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Choice of citizenship:- India or UK?

I had to make one of the toughest decisions as a mother, to deliver my daughter in India or in England? For most of the Indians the answers was obvious, but for me it was other way around.
‘’something is very wrong with you’’ said one of my relative when I landed in Mumbai. This is not the 1st time I have heard those remarks.

‘’Your daughter would have got citizenship, why did you come back?’’, ‘’you are not a good mother’’, ‘’She would be local for her higher studies which is better than India’’, ‘’it’s a better country to stay’’, ‘’Apparently she could go to USA, New Zealand, Australia, any European countries for studies/ job without ever worrying about visa, opportunity would have been limitless’’. Apart from these, few gossip around the town and relative atmosphere, ‘’she is too young to realize her mistake’’, ‘’my grandson resides in London and speaks such a fluent English’’, ‘’ Her husband wouldn’t have agreed, looks like it-Everything can’t be expressed, poor girl is taking blame on her’’ –anybody who knows me in person will never agree to this. Poor girl….no way!!!! There were list of other comments which I don’t want to include for the sake of complexity. The only person who didn’t ever question me was: my mom.

YES, I agree vipra (my daughter) would have had all the above stated comments:- Limitless opportunities with citizenship and a life in developed country. People have been telling me to stay in the land of meadows and harry potter and Victorian culture- in a tone as if it’s really a general rule to live outside India (If you get visa there). In UK vipra would have got me free medical benefits even if she is not its citizen, free education that too in a mile of her parents postcode, 2 earning parents who adore her with (we almost earn 4 times of what we would earn in India), a Victorian style apartment with few British friends.

But who said I wanted to give her all this and on contrary I wanted to her to live what her parents what thy could afford in India. Not because I hate her but love her immensely. Despite all the apparent advantages of a developed country why India.

My answer was simple:- Its is where my dreams, aspirations came true with hard work, dedication and love, immense love from friends and family. But it’s not to say India is a safer choice. If anything it’s the more difficult one to make. Times are hard for dreamers, especially in a country with too many people but so little resources to spare.

But that’s exactly what’s pushing us to strive. Contentment comes easy. But I do not want her to live for contentment. Neither do Indians.

In England, a lot of people stay in their counties and go by never getting to see London, to try and make it there. Here, young people from India are moving to England every chance they get. Stories of boys and girls from small towns making it happen in the city are unfolding every day.
Because perseverance is what we’re made of.

It’s in our DNA. We are hard-wired to always try and seek better opportunities.

Our system is problematic. That has been known for a long time now. But allow me to use a rhetoric that celebrates the fact that we strive to defy the odds. How did we do it? Because we said we would and we said we can. We dreamed and made it happen. I want her to experience all this and make her own choices with the difficulties that surround it. She has to earn it with rather than making it available to her.

There are a million others like me, who will one day have the choice to leave the country. They should; some would. I am not closing my doors too. All I am saying is EARN IT.
So to all my relatives, my daughter will have a fun-filled, healthy and prosperous life in India if she chose to be there or else she will make it happen somewhere else in the world. Be assured.

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My Journey (in & out) of Pregnancy

With a healed clavicle fracture (a plate rod and 8 screws in me) and a month away from flying to India for in-laws 60th celebration along with an offer letter for most awaited post; I received a conformation from doc about my pregnancy.

Doc restricted my air travel because of my 1st pregnancy. So there I was in a city that I barely knew with a husband who had no idea about pregnancy along with a bad weather. So I asked Vishal (my husband) would I be allowed to fly after 1st 3 months ? Yes: was his and doc’s answer. So basically this ruled out the option of getting mom, mother-in-law or nanny to Ipswich. The visa processing would take approximately 2 months, it didn’t solve the purpose. I geared up mentally: I have to take care of myself only for 3 MONTHS. That’s it, and then it’s all over to mom & Mother-in-law.

To prepare ourselves, we ordered the Book, ‘’what to expect when accepting’’, my bible/bagvadgita/Koran during my pregnancy period. Did Google research about what to eat, exercise, meals, mood swings, nausea, and all other related articles, understood and ready with a game plan?
Game plan was:- Vishal would cook every night, I would prepare breakfast and lunch was sorted out to my friend. We stuffed the fridge with fresh fruits, oats bar, green vegetables, flavoured milks, all kinds of nuts and biscuits. Keeping in mind the advice form M&M (Mother & mother-in-law). So in between whenever I was hungry this would suffice. All this preparation was done within 2 days.

The speed with the game plan was made it trembled with that speed, I started to nausea and vomiting right from morning 4 till 4 pm in the evening. I not only had food/fluid vomits but also blood vomits. I vomited everywhere, the car park, Sainsbury, costa, friends bathroom, streets, in the car, you name a place in Ipswich and i had it covered. We did meet our GP and realised that if I missed my food timings I would vomit. So I had to follow a strict food meals time, by nature I am pretty acidic hence the consequences. The blood was from rupture of my throat from excessive vomiting rather than from stomach: which was good news. I hadn’t hurt the baby.

The biggest solace was my mum on skype 24 by 7. I would lay there speaking nothing and she watched me over skype, there have been countless incidence where I fell asleep over her over skype session and woke me up by phone to eat something (keeping in mind the time to prepare it) She shared so many quick healthy recipes which were great to the throat and tummy. Soon it was time for my 1st scan and time to fly to India. Scan was beautiful; all my fears were put to bay after seeing vipra healthy and fine. This was the time to fly like a free bird to India.

Vishal’s project demanded couple of more days: his career was far more important than we being in ipsiwch for one more month. We had managed in the worst; so this was payback time. I soon realised in the 5th month scan the gender of my kid. It was a girl, it had to be. From the time I was pregnant I somehow knew…….Vishal always wanted a girl. So the payback time was for shopping, there are so many cute cuddly things to buy for girls .I had become more mobile and was available to enjoy outside weather, shopping, chatting with friends & family. Days were filled with months and with each passing month I was more eager to be in India. Finally we flew on my 27th week (which is the last cut off week to fly) with Kingfisher airlines. They pampered me with flowers, fresh fruits and constant reminder to walk the aisle for better circulation. In way it was towards preparing me for all the attention I was about to get in India.

Finally with my big tummy and a little girl inside my womb we arrived safely to Mumbai sharapati international Airport.
pregnant-lady

And my heart breaks to million Pieces…..

Aee , aee ,aee…..pillu, pillu coming….(converted to adult language-mom, mom, mom, vipra is coming to you, where r u?) My daughter prefers to call herself pillu(small, tinny in Marathi language). This is everyday questions asked in half sleep, looking towards the closed door behind my back .My husband comforts her by saying; come to dad, mom has to go to office….she hugs him and cuddles down to sleep, peacefully.

and my heart breaks to million pieces….

Nanny takes over, I leave for office. Briefing her about the day’s menu, classes she needs to attend, cloths laid out for her to be worn etc. Usually nanny sends 3 to 4 videos via watsup to ease my day out at office. Its typical Wednesday, 1st half of the day with back to back meetings as this is the day my boos enlightens the office with this presences. Its dance session for vipra, she loves these sessions, as I was mentally going through her whereabouts I get a buzz –a video from my nanny. I play the video and see vipra in her beautiful Pink skirt jumping and trying to dance and suddenly she notices nanny filming her….and she says ‘’Aee,aee pillu pillu coming’’

and my heart breaks to million pieces….

Picture 574

She takes a nap and has her early evening snacks, it time for her to go nearby ½ an hour A,B,C group for toddlers. Nanny makes her fav snack and purses her to come along. As my nanny starts filming her, she give a nice pose in the below video and she knows this video has to reach my mommy. She insist my nanny to take a photograph. I see this video

and my heart breaks to million pieces….

Finally my day is over with a hurried lunch at desk and limiting socialization in office, I hurry at catch scheduled train. Following my series of calls, I give a final follow-up call to my nanny before I get in underground to check on vipra, British weather being favourable (summer) -they both are playing in the park. Vipra has taken her pram,as she likes carrying these days.Looks pretty in this yellow top. It matches per personality. Picture 501 She enjoys slides, all ways:- sliding on stomach, climbing against gravitational force, sliding on the back facing head first(this is scary). She senses my call to nanny and says ’Aee,aee pillu, pillu coming’’

and my heart breaks to million pieces….

I walk out of the underground; my body language illustrates my impatience and aggressiveness to paddle across the crowd to reach home early. I have to catch the connecting train, which to my surprise is delayed by 10mins. In a scenario, to getting dressed up 10mins pass by like swap but while waiting for train 10mins are like literally 10mins. I look around the platform to kill my time and see other fellow mothers wanting & eager to reach home. The women in killer dress is organizing princess lolly pops, the Chinese women is probably doing a video chat with her little one-I see her playing peek-a-boo with the phone, the beautifully breaded hair women is knitting a small sweater – I like the colour –purple, in the middle of this I call nanny to inform her of my delay. She sighs and says its ok and I shouldn’t worry. Vipra knows my arrival time, she senses it’s my call and I hear in background. ’Aee,aee pillu pillu coming’’

and my heart breaks to million pieces….

Finally I reach home. World war IV done, we have a park outside our apartment. I see her playing favourably and enjoying herself. I shout out her name and she looks at me, with those bright beautiful eyes and ear to ear smile on her face as she comes running toward me. The best moment of the day, god freezes it here. I keep saying to her loudly, ‘’vipra vipra, aee coming’’. She give me a understood smile, saying I understand you mom. I hug her and we head home for a delightful evening saying bye to nanny.

My daughter is growing: It pains me

After my daughter was born my whole world has been around her. Food, cloths, sleep time, TV time- instead of humming new/old romantic, pop, rock songs these days I hum rhymes….wheels on the bus goes gaga gaga gaga ( she can’t yet pronounce round & round, so she substitutes sounds for the words she cant say), leisure time, recreation time etc.

I was fortunate to be SHM (Stay at home mom) till she turned 1 . I had her to myself for all the time. You know what I mean by all the time. It was such a bliss, but then I cribbed about not having me time. She stood in front of me or outside the bathroom door screaming while I rapidly took bath, as if I am gone elope form there (without her).

Husband’s food wish list dropped like a bad census day, from good to bad. These days he eats anything that I can manage to prepare within the time limit my daughter agrees to. Our social gatherings are related to parks, parents with children –preferably at same age, zoo. Forgot to mention the marathons to grocery stores. So as said our world revolved around her. For her happiness was being with me.

Now as she is growing, she wants her own place, friends to play, I can have at least 10mins bath without been disturbed, decent meal times, couple of more mins at grocery stores, few chat conversations with old friends with screaming in background, nail polish time-I am finally started applying nail polish again, couple of new dishes done in kitchen, finally some‘‘ME time’’.
But by now, my ‘‘ME time’’ definition has changed,
ME time= me & daughter
Only ME time=alone time.
So now I am having more of alone time, rather ‘ME’ time. As she has become more mobile with her age her interest varies. She wants to explore the world, run around the long gardens, jump on the beds, watch the rain fall and her happiness is around me but not only me. Earlier it used to be only me. So she is growing and it pains me to be away from her.

I have become like her daughter now, trying to cling her .Don’t forget, she did the same thing .She still gives me time, but always leaves me wanting more.
You_left_me_wanting_more_by_darkofknight
So when the opportunity comes I don’t hesitate grabbing it.

Raising strong daughter

301417,xcitefun-a-strong-womanMy mother and grandmother raised me to be a strong, confidant woman and taught me that the sky was the limit.Strong does not mean rude,self obssed and unkind.Strong means to believe in self, do the right and treat everyone, including yourself with respect. Infact mom always said, being affectionte is rather more important than to be right. When my daughter was born on 27th march 2012, I wanted to be sure that she learned those lessons I did. The older she gets the more I realize what a challenge that is. As mother I am in front line between my daughter and a world that is ready to tell her that she is not good enough. It is my job to teach her that she is so much more than good enough.

I wonder how and when I will teach her these lessons but I will ensure I do at the end of the day. Even fellow mothers can do the same. We need to

1. Teach your daughter to never allow herself to be anyone’s property and that you will disown her if she ever acts like someone else property.

2. Teach your daughter to talk about her feelings – not eat them or purge them. Or if she doesn’t want to talk, teach her to express her feelings through writing, art, music, sports, etc.

3. Teach your daughter to work with what she’s got and love what she’s got. Tall, short, fat, thin, your daughter is beautiful – inside and out. Make sure you tell her all the time and make sure she believes it.

4. Teach your daughter to like and respect herself and demand respect from those around her. She might end up lonely at times, but at least she won’t be a doormat.

5. Teach your daughter that “fish lips” photos are never appropriate and never attractive.

6. Teach your daughter to value herself enough to defend herself – physically and verbally. Let your daughter watch “The Burning Bed.” She’ll never forget it and she’ll always know she has “options” if she finds herself in an abusive relationship.

7. Teach your daughter to be strong and confident in her abilities and not be afraid of failure. Teach her that sometimes she will fail, but she can’t let that fear stop her from trying something.

8. Teach your daughter that she has the right to get loud. Make sure she knows girls can get angry, they can have opinions and they can throw “lady like” behavior out the window if necessary.

9. Teach your daughter that smart girls get further in life than slutty girls.

10. Teach your daughter to walk away from the teen pressure. There is so much pressure put on young girls these days to look pretty or hot it’s nauseating.

11. Don’t let your daughter marry young. Encourage her to get out and see the world, live on her own and figure out who she is and what she wants in a partner before she settles down.

12. Teach your daughter that there’s nothing wrong with staying home on a Friday night and reading a good book, but try to get her to read more than just Chick Lit. Give her The Gift of Fear. This book really empowers women to spot danger signals. Unfortunately in the world we live in, this is an important gift to have.

13. Teach your daughter to beat the boys at their own games.

14. Teach your daughter to be able to laugh at herself and have a sense of humor. There are so many women I meet that say they have a sense of humor, but they really don’t.

15. Teach your daughter that the “Queen Bees” and “Wanna Bees” and “mean girls” are a waste of time nd she should just invest in one or two great friends.

16. Teach your daughter that her choices in life are limitless. She really can do anything – except maybe use the Men’s Restroom.

17. Strength equals self-sufficiency. Being strong – particularly as a woman – is empowering. It will feel good someday to be able to carry your own luggage down the stairs if the airport escalator is broken, and it will be important to have a solid shot at outrunning a stranger should you meet one a dark alley

18. Your hobbies aren’t weird. It’s admirable to be unique

19. Be an example. I read recently (I don’t remember where) that our children learn more about how to be from the same-sex parent. In other words, our daughters learn how to be women by the example we set. When we are confident in our abilities, when we don’t belittle ourselves, when we have a positive self-image, then our daughters will learn that is the way to be. My Mom had lots of reasons to give up, but she never did. She was determined to create a better life for herself and her children and that is just what she did. Now from that example I can strive to do the same thing for my kid.

Last for my daughter: I love the sound of your laugh and Always be gracious. Your level of gratitude reveals your character

Married with differences….

Mine was a arrange marrg, proposal brought by my aunt and well executed by my parents. My parents finally found the perfect son-in-law to take care of their daughter, for whom they have been patiently waiting for almost 4 years. The marrg was most talk-of –town with lavish food and entertainment. What my parent’s realize is my marriage was “”with difference””. Me and Vishal are wired so differently…..when I think of it now, I feel why should my parents be bothered about our wiring? Their job was to get us married and the onus lies on me and Vishal to sustain the marriage.

So to start with we are married with differences. I know the fact, that no two people have the same goal, react the same way or enjoy the same thing, at the same time or rather ALL THE TIME.

Vishal is introvert; he prefers to have limited words with other people and likes his own space with laptop and news (especially current affairs). For him, you need to be verbal & vocal about you needs, belief, wants and dislikes frustration. He is more process ordinated, whenever we encounter a bad satiation—his reaction is to find out what caused this situation and then comes the solution. He is very practical, be it with this mom, job, political issues, society, friends, family and WIFE. Once he gets to understand an issue he is very acceptable about it. He likes been subtle and non-vocal about his needs and preferences.

I am opposite to every inch of his exsistence….hence we are married with differences.

Thankfully, we have got a way around our difference. While we live with having different tastes in foods and music, differences that emerge in the face of life events ( jobs, children, financial burdens) often threaten our way around. We still have arguments, oh ok fights. Some times it’s impossible to bear vishal’s opinion about something silly…why does he have a problem with me buying earrings, whole bunch every time? why does he get bothered?Below are few commandments i have followed to get through our differences,

Handling Differences – A Constructive Way

Given that some of the best of what we have as a couple – is the constructive mix of our differences, it becomes important to consider a few steps for moving differences from becoming problems – to becoming possibilities, points of discussion, issues to address, aspects to accept or signals for seeking help.

Remove The Expectation Or Need To Change The Other

When there is no need to change  vishal, the verbal and non-verbal tone can be one of curiosity instead of fear and demand which inevitably trigger resistance and withdrawal instead of discussion.

Making Room for Discussion

In their work on Acceptance and Change in Couple Therapy, psychologists Neil Jacobson and Andrew Christensen, offer couples techniques that we can build upon to make differences less threatening and more transforming.

You and your partner will know if married with differences can work, mine is getting worked till now……

“ I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort where we overlap.”

Parting ways again…

Parting ways again….

It’s has been incredibly journey post marriage. Still (after 3 years) feels so good to be married to vishal. We decided on each other in less than a week, incredible feeling…oh!! I have this huge habit to navigate from the topic ….let me get myself back…

I balance the responsibilities associated with being a wife, mother, pre-sales profile, daughter, and friend with relatively grace and poise. My personal and professional lives are in constant competition for my attention. This time , my personal live has overtaken my professional live…I can hardly control the spillover from one vein to another.

Vishal has gone to London for a brief period; I pursued my professional live as pre-sales consultant in India(Hyderabad) and we both were happy with our decision to stay apart for a while. This could give us space in time and body to live form each other and also facilitate the growth in our professional life. With a whopping EMI for our new house: this seemed to be the perfect solution, untill….

Being parent is tough job. Tough for the reason you mind continuously battles between what’s right for your child   v/s what is the  current situation. Doing this your body fails you. Your mind fails you. You fail you spouse. Still the job is undone…..you need that extra courage to decide what’s right for your child.

In my case, I enjoy the everyday bliss my daughter offers. She is at age where exploration is the virtue of life. From testing water, throwing tantrums, loudly blabbering words which make no sense, being vocal about her needs (which she is not sure)  makes her adorable. I miss vishal missing all this….her golden years of growing. In this phase, she needs us and this need can be defined and understood by a mother…..

To ensure vishal experiences all this I have to part ways with my professional life…..with little hurt somewhere, I say bye bye to my corporate life.

Potato tossed with pudina

My daughter(Vipra) is 14 months and hasnt developed any skills to digest solid food.So i continue to feed her with semi-solid food.I must flaunt her quality to eat anything (veg of course) without creating a fuss….she is thankfully not a fussy eater. I tried this recipe for her and she really really liked it.

Ingredients:-

1)  1 potato, peeled and chopped in small pieces.

2) Fresh 3 leaves of pudina for the flavour

3) 1 big carrot, sliced into small pieces.

4) 1/2 tsp oil

5) pinch of salt

6) pinch of turmeric

Process:-

  • Take a pressure cooker or cassrole. Heat on a medium flame and add 1/2 tsp oil.
  • Once the oil is heated add, turmeric and salt.
  • Toss in all the cut veges ans stir. enure all the veges are coated well in the oil.
  • Add the pudina
  • Pour in water, enough to cover the veges and bring it to boil.
  • Ensure the veges are cooked well. As small tummies find it difficult to digest.
  • Once the veges are cooled, add the cooked veges to blender.
  • Blend it to semi-solid and serve the dish to your child.

Tip:-The carrot and pudina overcome the bland taste of potato.Pudina adds a different flavour, so my daughter enjoys eathing.

3 qualiites i adore about my daughter

So many blogs were pending to be posted. Couldn’t steal spending time from my precious daughter. When she is awake— I am on roller coaster trip…playing, imitating and adoring you. There are few things that I simply adore about ym daughter. I am amazed at with how much ease she can do few things, which at advanced age I still try to do. As mom, I had hoped, prayed and imagined the way my daughter should be…but she is much better than what I had thought and accepted from god or life. She has certain qualities that were beyond my desire….i always felt asking these qualities in her would be a v big ‘’’asking and wishing ’’’ from god. So, when I was pregnant, I left things in gods hand to decide. God did decide the best for me—-my daughter with beautiful qualities.

1)      She has a contiguous beautiful smile. No matter where I go, she is happy with the environment and smiles to everyone. Not every kid does this….and I am proud about her smiling. She greets everyone with her cute smile…..love you darling.

2)      She handles change with ease and excitement. A very rare quality among such young offspring’s. I have no words to explain the comfort and smooth transition vipra has gone from ‘mom-not-working-days’ to ‘mom-working-days’ for this I applaud to my dear daughter. I decided to work after her 1st birthday; fortunately got a good opportunity 15days prior to her 1st birthday. I was so apprehensive leaving her whole day, I cried for 4 hours on the day I got offer letter. Somewhere in the heart I wished for the job opportunity to be lost. In fact I didn’t send the necessary documents for quite some time wishing for the opportunity to be lost. Vishal encouraged and comforted me to a huge extent. Still I wasn’t sure about my decision rather forced decision at that time. I clearly remember the 1st day of my job, I cried for 1 hour to leave you and another hour travelling to office. But you managed so well without me; I couldn’t believe the way you were able to cope up. Exceptionally well. I would be gratefully to you for entire my life. Vishal was in transition of his new role, hence had 2 weeks at home. I asked mom to travel from Mumbai to take care for you for a week. The whole army-vishal, mom & mil where given list of “to-do” and ‘’not-to-do’’ list for you. With god’s grace and the army’s effort you managed to pull off well without me. I missed you so much in office, vishal use to record you on camera for my after the office view. I still miss you so much in office, which I keep on watching your videos.

3)      You forget things easily; v can distract you from non-comforting things. I don’t know how this quality of yours will be useful in future but as of now…..its pretty good for me. I can distract you from any pain, discomfort or unrealistic demands that you make.

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