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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Message on my FB from my Granddaughter says--"I love you and miss you a lot Aaji--you don't even know how much---and will spend all my free time with you when you get here!!!" ---a real sight for my sore eyes to feast on---and a wonderful balm for my lonely heart!!!However I don't think I'll take her up on it---for she's a Teenager with plenty of Friends and Social commitments---but it was lovely the way she included me in her Plans!!
My biggest problem is that I'm not really demonstrative with those whom I really love deeply--the only two exceptions to this being Sudhir and Meha with whom I was always extremely open with my love---my two daughters however lost out ----for hugging them was never easy---except when they were in pain!!!I spent most of their childhood building a bond between their father and them--because I didn't get sufficient time to bond more with my father I didn't want them losing out on their relationship with theirs!!So while I was the Disciplinarian during their growing up years---he was the Wind beneath their Wings--till the moment he died!!They would call him almost every day and talk to him for hours about everything they thought of-----and he would be very flattered at this---but would pretend he was not---complaining to me about how they told him about every comma and full stop that occurred in their lives!!Meha on the other hand was a more recent addition to his Fan Club.Sudhir was a very patient listener---and Meha began confiding in him since she was 7 years old and with her permission I was the only other person to be included in those confidences!!!
The day before he died, she gave him all the details of everything that happened between our leaving in January 2011 and arrival in October 2011-----bringing him up to date with her crushes and daily routine----because he'd tease her about her American accent each time she called---and would ask her to speak in Marathi instead because he could catch half the words she uttered---for according to him she spoke too fast in English!!!In Marathi it took her time to choose her words--and was much slower hence he managed to hear her properly he'd say!!However it was just a ploy to polish up her Marathi--for she already spoke fluent Gujarati---thanks to her mother who does too----right down to the Swear Words!!!
My relationship with my daughters was more casual---for after they turned 18 years old I began giving them their freedom--bit by bit.After they married they established their own homes and whenever I'd visit with Sudhir I'd abide by their set of Rules---for that was the way it should be!!!They were never as attached to me as they were with their father and their feeling protective about me after his death while normal is a bit of a problem for me---for basically I'm an independent person--who can survive by herself very well--Thank You.This time it will be different---for circumstances are different!!!Today it is just the two of them and me--and I'm not too sure about the way I should behave under the circumstances.They have assumed the role of my protectors---and that is what is making me apprehensive---for I hate anyone(except Sudhir) breathing down my neck---for since he's left me to live alone---I plan to make myself self sufficient---I just hope all my Girls realise that and abide by it too--or the sparks will surely fly!!!

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SOULTHIN 3/15/2012 11:18PM

    You have a great family, just be open on how you feel and how you want to be treated,

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ZANNACHAN 3/14/2012 11:02PM

    Oh, how sweet of your granddaughter!

Families are a funny thing, but yours always sounded very warm and affectionate to me! I'm not at all surprised that your daughters are protective, because they care and want to help but don't know how else to do so, but I'm sure you'll all adjust.

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NITAINMN 3/14/2012 5:09PM

    Daughters will always be the Princesses to their Father! I see this same with my own daughters too, Komal. Glad you have a great relationship with your grand daughter, Neha. Most of my friends, both Indian and American kind of lose out on the relationship when GIRLS becoem teenagers...boys are a different story, on the other hand. Glad your daughters are protective and caring of you, since I have seen too many children ignoring their parents when left behind by the partner. Time to build on your own relationship with them, if you can! All the best. ps: don't forget to make travel plans to visit some of us, your SP friends. emoticon

I would love to meet you in perons! emoticon

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BOVEY63 3/14/2012 12:53PM

    That was very sweet of your granddaughter!
You and your daughters will continue to develop in your relationships without Sudhir; and all will work out as it is supposed to.

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SAASHA17 3/14/2012 8:38AM

    Daughters can be that way..but they are urs so they wud realise it...Meha sounds wonderful and ur lucky to hve a bond with her:)


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XXMILAXX 3/14/2012 1:54AM

    Hmmm..sticky situation you're in. I think, like you said, it is normal for your daughters to want to be your protectors, it's what kids are supposed to do when the time comes. While you are self-sufficient and independent, it will be a good way of finally bonding with your daughters, to catch up with them so to speak. Same goes for your grand-daughter, you're the next best thing to their father and grandfather, and you're all they have left. I'm sure they loved and adored you while Sudhir was alive, but now you're their only foundation. Let them feel good that they're doing something for you. Remember they have the same void you have, so maybe this is how you and them will fill that void. Just because your relationships were one way before doesn't mean it always has to be like it was in the past. Giving in to them being your protectors, even a little, doesn't make you any lesser of the strong, independent, and amazing woman that you are.

Comment edited on: 3/14/2012 1:55:33 AM

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My Businesses----2

Thursday, March 08, 2012

After the the onrush of the "Vaaghri" Womenfolk I decided to play safe--and hire only those Art Galleries that came along with Security Staff.Not just that I bought huge Trunks to store the Saries in--and Kamal began leaving whatever Stock he'd have left with me---I'd sell these from home to my friends and acquaintances---ensuring a steady flow of Company that kept me profitably employed.By 1995 my sister Mikki too joined me--and we ventured into the field of stitched Range of Designer Shalwar Suits-due to a decline in the demand for Saries.Hiring a Designer to design and stitch these for us,we ambitiously decided to stitch about a 100 suits---some with Embroidery work on it.Being new to this field we miscalculated---and as a result the Designer--a young girl named Preeti----- took us for a long,royal ride!!!I will not blame her for this---for we were both extremely naive trusting idiots who jumped into this field without first doing our Home Work on the subject.Me---I always was a trusting Fool--but Mikki despite being a Working woman was as bad as me---and this time our joint venture failed completely---and we were stuck with about 60 suits hanging around our necks--literally strangling us!!!Finally,Sayali found the way out of our predicament---she held a marked down Sale at one of our regular Venues---and got rid of our White Elephants at a loss---and though we did not make any Profit that was a relief---for that cleared the house of all the extra Junk!!!
After this I entered into the field of Tupperware---where I made a very good impact---but again my acquisitive Nature overtook my better intentions and I spent all my Profits and much much more in buying Tupperware---the result of which is that today I can literally make a Will of my Tupperware---my entire Kitchen is Tupperised besides I've gifted so much of it to both my daughters that their Kitchen Cabinets too are swamped with various Containers--of all shapes and sizes!!It doesn't stop there---I also have a Closet full of brand new Tupperware---which I'm now using for gifting away since both my daughters have threatened me with dire consequences if I carry anymore of it for them--both chorus"Ma STOP!!!We don't have any more space to store any more of it!!!"My entire Family appreciates the Tupperware I gift them on various Occasions----but sometimes I get the feeling that maybe they'd like to get some thing else instead!!!
Since 2002 Sudhir put an end to my venturing out after I suffered a very serious bout of Dengue Fever--that in fact was the first time I thumbed my nose at Death!!!This bout left me pretty badly affected and I was advised six months of rest---and that's when my Business Ventures came to an end---unfortunately I managed to keep buying plenty of Tupper Ware via my huge number of Friends--and till about six months back was still buying more!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 3/12/2012 12:51PM

    I agree that pretty much anyone I know who went into a business like that ends up buying a lot of their own stock! Because you get to see the coolest things, and you can buy it often at a discount as a seller. I think Tupperware is a great product--that stuff lasts forever (evidenced by the fact that I inherited a number of my mom's pieces that she got when she was first married, which she gave to me when I moved out so that she could justify replacing them with more modern colors). Thankfully, I have a friend who sells it so if I do need/want something, I can get it.... but I don't have to deal with the temptation of seeing all their new catalogs!

I would dearly have loved to see the saris. I love saris--I think they are incredibly beautiful. I remember looking through my friend's closet at all her family's saris once when I was in middle school and wishing that my family had clothing like that! So beautiful.

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    I think everyone I know who has entered a business such as Tupperware or cosmetics ends up being one of their own largest customers!

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BOVEY63 3/8/2012 1:47PM

    I would love to see pictures of the saries and suits ~ I'll bet they were beautiful.

Tupperware is always a good thing!

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SAASHA17 3/8/2012 8:33AM

    hahaha my mom joined in the tupperware thing but ended up buying sets for herself and my aunt and thats it..and she told me the 3rd set wud be for I bought a house.hehehe...MOms...:)


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SOULTHIN 3/8/2012 8:00AM

    I think I became addicted to your blogs, :), I would have been one of your main customers for the saris and salwar suits, I just love them, also the Tupperware, people do not understand how practical and convenient they are!!!,

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My Businesses----1

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Somewhere in the mid 1980s I was bitten with the Business Bug----and along with my friend Kirti---whom I called Vahini--launched a Business Venture without much Capital---selling Garlic Chutney!!!One day it just struck the two of us that we were just idling away our time and decided to venture into the home made Food Items Market--and so we started making Garlic Chutney!!!The day we made this Sudhir's Uncle Manu Kaka--Baba's youngest brother---visited me for Tea.On hearing about our Project he offered to help us market it--for he'd retired as a Sales Manager from a Paints Firm.Thus our small budget Venture began rolling!!!
Thanks to Manu Kaka we began getting orders for our Chutney--for we made it fresh on order and it was a really tasty Condiment--very handy to keep around for Sandwiches and as an accompaniment for many other Snacks as well.Besides it had a shelf life of about 15-20 days depending on the Weather--so it became popular very quickly.By now Sudhir had come to know about my activity--and he came home one day laden with a Plastic Bag sealing Machine,Labels with the name of our Brand and a professional weighing Machine--to ensure that we did not make any mistakes while packing the stuff!!!He also encouraged me to widen our Horizons--and with added vigour we began venturing into making various Pickles and Snacks as well--mainly "Chakli","Shev" and two types of "Chivdaa"----very popular Tea time Snacks at the time.Thanks to Manu Kaka we got a steady demand from certain Offices and Banks--so much so that we needed to employ a Staff of 6 women to help out!!!My Chicken,Mutton and Prawn Pickles were great hits--and we added another delicacy--"Pooran Poli" to our list as well as the Winter Special--Sesame(Til) Laddus--a seasonal treat--to our growing list!!!
Sudhir was a great help for this--on his own he met certain Shop Keepers--people with whom we had a great rapport as regular Customers and got us orders from them.Mummy was an expert at making soft, melt in the mouth "Pooran Polies" a Marathi delicacy----and we dragged her too into our net as well----and we really began rolling!!Here I must mention that Sudhir was my biggest supporter--even acting as Delivery boy on his way to Court!!!Unlike Dada(Vahini's husband) he had no Ego hassles in delivering our Stuff and collecting the previous payment for Items sold!!Unfortunately within six months we began facing Labour problems and were forced to close down--for by then we'd become reasonably big and it would be extremely difficult to carry on just by ourselves!!!This however was the only Venture where we made a really good profit--for we kept recycling our Profits into the buying of Raw Material and paying our Staff--therefore when we closed down we'd made around Rs.10,000/- each--that to on a basic investment of Rs.100/-each within six months!!!
The next Venture Sudhir encouraged me to do was holding Exhibitions of Bengali Saries.While buying Saries for Lotta's Wedding we came into contact with Kamal--a Bengali Saree seller who made 4-5 regular trips every year to Bombay to sell his Stuff.He used to carry truly beautiful and exclusive pieces--and I bought more than a 100 Saries from him for the Wedding.He became a regular visitor to our home---and one day Sudhir passed an Art Gallery on his way home from Court displaying Designer Clothes--and it struck him that I could do something similar as well to keep myself busy.So we both spoke to Kamal and my Exhibitions in Breach Candy area and Worli began.The deal was that Kamal would supply me with a number of Saries and would advise me on how to price these.I'd place a 10% raise per Saree--to cover my Profit and the overhead costs of the rent for the Gallery and hold a 3-4 day Exhibition.Whatever did not get sold would be returned to Kamal along with the money for Items sold.I loved this--for I loved Saries and this gave me an opportunity to learn more about the Bengali Saries---a type that's always fascinated me!!!I learnt to read the thread counts by learning to read the numbers written in Bengali---and thoroughly enjoyed acquainting the People visiting the Exhibition about the intricacies of the way these hand woven Textures were made.Initially it was a highly successful venture--it's only drawback being my acquisitive nature--for I'd over price the ones I liked to ensure that no one bought these--and as a result today have a large number of extremely exclusive and beautiful Saries I no longer wear!!My profits paid for my buys--and as long as I was happy Sudhir was too!!!
This venture ended due to one incident that made us realise the danger in doing this without proper security.One day at around 12.30 p.m. three of us--Mummy,Vahini and me were in the Gallery when a throng of these women from the "Vaagharee" Clan entered it.By the time we realised what had happened these women were all over the place and were handling my Stock----pushing and pulling.It took us 5 minutes to shoo them out----and by the time they left we were exhausted!!Looking at the disarray we started putting everything back in order--realising that we'd been robbed--and some of the stuff taken was the high end one!!Mummy rushed out to the Police Station opposite the Gallery--to no avail because by then that entire gang of women had vanished into thin Air!!They'd pulled my Diamond Ear Studs so hard in the scuffle that the shoulders of my white Saree Blouse were spattered with Blood!!Luckily my Profits paid for the loss--but after this incident my enthusiasm dimmed considerably!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAIN454 3/9/2012 4:33PM

    Who knew Komal was an entrepreneur!! More confirmation that you are one AMAZING woman! Any other secrets up your sleeve??! ;)
So sorry about that incident though. How frightening that they pulled your earrings hard enough to draw blood. The thought gives me shivers.
Thanks for sharing! :)
Have a great weekend!

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BOVEY63 3/7/2012 4:26PM

    I love how you over priced the ones you wanted to keep ~ great idea!
That day in the gallery had to be pretty scary. So happy you weren't hurt too badly. Understandable why your enthusiasm diminished. I'll never understand why some people find it necessary to act in that way.

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SAASHA17 3/7/2012 8:37AM

    You have talent woman....but yeah that was scary...but u did get a collection:)


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SOULTHIN 3/7/2012 6:13AM

    some people say that money is a blessing from God, well this is proof that you are special and blessed, thank you for sharing.

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XXMILAXX 3/7/2012 12:02AM

    Quite a business woman you were! It's a shame that it ended on such a bad note. Sounds like you had a great time while it lasted.

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Movie Mania!!!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Surfing through the You Tube is fast becoming my addiction----and I've re-acquainted myself with many old Favourites--all part of my childhood and youth!!As a child Bollywood Films were not very easily accessible to us--because Chandigarh then had only one Theater--The Kiran theater in Sector 22--and each Film would stick around for at least 6-10 weeks!!Besides we children would be allowed to see only Mythological Films because the other Films were considered "corruptive" Material in that conservative Era!!Therefore though curiosity about those Films did prevail it was way beyond our reach to see these Films in Chandigarh.
At the time of Mikki's birth we spent six months in Bombay--for my mother had very difficult preganancies so we'd been brought to Bombay by my maternal Grandfather Aazoba.Those were the best six months of my childhood--because I was pampered by everyone around and I'm sorry to say that taking advantage of that I played a brat to the hilt----and was indulged too despite that!!That's when I was introduced to the wonders of Bollywood Films--and I was hooked!!
I spent most of my time at Sudhir's home--his father Baba was my Grand Uncle--my maternal Grandma---Aaji's younger brother and his mother Atya was my father's older sister and therefore I was spoilt silly in that house!! Both Baba and Atya were very fond of Marathi plays and Marathi/Hindi/English Films---and they'd take all of us along to see these.At the age of four I was exposed to some awesome Marathi Sangeet Nataks or Operas featuring greats like Bal Gandharva and others--but being too young I'd fall asleep during the performances---the only thing that I loved was the Music!!Kunda--Sudhir's elder sister and her friend Pushpa were allowed to see Films with their group of friends--being 15 years older than me--and that entire group would cart me along to see Bollywood Films--and it is then that I really fell in love with the various aspects of Films--mainly the Music!!!The fact that I screamed Blue Murder during the fight sequences is another story--for I thought that those scenes were real---and I made a thorough nuisance of myself during those!!Each time before Kunda and her Friends took me to a Film they made me promise not to cry during the Fight Scenes--I'd promise but promptly forget when these started and kick up a ruckus!!Thanks to Baba I got to see all of Walt Disney's Classics--Snow White,Cinderella,Sleeping Beauty,the Jungle Book and the rest.Besides I also got to see beautiful Films of Danny Kaye and Alfred Hitchcock---and actors like Gregory Peck and James Stewart became my favourites!!He bought me records of my favourite Songs from Walt Disney's films as well plenty of Comics of Superman and The League of Super Heroes and like I said I went back to my sleepy little Town well educated about a lot of things!! By now I had two favourite Indian heroes as well--Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor---and both the heroes were very particular of the Music in their Films--taking a personal interest during the Sound Recording of these Songs.So what had been just the Radio now became a means of connecting to that Dream World of films!!
As I grew up my parents began relenting a bit and I was allowed to go to Movies they approved of at the 2 Movie theaters we had now for Jagat Theater at Sector 17 had come up as well.One the Films I was allowed to see was "Chaudhavin kaa Chaand"--a film in Black and White with just the title Song filmed in colour--and from that day till today I became an undying Fan of Waheeda Rehman' ethereal Beauty---and she gained my respect too--for years later her son Sohail was a classmate of Sayali's at Bombay Scottish High School for awhile before they shifted to Bangalore.Sudhir too was a Movie fan--and after our marriage we both became regulars for the Friday Night Show at 9 p.m.!! His friend Nutan's father owned the Lotus Theater so Tickets were never a problem.Not just that Sudhir would buy Tickets in advance for many Films at the other Theaters as well and we rarely missed seeing any Film--English/Hindi/Marathi during the first week of it's screening!!We were regulars for Marathi plays too---enjoying the fabulous "Batata Vadaas" of bothSahitya Sangh in Girgaum and Shivaji Mandir at Dadar--both Theaters served excellent stuff with just the right spicy sting of Green Chillies in them!!During both my pregnancies Sudhir terrorised me by taking me first to "The Boston Strangler" during the first one and "The Cat O'Nine Tail;s" during the second---which gave at least a week of sleepless nights after that!!!The result of this?Lotta turned out to be a Ghoul--loving everything to do with the Supernatural and Sayali just the opposite--abhorring everything about Ghosts and stuff!!
After Lotta's birth we'd go to the Film with me holding Lotta and Sudhir holding a Carry Bag stuffed to the gills with Nappies and Milk bottles--both of us taking turns to walk in the foyer outside each time she cried--but we never missed a single screening!!This continued after Sayali's birth as well--for with both the girls Sudhir had one Policy--we were their parents and we'd take them along where ever we went!!After we moved to our new home the Movie Mania continued and by the time the Drive -In Theater at Bandra arrived we'd become a two kid two Dog family and Friday nights turned into Pic Nic nights.I'd cook Dinner for the four of us and our four legged kids and we'd drive down to the 7 p.m. Show at the Drive -In Theater.There we'd park near enough one of the Rest Rooms for it to be easily accessible for the Girls to use--and spread a Mat on the Bonnet of the Car during the Interval to eat our Dinner---those were really Fun times!!
However as the girls began growing up Cable became a rage--and placing the T.V. in our bedroom made watching Films even more comfortable in the comfort of our own home.So a new period began--that of hiring Films and pausing these whenever we wanted according to our convenience.Slowly the Theater going lessened--the flavour of the Movies changed and I guess we too grew old--till today we'd begun seeing Films only when they were telecast on T.V. and Channels like Hallmark,MGM,Warner Bros.,Turner Classics and HBO replaced our trips to the Theaters!!In the last few years Sudhir and I hadn't been inside a Theater--despite a lot of cajoling from Sayali and Meha and now I don't feel the urge to see the new Films--I can wait to see these on T.V.---where they end up soon enough!!And The You Tube connects me to my favourite Era in Films--that keeps me happily occupied for hours!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 3/5/2012 8:59PM

    We didn't go to the movies very often because there were no theaters in out town and we had only one car, making out of trips rare. Once I was a teenager, we had two cars and between friends using parents' cars we were able to drive to neighboring towns and see movies. I still enjoy going to the theater and watching movie on the big screen.

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SOULTHIN 3/5/2012 2:02PM

    I used to have a "connection" at one of the local indian grocery stores and got the films as they came to the store, buying them lots, 3 or 5 at the time.

Now most films are on Youtube, so I am also addicted to them there, and not only Bollywood, I watch also Bengali, Marathi, Telugu , Kananda films, and started to appreciate the differences among them.

Whenever I need to lift my spirit , I just go to youtube, and it works wonders.

I also like to listen to old Latta's songs, as well as gazals, tabla, and veena.

Enjoy your "any time" , film time!

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Small Things--Big Changes!!!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Somehow it is always the small things that have the greatest impact--like the last Straw breaking the Camel's back!!!Similarly one can cope with the bigger Issues but it is the small ones that make their presence felt.Sudhir kept me cocooned in his protective embrace--keeping most of real Life at bay.For instance he'd do all the groundwork for my Doctors appointments--whether it was a GP, the Oncologist or the Cardiologist---even the Dentist---he'd set up all the Appointments and accompany me everywhere!!!Even to the extent of calculating the quantities of my various Medicines--for I swallow about 20 Tablets daily besides my Insulin Injections thrice everyday--he was the one who'd remember when to order the Medicines from our local Chemist.
For the first time in years last month I sat down and calculated the proportions of all the various Medicines I'm going to need for the next 4 months--for I travel to London on the 16th.March--from there to L.A. on the 24th April--back to London on 23rd.June and finally back home on the 9th.July---and ordered the same from my local Chemist.Not just that I made my own Appointments with all my Doctors and finished the Oncologist first last Monday--next it will be the Cardiologist this coming Monday-- the Opthalmologist this coming Wednesday--finally the Dentist next Saturday--which will keep me fit hopefully for the next four months.
Not just that----attending to the day to day matter of living like my Bank affairs and other such stuff is slowly something I'm beginning get the hang of.Previously I left all this to Sudhir--thinking that it was way over my head--but now as I'm beginning to do much of it by myself I feel sorry for having burdened him with a few things that I could easily have done on my own!!!
Today I'm a bit more confident of dealing with a lot things on my own and have already begun doing that by taking the first step all alone--for my days of being dependent are past and a new me will emerge with Time!!Like the Julie Andrews song from "The Sound of Music"---"-I have Confidence in ME!!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOULTHIN 3/3/2012 10:38PM

    I wish i could be as strong as your are.

This time, the travelling will bring you a set of emotions, bring with you something to do , and keep you busy, so in case you want to post pone facing the emotions up in the sky, or in the middle of an international airport, to a better time when you are more comfortable and have some privacy...

keep up the good job, emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 3/3/2012 9:27PM

    You will do wonderfully.

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SAASHA17 3/3/2012 1:29PM

    U are strong n u will b fine. U know that. Each moment as it comes. Take care. Mayb this time u cud visit DC n stay here fr sme time.

Love u

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*MADHU* 3/3/2012 9:15AM

    emoticon emoticon

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    Good for you.
I also hope you enjoy the travels and comfort your family will give you. Although these will be your ventures alone, look at them in a new light that you will be discovering little things on your own and your own capacities as a strong woman!

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