You know you are a Mom when…

At 7 months

At 7 months

1. Its been a year since you last blogged.

2. You feel like you have faced your biggest fear and overcome it when you managed to clip your baby’s nails without cutting him

3. You are obsessed with topics of baby poo; the colour, the texture, the smell and every other gross detail of it.

4. Your new look includes drool and spit on your hair and food caked in all weird parts of your body.

5. You find yourself obsessively checking for fever, rashes, spots on your baby every 2 minutes.

6. When you are convinced every sneeze is the onset of a flu.

7.  When you realise how your baby’s cry is so very different from other babies who still sound all the same.

8. When you are bone tired and wishing that your baby would just sleep, but as soon as he does, you miss his gummy smile and so you prod him awake.

9. When you realise that you have spent the last 2 hours staring at him sleep

10. When you find yourself humming the ridiculous Gigglebellies songs in the shower.

11. When bath time includes rubber ducks.

12. When you find yourself whispering at dinner though your baby is fast asleep upstairs.

13. When the best part of your day includes kissing chubby, petal soft cheeks and feet.

14. When you think farts and burps are the cutest sounds ever.

15. When you feel gummy smiles should be included in the wonders of the world.

16. When you don’t really mind clumps of your hair being pulled from their roots at play time.

17. When every outing includes, bottles, flask, treats, toys, sunscreen, diapers….basically a bag that would have all the essentials to survive a nuclear war.

18. When nights are all about baby smells, cuddles and hugs and less about sleep.

19. When you have accute tendonitis but still want to carry your baby with your painful arms.

20. When you eat awful ‘healthy’ food so that you can make better milk for your baby.

21. When you keep bringing down last week’s clothes which are already too small and find yourself sobbing over them.

22. When every new phase makes you deliriously happy and sad at the same time.

23. When you miss your baby even if you are with him the whole day.

24. When talking in funny voices is the new norm.

25. When you find yourself praying everyday only for him.

26. When you love the thought of having grandkids simply because they belong to your baby.

27. When staying at home all day is suddenly a good thing.

28. When you have a million pictures of him sleeping, playing, smiling; infact doing normal things which you think are special.

29. When you can do housework with just one hand you are carrying him with the other.

30. When the first blog you write after a year is all about him.








The Story of Genocide in India

Genocide Ignored

We all know the facts and figures; 6 million Jews killed at the Holocaust, 800,000 people during the Rwanda genocide, 8000 people at the Srebrenica massacre, the ‘ethnic cleansing’ campaign in Bosnia that killed more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims…The list can go on and on for violence is a trait amongst human beings that rears its ugly head from time to time. Coined in 1944 by Raphael Lemkin, the definition of Genocide can be stated as “the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group”. Everyone flinches, cringes, retorts with unbridled anger at the mention of any of these issues. So what happens to a genocide that has claimed the lives of 50 MILLION people? How has it been not addressed, dealt with and has silently been ignored and passed over for all these years? I am talking about the 50 million women who have disappeared from the population count of India since Independence.

India fought long and hard for her independence. Nowhere can it be claimed that women took a back seat. We fought alongside the men. Fought long and hard for independence, for liberty, for the right to live our lives with freedom, justice and peace. But the story unfolded very differently for us as the world silently watched on.

Since Independence, the census count has proved the ugly stories of female feticide, female infanticide, bride burning and many other horror stories. This year in 2011, India shows the disturbingly shameful figures of a sex ratio that is the lowest for women since Independence. Not a pretty picture that so-called ‘progress and development’ of India has been slapped with.

So let’s take a few moments to analyze this. Why have we not been able to help the conditions of women? We are so proud to claim that women are now found in all professions, have some of the highest marks in schools and universities, are versatile and can balance perfectly her position as a homemaker and a career person, are actively participating in politics; in short are found in all walks of life taking leading roles in our economy and society. So we are counted as a ‘progressing nation’. How can we then have not a few million, but 50 million missing people since 1947? Is it because of religious influences? The patriarchal society that is in dominance that deems family status according to the number of male children a family has? Ignorance and lack of education? Having beaten down the system of sati where widows were burnt on the pyre with their husbands, women still have to face abuse from their husbands and in-laws regarding dowry, marital rape and sometimes abuse simply because they are expected to endure it. Can you really blame these women for not wanting to bring in a girl child and subject them to this suffering? Female babies are poisoned, suffocated, made to swallow husk so that it cuts their throat and intestines, abandoned, drowned; the list of brutalities form a collection of the most terrifying forms of cruelties. Women are considered a burden and ill omen from the moment they are conceived. India seems to have no place for this special section of human beings.

The only state where we seem to be favored is in Kerala. The dominant matriarchal society has always protected, cherished and looked after its women. Education, health, position, power of women in Kerala has always been higher than men and the sex ratio proves how this works in the benefit of the society. Families function better and prosper well with a woman heading the household. We are not considered ‘Another household’s girl’ since our birth in this society.

Is asking for the basics of life; the right to have one meal given to us, the right to develop our minds through education, the right to have a voice, the right to be seen, so much so the right to live and breathe asking for too much? When will this genocide finally end? When will we have a savior? When will we have our tryst with destiny?

Food for Thought

I was reading a mail from Niels today. I was trying to explain to him the whole Ram Janm Bhoomi- Babri Masjid situation. And he mentioned his take on it that made me think; that religious discussions are not really healthy food for thought.

Religion. The dictionary defines it as the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.”

Here’s my take on it. When man finds instances in life too much to comprehend, overwhelmingly scary or happy, too wondrous, too agonizing, it is basic human nature to want to turn to something or someone. A primeval instinct to look for comfort, something we learnt right in the womb. So he constructed a higher purpose and put down a set of rules to control society through it. All the focused energy vibrations together formed ‘God’. Throughput the world, this ‘god’ is called different things; Jehovah, Rama, Allah, Jesus, and so on. But what we turn to finally is that intrinsic energy that resides in all of us human beings which transcend with pure belief into something bigger than us. Atleast this is my take on it.

But at the end of the day it can be agreed that god is spiritual faith and religion is a manmade construct. And the people who use god’s name to justify vile act of violence not religious at all. All religions talk of the same vices and practices; peace, love, brotherhood, loyalty. There is no religion that says, “Please use god’s name and kill all those around you, sacrifice innocent lives and create bloodshed and thou shall be welcomed into the sanctity of heaven”. And people who think so are so far removed from god that religion is just a hasty understanding to them. So to you Hindu and Muslim extremists out there who took lives of men, children and women, who created fear and terror in the hearts of your own countrymen, who incited hate into the hearts of people who lived as peaceful neighbors, god is dead to you and you killed him.

Today as the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid verdict looms over the country, it isn’t Rama or Allah that is bothered. It is the common, everyday people of India cowering in houses, scared of a tide of violence they once witnessed, fearing for the lives of the people they love and ashamed of the cruelties of their own countrymen. So today, I bow down my head not as a Hindu or a Christian, but as an Indian, hoping that her country will make her proud and rise above the pettiness that she once witnessed before. Hoping that she can once again, live in freedom in a country that fought for it. Hoping for peace. Jai Hind.

Opening Up

For those of you who like me have been living on your own for a while and is used to having to take care of yourself and not depend on anybody else for all those emotional upheavals, you will know what I am talking about.

True, you have friends, you have family; but they are all far away from you. There is only so much you can communicate over the phone and over emails. The fact that these people are around is an undeniable truth. But what also holds true is that for the most part, you have learnt to deal with things yourself, take care and protect yourself from all the hurtful stuff life hurls at you. You talk about it, discuss it, get the comfort from ‘your people’, but put the phone down or close the email, when all the feels come rushing at you and overwhelms you, you have only yourself to help deal with them. It’s a good lesson learnt the hard way.

But time comes when you suddenly get a new set of ‘your people’ to be physically around. It can be a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor, a boyfriend/girlfriend, a husband/wife, a great boss or any one at all. Now comes the tough question, how do you start the process of opening up?

The people you have already put on the list as ‘deemed worthy of opening up to’ are people who have crept in and been a part of your life for a long time, much before the rigidness of living alone made its mark on you and toughened you up in a way that has made it almost impossible to open up to a new set of people. You might not even remember how it was done. But because you care about the people who have just come in, you try.

To trust is no easy task especially if you have been hurt before along the way. To tell someone what is wrong to me is almost a physical feat; the words get stuck in your throat, the feeling wedges onto your chest till you can barely breathe, anger, frustration, pain, fear all make their way tumbling through your head, everything gets fuzzy, confusing and terribly overwhelming.

But in spite of all this, you still try. It’s hard, but you still do. And what you fear the most is that this fragile trust will be taken and shattered into a million pieces and to put it back together all over again will be impossible. And then you are going to be stuck with the process of gluing yourself together on your own again, is it really worth it? Will the person take care of you? Be loyal to you? Hold you in priority? Not let you down? Squelch your fears? Understand you? Fight your battles with you? Or will you let yourself in for a ride only to find yourself sweeping up the left behinds?

But let me tell you this, close your eyes and think of the people who haven’t ever let you down. Who have fiercely and passionately been true and loyal to you. Who were never politically right when it came to matters of your heart and emotions. Think how these people made you feel. The sheer joy, the happiness that floods in you when they do so, the feeling of worth and measure you felt when they stood by you, the security and the way you let your protected heart open up and be free; isn’t it worth taking a risk to let someone make you feel that way? Isn’t it worth taking the chance? So all you independent, strong willed and mistrustful people out there – let loose a bit. Let someone in. If you are let down it is their bad and I am sure that you are strong enough to survive it. Otherwise, enjoy the feeling of letting someone win your trust. Bon chance.

It’s a wonderful life

I have always heard about ‘It’s a wonderful life’; the all time favorite holiday movie. I have never watched it before. But last night I finally did and I am glad for it. I know a lot of people who don’t enjoy old movies that have no dazzling special effects and mind blowing animations. But movies today really miss out on that emotional chord that old movies still manage to strike. Movies of today are so focused on the visuals and either straying as far away from reality as possible or sticking so close to it that it seems too much to digest. In the process they miss out on the fact that you don’t have to have the best visuals, you don’t have to have graphic reality; but you can have a story that we all relate to and you have something special. Romance – that is what movies today miss. Not the romance that comes just between a man and a woman (or a woman and a woman or a man and a man, hey I have no prejudices), but romance in terms of how you look at life and weave its spell all over a story. Watch Roman Holiday, My fair lady, sound of music, to kill a mocking bird, Casablanca and a hoard of other movies and you will know what I am talking about.

To come back to ‘It’s a wonderful life’; I enjoyed every minute of it. I loved the part where he says he will lasso the moon for her and the part where they are singing silly songs. I loved every bit of it. I went to sleep thinking about the movie. The movie is essentially about making a man realize his worth; it talks about how your life is measured not by how you see yourself, but more on how others see you. How much difference you make to others lives and how their worlds would be different if not for you.

As I was dozing, I wondered about what difference I made. My folks would still have my sister so I didn’t make much difference there. Sharika would be fine too. My family would still function without me. My friends would have their own lives with or without me. I haven’t saved anyone’s life, wrought changes in a community, in short, done nothing spectacular to speak of. So what is my worth?

Suddenly I felt my 2 little babies cuddling up to me on either side and found myself smiling into the dark. I did save 2 lives and they were on either side. Nemo and Memoll wouldn’t have made it without me. And I wouldn’t have been me without them. And that’s when it struck me. It isn’t about a heroic act or an instance of great tribute that deems your worth. It is how many times you have made someone think of you with love, made someone smile into the dark. Sure, my folks, my sister, my friends would all have still been able to live without me. But in small ways, I have made their lives happier. I have brought joy and smile and fun into their lives and they are who they are, in some small way, because of me. I have gathered love that has come my way out of no obligation, no need; in spite of hurt caused, irritation, anger and frustration. I have been loved in spite and because of everything I have done. And I have loved back with all my heart. And if that doesn’t make life worth living and completely wonderful, I don’t know what does. All of you out there, who have made me what I am, thank you. I love you all. Happy New Year all of you.


NemoAs a member of the cat family, I feel the need to pen down a few words about the tragic trapped corner I find my cousins in. My name is Nemo and I live with my sister Memoll and my mother Mythily who for some reason looks nothing like my sister and me. Anyways, to come back to the topic – tigers in India.

I was listening to a box my mom refers to as the TV the other day. She likes to come home after work and lie down and stare at it for a while. This is generally my ‘fuss time’. I get my neck and back scratched and get all the kisses and hugs I cold ask for. Then I watched this piece on the tiger situation in India.

They were talking about how 25 tigers have disappeared from an Indian sanctuary. My mom was fuming talking about how this was the second reserve they are disappearing from and how she could not understand how their disappearance wasn’t noticed before. I agree. You can’t imagine the hysteria and a near heart attack and tears I created when I went missing for a few hours (just exploring the next building). And one of the greatest species on earth is fast becoming extinct, and no one cares? How is that possible? Are we not important and isn’t it everyone’s duty to look after each other however different we may look or speak or eat?

I had seen this other piece on TV about how a cat killer in the US was arrested on suspicion and if convicted could serve the rest of his life in jail on many counts of offence (my mom’s sister who we also call mom is a lawyer so I understand these terms). It amuses me that 19 cat owners are moved enough my their cats deaths are have proved capable enough to start a motion and get the wrong doer arrested, but a country of 1 billion… 1 BILLION I repeat, can’t save its tigers. Ironical?

I agree the process is a long one. With poaching and development, it seems to be a losing battle. But I hope we at least put up a fight. Try and save these great beasts so that the future generation knows that no cause is lost as long as there are people who care. More action and less talk people. Buck up- Meow