Tag Archives: family

A Mother’s Love

There are two sides to motherhood. On one side is when you are a child and receive the love of a mother; on the other side is when you are a mother and give your love to your child(ren). And you realize the value of the former only when you experience the latter.

I still remember that my mom was the nerve centre of our family. Her smiling countenance, her commitment to giving her best to every single member of the family, her superlative cooking skills, her ability to take on her children’s problems and lighten the burden for them, her unshakeable faith in her children and the belief that they were the very best.

From home mechanic to recycling expert to instant gourmet meal producer, my mom wore so many hats with ease and changed them in a jiffy. 

I don’t remember her ever being really sick. Even if she was a bit under the weather, she ploughed on, ever cheerful. However, there was this one time when she had slipped and hurt her knee really badly, and was out of action for a week. I remember how my siblings and I moped. We felt that the lights were dimmed in our house, the thread that strung us all together and got us going was not there. So, we spent time in her room, reading our books or sitting with her, wishing to hear her voice chiding us or her ‘mom looks’ that could freeze us in our tracks. Even those were better than having her unwell.

I did not realize all that I had learnt from my mom till I became one, and knew that being a mom means to GIVE; to give unconditionally, every single day.

             Image Courtesy – http://www.Cliparting.com

To love so much that you hurt. To want the very best for your children. To care too much, but to also learn to let go..and let your children soar and fly.

And retain every single memory of the wonderful years that have flown past, and the days that are flying past even as I type this. Rainy afternoons with hot samosas and movies, cycling trips with the family, stick figure drawings on the refrigerators, playing referee to sibling wars, cuddles and hugs, laughter and smiles, and lots and lots of love.

 A mother’s love. 

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.

Laws of motherhood

Law of hunger

The amount of time that a mom delays meal preparation (for whatever reason) is directly proportional to the child’s hunger.

Law of efficiency

Whenever a mother cleans up her handbag and neatly organises it to include a first aid kit (bandaids and the rest) to prepare for emergencies, no child of hers will fall or hurt himself or herself till the mom removes the said first aid kit from her bag.

Law of company

When the kids are young, every mom wants a breather from meal times, nappy changes and other tasks that smell and spell ‘baby’, ‘toddler’ or ‘child’.  As the kids reach their teenage, kids need a breather from their moms.

Law of dropped items

This law merely states that ‘Moms have to pick up stuff (read towels, clothes, papers) dropped at various corners of the house, failing which they will remain as they are.’

Law of blame

This law states that moms are solely responsible for all missing items from a child’s room, after she has organized and cleaned the room.

Law of ‘let me be’

This law states that moms are not allowed to clean stuff in a teenager’s room.

Law of permanent hunger

This law states that as children grow, they are in a permanent state of hunger.

Law of arbitration

This law states that every sibling fight needs a mother arbitrator, whose verdict is always deemed unfair.

Law of hugs

This law states that moms are entitled to hug or be hugged by her children 24 × 7.

Law of love

This law states that all the laws mentioned above are actually sub-laws of the Law of love, which states that irrespective of whichever state the mother is in (anger, irritable, jovial, funny, cuddly) at any point in time,

Motherhood = love at all points in time.

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Courtesy-www.clipartpanda.com

Life and its many moments

Yesterday, after a nice Sunday meal, as I relaxed on the couch, I saw a beatific smile on my husband’s face. Turned out  he was having a ‘Moment of tenderness’ looking at an old image of our kids.

This got me thinking. Our lives are made up of many such moments – some funny, some poignant, some embarrassing and some painful.

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        Courtesy – http://www.zirtlife.com

‘Passage of time moment’ – when you look at an old photo and realize how time has flown.

‘Moment of realization’ – when your children say the same things to you that you said to your mother, and you catch yourself dispensing the same advice as your mother.

‘Moment of horror’ – the day after your visit  to a  hair stylist – when you are not able to set your hair the same way, and each peek into the mirror makes you feel terrible.

‘Moment of tenderness’ – when you look at your children while they are asleep, and all your love bursts forth.

‘Moment of irritation’ – when you know that you are coming down with a bad cold, and your head and nose announce it.

‘Moment of stupidity’ – when you come back home from the supermarket without the two main items you had gone to buy.

‘Moment of aggravation’ – when you are typing a message, and your cell phone battery drains.

‘Moment of nostalgia’ – when you see an old dress that fit you at one point in time.

‘Moment of joy’ – when you receive a card from your kids or a gift from your husband.

‘Moment of giggling’ – when a dear friend calls and you let off steam.

‘Moment of solitude’ –  when you read a good  book on a rainy day

‘Moment of contemplation’ – thinking about the deeper meaning of life, while sipping delicious coffee.

And many, many more such. What other moments do you have? Would love to know.

Sibling Wars

The school day begins. I am in the kitchen grappling with cooking. I hear loud screaming and yelling. My children are doing what they do best – squabbling.

Sibling wars. One can actually write a thesis on this, and still not understand the dynamics of this phenomenon.

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           Courtesy – http://www.babyart.org

My children have study tables that are at right angles – when both move their chairs backwards and if, by chance, the chairs crash into each other, a war erupts.

You would think that a six seater dining table would have enough room for four people. Apparently not! Both children want the same chair, every day, for every meal. TV shows are a bone of contention, the bathroom is a warzone. The bedroom is the missile room, armed as it is with pillows.

There are unspoken symbols and codes of conduct. There are lists of ‘what you dids’ on both sides, which resurface every day. They cannot agree on food or TV, computer games or books, studying in the same room or sharing resources. Each time they get in the car they clamour for the same seat. They draw invisible divider lines on the car seat, like animals marking their territory, pushing away even the other’s shadow if it crosses this line.

They look daggers at each other,  don’t give way when they cross the doorway simultaneously, hide each others’ things and smile secret smiles of victory.

I watch this sibling-war and remember such battles with my sisters. Watching them as a mom, however,  is aggravating. The best way to handle this constant bickering is to go passive. They get no reaction from me at all. I am blamed for both taking, and not taking sides.

The warring siblings leave for school –  one takes the stairs and the other takes the lift.  The storm has passed and the house becomes blissfully quiet.

In a few hours, two happy faces will come home, freshen up and look at each other, and off they’ll go again.

But the funny part is, if one goes on a school field trip or weekend camp, the other soon starts pining!

Sibling logic baffles me☺☺.

An Ode to my Dad

Featured image

This is a picture taken from my Dad’s notebook from 1959, where he meticulously wrote down things and quotations he found interesting.

This is an old post…it is now six years since my Dad passed away.  Felt like re-posting.

It is six years since my Dad passed away. He was there one moment, and gone the next.  Initial shock gave way to denial, and then a gradual acceptance; because this is the only truth, that whatever our journeys are, whatever our desires and goals, we all have to go some day.

Time, as they say, is the best healer.  We learn to move on by getting sucked back into the vortex of our lives.

But memories of my Dad tug at me from time to time. In bits and pieces, as audio files when I hear his voice, sometimes as movies, as I playback some incident from my childhood, sometimes in newspaper articles, sometimes in the words of another writer, I see my Dad.

My Dad, who used to hold my sister’s and my hands in each of his, as he dropped us at the bus stand, whistling to a small colorful bird that use to sit atop the electrical cables across the road.  My Dad would call out, and the bird would answer in return.  This was an important part of our morning routine.

My Dad, who taught us how to file a piece of paper by folding it just right, who insisted that we learn to type at an early age, who sketched my grand mom and aunt, sitting where he was, who meticulously copied quotations that he liked from magazines and newspapers into his spiral-bound notebooks, who took us on long walks and listened to our non-stop chattering patiently.

My Dad, a man of few words, with his fantastic sense of humour and lop-sided smile, a loving son who ensured that his mom’s supply of lozenges was always well-stocked, who spent time with his home-ridden sister to show how much he cared for her, who helped my mom around the house and whose punctuality put clocks to shame!

My Dad, who held a candle near the sewing machine, one whole night, when there was a power cut, as my mother sewed a dress for my school concert, with the monsoon winds howling under the door and rain lashing away at the windows.

My Dad, who taught us to love literature and music, who taught us to articulate ourselves clearly when we spoke or wrote.

My Dad, who taught us by example that it is not from money or material things, but from love and family that happiness is created and sustained.

My Dad, who respected every choice I ever made, and was always there to hug me, when things did not go as planned, who made coffee for me as I studied late into the night.

My Dad in his black blazer, going to work; trying his hand at cooking after retirement, humming under his breath, cleaning ‘this & that’ and chiding us gently, “A place for everything and everything in its place”.

My Dad, who I now see in myself, in my need to write, who I see in my son, as he uses his pencil to sketch, who I see in my sister’s walk and in my mom’s talk, as she has unconsciously picked up some of his mannerisms over the years.

His memories are beautifully woven into the fabric of our lives, forming patterns that connect us to him, in what we do, in how we walk and in how we try to live up to our fullest potential, because that was the only dream he had for each of us.

Love you, Dad.

What is ‘home’?

The word ‘home’ means so many things to so many people. It can be a physical space or a space in one’s heart, it can be a feeling of joy created when you are with family or loved ones, it can be memories; it can mean so many, many things. But it sure is a ‘ place of comfort’.

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Courtesy  http://www.home.howstuffworks.com

Home, to me, is about being with my family, as much as it is about being within the cozy walls of our home.  It is about those unique smells that belong to our home, it is about chaos, it is about order, it is about watching a game together and being able to wipe away tears or receive a bear hug.

It is about reading without disturbance, or not being able to read at all, when the children are having a fight. It is about those small crazy things like missing scissors and sock-pairs, that have vanished within this defined space called home.

Then again, it is about coming back from trips, and being on trips, as a family and feeling that deep bonding. It is about leaking pipes and stains on the wall, as much as it is about shared music and laughter echoing off the walls. It is about cuddling with the family, and playing Uno on a rainy day.

It is about going crazy, ferrying the kids to and from their classes, it is about grocery shopping and celebrating festivals.

Above all, it is about being there for each other, no matter what.

Home is both a physical space and a space within our hearts.

What does home mean to you?