Monday, April 18, 2011

The Final Countdown

Our decision to move lock, stock and barrel to Hyderabad was taken way back in November but for quite some time, it was merely a theoretical concept in my head. This was especially so because we had not told Ayaan about the move. I wanted to tell my maids as late in the day as possible, worried that they would start hunting for jobs the moment they heard that we were off in the not-to-distant future. And there is no way to keep a secret if the garrulous 5-year old in the house is in on it.

I finally broke the news to Ayaan (and subsequently the maids) some time in February, a couple of weeks before we needed to take him down to Hyderabad for the schools admission process. I thought I would take my time about it and slowly build up the excitement, but once the ball was rolling, he pretty much took it all the way. It went something like this:

Me: Hey, you know what? When I was a child, I never went to the same school for more than three years.
Ayaan: How many schools did you go to?
Me: *doing some quick mental maths* Six
Ayaan: Six schools?! Why so many schools, Mama?
Me: Because Patti had a job where she had to go and live in a new city every few years and so we went with her and joined a new school in the new city. It was a lot of fun living in different places, going to different schools and making new friends. (Ok, it wasn't - but it's my maternal birthright to stretch the truth a little when I want to sell him something)
Ayaan: I also want to go to different cities and schools.
Me: Hmmmm... which city would you like to go and stay in?
Ayaan: Jaipur. Because then we can stay with Patti and play with Buddy and Beanz everyday.
Me: But we can't live in Jaipur, because neither Mama nor Dadda have a job there and at least one of us has to have a job in the city we choose, otherwise we won't have any money
Ayaan: *thinks for a few seconds and has a light-bulb moment* But Mama, Dadda has a job in Hyderabad. Let's go and live there. (Jai joined the new organisation in December itself and was spending weekdays in Hyderabad)
Me: That's an interesting idea. But do you think Dadda would like us to move to Hyderabad?
Ayaan: We should tell him that it is a good idea because then he can see his children every day.

Post this conversation, he made me call Jai up and then 'sold' him this grand idea of being able to see his kids everyday and 'convinced' him that we should all move to Hyderabad. So he basically thinks this whole Hyderabad move was his idea

My biggest stress point on the move was the school. Two of the five schools on our shortlist required students to take a test. Now, I personally think a written test for kids who have just learnt to read and write is nothing short of ridiculous but it's a seller's market when it comes to schools in India so you just have to suck it up. In addition to clearing the test, I wanted to make the process as less traumatic for Ayaan as possible. So for a week before we left, I set him written tests to do. I made him sit alone in his room and he was not allowed to ask me for any clarifications till the test was done, to stimulate the actual tests. He did pretty well at home and finally made the cut at both the schools. Overall, he made it to 4 out of the 5 schools and we had the luxury of choice. We finally went with a school that did not test him. In fact, they never even met him and decided on the basis of an interview with Jai.

We hadn't done much about finding a place to live because we wanted to close things on the school front first so that we could factor commute time into the decision.  Once that was done, Jai did a preliminary search over a month and short-listed some flats for me to see. The poor man's hard work was somewhat wasted since I summarily rejected all but a couple of places that we saw. We weren't entirely happy with anything so Jai kept looking and then last week, he finally found something that seemed to fit the bill. I went down last week and hallelujah! we now have a house, that will be available in under 4 weeks.

Now, there is no running away from the fact that this time this month, I will be living in a new house, in a new city and days away from Ayaan starting a new school. Needless to say, I am getting the heebie-jeebies. It's time to get my butt in gear and amidst some pointless hyperventilating, I have been doing semi-useful things like making lists, de-cluttering like crazy and calling packers and movers (or relocation specialists, as they are calling themselves these days). There's so much to do, and it doesn't help that Jai is only here on the weekends. Anyway, these things have a way of coming together at the end. Or so I keep telling myself.


  1. Great news about him getting in all the school.

    I am cracking up on how you sold him the idea. BTW, we moved a lot and the kids adust, find new friends and move on. You might get a few weeks of sadness where the child would want to go back or would ask when so-so is coming to visit.

    Good luck. Wishing you a smooth and easy transition into your new house

  2. All the best for the move Ro. I've moved 4 times in 2 years. The last move was the toughest. We moved to another coast in the US and had to do all the laborious tasks ourselves. I always whine for a while and then settle down finally.I am sure you will too.

    I am glad he made it to so many schools and even cleared those tests. I always knew he was a bright child :)

  3. Official congrats lady and welcome to the Loveliest City in the World! Hyd ROCKS!
    (So what if I no longer live there?)

  4. And yes can so see him smiling a couple of decades later when he reads this post - about how he ‘sold' the idea to you guys :)

  5. Good luck with the move Ro !
    I hope you enjoy your stay in Hyd ...

  6. Best of luck with the move Ayaan has planned for you! Have heard great things about Hyd and some of its schools.

  7. Anonymous5:08 am

    Hey Roh,
    Ayaan cleared all are worried unnecessarily.
    I am so glad that you guys are ready with the move. It’s tough to say bye from place we are used to, But I am sure new place will bring a lot more happiness. I wish you good luck..

  8. How exciting! I feel sad when I move but I just love that feeling of something different...
    Good luck with the move. Am sure Ayaan will make himself at home very soon. Did you get my email? Just checking - probably you are just super busy - but wanted to see if you still check that id or not.

  9. Whoa, you handled that real really puff up when they think it's all their idea, eh?!

    Good luck! I agree with the rdiculousness of testing 5 and 6 year olds. Glad you got the admission! Phew.

  10. You have most of the big things taken care of - house & school hunting.

    You may not need any advice, but I am still going to go ahead and give you some. :)

    Movers and packers are really awesome at their job these days. Just that they're going to pack EVERYTHING in your house and transport it to your Hyd house safely - be it broken crayons or that ugly clock you got as a wedding gift. So, before calling the packers, throw/give away everything and keep only the stuff that you want transported. You're already decluttering, so half job done. When they unpack your stuff at your new house, they're going to ask you "yeh kidhar rakhna hai madam" for everything - spoons and cutlery to children's books. So have a detailed enough plan of where how you're planning to arrange your kitchen/wardrobes etc. This is super important. I didn't do this part at all and they just dumped everything in boxes because I hadn't figured out beforehand how to arrange everything and I was left with a mountain of stuff to tackle all by myself.

    Hope Ayaan likes the new school and makes new friends. My kid was super excited to see all the loading-unloading of trucks, boxes, tapes and bubble wraps and everything.

    Phew! Have a good move, Ro! :)

  11. Awesome...and you can also tell Ayaan that there is a funny lady who blogs as R's Mom who has changed SEVEN schools being in the same city :) so yay to his new school, his idea of moving to hyd and all the best!

  12. All the best to all of you! All change is for the better and it IS fun to make new friends and go to new schools

  13. - "....because then he can see his children every day." Awwwww!:)
    - Good luck...Hope you get settled fast and get back to blogging :D

  14. All the best for the big move! Great to hear about the school admission working out, I know how that can weigh on our minds till it's done :). I'm sure everything else will also fall in place just as well.

    I'm at the other end of the spectrum - been in Bangalore for 13 years now and try to veto all suggestions on hubby's part to move elsewhere :).

  15. Hey, welcome to Hyd! Though I don't live here, it's the city I belong to, and I am sure you'll grow to love it. All the very best :)

  16. [Sraikh] Thanks. As of now, he seems to be super-excited. Asks me every day how many days are left :)

    [Pepper] 4 times in 2 years??? *bows*

    [Chox] Hope I finally get to meet you in Hyderabad!!! And the thought of him reading the post in the future made me smile too :)

    [CA/ Artnavy/ Gayatri/ Zainab] Thanks :)

    [U] You would totally approve of this school :)

    [Weourlife] I was worried because of all the horror stories I have heard about admissions. Thankfully, we had it relatively easy.

    [Noon] I, on the other hand, hate the idea of moving. My nomadic childhood has made me yearn for a place where I can settle and grow roots :)

    [Starry] I hadn't quite planned the conversation that way but it panned out very well.

    [BlinkandMiss] Hey. Thanks for the advice. I have moved twice within Mumbai but the inter-city move is a whole new thing.

    [R's Mom] SEVEN??? In the same city? Why?

    [Aparna] My career has always been the reason for my previous vetoes. But I guess I don't have any reason to object :)

  17. all the best on your move. I was in HYD for 3 years before moving to blore. Shifted two houses in Hyd and will be (hopefully) shifting to our own house in blore two years from now. so that makes it four moves in six years. Thankfully, the kid's school was/is not yet in the picture, so thts one headache less.

  18. Good luck with the move :)

  19. Preeti9:41 am

    Amen! Good luck with the move and settling in:)

  20. [Uma] Wow! That is a lot of moves. You are quite the veteran.

    [Shobana/ Preeti] Thanks

  21. Rohini,

    Thats a very interesting way of preparing Ayaan for the move :-)

    And he got through the school tests! Wow! :-) I guess you did worry too much...

    And all the best on the move! Lets hear more about Hyderabad from next month :-)

  22. Hey ..good luck Ro! Loved the conversation between u too ..I can imagine how elated he felt after that!

    Hope things go very smoothly for u :)

  23. I always knew you had it in you to be a great con artist! :) but seriously, that was a super job done!!
    Will miss you so better prepare for another move back to B'bay, hopefully in the next 2 years!

  24. Congratulations on the new house!! And all the very best...with the packing, the moving, the settling in!

    Looking forward to a big, cheery house-warming party soon :-)

  25. LOL. after all that prepping, you finally went with a school that didn't have any tests! Some things are like that, aren't they? LOL

  26., so it was Ayaan's idea to move to Hyd! That was so cool, kudos to both of you...

    I have been through 4 inter-city moves in 5 years with kids. I can give you some pointers.

    1. Pack for the kids like you are going on a 10 day holiday, because that's how long you will take to settle in. This should include school related stuff if school happens soon after the move.

    2. Decide before you go, on which cartons, furniture will go into which room in the new house. If your husband is going to handle even one part (packing or unpacking) by himself, this will help. You could make a list/drawing with the layout.

    3. Once you move, as and when you unpack stuff, there will be those items that you use weekly/monthly/yearly or rarely. When you stack them into your storage are, put a post-it inside the door or drawer on what all items are in it, because when you need it later, you will go mad looking for it.

    4. Get the kitchen, bedroom (where you all need to sleep) and the kids clothes / toys / books put in place first.

    Sorry for the unwarranted pieces, it has helped a few of my friends, so I thought I could share.

    Take care and good luck on the move! Thankfully the school and house part is done, a big chunk is already over.

  27. [RS] Thanks. Yeah, blogging is something I plan to do more of in Hyderabad. Let's see how that goes.

    [Neera] I am sure the move will have it's ups and downs but I hope we all settle down quickly and in one piece :)

    [Sahana] And you better plan some trips to Hyderabad :)

    [M4] Thanks. House-warming - any time you you decide to come Southwards :)

    [JLT] Ironic, huh? :)

    [Sai] Thanks a ton. Those are some great tips. Thankfully, we will get there about 3 weeks before school starts so will have time to get stuff sorted before that. And no way am I trusting the husband to unpack - I will be right there!

  28. Great post, I hope he likes the school.

    Have you been to any of the rooftop restaurants in Hyderabad?
    That was my best memory of the trip there! It is such a pretty city and so different to many of the northern cities.

    The other moving hint I would give is don't make any big outdoor changes too quickly. It is really important to know how the seasons effect the outdoor space. I mean everything from rain to sun, the elements can make a big difference to life!