What Love Is Not, What It Is, and What It Feels Like

A Guest Post by Wordssetmefree

Reading the most recent post on your blog reminded me that love is often misinterpreted in our culture and many cultures.  Popular media and books have made love into some kind of a dark turmoil that must be endured for a reward at the end.  People may have different ideas of love.  This is MY understanding ….. I do not want to say this is the only and correct definition of love …. but let’s not forget that ‘love’ is a good word, a positive word.  It is a word like ‘light’ and ‘kindness’ and ‘hope’ and therefore it must evoke a good feeling.  It must feel RIGHT.  Here’s my poem on love.  I hope it helps all of us, those younger and discovering love for the first time, and those older and trying to find some clarity, find a path where ‘love’ is a good word and it feels ‘right’.

What Love Is Not, What It Is, and What It Feels Like

What Love Is Not

Love is not uncertainty

Wondering “Does he really love me?”

It’s not a reward

That one must try hard to earn

Not a compromise

That is gained by giving up

Parts of one’s self


Love is not turmoil

Full of tears and accusations

It is not a competition

That one must win through charm

Not a dark drama

Replete with doubt and betrayal


Love is not an escape

From our mundane existence

Or from our problems

Love is not a shield

From the reality of abuse


Love is not martyrdom

That one must sacrifice for

Not an ownership

Over another’s body and soul


Love is not a stormy night

Filled with the darkness of jealousy

Or the thunder of anger

It is a gentle rain

That quenches your thirst


Love is not a beautiful castle

With iron gates

Nor is it a comfortable home

That imprisons you

It is a journey that sets you free

Full of growth and discovery


What Makes Love Happen

Love begins with respect

Respect is only possible between equals

Love is thus friendship between equals

Friendship that grows to become commitment


Love needs strength and confidence

We must first be able to love ourselves

And respect ourselves

And be in control of our own lives

Before we can love someone else


What Love Feels Like

Romance is fun and welcome but ….

Love is felt even in the absence of romance

It is felt even without roses and champagne

It is felt over bagels and steaming coffee

It is felt while doing laundry together

While sitting next to each other and reading

It is felt in silent companionship

As much as it is felt in hearty laughter

It is felt in moments of pain

In the simple promise that you are not alone

It is felt in moments of confusion

In the relief when the other understands


What Love Is

Love is not sacrifice

Or giving up who you are

Love is ascertaining who you are

Celebrating who you are

And understanding who you are

Through the other’s perceptive eyes

And finding yourself

With the other’s strong heart

And setting yourself free

In the other’s gentle soul


Thank you IHM.



Related Posts:

Is your relationship healthy?

“I wish I was more sensible at the age of 22 before eloping and spoiling my life.”

“I have realized that at 20 when I started dating him I never thought much but today I have issues with all the above points.”

And here is why women are so helpless in marriage issues and in their martial home.

Sharing an email. 

‘Is this love where you want to follow the society more than your children’s happiness?’

Hi IHM ,

I frequently visitor and replier on your post. Your posts have cleared my thought process a lot and seriously I think a lot on marriage. I have written a very long post.

I am not able to understand, why women are so helpless in marriage issues and in their martial home.

Sometimes I feel that seriously our parents love us or are we also a social responsibility to be completed? I am not a parent neither I am married so I cannot answer this question. But I am daughter and sometimes I really think that they are simply fulfilling their social responsibility.

In my family we are only two sisters and no brother. Never my parents tried for son. But their expectations are no different from us. My friend’s parents also think in similar ways.

Most of the parents educate their daughter because in their peer circle everybody is educating their daughters. Professionally unqualified daughter is a shame to them. They want us to do well in our careers. That’s it. Anything beyond this point is “tum hawa main udne lage ho, ladkyion ko jayda bolna nahi chahye, ladki ho ladki k tarah raho etc” (You have started flying in air. Girls should not talk too much. You are a girl, live like a girl.)

They want their daughter to be earning but not independent. They want the same thing which a parent who has not educated their daughter wants. They always want that we follow what we have been told on phone and no question should be asked. They will make all decisions- what we will do in future, when we will get married, to whom we will get married, the list goes on???

They will export you to another family. There also the same has to continue. They expect that you don’t reply back, never come back to them and be a good daughter. They are ready to cry in your pain if you have married as per their wish (this has been said by my parents and many of my friends parents).They will support you in case a martial problem and what is that support? That they will warn the groom/his family and send you back.

One of my friends is recently married and her husband started complaining within two days of marriage that I was not given watch in marriage, your brother doesn’t respect me, and marriage was so simple. Parents’ reply that this was not discussed during the marriage negotiations, why you are saying this thing. But nobody realizes what the girl is feeling right now. But parents have done their duty they married her, they are sad for her, they are helpless. Maybe one day they will fight with the guy and ask him to treat her properly job done. But how anyone can live with the person who doesn’t respect her and care her?

Another friend she is working was very close to guy from her college. They belonged to same city , so he use to accompany her and care for her during to and fro between college and city. Parents were aware of this and encouraged them to move together. This means that guy was nice and trustworthy. Now when the same guy went and asked parents about their marriage then they are saying that he is not trustworthy and he is a cheat. Isn’t it hypocrisy? Where is love for their daughter? Isn’t it using one person and insulting them when they have served their purpose? They want the daughter to go first way, marry their way, if she is unhappy then she is responsible for it as she is not able to adjust and forget her bf, they want her to laugh on her wedding even if she is feeling dying from inside. Is this parental love?

Another friend went ahead and had a court marriage. They are happy. She is continuing her job in another city and her husband is in another city. No demands from In-Law or husband. From day one she is living her life as she was living in PG. Still her parents are sad because she had an inter caste marriage. Where is love in this case? They are not happy seeing her happy? Isn’t all parental scarifies is a drama? Why they cannot say our daughter is happy, we are proud of her.

Coming to my situation, I too want to marry a person who is out of my community. He is well settled and loves me. I have met his parents and they have said yes without any drama. They encourage my bf to talk to my parents so that they can fix marriage. Now my parents want the same that is situation one. They don’t want to listen to anything. Is this love where you want to follow society more than your children happiness? And since I am living out of home city all the wrath have fallen on my sister. They have restricted her movement, don’t want her to pursue professional education otherwise she will also go out of hand. Is this the love and scarifies they always claim about?

I think its girls’ parent who have left them in such a helpless situation because this is the norm of society. Don’t they keep their daughter dependent so that she doesn’t start making her own decision? Can you tell me where is all this love everybody claim?

Thank You,

In Love

Related Posts:

Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?

“He has decided that we will stop trying to have a child now as he wants things to improve between his mother and I.”

When she says she no longer wishes to stay with him, why isn’t her word enough?

“I don’t want such education… I want no career… I want to be loved.”

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

How would you react if you knew your son (or daughter) felt this way?

“Can you people help me on this? I only want to convince my parents that is all.”

Teenage Pregnancies – not our culture…

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

“I am trying to make a list of soooooooo many advantages a girl can have if she is born in a Western family as compared to being born in india.”

“I don’t see the point of forcing parents to give birth to unwanted girl children.”

40% of rape charges were filed by parents of girls who had eloped consensually with a boy

When a daughter refuses to go back…

“My suspicions were correct. He contacted me yesterday and asked me to get back together!”

More drama has happened since my last message to you and your readers. We broke up about two months ago and haven’t spoken to each other since. Recently a friend of my ex bf contacted me and I found out my ex is “torn from within” and has been working on changing his parents stance against our marriage. He said that things are finally looking good and that my ex will be calling me as soon as it’s finalized in his family home. He said he did not do so yet because he doesn’t want to keep hurting me by getting my hopes up if they end up standing firm against us. This is all news to me! I thought he was done fighting and done with me! I’ve since tried moving on in whatever ways I could. I’ve been reading your blog’s history religiously to gain more insight and have seen a therapist. Now that my ex bf may come back with a proposal I’m suddenly really nervous!!! When we first met I was naive, he was naive, and we both thought we would all live as one happy family. The hell that they have put us through has shown me who they really are. The stories I’ve read here on IHM have also shown me what life likely would look like if we were to marry. My question to you all is, if you were in my shoes, what would your new demands and/or compromises be? If you are married now, what do you wish you would have voiced from the beginning? Is there a way we could make this work if he does come back?
My first request would be that I do not agree to live with his parents… at least not in the beginning of our marriage. I think given their ill treatment of me in the past and his inability to totally put me first, I am completely nervous about that sort of living arrangement. Also, I now think we should have, and deserve, time alone together to be as a couple before inviting anyone else into our home. If he can’t agree to this then there is NO DEAL.
What other suggestions would you give to me?
And then: 
My suspicions were correct. He contacted me yesterday and asked me to get back together! I told him I would take some time to consider it. When we speak next we will discuss what our expectations are, what we are willing and not willing to compromise, and if it’s possible at all to move forward together.
I would like it to be shared on the blog to get everyone’s perspective on what my reasonable expectations could be. Or any warnings for my possible future if I continue. Honestly, after reading your blog (and, of course, my experiences with his family) I’m very nervous to marry him!! How can I be sure he would put me first? If I were viewing this situation as a friend I would tell my friend to be very cautious. That her demands (whatever they are) must be met or else walk away. :(

“What do you think, blogger why Sexual Violence have increased at home in a country like INDIA which has the most peaceful religion?”

Sharing this comment because some of these points highlight how awareness or knowledge of sex, women’s sexuality, sex education, desire for sex and influence of other cultures continue to be viewed as the major causes for sexual crimes in India. 

Here’s the comment by him905. My response (to just some points) in blockquotes.

Causes of RAPE UPSURGE in our society.

IHM: Upsurge is only in reporting of rape – we have traditionally dealt with rapes with silencing of victim, that’s changing. 

1) PORN CULTURE-Today’s porn is not the same as it was invented back in 1950s where voluptuous women used to walk on beaches. It now portrays WOMEN as sex slave of MEN. NO WOMEN LIKE TO BE POUND BRUTALLY AND MAN HANDEDLY as is seen in Porn films.

Who wouldn’t want to display his manly power over women after watching a HARDCORE film (except educated, cultured and chivalrous men)?

IHM: Who? Someone who has had the opportunity to learn that rape is a serious and punishable crime, that women are people, that women are sexual people, that any sexual activity without consent is rape, that porn is not sex education. And someone who was permitted to find out how sex with consent could be.

WHY PORN? Science says-amygdala controls human emotions. Watching vulgar films increase dopamine levels which is responsible for arousing lustful desires against a woman. YES, LUSTFUL MEN and WOMEN HAVE HIGHER LEVELS OF DOPAMINE.

IHM: Rape is not always about sex or lust. Rape is frequently a patriarchal crime of hate, aggression, misogyny, ‘honor’, revenge or teaching a lesson. 

2) INHERENT MANLY CHARACTER-The above mentioned reason give boost to men to display his power over women. Women being weaker to men physically also give another reason to deflower her.

IHM:  A sexual assault should never be called ‘deflowering’ or any other term that disguises it or conveys that rape is about loss of virginity or honor.

And ‘manly-character’ is a patriarchal construct that causes a lot to harm to men and to the society because it includes aggression, anger, jealousy, hate, display of power and violence. Men are made to feel their worth lies in displaying these characteristics, and not in being themselves. 

What do you think, blogger why Sexual Violence have increased at home in a country like INDIA which has the most peaceful religion?

IHMI am not sure if any religion views a sexual assault as a violent crime against the victim, most seem to view it as deflowering, or stealing of something that belonged to the husband or community.

So far as I am aware, all religions are patriarchal. 

Fist blame Islamic Invaders and Christians for uprooting our society. Now blame men who watch porn secretly and later force his wife to have sex to vent out his lustful desires. Its common in lower middle class and labor families (rickshaw wala types) where men’s mind is corrupted.

IHM: Blame the legally sanctioned patriarchal sense of entitlement. Many men assume/hear and learn, that marriage means sex on demand. 

And blame the lack of effort by the society and the law to ensure that women stay in marriages only because they really want to. 

We actually pressurise the victims to support the crime by forbidding them from walking away from circumstances that lead to the crime. There is no effort to teach from childhood about abusive relationships, controlling relationships, seeking happiness for self.  Self reliance and freedom are looked down upon. No point talking about all of this – because we have a law that permits rape. In this regard Live in relationships are safer for women, but most religions don’t approve of that either. 


3) NUDITY OF WOMEN- Its not applicable to every man. Illiterate men, gangsters, hooligans usually cant tolerate a women walking in semi nude dress while showing tight boobs and ass. In ancient times, Indian women would not cover her breasts (see sculptures of ancient temples) or cover with diaphanous clothes, were more voluptuous because men at that time would respect women thanks to our vedic culture at that time.

IHM: Two many factually incorrect assertions here.


Mr Balvinder Singh’s experience in Nagaland shows making rules about covering up a woman’s body, is the beginning of objectification of women, to ensure ‘excitement’ does not ‘turn into monotony’. [link]


But let me ask,  do some men rape anybody they find sexually attractive?  If we are serious about controlling sexual crimes, then shouldn’t we aim to identify and lock away such men?


Rape is not always a crime of impulse or of finding someone sexually attractive  – most rapes are well planned, and more about hate or aggression than about the sexual attractiveness of the victim.


4) POLITICAL REASONS- Weak laws, political relations to escape imprisonment is one of the biggest cause of rape increasing in our country.

5) CONSENSUAL RELATIONSHIPS- This type of rape cases are common in rich class. Women are raped in farm houses although a sexual act is started by the mutual consent of the partners but later it becomes against a woman’s consent. She is usually given threat to disclose it in public.

IHM: Consensual relations become against woman’s consent? Rape is lack of consent. The moment there is denial of consent, a sexual act becomes rape.

Anybody who feels they can’t handle this, must inform those they wish to have sex with, so that they can be avoided, or can be locked away for public safety.


1) INDIA HAS LARGEST NO OF RAPES. just because mainstream secular media highlights it in bold letters without knowing the facts. YOU CAN CHECK WIKIPEDIA LISTS OF TOP COUNTRIES IN RAPE. USA and other developed countries figure in top ten. India is in 20+ rank. India is still one of the safest places for women.

IHM: Denial is a common method used for ‘controlling’ crime. It has never worked.

2) DISCUSSIONS ON SEXUALITY- Indians might wonder that we don’t discuss sexuality openly which causes rape as it suppresses sexual desires. LIBERAL COUNTRIES FIGURE IN TOP TEN IN RAPE STATISTICS. WHY they are ahead of us? Discussing sexuality can teach you about a human body and sexual desires arises out of the environment in which the person is living, media effects and peer culture but it cant teach you about respecting a person as a whole including his body and emotions.

IHM: Discussion of sex could lead to sex. That’s fine. Sex is not a bad thing. We need to focus on controlling sexual assaults.

There should be no confusion – Sex is good, Sexual assault is bad.

Mixing morals, virginity, personal sexual habits/preferences/orientations of adults distracts from the issue at hand.

3) ALL RAPE CASES ARE GENUINE- one third rape cases in NCR are false ones as cited by The Hindu’s article on rape analysis and statistics. WOMEN know very well how to malign a man!

IHM: Rape needs to be defined clearly, legally. Lack of consent  or Forced sex is rape.

Consensual premarital sex is not rape. A sexual assault upon. Sex ‘with promise to marry’ is cheating, not rape.

4) WOMEN SHOULD COVER THEIR BODIES- IT will not solve the problem. Rape cases are very common in muslims countries although it arises due to pathetic treatment of women in Islam.

5) PATRIARCHY SYSTEM-Talking about ancient INDIAN society, patriarchy gave many rights and freedom to women which can even give an inferiority complex to women advocating feminism! RAPE DIDN’T EXIST. I know it because I am studying Hinduism as my hobby. Today’s patriarchy got distorted because Indian men failed to realise the glory of women in hinduism and instead went ahead like that of abrahmic religions’ patriarchy style.

IHM: Patriarchy ‘gave’ rights and freedom to women?Rape didn’t exist when forced sex was not viewed as rape.


‘the glory of women in hinduism’? While misogyny is common to most religions and cultures, I think Hinduism alone denies widows even the most basic human rights.

6) LAW IS THE ONLY SOLUTION TO END RAPE- USA has a well ordered and controlled LAW SYSTEM in the world but not an effective system to curb the social evils like rape. USA RANKS NO 1 IN RAPE CRIMES DESPITE BEING LIBERAL ON SEX. why? USA believes in controlling the social evils by creating a fear against that evil in criminals and general public. It can give a rapid solution but not a permanent solution in long run. It believes in controlling the derivative (by making laws) but not the root cause of rape (problem with a man’s psyche and vulgar milieu). In INDIA due to our culture, majority of men still see women as a respectful person. The culprits are the ones who see women as a sex slaves of men. INDIA is too following the path of USA to establish the stringent laws against rape and harassment but it will also fail in long run like USA.

IHM: ‘In INDIA due to our culture, majority of men still see women as a respectful person. The culprits are the ones who see women as a sex slaves of men.’

A culture that permits rape within marriage and also views marriage as the sole purpose of a woman’s life – how does it see women as respectful people and not as ‘sex slaves of men’?

Our problems appear unsolvable because we have failed to understand ourselves in our own language, on our own terms. To top the hypocrisy, on the same few square inches of lifestyle websites we have the pontification of the social scientists on how lustful desires can spice our lives and liberate society from clutches of centuries of restraint promoted on various lifestyle websites but we do not see our contradictions. We can emulate aspects of USA’s well-functioning systems of local government and law and marry it with dharma society to create a better India. But even to learn from others we must study them on our own terms. Its applicable to every country of this world.

IHM: Our problems appear unsolvable? Which problems?


Consensual-sex is not a problem. Lustful desires (even women’s lustful desires) are not a problem.  Premarital sex is not a problem (and nobody’s business so long there is consent, willing partners above the age of consent)


Our only problem is that we refuse to view Sexual Assault as a criminal assault on a person. Comparable to an acid attack, stabbing or an amputation.


And to answer this question again,

“What do you think, blogger why Sexual Violence have increased at home in a country like INDIA which has the most peaceful religion?”

IHM: Sexual violence at home has not increased –  it is being reported more.  Victim blaming, shaming, silencing has lesser hold on the society now, so maybe we are beginning to finally deal with an issue we can no longer pretend away.


Related Posts:

Justice Verma Committee is inviting solutions and ideas in regards to sexual harassment/ assault/ molestation/ rape.

How does an average Indian define Rape, Child Abuse and Consensual Sex?

So how does Delhi – NCR Police define Rape?

“If we have people of your ilk in Bharat we do not need external enemies at all!”

A response to: Why we think women activists should change their attitude of “wear what you like”

Do some of us see anything that is done purely for pleasure (no moral or monetary benefits), as wrong?

‘I’m now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality.’

Making Marital Rape a legal offence is the fastest way to make it clear that Rape means forced sex, not lost Virginity or Honor.

Here’s why I think the society should not obsess over a woman’s virginity.

‘Rape is theft of the victim’s potential to fulfil her destiny from birth, the pivot of her existence, her marriage.’

40% of rape charges were filed by parents of girls who had eloped consensually with a boy

7 things that can make ‘Rape sometimes right’.

Forced intercourse in marriage not rape: Delhi court

“See – UNICEF has figured it out. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out.”

Would this crime have been reported if he had mercilessly raped her but not sodomised her?

A comment- ‘Reverse the gender, and it is marital rape.’

Bikini vs Burka: The Debauchery of Women

So how will banning cabs make public transport safer for women?

We seem to have a history of not making a serious effort to understand an issue.  Not even something as obvious and as simple, as in this Uber cab driver’s case.

Gurgaon: Cab driver rapes woman professional,

Here is what I think the focus should be on – 


The police verification document, dated May 2014, certified Yadav’s clean record, despite a case of rape being registered against him in 2011. During investigation, police found that Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Southeast Delhi, L T Hrangchal, whose signature the form bears, was posted to Mizoram on February 18, 2013. – See more at: Driver permit: Police and Transport play ping-pong

The police claims the documents are forged – link  This should be taken very seriously.

How do we control crime if police verification documents cannot be absolutely relied upon?

2.  It seems the driver had been arrested for rape earlier [link] [link].  Wouldn’t a Rape Registry [link] have been effective here?

And here is what might distract from the real issue:

1. The rapist’s remorse.

Delhi rape: Uber cab driver Yadav confesses to crime but shows no remorse

So would it make any difference whether or not he rapist ‘shows remorse’? How is he expected to show remorse? By promising not to use forged documents or by offering to marry the rape survivor? Or by shedding tears like this rapist? What if he did act extremely remorseful – then what?


“We will try our best that this cab company is closed and it should be investigated that who brought this company here and how it started,” Chairperson Delhi women commission Barkha Singh said.

Anawnimiss commented: 

And I am disgusted with the govt’s it-happened-in-a-cab-so-let’s-ban-cabs attitude. Will we go about banning nightclubs, shopping malls, parks, buildings and streets next?

I say let’s take a multi-pronged approach instead that promises fewer rapes, less immoral behavior (consensual sex), reduced population. Let’s ban men instead.
Oh wait, that’s not going to work either for reasons I mentioned above.

Umm.. okay, then let’s work on finding a solution that actually works.

3. We really need to stop viewing (and trivialising) a sexual assault as ‘shameful’ and start seeing it as horrific, violation, violent, disgusting and traumatic.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 3.59.04 pm

Please note: Most of the other freedoms for women are meaningless if safety of women and children in public spaces continues to be viewed as optional.

Related Posts:

Why was this radio cabbie, a rapist, not afraid of being arrested?

What makes Men Rape?

Of course it was unsafe to ask for lift, but what exactly were their options?

Which city in India, do you think is the safest city for women? Do women in that city stay at home after dark?

Indian women dancing in the streets? Photographs.

What bothers me is how quickly we are getting used to our freedom being taken away and how we are willingly shutting ourselves in our homes for safety.

Do you believe that if this video was shot in Delhi, the girl would not reach home alive?

More bans?

… ban on jeans (reserved for men)

… banning of Porn sites

...ban on mobile phone use by Indian brides.(reserved for men)

Ban on using one’s own judgment

Pubs in Andhra banned for women. (to be officially Reserved For Men?)

Ban on Holi

Ban on pubs for girls 

Ban on liquor… ?

Ban on ‘Boys and Girls Holding Hands’?

Immoral policing: A guest post by Carvaka

Ban consensual sex between adults

Ban Valentines Day? 

Ban jobs, safety and roads after 8 pm for women (reserved for men?)

Bans on art, movies and books. 

Ban on using your own judgment?

And here is what would work.

Women in streets, after dark in Gurgaon


Winter mornings, a cat and a dog.

Indian Homemaker:

Missing him.
We all are. The Mutt waited for him for two days, ears perked up – listening to every sound outside the door, but has finally come inside. Maybe I imagine it, but she seems to miss him too.

She is 16 and can’t smell or see clearly but she had barked at the Vet who came to check Gabbar, standing protectively beside him. Unlike the cat, she did not seem to sense that he would no longer shiver at the merest mention of the Vet.

I am learning that no matter how it happens, loss just hurts. Guilt is a part of this sadness, even when we were prepared and even when he left the way one would have wished for him to go. There are no regrets, and still it hurts that he is not there, wagging his tail politely, even in sleep, even at the softest and most boringly repetitive declarations of love for him.

These pictures were taken just a month before he died.

Originally posted on Indian Homemaker's Photoblog:

View original

‘After shocking the nation with her involvement in a high profile prostitution scandal…’

A clean chit.

… ‘shocking the nation’ and ‘involvement in a high profile prostitution scandal’…

I was under the impression that Shweta Basu Prasad did not ‘shock the nation’, instead there was an outrage in support of, or atleast in sympathy for the young actor – mainly, I think, because none of the powerful businessmen involved were named, but the young actor was. What do you think?

Earlier the media had reported:

Noted actor Shweta Basu Prasad was arrested in Hyderabad on Sunday for being involved in a high-profile prostitution racket.

And now, a clean chit.

Shweta Basu Prasad gets a clean chit in prostitution scandal case

After shocking the nation with her involvement in a high profile prostitution scandal, the Makdee actress Shweta Basu Prasad was sent into a remand home for few months. The actress who recently got out of the remand home can breathe a sigh of relief as Hyderabad sessions court has given a clean chit to her.

Shweta Basu Prasad had mentioned earlier that she had made peace with past and the prostitution case doesn’t affect her anymore.


Related Posts:

Several well-known businessmen arrested in Hyderabad on Sunday for being involved in a high profile prostitution racket.

‘The woman said she was inebriated when a co-worker took her to a room and raped her.’

Of course it was unsafe to ask for lift, but what exactly were their options?

Gurgaon pub attendant gang rape victim: Went willingly? Refused medical test?

What every woman should have. What every woman should know. Do you?

Joy wrote:

Hello IHM,

Perhaps you could share this on your blog, I don’t know the source of this image so I cannot give credits to anyone. It was a forwarded image to me by my Sister-in-law, she reckons I have done and known everything listed in this image. Which is infact very true


How many have you done or known from this list?

Found on lessonslearnedinlife.com

I traced it back to here – What every woman should have, what every woman should know – Written by Pamela Redmond Satran

 Related Posts:

I shared a version of it in 2010 – EVERY WOMAN SHOULD.

Can a cat from a Mumbai ground floor home, get used to living in a sixth floor apartment in Bangalore?

Sharing an email from Mr GV.

Having moved with a cat four times (Bombay to Pune to Delhi to Gurgaon), I think the difficulty here is that the cat is an ‘outdoors cat’. 

A cat who has always lived indoors, I know personally, can settle down in newer homes. Can adult ‘outdoors cats’ learn to live indoors? 

What do you think?


I would request permission to use your blog to reach out to people who are knowledgeable about the behavior of cats and seek their advice.

I am having an unusual problem which I did not anticipate and would love to hear from your very knowledgeable readers.

Here is the story:

My wife’s elder sister (hereinafter referred to as C) and her husband (retired) are coming over from Mumbai to live in my apartment in Bangalore for about 6 months while my wife and I leave Bangalore to  stay in California with my daughter, son-in -law and grandson at their specific invitation.   My sister in law , C , has a pet cat and she insists she will bring it along from  Mumbai to Bangalore.  We have no issue with her bringing the cat along.

Questions: Will the cat cooperate? Will it accept this new place? Will it run away? How can they transport the cat? I presume they will either come by air or by train. Are cats allowed in trains or in aircraft? Or will they have to travel by road  for the sake of the cat? Will it possibly run away on the way?

At Mumbai they live in a two bedroom apartment on the ground floor. Here they will stay in a three bedroom apartment on the sixth floor in a gated apartment complex of about  200 apartments.

At Mumbai the cat goes out easily and returns on its own for being  fed and sleeps in the drawing room or on the sofa. Will a Mumbai cat agree to be cooped up in the sixth floor of an apartment  here at Bangalore? I have two balconies, one attached to the kitchen, where the maid servant does the dish washing and another balcony attached to the drawing room. Can the cat be comfortable here? The balconies are enclosed  by means of sliding glass panels and protected from the rain and wind.

For the cat, the building and its environs at Mumbai are familiar territory. Here the surroundings will be strange. Other stray cats in the neighbourhood and some dogs in the apartment complex may be hostile towards it.  I heard that cats are loyal to the place  they inhabit, not to the humans who take care of them. They don’t mind a change in masters but they do mind a change in place. Is this true?

I wonder if C is doing the right thing in bringing the cat over. I thought she had the option of asking one of her adult sons who lives with her to feed it.  This adult  son works at Mumbai and lives with them  and will be staying there at night but will be out all day. Maids/watchmen in the building can also be told to take care of the cat (after being offered an incentive).  But she pleads that her son is often away on tour and she does not trust friends/neighbours / servants /watchmen  to take care of her cat  during her absence. I also suspect that the son is not  too receptive to the idea of taking responsibility for his mom’s pet cat and would be more than happy to bundle it off with his parents to Bangalore.

The reason for their coming over to stay here for such an extended period is not relevant here and is a family matter but for those who are curious, let me come out with it .

The reason is taking care of my aged mother-in-law (who is in her eighties) in our absence. Mil  has been living with us for over 30 years and only spending a few days every few years with her other three daughters. (She has four daughters and no son. Fil is no more). My place has been her headquarters all these years.   We can’t take her with us to USA. She  is  most unwilling  to go to Mumbai to stay with C and my wife is also dead set against sending here there for such a long period.  All earlier visits have lasted just a few days or perhaps a couple of weeks. There are other reasons too which prevent this solution and I would not like to discuss them.

Hence C and her husband are coming over (willingly) to be with my mother in law and also take care of our apartment in our absence. My co-brother is a retired gentleman and loves Bangalore and openly welcomes this proposal.  I would not have considered this otherwise. His married elder son (V) and daughter in law (another career woman) also live in another apartment in the same complex in  Bangalore  where we live.

During our three previous visits to USA, there was no problem. We left Mother in law to the care of another sister in law (wife’s younger sister, hereinafter referred to as L) . L is a busy career woman and she too lives in the same apartment complex, on another floor. Mother in law’s health was much better then. She had no problem being alone in the house while living with L and could even be useful to L with minor chores around the house and supervising the maids, answering the door, receiving phone calls, accepting couriered letters/parcels/gas cylinders   and generally taking care of the house while L was away at work. Her grandson (V) and grand daughter in law were also a just a few floors away and she did not miss us at all.

Since then her health has deteriorated sharply, and  a few months ago, she was in an ICU in the Hospital. We thought it was all over  but she scraped through and has recovered some of her former health.  Today her health and physical condition is not alarming but not free from concern either.  She is  not  bed-ridden, and  can move around, but she simply  cannot be left alone any more to manage the house. Neither can she be   left to L’s care except on Weekends when L is at home, unless L gives up her career for her mom’s sake. I am totally against that solution.  It’s just a six month period for which we have to find  another way out.

The senior sis –in-law,  C and her husband  coming over to live in our apartment was unanimously agreed as the best solution and they are also looking forward to escaping the heat and dust of Mumbai for an extended stay in Bangalore with its famed weather. C also welcomes the prospect of spending some time taking care of  her mother and also enjoying the company of junior sis in law L.  and her son (V) and daughter in law  who live a few doors away. Mil will also like having C over. She has lots of family gossip to share with her while my wife and I are away.  C’s presence is needed only for managing the house and giving company to her mother who cannot be left alone. Mil does not need any nursing. She is old, but she does not  qualify for assisted living as yet.

Doctors and hospitals are located just a stone’s throw away in case of need. Plenty of friendly neighbours are also there to help if needed and C’s elder son V is also near at hand.   We also propose to stay in touch over the phone or Skype.

My only worry is this cat, to which C  is totally devoted ! I have hesitated to raise the issue of the cat with C as I don’t want her to feel that I am hinting that the cat is unwelcome and I don’t want her to cancel her plans for the sake of her cat.

Meanwhile Mil’s fourth daughter R is blissfully unaware of the issue and we would hate to bother her. She can do nothing to help. She is a permanent resident and a citizen of USA for the past 35 years. Mil has visited  her twice and suffered due to the freezing temperatures there. Sending her to USA is ruled out. She Skypes regularly with R using my wife’s Ipad.

Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions/opinions/advice from your readers is welcome.

When I last saw what my wife was up to, I noticed she has been googling “Cat Care” on her Ipad! I am sure your readers here can  give me better advice.



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Travelling with a cat.

To love and to be loved by Gabbar Singh…

I wish I could believe in life after death. And in heaven and hell. And I wish I could believe that they are together again.

The most dog-hearted dog I knew – filled with unimaginable amounts of enthusiastic loving lay in the entrance to my bedroom yesterday morning… maybe waiting for me.

It had been a busy morning. Three months ago I had created ‘In our hearts forever’ – the grief support group I have mentioned earlier. We were to have our second meeting at my place. I had been down with cold and congestion and was glad to be feeling well enough to host this second meeting.

I remember noticing Gabbar Singh Proton (his full name) holding his leash in his mouth – a delighted smile on his face, because – it was yet another awesome morning – he was being taken for a walk. He was happy. I am glad I remember this.

Ordinary activities of an ordinary morning have become a source of comfort. When he got back from his walk, I had given him omelette and boiled rice mashed together. He ate a little, dropped a lot (as usual) and then decided to finish Mutt‘s share too (Mutt had rejected it and demanded a slice of brownie). I remember laughing and talking to him and telling him how adorable he was. He was used to being loved. He was happy. This brings comfort too.

Then I had got a call and remained stuck on the phone and in the kitchen, sending sunny pictures of cooking activity… of sandwiches, gajar halwa, brownies and ginger chai, to the husband.

I remember sometime around 8 am, the help had called to say “Gabbar Singh is not getting up, I have to clean under his mattress.” This was usual. The dogs didn’t like to be disturbed – specially when it was cold. On other days, I got him to sit in another, sunnier part of the house, but since I was busy, I asked her to let him be, to clean around him. Had I not been so busy, would I have seen some signs of what was to follow?

Around nine I turned towards my room and saw him on the floor. Nothing unusual in that, and yet something must have seemed odd. I went closer – his tongue was hanging out…  I placed my hand on his head and asked, “Are you okay baby?” And he hiccupped and I now realise, he died. Just like that. I didn’t realise it then and called out to Brat Two and loosened his jacket thinking the hiccup was an indication that he was uncomfortable… We called the Vet. It seemed impossible that he could die so suddenly. He had been fine. Old yes, but not ill.

The Vet said this was not common but did happen sometimes, yes it could have been a heart failure, and no, he did not suffer. He was waiting for me to breath his last. I feel honored. Sad, very sad, also shocked by the suddenness of it… but also glad that it all happened the way it did. Glad he was not hospitalised. Glad he died quickly. Glad I got to see him go. Glad my hand was on his forehead.

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In Mumbai it seems life is easier…

A Dog’s Vocabulary

Under the influence of the winter sun in Dilli Ki Sardi.