Tag Archives: woman

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.

A career woman turned homemaker.

14 Jan

Do you remember the day I quit my job? The day I actually officially gave my resignation letter? I wrote about it here. And the day I wrote about my feelings about the trigger? Well, I have come a long way from there.

There were a lot of people who judged me, who said I was right and some who said I was wrong. I do not know if I was right or wrong, but well, in time, this would not matter. Any decision would have been almost the same philosophically. And these judgments would prove inconsequential. In the larger scheme of events, what does it matter? But what about me as an entity? As a person and as a mind and soul with a heart?

I know of women who have the greatest attachments and pride in their career, their financial security and their title as an independent woman. I don’t for a moment think they are wrong to be that way. In fact it is their personal choice and their frame of mind which makes them think so. But I am not that and I don’t intend to be so too. But I also know a few others who are very fiercely independent and high in the rungs of their career but are forced to be there for any number of reasons. I know of an ex-colleague whose husband told her that he wanted a wife with a high profile career and that at no point in her life should she feel she can let it go for the sake of ‘family’ or her ‘child’, though she said she would do anything to be in my current shoes of a happy homemaker. I can only sympathize with her. I at least have a generous husband than that who thinks I can do what I want with my life, but it is entirely my responsibility to do so.

But my priorities are very clear. I need to give the utmost attention to my toddler, to his formative years, to his upbringing and no one can take up that position and only those who think similarly would really understand my thoughts.

You know, I have never really understood feminism in the words of the world. What reason a woman has to prove that she is equal to a man?  Sometimes I feel a woman is superior in many different other ways and it really belittles a woman to prove she is equal to a man. The men who are reading this blog, please don’t get me wrong. I am trying to say that nature bestowed in woman the physique to be fertile, bear and allow progeny and care for young ones. It gave women a softer heart. It gave women more power to tolerate. I say tolerate here, because the pains and pleasures of nine months of child bearing, laborious process of birth, patience in upbringing, love, bonding and lessons of the heart are all better understood and taught to future generations by a woman alone. And doing one’s duty, one’s intuitive duty in fulfilling womanhood, in being truly feminine, is her first priority.

So, for me feminism is all this, rather than trying to say, I can be a CEO too or I can be a Prime Minister too, though if you can do all this and not compromise on any of these and still hold the flags of respective positions, so be it. You are highly skillful, multitaskable and almost god to be omniscient.

But what about money? What about a career at a later stage in my life? What about the cost of this break? I understand I cant have the same career I had. But do I really want to? When I think about it, I feel that chapter in my life is over and I have evolved beyond the stressful life of a software engineer who slogs for twelve hours a day for money and social pride. I mean, I needed the money back then, I got it. I would still need it as long as I keep getting it. Know what I mean? As and when we are dispensed of certain resources, we lose their use. I don’t say I have no use for money. But I have learnt to be more frugal than I earlier was. I don’t eat out. Maybe, not as much. I don’t splurge money on the demons called “auto-rickshaws”, we travel wisely and avoid it mostly, which is good, we have also become innovative with using just one car and traveling only when it is available and walking the other times. It is not that hard, really. I don’t buy as much clothes. I also don’t buy so many clothes and toys for my toddler. I really don’t understand why I bought so many things which I really did in the past. It is like I have stopped spending money from my bank account which is really not there. I am not an advocate of any “stop consumerism” group. I am just trying to say that to live simply is a very satisfying thing at the end of the day. You know, like reinventing the wheel again and again.

Of course the DDH has a job and he provides for his wife and child. But you know, the concept of second income is welcome, but if it has to be forsaken, it can be done so happily too.

And at the end of the day, I am happy, and yet again, some say I am being childish saying I am happy being a homemaker and what about all the education, the post graduate engineering degree? Well, what can I say? I thought I wanted a high profile career, I worked for it. I almost got there. But somewhere along the journey, I decided to switch lanes because my heart belonged in the other lane. A certain friend on FB had posted sometime ago the difference between the heart and the mind. I mean, my mind would still be working as a project leader in some leading American Vehicle Design company. But the heart belongs very much physically near to the heart of DDS, at home right now. Perhaps, when he has to go to school full time next year, I would think of ways to keep myself occupied and pine meanwhile.

But for now, to quote DDS, “Be at home with me because I like you”. What simpler reason could there be for this decision and I am glad I am here now than later.

An Ode to Aunt-in-Law

8 Sep

Rarely do we come across people who are cheerful and happy under almost all circumstances. I should probably say they exude peace and contentment unconditionally. Maybe they would have their own weaknesses, shortcomings, defects and deficiencies in character, behavior and attitude. But that’s not the point here. What they project and how they make the other person feel and what kind of atmosphere they create is praiseworthy, in spite of their flaws, if any.

One such person, I recently came to understand is one of my aunt-in-law (AiL). So, hereafter I will refer to her as A. I do not want to refer to her with the acronym AiL, like we refer to SiL (sister-in-law), BiL (brother-in-law),, MiL (Mother-in-law), FiL (father-in-law) etc, precisely because she has an AiLment and I would rather forget about it, though that is the very object of this blog post.

To respect the need of privacy for her and her family, I would rather not divulge anything much about her or her ailment, other than the fact that her ailment is quite life threatening if left unattended. But what ailment is not, one could argue. It’s not like a fever or even something serious like pox. But these are life threatening too. One of the bloggers I regularly follow lost her daughter to Dengue. You can read about it here. And I came to know about this much later, because I was absent from the computer and internet because I was attending to my son who was suffering from dengue and I came to know about her only after my DDS sufficiently recovered. I do not want to think what she underwent and how she feels now too. Strange is this world and life with its own ways which nature alone comprehends or perhaps our little knowledge of this so called life and nature is only so much that we think nature has its ways. Ah, perhaps, a silent prayer to TR, IMH’s daughter would perhaps benefit them all now.

And well, A is going through something which is more life threatening than Dengue or anything like that if not treated properly by the right people at the right time. Thankfully she is with the right people now. But my experience with her and the very idea about this blog is that, she is such a wonderful person made of steel and tenderness at the same time.

DDH had just broken the news to her of her ailment and expected fear, sorrow or any kind of negative reaction. But after the initial shock (all humans are entitled to this. Even the so called gods – Rama and Krishna had their share of sorrows and depressions, we will talk about it later) she was strangely calm and accepted what nature offered.

I visited her immediately after this news was broken to her. I meanwhile was continuously praying for her well being, because I genuinely liked her. She emanates an affection which is so pure and from the heart and the entire room she is in, fills with this thick blanket of well being. So, I was very upset that nature had chosen her of all the people in this world for such an affliction. But Paanchali, the chastest woman even with five husbands was chosen for the shocking act of public insult in the wide court. She endured it and came out of it victoriously. Karna, the greatest warrior, equal to the mighty Arjuna was insulted by everyone in his times and cursed by even his teacher Parasurama. Ekalayva, the most intelligent and smartest student had to pay his teacher’s fees in the form of his thumb after which none of his knowledge of warfare could prove useful to him. The wisest Yudhishtra lost a game of dice. With his wisdom, he should never had played dice and with his knowledge he should have somehow won it. But he did not. Yes, this world is really so strange.

So, our times are no different. In case you are wondering why I am quoting from Dwapara Yuga so proficiently, I would like to let you on, on the current book I am reading which is an author’s version of the Mahabharata, the review of which I will write soon.

So, afflictions come to the least expected and where they are present, so are benedictions too. I will tell you why I feel that way.

When I was traveling to visit A, I was all the time wondering how I was going to console her or give her the same warmth she most generously gave everyone unconditionally. How I was going to even speak to her about it? How could I justify this to her? Perhaps, she was not expecting me to give her reasons and explanations, but sitting in the same room, just 2 or 3 people, you would be forced to say something, wont you? So, I was worried about her health, worried what we all were going to speak each other, worried basically about everything. After a while, I gave up and just prayed that she be cured completely and none of the rest mattered.

 I entered the room where she was supposed to be resting in the hospital. Her daughter, lets call her S, opened the door very cheerfully as always, just like her mom, A. They invited me generously in, like they were inviting me to their own house. I entered, not sure what to say. A took control of the situation, gave me a brief about what she did during the day. She had endured some tests, all of which confirmed her ailment. She said it matter of factly and proceeded to enquire about my busy day, chided me for being such a workaholic and advised me to spend more time with DDS. After all, he was only four years old and would miss me a lot. That’s a mother and grandmother speaking. She was both. I was apologetic, but she would listen to none of it. She then counseled me to take more care of my skin since now it is scar filled the results of a very severe childhood pox attack and adolescence with embarrassing oily skin. I duly promised to give it more attention. We spoke about turmeric facials, gold and pearl facials, yoghurt creams and even about her personal beautician and how affectionate she was. She was visibly upset about the wrinkles in her forearm. I politely suggested maybe she can use a moisturizer. She said it dint seem to be working. She then went on to chide her daughter S for also not giving more attention to her skin. The topic then reared to inflation. She ranted as to how expensive brinjals and tomatoes were. I duly agreed again. So did S.

The doctor decided to pay us a visit during this time, explained that she was due to more tests the next day and left. She dint seem worried about it, though it is very normal to terrified. Maybe she was terrified deep in her heart, but I would never know. But she had the strength and resolve to stand brave against her odds, flicking them away as dust, just a nuisance and inconvenience in everyday life. She shrugged after he left indicating it to be a nuisance and repetition of what she already knew.

She never gave me an opportunity to sympathize with her. She did not want my pity. She had acceptance of what she was bestowed with, both miseries and happiness. She did not complain about it too. I know people who deserve worse things but complain of lesser things. Well, but who am I judge, I do not know the greater plan of the grand old MAN above us.

It was her dinner time and I decided to politely leave. But she would have none of it. She ordered me to have dinner with her. I thought it would be most inappropriate for me to dine with her and be a nuisance there. But she paid no attention and ordered me to eat and I did. I was most astonished by the time I was about to leave. She even told S to offer me some fruits. I stubbornly refused, because I wanted her to have them and at least get some iota of vitamins or whatever else there were in fruits.

We hardly spoke twice about her affliction. We spoke just like how we used to speak any other day. About everyday happenings, the world, life, people, things in general, just like anyone would under normal circumstances. Yes, it was strange. Because her probalme was life threatening, yet she was calm and composed and even normal and worried about me, my health, my skin and my son. She also bragged about her grandson just like any grandmother was supposed to.

I finally left. I don’t pity her at all. I admire her. That’s the only feeling I have for her and of course I salute her. A woman, under the supposed shadow of her husband, from the previous orthodox generation, she still proved that the mettle she was made of was the strongest and the grittiest. She is an honor to her family, to the people she belong. She exuded the same concern, genuine affection, warmth and love even in her moments of peril. She showed her power and grit at times of adversity. I am sure she is blessed by the Lord, because if not for such people, who else will the HE shower his benediction onto? And I have a feeling, HE gives such people these tiny miseries because it is only such people who can withstand them with all their might and prove to this world that life still goes on and even in such moments, one should still share and spread the love, the only permanent thing in the world.

May the Lord keep her in HIS heart like I feel, HE always does.

9 things any work place should provide for women

11 Aug

  1. Flexibility to work from home when a woman has advanced well into her pregnancy or when early on during pregnancy she has to be “safe” with her baby.
  2. Flexibility to work part time for certain phases of her career like when she has a toddler who needs her attention for the better part of the day.
  3. No late night shifts or late night extended working to meet customer deadlines or in the event of such unavoidable circumstances, provide transportation back home and security personnel with her during drop in case she is unfortunate enough to reside in a potentially less safe locality.
  4. No gender bias or apparent gender bias even if it is absent. It is very demotivating and disheartening; I would even say disgusting. And no performance based comparison with a male with respect to gender issues.
  5. No gender bias or the dagger looks by bosses when she takes gossip breaks. After all guys take gossip breaks too in addition to smoking breaks, but I do not understand why it does not get noticed.
  6. A women centric community or work groups/unions or an intranet community portal for women to discuss women-centric problems, woes, and just rant. Talking about things just makes one feel better whether a solution is obtained or not.
  7. In corporate office which has a large turnover when they can provide cafeterias and gyms, I feel it is more prudent to provide a play area or day care for children of mothers who have just delivered and also for those  who need to keep their kids somewhere for a couple of hours after their kindergarten/school.
  8. No extra questions or medical certificates to be demanded when a woman calls in sick and applies for sick leave for just a couple of days. After all when men are eligible for two sick leaves per month, women are entitled for more. We just do not want to create a fuss so we just let it go.
  9. If you have read so far, then I would even suggest fashion outlets here and there just like vending machines, fashion magazine on the coffee table along with Chip magazine and the daily newspaper. What the heck? I need to know what J Lo wore last night to be able to work efficiently today, don’t I? Ok, I am exaggerating. I just think more variety in magazines around the coffee table is always welcome, more clubs and activities and general peppiness at work place to keep the spirits high. But men would vouch for this one too 🙂
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