KOMAL53   83,516
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Thank You All!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thanks to all my Spark Friends I'm putting my thoughts on paper, so to speak,again---an activity which I had neglected for a long time.The appreciation and encouragement has truly been exceedingly gratifying and a BIG boost to my Ego!!!
I am an ordinary person---not to put myself down---but I'm saying that I'm not someone who wants the limelight---but at the same time I want myself to have an identity---and that I do have.I have been very lucky to have been born in a family with broadminded values where these actually count.For instance I wouldn't wear certain clothes because I felt those were too revealing for me but I'd appreciate a person who carried the same clothes well.My reservations are only for me---not my daughters,nieces or grandchildren!!
My father grew up in a very conservative society but after having studied in Britain, returned as a "Brown" sahib---very anglocised---as a child I use to dress for Dinner!!!I have always hated the duplicity and the hypocritical behaviour displayed in parties and hated attending them.I was really lucky to marry Sudhir---SOME of our views match to a T!!!I honestly believe that what I am and who I am matters the most---not my social status or my monetary state!!
As I grow older I prefer to befriend and maintain relationships with like minded people----hate the bright lights and all that show and tamasha!!
The simplicity of Life has always appealed to me---according to Sudhir I'm too naive and that naivete will be my downfall some day!!!I truly believe in the goodness of human beings----there is some good in each of us---but I rely on my gut feeling too.To date my gut has NEVER let me down!!!Trusting people easily today is however a thing of the past----thanks to my husband and certain things one reads and hears---today I'm a bit suspicious of these courier boys and delivery people---like most of Mumbai we've been having a Safety door for 35 years now!!!
Atya---my Mother-in-law----separated us into two units in 1975----she said that would avoid future quarrels and confrontations between the two brothers---insisted that after shifting to the new house I open the door with a half cut Onion and a knife in my hands!!!It was so odd---people thought I cut and chopped Onions throughout the day!!!
Then on our vacations----by Train---my purse contained two small plastic bottles---Red Chilli Powder and Black Pepper Powder---as well as a sharp knife and a pair of heavy brass of Scissors-----just in case!!!Thankfully nothing untoward ever happened but it made me look askance at every new visitor.
I love our Indian traditions---looking at me one would think I was born a hundred years back---these are Sudhir's views.According to him I'm a relic of an era that ended long ago---a dig at my love for History!!!Change to me means going forward with all that we hold close to our hearts---and I feel that certain old values can never be out dated!!!Honesty,Harmony,Courtesy,Empathy and Tolerance towards all our fellow men and women as qualities are invaluable----always have been and always will be!!!These do help breed an atmosphere for a well adjusted peaceful World is what I feel---these things will never be dated!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NATTIEGAL82 12/30/2009 10:55AM

    Who said u are ordinary - u are so brave and have dealt with so many health problems and still have such an upbeat personality. And u are always here to help us out - thats what makes u extra-ordinary emoticon

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ZANNACHAN 12/30/2009 10:44AM


It is always a balancing act, isn't it, between being open to changes--because sometimes change is necessary or beneficial--and holding on to those traditions and values that are important to us. The important thing is that you find what works for you.

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RD03875 12/30/2009 5:57AM

    Very interesting post!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our cousin Manju called us out of the blue last night----she was in Mumbai and could she come over to visit?
Manju lives in Australia and is our first cousin-----youngest daughter of our Uncle in Kolhapur.She came over for Lunch with her husband and two daughters----we last saw them in 2002---kids then young ladies now---how time flies!!!
Manju was born in 1965---in May that year she was beautiful chubby baby----we all fought over who'd babysit her!!! Today she has matured into a beautiful woman holding her own in an alien environment----poised and surprisingly confident---very articulate.Her daughter Neiha could be my grand-daughter Meha's twin----only Meha's an inch or so taller---but the family resemblance is unmistakable!!!Genes---hats off to them!!
An hour after they left our neice Alpana and her daughter Molly dropped in to visit.They flew in from the States yesterday and were making the rounds to say "Hello" to all of us.This grand-daughter of mine too has grown up since I saw her in 2007---she'll turn 21 in the New Year!!!
Where have the years gone????These kids were born before us---pampered by us ---and today they're all so poised,confident and self possessed young ladies????I don't feel a day older----where have the years disappeared???

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NATTIEGAL82 12/30/2009 3:00AM

    u write so beautifully! your blogs leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

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NITAINMN 12/29/2009 6:16PM

    Komal:) You truly live your name - sounds like you are a soft speaker, loved by all in return to your love. You only see positive stuff in people around you as God would want us to and live by His rules. I am proud to be your friend and now, if I can learn to be like you....... emoticon

This was part of the message from God to me, which I hope helps you to know and continue to write your stories to please all:

"Knowing that it is your nature to create stories, create stories which make you feel good. Let the tales you spin be ones in which the actions of another are loving. Use your love of stories to create a life that is a story of love."

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ZANNACHAN 12/29/2009 11:24AM

    Hehehe, they says that time flies--I think it runs away *grin* The holidays do that to me every year, but this year was more so than normal because I saw some cousins and their families who I haven't seen in years. It made me feel a little old, I confess--where did all that time go?

It was really cool you had a chance to see your cousin from Australia, though, and your niece from the USA! It must have been wonderful visiting with family you don't get to see very often and to see how their kids have changed and grown into young women.

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ATMANI 12/29/2009 10:47AM

    It is nice to know that I am not the only one who doesn't feel a day older... emoticon

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Sepia Moments

Monday, December 28, 2009

Old memories are treasured and hoarded possessions---I spend time with mine whenever I can.My most favourite ones are those of my early childhood---Aazoba's house in Mumbai.
My maternal Grandfather-----Aazoba lived on Charni Road in Bombay.The house was huge but space was always a problem---it always was bursting at the seams with people!!He was the head of a large joint family---a brood of sisters---all married---and three brothers.My great-grandmother Ba-Aji would visit sometimes----she lived on the estate in Saawant Waadi.
This huge bustling house was always full of people---Aazoba's nieces and nephews--his sisters and brothers children----who came to study in Bombay or to visit.
My grandmother Aaji was an extremely beautiful and large hearted woman with a sharp tongue-----exactly like Lalita Pawar in Bollywood films---the waspish tongued lady with a golden heart!!She was by far the most popular aunt and all her nephews and nieces loved her to bits and she always looked after them well.Sweet talking was something she never could do----all her replies to all questions put to her were cryptic!!!
My mother was their eldest daughter---I was the first grand child---spoilt rotten by my Aazoba and every body else----my each tiniest wish was their command!!!
My grandparents had married rather late---Aaji was 26 and Aazoba was 38 in their wedding---in an era when people married really young!!!My mother was born a year later and my Uncle was born after three more daughters and 10 years after my mother.My uncle is just 12 years older than me!!!Of these my aunt, Vidya Maushi, was truly beautiful---both inside and out---she pampered me and had the endless patience to look after me and feed me no matter what kind of tantrums I threw---which were plenty!!!!
This whole household had a kitchen that worked all day long---food was always ready---piping hot--- for people coming from work---school---or even out of town!!! Aaji loved feeding---stuffing everybody to the gills!!!If one said "no" she'd ask if the "preparation wasn't good enough"---if the answer was" yes it was very good" then she'd say---"eat" and insist on serving more!!!
Dada Kaka---my Aazoba's first cousin---also lived with them.He was responsible for buying the Fish,Meat and Vegetables every morning.I was his constant companion---we'd both carry Rattan baskets--his was large and mine was tiny and we'd leave for the market----hand in hand.The larger Fish would land in his basket the smaller one in mine----things like Sardines,palm sized Pomfrets,tiny Mackerel called Bangadulay,tiny Honey Bananas from Vasai----all these were my load.We'd head home after the purchasing and reaching home he'd get a cup of hot Tea and me a glass of hot Milk.No matter how much I protested Tea was totally taboo to kids!!How I loved those jaunts---gave me such a feeling of importance!!!
The cooks would clean the fish,the vegetables and cook it for the luncheon meal while after a lovely clean warm bath, I recounted my adventures to Aazoba---my bestest friend----then and today too.After Lunch it would be story telling Time for Aazoba and me----he really had such a huge stock of tales----that Konkani cadence and the lilt of his beautifully modulated voice still rings in my ears!!!!The Konkanis are very loving and a wee bit eccentric---but huge hearted people!!!
Today it really embarasses me to recall my tantrums----one can't cheat oneself now ---can one???Today when my mother's cousins come face to face with me they ask me to recall their names---with the exception of a few I don't remember----the brood is truly huge!!
The warmth of the love and that feeling of belonging is what I cherish today.Relationships were valued way above things like discomfort or inconvenience."Blood is thicker than Water" is the maxim that has kept even the extended family together------even today though meetings are rare, telephonic contacts are still maintained.Should need arise relatives rush to lend support!!!
Today most of the people like Ba-aji and my grandparents have long since passed on----but they have left behind such beautiful memories that even today they bring a warmth and a glow to my heart!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 12/29/2009 12:03AM

    What a beautiful post! Thank you so much for sharing those memories. I come from a very different background--not only culturally (being from the USA) but also in that I come from a pretty small family--my mother has 3 siblings, and a small extended family, and my father has only one sibling and an even smaller extended family! But I had a very close knit family, and I can almost imagine how much love and security there must have been, growing up in a close, extended family household like that, with so many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Good of you to write those memories down. A few years ago, when my grandfather's health was starting to fail, my aunt sat down and digitalized all his old pictures and recorded his stories, which she then put on a disk to share with the rest of the family. He passed away a few years ago, and I'm really glad that she took the time and effort to preserve those, because now I have that disk, with those pictures and stories--including stories that I'd never heard, stories he rarely talked about. Writing down memories like the ones you blogged about will help keep those memories alive for your children, and their children.

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NITAINMN 12/28/2009 9:59PM

    Komal! What happened to those good old days? My grandma on father's side and mother's side had 18 each children. With us having 2 children only, family number has become smaller. With Western influence, more families are nuclear these days. The relationships are no longer as valued. Money, luxury, etc. are given more importance that they ever had been. Our culture is getting lost....following western culture is the trend. Life most children believe to be as it is in the movies. Aishwarya Rai is their hero while this generation has forgotten Mahatma, Neharu, Tilak, etc. Who ever knows vedas and true vedanta? Hindus have MANY gods they believe......what a sad status of India....today! Sure, she is growing - poverty level is getting smaller they say....I miss this kind of life and feel sorry that today's generation even in India has not enjoyed it due to mechanical life that is so time dependant with all mothers at work. We have taught our children the values and passed on more culture here in the states than children growing in major cities of India..... Look at you, growing up in Mumbai and what a grand way to have lived and loved by family, extended family...we had no choice with my being the only one in the US ( no relatives ). However, we did have our friends who became the extended family - but, of course, you are right....blood is thicker than water. I better stop...my comment has become as long as your blog..hahha!

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ATMANI 12/28/2009 4:03PM

    wonderful, as always!

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sudhir's and my story began in October 1969 when he was asked to come to Chandigarh and 'see' me in my natural environment----that was the phrase used by our common Grandmother Akka to both my parents and his mother.We are first cousins----my mother-in-law----Atya--- was Daddy's older sister.It is traditionally believed in our Maharashtrian community that a paternal aunt has first choice of her brothers daughters in marriage for her sons.The match was arranged by Akka.
Sudhir escorted our Grandmother and my younger paternal aunt to Chandigarh from Bombay(Mumbai).My mother encouraged me to take him out sightseeing around Chandigarh----chaperoned by my two younger sisters for safety!!!A week passed by in just having fun---till one day Sudhir asked me about my views on marriage,the kind of husband I wanted etc.
I was a bit taken aback---so I asked him why the question had been asked?
He gave me the reason and asked me to think about it.I was stunned---in North India such marriages are taboo!!!So he explained the traditional aspect of this relation which is also accepted by law. He asked me to think about the situation and decide.I began thinking about it----the more I thought about it the more the idea appealed to me----and that same evening I said "yes" to him.It was our mutual decision to get married after I turned 21 but I guess we just fell deeply in love and staying apart was very difficult!!!
The family felt that we two lovestruck idiots were becoming irritating---so they let us get married a year later-----just after my 17th.birthday.
Since then we've been inseparable.I must have taken barely six months away from him----for our first baby's birth and the rest a few days here or there---we're so used to living in each other's pockets that we're totally lost without each other.Though I was very young when we married,I was pretty responsible too.Being the eldest had taught me to look out for my younger sisters and he being the youngest had always been looked out for by his older siblings----so I did the looking after and he graciously let me!!!My age however made him over protective of me and this is my only grouse against him----he never lets me go alone anywhere!!Now that my ailments have made him literally paranoid----he watches over me like a hawk----I HAVE to carry my cell phone everywhere----the cat has well and truly been belled!!!
I have always been brutally frank with him---I've known him since the day I was born----and ---so is he with me because we didn'tneed the initial stages necessary for getting to know each other!!!People find our frankness with each other surprising but I guess the comfort level we share is the product of our earlier relationship----it did away with unnecessary prevarication which otherwise would have taken place during our communication with each other.Sudhir has always supported me in everything I did or want to do.He encouraged me to study further and not just that---when a friend of mine and I got together to make and market our home made products----he got me all the paraphernalia required for sealing,labelling and weighing the products!!!!If needed he'd also act as the delivery boy for me.
Today we are like two peas in a pod----we have grown up and grown old together----and somewhere along the way have exchanged some of our worst characteristics with each other too!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 12/27/2009 9:50PM

    Komal, I can't believe how much we have in common...sounds like my story except for the part about being cousins! its quite common among Konkani families also to marry your Mamu or Uncle mother's brother, Uncle or Mother's brother's sons. We even have a tradition of son when bringing his bride home, sisters sit at the entrance door blocking the doorway asking for a promise of letting their daughter marry the first son...We too are married and feel like peas in a pod(Christmas day was our 37th wedding anniversary)- the same situation of DH being very protective due to my illness. However, I was extremely independant prior to being ill ( due to our different work schedules) and did go everywhere with my women friends and my daughters since he did not enjoy doing certain things like seeing a play, attending concerts, to the museum, etc. Now, we too are inseparable!! emoticon

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SRITHI97 12/27/2009 9:58AM

    Wonderful! very nicely written. emoticon for the two of you. loved the blog.

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EDWINA172 12/27/2009 8:33AM

    What a beautiful story. Cherish each other. Yours is a relationship that others only dream of.

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ATMANI 12/27/2009 8:16AM

    very well written indeed. Thanks for sharing.

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RITZY60 12/27/2009 4:38AM

  I remember all the bribes which were given in chocolates for keeping quiet!!! Very well written...... please listen to me and start writing!!! emoticon

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Words are so very frustrating
As they twist to evade my grasp
Hovering just out of reach,enticing
Just a mere touch away from my clasp!!!
I won't give them the satisfaction
Of having thus defeated me
so grabbing a handful at random
I wrote this silly Poetry!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATMANI 12/26/2009 11:29AM

    You are the first person I know that has not given into Writer's block when the words are so frustrating!
Happy Holidays!

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NETGUNNY 12/26/2009 4:00AM

    I enjoyed your poem. I think it's fascinating that you can create a poem to express what you feel. That ability eludes me. It's cool! Thanks for sharing . . .
dp emoticon

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