Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Real Award

Till the age of sixteen i was with my parents. Then after marriage settled at my husband's house. Being the first daughter-in-law of the house, I had much more responsibilities and more expectations from me. It was a very difficult job of balancing between responsibilities and expectations. They were very long days and hardly any time to think of anything else than dometic chorus.

Life was going on. We became parents of three children. Though we are not that educated, we gave them education as much we could afford. More than anything we trained them to live a life based on values.

Time ticked fast. The family tree grew and now i have little cute great grand children. Not much work to do at home. Ten years back, when I was 68, I was looking for a hobby. I have seen my papa writing in our mother tongue konkani, and preparing a hand-written magazine and distributing it among few konkani people. Those magazines changed from hand-to-hand and more people read them.

It is more than 50 years after my marriage. I have lot of free time. Nothing much to do. My son encouraged me to write something for a konkani magazine just started publishing in 1998. First I wrote a very short story and sent to the editor, requesting to publish. The readers accepted it. Then I started writing regularly. Now ten years passed. I got some awards for my writing. But my interest was to get a place in reader's heart.

Last month I attended a function celebrating tenth anniversary of the konkani magazine. They gave me two awards . My first novel in konkani also got released in that function. I was sitting in the audience and watching the program. On my way out, a middle-aged woman came to me with respect glittering in her eyes. She touched my feet as a gesture of respect and spoke to me about how she liked reading my stories and valued the morals in my stories. She came to the function just to see me and if possible, convey her appreciation and respect. When I came to know that she was just discharged from hospital and came all the way to meet me, I didn't know how to respond. I lost searching for words.

I had no words to express at that moment. No award can give me such a satisfaction, and I consider those gestures and words from that woman as the best award for my writing.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fight for Love

It is after many months I am writing this blog. I was busy with writing a novel in konkani and making corrections etc. The manuscript has been given for printing, and now I can devote more time for writing more blogs. This post is about my observations on love and fight for love.

Love comes from within. Everyone needs love and wants love throughout their life. One can get love only by giving it.

There are different types of love. Love between mother and her children, between husband and wife, love towards in-laws, love towards grand parents and grand children, love between friends, love between siblings, love between neighbours, love between teacher and students etc. For happy and peaceful life, everyone needs love. All our minds are thirsty for love.

A baby just out of mother's womb, start crying. The baby was safe and comfotable in mother's womb for almost ten months. After birth it feels helpless. Cry is the way baby can express its need for love. Nurses clean and covers the baby with dry cloths and the baby stops crying. The elders take the baby from the nurses. The baby feels comfortable in the warm covering. The baby's first cry thus becomes successful. From then on for every need the baby cries. It gets mothers love and enjoys it. Parents also enjoy the baby's love. After a while, the baby recognizes more people around. Everyone gives the baby love and in return they too get love. Baby becomes toddler and becomes more naughty. Everyone around loves the naughty acts of the child, and the baby acts as a bond of love in the whole family.

In school life friendships get developed and a kind of love develops between friends. During teenage, one has to be careful in love. It could land the person in trouble. Many times, such incidents and associated love is forgotten after they leave school or college. After marriage, love between husband and wife gets blossomed. These days love marriages are becoming common. Many years back, the relationship between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law was not generally that sweet as these days. Actually it is the fear that overtook the love between them. Mothers fear that they will lose their son's love, when the son gets married. Things are changing now, as more and more people become educated (I mean, not college education, but realization of relationships and values), more and more daughter-in-laws get accepted as daughters (many times acceptance more than daughters) leading to lively homes. Only love among the family members can create a happy family, whether it is a nuclear or joint family. To create such happy family, every one has to fight for love. It is an inner fight and not physical fight. That fight helps create sharing of love between husband and wife, in-laws, kids and parents etc. Everyone has to succeed in that fight for love. A failure in fight for love can come out as unhappiness or depression, which is a symptom of problem in family. Everyone has to intensify their fight for love to remove that failure and regain the harmony.

It is the ego that creeps in as a virus in a harmonious and happy life. If love between the family members is real, then ego cannot creep in and spoil the harmony. Even in love, there is place for fights and tension. When different human being live together there is bound to have fights. Then love from heart has power to ease such tensions and return of the lost harmony.

If we consider the whole world as a family (vasudaiva kutumbakam), and there is real love and concern for ever other person, then there is no reason fo so much disturbance. I fear that the real love is disappearing from the world, as we see more and more wars and fights between different countries and different sects these days. All of us have to strive hard to spread love among mankind, so that all can live happily.

I believe, there is no power in the world that can beat power of love. Let us spread love and let everyone learn to fight for love than fight for all material things.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A grandmother's satisfaction

Evening of March 9th. I was watching my pet grand daughter's bharatnatyam arangettam. I was in praying mood. I am not able to see the crowd. I was feeling a bit of tension. 19 years of our hard work and prayers are getting fulfilled. It was a challenge. As the program progressed, I thanked god... she is doing well. I kept hearing big applause from the audience. My little grand daughter, special grand daughter, smiling.. in the middle of all people who gatherd on the stage to congratulate and complement her. For most of the people gathered, it was unbelievable. They never expected her to perform the way she did. It was a proud moment for me, as a grand mother.

It is the result of our patience and love. She is a special child. Only when she was 2 years old, we realized that she has problem and is intellectually challenged, and it was a shock for us. Her milestones got delayed. I felt my children's pain. It's life and we have to face it. We considered her as a gift to us. With prayers, therapies, and homeopathic medicines, she started improving. Bit by bit she started speaking. Began walking when she was four.

She started going to special schools. Special educators came home and started teaching her. She is weak in academics. If not academics, we
thought of trying some art for her. We found that she likes music, but because of speech problem she couldn't get into it. Then we tried keyboard.. it didn't work out. The dance teachers we approached were not willing to teach her.

About 6 year back, we found a bharatnatyam teacher. His ability to teach special children started working on pratibha. She took about three months to get up and
start steps, and get involve. Once we realized that she can dance, we took her to kerala, where my daughter has a dance class. The students there became her friends. Seeing them, and trying dance with them, she started understanding better and started to learn better. She started performing on stages for 5 to 10 minutes. She participated in some competitions for special children in mumbai. She started realizing that she too can dance on stage and started enjoying dancing.

We decided to arrange an arangettam for her, decided a date 9th march 2008, and we stated preparations many months in advance.
Her hard work, sincere efforts by both her gurus, her ambitions, her parent's expectations, her brother's encouragement, grand parent's blessings, support from all my children, and encouragement from my other grand children... made the day. All of us were very happy to see her dance so well.

My beautiful little pratibha in the traditional bharatnatyam costumes and ornaments was dancing like an angel on stage. My mind's camera clicked it
full. I can see it again and again. The hall was almost full with invited friends and relatives. Most of them came with a curiosity to see what a special child can do. But her footwork, abhinaya (expressions), mudras, and graceful movements were outstanding for a special child. All gathered around her and cheered her at the end of the program.

She proved that "she can also do something". That was our aim. She did six
items, which took about 70 minutes of dancing with some intervals in between for costume change and rest. Every now and then it comes to my mind. I hope in coming days, she can move forward step by step in this art form and do better. This is my prayer to almighty.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Thank you for all lovely wishes...

My eldest of grandchildren Nandu wrote a blog on the day i was entering into my 60th year of married life. Two grandsons wrote poems wishing us and remembering the days when they were kids. Another grand daughter created a wonderful postcard using the site created by y son's company. Another grandson made a collage of the family tree and gave us. And the little one, a differently abled granddaughter made a lovely card in her own way.

We were filled with love and all this made us emotional. We responded to all their lovely presents... The response we wrote to Nandu's blog post is posted here also.

Dear Chakki,

We both read your post again and again and felt very happy. It took us back to those days at our old house in the village. I liked the way you started the post "How can you"? My answer is "If you have faith, trust and determination, then you can". At that time (59 years back), the family and social circumstances were such that it was difficult to get an opportunity for the newly wed couples to speak in private. But instead of complaining for anything and everything, we faced the challenges in our own way, without hurting anybody's feelings. But that affected our peace of mind many times. But considering that happiness of people around would bring happiness to us', made us stronger to face the difficulties. In case of difficulties we supported each other, most times discretely. As any other newly wed couple we also had our dreams, but we had to pack them all as to have a peaceful life and make people around us happy.

We believed that making others happy is an investment, which will bring returns later. I can vouch for this now. Our children with their spouses, grandchildren with their spouses, and great grandchildren are showering us with love; what else do we need now? They are fulfilling all the dreams which we could not fulfill ourselves. Children make our dreams realize, grandchildren add colours to them, and great grandchildren make us really enjoy the dreams.

We believe, whether the marriage is arranged by parents or arranged by the couple themselves, the recipie for success is "love each other, trust each other, support each other, love everyone around you, respect elders, feel happiness in making others happy".

Dear chakki, Abu and Ammumma are happy to see that you are remembering and enjoying the childhood days with your naughty boys. Blessings to you, prashant, kanna and sreeku, on this day of our stepping into 60th year of our life together.

All our grandchildren wished in their own ways... Nandu, you posted this blog, suji and vinnu wrote poems, suma made a wonderful postcard, prashant made a collage of the family tree and pratibha created a lovely greeting card in her own way. What else do we need at this stage of our life?

We also thank everyone who wished us through the comments to Nandu's blog.

Aabu and Ammumma