The year that was!

A very capable colleague at work suggested we all celebrate one achievement of ours from 2018 in our first team catch up this Jan. Well, that’s what a new year is for, isn’t it, reflecting upon the year that was!

The task was simple. We all had to think of one highlight from last year and talk everyone through it at work. Now how hard could that be? Turns out, very!!

Not because there was none, but because I had 365 highlights, okay fine, 200 highlights, or is it 180 days that we work….why do they pay us so much for not working half of the year……shhhhh!!

Back to the thought under process, work – wise, it was quite easy. Cause-and-effect comes naturally at work….higher duties + delivered commitments + organising awesome cultural events = Smashing IT (no pun intended)!Success!!

What became interesting was how this task got me thinking about what I achieved personally in 2018. The rest of the 180 days in the year were, afterall, personal.

Hmmm…

Funny how my brain shifts towards ‘what did not go well’ when I look at my personal life. Agreed its only human. But then again, the more I think about it, the more I understand that that is exactly how life works. It’s not a party and doesnt give you goodie bags all the time. Its a series of events, presenting you with challenges (opportunities, I say) one after the other, and depending on how you face them, you earn experience, strength and wisdom, as each goes by.

Of course, things dont go as planned sometimes, because you are not the one running the show, you are only a participant and sometimes, the Organiser likes to have a little fun by throwing some curve balls your way, and truly, thats what makes life fun!

Did I plan for hospitalisation, or to get my car hit, or to have some people around me who I cannot stand and the ones who are the light of my life away for too long…..Nah…Not at all. But when I look back I see not the negative events but only the positive lessons I learnt from each. Staying a night in a hospital taught me to be more careful of my health, showed me what could it get to if I dont take actions right now to bring my health back on track. Well, having my car hit taught me…err…what to do when that happens…and that sometimes bad things happen to you for no fault of yours and that is absolutely fine and that sometimes tiny bad things happen only because the Organiser tried to avoid a bigger bad thing. So be grateful for the life you have, and ultimately that is the biggest achievement of 2018 – I survived!! Living away from loved ones for long periods of time makes you self dependant and leaves you more and more in love.

Apologies 2018, if I have portrayed you all gloomy and sad. Of course, you weren’t all bad. You brought me quite a number of fortunate events as well…like (finally) my first ever trip to the U the S of the A. (Now, I know that I really wasnt missing anything). Be it the chance to celebrate Diwali with family back home or catching up on new gossip with my bestie half way across the world, over a glass of old wine or simply celebrating my tiny family’s little big achievements with a slice of cake (no wonder nothing fit me at the end of year party)..Oh and the many chances to sit in the audience and clap and whistle (dont tell her it was me) in applause for my lovely daughter’s performances…you sure did give me enough joy 2018!!

And with some perfectly framed memories and wise lessons learnt, 2018 came to a wrap and so has this first post of 2019.

Love

R

#RealOverVirtual #OfflineIsBetter

On Why I am craving for Nokia 1100 & Why I quit social media today…

It is believed that if you dream of your childhood classroom, your mind is craving for simpler times. I dreamt of Nokia 1100 last night, my first ever mobile phone gifted by my parents in my second year of Uni. I am assuming this is my twenty-first century brain trying to remind me of simpler times in my life. In this modern world, we are so connected to our virtual ‘friends & followers’ that we are totally disconnected with the ‘real’ ones. Today, after probably a decade long love-hate relationship with the social media, I quit, and here’s why:

  1. Consider this:

 On seeing his beloved wife online on watsapp, husband types:’Having a bad day at work

Wife replies in a nano second ‘Busy, will ttyl

Well, we can give her benefit of doubt here, she was probably only online to tell her watsapp friends that she’s busy.

At home that evening, husband ‘Hun I am feeling very restless because of what happened at work today

Wife <not moving from eyes from her screen for a second>  ‘Hey I saw a video on the train back home about how to relieve one’s mind off anxiety, restlessness etc…, I will forward it to you straight away’…<her phone trings>

I, for one, love my husband and respect my marriage too much to put it through any risk of intoxicating it like that.

2. Because I want to kill my need for social validation before it completely kills my self-confidence. The day I stopped getting less than 3 digit likes/comments, I thought I am doomed. My life ain’t stunning anymore to anyone. Well, my life should be beautiful because I deserve so, not because people would judge if it ain’t.

3. Sibling rivalry is a thing of the past. Kids today aren’t as jealous of their smart sibling as they are of their parent’s smartphones. My kiddo, being the one and only child, has all her undivided jealousy focussed towards my phone. I reckon she should win!

4. ‘She doesnt read much, her reader’s diary record is low’, her teacher tells me. And I wonder why? I used to read a lot of books when I was a child and I keep telling her to read books while I am super absorbed with my phone. Well, I wondered only because I had forgotten, children don’t hear us, they imitate us.

5. Because I want to have both my hands free, to hold hands with my husband and my daughter at the same time, to dance whenever I wish to, to be normal again. God forbid the world fall apart that our phones aren’t looked at the second they tring! And no, this wouldn’t change even when they start making all women’s dresses with pockets!

6. Because I am afraid that we are on the reverse path of evolution, Remember the ape to human posture diagram they teach us at school, yeah, we definitely are tracing that back now and No thanks, I don’t wanna be a part of that. I am pretty sure none of my dresses would look nice on a bent spine me.

7. Because no one saw the beautiful rainbow on the train ride to work today. And I would’ve missed it too had I been suffering from the oh-my-eyes-will-stop-functioning-properly-without-a-dose-of-vitamin-c(ell) blindness syndrome too. There was one more thing no one noticed…A disabled teenage boy needed help when his metro card fell to the floor when he is was trying to adjust his wheelchair position. He probably would have had a hard time getting off the train without the card. Thank God someone wasn’t completely engrossed in their phone and saw it fall, and handed it back to him.

8. Watsapp – More like ‘whatcr*p’ – Seriously, like who has a group of 67 family members, and who would give a rats to check out the photos from your second cousin’s child’s friends’ first birthday celebration just because they have an oh so cute Incredibles theme balloon decor! Spare me the horror please! And seriously, that teenage girl in that ‘missing person’ photo circulating from 3 odd years now, is unable to go to school. The moment she steps out of her house, some good Samaritan escorts her back to her home because he saw the ‘very urgent and for a noble deed’ forwarded message from his aunt, not realising the poor girl had come home the same evening after, upon spending a little extra time at her friend’s place, her missing person message was forwarded to her own phone by 13 of her whatsapp groups. And don’t even get me started on the 76 good morning messages I receive from my family back in India when it is 12:30pm my time. I almost opened my preso with a ‘Good morning everyone’ in an evening session the other day. Talk about global time zone eh!

9. Because ‘speaking’ has shifted to an ‘unknown skill domain’. We prefer to chat/text/Skype message/ written word in short over verbal, if we have a choice. Have you noticed we struggle now-a-days to look directly at a person’s face while talking to them. We’ll look everywhere but at the person we are talking to. In olden days, it was the body language sign for hiding the truth. Either everyone is lying or I should probably stick a tiny screen between my brows to get people to look me in the eye when they are talking to me. Wouldn’t that be fun!#AlienTrendAlert #ScreenBrows

10. I do not want to receive ads for ‘cheap flights to best holiday destinations’ on my facebook feed when my husband texts me ‘Lets go for a vacay’. Hello!! What part of the word Privacy was left unexplained to these people at their school. And how creepy it is when your phone knows exactly where you’re headed the moment you get into your car and will try to win the race by telling you which route is the fastest even before the car GPS can turn on.

11. I don’t want technology to cripple me. I’ll use it when I need it! I’ll not allow it to use me!Period!

Love

R~

For no reason…

He offered to help the old lady in picking up the groceries that had spilled out of her green bag all across the staircase when they bumped into each other this cold winter morning. The lady, who was new to the building complex, on the other hand, had a few foul words to speak of youngsters who have no respect whatsoever for the elderly, how a child may have played with the elevator to break it and how painful it was for her to walk up the two flights of stairs. He adjusted his shades while he picked up her groceries and listened to whatever the old lady chose to say and then, apologised again, with a smile. The lady finally smiled too and offered him a warm cuppa at her place. ‘May be, I’ll drop by after work, I am kind of running late‘, he replied politely, ‘what’s your unit number?

213, drop by when you are back in the evening, where do you work son?‘ the lady tried to make up for coming out as a rude person a few seconds earlier.

I sure will, oh, I work at the aged care center just two blocks from here, I am really grateful they let me continue even when I lost my eye sight last year in a road accident, I am lucky I have lived here all my life so I practically wasn’t impacted. Anyway, I’ll see you in the evening…. and really sorry again‘, he left hurriedly then cruising through the rest of the stairs, while the lady stood still, as darker memories came rushing back to her.

The person on the other end of phone had said, almost a year ago now on a cold winter morning similar to today, ‘I am really sorry Mrs Stevens, Mr Stevens was in a road accident this morning, I am afraid he couldn’t make it, His car ran over a traffic signal and hit a pedestrian…”she barely had heard anything more. She was informed by the police later that week that the pedestrian her late husband had hit was out of danger but has lost his eye sight. The pedestrian asked for complete privacy thereafter and any efforts that she made to get in touch went in vain.

I told him to uber that morning. The doctors had clearly asked him to refrain from driving, his eyesight was getting weaker everyday, reflexes getting slower and he couldn’t differentiate between the traffic signal colors….if only we didn’t become so stubborn with age….Mrs Stevens thought, as she slowly climbed up the stairs.

~

R

It sure was a Happy Mother’s Day!

I am a worrier…no you read it correctly, ‘worry-ier’ not ‘warrior’. And ever since I became a mum, I believe I have turned into this paranoid me where my brain constantly filters all incoming information and thoughts first through a does-it-have-a-direct-impact-on-my-child lens and then what-about-an-indirect-impact lens followed by a I-cannot-see-an-impact-but-there-must-be-one-so-lets-make-one-up lens.

Its like my mind comes up with these wierd sense-less negative scenarios and they constantly play in the backdrop of all activity happening in my mind. At first, I used to blame my inner software tester, where the most important attribute to have is to be able to identify scenarios where the system would break and fail. But I think it got too far into my little ‘mommy-brain’.

My worst fear and a cause of constant worry was (and always will be, I guess) that my child will inherit my bad habits or acquire those traits of mine or shall I say drawbacks, which I am not proud of. Worse, what if she inherits my health problems…I would never forgive myself.

A vicious circle of negativity, ey! However, what came about as the most beautiful gift this Mother’s day was something that has slapped these negative thoughts down. My 8yo wrote me a poem, A POEM…..I wonder where she gets it from!!

So what if I pass on a few of my not-so-wonderful talents, such as the ability to sleep for 18 hours straight, at least she’s got something good from me, and heck ya, she’s much better at this than me. See it for yourself:

I Love You Mum

I love roses, I love lilies, but most of all I Love You

and that will always be so true

You hug me so tight

and wake me up when bright

Thank you for all you have done for me

and teach me so much so I succeed

I can rely on you and you can too

so Bestie, I Love You!!

~~Aa & her rainbow friend

N2knyJz1S2SBUH0gF5FzcgTold ya so!!

I hope all you mummies out there had a memorable day….I know I sure did!!

Love

R

Tagged: Momma Drama

We all go through three phases in life. ‘My-mum-my-Superhero’ phase lasts for the first 10 years or so. Its the time when you look up to your mum for anything and everything; she’s the most beautiful face in the world with a cuddle so warm it could just melt your fears away. You tell her everything, share every dilemma, seek her advice on everything and apply it too.

Then comes the fun ‘I-am-the-rebel-hero’ phase. Pretty much when puberty hits. Suddenly, mum’s the one person who knows nothing. You pretty much know it all and know it better. Advice….Nah! Who needs that when you are high on ‘I have to prove I am a grown up’ hormones. Forget about sharing every minute detail of your life, telling her where you are and how long you’ll be there falls below the priority line on our growth chart.

‘My-mother-was-right’ phase follows, usually after having kids of your own. You cry while feeding your child at 1:46am, remembering and cherishing memories of your childhood, you appreciate how your mum could listen to the same story you just had to share with her endless number of times, how you were the top of her priority list every single time, how you became so mean to her, may be even outright rude at times, what pain she may have to brace while raising you…..and all you do is Thank her in your heart for simply being your mum and try and hope and pray that your child sees the ‘superhero’ in you one day.

Life is a full circle, one may wonder

An innocent rain is childhood, teenage a thunder

A storm is necessary at times to shake things up

Let’em fly, rain or thunder, wings up

Fly back home they always will

Aah…The joys of parenting

An empty nest at times

At times, all blanks fill

~

R

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mi Acento!

It is a trait I was born with, definitely passed on to me genetically. It just happens so organically that I sometimes don’t even realise I am doing it. Hubby dear, however, catches it, if he is there of course, almost instantly and tells me am doing it again. That doesn’t guarantee that I would stop though, most of the times it is out of my control.

I start talking in the accent of the person I am talking to. Language of course is mine, but accent shifts to that of the other person. Now you know what the tagline on my home page means, eh ‘I am to you what you are to me’. My tone, of course, follows my accent.

An Indian or anyone who has been to India would know that there are more than 120 major and about 1600 regional languages spoken in the land of diversity. The language, or accent, at least the tone differs every 2 blocks or so. My dad mostly worked in the state of Haryana in India, but he met and worked with people from all over India – Bihar, Andhra, Kannada, you name it! And I always used to wonder how does he do it. He used to talk to them in English or Hindi but in a completely different accent to how he would speak to us. I found it very inspiring. He mentioned that people feel comfortable talking to him as speaking to them in a familiar accent soothes them and makes them feel at home.

I had little exposure at practicing because all my class friends were mostly locals. I dont know about my Hindi or English accents back then, but my grasp of my mother tounge (Punjabi) was and remains, utterly horrible! My cousins would always beg me to stop trying, should I even dare to talk to them in Punjabi, as I never caught the accent or even the tone right.

I got my break when I moved to Cyprus with hubby darling. He had never known of my hidden talent. We both worked for the same organisation there and had a multi cultural team with people from Romania, Ukraine, Israel and of course Indians and Cypriots. My team members loved me and until then I didn’t know I had already started exploiting my talent. But once, hubby overheard me talking to a Romanian colleague and all hell broke loose. ‘Why are you making fun of the poor girl?‘ He lashed out. ‘When did I do that and How?‘. I was told off. Eventually, he did realise that I don’t mean harm and definitely do not mean to insult, and I really have no way to turn off this weird capability of mine.

I nailed them all. If I ever have any chance in the show-bizz, this is definitely going in my resume – Indian, American, Romanian, Greek and most definitely Isreali –  Its the perfect pothuct goup, as in the product group!! Beautiful accents all!!

Work took me to Malaysia and I nailed the local accent there as well. Hubby dear hated it!! Irritated him to the core!! Mission accomplished!

But I was completely and literally lost for words when we had an Australian join our senior management in KL. What embarassment it caused me when, forget about copying his accent, I could barely understand a word of his question during a governance meeting. I made sure, after that incident, that I never run into him again. Stuck to the written word for communication through the rest of my tenure there. I was just not ready and no where close to recovering from this gap in my oh so well accomplished talent.

Bless dear husband, for finding a job in the land down under shortly there after. I was scared , how was I supposed to survive, communicate with locals, find a job here when I struggled to make sense of each syllable popping out of their mouth. First few days were the worst, I could never make eye contact while talking, I kept looking at their lips, they may have excused me for while, perhaps thinking I am partly deaf. But it got to me, I had to make it work. I started watching the local TV, observing/over hearing conversations at cafes, basically redeployed all techniques that I used, to learn English in the first place, as I gradually unlearnt my accent and incorporated Aussie toungue twister lingo. Voila! Few months later, hubby dear started getting irritated again and I knew I got it!! Fair dinkum mate!!

~R

A lens never lies

Most people judge their fitness on how many miles they can walk without huffing & puffing, or what their BMI is; I on the other hand, judge my fitness based on how I look in a photograph. If I look fat, I am unfit, no matter what the weighing scale says; and vice versa. And yes, I have heard of the photo editing tools, and I know the latest ones can even make you look as proportionate as Barbie, but I abominate them from the bottom of my heart, you simply shouldn’t cheat like that.

Looking good in photographs boosts up my inner strength as nothing else does. I used to love being hubby’s model a decade ago, He would spend hours clicking them and I proudly shared them. But you know what, you do gain a lot when you eat lots of cake everyday, and I am not talking about wisdom here. I got the shock of my life when I looked at my then photos 2 years ago, I looked like I had another me seamlessly attached to me. I didn’t really do anything about it at the time though, as I had no motivation, aka ‘photo sessions’ aka holidays or parties coming up. Infact, I started detesting the camera, would hate getting clicked and got even more discouraged and self depriciating if I got to look at any pictures of mine. Aah! Feeling sad on how you look makes you take a guilt trip and is basically not a good space!!

Things are different now. My lifetime dream vacay is coming up. 9 weeks to go!! The motivation is at its peak. Because you cannot be in THE New York and look like a walking balloon, and you most certainly cannot share your photos with the GoldenGate Bridge looking larger than the bridge itself.

To not let the motivation die out any short of the finish line, I have fixed (lots of) rewards for me when I am on this holiday. And to keep my little exercise and healthy eating routine going, I tried a little something today, I did not shy away from getting clicked at an event at work. It served as a checkpoint, established that my routine is working and I am on the right track and at the same time, gave me hope that I can too regain my inner confidence soon.