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.

A tale of two wrist watches


I have a plastic box in my wardrobe, which contains two wrist watches.  The watches are old.  Each of these watches has its own story.

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The bigger watch of the two belonged to my Dad.  After his death, my sisters and I chose a few items from my Dad’s belongings.  I chose a shirt, his books of quotations and this watch. For quite a while after my Dad’s death, I teared up each time I saw these things.

” Can material things ever make-up for a person’s absence?” I asked myself.  But over time, I realized that material things may not fill the void in your heart, but they can bring back wonderful memories.  As the pain of separation wore away, in its place came fun memories that I shared with my Dad.  The way he would take off his wrist watch the moment he came back from work, placing it on his cupboard at a specific place, along with his pen.

In the wee hours of the morning, when my sisters and I peeked at the world from inside our quilts, we would see our Dad humming to himself and winding his watch.  I still remember how his hand felt, and how the watch was positioned on his hand.

He changed the leather strap twice, if I remember right.  We gifted him watches when we each started working, but till the end, this watch was his favourite.  The watch that marched with him, every second.

So many things in this simple watch.

The other smaller watch was my ‘first watch’.  I was in high school, and I still remember I had gone out for extra classes to school.  It was the Indian festival of ‘Sankranti‘ in January, and I walked in to the yummy smell of ‘sweet pongal‘ being cooked.  I remember my parents calling me to the dining table.  They asked me to close my eyes, and to stretch out my arm.  I still remember my Dad wrapping the watch on my hand.  A simple, elegant watch.  They told me it was for my board exams, to help me manage time.  It was a great surprise, and I remember how happy I was.  I hugged both of them.

These two watches are so precious, for they connect me to my Dad, and to my parents for all the dreams they had for me, and believing in me always.

Love you Amma and Dad.  Thank you for everything.

Mother


Hands that snip craft paper for that school project, hands that patiently wipe away silver tears, hands that hug you to her bosom, hands that snatch you away from danger, hands that cook the tastiest meals, hands that sew buttons, hands that hold yours to say ‘don’t worry’, hands that ruffle your hair, hands that clap for joy, hands that are callused from hard work, hands that write encouraging letters…HER HANDS

Legs that walk tirelessly about the house, legs that walk with you to and from school, legs that seat you on her lap as she sways to put you to sleep, legs that run when you learn to ride a bicycle for the first time, legs that run up and down the stairs to check on you when you have fever, legs that transform into horses and elephants, when she carries you on her back, legs that are worn with age…..HER LEGS

Her eyes that light up in that special way when she sees you, her eyes that mist over when she sees you performing on stage, her eyes that reflect the happiness she sees in yours, her eyes that have bags from not having slept, her eyes that show compassion, her eyes that laugh silently when you throw tantrums, her startled eyes when you roll your eyes as a teenager, the crow’s feet around her eyes from years of smiling….HER EYES

Her mouth that croons lullabies to you, her mouth that has a 100 watt smile, her mouth that laughs, her mouth that kisses your forehead when you feel down, her mouth that prays for you all the time, her mouth that sings sweet songs as she moves from one chore to another, her voice that sounds divine when you call her from university, missing home……HER VOICE

Her heart that’s hidden from view, a heart that’s probably what she is made up of, her heart filled to bursting with love, love and only love, a heart that prays, a heart filled with compassion, a heart that can sense your pain, a heart that beats for others, a heart of pure gold…..HER HEART.

To all moms around the world, for all the thoughtful things you do, for the love that you give, for every single thing you do to light up our lives –

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!