Saturday, May 16, 2009

Resident dad.

One day in the morning by around 10 o'clock,my dad got breathless & started to sweat profusely.We all manged to make him wear a formal set of clothes & arrived at the hospital.He was admitted into ICCU( Intensive Care Cardiac unit ) as he is a heart patient.

As per the hospital guidelines,any patient admitted in ICCU has to be accompanied by a relative continuously.The relative is made to sit in the lounge outside the ICCU ward.So I would be there in the night staying in the hospital & later on during the day as well, whenever I had to relieve my mother.

It was here, in the lounge, that I met Shri Moorthy,a senior citizen - old enough to be my dad.I had observed, that he would be there eternally like a fixture- nobody seemed to come & relieve him.One of my dad's colleague came to visit my dad & he introduced me to Mr. Moorthy.I came to know that Mr Moorthy's wife was an asthma patient.Mr.Moorthy had two daughters- both married & settled abroad- one in Gulf & another in the USA.Mr Moorthy got talking with me.He was always full of praise for the Gulf & obviously USA.He was sure, that his daughters were lucky that they had settled there .The fact, that nobody was there to help him or his wife in emergencies did not deter him at all.That is why,nobody was there to relieve him.Occasionally,a relative would come in the mornings to relieve him & he would be back after his morning ritual of a bath & breakfast.

I felt sorry for him.I erred by asking him ,"Why don't you ask your daughters to come as your wife is so ill ?"He was furious," How many times can they come ?Recently only,they had visited us when she had been hospitalized a month back."Also,he made it very clear, that he was very snug with the fact that they were all abroad where everything was plenty & better than in India.How does he & his wife pass time ,I wondered.I came to know that he had taken up consultancy after retirement & as for his wife-she was usually down with asthma attacks.This was in sharp contrast to my father's wish that my brother who was abroad with family should come back & settle down in India.

Time passed & my dad was discharged from hospital but Mrs. Moorthy continued to be in the ICCU.Later,she breathed her last.I still ponder, as to whether Mr. Moorthy is in India or has settled abroad in greener pastures.lounge,

Friday, May 15, 2009

Job hunting.

I have been job hunting since I quit my job more than two years ago.

I did get a few offers -some were suitable as regards time.Others suited the pocket but none seemed to be tempting enough to quit caring for my kid & going back.Frankly,I am in a dilemma- should I leave my kid behind with a servant & go for the job or be at home & forget all about the job ?I keep missing the freedom which comes with getting a salary.I also miss my colleagues,the office gossip etc.I do feel that having got the qualification & experience,I am all just losing it.

So I keep applying for jobs.Today I called up an HR Firm to inquirethrift,about the shortlisting for a position in an Insurance Company.I was told that my age was a big obstacle.The company inspite of my insurance technical qualification was keen on younger candidates & not aunties !I always used to wonder how grown up boys sorry men call me Auntyji .Now, I know -that men will always remain young enough to call me Auntyji.But, I feel, that the companies are only interested in getting young fellows for responsible positions never mind, if such fellows have no expertise,experience or even the necessary qualification.Perhaps,five of such fellas can be engaged at the cost of one senior qualified person- this will also solve unemployment among the youth.Moreover,youngsters tend to drive the economy by being spendthrift while Auntyjis believe in thrift which will choke the economy or whatever is left of it!I was also enlightened by the HR firm that as I have left my job more than two years back,my job prospects are almost nil.Really,this is the limit- in any industry -the work remains the same year after year-even for decades- the same circulars are sent around albeit with varied wordings & since I had missed out on the latest wordings ,my landing a job was nearly impossible !

I have come to a conclusion now - that I should remember to write in my CV that I am young at heart never mind,- my biological age !

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Which is the most overworked yet unpaid job across the world ?That of a housewife.

This ,I have come to realise as I gradually settled into this role of a housewife after quitting my job.I do all the work expected of a housewife like cooking ,cleaning up,caring for my kid,etal.I do engage domestic help but still, at times, the find the job of a housewife daunting - that is perhaps due to the fact that there is no appreciation of a job well done.Ooops,sorry,I need to correct this- there is no acknowledgement even of a task & I am talking of appreciation !Moreover,all at home, take the housewife's presence at home for granted-so she has no free time for herself.She is always at the mercy of others.She has to plead even when she wants to shop for groceries.When she is doing that,more often than not,there will be some urgent work which will recall her back home almost immediately.And mind you,this was not what you can call her free time- she was shopping for groceries.Eventually,the housewife tends to squeeze time when all other members are at work,school etc for her jaunts like shopping,attending calls for repairs,etc.After she has finished with all this,she will try to relax but does she ? I feel,her job is the one which has maximum stress levels.This goes on for days together which turn into months & years without a break.And then that remark,"Oh,You are at home -so good.You can work at your speed without rushing through like us who are working."

Actually,the word working woman is an anathema- is a housewife idle ?The one nice thing about being a housewife is that there is no discrimination- the world over,it is the same story.In poor households as well as rich ,from a home in America to a home in India,the condition of the housewife is the same.It cuts across barriers of caste,creed,color etal.I recall,a friend settled abroad who told me,"I am a housewife now & the standards expected of the cleanliness ,cooking,child's behaviour is quite different from that of a working woman.People comment, that as I am at home,the home should be squeaky clean,the kid well behaved,cooking varied ,on & on.For a working woman,there are concessions.The home need not be clean ,the kid can be unruly,the cooking mundane-after all she is working !"But then, why blame outsiders, when the members of your own household share the view that you as a housewife are just idle at home after the daily routine of cooking,cleaning,caring,attending calls,on & on.The housewife should do atleast this much -what else is she doing anyway ?This will also keep her occupied & she will not get bored.

I am petrified of one more aspect of this job- caring for the elderly,the kids,the sick ones.In spite of my care & upbringing, if things go wrong,then who will take the blame ?Suppose, my child does not turn out well behaved,is bad at studies,unruly,etc,who will be held responsible ?Obviously me- inspite of being a housewife,I failed.Of course,I can do better by being more considerate to the child-listening to the demands,correcting the behavior & so on & so forth but then am I to devote all my time for others without any time for myself ?Failures are intolerable especially if the housewife is the perpetrator.That is why,I am desperately looking for a job !

If a contest is held to select the most suitable person for the position of a housewife,who do you guess will win hands down ?Well,the answer is no one.Who would want to trade places with a housewife ?anathema,idle,
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