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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.

What’s Your Happiness Quotient Today? #AtoZChallenge

What’s Your Happiness Quotient Today? #AtoZChallenge

So what’s the most beautiful thing you have with you today? What’s your happiness quotient?

I sat at my desk this morning trying to write, when I was constantly distracted by my four year old daughter. The little one was doing some craft work as part of her school curriculum. I saw her hands move swiftly as she sat sticking tiny sequins and beads on a white sheet in front of her. She wanted to do it her way, yet every few minutes she would look up to me for small approvals. I soon realized that all that my daughter sought from me was not my expertise on craft making, but just my time. I just gave in and shut down my laptop. It was all for those innocent smiles, which made my world, feel complete. I was happy that there is someone around me indeed to add to my happiness.

We are together in this…

And that brings me to the concept of happiness quotient

We humans are constantly in search of happiness. The internet is loaded with infinite wisdom on how to seek it and, things one could do to bring in happiness in their lives. But the actual fact is, which we very often fail to acknowledge, that we humans are nothing but social animals. We need another person in our life to bring in that happiness quotient. Happiness is a feeling that is to be shared, and it isn’t something you could enjoy in isolation.

Look around you

It could be from something as simple as giving someone a compliment. Or it could be going for long walks with your loved one. Exchange those few words of kindness with your domestic help, and surely you would be doing your bit to make someone happy, in turn receiving your share of it. In our hectic lives today, we often get stuck cribbing about our mundane routines. Caught in this nitty-gritty of life, we stop to notice the happiness quotient that lies strewn all across us.

I found mine today, as I saw that smile curve on my four year olds face.

So what’s your happiness quotient today?

Image Source: Pixabay
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?

Terminal Illness and Death- Quality or Quantity, the Debate Goes On

Terminal Illness and Death- Quality or Quantity, the Debate Goes On

What’s more important to You, Quality or Quantity of Life? How far do we want to go to prolong our lives?

What a complex life!! Amidst the web of relationships I am entwined in, I am caught in this strange cycle of life and death. Where birth brings in joy death sure does bring sorrow.  But strangely, in my 36 odd years of existence, I have learnt that not always must death bring in sorrow. I have had situations in life when the death of my loved one has brought in an altogether different feeling. It is that unique feeling of relief and sadness mixed together.  At such times, you seldom shed those tears of sorrow, but give a sigh of relief instead, thanking God that the life has come to an end. Strange isn’t it, but I have experienced this weird feeling twice in my life.

Appa’s last few years were a fierce battle- with cancer. And it was not only his, it was all of ours. Metastatic colo-rectal cancer has a poor prognosis with only 5% of the cases crossing the five year mark, post diagnosis. I still remember the doctor telling me this. Yet, we decided to go ahead with the fight. Despite the multiple surgeries, and numerous rounds of Chemotherapy, Appa didn’t make it to the five year mark. Amma and I still ponder over the fact whether it really was worth fighting such an aggressive form of cancer, ‘cause despite the treatment prolonging his life by a year or so, it did reduce the quality of his life drastically, and also burnt a big hole in Amma and Appa’s savings. A healthy Appa was reduced to a mere frame.

I still remember the last day of his life. As the body began the process of shutting down, I sat by his side rubbing his palm that was turning cold by the minute. The cancer had spread through his body and the pain it caused is indescribable. As I sat there that night, I said those silent prayers hoping those few traces of life would leave his body soon. Every minute of pain, seemed to be a lifetime. And finally after more than twelve hours of moaning in pain, Appa slipped away slowly.

I was glad his life ended!!!!

My Paati was the kindest souls in my life. I still remember my childhood days spent in her lovely little home in Chennai. The kitchen would be stocked up with the most yummy savories and sweets and every meal would be a surprise.  She did belong to a generation that was far healthier. No wonder Paati outlived many family members who were younger than her, finally closing her eyes at the age of 97. Despite having lived a contended life, her last few months were spent simply lying on the bed. Unable to move, due to a stroke, she would have pipes to feed her and an attender who would take care of the body and its needs. It seemed to be a mere existence as Paati slowly failed to recognize any of us. It was a painful sight to see the woman who taught me so much, to be motionless. For some strange reason, her life clung on to her body, refusing to let go. Unable to see her that way, I would secretly pray the ordeal ended. And finally when it did, I gave a sigh of relief!!

Advancements in modern medicine present us with opportunities to live longer lives and keep life threatening diseases at a chronic stage for longer periods of time. But is it worth being kept alive in this way? Just how far do we want to go to prolong our lives?

It’s truly tough determining this, because there is no one right solution. The process of knowing what you want may take time and deep reflection as well as conversations with your loved ones. Of course we all want our loved ones to live for eternity, but prolonging life and living life are two totally different things.

Isn’t quality of life more important than quantity???

Valuable Insights to Succeed in Life #AtoZChallenge

Valuable Insights to Succeed in Life #AtoZChallenge

vVery important lessons could be learnt from the successful. Five lessons are all that I shall talk about.

In my blogging journey I have come across many inspiring stories- of the disabled overcoming their handicap, of sportsmen fighting their way to the winning spot and of simple human beings etching their mark in careers of their choice. I try to pick out positive qualities from these success stories, which I feel are the prime forces in guiding them to the top. Read on below Ruveda Salam’s story that gave me five valuable insights into making life more meaningful and successful.

Who is Ruveda Salam?


She is a doctor, who first created history by becoming the first Muslim woman from the remote Farkin village in the border district of Kupwara, to have cracked the Civil Services examination back in 2013. Today, she is the first woman IPS officer from the Kashmir Valley.

Lessons to learn from Ruveda

Lesson 1: Set goals for yourself- short term or long term. It gives you a direction in life.

Ruveda’s Story: “When I was growing up in Kashmir, my father often used to say that I should become an IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer. That’s when I first thought of becoming one. It inspired me and I decided to go ahead and aim for it”, says Ruveda.

Lesson 2: Take risks and chase success.

Ruveda’s Story: Before becoming the first woman to have qualified for the Union Public Service Commission examination in 2013, Ruveda got her MBBS degree from the Government Medical College in Srinagar. She wasn’t content with her success here. She cleared the UPSC and was then allotted the police services.  After the completion of her training, she was the lone Muslim woman police officer to be put in the Tamil Nadu cadre.

Lesson 3: Surround yourself with positive people who would guide and encourage you. Surrounding yourself with people who inspire you at every step helps you make your way towards success.

Ruveda’s Story: It was Ruveda’s father who encouraged and pushed her to succeed, giving her all the confidence she needed.

Lesson 4: Strive to be successful for the right reasons.

Ruveda’s Story: Having served in Tamil Nadu cadre for the past few months, Dr. Ruveda has realized that there is nothing more satisfying than serving humanity, whether it’s in Kashmir or Tamil Nadu. She now wishes to see more girls from Kashmir scale new heights of success.

Lesson 5: Be focused on your goals and make your life goal oriented.

Ruveda’s Story: And she doesn’t stop here. Ruveda has passed the UPSC exam again this year for a second time. Needless to say with an improved rank and much bravado. She now dreams of making becoming an IAS officer, utilizing her acquired skills from being in the police services.

So have a goal, get focused, be around with those who care and, strive to achieve. The sky would be the limit for you!!

Under His Umbrella, Life Goes On #AtoZChallenge

Under His Umbrella, Life Goes On #AtoZChallenge

uUnder his umbrella we all live. Seasons and our lives are so similar.

It’s blazing hot in Delhi. The temperatures are soaring and the sun shines down on us fiercely. As I walked down the street, the hot afternoon wind blows across my face. I am parched and I crave for those few precious drops of water. I am drained and tired. How I miss the seasons gone by- of spring and winter.

Aren’t our lives so similar to the seasons? Sometimes I wonder if the seasons are out there to tell us something.

Life has phases just like seasons. Spring reflects the days in life when we can afford to be carefree, relaxed and not bogged down with issues. Those precious childhood days when it seemed the whole world was ours.


Summer is similar to days when we have that long list of responsibilities on our shoulders. We may be tired, yet we trudge along, because we need to keep going. The days seem long until we finally hit the bed in the night.

Autumn is like the years when we start to slowly shed some of our responsibilities, beginning to look inward- philosophic and calm. Probably expecting those chill days ahead.

And of course the cold winters. The icy chill near the end of our life. All gloomy and alone.

Life sure has its set of seasons.

Life has its own way of giving you one tight slap!!!

Life has its own way of giving you one tight slap!!!


Life has its own unique and strange ways. And many a times it acts as a leveler. An important lesson I have learnt in all these years is that “LIfe sure has its own way of giving you one tight slap.

A certain Mr K I know, often harped about having a grandson. He was very confident about his son producing one as it was of utmost importance 1) to continue the family name and 2) to do the last rites of his son, when the situation occurs. I of course found this ridiculous. Nevertheless, I kept nodding my head when these conversations go on in front of me. So confident was he of having a grandson that in his arrogance he spoke ill of those couples blessed with daughters. And guess what…. his son was blessed with two daughters. Of course the two angels are simply adorable and his son and daughter in law are in 7th heaven. Poor Mr. K could only sulk!!!!

Listen to the next one.. a certain Mrs A was a very proud mother. A toughie and arrogant lady, she was sure nothing could go wrong in hers and her sons lives. When she would hear of other people having issues with health, family or finances, her arrogant comment would be,” oh they are the sinned souls, so let them suffer”. In the years to follow, a son of hers lost all his hard-earned money, along with being in heavy debt. Another son was diagnosed with a dreadful disease that almost wiped his savings. Mrs. A unable to bear her sons suffering succumb to cancer herself.

The point I am trying to make here is that each and every one of us in life have issues or problems. In a phase when things are fine for us, it doesn’t really mean we look down upon these in misery , because tomorrow we may be in a similar situation.

So let the arrogance go. Being humble is important. Place yourself at the same place as others, not above them.

Something to Think About #11

Something to Think About #11

When Dad passed away, i was feeling very lost. Where had he gone away all of a sudden? i asked questions …many of them on life and death. As I watched the rituals unfold in front of me and Dad’s last rites, I really wondered if all this made any sense to the departed person.

I did mention this to “A”. He gave me his version. “A” thinks life is a form of energy. And energy cannot be destroyed, killed or removed, it is converted from one form to another. So then going by this explanation, if life is energy, what is it converted to when death occurs? “A” didnt have an answer, and said, these are things which science has to still find an answer too.

I am still lost.. Coudnt come to terms with Dads death, until I came across this beautiful piece on a blog titled Source of Inspiration. It sure has been a source of insupiration for me and I just had to reblog it.

So with all due credit to the blogger here is a must read.