In the post below i mention the “H” word.. i meant healthy. It seems like RU brings up so many ghosts out of the closets that i feel so free sometimes and sometimes so clogged/blocked etc. One of the reasons we are RU’ing is that it allows each of us the freedom to follow our inner voice. To be able to listen to it is a luxury for most young children these days. Parents tend to believe they know what is best or the local school does or the next door mama does. No one seems to hear their own inner voices.

I am struggling with our choice of moving to India. Many needs are not met. At present i am unable to enjoy a quiet stroll around here! The endless traffic/lack of greenery/concrete-pollution-dust etc make it hard for Ravi primarily to enjoy even a simple walk outside. And Raghu is very sensitive to it too. Z and I are more resilient. However I too miss the collective largesse of the US government 🙂 The green parks, gardens, libraries for the taking, playgrounds galore, readily available avenues to meet numberous interests/hobbies etc.

And given the lack of easily available outside options here…. Raghu esp tends to sit at home and do tons of indoor things adn media related things. He states that he hates bicycling outside and hates the library (all things he loved in Singapore and earlier in NJ). He wants to move to Kamshet (you can chk out the labels). Not an option at present. So the child is simply dealing with his India-issues by staying home. Something that bothers me deeply. And Dh too. As we know how much Raghu enjoyed being outdoors during our recent trip to Abu Dhabi/Dubai. more soon… gotta run.

I could focus on the lacking

There are no museums here…. practically no public libraries for little ones, no national treasures maintained with real feeling, practically no public restrooms, no playgrounds (unless you count the metal junk with bird droppings excuse for one), no wide open green spaces within easy access of all where one can commune with nature and still be within a short ride of home, and on and on the list goes in my head.

Yes, in many ways India sucks. Had to say it at some point despite my upbeat, lets get with the india beat mode until now.

I hope my friends and family in NJ and other parts of the US appreciate the treasure trove of basics that lie all around them. Within a short 10 minute car-ride of our old home in West Orange, NJ, (not a fancy town… just a simple suburb) i had access to at least 4 different libraries, 3 large parks, plenty of little ones (each park had at least one if not 2 play-climbing equipment, a reservation area with streams, etc. If i drove a little longer i was at the Liberty Science Center, I had access to NYC’s multitude, access to a community toddler’s museum, a chilrens museum, etc…

I miss all that so much. But I am very grateful for that experience in the US. People here can’t imagine supporting that sort of a community need. I know how much more can be done and enjoyed by all. Here Schools become a way to get access to libraries, gyms, etc. Outside the schools is an adult treasure trove maybe…but not really for young kids.

Anyway… like i said… i could focus on the lacking. But I choose to focus on the stuff i can do. My parents live in the neighboring state and bring me and the kids much joy. My m-i-l lives closer still and is very loving. Other family and friends whom i had only met occasionally over the years are giving their time too.

We get to see a less polished reality here… if you want to get craft material… you have to buy things and make your own kits,,, no Rag Shop here… so it makes us look at things differently. I have a helper who helps me out everyday now. I am able to read for a longer time to Raghu and can support Zoya in her endless painting of herself adn the floors. There are places to go and see… albeit too far away for quick morning outings. There is a small, only-one-of-its-kind-children’s library near by. You can only take out one book per person at a time… but still its something. It even has the Magic School Bus series that Raghu loves.

There are many things out here…. but India needs a few more RUers… and a lot more respect for children’s needs.

Anyway… grateful for this opportunity and for the abundance in our life. While i may have very few friends with whom i can be candid about our RU path… still there seems to be something within that is embracing the isolation that is inflicted upon us. Isolation within this crowded, teeming with humans place. Where the first and usually only question people ask of children is “which school do you go to?” We can afford things like house-help, travel, seasonal organic produce, wooden carpentry tools, etc at a fraction of what it would have cost us in the US. All this amounts to a comfort level we never had in the US that leads to larger chunks of time and energy available to spend with the children.

I could focus on the lacking (that list is now growing larger as Raghu asks for lego clubs or at least a friend who has an intense lego interest)… but that does not help me be a peaceful, joyful person. So i’ll go make a list of wishes and see if we can manifest some of them out here in India.