Sunday, December 23, 2007

Letting go...

Letting go of kids is difficult for most parents. I am no exception. It is the final 'severing of the umbilical cord'. And rather difficult when you have been a parent for over 20 years.

For most parents this comes at a difficult situation in life. There are job pressures and problems of retirement looming large on the horizon. Financial pressures, health and mid life crises add to the uncertainty. And therefore trying to cope with children moving out or asserting themselves can be rather trying.

For some the 'empty nest syndrome' can also change their marriage. Some couples get along better. Others don't. It becomes imperative that we as parents try living our life alone without the kids. The vision of the old couple sitting on a bench in the park seems larger than life. It almost seems like the initial days of marriage- just the two - but different - since life has revolved around the kids for over two decades- it can get very very lonely.

It is said that saying goodbye to the children does not mean you are losing them but it should put the relationship on a new footing. And so it shall be. After all our main purpose was to help them grow to be mature and independent young adults. It is time they take charge of their lives. It is time for us to let them go. But we still remain their parents - and that job is never really done as long as they need us.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I realise....

I realise that I cannot relate anymore to my favourite simon and garfunkel song.

I realise that growing old has nothing to do with advancing years.

Let's leave it at that.

Friday, December 14, 2007

On a serious note....

Work culture seems to have undergone a drastic change. I remember when we finished our postgraduate course. Of the sixteen of us, some got married, some waited to get married, some went abroad to study. There were few of us who remained - looking for a job. It was not uncommon for girls those days to have studied and then just stay back at home. No eyebrows were raised. It was not unusual at all. Jobs were rather scarce those days. Especially since they had to be within 10 km of home. There was this particular post that we all applied for at a well known research institute only to have our applications rejected. We were over qualified. But when luck struck, few of us did manage to get jobs. We did our best to retain them. We worked hard and really strived to do our best. And that has stood in good stead even now.

What is surprising therefore is that the same perseverance and sincerity is not evident in youngsters these days. Jobs are there aplenty. We never had these opportunities. However, the urge to learn is strangely missing.

Most of us do not have the good fortune of working out of passion. That is for the few lucky ones. It is true (even if most do not want to admit it) that we are working for money. Since we are compelled to work, life would be easier if only we made an attempt to do justice to our job .

Of the 24 hours each day, eight, are at the place of work. If we can make that substantial time into one of learning and developing a positive attitude, it would go a long way in improving the remaining part of the day.

I remember a colleague at the college I worked earlier. She quit her job and many years later I met her and found that she was a stockbroker. I remember asking her whether she found it difficult shifting to a totally different line. And what she told me has always remained with me. She said 'Education is never wasted. Even if you ever change your field, the experience that you would have gained earlier will always provide a good foundation'.

Be sincere and true in whatever you do. This will not just make you a better employee it would also make you a better person. For the sincerity would pass on to any task - personal or professional. I have spoken. AMEN.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The golden oldies....

This is the age of anti wrinkle creams, face lifts and makeovers.

Personally, I started feeling old when I turned 35. That lasted a few years. And now I have crossed 50. My children like to gently remind me that this was a year ago. OK. So what if am 51! I have started looking forward to growing older. Not that I like those fine lines (aka wrinkles) that have begun to appear. But I do realise that there is a lot to look forward to as you grow older. I have begun to enjoy my children's achievements.

Our generation of oldies has had a good mix of life. We have enjoyed spending childhood and youth without the cell phone or the Internet, yet adapting to it with little difficulty. We have lived without the telephone, car, television,washing machine or the microwave. And therefore appreciate these devices that reduce drudgery without becoming complete slaves to them. We have experienced the joys of small town life having plucked fruits off trees rather than off the shelves in the supermarket.

And like our adopted granddaughter would say Good Life. So baby boomers go ahead apply the exotic lotion, the hair colour ( notice how they avoid calling it the 'hair dye'), look young, be fit and enjoy growing older.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Morning Walk....

Another attempt at resuming good habits. We started our morning walk again. It was nice getting up early and out in the hope to contain the expanding waistline. But walking is not too much of a joy these days. Especially when you choose to stay at the center of the city to avoid long distances to work. You pay the penalty. Not much of the fresh air even early in the day. Construction activity all around does not help much.

The early morning walk takes me back to when I was in school. As soon as vacations began we would all get up early and set off for a walk with my grandfather. He had his set of old cronies ( who were not much older than I am presently!!, but at that age they were OLD). All of them bright and chirpy at the unearthly hour. They would walk so briskly that we had to break into a run off and on to catch up with them. And that did not deter their conversation. All about their jobs and what a sense of humour they had. They never seemed to tire.

Back to the present. I still cannot walk at the pace my grand dad did!. It is quite amusing to size up others on the walk. Surreptitious glances to check the other's girth ( I can't be as fat as her!). Then there are those who seemed to have just got out of bed and onto the road. Others who give those why cant she dress her age look, just because I am in a pair of jeans ( old and faded). Some who are out that early going to work who look at you with the expression that reads life must be easy for these people who have the time to walk . Oh well, we have gone through that phase too. Back home after the walk, a quick look at the papers and into the kitchen and soon set for work which is actually when I am ready to put up my feet for a nap!! So much for the getting fit act!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mother in law day today

I read someplace that the 4th Sunday of October is the mother in law day - observed since 2002. Wonder who observes it. It seems to be going unnoticed. I would not have given it much thought either, except that I have turned a m-i-l this year. I must have been greeted innumerable times by a 'hi , mother in law' or invariably by a question - how does it feel being a mother in law. Initially, I felt strange that people asked me that!! I can understand questions like - how does it feel being married or how does it feel being a new mother. Those are relevant questions. Those indeed seem real milestones in life. But being a mother in law? I did not feel any different for some time. But surprisingly now I do! Not being a mother in law really, but knowing that your daughter has moved out of your house into another and trying to make adjustments. It feels good to see her adapting to her new life. That's when I do feel like a mother in law. And one more addition to the family even though the daughter has moved out is rather comforting.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

collage -2

One more, maybe a little ambitious. I will stick to smaller images for a while. But it was an experience. I must have cut a zillion pieces of paper!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

If I were a rich (wo)man

I read the responses to 'would you quit if you come into a lot of money' - a query posted on WSJ blog. That set me thinking. There are days ( more frequent now) when I dread going to work. And we have our own little business - no boss to worry about either. But yet as I said there are so many days you just would stay back if only there were no responsibilities. But it did get me thinking about what I would do with the extra money. One thing for sure - I would work - I am old enough to think of retirement in the near future, but work is essential to keep fit. Maybe money could give you a choice of the job , since earning would not be the sole aim. Otherwise even if I did come into money I would remain very much the person that I am. It would be nice not to check the price tag closely on every purchase. I would love to travel all over the world - Italy, Egypt, China - and yes it would still be a shoe string budget. I could even make this blog interesting with my travels round the world. Anyway, this is something I hope I can do even without coming into wealth!! Since I cannot see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, there is no harm dreaming. Being a Libran -- I am a born dreamer. That is something I can do and it doesn't cost money!

Monday, October 8, 2007

A hobby revived..

My daughter wanted to know how I was coping with the 'empty nest syndrome'. I have been meaning to take up some of my interests a little seriously. I have always been fascinated by paper collages and thought I should take it up again. Here is a small collage that I initiated. Hopefully after a few more of this kind, I should be able to take on more detailed and larger collages.

The fish bowl

I am really not the sort to keep an aquarium or the least interested in fishes. However, my daughter ( or was it the son in law's idea?) sneaked in a fish bowl with baby mollies in them and well, I have no alternative but to take care of them. It's been at home for 3 days now and I have begun to slowly observe them a little more keenly. Who knows I may take it on as a major project as time goes by. Anyway here's a picture of the fishes on day 3.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Music for the soul

Music, these days has the same effect as my 'old friends' - soothing. Especially music of yore. Brings back the old days. There was this particular song that we sang whenever we went on vacation with my parents ( which takes me back some 45 years!!). There was a song for every occasion - when the lights were off, when my eldest brother came home, a song for my mother and so on. They were meaningful lyrics. Where has all the beautiful music gone? Not that I don't enjoy the music of the present. After being exposed to the music choices of my children I have begun to enjoy some of it. There is a definite beat and I do find myself tapping my feet to the music. Very gently, at times I am told not to pay attention to the lyrics or ensure that I do not watch the music video - lest I am shocked. Strange are the times. When we were young our parents warned us not to watch a particular film. These days it is the reverse!!

But a note of cheer - retro music is back. Maybe at times in a remixed version. Nevertheless, my point is proved that there can be no substitute for the music or the lyrics of the good ole oldies.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blessed Are The Meek.....

Well, I am not one of the pushy sorts. I am known to wait patiently at the billing counters allowing all those boisterous loud mouthed persons to get ahead of me without a word. Atleast most times I do, simply because I don't wish to get into an argument and at times when I am lost in my own world and do not even notice that I am being taken for granted. But of late I suddenly find myself becoming assertive . And I have slowly begun to realise that it pleases me no end when someone is (deservingly) at the receiving end. I think it is high time especially since I turn a year older this coming week to stop being pushed around. And it is no longer blessed to be meek ... though I am not too sure it will work at home! Atleast there I can throw a tantrum.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sweet nothings

I have been off sweets for 20 days now. 10 days to go. I am surprisingly not craving for sugary stuff. Can this be me? For someone who could never go past the kitchen or refrigerator without having to check out for something sweet to eat, this has been quite an eye opener. I have been gorging on other foods though- have discovered that fruits are an ideal substitute for sweets - very healthy too. I think the others around the house could have put on some weight eating the stuff I have not touched!! Maybe in consideration of their health I should get back to eating sweets. Or maybe not. I hope this will help me control the urge to eat a sweet all the time. It also makes one wonder why people cannot give up some of their addictions. All it requires is a bit of self control. Or does it... I know for sure giving up my computer would be an addiction that would not be so easy to give up. I wouldn't even try!!

Brave Heart

When my head hurts I cannot do anything at all. Just bundle up into a room, switch off all the lights, pop in a pill and wait till it subsides. Which brings me to my nephew who had a serious head injury. Yet amazed the doctors with his rapid recovery. And in my brother's words has retained his sense of humour. Is it not amazing? I should take a lesson from him in trying to cope with these insignificant aches.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ganesh puja

The Ganesh puja was on Saturday. At left is an image of Ganesh which I made using the paintbrush tool. The image of ganesh has been created in every inconceivable manner. A favourite with all artists. Yet this is one festival which loses its very charm in the manner it is being celebrated . There are huge idols, extremely garish that are created and the processions and ceremonies that are attached to the installation of the idol or the immersion can in no way be considered religious. It is shameful that we have allowed a festival that should have been celebrated within the 4 walls of the home to have emerged into a highly politicised and ugly affair. There is palpable tension at the time of the festival for it definitely attracts a lot of anti social elements. The hooliganism that is observed at public places is to be condemned. The lovable god who should have been made of clay and natural colours is fast becoming a major source of pollution.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Old friends...

Old friends
Memory brushes the same years ( Simon & Garfunkel)

Met an old friend today. Friend from Class 2. The aunt who brought her up passed away. Turning the pages of the newspaper that morning, my eyes were drawn to the familiar face staring at me in the obit pages. I was sad ... in the last 25 years I must have met her only a couple of times, but that did not erase the number of times I had met her earlier. She had grown old and was suffering. For her it was a relief from pain . As one grows old you cling to memories of childhood.

That brings me back to my friend. Meeting old friends always has this impact on me. One comes home feeling very 'refreshed' if you can term it that way. It is easier keeping in touch with friends these days - with the advent of cell phones and sites like orkut and the like. Our days it was not easy. Not all of us had telephones. And after graduation we generally dispersed .. some got married, some went abroad. We kept in touch occasionally by snail mail, but whenever a friend turned up, word would just go round and we would drop everything and meet for an hour or two and reminisce about the 'good old days'. Invariably doubling up with laughter at the pranks we played at college coming back home feeling young and energised.

Old friends
Memory brushes the same years ...

Monday, September 10, 2007

My daughter gets a raise...

Yes it makes me proud. She deserved it. Atleast I hope this makes her realise that hard work does pay... literally. Her new hubby and she can have a better life if they use the money wisely. The difference between their generation and ours is that we didn't have the opportunity and the monetary rewards but it did not deter us from doing our best, saving for a rainy day from whatever little we earned. Hopefully money will not change old fashioned values.


Thats just one of the names my daughter addresses me with. It changes day to day sometimes by the hour. What matters is the tone!! But I love them all . Makes me feel special. It is on her suggestion some time ago that I have started the blog. I am not too sure how long this will last. But I wil give it a try. Maybe it will awaken some writing skills (?) which I hope were dormant till now!!
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