Getting back to work after a break

Hello all…It’s been a while. A lot has happened and I’m still struggling to find my bearings in Bangalore. Good news (or bad I’m not sure at this point) I’ve started working again. This time it’s a writing job! ( I know!!considering I like to write, this does sound like an interesting turn of events).

I’ve joined a content management company and my work involves reading text books on a varied range of subjects from psychology to religion to management. Language training sessions are great and begin to throw light on punctuations – some choose not to show up on certain occasions and while others show up where they are not invited  and subject-verbs can sometimes ‘disagree’. It’s a process I hear and I’m getting there…

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If any of you are wondering how it feels getting back into the work force after a break. The experience has had its ups and downs…Well, let me explain, I’ve been –

The Samurai and the Emotional wreck: I can tell you now that the experience wasn’t easy and wasn’t very difficult either. That said, I cried like a baby on my  first day. Saying bye to my darling princess was not easy in the least. Even while I sat in the training room where we were filling out forms and finishing up the joining formalities I kept thinking about lil Ems back home.Thank God she was in safe hands and her safety and well-being were not a problem. I always thought I was a very practical sort of person who would do what needed to be done without feeling any emotion like a Japanese Samurai – Nishi the Bushi (Bushi means Japanese Samurai and yes, I realise that sounds very odd with my name and the rhyme just makes it worse) but let me tell you I was Nishi the Mushy on my first day at work. One of my colleagues said she thought I had my b**** face on that day and that I looked kind of intimidating but the truth was, I was feeling bad having left little Ems behind. Don’t worry it’s been a month now and we’ve both adjusted to the new schedule.

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The Debutante and the Elderly matron: Yea so I don’t know if you guys remember I celebrated my 30th birthday here on my blog two years back and it was a nice day. I dreaded the three zero but as it turns out nothing actually changed and things only got better- emotionally I felt mature and in control, I grew more accepting of myself and the way I looked, I felt healthier and more energetic that I did in my twenties…so life was in fact getting better. But here I was at the workplace starting at the bottom with a bunch of twenty somethings. So when I finally got to talk to the cute guy in office and he asked me in a voice interspersed with equal doses of curiosity and innocence how old I was…In my mind I was like..

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…in the end however, I remember squirming and with every ounce of my being trying hard to be honest and finally I voiced my truth- I’m thirty one. Hell, when my nephew asked me how old I was when I blew the candles on my cake this birthday I acted all “caszh’ and told him that I was  ‘forever twenty one’ (the name of the store I bought the dress I was wearing or my age he can go figure) but seriously folks – if I have to be very honest age don’t matter.

The Zen master and the Drama queen: There have been several occasions in my one month of working that I’ve vacillated from being completely in control of my emotions and feelings to when I’ve totally blown my fuse. When my friend at office, lets call her Sally, called me a drama queen after witnessing my numerous meltdowns at the bank while setting up my account and at the office, it made me think and reflect…Maybe I was overreacting, maybe it’s not right to expect people to behave in a certain way when perhaps they were never taught those values in the first place. Lack of professionalism, self-centredness and a blatant disregard for others have become a trademark of majority of the youth in India today. I know I sound very preachy and judgemental at this point but I sincerely yearn for those old school values of chivalry and sincerity…Yes, Mister please explain to these kind folks what I mean…

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When you start something new and after you’ve taken a break, you tend to compare things to how it used to be and how it was. I consider myself fortunate however to have had the opportunity to experience these things and though it does get a little emotionally draining at times there is always an adjustment phase when you are trying to learn and adapt to the new surroundings and new ways of life. How have you all been?

 

Monday Rambles – Hardly gone just rambling on

If you read the title and felt it didn’t make any sense – it doesn’t! :). I know its been a while since I’ve (virtually) chatted with you all, mommy hood just seems to take up all my time these days.Despite all my good intentions to enroll Ems in preschool last year it didn’t happen. The pre school here requires that she be fully potty trained and I am proud to say WE’VE finally achieved the feat of going to the potty unassisted and she starts school next month!

She’s a good child no doubt about that. She’s not very fussy and listens to what I say, but you know as a mum you always wonder if you are actually doing enough and being over critical of your ‘mothering skills’. So I got the workbooks and the flashcards and the three line books to prepare her for the wonderful world of learning and growing up ahead of her.

She’s picking up and loves singing the Alphabet song and counting from 1-20 (with a few number jumbled up between 11 and 20) But trust me – teaching a child is no easy feat! I always thought of myself as a very patient person but I guess I proved myself wrong. I yelled, threw tantrums, had a ‘Pity Party’ (did you see that song by Melanie Martinez from The Voice? ) cried and then realized my approach was all wrong.

I had to be the PARENT instead of the BIG BABY I had turned into and set the example. I calmed down and stopped the pushing and the nagging and then things just started falling in place. Maybe a series on my experiences as a mom later.

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Hope you are all having a great summer! Have a great week guys!

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I stepped out into

the scorching sun,

and set into motion,

equations and algorithms-

of life and purpose;

having aims and goals,

and not many distractions;

will power is not easy,

more to do with sacrifice

and for sacrifice,

you need determination, perhaps-

a dose of an alchemist’s potion?

So as the cogs of my mind rolled,

my feet moved involuntarily,

a smaller creature tugged,

on my one arm,

her tiny steps,

following me,

I couldn’t let her on.

selfishness had its limitations,

and selflessness no bounds.

If you feel this poem is tedious,

I offer my apologies,

exposing such a cross section…

the workings of my mind

I end this here

praying for order,

I end this here

no more on the border.

Monday Rambles – On Sadness

What’s up everyone. Last week, despite all my good intentions I couldn’t devote as much time as I would’ve liked to blogging and browsing. You know -You want to do this, end up doing that and as Seinfeld would put it-  yada yada yada..

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No, I wasn’t watching reruns of Seinfeld but you know those times you feel so down in the dumps, so blue you have no clue, so low you just don’t know what to do ?

So sad and depressed that if a person walked into your room with a gun you’d happily stick it down your throat and pull the trigger (No, you’ve never felt that? Then, that’s just me then…)

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But what I’m trying to say folks is again nothing new – Emotions are so powerful. I read a quote somewhere last week and now I can’t find it and when paraphrased it goes like – ‘great art is often the result of great sadness’. I agree that sadness is a very deep and strong emotion that when experienced in moderate to high levels, it awakens the poet in you however, when experienced at its peak, it steals the words from your world rendering you mute…which reminds me of the scene in the book Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte where when after her wedding to Mr. Rochester comes to an abrupt end mid ceremony with the revelation that he is already married and  she realizes that all along she has been living under the same roof as his mentally ill wife, she sits on her bed in her wedding dress – ‘too sad to even cry’

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Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester and Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre…

I am an eternal optimist and so I will definitely point out that the silver lining in experiencing these temporary troughs in life is it offers you the gift of empathy. You learn to walk in other peoples shoes even if its not your size and you are feeling uncomfortable and to reach out to others and make a meaningful impact in their lives through your words and actions.

I look at lil Em today and I feel this surging emotion of wanting to protect her from all the nastiness in this world. As a parent I want her to be happy ALWAYS even if I know it is not possible and shield her from the meanies and the recreants of the world thinking it would maybe scar her emotionally and psychologically. But this would not be right or possible. She will collect sea shells of good and bad experiences in her little sand bucket as she walks along the sea shore of life….Its inevitable. The only thing I can do as a parent would be to be PRESENT and give her the confidence that my shoulder will always be free for her if she needs me.

So count your blessings and never forget your misfortunes because you tend to draw a lot of wisdom and life lessons from them. And…Write them down.

1000 Voices Speak for Compassion #1000 Speak

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Hello everyone, I’m sure many of you would have heard of the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion movement here at WordPress…you can read about the lady who kick started this  Lizzi Rogers by clicking the link. When Serins of Serins sphere threw out an open invitation to join in, I jumped at the opportunity.

One of the best definitions for the word Compassion that I’ve read and completely agree with is that ‘Compassion is being able to recognise the suffering and sorrow of others and taking action to help’

When I think of compassion there is an incident that happened in the very recent past that comes to my mind and in this particular instance it was not a human being but an animal, that taught me a valuable lesson and made me think and gain a fresher perspective on this beautiful emotion that helps elevate us and realize the God’s spirit we were all born to embody.

We had a White Christmas here at Salt Lake this year. It was beautiful to see the snow fall and cover the rooftops and the trees and it snowed the whole day on Christmas and the day after.The day after Christmas is when my story begins. We had a visitor at our door who was none other than a  little cat. Though in the beginning I just thought it was the T.V, I later came to understand that the mewing and scratching we were hearing was actually happening outside our front door.

Now have I told you that I’m afraid of cats? I don’t hate them. All my life I’ve known people who have cats as pets. One of my Aunts had this huuuge Persian Cat at home and with all its snobbish airs you would assume it was the Shah of Arabia and we the lowly human beings it had so graciously allowed to sit in its kingdom/presence…but all said royalty or not, the moment these creatures come anywhere near me I freak out.

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So here we are inside. The husband and I were cleaning up and  it got to the point where we had three full bags of trash and we had to throw them out before the next round of cleaning could start and there was this cat mewing at the door. I tried shooing the cat away through a gap through the door and the husband had a wise idea – He got out the vacuum cleaner and started vacuuming the living room. “ The noise should drive the cat away” he said.

Well it worked! I opened the door again and this time the cat was gone! I felt immense relief and volunteered to throw the trash. Little did I know what waited me by the stairs..

The story that follows will be narrated through the eyes of a panic stricken and extremely terrified woman. The moment I stepped out three huge bags of trash in hand, the cat came pouncing up the stairs and towards me. My heart raced at record speed and I started screaming for my husband and shooing the animal away at the same time. No husband came to my rescue as he was vacuuming away to glory and my bellowing outside the door got drowned in his enthusiastic dust busting…

The cat and I were now trash bag to paw – the cat was tugging at my trash bags with its paws I mean. My heart was now beating in my throat and my brain had flatlined…”Take it!” I screamed and dropped two of the three bags I had in my hand and frantically ran down the stairs to the trash can outside.

Once I disposed of the trash, I walked back mind filled with apprehension and fear only to find this was no nightmare – I was wide awake and the cat was still there and so were my trash bags with paper cups and plates spilt all over. The cat had established dominion over my front door and was now giving me the most iciest wide eyed stare.

Seeing I was back, it walked back towards me and settled on a stair just above where I was standing on the stair landing. Once again I shouted for my husband and at this point I realized it would be just me and the cat now and I had to do something about this…I took a few deep breaths and decided to get over myself.

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I looked at my enemy the cat one more time..but this time I didn’t look at it with fear rather with an open mind to understand what I was against. It looked back at me and I couldn’t help notice now with my change in attitude  it’s eyes were not harsh or barbarous but rather seemed to be pleading with me for mercy, for COMPASSION, to rescue it from the cold…It’s body was shivering as it huddled on the step drawing from its own body heat for warmth. I continued to look into its eyes and this time my mind was more at ease..If this was a talking cat who we will now name – ‘Puss on Stoop’, our exchange at that moment would’ve gone something like this…

Me: “Dear Cat, I hope you don’t think I’m being cruel…not letting you inside”

Puss on Stoop: “But please help me.”

Me: “I would if I wasn’t so scared of you”

Puss on Stoop: “But you don’t have to be scared, look at me, I’m freezing”

Me: “I see that, but its a childhood fear I’ve not quite outgrown, pictures of a lady maimed by her pet cat, I once saw in a magazine when in school is still fresh in my memory…I want to rescue you..but I don’t know how”

And then like an angel of God, my neighbour appeared with his girlfriend’s son, “Hi Nishi, were you planning to drop by the house?” Considering I was standing in front of his house too afraid to climb the stairs and go up to mine I guess that’s what it looked like..I smiled sheepishly and told him the reason I was there.

He took a look at the cat and informed me it was just a kitten and possibly a stray and slowly and gently picked it up from where it was. From the way the cat so quickly glided off the step and onto my neighbours shoulders you could say it was greatful to its saviour and that this was the moment it was waiting for all this time…to be held and rescued…My neighbour told me he would take it to a shelter where it would be safe and in the mean time he took it into his apartment. I thanked him and walked back home.

As silly and frivolous as this incident may seem the little cat taught me a lesson in compassion. Sometimes your fears inhibit conscious thinking. Your mind shuts down and you become blind and incapable of empathy. The opposite of love is not hate it is FEAR.

All the oppression and the brutalities that are going on in the world around us – the wars, killing of innocent children, the torture and lack of tolerance for people, ideas,views and groups all stem from fear and lack of patience to try and understand.

I hope we adopt a more open and broadminded outlook to life and help further build this ‘World Village’.Let’s try and create that world of compassion and brotherhood.Tiny drops….

The Nightly Stalker

Her tiny little fingers

dug deep into

her mothers arms

Soft tender pressure

through layers of

thick clothing

“We are being followed” she whispered

Her face now half buried

in her mothers hip

her pace had quickened

and her eyes darted

in distress

“Who my darling, 

or What is following us?”

asked the mother sensing,

her daughter’s fear-

so innocuous and pure

Lifting her beautiful round face

– such perfect resemblance

to her mother’s own,

She said –

“Mother, we are being followed

by the Moon.”

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