Wednesday, March 27, 2013

First day at Playschool : excerpts from an anxious Mom's diary.


Every Mom dreads that day. The day their little one goes to a daycare for the very first time.

Mine was no different; given that anxiety is my middle name. Thanks to my parents who abundantly bestowed the most exquisite gene pool to me, anxiety and tension being the two most prominent traits. 

My baby was at home from birth until he turned 20 months old, and I was at a stone’s throw at office visiting him at regular intervals and a housemaid managing him when I was not there. My mother visited a couple of times too, and things were going smoothly until one day, my maid got enlightened from the other world. She decided to play hard-to-get, increased her wages, and started being irregular for lame reasons. This was unacceptable and we started thinking seriously and browsing aggressively for good daycare centers.

And we landed one.

So my next step was… to get anxious. I started chatting with all Moms I have on my chat list asking them what was the ripe age to go to playgroup. Given that my kiddo gets hyperactive around other kids his age was a sure sign that a forty year old housemaid is no company to him. Many of my friends were happy to help me get myself together over an endless list of queries and worries I had. I got a sense of reassurance from them. I visited the daycare center a few times, and shed some tears while talking to the teacher in charge because I am an emotional mess most of the time i.e whenever I am not sleeping.  I ensured the daycare was certified, made careful observation about cleanliness, the children to teacher ratio and most importantly how engaged the kids appeared whenever I visited. I noticed that none of the kids including babies were crying and they all were engrossed in something or the other, as the big bright room had enough toys and stationery to keep tiny tots busy for a long time. This boosted my confidence a little bit. I must tell you, I’d been at the crossroads of life many times and in do-or-die situations (read examinations) too, but I've never been through such emotional stress, ever.

As weekend falls on Thursday and Friday in this part of the world, Saturday was the first day of the week. Then came Saturday, February 23rd 2013.

Before that, I will let you guys peep into how February 22nd went. Complete disillusionment. Yes we went out to buy lunch and snack boxes for him, during which I was still in a state of complete delusion. I did not sleep that night. My mind wandered around his playschool and I pictured him in the worst scenarios. I was not helping myself in the belief and faith part of prayer. Soon my alarm went off, and I realized that nights are very short when you are preoccupied. Nights are also short on examination eves, but that is a different story.
So on that day, I woke up at 5:00 a.m, that’s when my working day starts. The kitchen schedules were completely reoriented to pack his lunch, thus pushing our breakfast into a second priority. Diapers, dresses, napkins, lunch, snacks, milk, water – Check. Around 9:00 am, we left from home. My hands were sweating like crazy, while my son was humming away a random tune.

Soon we reached the nursery and were welcomed by smiling teachers and a lot of kids of different age groups and nationalities. The bigger kids had assembled there before going to their classrooms. As they left the play area seemed bigger and brighter with all sorts of toys and little rides. Four other toddlers almost the same age as him stood there playing among themselves. When he saw the big bright room, he struggled himself out of my hands and walked towards the toys. He got into one of the rides, and turned and smiled at me. I stood there for a while, and he occasionally turned to look at me, not knowing that I will not be there for long. I fought back tears. Seeing my constipated expression, my husband intervened and asked.. “So you think the parents of those kids dumped them here because they don’t like them?”

“No..”

“Then what? See how happy he is now. He may miss us, but this is where he wants to be during the day. Not at home watching those useless serials with the housemaid”.

Okay that went above my head, and the teacher consoled me that he will be fine and that they were all there for him. She also told me not to stay there looking at him too long.
I slowly left, with a heavy heart, wiping tears. I also called up the nursery like ten times and they said that he was not crying. However the nursery being a new place for him, he did not sleep on the first day.

I picked him up in the evening, and he was little tired but still smiling. He came home and caught up on sleep.

The days after, for around two weeks, he cried when we dropped him, and clung to me refusing to go. This literally broke my heart and I cried excessively on my way back to office every single day. I wailed, hyperventilated and became the loudest drama queen ever in the history of motherhood. Not to mention the levels of productivity at office on those days.

It is his fourth week at playschool now, and my prayers have been answered. Since last week he looks forward to go ,  has made new friends, sleeps and eats on time and is happy by the grace of the Almighty. The day has come that I can wave to a happy face when I drop him in the morning. The day I was praying so badly for, is finally here. That smile, and the way he waves at me is directly proportional to my sanity and presence of mind that day.

This is for all the mothers, working or not, who dreads a nursery or a playgroup and cannot imagine sending their precious child to one. I assure you, from experience, kids always love to be around other kids than with us. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Blog-anniversary and Contest !


March 2009. It was when the Tsunami of corporate world hit worldwide - Global Recession. People who lost their jobs, people who dint know they lost their job, people who are on the verge of losing their job were some of the main catastrophic categories that software people fell into generally. It was only two months into my wedded life, my husband was then an employee of the most controversial Indian software company of that time, and I had changed my job and location as well. It was a difficult time for me as the mind needed time and lot of pampering to come to terms with a life that had lot of first’s to offer.

One fine morning as I walked into my plush office I met a group of girls seriously in discussion right there at the reception area. Their expressions screamed panic. That was when I came to know that the guy we were reporting to had been fired. Not just him, twenty five others. It was happening. We were a group of new employees who were practically unassigned to any project of course due to lack of it. We were the ones who could be chucked out any moment of the day. The fear had actually set in.

Even though we were on ‘bench’, we still had our own workstations and computers to browse. I was mentally disturbed about the state of affairs and this led me to reading light and entertaining blogs. I loved reading and relating easily to the whole load of creativity that floated effortlessly in various blogs and increasingly grew jealous of them. I had a lot of things to write as well. Why don’t I start a blog of my own? I thought. This thought materialized itself and my first post was born on March 30, 2009. Since then there was no turning back.

It has been four years and no one ever told me to go home, people only tell me to ‘keep blogging’! Is it not an achievement in itself? In June 2011, hours after my son was born, I was chosen for a fifth prize (Rs.10,000) on the topic ‘ The Real Beauty’, a contest conducted by Dove and IndiBlogger. That was probably my first and only prize but it still gives me a high like no other! I made it a point to update my space thrice or more every month and it was always welcomed with oodles of encouragement and criticisms in the form of comments, which always gave me the push to come back and write more.

I recall the days I made every effort to feature in the school and college magazines. My vocabulary was not great, ideas were not new, creativity lower than mediocre, but to see my name in print was the only motive I had in my life (despite the other motives my parents and teachers had for me).

When the blog was kick started, it was topped with consistent support from my parents, husband and sister. Altogether I can tell you, it was a success recipe, though it was the recession which was actually the driving force behind it.

So this is the month of celebration, of four years of existence on blogger. Now it is up to hubby dear to decide whether it is going to be Damas or Joy Alukkas :D

Cheers to all my fellow bloggers and some awesome people who have made it in my facebook and gtalk as well !  I am indebted to you and also jealous of your blog! ;-)

So as a token of appreciation I am conducting a small contest right here.
Suggest a caption for the below picture, in less than 15 words, which by the way is a click by my hubby. I am giving away a prize too, which is a gift voucher worth Rs.200 for your next Flipkart purchase.


The prize is sponsored by Coupondunia, which also has discounts on Flipkart coupons, Dominos coupons, Snapdeal coupons and others. It is a boon for online shoppers. Visit their site to know more so you may save better on your next online purchase.

But first things first. Send in your captions in less than 15 words to anitajeyan@gmail.com with the subject #Caption. Or you may even put your captions on the comments section of this post. I am not going to be the judge, don’t worry, there are better and well-read people who have agreed to shortlist the winner! Send in your entries, please participate, multiple entries allowed !

Contest Closes on March 31st. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Summer Crown.


Middle East summer prevailed at its peak, and the timing was painfully wrong to land on international grounds for the first time in my life.  They said it was 46 degrees, but for me it felt like boiling point. The sun rays seemed to burn the skin and the eyes.  I held her close to myself knowing that people were staring. I held her gently.  I could hardly see much ahead of me, just shadows as they came nearer and fleeting assumptions of fast approaching people.

I held on to her expecting her to elevate me from the core of the volcano I was in, literally. Cars drove past like lightning and the friction the tires made with the road was deafening. I could almost see sparks being emitted. My chiffon dupatta was at the verge of catching fire. Hot winds blew against my face giving it a steam sauna. There was steam in my hair.

 I missed home.

I continued to walk. More and more people stared at me. Some of them whispered to each other and laughed. I knew they were amused that I was holding on to her like she was the Bible. I knew I was fiercely possessive about her and it showed in my eyes. I noticed the laughter aimed at me, but I vowed never to belittle my prized possession and vowed to carry her wherever I went.

Days passed and it took me immense strength to adapt to the new place. She was my only saving grace. I became famous for carrying her around all the time. To most people, I was a complete weirdo.

I braved a lot of criticisms and still carry her around. She shadowed me when I wanted her to. I did not even ask her for it. She canopied me giving me the calm, and the exclusive darkness I longed for. She hovered around me like a guardian angel.






She is my POPY umbrella. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Why Talaash wasn't convincing enough ;-)


It is true that with the kind of technology we have, it has become challenging to make reasonably believable movies. Like for instance the scripts of the yesteryear in which the hero gets lost in the jungle when he goes in search of the abducted heroine. It cant happen today, as he has google maps. Also, today there are no jungles but that’s a totally different story. Again, we have movies whose climax shows the heroine waiting endlessly at the railway station for the hero but he doesn't turn up.  And then she meets her destiny on that railway track, after which the hero appears because he got delayed in traffic. But it is too late. The era before mobile phone will justify this movie. So now that almost everything is possible by that smartfone in my pocket, it has become more tedious to actually make the viewer believe the story in the first place.  

I am assuming anybody who is reading this watched Talaash already. If not, there are spoilers ahead. Oh who am I kidding? The crux of Talaash was a slogan on twitter ever since the movie was released.

So Talaash revolves around the mysterious accident of a movie star. The car loses control on a perfectly empty road and somersaults its way, breaking barricades in between, and dips into the sea nearby. This is the very first scene of Talaash. The case was investigated by Aamir Khan the cop, and finally the same accident happens to him after his vain attempts to unravel the case. Thus the maze of unending questions behind the actor’s accident unravels itself and everyone goes home.

We could not watch this movie at a theatre, because such intense, edge-of-the-seat thrillers are best watched without a baby around. So last weekend we downloaded this and hubby and me watched at home, when the toddler chose to sleep after a long day of activities.

The next day, I asked him “How did you like Talaash? Nice no?”

He: “When was this movie shot? Long back? Was it shelved?”

“No why?”

He: “First scene … that movie star’s accident…”

“What about that ?”

He: “ I cant believe an actor of today’s times driving a car which doesn't have ABS on it”

K