Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Thought for the day ( Not my own.... But I like it so would like to share)

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Choose your words, for they become actions.
Understand your actions, for they become habits.
Study your habits, for they will become your character.
Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.

If you do something that turns out wrong, you can almost always put it right, get over it, learn from it, or at least deny it.

But once you’ve missed out on something, its gone.

There will be the neighbour you never got to say the right words to, the band you never got to see live, the winning streak you never got to cheer, the brilliant retiring professor whose class you never took, the relative you never got close to. It’s a long list no matter what.
Try to keep it as short as possible

Friday, May 14, 2010

A life with (out) plans

Planning is an inevitable part of day to day life. Financial plans, budgets, analysis, project plans, the corporate systems cannot survive without plans, so are the professionals and even common men. But I don’t make plans, yeah surely I do plan as to what breakfast I will make tomorrow, what time I should get up and such minor things. Long term plans is a big no no. I am not sure whether it is a character trait to be proud of or ashamed of. But I am like that.

The reason I don’t believe in making plans is that I believe in the almighty planner, who sends his plans to me all of a sudden as surprise packages, at some point where I think my plans are quite clear ahead. Though very reluctant to pluck myself out when fitted into a pattern, I have never ignored that inner voice which coax me to deviate from the original plan. I do believe that what a person is , and where that person is in a particular moment is because the almighty has fool proof plans for that person. So many times when I was forced to make a decision, my future was totally blank in front of me, but as I force myself to fit into his plan, the paths start becoming visible to me slowly, may be as silhouettes in the beginning.

Take my wedding. I NEVR WANTED TO GET MARRIED. I HATED TO GET MARRIED. I was scared at the very thought of getting married. I have seen many of my dear and near suffering out of miserable wedlocks. I never ever wanted to enter one. But Finally I had to make up my mind to tie the knot. I just had 5 mts meeting with the man I was to get married, I knew only his first name, and I had only a week between engagement and wedding day. Every single day during that short period, I went to church in the morning, opened my heart before the lord, poured my fears in front of him. I told him “ I have a blank frame. Please help me to fit this man and his family beautifully into it. Please help me to accept what is there in store for me. Please help me to give my cent percent to decorate that frame and to keep it free of all blemishes.

On the morning of my wedding I was stiff, my body and mind were numb, I couldn’t feel a thing. I had no feelings , my body was just there. In the church, I couldn’t move my lips to say the prayer. But my soul was shouting out each prayer. Then finally it was time to tie the knot, and I felt as if trapped in an iceberg, all frozen. I couldn’t see the plans he had for me. I couldn’t understand, how he was preparing for me through all those years, the most precious gift in my life, my husband. I was unaware how this relation was going to reconstruct my outlook and perspective.

Again, when it was time to give up the job and position, earned through years of dedicated hard work and sacrifice, I was not at all willing to do so. I couldn’t close my eyes to those years of sufferings, extra working hours, the new department and pattern which I developed from scratch. I couldn’t think about giving my quiet corner seat for someone else, allowing strange hands to handle all those reports and files which were part of me, I couldn’t figure out how I will live away from the world of numbers and reports. But one fine moment, I knew I could no longer close my ears to that strong voice from within, I typed my resignation holding my breath and walked in to the cabin of my superior. At first, he thought, it was the usual trick of the employees to get a hike, and offered my more fortune. But when I made myself clear his reaction was “ You are not that type of lady who will sit quietly at home, I cannot believe this.”

I couldn’t believe it myself. Later I knew, that it was the perfect decision I made for my children. The only thing they needed from me was my time and presence which I couldn’t spare much before. Now I am here with my 24x7 just for them and I enjoy it. I know after a few years, there would be a time when my presence won’t be required anymore, and I will become a silly mom. But I know one more thing, there is one more plan, being prepared for me which will pop out when it is time.

Now I sit here rediscovering myself, reflecting , analyzing , learning and correcting and waiting to give my cent per cent for his next plan.

All that the lord has done is very good;
All that he commands is sooner or later done.
No one should ask why things are as they are;
These questions will be answered at the right time.
( Sirach 39: 16-17)

Everything made by the lord is good;
He meets every need at the proper time.
No one can claim that some things are worse than others;
For everything is good in its proper place.
( Sirach 39: 33-34)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pangs and Pranks of Annakkutty - .....And the waiting is over

Annakkutty is a small girl, lonely, slender, dark complexioned, with long lustrous black hair, and a pair of lovely black curious eyes. This is my journey with Annakkutty holding her hands tightly ,along the old muddy paths of the village. This is an attempt to give company to that lonely girl, uproot her deep rooted pains, unfold her pranks and to assist her to forgive the ones who wronged her.

---And the waiting is Over--------

Annakkutty has butterflies in her stomach today. Her mother is coming tomorrow. Father has already left for the town to pick her from the airport.Annakkutty couldn’t sleep. Since when she had been waiting for this day.She knew that she too had a mother just like her cousins.How many times she had secretly watched both of her cousins sleeping by the side of their mother, hugging her tightly.How many times she wished her mother would come and save her from the cruel punishments of grandmother, most of the time, not for her mistake. “You are elder to both of them. So if they do something wrong, you will get punishment” was the justification. ‘ELDER???? Born before 6 months make you ELDER??? That too only for punishments??? She never could understand the logic, but however, there is no other way as she doesn’t have a mother to save her or to talk for her.

“They might reach only by evening” she heard someone telling grandma in the morning. “Okay, let me go to the field and have fun” off she went wandering around, watching the birds, whistling merrily and plucking some wild flowers, stopping for a while near the small pond watching the fishes moving around happily, all these time wondering how it will be like to be with her mother??? Nobody cares where she is , so there are no hindrances; wander as much as you want, Climb up the Champa Tree(Water Rose Apples) and keep eating all those sweet and sour pink fruits and skip all the meals, nobody notices. Well how can she forget to check for any ripe tamarinds under the big tamarind tree,…. no way, Oops its evening already.

She ran towards the home, slipped in very carefully, and there sits a fat and fair lady with her back towards Annakkutty. Her shining hair tied up in a neat knot and cladded in a colourful saree. Thump thump went Annakkutty’s heart. Slowly she tiptoed towards the lady, and at lightning speed touched her from behind and tried to runaway . But Mother turned quickly and locked her in a bear hug, her eyes pouring out. Why she is crying? Annakkutty wondered, and she felt like crying too. It was nice and cozy to be in the arms of her mother.This was what she wanted through all those lonely years.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tribute to a special mother

Mothers day is here again. I even got a mothers day card specially made for me with the caption “ HAPPY MOTES DAY, I LOVE AMMA” . Beneath the caption, there stands a girl( coz she is wearing a frock) with both her arms stretched out and wearing a biiiig smile. Mothers day is for fathers too in my opinion, as there cannot be a mother without a father. So it’s a special day for the parents.

If any child happens to say at any point in his/her life, that I want to live a life just like the one my parents lived, that is the greatest achievement of those parents. And I have such a couple in my life. Of course they are now sitting together in a photo frame in our sitting room smiling at us and for sure are watching over us from the world of angels. They are my in laws. And the precious gift they left for me in this world, their son, always tells me only one thing. “I just wish and pray that we would be able to live a life as that of my parents”.

I have never seen my FIL and have spent only a handful of days with my MIL. But I have heard and for that matter seen during those handful of days, how passionately they loved each other. I have seen her eyes shining brightly, whenever she talked about her dear husband, who went ahead of her to the world of angels, leaving 12 children of various ages , behind.

Her life was thereafter dedicated to her children. They all got settled in their lives in various parts of the country. Her only condition was that all of them should join together every year at the family house on the death anniversary of their father, which the children religiously followed all these years. Now that she joined her husband in the same grave, there is one more day for family union.

She was the invisible thread which knitted together all the members into a strong bond. Every other week if anyone fails to call her, I have heard her asking the grandchildren, connect me to B.. it’s a long time since I heard from him or “ Mmm think J.. is busy this weekend with any of his cases, otherwise not a single weekend would pass without him dropping in to see me and have lunch with me. Call and see how K,s children are doing… thus goes the long list. Every one was special for her. She was not highly educated, but she new very well how to carry herself gracefully among any group. She always wore the traditional dress of Christian women (Chatta Mundu) but always encouraged her girls and DIL’s to wear modern dress. She had a very generous heart to help any needy ones around. She was bubbly to giggle and share jokes with her grandchildren. She would even understand the language of her cows.

More over, I have before my eyes, a very vivid and colourful picture painted by the words of their son ,of the successful life they lived as loving and caring parents for each child ,at the same time loving each other deeply and passionately. Their success as parents is evident form this very same photo which I mentioned above , adorning all the 12 happy homes of their children in prominent places. They lived a fruitful life , leaving behind 12 siblings who are always there for one another, on any stormy day in the life of any of them.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cockroach Party

“It seems the cockroaches are having a party tonight. The whole extended family (courtesy to the new EVS chapter he has on family) is there, from great grandpa to tiny little ones “ “ Yeah chettan there are soooo many. Let’s show this to amma”. Both of them barged into the room where I was and started pulling my hands. “come come, see what’s going on” They wouldn’t stop till I agreed to follow them.

Right, there ARE quite umpteen numbers of those brown insects, hustling to hide somewhere disapproving the sudden beam of bright light. There stands my boy giving commentary about each one of them and he is no more afraid of them .yes… that’s the point which makes me happy.

His phobia for cockroaches started with the visit of an unscrupulous guest of mine. He happened to visit the town with his wife and three months old baby and asked if we could accommodate them for a few days. Fine but see, I have a 2yrs old toddler, who is quite active and I don’t know whether you would be able to fit in quietly with him all around. Nooo problem, its just a few days. Alright then.

Later it turned out that this man was quite phobic about the security of the baby, that although the wife was a nurse, they were frightened to give the baby a proper bath to the point that the cute little baby started stinking, until one day my boy’s nanny stepped in offering to give the baby a bath.

One day it so happened that my then toddler boy, would barge in and out of their room to peek at the baby every now and then. He would not touch or trouble the baby, but just he wanted to see him quite a lot.

Suddenly, there was a sudden shriek and the little one came out like a bullet shivering like a fragile leaf. WHAT HAPPENED???
The man had a plan to keep this boy out of his room. He picked up a large cockroach by its antenna and suddenly shoved it into his face as he entered the room.

************* It took so many years of dedicated hard work for me to purge this fear out of his mind. Each time he sees a cockroach, he would scream, I would pacify him, later slowly I started to pick up one of those and show him how harmless an insect that is, and how strong he was that he could even squish them if he wanted to.

Slowly he understood there is nothing to fear about them. Many of us tell the stories of monsters to the kids to make them eat or to stop them from doing something, not really understanding the damage we are causing, though unintentionally. Their mind is like molten wax which takes up the prints of whatever affects them very quickly, and it stays there, sometimes causing irreparable damages.

*********All of us are trying to be faithful parents.
We strive to have faith in our own instincts and our abilities to care for the most precious people in our lives.
We hold on to the faith that our children will have their own abilities to overcome the mistakes we make and the obstacles they will face in life.
We attempt to be faithful to what we know is right, to the truths we hold dear and want to pass on to our children. ****************

Monday, May 3, 2010

How much do you love me?

Bedtime is the time for rewinding the happenings of the day. What this boy did what that boy said , how Achu’s team made two goals in the last moment during PE, how he put “sudden break” while skating and still managed to keep the balance, how sad he felt when the teacher scolded him for another boys mistake, what music the driver played in the car,…blah blah blah they keep talking until the eyelids are too heavy and my poor self has no other option but to listen patiently. I sort of enjoy this bedtime ritual as they vent out each and every good and bad things of the day. Sometimes I have to cheer them, sometimes console and encourage them.

As the stories flowed one after another, there came a question from my right side.”Amma, how much do you love me? “ How much do you think I love you? Was the answer. Mmmm ..let me think.. Thousand much?? no no .. yesterday you told me that 1000 is not the biggest number, so you love me till infinity , no Amma? Yes I know Amma. “Okay if you feel so , may be”.

Then a feeble voice from my left side. “You only love chettan? how much do you love me”? “to the size of a mustard seed.” Mustard?? The small black round things which I don’t like to see in my food? “Yeah”.

After a looong pause, a very painful voice was heard again,” why amma, why you love me only to the size of mustard seed”? “Then?? How much am I supposed to love you"? You should love me to the size of my blue cycle no??? I couldn’t help bursting into laughter.

Ps: I will share the story of this cycle another day. He is very possessive about it, and loves it more than anything.

Friday, April 30, 2010

First Sling

“Amma today I want cheese dosa for dinner”.Declared Achu. Okay I turned the stove on and placed the dosa pan on the flame. No no no he came running again, leaving his study table. See amma it has been a long time since you made payasam. So could you please make payasam now.. please ,please please…. Keep this pan aside pleeease.

Okay you win. I will make payasam for you , in the meantime you go and finish your homework. “ Jacob you already finished yours right? Go and play in the other room without disturbing your brother.”
There I became busy in preparing some quick payasam .Its almost done Again another scream. “Ammmma… Jacob is troubling me.”Mhm. …I rushed into his study room , there he stands making faces at Achu, trying his level best to irritate him.

“You young man out, out of the room right now. I pulled him out in a hurry, my payasam will get burned- and almost closed the door.He screamed loudly. Gosh… I didn’t notice his little finger stuck between the hinges. My God what do I do now, I am alone with the kids as their father is away most of the time on official assignments. I rushed for ice , in the meantime yelling to Isaac “ take my mobile and call the taxi” He did it in a split second .

Next moment I was down in the taxi carrying my screaming little boy. Rushed to the casualty of a nearby hospital. “Leave the boy here go pay the money and come”. Said the nurse. I ran only to find a long queue. I was worried to death. There stood a gentle man with a kind face. “ Please can I pay for my son first, please.” He agreed and I rushed in again.
X ray – for sure. Declared the duty doctor. Went to the first floor, carrying the lil one.He was clinging to me hard like a frightened kitten. Xray is done. Rushed down the flight of stairs, cant wait for the lift. Whew. … “doctor bahar gaya. Dus baje ayenge”(Doctor went out , will be back by 10.00 ) If you want you can take him somewhere else. Or give him some pain killer and wait.

No way. Im not going to wait for 3 hrs. Thanks a lot. I will find another hospital. Rushed to the next hospital. The girl at the reception was more humane. You just rush to room no.6 .Dont bother about payment now. Her words came out as a cool breeze for me. I ran to the room where the nurse took charge immediately. Ortho doc arrived in a haste. Examinations….yes there is a minor fracture on his little finger. Don’t worry he will be okay.

The little finger was plastered and the right hand secured in a sling.
It’s 10pm. There he is, sleeping with a band-aid on his right little finger and the hand comfortably held in a sling. Pains of bringing up two little boys single handedly.

But one thing is true, when you have problems to solve, you become strong automatically, and you will be surprised how gracefully you could overcome it. Thanks to my parents, for my upbringing , for teaching me to be independent even when I am miles apart from them in a foreign country.

Im not a small boy anymore

Ammaaa, he called out in his usual musical tone, and came to me . Seeing that I am in the midst of something he lied down on the sofa next to me with his head high on the hand rest, his legs crossed above one another. Mmm a quite seriouse scene. I was curious to know what is that all about. I didn’t have to wait. There came the second Amma…. Note. I said Yes??? You see…. I don’t like the cycles having balancing wheel. . Yeah? But why? Amma , its for small children. Not for big first standard boys like me. Thank God acha removed my balance wheel long before. You cannot even ride fast with those extra wheels on. Its so funny no Amma ? to see children riding cycles with balance wheel??

I was startled for a while, I sat there with my jaws dropped. Is this the same boy who made sky and earth one to make his bend balance wheel straight so that he can ride comfortably , just a few months ago? Is this the same boy who always had the suffix “Im a small boy no?” God….. suddenly, as he got promotion to usual school uniform like his brother, from the colourful dresses of Kindergarten, he has ”Grown Up” overnight to a biiig first standard boy.

After a pause I agreed, yeah, I think you are right. You are not a small boy anymore. You are Jacob George Dominic . Std-I-J

My first bundle of joy

Wow! Amma you are so coool! You are a great artist! Cried out my seven yrs old boy from the dining table. What have I done now??? I was busy turning the next banana dosa which I was making for their dinner. I didn’t have to strain my brain too much; there he came beaming with the dosa which I had just tossed into his plate. What? Whats that now?? Amma see this, this is the exact way my art sir taught me to do shading. See this dosa, here towards this end, it is light, then see its little dark, then more dark. Wow you are an artist.

“Okay now go back to table and finish your dinner and be ready for rossary.” I said neutrally and pretended that Im busy in the kitchen. But I couldn’t stop thinking… this is the specialty and innocence of childhood. For them everything is important. They see things we elders never see. They find happiness in everything which may seem silly for the elders.

My little boy, he never misses a chance to praise any one if he genuinely feels that they have done something really wonderful according to his measuring scale. Always there is a bright smile on his face and he says when asked about this, its because my name is Isaac-“ the one who smiles”. Yes dear you are my bundle of joy. You always bring smile on my face, even when I am low & down.
I am lucky to have a son like you; who sometimes acts as my mother, grandfather and the next moment turns into my whining little boy who wants amma to play “Peekachoo” with him. Thank you almighty lord for this wonderful blessing