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It's been 19 months since my last post. Alot has happened since then.

This much Alot has happened.
I thought I'd give up blogging for good. A way to avoid talking about Alot. Maybe sneakily start yet another blog and website. Another way to avoid talking about Alot. Then I got a comment on the website. Out of the blue, nearly 3 whole years after it was posted. Something I wrote helped someone somewhere. Regardless of how much has happened, Headbath continues to be important and I will keep at it.

I may not be dishing out the bowls of sanctimonious mommy advice now, though. Mostly because I'm a part-time mother now. This is actually quite a big part of the Alot - I'd say the rump region.

In December 2016, I turned 30. I was lucky to have my eyes opened to a few truths about the man I married and chose to procreate with. There were a few ugly spats. I moved out in May. The hope was to attend couple's counselling, delve deep into the ills of our marriage, address the issues, and move on for the sake of the life we had created and the promises we made to each other. 

This was not to be. There was more ugliness. My quandry was whether to do what my mother and the women of her generation did, which was to stick around hoping and praying it will change research and experience show that it won't or to do what my mother and the women of her generation refused to do, which was to leave.

I left.

E spent weekdays with me at my new rental and weekends with the ex just a 10-minute drive away. I juggled a home, a job, and a kid by myself. I kicked ass at it. I took a trip to Tosh and Kutla in Himachal Pradesh. Breathed the freshest air of my life, felt the warmest hug of the sun on my skin, drank water from a spring, and couldn't shake off the feeling that my salary was a bribe to stay in the city.

In an almost be-careful-what-you-wish-for moment, a few months later, I got the opportunity to be part of an agro-venture in a village near Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu. Another quandry. Do I continue to stick around in a choking, belching, erstwhile gorgeous city and do a job I'm obviously good at but which isn't challenging and is really only making a few people a lot of money?

Or do I finally back myself on all the talk I've talked about sustainable living in nature? Go try to do something I have no clue about but that I can read and ask and gain knowledge. Knowledge that I may share but that no one can actually take from me. I've spent my life being a consumer, at first, mindless. It's time for that to change.

I've been at the farm for nearly a month now. The land is being cleared of lantana and other forest weeds. There are animals that have made their home in the thick bramble. Bulbuls and squirrels and mice. We leave some nests behind, others are spotted too late. We say a small prayer as apology and hope they find a better home, higher up in the trees perhaps.

There is a farmhouse on the farm. This is where I live with my childhood bestfriend (CB) I told you Alot has happened. The farmhouse is spacious with a great kitchen. But it's old and a little neglected so it needs some improvement; projects like roofing, bathrooming and painting the walls. I'll be documenting these projects here in all likelihood.

The vegetable garden is being tilled ready for seeds and saplings. Through this garden of experimentation, we hope to follow principles of permaculture in designing and nurturing a forest over the larger 4-acre property. Most of it will be edible, some will be ornamental - all of it interdependent and productive. I'll be documenting these projects too here in all likelihood.

Clearing the land was step one. Vegetable garden is step two. Each is at about 25% completion in less than a month.
E is with the ex and his parents in Bangalore. It is unfortunate that she needs to be away from me in this time. The way I look at it, and the only way I can stay strong, is that I had so much time I was so greedy I ate it all up in one big gulp with her in infancy and early childhood documented heretofore that it is now time for her to be with her father. I speak to her regularly and she seems well provided for.

The argument that a child needs both her parents all the time only works if the child witnesses parents who like each other and who enjoy spending time with each other. This assumes a certain degree of domestic happiness. This is the ideal environment for a child. Any deviation from this ideal would have a negative impact on the child. Or so the arguments go.

I recently came across the work of Erik Erikson, a developmental psychologist who in addition to psychoanalysing Martin Luther King and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in Pulitzer Prize winning books  broke down the formation of an individual's identity over that individual's life stages. 

He differed from Freud (and to a certain extent, Jung) in that he didn't believe that an individual's personality is based chiefly on their experiences from the infant and early childhood stages of life. He believed that an individual's society and culture had a huge bearing on their personality and so developed the stages of "psychosocial" development

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E is at the age where she is trying to exert control over her environment. This particular intelligent girl is challenged with multiple environments. Regardless of all that is happening, she is able to appreciate that her life is different and is steadfastly growing into a compassionate and sensitive young girl. 

Her next visit to the farm will be vastly different from her first. I am excited for her to find her part in what is being created here. I'm certain she'll find Alot.

Images courtesy: Hyperbole and a Half and Health Research Funding


  1. Great to see Headbath happening again. Waiting to read all about Alot. Wishing you happiness wherever you are


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