Friday, June 22, 2012


I think you should all bow down to me for spelling that title right the first time. I'm not the world's best speller and it's a difficult one anyway. But back to our miscellany:

1. Go wish our favourite blogger-activist-novelist -- it's Kiran's birthday today.

2. Take a moment to savour the monsoons. May has passed, thank heavens, and though it is still occasionally quite hot, at least now I can sleep at night.

3. Rahul spent two weeks in Delhi and one more week with Giga (my Mejopishi) in Cal and now he no longer wants to live with us. Now why does this feel like karma coming back to bite me in the bum?

4. School has begun and I'm working again. Life is almost back into its old routine, but not quite. Somehow, I can't fit into that rut just yet. Maybe a little later.

5. I've been re-reading my Maugham short stories. I was never a particular fan of the 20th century short story form but I think I have reached a stage in my life where the dispassionate lack of closure also makes a lot of sense to me. Where the stating of facts, the shrugged acceptance of circumstances no longer bothers my tidy little mind.

6. I've learnt to make chocolate mousse and lemon cheesecake: the latter with my homemade cheese (which sounds more exciting than it was, perhaps).

7. Blank Noise Kolkata is up and about again. I'm evaluating my degree of participation. Having a schoolgoing child who goes to bed by 8 pm makes a lot of activities more complex than I'd expected.

8. My weight has finally become something I simply can no longer afford to ignore... and I'm not even 30. I was prepared to balloon in my 30s but not just yet.

9. Much chaos in the extended family what with a great-aunt's illness, her daughter's surgery, extreme stress, loose talk and estrangement. For not the first time, I wish I lived elsewhere. I love this city but I've been ready to leave it since 1 April 2005.

10. I've been putting together wooden furniture for my dollshouse. I think it's time the house was populated once more. Shejomama brought me an entire set I hunted down online and now I'm painstakingly working on the pieces.

11. I cut my Chhotomama's hair in April. Met Shejomama in May. Will be hopefully partying my youngest cousins (two younger than Rahul) in August. Rahul met the cousin closets to his age, Nirjhar, at a movie last week. His Ennapishi sent him his older cousin's books, cars and dinosaurs. This is a summer of family happenings.

12. An article I read this morning: Why Women Still Can't Have It All


Anonymous said...

Dear Sue

Your thought about Kolkata especially calls out to me. I have had the same feeling about Delhi, and about living with my parents for longer than that! But I am still here. Good time though to set sail I guess.

And, I was recently contemplating buying a doll house, but not as seriously as buying a bicycle to ride around (to lose weight and feel free). The motion was vetoed though! I wish you joy of yours!

About the weight, I want to ask you something. When did you start finding it acceptable to be addressed as Aunty by children? Being single I still have my reservations about it since I think its a comment on my weight. Haha!


Anonymous said...

That article got on my nerves.
It's true for men and women. Unless you want to be a really 'eff-all' father, and have it all professionally. I agree more with Sandberg's comments than with Slaughter's. I didn't read past pg3, but am not sure if she spoke about Sandberg leaving office on time every evening. Each of us have to find a balance that makes us comfortable. That might be working from home, or hiring help for home and pursuing a career etc... I also don't buy the thing on if all women are equally comfortable being away from their kids. Are all men? There is way too much pressure on women to fit into a maternal stereotype.
The reason these arguments turn me off is this: There are many ways in which a man can be successful, no questions asked. But it's assumed that women can be successful only if they meet a much narrower definition.
The reason I like Sandberg's argument is that she has one main rule, be at the table and part of the discussion. That's a universal rule, the most important rule, regardless of gender, and women fail to follow that. Everything else has to be tailored to suit your environment and context.
I cannot stand the burden placed on women with children, and the tiny maternal one-size-fits-all box we have to fit into, or risk being called a bad mother.

Sue said...

Anon -- I have been called "Aunty" since I was a teenager and I am completely cool with it. I have always enjoyed it.

Ummon -- I read Slaughter's essay in its entirety and Sandberg's too. Slaughter focussed wholly on the problems women face (which is fine by me) and I appreciated her frustration because I feel much the same on many counts. I can work, and I do have a husband who works from home and is therefore more accessible but the fact remains that when I worked away in an office I had to stay up nights cooking meals and catching up on chores. My son became insecure and showed minor behavioral problems. My husband was stressed out and it stretched all of us. He continues to work. I do not. Having been home for nearly two years now I can see a world of difference in the health and wellbeing of both my husband and my son. It makes heading back into an office that much more difficult for me, all the more so knowing from past experience that I will not be able to participate in after hours socialising etc. Bluntly put, I have the right and the freedom, the education and the desire to earn my living. My circumstances make me give other aspects of my life higher priority. That, to some extent, is what Slaughter is ruing. I thoroughly agree with her point that society needs to support working parents far more than it does today, as also employees with other kinds of dependents (aged parents, disabled relatives etc).