Mother of boys, mother of girls! Hear me here, hear me now. You are THE SUPERS!
I have a friend who is a huge fan of superheroes; Marvels, DC comics types. Not that I know the difference but AB will vouch for their super powers any day. That makes me wonder. If the super heroes were real, what would they be like?
Like us, Mothers! If you are balancing a kid on your hip with one hand and managing cleaning, cooking, bathing the kid, feeding the kid, going to work all in the same day, then you are a superwoman! If you are doing even half of it, you are a superwoman!
I do not have to justify this but it is great to write down your thoughts. We have ninja-like reflexes and we do not know how we do it. We catch the bottle before it spills the water, we catch the toys and the phones and remote controls before the kid throws it an breaks it, hell we catch the baby who is about to fall from the sofa or even sometimes from your hand! I cannot possibly fit in more examples of this.
Have you experienced this? You give one cold stare to your kiddo and she gets it that you have lost it now. That enough is enough. I know I do because my 17 month old shudders when she realises I have seen her do mischief. God forbid I have to raise my voice, she just drops whatever she is doing and runs to the opposite direction or sometimes even towards me; which is funny and cute at the same time.
Also, have you experienced this? You sense something is wrong by the weird silence in the house. We hate the noise but we are scared of the silence. Something is not right and we can sense it! Our senses become so sharp that we can spot an ounce of water spilled on the floor, the minute stain on baby’s clothes (and have the OCD to change it immediately), stain on the toys, etc., The senses in your ears develop filters for fake cry, cry for attention, I am really hurt kind of real cry! We react accordingly based on the severity of the cry.
We kind of become invisible to people. The day I became a mother I ceased to exist as a person. I am mom and I got to do what I got to do. But somehow people do not see me the same way. I do not have to pee, or eat on time or don’t need 6-8 hours of sleep. I am not ME anymore, figuratively or literally.
Last and most important. We are healers. We have the magic hugs and healing lips and warm hearts. One hug from mom calms the most restless baby down. At least mine does. I just have to hold her real close to me and be calm myself and I see she settles down. Coupled with funny noises and distracting powers we turn the situation around! Viola, we have a happy giggling baby in 3 minutes straight!
So if any day you think you are not doing enough, know that you already are exceeding yourself and your expectation. Just keep at it.
I realise and may be you too, that I write too many posts around this subject. Not that it is a taboo but it is talked about a lot and not many do anything about it. I am talking about being fat and what we are doing to not be fat. Our media too has not been very motivating lately. From sharing tips on diet and exercise, we are moving towards ‘How it is okay to be fat’ OR ‘Fat is beautiful’. I am not contesting that. I think there should be no connection between the two. Whether fat or not, whether smiling or not, whether dressed up or not, being beautiful should not be subjected to any other thing.
While I dread being on the heavier side I realise I haven’t done much about it. Not that I have not tried, but I have given up too soon. I don’t want to let go the other side of me, that is the foodie side. Few seconds on lips and it is forever on hips. I hate the fact that I have to do so much extra to lose a kg or that I have to be guilty about every bite I take of a delicious cake. I do not remember the last time I ate guilt free.
Being a mother of a 9 month old is tough as it ever was, with a full time day job, life is pretty hectic and very dull at times. I find solace in food and then I wish I had made better choices with my meals. Why is that? Because I am fat. My google searches are full of foods that burn fat, 15 minutes work-out, then 10 minutes work out, then 5 minute work-out?? Sounds ridiculous to not have 5 minutes to myself to burn some fat.
I am genuinely fed-up. There is no discipline. There is a serious trade-off between good food (tasty food) and good health. I give a lot of importance to tasty food. I admire my little one who has a taste for bland food. I can’t get back to that but something needs to be done now. I am though, totally fed-up.
Love is simple. Said no one.
We give love, a lot of undue consideration for being all celestial and heavenly. It is in fact formed in our minds. We love some, we hate some. No cupid has any role to play here.
Have you ever come across a situation where you loved a person dearly and suddenly one day don’t feel the same about him/her? Could be a dear friend, a close relative or your life partner. People keep falling in and out of love and that is fine. We only forget that our minds perceive certain things and make us love or hate somethings or someone. If this was not the case then why some people you hate, have a friend circle?
There is a reality and there are things we think makes us happy, how certain people make us feel, how we see the world, and how we make ourselves feel. Everything is intertwined with the worldly truth. In all this, we will allow external forces to change our minds according to our needs and wants. We let our emotions affect by people and events, and let them influence our thought process.
Are we all not guilty of making decisions the way we are feeling currently? We do regret later because the decision had nothing to do with what you have been feeling. We do this to ourselves and most likely we do this to others.
Have you wondered why two different, perfectly good people fall apart? Being right or good doesn’t seem to be enough for people to fall and stay in love for long. Could it be because you did not love the person, you loved the idea of him or her? As humans we all need to feel secure, loved, pampered and handled with care. As long as the person does this for you, you love him. The moment he is a little aloof you start to not love him. Is it that simple? Well, no one wants to be alone so we stick around people and not keep changing the way we think about someone. It is not that simple. Loneliness can be very cruel. So we do stick around for a while whether we are in or not in love. Our mind tricks us to adjust our ways and do all we can to stick around. But for how long?
Change is only permanent. Things change. People change all the time. This is one fact everyone knows but when the time comes our mind plays with us and refuse to believe. We love the idea of this person and we do not want him or her to change. We loved the way he treated us, behaved with us. Change is a shrewd cousin of life. People change significant parts about themselves but the soul remains the same. There are little things about that person that will never change. And we fail to see it. Not our fault. Just a fact. Maybe, the person changes the way he or she approaches a problem. Maybe he was a real problem solver and now he is not or vice versa.
Am I being the devil’s advocate? No. You can’t avoid the change. The question here is till when will you love the person if he or she has changed. Because you are in love with the idea of him more than just him, it will be difficult to hang on. Therefore, first few months or years of a relationship is always good. It only becomes an effort in the later phases. It becomes a battle between your heart and brain and you fight hard to hang on no matter what the change in this person is. The time after the honeymoon phase is most challenging. Like I said before, it is okay to fall in and out of love. It is very natural. We make our decisions based on our perceptions and we also somehow impose it on the person who might not have a clue what you are going through.
There are two things here; change and our interpretation of the change. We cannot control the change but we can definitely work on our interpretation. No one is asking you to bend but make sure your current emotions are not affecting your perception. Best is to let things be. Nothing is permanent. Good or bad. Maybe, if you let it be, situation will change again and this time you will find it favourable. Thus, you will be able to love the person and not just the idea of him.
Just a last thought. We don’t know what the other person is thinking. Maybe you have changed too. Give him and yourself a benefit of doubt and don’t over – work it. You might then be able to stay in love forever.
Let me first clear the concept of feminism before I tell you why we need it. Lately, feminism has received bad press because most of us are misinformed regarding the very concept of feminism. Feminism is not about the women who hate men. Feminism does not even believe that women are superior to men. They also do not believe that they are victims of societal beliefs. In fact, feminism fights for equality more than any movement that fights for equality. It doesn’t matter what standards are set for females and males. Feminists never wanted to be treated differently but they wanted to be treated equally; as humans.
People have started talking about feminism in negative light. The general belief is that feminism is for females who want to live separately, raise their children on their own and wishes that men never exist. How misinformed or uninformed are we really? We have the most negative media on the face of earth. Denzel Washington once said, “If you don not read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you read the news papers you are misinformed.” In countries like Japan, USA, etc., no matter what the country is going through, on the first page of news paper, you’ll always find some good news. It could be a research, an innovation, a new relationship with some country or some kind of an achievement. Unlike them, our media finds the most depressing news and prints it on the very first page. Thanks to them, we have the most extreme version of feminism existing in this country.
I am not surprised that people are running anti-feminism campaigns. Women take extra effort so they are not called feminists. When we talk about empowering women, one automatically assumes that we need to take something away from men to give it to women. All that the feminists want to do is establish an ideology or practice where an individual is treated according to their strengths and not by their gender. FEMINISM is a bad word that no one wants to associate with. I don’t need feminism, women would say. Women are also empathetic about the gender biases against men. You’ll be surprised! So are feminists. You are demonizing the wrong group. Do we need feminism? I know the answer. But why?
Are you one of the people who think feminism is a matter of past and is not relevant in this era? Are we above all the discrimination that happens based on gender alone? Do we truly believe that we have eliminated the existence of patriarchal society? Even in MNCs today, I see a large number of women working and they are there because they are able. Still, the top chairs are filled by men. Why? Are we extremely able to handle work but not power? Look at politics. Is it not still dominated by men? Not just because they are able; just because they are men.
Growing up in a city and coming from a good family it is easy to take it granted that we have equal opportunities as our male counter parts. Parents, relatives, friends, in-laws, husbands are more than supportive of your talent, achievements and efforts. Also, thanks to all the feminists of the past, this has become possible. Doesn’t it become our responsibility to fight it out for women of next generation or women of this generation from some other parts of the world?
Have we eradicated the belief that a woman will obviously take husband’s name after marriage? Are we comfortable around a professionally successful 35 years old single woman living in the city alone? Are we comfortable with the fact that women like sex as much as men do? We still think women dress up for men. Also, women are made to feel ashamed if they are molested by some random stranger or even their family members. Do we still hear rape cases of 4 year olds, 6 year olds, even few months old baby? Do we still not hear that the woman demanded for divorce because the in-laws tortured her for dowry? It is a shame that many countries still do not have any laws against marital rape.
People are still killing girl child within 1 year of birth. And we thought infanticide was a social evil of the past against which a lot of revolutionaries fought. Thanks to people who killed generations of girl child, men do not have women to marry. It is not only India, a lot of other developing and third world countries are facing male female ratio imbalance. Because of this, crime against women is ever increasing.
These women did not have the voice to speak up. We are lucky that we do. Hence, feminism is still important. People who can, should speak against these evils and get rid of these practices forever. Many women from current generation and future generation need our voice. Some people do not feel that voicing their opinion will be useful and that is okay. As long as you know what is right and can help when needed, you do not have to be a part of ongoing campaign. In fact, if everyone knows what is right and do the right thing we do not need a movement. By right thing, I mean follow and understand the true essence of feminism. We will not have issue with any other human if we follow this.
If you are still asking me why do we need feminism, there’s your answer. The very fact that we are still asking this question, is why we need it!
Is someone you know a compulsive liar? Or a pathological one?
You may find the difference on the internet about compulsive vs pathological liar. Either ways, how do you feel when you are lied to? Finding out the difference between the two doesn’t seem to be the first thought in your mind.
There are people who lie about everything for their own interest. It could be to gain sympathy, hide their mistakes or simply to hide the truth about themselves. These people have less or no regard about anyone else. They do not think how it will affect someone when the truth is out. Long term practice of such kind of lying makes it their second nature.
Come to think of it, there is marginal difference between compulsive and a pathological liar. Both lie to serve their own interest and then it just becomes a habit. They are manipulative and more often than not self-centered. Let us keep you in focus at the moment. How do you feel when you come to know that you have been lied to? Some people feel foolish to have trusted the person. Some might feel taken advantage of and will not only lose faith in that person, but will hesitate to trust anyone. The victim of this constant lying develops a second nature as well. A nature to constantly doubt. Trust issues.
Well, some also feel the urge to get justice and all that one has lost while he/she was being lied to. Some go into inward thinking. How can I let someone fool me like this? Am I that dumb? Can I be deceived so easily? Who else has taken advantage of me? Don’t you lose faith in yourself because you let off your guard for someone and got stabbed royally?
Is it safe to say that even in this case, a victim of the lie is more affected than the liar himself? If this keeps happening over a period of time you lose a sense of security and it makes you weaker and obsessive about whether or not to trust people. A lot of negative thoughts creep into your head. You always live in a fear but you promise yourself that you will never fall for it again.
What do you do to find the culprit next time?
What should you avoid doing?
In the end, one should accept that they will be lied to at some point of time in life; by their own people or a stranger. A lot depends on how you deal with it. Like I said, the victim is more affected by the lie. Trust yourself first because a lie spreads like a wild fire while truth takes time to even generate a spark.
Few days back I bought a bigger shirt.
Since, the time I have gained back the few pounds I had lost, I refused to look at myself in the mirror. I have been putting it off for a while but I realised that you have to learn and accept who you are, or more importantly, who you have become. When you brush you hair in the morning you have to have a one on one with yourself. You can’t avoid. Even in that dim yellow light you do recognise yourself. I consider it a blessing that I have to get ready for the office in that dim light. The lesser I see of myself the better.
The bra-strap bites me. Every time it does, it reminds me that maybe it is because I am a couple of centimeter fatter today as compared to the day I bought the bra. Honestly, no one likes to be fat. Like no one wants to be short. As if it is some kind of flaw. It has taken me a lot to realise that these are only ways to describe us and no one is pointing out our flaws. If the entire world would have been fat, being thin would have been a flaw. It is not necessary for everyone to be tall and slender. Not everyone is supposed be same.
People who matter really see beyond your size. They see the person you are and not your appearance. In which case, it works as a mechanism that tells us who really care for us and who are not biased just because of the appearance. You be a good person, chances are you’ll always be a good person. But a thin person can become fat and vice versa. Every time I want to be thin, I tell myself that I am, in no way an obstacle, a disgrace or burden in anyway. I am smart, multi-talented and independent woman. And I want to do everything else right so that all that people have left to say about me in a negative light is that, ‘I am fat’.
I wonder why and how I decide on diet. If you ask me I start off really well. After few days it is so bad that I cry out for help. I do not want to do anything that jeopardizes my effort of full 3 days! Believe me, it gets pretty bad.
I keep falling off the wagon and get back on with a few scratches here and couple of bruises there. I learn my lesson and go back to where I started. I want to give up and be like a normal person. I don’t know why I climb on this diet wagon again.
Well, honestly it feels grand to be there. It makes you feel good about yourself. Even though you do not see real results in a couple of days, it makes you feel good about trying to do something for yourself. A friend says, ‘The key to diet is balance. Don’t starve yourself.’ I think, maybe she is right. The very next moment I get a tempting invitation from her to have a samosa or so. Yeah right babes! Balance is the key.
Sometimes you find a fellow soldier fighting the same war. Both of you are fighting the same damn battle, perennially. You know you are not alone. All the diet restrictions don’t make you feel all that left out. As enthusiastic as you sound at first, you know this is meant to be. Until, one day one of the soldiers wants to have biryani. And the other soldier is forced to surrender. Before you know you have submitted to one gulab jamun, one rasgulla, one pav bhaji, one pani puri, one egg curry, one jalebi ; you get the drift right? Your best mate becomes your worst enemy and you want to defeat him or her in a cross fire.
The biggest problem is, you exchange your most loved food with worst hated fruits and vegetables. My inner goddess, who is a foodie, starves for that one morsel of heavenly food meat. I apologize to her again and again, and tell her it is for my own good. That she will benefit from it someday, is my guarantee. I don’t think she is ever on my side. She sulks and says, ‘C’mon babes. One piece of chocolate won’t hurt’. I give in because I don’t like seeing anyone sulk so badly for food. Then one piece leads to another and before I know I have conquered the entire damned chocolate bar!
I feel pretty bad to get a head start at things and then back off with double the speed and vigor. What is that you say; consistency? I have heard about it. I think that is a myth too. One can’t think about being consistent about food. You eat when you are hungry. You eat when you feel like. Playing cricket well consistently, now that is a real thing. Consistency in matters of food is a sham! I would rather eat constantly than monitor every morsel consistently. No can do.
At times, I feel I am trying to get away from who I really am. Like they say, you are what you eat. Of course, I am not a fruit or vegetable. I am flesh and blood and meat. I am sweet and spicy. I am fatty and full of energy. My blood is not fruit juice and my skin is not cabbage peel. Thanks Instagram and Pinterest for telling me that banana smoothies are great detox. Thanks for showing me pictures of people who changed one eating habit and lost 50 pounds. Thanks but no thanks. If I am to follow these fads I will have to flush myself out of my own body.
I think my body has found a default setting for myself. I was never a thin kid anyway. I mean people feel uncomfortable around me if I lose any weight. As if it is the most unnatural thing they have seen; more unnatural than a dog opening the door by the door knob to enter the house. ‘Tu aise hi acchi lagti hai’ (Means, You look good the way you are). I kind of not like it too much when people say that, but in a way it is beyond just comforting. So, thank you people for saving me from having a low self-esteem.
Coming back to balance, I really don’t know what it is. Mom makes amazing masala dosas. I can’t say I will have 40 ounces or 200 calories worth of Masala dosa and a cup of green tea. No you don’t do that. It is outright rude and stupid. You hog till you can eat no more and drop on the bed and thank god and mom for feeding you. Food is a mix of physical and emotional need. You are satisfied only when you over eat one extra morsel.
And you know what? That is all.
I thought once upon a time, that I will learn to balance things, in terms of food. If anyone has already done that, I respect you guys. But it is exhausting to keep track of everything you eat. Even if you do, what is the point of it anyway? You are not a vehicle in which fuel is fed and it runs accordingly. You are humans. We have learned to appreciate good food by over eating it. We have also learned to spit out bad/stale food. It is as simple as that. The output of this fuel called good food is appreciation.
Oh what do I do about my weight now, you ask? There certainly will be a way to lose the extra kilos but I will never love myself the way I am if I try to do what I don’t believe. Even if I have fruit, I will do it because I enjoy an apple, an orange or a banana. Not eat melons because they are mostly water and helps you lose weight. No!
Balance for me is about knowing myself. I will do what makes me happy but not so much that it hurts me. I have never even once felt closer to being a ‘size 4 person’. I can’t relate to that. I will rather be a size 10 someday. Now that would be just amazing. I would rather have a larger than life attitude than have salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
So bite me! In celebration of this happy realization, I would throw the past away, far far away. I wish to have more liberating moments for me and for all my loved ones. You guys are a swell. I am at a happy place and soon, you’ll be too.
Note: All pictures are courtesy of Google images. None used in this blog is originally by me.
I had heard about this movie long time back but got to see it only now. Thanks to my bestie for planting the thought in my head. Usually I am not patient with slow movies but the stillness of this movie (what an irony,eh?) held my attention. The movie focuses on a normal garage mechanic, Naseeruddin Shah (Albert), who is very proud of his job. He takes pride in saying that his customers are actually his friends; he never calls them by salutations like ‘Sahib’. His other job in life is to fight with his, very patient I must say, girl friend, played by Shabana Azmi (Stella). She is a very sharp and smart girl and you will observe she is nothing less than a girl from today’s generation. I was surprised to see that a movie that was made in 1981 could portray a character that can fit in our daily life today.
Albert finds himself in the midst of a situation where his father is participating in the strike of ‘Greater Bombay Textile Strike’ and has a brother who goes to jail as he was held for robbing some warehouse. This is where it got very interesting for me. As a kid, growing up in a mill area in Lower Parel, I have heard so many stories of mills shutting down. One of the reasons why we moved out of there was because the crime rates were all time high due to unemployment. My father was scared for our lives. Of course, you see a very different picture of that place now. Back then, it was very unsustainable. As a five year old kid, I have a very vague memory of these stories but this movie brought it all alive. I could imagine the anger, frustration and irritability of the people gone on strike for bonus and better wage.
Did you guys know? The name Girgoan literally means ‘mill village’. Girni is mill. Once upon a time, this place employed a sizable number of people in the cotton mills. This place has seen strikes that lasted for one or two years. Today, corporate offices have popped up on this land. Billions of rupees have been invested and the place is buzzing and booming. Couple of years back I returned to this place as I landed a job there and I couldn’t recognise the place anymore. So many people get down at currey rd and chichpokli stations to reach their offices, located in Lower Parel, Worli and Girgoan. It is hard to believe that a couple of decades back 100,000 people might have faced unemployment on this very land.
The beauty of the movie is that it is very grounded. Good example of low budget, parallel cinema where the importance is more on putting the message across. This movie, the style of direction also reminds me of old serials like Wagle ki duniya, Nukkad. I sometimes get goosebumps when I think of those times. Why was the focus on Albert? Yes, he was angry all the time. With everyone. But he was always right. He made sense. He had his fears, he had his insecurities but he used to say the right thing. His inability to decide what to do with life other than repairing cars would also add to his frustration. He believed nothing good is possible in India but did not know what else to do. Kind of like most youngsters even today, right? His love for his hairstyle and dressing style helped him keep his sanity. Nothing else would make him happy. Everything, everybody made him angry. I must admit he is also the funniest character in this rather serious movie.
Having faced all this, his anger finds an appropriate target. He challenges the company management who have been trying to stop the strike with help of gundas. Only, in his capacity, all he could do was shout at the cinema screen where this particular message by the company manager was played. He attracted unpleasant reactions by other people in the cinema hall but he stayed true to what he believed and refused to keep quiet. This movie sympathised with people like Albert whose father was insulted in the strike. Thousands of young people might have gone through what Albert went through. It also sympathises with the mill workers, which I think is a very strong stand to take. The angst, the anger was justified. Isiliye Albert Pinto ko gussa aata hai!
Note: The role of Smita Patil (Joan) who played Albert’s sister and Sulbha Deshpande (Albert’s Mother) was rather peripheral but well done.
1. Use of word DIL 10 times in the song is compulsory. These days people are innovating by using ‘Rooh’, ‘Jaan’, ‘Heart’ etc.,
2. Use words like ‘Inteha’, ‘Intezaar’, ‘Ilteja’, ‘beshumar’, ‘khumar’ and ‘Pyar ’ in different combinations.
3. Use a nickname for the person ‘Saathiya’, ‘Piya’, ‘Mahiya’, ‘Sanam’, ‘Jane jigar’, Janam, Jane Tammanna (Last three one is very 90s), Meri Jind, Meri Jaan
4. Ask a question. ‘Mujhe tumse itna pyaar kyun hai’ or Tum ho kaha, main hoon yahan
5. Plead for an answer, ‘Tu mujhe bata dey na’ or ‘Koi toh samkhaye ise’
6. Convince the person that he is the one. She/He is all you could ever ask for. ‘Tu hi hai’, ‘Tu hi mera sab kuch’, ‘Tu hi hai mere DIL ki tamanna’.
7. And that you can’t live without him/her. ‘Na ji sakenge’, ‘Na reh sakenge’, ‘Tere siva yeh zindagi adhuri’
8. Or that you are restless when he/she is not around. ‘Bechain hai yeh DIL’, Bekarar karke hume yu na jayiye, Tere bin nahi lagta yeh DIL.
This formula is 5-6 decades old. And it still works…
Some Music directors have gone ahead and made new rules for all other genres. But I think for romantic songs we will stick to the basics for another 5 decades.
Disclaimer: All the thoughts are personal and original. Kindly don’t try to remake, recreate, restructure and improve it
Picture courtesy: (Unknown / Google)