This month has been a stressful one. We traveled from Alberta to Saskatchewan to Goa to Chennai.
The highlight of this month was getting to spend some time with a 3-month old. This little cherub was Steven’s niece. I was a little nervous about this in the beginning because I had no idea what to expect of a 3-month old baby and I was not sure if I was the first person of color she had to interact with and maybe that wouldn't go too well. These thoughts were definitely irrational and they maybe stemmed from few past experiences that obviously occupy a large space in my head for ruminating. I need not have worried it turns out, about her. She was just a sponge, taking in as much external stimulus as she could possibly into her tiny body and brain.
At three months, her neck could hold her head up and you could see her eye-body coordination improve with each day. She had learnt to mimic a smile quite masterfully and had a good understanding of it’s purpose. Her color vision is still developing but it would have been a month since her focal length changed to let her see things that are further away and within two months, she will have proper depth perception and can see colors sharper. Apparently at that age, since their ears are still developing they prefer shrill, high pitched sounds however, this little one had impeccable taste and preferred Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone to all else. I had only interacted with infants for extended periods of time when I was a child myself and it was thoroughly entertaining to watch her grow for 2 weeks.
(Disclaimer: Really, she is the cutest thing I have photographed this month but in an attempt to give her a fighting chance at privacy, I will not be posting her photos)
Other than baby time I have been keeping up with my statistics course while travelling and also starting to lose sleep over my next phase of life since work towards that was going to begin as soon as I landed in Chennai. However, I got a nice little respite during Thanksgiving and managed to eat my share in worries.
Then it was time to take a 48 hr flight from Regina-Toronto-Frankfurt-Chennai-Goa that ended with us stopping in Chennai at midnight for a few hours to swap out our six month luggage for a weekend bag and then reaching Goa at 6 AM. Needless to say we were exhausted and slept for about 16 hours until the next morning, however, we managed to wake up in time to attended the wedding in Goa, that we had flown down to attend.
Dona Paula is quite scenic and had the lovely-tropical-monsoon-green-Goan feel that drenches everything. All the plants seem to have broad leaves and there are around five or six shades of green intensified by all the rain.
After this little detour we were back in Chennai, and I promptly got the flu. Over the next two weeks, I started working on a few things;
- Started working on my PR for Canada which as a prerequisite requires
— Taking an exam to assess my ability to English with all its gentle systemic racism(I have an exam for this early next month).
— Getting all educational qualifications assessed (This is taking an inordinately long time and I have to jump through many a hoop to get the bureaucrats in various universities to move.)
2. Started condensing the list of professors to make contact with.
3. Found some temporary accommodation in Mammalapuram for 2 months while I finish this work.
4.Continued working on a few statistics courses in parallel: on regression models and machine learning.
5. Managed to publish a paper on Vipassana and the brain with Steven’s help: https://vipassana-for-hackers.org
6. I am slowly starting to run again. It is hard here. The few times, we tried to run in the middle of the day, it felt like I was imploding with heat and the humidity makes it feel like I am trying to breathe under water. Though early-morning running is pleasant enough along the beach.
Halloween has just gotten over and I went out to socialize for the first time in six months. I was pretty nervous going out, filled with a slight feeling of irrelevance and general social anxiety. It turned out to be not too scary just the usual loud, dark party where people are not really making conversation. I danced.
Over the next month, I would really like to also start taking driving classes and maybe* swimming classes and play more scrabble with my Gran. Let’s hope I don’t drop all these balls I am intent on juggling.
Books Read Recently
Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis Trilogy) — Octavia E Butler
The Power — Naomi Alderman
MaddAddam — Margret Atwood
The History of Bees — Maja Lunde
A boy from Siklis: The life and times of Chandra Gurung — Manjushree Thapa