Category Archives: Musings

This n That – Day 97

There’s a strange sense of feel good by the time I reach Wednesday. Yes it’s the hump day and you only have to deal with the boring Thursday and even though Friday is a work/school day but well it’s Friday!! While I’ve often wondered how growing up I never saw the days of the week impact my or my parents mood but I’ve resigned to the fact that days do impact our moods greatly. 

Today on a whim I decided to get the grocery shopping done instead of waiting for the weekend. That way I have one less thing to worry about and it’s so much better to do the shopping alone. The stores are less crowded and it’s easier to read labels without people giving you the ‘stares’. Of course shopping at my own pace also means buying way too many things. But for once I made sure I checked all the items off the list. So hopefully no surprises when I start cooking. 

I’m currently in love with the Pioneer Woman collection. Or let’s just say I love watching her show. Even though her collection is a little too rustic for my taste, but nevertheless I love looking at them. And I definitely love the gadgets and the different whisks and spatulas which are really handy if you happen to cook in a Dutch oven or in cast iron. These two happen to be my recent loves. I absolutely loooove them !! But I digress 🙂 !! So today I bought a set of mason jars with straws from the PW collection. With spring coming our way soon, I thought it would be a perfect touch to have juices, smoothies and lemonades from. And these yellow lid mason jars seemed perfect for the lazy summer afternoons or a picnic in the backyard. Now all I need is a nice picnic hamper.

You can guess, I’m in full preparation of the upcoming spring/summer months. And this time of the year makes me happy with days just about starting to get longer and a promise in the air. It makes one hopeful and in my case I choose to ignore the forecast of snow next week. For today, I’ll just look at the clear blue sky and the afternoon sun. 

Just a little change- Day 90

It’s definitely a good feeling when you are able to keep your emotions in check. Of course when I was actually trying to bite my tongue and do a mental countdown to keep my anger/frustrations at bay, I didn’t feel the goodness. Now that I look back on the events of morning I want to pat my back. Sometimes it’s best to let it slide and ignore. Sometimes we need to look at the bigger picture and let it pass. Sometimes it’s so not worth it. And of course sometimes we just need to realize from whom it’s coming from and whether they deserve a little more understanding from us.

While I’m not advocating taking shit from anybody/everybody but it’s alright if we can keep our mouths shut sometimes especially if it’s no big deal. Atleast that’s definitely what I’m working on for my sanity. For me if I open my mouth I’m not able to choose my words and that often leads to hurt feelings and my overreacting and saying things that I don’t mean. Of course when I look back I get into this guilt space and often find I excuse the other person (even if he/she deserved my wrath) and blame myself for the argument. And all because I was the person yelling and not thinking before speaking. That as we all know isn’t very pleasant.

So today as I sit thinking about my morning I’m impressed at how I handled somethings. I let my patience win over my normal impatient self. For once I tried to let a remark pass just because I didn’t care. I no longer need to prove anything to anyone. I no longer need to win every argument to prove my point. Sometimes silence wins over bigger battles. And I definitely love this little change in me. Maybe as they say I’m mellowing down with age.

Happiness in being happy – Day 88

Some days I’m happy but somehow when I sit to write and share my daily dose of happiness it’s difficult to pen it down. I’ve been trying to think what do I attribute my today’s happy to but I can’t pin point any single incident. It’s been a rather typical Monday and who ever has anything good to write about a Monday that’s not even a holiday. Yeah, not me either!! But I can’t say I’m upset either. Because the day has been kind of ok-ish. Like I said typical random stuff a Monday entails. So no surprises and no disappointments.

By now you must have guessed I really don’t have anything to write about. So hence this blabbering 😜. But what can I do, I can’t give up after coming this close. The more I’m inching closer the more difficult it’s getting. I’m kind of hitting that freeze where the mind absolutely refuses to cooperate. 

So for today let me spare you guys as well as myself from this errr ramblings and just say that today’s happiness has no reason. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. No one was extra nice. Infact most of my day was spent reading but still I feel happy. You know not the burst of happiness kind of happy but just a calm and content happiness. A place where you genuinely think every cloud has a silver lining. So while I go and count my blessings, you guys think happy thoughts too.

Happy Moments – Day 83

Pic courtesy: Google 

Isn’t this true for all of us ??!! I find doing the most random things with my loved ones often are the most cherished mements. One of the happiest moments of our daily life is when I’m  cooking during the weekends while the hubby is helping or just chatting with me and Daughter’s cheerful banter in the background. And of course some good music. This happens on almost all weekends and sometimes on a week night but inspite of this being a repeated event, I’m never bored. In fact we look forward to it. The three of us feel happy and content. The harmony brings a sense of peace. It’s these random moments that take away all the stresses of daily life.

A Song – Day 81

Happiness is discovering a new song that becomes your absolute favorite. It’s hearing the song in a loop and not being tired of it. It’s not caring that the other two members of the family are grumbling since the song is playing on a loop. It’s pure happiness when you hear the hubby humming it without realizing that he’s getting hooked too. It’s happiness when the Daughter says she can’t get the song out of her head. 

I’m not sure the hubby or the Daughter love the song as much as I do but it sure amuses me when they hum it just because it’s stuck in their head. As for me, I have the ear plugs on and still hearing it on a loop.

Tuesday Thoughts – Day 68

Studies have always been very important to me. Not that I always loved to study but getting good grades were always important. I was always amongst the top of the class and while I was not the competitive kind but I knew where I stood and always wanted to stay there. My mum often got irritated why I didn’t bother to work harder to be ‘the topper’ but I was content where I was. 

So it was very natural for me to make sure Daughter has a designated study time from early on. I think we started to sit with books and scribble and read while she sat patiently around the time she was 3.5 years. This was a time when she was going to daycare for about 4 hours. She had enough playtime and park time in the evenings. I really saw no harm in sitting for 20 minutes every other day. From early on she knew just like we have fun and play, we also need to sit and study. 

Now Daughter was a very early reader and as much as I would like to take credit for it, I honestly didn’t do much. It was a ritual for me to read to her ever since she was a few days old. And we read lots of books. So by the time she was 2.5, she would even want me to read labels- toothpaste, face wash, body wash, etc. These were particularly her favorites because she would sit on the potty and have me read away to glory. Then there were times of grocery shopping and she would sit in the cart and read food labels, etc. I know there are a lot of our friends who thought I taught her how to read but I can honestly tell you she taught herself reading. Not because it made us happy but because she loves to read. 

Anyway this post is not about her reading. She is in 2nd Grade and makes very good grades. Her teacher challenges her all the time in reading, comprehension and maths. She’s also in the gifted program. I’ve always heard raving reviews from all her teachers. Now we’ve never put her in the kumon classes or other such programs inspite of being pushed by numerous friends. I honestly never felt the need. 

But even at 8 my Daughter is very aware that I’m pretty serious about her work. I absolutely lose it when I see sloppy work. I’m ok if she makes mistakes but do not like to see carelessness. I don’t hesitate to praise and I’m very generous in giving compliments but I don’t mince my words during criticisms either. And there are times I find I’m harsh. 

I often see parents who are chilled about studies and feel so bad about the tight ship that I run. But in my defense all I can say is I strongly believe that you need good grades if you want to do good in life. By good I mean professionally and financially. While I know these elementary level grades aren’t important, I just want to instill the perseverance and hard work in her. I have seen numerous examples of kids who did excellent in school and some how withered away during college. While there are those who were average and are doing exceptionally well now. So you just need to work hard and there isn’t a substitute to working hard. It’s important in every aspect of life. And that’s the only lesson I really want her to learn.

Today I was talking to a friend and that’s how this whole thing came about. Am I becoming one of those obnoxious moms that I hated during school ?? Do I need to listen when she says no to doing extra homework ?? But then again to my defense I want to say she has no homework days too !! Do I need to stop nagging ?? How do all of you deal with the education scenario??  Am I the only one who has these kind of questions ??!!

Blogathon 2017#Day24

Musings on a Rainy Monday – Day 67

It’s been raining like cats and dogs since yesterday night. And I’m not particularly fond of rains especially if it’s a Monday and I’m stuck all alone in the house. The dark days with an even darker sky. The constant rumble of thunder. The swishing sounds of rain on the window panes. It does strange things for my mood and I’m left feeling lonely and sad. This week it’s supposed to rain pretty much every day and the very thought is not helping my mood.

I sometimes find it quite funny how the same rains that have me groaning on a Monday morning has me feeling very happy and satisfied if it were to pour on a Friday. It doesn’t matter if it’s Friday morning or evening, rains and thunderstorms make so happy on a Friday or those days when I have my loves around me. It makes me want to indulge in comfort food, watch a movie or play board games. Funny, isn’t it ?? It’s the same rains but just on different days. And the gamut of emotions that it brings is so contrasting. 

But no matter what my relationship with rain but one thing is constant. I love getting drenched in rain during the summer months. And it’s not just me, the hubby and the Daughter loves it too. So in June when we get a lot of thunderstorms here, and the Daughter starts her summer break that’s the time we love dancing and singing in the rains of the weather is warm. The rains melt away the stress and rejuvenates the mind. Our neighbors might think that we are crazy but we have the time of our lives getting soaked.

So till summer comes, I think I’ll just have to survive this love-hate relation with rains. 

Blogathon 2017#Day23

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