I sit by the Swimming pool. While 6-year old S has been going for swimming class on and off for the last one year, 3-year old R is having his first trial class today. He starts crying and shouts I am scared. The coach asks me to stay put in my place. He takes my children farther away from me to the other side of the pool. Just when I think R’s cries have subsided and he is happily kicking, I hear loud cries again. Then I suddenly see him smiling and happily enjoying kicking his feet water splashing all around. Then the crying is back.
My thoughts turn to dream as I think about how someday, hopefully in a few weeks from now, he might stop crying completely and start enjoying his classes. Maybe then I can put that one hour to good use by sitting back and relaxing with a book or two.
My thoughts wander to how parenting is filled with so many stages of letting go of the need to protect the child and letting them move away from the safety net of the parents and try new things because that is what they want to do or that is what they should be doing at this stage in their life. I also think about the immense level of patience that parenting requires.
I have seen this Swimming coach not using his kindest tone or showing patience even once with my Daughter. That had seemed his way of teaching the children. Today I see a different side of him as he patiently deals with my son’s crying.
I type all this and more just so I can process all my thoughts and clear my head.
There are those songs that start like a whiff of fresh air. Jugni is one such – the opening soft music as fresh as the air in the snowy Himalayas where the video of this song is shot!
Then those foot-tapping beats change the mood of the song. The constant dance-worthy beats all through and those intermittent exploding beats, the soft layers of short snatches of music in the background here and there – at times soothing, at times intense, but all through mesmerizing – stay with you long after this song gets over.
Pre-2000, waves and beaches would have meant only the sea. Post 2000, the year of release of my favourite movie, Alaipayuthey, sea and beaches do bring to mind everything about the movie and the oodles of beautiful memories associated with the movie too. But, hey, this post is not about the movie. It is, as the title says, all about my love for waves.
View from Sentosa island beach
I wait for the words to pour out, but the mind is blank. Words refuse to come. About which new happening will you write which hasn’t been already written about? About what will you rant and whine which you haven’t done already? I ask myself all these and more and let silence continue to dwell here….
You know how Google Photos (I used it a lot more frequently when it was still Picasa and there was no WhatsApp.) often throws up those ‘Rediscover this day’ photos, don’t you? Those photos from the past belonging to the same day but a different year. It was one of those albums from 2009 which popped up sometime in late March that had all my erstwhile interests rekindled in full swing, reminding me that all those dreams and interests were still there inside me in all fervour. The photos were from a trip to Mysore that I had gone to with my friend.
And dominant among all those was the wish to explore different places – be it in Singapore itself or elsewhere in the world. I also realized how much I was missing visiting all the old temples in Southern India – all architecture marvels and divinity personified.
My husband and I share the love for going on long walks and in the initial months after moving to Singapore, we did so much of walking and explored a major part of the roads, lanes and places of interests in Singapore by foot. With just one infant to carry, we could easily walk in a good pace and have a good conversation and get a good workout done too.
But, nowadays, we rarely go for long walks and no longer walk in our own fast pace and have had to slow down. I, especially being the SAHM, rarely get the chance to walk in my usual speed since I either have to carry my toddler or slow down at regular intervals to talk with my children.
I didn’t realize how much I was missing walking at my own pace until I went for a solo walk a couple of weeks ago. A brisk 30-minute walk later, I was feeling refreshed and I also got to work on my mindfulness, relaxation and all that. It also struck me that it has been about 6 months since I stopped carrying my son and going for a long walk on a daily basis to make him sleep. That walk used to be my time to think through things and relax.
I realized how much I was missing my favourite activity of walking and have since revived walking on a daily basis for a continuous chunk of time, if not at a very brisk pace, at least at a reasonably fast pace. We also went for a few long walks recently with the kids enthusiastically running along.
Another change in the routine is my son suddenly having lost his interest in running to and fro the daughter’s school and the bus stop and asking me to carry him. I am forced to carry him on the onward walk to school lest we get delayed. But the point is at least that negligible distance of running that I was doing on a daily basis is now almost not there at all. Here’s to more walking and becoming more active!
The past few weeks have been crazy. A major part of March saw both my children being down with cold and fever which translated to plenty of sleepless nights and unfinished meals. While April was definitely better than March, it also saw the reopening of school for my daughter after a ten day break.
The first couple of weeks of the new academic year saw us struggling to get back to our morning routine after the previous month full of half-a-day school and study holidays and annual vacation. The mornings were becoming stressful, there were shouting and yelling too and plenty of naughty acts by the little one too. We seemed to be at least 4-5 minutes late to school everyday.
Then after a round of self-counselling, I started becoming a lot more calmer in the mornings and now for almost three weeks now, we have been reaching school well on time. My daughter and I have almost bid adieu to our morning stressful moments.
Forget about me-time, there is not even relaxing moments on most days. With my husband having a crazy, hectic schedule at work, the kids are fully only with me for most of the day and I can see the three of us getting on each other’s nerves every time the same naughty acts get repeated or the same little safety rule not being followed or the same refusal from me for telling a very lengthy bedtime story at the end of a crazy, tiring day.
Even as I refuse to play or tell a story or scold them for yet again leaving the tap open or forgetting to put the markers in their place, I also feel guilty – guilt at not being able to handle it all in a better way.
Recently, sitting at Kailash Parbat waiting for our food to be served, my topmost concern seemed to be to make sure that my naughty little one didn’t end up pushing or breaking the serveware. Despite being offered a nice, cozy seat and served tasty food in a restaurant with such a nice ambience, I just didn’t seem to be fully relaxed.
Maybe it is these crazy days or those physically tiring days or maybe the lack of intellectually stimulating activities or maybe that annoying worrying habit of mine which surfaces way too many times in a day when my child walks at the very edge of the platform or runs down the stairs all alone or refuses to eat a proper meal all through the day. It is time I started relaxing a bit more.
The weather in Singapore right now seems to be giving competition to the Agni Natchatiram summer in India. Making it worse is all the trees outside our apartment suddenly being trimmed as much as they could be. With no signs of shade anywhere, this hot and humid weather has been driving me crazy.
It could be something as simple as the joy of riding a Scooty on Mount Road, or something as retail-therapeutic as shopping in T. Nagar, or some little pleasure as indulging in a channa samosa at Shree Mithai, or something as comforting as being able to visit the family paediatrician when the kids end up with fever, or something as fun for the kids as playing with their close friends who also happen to be neighbours, or something as relaxing as going for a long drive on car with Rahman’s music on at high volume, or something as emotional as the joy of being able to see my parents at any time that I want to right away! Madras! – Oh just how much am I missing you! At this point in my life, the very fact that I can get to experience this life in Madras at least for a few weeks every year is what matters the most to me.
This Women’s Day, I wish the world becomes a safer place for women, I wish for a day the men respect the women in their lives (if it doesn’t exist at home, how do you expect them to show respect to other women?), I hope for a day when women don’t have to say #metoo
Alas it will take years or ages for things to change for good. Meanwhile, ladies, let’s rock on and enjoy our lives, even as we juggle several powerful roles on a daily basis.