Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Life on a rewind..


Life’s on a rewind mode (the wife says - it's a 'winding down' phase). I am in the throes of moving work base to Calcutta – once again, taking up a new assignment (in Sales) within the company. Straddling between 2 charges for a while, travel has been crazy over the last 2 months and showing no signs of let up – as the demands of the job can only increase in a tough market. At 50, that’s going to be a difficult transition – but, I guess, being away for 3 years from front line action was getting a bit tiresome.

It’s no secret that none of us (me, perhaps, a little more than N & J) would like to leave Bombay – which has always been our favourite city. After 3 years of rather a pigeon-hole existence – just as we were beginning to get comfortable in our new home – when the news of this transfer came along in December. Jaya’s Class 10 (ICSE) exams are going on now. So, it won’t be before the results come out in May and we sort out her next steps – that we can physically move residence. Till then, I will have to continue the inter-city weekly commute. Having done that for long periods in the past (nearly 2 years, when I used to be with HT in Mumbai and N & J stayed back in Cal) know how stressful it can be.

But, there’s always an alternate way of looking at things - and with age one does tend to become a bit sentimental. In 2009, I was literally drafted in - out of the blue as it were - to trouble-shoot the tricky IR situation at our company’s new plant in Mejia, Bankura. This required me to camp in Calcutta for 2-3 weeks every month for the better part of the year. Looking back, I feel there could have been an underlying reason for it – as otherwise I couldn’t have spent as much time with my mother – little knowing that she would leave us so suddenly before the turn of the year.

This time around too, what I am enjoying most is the time I am getting to spend with my father – whether sharing a quiet drink in the evenings after coming home or having breakfast or dinner together. It’s amazing how – at 81, he has pulled his life together – trying to maintain his routine and keep the house just as my mother had left it. It’s touching how – he goes out of his way to make my stay comfortable taking care of every little detail – from my food to laundry and even making the bed – as if he is standing in for Amma. And, me shamelessly lapping it all up as the spoilt only child. But, it’s father-son bonding like I have never experienced in all these years. Or, may be it’s just time created for my unfinished lessons in growing up.