Monday, February 22, 2016

G - Goosebumps

There were camera lights flashing everywhere. Excited cousins and aunts were vying to be in every frame. I stood there. Watching. As two people signed up for a lifetime of togetherness. The sudden outburst of shehnai gave me goose bumps. It was happening. At that precise moment, things changed. For the father, the mother, the daughter, the groom, their friends. Everybody close to the two people. I realized how everyone standing there lost a portion of something they had held so dearly for so long. And yet, there was happiness deep down. The promise of new beginnings and hope of lifelong love, perhaps.

In all the pretentiousness and extravagance of our Indian weddings, there is this moment of truth that goes unnoticed. It is so easy to lose this moment, lose it to the flashes of the camera and the hurried directions of the pundit. It is so easy to not see the pain and tear escaping the father's eyes. It is so easy to miss the earnest look in the bride's soulful eyes, looking for some kind of comfort that she is taking the right step. You have to look, closely. You might see yourself. Listen, and you might hear your own story.

As I battled my emotions, I saw my mom across the mandap. Tears welled up in her eyes too. Maybe she was reminded of the time she gave her daughter away.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

F - Fitness

Hi there !

I am talking to you girl , to the woman you would be in 5 years from now.

How are you ? Juggling kids, jobs and home must be taking a toll on you. I am sure you are in the race for being the good wife, the perfect mother and the best employee, and in the chaos of it all, I hope you have thought about the perfect you.

Are you able to run after your kids to play tag or do you find it easy to shove an ipad into their hands ? Does that make you tired , playing with kids ? They want to see you energetic and fun-loving, to be around them, to be friends with them, to do things with them. Are your hectic day and aching joints denying them that ?

Do you still find time to bike around your community that you once so used to love ? I know there are 100 other things that you would rather use the time for, but still, wouldn't it be nice to indulge in your interests sometimes.

Like for a typical Indian woman, does your day start with cooking and end with cooking , with little or no time to look after yourself ? Like our mothers, do you think running around the house packing lunches, cleaning the kitchen and feeding the kids qualify as the "necessary" physical exercise your body needs ? Like all of us do, do you just apply that zandu balm for relief whenever your back aches with all the neglect and stress you have been giving it ?

What is your plan for the future ? Do you intend to take it as it comes or prepare well to prevent some common problems that have become so rampant? Does it scare you , to see your mom, who was so hale and hearty, suddenly ridden with problems ? It does to me. I wish she had treated her fitness as equally as looking after the family. More than the problem, she hates the feeling of being dependent .And I know, I wouldn't like that either.

I have gotten my act together now. I do not want to wait until my 40s to contract thyroid or sugar to make walking my daily routine. I do not want a Physiotherapist to tell me to make yoga part of my routine. I want to be able to run after my kids. To be able to squat when I want to and spring up when needed. I want to be able to play tennis in my free time. I want to continue biking or swimming when I need to clear my head of stress. More importantly, I want to be able to do all these with my kids.

You might argue that it is how it is. 90% of women we know have been through exactly the same thing. Mommy, chachi, neighbor aunty, colleagues. Yes, but no.
No, its not a norm to have a full grown belly after delivery. You can absolutely get back in shape.
No, its not usual to be occupied with household chores and not have time to do 30 min of yoga.
No, its not natural to have forgone all the things you liked to do because you have kids now and more important things to look after.

I can say that because of what I see here, in the US. I see 50 year olds who look younger and fitter than me. I see 60 year old couples playing tennis in the park. I see a woman, old enough to be my mother, teaching zumba with that raw, wild energy I so clearly lack. I see them and wonder why we never did all these back home. Why it took us so long to embrace yoga, that too only after the west practiced and promoted it so religiously. Why gym was a fancy place only rich/self-obsessed kids go to.

So here I am, asking you to take out sometime for yourself. Urging you to treat your health importantly. Skip that soap on TV or wake up 30 minutes early or plan your day better, but do something. Before it becomes absolutely necessary.

I have made fitness my life goal. I will try to work out either by biking/ swimming/ tennis/ zumba dancing 4 hours a week. I found Shilpa Shetty yoga on you tube a good start for beginners. You can start doing it on weekends and once you remember the asanas, it takes a maximum of 30 minutes to finish it.

So woman, buckle up and be the super girl you want to be. Eat healthy. Stay healthy.

PS : This is not just for women. Holds equally true to men who have left their fitness in the rat hole.

Some tips that can help.

1. First, eat healthy.

2. Eat small, frequent meals.

3. Drink lot of water. I used to drink only 2-3 glasses a day. But now, I add mint leaves and some lemon to my 1-liter water bottle. That makes me more thirsty and easily drink 3 litres now. Find out ways that work for you.

4. Practise yoga every morning. It is for your overall body fitness. With an unfit body , you cannot do any other form of exercise. So first strengthen your muscles.

5. Pick up a routine. Get a bike or take up a sport. Or get a membership in a gym. If you have to stay home, treadmill works best.

6. Plan your day better. To save time, decide the menu for the week beforehand. Share chores with

7.Start slow. With weekends.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

E - Empty

Empty. Like a body without soul.
Empty. Like a mind crowded with meaningless thoughts.
Empty. Like a pursuit without goal.
Empty. Like a broken promise.
Empty. Like a hollow laugh.
Empty. Like a misplaced heart.
Empty. And craving for some emotion.
Empty. Like living without life.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

D - The Dreadful Dentist

Disclaimer : Read at your own risk. A very long post and a potential gross-ery bag.

Have you ever been to a dentist ? Ever victimized by the brutalities of masked people who call themselves doctors ? If yes, welcome to the club. If not yet, I wish you will, err , well.

My last dental experience was traumatic, to say the least. I was ushered in by a sweet handsome doctor, with a broad smile. He introduced himself and led me to a small room that had the infamous dentist chair. He tucked me in, covered me with a lead vest  and took care of me like I was a princess. I felt pampered and all excited to have this guy work on my tooth !

A few minutes later, his assistant came in and she explained that they had to get my x-rays done. She pulled out a huge machine from the closet, shoved a big piece of tube with a special piece of paper and asked me to bite it. As I did that, one of the sharp edges was cutting against my gum. "I am so sorry sweety..I know it hurts. Sorry we have to do this to you". I gushed and blushed with the overflow of care they were showing and blurted out "Its alright. You are just doing your job. I will be okay". There - that's your first WARNING sign. You just gave them the green signal unwittingly.

One other things to keep in mind is BRUSH your teeth before you go to see a dentist. Not just rinse. BRUSH. I was such a fool, I had a sumptuous lunch and visited the doctor. Thanks to the advancements made in technology that occasionally brings out disturbing realities, the instruments  that they put in your mouth had small built-in cameras and the patient and the doctor can see the much enlarged version of whatever-portion-of-your-mouth-they-are-interested-in. What I saw on the screen shamed me to death. I wanted to run and hide in a corner. I almost puked. I swore I will never eat dal in my life. The doc went on and on about the cavity he was seeing, but my eyes were stuck at the yellow patch of dal that refused to leave my attention.

When it comes to me, everything has to be a lesson learnt the hard way. Sigh. Now, I brush twice every day.

I was still recovering from the mental derangement when they pushed back the chair to sleeping position and asked me to open my mouth wide. I silently obliged. Two people were peering into my mouth, discussing the cavity and next set of actions. I closed my eyes. I am not sure why I did that. Was it because they were too close or was it to avoid being a witness to a dismal performance, I am not too sure. Whatever it was, I shut my eyes and tried to pretend I was on a beach chair, in Miami.

The doctor put his finger in mouth and opened it wide, all the while pulling and stretching my cheeks. The assistant shoved in a tube all round my mouth that sucked in the saliva. Then I felt something prick real hard and my entire side going numb. It probably was the anesthesia. What's the need , I thought. These doctors in America are overly sensitive and concerned about pain. How much pain will it cause anyway?

Water jets were shot, the horrible sound it makes when it gets into contact with the tooth was appalling. My gums were stabbed. I tried to open my eyes a little, to catch a glimpse of what was going on. The doctor was preparing to setup a drill machine. My mouth was like a construction site. A small open piece of land that you are digging up first to build something. You drill, you use big machinery, you cement. They made a stool out of my chest, dropping and picking tools off it. I never felt so used  in my life.

Having kept my mouth open for about 20 minutes now, my jaws began to hurt. I was scared that they might get locked in that position. So I tried to move them to see if they still functioned as they should." don't wanna do that. Don't move. Or whatever we are fixing will come loose." The doctor threatened me.

I had so many things done to my teeth in a month, so many tools put in my mouth, so many non-edible-clay-like-plaster-of-Paris stuck to my teeth, that all the Syrian refugee stories pale in front of what my mouth had gone through. You go through a myriad of emotions. Shame for feeling exposed, you know, you have bared your mouth to two complete strangers. Along with all its dirty secrets. Worthless for being used like a piece of furniture. Anger for letting them bruise you all over. Pain and misery after you go home and the anesthesia starts to wear off and you cannot drink TEA!

The dentists and their assistants and their receptionists, and the chair , and the tools, and everything and everyone want you hurt and bruised. Mentally, orally and what-not-ally. Don't ever get fooled by the nice-glistening-toothy-pearly-white-grinning-posters that you see on the walls. That's a dream, buddy.

For me, sadly, its not all over yet. I never imagined my own teeth are letting me down like this :\

Take care of your teeth, will ya ? They can come back at you in a way only I can imagine.

PS : It was bad..but not that bad. Just wanted to make it a funny post and I read somewhere that you have exaggerate to make it funny. So. Not my fault if you cry and roll-on-the-floor-like-a-baby to avoid going to a dentist.

Now, have a good laugh. The first thing I do after coming to work is look at this first picture. It gives me a good laugh the rest of the day.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...