Friday, May 29, 2015

Anniversaries

April & May is the time of anniversaries - my birthday, wedding, entry to corporate life, re-entry into my firm all happened in these 2 months. Summer is generally flush with positive memories for me. This time it was my younger one's first Vishu and that added to the charm. (A separate post on this one later)

Birthday: It was a fun day, I had my b'day cake. Hubby gifted me an amazing watch and the in-laws gifted me - yet another amazing watch ! And, I was thrilled - I love watches and perfumes and always love receiving these as gifts. The day was conspicuous by the absence of my birthday bouquet from the super boss and wishes from a dear friend.

Work Anniversary: It's been 11 years since I joined the workforce and 5 years in my current role. Being at the right place at the right time is far more important for career success than talent or hard work. And that is precisely where many women still lose out - late nite informal networking events are rarely attended by women, and their choice of work location is often dependent on the convenience of spouse, parents, children etc, and their career prospects are mostly not even a variable in the equation. Still, given the circumstances that I have chosen for myself, I am happy with my progress - as my hubby says, 'There is always a later bus to the destination' and if I may add 'after you have thoroughly enjoyed the scenery of the bus stop'.

Wedding Anniversary: Now, this one is complicated. Every time, we have a baby, our relationship goes through a really tough time, and I wonder which sage ever said that kids act as a glue in a marriage - definitely not for us. With busy and fulfilling careers, we depend on family to help us take care of kids - lots of people have strong opinions on why this should not be the case, but I find it natural - I grew up primarily with my grandparents and I wouldn't have wanted my childhood to not have them. Anyway, the associated family dynamics on both sides of the family make us feel lousy most days, but we are proud that we survived ! The more difficult question is on the long term - I still haven't come to terms with this city and I don't think I ever will.  How that will affect our relationship - only time can tell. I just hope love conquers it all ! After all, in those wee hours of the morning when your soul is awake, but your body is not, I reach out my hand and feel immensely happy that the hand that reaches out for mine is yours, dear hubby.
 



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Airport Vistas

Some random observations (totally based on my experience - so don't generalize or take offence):

1. Most security guards spend an extra minute checking credentials of a single lady traveler and ask redundant questions such as "So you are travelling in Flight AI123 today?" Definitely not reducing security risks !

2. A lady in a business suit commands more respect than one in a saree ! If respect can be measured by "Which seat would you like today?" ; the no. of times you are referred to as 'Ma'am' etc.

3. The tearful farewells in the airport for families travelling to the Gulf, makes you wonder - Was the world a better place when smaller communities were self sufficient.

4.  Observing young kids dressed in age inappropriate clothes makes me puke - Yes, once they are old enough, let them choose what to dress in. But as a parent, why is it so difficult to accept that babies are not props ! And that comfort first, style later and vulgarity - best avoided.


5.  Even if you can afford it, and even when there is a book shop right in front of you, why do you choose not to buy a book and instead waste time and energy just cribbing about the late flight and the world in general ? (I was myself guilty of this, till I promised myself to make the best of the situation)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Happiness

My son's vacation has started and he told me last week, "Why don't you smile more ?" That's when I realized how stressed I have been. Then the other day, he again said "It's vacation - time to enjoy - you should smile more". For which I had a ready retort "It's vacation for you, not for me". But, his answer surprised me "Amma, I am your favorite, so if it is vacation for me, you should be happy". Yea, once in a while its ok to be happy, just because your loved ones are happy !!! I am off to Indonesia next week and I can't wait to be on the plane !

Monday, March 16, 2015

Posturing

I was pointing out something to my daughter in the super market aisle and the sales woman was surprised that she is a girl. Reason: "No earrings and short hair".




In the airport a complete stranger asks me whether the waiting area is for the flight to my home town and immediately proceeds to the next question, "So, which church do you go to ?" I am quite taken aback and respond that I am not a Christian, and she clarifies " You are not wearing a bindi".



In a professional context, I am told "You may think x, but you need to speak y".




All of the above makes me wonder how important posturing is...




My baby girl's hair has a natural spike and everyone comments "Oh, girl with a spike!". The stress is invariably always on the 'girl' and not on the 'spike' ... (I hate it that I am somehow unable to upload her picture on blogger)


Breaking stereotypes is not easy, and some say its not worth it...But progress can only happen when mental horizons expand.. Stretching the limits is always painful, till the new dimensions become the norm !


And I am truly happy I have a son and a daughter ... At least no one can say "If it were a son, you would have behaved differently" or "If it were a daughter, you would have behaved differently"


Sometimes, the prize to pay for taking a stand is high...but, I'd still rather take a stand. After all, I love to define my circumstances than let circumstances define me.





Friday, February 27, 2015

Going Crazy ...

I have been going utterly crazy the last couple of months. Work and related complications has kept me on my toes on one side. Family - well, all I can say is when help is offered grudgingly and you are still shamelessly accepting it, then you are actually helpless ! Now, that's a very sorry place to be in... In fact, when I had my first born, I went through this cycle of helplessness with him - that is till he could help himself, I was dependent on help I'd rather not have had - doled out like alms to a beggar.
I am going through the same cycle again and I hate it...I hate each and every cog in the wheel called family...some for their indifference, some for their arrogance !


Does being grateful equate to suppressing your opinions? Not sure.


Something far more complicated is happening to a friend and his son and every time I remember them in my prayers I realize that I am indeed in a very lucky place. But, on a moment to moment basis none of us think of the starving millions in the world, if we don't like the food served to us.


I am human...that's why I wear my knickers inside my trousers...The day you let me show them off, I can strive to be Superman..

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

New Year Wishes

I usually append my New year wishes to my readers at the end of my 'Year That Will Be' post. This time, it was scribbled in a hurry, and I left it out..


And here goes my new year wishes to all my dear readers !


"May you have the courage to revisit buried dreams,
The conviction to act on them,
And may all of those dreams turn into beautiful realities !"

Thursday, January 01, 2015

The Year That Will Be..

Last year, I didn't know what I wanted from the year...I thought I will have a lot of time to myself - and God, I was sooo very wrong! I was doing all household chores exactly a week after I gave birth, so I didn't even get to enjoy my maternity break.


This year, I know clearly what I want and I have a plan to make that happen - hope God is not giggling !


I am going to start driving a car - I had learned driving and have a valid license; but I never got around to actually driving on a day to day basis, thinking 'what if I have an accident?'. This year that will change!


I am also going to write a book, maybe two. It has been a long cherished dream and I never got around to it thinking 'what if I don't find a publisher?'.


I am also going to enroll in piano classes - I will write the Grade exam by end of the year.


This year, I am going to keep aside all 'what ifs' and give everything a try...I am confident that if I try and do my part, the universe and the Lord above will do theirs too !


There are couple of other dreams too, which I plan to work on this year ...expect updates on all of this by June or earlier !

The Year That Was..

This post should ideally have been completed latest by yesterday, but I just couldn't get that 5 minutes to myself - and that pretty much describes the year that was...It was a year of unsung and unappreciated sacrifices and back breaking (literally) hard work....


I gave more of myself to family than I ever thought capable of - and still was occasionally branded as selfish...


I have also realized the importance of being at the right place at the right time - I couldn't and it has proved costly !


The highlight of the year of course was my baby - though I am now even more conscious of what I do with my life - I don't want her to ever feel that women are better caregivers ! (that's the biggest disservice ever done to women - pseudo appreciation before killing their dreams :(. It is a vicious cycle - the wife is forced to take care of family, kids then feel my mom was the best as they don't even know how dad would have performed same role , thus when they grow up, they again insist that it is best for kids and elderly if the woman takes on that role! )


There were no major trips the past year and I am still struggling with the jigsaw pieces to create that perfect picture - the thing with life is that there are several pieces and you can use the ones you want to create the picture you want - but you have no way of knowing whether another picture with another set of pieces would be more beautiful !


I was in a roller coaster and I couldn't reach out to certain friends whom I wanted to hold hands with when they were struggling in theirs - I feel ashamed !


Biggest learning of the year - time and money if available in infinity, choice becomes redundant ! Since both are available only in limited quantities, it is important to choose wisely !


Peace was elusive in 2014 - so was sleep. The sleep is slowly returning. As far as peace goes, I don't know if I will find it in 2015 ..but that is fodder for the next post...