The Secret of her health – Post 11


“You are blessed to have a very gentle kid”,..Lotof them say after they meet an all time bubbly daughter. Yeah!!She is indeed gentle, though not all the time. And that time is when she has to eat something.

Personally, I feel that the biggest challenge in bringing up a baby is to feed them properly. A huge percentage of mothers would agree with me. Babies may be different, but most of them turn hard to be pleased when it comes to eating.

My girl however gets on my nerves every time she has to eat, esp after she turned one. So her activities increased. Crawling to walking and now running, but she consumes less which has made her lean and not to mention, anyone who has met her in India doesn’t forget to pass on the comment, “Oh!!Your daughter has become a lot thinner after you have started looking after her on your own”. 🙂 🙂 They never forget to tell my parents once they are back. So after they too started getting on my nerves, I knew something had to be done.

She looks at the food, smells it and then tastes it. Doesn’t like any of the three, it will be rejected. Stubborn , so stubborn she used to be… And there would be a trail of food that she would spit wherever she goes. Life was just like this Junior Horlicks ad.

I tried to force feed her. She dint care.

I asked doctors for help. They asked me to switch to a different set of vegetables and fruits. Dint work.

I sought advises from friends who had recently turned mothers. Potatoes, almonds, ghee….No satisfactory output.

Five months in Dubai and she dint gain even 200 gms. Doctors were cool, but I was not. I knew her eating habits had to be changed. But she simply was not interested in eating, except chappatis and chocolates.

The strike was on forever, but now things have changed for the better. She has started eating properly.Her weight has finally fallen into the graph. If someone asks her about the secret of her health, she would grin and say “Poopy”  🙂  Poopy is an education oriented animated childrens content, developed by Hibiscus Digital Media and Pari is in love with it. This 3D movie is definitely above standards in terms of content and presentation. Pari has now started recognising the animals, knows to imitate them and dances to the tune of her dear show.

Am not sure if this is a good habit to be cultured, but there wasn’t any other option. She is just so indulged in the stories and songs that she doesn’t really bother what goes inside her mouth. So easy to feed. Definitely worth a try.

Lesser messy house + Healthy baby = A Very Happy Me!! Thanks Poopy!!

Disclaimer: This is a note from my experience

Ever belittled your baby? – Post 7


Pari’s arrival has affected our outings a lot, esp weekend dinners. The ambience of the restaurants keep her happy only till the food arrives. Before I have my first and most awaited bite onto that lovely chicken, she would get doleful. I would have to take her for a round and amuse her while Sayf has his dinner. Once he is done and takes his turn, I will do the dining.

We have tried lot of tricks, most of which failed, though she has given us some luxury by sleeping. So last weekend we planned to take her to a café where they have life size dolls of goats. Goats, being intimate friends, were supposed to divert her attention while we could have dinner together.

Pari imitates a lot of animals. She would be hardly an year old when I played “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and she started saying “Baaaahhaahaa”. The shiver in the sound was quite interesting that we began teaching her to imitate other animals too. That is still her best-loved game. We name the animals, she gives the sound and goat remains her favorite. In a few months, she grew far beyond all of that, recognizes each animal from her cartoon shows and imitates them on her own.

So according to the plan, when she was put down, I took her to the array of goats and started saying “Goat, Goat”.. There she was thrilled and ran around them mocking “Baaaahhaahaa”. I could see an energized Sayf. Two reasons – Pari was enjoying and We could have our dinner in peace. Thought of leaving her with the goats when the young lady gave me a weird look and said, “Amma… Paava, Paava”. Paava is doll in malayalam.

I was baffled. Excited that my little doll understood it and embarrassed that I belittled her.

KIDS!! They observe us so well and learn from us much faster than we imagine. And WE!!. We underestimate their understanding because they can’t reciprocate in our language. That may be why they often outsmart us 🙂 🙂

Sayf too had a perplexed look. Yeah!! Dinner was at stake again..

STAY IN TOUCH


FRIENDS!! All of us are blessed with abundance of friends.We love to remember everything about them. The time we met, to the time we fought, to the time we discovered each other, to the time we shared everything from sandwich to secrets, to the time we became cozy, to the time we became lovers and a lot other times…. In fact most of the fond memories of life are fastened to friends, who become an integral ingredient of our lives in no time. Just one question. Are all of you in touch with all of them?
 
As the unpredictable life detours the track to our inevitable destinations, we get dropped by a few others and drop a few on the way, get carried by a few and carry a few others along with, in the sincere hope of keeping in touch with them forever. Later we become conscious that most of them would have vanished, only those memories linger within…
 
We joined school as an innocent set of children and watched ourselves growing into mischievous but sweet, adorable little girls.We lived nearby, ate together, played together, reserved seats for each other in the school bus and remained together for that whole span of 11 yrs, until we parted in 10th, long back in ’97. 5 of us, are now scattered in different parts of the globe.We do not meet anymore, what’s even worse, we barely know what happens in each others lives until the school reunion 3 yrs back. Thanks to the organisers!!
 
11th,12th and then graduation, earned me a good amount of friends, most of whom I deeply adored and thought the relation would never end. Today after 7 yrs of graduation, I can count the ones meld with me in just one hand.There are few people at work too, but as soon as I switch companies or quit job, the same is likely to happen.
 
One of my old friend’s mentioned recently.”It takes a lot of time and effort to be in touch with friends. I would prefer to be happy with the people whom you have around”. Perhaps this is the right attitude to live in this world.
 
To me keeping in touch is not a chore.I value corresponding and do not like to send “hello.how are you?” one liners. Possibly, my circle of friends is too huge to be within my reach, or may be I should start believing that good things do not always stay forever,…
 
Some get married, fly abroad, after which there would not be any news. Some go on site for work or higher studies and evaporate in style 🙂 Some of them may sincerely want to keep in touch, but procrastinate. Some may have starting troubles. They do not avoid me, I know for sure. But I just get dwindled in their busy lives.
 
Thanks to the social networking sites – orkut and Facebook, under the mercy of whom, I am informed that some of them are married and some have children. Some who travel abroad, post a few pics in the initial enthusiasm which fades again with time.  At the least, orkut birthday announcement makes me happy that they too are getting as old as I do 🙂
 
If any of my friends happens to read this, let me tell that this post is dedicated to you, esp. this line, “WE CAN NEVER BE FAR APART FROM THOSE WHO ARE SO CLOSE AT HEART”….. I would still love to rekindle the flame of friendship and keep them alive,…

The Economy Baby


”I always wanted a girl, but after I walked into a baby shop am relieved that I have a boy. The price tags were so shocking”, a friend joked when she called to convey her love for Pari. Yeah!! She is so right.Fashion has crept so much into all kinds of baby accessories, making them highly expensive. Baby dresses, toys, dolls, feeding bottles, knee pads have all grown beyond budget.

A decent salwar for me would be around 700+. One for Pari would fall in the same range with less than half the amount of cloth. So do I stop buying? No!!They are just too tempting that I can hardly walk out of a shop without a pair of dresses and a matching socks for my darling daughter 🙂 She is going to be an year old on the coming Feb, and I have even plans on what kind of birthday cake we should have. This is no flaunting. Its only a way to celebrate my happiness.I am no big spender, but there are times I cant help buying for Pari. Someone inside keeps telling that my daughter should not miss anything. And then I just get lost in the stunning world of baby toys. I want her the one that sings her favorite rhyme, one that is the most colorful, one that could drive her attention, one that is handy for her, one that does not hurt her, one that she could use later etc etc.. And this ‘one’ would turn out to be expensive. After all our children should get the best!!Not sure if that’s an excuse also?!?!?

But Pari seems to be a lot concerned about the expenses on her and her mother’s attitude 🙂 So she has started to unearth a completely new set of toys, all on her own. My chappals are the favorite of all. When I shoo her off from that vicinity, she grabs her powder tin and bangs it on the floor as a protest. Now that she has started crawling, the dust bin has mesmerized her with its variety. The waste bin is two times Pari, but I once caught her picking and licking a chocolate cover from inside. Any time she cries badly, the rattling of a plastic cover makes her happy. She is often discovered from under  a pile of news papers or curled inside our French window curtain. Everyday she would explore a new tooth paste cover or diaper rash cream tube and play with it for hrs. This innocent lady was once seen following an ant trail and beating the ants that came last… Baby joys sprouting from baby observations!!

Bhavia and Snoopy were home this weekend with cute petite laptop for Fareiba. Am a major fan of her laptop now but Pari seems to fancy the hard board cover in which the laptop came.

Finding something to make her smile has become a lot easier for me. But she smiles too sweet that my friends can’t resist buying her a gift. But when they inquire, I wonder what would she be interested in? May be I should ask them for a salwar to use when she gets bigger 🙂

The Untouchable EGG


When I was just few months old, amma introduced egg in my diet for the very first time, but I puked the whole meal. This might be usual for a lot, but amma who is slightly over concerned, over anxious and over careful about almost everything in the world reacted in a slightly different manner. She placed me in the egg-allergic category. Its been 28 yrs, but she has never served me an egg after that.

I was brought up hearing this story over and over again, and so egg was included in the untouchable list J I ate ice creams, cakes, chocolates and everything that had egg, but believed that am sensitive to egg.

Any relative or neighbour who heard, protruded their eyes.”Allergic to egg?No way. Please have just one piece of his omelette, pleeeease”. I politely denied. But the whole world was interested to make me eat one. And years of compulsion from everyone around, developed a weird repulsion inside me, for the already untouchable egg. I would take a faraway seat from where the egg curries were kept. I would carefully pick those scattered pieces of scrambled egg from my mixed fried rice. I would specifically order for an eggless soup, and avoided all kinds of dishes were egg was visible. Cakes and Ice creams were still my favorite 🙂

After growing up to a sensible age, and feasting on pastries and cakes of all kinds, I knew that egg might not have an awful effect on me. But I still was not able to revive from the feeling that had followed me from a very early age. During college and then in the corporate world, I kept meeting people who would raise their eyebrows on bizarre egg allergy and who would still compel me to try for once. But I took some strange pride to believe that am still allergic.

I managed not to eat egg for a long long time. But during pregnancy my doctor asked to consume one egg everyday, ugggh!! The right amount of nutrition for Pari was an emotional line to be ignored. The untouchable egg had now become unavoidable egg. I would stare at the omelette in my plate for hrs and dump it all into Sayf’s’. So Sayf tried a variety egg menu for the week. Monday would egg dosa, Tuesday Appam omellette, Wednesday Mixed fried rice, Thursday egg burji, Friday Cheesy egg sandwich and so on. That clicked well. The respect for his effort made me gulp an eggy dinner 🙂 Sayf can take the pride of being the only one who successfully got some direct form of egg into my blood. Am now relieved that Pari who has turned 10 months now, can have all the egg she needs directly. Am free from the eggy burden!!

My egg allergy may be psychological, but my uncanny attitude towards egg continues. I still dislike all forms of it and try my best to stay away from an  egg korma on the table. An involuntary aversion to those humble eggs has accumulated so badly into my blood and brain and finally resides as some kind of a blind faith that walks and talks inside to avoid the scent, taste, color or even a mere whiff of an egg!!.

The world however, reacts a bit different now. They do not compel me anymore to have one. They just discuss my mental instability towards egg,…..

Amma still believes that am thoroughly allergic. “The title of mother gives me the license to be concerned about my only daughter”, she argues every time Sayf tries to explain 🙂

Please Help Me to Find Some TIME


Here is a mail from a very good friend of mine, “Dear Z, If you get time..please create a header for my blog..no time..my head is not working these days..becoming too much mechanical”…. I was glad that a veteran blogger like her was impressed by the concept of my blog-header. So I added it onto my to-do list.

But being a spinster, she can’t find time. How can I? Supporting Pari 24X7 and with a mechanical life oscillating between work and home, it is difficult to finally maintain this blog-life balance 🙂 Definitely all of you will have your own say on this. Be a spinster, wife, mother, house wife, working woman, grand mother, great grand mother.. None of us really have time for anything. So where is all our time?

Recollecting the busy life of spinster would be difficult now. But the present so-called busy-life goes this way..

The day starts with my morning prayer,after which every single thing is a messed up hustle. In the morning race with Pari (which she wins most of the time) in between the other house-hold, I will have to do the bed minimum 3 times. Day-care at office is a boon in all sense.They rock her to sleep all the day 🙂 🙂 I need to gain the momentum at my never-ending-work the very minute I reach my desk. Every minute I save here turns into those precious 60 seconds with my darling daughter. Of late, this part is a little relaxing as am not allocated to any projects, but a few managers creep in asking for favors.In between all of this, I have to leave some space in my brain for all those credit card bill payments which if delayed, will affect our living 🙂 And awaits me a beeline of activities – Rent payment, Car servicing, Salwar stitching, Parlour routines 🙂 , train ticket reservation – to be scheduled.Sometimes to make things worser, phone bill payment site will have a problem or the credit card bill will not be generated. Half an hour waiting for the Customer Service Executive to pick, half an hour trying to make him understand my version of ‘Malayalam mixed Tamil’ and then another half an hour arguing.Frequent calls come from the day-care as soon as Pari wakes up, when I have to leave everything that am doing and run. She has this bad habit of giving a siren scream after a nap, and that wouldn’t stop until she sees me 🙂 By the closure of business hours (which is again never-ending), I wrap Pari in her flannel and accelerate home to get a glimpse of my favorite serial 🙂 Then starts the evening race with her. No doubts!!She wins. I put her to bed or rather she sleeps at midnight, after which I scan through the web to read a few blogs and post one 🙂 But all that precipitates at the end of the day would be the ‘Only If I could have found time to do x,y,z…” And again add them onto that never-ending to-do list 🙂

Prioritising and classifying between urgent and important tasks is a skill, that I havent mastered so far…

After writing this blog, I decided that I should create a header for her. But she had already done it. Beautiful and Elegant!! And I realised again, am late like most of the time.. Huh!!

Fair is Beautiful


After Pari was born, I called up our relatives to share the launch of a baby girl into our family.
Aunty, we have a baby girl now”.
Congrats. So how fair is she? Fairer than you? As fair as Sayf?”

They did not bother to as about my health or the baby’s. They did not want to know how the labor went. They did not care to ask whether Sayf saw the baby or how are things at the hospital or at least what we have named her or at the least who she looks like. But ‘being fair’ was important.

Oh yes!! I have seen a lot of this. I am a victim of tanned skin, and this was one of the primary reasons for my delayed marriage. My education, qualification, job or salary did not matter, nor my character  or family background or personality mattered. All that mattered was fairness?!?!?!? Actually I have found darker people than me, but men saw only people who are fairer than me 🙂 :).

And when a ‘fairer’ Sayf fell for a ‘darker’ me, my mother showed her first sign of relief, “I’m happy that at least your children will be fairer”. What??!?!?

This is not just my case. ‘Dark skinned girls’ are considered ugly.

Back in high school, when a fair girl was befriended by a darker one, the guys referred them as Beast and the Beautiful. With great pain and effort, our friend’s circle made it ‘Bold and the Beautiful’. What people do not realize is that these harsh comments hurt their fathoms deepest emotions and sometimes become a reason to lose their self confidence.How unfair!!

How much ever I argue, degree of fairness is very important in India. For the same reason, skin lightening agents and fairness creams have gained huge popularity in Indian markets.

“When complexion gives you a headache and then plants seeds of jealousy and depression,it was Kajol who came to rescue me.She taught me that fair skin and threaded eyebrows are not necessary for being beautiful.It is the cleanliness of your mind and your energy level that makes you look beautiful”,Bhavia mentions about Kajol in 5 women I like.

Kajol and Nanditha Das are my favorite’s too. They are talented actors and very beautiful than a lot of other fair skinned heroines.They are towards the darker tone, but still have a huge adulation and fan following. It’s the same man-crowd who reject dark-skinned females, when it comes to wedding. So reel life can have black beauties while real life can’t?

And why doesn’t a man get rejected during a marriage proposal for being dark? Is it because the girl and her family are more sensible? Or is it the man’s job and woman’s fairness that together leads to a successful married life?

Fairness is closely related only to women, esp. Indian women. As usual, here is another inequality our dear society has shown to women on this line. They call men dark and handsome, but women can be beautiful only if they are fair.

On another note, have a look at the definition and Antonym of ‘fair’ in thesaurus. No comments!!!

Challenges of having a lovable husband


There are only two days of the year when my brain works hard. I buy advises, dig the ground, seed imagination, plow the land and reap creativity for these 2 important days – Sep 9 and Nov 14, for that’s when our anniversary and Sayf’s birthday falls respectively.

The reason for this hard labor – I prefer personalized gifts.

My definition of personalized gift – Carefully chosen, crafted with passion, woven with lots of love,.. It should conquer the heart like ‘love-at-first-sight’. It should take them down the memory lane to the beautiful moments of our togetherness. It should create a moment of a special happiness that should drive them to a state of adulation. They should love to recollect it again and again. It should be the first of its kind that they receive :-). Tough!! But I managed to succeed so far.

There are a few complications with these personalized gifts.

1)Dissatisfaction!!!. Lot of hard work has to be put in to evolve a crude idea into reality. And me, a lazy-bum, drags it to the last-minute, under the name of improvising the gift and sometimes contriving a better one. Then after lot of running around, I somehow manage one which will look fantastic to Sayf, but I would still know that a little more of hard work would have made it look better.

2)Surprising him!! Acting as though am not even aware about the importance of the day ahead and still coming up with something really worth the wait. First part was tough for me as I did not use to drive then. I always had to take half day off from office, depend on autos and local trains for conveyance to manage the gift and fabricate a convincing story for being late to home that does not kindle the slightest doubt 🙂 This is not a problem anymore as my car has covered up my conveyance troubles and Sayf is at Dubai. Yet I had to be careful during the phone calls. My excitement sometimes lands me in major troubles.

3)Time!! With the daily chorus at home and office, I hardly found time to materialise or rather personalize the gift 🙂 And of late, Pari and her insomnia has added a lot of weight to this one.

4)Expectation! Compose one better than the pervious one.

5) This is the primary problem. SAYF!! The title of the blog should have rather been ‘challenges of having a husband with a sharp memory’ 😉 Honestly, am bad with dates. Besides, am rarely exposed to men who are good with dates:-):-) Even today, Nov12, my mother complained that I forgot her birthday. OK!!This is not the first time 🙂

Sayf is a package of surprises!!

On my very first birthday (Jan 9, ’08) that fell soon after our wedding, he had planned a treasure hunt at home. I had good fun tracking down those hidden little surprises. And then came a candle light dinner at Tangerine, a speciality restaurant at chennai. Their death-by-chocolate is amazing.

The first Valientines day (Feb 14, ’08), he contacted a colleague of mine, who decorated my cabin beautifully with his gifts, cards, little red hearts and what not. I was taken aback and embarrassed a little bit!! Ghee!! Let me admit. Not only that am bad with dates, but I have a poor memory also.. So valentines day also had to be remembered and celebrated.

Furthermore, I had a hard time fixing my fragmented heart after he introduced the concept of halfivesary (Half anniversary – 6 months after the wedding) into my life. He had planned a ride to Mayajaal multiplex on our brand new Avenger. Avenger was the surprise element. Its been 3 yrs of wedlock, 3 halfiversary’s passed, and I still have not remembered even a single time that it was Mar 9th. Shame on me!! Hope I would remember at least  the one on 2011.. Am happy to celebrate life, Am happy he gives me so much importance, but the pressure that I can’t gift him better. That’s what pricks.

And then came the first anniversary – Sep 9,’08. This time I had to get ready, for all I gave till then was a black forest cake during his birthday soon after the wedding – Nov 14, ’07 and a ring on valentine’s day. How I wish if his birthday had fallen after mine. At least I would have an idea how to celebrate it 🙂 So I planned for a surprise dinner. Hurried to spencer plaza, got a few perfume candles, a few archie’s stuffs, and when Sayf came home, there were candles everywhere, a baked chocolate cake, a few I-Love-You teddy bears etc etc. But needless to mention, my gifts always get dissolved. Sayf took out a Swarovski jewel set. Beautiful they were!! But before I could digest the beauty of the gift, along came the next news – A week at Shimla, Kulu, Manali. What a big scene I had to create at office to take that 1 week vacation 🙂 🙂

Earnestly, I cant remember what I gifted him on his 2nd bday, but I got a gorgeous Tanishq jewel set on mine. Oh!!I remember now.. A few poems were written as a tribute and presented 🙂 Personalized!!

2nd anniversary was carefully planned. Running on my second trimester, a last-minute mess was impossible. So I had a hand crafted book, with poems, writings and photos that covered our eventful 2 yrs.

Currently with 3 birthday’s, 3 valentines days and 3 halfiversaries post marriage,…and am plush with gorgeous jewel sets, elegant salwars, a whole collection of Calvin and Hobbes, a digital photo frame and lots more which my poor memory does not assist to recollect. All in the luxury of his love 🙂 And I appreciate his efforts behind the gifts. He captures those small things that we may casually mention during a normal conversation and makes a gift out of that.

5)This is the latest one. Distance!! How to ship it to Dubai?????

And now that Nov 14th is just a few days away, I was trying to do some online shopping. Most of the US sites does not ship gifts to Dubai. But a friend of mine, suggested www.cafepress.com. You should try this one. You can print photos, designs and tattoos on an umpteen range of gifts – T-shirts,buttons,magnets,mouse pads, even iphone cases and ship them to almost anywhere in the world. You can even start an online store of your own for free and earn commission. Have a look at mine – http://www.cafepress.com/Zradar

There are a few desi versions too. www.dilsebol.com and www.zoomin.com. Zoomin is my personal fav with a lot of in-built features.

However, none of them satisfied my definition of personalized gifts. But the word ‘personalize‘ was attractive. Presently Sayf has started with gym, so I decided to personalize a gym bag. This guy is a big foodie. One of his favorite jobs would be to replace foodie in NDTV Goodtimes. Here is the design which I created (personally created implies personalized gift 🙂 :-)) and gave for printing. Hope it reaches him on time. 

The Diplomacy gene


My diplomacy is quite famous. I rarely argued, but got involved as mediator (I really hate those situations!!) in many arguments. Playing this role is tough and dangerous. I never took sides of an argument. Instead tried convincing each side, why the other side thought or did their way. Sense the danger??? Needless to mention, it has landed me into lot of troubles. But that’s how I am. I choose to remain this way.

However, my diplomacy gained huge popularity after marriage.

When any of Sayf’s relative ask me what kind of husband I used to wish for, I would clear and my throat and politely reply, “I only longed for someone whom I could adjust with, so that he or his family doesn’t have to adjust” 🙂

While going to dinner with in-laws, I try to find out the dishes that they like and order the same.

While playing the conciliator role, with two in-laws on either sides , I could only smile 🙂 Nothing else to be done!!

During pregnancy when people, esp Sayf’s relatives, inquire on what child I need, I go this way, “I would love to have a girl, but I wish I had a boy as he would grow up and be a good help to his father” 🙂 Actually after repeating this conversation for 9 months, I even frogot what I actually wanted in the beginning. It had gone so much into my blood.

These and many such occasions made me the ‘democratic bhabhi’ to my sis-in-law.

And finally when Pari was born, she was a typical ‘Sayf-look-alike’. After the crowd had their conventional comments about how fair she is, how pretty she is, how much she resembles sayf etc etc, I nodded my head, but I was a little jealous.

I am sure that later in life, Sayf would influence her more than me. I really hope that she gets all his good qualities along with the looks. But being a mother and after all the troubles of pregnancy and labour, I deserve some of my gene on her too.. That gives me the reason to be jealous!!

Now that Pari has started talking or rather her own rumble-mumble toddler talks, I tried to indoctrinate the word “Amma”, under the name of developing and sharpening her speaking skills 🙂 With Sayf at Dubai, teaching her to say “Papa” was put as the second priority. Sayf however tried “Papa” over his calls.

And just when I thought she would make me proud, Pari made her first diplomatic move. She said her first word. “APPA”. Amma + Papa = Appa??? 🙂 🙂

Now am happy and proud. Atleast my diplomacy chromosome has been passed on to the ‘generation-next’ 🙂

Dealing with ‘N’ Laws


”Moluuu”… In our custom, ‘Molu’ is a real sweet way of addressing a girl of your daughter’s age. But the minute my mother-in-law calls me this way, I get a lot of “What next?,” Why me?” thoughts. Being blessed with a homely face (Looks are sometimes deceptive),I managed so long.

A friend of mine called yesterday and grieved about the way Mrs.MIL spoiled her weekend plans. The same is the case with me too. But how can the same her or me be happy, when our parents drop in for a weekend, though weekend plans are spoiled? Because parents love you, no matter what you do. You are free to do whatever you want. In-laws are not bound to love you, no matter whatever you do. They are ‘different’. They may accept you, they may not. They may love you, they may not. Their opinion on you keeps changing according to what you do and they judge on all that you do. Most importantly they may not believe in you always.

When you marry someone, you actually marry their family too. Maintaining harmony in the new family may not be easy.  Like someone said, when you choose to stick to your husband, you are stuck with your in-laws too.

I often wonder why the world is designed for the girl to stay at the guys’. If the couple could remain at her parents’ then the would have been a peaceful place. Now that the world is not so, you have to deal with them. And yes, dealing with ‘N’ laws is tough, tactical and tricky.

Me and Sayf are a team, who lets only the most necessary things flow to the  in-laws on both sides. We let them pour their opinions into only what is necessary. We stick to our decisions as long as a real valid reason does not come from either sides, but we do listen to them, appreciate them and at the same time convince them on why we chose to be so. They might not be happy, but at least the ‘she came and took my son away’ feeling will not be there.

Even when I have a real busy schedule at work, I make sure to give them a call at least twice a week. I may not call my parents that frequent, because they do not mind calling this side without complaints. My mobile alerts me incase I forget 🙂 I don’t miss a chance to shop, dine out or sometimes gossip (carefully of course) with my in-laws. I make sure to spend quality time with them when I visit them. A little effort, a little attention from my side, make my in-laws feel that I care for them.

MIL’s  may  usually be over dominating or over sentimental, but with good motives. And as long as I can find that element alive inside her, I can move along with her. They would also be experts with words and tears. When words does not work, they switch to tears, and tears works wonders 🙂 Mine does a lot of emotional black mailing, but I have cleverly developed the act of sincerely listening to everything that she puts across. She is pleased that I do so. But this is not an easy task because you will have to patient enough to hear the same story of “How people used to admire the MIL when she was young”, “How fair she used to be once”, “How her handsome son ended up marrying the me-with-ordinary-looks”, ”Why her daughter could not get a nice MIL as her”, and similar stories over and over.

Point to be noted is that a little observation helps you understand what your  mother in law actually needs from you. If you can’t give the whole cake, give at least a fairly big piece.

It is difficult to talk things straight to the in-laws because we treat them as respectful elders. But you can always speak your mind out to your husband or a very good friend. The minute you share it with another daughter-in-law of hers’, double trouble. She may have tons of her own versions to share and the conversations would eventually lead to the MIL being an ultimate villainess. However if you choose to share it with your husband, please don’t make him chose between you and her. It’s not your way or the highway. She, who has been in his life for a much longer time than you, definitely has a say.

Most of the MILs keeps reign their kitchen. At least mine does so. But only when am at Shebis’. She shoo’s me off from the kitchen and still complain on my ability to handle things on my own. So when she comes to Chennai, I get ready for the in-law invasion 🙂 Prepare menu for the whole week, show her how I manage my home and plan for the weekends. I think she is quite convinced, but she never admits. “My poor son doesn’t get to eat enough” and “I don’t know how he will survive” and “You should see how well my daughter does things” and blah blah blah. Looks like see gets some sadistic pleasure on acclaiming that her daughter is better than her daughter in-laws.

There are obvious times when you will have to really bite your teeth so hard to make sure that your tongue does not move over her protracted whining, esp. in the issues that involve people at my home.

So the most important of all. Follow the two mantras – S-M-I-L-E and I-G-N-O-R-E. If you can’t smile, at least ignore. So now a days whenever she makes unnecessary issues, I just do that. After all, she is the reason for me to have a lovable husband.

With all of the above and more, I still think most of them are harmless. When people get aged, they think different. Most of them feel that they will be left out by their children after marriage. They too would be anxious about the girl who steps into the family as much as your parents are. Like the girls, they also try to find a place in their son’s new life. While doing so, they annoy us but I think it is driven out of love.

As Dr Rebecca Liswood who founded the marriage counselling service in New York puts it, “Sudden love rarely binds the two most important women in a man’s life. But you can slowly evolve into good friends and well-wishers.”

At least give it a chance.