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Dedicated to mom and dad… blood is surely thicker than water.

Posted by Yashika Totlani Khanna on 5:28 PM in , ,
“God couldn’t be there with every child, so he created parents…”

Sitting alone in my room this late into the night leaves in reminiscing about the days gone by. Ma and dad, I can’t even begin to describe how much you mean to me.

My dad lost his mom, my grandma, when he was just 2 years old. So a childhood without a mom’s protective cocoon taught him what takes others no less than an entire lifetime to learn. Though his dad, grandpa, loved him more than any father could ever love his son… the lack of motherly affection (that only and only a mom can afford to give) left a never satiable longing for ‘mother’s love’. To worsen things, we lived in a joint family and dad spent his early days looking onto mothers who woke up their kids from slumber only to make them drink yet another glass of milk, while dad spent days without even tasting a single drop of the white liquid (grandpa was too busy with business… was the sole caretaker.). Now, an obvious aftermath of a tough childhood was that pa vowed to make the life of his children ultra-comfortable and full of love. Now as his offspring, I can proudly confer the title of the ‘World’s Best Dad’ on him (yeah, yeah. you must be thinking that every kid says that and it’s a quotidian notion, but really, my paterfamilias is different.). A few things that I miss about him after having shifted to Delhi are-

  • Driving me all the way to the school before an exam, while I tried mugging a few more facts on the seat alongside his in the car.
  • Comforting me after each of our quarrels, even when I was usually the one at fault.
  • Our post-midnight discussions on anything ranging from my school problems, to debating, to business issues, to politics, to tuitions, to family, to friends… he was my best pal!
  • His high b.p. when I used to drive his car while he sat nervously on the passenger seat, tightly clutching the dashboard with white knuckles!
  • Our importunate phone-addiction… calling him at work for trifle matters. It might have irked it at times, but he never showed.
  • His short-temper! Thanks to that, the world seems like a calm place, and people easy to handle! Cause handling him was the toughest! Also, he has unmistakably passed on his short fuse to me, in my genes ;)
  • The sudden softening of his expressions during an argument when he saw the slightest hint of hurt in my eyes.
  • His foregoing personal comforts to make sure we siblings had a comfortable childhood.
  • His priceless advice on anything under the sun!
  • His wisdom and grace and eloquence and erudition… do more men like him exist???
  • The glint of tears in his eyes when I was leaving for the US of A / packing for my 3 year stay in Delhi.
  • The pride in his eyes when I used to tell in that I topped in so and so subject / class.
  • His constant encouragement and those pep talks…
  • His fair and unbiased ways.
  • Our lovely Sunday family evenings.
  • His pats on my back.
  • His half-hour long prayers at amer-fort, while I just stood there waiting for him to get over.
  • His political acumen! From questions like ‘Dad, what’s the whole deal with Narendra Modi and the Gujarat riots?’ at lunch to ‘Which party do you think is better for India and why: BJP or Congress?’ over dinner… I miss those times!
  • Our shared laughs over ‘The great Indian laughter challenge’!
  • And most of all, I miss how ‘I’ felt around him… protected and special…
Truly a man blessed with a heart of gold. And interestingly, I’ve learnt one more fact about him in the past one year that I spent away from him- He can give VERY explicit instructions! Sample this-

Dad: Bitiya, independence day is inching closer. You try and stay indoors as much as possible.
Me: I know dad, I know. I’m not a small baby you see, I’m 19 now.
Dad: Beta no matter how old you get, you’ll always be my small daughter to me and I’ll keep guiding you, whether you like it or not.
Me: I know dad. But I can take care of myself now.
Dad: Listen, and this is an order, I want you to stay indoors till the 15th. No outings, no movies, no friends. If the need be, at the most you can go to your college. And then later straight back home. Avoid all public places like theatres, multiplexes, the metro station, etc……...yadda yadda yadda…

…………… you get the idea!
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So this is my dad… Now a little something about mom.

As a child I always thought that my mom was the prettiest lady on the face of this planet! With her white (nearly!) skin, perfectly arched eyebrows, hourglass figure, long lustrous hair and all. But soon I realized that she was much much much more than just being pulchritudinous (did I add sufficient number of ‘much’s??). The early memories of my life are sprinkled memories of her nursing me, cooking all sorts of cuisines for us so we never had to eat out, smiling warmly at my achievements, scolding me for my misdeeds (at times! not that I gave her much reason to complain!), waking me up in the morning for school (everyday for 12 long years!), teaching me social science and the dreaded math, etc etc etc.

Now a few things I miss about her:

  • Her waking me up in the morning! No matter how hard the alarms try, they never manage to wake me up! (courtesy: the snooze button! I keep pressing it without even realizing!)
  • Her delicious food! All other food in this world sucks! Well, not all… but a great part of it!
  • Her soothing words which never failed to ease my frayed nerves.
  • Her calls for truces while dad and I fought away in the living room, screaming at the top of our lungs!
  • Her constant efforts to make room for my umpteen books… space always fell short! Now my books are all piled up in a mould in my room here in Delhi!
  • Our fun ‘Miss Universe / World Contest on t.v.’ evenings!
  • Our melodramatic fights (if any! we rarely fought.).
  • Her insights into anything and everything!
  • Her incessant insistence that I consumed all 3 meals in a day, and that too with atleast two glasses of milk! Gluttony!
  • Her hot coffee on exam days to keep me awake through the night.
  • Her famous dal makhani, rajma and pasta! (I know I have talked about food earlier, but it’s just that these three items deserved a special mention!).
  • Her helping me with my packing (and the unpacking bit too!)! Now a task that took me 15 minutes earlier, with her around, eats up 2 whole hours!
  • Her advice on what would look good on me while buying clothes.
  • Our girlie talks and the saloon trips!
  • ‘Bad-people’ bashing! (confused? i intended so!)
  • Her tantrums on seeing me on the phone for too long! (but now I see it was for my own good!)
  • How she made sure that my brothers didn’t pester me with the loud idiot-box noises during my exams! (Bhais’! Nothing against you! I was childish and immature! Infact another post in the pipeline especially dedicated to you two!)
  • Our twaddles in the kitchen, while she cooked & I sat and talked.
  • Her supportive attitude.
  • Her optimism!
  • Her smiley demeanor and light moods.
  • Her reassuring smile.
  • Our evening walks to loose weight! (mom, please don’t kill me for putting this up here!)
  • Her habit of spending all the money at hand buying things for us three, while she came home without even a single addition to her wardrobe or assets. Selflessness at its primary best!
  • Her check-ins into my room on seeing my lights on late at night, to take the book from my hand and put it on the side table and cover me with a blanket.
  • Her persistent ‘learn to cook!’ nagging.
  • Her unconditional love.
  • Her oiling my mane and braiding my pigtail till until a few years back.
  • Our chole-dal-poori breakfasts.
  • Her occasional fits of anger that instantly drove her point home.
  • Dressing ‘up’ for family occasions.
  • Her de-motivation tactics to keep me away from junk food, and then later showing up with two large take-away bags of McDonalds that exude delectable aromas!
And many other things that are implied for any mom! Just wanna say… mom you are special and beyond compare!

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Ahh…folks, I miss our times together! But hey, as always there is a brighter side to things, my missing you two made me write this post! Would have never said these things on your face! Also, I’m finally getting to face the world on my own… which makes me appreciate the fact even more that you guys have actually done A LOT for me. Now folks, sit back, relax and let your penumbra (read: daughter) prove herself to you!

P.S. My adorable brothers, I reiterate the fact that you two will also see a post dedicated to you soon.


5

Solitude vs Loneliness

Posted by Yashika Totlani Khanna on 6:28 PM in ,
Solitude, by far, is a more ‘positive’ term than loneliness. Having gone through both these spells, I think I can do a pretty accurate analysis of the expressions for the good of others.A sententious overview:

‘Solitude’ refers to the state of being alone and the capacity to still enjoy the (intentional) lack of company.

‘Loneliness’ refers to a sad state which is a byproduct of dearth of friends or company.

Solitude is locking yourself in your room just to get away from the world and spend some quality time with yourself; to contemplate; to think; to realize what needs to be realized; to reconsider; to rejuvenate; to heal oneself. It’s almost always a result of personal whims. When does one feel the need for some solitude? After a break-up; a failure; before making an important decision; after a traumatic experience; a loners world… the reasons are umpteen and the list is endless.

Loneliness, on the contrary, is something that’s forced down our throats. An importunate condition, a gall issue. We never decide to be lonely ourselves… circumstances make that decision for us. Loneliness, in its worst form, leads to drastic changes in a person’s life, attitude and outlook. But in milder forms, it can have temporary repercussions that are usually forgotten overtime. What leads to loneliness? A bad temperament, failure, bile, a calamity, or basically any other thing that repels people away from us. Temporary repercussions? Lower levels of self worth and self-esteem, excessive drinking and smoking. Simple remedies: A good jog, a new hobby, blind idiot box worship, shopping spree, internet surfing, sex, binge eating and a positive attitude. All this and presto! We’re back to normalcy in no time!

P.S. Smell fresh wounds? Dont get any ideas... this is just another addition in my already long list of spontaneous posts!

7

Creativity marred!

Posted by Yashika Totlani Khanna on 10:18 AM in ,
Hi all! Now this post comes almost a month after my previous post… so I presume you all must be wondering where I have been. So this ‘comeback’ post should be an answer to all your queries…

The past month was hectic… actually on second thoughts, ‘hectic’ would be an understatement (and I read somewhere that second thoughts usually make more sense than the first breeze of thoughts that cross our minds. But that’s a different story altogether and I’ll elaborate on that in my forthcoming posts!). Let me give you a sneak-peak into what I have been up to this past month: a rude reminder that holiday season is not eternal (sigh!), frantic packing, addition of crazy nomadic overtones to my persona, loads of traveling, I-miss-my-folks blues, crazy timings, sudden lifestyle changes, the inclusion of a morning walk into this lazy bum’s schedule and BAM, I open my eyes to a different life. How I miss those lazy mornings and worthless days (read: holidays)!

Now for the title of my post: creativity marred. This is a strange phenomena and I’m going to explain it with a series of questions (that would later suffice as the answer): Has a task ever intrigued you so immensely that you find yourself thinking about it quite often, infact so often that it would successfully give your lover a complex?!!? Have you ever experienced the sheer joy that’s derived every time you do this task? Have you ever felt that you’ve finally found something you love to do and would continue doing in the near future? And then have you are being suddenly pulled out of your normal course of life and forced to attune yourself to the changing times? And lastly, have you ever found yourself feeling like an amateur again when you finally sit down to do the task you were so proficient at doing earlier?

This is precisely what happened with me. I had fallen in love with blogging and was always brimming with ideas that would go on to make my next post… was always raring to pen down my views about everything under the sun and post it for the world to see. Then suddenly holiday season came to a halt and I had to take a detour to my crazy life. The metamorphosis took its toll on my zeal to write and I lost all interest in blogging. So yesterday when I sat down to write, my mind went blank and the incessant tick-tick-tick of my clock was the sole thought that clouded my brain. Kept mulling over what to write and finally after an hour, gave up on the idea. Then today I decided to give it another shot but again couldn’t think of anything concrete, so just decided to share what I have been going through. Now as I write this, I realize that I’ve finally managed to incorporate the changes well (that a life in the fast lane forces down your throat!) and am once again my organized self (an excellent time-manager FYI! Sorry if the immodesty irks!). Normalcy seems to be the perfect antidote to the damage done to my creativity! New ideas are already pouring into my mind, like a gush of water from a broken dam.

Take 1:
It’s a beautiful day,
The sun is on its way,
I feel the wind in my hair!
“Oh what a brilliant time to live life!”
Take 2:
It’s a beautiful day to soak up the sun!
Let’s get out there and have some fun!
These lines were inspired by t.v. commercials (let’s see if you can guess which ones!) and yeah, I know they doesn’t make much poetic sense, but I love them! So the dam is down, which means plenty of posts coming your way people… hold thy breath!

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