Some years start with looming clouds and dark news. But then the frogs croak in the rain bringing memories of a time when I fed frog spawn in a small fish tank. That time my sons were small and we were living in a country which has become very different now. I enjoyed living there as it seemed to be teeming with inclusivity for all human races. But that is another story. Having returned to safe harbours, I can recollect my journey in tranquility and even write humour.
That was a time when my children were children and had not grown into adults. Catching tadpoles instead of fish was much in vogue among young men from across the world — they were a mix of Nordic, Thai, American, Indian, Singaporean and Chinese — and they gathered around a stream that ran through the gated community. The artificial stream would turn pink with cherry blossom blooms in spring. But given the time of the year, it just ran like a little brook. After much time spent at the side of the little stream and attempts to “ fish” with butterfly nets, the boys returned home with tadpoles. The young gentleman from Finland filled his bathtub with spawn driving his mother frenetic with his newfound pets.
I found a small plastic fishtank in the garage and homed the tiny squiggly creatures there. We placed that on a table in the patio overlooking their home, the stream. What to feed them was a major issue. My then eleven-year-old googled and told me to boil lettuce for ten minutes for the creatures. My housekeeper refused to go near them. I boiled the lettuce, fed the tadpoles and cleaned the tank till they started growing bigger, and looking more menacing.
I am not an animal activist or particularly fond of animals, so the prospect of frog princes did not excite me. I realised I had to get rid of the tadpoles before they hopped around my home, my teacup and perhaps even bed or kitchen. Imagine a frog jumping into a pot of boiling soup mistaking it for a spa!
One day, when there was an announcement for a storm, I convinced my twosome it was best to let the tadpoles, now growing tiny legs, go. We put them back in the stream when my four year old was finally convinced that strong winds could upset the frog’s homes and they could not be given shelter in the house or the garage as it was uncomfortable for them.
I should be pardoned for that one as I feared having half a dozen frogs jumping on their sofa, accompanying us on cross country drives or serenading us! Though every time frogs croak in unison across the river that flows outside my window, my husband swears it was my culinary expertise at boiling lettuce that makes them spout lyrical in praise of my skills.
Being a mother to youngsters is what I enjoyed most in my life! I am a mother and homemaker. That I write is because I breathe. I wrote about these frogs in a book in 2014. And this year, I have another anthology to recreate in reality the inclusive world of my childhood, a world that we can only dream of for our children and their progeny, if only all of us can dream of belonging…
Let us write ourselves into a world where humankind sees itself as one race on their home, the Earth, which might need to expand into a larger cosmos, that includes stars, moon and planets streaming across the Milky Way. Living in harmony with nature and setting out to find new homes in outer space is part of our heritage, our instinct for survival. We would merely be emulating many of our ancestors when they walked out of Africa, where the bones of our primal mother, Lucy, were laid to rest…
Onward to a future we can look forward to in 2023!
— A Mother & Homemaker
To access the 2022 book, Monalisa No Longer Smiles: Writings from Across the World, click here. A huge thanks to all the authors who made this book a reality. To those who endorsed us, thank you. To all our readers, thank you. And a most heartfelt thanks to our publisher, especially the editorial.
Access to reviews on the anthology can be found by clicking here.
Click here to visit Borderless Journal. Again huge thanks to all our team members, to our contributors and readers. We exist because you are. Thanks to all our well wishers.
Click here to access the book with stories of bringing up my children.
Click here for the India link (The other version of the book published from within India is a pirated version. The link below takes you to the genuine book.)
Click here to find the book’s free updated version in an online journal.
Happy reading in 2023!