Monday, October 17, 2011

Cause of Depression

I was feeling very depressed this morning and was wondering why and realised the reason was 3-fold.

1) I have nearly finished the Harry Potter series which I was hoping to save for my sabatical. I had the last 3 books to read and now I'm on the final one, which will on probability be done before the break starts.
2) Why did J.K. Rowling kill off Sirius and then Dumbledore? So now, even if Harry does kill Voldemart (which ofcourse he will), he has just lost so many people he loved and trusted!
3) Karan will be able to read the books only after a good number of years. I think they are just a bit too dark for him now.

Needless to say I spent every free moment of my 3-day weekend reading Harry Potter. Anyone reading this post, please recommend another series on these lines for my break period.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Time-off? Sabbatical? Break?

I have been wanting to take a complete break from work. Its been 10 long years of loyal service to the same firm and I feel I just need some time-off. So, I've applied for a 3-month leave without pay starting November and I'm really keeping my fingers and hoping it will come through. The thing is that my job is comfortable....to the point of it having become a little uncomfortable. Too much lethargy but with a fair amount of stress. I know what you're thinking...lethargy and stress? How can they go hand in hand. Well there are times when I feel extremely lethargic cos the work is so predictable. I know exactly how I am going to spend my time in the office. I could perhaps do a lot more if I put my mind to it.....but feel I dont have the energy or the motivation. And then there are days of complete stress, but also not the kind of stress which will make you do stuff more efficiently. I just want to have some completely stress-free time, discover the real me. I have reached a senior position and dont see where I am going.

And ofcourse I want to see how it would be to spend 3 whole months with my kids.

Anyway, I've been planning a bunch of things in my head. But things dont always (or rather they hardly ever) work out as planned and I dont want my time-off to be another stressful thing...so I'm trying to keep my mind open and be flexible about all my plans. But here are some things I would love to do during my break, in no particular order:

1. Take Karan for swimming lessons.

2. Complete my book (I have started writing a book on law but haven't gone beyond the first chapter).

3. Visit Ro, Beks and Aditi.

4. Take Kavya for some class in Vanilla.

5. Get Kavya to be friends with her Ammacha.

6. Lose 10-15 kgs.

7. Clean up my house from top to bottom.

8. Cook(or atleast find some recipes and teach my cook) to make tasty yet healthy dishes, specially for Karan and Robs (my fussy men).

9. Do a holiday with Robi ...alone, just the 2 of us.

10. Catch up on reading and sleeping.

Anyone have any more suggestions? Or wait let's just see how many of these things I end up getting done. Or wait, let's just see if the leave gets approved. Isn't it fun to day dream?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Are women bitchy?

OK. So I have had women pass comments about my weight and length of hair (or rather lack of it). I have seen women bitch about other women - about their looks, girth, interactions with me and at least a thousand other things. I have also occasionally seen women not helping a fellow woman in need. But I was wondering whether this was the norm or the exception and whether we have fairly or unfairly been given a tag of being "the bitchy sex". I was thinking about all my past and present relationships with women and wondering whether women were really a bitchy lot.

School friends & college friends

I am still extremely close to my girl friends from my school days and college days although we see each other on an average about once a year. In my school and college friends groups, I have had women who are sure about what they want and find it difficult to compromise, I have had women who are ambitious and want to get better grades than all others. Strangely, in both the groups, my women friends were toppers in the school / college! (Don't know how in the world I attracted such intellect). These girls were hard working and ambitious with a desire to excel. Yet, these girls, never refused to help when anyone had a doubt and were always genuinely concerned about how the other girls in the group did.

Work friends

I never really had women friends at work till recently. Now I have plenty. There are some aloof types and some serious go-getters out here. But, I have never seen any of us trying to cut another woman (or man for that matter) down to get ahead or bitch about someone when they are down. (Actually may be there are, and I am oblivious to all this). As far as I know, we all stick up for each other and have even gone out of our ways to help another colleague in a time of need.

My sisters-in-law

I hear that sisters-in-law can be really bitchy, cause a drift between you and your brother / husband, have ulterior motives even when they are being nice blah blah. To me all this sounds like some scene from a drama movie. I have 3 SILs who are simply wonderful. We have hardly fought with each other despite all of us being highly emotional people (which obviously means we would have touched a raw nerve or two over the years) and they would be the first people I would run to in a crisis.

Mother-in-law

The term itself immediately creates an impression of a stern unbending woman, obsessed only with her son's happiness. A woman whom you cannot please no matter what you do. A woman who pities her son for having married you and her precious grandchildren for having you as their mother. I'm sure there are MILs like that out there, but seriously are they the norm? My MIL is nothing like that - she treats my like her own daughter (or at least I would like to believe that) and more often takes my side over my hubby's.

In fact till today, I have not come across a mother-in-law like the one I described above. Sure, they have their opinion on how we should raise our children or how you should keep your home or what dishes your husband likes and will in all probability voice them (well don't our mothers do that too?). But are they generally a bitchy lot?

Other women in my life

My mom is probably best girl friend, but heck I don't need to get into how she does not try to cut me down or wish anything but the best for me, cos after all she's my mother and I'm sure all mothers (at least deep down) would want only the best for their children.

I have seen my maids really bitching about each other. But I have also seen them helping each other out when the other is in need. I have also walked in on them bitching about me. I guess on the whole they can be a bitchy lot, but on a day when I am unwell or the kids are unwell, I have seen them pitch in with extra effort to help out.

So basically, what I have seen in the various relationships I have with women is that there is an unspoken feeling of sisterhood. We can understand and empathise with another woman and we do help each other out when one of us in need. For me personally, women have always been the first to rush in to help when I needed it. Heck, there have been times in my life when even the men closest to me have not even noticed that I needed some help / sympathy. Men always feel awkward when an another human being is down whereas women have a better clue on what to say or do in such situations. I guess, if you were to ask me, I would definitely not say women are bitchy. Or have I just been extremely lucky or am I simply naive?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You really appreciate your mother...

1. When she blindly takes your side when you call her and screams out to your older bro to stop bugging you. (Sorry Achach, guess she was more or less correct most of the time!)

2. When she gives up her sleep at night to massage your aching feet (night after night during the rainy season!)

3. When she cleans and bandages up your eye (although she must be cursing under her breath at having been woken up from her sleep by her silly daughter) when you have been wounded in a bike accident by foolishly cycling with your big dog tied to it.

4. When she lets you throw more parties for your friends than any other friends' mom.

5. When she tells you how proud she is of you, when you have done absolutely nothing spectacular!

6. When she lets you live your life without too many restrictions (there were some ofcourse which I rebelled crazily against) despite the fact that there were very few other mothers in the close-knit society that we live in who would dream of letting their daughters do the things I was allowed to do.

7. When she knows about your crushes and how your hubby was "the one" for you even before you knew it!

8. When she never lets you down or criticises you in front of other people despite knowing that you may be wrong.

9. When she selflessly stays up at night looking after your crying new borns even though she was with you in hospital spending just as many sleepless nights as you before that.

10. When she is ready to rush to you when you need to travel on work or you or your kids are unwell.

11. When she calls you after not having spoken to you for 2 days and says "its been such a long time since we spoke".

12. When she enthusiastically plans a holiday for the family (which includes you) with practically no input from you.

13. When she supports you in the decisions you take about your children even if her own views are very different.

14. When she cries when you sing with her.

15. When she stands up for what she believes in and is not afraid to speak out.

16. For your value systems which have come from year's of her conditioning.

17. For having boundless energy and being resourceful.

18. For letting it slip once in a while [:)] that you and your kids are her top priority.

19. For the nights she stayed up baking cakes to surprise you when you woke up, specially now when you know she hates cooking!

20. For being so talented and yet so understated.

21. For always believing in me and teaching me to be independent and believe in myself.

22. For always having time for me.

23. For being so modern and yet the small-town-girl.

24. For being a fantabulous grandmother.

I had drafted this post a while ago and forgotten to publish it. Also been meaning to do a post on the US trip...but there's so much to write...

Monday, January 10, 2011

My bros! Some rambling thoughts.

I have seriously no idea what brought on this post, and if I re-read it, I know there would be nothing in it, which was absolutely blog-worthy. But.......nonetheless......just going to jot down some random thoughts.

I was talking to Ro the other day and going on and on (or atleast starting to do so) when Robs came and said that I better hang up and get on to skype if I wanted a longer chat. Anyway that got me thinking about how much I miss him and our long chats. Ro and I are just a year and a half apart and were always always really really close. We grew up together, and by that I mean we did everything together. He is the genius of the family (or is it Achach?) He claims I was also very possessive about him and that care of that, I never liked any of his girlfriends. Hogwash I say! I liked Beks a lot didn't I? Ro, is a softy, openly emotional, passionate and obsessive to the point of being crazy about his obsessions. Sometimes, I see that in Karan and think God bless Amma for having put up with it and Beks for putting up with it now.

Achach on the other hand is also obsessive, but his obsessions dont last very long. Being nearly 4 years older than me and always make fun of us (more Ro than me), he didn't feature as much in the earlier parts of my years as did Ro. But in and around his 11th and 12th I started seeing him for the person he was - a brave soul trying to keep a cheery disposition, despite all his physical problems. Achach is funny, crazy talented and admire him in oh so many ways. With both of them, I always feel that I am the black sheep, the least intelligent and least tallented, but perhaps the most stable...well I guess normal people are that. I have never achieved anything spectacular and dont expect to either...but both of them have and am certain will achieve even greater things in life.

While Ro, is the die-hard romantic, you may have to beat Achach with a stick to awaken a romantic muscle in him (if there is one - Anj, hats off to you for putting up with him). Achach maintains a macho exterior and never shows any emotion (in fact he makes fun of those of us who do), whereas Ro is sensitive and all out there. Being my younger bro, I was (and still am) crazy protective about Ro. I once thought I would never feel that way about Achach, but strangely I am ever so protective about him.

Achach and Ro, I know neither of you read my blog, but I wanted to tell you (if I die and you chance upon this blog) that you guys are the best bros a girl could have. I loved the time we spent together growing up and specially the time in England and all the times we had together in Mumbai. We have grown older (and sadly not much wiser since then), but I so miss the times when we used to joblessly hang out....the card playing sessions, family holidays, arguments, singing, 3B days, wonderful food in Bandra....Oh and thanks so much for picking Anj and Beks to be your wives [and I thank God that they agreed to marry you :)]. They are simply the bestest!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Must be what heaven is like

A chubby pair of little hands wrapped around you tightly,

A small curly hair covered face warmly breathing down on your shoulder

This must be what heaven is like.

Monday, December 13, 2010

For my Robi

Divorce seems to be in the air. It's so terribly sad to see couples (and not just couples who have been together for only a short 1-3 years), but those have been together over 10 years and with kids just giving up to move on. My heart goes out to all my friends (and ofcourse a whole bunch of strangers) going through all that heart ache and specially to the children who are stuck in the middle. I can only imagine how terribly hard it must be on them. Kids pick up on all sorts of things. Like the other day Robi came to say bye to me before leaving for office and I was in the middle of something and didn't return the bye. Shortly afterwards, Karan comes to me and whispers "Amma, why didn't you say bye to Appa? Are you angry with him?"

As an outsider, except in exceptional circumstances like a spouse cheating on or physically abusing the other, we never understand how things have become bad enough for the relationship to be beyond repair and keep asking the same questions which must appear so mundane and irritating to the couple splitting up -"have you tried working it out? have you sought counselling? why don't you give it one last try?" I have come to accept that only the couple themselves will be able to understand their reasons for the split and it is best not to judge them for their choices.

I now take the time to wonder about those of us whose marriages work - is it 90% luck and 10% hard work or 90% hard work and 10% luck or some other ratio altogether? While I believe a lot of credit for a successful marriage has to go to providence (divine or otherwise), we cannot ignore that it does take a hell of a lot of hard work to make a marriage work. But the important thing is that you have to want to make it work, which of course is based on the presumption that the person you are married to is worth that effort (or that the person is not so terrible that you would want your kids to go through the unpleasant ordeal of their parents splitting up).

Although it may seem strange, this post is dedicated to my Robs, who has made me want to put in the effort to make our marriage work (well at least till now). Thank you Robs for....

......making me laugh whenever I least expected to.
.........holding me tight through the bad times.
......forgiving me (specially for forgiving me) when I was mean & thoughtless or took you for granted
......giving me my beautiful children.
......patiently listening to me rave and rant.
......making such a wonderful effort with my family (heck, who am I kidding? Most of them love you more than they love me).
....remaining calm and composed when I was going nuts (I guess I do the same for you).
.......and for all those wonderful wonderful hugs.

To all those people who are on / embarking on the tough (and wonderful) journey of marriage, a small piece of advice. Try and focus only on the good things about your spouse and forget the bad stuff (specially during the initial years). And during times when things are not going well, remind yourself of all the things that you have to be grateful for (talk only to those in your family or friends' circle who are ardent supporters of your spouse and not those who will bitch him/her out)...so that you will feel like putting in the effort to make it work. May providence shine on you!

Advice to self: Must come back here and read this the next time something goes wrong!