Sunday, 7 October 2012

Sabbatical Stories

Gosh, it’s been six months of my sabbatical or quasi-sabbatical as I would like to believe so. If they say time flies, mine definitely flied at the speed of light. After having worked for nine years, my sudden decision to retire at 30, evoked myriad responses from friends – ranging from horror, shock to jealousy. Some even turned their backs and murmured “good riddance”. For me, it was a calculated risk that I wanted to take. With my own set of ambiguities, I decided to take a break – not the easy-breezy Kit Kat types, but a long one where you run amok to chase the light at the end of the tunnel.

Interestingly, I have a supportive husband (read someone who pays astronomical phone bills, insurance premiums and my driver’s salary) and a baby who learns a new cuss word everyday if I don’t check!! Infact, I keep getting a variety of shockers from my 3-year-old. Just the other day at a party, I showed her a chocolate doughnut. The stimulated mother in me went on to explain to her, “baby, this is a doughnut…round in shape”.  To this pop came the question, “Doughnut??? Vicky Doughnut??? I fluttered my eyes anxiously at this cutesy chatter while other horror-struck moms watched mouth-agape.

Vicky Doughnut!

Another reason, I was pondering a break for eons, was the work at the work place – which was as inspiring as Manmohan’s speech. Yes, over all these years, work was the same, eerily, as same as the face, I see in the mirror everyday!! For some reason, monotony had set in and I realized I was not adding any feather to my dormant career graph. So, all simmering reasons put together, made me realize that it’s time to breathe easy. It’s time to spend tender time with my baby because it was alarming to see her grow out of her new pants every month. It was time I travel with hubby, tag along on his business trips and generally squeeze in some quality time that we never had.

An invitation to join a friend’s PR company with compensation in no black and white and prospects of a life where I could travel more, cook fancy food that I erstwhile only saw on great blogs, go for regular hair spa ( go on..dream..) and clean the drawers that I have been wanting to for the last 5 years – made me take the plunge. Of course, I did not give up my monthly cheque just to CLEAN drawers – lest you brand me a nincompoop.

Well, the last six months have been a mixed bag of experiences. I do travel more frequently, clean some of those drawers, occasionally cook yummy grub, take my child to ballet and value-based programs and generally lounges around the house like a pet. If you are wondering – No, I haven’t taken to knitting yet – do not intend to. On the professional front, I do PR activities for online shopping portals, fashion designers, interior decorators and handle reputation management though social media for a few clients. I also enrolled myself into a social media workshop that did augment my knowledge that now I am putting to good use.

They say life is a teacher, mine sometimes becomes that cruel headmaster who canes your knuckles to give you a jolt. In the last few months, I have also met a motley set of unprofessional dolts who never paid back for the projects I undertook for them. Ofcourse, T-R-U-S-T is the word they have never heard of and I have been mentally conditioned to from childhood. Time to change the canons of general goodness. Then there were some projects that got shelved midway – not a good feeling if you put your heart and soul into something.

So far, the work is decent and different, money is average and work hours pretty flexible– if you discount that occasional emotional outburst when I think that I will degenerate sitting in that quiet corner of the house with my laptop on. Funnily, sometimes I get these nightmares that I will be recovered as a pile of obsolete junk if I am not exposed to a regular social life. Yes, I miss the buzz of an office, the daily chatter with friends, the office bhaiya who got coffee before I could log in, the greasy bread-pakoda and masala chai at the dingy dhaba in ITO - that once gifted me typhoid and much more. But, as they say change is the only constant in life, I have adopted that change. So far, it has been an interesting ride.

My Ballerina!


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