Recently came across some beautiful illustrations by Soosh, and this one is my absolute favourite.
you can find more of her amazing work at http://vskafandre.com/app/#/home
I spent my childhood in a small town of Arunachal Pradesh. Life was different in there! Happiness was not a concept! I felt it in me, day in and day out. And there was a special love-affair that I had with my father.
Sudden and long power-cuts used to call for “extreme joy” ( for me at least) as that was our time for the great hand puppet show. With the glimmering light of a candle kept at a distance, I, with my father formed all sorts of animals and birds on the walls! They looked so real to me. He would whistle tunes of songs and asked me to guess the names..I did a great job there, just that, could never catch up with his whistling skills.
I was very mindful about my time with my Dad. Few things were customary for us to do together!
Who goes to the post office with him?
Who accompanies him to the bank?
No one else washes his car with him.
Who taught me how to check if the eggplant that you were buying from the market had worms ?!
What do you do, every year, in December?
“Go to the card shop with my father and buy greeting cards for friends and family”
And a slightest of change in the pattern would break my heart!
I picked up a lot of things from my father…all good ,bad and ugly. Some things that I am thankful and proud of. I have always seen him, trying, before saying- ” No, I can’t or It’s not possible”. He tried, and tried again. And most of the times it was a triumphant victory.
I try to follow suit and repeat, “Never say never!” And with time, I have realized, it indeed makes your journey a little easier to walk with this thought or belief!
With all the love and mush also came tough punishments. Poor scores (always, always in Maths) would call for heavy scolding and not talking. I used to be extremely sad with this ‘no-talking’ business. But that never helped me in going beyond the dislike towards the subject and study harder! So, the scores were pretty much consistent and also the silence from time to time.
P.S:Physics and Chemistry were the other two super villains of that time, but definitely after the Messy-Maths!
We broke our hush by writing letters to each other…which turned into sophisticated emails, with time. We poured our hearts out there. And slowly it became very awkward to not run for a bone-crushing hug. Definitely we missed each other soooooo much.
My father had (still has) a black notebook in which he wrote things that interested him. He also added some interesting recipes in it… Paneer bahaar, Kebabs, Rezala and Paratha, Momos, Kadhai chicken (I, at least know the names by heart).
Every time, we expected guests at home (almost every weekend), I saw him open that book and read out loud the ingredients to our help, who would help him in the prep-work. And, I would intently watch the entire show and soak in the aroma of the lovely spices. For Mutton Roganjosh, he would stand still, right in front of the pot and add milk to the meat with a tablespoon, one at a time. He would follow the recipe impeccably. And he would give it a final stir and say, “Fatafati hoeche, bujhli” (It has come out awesomely, you know). And that twinkle in his eyes *hearts*
My father lost his dad, when he was just 3 months old. He has always told me, how he saw other’s fathers and had an image of a perfect father in his mind. He tried his best to be that PERFECT father for us. And he surely did a good job.
A beautiful movie, a soulful song, a good read…I can only think of my Dad as one of my best partners, when we both have our share of good cry, a mad laugh, a clown-like act, a serious face, a dirty fight, a super ego clash, a silent sob, a loud call….Babaaaaa 🙂
The person who helped me know my knees, who treated me as his special baby and at times…became a child himself, who is trustful, heroic yet a pile of Love…I call him my Father. All I know is, wherever I end up in life, not a bit is going to change between us.
I was planning to sit down and start writing for a long, long time now. And like always, there was something that kept me away from this one. Even now, I feel my tired eyes need their well deserved rest..and here I go and hit the bed..hoping to bring myself together, once again and write..may be tomorrow, may be some day. Good night!
This is some 4 months after I intended to write a post. With an ever growing toddler in the house, it is quite difficult to make some time for…well…
A ‘Me’ Time – most importantly with a sharp and ready to work MIND of your own. Because if you fail to achieve that state, next thing what you do is, take a nap by his side.
Work on a Computer, at the same time, try and keep your baby off it. No Screens, you see!
Strive for some inner peace- in between- flu shots, appetite slump, UTI checks, ‘NO’ commands, struggles to make sense of your child’s needs when he goes…aaanhh…atttaaa…tadaaa…bab…ajiii…!
I was never a regular writer here, though. But, I always had these mind scribbles that I wanted to store somewhere. And they say, it is also a good idea to keep your sanity in one place.
So, before I begin a new journey of my doodles, let me quickly do a recap of last two years of my sabbatical.
I became a Mother of a beautiful baby boy- Mr. Toe ( my friend gave this name to my son and now, I feel I should use this here- more like an e-name!). Now, that pretty much explains about nine months,straight. But, for me, it went a little more than the ususal calculated time, you know! With my very active foetus in my uterus, there grew a fat and mammoth being, named- Obelix. (Scientific name: Fibroid). Yes yes, we are Asterix fans.
So, everyday, there was this quintessential fight between Mr. Toe and Obelix over Food And Water, (read nutrition and blood). And, all I was supposed to do was keep calm, take power-ups (progesterone shots), eat good amount of protein, iron and other right stuff and wait! I was told by my green-eyed Gynaec, (read good looking and other relevant adjectives) to put my feet up- that actually sounded great, but soon it turned out to be very boring and tiring!
My system soon started to misbehave and went haywire. Obelix became obese and with additional weight of Mr.Toe, all on one poor Uterus, my body like a fool prepared itself for a very early delivery rewarding me with a wrenching pain, like I felt my pelvis was tearing apart! ( Symphysis pubis dysfunction). This was as early as just 17 weeks of my pregnancy.
Now, suddenly one fine day, Obelix felt all unattended and just to grab the limelight- went into a phenomenal changing process, with a very fancy name- Red Degeneration. While I was rushed to the hospital after a long excruciating pain ( over 36 hours), my doctor ( I could barely feel his charm that day) moved the transducer up and down my lower abdomen to show us that Mr.Toe has been keeping all well- despite of all the Red, Blue , Green done by the Obelix, and in few seconds we all breathed a sigh of relief as Toe took a somersault to kick the Obelix hard! ( We actually saw that on the monitor!).
The next moment, the nurse was shoving pain killers and antibiotics up my vein to calm my system down. Now, this is fairly hazy, but yes, it was sometime around then when I felt that all the unceasing pain, I was living with was a part of me. A standard, normal being. I stopped fighting it and accepted it with all my heart. And that is what people around me advised me to do. I asked myself to do the same.
I became flat. Like a millpond. Toneless.
I started seeing my days pass by in front of me. Mornings, day times, ouch, pain, noons, evenings,excruciating pain, some more pain, more, nights, mid nights, pain! But, flat, numb. I could feel my baby kick me…I counted them. But they were just some strikes! They were not enough to nudge my emotions.
And then, on 30th of May, 2015, late in the night I was wheeled to the hospital for an emergency C-section. Half past mid night I heard a croaking sound along with a visual of a tiny baby and the faint voice of my good looking doctor came into my ears,” So, Shaonli. It’s a Boy”. All I did was..close my eyes. (And my mind must have said, so what…now, leave me alone).
It wasn’t “The happiest moment of my life”…I DID NOT forget all my pain after seeing my baby…There wasn’t any tear of happiness. I proved all the mush written in some baby books and shown in movies- WRONG. But, how was that possible to not feel attracted to your newborn child? So, not correct..is what I thought.
I started lactating after 48 hours! No big deal. Feeding marathons. A crying creature was brought to me, whenever he felt hungry and the moment he was full- was taken away for burps and blahs! And he came back in next 1.5 hrs again.
The morning sunshine burnt my eyes, I did not like it. Still don’t. I used to draw my room’s curtains and be with the baby. I couldn’t nap with my son and stayed up. And things got worse. Another one- “Sleep when your baby sleeps”. Sorry, doesn’t happen with me.I tried hard. I was exhausted, anxious, weak and vulnerable. And a pile of numbness. I was dying to feel that profound love towards my son. I was dying to feel at least something. No luck. All I felt was empty and wasted.
I was missing out on the first smile, the first gurgle, and the many firsts of my child! I was diagnosed to have postpartum depression and anxiety. Very common you know. All you have to do is, talk it out, pop some pills may be, think happy thoughts and you will be back in say 6-7 months! Not always. NOT ALWAYS.
So, I was prescribed a solid dose of Setraline (a form of SSRI…umm..an antidepressant) to control my symptoms of depression. Not just that. I could not feed my baby for 6 hours after having it! Some more GUILT? Why not? Now, that a baby can thrive on formula and the mother needs to be healthy for the well being of her child- these theories do not really get into the brain of the person suffering from PPD/PPA, so easily. Trust me.
To add to my ordeal, I was hit by Insomnia, wherein I did have enough time to sleep in between the feeds and other stuff, but I could not sleep at all. It was tremendously draining. My eyes were tired and my body wanted to give up- and NO SLEEP. I was advised to pop up a pill before bedtime, send my baby to a different room for the night (anyway I was not supposed to feed him for 6 hours straight) and wait! I was in a weird half-baked situation. I was emotionally numb, yet a plethora of sadness…I desperately wanted to sleep, yet sending my baby off to a different room made my heart sink. Initially, I would wake up in the middle of the night, on a wet sheet-wet by my breast milk! Well the foolish Oxytocin did not understand the sudden change in feed schedule! (a break of 6 hrs)….But it did settle down quickly!
P.S: Mr. Toe was on formula for the night and rounds of questioning (by family and random people) as of why was I putting him on formula when I produced enough milk…that’s another story! A bag full of self-condemnation.
I started going for my therapies. A diaper bag, pumped breast milk, a nanny, my father or mother OR Both, and Tiny-Toe (all of 2.5 months) followed me. I told my psychologist that I felt as if I was looking through a screen. My vision was Foggy and Cloudy (And it still is!!). My therapist told me, it was a common symptom of depression and is called Derealization/Depersonalisation. Whaaa? Common? Who feels foggy and has a blurred eyesight despite of having an all clear report to an eye test! And what about “the” part where you feel you are living out your body, everything seems to be unreal – like a dream. “It is termed as Depersonalisation, dear”- said Priyanka, my beautiful therapist.
With time, I stopped spotting myself as the person I was, instead my being became synonymous to the symptoms I experienced!
My little Toe started growing up just too fast. And each morning I used to get so exhausted even before starting my day with him. I read to him, sang songs, gave him a bath but everything was so superficial. That is not me! Everytime I had to pinch myself to feel real or splash ice cold water on my face to feel grounded. And there, right in front my eyes, my baby turned one.
I took tons of pictures to keep the memories alive and whenever I get time I flip through them. They make me smile. Again, memory is an issue here. Something I just did this morning feels like- has been done almost a week back! Yes, it’s that edgy and bad.
So, we had a Jungle Theme party for our Big boy on his first birthday. And we completed 12 months, together! With medication, crazy feeding times, therapies, burps, immunizations, colic pains, brain fog, afternoon naps, lullabies, anxiety attacks, introducing solids….It all went in a jiffy.
I know, it is going to take some time for me to heal. I know I have to see the pictures and catch up on my son’s growing up for a while. I know it is not going to be easy. I know I will give up and get up to try again. But, I would remind myself again and again that my illness, my symptoms are not going to change who I am. I am the same zealous girl I used to be who always believed in trying and trying again….who always loved with all her heart and cried like a baby. Yes, it’s little misty in here but that is going to lift and get better.
Note: Finally finished this piece and my son just turned 19 months!
Four tiny paws, one super shiny – damp nose, two long pendulous ears and a pair of deep set eyes. Phuchka, a year and 3 months old Cocker Spaniel chose to adopt us for good. And soon our house had innumerable muddy footprints all over.
The young guy was little perplexed with the sudden shift of place yet very happy to have found a huge parking place and a mostly unused basketball court to hop around. And in no time Phuchka marked his ‘my zones’ in the new city.
It definitely does take a pack to raise a pup or manage a growing one. He might just eat up your living room cushions, quietly pee around your laundry basket, steal a potato from kitchen, place his soiled toy on your fresh bed spread or dig in your planters in the balcony and get dirty. Phuchka does possess these dramatic talents. And, once he is over with his mischief and knows he will soon get a spank or two, he will bring out his best guilty face ever for rescue.
We no more need an alarm to wake us up. Our little devil boy will take rounds of the bed and try hard to reach our faces to give a quick good morning lick. And you start your day with the sweetest greeting, you could have ever asked for! Everyday, without a miss.
With all the craziness comes the unperturbed companionship. Phuchka is there for us all the time. The days we are happy and also our tough times! All he wants to do is chug along behind us, closer than a shadow, ensuring, ‘hang on, I am there’.
Phuchka, is a pile of love for us. He makes it clear, almost every second that it is us who matter to him the most! Standing up on his hind legs, tapping our chests with those little paws, he gives us the warmest hug.
It is worth learning from our baby, how he rejoices in life’s simplest moments..like it’s said, for a dog every morning is a Christmas morning, every walk is the best walk, every meal is the best meal and every game is the best game.
We love you puppy, and we promise to keep you warm. 🙂
P.S. phuchka khow-hows!
We are dead scared of wind. So, never roll down your car windows when we are in.
We are not a barking kinds! We do not like noise.
We love carrots, but, the stupid vet has put us on some ultra special diet..so no more carrots for us. Hmph!
We are a morning person unlike dad and mom.
We loveeeee our ball. And telling us about any ‘b’ word, will only get you ‘The Ball’.
Hush, hush..we like to poo on the basket ball court. 😀
We love to go to Paa’s office and meet people. Though we mostly stick around our dad. Aahna, Sheena, Meghana ji..we love.
Have a secret crush on Maya, the next door lab. ♡
We love to sit on our brown bean bag and watch TV. Sometimes, mom tries to get in there, but its only mine na!
It’s always a group hug for us….mom, dad and me. Woof.
One Life to Live is an American soap opera that ran for 43 years on ABC Network emphasizing on social issues.
NO. My post is not about OLTL, I only plan to write on and about the Title, which I think is just worth.
How many of us love to live our lives or may be, know how to love living one’s own life? ( Do I..???!!!). I have heard many people complaining of having such imperfect lives that they would rather love to die than living! And soon they hear that intuitive voice coming from nowhere that gives them one more reason to live their lives.
Couple of days back, while I was sitting with my dad and listening to some great music, he turned to me and said: ” I feel like adding some extra years to my life when I listen to such soulful songs. I wish to continue listening to them. I wish to live more.” This could be, one of many such reasons that makes my father, love his life. And I believe, one must have a life with a reason or bountiful of it to love his/her life. It’s about holding on to whatever keeps us warm inside 🙂
And since, we have only one life to live ( I am not talking about the bookworms here, as they have many lives and roles to play everyday!!), why don’t we just fill it with that “one purpose” or few more to make it a brilliant living. Find it out for yourself (it is a simple task)… Ask yourself and keep typing the answers on a word file, What are you naturally curious about,what would you like to accomplish before you die, what are the things you really enjoy doing, what would be that One Wish of yours, whose life do you want to be living….? And there you can see your biggest passion, right next, winking at you!
Following one’s passion is a way of chasing bliss. It’s about achieving fulfillment. I know, many of us, while on the course, mostly give up…flaked out by some unnumbered, untold can of worms!
I COULD NOT continue my Tennis Practices, the court being some 2 hours from my home! Or, I would have been a Champion today.
My job sucks. Did engineering for Dad. I could be a Master Chef!
I so wish to help underprivileged children. But…How to start!
So what if there have been too much hardship in procuring that passion, the greatest outbreak of your life..I believe once you see yourself right there, learning the ropes..sitting and having a soul-chat with your greatest love of life, you might just give rest of the world a pass. And I can guarantee you some peaceful sleep 🙂
Make your life a placid mansion. Fill it up with your greatest passions. Fight hard to achieve them. Embrace failures with grace..stumble once or many a times, but please get up again and craft your life your way…. it’s that special One Life to Live.
Note: I wish not to give up my love for dance. And, I know how to go about it 🙂
SDIPA Pune…here I come 🙂
P.S : The post was written and stored sometime in 2011…and got published much later in 2012.
There are few more months before 11′ gets over…so, this particular post, ideally, comes a lot before time. But, what if the blogger wants to wrap it up real fast and look forward to the coming year with a desire to not just “float around”…but RISE! So she writes with the idea of leaving behind the year and does a quick Recap.
My year ,Twenty Eleven has been a mixed bag that enclosed good amount of diversion. In March 2011, my brother was diagnosed with Multiple vessel disease/CAD. We were completely taken aback with the abruptness of the news. It only called for a lot of stress and panic in the family, followed by a CABG act for my brother. He has done a smooth comeback and we all are happy about it.
Soon after this, losing my Grandma in the month of May has been a real climacteric point for me. She was just so special and as she made an exit, she left behind the fondest memories of us, together. Parkinsonism kills. We have seen her fighting the evil for 12 long years with enough grace and gusto. And finally, she has set herself free! Peace for you dear Thamma.
“Don’t you want to get married ?”
“I don’t think so, Maa”.
” And why?”
” I haven’t found the one, yet.” This has been the usual chit chat/quiz between me and my mother that always ended with no relevant answer! But it never stopped my mother from asking me the same question again and again, and me telling her exactly what I told her unceasingly!
Both Summer and Winter Funk 2011 at Shiamak Davar Institute for Performing Arts have put up a great show. Like always, it helped me to draw a blank to all my problems and made me dance away to glory. Contemporary Dance Form at its best 🙂
Twenty Eleven was again a year when we had our much awaited family vacation trip to Kashmir. Beautiful place and possibly the best way we all could mellow out!
With all the ebbs and flows, the year 2011 slowly marched in. I was earnestly trying to figure out a way to make some important decisions. Nothing helped. And precisely then, I reached my milestone and got all my answers right. And I trusted it to be my good omen. All’s well that ends Well 🙂
So, here’s Twenty Eleven, My Way! And I wrap it up with a huge smile and great pleasure.
As I sign off…here’s an untitled poem for my Dearest Grandma to tell her that she is deeply missed…I’m glad that she has reached her resting place to sweet eternity. This one is for you Thamma..
For all the times you gently picked me up, When I fell down, For all the times you tied my shoes And tucked me into bed, Or needed something But put me first instead.
For everything we shared, The dreams, the laughter, And the tears, I love you with a Special Love That deepens every year.
It was a bright yellow saree with red and golden border, draped with utmost precision. Some light ornaments- little dazzling pieces on neck, forehead and hands. A pair of radiant eyes, deeply lined with kohl looked at the camera. So, what if the photograph print was some 20 years old and thus a bit misty, it sported a little zealous girl with a perfect pose that made the picture, standout. That was the 4yr old ME after my very first dance performance on stage.
My love for the Stage advanced from a very early age. I was completely in love with that huge wooden platform, the sharp lights, full-mouthed music and powerful audience. A Dance performance for me was never a one day deal. Round the clock practice sessions, trying to pick up the steps as perfectly as it could be, costume selections, stage rehearsals and the countdown to the final day. I remember, how I used to play a particular track, like thousand times and just danced away.
All I need is some good music to shake a leg and whirl with happiness. It’s amazing, how effortlessly my feet start tapping with any kind of music that I listen to. Music gives me “that” high, the kick- what we call it.
With Shiamak Davar Institute for the Performing Arts, my learning experience reached a new grade. I learned some great dance forms like Western Jazz and Contemporary. And what I just loved there were the techniques with the help of which you have a complete “Soul Dance” for yourself. At SDIPA, we all actually danced like no one was watching! The workshops have indeed changed my life for better.
My biggest inspiration in dance is my mother – my first teacher. I still keep her golden tips in mind while practising the moves and try hard to get those expressions to die for! She has been an outstanding dancer, singer, actor and most impotantly a great human being. Guess, sometimes the genomes do it all…and in my case, I am lucky to have inherited at least, the tremendous love for dancing from my mother.
I believe, each one of us have done a little shimmy, at least once in their lifetime. And I also believe, it’s the best way to release your inhibitions and feel happy. So,if it’s not going right for you and you are feeling kind of jaded…play that number and JUST DANCE it away.