Working in the emergency department makes one lose sense of day and time often, so much so one doesn't really long for weekends and thank God it's Friday! We do leave socialising for our weekly off days, which could land on any day of the week - well often, because everyone else is busy over the week, I'd just laze around at home, obsess in the kitchen while flicking pages of a fictional novel.
But things are different now, ever since my maternity leave commenced in late September 2016. I can't even figure how time flew past and we're already in the next year. A part of me wishes time would slow down and let things sink in completely! For beginners, I still haven't got the chance to scratch out the 2016 on wrongful entry in a notebook, and correct it to read 2017; haha! Those were the days!
January has since passed and I crossed the mid-way mark of my maternity leave. Save for the first week, when we were still holidaying with the family, in Bali, we were on our own with our 3-month old baby, Ayu. I was a stay-at-home mom, by choice; as I was adamant that I would like to spend the first 6 months with the newborn and hopefully be able to exclusively breastfeed, as is paediatrician-recommended. Prantik (Pran, as I call him) my husband was back to the grind, once we were back from our family holiday in Bali, to celebrate mum's 50th birthday (Ayu completed 100 days since birth, while we celebrated 25 months since #socialshaadi - our wedding). Essentially, it meant, weekends were to look forward to! Not to say, we didn't get quality time otherwise, but oh well, as human beings, we always long for more...
Jan 1 landed on a Sunday, which meant the New Year began with a long weekend. We arrived in Bali on the afternoon of NYE. Later that evening, we had lovely family dinner at a quaint Greek restaurant which served amazingly fresh food that made one's palate yearn for more. Beach bums that we all are, we chose to spend the morning hours of the first day of new year at the Seminyak beach. To be by the deep and wide ocean, is always a humbling experience for it reminds one that - what you throw into the ocean of life, finds a way to come right back at you - talk about karma!; beneath the surface, there are so many oysters hidden; even the mightiest ships can be wrecked by the force of nature - so always remember, that after a point, there isn't much under our control - we can only propose, the Higher Force disposes! The vast ocean always makes me feel grateful for the present moment, and completely surrender. That evening, we witnessed the first sunset of the year, from Tanah Lot - and it was to behold!
Back in Jakarta, when Ayu was still taking the bottle 🍼 (yes, he's gotten fussy now and is completely refusing it - but I should rant about that in a different post!), gave us good time to bond with the 'bruhhh'. We got foot reflexology sessions together; had a fun stint at ice-skating after hogging the all-time Pizza Hut favourite: Soup-Salad; shopped till we dropped; played card games like Bluff and Rummy, while downing 'Green Sands' soda; and had fun contests and conversations in the swimming pool when we felt chilling in the jacuzzi was too mainstream. We were a good trio that worked as a team aboard the flight back to Singapore, when Ayu threw a fit and had to be pacified earnestly. The first Sunday back in SG, the one with the bro in town, meant we had to celebrate with yummy succulent Michelin-starred 'Din Tai Fung' dumplings! (I will skip elaborating on the fuss that Ayu made but that was after we were done with our meal and grocery shopping, so, phew!)
This weekend saw us at the 'Happy Marketer' jacuzzi-sunset party at the (Sr.) Dayal residence. It was good fun to meet the #HappyTribe and also to introduce Ayu to them and their families; and a feathery visitor too that evening. There was much fun and banter over kebabs, 'chaat' and drinks. A rather-sleepy Ayu even featured in their first 'HappyHourLive' video, for the year, and so did the parrot, believed to bring in good luck. Sunday, we just chilled, with the cousin (with the fractured foot) and binged on Netflix. The pick for the weekend, after much deliberation, was 'Stories by Rabindranath Tagore'. Under the able direction of Anurag Basu, backed by some splendid cinematography, the short stories by the Nobel laureate, came alive before us. Such a pleasure to watch.
Despite the drizzle, we were on board the Le Tara yacht, with our gang of friends, to celebrate the Shuklas' 10th wedding anniversary. We had a potluck feast on board with pizza, pasta, fried rice, chicken tikkas and pepper chicken; & loads of drinks too (I had a bottle of freshly squeezed sugarcane juice for myself ;) ). Ayu was perfect that evening, sleeping just at the right times, allowing Pran and myself to grab a bite and sip at will; pose and click many snaps; and make merry with the folks at the deck, grooving to desi numbers and enjoying the wind and tide, with fire crackers lighting up the evening sky in the distance. The after party at the Khannas' residence saw us all lol-ing way past midnight. After such an action-packed Saturday, Sunday was meant for cooling down. We lazed and brazed with the incessant Singapore rain, with warm cutlets, enjoying our cuppa, watching 'Koffee with Karan, and cheering for Team India against England, in the Cricket ODI match, later in the evening.
The last weekend of January was also a long weekend, thanks to the Chinese New Year. And it was one of those rare weekends, where 'twas just us. We dropped previous holidaying plans thanks to exorbitant hotel and flight rates and decided to stay put at home and make the most of the last weekend prior to our India trip. So we celebrated Ayu's 4th month with 'Gurer Paayesh' (my first attempt); picked up small gifts for extended family back home from a mall nearby; spent CNY day 1, all of us dressed in matching hues of red, strolling by the lakeside, at the Chinese Garden; kept up with our CNY tradition and visited our old neighbourhood at Dover, Rochester Park; had a lovely lunch date at Dempsey, smiling through our sparkling water glasses, over flavourful Italian food (not pizza/pasta), across the red-rose laden table for two. We got back to enjoy a sporty evening: Roger vs Rafa AO final & the Ind-End T20 match; from the comforts of our couch, while taking turns at the OSIM massage chair and sharing our favourite moments from the weekend on InstaStory, our latest addiction.
I type this while the sun rises, heralding my first weekend in Bangalore. I feel warmed by all the love I'm surrounded with - family, my 4am-go-to-people, my parents and my never-failing-to-surprise younger brother; work colleagues and friends like family; my favourite munchkin and punchbag, my bff and bae, my love forever, @pranmaz; and the latest addition to my heart's treasure chest, my genetic legacy, my newest muse, my one true love, #AyuBabu. I bow down to the Universe, for sending such wonderful vibes my way; and to thee for reading and sharing these happy moments with me.