Thank God It Is Saturday!

9:48 AM

This week has been a accumulation of all the things that should be cumulated: Solo Parenting + last minute unforeseen week off school + intense Mumbai October heat. This end up all summing to: chaos, boredom, irritation and lack of productivity.

Ishita's school send us an SMS of doom last Saturday announcing that due to urgent electrical repair, her floor would be shut down and the kids were to stay home on Monday and Tuesday. This has been quickly replaced by a new more apocalyptic SMS on Monday night announcing that the school would remain shut the whole week long...THE WHOLE WEEK LONG!!!

If that alone was not going to ensure my entire blog and work schedule would be disrupted greatly, lets throw in DH going away on a business know just for the fun of it. This ensured that I would be on my knees by mid-day with a 1st Grader bored out of her mind (and voicing it) with no chance of any spousal  moral support.
But wait! There's more (insert over zealous sales person tone and picture an equally overzealous enthusiastic face to go with it).
Because having a 1st Grader home the whole week and no chance of spousal back up is clearly not enough to drive a person insane (at least not a veteran like myself), let's add the heat into the mix.
In true blue Mumbai fashion, October sees a comeback of Summer, making  it absolutely impossible to be out between 9am and 5pm without steaming, sweating your entire being to a puddle and possibly evaporating in the atmosphere. during the actual real Summer break I have the option of sending her to the neighbour to play (and we usually take turns taking the kids). This week she was the ONLY school going kid NOT to be in school in our neighbourhood!

How do you keep a 1st grader happy at home when there is nobody to play with until 5pm? HOW??? I tried to put her to work, but it wears thin quickly, so does a few hours of TV, and a couple of craft projects, and a grocery shopping trip here and there (trips that nearly killed us in the heat). It inevitably always ended up with Ishita whining at 1pm saying "Mama I am BORED", and me feeling dead beat and terribly unproductive hearing it.

Came 4pm we would be out  the door, thanks to some of my friends who were in the mood for play dates, both indoors and outdoors. Oh boy did we look forward to the end of the afternoon just to get out from a home that felt more like a messy prison than a home.

Thanks to this past week though, nothing has been achieved on the blog front, and all the plans and projects I had on the art front (including some big ones)  went out of the window. I even had plans to do fun cooking with Ishita, but that also went out of the window due to the intense, burning heat from hell in the kitchen (it's that bad in Mumbai folks!). I also got submitted to the school whatsapp group rants as every single parents in her class were as sapped and frazzled as I was. With many having to rearrange their office work week with their boss.

Because the school didn't take time to consider what a burden it would be for working parents. Didn't plan on alternative arrangements and simply made the assumption that ever woman in India is a happy go lucky housewife with no life beyond the the lives of her own progeny. We are still all trying to get the school to explain what kind of "emergency" that electrical repair was. Especially after I noticed two days ago that all the lights and AC units were on and clearly working on that floor. The school has instead chosen to not pick up the phone, and to not reply to emails. The very few lucky souls that got them to pick up the phone only got a cooked and canned reply of : "It was for the safety of the kids". Without elaborating any further, or explaining how serious the electrical problem was, or even coming with an answer to our questions about their plan to compensate for that lost week of curriculum.

This, my dear sends two very disturbing message to people :

1) Women better stay housewives for eternity in India, because their wanting to have a career is incompatible with the whims and fancies of schools and the ridiculously heavy government holidays list.

2) Education is to be taken as a joke, schools can decide how much of it a kid is entitled for as part of the school fee, and decide at the last minute to slash into the allotted time  for any reason they feel like giving.

Us parents should only nod and be happy about it, because hey, some of us might end up kissing a promotion at work goodbye, or see their bum on the company's ejector seat. But hey! At least our kids are safe from a phantom electrical emergency the school didn't even feel like explaining to us...


  1. I'm going to make you jealous- it has cooled off here to a lovely, balmy, coastal California type temp of 23C/74F and 58% humidity.
    We have 21 hours a day of electricity!!! Yay! (We usually get down to only 6 hrs a day of electricity in the winter.)
    We have no petrol & are hoarding gas cylinders due to the 'mysterious' border blockade between India & Nepal- this has really impacted our tourism - BOO!
    Cyn, you have inspired me to get off my puchre (butt or tail in Nepali) & get started on my cooking blog. Keep calm & curry on!

    1. Awwww we will have to wait until December to get those temps here :-( two days ago it was about 35 degrees with about 80% humidity and yesterday it was 36 with a sudden drop to 35% humidity and a rise of the smog. That left me totally wiped out. Today seem to be another somewhat dry and hot day. My skin is pulling from these very sudden change. I don't mind the fact we are having dry heat, it's more bearable and we sweat less, but the overnight change is what becomes very taxing.

      I love the title of the blog! Send me the link when you can.

    2. Anonymous4:30 PM

      In these auspicious days of celebration of female power, I can only pray that Goddess Durga blesses you with strength and patience. Even the goddess did not had to deal with a naughty six year old LoL.

      It was rather irresponsible for the school to shut down for one whole week. They could have carried out the work on weekends. That what we do in offices or shift the children to some alternative space for a week. These schools do have auditoriums and rooms. Some alterntive rooms could have been provided. Dusshera holidays are starting next week but in Mumbai I think they have Ganesh Chaturthi holidays. It would have helped a lot. It reminds me once when our school building was being renovated, the classes were held under the tree for a month. We managed somehow.

      I found something on the youtube which I want to share with you some good dance and music. Could cheer you up

      I don't know much about classical music but I found it wonderful and wanted to share it with you. Thanks to youtube we can hear these great artists after so many decades. I hope you don't mind.


    3. I'll watch those videos later :-) my head is still buzzing from all this past week. I think I should be blessed with Durga's power and manage to grow Ravana's 10 heads on such crazy weeks.

      The school really didn't plan it well. They claim it was urgent repair, but what kind of urgent repair takes a week off school? We only have the day off for Dassera, Ganesh Chaturthi is a bigger deal in Mumbai that Navratri. And then we have 3 whole weeks of holiday for Diwali, surely they could have done whatever repair they needed to do then, it is just 2-3 weeks ahead from now. And as you said, they have an auditorium, a big sports ground, an indoor sports area spanning on an entire floor, and I am sure have the possibility to use so,e not in use classrooms on other floors, instead they chose to inconvenience the parents to the extreme and play deaf when we started complaining :-( looks like all they want is our money and nothing else...sigh!

    4. Anonymous6:26 AM

      let the goddess deal with it then. The durge pooja celebrations will be full swing next week. hook up with some bengali friend visit the nearby celebrations. There are drawing completions, fancy dress etc. ishita would like it. Good way to break the monotony. u can find out yourself and go.

      at night it is even more beautiful. The decorations are out of the world and the idols are very artistically decorated. there is carnival like atmosphere with food and games. There are cultural programmes where singers perform. more like going to a rock concert. It a good way to spend a few hours in culturally stimulsting enjoyable atmosphere Though they may not be big in Mumbai I am sure there may be one or two poojas

      but that is at your own convenience. evenings being cool are more suitable plus lights are more spectacular at night.


    5. There is a small one near where I live that is going to start next week. Ishita will be back in school so I will see if we can go. She is always dead beat tired by 8pm because she still insists on waking up early even on holidays and refuse to nap.
      I do have a Bengali friend, we were talking last week about trying to get the girls to the Durga Utsav if we get the time though. Not set in stone yet though.

      There was a big festival near my place in Bangalore, it was a big cultural event with not just classical music or traditional stuff, but contemporary bands and a food fair.
      I think with Mumbai being so much bigger a city, there is more than just one Bengali association and they all make their own festival in various area of the city.


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