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god's plansWhat an eventful year it has turned out to be. It was one hell of a roller coaster ride, the most dramatic one I ever had in my life. Full of lots of downs and downs and a few ups. It was the year that almost reached a nadir in terms of everything I had in life; job, money, my friends, my identity, and many many things that defined me and my life, socially. Almost everything was given up or taken away, depending on the way one looks at it.

I gave up my full-time job (or was forced to) at the beginning of this year due to some adverse situations. Blessed that I always was, I got work-from-home option for three months to avoid resignation. Still, nothing could be done much and in March 2012, I quit. Among many other reasons, the need for a sabbatical was a dominating factor. After 9 years of work, I wanted a different perspective on life. Never wanted my life to be defined merely by my work and hence, I am happy I took that decision.

To earn my bread and butter, I took up part-time options and freelancing. This gave me a life I was carving for. Ample time at home and with myself, less work pressure, freedom from negativity and no more interference of all and sundry about what I should do with my life.

However, pitfalls of this decision were more than the perks. There was less money to survive and the social identity (about which I never cared though) was lost in this mayhem. The question marks were many, sarcasm was evident in everyone’s words.

Thirty-two, single, and now unemployed, the statistics were not getting any better. It hardly mattered to me but somewhere affected my family. Though they always supported me fully and gave me the strength to go ahead, but still as my parents and siblings, their concern was natural.

My plan was clear: after a laid-back 2012, shift base to Delhi in January 2013 for a full-fledged professional life and earn well to lead a single woman’s life. But before January could come, God intervened, as he always does whenever I dare to plan. I got engaged, against all hopes and odds! Life took a 360-degree turn.

What I had planned was thrown down the drain and God gave me a new life altogether, something I was not anticipating at all. Fortunately, “I am loving it!” and at this moment the only thing my heart is saying is, “God’s plans are always better than ours!”

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First to this link, one of my fav songs… It’s  dedicated to the beautiful relationship

Phoolon ka taaro ka…….

 

This is the first time ever that my bro is not with me. Missing him a lot. For the first time, my home is without the hulchal of a festive day, the charm of celebrations, the excitement to get ready for rakhi, of gifts and chocolates, of clicking pics, and sumptuous lunch by mom.

But I am glad my bro-sis together in Mumbai this time. Since it was easy for him to go from Pune to Mumbai, they are having a blast there with movies, shopping, food and togetherness. And I am  happy in this happiness. May god give him the bestest life ever.

 

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At the farewell part in last office

 

Hi everyone, hope u all doing well. Sorry for such a long silence. Was too engrossed in dealing with the changes in my life, something I am very bad at. I get bored easily and at the same time, fear change too. Contradiction is my second name. I like to keep things constant, especially the people and situations I love. Don’t want them to change, yet want to experience a lot in this life. Silly na?

So what had happened was that my sweet, normal, routine life was suddenly changed in a week. My brother left for Pune (I have already blogged about it) and I got a new job. The mere thought that my parents would be alone was enough to give me goosebumps and it just happened last month, so you can imagine my plight having to live this nightmare. I was forced to live with this reality, something neither of us (my family) had expected would come so soon. But, the reality was, it had.

Then, the change of my job. Had it been my previous job, I would have easily managed to commute daily, even at the risk of being a slave of drudgery. But when I had applied for job, I had no idea that my brother would have to leave within a week out of home. Had I any such inclination, I would not have taken up the new job. At least my parents would have a reason to look forward to something, of me coming and going, and my mom at least preparing tiffin for me, something that would have kept her busy. My mere presence at home would have been enough for her to sleep well, something she has not done since the home has gone empty. But life always has its own plans.

My new job involves night shifts, so going home is out of question. Then, frequent changes have been happening in life since the last two years, so coping with them took lot of energy. Had previously changed job just a year back, and now again, a new job, I was not too keen. Was longing for a stable and stagnant life, yes I love that too, though don’t know how long I would have been able to sustain that.

So new office, new place, new people, leaving old friends with whom I had just stated forming a good bond, battling change at home, got just too much. Plus life’s endless other challenges. And I write only when I feel like, I had told u that in my first post itself. So, after a month, I have finally found my ground and is raring to go again. I take time to accept change but once I do, there’s no looking back. I may take time in adjusting but I have this ability to stay grounded in tough times, have grown quite strong in dealing with life’s struggles now, one positive aspect of not having life as a bed of roses.

These things may not mean much in reading, but matter a lot when have to be lived. Like someone said, “What’s the big deal in parents being alone? My parents are alone since ages.”

Yes I know, it’s no big deal for anybody, but ask any daughter, you will get your answer. Even my parents are coping, learning to adjust, but will take time, coz they are the ones whose life revolved around kids.

Just read Namita Bhandare’s piece on a similar situation. Here’s the link if you like to read.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorial-views-on/columnsothers/Rites-of-passage/Article1-729870.aspx

PS: And yes, yes, I have not forgotten that it’s Friendship Day today. In fact that was one main reason I wrote today. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all my friends for being there always. It means lot to have people accept you even when you are wrong. Thanks everyone. And my FIHL friends, miss you lot.

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The last bird has also flown out of the nest. Yesterday, my brother left for Pune to study for MBA. It was so unexpected. When we had given all hopes of his admission to any good institute, came the call. Just five days and the life changed so much. He packed his bags and left home to explore life on his own. We all are extremely happy for him. He got what he wanted. He struggled a lot after completing his B.Tech degree. So much so that just few days before he received the call, he was going through a tough phase professionally. But happy that life took a dramatic turn and gave him this success. God and his ways have always left me wondering.

The sad part is: Mom and dad are now left alone. It’s not easy to see a home full of people turning into an empty space, to see all almirahs in kids’ room getting empty one by one. When I went, both bro-sis were there, when sis left, bro was there, and now when he has also left, parents are left alone.

I know this is all a part and parcel of life, somewhere we knew this time will come, and I am glad my parents have responded positively. They have shown tremendous strength by adjusting to the changed situation, though my fears will take time to subside. Mom especially has put up quite a brave front. Though she did get emotional many times, but managed to keep her composure at large. Even at the airport, she kept her smile intact. We all kept hiding our moist eyes from one another. I have managed to be with them for some time (some advantage of being bit near to your hometown), but will have to leave sooner or later. I feel weak, thinking how they both will manage. How my mom, who is not used to sit still, will pass her time. How will she manage her health and endless other things. How will she eat alone, something she has never done in ages. Since yesterday, me and mom are alone at home and have not even made a proper meal since then. Just for two, then why to? Dad too will miss him lot, as brother shouldered half of his work. How easily we assume that dad don’t feel much. Yesterday, he was the one who didn’t sleep properly and got up early too.

It will be some time before my parents can adjust to this situation. When me feeling so alone right now being at home with my mom, as dad is away today, how will they bear the silence of the home that once had loud voices coming from all the corners. How will they keep themselves busy when there are no lunch boxes to be packed, no clothes to be washed and kept ready, no one to expect at lunch and dinner, and no child to catch a glimpse of.

But yes they have the satisfaction that their efforts and sacrifices have paid off to assure bright future for their kids. They will have endless phone calls from three corners of the country to tell them to take care and that their kids love them so much and feel proud of the way their parents have brought them up.

Yes, this time will pass too. I am positive that they will pass this test too, as they have passed through many many tough and trying situations in life. God, please give them the strength and happiness in life always. They mean everything to me.

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Dad, the sweetest, the humblest human being I have seen on this earth. Always helpful, always accommodating, always giving in abundance (not even realising how much he does for others by putting himself in discomfort). Since childhood, have seen him helping people, without giving the needed attention to his life and pleasures. Sacrifice he does with such an ease and openness, and that too silently. Unfortunately or fortunately, people have not reciprocated the love and care he gives to people, but, as I said, he holds no grudge. I wonder how (see I am nothing like his daughter should be).

Being extremely simple is his another virtue. A simple man with simple pleasures, but his biggest pleasure is helping others, in thick and thin, in sun or shadow. I love his simplicity to the core, as it makes life so simple too. But when that simplicity is taken for granted by everyone, I feel bad, but not he, of course (see I am nothing like his daughter should be).

Making others feel extremely important and comfortable is his second nature. Treating guest as God is his lifeline. No matter how big or small the person is, he never differentiates. Guests are literally worshipped in our house. I have grown up seeing guests in dozens all at one time but he never cribbed. I of course did sometime (see I am nothing like his daughter should be).

We three, his children, much to our disappointment, have not inherited these qualities from him in the degree that he possesses. We are not as generous as he is. We shout and scream and sometime pay back too when people do injustice to us, but he is always without any grudge. He is always thinking of others’ interest even when they don’t deserve. We all hate this thing about him but at the same time love him the most for this. For, it’s not easy to give when you have nothing, it’s not easy to laugh when all you have is tears, but it’s not tough either. My father, my dad proves it. My dad, a man with a ‘GOLDEN HEART’.

You make us feel proud in more ways than we three can ever make you do the same. Hope we always keep your head held high. Love you in abundance.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY DAD!

(PS: He is taking us to dinner tonight. Looking forward to some good family time. You all also enjoy and love your dad as much as you can.)

 

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The Mother’s Day is over and so is all the excitement and commercialisation associated with the day. It feels good to dedicate a day to your mother and let her know how special she is. A mother’s role is such that her love and care, most of the time, is taken for granted. We might appreciate her each and every act, but don’t tell her this very often.

So, I waited for the Mother’s Day to be over, to let the “love you mom” voices die down a bit, so that I can in my own humble and quiet way could tell my mom that whatever she does for me means a lot. I am one daughter who is not very vocal in expressing gratitude towards my mom, though I feel it every moment. The best part is, as a mom, she knows that her daughter might not say each and everything, but she feels it from the bottom of her heart. So, today is the day I chose to let her know how special she is to me.

Mom, the Mother’s Day, as celebrated the world over, is over. But how can only one day be yours when you make all my days so special, with your love, care and sacrifices. But yes, it’s a great opportunity to share what you mean to me, a thing I don’t tell you often.

It begins with early morning, the assurance that you are there to wake me up on time, on days when I sleep like a horse after snoozing my alarm endless times.

I know that I just have to get up and get ready for office and do nothing else, for you will make the breakfast for me, pack my lunch (for my friends and roomies too), and very lovingly keep that mug of milk with almonds in the freezer, so that I can have it just the way I love. Trust me, no one makes it better than you.

I know that you keep your work on hold just to ensure that I am on time for my work.

Even amidst the early morning chaos, you never forget to check whether I have reached safely or no, even if I forget to call you up in the mayhem.

Every time I leave home, it pinches that now, you will have to manage the home all alone, for, both your daughters are working away from home.

I know that when I get late in office, you don’t sleep till I am back, and surprise me with your call even at 1 am. I know you are there to share my joys and sorrows, every time, anytime.

The best part about you is, you bind a home. We are together as a family just because you are the binding thread. You keep everyone in touch. There are times when I don’t get to talk to dad, brother or sister. We four don’t talk to one another daily but we all four talk to you everyday without fail. So, whatever happens at home, I get to know it from you. What dad, sister and brother are doing, how has been their day, where they went, when they slept, you share it all. You are the connecting link.

When I come home on Saturday night, you painstakingly prepare a dinner that I love, can’t forget how you separately bake stuff for me (so that it’s oil–free) when you are making fried food for some guests. When I prepare to leave home on Monday, you make sure I carry all the things I need, even if I forget. You never forget to pack goodies for me and my friends. Even if I say, “Mom, no more space to keep anything more, you manage to squeeze an apple in my bag, saying, “have it while working.”

You are the one who shaped my personality, my character, my dreams and my essence. A mom who taught me to be generous with guests, no matter how much pain they are, to take criticism in my stride with a smile, to bear the good and the bad with gratitude, the compassion and dedication towards friends and foes and above all, to keep the faith in God even during the hardest of times.

These are just a few things to mention. There is so much more to share but no words to express. Still want to say, you mean a world mom. Thanks for everything. I love you more than the words an say.

(P.S:  When I talk about mom, it feels that I am talking about all the mothers in general. For, I think, all mothers in the world are the same. Same love, same care and same unconditional love. So, how is your mom like and what kind of relation do you share with her? Would love to hear from you about the bond that creates, sustains and nurtures life. )

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Wedding in the family is always fun. The halla-gulla associated with the whole event makes it so anticipated, cherished and enjoyable. So is the state of my mind at the moment, as my cousin is getting married on May 6. More than that, it’s the excitement of seeing my sister, who will be coming from Mumbai for the wedding after many many months. Everyday, long calls are made, discussing and planning for things to be done, stuff to be worn and sharing the usual excitement of being together as a family.

Though I try to keep everything at the minimal, still there’s so much to shop and hop around. Clothes, footwear, bags, the perfect piece of earrings, neck wears, kajal, eyeliner, lipstick, lipgloss, nail polish, nail remover, the bracelet, bangles, the blush-on, did I still forget something??? (Please lemme know, there’s still some time.) Then, these things have to be paired with different dresses for different occasions, so have to arrange them accordingly.

Add to it that I am a week-end guest at home, half of my stuff is lying at home, half with me at my room, and the two twains never meet. If the suit is here, the dupatta is there, if the top is here, the trousers is there.

Besides, going by my track record, I am sure that when the time comes to get ready for the occasion, half of the stuff will be borrowed by relatives, half of it will be broken and some lost. Then, I know that no matter what, my sister will keep her stuff in my handbag. “Hey, you are carrying a handbag, can you JUST keep my handkerchief, my kajal, my lipper in your bag,” is her trademark line.

So, you see it’s no cakewalk to attend a wedding. Though my bags have been packed and stuffed and zipped with the help of four friends, some things are still left behind, as I have no space to accommodate them. Sigh!

And when we’ll load the stuff in the car while going, dad will ask, “Itna saamaan, ghar basana hai kya?” Well, he doesn’t know, it’s just the tip of iceberg. And as is God’s plan with every perfect setting, I will be working late in office two days before going for the wedding.

Wish me luck!

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