Thursday, 22 November 2012

A new beginning

I recently completed one month of being a housewife, or if you want to put it in more sophisticated terms, being a “stay at home mom”! People ask me how I feel, what do I do the whole day, whether I am regretting leaving behind a wonderful career etc.
My answer to all the above is I feel great. I have no regrets whatsoever. Some of the things I enjoy doing at home now:

Mummy and Anagha time
I love spending time with my daughter. Her endless chatter and innocent questions is music to my ears.  I cannot express in words how much pleasure I get from what may seem like trivial chores of feeding her, bathing her, changing her clothes, putting her to sleep, etc.  I no longer have to leave for office with a heavy heart about leaving my crying child behind. I no longer have to deal with the guilt about rushing my baby into breakfast and then give her a 2 minute namesake bath just because I need to dash to office. Now I let her splash in the tub as long as she wants; just watching her squeal with pleasure leaves me feeling satisfied.
I also look forward to our afternoon nap time.  We place games, we talk, I tell her stories and slowly she drifts off to sleep. I love stroking her cheek once she is asleep. Hugging your child tight once she is asleep gives you such a high which cannot be described; you have to be a mother to experience it. I have been deprived of this pleasure for a long time now and God alone knows the sorrow I felt. But now, I can hug her all I want, touch her whenever I feel like, and kiss her forehead once she is asleep. It makes me feel complete. It makes my decision to quit work worth it, it makes up for everything, and it’s the best joy in the world.
In the evening, I take Anagha for a stroll. We normally visit the Ganesh temple near my house. Anagha loves going there and I also feel peaceful there. I have had enough evenings being locked in my room at home taking work related conference calls, so this is a welcome change. I enjoy the cool evening breeze, and most of all, I enjoy holding Anagha’s tiny hand and walking with her.

Tiding my home
My husband will not like me saying this, but my number two priority after my daughter is my house.  For many years now, I have neglected my home and leaving it in the hands of others has always left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Now I actually get time for cleaning my home. I am not exaggerating here when I say that this really gives me a lot of pleasure.  I love rearranging the furniture in my home, I enjoy scrubbing the kitchen tiles, I like polishing the windows, after all it’s my home, I need to take care of it.  A home is like a baby, it needs your constant attention.   Of course it is really difficult to keep a house spotless when you have a 2 year old around who is ready to strew toys around the moment you put them away, but at least now you will no longer find dust accumulated on the TV cabinet and bills stacked up on the dining table waiting to be filed.

Kitchen adventures
From the time I quit working, I have started frequenting the kitchen much more. Always being in a hurry to rush to work, I have had to leave this chore to others leaving me with a guilt feeling of not being able to contribute enough. Now I have the satisfaction of being able to do my bit. I am not a great cook, so this is also helping improve my culinary skills.   

Many people may find this routine drab and monotonous, and maybe women who have not got the opportunity to pursue careers may consider me crazy for throwing away a successful career in return for a life of domesticity. But from my perspective, this is the opportunity to make up for all the years I have lost in my mad career frenzy.  I feel like this is the beginning of a new journey for me. I have never ever felt so rewarded in my 12 years of career as a software professional.  Maybe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and maybe once the novelty starts fading, I will start craving for a professional life. But till then, I will enjoy this respite.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

English Vinglish

Recently, Sridevi made a comeback with a movie called English Vlinglish. Apparently, it is about a housewife learning to speak English. While I have not seen the movie, the title reminded me of the English syndrome that is very common nowadays amongst urban parents. Instead of speaking to kids in their native language, parents choose to speak in English. So nowadays in public places we often get to hear phrases like “Come here beta”, or “don’t do this beti” etc.  And this syndrome is not just restricted to older kids who at least have a fair idea about the language, but often tiny tots too who have no inkling of what is going on and have no option but to blankly stare back at the doting mommy.

What I find really amusing is, these parents themselves need lessens in English. How else can you explain “I tell doctor to give you kuch kuch??” (My sister heard this at her local paediatrician; apparently a Mommy was threatening her kiddo with an injection)!!”

 I fail to understand what are the intentions behind this English fad and what is it that these parents want to portray here? Are they merely trying to teach the language to the children by using it their first language?  If so, should they not make sure they speak it right first?  And again, what is the point? I mean a good English medium school will anyways teach them the language, so shouldn’t we ensure that our kids can at least speak our native language? Or do these parents just want to reveal how modern they are?

I can assure you, I am not against English. On the contrary, I am easily impressed by people who speak good English and I look down upon people who make grammatical mistakes and can’t get their pronunciations right. All I am saying is there is no need to speak the language to little children just to prove a point. There are other better ways for kids to learn the language, speaking in poor English to little kids who have no idea of what is going on does not seem like a good course of action to me!!

I was never ever spoken to in English as a child at home. Now I not only speak the language fluently, but also write fairly well.  My dad encouraged me to read a lot of books in a young age, and that is what I believe has given me a good command over the language. So I never feel the need to speak in English to my daughter. Many a times parents bitten by the English bug stare at me disapprovingly when they hear me talk to my daughter in my native language, as if I have committed a gory crime, but I don’t care. I feel a good English medium school along with a reading hobby is good enough to teach the language, so I will continue to talk to her in my native language.  Call me old fashioned if you like, but I hope my daughter will prove me right J