Happy Birthday Zen!

I’ll call her Zen.  That’s because she’s my place of peace. I could be in the middle of the biggest crisis of my life, and two minutes of chatting with her will have gotten me back to my normal self. I think I’ve mentioned her here once. I first met Zen on the day of my engagement. Me and TS were onstage greeting people who’d come, and she walked right up with her Husband N. She had the most gorgeous smile and was easily one of the tallest women of my acquaintance. TS introduced her as one of his best friends. I didn’t get to talk to her much then except for the usual pleasantries, but I made a mental note to ask TS about her.

TS had had a long list of girlfriends before me and I assumed she might have been one of them. I mean her and TS obviously got on like a house on fire and their heights made them perfect for each other. For those of you who don’t know, TS is almost six feet and well built while I’m pretty much five feet and maybe a couple of inches and reed thin. Anyway, I brought up the subject later on and TS laughed and said that she wasn’t one among his girlfriends and that she was just a good friend. I remember blurting out, “Why?”And TS’s shocked expression. I seriously felt they looked good together.

Fast forward to a couple of years after our wedding, Zen came visiting with her family to where me and TS were staying then. We caught up for like half an hour and that was it. I still remember a pic we clicked then. Me in the middle and TS and Zen on either side of me. Even in heels, I look like a midget. All this while, me and Zen were friends on Facebook but that was pretty much the extent of our interaction.

Then my first pregnancy and miscarriage happened and that one loss brought me and Zen closer than ever before. Zen had been through the same and more than anyone else I had in my life then, she knew exactly what I was going through. Not to discount my amazing support system of family and friends then, but no-one understood my guilt and fear then better than she did. We started chatting online and then soon graduated to WhatsApp.

And talking to Zen was a revelation. She was like a part of my soul I didn’t know existed out in the world. We were alike in more ways than I could count and where we didn’t agree, we found we could make our peace and move on. She was one of the most fun, most grounded, most amazing human beings I’d ever met in my life. People say its hard to make friends as adults, but Zen and me got along marvellously.  So much so that the husbands started complaining about the hours we spent bent over our phones. Zen was my rock when I got pregnant with Peanut. She was carrying her daughter Nash in her tummy then so I kind of followed her lead in everything baby related. Now at ages three and three and a half Peanut ad Nash have hardly met but they know each other well from the daily dose of pictures and videos that fly over WhatsApp.

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Zen has a baby boy now as well and her family is complete while I’m still undecided about the expansion plans I have for mine. Anyway, I digress. The point is today Zen turns a year older. As she ages, she’s only getting more graceful, more beautiful and younger at heart. She has  such an amazing spirit, an irrepressible zest for life, an attitude than I wish I could emulate and a soul that spreads happiness wherever she goes.

Today as she turns a year older, I wish for her more of everything in life – joy, happiness, peace, love and laughter. And I hope I will be blessed with her daily presence in my life over the years to come; irrespective of complaints from the husbands. Happy happy birthday Zen. This is the least I can do from miles away. Here’s to many more chats, comparing baby notes and food tips, planning holidays and shopping expeditions, plotting against the husband and plotting for being on the same side of the planet. My life is richer for having known you and I hope its been the same for you too. Happy Birthday my soul sister! Love you to bits!!

 

Calling Mom…

Today, I spoke to my mom properly after ages. My Grandmother passed away recently, and my Mother was busy with the millions of minute yet vital things that usually follow a death. And with visitors, and condolence calls from people, she hardly had time to talk two words to me each time I called. And by each time, I mean every day. Yeah, I’m in my thirties and I speak to my Mother every day. It might be a bit weird, but it is as much a part of my routine as brushing my teeth or my morning cuppa. I have my breakfast, give Peanut his and then I pick up the phone and call her, and proceed to tell her pretty much everything I did the day before, and all my plans for the day. Sometimes it’s a toddler crisis or something else; but I talk to her and instantly feel better and I can sail through the rest of my day.

But since my Grandmother’s death and in the weeks I couldn’t talk to my mom, I realised something- talking to her had become a huge part of my life. And it got me wondering what I would do when she was no longer around for me to talk to. And that honestly made my heart grow cold. I simply cannot imagine her not being around for me to talk her ear off about things as silly as cooking, to as serious as my future plans. I was also having a tough couple of weeks here- there were some issues in the apartment we are living in, and getting them fixed was taking too long. There were alarms going off at all times of the day and night, and it was freaking Peanut out so much that the sight of the maintenance man was enough to send him into a crying frenzy. And since it’s only been a couple of months since we moved to another country, the Peanut is still getting used to a different daily routine. It’s not as easy for us to get out and about where we stay now, and since I don’t yet have my driver’s license, the Peanut finds himself cooped up at home most weekdays and that drives him crazy. Which effectively drives me crazy trying to find ways to keep him occupied.  Stressful to say the least.

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Usually I crib to my mom and she sets me at ease. Just hearing her voice and bantering about nothing in general is enough to make me feel better. But the past few weeks with her out of the picture it was awful. TS was and is bogged down with work and I didn’t want to bother him. One of my best friends is going nuts at home with a toddler and a newborn. Another one just moved houses. Suffice to say, I didn’t have anyone on whom to dump my woes. But then, I don’t think anyone can calm you down like your mother.

Talking to my parents is something that has been a part of my day since I can remember. From nightly sessions around the dinner table where we talked about our days, to long phone calls while my time away at college, its been a ritual that me and the sister still maintain to this day. I remember times during mine and the sister’s college when we would trudge our weary way back to our hostel rooms at 2 am in the morning after classes and Mom would be waiting at the other end for our call. She couldn’t sleep without talking to us. Employment and marriage didn’t change this routine for us. And it stays to this day.

Sometimes I think maybe I depend on her a little too much. That maybe in an age when she should be relaxing and enjoying life, I’m burdening her with my innumerable issues and troubles. Then again, research suggests that nothing busts stress like talking to your mom. Nothing can be more calming than the voice you’ve been hearing since before you were born I guess. And in an age where children are being taught to be independent and on their own probably from the cradle, its nice to have such a connection with your parents. And being a mother myself now, I can only hope the Peanut will grow up to be like me. That he’ll want to talk to me everyday; and not treat calls to his mother like a chore he has to cross of his list every week. Fingers crossed. Till then, let me pick up the phone and talk to my mom about this. 🙂

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