Another one for the menstrual cycle!

I remember those days, when my girls had just started menstruating –  days were – extreme tension filled, sanitary napkin buying spree, screaming because of cramps, whether to go to school or not and also the disgust in seeing those bloody pads. Sigh…seems like decades back! Oh yeah…maybe a decade !

I’ve written many posts on the humor side of this menstrual cycle, jokes made at home by the girls and my own struggle on the same territory.

Today by chance, I came to know that yesterday was Menstrual hygiene day and there is this initiative to educate the girls and the boys on the same for healthier acceptance of this monthly cycle among the younger generation. Its not something to hate or love, but acceptance of the physical creation of the human body. There is nothing to be ashamed or be scared.

There has been many instances at home, when the man, my wonderful husband has felt a little bit shy or even terribly embarrassed at the mention of periods or related menstrual talks or complaints of pain and other such related issues. He has even wondered at his pitiful situation of 2 young just-started menstruating girls and one irritable woman with severe cramps who is troubled more by her PMS. But he survived the initial years mainly through silence and observing what makes us tick or what does not!

He understood more about the process of menstruation from our girls than from me. There has been times when he makes himself invisible, when he hears mood swing screams and banging doors.

But the good thing is he sustained.

Now, he is the one who is constantly looking for home-remedies to treat the menstrual pain and immediately mails the girls. He is the one who gives the “you are stronger than these pains make you feel” to the girls! And he waits patiently with a trolley / basket in hand, when the girls flock to the sanitary napkins aisle in the supermarket! When the daughter calls and says an abrupt “Give the phone to mama”, he patiently obeys her. When I feel irritated or keep snapping, he just knows to treat me with my food cravings. He just knows it!

And there has been moments, when he listens patiently, when I keep going blah blah on how sanitary napkins are not eco-friendly and what are the other methods available that I can try! I admire his patience in listening to these bloody talks! Me being me, I’ve also insisted on him being a ONLY  a listener and he has grudgingly agreed to!

I remember a cute couple in a supermarket, where the husband read through the sanitary napkin pack, all the different brands to help her choose the right one for her.  Some people might find that too much interference, but I found it as an act, where he involves with her menstruation.

There was this video on how a mother tries to educate her son on the menstrual cycle and that brought up this post.

And it all comes to one final point – communication. Its important to educate the girls and more important to educate the boys on this topic. Its not something to shy away, rather its something to embrace as it is the boon which will keep our human race alive!

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Food is memories

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I had made rava upma the other day. While S loves it with pickle or chutney, his favorite indulgence is to have it with a sprinkle of sugar on top. That’s exactly how his grandmother used to eat it and all his siblings still follow her food combination, unconsciously.

Just like how thayir sadam always makes me want mavadu or dried narthangai – its a memory now but it filled my childhood days mainly because of patti doing such things. She loved her pazhaiya sadam (yesterday’s rice soaked in water so that it ferments overnight) with one watery buttermilk and narthangai or maavadu…sigh…am drooling while typing this.

Similarly, rava dosa kindles in me the comfort of a mother’s hug – my mom does it the best! Also, milagu poricha kuzhambu, milagu kuzhambu, arachuvitta sambar…sigh…endless !

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S will surely go for an extra helping if it’s his mother’s recipe for masala kuzhambu, parval fry, pagarakai nool katti fry (bitter gourd stuffed and tied with a thread and fried)! Not to mention her amazing dal poori – that’s something to drool for !

The other day, my brother wanted the recipe for thakalikai kootu, just as our Amma makes…see – childhood footprints playing again !

And when we grow up with such yummy foods, which related to our taste buds, its a hard thing to let go of it.  We might relish a pizza or a burger or a North Indian kulcha, but the food we grew up with has a special place in our heart, ok…the tongue and the taste buds !

The other day, my elder one was drooling for thavala adai and thengai chutney, while she gets awesome rotis and dals.  And when I made poori yesterday, the younger one was drooling for it. Even though they get awesome food wherever they are, sometimes the simplest of upma or dal will rekindle their memory and they’ll feel like coming home.

That’s where the root is formed and it needs to be simple and strong !

That’s why brought up is very important – both for cultivating food habits and moral habits too !

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So, what childhood food memory are you thinking now – to enjoy over the weekend ?


Picture courtesy – Google

Day 25 – Foto Friday

Shail, am taking the concept from you for today; am rushed, tired and no time to write all that I want to write!

Here are some pictures which bring back my most cherished weekend, at Malpe Beach !

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When I just relaxed on the smooth white sand…sigh!

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Just before the flight up in the sky !

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And then we flew high up in the sky !

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And the awesome sunset – my favorite !

Musings from the heart

Mathematics was my fav subject
It still is…
I knew the tables upside down
And geometry was so much fun
Algebra, Trigonometry
Logarithms
Oh my !! I used to race them all
In solving the problems and all
I thought this was the world of genius
And I felt part of it
Thinking that this will take me ahead
I walked around with a proud head
I surely felt elated
My ego was suitably inflated
I used to feel like I knew it all
Till a decade back
I realized
That all those functions and theorems
Doesn’t have anything to do
With my present state of life !! Sigh !!

I went behind it too
To pursue it as my course
I jumped into logic
Binary and Hexadecimal
Coding with C++
Till one fine day
When I learnt that
Doing things without logic
Just on the intuition of the heart
Gives me more happiness
And joy !!

And in the process of loving a subject
I left out on many things
Which I would have loved to do
This certainly is not a regret phase
Its just thinking aloud
About not learning those other things
Which I am good at too !!

My dad used to swim well
I could have learnt swimming from him…
I did learn later
But with Dad it would’ve been great !

My mom cooks damn well
I could have learnt straight under her
Instead of learning from her through phone…

My patti was a great entrepreneur
She did so many things from home
It was her necessity
But I try to think of her ability
To manage business so well
Without a B-school degree !!

I could have learnt to sing better
To stitch better
To design clothes better
To do kolams better
To solve that crossword better
To paint better
To bake better
And…
I could have read more books
I could have traveled to places
Than be stuck in the same place !!

I never realized the art of writing
Was there inside me
Till the day I pushed myself
To become a blogger !!

This is just a blabber post
About people missing out
On their passionate stuff
And to realize their true self
The skills they have
With which they were born
We fail to look into ourselves
And see what we have !
We close our eyes
And jump into the sea of people
Who throng those colleges
Of professional courses !!
Without understanding what we are
It is difficult to study engineering
Or medicine or any course !!
Why not take time out to see
How we fare
Inside our hearts
Do we have a singing voice ?
An urge to play an instrument ?
Interested in stars ?
In reading palms ?
Helping out people ?
Talking to people ?
What are we inside ?
What do we like ?
Make a career out of that
And never feel a regret !!

Day 29 – Awwww moments 2

I started this crazy month of ramblings with a story about my little one and I’m ending the same talking about her.  Yes, this is the 29th post for the month of February and I’m so happy to have done this for my blog. I’ve made it alive 😀

I just met her this weekend. And she is a joy to be with – her instant smiles and hugs were surely a welcome break than the monotony of life.  It really is. Its only when I’m away from it do I realize it.

  • When she was about 5 or 6 years, she used to call her peripa (her dad’s elder brother) as Hong Kong. We just didn’t know what made her call him like that. But she loved calling him like that and then show her brilliant smile and vanish. Now, when she is so embarrassed about that name calling, he keeps calling her with that name to tease her. It’s so lovely watching them making fun of the childhood name calling.
  • Even when she was a little kid, she used to be very different about her ideas and held onto them stubbornly. And sometimes, she doesn’t wanted us to guess what idea is being formed in her head. So, she’ll cover her eyes and bend down and shout “Dont read my mind” 😀 😀   (as if we couldn’t find about it otherwise 😉  )
  • When we were in Hyderabad, I used to have a lady S who comes over to make chapattis and help with the household work too. And whenever she is making the chapattis, my little one will go and stand with her and talk to her. And much later, after shifting to Chennai, she tells me that she even learnt to make chapattis from S.  And during those times in Hyderabad, S will make for her tiny button sized chapattis to snack on.  Now, I go Awww thinking about what a people’s person my little one has been.
  • When she was in her Higher Secondary, she needed to travel by the local train to reach her school. And of course, she had the train pass for her travel. But everyday morning, she’ll keep a 10/- note and a few change for one old lady and one old man who stand on the way to the railway station.  She just cannot pass by them, without giving them the money. She used to tell “I want to help such people Ma”.
  • The train is a great place to make friends. While she was travelling one day, there were a lot of transgender people asking for money. And my little one was very scared of them then.  So, she kept the money ready in her hand.  But when those people came near her, they refused to take money from students, citing that “I’ve also studied M.Com and I don’t want money from students”.  My daughter was so stunned and then came home to another session “Ma, I’ve a doubt on transgender”.
  • And with all her doubts on this thing and that thing, I’m very happy that she always came to me with it. She’s one hell of a curious cat and she has never hesitated to come to me with her share of questions, starting from “Why this maid is doing like this?” to “You know why this happened in Fifty shades of grey, right??”   –  Yeah, that’s her 😀
  • She went swimming and banged her face on the pool wall and broke her front tooth. For a long time, she was with one half-broken tooth in the front row. She used to hesitate so much to give a full smile for pictures. And then over time, she got over it – crooked teeth or what, I’ll smile my brilliant way. That’s my girl!
  • It was a rainy evening in Hyderabad. And the girls were playing down while I was finishing the dinner cooking. Suddenly elder one comes running telling that the younger one has fallen down. I went crazy. More than acting calm, my mind was rushing with images and my heart was pounding. She and her friends had tried cycling over a car drive-way slope and because of the rains the break was slippery and she lost balance and had fallen down. Luckily she was not hurt badly but she was crying. She should be about 10 or 11 years old and quite tall for her age.  And when I realized that her leg was swollen little bit, I just carried her from the car park to home. I didn’t know from where I got the strength to carry her like that.  All through, she was telling me the same thing “How come you’re carrying me Ma?”  I amazed myself that day and she went Awww over me J
  • She loves to sit on the kitchen top and keep dragging me into her hug, which I miss so terribly these days.
  • The way she updates me about whats happening in her friends circle and what they are doing, how she is patching up with old friends, how she has matured enough to forgive her friends for what they did long time back – I love gossip sessions with her.
  • The way she cuddles and talks stories with her pattis is something special.
  • She’s the youngest of all the cousins in the paternal side and everyone still treats her like a tiny kid. No one even wants to believe that she is in college on her own…ha ha 😀 But she takes in all those things with a smile and emanates the power of self-confidence and the ability to do things all by herself. I’m just so proud of her ❤

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Day 25 – Stories the pictures say…

24 days of blogging continuously !! WOW, I am surely giving a huge pat to myself !! And I hope I’ve not gone too much into the gyaan side and all 😉

All those new mothers out there, who are documenting every moment of their little one’s life in their blog – I envy you all. I didn’t think of documenting it in my little diary years back neither did I know about blogs and all that time. And even when I started blogging, I never wrote about day-to-day happenings with my girls…sigh !  Anyway, I’m trying my level best to remember all those little things from my memory and have them recorded here in this blog of mine.

The elder one always used to play with vessels and be in the kitchen with me. Even now, if I’m making dosa for her, she’ll come and sit in the kitchen, talk to me and eat there itself. She feels happy in the kitchen, just how Nigella says 😀  And so perfectly, she has chosen her profession to be a Chef !

The younger one, aaahhhh, I remember that her cousins used to call her as “Advisor”, as she is always at it – advising others on what to do and how to do.  As she keeps learning the right way of doing things from me, I can see her imparting that knowledge to others, even while playing. Many a times, that has been her complaint too – that other school kids are hesitant to play with her because she is always telling them what is right and what is not.  And now rightly, she has chosen to study human behaviour and stuff and want to become a “Counsellor” – How apt !!

There are things from your childhood which follows you always….we just need to look for the signs.

And when I was looking at some old pictures from the album, there were some photos which told a whole story…

There is a picture of the elder one on an elephant and recently I had written about her love for elephants – that’s such a cute picture.

The girls learning to swim and with their new swimming costume – damn cute I say !

All the funny faces the little one makes during picture clicking – she’s adorable with her glasses, which always tends to fall to the tip of the nose and her peeping tom eyes through that gap…sigh…do I miss those little girl days !!

Like the time in the cable car, how scared the girls were initially. But a little later, they both enjoyed the whole ride.

How wonderful it was to see them doing the rides and playing the silly bike games just because they have to follow suit their cousin brother!

And how the girls endlessly wore only shorts or pants, to copy their cousin brother – he was the super hero for them !  He even formed a group called “Extreme team” with all this little girl sisters and issued membership cards and all – super cute, I say 😀

How wonderful it was to see the elder one ride the cycle without supporting wheels and when she realized that she has done it on her own and her dad was not holding the cycle, she was super thrilled with her riding skills.

While my elder one is too good with drawing, painting, arts and making hand-made things, the younger one can’t draw a straight line using a scale.  But she is too good with music and a natural drummer too.

And how the picture of beach and waves made me smile at the fun times we had getting wet in the beach !

How the elder one started clicking pictures on her own and some of her pictures are too good for their lighting effects and angle. The flowers she clicks are too good, I say ! And the B&W ones too. And her subject for Food photography has helped her understand more intricate things to do with lighting and how that affects the outcome of the picture.  Its interesting, how I’m learning a lot of things from them.

Month of ramblings

Day 24 – Manifest your world

My little one is great at playing games. And the best memory I’ve is this:

When she was about 2.5 years old, we used to live in the first floor of an independent house. The house-owner stayed in the ground floor and they were very good people and very fond of my daughters. Every evening all of them will jointly play with my daughters and my younger one will conduct her famous game.

During those times, my husband was a lot into travelling and he’ll be talking about going to Trichy, then to Madurai and then to Tirunelveli. The little one was observing every word of this and made up her bus game.

Every evening, she’ll sit in the big cement seat in the ground floor and all the others will sit behind her and she’ll call out “Tissyyyyy”, instead of Trichy. And the elder one acting as the ticket conductor will ask everyone to pay money and buy ticket.  Off we all went to Tissyyyyy every evening, sitting on that cement seat, while she’ll be making the sound of a moving bus, with her lips vibrating against each other, increasing and decreasing the tempo while taking a deep breath, with saliva splashing during high-speed times – Oh my !! I still remember the tiny girl in a frock fake-driving a bus to Tissyyyyyy 😀

And behold !! My husband got a wonderful job offer and we moved to Trichy (Tissyyyyy) within six months.

My little girl, you manifested that brilliant move for you and in effect for your daddy too !!

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This Horlicks Ad was a favorite with my girls, when they were about 10 and 8 years old.

Why this was a favorite one?? Having spent so many years in individual houses, they really wanted to play with more children and be part of a big group of friends. Whenever this Ad used to come on TV, they’ll squeal with delight that this is the kind of place they want to live in – a huge apartment with many flats in it.  And that they’ll have a lot of friends, go swimming, keep playing till night and never ever get bored.

And when we took them to book our own flat, they were excited but they didn’t realize how their manifestation has worked. After we moved into our new home, the girls were super excited – they made a lot of friends, went swimming, played till night and never got bored there 😀 Yeah…seriously, it happened !!

See, isn’t this wonderful !! How you manifest your own world by thinking about it and game-playing about it – actually the belief in your heart is what matters.

So, what are you waiting for ??? Just manifest your world and be happy.

Month of ramblings

Day 22- Being brave

Neerja.
A story of courage
And of exceptional strength
In the face of terror.

The final speech by her mom
Touched a chord or two
On the values to instill
While upbringing a child,
Especially a girl one.

She taught her child to save herself
During moments of despair.
But that girl gave herself
To save 3 little kids.

It was her father’s lesson
That made an impact
On being brave
And not to support with the
Wrong people and their wrong doings.

My dear daughters,
this is exactly what I would tell you.

As you face the world
There might be instances
When the peer pressure might be high
Do go the wrong way.

Friendships will be tested
Based on you following the group
Of the wrong doers.

Here, at this moment
You should take your stand
To be strong against the wrong.

Its your moral values
That’ll stand for you
During the long run
In your life.

Be brave, dear child
I’m there with thee
Even when the whole world joins together
It cannot shake your bravery !

Month of ramblings

Day 21 – Lazy Sunday Food Ramblings

Oh yeah…its the ramblings month and it’s already evening as I sit to type my post for today. Too much of work, but no complaints either. Am enjoying this busy schedule of work and in between making time to write a few sentences for my girls or about my girls.  20 days are done with…sigh…how did I even do it ??  When Shail started it, I was very tempted. After all, which blogger wouldn’t be interested to revive a blog that has slowed its postings.  But I was scared to take the step forward as my work schedules were not in my hand till the last minute and I may not have internet access to write a post. I wondered. Suddenly, I plunged in with the confidence of the WordPress app on my phone. It is quite tedious to type and post using the phone, but there is a possibility there and I started blogging for the ramblings month.

Sometimes, this is what I tell my girls too, that just think of something and take a plunge or take the first step. Trust that you’re going to do it and it’ll work out fine.

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Today being Sunday, I love to get up a little late – you know just roll in for that extra time even after being awake.  And when my younger one was in school, I always plan something special for Sundays. Either it’ll be poori-aloo / masala dosa with sambar & chutney – something she’ll love.  She has so many specifications when it comes to making her fav dish. Potato fry has to be made in the same way always – there should be no change in recipe. She doesn’t like if curry leaves or coriander is added to sambar or curd rice or coconut chutney.  Rasam should have garlic in it, as a rule.  All vegetables which can be fried like potato, bhindi, yam, arbi, cauliflower are her favorite ones.  She likes a few other vegetables too but not too keen to go for a second helping.  Once when she was very young, I made her peel the arbi to do the fry.  When her hands become gooey because of arbi’s slimy nature after boiling, she was getting very irritated. She said, “See Ma, when I grow big, I’m going to design a arbi peeling machine and it will make work easy” 😀 ha ha…she didn’t even venture near science to design that machine.  And how cutely she’ll say that she wants to become a “Cooker” when she grows up, instead of saying Chef !! 😀

And today when I made bhindi fry and Vengaya vetha kuzhambu (a tangy spicy stew kind of sambar minus the dal using onions), I’m thinking of that little girl of mine who is sitting miles away in her hostel room and thinking “Why this Ma is making bhindi when I’m not there at home?” – “I know you darling, I can read your mind miles away too and I miss you terribly” 😛

It’s always food that connects me with my girls.  It helps in forming such a wonderful bond among us that we talk about this dish and that dish which I made years back or the muffins I had baked for her friends – the connectivity is food.

Once my MIL was talking about how she has never made the Aappam (the dosa made like a cup) – you see, she is very forgetful off-late.  My younger one immediately reminded her paati that she had made Aappam on a particular Republic day, 7 or 8 years back. I was astounded by this food memory.

And today when the elder one ate the bhindi fry and vetha kuzhambu, she just licked her hand and said “Ma, you’re the best” !  Sigh…that’s what I said to my mom too…
And also my patti, as she used to make delicious sweets and savouries during festival times. And we used to exchange the sweets and savouries with friends and relatives.  And me and my sister never used to touch the ones which the neighbors or others give us.  We were proud of what our patti made for us and we relished it so much. We were and still are staunch loyalists of our patti and for us, she is the best cook for the sweets and savouries.

Somehow, food memories give such comfort and I feel so cuddly now. I think I need to talk to my mom asap 😀
And I also need to plan for dinner 😉

Month of ramblings

Day 20 – The art of letting go

I remember very well the freedom I enjoyed as a teenager, the trust by my parents and grand parents on me and along with that the wonderful thing called responsible freedom. All the freedom I enjoyed in studying what I wanted to, in going out with friends, in bringing home friends (both boys and girls – 3 decades back it was a huge thing), on deciding whom to marry and when to marry – everything came with the tag of responsibility. No one spoke about that to me, but it made the freedom appear more valuable and I could take much better decisions.

I wanted to study Engineering and my Appa said yes to it.
I joined in the same Company where I did my final year training. My Appa was OK with it.
In that Company, I was dealing more with the Hardware concepts. When after 3 years, I decided to shift to software, I just quit the job one fine day and came home to tell my Appa. He just looked at me and asked “What next?”  He didn’t even raise his voice to ask Why I left that fabulous job !!
I decided to study further and my Appa supported it.
I got into a software company and my Appa was happy for me. And it was this job that made me the happiest. I thank my stars for such supporting parents, who actually didn’t criticize when I listened to my heart.
And when they wanted to get me married, Appa came and gave me the freedom to say yes or no to it.
Not only my father, my mom too has been great supporters of my decisions. They accepted me as who I am then and still accept me with all the changes that has happened to me so far.  That acceptance has given me the ability to do things as my heart says and not do things as dictated by parents or society.

And this acceptance can happen only if we, as parents, learn the art of Letting Go.  What it actually means ??

It’s a beautiful art where we as parents are attached to our children yet detached in many ways.

Teach them cooking, be there to see whether they are being careful about not getting burnt. But allow them to do it. Without trying it on their own, they can never learn. Every child knows its going to burn them, if they are not careful. A small scar today can teach them much better things than our protective “Oh no…don’t touch this or that” !!  The cooking is just an example.  As far as possible, allow them to make mistakes when young and when we are around to support them.   The lessons are learnt better that way.

Let Go of that super-protective instinct that might sometimes choke the children. As a young mother, I was paranoid about so many things. I’ll be scared to let them cross roads on their own. I was scared to let them go out and play alone. I used to tag along. And whenever I sent them alone, they used to come home hurt.  That used to increase the paranoia I was feeling.  May be they were getting hurt as my mind was constantly thinking about them getting hurt without me.

Realizations hit later in life and I was no different.  The moment I started believing that they’ll be fine without me, things started to change. I wanted them to travel to school by public transport and learn the routes. And for that I’ve left them to go on their own.  If I keep holding them with me, they’ll never learn.  Learning the routes and being alert on the road are things which we learn by actually being there and not by sitting at home, totally protected.

And as parents, we just need to instill in them a sense of morality, a sense of what is good and what is wrong and then be done with a job done well. If we keep monitoring them, at every stage of life as to what they are doing, they’ll start doing it behind our back. Let them be. If I have set a good example of being morally responsible, then I’m sure that my daughters will be morally responsible too. After all, my genes do dwell in them 😀

We need to be attached to them by sending out love, strength and support and yet be detached in allowing them to fall and make mistakes and keep going on and on, without getting scared of making mistakes.  This is such a huge lesson that I learnt.

So, dear daughter, what is it you want to do in life ?
Do you want to travel a path less traveled ? Have you got the guts in you to keep going till you realize your dream ?  Tell me how you want me to support you – I will.  I’m there for you, behind you and absolutely rooting for you. You go, find your niche, create your dream life and just be immensely happy ❤

Month of ramblings