Refreshed and Renewed. New Edition.
First kid – “Mumma ! She kicked me in my kidney ! “
Second kid – “But she punched me in my gall bladder first ! “
Me – ( After separating them ) “ You will not talk to each other for the next one hour.“
After ten minutes, I see the younger one lying down on the floor, being dragged by both legs by the elder one. “Mumma ! Mumma ! She is using me as the broom now. “ I rush forward , separate them , give them a dressing down and resume with the cooking; checking once in a while if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing; which is- cleaning their room and making the beds in the house. Sure enough, they are doing it with a lot of sincerity. Only, the “kidney”, “gall bladder”, “ribs”, “shins” etc are also being pushed around with equal sincerity. If all this drama wasn’t happening in front of me daily, I would perhaps be shedding a few tears of joy over a vision of two doctors holding their degree and thanking their mother.
The next day being Sunday, their Dad is at home. Seeing me standing with a broom, he announces, “Leave the matter to the pro!” Out comes the compact vaccum cleaner which we use for the car. He fiddles around with the fittings and tells me to sit and relax. He appoints the elder kid as the wet cleaner while he sets about dry cleaning the floor. I must say, the idea is great and saves us from the back breaking broom. His sleuth, our twelve year old, follows with the “Wiper Mop” ( By now, everyone knows what that is ). Her younger sibling, our nine year old ( yes, the kidney specialist) helps me in making the beds and sprucing up the rooms.
The mobile vegetable shop arrives in the form of a truck. I rush out with a bag and though the truck always stops right in front of our house, a line has already formed ( with adequate distance between people ) by the time I reach the vehicle. My next door neighbour Lt.Col. “D” says with a big, proud grin, “ Maám, where is Sir? He didn’t come? I have already washed the utensils in my kitchen, swept and mopped the floor of my entire house; and am now buying the vegetables. What is Sir doing? “ I tell him ( with an equally proud grin) that “Sir” is also cleaning the house. When I come back inside the house, I give a big hug to the “Boy of the house” ( with No Social Distancing ). He tells me to save a bigger hug for what’s to arrive next and hands me a plate which has buttered toast and two eggs made Sunny side up. Sigh! I just died and went to heaven. He knows my THE poison – generously buttered crisp slices of toast and eggs fried sunny side up.
A neat house. Two not-fighting-any-more , omelette eating kids. One good Samaritan-vaccum cleaner wielding- omelette making-husband. One cooing-sunny side up omelette eating –wife.
Sigh! I don’t want to hide any longer. THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Amen.
© Sapna 23rd April ’20
The other day, my husband asked me why I had stopped penning my thoughts. He has been asking this question on and off for the past couple of years or so. But this time he meant business. “Why have you stopped writing ? You were a much happier person when you wrote regularly. “ I know this is true – I actually WAS much happier when I wrote ( or rather vented ) regularly. I still can’t bring myself to say “writer” . Isn’t the whole world and it’s cousin, a “writer” nowadays?
So, let me a bit methodical and do a meticulous dissection of this beast in front of me. What are the reasons? Several come up, one by one.
The long and tiresome publishing process of my book wrung me out a bit and well, drained the creative juices out of me.
I just wasn’t comfortable promoting the book . Once my husband forwarded it’s promotional link to a friend twice in a day by mistake…and I squirmed! I guess I just don’t have it in me- the quality of self promotion. The whole process felt completely out of sync with my inherent make-up and when we do something that’s out of character, the “happy” cells inside us freeze a bit. Don’t they?
We moved homes around that same time. I shifted the computer to the master bedroom, where we also have the television, and the general bonhomie happens in that room only. The result of this is that there is considerably lesser “me” time and “silent” time with the computer. If you strive to be a conscientious parent, you have to be prepared to make some sacrifices, right?
Then, we moved cities, rather, states. The whole procedure of packing, travelling, heaving yourself and the household to another place thousands of miles away, trying to settle down once again in a new place, is easier said than done-to put it VERY mildly. But that is now a part and parcel of one’s life in the armed forces.
When you don’t do something regularly, your natural flare for that thing takes a backseat. Inhibitions creep in. The need for setting boundaries appears out of nowhere. You think, “I want to write a short story about a woman in a bad marriage” or “ a coming of age poem about a person” and so on. But you also want to hang a banner that says ,“ Disclaimer – This is NOT about me or my life ! “ Every person who writes, makes herself vulnerable to the readers. Readers, who may think that the writer has lifted from her own life. Whereas, the writer could be writing about her neighbour’s neighbour! I didn’t have this hesitation earlier. It appeared . And now thankfully, it is on it’s way out.
So, I hope to start “Venting “again. And hope to start writing about the various people that I see around. Their joys, travails, passions. Heck, I will write like I used to and want to. Soon.
©Sapna 6th Mar ’20
From the archives:
Hope to get back to that uninhibited frame of mind where one wrote whatever came to mind… about whomever, wherever, someone, noone….
Aaaaahhhhh…..Yes, this sound is emanating from me, right here. Now please don’t go all prudish on me if this sounds suspiciously orgasm-like. I assure you , me as decent as they make, no public voyeurism for me. Never. This is an “Aaaahhhhhhh” of jubiliation, of relief, of having done something that one has been wanting to do for a long time. Let me explain. I’ll need to do some husband bashing here. Read on.
Mellow, is not a word that anyone can use to describe my husband. “ Firecracker “ is more in tune with his personality. Sometimes, more like “RDX”. At times, I do look at him wearily and say “How DO you expect me to handle someone like YOU?” Had I been someone with hidden ambitions of “training” the husband, I would have looked like a deflated balloon by now. By the way,what is the opposite word for “Henpecked” ? If you know the word, please tell me too. I’ll put that label on his person. Yes, I do have such quirky dreams – where I stick labels like this on him. Let’s get back to the “firecracker” part. Oh yes, he erupts like it’s “Guy Fawkes Day” from time to time. If you say one sharp/rude word to him, he will sting you like a bee. If you step on his toes-meaning,if you mess with him- well, the bee turns into a scorpion.
At first glance, I seem to be no match for all this ferociousness. But, marriage to him seems to have awakened the lioness in me. I put up an equal fight, you can bet on that. Hey, are you guys feeling bad for me? Don’t! With this overdose of passionate outbursts, also comes a bountiful supply of love, benevolence and affection. And a husband who always tells his wife to not take nonsense of any kind from anyone. I have become more relaxed as a person , being with him. That speaks a lot about him as a husband. BUT. I have still had a burning desire to scold him to my heart’s content , for a long time now. (As in, a proper scolding, when he can’t utter a word himself.). JUST ONCE, for god’s sake! And I was granted my wish a few days back.
We moved into our new house in this station last month. I have been literally pulling at my hairs at times, so overwhelming this fauji-like-a- gypsy life can be! The details are for another article. Let me just replay a conversation to you. I phoned him in the afternoon, almost at my wits’ end – handling two kids in summer-holidays-mode AND setting up a new home from scratch is not child’s play after all.
Me : Will you help me get the servant room in some decent shape today? We need to arrange the trunks and clear some space.
Him : Nah. I will be going for golf.
( This is being said in a very happy voice, mind you. )
Me : Ok. Bye.
I sighed, braced myself and started thinking of the job in hand. The phone rings. It’s him. Completely oblivious to the stress that I am beginning to feel.
Me : Hello…
Him : ( Giggling) Hi, Sapna! So and so is saying – Sir, you have moved into your new house and haven’t invited us for pakoras. When can we come over? ( Giggling again- infectious and heart touching boyish happiness )
Me : ( The flood gates have opened.) Yes, definitely. But I need you to help me. There are certain things that can’t be done without your help and inputs.
Him : Arey, you will be able to do it, I am sure.
Me : ( The flood gates have been demolished by now with the force of emotion )Why do you always think that I have some kind of a magic wand , and can handle everything?
Him : ( Silence )
Me : I have had it up to HERE ( touching my throat ) , in setting up this house, with these damn trunks, cartons, and what have-you-not. I just asked you for ONE evening of yours and you denied me even that. ( I do plead guilty here, of exaggerating things a wee bit )
Him : ( Silence )
Me : ( Breathing heavily )
Him : Chalo, we’ll talk once I get home.
Now THIS , is not normal behaviour on his part. Because whatever you give him, he gives it back in manifolds. If it is love, you will be showered with copious amounts of it. If you sulk, your attempt at showing childish behaviour will be ignored and thwarted in cold blood.If you “Scold”,well, there’s going to be a nuclear blast for sure. This particular day, however,the firecracker couldn’t explode because he was in his office and his junior happened to be sitting nearby. Hurrraaayyyyy! So is THAT the trick? I just need to catch him at his office. Sure enough, I gloated over my discovery. When he came back home, I blocked his way at the main door and let out an “ AAAAAHHHHHHH” ( completely Chandler-like ) . He knows this sound by now and understood why it had emanated from me just then.
Me : It was wonderful! I’ve never felt like this before.
Him : ( Silence )
Me : You’ve made me go into raptures of joy. Thank you.
Him : ( Trying to look angry )
Me : I feel so relaxed. Let’s do this more often.
Him : ( Glancing sideways at me )
Me : What are you thinking about, you dirty mind? What I mean is, whenever I want to scold you, I just need to call you up at your office and vent to my heart’s content.
Him : ( Can’t hold out any longer and breaking into a sheepish grin, crushes my arm in a side hug.)
To cut a long story short, he didn’t stay at home after lunch and did go for his golf session. The room that needs to be overhauled is still a mess. But so happy I was with my achievement-of-a-lifetime; that I didn’t mind his absence at all. I have SCOLDED the firecracker and he in turn didn’t utter a word. Not even a mild sizzle.
” AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH !! ”
© Sapna Dhyani 19th June ‘19
All of us need to see our very own ‘ Aaftaab’ from time to time; to know that in the daily grind of life, there is someone up there who is looking after us. That faith is reassuring .
(Am thrilled to bits!!! My poem being recited by THE Maestro Vineet Panchhi
Dosto, aaj pesh-e-khidmat hai, ik aisi kavita jo ummeed se bhari hui hai. “Mere Tumhaare Jugnu” was shared with us by @Sapna Dhyani. We are so fortunate that we have been able to bring these beautiful poems to you. Poems such as these that fill our day with hope, happiness and optimism.
Thank you @Sapna Dhyani for sharing this lovely piece with us- ” Raho baaz ki tarah unmukt…”
We are humbled!
Here is the YouTube link- https://youtu.be/C9gXii_Si_Q