Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Best week of the year 2015!

I have been contemplating this post for quite sometime now. As the year came to a close, I should pen my thoughts which have been floating in my mind about that particular week from last year.

The opportunity to perform the duties of an RJ on an Internet channel came as a possibility through a friend "AM" who happens to be a founding member of the Internet channel. I spoke to another founding member "PM" which I considered similar to an interview. It was a nice chat and I was asked to record a sample audio file and send across. I dragged that for couple of weeks.

It was not easy to record. What you have to say has to be thought out before hand and even scripted out clearly. Only then I could produce any audio without a stutter or pause. Finally I sent the recorded sample, which got okayed and I was given a go ahead. It was as thrilling as getting a new job. Except that it is all completely voluntary!

Then family and life got in the way.  Months rolled by with this thought in the back of my mind that I will someday 'may be' air a program of my own. Then it dawned on me that I have to take the first step towards it. The goal changed from putting out a perfect episode to just get a episode out.

I learnt that you have to embark on certain journeys without knowing about what all could happen on the way. I have to accept the fact that one cannot always be prepared completely for everything that might happen.

As PM said, I was ruining the fun in the journey by insisting that I should know in advance about what will happen at every step of it. So I came to terms with that fact that I will figure out what it takes to produce an episode of the show - one step at a time. And what a fun ride it was!

How true it is to say that you will always find time to do something that you enjoy doing. Also, the order of tasks to do becomes second nature when you figured it out. I figured it all out and as it was told to me, it just kept getting easier as each iteration happened. After the tiring job of cleaning up the kitchen after cooking, I managed to sit and write script for couple of songs. Little by little. I learnt that I have to complete the recording in one shot. That was a big time commitment - so I had to manage my time efficiently not to impact other important things in life.

So what do I love about this RJ role I play: I am the queen of my own world. I set the rules. I select the theme (of course, here I have to mention my partner in crime who has been a source of song ideas and encouragement to pursue something I have dreamt of. My classmate TP). I select the songs which have made an impact on me. I have to have a relation with that song, else I cannot do justice to writing the introduction to the song. Writing scripts was exercising the creative side of me. I love this part the most. Years have flown by me where I have not exercised my creative abilities for anything worthwhile.

So - coming to the best week of the year - it was a week in October where TT edited the files. I awaited eagerly to hear the first run of my program. All the bits and pieces I have recorded and given, how will they sound when edited into a stream? I was eager to find out.

That is when I found it out it already aired the previous day. Some miscommunication. The next run was going to be early morning 4AM. Can you imagine me getting up at an early hour of 3.45 AM to listen to my first program? Hubby dear was worn out with his voluntary work for church. So as he dozed off, I enjoyed the show with my friend (partner in crime mentioned earlier) and my Appa on whatsapp. I was so thrilled.

Next re run was on a Friday and I let each friend know. And what fun it was to know that people who are close to my heart are listening to it and letting me know that they are with me!

That surely was the best week of 2015!

Months later, for Xmas, my hubby dear gets me this new mic and we record and edit all at the same time! It is all a puzzle to begin with, it flows along and before we know it, the whole episode is ready!  Hoping for many more enjoyable creations in 2016!

Friday, May 29, 2015

2015 - Chugging along

OK, OK - it has been a good few years since I even tried to put a post here.
There are many posts that I drafted in my mind while I was driving to work when my head was ringing with so many thoughts and TO-DO items.

So the moment has come to type up what is going on here. I know a handful of people is all that would read this - who have given up checking any updates to this page years ago. But these handful are some I can trust to visit the page once I tell them - hey, I put a post in!

Life is moving along. My teenager will be 14 year old soon. I am already comfortably settled in the phase where the boys are pretty independent and can manage their studies and activities all perfectly. At least that is what I am thinking!

My boys do not want me anywhere near them when they are doing homework for fear of me yelling at them to write neatly or to write the steps for a math problem. I am not even close to trying to force my Indian educational skills into them. I think I should do some of it - but they cleverly escape from me or I escape from the rejection or failure of our advices being thrown out the door.

But they are doing good at school - so I will let them be independent for now!

Hey, I am taking a quick trip by myself to India to attend couple of weddings. I am excited and nervous at the same time. Will it be too short - will I be able to handle the jet lag which always bogs me down..usually worse when I am back in the US? Will it be too hot? All sorts of questions pop in my mind.

But one thing is sure. This will be the first Tamil wedding I will attend in 15 years after I came to the U.S. So I will cherish the fortune that lets me take this trip. I am thankful for my family and circumstances that are making it possible, And it is the wedding of the kid I carried in my arms - technically, probably the only other kid I carried other than my own. To admit the truth, I was never kid savvy. So these bride(s) are special to me and I wish them a wonderful life ahead. I will wish them in person.

Meanwhile, I am leaving the boys (all three) with my B's parents. I realize it will be hard for them to juggle things while I am gone. But I should be back in a jiffy. 1 week to go for my departure and I am yet to start any packing/shopping. I will take it easy this time - coz it will be my trip alone. Hmm..I know you envious girl friends...your time will come too..don't worry!

Monday, July 1, 2013

In love with Manhattan..

It has been two consecutive weeks since we have been visiting Manhattan. Last week, A and A took us there - Mr.A cruising through those Streets and Avenues gave us a tour of all those eateries to be visited and landmarks to checkout when we come back. The one evening with them there was a fun prelude to what was to follow the next week.

We parked in Trenton for overnight parking and took the train.

B and I booked two nights in a hotel right on Times Square. Did not expect a luxurious stay but wanted to be close to the hustle-bustle. Got just that. We checked in to the hotel and stepped out. We took a stroll around and found ourselves in the Rockefeller center. We called to India to speak with the kids and chatted with them. After a round of appetizer in an American place, we were walking. An hour later seeing this Desi restaurant, we felt it is time to have something Indian. Dinner there and then walked back to the hotel to crash.

When we step out in the morning, there you are - you can see the city on the move! And you have this amazing feeling that you are part of the happening place and you cannot afford to sleep in a hotel room anymore. It is time to start moving!

Breakfast is no other place than Saravana Bhavan in Lexington Ave. Which other place is open at 8.30 AM to offer you food close to home? We enjoyed the South Indian food and took a cab to Central Park.

Central Park was amazing - the more we walked and we looked in the map - we figured we still have so much more to explore. Every direction you turn there is a fountain or some nice scenery. Groups of friends playing volleyball and stuff. Parents walking behind kids running away from them. Canadian anniversary celebration. The Lake. The Cubbon Park style grass meadows with couples here and there. The bikers made me regret I came unprepared to rent a bike and roll! Some other time..

The next stop was the Broadway Show. Thanks to A who recommended 'The Phantom of the Opera'. The story line as well as the rendition was captivating. B fell in love with it. I liked it but I guess it was my nap time.Ever paid money for an excellent show and fought with your eyes to keep yourself awake? May be I was too tired from the wandering around so much. The Phantom's character made an impression in my mind.

I had made reservation at Vatan Restautant. I learnt a new term - Prix Fixe menu. It was Gujarati food - bit pricey but I had heard so much about it that I had decided to explore the place. Great ambience and the setup of a village is nice.It was a good experience. I had read so many bad reviews about their service - but it was really nice in our experience.

The next morning, B insisted we go to Saravana Bhavan again - usually it is me who wants to go there, but this time it was him. Then was the adventure ride in Subway to Financial District. There was a moment when we stood in the hot and humid subway station that I thought we are completely lost. But we made it. Lots of things to figure out when you ride subway the first time - but we reached where we wanted to. We were thrilled to get the first glimpse of Freedom Tower. We saw the Bowling Green Bull which we had visited 13 years back with a friend's family. Roamed around more and eventually my feet were extremely sore. Then we took a train to Grand Central Station and were wowed by its majestic architecture.

Had a quick lunch from the "dining concourse" as they called their food court. Time to go back to the hotel, grab our stuff from the locker and head to the train back to Trenton. Quite a memorable experience!

N and N - my boys - I have made a list of all the places to take you both in NY. We missed you when we ate good food and especially when I tried the Icecream Soda in coffee flavor, I wished I could ask N1 to try. Now Appa and Amma are well versed with the Streets and Avenues - especially with Google Maps in Appa's phone, we can conquer Manhattan. Lovely city!

Friday, June 21, 2013

A school year later..

When I hopped into this blog after a long time, I realize I had not posted even once after we moved into our new home.

A week ago, was the completion of an entire school year in the new school district. Initial days of my older one complaining about the new atmosphere and not having friends. The days when the younger was lucky enough to find a friend and hang on to him. The school bus change and concerns around timings/pickup/drop off. Then it rolled off smoothly.

I took part in some Elementary school activities with the younger one. I would feel totally lost in the beginning since I knew nobody there. I missed the old school where you walk in and you could recognize faces. Now at the end of this school year, I can say I can recognize some faces.

Long story short. Kids have gone to India with grand parents. It is just the two of us. You will be surprised
how much our lives revolve around kids that you don't know what to do when they are not there. But I would be lying if I say that I am not having a good time - I am doing things which we cannot think of doing when a normal routine school week is going on. I went for Nails after 2 years with a friend. I am meeting girl friends for dinner and lunch. Last week, B and I went out couple of times for dinner. We went for a long walk in atrial.  It is almost like a bachelor life. Every evening we watching a movie or a half of it until we know it is too late.

All friends are making plans for evenings with us. It is a break for them too. Make hay while the sun shines!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Nearing it..

As the closing date to the new home approaches, mixed feelings emerge once again.

Past 5 months, we were in a temporary home. That holds true for everything about our life. More than half of our things boxed up in the basement, we were living with what is utmost necessary. When seasons changed, we went on the look out for winter clothes in suitcases. We realized that however good you label your boxes, it is not possible to quickly get to what you want.

About 2 weeks to move out of this apartment townhome, it does not still feel real. When the structure was being built, we would swing by every day to see what is new. Every little change was exciting and it was a ritual for our family to drive by every day. Once the structure outside was complete, then we started getting inside the home to look for any changes within. And then came a stage when we were locked out. We can only get in with the builder's help. It has been exciting so far.

This temp home was so convenient in one aspect - we had the school bus stop right outside the home. Never had it so close before. So when my 1st grader is ready, we get out of the home and wait for the bus.
We have fun conversations at that time. Once the bus comes, I wave bye to him and he blows me kisses.It is like we do not care how stupid we look to others and I have never done that with my older one even when he was small. Once my older one got on to the bus, I could never see where he was.  Also this is much different from my to-be teenager now who does not want to see me anywhere near the bus stop.

I think that is what I will miss most when we move out of this home. The memories of me waving bye to my younger one and him smiling to me eye to eye!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Change is good

Last week, we had the most exciting days. We sold our current home and moved to a rental place. All the foundation work for eventually moving to a new home in the near future.

After spring break, we put our townhome on sale. The one month and odd when our home was on sale - constant cleaning up, refraining from cooking inside, take-outs and eat-outs, yelling at kids to not mess up the house, getting out of own own home for others to walk through it any time - thank God that all ended when we got an offer. It seemed like a very long time though! We could not believe it that it ended since during our Open House we did not even have a potential buyer come in and the response that was so great in the first 2 weeks we put it on the market dwindled down very very soon. Just about when the hope was running low, we got an offer.

Then came the stages of inspection, mortgage appraisal from buyer's loaning company step at a time. We were really afraid to tell anyone for sure since anything could go anyway. The date was fixed by the buyers to settle - it was the same day they were selling their home.

Now the challenge was to find a rental place which fits our future school district needs. We were looking at a new construction from time to time and working out our agreement with them. After a bit of struggle, we signed a lease with an apartment where our kids would go to the same schools when the new home is completed.

Last week was the big  move. Even after the movers took the bulk of everything, we were shocked to see how much more needs to moved to the new place. It was a marathon loading our cars and unloading stuff in the new place.

The settlement meeting went smooth. Now we slowly settling down in the rental place. I am even enjoying the rental place and unpacking boxes - I do curse when I hit a box on the way or can't find what I am looking for right is all part  of the game!We embarked the journey now on making selections and finalizing options - will take some months to get our home. One step at a time...but the changes are really exciting.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Year That Was

So why was I procrastinating so much from writing? Finally I hope these thoughts will see day light.

The Year That Was - I am talking about the year I decided to quit my job and be home. When
I quit the job, I thought I will be home for 3 months. How that went to a whole year (and a couple of months) is a story.

Once I put Nithin into the half day Montessori, my life revolved around that schedule.
  • Early morning walks in the Mall when no shops have been open yet. I would buy coffee and wait around to return something in a shop. Somedays I was to early in the Mall after dropping him that I had to sit in the car, kill time with iPhone until it opened.
  • Times when I always early for everything including the one time I was 1 hour early for a doctor appointment
  • Times when the radio station talks about traffic in the Turn Pike, I switched it off because I don;t bother about it anymore.
  • Times when the people I interacted most were automatically non-working moms.
  • Afternoons sitting on the king size bed with Nithin and reading to him
  • Evenings when I would look forward to work with Nikhil on Kumon or something - so I feel like we accomplished something together!
  • Days when I had the enthusiasm to cook and days when I hated it so much that I escaped it
  • Sundays when I felt and enjoyed the relief of not being compelled to go to work the next day
  • Days when my Google Calendar consisted of nothing other than kids' birthday parties
In an effort not to break the rhythm of Nithin's half day school, I did not feel like looking for a job. B had a 1 year timeframe in mind after which I should start looking for a job. Summer went by like a breeze with my parents' visit and with kids out of school.

September began with the worry of how Nithin will adjust to his schools - he was to continue the AM in his montessori and the PM in public school. I had worried about this all year, but other than the the first day's crying, he adjusted beautifully. I started getting bored at home - so automatically I started job-hunting - as per plan.

The next couple of months I went through the frustrations of
a job-hunter. I was back in the same state that I was after my layoff (2 years back). Trying to market my skills - except that this time I was looking for new role completely. I did not want to commute too far and did not want to travel for my work either These really narrowed down the options I had.

After some weeks of hope and despair alternating, I should say Thank God for that phone call.

Ek Pal Mein Zindagi Badal Gaya...

I heard the golden words - We want to make you an offer. My old work place. The product in which I had worked for 5 years before. A chance to start off officially as a product analyst. B will be my colleague once again. Commute = 5 min.

December went by knowing that I have a work place destined for the next year. Parties and holiday gatherings. Dressing up. Apprehensions and tension as usual about the future. How will it be?

More later on how life has changed after joining work.