About Me

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Hi guys out there! Well, stories have been my first love because they make life. We all have stories to talk about, stories untold, stories locked in our hearts. I have been writing stories ever since they influenced me. Here I am with three fiction novels in my kitty. If you have a story you want to talk about, you can always write to me. Here you'll find my blog posts too which are sometimes funny and stupid because I choose to write what prevails within me. About me on a personal note: I love to write at any time. Some day, I want to be the person who creates a tiny difference in the book world. Apart from that, I do have common interests just like anybody else with an extra tint of passion for books. You can always write to me here chitalmehta1987@gmail.com or check my website here - www.chitalmehta.com

Friday, April 27, 2018

Friends - old, forgotten and new

When I first became a parent, I didn’t think about the friends that I had or the ones that would come in my life. With a newborn, I plunged myself day and night tending to the needs of my baby. Some old friends did try to talk with me but I was too busy for them. No, not ‘too busy’. I simply was not in the ‘state of mind’ to return their calls. My husband and my son became the center of my universe. But nothing lasts forever. And so, the feverish parenting phase finally smoothed down. My son turned a little older and I found time for the things I had been missing out. First, I started reading the books that I had missed out.

I even found time to make entries into my journal. At one point, I could even make time to work on a story after a gap of three years. I loved this phase but I still lacked something. I quickly realized that I didn’t have any friends. The old friends were there on my Facebook. I could pick up the phone and dial to one of them right away. We could either spend hours in conversation or the friend might be too busy for me or we might have nothing to talk about. Sometimes, friendship fades away with time. One of the two people might not be in the ‘state-of-mind’ to make meaningful conversations.

I found that I had lost most of my first friends and had probably just a couple of them with whom I could still talk. So, I set out to make new friends. Recently, I moved to a new apartment for larger space and mostly because I am looking for a family friendly community. On day two, when the skies were clear and warm, I walked outside to the community park with my toddler. As I scanned for prospective friends, I realized that I mostly looked for people who were hanging out with children.

Of course, I should have known it! I am looking for friends who have children so that my son could play with them. I am eager to talk with other parents about their child’s eating and sleeping habits. We talk about which schools are the best and how toddlers are so exhausting. This is basically the only conversation parents of children can have. Well, I think it’s nice to talk about things in common. But what scared me was that – will I ever make friends with people who I actually like to talk?

Will I continue to make friends only so that my children can also be friends with children of other people? If that’s the case, then they surely won’t be my true friends. Of course, I will reap the benefits of such friendships. But they surely won’t be anything like those friends that I made during my school or college where we never measured if we were married or had children or had careers. We ended up being friends only because we wanted to be friends.

This truth has gripped me, jarring me into a different world. On another thought, I tell myself if I noticed a woman walking past me who probably enjoyed her life in a different way. She probably had a big group of friends and was planning on her next holiday. She would, perhaps, spend all evening watching Netflix or partying or seeing her boyfriend. Her life is so different from mine.
Will she be interested in being my friend and listen to me talk about baby food and diapers? I guess not. But I decided not to worry about this so I flipped the coin to see what’s on the other side.

My European Friend

Now, that might not be entirely a wrong thing. Recently, I met a European woman and her two boys. My son hit it off instantly with her kids and decided to meet each evening. Now, the problem here was that the woman and I had nothing in common. We came from different countries. We ate different food. We had different likes and dislikes. We didn’t have one language in common so there was no way of knowing our thoughts. She didn’t speak English. I didn’t speak Serbian. The only thing we had in common was children. We were both parents.

To my surprise, we became friends over the course of time. Not like the ones who met for coffee every evening to bitch about other woman. Not like the ones who spoke endlessly about how their children were driving them mad. There was not much talking between the two of us. We simply met for play dates and let our children play. If one of the kids hit the other, we would pacify them. There was a quiet understanding between us, that we were strangers coming from different parts of the world meeting up in a strange country but that we could still help each other.

I now think that the idea of making friends is constantly changing at every phase, just like how situations change.

Being friends with my husband

My husband is my friend. Yes, that’s a nice thing to say. But sometimes, he is just the man with whom I have a baby. We play our roles well. On most days, I am just the wife and he is just the husband. Anyway, while we go about this routine, there are times when our roles change and pause us in our tracks.

On those nights, when our toddler falls sick and chooses to cry non-stop, my husband and I stay up all night, taking turns to rub each other’s backs and chat endlessly. If we are lucky and the baby goes to sleep, we might make some tea and talk about how the old times were full of bliss. ‘Yesterday is always the easy day’. It’s the today and tomorrow that feels the hardest.

Anyway, on such nights, we are not just husband and wife. We are simply two people forced to stay awake and make conversation. And by doing this, we learn to become friends all over again. Of course, once things settle in, we return to our old roles with a new sense of feeling for each other.

Friends, then and now

Time and again, I often think to myself that it was easy to make friends at a young age. When I visit a park with my three-year-old, I see that it hardly takes a minute for him to make friends with a new kid. But when it comes to adults, there are various filters that we apply to decide if a person can be a friend or not.

Just watching my son playing with another child reminded me of my friends that I made at kindergarten. No wonder, I hear people often complaining that first friends remain friends for a lifetime and the new ones just linger around. I think it’s because the first friends were formed only for what they were. But as we grow, we tend to judge people and the idea of friendship changes overtime.

I ask myself very often, why do I think so much about friends anyway? Is it because I simply have too much time? Is it because I am just a needy person? But then, we all are needy in some way.

Perhaps, it’s because friends are the most treasured people who are not awarded the way they deserve to be. Friends are important at every phase of life. Let’s learn to hold on to those dear, precious people.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Do I know you, Toddler?

Recently, I convinced my husband for a trip (by declaring that it is my last wish for the month or something like that). He grudgingly agreed, only if it brought some peace inside the house. I started preparing for the trip. My toddler sensed the vibe and injected enthusiasm on his part too. He was pretty excited when I told him that we would be flying on an airplane. Now, I gave it a lot of thought before deciding this trip because with children, one has to really foresee everything that can happen. You need to prepare yourself for limitless possibilities.

Because my son appears to enjoy spending time outdoors, I thought this would be a good time to make some memories. Anyway, the big day arrived (Which initially got postponed due to the snow storm). I swear, all I plan is one bloody trip and I have to pray for a list of things: a fever free child, a husband who doesn’t change his mind at the last minute and a snow free day. This combination is pretty rare and when it happened, I knew my prayers were answered.

At the airport, my toddler was super excited, running around staring at the airplanes. He couldn’t wait to get on the airplane when boarding started which usually goes at a snail’s pace.

“You have to wait until it’s your turn to get on the plane,” I said, trying to reason with my three-year-old son.

He stared me as if saying, pah, I don’t care. Just get me on the plane RIGHT NOW.

A few minutes later, we were finally inside the airplane, putting our stuff into the overhead bins and putting on our seat-belts. This whole process was so exciting that my toddler took to laughing and shouting loudly, so much that the entire flight knew ‘we had an excited kid inside’.

Phew, I told myself, the three-hour flight is going to be a breeze. He just loves being on the airplane.
When the flight took off the ground, the first signs became clear. My son peered down the window. In an instant, he turned red. Quick, hand him a lollipop, said my husband. I opened my little bag of ammunition to deal with the situation.

Meanwhile, my toddler took to high pitched wailing, screaming that he needed to get off the flight RIGHT NOW. I blinked. Why is it that a toddler knows only two words, RIGHT NOW? The word ‘waiting’ doesn’t exist in their dictionary.

Once the seat-belt sign went off, my son walked back and forth on the aisle-way, all the while screaming and searching for an EXIT door. At one point, he neared the cockpit and signaled me to open the door. What? I thought to myself, I have never been so close to the cockpit in my life. Soon enough, we were told to stay away from the door from a flight attendant.

So, my son decided to enter the lavatory. For some reason, he found great solace inside the lavatory. There we sang rhymes and played with the water that came out of the tiny sink. Ha ha, I said, so much for me wanting to be on a trip.

Once we were out of the lavatory, getting back to our seats (because I didn’t want to spend my entire flight inside the lavatory), my son continued screaming and waking all of the people (I wonder if anybody slept on that flight at all). A woman, probably in her mid-fifties felt sorry for me I guess, for she walked up to me and gave a quick peck on my cheek and handed me a little soft bunny toy to calm my son.

I gave a nervous smile and tried to coo my son with the bunny. He threw it down promptly as he repeated his need to get off the flight RIGHT NOW. I clutched at the bunny, praying for peace to return. A little while later, my son agreed to watch some rhymes. He seemed to say, if it lets me distract for a while, what the hell? I might as well just kill the time.

And he dozed!!! The rest of the flight was completed in uncanny silence as my son slept after being exhausted due to excitement and all the crying. Phew, I told myself, never saw that one coming.
I realized that no matter how much I prepare myself, there will always be situations that will go out of my hands. And in those times, someone will hand me a soft bunny to hold on to.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Mommy, what do you want to say?

This one is for all the mommies who have so much to say but with busy lives and scrunching timelines, they usually let the days scroll by them. And once, our children grow up, all we can say is - They grow up so fast. Today, why don't you pause and think if there is a moment that you want to jot down and share it to the world.

I am inviting mothers to share ANY experience or suggestion or tips that you want to write about.  Okay, yes, it's true that not everybody likes to write and not everybody think it's exciting to write a 500 word or more draft article. If you have something to say, write to me and we can work out something.

Mail me here : chitalmehta1987@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Nasty Fall

When I woke up today morning, the weather forecast said there would some heavy rains and some ice. I quickly ignored the warnings and started to get my fresh cup of coffee to kick-start my morning. It was my son’s playschool day. Because he only goes for three days, I usually try not to miss any of them, unless there is a heavy snow storm that I can’t pass.

Today, my morning began with a series of erroneous combinations. First, my husband announced that he had early meetings so he would be out of the door soon and would also take the car. He asked if I would consider keeping my son at home, given the weather? I shook my head incessantly, as I eyed my son waking up from his deep slumber.

My son and I stared at each other, knowing well that we both loved the space we got from being apart for short periods of time. So, yes, rain or no rain, we were sticking to our plans.

You have to look out for the ice, said my husband. I nodded, not really listening to it. What ice? I thought, I have seen rains in India and I know it can’t be that bad.

After my husband left, I convinced my son to step inside the shower after a ten-minute pep talk. It took another thirty minutes to convince him to step out of the shower and eat breakfast and get him to wear his clothes. Phew, by now, I really just need another cup of coffee.

My ordeal doesn’t end here. I now load my son with double layered clothes and heap him up with a jacket, gloves, a hat, socks and shoes. There, now my son looks like a mini-eskimo.

I do the same for myself, a jacket, gloves and hat. Clutching an umbrella, a tiny schoolbag and a bloated toddler, we tumble outside the door just in time to see my Uber driver parked right across the street. Wow, I thought. Today is my lucky day. Rarely does a driver turn up in sight without asking for further instructions.

Now, the rain is falling very hard and I am just focusing on how not to get drenched. First, I pick my son and buckle him in the car seat. I shut the door and turn around to reach the other side of the car.
But I don’t make it, not immediately at least. I take a couple of steps and find myself skiing on a thin layer of ice that covered most of the road. Bam! I landed on my bottom which is what I call, a nasty fall. I have never fallen like that ever before.

Within seconds, I pick myself to check if I have broken bones. I am glad there are none. After I return home, I have forgotten all about the fall because the pain has disappeared. Phew, that was close, I thought to myself.

I was so wrong. A few hours later, the aches began. For the rest of the day, I could hardly move. In addition, common cold gave me a visit. So, here I am, perched on the bed, wondering if my day could get any bad than it already is. But I remind myself to look for sunshine, which is a long way to go. For now, I have to make do with snow, ice, rain and a whole lot of cloudy days. Long way to go for sunshine. miss you, summer. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Parent plans vs Toddler plans

So, just a week before my fifth anniversary, I tell my husband that we have to do something this year and not just sit at home and while away time. Before my husband could protest something in the lines of (But I only get a weekend to rest), I was quick to remind him of the past anniversaries that ended up being quite uneventful.

 And so, I let him know that I was determined not to let this year slip by me. Besides, it was important to mark the occasion. We were completing five years of married life in which we had managed to keep our sanity intact in the midst of driving each other crazy due to our erratic, intolerable habits which only spouses can understand. Not to mention, that we had also managed to create a little human being who was currently having his own plans for the upcoming big weekend.

The toddler must have heard about our plans. Why else would he unleash his own plans exactly at the wrong time? Five days before the weekend, toddler wakes up midnight, his skin radiating heat and face flushing red. I touch him and feel him five more times to make sure it’s real.

Oh my god, I think to myself, it’s really happening.

“Wake up, I need the thermometer. I need some Tylenol. I need the fan down,” I speak in loud whispers across the bed, to my husband who is sleeping soundly.

Not so long enough, we conclude that our toddler has a fever coming down. Okay, we tell each other, it’s no big deal. It’s just a fever. All kids fall sick. It’s the most normal thing to happen to any kid.

But the toddler was not planning to get back to sleep anytime sooner. He clung to me and started wailing, signaling me to sit on the rocking recliner. Okay, yes, that might put you to sleep, I think positively. Five minutes later, he says go downstairs. I want to play.

Alright, I agree to his wish. After all, he is the sick kid and needs all the attention. We are just halfway through a game of cars. He yawns and signals that he wants to be in bed. Okay, I cheerily carry him to the bed. There, he says, let’s go down again.

What? I stare at the toddler. We were just there a second ago. I will NOT go down again. I resisted but the toddler wailed and howled, knowing that I was losing patience. What sort of a game was this? I thought to myself. He does everything to make me angry and I don’t even get the chance to be angry.

He smiles slightly as if telling me, this is the toddler game. My wishes are your commands.
Anyway, from there, four sleepless nights followed, a trip to doctor who determined that the toddler had now developed a viral fever which was nothing to worry about. He just needed loads of liquids, loads of rest and comfort and in three days or four, he would fine as new again.

Whoever said that dealing with a sick toddler was easy was nuts. While we fought back sleep, with our toddler shoving down toys from our backs, we eyed the clock night after night, wondering when this was going to end. Toddler, on the other hand, enjoyed every bit of attention, hated the meds, fought hard to spit food out, fought sleep and fought to keep his parents awake.

Come Friday, things began to look good for all of us. The fever, that had possessed the toddler, was finally ready to bid goodbye. Sleep was beginning to look like a possibility after all. We slept and slept and slept throughout.

The anniversary weekend arrived. Even without saying, I knew that our plans for the weekend were washed away because we were still in recovery mode.

Besides, what was the big deal about marriage anniversaries anyway? Mark the occasion. Didn’t we do just that as we stayed awake late at nights, debating whose turn it was to look for the temperature from our scorching toddler’s forehead? Didn’t we indulge in long, nostalgic conversations as we fought sleep night after night, as if we were on a picnic night? Didn’t we make each other cups of coffee and tea as we told each other that this was just a phase and we would be out of it soon?

We had been there for each other. That’s what marriage is about after all. Yeah, I was like the fox from ‘The Fox and the sour grapes’ story. Wait, I raised my hopes high, there is another weekend coming after all. Surely, our anniversary plans could be shifted.

“Why don’t we do something the next weekend?” I told my husband.
“Well…,” he considered.

Before he could answer, I could see the sly expression on my toddler’s face as if saying, yes, next weekend. Let me see how I can ruin their plans. Fever-check. Constipation-check. No reason crying-check. Ah, the good old common cold. Surely, that’s enough to change their plans.

And he chuckled looking at us even as we went to greater lengths to plan for the upcoming weekend. 

About the Author : Chital Mehta loves to explore new books. After becoming a mother, she started this blog to share her experiences as a mother. Apart from being busy with her baby, she makes times for writing, reading and watching movies. She has authored 4 fiction novels. You can find details on her facebook page :Chital Mehta facebook

Write to her : chitalmehta1987@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Being a parent, Perfect or real

I cried today along with my toddler. He does cry very often because little kids do that to get attention or to get a message across. Also, they seem to have a meltdown every now and then. So, crying comes easily to them since birth. For long, I told myself that I can deal with all the meltdowns and be calm because I read somewhere that it’s important to be cool and composed with kids all the time.

But I broke the rules. I raised my voice. I broke down. I cried even as my toddler shed tears. We did have a good reason but to someone reading this, it would seem silly. It did seem silly to me as well, that is, until it happened to me. My son has his rough days sometimes because of constipation because kids can be picky eaters or maybe he simply doesn’t want to poop or maybe I messed up his diet (I am trying hard to beat the guilt). A google search suggested that it was normal for kids to constipate and that they grow out of it soon. So did my doctor tell the same thing. It sounded reassuring but not for long.

When day two rolled in, there was simply no relief with my son clutching his tummy in pain. I kept calm for as long as I could, telling myself that this was just a rough day and that, we would grow out of it soon. Midday, when nothing I did worked, I called my husband and cried – “he won’t poop. I don’t know what to do.” My husband promptly said he was coming back home to rescue me. (My son thinks I am a supermom and I think my husband is a superman while in reality, we are messed up humans).

Quite often, my husband has commented that writing a blog about parenting and being a parent aren’t the same things. A part of me thinks he may be right.

When my son finally found relief after a long struggle that involved (car rides, laxatives, juices and list of rhymes), I breathed a sigh of relief. Even as I winded down for the day, I realized a few things.

1.       Its okay to cry in front of your kids (It’s impossible to show your best self all the time).
2.       There will be times when you can simply be there for your child but can’t do much.

I know I didn’t have to deal with a whole lot today. But I do know, there are lot of parents dealing with so many other things when it comes to kids. I can't say enough for the courage they carry in their eyes every single day. Perhaps, as the saying goes, “There is no such thing as being a perfect parent, but one can only be a REAL parent.”

Monday, September 25, 2017

Sneeze, cough, Sneeze, cough

The last few weeks with my toddler were spent in a series of sleepless nights and gulping down yucky meds. Not letting worry get the better of me, I told myself that things would get better. After all, children get sick all the time. Still, the sick days are like a whirlwind where you can’t wait for things to get better. So, when a fever appeared and relapsed and when the cough wouldn’t subside, I indulged in a google search.

Google, like my good old pal, suggested me a list of things I shouldn’t be doing. I already felt better after reading it as if Google was the doctor or magician I was looking for.

Wash your child’s hand often – Okay, this is easy, I told myself. I just have to wash his hands each time we entered the house and before meal times and when he got himself dirty. How hard can this be?

After I washed his hands before meal time, my son managed to get his hands on some paint and colors and flour. So, after two more rounds of hand washing, we managed to get some food into our tummies.

Pollen high in the mornings so stay indoors – So, google says that it’s not a good idea to stay outside until 10 a.m. in the mornings because the pollen count is high. I tell myself that I’ll engage my son until 10 with games, rhymes and books. Even as the thought played inside my head, at 7 a.m., my son is beside the door waiting for it to open.

"But the pollen is high. Let’s go out later,” I said.

My son stared at me as if I were nuts. He banged on the door twice and threw his shoes to send the message across. So, out we were in the air that was supposedly laden with pollen.

Once outside, he climbs into a play structure that has a small puddle of water on it. There is simply no way of keeping a toddler away from a puddle. There simply isn’t.  As I let out a scream inside my head, my son is happily wetting his hands in the puddle. Oh, but there are a million germs in there. What’s going to happen now? Should have been predictable by now.

A few minutes later, he is attracted to sand and mud that is lying on the ground. He is laughing and enjoying the feel of mud in his fingers. Instead of watching the delight on his face, I worry about the dirt under his fingernails. If this goes on, how will you ever stop sneezing or coughing? I wanted to ask him.

When I finally decide it’s time to head inside, my son gets pissed at the idea and starts to protest. In a toddler’s dictionary, protest has many forms. Right now, he chooses to spread himself on the ground, where millions of people have walked with their shoes on. He stays there for a minute longer until I pick him from the ground and think to myself – so much has happened this morning since I gave him a shower. Why did I bother because I would be doing it all over again in sometime?

A couple of days later, I decided to ignore google suggestions and let my toddler have fun in dirt, come sneeze or cough. Shortly enough, the sick days have disappeared for now but his passion towards open play in nature is not taking a backseat anytime soon.

That’s when I learnt – “The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful”