Category Archives: Bangalore

A package so tiny….

God has decided to give me the tiniest bundles of joy. They came packaged in the smallest packages but they gave me the most happiness. I can’t thank Him enough for the two gifts.

Handling a preemie and now a micro-preemie has taught me a lot. I could tap into a reserve of strength within me that I myself didn’t know existed. I am beginning a series of posts mostly memoirs of our NICU journey and hope to continue blogging my preemie’s small steps in the hopes of helping others like us, especially in India, dealing with the unknown in a NICU.

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The legacy continues

Amma loved it. We used to crave for it as kids. I still can’t pass a vendor without putting my will power to the utmost test. I remember the stall being our usual Saturday evening “Hang Out” location. When I see a bunch of teenagers around a stall, it brings back a flood of old memories. 

Now DH is the hygiene conscious one, I’ve heard unending lectures on the dangers of eating from roadside vendors. I know he is right and have vowed many times to not eat from the stalls but I’ve always reneged on my resolution the minute I lay my eyes on the mouthwatering treat. I didn’t realize my occasional splurging was being constantly monitored by a pair of eyes that miss nothing. She begged for a bite and I relented and now her latest mantra is “I LOVE PANI PURI” or “I LOVE CORN”. I didn’t think she’d take to it because her tastes are similar to DHs and he hates it with a vengeance, but here she is begging for a treat.

What do I say, other than the legacy of the stall will continue and my little one may join the crowd of teenagers surrounding one in a few years.

 

Footnote: Before you decide to jump on me with the dangers of eating pani puri on the roadside, let me tell you that most stalls are trendier now. They use hygiene gloves and keep the pani/puri et al covered!

A year later

Jan 1, 2008 was a memorable day. We celebrated the birth of 2008 with family after landing in Bangalore 🙂

Today, we have completed a milestone – one year after returning to India. Looking back, it has been a great year personally. I would like to Thank a lot of people for inspiring me to make it this far.

Amma and Dad, thank you for your undying support. We could not have done it without both of you. You’ve dropped everything in hand to run down and help out in every possible way and we are grateful for having the support.

Achan and Amma for the endless prayers. I’m sure your prayers are being heard and are a huge factor in us being where we are today.

Sis and BIL for all the help. We could not have done it without you.

Veliamma and Veliachan for always talking positively. We are glad you are in Bangalore and look forward to your visits regularly.

A and RRK for the inspiration and showing us that it can be done. RRK, special thanks for your informative web site. I hope it inspires many more. And yes, I’ve not yet forgotten my promise. I’m starting an R2I diary this minute 😉

Friends, you rock! S,V and R, even now if there is anything I miss about the US it is you ladies. Of course, K, K and A, I’ve not forgotten you guys. Thanks for all the help and support. I’m sure it was difficult to help us with the move along with a zillion  other things you’ve got but you did it and you will remain truly special. We made it and so can you. Here is wishing you all the best in whatever you choose to do.

It has been a momentous journey and here is summing it all up.

The ups

The vibrant country, the beautiful culture, the resilient people have all exceeded our expectations.

The school and K’s friends have made it truly a great experience for K. Hope her spirit continues to soar and transcend all boundaries, just like their motto “O nanna chetana, aagu nee aniketana”.

The apartment community and our wonderful neighbors have all been exceptional.

Our friends and family continue to inspire and support us.

Personally, the ability to stay at home and still have a social life is on the top of my list.

We love the new Bangalore – the multiplexes, the malls, the supermarkets have all made the city very likeable. The old timers still have the famed commercials and brigades, Lalbagh and Cubbon park, the Bull Temple and the Infant Jesus church and all else.

I enjoy visiting parents at the drop of a hat. It’s an overnight train journey and weekend trips are convenient.

The festivals, the celebrations, the beauty of everyone celebrating what we are celebrating is definitely exciting and fun.

The sense of belonging, especially feeling “I never really left, in spirits I was always here” is truly euphoric.

The availability of help for anything and everything is also noteworthy.

 The downs

The traffic, the potholes and the lack of civic sense hits us the instant we set foot on any Bangalore road. GOD help the Bangalore commuters! The sheer difficulty in getting from place to place wants to make me stay put. Driving is definitely not an easy task on non existent roads!

The recent terror attacks in Mumbai have left a deep impact on every Indian around the world and we are no different. I don’t feel secure even in India. I know we are being targeted and hope and pray that the world is a safer place for our children.

Mr. ASATYAM Raju(Satyam = truthful and that’s not true anymore) has made sure that the already failing economy has something more to worry about. What was he thinking? We have been seeing hiring freezes, job cuts etc and I’m nervous. Hope things work out.

It is difficult for women to work in Bangalore. It is expected practice to work 9.5 hrs and add to it the commute, it is pretty much all work and nothing else. I would have loved to do something with my career but other than changing careers or slogging it out, I don’t see a way out. For now, I’m happy at home but I wish I found employers like the ones I had in the US.

And all that in between

The fond memories of a distant country we called home for years, the first years together, the birth of a beautiful baby and most of all the friends we made are all in our thoughts.

So far, no regrets regarding this move, only hopes for a brighter tomorrow, as always.

S,V and R, I hope you are reading and getting inspired! Come back, for all the glitter will still be there to go back to someday in the future. Think about it, isn’t it more important for our children to pick up the phone, call Grand mom and tell her to bring Mangoes and Bananas for this visit and then after a pause tell her that the most important thing is that you and Grandpa are here with us? For our children, this is the place to grow up in. So ghar aaja pardesis…….

Why the block?

 A recent comment inspires me to post again. I’ve been writing off and on but have been putting off posting. The recent festive season gave me a lot of excuses for not posting. I’d almost forgotten how festive season feels in India.  The roads bear a festive look with vendors selling flowers/banana leaves and other odds and ends at every available nook and cranny. I just had to get out of the apt complex and there was everything I needed, all in one place. I love festive season in B’lore!

Starting with Ganesha Pooja, I have tried to celebrate every festival, for K’s benefit.

First it was Gowri/Ganesha pooja. Then we had Onam with ILs visiting us as well. It was fun. Navarathri Holidays meant I could go home but I really missed the Gollu display this year. Of course, the grand finale came with Diwali a couple of weeks back. The three of us enjoyed the festivities all over town. Diwali shopping was fun, I don’t remember the last time I did it but it definitely felt great! I had forgotten the sweets we exchanged with neighbours, the lamps we lit, the poojas Amma conducted and the payasams she made. I had all but forgotten the fun of the constant ringing phone with everyone calling us. With the constant excitement, I’ve all but forgotten to upload all my latest rambles!

Thank you SAJ for reminding me to post again!

It’s raining…

The monsoons are finally here. Thankfully, I’m not fretting about the rain. I have no reason to, since I don’t commute in the mess called Rush hour Bangalore traffic even more exasperated by the intermittent showers. It’s fun to watch the showers from the safety of my balcony. I loved getting wet in the rain as a child and am enjoying the mood it creates. It reminds me of a rainy August Day two years ago. As I walked to the office from the parking garage it started to rain, the first that summer and immediately the smell of the first rain hit me. We had a thunderstorm that day but the first rain inspired me to write this afterwards –

 

The rumbling thunder echoes in the sky

Lightning shines on the dark clouds revealing them to the eye…

The sun and the moon hide behind a veil of clouds,

And watch with me as the first few drops touch the ground.

The music of the falling rain envelops all hearts quenching any despair,

Each drop unleashing the fragrance of the earth that fills the air.

Soon it pours and there is water everywhere,

The parched earth drinks her fill and bursts with life.

Shrubs sprout all around the barren ground,

New lives begin and old days are long left behind.

The first rain of the season comes and goes

Leaving behind the hope, of a greener day that soon follows.

 

Changes and all the challenges they pose

Things are not the same in Bangalore. Everything has changed considerably since we left. Lots of things have changed for the better. For instance, I love the umpteen super markets we have to choose from these days and the excellent services they offer. I love to shop and find Bangalore a very happening place for the same. I still buy some veggies from the vegetable vendor outside the gate but that’s not as frequent as Amma would do it. I remember the regular veggie vendor and his cart. He would show up at the same time every single day and Amma would buy only enough veggies to cook for the day.  Thanks to my huge refrigerator I do what I did in the US, buy a week’s worth of grocery and store it.

Another thing that has changed for the better that really stunned me was the customer service. I remember going to the Telephones office back in the days and I remember the exact treatment I got. Now, things have improved so much that not only does BSNL have a customer service number, they actually pick up the phone and address your complains. The rep spoke to me regarding my issue, then clarified on a query and called me back with an explanation. I was stunned! I’ve called BSNL a number of times, most recently with a disrupted internet connection and each time, I got a polite representative, who actually knew the issue or got back to me with an answer. Thanks to privatization, the country’s essential services are actually improving. Of course, there are glitches in the system but the gaps are far less conspicuous than a decade ago.

The city’s traffic of course has taken a turn for the worse. The booming metro has more vehicles on its roads than anyone ever dreamt of a decade ago. Increasing population is evident with the advent of all makes and models of cars on the ill maintained roads. I’ve never imagined the city to grow so much, most of the suburbs are now full.

The city is crying for lack of good roads. BBMP (Brihat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike) has taken an oath to dig up every possible road in Bangalore for construction of some kind – be it an under pass or an over bridge or some metro related work. Residents take up the challenge to veer through the already existing potholes and the newly dug up roads in the hope of a better tomorrow, if that tomorrow ever comes. If the Bangalore Metro ever becomes a reality I’ll take the metro every time I need to go to Central Bangalore. (Metro to Central Bangalore – almost sounds like the Tube to Central London!)I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the same.

 

As somebody rightfully said, the only thing constant about change is change itself. Here is a silent prayer hoping for changes that bring about a better tomorrow for this metro which we now call home….

On being a Stay at Home Mom in Bangalore.

I’m a Stay At Home Mom for now and am in love with every moment of it, well almost all.  I do feel desperate when K decides to have one of her sudden stubborn fits but overall, staying home in India is fun. In the short duration that I’ve been here, I’ve already made new friends. I keep getting questions on what I do all day long. I actually am extremely busy most days. (Don’t ask me exactly what I do, I have no clue!) I have been busy setting up the apartment and getting things ready before our shipment arrives. I do talk to Moms at our typical Van stop conversations. I do drop in to friend’s places and also got invited to pot luck with Moms recently. It was fun! It is relaxing to stay home.  I do have tremendous respect for Mothers who spend 10-12 hours outside the home, especially with the chaotic commute here in Bangalore. Sitting in rush hour traffic for hours on end is something that I can totally identify with. Not so long ago, I used to have a long commute myself too. I used to drive 40 miles one way to work which took me anywhere between 1-1.5 hrs depending on traffic. I did that for nearly two and a half years.  There were days when I’d get back home and plonk on the couch, tired from the drive.  I can identify with every woman who has to endure such a commute. I’m enjoying my break and love spending time with K. I carried a burden through out the time I worked, one of not having enough of time with K. These days, things are just the opposite. There are days now when I want someone to keep K away from me for sometime, while I recovered from “K Time”. I do want to extend my support to all working moms and would like to tell each of you to stop feeling guilty. Now, looking back, I feel K didn’t miss out on anything because I chose to work. She was fine! Of course, I had to multi task and it was difficult, but it was worth it. We all love our kids and that’s enough for them.