Saturday, 25 August 2018

A return gift with thanks

The house that we currently live in, has been quite 'fruitful' literally. It is a colonial era bungalow which has a huge compound with so many trees that we keep getting some or the other variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers etc around the year. Beginning with Amla in January, we had fruits like lemons, plums(ber), mulberry, drumsticks, mangoes, jamun, bel(wood apple), guavas till now, one after the other in a series (Remember the 'ber' post some time ago?). Apart from these, there are other plants and trees that keep giving us much more, like peepal, neem, palm tree, groves of curry leaf, hibiscus, roses, Jasmine, bottle brush, sheesham, imli and many more that I don't even know the names of! The flower beds are full of decorative plants, hedges and crotons. Oh, and did I mention Holy basil? There is so much of holy basil(tulsi) growing in and around the flower beds and kitchen garden, that we could call it a commercial crop. All of this is unbelievably in the middle of a bustling city.

All this while, we enjoyed the fruits and distributed some too, and kept thinking about the selfless souls and the blessed hands who planted these decades ago. And we decided to add a few before we leave, to be planted preferably in the holy month of Shravan, when we get plenty of rain and a very conducive weather for growing new plants.

So here we go. The occasion was also special as the little pie turned one month old. Coco amd co. planted six saplings which consisted of good varieties of mangoes, pomegranates, lemons and custard apple. I am looking for an opportunity to bring Copper pods(amaltas) and parijat and plant them too before rains are over. Those trees are heavenly when they flower.

This was second such occasion. A few years ago, during our Himalayan foothills days (mmm..😍) we planted mango, jamun, guava and papaya in the compound on Makar Sankranti. It just feels amazing to think that someone will one day enjoy the fruits and wonder. And we might visit that place years later to find those trees and reminisce nostalgically.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

No Name, No Date

The little pumpkin has completed one month, and still goes without a name! That may sound weird but naming one's own child is the most difficult job. one day you decide something and next day you just don't like itπŸ˜₯. Naming others' kids , on the other hand is as simple as suggesting all the fancy names you can think of, and they'll choose whatever they like. I am saying so with the experience of someone who has suggested names to a baby girl born two days later after pumpkin . From a multitude of lovely and fashionable names, the parents chose one and pumpkin's baby cousin has a name 😚 .

Oh, and also, however this little pie sleeping in my arms is one month old, his due date is still 10 odd days away! You see, he was supposed to be born in first week of September. Both the kids, Coco as well as the little pumpkin are born at 34 weeks, due to different complications each time. So whenever I come across mothers who have given birth on expected due date or even later( God bless you, wonder woman.. you exist!!), I secretly admire them for this sheer superpower of not having complications before term. I, on the other hand, seem to have another skill. Bringing preterm babies ( and raising them well, as per records till now, fingers crossed) is my thing 😊

The above picture? Just a click of a paper giraffe, a few kids were making with me last year, nothing actually to do with Coco or pumpkin. It is there because it is cuteπŸ€—

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Two Pumpkins

When the lazy woman was a new bride, she was really lazy and one glorious late morning, after the elaborate breakfast at her marital home was over, she bolted the door of her room which is conveniently constructed on a different floor than where the most of the household stays. She then snoozed away to dreamland as the late October noon's Sun shone on her window, keeping her cozily asleep.

During that nap, she had one of the most vivid dreams of her life, the memories of which still thrill her in a pleasant way.

In her dream, she heard a knock on the door of this same room and when she opened it, two huge yellow pumpkins were there, tumbling and shaking as if they have some form of animated life. 'Hi there, we're here!', as if they were trying to say, very happily moving to finally have found the right address. The lazy women knew instinctively that they were named Veeru and Badal, the pumpkins were! 

I woke up, my hair raised at ends. It may sound most unreasonable to you, but I thought I had seen my two kids. And when Coco was born a few years later, half of the dream came true too. On the surface, I was not sure about the second half, but it stayed with me in my heart of hearts. 

It still feels like a surreal dream to the lazy woman, but yes, the other half has actually come true. As I write this post, the little pumpkin is dreaming dreams in his little bed, making faces and little sounds. So, Yeah! Coco is a big brother now to a little boy. Together these two pumpkins are keeping my heart warm while the rain is pouring outside, cooling down the surroundings by many degrees.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Conversations with Coco

It is with great wonder that I read or hear about the cute conversations people have with their kids. I too have plenty of them with Coco, but due to the lack of a script writer, they border on mundane to silly, unlike in movies where kids say timeless dialogues. I know, life is not a movie, but what does it take to say something like 'I'll bring the moon for you mommy' , as one of my friend's kid told her. I wondered as I read her facebook post about this particular talk and prayed for anything remotely as cute and intelligent coming from my prodigal son who has a talent of ending every conversation into a disappointment, although comical.

So, I felt elated when a couple of days later, he asked me, 'Mummy, I want to be highest. Should I climb a chair?'

Finding a great opportunity to finally unleash my worldly knowledge, I told him, he could climb Mt. Everest to be highest.

His eyes widened with pleasure at the prospect of such an adventure and he exclaimed, 'Wow!' Then after a pause asked, 'Will I be so high , I can touch clouds too?'

Pleased at the direction this conversation was going, I smiled and nodded vigorously, already picturing fleecy clouds floating around him on top of the Everest peak.
'Will there be birds around?' He further asked, and overwhelmed by his intelligent questions, I replied affirmatively.

And then came the inevitable reply that ruined the entire thing. Scrunching his nose, he whined, ' Nooo... I don't want to climb Mt. Everest.  The birds will poop on me!'

Now I am scrunching my nose in disgust as the great mountain climber that couldn't climb has left me flabbergasted, in search of another vocation where there's no chance of poop. 😣

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Close The Gates!

Past few days have been difficult for Army Cantonments. The defence ministry has ordered all the cantonment roads to be opened to general public and all of us fauji wives can't stop worrying since then.

I found the following post on fellow army wife and blogger Neha's facebook wall: 

In the last 7 n half years of my married life to the man in uniform I have
- lived in 8 houses.. temporary and permanent, some good some bad
- my kid, just 4 and half years of age, has changed 3 schools in 2 years of schooling
- everytime we shift she cries for her school, for her house, for her friends
- I have learned to be brave and take every moment as it comes, learned not to get attached to things but just love the people
- I have lived in 6 states with varied climates and temperature and diverse cultures
- I have forgotten about my career and decided to stand for my family while he is away
All this to provide support to the "man in uniform" and help him serve the nation..
But if the nation cannot take care of us .. I think it all goes in vain..

It may be Neha's post, but the story is same for me too and for almost all the army wives, only the numbers may change depending upon years of marriage. The sentiments ring true for most of us.

Somehow, I find myself on both sides of the cantonment gate. This is a matter of deep concern for an army wife as well as a civilian.

Amid scorching Indian summer, this burning topic is keeping fauji wives uneasy (though 'uneasy' is an understatement!). If you are a civilian reading this, you may not be aware of the turmoil that we are going through, 15 to 20% of you may even be in total bliss, enjoying a little detour through the scenic cantonment in your city, now that all the gates are open. I am saying unaware because, none of my civilian friends, not even my family members are talking about it. There is a complete absence of any activity in this regard on social media, nobody seems for it, nobody seems against it, whereas every army wife is talking about it on all the platforms.

I am not saying all of these things as an army wife who wants to save her idyllic garden from prying eyes of people. Trust me, this is coming from someone who has been a civilian throughout her life and still is. Me and my sister studied in a school situated inside a high security Air Force Station 5 kms away from home, and we never faced any difficulty going to school, along with scores of other civilian students from neighborhood. The cantonment in our city is an open one, which means all the areas that a civilian needs to visit are open. A cantonment may house both faujis and civilians. This is true for most of the open cantts. It is a matter of common sense that sensitive areas should be kept closed for non concerned people in national interest. Here are some of the reasons why certain areas should be kept closed:

Opening all roads effectively makes army facilities and families sitting ducks inviting terror attacks, unwanted attention of miscreants, weakening the spirit of the soldiers who guard the frontiers without worrying about their family's security and safety back home.

I hope you understand that this is not a fight between army and civilians, this is an issue between policymakers and public. If the lawmakers want to compromise national security and peace, citing lame excuse of public inconvenience, then its their failure, their poor urban planning and execution, showing their lazy and corrupt ways and their shortsighted vested interest. They cannot make us (public) suffer for their failures.

Give it a thought.. does this issue only affect army wives? Should you be so quiet about an issue that might have serious implications on YOUR national security? Are we not a part of your society too? You, who change your profile picture and burn candles for women's safety, is your convenience suddenly more important than our lives? The ministry has issued a foolish order and you, blinded by the worthless sensation of a victory, are rejoicing, not understanding that this is a live example of how politics divides and rules! That a wide gap has been deliberately created where there was just a line, that this one order has brought out palpable hatred between army and civilian communities where there was none! This petty victory may cost you your future wars!

(Please excuse for a badly written post, there is so much to tell, I could write a book on this. Hope to share more on the topic soon.Thank you for your patience.)

Monday, 30 April 2018

May Be!

The picture above sums up my end of April.  Sick(say the neem leaves), bored out of my wits(says the book which is beyond my league, more suited to literary choices of my husband) and braving the famous scorching summer of North(says the A.C. remote). What the coconut says is an entirely different twist though. The book title and the words 'survival, resilience, redemption ' below the title are just what I need to be reminded right now to keep going.
You might be wondering about this plaintive tone which I rarely have, especially here. You have always heard colourful crafty stories and seen flowery landscapes here on my blog . But sometimes dear people, one cannot help ranting when difficulty level keeps increasing. Though the gardens are still beautiful, the occasional thorns have to be weeded out before one can enjoy the beauty like before once again.

It seems like ages ago when the weather was good, the landscape was picturesque,  and one had the time and inclination to appreciate it all. But calendars change and so do times. Difficulties occur, problems happen, life happens! When a day becomes unbearable, one just wants it to end and pins their hopes on the next day! So here's hope that it may be beautiful again tomorrow.. let's hope and pray for a great May..the month of possibilities.. when all that the heart desires just may be!

Take good care people. Have a great new month ahead.