Oh, to be able to keep quiet

Have you wished you could keep quiet in a situation which does warrant you/ make you itch to offer your take ? Are there times when you know things will work out on their own without your interference ? Surely there are are moments in your life, when you know this is what is to be done and offer advice, only to find it was not taken or that people did what they planned to do anyway? Let me give a few examples from my life:

  1. Daughter 2, who is home with me now, preparing for her college exams, told me her Physics teacher is leaving tomorrow for his native country. Without his coaching during these last few days before her exam will turn her preparation upside down, for she hadn’t factored in, his leaving in the middle of the year. She has to come up with plan B, which she hasn’t. She shared her concern with me Thursday( two days back). My first reaction was to plan on calling the teacher and asking, no begging him to postpone his going back for a month or so, until daughter was better prepared for said exam( her exams are scheduled for the first week of May). Deep down, I knew I shouldn’t get involved- I would only bungle things up. So I held on, with great difficulty. I had to bite my tongue( that is, hold my fingers back from typing a Whatsapp message to the teacher). I held back till today morning, when in a very soft manner, sent him a message, asking him if he was leaving and he replies- Ma’am I am still here and I will be here still. What a relief ! But imagine if I had called him up and asked him about his plans and the drama that would have unfolded. Thank God I held on against my better feelings. See, things do work out in the end.Whatsapp
  2. Daughter 1, who is home at another coaching place, called me up this morning telling me she came down to the common mess to find another girl eating from her plate. The plate in question is kept on the mess counter with her name marked on it, so it is only for her use. Apparently, the girl in question took the plate and served herself breakfast on it and when daughter 1 reached the mess, the girl was already eating on the plate. Let me add that my daughter is a vegetarian and cannot ever eat on a plate where meat or fish has been eaten. It is an obsession with her. So when she saw this happen in front of her eyes, she questioned the girl. The girl replied that since her name was not written on it, she ate on the plate. The audacity ! The cheek ! Daughter 1 called me, sobbing and crying aloud. She is 24. Girl cryingShe was offended. I was actually amused by the whole episode but made sympathetic noises at the proper times to show daughter 1 that I was empathetic but she had to deal with the issue herself. I was amazed at how I had changed over the years. A younger me would have taken the phone, called up the hostel and make a ruckus over someone hurting my daughters’ feelings. Today, I didn’t do anything of the  sort. I maintained a silence and did not share this with my husband or my other daughter who can easily raise up the drama quotient by rising up in arms. It turns out this was the best way. A few hours later, when I checked on daughter 1, she seemed to be busy putting in her application to a new college and forgotten the episode. I was left back in time, while she advanced to the next event in her life.         I am upset


I can write many tales of this sort from my life about when it was wiser and less-adrenaline secreting for all concerned when I didn’t open my mouth. I thought of Jesus drawing on the ground with a stick when people were accusing the woman brought in adultery to him and maintaining a dignified silence. There is dignity in silence. You can empathize with a person even through silence.  If fewer words are spoken, lesser, unproductive emotions come out and life becomes a lot easier because after all things turn out the way they were destined to turn out, in the end.


Lost passport

After her SAT exam, daughter 2 called me to pick her up from outside the hall. I was in the library getting some books, and as it was pretty close, I told her I would be there in a minute or two.

I drove past her building, saw her standing outside and I am pretty sure I saw her with the folder in which she kept her hall ticket and passport but it was a fleeting glance. I went straight on, turned back at the roundabout, took a U-turn and came back to be able to get to my daughter. Rather a long way to get her, you think ? Its true but when I saw her with the folder, she was on the other side of the road and to reach the “other side of the road”, I had to follow the roundabout route.

The exam didn’t go too well. So we discussed her options as I drove homewards. I forgot about her folder and passport but somewhere, subconsciously I did remember her having done something with it in the car.

On the way home, since it was already 2 pm,we decided to go to an Iranian restaurant which daughter 2 had noted some time ago. So we found ourselves parking and went to the said restaurant. The food was good, ambience very soothing and service quick. During the meal, I asked daughter 2 about her passport and she said it must be in the car- so I let it go.

After the meal, when we reached the car, I asked her about the passport again and we looked for it in the car but didn’t find it. All we found were my 4 library books, my handbag and a bottle of water- no hall ticket or passport.

At home, daughter went off to bed, being tired but she did search for the passport cursorily.

Many hours later, I drove off to the gym in my car- I searched the car thoroughly when I returned but couldn’t find the passport. Now I was convinced, she had left it in the exam center and that I had to go tomorrow and if possible try to get if from the security guard.

These were my thoughts when I got out from the bath tub this evening. I went to daughter’s room where she was doing her homework. I asked her about the passport and she told me she found it in the car. What a relief !


An application gone wrong

My husband is back after his short trip home. He brought news that the application to a prestigious university has opened and that our younger daughter should start her application process soon. We decided to give her a heads up and start the process off with basic details, while she attended Saturday classes.

After the registration of the student on the site, there comes a section in which the question asked is – what is the type of your application ? And the options are :

  1. General open
  2. Sponsored
  3. Other category

Without thinking too much, I applied “General open”. And filling in other questions, moved on to the next page. A pop up appeared which said, please verify the details on this page,as once you go to the next page, you cannot return to this page. What a strange system !

I accepted the condition and moved forward until the last page when it was time to make payment. My husband passed on his credit card and the payment went through. Then he asked me – hey, where is the question – what category are you applying under ? And I said, I answered that question with ” General open”. All hell broke loose.

It seems he wanted daughter 2 to apply as a Sponsored candidate. Since the application system did not allow changes to be made when it moved from one page to the next, there was no way, I could change the answer. I was given an earful and called irresponsible(which is probably true).

Now I am left with the option of asking the University to make the required change and see if they accept my request.

Hard times, or what ?

Guest fever

The last week has been busy.  My daughter had a call to go for a college interview rather suddenly. So we needed to get things ready in a matter of two days. The day she was travelling was the day we had my brother-in-law visiting us. During his visit, we invited a few friends over for dinner and as a completely homemade meal was planned, it took some two days to put together.

I am someone who does not enjoy visitors. For one, the house turns upside down and second, I can’t put up my feet and relax as I like to. This fear of visitors is becoming a paranoia with me. Every time someone announces they are passing through, I can feel the panic setting in. I can’t cook – for anything and don’t enjoy it at all but I will have to when we have visitors- at least to keep up an act of being hospitable.

Everything went well despite my trepidation. I guess it is like an examination for me. Visitors and their visits make me feel like I am going to give a test and when the visit is over, I feel relief until the next time when the whole is repeated.

All’s well that ends well and the visitors left, seemingly happy. I am one handbag richer and my husband a new Fitbit.

At office this week, I had visitors from our main campus and I have been busy with meetings from Sunday to Wednesday. It was a grueling time. I took off from work yesterday to recover.

Do you have ” guest fever “?

Happy New Year

Waking up to cold foggy mornings. Driving to work in fog even though the time is 8:30 in the morning. Seems like even the roads have taken it easy this morning. A mist covers everything. The cats outside look at me, wondering if I will have something hot for them. Alas, I only have refrigerated cat food.

The corridors are still empty as I get to work. Students are on vacation for a fortnight. The library has opened thankfully. I need to get to my TOEFL preparations ASAP.

Am becoming a fan of hot chocolate these days- from Costa Coffee, which has an outlet in the university. It keeps me full and also satisfies my chocolate cravings for a time. Managed to get the submission in for my colleagues’ nomination to the Staff Awards. It was a lot of work but did it.

My daughter asked me for a Bible for Christmas, which was easier to read and with explanations and pictures and cross-references. I got them one each, through Amazon. I think even adults should have one of these to help them get the meanings of the great words in the Holy Book.

We visited the Cheesecake factory over the weekend and my daughter indulged in a Godiva flourless cake, which has become a hot favorite of hers now. Seems like everyone is on to new things. Just like the New Year.

For two days now, Sunshine has been pawing and knocking his head against my daughter’s bedroom, asking her to wake up and play with him- at the unearthly hour of 3 am. So daughter 1, wakes up groggy and sleepy. It takes a while to get her up. Her exams are on the weekend, so she is doing her last minute preparations. Again new beginnings.