I have not been able to spend much time on the internet the last one week or so. Thanks to the heat wave peaking during the Labor day weekend and people constantly running their AC we had extensive damage to the power system here in our area. We had a power outage at our place that started on Monday eve after we gave baby girl a bath around 6.30pm. We thought it would get restored in a couple of hours. But it did not get restored even after four hours. Imagine my shock when I called the electricity company that night and the phone update said that it might not get restored till Wednesday morning!
We went to my friend's place on Tuesday morn and came back that night and slept at home. Again on Wednesday morning since power had not been not restored, we went there again and came back at night. Quite an experience! My friends were extremely hospitable and nice. My mother was so touched by how kind and nice my friend D was to her and so affectionate with my children. She also had SUN TV (Tamil) in her package (unexpected since she is a Punjabi woman) – so my mother got to watch her favorite serials also. Their son is one month younger than Kutti boy and the two of them had a great time. It was in a way a lot of fun - unexpected outing for Kutti boy especially. Same way their son too was also apparently super excited that we went to their place for two days in a row...I love it when things happen spontaneously and what seems like a difficult time ends up being fun in a strange sort of way. Some people have a way of making you feel that they are "helping" you out and in subtle ways make you feel obligated. But my friend and her husband made us feel completely at home and showed us how happy they were to have us at their place for two days. She told me that it brought her so much happiness to have hosted us at their place. You know you have friends or family who will help you out if need be, but you rarely are in situations were you actually have to take it up. And sometimes it can turn out to be unpleasant. But in this case we all had a great time together. It felt really good to have made the most of an otherwise difficult two days.
I have never experienced such a long power outage even in India...amazing how life comes to a stand still without power. Glad to be back home and be able to turn the light on casually. And the heat wave has subsided and it is really cool here now.
We had a small naming ceremony for baby girl finally. That too turned out to be a lot of fun in an unplanned sort of way. Traditionally the child’s mama writes the name of the baby on a bed of grains. My brother came to visit us last weekend. So we decided to have a simple ceremony at home for the naming. My close friend happened to be in the area that weekend so he attended the function along with his wife and her family. That was totally unexpected. My friend who lives in the same block came with her daughter. It was a lot of fun because the others too came up with names on the spot and wrote it in the “nellu” for fun. We also gave her my mother-in-law’s name in memory of my MIL.
The night before this, I made a quick trip to one of the retail stores to buy some clothes for my brother and for the kids. It was past 7.30 pm and B was taking care of my son and baby girl had fallen asleep. I had an hour plus to shop and come home. As I was driving back home in the dark, amidst traffic lights and head lights and tail lights of neighboring cars…the flicker of lights far away in some fields on the way…the hum of the car ride and the mood somehow transported me to my own childhood. It is amazing how in a flash of few seconds your life and events from the past can come in snippets and zoom in and out of your thoughts rapidly. Me as a little girl standing on tip toes and looking at the dresses spread out on the store counter to select one for my sister’s wedding…me lighting the Karthigai lamps all along the long parapet wall in our verandah, with our maid’s daughter who was my close friend then… the shamiana made out of dried leaves that was erected outside our house during my sister’s wedding…my brother trying to steal my stash of Diwali fire crackers that I would sit on for ever….my mother buying ripe golden absolutely delicious “Banganapalli” mangoes from the old man who brought us the best fruits of the season…random images flashed passed my head.
At the end of each day, running after two kids and dealing with their moods and tantrums for that day can leave you feeling mentally fatigued and over whelmed that the same things would repeat again the next day. It would be so for a few years until the kids are grown up after which different struggles will begin to take shape. In the myriad thoughts that were running in my mind as I was driving home, I felt a sense of peace and joy in the feeling that the next morning we were going to celebrate our daughter’s naming ceremony. And I had my family members and close friends around. And these are the sorts of memories that will probably flash past my son/daughter’s minds when years later they have their moment of reflection. It is in creating these special moments for them that all the hard work also seems enjoyable. It is in the here and now that life takes meaning and brings with it joy along with the hardships we go through.