Back in my carefree days as a non-parent in Paris, I had a good friend Catherine who carried around a small notebook with her wherever she went. It was a planner and she jotted down everything in it. “Let’s visit a museum,” I would say, and she would respond “attends une minute, je dois vérifier si je suis libre demain!” and out would come her little black book. The first time I saw the book, I sniggered and said “You have a planner? Really? But for what?!” It’s eight years since then and there isn’t a day that passes when I don’t remember Catherine.
You see, each morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is look at my little black book. The pages of this book are filled with important appointments that cannot be forgotten at any cost – Netra’s classes, Netra’s playdates and Netra’s doctor visits. Not content with taking over my house, bed and cupboards, she has now firmly entrenched herself in my daily calender as well. Her social life is so busy that if not for the planner, I would be running round in a tizzy like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to recall where she needs to be when and at what time!
On some days she has so many activities scheduled for the same day, that I resort to writing reminders to myself in the margins of the notebook. Run your eyes over this typical schedule for a day (only Robert Langdon would be able to remember a month’s worth of action-packed days like this one): 3:45 – Art class 5 – Appointment with doctor 6 – Playdate at Miraya’s house – Complete Marvellous me project – To buy: socks for school, tracks for dance class – Fix appointment with ped. dentist – Buy gift for Twisha’s b’day When I look back today at Catherine who was managing the lives of three children, I am only surprised that she managed with one planner!
And every morning when others are lighting lamps and reciting their morning prayers, I silently mouth, “Thank you Catherine, for the gift of the black book!” I must end by saying that today there are some people who snigger at me and my planner. Well all I can say is, “Your time will come!”
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