Mama thought for a year.


This blog happened because of my daughter’s unwavering faith in my ability to write. She started telling me I should write a book.

“Mom, you should really think about writing a book! I think you will be really good at it!” She said.

“I am not creative enough to write a book! Also I have no time to think!” This was my standard reply.

“Then write a blog. I am telling you, you will be good!” She insisted.

“What is a blog?” I asked. To be fair to her, Sahana did try to hide her surprise at my ignorance, she explained a blog post to me with utmost patience and didn’t roll her eyes once.

Ok, ok, I will think about it!”

The conversation generally ended there till she brought it up again. She did plant a seed in my head which started growing. But what would I write about, I thought. My life wasn’t exciting at all. A regular, everyday woman, trying to raise two little humans to the best of her ability. Not creative, not a terrific observer, not a philosopher, not a deep thinker by any means, what would I write about? I read some sites on how to write a blog. One said to write about something that I am passionate about. I wasn’t really passionate about anything. It was discouraging. Nothing in my life was worth writing about till Ryan said something really, really funny one day. I thought I could write about my children. They make me smile with their words and gestures, maybe some of the things they say will make others smile too. I decided to write a blog on their every day lives, their comments, their growing up. I meant it to be like an online journal of sorts, which I hoped, they will read when they grew up. And maybe share a laugh with me at the memory, since that is all I will be left with  once they fly the nest.

But I am lackadaisical in everything. So although the good intention of starting a blog was germinating in my head, it didn’t really grow shoots. The plan wasn’t implemented right away.

Then life threw a curve ball.

I got a phone call that turned my smooth, planned out life upside down. Someone very dear to me was diagnosed with the emperor of maladies. It is interesting how one clearly remembers the moment when one gets a devastating news out of the blue. I distinctly remember the glare of the white neon light when my phone rang and I answered. I was sitting at the children’s swim practice, talking to two other mothers when the call came. I remember hearing the sad, resigned tone of my loved one – and the news. My heart stopped beating for a split second and I distinctly remember the cold, gnawing, raw feeling of fear in my stomach. I mumbled ‘Excuse me’ to my company and walked out in the hall for better reception. I heard the news calmly while my head was exploding with ‘WHY?  WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? I THOUGHT I WAS INVINCIBLE? IS THIS A JOKE? IS THIS REALLY REALLY HAPPENING TO ME?” The reality of the situation didn’t sink in immediately, I was in a daze.

The phone call ended. I remember walking  back and sitting down with a numb feeling. I remember trying to come to terms with the dreaded C word. The word ‘cancer’ played in my head, again and again. The word ‘cancer’ has such a definitive ring to it – a strong word, a harsh word, a dangerous word. A word that can appear in your life all of a sudden and can potentially turn your life upside down, can actually rip it apart. I gathered the children after their practice, bundled them in the car and headed home, ‘cancer’ still playing in my head. I remember each minute of that evening, down to the minute detail.

Then the research started. I read up as much as I could  focusing on how worse it could have been but wasn’t. I started counting  on my fingers what were the positives – the early detection, the survival rate, the necessary treatment. I clung to the positives and held on to them for dear life. I couldn’t turn off my thoughts at night and during one of those sleepless nights, I stumbled on to wordpress.com. I needed something fluffy and light and cheerful. I needed balance. I needed the innocence of my children to balance the sadness and harsh reality that I was living. I wrote my first post.

Here we go.

My first step in the blogging world. See if it works. Wow! It did! Hmmmmm! What now? What do I write about? While researching how to write a blog, I read one should blog about something that one is passionate about! Where do my passions lie? That’s a tough one. Once upon a time, I was passionate about a few things, acting, traveling, writing. Then I fell in love, got married, had children. And my passions went hibernating. But this blog is not about self pity! Oh jeez, I lost myself after the kids came. No siree! Loved every minute. Well, you know what I mean. Didn’t really love, love every minute!! That’s stretching it. Didn’t really love the sleepless nights, the temper tantrums, the dirty diapers in the middle of the night etc etc etc. But did love the dimpled cheeks and the chubby thighs. Loved the different stages of growing up and the innocent questions, loved the cuddles and the belly laughs.

Oh dear! This always happens. I frequently get carried away when I start talking about the kiddos. Oh well! This blog, like many other mommy blogs, is probably going to be about the different things my children do to make me laugh. I don’t know why anybody would want to read them or be interested in them. They would be my online journal kind of a thing.

Time to sign off. Warmth of my bed beckons. As long as I can publish this I am set. First time and all.

As I read this post I relived the emotions that were going through me – despondence, anger, depression, fear. I see none of that in this. It is a bubbly, cheerful, happy post – a perfect veneer for my troubled soul. I needed it desperately. The dates of my early blogs show that I probably wrote something each day – as a release, as an attempt to crawl back to happy, cancer free times of my life, as a desperate attempt to hold on to normalcy.

After some tumultuous months of treatment, my loved one was declared cancer free. But I owed it to whatmamathinks for keeping me anchored during that troubled time along with the constant support of some dear friends.

I kept on writing after that. Who knew I had so many stories to tell. I looked forward to writing – in my very ordinary way, about my very ordinary life. And some of you read the musings. Some of you were kind enough to like them and leave comments on them. I thank each and every one of you who visit this blog from time to time and indulge me by reading what I write. I am someone who writes just for the sake of writing, I will never publish, never explain myself beyond what I have written. These are some snippets of my life, my memories, my thoughts, my insight into issues that are important to me.

I often think I will write something deep and thoughtful, something philosophical, something really radical. But that is not who I am; I am not a thinker, I am a mere observer, I can only narrate what has happened, I can infer some. I can learn some and write about what I have learned. I know I can’t change the world with my writing, but if I can bring a smile to your lips with any of my posts, I am happy.

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6 Responses to Mama thought for a year.

  1. reshamblr says:

    You are setting new benchmarks in excellent writing with each blog of yours, Piyali. Really, really look forward to reading them over and over again. So glad that our paths crossed. Whenever I read your blogs, each time I tell myself this one is her best. Just to find that the next one is even better. But this particular one will remain etched in my memory forever. Perhaps one of your bestest, if I may say so 🙂

  2. Writing is a way of expression, and often are are like the ointment on our raw skin. This is my personal experience too. Don’t stop writing, make it your mode of smiling and cheering. Love to read everything.

  3. The Empress says:

    It took me a while. To compose my thoughts and to get back to you to respond to this beautiful piece. Loved reading about the harrowing tale of how this blog started, and I cannot help but think – it is so you Piyali. To think of an oasis of positive thoughts, to dwell on the goodness and beauty of life – right at the very moment when the life of a dear one is at risk with dreaded disease. I am so glad you started this sharing of yourself. For that is what this blog is. A little window. A little peek, a few pieces of you, chunks and morsels – strung together beautifully, woven, with your words, your unending enthusiasm for life, your vivacity, your unfailing belief in goodness, in light triumphing dark. Long may it continue, and long may I have the privilege to share and become richer with every word.

  4. Rupa Raj says:

    ‘Fortune favors the brave’, instead of feeling miserable & wallowing in self pity like many might’ve done, even me, u chose to stay strong, positive & find inspiration in ur loved ones. U wrote & how! Your blogs r simple, humble & honest outpourings of a heart full of love. Even the mundane becomes interesting, ‘cos of the way u write, I want to read more of u, learn from ur insights, draw strength & courage from ur experiences. Ur musings give me hope & happiness. U bring a smile to so many faces, it’s only fair that God puts a great big grin on yours! Love u lots my darling strong & brilliant sister.

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