Sunday, April 10, 2016

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.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

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!