She had me at hello!

Rachna, I mean. She had me at hello, lock stock and barrel. I’ve happily stayed ‘got’ ever since.

She ‘gets’ me more and more with every post she writes and every comment of hers that I come across. There is no drama about her. If plain- speak ever wore shoes, it would be hard put to fill hers. Bushels of common sense and a total lack of theatrics are her personal accessories. She wears them with the quiet elan of an indisputable owner.  I read her and I go, “God, that makes so much sense there out to be a law against her!”

But there isn’t. Thank God for lawlessness!

If I had to ever choose someone to raise my kids, she’d be the one. Her ideas on parenting are awe- inspiring and her values give me the confidence of knowing that my kids would be absolutely safe with her. She would fight for them as a tigress but never molly- coddle them; she would cook delicacies for them painstakingly but stand over them with a steely glare and make sure they finished up their lauki ki sabzi. What more can one ask for?

It gives me great pleasure to host her refreshingly sensible take on life in general and relationships in particular. As you chuckle away at her tongue in cheek humor, don’t be surprised if the point she is trying to communicate sneaks up on you and wedges itself firmly in your mind for all eternity. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I’d better give her the stage before you lynch me. Drum-roll please…!

It was 8 am on a chilly December morning in Bangalore. There was huge commotion around a stationary school bus. Anxious parents were crowding near the single door of the bus. There were some who were trying to hang from the window panes desperate for one last glimpse, anxiety writ large on their faces. There was another bus in queue. One bus was at the gate. In a jiffy, the driver of this bus starts the engine. People quickly move aside. Lusty calls of “Bye, have a nice day,” “Bye, putta,” “Take care” ring in the air. And, in a second the bus is out of the gate followed by the other one that now witnesses similar scenes unfold.

No, these children are not going to the border to fight a war. They are going to school! Alas, if some alien were to land at exactly the same moment, they would shed copious tears seeing the affection between the parents and the apples and blackberries of their eyes. Yet, if this alien were to land half an hour earlier, the scenes in the homes would be very different. These same parents would be yelling at the top of their voices cajoling bored kids to finish their chores to get ready on time.

Yes, it was one of those rare days when I went to drop my kids at our gated layout’s bus stop. And even on this rare occasion, I just wave them bye once and am gone. Okay, they are just going away for a few hours. And frankly I am happy that they are off to school. I am sure most of the parents are. So, why so much fuss? Why are they almost capsizing the bus by hanging on to it?

You know it is said that a bit of separation is good for continued love in relationships. We all experience that separation when we see off our partner and children as they leave home. Imagine if we were in each other’s hair all the time, all the semblance of happiness and love would evaporate. My husband and I work from home and a lot of my women friends empathize with my state. I mean, who would want a husband’s hawk eye surveying your already terrible housekeeping skills, which vegetables are rotting in the fridge, why is the laundry not folded and why is she talking on the phone for hours when she is supposed to be working?

It was difficult in the beginning, I must admit. But now, we work in separate spaces in the same home. We hardly bother each other in the working hours. And that brings me to the crux of the post. We need to give and take space to have healthy relationships. It is indeed true that distance makes the heart grow fonder. No matter how much you love the person, you need a bit of a break from them to be with yourself, to replenish your energies, to do something that you enjoy and to miss them! If you are a working mom, don’t feel guilty for leaving your child for an outing. If you are a stay-at-home mother or wife, don’t feel guilty in leaving your home and hearth and going out with friends. Yes, women are always guilty of not doing something or even of doing something that they cherish. How terrible is that! Claim your space and also enrich your own relationships most importantly with yourself!

So, smile and bid goodbye to your loved ones. When they come back home, you will welcome them with a warm hug and a sunny smile! And please do have mercy on that bus, will you?

Picture Mine
Picture Mine