Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Day I 'met' my Son

The knot in my stomach grew tighter. The clenched fist of fear, bony and gnarled, wrenched at my insides and drummed at my heart as I stood outside the Neo-natal ICU for the first time, waiting. Waiting to arm myself with courage before I hobbled through the door. Waiting for the right moment to step in and ‘meet’ my baby. Waiting to runaway. With a prayer on my lips and a shield of empty strength, I crossed the threshold into a world where little babies lay on blue trays, naked except for oversized diapers, yearning for their mothers’ arms and a chance at life.

I don’t know what gripped me first. The eerie silence punctuated by the beeping of machines that kept those babies alive; the rows of trays with tiny human beings, each at a different and dangerous stage of illness; or, the sight of the first tray I laid my eyes on, where my little son lay wreathed in tubes and hooked onto life-support, waiting to be loved. I had been told what I should expect and how my newborn baby would look. How a tube was snaking its way down his throat; how his tiny limbs and translucent skin were punctured by a number of tubes. How drops of dried blood were tattooed around those puncture marks. How he was sedated and monitored. How I couldn’t let my tears fall on him.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book review: Replenish by Lisa Grace Byrne

I picked up a copy of ‘Replenish’ by Lisa Grace Byrne– a Certified Holistic Health Coach and mommy to three kids, just when I needed a sip of nourishment, a helping of wellness wisdom, a spot of quiet to sit in, a pick-me-up to infuse me with energy. I have a seven-month-old baby boy, a chubby bundle of naughtiness, who is a joy to be with. But like any mother of a young child, I get exhausted caring for my little one. My day is filled with an assortment of baby-related tasks – nourishing my baby, massaging and bathing him, playing with him and keeping him entertained and happy, taking him for walks and strolls several times a day because he loves to be outdoors. Between all this, I try to get some writing and writing-related work done in the thin slivers of time that I manage to snatch from a super-busy day. A book review here, a bunch of posts there, a smattering of social media on the go. And when I’m not doing any of this or rather, along with all of this, I’m eking out time for my husband, family, friends. It’s a busy season of life for me, just like for many of you who are reading this.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sweet Treat

This is what the weekend's been about for me. A dab of painting, more-than-a-morsel of cake & sweets, a movie about Nelson Mandela & a bunch of books (the reviews will follow), some work and one-on-one time with my husband - a rare and sweet treat in itself.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Replenishing - One step at a time

I went for a walk yesterday. Well, I walk everyday, sometimes twice a day. But what was different about yesterday was that I went for a walk with my thoughts. With solitude to keep me company. Without a baby in the sling. Without my husband at my side. Without anyone to chat with. When you’re a (new or otherwise) mother, every thought you have is wrapped around someone like a warm, fleece blanket. Around your baby because he needs you physically and emotionally. Around your husband because you want to catch up on that part (the long part) of the day that you’ve spent living in your own domains. Around those living under your roof because you want them to be happy.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Illustration Friday: Twisted

Painted Doodle by Chandana Banerjee

Inky black locks, curly and twisted, dancing in the breeze, swaying in the sunshine. A moment of Zen amidst the twisted busyness of life and the clatter of thoughts. This is an illustration that I did a few months ago, but dusted it out for Illustration Friday's theme for this week. It captures me at this very moment, as I paint and write, manage and juggle, mother and love. I like paints and pastels, colours and textures, ink and words. Basically, stories and little worlds that take you away for a moment from the rawness of our own.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Dollop of Self-Love & Self-Acceptance this Valentine's Day

Photo by: katerha

Today, as I sit at my desk, thinking about what I should do differently to commemorate Valentine’s Day, or whether I really want to do anything special, my thoughts spin around the word ‘LOVE’. Hmm…teddy bears and hearts, greeting cards and flowers, romance and candlelit dinners and the shebang. Cute, but so not my cup of tea. (I’ve already written about the brand of love and romance I subscribe to.) But today, as the sky fills with heart-shaped thought bubbles and baskets with, long-stemmed roses, I think of a different kind of love. The kind of love that a lot of us, especially us mothers and women, push to the back of the kitchen cupboard. Self-love and self-acceptance. Cherishing and celebrating the people we are. Loving ourselves. Accepting ourselves, flaws, extra weight and all.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The 1-month Milestone & a Thank You note for you

Photo source: hellojenuine

Today, my personal blog turns one-month-old. As a new mother, I’ve got used to keeping track of the months, of celebrating every milestone. So, just as my baby turns seven months old (tomorrow), my blog and ‘writing baby’ turns one (month) and it calls for celebration or rather, gratitude.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Confessions of a Writing Mommy

Photo source: caroline paulus

I’m the kind of mother who itches to write as she sits on the bed, surrounded by a basketful of toys and a baby. I sit there, with an orange duck in my hand and a story in my head. Hmm, I could write about new motherhood for my blog, I think to myself as I play with my son. Maybe I could make a dash for my laptop when he takes one of his rare naps, maybe I could get a handful of words down on paper when my husband is back home from work.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Review: Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt

Photo source:

Piled high on my bookshelf are a bunch of children’s books. I’ve bought them over the years, from second hand book stores, children’s book publishers and brand new book shops. I’ve pulled out story books with bright and colourful pictures and stories that lead you into a world of their own. About bunnies and baby animals, about children and summer days, about life in other countries and the Technicolor times in our own India. Initially I bought these books for myself because I just love the rich weave of stories and illustrations. But somewhere in my mind I also knew that when I have my own children, these stories will serve them well. That these books will be displayed on their very own book shelf.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Birth and its Battle Hymn

'Baby N...16 days old and just back from the of his rare naps :-)' / photo credit - sandeep banerjee

Today, someone I know is right in the midst of labor. That phase in a woman’s life…yes, ‘phase’ because it feels like a lifetime when you’re in the throes of it, when your insides twist and turn, push and pull, open and bloom to let your baby pass into the world, and then into your arms. Labor is a bouquet of emotions, a tsunami of physical reactions, all at once. Pain and anticipation, excitement and agony, a sense of power and helplessness, all of these tango together, making each moment memorable yet unbearable.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Simple Pleasures - being happy in the boondocks

'Bubbles of Joy' / Photo source: Fechi Fajardo 

Simple pleasures….our life here in the boondocks is made of small baubles of happiness, moments that seem small but are actually large in the way they nestle in our hearts. These pleasures seem ordinary, but in the scheme of things, in the scheme of our lives, it’s these joys that sew the blanket of our lives, one small, colourful patch at a time.

This weekend was one such part of the blanket, filled with bright little bubbles of joy. Moments that can be dismissed as ordinary, but when cherished, they turn into gold, lighting up our days and filling our lives with their jewel-like quality.

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