Browsed by
Category: Views on the Move

Cantonment life!

Cantonment life!

Do you know the most boring time in a Fauji wife’s life? It is when she decides to stay back in the cantonment with her two kids during summer vacation, and the husband is out on duty for the entire period. And I am presently in such a situation.

Life inside a cantonment

It is a different world all-together. Neatly laid out roads, clean and peaceful environs, auditoriums, sports complexes, schools within, sometimes our own golf course, and of course the Officers Institute to spend time with friends in the evenings. Cantonments with their ambience form the basis of our support system, when husbands are away for long durations. And if you are posted in a remote destination in India, the cantonment becomes all the more important to help you in your day-to-day living. It becomes an integral part of every fauji’s life.

I live in one such cantonment in India. Away from the noise and population of the bigger cities, amidst lush green forests and mountains, the scenic beauty of the place is splendid indeed. I can wake up to the sound of peacocks, Koels and parrots. I can go for long peaceful walks. I can lead an active social life- friends, movies and food. The cantonment and the vibrant people within, has become my home away from home.

Except when it is vacation time…and silence envelopes all over

Come summer vacation and most families head homewards. It is that time of the year, and the parks start to wear a desolate look. The winding roads of the cantonment are sans mothers, and their babies in prams. Garden benches, the meeting point of ladies to chit-chat, stay empty. No squealing children and no youngsters racing down slopes on their bicycles. The Officers Institute too, begins to witness minimal population in the evenings. It is that time when the whole vibrancy of the cantonment seems to have disappeared, all together.

Boredom- Tough to manage

We fauji wives belong to a special breed. We can manage it all- from taking care of home, work, kid’s school, finances, loans, to cooking up a full course meal for a group of hungry bachelors. But the toughest thing to manage at this point of time seems to be the boredom and quietness all around me. I am dependent on the cantonment I live in.

As I try figuring out how to get past these quiet days, I walk down the road hoping to find a face to smile at, searching for that one person to strike a conversation with. I pray that the weeks would pass by soon, and the cantonment would be its true self again, bursting with effervescence.

Its a Taboo!! #AtoZChallenge

Its a Taboo!! #AtoZChallenge

Marriage is all about togetherness. It is about two different individuals coming together, of experiences, of the joys of starting a family, of tears and happiness. And fights too… Yet, when the basis of marriage- companionship and happiness- is threatened, I wonder why the option of divorce is scorned upon in society and considered a taboo.

Statistically, divorce rates in India are far lower than what it is in western counties. Of course there has been a general rise in the trend, but this is restricted to urban-metro cities. When we look at the teeny-weeny villages, tier 2 towns and other rural and semi-rural regions, divorce rates are minimal. Is this because, we Indians are happy in our marriages, and we don’t really have issues of compatibility and happiness, with our spouse?

Maybe there is an all together different issue that looms. Divorce in our country is still a taboo. I picked 5 reasons that were commonly echoed amongst people I have discussed this with. 

Reason 1: The Family reputation

We Indians live in a close knit community. Family, friends, neighbours, society etc… are inter-linked and blended into our lives. Their influences are strong and opinions affect us. Thus, we have grave concerns about any kind of negative opinion they could brew about our family reputation.

Reason 2: Respectable family girls don’t divorce

Absurd as it may seem, a family’s respect lies in the conduct of the women folk. And divorce is look at as an “unrespectable” act.  Walking out of a marriage could put a question mark to the respect the family commands.

Reason 3:  Living alone is not easy. It’s a dangerous world out there

However financially independent a lady may be, living a life on her own isn’t going to be easy. A girl always needs the support of her man. And staying away from him would probably bring in more trouble. She could be tagged as “readily available” and unwanted men may pry on her.

Reason 4: The Social outcasts/stigma

Here is another absurd reason. The concept of being a “Suhagan” (staying married with husband being alive) is upheld high in Indian society. On most social gatherings and festive occasions, “Suhagans” are given importance and are well attended to in comparison to a widow or a Divorcee. Often such individuals are kept away from important rituals.

Reason 5: The question of remarriage

Though our society has opened up considerably to the idea of remarriage, there still are issues that crop up in case of divorcee remarriage, starting with a big doubt on the character of the divorcee. And a divorcee with a child? Well it could just get tougher.

Surprisingly I realized the rules were more flexible for a man if he were divorced!

In a country where we spend enormous amounts of money on a wedding, ending it is scorned upon predominantly because a marriage is coming together of two families. A divorce means a rift or split between the families and not actually the individuals concerned. Even if a relationship genuinely requires a split, it never does make it to divorce- the families just hush up the matter.

Image source: Pixabay

 

Shades of Me! #AtoZChallenge

Shades of Me! #AtoZChallenge

am a woman. Yes you can definitely say that by my gait and shadow. You also know that by the roles I adorn. I am a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter and a sister. But is this all that defines me? No, I am all this and much more…So what makes me who I am? Two shades I care about the most…

I am passionate about expressing myself through words. Words that could be woven to communicate and, those that inspire others and probably give them a hope in gloomy days. I love the beautiful relationships that make my life, the whole envelope of family bliss around me. It gives me a peace of mind.

I like the feeling of independence. It is all about doing the things dear to my heart, without having to have restrictions. It’s a freedom to the way I want to and not the way someone else wants it. I like the “my time” I create for myself every day. It’s a time I don’t adorn a hat and am just me. When kids are tucked in bed and the quietness of the night makes it easy for my mind’s horizon to expand and explore, I read. I write. I dream.

These are shades of me, the things that make me who I am, and surely all the other woman out there too!!

Image Source: Pixabay

Not a Moment to Spare #AtoZChallenge

Not a Moment to Spare #AtoZChallenge

Not a moment to spare. We humans lead one of the busiest lives. This is true, despite the fact that things are easily available these days. Your photographs are instant, and are there in front of you immediately after you click them. You could order a meal with a swipe and click on your smart phone. Your bank is at your doorstep, and you could also book movie tickets in a jiffy, without having to stand in long queues. Everything is available at a swish, swash or click of your fingers.

Yet, if there’s one thing we all don’t have with us these days, it is “Time”. We have no moment to spare, to breathe, to relax or simply just enjoy the world around us. What an irony!! It makes me wonder, when things have actually become all so easy for us, why is it that we still can’t find time?

I distinctly remember the days of the 80’s, when mobiles were nowhere in the picture. Making a call to a loved one in another city meant booking a trunk call. We used to wait for an hour or so till the operator made that precious connection. Speaking at the top of our voices, and to our hearts content, that one conversation would make our day. It would leave behind a single smile for a long time. In today’s world of what’s app, emails, Facebook, Twitter and numerous other ways to keep in touch, we still are trying to find time to call that dear friend home. So caught up are we in our busy lives that we have forgotten to unwind ourselves with our loved ones.

I personally feel we create our own time, and somewhere we have just stopped doing so. May be if we stopped, and just looked around us, life would be easier and time aplenty.

Image Source: pixabay
The Love for Diary Writing #atozchallenge

The Love for Diary Writing #atozchallenge

Yearly diaries received at the beginning of every year were a cherished commodity once upon a time. In today’s world of blogs, micro blogs and tweets has the good old practise of maintaining a humble dairy taken a set back? Has the love for diary writing died a death just like many other things?

At the beginning of 2017, my husband gave me one of those glossy good-looking diaries. It had been years since I maintained a diary. Of course, I have had ones to maintain expenses etc… but nothing to pen down day-to-day stuff. As a young kid in school I distinctly remember having a diary writing habit. Every night, i would sit at my desk and pen down my days events, what was good and not so good too. I did keep it hiding for years untill I got married. A month or so before my marriage I destroyed it all. And why did I do this? Well.. I just felt I was going to begin a fresh thing in my life, why hold on to the past?

And then I got introduced to the world of blogs. I started posting my usual ramblings, plus things which I was most seriously concerned about. It gave me a good feeling. But somewhere amidst all the blogging, I still missed the dated diaries to pen down thoughts. It was my first step at creativity and expressions.

Diaries are an honest form of self-expression. It is a place without pretence, where you can be yourself without having to worry about anything. And one of my resolutions this year was to rekindle my love for diary writing. Its the month of April, and I have managed to fill the pages with daily thoughts, so far!!!

Do you also share a love for diary writing?

Image Source: Pixabay
Jigsaw Puzzles Are a Joy #AtoZChallenge

Jigsaw Puzzles Are a Joy #AtoZChallenge

Are you the kinds who enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles? Then you would surely agree with me that these little cardboard pieces can be fun as well as entertaining. What if I were to give you a jigsaw puzzle with 1000 pieces to work on? Would it still hold your interest?

The gift from Russia

On a recent trip to Russia, husband picked up a beautiful jigsaw puzzle of the Kremlin, knowing my love for solving such puzzles. My excitement knew no bounds as I opened the lovely puzzle. However, it was short-lived when I glanced on the reverse of the box. The jigsaw puzzle had 1000 pieces!!! I stared back at the man of the house. What did he have in mind? How does someone go about solving a puzzle such as this, where most of the pieces look almost similar? It would probably take me a life time to complete it.

My first ever puzzle at the age of eight

It was the end of my summer vacation and the first showers of the season had just set in. My parents were looking for a way to get me through the week without me resorting to television. A second hand puzzle was borrowed from an older cousin and was given to me to try my hand at. It contained three hundred pieces, a number that was unimaginably large for a child of eight. I still distinctly remember that it depicted a standard scene of a forest with a few animals, a snow capped mountain and a blue sky. I had absolutely no idea where I should begin from. My father sat patiently with me helping me segregate pieces. We started with the straight edge pieces and slowly moved inwards. And that was when I fell in love with jigsaw puzzles.

Pieces that help you bond

Way back in the eighties and parents being from that era, seldom bought puzzles from stores. It was always beg or borrow from neighbours and friends. I finally received my very own new jigsaw puzzle at the age of twelve, when an aunt returned from the United States of America. A five hundred piece Mickey Mouse puzzle it was, that took me over two months to complete. I still remember how my sister and I would sit huddled, hovering over the pieces trying to put them in the right place. It was an amazing time, when we sisters bonded.

The 1000 piece Kremlin puzzle did get solved

Yes, indeed the Kremlin puzzle was completed over a period of four months. There was a sense of achievement. But more than this joy of seeing it complete, I loved the fact that we as a family would sit together huddled, sans television, gadgets and other distractions. The jigsaw puzzle had actually brought the whole family together every evening. They say puzzles are an excellent activity for keeping your brain sharp. They do challenge dexterity, logic and spatial reasoning. It teaches you to focus and concentrate. But for me, it is nothing but the pure joy of seeing my family together, raking their brains, to bring out a creative side. 

Ever solved a jigsaw puzzle? What was your experience?

Insecurities- We all Have them #AtoZChallenge

Insecurities- We all Have them #AtoZChallenge

“Insecurity is your intuition telling you that something’s not right… either with them or with you.” Charles J Orlando

So let’s face it. We all have insecurities, a bunch of them, at some point in life. We humans do get insecure about relationships, love, success or people. Of course how each one of us may choose to handle it greatly depend on the mental strength we have. But there is no denying insecurity does creep into each one of us.

Here I am in a very unique stage of my life.  A happy one I would like to call it, ‘because I have it all. I have a comfortable home, a dream job and career, and a loving family that gives me all the warmth and care. Yet, despite all the goodness around me, insecurities do creep within.

Insecurities aren’t positive emotions

Insecurity is a form of fear.  It may just begin from a single thought. But let this weed grow and trust me, it could stem into negativity, which may just be tough to shake off from your mind. I often get insecure about my relationships, that I may lose my loved ones, and I wouldn’t have them around me in my life. Another insecurity I have is towards my health. What if I have to face bad health towards the end of my life or, probably suffer a slow, painful and lingering death instead of a quick sudden one?

An effort to overcome insecurity

To overcome insecurity, one must develop a focus on building mental strength. It is all about being courageous and learning to accept the ways of life. Despite all the insecurities that creep within, what works for me to overcome it, is distraction. I keep myself busy; I work, exercise and tire my body and mind. It works wonders and I am soon able to brush off those negative thoughts. Of course they do come back again. But, I try to never let them bog me down.

What are your insecurities and how do you overcome it?

Home is Where the Heart is #AtoZChallenge

Home is Where the Heart is #AtoZChallenge

Home is where the heart is! Surely you must have heard this famous proverb. And that makes me wonder, where exactly is my heart? Is it in the home where I grew up and lived 25 years of my life, the place where I played and spent those blissful childhood days? Or is it in the home I live in now?

Years back….

My childhood days in the eighties and nineties were spent in a palatial bungalow in Bangalore. Life was far simpler then and Bangalore was an entirely different city too. Sans traffic, noise and pollution, the city would be full of blossoming trees. I grew up as part of a big joint family in this large home of ours. I consider myself lucky to have been part of such a huge family that lived together. The home had a huge front lawn and a backyard where there would be a washing stone (I wonder if homes still have those stones, with the advent of washing machines). Growing up was fun amidst grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins galore. We were a total of 15 members in the home and we all shared a common kitchen!!!!!

But as the years passed, the family slowly broke away. My matriarchic grandmother, the old owl of the family passed away. It was like as though the roots of a majestic tree had all of a sudden been cut off. The next gen sought better opportunities and moved to different parts of the globe. The other elders in the family moved on to live with their own children. My father however continued to remain in our home until his last breath. In fact the only thing he wished for, when his cancer was diagnosed as terminal was to be in our home till the end. Dad is no more today. Our good old home in Bangalore stands vacant. What once was a witness to beautiful memories, relationships, joys and sorrows, it is now nothing but a dilapidated old house.

Where am I now?

It has been over ten years since I have left my childhood home in Bangalore. Married to an Officer in the Armed Forces, transfers and movements have become a constant affair. I have moved close to nine houses in my 12 years of marriage. And as much as I put in the effort to make every living quarter I live in seem like home, somewhere deep down that element of emotional attachment isn’t quite there. It’s just a roof under which I live and spend moments with husband and kids.

My heart still lies in Bangalore, though it is now nothing but a mere house!!!!

Image: Calvin and Hobbes-Bill Watterson
Friendships do Break! #AtoZChallenge

Friendships do Break! #AtoZChallenge

“A broken friendship can be a comma or a full stop. You choose.”–  Source: Somewhere from the World Wide Web

Ever lost a friend, the kind with whom you could share anything under the sun? You could be your raw self and do the craziest things with them, yet have no fears of being judged. I had one some years back. A friendship I was proud of. A friendship I thought would last a lifetime. A relationship I never thought would cease.

I ain’t an authority on friendship. For that matter, on any other relationship either. Yet, the course of my life has given me a fair amount of wisdom. Like all relationships in life, friendship too is subject to the test of time. And the inevitable sometimes does happen. Years back, I walked out of a friendship that treated me unfairly. And boy, I was feeling beyond depressed!

Friendships do break

One of the reasons why friendships break, is the expectations we all place on the other person and the relationship. We fail to accept the others individuality. Things always keep changing in life, and people drift away into different paths. Thus, it is beyond anybody’s power to fit the pieces back in place.

Sometimes it’s best to move on

When any relationship turns sour, it’s worth that big attempt to make it work. But if it doesn’t, then it is best to move on. Agree we invest a lot of time, effort and emotions into it. But if feelings are not reciprocated in a similar way, there is no harm in walking out of it. It may seem daunting at first, but sooner, you realise it was the best thing to do.

Overcoming a Friendship Breakup

If you really want to get over a friendship break up, just brush your thoughts into the past and get moving building new friendships. People come and people go. And we need to keep moving on in the journey of life. Immerse yourself into something else and improve your level of confidence. Learn a new skill or get away for a while. Try a spa treatment, or do some travelling. Work on your happiness and you will wind up that miserable feeling. Comfort yourself in knowing that sometimes the pieces cannot be picked up. It could be awfully overwhelming and the pain is inevitable, but you got to push it away.

So have you ever had a friendship that turned sour? How did you overcome it?

Comparisons- We all do it, don’t we? #AtoZChallenge

Comparisons- We all do it, don’t we? #AtoZChallenge

“Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.” – Marquis de Condorcet

We do it all the time. Comparing is second nature to almost each one of us. This particular human quality of making comparisons is omnipresent in our lives. And in today’s digital era, we have taken to relentlessly compare on social media too. From our looks, clothes, to what we own and our status, it is almost always that we need more.

Our life never seems complete

Almost every day we seek something more. From a bigger house, a better car, a child that aces all her subjects in school, or a holiday at an exotic destination, there is never an end to it. But when we actually sit back and think, do these comparisons lead us anywhere? Isn’t it better we re-evaluate ourselves, before we start looking at another’s life and sense it to be better?

Can we do something?

Of course we can. If you find yourself constantly drawing comparisons, here’s what you must do.

  • Be Aware. What people project may not be the absolute truth, especially on social media. So before you start to draw comparisons, be conscious and focus on your own life.
  • Take a breath. If you find yourself constantly making comparison, stop and take a breath. Do not berate yourself. Just acknowledge what another person has, and move on.
  • Acknowledge your blessings. The right attitude would be to look into what life has given you, rather than focusing on what you don’t have.
  • Accept your drawbacks. And as important as it is to acknowledge your blessings, it is equally important to accept imperfections or drawbacks you have in life. Nobody has that perfect life, and the wise thing to do is accept it. It would make you feel far more positive.
  • Don’t let criticism take over. The worst form of comparison is to indulge in criticisms. It’s common to criticize or talk ill of the other person we are comparing ourselves with, to make ourselves feel better. Don’t! You are just creating more negativity within yourself.

And finally learn to love more. Love what you have- the things, the people and the life. Want is an endless cycle and it will never lead to happiness. Try finding contentment in your surroundings and what you have been given by life.