Thoughts on Mother’s Day

My timeline on Facebook is flooded with sentimental posts, pictures and quotes all celebrating motherhood. How does one define one’s relationship with one’s biological mother, or the mother who adopts us, or teachers who become mothers and guide us? It is very difficult to define this bond.

When a lady bears you in her womb, goes through hell to deliver you bearing a whole lot of pain; a part of her dies to bring you into this world. That umbilical cord that binds you to your mother is a special bond! In times gone by when adventures on the high seas and travelling by ship was the only way to discover new lands, umbilical cords were coveted among sailors as a lucky charm to keep them safe. Sailors believed that the cord would keep them safe, the cord was fashioned into a charm or amulet and worn by sailors!

There are some close people whom I know who share an angry relationship with their respective mothers, it is out of distrust and misunderstandings that snowballed into a rift boosted by the egos of the parties involved! I have had the task of setting alight the funeral pyres of distant cousins and family friends as the son/daughter in question was stuck abroad and could not make it to India in time for the last rites. I have had people breaking down to me over Skype and on the phone; cursing the very moment they chose to go abroad! I had a friend who said, “Mahesh amma oda pavizha-kallu padicha mookuthi irukkum da, adha mattum yaenakki anuppi vei da! I want it to keep reminding me that I let her down!” Incidents like these are many! There was the best friend of a time gone by who completely ended up a “penn-koandhan” toeing every line his wife said and ditched his mother in an old-age home; she died broken-hearted! The idiot just came and completed the last rites; when he lit her pyre that’s when he broke down completely! “Matchaan, thappu panitaen da, paeriya thappu panitaen, Meena pinnadi sithi ipidi vitutatenae yaen Amma va! Paava manippaey illai da yaenakku!”

It becomes a worry for me if my mother fails to answer the phone! Morning once I reach office, I call and confirm she is fine, evening once I step out of office I call her again. There have been times when she would be in a drug-induced sleep and would not answer the call, I would worry a hundred different things and keep calling every ten minutes till she would reply.

I have let go of many opportunities for her. There have been numerous wedding proposals that have come through! Without batting an eye-lid the girl’s parents would ask – “Amma va vittu thanni kuduthanam varanam thambi!” I would say – “Nadakaratha sollungo, ponnu ku vaera maapalai a paarungo saar!” Friendships that could have blossomed into something more concrete and and an actual love story; got cut short! Opportunities to go abroad have been sacrificed!

When an entire clan stood against us, asking us to give one more chance at redemption (after umpteen earlier chances), I firmly put my foot down and was in a way black-listed by a whole group of “well-meaning relatives”. We battle, every day, within and without, illnesses, medicines, food, cooking, choice of fruits to be offered to the Lord for prayers!

We battle every day with each other and others.. life goes on!

One wonders if it was all worth it??

All I want to tell you readers out there is – “Some battles are worth it and some battles are not worth it!” Don’t end up doing something that you will regret all your life. One day you will have to set your closest ones free! So cherish this moment with them!

Tomorrow may not come….

 

Fears and Prayers

Hospitals scare me,
For someone who,
Has spent a lot of time,
In hospitals being a patient,
And being patient and attending others,
Hospitals scare me!

There is a deep sense,
Of dread within me,
I cannot put a name,
Or an emotion,
To this morbid fear,
That haunts me.

I am in awe of doctors,
Learned women and men,
With their white coats,
Stethoscopes dangling down,
Nurses attired prim and proper,
Walking up and down!

I am not scared of injections,
Bitter medicines or surgeries,
It is just the realization,
That one by one,
All those who mattered to me,
Bid me goodbye in hospitals!

As Mum and I battle,
Ghosts from the past,
And the demons of the present,
I wake up in the middle,
Of the night, a cold sweat breaking out!
I walk up to the bed!

And look at Mum,
Lost in the drug-induced sleep,
And I see her rhythmic breathing,
And catch my breath,
Pinching myself to make sure,
Everything is fine.

I say a small prayer,
And lie down on the mattress,
On the floor, chanting an incantation,
Forcing myself to go to sleep again.
This continues every night.
At times, sleep evades me.

I just sit cross-legged,
Staring into space,
Looking at the night-lamp.
The inevitable is the truth,
Life is but a gift,
And death a chance for redemption.

As visions and dreams haunt me,
I just cannot seem to come to terms,
To the brutal truth,
That I will have to bid – “Good Bye”
I am scared that it will be yet another painful
Heart-wrenching visit to the hospital!

Dear God! My only prayer to you!
If such an event,
Is pre-destined and in my destiny,
Please be kind my Creator,
Let the end be painless and peaceful!
Prayers, prayers, prayers – My Lord!!

The Price of Stardom

The cinema industry is a heavily schizophrenic one. On one side we bend over backwards to celebrate our heroes though in real life they are rash drivers, drug addicts and serial womanisers. On the other the heroine is always looked as an object of desire, a spark that ignites a thousand fantasies.

The price that actresses pay, the casting couch, the sacrifice of privacy, the roving eyes and a crazy media that scrutinises every action. Eager asses that focus on cleavage rather than actual news. The tough ask of maintaining an hourglass figure, restrictions on diet, a 100 other things, what is the price of stardom.

Many actresses succumbed to pressure.

Silk Smitha who committed suicide,

Meena Kumari who died of a broken heart,

Madhubala who was chased by so many stars but died a bitter death.

The problems faced by National Award winner Shweta Basu

The list is long.

This post is a dedication to all those ladies who struggle and still create a meaningful life.

Amala Akinneni who supports the Blue Cross and helps in animal safety awareness.

Revathi and Rohini who work for health awareness in women.

I would like to salute these and many other stars who do a lot of good and noble acts but do not seek media exposure.

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus

Anamika Does Not Live Here Anymore!

Married away at 15,

Separated from her parents,

Brothers and sister and pushed,

Headlong into a life,

That she was thoroughly unprepared for.

 

Having just studied till Class Eight,

Never ever did she argue,

With her parents or elder brothers,

Hoping that they had found,

The right man for her.

 

Ah! How cruel can life be?

Joining a brood of individuals,

Who cared only about money,

And were polished parasites,

She suffered a lot.

 

Then a ray of hope arrived,

As her husband,

Received a posting far away,

And she joined him on a long journey.

A man who felt it below,

His dignity to attend social gatherings,

With his lawfully wedded wife,

Because she was a simpleton from a village.

 

She would adapt, living on her own,

Assisted by the friendly old neighbours,

As her husband went away on duty,

She would pick the nuances of an alien language,

And learn to survive in the harsh cold climate.

She would remain the emotional bond,

That would bind two,

Dysfunctional families together.

 

Over the years the man,

Would display a seriously disturbing,

Personality trait – where the devil,

Would awaken with the poison,

Alcohol going into him.

Mood swings, domestic violence and abuse,

Stealing money, lying and all the sins,

That the mind and body,

Could conceive – the man,

Finally turned into the Devil.

 

One fine day her saint-like,

Patience and perseverance broke.

She slapped him tight,

Leaving him in a daze,

Packed her bags,

Took her last remaining,

Un-pawned jewels and walked out.

 

Out of a crazy life,

That sapped her grace,

A monster who treated her,

Like a paltry rug,

To be trampled upon,

Family which never understood her.

She just walked out,

Into the gentle rain.

The rain brought hope,

Hope of a new beginning,

An independent life,

Where no one would,

Trample upon her,

Or take her for a ride.

Where she would be respected,

For who she was,

And not looked upon,

Like a mere commodity.

It was the beginning,

Of a new life,

A Better Tomorrow!

This is a tale of many a woman in this great country of ours. Domestic abuse and violence is a serious problem. For ages, women have remained tied to their abusive husbands just for the sake of their children. But now things are changing, courage, love and respect takes precedence and women are taking a stand. They are walking out of abusive marriages and relationships and starting life afresh. This poem is dedicated to every single woman – be it sister, mother, friend, or someone whom I have never met; who have chosen to respect themselves and move on! I salute your spirit!

Note: I am not adding anyone’s photo as this is dedicated to every woman in this country!

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus

A Bride for Meshu

Meshu went and registered his matrimony profile at Sringeri Madham after his mother threatened to throw out all his DVDs and books if he did not comply with her instructions. The reason why the threat was delayed is because of some inter-planetary transit of planets and stars that did not augur well for marriage for the last two years.

So Meshu registers the profile and secures the list of profiles of girls/women/ladies registered in the past two months at a nominal price of Rs 10 and proceeds home. His mother ensures that Meshu lists every name, star, gothra and poorvigham/nativity. Then Meshu filters out profiles by relevance with respect to date of birth. He does not believe in sub-sects and stars and all that jazz; but the astrologers need to earn their bread and other pesky relatives should not be given a chance to complain. Alas he finds that more than half the girls listed are of the same gothram and nakshatram so by default they are rejected. Another big percentage of girls are from a non-compliant star.

As the list keeps decreasing in size Meshu wonders if at least one compatible profile will be there.

Finally after a three-hour analysis; applying some of the best concepts learnt in MBA class and the law of averages and bell-curves and excel-filters. Meshu looks at the spreadsheet that he has created. Five names – aha! Five phone-numbers.

He proceeds to call each guardian/parent. In a matter of 30 minutes calls have been made to Pune, Indore, Salem, Bengaluru and Kolkatta. SS-Matri profile numbers have been provided by two guardians. Another parent strongly says; ‘you see thambi I expect at least Rs 80000 as your monthly salary’. Another guardian says send me an e-mail with all details. The last person says ‘naanga konjam busy – call later’.

So Meshu as the dutiful son as he is visits the SS-Matri website and keys in the ID-numbers given. He is shell-shocked at the consistent demand of a minimum monthly pay-package of Rs 75000; his hopes are dashed. Finally he sends an email to the guardian who asked him to send the email. One more email sent to another parent whose daughter had made reasonable demands on her SS-Matri profile.

Three days pass – Meshu is worried – not a single response yet.

This morning – on Amavasai day he receives an email with a horoscope and a picture and Meshu is in seventh heaven!!!!

Let us see what the stars have in store for Meshu. Will Meshu find a bride? Keep watching this space for more information!!!