Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Last Two Months

When I joined my new company in June, I got so restless waiting for work pressure to pick up.There was no assigned task but practice applications. I would count hours and think of ways to kill time. I would eat lunch all by myself out in the open air in the green round table/chairs. I would miss my old colleagues and office terribly those days. There was no one here to talk to or make friends with - everyone seemed so busy with their work and no one seemed to have time for personal talks here. After the lunch, I would set out on walks by the riverside. Yes, I am extremely proud of the surroundings here - the Schuykill river flows by the side of the office and there is a train track on the left side of the building. It is so nice to walk outside in summer while I chat with my Appa over phone. Sometimes I call Sunitha and chat with her. We refer to 'nadeetheeram' (river side) often in my chats with Sunitha. Sometimes I would come out to take a break and talk with Sindhu.

Soon, the convention season picked up and I saw myself getting involved in real work. This came to the extent where I was the main person working on many projects simultaneously. And I saw myself going crazy. No time to breathe literally. Constant pressure from many sides. Everyone wants their job to be done immediately. I had to work really late at work many times. In the nights, I would dream about the work, really living through work while I sleep and wait for the next morning to go and tackle the chores. Thanks to my family's support, I was able to get through the months of October and November.

Some of the tough things include a) keep working when hungry at around 5.30 not knowing when I will be able to leave home b) not being able to pick up Dappu (my younger one). c) not spending time with Nikhil and checking his homework and not reading for him. d)driving back in the dark now that it gets dark so early. e) working alone in office - it is so silent and no one else is around. The trash guys come and I am still there. They got used to seeing me late everyday. One day, they even switched the lights off thinking no one is in the room. It is a little bit scary to be alone here for me. One day, I tried to kill my fear (not really fear.but it is a wierd feeling to be alone) by playing Tamil Comedy in youtube while I was waiting for the Norton Ghost to finish its job.

People told me - this pressure will calm down soon, hang in there. It was hard to believe until I see that happen. After a marathon of long days and short nights, now I got a breather for a week at least. And here I am typing this.

I went for a walk in the cold weather since it was bearable. Chatted with Appa. I spent sometime in the morning and evening with my kids. It was a weekend without worrying about my cell phone ringing for on call support. I am back to life....yeah!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Greeting Cards

I remember when I was in high school, I started getting interested in reading the contents of greeting cards. There was this small shop in Vazhuthacaud, Trivandrum close to Forest Office. My dad and I would go there for some reason and I would want to read all the cards. The sentimental lyrics caught me the most. I think at that time, I bought the birthday card for my Appa and gave it to him as a surprise when he turned 40. He was so happy and touched to get a card from his daughter for the first time.

Then as I grew up, in Ayurveda College, there opened the heaven of beautiful cards. It was rightly called Greetings Galaxy. We loved to spend hours there, browsing through the aisles of cards of different categories. I enjoyed the humor in some of the cards. These cards so well written that it was so tempting to buy them all and give it to someone. Some cards were so good that I would start thinking - who would I give it to, if I buy this one. We were in college by then, so there were always birthdays of close friends - we would buy cards that closely match our feelings to the friends - and fill up the entire card with more words - poetry, humor and heartfelt wishes.

Then there were stickers of so many kinds which would enhance the emotion or add to the decoration. It used to be a project to create and complete a birthday card for a friend and we all enjoyed every minute of it.

I remember Sunitha and me spending hours to write a card for our friend Kaveri's father's retirement. The amount of creativity we put it into it, and the opinion clashes that came as a result of it is enormous. But we enjoyed it and the end product was perfect.

Valentine' day etc were not of so much importance that time. I have given only very decent cards to my present day husband when we were college mates - when we used to stumble across cards with little bit of adult content, I used to feel they are yucky.Me and a friend used to wonder who in the world would even exchange these kinds of cards. We were too naive then. The way I was brought up, I still cannot somehow enjoy such kind of humor. All I cared about was sentiments, emotions and I am sure when close friends gave us cards, it really felt so good. We treasured them so much.
We used to keep track of birthdays of all the friends.

Saving money to buy a gift for close friends was equally enjoyable. Thanks once again to my dad whose money I have used for years to make my friends smile. The gifts were typically items you used to get in Galaxy kind of stores. We also bought shirts for boys. Audio cassettes of movie songs were the next top hit. Hair clips or ear rings topped the items for girl friends.

Years passed. Now I am married with 2 kids.How time changes is unbelievable. I never spend more that 2 minutes to pick a card. Mostly it is birthday cards for kids. Even when picking a card for an adult, I never have the time to relish the wordings anymore. And when writing the cards, I seem to have run out of all the stock of wordings I used to fill them with. It is a one liner and names of everyone in my family and that's it.

I am sure it is the same with many of you as well. If not, I really appreciate the effort and care you are taking to tell someone that you care. That is very important, after all.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Ini Acham Acham Illai

I burnt a CD with Tamil Songs from Ghajini. And to fill up the space remaining in the CD, I loaded the rest with songs from Indira. So last week, one morning while I was driving Nikhil to his daycare, I was listening to this CD.

I really like the song - 'Oru Maalai Ila Veyil Neram'. Have not seen the movie, but I can visualize the bright face of Asin being talked about here.'Unakketra aalaga Enai Matri Kondene' - I can somehow identify myself with that line.

Nikhil enjoys the song with me starting from the 'Ro Ro' in the beginning of the song. I sing it aloud with him.Also the line in 'Suttum Vizhi Chudare' - about her photo being next to his chest/heart that ignites sparks. I thought it was a nice thought to put it that way.

Then we play 'Ini Acham Acham Illai'. LOUDLY. I sing the song loudly enjoying every line of it. I cant explain the closeness I feel with TAMIL when go through it. The lyrics are very positive in effect. When I listen to that, I could not control the tears that it brought. Is it the hormones in action? Whatever..!

In a completely alien land surrounded by people from totally different cultures, adapting to many things with the outside world all day, at home and outside - a moment of seeing my real self, my reflection in the Tamil songs I heard. Not sure why this should trigger a tear drop but it did. I cherished that moment coz it made me feel as though someone is there for me - not in person, but through the roots from which my spirit grew.I could feel close to home and homeland.