Friday, February 17, 2017

A Birthday Party with Fairies

Birthdays were one huge annual task for me. They were two huge annual tasks to be precise, and that too within a span of five days in February.

They were like this and this and this.

The budget sheets and estimate sheets I used for annual planning at work were child’s play compared to the bday.xls file I had created over the years. It had master-lists for guests, party-item suppliers,  invitation formats, party themes, ideas for return gifts, menu planning, ideas for games, entertainments, pick-and-drop logistics, cleaning-up, start-be-end-by dates for tasks  etc. etc.

And when they went off to boarding school this became another way to miss them; another vacuum to fill.

The first time one of them was not here for her birthday, I felt like calling her friends over and celebrating just the same way. But it would have not made sense. Not doing anything also did not feel correct.  It was such a special day for us, I still wanted to celebrate. Celebrating just by ourselves also didn’t seem enough because I felt this need to share my happiness and my gratitude for this wonderful day.

We went to Cheshire Homes. It is a home for physically disabled girls where they do the awesome job of educating the girls and training them on work skills; empowering them to build their own live, notwithstanding their physical challenges.

We bought cake and snacks and had a very simple party with the girls. But their joy was so touching; it melted away all the loneliness I had been wallowing in. There were little girls who came running and thanked us in sign-language, there was another one in a wheel-chair who translated for them, some managed to grunt their thanks, and some held my hand. They sang the birthday song for my daughter in words, gestures and thumps on the table.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie! The fairies had come to party for you. They opened their innocent hearts and sent you their magical wishes. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

How the High School subjects chose me/us

I am starting to write my own story here.
First, because my primary source of inspiration-my conversations (aka tirades, rants, clashes, slugfests) are so few and far between with them moving out to boarding school.
Second (or maybe this is the primary reason) because as formal studies are taking over their life in a stronger grip <my last post>, I feel as if I am re-living that trauma again.
I wrote this part of the story first on a post for mycity4kids.
Reposting here..
At fifteen, Elena had to decide on her ‘subject-combination’.
 It took me back to the time when I had to make my choice. I had been  for waiting for months for the time where we get to choose which subjects to study.

I loved History and Literature and Geography. The combination wasn’t ‘available’ in our school so I had to pick the nearest available package. I think it was History, English and Home Science.

My parents were aghast. Their well-wishers (extended family, neighbors, friends, friends of friends, families and all) felt their pain and came together to support them.

‘She was such a good student! How did this happen?’
‘It is the age. You should check why she has lost interest in studies. Is she involved with…’
‘You can’t let her take such a decision; she is going to blame you for not guiding her when she was young.’

Their logic: If you score decent marks, you study science. And become a doctor or an engineer.

I vetoed the Doctor option outright-I could already imagine being surrounded by pain, illness and death. I would suffer more than the patients around me. That, they could understand.
And engineering wasn’t an option because I hated Math. That led to guffaws (nowadays you would called it LOL-ROFL) because I had scored 96/100.

They coaxed, cajoled, threatened and then compromised.
According to the logic(?) followed by our education system, a science student has the option of changing to non-science subjects but not vice-versa. If I studied science for just two years it would give me the option of selecting subjects of my choice two years later too.
Now, knowing how parents and well-wishers think, I guess they assumed/hoped I would realize the wisdom of studying engineering over history by then.
And so I ended up selecting ‘Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics’ over ‘History, Geography, Literature, Biology and others.’

A generation later, my daughter has picked the same core subjects.
I don't know if the decision will work for her or not. 
I wonder what she will be thinking a few decades down the line. Will she blame me for not ‘guiding’ her? Will she blame herself for not making the correct choice? Will she be thanking us/herself for making a great decision?
Or will she be just looking back and laughing about it, like me.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

As they enter a new world

Kids grow up fast. I too had heard the cliché so many times. But sentences become clichés only because we use them so many times; live them so many times.

My daughters are in 8th and 11th grade now. Their world is so different from the one I used to blog about. It is beautiful in many ways, scary in many others.

Earlier I used to worry about day-care, maids, PTMs, sports days, birthday parties etc. etc.
Now I worry about the world outside, social media, their career decisions and higher education. In fact education is the biggest worry on my mind right now.

We were extremely lucky to find a school which imparts the kind of education we believed in. The girls grew up exploring, experiencing, and enjoying (well, most of the time) their education. But now the long tentacles of the formal education system, the ‘board exams’, the subject-package choices, and the college entrance systems are closing in.
I find it particularly scary because I remember what the system almost did to me.  It’s almost been a quarter of a century since then and it is still the same system— the one which we keep blaming the British for; the one which we haven’t done anything to change; the one which we ‘dealt with’ in our own ways; the one which now our children have to live through.

I wish I could do something to cause that change.
Since writing is what I can do, let me start with just that.

I, like many other students, did not get along with the system. I suffered and eventually 'dealt-with' it, but I still remember the pain. I’m trying to re-live and share those experiences here, in the hope that I can help my girls ‘deal with’ it in a better way. And maybe reach out to more parents, educators, students who can together create a new system—one which may not be perfect, but at least a lot better than our current one.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Anybody Home?
Dropped in here after a very, very long time.
A lot happened in life, a lot has changed, and a lot remains the same-like my tendency to post in my head, too busy (often too lazy) to do it on a laptop.

Stumbled here almost by mistake (the bookmark is still there on the system so I had the URL). I was sure, I had forgotten the password, so I clicked the helpful link before even trying my jaded memory.
My friend Google, nudged me gently 'enter the last password you remember'. I did. It was the correct one. I felt like I was home.

Not sure if any of you my old friends are here.
Sending you a shoutout-please reply if you can hear me :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A New Story

Yes. I spent a whole year, maybe more, trying to come back, move ahead...

Just doesn't make sense why coming to this blog, my own story is so difficult. Maybe it is because the story has changed.

The two litlle babies are now on their own wings. One is an official teenager with all the accompanying drama. The other is a couple of years short of the milestome but is scripting all the more drama to make up for it. My husband and I have resigned from direction and are mere spectators now (maybe we always were-but have been forced to accept it finally).

And so I am no longer a HyperMom, just a wary, watchful one.

Oh Really!! I can hear Elena exclaim. We may have grown out of our roles, but can you stop being Loverna?

"Yes," says the younger one, who has moved on from Barbie movies to following Once Upon a Time. "She has become Cora."

More subtle, more dangerous.

Will I be more regular with writing also?

Really don't know. We'll have to keep watching.

Monday, January 28, 2013

It’s been a long time.
It’s been like losing touch with an old friend. You think of her, but then you realize you don’t know her new numbers. You think of asking for it, someday. Life keeps happening, tasks keep getting added onto the to-do list faster than you can tick them off and someday gets postponed, again.

You still think of her, you know it is not too difficult to call, but don’t know what to talk.

Maybe, it’s better leaving some moments only for the memory.
Maybe, it’ll be more disappointing to talk and find we have nothing much to say to each other anymore.
But maybe, I’ll regret having not made the call even more.

Had it been a mythical friend I was talking about-I could have even added ‘waiting for her to make the first move’ to my list of excuses. I was thinking of my old mommy blog-which feels like a friend I have ignored for a long time, but have never been able to forget completely.
It feels strange to log in again. I am actually nervous. What if I make a start again and fumble after a few days.

Well I started maintaining this journal, just to record some precious memories. I’ll regret more if I don’t write whatever I can.
So here I go again-Mamma Mia!

I hope some my old friends are still here-I miss you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

I don't think I can do it

I don’t want to be strong anymore.
I want to break down and howl.
I want to be irrational, emotional.

I want to go back on all the wise, thoughtful, logical decisions.
I just want to keep my child close to me.

So many years ago, the doctor cut off a cord, so that she could become her own self.
It hurts just like that today;
Cutting off yet another cord, and I can’t even cry out with pain
because I have to be a mother first.
Can I do it?
Maybe yes,
because she needs me to smile.