Mothers, We make all things that seem so hard, so beautiful!

It was my last official day at work and I was eagerly looking forward to my pregnancy and the subsequent Motherhood stage. It was on my way back home in the company shuttle, when I received the most powerful Motherhood advice. Ironically, this came from a female colleague - in her early 20´s and unmarried! She had an elder sister, who was a stay-at-home mother of two children. Based on the keen observations of her own sister´s life, she imparted her expert Motherhood golden words of wisdom to me that day -

“Let me tell you, Motherhood is going to be very hard and it will really test your patience. You have to be very …very…patient all along. Ás a mother, the most important quality you need to possess is Patience. Never lose sight of it.”

Little did I realize then, how true and timeless her words are! Back then in time, when I had my newborn baby in tow! Today, when my daughter is almost 8 years old! And, I am pretty certain, her advice will hold water in the coming years as well. Maybe, for the longest period of time. Perhaps, Forever! Because as they say - “Once a Mother, always one.”

To keep me from losing my sanity to Motherhood, I find rescue in my secret weapon of ´Patience´. And girl, trust me, I had to use this insanely powerful tool to get past so many hard stages of Motherhood. Like so many! Here are some of them -

1. A Balloon Body with Leaky, Saggy parts

It starts with the nine months of pregnancy. From morning sickness to the ballooning of your body, your body is not solely yours anymore. It is the shared space for another life ..another being…your child! And as mothers, we take this uncomfortable phase gladly because of the over-whelming joy and excitement, all the more if it´s the first child. But, there is no doubt, Pregnancy is a hard stage, especially for mothers who have kids in quick succession.

When it comes to Labour, it is a very raw, gruelling experience, that takes a toll on your body. Your body does not look the same anymore. From breasts that get saggier with each pregnancy to the increasing rolls of fat layers around the belly, not to forget the cellulite! Pregnancy changes the entire roadmap of your body. Like literally! It took upto a year for my body to regain its original shape. Well almost!

It is especially hard when others body shame new mothers heartlessly, knowing fully well, that it takes far more time for some to lose all that flab.Some of us have a hard time struggling to knock off their pregnancy weight. Some have sleepless nights over the marked loss of hair post pregnancy. It is very hard at times, to face the harsh realities around bodily changes. Some of course, make a conscious effort to get their original bodies and thus, their confidence back. But, the body struggle is just hard!

2. The Great Depression

Ever heard the expression ´Mother of Sorrows´? It refers to the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ from ´The Bible´ and all of mankind. Since she is the mother of all humanity, her heart is never at ease, always concerned…always worried…always sorrowful for her children.

Well, in the life of normal mothers like you and me, who are saddled with the responsibility of looking after maybe 1 or 2 or 3 children, we are no strangers to sadness and depression in some form or the other. Mild, acute or chronic!

For starters, the very first night I brought my baby home, I immediately flash forwarded to 25 years down the line. When my daughter would be either be married in most probability or be far away from me, living in some other town. The mere thought itself brought big, fat, hot tears streaming down my cheeks. The love and attachment was already so powerfully strong.

Again, as much as I loved holding my baby finally in my arms, I was experiencing conflicting emotions. I remember the first week of motherhood was super depressing for me. I was not able to cope up with the sudden, rapid change in lifestyle and responsibility. Those sleepless nights trying to soothe my colic baby! Every night for four long hours, all I did was walk around the bedroom, with my eyes half wide shut open, singing every possible song I ever knew and trying to rock my baby gently to sleep. By the end of the first week, I just broke down into tears uncontrollably, overwhelmed with utter helplessness and loneliness. This despite the fact, that I was living in my mother´s home and I had all her help. Yet, it was hard and the hormones weren't exactly helping my cause either.

But thankfully, the postpartum depression didn´t last for more than a week in my case. But, for those who struggle with this form of depression, I got a glimpse of it in that first week. And all, I can say is that the condition and feeling is very confusing, disorienting, alienating and highly depressing.

Mothers are more prone to worry, anxiety and depression. Even if it does not get out of hand, it is hard to cope.

3. The Juggling Act

No one warned me that being a mother was akin to being a juggler. But a whole lot worse. Be it the circus jugglers or bartender jugglers who have it a lot better! Their juggling act lasts only for a couple of minutes at any given point of time. The juggling act is either stretched to a couple of minutes over the course of the day or is a one-time performance that lasts for an hour, at the max. Not to forget, they get paid for all their jugglery!

But, we poor mothers, as always, get the raw deal. During my time in California, I had a Mexican friend who received the news that she was pregnant for the third time when her second child was only 5 months old. And her first child was 6 years old. She was depressed with the news of her third pregnancy because not only was it unexpected but the responsibility of looking after three kids was daunting, to say the least. She was already having sleepless nights and juggling between the responsibilities of two children. Her husband had a very busy work schedule, leaving her all by herself to take care of the home and the kids. All through her third pregnancy, she was perennially worried about doing the harder level of motherhood jugglery. For those who care to know, the mother- in-question is doing a beautiful job of juggling time between home, kids and herself. But, I am sure, it is hard.

4. Identity Crisis, Purpose of Life and Mommy Guilt

“ Who am I?”

Rather, “ What am I?”

Better still, “ What have I become ?”

I was a stay-at-home mother for six years in the US and for a longest period of time, I questioned my identity and the purpose of my life. “ Was my life revolved only around cooking, cleaning and taking care of my baby and husband?” It was hard to see other working mothers who had family support head straight back to work and who seemed like they had it all figured out.

Young, educated and talented mothers find time slipping by, as the only intellectual work they do anymore is cook, clean, baby-sit. They also feel an extreme sense of guilt, of letting their education and career wither in oblivion.

On the other hand, working mothers are suffused with the ´Mommy guilt´. Whether they are working at office or from home, they feel they are never fully there for their kids. Not to forget, judged for their decision of placing their careers over their babies.

Damn, it´s hard either ways!

5. The Punching Bag

I took my 18 month old baby for her first wedding to my hometown in Kerala. While there, one of the relatives told me,“ Motherhood is such a thankless job.” I refrained from replying back to him that I wasn't looking after my child for appreciation. The nature of a mother´s love, as such, is to ´to give´and not ´to get´.

Anyway, there is some truth in what he said as well. We give so much of ourselves as mothers to our children, right from the time they are babies till they are grown up. Husbands and children can take the mother for granted, many times, without understanding the magnitude of thought, time and effort that goes into most of her actions.

“ Why is the house so messy?”

“ It is all Mommy´s fault”

“ What do you do all day?”

Being a stay-at-home mother seems like the most coziest and loveliest job in the world for many people, including our husbands. Let me tell you, having been in both the boats, being a stay at home mother to an infant or toddler is a lot more exhausting than working in a office outside home.

At home, we are perennially multi-tasking. Cooking with an infant in hand, watching over your baby round the clock etc. Also, work always crawls at a snail pace thanks to constant tantrums and the child´s constant need for love and affection. I remember I did not sleep in peace for a single night for two consecutive years since my baby was born. Constantly changing her cotton diapers in the middle of the night and waking up early in the morning as she is an early riser. Yup, even earlier than Mr.Sunrise himself.

Motherhood is hard when you feel like everyone in the family, is taking you for granted, making you feel misunderstood and unappreciated.

Well, that was just the list of all the hard aspects of Motherhood. But, that´s just one side of the coin. Flip it over and you will see a bright, sunny side UP.

Motherhood is hard…….but beautiful

“ Pretty pretty please! Just stop!

Whoever said motherhood was easy! It is not!

And that´s what makes it so beautiful! And that´s what makes You so beautiful!

To your children! To your husband! To the world around!

You make the home and the world a better place!

You, who were ashamed of your body, has housed, nursed and raised beautiful living bodies.

You, who cried many a tear, many a night, is the wondrous cheerleader that brings a big smile on your children and husband´s face.

You, who were exhausted to the point of dropping on the floor, wondering if you have any more stamina and energy left to carry on, is the inspiration of your children and husband. For your perseverance, tenacity, grit and unmatched supreme sacrifice!

You, who questioned your own identity and purpose in life, gave so many their own identity and purpose for living.

You, who feel time slipping by and you are missing out on Life, you are living ´The Life´ -  smelling the roses and deriving happiness from the little pleasures of life which cannot be bought from any pricey luxury in the world.

You, who question your worth and feel unappreciated, is the rock, the pillar and the strength of the family and the home.

My Beautiful, Always remember that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. ”

So, that just makes us all, the Queens of the world! How powerful and empowering is that!  We should be proud of our beautiful selves and pat our own backs for making things that seem so hard, so beautiful in our own sweet time.

I am reminded of my husband´s words, every time I find the going hard - “ 99.9 percent of what our daughter is,... is because of You!”

And I know instantly, Life is beautiful, Motherhood is beautiful and I am so beautiful and blessed!

Blessed to have been there to witness and participate in all my baby´s little and big milestones. When she turned over the first time or uttered her first word or took her first step, my heart leapt and skipped a beat. All those priceless moments of doing craft together, taking vacations, baking together, theme park hopping and so many more are forever etched in my heart.

Like a tiny plant sproutling that takes years to offshoot into a huge, gigantic tree, I know love and patience will go a long way to see my rewards of motherhood labour come to fruition.

So, at every arduous stage of Motherhood, keep telling yourself - “Yes! It´s hard…but just hold on and hang in there. This too shall pass….”

As for me, I wouldn´t have Motherhood any other easy way. And, I can bet, so wouldn't you!

(This article was published in mycity4kids. You can check the full article here - )

Undress Me?

There in the dark shadows,

lurked a demon slayer

Watching with his daunting eyes,

For the next prey in his commanding sight,

Not to fulfil his lust for sex,

But to ascertain his authority and power.

He got a kick from their shrieks and cries,

A high from the blood gushing out of the virgin´s core,

He knew he could devour anyone and anybody,

The world was at his feet,

And He was its evil Master!

Í  see that girl,

Walking towards me,

With her seductive hips swaying like a mesmerising snake,

She brings out the beast in me,

At the threshold of her puberty.

She needs to know who is the Lord!

A lesson she needs to be taught.

I shall drink from the fountain of her youth,

And devour every air of supremacy in her being.

I will kill her soul,

and leave her scarred and shamed for life,

Death be upon her,

Lest she resists!

Her sexy school uniform will be faulted,

And the gutless Society will not have her back.

Either ways she be damned,

She has no option but to surrender

To the Man!

That woman in her prime,

A mother of two and a free soul, I see!

Didn't anyone tell her the streets are not to explored at night?

She should be caged in her home,

Like good women should be!

Loosely prancing around in her body hugging shirt and a short skirt,

What does she think!

She can get away with this?

The demon slayer is here to the rescue,

This world is mine and everyone succumbs to me.

I will strip her of her pride and arrogance,

And that confidence that is repulsive to me.

She will be left stark naked,

And touched in places where she never has been

Handcuffed, blind folded and gagged,

Iron rods and acid to the quick rescue.

This will teach her a fitting lesson,

To know and be in her proper place,

Before she thinks of venturing out again,

Like a demon that corrupts everyone around her,

With her unholy presence and being.

There she strolled by,

A vision in black

Covered from head to toe,

Her hazel eyes peeking slyly,

From her downward tilted head,

She has been brought up right, I see

What is she like underneath?

I wonder and smile!

An intriguing mystery waiting to be explored....

Yes! She is not asking for it,

But the world is mine,

And she is my slave.

My command is her wish,

The Burkha goes flying out the window,

When she is with me,

My every whim is her calling,

My dark desires is her taking.

For the good woman finds her place

At the Lord´s feet.

All her demons slayed and put to quiet rest forever!

Oh that boy,

So tender, so fine,

His innocence lush and untouched,

The forbidden fruit -

Oh! so inviting and so tempting!

´If I cannot have him, no one will,´

I proudly declared.

´Either he loses his boyhood to me,

Or I, shall slay him for the vultures to feast upon!´

He plays so gleefully,

Hopping on the streets with a little twig,

I see no fear in his eyes,

I see big dreams and hopes,

I see vulnerability that is waiting to be broken and shattered,

I was this boy once upon a time,

And I was touched like he is about to be,

I was never the same again,

And so shall he!

He will stripped off his naivety,

And will cry and beg for me...

To stop.

But I won´t.

I will keep going after him,

Till one day, he begs for more.

That is the day,

He will carry forward my legacy,

He will be the Lord of all Lords,

The righteous demon slayer,

The moral keeper of the prudish society.

For her dress and her being,

is her own doing.

Asking for it from the Lord,

Her eyes begging me,

´Undress Me!

For I am all yours…..

Yours for the taking.

Your slave for tonight and every!


My dress

My being,

None of your business.

I am no one´s  property

for their perverse taking,

Undress Me?

Ha! Really?

No! I am not asking for ít´,

You are!

My dress,

My being,

Is not my fault.´

she cried out loud.


(This dark poem is written through the eyes of a rapist and how he misjudges and devalues a woman who comes in his sight. Please note that this reverse psychology poem was written with an intention to break all misconceptions, prejudices, bias and taboo surrounding the rape victims. Let us look at the unfortunate victims who fell prey to the heinous crime of rape  with love, respect and dignity like all human beings deserve. Let us understand that it is not their fault and anyone can be a potential victim or susceptible to rape irrespective of their age, caste, religion, attire. Let us support the victims in their fight for justice.  As long as we keep judging them for their choice of clothes, character etc, the rapists will get away with rape and murder. So, STOP judging any rape victim for their attire and character. She is NOT asking for it. Stop Judging)

This poem was first published at Women´s Web

And also published at mycity4kids

9 Reasons Why Emma Watson as ´Belle´ Is Such A Great Role Model!

Disney is on a roll and how! After acing in the animated movie series of Classic Fairy tales - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Tangled aka Rapunzel´s tale and more, they have stepped up their game, venturing into live character movies. Be it Disney's 'Cinderella' in 2015 or ´The Jungle Book´in 2016 and now in 2017, ´The Beauty and the Beast´.

´The Beauty and the Beast´(2017) is a breathtaking beauty. Literally! And yet, the ironic message of the movie is that ´Beauty lies within´and not on the exterior. The message goes down pretty smoothly like a delicious grape flavoured cough syrup without making you feel choked and nauseous with this cliched moral of the story. As a movie spectator though, one cannot but help marvel at its external beauty.

The movie is a very simple, straight forward story grandiosely told. I loved the opulent costumes, the 'minutest-to-the-detail' setting, the breathtaking cinematography, the dreamy and lively song and dance sequences and the surreal performances. Emma Watson is the real star of the movie as the protagonist Bella herself. She embodies every virtue of Belle with élan - intelligence, dignity, class, confidence, innocence, grace, courage and kindness, of course beauty. Luke Evans as Gaston is delightful. He plays the cocky most eligible bachelor in the village with sheer finesse. He is strong, masculine and handsome yet off-putting with his cockiness, arrogance, narcissism, double faceted persona and sadistic nature.  Josh Gad plays the interesting and much hyped character of the effeminate LeFou. He plays Gaston´s perfect side-kick with gay abandon. The Beast which has a royal prince trapped inside him is endearing. He is ghastly looking and yet exudes warmth and a heart-touching vulnerability that makes you want to protect him from the harsh judgments of the world. His nobility does not go unnoticed either with his strong bearing, chivalry and righteous character. He becomes every bit, yours ever-so-truly 'Prince Charming’ when he magically transforms back to his princely appearance. And what a handsome looking Prince Luke Evan makes - blue eyes, long blond hair et all! Together, Ella and her Prince make a beautiful, love-struck couple who have you rooting for them at every juncture, for them and their sparkling romance ever so pure, pristine and genuine.

This movie won me over completely. It is not easy to have an often repeated, done-to-death popular children's fairy tale as your cherry-pick offering to hold the viewer's interest. But interest, it sure did manage to retain from the very start to the finale' moment. And How! By staying as true and close as possible to its original classic fairy tale with a lot more interesting layers of depth. It was sheerly delightful and truly magical just like a fairy tale ought to be.

Now that we are done with the brief movie review, I will tell you why Bella from ´The Beauty and the Beast´(2017) is such a fantastic role model for everyone, especially children. It teaches both boys and girls the true meaning of beauty as opposed to the popular notion, the qualities to truly aspire for, seek out and appreciate in fellow human beings and finally, to be their true, genuine selves irrespective of whether they fit in or stand out. Here are the 9 reasons why I think Belle is amazing-
  1. Intelligent : One random day, my daughter comes up to me and says, ´Mummy, Do you know that diamonds are a girl´s best friend?´. And I reply, Absolute rubbish! Can diamonds listen to your feelings and talk to you? It is non-living rock. for God´s sake! Where did you learn this now?´ She replies, ´But Mummy, Barbie says that Diamonds are a girl´s best friends´. And I shoot back, ´Well then, your Barbie is dead wrong. A girl´s best friend is her mother. Period.´ Well, Bella takes it several notches higher. Books are her best friend She sets a great example for young girls in choosing books over diamonds or for that matter, any person as her best friend. She is innovative as she makes her life easier by inventing her own version of the washing machine to do her laundry so that she can utilise that time in reading books instead.
    Make no mistake my friend, Belle is highly intelligent.
  2. Born to stand out and not fit in : In a village full of small-minded people, Belle is a woman far ahead of her time and place. So, quite naturally, she is the ´funny´, ´weird´, ódd one out´ because people don't understand or identify with her. Belle is not afraid to stand out and alone. In fact, she prefers it that way than being someone she is not and trying hard to blend and fit in somehow.
  3. Dignity personified : She has the village´s most eligible bachelor, Gaston literally salivating for her. But, she doesn't throw away her dignity for money, looks, name or fame like the many other beautiful girls in the village. Belle is dignity personified. While she despises him with all her heart, the girl politely tries to shoo him away every single time he makes a desperate attempt at getting her attention and love.
  4. Confidence : The scene where Belle goes right on top of a mountain and declares to the Universe that she is looking for much more than the cliche´ plans and expectations. The girl clearly has the guts to dream big, hailing from a small village and better still, have the confidence in achieving her dreams. This scene for me was highly reminiscent of  ´The Sound of Music´s´ Maria who prances around the peaks of the Swiss alps in a similar fashion singing  Í have confidence in me´.
  5. Fearless : Belle is proof that girls are not just sugar, sweet and spice but also nerves of steel. The girl does not think twice about getting locked in a dingy, dark castle with a hideous Beast. Better still, making valiant plans to escape from the dungeon quickly enough in to the deep dark woods in the night, chased by hungry wolves. She isn't fearful of speaking her mind - loud and clear. She is bold and sassy despite her dainty appearance.
  6. Classy : Belle is a classy woman. Period. It is not difficult to understand why Gaston falls ´head   over heels´in love with her when he can have scores of beautiful women or men (Ahem!) vying for his attention. She doesn't throw herself for any man. She is self-assured, without feeling the incessant need to grab eyeballs or attention. She doesn't play mind games or try to make others feel jealous or inferior. She certainly doesn't put down others to make herself look or seem better. She is articulate and has depth in her thinking process and in her conversations. She is independent and can take care of herself where she goes. And the best part is she will not tolerate disrespect. She will not let any man walk all over her and disrespect her. She expects to be treated with equal respect and dignity in her relationships. And she is no trophy girlfriend or wife. At the same time, the lady is all about etiquette and manners - ´Please´and ´Thank You´s´. Why wouldn´t any one love her?
  7. Heart of gold : What makes Belle strikingly different from the rest of the women is her large heart. She is helpful, kind and her heart melts and feels for the downtrodden. She enjoys helping young girls develop a love for books and reading. Charity begins at home for her. While destiny played dirty and took away her mother, it compensated her with an immensely supportive and loving father. And she doesn't break her father´s confidence and trust. She loves her old father and helps him in every way possible.  She wants to badly help Lumiere, Candelabra, Mrs. Potts and her boy and the Beast come out of the Enchantress´curse.
  8. Wonderful Life Partner : Belle doesn't fall in love for all the wrong reasons - looks, money or fame. She loves for all the right reasons and with both her mind and heart. It is certainly not love at first sight for her when she sees The Beast. She falls in love for his virtues when she slowly gets to know and discover him. She makes an understanding, affectionate, patient and supportive partner to The Beast and vice versa. She is extremely loyal keeping up her promise and returning to The Beast and saving her captive father.
  9. Beauty : She truly personifies the saying that Beauty lies within. She is beautiful Inside-Out and that is what is shining about her. Much like Helen of Troy or Cleopatra! Helen of Troy was not conventionally beautiful with the perfect features and yet she had men waging wars for her beauty. Cleopatra was in the same category. She was dark skinned yet. Like them, Belle is an unconventional beauty. Men fall in love with her inner beauty as much as her outer one. Even though she is the Beauty in the movie, you will find Belle in the most understated clothes. She doesn't sparkle with diamonds, expensive clothes or any of the exterior razzmatazz but with her shining inner beauty. Again, it takes one beautiful person to identify another one. Belle finds Beauty in her Beast and sees the Beast in the externally handsome Gaston. She sees beauty in the flaws. The Beast or the Prince is not perfect. He has a short temper and he is impulsive. But, he is a human after all and not the Beast he is made out to be. Belle sees the heart beyond all the external beastliness and flaws. And finds beauty within. Which the Prince failed to see in the enchantress disguised as a haggard old lady in the beginning of the movie.
´The Beauty and the Beast´ (2017) is a spectacular marvel. We loved it. You must watch it if you haven’t already…it is so good. We were totally in land for 2.5 hrs. Hahaha! Be prepared to answer a barrage of questions about the movie from your kids.My daughter who was glued to pin drop silence all through the movie couldn't stop talking about the movie.

´Mummy, I think the Enchantress was Belle´s mother´.

´No, Beta! I don´think so´.

´Then, she is surely the Prince´s mother.

´Ýeah! Maybe. But, why would she curse her own son?´

´Then Mummy, she must be...blah blah blah´

Disney, here's a big shout-out and thank you for restoring that old classic Disney charm and class in ‘The Beauty and the Beast'. There are so many tales to be retold to this new generation. Bring on some of that old world charm and magic all over again.

Finally, Yes, I do! I believe in fairy tales and happily ever afters!

(Please note the above image may be copyrighted.)

(This post was published at Women´s Web, and mycity4kids,