Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011 Reflections

What we've seen and experienced this year can never be summed up in one blog post and further more can never be justified by my writing skill. None-the-less, here is a recap of what went right and what went wrong this year.

Well actually, this year was mostly a year of new experiences mostly....

Loss of a brother :
The year actually started on a very sad note, I lost my cousin brother to meningitis. He was only 21 at the time of this death. When I heard the news all I could think of was that when he come to my wedding he came to me greeted me and then sat down somewhere in the corner. And may be was called upon once or twice for family photos. Had I known that that was the last time I'm meeting him.... When he died I thought that this might change a lot of things, specially with his mother. But I realise that even someone's death is not good enough to change some people and now upon reflection after almost 1 year everything is just the same.

Brother-in-Laws Wedding and Kuala-Lumpur Trip:
Well there were moments of lament and there were moments of happiness as well. In Feb. we went to Tirunalvelli via Chennai via Kuala-Lumpur, all first times. It was a great experience to be a part of Augustine's wedding and specially when I got to know that I get to be the best man for the wedding just because I am the "Damaad-ji" of the house. Such is the power of the Damaad in the house of his in-laws.

Baby News:
We weren't prepared for this at such an early stage of our marriage but it happened. Towards the end of January Debbie missed her period and from a home pregnancy test we found out that she was pregnant. At first I didn't know what to do, as we were neither prepared for this pregnancy nor were we planning for it. When we came to India to attend Augustine's wedding we decided to come to Delhi and meet a gynaecologist and the minute I heard the heartbeat of those lump of cells (that later turned out to be our daughter) we simply bowed down to the will of God.

Earthquake, Tsunami and Radiation:
At that time we were almost finished with our stay in Japan and were all set to depart by the end of March. But on 11th March what we experienced cannot be described in this small section of this blog post. At best I can only narrate what happened with us. So here it is : I was in my office when we felt the 1st tremor, immediately I called up Debbie on landline to tell her that now her experience of Japan is complete and she can check the earthquake from her list of "Must experience things in Japan". But as we were talking the tremors became wilder and wilder and stuff started falling at home and in the office. At that moment I asked Debbie to get out of the house and what did my dear wifey do - as trained in India she ran towards open space which apparently was near the river that merges into Tokyo Bay just 1 km from our place. At this point I can only thank God that Tsunami did not hit Tokyo. Otherwise God only knows what would've happened. Actually at that point of time we weren't even thinking of Tsunami until the videos started coming in on the web. Only after watching those devastating videos that later would become synonymous with natural calamities did I realise the actual sense of what I had just experienced. Although to me it was actually not so big a deal back then and even now but when ever I tell that I had to walk 3 hrs non stop to reach home that night people are amazed so I'm mentioning it again. But did I even have a choice?

The news related to Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant radiation leak made every Indian I knew in Tokyo run to India like way we run to toilet when we have diarrhoea. We too were one of them, but my main concern was Debbie's pregnancy. The water was contaminated, the air was contaminated and I was not willing to allow my first born being born short of a limb or mentally retarded. So we had a genuine reason.

Return to India, Settling in & Saattal:
On April 20th, after a brief return to Japan to settle the issues that I had left in the middle because of the earthquake and aftermath, I returned to India permanently. And boy was it a delight. To be with my people, my Church, my family and my home. I did experience the cultural shock for a while specially on the roads with traffic, littering etc. but I was back. Returned to Saattal after 2007.

Raining Babies:
Have mentioned this in previous blogposts also but no harm in mentioning again. Our joy of having a baby was multiplied a billion times when we came to know that 2 of our best friend couple were also expecting babies at almost the same time. And it turned out that not only these two other couples were expecting babies along with us but there were 5 more couples (also our friends) who were expecting babies between the period of August to December this year. Here the list:

Josh/ Sarah - Aug - Girl
Vishal / Mary - Sep - Boy
Gaurav/ Debbie - Sep - Girl
Arvind / Karisa - Sep - Girl
Biju/ Jeena - Oct - Boy
Freddie/ Beaulah - Nov - Girl
Amit/ Pinky - Nov - Girl
Ajay / Rachna - Dec - Boy

Not only that some celebrities also had babies. :)

Life After Sep-16, 2011:
Yes, having a baby in the house and being it's father completely changes your world. Honestly, when I first saw my baby I didn't know what to make out of it. I just stared at it for a while and then asked the doctor standing next to the baby - What should I do? The doctor gave me a brief statistics, reflecting babies good health condition. And I nodded pretending to understand what she's saying. Since I was the only person who was allowed to enter the nursery, when I came out, I was greeting with my friends and family, that had heard the news of Debbie going in labour and had reached the hospital just in time to see the baby along with me, and they were asking me - How do I feel? And was like - I don't know... I mean I actually had no thoughts expect phew!! finally the 9 months of pregnancy are now over. But now I can say How I feel. I feel like I've been given a blank slate and now I and Debbie have a chance to write our version of life story on this blank slate. But that's the big picture I also sometimes feel happy - When I'm able to make her smile, sometimes relaxed - When she's sleeping at the perfect hour in the night, sometimes frustrated - When she's not sleeping and it's 1:30AM in the night., sometimes anxious - Whether I'll be able to shape a good human being out of her.

I think it was nothing but blessing from God that we have had our baby at this point of time, now that I look back at it. I mean now since Debbie has rejoined work, if it wasn't for Arvind / Karisa who so lovingly volunteered to take care of our baby when we go to office, we don't know how we would've managed. Mostly likely Debbie would have left her job but with the housing loan due to start soon, that option was almost out so we were literally at God's mercy and showed us his faithfulness once again. In fact, looking back, it appears that He had this planned right from the very beginning.

There is a small interesting nugget - The Story of How Saachi was born that I'm leaving for now. 

Friday, December 09, 2011

Another 40 days