Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Never Say Never

Before Ayaan came along and changed my life forever, I was pretty sure about the dos and don’ts of my life. There were some things that I just wouldn't compromise on, baby or not. Well, it’s been less than a year since the baby came, and already there are three big things in my life that I have had to re-think in a new way:

I will never give up my dogs

When Buddy and Beanz came into my life, there was no doubt in my mind that they would be with me till the very end of their lives. They were so much a part of our daily existence that life without them was quite inconceivable.

Once Ayaan was born, I stuck by this for almost a month refusing to listen to my mother who kept telling me that it would be crazy to keep them. The reasons were many:
  • They were used to having the run of the place and had a very limited comprehension of the word ‘No’.
  • We had been unable to potty-train them. Inspite of the fact that they went for 4 walks everyday, they treated the house as a big toilet. And having doggy waste lying around would have created serious hygiene issues once Ayaan started crawling.
  • Finally, Buddy developed a desperate and violent taste for Ayaan’s soiled diapers. It was a great challenge to keep them away from him and there was an occasion when he bit both my husband and my mother when they tried to get one these away from him. This was actually the incident that got me thinking about whether Ayaan and the dogs could safely co-exist in our small Mumbai flat.

So the dogs went. They stay with my mom now in her huge bungalow in Jaipur and have a massive garden to use as their bathroom as and when nature calls. They have an army of servants to cater to their needs and are the centre of attention in my mother’s house.

I want to be CEO

Freshly armed with an MBA, with stars in my eyes, I was all set to be a trail-blazing career woman – bring on the glass ceilings if you dare and all that. I would have scoffed at even the thought that there would be a day when my career would not matter so much.

When I look back, I laugh at the woman I was then and feel shocked at the woman I have become. Today, my career is a distant second priority to Ayaan and the CEO-dream almost seems to have belonged to another woman in another life. Today, my dream is to raise a happy, intelligent and well-balanced child and everything else must necessarily take a back seat. Actually, everything else is probably not even sitting in the same car!

I will never travel by local train

In my first couple of years in Mumbai, I took the local train to work and back. I hated it. Once my trusty little Zen came along, I was introduced to the wonderful world of travelling in air-conditioned comfort and reaching office with my just-bathed freshness properly preserved. I got used to the lack of sweat, grime and the deadly olfactory cocktail of multiple body odours. I got used to not being pushed and shoved and having ample space to myself during the office commute.

The traffic got worse. The commute took longer and longer. My husband crumbled and went back to the train. But no trains for me. I would rather brave a two-hour commute with the AC and music in my car than subject myself to the horrors of a 45-minute ride in a Mumbai train during peak hours.

But not anymore. Now, the two-hour commute is a forgotten luxury. The difference between car and train travel is a full two hours in a day – time that I would much rather spend with Ayaan. Thankfully, I am currently based out of one of my company’s smaller offices that is only a 30-minute drive away. But when I do have to go into town for meeting, I have no choice but to suffer through the smelly, sweaty and stuffy train journey.

So, I guess we really should say never. Life can always throw you a situation that would make you reconsider...


  1. See? Now you're scaring me all over again.

  2. That's so true... about Beanz and Buddy, I don't know if you get a show called "The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan," it might be worth watching. He's a dog behaviour expert who deals with such problems on his show and he's managed to sort out many owners/dogs.

  3. hmm ... i wonder what it'll take to change my priorities. But you have a not so trusty honda city now, non?

  4. My dog's name was Jenna--she was my first baby, and I was sad to see her go. She simply required more exercise than I could give her pushing a stroller through the snow at 7 months pregnant. So, been there.

    Amazing what kids can do to a life. Sounds like you've got your priorities right. Think of it from the perspective of your deathbed--what will have mattered most by then? I think you've found your answer.

  5. [Sue] Motherhood is scary. Life as you know it is about to change for ever *shoulders shake with barely contained evil laughter*

    [Mosilager] We don't get that show here. I did order some books on managing dogs around babies from Amazon but couldn't really get my dogs to toe the line

    [4wd] Why the Honda City bashing???

    [Talena] I have no regrets. I know if I had to do it over, I would still send the dogs away as much as it hurts.

  6. Life is such that from time to time the rail on which your life is travelling takes an unexpected but pleasant turn. Ayaan is the terminal where his needs dominate the future routes for you!!

  7. I was ok with the bit about life changing. What I'm not ok with is being told just how it will change. Is there any way I can back out of it now? I'm perfectly willing to let the husband carry the kid, if that's possible.

  8. i have bene warned by my husband to get my gears into action and that he will be teaching me how to drive when i get to the States.. heeheehee.lol..

    yes. kids do change plans dont they.... i plan NOT to plan until my kids arrive....its so important to make sure one doesnt add to an already burgeoning list of brats in this world.....i plan on bringing up my kid right... and for that one must devote enough time to the kid..... so yeah.. what youre doing now. far exceeeds the value of anything else.

  9. [Patti] Looks like you're getting to write a blog of your own!

    [Sue] Believe me, carrying the baby is the easiest part. I have just realised that scaring someone who's in the same situation as me actually makes me feel better. Think I will prowl around and pounce on poor, unsuspecting pregnant women and give them the lowdown on what they've signed themselves up for...

    [Grafx] Plan not to plan - that's a good one! And a good idea too. I think too much planning doesn't pay as life rarely does follow a plan...

  10. Ok, I see what it is... you're one of those evil women my mother warned me about as a child. When my child is born I shall move to Bombay and you can babysit! So yah boo to you babe.