I am unique

I am a housewife

and I am proud about it

and no no one forced me to be one.

In case you wonder what happened to me suddenly, let me put it straight; I am fed up of the Women’s day messages. Yes, I am a woman that too a housewife, But I have not sacrificed. I mean every other message that I get talks about the sacrifices that woman make. Maybe I have but so has my husband. Most of the time, he is the one, who holds back his wishes, his wants for our sake.  My sacrifice if any must be minimal. You may say that I am lucky. Maybe I am. I have not been abused, my wishes have not been sidelines,  my voice has not been subdued, And I do not think that my rights have been subjugated.

We just lead ordinary lives. Each respecting the other and adjusting to the numerous demands of life.

Yes I am the first one to wake up and the last one to sleep. So is it a sacrifice? I don’t think so. It is just that I can take a nap when I am free. The rules of time do not apply to me much. When I decided for marriage, when I decided that family will be my prime responsibility, it was my choice. A choice that my husband did not get.

Yes I am lucky. I haven’t faced discrimination. As a youngest child, my parents had gathered enough experience to understand that I was an individual in my own right. I was given the same opportunities as my brother got and sometimes more. The only restriction that I had was that I had to be home before dark. Well I never had the need to stay out late for that matter.

As a wife my opinions are valued. As a daughter in law I may have faced prejudices but my family has always stood beside me providing the moral support which I needed.

Today when I balance my home, my child’s education, seva I don’t feel I am sacrificing anything. Because whatever I did was my choice. A decision which I took with my eyes open and a heart full of love. I wanted to be the backbone of the family, the one whom the others could confide in. I wanted to be there when they wanted me most. You may say that it is in my gene…the slavery, the ready to be ‘the doormat of the house’. I don’t think so.

Whatever we say it is the woman who makes up the home, she is the caregiver, she is the planner, allocator, and in many cases the one who looks after the financial planning too. The men may be the bread winner but it is the woman who runs the show.

Then why brand woman as people whose rights have been compromised or the ones who don’t have a voice. Many like me don’t run offices nor climb mountains but we build lives. And no we don’t yearn for a day or some declaration. We are just happy looking at the values we have built up.


Yes there are many who face odds. But for those; is it necessary to cry out and declare the entire human race as one who compromise on womens rights and needs. Is it so necessary to circulate the sob stories. Is it necessary t brand the males as predatory?

I am unique. I am special and no I don’t need a day to tell me that


Right or not

‘Now sit here quietly, thinking of nothing, till you become normal’, said my mother, making me sit in a corner of the kitchen. The kitchen had a ‘courtyard’. It had a big guava tree. One which my brother and father climbed. Yes, we sisters never tried climbing it. Before you jump to conclusions about our patriarchal society and how girls are not on par with boys, let me inform you that no one stopped us from climbing that guava tree. We were just interested in the juicy fruits, the climbing part was left to the boys.

I sat in the corner fuming and fuming, till all the steam sizzled out. No one came to pacify me. No one bothered to ask anything. Like a pressure cooker automatically cools down, I did too.

‘I am hungry’, I said. ‘lunch is ready’, she said. And that was it. No mention of the incidence to anyone, no violence, no drama.

In case you wonder, what had happened……I had just learned about ‘rights’ the previous day at school. About how we all have rights, how to exercise them and how to demand your rights. My teacher Mrs. Choudary was a wonderful person. Each point she made would be etched on our minds. I still remember her teachings some 30  years later.

And so my experiments with ‘rights’ had started. I demanded that food was prepared according to my liking because having nutritious food was my right. I demanded that I get a good book to read because getting a good education was my right. And so on. All was fine until I demanded a hair cut. Mother said no. In her opinion it had to grow a little more so that it could be cut evenly. That was it, ‘ I started my monologue on how my hair was my property and it was my right to get it cut. My mother had had enough of the nonsense and thats when she dragged me to the corner of the kitchen and made me sit.

I tell you sitting alone without thinking or doing anything can be therapeutic. It calms you down and lets you think.

Moms know best they know how to handle their child. My mother knew how to take care of me. She had various ways to handle me. If I cried too much for petty things, she would wait till it was dusk and then lock me out in the courtyard. No shouting, no beating. 5 minutes and I would be normal. She stopped teaching me when I was in second standard. She just said, ‘It is your life. If you want you study or you can always become like me’. I looked at her routine. She got  up at 6 not sleeping till 11 in the night. She was our cook, washerwoman, data bank, cleaner everything and decided that studying and getting a job that paid was better. She sure knew how to deal with us.

So the rights issue was withdrawn. I had a good meal and a good nap and peace reigned.

Next day, Mrs. Choudhary began the class with a ‘so we learnt in the last class, what are rights, today we will learn about our duties. For there are no rights without any duties.’ And she again gave a wonderful class about duties, what are they, why we should do out duties and how without doing our duties, we cannot demand our rights. And I was filled with remorse.

Over the long weekend, I had demanded my rights but had I done my duties. Had I helped around the house? No, Had I studied? No. I asked many questions to myself and the answers were mostly No. Then did I have the right to demand my right?


Today when I see various people demanding their rights, I feel pity for them. for they don’t have a mother like mine or a teacher like Mrs. Choudhary. No demanding rights is alright but how many of us have done our duties?

We all demand but what do we give back. Apart from taxes that is. Do we throw that wrapper in the dustbin. Did we answer a question by our fellow traveller politely?  Did we say sorry with a smile when we occidentally stamped someone? Society is not just by others but we are also a part of it. Be the change to demand the change.




I move my hands over the keys. Everything looks new. The screen, the words everything. Thats what happens when you try to write after a two and a half month break.

I remember 2009 and how I would be eager to type away my present,, my past and some fiction. And now, no more. I am more relaxed, no more in a hurry. There used to be a need to write, to revolutionize thinking and make a change. Not any more. The change first has to become with self, how can I try to change someone else when I remain the same?

The India trip left me in a tizzy. But that is usual, it happens all the time. India has become like any other place; more global maybe. ‘Indianess’ is lost somewhere.

Or maybe just maybe I have become a ‘Bahraini’

Who knows!!


It was a Monday that day too. It was a day when I was at home, at peace and enjoying my leisure time. Browsing through sites, I felt at peace when there was a knock at the door. I got up to find Shamina at the door. Shamina is an old lady about 60 + working as a maid to my  neighbour. ‘Did madam leave key with you’, she asked.

‘No, but you have a key, right?’, I asked her back.

‘Yes but I forgot to bring it….Its alright I will go back home and bring it’, she said.

‘Where do you live?’, I asked her. She mentioned a place quite far.

‘You’ll walk?’, I asked.

‘Yes, no buses ply on this route’, she said and turned.

‘Wait, I said and picked up my car keys.

She sat silently by my side. ‘Where does your husband work?’, I asked.

‘I don’t know’, she said and remained silent.

Some days later I met Sheetal my neighbour on the stairs, it was not often theat we met and so started talking. I told her about the day Shamina forgot her keys.

‘Oh, Shamina is my strength’, Sheetal said, ‘You know how often Ricky falls sick. It is Shamina who looks after him. ‘She is very silent and sad, why so’, I asked.

‘She had a daughter who was detected with leukaemia at the age of 12. eventually she died. Her husband left her soon after that taking her passport with her. So she is left here stranded’, Sheetal said.

But surely the embassy can help, if you want I have some friends in the Indian Ladies Association who can help’, I said.

But she does not want to go back to India. It seems that her family outcast her when she married against their wishes. Anyways her parents have died and her brother does not want any relationship with her, so where will she go’, Sheetal said.

Visions of people stranded like her rushed through my eyes. In addition there are those who came in the ruse of a better life but discovered otherwise. The laundry wallah who is a graduate and came in search of a job but was tricked into signing a contract for ironing clothes. By the time his contract ends he will be considered useless for any other jobs. The road cleaner who thought it will be fun to be in a ‘foreign’ country and pooled all his resources to come here only to sweep roads in scorching summers and freezing winters, for whom even a samosa ia a luxury…. The rag picker ho picks up cartons from the dustbin. He has forgotten his mother tongue or his birth place. The stories are endless.

So many stories like this all around…..

I wonder how many Indians actually live here. For there are countless, unaccounted ones…



Today is Monday. What so special about that, you may ask?

Well a number of things. While most part of the world are having Monday blues, it being the first day of the week, For us in the Gulf it is a happy day. For Monday means that already three days of the week are over and three remain for the weekend to start.

But then this post is  not about Monday. It is about ‘Days’. I have been searching the internet to know what day it is. I mean each day is a ‘Day’ isn’t it. Yesterday was ‘Yoga day’ and Father’s day. There are mothers day and friends day and what not. And it is essential too isn’t it? Like you and me are individuals and have unique identities, so why shouldn’t each day be a special day,

Oh there, see I got it, one of the sites tells me that today is National chocolate eclairs day and it is also National Onion Rings day. Fantastic isn’t it? (Now don’t ask me which country is meant by the word national. Does it really matter? Aren’t we all global citizens).

So come on have your fill of chocolate eclairs and onion rings. Have it till your teeth start paining of all that chewing and your breath reeks of onion. You can do that much to ‘celebrate’ can’t you?

I came to know yesterday that from last year August 13 is celebrated as The great Khali day in one of the states of Mexico. Isn’t that wonderful? I wonder what people do that day. I just hope that the wrestling matches are confined to the  outdoors.

I wonder if people will celebrate a National boredom day or maybe rename it as Bhagyashree day. Wishful thinking, eh?

But then like all other people I have to wind up this post and start on my chores. The kitchen sink grins wickedly while the kitchen seems to say, ‘Everyday is my day’. Yeah, true…everyday is Kitchen day; no doubt about that. Sigh…!!

Life’s teachings

Aarti  usually went for a walk after dropping Medha at the bus stop. It was at the return when she met Mrs. Panicker. ‘How are you Mrs. Panicker?’,

Mrs. Panicker gave a lame smile and said, ‘Fine’ and carried on.

‘Someone not well Mrs. Panicker, why these medicines’, asked Aarti.

Mrs. Panicker sighed and said, ‘Sahana is not well Mrs. Mittal. She has severe viral infection. You know how it is. Her fever is not coming down. And she has been missing school for the past week. And summatives are up next week. I am worried’.

‘Don’t worry Mrs. Panicker, everything will be alright. And don’t worry about summatives, she will be fine by then. Also you can copy Medha’s notes, I will send it in the evening…..’, said Aarti.

‘NO, no Mrs. Mittal, we will manage, no need of Medha’s notes’, said Mrs. Panicker and hurried away.

Aarti kept on looking her way. From a past few days she had observed that Medha was left alone. Very few of  the colony children would talk to her. Most would keep a distance. What could be the reason?

In the evening Aarti went to Mrs. Panickers place laden with fruits and Medha’s class notes.

Mrs. Panicker opened the door but obviously she was astonished. ‘I brought some fruits and notes for Sahana’, said Aarti and stepped in. She saw a very weak Sahana sitting on the couch. And said, “hey Sahana….how are you darling, see I have brought you Medha’s notes, you don’t have to worry about studies now…’

‘Medha’s notes??, I don’t want Medha’s notes’, Sahana said and with teary eyes looked at her mother and said, ‘why did you ask?’

‘I didn’t’, said Mrs. Panicker but by then Sahana had rushed to her room.

There was a heavy silence in the room. And then Mrs. Panicker said, ‘Thank you Mrs. Mittal but we won’t be needing  Medha’s notes.’

Mrs. Panicker, will you explain to me why Sahana does not want Medha’ss notes’, Asked Aarti.

‘No, nothing like that, you know children when they are weak behave in weird ways’, said Mrs. Panicker.

‘I don’t believe that Mrs. Panicker. I have observed that from some days none of the colony children want to play with Medha. So there must be something. Please tell me Mrs. Panicker. I want to correct my daughter if she is wrong. Please I insist.’

Mrs. Panicker looked embarrassed but then began to speak, ‘Medha is of course, brilliant, sharp. Obviously her IQ is high but then…’

‘Please tell Mrs. Panicker, please don’t hesitate’, insisted Aarti

‘Medha thinks very highly of herself Mrs. Mittal and makes fun of others. You know my Sahana doesn’t speak very good English, so she teases Sahana about her accent. My Sahana is a sensitive child Mrs. Mittal and it affects her. Medha shows of her superiority in everything and that is why none of the kids like to play with her any more.’

Aarti was shocked. She mumbled a thanks and left.

Over the past few days Aarti just observed Sahana. And found out that what Mrs. Panicker had said was true. At every given opportunity Medha would boast or show her superiority and Aarti knew that, that habit of hers had to be set right.

Medha was excited. The next day was the open day at school. She wanted her parents to meet her teachers, especially she wanted them to meet Teacher Angela. Angela teacher liked her a lot and she knew that she would praise her in front of her parents.

She told her parents what to wear and instructed them to speak good english as Angela teacher spoke very good english.

It was then that Aarti had a brain wave.

The next day Medha proudly took her parents to Angela teacher. After the formalities were over. Aarti asked some questions in faltering English.

Medha was devastated and she looked around checking that no one was listening. Then she signalled to her mother but her mother ignored her completely.

The rest of the meeting went on like that and then they stood up to leave, when Aarti spoke, ‘Sorry my english is not so good’

‘Oh that is ok Mrs. Mittal. A famous person has said, Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language‘, she said with a smile and added, ‘one can’t judge anyone on their language, can you. It is the character that matters’.

Medha was thoughtful on their return home.

Aarti looked at her from the corner of her eyes. She hoped that she had learnt a lesson today. In the coming days she would learn some more.



Somedays back a boy confided to me that what he was studying was not his choice and had been forced by his mother because it fetched a good salary. it devastated me. I mean the boy is laidback and I am sure if his mother doesn’t force him, he will not do anything in life. He is one guy who wants to have fun without any responsibility. So does his mother have any option but to force him? On the other hand, what he is studying presently is not his cup of tea He does not have an aptitude for it. Tough situation rght? How do you show a path to someone who does not want to do anything? How do you stop a mother from being bossy to such a son?
I remembered then this post written some five years back about perceptions of different people of the same family. Do have a read.

Searching Self

Anuj Anuj sat in a foul mood. He and his father had had an argument early in the morning which had left both of them in a rotten mood.
He was starting his Tenth Board exams the next day and the first paper was Maths, a subject which he loathed. It was such a pleasant morning that he wanted to go out and sing. But his father was always after him to do well in studies especially maths because it was scoring. And said that music was alright as a hobby but not as a career.
But being an engineer would maybe earn him money but not satisfacion, but would his father understand that?

Mr. Mishra– Mr. Mishra understood what Anuj was going through. In his youth he too loved to write, he had even joined a weekly but the pay was so pathetic that he was not…

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