The Butterfly Heart

When I visit Kerala, while I love the shopping spree, people and nature, the one thing I am not a huge fan of is the involvement of the number of people with what I want to do. Example, the other day I was walking with my husband within the boundary walls of his huge house in Kerala. What I wanted to do was wear my pair of walking shoes and go for a long walk with music playing in my ears. And then the other time when I wished to window shop. The task of having to involve M or his family so that I could make my way through the traffic infested roads was so putting off. I wished to get away again.

Is this the need for independence? I would say No.

How do I explain?

Well, It’s like having a butterfly heart. Light…Fluffy… Wanting to flutter… Fly… you know what I mean. Just being able to do those little nothings when you want.

About 12 years back one of my dad’s colleagues and a very good friend got married. He brought home a very sweet, yet a lady with a spunk. She and I hit it off immediately. She was new to Delhi. And being a Mallu born and brought in Kerala, had a Hindi accent which used to make me giggle every time she spoke. We expected a demure young girl in her early 20s who had left her home for the first time and come to the Hindi-land to duck and wait for her husband to do everything for her.

But oh dear lord…. we were in for a surprise! She went the very next day for grocery shopping all by herself, and in her words, made a complete fool of herself. But came back home with a hell lot of grocery and veggies. In a matter of few days, she had more friends than my mother who had lived there for many years. Language was not a barrier. Nothing was.

She taught me something:

In order to make the world your friend, sometimes… sometimes go ahead and shock them!

I learnt another thing:

There is a certain beauty in being able to have those little moments to yourself. It helps you grow immensely.

Wherever I go, how much ever I go to an exotic place, no matter how much I enjoy, I always want to come back home. Someone truly said, Home is where heart is. This is where my heart and soul gets its nourishment.

Recently I saw a video. It was about connecting with nature and yourself. I will try to put it in my own words. It goes something like:

Beneath that kohl rimmed eyes, the branded clothes, the high heels, the shampooed hair and the dash of Nina Ricci perfume…Before I deck myself to meet the world, meet deadlines and give a peck on my friends’ cheeks…. I am just Nature. I am just mud … air and water. I am just Me.

To remain myself, I need a little more of those moments.

Final Lap 2015

2015 has been crystal clear about what this year has been
for me. It started off with M moving out, choosing an overseas job in the month
of March. Life took a 360 degree turn. I became a temporary single parent.
Handling two kids, a job, home and much more all by myself was not easy, to say
the least. My bathroom has been a solace and a witness to many of my emotional
outbursts and not so lady like moments. Things were in for a drastic change
when for many reasons kids and I decided against moving abroad. It basically
meant M and I staying apart, the kids having to live with one parent and being
able to see their father once in few months. We decided to brave it out… the
opportunity was huge.
The first few months were just fine. After that boredom set
in for M and me. Now many people wouldn’t understand. Boredom is never a reason
for sadness right? Boredom is a silly childish word. What do you do when you
get bored? You watch TV, go for a walk, read for a while, listen to music, do
some gardening or get a new hobby. But none of these have anything to do with
people. At the end of the day you need people to get back to…. at home.
Sometimes, boredom is an understatement. We don’t have the right words to verbally
express. Yeah, adults too suffer from insufficient vocabulary.
The boldest of the mind also needs a marshmallow of the sorts. Nothing…Nothing
completes the incompleteness of a lonely heart, other than what the heart truly
desires. So finally, we let the heart win over the head. M decided to come back
home to us. Nothing was worth being away from family.
We decided to finish the final lap of 2015 with a visit to
our hometown. Has it ever happened to you that you wish to hear some things
from people who matter to you, and when they say those words, it feels like
words from the Gods? Well, during the usual string of visits to extended family
members, some of them spoke certain words which made us believe in ourselves
just a tad bit more. It did not matter that there were few souls around us who
felt leaving a very lucrative opportunity abroad was a totally absurd idea.
M’s almost 80 year uncle asked us, “So tell me why do we
take birth?” I blinked twice before giving a blank look. He said, “To die.”
“So what do we do between birth and death?”
“I know …I know!” I chirped like a little girl. “Live”
“Correct. We should live our life. And what helps us to
This one I knew ….bang on. And I answered unlike a little
girl, but as someone who had walked the talk.
“Family. Family helps us to live.”
“Correct.” He said. “Family and people around us help us to
live. So, don’t just stay alive. Live.”
I smiled.

We have a lot to be grateful for. 2016 begins with just a
small prayer loaded with humbleness and thankfulness for everything big and
small in our life.

When BODY takes over mind and soul

Women have so much worry about. With their period, should come a manual on how to deal with focus on their bodies. Like it is not enough that every month the body goes through a million hormonal changes leading to PMS, bloating, the dreaded pimples, the aches, nausea, to name a few, and then years down the line she conceives. A beautiful journey indeed, but let’s not forget the amount of hormonal stress the body undergoes again, which ends up with excruciating labour pain and when the child is born, the woman also gets a new birth. Well, how a woman survives that amount of pain always intrigues me! No, it does not end there. Then comes lactation where an entire different set of hormones take over. And then another one comes up when the lactation stops. Oh BTW, this is repeated when the woman has further babies. Now, now… let us come to menopause. This one is the mother of all. Calcium level drops, hair fall, chances of joint pains are high, hot flushes, skin issues, allergies… sighh!

During all these years, the one thing she keeps listening to time and again is: TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. Like advertisements, there is a hidden agenda… you know the message written in the ant size font. It goes something like this: TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY…every one is watching you.

The woman must lose weight, watch her stretch marks, her diet, her hair, wax, bleach, colour her hair, go for botox, upliftments, reduce/increase her breasts, weight train, watch the bulges, the sags, the tyres, the handles. My my!
And then an article comes like this one. When I saw the heading of the article, I said to myself, “Atlast an article which could help women to choose the correct swimwear, especially for the typical Indian body. Well, the article read: FEEL CONFIDENT IN SWIMWEAR. I wasn’t surprised when I was disappointed. For one, the pictures adorning the article are no way the common Indian woman looks like. Second, women who look like that definitely are confident wearing swimwear.
Probably the reason why most of the women who do not go for swimming (though they would love to) do so because they are not comfortable in swimwear and also the market does not render to this sector as much as they should. When I went for swim wear shopping, it was a headache. The choices were less, there were no interesting colours, they had to cover the right places, yet look nice. After 3 days, I finally got what I liked, but I wish they had come in better colours. Coming back to the article, it went on and on about everything but the fact that even the not so prim figures too need swimwear. I wish they had put up pictures of ‘real’ women, if you know what I mean. 
I don’t know what kind of rat race are we in.  Good looking bodies have become such an obsession that it is taking away the pleasures of being a woman. For God’s sake, we are much more than just a vagina, breasts and a flat belly!

Probably, we can start with our daughters. We can begin the journey by telling them that taking care of our body is not equal to having perfect figures and be able to wear flaunting clothes. It is just a minuscule part of a big picture.

I remember as teenager, I would get skeptical while checking my weight. If my weight went even a gram more than 48 kgs, I would freak out. One day, after getting ready for college, I kept checking whether my buttocks were looking fine. My dad observed and asked what I was doing. I said, “I feel I have put on weight here.” My dad, without blinking an eye lid said, “You will need that fat to bear babies healthily, when the right time comes. Go to college. You are looking perfect.” I was zapped. How could he say that me!? I wondered. But today, I am glad he said that to me that day.

Recently, I saw a young girl adorning a T-Shirt in a mall. The T-shirt read: MY FACE IS ABOVE. 
That one said it all for me. 🙂

Can we stop for a while and fall in love with our body all over again?