This Week: Phrase Prompts

Jane of all trades

Joined at the hip

Jump on the bandwagon

Just what the doctor ordered

I bustled around the house, coffee mug in one hand and Alison’s school uniform in another. It was the usual Monday morning rush hour.

Suddenly my phone rang. It was Jeff. He gruffed, “Andrea, where is the presentation?” You were to send it to me by 7 AM, it’s already 7:10.” Jeff was a stickler of time. Some of the very few bosses who gave his employees all the leeway and ownership, but at the same time insisted that things be perfect to the T.

“Just emailing it to you Jeff”, give me 5 more minutes, please.”, I said apologetically.

As I hung up I thought to myself, “To heck with 5 minutes!”  “How was I going to manage? I hadn’t even ironed Alison’s uniform as I was glued to the computer all night, working till the wee hours of the morning on that damn presentation.”  I had wanted to give it one quick glance for typo errors before I mailed it out to Jeff, therefore the delay

But Alison had lolled around in bed longer than most days and we were already running late. I threw my arms up in the air in despair. “Why does a woman have to be the Jane of all trades? ” I muttered, exasperated.

Rohit who was buried to his smartphone looked at me and smiled.” Don’t worry baby, let me get this.” He took the uniform and headed towards the ironing board.

Thank God for Rohit, we were literally joined at the hip – inseparable and incapable of doing much without each other. Unlike the stereotypical Indian men, he was as hands on as any woman around. Though I had been forewarned by my Brit girlfriends when Rohit and I were dating. “Beware of these Indian boys, Andrea. They can be a crass lot and typical Mamma’s boys.” But Rohit was a breed apart. After Rohit and I got married I was pleasantly surprised how traditional and caring Indian men could actually be. They sure were breaking the stereotypes.”

Rohit and I had known each other for 20 years, married for 1o years. We had been best friends at Oxford and then went on to work with the same advertising agency in London, before we chose to tie the knot. What really connected us was the fact that both of us were chatty and loved having long, animated conversations over nth cups of coffee. We could talk about everything under the sun and still, have more to share.

But in the last couple of years technology had taken over our lives. Though we had grown to love and understand each other more as the years progressed but had so little time for each other. The fact that we both had separate, hectic professional lives, didn’t make it any easier. In the last few years I had become pretty involved with the blogging world too. Writing was a passion, I had recently discovered. It was a way to vent my inner Goddess and Demons. It kept me sane and going amidst all the madness at work, juggling between Alison’s school, extra classes, tennis and ballet lessons, four times a week and of course home.

As Rohit ironed the clothes, I frantically reviewed the presentation and sent it out.

“Alison have you had your breakfast? Almost time for the school van…” I walked to the dining area and saw Alison fixated to the iPad. “Gosh Alison, for Chrissake! leave that alone and get ready please.” Alison gave a cheesy grin, “Mommy, two minutes please, let me finish this Tinker Bell episode.”

“Alsion this is ridiculous. This is no time to watch Tinker Bell. Get ready, RIGHT NOW!” I literally screamed.

We managed to catch the bus just in time. We had almost missed it.

As I drove to work I experienced a sudden bout of gloom. I was thinking of all those times when we would play Anoushka Shankar or Pavarotti in the morning, sit with Alison and have our morning cuppa, while she ate breakfast, chatting and sharing stories about her friends. Though rushed for time, they were mornings not so cramped with technology. Rohit would also share some snippets from the newspaper with Alison. But now he read it online. While Alsion ate alone. I, on the other hand, would either be prepping up for the long day ahead.

Even on weekends, we didn’t play those board games anymore. We sat staring at the screen, watching a Netflix movie. Though together, but sans any one on one engagement. I also used the weekends to write my pending pieces. And sometimes chatting with my friends on the numerous WhatsApp groups I was part of. There was one for school friends, one for college friends, 2 for the relatives, two running groups and so on so forth. Rohit, would also be checking office emails round the clock or posting those silly memes on Facebook. The picnics by the country side were a thing of the past. When we went out for dinner, both Rohit and I being that foodies that we were, we would spend so much time taking food pictures that we could post on Instagram or Facebook. We had jumped on the bandwagon and had become addicted and over plugged to technology.

The internet had taken over our lives and we had forgotten to live for the moment, to look around us, to bond and to notice and appreciate little joys life had to offer. We were living like robots, in a mechanical world.

In the evening when I reached home, I looked at Alsion and said, ” Darling, from now onwards all three of us will have dinner together, minus the screen. And once we are done with dinner we will spend 1/2 an hour watching TV and the next half an hour chatting and sharing about our day. In the interim Mom and Daddy will keep their phones away. We will also resume our old morning ritual of breakfast amidst tea and music.”  Rohit who was rustling up the stir fries in the kitchen piped in, “Yayyy to that! I’m game to just what the doctor ordered.

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This post is written for Wordy Wednesday # 2– March 2017 #BARWoWe

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