Saturday, December 26, 2015

Let me finish this task

There are still 6 more days to bid adieu to the year, but let me pen my customary post, and keep it to post on a later day. To top it, it's Christmas today so what better day to finish this auspicious task!

The year started with its usual coughs and colds. Chiyaa had some trouble settling into her new room in daycare. But slowly things returned to normalcy. We planned a vacation. It was an amazing trip. Since Chiyaa was 3 years old already, it was a very different experience. She was more aware of what was happening, where we were going, what she was experiencing. She was also way easier to manage and was very flexible. Its been nearly 8 months but she still remembers the trip and what all we did.

This year saw us competing 5 years of stay in the UK. It seems like yesterday that with so much uncertainty we moved in here on a strictly temporary basis. Time has flown and we are hanging around here. We have no idea how long we have daana paani in this country. But 5 years seems long enough sometimes and just like yesterday at other times. Theory of relativity is no wonder so popular!

My sister made a move on the job front. In these volatile times, a job change that is conducive on all fronts is hard to come by. This resulted in her leaving the nest finally. But she being her continued to take care of my parents with her trips home. She called them over to her place for a long vacation as well. She is so much a better offspring than me!

The job front was a year of epic fails for me. In my current organisation we need to apply for the next level of progression. Since there was an opportunity I applied for a role. I failed. It was a good learning experience, but the negative result was a bit disheartening. I also attempted to write a certification examination. I have never ever failed an exam. This time I did, not once, twice. I admit this with much shame. I can rationalise it as much as I want to. I can draw inferences and think of the positives and what not. But the truth remains. K also faced a lot of troughs in his career. Gives me the hope that things should even out in the new  year. Then again I am an external optimist.

One personal achievement I am proud of its the books that I was  able to devour. 15 and counting! Woo hoo! The penultimate month saw my mom coming over. I get to bask in her pampering. I get to have the time of my life again! 

I am not one to openly comment about political or international events. I have an opinion and prefer keeping it to myself. This year I was witness to the Syrian refuge crisis. In my years of existence I don't remember a situation of such proportions. It was heart rending  to see innocent people bearing the brunt of the vagaries of politicians. A news channel reported 'a humanitarian crisis is made up of individual humans '. In the new year I wish there is peace and cohabitation and we come together as human beings to alleviate the problem. I wish children don't face such massacres and genocide.

The new year stands at the threshold holding a lot of promise, a lot of uncertainty. As a family life will change for us. As professionals I hope it changes for the good for us. I wish the coming year brings us face to face with things that make us better, stronger and content. 

Wishing everyone a new year which brims with hope and prosperity.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's different this time

The second sabbatical of mine is turning out to be way different from how it was the first time. This time I have a Lil monster to look after ;) And I have mommy :) Two of the most amazing people I could be spending my time with!

Chiyaa goes to daycare for the second half only since I am home. It is interesting being with her. Some days are good when she plays around without any fuss at all. Other days she is a bit clingy and wants constant simulation to keep her engaged. The bad days are when she gets  bored and cranky. But whatever be the sort of day, it is mighty good spending time with her. I get to see so many aspects of her. I get to do activities with her, have a note of her 2 meals and generally just hang around with her. I also get to savour mummy's delectable dishes. She makes the simplest dishes with the bare minimum ingredients but with the most mind blowing  taste! 

Once we drop her off, it is awesome time with mommy. We try to go for a walk in the city centre on some chore or other. It is such a joy holding mummy's hand and walking. She quite enjoys taking the festive sights and sounds in. The cold is an inconvenience she has accepted very gracefully. Not once has she complained about it. Just reaffirms my belief that she is the best role model I could dream of. We enjoy each other s company a lot. Even if there is nothing to talk I just lie on her shoulder on a bench in the mall and that in itself is sheer bliss. 

The days we feel like getting some rest or the weather is too uncooperative we stay put at home with a garam chai ki pyaali.  Some days it's a movie we catch up, or discuss family and politics or just mind our own stuff. Mummy being busy with a book. I also try to devour a book or try to make some sketch. I have tried to learn the art of quilling. Still a novice at it. But after the initial hiccups I am hooked.

I have been waiting for these much relaxed days since the past God knows how many months. Now that they here I am enjoying to the hilt. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Snow Child

Once in a while one comes across a maiden book which gets one hooked. I picked up The Snow Child as a recommendation from Goodreads. 

I did not have very high hopes from it. But within a couple of pages I was engrossed. I knew I was going to love the book. The book is about an old couple - Jack and Mabel- who have lost a child. They yearn for one,  and the desire to avoid prying relatives, they come to cold and desolate Alaska. They start a home there with no hope though. Till Faina walks into their lives... A girl of the untamed nature. She ties the lives of Jack, Mabel and their friends Esther and George. 

The book describes the wild and abandoned Alaskan scenes with a unique touch. The quietness, the secretive creatures that lurk, the vagaries of nature all have an eerie feeling. I generally pick up a book without reading anything about it. The same was the case with this. But mid way when I started getting goose flesh on reading how having a freshly created snow man melt can feel unearthly, I had to ensure that I was not reading a book about ghosts or ghouls. The genre of this book is 'magical realism and fantasy '. I read some bits about the book to allay my fears of reading a ghastly tale. 

As I continued or turned out to be a page turner. Human emotions were handled with lots gloves and were so poignantly etched. The impact of one entity on so many lives and on itself keeps the reader thoroughly hooked. I am not a fan on surreal stories and this might be the first that I liked. The book leaves a lot of unanswered questions and leaves a lot to interpretation. I would have have liked a bit more closure. But overall it was sheer pleasure reading the book and I would recommend it highly

Would not do justice to the book without some excerpts : -

'This was nothing like back home. He  didn't enjoy his solitude in these woods but instead was self concious and alert, fearing most of all his own ineptness. ' I feel we all have similar emotions away from home don't we?

'As the cabin darkened, Mabel lit the oil lamps, put more wood on the fire, and tried to stop her rhythmic pacing. She thought of her mother, how often she had paced and wrung her hands when Mabel- father didn't come home from some meeting in the university. She thought of the wives of soldiers, gold miners and trappers, drunks and adulterers, all waiting long into the night. Why was it always the woman's fate to pace and fret and wait?'

'You did not have to understand miracles to believe in them,and in fact Mabel had come to suspect the opposite. ' 
So spot on. To believe in miracles one does have to let go of reason.

'In my old age,I see that life itself is often more fantastic and terrible than the stories we believed as children, and that perhaps there is no harm in finding magic among trees.'

'Cradling a swaddled infant in their arms, mothers would distractedly touch their lips to their babies 'foreheads. Passing their toddlers in a hall, mothers would tossle their hair or even sweep them up in their arms and kiss them hard on their chins and necks until the children squealed with glee. Where else in life Mabel wondered, could a woman love so openly and with such abandon.'