Thursday, December 22

Shifting base to WP

Dear readers,

Like I mentioned in my last post I've finally decided to switch to Wordpress. The humbling support and encouragement I got from all of you here is expected there too!

Here's my new url : AVibrant Pallet

Hope to see you there! Ciao!

Tuesday, December 13

The place I call Home

It's done and is ready to come out in the open. It has a new address, a new ring to its name, and still is the good old me. Personalising has become a whole new experience with it. I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time on trying to give it a spanking new look, and I must say, it is quite alluring. Why then haven’t I yet shared it with all of you? I don’t know!

The identity in question is a new blog that I’ve been meaning to put up at Wordpress (actually I have already put it up). I’d signed up a few months ago, while the whole ‘importing’ my older posts from Blogger happened few days back.

I was mighty glad to be able to upload the pictures of my choice and had a beautiful collage prepared for the same. The choice of themes had changed; the appearance was fresh and different.I could do away with some of the many widgets on my blog which I’ve hardly ever used. In short, it was like buying a new house and renovating it for comfort, with your signature touch. I always liked the various new features that Wordpress offered and was curious to try them out.

Having said all this, I haven’t yet made my blog public. Wonder whether it is the confidence and comfort that comes with familiarity or the affection one has with a maiden project, I’m just not able to give this blog up. I’ve not been regular enough with this one itself, maintaining two would be ridiculous. For me writing is fun when it's done by choice, and boring when it is just for the sake of it.

Also comes the question of losing out on my readers who'll need to change my url everywhere. And what happens next? If I get bored with Wordpress in some time will I need to create a new blog again? What is wrong with this one then? This too has been autographed (!) by me (Check out my digital signature)! :D

I’m not able to find a solution for my quandary. Shall I give this one up and start the new one or shall I let the new one remain under wraps like it is now? Many of you have gone through this dilemma. Any suggestions?

Sunday, December 11 that really you??

Does internet offer the same opportunities to everyone in general, like Bigg Boss offers to its contestants? Does it give you the chance to live the identity that you always craved for? Does allowing you to put yourself up on a public platform and creating an image that is unbeknownst to a lot of people, ultimately not lead you towards an identity crisis? 

These questions have been playing in my mind since a long time, and once and for all, I want to get them out of my system. Why has internet become such an inseparable part of our lives is beyond at times. I've gone on long hiatuses, as my readers know, and although I did miss the interaction and sharing of ideas, it wasn't like my life came to a standstill

There were many things I wanted to write about which might remain unsaid, there might be many posts written by our wonderful bloggers that I might've liked to read but missed (which I can always go back to by the way!), there might be experiences with A Jr that would stay in my memory and camera forever but which never made it here, and so on.

There are things about me that even my friends never knew before and which they do now, thanks to my blog and FB. They didn't know that I could write and that I was interested in poetry. Although its amusing when I tell them that its a hobby I've been harbouring for ages, its a little sad that my 'little secret' is out. No one forced me to do that though, isn't it? Then do I have the right to complain? I don't know.

Most people from my childhood would remember me as reticent and an introvert. I was a very nervous kid and unfamiliarity with anything would freak me out. I had very few close friends and wasn't open even with them. I'd find disagreeing with anyone insulting to them and often ended up doing stuff I never wanted to. I think you get the picture, if only a vague one.

Now its me here, the same person. Discussing love, life and A Jr, without the slightest hesitation, even when I know many of my readers personally. I find myself updating status messages on FB, sometimes out of boredom and sometimes out of compulsion (like many many others, mind you!). I have something to comment now, a practice I strictly reserved to myself earlier. In other words, I've come out of my shell and how.

Having said that,I have to agree that in person there hasn't been a very drastic change in me now, though I'm not as docile as I was before. I have a strong opinion and have the courage to stand by it. I'm more 'out there' now, even though I'm never comfortable in a crowd. There's an improvement, but its when I'm online that I become more vocal.

We form an opinion about people from what we see and read about them, but its genuineness can never be gauged correctly. We might make countless friends here, but wouldn't know what they're made of unless we see them in person. Wouldn't it be like some sort of alternate personality then?

Coming back to my questions in the start of this post, I guess everyone would have his/her own take on it. Would love to know what you feel. 

Wednesday, December 7

The hand that rocks the cradle...

Leaving one's comfort zone is never easy. The nervousness of stepping into a new world, of seeing and meeting people we don’t know properly, the perplexity of how to blend in when at times you simply won’t want to, the thought of changing and sharing your life and everything with and for someone else, and many such baffling questions and sentiments occupy our minds when we make the big shift: marriage.

I might’ve started my post on this note, but it’s not marriage that I’m going to write about. My life has been transformed beyond recognition after A stepped into the life partner’s shoes, but there are some things that just can't be done away with. And for me the first and foremost thing that is simply unchangeable is my dependence on my mother

A lot has been said about how a mother is the first teacher to her children, how she’s the epitome of love, care and dedication and how important she is in anyone’s life, so I’m not going to repeat any of that stuff. We know that already, don’t we?  What I’m interested in are the unique individual traits that separate every single mother from another one.

Having a kid of my own has now made me realise just how handful I must’ve been. I was a very fussy eater even when I was 25 yrs old, was a little brash for a girl, had mood swings which would come unannounced anytime, had demands which would never seem to end, and….well..well…I’m criticizing myself on my own blog, duh! What I want to convey here is that having to deal with me wouldn’t have been at all easy for her, but she did so, wonderfully.

She told me that my life’s decisions were my responsibility and I needed to be answerable for them. She never blamed me for not making it to the top. She celebrated my not-so-good results by taking me out for dinner, just to cheer me up. She was not just my friend but a friend to my friends. She was there every single time I was on stage, for anything, just to watch me. She sacrificed her plans to buy a new ring so I could get my earrings. She cleaned my room, even my cupboard at times, removed clothes that needed washing and replaced them, ironed. She never complained when I misbehaved, only silently allowed that teardrop fall down her cheeks, when I apologised. 

When I left my house for the first time, for pursuing my post-graduation, she cried like she’d never see me again. Although she slowly started pursuing her interests she made it a point to talk to me every single day, a habit she hasn’t left till date. My marriage was a very emotional topic for her and though she never mentioned it upfront I knew she wanted to find a suitable boy for me herself. I happily let her do the honours, and hence came my better half, the one person who could never be replaced by anyone. Am I glad for it now or what?

Even now the mother in her hasn’t let go of her kid daughter a bit. She still worries for the smallest things concerning me, but yes, her encouraging nature hasn’t changed too. When I told her I wanted to study further, she was elated and proud of me. She’s very happy to see the way I’m bringing up A Jr, and says I do a better job than her at times. Boy, could there be a better compliment than this!

So I guess, leaving our comfort zone is not that difficult, when the one person who makes it all happen is there with you, practically or virtually, through phone, emails or messages.

What more can I say…I’m out of words now! 

Friday, December 2

Is my way the right way?

All of us must've heard the line, 'parents try to relive their childhood through their children' many times. It is not unnatural for parents to be all dreamy-eyed about what future holds for their little ones and expect them to carry forward their name and legacy. Parents have a tendency to assume that the virtues and vices with which they're born and lived with will undoubtedly run down to the next generation. Is it true and does that happen every time? I guess not.

There are lots of things that we, as parents, fail to notice while bringing up our kids whilst unknowingly comparing our ways to the ways of our parents. 'I never had so many toys', 'My father never spent so much time with me', 'My mother was always there for me','I didn't have a cupboard full of clothes' and things like this are pasted all over our minds, and mistakenly we expect our kids to be thankful for the kind of lifestyle we're giving them.For them, this is the way life is, isn't it?

A Jr is just about 3.4 yr old now and I'm amused when people come and ask what plans I have for his future. You're going to make him an engineer like both of you or you're going to put him in Commerce? The world's so full of competition, you think you're choosing the right school for him? Make sure you encourage him to pay attention to extra-curricular activities...and so on. I stare incredulously at them, not knowing the answers to most of these questions.Such a little baby and subjecting him to competition,especially when it is not necessary? Why not let him choose to do what he wants, like I was allowed to? Encouragement is one thing, compulsion is another.

I was always a good student but never the one who stood first in class or brought home medals or certificates. My parents never complained or compared us with the better performing ones around, only motivating us to outperform ourselves. They gave us what we wanted but only after we did something worthy of achieving it.Is it not better to give our kids the same treatment, not bribing but complacently awarding?

I think I've digressed a lot here, but I guess I've made my point too.Wanting our kids to be clones of us is unfair. We might be the best amongst the lot of our time, but its not necessary that our child will be too. If we do something for our kid,it should be out of love,not duty or authority. Let him choose what he wants to. We can only lead the way, walking or not should be in his hands.

Monday, November 28

Bas Ek Koshish

I didn't write these lines, they've written themselves. They just came to me and I jotted them down, although they succeed in expressing my state of mind quite accurately.

कोशिश करना आसान है, कोशिश करवाना आसान नहीं
जब हार बैठे हिम्मत ही कोई, कामयाब होता वो इंसान नहीं
कर सकूँगा कुछ मैं या नहीं, क्यूँ सोचके वक़्त बर्बाद करें
बेपर भी हम उड़ पाएंगे, मुमकिन पाया था ज़माने ने?
वक़्त के धुंए ने राहें भुला दी, मंजिल का कहीं निशाँ नहीं
क्या ऐसे में मुमकिन नहीं, नयी राहें हैं रौशन और कहीं?
खुद से या ज़माने से क्यूँ कोई भी कुछ शिकायत करे
चुना ज़िन्दगी को तुम्हारी, क्या एहसान न किया उपरवाले ने?
हमारा हक है कोशिश करना, कामयाबी की शर्त रखना नहीं
जो ख्वाब देखे पूरे होंगे, न हुए भी तो ज़िन्दगी खाली नहीं...

Tuesday, August 9

The Magic of Three

Wow...hadn't written since so long and another post so soon! :)

This post can be considered as a sequel to the last one since it deals with 'motherhood' once again. My little prince, who gave me the chance to be called a mother, who made me experience this lovely feeling by coming in my life, who made me realise that I wasn't a complete woman without him, turns Three today.

Seems like it was just yesterday (and I'm sure I'll feel the same every year!) when I held him in my arms for the first time. Remembering that frail figure, those tiny fingers, that angelic face, that immediate and almost necessary throwing of tantrums, etc. makes me feel like an eternity has passed since. 

I can't help but reminisce the time when his standing up on his own feet, his first baby steps and his senseless and unclear blabbering gave me a big high. I longed to hear him say 'Mamma' and understand and reciprocate correctly to my questions. I did everything I could to get him flash me his wonderful smile. I wanted the world to be at his feet and give him each and everything he wanted.

I had to be the tougher one too and instill discipline in him by creating deadlines for his television time and limiting his chocolates. I had to make sure he had his fruits and meals on time and tell him that a bag of chips/burger/pizza is not a replacement for chapatis and vegetables.(Even A had issues accepting these rules! :P) I took all efforts to make him realise the significance of listening to his parents and following their suggestions. In short, I had to act like the villain in our family scene.

But, but, I'm not one! So to counter my acting controlling he gets to sit on the kitchen platform while I cook for him and demand whatever he wants, he gets to choose which movie to see next, he's awarded a new toy every single time we go out,etc. 

God, I can go on and on on this, can't I? He's evolved and so have I. Time changes so fast that before you can cease the moment, it's gone. Who once rode a cradle is now in Nursery, and before I know it, will go to college and make a life of his own! Am I over-reacting here? Possibly, but in my place, who wouldn't?

I gave a Bugs Bunny milk chocolate cake in his school for celebrating his birthday today. My kiddo (who wore his new Popeye t-shirt and capris)who was looking like a killer hunk in the making,couldn't get enough of all the attention and was glowing with happiness. When I left him back and came home I almost had a lump in my throat and a feeling of pride in my heart. That, ladies and gentlemen, is A Junior for you!

Saturday, August 6

On Being a Mother Tag :)

I'm way behind schedule on this one. This might even seem a hasty job since I haven't thought it through, but nevertheless I want to take up this tag that Nu had passed on to me a while ago. Consider this as a Friendship Day gift from me since it managed to break my blogging hiatus! :)

I have to list 5 things that I learnt on being a mother. Honestly and ideally the list would go much longer than that but the kind soul that she is, Nu graced us by attaching a decent limit.

Here's my five things:

1. Patience: This probably holds true for everyone. We've lived our lives as per our time and wishes but a child simply takes away your freedom and independence. You need to eat sleep and live as per his schedule and it can be quite trying at times. God knows it tests the most patient ones of us, but I learnt it! :)

2. Nutrition: Junk food is probably an all time favourite for all of us, but not when it is regarding your child. It is quite tricky to send healthy and nutritious food down that little devil's throat but persistence and some fun recipes pay off. Teaching him to eat good food is tough but somehow I've managed successfully till now.

3. Learning: As adults our learning graph more often than not goes for a toss. We're so happy with what we know that the hunger to know more simply subsides. It is such a delight to see things through your child's eyes and wonder about how and what drives them. It is like growing up all over again.

4. Smiling: Children have the kind of innocence that attracts even strangers. They don't mind smiling at people they don't know and are approachable. Although it is not safe to show this knowing-like attitude towards everyone we meet, a little bit of genuine courtesy is alright, even for us.

5. Honesty: We all lie for some or the other reason; to avoid uncomfortable situations, embarrassment, answering, or just for the sake of it. But children seldom lie unless we teach them to. I like it when A Junior comes to me and confesses that he broke something, instead of placing the blame on someone else. I feel encouraged to follow suit.

So there, a bit hasty, but a tag nevertheless. Hope other blogger Moms out there agree with me too. :)

Monday, February 7

My Valentine

(This is my first attempt at story-telling. Any sort of criticism/suggestion is welcome and appreciated)

It is Valentine’s Day. The day of celebrating love and all it entails. The day of happiness, warmth and affection, not only for your partner but for everyone who you share a special bond with. The day on which even the most unromantic person cannot let all the mush around him go unnoticed and is prompted to join the expressing-my-love brigade.

Misha is sitting in her chair quietly witnessing the activity in her crowded neighbourhood through a tightly shut glass window. In her hand is a red rose, now all dried up and flaky, but very carefully preserved in her personal diary over time. Her face looks beaten, her eyes resigned. The tastefully done room around her is in stark contrast to the gloom that is now an integral part of her life.

This day holds a significance in her life that no amount of words can come to measure. She wonders about the antithesis of today compared with her recent past. As she flips through the pages of her personal diary she can’t help but observe how a lifetime of happiness and grief can be experienced by someone in such a short span of time.

Her’s was a whirlwind romance. She was a young girl of 20, a Commerce student, dreamy-eyed, carefree and uncertain of her future. He, Sameer, was 25, a Computer Engineer, smart, intelligent, chivalrous, successful and with a ready smile. They bumped into each other for the first time at a common friend’s party. Cupid struck the moment they were introduced, but both were at such a loss of words that all they could manage was smiling and shying away. The whole evening went in stolen glances, indirect references and non-accidental run-ins until on a friend’s coaxing Sameer went up to Misha and asked her out. She agreed.

A love-struck Misha writes in her diary:

I love even your thought so much,
Can’t imagine how I’ll love you.
‘se even when I think about you,
I feel I’m missing you.

Before their first date was over both of them knew they’d found the ‘one’. They stepped into each other’s lives easily and naturally. They couldn’t bear being apart from each other. When they weren’t together they were constantly in touch on phone. They’d been together for almost a month when Valentine’s Day came. Sameer hadn’t planned it but didn’t want to miss a rather clichéd but very romantic opportunity either. He proposed. She accepted. Meanwhile, he encouraged her to get her first ever accounting job in a small firm.

Glowing, starry-eyed Misha gushes about her love:

My love for you cannot be expressed,
In the warmth of your arms I feel loved and caressed.
You are above all the treasures in the world,
Your love is a precious gift with which I’ve been blessed.

Their wedding was a low-key affair. It was a simple ceremony held in the presence of both their families and close friends. It was by planning, luck or sheer coincidence is tough to comprehend, since that too was Valentine’s Day. Both of them were over the moon and had eyes only for each other. They’d been saving for a rather unusual but immensely exciting and adventurous honeymoon, a trekking trip in the Himalayas. Both of them were very kicked with the idea and were looking forward to have a memorable experience.

Misha writes in her diary during her honeymoon:

Now we’re here it’s just so great,
To be there for the sake of another.
So come ahead and hold me now,
For the world we needn’t bother.

It was the first of the many adventures of life, big and small, planned and unexpected, domestic and professional, that they were going to share together, as one. Theirs was an ideal life; intimate, content and blissful. There was nothing more and nothing else they could wish for.

But just as even a bright sunny day has to make way for the night and happiness has to inevitably be followed by tears, their smooth-sailing journey of life inadvertently hit a roadblock. Misha was planning for a dual celebration, her recent promotion and their second anniversary, when that dreaded call came. As she listened to the person on the other side her suddenly rubbery legs started giving away. She felt the whole room closing in on her until she collapsed on the floor, unconscious. While he was returning home from work Sameer’s car had been run-over by a bus injuring him severely. The bus-driver had sped away for fear of getting caught even while Sameer had been profusely bleeding. He succumbed to his injuries even before help arrived.

What happened in the days after that is too hazy in Misha's memory. She recalls being surrounded by her grief-stricken bawling relatives trying to console her, their words don't register though. Sameer's garlanded picture that was put up for offering condolences was the one she took on their first anniversary. How could that smiling face ever fade away?

Today, it has been a month since Sameer died. Her anniversary present for Sameer lies on the table, unopened. Misha refuses to step out of the house or meet anyone. She knows she has to collect the battered pieces of her life and move on but it is too hard.

Misha’s painful words in Sameer’s remembrance :

The world’s painted crimson and in all its shades,
But my heart’s all dull and bare.
There can be no love or the thought of it,
If you can’t be here with me to share.

We swore we were one till death do us apart,
Forgive me, for I outlived my part.
Heaven or earth, you were and will always be mine,
Could I live without you in my heart?

I miss the smell and that touch of you,
Days and nights are alike, nothing’s right or true.
You’re too far for even my mind to go,
Tell me, there, do you miss me too?

As if by an apology from God for shattering her world, and a surprise gift from Sameer, she’s found out that the seed of their love has been sown. The dark tunnel has finally ended and a ray of hope has found its way in her life. She has received a new lease of life. As she closes her eyes and caresses her abdomen in anticipation she can feel Sameer’s omnipresence. Her Valentine, thus, has returned. Just then the Celine Dion song plays somewhere, “ My heart will go on…”.

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