Without the blaring tune of my alarm in the wee hours of the morning, I would probably continue dreaming about dancing peanuts knocking at my door. Rising up with the sun as the sky begins to shimmer with colors is an integral part of my daily routine as an Indian. Boasting its importance, I’m often tempted to snuggle deeper into my blankets and doze off, but that’s where my husky Sasha comes in. Sasha is equally a part of my morning routine as chai (tea) is to any Indian household. She playfully pounces on the bed and nudges me to wake up. After witnessing her dogged persistence (pun intended), I finally agree to get off the bed. Now consider waking up as a staircase, Sasha the first step, the rest of the steps follow seamlessly.
Following Sasha’s adorable wake-up call, I’m off into the bathroom for a refreshing brush, floss, and splash session. I know, it sounds like a full-fledged water park ride, but trust me, maintaining oral hygiene is as vital as the morning sun to the rest of the day. Walking downstairs, I get my first bear hugs of the day from my little munchkins, Leon and Esme. My parrot Joey sings heartwarming Bollywood melodies and that's our background score for a delightful morning.
After an energetic start, my daily routine takes me to the kitchen, where I prepare a healthy and scrumptious Indian breakfast. The aroma of fresh ghee on parathas wafts through the house as I busily shuffle between the stovetop, toaster, and fridge. What follows next is a blink-and-you-miss kaleidoscopic event as breakfast gets consumed with fervor and laughter filling the room. The breakfast routine at my place is similar to the dynamics of a busy Mumbai local train with just as much commotion and ten times the fun.
Post breakfast, the baton of the day passes to the pursuit of our individual daily activities. Leon and Esme get quickly ready for the long school day ahead. My wife and I work from home, a blessing in disguise I must say! While we delve into our laptops, our pet parrot Joey, the Mozart of the house, keeps our spirits high with his cheeky renditions of popular songs. The turmoil of work, school, lunch, and homeschooling unfolds in a seamless symphony until the daylight fades into striking shades of twilight.
Evenings in our household are a dynamic blend of spices, colors, and conversations. We all find ourselves in the kitchen cooking an elaborate Indian meal together. The children assist with chopping vegetables while I do the honors of manning the stove. Meanwhile, Sasha and Joey partake in the family fun from the sidelines. There's something absolutely magical about preparing a meal together, it's not just about the food, it's about the bonds we continue to build and strengthen every day.
It is during these cooking sessions that we sometimes indulge in dancing to Bollywood music, playing our very own version of the game 'Statue', or sharing funny anecdotes from our day. Cooking becomes more than just a necessity to survive, it becomes a performance, a memory, a tradition. Amidst the laughter and fun, dinner eventually gets made. The unmistakable aroma of savory curry and fresh rotis fills the house.
When the last bite of dinner is enjoyed and the last joke is shared around the table, we all slide into our respective nighttime routines. A peek into my world would show me, a meticulous dad getting down to the earth-shaking task of making Leon and Esme ready for bed. Bath time, storytime, and lullabies later, when my little nuggets have curled up and drifted off to the dreamland, I finally sit down in the serenity of the night, a much-needed break from the day's hustle and bustle.
With the moon up in the sky and the house abuzz with the quiet hum of nighttime, there's no better time to indulge in some introspection. I round off my day with a good book, sipping on a warm cup of chamomile tea, Sasha by my feet and Joey silent for once. The tranquility of the night is the perfect battery re-charge for starting another day in the life of an Indian dad living in Canberra. And, well, that's it, folks! That’s a day in my life, filled with work, laughter, chaos, peace, and a spritz of love.