Monday, May 8, 2017

If You Believe You Are A Supermom, You are a Victim not a Victor



avoid socializing with women who cannot talk beyond their kids. No, it has nothing to do with them making me feel like a useless Mom. An alien who can’t even recall the name of the papers her daughter is appearing for in her final exams next week among a sea of women who know each chapter of the course-book by heart. Rather I am filled with dread as I hear them discuss their sons and daughters’ goals they have set and make plans for a future that’ll have them at the steering wheel.

Like any mother holding her baby for the first time in her arms, I too was overcome with a resolution of being the best Mom in this universe to my only child. The one I had birthed after 12 hours of excruciating pain. I read up all the books that were ever written on childcare in the history of humanity. I constantly exchanged notes with other Mommies on diets, regimens, early habits that should be inculcated to bring up a superkid. I slogged, stressed and worried incessantly. But somewhere along the line I realised no matter what I did, there were always tots who were brighter, better, chubbier than my baby.

Our neighbour’s toddler was a sterling example of everything my daughter wasn’t. All I had to do was step out on the balcony and our neighbour’s 2 and a few months old kid would start reciting the alphabet song with sickening accuracy. Two taps on the kid’s back he would start quoting from Shakespeare and three taps was when he’d launch into his take on quantum theory. It was as if his Mom had made it her sole mission to dazzle me with her son’s brilliance. My 3 year old daughter unmindful of her mother’s crippling feeling of inadequacy would continue caressing the utensils that she’d dragged from the kitchen with the broom.

It got worse when Tee started school. This is where I had my first taste of supermoms. This specimen was always found hovering near the teachers, could be spotted at all school events volunteering and never missed a PTM in its life. Its offspring was half a dozen chapters ahead of the class and usually had a super-achieving elder sibling in the same school. After school these alpha kids were carted to their theatre, dancing, piano, painting, gymnastics and math-for-genius classes.

These kids stood out from the rest of the class. They believed they were better than the rest and had this vicious need to assert themselves by ganging up their friends against students who couldn’t care less about their supremacy. It was as if they had internalized their parents’ aggression and anxiety to excel.

As a mother I understand this need of working ceaselessly towards making your ward outshine others. Then there’s maternal instinct that makes you do everything possible to protect her from despair, failure and hurt. But when this extends to micro-managing her life - treating her school projects, assessments, exams, even disagreements with friends as your own, you encourage the apple of your eyes to absolve herself of responsibility and accountably. You end up raising kids incapable of handling stress, failure on their own. And this extends to their adulthood when you are no longer available to fret and fuss around them.

It’s not as is if being a supermom is a cakewalk. You end up devoting all your time, your pursuits to orchestrate and fine tune your offspring’s life. So even when you take some time off to meet up friends, all you can talk about is curriculum, exams and results. Also, when you sacrifice so much, hoping your efforts will translate into success and happiness, you also expect your child to reciprocate as enthusiastically. But that doesn’t always happen, does it? Especially when they grow up and realise there’s a world beyond their Ma’s protective embrace. The obedient ones continue toeing the line. Some are unable to tackle the guilt being unable to live up to their parents’ expectations and others rebel.

So if you are busy congratulating yourself for being a multi-tasking diva, let me tell you, you are but a victim to the biggest con in this world. First of all there’s something inherently wrong with this title. It assumes that working yourself to exhaustion, donning multiple roles as a caregiver, decision maker, and crisis manager is normal. It is not. Also, parenting is not just a mother’s job. It is meant to be shared by both the parents.

So stop fancying yourself as a superwoman who can set the world right with a cape slung on her shoulder as she whizzes from one task to another. When you strive for this level of perfection and set unrealistic expectations, you end up being super-stressed. You put yourself last in the list of your priorities and pretty soon your family starts taking your superpowers to do everything right for granted, while they put their legs on the table and relax.

In fact it’s you that needs to relax and take it easy. Believe me, your child can manage better without you hovering over her like an anxious bee. It stresses her as much as it stresses you. And I have noticed, the more instructions, diktats and advice you give them, the less they listen to you. You become just an annoying noise that needs to be blocked.

Try being just a Mom. Be her friend. Let her know you will love her and support her no matter what. Listen to her.

The path to becoming just a Mom is simple. You need to accept the more you protect her from vagaries of life, the more you cushion her fall, the less you allow her to mature and reach her full potential. You wouldn’t want to become like that tall leafy tree that dwarfs the little plants growing under its shade, would you?

Don’t be afraid to let her fall. Let her know, mistakes are normal and failure is not shameful. As a mother there’s no greater satisfaction in seeing your child make her own decisions and take responsibility for it. Help her choose her goals, let her chart her own path to happiness. The more you loosen the strings, the higher she will soar with confidence.

And always remember, just because you think you know her best doesn’t mean you’ll live her life for her.


Monday, April 24, 2017

No One Knows Us Better Than Our Bed

A Bed Is Not Just a Bed, Its Much More

Image courtesy - Google Images

When I was growing up, the bed in our house was not just a place where we retired to at the end of a long day. It was something that became what you wanted it to be – an easy chair, a couch, a coffee table, a study table or an oasis you needed to revive your soul. It hosts all the stages of the theatre of your life – as a baby in your mother’s lap, as a child seeking refuge from reality, as a lover discovering intimacy, as a couple going through the highs and lows together, as a person well-lived on his last journey.

During my growing up years, it would turn into a bat cave on hot summery afternoons. All I had to do was crawl under it and into my world of make-believe. Behind the spider-web curtain was my kingdom that no one could invade. When I would get bored of conjuring up my own fantasies, I would turn into a dead log on the bed. The book in my hand would transport me to a world where a kind old man helped kids in trouble, but not before he served them lemonade and cakes.

When my cousins would visit us during the summer break, it would turn into our adda corner. All of us stuck to each other like glue, talking about god-knows-what till our Moms’ voices calling out for us would break our non-stop chatter. It was where I spent hours coochie-cooing to my crush as he gazed at me dumb-struck by my beauty ; the tall dark handsome hero who smiled once every fortnight gave me asthmatic attacks as he swooped me into his arms. Sadly I’d have to shoo him away when my Mom caught my glazed eyes and silly grin look.

Clutching my cramped with anxiety stomach just the day before the exam, the heart sinking deeper because my syllabus was far from finished. Hugging the pillow as I listened to numbers requested by lovelorn boys for their crush on the radio and hoping someday someone would also dedicate a song to me. Sleepless nights, silent cries, dreamy sighs – my bed had seen it all. For me it was a place where I found and lost myself again and again.

I found out much later in life that it was not just me with an umbilical connection to my bed. Rather, laying on bed at awkward angles with legs propped up on the wall while philosophising about the purpose of your life is a national passion. RayMan’s favourite anecdote from his hostel days is when one of the parents came looking for their son and found instead a heap of skinny boys in their bare necessities (or not) stacked on each other.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Finding Me in Us


We have both found the ‘I’ in us and are not letting go of it. 

Every couple has their favourite chapter of their life they love regaling their friends with. Over the years their story-telling skills reach legendary proportions. They constantly scold each other for having missed the punchlines, laugh the loudest at their own jokes and pat themselves on their backs for having mesmerised their guests with their scintillating stories unmindful of their glazed eyes and loud yawns.

When they run out of friends, they wait for their kids to get married. Ask any daughter-in-law and she’ll agree, when-we-were-young-and-fabulous stories repeat themselves more often than history.

We have ours too and our favourite one goes back to our just married days. At that time we were two individuals with likes and dislikes as mismatched as Pahlaj Nihlani and rest of India’s views on censorship. The tea fanatic in him was appalled that his brand new mate for life couldn’t stand the sight of tea and preferred a glass of milk instead. The poor guy had envisioned both of us sipping tea and exchanging life’s philosophies with the setting sun. I was the Rajmah, bharta girl and he was the potoler-dalna, machher jhol guy.

Since we were in no mood to push our tastebuds out of their comfort zones, we’d cook our own meals. It didn’t help that we fell in love with each at different points of time. I mean when you are in love, don’t you partly surrender your ego and partly embrace his while he tch thchs at your temper tantrums?

He the rice eater would fix a 3 course meal in our dingy kitchen of our barsati half-submerged in his sweat-pool. Me, the roti girl would wonder if married life was about rolling amoeba shaped chappatis after a long day at work.

I think it was me who caved in first because I still remember how long and loud my Maa laughed when I told her I’d just had roti with aloo-posto. [To the uninformed, this is close to sacrilege]

As time progressed, our love matured from the tumultuous river gushing down the hills to its serene and deep version meandering through the plains. We embraced each other’s passions and peeves (most of them) while discovering new ones together. While we still stuck to our rice and roti ways, he learnt to appreciate chanaa masala with a hint of tanginess and I started cooking machh, chochoris and sukto during the weekend that we both ate with relish.

We’d cherish our us-time even if it meant watching a Hindi movie with me he didn’t quite fancy.

Not anymore.

For someone whose life revolved around her family and work suddenly decided she was missing the woman shorn of the roles of a mother, wife, daughter and sister. So I started thinking of things that made just me happy. It helped that I had just left my job with a fair bit of coercion from RayMan. With leisure time on hand I was now actively pursuing interests that I never had the time for.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Behind Every Successful woman are a Dozen Men Admiring Her Behind

Helpful tips on how to deal with sexual predators at office without having to kick his balls
Image courtesy - Google images


Hello Beti,

Congrats on landing your dream job. You must be soaring in the sky like an out of control kite. Allow me to fill you with dread and some unsolicited advice. Before I begin my monologue, let’s make it very clear - relinquishing your sanskaari position at home (the silent, supporting daughter-wife-mother behind a “man”) was a BAD IDEA. What made you think could step out of the house and become successful in your own right! Must have been those silly quotes that pop up like zits every Women’s Day.

Cool that you slogged your ass off to ace all your exams, made the company reject scores of candidates to hire you and are finally who and what you want to be. You also may have convinced yourself that you are capable, smart, intelligent and determined to achieve any goal you have set for yourself. But that guy in the corner cubicle giving you that creepy smile would rather have lauki ki sabzi every day of his life than accept this fact. For him you are just a piece of meat regardless of what you do and how many obstacles you scale to reach for that glass ceiling.

Don’t blame him. He has been on a diet of sexist WhatsApp forwards themed around shaadi-is-every-man’s-barbadi for so long, he has convinced himself of his bechara status. Never mind the clean house and warm meals that await him every evening. He’s too much of a decent guy to let go of his oppressive marriage and deprive his Missus of her many back-breaking duties and a listless life. Office is his only chance of fun on the side – yet another gyaan he has got from boss-secretary jokes where the secretary’s sole duty is to pleasure her boss.

So, it’s hardly a surprise that he is a firm believer of equality and harasses all women equally.

Correction. He fancies himself as a hopeless admirer of comely charms. When he finds a woman irresistible, he makes her aware of his sincere feelings through many thoughtful gestures like pinching her butt, sharing porn clips and suggesting they do a quickie to ease the unbearable tension between his legs.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A woman confident in her own skin is the beauty industry’s biggest nightmare

Courtesy - Google images


The beauty industry capitalizes on our insecurities because we let them.


My monthly visit to the salon plays like a typical saas-bahu saga that blares on telly every evening. The pedicure guy takes one look at my feet and starts weeping. With sad strains of violin playing in the background he looks up at me with sorrowful eyes and croaks – yeh kyaa haal banaya hai? I look shamefully at my calloused feet and croak back – that’s why I have come to you, you dickhead! If I am in a mood to severely disappoint many more, I get a hair-spa and sometimes a facial. The hair-spa guy runs his fingers through my hair, shakes his head in slow motion and before he can open his mouth I say no, I will not go for the ‘schizophrenia soaked in rare oils mined from Russia and then ground to fine paste with hibiscus and tiger testicles’ package. He looks heartbroken but I keep shaking my head like an autowallah who says no before you even say ‘bhaiyya?’ A lot depends on my no. If I let the facial lady have her way, she’ll will pull off the outer layer of my facial skin to reveal baby soft bleeding skin. She looks appalled when I tell her with a smug smile, I’m perfectly happy with my tanned skin and won’t do a thing to change it. Yet she tries to change my mind, every single time.

It’s a bit of a dilemma for me. On one hand I am constantly being told by my Facebook friends who I haven’t met about my gorgeousness. Then there are Twitter majnus who insist I’m the hottest thing to have happened since global-warming. And I believe every single one of them. So, you can imagine my consternation when I am told everything about me is sub-standard.

What, are you kidding me!

I get it, it is the salon’s job to make me feel miserable about myself. But it is my right to ask them to fuck off. Especially when I’m told they only way to beauty nirvana is a treatment that costs a king’s ransom.

The beauty industry, has built its fortune equating youth with beauty, slimness with desirability and dark skin tone that banishes you to a future as hopeless as Abhishekh Bachchan’s career. We are told, ageing is the gravest crime we can commit. Though Mr Pahlaj Nihalani who is dead against ladies indulging in unlady like fantasies may disagree. Therefore we must spend hours staring at the mirror, searching for fine lines, crow’s feet, dark spots and then arrest them immediately by mummifying ourselves with anti-ageing lotions, potions and serums. It works mostly, the guilt I mean. Many of us start believing in the magical powers of fairness in a tube, eternal youth in a pretty little jar and salon perfect hair in a plastic bottle.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ready for some hard-core pounding and grunting in public?


Story of a woman on a quest for that special one who can make her heart race faster


Let’s take a hypothetical character – a woman, plumpish of appearance, she spends a lot of time sharing and staring at her once upon a time slim pics. Even though she’d rather believe her Facebook friends who insist she’s gorgeous right after she calls them smoking hot, she doesn’t like what she sees in the mirror. Her state of mind is like a pendulum – swinging between proud to be me and dissatisfaction with her extra-large curves. But her pesky little inner voice keeps telling her she’s lazy and too mortified to take the big step. Till one day she can’t bear the burden of her procrastinations anymore. After much self- loathing and soul-searching deliberations, she walks into a commitment that she thinks will change her life.

She approaches him gingerly because she knows it’s she who has to make the first move. She notices he’s bulky, his muscles rippling, his eyes red from whatever he’s been taking. She really doesn’t care. With a lot of good, comes a little bad and she’s ready to embrace it all. She takes a deep breath before she croaks – main badi ass leke aaee hoon apke pass. He turns around, sizes her up and replies with a smile – don’t worry, madam. Together will make it smaller.

Thus begins their journey of turning her bhains into tight-ass. He is now her dartboard because she has pinned all her hopes on him. She’s convinced that her knight with his shining dumbbells will rescue her from her large sized jeans and squeeze her into size small. She has already dreamt of the looks of envy her friends will give her once she sashays in her skinnies that cling to her like fungus.

It’s not as rosy as she’s imagined it to be although she always ends up looking like an over-heated tomato, her hair in disarray once he’s done with her. The first few days she can’t even walk straight.

Sick bastard, she mutters to herself.

It’s a love hate relationship. He’s so brutal with her! Makes her carry weights, swing kettle-bells, run for her life, jump up and down while he sits like a lord and master ordering her around.

Some days when she’s grunting, screaming obscenities because it’s so painful, sweat trickling into her eyes from her eyebrows, and the brute who has promised to transform her screams WATER BREAK, she’s afraid she’ll actually pop out a baby.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Bhansali renames Padmavati to Mayawati and makes her great again

Bhansali bends backwards just like Ramdev.
Image courtesy - google.com

Protests over the movie “Padmavati” took a new turn with Rajput groups coming up with fresh demands of title change. It may be recalled that Karni Sena distressed over a script they had yet to read and a movie that’s yet to be made, beat up Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the director and vandalised the set. The incident drew sharp condemnations from the political community. Union Minister Giriraj Singh accused Bhansali of showing Rani Padma in a bad light just because she was a Hindu. BJP leader, Khandelwal went a step ahead and announced a reward of Rs 10,000 to anyone who hurls a shoe at the director. His fatwa is now being sponsored by Bata.

State President of Karni Sena, Mr Maarkaat Seeng expressing his displeasure said, “The film is deviating from facts about Padmavati presented in Amar Chitra Katha comics. In a WhatsApp rumour circulated in our community group, it has come to our notice that the honour of a queen who’s as fictitious as our outrage, is at stake. We as a community take our comics as seriously as we do rumours and will not tolerate any distortions. Since women can’t seem to make decisions for themselves and always need saving, the Karni Sena was just doing their duty.”

Sanjay Leela Bhansali wasted no time in appeasing the distressed sainiks who had thrashed him mercilessly. Sporting the same shirt lovingly torn by the protestors, he assured them that the romantic dream sequence will have Khilji touching Padmavati’s feet, after which he’ll scream Bharat Mata ki Jai.

The demand for title change was raised at a joint press conference convened by Rajput Sabha to announce that Bhansali needs to grovel some more to seek their permission to make the movie.

Bhansali, was quick to respond before they could take further offence and make his life hell. In a statement issued to the press he said “I’d like to assure the Rajput community, I am extremely sensitive to their sensitive feelings. I am trying my best to make my creative license die of natural causes. My team is in consultation with Salman Khan and his legal team. Mr Khan has assured me, he will run it over with his SUV and make his driver take the blame.”

He further went on to apologise for blatantly distorting the fictitious tale of Rani Padmini and Alauddin Khilji. Khilji, despite having considerable accomplishments to his credit, is only remembered for his unholy lust for someone else’s wife. Padmavati, instead of first bhai-zoning and then blocking him, chose to take her life and made sure her companions did the same. Bitch.

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