Kanna Keep Calm!

This is really new for someone who is pretty chilled about most things, I JUST DO NOT FRET most of the times unless it is the Indian Cricket team on a overseas Test tour, I can take most things sitting easily, without batting an eyelid. I am maybe too lazy to ever fret even and yet, now that junior is 12 and has been wanting to go on a camping trip and is all set to leave today since yesterday although I am pretending to be pretty chilled out about it am having a million rats pouncing in my stomach.

 

Its such a downer on the wanting to be a chilled out relaxed and mature dad that I always wanted to be. As it turns out I am also leaving on a road trip to exactly where my son is going, although I have not told him the reason why I am going that side of the world. I mean I am not going to go see him or inquire about him or anything but it just feels like okay to be near by, if anything were to come upon, I should be able to reach there in a jiffy. I am about a two hour drive away from his campsite. I am quite sure nothing will come about and he wont even care to call me and will be having a whale of a time. I know of many parents who have sent even younger kids away on trips like this and seriously it is no big deal and yet this. I myself have always enjoyed going on picnics and school tours when I was in school and they have been the fondest memories of growing up and yet when you become a father I guess the whole idea churns up your belly.

 

As much as I should be chilled out and relaxed about it I am not, I am almost panicking inside without letting anyone know, thankfully I can atleast divulge the feelings here on the blog. I guess this is the part of parenthood where you start to learn to leave your young ones on their own in this world. As he grapples with taking care of his things, deciding on what to spend on, deciding on who are his real buddies and deciding what is it that he enjoys doing without any worrying mother or father around telling him what is safe and what is not and what is right and what is wrong.

 

He wanted to take a camera and a mobile with him, however much I myself wanted to give him a mobile, we have managed to come to a conclusion that he goes without any gadgets and just goes free and without any hassles of taking care of too many things. Its a marine camp and he is so excited about bathing in the sea and that in itself sends shivers down a worrying father who just cannot swim. I have actually been to this camp about 5 years before and know its pretty safe with the kids and everything, I wonder how do parents who don’t know anything about this camp will manage!

 

Phew this task of daddygiri is tough as they keep growing, I hope he teaches me the art of being a cool dad, the coaching has begun I guess!

 

Kanna Keep Calm is what he is probably telling me in this picture that I just came across looking at his photos and wondering how time flew and he has become so big!

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So the holidays end

 

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Finally the last weekend of the Diwali vacation is here, its been pretty eventful you know, a honeymoon trip, a long drive, a casino visited, unbelievable party invites, tonnes of food, no exercise, no alarms to wake me up, some more gluttony, weight gain (errr if all is well kahi nazar na lag jaaye isliye) and above all so much fun!

 

All that almost now wants me to fall into a routine for a bit, that is a huge change if you know me! I loathe, hate routines and yet, I actually dread when I see an invite for eating out! Its just been too much, maybe I need to keep myself to the ‘Gareeb Khichdi’ and humble ‘Curd Rice’ for a week to be able to want to actually eat out again. For a change I think this Monday will be welcome! 🙂 Thats what holidays, vacations do to you! Gear you up! Don’t they?

 

Plus the evil fact that I have a tiger safari planned and booked for next month is added incentive, if only life came with a fast forward button I say! 😀 😀 😀 :mrgreen:

 

The journey must go on…

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“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ― St. Augustine.

This has always been one of my most favourite quotes that I have ever read more so I just keep telling everyone about this, that has to be the essence of my life. I want to continue reading this never ending book. If I can keep moving about and keep discovering new places, stories, people, cuisines all the time I will be most satisfied. The restlessness that dawns upon me when I am not moving about for a long stretch of time has begun to wear me down at times. I have reached a space where I just cannot stay put and I must keep moving.

Yes, in this real world, you have to explain everyone why do you need to keep doing this? Wasn’t one vacation in 6 months enough? or a holiday once in 2 years pretty okay?? You are taking a trip every month now!! Hell, how does it matter? Whom am I bothering? Yet everyone around me, day and night, friend and relative, intentionally or unintentionally wants a justification. What I have learnt over a period of time is to not let it bother and keep justifying, keep going, keep moving and not let up!

So let another day come and let another trip be planned, let the gypsy in me be alive, let it keep wishing for more and more travel.

Tee hee…

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A group of children were curious on seeing us cyclists rriding in their village first up on monday morning. Some of them chased us and even rode our bikes when we stopped at the ghat to take some pictures of the river.

This lil girl was all tee hee on seeing her friends ride our cycles. I managed to capture a bit of her. 😀

Sleeping in the open

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This is a picture of the three puppies that had strayed to our home a couple of weeks back, whilst we fed them and threw a blanket in the compound for them to help them find some warmth, they found more warmth in snuggling into one another.

Sleeping outside in this weather in the winter is something all of us really dread. Some others also slept whole night outside yesterday in our capital, wonder if that was the only way to get what they wanted to be done. Perhaps, the ways to get things done could be debated, not the intentions. I was very distressed and disturbed yesterday, not in full agreement, for a long time these folks have given me hope and I really want to hope they can take one step back, reconsider, regather, refocus and explore all other alternatives a little more.

Manmauji Salad!

DSC_0011 You come home with your kite flying plan on Baasi Uttrayan (day after uttrayan) kinda fizzling out, with almost no work and wifey and junior still to return from school and then again the Stay At Home Dad in you suddenly awakens. After eating out for so many days and hogging everywhere the plan for lunch today was a brown bread sandwich. But since wifey comes at 2.30pm and it was still 1 am I thought let me change the plan a little bit and so I started looking up the refrigerator.

I took half a carrot, one small onion, one big boiled potato, half a capsicum, two small tomatoes ignoring the cabbage and the cucumber. Quietly I sat on the dining table to chop them, chopping I surely must tell you is therapeutic for me. It calms me down, it suddenly makes me all the more patient and yes makes me understand why so many people actually enjoy cooking. Especially when done once in a while, cooking surely is a joy! 🙂 🙂

So I chopped the onion and the carrot first and put them in salt, jeera and lemon to stay for a while, whilst I cut all other veggies. DSC_0020
Eventually I mixed them up and then I looked for some dressing, a chilly sauce which I spotted was tilted in it for a lil portion, a bit of ketchup, a bit of green chutney that was there in the freeze, a bit of ginger and garlic paste and loads of coriander leaves were all mixed up. Somehow I felt something was still missing and had to be added. I was wondering if I should toast a break and put in small pieces of bread or some Khakhra when whilst I was looking about in the kitchen I spotted a few peanuts! 😀 😀 😀

So whilst all this was done, I also had time to click pictures of it and now its ready to be served to wifey as soon as she returns home! 😀 😀 😀 😀

psst… I tasted a bit and it tastes wonderful, since I just made the recipe out of my whims I will call it a Manmauji Salad! 😀 :mrgreen:

Lo… Behold! :mrgreen:

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One more! 😀 😀 😀 😀
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Be happy…!

Just whilst discussing a few things with my friend Jay, we kept talking about a friend of ours whose dad has a huge factory and is now looking to retire handing over the business to his son. However, that friend of mine, perhaps has never grown, always and never having to look for survival or worry about money he always had fun in life. He is crazy about car’s and would rather open a garage then run a chemical factory. However, his dad who is a self made guy who worked his ass off from living in his brother’s house to building a huge empire and a lot of fortune is a dominant guy and always wanted his son to study, take science stream and perhaps ensure his business would flourish even further. I guess he always thought, my son has a start that I did not have. But alas! Like so many times, his son is least interested in his business, however, thanks to a lot of conditioning he sits in his factory, being forced by wife and dad to be more responsible, grow up in life and take charge.

This I and Jay reckoned is the state of a lot of people in life. I don’t know really, whether its our upbringing to blame. Maybe we who come from people who became parent’s in the 70’s and those who always thought that standing up on your feet, earning and prospering was the way to get ahead in life. That life meant being successful in your career’s.

Did really our parent’s ever tell us, Son/Daughter no matter what you do, lot of money or less money, make sure you know where your heart is, make sure you are happy. Were we all not bred to be horses racing all along in life??

Study now then you can enjoy, its 10th! Then it was 12th! then it was college! then it was to get married then it was to earn money. Somehow during these years a lot of minds are groomed and a lot of psyche’s are toned to being in work.

Somehow, I feel a lot of parents need to pass on this message alongside the be successful in your career message. Be happy in life son, identify what you want to do and go about it. Work, slog but don’t forget to live your life. After all life is not about the bank balance or the three flats you invested in, its about that trek in the hills that leaves you panting, that dip in the river water that has you scared to shit and excited like mad! Its more the adrenalin rush you feel when you go whee-ing in that speed boat in the sea or the feel of calm walking on the beach with your loved one! Its in spotting that elusive wild cat or maybe helping a needy kid and watching his smile upon you touching their life! It is in travelling to a new land and meeting new people and eating that unthinkable dish! 😀 😀

Human’s sure have carved out a world that’s tricky I tell ya, yes, our kids need 20-25 years to just be independent, wonder if we evolved or that fawn who has to survive in hours after it’s birth. Quite a few points to ponder and I guess you must be getting late for work reading this post.

But my friend admist all the hullabaloo in life stop for a second, think, and yes, try to be Happy for once 😀

Shakti in our lives

She came into the family as a 4th child after 11 months in the womb, born in August a year after the independence, a child not planned, her eldest sister was married by the time she arrived, two brothers, the youngest being 11 years older to her. Due to late birth she was born with a deformity, one hand short that got entangled in the intestines in her mother’s womb.

It was in 1948, her birth year her dad started a business which went on to become so successful that in those days they became the richest in their town.

Her parents didn’t want her to continue college after school but the eldest brother, a bit of a rebel fought the family and got her into college in nearby city and even an admission in hostel.

In her days in college is when she realized her true self,  that she existed, that she had a life. Not only did she complete her graduation but also got a B.ed degree to make her the first double graduate of the business minded gujarati family.

When she graduated, this girl, daughter of a multi millionaire family had to be married off, she didn’t want to marry but when the eldest brother talked her into it she agreed.

She knew since she didn’t have a hand, an alliance wasn’t going to come so soon and if it would come it would be because of her family’s financial status and not her. Still it was this brother who fought for her, she felt she had to listen to him. The younger brother wanted her to not marry but the elder brother too strong, too dominant and too much respected wanted her to.

She did have a few emotions for a couple of guys in college but her handicap would ensure she would never feel comfortable or at ease with them.

Alliance and alliance would go by nothing would work because of her deformity. She was sure she wouldn’t marry someone who was marrying her for her money or family status. Eventually my dad, a diploma holder in commercial art and a relatively very poor man who literally lived in a hut agreed. He was impressed by her snooty attitude that mom used to put on to put off guys. Eventually Mom realized he was too poor to take care of her.

When she questioned it was told that her parents would buy her a flat, everything she needed and dad would be helped. He was a young commercial designer from a big city college, qualified but poor.

Eventually the marriage took place; the flat was bought for them in a suburb near to the eldest brother’s house far from where dad lived. Despite dad not wanting it they wanted to protect the sister from dad’s 2 younger brothers who were also in the same poor boat, qualified but poor they would use the house if they stayed in the same vicinity.

Soon they had a son, although the mother and the father both had longed for a girl even thought of a name of a girl, it was a boy they would have to make do with. Another set of twin boy’s tip-toed in their life thanks to their aspirations of a daughter!!!

For a while things were ok. Her mother in law was a very good lady however she didn’t like the idea of staying with the son in his wife’s house so often would go back to the hut of the two younger brothers of Dad. Dad was mighty attached with his mom and he didn’t like this. This all was affecting him slowly. Dad separated from his friends, who would also taunt him about marrying a very rich girl, about toeing her.

All this humiliation was tough on him. He couldn’t work, couldn’t identify, would fight with mom, got violent a couple of times, left the eldest kid at a bus-stop in a big city, miraculously he was found. He was even sent to a mental asylum where he was given electric shocks too, eventually he was diagnosed with mental depression and Schizophrenia.

It was at this stage a relative, an uncle of mum, told her to get out of the big city, away from the relatives, the eldest brother agreed. She with three kids in a week’s time when she was not sure what to do and what not she left for a small town for a job in a hostel run by that uncle for the girls of their community.

She went away, her husband not knowing where the kids and his wife were. For four years she lived in tatters although the girls in the hostel were to become her best friends. She always though, was not sure what was happening. Finally one day, Dad found her out and came to meet us. This was when the youngest of us three brothers just spelt out, Mom can’t we all stay together?? I cursed my brother for that because I hated Dad and felt sorry for Mom. Eventually Dad would again lose it. But Mom somehow gathered the courage and put her foot down for the first time over her elder brother and told him that Dad was staying with us. She herself also had encountered a few males trying to get friendly with this woman who had no husband around. She decided to go back to her home town where no one knew of our past, about dad’s past most importantly. She thought she could revive everything.

Once in the small town she sold her big city flat in Mumbai’s posh locality  and built a bungalow where we still live. Probably living 4 years away from the influence of relatives had made her think, independently at that. This time she was clear in her mind. She started tuitions as she didn’t want to leave the house to dad. She stayed home, did tuitions from 7 in the morning at our house to 11, cooked and would again get back to tuitions from 2 to 7 in the evening again cook. The three kids would keep eating piles of rotis and this lady with one hand would cook and make rotis for everyone including her husband. Also taking up the responsibility of earning and providing education to us three kids and setting us up for our lives.

Dad mellowed down but was never able to work. He would assist in the kitchen and in the tuitions but he would have a spell or too when he would lose once in a while in a year or so. Eventually the three sons graduated, Mom exhausted all her savings of the flat of big city in raising these kids. In the nick of time I started contributing and so followed the two little ones a few years later. Life today is a lot better, with Dad almost having a bad spell once in 4-5 years. Mom is happy that her three kids have all settled and married and more importantly are able to stand on their own feet and did not become like their Dad, her biggest fear of life.

Our mother raised us with little support from a dad who was suffering mental depression. In a way it proved to be a blessing in disguise, I guess. We realized that mom was by no means a lady inferior to men; she earned all her life and raised three unbelievably mischievous kids alone almost. If this wouldn’t teach me that a woman is equal to a man I don’t know what would.

In my life there is no great hero. I have the greatest heroine, it is my Mom. For us three kids it was always Mom and nobody else. When my son was born, I told mom, that she would perhaps have to wait a little longer for a granddaughter, my Mom shrugged it off saying we 3 brothers have already given her 3 daughters and she is as satisfied as she ever could be.

Mom early in the morning preparing notes for kids whom she teaches

Mom early in the morning preparing notes for kids whom she teaches

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Had earlier posted this on No Gender Inequality Blog under anonymity, somehow I now don’t think I need to keep this story anonymous anymore. This post is submitted under the theme Overcoming Adversities in a contest to get published on Richa’s blog.