Sharing a peice of joy….


Sometime during mid 2010, I wrote a mail which began like this…

“The year that passed, was one that brought lot of happiness, lot of brightness and lot of changes in life. The year that just landed would have a lot in store, but the one that went deserves a note.

Last year began with lot of anticipations,aspirations, anxieties and assumptions of ‘me-in-gestation’ and my preparations and arrangements for qualifying as a mother.Pari came to this world on Feb,bringing loads of joy and putting an end to my worries. Our marriage had crossed a span of 2.5yrs. The love for Sayf and the comfort of our closeness made me wanted to go back to Chennai. Sayf too missed us badly, but I had to stick with the traditional 3 months rest at home :0) It was necessary as me and Pari were going through a new phase of life. And the grand parents at both the sides, needed their share with her….

Time flies so fast,but without Sayf it just dragged. He too counted every second for it to be July. And finally the time came. Pari was all cuddled up and sleeping throughout the journey which made it easier for us to handle things.

I geared up to be a full fledged mother, for I had to join office in another months time.Sadly Sayf had to move to Dubai.I was worried about my unsettled life and the huge responsibility I would have to handle without him. Me and the baby alone,work started,house to be managed.”I wouldn’t survive”, I thought.But we did. Allah’s blessing and thanks to friends.

There were a lot of mummy-me moments.We emerged out as two happy souls.Sometimes to recognize the real strength inside, you need to be when left without a choice.Those few months had only made me more confident,more courageous and more resilient, than I could ever imagine me to be……”

This year would be no different. God willing, a Scorpio would pop out 🙂 giving the same pleasure as much as Pari did earlier. But the anxiety would be no longer about pregnancy or delivery (now that I know what to expect) but about post delivery – How daughter is going to adapt with the new arrival and how I am going to succeed in the tough task of motherhood with 2 kids.

Well we can only hope that things would take a turn for the good. God bless us with a normal and healthy baby.

God bless us all.

Balanced Wife = Balanced Life????


They say a family would run smooth only if the woman in the family knows to manage well. So I set off to find out how wives are expected to balance the string of family lives.

“For that you need to be a balanced-wife“, says a few. So what is a balanced wife?

If the wife gets up early in the morning, she “always runs away from the bed and puts him in second priority to the house hold”. If the wife doesn’t get up early, she “is too lazy and neglects the family”.

If the wife makes good tea, “it is just her routine”. If the wife doesn’t make good tea or breakfast for one day, she “is a bad cook”.

If the wife has to leave home early for work, she “doesn’t need to earn us a living. Family should be first”. If the wife goes late to work or comes back late from work, she “is a bad manager of time”. If the wife comes back early from work, she “has no big role there at office”.

If the wife buys a shirt for the husband from her salary, she “wastes a lot of money on dress”.

If the wife doesn’t like a dress that her in-laws choose, she “has no dressing sense”.

If the wife reminds you to pay the bill, “I know to do things”. If the payment goes beyond due date, “You should not have forgotten”.

If the wife asks for help in the kitchen, “it is your duty. If you can’t manage with just two of us, how will you manage when we have children?”

If the wife has a back pain and asks for a small massage, “Can’t u see that am busy?”

If the wife argues, she is arrogant. If she does not respond to an argument, she is irritating.

If she questions, she acts too smart.

If she cries, she is over-sentimental. If she cant tell why she did so, she is unreasonable

If the shirt is not ironed on time, “she doesn’t know to do things properly”.

If the clothes are not folded for a day, “she cant keep the house clean”.

If the children get low grades, “she is doesn’t take proper care”.

If her parents does not see his’ during a function, then “they purposefully avoided”. If his parents do the same, “Why should they go to her parents? It is they who should come and pay respect to the guys’?

If her parents give a visit without acknowledgement, “they are so informal”. If his parents do the same but unfortunately there is no one at her home, “they don’t give us importance”.

If her mother’s sister’s daughter’s in-law is getting married, not only his parents, but his father’s sister’s husband’s parents have also to be invited, else “they do not know to treat the guy’s family properly”.

This society who knows only to question, disdain & contempt the girls, wives, daughter-in-laws & mothers and believes that women and her needs could be neglected, compels me to derive at the conclusion that the expectation from the so called balanced wife is this..One who successfully takes care of the family (big or small) the way they want, attend to all their needs, satisfy all of them, follow their rules, be answerable to all their questions, be submissive throughout and accept any mental or physical piercing moment in silence…. Irrespective of whether she slept the previous night, Irrespective of whether she had something for tea, Irrespective of when she has to leave or come back from work, Irrespective of how her day at office was, Irrespective of whether she is healthy or not, Irrespective of whether she is respected or cared for, Irrespective of what she earns, Irrespective of whether her own life is balanced or not….

PRECISELY, A BALANCED WIFE IS ONE WHO IS AWARE OF THE RIGHTS OF THE HUSBAND AND HIS FAMILY. A BALANCED WIFE SHOULD ALSO BE AWARE OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE WIFE AND HER FAMILY.

Huh!!

When will be the time when they lay rules for the men?

When will be the time when they stop blaming and start helping?

When will be the time when they learn that respect is give and take?

When will be the time when they learn to appreciate wives and mothers for what they do?

When will be the time when they learn that a smooth family is the result of teamwork?

When will be the time when they learn that women have to be treated like humans if not equals?

The “House-Maid” Hunt


Finding the right house maid has become a huge challenge for the women of today.  But once you find one, making them stay becomes another big challenge.

Fareiba was born at Kochi,Kerala (my native). A little more than 4 months after  her birth, we took her to Chennai. My maternity leave was supposed to expire in another month, and amma’s BP rose to its peak.

Amma, then vice principal of Maharaja’s College, had built a huge circle of contact through her 33 yrs of service. Her circle included Principals to professors to teachers to students to peons and canteen care takers, to all of whom she had managed to pass on the need of a maid for her daughter. She had undertaken this herculean task since I got pregnant. More than a year and nothing worked out.

People were ready to work at Kochi, but always found lame excuses to come to Chennai. To some of them Chennai was too hot, to some Chennai was too far and to some others Chennai was scary. I still do not know what it means!! However, there was no time to worry about what they thought. We had only a few weeks left and  the “House-maid Hunt” accelerated.

We tried to console her and thought we would hire one from a trusted agency. But amma was against the idea. She wanted the best maid to look after her daughter and grand-daughter. Poor amma!!She travelled even to a relative who lived a few hundred kms away from home to see if she could manage one..

Meanwhile,I too felt the pressure. Handling the baby and home was tough. So handling work, baby, home and a gastronomic husband together would be exhausting. Well, the husband was just gastronomic, no pressure though :). But the others were a must-do-everyday-job.

Being the kind who doesn’t give up easily, I tried to cultivate a routine in Fareiba which would match my office schedule and tried to build the confidence that I would be able to manage. With a day care at office and Shebi helping around, things started moving positively.

And BANG!! The bomb blasted!! Shebi was asked to fly to Dubai in two weeks time. This was a oppurtunity he had been waiting for long, so I would not stop. Shopping, Packing, Ironing, Repacking…We even had our 3rd anniversary to celebrate.Two weeks were just enough.

Life was miserable since then. But two weeks later amma landed home with a maid. She was a decent lady, aged above 60, but still healthy. She was quite expensive, but still impressive. She managed the kitchen and household, took care of Fareiba and made us all feel so better that we finally started believing that the best was served for the last!!

Life changed in a minute. I, who did not have a breather,now started watching soap operas too.She was too sweet to be doubted for anything. She asked permission before she even moved a chair from its usual position or before she sat beside us to watch a movie. Two days later she asked me permission to use the television after I went for work.The tv was never switched off after that. She reigned the kitchen.  I never bothered because the thought of finding someone new was impossible. I even took her a saree  for her birthday that fell on the weekend after she joined. Her regular blood tests and check ups fell on the days immediately after she joined.In additon, I being too generous took her to the doc for her allergic cold also.Mananging everything at home,all alone, was impossible and so keeping her was the only option before me. So when she demanded for a mobile to talk to her people at home and a small wooden stand (the Jaya-Amitabh kinda stand from KKKG) to stand on top and do the dishes, I did not hesitate.

Everything that she demanded was given and every request granted. That was Mistake no.1 🙂

6K per month was too much for an 800 sq ft flat and cooking for two(me and her), but no other choice.

The immediate relief from the tight schedule was all that I could see, and I often showed in words that flattered her.That was mistake No.2. Guess I made her too proud that she started actively participating  in all our family affairs and made sure she let out her comments at everyone’s action. Irritating but we kept mum.

She started developing regular shoulder pains and back pains due to which half of the work would be undone. I offered her help at times, which later became a habit. She started showing faces when amma got involved in something, and would not look after fareiba anymore. She even used our washing machine to wash hers’.

She had a whole day to laze around after me and Fareiba go to office, and looks like she enjoyed it a lot.

Huh!!!But one of the rarest species of its kind was finally found and I had to preserve it by all means.

Two weeks after she came, the next bomb fell. Her son fell down with Chicken pox. She was all in tears, not for her som but she had to leave me and the baby. But tickets were not available on a short notice. When I told her that she could not go immediately there was a huge scene as though I kept her in central prison.Finally after a lot of running around, we managed a ticket, brought her son (the one who was not affected) all the way from home and sent her off.She promised she will come back as soon as he recovers. I believed and even gave her the salary and some money for travel&expenses. Mistake No.3.

Luckily,one mistake that I did not do was that even when she demanded for some more money for the extra expenses that was supposed to come for her son’s treatment,I dint give.

Its been 2 weeks since she left. No news. They don’t pick my calls anymore. Am back to the old routine. We have a part-time maid who is paid lesser than one-third of what we paid her. With amma at home, things are moving on pretty well. At least I have the freedom to move around in my kitchen.

The 2 weeks that she stayed, I ended up spending almost half her salary, for the check ups and phone calls.That was of course in addition to the salary.

I think,now I know why people are not willing to come all the way to Chennai. If they work at their home town, they can make any excuse and run away.

Amma has started a fresh ‘House-Maid-Hunt’.