Sunday, August 2, 2009
5.30 to 11.30 !! Yes, but I got a life
A few of my friends and cousins seemed intrigued about my routine, rather what my day-to-day life at a remote village is like! Okay, let me think. I do quite a bit of house-wifey stuff, and yes I'm slowly getting to know what it takes to be a "perfect housewife". Never again will I be able to say, even in jest, that housewives are a happy lot who laze around at home while workingwomen have a 24X7 job to do - both at home and at office! Nah! Not true at all!
Actually, I must admit that from a 9-to-5 job to a 5.30-to-11.30 routine, I've come a long way. So what do I do everyday that keeps me so busy from early morning to close-to-midnight? Hmmm... let me try and list it out, or describe a day in my life and see if I can make sense. In a nutshell, it goes like this:
5.30 a.m.: My sleek-n-stylish Nokia 3600 slider mobile rings the alarm and I'm forced to get up (yeah with a little practice, I've learnt to get up immediately rather than snooze it for the next 10 mins)
5.34 a.m.: Fill the bucket with water and plug in the immersion rod to boil water for Srishtii.
5.37 a.m.: Take out yesterday's milk from the fridge and boil it; get things ready for Srishtii's lunch-box (today it was sweet dosa made with atta, rice flour, jaggery soaked in water, elaichi).
5.50 a.m.: Make a cup of Boost for my daughter and switch on the water heater.
5.53 a.m.: Get Srishtii's uniform, tie, and belt ready. Keep the baby powder, bindi and comb within reach.
5.54 a.m.: Polish her shoes, and keep them ready.
5.57 a.m.: Re-check to see if her bag has everything she needs. Sharpen the pencils if needed.
5.59 a.m.: Pack her lunch-box and put in in the bag, fill the water bottle.
6.00 a.m.: Switch off the water heater (water is hot and ready). Try waking up Srishtii (in vain for the next 5 minutes)
6.05 a.m.: Switch off the fan, mosquito repellant, pull the rug off my daughter and the princess finally wakes up.
6.06 a.m.: Carry my half-asleep daughter to the loo, and make her sit on the potty.
6.08 a.m.: Brush her teeth in precisely 3 minutes.
6.11 a.m.: Push a reluctant 6-year-old into the bathroom and give her a bath. (I keep wondering why she doesn't want the bathing ritual to end, after just 2 mugs of water!!! Strange are the ways of kids, I say!).
6.16 a.m.: Pat her dry, apply powder, dress her up minus belt and tie.
6.20 a.m.: Force the boost down her throat while she is still thinking of ways to make a fuss, and trying to find reasons to not drink milk!
6.24 a.m.: Comb and plait her hair, make her wear shoes, tie and belt.
6.28 a.m.: Collect her bag and water bottle, my mobile, and finally step out of the house.
6.29 a.m.: Lock the house while Srishtii climbs down the stairs.
6.31 a.m.: We're on the road, waiting for the school bus.
6.35-6.45 a.m.: I try bonding and catching up with my little princess while the bus takes its own sweet time to arrive (I still haven't figured out the exact bus timings - sometimes it comes at 6.35 and sometimes around 6.45 :-)
6.45 a.m.: Wave my daughter a sleepy bye-bye and get back home.
6.50 a.m.: Brush my teeth while playing Venkateswara Suprabhatam or some old Telugu/ Hindi songs on my good old cassette player.
7.00 a.m.: Soak clothes to be washed.
7.10 a.m.: I'm still sleepy, how about catching up on an hour's sleep before my maid comes (while trying to read leftover columns from yesterday's newspaper!)
8.15 a.m.: Maid knocks on the door (I wonder how much progress India would have made if every Indian is as punctual as my maid Lakshmi is!!!)
8:20 a.m.: Switch on 9X on TV to watch Dil Se (or rather listen to those nice Hindi songs while cursing everytime there's an ad or some stupid what's cooking kind of tidbits in between).
8.30 a.m.: Keep browsing different channels lazily while my maid cleans the utensils, sweeps and mops the floor.
8.35 a.m.: Make chai for Lakshmi and myself as she sets out to do the last chore for the morning - washing clothes (mind you, I was doing all these things till 10 days ago since I couldn't find a maid immediately after shifting here).
8.45 a.m.: Lakshmi finishes her chai, makes a rangoli pattern in front of the flat, empties the dust bin and is ready to leave while I continue to watch TV.
8.50 a.m.: Boil water, have a bath, light a diya for the God, and feel at peace with myself. What a refreshing way to start a day!
9.20 a.m.: Milkman comes with fresh buffalo milk finally!
9.25 a.m.: My stomach growls with anger, oops... hunger and I need to pacify it. Please hold on for a bit while I make myself some breakfast... usually my nephew comes around this time for his daily visit to make sure that everything is all right with me and check if I need anything from the bazaar. Sometimes we have breakfast together, and at other times I enjoy my solitary breakfast in front of the TV.
10.00 a.m.: Ah, the newspaper vendor has knocked on the door - God! how long do I have to wait for my share of gossip and news everyday.
10.10 a.m.: Make myself a hot cup of coffee - fresh and invigorating - and settle down with the newspaper.
11.00 a.m.: Time to start cooking lunch - usually a simple fare with dal, subzi, rasam and rice.
12.00 noon: Lunch is ready - so I wash my face and apply a red dot with kumkum.
12.05 p.m.: Lock the house and go down to wait for my daughter's school bus.
12.15 p.m.: That's usually when the school bus drops her off.
12.18 p.m.: We reach home, and my daughter removes her socks, shoes, tie, and belt, changes her clothes, washes her face and switches on Cartoon Network while I fix lunch for her.
12.55 p.m.: Srishtii is done with her lunch after constant reminders and a bit of screaming asking her to "eat fast warna no CN".
1.00 p.m: I've no more energy left and I'm hungry too! So, I settle down in the red plastic chair (left by my kind landlady for our use) next to my daughter with my lunch.
1.30 p.m.: Time for Srishtii's afternoon siesta. A little bit of cajoling and a lot of screaming does the trick.
2.00 p.m.: Madam finally sleeps off giving my throat and mouth some rest! And no, I don't sleep in the afternoon.
2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.: I either read a book, watch some stupid Telugu or Hindi movie on one of the channels or browse the net, blog, chat with friends.
4.00 p.m.: It's time to wake up my daughter.
4.05 p.m.: My princess opens her sleepy eyes, reaches for me and asks me to lie down next to her.
4.15 p.m.: She wakes up finally and washes her face while I make Boost for her and tea for myself.
4.30 p.m. - 6.00 p.m: Srishtii completes her homework and also eats some snacks.
6.05 p.m. - 7.30 p.m.: We take a jaunt to either the beach, or to my in-laws' house. Of course we have to say our hello-s and bye-s to half-a-dozen people on our way, and back. But we do make sure that we're back by 7.30.
7.30 p.m.: Help Srishtii with her studies - explain whatever has been taught in school that day, make her learn difficult spellings, etc. But no more than 2 subjects everyday.
8.15 p.m.: Make dinner (usually rice or rotis to be eaten with morning's leftover dal and subzi) while still helping Srishtii with her lessons.
9.00 p.m.: It's time for Srishtii's dinner - she eats while watching Krishna on Nick or some other show on Cartoon Network - the only two children's channels that are shown on cable here.
9.30 p.m.: I've my dinner in flat 10 mins, and force Srishtii to get on to her bed. She wants a story read out from one of her fairy tales books.
10.00 p.m.: Srishtii is fast asleep and I switch on the computer to chat with my husband or blog some more.
11.00 p.m.: Oops! I forgot to get Srishtii's bag ready with the notebooks and textbooks required for tomorrow as per her time-table.
11.05 p.m.: Ah! I'm done with everything for the day and I settle down with a book to catch up on my reading before I fall asleep around 11.30 p.m.
Well, that's how my routine goes, day after day -- with slight, or almost no, variation (except perhaps on Sundays)! Still, neither do I get bored nor do I regret it - as I love the simplicity of this tension-free lifestyle! Now, this is what I would call 'Getting a life'! What do you think?