The Other Soul Mate

"And they lived happily ever after" I finished the story for Driti.
"That means they never cried?" she asked me.
"Well that means, they took care of each other and were always there to support each other"

She did not understand what I said,and writing this down, I see how confusing my answer was too. But there were a lot of follow up questions and one thing led to another and she asked me what 'Soul mate' was. I kissed her good night, promising to answer her in the morning, but it really got me thinking.

Now you know what a soul mate is right? It's such a heavily loaded and over hyped term that you are given into believing that you're cheating if you find more than one. Ok, before you judge me: everybody needs a soul mate - especially if you're from the fairer sex -and most often, you need one of your own gender too, to rant - so there's a wavelength match. What is your husband going to understand about  Sex and the City? He may as well be sitting and playing video games in the chair next to yours - there he's already asleep.

Women are much more emotionally deep - they're thinkers, worriers, list makers, and if that doesn't win the argument, everybody knows that women are epitomes of both strong and delicate beings. Ok, you show me one guy who's actually got a kid out of a tiny opening in his body and is also scared of the spider. Go on, show me.

I love my husband, and if I've written anywhere else to the contradictory, this trumps. But I just need to get it out of my system sometimes. I do need someone to yap incessantly to, about something that's bothering me and get a response that's not, "Hmm" or "Yeah", with half an eye on the cricket score. I mean I need somebody who's also vehemently opposed to all those things I really hate.

Women need to be heard, we don't need your advice, hell we don't need anyone's advice - we make our own decisions and more likely not learn from the mistakes - but we want to hear you support.We need to hear that we're right in cribbing, in whining over the injustice meted upon us and we need a person who passionately agrees with us. And this person, cannot be a man. Men are always opinionated. And if they agree with something, we know it's because they want dinner soon or we're standing between their cricket or soccer or whatever replay of whatever ridiculous sport. This person is a she and comes from our own brood. She comes with all the qualifications of being a 'soul-mate' - of being a patient listener, a sounding board, a strong defendant, a blind believer of all your choices, and your biggest advocate. If you're a man, you're lucky - you just have one soul mate and I hope to God you've found her. If you're a woman, married to a guy, you have to have more than one - that's just the way it's meant to be.

If I've not said this enough, to all my girlfriends - thank you - for being my sounding board - for blindly believing in my decisions even though you knew they were stupid - for standing by me only because you believe in woman's rights and I happen to be one. Thank you for not covering your ears when I screamed around you, for covering your ears when I yelled - at you. If I've ever cribbed or whined to you, which in all likelihood I may have, thank you for listening. Thank you for being a perfect woman!

How Many New Years Are There?

This year, we're far away from family, there's a time zone difference and there's an almost four year old with unlimited access to her mother so she can ask unlimited questions.

Back in India, I would've probably smsed all friends and family, called close ones to wish them for a new year. I could do it in my free time, which would've essentially been the time Driti was busy - maybe at school, maybe at the park with Chinamma, her nanny.

Here, I told her that I needed to wish friends and family good for the new year. She was all very excited, but we just did not get around to it. Why? I'm going to count that as another question.

This is what happened, on the 1st of January. And it all started at 7:00 AM. We were anyway too tired after seeing fireworks at the neighborhood and attending Vishal's birthday party.

"Driti, we need to call everyone and wish them a very happy new year!"
"Why Mamma?"
"Because, it's a new year?"
"It's like a birthday?"
"Yes, it's like the year's birthday"
"Then why should we call everyone? We should call only the year?"
"How many years old is the year?
"Why is it new? When my birthday comes on 24th March, I become 4 years old or 4 years new?
"4 years old"
"Then why is the year becoming new? I want to be new. You can't pick me if I become old. When will 24th March come?
"After February"
"Is this February?
"No, it's January"
"December is over? Christmas is over?"
"You said March will come after December"
"After December, January and February"
"But it is not coming. Why am I still 3 and my friends are 4?"
And it went on till the end of the next day, and after that, the year didn't seem so new after all.
Happy Old year y'all!

Thank you Pa

Today, I saw the latest episode of 'The Modern Family'  - The Party Crashers. I'm actually a big fan of sitcoms. I become faithful to anything that makes me laugh.  It's a tough task, so it is kind of a big deal that The Modern Family has made the cut. But, the surprising thing is, I did not laugh watching this episode - I cried. No no, not remembering my experiences through childbirth with D, but watching the interaction between Haley and Phil.

Haley's messing with her dad who, after she dropped out of college has become very strict with her. She dates a middle aged guy to spite her parents. Since Claire had had the exact same episode with her Dad, she tells Phil to ignore their daughter and she'll come around.

Phil tries his best but cannot just stand and watch when he feels his daughter is making a bad decision. So he chases after her, inspite of Claire asking him to stay back. While Haley and her boyfriend head out from the hospital, Phil rushes through the other elevator. In the meantime Haley comes back and rants at her mom that they just don't care about her anymore, and that they're very mean to her and don;t treat her like their kid anymore - all this while still holding the elevator door.

Phil comes back for the car keys and yells at Claire that he cannot let his child take off with any guy, let alone a middle aged jeans designer. He screams that he's still that caring dad that thinks no boy is good enough for his princess, oblivious to Haley's presence.

And Haley steps out of the elevator and hugs her confused Dad. I cried. I cried because I miss being my daddy's princess.  I miss being the kid who doesn't have to worry about anything. I miss being able to leave all my worries to my dad. I miss being pampered for no reason. I hate being a grown up. I'm lost at all the responsibilities that come with being a 'big girl',  a wife, a mom.

And then I realized  I did not give that hug to my Dad. I did not thank him for being my Knight through my life and I do not want to regret it.

Dearest Appa

I probably haven't told this to you before, but I really miss you guys here. I miss being Papa's little girl.

I miss being able to completely depend on you and not worry about a thing. My records, my report cards, even my pay checks- I just knew I could give them to you and rest assured that you would take care of them. 

I  wish I could turn the time back, and rest on your arm pa.  I just wish I could tell you so many thank yous for so many things you've done for us. 

Amma and you only get to hear what you've not done for us, and I really want to take this moment to let you know that I am indeed grateful for you for standing in that long queue to get me admitted in St Ann's, for letting me go on the trips from school although it may have been a financial crunch, for getting those Britannia glucose biscuits and giving them to Swe and me as soon as you got home so we're not famished till Ma came home, for saving your snack from office for us, if you knew we'd love them,  for letting us decide on what we want to do in life, for standing by me in my decisions, for being my wall, for believing in me and approving of my choice of husband and for being happy for me, for being with me when I had a baby of my own and supporting me through the new phase in my life, for loving her more than me - if that's possible. Above all, for being you. 



Why Men Stink at Negotiations

Maybe an addendum to  'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus', and adding fuel to this debate on, but this is definitely a place that brings out a stark contrast.

We women, master the art of bargaining, and working around problems from the get go. It's in the DNA. Men, need a straightforward solution, most of the times, and like all theories, this little one, also comes with exceptions.

When I tell Driti about the consequences of her action, she knows I'll follow through; and knock on wood, I haven't had to follow through a lot many times, simply because she listens to me.

Ady on the other hand, is the softer parent. He hates it that I'm behind her all the time, and admittedly so, so he tries to be the 'cool dad' and the 'my best friend -dad' kinda parent.

Just for one day, I let Ady have his way and getting through to his daughter. Mamma, had a vacation upstairs so to say. Within minutes, I heard loud clatter followed by Ady's screams. "Driti, why did you drop all your colors and books down? And why is the water spilled?"

"It fell Papa" came a nonchalant voice.
Ady must've started cleaning up, 'cause I heard another round of "Driti, I am cleaning, why are you dropping your sketch pens down?"
No answer.

So Ady decided to take things in his own hands. It was his work day, and he was working from home. This was his break time - he had 15 minutes to get back to his laptop. He was all dressed, so he could've as well decided to ditch his idea of working from home and go to office.

"Driti", he said "I will give you five minutes. If you don't pick up the mess you've made, I'll go to my office"
"I don't want you to go to office Papa"
"Ok, then clean up"
No movement in the direction of the mess. NO retribution and hence no picking up the sketches.
Ady did not know what to do, the five minutes were running over.
"Driti, do you want Papa to go to office?"
"No Papa", pat came the reply
"Then why are you not cleaning up? I'll go to office"
"You won't go Papa"
"Why do you think so?" he asked. How could she possibly know? " See, I am wearing my work clothes?"
"Yes Papa. But you're not wearing your shoes!"