Broken,but Alive

I remember like it was yesterday, my trust broke in a tiny bathroom.

I was cornered to the wall, with the tap hurting my back.

I remember like it was yesterday, my trust broke when I believed in that smile.

I was asked to touch his penis, and he was touching my vagina.

I remember like It was yesterday, my trust broke when the 7 year old me could not run.

I was numb and could not scream, his mouth and moustache were covering mine.

I remember like it was yesterday,my trust broke when another put his hands in my underwear.

I was trying to wriggle and he held me down. Like I was a worm and he was a giant foot.

I remember like it was yesterday, my trust broke on the road. 

I was riding my Honda and he was riding his manhood next to me. 

By then trust was lost somewhere and maybe even felt  isolated. There were many times it wanted to come back and stay put.

I remember like it was yesterday…… I promised myself that no one shall cross the wall, the wall I named trust.

Missionclothopad

Hygiene is taught to us right from childhood, have a bath they said, wash your feet they said, wash your hands before meals they said and we have this imbibed in us for years together. I can recite it like a mantra now and my kids are doing the same. 

Now, that I started talking about hygiene, let me take your attention to the feminine side of it. I remember when I started menstruating, my grandmother sat me down and explained to me in detail about the do’s and do not of those five days when my body goes through this -the process in a woman of discharging blood and other material from the lining of the uterus at intervals of about one lunar month from puberty until the menopause, except during pregnancy – a regular bodily function that is very vital and important to a women. she did not tell me about not touching the pickle, nor asked me to sit aside and away, nor did she stand 80 feet away from me. What she told me though is, it is crucial for me to rest and let my body do its job and to be ready for after. 

She mentioned during her days, they did not have good sanitation and had to sit aside in order to make sure that they dignity was preserved and also this was the time when most women experienced mood swings, pain, and many such complications. She said they had a room, that was called the inner room and ladies of the house sat here for 5 days and read a lot and rested a lot. 
However, that simple resting time was built up in bioscope mode and paved way to deep down myths about menstruation. for example – women cannot water plants, cause they will die(not us, but the plants) – she cannot touch pickle – she cannot enter a holy place – she cannot touch others – she cannot basically breath during those days! (my myth).
The same blood that bleeds during a birth of a child, that which is such an extraordinary moment is considered taboo when the same person menstruates. Don’t you all think it is high time we change this and bring in more awareness?!

Along with this awareness let us also join hands and start a movement, a mission is what I would like to call. Let’s pledge that not a single woman will die or a girl will be asked leave school and sit at home midway because she does not have access to proper care and proper hygienic cloth during the days that she bleeds. I was attending a seminar by Goonj the other day and I was appalled at the numbers that I saw and heard. Did you know that women use Ash, Grass, Rags and Cow dung to cover the blood? and Did you know that 10 women use the same cloth for their days?? The girl child is stopped from attending school, cause she cannot afford to cover herself up and has to stay put at home? Women have died, cause they have had centipedes crawl up and they got infected??? This has to stop! 

Only 12% of us use sanitary napkins or menstrual cups and the other % just sits there thinking of ways to cover themselves up. What can you do? Please stay tuned to this page. A few friends of mine and I are going to join hands with Goonjand also as a collective group we are going to launch a #Missionclothpad trust and will start collecting cotton material and make pads that will be distributed to women and girls who need them yesterday! will keep you all posted and thank you for reading this.

Amma is here :D

MOTHER/AMMA/AMME/MOM/MUMMY/AMMI – the most potent word in any language,the word can melt you down,make you shiver,make you do things that you never did,make you think and make you cry and make you love again with joy.

but here is what it is,when they come to visit us(yes,i means the mothers) they will not give you any notification(like the one that pops on you webpage).they will visit and go as they pleaseexcuseme.

the curry that they make will take away all your depression.but,the lecture that they will give you while you are eating that curry,will being in more :/.

yes,ya my mother is here 😀

1.She is the best-est of the best,she will make you wear the best,that means i need to get all my new clothes in and all the comfortable payjammies go puchuk into the old bin 😦

2.she will shop for me till i say “ENOUGH AYE AMME ENOUGH”.She will make sure i buy clothes,furniture,food that lasts at least 20 years 🙂 😦

3.she will make me healthy.She will sit in front of me while i am eating and say “you should get your stomach checked,looks like it is bloating too much” and then go “you want some more of that butter and potato kanna?”

4.she is my rock and my diamond,she teaches me how to live with men,”if some man teases you, or bullies you or misbehaves with you,cut of that cock” she says in plain words.

5.she will say “let us go for a walk child” then she will walk and stop at every junction and talk to her auntie friends and go “yes yes,my deethi is lovely,oh,you too noticed her chest,i bought one number less size bra for her” and smile and go :/ (really!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

6.she will call my father and say “bring that prasadam we got for deethi when you coming” (she must have got is 6 months ago) when i protest she says “it is god’s,it will never go out of fashion”

7.she is my lioness,she protects her cubs with fierce and shrewd determination and loves us like a motherlovesherchild(duh).but,let’s us go out and test the waters and if it is hot,she will tell us only once we dip our hand in.

8.she wants me to buyahouse NOW,when i say “amme,my husbands salary is not that big”she says “take me to his boss i say” (i wish i Could,only once and then myhusbandssalary will go HIGH)

9.she loves to talk to me,when i am eating,sleeping,drinking,in the loo,in the loo again.

10.she tells me “i do not have another birth,this is my last,that is why god made me your mother” (go figure deethi,go figure)

Choices we make

Today my girls were at home for tea and some girl time.We are all stay at home mothers by choice and like P said no matter how much we crib,we enjoy what we do and cribbing is a part of what we are.Who said we are not allowed to cib and cry and make a mole hill look like a mountain?!

So,the topic of discussion – Is your education waste of time and effort, when all you are doing at the end of the day is sitting at home?

P was telling me that someone she knows went to research on her PHD and the prof told her “why are you wasting time,all you are going to do is sit at home and take care of kids in few years,so relax and take it easy? really? is that what education means? 

A was telling us how another women said that someone else could have taken her seat and got that M.Phil, because she is now sitting at home and taking care of kids and is pondering over her daughters education and thinking a high school is good enough.

Barbara STREISAND said “Men are allowed to have passion and commitment for their work … a woman is allowed that feeling for a man, but not her work”.

that makes me think “why does that happen?”,I know many of you will try and differ the quote and say “what the hell,we have men who take care of our kids,clean the house,cook for us,teach the kids,take part in PTA’s,wash the clothes,fold them,feed the kids,sing them songs,and so on”

and if you have a man life that,then please ask them to open a training institute for other men and teach them things like this!

in my 33 years,I have seen working women coming back home and taking care of every need of the family and a few men who do that too.Like 10% of men did that in my group.

 

you know my father and mother shared their work at home and went about life in an even manner.However,how many are doing that today? if you know a 100 of them let me know :).if today,i went to work,i am sure V and I would do the same thing mom and dad have been doing.But,would it be more or less.If i went for a morning job,would V give up his sleep and take care of the house and then head to work in the night? would i come back home and look forward for a chaotic life.That is why i made the choice of staying home and taking care of my kids,v and me.I love the fact that i have time to kill,i love the fact that I do not have anywhere to rush,i love the lazy afternoons and the yes,not so much the nights when V is working.But,i am not going to regret it later and say”what a waste of education i did”

My girls Mala,Preethi,Apu have done the same and anyone who tells them they are wasting their precious education,please stop and think for once.They love being at home and being around when the kids need them,they could have left the kids in a day care.But,we don’t want to and if you think we are selfish or not career oriented then think again.We manage work better then anyone.we don’t sit on our lazy bums the whole day.in fact we move much quicker and faster than anyone can think of and manage 100 things in one second.

Our education is never to be taken for granted for that is what makes us what we are today and we are blessed to have been to schools and tomorrow when our kids no longer depend on us.We might go back to work,start a firm or say “what the heck,let me chill and have some more tea”

Morning

I live in a community in the corner of Bangalore.The distance,the pollution,the crowd,the trees,the corner hot chips shop are all part of this city.But,what makes it more interesting are the people.

I call my group “mornings”,that time of the day which makes you emote perfectly,mornings are a bunch of woman who I met in this community.Until April last year,i almost hated living in Bangalore and used to taunt V everyday and get into depression.However one fine evening changed that all.

I took Aku to swimming classes and was sitting there in my sadness and feeling depressed.Then came a chirpy voice from the other said.She said”hello” and that changed my life forever in the city 🙂

Then after few months I heard more of these “hello” and they changed from formal to hugs at large.Smiles that lit up my day and evening.Mornings are concerned about every aspect of my life and vice verse.

Movies,vegetable santha(market)books,kids,husbands,family matters,finance,there is no talk that is random in this mornings.Every thing is important and every one is as individual as they can get.

We go to the park in the evening,just to see each other and rant or vent,there is no biased opinion nor there are judges.mornings are women who value each word,morning are women whom i come to call my Purva family.

My little one was not well and everyone was sad,someone had a party and everyone was happy.there is no bitching,there is no gossip,there is talk and that about life.I love mornings and they love me.

P.S – mornings will be written more often and this is my post to say HELLO MORNINGs

Food and Memories

Have you ever closed your eyes and got that aroma of garlic or tamarind pulp that you used to get in that childhood kitchen of yours.Or that taste of certain samosa or chutney that still lingers on your palate.

I still remember that curry we ate on the Pune highway,the rich curry,mixed with hot rice and those tiny potatoes.Oh my mouth waters and i am just taken back to that night,in the dhaba and eating that delicious food.

I was talking to my chamak challo’s today and was telling them how it feels to go back to that grandmothers land. My bamma(fathers mother),has this thing for tomatoes,anything she makes has to have tomatoes in it…cabbage with tomato, potato with tomato,cauliflower with tomato,tomato with tomato.My mother does not like it a bit,she says “tomato is tomato,why mix it with other veggies and loose it’s great flavor”?.however my father got that or rather inherited that flavor and guess what happens at home :).Now,if you excuse me,i have to make fenu greek and tomato:P.

It is crazy how even our kitchen sometimes resembles our grand mothers or mothers.think of it,don’t you wash your milk packet before you cut open the cover? does not your salt always stay in tupper ware and has a small steel spoon in it? don’t you always make dal with the tadka like your mom did? i do almost everything like her…amma you are virtually ruling my kitchen 😀

Then again there is the famous podi’s or powders that are made in the kitchen.yesterday I made curry leaf podi and I so wanted it to smell and taste like amma’s.the whole experience took me back to my childhood and i had to immediately mix it with hot rice,ghee and eat it…slurp….

I so wish my elder one takes up cooking.he loves it and I am waiting to see that gleam in his eyes and that joy he gets when he licks the hell out of that tomato curry!

legacy

I was reading a book today and the thought that came to my mind “would this be well-preserved for my grandchildren?” I am 32 and grand kids are somewhere far.in fact my younger one is only 18 months and the elder 8.So,that thought was quite far stretched.However,i want my books,my little writings,to be there forever.imagine someone picks up the book after 50 years and goes “wow,my old woman sure had taste of i got that reading skills definitely from her.”

My grandparents left legacies that are unique in their own way..i don’t remember having a proper conversation with my dad’s father.however,my amma’s father left behind a huge legacy.he taught us how to be good to others and also how to be brute when required.he never owned anyone anything and if he did,he did not sleep till he returned that thing or favor.

but,the fascinating women are my grandmothers,my bamma(dad’s mom) is a very polished lady.she was born in a very poor family.however,had big dreams and she waited patiently for them to come true and they did.she groomed her sons to become what they want and not what she wanted them to be.but,the poverty is far behind her now and she lives like a queen.she is the best person for P.R anywhere.where ever she goes she carries a black book with the numbers of friends in that area.she is 83 today and she has more than 60 friends who are there to wish her.she loves attention and is not shy of it.she makes sure that she is well taken care of and the legacy that she would leave is ,no matter what your status in the world is,live like you are a born queen and live it up til the end.

my ammaamma(mom’s mom) is a women who has been protected from birth till now.she lived under her grandmothers eye for most of her teens and then got married.my grandpa got everything for her.right from the flowers in her hair to the chappal for her feet.she misses him so much,he made sure there was no dearth of anything around her.he also made her cripple that way and she never got to do anything for herself.she is also 83.but,zero friends and seven kids later she is living a silent life and i really don’t know what she thinks sitting in that rocking chair,she answers to my questions in one word and stared at the wall.maybe she sees her past there and maybe that past was wonderful than her present.but what i learnt from her is that you need to be independent and you need to love life and not live it regretting the past.

as for my grand kids,i will write a letter to them tomorrow or soon and tell them what i was like.i want them to be proud of me and i want to leave a legacy behind…one that speaks for itself and the one which is filled with adventure,love,lust,life,hate,sorrow and much more.something that comes natural to me is writing and i will write for the future generation and wait for them to open that chest filled with another world!