I have a lot of time to chew the cud and just observe and think about a lot of things. So here is a log of my totally random thoughts.
One aspect I notice is just how busy my father is. He is retired but is a visiting professor. He is also the editor of a science magazine and is involved in authoring curriculum books. He is also the chairman of the association we live in and is actively involved in activities such as coordinating with municipal authorities for improving civic facilities, organising cultural events, publication of the local newsletter. Along with it he does his regular household tasks of putting the washing machine, keeping the drinking water from the purifier, the weekly cleaning of the car, bike and bathrooms and the like. He does not relinquish those activities because he is not satisfied if anyone else does it. To be honest, my mother has always been busy with with housework, stitching, gardening etc after retirement. I was concerned how my father would pass his time. But seeing him so occupied makes me feel very happy.
A day before I was to get married, a neighbour whom I fondly called didi told me, you might be getting married but you will always keep coming back here. Truer words have not been said. I keep coming back to my maika for emotional succour,honest advice, encouragement, and a shoulder to cry on. They inspire and urge to be a better person and a professional - even today when I think I have done enough they push me by example. I would be nothing without them.
I love to see the desire to improve and excel. One of our neighbours has a watchman. He generally sits for 8 hours. I saw a crude patch of land with banana, pumpkin, drumstick, curry leaf plants. The watchman to uses his time to add some greenery and grow some vegetables. Such motivation!
When I was younger I never fully understood the importance of the famous Rath Yatra. The coverage of the journey was viewed by my parents but I used to take it as something running in the living room. I was never around ever since we moved to Bhubaneswar to grasp the importance of the festival. I was always in a cosmopolitan environment where some specifics of my state were not explicit. This has been good in that I accept different cultures very easily. This time I am at home during the Rath festival. And I appreciate how important the event is to the Odia ethos!I am a Krishna bhaqt but I can feel how strong is the bond and the association with Lord Jagannath.
I am in India for a long time after a long time. Long enough for the 'special' status to fade and I am not treated as a royalty. I love the feel of family. And as I see the changes I love the way the country is moving. I have had this thought numerous times but now I feel more strongly that to what end am I in a far away place? Away from where my heart is? Truth be told UK is a very expensive country (among the top 10 in the world), so money is not the reason. For that matter my peers in India earn the same or more than me with the perks of being in India (I know they may not think of it as a perk). Yes I enjoy first world infrastructure with no class system and of course without the unsolicited interference of acquaintances. But is that reason enough? I have been talking about this quandary with my friend A and my mother a lot. They both say 'stay there'. They must know better. But this time more than ever I am divided in half and will be giving the return a serious thought before the kids are big enough to have a say.
There are exactly 6 more weeks to go... 3 here and 3 in Chennai. I have no idea how I will fare with mummy not being there. Even a simple task like going to the toilet will need planning with a toddler. I have done it before but I have been pampered by my mother over the past few months. I will be taking the change head on. Added will be Chiyaa 's School (which is still undecided) and maybe something drastic on my employment front. Plus we won't have the lovely sunshine that can cheer you up. I know it won't be an easy transition.
Well... Life will go on.. Let me live it now.