Friday, January 26, 2018

The Day You Went Away

It was the first thought that came to her as she woke up. He was gone. And, soon, this bedroom, the house, the tiny garden outside, the trees they planted together all would be gone as well. It was the strangest feeling ever.

She hugged his pillow for a while and sat motionless to feel the warmth. She couldn't cry anymore but was unusually silent. She tied her dishevelled hair and walked slowly towards the washroom. As she walked she could feel how weak she had become. She didn't eat or sleep properly after his demise.

She looked at the mirror, her eyes were swollen and dark, her lips were chapped, her face was dry and she looked pale. She picked up the pink toothbrush and remembered his fascination for the colour pink. She tried to feel him in all possible ways and the touch of his toothbrush reminded her of their first kiss. As she wiped her face with his towel she decided never to wash it again to keep his aroma alive. While switching off the lights she remembered how he would always annoy her by switching it off from outside.

Slowly she walked towards the kitchen. It looked untidy and dirty with uncovered food and utensils lying on the floor. Without bothering to clean the mess she switched on the gas stove. She was addicted to the morning cup of tea but today she prepared a cup of coffee for herself with less sugar and no milk, just the way he loved it. As she sipped the coffee sitting in the corner of the sofa she went deep down the memory lane. His style of coffee never tasted so delicious before.

The day they first met, their fun-filled days of friendship, the day they both skipped their office to enjoy the rain, the day he proposed to her, the day they made love for the first time, all flashed one after the other. She had goosebumps, exactly like the one when he would touch her.

She lied in the sofa holding one of the cushions and gazed at the collage that was placed in the wall behind. He made this collage compiling the best photos shot by her. He would always encourage her for her passion for photography and she remembered how happy she was to receive such a thoughtful gift from him.

She missed him even more; she wanted him to appear right away, talk to her, annoy her, hug her or just lay beside her doing nothing. She was frustrated; she could not bear it anymore that he would never come back. She felt giddy but she desperately wanted to see him. Suddenly she remembered something and staggered to her bedroom. She opened the cupboard and started throwing away things till she found their wedding album.

One after the other she watched the videos of their wedding, honeymoon and holidays at Bali and Rome. She watched him walk, smile, dance and laugh without a blink. Tears that had dried up suddenly started rolling down her cheek again.

She screamed and cried out loud, "Why did you go? Why did you leave me? Please come back. Please."

The videos continued to play and she continued to cry. She started having a severe headache and somehow stumbled to the study table. She grabbed a pen and with blurry eyes and shaking hands she wrote, "I cannot live without you. I have decided to end my life. I love you. Nobody should be held responsible. I am sorry."

She placed the note on the table and stood still for a while. She didn't want to cry anymore but her tears didn't stop. She desperately started searching for a rope and found one in the laundry room. She slowly dragged a chair to the centre of the room, kissed his photo for the last time and fell on the ground crying inconsolably. Her heart was pounding hard and she was breathing heavily. Having no grip on the rope at all she made failed attempts to tie a noose.

Just then she heard the door bell ring. She paused for a moment but ignored and hurriedly tried to tie the noose. She could hear her parents bang on the door but she continued to struggle with the rope.

She somehow climbed up the chair but could not reach the ceiling which was way too high for her. She could hear them scream at the door. She fell on the ground and almost wriggled to drag a table. She placed the chair on the table and while she tried to climb she heard a loud thud at the door.

Her parents rushed in and screamed at what they saw. They pulled her away, removed the rope from her neck and hugged her.

She was scared, cold and breathed heavily while holding her mother as tightly as she could.

Earlier that day she had requested her parents to leave her alone for a day in her home that will not belong to her anymore. Her parents agreed but could not stay away from her for long and reached just in time. They were devastated to see that they were almost about to lose their dear daughter.

There was silence in the room and before anyone could say anything, a boy entered to deliver a package. Her father opened the box, it was a camera with the message, "To my love, I love your clicks and I love you more. Let's make some memories in Paris for the next collage. Love you forever."

She snatched away the piece of paper and read it repeatedly. She could visualize his smiling face. She was baffled to see how he continued to live even after he was gone. She wiped her tears and held the camera carefully. She stared at it with amazement, glided her finger through every part of it and said softly, "You are back!"

She looked up with teary eyes and said with a smile, "He's back." Her mother hugged her and she continued, "He always wanted to buy this for me. He wanted to fill this house with my photos."

She looked at the piece of paper with his message on it and said confidently, "I'll fulfil your wish."

She kept the camera aside, bowed down to her parents and said, "I am sorry. I was such a fool to think of committing suicide." She hugged her parents and said, "I promise never to think of this again. I'll live to fulfil his last wish."

Next month was her birthday and through his friend, she came to know how he had been secretly planning for a holiday in Paris. He wanted her to get accustomed to the new camera and that is how she received it so early and surprisingly at the very right time. His friend also helped her contact the travel agency to get the tickets and make required changes to travel alone.

It was not easy for her to convince her parents to let her travel alone but before that, there was another task she wanted to complete. The thought of losing their house kept haunting her. She met the housing authorities and learnt the process of retaining the house. It was a lengthy process but not impossible. She was out every day completing the documentation and other formalities. Finally, after a month of struggle, she regained the ownership of the house.

The first thing that found a special place in her home was his last message that she had now framed in a shining gold frame. She wanted it to be the brightest thing in the house. She looked at it for hours and could see him smile through his message.

The gold frame rested on a wooden chest which had drawers filled with his memories. She had carefully packed all his used things, his towel, toothbrush, comb, slippers, coffee mug, his favourite shirt, blanket, deodorant, shaving kit and also an empty packet of wafers that he loved. It was her favourite place in the house and most of the times she felt asleep beside the chest.

She loved sipping her morning cup of coffee in their small garden. The beauty of nature, the chirpy birds, the fragrance of flowers and the refreshing breeze would all give her the strength to stay alive for him.

It was time to leave for Paris, as per his plan, to fulfil his last wish. She assured her family to return safe and sound, she promised herself to make memories for him and left with a heavy heart and his last wish packed carefully in her suitcase.

A Night With You

It was getting late enough to be worried. I once again stepped into the balcony and looked down. There was not a soul to be seen anywhere. Amidst heavy rain and thunder, I heard a soft knock at the door.

I moved across the gloomy room with the flickering candle in my hand. I didn't see my husband's car coming so it was definitely not him. I was a bit anxious, who could it be? As I opened the door, I froze for a moment. There was darkness, silence and a chilling breeze that made me struggle to keep the candle burning. I was dumbfounded. It was him, the love of my life.

He looked at me with his ever cheerful smile and said, "Hi!"

I kept looking at him, he didn't change a bit. He was wearing the purple shirt that I loved. Disheveled hair, clean shave, spectacles and the same old bag. He came dressed exactly the way I loved him. His face beamed in the dim light of the candle.

"Hello," he said again waving his hand.


He took a step closer and said, "Yes! Now, will you let me get in?"

He took the candle from my hand, paused to look straight into my eyes and entered. He placed the candle on the table and shut the door. I was still in a state of shock and kept looking at him. I stood stock-still as he made himself comfortable.

We were not in touch after I got married. He merely vanished but I couldn't stop thinking of him. Day, night, every moment, he was in my thoughts. I was practically living in an illusionary world with him and today suddenly he stood before me!

I couldn't believe, I tried hard to figure out whether it's real or am still fantasizing. But I was too carried away to contemplate anything sensibly, so I followed him.

He was loitering around in my house as if he stayed here. He first checked the balcony, then the two bedrooms and then went inside the kitchen. He took out a bottle of water from the fridge and came towards me. Looking at him nobody would say we were meeting after such a long time. He was as calm and composed as ever.

Taking a sip he asked, "Where are you lost?"

Yes, I was lost in my own little world. We were so much in love with each other during our college days. I never imagined a life without him but when I was forced to marry someone else, I went into depression. I never spoke to my husband nor did we share our bedrooms. After this forced marriage I have cocooned myself into my own world where I still dream of living with Varun.

"Varun, where were you? I missed you so much."

"I know, that's why I am here today!"

"Do you know I still remember the beautiful days we spent together and I smile only when I think of them? I cook your favourite dishes, I watch your favourite shows and I am still reading the book you gifted me. When I wake up in the morning, I first see your photo."

Just then I freaked out at the sound of a horn. I hurried towards the balcony to check. Fortunately, it was not my husband's car. I turned to him and anxiously said, "This is not the right time to meet. My husband might come home anytime."

He pulled a chair to sit comfortably and said, "Don't worry; I'll leave before he comes."

"How can you be so sure?"

He held my hands and pulling me closer he said softly, "I came to see how you are doing. I have stopped living. Without you I am dead."

I couldn't resist and gave him a tight hug. We didn't move for a while. Regaining his composure he stepped back and started walking towards the balcony. I rushed to stop him, "Don't go outside, somebody might see you."

I panicked and took him to the other room. I hastily drew all the curtains and when I looked at him he was lying on my bed, unperturbed. He was always like this and I was just the opposite.

I angrily asked, "Why have you come here?

"Why are you so nervous? Don't worry and believe me nobody will even come to know I came here," he winked and gestured to come and sit beside him.

Still vexed I sat on the other side of the bed.

"So how's your married life going? How is your husband? Hope everything is fine."

I gave him a cold look.

He continued, "I know it's too early. It's not even a month. Why did you cancel your honeymoon?"

"I didn't want to go."

He got up to sit beside me and said gently, "Don't do this. I am sure he loves you."

"But I don't love him and he knows that," I snubbed.

"Listen," he said wiping my tears, "He is your husband. You both have to live together for the rest of your lives."

"I can't. I still dream of you. I can't stop thinking about you. When I am alone at home I feel like you are with me, talking to me, eating with me, laughing with me."

I leant back on my pillow and continued, "Nishant is a nice person. He takes care of me. I can see him taking efforts to make me happy. But the fact is, I love you."

He stopped me abruptly and said, "No, the fact is, we are not together anymore. Blame it on our families or the circumstances that we couldn't get married. But now, you have to forget me."

I looked at him with disbelief. 

Taking a deep breath he said, "I promise not to meet you ever again."

That made me skip a beat and I sobbed, "No, don't leave me. Please don't go away."

He hugged me and tried to console me but I wept, "I can't live without you. I love you."

"I love you too," he said looking into my eyes. "But this is the last time you are seeing me. I'll not come back."

It was a bizarre feeling. I felt a void in my heart and sat there like a statue. I could feel him caress my hair, kiss my neck, his hand slowly moving over my body, but I couldn't move. My vision blurred, he was fading away, I wanted to hold him tight but couldn't. I could feel him lying over me, I was numb and then I shut my eyes.

I dreamt of him every night but today it was for real. I couldn't believe it was happening to me. It was such an ecstasy.

I don't remember when we fell asleep. I woke up to a loud doorbell. I panicked badly and my heart started racing. I jumped from the bed when I realized my husband is back.

To my surprise, Varun was not in the room. I checked the washroom, the living room, the balcony, he was nowhere. The doorbell kept ringing endlessly. I tried to remember hard, when did he leave, when did I lock the door? The doorbell rang again and I rushed to open the door.

"Sorry, I disturbed your sleep."

My husband was home but where was Varun? I checked my phone; he didn't even leave a text.

"I am too tired, I'll better sleep for some time," Nishant said and walked towards his bedroom.

I was utterly petrified and sensed that something was wrong. I called up in his number but he didn't receive. I sat there thinking what to do.

I thought of checking his social media profiles in the hope of getting some contact numbers from there. I remembered blocking him everywhere in anger and that's why I was not getting any of his updates.

When I unblocked and opened his profile, it was horribly disturbing. I was taken aback. I didn't believe what I saw.

From the comments, I got his brother's number. I called him up immediately.

"Hi, I am Varun's friend, Vidhi."

"Hi Vidhi, you are too late. Varun has left us all."

My voice quivered as I asked, "How? When?"

"He met with an accident ten days ago and died on the spot. He is no more."

I started trembling and fell on the ground. I was gasping; I couldn't believe what I heard.

I ran to the bedroom, the bed sheet was neat and tidy, the curtains were open, I remember pulling them down.

I ran to the kitchen and then to the living room. He drank water I remembered, but there was no bottle in the table, nor could I find the candle anywhere.

How is that even possible? Was it just an imagination? Am I thinking of him a way too much or did he actually come here to see me one last time?

I went to my bedroom and looked in the mirror. I remembered him saying, 'without you I am dead.' I leant against the mirror and sobbed, "I know you were here. Please come back."

Thursday, January 18, 2018

My Baby’s First Stage Performance

We got a notice from school about an upcoming event. It was a fancy dress competition for which we had to prepare our kids. We also had to inform the class teacher about the theme we choose.

Then began brainstorming sessions at home! Though he is in playgroup and too young to understand what is this competition all about, for us it was a big event. His first stage performance after all.

We unanimously wanted to do something unique, different from the ordinary. I thought of giving some social message too. So after a few good options, we zeroed down on save water theme, suggested by his aunt.

We planned to make a water drop from blue paper and tie it around him. His granny went immediately in search of it and returned with a perfect material that was thick enough to prepare the water drop. We did that but he was not looking complete with just a drop around him. So my sister suggested to make a tap and tie on his head. That too was made, but I was still not satisfied.

I then thought of making him wear a blue costume and also tie a blue cloth in his arms depicting waves. So granny again went for its search and returned with the materials, exactly the way I wanted.

With a tap on his head, drop around his neck, waves in his arms and covered head-to-toe in a blue costume, he finally looked complete.

Now the next big task was to prepare a speech of two lines on his chosen theme and make him memorize it. After juggling with words for a while I thought of teaching him "Earth is getting hotter, so let's save water."

He memorized it well but was speaking it at such a speed that only he understood. So we thought of writing those two lines on the drop so that audience could see and connect to what he said. Still, it was not very clear and audible. So my musical instinct awakened and I added a tune to it and asked him to sing those two lines.

Finally with the costume and his musical speech he looked adorable and confident at the same time.

Then came the D-Day! We went with him to school. I purposely didn't make him wear all the props since morning fearing he might tear them off, but his teacher insisted on getting him ready.

Like a good and obedient boy, he allowed me to tie all the props around him. He was busy looking at his classmates, all dressed up in various costumes. There was a huge chaos inside his classroom. Some sat quietly but most of them were screaming and disliking their attire.

When he was ready his teacher asked him to sit with his classmates and wait for his turn. Due to the water drop tied around him, he couldn't walk properly and fell hitting his knees and started crying. His teacher asked us not to worry about him and sit with other audience outside.

My heart sank seeing him hurt and I knew if he continues to cry he'll not be able to perform. So, with a heavy heart, we went outside and waited impatiently for the event to begin.

The show began with the Nursery kids performing first. The Playgroup kids were inside their classroom and we could hear them scream at the top of their voice. One by one all of them came out to sit in the audience with their parents. My baby came out sans props! I could see he was not in a very good mood so I tried to relax him and soon he started enjoying the show.

When they announced that they'll now begin with Playgroup kids, we again went inside to dress him up. To my horror, I saw his water drop was torn. Even the ribbon was missing with which I was supposed to tie it around him. We tried searching for a while but to no avail. Finally, I had to fix it using safety pins on his t-shirt.

Thankfully, he was ready again right on time and stood silently in line with his teacher. He was the fourth kid to perform but just before his turn he saw me and started crying again asking his teacher to let him go.

His teacher then gestured towards me to come on stage. Finding me beside him he stopped crying and climbed up the stage wiping his tears! He was again in no mood to utter a word. His teacher encouraged him and also gave him a chocolate to speak.

With the chocolate in his hand, he forgot all the actions that I taught him to perform. At least he gave his speech properly in a timid voice. I was not very happy with what he did on stage, probably I was expecting too much from him.

He enjoyed munching his chocolate while I removed all the props. When I asked him why he didn't speak properly, he said he wanted to speak again on stage. I think the chocolate changed his mood! His granny asked his teacher if he can be allowed again to perform and they welcomed him readily.

I was not very optimistic as he had removed his costume by now but just to make him happy we again cheered for him. This time he was loud, clear and happy.

We were then asked to wait for the results. We were discussing that he was not bad so he might get at least 2nd or 3rd position. One by one the names were announced and to our surprise, he grabbed the 1st position!

We exclaimed with joy but now he didn't want to go towards the stage again! So we went with him to collect his prize. Other kids were no different; some didn't even bother to pose for their winning photo!

An eventful day indeed, with lots of unexpected chaos, last minute struggles, toddler tantrums, anxious parents and the cherry on the cake was his win! His win was a combined effort of the entire family who was over-enthusiastic and will remember his first stage performance forever!

Yes, this is just the beginning!

Febrile Seizure - A Term Every New Parent Should Be Aware Of

Nobody told me this, so I want to spread it's awareness as much as I can. It came to me as a huge jolt. We as parents almost died at such a horrific sight. I wish I was aware of it before.
My baby was just one year and two months old when this incident happened. Everything was absolutely normal until the previous night. When we woke up in the morning, I found out he was having a slight fever.
As a caution, we always kept the medicine for fever at home. Our pediatrician had also adviced us that if required we can give him a dose and if the fever still persists we can then bring him for a check-up.
This had happened earlier also, with just one dose of medicine he was fine soon. So this time we didn't panic and gave him the required dose of medicine. When he woke up he was normal and had no temperature. He was playing and was also eating at intervals.
It was a Sunday and looking at him being normal again, we decided not to take him to the doctor that day. We planned to stay at home so that he can take some rest. After having lunch he slept again and we too took a nap.
Suddenly, I was awakened by something shaking beside me. I woke up to my horror to see my baby shivering tremendously. His whole body was convulsing and when I tried to pick him up, he started rolling his eyes. He was clenching his teeth hard and his limbs were falling loosely.
It was a sight I wish no parent would ever have to see. We were panicked so badly that we couldn't think of anything we could do. We rushed downstairs, with him still shivering in my lap. We thought of taking him to the hospital as soon as we can. My husband too was panicked and was not in a state to drive, so he acted quickly and called up 911 for help.
The lady over the call guided us what to do until help arrives. She asked us to stay at home and enquired in detail about his symptoms. She made us lay him on his side. Within a few minutes, while we were still talking to her, my baby started crying. We noticed he stopped shivering and was also moving his hands.
Just then 911 arrived with all their equipment. They monitored him, gave him a dose of medicine and asked us not to worry as he was absolutely fine. They said he had a seizure due to high fever and asked us to come with them to the hospital.
For the first time in my life, I entered an ambulance. My baby sat on my lap quietly, looking out the window. Within minutes we reached the hospital and was guided towards the pediatric department. After a thorough check-up, the doctor returned to say everything was fine. He also explained Febrile Seizure to us and said it was very common for babies. This would not have any adverse effect on his health and it can happen to any kid.
Febrile means feverish and can happen if fever is above 100.4 F. This is most common in toddlers and the convulsions can last for a few minutes during which the child may shiver, roll his eyes, become unconscious and sometimes even vomit or pee.
The seizure stops on its own but the child might continue to have the fever. Parents shouldn’t panic and should stay calm, which is not as easy as it sounds. They should ensure the baby doesn't get hurt and lay him on his sides to prevent choking.
Oncw the seizure stops you can take your baby to the doctor. It’s necessary to monitor the temperature closely. If the seizure doesn't stop within five minutes or if the child stops breathing you should immediately take him to the doctor.
We listened to the doctor with rapt attention and understood every detail he explained. My tiny one was busy playing with blocks sitting on the hospital bed. We were amused to see him smile again.
I grabbed him with all my love and as we were returning home, we couldn't believe what we had just gone through. It was so difficult to come out of it and probably we will never forget that horrific sight of seizure.
Now that you know what Febrile Seizure is, spread the word to all new parents you know. Not that we can prevent it, but its knowledge would surely help parents to act wisely and not panic.

My Daddy Strongest (A Tribute To All The Cancer Survivors)

I got a call from mom late in the evening just as I returned from office. Her voice was shivering and she seemed to be in a state of shock. I couldn't understand a single word and soon she started crying. I tried soothing her and asked where's dad. She then cleared her throat and said, "Your dad is not well."
Today, five years later, I still remember that day when mom made the panic call. It was the beginning of a year-long battle. A battle that was physically torturing my dad and emotionally killing all of us from within. A battle to stay strong, keep our faith in God alive, hiding tears, managing finances, dealing with hospital formalities, staying away from home and also maintaining a work-life balance. It was a long and exhausting battle to fight deadly cancer.
Yes, my dad was diagnosed with throat cancer and the moment we got the news our world came crumbling down. Doctors advised to immediately move to another place as there was no treatment available in my hometown. I was living in Pune at that time with my husband and we literally had no idea about cancer hospitals and its treatment.
Later that evening I called up my manager as her husband was a doctor so I thought he might be of some help. Talking to her really helped and her husband recommended Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) in Mumbai. Without wasting any time I asked my parents to immediately come to Pune.
Next week we were all headed towards Mumbai. We were surprised to see the rush in the hospital. This deadly disease didn't spare anyone, kids, men, women, old age people, everybody was a patient there and the sight was disheartening. Soon we were guided towards the registration and payment formalities.
Later that day we were all waiting impatiently for our turn to meet the doctor. The waiting area too was flooded with all types of patients and their concerned families. From toddlers who had no idea what had happened to them to critical wheelchair bound cases who depended completely on their family members.
We met people from different countries all waiting desperately for their turn. There was no confirmation of how long it might take but they surely asked us to wait as our patient file was already submitted on time. We then decided to take the lunch break in turns, though nobody had an appetite.
Finally, our name was announced ‪at around 7 p.m.‬ and we hurried towards the doctor's cabin. After some physical examinations, they gave us a list of tests to be done. All this took no more than five minutes for which we were waiting since morning.
We then collected our luggage and moved silently towards the cafeteria. We ordered four cups of tea and some snacks. That was the most silent tea break I ever had in my life. While I continued to wait in the cafeteria with my parents, my husband went out to look for a nearby hotel.
Next morning again we were waiting in different departments for all the tests to be done. We also had to extend our hotel stay to collect the reports the next day. This went on for a week and then the doctors confirmed he was in the first stage of throat cancer.
We were given another date for operation so we went back to Pune. Life was not the same anymore. I tried resuming to normal work life in office but couldn't concentrate. Even at home, the environment was stressful. There were days when none of us were even bothered to prepare dinner. Even in such situations, my dad was the one who was the most composed. He would prepare dinner for all, serve it and even force us to have proper dinner, saying, "Nothing will happen to me. Why are you all so tensed?"
I salute his willpower, confidence and the positive manner in which he handled the entire illness. I wish I inherited even a percentage of his positivity and optimism.
We went to Mumbai again for his operation. We were definitely tensed about it but at the same time, we were also happy that after his operation he will be fine again. After a few initial formalities he was taken to the operation theater. We waited impatiently in the waiting area.
Within ten minutes I was called inside by the assistant doctor. I was clueless about what could have happened. He said they cannot continue with the operation and asked me to wait in his cabin to answer my questions. Just then the operation theater opened and I saw them taking my dad on a stretcher to another room. I couldn't control my tears looking at how lifelessly he was lying on the stretcher. The doctor calmed me down saying it's just the effect of anesthesia and he will be fine soon.
There were endless questions in my mind while I was waiting in the doctor's cabin with my mom and husband. The doctor explained to us with a few reports in his hand that it would be critical to carrying on the operation. There are chances that he might even lose his voice forever in the process.
We were all dumbfounded and looked at him with dismay. He continued saying that another possible option is treating through radiation and chemotherapy. That would not be as easy and quick as an operation and might take a long time to heal completely. It would also take a toll on his health and we as a family will have to keep a lot of patience.
Because there was a long waiting at the Tata Memorial Hospital, we were getting an appointment after three months to start his chemotherapy. It was not possible so we were given an option to continue with the treatment in a place of our convenience. They gave us a referral letter and also the complete mode of treatment and asked us to come for a check-up after the entire process is over. Looking at our panicked faces he assured that the process will cure him completely.
We returned home dead tired, both physically and mentally. My mom started crying inconsolably and this time even my dad was silent. We didn't discuss much and went to sleep early. I was holding back my tears for a long time, but not anymore. I was feeling helpless and started crying thinking why was all this happening to my dad. To my parents, I was a strong girl and so I could cry and share all my inhibitions only with my husband.
We now had to decide where we can begin the radiation therapy and we didn't have much time to ponder over it. We went to a few hospitals in Pune to check their facilities and my sister and brother-in-law made a similar search in Ahmedabad. Finally, we all decided to continue with HCG Hospital in Ahmedabad.
My dad was happy with the decision because by now he was tired of traveling to Mumbai almost every week. My mom on the other hand, who is herself from the medical field, cried saying he is happy and relaxed because he has no idea what he will be going through. We all prayed that the treatment doesn't be too harsh on him.
Truly speaking, even we had no idea what is in store for us. We simply followed the doctor's instructions and the treatment was started. It was indeed a nightmare. We could see his health deteriorate, loss of appetite, the skin around his throat looked burnt and he lost interest in everything. We had to follow a strict diet which he hated to the core. Emotionally he was giving up, he was missing his normal life, normal food and also his hometown.
The entire thing affected my mom's health as well but she continued to be strong. Only she was able to convince dad to eat, take medicines and also speak to all. My sister and brother-in-law managed everything brilliantly. They ensured dad didn't face any difficulties. My little nephew suddenly grew up and we found him share responsibilities as well. He would spend more time with his grandfather and also remind him to take medicines.
We all prayed for his speedy recovery. We wanted this phase to end soon and our dad to be fit and fine like before. For the entire year, there were no celebrations, nobody was happy and there was an awkward silence in our lives. We continued to live with the fear whether the treatment would cure him completely or not. What if not?
It's not easy to always think positive. Especially when the strongest person you know is in so much pain. You feel helpless, you don't get a sound sleep and your life takes a halt. I would wake up in the middle of the night with weird thoughts.
Thankfully, we reached the end of his scheduled treatment. The doctors were happy about how his body responded and they discharged him keeping our hopes alive. He was referred to Mumbai again for the final tests and confirmation.
As required we went to Tata Memorial Hospital again and carried on with all the tests. It was a day-long affair and we were given another appointment to collect the reports and meet the doctor. My mom was hesitant with the date because it was my birthday but I didn't want to wait any further.
A week later, on my birthday, we traveled to Mumbai with all hopes. We were guided directly to the doctor's cabin as the reports were already sent to him. We waited impatiently for our turn. When the doctor called us in, I almost ran to hear what he had to say. He first examined him physically and then went through the reports and said, "Congratulations! He is completely out of danger."
We exclaimed with joy, that was exactly what we wanted to hear. He also added that we will have to continue his routine check-up and a few medications maybe for a year. I thanked him again for taking the decision of not going ahead with the operation, otherwise today my dad might have lost his voice forever. He wished us all the best and we thanked him wholeheartedly. We came out of the cabin with all smiles.
After completing a few more formalities we went to the cafeteria for a tea break. I ordered tea and snacks for us but I was surprised when a chocolate pastry was also served! My mom said, "It's your birthday after all," and they started singing the birthday song for me! I cried like never before, hugged them and said, "No birthday can get better than this ever."
While returning to Pune, the entire year appeared as a flashback. How life teaches us patience, makes us stronger day by day and how unpredictable it can be. What I learned is, however difficult a situation may be, we should never lose hope. Always be prepared and life will be beautiful.

First Trimester - Happiness That Comes With Discomfort

The day you realize you are pregnant becomes an unforgettable day in your life! We had gone to the nearby medical store late in the evening to buy a home pregnancy kit to check if I was pregnant.
Even before we could reach the particular aisle, we found a friend also roaming around in the same area so we wasted some of our time to buy irrelevant stuff! We definitely didn't want him to get an idea of why we were there. Finally, after he left we rushed to grab a kit and went straight to our home.
The instructions read that taking the test in the morning would give the best results. So, now we had to wait till morning. The excitement did not let me sleep the entire night. At around 4 a.m. I got up from my bed and started thinking, “Is it morning yet? Shall I carry on the test now or wait?”
I was so impatient that I couldn't wait any longer. I exclaimed with joy as the two pink lines appeared. I rushed to wake up my husband and we were both rejoicing, so early in the morning!
Because we were planning for this baby, we were in touch with a gynaecologist. We went for a check-up the same day. I was already taking folic acid and was prescribed to take prenatal multivitamins as well. We were happy to know everything was normal and my health was at its best.
Soon my happiness was marred by severe nausea that I experienced. It was followed by, aversion to eating, acidity and also dehydration. Nothing seemed to be rosy anymore.
I was advised to take more fluids. Lemon water definitely does wonders. Chilled coconut water was also my favourite. I didn't even feel like taking milk so I tried mixing it with health drinks.
An avid tea lover like me suddenly developed an aversion to tea. Though health wise it was good for me, I missed it. I didn't feel like eating anything that was sweet. I craved for street food but was strictly asked by my doctor not to have them to avoid jaundice and typhoid. I wanted to eat fried and spicy food but acidity didn't allow me to. I developed gas from a variety of vegetables too.
First of all, you don't feel like eating and then there are so many restrictions. You have to eat healthy and easily digestible food. It just adds to your woes.
Another discomfort was frequent urination that didn't allow me to get a sound sleep. Constipation is a nightmare that followed soon. Taking a cup of hot milk eases bowel movement.
I relied on Mother’s Horlicks with milk to get the necessary nourishment. It is a health drink that has many of the required nutrients needed like iron, calcium, folic acid and protein. These are required for the baby’s major organ development from the first trimester itself and also fulfils the extra nourishment that a mom needs. I loved its taste too.
My body went through enormous changes which lead to fatigue, heartburn and also mood swings. I was lucky that my husband pretended to understand all of these and handled my tantrums really well. That is exactly what you need in your first trimester, someone to love you despite all your crankiness.
Not that everybody faces the same issues. Some women are lucky not to have nausea at all and some, on the other hand, cannot start their day without vomiting.
What helps you stay strong is the kind of nutrition and exercise regime you follow right from the beginning. Start with deep breathing, stretching, walking and strengthening your muscles from the very day you realize you are pregnant. Don’t exhaust yourself and take proper rest in between. Proper nutrition and a little bit of exercise every day will make a lot of difference.
As you enter your second trimester, things become a lot smoother. Most of the health issues vanish and you would love to eat your favourite dishes. That is when you start enjoying your pregnancy. Take some time out for yourself, relax, feel the baby's kicks and bask in the glory of motherhood.

How I Fell In Love With My Body Post-Partum

After spending four days in the hospital, when I returned home with my new-born and saw myself in the mirror, I realized I was seeing myself as a mom for the very first time.
What made me happy was my glowing face. My cheeks appeared pink and my face was shining like never before. Though the hair was unkempt, I still managed to look decent! What I didn't like was that I still looked like a pregnant lady with a baby bump. So ladies, brace yourself. It's not like magic that as soon as you deliver your baby, the bump will vanish! The bump is the hardest to get rid of. But the good thing is that it is definitely possible to get back your flat tummy.
Before I could explore my body postpartum any further, my baby started giving signals that he is hungry. Initially, I thought that only when the baby cried is when you must nurse him but my lactation consultant properly explained that babies have their own sign language. You might find him smacking his lips, sucking his fist, opening and closing his mouth, appearing restless, making sounds and finally he'll start crying. Moms should ensure not to make the baby wait till he starts crying. This will irritate him and he'll make it difficult for you too to nurse him smoothly.
Like a vigilant mom, I immediately started preparing to nurse him. Because I had a C-section delivery, it was not possible for me to hold my baby on my lap for too long. So, the football hold position was the most comfortable one. For that, you need lots of pillows and a helping hand to place the baby properly. Thankfully I constantly had my mom-in-law by my side.
If nursing doesn't turn out to be smooth it makes your postpartum journey even more difficult. Heavy breasts, sore nipples and a constant demand to feed your baby sometimes turn it into a nightmare. Never hide a problem and speak to a lactation consultant. They are there to help you with this newly entrusted responsibility.
However difficult your nursing journey is, the heavenly feeling of feeding a newborn and the smile that your baby gives you when his tummy is full is simply out-of-this-world.
Later in the day when I tried to take a shower, I realized I was losing my hair dramatically. I panicked after seeing the amount of hair I lost in just one wash. Even the stretch marks were clearly visible and yes, I got the lifetime scar because of C-section. Nothing looked good and it depressed me again. Even bowel movements were not easy and I was advised to take stool softeners along with other medicines.
I faced difficulties in walking around in the house. The narcotic painkillers made me sleep like a log but it was difficult when I had to wake up in between to nurse my baby. There was a strange emptiness I felt in my abdomen and every time I moved, I feared hurting my incision.
Postpartum days are no picnic. All I wanted to do was to sleep without any distractions but it was not possible as I found myself awake all night nursing my little one. I found it very difficult to handle and sometimes cried when nobody was watching. I didn't feel like taking pain-killers anymore and wanted to run away from everyone. I wanted my normal life back.
My doctor explained Postpartum Depression to me and encouraged me to stay strong. I stayed calm as I was aware that it's a temporary phase and everything would be fine soon. That is exactly how it turned out to be. Within a month, I was all smiles! No more medicines, no more nursing blues, I got my physical strength back and also my confidence. It was then that I started enjoying my motherhood.
What helps you recover faster is the kind of nutrition and exercise regime you follow right from the beginning. Start with deep breathing, stretching, walking and strengthening your muscles from the very day you realize you are pregnant. Don’t exhaust yourself and take proper rest in between.  A little bit of exercise every day will make a lot of difference.
Nutrition definitely plays a key role in the entire process of childbirth. Eating healthy will ensure you gain proper weight and also that your baby gets the right amount of nutrition through you. You can definitely include health drinks in your daily diet which are made keeping in mind the nutritional needs of an expectant and a first-time mother.
I relied on Mother’s Horlicks to ensure that I got the necessary nourishment. It is a health drink that has several required nutrients like iron, calcium, folic acid and protein. These are required from the first trimester itself since it fulfills the extra nourishment that a mom needs.
The difficult phase post-delivery would have killed me if there was no family support. New moms need lots of love, care and encouragement. Holding your new-born in your arms will bring back all the happiness to your life and eventually you will fall in love with your postpartum body too.
If you too are going through a similar phase, just stay calm, eat healthy, take some time out for yourself and it will soon be over. In the end, you will find a stronger, happier, and a new YOU!​

मैंने एक शिक्षिका को बनते देखा है

उसने तो कभी सपने में भी नहीं सोचा था की वो एक दिन शिक्षिका बन जाएगी। बचपन से ही शांत स्वभाब, सहमी सी रहनेवाली , खेल खेल में भी कभी शिक्षिका की भूमिका निभाने को नहीं मिला जिसे! दरवाज़े पे दस्तक होते ही डर जाए, घर पे कोई आए तो भाग के अंदर चली जाए, कोई कुछ पूछे तो माँ के पल्लू में छिप जाए।
ऐसी थी मेरी प्यारी दीदी अपने बचपन में। और आज जब मैं उसे एक सफल और लोकप्रिय शिक्षिका के रूप में देखती हूँ तो मुझे विश्वास ही नहीं होता है। मेरी दीदी मेरी और मेरे पूरे परिवार की सबसे प्रिय शिक्षिका है।
हमने उसे हर कठिन परिस्थिति से उभरते देखा है, हमने एक शिक्षिका को बनते देखा है। सच तो ये है की उसके परिश्रम को देखने के बाद ये एहसास हुआ की हमारे अध्यापक हमारे लिए कितना मेहनत करते है। हमारे सफलता का चिंता जितना हमारे माता-पिता को होती है उतना ही अध्यापक को भी होती है।
देर रात तक वो अकेली ही बैठ के अपने छात्रों के किताब जाँचती है। रोज़ सुबह सबसे पहले उठकर घर का सब काम कर बिलकुल समय पे विद्यालय पोहोच जाती है। घर आके वापिस अपने छात्रों के किताबों में खो जाती है। इन सब से समय निकाल के अपने बच्चे के पढ़ाई का भी पूरा ध्यान रखती है।
स्वभाव से वो बहोत भावुक भी है। जब उसके छात्र बड़े कक्षा में उन्नत होते है तो वो भावुक हो उठती है। किसी छात्र के अपने हाथो से बनाए हुए कार्ड से भी बहोत ख़ुश हो जाती है। जब छात्रों के अभिभावक उसकी प्रसंग्शा करते है तो उसकी चेहरे की ख़ुशी देखने लायक होती है। छात्रों के सफलता से सबसे ज़्यादा ख़ुशी उसे ही होती है।
क्यूँकि मैंने एक शिक्षिका को बनते देखा है इसलिए मुझे पता है की जितनी मेहनत एक छात्र करता है, उतनी ही मेहनत उसके अध्यापक भी करते है। मेरा अनुरोध है सबसे, जब भी मौक़ा मिले अपने अध्यापक को याद करके उनको धन्यवाद ज़रूर कहे। हम जो कुछ भी है उनकी मेहनत और लगन की वजह से ही है। ऐसे सभी अध्यापकों को आज मेरा शत शत नमन।

My Family's Favourite Teacher!

Out of all the jobs in the world, a teacher's job is the most selfless one. Especially when she is a teacher to the youngest group of kids, her job becomes even more special.Not just the teacher, even the kids develop an emotional connect with their teachers. The young hearts who are utterly scared in the beginning, gradually find a friend and someone to count upon in their teachers. They start enjoying school and there's no more fear. They still might not speak a word when in school but their gestures speak it all.
Only a teacher knows what it takes to make friends with such tiny tots. How much effort she puts behind making them comfortable to stay away from their parents. Even after school when they are at home, they continue their research for being a better teacher, doing something new and interesting for the kids each day.
My and my family's favorite teacher is my sister! As a child, she had immense stage fear but today when we see her delivering fabulous presentations to her students and their parents, we feel proud. Her transformation didn't happen in a day. We have seen her struggle, stammer and also lose confidence. What she didn't lose were her hope and determination. As a family even we always showed confidence in her and that kept her going.
Today it feels so good to see her as a successful teacher, managing home and work wonderfully well. She gets emotional when her batch of kids leave her by getting promoted to a higher class. She loves to be appreciated, even a handmade card from her student brings a broad smile on her face.
I really wish students and their parents appreciate the hard work of a teacher even more. Most of the time it goes unnoticed, but our selfless teachers never complain. A small word of appreciation can boost anybody's morale and instill even more confidence.
I also take this opportunity to thank all my teachers from the bottom of my heart. It's because of their greatness and patience that we all are literates today.

माँ बनने के बाद मेरा पहला जन्मदिन

जन्मदिन की ख़ुशी किसे नहीं होती। उम्र चाहे कुछ भी हो, मन में उत्सुकता तो आ ही जाती है। और इस बार तो हमारे साथ हमारा नन्हा कान्हा भी था मेरे इस दिन को और ख़ास बनाने के लिए।
एक दिन पहले ही मेरे पति ने पूरी योजना बना ली थी घूमने फिरने का। मैंने भी पूरी तैयारी कर ली थी, क्या पहनना है, बेटे को क्या पहनना है, अलग से एक बैग भी तैयार कर लिया था।
रात को अचानक हमारे कुछ दोस्त आ गए केक लेकर! उस वक़्त मैं मेरे बेटे को सुला रही थी पर वो सो ही नहीं रहा था। सबके आने की आवाज़ सुनकर तो वो उठकर बैठ ही गया। मैं उसको लेकर बाहर आ गयी सबसे मिलने। बाहर आते ही उसने रोना शुरू कर दिया। मुझे लगा शायद सबको देख कर डर गया होगा। वो बिलकुल मेरे गोद से उतरना ही नहीं चाह रहा था। अपने पापा के गोद में भी नहीं जा रहा था। जैसे तैसे उसको लेकर ही मैंने केक काटा! मेरा पूरा ध्यान तो उस पे ही था। पता नहीं इतना अलग व्यव्हार क्यूँ कर रहा था। इतना तो कभी नहीं रोता।
मेरा ध्यान भटकता देख मेरे दोस्त भी मुझे समझने लगे की बच्चे की नींद नहीं हुई शायद इसलिए इतना रो रहा है। मुझे ख़राब भी लग रहा था कि वो लोग ज़्यादा बैठ नहीं पाए। सबके जाते ही मैं तुरंत वापिस उसे सुलाने की कोशिश करने लगी। जन्मदिन के लिए सबके फ़ोन भी आने लगे थे। किसी का भी फ़ोन उठा नहीं पायी।
वो काफ़ी देर तक रोता रहा फिर मेरे गोद में ही सो गया। उसकी नींद लगी तो मेरे जान में जान आयी। कुछ समझ नहीं आया की उसको अचानक हुआ क्या।
उसके सोने के बाद मुझे वक़्त मिला मेरा फ़ोन देखेने का। पर तब तक बहुत रात हो चुकी थी इसलिए मैंने सबको सुबह फ़ोन करने का सोचा और थोड़ी देर में हम भी सो गए।
सुबह उठते ही सबसे पहले घर से फ़ोन आ गया। उनसे बात हो ही रही थी कि इतने में फिरसे दूसरे कमरे से रोने की आवाज़ आयी। मैं भाग कर गयी तो देखा वो बैठ कर रो रहा था। मैंने उसे थोड़ी देर गोद में रखा तो वो वापिस सो गया। मैं वापिस चिंता करने लग गयी की ये इतना रो क्यूँ रहा है।
क़रीब दस बजे के आस पास मैं फ़ोन पे बातें कर रही थी तब मेरे पति ने मुझे आवाज़ लगायी। जाके देखा तो मेरे बच्चे ने पूरे बिस्तर पे उलटी कर दी थी और ज़ोर ज़ोर से रो रहा था। मेरे पति ने उसे बिस्तर से उठाया तो पता चला उसे तो बुखार है। इससे पहले उसे कभी बुखार हुआ नहीं इसलिए हमें पता भी नहीं था की बुखार में करते क्या है। और उसका रोना देख के हम और घबरा गए।
हमने तुरंत डॉक्टर को फ़ोन करके सब बताया। उन्होंने हमें मिलने बुलाया। वहाँ जाके पता चला उसे वाइरल हो गया है। बुखार ज़्यादा था इसलिए तुरंत इंजेक्शन देना पड़ा। पूरी जाँच हुई, लम्बाई, वज़न, कान का जाँच सब हुआ। उसे ये सब बिलकुल भी अच्छा नहीं लग रहा था और बार बार मेरे गोद में आने के लिए रो रहा था।
सब जाँच होने के बाद डॉक्टर बोली इसका मूत्र जाँच भी करना पड़ेगा ताकि पता चल जाए की और कुछ नहीं हुआ है। उसके लिए उन्होंने एक पाउच लगा कर ऊपर से डाइपर पहना दिया और कहा वो थोड़ी देर में वापिस आएँगी।
दवाई का असर होने लगा था इसलिए अब वो ख़ुशी से खेल रहा था। थोड़ी देर बाद जब डॉक्टर आयी तो उन्होंने देखा कि अब तक पाउच खली है। उन्होंने बोला इसे और दस मिनट देते है शायद तब तक हो जाए! दस मिनट बाद भी कुछ नहीं हुआ था पर अब उसे भूख लगने लगी थी। डॉक्टर को पूछ के मैंने उसे पहले थोड़ा खाना खिला दिया और उसने थोड़ा पानी भी पिया। हमने डाइपर देखा पर तब भी कुछ नहीं हुआ था।
डॉक्टर बोली इसे थोड़ा बाहर घुमा लाओ, चलने से शायद हो जाए! हम तीनो बाहर चलने गए। तब तो हमें भी भूख लग गयी थी और हँसी भी आ रही थी कि ये कब करेगा! क़रीब दस मिनट तक हम बाहर ही थे और बार बार उसका डाइपर देख रहे थे। आख़िर उसने किया और हम ख़ुश हो गए!
उसे गोद में लेकर हम ख़ुशी से अंदर गए इसी आशा से की अब हमें हॉस्पिटल से निकलने को मिलेगा। पर डॉक्टर बोली की थोड़ी देर बैठो, इसका जाँच तुरंत हो जाएगा। हमने भी सोचा इतनी देर यहाँ है तो और थोड़ी देर बैठ ही जाते है।
हम चुप चाप बैठ कर जाँच होने का इंतज़ार कर रहे थे। बस इसी बात की ख़ुशी थी की दवाई लेने के बाद अब मेरे बच्चे के चेहरे पे हँसी थी।
काफ़ी समय बाद डॉक्टर आयी और हँसते हुए बोलीं की अब ख़तरे की कोई बात नहीं। बस कुछ दवाइयाँ समय से देने को बोलीं। हमने हॉस्पिटल से ही दवाइयाँ ले ली और आख़िरकार बाहर निकले।
तब तक शाम के चार बज गए थे। बहुत भूख लगी थी, सोचा पहले कुछ खा ले पर बच्चे को नींद आने लगी थी इसलिए फिर सीधा घर ही आ गए। घर आते ही वो तुरंत सो गया। क़रीब पाँच बजे के आस पास हमने पिज़्ज़ा मँगवा के खाया।
पूरे दिन जो हुआ उसके बीच मैं तो भूल ही गयी की मेरा जन्मदिन था। कहाँ घूमने का सोचा था और कहाँ हॉस्पिटल घूम आए! पहली बार ऐसा बुखार आया मेरे बेटे को और वो भी ऐसे दिन आया की मुझे हमेशा याद रहेगा! माँ बन्ने के बाद पहले जन्मदिन में मैं सबकुछ भूल कर एक माँ की ही भूमिका निभाती रही।
नोट - जी हाँ, मैंने जन्मदिन भी मनाया ... पर एक हफ़्ते बाद!

A Prayer For My Baby's First Day Of School

Dear Lord,
Take care of him.
Be with him when he takes the first step to his school. My tiny baby is all set for the big journey.
I go through an emotional turmoil every time I think of staying away from him for two long hours. I never did this before. Nor did he. He gets frightened even when I lock myself in the shower for a little longer. What will he do when amidst strangers he'll not find me in school?
Will he get scared? Will he like his teacher? Will he be startled to see so many other kids? Will he cry or be able to overcome his anxiety? Will he even speak a word?
I pray to you dear Lord to make school a happy and exciting place for him. Help him enjoy so much that he doesn't miss me at all. My heart sinks when he cries and I don't want him to shed even a drop of tear on his special day. Though, am not too sure of holding back mine!
I also pray to bless the teachers with loads of patience and love. Let them understand that if he is throwing a tantrum, or shouting at the top of his voice, he is not being mean, he is seeking attention. A loving hug will do wonders. Bestow some super-powers to the teachers so that they can be equally attentive to every child in the class. I don't want my baby to hurt himself when his teacher is not looking at him.
I pray to you dear Lord to provide strength to all the children in his class who would be staying away from the comfort of their homes for the first time. Keep them calm and cheerful, help them obey their teachers and be good to each other.
Deep inside I am excited too! I still can't believe my just born baby is all grown up and ready for school. I can't wait to see him wear his new uniform, carry his bag and bottle on his shoulders, wear socks and shoes in his tiny feet and wave me goodbye from his school bus!
I just hope everything happens as smoothly as I am currently visualizing. I wish he does all this with a smile and makes it less difficult for me.
Grant him all the vigour dear Lord. Don't let anything deter his confidence. Help him be the ever smiling, super active kid in the school as well, just the way he is at home.
My prayers are not only for him but also for his peers, teachers and all the caretakers of his school. They will all play an important role in creating and providing a healthy environment for my child to flourish and grow.
Hope his first day of school becomes a memorable one that we'll cherish forever!
An Anxious Mom

अगर ससुराल में भी एक माँ होती

मायका तो माँ से ही है। कैसा होता अगर ससुराल में भी एक माँ होती। कोई होता जो हमारा ख़याल रखता, हमें समझता, हमसे प्यार करता।
एक दुल्हन जब ससुराल पोहोचती है, उसके मन में कई सवाल होते है। मैं कहाँ बैठूँ, चुप रहूँ या बात करूँ, कितना खाना खाऊँ, चाई में शक्कर कितना डालूँ, खाने में तिखा डालूँ या नहीं। सोचो, अगर ससुराल में भी एक माँ होती तो कुछ सोचना ही नहीं पड़ता।
हर घर के अपने अलग तौर-तरीक़े, रीति-रिवाज होते है और नयी बहु से ऐसी उम्मीद की जाती है कि वो एक ही दिन में इस नए घर की रंग में ढल जाए। ऐसे में अगर कोई ऐसा मिल जाए जो हमारे मन की भावनाओं को समझ ले तो ससुराल को घर बनते देर नहीं लगती।
मुझे मिली एक ऐसी ही माँ मेरे ससुराल में। मेरी सासुमाँ।
पहले दिन से ही उन्होंने मुझे अपना बेटी माना और सिर्फ़ कहने के लिए नहीं, दिल से बेटी माना। बड़े प्यार से हर नयी चीज़ समझायी, हर काम में मेरा साथ दिया, हर ग़लती को माफ़ किया। और देखते ही देखते एक माँ-बेटी का अटूट रिश्ता बन गया।
धीरे धीरे एक दूसरे की आदतें भी पता चलने लगी। हम दोनो काफ़ी एक जैसे ही है। हम चाई को कभी ना नहीं कहते, हमें दो क़दम चलना भी अच्छा नहीं लगता, हमें साथ में ख़रीदारी करना बहोत पसंद है और बाहर जाते है तो पिज़्ज़ा खा कर ही लौट ते है।
ये सच है की माँ का स्थान कोई नहीं ले सकता और ऐसा नहीं है की माँ की याद नहीं आती। पर क्यूँकि माँ जैसी सासुमाँ मिल गयी है इसलिए अब हर वक़्त माँ का प्यार मुझे मिल जाता है।
हम साथ में मूवीज़ भी जाते है, देर रात तक बैठ के बातें करते है और एक दूसरे की हर ज़रूरत भी समझ लेते है। थकान भरे दिन के बाद जब सासुमाँ प्यार से मेरे बालों पे तेल मालिश कर देती है तब लगता है सचमुच हर ससुराल में एक माँ होती तो बिलकुल ऐसा होता।

An Extraordinary Mom

It was a tiring day at work. I had to skip my evening tea as well. I badly needed one but rushed to take the last bus home.
My friends in office had already scared me that when mom-in-law comes to stay with you, life becomes hell. They shared their stories how their life turned up-side-down and they lost their peace of mind.
I kept thinking of all that they said as I travelled towards my home, where my mom-in-law had come to stay with us for the first time after our marriage.
As I reached home, she opened the door with a broad smile on her face. She then brought a glass of water for me and that took me by surprise. No, she was not like the other grumpy moms-in-law! I then went to my room to change and when I came out she was waiting with a plate of homemade snacks and tea. I was completely taken aback! She was totally different from all the scary stories I heard all day.
I felt awkward and very politely I asked her not to make me feel so special. What she said next touched my heart. She said, "I do this for my daughter too, why can't I do it for you?"
I then sipped the much-awaited tea, and to my surprise, it was exactly the way I love it.
That was just the beginning, one after the other her gestures kept winning my heart and I felt comfortable in her company. We spoke for hours, giggled on most of the topics and spent a very relaxing evening together.
Next morning I reached the office with the happiest face and when I started boasting about my mom-in-law, nobody believed a word.
I went on and on and they kept staring at me with disbelief. To them, it was like a fairytale because no mom-in-law can be so generous and loving.
They finally believed that I am truly blessed with an extraordinary mom-in-law when I opened my lunchbox! It was hard for them to believe that she woke up before me and also packed my lunchbox. It was such a treat to see additional boxes of neatly cut salad and one with desert packed specially for me!
She is an inspiration, not only for me but for many. I sincerely wish every mom-in-law has such a big heart and they treat their daughters-in-law with so much love that she is not scared but waits impatiently for her next visit; like I do!