Saturday 22 June 2013


Several days after we had moved to Bangalore, Ads casually remarked that he liked Bangalore much more than Gurgaon. I asked him why. The pleasant weather? The large flat? The open spaces? His own room? His own bunk bed? The prospect of an extra-long summer break? For a 7-yo, there were reasons aplenty!
Instead, the brevity and simplicity of his answer took my breath away.
No, he said. I like Bangalore because you play with me here.
I was staggered. Probably I had hoped that he hadn't noticed? That I had not played with the most important people in my life for the past year. I hadn't gotten myself messy and hot and tired, laughed at silly jokes, and run around with them. I hadn't had the time to play board games. I hadn't had the energy to read books every night. In fact, while I was trying to keep it all together as a single working parent, I had done nothing more than the bare minimum of attending to their basic physical and emotional needs.
I had been a good mom, but only just. Certainly, I hold myself upto very high standards of customer service (!) when it comes to being a mother/parent. Last year, I had a tough time achieving my targets :(
No guilt-tripping here, no remorse etc (I don't do those). Just the increasingly loud voice in my head, getting more confident by the day, which is pulling me in a certain direction and towards certain choices. I can't ever be a stay-at-home mom (it's nice now, it's only been a couple of months but soon I am going to be pulling out my hair in large handfuls!) but I don't see a full-time career happening for a few more years yet. Not unless my parents decide to move in with me and give me a hand (Amma and Appa, are you listening? :))
It's that time again when well-meaning people begin to ask me when I am getting back to work, me having exhausted my relocation excuse, having had my summer holiday and having the kids back at school. I don't know, folks. My daughter's back home from school at 12.30. We have a leisurely lunch. We talk about what we did at school/home. Amma, you're sooo lucky to be at home, she says! We nap. I kiss her about a million times. We wake up. I have chai. We pick up a grubby older brother from the bus stop. Hectic activity ensues. Tennis class, music class, homework, park, bath, dinner. Sleep. It's humdrum but it's beautiful.
I will start getting out and talking to people and see if some work on my terms, comes up. I'm going to keep my career going, but I won't be driven crazy-busy by it.
Just so long as I can play with my kids!

Saturday 15 June 2013

A little-big boy and his imagination

Ads has always been a very imaginative kid. From the time he was around 2 years old, he indulged in a lot of pretend play although until Y came along he always expected someone to keep him company while he played. He's also passed through a fairly obvious and predictable trajectory as far as interests are concerned. Chronologically, they have been - construction equipment and heavy vehicles, emergency vehicles (fire-trucks and so on), tigers and other big cats, reptiles, dinosaurs, outer space, birds, and now cricket and superheroes!
Something that I've noticed with a lot of boys is that when they get interested in a topic, they dig deep and turn into a veritable encyclopaedia of knowledge on that subject! Their interest verges on obsession. I have never ever in my 7 years of being a mom (which is about when I started noticing these things!) seen a girl jump in so deep into any subject! I can't believe my sample set is too small or skewed - has anyone else observed this?
So, anyway, getting back to Ads. The joke around our home is that whenever you need to find Ads, just follow the sounds of what we call the Dish-bish. A vocal potpourri of explosions, snorts, roars, grunts and yells that express the imaginative space he is occupying at that time - a tiger stalking and hunting it's prey, dinosaurs fighting or Iron Man and Cap'n against a common enemy :) The package is generally accompanied by a lot of hand gestures and kicks so beware anyone who's at arms-length at the time!
Ads has been the recipient of many an amused and/or astonished look by onlookers when he goes Dish-bish on buses, trains and other public places. I still remember two little boys about the same age as him as we de-boarded at Jaisalmer railway station. We were heading towards the station exit. Ads was in his own world, utterly oblivious to the fact that we had landed at our destination. I walked behind him, holding on to my suitcase with one hand while steering him with another and ensuring he didn't bang into people. These 2 little boys watched, jaws dropping, as he approached them, eyes open but in a world of his own, making strange gestures with his hands, funny sounds with his mouth and with myriad threatening expressions rapidly flitting across his face :)
Every time he goes into his zone, the three of us collapse into giggles which take a while to penetrate his consciousness but when it does, he gets really wild with us :)
Another weird, funny, endearing thing about my boy!

Monday 10 June 2013


Still not sure which is my favourite spot in the new house.

In the living room
Or this.....

In our bedroom
Though the fact is, I've barely had time to relax in any of these nooks ever since we moved. Mostly the reading gets a miss while they get used plenty for cuddling up with the kids :)

Tuesday 4 June 2013

New city, new school and some ranting

I haven't slept well for the last few nights. Anxiety and a list of imagined and real afflictions reminiscent of first-trimester pregnancy symptoms have contrived to keep me tossing and turning all night; and tired and listless during the day.
The reason? Both kids start at their new school today. A week ago, I made sure S had cleared his calendar for the morning since he would be dropping Y off for her first day while I dropped Ads off (they are in the same school but different campuses). Yesterday I took Ads and one of his good friends (since he may appear often in these pages, let's call him V1) for a recce around the school. We looked at the class lists and found to our delight that Ads and V1 were in the same section! The icing on the cake was that one of Ads' friends from way back in Noida, who studied with him in kindergarten and later relocated to Bangalore, is also in the same section. This discovery brought a huge smile to Ads' face and eased my fears to a large extent.
This morning, we left at 7.15 am. Wading through heavy traffic as is usual in Bangalore, we reached the school at 8 am to find a scene of total chaos. I wasn't sure I would be allowed to escort Ads into his classroom, but I was confident I'd be allowed to hand him over to his teacher somewhere in the grounds or auditorium before leaving. Instead, we had the Principal at the entrance, bellowing instructions to the parents in his stentorian voice, in a most undignified manner. Children were being hustled inside the school while parents were sternly stopped at the door. Before I knew it, Ads had been pushed away from me and handed over to someone who handed him over to someone else and after that I don't know what happened because he was lost in the sea of uniforms. There was no kiss, no hug and no goodbye even! I went up to the Vice Principal to ask if I could go in seeing as he was a new student and all but she smilingly refused. Other parents reassured me that there were plenty of staff to escort the kids to their classrooms. Since I knew Ads would be having a couple of familiar places to eventually meet with in class, I let it go but the disorganized way in which the whole thing was conducted left a bad taste in my mouth. 
Back at the preschool, where Y starts LKG today, S reported that it was as chaotic but since that school has a much smaller strength it did not seem so bad :) Y cried a wee bit - but her class teacher picked her up and told S to leave and they would handle her, thank you very much.
The day was jinxed during pickup time as well. First, my driver was nowhere to be seen at the allotted time and his phone was not reachable. Just when I was going to run upstairs for the spare car key and drive the car myself, a friend (V1's mom, whose younger son also studies in the same school), offered me a ride. By this time, we were running atleast 10 minutes late and I was biting my nails as we snarled in traffic - being late on the very first day is so not on!! Then I almost had a cardiac arrest when I called the school to tell them I was running late - the front-desk guy (a nincompoop if there ever was one!) told me Y had been sent off in the school bus! This inspite of the fact that we had explicitly told the administration and the class teacher that Y would be picked up and dropped off for the first 2 days. At this point I had no choice but to continue onto the school because my friend had to pick up her son. 
I barged into the school premises, spitting fire and brimstone, only to find Y calmly seated with her teacher. Whew....I have seldom been this relieved in my life!!!!! The teacher who seems a nice calm sort of person reassured me that she had no intention of sending Y on the bus since she knew I was coming to pick her up. Obviously the front-desk guy had given me the wrong information without even bothering to cross-check with the teacher.
A couple of hours later, I was in the car again to pick up Ads - more scenes of confusion there. Clearly anybody can walk in with no identification whatsoever and pick up any kid with none the wiser.
While the kids had a good time on their first day, I can already anticipate many more rants and raves from my end given the lax administration - but let's hope I am proved well and truly wrong!