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Happy 60th birthday Tai!

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  The youngest looking, and the youngest Aaji at heart, so much so, that even her granddaughter Anishka calls her Aai and refuses to call her Aaji. At a very early age she took on the responsibility of the house, cooking, cleaning, doing whatever was necessary. A first-class student through-out, she never brought up the subject of doing post-graduation (she did not want to burden my mother with the financial strain it would cause) but chose to take up a job as soon as she finished her final year exams and help support the family. Eventually, she did study law, but that was along with her job. She has had an illustrious career, starting in a small private firm, even before she completed her graduation, moving on to the legal department at Saraswat Bank, SBI Caps, Société Générale and so on. She retired as the Associate Director, Administration at Cognizant Technology Solutions India Pvt. Ltd. where she was managing facilities totalling more than 5 lacs square feet, with more than 5000

My inspiration and strength…My Mother

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Mother, the most ‘taken for granted’ person in the world. Any time you need anything, you have a problem, she is the ‘go to’ person. Someone who is not at all demanding, it is as if she is invisible, but whenever you need her, she is always there. Until one day, when she is not. It is one year to this date that my mother passed away, hopefully to a better place. My mother was one of the strongest and most resilient persons that I have ever known, and yet she was also the gentlest and most peace-loving person. A multi-faceted personality, she was extremely talented, intelligent and a problem solver. She was like a chameleon, she would adapt and blend into whatever the surroundings. She was equally happy working shoulder to shoulder with the ladies in her shop as she was working alongside the carpenters in her furniture workshop. She created a beautiful and special world around her, wherever she was, be it Mumbai, Pune, Dubai or Canada. She was always welcome and loved wherever she went.

Man Proposes, God Disposes!

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      Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—     I took the one less traveled by,     And that has made all the difference.                                                                                  By Robert Frost                                                                                               When I was young, I was a totally carefree, fun-loving person; an extrovert by nature, I made friends easily. I used to be interested in everything and would take part in all the activities in school and college. I was a Jack of all trades, with a keen interest in arts, sports, and I excelled at academics too. With minimum effort I always managed to be in the top three in school.   Those days, we did not have many career options. If you were good at studies, you went for either engineering or medicine and most of my close friends in junior college opted to study medicine. My cousin Padam Dada, who was from Pune, was studying medicine at Grand Medical college in Mumbai. He woul

My introduction to the world of Special Needs…

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  When I mentioned my fears regarding Tanaya to a friend, who had a daughter with cerebral palsy, her antennae went up! She said, “Forget what the doctor said. If you have a doubt, do not waste another moment”. She gave me the contact of a physiotherapist who was also trained in Neuro Developmental Therapy (NDT) and was supposed to be very good. So I started taking Tanaya for therapy every evening and it was the most traumatic experience ever!! My complaint was that Tanaya did not cry? Well, now I got a taste of what it was to hear her cry. She would howl her heart out throughout the entire session. It was the most heart wrenching experience for me. There were children of different ages, and different diagnoses, all going through similar painful therapy and crying their hearts out. The impact of the therapy and the therapists was felt by my entire family. Witnessing the pain of the children and the parents and the attitude of the therapists sent me into a spiral of depression. I star

Black and White

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  My second pregnancy was as different from my first as could be. It was like black and white. It was a very difficult period for me physically as well as mentally. I spent about three months on bed and often times I would be plagued with doubts about the health of my unborn baby. The second delivery was a planned C-section, 15 days before my due date. I remember my gynecologist telling me later that after the baby was born, I was not bothered about whether it was a boy or a girl. I just kept repeating like a drunken idiot asking if the baby was fine before I slipped into blissful oblivion under the influence of the anesthesia. Everything this second time around seemed so different. My first baby, my son, Arya, a healthy ten pounder, was always smiling and playful. Whereas my daughter, Tanaya, seemed to be born with a frown on her face. She rarely, if ever, smiled. I remember my mother jokingly saying that it looks like she is angry because we got her 15 days early into this world, w

My Bundle of Joy!

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  My first pregnancy was the best period of my life. I was showered with love and affection by everyone and the birth of our son,   my bundle of joy, caused our cup to overflow with happiness and bliss. I went to my mother’s place in Pune, at the beginning of my ninth month, for the delivery. My first visit to the doctor and she said, I would not have to wait too long. I had put on a lot of weight; my tummy was huge. (I could actually use it as a table to keep my cup of tea). She thought I would deliver before my due date, but the exact opposite happened. Well past my due date, there was no sign of the baby coming out, so they decided to induce labour. Despite that, the baby refused to come out and finally, it was decided to perform a C section. I have never felt so scared or vulnerable in my life. Lying there on the operating table, two people holding my hands, two holding my legs, a fifth pushing a needle in my arm, it was a nightmare. I felt so helpless. I wanted to run away, an

Everything happens for a reason!

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  Everything happens for a reason! Whatever it may be, however bad it may seem, it happens for the larger good. When you look at the bigger picture, it is for the greater good. I believe everyone comes into this world with a predestined purpose. I was nearly not born. I am the youngest of three siblings. I remember my mother telling me how she had categorically told her gynaecologist during her second pregnancy to operate on her to make sure she would not have any more children. She had had a very difficult pregnancy and childbirth and did not want to go through the trauma again. But the gynaecologist who was a family friend did not listen to her. Instead, she reasoned with my Mom and told her that it was educated people like my parents who should give birth to more children for the greater good of society. And so, I was born. They say history repeats itself. My daughter also was nearly not born. After our son’s birth, our cup was overflowing with joy. My husband did not want a