Thursday, 29 November 2007

thinking out of a box......

From the time I entered my home as a newly wedded bride (hee, hee feeling funny to write newly wedded bride) I was exposed to the harsh realities of life. My hubby was an addict..…………nahhheeeeeeeee(hindi movie style)…….yes, a TV addict. Everything, oops sorry, almost all home activities revolved around the TV. He used to leave for work at 7; he didn’t have time 2 eat breakfast, leave alone time to switch the TV on. But after he came back from work, he’ll freshen up & go straight to switch the TV on & it would be on till we went to sleep.

He would surf thru all the channels atleast 3 times before he settled on any 1 program. When the program breaks for advertisements he’ll continue his surfing. And just suppose I tell him to put channel no 23, he’ll start from channel no.1…..go thru each channel, wait for the blue screen to turn to the program it is airing, watch it for 15 secs, then switch to the next channel. By the time he reaches the channel I want to watch, the program would be half-over. Initially I used 2 tear my hair out in frustration, later on I got smarter. 10 mins before my program started I would tell him which channel, then go in to make coffee. All the while I am making coffee I would follow-up on it otherwise he would continue his way. By the time I was back he would have reached channel no.21, and then it was just the question of waiting it out. If he still showed reluctance to put the channel, then I would take away the remote from him. But it didn’t end there. He would keep commenting humorously about the characters of my program, distracting me thru’out(but the comments would be funny) & finally would take the remote away from me.

The oddest point about his TV watching is that he doesn’t have a single favorite program that he watches on a daily basis. He is not fanatic about sports nor is he addicted to any reality shows. The regular TV serials bore him to tears & news channel don’t really interest him unless they r interviewing some worthy personality. Sometimes I catch him watching some documentaries but it is not a regular thing. Now that I actually think of it, he likes to watch comedy scenes. Ohhhhh yes he loves it. And mind u, these comedy scenes are re-runs which he would have watched 100’s of times but he’ll still watch it like he’s watching it for the 1st time. Every time the character gets punched (yes, punched in the comic scenes, Malayalam movies r famous for it), my husband holds his stomach as if he feels the pain. Sometimes I just watch him analytically. He seems normal in every other way. I mean, how many times can u laugh (uproariously at that) at Innacent saying “enddddde ammmaaae”(an actor saying a dialogue in Malayalam movie). Then I console myself saying that atleast he is not imitating them in real life (imagine if he went around pushing out his hair at the back of his neck like Mamotty in the “The King”, or like mohanlal “mone dinesha” ……..ooooh I’ll die of embarrassment).

I used to get really upset with him in the beginning regarding this issue. I wanted him to spend the time with me. Talk to me. I never was a mindless TV watcher. Yes I watched certain programs, but not endlessly. So I couldn’t relate to his kind of attachment to the TV. But as time passed I realized that it was his way of winding down at the end of the day. Sometimes he just sat there & watched the figures flickering on the screen while his mind was working on some software problem. Other times he took a nap with the TV on. Hopes of weaning him away from the idiot box gradually faded. I accepted the elemental role TV played in his life. I left him to it. I slowly started keeping myself busy with the kids, computer, crosswords, sudoku, even baking.

Soon, I felt a difference within myself. I was no longer clock-watching or holding it against him for lolling on the sofa. In short I was at peace (ok, ok I still got mad with him, once in a while, but just, once in a while).

But now all this TV watching has rebounded on him. The kids have taken after him. After all blood is thicker than water (actually I’m not sure if this idiom relates to the situation but it gives me the CT’s to pen it down :-D). Nowadays he walks in2 the kitchen while I’m cooking, I look up surprised & then automatically tune my ears 2 what TV program is going on……u guessed right, it will be a cartoon. The kids would have ganged up on him & wrestled the control off him. He smiles ruefully & gives me a hand in what I’m doing. And u know what, we even mange to hold a full-fledged conversation(ok, ok jes kidding, but u get my point).

2 weeks back we sent our bigger TV back to India thru cargo along with other stuff. We have another TV in the bedroom so v planned to keep that out in the living room for the time-being. The kids had opposed the move vociferously (ie. Taking away the BIG TV & replacing it with smaller version). The strength of their disappointment & frustration had taken him aback. He then took a decision not to place the TV in the living room till the exams were over. The first 3 days were bad. Both father & kids were lost without the TV. Kids were so fidgety & drove us mad with their hyperactivity. Their father seemed so lost. Everytime he sat on his favourite chair, my eyes would go to the gaping hole where the TV was kept. I would smile & waggle my eyebrows at him. He would smile back good-naturedly.

It’s been 2 weeks now. And we came out of it in flying colors. The kids have taken to coloring, reading and eating my head. Their father reads stories to them, plays silly games with them, even teaches them for their exam & wonders of wonders, he talk with me about work and other consequential-inconsequential stuff. As for me, I’m shaking my head in wonder. Every once in while, my better-half manages to surprise me.

All the above happened over a period of 8 yrs. So all u people out there whose husbands fanatically watch the idiot box, don’t lose hope or your temper. Keep the peace, occupy yourself with something constructive. It may not make a difference immediately but always keep the bigger picture in mind. Then everything falls into place.

Ofcourse, I’m not exactly believing all this will last for ever coz the exams finish today :-(

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Just another evening with my kids.....

Nikita & Naina have exams going on. I leave office by 4pm(with permission:-p), am ready to sit down with them by 5, wind up studies by 7 & put them to bed by 8.30 pm.

Today Nikita had English Literature (imagine Eng. Lit in 1st grade :-s)) and Naina had GK. So yesterday, I first sat with the Nikita & v went thru all her portions. Then gave her a dummy test to do & started with Naina’s portions. Now Naina is in KG1 & has really basic stuff to study but it’s still an exam & we have to give it the respect it deserves…….. so she had to study 5 fruits, 5 vegetables & 5 flowers. As we were going thru’ 5 fruits (apple, orange, pineapple, pear & grapes) I remembered I had to make chapattis for dinner. So I told her to read loudly, .....oops she can’t read…..ok look at the pictures & say the name aloud. And so I was making chapattis & I could hear her saying…..carrots, green peas, potatoes, caufliflower, cabbage…..then flowers….rose, marigold, dustbin, lilies, sunflower. The chapatti roller paused. “Nainaaa…..say it once again.” “Okkkkk…..Rose, marigold, dustbin, lily, sunflower….” by now I was already reaching for the book from which she was reading from. It was..… Rose, marigold, JASMINE, lily. Couldnt help laughing out loud.

Now the chapattis were ready to be made. Just then the phone rang. Answered it & came back to put the chapatti on the tava. Found the freshly rolled chapatti stuck to the plate on which it was kept. I’m surprised. Looked more closely & found tiny fingerprints on them. Sighing, I went to the next. Same status. Out of the 9, 4 were damaged. Rolled them back to 4 lumps & started all over again. And that damn call was a wrong number.

Called them for their bath. They pretended not to hear. When I finally reached for the stick, they obliged. While bathing they were whispering to each other & giggling. They were highly excited. I was like “whats up?” Both were giggling harder than ever. “We’ll tell u after the bath”. Finally powdered & clothed….they r still giggling… I cdnt contain my curiosity “ok tell me now”. Both of them in unison “u gave us a bath with your soap” & rolled on the bed laughing. I went to the bathroom & checked. They were right. Not that I had any doubts. They know my soap better than theirs. I came back to the bedroom to see them smelling each others hands…….mmmmmm nice.

After dinner, there was the usual argument about whose book I’ll read. I usually settled the matter by reading the book I didn’t read the previous day. Read a story about a little girl who was a chatterbox & a pixie who kidnapped her & made her small,…… how she learnt a hard lesson & learnt to keep quiet. Watched the kids’ expressions coz I knew exactly what was going on in my 2 lil chatterboxes’ minds. Hiding a smile, I waited. Finally a small voice “but mama, pixies r make-believe characters aren’t they.” I smiled & reassured them “ofcourse they don’t exist”. Relieved, they attacked “one more story please, please, pleeeease….” Regretting my moment of weakness, I got up, tucked the sheets around them firmly, kissed them good night, & walked out.

Tiptoed back in after sometime. Both were fast asleep. Smoothened the hair back from Nikita’s face. Removed Naina’s leg from Nikita’s stomach. Knelt down beside the bed & watched them for a while.

Put my hands together & thanked my Lord.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Shilpa's day out

I was working for a multimedia training centre as coordinator. My friend Chaitra was also working there as a counsellor. She was friends with a girl next door who like her, was also a Kannadiga. Her name was Shilpa. The 1 time I spoke with her, she was really rude, so I never made an effort after that.

When Chaitra was leaving EDIT she told me a few details about Shilpa & asked me to be a little friendly with her. After that I spoke cordially with her & she also made an effort. It took us some time and we became maybe not the best but good friends. My other friends wondered what I saw in her. How do I explain to them that she was …….was a good friend. She valued my friendship.

Shilpa’s family owned the building in which our institute was running. They had pots of money, but not very educated. Shilpa herself discontinued her studies after school. Her father was an alcoholic & had another family tucked away. Her mother was more interested in the welfare of her sons & didn’t have her daughters interests at heart. Yes, Shilpa had money but she also had this neglected look about her.

Once we decided we were going to be friends, we had a lot of fun together. I worked from 7am-3pm. So if we planned a movie together I would act like there was some major emergency in my life & take permission to get away an hour early so that we could catch the 2.30 show. She would leave her house 10 minutes earlier than me & wait for me at the corner of the road. I would leave at 2pm, rush to where she was waiting & we would race to the theatre on my bike (a hero puch). All this would be done in such stealth & secrecy coz if we got caught, both of us would be in trouble. Oh those days…..what idiots’ we were, but what fun we had.

Many a time I would find her very depressed about what was happening within her family. Sometimes she would pour out all her woes. Most of what she said never happened with me, I mean I couldn't relate with it at all. Inside, I would be so horrified but I couldn't show it out & make her feel even worse. I would just divert her mind with some mad plan or the other.

One day in December….it was the day before her birthday. She was very sad & just wanted to go somewhere far away, alone. At her house nobody would even remember her birthday. I felt very bad for her & wanted to cheer her up. So I told her we’d go together. After a much delibration we decided to go to Mysore & spend the day there. We planned to leave by train early morning & be back by 6 in the evening. I then called up my boss & fed him some story which he didn’t swallow but short of calling me a liar he couldnt do anything else.

The next morning we reached Cantonment Railway Station by 7am, got tickets for the 8’o’clock train to Mysore. We kept grinning at each other nervously. The train arrived & we found the compartment full. I mean our seats were vacant but it was crowded whereas the next bogey looked invitingly vacant. We got into the next bogey & there was not a soul in there. There were comfortable seats & good facilities. We had our breakfast & lazily watched the scenery flying past. Even after 3-4 stops, nobody got in. Gradually we realized that this was a 1st class compartment & we could be in trouble if we were caught.

Just then the ticket collector arrived. He took 1 look at our guilty expressions & knew. He took a cursory glance at our tickets & asked us to pay Rs.400 as fine. We appealed to his better nature & told him that the other compartment was full of men & so….blah, blah. He told us to get 1st class tickets if we were so particular about not mingling with the riffraff. Looking at our worried expressions, he then relented & told us he won't fine us but we have to get off at the next station & get into the compartment the ticket mentioned. We nodded our heads vigorously, relieved that he was letting us go lightly.

The train reached Mysore at 10.30am. We took an auto straight to Mysore Palace. The Maharaja's Palace is a beautiful three storied stone building of fine gray granite and rich pink marble domes. We spent 2 hrs engrossed & enthralled in the grandeur of yesteryears. The palace was awe-inspiring; the paintings were sheer poetry. We emerged into the bright sunshine & shook our heads in wonder. I had seen it all before but each time it takes my breath away. At least the government was taking care to conserve the pages of the past.

Outside the palace, several hawkers approached us with mementoes to take home. We picked up a few after bargaining with them. Throwing 1 last glance at the imposing Palace we moved forward. Hunger pangs were assuaged at a nearby restaurant before proceeding towards our next destination……the famous Mysore Zoo.

The Zoo, over a century old, was a very well-maintained sprawling 45 acres of land with an excellent collection of animals & birds. It has a picturesque setting with the Chamundi hills as its backdrop and an artificial lake on its premises. All the animals & birds had a well-maintained & healthy look about them. No wonder, it is considered as the best zoo in the country. We couldn’t cover all areas but managed quite a bit before calling it quits as time was running out on us.

We then took an auto & went to the famous Philomena’s church. St. Philomena's Church in Mysore was built by the Wodeyar Maharajas of Mysore. A grand old church, over 200 years old, built in the Gothic style is one of the largest Cathedrals in South Asia, with stained glass windows from France & other architectural relevance. The Church is famous for its 175 feet high spires and also has a catacomb. Soaking in the serenity of the church, we lingered for a while.

We could not put it off any longer. It was time to go. We had plans to go to the market but that was not possible now. Hurrying to the station we clambered into the train just as it was leaving the station. Ideally we should have reached Bangalore by 6-6.30pm. The stupid, stupid train developed some problem & stopped in the middle of nowhere. My heart started a slow rhythm which developed into a heavy thudding as time flew past. And before u ask... mobile phones became popular a good 2 yrs later. We reached Bangalore at 8.45pm. I rushed to a telephone booth & called home. My sister picked up the phone & gave me an earful. After dropping Shilpa off on the way I sped home. All the way my mind was fumbling as to what explanation I would give. Finally I decided to stick to the truth…….well atleast base my story on the truth.

I reached home at 10pm. My father was at the gate waiting for me. My mother gave me such a shelling that my hair still stands on end whenever I think about the incident. I felt so guilty. Hesitantly I told my story…."When I reached the office that morning, boss told me there was a one-day training in Mysore & I had 2 leave immediately. He told me that I would be back before 6 but it got delayed."
I held forward my purchases placatingly. My sister opened it & took out a beautiful wooden painting of Jesus Christ amongst other knick-knacks. All 3 of them loved it & spent the next ½ hr trying to find the best place to hang it. I slunk out of the room, muttering a litany of thanks to God for saving me thru & thru. I mean anything could have happened & they wouldn't have known.

The next morning Shilpa & I compared notes of the reception we received in our respective homes. The poor girl, she had it even worse than me.
She said “Nancy, it was one of my best birthdays ever”.
I grinned in pleasure.

Then she said “We simply have to do it again”.
The grin vanished.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Office Matters - 2

A secretary & an accounts asst were appointed by the 3rd month & some of the pressure was off me. Now I was able to concentrate more on the administrative side of work. The 2 who were appointed were younger than me but more experienced. But even then it was clear that I was ahead of them in terms of language & maturity. NOW I was in my element acting like an old-timer, explaining stuff 2 them, etc. The PM knew that I was too good for his company. If he wanted 2 pacify a client or give a good impression of the company he’ll entrust me to do the job. But otherwise he was always looking for faults & trying 2 undermine my confidence. He tried to create differences between colleagues to make sure they wouldn’t conspire against him.
If only he realized the amount of time he dedicated towards creating tension between people, could be utilized for the betterment of the company.

Even at home I was not relaxed which led to a few tension creating episodes between husband & me. During 1 of those times he told me to quit if the job was going to create friction at home also. I went ahead & gave my resignation. PM was suspicious, colleagues were surprised, friends called me an idiot, husband was the most astonished of the lot. He never thought I would leave a job which I tried so hard to get. As for me, I was in confusion. Did I do the right thing? But 1 thing was clear I was not going to work anywhere at the expense of family harmony.

I gave 10 days notice but was terminated after 2 days coz PM got info from somewhere that a competitor had offered me a good deal. The info he got was outdated coz the rival company had offered me a good deal & I already rejected it coz they were located a good distance away from where I stayed.

My kids were overjoyed to see me at the bustop the next day when they came back fr school. i thot my decision was for the best. Just then I got a call from the company to meet the MD at the office that day itself afternoon. I went.

The PM was kicked out the previous day……..finallllllllly. They wanted me 2 join back. I asked hubby. He said ok. So I told the MD I’ll be happy to join back but would he please understand tht I have 2 children below the age of 5 & b a bit reflexible abt my work-timings. He agreed without hesitation. And I joined back. As simple as that. So now u’ll ask me why I quit. I really can’t pinpoint anything. But at that point I was feeling stressed from all sides & something had to give. And it had to be me.

Office without the Pm was like……..kaala saaya(a dark shadow) out of our lives. Like breathing fresh air after a long time. Life became much simpler now. Maybe my resigning without a moments thought also calmed a few of my husband’s fears. Whatever the reason, life settled down a bit after that.

But business was at an all time low. Whatever PM was in the office, to the clients he was a smooth talker. He knew his subject very well & could talk anybody in2 anything. He brought in a lot of projects for the company; his only problem was he didn’t know how 2 execute them to the finish. The man in charge now was just the opposite….he didn’t know how 2 convince a client to give us the project but whatever v had in hand he finished them all. The real victory is when v can convince the client to part with the balance amount and that’s what he did. But to survive in the industry v needed work. This kind of work didn’t need many people in the office. So now v were just 2 in the office with hardly any work 2 do. It was so boring & frustrating. Then a miracle occurred……

The Manager decided tht the company will subscribe to a broadband internet connection. I actually thought it was bad business decision. I mean, there is no work & here v r increasing the expenditure in the company but personally I held my breath & waited. Within a wk Etisalat came & did the needful & v had a business line. Yip, yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

And life changed after that. Imagine an internet connection which opened up sites just as v clicked. V could download or upload stuff to our hearts content (well not exactly but close). I was online the whole day. I loved it. Just loved coming to office.

Never missed even a day of work. Even if I were sick I would drag myself to office…… to rest. If u r wondering why……….then just imagine that u r terribly sick & trying to sleep, now imagine 2 kids who have no intentions of letting u rest.

It’s been 9 months now since I joined work. I am quite ‘happy’ here. People ask me why I’m still there coz my initial plan was to pick up the ropes in a small company & move on. But I’m not really in a hurry to make any changes in my life. The pay is lousy but it’s a stress free job, ideally located & I have the run of the place. I never was very career-oriented…….u knw the dynamic types who is keen to grow upwards (ok, ok growing sideways is another issue altogether).

A lot of my life’s ambitions have been realized. I now wear formal clothes to office everyday. It was a struggle to fit into them in the beginning but since then I have lost a bit of weight & toned up a bit….a bit. Now it looks like I was born to wear them. Ok I’ll cut the exaggeration. My once unused signature is found in all the paperwork of the company. Infact I’m so fed up of signing that I’ve switched to short form now. I used to love the cold cut sandwiches from ENOC/ EPCO (refreshment centers at petrol stations). My office is next to ENOC & I have had my fill eating sandwiches from there.

So all in all, my wishes are being fulfilled one by one. Yes, i wd like to lose another 5 kgs but then there is no hurry. It will its own time. Yes it will.......for sure.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Office matters

The 1st day at the office seems so unreal now. I remember walking in at 8.55am (I was asked to report at 9). The project manager (PM), a 40 something slimy looking man with bulging eye-balls, asked me to take a seat across him & ignored me for the next 20 mins. He fiddled with his mobile, made a few useless calls, acted important and flipped thru some papers. Only later I found out that between 8 & 9 am it was “rahu kaala”(hindus don’t believe in starting anything new during this time) & that is why he was procrastinating. Anyways, at around 9.15 he started telling me abt the company & its sister companies & all the important people in it. More than half of it went over my head but I nodded at the appropriate places.

He told me a bit about what the company does. It was an interior decoration company which dealt mainly with office interiors……i.e. converting warehouses into offices…… partitioning them into cubicles & doing the flooring, ceiling, lighting, blah, blah, blah…. He then gave me 2 phone numbers of people at the site & told me to call them, demand to know what they were doing & then shout at them to do the work faster. I looked at him unbelievingly. I was like “I don’t have a clue what they r doing, then how can I say anything?” he dismissed my query with a…….. “U don’t have to know anything, just do as I tell u to”. This was the start of a 4 month trial & tribulation period.

There was not another soul in the office. The secretary left the job the previous week & the marketing guys were all supposed to be on the field.
I sat in front of the telephone but didn’t know how to call up somebody out of the blue & shout for slacking. Just then the PM(project manager) walked out of the door saying he’ll b back in 2 hrs. I leaned back weakly in relief. I called my husband & related everything. He told me to follow what the PM said. So I called up the 1st phone no., introduced myself & asked what he was doing. The guy at the other end was polite & told me he was fixing locks & hinges on a door. Very apologetically I urged him to finish the work fast. Then I called the 2nd phone no. & asked that guy what he was doing. He told me he was also doing the same thing the 1st phone no. guy was doing. Seems like both these guys were working together on the same door. I wound up that call feeling like an idiot. I knew they were laughing at me.

Often I was asked to call people & convey messages which made no sense. Many a time I was asked to send mails complaining about delayed payments, or apology mails for delayed work (ofcourse the latter was more frequently sent than the former). Some mails were sent for absolutely no reason other than the fact that the PM saw me sitting there without any work. I learnt a lot that 1st month. I learnt to use the office appliances, to make enquiries, quotations, LPO’s, etc. Most of it was not my work but until they appointed another secretary I didn’t really mind doing it. I was learning something new everyday. I also learnt to look busy without actually accomplishing anything.

By the 2nd month I knew for sure the PM was a psycho. He was the biggest con guy I ever met. Absolutely without principles, morals or ethics (yes, I know all the 3 words mean the same). Twice I was on the verge of quitting but each time it was the middle of the month & I was determined to collect my salary before I left. Really, the man was totally without scruples. V had some 8 projects in hand. Almost 6 of them were in finishing stages for the past 4 months. Everyday I received calls from irate customers whose work was stalled because of our inefficiency. Workers called with their grievances. Suppliers called for payments. It was a nightmare. The situation remained the same throughout the time he was at the helm.

All this tension this psycho gave me, the walking I did to & fro to work & working thru lunch hours slowly started taking its toll on me.

I lost 2 kgs which was not a lot but was quite ok by me considering the fat……… ummm ….meant 2 say ….considering the fact that I hadn’t lost any for the past 3 yrs.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

GOD told me....

Quit Worrying: Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little things that comes your way? Put It On The List: Something needs done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not your list, put it on My to-do-list. Let Me be the one to take care of the problem. I can't help you until you turn it over to Me. And although My to-do-list is long, I am after all, God. I can take care of anything you put in My hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.

Trust Me: Once you've given your burdens to Me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in Me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on My list. Problem with finances? Put it on My list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster? For your sake, put it on My list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

Leave It Alone: Don't wake up one morning and say, "Well, I'm feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here." Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It's simple. You gave Me your burdens and I'm taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in My peace. Don't you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started? Leave them with Me and forget about them. Just let Me do My job.

Talk To Me: I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what is making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I'm in control. But there's one thing I pray you never forget. Please don't forget to talk to Me - OFTEN! I love you. I want to hear your voice. I want you to include Me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with Me. I want to be your dearest friend.

Have Faith: I see a lot of things from up here that you can't see from where you are. Have faith in Me that I know what I'm doing. Trust Me, you wouldn't want the view from My eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?

Share: You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven't heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none.

Be Patient: I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it takes Me a little longer than you expectto handle something on My to-do-list? Trust in My timing, for My timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should always rush, rush, rush.

Be Kind: Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for My sake. I created each of you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please know I love each of your differences.

Love Yourself: As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by Me for one reason only - to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love Me. Love your neighbors. But also love yourself. It makes My heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to Me. Don't ever forget that!

"My Lord's the best.
He knows me for what i am.
U simply rock Father!!!!!!!!!!!"

Sunday, 4 November 2007

weighty matters - part 2

Just kidding abt the yoga……..

I’ll never forget the time when I went on vacation to b’lore after a year of marriage & my sister didn’t recognize me at the airport. My parents had such open-mouthed expressions on their face that I didn’t find it very funny. Afterwards I hrd my sis telling my mom “if chachi(she calls me that…..but why chachi….….search me) can gain weight then there’s hope for all thin people”.

My weight gain situation was not so bad even then…..i actually for the 1st time had some flesh on my bones & looked wholesome(for want of a better word). A yr later I had my 1st child and ……gained more weight……3 yrs later ……had another child……..gained some more weight……..and started looking ungainly. And the paunch……..oooooohhhhh terrible. I used 2 feel sooo…sooo….i don’t knw wht to say…. Let’s just say that I didn’t like looking at myself in the mirror anymore.

I thot some of it will disappear in time. Waited for a year(of course this wait was done without any kind of exercise). The weight faithfully stuck with me & even gained a bit. Then I read an article where it said that women who gained more than 20 kgs weight after marriage were highly susceptible to cancer & a number of other high risk diseases. I didn’t react immediately but it weighed (no pun intended) on my mind.

First step towards achieving my goal happened when my maid quit. Hand of God, i thought. I started doing all the house work by myself & threw myself whole heartedly in2 it. I scrubbed, cleaned, washed, cooked, served, polished, brushed and looked after 2 kids(to be fair my husband & father in law did lend a hand whenever they cud). But I didn’t exercise nor did I curb my eating habits.

A year later………there was good news & bad news. Bad news was tht I didn’t lose a single kg and the good news was tht I didn’t gain either.

Around the same time I was also beginning to feel suffocated…...all woman around me were balancing career & home. I felt sort of inadequate whenever I told people that I was just a housewife. Yeah I knw HOW lucky I was to get the opportunity to sit at home & ALL THT CRAP. I didn’t feel least bit lucky. I felt lacking. Claustrophobic. Desperate. And fat on top of everything. I saw no way out of my predicament.

Whenever I made a shopping list I would look at my handwriting & think how rarely I write by hand. I had a signature which I am very proud of (well…I thk it looks good) but nowhere to sign. I stopped wearing trousers & wore only salwars. At that point, all I wanted in the entire world was a JOB. My secret fantasy used to be………to go to work wearing formals.

In life I always reacted slowly to any situation. Sometimes, even the punch line of a joke (some of them) made sense only 5 mins later. And I realized I could not go on like this any more for ever. Something had to change.

But wht were my options?????????????

Where shd I start? The weather was cooling & heading towards winter & so I decided to start walking for ½ an hr everyday. Walking around my colony took 30-35 mins. The 1st wk was not too good. The shoes pinched, legs ached, body protested. Husband watched quizzically, father in law was amused & kids watched me in interest. But mind resisted. The 2nd week did not get any better……shoes still pinched, husband questioned the need for exercise(coz he thot all the houswrk I did was exercise in itself), kids were asking to go with me(if I took them with me, they wd slow my pace) & I myself was wondering whether it was worth it. But mind resisted. I doggedly pushed myself. By the end of the 3rd week I was able to walk with a rhythm minus the panting. The shoes stretched to accommodate my feet & the kids pointedly ignored me when I started out. And my mind was at peace. In the 2nd month I was completing 1 round around the colony in 20-22 mins and enjoying it.

The good news was…..i was feeling good about the progress & felt fitter than ever but the bad news was tht I did not lose even a single kg. I have 2 add tht I was not following any particular diet. But I did do 1 thing, I started having smaller portions.

Around the same time I approached my husband……..I tentatively asked if I cd start working after my younger daughter joined school the following yr. He didn’t respond immediately but gave the nod later. He asked me to look for something close to home so tht I would not waste time in the traffic. I did not question his change of mind. What if he questioned his mind if I questioned him? Instead it was safer to assume he understood my state of mind & changed accordingly.

I started my job hunt immediately. Though I was not going to join anywhere immediately, I wanted to get the feel of the job market. The classifieds began to take up all my free time. I spruced up my cv & started sending it to all companies who wanted trainers or training assistants or anybody else in that category.

3 months later I was back where I started. Nobody wanted me. I must have sent 100’s of cv’s. I went for a few interviews. But it didn’t go further than tht. Thoroughly dejected, I sat back & thought. And I came to the conclusion I needed a job… didn’t matter wht kind. So I edited my cv once again & highlighted my administrative qualities & started the whole process once again.

This time I got more response. But the companies which paid well were in the freezone or further (it takes 3hrs to & fro on a good day). Forget the fact tht my husband was against it, I myself was not interested in commuting tht far everyday. So I started targeting companies whose fax numbers matched my area code. Finally after another 3 months of applications & interviews, one clicked.

It was an interior decoration company. Just 15 minutes away from my apartment. It took 15 minutes by walk or by car (there were 2 BIG traffic signals). I joined in as admin staff.

I won this battle but the battle of the bulge continued……………