I want to do for you as you did for your mother,
But we both want to do it our way.
With love and respect for each other,
And space where we both have our say. Continue reading
But we both want to do it our way.
With love and respect for each other,
And space where we both have our say. Continue reading
For all that we have got.
If we don’t pay up when it’s due,
It’s gonna cost a lot. Continue reading
For 20 minutes each day.
The world will not end if we eat left overs,
More than once in a way.
And we’re not there to serve you your lunch.
It’s these breaks we take and the time we make,
That help us get time before it’s too late. Continue reading
Let it stick to the base of the pot.
Then skim off the top, throw the burned part out,
And not worry about the waste, if what’s left suits my taste.
That makes the dal taste divine.
And looking away is more labour,
Because scrubbing away the burn takes time.
I search for the empty that lets me embrace,
The busy that fills me with joy.
I listen for spaces,
For rests that give meaning,
To music that plays to the mood that I’m feeling. Continue reading
And I’m lying on the floor.
I struggle to rise, clinging to hope.
I’m in a better place now, but still struggle to cope. Continue reading
I thought you were true,
But you ran when you thought I had need.
And I thought you were mine,
But now things have changed and there’s no going back. Continue reading
It’s what keeps you wanting to study and learn.
To strive to always be better today than you were yesterday.
Because you don’t live by rules imposed by the outside.
You’ve got an internal compass of your own and you’ve learned it’s wise to trust it.
And be comfortable with who you are. Continue reading
To have faith and to talk to a higher power everyday.
First thing in the morning, and at night before I went off to sleep.
I wanted you to have order in your life,
So I cleaned up after you.
You don’t have the ability to take the knocks that life will give you,
And you don’t have the independence you need to stand up on your own.
I’m fed up. Continue reading
I couldn’t see your failings, though I was aware of them before.
It’s not that I was blind, but that I didn’t want to see.
Deep down inside, I think accepting your flaws was a reflection on me.
Because you were MY choice. Continue reading
I miss my lovely lot of students there and yet, I’m feeling the relief… now that I don’t have to do that crazy commute that took a good 5 hours out of each day.
I’m looking forward to taking on more students in Khargar, to getting time to make friends in my neighbourhood, and to time at home.
So for now, it’s goodbye to all my Bandra students and their very very supportive families. I wish you well.
It’s been a few years since I stopped teaching in Bandra. I have started teaching there again, but it’s just couple of students, as I work full time in Khargar, Navi Mumbai.
I don’t advertise, so setting up teaching the piano here in Khargar went slow and gave me time. I used it to study, practise and upgrade the quality of my teaching. And to make time to meet up with friends for chai.
I now run a small piano teaching studio in Khargar, Navi Mumbai and I plan for it to stay that way. Because this gives me time to focus on continuously improving the quality of my teaching. Staying small helps me do this, while getting time to have a relaxed home life, time with family and time for me.
Maintaining work life balance is a daily effort & sometimes a struggle, but it’s been going pretty good this year.
When you wanted to pick a fight with your neighbour without actually starting it yourself. A few well aimed barbs, whispered in her ear, and then, you just had to wait 10 minutes…it took just that long for your message to be delivered.
And she kept us all safe. Because everyone knew there was always someone watching.
She was sometimes a nuisance, because she reported every minor transgression…Parents humoured her, and then had a good laugh when she left. They valued her, because she helped them keep track of what her kids were upto.
She's got lost somehow, In the busy busy world of today, and I miss her.
She’s a little bit of you and a little bit of me – she’s the way we all used to be. We used to be friends with our neighbours, get in each other’s faces, rub each other up the wrong way, but when it counted, we were there for each other.
Social media and television did not exist in the Mumbai of old and we needed to bond with the community we lived in.
I’ve used a lot of artistic license, here, to make a point. Mumbai’s changing a lot and we’re losing some safety, as we struggle to live without discord in a society where there are vast differences in standards of living and cultural attitudes.
Mumbai still is one of the friendliest cities in India, but that’s slowly changing.
Related posts :
I could look at you in envy
For all the things you have,
The ease with which you cope,
Your luck when things get bad. Continue reading
“Just have a baby, put your child in a creche, and continue with what you were doing before you had a baby. That’s what I did…” That’s what a friend said to me in an effort to pressure me into having a baby!
I just stared at her in total shock. I could see how neglected her child was, and was horrified at her advice.
As I write this, I’m a married woman in her 40’s who does not have a child. I have never been comfortable discussing ‘why’ I don’t have a child with anyone other than my family, doctors on a ‘need to know’ basis and a few trusted friends! So, mostly everyone does not really know the ‘why.’ I feel it’s a private matter and have, unlike a lot of other Indian women, always had the support of family in this.
Up until a few year ago, I’ve been accosted by people who want me to have a baby. I use the word ‘accosted,’ because they were generally very rude and angry and sometimes even offensive – ‘Who will look after you when you grow old” was their trump card, when all other attempts failed.
“You don’t believe in God that is why you are able to accept that you are never going to be a mother” from a neighbour who was upset that I wasn’t depressed about being childless!
I’ve had a family connection – a grown man with college going kids call me up and shout at me on the phone for not having a baby! … I’m putting this down to stress from his family problems!!
I’ve been to a funeral, standing battling emotion, paying my respects to the family of the deceased and been cross-questioned one of them about being childless! …. maybe some kind of mental instability could account for this ??
I will not mention the advice that I should try IVF (in-vitro fertilization) – something I personally disapprove of, because I feel the risk of birth defects or health problems for the child, with IVF and an older mother are much higher.
I personally think that if the God’s meant for me to be a mother, they’re powerful enough to make it happen. If they, in their wisdom, think otherwise, I will be grateful for all the other joys they have given me, and not ask for more.
I have had one caring friend tell me that her children are one of the greatest joys and also the greatest hardships of her life. And that despite the struggles she is grateful to have been blessed with her kids – that children need time, love and attention, and parents-to-be should know that and be prepared for the joy and commitment of being parents, before having children.
I think she had it right!
Sometimes I sits, I sits and thinks, of things I’ve never seen,
Of places that I’ll never know, of what I may not be.
Of all the possibilities that seem so far away,
of all the lovely winding roads, that lead out from my gate. Continue reading
I remember this doctor’s advice, years later and it still makes me laugh, to think that solutions are just so simple sometimes!
It was a couple of visits to the beach that did it….
I got some insect bites and my foot swelled up to 3 times it’s normal size each time. After that, it was a mosquito bite which gave me the same reaction, and my GP felt i needed to see a skin specialist.
The specialist gave a a good strong dose of allergy tablets, and i walked around for 2 weeks in a coffee-induced semi-wakefulness (no driving and walking very carefully, because i normally get drowzy with mild, anti-allergy tablets) But it worked, and i had to go back for my last visit, and this is what the doctor said :
“Since you have an insect bite allergy, you need to be careful :
There’s only one long term solution to an insect bite allergy – and that is – TO NOT GET BITTEN!”
I am grateful for your constant and steady companionship.
I have not always felt that way about your many many visits, but as time goes by I’m growing to value them.
When you visit regularly, I sometimes wish you away, but you know that I really do not mean it.
You bring me joy and sorrow, rude shocks and pleasant surprises. Continue reading
To the average Indian woman, gold is beauty, security and an investment in her future. Sadly, it’s also for many women, a way to determine whether another woman is well off enough, that they can consider being friendly with her.
I learned this because I don’t wear gold jewellery and I often wear no jewellery at all. I’ve had full conversations with women, with their eyes glued to my ears and neck – showing me that they notice the lack of adornment.
Worse still, we lived on rent when we first moved to our current location, moving a couple of times, before settling down in our permanent home. And every move meant making new friends from scratch. Initial friendliness from women neighbours can sometimes turn to reserve once they’ve conducted their brief interview and realise they’re talking to someone who does not own her own home!
It’s a value system that is so accepted in our society that families invest in gold jewellery, leaving nothing for the comforts that make daily living easy.
I often get told I’m lucky that my daily life is relatively comfortable. But it’s not about luck. It’s about personal choices and priorities and spending on what we value most. That’s where this post comes from.
Concerned friends, have asked if I own a set of jewellery and my answer is NO. It’s a waste as I’m not going to wear it anyway. Maybe someday, I’ll consider buying some bling that’s actually gold. I don’t know – maybe…
But it won’t mean anything more to me than all the lovely stuff at Archie’s.
As 2013 comes to a close, I finally realise that I am not wonder woman, and it’s quite ok
This past year has been a year of change – new opportunities, new challenges and a year of goodbyes to some very special people, who were an important part of my life. Life can be so short and I need time to enjoy it – my family, friends and job – I want it all – I want it all – I want it all – and I want it now .. Freddie Mercury had the right idea.
Someday, when the years have gone by, I will look back at what I have done, and hope that it will be with a smile in my heart, knowing I did the things that made me happy and gave me joy. And with affection for the people who loved me and made it all possible.
On finding an imbalance between work and home
I am learning that there is no such thing as balancing home and work, but just different kinds of imbalance. You get more stuff done at home, and you have less resources to focus on your work – it’s as simple as that! These wonderful multi-tasting women who do it all, that I read about seem unreal! It’s just so free-ing, to realise, after years of trying to do everything, that there’s no way to succeed. So I am now striving to find an imbalance that works for me and my family
Maid in India
I have fond memories of the maid and cook we had before we moved house. I found it easier to deal with leaving my friends, but missed the house help terribly. After moving, it took time to get help at home. The maid I got was really very honest, and nice – she would turn up either when I had just woken up, or when I was leaving for work, and the new cook took 3 hours daily to cook a dal and 2 veggies (that takes me 45 minutes on a bad day). So, when I finally ended up doing it all AND paying for it and figured that i could just do it all and not pay for it! I do sometimes dream of having a maid or a cook, but right now am finding, that it’s less stressful without them. At least this way the house work gets shared, since everyone knows there’s no help at home.
If something can wait, just leave it be for another day – procrastinating is an art and it is well worth learning
Keep a couple of hours a week to deal with pending stuff
Spring Clean and give away unused stuff regularly, it reduces the time taken to clean up at home and getting rid of junk somehow let’s good energy into a home
Keep the vacuum cleaner and mop easily reachable, so small spills can be taken care of quickly
Look around – you will see a lot of other women in their 40s, like you, trying to do it all and not succeeding, and you will feel much better, when you know you’re not alone
Be an imperfectionist at home – it is better to be an average housekeeper who is relaxed, than an amazing one who is always upset that something at home has not been done
When things get too much, sit down with a cup of chai, put your feet up and think of something else – this takes practise, but works. You will feel much better after a little while and will be to handle it all when you’re done
Is it important to do everything for everyone else in the family, or let them learn to be self-reliant
Is the woman who does everything for everyone wonderful, or is it the woman who teaches her family to look after themselves and be less dependent on having help to do their work? I am sure every family has different thoughts about this. It is worth thinking about.
While it is nice to have help with the home chores, it is also quite a relief to know that the family can survive comfortably even without it, when necessary. I do think people who do work a little bit at home, keep much better health than those who don’t.
There’s a time for work and a time to rest
There’s a time and place for everything under the sun, and for me, this is the time to do my own house work. I know that when life thinks I really need a break, the most amazing maid and cook will come knocking at my door (like it happened when we were moving house earlier) and help will just come my way. Until then, it is important for me to accept that i have no house help, be flexible and do my best and simply leave the rest. At least that way, I’m still smiling and relaxed at the end of a busy, busy day.