On Balanced Feminism

This week was completely nuts.
Kumar was travelling for work. As luck would have it, I started having a scratchy throat last weekend that escalated to a terrible cold this week.
Don’t ask me how I got through this week. I don’t want to tell you that horror story.

Instead, I want to focus on my “balanced” feminism story.

I am 5 foot. I can’t reach the top of the pantry shelves or cabinets.
It doesn’t really matter.
The boys are always around to help me with that.

Despite my 5 foot lean and mean body, I am a powerful force to reckon with.
But, I don’t bother using that force on a bottle that won’t open easily when I am trying to cook in a hurry.
I don’t have to.
The boys are always around to help me with that.

Now, with that context, despite my feverish tendencies due to the cold, since I have responsbility to hold down the fort (when Kumar is away) and feed the boys, I started blending tomato and ginger to make some channa korma on Wed evening.
Then, I tried to open the lil blender.
It didn’t.
I used all the force in my feverish body to open the dang lil blender.
It still didn’t.

I just lost it.
I don’t know it was my fever or whether I was hallunciating because of my temperature…but tears started rolling down my eyes.
I felt tremendous sadness that none of the boys (Daddy, Kums, Shakthi or Ari) were around that evening to help me.
I truly missed their strength and presence at that moment.

Now, that brings me back to my “balanced” feminism observations.

I do believe women and men are equal.
But, I don’t have to prove that by trying to open a nearly un-openable pasta sauce bottle.
I leverage the strength of one of the boys who are ever willing to be their chivalrous selves and open the bottle for nothing in return but a peck on the cheek and my endearing words – “Thanks da Rascal. What would I do without you?”

Fast forward to today evening.
The boys got me some hot soup to help my cold feel better.
All is well that ends well.

On Showing the Way

Appa would tell me that kids grow up on us. And, as they grow up on us they take on more responsibilities.

As I was in gutters changing diapers, cleaning potty, fixing seat belts, carrying the boys around, feeding them, doing they laundry, chasing them to get homework done….I couldn’t believe what Appa said. It all just seemed like a maze of kid raising and tending.

Finally, I have gotten to a phase where I am beginning to believe what Appa said.

Arya has learnt how to navigate the world as I am driving or even as we are walking through a new city.

For those of y’all in the ditches with kid tending…do know that the current phase too shall pass. The kids will grow up and show you the way and make your heart beam with pride.

Hang in there and enjoy the one way ride.

On Marveling at a Moment

As I grow up, I begin to marvel at lil things.
Because, I realize the lil things in life are actually the big things in life.

4 people getting out in the morning…coming back home after a long day…having chai together….seems simple enough.
Does it not?

Probabilistically and realistically, the occurence of that happening is so rare.

Hence, I show gratitude for that simple vanilla moment of togetherness with chai and the boys.
And, I try not go get too attached to that moment.
Because, I know by now, this moment will pass me by too.

On the Unkindest Cut of All

During my middle school years, my English teacher taught us Shakespeare’s works. She said I was one of the best students she ever had and she had never heard any student recite “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” with as much passion and pain as I did.
Even at that young age, through the passion of my English teacher, I understood and appreciated the complexities of life, choices, ambition, friendship, war, greed…..and most of all, the painful feel of being betrayed.

For many weeks during those middle school year, “Et tu, Brute? (Latin phrase meaning “and you, Brutus?) rang in my ears. Caesar uttered these words as he is being stabbed to death, having recognized his friend Brutus among the assassins.

Over the years, I have realized that the power to hurt you isn’t in the hands of acquaintances or strangers. They can’t do anything to you. They really can’t.

Those that you will give up your life for,
Those that you try the hardest for,
Those that are the closest to you,
Those that you trust,
Those are the ones that can unleash terror in your life and stick that dagger deep into your chest…..or worser still, in your back.

Only those that we love have the power to give us the Unkindest Cut of All.

So, beware.

Be careful who you allow into your heart and life.
Be very careful.

Let us assume, despite your utmost caution, somebody that you trusted stuck that dagger deep into your chest…..don’t worry.

Don’t suffer alone.
Call me.
I’ll share with you the pain I have endured.
You can share with me the pain you have endured.

We can cry together, joke about life and move on.

The sun will set and rise again.
The tides will flow in and out again.
Everything will be alright.
All is well. All will be well.

On Playfulness and (Not) Counting Pennies

Do you play?
Do you play around and be kiddish?Do you get on the swing in the park?
Do you chase somebody around the house?
Do you make funny noises with kids?Well….while you are thinking about those questions…here is yesterday’s story.

We were in the ortho office yesterday evening. I took Ari in at 4pm for his appointment. Kumar and Adi showed up promptly at 4.30 for Adi’s appointment. The orthodontist was running late.

Kumar said he was thirsty.
I handed him a water bottle that I had picked up in the refrigerator in the front desk.
He took one sip out of it.
Adi started cracking some jokes.
Kumar spit-taked and turned around and started splashing the water from the bottle on Adi.
They started laughing their head off like only 2 crazies can do.

I started yelling – “STOP you idiots. This is not home. The Dr is going to walk in any minute now.”
They turned around and looked at me seriously.
They shook their head like I usually do when I am saying in my head “Hopeless. These crazies.”
They looked at each other and said “Ok…let us stop. This is not good. We are not home.”
Then, still with their serious look on, they turned towards me and proceeded to start splashing me with water.
I got up and waved my hands around in a deadly way.
That is when the orthodontist walked in.
And, you guessed it right.
He joined the boys and started laughing his head off too.

I swear…if I had a penny for every time these 2 rascals threw things at each other..

If I had a penny for every time my boys made me happy with their silly jokes, playful antics, big hugs, unsolvable riddles, non step pestering (remember, we are mere mortal…we all feel good about being “needed”) ..oh, I swear, I could be a very rich gal.

Well, on second thought, who cares about being a very rich gal anyways.

I would much rather count their jokes, antics, hugs, riddles…rather than count pennies. I could take all their pestering and some more…and pester them back non-stop.

Coming back to my questions – Do you play and be kiddish? Do you?

Give yourself permission to be a kid.
It is ok.
Go ahead.
Do it.
Even when there is a stern figure waving their hands at you in a deadly way.

Life is too short to listen to stern figures.