Thursday, June 5, 2008

Friends of the Earth

When the school holidays were about to begin, I looked forward to late mornings. What I didn't realize was that I will be mommy, 24 into 7. Continuous cartoon network bang swoosh ting tong. All meal times are instruction times. Any phone call and you are pleading with the brat to not disturb. Evening walks, any outdoor activities, full of requests to buy this, go there, why this, why not that. DVD time, the brat will hold the remote and suddenly pause the film, because I am not answering his questions. Questions like, 'But who is Shahrukh Khans father, tell me no. Not Amitabh Bachchan?'

Schools were invented, I discovered, not for education, but for maintaining a sanity level of parents.

After the brat left for school today morning, I found myself sitting quietly for an hour, listening to the sounds of the neighborhood. If that sounds like meditation, it wasn't. I think my body-mind was taking time to adjust to someone's absence.

I was about to start work, when the hubby called from Delhi.
'Chill out,' he advised me. 'Take two three hours off.'

And so I found myself answering questions to this questionnaire, to determine how happy I really am. Almost all such stuff, I generally find useless, full of preconceived notions about how to be happy.

However, one particular question had me thinking.

In the past 12 months, how often did you help with or attend activities organized in your local area?

And I remembered two events. One was an event organized by Pavan's school, Riverside, last August, a street smart fun activity where I shot a film. The other was a tree plantation event. After we planted the tree, we would go every Sunday to water the saplings. This was one thing both of us enjoyed, me and the kid. No questions, nor conversation were needed. We would fix the pipe, extend it as far as possible, fill water in the buckets, and gleefully water the plants.

Both events happened in Ahmedabad.

Now that I am in Bangalore, I wonder where I will find something similar. While I plan my working life to make a living, I should also look for something that will expand my concerns beyond my home and give us that sense of belonging.

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