Tag Archive | family

The bunk beds

I have been in love with bunk beds since the time I saw one on ‘Diff’rent Strokes‘. Somehow it looked very adventurous and full of fun. But no I never had one. My bed was no less adventurous. It was small and it fit beneath my elder siblings beds when not in use. But still bunks seemed to be more fun.

I joined a hostel in the hope that I would get a bunk bed there at least. But no, didn’t have that much luck.

And so when my twins were born I looked forward to the day when we would have bunk beds and have lots of fun.

The day they turned four, the bunk beds came in. But were they happy….well….kind of. But not like me. I was bouncing on the mattress, running up the steps, while the boys kept on staring at me. Maybe they thought mommy had gone mad.

As soon as they left for school I would start arranging everything on them and around them. And then I would polish the bed frames till they glistened. Ahh such pride I felt at my possession.

ikea bunk beds design ideas

But then boys will be boys. The fights started. ‘I want to sleep up’ said twin 1, ‘no, I want to sleep up’, said twin 2 and so on….

Finally we decided that each will sleep on the upper bed every alternative day. But was their peace, sigh…no.

You slept yesterday’, screams one.

‘No, I slept the day before, you forgot’, says the other.

The man screams, ‘you and your childhood fantasies. Now resolve the quarrel’, and stomps off. I stomp off too and climb the upper bunk leaving the two to gape at me. Let them both manage on the lower bunk.

The maid refuses to tidy the kids room. In addition to the mess in the room, she says she cannot climb the tiny steps to tidy the upper bed. And if I ask the boys to tidy themselves, well that will never happen.

It seems no one loves the bunk bed except me and so I make a resolve….

‘Listen guys, I have put an ad in Quikr’, I declare.

‘What are  you selling’, the man asks.

‘The bunk, of course’, I said.

There is silence for sometime and then the man says, ‘What about your childhood fantasies?’.

‘Haven’t I grown up now’, I smile nonchalantly while it aches  inside.

‘What about the additional cost of buying new beds’, he asks.

‘It will be partly financed by the sale proceedings of this sale’, I say.

‘What about the box of treasures which I had kept under the lower bunk’, twin one says.

It will find a place underneath the new beds’, I say

There is silence once again.

Then the man speaks.

‘It is not a very big room, two individual cots will make the room look even more small’.

‘But it is better than messy beds and daily fights’, I argue.

Silence.

I will miss climbing up the steps and throwing the pillows down’, says twin two.

I will miss swinging from the upper bunk’, says twin one.

‘I will definitely miss the additional money spent on the new cots’, says the man.

Mummy stays mum.

‘Mom, is it ok if we promise to tidy up the room and the beds’, says twin one.

‘And we will not fight for the upper bunk, promise’, says twin two.

The man is beaming by now.

‘What about the ad that I placed on Quikr’, says me.

‘Cancel it….cancel it’, there is a chorus of voices the man’s voice the loudest.

There has been peace for the last three days, let us see how long it lasts.

Image courtesy IKEA

We are like this only…

About to enter my building, I met an acquaintance, ‘Hi dear, how are you?’, she asked. I blinked and then adjusted. You  may wonder why. I had met  her just twice before, so I did not really know whether I was really dear to her or not.

We spoke for about five minutes and then I went to my apartment. As I sipped on my lemon juice, I decided to check on my whatsapp. ‘Darl, how are you doing? Long time no see’, read a message from a school friend. I racked my brain for possible explanations for darl until it stuck me that darl was a short form for Darling. I know I am a Dumbo. But then I am quite daft. Neither is my English that good nor am I good in my vocal skills. And that’s why maybe I am being used by my family. ‘Rekha, can you please type my report’, says the hubby. ‘Ma, please check my time-table and see if I have missed out on something’, that’s the daughter. ‘Ma, wake me up at 8 sharp tomorrow I have football practice’, says the son and so on. I have become a maid for everyone in the family and only because I don’t speak this ‘hep’ English and throw my weight around. NOT ANYMORE. I had to be this modern woman like my friends, who know what to speak and where and who looked just perfect all the time.

‘Ma what have you made today’, screamed the kids when they came running from school in the evening and stopped short on seeing me. I was in my jeans with makeup and hair loose with my nails all painted.

‘Oh my dears, how was your day’, I said while hugging them and kissing the air.

‘Ma, you are fine  na’, asked the son.’

‘Absolutely, baby’, I said.

‘Baby which baby, I am eight years old’, he quipped.

‘What is there to eat’, asked the daughter.

‘Hmm you can munch on some cookies or have some chocos’, I said.

‘I don’t want those, ma prepare some bhajias na, ‘said she.

‘Sorry darling I can’t. If you want though I have some soup mix, you can prepare some and have it’, I said.

The children shocked, settled for some chocos and milk.

‘Rekha, compile some data for me tomorrow’, said the hubby.

‘Sorry luv, I am busy’, I said.

‘What are you doing’, he asked.

‘Well our colony women are going to the nearby slum to distribute some old clothes’, I said.

‘That will take you the whole day’, he asked.

‘No, after that I have to supervise the maid, read the newspaper and follow the election news on TV’, I said.

He got the shock of his life.

And while I navigated between the darls and dears and luv’ the other three fumed. I heard the daughter saying to the son that I was going through a mid-life crisis and then I also heard her asking her father whether I was menopausal.

And while my skin glowed and the nails shined, the home looked as if a hurricane had hit it. Books were thrown here and there, clothes were lying in a heap.

‘Rekha, don’t you think you should do something about this’, the hubby said pointing to the devastation in the children’s room. ‘Darling, it is their room, let them be as they want’, I cooed.

‘Rekha….errr. this darling business looks a bit odd. I mean we are married for about 17 years now. …’, said he.

‘I thought you liked it’, I said.

‘I do …in our room. Not in front of the children or when we are in a gathering’, he said observing me closely, checking my reaction.

I just fluttered my eyelashes.

It was a Sunday. I had not been able to sleep the previous night. The result a splitting headache. The children were playing some loud music and I felt as if my brain would pop out. No body heard my pleas. I darled and deared but ho one heard until I could not take it anymore. I barged into their room opened  the door and screamed, ‘Can you shut that music and what is this. is this a room or a hog house, clear everything in five minutes or you are gone’, and then I banged the door shut. The boy hopped and skipped to his father, ‘Pa order some food, let us have a party, ma is normal again’

No we are not refined people we belong to the dark ages, you might have guessed that by now.

*fiction

 

Sisters

Snigdha was reading a book, Mugdha came and called her, ‘Come lets go out have an ice- cream, come’

‘I don’t want to’, Snigdha replied, besides I should not eat ice cream, I may catch a cold’ . Mugdha went away crestfallen. Reena; Snigdha’s mother sighed.

Cancer does not just eat away your body, it eats your will too, she thought. A bubbly girl has been reduced to one who refuses to go out.

Snigdha had brain tumor which had been surgically removed. There were remnants of the tumor for which chemotherapy was done.

Archana saw the worried look on Reena’s face and came and hugged her, ‘Don’t worry everything will be fine’, she said

‘Do you think so’, Reena asked. Archana nodded a yes

Reena and Archana were not sisters but married to two brothers. They had been living together in Bahrain for the past 12 years and were more or less like sisters. each provided the comfort of family in a land far from home.

Mugdha was 10 months younger to Snigdha and both studied in Standard seven. Being almost of the same age, they were almost like twins.

‘Come we will go out to the court. There is football going on there’, it was Mugdha back again pursuing Snigdha.

‘Will you stop bothering me. I don’t want to go out and meet anybody. I don’t want to go out and show my bald head and I am not going to wear a stupid scarf’, yelled Snigdha.

It was Archana now who sighed and broke into tears. Both she and Reena sat down crestfallen. How were they going to handle Snigdha, how will they improve her morale, how will they make her go to school. How how how……

Meanwhile Mugdha slammed the door, Archana ran behind her.

After some minutes Archana was back. ‘What happened?’, Reena asked

‘She said she will be back soon’, Archana said.

In half an hour indeed she was back. And ran to Snigdha and said,’ Hello how do I look?’

There was a loud gasp.

Reena and Archan ran inside. Reena went into shock, Archana just sat down on the edge of th bed.

Mugdha had got her hair shaved off.

‘Now will you go out with me?’, she asked Snigdha.

Reena looked at Mugdha with love, admiration, respect. The love of sisters… it could repair anything whether it be damaged Morales or barren scalp.

For better or for worse

Mrinalini or Meenu as she was commonly called had always known what she wanted and when she came and told her mother of the guy she wanted to marry, her mother conceded. Opposing would not have helped. Meenu was used to doing things her way anyways. Her father after meeting the guy however had doubts. The boy was the darling of his mother and sister. And what’s more he too had always had his way and he feared whether a marriage of two strong-minded persons was favorable or would it end up soon.

But when Shyama, Meenu’s mother said that it was no use objecting and it was better if they were married soon, Arvind, her husband raised his eyebrows.

Shyama said with some hesitation, she was worried that something may happen…

Like what, Arvind asked. She replied like…pregnancy. Arvind let out a sigh. Better to get them married, then let Meenu go for an abortion, Arvind thought and got them married.

Both Meenu and Raghav aka Rocky were very happy. They matched in their intelligence as well as emotional levels. And their attraction was so strong that they could melt a snowman.

But there were some glitches. Meenu did not like the togetherness  her in-laws had with her husband. He did not like that she had to have her way always and would not take anyones wishes ot opinion.

Love is blind and when reality comes in, romance gets a make over.

When Meenu found out she was pregnant, She was shocked. She was in the beginning of her career and how had she conceived when she had taken precautions. But then she had conceived hadn’t she, so she carried on. Good sense prevailed somehow.

Rohan came into their lives. And brought in endless joys accompanied with arguements and difference of opinions on parenting.

The small gaps in their marriage became fissures  and threatened to be cracks. Meenu did not understand why it was to be her who had to always take care of Rohan in the nights. While Rocky argued how he could feed Rohan. She believed that it was no need to always bundle up Rohan, while Rocky argued that Rohan may catch a cold and so on.

Meanwhile Rocky’s father expired and Rocky brought his mother home for a change. Now there was chaos. Rocky’s mother did not understand Meenu at all. The outspoken way Meenu spoke, her cooking, her style of raising Rohan, everything was alien. On her part Meenu would not bend too. Rocky feeling his mothers loneliness would always support her.

In this tumult, one day Arvind called his daughter and for the first time heard the worry in his daughter’s voice. A gentle probe and the complaints came tumbling out.

He sat down to have a word with Shyama but she was totally on the side of Meenu, without acknowledging the faults of their daughter.

Arvind knew if the marriage had to be saved, he had to intercept. Meenu and Rocky being strong-willed would not bend at all.

So one fine day, lying to his wife of 35 years, saying he had to attend a conference he left to be with his daughter and son-in-law.

He did find that love between the two did exist, so that was some hope that the marriage would survive. Only thing was that some amount of guidance was needed and he would provide that.

Meenu was not accommodative, unwilling to others opinion which was wrong. It was always a group effort. True, Rocky’s mother was a bit attention seeker but only if Meenu was patient enough to win over her confidence…. On his part Rocky was too inclined towards his mother. True she was feeling lonely but wasn’t he a husband too? The problem with both of them was both were thinking in terms of ‘me’ and not ‘we’. If only Meenu thought it was ‘ my’ mother-in-law and not his mother. If only Rocky thought of Meenu as ‘my’ wife and my son’s mother things would definitely change.

So Arvind had a frank talk with them. Whatever faults they had, the one good quality they both had was, that they listened.  And another good point was that both of them wanted their relation to survive.

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Arvind left their place in two days happy with the fact that they had listened at least. And even if they had listened without their heart in the talk, they would still benefit.

————————————————————————————–

Srila Rupa Goswami in his Nectar of Instructions has written some eleven verses. These verses are primarily guidelines on how to choose a guru, how to practise yoga etc. But Verse 3 can be of utmost importance to a grhasta or a married person.

utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt

tattatkarmapravartanāt

In this verse ( I have given only the first two lines) he has given six principles to lead a devotional life. The principles in these two lines are

1. Being enthusiastic

2.Endeavoring with confidence

3.Being patient

Out of this verse the four principles that a husband and wife should share can be deduced as:

a) Appreciation– appreciate each other. Even the smallest good deed. It increases the love between each other.

b) Encourage-each other. Even if the other fails, still encourage.

c) Tolerate and forgive-sometimes we scream, maybe the day is bad or maybe the hormones are acting up- tolerate. Do not hold it in your heart and take revenge later on- forgive.

d) Respect– even if the rose-tinted glasses have broken, respect. Respect the other as an individual.

Hope you like the new dimension of SS.

Image courtesy: free digitalphotos.net

English

Ganesh Chaturti is a big festival in our families. The family (from my husband’s side) having acquired gigantic proportions has now formed a trust and the trust now celebrates four festivals in a year grandly. The rest can be celebrated at home if you so wish or can forget.

So on that grand day we assemble at our ancestral house which we technically call as ‘hod ghar‘. (big house) situated in Gangulli. Where is Gangulli? Well it is a scenic town near Kundapur, Udupi zilla. Have a look here. Well this picture was taken from a moving bus by yours truly, so please forgive the quality.

Chaturti is a time when we deck up in our traditional best and amidst the cacophony of mantras and gossip; celebrate. Kids run about, women whisper, men break coconuts and the devout sing.  Me personally enjoys the scene.

Lunch is usually served at 5 p.m. Don’t panic. Before that we have had our turns of Taani (meaning snacks and coffee/tea)

After a sumptuous meal, we gather around the well to wash our hands and well…to chat some more.

And it was then last year that I met my hubby’s cousin. We chatted and then she heard me talking to my son in Konkani.

Shocked she asked,’ You speak to him in Konkani not English’

Me: ‘Why should I speak in English’

She: ‘But you stay in BAHRAIN’

Me: ‘So’, I was going to say that Bahrain is a part of this Earth only but stopped myself.

You may ask why.

In our families, my husband is supposed to be sadhu and me jor. (Aggressive) Well the closest know the internal dynamics. But let us not discuss all that right now.

The jor that I am, I had a devilish plan.

Me: So which standards your sons are studying in.

She: The eldest is in 4th, younger one is in Balwadi. We speak in English at home, so that it is not a problem for them.

Me: Problem?

She: Yes, You know how important it is to know English. and so….

She went on explaining the need of speaking English at home. My smile went on becoming wider.

In some time, the hubby joined us after breaking coconuts, serving food and having eaten himself.

He: What are you two talking about

Me: Akka is telling me the importance of speaking in English, they speak English only at home.

He (shocked). Why?? Kids have to be comfortable with their mother tongue first. English as such they learn in school, don’t they. Yes, English is necessary but our regional languages have better grammar ……..blah, blah blah.

I stayed in the background and watched Akka being bombarded with facts and figures.

Jor who Me?? *evil grin*

To nag or not to nag…

‘Get up, Mukund’, you will be late for school, Arvind…get up…’ It was Puja trying to wake up her son and husband. After a further 20 minutes,  Mukund was on the breakfast table, while Arvind was in the bathroom.

Mukund was playing withthe cereals when Puja came and yelled, ‘What is this Mukund, start eating, as such you are such a slow eater, you will be late for school. And did you keep your Social Text in the bag,’ and when Mukund bent his head, she knew he hadn’t. ‘What is this Mukund,   I have to remind you of this too, why can’t you at least take care of your time table?’

‘Puja’, said Arvind while coming out of the bathroom,’Why are you always after him?’

‘After him? He will not take his book otherwise and why don’ t you hurry up, otherwise you will be late and then you will skip breakfast and race your car’.

‘Alright, alright…’, said Arvind.

Puja returned late from office to see Mukund playing with His darts. On checking his notebook, she came to know that he had not done his homework. ‘Mukund, why have you not done your homework and I am sure you have not prepared for the test.’

‘No’, he said

‘What is this Mukund? Will you do only if I tell you. Come on, you are ten now, be a little responsible, see Shweta, her mom does not have to worry about her at all. Why can’t you take charge of yourself?’

‘Puja, don’t compare’, said Arvind

‘And what about you, it is  your report submission tomorrow and I am sure you have not even started.’

‘I will start Puja as soon as this news gets over’, he said

‘Yes, you will sit till midnight and then won’t be able to get up in the morning’, said Puja

It was almost 1 am when Arvind came to the room to sleep

‘See I told you…’, said Puja

‘Puja, stop it. Don’t be so irritating.’

‘Irritating, me?’, said she

‘Yes. You are always telling us to do this and do that. And just because you are always dictating us, Mukund has never learnt to take any responsibility.’

Puja in shock was not able to say anything and spent the entire night in thought. ‘Was she the culprit’ Will they be able to manage if she did not dictate’ and so on.

The next day onwards Mukund and Arvind saw a changed Puja.

She did not check Mukund’s notes

She did not see if Arvind kept his files properly or whether his reports were ready.

Mukund could play as much as he could.

Arvind could sleep as late as he could and…. could get up as late as he wanted.

After 3-4 days Mukund was swollen faced when Puja came from work. ‘What happened?’, she asked

‘Teacher made me stand for an entire period’, he said

‘Why?’, she asked

‘I forgot to take my English workbook.’

‘Why you forgot?’

‘Mamma you don’t love me, do you? YOu don’t wake me, you don’t remind me’

‘I do love you but I thought you don’t like me nagging’.

At that time Arvind intervene, I did not mean that way Puja’, he said sheepishly, ‘I just said that too much nagging is not good like you can ask us to get up, you can remind us if we have forgotten something, you know that way.’

‘Hmm, said Puja but how will I know how much nagging is enough?’

‘You know say something once or twice and that is enough.’

‘So I should nag?’

‘Yes please….’ cried out both