Tag Archives: Family

Conflicts for a New Mommy

Antara Roy debunks some popular myths about motherhood.

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So finally, he arrived!! After the 9 months long drill, I couldn’t wait to take him in my arms… It was different, he was red like a tomato, eyes tightly shut by the heavy eyelids; felt like a little mountain baby in my very eastern bong hands. I was a first-time mom, and it was the first time I held such a tiny creature. I was beyond elated and blissfully unaware of the days and nights ahead!! But that story of how I embraced motherhood is for my journals to bear. Here I am more interested in bawling around how a new age mommy deals with her baby, her house, her hubby and her work… oh!! Did I forget to write Indian?? Let me reframe then; ‘I am more interested in bawling around how a new age Indian mommy deals with her baby, her house, her hubby and her work.’

Why such emphasis on Indian, you ask? Simply, because we have got it too easy; it’s too easy to outsource and delegate. Baby Bathing-outsourced, cooking-outsourced, baby massage- outsourced; you name it and it can get outsourced. Where else in this whole wide world can you find this luxury? But again, luxury ensures a cost. Our traditional society has designs for a new mommy already made. And thus it is the tryst of this modern mommy to understand, embrace and somewhat rebel (ah, the best) these designs…

Myth: eat limited after delivery, especially water as it leads to obesity…

Really, and then what… Drink ghee and full fat milk which will keep you lean?? Eating moderate helps, but not limited. Eat what you have eaten all your life. Do not restrict. If you are breastfeeding you need a lot of strength from proteins and stamina from carbs. No point shying away from it. Pictures are evidence enough that even Aishwarya Rai didn’t!!

Myth: beer and wine helps in lactation…

How much so ever I wanna scream ‘it’s true and I love it’, sadly it isn’t true!! Though one glass in a couple of weeks won’t kill anyone, yet ensure you breast feed after a couple of hours of drinking it. Let your body get enough time to absorb and break alcohol, before it reaches the baby.

Myth: no rotis/chapattis/breads of any sort for 40 days after delivery

This is one of my favourites that I heard of. Apparently wheat is not good as it will lengthen the time taken for one to heal from delivery. Come on people, use logic to your limited knowledge of science. Whole-wheat is the best kind of carb you should subject your body to for the first few weeks after delivery. It is one magic ingredient that will heal your body as well as give stamina for you to do the onerous task of feeding and caring for a newborn.

Myth: post-partum depression is for the weak hearted.

And the weak hearted can be easily sorted out because they have 2 noses??!! Baby blues happen and you are bound to feel it one way or other. One stray comment on skin colour or the shape of nose can put you off or lift you up. Trust me, better days are up ahead. And there is no shame in owning up and doing the right thing.

Saving the best for the last…

Myth: baby boys put in disposable diapers turn out to be eunuchs.

Oh goodness!! I feel like taking a bat to run after these so called educated people suggesting these in a cosmo city like Mumbai. Where did our education system fail? How come people are so blissfully unaware of biology of our bodies?? Though using disposables will blow out a huge hole in your pocket and ozone layer, but u will surely get grandkids to put on cloth diapers!! :-p

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Having mentioned about cloth diapers, if you are a mommy and you read till this point, you might wanna try out these amazingly innovative products afloat in the markets of today. It’s a completely washable diaper, designed to leave kids dry on skin, while soaking up the pee and poop and keeping it in without visible accidents. It’s leak-proof, adorable to look at and very cost effective in the long run!! If you need more info about these, write in a comment and I will get back to you!!

Eat well, stay loved and spread care. Cheers!!

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Before Marriage Till Marriage!

indian marriage

By Malathy Madathilezham

Man is a social being. This is something, which we have all studied at some point of time. Thus one of the most cruel and effective forms of punishment/ torture meted out to criminals, terrorists, etc. is solitary confinement. The need to communicate and interact is something of the utmost importance to human beings in order to retain their human nature. Self-expression, exchange of ideas and organization are something’s, which we are experts at utilizing for our benefits. Thus we have groups beginning from the family to nations. We have created complex social structures, which compete and cooperate with each other. On the basis of social interactions among human beings spread over time and continents, we have established a wide variety values, norms and rituals that are the foundations of the human society.

The society keeps changing, earlier this change was at a much slower pace. Something’s, which were unacceptable, unpardonable and frowned upon, are now part and parcel of our society and nobody gives a second thought to him or her. Similarly, some accepted aspects of society are now considered a blight on society. Thus change is also an important aspect of human civilization.

This change has also affected the dynamics of men and women. May be some people have enjoyed or suffered these changes more than the other! There are of course extreme situations of women still living in the same age old conditions and bound in tradition or poverty, but in this particular discussion I would not elaborate on that. Feminism, Liberalism, Capitalism and many other ‘isms’ have contributed in parts to this change. So a woman doesn’t look at a good marriage/alliance or domestic life as the only criterion, which makes her life a success. It is definitely still one of the most important things to majority of women but education, career, self dependence, financial independence, an interesting social life are also being counted somewhere on the list.

A fairly well educated woman in her twenties wants almost everything from a good job, a handsome and loving husband, friends, a fun social life, decent salary etc. etc. She doesn’t want to have the life of her mother; she wants it to be better and bigger! Any mention that her gender makes her vulnerable is almost blasphemous. Her semi-liberalism and semi-feminism along with her ego would be a force to reckon with. She is assertive, confident and has her own opinion on everything ranging from fashion to politics. At work she may be ruthless. Efficient, competitive and aggressive she want that corner office to be hers. She looks for true love and romance but at the same time is practical when it comes to decision making…She is becoming more and more demanding it seems… ah and confused too. What is the most important? What is the priority?

Until few years ago, the man was the sole breadwinner of the family. He took on the burden of providing a good life and a better future for his children, at least in financial aspect. A well settled (government) job, a ‘good’ wife along with a sizable dowry would probably make him seem more successful back then. Now look at a twenty or thirty something man, he is equally confused. The father was feared and revered. His appreciation and love, one could only see the glimpses of. He sees his mother, always loving, most probably a housewife. She was the stable rock of his family when his father was busy working or on tours. She is the quintessence of womanhood and selflessness for him. The women his age confuse him. They are his classmates, friends, and colleagues/superiors. Equally aggressive and competitive as men, and given undue advantage at times due to they’re gender. And yet they crib about inequality! Life is becoming tough for him. A simple joke and they get offended!

He is in a reasonably good job and enjoys the weekend parties and stuff. Parents want him to marry, but is he ready for marriage? And demands from the parents of the prospective brides are also high. In addition, the question of whether or not to accept dowry. His ex gf thought he was an MCP with double standards. Yes, it is imperative for him to earn more than his wife, what will his friends and family say otherwise! He wants a workingwoman, but not a career woman. He wants to definitely have a better life than his father, who he thinks had it all easy. The option of changing jobs is open, but with the recession and all, the growth in salary is not worth it. At the same time staying in a company for more than three years may mean stagnation. May be he should go for further studies? Or is it better to get married and ‘settled’ now?

And it is in between all this confusion that suddenly a their families find a good match in each other’s families, backgrounds, etc. Its in a daze that meet each other, ask each other some questions, forgetting the important ones, which  they always wanted to.

‘Do you like her/him?’

‘Yeah she/he is okay. I would like to spend more time though.’

‘Oh sure! You will have all the time after the engagement. We need to fix a date for that though.’

After that its’ a whirlwind… Time passes so quickly .. then engagement, the thousands of calls and SMS’s, each of them trying to impress the other, share as much as possible about themselves, the apprehensions and doubts,etc etc. Then the wedding shopping, planning…

And Voila! The D-day is here. The usual confusion and mayhem prevails during the wedding also… and soon its all over or should I say its all beginning of everything!

Let me not say more now… Just

Wishing them a happy and blissful married life!

🙂

The Great Indian (Before) Marriage Tamasha – Part 3

By Shwetha Kalyanasundaram

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Not to forget that this blog is attributed to the tamashaa that ensues in every house (almost every house), there are quite a few funny snippets that must be highlighted in the process.

In a lot of profiles that I have scanned, in the “about me” section, there would be details of the parents, brothers, sisters and the whole gamut of people in the family; but no information about the guy whatsoever. Poor guys! In some profiles, even their pet makes their presence felt but not the guy in question!! Heck, why is there a separate space for family details then?!?

Nearly 40% of the profiles that are available on these matrimonial sites have very funny descriptions – descriptions that use only adjectives (and I mean only adjectives) to describe how “good” the guy is. The most common adjectives that one would find are “nice, loving, caring, jovial…” and the likes. I thought all of us fit into those adjectives!! It’s so obvious that I don’t understand the reason why it is being stated! Ooh, the best part is their expectation for a “homely” girl. Here’s the dictionary meaning of the highlighted word:

HOME.LY / ˈhōmlē/

Adjective

(of a person) Unattractive in appearance

Synonyms – plain/simple/unsightly

Now we know what every guy wants!!! Bu ha ha ha *evil*

Most of the guys, on their profiles state that they don’t smoke or drink. But when you do start talking to them, they accept that they are social drinkers/smokers. Why hide it?!? Accept the facts as they are – it’s after all one’s personal choice and in today’s world, its acceptable and most of the girls don’t mind it at all. As the Tamil proverb goes “aayiram poi solli oru kalyaanam pannalaam” (read: One can say a 1000 lies to get married), I guess this just adds onto their bag of lies!! I appreciate guys who are really honest when it comes to this.

Can you believe it if I say that being the only child to my parents had become a disadvantage for me in the marriage market??!! We have received calls from parents who didn’t want to go ahead with the proposal just because I’m the only child.

And one parent even had the audacity to ask my mother if anything could be done…what does she expect?!? Does she expect my parents to adopt one or go through the entire process of delivering a child again?!? Oh boy, didn’t I enjoy the dressing down that the lady got from my mom for being so downright stupid!!

So what happens if the horoscope matches?!? Watch this space for more!

Chronicles Of A Mom – To – Be!! Woo Ho!! Part 6

pregnancy

By Shwetha Kalyanasundaram

Phew! I’ve finally touched the halfway mark. And another 20 weeks to go. Time does fly!! The serious rounding of my tummy finally makes the pregnancy feel more like a reality.

Week 16 to week 20 has been interesting, yet again. The little orange (no more a peanut folks!) is growing nicely (touchwood) and is busy practicing its twists, rolls, kicks and punches. Definitely no WWE Dear Husband, if it’s a boy! I’ve had and still going to have enough action inside to last a lifetime. As the baby doll keeps itself busy performing acrobatics inside, there is no better proof that a brand new and remarkably spirited life is evolving within me.

It’s around this time the little one gets to taste whatever I eat. So out goes the green chili sauces (yea, I developed a taste for it over the course of my pregnancy) and in comes everything that’s sweet. Sugar, I’d definitely watch out for you!!!

And hurray, my little one has its own unique fingerprints. Biometrics, we’ll meet you soon!

There’s something about an obvious bulging mid-section that attracts gratuitous advice-givers and you can’t even turn a deaf ear to. I call ‘em old wives’ tales! As much as these tales do have a strong base in facts and some have been scientifically proved, how accurate they are in every child born is still unclear.

One such is providing the baby a head-start by conducting classes in the womb! You heard me right – providing an utero concert and reading great epics and/or classics is going to turn my child into Mozart and a soon-to-be Booker prize winner!!! My my aren’t we being pushy parents even before the baby comes out?!?

Nevertheless, I see no harm providing a uterine environment rich in music and literature; it helps me bond with the little one, much before its first momma cuddle! And it helps having an astounding singer in the family – my Dear Husband! His YouTube music videos do make up for his absence every day and my kid’s jus loving it (and me too, as the baby kicks to the tunes of its father!). And out comes the dusty classics (now dust-free) which I read away to my belly every day.

Boy! This is definitely turning out to be a lot of fun!

Will meet you all soon with updates on the 6th month chronicles.

Au revoir for the moment!!!

Disclaimer: As much as the above experiences are my own, I have definitely referred to my pregnancy bible “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” by Heidi Murkoff and other pregnancy blogs easily available on Google for certain details and reasoning.

Detour

By Joybrato Dutta

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As kids we always faced that one question which was asked by relatives, neighbours, dad’s friends, mom’s friends, teachers, even fellow kids. “What do you want to become when you grow up”. None of my classmates said they wanted to become an engineer. Today 80% of my classmates are engineers.

So what went wrong? What changed?

Why did people stop believing in their dreams? As we grew up, why did we start compromising on everything we wanted as a child? Is that what people call maturity? How different is maturity from pretence?

Since childhood we have been trained to lie, to act pretentious. Virtues like etiquettes and formalities were forced on us which sealed our true feelings inside.

We have been trained to smile and say “I am fine” each time anyone asks “How are you”.

We have been trained to say “cheese” each time someone clicks us.

We have been trained to say “thank you” whenever someone gifts us something.

Today these things might look small because the blanket of etiquette is quite huge. But think carefully, wasn’t that the start of us accepting pretention. Didn’t we love being appreciated? Didn’t it increase our hunger to be loved even more?

Today I have decided to denounce pretention.

Today I have decided to figure out who I really am, and what I always wanted to become.

I know I love singing. But I love being appreciated for it.

I know I love dancing. But I love it even more when someone else praises me.

I know I love playing cricket. But I enjoy the importance I get after I hit a good knock.

So what is it that I really want to do? Something which will give me so much satisfaction that I won’t care what others think.

A psychiatrist friend offered her help. She said she can give me a tour of my own subconscious. “Our subconscious”, she said “is like a hard disk which stores some really important data. People, moments, stories that we don’t even remember exists”. I warmed up to the idea and gave in to hypnosis.

My journey to the depth of my own heart began.

Go deep she said

I saw myself dancing at a club with a beautiful lady in my arms. She was impressed. I could tell from her eyes. The way I moved her, manoeuvred her arms, guided her feet, she was in awe. Nothing boosts a man’s ego than a girl stupefied. That day I knew I wanted to dance all my life.

Go deep she said

I saw myself playing in the finals of the Inter College Tournament. It was the last over. I had to hit a boundary. The next ball I did. My college won the finals and I won every heart. I had never heard so many people chant my name. For a day I was a celebrity. I knew I wanted to play cricket all my life.

Go deep she said.

I saw myself winning the Annual Elocution Contest. I was in class six, and I had already defeated a few tenth standard students. My teachers were proud. My principal praised me in front of the entire school. I heard my dad scream and say “That’s my boy”. I had never seed my dad so happy. He was as happy as I was when I got my first GI Joe set. I wanted to keep him that happy all my life.

Go deep she said.

I saw my grandmother telling me a story. The way she narrated me the characters. The way she set apart the good guys from the bad, wow, I was amazed. How can these characters who I don’t even know, find such an important place in my heart? The protagonist who wasn’t even real, who never faced the hardships we mortals face, how can he solve every problem of mine? How does he know what I am thinking? They my granny said that it’s the power of a pen. An author’s weapon, his pride. A storyteller can pierce the hearts of his readers without even meeting them. A storyteller can ignite desires and tame passions. A storyteller can reveal your darkest secrets. A storyteller can create magic. A storyteller is what I wanted to become. At that moment I was sure I wanted to write stories all my life.

Go deep she said.

I opened my eyes. I couldn’t have delved further. I had hit my core. How could I have forgotten? Now I know why I still enjoy stories. Why each time when I write even a small story, it gives me the satisfaction no award can. Somewhere in this 28 year old that 5 year old kid still lives. And somehow time hadn’t changed what I really loved. I love stories. And I can write them for the rest of my life.

While I was walking home from my friend’s place I realised that the curse of shallowness can go really deep. However, if we choose to go deep, more things will surface.

Chronicles Of A Mom – To – Be!! Woo Ho – PART 1

pregnancy

By Shwetha Kalyanasundaram

Two educational degrees – check! Career – check! Marriage – Check! Love – Check! Baby – Err?!?

A couple of months into our blissful marriage, a delayed period turned our lives into a tizzy! Barf! The numerous visits to the bathroom to retch, occasional dizziness, a freaked out husband!

Could I be pregnant?!?

The neurotics that we both are, we both spent a couple of sleepless nights googling out the numerous signs hoping that they could just be false alarms. There was no way that I could be pregnant. A baby was definitely not in our bucket list of things to do in our first year of marriage (sigh).

And soon enough, the first appointment with the gynecologist – the doc who delivered my husband! After a few milliliters of blood less and an empty bladder and two hours of waiting, the big P – moment finally arrived! We had done it!  I was PREGNANT!!!

An ecstatic mom and dad – in – law and overjoyed parents and a hurried call to my husband to regroup back in the house, my fingers were crossed! How do I break the news to him?!? Numerous flashes of the Cadbury’s ad showcasing the wife breaking the news of her pregnancy kept playing in my mind. Do I follow a similar technique?

The husband arrives…with a bunch of flowers and a box of my favorite chocolates! What?!? Am I dreaming?!? A warm hug and a kiss on the forehead later, and with a wide grin on his face, “Can you believe it baby? We’re gonna be PARENTS soon!!”

Let the celebrations begin!

What happens next, stay tuned!

Silent Support – My Father!!

i love you daddy

By Dwaipayan Chakraborty,

Happy Father’s Day.

Never wondered about going up to my father to wish him a “Father’s Day” as it would seem a very formal gesture. But this is also true I never told him how big a support he has been throughout. Through this piece I would like to take the opportunity to tell him and everyone how significant he is in my life.

As like most families, my father was the sole breadwinner, until he retired from his services. But if I look back at the days of my childhood, the earliest memories between us would mean that I was dead scared of him. Rarely did I speak loudly when he was around, never did I ask for any extra favour. The reason of such a scare was his strict behaviour & rigid attitude. Any mischief never went unpardoned. The discipline ranged from a slap to a heavy beating in order to drill the right thing in my head. Gradually this fear created a distance between me and my father. In his presence, I could never be myself, kept silent most of the time. My mother was a friend, and my father often, a stranger.

There were a lot of things I wanted to tell him, share with him, take his opinion, but that uncalled for distance never let me do it. From school to college and on to a professional field, the distance persisted. At a later stage he probably understood my uneasiness and often openly asked, but every time I ignored it saying everything was just fine. He was a good student, and I being a moderately ordinary his share of disappointments with me was evident. Yet somehow I have nudged my way through all of these and become the sole breadwinner for my family. It does give me a sense of pride to take over the mantle from him.

It is this retirement period of his where I understood what actually he meant to me. However unbelievable it might seem but it’s true that standing toady I can speak my mind to him without any fear. The person twenty years ago and the person now are a lot different. He has become a lot more patient, surprisingly an ardent listener too. Sometimes I wonder what if this had happened earlier, my attitude, his life; our family’s future could have been a lot different. Even after all such minor complains, I have no regrets at all.

As I now work in a professional field, I understand how the office hours take a toll on the mind and body. Now I understand why he used to get irritated when mother used to ask me to take me to the field after returning home. Now I understand how difficult it is getting frequent leaves for family commitments. The fact that he was a strict disciplinarian has shaped me into a cultured individual. At that time restrictions seemed cruel, but now it seems those are required in order to lead a healthy and sound life. He knew my mother was soft on me, often pardoning my mistakes, so he was very strict, balancing it prudently. Agreed he sometimes went overboard, but all that now seems acceptable. I remember he toiled hard, rarely taking holidays and trying to accumulate as much as he could, all for our comfort. From school books to cricket bats, though he never bought me myself, but asked my mother to give me everything I required. I regretted that as a family we hardly had vacations, but today we have a moderately spacious house in a metropolitan city, which does require savings over a long period of time.

A transition from a boy to man, has made me realise what a father means to a family & to his children. Now while I am finishing this piece, I wonder how comfortable my life has been, mostly because of a silent support existing from behind the curtains in the drama of life.

By virtue of my father, I feel content today. His relationship with me might not be too loud with expressions, but an undercurrent act of endless support.

However formal it might sound but each child should once go up to his father, hug him and acknowledge his presence after pausing to think, what life would have been if this grumpy old man was not around.

Thank you Baba.