Motherhood: A Song For Life

As I look down at my baby feeding hungrily, pain jolting through my entire body, tears cloud my eyes and stream down my cheeks. Amma is stroking my hand reassuringly. I look up and she dries my cheeks. “It is going to get better. You will learn to love him!” I close my eyes, draw a deep breath and lean back. Will I?

The day we found out we were expecting will be etched in my memory forever. We hugged each other with tears of joy and called parents and siblings to share the “good news”. Everybody was ecstatic. The fact we refused to find out the gender and wanted to be surprised added to the anticipation. We cruised through pregnancy and they were the most cherished days of my life. My parents guarded me with fierce love and watched every step I took with eagle eyes. My husband was my rock. He did not miss a single appointment, always carried chocolate bars for instant energy, took me on long leisurely strolls and kept me sane. He weathered my hormones and cooked my favorites. In many ways he had already began his journey of becoming a great father.

As the due date came closer, we realized that we had one stubborn child. He was so happily cocooned inside my belly, he refused to show up. Finally after a week the doctor decided to induce me. I was nervous since I wanted a normal delivery and this was slowly beginning to look different. Then my child read my mind and calmed my nerves. I had my first contraction. We drove to the hospital frantically, exactly the way I had dreamed it would be for nine months. After 23 hours of labor with the magic of epidural and countless popsicles, he made his appearance. I was nervous, were we ok with a boy? They placed him on my chest and he peeped at me with his barely open eyes. With my eyes filled with tears and his mop of hair, I could hardly see him. And I was wailing more than him glad that this was over. But little did I realize that the journey had just begun.

For the days we were in the hospital, I remember being a basket case. I moaned in pain, I cried because it was not hot or cold enough. At one point, my husband stood in front of the thermostat waiting for divine intervention. Should I turn it higher or lower? Even after we came home, I was completely consumed by the demands that motherhood had physically that I had failed to acknowledge the miracle of this tiny person in my arms.

Breastfeeding was painful and demanding and I did not feel the overflow of motherly love. In fact I cried a lot. I cried because I couldn’t sleep for more than 2 hours. I cried because I couldn’t walk more than a few steps. I cried because I couldn’t do anything without worrying about the baby. Was he hungry? Should I change his diaper? Is he getting a rash? When will his cord fall off? Amidst all this there were no moments where I proclaimed that I was his mother and I shall protect him from the evils of this world. After a couple of months I began to worry that something was wrong with me. Why did I not feel those emotions? Why did I not love him with my entire being? In Tamil cinema, there are several rolls of film dedicated to these emotions, several songs in glory of the relationship. Yet, yet, here I felt zilch. I had waited anxiously for months to become a mother. But now that I was one, I did not feel it. Surely, I’m a bad mother.

But as my wounds healed and my baby started cooing and gurgling, things changed. There is not going to be one aha moment. But as stranger anxiety fills him and he finds me amongst the pool of people and whimpers, I begin to love him a little more. When suddenly he open his mouth wide and grabs my entire cheek and wets it, I know he is telling me something. When I try to burp him, his hands encircle my neck and tighten, his face nestles on my bony shoulder and I smell his hair. The soft baby scent intoxicates me and as I rub my cheek against him, I begin to love him a little more. As I feed him with a spoon and he is blowing bubbles covering both our faces with cereal and chuckles effortlessly. We both grin like fools and I begin to love him a little more. Through these little moments I’m learning to love him. Love him unconditionally.

Cuddling him through sleepless nights, cajoling him through endless feeding sessions, cheering him even he trails the races, feeling pride even when he doesn’t ace his milestones, soothing him through sick days and struggling to put his needs above my wants, always. It was not meant be a platonic love at first sight relationship. This is heartbreaking and traumatic yet exciting and heartwarming. This will always be a work in progress because this is hard and life consuming.

Loving him comes naturally to me now but the time it took prepared me for being a parent. You have to choose what kind of  mother you want to be. This journey is going to have dead ends, sudden turns, heart-on-your-mouth bumps and screaming highs. It is going to require epic amounts of endurance, patience and love. Do I scream at him or walk away calmly? There is no such thing as a good mother. But being a mother is a commitment. A promise filled with toothless grins, stubby fingers, smothering kisses, breathless hugs, unscented aromas and heartwarming surprises. As he wraps his fingers around mine and tightens his grip, I know that am hopelessly in love and I’m ready for the ride.

Also,

Women’s web has a contest based on the journey of motherhood. Since I wanted to chronicle it myself, this works great. They have a wonderful video illustrating the anxiousness, insecurities and challenges of motherhood.

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T.H.A.L.A.I.V.A.R

“It would be blasphemous to call Rajnikanth, Rajnikanth. He is and will always be Tamil cinema’s Thalaivar. The response and the verve that single epithet evokes cannot be expressed in words. When Thalaivar was rushed to the hospital for alleged food poisoning, it was not just his family but millions of fans stopped what they were doing and prayed.”


Read on….
http://www.behindwoods.com/tamil-movie-articles/movies-08/thalaivar-09-07-11.html

Rewind

Before any of you start thinking this post is about my memories or incidents that qualified as the best of 2010, i shall stop you here. This is the best of 2010 but with regards to music.

Everybody who knows me, know that am a sucker for Tamil Cinema. Please to note Tamil in the cinema, i haven’t watched Inception or Break ke Baad, so am not great in other languages but Tamil Cinema, oh yes.
When we were in college and ghotting for exams, we had Illaiyaraja hits playing in the background. There were some songs that always used to go on a loop, rewind, play, rewind, play.. you get the idea. That would go on until the tape started to squeak. This was before the i’s(iPhone, iPad, iPod) and the shuffle, MP3 zamana…(i know, i’m ancient). Such was the fate of Pani Vizhum Malar Vanam and Idhayil Kathai ezhuthum…

Music is integrated into my life and i would play cinema songs in the car, while cooking, taking a shower(??!!) and sometimes while praying(i cant help it, it just comes to my mind. Pillayar..please to forgive ). So why not round up on the Best of 2010 in Tamil Cinema and am only listing the songs where i liked the video too.

* Arima Arima(Endhiran) – It has to start with Thalaivar, otherwise it would be Blasphemy
* Aaromale(Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya) – Simbu ..SIGH!! But loved the guitar and ARR.. u rock Rahman.
* Karigalan(Vettaikaran) – This is foot tapping and Vijay songs just gets your adrenaline pumping. (K, i get reminded of Mudhuri cake too when i listen to this now, so send some my way soon).
* Idhu Varai(Goa) – Andrea is mesmerizing and this doesnt follow the standard structure which makes it more unique.
* Iragai Pole(Naan Mahan Alla) – Yuvan totally rocked in this song. The Mr. still doesnt get it but i like the hum and the voice.
* Thakuthey Kann(Bana Kathadi) – Did i say Yuvan rocks?
* Adada Mazhai Da(Paiyaa) – This song was great for both the dance and the music. Good work.
* Usurey Poguthey(Raavanan) – There is a funny story i recollect when i listen to this song(Thanks to K again). I wish it wasnt Aishwarya but i think Mani has learnt his lesson.
* Who’s the hero(ManMadhan Ambu) – This song is again by Andrea and man can this women sing.

So here i go tagging K, Jawz, KP and Anu. List the Best of 2010 and make your own criteria.

SILENCE

A month spent amidst family ~ BLISS!!! It is very rare to get such occasions even if siblings live in the same continent.. spending 30 days with your family. That said, i treasured and cherished every minute of it. Having a new born added more ecstasy to our jubiliant lives.

Now am back home…. PAUSE!!!
What is the first thing that hits you when you are at home after a vacation from India.. the silence!! That is what always hits me, then comes nostalgia, home sickeness et al. But the first blow is always the silence. The quiteness of our neighbours, the purr of the hybrid vehicles, occasional bow wow’s from dogs, non-existent comcast… a stark contrast to the vivid, noisy, colorful, blarring that is almost always interwined into our lives.

To add to this silence, we have shrunk the family to the smallest possible unit. What once consisted of parents, grandparents, great grand parents, children now consists of the “nuclear”set of two/three people.
We have shrunk family to such a tiny scale, each person in his or her own private space, completely dislodged from others.

Some of us can recall our childhoods.. every second filled with friends, grannies, relatives, neighbours, siblings. There was never a moment of privacy and we dint care for it either. We were happy and content sharing our otherwise mundane lives with others.

I’m not saying i dont like this life, doing things we are passionate about, having the time to cook international cuisine, learn a sport or two.. but my question is when will the mind ever learn to unlearn the noises that filled our lives? When will it learn to stop yearning for the countless strangers who were an integral part of our lives? When will we learn to make our peace with the silence?

Trespassers should be prosecuted

We live in a democracy which promises freedom and equality to all. It is the same democracy that also advocates privacy. It is appalling to see media exploit this privacy in the name of awareness. Nothing justifies peeping through a person’s bedroom through your camera lens. That is off-limits, crossing boundaries and trespassing. It is for this reason we have the censorship board, government and officers of the law.

The telecast by Sun TV of a Swamiji being intimate with a woman was akin to pornography which should have been censored. It is for this reason that certain uncouth words are beeped out and scenes completely removed from cinema. When one form of entertainment is subject to regulations how can we let the Television which brings news and advertisements right into our homes go scott-free. One can argue that we could always change the channel to avoid convoluting the minds of young and children but shouldn’t the laws hold all forms of media in the same scale?

There are numerous organizations that would resort to violence for certain opinions expressed by celluloid heroes, crimes committed by godmen. We are always ready with weapons to tear down homes, offices and ashrams. Is there not a better way to appease our mind and calm our senses? Isn’t the pen mightier than the sword?

Although it is frustrating to see the world at war in the 21st century, it is even more frustrating to see such blatant acts of evading privacy. Nobody is justifying the acts in question, but it does not give media the power to publish material without care and consideration. These acts are not synonymous with freedom but what is pulling this country back from going forward.

We cannot call ourselves a true democracy unless we hold such acts accountable and along with power comes responsibility. If you trespass, you should and will be prosecuted.