Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blink of innocence

How many times can you look at the same stuff? But seeing the unrelenting enthusiam of your better half attimes reluctantly you have to comply. Specially I have to compel myself when my husband, Ashish wants me to watch his favourite program with him on TV or downloaded in computer, repeatedly. Sometimes, he excitedly called me “Ooh its the Superstructures,” or ‘you can’t miss the Wings,’ or “Yeeeessss its Future Weapons On , come over darling,’ the euphoria in his voice would soon recede if I refused to be the spectator. Poor me. I had to bear it as I couldn’t hurt his emotions. Apart from this, he watched the video of Lorito many a times where in a Parrot mimics sound of other animals.  Every time he saw it, he would roll in laughter. How come everytime it evoked the same emotion in a person? I failed to understand.
Yesterday when I was occupied with daily work again he called me to watch Lorito. “Spare me this time, I am busy,’ was my desperate reply. ‘Come on, or you will miss it,” there was an urgency in his voice. What would I miss? I thought. Unwillingly I moved towards the drawing room where I knew Ashish was glued to the computer. Sensing me behind, he almost whispered...”Can you see?”
See The world As I see, will you?

I saw my one and half year old boy watching Lorito. He was awestruck.   His expression is inexplicable in words. The voyage from curiosity to discovery was discernible.There was something blissful about his wonder. His lips showed signs of slight curve and amazement written all over his face. His eyes spoke a thousand words.
My husband was correct. Had I not seen this I would have missed it. I saw Lorito as I have never seen before. All through my son’s eyes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Packed the moments in the trunk, too

Mountains kissing the sky 
 Day started as usual and my approach was even more casual. All changed with a phone call.
‘Hi pack up Darling’, my husband sounded excited on the other side of the call. I gasped to listen to the place of our new posting as it was due. He played with word before uttering the most coveted word and destination for next two years. My mind rehearsed all the names to my knowledge which only attimes I find Army wives know of. The finally he said, ‘Arre stop thinking about Timbaktoo, we are going to DELHI’...I could only reply with ‘aaaah..how come, serious?’ He assured me that he was.
My mind raced through many things. We were expected to move as my husband’s ‘unit ki naukri’ as they term it, was over. But Delhi! Too much to digest. Huge trunks are a threat as again its time to reopen them and pack according the numbering and list. Though every station I vow not to increase my items and to husband’s horror, it does. Well I am still thinking of items I missed out which marks “as exclusive Pathankot stuff” and only bad news it’s just the middle of the month!! Afterall these days I visit the market and try to sound like a localite though the shopkeepers could point out but I discovered or rediscovered shops which gave better discounts and I take pride in that. All army wives do.

Family outing
     Well, after the initial excitement ebbed away, I somehow felt a bit dejected. Now this is also too hard to handle. As an infantry officer’s wife half the house always remains in the trunks, we move with our husbands wherever possible and surprisingly leave the heart there.
Juhi and Jai at their favorite spot 
Even in the remotest places where initially nothing else but serious cribbing takes all time, the day we hear about the posting we suddenly discover the hidden love for the place. When I came to Pathankot, last year in July, though with others I appreciated the scenic beauty of the place yet I actually compared it with Kolkata all the time and spared no aspect to prove it insignificant and uninteresting. I complained about the weather (though Kolkata was sultry and humid), the condition of the house I found pathetic (though I got one of the best houses in the station) the people ( here people do care) at times limited variety of fresh vegetables, (vegetables in Kolkata are more rotten) market ( distance and cost are  more in Kolkata) -well every thing seems to be exorbitant, the schools appear to fall below expectation ( class I studies are manageable anywhere) and above all the working class seemed to be incorrigible as well as irregular ( this story is same everywhere). The heap of utensils and husbands office hours seems to rise every day. Juggling the needs of a 6 yr old and an infant every thing seemed to  be appalling.
But....
When did I fall in love with the place? I have grown fond of my Mamun Cantt address. I got so attached to the house that if  MES ( Military Engineering Services) dosen’t turn up even after repeated complain I laugh it off and resolve the trouble with some other alternative. (This was unthinkable at the beginning as MES was at the receiving end).
Juhi and Jai at Go-Carting
I roamed around the house recollecting wonderful moments. I touched the wall which supported my son for his first step. I found the green paint splashed on the cream coloured wall of my daughter’s room and the corner where she once stood for hours since I berated her for some mischief, all these are part of their growing up. The small balcony presented the scenic view of the mountains afar and at times we raced who would be the first to see the mountains today! The terrace is where we spend hours sitting together or even secretly dance in the rain.
Its a huge Military Station and love hate likes and dislikes amongst ladies continues, but where it dosen’t? And I am just carrying the goodness of everybody in my heart. The place, the people all seems to be a part of me. The Mess Functions, Officer’s dining in or dining out, Dinner Nights, Raising day, Social gathering, Ladies Club , Family Welfares, picnics, movie outings, small gestures, funny discussions, altercations and mild misunderstandings all seemed to instantly flash and melt in a bigger smile. As an army wife I learned to love the place where I live. Like the trunks, I open a small closet in my heart and keep all in here, to relish and cherish them forever. Pack up and move to a new station for more fond memories.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Every day wonder

It was raining and I was driving in moderate speed. My mind was preoccupied with the thoughts of new posting and subsequent concerns. The lane was narrow with variety of greenaries bordering it. From a distance I spotted something similar to black balls moving. The movement was not much. I somehow concluded those to be some unknown birds which will swiftly fly away...by this time I was very close to them and to my utter horror they hardly moved . I screeched to a halt but it was too late. I closed my eyes and the enormity of the crime engulfed me. I was still thinking what kind of a bird those might be who will never be able to see the sky anymore. I will never be punished but the guilt tore me apart. I should have been more careful in the rains and  focused on road than to my material thoughts.

I didn't have the strength to look back.  True that nobody saw me committing the heinous crime , how important are those little ones to the world? I never be punished for that but why is my conscience not complying to that. I felt immense pain and with a heavy heart  I summoned some courage and peeped through my rear view mirror.
 What did I see? I saw all of them, must be around four with their own pace moving towards the bushes. Am I  dreaming? Must be, otherwise how come all of them be alive! ALIVE!... Tears welled up my eyes. I ran back. Rain didn't matter to me as I was too happy. Oh they were little chicks! And merrily making their way to the bushes.  A tiny one was lagging behind. I picked it up placed it inside the bush. I heard a lot of chirping and I am sure the my invasion into their territory was not welcome. But I was too thrilled and wanted to live the moment. I watched them slowing vanished into dense bushes.

My tears merged in the rain. The little chicks taught me firstly that, you should not rush things or be oblivious to surroundings that you forget to appreciate small wonders.Secondly, nothing  in the world must bother you so much that you lose your focus and forget your priority. Thirdly, life matters no matter how small it is.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Second Devil is a better bargain!


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Is it...no it can’t be..might be..NO NO..I am yet to identify myself as Mrs Jaiswal..Palash sounds cool to me and I am not prepared for the “motherhood”...it was my reaction when I conceived my elder one. I felt I was the only one cornered by God!...my demanding moods coupled with equally demanding job as a subeditor in Evening Shift squeezed me out. I wanted to eat n hated it too...wanted everything yet hated everything..such a paradox..(I look back and think..God grant every Husband Himalayan Patience as He did to mine)....well I had counseling sessions by friends and words of sympathy from young lovers and advice galore from all “mothers”... scenario was even bad after my daughter was born as I tried to take up every advice and not listen to my heart and reason out everything!
Paranoid I was when Juhi refused to eat even for one time or if she defied the routine sleeping programme set by me. A child must have vegetables, vitamins..etc etc....the race for the best mother and healthy baby continued. At times you forget that a child has her own wish and taste. Mashed food and juices are not THE THING...and timings can be varied....if a child refuses to have a certain thing she might be feeling bored or uncomfortable and that is not the end of the world..I use to go crazy if she missed her fruit one day! Why didn’t it struck me to grant the little angel her wish..or I was scared to be tagged as ‘indisciplined indulging Mumma’ as a first timer I wanted to be the best pressured from all corners and expectations not realising I was at my wits’ end...
but things changed drastically after the second one.
The other one! 
When I conceived I thought it was “cool”...when people came in for advices I gave the look , “I Know it all man” ..when some alerted me about sibling jealousy and rivalry and termed it as healthy and constructive. When my son was born , changing nappies all night yet getting up early for my daughters school and tutoring her all continued with equal √©lan.
If my son refuses to eat or sleep on time I take it as a gesture of growing up...I stress myself less and the pressure of becoming the perfect Mom is vanished. When he refuses some stereo type food I take it as a mark of change for better!...I give due regard to his mood, appetite or expression and I guess my daughter benefits from the same...I have learnt not to overstep the boundary and nurture natures gift without imprisoning the same. Every child, every mother is different..and human nature is expressed right from the start. When a child is born mother is born too...mistakes are granted but be open, change..and constantly review yourself - are you hanging your child by the clock?...Tick Tick..Its time for Mashed Potatoes....Tick Tock...3 hrs sleep .’What will Mrs Sen tell me if she gets your noise in the afternoon? Afterall her son sleeps for 4 hrs.Tick Tock....Hey..Stop the clock...
Sorting each other out
Happy in each others company

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

God, he won the battle already..what else can you take away?


It was 24 December’08. Maa completed the six chemotherapy cycles and with renewed hope we landed at Tata Memorial Hospital for another check up. It is a huge place filled with hope and despair. Patients, attendants, doctors and other staffs all fighting Cancer- the disease of the century.

Due to enormous rush we had to wait hours before seeing the doctor. Luckily I saw a chair vacant at the corner and grabbed it immediately for Maa. Cancer seems to create a bond. Even unknown faces flashed sympathy or at times encouragement. As there were more heads than the sitting arrangements most of us stood by and after the introductionary note conversation took off. Discussion revolved around “the disease” and I realised that Cancer is spreading like an epidemic. For a moment I looked at Maa. She smiled. It meant ‘my child don’t worry.’

In the crowd there was a man who was entertaining all with humorous and interesting anecdotes. Everyone seemed to enjoy this brief relief. He spoke to a person next to him frequently and therefore I concluded that he was the attendant with the patient. ‘Hello’,’ suddenly he turned towards me, ‘I am Normon Tshring, coming from east to west, and yes” candidly he continued, “ you got to wait long so get some coffee.” “Sure”, I said, and introduced myself. As we sipped the coffee Normon started describing the Christmas celebration at his place Haflong in Assam. There was some charisma in him and we all got engrossed in his words until suddenly with a jolt I heard the staff almost yelling out ...”Mr. Normon...This is the second call.”

As he hurriedly walked inside the doctor’s chamber I routed out the possibility he being a patient . “He must be there for some other reason,” I assured myself. Otherwise how could he stand for hours and chat so spiritedly? I reasoned with myself. I glanced at Maa. Again she smiled. It meant, “I’m fine.’ For the past two years since Maa was detected with cervical cancer and with innumerable hospital visits, doctors advises, medications and increasing pain there was a constant vacillation between optimism and sheer despondency we also developed some nonverbal communications which we both understood.

Normon stepped out of the chamber. A quick look around could tell you that a few more people have a question mark hung in their face. For him nothing changed. With same exuberance matched with a big smile, he came up right in front of me and said, ‘I was describing the Christmas celebration at my place, remember?’ I gaped at him as he gushed out, ‘I will fly back to day and celebrate this Christmas with much vigour. I donot have to stay back for more check ups.”

‘Oh that’s good!,’ all I could manage to utter.

‘Yes it is good,’ he reiterated, ‘I am lucky you know, because atleast I know that I have this Christmas with me, unlike many. The tumours in my bone have refused to bog down, just like me!” He looked around with a bigger smile wished aloud everyone, “ Merry Christmas,” and walked away without looking back.

What do you call that? Positive approach or sheer acceptance?

And I just learnt to celebrate life.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Walking in the rain

I completely detested my habit of getting up late and then rushing through things. I vowed to change. Though I have been trying to change it for years yet.."tomorrow I will " never actually arrived. Typical you know!..but today..I woke up at 5..a mission I thought..now or never. Actually I read a lot of motivating proverbs and sayings to myself before I went to sleep last night,though the motivation was about to fall into deaf ears when the alarm 'roughly and harshly cried aloud' ( I thought so for a moment)..yet I was up. Washed my face with more force of water than ever, put on my tracks and shoes and off I went. Secretly I glanced at the soft bed and pillows ,somewhere they were unhappy that I let them go so early! I was walking down the road. Put on my earplugs and switched to my favorite song "You are my theme for the dream". But somehow it was not going with the morning serenity. I switched it off. Chirping of the birds, some known mostly unknown soothed my ears, somehow they were welcoming I thought to see this stranger. Their morning chores had already started!..I was new to find out..so many variety of them flew around, so pretty so charming..how did I miss that! Platoon of heavy boots passed by me, it was their usual morning PT time and some every vehicles occasionally disturbed the morning quietness. I walked far.morning breeze gently kissed my cheeks.I felt my mother touching me. I looked up and asked, Is that you , maa? It started to shower. I slowed down. I wanted to enwrap every bit of nature ,feel it,touch it..and drench in it allover. I wanted to walk more...and just wished time to halt at 5.30 am...morning is so full of promise, impeccable, honest, pure...full of forgiveness. 
A wonder. I looked up to the sky, and said " Maa you always wanted me to get up early..now I know why...is it too late, maa?...The sun came out behind the clouds.