Wednesday, July 6, 2011

An Apology Letter

My Dearest,

It has been a month since I could find time to write for you. I have been writing, alright, but then they were official mails, mails to friends and hopelessly long technical documents about the system I am working on (which I have no doubt would turn obsolete even before we are up and running).
Not writing for you doesn’t mean I have forgotten you. You are always in my thoughts. On weary nights I think about all the fun we had together. The things we discovered, the thoughts we shared and new friends we made.
So now puffy eyed, hurt to the core, you ask,” Then where the hell where you all these days? Picking mangoes in the desert?”
Silly Girl, I went home. I mean to India. I went to attend a couple of wedding and gorge on lovely home made food. I’m sure you can see that in the added pouches on my sides. (Now don’t snigger. I’m still high on my promises.)
Now believe it or not, this is what happened.

Yours truly is munching on Idli lavishly dunked in coconut chutney and Aviyal*,**.
Amma sits watching her progeny gulping down food like a hunger struck waif, needless to add, through her judging eyes. Through the corner of my eyes I watch a slight turn of lips,” God, let her not start on how easy it is to make Idli as breakfast before I go to work” I pray fervently as I take a sip of my tea, carefully avoiding Amma’s eye.
“Ehem”, Amma clears her throat. That is a definitive sign of the onslaught of what might be an hour long monologue on anything Amma found unacceptable about me. I flutter like a whale that senses the onset of tsunami.
“So what is your plan?” Amma asks. I lookup from plate and try to dislodge the coconut fiber that has precariously lodged itself to what could be my 32nd tooth and precisely where my tongue, short by a couple of millimeter, cannot reach.
I don’t understand the context, could it be about the five Idli’s I had snacked on? No, Amma is not a person who keeps account of food a person eats. I make a sound which signals her for a clarification on the context which comes eventually comes out like that of an elephant choking on excess palm frond intake, if you have seen one that is.
” Eat slowly, have you not eaten Idli in ages?” the progenitor reproaches. I want to clarify that I have an irritant lodged somewhere in my mouth and where I come from, Idli is not a gourmet dish. I decide against it, I’ve asked her to make me puttu and kadal.I didn’t want to squash my bets on that. Where I come from puttu and kadala is a gourmet dish.
          “Well, I’m talking about taking the next step in life. You are not getting any younger. Neither am I.” Amma tells me sternly.Babies.I have been home for two days carefully avoiding barbed remarks on my maternity planning. I remain silent, scourging my armory for my defense.” Don’t just sit there gawking like an idiot.” Boy, she really loves me. Look at the choice of words to call an only child. What ever her vices are, pampering a child to brattiness is not one of them.
“Amma, I’ll have a child when I want to.” I tell her controlling my instinct to scream at her for pestering me on such inane stuff. She gives a cold stare and walks out gallantly.
Her stare could’ve turned a fire breathing dragon in to a burned out match stick, but not me. She definitely failed to freeze me into an ice maiden but somewhere something bothered me.

I don’t understand what it is with people and babies. I’m married and I have no kids as of now. I will have kids when the time is right. What is it to anybody else? I love children. I’m not someone who would worry about forgoing my career to bring up a kid. I might fret, but I know my priorities. I really don’t need to be lectured on what happens in “late deliveries”. I want to tell Amma, I need a little more time to sort out my life. My eccentricities and my insecurities. There is no point bringing a child to an emotionally unstable mother. I want to tell her not to push me to have a child. Like any woman I want to enjoy the whole process. I shouldn’t feel talked into it, like some course I didn’t want to do in school. I know Amma,you have a thousand reasons and arguments to give me. I have only one. You can call me selfish but still I’m just not ready for it.
You can call your daughter a failure if you want. All these years of training and teaching to be a perfect daughter and daughter-in-law have paid off. But not this one Amma, not this one. The wedding happened on everybody else’s terms. When I have a child, I’ll do that in my own terms. This is the way I want it and this is the way I am going to do it.

“If you think I’m going to get pregnant just keep everybody’s mouth shut, then I am not going to. Tell anybody who asks you, your daughter is trying to live her life the way it makes her happy.” I tell Amma. She calls me stubborn and an idiot (again).

Now my dearest, there were other ordeals similar in nature and intensity which drained me. But there were also moments of happiness. Moments of laughter and joy. On the whole the trip was a roller coaster ride. And yeah books, loads of them.

But in between all this, I missed you sweetheart. I really did, my blog, my love.

With Lots of Love
Blue Lotus

*Aviyal : Is a super duper Kerala dish made from assorted vegetables cooked in coconut minced with jeera and green chillies.It’s yummy and I’ll have it with anything.(Not to be confused with the rock band, though are yummy too)
** We Keralite start and end our day with coconut. Stop rolling your eyes, it might just pop out, let me add like coconuts.


  1. This age factor is a huge curse for us! I mean first its ''you are getting old, get married! You are 24!''..nd then ''its been two years of marriage, you are 26..have kids''

    what about ''this is my life first''.
    Having a baby is a huge step and it beings new life into ones family. Like u said, if the mother or the couple is unstable, the baby will have an ugly childhood.

    You have the right to decide!

  2. Ayyo! People have only this to do no? "Your daughter got her period? She's a BIG girl now! *giggle*" "She twenty??!! Time to get her married!" "She's been married for two months and still hasn't conceived?? What ARE they doing in the bedroom?!" (No no, sex is just for reproduction. Not for any personal pleasure, apparently), "Her son is one year old no? When is she planning on her next??"

    Don't listen to anyone. It's your life, your body. Have a baby when you're ready to subject your body to that change and your life to a HUGE change. Having children is not just about getting pregnant, giving birth, and leaving them in the care of their grandparents.

    Welcome back!! :)

  3. first, welcome back! Kid(s) is a huuuuuge decision. I mean, yes, the body clock is ticking and all that. But still, you will make a much better mom if you are ready for the changes that come with it. Believe me, been there done that! First it was marriage, then the first one, and NO it doesn't end there - till you have the next one. Right now its the "When are you going buy a house phase."

    Given a choice, ALL the random strangers you meet (especially if your roots are in a remote village in Kerala) would like to know everything from your ovulation cycle to your bank balance.

    My three step solution to the issue in hand:
    1. Grin
    2. Enjoy the hospitality
    3. Get your ass outta there pronto

  4. Oh I *so* understand....currently I am at the stage of being pestered to get married. Your post gives me courage...I am not going to give in to the pressure...

  5. I am new at Indiblogger and the first topic that I decided to read was in the 'Offbeat & Personal' section, and I began with the latest entry. That's how I found you...

    I completely agree with you and totally understand your mind and the reasons to live your life the way you do! Yes, motherhood is the toughest decision ever...having battled it myself I know it! A former colleague and a dear friend once told me how she battled this out with her mother. Her parents lived in Lucknow while she and her husband lived in Delhi and worked in two different corners of the city. After about 2 years of marriage, her mother started the customary 'reminder' calls that basically boiled down to baby making! After about a month or so, she decided to take the bull by its horns! So one fine evening, when her mother called up, and started her practiced monologue again, my friend snapped saying, "Okay Mom,you gotta hang up now! Husband's back and since you are the only one who wants a baby, I think I'll just take him to bed...I am pretty hot under the covers and I can't hold my temptation to have sex right now!! So be quick and finish what you have to say" The poor mother hung up in shock and never did she call up again with this agenda! :p

    I was really tempted to repeat the same trick...but didn't have to! ANd when I told my mom that I am pregnant, she laughed in glee saying, "Uhhh! What happened to the fantastic planning that you had done??" I had to eat my own body had revolted against me!

    I don't want to make this sound like a sermon, and really don't expect you to follow my heed in any way! A woman has and must exercise her right to motherhood.This is one experience that changes everything about her and her life. If you are not ready for a kid, don't get into it...your own body,mind and heart will tell you when it is! My own pregnancy has changed me completely...and today even before the child is born I feel I was born for this...I hope and pray that every woman feels connected to this beautiful phase of her life! :)

    Loved reading your blog...keep writing!

  6. Welcome back Blue Lotus. Your blog is not the only one that missed you. Glad you had a wonderful time at home with your folks. My brood had come home too and I can understand the joy of reunion.

    Loved Rituparna's comment. I am sure you will manage just fine and do have a baby only when you are good and ready. My son and daughter-in-law waited for 5 years before they decided to have one and no, we didn't ask them anything, trusting their judgement.

  7. :) good to see you back, babies or no babies!
    have fun!!

  8. Thats a nice read!! this so happens always! People around are so much concerned about our lives and such important decisions of life!! We never get the breathing space! Once you are done with college then its the "get married" stage..then comes the "get pregnant" stage!! uff!!

    But after all at times its good though! the feeling that we have our close ones very much concerned about us :)

    Nice blog! :)

  9. Nice post echoing the minds of a lot of women out there who want to still enjoy life!For me thankfully, it was the other way round..My mum who had me a year after marriage, forever pesters me to NOT have a baby soon and to enjoy myself while I can! OH well, I really must have given her a hard time!

  10. agree wid life, MY rules :)

  11. Before I go missing again,Thanks a lot for being there for me...

  12. @Red Handed:Well said,don't fall for the age pressure.Get a grip on your life before you jump into any commitment.
    @Divya a.k.a Spaceman Spiff:The giggles part is the worst.I'm not even allowed to use the three letter word (s*x) in public,but then the baby has to come.Ironic.
    @Nirvana:Spoke my mind.My Grandmom pestered my parents to have another child,they had refused saying,"This one is enough!".

  13. @Tulika:+1 to you.Just make sure my mom and your mom does not read this post.
    @Ritu:Your friend mortified her mom?!!Hats Off to her.I don't hate babies instead I love them.Honestly,I'm scared.It's a big responsibility and I'm just a bit,you know ;-).
    I read your blog and I think it's really nice.
    @Zephyr:That was sweet Akka.I missed all the fun here.My parents don't trust my judgements.I have made quite afew "good" ones. :D

  14. @Magic Eye:Thanks Deepak.I'll have fun.I missed your monochromes.
    @Cindrella:Sometimes I know it's concern,most of the time I feel being pushed about.Thanks for dropping by.
    @Richa:I would love to meet your mom.She seems quite cool.Even my mom had me within a year and I was a real pest.May be she wants a revenge. :D

  15. @ maniac.hunter: +1 for that.It's my life and just let it me live it by my rules.But parents need not necessarily agree :D

  16. My friend had her first child at 40. Only after she had lived life the way she wanted to do - like a nomad, a life without moorings.

    And now she has left it all behind her as she glows with motherhood.

    It is your life and nobody has the right to tell you what to do with it - not even you Mom.

    Motherhood is not a responsibility, it is an experience to be cherished.

    And we missed you too sweetheart :)

  17. Awww.I want to be happy about it and not even for a minute look down at my child as an unwanted toy someone pushed into my lap.

    I missed all the posts and comments.You made my day Purba.