Yes, it is going to be a bullet point post. Each of these have been floating in my head forming individual posts. But, I figured they will never make it here unless summarized in bullets anyway. I am ashamed of keeping this space untouched for so long and I want to apologize.  But, it just..just feels dishonest at this point.

  • The year of 2012 was like a non-involved neighbor. Smiled back when I did, made small talk, shared some home made goodies but generally stayed to herself. No noise. No fun either.

    My biggest grouch was the lack of travel, the excitement it brings, the thrill of exploring the unexplored. Living an immigrant life bound by constant visa renewals sucks.To be required to stay within the boundaries of the country felt very restraining. Why so many boundaries, such stringent laws, so many constraints?  Let me free, I wish to fly.

    Reminds me of these beautiful Javed Akhtar lyrics in hindi:

    Panchhi nadiyan pawan ke jhoken
    Koi sarhad naa inhe roke
    Sarhaden insaano ke liye hain
    Socho, tumne aur maine
    Kya paaya insaan hoke?

    [ Birds, rivers, gusts of wind
    No border inhibits them
    Borders are for people
    Think about it, what have you and I
    Obtained by being born as humans? ]

  • Speaking of boundaries, I was recently enlightened about the fact that a non-citizen US resident cannot adopt a baby outside the US.The rules are so hard that they make it practically impossible to adopt internationally. Which means we cannot even have a serious thought on adopting a baby from India, if we want to. That is… sad.
  • Work has been a roller coaster ride recently. Challenges thrown from left-right-center. I try catching them all carefully, and yet some slip and fall. There is only so much one can do and I try telling it to myself almost every single day. When things go haywire, there are days when I log off feeling miserable, head spinning, discontent and frustrated. But, there are also good days when I sign off humming a happy song, utterly satisfied and grateful. The husband reminds me not to let work control my emotions so much. And I agree to do better at drawing my lines to separate them both. I haven’t seen much success so far . How do you do it, keep your emotions disconnected from work stuff that is, share some good tips, will you?
  • Have been trying my hand at Radio Jockeying and it has been..well, sweet so far. I enjoyed the first few sessions, put my best into preparing for the show, scripts, recording and editing. Did not care if it meant less sleep and long nights. Eagerly waited for my show to go live on air and beamed proudly when it did. Jumped and screamed with joy when people said they liked what they heard even if it were my own friends and cousins :) But, the glamour of the whole thing is starting to fade now. I gave a chance and tried, but happy to leave behind to look for something new. Honestly, I don’t think I am cut for it. If it takes so much effort, time and brain-wracking, probably I am doing it wrong. Supposed to be smooth and easy , this RJing thing, right? Oh, well :P
  • You remember Ana-Swetha from here, right? Her family and ours are very good friends now :) We visit them often- the kids play among each other while we sit and chat in the kitchen with a cup of chai. Ana-Swetha and me have danced in the living room to random music, walked to the park holding hands and generally laughed and hugged tight. I still speak to her in Kannada and she still runs to me when she hears my voice. Baby sat her one evening when the parents took a deserved break and I think I did pretty well! Their family is so full of warmth and cheer, sometimes I am overwhelmed with joy just by being around them. Meeting them is one of the best things that happened to us in the past year and I feel so much richer in life by the gift of it all :)
  • Leisure reading has always been a thing of less priority mainly because..er..there hardly is leisure to sit down with a book with a toddler around :) But, the blog world has been so inspiring to push my limits and create that time for books, especially voracious readers like herself. The pleasure of living those characters through the words on a good book is so addicting.The drowsy eyes and sleepy head in the mornings are still worth the late nights cozied up in the sofa with a book! Some of my favorites so far:

    -Water for Elephants  by Sara Gruen
    -The Help  by Kathryn Stockett
    -The Life of Pi  by Yann Martel
    -The Client  by John Grisham
    -The palace of Illusions
    -Mistress of Spices
    -Sister of my heart…all  by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
    -Nefertiti  by Michelle Moran
    -A Thousand Splendid Suns  by Khaled Hosseini

    Recommendations for a must-read or a link to your favorite list is much appreciated :)

  • Two vacations highlighted my year of 2012. One is the solo trip to India. Just me and Paapu, while the husband stayed back.It was all about visiting uncles, aunts, cousins and friends – wondering how much you have missed them through the years and why the heck didn’t you keep in touch more often! It was also about strolling in the greens of the many relatives who own beautiful gardens:IMG_3635..also about gorging on mangoes! Oh, the juicy, sweet, nectar-like Mangoes! :)
    The one thing that stands out in my memory though is the evening I got to meet this girl ! I have admired her blog for so long- the way she spins words so effortlessly, the honesty in every single of the posts and most of all – her perspective, which is just so unique and incredibly mature.Sitting across the table with her and chatting up felt absolutely wonderful! She was just the way her blog portrayed and much much more. In fact, she made me think back about how I used to be at her age, not too long ago – naive, timid and somewhat dumb, if you ask me, especially in comparison to her :D

    Oh, and this framed doodle art gifted by her sits on my bedroom table next to a family picture -…makes me smile big whenever I look at it. Love you and your art dear girl :)

    The other vacation was towards the end of 2012 – a much awaited trip to Hawaii. The last time we visited the islands Paapu was quietly growing in my tummy- a nostalgic post here. This visit though, we had a cheery little girl building sand castles on the beach, running in the trails in the tropical forests and watching the sun go down into the sea leaving orange footprints in the sky.

  • Paapu is turning three next month. THREE. Yes, you heard me right. When did she stop being a baby and turn into this talkative little preschool going girl? I have no clue! Sample some of the laugh moments:

——-

Midnight stroke of 12 on the new years eve. I grab Paapu in the middle of the party to say “Happy new year!”
“Huh? Happy..What ?”

[ Note to self - Toddlers don't understand the sense of time - not in seconds, minutes or in ( happy new) years.]
——-
” Paapu, no Preschool today. It’s closed for holiday”
“Yes. They shut the doors and locked it really tight.Very tight. Cannot open.”
“??!”

..after a few days of Christmas holidays,

“Paapu, your preschool opens tomorrow”
“They open the door? Was very tight closed, how they open?

——-
“”Good Job!”
“No, Amma, I am not Good Job. I am Good Girl!”
——-
Middle of the night, everyone is sound asleep.

“Amma!”
I wake up shocked by the cry, “What, what happened baby?”
“Amma, she is not sharing her toys with me”
“Aww, that’s okay, it’s a dream, sleep now..shhh” , patting her back to sleep.
..after 20 minutes
“Amma..! She is still not sharing her toys with me!”
Apparently, toddlers dream in saga episodes, who knew ;)
——-

I am driving the car and the noise from the backseat gets irritating.

“Paapu. Stop screaming. Stop it.”
“Ok Amma, don’t be angry. I will scream very quietly. Okay?”

——-

She is a silly goose, isn’t she? :D

That’s about it for now.

Stay happy there :)

Cheers!