Suddenly last afternoon, I remembered the anticipation I had for the movies that were to be aired on Doordarshan every Saturday evening. Sometimes the movies were duds, which we watched without blinking nevertheless and sometimes they are blockbusters - sprinkled with perfect comedies, chart buster music and oh so pretty leading ladies. So, the anticipation, or the movies by themselves are like the mealtimes my daughter and I share at home - sometimes she announces that she wants to eat by herself and she does too - and at other times she comes up with very creative and "ahead of her times" excuses like a hurting stomach or a feeling to barf. Anyway, I sit and suffer through them - much like the movies I'd watched even if they were unbearable.
One such unbearable situation arose yesterday. I went to Aarti, armed with a bowl of Mac and Cheese in hopes to make the meal time easy - now, the tried and tested kid favourite meal is kind of off on our meal table, so I had to haul a little stool, the bowl of food and the toddler that was to consume the bowl of food into the garage, open up the door and arrange a picnic of sorts - all to make her eat her food. Did it work? Perfectly! It was not a breeze, but it worked like a charm and with the bowl of carbs and fat, we got to devour a few more things - sharing, stopping to smell the roses (literally and figuratively) and a ponder or two about the choices we make.
While Aarti was working on her meal, a little blue bird came hopping - obviously looking for food. I scooped some Mac and cheese and put it on the drive way. The bird hopped a few feet backward as if to shield herself away form a potential danger and then she hopped forward, landed a few inches away from the grub and stretched her body and dainty neck forward to to peck at the food and flew away in a hurry - kind of like the excitement and fear I had when lighting up fireworks for Diwali. I used to halt at a safe distance, scoot down with the candle , bend forward to light the fire cracker and run back once the wick is ignited. The birdie then came back with a companion to collect the rest of her find - an identical bird - that I assumed was her significant other. I followed the birdies into the direction they flew till they were out of sight into the back yard of the next door neighbor. Are they probably on the family way?? May be they are! So we kept sharing our meal with the little birdies, and they kept accepting them and Aarti was merry, mighty excited and awe stuck that she wanted to feed them again this afternoon.
After the meal, my little girl and I settled down in the garage - doing nothing! We gazed into the day that brightened and faded as the clouds played hide and seek with the Sun. An occasional screech of wheels cut through the unusual mid-noon silence and a car or truck traced the curve of the cul-de-sac while my little girl and I settled on the floor of the garage gazing into the bright day like we were watching an interesting play or program on television. We sipped on our drinks, walked out on the drive way, identified the many hues of roses that bloomed in unison on our side yard, played with a Roley Poley and made him curl into a little ball and looked for the birdies to come back and collect the remnants of Aarti's rejected Mac and cheese that was heaped on one side of the drive way.
This perhaps, is one of the most eventful afternoons I'd had in my life. Sometimes, having to do nothing puts a lot of thought and imagination in you life since you are not programmed to do things a certain way , in a certain schedule and time. Observing the changing intensity of the Sun, the variations of the depths of color on the spring blooms, sharing a meal with the birds and ants, seeing the excitement and wonder in a toddler's eye as a tiny insect curls into a little ball in defense mechanism - all these things worked wonders on my mind - I seemed to be as relaxed as one would be when pampered in a spa.
While I have tremendous respect, adoration and awe for women who juggle a career and home, I for once felt a deep gratitude for having the luxury of having an occupation like the one I have - an occupation that lets me stop to notice the world and its creatures and lets me spend time with a little girl that will soon be thinking her mom is a nuisance (hope not) while attending her High school prom.
Long live Occupation Homemaking!