Monday, May 21, 2018

Steeped in Love!

We fell in love in the 1990s! We were naive, silly and hugely influenced by Bollywood movies we saw. As lovers, we tried to do everything they did. Imagine ourselves singing and promising lifelong togetherness. We wanted pictures steeped in love.

Alas! The camera we had could accomplish not much! We had to put the ancient thing on self-timer and run in those ten blinking seconds to pose with the beloved. In those blasted few seconds, the spontaneity of embrace or love would tumble off, at times bringing in awkward pics and the smiles rarely reached the eyes!

We sighed sheepish, hid those photographs and got on with life. Our deeply held hugs, romantic moments only captured in our hearts, never on print.

Cut to today’s technological selfie revolution, so much is changing at miraculous proportions!

Today’s youth have it at the tip of their button to freeze moments at every juncture and in the coolest environs.

When we look back, awkward memories of behind-the-tree visits to Aarey Milk Colony,  on-the-rocks visit to Bandra Reclamation and Marine Drive peeks in. We sat there on the edge being harassed by eunuchs asking the truant naive couples for money or the Police holding us ransom and threatening to call our parents. The mini heart attack at having to part with the last hundred. Mortified and moronic memories.

We married, birthed two dudes and witnessed a revolution of sorts. A phone confined to our living rooms had transformed itself into a tiny device in our hand, capable of sending text, mails, capturing pictures! The Selfie Revolution that allows one to capture any and every moment. The techno evolution keeps getting better. We are, and were, learning the ropes! The works! 

One such day, two years back, we visited Churchgate with our two sons. One 15, another 9. We took them to Marine drive and began narrating the nostalgic moments of their parents' life.

They refused to believe.

Yes, being harassed by eunuchs or police is an alien concept to today’s youth that saunters in for cool dates in Malls, Starbucks, Cafe Coffee Day or McDonald’s!

Sipping their elite stuff, texting several in one go, updating pics on social media, they have no clue how a generation before, getting a cozy corner or message across was so tough! Pigeons were our ideas of love messengers! Getting the right romantic pose was an exercise and art. 

Really??? So laughed our dudes. Their squeals of delight curdled our toes in mortification and embarrassment. They teased us galore and we gave in and shared our fracas of those times. 

Suddenly, I realised that we were at Marine Drive. We had our kids presence and license to sit there. Neither the Police nor anyone else was likely to fleece us. We didn’t have to be awkward. We had truly kept all the promises we made to each other and made it this far.

It was a jocund moment of Gay abandon.

I had borrowed the hat from my son to tame my flowing tresses.  His hair in perfect ruffle as ever that made me fall for him years back! We both were colour co-ordinated in different shades of blue! We had the perfect backdrop of a clear blue sky. We were on the parapet we were twenty years ago. We were still in love as deep as ever. We still retained the mischief we had in us two decades back. In an impulsive moment, I hugged my hubby and smiled. God bless the smart phone in his hand, he without hesitation took a click!

The expanse of the sky- all embracing and  endorsing our moment. A captured freeze of pure rapture. A camaraderie well shared.
The only wish that can enhance  this perfect pic could be the Mobiistar Front Dual 120 degree angle camera that would have also taken in the resplendent sky and a white birdie that lurked sponsoring our hug and cheer. For no thought was given at that moment to frame the picture, only a quick, on-the-spot click to capture the exploding emotion.

Blessed be the ever-evolving technology that allows seemingly miraculous developments in picture-taking possible. Such as we never envisaged when we foolishly tried to pose as lovers immersed in each other. We emerged totally stupid.

Today, the stupid moments are neatly picked up by these devices to magically transport them to romantically translucent levels.

If there are magical realms possible smart phones like Mobiistar would be the ones to bring them to Manifestation.

For now I am happy with this rapturous moment completely steeped in love of years of yearning for this perfect moment! A treasure I keep going back to reminisce and rejuvenate, a love that is and always will be. 


Sunday, May 20, 2018


Have you ever enjoyed a moment of doing, and being NOTHING

The Selfie here is a symbolic depiction of a Nothing moment, frozen in a peaceful, mischievous frame by none other than me, myself. Yes, smart phones have created this new relationship with myself and it lets me capture me in all my moods. 

Think May vacations, and Think a period of happy inertia. A small little meditative month when my roles as a woman, as a mother, as a teacher, as a house manager all go in a slow motion. 

I sit here wearing my favourite dress that sits snugly on me. Everything is right and bright. A woman who has striven to co-create an independent existence with her equally creative husband. Both her sons brilliantly soaring in every environ they have navigated. 

In this moment there is an engaging smile that tells the world ‘I want nothing from you. I do have everything I need...’ 

In this moment, a mother is waiting to see her son perform. Her 11-year old who already has been declared the most sensitive and best actor. 

She knows things are delayed a bit as it happens for all shows. Her three men are running around catching their own two minutes of  fame with others.

I sit with a cup of coffee, comfortable and smug, unhurried and unworried. 

Rare moments when I am not worried, I am not beating anxious about reaching on time, I am not harried over cooking dinner as it has been planned at a nearby restaurant, I am not jittery over any impending bills and loans for all are taken care of. I am not crazy restless about the heat as I step from an AC car into an AC auditorium.  

I have literally let my hair down. No styling, no gels, no buns. Plain shampooed and dried naturally in the car as we travelled to town. I am seated comfortably and awaiting no one to join me and chat needlessly. I am far too happy with my own company. 

My husband brought me a delicious steaming aromatic coffee cup while he explores around. The coffee is still hot so I have few more moments to go before I sip it. 

In this moment of calm and serenity amidst chaos, all I am left to do is nothing. That to me is a lot. 

There is camaraderie with myself and my cell phone which clicks amazing pictures of me and reflects to me. My moment of self-love and Nothing

A moment and expression of eternity staring at the phone, expecting Nothing! 

Just Nothingness is my pal and the smile it brings is precious! But I would love to enjoy more. 

No doubt I didn't smile the biggest possible smile: I was wondering if I could do enhance the Selfie Experience...was there a way to capture the entire auditorium behind me? At the end of the show, I did want a group-selfie, but of course, I'd have to ask someone with a longer arm to take it. If I would try to capture one by myself, I wouldn't manage to get everyone in the frame. (I don't reveal my height, but you get the point don't you?) 

In comes Mobiistar (, with a 120-degree wide angle dual front Selfie Camera...and guess what? I wouldn't need to ask anyone else to click a selfie, capture a moment, or worry if everyone's fitting in or not. Somehow, I find myself heading to Mobiistar on Flipkart  and wondering how my Selfie Experience is going to change forever!


Happy Starts with Me!

I am a woman and a human. At both counts this species and variety is always on the elusive quest for Happiness. In childhood, happiness was a station, I thought, I would arrive at ‘when so and so happens!

When I graduate, I would be happy.

When I get to marry my love I would be happy.

When I will have a child I would be happy.

When I earn a certain figure I would be happy.

"Until I realized, happiness is not a destination you arrive at, but a condition or state of mind you cultivate."                                                                                 

It is when you stop laying conditions but begin living with your conditions.

My tryst with happiness began early, but the understanding of it, came in my thirties.

Till then I considered myself, the most unhappiest version of  the human species, who ever walked the Earth.

Then I discovered some very important things:

My own power to effect changes to an uncomfortable situation.

I learned rules are not absolutes but can be experimented with.

Other people’s opinions belonged to them and them alone.

Life is fluid and one can change as and when.

Happiness I found, in the roles I played:

  • Wife

Though we had a love match, I felt I was the most unattractive woman on the block. I did not deserve to be loved by my husband. I neither paid any attention to how I groomed nor to how I talked. I was morose and complaining all the time. Till one day, I realized I would drive away the very guy I fell in love. Huge inner changes were necessary. I had stopped learning or ushering new elements in my life. 

I thought I was a post graduate; I ought to do no more. A critical illness of my husband made me realise how important he was, and is for me. I moved mountains of Faith to have him survive and vowed to do everything to keep us Happy. I began by admitting 'I am human and I made mistakes.' I listened deeply at the unhappiness I created and began in bits and parts changing it. I am a simple person, not given to much cosmetics or finery but I dazzle now with an inner glow. I learned to flirt with my husband again. I learned to find my own arousal points and demonstrated to my husband how we can please and be complete.

I became brutally honest to negotiate my needs, my wants, my aspirations. My need to learn more, read more books. To my surprise an involved wife stimulated my husband to pursue his Goals that he had abandoned as a child and young adult to fulfill family obligations. We inspire each other with love, hugs, our pursuits, our goals that are entwined together and we earn together. ‘Why should financial responsibility be shouldered by the man alone? ‘

We do it together. We do everything together financially, socially and emotionally.

We are two rocking-growing individuals supporting the other, whether it is cooking, cleaning, renovating our home, creating income, raising children, facing the world. We are gently locked in our embrace, held enough to provide warmth to each other, venture out to learn new stuff, give our goals completion and return back to the embrace. There is no doubt now about our commitment to each other. That secure wife makes a happy wife. 

Yes, my husband loves me more than when we first met. I feel I am more desirable, scintillating and fulfilling. Yes, my husband’s love creates the glow but it is me who decided to plug in to the energy that resided and I had disconnected. It is liberating to know, love was and is always there, it is we who ignore or choose to neglect. No more. Happy begins now with me and stays with me. I have the power to gently keep my husband’s heart or manipulatively toss it around. 

Thank God, I kicked my own butt and decided to not be the ‘Delicate Willie’ instead a wife fully capable of receiving and Giving love. Apologizing when she errs, mending what she can. Begin each day, hugging the treasure of love that my husband is. He is not an item needing reformation but a gem deserving loving attention.

  • Motherhood

I got lucky not once but twice. When I held my first born, a delicate but firm compartment was made in my heart for this little one. A forever space etched. He was premature. To breast feed him in the incubator room, it took me good ten minutes to reach with my C-sec stitches. I was no longer a woman regarding her pain as paramount. That little being crying out in hunger and seeking comfort became my priority. 

I was suggested to go for formula foods, but well a mother was born that day! She remains alive till today. Taking decisions for him has been an empowering journey through and through. Women take maternity leaves when they birth a baby, I joined the work force on the 40th day of my baby’s birth. My ailing husband and family feuds plunged us in financial morass. 

The mother in me promised fiercely, my child will not lack a thing and depend on others for support. I won’t ask anyone to support his needs. He was my and my husband’s responsibility. Why should my husband toil alone? So I joined his tuition classes. So my dude learned his Math, Grammar, Sciences while breastfeeding, tucked in a baby wrap while I or my husband strapped him close to our bosom and teach. 

Grandparents on both sides felt they had enough baby rearing and wanted no more of it. I guess I became a stronger person juggling diaper changing, breastfeeding, putting baby to sleep, creating healthy but instant available foods in weaning stages, cooking for us, running a household, checking papers, teaching children various subjects. 

My second dude was widely welcomed by the three of us. I repeat the routine. This time I began work on the 15th day of his birth. Life has been a picnic, making decisions that were not the popular choices. Right from childhood, they were never gender-coloured. All chores of household belonged to all of us. Nothing is mummy’s job or daddy’s job. We divide few chores but fill in for others.

We are growing together. When once asked about 'How mummy reduced your screen time?',my younger dude, he giggles. "She did not 'reduce my screen time' but increased her screen-time', mom began watching stuff with me.

Kid happy, Mom happy!

Yes, we each have our own cell phones and we pursue our own activities on it. I blog on my cell and my hubby makes short films and edits it himself, elder kid blogs and puts up V--logs.

Cell phones have been our boon and empowering ally. When I am wondering aloud, which hob-top to take on my kitchen, my elder dude comes up on google a systematic appraisal of all that is available in the market.

When I wonder where is 'North' exactly in our house, my younger one comes in with a compass on his cell ‘Here Mom! Your north.

Technology is not to be dreaded but utilized well.

They enthusiastically pitch in to home chores when needed too. All we need to see that others need a helping hand and the cell phones are put aside. We are a hardworking unit and so as a Mommy, I don’t need to plead and please a domestic maid. We are sufficient and enough to do whatever required. That comes from years of careful cultivating love for labour, personal responsibility and efficiency. 

We care for our kid’s welfare. We trust their own capabilities of deciding for themselves. When we observed the chaos the ‘School system’ created on our bright children’s growing personality, we cut clean. We took the decision to ‘homeschooling our kids.’ 

Life is free of exams, uniforms, competitions, deadlines, partiality stories, project work and the ‘tiffin woes’. Yes, this mommy invests more in reading with the children, encouraging, exploring topics on their own, inculcating self-reliance and letting them be. Children flourish on their own. As a mom then, my job is encouraging them reach their potential instead of needlessly getting into bitter percentage wars and medals. 

I argue and debate instead of scolding and lecturing on their behavior, most of the times. If I expect something, it is laid out. If not agreeable, it is negotiated. If I am angry, I roar. If I am in error, I apologize. I put forth my opinions and let them put their side even if their different then mine. I am authentic at any given time. A transparent parent who tells it like it is. Child rearing has then excitement for me at what will unfold and not fear at 'What will others say!

The outcomes are celebrated as children are appreciated. Elder ones blogs and v-logs are published already by popular online portals. He takes up tenth exam and scores 93.6%. His films win at film festivals. He takes online courses on net from reputed institutes. He still insists on learning to roll chapattis at home as his cooking arsenal needs to be complete. He discusses with Dad how to invest his money earned through various activities and declares 'I leave formal education next year!'

The younger one is hooked to video games and watching serials from yonder times. Be it Khichdi, Ye Jo Hai Zindagi or Nukkad, he walks my childhood lanes and exclaims with awe at the simple wisdom he sees. He takes me on a trip to his childhood with Up, Inside Out, Toy Story, Barnyard, Kungfu Panda, applies the wisdom learned in real life with giggles. He excels in Playback Theatre at the age of 11 and declares yet ‘I want to learn Playback Theatre at the higher level... Or become a Cricketer...

The key as a happy mom is to stay in acceptance of the children as they unfold instead of burdening myself with the job of pushing them in set ways. I feel one day they will grow up and fly away, why not enjoy each phase as it goes?  As toddlers, instead of searching the right things to do we clued in to what they liked and did them. 

As middle ages, we hugged their insecurities away and filled their existence with books, movies, stories, picnics to nature spots. The Balance of technology and love for plants has been immensely gratifying. Yes, as efficient they are with Gadgets, so sensitive they are with growing and caring for plants in our Garden. 

There are certain non-negotiables too. That extends to not joking on husband-wife or gender-related stuff. No passing judgments on self or others body image. No wasting time on things that don’t bring value to life. No work at home is gender related. Keep learning new things. No one is allowed to stay static for long. 

Motherhood, people say is a tall order and there seems to be dissatisfaction associated with the role as an ungrateful designation by many. 

For me it has been an excitement and wonder-filled journey where discipline was inculcated as a natural part of observing us leading a different life. 

At each juncture, kids saw us working diligently at domestic projects, following work ethics even when no one is watching, choosing differently to give away stress and bring in a free existence, trusting kids to follow their own paths and not dictating our authority as final. 

Today, I am a Happy Mom of children who know to smile at life’s twists and turns and also wipe my tears when they roll down. They tickle a funny bone and give reassurance if they perceive an anxious heart. They are faithful friends and noble foes who put up a good fight with ethics. They learn to lose, with self-introspection rather than blame. 

*Saying Yes and No. An important ingredient to being Happy. 
A delicate balance is needed to do both. When life hands you situations that are challenging but worth your while, it takes courage to say ‘Yes’ and brace yourself for all that it will bring. 

As a teacher, when posed a challenge: can you teach a new board? A new subject? A challenging student? 

Yes, absolutely. The reward was better remuneration, reputation and respect. 

Can you teach while nursing a baby? Yes I can. How?? We will see. We did successfully. 

The ability to say ‘No’, too requires equal feisty courage. There are days I don’t want to cook. I say No rather than stew in resentment. We can find options once I am transparent without being apologetic. I am tired, I am bored, I don’t wish to go somewhere I say so. Allowing to hear no too from my sons and husband. It is difficult but I am learning. I am learning to say No to a good many things that limit me...

Inner wear that may be fancy but brings rashes. No, thank you. 

Cosmetics that chap my skin. No, thank you.

Generous offers that compromise my time and schedule. No, thank you. 

Accepting work that lowers my own value, less monetary benefit than I expect. No, thank you. 

Free service. No, thank you. 

Unsolicited moral piece of advice. No, thank you. 

Diets and body change methods. No, thank you.

A workshop which will help me delve deeper into myself. Yes, very much. 

Love myself and family deeply. Yes, very much. 

A new skill-set that empowers me. Yes, very much.

Sleep when body asks for it! Yes, very much.

Spend on things I love. Yes, very much.

A kiss from my husband. Yes, very much. 

Looking at new ways to do things. Yes, very much.

Saying Yes and No has brought crucial states of elevation and Freedom. Every woman ought to have it written down in her personal zone. 

  • Individual Human

Each moment, I am in a learning mode. If something I need to learn in order to effect a change, I will learn, has been my mantra. I was born with semi-vision. Using other senses I prevailed. I read books and now technology allows me to read as close as I need to. So, it is a boon. To let a limitation become a block, never serves anybody. Financial bankruptcy may break you or bring you in a challenging zone of surmounting and conquering new lands. 

I believe in being a Conqueror. A marital crossroad may become an opportunity for renewal of bonds. You will live to recount a story of hope and romance. Depression may land you in stagnancy or bring new lease of fresh skills to add. If you do, you change your life’s narrative to optimism and buoyancy. 

To hold onto adamant beliefs will keep you static, allowing flexibility to rule the relationship and situation will bring new patterns that will elevate. I believe if a change has to be effected, an action is needed from me. In order to thrive, we need to keep adding to our skill-sets. 

As a teacher, I can learn to blame the inefficient outdated system, label kids or choose to find ways to elevate my students’ confidence and find their Breakthrough. I celebrate every kid that walks into my Domain. I work on them as a sculptor would on clay at hand. As a healer, I infuse a Faith that can create miracles. As a blogger I am ruthlessly honest with my opinions. 

Psychologists say each new thing you learn, you create neural pathways in your brain. So I learn. Deliberately, I put myself in non-comfort zones, learn new stuff and inspire my spouse and children to do the same. Sermons do not appeal; rather, when an involved human is at work, it pushes automatically a ripple effect for all observing to emulate the same. 

As an individual, as a wife, as a mom, as a teacher, as a healer, as a coach, Happy Starts with Me for there is no one except me given to me for developing. 


Be your own best development project. Start your own happiness journey which must keep evolving but never designated to end...



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

She Can Get Tired Too!

She Can Get Tired Too: 

'kadam chhota, change bada'

Vedika entered her house hurriedly, she was late from tuitions. It was already 8:30 p.m. She kept her bag on the dining table and went into the kitchen to drink water. The kitchen was untouched and messy with utensils lying with leftover food from the lunch.

"So late you are! I called three times in your class. What are they teaching you so much?", her Grandmother came in with an accusatory tone.

"Aaji, it is my tenth. We had a three hours paper today. I had told and gone!" Vedika stood looking at the kitchen, wondering where to start cleaning.

"Mummy called? They too are late!" Vedika went in the bedroom to change clothes. Grandmother sat on the sofa and picked up the Remote.

"Yes, there is traffic they said, trains are late too. We will have to settle for late dinner, what else! My knees are paining. Oh my knees!"

Vedika came out, gave a dirty look to her Grandmother and went into the kitchen. She knew her favourite excuse, was her knees, for not doing anything. She thought she could begin cleaning the kitchen and cut vegetables so when her mom came she can at least begin cooking. She was already feeling angry and tired. Tired after a long day at school, then classes, she was hungry. To expect her grandma to cook would be a cardinal sin. She knew it would lead to a slinging war of words. She had no strength to get into that. The doorbell rang and her ten year old sibling and Grandfather walked in.

"Didi, is there anything to eat?", Navika asked throwing her socks and bag in different corners.

Vedika gave a stare and went in.

Her Grandmother added “All of us must wait till our Maharani comes home and cooks for us.

Vedika could not let this pass. "That Maharani has to work, travel in trains, cook and do lot of things Aaji! Your knees are paining but you can cut vegetables and keep. You can supervise the bai when she comes in. Look at the kitchen!"

Grandmother’s ire rose "All my life I have toiled, now I want to rest." 

Grandfather got up."Veda, you must not talk to your Aaji like this, why are your Aai baba late?" 

Vedika huffed into the kitchen and shouted, "Navika please call and see where they have reached!"

Grandmother came in the kitchen and looked at Vedika’s stiff frame clearing the utensils."At this age also, you expect me to work...

"At this age, I want you don’t call my mother in a derogatory fashion. She does enough for all of us. She cooks and leaves. Sometimes she does not get to eat. On days like today, she can order from outside, but No... Your and Ajoba’s digestion can’t take outside food so she will come and cook for us. The least you can do is keep the kitchen clear when maid is there, supervise her a bit..."

"That lazy woman does not listen to me! Your mother has spoiled her...", interjected Grandmother sulkily.

"My mother is not at home, you are. You keep fighting with her. Mom only pays salary to her. If you drive her out, how will mother manage?" Vedika finished washing utensils. She began mopping the kitchen table. 

"In our times we did everything and managed without complaining..." So began her rant. 

Vedika had no patience. She cut in, "Oh Aaji please! You lived in a joint family of fifteen people, big wada (huge house) and you had five servants in the village. You had plenty of help. Now go and watch TV and let me do something here.

The doorbell rang and Mother hurried straight into the kitchen"Khup usheer jhale re! Kai Gardi kai saangu!" (It has got so late,  so much crowd, what to say!) 

Vedika offered "Aai atleast change your clothes and have some water.

No, no if I sit, I won’t be able to get up!" she gratefully took the water offered. 

"What is there in the fridge?" She opened the refrigerator. 

Vedika saw her mother’s hands and body, which were trembling with all the hurry and stress. She must have endured hell in the local train's crowd. 

I will cut brinjals and potatoes. You go on and begin chapattis.” 

Mother put the flour in the flour machine to knead. 

I don’t like these chapatti flour kneaded in machines but we can’t tell anyone. Else daughter and mother will jump on us.”, jibed grandmother from the living room. 

Vedika opened her mouth to give back but the doorbell signalled her father’s arrival. 

Father came and sat on the sofa. Navika took the briefcase and kept it. Vedika took water for him. 

"Ha! I am so tired. The bus was so crowded..."

"No problem beta. You rest now. Long time until dinner. You can even sleep for some time."

Aaji had a way with her tongue. Each moment incensed Vedika more. 

"She also came late. Trains too were running late, Can I get some tea?"

"Yes, yes, I will make it." Grandmother got up with great emphasis on her knees. 

"Arre why you will make, Neera will make.. Aee Neera Jara Chaha aan ki?" (bring some tea, will you?) 

Vedika fumed. She looked at Mom. She was halfway through the chapattis. She looked at the watch; it was quarter to ten. 

Baba, dinner will be ready. Mom is making chapattis. I am cutting brinjals. It will be ready. ” 

She came and sat with her plate. Making it clear that no tea will be possible. 

So you will deprive my son of tea also now!” came the shrill reprimand  from her Grandmother. 

"Aaji it is ten ‘o’ clock almost." Navika interjected. 

Her father looked uncomfortable. 

"My son comes tired. There is no dinner ready and now you won’t give him tea also... "

"Aai asu de... Jevu aata!" (It is OK. We will eat now), his father tried soothing his mother. 

"When? Dinner is ages away."

"Mom also came just now only Aaji. If you were so hungry, why could you not keep few things ready?

"Vedaaaa be quiet!" her father’s voice rose.

"Yes baba, her knees pain so she cannot wash utensils but she can cut vegetables, knead aata while sitting if she does not like machine kneading! Is mom a human or machine to work non-stop? She has not even changed clothes?" Vedika’s voice rose and chest heaved with teenage anger. 

"Yes, yes now we are the servants. We must cook also!" Aaji began her crying routine. 

Vedika looked at her mother in the kitchen, resolutely putting in one chapatti after another. She was conserving energy for her chores thereafter. Vegetables had to be cooked. Post dinner cleaning. Morning lunch preparation. 

"Dad, I have a question. If mom works in the house it is her duty. If aaji works why she becomes a servant?"

"I am tired Veda, I don’t wish to fight..." her father said in a resigned tone. 

"Baba, if you work and come home, you sit on the sofa and ask for tea. Mom goes straight in the kitchen to do whatever required. She can’t order out, she can’t keep a cook. No one shares her workload. She is earning too. Can’t she get tired too?"

Vedika’s question hung in the air. She locked eyes with her father. For a long time her father stared at her questioning eyes and the question! Vedika felt her chest thumping. She was ready for a slap or confrontation but she stood resolute! Not backing out her gaze. She dug in. 

Her mother had a tear rolling down at the maturity her daughter had gained. 

"Yes Baba, can mom not get tired?"

Her dad moved and took the plate of brinjal from her. He went in the kitchen and lit up the Gas. Put the cooker on the gas. 

"Yes, Vedika she can get tired too!" 

He poured oil in the cooker and put mustard seeds. As he waited for them to splutter, he smiled. "I make good Brinjal sabji."

As the oil spluttered, he put the vegetables, spices, salt, bit water and closed the lid. 

"Baba, I am..." Vedika did not know what to say. 

"Veda, Your question is valid. We will work together so all of us don’t get tired or angry hmmm?" He looked hinting at his wife "Our Veda is soon joining Naari Mukti Andolan, bagh haa!" He winked. “I promise your mother will never cook alone. We all will be there with her."

Her mom smiled in relief and gratitude. Her respect for her husband grew. It would be tough for her in-laws to accept but he accepted that 'She can get tired!' that made all the difference in the household atmosphere. The Cooker whistle signalled the dinner preparation. Father and Vedika together laid the table and Navika brought water.

Grandmother and Grandfather ate in silence. When Mom ate that day, she ate love and respect. Her daughter had asked a relevant question for all women and also for herself...

"Can’t she get tired?"

Every change begins with a small step, whether it’s a change within your family, or the whole country! India’s hero, Padman, had its digital premiere on ZEE5, on 11th May. Don’t miss this inspiring true-life story, only on ZEE5. Download the app and subscribe nowFor every subscription, ZEE5 will donate Rs. 5 towards the personal hygiene needs of underprivileged women.