Lazy, Busy & Overlap

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Friday evening I was so bored of cooking until 7 pm. But, suddenly my energy levels just boosted up and I made Waalachi Usal (field bean, hyacinth bean or lablab-a kind of legume that needs to be soaked and sprouted early on, cooked in coconut based gravy traditionally) roti, shevai kheer (vermicelli pasta sweet pudding) and salad.

Felt so good to eat that kind of food after ages! My husband and son enjoyed Waalachi Usal as well! I was really relieved! (I m sure there is that one thing you love and the family does not. There are times you crave about it but every time that you express your aspirations to cook it-you get sour faces! This time I overcame the sour face situation, yay!!).

Since I started late, we could not have dinner at 7.30 pm. But, we enjoyed the laid back dinner and clean up together.

By the end of Friday, we all were so tired that we dozed at 11 pm.

Saturday was a busy busy day! I worked on Jyothi kaku’s story until late hours of morning. Her story is very close to my heart especially because of the bond that I share with Amrutha and her. For an emotional person like me even penning down something so deep and tragic is a journey by itself. I have cried so much during these 4 hours of writing it down. I could in some way relate to the pain Jyothi kaku went through. Like me both of them are only daughters and not pampered bad. I had come close to a situation like Jyothi kaku’s, but had the chance to correct my mistake in time. The thought of that situation leading into the same path like Jyothi kaku’s, gives me goosebumps! But, that story for some other time! Not yet!

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The message of her story was important to me as a human being. The purpose to feature such Iron women is to discuss the problems and attempt to resolve them. Social or not, every issue needs to be addressed. Any deep-rooted problem gives birth to crime and violence. So many women gulp down their sour wounds in the name of society, children and peer pressure. The question is, is it right? I think, it’s inhuman to not speak up for such problems. If you or someone you know faces or faced domestic violence, speak up. The society dynamics would never be static.

In my opinion, society is made to protect us and not to make us submissive. A little boldness can save your life from ruins and your children or loved ones can lead a violence free life. No child must be given the sight of any kind of violence. So, my earnest plea to all (irrespective of gender, caste and creed) is to wake up from the slumber of extreme tolerance and speak. Jyothi kaku’s life is an inspiration to all young men and women. Don’t suppress your problems, address them and resolve! There are hands of help and shoulders of support everywhere, hold on to them!

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The numerous mails and feedback from so many readers shows that we are still humane. My heartfelt thanks to you for your support and sharing your stories! Amrutha and Jyothi kaku also had mails pouring in from all over the world. Let this courage be your shadow always! Let this enlightenment (Jyoti) be the new reason to live!

The show must go on-but not when you suppress the truth! Face the truth, embrace it but don’t live with injustice.

Until late evening on Saturday I was overwhelmed with the response to this story. I for once was felt happy about writing something so tragic but beamingly positive. Rohan was so moved by the story that he could not stop himself from sharing it with his friends and family. Trust me that’s not usual. He would never promote a post if he does not believe in it.

The post had totally drained me so we had a quick lunch before heading out.

We had a social commitment to attend in the evening. We thought we would just drop by for the birthday party for an hour and head back home! But, my son loved the games etc. there are we over-stayed our welcome at V’s party:P. It was fun! After ages ate good snacks and chaats in the Bay area!

Now my son is a Desi at heart. He loves his roti and curry all the time. Even though he had the pizza and fries at the party he came home hungry for some roti and vegetable! Fortunately, I had made some extra for lunch so did not have to cook at 10.30pm! (Yeah, desi mothers would beam with joy but not at 10.30 pm!). While I wondered that on a busy day like today my walk was missed; something dropped on the carpet and had to vacuum the whole house-and my 30 minute walk was done :P. Sharing something from archives 🙂

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I had a good day and wanted to dose off! It’s a rare thing lately to not blog and sleep. Blogging is my conversation time with myself J. But this weekend, I just wanted to take a break from blogging! And the 2day hiatus was good J.

That reminds me to share one interesting post. Do read that :). I believe in keeping it honest and frank than exaggerated or hidden. It makes me vulnerable,but I m not going to worry about that!

Sunday was busier than Saturday. We had to collect boxes (for moving) from a friend in San Ramon. Su and Ma tricked us into actually having lunch with them at their place. It’s always nice to meet both of them. Udeet enjoys their company too. That makes it easier for us to spend time with them then.

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Yeah, it might sound ridiculous to those who haven’t experienced it. But, there are social circles that don’t entertain people with children or if the children belong to different age groups. I don’t mind it as much. Initially, it came as a shocker but it’s routine now. As time passes and you get into a senior year of being a parent, you stop getting affected anyway (even if it comes from close friends). Some parents who have already seen this would definitely nod!

Anyway, so we came to Santa Clara hoping Udeet would sleep for a while. He was in no mood to nap. He instead was hungry for roti-sabji again:P. We had to go to the San Jose house to check on the progression of work and hence without wasting time I fed him J.

The story of a desi boy’s mom:P!

The house seems to be getting ready for us. The flooring job will be finished by mid-week. We asked Bageshree and Sameer (our cousins and neighbors) to come over and have a look! They gave us lot of pointers on landscaping! We have no clue about it at all! The previous owner had planted some fruit trees for probably he knew the lazy new landlords like us would not know what to do :P!

But, on a serious not landscaping is going to get tougher in CA. Particularly if you have extensive laws and beds of hedges, water is going to come at a price. We are planning to go the eco-friendly route. We aren’t planning on getting lawns or the artificial counterparts in the backyard.

More than the 1000$ penalty, we are worried about the water funding for our consumption (basic needs). I m sure all the home-owners in CA have received a notice of their own! (Yeah, it is a shame for lovely roses would look great on the porch. but cannot help!). Any ideas on cutting water consumption? Suggestions welcome J

After a long day, Bageshree, Sameer and us decided to get pizza at home. By the way,this pizza place had a great collection of Indian style pizzas. Loved the Kachori and Paneer tikka one. Not to mention,I stuffed myself for dinner with carbs (light on cheese and thin crust in my defense :P). Udeet was too tired and slept peacefully.

We had a long chat at the dinner table with Bageshree and Sameer.

Long and busy day!! Weekend was a perfect blend of lazy, busy and overlap. Lazy Saturday, busy Sunday and overlapping meals with friends J Cannot ask better J.


Jyothi’s Silent World

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, see a man (human) by his cloth, as there is often a good deal of solid worth and superior skill underneath a jacket and yaller pants (or a dress)-Published in Piqua Democrat June 1867.

 It’s so easy to be judgmental but difficult to be compassionate, don’t you think?

So many faces, so many stories. Every story has struggles and triumphs of its own. Behind a smiling face and twinkling eyes, there is so much more to express. “The hourglass mommy” is a platform to unfold and unveil the treasures behind those quiet smiles.

Here’s a story of an extremely demure and submissive only child Jyothi Joshi, my best friend’s pretty mother. She has justified the essence of her name Jyothi (means light, enlightenment) in every way through her extra-ordinary struggles in life.

Presenting Jyothi Joshi’s Silent world! (translated from her original marathi piece)

My family belongs to the city of Bombay. We have lived here for generations. I too was born on 9th May 1958 to my wonderful parents; Saroj & Balkrishna Pathare.

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Being born and brought up in a highly educated, well cultured, well to do family was my biggest fortune. Life was always nice. Not because of the riches, but for the insight that my parents gave me to view things with a compassionate perspective. My parents laid the foundations for simple living and high thinking into my life. That has made me the person that I m. (If given a choice )I wish to be re-born as their daughter when and if I have another life J.

My Aai (mother) Saroj was a homemaker. She was an excellent cook who taught me all the delicacies. Dada, my father was an architect by profession and a social activist by heart.

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It’s a commonly assumed belief that only children are overtly pampered and aren’t used to sacrifice or sharing. I would disagree with this totally. In spite of being the only daughter I was taught to share. And, I have always been extremely selfless. My parents taught we the value of empathy. My mother used to run a free school for the poor. She would especially reach out to young girls and women in general. Aai, would educate women on personal hygiene, pregnancy control and help them sort out other problems related to domestic violence or family care. Who knew that the child of such a mother would ever be in need of help out of such domestic violence issues. And, the same mother would be helplessly hopeful of things to change! Time would only tell!

My birthdays were celebrated at “Anathashrams” (orphanage) or at my mother’s school. I would donate my clothes and toys to the needy on my birthday. That would make me happy and content.

My family was full of architects. My father observed my inclination towards arts, architecture, home décor and painting. As an obvious option, Dada (my father) admitted me into J.J School of Architecture, Bombay. It’s one of the best colleges in India.

I was young, naïve and beautiful. Unaware of what would happen next, I started my stint at J.J. Here is where my life took a turn that I regret always. I met a man, a senior student at Rachana Sansad through common friends. He was poor or so I thought. I have always been very sympathetic towards poor and needy. I distressed me to see poverty around.

I would address him as a man. A man of sins has no name. It rather be that way. Man like that has no religion and caste, he is not even human. Hope, the audience does not mind me skipping the name of a person I’d rather forget.

Before I knew, we were in love. It was not love really. I was to naïve to mistake sympathy and mere timely affection for love. Surely, it was not love.

In the course of time, I moved to Rachana Sansad and took up textile art. I gave up my chances for following my father’s footsteps as an architect. I never realized the But, Aai & Dada (my mom and dad) were very supportive of my decision to change career stream.

Probably I was too blind to notice. I was too unsure and restricted in my thinking to check and cross. I became the cause of my own downfall. But this downfall enveloped my family along with it. This pains me the most.

If I had been a little less sublime, a bit less naïve, things would have been different. But, back then I was so confident of my choice. Never thought that I would ever regret my decision for the rest of my life.

In 1980 I got married. My parents gifted a car to their only child’s husband. My family accepted the new member with open arms. My marriage was a celebration that my parents rendered so beautifully for their only daughter. I would have never pictured such a picturesque celebration to be ruined and degraded in the hands of fate.

As I mentioned earlier my life just got into a deeper thicker soup day after day.

Since that day, my life was a living hell. I never saw the sweetness that such an intimate relationship begets to the couple. All I experienced was beatings of my husband. Such domestic violence until then was only something that I saw in movies and read in newspapers. It had now become an inseparable part of my being.

He took away all the riches of my family. He managed to transfer all the lands and houses into his name and tricked my father into moving all the finances in his hands. The Pathare Prabhus (my community) are known to be very resourceful, but in our case it became our misfortune. My husband sold all the hereditary ornaments of gold and silver (of my mother, grandmother and great grandmother).

Everything started to slowly perish. My family was deteriorating. I witnessed the loss of health and wealth both during this downfall.

The only solace in this distress and series of disappointments was getting pregnant (in just one time). My daughter Amrutha filled my life with joy once again. Having a daughter, to me was the best thing ever!

Life would change I thought. Struggles would finally end and a brighter world would welcome us, I imagined.  I hoped for my life to take a U turn for good. But, nothing changed. The abuse, humiliation and violence increased than ever before.

My father again gave me hope. He convinced me to begin my new life with my daughter. He has always been my pivotal support and consult through my life. Always took care of me, without any expectations. In adversity too, this was my comfort corner. If nothing else worked at least my parents were with me and loved me for everything.

My father told me to restart working. I took up job as a newsreader at Doordarshan (national television channel in India). I was selected in the first round of interviews itself.

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But sadly life had something else in store.

When my daughter was 1 and 1/2 years old my mother passed away with ovarian cancer. I lost my friend and confidianté forever. I became more lonely and depressed. The only source of happiness was through my lively daughter Amrutha.

When my daughter was 2 and 1/2 years old I was detected with diabetes due to all the stress. It was tougher than I thought. When I see people talking about stress and relieving it with fancy meditation classes etc. I m astonished! Can it really swipe all the stress and pain? Momentarily yes, but not in the longer run.

As time flew silently, the U turn I waited never came. I was quieter than before and tamed than earlier. My voice was muted, by the agony and pain. My world was silent. Standing still shouting voiceless for a change, a break through- that never came!

It just got bad to worse and more. From one to another, the twists never stopped approaching.

The man I married was not even loyal to me. He had a relationship with someone else. They (my husband and his mistress) weren’t married yet had a son together who is older than Amrutha. For all my dedication and commitment, this was all he offered? What wrong had I done to deserve this? What was my daughter’s fault? And above all my parents, had they been through all this mess for being witness to this misfortune?

He was addicted to alcohol and polygamy anyway!

But, life still moves on. People are punished for all wrongs I hoped! Again, faith was betrayed by fate.

My family was on the verge of finish.

All the jewelry, ornaments and silverware were auctioned. The real estate-lands and properties, bungalows and houses were mortgaged. Some properties were sold. The once mortgaged never returned to be our own again. There was a sense of grief and grim into the house.

Words weren’t spoken, but my silent life continued. I was emotionally hurt and physically bruised.

The only precious ornament that I owned (even now) was (is) my daughter Amrutha. She was the beaming source of inspiration to survive.

I had to quit my job at Doordarshan in 1997 due to my health. My husband used to beat me so much that I would turn black and blue. Sometimes it showed up on my face! It was difficult to do a camera-facing job with a swollen face or bruised eyes or ears. Facing colleagues and acquaintances with injured hands and back. But, I looked at my baby Amrutha and held my head high. I had to stay strong and motivated for Amrutha (it means elixir, medicine). She was my elixir in the poisoned life I lived.

I wanted her to shine and achieve greatness. I wanted to do everything in my control (if there was and is) to make her into a bold and confident individual. I had such wonderful childhood, thanks to my parents! I knew my limitations as a parent, for in my case my husband and Amrutha’s father was not the father one would ever want. My husband was father is absentia. But, I promised myself to help her excel in music, sports, studies-wherever her interests were vested.

I decided to motivate her at all times even if there weren’t enough pennies in my pocket. Dreams don’t need money. I wanted her to dream and work towards achieving her ambitions. She became the youngest child magician in India and acted in marathi theatre. She excelled in sports and won many national level medals.

Unlike me she was outspoken and courageous. Her smiling face and ability to face situations (no matter how difficult) made it easy for us to enjoy our moments even in the thick of tragedy. One thing no one could steal from us is our confidence and love for each other.

She was more determined and aware of the world. She became my closest friend. But, she grew up into a big girl too soon. I always felt that her childhood was getting hampered somewhere.

Children need to be loved. They need to feel secured and comforted in the company of parents. For her it was otherwise. I tried my level best to snap her out of sulking into a bad mood. I made sure she knows, I love her more than anything else in the world. Gladly, she had my father to confide. He was the ideal father figure to her. He helped her with studies and motivated her to continue with her love for arts and literature.

I recall one incident in 1998 when my husband beat me so much that I did not get out of my bed the next morning. My girl was nearly 16 then. Had it not been for her and my father, I cannot imagine what could have happened to me. They rushed me to the hospital. The injury was really bad this time. My spinal cord was on the verge of collapsing. This was very close to my daughter’s 10th standard prelims. But, there she was taking care of me and household work. She battled it so well. Unfortunately, all this affected her exams. She gave her 100% effort. My father helped her study without any tuitions etc. She passed and scored distinction.

Naturally, parents often talk about their kids highly. My girl-she fought my battle and won it for us. She took all the struggles with pride. Success is relative and totally a matter of a person’s perspective. I believe if you can shine in adversities against the current, you are a winner anyway. The actual success or failure does not matter. She is a fighter! Yes, she was stubborn about not compromising on everything unless valid or logical. I started gaining my lost voice again!

She started taking up languages seriously while in college. My father encouraged her to pick that as her career. He was always there in person until we lost him to Parkinson’s disease.

In 2002 we discovered that my husband was HIV+ve. We had hospitalized him. I was looking after him day and night. Yes,I really did it with all my heart. Because he was my daughter’s father and most importantly I was still a human being even if he did not treat me like one. He never apologized once for his doings. Never was thankful for what I did for him.

In 2003 June he died of AIDS and it was our rebirth. Yes, we were free now. The pain was gone but bruises still remain. My father saw some good days before he passed away.

I silently welcomed a breeze of happiness into the same house that saw my birth. I don’t wish to cry or crib. I have lot’s to regret. But, I have lot’s to be happy about as well. I owned up my regrets. Perhaps, had I been more aggressive and non-submissive; my journey would have been different. I made choices and they proved to be mistakes, unfortunately.

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But the past never haunts me anymore. I’m proud mother and most importantly a proud grandmother. My life has finally taken the turn I longed for. My son Gaurav (Amrutha’s husband) and Amrutha are my support system, they are my pillars of support.

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My daughter has achieved success she deserves. She is a linguist, a Polygot. Ironical isn’t it? A quiet mother’s daughter becomes a multi-lingual professional? Finally, I have found my voice in many languages, don’t you think? My silent world is busy with happiness. I still hold on to my 28 year old diabetes and the steel rod supported to protect my spine.

Thanks to my father’s blessings, we have finally seen goodness of life! I m stronger than ever now!

“Sometimes when you lose your way, you find YOURSELF.”
― Mandy HaleThe Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass.

And I have found my self!

As I get close to my 60’s,I would like to advice all the young girls to make well thought decisions. Don’t haste into any relationship. Take your time. One wrong decision could completely ruin your life. Precaution and thinking is better than disgust. Value what the elders say. Sometimes, the worth of what they say is realized only after the world turns upside down.

Take care and may god bless you all.

Thank-you Manasi,my sweet little girl for this opportunity to express my feelings. May god bless you .Lots of love to your baby and husband.

-Jyothi Joshi

After reading this, I have tears in my eyes. It’s difficult to be nice and offense to be nicer Jyothi kaku (Aunt Jyothi). Though much younger than you in age and wisdom, I count you in my blessings and prayers always. You are always going to be one my favourite features for Inspire US.

I address to all the wise men known, forget not that the mother you raised you, the sister who nurtured you, the daughter who loved you are human. And it’s equally a reminder for men being subjected to violence themselves, so no gender bias here. If nothing else, show the gratitude they deserve. Domestic violence is a curse. Curse to our fraternity (human).And,I wish Jyothi kaku has spoken earlier. The one who allows the convict to victimize is equally doing wrong.So,don’t fear. Stand for the truth and learn to say NO! Life is precious,don’t give its reigns into someone else’s hands to ruin it.

Hope such women keep Inspiring Us!