Letting go and moving on

My father is the eldest of 5 brothers and one sister. As always happens in joint families, my paternal grand mother was defendant on my father for supporting his younger brothers and sister.

My father started earning when he was barely 20. He gave money for brother’s education, marriage, business so on and so forth. My mother also had her own share of struggles. My father built a house in his father’s name so that his brothers would not feel left out. Later my mother forced him to get another plot of land for his own use. I still remember the fights my parents use to have. My father could not hear a word against his family. Anyway my dad later sold that plot. Then, one of my dad’s brother intervened and asked my dad to get a plot in my mother’s name. Needless to say that is the plot of land on which my parents have today built their home.,Around 10 years back there was a huge fight where my dad’s brothers wanted the earlier house which my dad had built. As usual he did not argue and gave it to them at some nominal value. ( As the house was in my grandfather’s name, it was divided into 6 equal portions.. one for each brother).

My dad only started saving after I was born. When I was doing my engineering, I stayed alone with my dad’s brother’s family. My grandparents were also alive then. My dad was then based in the middle east. Then was the first time I saw firsthand how money minded people can be. Those 4 years have left a very bitter taste in my mouth.

Today everyone is settled and no one talks to anyone much. My dad now says let them be happy in their home and we will be happy in ours. I somehow am not able to tolerate this. I feel my dad was used ( with his permission). All this has also somewhat affected my relationship with my father. I get angry at him for very small small things. My dad keeps saying forget it… come out of it… I am sorry, I should not have left you with them alone. Somehow I do not know what to do. To be very frank I want some sort of revenge from my dad’s brothers. But then I also know this is not correct and my parents have only themselves to blame. They let themselves be used… Still I am not able to shake out this feeling. It still hurts after 9 years. I would really like to mend my relationship with my father. I want to forget all this. Somehow I am not able to. I need to figure this out.

I am sorry for the long post. This is the first time I have written this and I guess I got carried away.

Happy Lohri my little one…..

Happy Lohri Gudiya….

You have brought much happiness in our life… Here is wishing you a very very happy Lohri… This is the traditional song we sang yesterday as you gazed at the fire… You got very excited when we reached “Ho” at the end of each line…. Love you dear…. Maybe we can do the same again today.

Sundar Mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicaharaa ho!
Dullah bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae ho!
Ser shakkar payee ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paatta ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chache choori kutti! zamidara lutti!
Zamindaar sudhaye!
bade bhole aaye!
Ek bhola reh gaya!
Sipahee far ke lai gaya!
Sipahee ne mari eet!
Sanoo de de lohri te teri jeeve jodi!
Bhaanvey ro te bhaanvey pit!

Maybe a couple of years later… you can join kids as they go around the neighbor hood asking for treats… and if a treat is refused… they sing loudly…

Huka vey Huka.. Eh ghar bookha….

(Oh, Get me a hookah, This house is inhabited by very miserly people)

In fact strike that, I don’t think I will ever be able to allow you to go outside alone. Let me enjoy these moments….

Things I would like to say to some people

To my Grand Father :- I used to write letters to you in Urdu. That was our special way of sharing jokes, stories. It was a language only we spoke and wrote. Today I don’t feel like reading Urdu anymore. I remember how you used to sit in the veranda and smoke hookah. Recently on a trip to Morocco, I brought a hookah and Mom cried on seeing it. She misses you a lot nannu. She laughs and all of a sudden her eyes fill up. We all miss you nannu. Now, even “bhabhi” has joined you. I bet you are sitting in heaven smoking your hookah and asking bhabhi to get you the Urdu newspaper…

To my best friend in school (T) :- Why did we drift apart? Why did you stop talking all of a sudden? What did I do wrong? I have thought and thought about this. I have let it go now. We grew up together… shared chocolates.. fought for a seat on the bus… grew to be the best of friends. Do you remember how we used to compete for more marks in school? Do you remember the kho kho games we played? Do you remember how the play we did on the school annual day. I still have the cassette. I can still imagine you dancing to back street boys in a saree.  I miss you T. And then one fine day you stopped talking to me. All I can say is …I wish you a very happy life ahead T. ( I went to a All Girls School, T is a female. I don’t know why I am clarifying this here).

To my uncle T who left home 2 years ago and has still not returned :- I still remember the rides on your old scooter. You took me around town when I was searching for an institute to complete my industrial training. Do you remember when you took me shopping? Do you remember I had once asked for a recording of my favorite song. You gave it to me the next day. Chachi later told me you had specially gone to the market in spite of high fever to buy it. Do you remember chachu how you used to get pakoras for all of us cousins? What has changed now? I called you a year back. You picked up my call and said you would call later… No one called. The number does not exist any more. Don’t you miss your children A and Y? Please come home Chachu. 

Feeling Depressed

Has it ever happened that you feel upset for no real reason. Well, it is happening today. I really cannot pin point why I am feeling so depressed. There is no actual reason as such. However I do wish this time passes away quickly.

W is away at work. We cooked bottle gourd today morning. This was the first time I cooked bottle gourd and it turned out quite okay. Basically all punjabi dishes have the same base. The base consists of a spicy tomato onion gravy. Then to this we can add vegetables, dal and cook accordingly.  I have got some level of expertise in doing this.

I have started LS walks at home. My gym membership has expired and I will only be able to renew it next month. Its too cold to venture out and I have a really bad histroy of colds and coughs.  Hence, I am stuck at home.So something is better than nothing. LS walks are quite interesting in their own way.. This reminds me I should be exercising now. It will lift my mood if nothing else.

I met an old friend from school yesterday. I met her by chance after 13 years. She was on her way out from a local store and I was just entering. Needless to say, we spent the next 2 hours chatting and catching up. The outcome of this entire thing was that W had to prepare his own dinner as I was busy chatting.

I will write more next time. Maybe later today.

A little bit of history

I thought I would write a bit about myself. I would like to keep this blog totally anonymous but then if its anonymous, I can always talk about myself right :). There is no specific reason to keep it anonymous. Its just more comfortable sharing details that way . This feels more like a journal where I can voice my thoughts without anyone recognizing me.  I am highly introverted that way. I rarely open up. I do have a fairly good friend circle through school, college, post graduation but then I can probably count my close friends on my fingers.

I had a very very happy childhood. Though money was an issue, everything I wanted or desired was provided. I was quite pampered that way. My Mom still says I have not struggled the hard way. Things have been relatively easier for me. When you think of it that way, it is quite true,  I had access to an awesome education, great sports and recreation facilities. I could go swimming, play badminton, study, go shopping etc.

When they were my age, my mother probably spent all her time helping my grand mom or attending the village school whereas my dad searched the neighborhood for odd jobs to supplement the family income. My paternal Grand parents migrated from Lahore, Pakistan. My paternal Grand Father managed to secure a job in the Indian Railways shoving coal.  So money was tight and my father did what he could.

I remember my mother being very cautious with money. I would tag along with her to the grocery store and maybe after 2-3 trips, she would let me buy a small chocolate. I am extremely attached to my parents. So much that I sometimes wonder what W thinks?. I called up my parents every single day on our honeymoon trip. I guess he must have realized then and there what he signed up for. 🙂

I had a very bad time, the first time I was away from home. This was when I secured admission in an engineering college. Now if you throw a stone, it will probably go and hit an engineering college.  Every town has an engineering college in Punjab. But then when I did engineering, I had to stay in a hostel. I will write more about my engineering experiences in the next post. This post has been a mish mash with no structure. Please do excuse me. I just write what comes in my mind and my mind has always been a muddle.

Thanks for reading.

Missed the blogathon

So I missed the blog marathon.. I was sick with viral fever for the last 5 days or so. Frankly, it felt nice to be pampered for some time. The Better Half ( Let’s name him W on this blog) prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner all through my viral fever. As I sit typing this, sipping my cup of chai.. I feel really good.

Nothing much is happening. I am still not losing any weight. I have cut down on rice, ghee, processed foods, sugar. At least I think I have cut down. As it is, I don’t have much sugar.. except for the tea I drink.  W does not like eating out, so most of the time we cook at home. Nothing elaborate, we make simple vegetables, dal and chappatis/rice. W actually cooks quite well so its more like I learn from him. We prepared bitter gourd ( karela) today morning. It tasted quite okay. The last minute recipe hunt finally yielded results.

Another thing is the maps I make. My mom keeps telling me that you keep on making rotis and they will slowly come in shape. Well, it is not happening yet…  There is nothing new on my end. I will write more in the next post. Also, I will post the next post of the fiction story horizons tomorrow.

Day 2 :- Random facts

I thought it would be interesting if I could collate random facts together

  • Favorite Food :- Yup, everything begins with food for me.. Well, lets see I can have curd anytime of the day. Please do not quote ayurveda and say curd should not be consumed at night. I can consume it all 3 times a day. Apart from that I crave anything teekha and masaledar (or lets say spicy and tangy).
  • Favorite comfort food :- Onion and Tomato chutney with  hot chappatis and curd. I am quite hassle free that way. In fact this was the first dish I cooked after marriage. The chappatis resembled ( and still resemble) maps. Seema… Can you teach me this???
  • Favorite Sport :- Badminton… I played badminton at state level. So, I think I am quite good. But again, I am in no shape and weigh a ton now. My weight loss is going nowhere.
  • Favorite Book :- Well, this keeps changing as I read anything and everything. All my meals are had with a book or a laptop ( if the daughter is asleep). I read blog posts, prescriptions and heaven knows what else. All this apart, my favorite book is “Talking about Jane Austen in Baghdad”. Its witty and humorous. That’s all I need in a book
  • Favorite Pastime :- Currently I eat, breathe, sleep according to Her Majesty “Gudiya’s schedule. But once upon i time I read a lot, swam a lot and played a lot of badminton.
  • Favorite Place :- This has to be the Radhanagar beach, Havelock islands. It was a nice trip with good food thrown in. And I had the Better Half (BH) for company. We keep on saying we will go there again. Let’s see when that happens.

So that’s quite a bit about myself. I promise I will write more in the next post. Also the 2nd part is almost done.  I will post that tomorrow.

Day 1 :- The year that was

2014 … This will always be one of my most precious and beloved years…

1. I spent the first 9 months of the years just immersed in my lovely baby daughter. Yes, it was trying… Yes, it was frustrating at times but then that is life… I look back and miss the time already. Time has just flown by.

2. I got to realize how parents struggle raising a child. The night watches… the endless rocking.. I sure took a lot of things for granted and I am much wiser now.

3. I think this has bonded us more. Now we have ‘Gudiya’ to talk about. Gudiya has the Better Half wrapped around her little finger.

4. I have started looking for work from home options or freelance writing. Not that I have many options coming my way but I dream I wish and I bug the Better half.

5. I made a couple of new friends. Lets see how the friendships run over the course to the new year.

Wishing you all a very happy new year. Lets hope I post something better tomorrow.

Fiction – Horizons (Part – 1)

The sunlight came streaming in. Khyati, half-awake tried to shield her eyes. She turned the other side to avoid the sunlight altogether. The air conditioner hummed peacefully. Kedar snuggled close to Khyati playfully putting his arm around her waist. The memories of last night came flooding back to her. She woke up and sat upright on the bed. She had felt an inkling of guilt last night. She had brushed it aside then. Now the guilt overwhelmed her. The enormity of the situation struck her. For a moment she was too dumb struck to act. The next moment, she got up from the bed and started packing her things.

She rushed outside leaving Kedar asleep. Kedar could check out later. It was around 6 am. There were a few autos plying on the road. Khyati stopped an auto and got into it. She asked the driver to drop her at  Model Town market. The fare least bothered her. She knew the auto driver would charge her double the actual fare at this unearthly hour but it hardly mattered. She just wanted to get away from this place fast. As soon as she reached home she rushed into the bath. It was almost as if she hoped the water would erase the past. Khyati emerged from the bath 15 minutes later. She was somewhat in control of herself.

Nothing happened… Nothing happened… Why am I worried? Her mind raced as she tried to calm herself down. She glanced at her cell phone. There was a missed call from Kedar. She dropped a message.

“Hey, will talk later. Take Care”

She made herself a cup of cinnamon tea. Tea was a drink she could have anytime, any number of times. She remembered her tea sessions with her mom. They would gossip about everything under the sun. Being the only child, she had been pampered. However, her mother had ensured her feet stay firmly on the ground. She took huge gulps of the tea. Her mind wandered back to the time she had newly moved to Delhi. Desperate for a place to stay as the company only provided one week stay at the guesthouse, she had hunted high and low for a single bedroom apartment in the Capital City. Finally she had responded to an advertisement on her company portal and moved in with Priyanka, a colleague from office. Priyanka made the most awesome ginger tea. Today the tinge of ginger brought back memories of care free times spent in gossip and fun. She sighed and took another gulp of tea. She wished time could rewind and move back. She had messed up for sure…

Where on earth had things gone wrong? She had always been on the right side of things. She had never cheated in exams, never stayed out late, never gone for late night movies yet today she had done something unthinkable. If her mom came to know, heaven knows what would happen. Khyati shuddered at the thought. She tried reaching Keshav but his phone was switched off. His flight would not have landed yet. And moreover, what would she tell Keshav. Thoughts clouded her mind. Khyati was unable to react. How did I get into this mess?

She heard the front door open. It had to be Keshav. He always opened the door in a distinct style. 

“Hello dear, surprised you didn’t I? Oh my my, you look all ravishing with your hair wrapped in a towel dear”.
For a second, Khyati froze, she had not expected Keshav back so soon. He was assumed to come back only day after tomorrow. The next instant, she composed herself.

“Hello, Wow, you are back…. So your meeting wrapped up early?”

She ran forward and hugged him. She did not deserve a guy like Keshav. Her consciousness ridiculed her.  Do you even remember where you were an hour or so back Khyati?

Keshav was a bit taken aback.

“Hey, calm down Shona. I have only been away for a week dear. If I had known, you would be so lonely, I would have never left my darling wife for some silly business conference. Let’s get inside. We don’t want the whole neighborhood commenting on us. Keshav held Khyati by her arm and gently walked her inside. He sat down on the sofa.

“Looks like you missed me too much, Cheer up dear, I promise I am not going anywhere for the next six months and even if I go, you are coming with me” Khyati managed a smile.

“Why don’t you take a shower? I will fix some breakfast? Would you like some bread omlette or a parantha?”

Nah… Parantha it is… Just make me some plain parantha namak ajwain daalke. We do have curd na.

Yes Yes…

Cool, Don’t bother about unpacking. I will do it later,

Khyati  remembered an article, the gist of which was that one should stop feeling sorry for whatever mistake one has done and should start making amends. But would she ever be able to tell Keshav the truth? Unwilling to think about this issue, Khyati decided to get busy making breakfast.

An hour later Khyati cleared away breakfast. Keshav had dozed off. He had insisted on dropping her to office but she had refused. The last thing she wanted was to meet Kedar in office. She had decided to take leave today. Khyati dialed her friend Vaishnavi, a colleague from office. But then her nervousness got the better of her and she disconnected the call. She would straightaway declare that she had violated the codes of conduct  and would probably expect her to tell everything to Keshav at this very moment. She so much needed to tell everything to someone but then everyone would judge her. Khyati felt suffocated. She dialed her mom and made small talk  for around 10-15 minutes. However, the restlessness within her failed to subside. She remembered how as a college student she had very few friends. She had always been a loner with her nose in a book.

When did I walk the distance? From being a loner to getting sloshed and spending the night with a 3rd person, when did I become so bold? Hare Krishna, God, I should tell Keshav. He will probably kick me out but I ought to tell him. Hare Krishna, God I messed up. I messed up real big. Khyati unwittingly spoke out aloud?

Why should I kick my very life out? Khyati turned to find Keshav standing in the passage.

“Oh dear” Keshav exclaimed “Who are you trying to kick out now”. Come on now, I know you have a problem sleeping during the day. Why don’t you watch some movie while I catch up on  some sleep.

Khyati felt a bit relieved. Keshav had not heard her. Nevertheless the guilt still remained. It was a constricting feeling which got worse every minute.

“Yeah, I guess I will do that” She managed to reply
“Did you talk to Mom”?
“Yeah, Just did” Mom has just come back from the temple and is busy preparing breakfast. Papa is also back from yoga and busy with the newspaper now. She smiled a bit remembering what her mother had told her. Apparently her father remained stuck to the newspaper the whole day leaving her mother to grumble and take care of everything else.

Keshav smiled. He knew the first thing Khyati did each morning was to call up her mom. He had seen her chatting away to glory with her mom. she would often tell him “My day does not start without a cup of tea and dose of my mom”

“Do you want some warm milk? What would you like for lunch“? Khyati peaked in an hour or so later
“Make anything you like” Keshav mumbled and dozed off.

Khyati walked back to the kitchen. She tried reasoning with herself. There is no point mentioning anything to Keshav. One can never be sure with guys when it came to such matters. He may be alright today and then pounce on this topic 10 years later. No, this would not work. I will have to take some drastic steps and handle Kedar also. Nothing can be done now as Keshav is home. Tomorrow once he goes to office, I will try setting things right.

The next morning Khyati woke up early. She quickly set about making breakfast and lunch. Keshav liked roti subzi for lunch. She kneaded the dough and set it aside. She quickly chopped some onions and tomatoes for a basic tempering. Keshav would get Roti with Paneer for lunch today.  She wondered how she could remain so calm and normal after what had happened. Quickly, she brushed the thought aside. I cannot sit and ponder on this now. I will think about this in office.

After a quick breakfast, Kedar dropped her to office.
I will pick you up by 5:30. Is it fine?
Yup, Its fine.
Is there anything you would like to do today?
No, nothing specific. I just wanted to go to the temple near our home.
Chalo, we will do that and then I have a surprise planned for you dear. See you in the evening.

Saying this, Kedar drove away. She stared at the road for a long time before going inside. She had purposefully kept her cell switched off. In fact, she was dreading switching it on. Keep calm Khyati. Handle things  tactfully.