Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Why I missed the (last) Blogger Conference

It was until Rekha and Jambay Dorji asking me my absence during the last blogger's conference on Sunday, 30 August 2015 that I felt the moral obligation to justify the sudden change in plan.

Let me put it this way:

As a working mother of a toddler, I am often battled with the hardest decisions to prioritise my obligations. Of course, I don't mean to portray as a very obsessed mother which I am not, rather I must be one of the most casual mothers around who wants to see her child grow up within her own likes and dislikes. But this doesn't again justify my priority which for now is my daughter, because she is not even three and she will not understand the only two days of the seven that she gets to spend with her mother. That's why, she passionately calls her as "Mummy ga Zaa-min" literally translated as  "I am my mother's daughter"!

Until 9:30 a.m. that Sunday, I was determined to attend. I had already informed my husband that I would be attending the conference and he offered to baby-sit Lolo. And yes, the weekends are also the only breaks for my old parents (both in early seventies) who devote their weekdays to babysit Lolo. 

When I called Kuenza few minutes past 9:30 a.m. Lolo was half-way through her breakfast, and still nagging. Kuenza and I had planned to attend together, something like I will call her when I start from home and we meet somewhere to barge in together (as usual). 

On the other end, Kuenza expressed similar opinions stating that she was alone with Dechen, with her mother and husband gone to Yusipang for personal errands. My opinion went something like I get the don't-go feeling because of the various obligations laid for the day. Lolo halfway through her breakfast while planning her day like go to the vegetable market to buy Olaf the carrot! Then visit Amchi's place in Dechencholing, my sister's place. This is one social event she parks for the weekend which gives her the freedom to explore her Amchi's place. She also wanted to have iii-ceam (ice-cream) and zee-lly (jelly). And she said, "Mummy ma dhe na (don't go Mummy)", her marble eyes flickering for (positive) response.

Lolo enchanted by the tiara
[Note: We did have a fulfilling Sunday. In addition to her plans, we also made this tiara out of the cosmos flowers blooming outside my sister's place.]

My husband saw me around even after 10:00 a.m. and was like, "You didn't go?" Between us, I said his never-ending prayer session held me back (but honestly, that was not the reason).

The reason is: Weekend is the only time I get to spend quality time with my daughter. Monday to Friday, I leave office before 8:00 a.m. when often Lolo would be buzzing in her sleep, and reach home not before 6:00 p.m. The few hours into the night, I run around the house with a peck and a pat as and when I bump into Lolo who is also equally busy with her movements. So, weekend is really the only time Lolo and I spend time going for shopping, going to the park, or visiting relatives and friends. 

When I state this, some may be tempted to question what about the times I leave her for my official duties like trips and travels. 

When I knew I was carrying, I almost immediately charted out my priorities. I said for the first year when I would be nursing my child, I will not leave the house even for a night, unless my child accompanied me. This explains why I missed the Europe trip when Lolo was 9-months old. I proudly state this to show the pride I wore then, and even now. After I weaned and Lolo started her solids, surprisingly she exhibited total independence in her routine in terms of no-problem-eating, no-problem-sleeping, besides not being a cry-baby. She paved this flexibility for me to leave her for durations as long as two-weeks without a single complain upon return. For these kinds of situation, she knows I am NOT home and won't be back until the return date.

When I am around and it is weekend, she knows it very well. 

From the 1st Blogger Conference, Aug 30, 2015
Lastly, on a closer look at the attendees of the blogger conference, correct me but I noticed most of the attendees were either parents of grown-up children, or aspiring parents, or should I say "fathers" (don't drag me into confrontation here, please!). All I want to share is that I couldn't attend because I had plans with my daughter that Sunday, and right now my role as a mother demands much more commitment than my interests and passions.

I sincerely hope I can attend the future meets. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Greener Way Shows the Way

It been almost half a year since the waste segregation has been initiated by now the vendor for waste collection and disposal, Greener Way, and I am just so happy for this education which has helped educate people of all ages. Personally, this would have been a keen area of interest for me, just that I couldn't influence a huge lot like it does now.

Every weekend I go for vegetable shopping, I refuse to accept any polythene bag from the vendor because I carry my own, mostly reused bags. Where I can, I carry the stuffs in my hands and transfer them to the car. Shopkeepers and vendors alike insist that I take the bags, and my denial is funny because everyone wants a bag for every single thing they buy. It makes me wonder what happened to the ban we had few years ago? Today, you see the plastic and polythene bags are lavishly used, irrespective. 

What a message!
One day, I came upon this bag (on the left) and it intrigued me completely. In the least, it said there are people like me who worry about things we can do to save our environment. In my own capacity, I believe in the THREE Rs - Reuse, Recycle and Reduce

So, back to Greener Way. 

The waste segregation effort has educated a family. We now have two bins - one for degradable and the other for non. The latter obviously gets collected on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Unlike earlier times where we used to mix everything into one single bin, today the vegetable waste go into the kitchen gardens of our neighbours. If next season they have better harvest of their kitchen garden, we know where to turn for gratitude.

The other week, we didn't have their service for about a week and the waste started piling up (just can't believe how much waste we produce in a week!). Desperate and so used to their diligent service, I browsed through their Facebook page - Greener Way and dialled their toll-free number 1213. A woman answered on the other end, and in her most convincing voice she assured the service would be resumed that Tuesday. Apparently, the collection vehicle had broken down the previous week. In few hours, I heard the truck coming!

With such service around, we are assured of the initiatives undertaken to respect and restore our environment. Also, because of this initiative I read that numerous other initiatives have come up, like the manufacturing of manures and egg-trays. I am WOW for all these!

Way to go Greener Way, and through this article I want to congratulate you for all your kind efforts. We are with you.

Additional Note: Last June during my short trip to India, I was so surprised that now no leading shops in India give you free polythene bags like before. You are charged additional cost ranging from Nu. 10 - 20/ bag. I appreciated this.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Who is Solly Baba?

I was barely five years old, an end to being the youngest sibling. I faintly remember the birth of my brother - a tiny chicken-like baby boy with frail limbs announcing his arrival with screams. This was long, long time ago. 

Today, my brother is Solly Baba.

Who is Solly Baba?

Solly Baba - the name almost infamous in the town is a boy very unlike the brother I grew up with. As a young boy (and up till his first few years of teenage) his dream was to become a monk, because "life is so uncertain and I want to help sick people" was his spirit. Quite the bully he is even today, I was most ambushed with his demands, wants and needs - more because I give in easily to his ways. 

In the eyes of normal dwellers like our parents, he is a useless guy. Useless as in - no 9X5 job like their other children, no intention of a family life (much to my relief), no seriousness about future (OK to survive on one meal a day) and no future whatsoever. I think this is also how I define him whenever people ask about my younger brother. 

But wait.

During the few moments of breathe (if I am lucky like this moment I am writing this article), I run through his life and some sort of envy erupts. 

Solly with his dog Lassi
I envy him because he is the master of his own life. Get up when you want. Sleep when you want. Eat if you have. Don't eat if you don't have. Party with the last hundred you have. If no money, stay home and watch movies. Adopt a stray dog and give her a new name, a new life. Travel like crazy with no proper plan. No worries about anything but a camera for which a little saving may be required. Or I can borrow. Give me Nu. 25 to take the taxi to Thimphu. A good cheese fry meal-of-the-day at home. Oh yes, pick me up if you are passing by. And drop me if you don't mind (well, do I have a choice?)

Whereas I, a normal very routine person - considered competent and successful officer, am a robot to many many things. I get up at the tick-tock of the alarm clock. Every movement is timed and written down. I can't deviate a little in fear of distorting the routine, or my day will come crashing down. I make plans in weeks ahead and attend to every detail. A vacation is one luxury in years because I am so busy with work and family - and even then, vacation means work on phone and Net and family in the car and hotel rooms. I worry for the future I am not certain about. I compromise my needs because I still have the loan for the SUV. A new pair of shoes? Oh no, I rather buy a new toy for Lolo. Or say some school stationeries for the girls. Pizza treat? Let me cook a nice egg-curry at home! Sunday dinner? Goodness, Monday is next day and I have office plus schools for the girls. 

You see, my life is prescribed. 

We come from the same parents but like rose and thorns on the same stem, we are different. At this moment, I can't say who is the rose and otherwise. But we are completely different individuals with different destinies. 

Solly Baba lives a sanyasi life. I live a worrisome materialistic life. But at the end of the day, both of us are proud of our lives. And we are positive too. I learn through the various struggles while he lives through his casual outlook. 

Who is Solly Baba? Solly Baba is the kind of life I would love to live, but can't. Solly Baba is a new definition of a fantasy that will not work for me. But it works good on Solly Baba itself. 

And with his dreads, thankfully, he looks older than me.