Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rewind to Aug'05 - Kutti boy birth story.

I wanted to recap the birth story of KB for my own memory. I did not write it down at that time. Since I wrote down baby girl’s birth story for the post, I realized I am forgetting a lot of the details of KB’s birth and that I should write it down at least now.

Rewind to Aug.1.05.
40th week, still no signs of labor. I went for long walks after dinner – at 10.00 pm B and I would be walking up and down the slopes at the well-lit park in the near by community center. B patiently walked slowly me with even though he wished he could just jog instead of walk painfully slowly along with me. I looked like I should have delivered a week back but no sign of any pain yet! Since my AFI index (Amniotic fluid) was slightly above normal and because I had cholestasis, Dr.A decided it would be best to induce me if I don’t go into labor by Aug.1.03. She told me to report to the Labor and Delivery unit at 7.30 am on Aug 3.05, Wednesday. I could not believe it when she gave me the appointment that that would be day – my first child would be arriving then. I could not imagine the magnitude of change that was about happen in our lives when he arrived. I could not believe I* was about to deliver a baby! I was really afraid of labor pains and I had heard from some friends that induced labor can be even more painful. With that in mind, I really tried to coax the baby to come out naturally by exercising as much as I could those final weeks. I was always physically active, but between 32 – 38 weeks, my doctor had told me to take it easy because she did not want me to go into labor earlier than due date. But the last two weeks, she said it was OK if I went into labor, so I really went all out in being physically active. But our little KB here was cozy in his home and didn’t want to come out unless we prodded him a little more! With induction!

On Aug.2.05, I was asked to come to the OB’s office for a procedure. Dr.A (my doc) was not available, so Dr.S put in the Foley catheter to kick-start the process. My sister was arriving that evening and I had told her to meet me outside the OB’s office. We went back home together (my nephew brought her from the airport) after the procedure.

Slowly and steadily the pain started. By midnight, I had so many contractions that came at random intervals; I just could not lie down and sleep. I did not sleep at all pretty much that night. I walked around the house in the middle of the night to ease my pain. Morning finally came and I showered and got ready. My sister, B and myself drove to the hospital. Mom and dad (my dad was alive then, how I wish he had been around this time too!) came to the door to wish me luck. Mom had tears in her eyes from the tension she was in hoping for a safe delivery.

We checked into the L&D unit and I walked to the elevator (now thinking about it – what a contrast – I was wheeled into the delivery room directly in a rush for kutti girl) and walked into the delivery room. It was a large room with nice bay windows, a large bed in the center with huge lights above it and a smaller bed next to it for the guest. I was immediately made to wear my robes and lie down on the bed. The nurse (CK) checked my blood pressure and then inserted the tubes to start inducing me with Pitocin. I was given the most minimal dose to start with. The process started at 7.30 a.m.

Even before I got married, whenever I imagined having children, I would think about how labor would be. I somehow had this feeling that all the women I knew who had kids had visited a special place, an adventure land in just having gone through labor. I could not imagine for the life of me how a baby can grow inside a woman’s womb and be delivered to the outside world. A living, feeling baby! Starting from nothing. The process of creation always inspired awe in me. And I could not believe at that moment that this was it – I was going to go through that magical experience. It was as if I was more focused on the experience than on the baby at that moment. I did not feel anything else – but the anticipation of a difficult but exciting and new journey ahead of me. Delivering your first-born brings with it this novelty. I felt as if I was crossing over to the other side. Of someone who knows how that feels! So long it had only been hearsay. I was about to experience the reality of that magic!

I felt the contractions strongly once the Pitocin kicked in. Dr.A came in and checked me – I had only dilated about 3cm then (I can’t remember exactly now – but far from fully dilated). She told me that she would be around till late evening and if my labor continued on after that, the doctor on call would be here for my delivery. I was keen that Dr.A be around for my delivery. I was hoping that the baby would come before she left for the day. I asked her to request the anesthesiologist to come in as soon as possible to give me the epidural. She told me that I was in luck because he was right in that floor at that moment. Soon after she left, the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural. I was having contractions and I had to bend down so he could inject me. I was nervous about not moving while he was injecting me. B held my head tight against him while I recited “Ram Ram Ram Ram” loudly in pain. B said he saw some blood come out during the process and felt light headed.

I lay down and got into a reasonably bearable position. All this took about a couple of hours. The details of what happened are a tiny bit fuzzy now in terms of the exact timing and numbers. My sister then decided to go home and bring my parents back with her after a quick shower. A little while after she left, a second nurse came in and looked at the fetal heart rate chart. She then called the first nurse who came in and looked at the chart. She was a little concerned. Meanwhile I was not feeling much pain during the contractions because of the epidural. She paged Dr.A who came in a few minutes. She examined me and said that I had proceeded way too rapidly. I was fully dilated now. She was amazed that I reacted so strongly to such a small dose of Pitocin. Just as she was examining me, the water broke. Now the heart rate was really beginning to fall. The baby did not take well to the rapid dilation and water breaking. It was going into fetal distress.

The moments that followed are again one of those intense ones where I went about what I had to do unmindful of the gravity of the situation. The doctor pronounced a code blue and in just a couple of minutes, the entire room was filled with blue uniforms. What had been a scanty number – a nurse, a doctor, B and me, suddenly changed. There were other doctors, and more nurses in blue protective uniforms. B was given a uniform and a mask.

Dr.A told me that I had to push in ten minutes or they were going to perform an emergency C-section. I had no time to think. All I knew was that I had to push as hard as I could to get this baby out soon. I did not even pray at that moment. I felt calm only because Dr.A was around – I had complete faith in her abilities as a doctor. She looked calm, not nervous. B on the other hand was a passive witness to all this. He told me later that he was feeling worried as to how things will progress at that point. The doctors gathered around me and said “1, 2, 3, PUSH” and I would push hard. Baby wasn’t coming out yet.

I continued on. I did not feel any pain in my numbness. I pushed again. And suddenly I heard one of the doctors’ come and tell me “We are going to use the forceps and coax the baby out. Don’t worry, Dr.A is very very experienced in forceps delivery”. I could not even think much about it at that point. It was not in my control. Had my sister (the pediatrician) been around at that point, she might have objected to it and things may have gone differently because she is not particularly in favor of forceps delivery given a choice. She may have requested the doctor to go for a C-section instead. But who knew that the baby would be coming out so soon. My sister merely went home to have a shower and bring my parents back to the hospital.
Again, the doctor said “1,2,3 PUSH” and I did. Dr. A now (I assume) used the forceps and there he was “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaannn”. (10.27 a.m. Aug.3.2005). A loud wail! I heard “ooohs” and “Aaahs”. Dr. A said, look how loud he is – may be he will be a musician! And then said may be he will be an actor – look at his dramatic entry into the world! I could not believe the events that happened in those three hours. The baby was already here! I could not grasp it. It happened too quickly! B was immensely relieved. He held the baby and brought him to me. I held him for a seconds and gave him back to B. I had fourth degree tearing from having pushed so hard and so rapidly. Dr.A sutured the tears and told me she would check on me later.

B immediately called home. Since no one answered, he called my sister on the cell phone. She was already in the car with my parents and was heading out of the complex into the road when the phone rang. She answered B thinking he was casually calling and said “We are on our way”! And B told her, “The baby is here!”. My sister was stunned! She said “What?”. B repeated what he had said. My sister was thrilled and told my parents the news. They were delighted and relieved. When they got to the hospital room, the nurse was still with me. They waited for a few minutes and then came in and held the baby. I can’t help but choke with emotion at this point. My father held the baby proudly. I wish I could have written the same line when I wrote kutti girl’s birth story this year.

Thus began my first step into being a mother and raising a child. The week that followed was less about the baby and more about me. Sparing you the details of it, I suffered quite a bit from the fourth degree tearing only after I got home with the baby. I did not realize the impact of it until then. Labor was a breeze really – unexpectedly short. But the few days after I got home felt like the real labor. Trying to sit on the “donut pillow” and feed the newborn baby who just did not know to latch. I had to deal with my own pain while trying to nurse him. All that is a whole different story – somehow I got through those four days of pain and the first day I went for a short walk, I felt so grateful. I prayed to god to never ever make me sick or in a position to not be able to walk freely and feel the warm sun. And feel the fresh air outside. Those few minutes alone, walking along the trees and hearing the birds chirping, I felt thankful. For all that I had at that moment. For having delivered my child safely. For having coming out of that pain I had been in the last few days. I pray for that divine grace to be with and guide my children always!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Little things..

Small things can make you feel annoyed/upset or feel really light and happy the whole day. Just trivial things really in the big picture. More on this as I go along.

I had my aunt visiting (my mom's cousin) us for three days - it was great to see her and spend quality time with her after many years. There are some things about a person you only get to know in those tiny spaces in time when you are doing every day things while chatting. This only happens when they stay over and spend extended time - as in more than a couple of hours - visiting you. For example when you go into the room to say "Good night" and sit down for a couple of minutes but end up chatting for an hour in the dark with just the street light coming in through the blinds...that's when really interesting conversation happens. I have known her for so many years and am very close to her daughter (my second cousin, but we are more like sisters) - but I realized I did not know so many things about her. She sings so melodiously - I was so amazed that she is such a good singer and she has never once told me she could sing. Lovely Hindi and Marathi Bhajans. I did not know she had a degree in Physics, that she used to play hockey (I have only seen her in Sari!), that she sketches very well, that she can sew all kinds of god - have I met this person before?! I was so busy being friends with my cousin - it was so great getting to know my aunt (who never talks about any of this) now!

And I got to know how much she has done for her family. She apparently took her daughter's 3.5 yr old and 3m old alone on a four hour flight to India and kept them with her for nearly a year! Managed both kids on her own (why my second cousin let that happen is a different issue)pretty much even if my uncle helped her some. I cannot imagine taking up that kind of responsibility - not just one child, but two children!

How loving she is as a person was evident in how she interacted with my children - just doted on them. What a gift it was for me - just to see her be so affectionate, so genuinely with my children. And telling me to rest, telling me to go shopping etc when she is here just so I can get a break since it was mom and her both available for kutti girl if I went out with kutti boy. Worrying as much as I did when B came home very late yesterday and I could not reach him over the phone. It just feels good when someone is genuinely affectionate - so much moral strength in that.

Edited to add - my post about how neighbor N made me feel bad about not acknowledging my mom etc made two people feel guilty already - which was not even the point of the post - it was not about returning calls but more about how not acknowledging someone, esp your mom, in certain situations makes you feel bad. But I didn't want anyone to feel guilty about anything - so deleted that part! Want to only spread the joy! :) So Aunt post this is! :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Life can be so unfair to some...

Stories like these are ones that make me appreciate life as it is rather than feel depressed about all that it is lacking in. My aunt was visiting me the last few days. A relative of hers (related to her in-laws) was supposed to visit her at my place.
This is a young woman around age 32 who is working and stays by herself.
She was not meant to be that way when she came to the US.
She got married pretty late by Indian standards. 30 plus. She could not easily find a partner to suit her height and also have the horoscopes match well. Finally she did find someone that fit the bill and she got married. They were very happy together, went on a honeymoon in India and then he returned to the US. He had been living in the US for many years and was quite familiar with the place. No one from her immediate family resided in the US. She waited nearly 10m or so and finally got her Green card and moved to the US.
The next 40 days were one of the happiest in her life. Those spent with her husband. Being blissfully married. Until that horrible day when he just suddenly collapsed and passed away instantly of a cerebral hemorrhage. Not knowing too many people in the US and none in the immediate vicinity, she had to manage through this unbelievable tragedy on her own. Until her brother came to help her out a little later. She went with the body of her deceased husband for the cremation in India. She had bought him a nice pair of pants and shirt for their first anniversary. He was dressed in that very outfit on the day of his cremation. Until that moment she had held back her tears. And then she let go. She would not let go of his body for over an hour. They had to pry her away from the coffin to make her let go. He was cremated on their first wedding anniversary.
She is apparently one of the sweetest people my aunt has known. And I spoke to her last night over the phone - she sounds that way too. Why does life turn out this way for some people? She continues to stay on here rather than go back to India. She has found herself a job and continues to live in the same city her husband used to live in. How does one ever come to terms with something so tragic? Why, why, why?! I have not even met her and it makes me feel so terrible - how do her parents deal with this? She may eventually get over this and find another person or manage on her own. But such things scar you for life. She was shown how happy one can be with a good partner and then it was snatched away from her in the most abrupt and cruel manner. I just don't understand why such things happen to people.
I hope and pray that she is able to come to terms with this and move on in life.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Am I an AP-er? Ferber-er?

I went to a friend’s (mother of two, 5 and 1.5 yrs old) place for Navaratri. I met a couple of women, one of whom had two boys (5 plus).
Conversation centered around raising children. I had left baby girl at home and taken kutti boy with me. He was playing on his own checking every now and then to make sure I was around. We were chatting and the two moms with school going kids talked about different schools in the area. I asked my friend if her 18m old had started sleeping through the night. She told me it was a huge struggle but finally he had started doing so. The other person said “ You don’t need to feed your child at night once they are 6m old, that’s what my pediatrician told me”.
My friend : Well, I just lie to my pediatrician. If he asks me about night feeds, I just lie. If not he pressures me to train my child to sleep through the night.
Second woman: I never lie to my doctor. But I can’t afford to wake up at night. I have to work from 5.00 am. So they had to stop the night feeds. But luckily they did it on their own.
Me: Well, my son certainly did not do it on his own. I didn’t want to stop night feeds. But he would wake up so often and in the morning neither of us felt rested. Each time he woke up to feed his sleep got disturbed.
My friend: You are the modified Ferber type of mom right?!

I said after mentally thinking about this quickly. Am I that? Or am I an AP-er? I had not planned to be one or the other.

Me: “well, I do what works. For the child”.

This made me think about it later. I had read about both styles. At some level I felt every parent is an attached parent. Your method may vary but you are attached to your child and you want to do what’s best for your child. Being a parent is what defines me, not the style. Yes, I am the modified-Ferber type of mom. But I am also an AP mom. I am a mom who cares for her child. Period. Which is why despite being an AP mom I became the modified-Ferber mom!

As far as parenting style goes, I would like to adopt B's parent's way of parenting - not exactly, but a milder/modified version of it – “benign neglect” parenting. They did not adopt that style after reading parenting books. But did so naturally. Did they raise perfect adults? No. They have imperfections. But is there such a thing as perfect adult? Isn’t it subjective anyway? Well yes, a murderer is clearly imperfect. But we are assuming normal adults not in the extremes. Within limits of what is considered normal, no one is perfect. We all have our faults.

B’s mother was an amazing mother in my opinion. (This is not to say I think any less of my mom. I just like B’s mom’s style of parenting – my mother worries/d way too much and I am afraid I will be the same way if I don’t watch out). She gave them love and nurturing in abundance. She made sure they moved to an area close to a good school. Neither B’s mom nor his dad sat with their kids all the time questioning them or helping them with their homework. If they needed help, it was given every now and then. My MIL was a religious person to some extent. So is my father-in-law. He believes in astrology and numerology. B on the other hand grew up to be someone who questioned it a lot, who did not believe in it at all, is agnostic in some sense. But they let him be. They gave him his space to think. And be his own person. Did not force their ideas on him. If at all his mother would joke about it

Well yes, if your child did well you don’t have to worry at all I say. True. But say if B had not been doing well in school, she would have only given what is adequately needed to get him on the right track – she would not have micro managed his entire life. They really were classic practitioners of benign neglect. They gave their children the best they could give in terms of nurturing them. Beyond that it was up to the children to make the best of it.

I don’t think it is practical for me to emulate that fully – the world now is way too competitive. I can’t sleep in peace if I let my children completely do what ever they wanted to do. At the risk of sounding pushy, at the risk of seeming like I am micro managing their life – I do think I have to expose them at the least to different options available to them and nurture their interest in a few of them. I do think if B’s parents had been a little more attentive, there are some things he would have learnt – like singing vocal music for example – and enjoyed it very much. He did not know then nor did he ask for it. He was in his school choir and did some radio programs. But they did not give him voice lessons because he didn't ask for it. But considering how good his voice is and how much music sense he has, he could have benefited from proper training in the formative years. So I feel benign neglect to the extreme is not good – for me personally. I feel children don’t always know what they will enjoy – initial reactions may be negative – but one has to give them a chance to find out. If my child has a natural talent in music I consider it my responsibility to nurture it. If it means forcing him to practice his lessons even if he is bored sometimes, I have to do it. When he gets good at it, he will not need me to prod him, he will enjoy it himself. You have to know when to push and when to sit back and give space.

This is not an advice post. Am just writing down my thoughts about how I think I should be as my children grow up. I am wary of putting too much pressure on them – I don’t ever want to do that. I don’t want to compare them with other kids. But I also don’t want them to later regret that I did not give them certain opportunities for learning. I want to give them the right dose of exposure and let them figure it out.

I feel like I need to sit down and be honest with myself as to what I want for my child. And is it my right to say “I want this for you, child” ?. Yes and No. I am the mother. I have a huge responsibility on me to shape this child as best as I can. But it isn’t just me shaping this precious mould. It is the environment too. It would be foolish for me to think I can control life forces. That being the case, I have to give my child the tools to shape himself based on his experiences. What tools? How? I mean every (normal) parent loves his/her child. They all still turn out to be different. Even siblings raised under the same roof. Proof enough that it is not just the parents who shape the child. I cannot plan now and say I will raise an assertive child and start following a regimen for that. I can’t have an image in my head and force this mould into that shape. I have to yield to the child’s natural temperament and work with the child. I sometimes feel this tug in my heart because I see my son to be a very affectionate, gentle, sweet child. I worry what if kids take him for a ride because he is so sweet and gentle. I don’t want him to get hurt. But I cannot force him to be an aggressive child – I have to trust that he will learn to survive as he grows up and learns to deal with the environment around him. And the world needs gentle sweet souls! If every one was aggressive and cut throat it would be a miserable world!

I don’t want to orchestrate his every move. Yet I worry I may do this if I don’t watch myself. Why? Because of peer pressure. It takes a lot to withstand this these days.
“Oh my god, you have not put your child in any play gym yet?”
He will get a lot of stimulation and fun if he goes there.
Does he need more stimulation that what he gets in his own surrounding?
Does he have to socialize every week for sure? He has a couple of my friend’s children come home every week and they play on their own. Together in the same room.
And eventually he will go to pre-school.
He seems happy the way he is. He may get bored every now and then. But as long as he is fed and happy, he finds his own way to entertain himself. He asks me for three cups and a spoon and some water. Keeps himself occupied transferring water. Feeding the butterfly helium balloon with his spoon. Pouring it from way up. Creating a mess and proudly declaring at the end of it all “Messy!”. I enjoy seeing him do this.
Do I have to give him a play gym stimulation in addition? I don’t know. Sometimes we as parents don’t have “correct” answers. We have to go with the flow and with what feels right/adequate.

I actively avoid sitting next to him when kutti boy is playing by himself. Just so he can be. Do his own thing. I tell myself I need to do this even when he is an adult. Give him (goes for my daughter too) his space to grow up. Not decide right now that I will raise him in XYZ method. I have to only take it by the day and see what works for him. I pray for courage and the grace of God (even if it is my own version of God of course) in raising my children. That divine grace has to protect my children from negative forces.

I want KB to learn vocal music. Very much so. Only because I can see he has a great voice for it and he is keenly interested even now. But I cannot build my dreams and force him into it. I have to take him to class and see how he responds. I worry that I will pressure him into choosing a field of study I think is good for him. I want him to be really good at what he chooses to pursue for his education. That is my hope. Because Kutti Boy likes shapes so much, B asks me jokingly, “what will you do if he wants to study geometry?”. I will be glad if he is passionate about it. Of course I will worry that he wont’ have a comfortable life unless he gets lucky – jobs in that field are not easy to get, he may not make any money. Is it my responsibility to tell him all this. I think so. If he still chooses to study it, it is his life, his decision. As someone who cares for him deeply, I think I have the liberty to at least have a discussion with him about all this. I don’t consider this micro managing. If he is able to articulate his thoughts and is clear about what he wants, I will be happy. That I did really raise my child. Into a confident adult with a thinking mind.

P.S – A lot of these are my thoughts – thinking aloud. And letting you hear my random flow of thoughts too. In case you are interested. I do vacillate a lot about these issues – I may think one thing today but they will come up with something that alters my thinking (about the way I raise them) entirely at some point.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Schmooze Award


This award is “for bloggers who “effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.”

Thanks Poppin’s mom and Mnamma for giving me my first (and possibly the only one) award in blogosphere! With my usual self- deprecatory humor, I saw this and said to myself “Oh no, let me hide under the table! I don’t deserve any award! Me? I must have created a false impression somehow!”. A friend once sent me the text of one of those self-doubting letters from Nehru to say even great/famous people worry about such things and that I am not unique in that! "Ok thanks, I am not unique!"

Moving on, like Madmomma says here, I too am a little ambivalent about getting a “Schmooze” award – just because of the word and the connotations it has! But the spirit with which it was awarded makes me feel good. The kind words from Mnamma and Poppins totally made my day!
And Poppin’s mom – Innocent?! Me?! J Am afraid to know what you will think of me if you really get to know me! Am wary of creating false impressions without even realizing it!

People blog for different reasons, some are serious about it, some do it occasionally, some do it to vent, some to just time pass, some to meet new people….
I started blogging only to be able to easily post comments on my niece’s (cousin’s daughter) blog posts. And wondernoon was a name I completely randomly chose when I was creating a blog name. A good friend, for no real reason calls me “Noon”. And I do wonder about the meaning of life and death a lot…at least more often than I think other normal people do! J Hence I casually tried “wondernoon” and the name was available, so I took it. I did not intend to be a mommy blogger or meet new people or even really post much. I started posting casually and gradually became more involved especially after having children. I really enjoyed reading mommy blogs because I relate to these posts so much now. Being a mother is what occupies most of my time now and so it is fun to read about other moms and celebrate their children and share in all the ups and downs of raising a child. Some friendships have sprouted in the process. It is a nice feeling and I feel good when I connect with some like-minded person, let alone a mother.
I enjoy so many blogs – feel a friendly hand being extended through comments from many bloggers. I am still not as much at home in the blog world as many others are.

(By the way, Mnamma – I loved your “blogosphere stalwarts” comment! J I always think of people like Maharajapuram Santhanam when I think of the word stalwart – you know that stately figure, deep voice…and in this context - yes these seasoned bloggers you mention are all “stalwarts”!)

Many have this and several other awards – frankly I think every one of them deserves one or all of these awards – these are just for fun anyway and every blogger who has spent considerable time blogging deserves one or more of these…
I am passing this on to a random few that come to mind (even if I forget some others!).

People like Poppin’s mom and Mnamma already have this award – and totally deserve it. Passing it on to a few people who have not been awarded this one yet:

Ranjani, – for her warm and friendly ways…both in her posts/comments and on email.

Chitra – who comments so warmly and celebrates our children even if she is not a mom yet! (will soon be I assume!).

Cantaloupe – She writes in such a sweet manner and is nice in the way she comments in other’s posts.

SS – though she has closed down her blog (which I really miss now), she was a natural when it came to blogging – candid and from the heart – one could relate to it. And she is a very sweet person too from what little I know of her…

UTBT – She is a thoughtful blogger who writes in such a way that you know there is a friendly hand behind it. You feel like you can write to this person and expect to get a warm reply back with friendly comments and suggestions. And I loved it that she started the sulk club – I like that kind of humor – makes you feel like she is down to earth and one can easily talk to her.

Kodi's mom - She writes wonderfully - it is fun to read. And she is very friendly (since this award is about that!) in the way she comments and writes. I also share a special kinship with her because "misery loves company" - our kid's challenge us in feeding them their meals - they seem to exchange notes and go through the good and bad phases around the same time. And our engagement stories have sort of similar! (Thats' not why I am sending this award your way - it is because you really are a friendly soul!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Our song tag

Our song tag….

Kurai Onrum Illai

The times - they are a-changin

B and I don’t have one particular “our song”. But these two songs are part of the story that is “us” now. Moppet’s mom – this partly goes into the engagement story you told me to write about…
B and I had known each other for a while – I met him on my birthday at my close friend’s (his cousin) wedding in Chennai. I was visiting from the US at that time and he was finishing his undergrad and was about to start graduate school in the US that fall. Since my friend and her parents were busy since they were in the wedding, I spent time chatting with her cousins – especially this one (B) who I had not met earlier at my friend’s place somehow. We hit it off really well and ended up giving each other company (being gracious that’s all you know!) while the wedding was happening. He attended all the events at her wedding and we had a lot of time to chat. Not to mention that I was of course dressed my best since I was at a wedding - brocade sari, nearly knee length hair with mallipoo, high heels (he still towered over me since I am a shorty), the works.
He gave me his phone no at his hostel and told me to visit before I left the country. I dropped in when I went to visit another friend and gave him my US phone no and told him to say hello after he came to the US. And that’s how it started.
We remained friends for a few years – met a couple of times, but mainly connected over the phone. In the meanwhile, my parents, especially my mother was very keen that I get married. Plenty of side stories there. Leaving those aside, it came to a point of high pressure at my end when the said friend decided there was no time to travel across coasts (as he would have liked to do this in person) and conveyed his interest in a hand written letter to me!

The mind plays games with you really. I knew him well and this did not come as too much of a surprise. Yet I felt like we were only friends, had only been friends and nothing more and it will never be anything more. And I told him so. But he was the only friend I would consistently keep in touch with regularly. It was like calling my family. I could tell him anything. I did not know how close we had become over the years. Just took it for granted.

Like in the movies, we had the good fortune of our respective close friends who married each other with some role played by us in the matter of their meeting each other. And they, I suppose wanted to spread the joy and played cupid. They tried to pry open my shut mind and see that I actually cared about this guy and that it would work out if only I gave it a chance and saw that it wasn’t just another friendship. I was stuck on the fact that we were on opposite coasts and we had only mainly known each other over the phone. One fine summer day, when B was visiting me and my friends, he took me out to dinner and later that night, we walked by the river with the balmy breeze blowing, the city lights sparkling in the distance, house boats anchored by the board walk. Few others enjoying the summer were sitting around or jogging. B finally got to the point of his visit and told me that I simply had* to give this a chance and come and visit him a few times before deciding on it. In a feel good mood,I agreed to.

I visited him without telling any one in my family other than my sister (while two other siblings and my cousin lived very close to where he was – I could have been caught any time!) because I did not want my parents or my older brother to cloud my decision by pressuring me into saying a yes just because they really liked him. After a few visits, I was still afraid – I was studying in the east coast and he was working in the west coast. We could not meet casually over a cup of coffee or every day. A few visits and I had to decide on something that I had thought would never be. I was afraid of my own decision.

As an aside to the main story – since this is about the song tag – B was heavily into western music – had a huge collection of CDs – especially Rock and Jazz music. I was into western music until I came to the US. Although I had been trained in classical music while I was in India, I had no real interest in it until I came to the US. I became very interested in carnatic music and would listen to it all the time. And M.S.Subbulakshmi was my all time favorite. Especially this song – “kurai onrum illai” - sung by her. And B had this CD, the only carnatic music CD he had purchased! I love/d this song – you can get lost in the reverberation of her voice and feel entranced by the lyrics and the melody in this song.

After a few visits to the west coast to spend time with B – the last one (exactly six years back, Oct.13 weekend) was particularly memorable. We had a great time visiting the vine yards in the west coast, went to a play, got stuck outside the theater because the guard at the parking garage had disappeared and it started raining! So we walked to an Italian restaurant and had dinner that turned out to be quite lousy. We went home and chatted some more. Finally it was time for me to leave the next morning by an early flight. No decision yet. The tension behind the conversation was mounting. Unsaid but palpable. Neither of us could bring it up. My thoughts were clouded. I could not shake myself out of “I have only known him as a friend, what if I am doing the wrong thing?”. Things were left unsaid, B wished me good night and went to bed (awake all the time) and I lay down on the living room couch pretending to watch a movie while thinking about all this all the while. Dawn came, we got into the car to drive to the airport. I knew this would be it – I would have to cut off all contact with him after this visit. We simply could not be just friends after this. My heart felt incredibly heavy. As we got into the highway, with a few cars zooming by, in the quiet of the early morning wondering what the other person was thinking…he turned on the music. To this song. It made me feel melancholic. Nostalgic. Stirred. Full in the heart.

We went to the airport, I told him goodbye. Nothing had been said. Everything was assumed. That this was it. I called my sister as soon as his face disappeared from the crowd by the gate and talked to her. I cried. I could not bear it. I could not articulate it. I could not loose him. I was imprisoned by my own refusal to let go of my fear and see it for what it is. He was my best friend. I trusted him like I did no other person. I admired him for so many things. I respected him more than anyone I knew. He had the kindest smile and I loved that I had him in my life. Yet…I could not get the words out. I hung up with my sister and got into the plane. Somewhere up in the sky, it just clicked. Truly divine intervention I would say. I just felt absolutely sure of my decision. I wanted to marry him. I wanted him to be a part of my life forever. I could not imagine a life without him. And I was not just going to tell him that but was going to tell him that in those very words. Clarity of that nature is a powerful and liberating feeling.

That night, I borrowed my house mate’s laptop and emailed him. I told him in no uncertain terms that if he was still willing, I wanted to marry him. And soon. As soon as we could both go to India. We had never talked about marriage until then – it was obvious that that was the end point – but still we had never talked about it in those terms. He had been exhausted from the intensity of the weekend. He had had a long day at work that Monday. During a break from an official meeting on Tuesday morning, he checked his mail to see this* mail from me. All those years of friendship and the roller coaster ride we had been through…he was simply dazed. Just when he had thought it was all really over.

Rest is history. I could write a whole new post on the celebration that followed in my family when I announced the decision. Every one’s reaction…the million phone calls. Pure joy when I think about it even now. Three months later we were married. We had a commuter marriage living across coasts, for over a year. That Valentine’s day he had flowers delivered to my house. I came home late at night, in the cold and entered my warm room. My housemate had accepted the package from the florist and put it on my desk. It had a little printed note. He had borrowed from Dylan. It said, “The times, they are a-changin”. With love.

I tag - Mnamma, Ca.Amma, Madmomma,Boo, DDmom, Poppin, Orchid, Ranjani,Dotmom,Kodi's mom,Chitra,Shobana,Aryan's mom, Rohini, Kiran, Squiggles. (Song with engagement story please!).
Some of you have done the "our song" tag but not the engagement story. I love (and am sure the others here so as well, I mean who doesn't love a good story!) engagement stories - so am hoping all of you tagged here will do a post on both - song plus engagement story or just engagement story (if you don't mind that is).

Friday, October 12, 2007

The deceivingly warm smile!

I was about seven months pregnant with baby girl when I was at the grocery store one evening with kutti boy in the cart and mom waiting at the cash register to finish up and leave. I was wearing a salwar khameez - a simple one. I was intently looking at the different cheese options in the refrigerated section when a slightly plump woman (non-Indian) walked towards me, complimented me on my "beauuutiful Indian outfit" and asked me "How many months?". Having been quite used to the question by then, I graciously volunteered "7 months". "Oh, nice. You know it's a boy or a girl?". "Girl, this time" I said, noticing that she was looking at kutti boy.
Our conversation continued.
She said "Oh wow, perfect family! That's great.".
"How far apart will they be?"
"Oh Wow" (again!)
"Look at his eyes, they are so beautiful"
Couldn't help but feel good - she was complimenting my son after all.
"Thank you".
"I am from the Philippines by the way. We don't have such large eyes. His eyes are so big! And he is so tall"
Tall - now I was thinking - oh wow, how nice! :) Someone thinks my son is tall! (Since I am a shorty, that always makes me feel happy).
"Back home, our kids are not so tall at this age".
"Oh really?"
"Oh yeah"...
And blah blah blah - the conversation continued - while I was getting very stressed:
a) that Kutti boy would suddenly get terribly bored that the cart was stationary and start throwing a tantrum.
b)Remember that he let go of the helium balloon I bought for him at the store which went completely out of reach even with a barge pole!
c)My mother might have taken a ride and left without me fuming in anger!

Abruptly I said to her, "I really should go, my mother is waiting for me outside".

"Oh ok, well here is my card. Remember this Indian friend who just had a baby I told you about...I will be visiting her soon. I will call you from there so you can also meet her".
I took the card from her and ran to the check out counter.

She did call me when she visited her Indian friend. Her friend was a nice person over the phone and we exchanged phone nos and agreed to meet up some day. (Hasn't happened for five months now though we live five min drive from each other).

A few weeks back, the same woman called me out of the blue. I was in the middle of feeding KB his dinner - and this calls for full concentration more than my organic chemistry final did - a few minutes of distraction over the phone and our little prince will dodge and change the equation - power will shift and he will drift out of the high chair quietly getting Daddy to free him from there.

My mother, kind as she is, gave the phone to me not understanding who on earth this person was. She asked me about the new baby and how I was doing with great enthusiasm. And I was happy that she was sweet enough to remember and call me to inquire about the baby. I told her that she should visit us one day and that I was in a hurry now and could not talk much...
"Oh, if you have just one minute, can I just talk now?"
Seeing the little kutti chathan shifting in his seat, I said with mild trepidation:
"yes, what's the matter?"
"Are you planning to go back to work soon?"
Taken aback by this sudden twist to questioning me about something so personal, I said politely, "well, not right away anyway".
"Well, would you like to earn some money while you are home taking care of the baby?".

That moment, I felt the thud of the warm and friendly gesture fall apart and a deep disappointment that I did not see through this. Yet again!!! For god's sake?! Isn't there a friendly person left on the planet who can be friendly for it's own sake? This was rather convoluted. Threading through different ethnicities and looping around the person rather convincingly. I did not want to hear it. It is not like I was looking for another friend. When someone is so warm and friendly and shows no sign of any "Amwayness" (or any other home biz for that matter) not just the first meeting but the second phone call too...And ropes in an Indian friend in this whole thing - you just expect it to be genuine. Just a friend. For the sake of having talked so much to you. For the sake of living so close by. To think this* is why she had been so friendly! I was so let down. At how naive I had been.
I told her plainly "I am busy now, you can mail me about it if you want".
"Well I can tell you in just a few minutes now, if you don't mind".
"No,I really have to go now. You can email me later, sorry".
I guess my tone gave away the fact that I was not interested one bit.
She never called.
And yet again Amway got me! (I am assuming it is Amway - but you know - Amway or some clone of it!).

P.S - I am still curious to know if the Indian woman is in the loop or if she really just wanted to get to know another Indian in the neighborhood! I really want to know!

Edited to add: Well, anyone who has been in this country now is sure to have experienced the Amway attack. Now that we know, we know how to spot them (although this one was so convoluted, it even got me!) and tell them off. I used to complain initially that Indians are the ones who don't smile warmly or say hi when we go for a walk or bump into them at stores...many non-Indians say hi or chat pleasantly. But now I am so wary of the Amwayites that I too am very skeptical if someone is friendly. There may be one or two of those who are genuine and really are new to this place and want to make new friends but sadly I am afraid to be forthcoming. That is the sad fall out from these Amway tactics.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The first big step as an infant...

The grand roll over...

While you go about the every day rigmaroles of feeding/diaper changing/getting the kid's to nap - the little mile stones and the sweet baby talk keep you recharged to face the next day...
I was not one to note down the date of every mile stone or special moments. My cousin gave me one of those baby scrap books to note down every thing right form the moment of birth for kutti boy...and it has one entry - the birth! :) This time around, she didn't give me one! :)
As I wrote to a fellow blogger, I did not even start this blog site with the intention of blogging - randomly one day I got myself a blog site just so I could comment on my niece's blog posts. And she was the one (along with another friend) convinced me that I should start blogging. I started my first post on 6.22.06. And wrote random pieces since then. Also deleted a whole bunch of posts that I wrote since that time. Slowly I found myself writing a lot about my son and then about my second pregnancy and now about both the kids - so I have morphed into a mommy blogger. I feel like writing random pieces again but it feels out of place here. Anyway - back to the point of this post - I figured since I made it a point to actually note down the date of this grand mile stone for baby girl and actually shot a few pictures - I will post about it - so may be I will look at this and reminisce with details later...
On Oct.3.07, baby girl was casually looking at her friends in the music mobile above her crib. And she started turning side ways looking like she was ready to roll over. And I ran and got my camera and stood there patiently. She tried three times patiently getting to the final step but not being able to pull her hand out. So I gave up and went to attend to KB. Later that evening I left her with my mom upstairs and went downstairs to feed KB his snack. He was in his booster seat at the dining table and I was having my tea. Suddenly my mom shouted out for me and said, "Come here, come here!". I told her I will come in a bit since KB was eating and I didn't want to abruptly leave him alone. She said, "Oru nimisham, udane vaa". And I knew!
I ran upstairs and saw that baby girl had just* turned over and casually pulled her hand out like she had been doing it all along. No big deal - every child does it. But somehow I enjoyed it this time even more than I did for KB. It was pure excitement. Mom clapped just as I was coming upstairs. I missed the* moment, but captured her on camera after she had rolled over. I missed my MIL when I was taking pictures - she and my FIL were with KB when he rolled over (I was cooking and B was reading). We suddenly heard them clapping and they didn't even call out to us - they were just enjoying themselves. We went and saw that KB had rolled over. Had she been alive, I would have called her right away (India time 5.30am) and told her and she would have shared my excitement...this is for her!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Middle name - Tag.

Mnamma tagged me on this one.

(I don’t have a middle name – so I shall make “Wonder” my middle name).

W – Winter hat, Worry-worm.

Winter hats - I love winter hats. As a student I lived in a very cold place. I hated the cold when it was biting and made me scrunch and run from the subway station to my home with aching shoulders. But I loved wearing snow hats. It had to be extremely cold for me to feel comfortable wearing them. So the peak winter months were fun in that respect. Also the snow made it so beautiful. I would come home late at night and have a quick meal. I would then make a cup of hot, sweeeeet chai and get a blanket and sit down to watch the late show on TV. Only my palms holding the hot cup of chai would peep out of the warm blanket. My housemate and his wife (she was working in the neighboring city and would visit on weekends) would join in and sometimes we would watch a movie together. I would go to bed late night and wake up late the next morning and sometimes be greeted by a blanket of white all around. On a weekend, this was bliss. I would meet with one or two friends who lived in the neighborhood and we would walk in the snow, sparkling in the sunlight, to the neighborhood cafĂ©. The warm sun, the bright and pure snow, the company of good friends, banter, laughter for a long while and then head off to work – God, was that me? Or was it another birth?!

Worry –worm. Well, the previous post is testament to that! I worry about having offended people. Even if I know it is not my fault, I sometimes worry. I worry about the health of my close ones. Especially so after my father’s death. If B is late from work (he is late most often but if he is later than the latest time he said he would come), I get knots in my stomach (he refuses to get a cell phone, hates it!). I worry if I don’t hear from someone. I feel stupid to email or call and ask as to why he/she has not responded to my mail. I read (into) my mail and worry that “that word” probably was offensive! So, I wait and worry. Only to hear that she has been out of town on work or her dog ate my email (just kidding!). I too am lax in keeping in touch sometimes, but I always respond to certain kinds of mails, certain situations. If you know what I mean. It is only in those instances I worry. Or if suddenly there is silence at the other end. I am carefree in many respects – not to paint the wrong picture – people who know me well know this – I laugh a lot, love to tease people that I am close to, I love being silly – none of which goes with the worry worm that lurks in my head! J But it is there and creeps up at the drop of a hat on specific issues!

O – outgoing. Well, I am an extrovert as well as an introvert. Only people who are that way will know what I mean. I love people, I love being with friends, family…but I don’t like big parties. I feel claustrophobic, out of place. I detest cliques and feel uncomfortable when I sit with only one group of known people and I feel bad for the new ones left out but don’t’ know how to include them…and if I am the new one, I just want to flee. I love meaningful one on one conversations with people who are warm and friendly. I don’t hesitate to really make friends with someone when I know they are warm and receptive. I can find something or the other to talk to the person next to me on a plane if he/she is just friendly. But if that same person were to meet me in a big party, I would probably stop with a “hi”!.

N – Nostalgic. – I get so nostalgic about so many things. Especially my childhood days now. I miss the days when I was at home with my parents. I left home at the age of 18 and I have been away ever since. I miss my father. I miss the feeling of familiarity in my home country, my home city. I feel out of place there now. I feel nostalgic about the feeling of being at home with my parents and siblings. Coming home from school, taking my shoes off while asking my mom “Amma, inniku yenna maa Tiffin?!” (Amma, what’s for evening Tiffin today?). God what a luxury that was! Imagine someone waiting with hot tiffin coffee for you at 4.00pm!! I feel nostalgic when I think of summer holidays spent with my cousins at my grandparents place in the village…bathing in the river, walking back in the hot sun, renting bikes and riding around the village, visiting temples and wearing “malli poo” on my once hip-length hair, playing cards, going to bed in the living room while three or four of us are lying down in a row next to each other in a “jamakalam” (blanket). I feel nostalgic about the simplicity of life then.

D – Dreamer – I dream a lot. My friend used to joke that she would start a cartoon strip on me - the one who lives up there and floats back to reality every now and then! Which is why I simply love Calvin. I dream about so many things. I dream that I am a concert level singer and just imagine myself lost in that world. I dream that I am an expert swimmer confident enough to go surfing in the ocean. I dream that I …well, so many. Will stop here!

E – Enthusiastic. I am quite enthusiastic about a lot of things. Learning new things, meeting people (in my own extro/introverted way), celebrating occasions (my friend who lives in the neighborhood is probably tired of me sending left over cake from the celebrations I have at our place for all kinds of things for my family)…

R – Rowdy songs. I love playful twist of words (ones that are not grossly vulgar but just playful) and love listening to rowdy songs. And love dappangoothu songs (like “uppu karuvaadu). An old song that I heard a long time back “Shock adikkudhu Sona, nee nadandhu pona”. It is silly and crazy. I like it.
Well it is 12.40am, I am not able to think further. Two posts in a day – record for me! J
I did not even edit my post this afternoon. Noticed so many typos. Excuse me if there are more in this one!

Everyone I know seems to have been tagged on this one.
I tag - Shobana (naren)! And SS turned S! (you have already been tagged?). Boo. Cantaloupe's amma. Ranjani Satish. UTBT.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Tangled thoughtts...

Tangled thoughts…

Sometimes the littlest of things turns into a tangled cobweb of thoughts in your head and crowd you. You keep going back to those thoughts throughout the day. You build up a misunderstanding in your head and you wonder if indeed it can be set straight.
I went to Costco – the mammoth store with the always full – even as soon as the door opens – parking lot, to buy a whole bunch of items. I have been trying to go there every day but it just wasn’t happening. This morning, I decided to leave at 9.50 am so I could be there soon after the store opens. Of late, I have been trying to give KB his lunch at 10.45 to 11.00 am. It takes me at least 45 min to give him his lunch. When it was 9.45am and time to leave, I was too nervous that baby girl would wake up at 10.30am (3 hours after her morning feed) and start crying. My mother told me she would be fine and that she had just started napping and that I should go. I was too nervous to have no time for slack in case I got delayed – so I fed her at 10.00 am and figured if I got back by 11.30am, I could give KB his lunch and then nurse baby girl by 12.15 or so.
I made good timing, drove to the store in 10 min (no traffic) and found a spot quickly on one side of the lot. The lot was full but not over flowing like it always is. I got out of the car and quickly looked for a cart and walked over to the cart lot and pulled one out and put KB in it and rushed to the store. I had to return some item and then begin shopping.
In the rush I did not make a mental note of where I had parked the car. All I remembered was that it was close to the cart lane in one of the lots.
I finished shopping and was out of the store at 11.30am. I still had an hour and half before baby girl was due for her next feed. She sometimes wants to nurse in two hours but since she had fed nearly every two hours in the morning since 5.30am, I figured she would be fine. I would reach home by 11.45am (already late for KB’s meal time) and give him his meal and then nurse baby girl.
I walked towards where I thought the car would be, but I could not find it. It was a maze of cars and SUV’s and pick up trucks – either being parked or being pulled out of the lot. So many silver cars, I could not find ours. I walked around that side of the lot, around and around the five or so lanes back and forth pushing the cart full of stuff and KB, while feeding KB his cheese snack (thank heavens I had that with me) and I still could not find it. I called B couple of times to vent my frustration and worry. Did it get stolen? What happened to it? I remembered coming straight and turning into the lot on the left side. I was getting frantic. KB had to be given his lunch. Baby girl would wake up for her feed. And the car was not in sight! KB was being patient and in fact sounded a little excited when he said “Where’s the car?!” repeating after me.
I then asked a mother who had just put her son in his car seat and was about to leave, if she could help me out. I gave her the license no and asked her if she could just drive around the lot for a minute and see if I had missed seeing it. I felt blinded. How could I miss the car?! She was very nice about it and told me she would look for it. She went through the next lane and came back to where I was and waved – no, not there. I told her “You’re probably getting delayed, you go ahead, thank you”. I was outside on her passenger side but her window was open and I assumed she heard me. I was still walking around looking for my car and this time I located a store clerk and decided to walk up to him for help. I suddenly thought I would go to the opposite parking lot even though I was so sure in my head that I had not parked there. There it was, instantly spotted – our silver car that beeped to the remote. And suddenly it came back – yes, I had indeed parked there. It was next to the cart lane – except on this side, not the side I had walked in for the last 15 min or more.
I went around the whole lot once trying to spot that lady – I had only briefly glanced at her, did not notice her license plate no. I figured she must have left. And suddenly as I came out of the lot, I wondered – did she really hear me tell her she could leave and that I would manage? I didn’t want her to think I just sped off as soon as I found my car without even telling her. I looked around, I could not find her and I had already told her to leave. But all afternoon, this nagging doubt has been there in my head. I get into these sticky situations in my own head. Trivial as they may be. It feels like a kink that needs to be released. No way out. I have to let go of that thought. Here was a kind woman who helped me out by offering to look for my car. I did thank her and told her to go ahead. She may not have heard me. But I still feel bad because, in my frantic state, I didn’t make sure* that she heard me. I was afraid that baby girl would have woken up and give my mother a hard time. I was worried that it was already late for KB’s lunch. In all that, I just quickly told her to leave but I did not make sure that she heard me. If I had been in her place and wandered around the lot looking for the car, I would be upset if the other person just left without letting me know that they had found it. Yet I did the same. How can I resolve this?
I get into these imagined sticky situations every now and then. Now this woman may not even care – she may have assumed I found the car and left – which is quite likely. And she might have also heard me tell her to leave. Yet I worry about this. I sometimes get stressed just thinking that I may have offended someone that that is the reason they have not written to me or called me. And it will just turn out that they were just busy or preoccupied. Does this happen to others as well? Hope so!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Response to Tharini's post on religion.

This is a response to this post by Tharini:

Tharini – That was a great post. I was looking forward to your opinion on that topic especially since I know how much “God” means to you.
You had put time and thought into it and it was a lovely piece to read and re-read and I am sure I will do that later too. It had peaceful thoughts to calm one during moments of angst.
About your moment of transformation at your friend’s place – I am not sure if you have to be the chosen one to experience such transformation of if you consciously arrive at it through conversation. The way you have written it seems like some sublime experience that you went through that erased your doubts and brought clarity.
What about R – has he had any doubts ever? How did he resolve it?
I loved what you wrote about change. Yes we build expectations around people that it becomes claustrophobic. I completely agree with you on that. It takes a lot to turn to oneself all the time and alter our own expectations. And sometimes being nice, you just get run over. I hate that feeling. And that you are being nice is not even acknowledged sometimes. These are the times when you forget your wanting to be a good person and feel like just lashing out or just giving them a taste of their own medicine. One way I try to overcome this is when I tell myself (even if this is a silly way) is “what goes around comes around”. And that when it comes around, it may not just be me, but my children who bear the brunt of it in some situations. I tell myself that there is some justice meted out by nature itself – that the other person will, even if for a flicker of a second, know the pain they have caused another person – if not now, later. But I don’t have to be the one lashing out at that instance and making it unpleasant. I try and tell myself this when I feel hurt about some things/people/situations. But it is a balancing act – you don’t want to be a push over but you want to be graceful and nice in any situation. Hard to achieve.

About doing what feels honest. Yes, I agree. Achieving synchrony in what we do, what we think we should do, how we are as people outside and to our family is hard. My friend once told me that he wants to be the same person he is when he is in the puja room or living room or office – in the deeper sense of it.

About your NY trip: Loved how you described smiles breaking all barriers. I feel that way too. And many times when I have been down and traveling on the subway – when I was a student – I used to be so cheered up just at a random stranger being nice – just a warm smile or an acknowledgement of my presence. It just makes your day when people offer warmth. In a genuine way that is. And in simple ways.

Anbe Sivam – God what a movie. Just loved it – the spirit of the movie I mean. God being a summation of the highest virtues…yes. Very true. But, how do you love someone who hurt you? And why? I find it difficult to conceive an answer to that. Also I think many times it is because you love/care for some people that they are capable of hurting you. If you are indifferent to their existence, they cannot do anything to you. Even the hurt stems from the love. …

Ego: Don’t even get me started. Hardest to achieve. Impossible I think. I am not sure if it is ego…the need to feel accepted. The need to belong. The need to be acknowledged. To be remembered. And to be loved. It is not an arrogant ego but a gentle one that needs reassurance. But this again ties into just being human. We all want to feel connected and feel like we belong…amongst each other. I suppose this ties into your “blogging” thing. Comments make you feel like someone heard you. It is not necessarily to feed your ego. That would be if you expected them to praise you about how great your post was etc.
And here I wonder, if no one commented too, you would have still made an impact, wouldn’t you? I am thinking these thoughts for myself …
Well that could be a whole new post!

Rasa lila – Lovely, I agree completely.

And about babies being close to God – I feel that way – even if not in exactly the same terms. They are so pure and innocent – you just see god in them. At their infant stages. I feel that way when I see my infant daughter sleeping peacefully in her cradle – I feel so happy and full in the heart. And more so this time, may be because I know this is it – this is the last time I get to experience this stage of my own children. And feel the love and happiness when I see such purity in front of me.

God in many forms – Dotmom, you, me – all of us have expressed similar thoughts. We see beauty in nature, in anything creative and feel like we find God there. But when there is destruction and suffering, we fail to understand God. That is when the cynicism strikes. I wonder how one can resolve that conflict.

About rituals being the romance in the relationship –nice way to put it.

Purpose of life – the quest to know this will go on until we die I think.

After reading the poem, I still wonder who that “I” is…and I suppose that is the discussion itself and it will continue on in our lives where we find fragments of the answer in every day life….