Sunday, March 18, 2012

crossroads of life

i am there yet again or so i think. Rahul's nanny's husband is not keeping well and she has requested for a month off of which 15 days are already complete. she has promised to be back on April 1st. we did have a thought of replacing her with a new one but the reviews she got from people in the apartment as far as taking care of rahul beat any other criteria and so we decided to drop the idea at that. Also now that rahul is a bit old he has begun to identify family members, people who are close to the family and people to whom he is close to. plus he has started play school just a couple of months back. so didn't want to thrust too many changes on him at this point. So requested my office for a 3 week off which i managed to get after a bit of initial reluctance on their part. But i stood my ground and told them that this would get my priority and they finally understood that i wasn't going to budge.

I am enjoying this forced break. I say forced because while i am in a job i know for a fact that i wouldn't take a month off just to spend time with Rahul. but this break has been nice and refreshing in its own way. i do the usual household work in the morning, drop rahul in school, do some groceries or miscellaneous shopping, have a shower and again pick up rahul from school, feed him, out him to sleep, have my lunch and indulge in some hobbies of mine, take him for a walk in the evening, wait for D to come back so that we can spend that quality time as family. Its nice. of course there are gloomy days. coupled with my PMS its not a great combination but then i survived those days too. inhaled and exhaled and just let is pass. D has been very understanding in giving me some time for myself. whether it was talking to my friend M on a long distance call for almost two hours or taking Rahul for a walk on weekends to have some time for myself - he has been there. I am liking this break for now. I am thinking that it could work on a long run - may be i can take a sabbatical for 6 months till rahul starts full time school. D knows that i am harboring this idea as well. the new team, the new office location none of it is in my favour. but D wants me to give it a shot and thinks i am prejudiced which indeed i am. i want to be right here where work and family are perfectly balanced in all aspects. i don't want the status quo to to change. I am on a very high level of de-motivation as far as work is concerned that i even refuse to move a muscle in my finger towards that. this same attitude will definitely stop me from taking that extra step to overcome any hurdles at the new place. I have mentally prepared to be a SAHM and i will resort to that option as fall back for issues that i face. As my date of joining comes nearer i am really anxious, apprehensive and worried all at the same time. but this too shall pass *inhale and exhale* and whatever happens in the end i hope i get what i want.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Just wondering 1

Some people are quite a natural at taking dig at others. I have learnt to take it in my stride. One particular cousin of mine always points out that I have stuck to my organization pretty long (almost 5 years). He mocks at me asking if I am going to retire from this organization when I am 60 or are they are going to ask me to leave themselves.

Ok I know its pretty chilled out in my organization, there are no strict timings. I love the place, I enjoy my work, my work has been recognized, my compensation have definitely been based on merit and at the end of the day gives me a perfect work like personal life balance. They gave me 6.5 months of maternity leave without the loss of a job and what more could anyone want. I want all that at this point in life and bloody hell that’s all that I want. I am not competing with my college peers to the numbers in the pay cheques or how often they fly and what fancy designations they have got. To me what’s important is how much time I get to spend time with Rahul and also give work to my grey cells compromising neither at the end of day. And this job does it so perfectly for me. What’s anybody’s problem I say?

These people think they have got it very cleverly planned. I mean you say all these things and when one gets defensive all that you say is”hey it was fun relax”. They either want to prove you are not good enough to get into another organization which would pay me a couple of lakhs more but ensure that I park my ass in office for at least 12 hours or they want to hint that the organization I work for isn’t good enough (not in their radar). I mean they will try only for top notch IB’s (which will probably declare bankruptcy and use all tax payers money). But I am quite tired of trying to explain myself to such people. These people don’t have interesting conversations to carry on in a gathering. They are so very conscious of themselves and their shortcoming so they want to ensure that the focus is never on them but on others. Sad don’t u think!!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Corporate 1

I always knew I am a scorpion 100% and cant refrain myself from stating the facts as it is. A trait quite undesirable in the corporate scenario I guess. But I have never made an effort to change myself. I know I might lose some coveted promotions and hikes but then what the hell? I have not fared that bad in life being what I am. If I were to change myself I would have to change my values and beliefs and at the end of the day my identity itself. As a fresher I didn’t have much choice but to cope with such things. But even back then I was myself – hardworking, diligent and responsible and a good worker at the end of it all. My peers and superiors respected me and regarded me for that. In my second job, for almost 3 years I had the privilege of being an individual contributor. I had mentors who were also of the same wavelength and didn’t quite care about the ass-licking behavior (forgive me for my language but that’s what it is – I am a scorpion remember and if I can’t bare myself in my blog then where else can I?) I got a very good client rating and also good recognition for my work from the local management as well. But in a team the dynamics change altogether. You have to make sure that people take notice of you. It doesn’t matter even if you make a fool out of yourself while making that noise but you ought to. Exchange unwanted pleasantries because that sounds polite and nice. And never defy what the senior says. They will always be right. I can’t help but remember the 3rd golden rule of ragging in my college. “The seniors are always right”. It is really sad that I have to draw a parallel between college rules and corporate rules because in the latter you expect some matured behavior. The ones (likes of me) who actually say that a senior’s point of view might be wrong will be considered an outlier. The ones who comply silently will be considered the obedient of the lot. It doesn’t matter even if later on the senior comes back and says he was wrong initially and now has figured that there was a better way of doing it. And this kind of revelation should come by itself. It will take all the time in the world and you will just be left wondering why your shouts are going absolutely unnoticed. The obedient type will simply re-do the work so as to please the seniors, but somehow I cannot bring myself to do it. How come what I was saying was lost on all these people at the first instance? I mean I wasn’t trying to just prove that I was correct and he/she was wrong, I was trying to reduce work for everyone concerned and also ensure that the work be completed in the most optimized manner given the resources at hand. I am going through a similar rough patch at work and can’t bring myself to confront the people concerned. I have finally resolved to just stay out of all this because it is affecting my personal performance big time. I know I have given up without a fight. But trying to establish and prove a point against a majority when the majority put together believes or pretends to believe in something completely different is very difficult. Funnily enough when other people noticed it and discussed the issue with me, they were also of the opinion that I may have to change myself if I were to grow within the organization and probably hard work and diligence alone is not enough to get the desires perception at the management level. BAH!

Monday, August 29, 2011


Last year when Rahulee was barely 2 months old and I was at my parents’ place post delivery, I vowed that for the next Gokulashtami (pozachukadandhu – my paati says this word whenever we make big plans for a future event. I think its something like one shouldn’t plan in advance for anything as only the almighty knows what will happen. So its like saying if everything goes on well which we all hope it would, I would do this and that) I would dress up Rahulee like kutty Krishnan and celebrate. Luckily this year Krishna jayanthi fell on a Sunday and I was happy that I didn’t have to take a day off or compromise on the celebrations ‘cos it was a working day. Post lunch, I Instructed Dee to ensure that Rahulee had an uninterrupted second nap session cos if this doesn’t happen, he will get all cranky and grumpy and I thought he wouldn’t let us dress him up. With Rahulee in Dee’s care, I went to a fancy store to pick up a tiara and saandhu (a coloured liquid which can be worn on the forehead instead of a stick-on bindi) to make the Naamam. I plucked a couple of peacock feathers from the hand fan which was there at my parent’s place. After I came home, I started doing the Krishnan paadams (small feet of Lord Krishna). I made a mana kolam and completely surrounded it with small paadams. I then made the paadams from the front door till the Pooja room. The belief is that Lord Krishna will come to our house, accept our offerings and bless us. I got all other stuff ready for the Pooja just in time when Rahul got up. After that Dee and I dressed him in a blue pattu veshti, made him wear all his gold chains (in tiers) and also placed the tiara on his forehead. I was really doubtful about Rahulee keeping this on till the end of Puja. But surprisingly he was being such a sport and wore it till the end of the Pooja. I always thought that since I had a baby boy I wouldn’t have too much fun dressing him up but I was so wrong! Also I guess I never appreciated the concept of Gokulashtami till now. I mean hogging all those batchanams was the main highlight when I was a kid myself. After all, my mom and granny would do most of the kitchen stuff and we would wait till evening to lay our hands on them. But this time when I did the Krishnan padams, it was like doing it for Rahulee. It was like his day – he even touched all the batchanams and tried eating it before the neivedyam but he was the Krishna after all!!! We were all convinced that kutty Krishnan had already come and blessed our family!

Happy Gokulashtami!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Leaving rahulee in someone else’s care has always been an issue with me. Having said that, it’s really surprising that I joined work post my delivery and am still at it with full vigor. Can I afford to stay at home (from a financial standpoint)? Definitely yes! Thanks to dee’s pay. But do I really want to? I am not so sure, at least now looks like going to work will be the best option for everyone concerned. Given the fact that last time when I was jobless for almost a year, I screwed up my happiness and pretty much the happiness of people around me. But mangalam maami was the answer to all my worries when I had to join my work post my ML. She suited our criteria (better to leave it at that) and the only thing that I had to be convinced of was that she will take good care of my son just like I had for 6.5 months after he was born. He was the focus of my life for those 6.5 months and I was his’. Of course he did socialize with his grandparents and dad but he knew that I was the one responsible for his hunger, bath, sleep and any other woes that he had. The transition was well planned and executed (thanks to me). I wanted to ensure that the separation was not sudden and he got used to maami slowly and I was gradually moved from the picture for a greater part of the day. First it was for a couple of hours, then increased it to half a day and by the time I had to join office he had spent almost an entire week in her care throughout the day. I had successfully KT’ed all his hunger patterns, his diet, his sleeping habits and just about everything else concerned with Rahul. Day 1 of office I was really calm. I thought I would feel gloomy throughout the day. I had seen some colleagues of mine go through it and I wasn’t sure how I would react. But may be it was the fact that I was at home for almost 7 months and that’s quite unlike me. May be I wanted to come out I don’t know. Yes I was definitely looking forward to the evenings because that I meant I would be with rahulee once again. And just like that we all fell into routines. Rahul was getting used to her and I was doing well at work. My in-laws were in any case around so Maami was not taking care of Rahulee all alone. So I had someone to watch her while she took care of my son. To say that she did a good job is an understatement. She adored rahulee like her own grandson and within a few days grew really close to him. She was by his side at the snap of a finger – whether it was to change his wet diapers or for his next feed, she was there for him anytime he needed her.

But good things don’t last for too long. Maami developed some health issues and we had to have an alternative planned (just in case). True to her nature she informed us promptly so that we could make the necessary arrangements. The day she informed us, I felt like something had hit me hard in the pit of my stomach. I could not believe my own ears. So this is it!!!! Now what are the alternatives? Me quitting my job? Look for another Nanny? Or put him in day care? These questions were going through in my mind and Dee noticing my sullen looks said the most rational thing. “Well it has happened hasn’t it? So let’s check out our alternatives, there is no point in worrying about it”. I don’t know how it comes so naturally to him to think with his brains? I always think with my heart before I even try to use my brain and by that time I would have played a trailer of an emotional drama in my head. I was close to tears……just then we crossed a day care which we used to pass by every day on our way to office. I was holding on to the car window and looking at it till it was out of my sight and the next thing I knew our car was taking a sharp turn. I looked at Dee and he said that he knew how much I wanted to check this place right away and so we might as well do it (I was choking by now). We went inside the crèche and the watchman assisted us to the receptionist who enquired about rahulee and also told us about their place. She gave us the brochures and I wanted to check out the place. But I was asked to come in the evening as some kids might start crying as soon as they see a lady who is of their mother’s age. I understood her plight and decided to have a look at that place in the evening.

But surprisingly I was at peace with myself when I came out. Day care is not new to me. My brother left both his children in day care (in US). He didn’t have an option he said but was also thoroughly convinced of the day care option. The kids had a routine, they had company (people of their same age), they had access to lot of toys (this is not going to be an issue in any case. We can afford all the toys in one single shop if rahulee wanted them), they had fun activities and they were doing something new every day or the other. The weekends were the most challenging in terms of keeping them occupied as they expect the day care environment at home. As Rahulee grows I can feel the challenge myself. It’s no longer just lying around in my lap or hugging him and crushing him to pieces that excite him. It’s his eagerness to explore things. I can no longer keep him confined to a room even till the time he finishes a meal. I can sense his excitement while he looks at kids play cricket and ben10 in our apartment corridors. It’s like he wants to be there, he wants to be them actually. I am not sure if I can really give him that kind of company. I mean yes I can play “throw the ball” for an entire day if he wanted to. It is difficult but yes I can do that for Rahul. But is that what he really wants? May be day care would be a better option for him in terms of his play times and other learning process. I don’t want to deny him of another experience that he might actually like or enjoy. But thankfully Maami’s health issue was not something serious and it was just some general weakness. But this episode made me think about a lot of things. It made me realize that it was okay to leave a kid in day care if he was going to enjoy it. I am not saying I don’t get to benefit out of this. It would mean that I can have a career. But it’s not like I would compromise Rahulee’s childhood just for having a career. If situation warrants and if the situation is Rahulee I would quit my job without another thought regardless of all constraints be it financial or otherwise. This daycare stuff would probably not get approval from the eye-brow raising-so-called-concerned relatives, but really who cares. The only opinion that I care about is dee’s and if he is okay then why not? I mean as a father he would have evaluated the pros and cons of this situation as well and if he thought that his son was not getting good care I think he would rightfully say so.

So finally there is the solution or so I think but I have to wait and see how it works!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

My greatest gift

“It’s a cool evening and I have finished cooking the dinner. With nothing else to do, but to wait for hubby dearest to return home, I move to the balcony to enjoy the cool breeze. My eyes keep moving to the main gate to see if I can spot my husband’s car making its way to the parking lot. I keep wondering if he would remember the special day. I am not so sure if he would, but nevertheless I do not lose my hopes. And all of a sudden two hands spring up on my sides and a silk saree (with exactly the same design and color combination that I wanted) drops into my hands. I am stunned and when I look around, I see him smiling smugly at me. I just run into his arms for a tight embrace and we just stand like that for what seemed like an eternity”.

When I came back to my senses, I was lying in my bed. It was close to midnight and the TV was playing some nice Ilayaraja melodies from the 80’s - No wonder. What else could have had such a balmy effect on me? I realize that my husband is late yet again and I had dozed off waiting for him. My mind vaguely remembers the dream that I had. After all it was a dream…..just a dream (obviously, how else can a husband get a saree for his wife with the exact design and color combination that she wanted????? Even in dreams I don’t think they would have paid attention to their wife’s remarks about the Saree Ad while engrossed in their laptop/TV). But that’s how I always imagined and want it to be. It might be a bit filmy but I am so besotted by this idea of a surprise gift and the gift being something which you yearned for so much. And with the filmy touch to it nothing can get more romantic than this as far as I am concerned. It doesn’t matter how I ask him – request, yell, shout, fight, cry or beg for unabashedly, he just doesn’t get the point. It makes more sense to him that I tell him what I want and then we go to a shop and buy it for me and he pays for it. That ways I get what I want and he pays for it, so technically it’s still a gift from him to me and everyone is happy. The purchase might as well happen on the weekend just after the special day – it’s nevertheless a gift to celebrate the special day so it doesn’t matter whether you buy it on that day or any other day. I eventually learned to accept that his idea of gifts were way different from mine – both in respect of giving and receiving.

It was a frustrating day in office and when I came back I saw that our room was in a complete mess. There were clothes lying around everywhere, both the personal and official laptops were lying close to each other in bed at a stupid angle, bill envelopes, books, cell phone, mobile chargers etc. Along with the mess lay a plastic bag with a CD pouch containing 8 – 10 CD’s. I thought this must be one his software CD’s and put them in the shelf to where it belonged. The next day morning however I was surprised when hubby dearest asked for this bag. Now it’s not uncommon for him to strew things around but to ask for them the next day is definitely strange. And then with a mocking smile he said “being the “Monica-kind-of-cleanliness” freak that you are I hope you have not trashed them off. I was completely bowled over. And then he showed me the contents of the bag. It had all the 10 seasons of “friends”. My joy knew no bounds. I always wanted to own the entire collection. I wouldn’t miss a single episode on TV even though they were re-telecast zillion times. Even if his favorite program was on TV he made sure I watched the episodes un-interrupted and it definitely was not one of his favorites. He never said it was a gift and neither did he create a melodrama (translated: my idea of giving a gift) when he gave it to me. But gift to me it was. And then I realized yet again that his idea of gifts were way different from mine – both in respect of giving and receiving - Whether it was bringing home a Cadbury daily milk bar which his colleagues had given him because he remembered that I don’t prefer any other chocolate other than dairy milk or buy a converter cord that would connect the laptop to our LCD so that I can watch my favorite movies on the 32” big screen in the leisure and comfort of my bed or burn all episodes of friends in CD’s so that I can have my own collection to watch it whenever I felt like it.

Those were his appreciation of my desires – however trivial they might be and isn’t that what gifts are supposed to be? Token of love, appreciation and affection for the person you love or cherish? Only that his gifts were not wrapped in colorful paper and tied with a huge pink bow on top and given to me in the most filmy way imaginable. And not celebrating our love on a special day didn’t make it any less special. In fact it made me feel extremely special and happy. And now I know for sure that I have the greatest gift of my life.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Frames of life

While I am browsing through the net aimlessly in my laptop, an email from my brother lands in my inbox. He has sent me the link where he has posted latest snaps of my niece. I am super thrilled to see how much she has changed since we last saw her (of course on another .gif image). I immediately check out the snaps and also dutifully show them to my parents and grand mom so that they can admire her and revel in joy. Technology has definitely made our lives easier hasn’t it? I can’t stop myself from thinking about the days when we didn’t know much about these online portals, how one could post personal photographs and how near and dear miles apart can see them within the next 5 minutes. Also back then every house didn’t have a computer. We would be informed that the photo is on its way somewhere flying above the Atlantic and would reach us anytime. All of us would meticulously check our postbox (which is otherwise uncared for) for the neatly bubble-wrapped-from-inside envelope with US stamps and my brother's familiar handwriting. We would all be ecstatic to receive the package and would take turns admiring my niece and exclaiming in awe how tall she has become and how her hair has grown almost 5 mm compared to her previous photo session. The best of the lot will take its place in the showcase so that we can see her whenever we want to and the rest goes to the "my family" photos collection. And then they lie there for eternity.

It was a cloudy afternoon and the weather was amazing. Perfect setting to read a book of my choice sitting by the window occasionally taking a break to admire the rain laden clouds and the sweet smell of the soil just before a heavy downpour. But somehow I was not up to it that day. While I was moving from one room to another trying to figure out a way to spend the afternoon, I opened one of the cupboards in my grand mom’s room. Inside the cupboard was a neatly stacked column of plastic bags with photo albums of various sizes inside them. This was the master collection of all "my family" photographs. There were wedding albums of every member of the family, me and my brothers' childhood snaps, our school day snaps taken during every competition or event (right from our kindergarten days to higher secondary classes), my college snaps (well I should definitely take the credit for these because at some point when I was quite jobless I had collated them in chronological order as far as my memory could take me and I did that favour to my brother too) and photos taken during every trip or vacation and family gatherings. The frame sized moth-eaten photographs of my ancestors deserves a special mention. These included photographs of my grandfather's father, his family and his sibling’s family and even one generation before that I think. The photographs have a unique musty smell and a brownish tinge which clearly indicated its age. My grand mom once took me through these trying to make me understand the whole family tree by explaining who married whom and the various branches of the tree. But all her efforts were futile. Our family had numerous consanguineous marriages and at some point I really failed to understand how we were all related in more ways than one.

After rummaging through them for quite some time I stumbled on my childhood snaps. As I browse through them there is a faint smile at the corner of my lips. It’s almost as if I am trying to re-live each and every one of those moments now. I wonder if there was a fight between me and my brother just before that snap. Although my cheeks are dry I can see evidence of some tears in those two tear drops which stayed back in my eyes and failed to join the others in the running stream. Has the fight been put to an end by my mother whom I can see in the corner almost chopped off from the snap? My brother didn’t seem so happy. May be he didn’t quite get the pleasure that he wanted to by tormenting me with his big-brother-bullying ways. My mind wanders off as I move through each of them. It must have been quite a while since these albums saw the outside world. Every page is stuck on to the next and I really had to pull them apart (with great care of course) while they made a tearing sound. This was truly a cumbersome task but what the hell I wanted to see all of them no matter how long it took.

But there is also a thought haunting my mind. How often have I re-visited the picasa to see pictures that I have already seen? And if I did indeed re-visit them, did I feel as good as I did now? I mean here I am sitting in a recliner near the window with hot brewing coffee and the big albums nestled in my lap with every snap taking me to the most memorable moments of my past. Then I realize that it is these brownish-yellow tinged photos with their musty smell that really makes me feel nostalgic and reminds me of those frames of life that have long been forgotten in this fast paced world. When I am done with all of them I neatly put them back as they were and into the cupboard where they belong. An afternoon well spent - I think to myself.