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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Kellogg’s Waalaa Nashta

We had just shifted to a new locality and our immediate neighbour's were the Gupta's We discovered that our identity proof  provided was not so much our postal address as  the fact that we were Guptaji's neighbours we were called "Kellogg's wale Guptaji's neighbours."

We were acknowledged as Guptaji's neighbours and introduced as  Guptaji's neighbours .Obviously we wondered why was this ? and we also wondered why everyone wanted to visit the Gupta's for breakfast everyone would wait for an invitation from the Gupta's to join them for breakfast , they were entrusted with the job of providing breakfast during any social function in fact you would be astonished to learn that even during weddings where the bride's family employed the best caterer's of the town   to provide lunch and dinner to the boy's party ," the Baratis" ,  the  breakfast part was entrusted to the Gupta's and the groom's family too used to be happy about this .
This mystery came to an end  when Mrs. Gupta invited us for breakfast on a Sunday morning . we were so excited and also a bit apprehensive and eager as to  what we would get to see .
Ah! the breakfast at the Gupta's at last.
Not for nothing was Guptaji so famous as 'Kellogg's wale Gupta ji '.

   Being an Indian, for me no meal , be it breakfast or lunch or dinner or even tea is complete unless it is " anaj wala " and I was really scared and hoping that the Gupta's should not provide me with fruit juice, and fresh fruits in the name of healthy breakfast or worse still some "smoothies" you know that kind of stuff which is so trendy these days and God forbid the healthiest of all "moong  Sprouts" . Even Lassi( drink made of curd ) or chhaachh ( buttermilk ) with a plate full of dry fruits thrown in to prove their magnanimity  were not very welcome as breakfast  I had made some puri sabzi and kept it ready to be consumed on our return from the Kellog's  wale Guptaji's residence.   

But !!  What a breakfast  !!!  delicious and healthy and a beautiful spread .It was" anajwala too " cornflakes is" anaj"  isnt it ? and served by Mrs Gupta the dishes  were absolutely mouthwatering  together with being healthy and traditional . All those super healthy and scary things like curd, fruits, honey , sprouts were there but in such a different form . The healthiest of all and also the scariest of the lot moong sprouts was the most delicious she had  mixed  besan( gram flour) and curd cooked it to a thick paste then she added moong sprouts, cornflakes    and  ummm!!! the most delicious snack was presented before me . Similarly .... no no wait I will put everything in the order in which they were served first of all came a cornflakes fruity yoghurt  beautiful tasty drink of curd, mixed with fruits and cornflakes . She knew I am more fond of savoury dishes than sweetened ones  , so she brought in  the cornflakes ,besan and moong sprouts khandvi ( as I called it) but its actually  called  Khattemoong cornflakes  then came the  cornflakes coconut laddoos specially made for my mother - in - law .In fact My daughter and I exchanged glances when we saw my m-i-l  enjoying the laddoos because she was the one who was making all the fuss in going to the "Kelloggs wale Guptaji's" house and as a parting gift the kids were handed over Walnut  Cornflakes Choco balls and I was handed over  a packet of both Kellogg's Cheesy Cornflakes and Cornflakes Chana Chaat to enjoy at home with tea in the evening . Gupta ji the gentleman that he is brought a small boxfull of the laddoos and handed it to my mother - in - law and became an instant hit with her she was so full of praise for the family and specially Gupta ji . 
 .When we thanked her and said now we understood why people wanted to be invited by her for breakfast Mrs Gupta accepted the compliments but she told us that Chef Ajay Chopra had also helped her with the innovations in recipes .She also told me that she could share many more recipes with me if I wanted them . 
The best thing I liked about the whole breakfast invite was that it gave us that feeling of satisfaction which we get after eating a real "Anaj wala Nashta" that feeling which says hunger has been satiated the typical feel full Indian feeling the kind after which we feel like going for a nap . But minus the calories . Kellogg's  satisfies through its taste and not high calorie content . The calorie count is so low that one doesn't have that feeling of acidity and heaviness even after a full meal .
My daughter was very happy that we had all liked the treat because she is a fan of Kellogg's,  specially its SPECIAL K diet plan and the green signal  given by her granny to include Kellogg's in our daily menu was a delight for her .

 @guptajikifamily  #KelloggsWaleGuptaji. 
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Sunday, 22 March 2015

a smiling child -- a joy for ever

Happiness is that elixir which intoxicates us in such a way that we become oblivious to all things sad and all things ugly.It spreads like wildfire destroying all weeds It blesses him that gives and him that takes .

To me the happiest thing in life is to see a happy child .
And the saddest is the sight of a sad child.

For me children are Gods most vulnerable creations they are so innocent , and helpless and to me a person who can abuse a child in any way is the incarnation of Satan himself A person who can make a child cry is the cruellest person on this earth .

To bring a smile on a child's face is my mission , my ambition and my aim in life.I am lucky that  my family too has joined me in this mission . It requires nothing except a little time to pursue this.
 . We have made it a point to celebrate all happy occasions in our life among children be it a birthday or an anniversary or any achievement that calls for celebrations we include the children of any local orphanage , or from the beggars colony to join us in our happiness  It does not take more than 2 hours per visit but it  stretches much beyond because we get so carried away with their laughter and happiness that we loose count of time .

 As a rule we distribute either bananas  or glucose biscuits to the kids and you should see the smiles and excitements on their faces when they receive either of these goods . Our choice fell on these two things because once we noticed that during the "shradhs" when people distribute food to beggars in temples its "puri sabzi " always and sometimes some sweet like "jalebi" and no beggar is very enthusiastic about it but  when we distributed bananas they welcomed it with smiles literally  spreading from one corner of the face to the other  and the biscuits ( four biscuits in a pack) proved to be a treasure for them . This was I suppose because these are things which they do not normally get to eat .

My daughter's fifth  birthday saw us distributing packets which had four  biscuits  , two balloons and a plastic whistle in it and I am sure we would have been booked for sound pollution had the police known that we were the ones who had given those whistles to the kids. What a commotion and what laughter and fun and frolic . Can such a simple gift bring so much joy to them ?  So much contagious joy that it spread to us and we were as excited and laughed as loudly .

This incident told us to firstly always distribute our wares in gift packs because  this makes  them feel special and secondly always include some such items  which were rare for the kids.  One edible item  together with one toy  was more than enough to bring everlasting smiles on their faces . Till now we have distributed  banana's ,  coloured chalks together with slates , balls ,  toffees  ( just a hundred rupees for happiness worth millions ) bubble gums and even small helpings of ice cream  , these are novelties and delicacies for them where as trivia for us . May be we would go in for cup fulls of some soft drink in one of our future visits.

Apart from these musts we also distribute clothes and books and note books and old toys and we have discovered that children whether from the orphanage or the beggars group love to put  jigsaw puzzles together and can be seen to spend hours rearranging them . In fact when we took these things for the first time to an orphanage the person in charge told us that it was the first time anyone had brought such gifts and when we asked him about the reaction of the kids he said it was terrific and that the children had loved the things . According to him the children were fascinated by the toys because they had seen those things only in pictures An old rocking horse was the prized item enthralling all age groups .

The older children had loved the books because it had made them feel superior to the younger lot .

We love our visits to these poor homes, orphanages and the beggars colony  . Because the pleasures that  our visits bring  to the children  give us so much happiness They  bring a smile to our lips a feeling of having brought happiness to someone and that too to "Gods sweetest" creations .

Its not as if we only want to bring happiness to the poor and the less fortunate children . A child may be from any strata of society but he/she is equally vulnerable, so the prince as well as the pauper need equal love and affection. The only difference is that a prince is not denied the material comforts BUT emotionally he too may belong to the deprived lot so bring a smile to any child's lips and find yourself smiling along with him/her. When you see a smiling child you automatically start smiling whether he/she is related to you or not.

There is an old English proverb which says  "The soul is healed by being with children" and Its so true haven't you noticed that a person in whichever state of mind facing what ever calamity can be made to smile if a smiling child is brought to him/her to be very frank even a person sad after a loved ones demise smiles when a   baby or small child is brought to him/her .

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Saturday, 14 March 2015

we are happy , because we were together

Though we did not live in a joint family but it was the unwritten rule that we the members of the clan always spent our holidays with  our cousins , either we visited them and spent all our vacation with them or they came over to our place . How we looked forward to these holidays and as it used to happen in those days every age group had their counterpart among  the cousins .

It was one such summer vacation when our cousins were supposed to visit us . We were waiting for them .This visit was more important because an unmarried aunt of ours was to be married during the vacations So there was double excitement , holidays and a wedding in the family both together. 
My dad was the head of the family as we had lost our grandfather many years ago . Dad had to look after all the arrangements and everything including the fact that he had also the responsibility of finding a groom .Which he  had achieved after a lot scrutiny , selections coupled with a very very humble attitude in all his dealings . The result was that he had secured a really good match for his darling sister . The youngest of his siblings and more like a daughter to him . 

Half the vacations were over and the hustle and bustle had picked up momentum only ten days left for the wedding . Lovely gifts for the grooms family , special and exclusive gifts for the groom and   a beautiful trousseau  for the bride were all being arranged for . The best brands were vying with each other and all visitors and friends were full of praise for the arrangements . 

Just four days were left when  a courier came from the grooms family with a letter which said that since they were not asking for any dowry the elders of their family had asked for a car as a gift which they could boast about,  after all they had to show something to  the society how could a highly placed groom in a good job in a private company be just handed over to the bride free of any charge , she would be the one enjoying all comforts he would bring home so a car was not a hard bargain . 
This was a big blow to our family and my father was heartbroken he had two reasons to feel bad about , one was that it was not easy to get a car in such a short time span and the second and more important was that he found it disgusting to see that even the family which he had chosen with so much scrutiny and of which he was so proud that they were not greedy , even they had turned out to belong to  the greedy clan of dowry seekers. He had held them in such high esteem but his castle had come down with a crash . 

My family  decided that such a person was not  fit to be trusted with the girls future and the news was conveyed to the grooms party .Though people did talk in hushed tones that this could ruin the girls future . 

After this a pall of gloom  fell on our family because in those days as even today it was difficult to get a girl whose alliance was broken for whatever reason ,married again .Society of course was always ready to pounce on such episodes and satisfy their urge to gossip. 

Two days later  another uncle of ours ( my mother's cousin) came to join the wedding celebrations with his family .He did not know about all that had happened . So he was astonished to hear about  the sad story . But in an attempt to make matters light he asked  everyone to take matters lightly and may be better things were in store for the girl --"he said why are all of you sad this is not the end of the world .. we will together look for a better match for her we are with you  Bhaisahab" to which my grandmother replied rather rudely that it was all right to say this but did he realize how difficult life would become for the girl. And of course much of her anger was targeted towards my father.

"But we are into it together , each and every one of us , we will look in our respective social surroundings in our own cities  don't you know that story about the bundle of sticks which could not be broken when together , similarly our family will not be broken " 

"Stop that lecture of your's Subodh enough of your togetherness "my granny shouted "enough of it .. go find a groom for her and then come back " This hurt him and he went to his room . My dad went to him and apologised .

But Subodh mama said he understood her reason for the outburst and then he rather meekly asked my dad if it was acceptable to them if he asked my aunt's hand in marriage for his son will my grandmother accept the alliance . My father could not believe his ears  and asked him why was he doing this was it out of sympathy ? to which he replied it wasn't out of sympathy but it was due to the respect he had for my fathers's decision of not giving dowry and he had seen how calmly my aunt had behaved and seconded her brother's decision not like other girls who would have thrown a tantrum. 

Together he and dad went to my granny and asked if the alliance was acceptable to her . She was dumbstruck and after a while she asked him if he really meant what he was saying , if he knew what the gossip mongers will say about bringing that  girl whose marriage had been broken as his daughter -in-law . 
He calmly asked" that means you too think that the fault lies with the girl your own daughter , because if you think like this then why blame society ?" 

This silenced all and my granny realised that society is made of all kinds of people . She understood the meaning of the word " together " which she had found so irritating when Mama ji was using it to calm her down , she had called his words " Lecture". 

My dad asked her if there was any problem in accepting the offer some caste and gotra and all that kind of stuff  to which she  replied in the negative she said " firstly from now onwards I have stopped believing in the false and pretentious rules and customs made by society and secondly even otherwise Subodh  was  Bahu's ( my mother) cousin so no problems " 

The arrangements were already done , the wedding preparations were complete only thing some of the branded gifts were returned and better and more expensive brands bought and this was the first marriage in our family in which the bride and her family were finding it difficult to stop smiling when the bride was leaving her  maika ( mother's home)  for her sasural ( in-laws-place ) even the customary tears were difficult to bring into our eyes . And our Vivek Bhaiya now became our Phoopha ji .

Isn't this what being together is all about . Distances don't matter its the heart which should be together and ready to help . 

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  @housing  #together

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

That night that year

When my father passed away in 1971 we were left absolutely stranded with no experience in life. I was just nineteen  my brother fifteen  and my sister ten . we were absolutely lost.My mother was just forty  and like  most women in those days she was only a matriculate .

We just couldn't understand how would we survive .Savings were there but there was a vast span  of life to be taken care of  and the savings were not sufficient .

Our relatives from both my father' s as well as my mother's side came up to help they wanted us to go and stay with them so that they could take care of us because if we continued to stay in our existing home it would not be easy for them to visit us often. They all meant well and the reasons put forth by them were also not wrong .

But life had taught us that how ever well meaning, once you become dependent on others ,they would start taking you for granted .

My maternal uncle said that it would be very difficult for us to stay alone so he decided for us that we should go and stay with them . He had even bought the tickets and everything was agreed upon. Our friends and neighbours too said that that was the only sensible thing to do and that was the done thing .

The night before we were to leave , we four ; my brother ,my mother ,my sister and myself were just sitting together when suddenly I clutched my mother and said " Maa lets not leave this place , lets stay back " and will you believe it ! it was as if every one was waiting for the cue my brother too said the same , my sister also started crying and said that she did not want to leave the place and my mother looked as if she was just wanting to here this from us ,as if she needed an excuse to stay back . She knew that it would not be easy to stay with other relatives specially as our lifestyle was so different from theirs .

So in that instant we decided that we were not going . The news was conveyed to my uncle who naturally did not like it but we had decided on it and that was that.  He told us that if we wanted it that way let us stay back but if ever we needed his help he was always there .This was very kind of him , but the actual reason was that he thought we would not be able to cope with our decision and would need his help sooner or later.

This particular decision we took that night was the turning point in our lives ad my mother always gives me the credit for taking that decision .

Having to stay alone on our merits , having to stand on our own feet gave us tremendous self confidence . The same friends who had said that going to my uncle's place was the best thing to do now applauded our decision of staying back , the company my father had worked with offered me a job and also sponsored my  post graduate  studies. This was a big help .

WE were bent upon proving to the world that we could survive without any one's support . My mother at times had bouts of depression, and to help her over come that, her friends started taking cooking lessons from her this not only helped keep her busy it also gave her a feeling of contributing towards the family income and this was a great moral booster.

Today after more than 40 years we just sit back and think of those days . How one decision of not taking any help from our relatives helped us in achieving this life style of ours My sister is a successful business woman my brother a CA and I am now retired from service and leading a comfortable life with my children and grandchildren.

One thing is sure had we gone to stay with my uncle we would never have achieved what we have. Simply because  there's was a very conservative thought process. May be we would have been leading the traditional way of life comfortable but staid .

The feeling of achievement would always have eluded us .

What makes me happy is that even today my family gives me the credit for the decision though we all know that it was not my decision alone every one was equally involved they all had the right to veto my suggestion but they did not  Everyone wanted it but I took the risk or responsibility of suggesting and that 's why they call it my baby

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Friday, 6 March 2015


 ."Reeta ! what  on earth is the matter with Esha she is looking so run down ? I had come here to show her dance to these my nieces  but what is this she looks ill what's the matter ? She was so cheerful when I saw her the  day before "

"Yes Aunty has been telling us  so much about her cuteness and dance etc that we came here just to meet her " quipped both my nieces .

Before Reeta could say anything her mother-in-law rushed in with  some burning coal in an earthen pot.She started closing all the doors and windows and while ordering Reeta to sit with the baby in her lap.

I asked her what was happening and she said " there's some evil spirit around, some evil eye has cast a spell on her , that is whe whole day around .Just she how she has pulled down ." She then put a handfull of red dry chillies and mustard seeds on the burning coal resulting in lot of smoke and the room became unbeaable to stay in nearly everyone began coughing and choking including Esha she even began vomiting.

I rushed and opened the windows and  almost pushed Reeta and Esha out of the room incurring the mother-in-law's wrath but I did not care.

After the baby's wails of agony and the grand mother's tirade of anger had both subsided we gave the baby some water mixed with sugar to soothe her nerves and then I asked them what gave them the idea that an evil spirit was around?

Reeta with tears and fears in her eyes looked at her mother-in-law who had taken charge . She told me that Esha did not sleep properly at night , she gets up frequently and passes urine in large quantities during the day too her behaviour had become very erratic and  whenever we check them we find her nappies and panties overflowing with urine , and all this must be due to some evil spell cast by so many of Reeta's jealous friends who come to visit them .

Phew!! what a speech full of hatred from her and what a sigh of relief from me.

"Aunty ! Aunty  ! please calm down and Reeta you too stop those tears of your's ." I said and then I asked them ,what month and what time of the year was it ?  "december and winter isn't it ?"
" Well then the baby urinates a lot due to the weather , and madam Reeta the cold weather and cozy blanket lure you to a sound sleep --sounder than in the summer and during the rains , and you fail to get up everytime the baby wets her nappy you get up only when she starts crying which is after she has passed urine two or three time and all her clothes become drenched unbearable for to sleep in .This makes you think she has passed urine in large quantities "

I saw the mother-in-law ready to pounce on the daughter-in-law so I turned towards her " and Aunty these lovely nappies we make at home with a plastic sheet between the two sides does not soak the urine in fact it transforms the nappy into a pool of water " I had said this because I knew she had stitched them and I wanted her to feel that she has contributed equally to her grand daughter's discomfort.

She sat down like a punctured balloon.

All this wet nappy treatment results in sleeplessness at night and cribbing during the day .In fact they were lucky that the wetness had only affected Esha's sleep and had notreached her chest and lungs which could have caused fever too and in extreme cases pneumonia.

Both the ladies were stunned But then I put their minds at rest that nothing serious had happened and we had a very good remedy for  baby's discomfort  and uneasiness we have to start Pampering her --they looked offended and chorused  "But we do love her so much and pamper her too "
I started laughing --" you do love her and pamper her too but not With "PAMPERS DRY PANTS "  and then I showed them a pack of Pampers dry pants which my nieces had brought with them together with a lot of things as gifts for the baby .They saw it opened it and then saw what was written on the packet about the product , it said .....

"Only the new Pampers Baby Dry Pants promises dryness for your baby on the inside. Its Magic Gel locks in moisture so that your baby’s skin remains dry and healthy for up to 12 hours. And a dry baby is a happy baby."

  Both the ladies were so grateful they clutched me with gratitude and tears of happiness started flowing " Thankyou so much ,we will now pamper our sweetheart with PAMPERS DRY PANTS " and then the granny asked the mommy to bring sweets for us and thanked my nieces for that beautiful gift.

"Aunty we will come again and you better teach her some new dance forms " laughed the girls as we waved  good bye  .

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Thursday, 5 March 2015

The language of LOVE

The car came to a smooth halt --soft as if on a bed of roses.

She waited anxiously --as he put a reassuring hand on her shoulders signalling her to keep sitting while he walked up and opened the door for her .

She put forward a frail hand which was clasped by those strong palms and then she alighted putting her feet gently on the  floor --he shut the door softly and they  walked up to the apartment, softly, with soft steps she  leaning slightly on him and clutching his  strong hands just a wee bit as if  in search of support .

She crossed the threshold and was led to their bedroom where she reclined on the bed .

The above excerpt may look  like a chapter  of a romantic novel but in actuality it is  a chapter depicting  a very serious and touching episode in the story of my life .

It was exactly five years ago 6th february  2010  I was admitted to the ICU of a hospital with  some cardiac problem  . I stayed in the ICU for three days and in the hospital for 10 days .The above scene was a description of my coming back  home from the hospital after the treatment.

I was advised bed rest for  about a month  .

Apart from all other worries of a heart ailment the bigger worry that was nagging me was How will the family be able to cope with me on bed rest ? how will the daily chores be taken care of ?  Servants could be hired , the number of daily helps could be increased but they couldn't be depended upon .  These  fears and  apprehensions were only acting as hurdles to my recovery  they were playing havoc with my BP readings . The doctors had somehow sensed all this so the last words of advice at the time of discharge were" Don't start doing your housework immediately wait for some time, rest for a few days ".

I had given the doctors a smile which told them that I was not going to follow those instructions so they turned to my daughter and  to my husband asking them to see to  it that I took the required  precautions. 

As we got into the car to go home we, all the three of us, smiled at each other . All the three smiles were hinting at 'Home Sweet Home' . I, to the fact that they must have by now realised how important my contribution to their well being and comforts were and they perhaps to the fact that at last she is coming back home and will take over her  responsibilities . 

When we reached home I was pleasantly surprised to see everything  glistening  everything was spotlessly clean and sparkling ' so they had taken the pains hmm...'

Next morning when I got up I found a cup of  tea kept on the table next to the bed ,  then  , as I entered the bathroom I found everything ready, hot water of the right temperature  my clothes on the towel stand .
Coming out I find hubby dear with breakfast ready and then he was off to the office  having t instructed  the servant to look after me properly. Three or four phone numbers were pasted next to the telephone so that the servant could contact them in case of emergency . The TV was shifted to my room .

When I asked the servant to go and prepare lunch she told me that my daughter had already done that. 

Evening dinner was prepared by the servant under strict vigilance by my husband no excess oil or spices and what was so touching was that they all ate the same bland food as me .

I  wondered how long this would last ---they would be back to their usual lazy self  in a day or two . But no this went on for more than two months . Putting me to shame . The same chores which were performed by me in the whole day and for which I  used to brag , rave and rant that I was so busy and hard working were done without a murmur without a complaint without a grudge . All housework was efficiently done  and what touched me most were the cooking chores performed by my daughter early in the morning before leaving for work and by my husband in the evenings after coming from office . The reason they gave for this was that everything else could be neglected but not the food because that was directly concerned with my well being,  what was more they partook of the same bland food as me because they did not want to tempt me with tastier but harmful food .

What was all this ? if not  LOVE ?it was what makes a HOUSE a HOME . 

It was this episode of my life which told me that , what was responsible for making a house a home was not a woman or a wife BUT it was LOVE which was the agent which brought about the transformation into  the brick and mortar structure . A man could be as loving as a woman, a husband could be as loving and as caring as a wife ( or even more ) a daughter could be as loving and responsible as a mother . 

Times are changing and stereotypes are making way for more humane attitudes in life . 

This was one such episode which made me a slave of love  to my family I find myself eternally indebted to them for the love and care showered by them on me .  Like I said in the beginning all this happened five years ago but I feel as if it all happened today or yesterday The feeling I experienced during those days filled me with so much love and gratitude for my family That my eyes become moist  even today whenever I think about that time . 

If all husbands and children became as caring as my husband and daughter then the world would become such a beautiful place with no place for sadness of any kind all men would start respecting their wives' caring for them ' all children will care for their parents without any greed or grudge and half of society's problems would be taken care of  automatically .

Love is that potion which changes sadness to happiness , selfishness to selflessness and hatred to affinity .

Those days taught me that I was not the only example of  multi tasking. There  were many who believed in multitasking and they did their work without a whimper .  They were not duty bound to do what they did  but they were bound by the feelings of the heart because the only language they knew was the language of Love.

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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Apno ko apne dum pe jeena sikhao

Apno ko apne dum pe jeena sikhao-----which means encourage your very own to live on their own .
In other words be self reliant , self dependent and live with self respect.

Isn't that the best gift you can give to a loved one ---isn't that the  most cherished  gift you can give your loved one . Isn't that what will stay with your very own all throughout their life and isn't that what will let you live with reassurance all throughout your life and isn't that which will let you die with a peaceful feeling of not having to worry for the future of your loved one .

Every individual is born with some positive characteristics , some talents  --and many a times environment plays a big role in either crushing or blossoming of these talents.

That is why we say that environment is more important for an individuals personality to develop. Many a times the best of talents are crushed and many a times even mediocre people rise to the top --its mostly dependent on opportunity and perseverance .

Mostly opportunity is dependent on support and support is provided by a loved one .

I have my own story to narrate as far as the support of a loved one is to be taken into account.

My childhood was spent away from my parents  because my father was in  a continuously transferable job and his postings used to be in remote areas where though we had all other comforts of life  good schools were  not available.  I was sent to  stay with my grandparents ,and there's was a joint family so though otherwise  very loving and caring a feeling of jealousy, competition did arise between  the various uncles and aunts for their children --and since my other cousins had their respective sets of parents they were emotionally more secure than me . I sort of had no one to rush to for emotional support if I committed a mistake or if I failed to reach a certain grade in studies or extra curricular activities . All this made me a nervous wreck ,and I  cultivated  a terrible inferiority complex , underestimating my self .

When my parents noticed this they decided that It was time I was brought back home . They decided to have double establishment and my mother shifted to the city with all us brothers and sisters  . She would shuttle between my father's official residence and our house in the city.

I remember one particular incident .One day I dropped a glass tumbler and it broke .I started shivering in fright and also stammering as I waited for a tirade of rebuke about how careless I was etc etc .But I was astonished that nothing of the sort happened  in fact my mother had not even noticed it .I went crying to her and said how sorry I was . She pretended she didn't know what I was talking about and then when I explained it all to her She said " I am sure you did not do it deliberately it was an accident now pick up those glass particles and wash your hands ." I felt so happy that day and sort of I felt as if I was the owner/master  of my  house .This feeling of owning or being master of had evaded me for long.

This is from where she picked up the strings telling me that I was a very talented and intelligent girl she would meet my teachers and ask for their support to revamp my personality , everyone agreed to help her in her mission . She did not leave a single stone unturned , and made available all facilities and resources required in training me .

What I am indebted to her most is, for the risks she took , how she fought her own kith and kin who objected to her ways of making me a more confident and outgoing girl as compared to my other cousins ( the tables had turned now ) . They said girls need not learn cycling , driving , girls did not play games like  hockey and tennis , girls did not get their hair cut short , no hindu family will marry me because of these traits and she said " I will get her married in a hindu family and that too in your town " and she did . I became active in theatre which was another taboo and I was selected by the All India Radio to give my voice for their plays . I did my post graduation in labour welfare which was again a man's domain.

All this was nothing less than sacrilege and she agreed to face God on the day of judgement.

I am sure these must have been the reasons for her to get a place in heaven to , help her nervous wreck of a daughter rise above many and get many prizes and  awards in college . In school of course I was just beginning my fight with all the support and guidance of my teachers as they had   promised   my mother .Whenever I faced a failure of any sort she would say

girte hai shah sawar he maidane jung me
woh tifl kya girenge jo ghutno ke bal chale

meaning only the brave or the fighters fall in the battle field and  not cowards who stay away from the battle .

Thankyou mom for being so patient with me --and making me worthy of being called your daughter and making me so talented that everyone from my in - laws , to my husbands colleagues , to my daughter's teachers and friends all admire me for my personality --only if they knew about the nervous wreck who used to stammer while talking to people .

In addition to all this she never discriminated a girl child from a boy child my brother , my sister and I got the same treatment, and shared the same facilities In fact we have a particular pooja where the mother keeps a fast for her son's well being she is not even supposed  to drink water for twenty four hours This pooja is only for the male child But she kept this fast for me too because I was her first born in fact people sort of did not appreciate this either.

This post is for the contest on  indiblogger in collaboration with HDFC life

the link is

 This film shows what actual love and caring for one's child means ---the father could not have done anything better for his daughter ---he taught her to be self sufficient not dependent on anyone in spite of being physically challenged