Sunday, 23 September 2012

Found My Peace

I have been working for the past 12 years. And suddenly due to reasons beyond my control, I have to quit my job. Taking this decision was not easy; there was turmoil of emotions in my mind. And even after taking the decision, the panic attacks wouldn’t stop.
On the one hand, I felt it’s just right to quit. Had I not played the role of a working woman long enough? Was it not time to give priority to other roles in my life? Be a wife & cook for hubby. Be a mum and listen to my daughter’s endless chatter all day. Be a daughter and visit my parents whenever I feel like and not be at the mercy of bosses and plead for leaves. Be a daughter in law and give my in laws the much needed respite.
On the other hand, I was afraid. Office environment was familiar and safe. Moving out from there into a different setup altogether and playing a different role, would I fit in? Would I be able to adjust?

Some of the apprehensions I had:
·         Losing my financial independence
·         Fear that everyone else would take me for  granted
·         Missing meeting friends and socialising in office
·         Fear of feeling restless after a couple of days.
·         Fear of being stereotyped as being a housewife.
·         Missing the sense of achievement felt after a good project delivery/appreciation received at work

Some of the things I was looking forward to after quitting:
·         Raising my child my own way
·         Long vacation without worrying about leaves
·         Not having the clock dictate every action
·         Not being at the mercy of others for child care
·         Spending “Mummy and Anagha” time J
·         No longer having to deal with the guilt of turning a blind eye to Anagha’s calls for mummy while I attend conference calls at home

I cannot recall the exact moment, date or time that was the turning point or for that matter the exact reason that triggered the change, but somehow all my fears have now vanished. I no longer regret my decision, this feels right.  I firmly believe everything in life happens for a reason, and so if I have been forced to quit, God has better plans for me. Perhaps it is this belief that has given me the strength.  Or perhaps the mere fact that I am so looking forward to do all the above mentioned things, that I am not thinking about anything else.
Earlier, I used to feel like I am wasting my life if I don’t work; now I feel I am wasting my life and not being able to enjoy the simple pleasures of life due to office hour restrictions.

Will I continue to feel this way? I don’t know. But for now I have found my peace.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Ganpati Bappa Morya!

With Ganesh Chaturti just round the corner, I see little idols of Ganpati Bappa waiting to be sold in small kiosks all around me. In our building, kids have started practicing beating the dholaks.  But whether I like it or not, I don’t relate to any of this. For me, Ganesh Chaturti is the celebration of the festival in my native village in Goa.  The festive season brings back fond memories of my childhood days when we would celebrate the festival with much ado. My native place is a very remote village in Goa, there are no telephones there so you can forget about email and facebook. Mobile signals are very weak and you are considered lucky if your call gets connected. Water taps have just arrived there. In spite of all this, we all cousins would all be super excited about going there for Chaturti.  Our ancestral house is more than 300 years old and not in the best of conditions. So the roof would leak, there would be insects and mosquitoes biting us, but we wouldn’t mind any of it.
Be it singing Aarti loudly with everyone else or having food in a pangat by sitting on the ground, I loved every moment of it. In the evenings the men and kids would sit in the huge patio (known as balkav) in the front and laugh and crack jokes whereas the ladies would sit and gossip in the backside of the house. We kids would organise and plan games, and not only kids, but the adults would also participate. With a heavy heart we would bid farewell to Ganpati Bappa on the 5th Day, hoping that the year flies by soon and we gather together again.
Now I am married, have a kid and live in a big city. I haven’t been to Goa for the Ganesh celebrations for the past several years due to some reason or the other, be it work pressures, then pregnancy, then a young kid.  Now that my daughter is 2 year old, I want to take her to Goa and let her experience the fun times her mommy had as a kid. However, I now have second thoughts about visiting the place I loved so much as a child. What if my daughter gets bitten by a bug? What if she wanders around and hurts herself in our old house? What if there is no electricity, will she be able to sleep in the heat? What if it rains and the roof starts to leak, will she catch a cold? What if she falls sick, and there are no doctors around?
Am I being paranoid? Or is it the mother in me that is over cautious? Whatever be the reason, it makes me sad that my kid will never ever experience the fun we used to have as kids during Ganesh festival. 

Monday, 3 September 2012

Blessed with a girl

Whenever my husband and I talked about having a baby, we always pictured it to be a little girl dressed in a pink frock with matching pick hair band and pink shoes. During my pregnancy, whenever anyone asked me if we wanted a baby boy or baby girl, I used to reply without hesitation that I wanted a girl. I encountered a wide spectrum of reactions to this ranging from astonishment to horror to pity to even total disbelief!

God was kind to me; he blessed me with a gorgeous baby girl. When my baby was born, my first reaction was how beautiful she is. My hubby couldn’t contain his joy, he just couldn’t let go of her and the nurses had to nearly pull them apart, my parents and in-laws were ecstatic, it was their first grandchild after all.
However, some of the reactions I encountered from some people around disgusted me to the core. When my maid learnt that it’s a baby girl, she cried feeling sorry for my parents. Another well meaning neighbour was also very solemn when she visited me in the hospital and even tried to console me.  I knew it was futile trying to explain this is what we wanted, so I didn’t even bother.

It makes me sick to think that in today’s educated society too there are people with such narrow minded mentality in spite of the fact that girls are making their mark in every field be it academics/politics/sports. Cases of female foeticide are not just incidents in remote villages of India where the vast majority are uneducated and bogged down by poverty, but is a harsh reality amongst the so called educated and urban population too.

 I wonder what it is that makes people crave for a boy child. If they are living under the illusion that the son will take care of their parents in their old age, then that may not always be the case.  I don’t mean to generalize and people with sons please don’t get offended, but it is the law of nature that girls are more emotional as compared to their male counterparts and so it is only natural that they will have a stronger bond with their parents as compared to boys. Therefore, the probability of a girl catering to her parents is much higher as compared to a boy.

 There is a saying which goes “a boy is a son only until he gets married, but a daughter is a daughter forever”. I find this so true. My hubby says he might not have been so attached to our kid, had it been a boy. Not that he would have hated the child, but he wouldn’t have had this special bond which he shares with his little princess.  My parents have two daughters (Me and my younger sister) and they never complain about not having a son. In fact my mum says she is thankful to god that she does not have to deal with the typical saas-bahu drama at home. At least she and dad can live in harmony as per their own will and without any obligations/inhibitions. One of my friend’s fathers also made a wonderful statement years back which I still remember and which makes me so proud. He said “If I had seven children, I would want them all to be girls”. Can there be a bigger compliment to the girl child?

So to all those girl haters out there, relax, take a pause, and think twice. You have just been blessed with a most precious gift. All she asks for is your love and attention.  Give her that and she will be yours forever for life.