Success

Photo by Daniela Constantini on Pexels.com

The incessant whistle of the cooker woke her up. Her mind was whizzing as put her thoughts into perspective. Five years of hope and hard work that did not yield results.

Ever since leaving school, it had been her dream to become an IAS officer. With single minded dedication she had prepared for the exams. This was her last attempt at the coveted Civil Services entrance exams. She could not make it through the Prelims  in her first attempt but progressively improved to reach the Interview stage by her third attempt.

She consoled herself that things could only become better. Yet the next two years saw her unable to ace the interviews. No amount of coaching or studying or motivation or morale boosting seemed to help cross the final hurdle. Time seemed to be running out as she would be reaching the age cut-off for her category. 

She gave in to her parents demand and  got married.

This final attempt was simply to appease her conscience that every opportunity had been taken up. She was unsure how her new family would react to her dream.

But she was in for a huge surprise.

He took complete control and let her concentrate on her goal. Not a single problem however trivial reached her. She gave all she had to this attempt. Whenever she did find some free time, both of them went for long walks. He introduced her to Classical music. Occasionally they played Rummy.

She felt calm and confident and optimistic. A new job awaited her.

“There’s coffee for you.  I am making Alu Parantha for breakfast. Come on….the website should have the results soon.”

So saying her husband of one year opened the Laptop.

I am joining Vinitha in her Fiction Monday series using the Photo prompt.

The Will

The paper was blank but Meena’s mind was full of thoughts.. What should she write.. They had a Talk on making a Will and all residents of the Elder Home were encouraged to do so. She had been living here for the last ten years. All said and done she was fairly comfortable. Food, company, medical help and entertainment was quite good.

Nothing to complain really.

Meena had sizeable assets that logically had to be willed to avoid disputes later.

What should she do? Did her two sons deserve anything after the way they had shunted her off to this Home? Sonam was more worthy according to Meena.

She did not remember when she last met her sons. Of late even the video calls had stopped. She consoled herself, that her elder one was busy in his career.. after all he would soon be the MD of his company. The younger one had become a father for the second time and naturally all his free time was spent with his kids.

Sonam had been their neighbour and was the only one who visited regularly. Just chatting with her was the bright point of Meena’s week. They spoke about old times, movies, current happenings, her work. Sonam was to be a mother soon and they had booked a new flat. Meena planned to make some baby clothes for the little one.

Over the years, Sonam became the daughter she never had. The two had become quite close.

Her eyes were moist as she looked back at her life. Was blood thicker than water? Her confusion over, Meena picked up the pen and began writing her Will…

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

I am joining Vinitha in her Fiction Monday series using the above photo prompt and word prompt ‘remember’.

The Envelope

Photo by Roman Koval on Pexels.com

It lay there on the table, untouched for a week, a seemingly innocent envelope that had become a huge source of discomfort to her. Whoever said letters got lost in transit was obviously wrong, as this envelope had travelled five cities – each time redirected via multiple addresses in hope of finding her.

P Shrikant, Delhi was clearly the original sender of the letter.

The name triggered memories of a tightly shut past. Why would he contact her after six years?

Six years ago she got married and left Delhi and severed all connections.

With Shrikant and all her college friends.

The graduation years were marked by a host of activities and Shrikant was always with her. They studied together, travelled together, and competed for the top spot. She felt there was something beyond friendship between them but was not sure if Shrikant reciprocated. Neither of them spoke and going with her family’s flow she married the chosen Boy as soon as her final year exams were over.

A clean cut was the best to settle into her role as a wife.

She was happy and content now.

A hundred possibilities crossed her mind. What if he wanted to reconnect… Was she ready to go on that road?

Her husband was curious about her sudden agitation. Who is he? Why don’t you open it?

Finally, she did.

With trembling hands, she unfolded the single sheet.

The envelope held her BSc Degree that Shrikant had collected from the University and sent to her last known address.

I am joining Vinitha in her Fiction Monday series.

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Priya had been thrilled to take up the Salon offer. Four sittings for the price of two. An unbelievable deal. At twice a month, she need not look for deals for their upcoming 30th anniversary. She could confidently accept compliments like “you look as if you were married yesterday!”

Appearances had unknowingly become a priority… and she had given in.. As an active member of the Tea party, Cocktail, Kitty circuit; she felt as if she had to look young 24X7.

But of late, this was becoming too strenuous. Suddenly the fine lines needed extra effort to be hidden and the greys appeared faster. Fatigue was setting in. In her fight with Age, the latter seemed to have the upper hand.

Priya was tempted to stop these frequent Salon visits but lacked the will power.

And then, out of the blue, the Lockdown happened. Everything was shut. Salons. Gyms. No parties either.

That meant her wonderful Salon discount could not be used.

After a few weeks of hesitation, she gathered courage to look at her reflection.

The fine lines and greys did not laugh at her.

When she smiled, they smiled back at her.

Suddenly the mirror became her friend as did Aging.

I am joining Vinitha in her Fiction Monday series using the word prompt Mirror.

First Steps

Abhi’s cousin had sequinned shoes and Abhie longed to wear them, the only time , when she had envied anyone. Sensing her desire Ma had got her similar ones as a trophy for today’s task. Abhi smiled in anticipation and excitement. After 10 years on this earth, today she was taking her first steps in the Parallel Bars.  She commanded her unwilling limbs supported with splints to move ahead one excruciating step at a time.  It was tough going.

Abhi thought she would faint as her throat went dry even as the twinkling shoes at the far end beckoned her forwards. She could see herself in the biggest sequin and the shoes glowed golden from sunlight streaming in from the window.

Abhi was almost there… She could sense Ma and Varshadi- her therapist, cheering her on but their words were drowned by the thudding of her heart. Three steps more, two more and then suddenly she was enveloped in her Ma’s arms, both crying copiously as if their hearts would break. Abhi tried to wipe her mother’s tears, which seemed to be glittering brighter than any baubles.. So what if her limbs were not fully under her control and her speech not clear? Abhilasha  was one of God’s own children and ‘special’ to everyone else.

The shoes were a perfect fit and Abhi admired her multiple reflections in them.  She was tired but agreed instantaneously for another walk. Her life journey would be rockier than most others but she could do it, she would!

I am joining Vinitha in her Fiction Monday series using the word prompt ‘faint’.

Surprise

Meena sat desultorily in the Mall guarding the numerous bags that Anu, her daughter-in-law had deposited in her care along with the children. Anu was getting her nails done.

Music blaring from hidden speakers drowned out shrieks of her grandchildren playing in the Kids Zone. The Game Console shone with bright lights which made it the top attraction. A toy train chugged past, whistling ineffectively in its attempt to clear its path.

They had been here since the Mall opened and Meena’s knees were protesting. Her feet ached from the unbroken Walking Shoes. Was her Plantar Fascitis returning? Walking on these super smooth floors was not easy at her age.

She was nursing an expensive coffee that had more froth than brew. It was cold now and tasteless . Maybe she should have opted for good old Nimboo Pani instead..

Meena had never understood the attraction of spending time in a Mall.

Before her patience was tested, Anu returned, smiling from ear to ear.

“Thank you so much Maaji. I hope the kids did not trouble too much. Now its your turn. I have booked a special foot massage for you. All you have to do is relax, I will mind the bags and kids.”

So saying she escorted a happily surprised Meena into the Spa she had just exited.

I am joining Vinitha in her Fiction Monday series using the word prompt ‘bright’.

Reflections on 2020 AprilAtoZ

Reflection #atozchallenge 2020

Hello! This is my seventh attempt at the April AtoZ blogging challenge and my was Experiences of a first time grandmother! 
Some sweet, salty moments and learnings! 
In case you have missed out, you can catch up here
Congratulations to all awesome bloggers who have completed this challenge. This year is unique as all of us around the world are facing the Covid19 pandemic. 


Luckily, the Internet Gods were kind enough to allow me to schedule, post and comment on many posts. The AtoZ master list listed 510 participants and 89 bloggers revealed their theme on the #BlogchatterAtoZ Theme reveal and I saw 144 awseome posts on the first of April!! Obviously I still have a lot of catching up to do, something that is top of my to-do list. 


I had delayed my decision to participate (its my seventh attempt) and once I did, I went into a frenzy of writing and managed to schedule all my posts much ahead of time. Y turned out to be most difficult and I was gasping for ideas till the last day! My posts were not image-intensive as it was more about my feelings and emotions and I did not make the effort of looking up memes to accompany the posts. Does it indicate a certain weariness? I cant say really! 


Visitors to my blog were generous with their comments and I Thank all of you! Even if you have not commented! 😉


Across all the challenge, I saw the popular themes related to writing, books, travel, cooking and best of all, I found 4 blogs about babies/kids and one by a grandmother one about future grandkids!! Yay! I was not alone!! 

Here they are..

This post is incomplete without mentioning Quilting Patch Applique by Frederique.. She posted outstanding quilting work and has even suggested an awesome knitting site that I plan to sign up for soon. Thanks Frederique!

A couple of wonderful Nature related blogs..



As in earlier AtoZ challenges, Keith’s Ramblings by Keith Hillman and Canvas with Rainbow by Anagha Yatin were outstanding with their fiction.  


The Lockdown has been extended in India as we try to accept an upcoming new normal in our lives.. that of always wearing a mask, carrying hand sanitisers. Greeting by way of Namaste and washing hands and feet have traditionally been a part of our lifestyle and I am glad the entire world is now adopting it. 


I pray that this calamity ends soon. 
I hope all you of are healthy and safe in your part of the world. 


Take care everyone!
It was nice meeting you all and reading your thoughts. 
Lets stay in touch! 


Stay Home! Stay Safe!

Here are links to my previous AtoZ attempts. 
2013 Mixed Bag
2014 Exercising For Fitness
2015 Gardens of Pune
2016 Herbs
2018 Contemporary A to Z
2019 Caring for the Caregiver

Z is to Zone Out

Hello! Welcome to my seventh attempt at the April AtoZ blogging challenge. My theme this year is Experiences of a first time grandmother! Some sweet, salty moments and learnings! My posts are totally based on what I felt (may even border on rants) and are not meant to be a guide. 

Zone Out
When I look back, the day when Daughter went into Labour and next 2 months are a blur. On the one hand time seems to have flown yet all days were almost identical. 


It was a period of intense happenings in our country.. major political decisions had been taken which naturally generated much discussion among friends and family. 


I had Zoned Out. 
Switched off from the world.


No reading newspapers or watching News on TV. No time for Facebook or Twitter. All my time and energy was spent on the newborn and first time Mom who we were hosting! 


These were precious moments that would occur only once in our lives..


And you know what, I realised I was not missed in the big world outside. Life went on – Trees blossomed, the Municipal Corporation functioned, the Stock Market fell and rose, roads got repaved … you get the drift..I did not miss them either.. 


In fact, I was so peaceful. So much so that I have decided to keep zoning out more often. Reduce the stress. Stay happy. Enjoy being a Grandma!!  

Have you tried zoning out? 
I am sure my thoughts may cause a deja vu to some of you especially someone who has hosted a new born. I would love to hear from you!

See you tomorrow folks!

Here are links to my previous AtoZ attempts. 

2013 Mixed Bag
2014 Exercising For Fitness
2015 Gardens of Pune
2016 Herbs
2018 Contemporary A to Z
2019 Caring for the Caregiver
Disclaimer: My posts do mention some products or service providers but these are not sponsored and not meant to be an advertisement.  

Y is for Young

Hello! Welcome to my seventh attempt at the April AtoZ blogging challenge. My theme this year is Experiences of a first time grandmother! Some sweet, salty moments and learnings! My posts are totally based on what I felt (may even border on rants) and are not meant to be a guide. 

Young

Every stage in a woman’s life involves a huge change.. its difficult to say which is a bigger challenge … 
– Puberty which changes a carefree girl to young woman 
– Marriage that makes her simultaneously balance the hats of a ‘daughter in law’, wife and professional.
– Motherhood which entails carrying, giving birth to, nurturing and then moulding the mind of her young one.
– Mother in law – this is equally challenging as she has to ‘let go’ of her child (son or daughter) to set up his own nest .. IMHO it may be more difficult for the mother of a son. 
– Becoming a grandmother.. again not something to be done lightly.. and this AtoZ is all about becoming a grandma..


The best part of becoming a grandma is that I can play, sing, dance with Grandbaba without inhibitions.. Baby talk becomes a norm as does miming nursery rhymes and stories.


I can easily avoid household chores and spend time happily playing with the baby. 
😉


Hide and Seek, Catch Catch, Hopscotch (my daughter used to call it Stapu), making sand castles and card towers. Finding joy in a weirdly shaped stone or chase the butterflies in the garden. These are just a few of things I am looking forward to..


Its my time to a revive the child in me.. to become young again! 

I am sure my thoughts may cause a deja vu to some of you especially someone who has hosted a new born. I would love to hear from you!

See you tomorrow folks!

Here are links to my previous AtoZ attempts. 

2013 Mixed Bag
2014 Exercising For Fitness
2015 Gardens of Pune
2016 Herbs
2018 Contemporary A to Z
2019 Caring for the Caregiver
Disclaimer: My posts do mention some products or service providers but these are not sponsored and not meant to be an advertisement.  All posts are from a maternal grandmother’s point of view!

X is for eXcitement

Hello! Welcome to my seventh attempt at the April AtoZ blogging challenge. My theme this year is Experiences of a first time grandmother! Some sweet, salty moments and learnings! My posts are totally based on what I felt (may even border on rants) and are not meant to be a guide. 

X has always been a challenging alphabet in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge..
So today again I will use X to outline my version of what I felt and did…

eXcited 
eXercised 
eXhausted (on a few days)
eXplained
eXalted
eXplored
eXamined
eXuberant
eXpressed
eXasperated
eXtrapolate
eXpedite
eXamine
eXhilerated
eXquisite
eXplosive
eXperiment
eXcuse

eXcellent for SAH Grandma!!

All eXtraordinary and eXceptional feelings!


I am sure my thoughts may cause a deja vu to some of you especially someone who has hosted a new born. I would love to hear from you!

See you tomorrow folks!

Here are links to my previous AtoZ attempts. 

2013 Mixed Bag
2014 Exercising For Fitness
2015 Gardens of Pune
2016 Herbs
2018 Contemporary A to Z
2019 Caring for the Caregiver
Disclaimer: My posts do mention some products or service providers but these are not sponsored and not meant to be an advertisement.