Dreams, Nightmares and the Touch ~ My WOW Prompt

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This work of fiction is my entry for the WOW Prompt this weekend by Blogadda. The prompt is : ”There was something different about that touch”.

The breathtaking view, the evening sky filled with various glorious hues of crimson, the cool mountain air, the serene lake and the most precious of all, Karan. Reva’s beautiful life seemed like a leaflet out of the book called ‘Dreams can come true!’. As they held each other’s hands absorbing the vastness and sheer magnificence in display, they dreamingly weaved their life and future together.

Their’s was a love story made in heaven. They saw, they met, they loved and they married! They complimented each other in the most endearing way. Reva was a looker, the quintessential rebel who loved to break rules and a theatre artist. Karan was a fiercely competitive investment banker who loved to crush and kill his enemies with his wit and flair. Both of them were at the peak of their respective careers, and a bone of contention for many.

After going through the marriage rituals with much prodding and cajoling, they were now in the lap of the mountains, enjoying the last day of solitude before they had to go back to their demanding professions and schedules. Not having a soul in sight or listening to any sound other than the sound of nature, was a luxury they were surely going to miss in the maddening crowds of the city.

As they readied their bed in the balcony to sleep under the stars for the last time, Reva’s eyes too were filled with stars of her own. With the warmth of Karan’s skin against hers, she felt assured and protected. She knew she could drop all her guards in front of him and be the smitten and passionate girl no one knew she was. She wished Karan would see what he meant to her and expressed himself more.

Next morning, Reva woke up with a strange feeling. She realised she was blindfolded and when she tried to move, she found that her hands were tied too. Suddenly alarmed, she called out for Karan. After the fifth call, Karan calmly replied that he was right there. Panicking even more, she demanded to know what was going on. Karan came and sat next to her on the bed, slowly running his fingers over her face.

There was something different about that touch that sent a shiver down her spine. The loving, reassuring touch had somehow transformed into something cold and horrifying. The morning caress had vanished and made way for a distant odd contact. She was too petrified to react and too baffled to contemplate what was going on or what she should do next. How and why was this happening to her?

Just then, a gush of air knocked down a lamp nearby and she woke up with a jolt. ‘This was an early morning nightmare! Don’t they come true!?’ she wondered, still groggy.  She fervently looked around for Karan, heaving a sigh of relief when she found him standing quietly over the far end of the balcony, wrapped in nothing but her quilt, and looking at the gorgeous sunrise. All she could think of then, was smile! 🙂

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

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Mr. India and Parenting Tips

Mr. India is amongst one of the few movies that find relevance across all generations. Like today there weren’t as many channels back when we were kids, and for seeing new movies one had to essentially make a trip to the nearby single screen that had typical 12, 3, 6 and 9 pm shows.

Back home from school, lunch was almost shoved down our throats and within moments we were expected to change into already laid out clothes to make it to the preferred 3pm slot by our mothers. Fights Discussions on who will sit where and who did or didn’t deserve popcorn started in the auto-ride to the theatre itself. No, we didn’t mind any of it! 🙂

Anyway, back to Mr. India. There are many scenes in the movie that stay with you long after you’ve seen it. I remember our extempore dancing on the Football parody in the theatre, the crying by buckets when the cute little girl dies in the bomb blast, the horror of seeing men melt in the acid pool and turn into skeletons and even Anil Kapoor’s inappropriate for us but absolutely mesmerising I Love You….! *still blushing* 😛

I mentioned something about generations earlier, right? Well, that’s because old as the movie might be, it has found a die-hard fan in A Jr. For the annual function in our society our super-excited kids weren’t able to zero-in on any new song. I don’t know who it was, but someone suggested this parody and everyone simply jumped at it! After promptly making me show him the video on Youtube, A Jr was all up for it.

The function is long over, the kids did an absolutely awesome dance performance on it by the way, but the song got etched into A Jr’s memory. Since Mr. India reruns are quite frequent on many movie channels, now he insists on seeing it every single time it’s aired. This time too, I don’t mind it. The good thing though, is that he has now matured to understand and grasp lot more than the fun part of it.

Branded a cry-baby myself, I was speechless when today while watching the movie A Jr just couldn’t stop sobbing. The scene was when Anil Kapoor doesn’t have the money to feed his adopted kids and they go hungry for two days, till Sridevi has a turn of heart and brings yummy treats for all of them.

I was silently crying myself, but I distinctly noticed A Jr keep his lunch aside and go on crying uncontrollably. I tried to make him turn around and talk to me but he refused. When he did, his eyes were all red and he came to me and hugged me tightly, still refusing to speak.

I calmed him down as best as I could, and he did, but I guess he finally got the lesson I otherwise couldn’t have taught him this well. I sometimes feel I get too harsh with him when I deny him a chocolate for no reason, scold him for throwing away books with lots of blank usable pages, carelessly sharpening pencils till they are reduced to half or leaving food in his plate.

Come to think of it though, shouldn’t we all at least take the effort to make our kids realise that the things they take for granted aren’t as freely and easily available to every child in the world? I’m in no way in the favour of rebuking their privileges, but we can surely make them feel compassionate and thankful, yes?

Mr. India’s magic lay in the fact that even while being invisible he could fight the bad men and make the world a better place to live. In his own unique way, today he taught my boy something priceless. It is wrong to be mean to others. Good people may have to face hardships, but they must always be good. Er, also, it is alright for children to be naughty. 😉

Wrong gender but I cannot resist this, Varsh khush hua! 😀 😀

Win your love and life with Ariel Matic #LaundryGoesOddEven :-)

I was shopping with my in-laws for A’s cousin’s wedding when the distress call came. A sounded harrowed and helpless as a bawling A Jr in the background made it difficult for him to talk. All I could make out was A Jr’s shirt and some function. I excused myself stating the possible predicament, amidst my sister-in-law’s guffaws and my mother-in-law’s my-holier-than-thou-son-has-to-do-laundry rant, to don my trouble-shooter hat for my men in not so shining armour currently. 😦

‘I followed all your instructions, I swear. I pre-soaked the clothes and put two whole spoonfuls of detergent in the washing machine. Yet his mucky muddy clothes are just as soiled. He’s crying his eyes out saying he has some school function and won’t wear them now. What do I do? Next time take him with you, please!’ beseeched A. All I could suggest at that point was to make do with a different shirt for now and leave the matter till I get back.

Luckily for me (and him), A was never the one to throw his weight around the house expecting to be treated like the husband. His highly questionable expertise in the kitchen apart, he has actually been a big help to me in daily domestic chores. It might even seem like, quite early on, we made some sort of silent agreement to share and divide the responsibilities that come with a family.

Laundry, though, was a different ball game altogether. While I did all kinds of trials and errors, like pre-soaking overnight, brushing, adding more detergent, etc. to get rid of the stains A Jr could surprisingly smear his clothes with almost everyday, A didn’t have the patience to obsess so much over clothes. His helping hand needed to be armed with a force to be reckoned with.

Hence, when this Ariel Matic #LaundryGoesOddEven activity came up on BlogAdda, I jumped at the opportunity to hopefully find a permanent feasible solution to our laundry problems! If the claims made in it’s commercials were anything to go by, it seemed like I had a winner on my hands. 🙂

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Normally, every time I wash clothes I have to use 2 spoonfuls of detergent. However, with Ariel Matic, one spoonful was enough.

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Not only did it clean the dirty clothes, their colours also looked fresh and bright. Generally in case of other detergents it seems like the clothes are ageing with every wash. Ariel Matic is a definite exception.

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Angel’s cute cupcake top just became cuter! 🙂

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A Jr’s old-looking new trousers got an instant makeover!

I even got A to agree to be a part of a short video I made while he was doing the laundry. Sadly, he didn’t face the camera even once.

While I had already tried other so-called detergent powders meant for washing machine use, there was a marked difference between others and Ariel Matic. It surprises you with how easy it is to rid your clothes of dirt and stains, and yourself, of apprehensions and tensions by simply replacing your washing powder.

Thanks to Ariel Matic, the calendar in our household is surely getting an odd-even demarcation for laundry days and I can’t stress enough upon how relaxing this is! I can finally unhurriedly solve my beloved crossword puzzles in the morning over a leisurely cup of Masala Chai and cookies while A waits for his turn to do the same. Win-win situation for us both! 🙂 🙂

‘I am taking part in the #LaundryGoesOddEven Challenge by Ariel India at BlogAdda.’

Also check out this video:

Finding Inner Peace

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Trust kids to hit you with the most difficult questions in the most unpredictable circumstances! What could be a simple fun afternoon of mother-son bonding over a favourite movie, Kung Fu Panda’s nth rerun, suddenly turned into an exercise of playing catch, where I had to field A Jr’s simple question, ‘Mamma, what is inner peace?’

Within moments my mind raced back and forth trying to conjure up the simplest explanation that could answer his question suitably, yet not burden him with exhaustive information he was too young for. My uncomplicated reply was, ‘When we are able to concentrate on something deeply with our eyes closed, without getting distracted with other things like video games, cricket, food, etc., it is called inner peace.’

‘It sounds so simple. Why is Shifu having trouble getting inner peace then?’ was the tougher one. This was a bit tricky, but I said that he was worried about Tai Lung and the dragon warrior and that wasn’t letting him concentrate. Agreeable to him, release for me. It got me thinking though, how many of us take the time out to concentrate, meditate or find inner peace in real life?

There’s so much we have to fit into one day, one life, that more often than not we find ourselves harried with unimportant questions and avoidable situations that not only drain our energy but rob us of the opportunity of achieving something far more remarkable. Is it really that tough to have a few minutes of physical inactivity to get mental relaxation and do some self-introspection?

From experience I know that I have the hardest time concentrating and meditating. Whether it is A’s unironed clothes, A Jr’s incomplete homework, Angel’s appointment with the paediatrician, planning the menu for the day or some other pressing thing, I always find an excuse to take a break, and I’m not proud of it.

I’m, however, not the one to give up easily. I’ve decided to take some help from highly recommended meditation music this time. I’m hoping it helps me concentrate the same way Mozart’s symphony helps our entire family unwind and slip quietly into deep sleep everyday.

Do you practice meditation? Can you give some helpful pointers?

55 Non-fiction – Mother

I said, ‘Please talk to me.’ She didn’t.

I pleaded, ‘Please look at me.’ She didn’t.

I looked at my Dad. He stood by a corner, helpless.

Tears rolled down my eyes. I wished I could take back everything I ever did to upset her.

Nothing could be done now. Mom simply lay there. Lifeless.

From pregnancy to being a #YummyMummy :-)

‘How many kids do you have?’ was the gynaecologist’s first question when she observed the anxiety with which I had welcomed my pregnancy news. Although it was my first baby and I was super excited about it, I had nervous jitters merely thinking about what lay ahead of me till the time I will actually hold my bundle of joy in my arms.

I have two kids, and interestingly, both times my pregnancy was as different as chalk and cheese. While there was advice pouring in from everywhere about what I must eat, how I must sleep or which exercises I must do, nobody seemed to understand or pay heed to the emotional roller-coaster I was going through every single day, apart from my darling husband A.

I might be the one carrying the baby but as an expectant spirited father he literally pampered me silly. He would read articles and watch shows to know what was best for us. Whenever he was home, he would tiptoe around me and cater to all my whims and fancies endlessly. He would call from work to ask if the baby started kicking, in the first trimester! No matter how plump or bloated I got he was always full of compliments for me.

Pregnancy is a stage not a disease, and I intended to enjoy this experience without any inhibitions. Being a mother was my dream, but knowing that it would change my life forever sometimes bewildered me about how different it would be. The apprehensions varied but didn’t change entirely. Both times I was plagued with the same questions any expectant mother would.

What will happen to my body once I deliver? Will people bother about me or just the baby after it arrives? Will I look ugly? Will I be able to shed this pregnancy weight quickly? Will there be any permanent change or damage to my skin?

There wasn’t much I could do to address the other questions, but as a respite, the last one did have an answer. With the bulging tummy, cracking and aging of skin and an itchy belly is a practical and recurring problem, unless you act proactively and use a product like Marico Bio Oil that helps you avoid stretch marks completely and retain that luscious pregnant glow! 🙂

Looking back at that time makes me feel nostalgic. Thankfully, both my pregnancies were smooth and uneventful and the deliveries were normal. I didn’t have to wait too long to hit the gym and graduate from wife to the #YummyMummy brigade. I’ve never felt better about myself and am finally comfortable in my own skin. It takes two adorable and gorgeous kids to make you feel like this about yourself, I guess. 🙂

“I’m writing about my wonderful journey of pregnancy for the#YummyMummy blogging activity at BlogAdda in association with Marico Bio Oil.”

Early to rise

Every morning my alarm goes off and depending upon my readiness to leave the comfort of my bed and the warmth of someone’s arms, my reaction to it varies from cool, refreshed and ready to go, irritated, turning it off and going back to sleep or cursing the time I set it up in the first place.

However, the fact that I’m inclined to save my clothes from bursting out at their seams plays the spoiler almost daily and pushes me to don my workout garb and jogging shoes and head out to the park close to my place.

A woman is allowed her distractions though, right? To keep myself entertained during what could be a mundane thing, I’ve prepared a list of the many interestingly curious characters I encounter everyday. 😛

The Mobile Phone User

I don’t think mobile phones came with a directive, ‘Keep on your person at all times!’. Yet, it is amusing that even while taking an early morning walk people find a way to cram some business into this seemingly unproductive time. Did listening to your own heartbeat go completely out of fashion?

The Teenage Hangout

Almost every other day there are a couple of teenage girls, dressed impeccably for a good jog, sitting on one of the park benches and discussing at alarming decibel levels and complete disregard to (their as well as others’) privacy, their boyfriends, the size of their jeans, the choice of their friends’ clothes, etc.

The Couple that Walks Together

There are some couples who religiously engage in ‘couple activities’ and keep each other inspired and motivated. It is indeed a sweet thing, but is it really necessary to walk side by side and block half the pathway while doing so? It is taking inseparable to a new level, and not a convenient one for others.

Walking Ladies Ahead!

These are mostly homemakers looking for some fresh morning air before getting down to their daily routine. I’m one of them too. Since I believe talking while walking drains energy faster and must be completely ignored, I prefer going solo, but these ladies think otherwise and between panting and moving, vociferously share their family problems and daily menus with everyone within earshot.

The Laughter Club

There’s a group of senior citizens, men in this case, who come for a Laughter Club on a fairly regular basis. Their camaraderie suggests that they are all well-known to each other and having a great time. Interestingly, age hasn’t done much to curb the naughtiness in these youngsters, since I’ve occasionally seen them giggle and whisper looking at girls, not overtly of course.

The Cherry on the Cake

Every time I look at this bunch of energetic kids I wish I could get my late-rising A Jr to do the same! These kids do everything; play on the slides and swings, run around aimlessly, pretend paying attention to their attendants and basically have a good time! They aren’t bothered about anyone else and couldn’t care less about what others are doing. They are the happy faces of the park. 🙂 🙂

Obviously, these are not all. There are some serious ones who assiduously jog, do their yoga and breathing exercises or practice cricket and other games. Some people simply find a comfortable spot and enjoy seeing everything that’s happening around.

On days I have skipping, floor exercises or suryanamaskars planned for my workout I give the morning walk a skip, and honestly, I miss it. Me observing and writing about people doesn’t mean that my other keener senses are out on vacation.  The aroma of freshly watered grass, the sound of sparrows chirping, the beautiful grey colour of the sky before daybreak and on rare times, the moon and the sun in the sky together, make me experience nature at its loveliest best. It’s absolutely beautiful!

Are you a morning person? What according to you is the best way to begin your day?