this was our old cat Steve, he was one big trouble maker.
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“Sonia, my darling, calm down. Listen to me carefully. Don’t worry too much about your project. It’s not very important, and definitely not more important than your baby. You are so lucky that it has happened so easily for you. Have you forgotten how much Seema struggled to have a child? Everything in life has an appropriate time, darling. This is the best age for you to have a baby. The more you delay, the more it wil l be difficult for you. You have had a successful career so far; now, take a break and enjoy every moment of this very special stage in your life,” advised Neela, hoping against hope that her daughter would come around to her point of view.
“Ma, what are you saying? I can’t just give up everything I worked for all these years. My job and career are very important – they are a part of me!” Sonia shot back.
“Sonia, my darling, trust me. What matters most in life is your own family. Your life will be fulfilling and complete with kids. A job cannot give you that sense of fulfillment. Once you hold your baby in your arms, it’s going to be a different life,” Neela persisted.
Having been a working mother all her life, Neela had felt a big loss when her daughters had moved on. And too quickly, she had thought. Looking back, she had wished she had spent more time with her kids. They had grown and moved on so quickly even before she had realized it and even before she could enjoy being with them. Neela now didn’t want Sonia to have any regrets, but did not know how to get her daughter to understand.
This is a story of Sonia Gupta, a young successful career women who is basking in the glory of professional success. With her next promotion just around the corner, she is all set to reap the fruit of years of toil in school, college, university.
But fate had a surprise for her – she discovers that she is pregnant ! NO ! not NOW ! she screeches inside. She reaches out to her mom, a university professor and her husband….
A thumping heart and a blank mind were never good news for a public speaker. She swallowed hard and haltingly began to outline her team’s achievements over the previous year. Within minutes, her nervousness turned into purposeful confidence and the words started to flow as she felt an inner strength emanating from her success and achievement. As she stood there at the podium, she realized that her four years of hard work had finally begun to fructify. She was finally living her dream.
Sonia turned to the projector screen behind her, which now displayed the new projects in pipeline. Just as she was about to begin pitching the new projects, her vision suddenly turned blurry even as she felt waves of giddiness wash over her. Sonia clutched the projector’s remote control that was in her hands tightly and froze in her tracks. Regaining her composure quickly, she carried on with her presentation although the giddiness persisted. She could see appreciative glances from many members in the audience, especially her regional manager whose opinion mattered most.
After her presentation, Sonia walked back to her seat with her head held high, smiling generously at everyone whose eyes met hers and putting on an air of sophistication, hoping her short chic hairstyle did the rest of the talking. She so wanted everything to go right on the day. Nearing her seat, she faltered, her vision suddenly blurring again.
Parenthood is so special, live every moment of it with awareness….you can never get back the time with your child that has passed away.
Happy New Year to all of you. May this year see all dreams turn into reality.
The storeroom was a bit dark and dusty, but it was the only unmanned room in the office. It was filled with cartons and files. Jessie was thankful for having this room; it would have been disgusting and unhygienic to use the washroom. She quickly opened the bag, pulled out the breast pump and bottles, set them on top of a carton and prepared herself. Using the pump, she started to express breast milk that slowly dripped into the bottle. A familiar pain returned.
“Ah-aaa!” she moaned.
She was still getting used to this awful process even though she had been doing it for a week. The doctor had suggested this method to extract her breast milk and store in the fridge for later use. At first, Jessie had thought the doctor had been joking. She had only heard of milking cows using pumps. But, when she had asked some of her friends, she had been flabbergasted to hear that most of them had actually done it.
She had then bought a breast pump from the pharmacy and tried it at home first. It had been a very painful and horrid experience. She had felt insulted as a mother, as a woman and as a human being. At that moment, she had hated the society, and the world that didn’t give her a conducive environment to live with dignity, where she could do the most natural things a mother did for her baby. Without the swords, self-made or imposed by others, hanging on top of her head. But her frustration had been accompanied by resolution. But, if this is what I need to do for my baby, I will do it!
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Book Reviewed by Dhanya Menon
Each short story drew parallel’s to different families I know. Its a universal situation slapped on parents and the book speaks boldly and spills words into the minds. I like the manner in which the characters speak to each other, not sure if in real-life we all speak the same language even though we all feel the same.
When she reached near the office building, she looked around, searching. Where is she? I haven’t seen her in a long time. Oh! Hope she was not run over.
Jessie often fed a stray cat in the parking lot. But, she hadn’t seen it since she had joined back. Disappointed, she walked towards the office. As she neared the exit of the parking lot, she saw the cat! It was huddled in the corner, behind a pile of arrayed pavement stones. Oh, my god! She saw the cat lying in the corner on a piece of shabby cloth, with furry kittens around her!
She went forward excitedly, but not too close since she didn’t want to disturb them. There were six kittens, all not more than a week old, and grey with stripes just like their mother. One kitten was fully black, however. The kittens suckled their mother, the black one nestling on top of another kitten. Aww… so cute!
The mother was gently licking each one of them. Jessie’s heart warmed up at the sight, as she felt a sudden bonding with the cat. She marveled at nature for uniting all mothers irrespective of being animals or humans. Only mothers can feel and understand that immense love for their children. The kittens continued to suckle while the cat lay patiently, content. Jessie could have stood and watched forever.