Selfless or …?

First post of the year 2016!

A question to all the parents (especially mothers out there…) Have you at some point of time even for a minute thought…sigh wish I didn’t have that child of mine? Confession: I have…many times over!

I have wondered how life would be without A. I have wondered if he would be better off without me in his life. I wonder how life would be once he goes off to pursue his own in a few years. Wondering how it would be if he were living in a home which is perceived as normal by society…so on… All this sometimes just during reflection and most times during despair/exasperation (sometimes forced upon …).

So, does just thinking such things make one a bad mother? Does voicing this out to a friend amount to him being a burden on me? Suddenly, all the efforts I put into him being happy/healthy (the best I can at least given my circumstances) fizzles out! “Why don’t you send him back to his dad if you think he is so much of a burden?!” . Wow!! Really?

I stumbled on this post on the Onion :  Jessica Drexler mentions her kid is the second-most important thing in her life. Intrigued I read further and she ends saying “It’s mostly about you”.

That sort of thought would not be welcome here…. Mothers should be selfless, sacrificing! What is this talk about “me”?!?  It should always be kid first (or so I am given to understand….else the kid is a burden!)

Lesson learnt! Either put kids first or just don’t voice any idea otherwise 😀

This is a world of only façades….you must not display anything out of the norm. Everyone is and should be the ideal perceived person 🙂

In the wake of this revelation: I hereby declare….I am nothing without A. He is and always be my life, my breath and my all. I am a nobody and he is my be all & end all 🙂 There is nothing called self-love once you have a kid!

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Blessed

I am in Chennai and I am safe!! I say am blessed and so are we at home here. The area around our home was flooded but not our street alone!
My Experience:
December  1: By chance, I drove to work instead of taking the shuttle. Two of my friends came with me. The downpour had already started. A few of the places on the way were water logged. I had to take a particular road to get on to the highway, wherein I felt like I was steering a ship. Worried about the water around. Little did we know this was nothing! Reached office safe. After a few hours, many leads asked people to leave if they could. I ask mine & his response classic! (Did you ask the onsite manager you interact with? –  who happens to be in Chicago!). We manage to leave and two other girls ask to be dropped off on the way. Two of the girls worked out of another building. They were prevented from going out and had to sign release letters saying they were leaving on their own risk! We finally started. I was worried about getting the girls home safely! As I got out of our office, the water was flowing on the road like a river with huge rocks being carried. They were hitting the bottom of the car. After slow driving, we did reach the highway. I did manage to drop the girls off safely. Had I reached even five minutes later, I would not have been able to take the road home as I pass through a low bridge over a rivulet that flooded that early on and was closed! Blessing!! Miracle!! By then, there was no power at home. The UPS was on. My neighbour asked my father to get some ration from the nearby grocers before they close up. We did along with some basic veggies. [The grocer sold almost a month’s sale on that one day! Veggies were being sold at a premium as expected] By the time dinner was prepared, the UPS ran out and we plunged into darkness. The mobiles lost network.
December 2: Rain poured. No clue what was happening in the world outside. It kept pouring! We managed through the day rationing use of water wondering when the rains would stop and when the power will be back on.
Following days:  News started trickling in about flooding in various areas. I was worried about what I would do once water levels rise and if it entered our home. How do I manage my mum who is bedridden? What about my old father and A? I had an emergency bag with basic documents packed and ready. Was planning on how I will either take my mum upstairs or how I can get a boat if it comes to that…

Still no power, landline also got severed. So totally cut off now. Our street was still dry. We went back to stone age. Thanked the building contractor who insisted we have a well in the house. We drew water from it with a pulley. The water was soft & clear. So, we could boil and use it for drinking! Our neighbours also used the well thanking us! No mixer grinder, meaning we used the roller stone for grinding. Yeah the taste was better! :). Sweeping and mopping – no vacuum cleaner. Candle light & oil lamps lit our homes. We woke up early to get things done, went to bed early without needing to catch a program on TV or that last minute social media update. Dug out the old transistor radio and found that there were helplines being set up. The way people were being rescued. Neighbours told us about how badly nearby areas were affected. Milk being sold at exorbitant prices (Blessing again that our neighbour was a milkman and was still supplying the fresh cows milk as usual). We finally got to see and interact with each other on the street. Honestly, felt good to be away from technology (yeah people around were worried…still…back to old age was good)
Rains stopped for a while. I was standing out with my father & A talking to some people! I find a schoolmate riding on his scooter. He came all the way to check if we were alright at home as we could not be reached! Another friend came the next day when it was raining!!! Here I was thinking if I disappeared, no one would bat an eyelid! Hit me as to how grossly wrong I was!!!
Saturday early morning: power was restored.  Only my mobile came back to life (patchy though). Managed to send word that we are safe! Astounded by the number of people who were trying to find out if we were fine especially being in a badly affected area. Blessed is an understatement!!

December 6, Sunday: A turned 11. Low key! All his friends had left Chennai as their homes have been affected badly. One of his best friends sends a birthday message and calls in saying he is in Bangalore. A is thrilled to see the messages. It took a while for me to respond to all the queries of if I am alive! 🙂 . Realisation of how much we depend on the phones was sinking in (also how we did manage without them too!).

Slowly realised life was back to normal. By Tuesday Dec 8th, I was on my way to work on the office shuttle. Relief work still going on high steam in horribly affected areas.

Life goes on…. (another realisation. Not just for me who was hardly hit but even those who lost their homes.)

The autowala I use in the morning said he lived on the second floor but his auto was submerged and there was about two feet water above his auto. It took him almost a week to get the auto started and repaired to make it ready to get his livelihood. My maid said the water had reached the roof of her home & they were evacuated to a relief camp in a school. Simple things…she said she was given a saree, no blouse/ in skirt. She asks how do I wear the saree? A’s school is badly damaged – the library, the offices, the dining spaces, accounts department – pretty much everything on the ground floor all under water. My friend’s homes have been affected. This flooding has spared very few! Regardless of how rich or poor…

It saw people just pouring in to help. Mood was not why? but what can I do? even if it is in a small way – what do I do? Those who themselves were affected jumped in to make sure the city is back on it’s feet. No fanfare, no hey am busy doing so much…. Those who could be on the ground were there, those who were away coordinated with the givers, those in need and those who went to supply. It seemed to work as a well oiled machine. In most places now, it looks like life is back to normal. Relief work has moved to rehabilitation – people talking about how we can help for longer (& self) sustenance. That said I was just amazed at how from my friends to the autowala first inquired about how I was, how things were at home.

Yes, all this was not without hitches. There were instances of how goods provided were being sold in the black market. Instances of relief being done only for the show & name ( well we take them in cos they still do something! 🙂 ). Politicians failing (no surprises there).

Lessons learnt. Though we as a city have risen, with loads of help from outside, it is clear that we lack disaster management (keeping apart whether it was natural or man-made). All are worried about how we are going to manage epidemics, the garbage being collected with all homes being cleaned out. What next? What do we do? How can we help – really help? Relief work happened haphazardly. The army came in with no clue where to go. Volunteers poured in and reports of the same area being helped came in. People donating stuff without much thought into where and how it is going. All good yet lacking thought. Instant gratification is what we all are looking at. Finding people not wanting to wait and see what more needs to be done, some not even realising that we should move on from relief, find out what the government is going to do further (if they are as they are supposed to) so we can pitch in where it is not or help where it is needed.

This calamity has brought people together and hoping that it stays that way. People were being patient on the roads, without the incessant honking. Though, now as a sign of normalcy, they are back on.

Irked by those who want us to keep wallowing in the disaster. We are moving on and getting to semblance of normalcy while doing what we can to help those in need (without selfies, photos splashed on social media and any other fan fare…..). This comes along with us wanting to get into the festive mood of Christmas which comes along with giving that we are doing. So shoot us those of us who now appreciate more of what we have and could have while you supposedly play the messiah!! [Of course I am going to rant about the few who have managed to push me off the edge while appreciating the scores of people quietly being awesome. One bad apple!!] –Rant!! Sorry!

I told my grandma that now I believe in miracles. I believe I must live my life to the fullest while I can. Don’t know how long this will last before I am pushed into depression by something/someone!

I am thankful I am there for A [ this is a totally different reason not related the flooding, may be will write a post & may be not!]. I will strive to make him feel as happy as I can.

PS: Didn’t realise I was going to write such a long post and I still have another in mind!!
PPS: This is entirely my experience. It is not harrowing just felt like the rains would never stop. The shockers were meeting and hearing stories of how they were affected. Proud of how they just are looking ahead and don’t know if they are spiritual when they say, those are just stuff – we are alive!

Pointless

I am not even going to check how long it has been since I posted here. Heck I hardly even read my favourite bloggers’ posts regularly like I used to. 

Everything just seems pointless. No, I am not saying everything in life has no ups whatsoever. I have laughs with A. Precious time indeed. Moments of light hearted happiness with kid, parents, friends – just moments. I must also admit I am keeping to myself more these days. Being less of a botheration or intrusion to others around me. I even avoid people. Irony to think what I am scared of is loneliness. 🙂 Guess I am getting prepared to cherish how my life will be!

My phone network is aiding too. I have absolutely no reception when am at home so no phone calls, no texts. I must learn to switch off from Internet too to delve into being by myself. I have no clue who still read this space. I know some who do & even care – Laksh, Anonymouse. You feature on top of that list. Thanks for being patient!! Means a lot. 

 Saw this picture somewhere. Stealing it. Credit to whoever posted it first.  
What has happened since I posted last? I got off my project knowing I have no future  there. I have this absolutely amazing “luck” when it comes to managers in my workplace. Have got another which I start tomorrow. I have no hopes of moving forward there. I will do my best like I always have. I won’t be surprised if after years am still where I am. Expect the worst, and if something remotely good happens-it is great!! 🙂 I can see the forever optimists frown. Well I don’t even want to explain. 

I participated in a group Bharatanatyam performance 12 years after I danced last. I loved it – the prep, the performance. I was told by a few that I was the only one who was fat. Can’t say it didn’t hurt. I know I am fat but hearing it was harsh! I have done everything except surgery to lose weight … Anyways yes I am fat!! 

Have been battling ill health, injury too ( yeah hilarious that I hurt my knee while I fell down walking!! 🙂 )

I forgot!! Stop asking me if I am dating. I live in Chennai – have not bumped into anyone who wants to be in a relationship forget serious! Oh I do bump into many jerks!! (Another reason for me to start enjoying solitude). And no it is not easy to just pack my bags & move elsewhere!! I wish I could sometimes but no!! 

I am not blind to what I have. So I am definitely in no mood to hear how blessed I am. That would be as pointless as my life seems to me now :). Yes I am smiling as I type that statement!! I have done the exercise of picturing myself in wonderful places wishing the universe to conspire to make it happen. A lot!! So no it has not worked. Probably the secret/ universe has not been let in that it must work for souls like me too. 

I hope to make peace with the pointlessness of what my life is! Accept that life can never be “normal”. This is my normal – wondering if I would ever find what it means to live this existence. Someday and wish it is sooner than later. I wish I could say I hope it does not become worse than it already is… But the pessimist in me is in full swing. I have to expect & prepare for something worse. Don’t know what it is. Will keep you posted – the few readers I have. 🙂 I endeavour to bore you all as long as I can. 

Inclusion & Diversity….say what?!

Another office blog post being re-blogged. Written this morning September 20, 2013

Are we really living in an inclusive society? Are we open to being inclusive? How many of us really accept diversity?

India prides in “unity in diversity”. One who reads that would just say “yeah right!!” looking at the news in the media (or the way politicians behave…let’s leave that aside though). The United States prides on being the melting pot. One would definitely wonder about this after reading about the racist tweets on a brown skin winning Ms.America. These are just two of the examples. Is Apartheid really over? Are we all really that open?

I caught the local radio show this morning while driving (yes, but this is not another post on driving 🙂 ). There was this differently abled person who heads an organisation here in Chennai speaking about what she thinks is inclusion. Definitely food for thought. She said simply that they need to be part of the normal society – not be treated special, they too have the same emotions like any body else. Jokingly added not all “special” people are goody two shoes & there are those who just are not. She said people have to be sensitive not cautious or condescending.

Talking of inclusion, I do distinctly remember a conversation among a few friends. Two among us were expecting our first child. I was yet to find out the sex of the baby while the other knew she was having a boy. The guys were talking about living in the current society. We were in the USA then. Their statement “We don’t care who my son brings home – white, brown, yellow, black…whatever but he must bring home a girl!”. I was left quite flabbergasted. These were supposedly educated people. I asked them what if he did bring home a guy? Would you ostracise him? Will you love him any less as your son? They did not answer. May be they just were afraid to face my wrath & the debate that would ensue if they said what they were actually thinking.

I honestly don’t know how I can change our society – to make it more open, truly inclusive. I do promise to not be prejudiced. I guess in this way I must say we must be inclusive of people who are closed in their thoughts too – right?! 🙂

This is one random flow of thoughts on the topic- well that is sometimes (ok most of the times) that my brain works.

Anyways, the morning talk show was to promote the Ability Fest organised by the Ability Foundation.

Ability_Fest_2013_poster_sep2013

Those in Chennai can catch this film festival which screens movies next week (September 23-26) from around the world that depict the differently-abled in a sensitive manner. It includes movies like the French Intouchables, Tamil Haridas (with audio description for blind people), Iranian movies and more….

The foundation hopes to help increase sensitivity and make people understand true inclusion through such festivals.  I have been blessed to have met some of the Ability Clan. (They have their visiting cards with one side in Braille – said it is very simple & not expensive either….there is inclusion for you!). They do have workshops to see how well your office/home is diabled friendly (was surprised on how even the display board colouring can make a huge difference to people who are partially blind.)

Hope we can join together and truly build an inclusive society (not just for the differently abled/ LGBT but truly be cross-cultural…. sounds too utopian?! )

What do you want?

Confusion

What do you want?

This is a question I have been & am being asked a lot.

I found this link when I googled the question! (Yeah I googled it to see if I can find some answer!!)

There are quite a few things that I resonate with. I am not too Zen kind of a person….

So…what do I want?! (From that list in random…)

  1. to have some clarity of mind;
  2. to be in the ocean of love and wisdom;
  3. to feel connected and not separated and lost would change my life;
  4. to stop searching answers to unanswerable questions and just live;
  5. it would drastically change my life having a clear objective and a clear way of pursuing it;
  6. to be intimate and less afraid;
  7. to have peace of mind;
  8. to be free from worry and fear
  9. to have silence in my head;
  10. to turn off that inner voice always talking;
  11. to get rid of unwanted negative thoughts;
  12. to stop judging my thoughts;
  13. to be able to find fulfillment in my career.
  14. to feel more free, and that my many, many obligations would not be an obstacle to feel free.
  15. to know that what I’m doing is worthwhile – raising kids (well A in my case), the work I do, the way I live my life and interact with people

Wow!! That is quite a list right?! Well…. This exercise has just left me thinking that I clearly don’t know what I want or this is too general a list?!? I think these are things that most people want and are in pursuit of.

I just know that I still quite don’t know what I want! All I want is that I don’t make any mistakes that will affect my child in any wrong way!!! If God exists, just give this to me!! He has had enough trauma in this short time to last him a lifetime. He deserves happiness, a carefree childhood. I want that!

That is my train of thought. I think I am insane!!!!

Freedom!

I have written about how compulsive I am when it comes to phone calls or messages. I don’t ignore any of them. I would rather pick up & give a piece of my mind than let the call go. So one can imagine how much a part of my life my dear mobile phone has become.

It has made me feel less lonely (theoretically someone is just a phone call away). I think I have ranted enough of how people don’t have the etiquette to return calls/messages or just pick up the phone and call. So will spare my readers that….

I resisted adding an internet package to my phone saying I don’t want to get addicted to being online all the time. Well, I buckled and did that too! I jumped from one fruit to another and back. I love my gadgets (another known fact now to most of those friends who still visit this space).

So, why do I feel free? I was not talking about me being single now… 😉 Yes, my phone broke down. I have an iPhone5 now. It just keeps searching for my mobile network. Everything else works fine. I know am going to hear look you spent so much on a phone that just breaks down and all that crap (excuse my language…). No…I wish I would get freedom from that kind of attitude but hey everyone is entitled to an opinion!! 😀

I felt I would miss my phone like crazy! I did for say an hour. I went for offense is the best form of defense & before anyone could ask, I ended up saying oh my phone is not working saga!! In reality though, I just have this sense of how do I put it? relief?!

I hardly get one or two calls a day. I keep in touch with a couple of friends on whatsapp. Otherwise, I nowadays just seem to use the phone to check facebook, tweet or play games (getting addicted to temple run2). So, it seemed fine that I was not accessible. Don’t think anyone even would have noticed!! LOL!!

Nah, not giving up on my phone entirely. Hope it gets fixed. Fingers crossed but then I realised I am not addicted to it either. I can live without my phone and I am surviving. It really is no big deal. I can feel free…nothing to carry, no need to wonder if there is enough charge, spam texts not bothering me.

On my usual self analytic note, I guess once I accept that I have to live my life alone; it really might end up with me feeling free?! I probably will survive my ending up dead alone!! wow!! that is one oxymoron!! 🙂 I should just start telling myself it is that simple stupid!!

PS: For the very few (1 or 2) if you do read this space, I will be back to troubling you once my phone is set right!! No freedom for you!!

Conflicting…

How many of us have been told …hey look and learn from that person? How much has he/she scored in some test or look at how well she/he does things? Keeping up with the Joneses has been a concept everywhere. Some time or other, we certainly have been told to be better. Look at people who are better to strive to be that way. We have been tuned to want better stuff in life. Appraisal time at work, ratings amongst peer group – obviously we all want to be above peer group. Everywhere we have to do more than we did or someone else did.

Now where is the conflict?

I am talking only about how the situation is with me. I do wonder if it is the same with others out there. When I feel down & think of my life – am told hey look, there is this person who is struggling to just get a meal a day. There is that person desperate to have a child. Count your blessings. You have a job, a kid, a roof above your head, etc etc….

So, when at that time I snap and say why must I not want more. Why must I not want a proper family (as in a dad for my child)? A house I own? or a job where I learn, improve & earn? I am told I am insensitive.

My question is when do have to stop wanting to be better? When should one stop trying and disregard the try, try till you succeed saying?

Even all those proverbs are conflicting…one can use whatever depending on which side they want to speak on

Knowledge is power vs. Ignorance is bliss
Absence makes the heart grow fonder vs. Out of sight, out of mind
Nothing ventured, nothing gained vs. Better safe than sorry….

The list goes on.

Do I keep thinking that life will get better? Or do I just say, fine I am blessed to be alive & accept the way things are?

Guess the cliché “time will tell” is what I will be told. I guess it will be way too late & my life will be over when time does tell….I do think that my life is already over when I hear of how I must be just satisfied with what I am blessed with!! Wonder if I ever will be wise/mature enough to understand when I must want to strive to be better & when I must sit back/ relax?!