All too soon, my maternity leave appears to have ended. I was planning to go back to work in January, but for various reasons have decided to start half days right away.
So I found myself in the office today and felt a bit strange being away from the babies. I was doing my best to concentrate on work and catching up with my team and boss, but was getting interrupted by various phone calls.
My sister-in-law Garima who had just reached the U.S and had to check on her two-year-old son Adi who is staying with us.
My maids for various reasons including instructions on how much formula to feed the babies in my absence, and when to do so.
But the prize for most interruptions goes to...my brother Abhi, who was calling to enquire about whether his sunglasses had accidentally been left behind in my car yesterday. He had had a tough day-he had planned to take his daughter Nikita to the zoo and I, being the prize pile-on that I am and needing to get one of my three kids out of my hair for the day, had sent Peanut and the K along with them as well. It was very crowded. It then started raining. And then the two small girls decided that they did not want to walk more than a few feet and were in 'godi' throughout. Understandably the trip was cut short. But the most devastating event of the day for my bro was the loss of his shiny expensive new sunglasses.
'You see,' he started to explain on the phone before I could tell him I was in the middle of a meeting at office 'what had happened was that when we reached the zoo, the K , despite my instructions got all of Peanut's food in her bag and the security guy had stopped us...and so I had to go back to the car to put the bag back...and then I went back to the gate but then we found that Nikita's changing bag also had two apples and a banana in it...and then I had to go back to the car again to put the fruit back...'
My team members sat around twiddling their thumbs, waiting patiently for me to get off the phone. I found myself wondering why my brother had to tell me the whole story, including the exact inventory of the fruit in the saga, but I couldn't get a word in edgewise to tell him I needed to call him back.
'...and so' he blathered on 'I'm pretty sure that one of those two trips, I also gave my sunglasses to the driver and asked him to keep them safely...it was beginning to rain at the time so I knew I would not need them...but then later, we got home and took the kids out of the car and in the night I remembered that I had not taken them...so I called the K and asked her to look in her bags just in case they were there, but she said they were not...and then I called the driver and he insisted he had kept them in the bag with the fruit...now, I'm confused because I don't know which bag was the one with the fruit, and whether there was a third bag that we don't know about and whether the fruit that he was talking about was actually the two apples and the banana that we found in Nikita's changing bag, or whether there was some other fruit bag that the K was carrying for Peanut... because I'm pretty sure that the two apples and the banana were just kept loose on the seat...'
I finally interrupted him after a couple of paragraphs to tell him that while this was indeed a crisis of the highest degree, I would have to call him back since I was in a meeting. He huffily said 'Well, you only asked what was up, you should have said you were busy. Anyway, call me when you are with the driver'. And he hung up on me.
Happily, the glasses were eventually located and will be returned tomorrow to their rightful, if somewhat hyper owner - who also insisted on doing a long telephonic post-mortem with me of exactly how they had been lost and found.
And my phone will be on silent for the first half of each day from tomorrow, so call me in the evenings, hey?