HOW DO YOU KILL?

Delhi, my dear Delhi
Why did you stoop so low?
How do you kill your fellow Indians?
Where do you get this extreme hatred from?
Do you not think what will happen when that bullet you just triggered hits somebody on the chest?
Does it not even strike you even once that you are destroying a whole family?
How does your religion and belief become bigger than life?
How do you think you get the right to end a life?
Why does your hatred become bigger than your sanity?
Do you have no fear of God and no love for humanity?
Is your religion and politics above life and death?
It makes my heart weep that you could stoop so low!

 

A MOTHER’S GUILT

Guilt is the feeling that comes when you fail to meet your own expectations. Understand that the feeling is an unmet expectation of yourself and not of the world. As a mother, I have felt guilty a number of times for leaving my son back home while I go to work. It is very common for a young mother to be tempted to quit her job and be with her baby at all times. I too had that temptation a million times. Well, but as they say feeling guilty is part of being a mother. Which guilt do you wish to live with, is the question to be rightly answered.

I have seen women who have felt extremely guilty for leaving their newborns in day cares or with maids so that they could work without an interruption. I also know of a lot women who feel guilty of leaving their shining careers because kids needed the attention at that time. So, when I became a mother I knew it is not glorious to do either of things. I need to choose which guilt is less and I am ok to live with.

And I chose to live with the guilt of leaving my son at home and focusing on my work.
Summer vacations are coming up and that is always a tricky time because it is impossible to keep the kids engaged at all times. Since last year my in-laws take my son to their place and he lives with them for a month or so during summer vacations. I have such fond memories of my summer vacations which were always with my parents and I want the same for my child; so it is a difficult decision for me.

However, I know that I cannot be at home for a month or even work from home for that long – and with that thought I let him go. The thoughts like “I am a bad mother, I am a selfish mother, and he is going to miss me so much, how he will stay without me etc.” are  devilish thoughts that I deal with every day. But I must do what I must do. My son is quite happy with his grandparents and he likes to be with them. He misses me but not as much as I fear. But the feeling still kills me.

I am sure there are many such moms like me who are struggling. But remember it is the quality of time that matters not the quantity. Kids grow up as long as they have right people to take care of them. So as long as you trust your child’s caretaker – go ahead for your take on the world. And if you are the mother who feels guilty of letting your own career down for the sake of the kid – believe in your choice. You know the best for your child and you will provide the best for him/her.

Choose which guilty road you are willing to take because I have learnt that feeling guilty is part of being a woman. Mother’s guilt is only natural and is the consequence of wanting to be a good mother to your child.

 

MY RECENT LOVE FOR SOUPS

Well, I am going to talk about a food that isn’t very exciting for people – Soups. But since the time my relationship with food has moved from “Eat for taste” to “Eat for nourishment”, my taste has changed too. I love doing simple things that aren’t heavy on my stomach and are nutritious and healthy.

I have always been fond of soups but since ages I have been having those Ready to cook soups which are so full of preservatives and tastes horrible if kept for a while. One fine day while doing our daily evening walks, my friend just casually mentioned that she cook soups for her hubby every day. And it struck a chord with me. Yes, I could also cook soups. 

For those who don’t know me, I am very lazy in cooking. My creativity totally gives up on me when it comes to culinary skills. I am big time foodie but my cooking really sucks. I have disappointed my son multiple times and once recently when I messed up baking a cake on Christmas. Only this morning while trying to roast foxnuts – I ended up burning them and throwing away the whole bunch of them. There are only a very few limited items that I am comfortable in cooking and I limit my cooking to that alone. Well, when I am alone – I try to experiment with food a bit but it is not a very common agenda in my “me time”. I can probably write another article on the number of disasters that I have done while cooking.

Well, so coming back to soups. Just the idea of cooking soup (and it sounded really straightforward) sounded good to me. This friend of mine gave me a few options and thanks to her – the way she explained, the soups turned out really well. 

So, the common goal for all soups was to pressure cook the veggies together. After the cool down a bit, grind them up in the mixer and cook for a while with salt and pepper. As simple as that. The fun begins at the combinations that can be tried out. 

The first one that I tried was Tomato and Onion. I took 3 tomatoes and one onion and with water just covering the veggies. I boiled them in the microwave for about 10 mins. Once done, I put the whole thing in the mixer for grinding. After that I cooked it for over 5 mins with salt and pepper. Added a couple of basil leaves on the top and had it with yummy soup sticks. It turned out to be so yummy that my confidence went up to the ceiling. 

There are a few more combinations that I tried

  • Broccoli and peas
  • Tomato, carrot and onion
  • Spinach with ginger and garlic
  • Mushroom and Broccoli
  • Tomato and Apple
  • Mushroom and almonds 

I love experimenting with the soups now mainly because I also know I am eating something super healthy and I love them.

BEING REBELLIOUS IS ONLY NATURAL

“As per the definition of rebellious, a rebellious person likes to challenge the authority and break the rules every now and then.”

Teenage is particularly connected with the word Rebellion. However, we need to understand what really happens at that age. Till the age of say 10 or 11, kids are used to being told what is needed to be done and how to conduct themselves in day to day life. Then suddenly around their 12th or 13th birthday, they start questioning everything that is told to them, they talk back, they even get violent and they want to do the exact opposite of what they have been told to do. 

Let us analyze what happens to other species on the planet. Animals, for example, leave the safe haven of their parents quite early; as soon as they have grown up enough to survive themselves. And for the sake of adaptation, it is really important they leave the safe home of their parents and mate with the beings away from them. 

Humans are too build in the same way. Physically, a teenager is grown up enough to survive himself / herself. They can take care of their food, clothing and shelter. To add to it, their hormones also drive them crazy to mate with the opposite gender. Comparing this to our animal kingdom, this is perfectly natural. If we lived like animals, teenagers would quietly leave their parents at the age of 12 or 14 and live their own lives. So, going by our animal instincts, teenagers are supposed to question the authority and step out of their houses so that adaptation can continue. So, what happens with teenagers is biologically ingrained in us for the sole purpose of adaptation and survival of our species. 

Now, what really have we humans messed up this nicely set up natural process. We have setup an adult age of 18 years. And typically a well-educated person starts earning only by 21 or 22 which means they need to depend financially on their parents and still live in that safe haven which they are physically and emotionally yearning to leave. 

One of my coaches once said – “It is absolutely normal for teenagers to think their parents are useless, rather it is important for their own growth. Only by questioning the traditions that their parents follow, will the kids identify with their own beliefs and personality. 

Slamming the doors, shouting at their parents, purposely creating issues for them, getting into addiction issues are all the signs of feeling unheard and misunderstood. Because they really want their parents to acknowledge the fact that they are growing up and can take decisions on their own. However, we parents out of love and fear for our kids – we still want to keep them inside our cocoon that we have built for them so carefully when they are ready and yearning to just fly away. 

When I was 17 years and just completed my 12th grade, I was super sure that I do not want to live with my parents at any cost. I wanted to leave them and live in the hostel and that was probably a very strong motivation to study really hard and get into an Engineering college. My dad was overprotective when it came to boys in my life. And since I was passing out of a convent girls school, I was eager to meet boys and experience that side of life. All hell broke loose, when after 1st year of my engineering – my dad discovered that I was happily enjoying all the attention I was getting from boys in college and was even interested in having a boyfriend. For a very long time, I felt extremely guilty about causing disappointment to my dad, it went away only when I realized that what I did was natural. I was about 18 and ready to experiment and experience life. 

What worries me is that when I hear pre-teens being rebellious. 9-10 year old cross questioning their parents, telling lies and getting into big problems. That needs to be understood. Why are kids growing up so early now? Why is the next generation maturing so early of their age? These are some of the pondering questions that trouble the parents today. 

As far as rebellious nature of teenagers is concerned, I think it is the duty of parents to be aware of what comes to them naturally and be a support for them instead of being control freaks. 

2019 – I HAVE MIXED FEELINGS FOR YOU!

I love this time of the year. Lesser work, lesser pressure, holiday mood and lots to think about. This is the time of the year that I love taking a step back to judge if I really am going in the right direction. Well, I cannot open up my entire life in an open blog – but there are definitely a few things that I would love to share with my readers. Let me just give a glimpse of what challenges I faced and how I grew in major aspects of my life. I am doing this in a hope that you too would do the same for your last year (if you already haven’t done it)

Professional Growth

I think I went up by leaps in my professional terrain. I don’t mean big promotions or hikes, I just mean my experience and my confidence. I took up an opportunity at work (a new project) that I wasn’t clearly prepared for. It was a tough one and when I jumped into the wagon – I had no clue how big is this beast (project). For nearly 3 months, I literally gave up everything in life to make this project happen. Not only was my life a hell but I had to ensure that my team suffered equally. There were arguments, anger, disappointment, frustration, fear, tension all throughout the day and night. I could have never believed that a project at work could give me sleepless nights – but this one did. Not one or two but multiple sleepless nights. This was the period from July to Sep that was no less than crazy. 

Since it was a huge challenge to deal with and we eventually succeeded, the taste of success was just awesome. The celebration that followed and the recognitions we got was a great deal. But the two most important things that I gained from those 3 months were Experience and Confidence. And it indeed was a “Leap of growth” 

Physical Health

Overall year wasn’t good health-wise. I didn’t really take care of myself. My weight and waistline grew, my hair are greying out faster, lethargy is going up and stamina is going down, sugar went high, PCOS kicked in and thyroid levels fluctuated. Not a good place to be at. There were multiple reasons and I ignored my health big time during majority of the year. 

After Diwali this year, I had tears in my eyes when I stepped on the weighing scale and looked at the number of medicines I had to start taking. So, I decided to do “Resolution till New Year” instead of a Resolution that starts at New Year. Getting back to my ideal health was foremost in my mind in last 2 months and results have paid off well till now. I am waiting to see how I grow in this area in 2020.

Relationship Breakthrough

I remember thanking the folks at work for pulling me into this intensive crazy project some time at the beginning of second quarter. The reason was absurd. Since the mid of 2018, I was going through a turmoil in my marriage, the reason for which was a simple one – me and Kapil were in different phases in this relationship. I was in a phase that constantly needed him and he was in a phase where he wanted his own space. So, I would always try to cling on and he would try to avoid me. That led to endless arguments and fights. 

Getting into this project made me so damn busy that he got his space indefinitely. The work load also ensured that I am so constantly busy that it was easier for me to ignore him. It brought great peace to my marriage. And thankfully, we are in blissful state of marriage now. Touchwood!

Motherhood

With my son’s 4th birthday – things got better as far as Motherhood was concerned. He started doing a few things independently. He could now play with his friends mostly without getting into a conflict. He started eating on his own, peeing on his own, sleeping easily, afternoon naps were gone, started understanding logic and sense. All this made parenting slightly easier. Handling him as a toddler was so very tough for me. There still are challenges but they are just different challenges. Thankfully I prefer preschooler challenges more than the toddler challenges. I hope next years also bring a similar relief to me.

Family Life

I lost one of my oldest cousins this year. He was just 49. It was a heart breaking experience to cremate him, it really felt like a part of my childhood came to an end. I had lost touch with him since years, but the time we had spent together during my childhood is still special to me. He was the oldest brother and I was the youngest sister, imagine the pampering. When he started earning, I was still in primary school – how he showered me with gifts every time he came around. How he scolded me so bad once when I came out of the house on the roads without slippers. How he took us around the city to eat Chinese and watch movies when our parents flatly refused to do so. Memories. And just memories now. 2019 will always be remembered for you – Bobby Bhai. 

Mental Health

Well, with a difficult situation going on with my hubby and deadly timelines at work – peace of mind was very far away from me. However, when I was going through the sleepless nights – I realized that things cannot go on this way or else I will end up getting sick. Meditation sounded like just the right thing to do. I started with Cure.fit “meditation at home” series. One fine Sunday when I was trying to fight the Monday blues, I came across a particular meditation and I was surprised how comfortable I felt when I did. I made it a practice to do this meditation almost every day. It just took about 15-20 mins at the end of the day and it made me sleep peacefully. 

I have come a long way from those days. I know a lot more about meditations now and I meditate also much deeper now. For me, the growth in my mental health was also a “Leap of growth”. And I would take this aspect very seriously in 2020.

Happiness Quotient

My happiness quotient fluctuated a lot in 2019 but I am really glad that I am ending the year a much higher happiness quotient than I started this year with.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and a prosperous New Year!

WHAT RACKET ARE YOU RUNNING IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS?

While doing one of the Life coaching courses, I was quite upset because I had a recent fight with my boyfriend (now husband). I was upset because he felt that I wasn’t giving him enough time whereas I knew so well that I was doing my best. It was a never ending fight between us. That day when my coach saw me upset and heard my story, he said – “Why you running this racket with your boyfriend?” Just stopping racketing and fix the real concern. I was in middle of that course that explained what a relationship racket is, so I instantly got him and started to laugh. With this change of perspective, I just needed an hour to resolve a million conflicts between me and Kapil. 

What really is a racket?

Racket is a scam. It is a fixed way of being which results in persistent complaints. Complaints could be about yourself or about others. Rackets result in constant complaints and consistent way of behaving. 

Still not clear, let me explain with an example

Reena lives with her in laws. Invariably, she and her mother in law always have a cold war going on about how to handle the kitchen work. Reena likes to cook but her style of cooking is very different than what her in laws are used to. Plenty of food goes for a waste when she cooks because nobody likes the taste. Finding this discouraging, she stopped cooking altogether. Due to this the load of cooking came on the Mother in law. Few months down the line, mother in law started to complain about Reena not participating in the kitchen. However, that isn’t entirely true because Reena tries to  do everything else around the house and kitchen. This constant complaints from both sides is the source of stress in the house. Many a times there are arguments, taunts and silent treatments to each other. It impacts the energy of the house. It impacts the peace of mind and health of these two ladies. 

So, this is constant way of being. Both of them don’t want to change their attitude and yet complain about each other. This is a typical example of a racket. 

Why do we run rackets?

Because there is a payoff. Every time we behave in a certain unproductive way, there is payoff that we just don’t want to let go off. Payoff is a gift that we get run a racket. But this payoff comes at a cost. Look at the examples of payoffs

Payoffs

Cost

Being right / making others wrong Health / peace of mind
Dominate / avoid others dominating  Satisfaction
Justify / Invalidate others Fulfillment
Win / make other lose Love / affinity / relationship
Look good / make others look bad Vitality

For every Payoff that we get, we have to pay the cost. 

How to identify rackets

Look at all the constant complaints that you have in your life against other people (or yourself). And ask yourself

Is there a fixed way of being? 

Is there a fixed complaint? 

Do you see a payoff right away? 

If you see a payoff, then look at the cost that you are paying for that payoff?

Once you know the payoff and cost, you have the right to choose. You can still choose the payoff but at least it is a conscious decision to keep running a racket. 

So, in short you are running a racket in your relationships when you keep paying a much precious cost for an unproductive payoff. And you keep doing it for days, months and years together resulting in unfulfilled and unproductive life.

ERUPT -VIII

After a while Rex decided to just distract himself from the recent events and went on to switch on the television. After watching some random sports channel for a while, he came across a familiar face on the News channel. “Isn’t this the same lady? Why is she on the news?”

He browsed across all news channels. It was all over. Her face, her name and her connection Mr. Jay Kapoor. The more Rex watched it, the more intrigued he felt. 

How come he found this drunk lady who is the wife of would be health minister on the beach in that condition? What pushed her to take such a drastic step? How did she even land up in that situation?” 

The news said that she slept with some random guy on the beach. It was possible, but he did not believe it. He had noticed that her eyes were naïve, she wouldn’t do something so drastic. But what was she running from? He could not stop himself from thinking about her over and over again.

Did somebody take advantage of her situation while she was unconscious and left her on the beach? Maybe she doesn’t remember anything about it? She might be in pain? Why did she cry and scream when he handed her over to the police?”

Rex was determined to find more about Reeta Kapoor. There was something that drew him towards her, he wanted to know her story, her pain. She was definitely in pain, a lot of it that was screaming through her eyes. And something inside of him told him that her pain is not very different than what he had gone through in last few years.

He started following every news channel for the whole story. One of the news channel had a man who was talking about the events of last night. This man claimed that he had saved Reeta from the police and she drove his car like crazy. He also mentioned that she threw him out of his own car and banged it. The name of the man was displaying on the news channel – Mr. Akash Mishra. Rex quickly picked up his phone and googled the name. Within a few mins, he figured out his Facebook ID. He was a musician and also had a page where he posted his videos and interacted with his minimal fans. His page showed up his phone number Rex took no time in dialing his number. Nobody answered. He left a message saying that he urgently wanted some information about Mrs. Reeta. But he hardly believed that he would get a reply. 

He continued to follow the story on the news. Akash mentioned the spot where the lady bumped his car. There was even a journalist on the spot on another channel saying – “As you all can see, this is the place where Mrs. Reeta drove Mr. Akash’s brand new car hysterically. When police tried to catch her and offered to drop her home – she ran from them too? Is this supposed to be the way of would be minister’s wife to behave? Can Mr. Jay Kapoor really handle the ministry when his own wife is getting rowdy under his nose?”

Rex recognized the spot, it was hardly 200 meters from her cottage. So, that is where Reeta ran from and landed on the beach. But why? 

Almost the same time, he got a call on an unknown number. Expecting maybe it was Akash, Jay quickly received it. “Hello Mr. Rex, we are calling from TV 10. We would like to talk to you about Mrs. Reeta Kapoor. We came to know from our sources that you rescued her from the beach and she spent the morning in your home. Can you please let us know more details?”

No, I cannot. And do not call me again.” Rex shouted at the journalist. 

In next half an hour, he received about 8 calls from different news channels – all inquiring about how Reeta spent the morning in his cottage. Fed up of this, Rex switched off his phone. He walked out and went to the spot where Reeta supposedly ran away from the Police. Last of the news channels were leaving the place. Rex got down and unsure of what he wanted to do at this spot and why he came there at the first place – he just randomly started walking around.

After walking about a kilometer, he came across a wall which was painted with a spray can. It was written “ERUPT” at multiple places on the wall. His feeling told him that this word was related to Reeta. But how and who wrote it? The paint looked fresh.