Old but gold

Today I reorganised Moo’s wardrobe. She has outgrown so many beautiful dresses thanks to not having any social invitations in the past year. Boo has her sister’s best looking clothes to choose from as she grows up in whatever size she likes. I need to keep a reminder somewhere to keep taking those clothes out periodically to see what fits Boo else they will never see the light of the day.

While I did a quick tidy up, I found a carton of my clothes stashed at the back which I had completely forgotten to unpack after we moved in. When I started putting them away each time I found myself thinking how old are these clothes. And how I never want to get rid of some of them even though I have used them on so many occasions. I have a shirt which I used to wear in college 😭. It’s more about the comfort of the fit of the clothing more than emotions associated with it. My luck with apparel shopping is not that great. I take ages to find a shirt or top that fits me and is breathable. I have a scoop neck black top from Levi’s which I bought just before we left for Sydney. All my professional and work profile shots are in that same top. I couldn’t find a similar fit in the same brand when I went to the same shop during the trip to India 😬. When I found a skirt that ticked all the boxes, I knew all the pictures for the next ten years will be me wearing it all the time 😂

This coupled with my recent foray into minimalism made things very simple on what to keep and what to throw away. In the last five years I made quite a few impulse buys in the hope to find a brand which makes clothes that survive more than three washes and fit me. I haven’t found it yet. They went out for donation without a second thought. Till I find one that works, it will be the oldies sitting prettily in my wardrobe.

On prayers

I am spiritual, but not a devoutly religious person. As a young girl I used to visit the nearby temple in the evenings because of you went just after the aarti they would give the prasad. As a teenager, there was a newly constructed Ayyapa temple I frequented where the incense sticks would smell heavenly. The priest would also give pure sandalwood paste which I would bring home for everyone. As a newly wed I had a habit of cleaning the prayer room every Saturday morning and reading the Vishnu sahasranamam. I would fast until then. My inlaws never questioned why I started this habit, neither did I find any support from them. I discontinued the fasting when I was pregnant with Moo, then Saturday prayers took a backseat once I was busy raising the child and managing our life abroad. We make sure to visit the temple regularly for all birthdays and festivals, sometimes just like that when we feel we should go to any temple.

All these temple visits have one thing in common since many years. It is a time of self reflection and a ‘talk’. I hardly chant any prayers. I will admire the way the Gods have been decorated with flowers, jewels and clothes and take in the beauty. I will find a spot to sit and close my eyes. The scent of the temple room will hit me first, then the sounds and then I will start internalising and reflecting on my work and thoughts in the past few weeks.

I follow the same at home as well. With a slight difference. I light a lamp and seek comfort in praying for the well being of my kids and family. Since having another child the health and well-being of the kids has become the first and foremost thing I ask. I don’t have any other customs or rituals which I do for the Gods. If for any special occasion there needs to be some rituals done, I ask my MIL and do it accordingly – in all these years it has been only once, which was Boo’s mottai ceremony.

Each one of us has their own way to pray and seek comfort. Zack’s way is different than mine, his is a little fear based – if I don’t do this, bad things might happen, so I have to do it the right way only. While I don’t follow that, I don’t oppose it either because this is something which is very personal to each individual. As long as it doesn’t affect another person however one wants to pray ( or not pray at all ) they should be able to do so freely.

Addition to the family

In continuation with the post I did in January – we decided we will go ahead and plan for a baby and keep the house hunt on a back burner. I conceived in my first cycle itself. I was working full time in the city and travelling by train to work. We planned to call over my parents towards the final weeks of my pregnancy and my inlaws a month after they left. Now we lived in a two bedroom apartment which had a huge living area but a tiny second bedroom which housed Moo’s stuff. I couldn’t visualise setting it up as a baby room and accomodate my parents. There just wasn’t enough space. We decided to restart house hunting and use all the time before I took maternity break and look after they baby. It turned out a good decision because house hunting is so EXHAUSTING.

Finding a house which matched our budget was an uphill task. We used to release offer and it would be rejected in favour of another customer. I was 8 months pregnant when we attended an auction for a house which ticked all the boxes. I couldn’t stand for more than 10 minutes so sat down in the front yard on grass 😆 We lost the house and with that we put a stop to the search as well. Covid had started appearing in news but we hadn’t been affected by it yet. 10 days later the government sealed borders and a lockdown was declared.

When Boo was 10 weeks old late June we resumed our search again. Day by day I was getting confident we have to move out of the apartment, the kids needed space to move and run about. Covid had hit the real estate real bad and prices were going down marginally. Everything became online, even the agent giving us a full walk through to the house in real time. Still we didn’t have any luck with winning any sale or auction, the competition was high with everyone entering the market.

On a nice and sunny wintry morning in August we visited a nice little house for inspection on a Wednesday. Restrictions had been lifted and we were allowed to do physical visits with masks on. Moo was in school and it would be one of the many inspections we did without her that month. We liked the house, it had an English cottage vibe with a huge front yard and picket fences. The auction was set for a Saturday three weeks later and we registered our interest for the auction as was our habit for all the houses.

The auction was on the first weekend of spring and many people had come to attend. We had a birthday party invite for lunch that afternoon and thought we will attend the auction and go from there. The house was on the way so we wouldn’t even have to double back. As soon as Moo saw the house she said it’s too pretty we won’t get it lets not waste time here 👀

Zack had the same thoughts seeing the number of interested buyers. Me..I had put Boo to sleep with great effort in her pram once we got out of the car and was in no way going to put her back in the car seat earlier than 30 minutes which was her nap duration. You might as well pick up a number I told Zack, we have 30 minutes to kill. Moo picked up a number for the auction and we told her she can hold it up high if we bid.

The bidding started and it started pretty low. Three parties who were interested were bidding with gusto. Many onlookers were present and a public auction is a treat to watch anyway. At one point the auctioneer raised the gavel for second time and no one had a bid to challenge it. I raised Moo’s hand and we made our first bid. The number was well within our budget. We raised our number three times and I was 90% sure the other family bidding with us will raise a couple of thousands more. But they didn’t!! My heartbeats got faster with every passing minute. Moo grew impatient and said let’s go. The real estate agent was checking with the owner on phone if our offer could be accepted. They wanted to hit reserve price but we couldn’t match it. I was checking if Boo was still asleep and ready to manoeuvre her pram outside the main gate when the agent came back and told us to make a final offer and the house will be ours. We upped our offer by a single grand. And we saw the smiling face of the agent one minute later and the auctioneer hitting the gavel towards us saying – sold to the family whose baby slept through my screeching 😂😂

And that my dearies became the second biggest news of 2020, we got our own house to call home and raise two girls. It set a precursor to lot many changes that would come to us individuals ( our housing loan was refused), as a couple ( utmost stressful times arranging funds ) and as a family, but with all the bad came a lot many good too. The good is the manifestation of my personal goals. Couldn’t start off that series without writing about the 🏠