Category Archives: parenting

Travel Thoughts

Post my trip to Kolkatta, my confidence in my travel skils has improved. I am thrilled too at the experience of awesome hospitality and great fish, delightful conversations and the sight of the most quintessentially beautiful bengali bride I have ever seen and her loving, deeply caring parents and their love for eachother.

My heart aches with tenderness at such sight. I look away and think of a daughter back home and of her wedding someday. It breaks my heart to think of it but time has its way and one cannot stall events in life.

When my daughter talks of her trip back to the hostel or for work now, I struggle to hold myself. In a rush, my mind schemes of finding company and not living in a sense of delirious loneliness… which is an exaggeration for seriously, I have been working at solitude and have even learnt to enjoy the phase as it comes.

I think so at least and that is when the thought of travel appeals to me again.

Of packing bags and going off for the sake of going, that must be something.

My travels have been utilitarian so far, there has been a purpose- to meet someone, visit parents, drop someone, learn something, but the travel that is truly enchanting is the one that is for its own sake… that requires a hell lot of courage but I seem to be getting there, so I think.

I am reading ‘Road to Nara’ and about Narayan’s constant travel and am deeply inspired, nay pulled to do something of the same.

A few years ago, when I had still not sold off my car, I had suggested to my daughter that we go on a road trip, mother and daughter and she had little confidence in me perhaps, so she shrugged and said, ‘you real crazy! aren’t you?’

But it does look like the universe is calling me to the road or the road to me because, every single friend of mine that I happen to connect to these days has to compulsorily say, ‘Listen, we will go for a trip ok. You and I, hmm..maybe we will take our kids….maybe not, how about that?’ and I just smile.

I am constantly surprised by the universe who seem to think ahead and bring about new possibilities, at least in suggestions, things I would not have even thought about, but ever since I learned to trust her infinite wisdom, I am merely her humble vassal.

Thathastu to great travels and great living now and forevermore!

Mamapazha Pulissery in Bangalore

I am still heady over the three month break in the quaint little place called varandharappilly, in Thrissur, Kerala, in a beautiful home rich with veggies of all kinds that the Bangalore weather still not getting to me with its rains and dampness nor are the roads hitting the wrong keys.

My refrigerator is still glossing in pride over its latest abundance of mango delights – pickles of all kinds, salted mango and mango mix for a quick curry, the jack fruit jam, the banana jam that it has an air of conceit around it.

I pick up a few ripe and boiled mango preserved cleverly by my amma from the stuffed refrigerator and heat it in a pan of water. To this I add some turmeric, chilli powder and salt and a piece of jaggery and let it boil to its hearts content.

In the meanwhile I pick up a coconut waiting for self realization and slice up its kernel and toss it into mixer jar. To give it some company I add some good amount of curd, two green chillies and some jeera or cumin seeds.

To the happy boiling mango on the gas stove I pour this mixture which is a now a fine paste, and add a pinch of turmeric and check the taste.

Into another pan, I pour a teaspoon of coconut oil and once it is heated I add some mustard seeds, 2 whole chillies, some curry leaves and now pour the seasoning on to the boiled mango curry now rich with coconut paste and the result is heavenly to say the least.

I thank my mother for her wisdom and effort and my daughter for her appreciation of a good home cooked meal and we crunch our pappadoms, add some fine mango pickle and bite into salted chillies fried freshly and smile.

Isn’t it a good life after all?

Give your girl a goal

Give your girl a goal

to standup and speak out

remind her that she is better than the best

the man in her life is not her only world

nor her children her only pride

hold her hand and teach her to walk

build her strength to face the strife

ask her to step up and step out

the narrow confines of domestication

the walls that impede and crush

her self, her dreams and her aspiration

tell her to take pride in how she looks

beyond the colour and the shape

there is a soul that beams brighter than the skies

arm her to dress well in smiles

be swift and sure in her moves

give her a heart of steel

nourish the fire in her belly

let no dark cloud dampen her spirit

tell her the universe roots for her.

she’s but a soul housed in a body

her being is divine and her strength infinite

ambition was never a curse nor shame

nor courage a thing to hide

strength of the body, soul and the spirit

are things to showcase and be proud of

step back and watch her grow

and then you know you have done your best.

Out of a time capsule

The all consuming role of a mother so entranced me that I had no clue of a world outside for over 2 decades. Life went by swiftly and I woke up with a shock and a surprise when I saw my lil girl all packed and ready to move.

Oh! dear me! what am I to do now? My heart cried out when my bestest pal and the only one on the planet sought permission to move ahead in life. I struggled to keep calm and maintain my composure as tornadoes broke out swinging my heart like a pendulum. I lost appetite. I imagined worst diseases that awaited me. In fact I decided to be a renunciate and move out of the city to the calm of a faraway ashram. What is there in life any more? The purpose of living is now moving out.

Strange but true, I hit the rock bottom from the happy space I had found myself in but I worked on myself continuously. When an incurable sudden pain appeared on my left arm, I realized it is nothing but manifestation of my emotional baggage.

I decided to look around and reconnect to people, colleagues beyond the so called utilitarian purposes, it was difficult and it still is, for a recluse like me to step out of my comfort zone but I did and took some chances on the way.

The experiences have been mixed and I am navigating a new territory yet the learning has been immense. I discovered world anew, changes I had not noticed, people who I did not know existed. The trepidation is still there, the fear or the doubt and the hesitation but there is also a willingness to understand and not to distrust at the first instance.

Mostly I look at my parents and learn resilience everyday. I find what power good intentions and a good heart can bring to lives, theirs and to those who they interact with.

As I start my research work and connect to new people and listen to them and make notes, the universe seems to have stitched the threads of all goals into one, seamlessly, by connecting faraway dots and allowing me to watch new patterns emerge.

I look on in wonderment and hope, eager for a brighter morrow and hear its approaching footsteps.

Sorry doc,I gonna do the Google search!

A few months ago, my teenager had a sprain and some swelling on her feet. I went to the local trusted physician for a check up. The gentleman doctor advised rest but also raised a panic alarm when he pronounced the name of the said ailment that I almost fell off from my seat. With high anxiety and rising sense of helplessness, I reached the medical shop and asked for the tablets.

The girl at the counter informed that the prescribed medicine was not available. ‘Give me for today’, I insisted. ‘No, mam, it is steroids. So it is better that you take the entire course. I will get it for you by tomorrow’.

‘Steroid’!!!, I staggered and walked away in silence.

We went home. I called up my mother and reported the events of the day.

As usual my mother in her rather nonchalant manner advised, ‘ Heat up some water. Put some salt into it. Ask her to dip her feet in the salt water. After some time, tie that crepe bandage and keep the feet elevated. She will be fine in some time.’

I realized my tensions literally vanishing and I heaved a sigh of relief as the real doc has pronounced that ‘all iizz welllll’ 🙂

What would I do without this wonder woman?!!!! Seriously!!!

Next day, I went to another expert that my physician had recommended and sat waiting in trepidation for words of more wisdom. The smiling lady said, ‘it is nothing actually, ask her to rest completely. Send me pics of her feet and if things don’t improve, we will see.’

Surely enough, my teenager was back to her bubbly self and I regained my peace and calm.

Yes, I know that not all doctors are to be blamed and not every time. Yet when doctors prescribe steroids as easy to take medicines, you do wonder.

In another instance this week, I chatted up with a friend after a long time. She told me of her inability to join me as she was suffering from excessive bleeding during menstruation. As is the normal practice, she went for a checkup. The doctor told her that she has to get her uterus removed and advised her, almost insisted that she get herself admitted immediately for the operation.

In fact, one of the nurses callously commented, ‘Why do you need a uterus anymore?’

Agitated,appalled and terribly disillusioned the family decided to go for a second opinion and called back home in Kerala. The family physician in Kerala advised that she should at no cost remove the uterus. She was warned of further complications if it was done.

Said my friend, ‘I will take it slow. I know that my body will heal and with the right treatment, I will be back and bouncing’.

With good folks around, happy friends and a happier family, what can not be healed after all?

‘And a treat is in order’, I reminded her.

A doctor has put up a sign,’ Don’t confuse your google search with my research!’

Fair enough! but we can still use our brains, right!