Yesterday my infant son met his first American doctor – so far he has only had appointments with pediatricians in India. The doctor went over his records, vaccination schedule and advised the nurse about the shots to be administered. Then, it was time for some Q&A.
After speaking to the doctor for about 15 min, realization hit my wife – we are bad parents! At least, that’s what the doctor thinks:
- We feed the baby whenever he’s hungry, not at predetermined intervals that are convenient to us
- Not only do we sleep in the same bedroom as him, but when he cries in the night, we console him and put him to bed again – instead of let him cry himself to sleep
- And worst of all – we spend too much time with him, instead of having him spend time in a day-care center
It looks like the doctor doesn’t agree with what we consider to be “Good Parenting”. After deliberating about this, my wife and I have finally reached the inevitable conclusion – we need to change doctors.
A few weeks ago, my throat rebelled against me. In the beginning I thought that it was an infection, and fought back with syrups, gargles and the like. But two weeks later, I finally gave up and paid a visit to the doctor.
He looked into my throat and nose and declared that it was not an infection after all – just a very dry throat. A lot of hydration, regular flushing of my nose & continued gargles should be enough.
“Colorado does that to you,” he said. And to confirm his hypothesis, asked whether I had trouble swallowing.
I replied in the affirmative – for even the smallest thing caused me a lot of trouble. Banana slices, cream cheese, even sips of water would result in excruciating pain for an instant.
But then if you are used to swallowing your pride, there’s nothing else that you cannot.
If a deja-vu happens to you all over again… and again… and again…
What do you call it?
I don’t think I need to name it, though. “Yet another deja-vu” is good enough for me.
The whole of December gone by, and no post from me. Can you imagine that? A month with no writing, no musing (on this site at least) and no ruminating out loud.
But then there’s always a reason for everything, isn’t there?
The month of December just whizzed past me – a whirlwind of sorts. I had some extra challenges at work, had to move into a new apartment, I went on a trip to India and moved houses there too – the works.
And oh, yes – I brought my family along with me as well.
In case you are wondering – yes, I am happy.
And what’s your preference – a sandy beach, or rocks on which waves can crash and foam? Or a mix of both, perhaps?
In any case, for the moment let’s leave such desires aside and try to think rationally – can you actually afford it? How much will such a real estate cost?
Here’s what I think:
- A few stomach ulcers
- Loss of patience and an increased bad temper
- Loss of idyllic evenings spent with family
- Perpetual stress about the bank account
Not worth it.
Wise people learn from experience.
Wiser people learn from other people’s experiences.
Can I? Yes, of course. No doubt about it.
Will I? Not so sure, actually.
The man sat in a corner, head in his hands and eyes closed. After all he had been through, his master had added yet another task to his plate. He already had more than enough to occupy his whole day – in fact, even if he quit sleeping and eating, he wouldn’t be able to complete everything his master asked of him.
For all these months, he had been struggling – shifting priorities and shuffling between tasks – and to some extent had succeeded, indeed. There had never been even a single catastrophic day so far. Oh yes, there had been times when he had given up hope, but trudged along anyways. Waiting for the sky to fall, he had instead been surprised when things righted themselves. Miracles, he assured himself.
No, it’s your overflowing bowl of kindness and good karma, his near & dear ones had said.
He turned around and looked at them. They were so happy and carefree, playing in the garden. He liked to see them that way – innocent and unaware of what he was going through.
A hulking figure stepped in front him, and he was broken out of his reverie. He looked up – it was his master. His master, who piled task upon task on him, seemingly carving enjoyment out of the misery that was doled out.
But today, his master was not gloating – the look on his face was – he was content. The master turned his head to look into the garden. Then, he turned back to face the man, gave a fleeting smile, and walked away.
The man was puzzled. What could that smile mean? Was he out to dole misery to his entire family now?
And then he remembered that day, years ago, when he had realized for the first time that there was no escaping the fate in store for him and his family.
That day, he had walked up to his master, and made a deal – that he alone would bear all the misery in store for his family. In return, his family would live a happy and contented life, unaware of what was happening to him.
He smiled, stood up, and went back to his work.
06:00 am: The alarm rings, but I hit the snooze button. A couple of more snoozes later, I’m up
06:10 am: Charge the french press, and pick up the toothbrush
06:20 am: Coffee is ready! Open the blinds, and sip coffee while soaking in the fresh air on the patio
06:30 am: Off to the shower – need to start getting ready!
06:55 am: Verify the checklist. Keys – check. Wallet – check. Cellphone – check. Backpack – check. Access card – check. Off to the bus stop!
07:00 am: Step into the bus, and call one of my three offshore teams
07:15 am: Realize that I was so busy talking, I didn’t notice that the train’s approaching. Now I need to wait 5 min. longer
07:20 am: Take the F Line. Offshore call is over, so call up home and talk for some time
07:40 am: Call up the burrito guy and place your order – veggie, no cheese, double-extra-spicy
07:45 am: Text-chat with my manager, and setup a meeting at Starbucks
07:55 am: Get off the train at 16th & California and walk to Glenarm Plaza – the burrito is ready and waiting
08:00 am: Gobble the burrito and head down to Starbucks. Chit-chat over coffee for half an hour – I get a better hang of things this way, and so does my boss
08:30 am – 12:00 pm: Lots of conflicting meetings! Flit through them, and wing it when it comes to deciding which ones to skip entirely
12:00 pm: Time for Chinja!
12:30 pm – 3:30 pm: More meetings!
3:30 pm: Head down to Starbucks with the notebook and figure out the pending tasks for the day
3:45 pm: Back to the cube. Complete a few pending tasks, chat with a few managers and walk the floor speaking to my people.
5:00 pm: Time to wrap up. Clean the desk, reconcile the day’s notes with the lists in the notepad
5:30 pm: Off to the train station for the H Line back to home
6:30 pm: Shower, and then off to the racquetball court
8:00 pm: Back home, cook a quick dinner and eat
9:00 pm: Join the first conference call with an offshore team
10:30 pm: 1st conference call is over. Have some time on hand, so call up home and chat for some time
11:00 pm: Back to conference calls. Consult the notepad and ensure that you cover everything that you intended to
12:30 am: Declare end of the day’s play. Text my wife “Good night” and get into bed.
A month ago, 13 people interviewed me for a position. One of the questions that they asked was “why are you interested in this job?”
“Because it will be a career-changer for me,” I explained.
33 hours and over ten thousand miles later, I disembarked in Denver. My nose wasn’t bleeding due to the altitude – probably because I am no stranger to this city. A part of her always stays with me.
When I got off the shuttle, it was drizzling and the air was brimming with the scent of the fresh rain. But I was not as happy about it as I would normally be – I had left my heart behind in Mumbai.