Monday, June 11, 2007


a ride into andheri with a feminist activist- an institution into herself. i have known and admired her work since i was in college.

her daughter is all grown up now. But she spoke about carrying her little girl to workshops, seminars, conferences all across the country. She did not think leaving her daughter with a maid and/or parents made sense. Every place she went to she spoke about the need for a creche, atleast in these meetings defined by feminist ideas.

this conversation was with another woman lawyer, who has a thirteen year old. same issues. her filmmaker husband was travelling and she had come to bombay for a workshop. her thirteen year old is on vacation and had never visited bombay, so she came along. And has travelled from place to place, seminar to seminar.

As someone who tagged along with her mom on work all over the country i can vouch for the fact that its pretty good fun as a child. but that aside.

Its the same set of issues today. If i was to look for a proper job, maybe in a television office, there would be no creche anywhere. And given that these organisations are practically run by women its absurd.

I am off at the end of the week to a premier institute - taking a workshop for two weeks. And ofcourse there is no creche, why did i even bother asking. I refuse to leave sanah behind for two weeks. So she comes along with me. The difference here is that the people inviting me assure me that sanah will have a blast. That there will be people to take care. It helps that i have pals on campus. But i am terrified.

I am terrified but a little less than normal because this is where i have spent long vacations as a nine year old. My mom, who was working, did not think leaving me alone with a maid was a particularly constructive way to spend vacations. She asked her pals, students at this institute, to take care. I spent my days on the huge campus, climbing trees, in the student workshops playing with clay and paint, and being treated like a queen by all the students. Ofcourse i was much older, and my litte girl is so so little. but i might as well take the plunge now!

riddled with doubt i make my plans. just the other day i carted her off with me into town, hoping to attend a film festival. i overdid it. the heat was just too much. and the next day she was down with fever. i kick myself. feel lousy. and wonder if the 'leave her at home with a person to look after her' is a better plan. but isint it too early? is this the time she is being stimulated every minute? do i want to leave it to someone else? In anycase, another year or two and she will be at school, her world rich with other people. So up until then, cant i just trapise along with her in tow?!


the mad momma said...

i thikn you are doing the best thing possible.. sanah will have a blast and this is the only time you really have her to yourelf to enjoy. by the way, ndtv has a creche - move here!

Space Bar said...

tough one, sur...i've always left s with my folks when i have to go out of town on work. one, because i like to be free to give my best to whatever i've taken on, and iknow i can't do that when i've qa kid to take care of, and two, now he's in school there's no question of making him mis any of it to come along with me.

good luck, though and see how it works!

ajay noronha said...

hey! i think you'll be fine and yes, sanah will have a blast and not at the expense of your involvement with the've been doing just fantastic. last week, in conversation with common friends, one of them exclaimed in wonderment, "arrey surabhi came in a train with sanah!"