Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Living La Vida Lockdown

1. Virtual classes for 3 children. They're great and result in a lot of learning. 

Papad (Indignant): 'You won't believe what the kids in my class keep doing while teacher is teaching! Someone has a dog in their lap! Someone is eating popcorn during storytime! Someone...'
Me : didn't I see YOU eating popcorn?
Papad (casually) : ya, that one was me.

Pickle (Sighing) : 'Such a tough day. We learned SO much stuff.'
Me : what did you learn?
Pickle : I learned a lot about - what's that - oh ya Gattedi - Gattedi.
Me: Umm...
Peanut (all the irritation of older sibling, snapping at her brother) :Oh, for heaven's sake, Galileo Galilei, you moron.

2.  Twin Things

Pickle (waving out at a kid out cycling solo) : Hey, Hey, Victor! Hi!
Cycling Victor-kid : 'Hello there Papad. ( Breezes past and calls back) Or whoever you are.'

Pickle (mournfully): Mom, I have a problem.
Me: Hmm?
Pickle: I can't roast my brother properly. Because if I say he looks like a buttface, it means I also look like one. It's not fair.
Me: You're right. This is a real big problem. Life is unfair.
Pickle (satisfied): Yeah

Papad (in middle of conversation with his sister): ....and I'm Papad, by the way.
Peanut ( snapping, of course): I KNOW who you are.

Me (upset with Pickle): Stop doing that! Just go!
Pickle ( gets angry and locks himself in bathroom).
Me ( calming down): Is your bro still in the bathroom?
Papad ( calmly): Yip.
Me: Is he doing potty?
Papad: Nope.
Me: How do you know?
Papad: I know - because he's locked the door.
(Peanut and me keel over laughing. Papad just doesn't get why its funny)

3. Home Schooling Fails

Me (Finishes long patient explanation): And that's how you calculate averages. Get that?
Pickle: No.
Vijay (Stepping in finally): Pickle, if there are 100 runs in 20 overs, what's the average run rate?
Pickle: Oh Run rate? Five!
Me: !!!
(Papad meanders in)
Me: Papad, do you know averages!
Papad (scornfully): Of course I know averages. It's like if there are three,four,five then four is the average.
Me (soothed by his confidence): Okay, very good.
Papad (whispers) Like Average Kill Streak in RoBlox.

Peanut (after lights are out, quizzing her brothers): Name SIX countries that speak Spanish.
Papad ( Eager): I know I know! Spain...Italy...
Peanut: Oh My GOD! Do you know anything?
Pickle (Emerges from bathroom after pretending to brush teeth): What, what? Ask me.
Peanut: Name SIX countries that speak Spanish.
Pickle (Eager): I know, I know! Spain...Italy...
Peanut: Oh My GOD YOU GUYS.

4. All Seeing, All Knowing 

Papad: What is my teacher calling tomorrow's online meeting for? What is she going to say?
Me (Amazing parent mode on): How should I know? I can't tell the future.
Pickle: But Mom. You're the ONLY one who can tell the future.
Me: Huh?
Pickle: Yeah, you decide if we get any screen time tomorrow or not...if we can play baddy in the can tell the future!

5. Peanut Gets Her Own Back

Me: ...and just because there's a lockdown it doesn't mean that you operate without any sort of schedule and laze around in the afternoons and don't even
Peanut ( leaves the room breezily): Thanks mom. Good talk, good talk.

Peanut: Want to hear something funny?
Me: I'm all agog.
Peanut: I just told the twins about sex-ed class.
Me (trying not to look worried): Well, that's good that you can actually give them a heads up on what to expect.
Peanut ( practically bursting) I told them they'll be invited as volunteers!
Me (getting horrified): For what?
Peanut: You know, to explain the anatomy.
Me: Ummm
Peanut: Oh you know. I told them they'll have to show the class their family jewels. You should have seen how freaked they were!
Me: That is NOT FUNNY.
Peanut: Hahahahahahahahahaha.

I ask her to make a sign for the bathroom door. 

6. The Man of the Family is Always Prepared

Lockdown is announced for next day. Vijay disappears immediately.
Me (calling him on phone) Where are you?
Vijay: Stocking up on supplies.
(Comes home a while later, looking relieved)
Me: What did you get? Bread, Eggs...
Vijay ( looks surprised): Nope. Got my Glenlivet. Phew!

(Every night)
Vijay : (Pours himself a drink)
Me: Every night. Seriously?
Vijay: It's just an appetizer.
Me: But you're in the middle of your dinner right now!!
Vijay: (grins) Cheers!

7. Pickle learns to Email 

Mail 1

Mail 2

Mail 3

Mail 4 

Friday, March 13, 2020


Last month, I quit. I quit not just my job - I quit my corporate career.

I have seventeen years in that world, and have been through a range of great organizations - from Unilever ( yes, the 'CEO factory'), Hindustan Times Media Limited, Micromax, Genpact, Dyson, Yum Brands, Micromax. Genpact was the only non-marketing stint I had, leading CSR and Gender diversity - before I went back into the marketing game for the last three years.

I turned forty last month, and just feel so ready to move on. I've had rich experiences and made some amazing friends - but I decided to finally listen to  my inner voice, which was saying I was really meant to do something else with my life. Well, that something else is coaching and more, under the name Allsomeness. Cool name, right? Pretty self-explanatory, but it's meant to indicate you can embrace All of yourself and make life Awesome...which is how it's meant to be.

Allsomeness is going to be based on the vision of helping people discover and reconnect with all their passions, and to design & live the fullest versions of their lives. It will include my coaching services ( I've certified to be a coach in the Erickson Solution Focussed model of coaching, training in the advanced modules last year); and will also be including psychotherapy into the practice ( I'm currently in training in Transactional Analysis, a fascinating field). This coaching and therapy, along with my writing and my public speaking, will be the services that I will offer; and over time, I'll be working towards products and programs in the space too.

I have experience in in crafting a life that lets me live all my passions . Over the last ten years, ever since the fateful July of 2010, things just changed for me- from just being this unidimensional ( and angry) young corporate geek, I'm now a far more multifaceted ( and still angry, to be sure) woman. I managed to continue building on my corporate career, making it to marketing director while still studying yoga, the piano, the guitar, vocals, and training to be a certified coach and a licensed fitness instructor, while raising three children until I realized - I just need to truly figure out a different path for the rest of my life.

So I look back fondly at the 17 years in the world of desks and laptops and colleagues and coffee machines and thank it for everything that it taught me. I want to work with both individuals and groups to help them live full lives; and I'm thrilled to actually be studying psychotherapy - a stated interest for several years but one that I am acting on only now. I'm just glad it would appear that it's never too late.

I look forward to making a difference someday in the space of social impact, too, and my year and a half at Genpact has connected me to the space.  At the moment, though, I'm keen to study the human mind, and see how we operate as individuals and groups and how we can achieve our full potential. And yes - the corporate space, with all its stresses, anxieties and quirks, will be a place of particular interest for me; I would love to work towards a step change in the space of wellness at the workplace - physical, mental and emotional. And to that end, I'm also writing something this year which I hope will really give people insights into the process of rediscovering themselves.

It's been a great run, and I'm thankful for it. And now - onwards to the next decade and we shall see what it will bring. I'm sure it's going to be...Allsomeness!

P.S - what is it about the age of forty that finally convinces many of us it's time to do something drastically different?
P.P.S - does life at fifty and sixty also involve such shifts? Does it get better and better? I hope so.
P.P.S - damn the virus, I can only hope several of us don't have it cut short. But I have to say, it's been a good life anyway. My instructions to the family are to throw a party in place of a funeral for my life. Anyone reading this bears witness. That means you. Thank you!