there is genie who will fulfill all my wishes :)

Wishfully yours


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Of Mothers and Daughters. Happy Mother's Day

Of Mothers and Daughters

When you become a mom yourself, it makes you aware of everything you have put your mum through. And you finally understand what unconditional love is all about. But you also get a little lost in your own motherhood trials and joys that the time you had in your life for your own mum, goes down. Though her value goes up exponentially. 

My post yesterday spoke about the beautiful bond between mums and sons. Mothers and daughters have an equally beautiful though a different type of bond. 

Mothers and daughters are naturally tied together in love. But this bond also has a friendship. It has a kinship. Its based on shared experiences and common likes.  It has its ground in similar desires and subsequently similar scarifies. It's a relationship of equal footing, pretty much from the onset. There is a tinge of competitiveness. And there is bulk of appreciation. 

Its about routine conversations tempered with family gossip.

About having mum recipes yet always feeling that it never turns out like hers.

About shared experiences and hidden secrets.

About hand-me-down saris and jhumkas that are still your favourite ones.

About eye contacts that pass messages oblivious to everyone else in the room.

My mum has always been my voice of reason. She never minced her words and held up the mirror no matter how the ugly the reflection was. I am forever grateful for that. She showed me my true self, while constantly encouraging me to better myself.

There were as many pats on the back for job well done as there pushes to trudge me along. There were as many encouraging words as there were rule books. As much laughter as there were tears. And memories to last a lifetime.

The mother-daughter bond grows stronger over the years. When I was a a toddler, I was such a daddy's girl- to some extent still am. I used to lie to my dad that my mum scolded me, just so that he would take me in his lap and console me. It drove my mum mad, as I can so imagine now. 

As I grew older I confided in her more and more. I used to come back from school and sit on the kitchen counter and tell her everything that happened in the day while she made my favourite bread pakoras. 

In my teen years she took me shopping even though it exasperated her that I was not a careful shopper. I did not bother looking at ten shops before buying one item. I bought the first one I liked. She still can't fathom my shopping ways. 

As I grew older she became my friend and was always around to listen. The endless stories and the unending sagas. They grew more complicated and intense with time, but she listened patiently. Like she does till date. 

All mums make sacrifices. My mum made many too. She did not buy a new sari for her niece's wedding so I could buy contact lenses instead of wearing my glasses. She gave up eating meat years ago, but made the best koftas and fried fish for us. She walked to the market instead of taking the rickshaw so she could save money for that extra chocolate bar. She went to school to copy pages and pages of notes when I was bed ridden at home with a fracture. She stayed up nights when I was studying for my board exams and made me coffee in the wee hours of the morning. 

I can't possibly  list everything she has done for me. Even a million pages won't be sufficient.

Mama I love you. I may not say it as often now. But I love you so much. 

Yes mothers and daughters share a special bond. It's the bond above all else. It's the bond of motherhood. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Of Mothers and Sons

I cried. In the doctors clinic and then sitting on a bench on Orchard Road. In the middle of Singapore's bustling shopping street. I cried. Actually I bawled. Reason was that the gynae had just informed me that I was going to have a boy.

A boy?! What was I supposed to do with a BOY? I could hear my dreams being smashed like glass that cracks when a rock is thrown at it. Dreams of ribbons and laces. Or reading Enid Blyton novels under the afternoon sun in a park. Of playing dress up. Of having a room full of Barbie dolls. Or sharing secrets over the kitchen counter. And watching old episodes of 'Gilmore Girls' together. Of doll houses and tutus. It was all over now!

I know. All one should ever hope for is a healthy baby. I was VERY grateful that I was going to be a mum. I wanted to be one since I was 18. This was happening 10 years too late. So I was extremely thrilled and immensely excited. But I would be lying if I don't say that I was disappointed too.

However nothing could have prepared me for what would happen when I held Sanil in my arms for the first time. There is a gush of love that you never knew you could feel for any one individual. There was feeling of intense protectiveness. I will never ever let anything happen to my little baby. I will shield him from every pain, every hurt. And in a few days I had to take him for his first vaccination and I cried. He didn't. But I did. The doctor looked at me and sympathetically said 'If you cry every time, he cries, you won't last very long'. I though b%^&% in my head but smiled politely.

Now am sure every mum feels like that about their newborn. However as time progressed I realized that a bond that a mother shares with her son, is totally something else. I once read somewhere 'Being a mother to a son is like being the only star in your very own Hollywood production'. You are the be-all-and-end-all of his existence. At least till the girlfriends start circling like vultures. Ok. I know I am being nasty, but I can't imagine myself actually liking any of his girlfriends. And I digress...

There is still time for that...for now I want to only think of him as my baby.

When he was 3 months old I started work again. I came home in the evenings and held him in my arms to feed him, he would hold my finger so tightly. Like he would never let go of me.

He used to sleep in his cot in our room. He never cried when he woke up. But I knew his routine. So I used to wake up at 7 am and look over his cot. And there was the most beaming smile I could ever receive from anyone. He would raise his arms and I scooped him up and gave him a tight hug.
Since he could talk, he told me everything. And I mean everything. Every small minute detail that happened in the day. When he started with 'Mama you know what' or 'Mama I have to tell you something', I knew long stories with dramatic expressions would fill the next 10 minutes. I listened patiently. I never wanted to story to end.

Boys are boys. They are boisterous, loud and sometimes obnoxious. They prefer soccer to books and 'Iron Man' to 'Little Women'. They don't see anything wrong in being dirty or muddy. And can't fathom what's the big fuss about clean floors.

They look up to their dads , their uncles, their grand-dads and want to be the 'man'. However they become little babies with the mamas. Mamas who cuddle them, wipe their tears and nurse the bruised knees. Also the same mamas who push them to their potential. Who steer them when they seem to lose their way. Who know commanding won't get you anywhere. But minor cajoling will. Who encourage their passions. And help them overcome their shortcomings. Who are honest yet loving. Truthful yet caring. I am so not one of the mum who believes her son can do no wrong. In fact sometimes I feel I am harsher than necessary. I can't raise a delusional child who thinks he's always right. I can only encourage him constantly to be the best he can be.

Mums are the only ones who boys are truly vulnerable with. They open their hearts and share their souls.

When they are rude, you know they are actually scared

When they are grinning, you know they have done something naughty

When they are concentrating, you know it's really important

When they are angry, you know they are actually sad

When they are annoyed, you know they are actually disappointed

And you learn this very quickly. So you adapt your reaction to the real emotion behind the mask.

It's an unending bond. That becomes looser when they approach their tweens. They become more sullen, more uncommunicative and sometimes aloof. Their eyes are glued to cricket and fingers are busy with the iPad. Their friends become the centre of their existence.

And just when you worry that you have lost them, they give you a tight hug out of nowhere and beg you to play UNO with them.

You just have to be there. Sometimes be content to watch from the sidelines. And wait. Patiently. Because they will come back to you. May be not as often as when they were 5. But they will. And get interested in what interests them. Even if it means watching reruns of IPL and hearing stories about soccer goals till your head hurts. Or even learning the ridiculous Gangnam Style...and enjoying it

It is an eternal bond. It never breaks. And when it gets loose, let go, instead of holding on.

I don't know if I am successfully doing it, but am sure hell trying.

Happy Mothers Day!

'All I needed to do to find the perfect man, was to give birth to one' Miranda Hobbes Sex and the City

My newborn baby! At the naming ceremony
At B-Ita's Wedding. All of 11 months

Big Brother to Little Myrah

Monday, May 6, 2013

Love vs. Attachment

Love vs. Attachment

My dad has been trying to explain the meaning of love vs. attachment to me since a long time. I never really understood the difference- or bothered to- because like most things in life I felt I knew it all.

I knew what love was. It was tingling feeling in the bottom of your stomach. It the bright light in your eyes. It lives in the shy smiles and nervous laughters. It makes your heart soar with delight. You float on clouds. You grin like an idiot. You day dream, and then have sleepless nights, hugging your pillow tightly. 

You want him to hold your hand forever. Caress your face. Kiss your lips. And gaze into your eyes. You wish to put your head on his shoulder. You want the flowers after an argument, the chocolates on Valentines, the jewelry on your birthday. You wish to indulge him with your cooking. And letting him show you off in front of his friends. 

You both want to spend every second of every minute, every minute of every hour, every hour of ever day, every day of every week, every week of every month, every month of every each others arms. If your relationship lasts that long that is.

However at that moment, life without each other seems impossible to conceive. 

You wait for the phone that rings less frequently. You stalk on Facebook to check where he really is, and with whom. You fret when he watches IPL instead of listening to every minutia of your day. You complain to your girl friends that he does not listen to you like he used to. You give him gift vouchers instead of thoughtful gifts like before. He continues with the perfunctory flowers and chocolates, but the sweet handwritten notes are absent. You both need space. You think the love is gone. And wonder if there was one in the first place.

Therein lies the conundrum. Love vs. Attachment. 

Love is selfless. Attachment is selfish.

Love gives you faith. Attachment grants you fear.

Love makes you believe. Attachment leads to doubts.

Love releases. Attachment controls. 

Love is pure. Attachment is, well...selfish again.

Love heals. Attachment hurts. 

Love is in the heart. Attachment dwells in the mind.

Love prevails. Attachment perishes.

Give some thought to the ones you love. Your spouse, your boyfriend, your mum, your child, your sister, your friends, your cousins...yes you love them. No doubt. But it can be a pure, selfless love, only if it is unconditional. If you don't demand anything in return. Yet continue to give.  

You give them space if that's what they want.

You give them advice if that's what they ask. 

You give them time if that's what they need.

You simply give. You don't demand. 

You keep them in your prayers, even though they choose to stay out of your life. 

It's the toughest thing you will ever do. It's also the one that will give you the most peace.

Try it for a day. Then a week. Then a month. Then a year. Try it till it becomes a habit. A habit of loving without the expectations. Of giving without receiving.

Rise above the attachments. It's the best gift you can ever give yourself.

Yours in love


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Divine Interventions

Divine interventions

Things happen for a reason they say. The reason may unknown to you or not the one you think is right, but its a reason all the same. I read somewhere 'every coincidence comes with its own plan'. So is there such a thing as a random occurrence? Or is everything simply fated? 

I cannot help but wonder, are our paths defined and destinies sealed, or there a chance of some maneuvering...or at least nudging? 

You change your mind at the last minute and take the bus instead of the usual cab. You may think its coz you have finally decided to not be held hostage to Comfort Cabs booking hotline and the CBD surcharges, but the actual reason may be completely different. You could run into an old friend at the bus stop. And delightful conversation could brighten your morning and set the tone  for the rest of your day. Did it occur to you that the 'accidental' meeting could be part of a grand plan? 

If this grand plan exists, who is the architect? The obvious answer would be God. Or the 'universe'. Basically something bigger than you and me. So does this divine power keep track of the 7 billion lives out there? Even with a team of 7 million adept project managers, it seems an impossible feat. And as we all know, project managers are hardly ever adept. But even God found some good ones (may be they exist in the parallel universe), for them to keep track of  every second of every individual's life, appears rather impossible.

So my theory is this. There is a higher power- I call him God- you can call him (or may its a her) anything you like. He develops the grand plan which has a distinct final destination. It's inbuilt in our heads like a chip installed at birth. We go through life subconsciously following it. The destination is fixed. The paths to reach there are multiple. 

There is a straight path. But then only the boring people ever take them. There are crossroads where we have to make the tough choices. There are uphill roads where the climb is tough, but the view from the top is something else. There are obstacle courses, where we emerge stronger on the other side. Then there are scenic routes, which usually take longer, but are filled with surprises at every turn.  Or the downhill slopes where you may lose control. There are the shortcuts which could be efficient use of time, or the shortcuts where you have to make compromises that you will have to live with. 

There are times you will get lost. There are times you will walk on the right path, only to lose your way down the line. And sometimes when you think it's the wrong route, but turns out to be the only one you should have ever considered. 

While we walk these meandering paths, our destination is fixed though we are oblivious about it. So how can we be assured that we shall reach there? That's when we experience a 'divine intervention'. Someone, somewhere, sometime crosses our path and gently points us in the right direction. This person could be a complete stranger or someone you've known all your life. At times the intervention comes in form of a rude jolt like a break-up, a job loss or a tragedy. These interventions are meant to lead us to our ultimate destination. 

I once heard a spiritual leader say these words and they have stuck ever since. 'You think you know everything. You don't know where you came from. You don't know where you are going. You don't know how long you will be here. You know nothing'.

So in this event all we can do is trust the higher power. Surrender to him. And let him guide us along. It does not mean we stop thinking for ourselves. We just trust a little bit more. 

When things don't go our way, 

Instead of  questioning, we believe
Instead of 'why me?', we think 'why not?'
Instead of lamenting a loss, we see what we have gained
Instead of holding on, we let go
Instead of commanding, we concede
Instead of crying, we pray

Lets keep our eyes open for these divine interventions. They come in various shapes and sizes. And sometimes in disguise. An unplanned trip. A stranger becoming a friend. A new career. A different phase. An undiscovered city. A second chance. Or perhaps a totally new opportunity. Don't let them scare you or annoy you. Embrace them and you may reach just where you want to. And in this process, don't forget to ask for help. People who care for you are usually better suited to spot these divine interventions. 

So ask and you shall receive. And stop seeking and you will find.

Am off for brunch and shopping and to see what divine interventions come my way today.