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So……

Reveling in the good times;

Swelled up with all the love,

Tired by the travels,

I raise my arms and stretch myself

And ask,

How have you all been doing??

Jingle singer

Ronny and Poppy had been living together. She liked him because he was so dependable. He liked her because she was always there for him.  They had a open relationship which meant that he could ogle  other women and she could whistle at other men. She did not like that he did not spend as much time with her as much as she wanted. He disliked her habit of singing jingles.

Jingles; you may ask.  Yes, jingles. Like if he was going to brush his teeth, she would say; ‘Kya aapke toothpaste mein namak hain, Colgate Active main hain.’ (Does your toothpaste have salt, Colgate Active has)

Or when he was back from work, she would sing, ‘Tandoorusti ki raksha karta hain lifebuoy’.

Or when he wanted to buy a new television,’ style and simplicity that is Philips.’

But when the next door neighbor Nina  hopped in with some munchies and coffee, Poppy could  not bear it and sang out, ‘Do you have the close up confidence’

And Ronny lost his cool then and said, ‘Shut up Poppy or  I shall  send you to the aviary!!’

A date

He came at the door

to bid someone goodbye.

I was there waiting,

He smiled at me,

I smiled back.

There were butterflies in my stomach

A quickening of heartbeat

My palms went wet

He gestured me to come in

I followed!!

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😀 No dearies, I am not talking of a surreptitious valentine date……………

 

 

Just recounting a date with a ………Doctor 😉

When the stork visited

This post is in response to Women’s web; Passport to a Healthy Pregnancy Contest

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When I conceived within a few months of getting married, we were ecstatic. We both love kids and there was never a thought to wait to have babies. I didn’t have any morning sickness but was always sleepy and when the home pregnancy kit showed positive, we rushed to the best gynecologist in Bahrain. There were no complexities at all, I ate well, slept well and put on weight well too.

Around the beginning of the fifth month I was feeling a piercing pain around the navel. On my next visit when I mentioned this to the Doctor, she just told it’s because the baby was growing well. The heart beats were alright, so everything was fine, she assured me.

However the same night I went into labour. I was kept on drips but the next day I aborted.

It was almost 18 months later that we came to know that I had pituitary adenoma and maybe that was the reason I had aborted. After the surgery it was clear that I needed some hormonal support if I wanted to conceive (as the gland producing the necessary hormones was not functioning properly, I had to be on injections) . And so I was kept on injections. It took me about a year to conceive and thankfully this time when my pregnancy was confirmed I was with my parents.

What I did this time
->had lots of fruitsand fresh vegetables, less sweets and oily stuff. Even if I had sweets it was sweetened with jaggery as jaggery contains iron.
->Saw that though my weight increased, did not increase much.
->Surrounded myself with family and kids, so that I did not have any negative thoughts.
->Walked but not much, did not climb stairs though as I had been advised not to.
->Read a lot
->Had regular scans.
->Referred both doctors the one in Bahrain as well as in Vizag( where my parents stay)

When I had my C-section and my baby cried for the first time, the whole team sighed in relief. In fact my Doctor told everyone in the maternity ward to visit me and check for themselves how a pregnant lady should conduct herself.

But in the high intensity drama both my Doctors had overlooked one necessary point. My nipples were inward and the baby and me both had a tough time while he tried to suckle. ( as such I had very little milk; the enzymes needed for lactation had been removed while I was operated for pituitary adenoma).

Most of us do know nowadays that during pregnancy we must have regular checkups, scans, should eat healthy etc but also do take care that you are ready to breast feed. After all breast milk is the foundation for your baby’s good health

I miss you

When I look into the mirror
I miss you

When sonny pinches my cheeks
I miss you

When I take out a sari,
I miss you

My knees….
Miss you

The cold air of the A/C
Miss you

We all miss you so much,
My dissolved fats,
Miss you so much.
😉

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It feels wonderful to be back on track and fit into all those dresses again……………………

On Mother’s day

I am a confused soul. Now and then I think that I am wasting my education sitting at home, on the other I feel that it is the right thing as I am providing the stability which my family needs; on the one hand I feel I could not do anything for my parents on the other I feel that this is what they wanted for me; they wanted me to be happy in my world and then I get this email forward.

In the annual Commonwealth Essay Competition, Amanda Chong of Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary), Singapore chose to compete in the older category and won with a piece on the restlessness of modern life.

Her short story, titled “What The Modern Woman Wants,” focused on the conflict in values between an old lady and her independent-minded daughter.

‘Through my story, I attempted to convey the unique East-vs-West struggles and generation gaps that I felt were characteristic of young people in my country,’ said Amanda, who likes drama, history and literature and wants to become a lawyer and a politician.

Chief examiner Charles Kemp called her piece a ‘powerfully moving and ironical critique of modern restlessness and its potentially cruel consequences’. The writing is fluent and assured, with excellent use of dialogue.

===================================================

What the Modern Woman Wants…
By Amanda Chong Wei-Zhen

The old woman sat in the backseat of the magenta convertible as it careened down the highway, clutching tightly to the plastic bag on her lap, afraid it may be kidnapped by the wind.

She was not used to such speed, with trembling hands she pulled the seat belt tighter but was careful not to touch the patent leather seats with her callused fingers, her daughter had warned her not to dirty it, ‘Fingerprints show very clearly on white, Ma.’

Her daughter, Bee Choo, was driving and talking on her sleek silver mobile phone using big words the old woman could barely understand.

‘Finance’, ‘Liquidation’, ‘Assets’, ‘Investments’… Her voice was crisp and important and had an unfamiliar lilt to it.

Her Bee Choo sounded like one of those foreign girls on television. She was speaking in an American accent. The old lady clucked her tongue in disapproval……

‘I absolutely cannot have this. We have to sell!’ Her daughter exclaimed agitatedly as she stepped on the accelerator; her perfectly manicured fingernails gripping onto the steering wheel in irritation.

‘I can’t DEAL with this anymore!’ she yelled as she clicked the phone shut and hurled it angrily toward the backseat. The mobile phone hit the old woman on the forehead and nestled soundlessly into her lap. She calmly picked it up and handed it to her daughter.

‘Sorry, Ma,’ she said, losing the American pretence and switching to Mandarin. ‘I have a big client in America . There have been a lot of problems.’

The old lady nodded knowingly. Her daughter was big and important.

Bee Choo stared at her mother from the rear view window, wondering what she was thinking. Her mother’s wrinkled countenance always carried the same cryptic look.

The phone began to ring again, an artificially cheerful digital tune, which broke the awkward silence.

‘Hello, Beatrice! Yes, this is Elaine.’

Elaine. The old woman cringed. I didn’t name her Elaine. She remembered her daughter telling her, how an English name was very important for ‘networking’, Chinese ones being easily forgotten.

‘Oh no, I can’t see you for lunch today. I have to take the ancient relic to the temple for her weird daily prayer ritual.’

Ancient Relic. The old woman understood perfectly it was referring to her. Her daughter always assumed that her mother’s silence meant she did not comprehend.

‘Yes, I know! My car seats will be reeking of joss sticks!’

The old woman pursed her lips tightly, her hands gripping her plastic bag in defence. The car curved smoothly into the temple courtyard. It looked almost garish next to the dull sheen of the ageing temple’s roof.

The old woman got out of the back seat, and made her unhurried way to the main hall. Her daughter stepped out of the car in her business suit and stilettos and reapplied her lipstick as she made her brisk way to her mother’s side.

‘Ma, I’ll wait outside.. I have an important phone call to make,’ she said, not bothering to hide her disgust at the pungent fumes of incense.

The old lady hobbled into the temple hall and lit a joss stick, she knelt down solemnly and whispered her now familiar daily prayer to the Gods.

‘Thank you God of the Sky, you have given my daughter luck all these years. Everything I prayed for, you have given her. She has everything a young woman in this world could possibly want.

‘She has a big house with a swimming pool, a maid to help her, as she is too clumsy to sew or cook. Her love life has been blessed; she is engaged to a rich and handsome angmoh man.

‘Her company is now the top financial firm and even men listen to what she says… She lives the perfect life. You have given her everything except happiness. I ask that the gods be merciful to her even if she has lost her roots while reaping the harvest of success.

‘What you see is not true, she is a filial daughter to me. She gives me a room in her big house and provides well for me. She is rude to me only because I affect her happiness. A young woman does not want to be hindered by her old mother. It is my fault.’

The old lady prayed so hard that tears welled up in her eyes. Finally, with her head bowed in reverence she planted the half-burnt joss stick into an urn of smoldering ashes.

She bowed once more. The old woman had been praying for her daughter for thirty-two years. When her stomach was round like a melon, she came to the temple and prayed that it was a son.

Then the time was ripe and the baby slipped out of her womb, bawling and adorable with fat thighs and pink cheeks, but unmistakably, a girl. Her husband had ticked and punched her for producing a useless baby who could not work or carry the family name.

Still, the woman returned to the temple with her new-born girl tied to her waist in a sarong and prayed that her daughter would grow up and have everything she ever wanted.

Her husband left her and she prayed that her daughter would never have to depend on a man. She prayed every day that her daughter would be a great woman, the woman that she, meek and uneducated, could never become.

A woman with ‘neng kan’; the ability to do anything she set her mind to. A woman who commanded respect in the hearts of men. When she opened her mouth to speak, precious pearls would fall out and men would listen.

She will not be like me, the woman prayed as she watched her daughter grow up and drift away from her, speaking a language she scarcely understood.

She watched her daughter transform from a quiet girl to one who openly defied her, calling her laotu, old fashioned…. She wanted her mother to be ‘modern’, a word so new there was no Chinese word for it.

Now her daughter was too clever for her and the old woman wondered why she had prayed like that. The Gods had been faithful to her persistent prayer, but the wealth and success that poured forth so richly had buried the girl’s roots and now she stood faceless with no identity, bound to the soil of her ancestors by only a string of origami banknotes.

Her daughter had forgotten her mother’s value. Her wants were so ephemeral, that of a modern woman. Power, wealth, access to the best fashion boutiques and yet her daughter had not found true happiness. The old woman knew that you could find happiness with much less.

When her daughter left the earth, everything she had would count for nothing. People would look to her legacy and say that she was a great woman but she would be forgotten once the wind blows over, like the ashes of burnt paper convertibles and mansions.

The old woman wished she could go back and erase all her big hopes and prayers for her daughter now that she had looked out of the temple gates. She saw her daughter speaking on the phone, her brow furrowed with anger and worry. Being at the top is not good, the woman thought, there is only one way to go from there down.

The old woman carefully unfolded the plastic bag and spread out a packet of beehoon in front of the altar. Her daughter often mocked her for worshiping porcelain Gods. How could she pray to them so faithfully and expect pieces of ceramic to fly to her aid?

But her daughter had her own gods too, idols of wealth, success and power that she enslaved to and worshiped every day of her life.

Every day was a quest for the idols, and the idols she worshiped counted for nothing in eternity. All the wants her daughter had would slowly suck the life out of her and leave her, an empty souless shell at the altar.

The old woman watched the joss stick. The dull heat had left a teetering grey stem that was on the danger of collapsing.

Modern woman nowadays, the old lady sighed in resignation, as she bowed to the east bone a final time to end her ritual. Modern woman nowadays want so much that they lose their souls and wonder why they cannot find it.

Her joss stick disintegrated into a soft grey powder. She met her daughter outside the temple, the same look of worry and frustration was etched on her daughter’s face.

An empty expression, as if she was ploughing through the soil of her wants looking for the one thing that would sow the seeds of happiness.

They climbed into the convertible in silence and her daughter drove along the highway, this time not too fast as she had done before.

Ma, Bee Choo finally said. ‘I don’t know how to put this. Mark and I have been talking about it and we plan to move out of the big house. The property market is good now, and we managed to get a buyer willing to pay us seven million for it. We decided we’d prefer a cosier penthouse apartment instead. We found a perfect one in Orchard Road. Once we move into our apartment, we plan to get rid of the maid, so we can have more space to ourselves…’

The old woman nodded knowingly. Bee Choo swallowed hard.

‘We’d get someone to come in to do the housework and we can eat out but once the maid is gone, there won’t be anyone to look after you. You will be awfully lonely at home and, besides that the apartment is rather small. There won’t be space. We thought about it for a long time, and we decided the best thing for you is if you moved to a Home. There’s one near Hougang it’s a Christian home and a very nice one.’

The old woman did not raise an eyebrow.

‘I”ve been there, the matron is willing to take you in. It’s beautiful with gardens and lots of old people to keep you company! Hardly have time for you, you’d be happier there. You’d be happier there, really.’ her daughter repeated as if to affirm herself.

This time the old woman had no plastic bag of food offering to cling tightly to, she bit her lip and fastened her seat belt, as if it would protect her from a daughter who did not want her anymore. She sunk deep into the leather seat, letting her shoulders sag and her fingers trace the white seat.

‘Ma,’ her daughter asked, searching the rear view window for her mother. ‘Is everything okay?’

What had to be done, had to be done.

‘Yes’ she said firmly, louder than she intended, ‘if it will make you happy,’ she added more quietly.

It’s for you, Ma! You will be happier there. You can move there tomorrow, I already got the maid to pack your things.’

Elaine said triumphantly, mentally ticking yet another item off her agenda.

‘I knew everything would be fine.’ Elaine smiled widely; she felt liberated. Perhaps getting rid of her mother would make her happier…

She had thought about it. It seemed the only hindrance in her pursuit of happiness. She was happy now. She had everything a modern woman ever wanted; money, status, career, love, power and now freedom without her mother and her old-fashioned ways to weigh her down…

Yes she was free. Her phone butted urgently, she picked it up and read the message, still beaming from ear to ear.

‘Stock 10% increase.’

Yes, things were definitely beginning to look up for her and while searching for the meaning of life in the luminance of her hand phone screen, the old woman in the backseat became invisible and she did not see her in tears.

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This work may be a piece of fiction but isn’t it relevant to our times.

I am against all these days-father’s day, mother’s day, valentine’s day et all because I feel each day is special and each relationship has to be nurtured every single day but then after reading this story I got very emotional and decided to post it today on the occasion of Mother’s Day.

We may not have behaved in the way Elaine(Bee Choo) behaved, we may not have been so selfish but many a times due to our ignorance or immaturity, we may have hurt our parents. They might have forgiven us but can we forgive ourselves?

No I don’t want to be morbid but just want to remind all of us that parents are special; we are because they are.

They say, I say

They look at me and say,
What a dull life!!

Always calling out HIS name,
Rushing for HIS services whenever free
Attending sermons, classes

What a bore;
No fun!!

I look at them and say,
What a shallow life!!

Running for name, fame, money
Gossip, shopping, Party,
Trips, frolic.

Fun, maybe,
But oh, so momentary!!

HOLES

In one of our sessions, the topic was nothing fancy just ‘Failures are stepping-stones to success’. But the speaker made it very interesting. During the course of his lecture, he told us about the HOLES principle.
It made me sit and think, see if it helps you too;

H-Hear. This trait is fast disappearing. We are so lost in the sounds of our own voice, that we have ceased to listen. Stop, hear what the other person is saying.

O-Observe. We see but we do not observe. In many a times observation can bring a revolution in our lives.

L-Learn. Learn from what you have heard and observed.

E-Experience-Apply what you have learnt in your life.

S-Share– And finally share with others what you experiences with others. Remember ‘Sharing is gaining’

Is it not simple and easy to understand and apply. And definitely very effective.

Step-In

It was 7 PM. Sumitra and Devyani were having a nice chat. Akhil, Devyanis son would arrive any moment now and she would leave for home, till then both of them were enjoying each others company.
Just then Urmi – Sumitras daughter in law stepped in, gave in an artificial smile and went to her room. Her son Jagdish followed her bowed down by the weight of his laptop and bag. He too followed his wife to their room.
Sumitra looked uncomfortable, which was not unusual. She was afraid of almost everyone in this world, so her discomfort didn’t bother Devyani.
Urmi after sometime went to the kitchen and immediately came out and started screaming, ‘whats this Maaji, dinner not prepared yet? You know I like an early meal.’
‘I..I..thought I will make some khichdi, will be ready in 15 minutes.’ stammered Sumitra
She was saved further embarrassment by the arrival of Akhil and both he and Devyani left for their home.
By the time Devyani arrived home, her husband had already arrived from the golf course and was in a jolly mood. But Devi was disturbed.
Both she and Sumi were childhood buddies, but while she had always got a supportive and loving family, it was the exact opposite with Sumi. Her father had been a very dominating person and her mother very submissive. As such she had been raised to obey orders and so she had become meek. Marriage had not been kind either. Her mother in law was a tyrant and husband a bully. Fate had been kind that it took her husband when he was still young, otherwise don’t know how much more she had to suffer. But the household was run by her mother in law. Devi had sighed in relief when the old hag had died thinking at least now Sumi would learn to spread her wings but no, life still had some more aces up its sleeve.
Her son on completing his engineering had declared that he was going to marry his classmate Urmi. Everyone close had dissuaded saying that he was just 22, why the hurry, but both were adamant.
Sumi was happy. She dreamt of being the ideal mother in-law, of being supportive and loving and in turn being loved. But alas, Urmi was a bigger tyrant than her mother in law had been.
‘Maa’, Akhil asked,’ why are you so sad.’
And Devi told whatever had happened.
‘I will have a word with Jagadish, why can’t he drill some sense into his wife,’ Akhil grumbled.
‘But be careful son, let him not think that Sumi has complained otherwise it will become more difficult for her’, was her husbands advise

Meanwhile lying on the cot, Sumi was silently shedding tears, today being shouted at in front of Devi had been the ultimate insult, true she knew everything but still.
She felt miserable. So many times she had contemplated suicide but ..
People said its only cowards who committed suicide but only she knew that even suicide required courage which she did not have.
If only somehow she could stop breathing, if only…. there was no other way out.

The next day dawned bright and sunny, it was 7.30 am but the kitchen was not yet opened. Urmi stomped into Sumis room and shook her and said, ‘Get up we are getting late, make some breakfast, what do you plan to do, sleep the whole day. WAKE UP.’
‘Aren’t you a woman, don’t you know how to cook, go and make yourself, don’t bother me, I will get up when I feel like it. And when you are at it amek me some breakfast too and some lunch too, Now OFF YOU GO.
Sumis outburst had shocked both of them and they stood with their mouth open.
‘GO’, she screamed, and Jagadish I need a statement of my bank account, have to check how much is left and also from now on, The rent from our other flat should be deposited in my SBI SB account, Is it clear?
‘Yes maa’, he mumbled and ran after his wife.

Devi came to visit Sumi again after a week to see how she was doing to find her reading the Deccan Herald. DH? she was shocked, newspaper and Sumi? ‘Ahh Devi come come and they had a lively chat with some patties ordered from the neighborhood shop,(another first) and a lively gossip.
‘Sumi you are fine na.’
‘Yes but why are you asking’
‘You are a changed lady, this assertiveness, this change in mannerisms, habits, attitude that too in just 10 days, how?
Sumi just smiled.
‘If the change is good. let it be na Devi, why probe into the whys and buts,’ she smiled enigmatically.
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What do you think is the reason for Sumitras change in behavior?