Monday, January 23, 2012

Being a Mom - Part I

One of the hundreds of loving moments which makes life worth living...
 When I was thoroughly enjoying Sidney Sheldon’s ‘Tell Me Your Dreams’, I was intrigued by the multiple personalities of Ashley Paterson. It was unbelievable that a person could have a diverse personality inside their psyche, that was until my own alternate personality took over me. My alternate personality was called ‘Maa’ and it was completely opposite of what I was. The advantage I had over Ashley was that, I was aware of both the sides of these personalities and could interact with them. I am spared the mystery at least! Whew.

Little Rayyan
Life was simple and boring until 20th August 1991. At 7.18 a.m. on that day, the most wonderful moment of my life took place. I gave birth to a child and I was born again. That is a contradictory sentence, but that is how life has been ever since. When I say, ‘I was born’, that is the beginning of my alter personality which started taking over me and changing me into a Maa. Days have passed by, and finally, ‘Maa’ rules my life now.

I was a trouble maker as a child, but, as I grew up, I sobered down. Though I had those temper tantrums, crying bouts and other teen related symptoms; for most of my teen years I was quite, scared and withdrawn young girl. I was afraid of the world. Loud sounds, fights, dogs, cows, men, and eve teasers everything scared me in my teens. I do not understand when and why the transition happened, but somewhere during my adolescent time it took place slowly and unnoticed by me. On the other hand, that could be one of the other alter egos taking over me, or just simple growing up process. Whatever, I damn sure that I was not the same person in my teens, as I am now or I was in my childhood.  The present myself can relate well to the childhood myself, but in no way can it see eye to eye with my teen self; which was hollow, pretentious, always trying to please others, and nervous.
I am indebted to my children for returning my own self back to me.  Few Memorable moments I have enjoyed with my loving children. 
Having fun with costumes
Another childish behavior of Maa LOL
Annie enjoying Farheena's birthday cake
Annie wears flowers in her hair for the first time.
The beach dramas...
Rayyan being extremely excited about his paper  hat
Picnics are more fun with children
                                              Cooking is fun when you cook for your kids. Their smile pays  with happiness

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Blog Review by Lucifer House Inc

This is a well balanced and helpful review of my blog. If you like it get in touch with The Fool (Don't be fooled by that name ;) ) for a review. I have already implemented few of the tips given there and I feel it is giving out positive effects. Thank you The Fool.

Lucifer House Inc.: Chapters from my Life:
Long back, I remember reading a book called ‘What Katy did’. One bit of conversation from that book had somehow stuck to my mind when I had read it. There is a character called Cousin Helen who tells Katy on becoming bed ridden that she is now a student in the “School of Pain” where she will learn lessons in patience, cheerfulness, hopefulness, neatness and the making the best of things. This came back to my head unconsciously when I was going over the blog ‘Chapters from my Life’. The blogger seems to have learnt a lot in the very same “School of Pain” and she is kind enough to share the learning with all of us. Her writings reflect a deep understanding of the essence of life and the value of every single moment in life. 

The blog appropriately titled ‘Chapter from my Life’ puts forth some chapters from the life of Farida Rizwan, an Indian rural house wife who has been through a lot of really tough circumstances in life and has emerged stronger for the same.  In addition to personal experiences, she writes poetry and shares thoughts on family, relations and life in general, caring for children and on fighting cancer. She herself has lost more than one family member to the disease and has a special needs child she takes care of. But that by no means makes the blog just a cancer support or child care blog. A few posts may pertain specifically to these topics. But the general public at large can relate to and have some takeaways from most of her posts.

I would like to point out some of the things that fascinated me most about her writings. In her articles on relationships, she has structured her thoughts really well and exhibits an amazing clarity of thought. Her personal experience posts are really vivid and capture all the key events associated with a particular incident in her life and the associated emotions in an interesting narrative. Her poems are a real delight. They come straight from the heart and reach straight to the heart. No pretensions, no unnecessary words, no complications! Hers are poems even someone who does not care much for poems can easily relate to.  One unique aspect of her posts is that she makes most of her own illustrations. Self made illustrations add more personal touch to the writings and connect better with the reader than images from Google.

Her back drop is a combination of light and dark blue with checks like a shirt. I feel it looks too austere like a hospital ward. Since she writes about the gloomy topic of cancer also (though with a positive frame of mind), I wish she would lighten the environment of her blog with something more cheerful in the background. As far as widgets go, some of the navigation widgets are nice but overall I get a crowded feeling with too many widgets. I am not sure if the advertisement widgets bring any revenue at all. The award badges are nice, but she has won so many contests and I am sure she will win many more. Maybe it will be nice to have separate static page to display the achievements instead of keeping them all on the side bar. The general badges pertaining to blogger sites that do not bring much traffic can be done away with or moved to a not so prominent location close to the blog footer.

Coming to my favorite topic of navigation, I must say she has put reasonable efforts in this area. There is a related posts widget and labels have been used as tabs to segregate different post categories other than the regular archives. Also there are in- post links to other posts where ever there is some connection. However navigation is an area where there is always scope for improvement. Using labels as tabs, makes it a bit inconvenient as reader has to scroll down 10-15 posts on a single page. Instead, having links to the posts on a static page with some small description can make it more visitor-friendly. In my opinion, a blog is not a news website but more a living book. So one must constantly be revisiting and reorganizing content. One can always change content in an earlier post as one gets fresh thoughts and also add links to a later post if found relevant. The ease of access must be same for a 3 years old post as a 1 day old post. In literature, personal, photo and most travel blogs content is not dated. So as more and more content is developed, a serious rethink is needed to classify and re-organize the content. In some ways it is very similar to how companies keep restructuring their organization as they grow in size.

One more thing I would suggest while organizing content is to segregate contest posts from regular posts. It has been my personal experience that regular readers of a blog do not appreciate contest posts, especially the ones with narrow guidelines or where one has to talk about a specific product unless the blog itself is a product review blog. So it will be convenient if regular readers have some mechanism by which they can easily identify contest posts and skip them if they do not want to read them.

In terms of interaction, in the older posts, the interaction level is quite low. But in the more recent posts, it is seen every comment is read and responded to. The volume of comments is also quite good.  For this type of blog, I feel the comments are sufficient interaction. I don’t see the need for any specific section for general interaction as is the case of information blogs.

This would be classified as a personal blog in most directories. But I find the very concept of a personal blog an oxymoron. A blog is something public. And personal is opposite of public. A blog should be classified from the point of view of the reader and not the writer. If a blog has no utility to a reader, then it is just a personal diary or a rough book. In this context I would prefer to call this blog an inspirational or motivational blog rather than a personal blog. It is the place to go to if one is feeling down in the dumps and that life has not been fair. This blog would definitely help lift up one’s spirits. Chapters from Farida's life also offer one lot of lessons about life in general.

Find below a few samples from the blog. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Hate Being Censored Because

Lord Wiki is protesting against SOPA and PIPA. They have blacked out the English Wikipedia for 24 hours, beginning at midnight January 18, Eastern Time. Readers who came to English Wikipedia during the blackout were not able to read the encyclopedia. Instead, we saw messages intended to raise awareness about SOPA and PIPA, encouraging us to share your views with your representatives, and with each other on social media.
I have had enough of censorships in my life. For the beginning there was censorship in the name of my being handicapped, then came the censorship based on my gender, religion, status (being married woman) and many other factors; which entered my life and changed me into something which I was not meant to be.  I found refuge in virtual world where I was free from these censorships, and could be myself; but, is that virtual life under threat too?
What do I hear? The internet is going to be censored in India also. Being technically blind, deaf and dumb, I cannot apprehend the issue on hand properly. But the news reports are enough to make even a simple internet user like me to understand, that this is going to be censorship of our freedom in the virtual world. Is another freedom fight on hand now against our own people? I hear that Aseem Trivedi’s website ‘Cartoon against corruption’ was taken down without even informing him. It was handled in a Hitlerian style. No court ruling was involved. So, if someone finds a website offensive it will be brought down just like that? Is there no need to decide whether the content of the website is really offensive or not? I thought internet was a place where you could access censored thoughts which cannot be expressed freely in reality. I first accessed internet to read Salman Rushdie’s Satanic verses. I was absolutely sure that the book is not going to corrupt me and I was right, it did not. My mind is strong and cannot be influenced by simple books. I loved having access to information that I censored for myself, because I am the best person to decide what I should read and what I shouldn’t.
Is our country so corrupt that it will fear cartoons making fun of its corruption? I think this is just the beginning. In future there is going to be control over what information needs to reach people. Anything can be deemed offensive for a person. I myself consider my computer to be holy and I cannot stand anyone making jokes about my computer. Does that matter to other people? There are so many people who cuss and even kick their computers.  
I do not have enough power to stop what is happening but I would like to contribute my two cents to the issue. Some wise person once said, “If you cannot burn like a lamp, then be a mirror that reflects its light”.  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Life Would Be Boring Without Children

May be Manal is intimidated by the vastness of the sea... One of the best pictures I have ever clicked. Love this picture of the girl on the beach... 

My niece Manal loved watermelons. One day she was excited, running around me, as I cut the melon into small pieces so that she could eat it without trouble. Here you go I said to her... To my utter surprise, she picked up the half melon I had kept aside for using later and started eating it. Some beautiful memories children leave behind for us to cherish forever.
Children are something special.. so sad they grow up fast. 
innocence asleep

Manal and Farheena were playing about, all of a sudden I hear light snoring and turn around to find Manal asleep in play position and Farheena confused as to what to do....

farheena in sari Farheena at her cutest best. I am so much in love with that picture of hers.

My sister was waiting to pee, but someone was in the bathroom and she could hear the water running. After nearly wetting herself, when she pushed the door, it was unlocked and who did she find there? Aayan, giving her a cute smile.

When in USA, I heard my son desperately calling out to me "Maa help! help me please". I rushed in to find him wrestling a crocodile.. Whew!
Some kids never grow up...

My nephew Shuraim was fascinated with the Farheena's collection of colorful beads. I found a way of making him wear all of them, for a fancy dress competition. All those beads were quite heavy and he soon lost his fascination...

When we asked Huzaifa who looked quite tensed to smile for a picture.. he came up with an instant smile in seconds. That was genuine too... only kids can do that.

I had dressed Farheena in a sari for occasion and decorated her hair with flowers. Then I had cooking to attend to, so left her. She was unusually quite, so I peeped back in to see what was happening. Farheena felt sad for Annie, her doll, who did not get any attention from me that day. So she pulled out the flowers from her hair and decorated Annie's hair. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How Fair Is That?


                         How Fair Is That?

I shed my tears all alone,
I suffer pain , alone  I groan
I carry my own heavy burden
                       I walk with feet heavy laden
                       I fail, I suffer, I falter and fall
                      So far,no one bothers at all
                    But one smile to show    Everyone wants to know
    What is behind my bliss
    Like a snake they hisss
   What is behind that smile
                   They look so hostile  If you want my joy but not my pain
  How fair is that? Think over it again 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Relationships... Sometimes I Tackle Them Head On

 Marriages are made in heaven and so are thunder and lightning… Some wise person came up with quote which is so true. When two different individuals try to become one, there are bound to be sparks (of all kind and types), leading to some fiery situations; not only between the individuals involved, but also between the people connected to them.

Being a very spicy person myself who runs away from problem only to fall into their lap, my life has been strewn with so many of such fiery relationship dramas. What best time can beat the one when we have the KFC fiery contest running on indiblogger for me to share these fiery dramatic events with you? So here I go.

I grew up in a close knit family. My parents lived away from our native place, with four of us kids, which created a special bond between the six members. My sister was main glue who held us together more tightly. When my sister and I got married, the priorities in our lives were supposed to change and we were expected to treat our better halves (if you insist on calling them so) as ‘holy thou’. My sister was point blank in shooting her condition that whoever married her should keep her with my Mom. I was never given a chance for putting down any conditions, as my own marriage was a big drama.
The Marriage Drama
Being a fiery girl from my childhood, though a bit mild and cool as an adolescent, I don’t know what made people to expect me become the ideal bollywood biwi kind of person all of sudden. Marriage is not like childbirth which can change you over night. It was supposed to be a slow process but my better half wouldn’t wait. He was very anxious to prove that husband was important for a woman of all the relationships she has in her life. Unfortunately, he chose the wrong timing for this.
My dad had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s cancer when I was in my Hubby’s home. I was devastated and wanted to leave for Bangalore immediately. My mother in law was against me going away on short notice, so she somehow convinced my husband that I was needed here in Byndoor due to some functions and ceremonies which involved my sister in law and her pregnancy. A very obedient son, my better half told me to wait for few more days before leaving for Bangalore, and, immediately lost his always in doubt status of better half. How could he not understand my turmoil of hearing the news my dad being sick and me away from him? 
Aghast and disgusted, not hiding my emotion I asked him, “WHY?”
Instead of some worthy dialogue he came up with a lame and limping explanation, “Because, I, your husband says so”.
“For God’s sake, this is no time for crap. My dad is sick”
“Once you are married your priorities change. According to our religion a wife cannot even attend her father’s funeral if her husband forbids her. God has permitted people to bow only to him, if ever he would have allowed anyone else to be worthy of such reverence then it would be the husband. So you have to understand that now you have to listen to me. I did not say that you shouldn’t go, I only said you go after few days”.
This was a sticky situation in the early stages of my marriage. It was not good to walk out of marriage as there were too many things to consider, like my new born son, my dad who was sick and the love we shared. I was also sure that this would not end the way he wanted it whatever the outcome be.
No one had ever asked me whether I was devoted to any religion and accepted all the rules set by it. Somehow, it was assumed to be so. Now there was no way I was going to listen to him and stay back for a few days. Instead of being rash and rude, for once I became a witty diplomat. I asked him to sit down and listen to me carefully and understand exactly what I was saying because one more wrong response from him was going to create a scene which he wouldn’t like and which would prove that husband is not so superior after all. After getting him seated, I sent out my message in a cool and calm voice, “You say husband is very important person in my life. You are my husband today and you are the most important person of life. But you know what? If I divorce you, and marry someone else, then that person is going to be the most revered person in a matter of months. Many women have gone on to have 8 or more such important beings in their lives. This does not happen to parents. I cannot cease to be their daughter or they cease to be my parents for any reason. God has a say in this relationship. Our bond (of husband and wife) is created by us and it left to us to decide what we do with it. The love and respect I have for my parents will never go away just because I created some more relationships in my life.
In our relationship, let us not argue who is important and who should rule. Let us think what is important at the moment; whether a daughter visiting her sick father or a woman attending her sister in law’s ceremony.  So think it over and answer because as I told you, our relationship is not in the hands of God. It can break”.
I was not loud or rude, but I had a fire burning in me and I was fierce at the moment. Good for us, he got the hint that there was a huge volcano brewing in my heart and it was not safe to provoke it to come out. It all ended well with me leaving immediately to visit my dad and be there with him while the ceremonies went on well without me.  This is only few of those lucky moments when I have been diplomatic and calm. My usual self is more fierce and attacking kind.

Some more side dishes to go with the main course…

I had fiery spat with a father of a married woman once. His daughter was married to a person who was a only son of his parents. According to the Indian culture, she had live with her in-laws. It was tough times for their family, as the son was not doing well financially. The girl’s father while lamenting over the misfortune of his daughter complained to me that parents should never marry their daughters in home where there are parents- in law. That was something very tough to digest even with a hajmola. So asked this person who himself had a son of marriageable age, “So are you going to drink poison and kill yourself when your son gets married?” Shocked he blurted “What?” I replied bitterly, “If all people think like you then your son will never get married until you are alive”. That must have sent the message because I never heard his complaints again.

When I was going through cancer, a close relative once said, mockingly, “Hey! Look, you have lost all your hair”. It was funny to imagine that I did not know that. My answer was “I haven’t lost humanity yet”.

Someone found it amusing to make fun of my club foot and said, “You have crooked foot”, I replied, “But it doesn’t lead me on crooked path, the path that makes people stoop low and make fun of disabilities”

A remark regarding my special needs child, “Why did God give you this child?” I replied to this question honestly, “Because he knows I can love a child unselfishly, without expecting anything from the child in future, not making comparisons, and because I have patience to deal with my child. God gave her to me, because he knew she cannot make people like you happy”.

This post is a part of Contest on Indiblogger by KFC Fiery Grilled. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What Is Life Without Love, Adventure and Miracle To Brighten It?

This entry is a part of BlogAdda contests in association with
When we think of love usually a picture of beautiful young girl and a handsome young boy looking deeply into each other’s eyes comes into our mind. This is the stereotype image we have of love. People often tend to forget that love can be found in many other forms. 

We have known people who love their pets, plants and even inanimate objects like computer, car, camera or even a pillow.
One of the most amazing loves I have seen in my life is the one shared between my Mom and her friend from NYC. My Mom had not been outside Karnataka, other than a few visits to Puttaparti and Mumbai. She was not highly educated person and did not speak many languages. Obviously she could not speak English.
When Heidi King visited Whitefield, she was a young and extremely beautiful young lady. I was child then and recall that she was alone and had come seeking spiritual enlightenment in India. Somehow my Mom and Heidi got connected; even with the language barrier they made arrangements that Heidi would stay at our home in a room, and would pay a small rent towards food and accommodation. It was going to be big makeover for my mom to cook the food which could suite the palate of NYC lady. Coming from coastal Karnataka region my Mom used to cook very spicy food which was too hot even for me. I can well imagine the shock Heidi would have got if she ever tried to taste our regular curry.
My Mom was a good cook, good in sense she cooked food the way people wanted it. Thus, within days she was preparing finger licking dishes for Heidi. She stayed in India for few months. During her stay Heidi developed a very strong bond of love with my Mom.

Once, while cooking food, my mom burnt her hand because she did not hold the rag cloth properly. Heidi went ahead to buy a metal pot holder for my Mom that day and told her to be careful. My Mom must have burnt her hand innumerable times while cooking, and no one had ever bothered to care about it. That simple act from Heidi touched my Mom’s heart very deeply. Here was a woman who was from other part of globe but could feel her simple pain.

They both used to communicate without language; I can say that because none was well versed in sign language either. After her stay was over, Heidi said bye to us and went back to NYC. My Mom seldom used the tool Heidi bought her, but we had it in our kitchen as long as I was there and may be my sister-in-law still uses it.  Once in a while, when cooking, my Mom would look at the pot holder and speak about the friend she had, who connected with her without words. 

Heidi came back to India again, this time with her parents. My Mom’s joy knew no bounds. I remember we had five to six Americans enjoying the food my Mom cooked for them back then. Heidi was the first person I had seen with a camera. It was not usual for people to click photos in those times. We had few precious pictures brought back to us by Heidi.  She also bought me my first set of sketch pens. Heidi had visited our native village Byndoor too. Being a great artist she had sketched wonderful paintings of our village. She went back to NYC after few months.  In hectic schedule of life, we eventually lost touch with her. Initially there were mails exchanged, but then we kept changing our address and finally we lost contact with her. She was always there in my Mom’s memory though. 25 or so years went by. My Mom would fondly think about her and regret that we forgot to keep her address safely.

2000 was the era of computers and internet in my life. One day I decided to give my Mom a surprise. I tried searching for Heidi King, NYC in yahoo search. Those were the days when I did not know much about google. Yahoo was my internet world. It threw too many Heidi’s at me. I did not know which one to pick to start with. Someone mentioned to look in white pages of I tried it, there were lots of Heidi’s there but the number had come down. I took the numbers of top ten and went back home. I kept calling one Heidi a day, for a week. I would ask a simple question, “Have you been to India?” Lucky for me, most of them were polite in their answers. Finally on day seven I hit gold. I had found my Moms friend after nearly 25 years. Tears of joy were streaming down my Mom’s face as she spoke in her broken English.  Heidi had married and settled quite late in her life. Consequently, after few phone calls and connections, she and her amazing husband David, visited India once again. My Mom and Dad were so glad to welcome the couple. They had fun and some 'not so good adventures' during their stay. To top it all, they could attend the wedding of my brother and also sister which took place on the same day. Heidi again captured some memorable photographs with her digital camera this time around. 


Heidi and David had lots of fun in the wedding. Though we had professional photographers clicking pictures, it was Heidi who captured the most memorable picture of all with her camera. It was the picture of Mom and Farheena laughing heartily. Now that I have lost my Mom, the picture she captured means a treasure to me.

Heidi and David decided to visit Mysore when they were in India. We could have accompanied them, but there were lots of things to attend to in our family due the dual wedding; hence, my brother arranged a good driver(?) and taxi for them to visit few places on way to Mysore.

Heidi, though a New Yorker is very mild and humble person. I cannot imagine her ever watching a violent movie or hearing loud music. She is very soft spoken and simple person and same could be said about David too. After they left, I went over to cool corner in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, to have our favorite snacks with my son and daughter. It was our coolest joint, which we had been missing. As I was about to eat my ‘masala puri’, I received a phone call on my cell phone from an unknown number. I hesitated, but picked it up to check who was calling. A man on the other side spoke in a gruff voice, very rudely too, “Do you know these foreigners named Heidi and David?” The plate of masala puri almost fell down from my hand, I stammered, “Yes, what happened to them?” The man on the other side asked again, “Do you know them properly?” I was almost shivering now. I tried to answer him in as calm voice as possible that I knew them from my childhood.  
There was a pause and then I heard Heidi’s feeble voice, “Oh Farida, we are in trouble”. Aghast I asked, “Where are you?”  Her answer shocked me, “We are in police station”. She was so scared and tired that she could not tell me anything more. The person who spoke to me earlier was the inspector. He spoke again and told me that, the driver had sponged off money from Heidi and David, had taken in lots of alcohol, and after being drunk had hit an auto rickshaw. People gathered and tried to stop the car; he did not bother to care where he was going, but tried to escape. The infuriated mob had opened the door but he tried to speed up again and drove with a man hanging on the door of the car. There were some plain clothed policemen there who stopped him finally and took the car to the police station.  Heidi later told me that they did not know the people in plain clothes were policemen, and was very scared that they had been captured by some dacoits.
 I explained to the inspector that these people were quite safe and they could contact me anytime for assurance. I could swear on the fact that they were safe people. He asked me few more questions and then guaranteed that Heidi and David would be safe. They were sent off by another taxi to Mysore by the police. I cannot even imagine the horror the couple must have gone through when such turbulence took place. They are quite mild and very sensitive people who speak almost in whisper. The taxi owner suffered a great loss because the police seized his vehicle. The driver had been nasty again and tried to escape from the toilet of the police station. What a drama!
After David's stint with severe diarrhea in Mysore, things started getting calm. They both loved the city of Mysore and clicked pictures of the city with their camera to share with their friends in NYC. Whew! I was glad they were safe. All’s well that ends well. Sure that was an adventure to remember.

I had some lengthy chat sessions with Heidi while I was in Bangalore. During one of our discussion, she mentioned to me that I should start writing, because I had good way of narrating incidents. She is responsible for my blogging in a way. The time came when we had to say goodbye to Heidi and David and come to Byndoor. They were supposed to stay for some more days in Bangalore before leaving for NYC. It was sad saying goodbye to them, because it was kind of final good bye for us. I could not imagine her coming back to India again or we going to visit her. Both Heidi and David had impressed me immensely with their knowledge and simplicity. I learned the truth about Alchemy from David and that is one thing I will always remember him by.
 Soon  after Heidi's visit, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She could not survive it for more than two years. I was glad that she got to meet her dear friend Heidi before saying good bye to all of us. I was devastated when my Mom was diagnosed with BC, as she was the third person from our family with that diagnosis. My sister had lost her battle earlier and I was surviving under fear. I needed support and got in touch with other survivors.  Most of the people who connected with me were from USA. By lending and taking support with other survivors, I got very close to few of my friends. The bond we shared grew stronger when I lost my mom in 2006. I needed someone to lean on for support and my friends were there with their weary but strong, supportive shoulders all the time.  One fine day I decided that I should meet them. It was a dream, because a trip to USA meant a lot of hurdles and lot of money too.  I was not very well off; I lived in a tiny village, in a small home without TV, Washing machine and running water. The only gadget I insisted on having was, computer and internet, for the sake of my sanity.

My friend Paula asked me to believe in miracles. I did and the miracle finally did happen. I managed to get visa and travel to USA with my kids; sacrificing the repairs of my home in the process. We spent the four best months of our lives with our friends there. On our way back Judy had arranged for us to watch the fireworks on 4th of July from her apartment in Philadelphia. Wow! We had a great view and loved the show. 

Finally, before saying bye to USA and coming back to India we spent two days with Heidi and David in NYC. Heidi prepared a wonderful dinner for us before we left. As we sat there eating together, it occurred to us how amazing it was. 30 years ago Heidi had brought her family to India and my Mom had cooked meals for them. No one would have ever imagined in their wildest dream back then, that I would be visiting Heidi in NYC and she would cook for me and my kids. I felt as though my mom was there with me at the moment and was sharing the dinner with all of us. I could almost sense her presence. It was one of the most amazing events of my life which is nothing short of a miracle. Heidi showed me some amazing pictures she had captured of our family in India with her camera. Unfortunately, she had just single copies of them. She promised to send them to me as soon as possible and she kept her word. To this day, I consider her gift to be a final connection I have with my Mom. Thank you Heidi. 

Enjoying the wedding

Heidi with Rayyan in Bangalore.
PS: Twilight and NYC aerial view photo source Google images.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Love Overcomes Fear…

Fear of snakes
Love is a very powerful tool which can conquer, fear, greed and many other such dark lurking in human beings. When the love is of mother to a child, then it has enough strength to bring about a change in a person’s life. Being a Mom of two kids I have my personal experience regarding a mother’s love and I assure you of this.
When I think about situations that have sent down a chill through my spine, there are few incidents that come to my mind all the time. They are unforgettable with passing years.
Fiery Grilled 'Sets You On Fire!' Contest

For the contest ‘Sets You On Fire’ on Indibloger, where I am supposed to describe a fiery event or situation, either real or imaginary;  I am going to share one of such events that took place more than a decade ago. 

My son Rayyan was in the nursery class of St. Joseph’s Convent, Whitefield. We stayed a little away from school. Rayyan was very enthusiastic walker and would prefer walking long distances every day. He was not one of those kids who cry to be picked up. So it was decided, that I would walk him to school and back again in the evening instead of hiring an auto rickshaw. With the money saved by not paying for the transport, he could buy himself whatever he wanted. It was not much of a distance if we took the short cut to school.
Walking to school was fun
Mud Mounds
We used walk on a path which lay near the present day Arya Lotus. Some big project was going on there, maybe it was the Arya lotus plan itself.  Loads of soil had been dumped into the plain land which lay to the right side of the path we used to walk. It all lay there in heaps, forming big mounds with depressed centers which looked like mini volcanoes. There were few kids taking this path, fortunately, all of them enjoyed the walk; watching flowers, butterflies, birds and at times even some small animals like rabbits which made our own journey fun. Off course Rayyan used to enjoy it a lot and it worked as a good exercise and relaxation for me. I was trying to cope with my daughter being diagnosed with atrophy to her brain and this was something I just needed in a day.

Walking in the rain
 One day it was raining very heavily when we were walking back home. Rayyan was in the raincoat and I held an umbrella. All the children were having tough time walking as the water kept flowing and it was almost a foot deep at places. The place where heaps of soil had been dumped was a bit low and it was full of water. There was no way a child could cross that place. It also looked a bit scary with all the muddy water flowing through the heaps. The water brought all kind of dirt and sticks with it. Going back to the main road meant a lot of distance; unluckily the rain was also getting heavier. The children were holding their bags higher up to protect their books. I closed my umbrella, and lifted Rayyan up on my hips, against his protests and started walking towards our home in hurried steps. It was quite difficult walking in the pouring rain, not knowing where I was putting my steps. Twice I stumbled on some vines but could regain my balance easily. I started walking more cautiously after that. By then the water had started breaking the mounds and the soil was spreading out. One moment I could feel a cold creeper cling to my leg, and next there were panicked shouts from behind by the group of girls who were walking behind us. I could not make out what they were saying until it dawned suddenly, sending a chill through my spine. They were saying “HAAVU, HAAVU, aunty haavu nodi” meaning ‘snakes, aunty look at the snakes’. I realized that the creeper was in fact a snake clinging to my leg.
I had my child on the hip and I could see few more small snakes floating by quite close to us. I stood still as could I not put my child down or run with the water flowing so forcefully. All I felt at the moment was a gushing concern for my son and children walking back home. My love for my son had overcome my fear. At the moment it also flashed to me that standing still was the best way to avoid snake bite. Rayyan was anxious and kept asking me what was happening. He had spotted two snakes floating in water and wanted to get away from there soon. He had no idea why his mother was standing still watching them.  I told him to be calm and wait until the path would clear up. Soon I found the snake slipping away and flowing with the water. May be a snake had made the depressed part of soil mound its nest. There must have been few baby snakes there which had floated down with the breaking of their home. There were helplessly being pulled by the flowing water. In a desperate move the snake had held on my leg. Eeewww!

Soon I realized it was clear for us to walk ahead. The girls had also stood still and were shivering with fear. May be they were non-poisonous and not so dangerous snakes, but the slithering creature never fails to strike terror in heart. I called the girls to come over as the way was now clear and they should clear that area soon enough. I could not just walk away leaving those girls shivering in the rain. One of them had lost her umbrella in the fright which had floated away in the water. I gave her my umbrella as anyway I could not use it myself. It took some cajoling on my part to make them move ahead. I kept watch to see what the water was bringing along with it. The girls were worried about me and kept asking me whether I was sure that the snakes had not bitten me. Rayyan was crying now and it took some funny quips from me to clear the mood which had become darker than the weather we were facing.

We reached home safely without any more weird happenings. Once my child was in safety of his home, I rushed to the bathroom to check out whether there were any bite marks on my legs. I realized that all the dripping liquid from body was not rain water, it contained a lot of sweat too. Fortunately, my leg was clear. If I was alone, I would have done something stupid and landed in trouble that day. It was the love of my child that had made me smart and given me a fierce strength to do the right thing to save the day. Though I was highly worried about my son, I also had some concern for the girls who looked frightened and lost. Even to this day, it sends a chilly shiver down my spine whenever I touch something cold and wet. As for Rayyan lost his fear of snakes when I had calmly explained to the children that day, that snakes usually do not bite unless they are provoked and also most of the snakes are non-poisonous. He had only seen the brave front of me and had missed out my fear. To this day he runs around clicking pictures of snakes which are abundant in our village Byndoor. Eeewwwww!!! Sharing some of his pictures here. 

This post has been written as a part of "Sets You On Fire" contest organized by KFC Fiery Grilled on Indiblogger


Rayyan Lost in Laptop

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...