Category Archives: Memories

Snow Atlast – Day 84

This year we’ve been blessed with a rather mild winter. And yes while we (the grown ups) didn’t complain but the not-so-little member of our family has been praying for some snow. I think in December we got some snow but with winter soon to say bye-bye the plea for more snow has been making the rounds by most of the neighbors kids. So the call at the unearthly hour informing of snow day was greeted with much applause and cheer. 💃💃

Leaving you guys with pics of the pristine white powder that made everyone so happy today.

Tranquility ❄️❄️

Cold and Quiet ❄️❄️

Out for some adventure ❄️❄️

Not a great day for a picnic ❄️❄️

Making Our Own Traditions- Day 76

Happiness is trying to keep our traditions alive. Living far away from home and especially somewhere, where there aren’t too many Indians forget Bengalis it’s difficult. But I’m trying to keep alive some of the traditions that are close to my and the hubby’s heart.

 Saraswati puja is one such. Saraswati is the goddess of learning, knowledge and arts. Growing up it was one of our most favorite days. It was also called the Bengali Valentines Day. It was the day girls of all ages mostly would be decked up in their favorite yellow colored saree and boys would flaunt their crisp starched kurta-pajamas. There would be pujas not only in every corner of the locality but also some schools, colleges, tutorials and performing arts schools would have their puja. Of course the puja would also be followed by cultural programs performed by the students to please the goddess. So it was a day where you could check out the local guys n gals at their best.

But I digress, that wasn’t why this day was my favorite. As a tradition, early in the morning after bath all our books would be offered to the goddess for blessings. And you could take the books only the day after. And it was also said that this one day, we couldn’t touch our books. Suffice it to say, that was reason enough to make it the most favorite holiday for most of us kids. As most Bengali traditions, any puja day is incomplete without a set of new clothes. And saraswati puja was no exception. 

Often on these days, I wish we stayed in one of those big Indian hubs like Nj where we could be a part of the Bengali association and participate in all our traditional events. But that’s a post for another day. 

So these days, we try to make our own traditions with whatever we can. I make the traditional food, wear traditional clothes and try to do my own little puja with the hubby and Daughter. I sent Daughter to school wearing a new tee to carry on the tradition of new clothes. With today being a school day, we couldn’t fit too many elaborate plans. She loves wearing Indian clothes and I promised her as soon as she’s done with homework she could take a shower and change into something she wishes. She also with the help of hubby decorated our little prayer room with flowers.
Our little puja nook

Lunch was a traditional khichuri and some fritters which was devoured just by the hubby and I. I made a simple dinner of puri or luchi as we bongs call it, alu-dum and kheer which we first offered to the gods and then ate together. This is the fourth year of us celebrating this day in our own little way and I hope we continue this tradition for the many years to come.

Praying for knowledge and wisdom 

Typical Saraswati puja lunch

Dinner

Music and Me – Day 60

Image Courtesy: Facebook 

Music is something that’s extremely important in our home. At any given time, you will find that some form of music is on. Our day during the weekends start with either country songs or Rabindrasangeet or older Bengali songs. And after that if we are home the playlist keeps changing depending upon the moods. 

I absolutely loooove old Hindi songs. Sometimes it amazes the Daughter that how I can sing along with almost all the songs. Yes while I love Bengali and English music but my heart lies in the lyrics and soulful melodies of older Hindi songs. The hubby on the other hand loves English songs more. While I enjoy the Pink Floyd, Scorpions, etc it doesn’t speak to me like Hindi songs do. Then again there is Daughter who loves listening to all genres of music. It doesn’t matter whether she understands the language, she just loves hearing them all. 

Almost all the songs have a memory and no matter what I’m doing or what mood I’m in these songs just transport me to a different place. Each time those same memories just flash whenever a particular song plays. Sometimes they make me smile, sometimes they take me on a journey while at others they simply make me dreamy eyed. And I love peeking at the different windows of my life through the songs. 

Blogathon 2017 #Day16

Simple Sunday – Day 59

Looking and reading about everyone’s pongal celebrations made me want to cook an elaborate spread too. Today being Sunday gave me the perfect opportunity to make some of the family favorites. I made some of the traditional Bengali dishes which we all love. I asked the hubby and Daughter to set the formal dining room table which is rarely used. On a regular basis we generally use our breakfast area to have all our meals. The dining room is hardly used. It’s only these days that we eat at the dining room on Sundays. 

Daughter is always excited when we eat in the formal dining room because she feels we are celebrating something. It felt nice to sit back and talk while devouring the yummy food. Now that Daughter is a little older, it amazes us how nicely we can all converse about so many different things. 
The menu was simple :-

  • Split Masoor Dal with cauliflower
  • Potato fry
  • Alu Posto
  • Egg curry
  • Keema 
  • Rice
  • Salad

It reminded me of the lost in time long ago afternoons back home when this kind of meals were a norm for Sunday. Almost every Sunday the menu would be the same with very little variation but we were never tired of the same food. On the contrary we looked forward to these meals when all of us would sit together and eat with FM on in the background. So much has changed since then – baba is no more, mum eats her Sunday lunch all by herself and I have a family of my own. Amidst Daughter’s constant banter I had this strange bittersweet feeling wishing all of us could be together. 

Blogathon 2017 #Day15

Single Child – Day 50

I still remember the lonely afternoons and the silent prayers in the childish hope that someone up there is listening. The yearning to have another sibling. My pretend family where I had five siblings. The yearning to share with someone who was my own. I yearned to pamper and to be pampered just the way an older sibling pampers the younger one and there were times I wanted someone who would tag along following me. Even though jealousy is something that isn’t in my system but seeing sibling love or fights often left me with an emptiness. My mum who has always been my best friend and confidant could never understand it. My dad who was also my playmate thought they were filling all the gaps. My parents were always pretty adamant about their decision to have just one child. 

Both my parents had other siblings. My mum was the youngest of the three while my dad was the oldest of his four siblings. I couldn’t fathom why after having so much fun in their childhood, they wanted to deprive me of that joy. Every time I closed my eyes to say a prayer, the need for a sister/brother was always mentioned. In fact in the early years, I was almost certain that one Christmas morning I would find a baby delivered by Santa himself.

I still remember, that one of the Sisters (Nun) in my school really loved some of us. She would often make us do certain things for her. You know the typical stuff like arranging the flower pots in the garden in a certain order or giving us a pile of papers that needed to be handed to a teacher and so on. One day just before the Christmas vacation, Sister M (the one) had us doing something for her. This was when I was in grade 1. After the job was well done, she was chatting about Santa and what presents we wanted from him. She had us believing that Santa was her secret buddy and she would put in a good word for us. You can very well imagine the happiness in a bunch of 7 year olds. It was as if we were promised a trip to the North Pole. So while all the others wanted Barbi dolls (which was a big deal in those days), board games, etc; I stood there waiting my turn. No prize for guessing what I wanted. Yes a sister or a brother. I can still remember her expression. She almost looked sad. Then she told me that she needed to see my parents. You can imagine how horrified my parents were at the time I told them the whole story. While then I didn’t quite know why my dad was making excuses of not going to meet her and my mum glaring at me since she had no choice but to go; forward it to now and the scenario makes me laugh. Anyway my wish wasn’t granted that year or any of the following years. I slowly made peace with my no-sibling status but always knowing in my heart that my child will not suffer the loneliness I did. I almost had my life planned out by the young age of 10. 

But rarely life happens as you plan. Or that’s always the case with me. I grew up and fell in love and got married to the most amazing guy. We were here in the US right after marriage and living the life that we had talked about. Life was like a series of happily ever after. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Then came the saga of trying to be pregnant. 

Suffice it to say that is a period I don’t wish on my enemies. It was a period of dark days, tears, tears and some more tears. It was a period when everyone thought that my life was their business. While some gave unwanted suggestions of various doctors and different sexual positions that guaranteed ‘good results’ others almost wrote me off as never having a child. It was a period where the sight of a pregnant woman had me choked up. It was the time when all our friends were either announcing their pregnancies or celebrating first birthdays. While God knows I always wished each one of them well, but the effort it took to smile and congratulate or attend these parties is something that my hubby alone witnessed. He has always been my pillar of strength. But I honestly don’t think I would have survived that period without his constant support and positivity.

Nevertheless my wish was granted and I was blessed with the most beautiful baby girl after almost 6 years of sheer agony. Since my pregnancy was smooth and once PCOS was ruled as the reason behind my not conceiving, I once again thought I’ll have it easy the second time. After all this time we’ll know what we are dealing with. So we won’t have to wait trying to determine the cause. Once again I thought I had my life planned. But who was I kidding ?? 

Then came the time, when we were ready for the second and once again nothing happened. My Daughter loves babies and life came a full circle when I saw her playing with her pretend 5 siblings and asking us endlessly for another baby. She has cried and promised us she’ll be a good big sissy. I see the loneliness in her eyes which is often overlooked by others. I see her looking at others siblings with the same jealousy that I can so relate to. In other words I see myself in her. She’s 8 and still occasionally asks me if I’m going to have another baby. 

For a long time I held myself responsible for her loneliness. I hated myself for doing the same thing that I vowed never to. I cursed myself and kept asking the ‘why’ over and over again. But not anymore. I have come to realize that not everything can be planned. Not every thing happens just because you want or work for it. Sometimes you just can’t make it happen no matter how hard you try or how much you want. And you aren’t responsible for it. While as a mom I want to give her all things she deserves and more, I also need to accept that there will be times I just can’t. And that’s fine !! I need to accept that and move on. 

Right now, I’m happy to say I’ve accepted myself. I’ve forgiven myself for something that I’m not sure was my fault. I know I tried and that’s all that matters. Happiness is definitely in letting go of this misplaced guilt.

 
Blogathon 2017 #Day 6

End of the Holidays – Day 46

The day has come to say bye-bye to our break. We had tons of fun doing pretty much nothing the last twelve days. It was very relaxing to have both the hubby and Daughter home and not have any plans. We took each day at a time and just went with the flow. No one complained and no one said ‘bored’. It was a nice way to unwind without worries about anything. I’m glad today the three of us agreed that even though we had inhibitions when starting the holiday, especially without any vacation plans but it was fun all around.

We did things together and spent hours playing board games and cards. We went on drives and watched movies and tv shows. We also took breaks and did things by ourselves. We shared a blanket but read our own books for hours without saying a single word to each other. The Daughter and I cooked while the hubby watched soccer. Then there were times when the hubby and I did our own things while Daughter played in her own room. There were times Daughter watched her movies while the hubby and I caught up with some fabulous Bollywood movies. I think that’s what helped us have an amazing time. We did things together and gave each other space when it was needed. 

Tomorrow we get back to routine and I’m sure we are charged and ready to take on what the week will have to offer. Just a little while back I was reminding the two loves that no matter what the world has to offer we should never forget that we have each other to fall back on. And to me, that’s the most reassuring thought. 

Egg-korma made by Hubby n Daughter ❤️❤️

Our Christmas dinner cooked by the 3 of us !!

Blogathon 2017#Day 2

Merry Monday – Day 39

Happiness is not having to keep track of days. Monday hasn’t felt so good in a while. With both Daughter and hubby off this week, we are having the time of our lives. Movies, popcorn, ice-cream-sundaes !! It’s feasting time in our home. The weather has been pretty good and surprisingly Daughter was able to play outside for a while today afternoon. That’s unheard of for the last week of December. 

Anyway today morning started bright and early for me at 6:15. With snacking constantly, I knew I had to find time to exercise amidst all the fun. So what better than starting the day with my daily cardio. After that I took my shower and gave Daughter her breakfast while the hubby went for his routine-run. Once both our work out was done for the day, we had the whole day to ourselves.

We went to the mall for a little while and came back in time for lunch. Ever since we’ve been lazing on the couch with music and laughter. It was a fun afternoon. As I type hubby is prepping for dinner and once I hit the publish button, I’ll be off to cook dinner. Even though it has been a regular day of mundane stuff, the happiness in our minds is infectious. And to me that’s all that matters.

Merry Christmas To All – Day 37

The presents are wrapped, tucked under the tree waiting for Christmas morning. Another couple of hours and soon the littlest pair of hands will keep milk and cookies in anticipation of the jolly old fellow. Anticipation of gifts galore !! Gifts about which neat letters were written. Little gifts that will instill the faith of Christmas magic. 

This night definitely has so many memories. Memories of the long ago time when I was a kid. The belief, the magic, the presents that I hoped to get. The cold Calcutta December. Never as cold as here but still enough for us to shiver in our woolens. Pastries from Kathleen. Fruit cakes from a local bakery. Everything felt so festive. I never wrote letters to Santa but his gifts never disappointed me. This night definitely makes me want to be a kid again.

I leave tonight wishing each one of you a very merry Christmas. I hope all of you get what your heart desires. I hope all of you get a special visit from your secret Santa. From my home to yours Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !!

Our little visitor – Day 36

This year we did the elf on the shelf for the first time. We had a lot of fun with our elf whom Daughter named Snowflake. I’m so disappointed that we did this for the first time and it might be our last. I so hope that she still believes in Christmas magic next year too just so that we get to have some more fun with our naughty elfie.

I had no idea about this. When Daughter was in kindergarten that’s when I first heard about it. I really didn’t think too much about it. Last year too the elf visited their 1st grade classroom and everyday I heard about his antics. After googling it, I found out all about this fun Christmas tradition. It was too late by then and I swore we would do it this year.

This year I did my homework and planned its arrival. Thankfully the kids know you need to buy it for the first time. So we gifted her the elf right after thanksgiving. It has been so much fun ever since. My Daughter is pretty serious about the elf business. So every morning she goes around looking for what the elf has done. I’m sure she’s going to be pretty sad when she finds the elf has returned to North Pole on Christmas morning.

The elf sitting on our tree !!

She must be bored by being by herself all the time !!

Pooping kisses in our wine glass !! 

Missed Call – Day 30

Happiness is getting an unexpected call from a friend from long time back. She was a neighbor friend. Right after we were married back in 2001, we lived in Delhi for 3 months. We had this amazing couple with a little kid who lived in the apartment right across. In those three months we became best of friends. She was simply a lovely person. Both our husbands worked long hours and we spent practically the whole day together. 

The hubby and I absolutely loved their daughter and the feeling was reciprocated by that little girl who was a 1.5 yr old toddler. She was almost always at her house and no matter when hubby came home, she would make her mom open their door so that she could hug the hubby. Anyway those are beautiful memories of a very short time.

Anyway we moved to the US right after that. This was way before the Orkut/Facebook era. We kept in touch through mail but gradually lost touch. Then I found her on Fb and sent her a friend request pretty sure that she must have forgotten about us. But she quickly messaged me back and we updated each other with our lives. From then on we have messaged each other pretty regularly. Somehow I have been meaning to talk to her but that never happened and I don’t want to give any excuses for that.

Today morning I was pretty surprised when I saw a missed call from her and my first reaction was she did it by mistake. I Watsapped her back and she apologized for not realizing the time difference and calling. I was so happy. Today we were kind of busy and I promised to call her back on Monday and that I will. Funny how that one missed call made my day and I had so many memories coming back to me the whole of today.