Life on autopilot

It hit me today!! Life has become mechanical. I am on autopilot. Routine with no thinking.
Wake up before alarm rings. Get the kid up. Get ready and get going to school/work. Even conversations are quite routine!!
A friend had asked me to go to her place for lunch. It slipped my mind completely. Sitting here at work I am wondering what the hell is wrong with me?! I hardly get invited & even this I miss?? Missed another invite last Sunday as kiddo had classes.
A couple of weeks back, I wanted to take a day off. Spend time which was not as per schedule. My wonderful luck!! It didn't happen. This though is thanks to have had expectations from a person and was shot down horribly. Upset terribly I returned with vehemence to my mundane life that day.
Sitting here wondering what is wrong with such a life?? Wasn't I hoping for a life with no adventure. Now, I am overwhelmed with the boring life. Tired of a response as "same old same old"!
I love spending time with my kid. I am hoping he likes it too :). Yet am searching… better role at work? Definitely. Would that change things? No. I have no clue what is it that I want!!
I realise that I find myself progressively not expecting anything of anyone or life.
Que sera sera. Take things one day at a time. Is that helping?? Not really? I go to bed and the insomniac me looks back on the day wondering the whys, the whats!! Living like a robot but not so devoid of the emotions. Wondering if it is people pushing me away or me pushing them away?? A bit of both??
Clueless… with just the thought that this must not be so!! What should change? How should it change? I don't know!!

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Identity crisis

The following link has been sitting in my drafts ever since I came across it.

http://www.indiatimes.com/culture/who-we-are/dhoni-kohli-and-rahane-have-changed-the-names-on-their-jersey-and-the-reason-is-quite-legit-263656.html

Has this not been there for a long time? I remember a dialogue from an old Revathi movie – Marupadiyum where she says she wants to be her not carry her father’s name, nor a husband’s.

This had been something I argued about when a “friend” told me I “had to” change my surname cos I was married. I said, I would change if P changed his [ note: P never asked me then to change my name, he did later mention it in our many tiffs 🙂 ] since he married too! That suggestion was not welcome much!! Glad I didn’t change, less of a hassle considering what happened 🙂

Now A wants to drop his last name. Told him he can decide to do whatever when he is an adult. Now he carries whatever it says on his birth certificate. I don’t know if he will drop his last name, change it to something else (he says he will take my name or last name; or my grandpa’s last name; his gothra…choices are many).

So is it a case of rose by any other name?

This name thing apart, when like all out there, (or is it all out there??) I battle with the question of who am I? I have had many labels stuck on me. Some good, mostly bad ones. I am told by well meaning friends they don’t define me. How I look? What I am at work/home? Age? Education? Status? I have no clue! Wondering what I would tell my son when he asks the same questions….a cryptic find yourself?! Wouldn’t that be cheating?!

What is my identity? How will I be remembered? Someone who bungled her way along and failed in/ didn’t complete anything undertaken? A bad mother/sister/daughter/friend/student.(…and of course wife 🙂 ) I know I have written about what success can be…at the moment, I feel like nothing ever will go right…ever in life. Do some wrong decisions spoil your entire life? Yes is my answer today! I have made a series of such wrong decisions! Will I never do anything right in my life? Let me guess…nope never!

Today is a day when I am not able to just smile away and show that nothing is wrong. Today is a day when I cannot just hear hey get over it, move on or anything that shows no empathy/sympathy. Today is a day when I cannot overlook people who have cheated me & taken me for a ride (emotionally/monetary/professionally…). Today is a day I wish I had someone to share my woes with , to hear reassuring words even if they were false.  Today is a day I feel (and know) that I am a nobody; going nowhere. No….am not okay with it but feel helpless that I am not able to change this status quo. Yes, am on the other side of forty and have no clue! Yes I feel terrible. Yes….it probably is too late.

PS: Part of me does not feel like publishing this post. Part of me wants to cry out aloud.If anyone has come this far in the post, please do give a shout out so I can thank you for tolerating my rant!

Silence

For a person who actually loves talking, the last couple of weeks was sheer hell. I fell super sick, to the extent that my father, who hates going to a doctor, took me to one the last day of September!

Fever, chills, cold, cough, nausea – the works. It was bad though what was the worst part of it all – I could not talk! My throat hurt even for the slightest noise I made. It has been almost two weeks, my throat still is sore. This was what I hated! (jokingly say that I could not even yell at A! :p)

I could not attend any of the calls from the friends(/few from the family) who wanted to wish me. Responded with a text saying “Sorry unable to talk!”. Thankful that I could at least text… A day spent lying down, home call for blood work (blood donation day…another plan gone awry!), hardly being able to eat or speak, tended to by my father & kid. I asked my mother to come sit by my side. Silence certainly didn’t feel golden.

Had planned a weekend getaway trip with A & his friend to Tranquebar and surrounding areas. I could not even sit up for a few minutes! Guess this is what they say “Man proposes, God disposes” ?!

Hope to be back yapping away and making others say hey can you keep quiet for some time?! 😀 & hope in this ordeal I have at least lost a couple of kilograms! 🙂

Sometimes baffled

This is my horoscope of the day…

Left baffled completely. This is wonderful advice to me at the present situation at work. Advice I must follow not just today but in the days to come for sure!! 

Though I must say anything I say becomes contentious however I say it!! 😂

Also leaves me wondering how can you premeditate rants?? 🤔😕 Please block your calendar from this time to this on this date for a rant?? I wonder how many would accept that calendar invite!! Hmmm ( I would cos that is how I am if ever I received one such invite! – as they say in India #IAmLikeThatWonly). 

Horoscope predictions do baffle me sometimes 😊

Well, some people and some things do throw revelations that need to be treasured! 

Thoughts on Independence Day 

Everyone wishing each other a ” happy Independence Day”. As a friend pointed out, irony is us wishing each other in a language left by those from whom we got our independence. At least one channel showing Gandhi. “Patriotic” few pinning flags on their clothes, raising the flag in housing communities, some listening to the PM’s speech ( eloquent orator he is… Some complaining he is doing it in Hindi! ). A few looking at Independence Day sales. That is the day here. 

We here are a hypocritic nation. We take pride in knowing English and getting business. The same hate it and ridicule those who speak English ( call them Peter & Philomina… May be it is a Tamil thing… Still ), hate it when people say learn a different regional language other than your native tongue.  A nation that loves love stories like the one on titanic of glorify love without boundaries but have moral policing! A nation that bows to the divine female say that even God is Ardhanarishwara but treat women like doormat. A country where sports is just a free period that is taken over if other important subjects need to be completed! Yet the few who fight the odds and go represent their country in events are expected to perform miracles, rake in medals!! Let me not even get started with this division based on caste, religion. I am in a country where laws are there to be broken and one can get away with it if you have the clout. I live in a country where you follow the law get in say an accident when not at fault, you speak out and be chided ” hey how can you speak out being a woman?!” Yeah the country where the woman is glorified as “maa” ” Shakti” and what not!!  You have to mention your father’s or husband’s name on every official form!! Why?? 

The permission slip at the kid’s health room has “father’s/guardian’s signature”. I refused to sign saying am the mother or to be generic a parent. I get the nonchalant answer, strike out and write mother or parent as you please & sign. 

May be I have become cynical. May be I am just speaking my mind which others think but not say. Stuck in a country quite backward but thinks it is quite there in being developed. If this is the case in a metro don’t know how it is in other truly backward areas.  Living in a country that suddenly becomes patriotic two days in a year. 

Oh I have to relate this incident here. On the way back home in the local train… A couple of college gals. One asks you coming to college on Monday? The other says no I have to go to church. The former says on a Monday?? She says yeah I go on republic day! Seriously!!! ???? Patriotism rocks!! 😏

Am sure there has been enough of a rant about how people are so ready to enrage about things happening around the world (not all) but forget or ignore what is happening in their back yard or even in their own homes. 

Yes, I have heard that everywhere there are problems. I just wish we did not turn a blind eye to what happens here or create a furore when something is portrayed on media while things like that happen almost every other day! Forget it when the media does, then if it is a slow media day it gets highlighted as say some anniversary of the event. 

Gandhiji said when a woman can walk alone at night with no fear we have got Ram Rajya. No thank you! I don’t want Ram Rajya where the King ousts his wife just cos someone doubted her!! 

Rant over?? For now!! 

Edit: came to a movie and saw this caption ” Be proud to be an Indian not just on Independence Day ” 🙂

Selfless or …?

First post of the year 2016!

A question to all the parents (especially mothers out there…) Have you at some point of time even for a minute thought…sigh wish I didn’t have that child of mine? Confession: I have…many times over!

I have wondered how life would be without A. I have wondered if he would be better off without me in his life. I wonder how life would be once he goes off to pursue his own in a few years. Wondering how it would be if he were living in a home which is perceived as normal by society…so on… All this sometimes just during reflection and most times during despair/exasperation (sometimes forced upon …).

So, does just thinking such things make one a bad mother? Does voicing this out to a friend amount to him being a burden on me? Suddenly, all the efforts I put into him being happy/healthy (the best I can at least given my circumstances) fizzles out! “Why don’t you send him back to his dad if you think he is so much of a burden?!” . Wow!! Really?

I stumbled on this post on the Onion :  Jessica Drexler mentions her kid is the second-most important thing in her life. Intrigued I read further and she ends saying “It’s mostly about you”.

That sort of thought would not be welcome here…. Mothers should be selfless, sacrificing! What is this talk about “me”?!?  It should always be kid first (or so I am given to understand….else the kid is a burden!)

Lesson learnt! Either put kids first or just don’t voice any idea otherwise 😀

This is a world of only façades….you must not display anything out of the norm. Everyone is and should be the ideal perceived person 🙂

In the wake of this revelation: I hereby declare….I am nothing without A. He is and always be my life, my breath and my all. I am a nobody and he is my be all & end all 🙂 There is nothing called self-love once you have a kid!

Blessed

I am in Chennai and I am safe!! I say am blessed and so are we at home here. The area around our home was flooded but not our street alone!
My Experience:
December  1: By chance, I drove to work instead of taking the shuttle. Two of my friends came with me. The downpour had already started. A few of the places on the way were water logged. I had to take a particular road to get on to the highway, wherein I felt like I was steering a ship. Worried about the water around. Little did we know this was nothing! Reached office safe. After a few hours, many leads asked people to leave if they could. I ask mine & his response classic! (Did you ask the onsite manager you interact with? –  who happens to be in Chicago!). We manage to leave and two other girls ask to be dropped off on the way. Two of the girls worked out of another building. They were prevented from going out and had to sign release letters saying they were leaving on their own risk! We finally started. I was worried about getting the girls home safely! As I got out of our office, the water was flowing on the road like a river with huge rocks being carried. They were hitting the bottom of the car. After slow driving, we did reach the highway. I did manage to drop the girls off safely. Had I reached even five minutes later, I would not have been able to take the road home as I pass through a low bridge over a rivulet that flooded that early on and was closed! Blessing!! Miracle!! By then, there was no power at home. The UPS was on. My neighbour asked my father to get some ration from the nearby grocers before they close up. We did along with some basic veggies. [The grocer sold almost a month’s sale on that one day! Veggies were being sold at a premium as expected] By the time dinner was prepared, the UPS ran out and we plunged into darkness. The mobiles lost network.
December 2: Rain poured. No clue what was happening in the world outside. It kept pouring! We managed through the day rationing use of water wondering when the rains would stop and when the power will be back on.
Following days:  News started trickling in about flooding in various areas. I was worried about what I would do once water levels rise and if it entered our home. How do I manage my mum who is bedridden? What about my old father and A? I had an emergency bag with basic documents packed and ready. Was planning on how I will either take my mum upstairs or how I can get a boat if it comes to that…

Still no power, landline also got severed. So totally cut off now. Our street was still dry. We went back to stone age. Thanked the building contractor who insisted we have a well in the house. We drew water from it with a pulley. The water was soft & clear. So, we could boil and use it for drinking! Our neighbours also used the well thanking us! No mixer grinder, meaning we used the roller stone for grinding. Yeah the taste was better! :). Sweeping and mopping – no vacuum cleaner. Candle light & oil lamps lit our homes. We woke up early to get things done, went to bed early without needing to catch a program on TV or that last minute social media update. Dug out the old transistor radio and found that there were helplines being set up. The way people were being rescued. Neighbours told us about how badly nearby areas were affected. Milk being sold at exorbitant prices (Blessing again that our neighbour was a milkman and was still supplying the fresh cows milk as usual). We finally got to see and interact with each other on the street. Honestly, felt good to be away from technology (yeah people around were worried…still…back to old age was good)
Rains stopped for a while. I was standing out with my father & A talking to some people! I find a schoolmate riding on his scooter. He came all the way to check if we were alright at home as we could not be reached! Another friend came the next day when it was raining!!! Here I was thinking if I disappeared, no one would bat an eyelid! Hit me as to how grossly wrong I was!!!
Saturday early morning: power was restored.  Only my mobile came back to life (patchy though). Managed to send word that we are safe! Astounded by the number of people who were trying to find out if we were fine especially being in a badly affected area. Blessed is an understatement!!

December 6, Sunday: A turned 11. Low key! All his friends had left Chennai as their homes have been affected badly. One of his best friends sends a birthday message and calls in saying he is in Bangalore. A is thrilled to see the messages. It took a while for me to respond to all the queries of if I am alive! 🙂 . Realisation of how much we depend on the phones was sinking in (also how we did manage without them too!).

Slowly realised life was back to normal. By Tuesday Dec 8th, I was on my way to work on the office shuttle. Relief work still going on high steam in horribly affected areas.

Life goes on…. (another realisation. Not just for me who was hardly hit but even those who lost their homes.)

The autowala I use in the morning said he lived on the second floor but his auto was submerged and there was about two feet water above his auto. It took him almost a week to get the auto started and repaired to make it ready to get his livelihood. My maid said the water had reached the roof of her home & they were evacuated to a relief camp in a school. Simple things…she said she was given a saree, no blouse/ in skirt. She asks how do I wear the saree? A’s school is badly damaged – the library, the offices, the dining spaces, accounts department – pretty much everything on the ground floor all under water. My friend’s homes have been affected. This flooding has spared very few! Regardless of how rich or poor…

It saw people just pouring in to help. Mood was not why? but what can I do? even if it is in a small way – what do I do? Those who themselves were affected jumped in to make sure the city is back on it’s feet. No fanfare, no hey am busy doing so much…. Those who could be on the ground were there, those who were away coordinated with the givers, those in need and those who went to supply. It seemed to work as a well oiled machine. In most places now, it looks like life is back to normal. Relief work has moved to rehabilitation – people talking about how we can help for longer (& self) sustenance. That said I was just amazed at how from my friends to the autowala first inquired about how I was, how things were at home.

Yes, all this was not without hitches. There were instances of how goods provided were being sold in the black market. Instances of relief being done only for the show & name ( well we take them in cos they still do something! 🙂 ). Politicians failing (no surprises there).

Lessons learnt. Though we as a city have risen, with loads of help from outside, it is clear that we lack disaster management (keeping apart whether it was natural or man-made). All are worried about how we are going to manage epidemics, the garbage being collected with all homes being cleaned out. What next? What do we do? How can we help – really help? Relief work happened haphazardly. The army came in with no clue where to go. Volunteers poured in and reports of the same area being helped came in. People donating stuff without much thought into where and how it is going. All good yet lacking thought. Instant gratification is what we all are looking at. Finding people not wanting to wait and see what more needs to be done, some not even realising that we should move on from relief, find out what the government is going to do further (if they are as they are supposed to) so we can pitch in where it is not or help where it is needed.

This calamity has brought people together and hoping that it stays that way. People were being patient on the roads, without the incessant honking. Though, now as a sign of normalcy, they are back on.

Irked by those who want us to keep wallowing in the disaster. We are moving on and getting to semblance of normalcy while doing what we can to help those in need (without selfies, photos splashed on social media and any other fan fare…..). This comes along with us wanting to get into the festive mood of Christmas which comes along with giving that we are doing. So shoot us those of us who now appreciate more of what we have and could have while you supposedly play the messiah!! [Of course I am going to rant about the few who have managed to push me off the edge while appreciating the scores of people quietly being awesome. One bad apple!!] –Rant!! Sorry!

I told my grandma that now I believe in miracles. I believe I must live my life to the fullest while I can. Don’t know how long this will last before I am pushed into depression by something/someone!

I am thankful I am there for A [ this is a totally different reason not related the flooding, may be will write a post & may be not!]. I will strive to make him feel as happy as I can.

PS: Didn’t realise I was going to write such a long post and I still have another in mind!!
PPS: This is entirely my experience. It is not harrowing just felt like the rains would never stop. The shockers were meeting and hearing stories of how they were affected. Proud of how they just are looking ahead and don’t know if they are spiritual when they say, those are just stuff – we are alive!