Baby no- 2

Dear Daddy...

Dear Daddy…

Just when I thought, I was done with making babies in this lifetime, I had to rethink ! As next 2 years of my life fast forwarded in front of my eyes, I could not help smiling, watching this beautiful Coke ad. Life will be chaos just once again. Messier, crazier and sillier….nonetheless I’m enjoying the smile I see on hubby’s face every now and then. Riaan does not know yet about his threatened position in the house…but I’m sure he will learn to be a good big brother soon!

Meanwhile, enjoy this lovely ad from Coke. They always make them awesome !

Crush

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Because I was not allowed to have a boyfriend in school and college, I had quite an emotionally stable life. Come to think of it, not being in a relationship had been a bliss actually. But then, I had my share of crushes so to say. This guy, lets name him ‘M’ ,was in my class with same elective as mine so we almost attended all our classes together except the practicals. Even though , having an affair was a strict no-no from mom, I thought , having a crush was not a big deal as it did not have any strings and also mom would never come to know about it!

Slowly but steadily, the crush was getting harder and one of my closest friend decided to take some charge. She asked one of the other guys to ask M if he had a girlfriend and that I liked him. I was not very happy with this situation now because this was being forced on me and I was kinda happy in my cocoon and really didn’t want to know if M was interested in me or not. Also, M was quite oblivious of my feelings for him and I didn’t want to jeopardize , whatever minimum talking terms that we were on.

Anyways, the news reached me in a week , that M had a girlfriend already, back in his hometown and hence no further questions were asked. It would take quite a few days for me to come out of coma and I felt terribly guilty. Guilty of god knows what….! For the rest of the semesters, I chose not to tell any of my friends about anything personal and of course the equations with M changed for the rest of the years in the university. I avoided to look at M or talk to him anytime during the classes and non-class times that we classmates would get together.

About 12 years later I met almost all my school mates and college-mates on FB except M. It would take another 9 years for M to get into FB.

Just a couple of months back, one day I was looking through the probable friends FB suggests and when I found M’s profile in it, I found myself smiling. Since there were no pictures in the profile, I sent a message asking if he was the same guy that was in my college. In the reply , M just said yes and that he was roll number 54. Well, after a few weeks , he uploaded some pictures of him and his family on his account for all to see.

I was horrified to see what had become of a handsome lad in a span of 20 years. Here was a middle aged stout man with a beer belly ,his hair was all orange because of henna and I assumed it must have all gone grey and I was staring at a face which looked about 20 years more older than our age. I could not sleep that night…wondering about what must have gone through his life that he grew old so fast. Then I wondered , if I have also grown that old….then I also wondered why was I wondering about him. I had always maintained that age was just a number and its our attitude which actually matters but a look at M told me , may be it was not the case. I remember seeing him as a 20 year old guy and I saw him now 20 years later, I was ready to see some changes but not such drastic ones. I realized, if we abuse ourselves by smoking or drinking or by taking too much stress , it does take away years out of our lives. One has to keep fit and make sure we rally against nature by staying fit and happy.

M looked old to me that day and I felt as if I was looking at some ancient temple in Bali. In a flash, I was in the morning classes when I used to look at him during the first class of the day and felt cheerful for the rest of the week!! As I smiled and remembered the old times,I  took my jacket out for my evening 5 km walk.

Bali- Google images

Bali- Google images

 

Broken ties

Aai Google images

Aai
                                    Google images

The first time Aai came to stay with us was for 2 months in January 2016. Because her son had stayed out all these years after school she never could stay with him.It had been more than 15 years that she had ever stayed with her son for so long. her son would come over to his mother a couple of times in a year or on a special occasion like diwali but had never stayed for more than a week. Aai longed to live with her last borne and hence as soon as her son arrived in India after a year of staying abroad , he sent for her. this time it was special, he had been blessed with a baby boy and Aai was more than ecstatic.

Aai was not keeping too well this year. she kept sleeping at odd hours and was tired all the time. she would not get into the kitchen for any purpose even to make goodies for her son nonetheless she tried playing with her grandson. Later on she would know that she was misdiagnosed for thyroid and was taking wrong medicines for a long time. after a couple of weeks of staying at her son’s place, she confided that in spite of her health, she liked staying in Hyderabad. She also started to confide in me. The bond between two women had started to begin and we would sometimes talk late into the night. Most of the times I would be asking for her secret recipes and the ones that her son loved while he grew up, sometimes the conversation would lead to people. people who were no more there in Aai’s life, her husband, her previous daughter-in-laws. Aai had 2 sons and unfortunately both were divorced and fortunately had remarried. She said at times she got concurrent nightmares about the divorces of her sons . She confessed her fear of her sons being cursed for their marriages.I would quietly would listen to the never ending tales of her and would encourage her to get out for morning and evening walks more often. She mentioned that she had one major regret in her life, that her younger son would not share much with her unlike her older one. I attributed this trait of her husband to the fact he had mostly stayed away from the house after school. Aai said , her son had been seeing his first wife for more than 5 years but he never mentioned it to her or anyone until they were ready for marriage. Although there were disagreements in the house about his choice of girl but eventually all agreed. Aai said , she had told everybody that she does not want to lose her son and its better that everyone accepts the girl and it really does not matter even if she was from another religion, caste, creed or state. Their family belonged to the upper caste in Maharashtra, the Patils, the warriors from the clan of Shivaji and were staunch believers of caste system since time immemorial. It was actually a matter of great disgust to everyone in the family that her would-be daughter-in-law was from another religion and caste. Somehow the family gulped it down with a pinch of salt as they didnt want to lose their son who they already saw so very less.

Aai’s health and the bond between us started getting better, she started confiding more in me. It seems , she never liked her son’s first wife for she dressed like a man and had no mannerisms of a daughter -in-law. She was totally overweight and would do nothing about her health. Aai also mentioned how she would make beef and meat disrespecting their family values of being vegetarians and that she would argue with her son about how she cannot leave eating meat ever. Aai resented these arguments between her son and his wife and knew she could not help the bitterness everyone in her family was facing whenever her son and his wife were visiting them. Aai resented the fact that her daughter-in-law never put Bindi or Sindoor or wear a Saree even on festive occasions and that she was always in salwar or jeans even if people came visiting them. On their first diwali after the wedding,Aai said her daughter-in-law went to sleep at 6 in the evening when it was time for lighting the diyas. All the relatives who came to wish for diwali were surprised why the bride was sleeping on the eve of diwali.

One time, Aai had been visiting them along with her older son. Both the sons were sleeping in the hall on a makeshift bed as Aai was asleep on the double bed in the master bedroom. Her daughter-in-law was supposed to arrive by an early morning train from Mumbai. When Aai got up in the morning she was shocked to see the daughter-in-law sleeping with her husband even while he was asleep with his older brother. ‘She does not have any sense , she is not of good character’ , Aai had concluded to me.

It was very difficult to comprehend why would someone hurt everyone in the family at one go. Why someone would or could slap their spouse, or even why they would carry on their ego trip when it was supposed to be a love marriage. Sometimes, when there are no answers , time decides to deal with the unwanted things. And so whatever had happened, did happen for good, I told Aai.

Aai visited us again this month for we were traveling abroad to settle down once for all. She looked good healthwise and mindwise. She told me to take care of her son and grandson. As I held her in a tight embrace, she got all her answers and I was content to see her equally content face.

Peace Google images

Peace
     Google images

N for Naomi

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Quirky and ever effervescent, Naomi revels in her melodramatic perspective towards life. For her life is huge stage and being dramatic is a necessary tool for survival. You will always find her reading or debating, her two passions. She is currently doing first year  Masters in Political Science from JNU although she has always maintained that she is a literature student at heart.

A fighter, a leader and the ever so popular girl wherever she goes. She revels in the magic of her own charm.

Naomi is biblical character and also is a name in Japanese meaning- pleasant.

Naomi is my first borne angel.

A Name

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I was born to  soldier and his working wife. My dad met my mom when she had just joined Airforce in a civilian capacity. He was a Parachute Jumping Instructor and was posted at my mom’s city unit. He fell in love with this independent girl, working with the soldiers and proposed to marry her. All of 18, my mom directed him to her dads’. Marriage fixed in about 6 months time and they live happily ever after.

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Oh wait…I was born the following year after the marriage. Since mom returned to work after 3 months of maternity leave, I was taken care by many people while she worked. My granny, my aunt (mom’s sister), her cousin and one lady who was a neighbor. This lady had 3 teenaged sons and she happily proposed to look after me while my mom worked from 7 in the morning until 2 pm. She would feed me,change and tuck me in as and when needed. Her sons were grown up and she missed having a baby around, she said. Also she loved having a girl for herself ! My mom sometimes would leave me at my granny’s and my aunt would take care of me before she picked me up on Saturdays. In between some of these days mom decided to have me named but she wanted the lady who looked after me, to name me. She wanted to thank her in her own way. The lady called me “Rinku” and that was put in the records. Rinku is a common name from the state she belonged to- Bengal.

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I’m one of those people who didn’t like their name initially. But as I grew up and Mom told me this story of naming my name, I was filled with gratitude towards that lady and for my mom too. That lady for her unconditional love and Mom for being grateful to her and showing it in a unique way. As I grew up, started to like my name, short, sweet and crisp. It means ‘Sweet’ or ‘Sweet Thing”.

They say, a rose is a rose is a rose. Does not matter if it was not named as rose. But I’m glad that my name is a tribute to a good lady for her kindness and love. I have never met her or tried to find her ever but now it looks like I must.

Yes after writing this post , I’m going to call Mom.

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Grandpa’s House

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The other day I dreamed of my grandpa’s house. As kids we used to visit them every summer. Vacations meant grandpa’s house in the village in Assam , an eastern state in India.

The train journey back then used to be long, 3 days to be precise! But it was worth it…the bridges over the rivers, the towns, the villages and the fields on the way were beautiful. Me and my little brother would sing songs sitting by the train window and look forward for our annual vacation at Grandpa’s.

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It was a house made of bamboo, straws and some other organic material nonetheless it was big. We had like about 10 rooms in the house and a nice porch to sit out if it rained. There was a nice courtyard in front of the house and on the left the straw room for the cattle. On the right side of the house , my uncle had planted lots of fruits trees and we had plums and peaches in between some grape vines! There were wooden bird houses made for pigeons who would not fly away once they found this place with water and food all around!

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My granny used to cook wonderful meals for everyone and in those times food was cooked over wood and it tasted heavenly. When I saw this dream, I called up my dad and told him that I remember each and every room in that house and what fun times we had back then. As my uncle and aunts got married and moved out of the house, the house started to become empty. After Grandpa , my granny moved to my dad’s in town. There are times when I go back home, dad and me drive to the village just to look at the place that had this beautiful house and held together so many people of our family. Of course , the house is not there anymore but the memories of it is distinct. So much so that ,even now, I sometimes get a whiff of the house with everyone in it. If I had the time machine, I would go back and enjoy those childhood days in that house more than ever.

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I loved to move from one room to another looking at stuff placed in each room. Each member of the family had a room for themselves and there was a room at the back which housed the ducks and the pigeons in the night! There were two ponds , one in the front yard and other in the back yard and invariably we had ducks and swans swimming in it all through the day! The walk by the side of the house would take us to the rice fields and it was fun to run around barefoot, splashing into mud and water!! Playing with ducks, calves and eating raw mangoes, gooseberry and olives was so much fun!

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While taking showers in the bathroom that was made up of bamboo , one could have a look at the blue Naga hills at the border. The cranes at the rice fields would come to eat worms and tiny fishes. The cattle would come back home on their own at the dusk and get settled in their shed on their own. Life used to be so easy and fun back then. If I had a choice , I would surely go back to my grandpa’s house never to come back again. I’m happy that I can visit that house still , even though it is in my dreams now. The lesson is to enjoy the present for it never can be same again!

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Something we take for granted

Love Cloud

Love Cloud

Being loved is the most precious thing in the world and I think we all take it for granted. The love by the parents, siblings and then by lovers is something we should be always grateful about. We usually never realise that parents love by our parents is like a gift from heaven and it never ceases comewhat may and hence we take it for granted all our lives. We realise when they are gone and then we repent rest of our lives. The sooner we realise the importance of parents love, its better. Because there is nothing like it and and we should enjoy each onet of it and try to give them the same selfless love.

Similarly , siblings, most of them love us unconditionally. Partners, lovers or spouses who love us like we were born in the same family and who nurture us are the best thing to happen after parents. One should consider himself lucky if they get such a life partner because in current times its rare. Once lost you will never get it back !!

Let’s vow never to take love for granted, never to demean it, never to be ungrateful, if we are lucky enough to have it. Let’s learn to appreciate and nurture the love that we have in our lives.

Love from parents, family and partners is to be rejoiced, respected and returned in the same intensity if not more.

Cheers!

Sunset @ Goa

Sunset @ Goa

A Smile that would not stop…

Daddy Time

Daddy Time

The most happiest moment of my life has to be the one after the birth of Riaan. No, not for me or Riaan but for Ani. The daddy would not stop smiling since he saw his first born ! The nurses, one in particular was gushing how the Dad was glowing with happiness!

After being with me for more than 12 hours in the hospital while labor was being planned and induced, Ani made a couple of trips back home to get my stuff. He was then back by my side holding my hands all these hours and supported me for every decision that I took while in labor. He would encourage me, pat my hands,  stroke my hair and kept telling me that its going to be over soon.

It was 2 am, when Riaan arrived, and Ani was beaming with happiness. At that very moment,I was so glad , I took this decision to have our baby. The baby has brought myriad colors of happiness in our lives. Riaan has brought us even more closer. Could there be any other magic than having borne a baby?

For me, life has become hectic. Its been a month now, the body aches and stitches have disappeared looking at the smiling face of Ani everytime he comes home from work. When I see the father and son playing, I realize there could not have been a better gift for us than Riaan.

A small hiatus from rest of the regular stuff of life and I’m back with a bang. Life is more happy, more fulfilled and with more hopes and dreams with two guys of my life!

A Friend- Week 7

Aditya Clicking pics April 2013 , San Francisco

Aditya Clicking pics
April 2013 , San Francisco

My first memories of Aditya is of middle school back in Agra, in the 90’s. An irritating, lanky, weird, bi-spectacle d teen who had poker straight hair. He was in a different class but always was trying to meddle into my group of friends. I didn’t like him much because of his bitter straightforward attitude and his silly talks. He would not allow anyone else to talk when in a group and surprisingly even engaged teachers with his nonsensical philosophies! Nonetheless, he was well into my friends circle in a couple of months! He lived away from where we were staying but he would bicycle his way to play with us almost every evening.

Fast forward, 20 years, I come to live in Delhi and just when Facebook was invented. I got to be in touch with so many friends including Aditya. And because of the sheer coincidence of living just a few miles away in the same area of the city, soon we decided to meet over lunch followed by a movie. Aditya was not a crazy teen anymore and we both sat and chatted for several hours sharing each other’s live’s happenings over last 2 decades. He had become a Human Right’s Lawyer and was an active LGBT leader in India. He travels around the world to speak in seminars and meetings for the same.

Since then he has been there as a dear friend, helping , supporting and guiding me through the most difficult times of my life. It was he who made me finalize my decision when I walked out on my marriage. I remember very clearly when he said, ” Rinks if you never leave this rotten marriage of yours, you will never come to know what you could have gotten on the other side of this.” I’m so glad, I understood what he meant by his one sentence. I’m so glad that I have my soulmate by my side now and my life could not have been better. For me, life has taken a complete 180 degree turn and words like love, trust, faith, care, pamper, appreciation, affection , adulation, respect and fair has become meaningful.

From time to time I turn on to Aditya for advice, suggestions and to tell him how my new life is shaping up. He is happy for me and we catch up every once in a while whenever I’m in Delhi. He too is glad that I have found my peace and that his advice and efforts to reinstate my dignity has paid off. We may have grown up and lead our own individual lives making mature decisions and being good human beings but in our hearts we still remain the teens the way we were, in school !

I’m so glad that I met Aditya again after so many years and that life has completed a full circle since we were in middle school. Aditya helps me in soul-searching and like always has answers to all the things that I throw at him. Though sometimes the answers are silly , nonetheless it teaches me to take life less seriously at times.

He has been a thorough gentleman, a dear friend and wonderful human being.

Here’s to fun, friendship, school-times and gratitude!

 Aditya at Barbeque @ Parag's April 2013 ( Palo Alto)

Barbeque @ Parag’s
April 2013 ( Palo Alto)

***I start this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

One Journey of Faith

From Two 2 Three ! Shot by A& R

From Two 2 Three !
Shot by A & R

We had been waiting for this trip since one year. We had even planned the conception of our baby so that I would be able to fly during the safest period of my pregnancy. But somehow the trip didn’t come through the whole time. We, anyway enjoyed the first 2 quarters of the pregnancy in India while I let my husband know that I would need him by my side during the labor and delivery, in case he has to fly out now. He promised me he will be, at any cost.

You never know what destiny has in store for you.  We were prepared for this trip and also quite anxious about the long flying hours that I will have to spend sitting on a chair , given the fact that airline seats were not comfy by any means. By the end of 7th month, Ani’s trip came along, I got worked up now that I would have to bear it out alone, that is the rest of my pregnancy. But it was a huge surprise to know that most of the airlines allow pregnant women to fly till 36 weeks.I was only 30 weeks along.

We were flying out in next 2 weeks and all the arrangements had to be made. The “baby stuff” that was being done in a normal pace was rushed up and all the medicines etc were stocked up for next one month. Packing was being done for spices and Indian stuff that was not available in US. One constant worry was, if I would be comfortable sitting in the airline seat for 22 hours!

So it was , Hyderabad to Abu Dhabi , a 4 hour flight and then a 3 hour break before catching that dreadful 16 hour flight out from middle east to Americas! The entire journey was a mix of fear, excitement, happiness and most importantly this was our first international flight together. Ani was super worried about me and the baby and was on a roll all the time!

” Walk, move hands, move legs, eat, sleep, now wake up, drink water, have you had your medicines, okay now check out from the window, read this, watch a movie, wash your face and freshen up….goodness gracious ” , he was pretty worked up! Had a few bouts of uncomfortable hours in the long flight but overall, I enjoyed it. Ate everything that came along , also hogged the Methi Parathas and pickle which I made at home. Didn’t over sleep, watched some good videos and chatted up with my guy for hours! The stewardesses were taking extra care of me and I felt relaxed.

Honestly, the long flight didn’t feel like one and we bonded all over again , talking about the years that we had spent together and anticipating the years ahead. Talking about the lil’ one that was coming along to make our lives all the more happy.

So the entire journey turned out to be a pleasant one. Patience , love and faith kept us intact and made us enjoy the journey despite the apprehensions. I’m sure , life too is going to be one such long and pleasant flight!

Cheers!

The Trio !

The Faith ! Shot by A & R

Something Someone Gave You- Week 5

Time is a Gift - by Ani

Gift of Time – by Ani

Giving is always a bliss. Receiving is a pleasure too. Long time back my brother told me to never go by the price of your gift. Gifts are bought for you with some thought, money and energy and that is what should be appreciated. I have always valued the gifts I have received and have treasured them all.

Friends , parents, colleagues always give you gifts with or without occasions. My sweet hubby has been showering me with gifts since we met and some of them are totally invaluable. The most precious would have to be the gift of my life that my parents gave to me. I would certainly thank them for having decided to get married and have me as their first born ! For its’ because of them that I’m able to see this beautiful world , live and love it in all senses.

One that I would never forget is a hand made birthday card my kids gave me when they were very young. It was for “The World’s Best Mom” with lots of scribbles and colors inside! I treasure that and keep it close to my heart always!

Gift of Love

Gift of Love

***I start this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

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