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The sculpture gallery at the bottom of the sea –

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Some appreciation before I die, please!

Well, the last post was all about how fucked up my career is for now. In a way it does summarize itself for me – A bird in hand is better than two in the bushes. Only if I am able to make peace with this.

Now, coming to the family front. Well, life is as hell-ish as can be at that end. With Tarun’s entrepreneurial work soaring up high, he’s all immersed in it. I knew he would get busy. I knew I’ll have to manage house work myself. I knew it’ll be tough with a 4.5 yr old child and a budding Management job at work. But, I was feeling ready for the challenge.

What I wasn’t prepared for – the non-appreciation, the missing recognition, the missing inspiration, passion, etc etc

I try to manage Anay and his school and his growth. School’s circulars, things to be sent, class competitions to be prepared, daycare stuff, weekend homeworks, list is endless.

With Delhi’s pollution going to it’s peak and showing us exactly how bad conditions we’re living in, my son’s cough is just not passing. He coughs horribly all night. He’s unable to sleep peacefully and in effect, neither are we. He has been on anti-biotics, cough syrups and what not, since past 2 weeks now, with no signs of cough reducing. Thankfully, his daycare aunt gave me something to give him (some home-made syrup of tulsi, etc) that has given us last night’s peaceful sleep. Otherwise, I was in tears. He’s a picky eater. He brings back most of his lunch back. Despite my mentioning to Tarun regularly since past 1 month, that he doesn’t eat his lunch in school properly, this person won’t accept that there’s a real problem that we’re unable to fix. I have tried putting everything that Anay likes, but he won’t eat and finish. The emotional heartbreak when you see your child’s lunch almost full, in evening, I can’t explain. Then comes the frustration that you woke up at 6 AM in this freaking cold, when you didn’t get a proper sleep at night, thanks to the coughing. I don’t know what to do. I cannot bring myself to scold Anay for it because I feel somewhere it is my mistake that I’m unable to gauge his tastes/dislikes. He’s after all a child who perhaps doesn’t understand himself on what he wants. (Though he very clearly explains it when it comes to getting a new toy! But never mind!) Parenting gets tough.

Now, the problem is that these are real-life problems. All parents face it. Nothing unusual. What pisses me. What pisses me!? You may ask.

What pisses me is that while Tarun was busy working away in his office and I was busy getting the stuff done, he comes back for review. He would not be able to participate in the activity, the hard work, but he always has opinions, thoughts, improvisations on work done. On what else I could have done. How I could have done it better.

If Anay wasn’t a full-time activity in himself, I also manage the house. And, he has minimum involvement in keeping the house. Minimal pretty much means Zero! But, still he has opinions on how I keep the house. On how I could try to keep the fridge cleaner. I should have checked on the veggies lying. I could try to not hang clothes that way or there. I should try to at least get the bed cleared before he arrives. Go Screw Yourself! I swear to God, that is my limit.

I don’t want a ‘Thank You’ every other minute but  a general realization of the fact won’t harm. He gauges it just by the fact that every minute he spends in the house, he tries to help and be involved. Whether it is by keeping Anay company, getting Anay ready in the morning (which is predominantly done by him because I’m busy in the kitchen). And even then, I join in as soon as I’m done preparing Anay’s lunch.

I mean I understand you’re busy and you’re doing full to your capacity but I’m doing it too. Your work doesn’t and shouldn’t undermine mine!

And, if that wasn’t enough, there comes his male ego. Oh dear Lord, keep my anger in check. Which century are we living in!? I have a team of 17 people in my company and there are only 2 girls in it, including me. This is a general sense for all girls working as engineers. We all have studied in co-ed colleges. We all have interacted with both genders. Perhaps more with men because there were just more of them around us! And so, if I need help, if I talk, I talk to men. He has some issues with my interactions with them. While he cannot control how much I interact with them in office, he tries and curbs any interaction outside it. So now, when I travel alone, and I decided to car pool with another team mate of mine (obviously a guy, 16 guys remember!) so he wants I should rather take the bus going to the office than go in a car. He won’t say it outrightly, but give you outrageous, obnoxious reasons.

He’s working late at office today. He’ll be late. Anay is gone to his Amma’s place. My cook’s on leave. My office has a dinner outing (complete office) but I can’t go because it is late in night. I suggest if he could pick me from the venue on his way back home. The venue is not some eery place out of nowhere. It is  a mall, a centrally located one, that we have frequented often. So, no new place either. But, the answer is flat No.

Cut the flak! I feel I’ll reach the point soon where I break my rule of ‘no lies’ in between us. With him becoming a business man, he’s forgetting the ways of service class soon and quick, and quite conveniently, and if it continues, I’ll have no choice but to keep some things unspoken/unshared. Something that makes me feel like stepping away. But, if I continue to share, it’ll cause a rift that would be hard to fix. And, something I can’t afford.

Am I choosing the convenient way out of the problem? Am I being the immoral wife who lies to her husband and enjoys in the company of other men!? I think I could easily have been the wife of a partner who’s as much a part of her social circles as she is, and we could have progressed harmoniously, -but- he chooses to be such an ancient, stone-age ass!

Mental Note: Better write the post on ‘Love after Marriage’ soon, before the love dies out and there’s nothing to share any longer.

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Confused me!

Dear Diary,

Times are difficult, yet again. As they keep going up n down. Right now, I find myself in emotional upheaval, adjusting to changing environments where “I” have to accept the changes. For once, I didn’t change, things around me have changed. Work, Husband. (No, my husband hasn’t changed to someone new, that is same! Hah!)

If I look back at my times at Calypto, they have been the best years of my professional career. I don’t think I ever enjoyed my work and the freedom to work, to create, more, anywhere else than here. Now, Calypto has changed to Mentor. And, while our work remains same, our peers, our managers remain same, everything’s changed.

The free environment, the do-it-than-bear-it attitude that we used to share, freedom-of-speech in the real sense – All seems to be fading. While we’re not stopped from going ahead and talking to anyone at top, the change it used to bring about, has vanished. Now, we’re just heard and the idea tossed into the garbage bin, just like big MNCs. Previously, if we made a point, it was not just heard, it was executed and each one involved was rewarded/appreciated for the same. Now, the managers give you the bureaucratic nods. With a start-up, you walk up to people and get things done. Now, for everything, you ‘mail’. Yes Yes! I always knew this. I have worked in MNCs all my life so I should be used to this, but it seems, the 2.5 yrs or bliss and freedom spoiled me. Now, these things irritate me.

I don’t know if changing job is the answer to it. EDA is a niche industry and options are pretty limited. Let’s see what’s in store. But, I would give it 1 more year to play itself out or else, I make my move. However hard it may be.

Just as it used to be prior to Calypto, in all my prior companies, whenever I used to feel the dissatisfaction from my workplace, I used to dream of MBA, that’s where my mind keeps running to, Again! And each time, I go ahead and surf some of the sites – the regular – ISB, GMAT etc. and after an hour-2 hrs window, I realize these are all waste of times. These are different paths which have perhaps lost their value for me. Now, investing an yr, shit-loads of money, starting from the bottom of the pyramid, and trying hands at something totally different, like Marketing or Sales, would be dreamy and foolish for me. The charm it has, is perhaps grass seeming greener at the other side. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy my work in EDA, in PV. I can see myself growing up in the ladder too. The only reason I want to quit it because I see others earning much much more than me. Because having been brought up in Delhi, our generation has been fed and bred on ambitions and goals.  We perceive success only if we have a matching percentile/score of a big competition to show up with. We find meaning to our lives only when we are burning the night oil.

And, that is such Bull Shit!

At 31, if I have understood anything about life, it is this. All these degrees are nothing but market’s way of bleeding more money out of you. You need to be educated but education only takes you as far as the entry gate of your career. Whatever you may chose. Which college’s degree you hold will definitely change the type of carpet that is rolled out for you, and I will definitely regret not having attended an A-grade college. But, after that, it is another battle. No IIT or ISB or Stanford or Harvard can make you enjoy the work that you would do, IF your heart and mind don’t enjoy it.

Ahh! But another thing that I have learned at 31 – Money does buy most of our happiness. So, if you’ve the degree from IIT/ISB/Harvard/Stanford, chances are no matter how stressful or boring your job is, you can crib about it in style!

So, in effect, Life sucks for now!

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The funny

Anay has a poem recitation competition coming up. I was searching for some simple english poem for him when I stumbled upon this gem.

Dentist and the Crocodile by Roald Dahl

The crocodile, with cunning smile, sat in the dentist’s chair.

He said, “Right here and everywhere my teeth require repair.”

The dentist’s face was turning white. He quivered, quaked and shook.

He muttered, “I suppose I’m going to have to take a look.””I want you,” Crocodile declared, “to do the back ones first.

The molars at the very back are easily the worst.”

He opened wide his massive jaws. It was a fearsome sight––

At least three hundred pointed teeth, all sharp and shining white.

The dentist kept himself well clear. He stood two yards away.

He chose the longest probe he had to search out the decay.

“I said to do the back ones first!” the Crocodile called out.

“You’re much too far away, dear sir, to see what you’re about.

To do the back ones properly you’ve got to put your head

Deep down inside my great big mouth,” the grinning Crocky said.

The poor old dentist wrung his hands and, weeping in despair,

He cried, “No no! I see them all extremely well from here!”

Just then, in burst a lady, in her hands a golden chain.

She cried, “Oh Croc, you naughty boy, you’re playing tricks again!”

“Watch out!” the dentist shrieked and started climbing up the wall.

“He’s after me! He’s after you! He’s going to eat us all!”

“Don’t be a twit,” the lady said, and flashed a gorgeous smile.

“He’s harmless. He’s my little pet, my lovely crocodile.”



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Of Power

Dear Diary,

It is a beautiful phase in life. Changes are subtle and not upsetting/uprooting as they have been in all these past years. Life is routine and yet eventful. A lot of learning going on. Mostly internal.

In the past few weeks, I had been very distracted. With T getting busy with his office, his Saturdays now working, and his Sundays spent in dealing with pending tasks, Anay and catching up on his thoughts, we had hardly had any peace time. We were talking, we were around each other, under the same roof, and yet in completely different worlds.

Life has a way of separating two people, time and again. If you really want to have a close relationship with someone, till the end of life, then you need to continuously invest time and energy in it. Pretty much like food and air. All through your life.

So, when my birthday and anniversary arrived, it was finally the time when I came back into T’s radar. And, Lord, had I missed the attention. I never realized how much accustomed and habitual I had become of his time. I also realized that I’m a mean-dirty-woman, just as they say, because I felt extremely delighted by the expensive gift he bought me. I got a new phone. I did need a new phone. But, I know, I wouldn’t have been pleased had it been of a lesser value than my previous phone (which was pricey too). Money does buy the happiness these days. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

On my birthday, the first time, we both acknowledged that we indeed had lot of money in our hands and we’re deprived of it now. But, we also vowed that once we’re back to that same stage again, we’ll not stop ourselves from spending it all. 🙂 We will do all that we wanted to. Spend on all the luxuries and fantasies. The travel, the home decor, all that we have wanted to do, we could have done but somehow never did. So, all in all, a very positive result.

Entrepreneurship is tricky. It takes a toll on all your life. While both of us were mentally prepared for it, none of us could have been ready for the changes it brought about. Finances were turbulent previously but things are coming to a comfortable position again. While I haven’t lost faith in my husband’s capabilities, I’ve come to accept that this may be our in-hand salary (which is totally mine right now) for all our lives. So, if my expenses have to go up then it simply means, that my salary has to go up. And, it’s not that difficult to manage. So far.

And surprisingly, that is a very powerful place to be in. I have no issues being the sole earner of the family. I’m all up for the challenge. Rather, I want to grow more and more in my career. I cannot be just the woman behind the successful man. I want to be the successful woman together with a successful man. So, the vision has changed from a ‘Fortune Most Powerful Woman’ to ‘Fortune Power Couple’.

When I think of my path to that dream, I know I’m nowhere near. I’m not even on the path. But, I know the path to it. I can see it happening. I’m not in a hurry for it but I want to make my first step towards it. There are lot of things which make me think that I must stop. That it is not the right time for it. Perhaps, I should wait for T to get comfortable. Maybe wait for Anay to get a little older so that he can manage himself. But, in all this, I know I’m just stalling the inevitable. There’s nothing that is stopping me but myself. And, there is nothing that can, if I decide.

The more I realize the power of a woman, the more I shine. Actually, the more I realize the power of my soul, I realize – ‘ I don’t want to be a woman. I don’t want to become a man either. I just want to be me!’

No expectations, no boundaries, no preset definitions of what I can do and what I can’t. I want to challenge myself, strive for the sun and then see if I achieve or I fail. I don’t want anything else to define my limits.

Let the light of the soul shine!