Thursday, November 19, 2015

I'm sorry darling

                                                                                     19th November 2015
Dear Dechen,

I can’t believe that I have not written to you for almost a year. I am writing today more with heartache and remorse over my own behavior than yours. I just reached office after dropping you to your daycare centre and I am still fresh with tears, my nose red and swollen. Your daddy is gone on a tour and it is just you, your ani, abi and me at home. For the past three days, it was a peaceful morning and evening and we were in our best mood. We were telling each other that we seemed to be sleeping more soundly when daddy was not there. And then, as if some unseen force was jealous of this whole peace and happiness, it came crumbling down this morning.

It wasn’t until you were about to dress to go to your daycare centre that it started. Your centre has a fluorescent tracksuit uniform and it is only on Wednesday that you can wear a casual dress of your choice. But today, I however had to tell you that you wouldn’t be wearing this uniform because I had forgotten to wash your pants yesterday and it wasn’t in a presentable condition to wear this morning. But, despite that choice you have, you insisted that you must wear the ‘gir pe nakhan jama’ – the blue dress that has fringes that can spin as you turn around. It has become your favorite and you wore it yesterday. I had to object because you wore it yesterday and it was dirty. It was like we were playing tug of war – you wanted it and I didn’t. And I had to win because at that moment, I so strongly felt that you should not wear it. No amount of my reasoning worked and I screamed and threw tantrums that I am ashamed to even think of right now. You and I both cried and you calmed down a bit when you saw me cry.

Despite your reluctance to eat breakfast earlier, you then nagged that you wanted to eat. You ate just four spoons of rice though. You agreed to wear the pink dress with Anna and Elsa’s picture that you recently received as a present from Lasem’s dad and mom and we were at the centre right when children were making a queue to celebrate birthday of one of them. As I write this letter, I can’t take your expression out of my mind and I feel like crying again. You seemed so meek and obedient as you walked next to me and you didn’t have your usual excited look. I am sorry I made you feel at wrong. I now feel that I could have let you wear the dress you wanted whether it was dirty or not and none of this fuss would have happened. I realize  that I was more concerned about what others would think, which in fact is immaterial to you. I am sorry. And I am sorry again.

But you know darling, if I must let you have your way with everything, I might end up having to see you grow up as a daughter that I wouldn’t want. You must have some kind of discipline and you must also know that what your dad and I tell you is for your sake and not ours. But despite all this, I feel, I was at wrong for this morning’s fuss and I remain full of remorse.
I hope you know that I love you, no matter what fuss we go through.

Love, Mum

P.S. Apart from this fuss of half an hour this morning, I had been meaning to write to you. You had so many questions for me from the time you knew that you are going to be an elder sister. You sing lullaby to the baby and ask me questions such as how the baby is going to come out; how baby could get inside my belly; if baby would burst out if he/she kicked so hard and many more. You tell me about how you are going to help me bathe and feed her/him as well and we in fact look forward to the days of bubbly happiness once more. In some ways, I feel sad that you will have to be responsible and not nag me as much as you do now. But of course, I would love you just the same.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Change in Job for a Year

The organisation I work for has the norm of changing administrative officer on rotation basis. The turn came to me for the 2015-2016 Financial Year. When it was decided that I would be looking after the AFD for this financial year, I didn't say no -- not because I had wanted to be an ADM but because to say no would be disobedience to the head of my organisation. 

And so here I am. ADM for a year. Unlike other offices, it should be relatively easier for me because we are only 32 staff, including ESP. But it is quite a different experience altogether. You have to worry about all the nitty gritty things such as not having water in the toilet to the administration of the staff. You become more a logistic manager for the office and it is not such an easy job. For now, I am trying to take it positively because all of us have to be managers at this age after being in job for 10 years or more. 

I now understand what my Dasho meant when he told us that he sometimes woke up in the middle of the night and remembered things that we had left pending and he couldn't fall back to sleep. It happens to me sometimes. I have to then start noting them down in my mobile phone notepad so that I don't forget them the next day. 

As administrative officer, you have to work with Royal Civil Service Commission a lot and so far, I have tried my best to do what I have to on time and I have submitted all documents they have asked without delay. Sometimes you would wonder on the number of letters you receive from them, but you console yourself saying, if it can task you like that to deal with just one organisation, how much harder it would be for them that has to deal with all the government organisations. And I am here to comply. I appreciate them for accepting the documents by email -- making it easier for me and saving lot of man times and fuel. (I would urge all the organisations to do that). 

Anyway, I am late in the office right now -- and it is because I am an ADM. I have come to appreciate administrative officers a lot better and I know what a tedious, tiresome job it is. It is not that demanding on your intellectual but I don't really enjoy seeing papers piling on my table. 

If you have thought being manager/administrative officer is a cup of cake, you better think again. It mostly needs soft skills and they don't come at a go. 

//This note is written feeling a little tired over the number of negotiations I had to go through for some work. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mother's Dilemma

I got late to office today. As I parked my car and got out, it was 9:45 a.m. Now, being a mother isn’t a cup of tea. I console myself saying that my parents lived in a more difficult time and therefore, they went through more hardship – which means, what I go through now is nothing. But does that work? Rarely.

I got late because when I dropped my four-year-old daughter to her daycare, her principal asked me and all other parents to come inside their school to look at their first term progress report. I went to my daughter’s class, her hand clasped in mine. She started bending her head left and right, showing that coy behavior that she wasn’t so willing to go with rest of the children to the assembly. Her daycare has introduced a parrot green tracksuit as uniform for the children. My daughter doesn’t want to wear it to school. Today, she put them in her bag saying she was going to take help from her teacher, Madam Pasang to wear it once she was at school. Now, as I stood in her classroom, waiting for her madam to show me her progress report, she told me that she would like me to help her put on the uniform – and I did. Slowly, she began to nag. At first she wanted to give me a kiss, which she did. Then she wanted me to watch her say her morning prayer at the assembly. She said, ‘mummy jang rab ze yithro phiwa goth pa lek la’. I said I will. Now, maybe I yielded too much. She then said she wanted to go home. She didn’t want to stay at school today. I explained, reasoned, and told every little thing I could to let her see that being in school is more interesting than being home. This only made her cry, clinging on me. But she was not the only child who wanted to go home. There was another boy her age doing the same. There was yet another boy crying quietly inside the classroom.

When no explanation worked, her principal came and took her off from me. It had to be forceful. She screamed and cried and fought to let her off. Once she was locked inside the altar room with other children where they were gathered to say the morning prayer and national anthem, I could hear her shout, ‘Nga chhi na jo ni’ – (I want to go home!) at the top of her voice. I faltered wondering if I should give in. I called my husband. He said I should leave her at school because she has to know that she can’t just have everything her way. I asked my husband’s sister who is home to go out and see if she was playing as usual in the school playground in a while.

A mother’s heart burst into pieces hundred times everyday. There is a dilemma of such kind in each small activity. The routine of making children brush. The discipline of making them not watch TV while they eat. The routine of making them sit and eat in the manner they should. The list goes on. And no matter how helpful your husband is, the major chunk of the responsibilities fall on the mother. And mothers usually don’t complain. Do they? Children also prefer to nag mothers more.

And you know what makes it worse? Just as I parked my car and came out, my boss came. The two times I had to go home at 4 p.m., I met him on the way. I keep bumping into him when I reach office late, or leave office early. It nags me because bosses do not always see deeper than these minor irregularities. And I feel like I should resign. Would there then be more peace?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Love with a stranger

I am not quite sure what enticed me to this place. And where did I meet him? I must tell you, I have a really bad memory and I can’t remember where I met him and when. And how we got to know each other. But suffice me to say that, I remember the best part of my life with him. The moment that comes vividly to my mind right now as I write it down is the moment I felt so much love. That feeling of complete bliss, the feeling of butterflies in my stomach as he hugged me, his hands locked in front of my bosom, his head nestling on my shoulder, kissing my neck, softly uttering, ‘I love you. You are the best thing that happened to me.’

Would there be a better place for me? There was not a single doubt in my mind that I had found my soul mate. The most important thing was that he made me feel beautiful, and completely at ease.

And of course, not all things last. This changed. Suddenly. And I was left with no consolation. I had no friends, and no relatives to seek help from. I fell for a person with the sweetest words. I cried day and night. At that moment, I felt more shocked than betrayed. I couldn’t believe that a person can utter love without feeling the tiniest of flutter in his heart. I wondered, ‘did he need practicing it many times to lure women to his arms and then leave them heartbroken?’ I was dismayed over the fact that a person can be this heartless. Over the fact that a person can find no better way to earn a living than to lure women into matrimony, rob them off their valuables and then leave them helpless.

But I believe women are stronger than men. If they have the guts to cheat on them, betray them, or rob them, women have the power to come back. I also wondered if I appeared gullible to him. I am not a girl who hangs out late. Knowing myself well, I had no one to blame but my fate. Right now, all I tell myself is that I am unlucky in love. On the other hand, I am grateful that he left me before I was pregnant. I always believed that love could never turn to hatred but at the moment, having gone through the unbelievable twist of fate, if I had to see a face that resembled him on my lap everyday, I feel I would hate the world itself.

Anyway, I went back to being single from married. And because he disappeared before I could introduce him to my friends and family, I was spared many questions. I am recovering from shock and sadness at his behavior and I am beginning life anew.

Friday, May 29, 2015

We may cry but it is for a greater joy

Dear Dechen,  

I have not written for so very long and it is in a way sad that I am writing today because I had to be harsh to you and right now while you are sleeping next to me, I am crying in remorse. There are times when it gets so difficult that I don't know how else to treat you to make you do what you have to. For example, this evening you didn't want to brush your teeth. I coaxed and praised and explained and did everything that I could but you just didn't agree and then I had to scold you and spank you on your bare arm with my hand. You finally brushed but you were still acting very stubborn. I just don't know how to make you not do something against my advice. 

You were in a very good mood before all this. I got home late because I had a meeting. I explained to you in the morning when I dropped you to school that you will be picked up by your grandma and you were okay. When I got home, your daddy went for dinner with Aunty Suzanne and group and it was just you, me and Abi. While I cleaned the rooms, you were so engrossed in drawing, cutting out your drawing and then pasting them on the wall. And just then, abi said dinner was ready. So she and I started eating dinner in the sitting room while you were still continuing the drawing in our bedroom. 

After the meeting, while I was at the Baby Point looking looking something for you, I met one Aunty and her daughter looking for Elsa's hair because she has to dress as Elsa in the school for a skit or some kind of a show. Then Aunty Kezang Deki who was with me told her that you have a hat that is supposed to be Elsa's hair and I had to agree to lend it to her. So while Abi and I were eating dinner that girl and Aunty kezang came and situation changed a bit. Aunty kezang ate dinner with us and she stayed on till it was time for you to sleep. The fuss of brushing your teeth started before she left. You said you wanted your daddy to brush it for you. It is always like that you know darling---you will keep swinging it between him and me and it kind of gets unpleasant after a while. Anyway, because I couldn't hold my patience, I had to be forceful.

You must know that I never spank you to hurt you. I cried getting frustrated, not knowing how best to deal with you. In such times I feel like I am all full and I have reached the end of all means. So, all I can do is pray to the almighty to help me, to guide me to a better way of dealing with you to make you grow into a fine person.

I have seen children your age who are very quiet and obedient, sitting next to their parents in the crowd and not moving an inch. I must tell you darling, while I see that it is very easy for the parents because they don't have to worry about having to attend to them getting hurt accidentally or accidentally knocking something off, I would still choose an active child like you over the ones like them. 

This is not what most of our days are like though. We are best friends most of the time and to think of it, in fact such little fuss in between shouldn't even warrant a letter. Last night, before we went to bed, we were so happy drawing different things like fish and flowers and ice creams. It was surprising that all you had to do was think of something--for example, you wanted to design a Kira for me and you had it on the paper. Similarly you designed a jacket for me. And I must tell you, it was such pure joy to sit next to you, watch you draw and explain what each drawing meant. One time you drew watches for yourself, Abi, me and daddy. Then you made a button and some kind of a frill. Until you explained, I didn't know that it was light flickering brightly when the switch is turned on.

So you see my darling, we create different worlds in our own small world without requiring much of anything but ourselves and or imagination and I tell you, it is this  that gives me happiness and makes me feel content. It is during such times that I feel complete and know for sure that there can't be more in life. 

So forget the little fuss. That is part of us growing up for the greater world and better us. I don't like the feeling that I might probably have made you feel helpless but it is not mummy's intention. It is always love, darling. And I hope you will know this someday.

I love you,