Friday, February 26, 2021

How do you defend your kid from unkindness from your friends.

Today during a conversation , a mother suddenly asked - how do you educate your community about special needs? How do you stop them from making fun of your daughter or what would you do when they are talking about your kid behind your back?

I made some suggestions to her at that very moment, but it got me thinking about how difficult it is to have such people around. I told her to always remember “ to stand with your daughter” no matter what. Let go of those people and not worry if they are talking behind her back. I told her to be strong and assess the need of this kind of friends in her life.

Though it made me think. I was always a strong woman but more than that I am a lucky woman. I have friends who love my boys and I cannot imagine them talking bad about Ajey and Anand. They have always taken care of not only me but them too. Today I can do so much for these special needs families because my friends have made my world much better, but more than that they have made me this positive woman. How wonderful it feels that these people have my back no matter what. But at the same time, I have come across many people who didn’t understand what friendship is, couldn’t value the relationship and I had to let them go. It isn’t easy at times but you have to do it.

It might be my age too but that’s what I told the mother. “40”th year should be your number to weed out the negativity from your circle and don’t be afraid to confront people if they are being mean to your child. 

What do you do? How do you deal with people who are your friend but not exactly your friend.

 A Saree -Bengal taant - Two of my school friends went shopping in pouring rain. Here I am talking about friendship wrapped in warmth of one, went to see another one for tea.

They do the drive way meet because it just has been so long seeing you. 

They serve Chai and make a special cup just for you. 
They go to see Sunset on the water because you want to go. When they could care less for water.
My friends have fed, loved and pampered my boys forever. What value I add to their life I don't know but they add love, respect, care, trust to my life - yesterday, today and always.

They bring you easy care flower because you have brown thumb. Their love and friendship bloom season after season.

 Its a repeat, wore it in Summer 2020 with different blouse. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Podcast - Chai and chat with Aditi and Natasha

 I am Jaya Pandey and I live in Boston. Married to my best friend for 25 yrs and have two wonderful boys Ajey (23) and Anand (20). Anand was diagnosed with Autism when he was almost 8. I have been through ups and downs of motherhood. But soon understood we didn’t deserve the negativity of life. I started writing about our life and soon decided I needed to do something for Indian Mom with special need kids. in 2017 I started building a community for Indian Moms here in Boston. Connected over 200 mothers to each other.

I am very proud of each and everyone of them who believed in my vision, trusted and shared their life with me. 
It has been a journey of life time. I am happy, proud and excited for these moms who found support and friendship through this group. We have done many meets, dinners, family picnic, family photoshoots and zoom meets in this pandemic.
I was invited for a podcast about my love for Sarees, Music (specially Jagjit Singh’s ghazals) and Autism awareness.
I am honored and very grateful beyond words.
If you know someone who has kids with needs, please be kind to them, support them and please please connect them to each other. Have them reach out to me if I could be of any help. ( blog links in the comment)
My podcast link here , please spend 30 mins and listen to yours truly talk about “loves” of her life 🙂

Amazing hosts - Natasha and Aditi
A fabulous saree from another friend :) That story here.
Saree last summer

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Nothing is enough some time - जिस को हम रोज़-ए-हिज्र समझे थे माह था या वो साल था क्या था

Friday Feb12th - जिस को हम रोज़-ए-हिज्र समझे थे माह था या वो साल था क्या था (what passed like a day, may be was actually a month or year) 

 Last year this time as a family we were still soaked in India fever after a wedding in the family. For me personally the  after effects of a trip to India is like a hangover for a few weeks. But this time it was more exciting than ever. Our niece got married, the first in the next generation after our wedding. 

As a nation we had started conversations about the election, and somewhere in the news Covid was mentioned as something strange happening  in China.

All of a sudden like a train with faulty breaks we were jolted by a lockdown. During my favorite Dine out Boston week - (first week of March) we went out for a fancy dinner. I remember a few flurries, a chilly Friday evening and I in a saree. Such a perfect beginning of a weekend. The dinner didn’t sit well with Ashish and we had to go to the Doctor  on Monday. By then Covid had made a name for itself in the US. I was instructed to work from home for a couple of days because I went to the doctor’s office and by the end of that week everyone in our state was advised to stay home.

We all didn’t know how serious it was and soon realized that things were not reopening in May as announced before and we were in it for the long haul with no end date in sight and after that we all know how things turned out. 

What happened with various families is a post for some other day. We all are still learning to live with this new normal.

Last week I had a tough time.  Covid hasn’t impacted negatively on our life as a family. We all still have jobs and very supportive employers and are still ok with spending time with each other. I am not even sure what was bothering me.

Finally I decided to take a day off and not do the usual things. One thing I missed most in the last year was going to Boston. Today was a day to just drive and listen to Jagjit Singh.

A saree friend’s daughter just came to Boston for undergrad, and I decided to go see her. It was a  beautiful, sunny but very cold day. The world seems so perfect through the eyes of an 18 year old. So fresh, fun, fashionable, hopeful and cheerful. 

Today I decided to not rush through the highways and just drove without any stress. For a change I let the day decide it’s path, (it’s not so me. ) It was like I didn’t want to control the flow of the day and it helped .

Met another friend and talked about so many things about life and family, a conversation with a hot cup of tea can make you forget time. With some apprehension I went inside. This is the 5th house I entered in the last 11 months. It was such a strange feeling.  A rushed Indian store shopping trip was a perfect way to start the weekend. Came back home refreshed, happy and the chef served a fabulous meal. 

I wish you get though a day like this easily and smoothly. Find what works for you, let go of what makes you sad, forgive those who irritate you, move on from those who annoy you. Find those who make you laugh and smile and hold on to them. 

फ़ुर्सत किसे थी जो मेरे हालात पूछता

हर शख़्स अपने बारे में कुछ सोचता मिला

 Fursat kise thi jo mere haalaat poochta

Har shakhs apne baare mein kuch sochata mila  

-Ayaz Jhansvi

Italian meat and cheese, Indian store snack, Thumsup ( indian coke) and Vodka with caviar with bread. and Noodles by chef Ashish.
 A Bandhani - Years ago my sister went to Surat for work and came back with many sarees. few of them made their way to Boston. This is one of them.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Super Bowl weekend - Sunday Feb 7th-

Written on Feb 7th Sunday 

In our household we have no control over emotional overload. May be we dont need much to be happy and never know what makes things worse. Anand has those challenges and even knowing that I find it difficult to cope with it. I on the other hand can over react too. Ashish is stuck with the balancing act most of the time. No wonder he is a darling dad. 

This Friday was one of those days, Anand missed an important meeting and thing gone downhill in no time. We are trying to teach him to use online/ electronic calendar and it makes him angry every time. when asked about it, he just went into defensive mode and there was nothing we could do.

He needed some time to sleep on it and we could talk about it before dinner. 

Saturday was off to a good start. He agreed for a family pic and that was really big deal. I know i cannot stretch much so was happy with whatever I got.

Somehow things were in place for Pandey men. I on the other hand was a restless soul thinking about impact of that missing meeting. I did what was needed, Draped a saree and drove to a nearby Pond with my Tea. Lucky for me Franklin was warm and sunny.  Jagjit Singh, calm, tea and water - all I needed was those 20 mins away from everyone else. I finally could write something about Jagjit Singh for his Bday.

Today was Super Bowl Sunday, One of the most watched sporting event in United states, 

In a long time my household is not buzzing with patriots buzz. Anand and Ashish sure are ready for Super Bowl  but we all know its not the same as Patriots are not playing. But Brady is there so offcourse their evening is going to be fun.

Ajey and I are other boring people who could care less for sports. Its a special Sunday for new ads and few glances at screen here and there and some drinks and food - that is Super Bowl Sunday for me.

This morning began as usual with news and our governor Charlie Baker was there to send off  76 health care workers from all six New England states, flying from Boston to Tampa on one of the Patriots planes. It was a moving and very empowering moment. People who risked their lives to save many more - every day for almost one year now. day by day everyday. 

The amazing leaders of our state - Governor Chrlie baker and  Mayor Marty Walsh has shown what compassion and empathy really is.

My Sunday is made and Patriots you are already a winner in my heart.

I am thankful to have many of those selfless people in my life. My friends you know who you are, please know you are my pride. 

The plans were made so this morning Pandey boys started their busy Sunday. Upama, Sandwiches , beacon, meat, potatoes and onion rings and chilli. we live on a ranch so all 3 of them went downstairs to enjoy their day after lunch watching everything about game since then. I was a happy woman, having the whole house to myself. Got dressed to join a virtual celebration of Maestro’s bday. cleaned and just enjoyed my time alone upstairs.

PS- I couldnt post this for few days. so decided to do it today and thought you should know Team Brady won the Super Bowl. 

Calm after the storm. The Friday evening was so messy but Saturday bought the sun and smile. Happens so often in our household and still stirs something inside me everytime. 

The basement and the Pandey men. They went downstairs after lunch.Ajey right there playing his game while other two watching the game. I had to be very discrete while taking picture. but you can see a glimpse of Anand, his box of chips and salsa. I was busy upstairs with cleaning and Jagjit Singh. Dont remember when did I get the house to myself for this long in last 11 months :)

Here I was, right on time for halftime show :) that is my Super Bowl fun :)

 My happy place in Franklin, I needed that to keep my mind and soul in check. Chai, saree and Ghazal. 20 mins thats all I needed. 

 A beautiful chettinad cotton. My quest for sarees from all the state handloom.