Category Archives: Growing Old

Let go…

Do you ever wonder when you look at someone whether this will be the last time you will see them? Do you try and capture in your mind what their hands look like, their toes and what their hugs feel like? I worry that I will forget the scent of the person when they pass on.

You might catch glimpses of their features in photos but their smell will go away won’t it? Somewhere into the universe. Will you be sitting in your balcony one day and suddenly get their whiff and feel your heart so full from pain and joy? 

Would you beat yourself over all the things you haven’t done for the person? Would you regret the day who didn’t join them in their walk because you didn’t feel like?

Are you torn between being selfish and wanting them around for you but not wanting them to suffer and not wanting to watch them suffer?

I read a story about a set of twins during the holocaust maybe about 10 years old. They were sewn together by the evil doctor to resemble Siamese twins. They apparently were in a lot of pain and used to scream a lot – their mother overdosed them on morphine to kill them and relieve their pain. 

Do you wonder if put in a horrible situation of any kind you hang on to hope of things getting better or just want to escape the misery.I read stories of the survivors of the holocaust and how some of them went ahead and had a full life. Maybe some of them would feel that living through that torture was worth how their life turned out? 

But that’s the thing about life isn’t it? We can’t sit and brood – because then it is a downward spiral. The world will just look darker and darker. 

We need to believe in hope, be resilient about today and revel in the beautiful memories of the past. 

The past, the present and the future are yours to make your life beautiful. 

Let go of the negativity and regrets.. Just let go because it is your life to make beautiful …

I apologise for the morbid thoughts and all the mumbo jumbo that I have written but my mind is just full of this and I was hoping writing would clear my mind. 

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Y is for yesterday

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I climbed a wall and cried at the top of it because I was too scared to jump off.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I cried because I was to leave a girls school and join a co-ed Coz I didn’t like boys.

Didn’t I just realise yesterday that boys make amazing friends too. 

And has it really been almost 20 years since I passed out of school and since I saw Port Blair !

Wasn’t I Just the nervous island return girl joining a college in Mumbai.

Has it really been 14 years since I first went to B school and met the Tall one and a lot of friends I have made for a lifetime?

Good lord , I started working 12 years ago.

Hello, wasn’t it just yesterday that the Tall one and I lived the dink life – back to back movies, late nights and not a care in the world

And the elf he was definitely born yesterday. Why does he keep claiming to be 4!
AAaah I guess this is being middle aged? I feel so old and yet I feel young. I don’t think I am old enough to be called middle aged. I am a bit apprehensive too. What’s next ? Will I have as many great memories of the rest of my life or will I bemoan yesterday. Will there be no excitement? Will I become a better version of me or will I just stagnate and remain who I am now. 

But like I said in the Q is for post – que Sara Sara – what will be, will be. But I owe it to me to live it up, don’t I?

This is my entry for Y as part of the April atoz challenge 

P is for Postcards from Port Blair

I am totally going to cheat on this post. For most of you Port Blair is a travel destination, for me and for a lot of us who grew up there – Port Blair is a feeling. Last evening as i sat down to write about this place, the words felt inadequate. How do i put to words the place I was happiest in – an innocent carefree life. How do I describe the place I don’t want to go back to because I fear the memory is more beautiful than the reality. It’s the place i most want to take the Tall One and the Elf to but i dont want to because i feel they wont see it with my biased eyes

I posed this question to my “chaddi buddies” who grew up with me in this idyllic islands and got them to write about living in Port Blair. What amazed me is that each of our memories and thoughts are so similar. Some of us grew up there, some of us (like me) were there for a couple of years, some still called it home (where their parents still are) but we all felt the magic. The magic was in its simplicity, in its beauty and its purity. Bear with the post as 66% of my chaddi buddies recount our wonder years.

This is what Gi my friend of the lemonade fame had to say:

Growing up in Port Blair was fun. Everydat was a picnic -the kind you read in Enid Blyton books. We could see the sea from everywhere. We could go on boat rides whenever we wanted to, have a mid night picnic in the middle of the sea on a full moon night, go swimming and snorkeling. I still miss the smell of the sea and the feel of the sand under my feet, even though its been half a decade since I went back there. I would like to say that apart from all the good things, I personally saw pretty rough times too and Port Blair was my refuge from the world.

A few of us had been living in Port Blair since we were very little and left it when we grew up and a few us came and went with Parents postings. There was a magic bond that was created and I think it was because of the place, the sheer simplicity of it. I can say this for all of us that we would all like to go back there together and experience that again.

And this is what my other friend P had to say:

They called her a junglee – a quiet shy girl, full of dreams and ambitions. She geew from being a little girl, to a a teenager and a young adult on these beautiful.From the shores of the sea to the middle of forests a life which seems like something right out of the jungle book.

Carefree and happy full of memories- Running to catch a seat in the bus to get to the ferry, watching the sun rise and set each day along the horizon,the shimmers of the waves still catch her eyes and remind her of many picnics and outings movies and birthdays with her favorite bunch of the buddies -people she has known for most of her life…

PortBlair will always remain part of her no matter were she is or were she goes…

There is Reshmi from mum in the curry fame – she looks back nostalgically to the place which she still calls home (this was by far the toughest post to edit, i do hope she features the whole post on her blog someday

Living in a country  (US) where I did  not grow up but moved for education and job, I have often been asked ‘Where are you originally from?” Since my answer is not the simplest and the place not the easiest to know or locate, I i usually pull up a map to show. The reaction I get from people when I show them the speckles in a vast ocean on a map, never ceases to amuse me, followed by the ‘What’s the place called again?”

As much as I love telling people about my home, it’s the next question from them (which almost always follows the first) that trumps me. “Why in the world would you leave such a beautiful place to come HERE?”
However pragmatic my answer  sounds about a better life and job and all that jazz, truth is I ask myself that question more often that I have been asked by someone else.
How can you not love a place so beautiful! The only image that conjures in my mind when someone says HOME is that of a small town, views of the sea from every where, hills, clear skies (of course when its not pouring!), fresh air…I can go on. This is the place I spent 18 years of my life. Place that taught me the charm of small communities and simple living; the value of finding small joys in mundane things (getting drenched in the rain while walking back from school in spite of that umbrella in the bag!); where I made friendships that have lasted for so long that I don’t remember how long. Where I met the love of my life. Where my parents still are, where some of the people I value the most still live. The place that shaped my profession. The place that I would go back in a heartbeat (but then life’s reality blah blah blah).
Port Blair is also the place that I also miss the most. My husband thinks it’s only a matter of years that this love will give away to a mere memorable affection, and I fight him for that unwanted opinion. It is true that I may have chose to ignore the fact that the place and times have changed. Things may not be the same. But my Port Blair will always be what I remember from when I left. Port Blair may have moved on without me, but I will remain in denial that it has. And that is the reason why every time the sky becomes over cast, I remember home.Any time I hear the rain lashing out in the night and pounding my windows, I close my eyes and pretend I am home, lying on my bed, and falling asleep to the sound of the rain.
This is what my friend – “Ginny” had to say
It is and always has been about the people. Port Blair to me was my friends, family,and neighbors. These people shaped my experiences of the town, and my childhood.With my family I explored most of what the island had to offer- hikes, boat trips, snorkeling and swimming on some of the most remote islands. My neighbors were the playmates during the scheduled power cuts in the evenings, and companions on various picnics that our mums organized. But, it was my friends who made Port Blair come alive for me.

It was with and through them that I appreciated what it had to offer. Not, just the beauty, but a sense of community and self. Even though we were thousands of miles away from everything, I belonged. We were behind the times, but it didn’t feel like that because my friends (the chaddi buddies you’ve heard about before) were way ahead of the times. With our fabulous sense of fashion and selves, we had a blast in what could often be a sleepy town. Countless hours were spent on the phone (we used them to talk to each other, I know…how ancient!), and then countless more at school and tuitions.

As with most things, our collective time on the island came to an end. We dispersed off to corners of the mainland, and some left the country. It was then that I realized,going back to Port Blair was nice, because it had been home, but it was only fun and real when my friends were around.

So, to me Port Blair is a state of mind, and thanks to my friends and our whatsapp group, I’m there each and everyday soaking in the sunshine, feeling the spray of salt on my skin and swimming with the dolphins.
This is part of the blogathon for April and this is my blog spot for P

N is for Namma Bengaluru

Childhood memories of playing with this great group of kids, running into the church compound, playing endless games of hide and seeks and innumerable board games. The grannies pampering me, lots of visits to relatives and the one hundred thousand times I have walked on commercial street tugging at my mom’s elbow for fountain Pepsi – a novelty in those days.

I didn’t know if the weather was good – I came from the islands of andamans I should have felt it, I know but it didn’t matter. Bengaluru was always home. Where I went every summer holiday!

Then came 2005 – when I moved to Bangalore to work. Crazy work routine, horrible and rude auto drivers (yes it’s up there in the complaints department), demanding bosses, childhood friends moving away left me with not much company other than the mater and the boyfriend (now husband) I had no friends of my own – nothing.

And truth be told, as much as leaving my family behind sucked, I was happy to move to Mumbai – my land of freedom and friends. My land of beautiful rains, my land of college and B school memories. The place my heart would always belong. Even now writing about Mumbai makes me nostalgically think of my favourite marine drive.

But Mumbai with a kid made my heart hurt a little. My kid had no place to run around, we were always in traffic, the schools sucked with their tiny buildings and lack of playgrounds, moving between schools and daycare seemed like a logistical nightmare. I had such a heavy heart while searching for schools there.

And then the Tall one got a job which could bring him here back to Namma Bengaluru. We jumped at the opportunity. I was sure it was a great move for the Elf.

It was not as exciting as moving to an absolutely new city but we were moving to a part of Bengaluru I didn’t know at all. And had no childhood associations with. Mostly I was worried about feeling like I did in 2005.

But Bengaluru has amazed me. Yes, the elf has everything I wanted for him growing up. But what I am amazed at is how much Bangalore has given me. I get to see my grannies more for sure and when the rest of the family is here, I get more time with them. The weather (not counting the last 2 months of absolute torture) makes me feel so energetic and great which is truly an achievement for an intrinsically lazy person like me. The Tall one is less worn out, we have more space, I have a bunch of stay at home Mummy friends who are intelligent and fun. I know I can do so much more with my life here than I ever could in Mumbai.

But mostly I am at peace. Something we don’t value enough.

Thank you Bengaluru for everything.

Maybe this is what coming home is all about!

This is my entry for N for the April AtoZ challenge and yay I finally introduce a category called namma Bengaluru to my list

M is for Mamma Mia

It’s almost blasphemous for me to choose anything else for M. M is for my mommy and I am totally going to cheat on this blog! I wrote this many many moons ago about my mommy and is still as relevant today as it was then. My thoughts or feelings haven’t changed.

https://dropzofjupiter.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/the-lioness-and-her-cub/

Did I still say that this holds true. Yup believe it while it was written 6 years ago, I am still 28.

The only thing that has changed since is that I have someone who now calls me mamma. Sometimes more often that I would like 😉

Having a baby has proved to me once again why I need my mommy around – the way my mom looked after me when my kid was born was well… What only a mother can do.

My only advice to all going to be moms is – however awesome your mil is, go to your mommy when you have a baby.

The one person in the world who was as bothered about me as she was about the baby.

The person who walked with my kid for 2-3 hours as he screamed during his colicky stage.

The person who stayed up with him the night he was born as I slept almost comatose after a long long 17 hour labour.

The person who took over from “‘munde tai” his personal masseuse when he was born and gave him extra special baths and massages – he still gets them when she is here.

The only one who told a starving nursing mother to let the baby cry and finish my food.

The person who gives me confidence that I am raising my kid ok.

And most importantly the person who told me not to feel guilt and to prioritise me too.

The best compliment I get is when she thinks I am a good mom. Because while other kids my age are now looking after their parents – I am still being looked after.

And knowing her (and knowing me) that’s not going to change when I am 60 either

L is Live just really live the moment.

You know that moment when you are looking at an amazing sunset and then decide oh wait let me click it, then Instagram it, then share it across media and remember to hashtag it well.

That’s when you break the moment. The beauty of the moment and the thoughts you had are broken.

I read of this concept in the Dalai lama’s cat – mindful consciousness. It’s being totally aware and in the moment.

In today’s times of social media and so many distractions we lack that. Even now while I type this blog, I have the TV on.

When was the last time we drank a cup of coffee and enjoyed it as just that a cup of coffee. Early morning grogginess doesn’t count because you are not fully aware.

I for one just can’t do one thing. While I cook, rather than enjoy the process of smelling the spices and watching them mix, I switch on the washing machine, fill water, Google recipes, clean up.

Even while watching tv, I can’t just do that so I play games on my phone or chat or iron or google something which has caught my attention. I can’t just sit and watch TV.

I know it’s not just me. So many times you are out with friends having a great time when you either stop to capture the moment, check with friends if they like how they look, upload it and wait for comments. Or someone gets a ping on their phone and is visibly distracted by what’s happening on their phone. The moment is effectively broken.

I wonder if we are scared of being truly in the moment. And if so, what are we scared of ? Are we scared to really having those intense moments of peace and happiness.

Or are we just an extremely distracted generation. It’s not just us. It’s our parents too. They too have been dragged into this social media, too many things to do at once phenomena – though I do think they handle it better maybe because they are more responsible .

I admire the peace I see on my grandparents faces as they sit in the balcony in the evening and just look out. Together – watching the eagles soar, the sky change colour and the birds head home . Every single day.

I can’t stand at my balcony for more than 5-10 minutes before i am distracted and feel the need to click or check my phone or go back in.

We need to switch off other distractions and really live – live for the moment .

Maybe the reason we are so stressed is not because we have so many things to do and lead a fast paced life. Maybe it’s because we have too many things jostling for our attention and we think we to allow it all in.

Switch off your tv – it’s like another baby vying for your attention. And when you do watch TV- do just that. Maybe we will find TV a lot less junk if we reduce our exposure.

Refuse to check social media – it’s like the irritating person who cuts into people’s conversations or keeps interrupting your thoughts. Schedule some time everyday maybe twice where you take our 20 mins to check be on social media.

And even if you are one of those not into social media or TV – I bet you are in a minority if you know just how to exist in the moment.

We need to learn to breathe – breathe in and breathe out.

Live – just really Live every moment.

this is my entry for the April blogathon for the letter L.

J Is for Jaipur and Jabbering

Now before you think that this is about me because of the word jabber involved in the post you are wrong.

I do not talk much.

It’s about 4 ladies ….

It took an instant for 4 ladies to decide that they needed to take a trip together.

It took them an instant to a create a foolproof way of ensuring that planning for the trip can commence -Of course there was a “Girls just wanna have fun” WhatsApp group made – I mean is it even possible to plan a trip or dinner without a WhatsApp group anymore.

It took them a lot of deliberations and intense scrutiny of their social and work calendars to work out an ideal “DAY” for this trip.

A lot more discussion and after let’s do Goa being constantly recommended by some crazy individual – the city of Jaipur was deemed suitable.

And if you thought that was a lot of discussion for a one day trip – well you should have seen these ladies on the trip. Some of them started talking at 6 am and finished talking at 4 am, the next day. No exaggeration.

The ladies throats thanked the God above that this was a one day trip. And as proof that God always helps the needy, the ladies went in for a spa in individual rooms, that allowed the poor throats a one hour respite

But wait have I been saying ladies – ha! Not really ladies, they haven’t truly evolved into ladies of today. Much like the chimpanzee who almost looks human but doesn’t have a thumb.

Just imagine they lack basic survival skills required to be a lady in today’s day and age.

They have zero selfie taking skills.

Uselessness in this skill should be reason enough to kick them back to 1995. You know the time when your phone was a stationary phone that didn’t click photos!

All they did was laugh at themselves and others In their selfies.

Oh look you don’t have a neck. You look like a floating head

Wait you both look like you share a body. Like the 2 headed creature from Harry Potter.

My hair is looking electrocuted.

Your head is occupying three fourths of the photo.

My double chin has given birth to triplets.

Someone needs to press the click button. Oh wait that makes your arm cover us all up .
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U get the drift right. I mean think about it an absolute inability to pose or click selfies. And worse still there was no check in post about a fun trip with the girlies and no immediate upload of the 3 selfies that didn’t make them look like Martians on earth.

One of them might have been slightly higher on the evolution chain and reluctantly suggested that maybe we should upload a couple of snaps onto Facebook. Imagine 9 hours after the trip ended.

Selfies apart. The trip was a detox – away from the daily grind, we discussed it all. Opinions advice, laughs, husbands, kids, careers – we talked and talked and talked. We had planned to visit a couple of places instead we talked.

And it didn’t seem enough.

Oh wait since this is about jabbering and I am not really not that talkative – this post is not about me . It’s about 4 half evolved ladies

Any recommendations for this throat pain I have?

since I *may* or may not have been part of these jabbering Jaipur day trip ladies. ( pause for pink panther suspense music) I didn’t really have time to post last night.

This is part of the April AtoZ challenge and this is my entry for J