Hey, sit down !

Last week, on the flight home, the friendly aeroplane announcer told us,” As we commence our descent, we ask you to return to your seats, fasten your seat belts and wait in silence..” ( not quite but near enough).

Since it was around 2 am, most people were already in their seats or belted in.

One passenger chose that moment to get up and walk to the WC( the seat belt sign was on by this time). He actually managed to take a few steps to his destination. Everyone who was awake noticed this but no one said a word. The quiet still air was broken by a loud, ” Hey, sit down!”.

Whether in response to this order or otherwise, I can’t tell, the passenger hurried back to his seat at an even greater pace than the one at which he was moving to the WC a few moments back.

Sometimes some people need to hear home truths, don’t you think so ?

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Oh, to be able to keep quiet

Have you wished you could keep quiet in a situation which does warrant you/ make you itch to offer your take ? Are there times when you know things will work out on their own without your interference ? Surely there are are moments in your life, when you know this is what is to be done and offer advice, only to find it was not taken or that people did what they planned to do anyway? Let me give a few examples from my life:

  1. Daughter 2, who is home with me now, preparing for her college exams, told me her Physics teacher is leaving tomorrow for his native country. Without his coaching during these last few days before her exam will turn her preparation upside down, for she hadn’t factored in, his leaving in the middle of the year. She has to come up with plan B, which she hasn’t. She shared her concern with me Thursday( two days back). My first reaction was to plan on calling the teacher and asking, no begging him to postpone his going back for a month or so, until daughter was better prepared for said exam( her exams are scheduled for the first week of May). Deep down, I knew I shouldn’t get involved- I would only bungle things up. So I held on, with great difficulty. I had to bite my tongue( that is, hold my fingers back from typing a Whatsapp message to the teacher). I held back till today morning, when in a very soft manner, sent him a message, asking him if he was leaving and he replies- Ma’am I am still here and I will be here still. What a relief ! But imagine if I had called him up and asked him about his plans and the drama that would have unfolded. Thank God I held on against my better feelings. See, things do work out in the end.Whatsapp
  2. Daughter 1, who is home at another coaching place, called me up this morning telling me she came down to the common mess to find another girl eating from her plate. The plate in question is kept on the mess counter with her name marked on it, so it is only for her use. Apparently, the girl in question took the plate and served herself breakfast on it and when daughter 1 reached the mess, the girl was already eating on the plate. Let me add that my daughter is a vegetarian and cannot ever eat on a plate where meat or fish has been eaten. It is an obsession with her. So when she saw this happen in front of her eyes, she questioned the girl. The girl replied that since her name was not written on it, she ate on the plate. The audacity ! The cheek ! Daughter 1 called me, sobbing and crying aloud. She is 24. Girl cryingShe was offended. I was actually amused by the whole episode but made sympathetic noises at the proper times to show daughter 1 that I was empathetic but she had to deal with the issue herself. I was amazed at how I had changed over the years. A younger me would have taken the phone, called up the hostel and make a ruckus over someone hurting my daughters’ feelings. Today, I didn’t do anything of the  sort. I maintained a silence and did not share this with my husband or my other daughter who can easily raise up the drama quotient by rising up in arms. It turns out this was the best way. A few hours later, when I checked on daughter 1, she seemed to be busy putting in her application to a new college and forgotten the episode. I was left back in time, while she advanced to the next event in her life.         I am upset

 

I can write many tales of this sort from my life about when it was wiser and less-adrenaline secreting for all concerned when I didn’t open my mouth. I thought of Jesus drawing on the ground with a stick when people were accusing the woman brought in adultery to him and maintaining a dignified silence. There is dignity in silence. You can empathize with a person even through silence.  If fewer words are spoken, lesser, unproductive emotions come out and life becomes a lot easier because after all things turn out the way they were destined to turn out, in the end.

Lost passport

After her SAT exam, daughter 2 called me to pick her up from outside the hall. I was in the library getting some books, and as it was pretty close, I told her I would be there in a minute or two.

I drove past her building, saw her standing outside and I am pretty sure I saw her with the folder in which she kept her hall ticket and passport but it was a fleeting glance. I went straight on, turned back at the roundabout, took a U-turn and came back to be able to get to my daughter. Rather a long way to get her, you think ? Its true but when I saw her with the folder, she was on the other side of the road and to reach the “other side of the road”, I had to follow the roundabout route.

The exam didn’t go too well. So we discussed her options as I drove homewards. I forgot about her folder and passport but somewhere, subconsciously I did remember her having done something with it in the car.

On the way home, since it was already 2 pm,we decided to go to an Iranian restaurant which daughter 2 had noted some time ago. So we found ourselves parking and went to the said restaurant. The food was good, ambience very soothing and service quick. During the meal, I asked daughter 2 about her passport and she said it must be in the car- so I let it go.

After the meal, when we reached the car, I asked her about the passport again and we looked for it in the car but didn’t find it. All we found were my 4 library books, my handbag and a bottle of water- no hall ticket or passport.

At home, daughter went off to bed, being tired but she did search for the passport cursorily.

Many hours later, I drove off to the gym in my car- I searched the car thoroughly when I returned but couldn’t find the passport. Now I was convinced, she had left it in the exam center and that I had to go tomorrow and if possible try to get if from the security guard.

These were my thoughts when I got out from the bath tub this evening. I went to daughter’s room where she was doing her homework. I asked her about the passport and she told me she found it in the car. What a relief !

 

Dear Lord

I am up this morning early. it is a habit to wake up around this time of day now. The sun is still sleeping but the early birds are chirping their sweet song. These bird sounds will not be heard much longer here for summer is fast approaching.

As summer comes closer and the winter/Spring weather recedes to the background, I am left with regrets. Where did the cold weather go ? The natural cold I mean. Our buildings are naturally kept cold through winter and even colder during summer, so there is no want for using winter clothes through the year.

H& M has sales and some discounts on winter clothes. Now is a good time to buy. But like King Solomon, at this moment, I feel – why should I ? What is the point ? I am going to hotter climates when I return home and there will be no need for such warm clothes there. If I move to colder climes for my Master’s program, I will need much warmer clothes than those I have.

My daughter’s mental state worries me, Lord. She talked to me openly yesterday. She said that she thought Medicine was a mistake for her. She wants to take up a creative line- something that involves writing and other means of creating things. She is in to photography now. She does not want to enter the rat race that is Medical practice and get lost or stuck in a rut that is predictable. She wants unpredictability and adventure in her life. She wants to see life.

To me, it reads as though she is lonely and is in want of a good friend. Till the time, she finds that special human friend, I pray that you hold her hand and give her life direction.

I pray that she sees an opportunity for what it is- a window to a new life.

I pray that she does not lose herself in the glitter of life and is grounded throughout her life.

I pray that she finds good friends to help her along the way of life. I pray that she learns to trust and to let go sometimes and that it is ok to cry.

I pray that her life gives her plenty of adventure and excitement but that she stays grounded through it all.

Baby Shower

A few days back, Outlook sent me an invitation to a Baby Shower in my University. I did not know the mother- to- be in person but thought if someone thought I was good enough to be invited to a party, I should make the effort to go. ( The fact that I have never attended a Baby Shower might have influenced my decision  a little).

At 12, we went into room 137, the room booked for the purpose. There were balloons galore, and food on the table and a cake too. A lot of women, some known and a few unknown moved around the room. Some were signing cards and some chatting in small groups around the room. There seemed to be a strange disunity in the group though all had come for the same purpose. And there was no mother- to- be !

Someone mentioned that the mother was going to get the surprise of her life for she hadn’t been told there was a party in her honor. I wondered how they were going to get her to come to the room. Did I mention the room had only women ?

A couple of the ladies, took up those long thin tube things that they shoot up  in the air to throw up confetti-type material on the person of honor and positioned themselves near the door. Someone opened the door when they saw a shadow on the glass door. The mother walked in with the chief organizer of the party. The gun person shot her gun and it rained confetti on the mother, who looked petrified at the scene and the gunshot.

She soon realised that there was a  party and the party was in her honor. Gathering her wits, she soon adjusted to the room and the various women, from different departments who came to wish her well. At least 25 women showed up and it was a gala affair.

The women were given small blobs of plastic clay and asked to model babies. It was a party game. Everyone participated manfully or should I say playfully. One of the women who made a unicolored baby won the prize. Her gift was a data bank. Someone went around asking people to guess the abdominal girth of the mother to be in inches. The mother is a small made woman with not too much of a tummy. I guessed 28  inches. She measured 39 inches, and I was way off. The woman who guessed 38 won as her entry was the closest to reality.

We then gathered around for cake cutting and wishing the mother the best. Some of the women shared their experiences with labor and pain and epidural anesthesia. Some described the process of “normal labor”. Most agreed that “labor pain” should not be endured when there was the option for alleviation of pain.

Soon all the women gathered around the conference table to eat food. Later photographs were taken for memories and finally good wishes conveyed to the mother who gave a speech thanking everyone who attended.

IT was a great party and a first for me.