Hi, I am a Stay-at-home mom

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“All day long, I sit at my sunny window, staring at the cerulean sky dotted with real birds and motor-birds. I look at the moms and dads who are forever running to work in their hurried best, and I feel so blessed watching them from my eighteenth floor balcony. All day long. When I’m not looking at the sky, I lounge on the sofa, twirling fresh hand-picked Red Globe grapes in my mouth, watching soaps on the tele and sipping on luxurious teas; the hedonism of my ‘housewifey’ life interspersed with peppery talks with my equally jobless friends about my MIL.”

That’s what I do being a stay-at-home mom.

Thank you for the amazing question, and yes, I do notice the enchanting disbelief in your eyes.

It would be a meaningless cliche if I tell you what the question is.

Stay-at-home mom. A term that a lot of people often use disdainfully while trying to figure out what these moms do the whole day, and while just shrugging them off as housewives who don’t know how to ‘kill’ their time. But that is not what I want to talk about here. The point that I’m trying to make here is that we often overlook the real strong women behind these mom-faces, and how we stereotype them as just ‘women with kids’.

Strangely, and sadly enough, what the world fails to understand is that stay-at-home moms have made a wilful decision of being with their kids at their formative years, a decision that is unparalleled in its own, and a decision that is a product of conscious deliberation and extreme gumption. They have not made a sacrifice. They have chosen to be with their kids wilfully. The sad part is that we often end up putting these women into a nondescript bucket without actually looking at who they are as individuals. We never ask them what they are capable of because we have already written them off. They are perceived as just the bearers and the rearers of babies.

I’ve personally tested two scenarios: the first, in which I’ve introduced myself as a mom only; and the second, in which I’ve mentioned that I’m a budding entrepreneur. The second introduction sparks interest and follow-up questions appear (obviously), but the first introduction dies a natural death at the mention of ‘mom.’ It is true that there is no intention to belittle, but not a single person has ever asked what I did before I became a mom.

Let’s face the truth that being with a mini-me 24/7 is taxing and emotionally draining. We all have been there, and we all have felt isolated at some point in time. On the positive side, this is when moms make friends; at the park, the paediatrician’s, at daycares or at nurseries. During the time when I was a complete SAHM, I’ve made a lot of new friends who are moms; mostly stay-at-home. And what I’ve discovered is that behind a lot of these moms are actual strong identities, strong people, intelligent minds. In the last 4 years, I’ve met mums who have been Professors, Lecturers, Illustrators, Biologists, Language experts, and Artists. It has been fascinating to know such wonderful people from different spectrums of life who have revealed gems of personalities beneath their frizzy uncombed hairs and faces tired with babysitting. However, the same professors, biologists, artists are often quietly put aside as just mothers, with no focus on who are as individuals, or who they have been.

Having said everything above, it is also extremely positive to note that most of today’s SAHM’s have ignored the naysayers and are not letting themselves just be moms. They are fulfilling all their motherly duties, and are actually carving out time to nurture an interest, or a passion, or a business right from their homes. They are still growing as individuals while being moms. That is exactly what can bring about a massive change in the way they are perceived.

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Byblos – Indiranagar Restaurant Review

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We went to Byblos for our anniversary dinner. We shortlisted Japanese and Lebanese cuisines for dinner, and we settled for Lebanese, and Byblos made us feel very happy about our choice.

We were given a warm welcome by a Lebanese steward! He claimed that Byblos served genuinely, undoubtedly, and profoundly authentic Lebanese food. We did believe him and led him to help us choose our dishes, which he was extremely happy to help with. We also noticed that the chefs working in the open kitchen were Lebanese. In fact, the place is owned and managed by the Head Chef, Mr. Ammar, who is Lebanese. Even his business card smells of heavenly aromatic spices. Thereafter, we did not have an iota of disbelief about the authenticity of the place and the food.

While the kid asked for the Chicken Bouillon soup, we went for the Byblos Mixed Grill. The Chicken Bouillon soup was just the right taste for a 4 year old, non-spicy, a little creamy, and served with croutons. The Mix Grill that we ordered was a platter of Lamb Chops, Lamb Kofta, Lamb Tikka, Shish Taouk (chicken kabab), and Arayess. Arayess is pita stuffed with meat. The grill platter was served with a basket of fluffy pita breads.It is a slightly leavened bread that has a pocket that can be stuffed with various fillings and had. I must mention their Pita breads.  The Pita that Byblos served was warm, soft, and puffed up. They looked and tasted fresh. The kid absolutely loved them, not to mention that we finished the entire basket within a few minutes of it being placed on the table. Coming back to the grill, the meat was good, soft and well marinated. However, the entire platter was strewn with french fries, and we wondered why. The steward explained that people in Lebanon loved fries with their grills. It is almost an inevitable part of a grilled platter.

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We were hoping that there would be some hummus to go with the Pita and the grill, but since there was none, we ordered a bowl. It looked wonderful with a creamy yet firm consistency, and there was a well of olive oil in the center of the bowl. We licked it clean until the bowl remained just a white bowl.

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For those who don’t have Lebanese food often, tasting the Shawarma is inevitable when they try the cuisine. Therefore, we ordered a Shawarma, and it appeared soon with another basket of Pitas. We actually returned the Pita basket because we were almost getting full and wanted to eat only the Shawarma. The chicken Shawarma had just the right amount of spices and it was served with garlic mayonnaise. As expected, there were french fries on the side, and this time we were not surprised. Haha! The thin slices of the chicken were good to be stuffed in the pita but we had it just plain and they tasted just wonderful. Even the little one tried it and asked for more of it repeatedly.

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I must mention that we tried a drink Ayran which is almost close to the Indian Buttermilk except that the yogurt is more sour and has garlic.

We didn’t order any desserts but Mr.Ammar sent over some Baklava and also asked us to taste a new dessert called Halawa Alkeshta that they were introducing. The pastry chef came over to describe how he made the Baklava. He mentioned how he uses chopped pistachios in between layers of filo (dough for making baklava) and holds it firm with sugar syrup. The Baklava was medium sweet and the chopped pistachios in the center gave it a soft crunch. The other new item on their dessert menu was soft sweetened cheese rolled within a sweet coating and garnished with chopped nuts and seeds. There are some desserts that almost put you into a sweet coma, and this was one of those. It melted in the mouth and the sweet Arabic aromas lingered on for long. We loved it, and we told the Head Chef how much we loved it!

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The Baklava:

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Overall, we had a great dinner at Byblos. They are warm to their guests, and actually, they have a very loyal following. By the time we left, we saw a lot of guests coming in who were familiar faces to the staff there, and that included Indians as well as Arabs and other expats. There was another elderly couple sitting at the table adjacent to us who mentioned how much they loved Byblos and why they loved it!

One last nugget: ‘Byblos’ is an old and famous coastal town in Lebanon, and it is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The restaurant is named after the place.

You must head to the restaurant if you are craving for authentic Middle Eastern food, or if you are keen to experiment with a new cuisine.

Byblos

100 ft Road, Indiranagar

Bangalore