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Nuggets of wisdom

May 19, 2018
  • The wealthier people get, the more they talk and obsess about money.
  • Never downplay the luck factor; a significant number of folks attain success purely by chance.
  • Hindsight is 20/20. Cliched but so very true.
  • This too shall pass (or so I hope).
  • When you need help, people will surprise you. Some surprises are pleasant, while some are not. People who you’d never thought about much will reach out and go out of their way to help while others who you’d thought about relying on will disappoint.
  • When life goes smoothly without any challenges, the smallest of issues start to look big. It’s okay to have failures and challenges in life. They make you stronger.

Next phase of life

May 17, 2018

Landed a job last week after going through a roller coaster ride of emotions ranging from high stress, despair, worry, exhaustion to relief and happiness. Considering the options I had, I probably would have landed a better job. But in order to pursue the other options, I’d have to decline the offer I have in hand (they weren’t going to wait). I didn’t have the strength to do that considering the precarious situation we put ourselves in. Going back to Mother India tomorrow to bring the kids along. Major love and missing each other happening between the parents and kids separated by continents for 2.5 months. We’ll be back to normal – bickering, yelling, talking back etc. within no time.

Husband is still in the process of job-hunting, and I give him free advice about not to be stressed now that one of us has a job. Renting a house literally costs an arm and a leg here. No chance of buying a house in the near future considering we’d have to sacrifice a few organs and body parts to pay the mortgage, property taxes etc. Since we’ve been living in our own house(s) for the past 20 years, this will be a new experience.

A toast to our journey into the next phase of life.

Back in the land of opportunity

April 14, 2018

And out of the frying pan into the fire we go. Time these days is measured in terms of

  1. Menstrual cycles, 2 weeks of normal functioning, followed by 2 weeks fraught with fatigue, irritability, moodiness, depression, hating self and generally being unbearable. Would I get that interview within the good 2 weeks??
  2. Cleaners who come in about once a month. They came twice already. Will I get a job before the next time cleaners come over? All I need is one job, really.
  3. Now that I stopped biting my nails, they need to be cut about once a month. Second time since I had to cut my nails after we came. I really need to get that job before the next time I cut my nails.
  4. Time is also measured in terms of the when I got my eyebrow threading done. Right before I came and today when it was long overdue (threading back home is way cheaper and nicer than here). Will I get one freaking job before my next……oh you get the gist.

Supermarket experiences

February 4, 2018

We live in the border of a most coveted neighborhood on one side and a predominantly muslim area on the other. I frequently go to a supermarket in the area where grocery prices are cheaper. On one of my trips to the store, I saw 2 women in a burka behind an aisle blatantly eating ice cream. After they were done they didn’t even bother buying anything before they stepped out of the store. It’s no wonder that people are treated very suspiciously in most stores this side of town. Before we step in the store, they tag the bags shut and only open them at checkout. I later realized it’s so you cannot steal stuff and hide. It used to offend me but not enough to go shop for the same stuff in the expensive side of town.

In another incident, I went to another supermarket to quickly grab a few things I needed. Got them and stood in a checkout line, behind an old lady with a driver and a truck load of stuff. There was a buy one get one free for something she bought and when the store clerk pointed it out, she went to get it. I left some space for her to come back again. A guy barges into that space and jumps the line to go in front of me. I politely got his attention and once he realized what he did, instead of apologizing he started attacking me rudely. “If you are next, stand here. Why would you stand there?” and so on. For a moment I was shocked, but immediately I saw “RED” (didn’t help that I was PMSing). Suffice to say I reacted and words were exchanged. But the result of that altercation is what surprised me the most. I immediately got ushered into the next counter where a clerk checked my stuff at jet speed. There was an instant shift from me being an unnoticed shopper to folks in the store being respectful towards me. Lesson learnt – “Assert yourself and you will be respected”. The clincher is when another dude does the same exact thing to this guy behind me and barges in before him in the line. Karma is a bitch.

Reflection/Resolution Time

January 8, 2018

2017 was an okayish year. It started off with us deciding to move back to US before august so kids can start 2017 academic year there. And husband puts the onus on me to do all of that, because of his business issues and wrapping up takes time. I knew I’d be a single parent with a job struggling to settle down in my job and helping my kids settle, and I absolutely didn’t want that. The selfish person that I am, we cancelled our plans.

Then came the girls function for which my parents spent a lot of money – I don’t know why I went ahead with it. It was fun in some ways, but a lot of effort. Overall I hated myself for going through with it which I did to fulfill other peoples expectations. And the funny part is they deny that they expected this of me and my parents <sigh>.

And since October, the push to move back started again. We decided it’s best for the kids education/exposure/future. I love change and I’m excited, but clueless as to where to start. Husband’s issues are much more complicated and we don’t know when he is able to wrap up and move. And I can see that I’ll be stuck in the single parent scenario again. Instead of actively starting the process, I’m just sitting here doing nothing.

I’m not great at making resolutions and sticking to them. But this is one resolution I want to make and stick to. When we move to US, we will proactively start making friends and socialize as a family. Our social life is severely lacking. As a family we are never in the mood to socialize and so have zero family friends. And it’s all our fault. It felt kind of sad that at times when we wanted to have someone over, we didn’t know who to call.


Life as it’s happening

December 22, 2017
  • Sale agreement made, waiting for the final sale to happen and as usual it’s getting delayed which in turn is delaying all our plans.
  • Daughter’s dance school had a performance at the World Telugu Conference closing ceremony with an audience of 50,000 according to the newspaper coverage. The President of India was the chief guest. There were about a hundred dancers performing in various groups, and our little one was the only dancer with an almost solo performance with her teacher for a short one minute role. Lots of excitement from us parents while the girl is cool about it.
  • Still lots of cooking happening in the kitchen with mom. We’ve all been looking forward to meal times given the fresh food and the great taste, thanks to mom’s hand in the cooking.
  • Speaking about food, I pretty much stick to making the South Indian food. Not a fan of the gluten and hence no chappathi’s or rotis at home. While I love the western food, I hate using the processed ingredients that goes into making them, so not much of that either at home. Kids love all things western when it comes to food in theory (I think it’s coz’ of the west craze and the peer pressure at school). They keep complaining about not getting “other” food. Anything Indian (especially south-indian) is uncool. It’s okay to experiment and love different cuisines, but why shun our own food. I just don’t get it.
  • Done with mom’s health follow-ups and thankfully it’s all good.
  • There is always this background thread of sadness and brain fog in the mind. While I’ve learnt to deal/manage the sadness through supplements, being thankful for all the good in my life and reminding myself that there is no reason to be sad. The fog on the other hand is a constant. I need for it to lift so I can move on with the next phase of our lives by finding a job and helping my kids through their stuff.
  • Disgusted with the politics at both the state and center level. Power is very dangerous, makes people so arrogant with very little regard for the common man.
  • It’s reflection and resolution time, but my foggy brain is unable to get to it yet.

Cooking Musings

December 17, 2017
  • Lots of cooking happening at home. Made finger-licking chicken biryani that was a huge hit in the family. On the flip side cooking in a hurry led to disastrous results – salty dal and omelette ending up in garbage.
  • While I’ve been good at making regular south indian meals, sweet and savory snacks and pickles were beyond my capability.  With mom and mil visiting, I’ve decided to remedy this and made mysore-pak and cauliflower pickle with their help.
  • Cooking from scratch requires a lot of work. I officially hate peeling garlic, but won’t have it any other way.
  • There is so much goodness to the spices in pickles despite the bad rep they’ve gotten. Fenugreek, Garlic, Mustard, Oil, Vegetable(s), Salt and Chilly powder – delicious and healthy (I don’t consider non-refined oils unhealthy).
  • It’s so much more enjoyable to cook in the kitchen with the company and experienced hands of my mom.
  • In theory, I love the idea of living in a joint family and being a house-wife, cooking for my family and learning from the older generation of women. However I will not trade my working woman’s life, living in different countries and the exposure it gave me for the traditional way of life.