Monday, June 1, 2009
Is there actually a super-mom? Even when a woman has done the best she can for her child and family, is she actually ever satisfied with her work? Or, is it just me. I mean I know I have not yet done the 'best' that I can do, but I know I am trying really hard. And ever since I became a mom, caring for my little one has become a full-time occupation-a lot of work, with even greater rewarding moments. Like when she wakes up clapping or hugs me tight round my legs. But that eternal source of anguish remains---her food. She is an 'officially underweight' child ---her weight at birthday no.1 was less than atleast triple the birth-weight (an official guesstimate for appropriate weight growth). And getting food into her mouth is a chore----it takes forever, she refuses everything and she is never hungry! While I am OK with all the struggles that are involved in feeding, its not OK that the digits on the weigh-scale are almost constant for a while. Everyone around, including the ped, says that she is fine, what with her super active schedule. But I am really looking forward to some visible signs of growth, of dividends for the umpteen hours being put at the high-chair. And this anxiety has now given way to that ultimate mom's-guilt. Did I not do the right things? Am I missing something? I am now constantly dwelling on those stray meals that she missed---was it them? I know I need to overcome this, but for now, this is me.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
This friend of mine, AT, bought 2 international air-tickets for Continental Airlines. Soon after, due to some unavoidable circumstance, he had to abandon the plans for that international trip. Knowing that its an international flight, where tickets can be thus changed, he called the airlines for the same. Continental told him that he can get credit but not a refund. Fair enough. A week later, he booked himself 3 tickets for Florida, using the credit he had collected. He made these reservations on the phone (which is what one would use, if one has to use the credits). All well......till he gets his credit card bill, which shows that he has been charged $750 extra.....why? Continental tells him that when they make such reservations on the phone, they charge $250 per ticket! No one told AT anything about this, when he was making the FL reservations. He repeatedly called the airlines to rectify this charge-----but to no avail.
Lesson: ALWAYS before signing off on any telephonic deal, ask the agent to repeat the charges you will incur, and do also take the agent id, name etc for your records.
So having celebrated my particular birthday now, I feel I have walked long enough on this earth to start giving back some 'wisdom'. Additionally when even on a continent so far removed from the country that I grew up in, in almost every other party I end up meeting someone who says s/he knows me from x years back, I know I am a veteran enough now. So capitalising on this known and unknown social circle of mine, I feel its time to further share the shared wisdom. What I will do now is to start chronicling the notable interactions of mine or of people I know, in order to spread the word about best finds, malpractices of corporates or some such everyday phenomena. These chronicles can be trusted, since I put my trust on the person(s) in the center of these, and hopefully they will provide some insights which will then make our lives a little better too.
Knowing no better way to lay them out on this blog, I will start the title of any such posting, with the word: REPORT. This will be followed by a word indicating what kind of report it is. For example: MALPRACTICE, or BEST FIND, or SMART WAY. This will then be followed by a title that will hopefully best capture the gist of the post.
Also, at the start of every month, I will post this above paragraph about the 'filing' method of reports to keep the reader reminded of the system.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Today Google celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 1st release of Eric Carl's 'The Very hungry Caterpillar'. For those of you who have never had close interaction with small kids in the Western hemisphere, this is a book you probably do not know much about. Rightly so! It is a children's book--no, its no Harry Potter though. Its very small chidren's book. I had the honor of being introduced to the book once I had a kid of my own. Today as I read of Google celebrating the 40th anniversary of the book, I am a little surprised myself. Just because I first came to know about the book when I bought it for my 'fresh' new baby, DOES NOT mean that the book is all 'freshly off the press'. Its been around for a GOOD 40 years!
And then, when I casually talked to some older kids born in the US about the book, well, they seemed to know all about it too. I know thats a childhood memory I do not have and can't share with my kid. All the same, the fact that I almost never realised that the book is so old, speaks about the timelessness of the very cute, sweet and simple tale of the very hungry caterpillar.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
BO's swearing in today in DC as the 44th President of the USA was, as has been said a thousand times, an 'historic' event. While it is almost a climax for blacks in America and elsewhere, its significance for other people of color, including myself, cannot be discounted. When he lay his hand on the Bible used by Lincoln, my eyes filled with tears of joy too. I had to call my septuagenarian father, to congratulate him, for it is his generation that has seen both sides of humanity----him and his contemporaries were either just about to be born or were young people when Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was thrown off a train in South Africa because of the color of his skin. 75 years, or even 100 years is not a very long time for things to have so changed that today the leader of the most advanced democracy in the world is a person of color. Indeed it is an absolutely fantastic achievement for our generation. To me, what is most heartening is the understanding that the electorate that voted BO to office is actually a whole body of people who are color blind. These are my colleagues in universities, my students, my husband's co-workers, the bank clerk, the delivery man, the postal employee, the sales agent at the rental office, etc. I don't know all these people's political leanings, and I don't have to know them. Because I know that a large electorate was color blind, I can safely assume that the default in America is color-blindness. And I think this readjusting of the 'default', to me, is perhaps a real turning point, worth remembering to recount to generations that will come after us.