13th April 2015- the precise date I went back to office after 5 months. I fondly recall it was exactly one year ago around this time that I discovered something which changed my life forever. Yes! I found out I was expecting and the euphoric feeling it invoked is something I fall short of words to express. Life has taken a complete 360 degree turn and despite the bleary eyes and baby fat, its a beautiful experience.
It all started with waiting desperately for my maternity leave to begin(as all we working people wait so eagerly for holidays). It came, and I soon realised this no vacation in fact it is multiple times more difficult and demanding than a job. 3 months flew by and by time my little one had settled into a routine and I had a teeny weeny bit of time to myself when she took her naps or was playing with her Mai or Dadi, I looked out of the balcony and felt I missed going out. I missed office- Oops!! I can't believe I just said that. No doubt the demands of the baby kept me on my toes the whole day and what with the household chores and some miscellaneous stuff which always popped up, but I missed going to work.
And finally the day dawned, the day before I spent so many hours in the saloon. I really needed that extra time as I looked terrible- I had forgotten what going to the parlour meant- it was a luxury I just could not afford owing to lack of time. Entrusting my baby to my mom, off I went to look presentable lest they see me and shoo me off at the gate (the ID photo is just not you- whom are you tricking?).
I kept reminding myself that I would be strong and not cry- after all I'm leaving Angel in the hands of my mom (Mai) and grandma, I could not have wished for anyone more trustworthy. I had no doubts about the care and love she would be brought up with. They have always stood by me and both being working women strongly urged me to continue working while they would extend their full fledged support to me. This is what instilled the confidence in me to get back to work.
The next morning I woke up to the shrill song of the alarm( When I set the alarm I realised it was really 5 months since I had last used it- O how time flies!).I got ready as usual and I did feel the happiness of a kid as I wore a new dress and my new heels(I missed them since almost a year as they were a strict no no during pregnancy). As I waited for the cab to come, Angel woke up suddenly and looked at me with her large innocent eyes, she gave that smile which melts my heart and chuckled. She was oblivious to the fact that Mumma would not be with her the whole day like any other day. But I wasn't. There came the floodgate of tears which I tried to hold back with such an effort but failed miserably. I took her in my arms and hugged her tightly. Mum assured me she would be fine, don't cry. With that I went to work.
It was great meeting people after such a long time. After the initial banter and sweets tasting session, I settled down and said hi to my colleagues who worked in a different location. As the day passed I kept wondering what was Angel doing( Multiple calls to Mom who assured me she was fine, having her food and playing as usual). I knew she was too young to miss me. Its funny how the daily stuff we do which sometimes gets so monotonous- we start missing that and yearning for it once its no longer a part of our daily life. I missed those moments- her sleeping on my lap as I too dozed off or sometimes listened to my ipod watching her innocent face and thanking God once more for this precious gift, feeding her, entertaining her when she became cranky , taking her for a stroll in the pram. I desperately waited to get home.
I left early that day but rains played havoc and I couldn't reach as early as I planned to. As I stepped into the house, and ran to meet her, I saw her sleeping. She woke up later and I looked into her eyes and sang a nursery rhyme she loves listening- her eyes were wide open and she gave that gleeful giggle and moved her hands and legs all excited- O how full of joy I was to see her.
I knew this was going to be a daily thing and yes work would get more intense and demanding as time progressed and there's no doubt I would miss her terribly, but It was a decision I had made for my own reasons fully aware of these facts. Yes I would stand by it and spend whatever time I get outside of my working hours with her. Weekends would be lovelier than before and so much more motivation to get off work early(actually thinking not that I needed any in the past:-) ). Which meant I was going to be two times more productive and efficient than before(well work keeps adding but time to do it diminishes!!)
Well, its the generation of the multitasking super moms, ain't it?
Now let me confess- I am really NOT someone who loves watching
daily soaps. I know reading the tile you thought- what the heck, if it’s a
daily soap on TV it is bound to be stereotypical, full of nonsense and drama
and if you watch such stuff why complain, and if complain why watch? There was a
time when I was in college, all naive, and this was when internet was all about
going to the cyber cafe and getting all excited about entering the chat room
and typing asl (age ,sex ,location) and talking to strangers. At that time, the
only source of entertainment for young people like me was the idiot box so I won’t
lie- I used to watch the Ekta Kapoor soaps and probably even like that at that
point, that’s why I use the word Naive. As I grew up, met
diverse set of people, read and experienced new cultures, my thought process
changed. With a hectic job, I hardly found time for any TV watching. My Mom who
is also a working woman used to watch a few Marathi soaps. She always told me
Bhagwan you speak English with your daughter? What is happening these days?
People want to show off and are forgetting their roots”. I have heard this many times. Earlier my
reaction used to be - apologetic. I would keep quiet and try to ignore the comment
and find an escape route. But now if someone dares to talk to me about this
matter, I snap them off then and there. I am unapologetic I don't think I have
done anything wrong which I need to feel ashamed about. So yes I do speak in
English at home and this is my first language. No qualms about it. And
it's not because of an inter caste marriage in fact I have been speaking
English as a first language right since childhood. To give you some background
on how this came to be. My mother’s parents belonged to Mangalore ( it's a
coastal town in Karnataka) they migrated to Bombay in search of a livelihood
when they were young. They married, had kids and their kids were brought up by
a maid. As my mom and her brother lived…
As Aesha tapped her heel restlessly at the Visa Consulate, one
might just think of her as yet another young woman who has set her heart on an
overseas dream, a future in the greener pastures and she is probably nervous if
her visa will be stamped or not as her fate can either be made or broken by
this one seal (or the lack of it). But for Aesha , her tumultuous mind couldn't
be tamed today. While she was at
the cusp of an important milestone in her career and getting the visa would
mean she inches one step closer to her dream professionally- somewhere she
shuddered to think of how it would impact her love life and the very foundation
of her marriage. It seemed like
yesterday- Aman and Aesha met at a sangeet and got talking. They hit it
instantly and never realized where time flew. They would always chuckle when
they got to know later that this had been set up by their parents. Aesha was a young, dynamic, super smart, intelligent woman who was
a great fan of Sheryl Sandberg and truly…