Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mother of Two!

Since becoming a mother of two, I understand my own mother so much more deeply than I did 3 years ago.

Seeing Atreya and Aloka together and happy gives me the most happiness. I don't ever want to see them fight or disagree. I want them both to take care of each other after I am gone.

Of course, all this may not happen at all or at some point in their lives. I know it from my own experience with my siblings. People grow and change, experiences differ, goals diverge. For so many years, I wondered why my mother doesn't get it, why she tries so hard to get us all together, why she is so simple and simplistic.

I wonder no more.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


A major change is about to happen to our lives.

Every year I determine to change at least one aspect of my life through prayer and action. In 2007, it was about Aloka. In 2008 and 2009, it was about KP being profitable.In 2009, it was also about Atreya achieving his goals. In 2010, it was about my work- I determined and focused on achieving a breakthrough in my professional life. Enough of just breaking even and surviving another tough year. I was determined to achieve a breakthrough for KP and myself.

The events that have happened recently are not what I had expected or planned for. But who am I to disbelieve that this could be the breakthrough I had prayed for?

Why Vacations are Great!

So much happened during the SA holiday that it is not possible to write everything. I have decided to capture a few of my realizations and experiences over several posts.

Vacations are great for many reasons. Some reasons are obvious, like getting a break from routine and seeing a new place. As a mother, I discovered another advantage I had not expected. Vacations are a great way to discover hidden traits about your children.

I discovered that Aloka goes a little crazy when she is tired (usually in the afternoons). By crazy I mean crazy, not cranky or difficult. Just the opposite in fact. She starts laughing, singing, dancing and talking loudly and generally gets out of control. The only way to deal with it is to let her do her thing for sometime and then calm her down with a story. She will then invariably go to sleep. I honestly didn't know this about her before this vacation.

I discovered that Atreya is a solid young man with a huge amount of confidence. He is not afraid of taking a stand or making mistakes. Very unlike me when I was his age. When we were "lost" in Stellenbosch, he refused to give up even when everyone was doubting his ability to read the map and take us back to our hotel in time. His faith in himself was solid enough to withstand all that silent opposition. I know a lot about him but didn't know this about him before this vacation.

An old poem: Speaking Truly

I have been writing poetry since I was young. My first poem happened when I was about 11. I don't have it anymore or any of the rest I wrote as a teenager. What a loss. Not because they were good, but because they would give a peek into the type of youngster I was.

I have all the poems I wrote from 1984 onwards. I wrote this poem in 2002 after I had just met a good friend of mine from India and faced her stoically about my divorce. This was the result.

Speaking Truly

I tell people I don’t think of you anymore
That I am strong, and matter of fact
That you don’t really matter
For I have come too far for that.

I tell people I am quite the same
Not broken or incomplete
That there are still reasons to laugh
That one gets over the grief.

I meet friends with dry eyes
And bland smiles that are hard to question
With a quick shrug on my shoulders
That’s ready to perform when summoned.

I tell myself I am not blinded, I can find my way
Even though you turned away your eyes
Even though my hand is no longer in yours
But these are all lies…these are all lies.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why I pack my own face cream!

5th day of our Mongolia trip, my face is dry and flaky. I curse the dry air of Gobi desert and the 99% humidity of Singapore that my skin is used to. After borrowing mom’s fancy face cream for the 100th time, I casually look at its label. Olay face wash!

Basic Tendency

Everyone has a basic tendency, a state they tend to slip into in their weakest or most unguarded moments. My basic tendency is of self loathing and self doubt.

I "remember" this tendency starting from my earliest memories. It is a like a deep pit, this tendency. Before you get anywhere, you have to first pull yourself out of the pit. To live a life of confidence and dignity, I have had to work that much harder than most other people. And when I fall, it hurts so much more because its a long way down.

Situations that push me back into the pit are my definition of hell. My divorce was so hard on me for this reason. I was deep down in the pit. I could not transfer my anger over to my ex-husband because there was no anger, only self doubt and self loathing. It took me 3 years to pull myself out. Then came the anger, but by then, anger was not important.

In my professional life too, I have to watch out for this tendency. There is a fine line between humility and diffidence, between being open to feedback and being too self effacing, between being contemplative and self berating. I have to watch out for these fine lines and others all the time.

An understanding of this tendency has come to me only recently. It is so much easier to analyze others- pop psychology is easy and fun when applied on others. It takes a lot more to understand one's own self. With this understanding has come a protection. When a situation pushes me to the brink, I am aware of what's happening. It's as if I stop myself before I fall all the way inside. Knowledge is the cushion.

Buddhism talks about 10 states of life. Hell, hunger, animality, anger, humanity, heaven, learning, realization, Boddhisatva and Buddhahood. Everyone possesses each of these states, and each state is mutually inclusive. That means I am as capable of being a Buddha as I am of being trapped in my personal hell. It also means that I can constantly elevate myself to a higher state. Every time I chant, I wipe out a part of the basic tendency and elevate myself just a bit.

I came to this life with this basic tendency. It started way back and who knows how much way back. When I go into my next life, I want to start at a higher place. That's my goal.