Author: Tulika

The Write Space

The Write Space

I have looked upon with wonder and more than a little bit of envy at work-from-home desks of my friends. Somedays I have longed for a place like that. A place where I can put up cute little mugs filled with colourful pens (that all work), a happy family photograph, a quirky poster, a plant maybe and other adorable knick-knacks.

Somehow I never got around to getting one for myself. Perhaps I never truly felt I needed it.

In the BC (Before Corona) days, from 8 am to 3 pm the house was mine and mine alone. It helped that those were my best writing hours. I could pretty much sit anywhere I chose. Everyday I’d pick a spot and spread out my ‘things’. And that was that.

When the Pandemic struck last year, the children and the Husband took over the home. Wifi wars hotted up between the three of them, each vying for the best spot. The modem was moved from one place to the other and routers were installed to placate everyone.

Between my peacekeeping efforts, feeding the household army (it certainly seemed like one) and keeping the house tolerably clean I had my plate full.

It was only by May-June of 2020 that I could find my bearings. And then, to my shock, in every cosy corner, every happy nook, every writing space I looked, I found a child or a husband busily ensconced, spouting sales figures on the phone at the top of their voices or attending class.

My writing space was severely compromised, my happy hours lost forever. A table was a dream, I didn’t even seem to have a room any longer. I pretty much became a gypsy in the house. I’d shuttle between the dining room and my bedroom and the children’s rooms depending on where I could find some quiet and a table to call my own. To make matters worse I enrolled myself in an online course that needed concentration and focus.

Finally, two things came to my rescue — a folding table and a rucksack. Even as I write this it feels a tad weird but I’m telling you this is the most practical solution. 

The rucksack has my kindle, my current read, my phone, my laptop, a physical file that doubles up as a planner and note-taker, a pen and a bottle of water.

I pretty much carry my home-office with me. All I have to do now is pick up my rucksack and my folding table, find a spot and I’m good to go.

My table usually has my note-taker and my laptop. That’s all. For now this will have to do. The gorgeous knick-knacky table of my dreams will have to wait a little while longer.

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Waiting

Waiting

The first thing I do each morning as I wake up, is reach for my phone. That’s unusual because I don’t like getting to it until later in the day. But these are unusual times and I switch to my WhatsApp messages with a mixture of hope and dread.

Read More Read More

Foes to Friends

Foes to Friends

I have come to believe that if India and Pakistan were closeted together somewhere, secluded from the rest of the world, all acrimony would disappear.

Let me explain. 

So the other day, N asked H to get her a glass of water. Now usually a seemingly simple request like this one would have been met with point black refusal mixed with sharp derision and a vociferous recounting of past-grudges along the lines of ‘That day, that time when I had asked you to get my whatever you didn’t, so why should I?’

Whoever said children with siblings learnt to share and adjust and do things for each other probably never had siblings.

Anyway, so this time, to my absolute astonishment, H did it. He actually walked to the kitchen and got her a glass of water. The Husband almost fell off the sofa where he sat watching the IPL, while I performed the most spirited happy mental jig.

Maybe, just maybe, that sibling theory wasn’t all wrong.

I thought back and realised that over the last few months of lockdown my personal India-Pakistan — H and N — seem to have called a truce. (I can’t even let them get a whiff of this analogy lest I begin a war of which one of them is India and which is Pakistan).

They do small tasks for each other. H gave up his room for N when she needed a larger table for her art work. He also made her a cake-in-a-cup when she was down, more than once. She has helped him clear up his table and lent him random stationery items from her secret stash.

To an outside observer these may seem small things but believe me when I say great wars have been fought over erasers and gel pens of dubious ownership.

Which is why I have looked on these new developments with happy disbelief.

However, if you’re thinking truce would mean a quiet, peaceful, angelic kind of household, you have another think coming. Nope, peace and quiet isn’t the way we do things.

The fights are all but gone, the real fights I mean. However the Tom-and-Jerry thing they have, continues. 

Once after a rather intense study session H got up stretched himself then said, ‘I’ll go and trouble N for a bit’. Troubling her is as easy as barging into her room and proceeding to lounge on her bed, waving a Kitkat under her nose and popping into your own mouth as she reaches out for it then walking at snail’s pace when asked to leave. I almost wait for her protests and they come soon enough and loud enough ending with, ‘Get out of my room’.

N gets back at him by hiding away his things. He’s absolutely terrible at finding anything at all and is soon begging her for help promising to wash up for her after lunch or be her ‘slave’ for one whole day. 

And so it goes on. 

That aside, I’m listing this as the best thing that happened to me during the lockdown. And I’m totally sold on the idea of close seclusion for converting age-old enemies into friends.

Endnote: If you’re a parent of warring siblings, I want you to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

Last Endnote: *Hugs* to help you weather the storms till you get there.

Growing up together

Growing up together

A gentle breeze ruffles my hair as I sit on a small cement platform in the grounds of my apartment complex. I watch N jogging, headphones in place her ponytail swinging from side to side.

It’s 10pm and we’re the only two people around. It’s quiet, apart from a few sounds that drift down from the flats above and the rhythmic tap tap tap of N’s feet.

I glance at her as she goes up and down the short track and I’m conscious of a feeling of impatience. I want her to finish her jog and go back, back to her books.

Read More Read More

On my other blog: Beat About The Book

Unfinished #BookReview

Unfinished #BookReview

Priyanka, with her grit and her determination, as also her ability to stand up to all kinds of trolling and bullying, has always been inspirational. Everything about her seems to spell, ‘Say what you will, I’ll do my own thing’. To me, that’s the greatest kind of freedom anyone can ever aspire for. And that’s what prompted me to pick up her biography.