Monday, March 23, 2015

A New Day, A New Life!

Eight years ago, I was at crossroads. I was in college and had cleared a top software company's interview. It required me to train in Mysore, and then eventually get placed in one of their corporate centers, none of which were in North India. Even though my parents were happy that I had landed a job before the college ended, they had their misgivings about sending me off so far. No one in the family had moved out for job, yet. It took a lot of convincing to get them to agree to it.

My new life was was a total contrast to my life at home until now. Our training hours were the usual 9-5, but the training and project work ensured we all worked late into the nights, and then had to be promptly back at 9 in the morning. And all this, without anyone waking me up in the morning, with a ready breakfast. Even though our schedules were crazy, they insisted on making us responsible. Sometimes, I did up get on time, get ready, head to the cafeteria for breakfast before making it to the training center. But a lot of times, I missed breakfast too. Weekends were slightly better. We caught up on sleep and assignments and occasionally went out to explore the city. Now as I look back, I realize how it was making us all grow into independent individuals, especially people like me who had hitherto been carefully kept under the parental wings. This little hatching was finally finding the wings to fly.

The training go over and I was placed in the Bangalore campus. The three years that I spent In Bangalore were, undoubtedly, the best years of my life. This idea to #StartANewLife, yet again, was the awesome-est thing. Ever. I lived an independent life. I worked hard in office, harder at the extra curricular activities. It was not all hunky dory though. Since there was no "helicopter parenting" now, I also made a complete mess of my eating habits like giving up on breakfast, milk and fruits. I fell ill, very ill. I had to undergo a 6 month homeopathy treatment. I also gained a lot of weight. But eventually, it all was for good measure. I ook up dancing to get rid of the weight, and made the most awesome friends ever. The years went by in a jiffy.

Three years later, I was at crossroads again. The then to-be-husband was in Delhi and I, in Bangalore. The wedding date had been fixed. Husband had had enough of Bangalore in less than 2 years. I had to relocate. #StartANewLife, yet again. The rest, as they say, is history. I shifted back to the coop, got married and settled down. Eventually became a mother.

And now? Waiting for a new start :-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I am! We are!

I know I have written a lot about how motherhood has been the best thing to have happened to my life. And how my little one is the storehouse of a million sunshines that light life everyday. However, like good things, this one has a flip side too. And that is, the time H and I get to spend together. After she was born, we have hardly had any time to spend with each other. The days and nights melted into each other, blurry with a flurry of activities. And then, when she was only 4 months old, H had to travel to Germany for work. It took me a long time and a lot of effort to get both of ours' passport and visas done to be able to join him there. But I didn't have too many expectations of a different life there, as I was travelling with all-day-work i.e. my almost-9 month old hyperactive princess.

H and I are travel enthusiasts. But, of course, we hadn't traveled much after we came to know of the pregnancy. But to my delight, as soon as our travel dates got confirmed, H booked our flight tickets and made hotel reservations for our Euro trip. Something we had been planning for a long time. And so, even as I had not come over the initial euphoria of seeing him after so many months, he surprised me with the travel plan. I had never imagined our Euro trip would happen with our 9 month old. I was as happy as anxious It was going to be our first travel with the little one. How would we manage? We were first time parents, after all. And this was a new country. We had one week to settle in the new place before the vacation started. We settled in, all too soon. For nothing do they say "Home is where the heart is" I didn't feel like I was in a new place at all. And that first week was the best ever. I would spend the day, cooking and cleaning and playing, and in the evenings, went out to explore the city we lived in. It was pure bliss.

And then the trip happened. We had quite an eventful trip. I loved the croissants in Paris, and the hot-chocolate in Zurich. Berlin took us back in time to the First and the Second world wars. But I had the most amazing time in Amsterdam, Venice of the north. I think I found Amsterdam to be the coolest European city. Or maybe because it was summer when we visited. The hustle bustle at the central square was so inviting. We saw the most number of freak-worthy stuff there. No points for guessing it though ;-) The way the city transforms itself in the night is just mind blowing. If you are a directionally challenged like moi, you are most likely to find yourself at the exact spot you visited in the day, and not know it! But the best part about Amsterdam was being able to visit the Anne Frank house. I was finally able to see in person all that I had read in the book. The Secret annexe, Anne’s room, her pictures and all the other small things that she had described in her little diary. I had read the book while I was still in school, and now visiting the house while holding my 9 month old was quite an experience. When I had read the book, I was scared if I had to face a situation like that someday too. But while in the house, I think my heart just broke into a million pieces. I am so glad Anne’s mother died before her. I cannot imagine what a mother would have gone through to see her child suffer like that.


Our Amsterdam postcard

When we walked out of the house, the little one was peacefully asleep in the husband’s arms. We sat around one of the numerous river side cafes to grab a bite. I think I must have sent a thousand prayers for the happiness God has bestowed us with. I worried about not being able to spend time with the hubby and that he had to travel away from us. In hindsight, God was just setting a stage for our Euro trip. So we could make up for all the lost time in the best way possible. To be able to relive our past. And to be able to make some brand new memories. We were #together through it all, and that’s what matters the most, right?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Can you define Motherhood?

Before my daughter was born, I knew everything there was to know about a baby. You feed them, bathe them, and entertain them. After she was born, it dawned on me that I actually knew nothing. The day I was discharged from the hospital, the little one was handed over to me. While making an exit, I must have looked pretty normal. But in my head, I was freaking out. "How can they just allow me to walk out of here with a 3 day old baby?" "I hardly know what to do with her" "What if I drop her?" "What if I fail to understand what she wants" were some of the questions bombarding my brain.

After more than a year now, I can safely say, that it was the right thing to do. There is no book that can teach you an iota of what a baby teaches you in a day. And how much ever you learn, there is always room for learning something new every day. Sometimes this newness is exhilarating, which means she's learnt to say Mamma or taken the first step and sometimes maddening, like the newest word in her vocabulary becomes No. So NO it is for everything :(

Anyhow, the point I am trying to drive at is, motherhood is such a wild phenomenon that I cannot even begin to comprehend it. 

Read the complete post here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

He Fixed the Match, She Fixed him - Book review


Sneak from the cover

Shreya – I’m a highly qualified Delhi girl earning an enviable salary. My parents are having a tough time finding a suitable groom for me. However, recently they have a proposal from this very interesting guy from Mumbai. I almost get mesmerised when he starts talking to me. I think I like him very much.

Kunal – I’m owner of a textile company in Mumbai. My mom wants me to get married. Again. She has recently suggested a suitable girl from Delhi. What my mom doesn’t know is that I’ve already met Shreya before once in my life and I’ve been looking for her ever since. I have a vendetta to settle.





He fixed the match She fixed him is your typical Bollywood style love story, with a beautiful girl and a handsome boy who are at loggerheads with each other due to some reason. Here, the reason is their past which has some very filmy sequences. To avenge his past, Kunal gets married to Shreya but obviously, they hate each other and keep trying to outdo each other. Eventually, they realize they are not as bad as they try to be and fall in love. And live happily ever after ! <Smirk>

I mean, don't be disheartened. If you really like cheesy love stories, you should definitely pick it up. And I am not judging you at all. Just that it is not my type. I find the story and sequences all too clich├ęd. Even though the author has carved out the characters and their families in detail, the plot somehow does not have logic in a lot of places.

Like Shreya is shown to be this ambitious girl who is an MBA, works in a top notch firm earning a handsome salary, but literally marries a guy she has met just once, for 5 minutes. I mean, really? And then, just because it is necessary (for the plot) for Shreya to not see the Kunal’s face at the wedding, she is made to wear her pallu long enough to have covered her eyes during the pheras. And then she eventually uncovers the truth when she sees Kunal in her room on her wedding night. I mean, there is the stage, there is the jaimala, dinner and countless other ceremonies where the girl CAN have a look at the guy's face on the wedding day. Logic much?

The book moves at a high pace through the first half, and that's how it keeps you hooked. The second half loosens the pace and there is a lot of technical jargon especially in the sequences where Kunal and Shreya are shown working together. Although it does lend a realistic tone to the scene, I would have preferred this reality in other life's scenarios as well. The book just drags towards the end, with unnecessary twists to create excitement which end up dragging the story.

I found the book totally average and would rate it 2 on 5.

PS: These are totally my sentiments on the book. Please go ahead and pick a copy if you like this genre.