BE GRATEFUL, BE HAPPIER

We all are aware of the lessons that 2020 taught us- like how to be optimize resources, how to live with the bare minimum, how to work to the best of your capabilities and a lot more. One of the biggest lessons that everyone has taught all of us is Gratitude. While my 9-year-old was cribbing about his online classes and the pandemic altogether, I kept telling him to be grateful for what we had, rather than complaining about what we were missing. We were safe, together, at home and eating well. 

Of course, life isn’t a piece of cake, but when we are in a tough situation, we often feel like that is the worst thing to have happened, but often forget to realize that something worse could have happened.

One of my friends recently lost her mother. It was devastating for her obviously, but she was contented that she could meet and talk to her on the last day. 

Be grateful and express gratitude is what I wish to practice personally. Before going to bed every night, I say a small prayer and end with this line- ‘Thank you God for everything’. We are forever grateful to God and mother nature. During the pandemic, I was in terrible stress, like most of us. I started thanking the mother nature and felt so much better. I literally used to start my day by drinking water and thanking water. I thanked the Sun, the wind too! Though I was aware that everything was created by one living God. Watching clouds and birds became my favourite pastime and I captured some good shots too!

We are grateful to our family and friends, but we often take them for granted and overlook the good deeds they do for us. Life is short, is what I always say. Be grateful for what you are today, be grateful to those who have been with you and express your gratitude to them, don’t wait for tomorrow, for tomorrow may never come.

“Miles away, yet close to heart, loved ones can never be apart”

LITTLE CONVERSATIONS – PART V

It’s ok Disha. Take your time.” Akash comforted her. “My parents also asked me to hide this truth from you as they felt there was no need, but I feel that you must know everything about me if we are going to start our journey together.” 

But you should have told me this before.” Disha mustered her senses and said.

There’s still time for our marriage Disha. I am not afraid to face the consequence now. Whatever will be your decision, will be my luck. Thank you for coming.” Akash stood up to leave.

You want me to drop you? He asked.

No, thanks! I am going to meet a friend of mine from here. I will go on my own.” Disha replied bluntly.

Very well, bye then. I will wait for your reply.” Akash said and left the place.

Disha just nodded and sat there alone for some time. She ordered another coffee and dialed Sam from her mobile.

Hey Dish! What’s cooking?” Sam asked teasingly.

Shut up and just come here,” Disha ordered.

What? Where? What happened?” Sam asked.

How can he do this?” Disha was full of anger.

Dish, just send me your location, I am coming right away,” Samarth said as he grabbed his car keys and dashed outside his house.

Sam was clueless about what had happened. Akash seemed a nice guy, he thought, but who knows what’s going inside one’s mind. Following the GPS directions, Samarth reached CCD in half an hour. He spotted Disha from a distance, who looked worried and was fidgeting with her coffee straw.

As he went to her table, Disha jumped out of her chair and hugged Sam. 

Will you tell me now?” Sam said, holding her hands.

They sat down and Disha narrated everything to Sam.

What a beautiful soul this guy has!” Sam said smiling.

Are you kidding me? He hid such a big thing from me all this while and now just opening up prior a few months before marriage, do you think this is right?” Disha slammed.

At least he TOLD you the truth, much before your marriage. Cards haven’t been published yet; the world doesn’t know that you are getting married.” Sam tried to explain. “He could have never told this to you, but he opened up, against his parents’ wish. Try to see and understand things from his perspective Disha. Put yourself in his shoes and then take a call.”

Disha didn’t expect this reaction from Sam, as mostly he would agree to whatever she used to say. But this time it was different and she was not liking it.

NEW NORMAL, GO AWAY!

‘Lockdown for 21 days’- many generations witnessed it for the first time in their lives, perplexed and scared, we all waited, unaware of what was going to happen next.  As COVID started spreading its tentacles, lockdown increased. We felt blessed to be at home, safe and together with family and started to spend the time by playing games, making video calls, finish the pending movies and series on our watchlist and experimenting with many new recipes.

As we were adapting to the new changes in our routine, work from home was declared for majority and online classes were started too. Offices and schools were managed and executed from the very comfort of our homes. Initially, we all were happy that work and learning would continue, but for this long, we never thought or imagined. Every month we kept on expecting a miracle for COVID to get vanish, but the cases increased.

I am sure many homemakers, like me, must be dead tired by now. In the pre-covid times, we used to have our ‘me time’, but not anymore. After my husband left for work and kids went to school, I had a lot of free time, but now I crave to get 15 minutes during the day. With offices and schools entering our homes, the meaning of ‘home’ seems to get faded somewhere. Earlier after coming back to home, we used to relax, but now we want to get out of the house. Sanitizing the groceries, managing online classes, the skewed meal times due to anytime office calls, the hushing up of kids during meetings, looking for a new game for kids every other day, etc., etc. We homemakers are really frustrated right now, at least, I am!    

I really had enough now and I don’t like this ‘new normal’ anymore. I long for the pre-covid times when everyone could walk out of the house without any worry. My kids also want to go to their school and meet their friends. We want to travel places, but not with our masks on and botheration to sanitize everything around us.

The ‘new normal’ taught us many things like proper utilization of resources, restricting impulsive buying, enjoying in tough times and a lot more. We have learnt our lesson and hope the ‘old normal’ returns soon!

EMBARRASSING SITUATIONS BECAUSE OF KIDS

Everyone of us must have experienced a few embarrassing moments in our lives. Those awkward moments are sometimes too uncomfortable to discuss with anyone at that point of time, but later, they prove to be hilarious.

With my younger one, I happen to witness some embarrassing moments indeed. It was his first day in playschool and the parents were allowed to be with the child in the classroom. So, I was there with my son and there was another child whose father accompanied him. The man didn’t look young and had receding hairline and my son suddenly started calling him Dada (grandfather). Actually, just before a month, we had shifted from our hometown where we were living in a joint family and my younger one, too fond of his Dada, used to be with him only most of the time. My son’s pronunciation also wasn’t clear, and I quickly hushed him up- “No baby, he’s not Chacha (paternal uncle)”, and took him to other side of the room so that he could be with other kids. However, he kept on pointing towards that man for the rest of the duration and I felt awkward throughout.

There’s another instance involving my younger one only. This time it was the mall. Yes, the typical moment when the kids yell in front of everyone to get their wish fulfilled. We usually take utmost precaution not to go near the toy stores and carefully choose our way. We entered a clothing store and were choosing some stuff when suddenly we say kids lined up to have their chance to play a video game. The store had installed a gaming machine right in the middle, obviously to give the customers a peaceful shopping experience, so that the kids don’t nag and spend their time as their parents are shopping. However, getting a chance wasn’t easy as there were too many kids in the queue. Lo and behold! My little one got fascinated by it and wanted to play the game, but that would take another 30 minutes and so, we immediately decided to go out of the store. He started crying and we were trying to pacify him, but all our efforts went in vain and expecting the least, he literally was lying on the floor howling horribly. I tried to pick him up, but he was too adamant. We chose to leave him there and started walking, thinking that he will follow us, when suddenly a lady came to him and told him that his parents will leave him  if he didn’t get up. Immediately, he got up and ran up to us. I thanked her, embarrassed at the same time. She said, “It’s ok, it’s normal.” We smiled at each other and I was relieved.

SURPRISE AND CHEER THEM UP

“How can I cheer up in pandemic?”

“How can I celebrate my birthday without friends?”

My son asked me such questions near his birthday and I had no answer, though was confident that I will make sure that he cheers up on his birthday. As he is a Harry Potter fan, I decided to surprise him with Potter gifts and decor. When he woke up on his birthday, he was thrilled and excited. And I was happy with myself that at least on his special day, I could make him happy.

This wasn’t the first time that I had planned a surprise for someone. It’s one of the best ways to cheer someone up. I remember when I accompanied my younger sister Prabhjot for orientation as she was entering her college. She was going to start a new journey, away from her family. She has always been my best buddy and my baby sister as well. As I was getting emotional, I thought to do something that will cheer her up. So, before leaving, I took some paper slips and wrote messages in them like- ‘I love you’, ‘Miss you’, ‘See you soon’, ‘Study hard’, etc. I folded and hid them in various places in her room- in her pencil case, her handbag, her toiletries kit and shoved the rest here and there in her belongings. I smiled in my heart thinking about her reaction.

Later, on finding slips, Prabhjot would call me & ask, “When did you do this? I am getting a slip almost every week.” We laughed when she told me that even a month later, slips would pop out.

When we love someone, we want to make them happy in some way or the other. Surprises help in doing so. With gifts or just with words, it’s easy to bring a smile on the faces of your loved ones. So, surprise them and cheer them up!

THE CANDLES THAT BUILT MY IDENTITY AS A WRITER

Never did I imagine myself as a writer before. I discovered my writing abilities when I was away from home country, in Shanghai, when I had plenty of leisure time. After hubby left for office, I would finish my chores quite early and my son Arjun, who was 1 at that time, didn’t bother me much as he would mostly sleep and play on his own. I started as a hobby for one of the websites, participated in a few contests and won too. However, once I returned and resumed my job, I stopped writing as I got too busy with my work and pre-schooler Arjun. Soon after, I gave birth to my second son in March 2016.

Pregnancy, childbirth and handling two kids really wears you off physically as well as mentally. Though living in a joint family proved to be a boon for me at time, I felt lost, maybe due to postpartum.

If there’s any good news or any problem I am going through, or any other thing that bothers me, I have a group for me to vent out my emotions. The group, which is my biggest support system, consists of my cousin sisters Kuljeet & Prabhjot. As I was struggling to be normal, Prabhjot prompted me to write as she said I needed my mind to be occupied. She introduced me to Chiradeep. I was hesitant initially, exchanging messages with the leader, but this guy was so understanding and we connected really well. He trusted my writing skills and I was soon part of the Candles Online. It was in November 2016 when my first article When In Doubt Just Google was published. The story relays helped me to gel well with my fellow writers. Surprisingly I haven’t ever met Chiradeep and other writers on Candles Online (excluding my sisters, of course)! Yet, we all chat like age old friends, which is the best part.

The article gave me recognition as a writer and soon I was motivated to write more. The views and comments really inspire me to write further. Nothing is better than the connect the viewers make on reading my articles. And that’s my biggest reward I believe! Candles Online gave me the identity as a ‘writer’ and I can’t thank Prabhjot & Chiradeep enough for doing that.

Thank you Candles!