Oh, I Juggle!

Home, Family, Success, Peace… Can a woman really have it all?

Archive for the category “Relationships”

Conversation with My Six Year Old

“Amma, what do you want to be when you grow up?” She asks.

“I am already grown up.” I reply.

“But, what do you want to do?” She clarifies.

I think for a while. “I am a mother.”

“No, no. What work do you want to do?” She is getting a little impatient.

“I used to work in a bank and now I stay at home to take care of you and your little brother. Taking care of the family is work too.” I smile.

“Like I want to be a cake decorator, what would you like to do when you grow up?” The influence of watching Masterchef. Also, I clearly needed to brush up some parenting tactics. She refuses to register that I am a grown up.

“I am trying to be a writer and hopefully soon, a published author.” I change course.

“Will you be famous?” She is all bright eyed with excitement. “Will you make lots of money?”

I don’t want her to have high expectations and be let down.

“One can never say. I will do my very best, but someone has to agree to publish my novel. Then, many people have to buy copies. I want to be a writer because I love to write, not just to make money. We can never be sure of how things will happen in the future…”I trail off, thinking of all the complexities of marketing and luck working together.

“Will you be famous or not?” She still expects a clear answer.

I quickly make up my mind, “Yes, I will be famous.” My eyes mirror the shine in hers.

Yes, dreaming is much more fun than being realistic. It makes this long journey of writing a novel more pleasant.

Just as I start wondering how I can slip in a lesson on acting and not just dreaming, she sternly asks me,

“So, how many words have you written today?”

Happy Mothers’ Day!

It was yesterday. I didn’t want to write about it. I am not really a ‘Day’ person. Maybe it is because there are too many ‘Days’ and the novelty has worn off.  I usually refrain from making a big deal of celebrating these days. Why should we have a special day for anything? Shouldn’t you value and cherish relationships on a regular basis rather than wait for an annual reminder? Doesn’t it become mechanical when you pretend to care just for the day?

Then my 5 year old daughter gave me this beautiful card for Mothers’ Day.

It was the most wonderful feeling. And even though I had to work on her spellings, I realized I had been a bit harsh in judging the motivation behind celebrating a day for the most cherished relationship of all. The relationship which forms the foundation for all other relationships we form over our lifetimes.

Most of the time we are all just rushing past each other. So busy all the time. Doing things we have to do. Squeezing time in for the things we love. Acknowledging one another’s presence but not having enough time to do that little extra which makes all the difference. Maybe there is nothing wrong with taking time to stop, reflect and feel gratitude for a special relationship. Most times we do feel the need for a reason to do something. A dedicated day can be a good reason.

I still will not be spending too much time on such days. The good old birthdays and anniversaries work well enough for me.  But the next time someone wishes me “Happy Happiness Day”, I will smile, be a sport and say “and to you too!”

Is it the cooking, or the love?

Whenever I hear someone say, “My mother is the best cook in the world,” my first reaction is invariably, irritation. I know! I am supposed to admire the deep love the mother and child (90% of the time it is the sons who make such declarations) and then be in awe of the said mother’s cooking.  But for logical me, such sweeping statements don’t impress.

How can anyone claim anything to be the best without having tasted at least a hundred other samples? Sure, I understand that a mother’s cooking grows on the child. So much that the same child who complained endlessly when young, is ready to confer this great title as an adult.

Understandably, most people are dismayed when I share my views about this topic. A mother’s love and all kinds of expressions of it, is supposedly sacred and must not be belittled. And that is not my intention at all. (I do believe that a mother’s love is supremely selfish, but that is a topic for another post!) Now that I am a mother myself, I feel, I can justifiably express myself.

As a child, food was not central to my existence. My family loved to do many things together and we did not allow the eating and making of food to be the primary activity of the day. But eat we did. And my lunch box always interested my friends because of the sheer variety. There are many of my mother’s classic recipes which still bring back such fond memories. But my relationship with my mother is a lot more than just food.

And that is my argument. It is not the food per se. It is the memories associated with it which make it so glorious. The taste of one meal lasts just a few minutes. It is the memory of the taste and the entire experience around the eating that lingers. But good cooking must be judged without taking into account our relationship with the cook.

My daughter gives great feedback about food. She tells me when she loves it and thanks me for it. She also tells me if she likes what someone else makes a little bit better. I am just glad that her taste buds work independently of her love for me. I also know each time she gives a compliment, that it is truly genuine. For me, that is priceless.

It is easy for sensory experience to replicate an old feeling and make you feel various emotions. You may feel love, joy, security, togetherness etc. I completely understand that.

Yesterday I had adai. It is like a savory lentil and rice pancake. I had it with jaggery and home collected fresh cream. The combination was divine. I closed my eyes and was transported back to my childhood. To those lazy Sundays and the company of my darling sister and my lovely parents.  I could hear the laughter and feel the joy. This seemed like the most delicious breakfast I had had in months.

And I thought, “My mother’s adais are the best!” Then I mentally tch tched myself!

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