Friday, November 22, 2013

Eves Times - October' 13 Issue

Monday, April 01, 2013

Other than own mother.....

Yesterday night, with one of her story books in hand, Zeni came up to me, interrupting my desperate attempt at catching up with the day’s newspapers.

“Mumma, you are not my stepmother na?”  Taking a fraction of second to collect my wits, I replied “no”. She gave a relieved look. “Yeah, ‘cause they are very bad na….so you are only my Mumma without the word ‘step’ na”, she confirmed her doubt in her signature style of speaking. That’s how we are presently learning new words in English by breaking them for easier pronunciation. All I could, was manage a nod. Now the relieved look became more pronounced, almost breaking into a smile and she turned her back and left the room.

Kept staring at her long gone back before returning to my newspapers. The mind didn’t follow the eyes. Zeni filled it with so many random thoughts, all rushing in. The first and immediate one that struck me was that the adoption process of ‘me’ as a mother seems to be reaching its final stage of completion with the validation phase going one. Consoling thought. After this personal evaluation of the brief exchange of words, the thoughts moved to being more objective in nature.

Why have our story books and movies type casted “Stepmothers”?  There is only one category: Cinderella’s mother, rather stepmother. It’s really unfair to all those mothers who are raising kids, not their own. If motherhood comes naturally to mothers then doesn’t it take much more effort to be a mother to someone else’s kid?  In fact by that logic, a stepmother ‘gives’ herself much more to the respective kid, family and society.  I remember in the first month of Zeni joining our family, while both the kids were dancing, my eyes followed their own will and kept resting on Sarah. I had to school myself into looking at Zeni at regular intervals. I let the acquired motherhood take on till the induced natural mother takes over for Zeni. And time did help me. Today yes, being a mom to two daughters has become natural to me.

Brings me to the point I was making earlier.  Unlike the books they read, let’s not generalize stepmothers for our kids and belittle sincere efforts of so many moms out there who are raising kids other their own, thanks to destiny or out of their own choice. …

This April, completed two years as ‘the’ adopted mother. And the journey continues….

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Yet Another Wake Up Call

Life, for most of us, most of the time, runs liked a well planned script. We plan our days/weeks/months and even years. Yes, sometimes we do see some alterations to the script. Either due to developments in our own track or parallel tracks. Reminds me of the world being referred to a stage.

The beginning of the year (which always holds a unique ability of seeming promising) landed me in the hosp...ital. My second stint in less than 5 years. The last time it was an accident. Pun intended. This time it was no accident, instead a valid biological response to my doings. I ignored a pain since months until it lost its patience and ended me as a patient. Like my friend Sapna Prabhakaran rightly pointed out, we, in the pursuit of playing our assigned characters (parent, spouse, caretaker, provider etc.), tend to overlook ourselves.

In the following days, the entire episode of leaving the house with kids tucked in and bracing myself for a surgery, shrunk to insignificance against the discovery of a tumor being subjected to malignancy test. I was all brave and prepared (at least at that point of time) but the mother of two kids, was petrified. Hakim’s 20 minutes commute to the test lab was the longest I ever lived. Managed to sit against stacked pillows and nervous fingers fumbled across the tweets on my mobile. Needed that distraction. Seemed as if I was clinging to life and hoping with all my heart during those stretching minutes. Sounds dramatic now but trust me it isn’t when YOU are on the hot seat. Until Hakim called and said “Piyu, its all clear.”

And I wept like a child until late night for myself and then for each and every person I know/knew who didn't get this chance of hearing the good news. Like my friend Rahul Anand rightly said “The other side of life is just a moment away…”

And now while I am counting, hopefully the last few days of post surgery pain, some big time thanks are in order. Second time in less than 5 years, mom and Hakim Badshah held the fort with all the compassion and strength I needed. Thank you guys. Also grateful for the constant calls/sms from friends, cousins and family, regularly checking on me. Special thanks to Fatema Lakdawala and Rajni Bhatia for being there for me and us. And yeah Payal Sanghvi, I owe a thank-you to Pankaj too for his genuine thoughtfulness.

Coming back to the objective of my post, we are reminded often, of lessons of life. Life keeps putting us or people around us on a test mode to make us realize what we miss while we are looking for other things. And we do get jolts of reality with our/others’ experiences. Still, with any short gap in these experiences, we forget to revise our lessons. Here’s one for me from this experience….

At the risk of sounding repetitive to my friends, take an annual health checkup. You owe to yourself and your family
Do stop when you receive any signal from your body. And check on it. (assuming none of us here, are hypochondriacs )
However clich├ęd it sounds, live the moments. Take time to enjoy your kids, family and friends. Make memories.