Just tweaked the blog ‘All the men in my life’ and made it Happy Father’s Day for trending purposes https://askjayaa.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/happy-fathers-day/
Category Archives: Personal Diary
“Men men men men, manly men, oo hoo hoo, hoo hoo, oo” Well they are nowhere close to the 2 men Charlie and Alan Harper or to the half man Jake for that matter but have been the most important part of my growing up years(which I still am). This is about all the men in my life.
Act 2- Scene one
“Just won this trophy for the best swimmer. All thanks to you. ”
“Oh that scooter is just a toy for me. I don’t know why they say its the heaviest model. They didn’t train from you.”
“Really? You were a jockey and did equestrians? When do I get my riding lessons.”
“Singing movie songs is not as bad as you think. Why don’t you like that?”
The first man in my life since even before I was born- My Dad. A strict Disciplinarian, Sporty, Adventurous, Skillful, sometimes finicky and loves to talk. Has valued quality over quantity, that’s why he always gave us the best even if it was way beyond his capacity. I have this knack of mending electrical stuffs and other household errands and mom thinks its his genes. I even have his ‘temperamental’ temperament. It’s a funny thing but when I look in the mirror, I feel my left cheekbone is like his and also to some extent his ‘I care a damn, I will do what I want to do’ attitude. When I was young, I was like this free spirited, demanding, difficult, authoritative, untamed, wild Mustang and tested his equine skills time and again. (I am lucky to have really easy kids and thank my stars for that.) Happy Father’s Day Dad.
Act 2- Scene two
This is not the first time I am writing about him and neither the last.
He is the lead character of the Scene 2 of my story. If he is not watching TV, he is reading a book. His love includes all star war series, all survivor seasons, all friends episodes, all Indian reality TV, everything sci-fi, all of jeeves, all of suraj barjatya (we named our little one on his production house-can u beat that), all of …ALOOOOO. I thank my stars for the day I met him (and he too better return the favour). We are inseparable, rather I am like this twining vine spilling over the arbor of his moral and emotional support. I have experienced the adage that a woman is born thrice in her lifetime-one when she is officially born, two when she meets her soulmate and three when she gives birth and I am grateful to god that he is a part of my life. Wish you too a Happy Father’s Day with your little angels.
Act 2- Scene three
The perfect example of seamless integration in my life-from being a brother to being the other dad (Ever since he came into adolescence suddenly it felt like I had two dads) to being a brother-in-law, from being a ma’s favorite to favorite mama, from a naughty little boy to a handsome hunk, he has comfortably transitioned and remained an integral part of my life in both scene1 and scene 2. Just like the other two in the earlier ‘scenes’ he too is a boy soul in a man’s body. ‘
There are 2 things you must be wondering about.
One-Is that all? Just three ? Well, the answer is no.
These are the men who stuck by me in thick and thin and I know for a fact that even if not by virtue of my birth, or marriage, I would have still found them. They were created for me, meant for me, and would occupy one of the highest place in my life forever.
And…… I will be adding 3 more to the list…… once my girls find their soul mates. 🙂
Two-What happened to Scene 1 , Well that was about ‘All the women in my life‘. wink! wink!
“Amma what have you done? Its a stretchable swimsuit. Why did you put it in the washing machine? It is ruined.”
“Chill mom. I am wearing my jeans to the temple. Its all in the mind. I have that understanding with god”
“Why do you keep organizing my table. I can never find a single stuff this way. Its so easy to locate in the clutter.”
“Puhleeez dont ask me to come for that marriage. I don’t know a single soul out there.”
“C’mon momsy its just 6am and its a Sunday. Let me sleep yaar”
“It is so difficult to explain my point to you mamma. Generation Gap!”
It was 1993 when I was 18 and these were typically my everyday conversations with ‘my punchbag’-My Mother. The earliest memories of her is a cherubic woman clad in 6 yards of cotton with a big vermillion on her forehead. Not to be missed the kohl in the eyes and the sweet smelling floral strand of Jasmine on her hair, which was perched from our own backyard and woven together by her fingers. She would get up as early as 3.30 in the morning, sip her cuppa leisurely after brushing her teeth in our bedroom, dimly lit with the light coming in from the kitchen. After having her ‘poison’ she would move like a whirlwind. Pick up a bucket to wash the outside entrance and sweeping it dry before putting a huge rice flour ‘kolam’, take her bath and light up the ‘vilakku’ (lamp). We were supposed to keep away from her till we had our bath. Only after the lamp was lit that she would start her cooking. Within no time ‘Koyambu’, ‘Rasam’, Curry, Rice, Chapattis, idli, chutney and salads would be ready and transferred into casseroles and arranged on the dining table. She would quickly change into a neatly ironed saree and get ready for work. She would then mount her bicycle in that saree and pedal on for her office. After a long day’s work she would come back, bring in clothes from the backyard, iron and fold them and after serving us snacks like upma, poha, bread pakora, bonda, murukku, thengoyal, adai, dosai, and what not (all prepared by her), she would sieve wheat and take it to the ‘ata chakki'(flour mill). In the meanwhile she would go and fetch vegetables and grocery and on the way back, pick up the wheat flour from the mill. After cooking dinner she would just …. crash!!!
My contribution to her busy life was to consume the food that she cooked, wear the clothes she had neatly put in the cupboard, snuggle up in the bed she would meticulously arrange and of course make a big fuss about any little help she would require from me.
I would bring workload home and immerse myself in it and she would keep serving me with milk, breakfast, snacks and dinner and see to it that I am undisturbed in my quest to excel. On job, as a consultant, I interacted with thousands of people and I always thought what would she understand about the complicated life and people around, the work pressures, targets, deadlines etc. When I would err she would try to explain, and if I did not understand she would leave me on my own to learn from my mistakes. Like she would always say “Both fools and wise men learn. The only difference is that fools learn by making mistakes and wise men by observing the fools.” Mostly I would trash her suggestions and do my own thing.
It is 2011 and I am…well, I still feel 18. I juggle work and a family. I am 100% hands-on with my 3 lovely daughters and I think I am doing a good job. And now, after getting into the grind for myself, I value her more. She is the mother of the tallest order for me. I am what I am because of her. She stood by me in the thick and thin like a friend, she protected me like a fierce mother tigress in the hours of despair, willingly supported me for anything I wanted to explore be it music, dance, sports, arts or education. I may never be 100% of what she has been to us but I am trying to be as close as possible. If you ask my girls, they would say:
“Amma knows a lot of stuff but doesn’t understand that I do not like porridge and she doesn’t like cornflakes and insists that we all have little of everything ”
“Ma doesn’t let us go out in the afternoon. Its summer vacations ma”
“Why do we study in vacations every morning”
“NO TV too. So boring”
“Ok, can we play on the computer instead?”
“Our friends come down to play at 8 in the evening and it is our dinner time. Why ma?”
Phew! they too will soon understand why.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY AMMA!!!
From the time we first met, till date, we both have grown and matured in our relationship. Everybody does. So my story is no different from any of those who are reading or have been through the grind together in the conjugal bond. But rarely have I ever really credited, thanked, accepted, appreciated all of his goodness. Probably or rather mostly it was blaming, accusing, cribbing, complaining, crying over the fact that you never understood.
Initially it was puppy love with mushy letters and chocolates and movies and dinners and all those things one does when they fall in love. Today as I reflect back, you are the one who has always stood by me in thick and thin. From the time I entered into your ‘big fat Indian family’ with grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles and cousins and nieces and nephews to now with our 3 daughters ( all others being still around) you have been the pillar of my strength. As a newly wed I had butterflies in my stomach, always thinking whether what I was doing was fine or not. But you always were not so bothered about all those little things about life. For you it was the larger picture that mattered the most and as you said I was ‘the perfect fit’. (Just a clarification here that I was good at the smaller things too).
I still remember that the first time I had to tell my Father about you, I wrote to him ‘He is just like you. Very encouraging of my career and ambitions in life and a gentleman to a T’. You have been a friend, philosopher and guide in it’s true sense. From the time of marriage till now, you have always understood that my career was very demanding and kids at home also being small demanded a lot of attention and hence shouldered the responsibility just as I expected (read demanded).
You must be wondering what is so unique about this. Everybody does. If they really want to keep trouble at bay from the ‘wifey’ front. The uniqueness is I am writing about it and acknowledging the fact that all men are not MCPs.
What has made me write about all this is the fact that I am having high levels of stress due to high work pressure and ‘school vacations’. Every time he gets back home he sees that I am super exhausted and have crossed all limits of yelling and shouting and scolding and bashing up and so have the kids (crossed all limits of crying and apologizing and making up stories and the works) . Even after such a long and tiring day you put up a smile and steer us clear out of the troubled waters. I want you to not ‘give up on me’ and stay motivated to bear me for few more months. As predicted by the Mayan prophecy and the likes, the end of the world is just around the corner. Until Death Do Us Apart. (Wicked Laugh…HEE HEE HEE HEE….with echo effect)
While I was leaving for the club 3 days back with my girls one of them sneezed and my husband called out from behind, both being the signs of ‘apshagun’ – bad omen as per Indian sensibilities but signs for me that something is going to go bad. I prayed all the way that let it not be on my kids and whatever happens to me be really gentle. Went in for a quick shower just before my swim and as I stepped out I zoomed straight on my back. “Mamma” cried my girls. “Are you alright?” asked one. Luckily I could stand back. Thank god I read the sign and prayed all the way.
My mom always says ‘Que Sera Sera-Whatever will be will be’. But your prayers will reduce the intensity of the bad and increase that of the good.
The question here is, was this Tsunami in Japan, a country with 64% aging population , hit by the most powerful earthquake (8.9-magnitude) with epicenter of Friday’s main quake located off Miyagi Prefecture, about 230 miles (370 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo, destined to be. The death toll is expected to be over 10,000 with 2000 found on two shores in Miyagi Prefecture.
Even a little prayer from each one of us would add up to heightened positive vibrations to a country which is reeling over this catastrophe.Lets tweet with #prayforjapan and show our solidarity in this hour of despair. I just did. (http://twitter.com/technojaya)
The Global Centenary Year for the Women’s Day is celebrated today (the first event being celebrated in the year 1911 on March 19 and not on 8th March by Clara Zetkin ) and I am urged to share something that has been doing rounds in my mind for some time.
Couple of days back one of my FB connection had posted a link . She pointed out that the report suggests that part of the problem is the fact that women tend to pursue the lowest-paying professional careers, notably teaching. Perhaps part of the answer is just to increase compensation for people who devote their careers to education.
A friend of her’s said “the tax code does not favor children or stay-at-home parents. Parenting is an invaluable service to society. Perhaps I should literally pay my wife to take care of my kids, then we could write my house off as a business (day care center), as well as the car, and my wife could start a self-employed based SEP for retirement. I should also pay her for cleaning and cooking… same business rules.
Is it really any different than if I could afford a cook, daycare and chauffeur?”
Although these are the cases based from the west, I feel, this is not just the case with American women. We too struggle and juggle with career,home, aspirations, responsibilities a lot back here in India. Luckily now at least we have support coming from the work front in metros like where the employers turn a blind eye when we have no backups and carry kids to work. Regarding compensation and benefits,’miles to go.
Smaller cities though still has the concept of well-knit families and cushion the gaps but in larger metros everyone has and needs an independent life and hence the exponential rise in the nuclear families. At least west has organized creches for kids, which is still at a nascent stage so our lives are worse like mine. So although we have stepped out of the house and added on to our JD but ‘the invaluable service of Parenting’ is still largely handled by us. That could also be because men are not genetically capable to handle emotional stress as finely as women. I think we all should breed more men and train them to handle household and kids and parenting and cooking and cleaning and all other juggling that we do. Probably a ‘genetic mutation’ would help alter the scenario.
Happy Women’s Day girls!!!