Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows that I never claim to be a great parent. For me, it is a journey of learning that helps me evolve both as a mother and as a person. One of the most valuable lessons that I have learnt is that we, as parents, are very generous with the word ‘no’ (and strangely a video I saw recently triggered this revelation).
I have been very guilty lately. After 7 long years of not working and only nurturing, I had decided that I will work from home so I can be around my son. I tried my hand at commercial baking and didn’t enjoy it as much. I switched to handling social media content as a freelancer. The work gives me a lot of flexibility and leaves me with enough room for my blog. Sharing my life experiences is what sustains my soul. At the same time, the blog takes a lot from me. I need to attend events for ideas, do shoots and be on the go. I feel guilty about not baking enough, cooking enough, keeping the house beautiful, keeping my accounts updated, the list is endless. On top of that as much as I try, the ‘you-don’t-spend-enough-time-
I did it! Unbelievable, but I did! I crashed my car under two weeks of participating in a car rally. A car rally which was meant to boost my confidence behind the wheels.
For the most part, it was my bad, I admit. But I can’t help feeling that it was his fault too. Thankfully since it was a blind turn on narrow lanes, we were both quite slow and the collision resulted in minor batters on both cars. After assuring myself that all 3 children in my car were unhurt, I got down to apologize. The man in the other car (a Honda City) also got down and was furious with me. Since we were both on our way to drop children to their school, I gave him my cellphone number so that we can discuss the settlement later.
Back in the car, I tried to put up a brave face, but the kids sensed that I was upset. And just like that, out of the blue, one at a time, they started narrating stories of how their mother or relative or some driver ‘bhaiyya’ had crashed their cars. All stories had a funny twist to it and they all laughed out to loud at the end of each, in their efforts to make me feel better. The intent of what they were doing was such a pleasure, so touching – that it made me wonder how kids are so emotionally intelligent, non-judgemental, and guileless. And why do these qualities disappear when they grow up? Kids are such a breath of freshness in this otherwise suffocating adult world.
While driving back home from school, I missed a couple of calls from the guy. Once I reached home I saw a threatening message, to which I responded politely as it wasn’t my intention to not pay for the damages. Though I was dearly hoping that it wouldn’t cost us too much. As if not contributing much, financially, to the household doesn’t kill me enough – and now this out of turn (possibly big) expense…
After discussing with Pratim, we met Mr Honda (let’s call him that to maintain anonymity) and mutually agreed to take his car, to a service center. Once there, then between car inspections, paperwork, cost estimates and the such other works – I began talking to Mr Honda. Despite the awkwardness of the situation, I could tell that he was impressed by my forthrightness in owning up to my mistake. In turn we also found him to be a reasonable man, unlike my first impression of him when he was furious with me over the accident. In due course, while waiting for the sluggish insurance workflow, we discussed politics, life in Sweden (his work takes him there every few months), our times in the Philippines, and even some Rakhi Sawant and Alok Nath jokes.
We also learned that he had Navratre Puja at his house earlier that morning and I blurted that there must be poori, chana and halwa for lunch. Then we joked about having lunch at his house, and at once, he invited us without a moment’s hesitation. On a day, when his car had crashed, he had to push out important meetings at work, he was calling home folks who had caused all the trouble! Awkwardly, reluctantly, we accepted the invite we had actually joked about.
With the insurance and repair work sorted out at the service center, we drove over to his house. As he rang the doorbell and we stood before his door, I wondered if Mrs Honda would swing a saucepan at me as the door would open. But contrary to my fears, she turned out to be an extremely friendly and warm host. In minutes, she had a sumptuous meal served at the dining table. She made us hot pooris to go with the dum aloo, chane and halwa. As I enjoyed every bite of the meal and every bit of the conversation, I couldn’t help thinking of the unusual turn of events that had got us there.
Since I had started running in India last year, I had not participated in any running event. I was eager to know what it must be like here, after all those fun and exhilarating runs in the Philippines. I got to know about a run called Pinkathon – a multi city, all women run, to raise awareness about breast cancer and promote fitness for women. I decided to participate in it. After all, it was for a good cause and offered an opportunity to run with Milind Soman. Apart from fact that he’s hot, Milind is one of the best amateur distance
As we were moving back to India, it had already been over a year that I had stopped running (the li’l that I did) due to my fractured rib. And yet one of my big worries (other than my 5 year old son adjusting to his new school and friend circle) was, where would I run? Who would I run with? Is it safe for women to run here in Gurgaon? Would it be fun running in the dusty concrete maze after all the greenery and cool that the Philippines had pampered me with?
It took us almost 6 months to settle down and get into a regular routine. Still tentative about running, I started going for brisk walks. While walking on a very warm June evening last year, I came across a runner and wondered how he could run when even the track was generating so much heat. I couldn’t help asking “Isn’t it too hot to run?” and he said “Run with me and figure it out for yourself”. And so I gave it a shot. I managed to keep up with him for 3 km. I was tired and soaked in sweat, but it felt really good. After that there was no looking back. All my doubts just disappeared. They evaporated with the sweat that evening.
Since then, I have become an active member of one of the best running groups in Gurgaon (Runbugs). With them I’m never out of running buddies. With them it feels safe to run in the most remote routes in the NCR – training, exploring and having fun along the way. Since then I’ve done the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, a 50 km Bhatti Trail Ultra Marathon, my fastest 10 km at Pinkathon and several other fun runs.
With this I learnt that however tough things might seem, one can at least try and get started – no matter what the odds are (hot, cold, humid, overcast or dusty/smoke – yup, that too is a weather in India!).
Getting started is what matters the most. C’mon, let’s go!!