On motherhood

Much has been written and talked and discussed

About the joys and thrills of motherhood.

How the mother should be treated like gold dust

and how she is so noble and loving and good.

 

Here is looking at the other side of the coin.

About the journey of a woman who becomes a mom.

The unvarnished truth about what happens at every point

How she moves from calm to become a ticking bomb.

 

The journey is not easy – it is a long climb.

And the discomfort and uneasiness start when she conceives.

The thrill, happiness and anticipation of the coming time

are accompanied by nausea, swelling and a constant unease.

 

This is temporary – just a matter of time – she reassures herself.

As she tries to find a comfortable position to catch a few winks.

The ballooning of the stomach makes her smile thinking of her baby’s health.

As she sets about making a list of baby things.

 

Then of course comes the labour, which is no joke at all.

Until the tiny one comes out with a wail and she is wonderstruck.

And super scared about how to handle someone so small.

Her tiredness somehow seems insignificant – not warranting any drugs.

 

The milestones start – all the ones from the turning over to the sitting.

The crawling, the standing, the stumbling, the walking and all others.

The teething and the toddler years all just go whizzing.

The summers turn to spring, autumns and winters.

 

Every single stage is new to her – even when the child is all grown up and adult.

She fumbles and stumbles but manages not to fall.

The insecurity and the doubts hit every time but perseverance yields results.

When the child is small or grows towering over her – so tall.

 

She worries and frets and then worries some more.

She centres her world and her life around the child.

Letting go of herself – not able to recognise who she was before.

Moving through all stages of love – from raging, to shouting to being mild.

 

I guess the most remarkable thing about the whole journey.

Is the fact that she doesn’t really know what she is doing.

Yet manages to pull it off most of the time – being rock steady

Not showing the tremors and the earthquakes of uncertainty.

 

She is the one who knows the truth about how she lies awake.

About how she always worries about her decisions.

About how she is so scared that she would make a mistake.

And wishes that she knew the answers to all confusions.

 

However I guess that sometimes God speaks to her.

Guiding her on what to do and what not.

Which is how she sails along without fear.

On the seas of parenting in her own yacht.

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Episode 30 – something new

Megha has been missing in action and it is not because Shirke suddenly found other friends to be with and other things to do. They have been meeting regularly but I have failed to document it. So, there was this time that I need to tell you about. Megha and Shirke were having their usual conversation about this and that one of these days.

So, Megha started talking about the various problems that humans have. Shirke, as usual was all ears. She started talking from a global perspective and talked about climate change and global warming. Then, she touched upon the various wars and conflicts and finally launched into personal fitness. She was passionate on this subject and so she went on and on. She told Shirke about the evolution – how humans had progressed from walking on four legs to walking on two, the discovery of fire and the wheel, the slow progress from eating raw food and living in caves to living in skyscrapers and zapping food in the microwave and zipping around in cars and aeroplanes. And then the downside of all this progress – the body that was exercised by hunting and gathering now had so many comforts that it was flooded with what were called “lifestyle diseases.”

“So did that mean that humans were about to become extinct, you know like the dinosaurs and the dodo and the woolly mammoths?” asked Shirke, all round-eyed and dismayed at that possibility. He rather liked humans (they gave him super-duper entertainment when he observed what they did – I am sure that is not a very flattering thing to say) – especially one human, Megha and did not like the idea of having them wiped off the earth. Megha was sombre when she replied – “It is not just humans – it is this entire planet. We would all be wiped out along with the earth. However there is a small group of people who are spreading awareness and looking at steps – both to preserve the earth as well as humans.”

The steps to preserve the earth looked at conserving energy and resources, planting trees, harnessing renewable sources of energy and so on and so forth. She then told him about some personal fitness trends that were gaining momentum – some serious ones like the ancient Indian yoga, pilates, cardio exercises like running – which was basically again going back to the roots of hunting for food and escaping from enemies and so on. She also mentioned the weird trends coming up like goat yoga, aqua spinning (cycling inside water) and trampoline jumping fitness. Shirke had a good laugh when he saw how ridiculous people looked while doing these activities.

Shirke came to his parents with all this information and that formed the dinner conversation that evening. His parents added to what Megha had told him and reassured him that the Grajonic race and others like them that humans didn’t know about, were also looking at ways and means to preserve the planet. However they were also looking at accommodation on other planets, in case their efforts failed and had identified eight potential planets where the entire species on earth (including humans) could be accommodated. Shirke was very relieved to hear that and told Megha too.

Most humans however have still not realised their mistakes. So the Grajonic elders had decided that they would keep this as a secret because this would further induce the human race into lethargy and apathy. Oops – did I just let that slip? I know however that you all are the good people, who are working hard at saving yourselves and the world and are not going to become complacent just because I let you into the fact that we have a backup plan in place in case the world comes to an end.

So before I let out any more secrets, I am signing out now. Until next time, then!

 

Could it be?

via Daily Prompt: Tantrum

Picture the scene that I describe in words.

Streaks of lightning bursting through.

Claps of thunder scaring humans, animals and birds.

Then the pouring rain that completely soaks you.

 

Shift the image to the roaring, angry seas.

The waves that rise high and higher and higher still.

The storms that bring strong wind and not the gentle breeze.

The waters that swallow ships and people kill.

 

Now that you are in the groove of imagination.

Think of the mountains and the snow and ice.

That avalanche – the rolling mass that causes ruination.

The roar, the sound of ice breaking and everything is over in a trice.

 

Finally, picture the scene when the earth splinters.

After it shudders and shakes and groans and rumbles.

As if it is torn into two by gigantic hands and fingers.

The earthquake that literally everything crumbles.

 

This well known scene is the absolute last.

A toddler weeping and kicking and screaming and wailing.

Because she didn’t get something that she had asked.

Or because she had to be giving instead of taking.

 

Notice the similarities in all these scenes.

Do you think that nature is angry and giving us an ultimatum?

Because we are really hurting her using every possible means.

Do you think that this is nature throwing a tantrum?

 

 

 

Episode 29 – a new game

Shirke and his parents shared a unique equation with each other. There were times that Shirke would actually raise his eyebrows and tell his parents -“Really! I thought you were more mature than this.” They loved being silly with each other – there were no judgements passed on who was being sillier. All mistakes were there in the open and there was really no subterfuge or lies. Everybody saw everybody else as they were – no pretences or make-up.

It was tough initially for his parents to admit that they were ignorant of this or that, when questioned by Shirke. It took away some shine from the halo of knowledge that Shirke saw on them all the time when he was younger. They almost missed his exclamation of pure wonder when he would ask one or the other -“How did you know that?” You know, when he came back all excited from school to share that he knew how this thing worked or how the birds flew. After his parents had listened intently, they would try to feed him some more tidbits of information and that is when his eyes would go big and round and he would ask them “How did you know that?” Although it puffed them up, they did realise that they couldn’t keep up this impression for ever and wisely pointed him to other sources of information if they didn’t know anything.

Anyway, so that was their relationship. They would also devise new and silly games to play to keep them connected and engaged. One of these games was the game of opposites. The rules were simple – all of them would speak the exact opposite of what they wanted to convey. For example – “I hate you” meant “I love you” and so on. Got the idea?

The duration was one entire day from morning till night. Of course, it was a given that the game would be played between these three players only and not at work or school. Shirke and his parents had some videos quickly run in their heads as to what would happen if they took this game to their respective schools and offices. They projected their thoughts to each other on the multimedia screen and burst into hysterical bouts of laughter at the chaos that they would have caused.

Anyway, the day of the game dawned and everybody was super careful. They wished each other “Very bad morning” very casually. Started off with the usual morning chaos that reigns in about 98.976% of households on a typical weekday morning – I am sure you know what I am talking about. It starts with the alarms being snoozed (many times :-)), the breakfast being burnt, assignments and ties and socks and handkerchieves mysteriously disappearing from where they were placed and were supposed to remain, (on this note, I really do believe that there is an alternate planet that exists where some creatures carry off these stuff – you know stuff like one sock, the dozens of erasers, the screws and so on). screaming matches at the tops of voices and ends with the final concerted rush out of the door to make it to their places of destination on time. If houses were living things, they would actually heave sighs of relief and settle down for some quiet time to soother their headaches after this frenzy. Sounds familiar? Well, if it doesn’t, it means you belong to that 1.024% of the population that gives the larger majority a bad name and you really ought to be ashamed of yourselves. However today was a bit more disorganised than usual because they had to do it all in the opposite sense – so Shirke’s dad called them saying -“Breakfast is not ready. Please don’t come and eat.” Shirke responded with “Dad! I am not hungry” and sat down to demolish two portions of the delicious concoction his dad had cooked.

Shirke, as usual, had one of his stuff missing which he discovered 3 minutes before he was supposed to leave the house and asked his mother if she wouldn’t help him locate the same. She responded saying “Since this is the first time I am telling you to pack your bag the previous day, I won’t help you search.” And proceeded to his room to pick it out right from where he claimed that he had searched. 🙂

They got back to it in the evening when they met and discussed how their respective days were. Shirke described how he had submitted an assignment so badly written that his teacher was really disappointed. His parents’ faces fell for an instant until they realised what he meant and then there were hugs and whoops of joy. Shirke’s parents then shared their days events and they sat down to dinner. When they went around the table asking for 5 good and bad things that had happened to them during the day, a casual eavesdropper would have considered this family mad to hear the bad things being described as good and vice versa.

The day ended with the declaration of the winner being declared and Shirke was the clear one because he was a natural at it and he never forgot. His mother was next because she had remembered the game most of the time while his father came in last. They all agreed that they had had super fun and decided to do it again in the very near future.

Want to try to play this game? Just find yourself a partner and start!

 

Episode 28 – of the days that were.

It was one of the lazy weekend afternoons at the Shirke household. You know the time of the day (specially reserved for weekends) when everyone has had filling lunches and just lies around like pythons that have swallowed goats. All they can do now is lounge around until a teeny weeny bit is digested and then they can move a bit. Yes – exactly one of those times. Since the only thing they could do now was talk, that is what they were doing.

Whenever there are a mix of adults and children in a group, the talk invariably turns to the “days that were” – irrespective of whether the group were humans, Grajons, birds or bees. So, it was no surprise that Shirke’s mother started off with her school days and what she used to do and how things were. Shirke, for a change, showed some interest in the tale – maybe because there was no escape. 🙂

Her stories were not very different from ours – she talked of an earth that was cleaner, greener and emptier. She then talked about the decisions taken by the Grajon council to ensure that the earth subsisted – most of it was what humans had also arrived at – reuse, recycle & reduce, plant more trees and so on. She then talked about how the Grajons had evolved to save the earth – like how they had given up transport for intra-planetary travel and how they had harnessed the earth’s magnetic and electric energies to create levitation spots so that they can move from place to place, how they had managed to change their residences from the ground to the air and how they managed to use the sun and wind energies to run their households. It was an eye opener to Shirke – he never knew that Grajons had ever lived on the ground. He thought they always lived up in the air.

His mother then went on to tell him about one batch of Grajons who had decided that they liked the warm underground rather than the bright sky. These Grajons had evolved so that they could see in the dark – they ensured that they got just close enough to the earth’s core that they got the light but not the heat. They harnessed this heat energy for their daily use. They had created cities below the earth where they had pools and streets and houses and stuff. They had developed everything that they wanted in their daily lives and their senses had adapted to the underground so much that they had to wear special suits when they came above.

Shirke’s eyes started getting rounder and rounder when he heard this and soon, he was begging to go visit. Shirke’s mother went – “Er, hmmm – maybe it was not such a good idea to shoot my mouth…” but then gave in to the insistence and they planned a trip in the evening. She communicated with some friends they knew and was told that they were definitely welcome to come visit and stay too, if they felt like it. She picked up some fruits and vegetables which she knew were always in shortage below and hence would be appreciated and they set off.

They were greeted at the entrance by their hosts and transported underground. They had to wear special eyewear to ensure that their ultra sensitive eyes were not damaged. They saw the huge city with its many inhabitants living in cohesive harmony with the other creatures that lived underground like moles and badgers, gnomes and trolls and so on. Shirke had the time of his life – fortunately for him, his hosts were very nice people and didn’t mind answering the zillions of questions that he threw at them. After spending a couple of hours outside, they went to their hosts’ home and were treated to a sumptuous dinner. Soon they said their goodbyes and left to go home – Shirke almost asleep between his parents who were supporting him.

The last thing that Shirke heard was that Grajons, in their effort to not completely milk the earth dry, would periodically shift and leave these places as ghost cities. They would then set up establishment at another place and allow the earlier place to be replenished. It struck me actually much later that maybe the excavated sites that humans talked about were actually Grajon ghost cities, instead of being ancient human civilisation remnants. Something to think about – eh?

 

Episode 27 – Shirke to the rescue.

Now, you shouldn’t get the idea that Shirke was a brat who was always looking at creating chaos and mayhem all around. He was one of those atypical kids who could not be slotted into one of those neat categories that are defined in almost all worlds and civilisations. He stood out from the crowd – especially because of his physical attributes (at least on Earth, he was a minority with his unique colouring) and due to his nature and behaviour. To reinforce this, let me tell you about the time that Shirke actually helped out.

This was soon after the traffic light episode – while Shirke had fun tampering with the lights and watching the humans scratch their heads trying to unravel what was happening, the fun and mirth slowly died down when he saw the chaos that were created. He messed up the signals for ten minutes and the queues on all sides stretched for miles and miles and it took a good 8-10 hours at some places to reach some semblance of normalcy. When Shirke left for school the next day, he still saw some vestiges of his fun act of the previous day. However, he was unable to laugh now – he just felt incredibly sad that humans, who considered themselves an evolved (in fact the most evolved – this thought actually calls for at least two blog posts 🙂 ) species, could not even manage such simple things as their own road traffic. So, he thought he should lend a helping hand.

The next couple of days, he was quite busy studying the existing systems – (he took only one country – the one he lived in) and creating a virtual model. He then identified all the various issues and thought of some solutions. He the changed the algorithm a bit and introduced some intelligence into the system – say for example, when the traffic flow was in one direction, the system intelligently extended the green signal there and reduced the time for the green in the opposite direction, or when it looked as if the traffic was light, it intelligently reduced the wait time and signal time for all directions and so on and so forth. He did one round of virtual testing and thought it was way better than the current system. He then implemented the same silently.

There was a sea change on the roads – traffic jams reduced in intensity and almost disappeared. Distances started being calculated in miles rather than in hours and most significantly, people were happy to commute. Incidents of road rage and frustration leading to stress completely disappeared. People started smiling more – caring about each other – greeting each other – behaving with grace and politeness.

Seeing the success of his experiment, he then extended it throughout the world and the humans never even realised that they had the help of a very young Grajon. Isn’t it amazing that this supposedly most evolved species doesn’t even realise that there are so many species around and that many of them are much more evolved than them? All I can say is that maybe what we accept as miracles or acts of God may just be some other species silently helping us out when we get stuck. Maybe even the acts of destruction or mayhem could be due to the anger of some other person of another species who wants to teach us a lesson for some error that we have done. Or it could be someone like Shirke having fun. Something to think about – right?

Episode 26 – and Shirke has some fun again

I know when you get the feeling that things have been just too quiet in the Shirke world – how awful would it be if he was not upto some mischief and was basically a goody two-shoes. Okay – it may not be awful but it would be terribly boring – right? Well, I guess that Shirke thought the same too and decided that he was bored of being bored – if you know what I mean.

So, one day, while he had some free time on his hands, he began thinking up ways that he could have fun in. Now, it really wasn’t his problem that he couldn’t think of a single way out of boredom that didn’t call for any disruption or chaos. In the first five minutes, he came up with at least twenty ways of having fun. The various scenarios played out like a movie in his mind and he watched it with a great sense of glee. He then worked out which scenario was the least likely to get him into trouble and that was when he arrived at the great traffic light disaster.

Remember the communication device that Minok’s dad had given him? Shirke had actually explored it end to end and tweaked it to put in some new add-ons and thingumajigs. From a basic necessity as a tool to communicate across galaxies, it had grown into a powerful tool for any sort of frequency play. So, it was no wonder that he took this device and beamed it on all the controllers across the world that controlled the traffic signals. You know those small devices that ensure that the red light stays for 30 seconds and then moves to amber and grew. Yes – those. He completely randomised the interval timing of not one, not two signals but all the signals across the globe.

Oh – the chaos that erupted. There were signals that switched colours within seconds and then there were some that went from a few minutes to a couple of hours. Can you even imagine the huge lines that were built up at these traffic lights where the lights changed very slowly and it stayed on red for a long amount of time. There were completely free lanes where cars that came once in five minutes whizzed by on the green lights that were green forever.

Shirke looking on this scene from above had a bird’e eye view and just couldn’t control his laughter. More than the chaos, he watched the humans running around like chickens with their heads chopped off and that is what made his belly ache with laughter. The tech specialists were completely baffled as to what had happened. All their systems seemed to be fine but then why were they acting up? They kept troubleshooting or rather shooting in the dark until they were literally scratching their heads in vain.

Shirke decided that he had had enough fun for the day and quietly reversed the situation – the buildup and traffic piles took a solid six hours to clear in most parts of the world. Since traffic chaos was mostly accepted as standard in most human cities, this outage and mess never caught the news at all. But the next time this happens, I would ask you to focus your thoughts on Shirke and close your eyes and just maybe, you could hear his quiet laughter and then you will know that I was not making it all up !