Tag Archives: Mother

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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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.

You Have Been A Friend, Philosopher & Guide, Thanks Dad

father day

It takes a toll to manage a son like me and he has done it with perfection. It always helps if your daddy becomes your best buddy and he certainly turned one. Here’s for him with the caveat that not just one day but even 365 in a year is less to celebrate a papa like him. You certainly are the best. 

I was one of those troubled boy kid who was more scared of her mom than anything on the planet. My mom is one stickler for perfection and let me be frank, I was not even close to one. I would say I am still a work-in-progress but in those days I was worse. It was my dad then who would spring out of nowhere to save me from my mom’s wrath when I would not do my homework, not be up-to-date with my class write-ups or do anything wrong. If he could not manage saving me because sometimes it could get tough he would wear his slippers and move out of home because he for one could not see me cry. That is my earliest memory of my dad’s saving me qualities.

Things went ahead and I grew up only to become more naughty outside home. Hitting the ball out of the park and breaking glasses became a habit and so did people turning up to my home asking for a blanket ban on me playing cricket anywhere near their houses. He would though pay up all the time saying “he would play, what he breaks you can repair, take money but he would play”.

I don’t remember ever asking my mom for extra money because I knew she would decline thinking I would misuse. My father always tended the currency to me irrespective of the purpose. I remember asking him for Rs. 5000 during my last week of MBA because I was dating the most beautiful girl I had ever seen (this was what I had said to him) and he sent Rs 10000.

Things came to such an extent that I started discussing things which ideally no boy my age used to discuss with their fathers. My friends and I would go for a smoking joint (I still do not smoke or drink) and my father would know where I am. This was trouble for everyone else because my father would also know who smokes and drinks and who does not.

He never curbed my natural instincts, not even when I said I want to go out of home to prove myself. I am a single son and I know how important it is for him to see me. Till then it was like a routine for him to see me daily and suddenly I dropped a bomb. He though as usual allowed me the experiment and here I am struggling to make a mark even after 5-years of being away from him. He probably knew this and also the fact that someday I would be back with him, to share food from his plate and to take a bite of snack from his hand.

It was not that we never disagreed. The greedy person that I am, we never agreed with his way of business, where ethics and morality always stood ahead than any amount of money. His peers went way ahead of him in terms of money and social respect (which these days is proportionate to the size of the wallet) and he kept talking of good and bad karma. It was only when these great man as I always thought of them because of their come-what-may make money attitude fell, and took with them their entire families, did I realise what my father always meant when he quoted Warren Buffet vis-a-vis my example of Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani.

Today as I am on the verge of turning on the wrong side of the 20’s I sometimes feel could I be a tenth as good as he is? Naah, I don’t think so. I am just not confident I could because the two biggest qualities of his, sacrifice and patience, are things I lack totally.

I could write a book on our relationship but would rather sum it up with this beautiful poem from Louisa Mansfield

DAD,
When i was born,
You were there to catch me when i fall, whenever and wherever.
When i said my first words,
You were there for me,
to teach me the whole dictionary if need be.
When i took my first steps,
You were there to encourage me on.
When i had my first day at school,
you were there to give me advice and help me with my homework.
I still havent finished school,
or walked down the aisle, or had my first child.
But i know you will be there for me through all these times and more, the good and bad.
So i just wrote this to say ‘I LOVE YOU DAD!!!’

For There Is No Friend Like A Sister…

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Gurulakshmi Iyer-Hait talks of her childhood and says why she feels this saying by Ami Li is absolutely true: Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of.  You know whatever you do, they’ll still be there. This one’s for her sister she says :). 

“For there is no friend like a sister

In calm or stormy weather;

To cheer one on the tedious way,

To fetch one if one goes astray,

To lift one if one totters down,

To strengthen whilst one stands.”

-Christina Rossetti

The sight of siblings playing really caught my attention. To be precise, the sight of two sisters playing.

Like us. Elder protective and younger following the elder.

As always such sights make me go through my memory lane. This time, that of my younger sister I have often heard from my mom that I hated her when she was born(though I do not recollect any of that sort). But over the years I grew up with her, I have surely realized one thing, not everyone are lucky enough to have sisters. And all those who have, aren’t really close like us.

Our childhood experiences really bring smiles on my face. Opposites that we were,it was really difficult for others to identify both of us as siblings. I the prankster and she the obedient. We were a team throughout our childhood and I certainly did everything that bugged and irritated her.

She would iron the clothes for her,I would wear her ironed clothes. I would mess up the house and she would clean, offcourse making faces. As a kid,I never thought of spending time with her. Quite obvious that we shared almost everything and stayed under one roof. But as we grew up and started following our aspirations, our relationship grew too. It was then we felt that the warmth of togetherness is priceless!

She has always worshipped me. My words and actions have always been final verdict to her, right from early age. And should I not mention the same holds true even today despite staying thousands of miles away from each other.

I have many times imagined being a single child to my parents. It would have been nice to bask in my parents’ undivided attention but the imagination has always ended palely .While there is sharing, there are pillow fights, laughters, gossips and chatters too.

There never was any friend like a sister. While siblinghood is by chance, the love and warmth that this relationship brings in is definitely by choice. And I am blessed to have one such creature in my life!

sister

THE INTERVIEW – A Short Story

HR interview

By Ganesh Subramanian

Alok woke up to the shrill scream of his alarm clock. Hazy eyed and still groggy from inadequate sleep, he looked at the clock. The time was 6 am. He muttered under his breath and cursed himself for not going to bed earlier the previous night. Despite repeated requests from his mother to go to bed soon, Alok ended up watching his favourite action movie on his desktop for the umpteenth time and went to bed by 2 am. Summoning up all the energy that he could, he finally jumped off the bed and tried to shake off the cobwebs of sleep.

It was an important day for him. A day which could well make or break his career. Passing out from an engineering college without a job during the time of economic crisis was like a horror story for him, probably less creepy than the bedtime stories his cousin had frightened

Alok with during his childhood. After 5 unsuccessful attempts at cracking IT companies’ interviews, Alok applied to Himsagar Infoway Pvt. Ltd. one of the topmost IT companies in his state. When he did not hear from the company for two weeks, all his hopes seemed to vanish into thin air. Then out of the blue, came the much-awaited mail from the company two days back.

Alok was asked to appear for an interview by the HR department.” Why would your son want to suffer begging for jobs in these IT companies? I can make him own an IT company itself”, his dad would say, who is an MLA recently elected from Alok’s constituency. But Alok was determined to stand up on his own legs. He never ever thought about using his dad’s political clout to win personal favours. Little did he know at that time, that all those steadfast notions would shatter that day.

After a quick shower, Alok was ready for the interview. He wore his favourite pink full sleeved shirt. Despite his mother’s strong notion that the shirt is unlucky for him, Alok was not ready to give in to his mother’s whims. Swallowing in large chunks, he finished his daily breakfast of aloo parathas, Alok bid his mother good bye, who in turn wished her son success in the interview in the name of the Almighty.

Alok reached the company premises well before the scheduled interview time and was asked by the receptionist to be seated till he was summoned by the HR. Alok looked at the receptionist. She reminded him of one of the characters in one of the “Saas-Bahu” soaps that his mother used to watch. Pushing the thought away after smiling to himself, Alok tried getting his mind to calm down and was expecting to be called in any moment.

The interview room’s door opened after 10 minutes and out walked a lady who seemed to be in her mid 30s. “Alok”, she called with a professional tone. Alok stood up. “Please follow me”, she said. Alok accompanied the lady and disappeared inside the interview room. The lady, once inside the interview room, said, “I am Meghna from HR. I will be taking your interview now”. After introducing herself, Meghna extended her hand and Alok responded with a cordial handshake.

So Alok, can you tell me something about yourself?”, said Meghna. Alok spoke at length about his academics, his interest in sports and his career interests for the next two minutes. “That’s good. Alok, despite passing out from a pretty good engineering college, you did not find a job till now. Can you give me a reason for that?”

Alok tried explaining that the job roles that were offered in those companies did not match his career interests. Still unconvinced with the answer, Meghna prodded on, “So how many interviews have you attended till now?” Alok responded, “Five”. Do you think none of the companies had a profile matching your career interests? Yes Ma’am”, replied Alok.

Meghna sighed and then said, “I don’t think so, Alok. I think it’s rather your incompetency that you couldn’t get into those companies”. Alok was getting impatient by now. This interview was progressing nowhere. He somehow had the sick feeling that the outcome of this interview may not be what he wanted.

Ma’am, with all due respect, I was in the top 10 ranks in my department in engineering. I gave my best in each of the five interviews that I had attended. But, somehow could not convert it. So, I don’t think my lack of competence was a factor in those interviews. Do you think all those HRs who interviewed you are fools to reject you? Why don’t you accept your shortcomings and try working on it?

Okay. You tell me that you are among the top 10 rankers in your department. Can you tell me why we call Java as platform independent? Despite being an easy question, Alok was getting nervous and the tension was getting to him. The 16 degree temperature with which the split AC was cooling the room did nothing to stop the beads of sweat that were forming in his forehead. His mind went black for a moment. After thinking hard, Alok shook his head and said, “Sorry Ma’am. I don’t remember”.

Meghna didn’t stop there. “Tell me the value of escape velocity which is needed for a flying object to escape earth’s gravitational pull and fly into outer space. I am sure you must have read this in school”. “Sorry Ma’am. I don’t remember” was Alok’s meek reply.

Can you tell me some of the recent milestones that our company achieved? What are the revenue projections for our company for the year 2015? Meghna threw a barrage of questions at Alok like a bowling machine does in net practice in cricket. Alok cursed himself for not going through the company website the previous night. Alok found it difficult to miss the irony that instead of watching his favourite action movie the night before, he could have prepared for the action movie that is unfolding right now.

Alok started Seemingly pleased with herself that her victim had been cornered now, Meghna continued, “See. I told you that you were incompetent. You could not even answer basic questions”.

Alok by now was pretty confident that he was not going to be selected. That very thought gave him renewed confidence which until now seemed to have deserted him. With a polite tone, Alok replied, “Ma’am. You were right”. Meghna smiled having won the battle of words with the candidate. Alok continued, “Ma’am you were right partially when you asked me whether I thought that the HR of the five companies where I was rejected were fools. Not only were they five fools. I met a sixth one today.”

The smile vanished without a trace from Meghna’s face. Red with anger, Meghna spoke with a threateningly chill tone “Mind your words, Alok. You are speaking to the HR of the company. I am also a member of the National Employers Association and the National HRD network. I can get your resume blacklisted and ensure that your career is over even before it begins. You will not find a job in any IT company.”

Alok stood up and thought for a moment whether he should really say what he was about to say. Banishing the momentary thought, Alok replied with an equally menacing tone with little respect for the person in front of him, “Meghna, if you do anything of the sort that you just said, I will ensure that not only your professional life is screwed, but your whole life will become a living hell. I am the son of an MLA. Better be careful about what you speak and do”.

Picking up his folder, Alok left the room coolly. Meghna kept starring at Alok leaving the interview room, after being stunned into silence.

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मेरी माँ

MotherAndSonAbstracted

Continuing our Mother’s Week celebrations, here is another masterpiece by a fabulously talented upcoming poet Syed Bilal. Maa Tujhe Salaam. 

कितनी रातें तू जागी है
कितने दिन रात रोई है ,
तकलीफों को अपनी माँ
मुस्कराहट में संजोयी है ,

कितने जत्नों के बाद जन्मा
तुमने मुझको ऐ अम्मा
मेरी हर आह पे ऐ माँ
तू रो आँचल भिगोई है ,

नमाज़ों में दुआओं में
तूने जन्नत न है मांगी
के मांगी है मेरी बस खैर
मेरी खुशी-आबादी मांगी है ,

ममता  तेरी ओ मेरी माँ
मुझको हौसला दे जाती है
के जाऊं मैं कहीं भी
तेरी बस याद  आती है ,

कितनी  माएँ आज रोती हैं
रास्तों पे वो रहती हैं
के अपनों ने न माना है
घर से उनको निकाला है ,

दुखों में दर्द में रहती हैं
कई तकलीफें सहती हैं
फिर भी बच्चों को अपने
बद-दुआ वो न देती है ,

सुधर जाओ संभल जाओ
माँ का मतलब समझ जाओ
के जन्नत है मुहब्बत है
माँ ही बस ऐसी अज़मत है ,

मेरा वादा है तुझसे माँ
दिल न तेरा दुखाऊंगा
तेरी ख़ुशी -हसी के लिए
मैं तो कुछ भी कर जाऊंगा
के रखूँगा सदा पलकों पे
फ़र्ज़ सारे निभाऊंगा

आपका 
बिलाल 

माँ…

mother poem cover

Abhinav Singh continues the Mothers Week special with this heart touching poem.

एक शब्द ही नहीं,
ममता का रूप हो तुम|
हर कदम मिलने वाली,
छाँव और धुप हो तुम|
भर दे जो जीवन को,
जिस प्रेम एवं आशिर्वाद से,
वो एहसास हो तुम|
क्युं लगे मेरी माँ ,
की कहीं आसपास हो तुम|

मुश्किलों में तुम हो सहारा,
एक अपना है हमारा|
जिसने ये जीवन सवारा,
वो एहसास हो तुम|
क्युं लगे मेरी माँ,
की कहीं आसपास हो तुम|

हमारी नींद जिनकी,
जागती आँखों में सोती|
जो हमारे कष्टों में,
पलपल रोती|
जन्म ही नहीं,
जीवन भी दिया तुमने|
इसलिए ख़ास हो तुम|
क्युं लगे मेरी माँ,
की कहीं आसपास हो तुम|