Tag Archives: blog

Redefining Motherhood: ME and My Son

eimg_2351

“We all live with the objective of being happy;

Our lives are all different and yet the same.”
-Anne Frank.

These were the most painful days, when in the deafening hush of the classroom, with everyone gone I would think over if all these restless and anxious nights, all the rush and haste someday would be worth it or not.
I think about all those years back in school. Growing up dreaming from one corner of my classroom, just a Nobody doubting whether she would ever make it to the other side of that room ever. And then I think of myself Today, still wondering the same.

… so there he was running towards me,
in my college today as I could see,
pulling me out of my trance a starry eyed Dreamer just like me,
with words as delightful as none could be,
“Mumma, how was Class today??”, said he.

And my heart wrapped up all the angsts and fears as if they never occurred and, I smile.
Perhaps I feel both of us will figure this out together as we grow what seems very vague today, Me and my Son.

Having him in my life was not an accident or a slipup, it was the Choice I made, We made!. I wanted to be a Mother and trust me you don’t Never learn it from anywhere, it comes naturally to every woman. So, the day I held him in my arms I made a silent promise to him that I may not know to cook good food ever, and may never knit you a wool cap, and may never ever be the ideal definition of a Mother. But, I will make sure I be someone you will love growing up with, I will never stop chasing my dreams and teach you to race for yours, I will show you that Shooting for the Stars is not just a phrase, that from this day onwards I will do rather Live everything but by holding your hand till my last breath.
I have always dreaded leaving myself somewhere behind in the passage of being a Daughter, Wife, and most importantly a Mother. When they said Motherhood is a full time job and  that I would have to make my choices. I decided to reform my characterisation for the same, I thought it was not my JOB and  as a matter of fact It cannot be any one-body’s job but it is an intrinsic part of us women that comes to us as natural as breathing, it is one of the roles we play like several other, Its just we play this one a little more peerlessly!

So, I made my choice.
The society sets hegemonic structures for everyone. The term Hegemony refers to the controlling social and cultural ideologies. These structures are ruling since forever predefining notions on how things are to be done by all and sundry. When in a small town, they have an imperative role to play. The society needs to validate your undertakings at every step be it being a fair petite feminine girl, or a sturdy masculine boy, marriage at 20 something, having children before being labelled childless, have one then another till you think of yourself as no one else but, only a Mother.

img_2340

So, instead of living obligatorily when you choose yourself over social standards you tend to become apprehensive, you fear let-downs. It is not easy but then no one said it would be, I may fail terribly or I may reach my purpose but I will learn and so will he, Me and my Son.
One can never know that you can swim too unless you are left with no choice but, Swim. I never knew what I wanted from life until very late. It took me thirty years to apprehend my abilities and make my passion for the same to assert the presence of my insignificant self in this universe. Motherhood never stopped me it only elicited my sense of self, and I embarked on this journey to self-discovery. It never should be an end to yourself rather a new beginning for now you have your little infallible Hope gripping your fingers and looking up to you.
I made my choice long back holding his hand and I am living my dream and I will make it become our reality, hoping that someday he will know that no structure or defined boundaries can stop you from getting what you want if you passionately conspire with universe and frame your own destiny. You may fall but you will learn with absolutely no regrets.
So, here I am almost breathless as I reach just on time to college (my everyday goal read struggle) for the morning lecture as a Research scholar after dropping our son to his school.
And, I have never felt this alive before!

 Meghna.

Keeping up with ‘the baby’

arhaan

I have been trying to write for the past month. Dissatisfied with whatever I penned down, I realised there is nothing that can describe what I feel at the moment. Every day I would think, “let me type something, something that would describe my emotions”; but each day is a new day. New feelings, new things, new topics to learn. In the midst of this how this little boy is growing up is unbelievable.

The crazy life of motherhood has finally dawned upon me! Ironically, a wonderfully weird feeling is what I have. It is something no mother or parent can describe for I haven’t loved anyone like I love this little boy. This love overpowers any other love that I’ve ever had for anyone. Apologies to past boyfriends, husband and even parents coz’ this is something else altogether. He came, with a little difficultly, enamoured everyone around and now sits collecting love from one and all. And why not? First of many and undivided attention from all. 

Undivided attention and more- it gets too much sometimes. For quite a while I felt that everyone was obsessing over him, so was I. I am a possessive mother and probably will be. I wanted him to be around me every second of the clock. There were those kind of days as well when I would just sit and stare at him, teary-eyed and think, “what the hell what I thinking? I could’ve waited for a little longer”. Thoughts like these are normal I guess. The initial days are blurry with the highest and lowest of emotions I have ever experienced. This was Month 1 and I felt as if I knew it all. However, I still get crazed out when I get 10 different notions on the same subject.

But you know every mother and child is different. What suited you may not suit me and vice versa. The journey of motherhood is for you and your baby. Discover, falter and you will learn. Every mother does and that is what makes it so beautiful. On the way you will develop a sixth sense that will tell you what the baby wants at different hours of the day. In the first two-three days that I was back from hospital, I had major issues with breastfeeding (by the way, breastfeeding can become a matter of concern with mums who underwent caesarean surgeries). I was one of them and Arhaan, my son, was losing weight (note, he was born underweight). I was the culprit, wasn’t I? I felt it so. Guilty as charged. In hindsight, the fault is no ones. But I did fret over it for we take it as our sole duty to feed our children, provide them with the best nourishment. It has not worked the way I had planned it in my head- breastfeed for atleast six months, lose weight (as apparently breastfeeding makes you get back to shape), and freeze any excess that I could produce, blah blah. I have friends who were lucky to be able to follow this step by step. With all hearsay and the confidence that I had in myself, I had bought the milk freezing packs which obviously I had to return. No such luck here!img_0894-copy

So we had to turn to formula milk which my baby loves. But hey, there is nothing wrong with this alternative. So many grew up taking this option in hand. Don’t let this feeling defeat your strength and take the essence of motherhood out of you. The problem becomes when breastfeeding becomes a chore and you can’t wait to get past the crucial 6 weeks to get out of it. Go with the flow, obviously giving feeding from the breast priority. However, do not forget that there is a second option to turn to. It is absolutely okay to do so. A new mother’s peace of mind is of utmost importance. I can say this as it whacked me out emotionally till good guidance calmed my nerves down, only for the better. Slowly but surely, pace picks up and you can always come back to breastfeeding when you can comfortably. 

 But you know what crazed me out further? One question that people take the liberty to ask- “Are you breastfeeding? I hope you are”, or “Try this food, or that laddoo, or this seed or that leaves”. Literally, a milking cow is what I felt like; chewing on some leafy greens only to produce ‘the milk’. I didn’t take this very well. Especially when I was not able to breastfeed the way a mother is supposed to. I don’t see why someone needs to push themselves into a space that I’ve made quite comfortable for both my baby and me. Women new to motherhood need someone to lend a soothing ear and words so they don’t feel lost in the process. Women, on one another, can become very overbearing at times. With such vicissitudes raging in a woman, peer pressure can act catalyst to onset of post natal depression. Be careful in how you deal with a new mum. I was on the brink of turning into a witchier witch. Turning towards a hands-on mother in law, caring mother and supportive husband helped.

Month 2: And so my baby is not exclusively breastfed, but is breastfed. So peace was established here. I am calmer, we are in a routine* and he’s growing up quickly right in front of my eyes. Because there were a lot of people around me, post natal depression was best avoided. Keep family and friends close and don’t shy away from asking for help. Having your own mother around, there couldn’t be anything better than that. Fortunately, I had that luxury. No complains there. A new chapter in life has just begun and (touching all wood around me) it’s safe to say that I’m enjoying being a mother. For now, aim is to lose weight, get back to work, see Arhaan grow and exchange unconditional love! I have found a new best friend who responds to me in his own language (funny enough, I think I can understand what he says). He recognises me and I can see the love right there. We’re keeping up with each other and the madness awaits!

 Aastha K S

*conditions apply

On Genderizing: through a mother’s lens.

My midnight musings got me scribble in Pink & Blue tonight. Talking about Pink, I still have to watch the Shoojit Sircar masterwork. The youth-centric film has created much of an uproar amongst all and moreover with such felicitous reviews I feel it is something not to be missed on.  Howbeit we are living in the Times of Intolerance,  we explicitly express  our restiveness towards anything or everything trying to intrude in our fictive perfect world. Violence and war reminds me of my ‘Pink’ friend who is fighting for our country in such pivotal times today. By referring to her as  my Pink friend, I imply that she too was ‘Genderized’ when young like the majority of us, that even her childhood encircled around those pinks , satins and  fair-skinned dolls. But she chose to stand against all the odds, she broke the norms and picked to play with cannons instead so that we all could sleep in peace every night.

I am a Mother & a Scholar of Arts with keen interest in Gender studies. I must confess that my endeavours to learn more about humanity has left the mother in me weak-kneed and distressed. It is indeed difficult and quite challenging a job to bring  the children up in this age of too much information and where technology is at their finger tips.What can I do to not raise another child that would not treat the inhabiters of its own society differently, that he/she would think beyond the binaries that form the base of our social construct. Owing to what the current situation is, this needs to end someday. Blacks of-course wouldn’t want to be looked down with disgust always, Women do not want to be forever stared like they come from some alien la-la land & Men can’t take the blame game perpetually. Beginning from ‘kya hua ladka ya ladki???  to ‘sex toh bta doh??’, ‘ acha gender kya hai??’ the forever curious Rishteydaars need to fore mostly get their terminology corrected that ‘Sex’ refers to the biological difference while Gender ‘…toh as usual aap decide kareinge!’ i.e. it is a social construct. We do the social packaging or the “Gendering” of an individual, drape them in Pink or Blue right from the time that they take birth. That is how most of the time we end up raising a tough, athletic Blue & a petite, benevolent Pink.

C87A6427.JPG
Blue Boy Badge vs Pink Girl Badge!!

I have  to admit being one overtly possessive mother. I just could not help being scared to let him be,  to let him go out in this big dark scary world with all its good and bad. So much so that it took quite a while to realise that my son was not a part of my body but rather an extension of myself, an individual who will have his own likes and dislikes, his own aspirations and dreams, he will live them and yes he will definitely not live my incomplete ones. He is here for himself and for this world, he is not my bank asset that I intend on cashing once I am old. I don’t want to raise my Buddhape ki lathi but an individual independent enough to take his own decisions, to make his own mistakes, fall because falling ain’t bad, learn from them & be everything he wants to irrespective of the colour he was assigned when still in the cradle.

IMG_9512.jpgPhoto from 03-Sep-2016.jpg

 I feel as a parent in these high tech times their is a dire need that we be the light in our little ones life by teaching them both- ‘the Good and the Bad’.  It has been four years with him, he is learning and is out and about in this race already. Today while i was busy in my daily chores my son comes running to me demanding a kitchen set and a doll house and I am super ecstatic to buy the same for him and relive my childhood memories and we do play all afternoon, he tried to make round chapatis (i still try in vain at those). I secretly feel proud  that maybe I am doing a good job as a parent. Maybe I am not adding another shade of Blue to the already gendered section, maybe one day instead of ordering someone he’d rather cook for himself. So tomorrow if I buy guns & cars for my daughter I am secretly hinting her that “Girl, go for it…speed up, shout if you are not heard, fight back,  learn to deny..”  Maybe i am just widening their horizons, showing them that Pink and Blue are just colours of the palette. You’d rather be a Rainbow after this storm.

 Meghna.

Motherhood dare- I accept!

Almost 8 months ago when I found out that I was expecting, I was shattered. I remember I tested myself with a home pregnancy kit because I was a day late for my period. I always used to keep these testers handy with me. I had experienced many false alarms but every time I just knew that I couldn’t have conceived. It’s just one of those things that are close to you and you know when and where things could’ve gone wrong. However this time, I knew there was a possibility to have knowingly made this oversight.

image1

It was a Saturday evening and I was expecting friends over for dinner. After all that garlicky cooking, I decided to head in for a shower at about 5.30 in the evening, as they were expected to be home by 7.30. I took a tester, did the needful and patiently waited for the result. I was always used to see it say ‘Not Pregnant’ and somehow I hallucinated to see the same. But no, that blue and white stick flashed ‘Pregnant, 2-3 weeks’! I sat there, numb, tears rolling down my cheeks and I had no idea how to react. Was I happy or was I crying on my stupidity, I don’t know. On that day, sitting in the vicinity of the four walls of my bathroom, the only thought that kept flashing through was how could one night of irresponsibility lead to a lifetime of responsibility.

But that was then, and this is now. Each day leading to this was a struggle. I was not the easiest pregnant woman to deal or live with. Emotions ran high, sometimes situations were not in my favour and most of the times I didn’t want to be around anyone. My body changed, nothing fitted me. I wasn’t my toned self anymore. I feared my husband would start hating me and the way I looked. I mean, there was a phase when I was convinced that he had no physical interest in me. But again, that was then and this is now.

Every phase and chapter of life is important and it chooses to come at the right time. We cannot ever question its timing, only feel it. I felt a sense of power which only a woman can feel; that was the day I felt my baby kick. I am bearing a child, giving him space to be nurtured and this can only be felt by me. Women who haven’t been through this yet would feel I am talking exactly how other to-be mothers do. I probably am. Because no matter how much I write, no one can understand this until you go through it yourself.

image2

I am not a mother yet and to be honest, I am scared to actually be one. But this time, this will never come back. My baby’s kicks, hiccups, turns and somersaults, his/her growth, that feeling of feeling it grow is unbelievable. Nature and a woman’s body is designed to naturally take this pain in a beautiful manner. It’s amazing how superpowers above have actually taken care of the minutest of detail in crafting this immaculate evolution/ mechanism, whatever you want to call it.

I wanted to travel the world and achieve the heights of success I had planned for myself. For now, all this is on hold but not forgotten. Life doesn’t stop here, we don’t stop living for ourselves. And this little one inside me will be my source of strength and power. I can’t wait to the unconditional love and cutie cute cuddles which would be solely for me. I can’t wait to see what you have inherited from me. I can’t wait for you to shine and bring tears to my eyes. Little one, I can’t wait to see you.

 

Aastha K Singhania

Social Obligations

‘Confessions of a socially obligated fool’

reserve-social-room

 

How many of us here have felt we have been socially obligated to do something we didn’t want to at the time? You? Me? Our parents? Grandparents? Well, it’s a thing of the past. So many times we’ve heard our mothers come into our rooms on a Friday evening, informing you of her plans and how you are included in them. All this when you have already decided to chill the hell out after an exhausting week; probably order a pizza, a glass of wine and a RomCom. Try getting out of it and you’ll hear “jaana padega, acha nahi lagta“. Kisko? Dude, who cares? You do go but only to find out that your presence or no didn’t really matter. You decided never to give in to your mum’s demands then. Think now. How many times did you repeat the same mistake you swore you would never repeat. Why? Social Obligation.

What all have we done to be our social best! Had the best pictures on social networking sites (deleted the bad ones IMMEDIATELY when someone tagged us), never dressed inappropriately (I mean, if people still commented on the attire, there is nothing more I can say), made sure no one knew who my boyfriend was at the age of 18 (it was a social tabboo to agree when people asked you, “are you going out with so and so?”) even when the whole town knew what you were hiding. I mean, come on! Today, it’s all about attending each others gatherings, side cheek kisses and putting those photos up on Instagram and Facebook and before I forget, the ‘Western influenced’ attires!

Well this culture is the same in this part of the world as well. London is no different. Only difference, social obligation has joined hands with the power of money here. You got the red notes with the Queen imprinted on it, you will have the whose who knocking at your door to happily socialise and not feel obligated at all. You don’t have it, consider yourself lucky to keeping away from the fake cream of London. Daughter in-law’s social obligations are way higher than a daughter’s, but that is a discussion for next time.

PDA makes everyone happy. Period. But here the question arises, ‘kiss kiss ko pyaar karoon? Aur agar karoon, toh sabko kaise Facebook pe izhaar karun?’! So one day I decided to stop, ‘kissi ko mat kar yaar’. Hence reduced mental pressure. I admit over the years having done things just because it was obligatory for me, especially on social media. Ageing away and pleasing people? Tagging, wishing, write-ups just for the heck of it. For a few, my heart spoke out and for few only my mind did the needful. When you become socially indentured to do things you don’t want to, you become wish paralysed. NO MORE NOW.

So, my running year resolutes to dealing with it in a better way. I mean I am thirty (well almost) and Aastha is approaching thirty in a few years! ‘Ab nahi toh kab’? Finally, have decided to entertain my bucket list of dreams this time. Pleasing myself so that my carefree radiant life can unfurl the same happiness to the ones around me and not momentary smiles leaving my heart in shreds. Not ‘socially obligated’, ANYMORE!

Introducing, Candidly Caught!

You light up my overcast,
& keep the figments of that fondness in your heart,
While my Dreams  unlax on your homespun sheet
Wontedly I pour out & sleep,
& I wish if in this dead of night,
How I wish You were presence with essence & life,
And then agilely I wish again this could not be true,
I’d live pining for my onliest partner my unshared lifeless you,
I scribble you blue & fill you up with me,
Tried & true Your faith as sturdy as it can be,
Never you think things through ,
Dear diary, I confess of revelling in the intimacy I share with you.
The out-cold one who holds on the fierce waves of my ocean,
I reckon on no other, but you.

Life is a bitch. No, I am not going to put my ‘b’ word in asterix. Life is a fucking bitch. There, I said it! It is not easy to put out what you think and feel. More than half of us never do. And those who do are either columnists or writers who are always under ‘the’ scanner. We generally tend to keep it as a dialogue between our mind, conscience and heart, letting either of them win over to make the decisions we make. We don’t express our natural self, which is the biggest shame for a human like you and me. And why? We feel we get judged by many- society, family, sometimes your own husband/partner. And so the mind tells us to sometimes keep shut, for the best.

That makes me come to the point about why we are here? Well, Meghna and I come from a similar background and family structure. So much so that, we feel we are on the same boat as far as family life, social obligations and deep-rooted visions and feelings are concerned even when we live in different parts of the world. We thought, it would be interesting to mould the two worlds together which run on the same background. Eventually we then thought of creating a platform for people to come forward and share whatever is in their heart, assuming we are your closed diaries, which you always wished to come to life and never judged a single word of what you wrote in it. It takes a lot of courage to pick up a pen or type on your keyboard and pour your good or bad self out. We have gathered ours and are here to give you strength to come out.

Simply, what happens when one day you might want your diary/conscience to come alive because you had so much you wanted to share. But then that fear stopped you and you wished that never happens because your dark secrets, desires might get you judged by the most important people in your world.You maybe as transparent as water to your spouses/best friends but there is always a corner in your heart which no one knows about whilst you harbour it with deep care. And so we wanted to create this space as an answer to all your inner frustrations. You’re free to write ‘anonymously’ till whenever you feel comfortable to bring your real self out. You can comment, blabber, scream, shout, give one-liners, 2 paragraphs, 2 pages, we don’t care.

The ‘Candidly Caught’ is to bring the candid you out. Here, we talk about everything under the sun; from dreams to destinations, from travel to test of life, from recipes to fashion trends, from your winnings to the lessons learnt, practically, everything! You can agree to disagree, and engage in a healthy discussion, giving way to restoring freedom of speech, which seems to have been lost in our country.We would love to hear from you, offer solutions and sometimes probably just cry with you with similar situations.

Lets begin this happy healthy journey, which we hope will be full of laughter, decisions, solutions and secrets! Watch this space for more.

Yours lovingly,

Meghna and Aastha

P.S We are reachable at candidlycaught@gmail.com, Facebook page: Candidly Caught and of course at the blog. We should be available for live chat soon. But till then…