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Family is where my heart is! Whilst I am always a Work In Progress, I have always put my heart into whatever I do – be it family, relationships, work or whatever I do! I am a person who genuinely gives 100% into everything to the extent there was a time a well wisher told me that he is worried I would burn out and I may not know that, but he is amazed with what I do! He did ask me to Slow down. that was exactly 3 years ago!
I have steadily been making progress since 2018 into self-care and have started being body-confident. I have figured out what I need for my soul – me times; yoga and reading whilst I cope with parenting a strong willed teen who also has lots of energy, opinions and questions, which I believe is quiet natural, engaging and it is what that makes the bond stronger! There are other personal close but limited family relationships that matter to me the most – husband, mom, extended family and friends! I agree and accept that anything is always a work in progress as I have my meltdowns, learnings, reflections and actions!
Sometimes I do wonder, am I enough? am I doing enough? Then after some real self – talk, I realise these questions about the ‘enough’ is not helpful or purposeful and then I circle back to the purpose and what I really want! It gets complicated at times, though!
Reassurances always comes to me when I am at the most confused state – I think it’s God’s own way of telling me “I have your back”. Be it some unexpected “well-done’s” for myself or Yuvan’s Primary School teacher sending me a heart felt text about Yuvan’s letter to her on teacher’s day; how special Yuvan is for her or those freaking conversations with random strangers that always gives me an answer to my ‘then’ confusion!
Somewhere, I tell myself, though I agree I am always a work in progress – I have been giving my best to this little man of mine my fullest as a mom (nagging, annoying, kae po and what not). Conversations with him have been eye opening on various topics, I learn every day from him, as I see how he handles new school, new syllabus, new responsibilities! Whilst he knows I have his back, we do argue, melt down and reconcile. I am open and I tell him “I am learning every day being a parent and I am doing my best. I am sorry, if I have hurt you”.
Whilst I thought I have been making efforts, I also realised that in recent times, I have been exhausting myself, stretching beyond. I have now accepted I need to consciously pause and do things that also gives me soulful experiences (just like what I am doing right now.. reviving a post that was sitting in the drafts for good 4 months). Ultimately what matters in life is something different than what I may be chasing now. I had my big wake up call in late last year and that has impacted my whole outlook towards life.
It’s time for perspective thinking and give myself every day simple but immersed experiences – like blogging, listening to music (now I know why Y listens to music before bed almost everyday), reading, ‘be present’ conversations and self-care!
Bravo! Aren’t we all work in progress everyday?
fills you, when you see things happen out of the blue in the way you may have wanted, at the right time! This is true for anything:-)
I had this guilt of not building a routine for kids household chores, as I genuinely believe that it has to come with shared responsibility, interest and acknowledging one another and not forced upon. But what has been bothering me in the back of my mind was ‘Am I taking efforts and creating opportunities for it to happen?’
Over the years, Yuvan has willingly done house chores like setting the dining table, clearing it, grocery shopping as well as assisting on anything when one needs help at home; learning to reheat food etc at a pace of his own, on top of being responsible for some of his very own chores – that mummy insists must be on his own. This also seemingly worked well with ‘wanting to be more independent’ phase of his!
But I had always thought about why he has not been picking up chores like mopping, which I genuinely believe is a core job on top of cooking and cleaning to be shared by everyone in the family. I had also thought of his mind set etc (now I know it was unnecessary..) towards these chores! Suddenly, in the last week or so, he had willingly learnt to use the pail with spinner and mop small areas such as kitchen, store room and living room after cleaning the fish tank etc., And I can see he is genuinely willing to do it and I appreciate that. And off course no mind set issues! He has been learning how to wash the rice before cooking too.He also has conversations about me being naggy and at the 5th minute after complaining and being grumpy, checking on how am I getting home/office after I drop him at school.This boy never fails to amaze me as much as he makes me go crazy!Love you Yuvan!The important thing I want you to remember is Be respectful and be a Gentleman!
One of Yuvanz school holiday project was to analyze poems given in particular themes and come up with mood boards. The theme of his poems were Poverty and one of it was on Hunger specifically and the other set in Mumbai.
Whilst I was helping him with logistics as he was putting together his project, a lot of reflections crossed my mind:
- There is so much out there happening around me and I am not anywhere in that zone.
- Hunger is the World’s biggest epidemic
- The divide is very huge – social, economical and political
- Why hunger?
- Am I being truly grateful for what I have been provided for and what I am able to provide for?
- What can I do? Am I doing my part being a responsible human being?
Why Hunger? It reminded me of this famous thought-school, ‘Consuming only what exactly you need is indirectly making it available to the needy!’ This I think is a powerful thought, which needs action. Starts from within!
I am grateful that this served as an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with Yuvan. Yuvan questioned whether it is the respective government’s responsibility to ensure no one goes hungry as much as possible? He seemed quite taken aback with the whole issue of Hunger for Food and Poverty.
I was thinking: Has he been so sheltered?
It was interesting when he mentioned hunger drives people to be desperate. He continued that hunger can also be related in terms of hunger for success, money etc. not just hunger. ‘Desperate’ for food could lead to stealing or begging; The other worldly hungers leads to cheating, power struggles and a huge impact on undermining values.
This thought process from him literally gave me a shock in both ways, though very insightful!
I told him, yes I completely agree. But there are so many millions in the World who go hungry every day for food, with no basic necessities like shelter and clothing too. We spoke about the Dabbawalas and the ‘Share the dabba’ initiative in Mumbai. Looking at what transpires and the humble lives they live and impact they create in so many people’s lives as well to come up with initiative to feed those in need is a point in reflection by itself! It was also point of reflection for me on food wastage and sharing!
One of his image was the World famous one by Kevin Carter and that brought out subjects like famine, depression and suicide – talking about Kevin Carter’s death.
Millions in the pocket would do nothing if there is no heart to share and care!
Being consciously grateful is the way of life! Be Kind, Love, Live and Let Live!
and being grateful are some habits I have been practicing recently and I do acknowledge its increasingly difficult to be aware of it consciously every moment!
With a boy at the brink of breaking into being a teen, trying to identify himself, being aware that every choice he makes he also have to embrace the consequences and wanting independence and yet falling back to you is a very intensive phase of parenting! Me, fighting hard about letting go and yet having an eye on him, doing the ‘kite-flying’ parenting, the decision of how much to let go to strike a balance adds to it!
I am in a phase in my life where I have started to acknowledge, practice gratefulness, be thankful as well avoid comparison. I am celebrating myself and people around me for who they are and making mindful choices following my heart! I feel very raw at times!
Having said all this, it all comes back to seizing the moment! But yes it comes with its very own challenges; about losing it, being argumentative and losing the vision of what I want to achieve out of the very moment! I am getting there… getting there… slowly…
Last week there was a need for his phone to be repaired (thankfully it was the glass and not the screen), I spent time with Yuvan right after his school getting it done combined with a late lunch with him. It was a first, including me taking some time-off from work at that hour!
We took the train and we both were standing opposite to each other in the section where the two compartments are joined and truly enjoyed the motion of tge train and we smiled at each other! A previous memory by itself!
As we were walking after lunch to collect the phone back, I spotted a McD ice-cream and said, ‘Lets have ice-cream!’ That’s when he offered ‘I shall treat you for ice-cream from the money you gave me for today’ and it was an ‘aha’ moment as a mum. I just looked at him in awe as he queued up, bought and handed one to me.
He also noticed that the lad who served us was physically challenged and told me later on ‘I am so glad McD does this.. Isn’t a good thing to treat everyone equal?’ Well, another moment to cherish that he noticed; he is mindful, appreciating and accepting!
Sometimes I do think that he completely throws me off guard with his conversations and at the same time I accept he is argumentative for very minor things. But at-least now I know, scientifically proven, a 12 -16 year old brain works that way!
We did have our ‘argumentative conversations’ and I immediately spotted my emotions, his and did some recovery! More to come! As I learn and grow with him everyday!
Food always brings Nostalgia, isn’t it?
Recently I have been noticing that lot of emotions are connected to food and intertwined with relationships! For example, people who cooked for you, people who served your cravings right and the people whom you always eat with… and the list goes on!
Even “Let’s meet for a coffee… or breakfast” is always associated with people. If I think, one doesn’t share a meal-time or a coffee-time unless that person significantly is a part of your life!
I always associate food with my emotions, happy, sad, homesick (Yes! you read that right… Homesick is a feeling for me!).
When I am happy, I would treat myself with a brownie or when I tell myself “Well, you deserve a brownie for all the hard work and the result you have achieved”, when I am down and homesick, I typically make very Coimbatorean home cooked meals and eat with the right combination – Brown Upma with Yoghurt/Banana; Rasam with Scrambled Eggs; Tamarind rice with home made potato chips and the list goes on!
There are certain recipes when I eat, I get reminded of my Mom’s kitchen and eating at home in India – Poori and Potato Masala; Idli and Chicken Gravy!
There are days that I land in Coimbatore and crave for something and my bestie would drive me to the odd but favourite places where we eat Grilled Chicken, a completely Vegan restraurant where we indulge in early morning Hot Pongal and Vadai, a Dessert Haunt for Rasagulla and not to forget our favourite street food vendor who sells North Indian Chats.
One of the best New Year Eve was spent driving around the city and having Idli and Dosai from Kaiyaenthi Bhavan and a mid night Coffee at Cafe Day!
Even in SG, there are only a specific set of people with whom I meet for Breakfast or had gone out for lunch with. Yuvan and me bond over food too, be it home-cooked or eating out his favourite Thai or the very Singaporean Satay and Chicken Rice!
I love taking my Mom out whenever I am back home, I cherish are the evening outs with my cousin A, my brother and Yuvan eating out or bonding over lunch/dinner at either one of the home’s.
So looking at it Food and my Relationships are so intertwined and completely emotional for me! Its meaningful!
It has been close to a year since I blogged but never through this break, in my thoughts, the blog had gone away from my mind and heart!
It has been an intense year, where I have definitely grown as a person, individually, as a parent as well as professionally. The biggest take away during the break has been appreciating the support system that exists around me that I had failed to notice earlier, being grateful and counting my blessings in the pursuit of happiness!
An year which has been a milestone year for Yuvan, finishing Primary school, falling terribly down with fever during the school leaving examinations, but persevered with lots of determination. He may have fallen short of his own expectations in terms of his number but his new journey that he worked hard for is all set to begin. Lots of gratitude and thankfulness around it! Life is all about little things and looking back … all the little messages (from a cabbie to a random stranger), hints and directions towards what I once never wanted nor dared to dream off, now makes more sense and I truly believe in the light of the supreme power!
Blessed I have made some meaningful friendships, I have realized self love and self care should take priority. A year that has been so intense at work and at home for me… I think I more than survived and my solo first work trip to Sydney was a reward at the end of the year — time for myself, time for Yuvan himself and how it has made both of us a better individual, is something immeasurable.
A year where there were reassurances all through, be it a mention about me by Yuv’s form teacher to his whole class or me witnessing Yuvan telling the P with 40 degrees fever, ‘I am really ok with medication and I want to finish this paper..’, it all summed up to be an year to remember the small wins amidst lots of chaos.
A year, where I have learned to say No, a year where I have forged some great connections, a year Me n Yu flew back home to spend Diwali at my mom’s after 10 years, a year when we lost Shadow – our beloved family dog, a few health scares for my mom.. what an year it has been!
Through all this, I have grown as a person, I am sure I have become a better person. In all this, I am grateful and thankful for all my blessings, everything I have for I realise it could have easily been worse! Everyday I am growing to be more aware, appreciating every little thing, learning to be parent and striving to be a better person!
With all my heart, thank you everyone I met and had the opportunity to spend time with, you all made a difference! I am thankful for my experiences, for it made me a better person!
I shall continue to blog!
Just dont overthink is a recent wisdom of sorts; Knowing the unknown helps but overthinking kills it!
A good 45 minutes walk, cycling and greens and a breakfast with Yuvan on a school holiday is something I would have never thought off! But in the end we both were refreshed and happy, Yuvan asking me, this already being the second time in the week, “Can we do it tomorrow too?”