The Best Year: 2013


Sigh! The last post of this year. I so did not want this year to end. 2013, undoubtedly has been the best year of my life until now. It has been the most wonderful and beautiful year personally and the most fruitful year professionally. Every single day of this year has taught me something and made me a better person. Every second of this year showed me how much I was loved and how blessed I am. Every breath I took this year was in the presence of my love, my life, my husband. Last year I had to travel and stay away from him. This year nothing kept us away from each other. Last year told me about the fake-ness of people around me and this year showed me. I have eliminated more than half the people in my life this year, and I could not be more happier. 

A snap shot of the learning's, achievements and happiness that 2013 offered me.

~ First. I married the man I love. That alone is enough to make this year the best of a lifetime.

~ I decided to not go nuclear and stay with my in-laws instead. Turned out to be the best decision ever.

~ Immediately after marriage, I got a project within 3 kilometers from the place I stay. Hop, skip and jump; I'm at my work place. Helps me ensure an easier professional-personal life balance.

~ I decided and sealed my alternate career. Writing.

~ My blog's success multiplied hundred fold, much to the chagrin of a certain few.

~ Writing surpassed a passion and became a way of life. 

~ Tamarind Rice asked me to write for them. My articles have been published in every single issue of theirs. Achievement? Oh yeah!

~ I was introduced to Indiblogger and BlogAdda and have won umpteen contests in them. Today I cannot imagine blogging without them.

~ BlogAdda interviewed me as a top blogger. I still visit this page often to check if it actually happened.

~ Started my book. 

~ I got back to my second passion after a long time. Dancing. Participated at the annual event at office and my group won the first prize. Performed at two other events.

~ Welcomed a handsome nephew as one of my best friends delivered the most beautiful baby boy ever. 2014 will see me becoming an aunt twice as two other friends are in queue.

~ Reminds me, 2013 kept me baby free. Such a relief!

~ Realized that marriage does not change you as a person. It changes your outlook to things maybe, but not you as a person. Well, for me at least.

~ Learnt to ignore and block out unnecessary people successfully. Teaching my husband the trick now.


~ Befriended karma, as I watched her take out her wrath on those who deserved and asked for her. She is beautiful, isn't she?

~ Saw the true colors of certain people and realized that they were poisoned all along. Also, greenish purple is a very bad color.

~ Realized that you need to be selfish to lead a happy life. Of course I have always been selfish. 2013 made me realize that, that was the best thing about me.

~ Learnt not to get affected by people taking behind my back. Like Annie said, 'Char log baath karne lage, toh samjho tharakki ho gayi'. Couldn't agree more.

~ Realized that most people do not like the truth. Sugar coat it and they make you their life support. Sorry, but no thank you!

~ Also realized that you do anything in the background, it shall be accepted. Even if it is the wrong thing. Do it in front of everyone and then hell breaks loose. Even if it is the right thing.

~ Love compensates for everything. Having a partner who loves me like there is no tomorrow, eases out everything else. 

Well, we all have made our list of 2013 by now right? Or am I the only one? Well this has been a mandate for me every year and I love making lists. So this was it. 2013 has raised the bar for all years to come. But I know I shall ace each year from now on. For two things. 

1. I believe in myself and the one I love.
2. I do not fear anything or anybody anymore.


Wishing you all a very happy new year. May you all be blessed and have all your wishes come true in style. Stay safe, drink till you drop and have some sober fool drive you back home.

Rock it guys! See you next year!

~ Soumya

PASS: Stud Boy


I knew he loved me a lot
But I some how did not care
I am not much of a vain person
But I cannot stand facial hair

He was my best friend I agree
But that attraction I couldn't find
I've thought about it many times
More often than not its on my mind

A wonderful and amazing person
Smart and intelligent to the core
But that smelly stubble on him
Made him look like such a bore

My man should look clean and tidy
Should take care of himself very well
He should put an extra effort for me
Must be clean and capture me in his smell

I ignored him for as long as I could
It hurt me inside for hurting a friend
And then I saw him on a Saturday
My dilemma then came to an end

He looked at me with twinkling eyes
His clean shaven look bowled me over
Before I could understand my feelings
I knew he was my perfect lover

I watched him in awe all day long
He kneeled down with a diamond ring
He promised to accept the razor for life
For him then my heart began to sing

Our love grew day by day
Facial hair was snipped in the bud
I married him two months later
My charming, clean shaven stud


This post is a part of Protest Against Unclean Stubble Activity in association with BlogAdda.

~ Soumya

The Lava Lamp


"A lava lamp?" The shop keeper glares at me.

"Yes, do you have any?" I say looking around the small albeit tidy shop.

"Yes we do. Small or big?" He gestures using his hands.

I think about the limited money I have in my pocket. How much money did the shop keeper expect a eight year old boy to have I don't know.

"Small." I say, feeling ashamed.

He disappears under the counter for a while and comes up with one. It looks magnificent. The pinkish red lava inside, swam around freely and split into tiny bubbles exploding inside the limited place it had. It was fascinating and mesmerizing at the same time. I hold it tight in my hands and peep into it as though I'll swim into it the next moment. Tina was right, it did sooth the eye and the mind. The shop keepers harsh voice broke my fantasy spell.

"Ninety rupees. You want it?"

My heart sank. I thought about the fifty rupees that was safe in my pocket. It had taken me two whole months to save it for Tina's birthday. Tina was my elder sister and I wanted to surprise her with this lamp. She had seen one of it at her friends place and had never stopped talking about it since then. I very badly wanted to gift her one this birthday.

"You have a smaller one?" I ask with a lump in my throat, placing the lamp carefully on the counter.

"Hmmm..." The shop keeper grunts and disappears behind the counter again.

I wait hopefully, crossing my fingers. Tina had been through a lot since the past two months and this would mean a lot to her. I tip toe and look at the shop keeper busy searching the lower drawers. Soon, he comes up with another one.

"Here, this is the smallest we have." He lays it down on the counter with a thud.

This one looked more brilliant and more like a kaleidoscope. It had multiple colors in at and as I turned it around the tiny beads hugged each other forming one giant miracle and swam gently along the waves rocking against the glass panel. The orange merged with the pink and the blue did with the yellow. I also found traces of purple in it and a hint of silver. I was transported to another world. My eyes gleamed at the sight of it and my lips broke into a wide smile. This is exactly what Tina would love. I feel the coins and notes in my pocket and I'm filled with a sense of loss again. Some how, putting up a brave face, I look up at the shop keeper.

He seems fascinated this time. He smiles at me.

"Who is this for?" He kneels down beside me.

"My sister. She has always wanted one. Its her birthday today." I say clutching the lamp tight.

"You want to surprise her? Is that why she is not here with you?" He asks.

I feel a tear drop trickle down my cheek and I'm suddenly laden with emotions. My hands shiver breaking the lava inside the lamp into a million drops of light again.

"She's had an accident. She can't walk." I say slowly.

"Oh, then you must give this to her. Come, let me pack this for you." He gets up and takes the lamp from my hand.

"But how much is this? I have only fifty rupees with me." I say, feeling ashamed again.

He smiles and bends down to look into my eyes.

"Its fifty rupees exact. Plus, you get a chocolate free with it. Pick anything you want." He says pointing towards the spread to my right and hiding the actual price tag behind his back.

My face lights up instantly as I choose Tina's favorite chocolate and slip it into my pocket. The shop keeper packs the lava lamp in bright gold paper and even ties a bow around it. The smile on my face grew wider.

"Here we go. Say 'Happy Birthday' to your sister from me. Will you?" He asks patting my head.

"Sure. Thank you." I say happily.

I empty my pocket of coins and crumpled notes on the counter. I hold the gift tightly in my hand and walk towards our home, the orphanage.


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

~ Soumya

To My Unborn Daughter


Having children is a blessing they say. I've stayed away from this thought until now and shall for a long time. If ever I decide to have children, I would want to have a daughter. No, I'm not gender biased or a feminist, but somehow I never have "wanted" a son. My husband agrees on this. One of the reasons why we have stayed away from parenthood is the mounting expenses that come along with pregnancy and raising a child. Yeah, we are not afraid to admit that. We want to be completely ready before we welcome our daughter in to our lives. We do not want to feel a pinch or let her feel the same. She would be the biggest gift for us and we would not let anything bad come close to her. We want to give her everything we have. Without expecting anything in return. We brought her into this world, so we would not want to burden her with anything.

Education, luxury and moral values is what every parent would want for their children. But along with that I would want to give my daughter a few basic gifts.

Love


I would love her unconditionally. No matter what comes close to her, it should pass by me first. Good or bad. I would want to be a friend to her, when she needs someone. And a mother, when she's about to cross a line. Also, I would teach her to love. I would ask her to love everyone around her and embrace them. I would be happy if she falls in love and would support her through it. I would teach her the importance of love in life and that would be my biggest gift to her.

Security


I will gift her the feeling of being secure. All her ambitions and aspirations would be fulfilled. My husband and I will invest in a financial plan for her that will take care of almost all her needs. Plus, we will also invest in a plan for us, so that we can take care of ourselves tomorrow without burdening her. We will assure her that, we are there for her as and when she needs something. So that she will have the freedom to dream and make the choice she wants to. She would not have to compromise on her life to take care of us when we grow old.

 Hope


She will grow up to make mistakes. She will have regrets. But I shall teach her how to move on and how to hold on to the magic word, 'Hope'. I would not let her give up on anything and accept defeat. She would be my King Bruce who will try and try till she succeeds. I will make sure that no matter what obstacle is in front of her, she will face it bravely until she gets past it. Hope will give her the strength to listen to her inner self and to not quit. I want her to believe in herself. And in me.

The art of unlearning


She will grow up to learn a lot of new things and might even become a scholar. But I will gift her the art of unlearning. As and when she learns something new, she needs to unlearn something unnecessary. I do not want her to carry any pent up emotions or unused knowledge within her. Periodically and subconsciously, she needs to make room for new things, by letting go of old things.

Books


No, not her mandatory education ones. I shall introduce her to the fantastic world of reading. I shall gift her a new dream and a new learning everyday in the form of books. She should be well learnt in all aspects of life, that will help her grow without any glitch. Books will open up many areas of interest for her and thanks to having a secure life she can pursue anything she wants. Fiction will inspire her to dream, non-fiction will teach her about the harsh realities of life. Books are enough to prepare her for her journey of life. It did for me. I'd want to pass on this gift to my daughter.

These are the special gifts that I would want to pass on to my daughter. Also, I shall make sure that she passes it on to her children and they to theirs and so on. I may or may not leave behind monetary heritages, but this, I shall make sure I do. I want her to understand the basics, before she goes on to live a life of her own.

If she gets her basics right, I know that nothing can stop her from having a secure future.


This post is a part of the 1001 Gifts Activity by HDFC Life in association with BlogAdda.

~ Soumya

Maya - Part 3

Read Part - 1 here, Part - 2 here.


Present Day -  10.30 am

The words hit me like a shock wave. I felt nauseous.

How can that be? Didn’t mom and you have a love marriage? How can you say that you never loved her?” I blurted out seething with anger.

My dad sipped on to his coffee staring blankly at the sky.

Long story, Maya. It had to end someday. It did.”

Tell me the story then, as none of it is making any sense to me anymore.” I say holding my head within my hands.

You’d rather not know my child. I’m going out for a while. I’ll be back soon.” He says and walks away leaving the unfinished cup on the balcony table.

I wanted to stop him, but my voice gave up on me. I sit down on my favorite swing and slowly sip on to my coffee, wondering how wrong the only relationship I had known, had gone. I wanted to cry out loud, but no sound came. I hear a click on the door and soon I was all alone at home. And in life, I thought.

I did not want to make my own conclusions anymore. In a matter of hours, my family life had collapsed on me leaving me gasping for air. I needed answers and I needed them now. I was not willing to be kept in the dark anymore. Suddenly, all my hidden emotions came out. I was angry, frustrated, sad and disgusted. I would not rest until I had all the answers today. I rush to my room and call my mother. She answers.

Present Day -  1.00 pm

I meet my mom for lunch at her favorite restaurant ‘Olive’. She looks tired and exhausted and her face was swollen from all the crying. Yet she manages to look her best in a pale gold saree with her hair tied in a messy bun. I resembled my mother a lot, everyone said. I looked completely emotionally drained out and had worn my jeans with a dirty shirt and a jacket. Too casually dressed for a classy place like this, I was aware.

Hi baby.” Mom hugs me warmly.

Mom, what happened?” I am struggling to behave normal.

Nothing. It’s over.” She says as she delicately pours water from the jug into her glass.

What do you mean? Why are you and dad so casual about this whole thing? It scares me.” I am almost yelling.

Calm down baby. It’s all for the best.” She holds my hand.

No way. You need to tell me the truth now.” I push her hand away.

Let us eat first. I haven’t had breakfast.” She buries her face in the menu.

I look at her carefully checking for the specials of the day and I know that she shall order the sea-food risotto anyway. She was upset I know, but she did not look broken to me. Even when she was messed up she looked calm and composed. She looks up from the menu.

What will you have?” She waves for the waiter.

Just some orange juice. I had a heavy breakfast. Dad cooked.” I smirk.

My mom doesn’t react as the waiter walks towards us.

Sea-food risotto and a pitcher of orange juice.” She smiles at her regular waiter. He nods and leaves.

He cooks really well, doesn't he?” She asks me with a bright face.

Yeah. I just learnt that today. Thanks to you.” I say angrily.

Varun is a very nice man, Maya. It’s not his fault that he doesn’t love me.” She says with a straight face.

You know that?” My eyes open wide in shock.

Of course. I always have.”


I’m more shocked now as I gulp down a glass of water.

But weren't you guys lovers from college?” I ask.

That’s what everyone thinks. We were just friends, actually.” She says looking distant as though living the memory.

Then why did you guys get married mom?” I ask wanting an immediate answer.

We both decided that it was the best thing to do.” She says slowly.

The waiter comes in with our tray and my mother cleans her fork and spoon with the delicate tissue. Even in a classy place like this, my mom was obsessed with her OCD. I pour out a glass of orange juice and wait patiently for my mom to finish her wiping.

You sure you do not want some?” She asks filling up her spoon with the piping hot rice and prawns.

I shake my head.

But who is the other woman in dad’s life? Did you know about her too?” I ask sipping to my pulpy drink.

Hmm.. She was a class mate of ours.” She says after chewing her first bite.

What? This feels like a movie mom. I don’t know what to think anymore?” My voice has a tone of frustration in it.

You don’t have to think anything Maya. Just know one thing. I and your father love you a lot. Only that should matter to you.” She reaches for my hand again.

What about you? Do you love dad?” I look into her eye.

She finishes another spoon and sips on to water slowly. Finally, she smiles.

Yes I do. Varun is fantastic man.” She says proudly.

Wow, you love him and yet you left him. You know, you were right. I shouldn’t think anything. This is all going above my head.” I say angrily.

Our marriage was a compromise Maya. Your dad loved someone else, but she left. I loved someone else, he too left. We both were aware of each other’s pain, hence we got married. Over the years I got over my past and fell in love with your father. But he could not do the same. I waited for a really long time, but he couldn’t see my love for him. So, I left.” Her voice mellowed down.

So I was not born out of love? It was just a compromise then?” I felt my eyes well up.

Oh baby. You were born out of love. Believe me, it was love in its purest form. Naive and fresh.” She looked down.

What are you trying to say mom?” I ask, with a thumping heart.

I was already pregnant when Varun married me, Maya.” She says as a tear slowly trails her cheek and falls on to the table.

To be continued.

~ Soumya

Two Thoughts


I saw the bride arrive. She looked splendid and I felt a strong pang of jealousy. The red veil perfectly matched her flawless complexion. Her face looked resplendent through the netted veil. Her blouse clung snugly to her, highlighting her assets to the T and revealing a slim and svelte waist. The bright red velvet skirt hugged her like a dream vying for reality. The jewellery on her neck seemed to kiss her delicate skin and tickle her as her cheeks turned pink when she blushed. The bangles on her hand produced a melody as she walked slowly towards the man of her dreams. Her anklet gave away soft chimes as if celebrating her union with the man she loves. It was the perfect moment for her. For me, I just had one problem.

She was not me.

He saw his bride arrive. She looked splendid to many but he felt a sense of nothingness. The red was too bright and her complexion irritated him. Her face looked messed under the transparent veil. Her blouse was too revealing and looked skimpy to him. The velvet on her skirt was too shiny and not like the way he had dreamt of. The jewellery cluttered her neck as if trying to choke it, turning her face red. Her bangles clunk against each other creating a shrill noise to his ear as he awaited his nightmare. The squeal of her anklets deafened him almost like a warning of the compromise that he was about to get into. It was the perfect moment for her. For him, he just had one problem.

She was not her.


~ Soumya

Maya - Part 2

Read Part -1 here.

Present day – 6.30 am

The stool doesn't properly balance on my mattress. Yet, I try to climb on top of it, with tears soaking my grey T-shirt. The scarf around my neck is wet too and is sticking to my neck. I stop for a minute to adjust the irritation, and then bravely try to mount the unbalanced stool. I fall down with a thud, luckily on the bed and not on the floor. I sit up annoyed and anguished. Damn, I can’t even kill myself properly. But then again, I had no prior experience. I laugh at this thought and untie the scarf from my neck. I kick the stool down and lie down to think about what was happening. Before the first word could hit my mind, I was sound asleep.

I woke up when my phone rang. With half open eyes I look at the caller. It was Nanda, my best friend. I look at my Sponge Bob table clock and see that it is 9 am. I was late for college. I answer the call and inform her that I wouldn’t come in to college today. She is worried. I tell her that I’m a little under the weather. She buys it.

I sit up and think about what happened a few hours ago. I close my eyes and playback the entire scene in my head. Dad’s silence, mom leaving, the suicide attempt, everything. I scold myself for being so stupid and look down at the stool lying on the floor. I know it was a stupid thing to do and I am very glad that I did not act on that impulse. But at that point of time, I did not know what else to do. I have had classmates who were from broken families and they were traumatized like hell. They had to toggle between their parents and their respective families. They loathed their dual life. I did not want to be one of them. Even the thought of it depresses me. But it was happening right? Why? Why did mom leave? What happened between my parents? I had to find out the truth.

After keeping the stool back in its place, I go finish a shower, get dressed and walk out to the hall. Dad is sitting at the dining table, having breakfast and reading the newspaper keenly. I walk up to him and he looks up.

Good, you’re up. I’ve made breakfast for you too.” He says normally.

You? You made breakfast.” My dad had not lifted a finger to help mom in the kitchen. Ever. Of course I was startled to hear it.

Just because I don’t cook, doesn't mean I can’t cook. Right?” He says with a smirk and a raised eye-brow.

I smile and fill up my plate with toast, scrambled eggs and sautéed mushrooms. Yes, we had a continental spread every day. Mom and dad both were in high positions in different MNCs. They both were highly travelled and preferred the western culture over Indian. The breakfast would more often than not be a spread of toast, fruits, muesli, sausages, mushrooms, eggs and juice. Occasionally mom prepared some Indian delicacies too. I’m filled with emotion as I think about the Gobi-paratha she used to prepare. I realize that I already miss her.

I am tempted to immediately talk to dad about this, but as I look across the table I feel sad for him. He had spent half his life for us and mom had just walked away overnight. He had given us every luxury that money could afford and was one of the most humble persons I knew. It shocked me that mom had left him. I felt hurt and betrayed by her. And the fact that she had chosen to not take me with her only added on to it. I wait for dad to bring up the topic as I slowly nibble on my breakfast.


Wow. Dad, these eggs are delicious. And the mushrooms are perfectly done.” I say in amazement.

See, didn't I tell you I could cook.” He winks.

He looked happy. In fact I had never seen him this cheerful before.

Did you get the recipe off the net?” I ask him curiously.

Naah, it’s my secret recipe. The one I used to make as a bachelor, when I stayed in Mexico.” He says proudly.

I’m proud of him and take a second helping of the mushrooms. I hear the beep of the microwave go off.

What is that?” I ask.

Wait.” He says and walks towards the kitchen.

He comes back in a minute with some baked beans and serves a helping on my plate. I am more than thrilled by now.

Awesome. Mom never made this, I so love them. Thanks dad.” I smile my brightest smile.

Hahaha, I did not make it darling. I got it from the super market. I just thawed it in the microwave for a minute.” He settles down again.

Hmm, good idea. It’s yummy.” I say sounding pleased.

So I guess you’re bunking college today?” He asks.

I nod as he smiles.

Great, I’m not going to office too. Let’s have some good time together today. If you are okay with it, that is.” He looks at me seriously.

I look at him and feel for him. His hair has gone grey in a few areas and his skin has wrinkled. His eyes looked tired due to lack of sleep. But there was something about him that was different. Something that I couldn’t point out.

Sure dad. I have no other plans anyway.” I finally say.

Good, let’s have a good breakfast then.” He says and serves himself some beans.

We make small talk and he mocks me about not having a boyfriend. We talk about a lot of things and he eagerly listens and offers his opinion. I’m fascinated by the things he tells me and about the places he has travelled. I have listened to these tales before, but never with such enthusiasm. Dad's face had a wonderful glow as he was telling me about his achievements. His animated conversations made me chuckle. I was having a really good time as I had never seen this side of my own father before.


I help him clear the dishes and we carry our cups of coffee and head towards the balcony. It was winter and the sun shied away behind the clouds. The weather was pleasant and had notes of warmth and chill in it. I look at dad. He has closed his eyes and was inhaling deeply as if soaking in the whole atmosphere. He looked free. He looked peaceful. It worried me. We had had a long conversation over breakfast and he had not mentioned mom even once. What was going on, I could not understand. I look away and search for some answer in the clouds.

My dad puts his arm across my shoulder.

Maya, I know you have a lot of questions in your head. But believe me, what is happening is happening for the best.” He pauses.

But….” I try to butt in.

Your mom did not leave you Maya. She left me. She loves you a lot, so do not ever doubt that.” He continues.

But she left me too right. She said that herself.” I argue.

She did. But she left you for me. She knows how important you are to me.” Dad takes a deep breath.

So? Am I not important to her?” I ask sadly.

My dad looked surprised.

You can’t think that way Maya. You are important to her too, but she knows that I cannot live without you. That’s why she left you with me.

I was not understanding whatever he was trying to say. I just wanted the answer to one question.

Why did mom leave, dad?” I come straight to the point.

She couldn't stay with me anymore. That’s why.” He says blankly.

But why?” I’m angry and confused.

My dad looks away.

Dad, tell me. Why did she leave?” I yell this time.

I never loved her, Maya. There always has been someone else.” He says slowly.

To be continued.

~ Soumya

The Orange Girl


She stood out in the crowd, with her bright orange shirt that was clumsily knotted around her waist revealing a belly button piercing, that I noticed later. Her jet black hair angled her face beautifully and gently dropped down her shoulders. Occasionally she ran her fingers through her hair, showing me bright orange nail paint. Wow, how I hated the color orange! Yet, my eyes remained glued to her. There was something about her that made me feel a rush inside, I wanted to be like her. Bold, honest and confident. The woman next to her had short cropped hair and was dressed in a jump suit. The orange girl, kept talking to her constantly. They even shared the same soft drink.

I could watch every move of hers from the angle I was standing at. I was just about to go talk to her when someone tapped my shoulder.

"Yes?" I turned back, only to look at a stranger.

"You need some water?" The lady asked.

I smile and politely decline.

When I turned to look back at the orange girl, I caught her looking at me. But she didn't look away. I continued to look on. There was something about the look in her eye, that intrigued me. Her eyes looked a lot like mine, except that she had done it up in gold while I had used a blue liner. My friend next to me, asked me if I knew her. I say no. I did not know her, but somehow I wanted to be like her. I wanted to feel free.

She walked towards me and observed me closely with a hand on her hip. I plainly looked at her, without saying a word. After a second, I smile. She frowns..

"Sorry. I love her. We want to get married. So, I'm not interested." She points to the woman in the jumpsuit and walks away swaying her skirt.

I stand in awe watching her walk away. This is what I want to be like. Strong and not scared to voice out my opinion. The day suddenly seemed worthwhile.

I was at a LGBT convention to offer my support. My boyfriend's NGO had organized this event. It turned out to be the best day of my life ever.


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

~ Soumya

Finding Freedom

(photo from The Guardian, Eyewitness)

The country criminalized me yesterday
My identity has been brought to shame
All that I did was to fall in love
But he and me cannot share a name

Love is the only feeling I have known
Fingers have always been pointed at me
Just tell me what wrong I have done
What is that my eyes refuse to see

My parents don't accept me as their son
Like I never existed, they threw me away
I found my family and meaning in him
I call us happy but they call us gay

Everybody I know look down upon me
I am bound by piercing invisible claws
I am only looking to survive in this world
But they do not let me, with their laws

This is the only place I find my freedom
These innocent birds understand my plight
They come and eat out of my hands
Making me forget my inner fight

They listen to my tales all day
They nod and fly to calm me down
When I'm faced by rejection elsewhere
Here they treat me like I wear the crown

My love left me to live a life of denial
He couldn't bear to deal with this pain
I'm left alone to deal with melancholy
Suddenly falling in love feels like a bane

These sea gulls are all I have now
They are helping me to recuperate and cope
I know a new life is waiting for me
Watching them flying free, gives me hope


P.S: I shall put up the other parts of Maya soon. It just won't be continuous though.

~ Soumya

Maya - Part 1


Present Day – 6 AM

I sit alone in my bedroom fidgeting with the TV remote. I wasn't interested in the colorful images flashing on the TV, yet my eyes remain glued to it. I was increasing and decreasing the volume without any reaction from my eyes or ears. The fan above me creaked and was soon to become my soul mate. I clutch the remote tight and sit still for a while. This could not be happening to me, I think. But yet, it was. My mind went back to the incident I had woken up to, today morning.

I will not fight for custody. You can keep her.” My mother was yelling.

Sleepy eyed I got up from bed and looked at the green and pink clock on my adjacent wall. 5 am. What was this noise and why was mom yelling I couldn’t understand. The noise soon muffled but it had already ruined my sleep. I slowly walk up to my bathroom and splash cold water on my face. I rub a towel hard on my eyes, forcefully waking them up. It works, as I brush my teeth and walk out.

My dad too is up and I can see the frustration on his face and my mom is walking up and down the hall in her night suit talking on the phone. She’s crying, yelling and talking at the same time. I rub my wet hands on my track pants and slowly walk out.

What happen dad? Why is mom upset?” I ask my father.

Go to bed Maya. We shall talk later. It’s all fine.” He tries to placate me.

My mother sits down on the couch with a thud and starts howling. I run to her.

Mom, what happened? Why are you crying?” I feel myself welling up.

She looks at my face and gives me a blank look.

I’m sorry Maya, but I have to leave.” She whispers.

What? Where are you going so early?” I scream.

I’m leaving Maya. I cannot stay here anymore. I need to get out of here.” She starts to cry again.

Why? What happened? What’s going on, dad?” I helplessly look at my father.

He looks away. My mother gets busy dialing numbers on the phone again.

Mom please, tell me what happened. This is all so sudden. Tell me what happened.” I plead.

Not your fault baby, but you have to stay with your father. I cannot afford to take you with me right now.” Mom says sternly amidst tears.

I walk to my father and look at him in the eye.

Dad, did you do something? Why is mom leaving you? Tell me the truth.” My voice trembles.

Let she leave Maya. That is the best for all of us.” He says devoid of any emotion.

I fall down on the floor and refuse to get up. My parents do not bother to check on me either. My father just walks back to his room and closes the door. I hear a car honk outside my house and my mother opens the door and runs towards it. I try to run behind her, but by the time I got to the gate, she had left. I watch in horror as the black car sped away in the morning dim light. Whose car was it I wondered and why had mom gone with them? As I close the main gate, I realize that there are many other questions that I need answers to now.


I walk into the house and suddenly feel everything is empty. The fishes in the aquarium are not splashing and my favorite marble red lava lamp stood still. The windows were still closed and I felt claustrophobic. My head was spinning and my body was giving up. I drag myself to the kitchen and grab a bottle of water from the fridge. I let the water flow through me and expect it to wake me up from this horrid dream. Nothing of that sort happens. I replace the bottle in the fridge and was about to close it, when something caught my eye.

A freshly baked cake, with pink and peach icing was neatly placed in the second rack of the fridge. The strawberries on the icing were gleaming under the faint light of the fridge. I had asked mom to make this cake for me last week, but she did not have the time then. She must have made it last night I thought. Probably she had planned to leave today, after all. I close the door and walk out of the kitchen.

I hear no sound from dad’s room and I stop at his door. I wait for two minutes and then decide against knocking and walk back to my room. I look at the unmade bed and dull light seeping in through the curtains of the window. I look at the white walls and the posters on it and my guitar nestled against my gigantic book shelf. Yes, this was my room and I was no longer in a dream. Almost shivering and scared to be alone, I switch on the TV and walk to my bed with the remote.

Mom had left. It was really hard for me to believe it. So, I too had joined the ranks of the children from broken homes. I shed a lone tear. Twenty years of my existence flashed in front of me. The happy smiles of mom and dad, the pride on their face when I received my first award, the love that they shared…. The thought stopped at that. Did they even love each other? If yes, then why did mom leave? They seemed happy to me, all the time. Was it all a pretense? Was I that blind that I couldn't notice anything amiss? I was angry with myself.

The shiny images of the item song on the TV were troubling me now as I felt weak in my head and body. I clutched the remote tight and leaned against my pillow trying to sit steady. It was not helping. Life did not seem worthwhile anymore and I could already hear my friends mocking me, when they come to know that my parents had separated. They will get separated, wont they? There will be no custody battle as I remember my mom saying that I would now stay with my father. Was I that bad a daughter to mom? Did she leave because of me?

My head spun and before I could think I walk up to my closet and grab a scarf and wrap it around my neck and place a stool on my bed to wrap the other corner around the fan.


To be continued.

~ Soumya

Angel in the Sky


Your smile always drove me crazy
And the waves of you black hair
Those bright eyes shone upon me
With you, my life I wanted to share

Our lives did come together
As you became my constant companion
The stars shone bright in the blue sky
Celebrating the magic of our union

Life couldn't get any better
As you held my hand and walked with me
I had been cynical about my journey
Through your eyes, its beauty I could see

Happiness was only a word
Until you stepped into my life
The myth then turned to reality
The day you became my wife

That was the last day you saw
Your heart refused to beat at night
You lay still in my parched arms
Sculpting in my mind that sight

Everything I loved was taken away
You had taught me how to live
I chose not to dwell in negativity
I now knew to accept and forgive

I promise I shall stay strong
But replace you I never will
Your eyes, your smile and your touch
Is fresh in my heart and mind still

I shall live my life for you
Will become what you wanted me to be
No emotion shall tie me down now
Enveloped by your love, I feel free

I see your wings up there everyday
I know you have learnt to fly
Always close and never far
You are now my angel in the sky

Written for The Magpie Tales: Mag 196.

~ Soumya

The Honest Post - Phase 6

The story so far.

Now that Cal and I had decided to get married, the next step was to stick to it. I know this sounds very shady, but we both are the kind of people who get bored of things very easily. After a spate of "downhill" relationships, I some how had become cynical about anything long term. Yes, I had told him that I would marry him. But I had my own doubts. Not regarding him, but regarding me. I have always believed in one thing, if your life is fucked up do not bring another person in to it. You will mess him up too. I loved him alright, and he had become a very integral part of my life, still something inside me was giving out an alarming beep. I was super happy with him and we were having a gala time, yet something was troubling me in the back of my mind. 

"Did I jump into this too quick?", "Do I know what I am getting into?", "Is this a rebound relationship?", "Can I be committed to one guy?", these were a few questions forming in my mind. I was enjoying the feeling of being in love, again. Still, I did not give in completely to it. Something was holding me back. Cal noticed this and understood my inner turmoil. He held my hand and said "Just give in. Let us see what happens later. Enjoy today, forget about tomorrow". I smiled. Carpe-diem. Maybe I should just listen to him and go with the flow instead, I thought. But my mind did not let me. I felt free in my heart, but caged in my mind. Cal was aware of the voices in my head, and he gave an answer to each question. Yet, I was not convinced.


I spoke to a friend about this. She told me that what ever this was, it could not be a rebound relationship. She said, "He is too right for you, to be a rebound". Well I agreed to it. He felt too right in every term under the sun. He was a passionate lover, the caring boyfriend, the protective soldier, the intellect magician, all in one. I feared losing him of course, not only because I was in love with him, but because I had never met anyone else like him. He was so perfect for me that I began seeing myself in him. Just when the doubts were weaning away, the human jinx of my life (read my ex) came back. Someone close to him passed away and he called me first, of all people. I did not answer, and then he sent me a text. I knew that person was battling a challenging disease and I was the moral support for my ex when we were together. Now that he was in grief, I somehow felt morally obligated to be there for him. Today, I do not understand why I felt that way. 

I told Cal about it. He was quiet for a while and then says, "If you want to go, I shall take you". I was shocked. I expected him to be angry and scream at me for wanting to be there for my ex. Instead he holds my hand and says this? That one moment, I probably fell in love with him a million times more. My ex lived in another city and Cal was willing to take me there and was ready to book the flight tickets. I did not know what to say, I just kept looking at him. In shock and with love. What on earth I had done to deserve someone like him I didn't know. Teary eyed I tell him that this doesn't mean I still have feelings for my ex. Cal just smiles and says, "I know. Its just that you are a nice person and want to be there with him in time of his grief. You have seen that journey, its natural you want to be there for him."


Once he said this, I did not want to go anymore. I wanted to be with this man who loves and trusts me so much. I called my ex and offered condolences. That's all I wanted to do. Cal patiently waited until I finished my conversation and we moved on with our life like nothing had happened. Any fear regarding commitment that had been in my mind, had disappeared by now. I knew I was with the right man. I knew I had made the right choice. Nothing else mattered any more. I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life, but alas, I was all set to travel to Colombo in three days.

To be continued.

~ Soumya

Scented


"Please take it, Megha. I went through a lot of trouble to get this for you." Rehan pleaded.

I just ignore it and get out of bed and look around for my clothes. Last night should have been wild as I see my clothes strewn all around the room, along with his. My head ached from last night's alcohol and I could still feel its punishing taste on my tongue. I walk to the bathroom, get into the hot tub and let the warmth take me over. I close my eyes to relax, but I'm interrupted by footsteps.

"Megha? Are you listening to me?" Rehan stood stark naked, next to the tub.

I smile looking at him. He was gorgeous, standing tall at six feet two and a slim built. His muscles clenched as he crossed his arms. His hair was all disheveled from last night's activity. Times with him were magical and I longed for his touch again.

"Megha, say something please." Rehan kneeled down.

"I can't take it honey. Its too much for a gift. You should have given me a CD of my favorite songs instead." I splash water on my face.

"Its a limited edition perfume by Michael Kors. They only made one of this kind. I had to pull a lot of strings to get this for you, you know?" Rehan sulked.

"What do I tell my husband? He will kill me if he knows." I try to explain.

"Pleaseeee. It would mean a lot to me." He held my wet hand and started making a pleading face.

His cute puppy face drove me nuts. I lean forward and kiss him on his lips.

"Okay now don't behave like an idiot. I shall take it, happy?" I noticed his face light up.

"Yay! Hide it if need be. Alright?" He says with caution.

"Hmm.. Now get in and let me give you a gift." I winked.

An hour later, I was driving back home. My husband Vikram Mathre was the CEO of a prestigious bank and was busy all the time. It had been two years since we were married, and he hardly found any time for me. But he loved me, I knew. He would travel every week and always came back with cart loads of gifts for me. I had accompanied him in his travels initially, but then I got sick and bored of the nomadic life he was leading. I loved him yes, but I was missing out on a lot of things when he was away. I did not have anyone to talk to expect for the help at home. I felt lonely. I discussed this with Vikram and he asked me to join him for his travels. That was not something I wanted. He had left to China last week and was coming home today. I wanted to get home before he did.


I made it on time. I hid the perfume in my closet and got dressed again. I wore Vikram's favorite black saree and ordered orchids for the drawing room vase. I asked the cook to make his favorite dishes for lunch and waited for him by the side window. In five minutes, I could hear his car honk and saw him stepping out of it as the driver rushed to get his bags. My husband was a dashing man who oozed of power. He made deals in minutes and earned a salary that was more than the profits he made. I had a luxurious life and I loved it. I rushed to greet him.

"Darling! I missed you." Vikram lifted me in the air as I hugged him.

"Me too. I'm so glad you are back." I say genuinely.

"Just wait to see what I got for you this time." He says with a huge smile.

During lunch he tells me about the deal he clenched. I don't understand these things, but I just nod along. How I wished he talked about music and books like Rehan did. Rehan always held my attention with his conversation and made me feel nice about myself. With Rehan, I was this enthusiastic school girl. While my husband made no effort in showing me that all I was, was a rich bored housewife. The contrast was clear in my head.

"Lunch was delicious. Thanks. I'm going to take a nap." Vikram gives me a peck on the cheek and leaves.

I ask the maid to clear the dishes and get back to my favorite spot. The side window. Vikram was the perfect husband in every way, but I never connected with him. I was a gracious hostess when he held meetings and parties at home, but I never really understood as to what he does. He did tell me about his conquests, but never once asked if I understood what they meant. He just spoke, without expecting a word from me. I felt a disconnect somewhere. He took me to all his fancy events and showed me off the world, but something was missing. At times I felt that this all was a pretense, but I did not dare ask him about him. He seemed happy with me and I too was happy. In a way. It was at one of these events that I had met Rehan. He worked with GNB, the competitor of Vikram's company. The first time we met, we had argued about the best wine at the event and had spent the rest of the evening talking about movies and John Grisham. Vikram was too busy with his meetings to notice. That's how it had all started.

I walk into the bedroom and notice the bags strewn around. I open Vikram's bag and find half a dozen of perfume bottles for women in them. So this was the gift he was talking about. I look at him sleeping sound on the bed and get an idea. I quickly get the Kors perfume from the closet and add it to the set of perfumes in the bag. Vikram will just think that he had bought them all. That way, there will be nothing to hide from him. I sit on the bed and look at Vikram. I look closely and find a few wrinkles on his face. I smile, thinking of how hard he worked. I was suddenly consumed by guilt as I thought about what I did when he was away. I bent down to kiss him, when he opened his eyes.

"Missed me that much?" He asks sleepily.

I nodded as I snuggled next to him. We made love gently and he soon drifted off to sleep. I lay awake thinking, what was I doing with my life. I had to talk to Rehan and end things.


During tea, Vikram hands me a box with an accomplished look on his face. I open the box to find a diamond necklace in it. The stones shone in contrast to the setting sun.

"I saw a lot of things, but I had to get the best for my wife." Vikram grins.

"Thank you, its beautiful." I say as he fastens its hook around my neck.

"You're more beautiful." He kisses me on my lip.

I blush as his phone rings. He speaks while I am busy admiring the art work on the piece of jewelry.

"Sorry honey. Emergency meeting, I need to get to office now." He gulps down his tea and rushes to get dressed.

He leaves in a while and I decide to go meet Rehan and end things with him. While getting dressed, I decide to return the perfume he gave me in the morning. I wanted nothing from him anymore. I look around for Vikram's bag but do not find it. Did he carry it with him by mistake? Damn, now I had to wait for tomorrow to return it. Vikram came back by ten pm, in a foul mood. I did not see the bag on him. I was worried. I did not want to ask him anything as he had told me that he wanted to be alone. I go check the car, I do not find the bag there either. Had Vikram found out the truth? But how could he? There were a number of perfumes in the bag and I knew that it was his assistant who shopped for him. So he wouldn't be aware of what she had picked. Still, I panic. With fear, I spend the night on the couch.

When I woke up in the morning, there was silence. I walked up to the bedroom but did not find Vikram there. I call him, but he does not answer his phone.

"Maithri.." I call out to the maid as she comes rushing.

"Where is Vikram?" I ask rudely.

"Sir left early to office, madam." She says.

I quickly take a bath and get dressed. I grab my car keys and rush to Vikram's office. I need to explain it to him before he does something drastic. I shall accept the truth and apologise, I decide to myself. He loved me and I knew for sure that he would not leave me. I reach the office soon and enter his cabin. His receptionist stops me.

"Hello madam. Vikram sir is in a meeting with the VP. Please wait here." She say politely.

With a thumping heart I wait outside. A pile of magazines lay next to me, but I was not in a mood to pick it up. I see the door to his cabin open, Vikram and the VP come out. Vikram is shocked to see me. Naina, the VP, smiles at me.

"Megha, what a surprise!" Naina hugs me and I can smell her perfume too strongly. A strong hint of rose, with cinnamon and lavender, I guessed.

"Hello Naina. Wow, that's a pleasant smell. Great perfume." I smile.

"Thank you. Its the limited edition by Michael Kors. Apparently they made only one of this." She says proudly and leaves.


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

~ Soumya

Jack & Rose

(Pic: Autumn on the River, 1889, John Singer Sargent )

You got me aboard the floating plank
Although you remained in the freezing cold
It was difficult to even breathe
Just hold on, you repeatedly told

I was ready to give up and die 
You held on to faith and my hand
I just believed in your belief
I was sure we would reach land

I laid down and hummed a tune
As you froze, holding on to me
I dreamt of our future together
I believed that we were meant to be

I had given up everything I had
All I wanted was to be with you
This calamity shall soon be behind us
We shall start life afresh and new

I heard the faint sound of a whistle
I knew they would come back for us
With a smile I tried to wake you up
But you had left without a fuss

Even though I knew you had gone
I cried asking you to come back
How was I supposed to live
I was nothing without you Jack

Your promise I shall honor
I shall live, like you wanted me to
I said my silent goodbye to you
And then, the whistle I blew

They took me back on a boat
I looked at you for as long as I could
Our love ship was broken and gone
On whose deck we once stood

I got to land in a while
Feeling completely torn apart
I knew I will hold on to myself
For you were alive in my heart

I moved on, like I promised
But its you, that my heart once chose
A lot of years have passed since you left
Yet, I shall always remain your Rose

Written for The Magpie Tales: Mag 195.

~ Soumya

Revenge


Vijay, my ex-lover, pointed the gun at my husband's head. I had left Vijay three years ago and he was thirsty for revenge. Tarun closed his eyes, but opened them when he heard the shot. Vijay lay dead before him. My hands were shivering as I slowly dropped the gun.

~ Soumya

Love, Again


Do you remember that fateful night
As we stood under the rain and lightning
Remember how tight I held on to you
As the noise was rather frightening

The small roof above our head
Barely concealed your single frame
I entwined my body around yours
As you passionately whispered my name

Do you remember how we felt
When we were stranded together
We got lost away into our world
In that brilliant romantic weather

The tension filled heat between us
Complemented the chill in the air
I wanted to confess my love for you
As you played with my wet hair

Do you remember the thrill
Of being caught up in love and passion
We had been friends for really long
Yet we couldn't ignore the obvious attraction

My kohl had dripped down my face
As you gently wiped it away 
When I wanted to pour out my feelings
"I love you", you did say


Do your remember the look I had
On my face as you kissed me
The lightning brought me closer to you
God's plan it was, I could see

We just looked at each other
As the torrent rain reduced to a drop
We wanted to stay there forever
The rain then finally stopped

Do you remember that last minute
As you dropped me back to my place
I did not want to leave you
Wanted to be locked in the embrace

As I slowly walked away from you
My heart was smiling and flying high
Love sure is a wonderful feeling
I knew it would last till I die

Do you remember the days after
The moments we together created
Those sly smiles and stolen kisses
The silly times that we debated

Today we sit here together
Holding hands and watching the rain
The thrill and smiles remain intact
As we fall in love again


Written for Poetry Jam and Theme Thursdays.

~ Soumya

The Parents get it Right


Being a huge fan of Shahrukh Khan, I remember asking my mother to buy the 'Sona Chandi' Chyawanprash instead of the Dabur one. I might have been about eight years old then. My mother just ignored my take and told me that the Dabur one was the best ever. I fought, I remember shedding a few tears too. Today when I look back I do not see what was the big deal. Its not like Shahrukh has a mind blowing body then that I wanted to become like him. Which would have been plain crazy, because I'm a girl. Still the flashy golden orange bottles of 'Sona Chandi' Chyawanprash did not leave my mind, even when the advertisements left TV. Ah, that innocence of childhood. As children you would want to do anything and everything that your super hero did. Buy the toys they endorsed, lick the chocolates they pretended to eat, harass your parents until they took you to watch their latest movies and what not. Some parents cave in, some restrict their children from getting sucked into the blingy reel life. 

Like they say, parents always know what is right. Probably I would disagree on it now and only in some matters, but when we are young they were always right. 'Don't eat this beta, you will fall sick' they said. Yet no, we went and ate the raw tamarind like no tomorrow and woke up with a swollen belly and a worried mother. 'Don't jump from the stairs' they said. Yet we tried to slide down the rail in style and ended up with a twisted ankle or a sprained thigh. All this while the mother would have only one look on her face. The 'I told you so' expression. Our parents gave us the medicine, they gave us the tablets and syrups, they carried us to hospitals, they cried while we were getting injections, they stayed up all night to look after us. Aren't they awesome? Oh yes they are. Yet, there are quite a few of us out there who treat them like dirt once we are all grown up. Just remember, what you do today is what comes back to you, in the form of your kids.


Today you stand all tall and built, but would that have been possible if your mother hadn't fed you right while you were young? What if she had refused to breast feed you, worrying about the changes it would bring to her slim body? What if she had ignored all the vaccinations that your doctor had prescribed? What if she had forgotten to keep the timer and feed you that bitter syrup along with a heaped spoon of sugar? What if she had left you to dry by yourself after you had peed all over yourself? What if she had not given you her home remedies each time you came back with an ache from school? What if your father had not taken you along for his walks? What if he had not stood in line carrying you for hours to get you those precious two drops of life? What if he had ignored that first headache of yours? A lot of what ifs could be added to this list. Our parents made us immune to all the diseases and disasters around. But some of us have made ourselves immune to their cries and suffering today. 

So you get married and have a baby. The baby is dutifully placed in the arms of your parents, while you go away on tours with your better half. Because you know for sure that your parents will take very good care of your child. Come on, they had you and you turned out perfect, so why worry right? Now just imagine if your parents refused to take care of your children, what would you do? Your ego would obviously not allow you to ask them for advice, so you go about caring for your kids the way you feel is right. Are you doing good or bad, you would never know. Let us see the difference here.


Food
You: Kellogs chocos for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, burger for a evening snack, noodles and ice cream for dinner.
Your Parents: Milk and omelettes/paratha's for breakfast, pulao for lunch, fruit for an evening snack, chapati and dal for dinner.

You load your kids with instant food while all they are doing is increasing the waistline of your child. Childhood obesity is one of the scariest diseases these days. I mean children lose their self confidence and are the main subject of ridicule among the school mates. Immunity is far away, just imagine what this is doing to the self respect of your child. They grow aloof and stay depressed most of the time. Lack of friends will keep them in a corner and they add more fat to their body, as you try to erase your guilt by feeding them more chocolates. The result? The child appears more tired, dull and scores low in academics. Sports are out of question.


Physical Exercise
You: You remain glued to your laptop and give your precious iphone 5S to the child to play with. 
Your Parents: They take your child for a walk around the park, and watch them go higher and higher on the swing. 

While the tot is busy killing the birds with a phone inside an imaginative game, he/she is killing his immunity within too. Since they are not used to being outdoors, the minute the cold air hits them they fall sick. Sunlight then leads to migraines and any eatable from a push cart will cause diarrhoea. If the child is exposed to some sort of physical activity out in the open, then there will be no harsh surprises. Make your child strong, from inside and the outside. Let them be tough and in a position to adapt to any situation.


Mental Health
You: Too busy to notice the activities. As long as your child is doing well in school its fine. If not, then the severest of punishments will be served in a silver platter. 
Your Parents: They notice the difference in behavior and try to set it right. They talk and make the child understand and they understand the child. 

Most parents fail to notice the difference in behaviour of the child. A child, especially in the growing years constantly needs the support of at least one parent. Grandparents will remain, but they can never replace the parent. A child needs to feel comforted every now and then. Bad grades? No problem, next time. The worse thing you can do to a child is to hit him/her. This remains as a mental scar forever in them. A child should react to a parent with love. Not with anger or fear. 


Sleep
You: Let the child sleep in his/her own room, watching TV until the sun rises. Then drag him out of bed by 4am if there is an exam.
Your Parents: Sleep with the child, waking up every now and then to check on him/her. 

Most of our growth happens while we are sleeping. It is then that the system slows down and gets rebooted. Imagine installing updates after updates on your computer and not restarting it? Probably now you get the drift. Letting a child be on his/her own is good. After a certain age maybe. But during their growing up years, you need to keep a constant watch on them, to make sure they are getting sufficient rest. Lack of sleep, causes more diseases than one and is one of the major culprit for diminished immunity.


Comparison
You: Compare your child to your best friend's children. They have Complan so you forcefully pour it down your child's throat.
Your Parents: Stick to what they know and give your child Ragi malt or Barley water.

Everyone wants their child to be the best, that doesn't mean you compare him/her to everyone around. Your child is an individual and no two individuals have the same needs. Just like what is good for you, may be bad for me, what is good for your neighbor's son might be bad for your child. All it takes is an hour or two to understand the nutritional needs of your child. Try some home made remedy and stick on to it. Do not try everything under the sun in the anticipation of results in a fortnight. Everything in the world takes its own course of time. 


Smart Pills
You: Get your child to pop vitamin pills, energy tonics, memory boosters.
Your Parents: Soak almonds overnight in milk along with a handful of raisins and serve it along with breakfast.

A lot of "energy" products are doing the rounds these days. Some promise strength, some energy and some better immunity. You buy and stock up every fancy bottle the chemist offers and the next thing you know your child is suffering from its side effects. A handful or almonds or a single spoon of chyawanprash is enough to give the child enough energy to get through each day peacefully. But we are too deluded by the colorful posters the other fancy products come up with.


Ambitions
You: Try to live your ambitions through your children.
Your Parents: Let your child make their own ambitions.

Parents normally ignore the person inside their child and try to make him/her the person that they want to see. Imposing rules, restrictions, your ambitions on your children will make then mentally weak and stressed. Stress is known to kill immunity, one strand at a time. And before you know it, your child is depressed and falling sick very often. A child is very tender and is just learning with every second of his/her life. Let nature take its course, let nature transform the child. That was how it was intended to be.


Immunity is as important as breathing, we all know that. Vaccinations, cleanliness, nutrition etc is only the beginning. The most important thing in a child is mental health. If this is up to its mark, then nothing can stop him/her from becoming an achiever. Treat your parents and your child as a fragile part of you. Both of them need the love, the support and the immunity to survive. All it needs is a little understanding from you.  Is that too much to ask?


This is my entry for the Immune India contest on Indiblogger in association with Dabur.

~ Soumya