Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fantastic Friday

At 1000 on Friday morning my heart skipped a beat. I got an alert in my phone "give notice in twinkles". Twinkles is the day care she attends. She will be attending full time day care again in a month hence the 1 month notice is to intimate them of the same . She will be going full time because mummy will be returning to India. *big sigh*

I was living in constant dread that mummy's return would happen one day. I was living in constant preparation of the event. As usual when it was upon me I was least prepared. But life must go on. Since K was out of town we gurls decided to paint the town red ;) No nothing very risqué just dinner and shopping. We went to a place called Red Hot World Buffet which has the most amazing fare when it comes to buffet food. There is a variety of cuisines like Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Continental, Italian and of course Indian! And who rules the roost? Of course humara desi khana! The queues in front of samosa, tandoori chicken, pulao, chicken korma and masala kulcha have no end. The only place where there is a dearth is the dessert section where only gulab jamun is able to make an entry. The splash of cakes, ice creams and fudges can blow the mind of anyone with a sweet tooth.
The little birdie also loves this place. There is something or the other for her. If she is bored with chapatti, there is pizza, if she had enough of that, there is noodles. If noodles has stopped grabbing her attention, there is French fries. Even having small portions gives me the satisfaction that she has had enough. This time to top it all, mummy loved it!! What more could I ask for?
After that, we stopped by a place to do some Diwali shopping. I wanted to get it over with before we were too close to the date and it became a rushed affair. Chiyaa's dress was priority. We managed to get a very nice outfit. Little did we know, that she would come home and insist on wearing it. She has been wearing it for 3 days now (Well she does change into her night wear when she goes to bed and changes clothes a million times during the day. But on and off, she had managed to keep on wearing it *rolls eyes*)
As the kitty was busy playing, mummy and I managed to watch a documentary on the recent spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone and the wonderful job that Medecins Sans Frontieres is doing there. Hats off to the people who take up such a tremendous responsibility. Since the kid showed no signs of being drowsy, we continued with some more tv time by watching the movie Taken. It is not brand new, but it was good fun watching it with mummy. We were all ready to hit the bed, and there is no pleasure greater than 3 generations huddling inside the same duvet on a cold September night. *Sighs* Simple joys!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Together, depart, repeat

The air has got that crisp dryness which announces the advent of Durga Puja. My favourite time of the year. The other day Mummy was putting some of her clothes away in her suitcase and she thought, 'the time for packing has come'. There is still a little over a month for her to start back to India, but I have already started preparations. I have started steeling myself, that in some more weeks, it would be mad crazy getting ready in the morning, it would be real empty coming back to a vacant house in the evening and it will be very weird seeing the second bedroom lying unused.

The first half of her stay (I divided her stay into Before Papa Came And After Papa Left) seemed way quicker. Maybe I was eagerly waiting for Papa to come that I was willing time to pass quickly. Time for a change heard my wishes. Or maybe it was the peak of summer and we had so many things to do, so many places to be that we did not realise the flow of days. Papa was here for a short time of 3 weeks. The time Before The Trip went on at a slow pace but After Trip was just about winding down. I miss our coffee sessions. Papa and I have this funny quirk. We love picking peanuts from Indian Mixtures when we are  having coffee in the evening. We literally used to have contests to grab the next visible peanut first. I find no fun in eating all the peanuts by myself now. The short walks with him, the general chit chat… well I still see all the pictures of his time here every night before going to bed. Chiyaa took some time to realise that Ajaa (that's what she calls Papa) was missing. I think for the first few days she thought he has gone somewhere and will be back. On the fourth day, she kept searching for him at the places he used to hide during their peek-a-boo sessions. Then she started dragging Mummy to search for him outside. At one point, she would pick up any available phone and say 'talk to Ajaa' and start blabbering something. On seeing any elderly gentleman with a coat she would start jumping and saying 'Ajaa'. Slowly she has come to terms that Ajaa would appear on the computer only. It breaks my heart to see her thus. She is innocent, she does not realise, and she will forget. But wish we could have everything we want at one place.

A month down the line, the same would be the case for Tubi(that’s what she calls my mom. :D) But I  have got my lessons learnt after Papa's stay. I try to max up the time with Mummy. K wonders, what do we talk everyday? I can tell him the exact details, but I know that would put him to sleep. We discuss clothes, banking, coding, colleagues, work experiences, spirituality, books, movies and what not! Even if we had an infinite number of days together, we would still talk this much.  This time, I will have Mummy with me for Durga Puja. She will also spend Diwali here but start 2 days after that. It is some consolation that she will be around for some important functions. We may not do anything out of the world, but at least we have got some more company.

We are already making plans for our next India trip and for getting Amma here again. I wish we could make more frequent trips to home like some people do, but with a toddler and 2 jobs it’s difficult. We are thinking about what to do in the long run. There are too many parameters, but I keep reiterating, when the time comes, we will look at one deciding factor and take a call. Till then these sine wave periods  of tremendous joy and bitter agony will continue.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

You took a little bit of cheer away

Papa started back to India today. It was only 3 weeks back that he got here. It seems like yesterday that we were worried about him travelling all by himself . He's already gone back and halfway home :(

Papa talks to me about very different things. We discuss genetically modified foods, population of countries, immigration rules- you get the flow :) Once we have discussed something we are  quiet but I really enjoy having those discussions with him. I always learn a lot. Sometimes I teach him too :) I also immensely enjoy having the morning and evening coffee with him. He especially likes the brew I make. He savours the biscuits with coffee as much as I do. It is good fun sipping coffee and munching biscuits with someone who loves every bite and sip as much as you do. 

He is a big fan of walking. When we were kids, I 10 years old and my sis around 5, we used to go for evening walks every day with him. I still enjoy any opportunity to just walk with papa. Evenings I used to come home , have the coffee with mummy and papa and then walk with him to get Chiyaa from the daycare. It was just like old days, walking with him, talking about something current. The days I would not be able to wrap up work early I would go directly to the daycare and papa would have already reached there with a banana or an apple or a piece of cake to give the kitten on the way back. Such simple things but it gave me immense joy! 

Chiyaa also took to him very easily. He was not cautious with her at all. The moment he reached he picked her up and started jumping. From that moment he became VIP for her. He had to take her to the toilet, give her food and water, put her to sleep , play with her. Boy did they play rough- shouting at the top of their voices , running around with Chiyaa chasing him on her bicycle , putting stickers together , and a host of other activities. He loved taking her to the park, pushing her pram for giving her a stroll and doing anything related to her. He also did a lot of work around the house, getting the grocery, putting the trash away, cleaning odd bits . I used to always come back to a house that was clean and well stocked. I cannot thank my parents enough for just taking on the mantle of keeping my house in order. If I had to go anywhere, absolutely anywhere he would accompany me. If he was tired, I would ask him to get some rest since I was used to doing things alone. He would say he was aware I could do it alone and I would anyways be all my myself in sometime, but if he was around , he preferred coming with me. 

It was a very nice experience having him around. He was very different from mummy when it came to being in changed circumstances. He complained about the cold but quickly appreciated the cleanliness. He missed the variety of Indian vegetables but loved the quality of potatoes and cauliflowers so much that he said he won't have them bday more back home . He relished the coffee while disliking the tea. He always kept the balance. If he expressed his lack of appreciation for something he was quick to praise something else. 

There are so many things I wish I had done with him. Taken him to so many places, bought him a burrito from an eat out  that makes amazing ones, got him a pair of sports shoes, had more coffee with him, taken more holidays to just hang around with him. But ... 

He hid his feelings prior to his departure. He spoke about his anxiousness to travel but not about missing us. I would notice him suddenly put a hand in Chiyaa's head as she played and I knew he would miss her. Today morning she wasn't even awake when he started. We asked him to come to her room and see her. He came in and said 'sleeping' mimicking the way she says. Then he stroked her head, kissed her and walked out with a big sob. He was falling apart. 

What terrible torture it is to go away after having spend such wonderful time together. It pained me to see my papa, my hero sit in the taxi and wave me goodbye without looking back at me. 

Chiyaa felt something was different but she could not place her finger on it. As I saw his towel  which he left since it wasn't dry, I felt a blob in my throat. The place where his shaving kit stood all the while in the bathroom stared back emptily. The house felt stark. Papa I wish you could have been here longer. :(