How long should we hang on to the past? My answer would be, "Forever the good; Never the other" Without much efforts we can all do the first part, however putting the second part in action takes some determination.
I have had very good memories growing up and hardly any bad. People always loved us, respected my parents, laughed together, cried with us, and so life was good. People I met later in life were different; they didn't love us as much, didn't care for my parents much, no laughing or crying together and life was a little rough.
They said this; did that; didn't do this; didn't say that. I am also at fault of similar "crimes" I said this, did that; didn't do this; didn't say that. In my mind, there is a reason for everything I said or did; but who cares for the reasons - their focus is on the action. Similarly they may have a reason too; but do I care; hardly.
From time to time pride comes in between demanding self dignity; or worse yet self pity comes in between suggesting aloofness and indifference. Lately I feel there needs to be an end to such "dangling references" and so I have started the process of "garbage collection" to clear out the system. What good is it to hold on to the past that brings fresh tears and a broken spirit? It will only reprieve the joy of present, and the peace of future. Also, if we truly believe God is in control, why do we carry it all?
Imagine how it will be if we don't empty our garbage bins regularly. Now imagine keeping the garbage for years and years to come... Can we stand the smell of it? Will people care to stop by? Will it keep us all hale and healthy? Will it help improve the quality of life? Will it help make a happy family?
As you would agree, it is not worth renting space in our minds for such garbages of the past... It is time to let loose the garbage of life and travel light. To keep the air fresh and to build a happy home.
As I try to "walk the talk"... here's wishing you the best with your garbage collection too.
As the routines of day to day life keeps us busy, sometimes I have taken things for granted... There are times I have felt like the constant demands of the family to be obstacles to my agenda... But I realize now that I can't move an inch without them and that my life spins around them...
There are times I have given much importance to friends and gatherings while completely ignoring my little children as I busily prepare things for the party days in advance and clean up days after. Sometimes I have been selfish, claiming "My Time" to read a book or to watch a movie or even to write a blog post.
Begining to realize some mistakes of "not spending quality time" with the kids. Now that they are growing up at full swing, I am determined to spend as much time as possible with them, taking them places, doing things with them, putting my agenda aside till they are in bed at night...
Truly they are amazing kids and I am so blessed to have them. Praying for their safe return; and growing fonder as I do... It is very true that "absence makes the heart grow fonder"!
In every marriage, there is baggage; from both sides. Some choose to travel light but many go with all their allowances plus more. They may bring along parents, siblings, their desires, wild dreams, give aways, set rules, traditions, pasts, likes, dislikes etc. which are very different from our own.
So far I was trying to unclaim the baggage from our marriage. It was too heavy for me to consider and seemed unncessary in many cases. I am sure my better half would say similar things about mine.
When I look back at our 11 years of marital bliss it is this baggage that has always caused a rift. As long as we ignored it the ship sailed smooth; but when we chose to discuss it, it sure rocked the boat.
So, what is the solution here?! Of course, claiming the baggage as your own! That's my lessons learned. It took me many years to accept that; but when I tried it, my burden became light.
At the end of life there should be no regrets. Generation passes, life moves on, kids will be in our shoes sooner or later, if we can't claim our baggage there is no way we can set a good role model for our children's marriage.
How much we saved or how big we lived will have absolutely no effect when we are all wrinkly and frail. How did we handle our luggage; did we handle it with care or we dragged it hard up and down, did we lose any valuables on the way, was there anything we could have done to make life better - would be the things our minds will return to. So when time is still in our hands, let's claim our baggage and set forth in the journey - rest of the way.
I once read, if we were all asked to bundle up our problems, all put them in a bucket and each of us were asked to pick one bundle from the bucket, most of us will be happy to claim our own bundle back. Isn't that ineteresting? So my baggage will seem heavy only until I check with yours; comparing with others, mine might not be so bad after all...
It's a wonderful life folks and we get only one chance to attempt it. Lets not let petty things spoil the fun. Trust me when we are ready to bear, Almighty cares and makes it easy & light!
"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." - Psalm 68:19 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest... For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." - Mathew 11:28-30 "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." - Galatians: 6:2
I was catching up with a friend today and we both agreed on how we NRI's are frozen in time when it comes to things of past. Where we left India that's exactly where we wish to return to - to the same frame, to the same scene and to the same state of mind....
We wondered if it happens to people who are married and settled in India or is it only the NRI's who go through this "freeze mode"?! I wonder if this is just a "girl thing" or guys too experience similar syndrome...
For many years I was sending stickers to the little kids I knew - imagining them as still "little kids" - forgetting that life moved on at their end too and now they are out of college!
I would chat with friends/family and continue with the same set of jokes we laughed at ten years ago as if it just happend yesterday. Their response would be, "You remember things from that long ago?!"
When I receive a wedding invitation for someone, my immediate response would be, "Already they are marrying her off?!" just to realize to my utter dismay that it is not "already" it is "about time" and that the clock has struck a few times since I last saw her!
When people ask what they can get for me glady I say, "orange hard candy" and they raise their eye brows in disbelief...
Even now to wear saree or to do an updo it feels like 'that's for adults' as if I am still a child... What's wrong with me?! I am glad atleast one another friend agrees with me that she too is in a "frozen" state.
How about others? If any of you know a trick or two to get thawing going, please share with us; we sure would like to catch up with time...
Turning back in life I realize my identity has been fully defined as a wife and mother - rather than just plain me. There have been days I have longed to be just me - the plain old me; but in reality without my family around I am just a blank space, a void, a null, a nil - whatever you call it...
Nothing else seems to matter - no birthday parties or friends company or church picnics or garage sales; it is no joy attending alone... Even the things I have always wanted to do but never could get around to, has to now wait till they are back - so that I will have the excuse I don't have the time to get to it...
Can't wait for them to hurry back home; to help me regain my identity.
My beloved children: Thanking God for your safe trip to India. I know it was a loo..ng journey. I am glad Papa could accommodate you in the last minute. I am sure you guys must be exhasuted after the three flights and car rides. I hear from Papa you guys were amazing and I am so proud of you!
The home is very clean but empty without you. I am already doubting our decision to let you go for the entire summer. Hope and pray you have the best of time with Grandma and cousins and Aunts & Uncles.
As you might have observed now, life does exist outside of Planet USA. Be open to see India; how people live without the comforts we are so familiar with here at home. What we demand as basic needs here such as running water, air condition, microwaves, cars, internet etc. are signs of luxury back home. Praising God Grandmas are blessed that they can take care of most of your needs. Remember not all can afford it all; but most of them are very happy for what they have. That's what makes life more interesting in India.
Learn to be happy and contented. Don't shut yourself inside the airconditioned walls in front of the television. Get out; breath some fresh air; play out in the sun, learn to rest in the shades of neem trees or coconut trees; it's good for you afterall.
I am sure you will have plenty of company to play with; be kind to all. Try to learn our language; it will only make you smarter knowing many languages. Language connects us with the local people of a region. Did you know Grandpa - my Dad- knew as much as five languages?! He was fluent reading and writing in five different languages.
As much as we are Americans; we are Indians as that is our roots; our identity. Let's not forget that.
Rachel, try to update your blog frequently... Pictures can tell a lot of story; so try to post as much as you can... ofcourse whenever Grandma's internet is up!
Much love to all three of you darlings. When Papa comes back send me some 'murukku' - my favorite snack.
Passing cows, Greener paddy, tall Palm trees, lush green water,
Flowing breezy coconut trees and the bluest blue skies,
Pedestrians, bicylces,rickshaws, buses, lorries, bullock carts all sharing the roads, brisk ladies with large baskets on their heads, their feet rushing on the hot dry land, sweating farmers as they toil for our yield, shady naps oh! so relaxing...
Uniformed school kids with neatly braided hair,
Busy mothers as they rush to send them off to school, Fathers always relaxed in the corner coffee shops reading the latest news...,
Street vendors calling out vegetables, salt and fish
Home makers calling out for their favorite vendor lists...
Post men in bicycles bringing good tidings, passers by ask for water to keep them calm and cool...
Aromas of local favorite snacks, ice cream carts calling out after school kids, freshly brewed coffees in everyone's home, chatting neighbors, returning fathers, playing kids, screaming boys, loud speaker music from the new corner shop, flower vendors bicycling fresh jasmins, roses and more...
Working mothers rush back home with store bought dinner or snack, home makers are fresh and clean welcoming their clan...
Newspapers, magazines keep us through the night, night lights, mosquitoes, bright moon and twinkling stars, all the familiar smells make me long for my home, my home sweet home...oh! how sweet, how relaxing, my home sweet home...
Its one thing to love a person but its quite another to like that person... Probably you have heard it vice versa. But I feel 'liking' is more hard than 'loving'. Of course we love our family, but do we like all they do?! Not all the time!!
Just like people who go after storms, we people go after dreams - it keeps changing one after the other and seems like a never ending chase...
Let's see: How many of us thought once we come to America (or anywhere outside India) all our dreams will come true? Did it? Yes - but then we got new dreams to chase after - a own home in America - that also came true - then the dream got bigger for a better/newer home - Ok got the newer/better home, does the dream stop there? No, it wants more now - the mortgage to be paid off - in full!
Along with paying for full tuitions for kids, traveling places, climbing up the corporate ladder, vacation home across the globe, coins of gold, the dream keeps moving on as we keep chasing after.
It seems to me it is ever evading... There seems never a moment in life where all dreams come true as long as more dreams are in the pipeline. I am at a point where I call it quits!
A grateful heart for what we have and a humble prayer for continued good health... That's all I dream about these days - there you go, dreams never stop, but the chasing can...
"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever"
Happy Mothers day to all NRIMoms! I know it is not easy being a Mom; especially an NRIMom! I am glad you girls are getting better at it - just as I am - every new day!
While we are hailed as super heroes let us not forget to bless our Mom's - I am sure you all plan to talk to her, spend time with her, take her out, get her something special - something nice - something that makes her know you love her much. I am sure we can all agree on one thing - we are what we are only because of our Mom's prayers and blessings & her unconditional love and sacrifices!!
While at it, enjoy being a Mom! It is fun after all!
Exodus 20:12 : Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God will give you. Psalm 139:13 : You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Proverbs 31:10-12 and 25-31 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Have you had moments where you laughed like crazy? I have had many such moments where me and my friends laugh over silly stuff, rolling on the floor, banging on the tables, stomachs aching, eyes watering, heads rocking, jaws almost hurting - all the while parents or teachers are giving you stern looks demanding you to stop right then and there... It only makes it even harder to stop rolling...
You take a brief pause and burst out again at the glimpse of one another, or the slightest thought... you start over again, rolling, laughing, crying, banging, holding the stomach... When at last it subsides it doesn't take long for more bolts of laughter.
On such occasions the onlooker wants to know what is so funny and we can't even explain it without roaring all over again, and finally when they hear it, it doesn't amuse them much!
Some incidents right away will be silly and will make you wonder what in the world I laughed so much about - whereas some incidents will make you laugh even years after - anytime you think about it!
Here's to share one such moment - Myself and my childhood best friend Victory were in the church - night service and there was no power - so we had to lit candles - mosquitoes, ants and other small bugs flew to the light and we killed them "gently" and made a small heap next to our candles. When we were so immersed in our collection, counting the insects, grouping them, rearranging them, the power came back on jolting us both with a jerk which triggered the laughing button and for the next few minutes to follow nothing could stop us... The fact that we were in the church and couldn't laugh louder, made it more funny and our Sunday school teachers were giving us looks and it was such a relief when the service was finally over and we rushed out to continue louder.. It is one night that makes me laugh even after some 15 years!
Well, here's wishing you much laughing moments and such lasting friends!