Something I am thankful to God for

We never owned a car till very recently. Here we= my parents and our family. We always had a two wheeler. Most of the times it was ok, however, there were times when we felt a dire need to have a car. Specially when all of us- my siblings and me- had moved out to study. Going from home to railway station with loads of baggage,  on a two wheeler posed a huge problem most of the time. However, since there were no resources there was no point complaining either. Then when i started my first job way back in 2004, i had to take a bus to office everyday. Ride on a DTC/ Chartered bus without a place to sit can be daunting task specially for women. That was the time when everyday while travelling to work i use to pray to God, to please make me rich enough to be able to afford a car of my own. I was preparing for MBA at that time, and all i wanted was to get placed in a job which enables me to have a car of my own.

Later I landed a job in Bangalore in of the reputed audit company and job involved travelling within and outside Bangalore at client places. I hated the nature of my job. It was too boring for my taste. However, there was one good thing about it- the travel. Travel in cabs. Almost always. Either the clients use to send vehicle to pick us from our home or my company provided a taxi to travel to the client place. And this was the only part of job which i just loved. Every time I sat in the cab, i would thank God. Whenever i saw a bus crossing us with people piled on it like crazy, i would thank God even more. I felt so lucky and blessed to be in a position to travel comfortably.

Then i got married and had to move to Gurgaon. Here you can not travel within the city if you do not have your own vehicle. The public transport is a big fail. So we had to buy a car almost immediately after coming here. However, before we bought one there was a period of like 10 days when both of us had to go to office and we did not even have a two wheeler. Had i been alone, i would have taken an auto to office. However, Husband is not a big fan of travelling by public transport, and since it was because of him we had to shift from Blr to Ggn, he wanted to make sure that all my comforts are taken care of here and i do not get a chance to complain..:) So he arranged for a cab for those ten days which would drop and pick me up from work. As i said, i would have never chosen this had i been alone, because the cost involved was a bit high; but thanks to Husband he made the summer travel convenient for me.  Again I thanked God for this.

Its been four years that we own a car now. And believe me every time i sit in it I thank my stars. I consider it one of the most useful luxuries God has enabled me to afford. The feeling becomes even more prominent when we face the extreme summer and winters of North India. Sitting in my car in a controlled environment with my baby in the car seat; makes me thank my stars, God and the inventor of this wonderful machine thousand times.

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A piece of my mind

I am sometimes confused. Rather most of the time. There is a lot going on in my head right now. Just like ALL other times. I am on sabbatical for past 10 months. I was getting paid till Oct, Nov onward i have not being receiving any salary. Thankfully things fell in place as husband changed jobs around that time and since the EMI of our home loan is still nominal, we are in a comfortable position.

However, I am not mentally in a Ok state. Since the time i have stopped earning, i live in this perennial guilt while spending husband’s money. Especially while spending on myself. Not that i have been spending money like crazy, but whatever little things i have bought for myself, have all brought with them a sense of guilt. Guilt and fear that I am able to afford spending on myself without slogging for it!  The guilt multiplies every time i see husband extending work hours or midst of piles of work and the related tension. i get the feeling that i am living off him. he is slogging and i am enjoying motherhood. Sitting at home with my baby and being able to see her grow. I would like to mention here that i have a cook and a part time maid who stays for 2-3 hours to help me with the baby.

I don’t know if this is normal and many people who are financially independent feel like this. Its definitely not a great feeling. Sometimes i think i live in a constant fear. Over a period of time my mind has gotten use to the fact that slogging, working like crazy, always being surrounded by tension in one form or the other is the only way of life. If in between this things become smooth for a duration, then my antennae go on alert! definitely there is something hidden in all this, i will have to pay for this luxury (like being able to spend/ live comfortably without earning/ slogging) very soon. So right now, when things are good, i am still not happy. I am worried, worried that the coming times will take revenge and i will have to pay hard for this “free lunch” i am having.

Do i sound psychic or is it normal?

Deep down i have no regrets of not being able to work/ progress in career for one year. Infact, i am happy for this break because i kind of hate my work. So this opportunity of taking an year long break was a welcome one. May be that is why i feel even worse, that i am actually getting what i wanted. To add to it all comforts at someone else’s expense.  Yes i do wake up at night multiple times, sit for hours putting her to sleep and undergo all other physical pains and frustration most mommy’s undergo, but still I have no complains. I am finding it ok. And that’s the reason i am scared. How I can I be ok?? How can I be in a comfortable situation? is there any hidden cost to it which i am not being able to see right now? For which I will have to pay later. i do not know. But overall this is not a great place to be in.

Pls do share your comments and thoughts if you happen to read this.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year people!

This place has been lying dormant for over 3 months now. the main reason is that i was busy and was not feeling like writing anything even when i had time. Writer’s block had taken a new height all these months. I was just now feeling like writing anything to keep this place up.

K is sleeping and would be up any minute, so before i write an incomplete post and save it in draft, here is a short bullet point update of life here:

1. I have managed to learn driving!! Yay!! This was one of the items on my to- do list during sabbatical and i managed to tick it off. I went to my native in November and joined a local driving school. Back in Gurgaon and with daily practice I am now comfortable driving on my own.

We have bought a car seat for K, and now i drive her around the town whenever i feel like….:)

I am super happy on the above achievement…Yay!!

2. K is 10 months old and started taking few steps on her own. She can walk like five- six steps before she looses balance and falls down. This is a great milestone.

3. She is getting funnier with every passing day. I love her antics, she has learnt to say tata, to clap, to say “jai” when i ask her to and off late also hugs me when i tell her to hug me. She is a quick learner and touch-wood till now is turning out to be a happy baby.  To grab my attention whenever i am not looking at her, she cutely bends her head and looks at me to get my attention. It is so cute…I just love it!

4. I will be joining work in April. MIL has agreed to come for two months- April and May to stay with us and look after K. However, the bigger problem is still unsolved. I am looking for a job change where i can work from home after initial 3-4 months of going to office. I can call my dad or in-laws from time to time when i can go to office, but no-one is in a position to stay with me all along. Lets see….have applied at few places but no response till now.

5. Deep in my heart I am kind of scared to join back work. I am not sure how i will be able to maintain a work life balance. A baby is a huge responsibility and while I so not want to opt for a stay at home arrangement, I am skeptical on my abilities to manage both things properly. Time will tell…

As i write this I notice that a better idea would have been to first jot down stuff that went well during the last year before ranting about what is it that worries me about the future…:)

So here is a snapshot of 2013-

1. 2013 has been a very important year for us. Its the year we had our first baby- K. (btw, we have finally decided on her name- its Kavya…:)) She was born in March and now looking at her i sometimes wonder if we ever had any life without her. I tell husband, where did all our time go when she was not around…:)

2. In Feb last year, I cleared CISA Certified Information Security Auditor. Its an internationally recognized certification for IT Security Personnel and commands fair amount of respect in the international market. I had studied very hard for it during my sixth and seventh months of pregnancy and was overjoyed when i came to know that i had cleared it…:)

3. Things on the job front worked out well as my boss granted me leaves for an year and i could stay at home to take care of K.

4. I spent close to five months with my parents. This is the longest i have stayed with them after i moved out in 1999  for further studies. Needless to say i loved it. The most amazing thing is that i kind of rediscovered my parents during this stay. Things about them which either i had never noticed earlier or never looked at from an adult’s perspective. It calls for a separate post altogether, but i had a truly amazing time with them.

5. My sister got married last year. Our family had a very difficult time getting her married.  We went through a lot of ups and downs before she finally got ready to get married. Anyways, Feb 2013 she tied knot and is now happily settled in Dubai.

6. I am surprised how i missed this one!! We bought our first home last year. Around the time of K’s birth. We are yet to get the possession but technically we have bought it, as we have borrowed money from bank are are paying EMIs.

Its an expensive house. I was not very sure if we should go ahead with the deal, however husband being the positive one  was ready to take the plunge. The EMI scheme is time bound and right now we are paying a very nominal amount towards the loan. However, April onward it will increase and once we get the possession it will be significantly high. I was so scared deep inside while buying this property that i did not even share this with my close friends, i thought once we comfortably start paying the higher EMIs i will disclose the news. Yes i am weird that ways. I don’t know but I always live in this financial insecurity. By God’s grace money is there…but somehow I am never at ease mentally when it comes to finances as I am always unsure about the future. Partly the reason can be that i am never happy in the job i do, so fear that one day i will end without one!!

So above were the highlights of 2013. It will remain an unforgettable year in our lives…:)

I have few resolutions for 2014. Will post them soon here.

Wishing all a very happy new year again…cheers…