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MUSINGS

Meandering thoughts………..

Month

April 2014

CHOICE

My parents are seventy years  and sixty four years old respectively.

Dad is a retired teacher and mother has been a home maker who has held our family together while dad was busy trying to provide a roof over our head.

There wasn’t a decision in my life that I have not consulted with my father or mother. 

When I went out shopping I always discussed with my mother about the kind of dresses or accessories that I wanted to buy. (I may not have always listened to her suggestions but I always discussed things with her)

 Dad was always there when I had to decide upon what subjects to specialise in during  high school, when I had to decide whether to get married to the person who was chosen by my parents. But, whatever decision I had to take they stood by me giving the message that we are here for you, no matter what.

As we all know, as we become old enough and start leading a life of our own,some of the  discussions that we had with our parents dwindle down. For some of us it completely stops, where us some of us still continue to have discussions with our parents.

As they grow older, their second childhood visits them and the responsibility of taking care of our parents falls on us. How many of us do a good job?

Sometimes we try to smother them with our love and care. Let us think about a few things before we proceed. We are taking about those individuals who have had their own careers, who have been making decisions for a long time in their lives. And to this individual who has been independent and the person who has been taking decisions all his/her life , we tell them through our love that we will take decisions for them. Why do we rob  the joy of making a choice from them. 

How many time have we decided for them without even consulting with them about where they are going to spend their summers or winters. How many times have we decided for them when they will go to your brother’s or sister’s place? How many times do we decide for them whether they can travel to another relatives house or not?

Our lives are filled with incidents like these, where out of love for our parents , when they are in their second childhood we make decisions for them thinking about their well being and  forgetting that they have been making their own decisions in life.

Agreed some of them may not be in a fit condition to make the right decision but why rob them of the opportunity to think about all the possibilities that are available to them?

Let us love them and not smother them. While they are still capable of making their own choices let us step back and let them make that choice. Nothing gives them more pleasure than listening to their children sharing their ideas with them and giving importance to their suggestions.

Kavini

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TO RUN OR NOT TO RUN!

To run or not to run ?

Its a question many of us would have faced at  one time or the other.

Everyday when I drive down to my work place in the morning I see different kinds of people on the roads Many of them are joggers.

Old ladies draped in cotton sarees with their walking shoes!!! I could see their lips moving while they are walking.  what are they murmuring? Are they chanting some mantra or slokha?

Then  white haired men in their shorts and caps discussing some serious stuff while they are jogging. What are they discussing about? Is it the matters of the state or are they discussing about their sons, daughters, son-in-laws, daughter-in-laws, grandchildren or is it the generation X they are discussing about? 

Then there are the  couples in their early forties who are having serious discussions while they are walking. May be they are discussing about their children’s education, daughter’s marriage or a loan that they have taken to buy another apartment.

There are also the young couples who keep smiling at each other while they are jogging. May be they are whispering sweet nothing into each others ears.

The pregnant women accompanied by their husbands  stop by at the tender coconut vendor. The husband waits patiently till the wife drinks the sweet coconut water.

There are  the giggling young girls who are dressed a bit fashionably for a jog. May be they are giggling over boys. May be they are discussing their future plans deciding on which college to apply for their higher studies. The young dudes who who wear fancy Stetson hat keep pounding on the road while listening to music.

 Here comes the hard core runners, who are concentrating on their jogging.Some of them run alone, some with their friends, some listen to music while some do not, but one similarity between them is that all their attention is on jogging. Their entire focus is on their body, it seems as if they are aware of every breath they take, every step they put forward.

I look down at myself. Once upon a time I could fit into a 28 inches jeans!!!!!!!!!!!!! I decided that I would start to jog and lose all the excess weight that I had gained after child birth. No excuse is a good excuse. 

I hunted down the pair of jogging shoes from the attic and was all set to run.

I was an athlete during my college days and I figured that  jogging around the apartment block should be a piece of cake!!!!!!!!!!! 

The first ten feet were okay. Then all hell  broke loose.

A slow tingling pain started with my calf muscle and spread on to my thighs. The pain was excruciating. It felt like a band of iron was cast around my chest. I couldn’t breathe. My lungs were on fire and I was breathing like fish out of water. I stopped jogging, I had covered a distance of about 75 meters.

I went back home and the following day was dragging  of my feet when it was time to go down for a jog.To run or not to run? That was the question that was foremost in my mind but I picked up my jogging shoes.

 Everyday I  put  myself through this torture. Everyday my goal was nearer. with legs that were begging me to stop, with breath coming out in gasps but my mind urging to finish the last few feet. I crossed the red line that I had mentally marked  in mind —  one circuit around the apartment block without stopping for a break. Cheering erupted all around me that I could only hear. The sense of accomplishment and achievement was too great that I took a imaginary bow acknowledging the cheer from the shrubs and the cars. 

I strutted back home eager to share the news of this accomplishment with my husband.

To run or not to run? Everyday I ask the question to myself and everyday after a lot of inner struggle I decide to run.  I run not to take part in a marathon but to fell good about  myself that I have achieved something. 

To run or not to run? Never doubt it. RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kavini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEN THE DAUGHTER BECOMES THE MOTHER

I remember those days when

holding her hands I

crossed the roads.

I remember those days when 

my mother fed me

with love.

I remember those days when

She offered to live through 

my pain.

I remember the days when 

her lap was 

my pillow.

I am sure when you travel down the spiralling lane of your memory you would recall incidents with your mother or father or any other loved one.

One of my fondest memories with my mother was when she used to comb my long hair, which touched my knees.  It was a ritual that started with applying oil to the scalp and the entire length of the silken hair. Then came the process of untangling it and plaiting it. This happened  some  years ago.

Now my mother is sixty years old , she is suffering from spondylosis, some nerve problem and old age. She has abused her body so much when she was young by slogging from the morning till the evening and has not been taking good care of herself. She cannot turn her head abruptly as it is difficult for her. I inherited my long hair from her.

Now there are days when she is so tired that she finds it difficult to untangle her hair.  Today I think it was one of those days and she came to me with a comb  and said, “will you comb my hair dear?”

Wordlessly I took the comb from her and did her the service that she did to me for years.  With the same love and care that she showed me when she did my hair, I did hers.

Our roles were reversed now, I became the mother and she was my child as it has been happening for time immemorial. And I remembered going shopping with her a couple of days where I held her hand and guided her through a road crossing. 

I find myself at a crossroads in life where every son and daughter find themselves in, to be the mother or father to your parent.

What a mighty responsibility!!!!!!!!!

I had tears in my eyes when I plaited her hair. Mom who was always invincible needs my help and as time passes by is going to need it more. Am I ready for that? Do I have the courage to see her becoming dependent on others as time passes on. 

I do not know. This I know , as she was there whenever I needed her , to pick me up after a fall, to console me when I had a fight with my friends, to  stand by when I went through my adolescent crushes and guided me to the right path when I wavered.

Now I am trying to fill her shoes and am scarred that those may not fit me but that will not stop me from trying.

To all those daughters and sons who find themselves in the other end, being the mother or father to their own parents enjoy the reversal in roles. They may like it or may not like it but be ready to give them the help when it is needed.

Kavini

 

 

 

TACKLING GRIEF

I over heard someone,”I do not know what to say when I attend a funeral.What do I say to the family?  I cannot talk to them about their loved one who is no more,  can I?”

Many of us have this fear of facing the loved ones of the deceased . What do we tell them? What do we ask them? Do we talk about the soul that has departed? By doing so are we going to hurt them more? By not talking  are we not hurting them more? what is right?

Or are we so caught up in our grief that we are not ready to deal with the grief that overwhelms us when we are talking about the individual who is no more among us?

I was stumped when I met the brother of a friend who passed away a couple of years back. I felt very  uncomfortable. During the funeral we did not talk  much. After a few months he had come to my place for a get together.

I was confused. Do I avoid talking about his sister who played a major role in our lives? Could I ignore the major part in our lives? If I am going to talk about her is he going to break down? If I do not talk about her will I be an insensitive fool?

After a few awkward moments while I served him some snacks that I had prepared at home, I berated myself.That was a recipe that was taught to be by his sister.I swallowed the lump in my throat and blurted out ,You know your sister taught me to make this dish.” A range emotions slashed across his face: disbelief, anger, pain and finally tears. 

It was like a floodgate had opened. Both of us began to talk about her, recalling all the good times and bad times. We realised that though she was not there among us physically, through the memories we could keep her alive.

 The more we spoke about her the more our hearts became lighter and the feeling that though she was not there with us, she was not forgotten.The slow process of healing had started for the both of us.

The next time you find yourself in a situation where you meet a bereaved person, talk to them about one positive thing that you can recall about the person whom they have lost. You will find that  you have lent a helping hand to them. You are helping them to heal.

Kavini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adieu

Adieu

The battered soul shivered

the night was silent

the smile had withered

the warring emotions within were violent

adieuthe darkness slithered

Caressing the once smooth cheeks

that were nothing but ridges now

the curtains rustled

the dry leaves crackled and fluttered

the darkness slithered out

bearing the tortured soul with it

Adieu my friend!!!!!!!

When death comes knocking at your door sometimes you are prepared and sometimes you are not. Many of us would have faced the loss of a loved ones in our lives.

We always assume that we have enough time with the near and dear ones.Everything is taken for granted. Sadly that is not the case a I realised in my life.

Death stole a very dear friend of mine within a blink of an eye. I always took time for granted and thought there was always enough time to catch up him till life gave me a rude shock.

No more can I listen to his deep voice sing to me the Kishore Kumar melodies, no more can I hear him laugh with his wife, no more can I hear his voice filled with concern for me, no more can I see him or feel him.

How many phone calls that were never made,how many visits that were never planned, how many letters that were not written, how many missed opportunities? The list is endless.

Many a times I have postponed talking to a friend or a family member thinking that there is time for it later, alas now I am reaping the effects for that foolishness. Sometimes we are so caught up in the rules that the society enforces that we fail to ask ourselves whether the rules are still helping in the smooth functioning of us as a society or is it outdated.

Enduring the knowledge that I can never see him, never hear his voice,never share my dreams with him or never hear his ambitions is a cross that I have to bear. Spending time with our friends and families has to be one of the top priorities in life.

Adieu my friend, I will miss your presence in my life.

Kavini

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