Camera phone picture by one of my old Ashoka colleagues who we got to visit with yesterday at Khan Market!
1) I’ve been trying to meet up with an old friend of mine from Delhi for weeks now and we finally managed a coffee date at Khan Market yesterday. It was fantastic to see her. Isn’t it always good when you see people after a long time and you can just see their happiness radiating out of their face? We had so much fun catching up and I had a funny moment walking into the cafe to meet her.
5 years ago, I came to Delhi for 24 hours with a roommate of mine from Chennai. I remembered that we stopped at a cafe somewhere during our quick trip, but I never remembered where—until I walked into the Turtle Cafe to meet my friend on Tuesday. We sat on the exact same balcony that I sat on with my roommate almost exactly 5 years ago. If you had told me then that I’d be back to that exact same cafe ever again–let alone living in Delhi with a husband and a 15 month old son I would have never believed you. Funny how life works out.
2) I’m working on a piece right now about stay at home mothers and how and why they re-enter the work force, whether its employment concerns, financial need or a desire for professional or intellectual fulfillment. It’s a topic I’m personally very interested in but the piece is not ready to publish yet because it needs quite a few more viewpoints and perspectives. So I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject–be it your own real-life scenario, your best-case scenario or what you think your future will hold. Are you a stay-at-home Mama who feels irrationally unproductive because you aren’t in an office or pursuing some sort of intellectual/professional goal? If you’re an office or working-for-a-paycheck Mama, do you think you would be completely happy staying home instead or would you really, really miss going to work? Or perhaps are you a stay-at-home parent who feels guilty for not feeling guilty about staying home? Or maybe you are actually perfectly content with your life and, in that case, let’s hear how you got there.
3) In other news, Will stripped off all of his clothes today and ran around the house naked for awhile. He looked so cute that it was 45 minutes before I could bring myself to get him dressed again. He also tried my oatmeal for breakfast this morning and liked it. Will is an agonizingly disinterested eater and you all know how I feel about my oatmeal, so I don’t know if I’ve had a prouder parenting moment yet than when he lapped up his portion and gestured for more.
4) Chris came home from work today, the day when many Embassies held special Election Day events and told me a story relayed to him by one of his friends at another Embassy in another part of the world. He said that the Embassy there hosted a “mock election” for local people to experience what voting in an American election is like. As the participants from the community were casting their votes, a locally employed staff person came up to Chris’ friend clutching a ballot. She asked him if it would be alright if she and her colleagues also cast votes in the mock election. “Of course!” he told her and behind her a group of other local staff cheered and beamed. They told him afterwards that it meant so much to them to be able to cast a vote–any vote–that they didn’t even care that it was for a mock election for a president in a different country.
I’m happy Obama won the election last night but I’m more grateful still to be an American and to live in a country where I have both the right to vote and the right to share my political views however I see fit. People get upset over endless political ads on TV and ugly rants on Facebook. To them, I say, how wonderful that we have these ads and these rants. How wonderful it is to be a citizen of a country in which we all get to have opinions and share them without fear of violent retribution. There are too many places around the world where people support their political parties not with t-shirts and posters but with knives and clubs–if they are allowed to express political opinions at all. There are some countries which never have and never will hold elections for political representatives. There are others that are “democratic” in name only. There are still others in which people hold their breath on election night waiting not to find out if their guy won, but to find out instead if their leader will peacefully transfer power or perhaps even start a civil war. How lucky us Americans in comparison!