|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 45, Tuesday May 17, 2005|
Empty nest syndrome: How to survive it
Which parents have not experienced the angst of the empty nest--a time of life when children have grown up and gone away to lead their own lives. Suddenly one plunges from the world of birthday parties, school parent and teachers meetings, homework and later teenage tantrums to a world where you are no longer the center of your young one's universe. Now it's time for the children to fly away.
There are two ways of dealing with the empty nest syndrome: either you just cave in and wallow in misery or you decide to stand tall and find a new meaning in life. The latter could mean learning new skills such as Ikebana, bonsai, aerobics, photography and doing all those things for which you had no time in the past--maybe travel, make new friends and read.
Women who have careers are relatively better off. For them it is easier to come to terms with the departure of their offspring since their focus has not solely been on the young ones. There are many instances of women scaling new heights once they can give undivided attention to their work.
Another way to fight the empty nest syndrome is to step back and try some options, charted out by psychologists:
In our part of the world, it is a little easier for the older generation to come to terms with a changed family reality. Unlike the West, when 18 years spells time to leave the nest, children in Asia maintain closer relationships with their elders. In fact, it is not uncommon for children to live with their parents or in-laws. A friend I know has her father living a few houses away from her marital home--a boon when she has to leave the children or simply to get away from the rut of domesticity. Another flits in and out of her parental home when the grind of living gets her down--even though they are in different cities. So parents in this part of the world are a great support for women, especially those who aspire to a career.
So instead of moping about the half empty glass, turn your sights to the half full glass--the success and independence of your children, time out to do things you enjoy but never had the time for earlier and finding an identity independent of being a mother.
By Kavita Charanji
Diary of a Food Obsessed Person
By Sam Q
Anyway, going back to my point, I of course declined the offer, mainly because, their intentions were less honorable. Meaning? If I would actually become a self-appointed food critic, the deal would be, my friends would be there to "help" me decide the fate of the restaurant. Anyway I pushed aside their ribbings and banter, but co-incidentally, last night, we all went over at a recently opened friend's restaurant called Le' Saigon serving Vietnamese food. And something went "ping" inside & my writer's side of the brain wanted to put things down on paper. Weird!
Okay, so let's get down to business. Let's start off with the positive stuff first. (I can actually visualize Shammu, thinking, positive stuff first? So, what does that mean, are there negative stuff too?") So as Shammu would say "relax babe". Your positive stuff way over-shadows the negative stuff.
Normally in the restaurant business, food is the main calling card. The best example is, Olive Garden. Such bad décor and lack of ambience. But we keep going back, only because of the food. The food is absolutely, in my opinion, mind blowing. But in Le' Saigon's case, food is also very good, but the main calling card is, Shammu's charm, wit and warmth of welcome. Whatever happens, if Shammu is there, the restaurant is here to stay. I loved the décor at Le' Saigon. The bamboo railings inside were so innovative and eye catching. The beams on the ceiling and the slow moving fan were like my grandfather's house in old town, where I spent many happy hours of my childhood.
Anjan, the owner's wife, played the perfect supportive wife role to the hilt. Dressed in a very authentic Chinese top, blending in with her surroundings, she took me back to a Vietnam War movie set. If there was only a bar, I could actually picture her, lounging on a bamboo stool, with her long, coltish legs daintily crossed over, murmuring sweet nothings to Shammu, who would be wearing dapper white pants with a flowery shirt and a white, broad brimmed hat to complete the ensemble.
Anyway, reality check time, Earth calling Sam.
The appetizers were awesome, especially the rolled shrimp. My diet pact with Sameer whizzed out the window, even before he could say "Atkins". His main courses were very good too. And to wrap it up, his chewy banana dessert took my breath away. Even my husband's glares couldn't stop me. There was even a mini tug-of-war between me and him with the dessert plate. Poor guy, for some reason he thinks, if he eats less, I'll get thin. How delusional can you get? I will definitely be going back. The only thing which I think could be incorporated, is a non-smoking section. I have nothing against smokers. It's just that, I would have stayed longer if my eyes didn't water so.
Anyway Shammu, here's to a great beginning. Hic-Hic-Hurray!(pun intended)
Vietnamese shrimp and crab fritters with chili-lime sauce
Pour enough oil into heavy large skillet to reach depth of 1 inch; heat oil over medium heat. Working in batches, drop rounded tablespoonfuls of fritter mixture into hot oil. Fry fritters until golden brown and cooked through, turning occasionally, about five minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer cooked fritters to paper-towel-lined plate; drain.
Arrange fritters on platter with lettuce leaves. Serve with chili lime sauce
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