Category Archives: Culture

Oh marriage?!

So apt to find this draft which has only the title on this page. Yesterday was Karva Chauth. A day I think is supposed to be a private event. At least that is how I grew up to believe it was.

My childhood and tradition forming period in time missed the Karan Johar movies, who in my opinion has completely ruined the sanctity and the way we approach our traditions. Too commercialized in my opinion. And really if your mother didn’t do KC, don’t start now just to be invited to a KC party.

First of all, if anyone thinks that even a non-science educated women, believes fasting/ praying to the moon will either improve her relationship with her husband or increase the longevity of her husband’s life, then you are not giving this said woman basic respect. We women at least in today’s age, know that none of it is true; even as we recite the ancient mythical story of Karva and wait in vain for the moon as it never rises on time.

So I asked myself yesterday, why do I do this fast. I am after all a doctor and a scientist. Why when I have been trained in critical thinking and asking sound clinical questions, do I drop everything to fast, cook up a feast and wait for the moon to rise. I don’t even particularly pray when the moon does show up.

Quite honestly I don’t know. Marriage is bloody hard. It is a daily work in progress.¬† My once a year fast does nothing for our marriage. Well may be a little. It boosts the man’s ego, I get fussed about all day by the man who cannot get over the fact that I would fast for him, so he makes promises he wouldn’t otherwise. Quite worth it, if you ask me. ūüėČ

 

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Giving myself permission to be me!

Many a times when my soul is tortured I turn to Ted Talks. A few inspiring episodes later I am ready to take on the world again. Life circumstances have changed in our household. They aren’t life altering or soul shattering changes, just very small changes. I am learning that even the smallest changes which don’t necessarily change the big picture, also need a learning curve and an adjustment.

That learning curve and adjustment has been taking its toll on me. While I am working on fine tuning my emotional intelligence on current issues in my life I find myself struggling more and more with my stance in life. I am not blind with passion on any one thing. Perhaps my love for the people in my life follows some form of blindness, but nothing else. I have my beliefs I stand by, while I can completely understand yours. I may not accept them, but I know to respect them.

I blame my bringing up for it. My parents raised me to be accepting and non-judgmental. In today’s very polarized world I struggle because of my ability to stay neutral. I feel forced to take side, but I don’t want to lose my essence. I grew up to learn to respect, be tolerant and be accepting of what is different from me.

So while my soul was still tortured, I was looking for something on YouTube from Ted talks to soothe me. I came across this talk from Ash Beckham.¬†I cried at the end of the talk. I will try and explain why. While I am not gay, or have secrets in my closet, I still struggle like all of us do. For once I felt my duality in thought and opinion was okay. It doesn’t have to be Ash or Jesus. I can be me and I don’t need to apologize for it.

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A girl can hope..

I hope people can find true happiness.

I hope people care more, eat less, sleep more, cry less, laugh more, lie less.

I hope people can keep their differences aside, be more respectful.

I hope people would remind themselves we are all people, not man/woman, white/black, native/immigrant.

I hope the boundaries disappear, travel becomes easy.

I hope immigration officers don’t exist.

I hope I continue to live, travel, love, laugh, and believe.

I hope I make this world the kind of place I want to live in.

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Happy Mother’s day!

I could have been getting hugs and kisses and love and perhaps a handmade card and a nice little jewelry box from my husband. Today I could be celebrating mother’s day with two of my children. An older boy who would have just turned 2 and a younger daughter who would be barely 5 months. There could have been picture taken that we would have held dear for all of our lives. I would perhaps be very tired from nursing my new born and have my mom cook me my favorite meal. ¬†We would have celebrated this day together.

But that wasn’t meant to be. I have a certain ache in my heart thinking of the could be, would be and perhaps. Life has other plans I tell myself today. The mind wanders to orphaned children in this world. How their heart aches to get love and mine to give. I think of all the unwanted/unplanned pregnancies. Mothers who neglected and abused their children make me angry. I am not alone, I remind myself. There are many who want to have children and cannot or who got pregnant but lost their babies. I don’t particularly care for women who are undecided. Right now that is making me angry too.

I don’t want to be an unreasonable or angry person. So I call my mom. She always puts life into perspective and reminds me that I am more than my loss and suffering. I am not sure if I should wish her today. She doesn’t subscribe to these days. She calls them ¬†Hallmark days¬†(Hallmark makes money off these days). I wish her anyway. She thanks me and immediately asks me about my graduation ceremony last week. I sense her pride as I tell her about my walk and the high praise my professors bestowed upon me. She asks me about my thesis and my future plans. She wants to buy me a graduation present. She is adamant. She says “her baby” deserves it.

For a moment I forget my pain and I think of what to ask. In that moment I realize how truly blessed I am. I have a mother who loves me and supports me and thinks the world of me. I have the best role model in my mother not only as a human being but professionally. I have experienced unconditional love and undying support. I have seen her be the pillar of strength and hold my family together. I have an anchor in her, not many can boast of. I don’t think anything can surpass such a unique gift all wrapped into one.

I tell her I have her and that is all I’ll ever need. Thank you and Happy Mother’s day mom!

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International Woman’s Day

Of course I thought of it. I am sure you did too. We just didn’t say anything¬†then. Some of us didn’t say it because of the fear of the consequences of the alternative, so we prayed instead. Some didn’t say it, because¬†acknowledging it would be so uncool. Fact remains one of the largest democracies wasn’t ready for a woman president.

World over women are fighting for equality. Many a times, I cannot tell the actual fight from all the noise. At the outset unless men start to shed their uterus monthly and can bear children like women do, there are inherent differences between men and women. Some of the fight for equality I understand. I¬†too want a voice, a vote, a choice. It is the women that make the waters murky that I don’t.

There is a wave of anti-women’s day by women. I have read blog posts, news articles and messages, Facebook updates that claim they don’t need the women’s day. All women need is equality. I get it. I don’t believe in marches either. I believe, if our actions don’t bring about a real change then the actions were futile. Perhaps how women perceive these women’s days. However for change to take place, someone needs to raise their voice, once the voice is raised, an action can be taken and when years of actions have been taken, a day is ¬†chosen to celebrate that change.

And on this day, I want to take the opportunity to talk to women that confuse empowerment with lack of basic human dignity. There is power in kindness, compassion and generosity. There is something to be said about being dignified and well mannered. Women who think breaking away from tradition or culture and societal norms is empowering, I would hope you don’t think, becoming like the men we fight against is asking for equality.

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Happy Thanksgiving…

You know the biggest joke about thanksgiving? ¬†“Only people in American will have bloody wars over materialistic things 24 hours after they have said thanks for everything they already have.”

Despite all the commercialization, blood bath and expensive travel that happens this week, Thanksgiving continues to be my favorite American holiday.

You get blessings, kindness and love from the most unexpected places. My father used to tell me that always do good, with no expectations in return. Even if you don’t receive from the same person, God will look out for you and you will receive when the time is right. Just do your thing. I am thankful for that advice now¬†more than ever. Having had a few rough years myself, I have reaffirmed my belief that everyone has their own struggles. Just because we know nothing about them, and people always put up a brave front, doesn’t mean they don’t have struggles of their own. Be nice, it doesn’t take away anything from anyone. I am very grateful for the sound advise.

I am very thankful for my husband. Not only has he loved me despite all odds, he has embraced my family, my friends, along with our craziness. I haven’t changed as a person “just because I got married.” I have changed a great deal because I have grown up as a person, professionally and personally. I continue to be a work in progress, but every time I look into my husband’s eyes- I see his idea of perfection. I am very grateful for his love.

There are people I haven’t met in person, or met very briefly, and yet I am very thankful they are in my life. Some have sent me countless messages of encouragement, love and support while others have given it to me straight. Even though life has tried¬†it’s best to pull me down, it has also showed me just how you bounce back, thanks to these very people. I am very grateful to know, that people who have full lives of their own will take time out for you. Whether it is making you feel special on your birthday, or remind you that there is no place for stress-induced-ruining-of-health. I am very grateful to see them make a place for me, even in their very full hearts.

I am thankful to this blogging space. No matter how much you have been ignored, you are right where I need you to be. I am really glad I have this space to vent /rant /complain /reminisce /pontificate /laugh /ridicule and just be myself. Eleven years and going strong!

Happy Thanksgiving y’all.

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Friday fives

Five things that don’t help when you have just lost a 6 month fetus!

1. Well wishers tip toeing around you. They want to say something “right”. But they have absolutely no clue what to say. There is no right or wrong. We lost a child. Or the potential of being a real person. We lost our dreams and hopes and aspirations. We lost our own potential. It’s like doing everything you could to get a job, you go through 6 rounds of interviews. In your gut you think you got it this time. Why would you get to the 6th round of it wasn’t meant to be. And yet the job goes to another candidate. Nothing against the other candidate. But why not me? So yeah. There is no “right” thing to say. But say something. It’s a freaking huge loss. Don’t hide behind political correctness. 
2. People telling you, it wasn’t meant to be. Something better is in store for you. This I feel is the worst. This is probably the most true, but it’s also the worst thing to tell a would be mother. It seems like getting pregnant isn’t what it used to be. You know two people have awkward sex at the back of the car and wham! Positive test. It takes months and years of trying, doctors visits, medical treatments, artificial insemination/fertilizations yada-yaad-ya. And even then there are no guarantees. Then the ensuing pregnancy related issues of nausea, taste changes, gi upsets, mood swings, etc etc. Accompanied by doctors visits, injections, tests and more tests. When finally things settle and you start to feel the slightest hint of life inside -those sweet kicks. Then to lose a child. You got to be freaking kidding me. Something better??? Why wasn’t this it? I was so ready to put it all behind me. 
3. Everyone around you seems to be getting pregnant and having healthy babies. How does that happen??? Why didn’t I get my success story? Some of my friends are having their second child. When they want that child- like on demand. And here it took me 16 months to get pregnant that too with help. I want to know what they are doing differently. 
4. Your mom comes to your rescue. I’m sure women like their mums to be around. The whole mother-daughter relationship, understanding, bonds of love, etc. I don’t particularly relate to that. I have a pretty kickass mom. She was on a 15 hour flight to the US within 4 hours of being told, that I was taken to the hospital. She felt rightly so that we would need her. And we do. Just to have another human being, the most well meaning, caring, fabulous cook of an awesome person that she is. However, she insists on daily massages, an agarbatti to the gods, three meals, cheerful conversations and ice cream after every meal. I feel like I need to indulge in her before she loses her shit. She is barely holding it together being brave and strong for her daughter. But I see the pain she feels for her little girl in her eyes. 
5. Having the best husband/ partner in life. If the man you lost a baby with was a bit of a scumbag, then you could throw a tantrum, stay in a bad mood, eat what you wanted to and shut him out of your life. Just to make sense of what life threw at you. But when you see relief intermixed with fear in the eyes of your man as you get wheeled out of the OR, feeling empty and defeated rather than pain and disappointment, you can’t push your rock away. You want to hold them and grieve your loss together. Sometimes you just don’t know how. We make promises of staying strong together. We tell each other we love each other. We promise we won’t give up. We hope to learn and grow from this experience. We will. Yet I know we both are struggling with the pain we each feel our ourselves and for each other. 

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