Thursday, January 30, 2014

You know it when you see it

I felt like eating pasta the other day so I went to QFC to buy some tortellini. As I was shopping in the pasta aisle I saw a father and son duo. They were communicating with each other without talking and from what I could tell they were really enjoying their conversation. So much so that it made me want to be a part of their conversation. There I was standing on the side, looking through the corner of my eye, secretly wanting to get their attention and have them say to me “Hey, come and join us in this conversation.” The Dad was taking different kinds of cheese and showing those to the son and seeing his son’s reaction whether that particular cheese made the son happy or not-so-happy. In fact it reminded me of something called ‘jugalbandi’, a concept in Indian classical music. I know nothing about Indian classical music but I have witnessed jugalbandi between two maestros. It is a form of musical conversation between two artists or musicians in which the two artists play with each other, one after the other. They take cues about the next note from the facial & musical expression of the other artist. It is one of the most expressive forms of communication between two people. The conversation between this Dad and his son seemed like a silent-jugalbandi. The Dad had his eyes firmly planted on his son’s face, watching his son’s every eyebrow, jaw, cheeks motion to read what he was saying. The intensity in the Dad’s eyes was rock solid and transferred warmth, play and so much love. They were like cool kids in school and I was meekly witnessing their coolness. As it so happened, the son in this case was in a wheel-chair and the dad was working on his physical and occupational therapy by letting the son hold string cheese, which works your fine motor skills, and the shopping cart right in front of his wheel-chair, which works on your fingers forming a grip. I took a mental note of these ideas to work on Sammy’s fine motor skills in our everyday chores. Anyway, before I could think of a way to join their silent conversation, the Dad dragged the shopping cart forward to the next aisle, while the son was tightly holding onto the cart and therefore moving along with the Dad. In that two minute window I saw so much, but most importantly I saw a very proud father and an extremely loved son.

On a somewhat different note, I came across this video on someone’s blog.

I bawled my eyes out the first time I watched this video. The second time I watched it, I was giggling at the sister’s reaction, especially when the brother started crying. She had this funny expression of “I love you too, weirdo!”

Be it the Dad in the grocery store, or the brother in this video - I think such pure unconditional love is cool. And you know it when you see it.
This brother sister interaction reminded me of something that Siddharth and I found really amusing the other day. Samaira and Rehan were sitting facing each other and Rehan was playing with a plastic ring.
Samaira snatched the ring from Rehan and said “mine.”
Rehan started crying and tried to snatch it back from Samaira. After a couple of tries he was successful.
Samaira took it back from Rehan and insisted “noooo, mine.”
Rehan took it back from Samaira. Again.
This happened for a few times, until Samaira decided it was time for her to play with the train.
While Siddharth and I were witnessing this classic sibling behavior, we couldn’t help but giggle, and honestly feel somewhat proud. I know!! Proud is a strange word to use here. But the normalcy of this behavior between a brother and sister made me feel really proud. Go figure! I know this is just the beginning of years of painful sibling rivalry, and I am pretty sure I might regret this later. I definitely won’t be proud then. But I am relishing the start of this rivalry. Call me crazy! This is one relationship in which you fight with each other like cats and dogs but feel extremely protective at the same time. This is one relationship in which you don’t have to pretend to be nice in front of each other, and at the same time, I haven't seen two siblings say nasty things behind each other’s back. Actually I have seen some siblings do that, and I don’t get it. I truly value the sanctity of sister-brother fights.
Because fighting as much as you want in front of each other, and not saying bad things behind each other’s back takes a special kind of love. And you know it when you see it!

Happy 8 Month Birthday, Rehan!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Why I write

There is an inherent assumption in blogging. That you have something to say.

Some people blog because they, very humbly, feel that they are knowledgeable enough to share their infinite wisdom on a specific topic with the world wide web. They blog because they think they are the experts.

Some other people blog to indulge their creative instincts.

And then some people blog to help other people.

Some blog to stay connected with their friends and family.

Some people blog to make money.

But mostly, people blog because they have something to say.

I have often thought about my reasons to blog. I dislike the air associated with being an expert and therefore I avoid any hint of expertise in my reflection of my reasons. That said, there is a chance I might be in denial about that. I have been blogger since, 2002, I think. I used to blog at another location back in the day. I haven’t logged or peeked into it in ages. I re-read some of my posts from my old blog, and I realized that more often than not, the theme of my blogs had a drift of “I wonder….” It could be wonderment about a phenomena, technology, emotions, songs, and a lot of random stuff. Really really random stuff.

I came across a poem I wrote in August 2009. I am re-posting it here because it still captures me as I am today. So just as a reminder to myself, here it is.

I Think

Fears, undesirable.
Passions, insurmountable.
Ambitions, never-ending.
Jealousy, a part of life.
Faith, enormous.
Greed, nothing wrong with it.
Honesty, a necessary evil.
Challenges, unlimited.
Hope, sometimes.
MBA, a welcomed change.
Love, incomprehensible.
Support, more than ever.
Soul searching, existential.
Past, it’s all here.
Present, yes.
Future, who knows.
Life, good, I think.

I became totally nostalgic reading all my pre-mommy-hood blog entries. I kind of enjoyed re-living it. But most importantly, I realized that most of my writing is really relevant for me even today. I still wonder the same way. I had a whole new appreciation for documenting my thoughts back in the day just as a way to ascertain that irrespective of the events that have occurred in my life over time, I am still the same person at my very core.

I write to remind myself who I am. Why I am.

It is a good reminder.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Magic Happened

It was like some magic potion got added to the air in my home this week and it resulted in unicorns flying around chasing double rainbows. I know! Sounds like crazy talk. That’s because it is.

Here is what happened. Siddharth found some deal on Walgreens to print a 4*6 photo-book. That’s not the magic part. Siddharth is a deal-seeker. His brain is wired to buy things if and only if they are available on a deal. And on the flip side, he does buy stuff that is on deal just because it is on a deal. So it kind of works both ways. Anyway. So there was this deal and he decided to order one for us and give it to me as a surprise. He also wanted to add some text to it, which took multiple days for him to think through and process. In the meantime he lost the deal. He still went ahead and ordered the photo-book along with the text he came up with, 100% on his own. That is kind of a big deal. But I haven’t reached the magic yet. What he wrote in the photo-book is magic. Siddharth wrote one single line at the bottom of each picture in the photo-book and here is what he wrote.

To Us

It started with just me
And just you
I was by myself
And you were too
And then we found each other
Nothing was the same again
My loneliness faded away
A new phase began
Then magic happened
A miracle would join us soon
When she came
We had achieved the moon
Our happiness had no bound
We smiled at her every sound
But it didn't end there
We were blessed some more
He came into our lives and
We were a family of four
Forever in love

Let’s keep memories coming

This is magic! Serious heavy duty magic. Siddharth is not known for his poetic expression. When the photo book came in the mail he asked me to open to see what it was. I opened the packet and started flipping through the pages and reading through the note at the bottom of every single page. By the time I had reached the middle of the book I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't believe Siddharth wrote this for us. It is the most special gift I will get in this entire year! He set the bar so high that he will have a tough time keeping up with it for the rest of the year J.

So this is my magic. It deserved that crazy talk, didn't it? 

These are my happys!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Resolutions, much?

So I was thinking something”, I told Siddharth the other day.

Again?”, Siddharth said in his typical humor.

Ignoring his response and carrying on with my serious conversation, “When I think about a new year beginning, I always think about resolutions and goals. And I have a fundamental problem with that.

By this time I typically don’t wait for Siddharth to respond and just get into a monologue. “Every new year resolution typically means something I want to change about myself. How do I then differentiate between ‘wanting to change something about myself’ and ‘wanting to genuinely improve myself as a person’?

So here is my dilemma. Whatever happened to ‘you are perfect the way you are’, ‘you don’t need to change one bit’, and so on.  And how do I contrast it with constantly trying to be a better person, a better human, a better mom, a better wife, a better daughter, a better sister and a better friend. Like most people, I definitely believe in the latter. I am going to try my best for Samaira and Rehan to be confident and self-sufficient people. People who feel good about themselves, who they are as individuals, and yet, have the willingness and the strength to improve on their shortcomings. In theory, I understand the principal of staying true to your core. In reality, however, I don’t know if that is always the case if I am trying to be a better person. Like one of my very core attributes is being blunt and rude with people. Some people. Not all. In very specific circumstances. For this particular attribute, it is ok for someone to tell me that I am being unnecessarily rude and I understand the need to improve there. Does this mean that changing my core is a bad thing? Absolutely not. In fact I thank the person who can be honest enough to give me advice on how to be a better person. But at the same time I want to be someone who is not filled with self-doubts. The problem is, how do I know to strike that balance?

I feel like being a mom, every single dilemma becomes twice as big because I worry for myself and my family & kids! I really, really,  hope Samaira and Rehan are satisfied with the people they are, and yet have the willingness to be better people every day. Whatever that means. While right now I am somewhat confused, I am hoping when the time comes and I have to explain this to my babies, I can find the right words and the right message.

I keep thinking about the scenario a few years from now when my kids will go to school and will have other little people as their peers. Being day care babies, they are already at that stage, somewhat. But maybe when they are slightly older and are increasingly becoming more and more aware of their surroundings and themselves. I keep worrying about the time when some other kids might pick on them for walking, talking, looking, eating, etc. a certain way that is different. I am hoping that my kids can come home, feel sad about what happened in school that day, but then have the ability to bounce back and say, “hey, I am perfect the way I am. If they can’t handle it, it’s their loss.” You know. Something like that. And yet they know to be a better person, happy person, with every passing day.

And at this point I know I am just rambling.

All I want to say is that I haven’t really made any resolutions this year. I am going to try to be better and not necessarily be more. Not sure if that makes any sense. But the plan is to embrace the whole me – with all the quirks and all the wows.

 So here is to a quirky & smashing 2014!