Friday, October 16, 2015

Reet's first Gold

Hardly 3 months in the school, Reet was recognized as star of the month and won her first Gold. Like her mother she sings well and can learn fast, most importantly her teacher said, “We all love when she laughs, it is so contagious that we all end up laughing with her”. I was pleased to hear that and I knew she does deserve a Gold for many other reasons, following is one such recent incident.
While I was about to finish my car wash, I cut my finger. Reet noticed that I had my finger in my mouth and she immediately replied, “Dad, why do you have your finger in the mouth, your hands are dirty, it’s not good”. I realized, the lessons we teach come back to us in no time, so I had to show her my cut finger and explain her that having the finger in the mouth could stop the bleeding. She caringly touched it and asked, “Did it hurt”? I acted and said, “oh yeah, it does”.
When we came back home, she started browsing through all her cupboards and drawers in the house. While we all got back to our Sunday routine, Reet suddenly found something and brought it to me, it was a Band-Aid. In my mind I was already thinking “wish I had got some Band-Aid from the store” and here it was, I was quite stunned, as none of us knew where the Band-Aids were or even if we had any. She opened it and applied gently and asked, “Does it hurt now”? With my eyebrows up, I said, “No, it’s gone”. With her lit up face, she said “See Dad you are alright now”.

She does surprise me often but this one melted my heart. I knew she deserved a Gold right there. It’s heart-warming to see so much compassion from her. It often reminds me to realize that I won a Gold too by having her in my life, I am so blessed. Thankyou GOD!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Miracles Do Happen

We Had Just Enough Light

Just the night before Reesha’s Birth (Oct 31st, 2012), we were at the Jersey Medical Hospital. Getting to a hospital was an experience of a kind, my car wouldn’t start coz just a day ago it was 99.5% underwater during the Sandy Pradarshan and no phones would work due to signal loss. I then wore my jacket and asked Papaji if he would accompany me to Vikram’s house (my nearest friend and coincidently his wife Shruti was also expecting a baby in the same week). From the balcony I saw that it was too dangerous to head out as there were no lights on streets, roads blocked by downed wires & fallen trees and some about to fall. I couldn’t find my torch since we had just moved to a new house and things were still unpacked. We stepped outside anyway and walked with whatever light that little phone could produce. With a bit of trouble we managed to get to Vikram’s apartment building, when I entered it was pitch black, I somehow reached the stairs but couldn’t see a step, for a moment I wished my shoes had similar sparkling lights that of my elder daughter’s shoes. I banged a couple of wrong doors since I had lost the sense of direction in those dark corridors. Finally one of the doors answered and luckily it was Vikram. It was a relief to see someone and communicate. I asked him if he could drop me to hospital since Trupti’s contractions have begun and they seemed pretty strong. He immediately agreed and got ready. We rushed back to my place and packed the required hospital stuff and asked Trupti to get ready. Even in so much pain she got ready quickly and in no time we were heading towards the hospital. It was dark since no street lights and traffic signals were working. For the first time in US, I felt the US roads were so unsafe to drive though there were quite a few Police and Fire vans policing around. In a moment we got stopped by a Cop, I was wondering what a time to get a ticket, but I didn’t see Vikram breaking any rules, in fact there were no rules that night. Officer walked towards our car and said, “It’s a curfew here and you are not supposed to be on roads today, where are you guys heading anyway?”, before even Vikram could answer, Officer with his torch saw Trupti in pain, he immediately realized and guided us with the safest route to get to the hospital.

             We reached the hospital and had a tough time finding a parking coz most of the parking was taken by uprooted trees with few cars stuck under them. After entering the hospital, it seemed like the janitor staff was on strike and hadn’t cleaned the floors in ages, but then learnt that the hospital was also flooded with water the day before and that explains the filth still lying around.  Due to power loss, only one elevator was working with few emergency lights that to powered on generators, we waited for our turn to get in and then were directed to a common area where few other pregnant women were already being diagnosed if they were in real labor. I was wondering how the hell they are going to deliver a baby in this kind of facility with such lighting, one wouldn’t recognize her own child. Any way there was a last slot and luckily Trupti got in there and she was immediately on a machine that detects the dilation. After an hour & half, nurse checked her report and said, “Your wife is yet to dilate a lot more to be really hospitalized so we can’t let you guys stay here”. I requested nurse that there is no way I could go back home in this situation and moreover I will not be able to get my friend to drop me again coz his wife is expecting anytime soon. But then she said, “due to unavailability of enough rooms, we have to consider patient with emergency conditions only” and then made it clear that since Trupti’s last labor lasted almost more than 32 hrs, she may have a similar one this time also and therefore we atleast have a couple days more to go for delivery. Trupti shockingly said, “not again!” I was shocked too. I wouldn’t let Trupti tolerate that even for couple hours and nurse says ‘couple days’, it was unbelievable. I started doubting the Nurse professional abilities and also if the damn machine was even legit. It reminded me that throughout the pregnancy Trupti had been praying for only one thing, that this time her labor should be a quick one. My heart sank for a moment and felt why Trupti has to go through all this. We had no option but to head back home. Vikram dropped us home at 1.35Am and left for his share of similar trauma.

         Trupti somehow made herself to the bed and was moaning till 3.30am. Though I was sleepy I could sense that she was breathing heavily and meditating, even though she was suffering she calmly prayed. But then at around quarter to 4, her contraction became severe. I woke-up and asked her if I should wake her Mom, she said, “No, not now”. I simply massaged her lower back to soothe her; I had learnt a few strokes in the birth classes during her last pregnancy. She then screamed suddenly, “we need to go to hospital Rahul”. I was in shock again, how do I get back to hospital. All my options were shut, no power, no communication, no conveyance. I was thinking how the hell I should console her. I checked my cell phone if I had signal, it said ‘No Service’. I called 911 to check if the call goes through, it did not.  I told Trupti, “as per doctor the contractions may last for a while, so please wait till 6 and I shall go and ask Vikram to drop us again”. She was again breathing heavily with weird sounds this time. She managed herself out of the bed and I heard a louder moan, I was really scared this time. I stopped whatever I was doing and looked at the cell phone again to see if any luck and dialed 911 but got ‘Connection Failed’ again. I asked her if she wants to lie down in the hot water tub, may be it will make the pain more bearable. She immediately said yes and I did the initial arrangements. This was our first miracle that hot water was still working.  Though there was no power, hot water seemed to be flowing with no hiccups.

At around 5.30am she lied down in the hot water tub and in few minutes her water ‘broke’. She almost started yelling this time, I woke my mother-in-law and asked her to be with Trupti, she immediately came to the bathroom and started consoling Trupti and praying simultaneously. Since there was no light we switched on the Iphone light. Though it didn’t provide clear view it was enough to sense all the fixtures in the bathroom. I again checked my cell phone it was 5.39 and as usual was not able to reach 911. I said I will go to Vikrma’s to see if he is awake and get the car. Mummiji suggested not to go anywhere coz anything could happen. I was in a bit of panicky situation and had no idea what should I do next. I also started praying with stammering at its peak. I went to corner of my room where I had sensed some hope of finding the signal; I started calling 911 every couple seconds this time.

My father-in-law was standing in a corner and praying. I looked at Reet, she was still sleeping, this was unbelievable coz she would usually wake up even with the slight sound of someone changing the sleeping position and here with so much of chaos and screaming, she stayed undisturbed. This was our second miracle. If Reet had woken up, I can imagine the chaos aggravating and would require a person full time to handle her coz she is scared of dark and she would have not understood what was going on.

           It was now 5.47am, I kept trying 911 and Trupti screamed that she could now feel the baby. “Oh God.. How is that possible?” I asked myself. My heart was pounding heavily now, my mind started banging with all sorts of questions, how is it possible to deliver a baby at home, how do we stop the bleeding, how do we handle Trupti if she is in extreme pain and how do we cut the cord, sanitize the baby, how do we know if Trupti and the baby are doing alright etc. I went to the bathroom and looked at Trupti, she was standing and was in extreme pain, I asked her, “why are you not sitting”, she said, “I can’t, I am feeling like pushing and I can feel it”. I then rushed back to my hopeful place to check if I could connect, it was around 5.55am, I kept my phone on speaker and called 911 again. And then Trupti shouted, “Rahuuul, I can feel the baby’s head”. My hands and legs stared shivering this time, I shouted back, “no, you are just feeling that way, it can’t be so soon, remember what nurse said”, though in my head I knew that Trupti may be right, but somehow I was not able to accept that we were delivering the baby in this way and also couldn’t believe how Nurse could be so terribly wrong. I took a deep breath and prayed ‘Navakar Mantra’ again, I was not able to concentrate, in fact I was complaining GOD “how could this happen to me”, and believe it or not I heard a voice back asking, “Sir, how can we help you”, I opened my eyes and saw that the phone had got connected, I told the officer, “my wife is delivering a baby and the baby will be out in next few minutes, could you please come fast”, the officer on the phone said, “I can’t hear you Sir, could you please relax and say your address clearly”. Before I could tell the address I heard Mummiji saying the baby is here. I heard the baby crying. I turned back to my phone and saw that the call had already been hung-up or may have got disconnected not sure, I checked the time it was 6.03am. I calmed down a bit and tried again, it did not connect. I suddenly realized this was third miracle; the phone had got connected just after the baby was born.

I ran to the bathroom, couldn’t see anything clearly but sensed that Trupti was holding the baby to her chest giving her Skin-To-Skin. Trupti said, “The baby made herself way out and Mummy caught the baby in her palm”. I asked, “Is the baby Ok”, with the mixed emotions of crying and laughing she said, “Yes she is fine and she is beautiful”.  My eyes were full and voice blocked, I so much wanted to tell her that she is great and I am so proud of her, but couldn’t say anything. I switched on my phone flash and looked clearly at the baby, it was such a relief, though the baby was covered with the blood all over and the cord was still hanging, she was making woowing sounds. Now I knew that everything is going to be alright. I thanked GOD again and again.  Her prayers were heard, the labor was really quick and this was our forth miracle

It was hard to believe that the Nurse and her test observations proved wrong. My heart was still pounding heavily, but this time out of happiness, it was an unbelievable feeling. Trupti again clarified, “see I told you I could feel the Baby’s head”. I just smiled back at her. I told her that the phone had got connected but couldn’t talk clearly, will try again. I went back and tried connecting, to my surprise it got connected again, this time the Officer said, “we got your address and the paramedics is already on it way, it should be there in a few minutes”. They had figured out my address, thanks to technology. I again went back to bathroom, asked Mummiji to get Trupti’s hospital bag ready and the ambulance should be here any time. I remember during the last delivery, Trupti’s Mom couldn’t see her go through so much pain so she did not even enter the delivery room but this time she had to deliver the baby herself. I wondered how God instilled so much of strength and courage in her that moment. I looked at Reet she was still sleeping soundly as if she already knew everything is going to be alright.

I heard the paramedic siren, I rushed towards the main stairs and opened the door, it was cold and the view outside was petrifying.  There were 3 paramedic and 4 cop vehicles with powerful and bright lights. I had never seen so many of them so close. The whole street was lit colorfully, it seemed like an occasion was being celebrated. The paramedic guys came over and said, “this is so dark in here, how did you guys pull this off”, I said, “We had just enough light, Officer”. The officer raised his brows and began his procedures. He then clipped the cord and checked the heartbeat of the baby, Reesha was doing fine. He cleaned her up a bit and wrapped her in a blanket. She was put on an oxygen mask. Trupti was still standing feeling week and dizzy. The officer diagnosed Trupti and said we need to rush to hospital though he confirmed that everything is OK. Trupti was laid down on stretcher and carried over to the ambulance. We all got in and I was holding Reesha in my hands staring at her as if I had never seen a baby before. She opened her eyes for a moment, I whispered “Thank you”, she went back to sleep. I managed to click a photo of both Mom and Daughter with my phone as a memory (attached the pic below). Within no time we reached hospital and they parted all of us. Both mom and daughter were directed to their respective wards and diagnosed individually. I was called in the room where Trupti was admitted. I saw her on the bed and was happy that she didn’t have to go through a long labor like the last one which had lasted 32 hrs. I hugged her tightly. I said “You are the Best; I am very proud of you” and we both cried together. Papaji had somehow managed to convince the officer to drop him to hospital. I saw him outside Trupti’s ward room and he hugged me tightly. I checked my phone; I saw that the phone battery had died, couldn’t see the time this time, but what a perfect timing, I thought!

After the discharge from hospital, we still didn’t have power at home for next few days, so we stayed over at our close friend’s place i.e. at Lalith’s and Prashant’s. The time spent at their residence was very relaxing and memorable. Around that time the phone service resumed back and we got to know that Vikram and Shruti also had a baby girl (Annika) on the same day when Reesha was born, this was another surprising event; no doubt the whole journey was full of surprises. When I look back, everything seems so dramatic but that is exactly how incidents occurred. However I try and analyze the whole experience, I just cannot apply any science to justify how and why things happened that way. People say, “It’s just Grace!” The overall experience taught us that miracles do happen and one should expect miracles, daily miracles.   

Thankyou GOD!

This pic was clicked in the ambulance on the way to hospital. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Another beginning

         After a really really long time I am back on this blog and thought of scribble something. I have been thinking of this for a long time but don't know why it just didn't happen. It's been almost 5 years since I wrote last on this blog. Though I still do write stuff occasionally but they remained on some paper or e-mail. 
This morning when I was playing with Reesha (my younger daughter), She was staring at me for a long time, I felt as if she was trying to tell me something. It then suddenly struck me that I was supposed to write the whole experience of her birth so that she could read herself when she is grown up. 
 It's an incredible story the way she was delivered during the storm. I tried every possible way to analyze her implausible birth, it mesmerizes every time I think about it and the only answers that resonates back to me is, "this must be a miracle"  and now I really believe that "miracles do happen!”.  

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Does he make you laugh?

This article is not about teaching how to improve sense of humor neither it is about how to make him/her laugh. There is lots of stuff available on the net on those topics. This article is to realize how ‘humor’ plays an important role in our daily routine and of course relations. Especially for women, an important question – “Does he make you laugh?” I know we must have heard this in many movies but never thought seriously about it. If you are thinking what so big deal about it is or does that really matter? Think again, it does!!!

What do you think? Does humor between the couples really matter? When I asked a similar question to some of my friends, I received mixed answers. For some of them it was very important, and for some of them it was not really essential but just that at least he doesn’t make me cry sort of answer, of course which is good too. But isn’t that (not making cry) a responsibility, that cannot be categorized as a fine quality. But making you laugh is optional and I think that it is as important as to be understanding, caring or loving.

With lot of women ‘he making you laughs’ may not be in the top list of being a perfect partner. They are usually smart, understanding, confident, caring, loving followed by TDH, affluent, cool, ambitious and so on… the list never ends (poor guys). But don’t you think somewhere we are always attracted towards people who makes us laugh. We like to be with them, their association makes you smile and relax. We think of those people more frequently. Isn’t that something you would like to see in your partner, we do want; it’s just that we are not explicit about it. Humors are a significant aspect of any human interaction and fortunately sense of humor can be learned and need not be inherited.

All you people who are committed or about to, ask yourself a question. What do I want from my relationship in the long term? It’s a lil difficult question but give it a try. Or try this, how would my relation with my partner be after 10 years. What do you think would be the most important driving force between your relations? Love, money, sex, looks… Love - broad argumentative topic (no comments), money – you would have earned enough by then, sex – inversely proportional to age, looks – fades with age (of course there are exception). Some of the forces I strongly feel is the trust factor you build with your partner through these years or the excitement of raising a child together, or even just listening patiently to your partner (with eye contact). But if no driving factor, it’s just the obligation to stay together coz we are ‘married’. No matter whether we love each other, no matter if we get along well, no matter how different our views are and blah blah. Also the concept of divorce is not so easily accepted in our country (not that am encouraging), hence a contract commitment.
But imagine what else could be our driving factor; may be humor and he making you laugh moments. This factor is not vulnerable to age, looks, money, status, children… it’s just about the attitude. So guys out there, make your loved ones laugh, no matter how silly you may sound, gradually you will improve over the quality, but any try is worth it. As mentioned earlier sense of humor is not inherited but can be cultivated, so don’t be too disappointed if you think you have a bad sense of humor. It just needs a slightly different approach to look at things.

Just like anybody else even I believed humor wasn’t too important or may be I wasn’t matured enough to understand. But some incidents with some inspiring people can change your opinion. This happened with me when I met my Uncle and Aunty in Chicago, US. They came to US a couple decades ago and are in their early 50s now. Both are working. They still seem to be in a full charming phase of life. Kinda difficult to imagine myself being fascinating at that age. My uncle has his own jovial style of meeting and greeting people. He can convert any serious conversation to a sensible humor. Most of his jokes target my aunt but without hurting her. Even my aunt has witty answers for his comments. She maturely handles his criticisms with a pinch of humor. And we all laugh together. Anybody around them wouldn’t stop having a good time. They just seem to complement each other so well. They look happy!
The sad part is that I don’t see this kind of harmony in most of the couples today. There are very few who maintain this kind of relation ship. The above cited couples seem like an ideal couple without any problems, but that’s not the case. Even they have there own problems, problems related to house hold, raising a child, handling finances, finding time for each other even health at that age but they still look happy. The most important learning here is that even with all those inevitable problems there is always an effort from both of them to find humor, to find happiness and finally build harmony.

Studies show that people with good sense of humor tend to be more creative, less rigid and more willing to consider and embrace new ideas and methods. Girls, am sure must be thinking “wow, this is exactly how I want my partner to be”. This works personally as well as professionally. Humor and laughter often create instant rapport and camaraderie among people; they help establish a bond between people on which a relationship can be built. If you start building this habit now, imagine in next 10 years your silly jokes or PJ what ever you call will refine into a quality humor. So all the best guys, make your loved ones laugh. Always heard laughter is the best medicine, now it’s not just for healthy body, but also for healthy relationships.

Message: Before you start taking my words seriously there are some disclaimers here as well.
- Humor does not mean you can make fun of other to make your partner laugh. Be careful you may be hurting somebody.
- Humor related to race, religion or intended towards in-laws are inappropriate.
- Santa jokes, mother-in law jokes and other jokes in that category are too common now, start thinking creatively.
- You may even crack the usual Husband-wife jokes in public, but make sure you are not insulting your spouse and he/she understands that’s its just for fun and non intentional.

Note: This article is dedicated to all those people who are committed or about to get. There is still time to bring the harmony back, needs little bit of effort.
I was by inspired by my Uncle (Bharath Sheth) and Aunty (Pramila Sheth) to write this article. Thanks to them...

Friday, July 25, 2008

What really resonates

          I always had these random thoughts running in this inchoate mind. There is an inner voice whispering all the time. There is suggestion at every step, every scene, every move and pretty much at everything we do. And this voice is even louder especially when you are not doing anything. Sometimes I did put them on paper, but have no idea where those pages are now as I never maintained a note or a diary (that’s when I thought I should be capturing them here).
But I always wondered how this inner voice resonate thoughts and suggestions. This is highly dependent on the culture you were brought up in, the people who you associate with and the books you read. These factors primarily drive one’s imagination (constructive or destructive) and ideas. Though we do not have much control over how we were brought up but we do on a daily basis choose who do we associate with (Power of association) and what books we read (Power of thoughts), altering these choices can change the way we think and change the way we are today mentally and financially.

This is where I am trying to put myself out there and connect with few like-minded folks and create that resonance which would eventually emit those powerful thought, ideas and experiences.
The matter that matters me the most are in the below two ships:
Ø  Entrepreneurship
·        Psychology behind entrepreneurial minds
·        Businesses and ideas with social cause
·        Start-up fever and its symptoms
·        Seek funds or Bootstrap
·        Funding/investing in smart ideas
Ø  Relationship
o   Between you and your better half
o   Between you and your kids
o   Between you and the people you associate with