Archives

Food drive

Adi is participating in a food drive to collect non perishable items from neighborhood and donate it to a local food pantry. The concept of food pantry is new to me. Underprivileged people can register to this food pantry and get food supplies on monthly basis to help feed their family. I don’t know the nuisances involved in this system but isn’t this a great idea to support families in need?

We have to go door to door (think of those census people or the marketing representatives ringing our door bell), explain the cause and request for food donation. I have never done this before, ringing a stranger’s door bell and Adi was not comfortable with it either. Add to that, we don’t live in a community or Asian dominated neighborhood to share common connections. The diversity rate of this neighborhood is very high.

M had his own set of doubts. What if a guy opens the door with a gun pointing at you? Nevertheless, I dared to go ring the bells for a good cause. The kids tagged along and I made Adi do the talk when each home owner answered the door. Some peeked only their head out and said sorry, some went into the kitchen and came back with some donations, some promised to drop something at my doorstep after next grocery shopping and some showed good interest asking for more details about the drive.

I didn’t expect anyone to drop items at my door step as I was very sure they will forget my door number right after we leave. But, this old gentleman came to my home yesterday straight from grocery shopping and dropped in not just 1 or 2 bags but almost 5 to 6 bags full of rice, pasta, canned tomatoes, beans, cereals, jam and many more items. Repeated thank you and God bless you is all I could mutter. I have asked Adi to make a handmade thank you card for him.

This was a unique experience for all of us and I hope the kids will not shy away or hesitate to speak up or ask for help for a good cause in future. It was very difficult for me too but not anymore.

Advertisements

Small joys

It is that time of the day when people run from all directions to the train station to catch train to head back home. I was climbing down the stairs in train station and a lady ran past me to catch the train that was about to close doors and leave in 5 secs. As she went past me, a metro train card and train monthly pass fell down from her bag. Another guy picked it up in a slow pace and the very moment I knew he is not going to make an attempt to find her to hand it over.

So, I quickly grabbed it from him, ran down the stairs, went past few doors to look out for the lady standing inside the train but I couldn’t find her. All this happened in that fraction of 5 secs and train doors were about to close. I took an educated guess as how far she could have gone and boarded the nearby cabin. Each cabin is long enough to have 3 doors so my guess was that she could not have gone past those 3 doors in 5 secs. Train started and my eyes were screening the cabin from one end to another to find the lady. I had only 3 minutes in hand to find her as I had to get down in next station. All I knew is she was short, wore a black dress and had short hair. I felt so bad holding more than 200 dollars worth pass in my hand and not able to find its owner. I was peeking through the crowd furiously and just 1 minute before I was about to get down I found the lady standing closer to the other side of second door. I was standing near the third door. With couple of quick excuse me’s I made my way to her, tapped on her back and gave the pass.

That moment, the relief I felt, the look on her face and her repeated thank you will be etched in my memory for a long time to come and will make me feel good and happy.

This incident balanced today to be a good day in spite of uncertainties at work. My manager announced her resignation today and I am yet to recover from that shock. I will miss a great leader for sure!!

Of my Alto, travel

I am glad to have taken a picture of my Alto and write about it. He is gone forever. Too soon that I didn’t get a chance to say a goodbye or see him one last time to capture the picture in my memory. M’s relative was coordinating the selling task, an interested party came to see it on Monday, they instantly liked it and took it on Wednesday.

When they came on Wednesday morning, I was at home folding clothes, arranging the closet upstairs and didn’t bother to come down to witness the scene as somehow it didn’t strike me that they were here to take my Alto with them forever. Or may be lack of communication. Whatever it is, I didn’t get to see him one last time and say a final good bye.

I wish he stayed with me for couple of more days.

I wish he was given away after my travel.

I wish I had drove him knowing that would be our last ride together.

I wish I had said a personal thank you for all the places he has taken me to and be one of my best companion in India.

I have very few things left to call as my identity and have lost the best of them!

I hope the new owner takes good care of him!

Just yesterday, I have checked the number plates of few grey Alto’s on road in the hope to see him again. Maybe some day. After all it is a small world!

Kids and I are traveling back today. I  feel like that school kid returning to school after annual break. My tummy is churning and I feel restless. People are my strength and lifeline. I don’t want to travel to an alien country leaving behind my people. Yes, I have lived in that country for more than a decade yet it feels alien to me. My head spins if I think about the logistics, kids, work, financial needs and all other sundry demands of life and realize that I have no choice but to move on!!

My MIL, the husband, his cousin brother, his sisters, my parents, cook/helper lady everyone is struggling in their own way to move on without the pillar of strength. I must do my part too without being a trouble!

We are traveling in few hours, Adi is running temperature, LHB says he is hurt and limping, I got my monthly special. Still, I am trying to stay up, count all my blessings and tell life to bring it on!! Let’s face it!!

Front door and FIL

We have few secured latches to completely lock the front door at home. Last week, the middle lock was misaligned and we were not able to latch it properly. Because of that the top and bottom latches also gave trouble.

M and some of his cousin brother’s tried hard few times and no one was able to lock the door. So, they were discussing about it for a while and decided to apply oil to the joints and get external help the next day if needed.

After a while, the guests left and M was securing all locks before going to bed. He was in shock and called out for all of us as he was able to secure the main door latches with just a gentle push.

It looked like as if someone has oiled the latches and made it work. He called his brother’s right away and none of them believed him.

Now, how are we supposed to interpret this incident? M says confidently that no-one else other than his father could have made this possible as he could feel his father’s touch in that work!

He even started believing that souls do exist and they act as our guardian angel! I believe it too!

Mixed emotion day

Happy:

  • Day started in gym at 5am. Happy to break the break and restart the routine.
  • Work – changes are around the corner and its moving as expected.
  • Chat – Had a nice chat with a friend after a long time.
  • LHB – We pre cut some shapes and collected all supplies needs for tomorrow’s craft session. Spent almost 2 hours with LHB in the evening with undivided attention.
  • Adi was not upset with me in the evening and we are back to normal (read the reason in angry part)
  • Wait game was over with one of Adi’s thing as she finally cracked it today (code word: thingy mobob). Don’t ask me what it is.
  • LHB watching tamil kuthu songs in the evening and dancing along. He didn’t ask for kids shows and happily settled with watching songs. Guess that’s my gene in action 🙂
  • It is past 10pm, kitchen sink is overflowing but here I am drafting this post. On usual evenings I don’t touch my laptop after coming back home and would have dozed off by now. I love this blog and writing here makes me truly happy.

Angry:

  • Adi woke very late in spite of numerous wake up calls and missed the school bus. I lost my cool when she came back home and said I can’t drop her today. That she has to wait till all of us get ready and step out. We will drop her on the way to LHB’s school and that means she will miss first 2 periods and have to get late pass at school. I seriously wanted to teach her a lesson today but M took over the situation and dropped her at school on time. I thought she will be mad at me for that five minutes of non stop shouting I did in the name of gyan. I felt very bad for my act during the day. I could have very well passed down the same message in a lower tone. Wish I can do better with my resolution for this year!!

Sad:

  • My work friend’s friend passed away today due to cancer. I packed some pongal for my friend and we were about to meet during lunch time. She texted the news to me while I was approaching office and said she is going to take the day off. So, I went straight to her desk and she was totally broken. We went to the rest room and she cried it out loud for a solid five minutes when I gave her a tight long hug! I gave the food boxes, accompanied her till lobby and requested her to stay with some friend’s who can comfort her. She couldn’t get over it as it all happened too fast and the friend died in a different state. She has written a letter to her dying friend and about to mail it today.  She said the friend was more like a mother to her! I just told her I couldn’t hug her enough and kept checking on her for rest of the day.
  • LHB got a note from school that he is finding it difficult to understand a math concept. I am trying but don’t think I am helping him enough. He runs to another room the minute I say study time. Any amount of cajoling or pampering is not working! How do I make this boy do his homework? Adi says I just have to wait with patience and he will voluntarily start doing all his work the day he realizes the importance of it! I sincerely hope this realization reaches him sooner than later!

Disgust:

  • Some people at work just exist to annoy you with their narrow mind and negative attitude. Its disgusting when they sugar coat words in front of you and bad mouth about you behind your back!! Sighh!!!!

Fear:

  • The change our family expects in this summer engulfs me with unknown fear. Change is good but this one I am still not sure if I should feel happy or sad about it.  I experience extreme mixed emotions about this change with one day being happy about it, another day feeling proud, another day filled with fear. Today was the fear day!!

Good night to all!

11-15-2018-Snow evening

The first snow this winter will remain in my mind for long time. You will know why by end of this post.

11-15-2018 – As the snow prediction was 1-2 inches, we went ahead with our usual routine. Around 2pm, weather was getting worse so I decided to leave early from work. The plan was to leave at 4pm and arrive home before 5:30pm. Add to that it was the first day of monthly special too. Cramps started and I just couldn’t wait to go home.

Everything was going great, I left at 4, reached second station on time and boarded 4:48 train that was surprisingly on time too. I got a window seat and happily settled down to browse social media. M was on his way to the station to pick me and I will be home by 5:30pm. Happy me!

Fast forward to 20 minutes..

The train stops in a station, I lift my head up to make sure I am just one station away and notice that the place/station looks unfamiliar. I take a closer look and check with the co-passenger . He says a station name I have never heard of before! Panic attack!! I have boarded a wrong line train and travelled around 20 minutes already. It is snowing heavily outside, cramps are killing me and there I am almost close to burst out.

The co-passenger suggested best option is to get off in the next main station, board the next train to origin station and then take the next train from origin to home. I did the same and reached home around 9:30pm. On the other end, M returned back to go pickup LHB as I boarded wrong train and was struck on road for almost 3 hours to reach LHB’s school that is just 10 minutes away from station. LHB was picked up at 8:30pm.

We called LHB’s school and they assured that kids are safe, eating snacks/watching movie and not to rush as they understand the situation and quite a few working parents are struck on their way. God bless those teachers who were on duty that day!

Adi returned home on time in school bus and was home alone and worried about us!

I had to wait for almost one hour in a tunnel to board the next train. The coldness made my feet and hand numb. Thankfully, I had a company. It was funny as there was another person who narrated the same reasons as me – got a window seat, browsing phone, looked up and there we were waiting in that cold weather to board the next train to origin station.

The good side is I met a neighbor after reaching origin station and he agreed to drop me home. Imagine the odds of seeing a neighbor in a heavily crowded station while all trains are delayed. I call these blessings. Otherwise, I have no idea how I would have reached home as Uber was not going through and M was stranded on the way to pickup LHB. An express train was changed into local after the crowd in platform started shouting in unison as “make it local, make it local” in a rhythmic way!

I don’t know if M could have picked me even if I boarded the right train. Maybe it is supposed to happen this way. God bless all the god souls who extended their helping hand that day!

P.S: We had a family movie night today and I started drafting this post at the beginning of movie. Movie is over and the clan is off to bed but I just didn’t want to leave this in draft. So, extended my time to publish this post. LHB is sitting next to me waiting to go to bed. Please excuse for any mistakes in this post.

 

 

Why don’t

people understand that it is easier to say “don’t do it” or ask “who asked you to do it?” than to stand by the person who does it. Can’t you support rather than criticize? But, life is not fair right? How many more times do I have to keep reminding myself?

I have been a fighter all my life with my own challenges and may proudly say that I stood by my values so far even when my ground was shaken. If there is one thing that I fail miserably it is to lose my cool to my offsprings when I am stressed. Is there a better way to handle it? It hurts more when I know that they are not the reason behind my stress. Especially with Adi it doesn’t work any more to lose my cool and then apologize. She just gives a short stare that hits me straight with “how does it matter to apologize now? the damage is already done” and she is not that little girl any more to forget the incident and come hug me after some time like LHB does.. I feel like I am losing her and if this persists will lose LHB also very soon.. It hurts more when I realize that I am not able to give my best to the two souls that is the world to me!! I am trying…

And if I may mention a second thing that I fail miserably, it is to not waste my tears for unworthy people. I cry more when I feel helpless or the situation drains all my energy out!

Why do people complicate life and relationships so much? Why can’t they be compassionate, considerate and have some empathy around their surroundings? Something that I will never understand!!

It is past midnight and I have to wake up early tomorrow. Still, thought I can regain some of my sanity if I pour it all out here. Thank you for reading and ignore this rant!!