Because I can

I am going to write this post ;)

Well I have so many thoughts and feelings. There are so many things that are happening and my to do list just keeps getting extended. As I was playing with Chiyaa and Pumki today, I thought, this is the last sabbatical of mine. I better use it to the fullest. My mom is around and she makes a whole world of difference. This is also the first and maybe last time I am with my mother full time. I get to spend the whole day with her which is pure bliss. There is a Hindi saying which loosely translated means, where there are two vessels there will be noise.  There has been occasions where my mom and I have 'fought' with each other and gone without talking to one another. As I look back, I just see the time - rich in moments. Time I have spent with mummy, discussing the new baby and things to come, having the new baby, her help through those initial cold dark days, and now the full mobility with the 3 month old young lady and her 4 year old fiesty sister.

K has been in the other town for the past 3 weeks. No matter how much she denies I know my mother feels a degree of conciousness in front of her son in law. I am sure these last 2 months of her stay she is without any inhibition what so ever. Though on the other hand, K's absence does make things seem a bit vacant. I am sure even mummy misses some of the fuss associated with cooking for K.

K being away was a very different experience for Chiyaa. The first day she did not realise till late at night that daddy was missing. When she did, she cried quite a lot which was very heart breaking. But time is really a very good healer. She slowly did move on and got used to the fact that daddy works from another place. K made a trip to Leeds last weekend. It was real fun, I could see the change in him. He was much more patient and was giving real time to both the kids. In spite of a very long journey he was up with a lot of enthusiasm in the morning and got on with diaper duties with more diligence than he used to when he was around. After that he was ever so attentive to Chiyaa. Chiyaa also loved every bit of the time with him. When he left, she was crestfallen. But we distracted her with some movies. Slowly we have talked to her that daddy will be coming and going. K did not come this weekend. And I am not sure how she is going to behave when he comes the next..... Fingers crossed it all goes well.

This is think is good preliminary practice for our stay in India. Had I mentioned that ? Well, mommy will travelling to India in the third week of May. The kids and I will be making our journey with her. Woo Hoo. But not a full throttle one. On one hand I am super excited to be at home for 3 months! Yes you heard me right.... 3 months. We will travel back when K gets his vacation in August. But on the other hand, I am full of doubts. The planning of the journey itself was doubts riddled with the arrangement of Pumki's travel documents being a very critical affair which thankfully was successful. I also have concerns about the children. Here they are used to a peak summer temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. And I will be dragging them to 46! I hope and pray they are ok in the heat and humidity.  Chiyaa will be starting school in September. The final months before the big change, she will be in totally alien environment. Again I am putting her through a lot here :( That is why this travel is riddled with doubts, but our reason for making this trip now is - if not now, we will never get such a long time in India. With school and my job resuming next year, this is the best we could hope to have back home. Last time when we had undertaken the trip to India with Chiyaa being a 7 month old baby, all the relatives wanted us to stay a bit longer. But since things were not very bright on K's work front, we had a 3 week long vacation. This time things are not hunky dory yet for him, but we are going ahead with being with extended family a bit longer. We will mostly survive to tell the tale.

The change of location has thrown another item into the mix. Chiyaa's school. Yes I think I mentioned that. But the real deal is this. We were all set for starting school in Leeds. But with the move we had to get a house in a rush in Ipswich (the town we are relocating to). Since allocation of schools are location of residence driven, we had to finalise a house and find about schools and give our choices in break neck speed. We are new to all this, and are keeping our fingers crossed that all goes to plan and Chiyaa gets a decent school. 

That is quite a lot of crossing of fingers. :D We have too many things in a year, too many uncertainties, too much action. Already our house looks like a waiting room with boxes to travel to Ipswich, suitcases designated to travel to India and stuff for use day to day in Leeds. A lot of factors are still 'up in the air'. Hoping they all land shipshape.

Severing ties

It's time again. To pack up and move shop. To severe some existing ties and move on in the hope of new, meaningful, sustainable ones. 

I have spent six years in this beautiful city. Six years ago, it seemed such a temporary arrangement, our landing in Leeds. I was on loss of pay leave for a year and in the absence of employment in the UK harboured thoughts of moving back to India at the end of the year. There were other plans laid out for us. I secured a job and K 's tenure kept getting extended. I had my first child and left my first job in the UK to work in the same firm as K. We were blessed with our second diva. I feel a strange camaraderie with this city. I never felt like an alien. I felt one amongst the many souls trying to make a living.

I feel I know so many people, though I don't actually know them! The parents I pass when I drop and pick up Chiyaa in daycare. I might not know them but I recognise them and acknowledge them. The shopkeepers in the farmer's market that we goto every week. The cashiers in the local convenience stores. The security people of the apartment. I could go on about the little ties here and there, like small capillaries carrying life blood into all parts of an organism. Apart from these there are the main veins and arteries. Primary is my midwife. She kept me ever so confident during my first pregnancy to handle everything without any help from elders. Coincidentally she was around the second time too. She must have seen so many women in the span of three years. But when she saw me and gave a smile, I asked 'Do you remember me?' And she said 'Of course I do!' That was a simply awesome for her to say those words. She and I share the same date of birth. We have spoken a lot about our families, about health facts, career, kids, and many other.

 I share a good relationship with many of my colleagues. I have been able to tell them about home and family without inhibition. I feel very fortunate to have met such nice people. I might come back to work with the same bunch, or I might be forced to move on post my maternity break. I will definitely miss seeing them on a daily basis . 

Chiyaa's carers in nursery have also been a lovely bunch. I have felt so confident and assured in dropping her there and going to work. I have never for a moment felt insecure or ill at ease. Over the years I have seen her mature and become a social individual. I have only her daycare staff to thank for so many positive changes in her.

Two years ago  , a college mate of mine moved to the UK. She was initially in a different city but then ended up moving to Leeds ! What are the odds. Trust me such things do not happen to me. We hung around quite a bit initially till the rigours of kids and work made the meetings few and far between. Till last year when I announced my pregnancy to her. I used to take frequent leaves and we both could chill and enjoy a quiet  lunch once in a while. She and my mom also got on famously. Since the birth of Pumki we have been able to spend more time together.  She has a little boy, the same age as Chiyaa, it's a double whammy for us. It is too bad that she came in so late :(This city made it possible to meet an old flat mate and my best friend. 

Things change pretty fast in a progressive city. I remember wondering if we could have a kfc nearer home, K wondering if there could be bigger mall, and a few more wishful thoughts which all came true one way or the other. We still have a month here. But it seems too less. I feel   I have to run through a lot. Visit the city centre for those final glimpses, meet people, visit the eating joints - do everything that one last time - all of them need to be done with a sense of urgency for me. I know we can always visit the place, but I feel living here has been a very blissful experience. I will always love Leeds!

End of a chapter?

How things pan out! Steve Jobs got it right when he said, when  we connect the dots later that things make sense. Last Friday was K's last day in his current assignment. A few months ago I had written about having worked with K for a bit and wrapping up work for my maternity leave. Now it was K's turn to bid adieu to the people he had worked with for 8 years. Come to think of it,he had worked with the same set of people for as long as he had been married to me!

I kept asking K if he was feeling OK. He was raring to go on to the new assignment  which was to be in another city. I was in fact more emotional about him leaving the place. It was a dream to have worked with K in the same department and eventually in the same project. The odds of that happening again seemed a distant dream. 

His last day in Leeds, I kept visualising how he must be winding down. I was filled with nostalgia. I would miss the days we could work from home together, I would miss our walks to work, the lunches, the office communicator messages, the total understanding of each other's work since we knew the people the other was talking about. It was good fun. With K moving on it seemed like the end of a wonderful chapter.

As I picked up Chiyaa from daycare, we met K on the way. Chiyaa was beside herself with glee. As she walked home holding her parents, I could not help but think, this was the last instance of coming back together. End of a hefty chapter made up of so many forgotten bits.

Celebrating growing up and moving on

A week back, my first born turned four. Its been four years since we have been parents to this wonderful person. Does not seem long that this fragile being was handed to us in the brightly lit operation theatre and we embarked on our journey. We had no parents or elders around and had up cruise through the initial days with help from colleagues. Somehow we managed to keep our sanity through the early trials of feeding, sleepless nights and innumerable more household chores. She was a very cooperative baby. She had her struggles and health issues and it felt like she was our partner through our struggles. 

That little baby grew into a rebellious toddler who was just as much fun. She loved an active life and loved the life outdoors. She was never an impediment to anything. We were out and  about a lot with her. She was always game for a good round of rough -housing. As a pre-schoooler I have seen her personality evolve. She is a little lady, much into princesses (thanks to Disney 's Frozen!) She has a few best friends ;) Her intellect, her care,her mischievous self, her shyness, her confidence - the diverse aspects of her still evolving personality shine through and amaze me. I sometimes feel scared that think if I might spoil something so valuable handed over to me by my impatience, my ignorance,my nonchalance. 

Since this is her last year in nursery, we decided to throw a party for her friends. It was really fun searching the venue, deciding the menu,getting the return gifts and hosting the party. It was a wonderful kids only party. We had some light snacks for the adults as the kids went crazy in the soft play area. Everybody had a wonderful time. We were sceptical that the venue was  bit small, but the place  was  commended by the adults as being the right size to have an eye on the kids without having to intervene too much. Since the place was a bit on the smaller side, I personally felt all the parents interacted with each other during play time. I have been to parties where the venue is very large and there are  isolated groups of parents. Because this place was small and compact every body mingled very well. I ensured that Chiyaa welcomed her friends and thanked them for the gifts. Whenever I called upon her, she would obediently come and say 'will you come and play on the slide with me?' I was so impressed by this. She literally had a customised welcome message without anyone having taught her! 

She gives Oh so many moments  when I am uber proud of her and wonder how did I get so lucky? When she drives me to my wits end with her shenanigans, I think of her good  bits, the times I have felt proud of her, the times I have felt like taking her in my arms and saving her  from the vagaries of the world. In some months she will go to  school, and I already see her mature so much with the advent of a baby sister. She will soon leave her nursery friends, she will never even remember the carers with whom she has spent close to 2 years of her life. Wish there was some sort of social networking  site to keep in touch and keep posted, but then I think how long would one be interested in keeping in touch. Don't we all promise our teachers with glowing sentimentality that we will keep in touch forever and ever. But we all move on, the teachers to new students, the pupils to new teachers. Many years hence I am sure I will forget how proud I was of the little birdie on her fourth birthday, this post is for my record keeping as well. So that I can come back to this page in the world wide web and always relive it. I am ever so proud of you my dear and I hope I don't disappoint you. 

I miss House

Notice the title I said I miss House, not home ;) and the house has a capital h. I miss the show House M.D. The show was recommended by a Furobiker. After a few shows  failed to grab my attention and interest, I decided to give it a go. I am into medicine soaps.  I loved Scrubs. The novel Doctors by Eric Segal is one of my favourites. It was eye opening. But I did not want to be drawn into and random E.R kinda stuff. E.R is hugely popular, but it is not my type ;) 

I watched the first episode,and it was witty, funny, well acted, gripping and intelligent. Yes the most important aspect - it was intelligent. I  like medical detail. With Papa being a microbiologist, and having taken botany and zoology  after 10th, I am au fait with some of the facts. When I visit doctors I try to follow their rationale. So this was totally my kind of show. As the seasons progressed I started googling diseases like sarcoidosis, lupus, auto immune, Huntington 's disease, encephalopathy. It was quite interesting to find more details. 

Each episode is a case where a medical mystery is solved. But there were many human aspects and idiosyncrasies that were revealed. The best parts were House's personality traits. He was a genius physician. He was also conversant in multiple languages. He was a self obsessed, arrogant, drug addiction who regularly resorted to prostitutes. He manipulative to the core. He did not possess the characteristics that I would like in reality. But Hugh Laurie's portrayal of an anti social, narcissistic, egotist was endearing. In fact he came across as a very intelligent man -child . The ultimate anti hero :D I would say he joins in the league of Howard Roark and Atticus Finch in protagonists I have a crush on ( though Roark and Finch are not anti heros) 

As the episodes progressed, the subtle ties that bonded and gagged the team (House's colleagues / subordinates) were revealed. As were some of the emotional aspects of House. They were very well etched and made interesting viewing. A very good element of human quirks were added by the patients in the clinic. The celebration of friendship of House and oncologist Wilson was the icing on the cake for me. It was the typical 'House' relationship, filled with one-upmanship, deception, manipulation and sabotage. But it was a true relationship. It was a lasting relationship. It was a relationship that could stand the test of each character's limitations. The season finales were very intriguing and a fitting end to each season. Somehow in that respect I was a bit let down by the series finale. 

On the whole House has been a splendid watch. Joining the ranks of Homeland and Breaking Bad.