To be or not to be!



Another Women’s Day and a host of messages flood my cell phone, my mail box and all social media sites. It is almost like wishing someone a’Happy Birthday’ and then forgetting her for the rest of the year! Well, that is how I feel exactly. What is it with all these messages? Women’s day is a time for all women to reflect on their achievements in this very male-dominated world, not simply to wish and smile and acknowledge another person with breasts!

The male stands as a force I believe, because we female cannot unite at all. If we are a mother to a son, our perspective changes from being a woman to being a proud creator of the male! In India, the mentality still persists today and I being a mother to a daughter, have often encountered statements from other women,’Now you must have a son!’…..hell no! Who am I to decide that? Where would the world be without its daughters?

In the office, you can be an efficient worker and very good at your work, but if you are a tough boss, God help you, you are the ‘Bitch’….women don’t want you, the men are ready to find faults! The glass ceiling still exists and a strong woman has to fight alone the entire male brigade, because we the women folk are not united.

We listen to our fathers, brothers, sons and even to ancient, obsolete customs and cultures but we do not listen to the other women! Their cries for help, their injustice, because that could be the reason why a relationship between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is still so unnecessarily harped upon. That case is bizarre in my mind, if you have gone through a certain suffering and injustice, why do you want the other woman to suffer the same. This is because we women are not united.

So, as you wish each other ‘Happy Women’s Day’, girl, do you really mean it!? If you do, support her in the office, at home and even on the street. Be a proud mother to a daughter, be a happy mother-in-law to the love of your son, be a cooperative coworker in the workplace. The male can make all the digs they want, but if we are united then nobody can pull us down so easily. Little steps go a long way.




To Ria, there was never enough time. Since the day she could recall, she was always running out of time. Whether it was getting late for the school bus, or getting ready for the dance class, or finishing her lunch in school! So much was the impact that finally hurrying, became Ria’s second nature. She was gobbling up her food fast, reaching venues some 20 minutes ahead, making holiday plans months ahead. Last minute decisions never worked for her, she was at her flustered best. Some might comment, that she was a good planner. Well! she did make plans and followed most through, yet she always rushed, checked clocks twice over and was always in a mad dash. Ria, forgot to relax. Sleep was her only time of the day when she was at peace with her surroundings.

Then Ria met Sam, a wonderful person. Sam was everything Ria wanted in her life partner, except for one glitch. Sam was laid back, he left everything to the last moment and was never ever in a rush. Sam worked in a bank and had achieved a lot professionally, at a young age. To Sam, Ria was a woman who had good career goals and  meaningful hobbies, apart from being a good human being as well.

Finally, they got married one day and embarked on the adventure called ‘Marriage’. Sam and Ria had big expectations from life and were equally ambitious. Sam was the voice of reason in the union and Ria was always surging ahead with her ideas. They both worked equally hard, and loved each other passionately. Within a year of marriage, Ria declared that she wanted to have children. Sam was reluctant but yielded to Ria’s wishes. In the course of the next 5 years , they had 2 children, 2 years apart. By then, Sam was in a senior position and working long hours, Ria on the other hand took a break from work to raise her kids. As the kids came along, they got their own house and their car.  Responsibilities doubled, the priorities in life shifted and life became a challenge. Both of them were not ready for this, they felt thrown headlong in the ocean and they had to learn to swim. They were ill-prepared for parenthood.

As the children grew up, Ria felt the pressure again to rush. She rushed with her household chores, her children’s homework, school and activities. A day felt short for all the work she took upon herself. Ria’s life became a frenzy of routine chores, she was too exhausted all the time, to indulge in her hobbies. To have a work life balance she did not go back to working full time. In short, Ria changed in many ways. The change was gradual and the powerful, happy woman transformed into a person always under pressure, hardly smiling much. Her children meant the world to her but everything else faded away! Sam, could hardly relate to her, gone was the assertive, passionate woman.

As days went by and Ria dashed from one chore to the other, the distance between her and Sam widened. There were no obvious reasons, they argued a lot, yes! Romance had fizzled out and they had just transformed into parents of their children. Ria, was sucked deep into her commitments involving her children and her home, while Sam got rapidly busy with work.Holidays were forced times taken out to enrich their children’s lives, and trying to put their own back to normal. They failed miserably. By the time the children had started high school Ria was a miserable wreck, always depressed and harried. Sam was indifferent and a workaholic.

There was never enough time for them to sort out their issues or give their relationship space to recover. Then one day Ria felt a sharp pain shoot up from her chest, it was agonising and lasted a few seconds. That day, Sam came back from work, exhausted. He quietly sat down and after a few minutes, said softly to Ria,’I want a divorce.’ Ria was stunned, they were having regular arguments and sometimes she did threaten to walk out of the marriage, but she never meant it. She had taken Sam for granted and believed that he could withstand anything she threw his way!


The next few days Ria tried talking it over with Sam, but he was in no mood to listen. He has had enough, his patience with Ria and the relationship had ran out. Ria, still loved Sam, however, the intimacy between them was lost, a long time back. The pain kept coming back as Ria was heart broken with the situation at home. The children were still unaware. Sam offered to split everything with Ria equally, there was no other woman in his life, he had felt hopeless with the situation at home.

Ria’s eldest was due to graduate from school and had to sit for her exams shortly, it was a crucial time for her. Sam had made up his mind and Ria simply requested him to stay put for another fortnight, to tide over the exam period.

Exams over, Ria broke the news, their children were devastated. The older one was anyway due to move away for her university degree, and this rapidly speed the process, she refused to choose between them and moved to the university dorm sooner. Sam, left the house and moved away, with a promise to spend every weekend with his younger child.

Couple of months flew by and Sam and Ria never met face to face again. Ria’s health had deteriorated much, as she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had few more days to live. She never divulged the information to anyone. Then one day, as Sam came to drop a letter, he found her on the floor, in pain.

Sam was heartbroken with Ria’s condition, he was sad that they could not make their marriage work. He was sad that Ria had only a few days more to live. There was never enough time.

To be happy each moment takes effort, if only he had tried harder. If only they had stopped rushing around and renewed their intimacy. If only either one of them had taken a step backward and reflected. All these thoughts ran through his head as Ria finally passed away. He grieved, he realised that he was still in love with her, that there really was no one else in his life. He grieved for all the lost moments of what could have been! Of what could have been a dream. Life had given them many chances but time was what they had to make for each other. ‘There was never enough time’, as Ria had often said.





Pihu, took out her clothes from the cupboard and packed them in. She was going on a holiday, a much awaited one. Her busy life as a teacher on weekdays and a volunteer at a old age centre on weekends, filled up her time. Not that she was complaining, she loved her job and she liked the time that she spent in the centre, interacting with older people. Pihu, lived alone and she was in a good space in her life. Her relationship status had been ‘complicated’ for a long time. However, she missed companionship and easy banter. She had changed cities and houses, and currently in the name of friends she had a few colleagues. Pihu, did not want to mix personal with professional relationships and so even though she did socialize with them, she guarded some chapters of her life from them too!

After familiarizing herself with this new place, Pihu planned a holiday for herself. She had taken six months to plan out this trip. The schools were on a mid-term break and she requested leave from the centre. She was to take a train and then a cab to reach this resort, set up high in the mountains. The place was touted much on the web as ‘secret escapes’.

The next day Pihu reached the station in time and got onto her train. The journey was picturesque, with green fields, changing into meadows, up the hill, past colourful cottages and quaint villages to finally stop at this tiny station. Pihu, checked the name, ‘Aston’. The resort was only 2 miles away from the station but Pihu had booked a cab ahead, as she was not sure of the surroundings.

The cab dropped her off in front of a wooden log cabin marked ‘Reception’. Pihu had just one suitcase and a handbag. After initial enquiries, Pihu found out her accommodation. It was a beautiful one bed cottage, right next to a gurgling stream. If she stood near her window, she could see the hills beyond and also the cute hanging bridge straddling the stream.

It was evening by the time she had arrived at the resort, dinner would be served in the dining hall in an hour’s time. Pihu, quickly freshened up and went to the hall to have her dinner. She was looking forward to a sumptuous meal, a break from instant noodles or sandwiches that she made for herself, mostly.

The dining hall was spacious and there were some people, mostly families, having an early meal. The buffet spread was good and she picked and chose the food that she wanted to eat. Two tables away, she noticed another solitary person like herself, a dark haired, tall man, with his glasses on. He looked to be in his late thirties. Pihu, could not help but smile at the thought of a ‘holiday fling’!

After dinner Pihu retired to her cosy cottage. With a book in her hand, her pajamas on, she curled up on the bed, from where with the curtains apart, she could see the distant mountain, tall, dark and imposing! Her eyes fluttered shut and she was elsewhere, on another mountain, playing with snow.

They were nine and full of life. Inseparable as two peas in a pod! On a vacation with their parents, during the school summer holidays. Kuhu would approach Pihu with a snowball fight, they would run and shout, they had ventured out too far. None had noticed. Mom had instructed them to stick close to the hut. The snow was thin here, Pihu chased Kuhu as they ran after each other. Kuhu ran ahead, very fast, she was always good at running, then she disappeared, right where the hill sloped.  Pihu ran up to find that the snow had given away to a sharp ledge and a steep drop. Kuhu, was nowhere to be seen. Pihu was drenched in tears and sweat, she was scared, ‘Kuhu’ she shouted again and again and then shivering she blotted out. Later she remembered was a grim funeral, Kuhu’s body was found by the mountain search and rescue team. The dream ended…..Pihu woke up drenched in sweat.

It had never been the same for her ever again, after all Kuhu, was her identical twin. Even after 15 years, her soul was not there, she abused relationships, nothing lasted! For her ‘Life was unpredictable’! Her job was her solace.

Pihu packed up her bags and left the resort, this holiday lasted briefly, too briefly!



Happy Valentines Day

Well the celebration of love is around the corner. Even for non-believers, come on love is such a sweet thing to have in one’s life. Everyone craves for love, most love romance and many more enjoy love stories, even when they are not a part of it.

So find here another love story………..something nice to soothe your heart. Some thing nice in these trouble torn ‘Trump’ times!

Read on folks and don’t forget to click on the like button.

My rainbows turn 8.


In your pink cheeks and wrinkled brows you came to me, fragile and tiny, barely a human. It took me a while darling, yes to realise that I have now become a mother. Motherhood, a mantle, heavy and demanding at that moment, as I went through sleepless phases, battling my body’s urge to rest and recoup. Notwithstanding were your little, necessary demands, food, warmth, sleep, and a hug. Oh! The hug, that made my day, my bright spot. The hug, the trusting look, the cries of happiness, even before you could talk, that made my motherhood not so heavy any more.


Well, you grew and grew, at times I desperately wanted you to stop growing at 4. That age, when cuteness was overloaded, that age when i could still bundle you up and carry you over my back. That age, when your words were still not clear, they sounded amazing though! That age, when you believed without conviction that there was a ghost, fairy and little elves everywhere. So I went along on this magical make believe world, with you both. We spotted fairies in the gardens, elves in the apartment and when night arrived, ghosts were in every dark corner.So, then my house got flooded with stuffed bears, dogs and rabbits. Your comfort creatures, your little imaginary friends. I would sit look at both of you weave tales and play. You would start falling out, tears would flow and hurt would show up in your eyes, but a cuddle, some words of love and both of you would be ready for another play time.


School happened, friends were formed and life got a bit complicated when you discovered that everybody is not good to you, that all were different and you had to get along with all sorts. Your commitments and your interests grew more, and activities piled on. I love the way you dance, you sing and you play the piano. My darlings, life is a menagerie of tasks, some not likeable at all. Strength and determination however will get you through at each stage, and of course coupled with a strong sense of belief, in yourself.


Today my motherhood is like a shawl around me, warm, filled with love and strong. All this comes from you both. You have given me so much, more than I had ever wanted. My life is a rainbow, more so because you choose to spread colours everyday. So, as you turn 8, I celebrate that day when God gave me a sliver of a rainbow to brighten up my world. Happy birthday darlings!


The heir


A tiny tale idea:


Two grandmothers lived in the east. One, a symbol of compassion, the other a symbol of strength. Together they were a protective net for little Jay. Jay was secure. The years went by, little Jay was little no more, the grandmothers were very old ladies. Jay was still the light of their lives. The compassionate grandmother fell ill and died unexpectedly, surrounded by love and care. The strong grandmother turned very old and died of old age, alone in a room. Jay was heartbroken, but now he was an adult, he had a heart filled with compassion and lead a demeanour, filled with strength. Jay embodied both the qualities, he was truly the heir.

My growing girl, my growing love!

It is dinner time and mom has served dinner, some puri (Indian fried bread) and aloo (potatoes). Yummy! After polishing off her food, Mithu demanded some dessert. “Oh, well! There was some chocolate cake in the fridge. Do you want some?”, asked Ma. ‘I am not into chocolate these days!’ That was the prompt reply from a 7 year old.

Mithu stood in front of the mirror and pulled and brushed her long hair. She wanted a fancy hair-do whereas mom did not. Mom wanted to sort her hair out into bunches. ‘No, I need a top-knot, that makes me look tall and thin!’


The Television is on and Mamma and Mithu are watching some programme on buying and selling of beautiful houses. Mithu is just giving her mom company! (That’s how she puts it).

Mom, “Mithu , when you grow up will you buy your mom a house like that?”

Mithu,”You already have a house and if I  buy you one , how will I buy my own? There will be no money left!”

Mom,”Ok, so can I live with you, when you buy such a house?”

Mithu,”I will buy a one bedroom house, where will you sleep?”

Whoops! Mithu has her future planned. Mom, is sad for a while as Mithu quickly comes over and whispers “If you don’t mind sharing my bed!”

Life with a bubbly, imaginative, carefree girl is so much fun. It is like stepping on rose petals and flying in the air. Her imagination is like a wing to my set, adult mind. Don’t think its all rosy, Mithu can be annoying too! But that’s something I put up with to enjoy the many flights of fancy I take with her.

My growing girl, my growing love!


Adjustments galore

The year changes again and here we are in 2017. Time flies I realise, as I see my children grow up, imbibe and change each day. It is not evident obviously but a conversation here and a word there does indicate the winds of change. Amidst all  this here I stand miles away from my country, in a foreign land where I have a home.

It was more than 3 years ago when we decided to step out as a family and experience life abroad. I arrived with confused expectations and with a certain amount of adventure. Living in a new place is always daunting but living in an unknown place, faraway from home knowing no one, is all the more scary. Well, it was not exactly the case with me, I did know one other family.

The place taught me a lot, made me value certain things a lot more. Instilled some other things in me. Kicked in my survival instincts and made me turn inwards for happiness, comfort and peace. Always being surrounded by family and friends till then, did not help me discover myself, my true likes and dislikes. Craving for random people always to fill up the blank spaces in my life, I was rid of it. Having said that it does not indicate that I don’t need my family, quite the opposite, I need them and value them more.

Living abroad does have its perks and its downfalls and I believe a lot has been said about that already. What I wish to  talk about today is the matter of great adjustment. An adjustment, when people here view me and don’t realise that my English is as strong as theirs, maybe in some cases even better, being a non-native English speaker. ‘Non-native!!!’ That word never existed in my vocabulary till now. That adjustment when I apply for jobs in my skill area and meet with rejection every single day. So much, that most people consider switching domains altogether. Adjustment rings in when I am unable to get jokes and participate in a conversation naturally, because I don’t look the part. Adjustment sets in when I have to upgrade myself to fit into a professional role, either by taking a course       (which I have already done) or explore something else.

Well, some may state that these are good adjustments and if I don’t do this I might turn into a dinosaur. I cannot debate about the rights and wrongs I can only tell you about the fact that at this age, with already 10 years of work experience behind me, 2 kids and lots of professional degrees later, this situation is tantamount to climbing a mountain with no end in sight. Now, this is just me, rest of my family are fine. Good schools, good lifestyle ensures my children are doing good. There is a saying ‘there are no free lunches’, so maybe I am paying the cost.

I could go back home, yes that would be fine! But I live in a unit and my own discomfort cannot be the single deciding factor. So, now what?  So, as the year unravels in front of my eyes, I would wait and work towards another ascent. 2017, I wish you to be the year of fulfilment.

Hot Chocolate, Drink, Dairy, Winter