Neha


So, how long has it been since I was here last? It might have been a lifetime since I logged in here, and yet all I have been doing all this time has actually been only 'writing'! Just that it's now for others, rather than my blog here. More on that some time later.

The coming week is special for two reasons. First, my doc and I complete a year of marriage next Monday; and second, my younger sister is getting married next Friday . While, the date of her marriage is fast approaching, the fact remains that the very thought of my marriage has still not sunk into me! And believe me, whenever I say that eyes do go rolling, so it's okay if your reaction is the same too.

Yes, we will be completing a year of marriage in a few days. Even now, when I look at our wedding pictures, it seems like it was just yesterday. Yes, marriage does bring in changes and the ones based on mutual love and trust bring positive ones. And of course, life has changed since, though now it seems like I'd always been living this life. It's like something that always existed somewhere in my subconsciousness. May be it's those years of friendship and love we shared and the immense trust and faith we have always had in each other that makes it feel like it has been there for ever.

Like most girls, I too feared this institution. Today, as I look back at the past year, I realize what I would have missed had I given in to that fear of mine. For life cannot be more beautiful and every life that I get after this, I'd want to spend it with no other, but him. Sounds dramatic? I know, yet I know not how to express in any other way :)


Pushkar, there's no way I can ever thank you for making me a part of your life and most importantly, for loving me. You have given me all that I could ever dream of and there's nothing I can ask for more. Each moment spent with you reaffirms my faith in myself. And with every passing day, I look forward to a new one, as with you, life is simply and truly beautiful. You are, indeed, the answer to all my prayers. And if the concept of rebirth holds true, I pray that I share each of my lifetimes with you, my soul-mate. Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart!!


10 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha
Blogdosts, last few days left before donation closes on October 18. Request you all to do your bit towards this cause.

Might seem like pestering, but there's no other thing I've felt for as much as education for children who cannot afford it. 

http://www.giveindia.org/iGive-NehaforVnC

There's no better way of building a better tomorrow!

Even a small contribution from each one of you can help in a big way!

Please come forward and contribute!



1 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha
I don't believe in unreasonable charity. For those knocking on the car windows or ringing my doorbell, my purse is always empty and my ears never function. You might call it rude. But I have my reasons for doing so.

Once at a traffic signal, a gentleman came begging to buy a packet of incense sticks from him. He said that he hadn't eaten all day and had to buy food for his small children at home. As he was selling something, which is hard work, I bought two packets from him. On reaching home, I noticed the price sticker on the packs. The price he quoted was Rs 30, he gave me two packs for Rs 20 each and what was printed was Rs 10!

On another occasion, a ill looking boy, of about 10 years, came along begging. Saddened by his condition, I gave him some money. A few days later, I saw the same boy smoking under the flyover at the same signal.

Once this woman with an infant at a temple was begging for money to buy her child some milk. We were a group of friends who were passing by. She almost clung to my feet for money. I stopped and asked her why she didn't work as she looked fit enough. She snapped back, 'Why should I work when I earn so much by begging?'

Such instances killed whatever I ever felt for such people. Not that the sympathy was dead, but the instinct to help them was gone for ever.

Yet, there have been things I have done and willingly do. Not for those begging for alms at signals, but those who really want to do something for themselves. I never could really help with that kind of money though. I realized that I had time (weekends) and a little knowledge that I could contribute. And this is what I have been doing till now.

Those of you who have been following this space for quite some time would know that I have been associated with a couple of organizations working towards educating poor and needy children. One is a government orphanage where I spent weekends with children (how I got to doing it) and another Vidya and Child, an NGO.

And now, I am here to ask you for your help- a small contribution. Along with Give India, we are trying to raise funds for Vidya and Child.

This time, I am helping them with some fundraising. It doesn't require much. Even an amount of Rs 500 (around $9-10) that we willingly spend on movie tickets or a meal is an ample contribution.

Of course, I cannot force you to do this. This is just a request, rather an appeal. Can we not contribute a little of our hard-earned money that will go a long way in the betterment of a child?

For contributing towards this cause, please click on the below link:


Go to the make a donation section for donating. Before donating, you may have to register with Giveindia.org.

1200+ children of Vidya & Child are bubbling with dreams. They have the potential and capability to achieve their dreams.
What they need is your unconditional and continued support!

Please note: Indian tax payers will get an 80G certificate, US tax payers will get 501(c)3 receipt and UK donors will be able to GiftAid their donations to Vidya & Child. You will be able to donate after registering with GiveIndia. Please choose appropriate tax status (Indian / UK / US) while registering.

This is a small favour I am asking from all my blogdosts. Can we do this??
Labels: 8 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha
Read Part 1, 2, 3 & 4

Like the previous time, home hunting was not an easy task this time around either. The days of the notice period were flying past and we were unable to find a suitable place.

Finally we were able to find something that was close to what we were looking for and, more importantly, fitted in our budget. The night before the final shifting, and also the last night of the notice period, was spent in packing scores of things we had accumulated over a few months.

The morning after, I was woken up by a call. It was from our property agent.

He said there was some problem. Unable to understand it over the telephone, we went to meet him. He took a while to explain that the new landlord wanted some time before deciding if they were willing to let out their apartment to us.

'But hadn't they agreed to it last week when we gave the token money?' I asked

'Well, yes, I had spoken to them. And the token money, that is still with me.' He seemed hesitant in his reply, or may be I anticipated it.

'So you mean to say that you took the token money from us without their approval?' I was ready to tear him apart.

'No, yes... wait, I will speak to them again and call you.'

I wanted to give him a piece of my mind but refrained. We returned. We had no option but to do that.

We sat for several hours on our packed luggage, waiting for his call. We even tried to call him repeatedly. To no avail.

It was past 5 pm when the new tenants of our existing apartment arrived. With their bags and baggage.

My roommate and I looked at each other in despair.

'I guess it's time to take all this to the railway station.' I said matter-of-factly pointing to the piles of our bags and suitcases. And in that moment of being on the brink of breaking down, we both burst out laughing.

So we requested the new tenants to give us some more time and waited for the phone call.

Finally, it came.

Yes, it did bring in good news. The new landlords had agreed that we were reliable enough to live in their apartment and they'd let it out to us.

There were much to be done before we could finally celebrate this news. I rushed to get a vehicle to help us move our stuff.

The next few hours went in negotiations, loading and unloading and a little bit of packing to give us a good night's sleep in our new place.

Once done, we walked to a nearby restaurant for a simple meal of South Indian food. We ate our dinner silently and as each morsel went into our mouth, it was not only our body, but our tired minds and soul that got nourishment.

Today when I am surrounded with problems, I look back to that evening when we sat on our piles of luggage. The evening when we were gripped by the fear of unknown. Nothing seemed to be in our hands. We were waiting all day for a phone call to tell us if we could stay in a place.

We did not know what we would do if that phone call never came, or worse, if we didn't get any accommodation then. We had not thought of it. Or let's say, we did not want to think about it.

And in that moment of despair, we still smiled and laughed. We still had the optimism, the hope and the faith. That little light still shone somewhere in our heart despite our helplessness at that time.

When faced with problems now, I remind myself of moments like those.

I tell myself if I could swim through those, the present ones are too small when compared. I remind myself of the hope we had then and how important it was to hold us together.

****************************
About the series 'My Corporate Saga'
Blogdosts, through this series, I am attempting to share what I have learned in the past 8 years. I have broken down, then stood up, have trusted and have failed. It has been a bitter-sweet journey, which I am trying to bring to you all.

Will come back with more. Till then, take care and stay precious :)
Labels: 6 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha
I wonder if there is still anyone around to read this. No, I am not complaining. The long periods of my absence from this space deserves just that. Every time I promise to you and myself to be regular and every time I break it.

The last one month has been grueling. I will share details later. Just that it was one of my worst nightmares coming true. Ankit (my younger brother) had a freak accident. The days that followed seem like a dream, a bad one.

It's over now. And I have so much to thank the power above; for being with him, saving him from what could have been worse, blessing him.

He is on the road to recovery now. I am glad that he radiates the same optimism and positive attitude that he always had. Now, he is working hard with his physiotherapist to get the movement back in his left arm.

After being with him every minute during the last month, when he left last week, I felt a part of me was leaving. But I was also happy, very happy; happy that he felt and looked better; happy that the most difficult phase was over; happy that he was getting back to normal life after being bedridden for a month.

It's strange how much we crib about the monotony in life and how much we miss it in times of chaos and stress.

So, life is slowly returning to normalcy. In a few hours from now, I step into another year of my life.

As I write this, too many thoughts seem to be racing in my mind, all striving for attention. It's difficult to express them in words. Yes, I know. As a writer, this should be an easy task; however, it only seems too daunting.

The last one year changed my life completely. It's given me my love, a very loving family and a whole new life. A life I always dreamed and longed for.

I know it's all for some one's blessing who's looking from above and smiling. How I wish I could hug him for just one time and tell him how everything that he wished for me has come true.

I don't like celebrating birthdays. It might sound strange, but I have always preferred to spend it like any other day. Friends and loved ones have always tried to coax me out of this, but to no avail. I have gone out for lunch and dinner with them, but more for their happiness than my own.

Being by myself is all that I want. This day brings back many memories that I relive every year. This is one day I have always wanted to keep to myself.

Birthdays are to be celebrated and I have every reason to celebrate tomorrow. I am not sure if I want to do that yet. It will take time, rather years.

Yet, I am thankful, very thankful.

For a life partner who is everything I could ever wish or ask for.

For every single person I am blessed with in this life.

For every person who loves and cares for me unconditionally.

For this beautiful life I don't know if I deserve.

And all the beautiful people around me who make it even more beautiful every day.

I feel blessed and every time I close my eyes in a prayer, the first words that escape my lips are of gratitude.

And a resolve to do all I can for every person in my life. I may not always have the resources to help, but will always have the heart and keenness to be with them in all times, good and bad.

Thank You, The Supreme Power Above. Thank You for everything.


Labels: , , 19 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha
As training and work continued, there was another aspect that needed to be taken care of - housing. Delhi was not a new city for me. While in boarding, we usually stayed over in Delhi for a day or two. With so many relatives around always, that was never a problem.

But this time, it was different. I was in the city for good. Though a few days stay at a relative's place could happen, the same could not be extended for ever. So, it was important to find a suitable place too.

Every evening, after returning from office, a friend and I used to meet property dealers and house owners. It was a task. First, we had to place complete trust on the dealer to get us a good deal. Second, finding a deal itself was very difficult; the foremost reason being that people are reluctant to let out rooms to girls.

It was an extensive search loaded with the ugliest of interviews by prospective landlords. Never before I had been confronted with questions as they would ask.

In fact, each one wanted all my visitors to carry along certificates proving that they were related to me. From being asked about our religions and food we ate, we also had to give out a complete history of ourselves and our families. Sometimes, it seemed that we'd receive character certificates from them instead of a room on rent.

We had been given free stay for a week in the company's guest house and needed to find an accommodation at the earliest. After a harrowing experience and an extended stay at the guest house, we were finally able to find a decent 2-rooms set. It had a separate back entry and was on the second floor, while the first floor was occupied by another guy.

Slowly, we started settling down in the new place. It was fun. It was liberating.

And setting up a new home from scratch is an experience you'd not want to miss.

So, we set up our home and figured out the rest for a comfortable stay. We were two girls and our shifts varied by an hour. So, either she or I would reach an hour earlier.

It was one of those tiring work days, when I returned home an hour early. After dropping me at the entrance, the cab sped off. It was summers and so, entering the house from the back entry was not an issue as it faced a park and there was usually someone around even in the late hours.

As I reached the first floor, I noticed that the room's door there was wide open. To reach the stairs, one needed to cross the door and it being wide open at that hour was rare.

Without any second thought, I worked my way towards the staircase. Just as I was about to cross the open door, I heard a sound. On impulse, my head turned left and what I saw left me totally stunned and baffled.

There lay this man on his bed, stark naked. Yes. Naked!!! And he was staring at me. That look in his eyes was unnerving.

I stumbled and almost fell.

Somehow, I gathered myself and hurried towards the stairs and without turning once, reached the door on the second floor.

As I fumbled with the keys, it fell through the stairs (iron jarred ones) and landed beneath on the first floor. I did not know what to do next. There was still an hour for my roommate to arrive and our landlord had moved away, leaving the ground floor vacant. I had to get inside my room asap and had to get those keys to open the door first.

It took all the courage within me to go and fetch the keys. I ran as fast as my feet could take me. Using the light from my mobile phone, I managed to find the key. As I sped towards the stairs with the keys in my hand, I heard a stir behind me.

I did not turn and continued to run. With shaking hands, I opened the lock, stormed into the room and shut myself in immediately.

I stood there for what seemed like eternity, shaken and shocked. My instincts did not work at all. Despite the mobile phone in my hand, I did not know who to call.

After what seemed like hours, I heard a knock on the door. I couldn't move. The knock became consistent and louder. I did not move at all.

Then I heard my name. It was my roommate. Somehow, I opened the door and let her in. She was surprised to find me in the dark room all drenched in sweat. When I told her what had happened, she rushed to check the door lock.

None of us could sleep that night. And by morning, we had made a decision. We called up our landlady and informed her that we could not continue to stay there. We had to start our house hunt again after mere 2 months of going through it all.

Yes, that was the best bet and safest option.

We knew and understood that our safety lay in our hands. There's no one we could trust in a new city. There are certain precautions we need to take at our end and the first step to our safety was a safe home. No matter what the price, that was one thing that could not be compromised upon. As before any one else, it is our responsibility to take care of ourselves.

*******************

About the series - Blogdosts, through this series, I am attempting to share what I have learned in the past 8 years. I have broken down, then stood up, have trusted and have failed. It has been a bitter-sweet journey, which I am trying to bring to you all.

Will come back with more. Till then, take care and stay precious :)
Labels: 11 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha
I know you all have been waiting for the surprise. And I won't disappoint you either. But there sure is some disappointment for those who thought some other good news was brewing up.

I hate to tell you all that, but I have no such news to share with you all yet. So this surprise is definitely not related to my doc in any way.

In fact, this one is really close to my heart and was not supposed to happen for another two years. But then, we thought it was about time now.

Blogdosts, I proudly present before you my nephew's blog. It's his birthday and he turns 8 today.



Let me tell you all - every word on this blog comes from the writer - Armaan. Though I will manage it, no editing will be done to the stories and write-ups. They will be as they are written by him in his diary. Not even grammar check or edit.

Let's welcome this little writer to our bloggers' world. He'd love to know your views on his stories. Good or bad, let them come. And I'm sure, you will all give him the same love that you have showered on me.

7 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha
This will be short and exciting!

On Tuesday, the 10th of July, I will be bringing a big surprise for all of you. In fact, I will be introducing you to some one you will absolutely fall in love with.

This surprise is a special gift from me for someone I love. And the gift is for everyone to see!

If you'd like, go ahead and guess. Come Tuesday and all of you will be the winners!

Happy weekend blogdosts :)
7 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha
Dear Dadaji,

I don't know where you are just now. Just that, I do feel you close to me. You are there, somewhere.

Not so close. Yet, not too far away either.

This is your 3rd birthday without you. This day has always been so special for us and for you too. For you always liked celebrating the day and would get upset if we didn't remember it.

It's been a little over two and a half years since you left for a better world. To say that we miss you will never encapsulate what we feel without you.

I miss you, dadaji. It's difficult without you. I know you are still there very close to me. I feel you. Yes, I truly do.

On days, when I need you the most, I dream of you. And it's truly magical how you know exactly what to say even then. Every morning after, I tell Pushkar I dreamt of you again. He smiles.

Sometimes, I feel life would have been so different had you been around with us... physically. At times, I feel lonely, dadaji... too lonely. For me, you were not a grandfather... but my parent, my guardian, my best friend and guide. With you gone, there is a void. A void that will never fill.

When I go home, even after all this time, I look for you. In some corner of my heart dwells a hope that you will be waiting for me there. And when I don't find you, a part of me breaks.

The truth is I fear going home now. I fear having to face it again. I fear that pain and anguish of not finding you there.

I know what you'll say to this. You will explain to me that death is an inseparable part of life. That it comes. It must. To every one. It is a truth that we all must learn to live with.

Dadaji, I have not been able to come to terms with it. And may be I'll never be able to. I have seen it before. When Mumma left us. But it was different then. May be I was too young to understand it then. Yes, I'm older today. Yet, I don't understand it even now.

Why did you have to go away? Why?

That question will always haunt me.

Life has moved on. Today, I lead a married life. Married to a person who cares for me and loves me just the way you wanted my spouse to. Every girl looks for her father in her future husband. But in Pushkar, I found you. And may be that's what made me love him so much.

Yet, there's something amiss. It's you. My life feels incomplete. There's not a day when I don't think or talk about you. You were and still are the most important part of me.

Yes, I know I must learn to live with it. Time heals. But every day, I miss you even more. I yearn to talk to you, spend my mornings with you, listen to what you have to tell me.

I miss it all.

And above all, I miss you the most, dadaji.


Happy Birthday! I will still celebrate this day for you. Of course, I remember all that you love to do on your birthday. The children will get sweets and biscuits like always. And it will be South Indian food followed by an ice cream.

And amidst all this, I will look for you. Your smiling face. And I know you will be there...

*********************************
Blogdosts, it's Dadaji's birthday today. A part of me is crying, while the heart tell me to go out and celebrate it for him. Yes, I will always celebrate him and the life he lived. That's how he was. No temples or pujas (religious ceremony) for him. Instead, children and family.

Please take a moment to wish him. He will love it. Even more if you tell him I told you to do it. He will be happier to know I remembered... like always.
Labels: 11 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha
So there I was, brimming with confidence. The fears seemed to have gone away.

After all the celebration and partying over the weekend following the big examination, I was all set for the real work. In fact, I was looking forward to it.

My first job was at a BPO. Like I wrote earlier, I had no idea of the job profile neither at the time of the interview nor when I joined. It was only at the training stage, I got to know what it was actually all about.

The job involved helping UK clients when they called in to claim after their car had an accident and needed repairs or was lost/stolen etc.

After being allotted our respective teams and the initial introduction etc, we were given our workstations. It all looked great. Even though we were employed since the previous three months, we never really felt we were truly working. It was more like being paid for getting trained.

So there we were. Trained and eager to start working. We were assigned to barge calls of some seniors and get some hands-on buddy training. That we did for a week.

Then came the day, when we worked our ways through to our 'own' workstations. The spring in my steps was worth noting. It was like I had it all to conquer the world!

After some important tidbits, our team leader asked to begin taking calls. I put on my headphone solemnly, adjusted the headphone mike and closed my eyes, while waiting to hear the ring. It came in a matter a few seconds.

As I muttered the customary memorized greeting, it was as though my heart was thumping in my mouth. Loudly.

I had just nearly finished, when the speaker at the other end blasted out. I stood up.

The reason?

I had absolutely no idea what the caller was saying. Forget that, I didn't even know if that was a male or female.

I was blank. All I could hear was someone saying something in an incomprehensible language.

Yes, the caller was English.

And I thought I 'knew' English. After all the English movies I had seen, the voice and accent training I had undergone etc etc. English had always been my strong point.

But no. That was not true.

I knew the language. Of course. But I didn't understand the accent. It was all alien to me.

I looked around for help. My team leader came running to me, and signaled to another girl to take my call. By then, the caller was all irritated and blasted off my colleague.

After a lot of empathizing (as they call it in the BPO world), my colleague was able to convince and help the caller. My team leader was anything but impressed. He shrugged it off maturely and told me to carry on and not get hassled by what happened.

It was then I got my next lesson. I thought I knew it all. And may be I did too. But all that was only in theory. Real work needed practice and lots of it. At times, you need to unlearn to learn something new.

I learned this the hard way again. No one told me to try taking a call with somebody alongside to help me. Because we were trained, I thought it was all that was required. However, real work is different from training where situations may be created, but can never be as good as live job hands-on training.

*************************************

Blogdosts, this is part of the series 'My Corporate Saga'. I will share my experiences, the challenges I faced, the achievements I accomplished, and the falls I suffered in my eight years of life as a working woman. It will highlight the problems a single girl faces in a new city and in a new job among strangers. It will also tell you how I managed to move along. The sweet and happy moments, the sour and frightening ones, all will be part of this series.

You can read Part 1 & Part 2 here.
___________________

Sorry for not posting for almost a month now. Writer's block keeps hitting me every now and then :(. Any remedy?
Labels: 10 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha
"2 years. That's it. Then you'll have to settle down." This sounded more like a threat.

Finally, after a lot of discussion, debates, arguments and a whole lot of persuasion, I was allowed to work.

When I first stepped on to the Delhi station platform, it was a different feeling. Everything seemed different about this city... The air, the people, the roads, the buildings... everything.

Excitement, jitters, happiness, a but of fear - all kinds of feelings stirred in me. But the most prominent of them all was determination. I knew I was venturing into the unknown, all by myself.

My first day at office was the usual orientation program that was too go on for a week. I learned more every day, of the place I would work in, the kind of work I was required to do, training I needed to take etc etc. I met many people too.

The very first week took me in. One evening, after returning to the guest house, I realized that was not what I wanted to do. I had always wanted to get into journalism, since I knew what a career meant. I worked hard towards it and there I was, in a job I didn't want.

I weighed my options. To return was not one of them. I decided to stay put.

The first difficulty came in the form of house-hunting. It was a terrible experience. When two single girls go out to find a room for themselves, landlords ask all sort of questions. There were occasions when we were almost asked to get out!

Finally, we got a decent two-room set, which seemed okay for the while. Meanwhile, training had started at work.

Each day was a challenging one. And each day, I lost a bit of myself.

My confidence and morale were hit badly. Once we were asked to prepare a short speech.

Public speaking had always been my forte. I prepared all night and the next day and was all set. I started well too. But something happened in between. I stopped and broke down. Right there, in front of an audience of 20-odd people.

I. Broke. Down!

Never before had such a thing happened with me. As soon as I could, I rushed to the nearest phone booth. It was a small store that had the telephone instrument outside on a high stool. I called up my grandfather and cried. Right there, in the middle of the market. People stared at me as they walked past, but I was too absorbed to bother.

Dadaji asked me to return immediately. That night, I laid awake thinking if that was what I wanted to do. Barely 2 weeks and I had already given up. I just wasn't myself anymore. That confident girl who thought she could achieve anything she put her will to had been left behind somewhere.

I was shaken. With no friends around, it was difficult to talk about it. My colleagues were also my competitors, in a way. I could not give up so easily.

Dadaji called me the next morning and simply talked for a while. He didn't mention anything about the previous evening. He asked me about work and the place I was staying in. He, in fact, said to me that he will visit me in autumn.

That was it. Autumn. 4 months from then. He had said it.

He knew I could make it. His words told me that. I got what I needed most at the time. And my grandfather made it all sound so simple. He had done it again - instilled in me the strength and courage to move on.

I returned to work with a new vigor, a new force. This time, I was my own competitor. I had to prove myself wrong. I had to bring back the girl in me who willed her way to what she wanted.

Training went on for three long months. It was excruciating, to say the least. And to think that the real work hadn't even started.

It was Independence Day when we were to have our exit tests. Each of us were to get three attempts to clear it. If not, then that person would be sent to a refresher training.

Out of the 14 of us, my turn was one of the last.

As each one came out after their first attempt, dejection was written all across their faces. That unnerved me. You made just three mistakes and that attempt was gone.

But I knew I had just one attempt with me. Because if I didn't clear then, it would be all over for me. I would go back into my shell.

I barely heard when my name was called. I walked into the room quietly, and took my seat. The examiner ( I still remember his name!) asked if I was ready. I simply smiled.

The test started and went on for what seemed eternity. But wait, I was in for a surprise.

I was enjoying it! Yeah, I was!! I gave answers confidently and was almost speaking as if I had done it all my life!

After it got over, I walked over to get my score.

"You were good. In fact, pretty good. 100%. Yeah!"

I was too stunned to react. I walked out in a daze. When my colleagues saw me, they were sure I had failed too. A friend came up and raised her brows, silently asking me.

"100%." It registered as I said it. Among all the congratulations and hugs, one of the girls who was all fine till then looked at me spitefully and started crying. She was one of the first who couldn't clear the attempt and till others came out with the same result, she was fine.

I can never forget that look. That look had, in a way, spiked my happiness at that moment.

That was my first big examination when I stepped out in the corporate world and it taught me so much.

It taught me to fight on, despite all challenges.

It taught me to believe in myself.

And it gave me my first lesson of the big corporate world - "Tread carefully. Trust, but not blindly. Not everyone here is your friend. Most of them are your competitors. And the people who deserve your trust will come along on their own."

****************************

Blogdosts, through this series, I am attempting to share what I have learned in the past 8 years. I have broken down, then stood up, have trusted and have failed. It has been a bitter-sweet journey, which I am trying to bring to you all.

Will come back with the next part, next week. Till then, take care and stay precious :)
Labels: 13 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha
I do not celebrate Mothers' Day.... or fathers' day for that matter. Neither do I celebrate Valentine's day nor any similar day.

So yesterday was just another Sunday for me with a cuppa tea and the bulky Sunday newspaper, which was full of Mothers' Day messages and advertisement. That made me wish the mothers I know - my cousins, friends, friends' mothers. One of my friends replied to my message reciprocating my wishes, which I laughed at and put aside. She later explained those wishes were in advance. I laughed a little more.

So, officially, Mothers' day started and ended for me there and a usual Sunday went on.

Around noon, my cell phone beeped indicating an incoming message. Thinking it to be a nasty marketing message, I ignored it for a while. It was almost over half an hour when I finally read it and instantly broke down.

Having rushed through it in the first go, I reread it slowly and carefully, in between wiping my tears and controlling hysterical sobs.

It was from my kid brother, wishing me on Mothers' day!

Now you know why I broke down.

A day that was meaningless to me suddenly became very special. A whole lot of memories rushed in and took over.

I was 12 when our mother passed away. I had to return from my boarding school to be with my kid brother who was about 5 then. My world had changed overnight. From being a carefree and spoilt daughter, I was now an elder sister supposed to take care of her siblings.

To say I managed things well would be a lie. I was lost... completely.

And there was this little boy looking up to me.

I didn't learn anything.

He taught me.

He taught me to be patient with children; he taught me how to love selflessly; he taught me how to be a mother.

I have rocked him to sleep, helped him with studies, fed him with my hands and ran after him while doing so, attended his parent-teacher meetings, packed his lunch box, got him ready for school every morning, dropped and picked him from school... I could go on and on.

The one incident that is forever marked in my memory is when he was about 10 or 12 years old. I had punished him for something and not allowed him to go for his evening playtime. Soon after, I left for some work.

When I returned, a neighbor came to me and told me that Ankit (my brother) was standing at the gate, watching other kids play. When she asked him to join them, he told her that I had punished him. She further coaxed him, saying that he could play and I wouldn't get to know. He refused and instead stood there all evening.

I was speechless.

And my brother is still the same.

There are so many other moments that make this bond so special and unique.

The day I bade goodbye to my family, post marriage, I had thought I wouldn't cry. Both my siblings said that everything will remain the same, except for my marital status. I would continue to live in Delhi and things will remain as they are. And moreover, I had thought that the happiness of marrying my sweetheart will engulf all other emotions.

I was proved wrong. Though all seemed normal while we walked towards the waiting car, I broke down when I saw Ankit at the gate. It was something I can never explain. A subtle change had taken place, which none of us foresaw.

Yet, even now, our relationship remains as beautiful as always and so it will, forever :)

(My younger sister, Shivani, me & Ankit)

Ankit, I may never be able to express it, but you mean a lot to me. In fact, both of you mean so much to me. As we grow up, our lives and its priorities change, but that one thing that will never change is the special bond and love between us. No distance, fights, or misunderstanding can diminish what we feel for each other.

I am not a mother yet, but I have a son. A son I hold dearer than life, a son who has taught me so much, and a son who will always be my first child.
Labels: , , 21 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha
Before you leash out on my absence, please blame it on my exams. Having quit my job, I felt obliged to study every possible hour and so the neglect to my space here.

Now that exams are done and over with, I can get back to good old blogging and lots of reading. It's been more than 2 months since I picked a book to read! Oh... and did I tell you that it's now just a wait for my next degree? I have cleared all the exams and the degree should be arriving by July. So, that is another chapter closed... well almost. The last being a full time job.

When I decided to quit my job, everyone around me was startled. And I will be honest enough to say that my decision surprised me too, to some extent. But it was a much thought-and-discussed decision and a much needed one too, due to many reasons. Of course, everyone asked why I was quitting a good profile-well paying job. I had been at it for almost eight years and that is a long time!

When I first appeared for a job interview conducted by a placement agency, I had no clue where I was heading. In fact, I had no intention to give the interview either. It was at the behest of my college friends who went to a closed cyber cafe, got it opened and typed out a CV for me. A simple summary of my educational details and hobbies that they had written on a piece of paper took the form of my first CV.

I sat for the interview, without informing anyone at home. And as the interview progressed, I found myself enjoying them and had that heady feeling you get after clearing interview rounds. It was new. It was exhilarating.

I remember calling up my cousin in between to plan the dinner menu for the next day (it was rakshabandhan the next day) and then lying to my grandfather about having some extra classes in college. (Read on, the lie didn't stick for too long.)

Yes, I couldn't have told my family about the interview. If you know a typical Indian business class family, you'd understand where I am coming from. All my cousins (sisters) got married soon after completing their studies. They may have helped in the family business, but never too overtly. So doing a job was just out of the question.

And there I was, giving an interview for a job I sure didn't want or need. It was all happening too soon and before I knew it, I had cleared it. Though as soon as I left the college premises, I forgot all about it.

Until the next morning.

It was out in the newspapers!

It was the first time that a campus placement was done in our city and there were 6 out of some 350-odd candidates selected. My name was in that list.

My grandfather, who read the newspaper religiously every morning, bellowed out my name which startled me awake. Pointing to the newspaper, he asked me what that was all about? I had no answer.

And then started the mayhem, with both my father and grandfather blaming each other for the drastic step I had taken. I was both amused and frightened. After a lot of chaos and blame-game, it was decided that this matter would be closed then and there.

All went smooth until after a few months. I received a call from the consultancy telling me that companies were coming over for interviews. I gingerly told my grandfather about it. He didn't even bother to hear it out. Yes, that matter was closed for him. Totally.

However something had happened in between.

To me. Within me.

Seeing the other students depressed for not having made it, I realized how important it was for them and how trivial for me. And then I thought at the chance that may be destiny was trying to give me. To spread out my wings. To make my own mark.

That call cemented the fluttering thought within me. I, somehow, convinced my grandfather and assured him that I only wanted to test myself by appearing for the final interviews with the companies directly. He agreed to let me go.

"Just the interview," he said.

I appeared for three interviews and got offer letters from all of them. My family was stunned and I guess happy too. Even before I had appeared for my final year exams, I had three job letters in my hand.

So yes, I got a job without really looking for one. I appeared for interviews like I participated in competitions. It was another challenge for me, which I had to win. May be I was trying to prove a point to myself. I don't really know. In fact, I don't really remember.

That small effort by my friends of getting a CV typed out at a closed cyber cafe had changed my life.

Completely!

*************************************************
Blogdosts, today I start a new series 'My Corporate Saga'. I will share my experiences, the challenges I faced, the achievements I accomplished, and the falls I suffered in my eight years of life as a working woman. It will highlight the problems a single girl faces in a new city and in a new job among strangers. It will also tell you how I managed to move along. The sweet and happy moments, the sour and frightening ones, all will be part of this series.

Along with this, there will be other new things happening in this space. Those that I had only been thinking about till now :).For now writing takes a front seat in my life... something I have waited for a long long time :)

See you all real soon. Till then, take care and stay precious :)

Labels: 15 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha


Labels: 5 comments | edit post
Reactions: 
Neha
One of the many things we enjoy together is watching movies. We are one movie crazy couple and there's rarely any big release that we miss. In fact, my doc already has a to-watch list of movies releasing this year. Yeah, that's how big movie buffs we are.

So while movies do make up a big part of our entertainment, the only thing I need while watching a movie is... POPCORN!!!

It's very simple. I need a bag of popcorn to enjoy a good movie with and I need a bag of popcorn to tolerate a nonsensical movie!

Each time we go for a movie, I ensure a less hearty meal for myself lest I have no appetite for popcorn. Yes, it's like that with me. My doc only smiles when I rush to the popcorn counter to get a bag before a movie begins. No, I can never wait for the interval.

So this time, it was the same. While he went and took our seats, I rushed to get popcorn for myself. And of course, there's always a diet Coke or a coffee for my doc on the tray I carry inside the theater.

As the movie rolled, I got busy munching my popcorn and occasionally offered it to my doc, which he refused politely each time.

At one point, I tried to coerce him into having some popcorn. And this time, he raised his hand and stated, "It is not that I don't want to eat popcorn or I don't like it, It's that I DISLIKE popcorn."

I stared at him in disbelief. Instantly, I withdrew the popcorn tub, happy that I had it all to myself, and a little amazed at the straight words I had just heard!

So yes, even after years of courtship and a few months into marriage, there still are things we are discovering. The latest one being - he DISLIKES popcorn while I have always loved them!

Now that makes me wonder what kept him from telling me this for such a long time. Before you smirk, I am a typical wife trying to make out more than what's meant from my husband's statement :D

Happy Wednesday, blogdosts :)
Labels: 14 comments | edit post
Reactions: