Game of life #MondayMusings

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The strange game called life

Are we just pawns in the game of life?

Or do we really have control over our lives and destinies?

Ever since I attended my first ever college reunion, this Friday,  I have been pondering over how my life has turned out since those 40 years after graduation.

The college reunion comprised alumni of several decades. So we had people who were old and bent as well as those with salt and pepper in their hair.  Surprisingly, everyone, there was well kept and well turned out. This only proved that all those whom we assumed were the ‘smokers and dopers’ in college, still did as well as those who didn’t.

Apart from my three friends who accompanied me, most of the people were strangers. Even those who were in my graduating year. And even those who studied the same subjects as I did, remained unknown till Friday night. (Most of us hung out with our won little groups of friends during college).  But surprisingly,  it was easier meeting collegemates (for the first time)  as 60-year-olds than it was meeting them as 16-year-olds. And meeting them was like meeting old friends. Did the intervening years make us all more confident? Or was I genuinely friendlier after my initial years as an introvert? 

My girls like to think that I am still a prickly pear who has an aura of ‘touch me not’ or ‘come closer and I’ll scream’ shining out for miles. But I like to think of myself as a shy person who values her space. I am also curious. I want to know more about the people and the world around me.

Shattering illusions

So I wonder what happened to the young me? I always imagined myself to be a career woman and was surprised when I landed up being a Stay At Home Mom. Of course, I have no regrets but that night I realised that I had overestimated my own potential. I obviously thought I was smarter than what I really was. Or perhaps I was only a high performer at examinations.

Whatever the reason may be, I ended up doing nothing while always  busy at doing something, ever since I finished college.

And this not surprising because I come from a long line of strong women who in this day and age would be labeled feminists. In our families, no dowry was exchanged. We were encouraged to speak out for ourselves, advocate for others and manage the home. Some us even managed to work outside the home. Needless to say, even those of us ( my great-grandmother for example) who didn’t have a formal education, were encouraged to read and write. We were also encouraged never to sit back and do nothing.

My mother and mother in law who were both postgraduates encouraged this streak of independence. My mother worked all her life and even in retirement did something or the other like run a video library in the days when cable TV didn’t exist and now she plays on the stock market. At 😯 + she still nurtures dreams of becoming a Bridge champion and enjoys her bi-weekly game. Incidentally, her Bridge buddies are all men.

My mother in law never ” worked” but was a Squash champion in her time. She was also an accomplished Classical Hindustani singer and pulled her weight in her husband’s commercial ventures.

I too never “worked” but was a freelance writer, French Translator, tourist guide, Man Friday for 10 years in my husband’s business and now a content provider for an e-commerce site.

So I thought I was pretty much a role model for a strong, independent, self sufficient woman.

Till the other day when the children were busy playing in the tent. I was shocked at what transpired.

The boys went out to hunt zombies, while Ms. Papaya stays back in the tent to look after the ‘babies’.

When Wow Dinga, Little Po and the other zombie hunters return home, they ask in a gruff voice “mom, what’s for dinner” she efficiently dispenses a menu.

When asked why she didn’t want to fight zombies, the mom replied pat “I’m the queen. I sit at home and look after kids and go for yoga class”.

And to think that all this while I thought I was just a Stay at Home Mum who was always on the run!

As the days go by, the myths I grew up with are slowly being shattered. My beliefs, particularly about myself are meeting the same fate.

Was I leading a blinkered life? 

What about you?

Image of Bellybytes

Sharing this post with Corinne on #MondayMusings

Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!


  1. Reading your post is thought-provoking for me. It makes me think how will I turn out at 60, how will I think of myself at 60. At this point in time, I am not ready to attend any of the alumni meets, not even of the classmates from school. Like you, I did not know the majority of my classmates in college and I am sure Delhi University colleges do not organize alumni meets.
    Your granddaughter’s self-accepted role makes me inquisitive. How come a little girl who has no such conditioning develop and function as per the stereotypes?

    1. Precisely, Anamika. Watching the toddlers play made me realise that gender typing is inherent in man’s nature and breaking molds is a taught behaviour. We are trying so hard to bring up the kids as humans and not as boys and girls but…….

  2. Interesting. We never know where life will lead us, but at 16, most of us have dreams of conquering the world! Over the years, I’ve come to believe that it’s more important that we are happy with our lives and accomplishments, regardless of external markers of success. If your years as a homemaker made you happy, which it sounds like they did, then that’s a life well lived. Not all of us can be CEOs, after all! 😉
    Modern Gypsy recently posted…The word: 2019My Profile

    1. Indeed! That’s the truth I’ve come to accept. Playing house turned out more prophetic than playing going to work. And to think that all those women who work really envy me ! I suppose life is always greener on the other side of the fence.

    1. Thanks so much Mayuri for stopping by and appreciating the post. Perhaps it is the result of reading the book “the Artists Way”. I am trying out the Morning Pages and I find that I am more open to accepting my limitations.

  3. Each life is a different journey. To me, a home-maker is just as capable as a professional, and should be just as respected. If you’re happy with who you are, that’s all that matters—this is what I tell my nephews and nieces.

  4. Interesting post.. I just loved your grand daughter’s comment of ‘I am the Queen’. I say the same when my husband or sons do not listen to me ..Lol. i too had a reunion of my school friends last year which was a first for me after 25 years. I realised the same thing that everybody did well in life whether they failed all subjects in school or topped the class. Frankly, that has made me less anxious about my son who hates the studying part and his grades are floating on the passing line. I met my college friends also last year after we discovered each other on Facebook. And when we met, we promptly behaved like teenagers.. screaming, back slapping, ogling the guys and giggling away to glory.
    Lata Sunil recently posted…Satyameva Jayate by V T Rakesh #BookReviewMy Profile

    1. Isn’t it fun to meet old school friends? And I wish I had met my friends earlier I would have given my girls more slack the way you have allowed your boys to be themselves. Eventually, as you say, everything in this world evens out!

  5. I love the way you have started to put down personal notes in your posts – this one is simply lovely Sunita. A college reuinion after 40 yrs of graduation is something I am not even visualising as yet.

    Your introspections about how you were, how you would be and how you turned out are amusing and so honest! Isnt it funny how we plan and opinionate but then where we land up eventually ? Loved the narrative about the strong women in your family. A squash champion, a stockbroker…….. Man I am super duper impressed!!!

    I loved her Queen version though its amazing how and where she picked this up from? What are our children learning and from where? The other day I had friends over and the 7 year old son of one of them is questioning the mom where she will live once he is married? Taken aback, the mom answered she will stay where she is or she can move out too. So then he says that wont you stay with me and take care of my kids when my wife goes to office? – She is a SAHM since day 1 – no clue where this guy has picked up this notion from either.
    Shalzmojo recently posted…#MondayMusings: Reflections 2018 & WOTY 2019My Profile

    1. Yes children today have their own ideas about life . And this is the second boy I’ve heard of with this idea. I’m glad you are finding a change in my narrative . Perhaps I’m finally finding my voice ! Definitely doing the Morning Pages has unlocked some thing in my head …. become less inhibited …

  6. This is such an interesting and thoughtful post. The ideas and beliefs that we have about life and ourselves at 16 are totally different than what we have (may have) at 60. I guess, self belief, confidence, self acceptance comes with age. Glad that you had a good time interacting with your college mates. I love Ms P’s “I am the queen” comment. Guess, she picked it up from strong ladies like you in the family!! 🙂

  7. It’s interesting isn’t it in terms of where we go in life. I think because my mum wasn’t given the opportunity to study much due to financial constraints and had to be a SAHM, she always encouraged my sister and me to study, have careers and be financially independent. With me at least, it’s possible she created a monster because yes, I love working and I don’t want children. I wonder what will happen when I look back at life; I think as long as I live by my values, I should be okay no matter what. I think that goes the same for everyone regardless of whether they are SAHparents or working parents or singles, you can choose different paths and you’ll never know if you’ve chosen the right one. A bit rambly here but it’s stuff I think about a lot
    Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted…DisguiseMy Profile

    1. Ah yes …. life does turn out differently for all of us . Who knows what makes one change or deviate from a particular track. I have realised that nothing in life is set in stone and you might be doing something else !

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