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For The Most Anticipated Ones And The God-sent.

I live in that part of the world where even today if you are expecting a baby, especially the second one and the first is a girl child, people expressly anticipate it to be a boy.

Everything from the glow of your skin to the lack of it; your constant, incurable nausea; the shape of your growing stomach; the pattern of your sleep and the way you look, everything implies that it is a boy ‘this time’. Your friends, neighbors, family members, all think that they are pleasing you by telling you that ‘this time’ you will be blessed with a boy.

Some of you may not believe it but I know this because this is exactly what happened with me last year, when I conceived for the second time at the age of 38 years, after years of denying any need of a second offspring. We took the plunge because our first born, my then 11 years old daughter, had been begging us to give her a sibling and we couldn’t say no to her anymore. So we decided to try granting her her wish and God listened to her as well.

And the new chapter began. Everyone was thrilled. The grandparents on both sides, uncles and aunts, our friends and neighbors, whosoever came to know was exhilarated to hear the news. More so, because it’s considered important to have two kids and it might be a boy child ‘this time’.

And the anticipation or rather manifestation of the male child began. “This time it will be a boy.” I heard this almost everyday and almost always replied that it could be a girl too.

I almost every time said that because one it was a logical thing to say as we couldn’t be sure of what it would be. Second, it didn’t matter to us and we were as thrilled to have anyone as our second born. Third, I didn’t want my unborn child if it was a girl to feel unwanted or not talked about. She was as much wanted as the he was.

I have never understood people’s, especially Indians’, obsession with a boy child. There are special rituals and celebrations related to the birth of a boy whereas girl’s birth sometimes doesn’t even considered worthy of congratulations. This is how things had been since generations and I had begun to think that things had improved but I was mistaken.

There is definitely some progress now. A girl as a first born is celebrated because the childbirth is celebrated and she is a child and the hope remains that there will be a second time soon and with a different gender and so when the second time comes another girl is not expected, and definitely not verbally.

When it happened with me I was sickened by this biased anticipation. I am a well educated, modern, working, independent, proud woman and I was shocked to realize this brutal reality. Of course there were some exceptions who spoke neutrally but mostly it was the boy anthem I heard everywhere.

Personally I did not anticipate any specific gender because to me wanting one means not wanting the other. And that is so unfair. To the unwanted one.

And I didn’t anticipate anything in particular because I feel if is not what we wished for, then it is God-sent.

I just wanted a healthy child who would become our little companion for years to come and make our life’s journey more beautiful, abundant, adventurous, somewhat challenging and eventful.

And isn’t that the reason why we have children? To make our lives complete and hearts full with the love and care we feel for them and to evolve and become better persons as we are given the opportunity to become while bringing them up. And what does this beautiful life process has to do with a bias towards any gender?

We eclipse the light sent to our lives because of an age old belief that sons carry our names and legacy.

How wrong this obsolete belief is? Have you seen any name known in the history of this world because he or she was someone’s father, mother or grandparent?

People become famous and are remembered for their own deeds and contributions. They are known for their own accomplishments and attributes and not because of their successors’.

Our children are not the bearers of our negligible and insignificant names and legacies.

They are our gifts to humanity who come through us and because they come through us they get to be with us for many years. And for those years they become our companions and teachers.

Yes, I call my children my mentors. They have come to my life to teach me.

To teach me unconditional love and compassion in their initial years when I am required to just adore them and take care of them.

To teach me the value of my life, youth, good health and the way I live my life because that leaves impressions on their quality and perception of life.

To teach me patience and wisdom in their growing up years as without the two I can’t nurture their uniqueness and bring out the best in them.

To teach me all that I never learned as a child but have been given the opportunity again as their guide and companion.

To teach me humility as I have made and owned maximum mistakes as their mother and not in any other role and realized how fallible I am.

And one day they will teach me the value of my freedom and time for self when they will fly away from my nest to try their own wings.

Our children are our companions for many years in our own journey of life and its high time the society learned that the gender of our tiny companions is of no real concern in the world we live in today.

They are not for us to own, they are certainly not born to carry the burden of our unfulfilled desires and insignificant inheritances. There are here for their own journey and purpose and not to carry on with ours.

New life means new journey and new life’s arrival is an event of celebration because it brings with it new hopes, dreams, another carrier of the virtues and legacy of humanity.

Yes. Legacy of humanity is the only legacy we need to pass on.

So whenever I prayed to God, which i did very often in those months I was carrying another life, I prayed Him to bless us with a healthy baby and the wisdom and ability to bring him/her up to be a good and contributing human being.

And then His blessings came as a beautiful tiny bundle of joy who we named Rubayat which means God’s verse and lovingly call Sria which means joy. And it was a girl ‘this time’ too and we couldn’t be happier as our little girl brought into our lives much more happiness than we had dreamed of. Her protective father, her doting elder sister and her thoughtful mother, which is myself, have been on cloud nine since then. She is a dream come true and why not.

She has made our family complete and our hearts and house full to the brim with love, joy, beauty, cuteness, her smiles, her cries, everything that wasn’t there before she came along.

And another reason why she is a dream come true is because subconsciously I think I wanted to have her. I think I had always felt fascinated with the idea of becoming a mother of and bringing up two beautiful, bright, lively girls. Whenever I would come across such a family – mother, father and two daughters, I loved looking at them and would fantasize having a similar one myself.

To me all children are good, boys and girls, but it was a very personal emotion I never consciously thought about or even verbalized because I am not biased. I actually realized the feeling when my subconscious fantasy became a reality and filled me with an unparalleled joy. I would have been very happy to have a son too but having you, my most anticipated one and the God-sent, I became ecstatic.

Thank you God for being so kind and listening to the said as well as the unsaid and thank you my little girl for choosing me as your bearer, companion and guide for the years to come.

I will try to do my best. I promise!!!

What Is Your Story?

Do you ever wonder, “Why are people the way they are?”

Why some people you know are mostly oozing confidence whereas some of those around you are skeptical self-doubters? Why there are some extreme optimists and few exactly opposites – the pathetic pessimists? What makes some perpetually happy people happy and the eternally sad people so?

If you never deliberated that before, are you wondering now?

And I am sure sometimes you also reflect, “Why am I the way I am?”

Let me help you know the answers to your pondering.

There were a lot of things responsible in the beginning of your life that shaped your persona. Your inherent personality, your circumstances, environment, life’s results, your disappointments, victories and a lot more. But after a while there is something else that started influencing your state of mind the most.

And that one thing is your story.

Now you are thinking which is that story I am talking about. Am I talking about the story of your life?

Let’s see.

What is this story of life?

Every life on this planet is a story worth telling. Some are romantic, some tragic, few stories are inspiring, few loathsome and some are action packed adventures. Some are a good mix of all genres and may be material for a blockbuster hit if turned into a biopic celluloid.

Likewise, since the day you were born, you have been living an original story which is your story with you as the protagonist. Till now, the story has had many plots and subplots, twists and thrills, characters coming, staying or leaving, happy scenes and heartbreaking moments and the story keeps unfolding and will keep growing until the day of its climax.

Think of it, you may have already lived a story worth being a bestseller or a blockbuster. But I am not talking about that long story written by the Almighty and spanned over long years.

I am here talking about the short story you have scripted in your mind by picking up selected snippets from the long one as per your prejudices and predisposition.

Human brain has the tendency to concoct a short summary of the big tale and take it as the sum-total of the whole life’s story and then accept it as the complete life experience and thereafter live, feel, decide, act, not act, as the reaction to or outcome of that experience.

From a life full of good days, bad days, happy moments, sad moments, successes, failures, great relationships, bitter relationships, sweet memories, bitter experiences, love found, love lost, life altering lessons and miracles, people select a few moments and believe that short, edited trailer to be the whole movie.

This short summary is mostly not a mixed one as the life story is. It is predominantly one genre; it is either story of suffering and misery, success and achievement, love and happiness or betrayals and heartbreaks. So it is either a happy story or a sad story.

Think of it, you too have a short story that describes your whole spent life in mere 15-20 sentences. A whole long life on a page or two and there is a predominant emotion that you feel every time you narrate a part of it to yourself or someone else and that is how you mostly are.

If your story is mostly happy and successful, then you are a happy, confident person. If it is full of disappointments and unfulfilled wishes, then you are not a very happy and hopeful person.

They say, “You become the story that you tell yourself.” Think about it, your story makes your state of mind. You are joyful, self-assured, gloomy, depressed, hopeful or hopeless, whatever you are you are because you associate the whole meaning of your life to a few selected life’s events in your memory.

Whatever number of years you have already lived couldn’t all be just good or completely bad, there would have been all kinds of days, but your mind has focused on memories of one kind and that’s how your whole experience is shaped and you have become whatever you are.

This is how everyone became what they are.

Narcissists have a story all bright and beautiful. Everything good happened to them or they turned whatever they touched into gold. Everyone loved them. Everyone followed them. They beat all obstacles to reach the top.

Victims have a story too sad to make them cry every time they talk about it. They were hurt, betrayed or abandoned. They suffered losses. They cared for everyone but were never reciprocated. Life was never fair to them and they never got what they wanted. Poor fellows.

Confident and cheerful ones had great parents, good friendships, humble beginnings and great results. They were blessed and had good plans, excellent habits and were persistent to follow through. Such stories start with “A small town girl/boy who………….”

Negative people had all the bad experiences. Nothing ever worked in their favor. Their hard work never paid off. The whole universe conspired against them.

Every kind of people have their own kind of story. Sometimes people have more than one story. Even contradictory ones. The good one to tell when they have to boast about themselves or maybe just inspire a subordinate.

The sad one to gain attention from a dear one or to simply sulk and feel victimized as it is the easiest to blame and feel free from the onus of doing the right things. Happy stories for happy days and sad stories for the sad days.

Stories are also person specific. A happy story with someone we love and value and that story will be minus any ill doings of that person. And an unhappy one with the one we hate and despise and there you may forget all goodnesses. So stories are biased too.

Some people distort the realities and make a story that suits them. Distortion for positivity and if not entirely misleading for the taker of the story is somewhat fine but distortions to feed the narcissist or psychopath inside you is very dangerous. Many mental disorders like obsession, narcissism, maniac, depression, etc. are the outcome of distorted stories.

And then there are those people who do not have any story of their own. They are the story others tell them about them and life. They are at the mercy of other’s intelligence, interpretations, opinions and judgements. They are the biggest sufferers because their state of mind changes as and when their storyteller changes.

I hope you are not one of those without their own story. If you are, then stop listening to others and recall your whole life and start writing one. And a positive one. Immediately.

If not, then now you know what kind of story I was talking about that has made you what you are. Now you know that you too have a story or even multiple stories, maybe even a distorted one and they have been serving different purposes.

Take out a little time and listen to the stories you have been narrating about yourself to self and others and see how much they have changed over time. If what you hear has been the same, old, stale, sorry story since many many years then something is not very right in your life. It means you haven’t really grown much in the last few years.

Your story needs to grow as you grow.

Don’t you think it’s time now that you edited or rewrote those stories. Your life has been much more than these little pieces you picked up because of your circumstantial state of mind that was at the time you picked up those pieces and joined together to form the narrative of your beautiful and maybe forgotten tale.

Another reason you made that story was because of the way you interpreted the happenings of your life. They say everything happens for good but maybe you never saw the good at that time. It’s time now when you have understood how your story has affected your emotional state and all else and you have matured enough that you can reinterpret it, in a different light.

It’s time you sit down, go down the memory lane, do a refresh, reflect, reinterpret and then rewrite your story. A good, happy, humble story with a happy ending which is your life till now. Rewrite it and you will witness a change in yourself, your relationships, your work, your health and wherever you wish to see a change.

Rewrite it because you are the protagonist of a blockbuster which may catch the fancy of a biopic maker. Rewrite it because you are not a pity victim of someone else’s saga. Rewrite it because you have this chance to revisit and recollect those happy memories and life’s lessons that have the power to alter your being.

I have seen it happening. I change my story every few years as with age and experience I could find more meaning to the events of my life. From a victim I thought I was I have witnessed myself transform into the most blessed person I know now. I am grateful to God for letting me see His hand in all that I call my life’s happenings and rewrite a story of faith, hope, resilience, strength, love and abundance and that’s all I feel now.

You too try doing it and in case you need help call for help from a professional ‘Life Story Editor’ like myself who can be your guide and show you all the beautiful visuals from your past you had omitted while writing the story you have been telling yourself till now.

Happy rewriting your story!!!