Are we listening? And enough? #MondayMusings

A couple of years ago, I lost a friend.

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She chose to part ways because she felt I was consumed by my joys and sorrows to such an extent that I never allowed a pause to listen to her. She did not feel heard and valued in our friendship which set her off on a negative spiral.

The biggest good she did for me was she communicated clearly what she felt and why she was ending our friendship of many years. Now, what would a majority of people do in such a situation? They would give their explanations, negate the emotions of the aggrieved, attempt to hold the other at fault for feeling the way they have been feeling Continue reading

A leaf out of holidays #MondayMusings

I like to stay at home. There is nothing new in this as I keep shouting about it from my rooftop.

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I do not like to venture out of town and go travelling or doing touristy stuff.

My idea of a holiday is –

  1. to wake up early, maximum by 6 am,
  2. do nothing for the next 2 hours or maybe meditating or reading,
  3. cook a hearty breakfast and a perfect cup of tea, 2 hours later, and
  4. to devour the tea and breakfast in absolute silence and solitude.

The rest of the 2 members are at their best supportive and co-operative attitude Continue reading

“Is my foot getting whiter?” #MondayMusings

“Why am I not white?”

This was the question from last week. It was surprising for me, at least, because having lived all alone by ourselves with our own philosophies, Dhruv and I frequently discussed how the colour of the skin doesn’t matter, it is a person’s qualities that matter most. I thought living in a diverse and multi-cultural apartment complex in South India for 3 years was helpful to understand this point and I believed it did.

Then how come the question of not being white reared its head?

This wasn’t a one-off instance. Every day, he spent his time figuring out if his body parts were getting any whiter. The word ‘No’ for an answer did not provide any solace. Hence, it became pertinent for us to address the issue of skin colour once again citing difference in geographical condition from where people come from, Continue reading

Random realizations #MondayMusings

I am back after a gap of 2 weeks.

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Image Source – Pixabay

The last 2 weeks were a bit of a struggle on account of health troubles and consequently time (mis)management. Yet, it was not all bad. The good thing is I have made friends while Dhruv is wondering why is it taking him so long to make friends. His frequency calculations for mapping a friend have not worked out favorably for him as yet. This boy who stepped out of the house in exuberance on the first day of school as if to conquer the world and make friends in a dash is still without a friend 3 months later. The other day he came up to me to ask “Is there a problem with me that I cannot make friends?”

You know how a mother’s heart works!

It broke my heart. I wouldn’t like him to believe not being able to make a friend is some sort of a problem.

He has taken to writing stories by blending reality and imagination together, with encouragement from his English teacher. And, while all of them are presently about his lonesome plays, the trouble he has been feeling gelling with other children or vice versa, I see a beginning here. A hope about written words being used for expression.

On the home front, we are keeping up with the Hindi syllabus of 2nd Std of India so that he doesn’t lag behind in Hindi when we return. In the last 2 and a half years, while I had been building a library of books, his father had been building a library of movies. So, while I have a long list of books for him to read or for me to read to him, his father has got a long list of movies which he (Dhruv) must watch. Thus, I realize what one loves is what one passes over to the next generation, be it books or movies as in our case.


I also realize in order to keep this blog alive with the limited amount of time I have in hand these days, I will be writing more of microblogs for example ‘what happened over the weekend? or about any conversation we had’ rather than long posts.

Linking this post with Monday Musings and Microblog Mondays

#Monday Musings

Microblog_Mondays

Hello Ms. Bespectacled Mother! #writebravely

“Hello!”
“My name is Chalukya. I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but I’ve been given your name as someone who can help me with wri…”.

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Me: “Er..er.. I am sorry Mr. Chalu kya you said you are famous but I have never heard your name before. What do you do?”

Mr. Chalu kya: “Umm…Ms. Bespectacled Mother, my name is Chalukya pronounced as Chaluk-ya and not as Chaalu-kya. I am an award-winning blogger in the Brainy category.”

Me: “Award-winning! I didn’t know there is also a Brainy category in the blogger awards. Probably, another niche. Anyways, how does it matter to me, I do not believe in awards not that I am not getting any, ever”. I talked to myself in hush hush tone covering the mouthpiece of the receiver.

Me: “Ok. Fine. Mr Chaluk-ya, how may I help you?”

Mr. Chaluk-ya: (To himself) She must be really funny to get my name correct in the first attempt after messing with it. This should go well.

Mr. Chaluk-ya: “I wanted your help with learning the tricks of the trade behind writing funny posts. You see, as brainy as I am, I decided to inject some variety in the form of fun posts on my blog and RaGa suggested me your name, this morning, citing your association with Balaka Basu who strongly recommended you for being an alien.”

Me: “Excuse me!”

Mr Chaluk-ya: “Hmmm…and also your quirky sense of humour.”

Me: “That’s better.” (Note for myself – never ever tumble out this secret of being an alien again to anyone. If I get famous this way, NASA might come to claim me.)

Me: “Before proceeding to help you, I will play a rapid fire round with you to test if you have it in you to be funny and how much work needs to be done with you. If your answer appeals to me, then I will say Green flag or else red flag. If you get 2 or more green flags, you will be eligible for my time. ”

Mr Chaluk-ya: “Okay Ms. Bespectacled Mother.”

Me: “Q1. Simplicty or Complexity?”

Mr. Chaluk-ya: “Complexity.”

Me: “Red Flag. Q2. Do you have a funnybo… Hello? Hello Mr. Chalukya? Are you there? Am I audible?”

Beep.

Beep.

Beep.

The mobile phone, which was lying not far, couldn’t help staying still.

I picked it up to see 37 unread messages. I opened the Apartment’s ladies WhatsApp group to see messages in a row – Damn BSNL! Damn! Damn!

The BSNL telephone lines had gone dead.


I am taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words June 2018 and this is my post for Day 5 in response to the quote prompt “Hello,” said the voice on the phone. “My name is __________. I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but I’ve been given your name as someone who can help me _______.” (Write a story that follows this line.)

What it is like conversing with a robot? #writebravely

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“Should I become an IT consultant?”

“Here are the matching images.”

“I didn’t ask for the images. I need to talk.”

“How may I help you?”

“Do you know who my Papa is? He is an IT consultant. Should I become an IT consultant like him?”

“Too many words. Please be specific.

“Do you know who my Papa is?”

“Here is a matching video.” 

“You and your images and videos. You know nothing. You are not helping. I am angry now.”

“I am sorry if you feel like that.” 

“Who are you?”

“I am your Google Assistant.”

“Dhruv, keep the phone down and go out to play football”, I called out to him. “Do you hear me?”

“Hey Google Assistant, should I become a footballer then?”

“Here is a matching video.”

“Argh…. show me something else.”

“Here is a matching quote.”

“You must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul.” – Ratatouille

“Coat? It is summer here. You know how hot it is here. The sun is burning. You want me to get burnt in the heat by wearing a coat. You know what fire is.”

“Too many words. Please be specific.”

“Dhroooov!”, I yelled out.

“I am going. I am going, Mummy. I have kept the phone down.”

Next moment –

“Hello, Mummy assistant. Do you know where my football is?”


This is not a real incident but my response to today’s prompt.

The inspiration for this post is the numerous everyday conversations between Dhruv and the Google Assistant. I am feeling spared these days but can’t say the same about Google Assistant which I am sure is feeling the heat of his questions. To my astonishment one evening, I heard it telling Dhruv “Stop, talking to me” and I couldn’t stop laughing. Is it even possible for a robot to give up?


I am taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words June 2018 and this is my post for Day 4 in response to the quote prompt  “You must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul.” – Ratatouille

 

 

 

The era of silent rebellion #writebravely

My father gave me three life rules to live by:

  1. Study hard and get a job.
  2. Learn to drive and become independent.
  3. Drop the romantic ideals and become practical. For example, make friends with those who can be of use in moving forward in life rather than based on their character’s qualities.

The first two were easy, but the third one proved difficult all because of a cheeseburger. Let me explain.

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I belong to the era when fathers used to be fearful dragon characters.

I was definitely one such fearful child. The moment Papa stepped into the house after work in the evening or at night, I would switch on my invisible interceptor to gauge the change in climatic conditions of the house. This change always happened in one direction from cool temperate climate to hot and stifling tropical climate and it happened often in any one particular week. This continued for 24 long years (with a minus of 1 year in between when I lived in a PG accommodation during graduation days in Delhi) until the time my parents sent me packing with my wedding. Imagine 24 years of fear – fear of his anger and fear of feeling humiliated.

It is now that I understand why he was like the way he was, why he reacted in the way he did. The reasons were many. With time and age, he has mellowed down. His high level of patience, playfulness, and involvement has made sure he has been the favourite grandparent out of all 4 for the past 7 years. Dhruv is 7.

However, back then, it was tough to understand him. There was no connect. I was always supposed to do as he said and I did, happily or unhappily. It was not a question of conservatism vs modernism but we were loggerheads on his practicality vs my idealism. He was not a bad father but there was little scope for democracy. Therefore, I took to rebelling every single time. And, thus my mother had to play the role of a communicator between us and also sometimes as an airbag for me. All his pieces of advice and diktats reached me through her.

So, while the first 2 of his life rules worked for me, the 3rd one did not because of a cheeseburger.

Cheeseburger? How?

In a way, the 3 of us were like a cheeseburger with Mummy being the cheese caught in between the 2 side buns, me and Papa. She drilled hard into my head, with her ironical skills of logic + melodrama, the importance of studying hard, getting a job and driving while she continued to let me rebel on the 3rd point for herself not seeing any novelty in it.

Hence, here I am blogging with my own ideals.

Uff…ye usool aur ye adarsh


I am taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words June 2018 and this is my post for Day 3 in response to the quote prompt Start your story with: “My father gave me three life rules to live by 1. (fill in the blank), 2. (fill in the blank) and 3. (fill in the blank). The first two were easy, but the third one proved difficult all because of a cheeseburger. Let me explain.”

10 not-so-brainy questions #writebravely

For Day 2, let us play a fun game.

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I will pretend to be a not-so-brainy Derek O’Brien and you pretend to be the quiz participants. I will ask you 10 silly questions and you are free to choose and answer at least 5. You can even answer more or all if you are not pressed for time.

So, let’s begin –

  1. Is this your first read of the day today or not?
  2. Feeling thoughtful or funny?
  3. Make-up look or Plain Jane?
  4. Face value or place value?
  5. Monday or Friday?
  6. Hills or beach?
  7. Creativity or copy-pasting?
  8. Sanskaari or not? (Your MIL’s word for you, please)
  9. Mommy blogger or simply a blogger?
  10. Blogging – a fun game or a serious business?
  11. Read my Day 1 post or planning to read now?

I am taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words June 2018 and this is my post for Day 2 in response to the quote prompt “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and—snap!—the job’s a game!” – Mary Poppins

Tumbling out my secrets #writebravely

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I love daily blogging challenges as long as they are 7 days long. It is fun switching from blogging once in 7 days to blogging 7 days in a row though I will tell you a secret it becomes quite a toil from the 3rd day onwards.

You may ask ‘Toil? Do I even know what it is?‘ Toil is A to Z challenge – reading and writing for 26 days in the month of April. Toil is bearing all the exhaustion and coming out with an eBook of your 26 posts after completing the A to Z challenge. Toil is to promote your eBook night and day on social media and in the real world to make sure no one, absolutely no one on your timeline, online or offline, misses out on your biggest achievement. Toil is then to keep a tab on who says what about your book baby in reviews. I have to tell you have convinced me what real toil is in the world of blogging challenges. I bow down to you.

Now, since I began with talking of my secret and that did not work for you, let me tell you a few personal ones. You see I am the best when I talk or rather write about myself. Continue reading