Thursday, November 15, 2018

100 days

Papa doesn’t speak much. But once in a while he can be very vocal. When he opens up, he can speak his heart out. So yesterday he was quite emotional all of a sudden. What triggered it was a mix of events. Yesterday mummy got some stuff from the market which he will take back to India to give to family and friends. He will be returning to India in a few more weeks L The knowledge of the fact makes me very sad. In fact this Monday I was discussing with my sister, that I have exactly 3 more weekends with Papa which I am sure will just fly by. But when all the stuff came and he had to put them in his bag, the reality hit him. 

He usually spends his time writing the book he is authoring if the children are busy by themselves or we are watching over them. Yesterday even though there was spare time, he did not get on with writing. He was just sitting. He looked dull and lack luster. Finally when K was around, he said, “Today I have completed 100 days here. There are 19 more days to go.” ( As I type this, I get tears in my eyes. I can visualize, how empty the dining table will look without his books. He does not have much stuff around, his clothes etc are all neatly packed up. He is a very tidy man. Its only his books which are always by the window sill near the dining table. He keeps mentioning that he messes the look of our dining space! He will be retuning in a few days and the lack of books will haunt me). Anyways I don’t think I can help that. He said he really loved the stay and he had never been away from home for so long. But he had thoroughly enjoyed the 100 days. He said, he would dearly miss the kids and wished them all the luck. He was getting tears by this point. K tried to diffuse the situation by saying that they should make many more frequent trips while the kids are young and are enjoying the pampering of grandparents. Papa went on to say how he was tied up with commitments related to books, the community he manages and his teaching duties. But he said he would come again for sure.

As K moved away, Papa went on to speak about some old photos my sister had sent. They were picture of us four when we were kids. He said they made the whole life seem like a dream. Memories flooded him. He remembered everything, from the day he had come to see mummy as an alliance ( the day that kick started everything J ) , the day he had to leave mummy and go for his posting after marriage, and how she stood at the window waving him goodbye, the day they first fought and he left home without eating and mummy came behind him to call him back for food, the days prior to I being born when he had to travel from Calcutta to Cuttack in the midst of a cyclone and had to get some sweets from a derelict shop since all others were closed.. the list of memories went on. He said he appreciated our struggles and mummy and he were always behind us to support us whenever we needed. But during their days they did not have anyone and managed everything between them. There was no support or friends or family around – and between work and transfers and school runs and all life’s challenges we moved on. It all seemed like a dream. 

It definitely made me count my blessings. Even mil had a tough time raising her children after K’s dad passed away. She did not receive any help from family. But life has a way of carving itself out.

As we face out struggles, our challenges and gain our rewards, I felt thankful to our parents for raising us the way they have raised us and for helping us to raise our future.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

She's Funny

Who you ask? Chiyaa.
So today I get ready for work wearing this 

And Chiyaa asks ' Is it Christmas today?'.
I, all aghast say 'No, why?'
She says 'Then why are you wearing a Christmas jumper?'
I said' This is not a Christmas jumper. What makes you think this is a Christmas jumper?'
Chiyaa all matter of factly responds ' But it looks so warm and cosy, it must be a Christmas jumper '. 
Well I know, Christmas is near but it does not boost ones ego to be referred to as ' warm and cosy '. I spent the day feeling like a teddy bear.:|

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Rubbish. I have no better word to express my feelings for the weekend that went past.
It all started on Thursday. Chiyaa suddenly came into my room at night and said her ear was hurting.  I gave her some paracetamol. She struggled to sleep inspite of it. As she struggled to sleep so did we. We took turns trying to make her feel better – but how can you make an ear ache go in the middle of the night? We tried to soothe her, to placate her, to make her feel better.  We all kept drifting back and from sleep. Poor thing she just wanted the night to get over.

Friday, she wasn’t supposed to go to school. K and I started a really groggy day. I was in fact faring better than I had anticipated. I did well till lunch, after which I could barely keep awake. I so missed my “wfh” days when  would have spared of the commute and the chores of being at the work place. Anyways that should be water under the bridge one day. I kept waiting for the minutes to tick by till it was ‘home time’. I was super drowsy. Mummy kept prompting me to hit the bed, but I did not want to burden her with minding both the kids through the evening as well. I know they can be pretty draining and she and Papa had taken care of them all day.

At 2115, the kids showed signs of being sleepy. I could not ask for anything more. I hit the bed with them.  We woke relatively refreshed. But we decided to skip the usual Saturday rituals of dance and swimming lessons. This gave us a bit more time to rejuvenate. Since Chiyaa was not 100%, we decided to stay at home to give her maximum time to recover. A lazy day just moved on. We watched a few episodes of BBC Earth which were a saving grace. Other than that it was a pretty drab day.

Sunday also stretched on similarly. Plans to order food or do this or that bubbled but never led to fruition. To add to this K got on with reading and researching and was holed up in a room. So selfish! This is going to come back in a future fight for sure and he wont know what hit him :D   I had an imaginary headache due to over-resting  (yes a term I invented like just now :D ) . I felt so so so lazy and bogged down and just so bored, I did not do anything at all. The kids also lolled around and at one point Chiyaa asked “ Can we go somewhere?” Sadly it was 1700 ish by then and pitch dark outside which ruled out venturing anywhere. So we continued to watch some more PJ masks, BBC Earth and the like.

I realized there was a big pile on for the week days with not much having been done over the weekend. Monday started pretty bleary with the rains, missed buses and what not. But the sun was trying to brave it and make the world shine. So I decided to put up a brave front too. Work gave a moderate sense of achievement. Mummy picked Chiyaa from school which lessened one task from my to-do list at home. Chiyaa did a whole load of arithmetic problems and enjoyed them and it thrilled me to see her enjoying mathematics. We decided to call it an early night. Monday – you just redeemed yourself :D

PS . I decided to write this drab, mundane, super boring post to give an idea as to how rubbish my weekend was. Also as a note to self – don’t let the entire weekend be this bad!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The power to choose

I live by the mantra as said in The Matrix movie – the power to chose is an illusion. We think we chose, but we just move in the direction we are nudge by various forces. Call it fate, destiny, karma… we move in a path over which we are meant to.  

Coming back to the main change point over last month, it has been my job. My current job is way different from my last one. Apart from the fact that it is new and it is not the job I had for over 4 years in the past, there are a few more stark points that impact me. First point being it is way more challenging. My last place of work had pretty run of the mill sort of work, where I could hazard a statement like “I knew a lot technically”. Here I realise how lagging I am from a tech point of view. Everyone knows so much more than me. And tech in the current world is somewhere else. And I was being smug being a frog in a well before this. This challenges me and also worries me. I hope I am able to keep up. But I chose this job – seeing the brand, the opportunities to learn and grow, the location. If  I think on the contrary, there was no other which materalised either. Did I chose this job, or was I meant to have this job?

Also as I had mentioned in a previous post, everyone comes to work nearly everyday! I am still not used to it. I feel it quite  a task. In fact this weekend I noticed something bizarre. I had gone to bed 30 mins past midnight. And I was able to wake up bright and nice at 7. But on a working day, even if I hit the bed at 2300, waking at 0620 ish gets tough. I think there is some real or imaginary barrier at the 7 o clock mark. Hence waking around 0600-0620 on a working day to get to work is hard every day. It’s a mental battle I have to fight and win – Monday – Friday. I miss the days when I used to “hang around” the house and enjoy the pitter patter of Pumpki, and all the fuss she would be creating. In fact she is asleep many a days by the time I start. I miss seeing off Chiyaa as she starts for school and waving goodbye till the car went around the bend in the road. I miss the early finish on Friday, the ultimate flexibility to come home after the “oh-so-important” meeting and connect from home. The plus side, I see that I am not having to be mom and career woman all the time. While working from home, I would of course be distracted. If I had a call, I would beseech mummy to keep the kids quiet. I would be logged in for the same duration as I would at work and hence never be 100% with the kids. Now I am either mother or working woman. I am never both at the same time. It is a little less pressure on the brain (or so I  want to think to convince myself). Yes I get to use my wardrobe and shoes. I feel some purpose in buying stuff since I will be using them J Again – all rationalization points. Truth be told, I have not made my peace with my choice yet.

With this prime change still making its impact in our lives, we there was another change which was being nudged our way. Chiyaa at the moment goes to a school which is a bit far from where we live. We put her in that school cos, when we moved from Ipswich, that was the only school which had places. We were ok with the distance. But last year during the OFSTED review ( all schools and nurseries are periodically reviewed by a central governing body called OFSTED), the rating of the school went down(this rating is primarily driven by performance of the school against national standards, but other factors such as involvement of parents and child safety are also considered). We  were a bit concerned since we did not want Chiyaa to be in a  school that would not make her reach her true potential. With that and the distance in mind, we put her application for a few better rated , nearby schools. We did not have much hope since its rare to have a churn in students. But then it happened! We got a place in the nearest school! Also it was much better rated than her current school! We were ecstatic! Everything was falling into place.

One final thing and we were ready. We had to find a good after school care place which would pick Chiyaa from school and take care of her till I returned. And there were none! L L

The one attached to her “would be” school was over booked. We tried alternatives but were left in the lurch. I as usual got on my discussion spree. Mummy and mil recommended accepting the place. They would be around to help with the pick ups which would ease our current situation, and eventually we would get a place in after school too. They reasoned that it was a good idea to go to a school near home. But my friend A rightly suggested, that such things were best left to professionals. Even I was not very keen on having a round the year dependency on people who were back in India. It would also not be a dependency that would last a year. Chiyaa has many more schooling years ahead. Pumpki would join the same school as her and the cycle would continue. It would be very unwise to have such a long term dependency to be resolved internationally ( We seem to have a full on System running in our house :D ). Another friend of mine said, that if we were coping, it would be good to continue as is. Because, girls especially sensitive ones like Chiyaa might take a bit too long to settle down again. This did make a lot of sense since the whole rationale of bringing Chiyaa to a better school would fall apart if I put her back 2-3 months emotionally. She was just about making do in her current school and had a circle in after school. She also suggested that if it was a particular area of studies I was concerned about in the current school, I could consider tuitions.

Now that’s would be a  bit much for someone in year2. But it made perfect sense. It meant we had to invest more time in her studies. It was reason to be more involved and participate more. Its not that we desire A grade performance from her. We desire for her to be curious, eager to learn and someone who enjoys learning. It seems a good cause for now. Though it seemed like a coveted prize, we have for now chosen to decline our position in the nearby school.

One step at a time, like wise one change at a time. Life is made up of these everyday choices isn’t it. But are wereally choosing?