Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Mom Image

I was coming home this evening from the supermarket. As I entered the lift lobby, there was a young mom with her two children, a boy and a girl. They were between 4 and 5 years of age. They were getting off the school bus.

We did the polite smile exchange cum nod, and got into the lift together.

The boy suddenly looked at his mom and asked, “Did you wash her (pointing at his sister) lunch bag?”

The mom asks, “Hmmm..yes, why?”

Boy: What did you put in it? It was stinking.

The mom looked at me. I so…. knew what she was thinking. Was I judging her or forming opinions about her?

The mom said, “Will see it when we go home.”

Boy: The whole school bus was stinking…it was baaaaadd (this in a booming voice).

By this time the lift had reached my floor and I stepped out with a nod. I could see the mom sighing in relief.

I smiled as I unlocked the door. 

I want to tell that mom that we cannot control what our kids say. Kids have this ability to say funny things at odd times.

I remember, when we were kids, one of our neighbours had come to visit our grandmom who was unwell. The said neighbour had come to our home directly from work, and had a biscuit packet with her, presumably for her children.

When she saw my sister and me, she opened the packet and gave us two biscuits each.

 My sister piped in, “Why can’t you give us the whole packet?”

My mom looked mortified, and we got a few of her choicest ‘mommy looks’ that we decoded and analysed, knowing what was going to come our way.

There are many such incidents, when we as kids have embarrassed our parents, and now, as parents face such funny situations.

Most of the time, we worry about our ‘Mom Images’ for a while, but then motherhood being what it is, we get on with our busy schedules and love our children more and more.

                     

Image Courtesy – Good Morning Quote.com

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Smart meditation

I have recently experienced the benefits of guided meditation. My smartphone’s appstore offers a wide range of meditation apps to choose from.

I settle down on my bed, lying on my back, consciously switching off the sounds around me, and retreating into the deeper recesses of my mind, my ears capturing the instructions from the phone. I breathe in, and let out my breath.

                                  Courtesy – 123rf.com
I tense my body, breathe in, relax and breathe out. I follow all the instructions and have started feeling really good.

The voice says, “Let go…and relax.”

I relax a bit too much; by stretching my arms more than they should.

 I feel it before I hear it. My outsretched left arm has sent my smartphone flying through the railings at the head of my bed and down to the floor below.

Where there were no thoughts, dozens of thoughts come invading. 

” My phone, it is new, has the screen cracked? ”

The guided voice resumes. “Take a deep breath.”

 I try to relax my mind, which is repeatedly conjuring up images of a shattered screen.

I am tempted to jump down and look under the cot. My mind reasons, “If the screen is already shattered, there’s nothing to be done. So why not complete the meditation, given the fact that my guide seems to be doing his job.”

I settle down to continue this two-level meditation. I manage to finish it.

After relaxing for a few minutes, I allow my body to leap out of the bed and crawl under it.

My phone lies out of reach. I bring a stick to gently draw it towards me. I pray and hope for the best.

My phone comes out intact. I breathe out in relief and relax truly!

Family bonds

I stand on my balcony, and watch the evening sky. The clouds and the sun seem to be playing hide and seek. Golden rays stream out one second, and are gone the next. Birds are getting back to their nests, after a long day, nearly twelve hours since they left home. I am sure they are glad to be back in the warmth of their nests, to snuggle amongst the twigs and leaves, have a chit chat with their neighbours and call it a day!

I smile, as I liken this to what we humans do, when we come back to the warmth and smells of our homes every evening, after a long day spent at work or school.

We are different creatures, when we step out every morning – well groomed, mentally poised and focused on getting work done, lists and priorities clearly structured in our heads.

But at the end of the day, when we set foot inside our homes, we transform into different creatures – for home is the place where we can let our guard down. 

I see this when my kids come home from school. They shed their ‘outside world’ personas as they take off their shoes and socks, drop bags, and lunch boxes, loudly asking about what there is to eat. They plonk on the sofa with a thud, and then sink into their new ‘home skins’, as they narrate what they did, and who said what and the tons of homework to be done.

Family dynamics kick-in. Familiar jokes get exchanged, patterns of behaviour repeat, squabbles break out, mom’s nagging continues, we try to finish school work, bond over dinner, watch some television, worry about things unknown, share space and time, share tears and laughter, share likes and dislikes, and rally around the person who is down in the dumps!

Courtesy – Crazy family Clipart – ClipartFest

We are individuals, who are held together by deep bonds of shared everything. We know each others’ quirks, and crazy routines, we sometimes yell for some ‘timeout’ and ‘space’ from the others. But it is just that..only a brief time out. For we would be lost without the family and all the craziness that goes into it.

I wonder if it is the same for all these tweeting birds. My brood is back, winding down. My chores beckon. I head back in.

The law of queues

Growing up, we have all been exposed to different laws. The laws of Science and Math. But there is one law that doesn’t conform to any logic. I call it the Law of Queues.

From what I have noticed the Law of Queues works on the principle of ‘individual aggravation’. The Law watches where you stand in any queue and then kicks into action. All queues around you move at jet speed, while your queue moves at the slowest snail’s pace.

I have had my share of woes with this law. A few years ago, after a wonderful holiday, we were in line to check-in. And there was just one person ahead of us in the line. When it was our turn, the lady at the counter put a COUNTER CLOSED sign and walked away, much to our irritation.  It was only much later that we discovered that the flight that had been sent for us had a smaller capacity, and hence could take only a limited number of people. And that number was reached after the man before us in the queue checked in!

Courtesy – iStock

This weekend we were at a mall to buy a few home appliances. Once we had paid, we were directed to a particular aisle from where we had to pick up our stuff.

The Law of queues  must have watched us walking down. The line snaked on and on. We wondered why. We soon found out that the store offered this service of checking if every appliance was functioning ok.

We resigned ourselves to the long wait. Thanks to smartphones we managed to use the time well, without crying out in frustration.

Clucks of exasperation could be heard on and off. And finally we were at the magical number two.  But we found out that the person before us had many, many things to check.

We watched in silence, and patiently awaited our turn. When we moved to first place, we could almost feel the eyes of ‘number three’ boring holes into us. There were some muted groans and clucks.

But queues move. Life moves on….

Simple notes to my children

I am just like any other mom of two children, constantly nagging my children to pick up stuff, to keep their rooms clean, to eat healthy, to stop squabbling, and the hundred other things that moms need to keep repeating – with limited success.  And all these constitute the everyday mundanities in every mom’s repertoire.

But then, when I am not playing referee to a sibling fight or yelling to be heard, I do have those moments of clarity. Moments where I see my children in the future as responsible adults, facing life’s challenges. And it is in these moments that I make these ‘simple mental notes’ that I would like to share with my children. The list keeps growing, but here are a few of my favourites.

#1 – Try

My first note would just have this one word. Keep trying, the results are not in your hands, but the effort definitely is! So TRY.

#2 – Give

You are blessed to have what you do. So whenever opportunities present themselves, GIVE. Give in kind or Give generously of your time. Give…

#3 – Keep your word

#4 – Value other people’s time as much as you do your own.

#5 – Read, read, read

There cannot be a greater joy!

#6 – Show your gratitude

For all life’s blessings, both ‘small and big’ that have come your way.

#7 – Live in the moment

#8 – Learn to laugh at yourself

Words of wisdom that I hope my children will embrace.