Saturday, October 6, 2012

Office office

And so, just like that, I am back in an office. Not just any office. My old office. The one where I spent hours and hours poring over data, drinking endless cups of murky chai, laughing with my team and going through breakdowns as deadlines came rushing at me.

My first day back was bittersweet. All the old faces are gone. They got married, had children, moved jobs, moved cities, countries and continents. And yet, I am back once again.

Everyone seems surprised at this decision of mine. I think I had convinced everyone that I would be a starving writer for the rest of my living days.

Just like that, the last six years have whizzed by. I have no qualms about how I spent them. I wrote books and took care of my children. Sure, I had the occasional nervous breakdown about what the hell I was doing with my life but those moments passed with the aid of cocktails.

The thing is, I have been thinking about reintroducing my old job into my life for some time now.

It's not because the kids are all grown up. I mean, of course Ragini started pre-school a few months ago and is gone for a couple of hours each morning. And Adi, the baby after whom this blog was once named is a kindergartner now!  They come back from school and after some loafing around, it is time for lunch and then the baby goes off for a nap and Adi has playdates and tennis and chess. For the first time in years, I do not have the demands of a small baby. But that's not it.  

It's also not because the trusty Padma has been with me for the last several years and my mum stays with me. It does have an impact, sure, but I am of the school of thought that Aditya and Ragini are to be raised by M and me. Not M's parents, not my mum, not Padma, though all these people have really helped over the years. Still, the buck stops with us.

It's not because I am an over-achiever who has a point to prove. I am not.

It's not because I am done writing. I am not.

In fact, it's just the opposite.

My work involves meeting lots of people from varied sections of our society. I used to find them fascinating and I still do. And I really and ardently believe that interacting with new people will enrich my writing.

I may be wrong, which is why I am treating this as an experiment. If I find I am so immersed in office work that I am not finding the time for my other job, I will have to rethink my decision. But for some reason, I have a feeling I will be able to do both and one will feed into the other.

The kids. They are used to me working on mysterious documents that sometimes result in books anyway. In their strangely adaptive way, they just sort of took this change in their stride. Ah, she is going out in the morning instead of lounging around in eyesore-inducing pajamas till late afternoon. Well, more power to her. 

Things have changed.

And change is good.


Anonymous said...

Congrats and good luck :)

Have been doing this for a while now - and get a kick out fo it like nothing else. My kids - they ask me what work was like when I ask them what school was like. Overheard the younger child telling her friend about my work, and could not help smiling at her description - my Mamma helps children to be healthy and go to good schools.

(I work with a social enterprise that works primarily in public health and education. One of our recent projects impacted 40 million kids).

--Choxbox (working from another gmail account so posting as anon).

mim said...

last sunday i lowered my head and hid under the restaurant's table because i saw a former colleague's husband...

and i didnt look up even for the onion uthappams

i am back in madras, and everything familiar is haunting.

tell me if this experiment works, parul

in french there was a phrase "voila, un brave!"
and so you are

Vini said...

Interesting! It is unbelievable how much the line about meeting people feeding into the writing rang true. I used the exact same words when I quit my regular job last year to tell the Mister what I was going to miss the most.

Not that I have books (or even one) out though. Just in case someone wanted to hop over and check :)

Good luck!

The knife said...

all the best for your new stint...and yes lot of the stuff I blog about happens because of my job...there are stories everywhere

Perfect Witch said...

All the best - applause and all that, old egg, do good!

AA_Mom said...

Isn't it amazing that one fits right into the old job as if we never took that vacation. Good luck and god bless kids who take everything in their stride.

Anonymous said...

Hey Parul, good luck.. please don't forget the blog!

Sujatha R

Anonymous said...

Yes, more power to you for sure. Here's to a great work life-momlife-authorlife ahead.


Anuradha said...

All the best to you, Parul! :-)

Bong Mom said...

Congrats Parul. Good luck on the new old job. Being on the other side of fence was just hoping that you would remain to be a well fed author and thus show us that, that is a possibility :)

Mom Gone Mad said...

Sounds like a brilliant move! Go, Parul! All the best!

3mik said...

I had the same experience when i returned to my old office. Every one was new but fortunately for me ,most of them were nice people and same life returned.The life goes on.......

Parul said...

Chox...I am so much in awe of you. Really, you are awfully inspiring.

mim...I really hope it works. I am already feeling happier for it, working weekends and all. I must have missed it terribly.

Vini....Writing need not be about getting published, non? So many reasons for it.

The knife...Your stories always make me hungry!

Perfect Witch...Thanks, old girl.

AA_Mom...Oh yes, they do.

Sujatha...No way, I am posting quite regularly now.

Deepa...Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Anuradha...Thanks, love.

Bong Mom...Oh no, I seemed to crave for more than just that. Wanted a nice paycheque, wanted to work with different brands..the whole hog. It's killing me but I am happier for it :)

Mom Gone Mad...I don't know about it being brilliant but I feel saner for it :)

3Mik...Good to hear that and more power to you!

Anonymous said...

How cool! (Actually you could do anything and that'd be my reaction:)) Had to delurk for this one - you're such an inspiration! Good luck with everything.

Btw, somehow I know that you have something to do with MR. First rule: never make fun of those on the other side of the glass! ;) Unless it is really funny. I do the same thing so here's a story for you - in one of my focus groups, when the moderator left the room, the consumers started chatting. This girl turns to the guy next to her and goes - you look really familiar- i've seen you somewhere.. in about 4 minutes they figured it out. He was the stripper at her friend's bachelorette party! I mean the world is small, flat and all. I stopped taking notes at that point.