Mom in Question – Chandana

chandana banerjee

Name: Chandana Banerjee

Profession: Stay at home mom

Kid: Dennis, 2 years old

Born and brought up: Although my dad was on a job which required him to be fairly movable, I was raised mainly in Vizag( which was a small but cosmopolitan town in Andhra Pradesh, India). I went to college in Calcutta.

What did you find most interesting about the US when you came here? Surprisingly and strangely I found nothing extra- ordinarily different, perhaps coz I made the move from Calcutta to the center of the world – in Manhattan, NYC. It is now, having moved to suburbia, and having become a mom that I see life in all its true colors. The most interesting part about US now would be – that one cant think of doing anything without a car – which is annoying and frustrating coz even up to 3 years ago – I was taking the local subways and buses and we never owned a car! And that’s what most people in India ALWAYS do.

chandana chatterjeeHow was studying here different from India? Having gone through college twice – ones in India and in NYC – I think classes in NY are a whole lot easier – at least in the undergrad level. Also the responsibility is a lot more on the student to actually gain knowledge through college education. I think even though Indian education leaves a lot to be desired, any individual will end up learning a lot more, just by going through the process.

What did you find most surprising about your birth experience here? The amount of ‘stuff” that is categorized as “necessary” with the birth of a baby. From clothes, to food, to furniture…..the list is endless. It’s only a baby!! All they need is Mom and loads of love.

What are some of the biggest pluses and minuses about staying home with your son? The main advantage is Im not left at the mercy of a day care or babysitter, which is also the biggest drawback – coz Im left craving any /adult conversation. One of my pet peeves is the inability to have an undisturbed meal without having to check on Dennis.

What makes life interesting when raising multicultural kids? Its trying to balance “our” culture from “their” culture – a very thin line – coz in NY – there’s way too many cultures that one gets exposed to. Balancing this line is and will be a lifelong challenge. I think you make up your own culture as you go along. What you pass down to your kids is a mix and match of both worlds.

What do you miss most about India? I am going to stay away from the regular mundane answers – like phuckas, and other roadside delicacies of Kolkata. I miss the luxury of not being able to stay with my parents when I am in India. In most of my trips I barely manage to stay a few days. Trips to India always put me in a dilemma. The unlimited availability of aunts and uncles to take care of Dennis would make me move back to India in a heartbeat!

Things you would do to change the world? I have believed in the strength of numbers, so I don’t think I am, by myself capable of changing the world. That said I have tried to use less diapers(toxic to the environment)– got him potty trained quicker and made him switch to underwear as opposed to trainers.

Fun activity you do with your son? Chasing Dennis while pretending to be a giant. Always makes him break out into giggles – and I love to see him flee.

Fun activity you do for yourself? I go to the spa – for a massage – every other month and I shop like a maniac – whenever I get a chance.

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3 Comments

  1. Khushi

    Welcome Chandana! Nice hearing about you here.

  2. rajvi

    Hi Chandana – It is good to find out more about you. Please share your experiences and stories about raising Dennis in the melting pot that is NY.

  3. Dinu-da

    Not sure if you are the Same Chandana who used to work under me at Wipro Call Center Kolkata, if so please email me at dinabandhu_chakraborty@yahoo.com. It would be nice to get back in touch.

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