Viva La Difference!



It was around the evening when the doorbell rang. Lately, the sound of the doorbell had been sounding like music to my ears, as it ushered in hope of his arrival, hope that I would get to see his alluring face (ya, you read it right, it was that time of my life when I could stare at him for hours at end, I could do it now too except for the fact that my daughters might end up thinking of me as a crazy mom; mom’s gone mad they might as well tell their friends).

As I opened the door with effulgent eyes and a glowing face, my heart skipped a beat when I saw him. With emotions rising high and euphoria mighty enough to melt me away, I was expecting a similar reaction from his side too. But nada, I could tell from the perturbed expression on his face that something was not right. Before I could open my mouth and utter a single word, he asked,

“What’s wrong? Is everything okay. Why were you and papa fighting. I hope he hasn’t changed his mind about us.”

All this while I was gazing at him like a confused child, I couldn’t understand what he meant to say.

“No, everything is fine, in fact it’s perfect. But what made you think that we were fighting?” I asked inquisitively.

“No, no, you are hiding something from me, Kuch to gadbad hai. I heard loud voices coming out from the house while I was parking the car.” he continued with a serious expression and a worrisome tone.

Hardly had he finished the sentence, all of us burst into peals of laughter, relaxed and embarrassed simultaneously.

“We were just talking to each other, nothing like an argument or a fight.”

“In such loud voices?” he asked with a shocked expression.

“Yes, this is how we normally talk, and you thought we were fighting.” I replied with a pressed smile, trying to control my amusement.

He was stunned. He couldn’t digest the fact that we all had such high pitched voices.

He had always heard subtle and hushed toned conversations in his family, he himself spoke so softly that even an ant sitting right beside his mouth would die of boredom thinking, “Does this man ever speak,”

This was the first instance when we both became sure of the scientific principle, “opposites attract”. It was like a “Hence Proved” moment. The textbook science that we had always thought of as futile,was not that useless after all, it did have real life implications. Little did we know that this was just the beginning and in the days to follow we both would be exposed to glaring dissimilarities in our personality, choices and habits.

When we got engaged, both of us had the penchant for pampering each other and what better way than to shower gifts and boy I was in for another revelation. The first ever gift that I chose for him was a lime colored formal shirt. I had forced the salesman to dig in the deepest of shelves of the showroom in an attempt to find the perfect colored shirt. I was very pleased with myself for having found it finally and couldn’t wait to see the gleeful expression on his face. And yes, I got to see the excitement akin to a child opening a gift which was soon overtaken by a somber look.

“You didn’t like the shirt?’ I asked impatiently.

“This is lime green,” he replied.

And then it struck me how I had ignored the fact that he always wore light, dull shades.

But I wanted him to adorn the bright, cheerful colors which were an inherent part of my personality.

“You are an old soul,” I teased him. “Just wear it once and then do whatever you want to do,” I muttered.

He did wear that shirt and faced perplexed glances from his students, “ Sir ko kya ho gaya hai, itne bright colours pehne hai.” (he was a lecturer when we met).

“Opposites Attract” this fact was paying us regular visits. It was like the sempiternal truth. The final straw that broke the camels back which hit the nail on the head and left me stunned was his relationship with books. He had never laid hands on books other than those relevant to studies; none at all. I was/am a bibliophile. Wherever I lived, slept, ate and breathed, there were and still are books. I could never imagine my life without books, he on the other hand had no clue about the mesmerizing fragrance of the pages of a book. This was like my heart took a bullet, I had never tried to change any of his preferences but this; no; I made conscious efforts to pull him towards books and he did reach midway.

With due course of time, we discovered that we were the perfect example of the law of polarity. Be it food choices or the type of music (he loves Punjabi songs, of which I struggle to understand the meaning, eh.), the kind of movies we like to the idea of an entertaining movie date (he wants to stay in with the movie aired on the television screen and a big tub of homemade popcorn) he avoids theaters and for me, what’s a movie if it isn’t watched in a theater. We have completely different tastes when it comes to vacationing, he wants to book a fancy resort and laze in doing absolutely nothing whilst I am the kinds who will never leave even an inch of the city unexplored. The list is inexhaustible, I could fill in pages describing the polarity of our likes and dislikes.

For some, these differences can seem to be problematic and humongous, but these very differences add spice and passion to our relationship. Everything evolves and so has our relationship. We both have taken a few steps towards liking each other’s “likes” and accepting each other’s “dislikes”. In the beginning, our relationship was a big question mark for many around us and most were apprehensive of whether it would work in the long term. Now, after twelve years of companionship, and a beautiful one at that, I would like to think that all questions and doubts have been put to rest.

We are drawn to others out of a desire to experience greater connection, security, love, support and comfort. Some of these longings have to do with their polar opposites such as adventure, freedom, risk, challenge and intensity. While these needs and desires may appear to be mutually exclusive, they not only can co exist with each other, but in the process, generate the spurt and passion that sustains, deepens and enlivens relationships.

The French view this paradox, not as a problem, but as something to celebrate. Rather than say “Oh merde” (holy shit) when this apparent contradiction shows up in a relationship, they say, “Viva la difference!”


“This post is a part of the Valentine’s Day bog train hosted by &, sponsored by Shipsa, Kalpavriksha farms & Neha from @bloggingmadeeasier.”

I chose to write on the prompt: Opposites attract- which type of couple are you?


The Scent of a Mother

“True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing year.”

Audrey Hepburn

If a survey was conducted to ascertain the most significant person in a human’s life, I am absolutely positive that the concordant reply for the majority of us would be “mother”. ‘Mother”, the word connotes pure, unadulterated, benevolent love and care for her children. She is the paragon of devotedness; the level of perseverance and commitment she portrays is unparalleled. She is the one who wouldn’t think twice about going to any lengths to do and provide what is optimal for her children.

A human body can bear only up to 45 del (units) of pain. Yet at the time of giving birth, a mother feels up to 57 del (units) of pain. This is similar to twenty bones getting fractured at the same time. This is only a miniscule indication of what a mother can endure to warrant the safety and well being of her children. Being a student of biology, I was well versed of the mechanisms and dynamics involved in the birth of a mother, only the physical aspect to be specific. The realms of emotions seeped in a mother’s heart can only be understood by taking the plunge itself. The conventional notion is that only the one who has gone through gestation and child birth actually knows what it is like to be a mother.  I too believed this to be true for the major part of my life.

Life has its own mysterious ways of leading us to paths untrodden,  little did I know that I was going to encounter one of the most indelible experiences of my life, which had the power to change this preconceived notion of a mother. The incident that overhauled my perception, my understanding of a mother dates back to the time when I was in my early twenties with a gold medal in masters in my kitty. I was super zealous to take on the world. I had sky high dreams and aspirations, with full faith in my calibre and potential. But life doesn’t always give you bouquets and I had to take up a job which was not exactly my dream job. With a confused spirit I pulled myself and just gave into what life threw at me. The first month passed by and when I received my first paycheck, I wanted to do something noteworthy, something memorable with the money. I wanted to buy gifts for everyone in the family but my mother suggested that I should spend the money for a noble cause. She knew of an organisation “Utthan” which catered to the needs of differently abled children. So one Sunday morning we packed a few toys and stationary stuff and headed to “Utthan”. I had no idea that I would experience a concoction of diverse emotions (all poles apart) in a short span of time.  I was aghast to watch the children, I pitied them, sympathized with them; the truth that life isn’t always rosy was right in my face. I loathed myself for being ungrateful. How did those children lead their lives, what would they do when they grow up, this was incomprehensible for me. In a matter of minutes, the pity was replaced with fury and angst. Why did God make them like this? How could he be so cruel? Is there even a God?

My brain was going haywire and my heart was shedding a thousand tears and then I saw them, like an effulgent, guiding light; like a warm blanket in a cold, frigid night. “Utthan” was run by two sisters who had devoted their entire lives for the upbringing and rearing of special needs children. They had forsaken marriage and a biological family of their own to tend to these kids. As they entered the room, the kids faces brightened up, each one of them was giggling and scuttling around. Upon conversation with the two ladies I got to know how they were preparing these kids for the future when they grow up, how they were teaching them basic life skills, how they had no biological kids of their own, yet they were mothers to many. The angst and fury that I felt was now replaced with gratitude, appreciation and hopefulness. Gratitude for they were serving human kind selflessly, appreciation for what they were doing is not everyone’s cup of tea and hopefulness for they were ensuring that the kids have a better life and future.

Now when I look back and think, I feel overwhelmed by the memory of both of them tending to the kids; now when I am a mother myself, I am still amazed how two women were spreading the fragrance of motherly love without themselves having birthed kids.

“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother” – Oprah Winfrey!

This quote makes absolute sense to me. Loving one’s own kin comes naturally to all of us but nurturing someone else’s child is the true essence of a mother, a mother who is beautiful in the true sense.

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The lost heaven!

Twinkle twinkle” was what Ryan heard on other side of phone. His gut wrenched, the trepidation was superlative. He grabbed the car keys,rushed home, his watch hinting at how little time he had. The entrance bulb gleamed, corroborating that she had been there. In Bobby’s room a note with “heaven” hung on the window sill. Navigating the damp road blanketed with pines; he lamented over the day he met Joel. Amidst the foggy landscape was the pebbled manor which was once their “heaven”. He couldn’t let heaven turn into Bobby’s grave. He couldn’t let Joel’s sadistic hankering win.


Happy teachers day!

As Sheila adjusted her scarf and satchel, she had never anticipated she would be so skittish. How tough could it be to handle a passel of super zestful students. As she entered the classroom, not even a single one stood up. She was erroneously thought of as one of them. Only after she progressed towards the dice, did everyone realize that she was the new teacher. “I will never be a teacher like you mom”, the words reverberated in her mind. Ten years post taking a sabbatical, her messenger is still swamped with, ” You are best teacher ever” messages.

How can i ever thank you teacher!

The entire hall resonated with approbation when Malati headed to the stage to receive the coveted ” Entrepreneur of the year” award. As she took the microphone to deliver the acceptance speech, the audience was astounded to hear the introductory line,” I dedicate this award to the man who gave me sanitary napkins”. Words would not suffice to express gratitude to Sharma sir. When she got her period and missed school, he pulled her out of the dark gully taking brickbats from the villagers. He was her teacher and his gender didn’t stop him from being the shepherd.

Sweet is bitter!

“Ethan loves ice cream. In an hour he will be back from school. Oh my god, how did i forget to prepare his favourite blueberry one. I have to rush to the kitchen. Samir will you please put the albums in place. Thank god i was looking at this picture and i remembered. You two look so adorable in this one.” Just as Aesha rose from the sofa, Samir hugged her from the back and she was shaken out of trance. Now Ethan did not demand any more ice creams. The wretched lukeamia had taken him in its embrace.

The wedding cake!

Elle’s bakehouse exuded a divine aroma emanating from the red velvet cake she was agglomerating for a wedding. Never before had she been so thrilled and edgy at the same time. How could someone’s taste be exactly similar to hers. As she traversed the cobbled pathway to the church with her best creation, she felt an uncanny tingle in her stomach. One look at the groom and everything fell into place about the eerie similarity. The thump of the church bells seemed faint in front of the telephone ring when Mathew spoke the inconceivable, “No more coffee mornings. It’s over.”