Swimming in an ocean of thoughts.....

Ask me no questions and i shall tell you no lies :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Are you happy in your space, ladies?? ~ From a nomad’s diary

From the many changes in a woman's life right from her coming of age until her hair turns silver gray, motherhood is one of the apparent ones that brings in her a phenomenal change. Of course, motherhood is assailable. However, on the flip side it does shrink her social life. Spontaneous shopping trips become a thing of the past. Watching movies at odd hours, let alone the genre is happening no more. Suddenly the concept of late night parties disappears. Worse, career options change. And, these changes do not happen overnight. It is gradual. It is like a day and night process. We do not realize it is night until the sky turns dark and that, it is day as soon as dawn cracks on the skyline. And so, a lady does not immediately accustom herself to the new life. The change in her too, is gradual. She does miss the old times when responsibilities were less. Somewhere, a part of her craves for independence where she can do what she likes sans any inhibitions. Many a time, ladies find it difficult to accept the change and some become bitter over a period of time, assuming they are losing out on fun part because of the change. Social life appears greener to a domesticated being. And it is here, I shall disclose the reason for writing this post.

I remember my father's advice a few years back when I was a social butterfly of extremes. He had said, “Child, learn to be happy in your own company. The day you befriend your inner self, you would never really long for a crowd”. Those days, I felt he did not understand my life as I retorted citing generation gap. However as years progressed, I started getting weary of my socially active life of late night outs or matinee movies or dinners at exotic restaurants or even visiting new places. (Sometimes, when one has too many friends, you never know where exactly you even fit!). I started facing a lull in life and became extremely claustrophobic in crowds.  Although I was in a good job, there was a feeling growing within me, “This is not enough!” I quit my job post marriage and took a three month sabbatical to figure out a career that would appease me mentally and emotionally. Luckily around that time, I got an opportunity to dabble in content writing. Blogging was only a hobby until then. And, I so loved the new job. Needless to say, I made good friends here too. But the best thing that happened to me during this period was, reading. I did read books, but this habit took to a new level as I explored myriad genres, that friends suggested. And it was this hobby that made my personality undergo a 180 deg phase shift. I no longer longed for a crowd. I no longer felt like visiting malls and shopping mindlessly, something I indulged in when hubby was away. (considering that in the first two years of marriage, hubby an army officer, was serving in some remote location from where his accessibility options were minimal). In those times, developing a hobby such as reading helped me combat the loneliness I felt. I started feeling normal even while I was alone at home.

And now post marriage and having a baby, I feel more composed than before, although my responsibilities and domestic challenges have tripled. I rarely have time to watch my favorite culinary shows or catch up with friends or talk to relatives over phone. I don’t even remember the last time I slept without having to set the alarm. Considering that my son is almost three and a half, my days are always full to the brink and nights are always shorter than days, regardless of which season of the year it is. Our outings and dinners are limited now. But then, there are no regrets. It has been four years since I quit my job and became a humble home maker. And today, I am in no hurry to make friends or rush back into a social life I was so much a part of before. Surprisingly, loud music and dance no more interest me. But most importantly, I am no longer affected by what the world thinks about me. When I find my free time, I invest in reading blogs and then updating my own. Sometimes, when I face a writer’s block, I read a lot on web and mostly, what inspires me.

And yes, I have finally comprehended my father’s words of wisdom “If you are happy in your own space, without searching for a need to socialize, to get in a crowd, only then, you will have accepted yourself truly for what you are!”

Sometimes, it feels good to break the stereotype of being overtly social.

Sometimes, it feels good to venture out by self and judge the world by one’s own experience and not by someone else’s assumption.

Sometimes, it is better to have a few good friends than having countless acquaintances claiming to be friends.

Sometimes, it is best to connect with Mother Nature and understand her signs.

And yes, in all times your best friend is always your conscience and none other. 

Coming to which, every lady must necessarily have a hobby or a passion regardless of whether she is a working woman or not, married or not, mother or not, to get used to the changes in life. You keep the mind busy with work, life gets easier to understand. And I caught this lovely message on Face Book that I want to share with my readers. Something all ladies must learn to do…..when they must take the stand and rediscover their formidable side.....


Sunday, November 23, 2014

My first stint as a teacher..... ~ From a nomad's diary

About four years back, had I been asked about a list of careers I would never step into, teaching would have topped the list. However, in retrospect, I am not sure if I was actually averse to teaching or, if my fears of facing a class were a mere manifestation of my thoughts gone wild. That said, there have been umpteen times when I had assumed (or to say, almost decided) that certain things were not just meant for me…and then, destiny would surprise me, when I least expected to be. Needless to say, some were pleasant and some made me a tougher person with the attitude, “Bring it on!, I say”. But, when I jumped in for a nursery teachers training within our establishment this year out of a sudden impulse (seriously, it was one impulsive moment though later I explained myself that I needed it), I noticed my husband’s unreadable expression that hid a streak of surprise element (very typical of him with his eyes staring into a blank space with raised brows whenever he is startled by my decisions). Of course, he was happy yet, was contemplating on my spontaneous decisions that spring out of nowhere. (He is still getting used to my unpredictable effervescent Sagittarian traits!) 

Now, going by my career graph, people might end up calling me weird! I am a software engineer who at one time, was busy 'performance testing' banking applications for banks like Llyods and Credit-Suisse. Then, I switched to content writing post marriage, purely out of choice. And, then I have been a home maker for a while now. Believe me folks, being a home maker is no child's play! (And then, whoever said child's play was easy?) Intermittently, I have conducted events here and there out of sheer interest. So, I have dabbled in unknown waters out of a thrill and somehow, have managed to stay afloat albeit the uncertainties every field posed. And then a week back, when the principal of my son’s school called me up and asked me if I could pitch in for a week as a substitute for a teacher on leave, I knew. A long lost opportunity had come knocking at my door. Surprisingly, I had applied for a job in the same school (again out of an whim) about an year back and for some reason, destiny had stalled my desire then. Now, I knew why. Things happen for a reason. And, things happen for a reason all the time!

Now it is here, I would like to mention how blissfully unaware I was about how unconditionally my heart brims with love at the sight of little children, until the time my son was born. And I felt that even more when I joined my son’s school as a substitute for a teacher who had gone on leave. I was in jitters on the first day for two reasons:
  • I had no prior experience with pre primary children as a teacher, let alone the primary or secondary ones.
  • The only child I have attempted to tutor is my son, who most of the times growls at the teacher in me..

However, on 13th November, when I entered my class of thirty odd children within 5 years of age, I surprised myself as I heard myself wishing them a very good morning, which was in turn was reciprocated with a harmonious and unanimous “Good Morning Teacher!!”. All my apprehensions disappeared the minute I found myself taking charge of the class. That was my AHA moment when I realized, I connected well with children. I connected deeply with them.

Maybe, I reveled when children come over and say, “Ma’am, you are beautiful!!”.

Maybe, I am inexorably elated to see them making tiny crafts of origami for me just to get that token of appreciation.

Maybe, I relish the naughtiness in them, when they incessantly drive me crazy with their, “May I drink water??”, or “May I go to toilet?” drones.

Maybe, I love to play the mother figure to all of them, apprehending them when they come over to me, complaining about each other.

Maybe, I adore those intense looks on their faces when they come over to me and offer a share from their lunch box during lunch hours.

Maybe, I just am reliving my childhood with them.

The one week I spent in my son’s school, my mind felt like a Duracell battery though physically I was drained. In class, I talked to them a lot and when home, I never ceased relishing my conversations with them over and over again. Sometimes, hubby had to remind me of the number of times I repeated any particular incident to him. But most importantly, I felt an unconditional love in them, when they took my instructions seriously. The reward was, when one of the parents came over and said, "Ma'am, my daughter has been talking about you all the time. And, she practices her work the way you have taught her, to the teeth!!" What more could I ask for?

Now, that we shall be soon moving to some new place, I am drowned in memories from this place. I shall miss this place and I shall miss my children too. And, as I had expressed a desire to teach under privileged children in my previous post, I hope I can do it someday. That said, I hope to have found my calling. So,


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The curious case of a missing paper!! ~ From a Nomad's diary

I have had enough awkward moments in life, most of which are amusing for others. And so many of them have I faced till date that they cease to surprise me. Rather, I would be surprised if such moments elude me. Or, may be I am plain ‘victimized’ by the deadly combination of right work and wrong timing. I am not sure if Murphy and I were some long lost twins in some eon of ancient times, but he makes sure that I am constantly reminded of his presence around me! And before I go about beating around the bush about my complicated plight, the curious case of a missing paper shall disclose how, what, why and when!

About a month back, I was to host an even here in our establishment. N and I assumed, this should be a cake walk as we had already emceed for events twice and this, bah! However, this time there were twists and turns!! So, here goes the curious case of a missing paper -

During our practice sessions for the event we were to conduct, N and I were approached by an overtly ‘courteous’ lady who vehemently pitched in with the 'intent to help' with the script for emcee. We were surprised as we had not asked for any help and second, we did not need it.  Even as we tried evading her overtures on helping us, her persistent pestering left us no choice and 'the help' had decided to land in our lap and so be it. We had already made a rough draft which she 'politely' took for pointers and promised us that she would give us a better one. We believed her. The next day, she handed 'her' version to us, which was a hand written copy. After the practice, N and I took a look at her version and boy, it was exactly a cut copy paste of ours with just a couple of lines added in the middle (something she could have already suggested the day before). We felt bitter. But then, respect is the word for a senior lady in fauj. We tried returning it back to her but she simply refused to take it back. That said, the lady went on leave from the next day and she was practically out of reach for a month. Our practices continued. Her version was forgotten. Notwithstanding all the unexpected Pandora boxes that popped on our faces in the most inopportune times, our event was a success. And how I had thought, “Oh! Now, a breather!”. Murphy had smiled. I should have known, he was already at work!

A week after the event, all the participants were invited for an evening tea hosted to thank all of us for making the show a success. Groggy eyed after an extremely tiring stint as a teacher for a while in my son’s school, I had a tough time pulling myself together to reach the event. After the thank you session as I struggled to keep my eyes open with a cup of tea in hand, a familiar yet a cold voice ringed around me. I turned around to see a spectacled lady in a red saree. And out of the blue, she launched her attack, "Narayani, I want my copy back!” I suffered a ghajini moment for a while as I tried recalling the so familiar face that suddenly my head could not place. And the unfriendly tone of her question caught me off guard.  My momentary amnesia had gone now as I recalled her. However, the second wave of amnesia hit me, as I suddenly tried remembering where those hand written copies were. My thoughts ran wild as I could not even place the day, when the copy was last with me.

“Oh! God! Where is that hand written copy?”
“Did I give it to someone?”
“Had I misplaced it somewhere?”
“I remember giving it to someone for a while as I was busy in practice. But then, who?”
“Or, did my son shred it away as he does to the many lose papers at home?”
“Or, did someone ask me about it and I absent mindedly handed it to someone in the middle of some conversation?”

I was not sure which of the above had happened. Even as I returned home and ranted about the lady’s incessant jibes, somewhere deep down I felt miserable for having lost someone’s work (even if that work did not belong to her). As N and I recapped the moments, we could not precisely point at anyone to whom we had handed it over although we were sure, the copy was not with us. I agreed to give the lady the complete script that I had, but flatly refused. The lady wanted to have her 'hand written' version and she added, "I want my version and my version only. And if you get my version, I would want yours too!". Amidst all ransacking of cupboards and drawers and the unremitting phone calls from her, I cursed myself for having put myself in a predicament I could have avoided in the first place. But that did not refute my fault as somewhere, I had made a mistake of overlooking for whatsoever reason. After Murphy had had his share of laughter yoga looking at my plight, he intuitively guided me to the glove compartment of my car. Now, whenever I drive, glove compartment is the last place for me to keep any stuff there as it irks hubby a lot. But then, whether one of us put it there absent mindedly, is not clear. Glad that I had her copy, I gave her my script too.and somewhere, thanked God for restraining me from reaching my wit’s end! ‘All is well that ends well’ is what came to my mind instantly.

However, here are some lessons learned……
  • Never ever take unsolicited help from any one. Especially, when help tries coming at a time, you do NOT need at all. Trust me, in such cases, it is evident that the intent to help is not clear.
  • Never put yourself in a predicament where you can take nonsense. In such cases, avoid confrontation and move on. But make sure, there is no scope for a recurrence.
  • Do not believe everything you are being told.
  • Appreciation is good. But learn to differentiate between a genuine appreciation and an appreciation that comes like the carrot stick.
  • And most importantly, Learn to say NO when you mean NO.

Not that I am bitter about how I was treated very rudely when things could have been handled pleasantly. But I was antagonized by the fact that assumptions lead to judgments.This lady had already launched an extreme tirade on me without understanding the fact that this could have happened with anyone. And in that moment of her heated harangue, I resisted myself from reminding her of the fact that she had copied my script word to word on paper just to claim my work as her own. However, I did not retort for two reasons:
  • I do not like to berate a person for whatsoever reason. 
  • And, even as my work was plagiarized by her, somewhere she had put efforts in copying it down on paper notwithstanding the intent behind it.
Not that I care about being judged by her as I was not born to please every riddling character in the world. Sometimes, we want to be heard more and judged less.

And yes, the lesson I learnt today.....


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

10 things I want to do in life ~ My bucket list

  1. I would want to go on a world tour and visit the finest farms on earth, eat freshly baked loaf with the best cheese and herbs and maybe, make some fresh hand picked mushroom pasta and some nice comforting pizza (Yeah, David Rocco, you charm me with that smile and Maeve 'O'Meara, I envy you when you close your eyes, take a whiff of that smoky aroma and moan as you slide a spoonful of baba ghanoush into your mouth!) 
  2. I want to meet Amitabh Bhachan at least once and shake hands with the big man. (I so love his voice and so does my son.)
  3. I want to hitchhike through out the country with hubby and son and visit some of the best highway diners and then write some reviews on them. (Rocky and Mayur, you are free to join us :P)
  4. I want to visit Leh with hubby and son and sit by the icy chilled waters amidst the backdrop of snowcapped mountains, mild sun rays and floating clouds.
  5. That said, it is my dream to go on an African Safari with family and see the wild creations of nature at their best. (all three of us are NatGeo Addicts)
  6. And the other places I would love to visit abroad would be, New Zealand, Australia and Greece.
  7. In distant future, I would love to own a small apartment in a quiet corner of a city, where large gulmohar trees camouflage my home and from where, I can hear the holy chants from some temple nearby.
  8. And in my apartment, I shall have my own library (my space), a place where I can de-clutter and learn.
  9. Some day, I would love to teach under privileged children and help them realize their potential.
  10. I hope to write a good book in future, a book that shall inspire people. 
That is all for now! Shall update the list as and when my wishlist increases.