<Quite a long and crib/sad post. I need to let it out. Thanks if you read till the end.>
There were only two people whom I would blindly trust with making any decisions for me. First one, I lost confidence in couple of years ago. Losing confidence in the second person and decision to not trust anyone anymore blindly happened just last week.
When Murali’s project work at Vancouver came along, there were couple of choices on what I can do. Most of them needed me to take a break from work. Out of all the options, when my dad suggested I take a break from April and spend 4 months in India, I agreed blindly. Not that I was okay with that decision, but rest all seemed unsatisfactory anyway. For ex, staying in Seattle with a live-in nanny to take care of kids and me going to work – This one didn’t sound right to me. Surely I didn’t want to take a break from work, but not at the expense of living without my family. As I settled on going to India, I was damn sure I would be so bored in India, but partially I was okay with this as I thought Abhi and Achu would get good care. Plans were made for dad to come to Seattle to assist me and the twins in the journey as any airlines wont let one adult travel with two infants.
I let everyone at work know that I will be gone for 4 months and started making travel preps. My only goal was to make sure Abhi and Achu don’t suffer during the travel and have a comfortable journey. We made travel arrangements earlier and dad was expected to fly that week. The Friday before the week dad was supposed to arrive in Seattle,Murali comes home and asks me how I am going to travel without my passport. Some news that shocked me as I had no idea my passport wasn’t with me. Murali then told me that when he was applying for a work permit for Canada, he also sent a work permit application for me along with my passport for processing. That was quite a shock to me to realize I don’t have my passport, especially just days before my dad was expected to arrive for the sole purpose of taking me to India.
And then the waiting game began. We requested Canadian consulate for urgent return of my passport without processing my application. We didn’t receive any kind of response despite multiple reminders. Dad arrived as planned hoping that passport would arrive on time. Our scheduled day of travel arrived and yet no sign of my passport. We waited till the morning and rescheduled the travel to a week later. Through out the waiting time, I remember everyone around was feeling bad that my passport hadn’t arrived on time. But I wasn’t feeling any sad. I was very neutral because I didn’t want to go in the first place. Although I agreed to the option, during the week we were waiting, I gave quite a bit of thought to why I was so hesitant to go. a. I am not the kind of person to spend all time at home. b. I like to stay busy and have a balanced life, some time at work, some time at home is all I need. Knowing all this didn’t change my mind as it was already too late for a change.
After quite a bit of drama, passport arrived just the morning of when we were supposed to fly out. We were all packed and ready and we proceeded to airport and checked-in. And then the worst happened.
As this was first flight and that too a long flight for Abhi and Achu, I planned quite extensively on what to carry and what to do during the flight. Being the cleanliness freak I was for Abhi and Achu, I read a lot and packed everything right to keep Abhi and Achu healthy during the transit. The unfortunate part of travel was that I planned it all right but had the worst partner to help during the flight – my dad. when my dad said he would assist me in our journey to India, he somehow assumed that all the help I need is with checking-in, boarding, finding out at what gate etc. And this was definitely not what I needed. I needed someone to help with taking care of one of the babies or at least holding or keeping them occupied.
Being their first flight travel, Abhi and Achu got very scared of the new surroundings and new faces around them. Neither of them wanted to go to my dad as he was still sort of new to them. They wanted me to hold them all the time and it wasn’t easy for me to hold them both and pass through the gates, board the flight. My hands were killing me, I tried putting them in their stroller, Abhi and Achu were so scared that they didn’t want me to leave them anywhere. Through out most of the travel, I carried them both in my arms, finally gave up and had to let them cry it out. I was feeling so bad inside and to add to the trouble, my dad wasn’t even trying to help. Which ever one my dad was holding, would cry and I had to switch the baby and now the other one would start crying. I had no idea why my dad wasn’t able to help. Not that he is not good with kids, the other two grandchildren adore him. But it turned out that he is good with making a happy baby happier. When it came to basic necessities he had no skills. During the travel he actually told me that he doesn’t know how to change a diaper and I was very surprised to hear that. In fact, during the take-offs and landings I had to leave the babies in a seat (and not in an adult lap as they should be in), because they were so crying to be with my dad.
Through out the travel, Abhi and Achu cried the most they ever did and even cried themselves to sleep. They didn’t travel in the most sanitary conditions I planned for them. In my condition, keeping the twins in a sanitary condition as I wanted them to be in was actually a luxury to me. Their bottles were washed in the bathroom, their blankets were on floor, I had to finally give up, spread a blanket on floor in Dubai airport and let them play on the floor. I even let a complete stranger hold Achu in the hope that he could calm her down while I was calming Abhi.
If the horrible flight journey wasn’t enough to make me feel go back to Seattle there was more waiting for us in Hyderabad. Abhi, Achu and I reached home completely exhausted. I was hoping things would get better after we reached home. After all, I was told I would have help here and I can rest. But that wasn’t the case at all. Abhi and Achu’s schedule changed completely because of jet lag. Because this was new place, they were still scared. I was exhausted too and for different reasons I had zero help even at my home as my mom wasn’t in any shape to help me. I think its best I don’t go into details anymore here because this is not something I would like to remember.
My health which was already bad through the flight took turn for worst despite me being on many medications and that made my daily life even more miserable. And there is more. The main reason I came here is that Murali wont be in Seattle anymore. Now, because of some visa delays he is still stuck in Seattle; when he will travel is not yet known and that’s something that voids my coming here.
I wouldn’t call this trip any vacation. I know I am stuck here for a long 4 months, this is exactly the part I dreaded all the time and still agreed to do because it meant best care for Abhi and Achu. But when that best care isn’t happening, there is nothing left for me than just suck it up.
I cursed myself so bad for not going with my gut instinct and taking this trip. I was so mad with Murali for putting me in this situation, my mom and dad for promising me something that they can’t give me and myself for trying to satisfy everyone and making the worst choice. Things may seem better tomorrow, but what Abhi, Achu and I went through is not worth anything. Worst thing I remember during the transition is that out of Abhi and Achu, because Achu cried the loudest, I had to attend to her first and let Abhi cry it out. Its been just more than a week since we started out from Seattle and I can still remember Abhi weakly crying laying some where next to me each time. Its not a memory I can ever forget.