Festivals and new clothes..

One of the biggest excitements of our childhood days for the arrival of any festival was getting new clothes. Most of us from our generation had a pretty simple life where we got new clothes only on our birthday and the major festival of that community. Durga Pujo for me was wearing those new clothes that my mom would have bought months ahead, nothing fancy, not branded, yet gave immense happiness. With limited money, I wonder how she managed to buy everything for everyone!
Now with online shopping and better buying capacity, kids or even adults don’t have to wait for any occasion to buy new clothes or gifts. So, somewhere that association of new clothes with festivals is not there any more. My kids are actually surprised to hear about “pujo shopping” as for them shopping is done throughout the year!
For us association of new clothes with festivals, outings, eating out was something else..

Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors..

Recently, I came across a video by Nandita Das and many other actors depicting the obsession with fairness in our country.  It felt good that at least people are trying to break this obsession, but deep down we all know that it will take ages to change this mindset.

Now, let’s come to one more issue that I have personally faced, shaming the short and the chubby.  Yes..I have faced it a lot, in my growing up years.  A society where there are set standards of beauty generally looks down up someone, especially girls, who don’t fit in that bracket.

Just take a look around.  All the beauty pageants want the contestants to be of a certain height, clear/fair complexion, slim figure.  Same is the case with air hostess selection or even in the “marriage market.”  Someone who fits in this standard of beauty has also an upper hand in school plays, jobs, and sometimes even in friendships.

Now who will decide what’s beautiful?  When someone tells me “Thank God your kids have taken after their dad and are tall” it makes me ponder, “Is being short a crime?”  I have myself faced so much of flak for being chubby that I had promised myself that I will never allow my children to face this flak.  Of course, I wanted them to be fit and be active, but more than that I did not want them to be ridiculed socially or be made fun of.

It took me years to be happy in my own skin, to be confident.  But somewhere the childhood scars still remain deep down.  It’s very important that the families teach their kids to be confident in their own skin and love themselves the way they are rather than trying to make them fairer, taller or prettier.  Also, adults themselves should stop commenting and obsessing about all the so-called stereotypes of beauty and pass this trait to their children.

As I always remark, “It seems the mannequins in the shops weren’t designed for people like us.”  Let the concept and notion of beauty change.  It’s high time..

All good..

Sending mail to the client, giving instruction to the cook what to make, simultaneously ordering from Bigbasket, yelling at the son to study, making a mental to-do list, checking WhatsApp messages in between, writing blogs, calling up my mom, giving life lessons to the adolescent daughter, nagging the not-so-young husband, making failing efforts to catch up with friends, trying to combat the aches and pains with a smile..
 
Phir koi pooche to I say with a smile “All good”..Sounds familiar?

Raise daughters as humans and not as Laxmi or Durga

This is specially for our daughters and I am sure we all are doing this now. Do not tell them that the happiness and honor of the family rides on them. Do not tell them that they are the “bridge” of the family and relations. Do not teach them to quietly sacrifice everything and then later resent or repent. Do not tell them to prioritize their happiness and health the least. Ask them to be vocal about their problems, their dreams, their desires.
Day in and day out I read and I see women being sad, depressed, resentful because no one appreciates their sacrifices or the fact that they are trying to make everyone happy yet no one is happy with her. Unrealistic expectations from women is the reason of all the sorrow. No we are not raising “Laxmi” or “Durga”, we are raising humans and let the daughters be just that.

Savor the little joys of life..

What is happiness, the little joys of life:

Planning a holiday with your family
Awaiting the arrival of an Amazon delivery
Looking at your teen smile to the mobile
Listening to the calls of the hubby animatedly for a while

Asking your much taller daughter to fetch the container high on the shelf where you can’t reach anymore
Looking at your mom’s smiling photo with her friend meeting after yore
Cracking a deal you have been waiting for long
Getting nostalgic listening to the school-time song

Attending a session or a meet with women from all walks of life
Where they laugh and giggle like schoolgirls, leaving behind the tag of mom and wife
The bear hug from the son, the silly jokes with the daughter, the mock banter with the hubby
Eating that favorite chocolate, writing a heartfelt blog, or pursuing an old hobby

Life throws multiple reasons to be sad, unhappy and worry
Just sometimes savor the happiness in those small moments
Don’t rush, don’t sulk, don’t be in a hurry..

My biggest achievement in life

I have been working from home since the time my son was 9 months old. The work-from-home journey has not been easy at all. There have been times when the money has been more, sometimes less, sometimes nil. I had to take breaks in between due to health issues or job dissatisfaction or kids being small.

This month after many months I got a good amount, not a great one but good one. I was happy and shared it with my son this morning. His tall frame took my short frame in his embrace and said, “That’s really awesome Maa! Keep it up.” I said, “But baby, I have a long way to go. Hope to earn even better.” He said, “It will happen Maa. Somewhere the journey has started. It will fall in place soon.”

Its an indescribable feeling when the child whom you have nurtured and motivated at every juncture of life gives you the motivation and strength.

Yes..being a mother has been the biggest achievement of my life and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Nothing compares to you

While raising the two little children, there were days when I would tell my husband, “I can’t do it anymore. I want to quit.” I let go off many opportunities that came my way. There were times when I had to stay strong while I was crumbling from inside looking at my injured or bullied child. There have been days when I cried with guilt after my kids slept as I felt I had been hard on them a tad too much. There have been difficult days where I had to wake up feeling unwell but had to take care of my little children.

But I can never be thankful enough to have such wonderful children in my life who love me with all my flaws. They take care of me, understand my emotions, handle my PMS, my arthritis pains, and hug my small frame with their tall frames leaning on me. Every pain, every tear, every guilt is worth this love..