When my husband & I answered questions on love

My friend Harshika Daryanani wanted to do a story on couples who’re in very different phases of marriage. For this she desired that Ashish and I tell her our definition of Love, so that she could study and share if love changes with time, or if distance makes any difference in the lives of couples? Here’s how we – Ashish and I replied to her questionnaire:

My Answers

  1. How did you guys meet? What was the first thing that struck you?

Ans:  We met through our parents. It is an arranged marriage. The first thing that struck me was that his mother i.e now my Mum-in-Law was just like an angel. She was so full of dignity, grace and love… got me thinking if the mom is so good, the kid would be so too. And yes he did not prove me wrong. The same dignity, grace and love I feel even now after 20 years of my marriage.

  1. What does the term “Love” mean to you?

Continue reading When my husband & I answered questions on love

My Vice Head Boy

When you are bringing up kids, you always wonder at every step. “Is this right? Am I doing the right thing?” Such thoughts cloud the mind, many nights and days.

And everyone you meet somehow has the authority to tell you what is good for your kid. Some say out of genuine concern and others are simply jealous. Yes! I never used to believe that people who appear so close, can harm you in any way. But, life has its own ways to show you the truth.

Recently, I heard a lot about my teenage son (mind you he is a good boy) and mostly it was to prove that what I’m doing is wrong. It got me wondering … are they right?

Why would anyone give me a wrong feedback? Maybe it’s me who is not paying enough attention (though its never enough), maybe I’ve given too much liberty (which I have), maybe I’m too soft on my kids?

Well, how good is parenting or how bad, one can never measure, can we? As I let all these doubts cloud my mind, in my heart I knew I was doing the right thing or maybe what is right in the prevailing circumstances. And guess what, he did prove me right!

The school had its investiture ceremony and he walked down the red carpet, head held high, to take the badge of the ‘Vice Head Boy’ of the Senior Secondary School.

Happiness rolled down my cheeks in the form of tears and pride stayed back in my smile.

And proudly for the next two weeks I showed off my ‘Vice Head Boy’ to each and everyone who ever doubted me.

He may be the Deputy as of now but for me he is the ‘Head Boy’ and I’m a proud mother!!!

How to make your parents happy?

And someone asked … how do we make our parents happy?

Well I did have a laugh on it to begin with… but it was a serious issue. Come to think of; is it possible to make anyone happy, ever?

Parents are the toughest ones to please and yet on the other side you can’t live without them.

I would ask why you would want to make them happy. They crib, complain, throw tantrums and taunts on their kids and many times even grandchildren. On the other side they are the ones who pamper, spoil, love you to the hilt and cuddle when you need it. Am I not right?

Have you ever tried to see into them? We must always remember they are a generation older to us and born in a different world where things were not so easy. They also had to maintain good and bad relations with the relatives and the society. They could not say … IDK which means I Don’t Care. Those who did dare to say were shunned by all.

They were fighting and struggling in every which way, be it financial, economic or social changes that were taking place. Their palatial and patriarchal lifestyles were changing into nuclear families and two bedroom flats where one doesn’t have even a window to peep outside many times leave alone a garden. They must miss having their tea in a big lawn with everyone sitting together and feet touching the grass. It’s not a big deal for the new generation now but for those who did live a life like this it is a big deal.

A lifetime they achieved with perseverance, patience and courage seems slipping away thanks to the new so called happening changes must be so scary for them. But yeah … who cares!!! It was their duty and their choice. Why should we bother thinking about all that?

True, we should not. They fought their own battles and we have to fight our own. You know I never looked at my mother as a daughter in law ever till I got married. It is then when I realized how much she must have struggled to keep her relations. It goes for all the women and men around. Never saw my dad as a husband. Good or bad is a different question. He was just ‘My Daddy’ till then…after I got married I realized he was a man too with emotions and would get hurt too.

So many relations and emotions we understand only when we reach that stage and then we feel yeah our parents were correct.

So you see, to make them happy put yourself in their shoes and then assess what is right and what is wrong. Sometimes you simply follow what they say and quietly do the desired. It is not necessary to raise a NO for everything. Sometimes you must just ignore and let things be. It all depends how much you can take and what the situation demands. At times the elders can be really obstinate and stubborn but that it is time when you must use some tact and take a path that is good for all. Did they not bear your tantrums and anger outbursts?

Just be good, don’t try and make them happy. In your happiness lies their happiness. 

I’m sure as parents you must be feeling the same for your child as I do. As a mother when I feel – My kids should not make the same mistakes that I did. I can save them from the disasters I made through in life. Though they will fall but am sure they will bounce back. That makes me happy. 

Listen to your heart. In a nutshell, all parents and elders look for is a little love and respect, despite the differences. But then, don’t we all do the same…!!!


Financial Knowledge Is A Must: Hold The Trigger In Your Hand

Painless ways of saving money. Photo copyright gcaffe.comThe other day I was given an article to read on finance. Well I did read as I could not say no, but lost interest before you could say Jack Robinson. Further below, a heading caught my eye which said ‘That Feeling Called Love’. Like a magnet I got stuck. There’s something about love that kicks me off. And I know so many like me who have literally no interest in money matters, politics etc.

I am in awe of the current generation of girls coming up. They are simply flying, care a damn about love and earn pots of money and spend pots too. It’s truly amazing to see them so capable and so talented.

There was a lot of talent and ability in the older generation too but somehow it was crushed and they were suppressed for general happiness of the family. And there are tons of women I know who have been clueless, after the death of their husbands, about their finances, accounts, lockers, and will. So, they end up in a soup. And if by chance the kids or siblings are smart and wicked, they would be on the road.

An interior designer Garima Aggarwal says, “I think women should keep their own finances. Due to their innate quality of saving, organizing and being a little pessimistic about future, they can manage the money equally well. There are so many financial institutes which have made investing amazingly easy. Take the advice of the wise man in your house but hold the trigger in your hand.”

Easier said than done but maybe in today’s time the new generation girls are smart and learn bank tactics early in life. The good part is that they have similar minded men also who support them fully.

Parveen Kalia, Programme Manager Project Disha (Apparel Expat Promotion Council), says, “I do the investments but expenses we both share and trust each other completely. It should be an equal give and take.”

Anupam Bhatia, an Asst. Professor at Symbiosis Pune, feels that at times to avoid any confrontations at home over money matters, woman of the house herself leaves the major decisions of finance handling to men. She said, “When it comes to our relationships, money is not the issue. It’s actually what the money represents to two different individuals that can be problematic, as well as the communication or lack thereof around the topic. Though I can be a better person to manage the finances, yet I don’t feel like taking a front seat. So at times it becomes a polite yes to most of the decisions taken by the man of the house. Assuming he is doing the best for us. This is wrong on my part. And it does not mean that discussions do not happen and consensus not taken. But, yet, at times one should and tend to agree on a point. And this goes for both husband and wife. Otherwise it would lead to disagreements at home. That’s what I call taking sensible decision to keep peace and happiness of the home.”

Well, if you are trained in money matters from a young age then it should be no problem at all. You must know how to operate your own bank accounts, your locker, fixed deposits etc. and take charge. Also, make a will and distribute assets fairly. Don’t think you will live forever. Be prepared for the worst.

Anu Chakrabarty, an entrepreneur, says, “My dad and mom made me very independent. As kids I also ran the finances of the house; sometimes I obviously struggled. When I was 16, dad started taking me to the bank, post office etc. and showed me how to fill forms, opened accounts for us and gave us money to deposit in PPF etc. As I got married, my husband supported me completely. I am an equal partner in all decision making and a director in my husband’s company. But believe me if I hadn’t been trained by dad and not been supported and encouraged by mom, I would have never been able to take some of the toughest decisions of my life. Therefore, financial independence and financial knowledge are extremely important.”

It is never too late to learn if you don’t know. Start learning and investing more time in yourself and make yourself a stronger woman. Independence is the key … Mehru Jaffer, author of ‘The Book Of Muhammad’, strongly feels that women should handle their own matters. She says, “Since we live in an age of crass capitalism and hyper consumerism, women have to know how to manage money whether working at home or in an office. Feudalism is over and no man or woman today wants to be patronised by the patriarch.”