April 9, 2021

Mindful (Or Not)

The other day, I was discussing Yoga, Pranayam and Meditation with Mr ISB.

As a matter of fact, I said that Meditation is not an easy practice to follow. 

Mr ISB: "Why?? What is so difficult about it?"

I was a bit surprised at this question.

I answered, "Thoughtlessness is an incredibly difficult state of mind to achieve.", I added-" Imagine, not having even a single thought..."

Mr ISB quickly commented, " Ah, but that is my default state!"


PS: He was not bluffing.

March 26, 2021


Management of expectations is a road to peace of mind.  Expectations bog us down, even if they are from ourselves but wait when others expect you to be a superwoman and you know you can not be one, Booom! That is when things go haywire, for me.

I left my job in Feb 2021 and decided to learn about newer opportunities from my side. I won't lie if I say that I wanted to spend time with my toddler, who was a victim of my super hectic schedule in the past 3 months. However, I also wanted to take a break to figure out new things in the professional world! 

And Glad I resigned. At mom's, I forced myself to take some rest. I communicated well that I needed a break from the grill. Hence, I was at ease and everyone happily indulged in babysitting Abby. I painted, I read- I read and I read. I watched shows which were on my Playlist for 8-9 months. I worked out. I ate good food (and cooked but the mothership was the menu designer!)

However, coming back to Mumbai where we have to deal with numbers of people and their judgements every day is a combination of a good and a bad thing. Besides coming back to the normal routine, being with Mr ISB (Even when his Work from Homelife does not have a 'Home' in it), seeing Abby enjoying with paternal grandparents- I am Not-Too-Good. 

My identity is now of a Free Bird and hence the expectations are to be at the service of everyone around me.

- 100% Attention to the toddler when at home

- Taking him to gardens around by begging people around to drive us there. I am not comfortable taking a cab in Covid and that too with a jumpy toddler. The pressure of taking him out because he might be bored is insane. And I am a bad mom if I decide to have some time to myself over it.

- I am expected to be social with neighbours with whom I share NOTHING. I am not at all rude, but keeping distance is not a sin. Right? Especially during this second wave of COVID when none of your neighbours wants to wear masks.

- While our cousins constantly push me to continue working for my career upliftment, there are many dear ones who ask me to take a step back for two years to focus on raising a baby. It was shocking for me because these dear ones never said such a thing before. A Baby changes everything, right?

Now comes the part where in I try to really find a solution.

1. Actively upgrade myself and discover what I want to do

2. Do not feel guilty for letting dear ones managing Abby all alone. If they need help, they would ask. Do not take indirect conversations seriously even when you know they are serious.

3. 2-3 Hours for myself. Right now in the day time, I can get barely 15 minutes for myself. This needs to change because once Abby is asleep by 9 pm IST, yours truly only wants to soak in books.

4. Find a Nanny/ A school once the second wave gets weaker.

Expectations are sometimes overwhelming and unmanageable but who gets to survive without handling them?


March 10, 2021

About Life in 2021

2020 was SOMETHING, for everyone right? We have covered some struggles in my older posts but when I forced myself to read blog posts of other bloggers today and reinstalled the blogging tool on my personal laptop-I was compelled to post updates here. * I can not kill my blog because of COVID fatigue!*

I resigned from my oh-so-unkind-and-directionless job in January 2021 and from February 2021, I am a free bird- trying to explore the new direction I want my career to move towards. Albeit, with a bit of break for myself. Against the popular opinion of not taking a sabbatical in between two jobs, here I am being extra kind to myself and Abby. 

I did not come to the conclusion of leaving the job overnight. It was a slow painful process of realizing that I was adding no value (other than earning) to my career and was leaving Abby to grow on his own. It was a lose-lose situation. While I understand that my mother's guilt is here to stay, whether I work or not, I kept on feeling that I deserved a break.  

So here we are.

I am very very relaxed and happy after enjoying a stress-free vacation at mom's (after freaking 13 months of seeing them!) We are back home at Mumbai with a relaxed attitude towards our surroundings. Consciously keeping calm and focusing on exploring new ideas and teaching Abby some new skills, growing his vocabulary and ah, so frustrating Potty Training. Not mentioning the mess he makes but believe me, this age is the MOST FUN age of a toddler and I am happy I can enjoy it. 

Mr ISB has been keeping busy, neck-deep in his work and barely moving his bums from the chair but Abby does help him to do 20 minutes of active workout, by making Mr ISB chase him in different gardens we take him to. I wish he strikes enjoyable work and better health soon.

Coming back to Mumbai has given me some time to spend with myself, thanks to our apartment design. For some reasons, Abby does not get up every 15 minutes if he does not find me beside me. The room is almost soundproof and that helps! I can finally open my laptop and do some solid work for a stretch of 15-20 minutes!

How have you been???

January 8, 2021

Resolutions 2021

I would start with two minutes of silence to pay homage to my three resolutions which I proudly and as always posted HERE in January, 2020. I was under the influence of postpartum hormones when I declared 'Fitness' and 'Hosting Parties' as two of the three goals. I hardly worked on it. Of course, there are millions of people who would have done the same in 2020 but let me have a hearty laugh. Destiny is destiny, personal or collective. 

Hence, in 2021 I resolve to go really easy on myself.

Easy on Work front. Easy on home front. I am going to enjoy whatever I would do and not hurriedly take decisions on any front, for that matter. 

I may have a wish list but I am not marking them as 'Goals'. It is a wish list and it is going to change over the period of time, till we welcome 2022. Hopefully, with a lot of positivity. 

I wish I can 'Create' something. Paintings, Tech Products, Books? I hope I never stop creating! (Not Procreating. It is a big NO. My hands (and also the brain) is full with Abby.

I wish I can work on my stamina and gulp, my figure. I dont remember in last 15 years I have been highlighting this ever but hey, I am fine. I just want to not get diabetic. I want to improve on PCOD front. Really. If as a side effect, I can flaunt some Black short dresses with boots0- Ah, I dont mind.

I wish I enjoy nature & I do what I preach. I wish I can teach Abby to enjoy the first real GOD on this earth- Nature. I should create less waste, grow more plants. I wish, Abby bonds well with Mitti, Plants and also compost. No Kidding.

I wish I can mend a few relationships. Not all, very few which would bring peace and happiness.

This is the year, I am only going to wish for beautiful things to unfold. I am not going to be harsh on myself. I am not going to measure my performance. I am just going to dream about better things in life for everyone. 

What do you think?

December 31, 2020

The Year It Was, 2020!

 Oh, everybody knows that for everyone 2020 was a roller coaster ride and a struggle. We are one of the Not-so-many fortunate families to survive and I am grateful. But, each of us who survived did not get it easy. We all fought mental and physical fatigue, anxiety and everything around. I wanted to record this year at a glance, before it fades away. Because, in future when going gets tough I should come back here and see what we all went through together. Pretty much the reason, I am back on this blog after slacking off from constructing a post, since oh so many months!

This year, I again started working postpartum six months. While I went to office only for three months, keeping Abby home with our nanny and his Dadi, I gained my confidence back. I had started enjoying keeping busy even when some where in February I knew that the job I had picked up merely is a stepping stone in terms of bridging the salary gap. But, a new mother needs to feel good and I was happy with that. I missed Abby sometimes, especially during lunch breaks in office, but I was at peace because he was with his grandmother and a caring nanny. I did get through stressful times when suddenly our nanny would decide to take a day off and I would be calling everyone to help my Mother In Law. Mr.ISB pitched in so many times, as for me taking 'Work From Home' was next to impossible. Little I knew that probably 'Work From Home' is something which would be a daily part of our schedule for months together. 

The best month apart from December 2020 (I will come to that) was February 2020. Our Kaka and Kaki visited us from USA. I was so excited to meet them as it was the first time Abhimanyu was meeting his another 'Dada' and 'Aaji'. I was also excited because I never felt at distance from them but feeling the warmth when you stay together, under one roof- is irreplaceable. I still cherish the day when Mr.ISB gladly baby sat Abby while I spent my entire day with Kaka- Kaki in South Mumbai- from Coffee to Lunch to Evening Snacks. I felt like a ten years old, visiting places with Parents. I still can not put a word to that feeling. 

It was somewhere in second week of February 2020, our clients started working on COVID related projects, focusing on China and Italy. I was very much a part of it and every one around us (the team) laughed when we talked about how experts think that the entire world is going to get affected. How can some virus in China do so? It was around 18th March that I called my Mother-in-Law from office to prepare the grocery list for a couple of months, because our live dashboard for the client was on high alert researching for experts related to Covid, in India. A team member also consulted an expert who thought the China-Like-Lockdown is the only key in India to be safe. Believe me, every single person who called back home to prepare for the lockdown was laughed at. I remember going back home and ordering grocery and next day instructing our nanny to be absolutely careful about wearing the mask and using the sanitiser. On 20th, one day curfew was announced which ended up with months of absolute lockdown. Our lives changed. Everyone's life changed.

Next few months went into a burr. Work from Home, extreme work pressure, no help at home, Mr.ISB's new job, Realising the fact that I am not going to see my parents for probably more than six months, frustration, anxiety, my boss getting fired, the team struggled to save the job and what not. 

However, we were lucky that some good things kept us afloat. We could witness each and every milestone of Abby- Standing Up, Crawling, Walking and Climbing even speaking. This one single thing kept me going, stretching myself every day. 

In June, we celebrated Abby's first birthday on two Zoom Parties. It was also a very sad day for me where I just masked myself to look happy because this mother was crying inside, missing her parents. The thought of how bad my parents would be feeling killed me. Besides that, I also realised people around us are not very sensitive, every one around me were busy clicking their photos with Abby. By the time I asked them to take my turn, Abby was tired. Do you know we do not even have a good family photo (Three of us?)- Yeah, that is what Covid and our society does to you. 

I also had piled up a lot of feelings regarding household management by the time July arrived. When you live in a joint family and you have a baby, in India the expectations from females increase exponentially. I remember my MIL and myself, dead tired by the time it was 7 pm. Mr.ISB is into consultancy and we all know they have insane work hours- I could not ask for help there. My FIL and SIL tried their level best but it was 'nothing' compared to what me and MIL were doing. I still do not understand how some family members can just take NO OWNERSHIP of daily life chores. It is still a mystery. I am sure they wont survive out side, living alone without doing NOTHING at home. Phew.

I also realised the importance of Work Life balance. The notion that more hours means better work is also totally a myth. I could finish my work with good performance in 2-3 hours only  and then spent the entire day with Abby around September- however it was not a choice. My fatigue increased in multifold but I could not blame my office- it was a mixture of hectic schedule - managing a baby, a home and my role at work. I also had started missing my parents terribly. I remember eagerly waiting to call them, every single day, till December because my plans to visit Ahmedabad kept on getting postponed.

Rakshabandhan came and went away. So did Navatri. Diwali also passed by. My career profile was and is in a horrible shape. The only thing I wanted to do was to put Abby to sleep by 8 pm all these months and then spend some time with Netflix or Books. I read a lot of Business Books. I watched many movies/series. I threw myself into that world because I did not want to face the real world. I was not only scared of Covid, I was also scared that I would perish. Metaphorically. I wanted to just get lost in another world.

Long story short. I did reach Ahmedabad on 19th of December. The last month of this year- 2020. After 9 hours (Which felt like 9 months) of a car journey to Ahmedabad, with a toddler who vomited twice, got me worried about his health and my own health- We reached home. My fear of Abby getting clingy to me and me succumbing to stress vanished when he called my mom 'Nani' as soon as I stepped inside. He just hugged her. It was magical. Not only hugged, he took his dinner with her. He just hugged her while sleeping too. My fatigue had vanished too. This was the second moment I can not name this year.

Now that I am home, I am tired in a positive way. I am taking rest and more rest I take, more I feel that how I had lost myself being a mother, a daughter-in-law and a wife probably. I am refreshed but still mentally numb. I am (For the first time in my life) assigned no household duties (but I still contribute) while even Abby is being managed by my parents. I have my brother to talk about stuff I like- mainly products and startups. I have Abby to spend quality time with. I now know- why should I resign from my job in 2021. 

2021, Better Behave. I have might have plans to move in a positive direction in my life from here. 

November 8, 2020

Chaitime Chitchat #24

It has been seriously ages since I posted anything and no, it is not that I had nothing to say. I had no energy and today when I am typing this Abby is struggling with sleep regression and Mr.ISB is helping me to go through this chaos,  after his working weekends, so that I do not lose my shit forever. Seriously.

It has been a hell of a ride so far in COVID months of Aug, Sept and Oct 2020. There are primarily two major streams blocking my mind 24*7 (almost) - which causes  The cognitive load. 1) Abby and his routine, tantrums and milestones 2) Office. Office and Office 3) Home Management - where we do share load so to speak but cooking, cleaning and everything else takes lion share of my day- close to 30%. At 8 pm, if Abby does not go to sleep- the cognitive load reaches to the peak when my sanity goes for a toss. Step in - Daddy Dearest. However our child since last month thinks he SHOULD have his mom near by him if he happens to open his eyes between his sleep cycles. Oh well. Office work post 8pm- goes out of the window, because hey, I do need minimum 15 minutes of a stretch to focus on my work. 

We as a couple have decided that it is only fair to take a break so that I can find another opportunity post January 2021. (Read: While doing everything I am 'supposed' to do) Without a cook, a proper maid, a nanny- it is getting extremely tiring to manage myself, because we live in an Indian Society. No, my in-laws are very caring and my husband is too- infact the greates feminist/Gender Neutral person I know, but we all have been conditioned so deep that what remains is a Daughter-in-law who has been 'motivated' to not to give up on her high pay job but expected to do 50% household stuff (rest is done by MIL), raise a baby and not a single word is uttered when males of the family decide to get glued on the sofa asking for various dishes/drinks. (Okay, I am being honest here, covid has brought some sort of positive changes in them as well but now that covid ignorance era has started- everybody is loaded in the professional life. Hence we lose feminism right there!)

Enough of depressive stuff. Let me tell you the fun stuff.

I am looking forward to my freedom from the job I absolutely dislike because of no respect shown towards others' lives. I am looking forward to paint, read and probably work on my health. I am looking forward to spend quality time with Abby without stressing about what is happening at work. 

Is it okay if I want to feel free and breath in fresh air? 

No, I am not going to sacrifice my career and financial freedom at all. For that, I need sometime. Is it okay to take it?

August 18, 2020

Chai Time Chitchat #23

Oh, I can not believe it took so so many days (I did not dare to check how many) to blog something here. Not that I did not feel like, just that I am literally in need of 25th hour in the day. I assume it is the story with every young working mother, oh well may be a mother for that matter.

On work front, I am fighting for my job, goals, ambitions and trying to up the game (even if the efforts on daily basis is minuscule but it counts right?) I have been reading plethora of Business Books to get inspired to just develop some new skill sets, how? Did not I mention, I dont have time? I read while cooking, having tea, while drying clothes (Yeahhh!), eating and what not. I have to really do it this way? Probably no, but, is it making me happy? Super yes.

On home front, my hands are full with Abby- ah and his clothes, meals, diapers, toys, books etc! While I have a support system who can be a nanny for an hour at a time, mostly I am the Nanny now who disappears time to time to work for office and home. Obviously, the lock down came with letting go of control on what to make him eat, which food to introduce but I guess we do not have an option here when the Grandfather makes sure that even if he eats 'Farsan', some of it should be given to Abby. Even if it is his dinner time? Ah, well. No points for guessing, I do get frustrated. I rant and then I move on. After all, grand parents are essential in the development of a kid. 

However, even Dada Dadi are not getting exhausted after chasing this monkey after half and hour. It is impossibly tiring and believe me, I am just on the edge of collapsing every evening- just to get up and don't give up next morning. 

About Festivals? Rakhi and Janmashtami arrived, we did dress up him but what was one stark difference between rest of my life and this year? I was almost washed out in messy baby food flavoured clothes. In zero mood to even get clicked. Not that anyone bothered but then it was my choice. (Whatever it means!)

I wonder how easy it is for mothers to forget their wellbeing! I have negligible me time- forget about working out or focusing on drinking enough water or follow a better diet. There is literally no solution to this burn out but we have to take one day at a time.

I was not surprised when people ask these days on zoom calls or on personal visits (maintaining social distance) that if I am sick and sleep deprived.

Hello Dark Circles. We have not met before!