I could look at you in envy

For all the things you have,

The ease with which you cope,

Your luck when things get bad.

 

But i look at you in awe,

You’re my teacher and my friend.

I look at you and learn, that i can try to change,

Turn my struggles into chances and reach up for the skies.

 

I see the work you’ve put in and i see the dues you’ve paid

And your graceful acceptance, when all you try just fails

I see that every chance you’ve got, you’ve carved out for yourself

And i look at all of you in awe…my teachers and my friends

 

… this poem was inspired by all the women i know, who’ve succeeded in making time for their families, their career’s and themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Children don’t need time”

“Just have a baby, put your child in a creche, and continue with what you were doing before you had a baby. That’s what I did…” That’s  what a friend said to me in an effort to pressure me into having a baby!

I just stared at her in total shock. I could see how neglected her child was, and was horrified at her advice.

As I write this, I’m a married woman in her 40’s who does not have a child. I have never been comfortable discussing ‘why’ I don’t have a child with anyone other than my family, doctors on a ‘need to know’ basis and a few trusted friends! So, mostly everyone does not really know the ‘why.’ I feel it’s a private matter and have, unlike a lot of other Indian women, always had the support of family in this.

Up until a few year ago, I’ve been accosted by people who want me to have a baby. I use the word ‘accosted,’ because they were generally very rude and angry and sometimes even offensive – ‘Who will look after you when you grow old” was their trump card, when all other attempts failed.

“You don’t believe in God that is why you are able to accept that you are never going to be a mother” from a neighbour who was upset that I wasn’t depressed about being childless!

I’ve had a family connection – a grown man with college going kids call me up and shout at me on the phone for not having a baby! … I’m putting this down to stress from his family problems!!

I’ve been to a funeral, standing battling emotion, paying my respects to the family of the deceased and been cross-questioned one of them about being childless! …. maybe some kind of mental instability could account for this ??

I will not mention the advice that I should try IVF (in-vitro fertilization) – something I personally disapprove of, because I feel the risk of birth defects or health problems for the child, with IVF and an older mother are much higher.

I personally think that if the God’s meant for me to be a mother, they’re powerful enough to make it happen. If they, in their wisdom, think otherwise, I will be grateful for all the other joys they have given me, and not ask for more.

I have had one caring friend tell me that her children are one of the greatest joys and also the greatest hardships of her life. And that despite the struggles she is grateful to have been blessed with her kids – that children need time, love and attention, and parents-to-be should know that and be prepared for the joy and commitment of being parents, before having children.

I think she had it right!

 

Possibilities .. a poem about my dreams for the future

Sometimes i sits, i sits and thinks, of things i’ve never seen,

of places that i’ll never know, of what i may not be.

Of all the possibilities that seem so far away,

of all the lovely winding roads, that lead out from my gate.

 

I dream of possibilities i cannot see awake

Of walking lovely winding roads that seem so far away.

 

I know i’ll never really know what lies along my way,

or what i’ll choose to do, and which new path’s my feet will take.

 

I sits sometimes, i sits and thinks – in wonder, as i wait

for every turn that’ll take me on, to where i’ll be someday

 

One of my favourite books is ‘The Lord of the Rings’ .. and the start of it all ‘The hobbit’. I just love the poetry there, especially the poem by Bilbo Baggins (The road goes ever on and on….)

 

The best advice i ever got

I remember this doctor’s advice, years later and it still makes me laugh, to think that solutions are just so simple sometimes!

It was a couple of visits to the beach that did it….

I got some insect bites and my foot swelled up to 3 times it’s normal size each time. After that, it was a mosquito bite which gave me the same reaction, and my GP felt i needed to see a skin specialist.

The specialist gave a a good strong dose of allergy tablets, and i walked around for 2 weeks in a coffee-induced semi-wakefulness (no driving and walking very carefully, because i normally get drowzy with mild, anti-allergy tablets) But it worked, and i had to go back for my last visit, and this is what the doctor said :

“Since you have an insect bite allergy, you need to be careful :

  1. Wear long trousers or churidars – long sleeved tops – socks and closed shoes, when you go out to the beach, the park or anywhere with insects
  2. Cover all exposed skin with Odomos

There’s only one long term solution to an insect bite allergy – and that is – TO NOT GET BITTEN!”

 

Dear Change,

I am grateful for your constant and steady companionship

I have not always felt that way about your many many visits, but as time goes by I’m growing to value them. When you visit regularly, I sometimes wish you away, but you know that I really do not mean it

 

You bring me joy and sorrow, rude shocks and pleasant surprises,

I would not have known the joy, if you had not brought me sorrow,

I would not have known I was strong if you had not shaken me up,

I would not have known accomplishment, if i did not accept the struggles you gave me,

Through it all, you gave me hope

 

I am never alone, because you hold on to me,

I remember not to be complacent, because you slap me in the face

 

I am sometimes wise, and welcome you with open arms,

I sometimes forget that wisdom and just want a break

 

I know you are good for me, as you make me grow,

I have learned over time to accept you as you are and go with the flow

 

I appreciate your constancy and I’m not asking you to be any different from what you are.

But would it be so hard, to just give me a call now and then, and let me know you’re on your way to see me?

The colour of gold

To the average Indian woman, gold is beauty, security and an investment for the future. A woman loves gold jewellery and thinks it’s beautiful, because of its appearance and sometimes also because of it’s value. A more expensive piece of bling simply is more beautiful, to many.

A woman who does not wear a gold something – earrings, a necklace or bangles often gets advised, by friends, to wear something gold. I shop at Archie’s so, I’m usually on the receiving end.

I know -I’m the married Indian woman who does not even wear a chain! Absolutely shocking!

Concerned friends, have even asked if I own a set of jewellery – the answer is No. My mother-in-law offered to make me one, because i did not own any gold before marriage and I thought it was a waste, as I was never going to actually wear it.

 

But when I look around me everyday, I see gold.

Gold is the colour of :

  1. All the machines that do my house work for me
  2. The comfort I get in shopping for convenience and not necessarily for discounts
  3. The education that my parents gave me
  4. The family support i get, so that I can work at what I love
  5. The silence of the morning every day, when I’m having a leisurely cup of chai

 

Maybe someday, I’ll consider buying some bling that’s actually gold. I don’t know – maybe….

But it won’t mean anything more to me than all the lovely stuff at Archie’s……which remind’s me, I haven’t been there in quite a while – I’ve lost halves of most of my earrings and am long overdue a visit.

What do I do

What do I do, oh what do I do
The sun shines so bright and there’s house work to do
The dishes aren’t done and the floor is not mopped
And I want to go to the coffee shop

I don’t see the papers that need to be filed
The bills to be paid can wait just a while
The sun shines so bright and it’s lovely outside
I know what to do – I’ve just got to get out

I call up my friend, say I’ll meet her for tea
Or coffee and cake at Java Bean
We talk and we laugh and we have a nice time
Now, it’s eight in the evening, but I’m in the mood

To wash the dishes and mop the floor
To do all the things that need to be done

I’ve had a nice day and I did it my way
I’m happy to work at the end of the day