Varsha went about her home chores in a mechanical manner. Since the birth of her younger daughter, she had left her job to be a stay at home mom. Every day she packed off her elder son to school and then prepared breakfast and lunch for her husband. Once he left, she turned her attention towards her 20 month old daughter, Labdhi.
Varsha had managed to continue with her job after her first child, Niru was born. Varsha and Prateek had agree to have a nanny for Niru so that she could pursue her career. Life seemed to be going smooth for the small family. But arrival of Labdhi, changed the ball game altogether. The couple was unanimously of the view that it wasn’t possible to raise two kids by depending solely on a nanny. Niru too was growing up to be an extremely aggressive child. As a natural course of action, Varsha decided to leave her job. When she started being at home, she realized that raising kids was an extremely exhaustive and a full time job. She had never spent such undivided time with her elder son, and now as she did it, she realized why and where they were going wrong with Niru’s upbringing. As a child he needed an emotional anchor, which the nanny failed to be.
Also a lot of her time went in taking care of the house. Even though Varsha hardly got any time from her duties as a home-maker and a mother, she missed her work. On most days when she had no time to even sit back and enjoy a cup of tea. It was a task relay throughout the day. Even on those days, Varsha wondered if she was doing justice to all the hard work that she had put in to become a Chartered Accountant. For 28 years of her life, she had held her education and her work as of utmost importance to her. And now all of a sudden, her life seemed to have taken a summersault and her priorities had changed. What amazed her was that even her parents, who had always pushed her to perform well professionally, now thought that her prime responsibility was the upbringing of her kids.
Then there were some days when everything worked as per plan, the kids stuck to their routines and she was just a supervisor in the scheme of things. On such days, Varsha thought that she was just killing time waiting for her kids to grow up and be independent enough to be left at a day care so that she could resume work. It was on one such day that she decided to call up her long time friend Amrita.
Amrita was her friend from post-graduation and was also sailing in the same boat. She had managed a job with one kid and was one her way to having her second child. She knew that it was just a matter of time when Amrita too would have to leave her job. She hoped to have a meaningful chat with her today.
‘Hey Varsha! So how’s your little girl treating you? They say that girls are much more demanding than boys. Is it true?’
Varsha let out a hearty giggle, ‘Kids are kids yaar. All they want to do is suck out every ounce of energy from us mothers.’ The young moms chatted some more on what was going on in life in general. Amrita noticed that Varsha was a little distracted. She did not reply properly to Amrita when she asked her about what she was reading these days. Amrita knew that Varsha was an absolute bibliophile and was surprised when Varsha said that she didn’t find reading appealing these days. Amrita knew that it was time for some soul-to-soul conversation with her friend.
‘What happened Varsha, you don’t find reading interesting anymore? This should ring worry bells to me. Is everything ok?’
‘It’s no fun reading a page and then running to check on what the kids are upto.’ Varsha sounded absolutely dismissive of the idea of doing anything with kids around.
‘Hmmm! So are you running after the kids all the time?’ Amrita wasn’t sure what she wanted to extract out of this conversation, but she surely wanted her friend to talk and unburden.
‘Almost. There definitely are time slots where I am free, but then I am so exhausted that all I want to do is have a cup of tea and laze around.’ Amrita felt Varsha’s voice crack.
‘What is it dear? Are you ok? I know you are on the verge of crying. Tell me what happened.’ Amrita’s concern laden words were all that Varsha needed to break the dam of self control and she broke in sobs.
‘I don’t know Amrita. I have domestic help for most of the household work and really do not have to exert myself much, but the kids need me to be around them. With them around I can’t do any of my things. Neither am I really busy, nor am I free. I do not know what to do.’ Varsha whined.
‘Kill time.’ Amrita said out in a plain voice.
‘Excuse me. What do you mean Kill Time?’ Varsha exclaimed with an emphasis on ‘kill time’.
‘Varsha, I know you have toiled really hard all your life and that you are a hustler. You have always worked for tangible goals and achieved a lot in life.’ Amrita took a pause.
‘I am listening. Carry on.’ Varsha was interested in what Amrita had to say further.
‘Look back in time at yourself. Always under pressure to perform. Don’t you think you need a break? Just cherish these moments. Your kids are kids only for as much time. You will find your calling when you have more time at hand. Right now sit back with a cup of tea and dot on them. You know the best part of having kids is, that they do not judge you, ofcourse until the time they are in their teens. But that’s far away. Right now give them reasons to smile and love you to the moon and back. Please pick up one thing that you can kill your time with, just so that you have some sense of being. You have your books. I know you were very enthusiastic about art & craft. Find peace for your soul and mind while you kill time with passion.’ Amrita’s words enthused a strange energy into Varsha.
She disconnected the call then as her little girl had started whining out of hunger. Yet later that evening, when she had put the kids to sleep, Varsha logged onto her internet browser and ordered an electronic reader for herself. She decided that if she loved reading, she had to get over her fear of kids laying their hands on the books and damaging them. An electronic reader was a perfect solution.
Six months later, when Varsha’s girl started with her playschool, Varsha started accepting requests from publishers to read and review books. After her conversation with Amrita that day, Varsha had set up a blog to write her views about the books that she read. She still did not find any elaborate time for reading. But after she bought the electronic reader, she bought herself a sling pouch to hold the reader and lived with the sling around her shoulder all day. Even if she found 5 minutes to read a couple of pages or even lines, she continued to read. And then once she was done reading, in the wee hours of the night when everyone went to sleep, she began to document her views about the book, That’s how her blog, ‘Readoholic’ came into existence. Surprisingly, it resonated with a lot of audience seeking to read book reviews and she became a hit very quickly. Now that she has more time at hand, she was accepting paid assignments to review books from budding authors. Life was getting brighter for Varsha by just ‘Killing Time’ the right way.
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