The little things that make you smile, even when the big things go awry

When your 4-year-old wakes up early, to ensure you don’t forget her ‘huggy-kissy’… then screams ‘I love you so much’; and when you ask her to be quiet as the rest are asleep, she smiles: “But, this is love. Not tubbling (troubling).”

When your firstborn offers to put the little one to sleep, only because she can then cuddle up for some exclusive time with her amma, and not have to worry about the little pest.

When the little one waits hungrily and patiently for you to get ready, so you don’t have a lonely breakfast. And then proceeds to feed you a piece of her dosai, because the bread on your plate is not ‘hellty’.

When the 11-year-old cups your face and stares into your kajal-ed eyes and says: “You look so beautiful amma.”

When you wake up every single morning to a message from a special friend.

When an unplanned ice-cream outing earns you so many hugs and thank-yous, you can’t help but feel a little guilty.

When a friend calls and scolds you harshly for missing your mammo appointment, the concern and worry in her voice a warm hug that soothes the fear deep inside.

When you leave home late evening with a friend, and just as you start to drive, you receive a text from your pre-teen.

When you are never allowed to forget how you were at 18, because the madness from then still continues with the girls who can make you laugh with the most random of memories.

When the little one enfolds her akka (back from a weekend away) in a bear hug and slobbers her with kisses, and says: “I missed you so much akka. Don’t leave me again.” And in that moment, akka chooses to forget the routine torments inflicted on her, and assures her she won’t.

When you’re woken up gently, close to noon, on a Friday morning… tiny lips on your cheeks, another pair of hands hugging you, and a grinning-unshaved-face staring at you, calling you to have the omelette he has made.

When a stubbly cheek is offered to three girls in a line, and then in turn presses his lips on the little, not-so-little, and big faces before setting off for his work day, as we wind up ours.

… the little things.

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The Year of Estrangements & The Fear Of Love

2012 was the year of estrangement. Several meaningful relationships died in many different ways.

Some were smothered to death;

some passed-on peacefully in repose;

some bled to a slow death;

some were violent;

some were long dead but came to my notice belatedly;

a few because the transplant was rejected.

Some fatalities were expected, some too sudden…

The relationships were not all cherished, yet I mourned and shed bitter tears for the passing of each. People I worked with, some I grew up around, a couple I shared many laughs with, a few who were family.

But as I sit on the eve of a new year, thinking of these who are no longer in my daily consciousness, I have only a remote sense of nostalgia.

I didn’t fight to keep those relationships alive; I chose to let them go, without grace at times. It was a detached, clinical decision to move away from those who drained me.

Through all that heartbreak and angst, with a never before seen will, I fought to keep one relationship alive. If ever I find the person who conceived marriage, I would dig them out of their grave and spit on their face.

Could there be a concept that’s more strenuous and difficult, yet so lusted after than that of binding two people in marriage? Do you know of anything marketed more effectively than marriage? Yet, I fought and will continue to do so… to keep this relationship going. There are a hundred reasons why, reasons so loud in my head, it mutes the voices in my heart.

(Hey, you gay folks out there! Don’t fight so hard for the right to marry… it’s too gimmicky by half, and you’d be better off not being contracted to each other.)

In all this chaos, much of it self-made (I’ve always sucked at pleasing people and maintaining relationships), I am protected by friends who slipped into my life in my teens, who with iron claws hold onto the things they love in me, blind to the rest of who I often am.

And also in this chaos, are two little people whose touch is so precious; whose love is so vocal and unconditional; and in their image of who I am, I build many dreams. I go to bed with the burden of their love… yes a burden, because I don’t always feel deserving of it.

I die a thousand deaths, when I think of all the ways in which I could do them wrong and of all the ways I could let them down. I have feared nothing more fiercely than their love.

Happy 2013.