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My Rotund Friend---Ganesha

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ganesha and I became acquainted very early in my childhood when Amma told me the story of His birth.We use a Herbal Powder(Uttana) mixed with Lentil or Chick Pea Flour,Full Cream and Milk as an application on the body instead of Soap on ceremonial days -----mainly Diwaali and on the New Year Day-----according to theLunar Hindu Calender.
According to legend,Shiva's wife Parvati collected the dried "Uttana" from Her body and formed it in the image of a young boy.She breathed life into Him and asked Him to guard the entrance of the Cave She was bathing in---with explicit instructions to let no one in.After awhile Shiva returned but was prevented from entering by the young Boy----acting on His Mother's instructions.A fight ensued---ending with the Boy's being beheaded by Vishnu's Disc, the "Sudarshan Chakra". Parvati emerged after Her bath to find the Boy lying in a pool of blood---and began lamenting for the Boy---telling all present that She had authorised the Boy to guard the door.Shiva too had cooled down by now---and He sent His followers---Ganaas----to bring the head of a child whose mother was sleeping with her back towards him.The Ganaas searched far and wide and finally found a she Elephant sleeping with her back towards her child.They cut off the head and came back to Kailaasa----Parvati was pained deeply to see the animal head---but was helpless under the circumstances.The Elephant head was placed on the Boy's shoulders----and all the Gods bestowed Him with special powers-------Brahma bestowed Wisdom and Knowledge,Vishnu bestowed the capacity to clear all obstacles present any where in the World and Shiva accepted Him as His son and made Him the "Ganesha"---Lord of all His Followers---the Ganaas!!!!
One Diwaali---I must have been just over 3 years old---the ritual application of the ceremonial "Uttana"(Ubatan) Paste had me protesting at the top of my voice----it felt sticky and yucky in it's touch on the skin though it smelt heavenly----hence the protest-----so Amma diverted me with the story about the birth of Ganesha.She said once the Paste dried she'd rub it off and make me a small Ganesha of my own!!!My curiousity piqued,I became engrossed in the tale-----and in Ganesha!!!!He became a friend---a confidant-----one of those "imaginary" childhood playmates most children talk of.Even today I carry on full conversations with Him and His Father, Shiva.I feel a deep personal bond with Him---in fact He is the one I turn to in need---and to date He has never failed me.I draw all my Positivity and Strength from Him---He has seen me through all my illnesses.I recite 16 of His names daily morning and night----but I don't fast for Him nor am I a regular visitor to any of His Temples----He has blessed me with the capacity to picture Him in my mind's eye---anywhere in the World!!!!I carry Him in my heart always!!!
As Time passed---the Maharashtra Mandal would bring the Idol all the way from Mumbai-----and the Ganesha Festival would be celebrated for 10 days with lots of pomp and cheer ending with with the "Maha Prasad" or Ceremonial Lunch before the immersion of the Idol in the evening on Anant Chaturdashi,the 10th day after His arrival----the day to say a "Good Bye" to him for that year---and to ask Him to return early next year!!!
At my maternal Grandfather's old ancestral home of Saawantwaadi, the Idol is prepared on the premises itself with great care and installed with great Ceremony.Here He stays for just one and a half day----but His presence is celebrated with solemnity and Pujaa---He has His Trunk turning to the Right side instead of the usual Left-----and thus His Pujaa is supposed to have very set and severe rules of worship------care has to be taken to ensure that everything runs like clockwork and there are no glitches and hitches!!!Everything---- from each dish on the Menu to the articles needed for worship is traditional and are kept sancrosanct and utmost care is taken to perform the cooking as well as the Puja in a "Sovala" or a state of utmost cleanliness----meaning that my Uncles and Aunts can't be touched by any of us till the Worship and presentation of the "Naivedyaa" or Ceremonial Food to the Deity is over!!!
After my marriage, He was a regular visitor to our home each year------everyone in the old home loved Him too-------every year Ganesha still graces Nikhil's (Milind's son) home during the 10 day period from Shukla Chaturthi-----Anant Chaturdashi in the month of Bhadrapad.It is a family event----in the old days there used to be lots of hustle bustle , many visitors,loads of Food and noise----today we are more sedate----many who then attended have passed on---many have moved away to the far flung areas---but the first day---the day of His arrival home----all of us including Sudhir's cousins make it a point to attend the Ceremony of His installation and offer their homage.Our Ganesha is a lenient one--His Trunk turns Left---and He is jovial----enjoying all the jokes and bon homie surrounding Him!!!
After we shifted here, He followed us here---of His own volition.We began recieving House warming gifts-------which would come from relatives and friends who visited us .Most often these would be small or tiny idols of Ganesha----Paintings,Pictures,Idols,Etchin
gs---some in Silver,Crystal,Stained Glass,Brass Images,Sand Painting------in every type of material concievable !!!! He sensed our affinity for Him----and He Blessed us with His presence!!!My daughter Sayali used to pass by the famous "Siddhi Vinayaka" on her way to School and back----she claimed that He'd call her to visit Him----no day was fixed for her visit---she just went whenever He called----even today the first thing she still does on arrival in Mumbai is go and visit Him in the Temple.Ganesha has blessed our home with His presence------He has bestowed on us the honour of residing in my home!!!!An entire corner in the "Ishaanyaa" or the North-East direction of my Drawing Room is dedicated to Him-----and is called the Ganesha Corner------in fact I'm running out of space there!!!!I know He'll create His own space-----May He bless me with His Presence and Blessings----always!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATMANI 4/26/2010 10:40PM

    Ganesha is my favorite too and not because I grew up in Maharashtra.

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RAJASHREE108 4/26/2010 10:28PM

    मंगल मूर्त
ी मोरया

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ZANNACHAN 4/26/2010 10:42AM

    Thanks for sharing that. I'm somewhat familiar with Ganesha, but I hadn't heard the story of His birth.

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MESSENE 4/26/2010 8:36AM

    emoticonstory. emoticon

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SRITHI97 4/26/2010 7:29AM

    yeah, he is my fav deity too. that's why we have named our first son as vignesh, i share the same bonding with him. nice blog.Jai sree ganesh!

Comment edited on: 4/26/2010 4:49:08 PM

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Early Days Here

Friday, April 23, 2010

Each home has it's own persona and a distinctive character----our new home was no exception.The surroundings were truly out of this World---imagine finding a shady Tree lined haven---bang in the middle of the bustling Mega City of Bombay---also called the "Commercial" Capital of India!!!
We moved in on the 23rd.of May 1975----the Pooja took place in the morning followed by the Ceremonial Lunch---and all the Family members except Sudhir ,the two girls and me departed after Dinner---for the first time in our married life we were by ourselves at home----alone!!!!I was caught in the euphoria of it all---the fresh night Breeze wafting in through the windows---accompanied by a faint scent of "Raat Raani" or Night Queen---a very sweet scented Jasmine.Somewhere in the distance somebody was singing a Bhajan---in the "Waadi" or Coconut Grove of the Cottages across the road----the people had gathered together under the Stars to chat.Everything was silent and still---for me it was like being back in Chandigarh----I just lay awake for a long time that night---just listening to the Breeze whispering through the Trees!!!
The Rooster's crowing next morning woke me up-----it was still dark outside-----but I was too excited to go back to bed.I went to the Balcony facing those Cottages and sat in the dark----just drinking the ambience in with each pore of my body-----watching the Dawn change to Day!!!The Doorbell rang at 6.30 a.m.---my domestic help Vithoba had brought the Milk----and the day began in earnest!!!Everything was sparkling new----the Furniture,the Curtains----even my Utensils were mostly brand new---some old Copper and Brass ones were gifted to me by Atya as a remembrance of the earlier generations----but these were just that--show pieces.It was strange to wake up in a different atmosphere----with Birdsong and in the hustle bustle of a Village like atmosphere-----early in the morning the cries of the various Salesmen began sounding----the Sea Salt seller had started making his rounds---pushing his cart along---followed by the Knife Sharpner---then there was the Cloth Merchant with his wares draped across his shoulders----it was as if Time had stood still----how I loved all these things---I was getting re-acquainted with them after a five year gap!!!
The windows of both our Bedrooms face a huge Vegetable Garden-----lush with Spinach when we moved in.There are tall Coconut Palms,Banana Trees,Drumstick Trees-----Jacaranda,Gul Mohar and Laburnum Trees too there------it is a pleasure to stand in the windows-----specially on Moonlit nights in the cooler weather------the Moon plays hide and seek in the swaying fronds of the Palms!!!!This Garden acquires a newly minted ,fresh look during the Rains----the rich loamy scent of the wet Earth surrounds us----it smells like Heaven!!!This farm has a deep Well on the premises---used for watering their fresh grown produce---as well as for other household needs.We buy fresh Spinach,Amaranth,Radishes or whichever leafy Green Vegetable they grow in rotation----as well as tiny Egg Plants and the pale Green Monsoon Ladyfingers(Okra)during the Rains from these Folks.The view is breathtaking from my side of the Bed----clear or dark Grey cloudy Skies----according to the Season----- with waving Coconut Fronds etched on it.
In the 1st year here I had Vithoba who had been with us for 20+years and was a trusted family retainer---Atya entrusted our household domestic jobs to him.He lived with us and slept in the Domestics' room downstairs--coming up early each morning with the Milk and leaving after washing the Dinner Dishes.Unfortuately his wife was diagnosed with Cancer so he had to go back to the Village to care for her---and I joined the ranks of those who employed"suttya Baika" or freelancing domestic help.These women worked freelance in a certain number of homes---their timing and wage were fixed according to the chores they did.For the past 34 years this system has worked fine with me----my Chhaaya Bai has been with me since 1990----her younger sister-in-law Vanita since 1997------so help wise I'm set---Thank God for His Blessings!!!!
The Cottages across the road were the most fascinating--I loved seeing their daily routine!!!Those days the Mills were still working------and the folk living in those Cottages were working there.For the first 5 years after we shifted here there used to be lots of activity in those Cottages---Weddings,"Baarseys"/"Naamkarans
"(Christenings),Get Togethers--- and Poojas galore----specially during the month of Shravan(mid July-mid August)----there used to be festive air around always thanks to all these activities.There would be Cloth Canopies in the various doorways,loudspeakers would blare out the appropriate types of Songs all day ----this would last till past mid-night-----there would be lots of"Varaats/ Baraats" or Bridal Processions---Girls would get married and move away----new Brides would move in as daughters-in-law!!!They were truly halycyon days-----wonderful to recall as memories!!!
Then disaster struck---the Mill Workers went on Strike---and all the prosperity across the road went down the drain!!!Jobs went--Mills suffered lock-outs----pandemonium reigned---and those first 5 years turned into an old memory----never to regain it's lustre again.Women---even those who had never worked outside their home------stepped out to work in our homes as hired help----it was a saddening time for us all!!!The "Waadi" was being developed into a Housing Society but due to lack of Funds the Construction was left incomplete-----the earlier peacefull environment had totally disappeared.This empty shell of a Building stood for almost 20 years till a settlement was reached in Court.Till then this empty shell would come alive during the Monsoons as a Playground for children living in the Shanties----also it was a popular base during the Kite flying Winter Season!!!
Today there is Construction going on there---gusts of Dust float across the Street----covering everything with a fine film.The Tower will be 27 Storeys high----those beautiful days are now a part of memory----I wish I had photographed the sight before it faded away!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAJASHREE108 4/24/2010 9:21AM

    Komal, wonderful memories. I was reminded of similar beginnings in 1969 when I got married and moved to Pune. I am so sad to see the change.. traffic, pollution, the road conditions.. every time I go back to Pune it is a big shock. Yet, home is home and there is no place like it.

Thank you so much for taking me back to those days of settling in a new place, new city, making new friends, finding good kaam-vaali.

Reading your descriptions everything comes out alive. I think it would be a wonderful collection in the near future. Any publisher would be happy to publish it. Keep writing. emoticon

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MILLISMA 4/23/2010 9:48PM

    Even without the photos, I could picture everything from your writings. Smelling the fresh breeze, the jasmine. You described it so beautifully. Thank you again for sharing with us.

Mary Anne emoticon

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ATMANI 4/23/2010 12:10PM

    True, each day is a gift!

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ZANNACHAN 4/23/2010 11:19AM

    I agree with EACHDAYAGIFT--write it all down. Words are sometimes more powerful than photographs, because they carry the emotions as well as the visual images.

What a lovely place to live. I haven't lived anywhere that picturesque. Your words are so beautiful.

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EACHDAYAGIFT 4/23/2010 10:07AM

    Just write it all down, Komal, your words are so evocative, you will fill in every detail and nuance that a photograph could never capture. What a gift you have in that, and what a gift you had in those early days to live in such a paradise. My neighborhood now is very close to busy roads, a train track, and some industrial businesses. You would never know that, just a few blocks away, there is a street lined with pine trees that looks like the country! I feel like God directed me to the perfect Ann& Lloyd house: close to all the conveniences of a suburb for him, country feeling with open spaces for me!

All the weddings you witnessed made me think of a vacation we took to Disney World when the kids were little. Our room had a balcony overlooking a little beach, and there was a green expanse of lawn at a higher elevation jutting out over the lake. It was a popular spot for destination weddings (often attended by Mickey and Minnie Mouse characters in formal attire!), and we must have witnessed about 8 weddings during our stay. My daughter was enchanted!

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Coming Home

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I have always had a heightened sense of perception since early childhood----there have always been lots of situations which give a feeling of Deja Vu or having experienced that particular moment sometime earlier.It's creepy and unsettling---and at times frightening as well!!!Sometimes it leaves a satisfying glow of Rightness too---as it did when we finalised our Flat!!!
In 1975 we were looking at various Flats(Apartments)---one of them being the present one.Finally the choice narrowed down to 3---2 in proper South Bombay and 1 in the present location.The South Bombay one had a Sea view----when I asked to see it the agent threw open a window---asked me to lean out and then crane my neck a little? and the Sea view was right there.I did as he asked-----screwed my head around almost till it hurt---and there was the tiny patch of Water the Agent called 'a Sea View"!!!!That did it---I didn't want a Sea View----Spondyloisis wasn't my cup of Tea!!!So we moved on to the other one in the same building---on the 14th.Floor!!!That fact that it was the 14th.Floor got my hackles up---it would be difficult to keep an eye on the Girls playing in the Play Ground from so high up---hence it was rejected totally.
The one we finally bought was the last one shown to me.We wound our way through Tree lined by lanes and entered a vast Compound.This was very near the Main Arterial Road but the Peacefulness was palpable.There were many Trees around---full of greenery and Bird song----it was as if we were in a secluded Village instead of a bustling City!!!!I was overjoyed---I loved the surroundings----tiny thatched or tiled Cottages across the Compound Wall were visible from where I stood------there was a Canopy of coloured Cloth outside one of them.A Wedding was in progress----this itself was a very big plus point in favour of the Flat!!!
There were 3 buildings in this Condominium--6 Storeys each.The Flat was on the 1st.Floor-------and when the Door opened----it was as if this was already MY home---waiting for me!!!!!The entire Flat engulfed me and took me into it's warm embrace!!!It was almost as if someone whispered "Welcome Home" in my ears---the experience was so overwhelming that I had tears in my eyes when I turned to look at Sudhir----my eyes were shining as I said"THIS is our home!!!!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NISHAKSHA 4/21/2010 11:22AM

    Very well written, I could actually picture your home.

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ZANNACHAN 4/21/2010 10:36AM

    Oh how lovely! And it sounds like so much better than the other flats you looked at--isn't it lovely when everything clicks like that?

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MESSENE 4/21/2010 9:05AM

    emoticonWow! that is so emoticonIt reminds me of our place, Since I was a teenager I would have dreams of a forest in my back yard, and at times I could see myself in it. I used to tell my family about it, and how beautiful it would be. My family would laugh at me, since we were so poor, and barely pay for our apartment at the time, but I always held on to this dream even if it seemed impossible. emoticon5 years ago I told Husband, and mother in law about my dream. They didn't know what to think. emoticonThe best part of this dream is that it finally came true 3 years ago emoticon emoticon
You bring so many nice memories! Have a wonderful day! emoticon emoticon

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ATMANI 4/21/2010 8:18AM

    Simply beautiful memory!

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm a total paradox----a perfectionist in some things and totally laidback in others.Early childhood was a happy and peaceful time---I was brought up mainly by my Amma---Mummy being the typical "Mem Sahib" of that era.Thanks to this Mummy and I never really bonded as mother and daughter------this is not to say that we were not close---just that she was closer to my younger sisters than to me.My headstrong nature could have been the cause---she was a dominating person and I was a rebel those days---thus we constantly were at loggerheads with each other.
At the time of my marriage I cooked only North Indian Food---really well as a matter of fact----but the traditional Saraswati style Marathi cooking was something I needed to learn.While Atya,Akka and Aaji gave me the Recipes they didn't have the patience to walk me through these step by step.This is where Suhas(Sudhir's older sister)decided to help me out.Those days my brother-in-law Milind---Sudhir's older brother----would fast every Monday.This pattern would be broken on each subsequent 17th.Monday when the ceremonious end of the Fast Meal(Udyaapan) would take place.From the immediate following Monday the pattern would resume again.Now Milind was a stickler for taste---everything had to be just so---rightly balanced and proportioned---so it was decided that I'd cook on Mondays--when he was fasting!!!Suhas lived in the suburbs but she'd catch the Local Train(Subway/Tube) and come by 2p.m. to our home.The menu would be decided a day earlier,the Vegetables bought,cleaned and cut---ready for my lessons!!She'd begin from scratch---taking me patiently through the various steps of preparing the various Spice Powders(Masalas)fresh and giving me tips on how to enhance the taste of the Condiments so as to get the maximum out of each Ingredient.She was so thorough that I became a good cook within six months!!!!!Here I must mention that while doing this Suhas herself used to be fasting---she'd be only on Water for 24 hours from Monday midnight---Tuesday midnight-----yet just for me she'd brave the terrible heat and heavy Rains and come-------I can never thank her enough.She deserves all the credit for my being a great Cook!!!!
It was after Daddy's death in 1974 that Mummy and I started coming to an understanding with each other---we came closer then.She was living with us for 18 months till her own flat was ready and I know that the snide remarks about my being useless as aCook hurt her greatly.She insisted that I join Cooking classes and learn about the fancier stuff.It was here I learned the secrets of making succulent Biryanis,Kormas and Pulaos.Mummy herself was an ace Cook----she loved cooking while I disliked it-----and there are numerous hours I've spent roasting the Spices or marinated Meats to perfection on a slow flame---a higher temprature would mean a change in the colour and taste of the dish!!!Mummy ensured that I learnt every nuance of her recipes----every tiny detail----she turned me into a perfectionist---everything had to be just so!!!!
Those days we entertained a lot----and Menus used to be lavish---equal number of dishes for both Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian guests-----as well as Starters and Entrees------it tires me out even to remember the amount of Food I've cooked!!!!Our implements were1-2 Kerosene Wick Stove---and each household functioned on one cylinder of Cooking Gas(LPG).Those with two cylinders were considered to be so lucky-----availibilty of these was bad and so we used the Stoves regularly to ensure that the Cylinders lasted longer!!!Mixers and Grinders too were a novelty and there was the theory that only stone ground Spices tasted better---thus in spite of owning Mixers we still used the Stone grinding equipments----I developed muscles like a wrestler's----we entertained so much those days!!!!!I can still cook for a group of 50 people in 2 hours flat---but now I need help with the preparations----thanks to my Lumpectomy and Angioplasty.
I'm not a very good housekeeper----my home's untidy----which can't be helped thanks to the fact of Sudhir being a Lawyer----we don't throw away a single scrap of Paper---ever---unless Sudhir himself disposes it off!!!Then there are Books and Music Cassettes lying all over the place---we both love to read as well as love Music------add to this the layer of Dust drifting in from the Construction next door----yes it's pretty untidy at the moment.However my Closets are in great shape---Sudhir's is a matter of despair for me---order there lasts barely a day after I've straightened it out----sometimes I just ignore the chaos inside till I'm forced to set it right!!!!
I'm a highly efficient wife though----each time I've been hospitalised Sudhir's been clueless about the stuff in the house-----he's never had to do anything for himself---first it was his mother and after our marriage ,me-----all needs have always been fully catered for!!!!My home too runs smoothly on well oiled wheels-----this is where my domestic Staff comes in-----Chhaya Bai and Vanita are both indispensable in the Kitchen for the former and the rest of the house for the latter---they literally held the fort till I came home again!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATMANI 4/20/2010 2:21PM

    nice blog, wish I can capture my memories...

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MILLISMA 4/20/2010 1:34PM

    Komal, I love reading your blogs and learning about your history. It is wonderful to learn about your traditions. Thank you for sharing. And don't worry about your home, everything will be there for you tomorrow!

Mary Anne emoticon

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ZANNACHAN 4/20/2010 11:44AM

    I think it's actually pretty typical for people to be perfectionist in some areas and not in others; it's when people are perfectionists in everything they do that really can become a problem.

Heh. I'm sooooo not a cook. My mom is a good cook, as is her mother, but I never liked cooking. I mean, I can cook relatively basic things, so if left to my own devices I wouldn't be reduced to tv dinners and fast food or something, but I really don't enjoy cooking and tend to avoid it as much as possible. My brother, on the other hand, enjoys cooking (and so does my husband) so I never really had to cook.

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MESSENE 4/20/2010 8:32AM

    I just love Indian food! My favorite dish is Lamb masala, with other spice added as well. I do use stone ground for my chili's, and salsa's they are emoticon emoticonI love your blogs, they are so Yummy! emoticonMakes me think of the wonderful food I used to eat 20 years ago, when I live in Oakland California. They have many Indian restaurants. Great blog!
Wish You a wonderful day! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/20/2010 8:37:59 AM

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Growing Up

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hind sight always gives a clearer view of the past----accentuates the past mistakes and highlights the Plus Points!!!Today I too turn to look back and find that Life as a whole has been extremely kind to me---there have been times of hurt and pain but the resilience gifted to me by The Almighty at birth has been my mainstay always!!!The saying"No Gain without Pain" is sooooo true!!!!
I had a very happy childhood---my parents weren't indulgent but they ensured a secure,healthy and happy environment for us while the three of us were growing up.Our home was always filled with lots of Laughter and Positivity------despite the constraints of a conservative Society of the period,we enjoyed quite a bit of Freedom of Thought.In fact my father did all he could to aid my love for reading Books by ensuring a steady supply of quality English Literature----the Convent School education did the rest!!!!When I married I was well read and knowledgeable about a lot of things----and didn't hesitate to bore people around me by flaunting that Knowledge.This became a joke---I'd be asked questions and when I began giving the answers the topic would be deliberately changed---supposed to be good natured ribbing---but humiliating to the object of it.Sudhir hated it----and told me to answer to the point only----unfortunately something I still haven't mastered even today---I still give long winded answers!!!!However today those same people seem to hang on every word I utter!!!
My ignorance in running a household was a major drawback-----the live-in staff ran the home on well oiled wheels---I knew all of them from childhood---they too had often . indulged me as a child.I however had lost sight of the fact that the situation had changed-----I was no more a favourite visitor-----now as a housewife it was my duty to pay attention to details---it was after all MY home!!!Those days being a good Cook was of paramount importance!!!!Also besides that----- to be recognised as a skilled housewife one had to be conversant with Embroidery,Knitting and Tailoring as well ---each household owned a Sewing Machine!!!Thanks to the Nuns except Cooking I was well versed in all these other things---but not very fond of them.I much preferred my Books------and adored the company of my neices and nephews----telling them stories and playing games with them was my favourite pastime.
I wasn't very particular about my Closets being clean nor was I concerned with the day to day running of the home---planning the Menus for the Cook,directing the Staff on various ways of doing things---these were areas where I felt would be presumptous of me to interfere ----this was perhaps one of my biggest mistakes!!!!My laidback attitude was termed laziness and I was chastised for being so disinterested.That's when I realised that I had jumped into the deep end of the Pool---my being young was not an advantage for me----I had to prove my mettle among my peers--though they were way older than me!!!I tried to keep my untidyness at bay by ensuring that my Closets were clean---but beyond that I was clueless about what else to do????This again was criticised----now being uncaring and thoughtless was another added tag.These small things hurt deeply but here both my naturally bouyant Nature and Sudhir's silent but strong support came to my rescue.Today I keep a good Home--not impeccable but pretty good----after all I learnt most of my lessons the hard way!!!!
Life has it's own methods of bringing home the necessity of lessons that need to be learned----and that is exactly what happened.Lotta's birth opened my eyes to my new responsibilities----bringing up a baby!!!The idyll was over----the harsher truths of being a parent came to the fore----sleepless nights,trips to the Peadiatrician---the works!!!Slowly I began learning the ropes of looking after another human being through trial and error---that too one that was totally dependent on me and absolutely helpless to begin with!!!Sudhir was a totally hands on father----a nine day wonder in those days-----I owe him big time for standing with me always!!!He was my Great Wall of China---standing firmly between me and my detractors and actively encouraging me very positively to learn new things to improve my housewifely skills.After Sayali's birth we shifted here-----I'm aware that there were quite a few people looking to see whether I'd swim or sink----my heartfelt Thanks to The Almighty for giving me Sudhir----I swam------ slowly turning into a fish!!!
Am I bitter today about the taunts I had to bear?No I'm not----some of these do rankle yes,-----the mean comments have been relegated to the back burner of my mind------and those that were constructive have helped to make me into a better Human Being by helping to improve myself and recognise and modify my faults. I'm not magnanimous enough to forgive and forget-----a Saint I'm definitely not---but I'm definitely wise enough to move on with the maxim of "Live and let Live".I hate unpleasant situations in any environment specially in Family situations, so have never retaliated even once-----now it is too late and the wish to do so too has faded!!Ihave let bygones be bygones-----no sense in holding grudges.I now take care to be wary around those who hurt me and don't venture too close to them---the attitude being "thus far and no further"!!!
Today I am proud of the fact that we didn't rely on anybody to help us bring up our children---in fact we rarely left them with either his or my mother----Sudhir genuinely felt that the two of them had each reared their offspring so it was unfair to saddle them with ours.The fact that both the mothers were there should we need them was a great source of strength for us----but by God's Grace things turned out well.
Looking back I sincerely feel that I have had a very good life so far---blessed as I am with a great husband,1 beautiful Grand-daughter,2 Daughters and Sons-in-law----pray God that His Blessings continue!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISANANCY 4/20/2010 10:46AM

    You have the great wisdom now of years. Isn't it funny how smart we get as we grow older. And isn't it great that we are allowed to grow older. You are the center for your children and now your grandchildren. They are a lucky family. One thing that is hard to do is forgiveness. Without forgiveness, they always have control over us. I'm sure that most don't even remember hurting you but by not forgiving you give them the power. This is one concept that I have difficulty with too. I try to forgive, it is always in my mind but not from the heart. Once I can get it to come from the heart I will truly be free of them.
Have a blessed day, my friend, on the other side of the world. How very similar our lives continue emoticon

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ZANNACHAN 4/19/2010 10:53AM

    Sounds like you were especially lucky in your husband, who supported you and defended you from detractors. That makes a huge difference.

Boy, I'm lucky though that I grew up in a different generation, and in a different country--I would not have made a very good Indian housewife at that time! My husband does most of the cooking for one thing. *grin*

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