The difference between a mother & a daughter

Mother: Molu**, are you free da? Shall we Skype?

Daughter: Nope Ma. Am at the parlour. And then I have to run a few errands. Busy day, Ma. Let me reach home OK!

No further questions asked. The whole day swishes by and the mother’s hope to see her daughter is left hanging in the air.

Next day…

Daughter: AMMA! (Yes, all caps to denote that she is shouting out on what’s app)

You there?

Be quick!!

Where are you?

AMMA! AMMEY!

Barrage of shout outs. But no response. The mother isn’t online yet.

The daughter places a frantic call.

The father picks up. Obviously unaware of the dire situation the daughter is in, he sets out on his own track

I know I know, mol! I know why you called. I am watching too. Federer is playing, right!!

Oh, Acha! I’ll catch the match later, ok. I didn’t call for that though. Where’s AMMA!  Can you pass the phone to her please?

No questions asked. The father passes the phone to the mother.

AMMA, don’t you have your phone with you?

No, da, I have been terribly busy. Haven’t had the time to even breathe!!

Well, I need your help! I need the recipe for Semiya Upma, right NOW!

That’s it? Is that why you are sounding so frantic?

YES! My pan is burning, Ma! Be quick.

OK OK. Will what’s app you the recipe right away.

No further questions asked. So what if the mother was busy. If the daughter summons, she had better be there for her! ;P

 

** Molu/Mol is an endearing way of addressing one’s daughter, in Malayalam

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Rambling #13

Every morning I wake up with a sincere intention to blog, with a mash up of things in mind to ramble about. But as the evening approaches I find myself signing off the day with a terrible guilt of not sticking to the plan, and an even firmer plan to blog the next day. I’m not joking when I say that this rambling-challenge is what strikes me first when I wake up in the morning..it seriously is. There’s so much that I feel like saying that I find it exhilarating whenever I am able to type all that I want to say in words. But at the same time its been pretty draining as I am not very good at keeping the flow of thoughts smooth for long. My score-card has been abysmal whenever I have taken up such daily blogging challenges. And every time I end up feeling guilty and ashamed of my own lack of focus and earnestness.

Anyway the week so far has been largely eventful and fulfilling. We got a chance to attend International Day in Namnam’s school.  The idea behind this event, from what I understood was to bring all the students from different nationalities together with their families, expose them to each other’s culture, let them appreciate their identities and embrace each other. While the idea was certainly welcoming, the gust of people thronging at all the stalls was a little chaotic in the beginning. Having said that, the general vibe was pretty electric with children and parents and grandparents loitering about eager to try out different cuisines, cheering for their kids’ and friends’ performances, enjoying every moment to the fullest.

Yesterday was about taking my parents to meet one of their friends, getting them to witness another fairly older part of the city which they realized had a more charming effect on them, letting them experience the Dubai Metro and in the end treating them to a yummy Peshawari lunch 🙂

Today they got a feel of the city’s more modern representation when they took a ride up the world’s tallest building. The enchanted, wonderstruck look on their faces as they took in the view of the city from the top was unmissable.

The weekend is almost here. Which reminds me that I had promised Ma that I would make Tiramisu for her. Now is the time to get on with it.

So bye bye for now..

february ramblings

 

Does marriage change a person?

**For the long rant, blame me not, but PNA :D. Her post prompted me to write it 😀**

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Let me rephrase it and ask that question to myself. Has marriage changed me? Well, I’d say it will depend on the way I look at change. If it means change in the way I smile then I’d say no, marriage hasn’t changed me. I still smile the same. If it is change in the way I walk, then no again. I still walk the same- very fast! If it means change in my choice of clothes, then no. I like to wear my saris and suits just as much as I love to wear my jeans and tees. And I still wear them, albeit the size has changed though :D.

Thats the kind of change the society normally expects a girl to undergo as soon as she attains the ‘married’ tag, right? She is told, ‘Ok, now that you’re married, this is how you should smile, this is how you should eat, this is how you should sit, this is how you should talk to your husband, this is what you should be wearing,” ” What? Jeans? Nooooo, you should only wear sarees” so on and so forth. She has to endure piercing glares from them if she is heard addressing her own husband by his name and not ‘ettan/chettan** or A-ji, O-ji Sunoji. She is expected to change her approach towards her parents and give more importance to her in-laws. She is even asked to seek permission from them if she wishes to see her parents. Oh yes, I’ve come across households where such norms are practiced.

This is what bothers me. How can the society judge how a marriage should or should not work. Its for the people involved in the relationship to decide isnt it? If I choose to address my husband by his name, does it make me respect him any less? If I spend time with my parents just as much as I do with my inlaws, does it mean that I’m dishonoring my marriage? Or if I choose to put sindoor in my forehead can I claim that I wish for my husband’s well-being more than any other woman wishes for her husband? No. It will be so wrong on my part to even compare my love and respect for my spouse with anybody else. Its a matter of choice and understanding between the people involved. If my family and R’s family know what they mean to us and if R & I know and accept what we mean to our respective families, then I dont think any society can or should tell us how we should make our marriage work.

If thats what changing is then I can safely say I’ve NOT changed one bit. I’m fortunate and blessed to have grown up in a family which hardly paid any attention to these ridiculous societal norms as well as married into a family that didnt care for such norms either.

So when I was married some 10 years back I was accepted along with my giggly smile, my loud laugh, my brisk-walking style and much more. Not once was I made to feel as though I had to change myself. In fact R & my parents-in-law went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and welcome from day one.

My mother-in-law, who hated cooking, used to make my favorite dishes and wait for me to get back from work so she could surprise me! Imagine coming home after a hard day’s work, to the delicious sight of your favorite mutton-curry! When it was the season of mangoes, my father-in-law, who couldn’t stand the sight of the fruit, would go about in search of the ripest mangoes so I could gorge on them.

When my mother-in-law, an ardent follower of Mata Amritanandamayi, expressed a desire to take me to her ashram in Vallikavu, I agreed to go, despite having my own reservations about ‘Amma’ because I felt for someone who cared so much about my happiness, my likes and dislikes, this was the least I could do to make her happy. No I was not forced to change my beliefs, I still maintained my reservations. I went there out of my own will, purely because, to me my mother-in-law’s happiness mattered more than my staunch beliefs. A mother-in-law who cared about my happiness just as much. Believe me, when she was showing me around the ashram, introducing me to her friends there, the glee and excitement that I saw in her eyes is indescribable.

If this is what change is then I’ve no qualms in saying that marriage has changed me. I have become more understanding towards relationships, more tolerant, more patient, more giving. And I can confidently say the same for my husband too. If I, who was a shy meek girl, am molded and pushed by my husband, into becoming this strong bold woman who is much surer of herself and if my husband who was a blunt and rough person, is molded into becoming a more sensitive and thoughtful person, then I’d say this change is totally worth it. If marriage changes you in a positive way, if a husband and wife help each other to grow as a person, then the change should be welcome.Of course it has to be two-ways. You cant expect only one person to change. The other person has to put in just as much effort and care to nurture the relationship.

So if I ask myself again, ‘has marriage changed me as a person’ I’d say it sure has. For the better 🙂

** In many parts of Kerala, malayali wives address their husbands as Ettan/Chettan as a mark of respect, which in literal sense means big brother

Another voice against Domestic Violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Solilo,Smitha,IHM,Lakshmi,Hypermom,Swaram have each written a post on domestic violence and done their bit to spread the awareness. Passionate Goof,even touched upon a relevant issue of child abuse to tell us all about how grave and sensitive the situation is.

After reading each of their take, I didnt think there was anything left for me to contribute.They had voiced their concerns in a much better way than I could have mine.

But a simple gesture by my daughter,yesterday,made me sit up and think of not only those children who were being abused but also those who were being affected by simply witnessing their loved ones being abused.

R and I got into an argument about something as trivial as buying a furniture.The argument went on for a bit longer than usual. Eventually we reached a consensus and the matter was pushed aside. Namnam, was doing her own thing in her room, so we were pretty much sure that she didnt care much about what had transpired between us.

The day was being spent just as usual. Nothing noticeable. But what I didn’t fail to notice was how Namnam was being extra careful in making sure R & I joined her in whatever she did,together. Whether it be painting, or playing badminton, or watching television, or simply running around the house. She even insisted,at one point that R & I played badminton with each other and she watched us play. Even while I was busy doing my chores, she dragged me midway to join her while R read us stories !

And then the most beautiful thing happened. Namnam simply got up and asked me & R to say ‘I love you’ to each other. The minute we said that and turned to look at her, she threw herself on us to hug tightly and said ,’I love you too’! The look of sheer happiness on her face is inexplicable. It was as though all her efforts had been paid off.

This is when it was clear that she did care about the argument that ensued between R & me earlier in the day. I realized how important it was for her that her parents loved each other just as she loved them .
If one slight argument between her parents could affect a 3year old , imagine the plight of those children who must be witnessing their mother, father, sister, brother, grandparent or even a friend being abused mercilessly day in and day out in front of their eyes .

Almost all of us have come across cases where women are beaten black and blue, raped , paraded naked in public. Where men are tortured no less. Where young girls are caged and raped for years by their own fathers. Where young boys are sodomized or forced into male prostitution. Where aged are thrown out of homes by their own children like dirt. Where small children are physically and mentally tortured by their monster-high-expectations-ridden-parents! Not just one,but every section of our society is susceptible to the dangers of Domestic Violence.

It also includes those who silently witness abuse being meted out to their loved ones.They are as much the victims.

One way to combat and condemn this menace is by spreading awareness about the same and letting the victims know its not their destiny. They have every right to change it.The Bell Bajao campaign is a movement in the right direction to bring domestic violence to an end. So are the efforts of so many of us bloggers who are spreading word by writing about it.

I do not know how far and wide this drive to spread awareness will reach.But if even one person realizes that there is an option to call out for help,then,in my opinion the intention is well served.

Today is the last day of the month, however let this not be the end of our drive towards living in a world sans domestic violence. Keep spreading awareness.