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As a birthday message, would like Dhruv to always value the people in his life, to never take things for granted and the power of love, gratitude.
Last few weeks, before this lockdown, I was eagerly waiting for the delivery of my online shopping that included toys, books, clothes as gifts for my little boy and some birthday decoration items such as Happy Birthday Banner, Confetti and Blue Metallic Balloons as I was super excited to celebrate his second birthday.
We were in the process of finalising the venue and the guest list but then suddenly the COVID-19 demon appeared whirling from an epidemic to a pandemic and in less than few days it was not a Chinese problem anymore, bringing everything to a standstill.
I was feeling bad, not just for the birthday celebrations but looking at the world, thinking how fragile our existence is. An invisible single-stranded RNA with the genome size of close to just 30 kilobases had the potential to cause this pandemic, showing the deadly power of his ‘crown’ prompting to ponder over the significance of human race on this earth and how irresponsibly we have been dealing with mother nature. Not only these thoughts were racing in my head but there was something in me that constantly needed reaffirmation – my faith. Faith that was fighting with the fear day and night trying to convince me that This Too Shall Pass.
So, the sunshine of 3rd April 2020 was as bright as it was the day when Dhruv was born two years ago, and as soon as I woke up the moments of that day started flashing in front of my eyes, I could still imagine that nervousness of entering the hospital on the day of the delivery and the moment when I was holding him for the very first time.
I recreated that scene by holding him close to my heart, gently kissing him on his forehead and admiring the twinkle in his eyes, exactly what I did two years ago. I realised, how I was also born that day- as a mother, before that I was everything: a daughter, a sister, a wife but not a world to someone this little. There is a lot that has happened in these many months, many milestones he has achieved, and many phases I have witnessed. Thinking about the gone days was all very nostalgic, leaving my eyes moist but at the same time that feeling of being blessed and how fast things are changing, and the responsibility to create special memories for the coming years. So, I started planning the day and narrowed down on simple things like a cake, some music and special food for the evening.
I am a beginner in baking so thought of baking a cake for my birthday boy. Enthusiastically I checked the kitchen cabinets and hurray I had everything to bake a cake but eggs. I could have attempted an eggless one but last time when I tried to bake an eggless cake it was a nightmare. So, wearing a mask and gloves I went out of the house to buy milk, bread and some eggs. Slowly, I walked past the gate of my colony and reached this deserted market which looked unpopulated but habited with parakeets, sparrows and pigeons chirping and singing as they were absolutely in no hurry. I also witnessed a big gang of monkeys hopping from one car to the other and in between stirring the thick layers of dried leaves on the ground, making that brisk clatter and getting the well-deserved attention from the friendly canines. That view was a delight as I felt an inch closer to the nature.
Enjoying this sight, I entered the bakery and oh my God, heaven- the bakery had chocolate cake. But the cake looked little traumatised, as if wondering where all the cake loving souls are gone. As soon as I personalised the cake with a birthday message, the cake look charmed and we exchanged looks and I could hear the cake whispering “Ich liebe dich” in the quiet bakery. I did not wanted to know from the owner if cake qualifies as an essential item like bread and eggs, but I only checked if it is freshly baked.
I was home, very happy and excited that now I have a birthday cake to make my boy feel special. But, the house was just looking bare and I started recalling how wonderful this day last year was when I had my husband with me, our respective families, and friends from all over to make this day special for us and how great the first birthday celebrations were with loads of balloons. I was amazed, how I had all of this still fresh in my memory as if it happened only yesterday.
Nonetheless, I decided to do something creative to make this day memorable for Dhruv and started looking for ideas, and yippee my house never disappoints!
So, the “DHRUV TURNS TWO” section of the birthday decorations and the colourful stars are carved out of old “shagun” envelopes. The “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” segment is created with the diapers. Since we wanted to have a “Peppa Pig” themed party (as this is Dhruv’s favourite show) so those little animals peeping here and there are representative of that. The fancy clips with little birds or flowers on them, and more than half of the glamorous jute string is result of my impulsive shopping from a German Christmas market half a decade ago, and the remaining string just towards both the ends is done by joining the “handles” of the paper bags (Central Cottage Emporium: these are amazing things to keep after discarding these bags, I use them to tie the vines of the blooming Bougainvillea hanging from my balcony).
That little helicopter with two hands has made its way from Dhruv’s play school and the fancy looking, but old paper bags with new gifts inside on the sofa are from last year’s birthday party (I just couldn’t throw them as they have names of people (dear friends/ relatives) written on them, and then, aren’t they just too pretty to be part of some trash. I know, they are going to perish eventually, but I totally believe in reusing things. The colourful balloons are God sent as I have absolutely no clue when I bought them.
Will always remember this day, and how badly I missed my husband, family and friends being around and part of these celebrations. As a birthday message, would like Dhruv to always value the people in his life, to never take things for granted and the power of love, gratitude. Hope and faith are the real strengths and to turn “inwards” in difficult situations, as there is always a solution. Difficult times are the challenging times and they have the power to bring out the best in you. And most importantly, no matter what, always celebrate life as a gift with whatever little you have and definitely try to be creative and do enough to be able to own beautiful memories. Life itself is a most precious gift one can ever get from life!
Image Source: Pexels
A scientist by training and science administrator by profession.
An enthusiast traveller by choice and amateur writer by passion.
In between the two -just love to dance, swim, dream and practice optimism!
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I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
It’s All In Your Head, M famed author Manjiri Indurkar’s debut poetry collection, Origami Aai, is independent and yet an extension of her memoir in which she speaks with utmost grace about all forms of abuses that she has survived. In this book of intriguing and evocative poems, the poet weaves words to form images of the everyday life of her middle-class family, love found and lost, trauma, and healing.
The collection is divided into four segments, beginning with the family, slowly moving towards the world, and finally colliding them together.
We aren’t in mourning, but we are creatures of habit.
So we talk of each one who died of drowning,
and I listen to her stories with the patience
of a chronicler.
– Funereal Stories
When someone accuses you of "too much feminism", what they are really saying is, "I am uncomfortable with you challenging the status quo and disrupting my privilege".
Time and again, there is one phrase that keeps coming up in the social media discourse on feminism. Any guesses?
Ah, no prizes for guessing the infamous “itni bhi feminist” or “too much feminism” phrase, a classic eye-roller for me, and I am sure for many more of my tribe, in the realm of gender equality discussions.
Pray tell me, how can an ideology, a movement be too ‘much’? It’s not salt or the seasoning of your soup where you can go, “Oops, too much salt, only one spoon was required”. Either you stand for what feminism stands for, or you don’t.
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