This year was also different for couple of things. We did daughter's birthday party at a place called Energy Centre in Gurgaon located in the largest public park here. The idea was not to be different but for children to have fun. I and the daughter were so bored with the umpteen Pizza Hut parties she got invited for - Same food, same place and sometimes even similar return gifts. The concept was novel and nice. Kids were invited at the centre where they first had a movie screening on climate change, there was a solar car ride, the centre head showed them giant solar panels and how they help to generate power for the centre. Post which they all headed for Terracotta painting - we selected pots since the return gifts were lovely plant saplings which each child took home to grow. The area was open, green and so very pleasant in the evening. We have gone couple of times there as a family now . for those in gurgaon, you must visit Roots- the organic cafe of the centre. Don't expect a superlative service- food takes good 40 min to arrive and the menu is limited but the place is like any college cafe...sit in the sun, grab a book, let the kids climb trees or run around and what perfect winter afternoon you want. This Sunday it was a beautiful sight watching them dancing under the bougainvillea tree - the flowers falling down on a windy day over them.
October also had a festival a week. With the kids now of an age where they are participative, more aware, its all the more fun. A lot has changed the way Diwali gets celebrated now. A few days before Diwali, daughter found it amusing that we made a big deal about new clothes on Diwali. I found it a little offending given the sentiments around the festival esp with grandparents around but then it struck me, in today's age she is so used to getting a new dress every now and then that she would not find a novelty in the same. So this Diwali took extra care to ensure that she gets her favorite dress for Diwali, it comes gift wrapped and is a surprise for her. The whole song and drama around it surely made it a novelty, with her now waiting for Diwali next year. Things seem to be changing so fast - there are hardly any fresh sweets being bought- most people end up buying chocolates- even we ended up buying chocolates for the kids friends. They found the sugar made " khilonas" traditionally used with " kheel" during Diwali very fascinating but backed out when offered to eat them. I wonder another five years and we might not see such things around. People have started going out for dinners on Diwali day - finish the puja, do away with the crackers and then off to a nice joint for family dinner. May be it suits them but I actually squirm at the possibility of my kids ever preferring that over home made poori, sabji, dahi vada and kheer. So till the time I have control, I am going to ensure that they have a very traditional Diwali . If I ask anyone of us, I don't think any of our Diwali memories is about the festival getting different and better every year like birthdays. Most Diwalis for all of us is same - Same puja, same sequence of events in every household, dads still asking moms every year how to do the puja, same aarti and same food menu. Yet its one of the fondest memories we all carry with us. Given the distraction and fast changing world these children live in, the only hope this mother has is to make the routine so repetitive year on year that it gets programmed in their mind and hopefully in their hearts.
Last month was also special. Some professional gains followed by my birthday. Sometimes I do wonder, I could have been single still or may be married but no kids, could have been in a different profession but what I am and have today is great. I never thought what my life will be in the thirties but I have learnt the futility of planning your life and have started enjoying what comes by. There were times when a maid crisis gave me distress or a bad day at work meant a week of stress- Now I have learnt to take all of this in my stride. I now appreciate and acknowledge that each day of your life will be different. You will get stuck with people you don't like personally and professionally, you will struggle to become a better daughter, wife and mother, you will always be short on time for your children but then the small joys, successes and happiness also come along. All we need to do is appreciate the same.
Have also learnt overtime that there are 2 sets of people who really enjoy the person you are. Indulgences in life is a luxury and these are the people who indulge you completely- your parents and your kids. No one enjoys your success more than your parents. The joy they feel when you succeed is tremendous - more so when you are a woman. Your parents treated all their children equally and fairly. They invested in you as a daughter as much as in a son and when you succeed in life, its a pride that's their prized possession. It can be a small win for you or a matter of fact thing which you deserved but the tinkle in their voice when they hear this surpasses all of that. The second is your children who make you real and humble. They couldn't care less what you have done or not done. They are the only ones peeping out of the door , ready to hug you the moment you land. The eyes twinkle seeing you as if all their lives , they have just been waiting for their tired mom to come home. Couldn't care less what you have achieved outside, you fail if you cant fix their favorite breakfast or read them a book.Nothing can be more humbling and real than this. Not to take away the importance of your life partner ( less he gets offended )- that's more of a relationship of equals - you enjoy each others success, console on failures and move together. yet there are expectations from each other. With your parents and your children, its pure love - its just YOU who matter to them .
In other news, December is round the corner. Intend to soak the winter sun and relish some great afternoons. Hopefully will do some more writing as well. There are some serious topics that bother me at times and hope to let it find its way in this forum.