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Loving the daughter I have not met!

8 Mar

I love babies. I love baby boys and baby girls in no definite order. I have a son and I love him the most. Obviously!

And our family is a small family with the two of us, (my husband and I) and our dear darling 7-year-old son. No, we do not have a daughter. Hey, I am not pregnant either, in case you are wondering. So, what is with the title of this article, you may think.

As much as we would love to have a daughter too, I should say, nature has other plans. The three of us is going to be our family and I would like to think we are complete and happy. Yes, we most definitely are.

Now nature decided to bestow upon us a daughter too, a daughter in a different way. I became an aunt to the most beautiful adorable baby girl in the whole world. Yes, that is the mommy (aunty) in me talking! This beautiful baby girl was born almost two months ago and I have not met her yet. And here I write an ode to her and about her.

The pictures I have seen make me want to meet her ‘once’.  Not just once. But at least once.

My niece holding her mother's fingers

My niece holding her mother’s fingers

Her eyes are fiery, like the tempest. Her forehead is broad and shines with intelligence. She has a lot of jet black hair. Her father wishes for her to have hair like mine, straight, soft and docile. But no sir! I do not want her or her hair to be soft and docile like me.

I would like to think of her as a go-getter of the things in the world she wants and aspires for. Cheeky and audacious, bold and vivacious, like all the things and more I was in my younger days.

I wish for her not to be the stereo type-casted woman of India, nor like certain modern-day woman with minimum ethics or morals, but for her to have a delicate balance and show the world what a true woman is to be.

This beautiful baby niece of mine was born and stays just 230 miles away (6 hours’ drive) from where we stay. But I haven’t met her for over two months due to certain personal glitches. Now you may ask, don’t you meet a niece, your own sibling’s child, because of a ‘glitch’? Well, that is an entirely different long story. It requires a separate post(ok, maybe a book) in itself. So, the long and short of it, we planned twice to go see her, and we had to cancel our trip both the times. And now here I whine about not having met her.

I most definitely have the sun and moon of my entire being, my darling son. But now, I also have a daughter, thanks to nature, in the form of my niece. My sibling’s child is my child too in some ways and it is the closest to my having my own daughter. And I have to thank nature (or God if you may call it so) for this gift.

But I hope beyond all the hope that someday I get to meet her, see her for real in person, hold her, feel those tiny palms and fingers which you can see in the picture, and cherish her.

Like I got the daughter which I was never destined to get, I know I will also get to meet her soon too even if fate has other plans.  (???!!!!)

Hey, isn’t it the International day of women today?

Divine Blessings, Ample Happiness, Best Wishes, Great Hopes, Spiritual Grace, Bounteous Joy and all the best of the Universe on this women’s day to the woman (who is yet a baby) and to all the other beautiful women of the world!

Isn’t it Kismet which has made me write about her, today, instead of all the other days, which in itself makes me feel an unusual sense of calm about this beautiful day of today.

Guest Post: Confessions of an IT professional’s wife

2 Sep

Sreelatha is married to an IT professional. And she talks about the YAYs and NAYs that it accompanies. Oh, did I tell you I was an IT pro myself before I started this blog?

Sreelatha's family

Sreelatha’s family

Being the wife of an IT professional (which I am sure at least 40% of the women are) comes with its own pros and cons. When I got the marriage proposal, it seemed to me and my folks as the most lucrative one owing to the fact that the boy works for one of the big IT firms located in the silicon valley of India (we like to call it that way). The cherry on the cake was the travel that one gets to take around the different continents of the world. So as any smart girl in my position would have done I grabbed the opportunity and married my man. So that was all in the outset but what really goes in is like this – I am sure we women keep hearing this saying that When you marry a man you are actually marrying the whole family but here’s the new thing – When you’re marrying an IT professional you are marrying his job as well.

Let me explain. For one if you are an IT professional too then you are spared because when you’re husband talks to you about how his day went, he is going to be using those big IT words like Data center transformation, virtualization, private cloud (what??) so on and so forth. But for someone like me who has absolutely no connection to IT whatsoever, all these words sounds like ‘Blah, Blah and Blah Blah.’ Oh but you dare not show it on your face because you’re husband probably has had a really stressful day and as a good wife you are supposed to lend an ear to all that he says.

Did I mention to you that he has another wife too, no make that two, his laptop and blackberry? I would consider myself the third one because he literally spends the whole day with his blackberry and the laptop. When he comes back from work you will most probably hear these words –‘ I have two calls back to back today’, ‘got this really important client meet tomorrow so I need to leave very early.’

And one of those days you may also hear something like this ‘Looks like we may have to travel pretty soon, there is a big assignment coming up.’ Now, never ask him how soon you have to leave because you don’t want to hear it. It most probably would be something like this – ‘Visa and stamping will take about 4 weeks. So most probably we’ll leave next month.’ When you hear this you’ll have mixed feelings, one you are excited about the travel; two, you are sick worried that all of a sudden you are going to be in a foreign land and if you have kids then you probably would have had a mild heart attack by then and thirdly you are already stressed out that you have to shut down the current house and start packing. The biggest challenge would be to keep mum about the whole thing. That part is the most difficult one. Your mom and mom-in-law would tell you that you should not blurt it out as it is very inauspicious. Chances are that the whole trip may get cancelled. More than the part being inauspicious, in reality you actually will never know that you are moving out of the country till you board your flight.

And that’s just the challenges that the wives face. Now don’t even let me start on the how an IT professional’s career affects his and his in-laws life as well. A word of caution to all the parents of the soon to be bride of an IT groom. Make sure that you have your passports ready. Your daughter will soon move away to the states or to the kingdom or to some euro destination, the next thing will be that you may have visit her for 6 months because your daughter is pregnant and they will want the child to be born in that country as the medical facilities are better there (Don’t be surprised by this. Once your daughter starts to live there, no place compares to it not even India where she was born and brought up). The same applies to the boy’s parents because once the girl’s parents are back its time for them to get there and get on with their duties. So the other day I met this aunty in our apartment  building and asked her where she was all this while and guess what she says.

But all said and done, today IT professionals are the most sort after grooms for Tambram girls and every tambram boy works for IT behemoths. We embraced this life because we know that this is how it is going to be. On a serious note I want to finish this whole list of confessions by saying that we know how hard our husbands work and as a wife it becomes imperative that we support and stand by whatever they do. And promise that we will continue to board the flight to wherever they want us to go, learn any foreign languages, get used to the fact that laptops and blackberries are not only part of their lives but ours too.

Sreelatha is Purnima’s (The Alchemist’s) childhood friend. They went to the same school for twelve years together. They both resided in the same locality. They spent some holidays together. Sreelatha pursued commerce and management and married an IT professional, whereas Purnima pursued Engineering and married a physician. Life took them different paths and they met again through Facebook. They are glad the friendship is again taking off like never before. Check out more about her Cheelu (as she is affectionately called) here.

Tell us about any of your childhood friends and their spouse. Any confessions? Post it as a comment to this post or share it in your own blog and post the link here.

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Guest Post: 5 ways to lure kids away from malls

1 Sep

In today’s guest post, Praveen gives us tips and ideas to lure kids away from malls. Oh, a must read for all parents 😉

Unfortunately, more and more parents are opting for the easy way out and taking kids to the shopping centers where they can combine entertainment, shopping and eating at one place. While this may sound lucrative, the ugly truth is in the long run this unhealthy practice will have an adverse effect on our pocket – and our health.Here are five suggestions to wean the kids away from malls.

Arrange a picnic:

Remember how, long before malls arrived on the scene, we frequented the city zoo or botanical gardens armed with our picnic basket, a good book to read and some outdoor games? In the sylvan surroundings the family used to bond strongly. Relive those moments and introduce your kids to the simple pleasures of life. Spend a Sunday in the zoo over games of ludo, chess and badminton. If it is too cumbersome to prepare an elaborate meal just pack some sandwiches, fruits and fresh juice. The children will be so busy enjoying themselves they will eat anything you make as long as it is tasty.

Enjoy a stay-in:

If the heat is too sapping to go out, have picnics at home. Hire your favourite family movies, order some good Chinese food and take your place on the bean bag in front of the home theatre. Become a couch potato in style.

Have an Informal soiree:

When was the last time you and your friends got together at each other’s homes? More often than not we take the convenient route and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries at – where else – the mall. Ditch the practice and get together at one another’s houses at least once a month. Each can host the party on a rotational basis. Each family chips in by making a dish so that the host is not stuck in the kitchen for hours trying to whip up the perfect meal. Guaranteed enjoyment!

Fix play dates:

Call a few of your kids’ classmates for a play date at your house. Each of them can bring some of their toys and share it with others. While the kids have a gala time you can bond with the mothers. If all goes well, play dates will become a regular feature. They can be held on a rotational basis too once a month. It will give a superb opportunity to pick up some friends for life.

To market, to market:

Stocking up on provisions need not be an onerous chore. You can make it fun by taking your kids and visiting the Sunday bazaar rather than run to the supermarket in the vicinity. Let the children pick up a few lessons in negotiations by observing you bargaining with the greengrocer. Show them that a penny saved is a penny earned. Buy your grocery items from the local general store so they understand the importance of weights and measures which they would never learn if they pick up items off the shelf and load them in shopping carts. Have super fun shopping.

Just tweak your imagination and you will soon be flooded with ideas on how to spend your weekends without a visit to the mall.

Photo credit to Herr_Bert at http://www.flickr.com/photos/81223571@N00/2688637165

Praveen is the founder and CEO of Wild Creek Studio which operates many sites like AwesomeCuisine, TamilBrahmins, PoetryofLife, ChennaiForums, PremiumWoman. He was also interviewed by YourStory.in/NDTV, Chennai and is one of the most dynamic entrepreneur in India. It is a complete honour to have him over. Thank you.

Do you have more ideas. We love hearing about them.  Post it as a comment to this post or share it in your own blog and post the link here.

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Older! Wiser? Happier birthday!

22 May

So, I am 31 years old and 4 days old. Jessica wished me the happiest of birthdays and Eva called me beautiful and Anand wished a blessed day for me. Out of the 100 odd FB wall posts, these have stuck out in my mind because my birthday was all of these.

It was the happiest. I felt so very beautiful from within, from out, from all around me. I felt at peace. I felt blessed. I was really blessed. My favourite cousin spent half of his day with me. (I am using the word favourite here with a poetic license because it sounds good with the flow of the sentence.. but all my cousins are my favourites)

And the icing on the cake was that my 6-year-old son and his friends made sure that I have a party on my birthday. So they made me cut a beautiful strawberry and vanilla cake, complete with icing and cream and pink flowers with ‘Happy Birthday’ inscribed on it. Nothing and no one can top this icing (pun intended). So, today 4 days later, on my wedding anniversary day, I thank my husband for the most precious gift we gave each other, our son.

Life is benevolent!

Life indeed is benevolent if you choose to look at it with a benevolent perspective. There are people who forget you on your birthday, and there are people who go out all the way to make it memorable and show their love and passion and care for you. I wish to remember the good things. I wish to thank god for the cake… errr… for such a wonderful son and husband. I wish to remember this day with all the lovely things life has bestowed me with.

(**Sniff sniff**) This post is getting mushier and mushier…

Hey guys, rock and roll!!! Life is fun! Ignore things which give you unhappiness. They do not go away. But they do not bother you eventually.

Revel in peace and happiness and fun and togetherness and joy.

Motherhood and being Cultured!

5 Nov

        

This post is dedicated to the one year Blogiversary of one of the most happening parenting communities, World Moms Blog.

I was asked to write about Motherhood relating to our Indian culture and link up with the World Moms Blog . In India I would say there are at at least 50 different cultures for every aspect. And the same and more apply to motherhood. Having said that, this post has nothing to do with any of the  specific 50 different cultures of India.

For me motherhood simply means worshipping my mother’s motherhood. I should say I have not much vocally appreciated her as much as I should be not only for bringing me up, but doing everything else and more for my son, her grandson.

Motherhood

Sculpture - "Motherhood" at St.Anne convent in northern Kentucky.

This is where it began. When I was pregnant I contacted Hepatitis-A, a viral infection and was down with jaundice. It was not specifically life threatening or problematic for the baby in womb (because of the placental barrier), but we all were so stressed mentally and emotionally. This was approximately during the 22nd week. I was working 12 hours a day, designing the supposedly love of my life, car electronics. During that period I was living, 350 miles away from home.

The gynecologist and gastroentrologist advised complete bed rest until the day of delivery. I was very upset hearing this. I pleaded, I coaxed, that I work at least after a month’s rest. I was feeling completely fit and fine. But for whatever reasons God chose, I was back at my parents’ home relaxing and enjoying all the remaining 5 to 6 months of pregnancy. I was eating home cooked food by the world’s greatest cook (mom), being pampered and cared and just plain killing time reading books, researching pregnancy and stuff over the internet. The DDH used to visit me over the weekends at my parents’ place. [**I have not really thanked him enough for letting me stay on at my parents’ place indefinitely**]. And life was benevolent indeed.  

And then, one fine day I delivered a healthy happy crying baby boy and all was fine again in this mama’s world.

And I went back to work when DDS was 6 months old.

No day care, said the DDH. No nannies. No nothing. I was devastated. Apparently the DDH was a great fan of attachment parenting, and well, neither did I have the heart to send him to a day care to strangers. I mean, yes, I know there are so many wonderful care centers and I am not being judgmental. Having said that, I just felt I needed my little boy to be with people he knew, he was biologically related to.

So, super woman aka my mom, aka my son’s grand mom stepped in to the rescue. She traveled 350 miles away from her home, stayed with us, away from her husband and her son and took care of DDS while I worked away ‘happily’ at the car electronics typing away software codes for the automatic power steering.

Now, my dad visited us during the weekend to be with his wife, my mom and with all of us, his family. And oh, my brother sacrificed being with his mom too, because he was just entering college, and needed her emotional support. But the neediest was the baby, so my mom devoted her entire time, energy and thoughts to baby. We stayed in this arrangement for at least 5 years when we decided I would quit work because mom had to go back home, for her own personal reasons.

But the point is, my mom put up with a 25-year-old, grown up, pregnant, moody, lazy, physically unwell woman (me) for half a year, an ignorant mom (me) for another half-year and then she stayed away from her family, her husband and her son for 5 full years. I can not really thank my father and brother enough for letting me have her fully. She did all this for her grandson. Her idea of motherhood which can not be defined in any words except by retelling this story is just my idea of motherhood.

Culture is also refinement, culture is also being civilized, culture, my father always says, is doing what is best and correct for the moment and living life the way, God would later say, Ah, I am proud of you, my child. Isnt that how culture must have evolved in any society?

So, I am blessed to have parents who are cultured and who tried their best to imbibe that in my brother and me.

And this post celebrates that woman, who is the best mother in the whole world.

Some day, I hope my son says that too.

 

This article is part of the World Moms Blog Link-up

This article is part of the World Moms Blog Link-up

Go ahead, click the above button and view all posts written by mothers all around the globe participating in the World Moms Blog link up! I encourage the reader to also participate by writing your own post under the topic, “Motherhood, culture and myself” and show your support for the most celebrated feeling, “motherhood” by ‘liking’ and commenting on my and all posts.

DeCluttering, A 5 y.o, Visitors and oh, ME!

3 Nov

                 

It all started with visitors. I am not much of a decluettring person, or a great home maker when it comes to keeping the house neat and tidy. Oh, yes, it is clean and does not have much of a dust, I should say. But everything in its own place? Oh, that’s just not me, sorry!

So, it happened, last week! Visitors were expected and it was Diwali and guess what?

Good Housekeeping periodical...

Good Housekeeping periodical...

  

The shelves were dusted, the attics were vacuumed, the windows, panes, and doors, door frame polished, furniture arranged and rearranged, the book shelves decluttered, the kitchen cleaned, scrubbed and tidied, and the never-ending possibilities in creating a ‘good housekeeping magazine’s poster page’ discovered. I managed all this with the toddler at my heals. I cajoled him into helping me, sometimes yelled at him to leave the room because of the dust, at times, just accepted the fact that his presence is part of my life!

The home became a museum, a temple and everyone was shocked.

The husband was amazed.

My parents were proud.

The toddler was tip toeing.  

And I was smug! And I was exhausted! And I was happy!

The house felt beautiful. I bet if it had life, it would have admired itself umpteen times in the mirror.

DeCluttering is very therapeutic. It is wonderful. It is a serene feeling to inspect the beautiful product of your effort.

And now, one week later, the house is back a home. Yes, right, it is back to being my home, DDS’S home, DDH’s home. A place where we feel at ease, where we relax, where we find solace within ourself, amidst the things strewn around, and well just our home.

The story had to have a climax, right? So, flight back to reality and loosen up.

Its “life”, after all! And home is where its heart is 🙂

                              

SAHM vs. Working-Mom

10 Aug

INDIA: My Decision: SAHM vs. Working-Mom.

Please click the above link. Oh yes, that is my next post at WMB.

Ok, go ahead, read it and leave your comments there at WMB  🙂

Thanks guys!

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