Sunday 18 December 2011

Back to work

I have been snappy, irritable and more than a little antsy this last month or two. Some soul-searching revealed that I was - gasp! - Bored. Capital B and all. It appears, finally, that my honeymoon with stay-at-home-motherhood is reaching it's end. It's been four and a half years and now I cannot stomach not being a home anymore. In fact, I have been looking for work ever since my results came out in August. I've met a lot of people, spoken to and emailed many more, trawled any website that said "Flexible", "work-from-home", "part-time". Aware that the area I want to operate in is quite narrow, I wasn't getting my hopes up. As I expected, there are plenty of flexi jobs for those in the technology and accounting space (the usage of the word "plenty" is relative to when I last checked - 4 years ago!), lesser for those in other areas.  
I know from long experience (mine as well as that of my own home-grown expert in job-searches - my husband) that job-hunting for that elusive perfect job can be a long, time-consuming and frustrating process. When you want something that's flexible, interesting, challenging, and in the specific domain that you are interested in - one needs to be patient. And lucky. 
I stumbled on to a social enterprise founded by a lady who is also an alumnus of the same b-school. It works in the non-farm rural sector, building capacities/skills in micro-enterprises, providing marketing support, new product development support, and facilitating financial assistance. I met this lady and things worked out. My role is pretty neat. I get to work 30 hours a week, telecommute as much as I can and the rest of the time I'm either out in the field or at the office which is a 1/2 hour Metro ride away in Delhi (again, blessing the boon that is the Metro for giving people a cushy way to beat the horrible traffic and travel long distances). I'm going to be tramping over some old ground, and breaking some new, and that's comforting and exciting. The 30 hours a week is going to be stretchable, since it's not as though I can clock in at 9 and log off at 3. I may be working more or less constantly through the day, stepping carefully around kid's schedules and activities.
Fortunately for me, Y's school just bought over a well-known Gurgaon daycare, stamped their (school) brand on them and the daycare is now installed and operational on the 1st floor of Y's school building. I've registered her for a 2-hour program with them, starting from January 1st week which is when school reopens after the Xmas break. She heads up one floor after school is over, eats lunch at the daycare, and they look after her until 2.30 pm when she gets onto the school transport to return home. Ads and she will probably return home around the same time every afternoon and hopefully I should have wound up work by that time.
Fingers crossed! Wish me luck!


It's been a long week (fortnight in the case of Ads) for the children as they've had extended hours to practice for their annual day (Ads) and Sports Day (Y). Ads was in a group dance (loosely based on Kalaripayattu), a short 2 minute performance with 7 other boys. He was most excited since he got to hold a shiny sword and prance around! Y participated in 2 obstacle races with her class. Along with a couple other of the youngest kids, she got selected to "inaugurate" the school "Olympics" by releasing some balloons into the air. There were no winners or losers and all the children got medals for participation. It was very nicely done, short and sweet. All of last week, after coming back from school, Y would tell me "Amma, today I won last, but on Saturday I will win first!" :))
Some snapshots from yesterday - Y is the one in the purple jacket.

Toddling off after the race.

Waiting for the "bucket race" to start.

Medal time.

Ads in his costume (Y got frightened looking at all that makeup!)

Monday 12 December 2011

Focaccia bread on a griddle

I read this lovely recipe for making a focaccia-like bread on a tawa/griddle (Thanks, Sangeetha, for this and other great recipes!). I did a little tinkering around - I did not have wheat bran and I mixed the wheat flour with maida in about a 1:1 proportion. I'm not sure how the original recipe would have tasted (it looks GREAT, doesn't it? :)) but mine did have a distinct focaccia-like look and feel. The best thing is that there is no baking required and it takes very little time and effort to make this bread. As always, my children are opposites in everything they do. I made the dish specifically for Ads but he didn't like it whereas Y wolfed it down and asked for more :)