Love is in the air

Friends and foes, January is behind us. We have either forgotten our resolutions or either lived up to them. We have created fresh new memories in the new year of the new decade. We have all done our introspection, lived through deception and managed to go on with our daily grind. The first month of this New year is now behind us. The season of gruesome winter is over. And we have descended onto the season of Love.

The season of Exams ( Love or otherwise) is upon us. The children have anxieties from the examinations approaching. The youth have other expensive peer expectations to live up to ( The Valentine’s Challenge). But once you enter the familydom you have no more anxieties and no more apprehensions. You have nicely settled down into your mid life crisis and you have graciously (hopefully!) accepted it.

By now, you may have accomplished all or nothing. Passion, dreams, respect, thrill, adventure may not be your daily culinary ingredients now. But one most important spice of daily living recipe now is love. And you cannot exist without it. All you must have is appreciation for the love in your life. Love from all quarters. Love from your children, spouse, parents, pets and even bosses and colleagues( if you are lucky!).

Love sustains us. I believe, one should always be grateful for love. It is the single most important thing to me in this world. It is the thing that drives me to go through my tedious work routine daily, with a smile. Love is the most priceless and most precious possession. When my 4 year old says that he wants to marry his mommy, I am elated!. When my hubby finds time to text me ‘I love you’ inbetween his infinite other work and grocery related msgs, I am on top of the world. I believe it should be an offense to take your loved ones for granted.

If you have your family’s love to come back to, you can take on any challenge in the world. If you have a warm and judgement free home, you have the best life in this planet. After a really bad day, if you get a really nice supper by your family in the end, it all becomes easy breezy.

Traditionally our societies were based on sharing a lot of love, not only as a family but as a group. That is the reason why we, Indians have so many festivals to welcome all sorts of seasons. Lohri was celebrated together by dancing around the fire pyre. On the eve of Basant panchami, the skies were thronged by colorful kites and the neighborhood pandals were thronged by young and old, dressed in yellow, praying to Goddess Saraswati.

After all, love is a very strong and content emotion. Man was made as a social animal. He survived the holocaust and every other calamity over the centuries because of his fierce love towards his family and his society.

But alas, I see people today becoming cold and distant. We see warm hearted pleasing personalities on net, but cold distant sods in our neighborhood surround us. There are very few routine family gatherings and less and less neighbours and guests gather together. The love in the society is lost and has been eclipsed by our fancy love affair with social media.

The most precious ornament of any house is the guests that frequent it. But unfortunately, the society has moved away from this norm.

This Valentine’s day, I urge all to return back to our roots. Our roots of inclusiveness. Our glorious culture of atithi devo bhavo. Let us all, family people, make a pact with ourselves to visit our next door neighbors, invite our friends over to our home, do an apolitical chai pe charcha. Let us love more and love thorough to grow more stronger as a society.

Let us start trending love thy neighbor. We can leave the fancy restaurants and eating joints for our harried youths!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Lots of love to my wordpress family for inspiring me and delighting me with your wonderful words all the time. And thank you for reading.

Hey Nisha

Hey Nisha hi Nisha!

Where are you today?

I see you daily on my way.

Sometimes smiling, sometimes laughing,

Sometimes sad, sometimes frowning.

I see you smiling warmly to the scorching Sun.

Working fiercely with your every muscle outdone.

Cleaning streets, cleaning utensils.

Lifting things ten times your size.

Sometimes in rain, sometimes in bitter cold.

With no shelter for you to hold.

I marvel at your fearless spirit.

Your honesty and dedication has no limit.

You smile at adversity with such joy.

You call yourself Vrindavan’s queen ahoy!

You say this misfortune of yours will not last.

One day, you will build a roof over your past.

Your misfortunes are so explicit, but still no remorse you exhibit.

But are you really the misfortunate one?

Are we the fortunate ones? Living holed up in our comfort spots.

Blind to your misery, sufferings and pain.

Subjecting you to our disdain.

And never a kind word, or a word of support.

Has ever been uttered from this fortunate mouth.

But you the Unfortunate one, keep smiling, keep sprinting, come what may.

You just take all by your stride, laugh hard and bounce back, you dont need any guide.

And we the fortunate ones, cry hoarse at our every loss. Keep our hate and vengeance alive. Curse at any unpleasant unplanned sight.

You are so pure, and we so malicious.

We have let you down, innumerable times and yet, you never complain.

May God bless you always, is all I can say.

Happy New Year 2020

It is that time of the year to be merry again. To raise a toast to the coming year. To learn from past mistakes, to forgive, forget and move on. To open our minds to new opportunities, new awakening. To be a better version of ourselves. To live more, love more and embrace more. To more positivity and new beginnings.

The one and only thing one realizes while sailing through the years is that time flies fast. And so henceforth and always, my only new year resolution is to cherish every second, every minute, every hour, every year. To not let any trifles trouble me. To not let any obstacles overcome me. To not let any negativity negate me. To be my positive cheerful self. Always and forever.

I have seen in my 30 odd years of life, that when we put our happy souls out, even dejection turns into jubilation. A rejection in job, a lost wallet, an accident, all become learning lessons with happy memories and resolute spirits.

Wishing you all a very happy new year. May all your dreams come true in the coming year. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous, productive and a contented new year!!!

An affair called Marriage

Weddings are about enjoying novel experiences in rapid succession. There are some things which go as planned, and there are some which sprout up unplanned. There are last minute decisions which are changed even after meticulously planning that moment for months. Eventually, it is in chaos that everything is beautiful.

Indian marriages are loads of fun and work! On one hand there are beautiful decorations, insanely lit pandals and exotic flowers and food. And on another extreme, there are pills and tablets for heartburn, headaches and hangovers from too much booze!!🍾🍷🍸🍹🍺🍻πŸ₯‚

There is melody of sweet music meeting cantankerous cries of children who refuse to oblige the camera crew. There are selfie corners. There are charismatic friends turning the heat up.  There are relatives all glittered up.

There maybe budgetary limitations or time constraints but there is never a limit on fun, bonding and love. There may be tiny episodes of nokjhok every now and then but eventually it is fun, merriment and enthusiasm that rules all. At the end of the day, there is a sense of relief when your relatives head home happy after showering you heartily with their wonderful blessings. And then, your happily ever after begins.

Husband and wife, best friends for life.πŸ’‘

And very soon you realize that marriage is not only an amalgamation of bride and groom, but the entire extended families are bound in this sacred thread.

In our family, we consider ourselves truly blessed to have a great Indian cultural mashup. We, the awesomest sisters are Bengali brahmin beauties.πŸ‘―β€β™€οΈ Mine is a concoction of East meets west. I was born in princely city of Agartala (Tripura) whereas he was born in Churu (Rajasthan🏜) and is a rustic Haryanavi jaat. You can see, it is a beautiful rainbow as rain meets Sun.🌈 (Agartala- close to wettest place in Indiaβ›ˆ and Churu- hottest place in Indiaβ˜€οΈ).Ha ha ha🀣🀣.

From the gorgeous Himalayas of North, we have this amazing new addition. My sissy’s better half is a coy sweet Himachali guy. So, her relationship will be like a snowfall!! Rain meets snow!β˜ƒοΈ Okay. My apologies. It is very lame.πŸ˜‚Anyways, we all rock!!

I honestly cannot thank God enough for making us meet such great, nice supportive families. There is never a dull moment when our folks meet each other!! Hahaha.

My sister’s wedding was not just a single day gala affair but a celebration of our unique culture’s and customs from both sides. Both the bride and the groom were very clear from the very beginning about the celebration of their special day. Extravagant expensive show off was a big no no, but just simple ritualistic traditional affair with close friends and family.

It started with a Bengali Aashirwad ceremony at our home and ended with a bang with a Himachali Dham celebration in a beautiful picturesque village of Himachal Pradesh- the Dev Bhoomi. πŸžπŸ”

My sister’s hands adorned the traditional bengali shakha paula as well as the Punjabi chooda. The groom wore a punjabi pagdi as well as a topor and rocked both looks with much elan.

In short, it was like a small part of mini India under one roof. A festival of life.

And now that everything is over and we have returned to our regular lives, we miss the fervor and the excitement. We revel in the nostalgia, in the albums and thoughts. I cannot thank the photographer enough for these precious memories, whom I had mentally cursed a lot for his incessant flashes every milliseconds.

Marriage is a risk, a great glorious risk. And you must embark on this soul fulfilling adventure in the same spirit. It requires constant team work, patience and compromises. Not only from the two key players but from the entire team which functions as a restorative and supportive medium.

Love doesn’t make the world go around. Love is what makes the world worthwhile. And true love is the world’s greatest adventure. Best wishes and good luck for your adventure.

Happy Birthday dear Bhanu

Tomorrow you will turn 2 and I cannot believe that you are only 2. Seems like you have been a part of my existence since forever. With your silly one liners, your oomph and your style you look far bigger than your age. But your weight and height are worrying factors!

You are the little prankster who scolds everyone in the house. You are the Monster who hides all of my stuff all around the house with a mischievous grin. You laugh like a mad man at your own words and actions. You defy all my commands and sometimes shout at me without any reason. And then you make the most stupid sounds and cutest faces to melt my heart away.

I love you beta. And I pray that God blesses you with wisdom, good health, peace and prosperity. May you grow to be strong, tall, healthy, sharp and above all content and satisfied in whatever you do.

You are the cutest bundle of joy. And you have filled my life with neverending happiness. You have never wanted any toys, just my utensils. You have never wanted any dresses for your own, just mumma’s makeup. You will be my Pyara Bhanu forever.

My musings

The Sun at my back, The breeze flowing through my hair.

I lie on the grass, in the nature’s lap. Feels like my mother caressing my back.

The butterflies are a sight to behold! And I see the squirrels spreading cheer.

The air so fresh, the rays so warm. The grass so green, I feel like a queen.

I wish to continue this all life long, never return from my sojourn.

But life awaits me with it’s own tales! Tales of love, work, fights and crisis which are frail.

And my home sweet home beckons me, and I dive deep again.


The winds whisper to me.

The Sun rays fill me spontaneous energy.

The butterflies, the bees.

The ocean, the river, the trees.

The dry leaves strewn across the greens.

The rhapsodic melody.

So divine, so heavenly.

The shapes, the color palette of nature

Is surreal and so true.

I want to make the sky my home.

To enjoy this solitude, this harmony.

To live in utter surrender to Thee.

To celebrate, to love, to cherish

The magic uninterrupted by any.

My Little Miss Universe

On a bright summer morning of April 1990, was born my little Miss Universe. My grandmother had expected a son along with rest of our neighborhood. This is far before beti bachao happened in northern India. But my folks were the happiest. Especially my dad because my mom had pushed out a healthy 3.7kg girl which seemed like an impossible task!. It was a little unexpected of her, as I, her first born was born via minor birthing complications 2 years ago through a C section. She could not breast feed me back then, but this little wonder was on to her breasts in seconds. My parents were on top of the world. And so was I.

The greatest gift I ever got from my parents was her.

She was known to all as the charismatic kaddu (pumpkin) of our neighborhood. She was the chubby girl, never learned to dance, but could strike a pose instantaneously. I was her always protective, sometimes lost elder sister. Since then she has been my entire Universe. I didn’t need many friends or any other company because I always had her. She was, is and will always be my Universe.

She can get crazy at times, she scares me too but can be a meaner bully for people who mess with me. No matter what I do, she always has my back. We share laughter and tears together. We have our own secret language of smiles, sighs, winks and eye rolls. We watch out for each other, comfort each other through thick and thin.

A little sugar, a little lime. My rock, my sunshine.

Preaches a lot, teaches a lot. Talks a little, pouts a lot.

This chubby kadu became a thin lanky tomboyish teenager and has now become a beautiful long legged Diva. She can put all our heroines to shame with her resplendent smile and grace. She has a comfortable style and is happy in her own skin.

And now very soon, she is getting married. I will have to share her with another household. I cannot begin to describe my emotions. It’s a mixture of sadness and happiness to see her with the Man of her Dreams. After all, she is my sister, my best friend, my soul mate and best part of me.

We have both been witnesses to each others lives for as long as we have been. We are almost inseparable, entwined together like conjoined twins. We are never on the same page at first, but sooner or later I agree with her. She wins, always.

Like all other Bongs, she is fiercely independent, opinionated and strong willed. But unlike other bongs, she is terrible at singing, dancing or cooking!.

My sister and I have always been close. After all, we are only 2 years apart. But I have been extremely fortunate  to never have even be away from her for as long as 2 months, even after my marriage!! God is great.

And this post marriage bond is the time when I believe I have cherished her the most. Or is the closest to my memory. I depend on her for almost everything. From feeding and raising my children to managing my maids, even my husband at times!

Sometimes sweet, at times devious. Don’t be off guard, she is mischievous.

My devil, my guarding angel.
My sweet  younger sister, my archangel!

Thank God! my mother has the best things to say about us. Like how as a child,  I would look after my toddler sister. I would feed her with my own hands and she would be quite stress free as to our concern.

Growing up together, with no cousins nearby and a very few friends, we were very thick. There were silly fights and innumerable silly arguments as well. Like exactly counting the number of paneer on our plates. It should be equally divided between the two, not less nor more. I would sometimes steal little bit from her plate and she would call mom. During our physical fights I would use my arms and she would use her nails as potent weapons. Mentally, she would hold on to her grudge for a long time, even after my remorseful surrender and would hurt me with her devious plans! Here I can confess, all solemnly, that she was right more often than not.

A sister loves you from the heart. No matter how much you fight, you cannot be pulled apart.

She is a joy that is here to stay,
and make your worries go away.

In one such very bitter fight,during our teenage years, in a fit of rage I tore her most esteemed collection of Cristiano Ronaldo’s posters. The fury in her eyes, I cannot forget. I had to pay the penance for many weeks and months afterwards.

If one were to scroll down my personal journal, one would find alternating feelings of love and hatred between us.

We had each other for company all the time and that was complete in itself. On our long train rides to Kolkata or bus rides to Delhi we would invent our own games, our own vocabulary sometimes and be amused. Being lonely or away even for a single night was painful for us.

I will miss her nasty jibes and her caring vibes. I will miss her lazy Sunday grill and her serious travel drill. I will miss the security of having her around. Taking me to drinks and merry go round.

Our favorite past time happens to be teasing each other. We are happy to do it but the minute a third party jumps in we pull our guards up. We do not spill our secrets, like some sacred holy grail and we do not let, no other person, be it our mom to share the fun.

I can shamelessly say that I depend on her for everything. She has least interest in gossips or mundane activities but my day is not complete without telling her about it. For advise in friendships, relationships, fashion and so on, she is my wise counsel.

You are the Jerry, when I am Tom. I am Robin to your Batman. When you are Sherlock Holmes, I am Dr. Watson.

At my wedding, 5 years back she was the elaborate meticulous planner, designer, chauffer, host and everything. She kept a comprehensive wedding diary with all incorrigible minuscule details. This diary has now come to my rescue!. She did so much with very little help, from the scratch but never did she miss the late night football Worldcup matches. Be it the European league or any other championship she never misses any of her favourite sport.

Not to sound pompous, she is extremely brilliant. She was amongst the top 10 in our State in board examinations. She is a gold medalist from the university in her post graduation subject. And this is hard to believe for us, because we hardly find her with books as she is busy attending to our troubles!.

Now when I look back at my memories, I cannot imagine my life without her. She has always been by my side.

A perfect sister I am not, but thankful for the one I got.

I had a traumatic first child birth with post partum hemorrhage but she was constantly with me. Holding me and holding him, helping me to breast feed him. Night after night she was there with her calm face and soothing voice, attending to all my needs.

Even today, after a troublesome hectic day, a glass of wine or a cup of coffee or even a phone call with her is all I need to ease myself.

She will go the extra mile,
With her beautiful smile,
Lighting up her face,
To do things for you
That only she can do
And bring the best out of you.

The only thing that tops having you as my sister is my children having you as their mishti masi.

Both my kids are her top priority now, even before her own life and marriage. They are spoilt as well as disciplined at the same time by their adorable Mishti Masi.

I am the more impulsive, more reckless, more impatient, more loud of the two. She is calm, quiet, practical and suave and is luckily in a profession that suits her personality the best.

I will miss her a lot, post her marriage. But I will find solace in the fact that she is only a phone call away.

I will miss her arguments, her right wing judgements and her sports mania. I will miss her care, her warmth and her lovely persona.

Hey Shu, I just want to say that there is no better friend than a sister and THERE IS NO BETTER SISTER THAN YOU. Will love you to the moon and back. And I am sorry for all the times I have let you down. But you were always around. Love you.

The Accident

It could have been worse.

It was 7th November, 2015. 4 years ago How time flies! It was like any regular day. The early winter morning Sun rays finding it’s way through the morning haze. A golden yellow glow spreading all around.

It was like any other morning. Except that I was starting 8 months into my first pregnancy. The haunting memories of the incident still bring back goosebumps.

Morning 7.00am..It all started when I overslept. Maybe my pregnancy brain somehow forgot about my morning assignments and told my arm to switch off my morning alarm. I woke up late. Somehow made myself tea but hardly had any time to sip it. My legs were forever aching and my bulging belly had made simple tasks more laborious.

My husband had night shifts at the hospital and I had to be there myself at 8 am, as I had left some unfinished work from previous day to complete before 9 am that day. I was a resident Pathologist then. The slides would not report themselves. A lot of stuff was pending. A lot of stuff was on my mind. And I was getting late.

It could have been worse.

I hurriedly gobbled through my morning breakfast and completed my list of daily chores. We stayed in a rented accommodation at a distance of hardly 10 minutes by car from the hospital. I knew the route by heart. I wanted to make it before 8.

I met my husband at the gate, took the car keys, adjusted my driving seat to accommodate my belly, barely managed a bye and drove away. Maybe it was Diwali or Dusshera holidays, I don’t exactly recollect but the schools were nonetheless off. There was less than usual traffic and I remember that I was happy to have realised that. I was sure now that I would be there by 8am. Little did I know, where I would wound up.

And then it happened. It could have been worse.

It happened so suddenly that I do not revoke the exact finer details. I don’t remember my exact speed at that fateful turning. Maybe it was 60kmph or 70kmph or even 90kmph. I don’t remember the rickshaw that I had tried to avoid, maybe it was static, maybe it was moving. I don’t remember how she and her activa suddenly came in front of my Maruti alto. I think she was also fast, I think she shifted her lane. I am not sure. As I said I can’t remember the finer details.

But what I exactly remember is the feeling I had. I could hear my heart pounding in my mouth. My brain frozen with fear. My eyes shell shocked as I saw her lying on the road from my rearview mirror. That sight I can never forget. It took me maybe 5 or more minutes to open my seatbelt and rush to her aid.

A small crowd of onlookers had gathered. She was conscious and writhing and wincing in pain or shock maybe. I somehow requested a good samaritan to help her into my car and accompany us to the hospital. Another fellow parked her activa at an appropriate place and gave me the keys and her helmet, her phone etc which had all scattered on the road.

With trembling hands this time, I drove her to the hospital casualty. I knew most residents personally so got her all the help she needed. She was attended most earnestly by my colleagues who also called my sister and my husband.

My sister was besides me in a minute. She is also a doctor and took control of the situation. She called her family, the auntie’s family and informed them.

The auntie was somewhat obese, middle aged, maybe 5o something with a round face. She was pretty. Now, again I don’t fairly remember whether she was a bank employee or a school teacher but I exactly remember how she looked. She was wearing a brown and maroon winter suit which was now torn at places, had a nice brown sweater and thick lovely black hair. She originally had a nice makeup and dark lipstick on. But now her hair were disheveled and lipstick all smudged.

She stayed in the adjoining sectors and her husband and her son were there besides her in less than 20 minutes. Her son was 25 years of age then. I still remember his name and have his phone number till date. Even though I never have the courage to dial it. He is 2 years younger to me.

I remember looking at their faces, searching for their reactions. The despair that their faces wore. The helplessness that they felt. How suddenly a bright beautiful day had turned so upsetting for them. Maybe they had plans for a nice picnic, or even a silver jubilee marriage anniversary celebration. But fate had given them a rude shock. Or to put it correctly I had ruined it all.

I remember her scolding me and publically shaming me. My husband tried to pacify her but she threatened us with police action in her agitated painful state. Later she perhaps took pity on my condition and did not press any charges.

I stood remorseful in front of the family and I clearly remember some thing that her husband, the uncle, said in a calm suave manner and it has stuck with me forever. It was destined to happen. I am grateful to Almighty God for being the Saviour today. It could have been worse.

Yes, It could have been worse. She could have had her skull cracked, if not for the helmet. Or her jaw broken or any vital organ crushed. It could have been worse. Anyhow, her X ray and CT scan procedures took about an hour or more. By this time, the pain injections had relaxed her a little.

Her X ray revealed a fractured left forearm which would take at least 6 months to heal and function again. But rest all her ribs and CT head was normal. She felt heaviness in her chest and head but all ECG were normal. The cast was set and she was prescribed a heavy dose of painkillers.

They were upper middle class family and she had a history of other chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension as well. They decided to pursue further care at their private family physician facility. My husband tried to extend full financial support but the Uncle firmly refused. He patted my back, told me to relax and learn my life lessons from that experience. Let’s all thank God and move on..

He was God sent to me. I have never seen a more calmer person in such a dreary situation. My husband stayed in touch with the Son and got all updates regarding her health. In fact, the Son inquired quite regularly about my health issues as well. He was perhaps the most loving Son any mother can dream of. My husband wanted to visit their home as well and bought all cards, fruits, flowers for the same. But I was paralyzed with fear, pain, stress and anxiety of the trauma.

My USG at the obstetrics department was fine. My folks tried in vain to cheer me up. My department helped me prepone my maternity leave and I did not or could not return to work or drive.

I had terrible thoughts cross my mind. She could have died. Or I could have died. Or worse still, I could have lost my unborn child. It could have been worse.

I was gripped with fear, anxiety and restlessness and the labour did not occur. I was taken up for a C- section and exactly after a month and 23 days later from the accident, in my 42nd week of pregnancy (post term), a day before the year could end, on 30th December I gave birth to my first born.

And with him, I was born again. I felt free from the shackles of my reckless mistake. My hopes, my dreams, my goodwill, my faith was born again. When I became a mother, I became a more responsible and a more loving person. I learnt my lessons and implemented them.

Today I am glad that more stringent laws are in place for offenders of road safety. Road safety is of paramount importance to all of us. But above all laws and enforcement, we must all ourselves become more responsible with these machines, more respectful of these machines so that they do not become monstrous beneath us.

Today, when I drive my almost 4 year old to his play school, I make sure that his car seat is properly tugged in right. I stick to my permissible limits. I stick to my own lane. And even on occasions of getting late, I try to not lose my calm. Its my Road to Redemption .

Hello ladies! Happy Karwachauth

This is an ancient Indian ritual followed in Northern India. Women fast and pray for the long lives of their husbands. The fast is broken by looking through a channi at the Moon. There is a elaborate Puja to be done and etc etc.

But I beleive, this day is not about fasting and later feasting! It goes above and beyond that. The rituals are symbolic and remind us of the strong special bitter butter bond that we share with our better half!

It celebrates the spirit of womanhood. It is a day when everyone, including us acknowledge our hard work and our support to this world. It is a day when we pat ourselves on the back for a job well done that we do without any break. It is a day when we all sisters stand and celebrate together.

This day is an opportunity for the amazingly overworked women folk to take a break. You have to after all look your best! It’s part of the ritual to look as close to the bride resemblance of yours as possible. We all indulge in spas and Mehndi and makeup etc. Even though getting to the overcrowded markets can give you a spasm.

Mehndi on hands

But at the end of the day, to see the lively brimming market filled with beautiful ladies followed sincerely by obedient husbands obliging them with expensive presents is a wonderful experience.

As a Bengali, there is no such thing as this Karwachauth but growing up here in North amidst all Punjabis, I had great fondness for this festival. I remember peeping over my balcony and looking at all aunties of my neighbourhood, all dressed up and doing a thali version of Puja. I remember coaxing my Mom to get Mehndi applied herself. But she would always shy away. At the same time, she would help everyone else with their preparations.

Now that I am myself married into a Haryanvi family, I do all the customs from the inside and it feels great too! I am really fortunate that my mum in law is too considerate and not old fashioned. So she lets me make amendments to my rituals and goes along them.

I enjoy a day off and wait for the Moon to rise! I wait for the time when my hubby will finally give me his full attention and a present! And of course I pray to Almighty to bless us all with a good healthy life.

Amen to that. Happy Karwachauth Ladies!

Miss you my baby boy

Today I tore a piece of my heart when I saw you leaving in that bus. Safely cuddled in the loving arms of your grandmother, you are off to her Land of wonder.

A place of adventure and magic, fun and frolic. The farms are adventurous. Its magical to see a buffalo giving milk or even giving birth! if you are lucky. And it’s fun and frolic to be in that vicinity.

I know it is selfish on my part to part with you this way. I know how much you love my embrace and the warmth that flows through that. I know that it drives you mad when I take that away. But it had to be done.

Mommy has many a duty apart from that. And even though I know that you are my utmost responsibility; I hope you can find ways to derive pleasure from alternate meals.

It is important for you to understand that the World is a very big place away from me. There are many things to try and learn, and quite a many things to be done.

Your grand parents will hold on to you tight and love you hard with all their might. Even better than what I did.

And when you return to me in a weeks time, you will be stronger, longer and more confident and independent.

I will miss your smile, your laugh, your play. But I will envision all of that far away. Under the Sun, in the shade of trees, you will be laughing and buzzing as a bee.

They will love you and spoil you bad. You will come back to me, a little fat, a little tanned!

Happy Birthday Beautiful

She can get upset at the silliest of things;

She can make mountain out of a mole hill.

Sometimes, her voice is too shrill,   and her furious eyes can kill.

She can give you a fright;

Yes, you guessed it right!

She is my dearest Mother!πŸ˜—πŸ˜—

She is the ladder to my success,
The fodder to my express.

My chauffeur, my potter, My rudder; My umbrella for all kinds of weather.

She is my MegaSuperstar, the finest drama queen ever, the everlasting Sunshine.

Without Her, nothing is fine!

Hi all! We all know that Mothers are Gods greatest gift to humanity. And we all love them and are indebted to that lady who brings us forth to this merciless World and then strives relentlessly to make sure that we are safe, sound and sanguine.

Its strange how we value our Mothers more after entering our own motherhood. Motherhood is the hardest and the most tiresome occupation ever. Agreed, it has lovely rewards and compensations. But it  needs the right touch of  temperament, tenderness and toughness for a job well done. My mother has been in this for 32 years now. She will turn 58 today. She has had a long beautiful journey which I admire. Let me share that with you.

In the autumn of year 1961, around this auspicious time of Durgo Pujo at 6th of October, she was born as the fifth and the youngest child to a modest engineer in Jamshedpur (Bihar). But my Dada died young, when my mother was barely five. And my Dida showed great strength and resolution by raising all 5 children by herself with no help whatsoever. She came back to Agartala (Tripura), and though her eldest son suffered from lack of proper education and health but they both did their best to provide decent studies and nourishment for the younger ones. Even though my eldest Mamu passed away some years ago, my Dida is still alive, frail and weak in body now but with a hale and hearty  spirit. She is full of great anecdotes to share and imparts her wisdom to whosoever cares to listen. At her age of nearing a century, she still does all her cooking and washing by herself. I think that is the source from where my own mother derives her inspiration.

    My mother got married at the age of 25 and had me when she was 26. As my father was working here in Punjab so she had to transfer with him from the East border of the country to the North-West. Back in 1986, she had no knowledge of  the different language, culture and food. She must have been scared. She must have been saddened for losing touch with all those who were dear ( as those were days before mobile and internet) but she fearlessly joined my father. Growing up in Bengal and now having to learn Punjabi and Hindi, must have been an ardous task, but slowly and steadily with her good nature, perseverance and good humor she learnt all the regional necessities.

    Back then, my father had a single modest earning, but my mother was an efficient  resource manager and we felt never short of comforts. She had a great art of bargaining, was very ingenious and used to maintain an account of every penny spent. She is a gifted chef and has a keen ability to learn from all sources and kept on improvising within her limited means.

    At our first rented accomodation, she would cook in a very tiny measly kitchen, clean our shared bathrooms dilligently and would never have any time to waste. On the other hand, she would encourage us for recreational activities and maintained a proper schedule for us.

      On our demands, she would organize the most delightful birthday parties with sumptuous home cooked food and home made decorations.

      She struggled for us, neglected her comforts for us. But throughout that period her beaming smile and spirits  were always intact.

      My love for fictional books stems from her as she would read to me and my younger sister for our afternoon naps. She was my first teacher, my perpetual friend who would listen to my sorrowful tales of treachery or heartbreak. She would soothe my ailing heart with kindest of words and yet provide me with wisdom and courage.

      Growing up, I don’t know how she managed so much with so little. She was always endearingly ready to perform her duty. There was never a single break or a holiday. How she encouraged me to be simple and strong at the same time. All are just demands were always met with a warm smile and fulfilled in no time. But no, she would never spoil us. She had a lot of discipline and would not allow wastage of a single drop of water or food.

        Even now, as our spending prowess has increased, she still dislikes any expensive purchases or presents and reprimands us for the same. It is not that she hates shopping. But she has a clever, more judicious way of shopping. She has a great deal of fashion sensibility and would encourage us to style ourselves.

        My father was out of station for most parts of his job and my mother would fulfil her duties as a homemaker and also do other outdoor responsibilities  with ease. These were the days long before Amazon and paytm had arrived to make grocery shopping and bill payments easier and better.

          I remember during my competitive examinations, she used to wake up before my alarm for 4.00 am would go off and make me warm tea and munchies. She would herself read a book or knit besides me to engage me and encourage me.

          She taught us to be invincible. To reach for the sky. She would celebrate our minor achievements and would shield us from any disappointments. In a busy world of maddening fierce competition, she stressed on the importance of self satisfaction and acknowledgement. She taught me to never give up. But to always hold on to dear God for strength and peace.

          In case of power failure, she would herself stay up all night and fan both us sisters with her handmade fans so that we slept without trouble.

          All credit to her awesome genes for my decent physical appearance. She vows to never dye her hair and still at this age has just a few silver streaks. Her skin radiates with her inner peace and tranquillity, and she took a lot of pride in being mistaken as our elder sister in our teenage years!!

          During my first maternity, I was blessed to be besides her once again. I suffered from post partum hemorrhage and was quite out of health. She took upon the mammoth task for providing for the entire household without a minutes rest. There was this endless list of baby work and along with that providing food for my in-laws, my husband and the overflowing guests. All that she did with eager emotion and spirit and nursed me back to health again.

          She never had any household help till a couple of years back when she was hospitalised for an abdominal condition. And then also, after a lot of pestering from us did she agree to part with her cleaning duties.

          She is the most talented Interiors decorator I know. All our rented accomodations were beautifully done by Her, using whatever little means she had. She is the master of best out of waste.

          She is this abundant store house of energy. Always positive, always cheerful. Always ready to play, a game of Chess, Ludo, cards or Antakshri. She is always ready to sing or clap away to bhajans or tunes. She is the most gracious host and a most courteous guest. Even in face of storm, she would put up a smiling and effervescent face.

            She is very modern and unorthodox. She has taught me to be never tied down by customs, traditions and obligations, but to instead enjoy them. For her, rituals like fasting or other religious temple duties are not of much importance but cleansing of mind and God’s name is of paramount importance.

            Her compassion, kindness and understanding for all is unmatched in spirits and actions. No person coming to our house, any Rickshaw puller or any delivery guy could leave without having a cup of tea and a hearty meal. She is loved and adored by all her past or present neighbours, househelps and friends who call her and come to her for advices and help. When one of her previous housemaid got pregnant, she fed her and nursed her in the same manner as she had treated me.

            Now,  she sits in her beautiful  flat that dad bought after his retirement and waits for her grandkids and children to visit her. Any visit to her abode is nothing short of visiting a deluxe resort, complete with all amenities and comforts. Her kitchen will churn out delicacies for all. There will a minimum of 5 dishes from prawn, mutton for the bigger son to soups and pizza for the grandsons. As for her daughter, I find every thing from her ghiyadal to karela heavenly.

            Dear Mommy, Thank you for being there. For being you. You are my teacher, my root, my belief system, my foundation, my go to person, my hero. I know we have had innumerable fights and arguments. I know I have misbehaved. But in your heart you have such incomprehensible love. I can never pay you back for anything. You sacrificed your all for us. I am proud of you Ma. And we love you always and forever.

            Happy birthday Mommy.

            Let there be hope…

            The world is a tricky place,

            And life has a many phase.

            There is alternate joy and sorrow;

            Oscillating between yesterday, today, tomorrow.

            Never give up hope, do no remorse;

            Let God be your guiding force.

            Steer clear of negative emotions, negative people.

            Do not let them be your cripple.

            Always keep your spirits high;

            You are the sunshine of the sky.

            Keep shining and smiling. Lots of love.

            Festival times! hurray!

            Come October and it is time for celebrations and festivals all through out India. As the autumn sky turns poetic, the cool breeze ushers in, a season of good times and festivities begins. It is time for gaiety and joviality, amusement and togetherness.

            It is the moment of triumph of good over evil. We witness the Ram Leela in the glory of Lord Rama followed by Dusshera where the effigies of Ravan, Kumbhkaran and Meghnad are blown away with celebration of fireworks. These Navratris are also rejoiced as Dandiya utsav where the night is to be danced away. For all us Bengalis, it is Pujo time!!!.

            Durga Puja

            When suddenly you can see shuili phool ( commonly known as night flower) growing in wilderness, you know it is the time of the year when our Mother descends from her husband’s majestic galaxy to visit her parental home. Ma aschhen.

            The humble earth rejoices. Flowers bloom in brilliant colors, the birds merrily chirp away and the sounds of dhak and the aroma of dhunochi turn the atmosphere heavenly.

            To match the glamour and glitz we all complete our Pujo shopping in time to look our best in front of our dear Ma who has come to bestow us with good blessings and health for a year.

            As young girls, my sister and myself would excitedly wait for parcels of presents or money! sent by my loving Dida and Masi from far away Agartala to complete our Pujo shopping. We would accompany our Mother to markets and fondly choose dresses for the Pujo.

            Pujo meant waking up early in the morning, one fine day and finding Daddy tuning our Radio to harmonious and powerful Mahalaya renditions.

            Pujo meant school breaks and visiting pandals doing idol hopping, offering pushpanjali and eating khichdi prasad during the day.

            Pujo meant being dazed by the joyous sounds of Dhak, witnessing the splendorous Aartis and enjoying the cultural extravaganza at night.

            Pujo meant tempting mouth watering food and more food! From delicious double egg rolls to sumptious mutton biryani.

            As we grew up, our other non Bengali friends would also heartily accompany us to the beautifully decorated Pandals and be awestruck. We would all giggle away in our sarees and idle away our time, forgetting any seriousness; just being in the present and frolicking to the hearts delight.

            Now, is that time of the year again. Let us all get ready to soak in the glorious atmosphere, to cherish the feverish merriment and be a part of the ever increasing maddening crowds!.

            Happy Durgo Pujo. Bolo bolo Durga Mai ki Jai.

            Change is life.

            πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈHi everyone, was very busy lately with moving and packing all over again in less than 12 months. So here I am with the recital of my life’s relocation.

            Life is constant movement. The only constant is change. The only routine is to stick to change. I relocated my roof for the 6th time in 5 years, and reluctantly redid my place of residence!πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

            Change is the law of life. And those who look only to past or present are certain to miss the future. – John. F. Kennedy.

            Throughout my growing up years my parents focussed on keeping us, sisters, in one perfect city for the sake of good education and splendid opportunities. My schooling, undergraduation and postgraduation all happened in one city- my utopian beautiful City!!. My affectionate mom was always home to welcome us with her warmth and her mouth watering dishes. Her lovely smile and her sumptuous food would drive all the day’s stress away. Even though my dad did a lot of travelling in all kinds of weather to all kinds of places, near and far, as he was in a transferable job. But we, the awesome twosome sisters, oblivious to anything, had one hell of a time!, growing up in this nice tranqil beautiful City.πŸ‘­

            Then love happened πŸ’‘and I married a young dashing handsome guy, my senior in college, who originally hailed from a faraway agrarian hinterland. Visit to his hinterland was my first experience at life away from my beautiful City. But young and enthusiastic we found residency in hospitals in my favourite City and shifted to the hostel condo.πŸ₯

            It was convenient and fun and private. Just like the two of us had wanted. Late night snacks, Practical pranks, lots of awkward mess and lots of merriment.

            Then pregnancy happened. 🀰And unable to bear the stress of nausea and uneasiness I returned to the warm nest and shelter of my loving mother, who happily accommodated the two of us.🏘

            It was the most blissful winter of my life. My house was at a convenient walking distance from the busy market with all varieties of Indian, Chinese and Continental snacks and the peaceful luscious gardens. I feasted to my hearts delight and then enjoyed the blossoming flowers and bouncing butterflies.

            The birth of my first born and the 6 month maternity holidays was the best time of my life! But like all good things must come to an end, It could not last forever. Slowly and solemnly, we moved out onto a rented dwelling with our mischievous toddler.πŸ‘ͺ

            The house, owned by an old meticulous Sardar uncle, had its own advantages of a beautiful mango tree in the backyard, but the summers were difficult with water woes and his constant interference!!

            As the rents in this beautiful City were steeply rising and our demand for space increasing as I got expecting for the second time, we had to leave my favourite City behind and move to the high rising towns mushrooming around it.πŸŒƒ

            We were getting accustomed to high rise flats and high society gimmicks; when a bigger opportunity and a fatter pay check happened. And we shifted to another City, now 100kms faraway from my original City. But as in any job, the only growth is to not get stagnated at one place and shift profiles. Hence we relocated again..πŸŒ‡

            Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

            Slowly and steadily I am learning new problems with this latest apartment like water woes and new problems with this City like traffic or electricity snarls, etc and day by day looking for new solutions as well. In all this process, I try to be the delightful mommy to my two kids.πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦β€πŸ‘¦ Even though, I still wait for own mommy’s bimonthly visits to my place to fix my kitchen or rearrange my almirah.🏩

            Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best and avoid regret.

            Sometimes change was frightening and brought for me loads of work, stress and anxiety. My first impulse is to always resist it. But eventually, after a lot of coaxing and motivation by my husband! I come around. I look for opportunities to learn new things, find new neighbours and improve the way I work.

            I sometimes gingerly dream of owning one fixed changeless magnificent space in my City beautiful for myself. Not very grand, but modest and harmonious. I see myself doing elaborate gardening and creating an exquisite living space. I hang art paintings and have sophisticated articulate furniture. I put up a watershed outside my house, for men as well as animals.🏑

            My surroundings may change; but my essence and personality will remain the same.

            Eventually, after a lot of learning, I have submitted myself to this nomadic life style. After all, it has a great message of inclusiveness. All world is one. As the Great Gita emphasizes, we came onto this World empty handed and shall leave this world empty handed. So why cry over what you have lost, When it was never yours to begin with?!πŸ‘Œ

            You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.πŸ‘

            Every place place I have stayed In, has now become a storeroom of exquisite memories and every habitation where I will next move to will see our celebration of the way of life.πŸ‘€πŸ‘…β€πŸ’₯πŸ’«

            My theory is that life is beautiful. Life doesn’t change. You have a day and a night, and a month and a year. We people change- we can be miserable or we can be happy. It’s what you make of your life. – Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makloum.


            Jai shri Krishna!!

            Krishna Janmashtami is here. The world is rejoicing with ‘radhe radhe’ and ‘Jai shri Krishna’.

            We Indians are very lucky because all our months are heralded by nicest of festivals which give us a break from the monotony of life and helps us in our social and spiritual development. They are a lot of fun and provide you time to connect to yourself, your family and your society.

            Also, I believe, it boosts our economy. Rakhi, teej, karva chauth all include enormous amounts of shopping for gifts and self, etc. All the shopkeepers make merry while we women folk go berserk with the numerous choices!!

            But Festivals are by no means easy on the ladies running the house. First visit overcrowded markets and bargain for the dresses and ornaments for the baby. Prepare sweets and delicacies to give bhog to the Gods. Clean your house so well so that God finds it suitable!. Throng temples and tussle in crowds, sweat hard to give a jhula to our beloved Bal Krishna, all the whike making sure that your own kith and kin does not get lost in the crowd!!.

            After all this you realise that existence of God and it’s realisation is the sole motive of all these struggles!!

            Happy Janmashtami to all you folks!.

            Drowning in your apathy

            All these years I imagined, You and I in the rains; Drowning ourselves in its melody; Blowing away with the breeze; singing to ourselves, without a worry.

            But now when the clouds open themselves and pour their heart out, I see you drifting apart from me..

            You were closer in my imaginations; but today the rain, the breeze, the clouds, the night is as perfect as it could be. And you are missing the task, though physically you sit at your desk near me.

            The splish splash sing a lullaby, the rain drops kiss me gently. As perfect as it could be.

            I wish for you to hear me, but I know the complexity; your world, the mobile phone is my mortal enemy.!!

            The Bossy Parents

            Let me share a true horror story with you. My parents are the monsters in this true story and I am their poor victim. With their tongues unleashing Dragon balls of fury and their eyes tormenting me with its rage; they devour my flesh. I am a mother of two, running successful offices but I am not as scared to err in front of my CEOs, or the traffic cop or the income tax department as I am in front of my parents. To completely understand my trepidation and to let the entire terror unleash systematically upon you let me do a rewind of today’s morning activities.

            7.00 am Waking up to loud commotion of two set of grandparents exchanging pleasantries. Or is it the opposite? Both of them are trying to win hearts of their grandchildren with bribes ranging from chocolates to sweets. I timidly try to remind them of pending cavities and pounding ants. But all my reminders are stealthily ignored.

            It is the honorary change of guards today. The maternal grandparents are leaving and the paternal ones have entered the den to take charge and look after my two children; who one can easily mistake for monkeys without tail, going by their habits!.

            We Indians, basically consider it a blessing in disguise that we have so many extra hands to take care of our little ones behind our backs. But we the wives know, deep in our hearts, that is a deeper bargain than this. While your mothers like a fairy, drop down to cajole your sons from one hand, their other hand like a witch points towards everything which is wrong with your house. While they cast a lovely spell on their grandsons, they keep a fair eye on their own son to protect him from your so called sorcery!!. Soon everything in your house is rearranged to this extent that it is difficult for you to find your own lingerie!

            8.00 am My mother tries to force her beloved paranthas down my throat and my mother in law politely points out that I have put on more weight since she last saw me 10 days ago!!! As two ladies from vastly different communities of Bengalis verses Haryanvi argue about the pros of their rich cultural and food heritage, I am torn into slipping morsels of food into my mouth and agreeing with both from time to time.

            8.30 am As soon as I step out of my bathroom, my own mother points that my dress is not uniformly pressed whereas the mother in law tells me that this lipstick is loud for office. Trying to wipe my lipstick out I see the two ladies agree in unison about how my style of clothes is not trendy at all.

            9 am Getting late for my office and frantically looking for misplaced car keys. On any other routine day, there would have been nothing unusual about it. Most of us, who have a house full of children or mind full of other obnoxious thoughts misplace things in a very casual way; unless we have programmed obsessive compulsive minds. But here in my tense situation I have two set of parents, own and in-laws staring at my plight. They waste no time in reminding me of what a moronic careless creature I am. With the added melodrama of how this could result in serious losses of expenditure and energy, one fine day! Aaaahhhh😣😣😣

            So finally I start my car engine, crying at the top of my voice my old favourite from Queens.

            I want to break free.

            I want to break free.

            I want to be free from your eyes.

            All you do is always scrutinize …I don’t need you

            ( but can’t help it, there seems to be no other way)

            God knows, God knows I want to break free.

            And finally I reach my office, already exhausted with all the imaginary battle of parents exhuming my mind.

            My precious holiday realisation

            Heaven above my head, a day well spent on my bed.

            With my memories and me, creating a melody.

            Some time to myself, just lazing around; temporarily free from the shackles that keep me bound.

            But tomorrow I must rise again, make every bone work and dive again.

            Dive in this sea of mediocrity, of physical vanity and unwanted complexity.

            In this world of ambition and aim, Money is the only means, only end, the only one single game.

            Oh! How wicked are the men?!

            The splendour of Sun, the fragrance of blooming flower, the flight of spirited bird, the calmness of Moon; the fiery buzzing of bees, to the enigmatic ant on the trees – all give me strength to go on.

            To trust the vision of all Superior One. He knows best, better than anyone.

            He knows my mind, my heart , my fears. He will guide me throughout and wipe my tears.

            And so I emerge, fresh from my holiday, as His pot, made freshly out of Clay.