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Monday, 30 April 2012

All about us...

Dear Ninni

We had a long break.. you and me..literally this time it was you and me most of the times with your father popping in for a guest entry in late evenings ;), well that was not exactly intended to be sarcastic..your father did try.. to be with you as long as possible..and you also enjoyed the company of your father and all the mall hoppings and the glitz and glamour of the city.

How was it..you and me together..terrific, fabuluous..we got along like ' house on fire'.. errr no baby..first impression.. it was tough..very tough handling you alone..one of the primary reasons being your aversion to food..food of any kind and how it can drive any patient person nuts waiting indefinitely with a plate and spoon ,for you to gulp down a single helping while you give your ' know-it-all' smiles watching Doraemon,s antics and I am ..well I am me , though my father tried hard.. patience and me are world apart.

Among other things you aren,t that cumbersome..you would play , watch TV on your own and yes there goes my guilt for sneaking out my own time which I have I would rather not say ' wasted' on browsing through various blogs..( wait there,s a name for that I think ' blogrolling') ,I let you watch TV..something I forbid your pishi ( the woman friday) to do ,but I did the same thing, the easiest thing to get you off me. Ah sounds so bad..I know I should have given you more time with your books and learning..instead chose to feed you on a staple diet of Chota Bheem , Doraemon and Krishna... well some mommies are not so perfect and you are also blessed with one. Apart from that, when I left you alone with the idiot box, in commercial breaks you would  remember your maa or may be the loneliness of the room, you would come to me and as soon as you see my netbook first thing you shoot is ' Maa la la lori'.. as if laptop is meant for youtube.. and if I cannot distract you.. we start with ' La la lori' ( our hot favourite), ' Lakdi ki kathi', ' Chanda Hain Tu' ( You also love the remix version which comes in the ad..and hum four-five lines when you are in a good mood and I being me love the Sharmila Tagore version), then move on to rhymes.. ' twinkle twinkle'( now you point out stars as twinkle twinkle),' Jingle Bells' and finally when I have had enough..I let you alone with ' Kishnaa' ( My God the song ' o Krishnaaa..o Raadha' Hrithik looking  brawny Krishna singing for the coy Radha in Jamuna kinare!!)  then ' Ganesha' if you ask for more ,by then I have shifted to all the pending newspapers I have stuffed for catching up.

For a while we are in our separate worlds..you ' you tube' ,me books or you in TV ,me in blogs and facebook though the feeling of a strange silence between two persons in the same room creeps in.. and I try to communicate to you in between..connect with ' kishna'  and when you start your normal babbling ' Ma dekhaa kishnaa..' I leave you alone again.. I think the more you grow up the more will be the desolation procedure  to the point I would not be able to connect and communicate anymore nor would you entertain me prying into your world let alone sharing the fun and excitement..sad huh..but these are days far ahead..as of now..you are all over me leaning climbing squealing shrieking and if I push you apart  when you get too much..and you get upset..little tickling is all you need to burst into laughter again. Simple days..aren,t they you don,t need to break your heads on ego, pride, peer pressure..little hug and a bit of coochy cooing and manhandling.. for an hour of neglect and you are  all mine again.

We are back again at my place of work..( I could not complete the blog in Delhi) and you being very pragmatic or our parenting made you so..you have accepted my going to ' office; as a normal part of life, but still I see that tinge of sadness in the eyes when you wake up and do not find me by your side, or when I come back home the shine of joy in your eyes...matter of few days you would adjust again ..but these days you would stand outside the bathroom door waiting for me to come..and you are just ' ma ma'  all over.. Yes that makes me happy but irritates most of the times when you do not leave me alone and I just hate when you start pulling my hair and yell in pain.Yes  being a mother is tough..but you know.. you get the love and attention one yearns for whole life and believe me it is almost for free.. For stealing  love from your parents you have to prove yourself as you grow up, from teachers you have to doubly prove, from friends you have to give all your time and yourself to be accepted, from partner you have to give every damn thing in you vying for attention...but this love comes from you just like that..I don,t know how long it would be like that..  before may be you would also put a price tag in each kiss you plant me..new outfit, new game, permission to go out ( if you would ever ask)..

But then why bother..now that again I have you dragging me to watch CBeebies leaving my blog undone..wonder how other mothers do it so superbly..

Yours Ma

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Wo(man) Friday

How leisurely and long and taxing can a holiday be..of course this holiday isn,t the normal kind..here the husband leaves for work and the wife doesn,t..stays at home with a two and half year old and misses her ' man friday' ( the name given by one of my friends) terribly... her dearest ' Archana di' ..the best gift from mother-in-law ever.. :P. The broad minded me decided to give my ' Archanadi ' a break and have a taste of ' reality'.. reality bites..Be with the fussy eater toddler full 24*7 to the point of getting all wrecked up and the sound of ' maaa' doesn,t delight as much as it used to when I would come home from office for lunch and the enlightened smile followed by the sweetness of ' maaa'..Here the babble and bratism continues non stop to the extent I long to flee to work.

How contradictory can life be..how it can bring two persons totally unrelated  from different strata of society share a same house a same room and yes I hated it sometimes ,the same bed. I remember Archanadi,s entry into our lives.. I have heard of her months before she came with us to Delhi from my mother in  law.. her ardent desire to send Archanadi with us to look after the newly born Ninni..I have also heard myriad tales about her laziness , mood swings but mother in law would always justify ' You see, she is abanoned by her husband.. no kids.. you have to giver her that.' By that time I have learnt to nod in affirmative to all my mother in law,s sentences because of the huge fiascos I have created by virtue of my loud mouth ( my husband calls it lack of sensitivity though)..and this reminds me how much mad I may get at my mother in law sometimes..I have to giver her that..she has a witty sense of humour when she is not worried about her son, husband,daughter,son in law ,grand daughters ..and a sense of pragmatism which eludes women like my mother.. she also commented
' Archana would be a show piece..workwise zero but nice to have type'. After laughing it off appreciating her witty one liners..I had to wonder what would I do with a show piece struggling at that time frantically with job and baby...

The initial days..when she came with us to Delhi..grumbling complaining in Rajdhani Express while me and husband tried to put a rein to our growing irritations exchanging glances which inavariantly meant " Look at her.. full AC and three time meals..full rest..has she ever seen so comfort in her life"..yet she kept mumbling "What is this.. just sitting idle... can,t sit for so long..so tiresome.. " I tried to be at my humble best  with a curt  " Take rest..enjoy the AC" .Then on a calmer frame of mind..I remembered her village, we went once to meet her parents before we brought her with us ( it sounds like asking for her hands.. guess it was exactly that) the green tea gardens, lifeline of my state..so called muddy dusty roads then a small village endowed with lush green assets and their small house they call  ' home'. Her siblings awaiting our arrival, her younger sister hardly ten has painted her lips red, her grandma completely overboard with enthusiasm..her brother fanning  with handfan.. yes Benjamin Franklin and Edison have not yet made it into her village.. so may be the fully AC train could not be as striking for her as it was for us.. us who knew the joys and tortures of travelling in Indian Railways sleeper class..us who knew of the ordeal to hold on to the reserved seats..while a host of passsengers pushing their way for  a place to sit.. For her the world ended at Silchar the nearest town from her village and a bus or a shared Tata sumo did it for her...so the grumblings may be.

With all grumblings she settled down with us..began to take care of Ninni..yes she would not clean potty and try to look in a different way when I rushed about with potty washing cleaning..Me and my husband began fighting in English so as to escape her horizon of comprehension..(In the process we became very fluent and articulate in spoken English while trying to lend meaning to each trivial non trivial issues..:D) Yes I continued to get irritated at her because of her impeccable lackadaisical attitude, gulping two or more bengali films a day and at her being a real showpiece compared to my efficient part time maid.
Archanadi went to Allahabad with me when I had to go for a four months course and I fumed red and green as she used to sleep till 9 in morning as I rushed for class and would find her taking cozy afternoon siesta with Ninni as I came back from class....sigh!!But then in a few days she picked up who,s manager who,s junior executive who,s ATC..and yes these were the things I had began to share..sleeping in the same bed in hostel room with Ninni between us..and doze off or get immersed in reading when it was her turn  to whine..husband..brutal..violent..her village..her parents.. Our next venture was my training in Kolkata for another couple of months.. I struggled for a place to stay with Ninni and Archanadi and we shifted from one to another make shift arrangements. By that time Archanadi has picked up some hindi words from Delhi and Allahabad but the acid test  was to express herself in the  raw east bengali dialect incomprehendable to the prim and proper Kolkata bangla.But then Kolkata gave her enough paan and betel nut to chew for which she longed  in Delhi and though Allahabad solved the problem to some extent..nothing like Kolkata where it was so close to home..

Then finally I shifted my base to Barapani for a year..thanks to my job..and there she was now convergent in little hindi linguistically, little chinese little south Indian cooking while retaining her typical cooking style she imbibed from my mother in law and to it some days her village dishes which I began to love..A lot of me has gone into her..she makes good pastas with mayonnaise, sometimes we watch the same soaps..sometimes she plays games in Ninni's laptop. Sometimes she wil tell me ' You have to take a decision' or ' control' my cravings for spicy food and my mother if present will raise eyes as far as she can... " Look at her language.." I try to supress smile.She has learnt to reply in Bengali to my Malayali colleague,s broken english, communicate Bengali recipes to the Malayali with broken Hindi and may be who knows lots of her have gone into me..I try to watch her watering her plants outside my quarter her little potato onion and garlic plants, sometimes listen to her how jaggery is made out of sugarcane..how a cow gives birth  how much milk a cow can render in a day ,whether there is enough for her babies or we human being snatch it all.. and she goes on..' have you ever tasted pakodas with onion flower' as I stare blank and she smiles I know I would taste something new from her kitchen.
Though my pragmatic husband and mother in law warned me repeatedly not to grant her leave..what if she does not come back..finds her husband..it isn,t that I am not scared as I and my daughter wait for her return..may be in an effort to feel great and magnamious I granted her leave myself (as my husband always points out I love to have the feeling that I am ' great' sort) or may be I trust her..I know she would come back. I know of several stories of maids ditching..will she...I dont know..and if she goes back to her husband...I know my whole life will fall apart.. job ..Ninni..posting in that terrible place..and all the accusations.." you did this..indulged her..(in Bengali  placed her above your head)..now bear it" I can hear my husband in anticipation.

But she would come back..raise my daughter as her own for a meagre sum of money, nod her appreciation at a  new outfit I try..cook up delicaies for my parents and colleagues..yet be happy..in my world taking or mistaking it to be her own..chewing her betel nut..or would she remember her own world in her village..parents siblings relatives..her 'real' world which does not pay.
Huh life is tough.. tough and complex.

Reblogged for Indiblogeshwaris...' That Tuesday Thingy'

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Into the dark...

Dearest Ninni

Is life really so tough..or it is tough so tough only on me..I think at some point of life we all face this question..may be u will come aross this question as well.. and the answer is...I dont know..Is life really too ' fair' on others.. do we always reap what we sow..No Ninni I am not complaining..I have hardly sulked in life..(well may be some instances i did) in general I have been happy contented with whatever I have..But the last two months fighting with the strange horrible illness..sometimes it just seems..I dont have the tenacity to fight out anymore.. yes that sounds very depressing but this is how it is in life sometimes..I look at all healthy people around me and simply marvel..life is such a boon..even you know I look at the elderly and wonder.. would I live enough long enough to be ' old' when you would become a matured woman.. and even if i do would it be extremely painful..living long is a terror specially when u r attacked with all kinds of illnesses but missing out all the fun.. and waving bye bye to life..I dont know what awaits me and why...

Last one month..and till date what consumes me is my terrifying illness..sometimes I feel it,s killing my thinking power little by little, eroding my senses bit by bit.. No dont feel I have lost hope..I am trying to get better..doctor , medicines..I want to get better..for you, your father..your grandparents all..but somehow a strong force preventing me..consuming me and I can,t get out..

One morning I would wake up and feel may be today is better..it,s going to be better..but then again all the pain and nausea would take over..while at home in Guwahati I would simply think of the old times..the time I was not sick..the time I would lie down in bed with grandma with a book in my hand.. and talk staring at the leaves of the coconut tree outside the window..the times I had walked and walked to save my rickshaw expenses , the times I had roamed in the sun in search of a job..all I did in this city..yet I feel such a stranger now..lost..caught in a maize of several illnesses..a homelessness with a posting in Barapani, husband in Delhi..an apartment in Gurgaon lying unused.., parents in Guwahati in a house where I have not spent my childhood..in- laws in Silchar..funny..so many homes..yet I do not know which is my own and where I belong..You know it gives a sort of rootless feeling and I,m sure if I continue to roam with you like this.. you will all also get this feeling.. Still I had a home to miss.. my old house in the foot of the hills..wonder what I rather we are going to give you... a 12th floor apartment in a building called ' Maple Heights' to dig your roots in..

Some days I just feel I can,t make it anymore..yes I know I am still not diagnosed with any serious illness and can,t die like this..yet you know I feel life slipping out of me..I just think of passing another day.. sleeping another night..and yes I try to imagine the world without me..all would be fine..
then you come rushing to me in between breaks of ' Doraemon' babble non stop..climb over me..try all your pranks..life seems too good...And the best part..you do not know to judge yet..calculate.. how much to give how much to take..you know between Doraemon and Chota Bheem you have to squeal ' maaa' and find me in another room...play..babble..and then safely go back to your own world..

This post may be inconsistent hap hazard.. perhaps in keeping with what I,m going through in this phase of life..

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