Tag Archives: Parenting

To you Dad, Happy Father’s Day !!!

I have sat on this post for the past two days, contemplating a lot over the memories, the days of ‘yore and the present. So putting down my lessons, emotions and memories into words, this post is about my Dad. And it’s in a way; for all the dads in the world, including my cousins and my uncles.

Dear Dad. It’s not easy putting it in words. The silent lessons taught by you, the memories and your presence. Growing up, there were a lot of things you taught me. And most of the time, though you never say much; you’re still always around, lending a hand and your support.

During the early years, when I was still in my cradle, Mom used to say that Dad used to be scared to hold me. After I turned one year of age, then there was no putting me down. Born into silent mischief, is what I would say my childhood was all about. And I did give my Dad a couple of gray hairs along the way.

Through the years, there were a number of things that Dad had taught me. About life. About dreams. About family. About love. About work. And about many other aspects of the path and the journey on the road.

Dream strong, dream big. Dad had a lot of dreams in life. But one thing he never failed to do was to plan. To plan for the future, to see ahead. He never panicked during the crisis. All the ups and downs he faced them. Even when the downs came, he would put his dreams on hold, only for a while and then catch up with them.

No pain, no gain. Dad is a chronic workaholic but he would not rest till he got what he wanted. That was one of the first lessons of life that he taught me. It was always his policy to say that hard work never hurt anybody and twiddling your thumbs will just increase your stress levels. It’s not only about staying focused, but shifting through till you finding the right focus.

Family first. No matter how busy he was, Dad still kept a tab on all of us. True, he was not much of a talker but he used to be around.
Stage programs, award functions, races , matches, whatever was the event, Mom used to be the frontrunner but somewhere in the crowd Dad would be there and if he couldn’t make it, he used to make certain that we had re-told the entire event in words or he caught the video or pictures of it. And weekends, was one time when we would all hang out, either the malls, theatres or the beach. I guess, it’s there in most of the families, but knowing the amount of paperwork and travel trips that my Dad makes in a day, a day with him minus work, is priceless.

Never judge. If you disagree, say it quiet and firmly. Dad was a master of tact and diplomacy. Not much of a talker, he was and is always a silent observer. And I must say, very watchful, which was ability specially needed during our teen years. He was never the one to jump to conclusions, whatever may be the matter. Always weighing the pros and the cons, he would reserve his opinions till the end, waiting for the right time. And that was the trick to bringing our childhood temper tantrums under control.

Jump into the moment. Have fun. Take risks, but plan them, whenever possible. Contrary to the usual risk-taker view, my Dad used to take risks and chances but he used to always do a fast-forward view before discussing with Mom. But once on a track, he would never look back. I remember the time, when he had to expand the company in Sudan and stay there for a while. It was a while before he got used to the language, but there were tales of fun in his emails to home. The cooking adventures were the first. Followed by the laundry and the rest of the household chores. It was just a matter of finding joy and surprises in the daily chores as well.

This is just a gist of what my Dad has taught me. But the best part is that, no matter how busy he is and no matter where he is, he still keeps tabs on all of us. Right now, I am nostalgic for the days of ‘yore, but I guess I can never get them back. Longing for a long leave, I can’t wait to go back and be with the family. Though, I have kind of left the nest, the lessons, the memories and the times shall stay.

And Dad, after these many years, all I want to say for now, is Happy Father’s Day.


Uh oh !! Meal time ! Not that green stuff again…

“Oh no, what’s that gooey thing? Do I have to eat that?!” whines my five year old neice, Jo

-“Yep, you do. That or no supper, no t.v., straight to bed”, was the reply.

“You know, I could have an allergic reaction to all that stuff. Who knows, nothing is organic these days,” remarks a very “mature” 13 year old Julie.

-“Its okay.I have very good, tried and tested remedies for allergies. It’ll work for you, too.” Wow, allergies, what next, I wonder. Got to appreciate the creativity though. Never thought of that one.

“Besides, we could have all nutrients through your ‘nasty, vile tasting prescriptions’ (up went my eyebrows!!); they both taste the same,” says a very belligerent 3 year old Ash.

-“Now, since they both taste the same, have this instead.” Wonderful, I have not yet lost my sense of sarcasm.

Oh don’t get it wrong, I am not a terrible cook. I am just having toddler-trouble. Well, here I am, with my three wonderful neices and nephews. And this is supper time. Ask me where my brother and his wife, as well as my sister and my most amazing bro-in-law disappeared off to. To a far way, on their adventures to explore this part of the world . (Forget chasing them!!)  If life could get any better, it would have. I love my three imps, but try making them eat anything that closely resembles the edible variety of the plant kingdom, up goes their noses, shoving of plates and the most-dreaded whining starts. I think it’s something to do with being a toddler, I guess. Come adulthood, or even late-teens; yikes, can’t gain any weight (for us girls) and got to build the muscles (that one is for you, guys). And the greens somehow become edible then.

When I worked in the Paediatric wing, almost all the parents, I came across were complaining , “They just won’t eat veggies or even milk. Do you think there is any tonic, which builds their appetite?” Well, sorry, I do understand your problem, but no tonic is there like that. They’ll get their vitamins through the syrup but, appetite-stimulants at this age, hopefully avoid.

It’s not like they are on starvation mode. If lil’ Jo spots her fav’ crisps, or anything with cream, fries…hey she’s hungry. Once in a while, when she gets the mood, she’ll have her fruits. Blame the current scenario of the food industry for eating problems of the toddlers. It’s high time that McD’s, KFC, Burger King issues a statutory warning on the packaging of their products saying, “Too much intake leads to obesity”. Same goes for all the crisps packets, coke and all the other “junk” stuff. And as for in schools, they say they would regulate the lunch menu, but that’s more like straightening the tail of a lil’ piglet. All talk and changes that last for less than a month.

Growing up, Mom had a way with the veggies. If anyone thought that I was any different; nope, I was a toddler to the core. Mom resorted to trickery to make me eat my veggies. She would make chicken salad, but I swear there were more veggies in it than meat. Same goes for the sandwiches and the desserts, more frosted fruits than cream. And the neat trick, of placing cut veggies on the dining table. We usually ended popping a bite and before supper, the bowl would be empty.

Well sneaky or not, we got our veggies in; thanks to mom. But, at present ‘m stuck with these imps. So far, we made a deal. Eat your veggies and we get to sleepover on the terrace, like a “mini-camp”. For this time, it worked. Need some tricks up my sleeve.  Think I have to make a long-distance call to Mom for help and inspiration. Till then, I may have to declare war with the imps regarding their meals. Dang it, I need another alternative. Is there any trick that works ?!!


Shuffling work and home: my tribute to all “career moms”

Going through today’s work; I was reminded of my mother. There’s no particular reason and true, Mother’s Day is miles away. Maybe, it’s the sudden realization that time is running and I have never appreciated the way my mother used to juggle through her work and home. From the what my grandma said, my mother has been working since graduation, even before she met my father. A high school teacher, my mother used to love working. Even during her pregnancy, when she was carrying me and later my sister, she used to still go for work. What amazed me was her ability to multi-task. Mornings, she used to be up by dawn preparing breakfast for all of us, arranging our lunch boxes and getting us ready for school. Believe me, waking both of us up was quite a monstrous task for my parents. After school, she used to take us for walks, arrange our dance and music classes and help with schoolwork. Amidst all this frenzy, she still found time for household chores, paying the bills, making proper meals, doing laundry and taking tuitions as well. Dad used to pitch in but sometimes, he had to go away for office projects. As we grew older, we pitched in as well but somehow my mom used to manage fine without us.

What amazes me is the fact that, my mom never used to go crazy. Here, while I am struggling during my internship to maintain my social life, she used to manage to stay in touch with all my relatives. No matter how busy she was, she always found time to sit with us and just talk ; about our daily school activities, friends, life in general ; everything under the sun. When we fell sick, she was up day and night; for all the parent teacher meetings, she used to attend. All the dance performances, cultural activities, sports; she was there to cheer us on. As per as dad’s job; he had to rotate every three years; so we have moved around a lot. All the ‘home shifting’ never used todrive my mom crazy, she used to have all the boxes labelled, packed and arranged; such we were ready to start school, the next day after we shifted in. One of the rules that she had, was an hour daily just with family. We all used to spend our time talking about trivial matters,daily events or pool in ideas for a combined project: like making a cake or rearraning the room making hand made Christmas cards or even going for a drive.

Sometimes, I wonder if I ll be able to do it all in life; like my mom. And it scares me; managing a family, work, children…everything. Motherhood, itself is a full-time job and managing a job, or even working from home is a delicately balanced task. I raise a toast to all working mothers. Handling work, where we often have to face social prejudice and coming back home and take care of the family, is never an easy task. Single mothers have more on their hands. I am sure, there would have been many days when my mom just wanted to bury herself in bed, and take a long, long break. But she didn’t. She loved her work and then coming back home to all of us. Kudos, to all mothers, working and home-makers; you have molded us into who we are today and with no help, but pure naughtiness and trouble from our side. Staying away from home, I miss her more now. But, going back through time, to those days, is what keeps me going through the most busy days at work.

Time immemorial has shown us women of different civilizations, through different ages managing their family, household chores, while working in factories, farms, in textile industry and in various other fields. Working, either by option or by necessity.These days, the media has made a lot of hype about working mothers, about not giving sufficient time for family and for kids. To some extent, it ‘maybe’ true.  But what I  personally feel is that I am proud of my mom, of the fact that she has a career. She has been and will always be the silent inspiring figure, motivating me  to take my career higher while keeping my family with me. May be difficult, but not impossible. For she and many others have done it too. And so will I. Love you mother.