The beginning of this year, I decided to make resolutions, something I have never done in the past. I am now putting it into words, to make my resolve stronger, for the third one especially and to reflect on it this time next year.
- TO BE THE MASTER OF MY TIME – 2013 a year for myself. The last three years of my life have been so intertwined with the work I did at the zoo,that boundaries merged and were in danger of disappearing all together. When someone suggested as a joke, that I tattoo a plan of the riverfront, (The Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project, that I have been working on for three years and am terribly attached to, critics watch out!!), I seriously considered it a good idea for a few seconds and then came back to my senses. As passionate as I am about urban design, tattooing a masterplan on to myself would definitely classify as crazy. The Other also has a lousy work life balance, and absolutely no control over his time and would give me less than a day’s notice before his visits to Ahmedabad, which means that several airlines may have to thank us for their new jet. So I decided to wean myself of, do something different and move closer to the Other and home. Voila’ a new job in an NGO, in Bangalore, with readily available alcohol, and lots of more time for ME. The last week in Ahmedabad was very emotional, I didn’t realize I had slowly grown to love the city I once loved to hate, and I feel like a disoriented wild animal after leaving the zoo. I really have to stop starting sentences with ” at the zoo we did things this way,” before I chase away all my new colleagues. I really miss my fellow inmates, the little ones, the older ones, even the impatient angry ones and the support system of a big organization. Paradoxially I miss the drive, the urgency and deadlines, sometimes I would be so busy that when I finally looked out of the window it would be dark, and I would wonder how it became 8:00 pm. The new work place is an NGO, a not for profit organization, the lack of an economic drive makes it feel like a secret garden, with flowers and butterflies. A little oasis, with no airconditioning or the constant ringing of phones. At the zoo there were days when I would put my phone of the hook, so I could hear myself think .The office is casual with a lot of women who like to compliment you on what you are wearing, people chat, are civil to each , we are spoilt for choice during lunch, so many delightful cafe’s begging to be explored and everybody leaves the office at 5:30, and you get weekends off !! I have been given the gift of time, now I have to see what to do with it. I hope to write more, a post a week, to start a garden, to compost, join dance classes, kalari classes and paint, and … it is an ambitious never ending list, but there is enough to start with. As a confirmed lover of urban spaces, I am looking forward to exploring Bangalore, the city, and its culinary delights.
- SUPER 30 – To become thin and proportionate by August, when I turn 30. I am fairly fit, walk as much as possible, and do a lot of the house work, including washing my own clothes and dishes, but I have fat deposits that erm…. umm… refuse to vanish. While digging through some old photos, I discovered evidence that I was born with a pot belly, that I am proudly displaying at age 1, 6, and 13. I can’t wait to thrust these under the Other’s nose as he repeatedly insists that the fat will melt away if I become a morning person. ( fat chance ! )
- GIFTS AND GIVING – To be more generous,I love giving presents, almost as much as getting them, and now I am truly discovering the joy of giving. I have never given that phrase serious thought, but now it has begun to mean something. I made a tree of 23 (it isMicheal Jordan’s number and hence the Other’s favourite number, don’t ask… ) things the Other likes to eat for Christmas, none of them healthy, and had a lot of fun putting it together. I sent my grandmother flowers for her birthday, and was overwhelmed when she told me that it was the first time in 76 years that somebody had given her flowers !! I bought cupcakes for colleagues, gave my juniors chocolates as a reward for good work, and realized that such simple things can brighten the most dreary day. (VM and DR you will get presents when you visit.)
- THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER (to save) – I am afraid when it comes to money, I am a grasshopper, and I really don’t know what I will do when winter comes many years from now. The gravity of this resolution has not yet sunk in, and I am avoiding confronting it as it is a lot of fun buying place mats and scented candles for the new house. This is the first time I am living all by myself, and I am very excited about playing house house, decorating it, and getting it to be functional. The house is is going to have heavy hints of Gujarat as I went on a wild shopping spree in Kutch before coming here, I need to write a separate post on the textiles of Kutch. Textiles of every colour , texture, printed cottons, silks, smooth hand woven cloth, rough cloth like gunny sacks, cloth that you can’t stop touching, piles of fabric that make you want todive in and curl up for a nap. Deep down inside, I think I just don’t want to save. In the zoo I was paid by the hour and had a varying monthly income. No matter how high or low the salary was I would polish it to zero before the next pay got credited. I am not a big shopper, and to me it remains a mystery of how I unfailingly managed this month after month. This is now going to change. From this financial year, next month that is, I am going to make a budget for myself, store money in labelled envelopes or bury it in the rice jar if I have to, but by next year I will have some savings, everyone says it’s a good thing, might as well give it a shot. So here is to a new life in Bangalore, new adventures and exciting new prospects of time ! CHEERS