Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mommys Day out

There was a time, when I used to take my son around everywhere – shopping, for “girls-only” get togethers, programs organized on weekends from office, church and wherever, to office if I had to work on weekends, any party that I was invited then, why even official get togethers. Dennu used to love it and there was a time when my earlier organisation used to allow kids to workplace, especially when the kids had vacations. My condition to everyone around me was, if you want me on the weekend, I come as a package. They had to put up with my live wire and what a dynamite he was!. I was simply helping the guilty soul of a working mother, by this act of kindness to myself.

He continued this until he was in high school and when he reached his 10th grade, he kind of showed signs of disinterest and wanted to stay back home alone, keeping himself occupied with the different gadgets he had at hand. Offlate, he even hesitates to come with us for movies, on the contrary, is very willing to go with his friends anywhere. He is growing up, I know. But as a mother, it is a bit difficult to digest, and I try to remind myself that is no more a little kid.

Having said that, there are many moments, I miss being with him. As a mother, I need to learn to let go, right? I am learning it, but doubt if I will ever master that!

This weekend however was different, we have been planning for Christmas shopping for him, somehow, it just wasn’t happening - either there were some get-togethers at home, or on the days we didn’t, he had classes and it kept postponing. It now came to a stage that we cannot postone it any more and so off we went for shopping after Sunday Mass this weekend, the father had other engagements, and could not make it. He however, dropped us of at the Mall which Dennu wanted to shop.

I realized how nice it was to spend that time together with him. I was enjoying every moment together. As a grown up boy he had his own choices, but was willing to listen to me to try out stuff and once he came back and told me, Ma, your choices are good. I did a mental Yahooooo and a high five for myself, while appearing to be calm and cool. I made sure we took as much time as we could, strolling around the stores, pursuing him to try out stuff, and being there at his beck and call. This may sound simple, but as much as I was a mother, I am a woman too, which means, I had to truly control the reigns my own shopping spree, avoiding even looking at the womens’ section let alone try them, lest my sonny boy would get bored.

As he called out to show me some funny quotes on T-Shirts, and ended up laughing our heads off, I was thinking next year or the year after next, maybe he will tell us, Please give me the money and I will go shopping with friends.  May be!

I thought to myself, let me not worry about it now, and went on with our shopping. I could see he was liking it too, as he was smiling and chattering with me through out without any loss of attention to his gadgets. Oh the word Attention, reminds of a Quote that we both laughed about – I am so broke, that I cant even pay attention!

And then finally we finished shopping, I paid the bills and gave the bag of his stuff to him and the most unthinkable happened. He gave me a hug and kiss, in the store, right in front of all those people around us and said Thank you Ma and Merry Christmas. I will tell you why this simple thing is unthinkable to me, this boy does not like any physical show of affection, I have to bribe him already for a hug and kiss even at home and he hates being touched. So its rare that he will hold hands or hug in front of people.

Now, who kind of initiated the hug is besides the point. But this was a nice weekend memory to cherish for the ( always guilty soul of a working) mother in me. Don’t you agree?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

I had to show this to you all

Most of the time that make up my weekends, are spent in the tiny green space around home, that I am desperately trying to sustain. 

After toiling for a few years and with support from my mom, I had a nice garden couple of years back and I had to let go off this green space, when I shifted home for Sonny boy's schooling.  My biggest sense of loss was losing this green patch, when I shifted to the apartment. I still took with me around 6 pots that had my favorite plants and had to forego the rest.  Luckily my neighbor, offered to take care of my fishes and the tank.

The last six months after shifting back to our own house was struggle without any of my plants. The empty places where my plants used to be, was an eyesore and I began my work on recreating my space.  It took so much effort, and especially since i was an DIY enthusiasit, I started with  painting all my pots and fish tank, making sure the potting soil is fit for planting - had to dry the soil for a week and add store brought organic manure and finally choosing plants and taking care of them.

Somehow in six months time, the plants grew under my care and though it is not as good as I want it to be, I thought I will show you all the little plants that give me so much Joy and much needed stress releif.

I will start with my plants on the terrace, mostly flowering ones.  The Christ thorns ( Euphorbia) is a fighter, she is the only one who has not been repotted and now is in full bloom.  I had left this plant back since it was too big for us to put anywhere in the apartment we had moved in then.

Infact, when we wer back this plant was full of leaves and thorns and in a months time it started flowering and was in full bloom in a few weeks.  and it is continuing to flower.

Let me show you another one from my terrace, yellow roses.  Isnt she a beauty?  At one time, there were more than 7 roses on this little plant. Couldn't take the pictures then. 

This is yet another smaller vareity of Christ thorns which is just growing up.  Its a tiny plant but has decided to flower and I love the bright red colour of the flowers.

This is another shot of the bigger Euphorbia - this was a new bunch of flowers and thanks to Dennu for the pictures.

This is yet another new plant on the terrace called Vinca.  This plant has adapted well to our garden and continues to bloom and comes with bigger flowers too.  At one point in time, this plant had more than a dozen flowers - again couldnt click a picture then.

Let me now bring to our ground floor corner where I mostly some ornamental plants.  here are a few shots

Another of my favorites - Coleus. Earlier I had so many varieties of it, but now I just have 2 of them.
And finally here is my revamped open air fish tank - the big fish there is a homeless shark, a good neighbor passed on to me and two gold fish, need to bring in more fishes in there.  Some more work to be completed in the fish tank and next time when I take you around my tiny green patch, I hope, I will have  more plants and more fishes. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Shall I call it a short term blessing?

Well, you know the weather in otherwise hot and humid Chennai is really pleasant. It is quite cool and this morning, the breeze that hit me was a bit chiller than what I expected. The sun was just soft and warm – it is rare that the weather in the part of the globe that I live in, Chennai, is so kind to us. Oh! And that’s not the short term blessing that I was going to write about.

Growing up in Chennai, one of the so called Metro’s in India, my home was always in the suburbs ( before and after marriage that is). Living in the suburbs has its own benefits, like for example, I grew up in a community that had a lot of my relatives and cousins of my own age, instead of an apartment we got to live in houses that were individual and had some space for us to play within the compound and ofcourse space for a garden. But it also meant that the schools colleges and our offices were farther away and we had to travel long distances to reach those places.

While in school, I had to travel 2 hours everyday and when I got to college it increased by an hour and to add to my woes, my college would commence at 8.00 am and I had to leave by 6.30 am. And well this is not a complaint at all, as I got used to travel and infact, have ended up really loving these travels. I had a good group of friends in school and while in College, and these travels turned out to be rather a lot of fun. I read a lot and mastered the art of reading in a moving bus and train, mostly novels and during exam times, I got solid time to prepare for the examination too. How cool is that. So, when people tell me you travelled that long? I am like, yeah, but that was fun. There are many who cannot comprehend to this logic.

So when I finished college and had to travel to office, it didn’t seem a trouble at all. After marriage it was a little better with a chauffer to drive me around.  but things started to change when most IT organisations started moving out of the city and soon I was travelling more than 50kms ( both ways together), a few years back and the traffic was getting worser by the day. When life’s priorities were changing., these long travels were no more fun. One day, after a terrible evening of travelling back from Old Mahabalipuram Road after work, J asked me if it is all worth it? When the traffic was bad I had to travel for more than 4 hours in a day. I quit the organisation I was working in, for 13 years, in a week's time. That probably was not the only reason though.

When I chose my current role in the organisation that I am with, my first requirement was that my travel outside Chennai had to be curtailed –Sonny boy was in std X1 in a new school and me being there when he came back home was a much needed comfort. J also travels a lot and it does not help to have both parents travelling all the while. My travel is curtailed so much that I have begun to long for travel – I do travel though on work atleast once in 3 months which is nothing compared to what I used to do in my earlier organisation.

Restricting travel also meant, commuting less  within the city for everyday work and among the options I had, one of the primary reasons to choose my current organisation was that it has 26 offices (covering probably the entire city) in Chennai and I had the permission to work from whichever office I chose to. A Big blessing right? So when I started at my current organisation, we had moved closer to Sonny boy’s school and chose an office close to that house. A 5 km drive everyday looked definitely like a bliss. When Sonny boys’ schooling was done, one of his requests was to get back to our own house and I chose to go to the office near my current home. Can you imagine my happiness, when I figured out, that my office was less than 3 kms? Blessing was an understatement. So from June I was overjoyed, I could reach my office in less than 7 minutes by car ( if J is driving that is ) and I didn’t have to cross a single traffic signal.

In my entire life in Chennai, I have never lived this close to any of the places that I had to go regularly. Be it school, college or office. But I knew this for sure – My current organisation like every other Indian Software company is consolidating and moving to Special Economic Zones (SEZ”s) to enjoy the tax benefits. And they were closing down the Guindy office. Yes. This week my blessing is coming to an end so rather than Crying that its over, I am smiling that it happened.

And well, the next office I am moving is within the city again and is just around 6 kms. So Until that closes down somewhere mid next year, I will keep smiling, that I am able to beat all the traffic and distance woes that most people in software industry complain about. :-)

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

I got tagged :-)

Seema is my blog friend from Horizon, a very high energy gal and a young mother, who tagged me to these questions that she has for some of her "good" friends ( I hope you have not missed the word within quotes).  Seema, this is the first time I am ever getting tagged.  I am only answering your questions here and not the others and there goes my answers. 

Thank you Seema, I enjoyed going back to some of my memories.

1) What is your favorite word or phrase?

Love you

2) What holiday makes you sad?
How can holidays make you sad?

3) What is the most cheekiest thing you have done till date?
I got to admit that I haven’t done too many cheeky stuff, but here is one – on a day that I was too bored to listen to my friend, after college, while sitting in the last seat of a metro bus, I looked squarely at a pillion rider on a motorbike, parallel to my bus ( which were all moving) and winked. Before I could be content and Smug with the cheap thrill, I realized there was a traffic jam and pillion rider was saying something to the rider, got off the bike and was walking towards my bus. My heart in mouth, I wished the bus would swallow me – he came around climbed the first step, second step, third step and stood there. It must have been the fear and sheepishness on my face, he just got off the bus came around to the window where I was sitting and said “got scared eh! Don’t worry” with the largest grin I have ever seen.

4) What is the last meal that you made for yourself?
Boiled eggs and steamed banana ( Nendhra pazham puzhungiyathu )

5) What was your best birthday ? Why?
My 25th birthday, the one that I celebrated first after my marriage. Joe was in Ooty for a review meet from office and was not supposed to return till the next day. He sent me gifts through courier and in the evening when I reached home, I saw him there (back on special permission), the house decorated for my birthday the cake ready and I thought that was nice a surprise. A little later, my parents and joe’s cousins joined the party. That was a really memorable one.

6) What would you do if you won the lottery?
Faint first and will go crazy later.:-)

7) If you had a warning label, what would urs say?
Chatterbox – listen at your own peril.

8) Have you ever got sweet revenge on someone?
Sweet surprises no revenges.

9) Who was your first best friend?
In the true sense of it, ML was my first best friend. She was my classmate from Std VI and we continued till std XII and then lost touch completely. We found each other again later through FB. I was so touched that she still has a handmade birthday card that I presented her in std VII or VIII. I have written a post about that here

10) What is the most scariest thing you have ever done?
Crossing a Burma bridge. It shook the life out of me. Realized I had a fear for heights.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

With due apologies

I put that title in there and I realised I first owe an apology to my dear readers for being such an inconsistent blogger. :-(

The original apology was intended to the parishoners (people) who sit near me in our church. As usual I was singing loudly and saying all my prayers as loud as I can :-) My son was very upset about the fact that one of his favorite star Paul Walker had passed away and was not into any of his antics that he would do, when he hears me sing. He later told me he prayed for Paul Walker’s soul, which made my heart swell in pride, for I felt that was a good sign of bringing him up in right Christian values. ( ok atleast one !)

So after the Sunday mass, as we were talking to our friends and acquaintances, we had someone come out of the blue and loudly call Joe’s name and my otherwise composed hubby dear going gaga over his long lost friend from his first organisation. They both were completely unaware of any of us around for a couple of minutes, having found each other after some 15 years or so. That’s when J realized that D and I were watching him with amusement and he introduced us to his friend. And this friend whom I have never met, went on and said this, which kind of put me in complete disbelief – he said, yeah I noticed that she sings beautifully and I could hear her so well. These days people hesitate to sing and pray loudly, and I was really impressed that she was doing it. This friend was obviously sitting in the pews ahead of us. Through the corner of my eyets I could see J, looking a bit surprised himself and D trying to compress a smile.

I quitely took in that compliment, got back to my senses and told him, yeah in the church I don’t care that I cannot sing, coz’ it just between me and the lord. And silently apologized to all others who were around me yesterday.

Trust me, I cannot sing for my life and this is first time I ever got a compliment for singing :-) :-)