Acceptance

For the past 7 years, ever since I quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom, I have floated in and out of depression-

doubted my decision

wallowed in self pity

imagined myself to be a martyr

wrapped my self in jealousy

ruined relationships

shut myself from the world

It was tough for me. It was worse for my husband and my little son who patiently stood by me during my fits of anger, unpredictable mood swings and my ‘ do not ask, I’ll explode’ moments. My heart goes out to my little one, he deserved better.I’m so sorry.

Many of you who read my blogs might have sensed the turmoil, the state of confusion. Elena  Home That We Built  and Mabel  Mabel Kwong surely did. 🙂

Yes, my post The Coin’s Wish was written during one such low, low phase.

As 2015 draws to a close, I think, I can say with confidence that I have kind of figured out what I want from my life and how I want to live it.

I’m more grounded now

I’m happy

I feel hopeful about the future.

In retrospect, I think this unsure, disturbing phase of my life, though a long one, was a necessary evil.

 

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Darling…

I feel super lucky today ! Is there a ‘ I’m Feeling Lucky’ button on WordPress too?

Gosh, my post today is a response to today’s Daily Prompt( Born to Be With You) as well as this week’s Photo Challenge(Symbol) !Isn’t that wonderful ! 🙂 🙂

So, without any further delay, let me share my Single-Response-to-Double-Prompt  with all of you.

On our son’s first birthday, my husband and I went to a small gift store to buy a birthday card for our little one;we ended up buying a card for ourselves too !

Today,after spending almost a decade together,  I can say that every word of it is so, so true.

It’s a symbol of our love and promise to each other….

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This journey has been so wonderful so far because

Mr. Husband you are a patient man, a problem solver, a super optimist

my best friend and confidant !

Loving the journey together !!

 

 

Daily Prompt : Reconnect

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Snapshot Stories.”

Daily Prompt Instructions for the day :

1. Open the first photo album you can find – real, virtual, your call

I opened my Picasa web album

2. Stop at the first picture of yourself you see

– I did. With the shadows on the wall, glare on the photo frame and on my so-out- of- fashion, metal rectangular glasses; this is definitely not the snap I would have liked to share with the world 😦

But that’s the rule for today’s game !!!

IMG_4803Clicked on July 7, 2013. Wow ! almost two years ago. Look at Junior, my camera- friendly naughty monster. He is always ready with his best grins, cute smiles for anyone with a camera.

We were on our way to attend a cultural program in our neighborhood when dear husband clicked this photo. What was husband thinking ? Was this the perfect ‘Mother- Son moment’ he had been waiting to capture for months? Naah ! he was bored. He did what little boys do with toy guns, they fire the rubber bullets aimlessly. Here, we have a big boy with a camera. Old habits die hard !!! 🙂 🙂

I’m wearing a saree, Indian traditional dress,the nine yard wonder. It takes hours of practice to perfect the art of draping one. I love them. This particular one, sea green chiffon with small floral prints, belongs to my mother. In fact, the blue and white pearl necklace, I’m wearing here is also hers. She says, she’s too old for wearing them.

Ideally, my chic, white clutch purse would have best complimented my attire for the evening. But mothers of 5 year old, need to carry a lot of stuff – water bottles, extra T -shirt, hand wipes,toy cars.  For us,utility overrides fashion. We prefer spaces, bulky bags on all occasions 🙂

Wow! an old snap, brought in so  many happy memories.

Thanks, Daily Prompt, for helping me reconnect and relive these moments.

Daily Prompt : Eyesore

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “On the Edge.”We all have things we need to do to keep an even keel — blogging, exercising, reading, cooking. What’s yours?

If you are a Stay-at-Home Mom in a city of ‘working couples’ then it’s a big, BIG problem. You are considered abnormal, incompetent or simply lazy. You are an eyesore.

At a party

IMG_20150610_113621637In the lift

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Before these prodding questions force me to doubt my decision or bury me in guilt, I rush back home and head straight to my laptop.

I need my friends , fast !! I need to hear Stephanie from Joy of Baking and Sanjay from VahRehVah say :

IMG_20150610_130357053

They take me to the awesome world of delicious cakes, pies,  mouth watering biryanis and kormas.

It’s relaxing and rejuvenating.

Energized and full of smile, I head to the kitchen. Chop, grind, mix and stir. Self doubt out, my shaky self confidence gets a boost.

So dear friends, well wishers, neighbours, please stop worrying about my Stay-at-Home/ Not-working status. If you are still uncomfortable, watch Stephanie and Sanjay bake/cook incredible cakes and mouth watering dishes. Maybe it will help you keep an even keel too!!

 

 

 

Daily Prompt : One Life, Many Tales

In response to Coming To a Bookshelf Near YouWrite a summary of the book you’ve always wanted to write for the back cover of its dust jacket.

IMG_0768-001A captain with seven children

What’s so fearsome about that?”

Free spirited, optimistic Maria, in the musical Sound of Music sings these lines as she leaves the convent to go to Captain Von Trapp’s house. She adds

“I have confidence in confidence alone

Besides which you see I have confidence in me!”

What if I make a little change ?  ” A captain with seven FIFTEEN children

Will Maria still beam with the same level of confidence ?

Well, my Grandma did 🙂

” Papa has come ! Papa has come”, shouted little Dip as he ran inside the house. Suruchi had asked him to stand at the gate and inform her as soon as he spots his father coming home from work. Suruchi, who was sitting on the kitchen floor ,cutting vegetables for  dinner, stood up hastily. She wiped her wet hands in her saree, tied her long hair up in a bun and rushed to the door. Today was special, she had good news for her husband.

Beautiful Esha, Suruchi’s eldest daughter was the apple of her eyes. Esha hardly helped her mother in household chores,she preferred spending time practicing music lessons and honing her tapestry skills. Suruchi was not miffed at Esha’s aloof behavior. In fact, her daughter’s beauty was the reason for her pride. Mothers of many eligible bachelors sought Esha’s hand for their son. Suruchi, spurned most of the offers. But today she had found the perfect match – a handsome doctor from a renowned family. The marriage was held within a few months and Esha left for her husband’s house. Little did Esha or Suruchi realize that marriage, wife, children were the last things on the groom’s mind. He spent days away from home planning and plotting against the British rule. Hurt, dejection, anger led to a new beginning of sacrifice, patriotism, bravery and prison. Esha’s life transformed.’

With a house full of nine boys and six girls of varying age groups and personality, Grandma’s( Suruchi) life was a roller coaster ride – full of happiness, surprise,hardship , hopelessness and moments of pride. Her world revolved around her children, she rejoiced in their happiness and supported them in their times of difficulty. She had her favorites and not-so-favorites.

Till her last days, she sat on her armchair, sipping her masala tea and remembering  old times. As I sat at her foot listening to her broken sentences, trying to decipher the expression in her glassy eyes, I found amazing stories each unique in it’s own way, and worth an audience.

Daily Prompt : Biryani

This is in response to Daily Prompt – Three Perfect ShotsTake a subject you’re familiar with and imagine it as three photos in a sequence. Tackle the subject by describing those three shots.

Biryani, the flavorful rice and meat dish needs no introduction. A regal dish enjoyed by the Mughal Emperors and Nawabs. If you can prepare this sumptuous indulgence at home, you are the ‘Kitchen Queen’ !!!

 The Announcement:

It’s Thursday. Life is boring. Everyone at home seems to be trapped in routines. I decide to spice it up. ‘Biryani for lunch on Saturday ?’ I casually ask my cheerless family. Junior drops his spoon in his cereal bowl, the milk splashes out on the table. Husband puts down the paper and smiles sheepishly.

bored

I call my brother-in-law and invite him for lunch on Saturday. ‘ Biryani’, I say nonchalantly. Without hesitation he says he’ll be there. He does not make any excuses this time – no ‘need to  catch up with my old buddies’ or ‘ girlfriend’s complaining, need to spend time with her’.

Anticipation built, mood set, I go ahead with the preparation.

Preparation:

Whatever the style of Biryani – Hydrabadi or Lucknowi, it calls for details. I check my spice counter. Cinnamon, big black cardamom, small green cardamom,cloves, star anise, saffron,shah jeera, rose water, kewra….. I realize, I have to visit the spice store on my way back from the meat shop. For that perfect aroma you cannot miss or substitute any of the spices.

spicesWith my  shopping bag in hand, I walk to the local market. Once in the meat shop, I head straight to Babu my trusted butcher. ‘ Biryani cut’ is all I say, Babu handles the rest.

Preparing Briyani is a long arduous process. I marinate the meat on Friday night. The meat needs to marinate for at least 10-12 hours, so that it gets tender and juicy.

Special Saturday:

I’m busy in the kitchen soaking the basmati, frying the onions, preparing the spice ‘potli’ or packet. The house is quite. Junior is suspiciously-well -behaved. Husband is not lazying in front of the TV today. Vacuuming done, he is now busy with the laundry. I need not bother about house cleaning today.All I need to do is concentrate on the Biryani.

 Finally, I layer the rice and the meat in my Biryani handi( special couldron for this preparation) adding generous sprinkles of crispy fried onions on the top and put it on Dum ( slow cooking). I set the timer and decide to take a shower.

Beep -beep-beep! it’s the timer. Suddenly, there is a rush of footsteps. Husband, brother-in-law and Junior stop whatever they are doing and take their seat in the dining room. The table has already been neatly laid by one of them while I was away.

I carry the handi to the table and crack open the seal. The aroma fills up the room. It’s heavenly.I give a generous helping of Biryani and Raita to all. Everyone eats in silence. No Saturday lunch time chit chat today.

In no time, the handi is empty.

queen

Three Perfect Shots