Lockdown tales continue. As we waited to hear about the government announcement post lockdown 3.0, a new word got thrown at us.”Aatmanirbhar” ..The first thought I had was we are going to be responsible for ourselves and the government was done keeping us safe and locked down. Considering the mad rushes when the liquor shops opened and the Pandemonium it caused, served us right I guessed. But when the whole speech brought up the word more than a dozen times, I realized some analysis and deep delving needed to be done. The fact that it was a pretty loaded Hindi word wasn’t making the task any easier.🤔

Next morning , I discussed this among friends. We spoke and concluded that it meant the husband’s(read men folk) needed to step up, contribute more at home hence the task to become aatmanirbhar was given to them keeping the domestic help unavailability in mind. We were anyway managing almost everything single handedly.😁 Reminding myself to take prompt implementation steps, I spotted hubby dearest sauntering in for mid work snacks, I swiftly slammed the word on him and asked him to follow the minister’s advise and  start with doing things himself😎.The poor man didn’t know what hit him and what just happened to his so far sweet wife overnight. Promising to start next day, he convinced me to keep things status quo and cautiously sneaked away.

Now that the ball had been set rolling, hubby reeling from the morning tornado decided to take a few minutes to discuss with his colleagues about this recent development and check if it had impacted them also . Turned out all had similar stories to share and so they debated and concluded that the aatmanirbhar inference definitely was to allow women to get self reliant and handle the home ministry without interference over this period. After all it had been spelt out clearly and was the need of the hour. So give it some time and let them ease into it. Once they (read the women folk)felt comfortable and the task was over,things will be back to normal. After all we had successfully completed other tasks given by the minister earlier too😉.Plan of action was the tea time duties and maybe boiling eggs could be taken up for a couple of days and watch how the situation unfolds..Then revisit the guidelines in a week and take future calls based on progress. Decision taken, work matters started for them as usual.

Night time and my six year old niece calls me ,to gossip a bit.She is my most favourite and honest and smart confidante 😗. I seized the opportunity and asked her what the newly discovered word meant to her.. Her reaction….a a atamm neerbharr..😲 I don’tunderstand it at all athai she rattled out and it struck me , that was the most honest and quickest admission. None of us seem to have understood it and are interpreting it in our own domains while the truth is, becoming self reliant is more of a process and not an overnight task to be accomplished. The word may be used loosely but it has gravitas and whatever sphere of work we may be in, we need to slowly become self reliant to survive and move forward in these times. This task deserves our earnest effort and attention to help the nation tide over the difficult circumstances.

Mamma tales

This one is very special as it is dedicated to a piece of my heart, my most prized and dearest possession (if I am allowed to say so ) my baby boy..my first born.. obviously has to be very significant. As I write this, can clearly recall the day he was born.The first grandchild in our family. Back then,I didn’t even know how to handle my small delicate bundle of joy. For all my love for kids, I hadn’t seen a new born baby , so was trying to figure out stuff quickly between recovering from the delivery weakness. As the monsoon was just starting ,we decided to name him after the Rain God. 😘.

I enjoyed the exhilarating process of seeing him crawl, take his first steps and smile his dimpled smile (that one is inherited from me definitely,though other features are supposedly like his dad..u can’t have it all I guess 😊 ) Motherhood has defined who I am as a person today. Growing up, he has never been a troublesome kid, though I have to confess that I have given him a fair share of whacks and pinches.( I would like to believe it was in his best interests)😎 . His academic record was always great, but more than that his teachers remarks praising him to be a generous and warm kid was what made me get teary eyed on most open day meetings. Am quite the emotional fool and a sucker  for all comments and stories that would tug at my heart. Time flies, he is now a responsible working adult but I still pride in my boy for having stayed connected, grounded, respectful and sympathetic to people around even as he was traveling across different places varying from remote India to exotic foreign locales. The roles are reversed now and I get his rather blunt and honest opinions whenever I need to share and seek counter arguments about work or family. He is a man of few strong and clear words 😎. Displays amazing levels of maturity the way he handles situations , gives me a dressing down when I irritate him and at the same time stands strongly behind me in all my mad adventures.

The reason for me trying out new things, experimenting fearlessly and being open to new ideas is largely because of him. Life has come a full circle from when I used to protect and hang around with him to get him comfortable in new surroundings to these days where he does that for me. From times when I used to shop and dine out with him to now where he shops the most amazing and thoughtful gifts and takes us out to dine. From times when I used to glare down and give him a piece of my mind to now him looking down upon me and forcing me to listen to him ( he is a tàll man and doesn’t help that I am shorter in comparison ☺️). From times where I used to take him for music classes, to now him picking up new musical instruments and mastering them on his own..(definitely my proudest moment as a mom )

 Though he is caught at a different place in these lockdown times, the fact that we still have our daily dose of talks and calls is most comforting. The fact that we are all safe where ever we are is all that matters. I count my blessings carefully and can’t be more thankful for all of them and more. For me, you are my son, my moon ,my stars. And I am forever a proud mommy.😘😘😘.

Hubby tales

Lockdown stories continue…As I sit back to look around, observe, reflect and jot down , can’t think of any better subject than my hubby dearest. Let me start by giving a background check on him.. it’s now close to 25 years from the time we got married ,have a wonderful son (the apple of my eyes) and have been through lot of ups and downs together..the one constant to this date is that he has been very very committed to his work (at times I tell him the dedication there is more than to his family) He has followed his career goals steadfastly (the vision that he shared regarding his professional journey before our wedding has actually turned to reality). I have been a passive spectator seeing him work hard, climb up slowly but surely in the organisation chart. Truly a self made man and I feel really proud to have been part of his success story.Enough good things said about the man, a few lesser known facts worth mentioning :

He has been constantly engaged in travel and work related meetings in all these years without a break.

Holidays for family time would have to be FORCED with no guarantees that work wouldn’t interfere during the vacation. Unfortunately doesnt work vice versa. 🤨

Domestic conversation and actionables have to be manipulated and driven in , so that his attention can be captured ( read strong wassap messages, some emotional blackmail and good south Indian food to get him to-do as desired 😁 hard core Tam Brahm at heart.) 

 School meetings of our sonny boy, social engagements and entertainment activities as you would have guessed have been part of my key task area.I have had to work around and plead and coax him to be present. Countless times we have had arguments around why he can’t spend more time at home. Have more of home cooked food, give enough”WE” time ( latest jargon that I use freely ).Lo and behold, lockdown is announced 😎. Didn’t realize that my prayers would be answered so fast.

Now having him around 24*7 , a strange feeling of compassion has developed. Have noticed, the man has serious work pressure and stress.. morning to night , seated in the dining table converted office space, I can overhear conversations, beautiful language flowing (no pun intended) and terrific level of focus. Silent gestures for tea and snacks at odd times not withstanding, am grateful that his food intake is getting monitored by yours truly. Another interesting discovery has been that his favourite biscuit is Parle G (not kidding… simple man after all), Between all this work load, he occasionally hands over loads of compliments to my cooking escapades and listens when we have conversations. 
Plus the biggest revelation is he has survived without the AC , which I wouldn’t have believed possible a few weeks .A man who couldn’t stay at home even on weekends and would need the air conditioner always now doesn’t fret at all..he sweats and adjusts in the not so comfortable home chairs without any complaints. This has been a season of discoveries and seeing hubby up close and personal has been a fascinating experience.

Guess all of us have found out that we have too many things to be thankful for and these minor hiccups don’t matter at all in the larger scheme of things. Post Lockdown scenario details will follow another time definitely. Till then all izz well by God’s grace and pray that we don’t forget these blessings in times to come and retain the sense of gratitude for what we have had in these difficult times.🙏🤗

Just another day

It’s 5.15 am on the clock, and by force of habit, have awakened . Realization dawns that I don’t have to head out outside for the otherwise routine running or yoga classes at 6.. Hmm, so what’s the big hurry to jump out of bed wheni can enjoy the cool air conditioned surroundings. The mind games that happen are too overpowering. Another 15 mind snooze and I can now hear the birds chirping away outside, a small reminder to get up and get moving. And yes of course, I do have my virtual yoga class with my dearest teacher Guruji P… Enough motivation to quickly Sit-up, offer silent prayers and thanks to the almighty before moving on to brushing and checking messages simultaneously (have always been good at multitasking 😁)With a spring in my step, I move towards the kitchen. As I enter, am rudely reminded that there is chopping, kneading and cooking to do plus the vessels to be cleaned and the floor to be swept and mopped too. (How I miss my help ) after all it’s another day. The to do list just popped up in front of my eyes 🤤😮.
Pushing away my random thoughts quickly, I regroup to focus on getting ready for the class first and step up on to the mat. As I enter the zoom meeting room, am greeted warmly like always by Guruji. There is so much of calmness and composure in the lady always.(pretty sure that the yogic practices have helped her do that). By now my mind is in the moment and completely awake. Quickly working away to figure out what’s in store here today.
Now yoga is a great form of exercise, the only thing is you discover there are too many parts of the mortal body that apparently need to be OPENED up before we perfect the postures.. so while the class prayer is on and her calm voice asks us to put on a gentle smile on our face, I couldn’t be farther away from it. We get ready with the routine warm up, and it turns out that today shall be the shoulder opening day. As you would have guessed, one of my least favourite routines. Oh my dear God, why does the right shoulder behave differently from the left shoulder…as she instructs us to twist and turn and stretch ..c.all my creaky bones have begun to complain…hold on we will get through this soon, I mutter to myself. Her posture holding count from one to ten seems like ages, as the fragile hands tremble and legs wobble. The mat I notice, seems to be swimming in a pond of sweat. (Strict instructions to switch off the fan when in class doesn’t help in this sweltering heat) .4,3,2,…..1 Don’t give up she says while the faltering mind shouts out to take it easy. As conscientious as I am, cheating on the instructions is not an option at all. Hence I hold on and look at the watch as it slowly nears the 70 minutes mark. Close to session ending. Wow delighted that I made it yet again 😎.
Prayers as we wind up the class and her gentle voice again says surrender yourself to Mother Earth and set the intention for the day clearly.. somehow this statement always soothes me and reaffirms the way forward in life. Surrender and trust in whatever is happening and enjoy the ride…I love my yoga sessions for this very reason. It helps me keep things in perspective and tackle the day head on. It teaches us that practise and patience will see the body and mind change gradually and open up to seeing new possibilities. The kitchen beckons but I ain’t cribbing anymore. For me, it’s the start of a new day.

Lockdown tales

Tales untold, tales unheard and tales unforeseen… pretty much describes the lockdown times that all are going through. Hence felt no better time than now to start penning down my thoughts for a recall later.

What would I say is different from the usual days ? that we cannot step down..that we cannot meet whomever we want to, whenever we want to, we cannot exercise the way we would want to (miss the morning yoga session and runs in the outdoors), we cannot pray the way we would like to (used to love the weekly temple visits with hubby dearest and have my private conversations with God ), entertain and eat out as we would like to(how I miss my friends group , the mindless chatter and outings to movies , restaurant etc ) rest all is pretty much the same. Wait, wait.. did I say that’s all….omg.. whatever happened to the luxury of having helps to take care of the cleaning, mopping, dusting, wiping, ironing, driving etc..yes that pretty much sums it !
what changed is a realisation of our capability to do all these chores and more.
what changed is the desire to reconnect with near and dear ones whom we had lost touch and those who have been in touch because now we know life is so precious..wouldn’thave happened otherwise in the course of our normal routine. We have started realising and counting our blessings more than ever before. The kitchen (my least favourite place thus far ) doesn’t seem as horrific now .
Suddenly there is a new re discovery of the you tube cook videos and the earnest desire to search for new foolproof recipes and fish for compliments .

On the flip side too much of focus to attain social visibility these days. This has resulted in brushing up photographic skills😁..the ability to capture beautiful pics of the personally created MasterChef delicacies and plaster it everywhere is a new norm these days. Obviously if you have had a reasonable amount of activity in your Facebook and insta and wassap accounts. Else it wouldn’t bother you too much.

On the personal front, having hubby around the house 24*7 is a blessing. Never happened in all of these 25 years of togetherness (it’s a new discovery of how his work life is). Generally it would be a weekend appearance because of hectic work schedules. Not that work has reduced now but just the fact that I can understand the stress levels, the million calls in his schedule and the packed calendar much better.
Thanks to technology sonny boy though stranded elsewhere is still so close because of our daily calls.. Elsewhere my parents discuss daily routines and escapades with lot of glee and positivity. So much to learn from them everyday. Not a single day where they have found reason to complain about the situation.

Every day the thought of having a home to stay, food to eat and someone up there watching over is more than I could ever ask for. Guess that’s quite a lot of self discovery thus far thanks to covid times. Do I wish for this to end and get to routine, sure do..but like they always say you discover having experienced something precious much after it’s gone..so making the most of it with a prayer in my heart and moving on knowing tomorrow is another day for you and me in Paradise. (thank u Phil Collins for the beautiful track)
Pretty sure that everything happens for a reason.