Thursday, October 29, 2009


Have you heard of a neighbor cutting down a bougainvillea shrub because it peeped into their garden? Mine did just that. Not only did they cut down the part that grew over their side of the fence but they cut my side too. Why? Don’t ask! When asked, I was told that it was done by the workers without their knowledge.
What about the lemons from my lemon tree? Did you take them too?
No- no they just fell into our side of the garden.

I hope you get the drift.

And yes of course Mrs. C who decides to have the huge mother tree facing her home chopped down leaving several squawking birds, lost without their nests and homes. And why did she do it? Her home needs more sunlight you see.Hey! What about the birds?

Let me move onto another neighbor down my lane. Any maid who works in my home has to be stopped by Mrs. M who will inquire in detail her name, work timings, where she comes from, her references and how much she is paid and the grand last question of all-‘Why don’t you work for me instead? Well!

My maid (they are the stuff legends are made of in Pune) deigns to come to work 5 days out of 10.The day she decides to do so, she walks in slowly and as soon as she catches me looking at her, her expression undergoes a swift change into one of tiredness and a slight huff and a puff. I don’t need to ask her. I know her answer already. It took her ½ an hour to cross the road.
I can’t change maids here in Pune because a maid in the enclave I live in is a rarity. If available they are unaffordable. ‘Patience-have patience I tell myself each day, have the faith that you will get support’, I reassure my fatigued self. Most of the time I am crabby and snappy. Especially when I am told ‘This the way it is here. You can’t change a thing Jyo.Either accept it or do all the work yourself’. I am no lazy bum but cleaning 3000 sq foot of space is not something I can handle each day, every day.

It’s not about maids and neighbors alone; it’s all about being patient and tolerant in this city that I have made my home since the last two years.
We chose our home with great care, a home that would suit our needs-space, a garden, a sit out area and serenity... Choosing my home was definitely lot smoother a process than choosing my neighbors.

Can I do something about this? Can I be a good neighbor despite the attitude, arrogance and churlishness? Can I be a laid back occupant of a huge bungalow who doesn’t care about the home being cleaned daily or not or if the children have been fed healthily? Can I ask the friends who drop by( and keep saying ‘Wow’ ‘ Wow’, this is some villa you live in) to not look up towards the ceiling when they walk in out of fear that they will have cobwebs staring down into their faces.. Can I ignore so much more-the poor customer service that exists even in expensive branded outlets where I have had hilarious experiences buying lingerie? Or in restaurants or the roads where I have to drive at a snails pace just because the two scooterists in front of me are having an interesting conversation right there in the middle of the road. mindless of the traffic and my honking?

I have asked A and myself this question many a time, during those rare moments we get to spend together in conversations. Rare moments of sipping tea in the shady verandah, watching the bulbuls and mynahs take their bath and nibble at the bird feed while D plays with the strewn orange leaves of the huge gulmohar tree. Those rare moments with nature, the chirping of the birds, a wide-eyed owl looking down from its tree hollow, a cheery smile from my milk man, the gentle sounds of the morning as the world arises is a reminder to me that the world and the people in it are not going to change. All of it is simply worth tolerating and a part of my ‘life’s’ experience in a different city.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Why is it that as I grow older,I long to live in the city I grew up in?


Thursday, April 30, 2009

What I love about being a mother

What I love about being a mother?Something I have never asked myself but the last 14 years have been a process of discovery thanks to being a mom So here I am writing this thanks to Shankari who tagged me.I enjoyed writing this.Thanks Shankari...

I learn something new each day,be it strange teen slang(i never knew 'Emo' meant sadness in teen language until yesterday),making funny faces,breaking out into a jig or a sudden insight that leaves me smiling.I know now how to grit my teeth and count up to ten without losing 'it'.

It has helped in discovering a new 'me'.I am now capable of a mixed bag of emotions from happiness to sadness,frustration to helplessness,pain,anger,gratitude,hurt,compassion,protective..the list is unceasing.Perhaps no other 'job' on earth can teach you as much as motherhood does.My lessons have been many and I would not have it any other way.

I am more responsible and have accepted that I am responsible for guiding my children and that they learn the most by observing me and A.Why else have we confined arguments and fights to the bedroom? :-) Why else did we all decide to set a rule during dinner that whosoever uses a swear word has to rinse their mouths immediately with Dettol liquid soap (yuck)!The lessons we learn.Guess who had to rinse their mouth the most?No no not me..It was A! :D

I have understood that each child is unique,beautifully so though born from the same parents.There is a joy in raising one child and a double joy in raising two.Of how they are able to make me feel loved in such simple yet powerful ways and accept me as I am.

And yes I have come around to accepting my graying hair and sagging parts easily and of how important A's role is in parenting as well.

I have grown not just in wisdom but in size as well.........


Tagging my mom pals here
Ambika (Chennai)
Shankari (Bangalore)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mahabaleshwar-April 2009

Robins seem to have become an integral part of my life ever since Chirpy touched our lives in 2008 in a very special way.My garden has plenty of robins flitting in and out and every time I hear a robin tweet,I immediately call out 'Chirpy'.So robins for me have become synonymous with Chirpy.
Recently at Mahabaleshwar,the beautiful veranda of the room we stayed in had a little shrub.And guess what I found there.A nest of robins.I was totally delighted to see the nest within touching distance and 2 new born babies with their mouth wide open.The mother robin was very protective of her babies, and each time I ventured forth near her nest,she would come flying right at me to scare me off.I managed to click her perched on the wooden parapet keeping guard.Am sure she was happy to see us leave.
The weather was beautiful for April as compared to Pune.Warm days and chilly nights that made me wish I had packed a stole or a light jacket.I hadn't.I travelled in true summer style,all of us.Strawberry season was at its end and I didn't enjoy them at all.Too bitter and most of them rotten.What I got to do was simply relax.I read,listened to music,ate whenever I was hungry and also spent some good time at their health spa :-).
A week since I have been back and it already feels like a month has lapsed...
p.s Thanks flowegirl for correcting my limited knowledge..bulbul she is..

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Setting goals

I never knew setting a goal for myself would be such a challenging process. I don’t mean just any goal but a goal which fitted into the parameters of Specific-Measurable-Ambitious-Realistic-Timebound-Ethical-Relevant.In short I had to set a SMARTER goal for myself. I could not say creating a better life for myself was my goal because it wasn’t specific enough. Soon I understood that most of what I wished for myself wasn’t a goal in the true sense of the word. And soon enough I also realized that among my group of 50, I was the only one floundering with setting a goal.

I tried it this way. Started from scratch. I wrote down my interests and my passions (!), what excited me, what drove me but by the end of it I was more confused. I asked A, asked friends and still nothing was clear. Everything I did and felt passionate about was to do with my children especially D.I could not imagine a goal that did not involve her. I ultimately realized that I had to work towards a goal that did not necessarily exclude her. I had to take care of her needs along with my own needs as an individual. Being a parent was just one part of me. (As if I didn’t know it). Maybe over the last 8 years, I had relegated all other parts to the background...

Why set a goal for myself at 42? Was it a mid life crisis or just a need to discover my lost identity? Or plain boredom? I don’t know. But I do know that the last 3 months of 2008 for me was a period of soul searching. I had plenty of questions for myself as to where I was heading as an individual. Some part of me also understood that I had to feed my inner self so that I could take care of others around me effortlessly. And the timing seemed right. I had the time, I had the energy and I had the willingness to learn and create an identity for myself.

Along the way of questioning, I interacted with few friends who were already doing something they loved. I asked them how they had discovered their passion. No one really went about discovering their passions, I understood then. It just happened along the way.
So I decided to let things be, gave up the mental struggle allowing things to simply happen and unfold.

And they have. And once I decided on a goal for myself, from that very moment, new doors are opening to lead me towards it. I find it an amazing journey so far.