Friday, November 4, 2016

Notes of an inexperienced mother - Part II - That transition !

Hello !

I have to attribute the amount of time I have taken to post the second part to my procrastinating self ! :)
The title may sound a bit generic. It has a lot to do with being a mother, but also with other things. Well, following is what I wanted to say about the loose ends.
I think, I am no different than thousands of working mothers of my generation. We might differ in terms of career choices, family background etc., but there is a common thread and that is, we play multiple demanding roles at the same time and among other things, what we carry along mostly, is a feeling, that there is something that's missing !

In a nutshell, mostly , this is how it goes - one is raised in a liberal family. You can mess around till end of teens, but then you focus on studies and career. You get placed in a company or you get enrolled as a Ph.D. student in a well known lab and the reality that you are still lost is masked in the exhilaration and initial feeling of liberty. The reality kind of dawns upon you when you realize, education necessarily doesn't prep you for what's needed in the market, for survival and above all, to lead a happy life. Well, all these musings bring out the philosopher in you who ferociously blogs, tweets and shares posts on Facebook.... ;) :D
...Fast forward, you have transitioned to being a wife and consequently, a mother. As your age advances, new roles are added, priorities are reshuffled and eventually, it comes down to settlement between 3 roles - a mother, a working mother and a wife !

In my case, we relocated to my hometown when my daughter was born. There had to be a transition in my career as my daughter was too young and of course, because I had to start a fresh in a different city. I thought, it was a good opportunity for me to take some time off. I decided to take a break for some time. My logic was, I have a bandwidth of x and as a new mother, I decided to put the same amount of energy I used to put in my career, into my little one. It made perfect sense. Later, I did realize, that 2 +2 is never 4 when you are a mother.

There are two peculiar things that I noticed during that time. None of those were well covered in any of 'advice to a new mother' blogs that read. :)
1. I had little idea of how to deal with the fact that my little one is totally, I mean TOTALLY dependent on me. What I mean is, I knew the steps, but I did not how to accept it mentally. You have to get used to thinking about your child before you think about yourself and after that, learn to balance. While learning that, suddenly, there is no time to do anything else ! After 5-6 months, I had no clue how the days passed. I was a full time mother. I thought about my career rarely in-between. The fact that I did not think about my career for so many months was kind of unsettling. A certain kind of void was developing which demanded quick action. In a way, a self inflicted, high pressure situation, so early on prep would have helped.
2. There is a process of connecting with your child and it takes time ! I think, this is one of the most underrated fact and is never discussed. It is taken for granted and even I did, that as soon as a child is born, a mother is born and there is going to be sudden pouring of truckloads of mother love. No. As you train your child, you also have to train yourself to be a mother. These are technical steps, but in addition, what if you feel that I don't know my child (as in, how you know a person) !! Now, that's odd. However, it in fact is perfectly natural, I feel. One of the reasons, for Human beings to be considered as evolved is because, there is a constant assessment that we do - we constantly try to guess what does the person you interact with, feels about you. Now, with babies who are few months old, it is not that easy. So, it is kind of one way traffic for some time and in the mean time, you have to give yourself some time till you naturally see your child as an integral part of your future.

One can easily feel guilty about the above emotions. Feeling that there is something that's missing, may not be easy to cope up with. One thing that definitely helps - sharing. Share your thoughts. Transitions may demand a lot of your energy, whether you go from being a daughter to being a  working daughter or from being a working woman to being a mother who starts her career after a short break. After all, it is a learning curve all through - an enriching one.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Notes of an inexperienced mother - Part I - What am I supposed to feel?

Strange title ! Isn't it? I wanted to share some notes/observations that I made in last two odd years, since the time I took up a new title of a 'mother' and this is part I.

What am I supposed to feel? This was the first predominant question I had on the operation table, a moment after my daughter was born. The reason to share this story is, there might be micro-minority of new mothers who go through similar situation and I want to tell them that they are not alone and it is fine if you have the same question. Just take a step back and give yourself some time.

I faced an unfortunate peculiar situation. Having lost my father early on in life, I was raised by my mother and she put in tremendous amount of effort in it. My father-in-law in a way was a father figure for me. Over years we built on our relationship and he was super-excited when he heard that I was expecting. He even came up with some nicknames. :)
Just 13 days before my daughter, Awantee was born, I learnt that he was no more. It was unbelievable. He was an intelligent, witty and a logical man - member of a rare species ! And he was really healthy ! I just could not come to the terms with the situation. I had to try really hard to control myself.

Couple of things I had to think about - how to avoid stress, so that I don't go in emergency delivery?  - I had no answer. I thought immersing myself in work will help. Second was, how was I suppose to appear when I talk to my husband? - I decided to sound practical. I thought it will balance the tone. Both the decisions were not so right ! Immersing myself in work when I could have delivered anytime was really not a good decision. I should have vented out in some manner... a mild manner.

I still did undergo an emergency c-section and that too when the 13th day rituals were going on for my late father-in-law in another city. It was just my mother who was with me in the hospital. The moment my daughter was born, I was happy for us and sorry for the situation we were in. For some strange reason, I also felt guilty. I was overwhelmed and I just sobbed a whole lot. My gynac was really sweet. She just held my hand and said, 'It's a girl ! A beautiful girl !' She had a bright smile on her face. I could hear Awantee loud and clear.
This whole mixed up set of feelings persisted for a year. I didn't feel that I can be evidently happy. Of course, we had moments of great joy, but it could have been definitely better. It takes a toll on a whole lot of things if you don't have clarity. I am sure, my father-in-law wanted me to be very happy. It was a self inflicted inhibition, which was not needed. Probably, it would have helped a lot, if I had taken a step back, given myself some time and talked openly.

Well, lesson learnt. :)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Constancy of life

Today I wake up. Feels like the day will productive. I get things done in time, drop my daughter to the day care and reach office in time. My calendar is full. I have allotted my time slots to address most of the issues my team members have. I also have managed to put a slot for some extra work that needs to be done.. so, overall, today is well planned and seems to be under control. Then, I get a phone call from my neighbor. She sounds serious. She tell me, 'Nandini, ummn.. that relative of mine passed away last night. I know you were taking efforts to find blood donors, so, thought will tell you right away.' I don't know how to react except for a loud 'What?!!'. We talk for five minutes about it, about this sudden demise of a young fellow of 30 who got married 2 years back and was diagnosed of blood cancer just a week back. She says, 'Now a days, we don't even know if  we will wake up tomorrow. Why do we try so hard and earn so much money? Everything is worthless..'

I still can't come out of the shock. The whole tone of the day changed suddenly for me. It seemed useless in a way that I was taking so much of effort planning a given day. What the hell !
Why we as average human beings, plan for our and our children's future? Why do we toil? Why do we die working and forget to live. Why all this when there is no constancy.. not even of our own lives. These and many such 'philosophical' questions cluttered my mind and as I took deep breath, I put a period. We do everything for a reason. For a cause.

Lives, put in simple terms follow one dimensional path of time at the minimum. There is a direction. We add other dimensions with our careers, goals, feelings and relationships. Even if we are alive, halting, thinking that running towards a goal is worthless as there is no constancy, will shatter us and life will be meaningless. We plan and plan, because we expect that we will be alive tomorrow and mostly, it will be true. There has to be a direction, a goal. However, for me what is challenging is to be happy about yourself in this whole exercise. To strike a balance, where at least you and the people around feel comfortable and happy when moving along the path that you etch.

Today, let me open my mind a bit more, let me be more kind and let me get some clarity (without any assumption of constancy of life). Breath deep.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


म्हणजे हल्ली इन्टरनेट वर जुने दूर-दर्शन वगैरे वरचे कार्यक्रम बघायला मिळायला लागल्या पासून हा विचार मनात येतो. बहुतांशी सगळ्यांनाच पटेल की ते सगळे जुने कार्येक्रम म्हणजे महाभारत, रामायण वगैरे आता आपल्याला किती संथ वाटतात.. तेव्हा सगळे लोक घरी असायचे.. रविवारी सकाळी चहा-पोहे आणि रामायण/महाभारत :) असा कार्येक्रम. आमच्या घरी, आई बहुतेक स्वयंपाक घरात असायची आणि मधून मधून डोकवायची. ताई, मी, आजी-आजोबा बाहेरच्या खोलीत एकाजागी खिळून.. एक तास ह्या मालिका बघायचो. तेव्हा मध्ये जाहिराती पण नव्हत्या. एकाने मारलेला बाण आणि दुसर्याने प्रत्त्युत्तर म्हणून मारलेले बाण हे आपण पाच एक मिनिटे न कंटाळता बघायचो. मालीकांसाठीच नाही, पण बाकी अनेक गोष्टींसाठी आपल्याकडे वेळ होता. आता ह्या मालिका बघताना कंटाळा येतो. अरे हे काय चाल्लय.. आपण किती वेळ हे आकाशातले बाण बघत बसणार.. असं न चुकता डोक्यात येतं. मग थोडी मजाच वाटते मला. वेळ बदलली, वेळेचं मूल्य बदललं आणि आपल्या व्याख्याही बदलल्या. लोकं असंही म्हणतात की काळाबरोबर बदलायला हवंच वगैरे वगैरे.
सगळं मान्य आहे मला. बदलत्या काळाला माझ्याकडे लगेच उत्तर नाही. पण नकळत मन त्याच जुन्या काळाकडे धाव घेत. लहानपणी सगळं कसं साधं होतं, मुखवटे नव्हते, खोट हसणं नव्हतं. घाई नव्हती, कसलं दडपण नव्हतं. हे हि खर की तेव्हा या गोष्टींचं महत्व माहिती नव्हतं. पण आता जाणवत. झालेले बदल ठळकपणे दिसतात. म्हणूनच.. जरी परत जाता येत नसलं तरी आठवणीत रमायला काय हरकत आहे ? आपण थोडासा तर वेळ नक्कीच ठेवूया त्यासाठी, जपून.

Friday, September 17, 2010


It is in the vague scent of a flower
and in the vast blue skies
It is in the candle's soft shimmer
and the twinkling fireflies
It is in the candid laughter
and also the silence that we shared
It is in our long walks
and in the assurance to be there
It is in all those true moments
that our lives are interwoven
Lone existence seems impossible
in the world that we have chosen


Saturday, July 24, 2010


He is a traveler from THAT city
and THAT is not defined
now it is this and
it will be another in a while

Please don't impose that on him..
He is not here to teach
and surely not here to preach
He says, he has similar questions
Only his path is untrodden
Let him be free, let him be
as his path goes beyond our horizon

Some call him mad
because he can not stop
and some call him obsessed
as he has to walk
He is asked, 'which is your destination?'
He says, 'I don't know..'
He might realize one day,
that his journey was his destination
and he was THE traveler of his time.

P.S. Yes. I'm good at NOT putting the correct punctuation marks.. so, please ignore any mistakes. :)