Thursday, December 23, 2010

Toddler's Rules of Possession..

This is sourced from the 'UC Berkeley Parents Network'. I really liked it and so sharing it here.. Hope you have a good laugh too!

Toddler's Rules of Possession

1. If I like it, it's mine.

2. If it's in my hand, it's mine.

3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.

4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.

5. If it's mine, it must NEVER appear to be yours in anyway.

6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.

7. If it looks just like mine, it is mine.

8. If I saw it first, it's mine.

9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically
becomes mine.

10. If it's broken, it's yours.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pari with Mausi..

Some gems--

1. Before leaving for a wedding with Nani and Nanu..
Pari: Mausi, you will be alone here.
Mausi: No Pari, I will stay with Amma.
Pari: Hmmm... So you and Amma will be alone here!

2. Pari: Mausi, look at my new toothbrush.
Mausi: Wow Pari.. this is nice. I don't have a new toothbrush.
Pari: I will buy you a new toothbrush on you birthday..
Mausi: Thank you Pari.
Pari: ..and you buy me a Dora doll, a toy bicycle, Noddy book, big chocolates, a pink dress,....
Mausi: ??!!

And one with Nanu-
3. To amuse her, Papa is walking criss-cross across the room, making funny faces.
Mausi: Look Pari, how is Nanu walking..
Pari: He is walking like a drunk!
(Entire family is stunned into silence, I still can't believe she knows that word. I think she probably said 'Duck' and these people heard it wrong. Papa starts walking straight with a serious face, obviously!)
Pari: and now, he is 'marching'.

Pari is currently at my mom's place in Allahabad, it is 15 days since we last saw her. This is the first time that she is living without us, more importantly without me, since the husband has travelled several times since her birth, in fact he was travelling the very day she was born. She obviously misses us but is otherwise having a fun time. Whenever I call Alld, my sister puts the phone in her vicinity, and I can hear her chattering away to glory, playing, singing, bossing around. However, it is tougher for us. I usually try to stay positive, since I believe that we have sent her for a purpose. Moreover, she has 4 people at her beck and call, doing nothing but pampering her all the time, where as here, all she gets is school, daycare, and a couple of tired, stressed-out parents at the end of the day who snap at her at the slightest provocation. While sending her off, I always thought that the husband would miss her more than me, but as it turns out, it is me who is up at nights, sobbing and crying my eyes out with the husband consoling me. It is a strange feeling, missing a child is like missing a limb. I feel amputated, the feeling that something is missing never leaves me. And I am not sure if I still have a heart, there is just an aching hole at the designated place. Probably my heart just broke to make way for it.

Phew! Never thought I could be so melodramatic. My bigger concern is Pari's return. I plan to bring her back sometime around Christmas, and I fear that she will find it difficult to settle down with the routine here. I am sure the doting grandparents, greatgrandma and mausi are all busy spoiling my disciplined child to bits. How am I supposed to deal with that?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Of visiting a school after ages..

I am part of 'Yours Truly', a theater group in Bangalore. Last Saturday, we performed for children from 1st to 7th grade in a local school. I wasn't exactly a performer, rather a volunteer for backstage activities, which means once the play started, I had all the time in the world to sit back and enjoy the play, and ofcourse observe the children. I had not been to a school since I graduated from mine, and had almost forgotten what schools looked and felt like - over 500 little ones gathered at one place! And then, I suddenly realised that in a couple of years, Pari too would be a part of this crowd. It was discomforting to think that my baby, the most special person on planet Earth would be just a speck in this sea of children. But then, each of those 500 children was an individual most precious to his parents. And here they sat on the cemented ground in the summer sun. I felt a pang in my heart. When I go to pick Pari, I turn on the aircon 10 minutes before I reach her daycare so that she doesn't find the car hot when she steps in. But then, so is life. The children were remarkably unperturbed by the heat. They enjoyed the plays to the hilt and had a nice time.

The 2 plays performed followed the complete-the-story format. This means that the actors would stop the play midway, and ask the audience to suggest an ending. Now, the audience being so young, some of them looked like they still had their diapers on, I did not expect them to come up with much. And was I in for a shock! The children came up with suggestions that belied their ages. Some of them were genuinely funny, the kids had a great sense of humour and almost all their suggestions were very practical and relevant to real life. It was amazing to see the barely 7 year olds talk about stuff like plastic surgery and inner beauty. They clapped and cheered through out the performance, and waved to us when it was time to leave. The experience was overall enlightening and very gratifying.

On that note, YT has a big show scheduled for 21st Nov in Bangalore. Also running is a contest related to the show. Go for it!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Something about moms..

Pari has been going to a daycare from her montessori for the last 3 months. The school maid drops her there at 12.45 and I usually pick her in the evening around 6 pm. The moment I reach, Pari gets super happy and excited and starts running around the hall in circles. The running is mostly accompanied by dancing and singing as well. It takes almost 10 minutes for her to tire out, which is when the maids there hold her fast, put on her shoes and hand her over to me with bag and baggage. I am probably the first mom to reach, and all the other children, most younger to Pari are still there waiting for their parents to come and collect them. The babies are too young for school yet, and so they spend the entire day in the daycare. Some of them just walk/crawl to me and expect me to take them along. And that is when I feel embarrassed by Pari's mindless celebrations and cocky announcements-'My mumma has come..'. Gratifying as it may be, to see the child celebrating my arrival so much, I secretly wish that she would quietly walk out without rubbing it on the other children. But Pari being herself, does exactly the same thing every day, and the novelty of mumma coming to pick her from creche doesn't look like wearing off any time soon. If anything, her ability to run in circles without getting giddy is only improving.

Last Monday, my mom called up in the evening. I was unwell since the weekend, so she enquired about my health and then made a sudden announcement. She had got tickets booked in 'Tatkal' and was boarding a train to Bangalore on Wednesday, and that she would be here by Friday. I felt my heart do a quick running in circles, dancing and singing, the Pari way. It is still giddy with joy, and will take much more than 10minutes to tire out.

There is something about Moms.. ain't it?

Monday, October 18, 2010

By The Water Cooler

This is part of an old post, recycled to make an entry to the contest running on the incredibly witty Parul's blog. Everyone I read is competing and so am I :D

Last night, we met some of the husband's batch mates from college. One of them, AS, happens to be our ex-colleague as well. I have always found this particular person very inspiring. He has done some very unconventional things which require much more courage than I can ever hope for, but that is yet another story. Over the dinner, we recalled this little incident from the days of yore which I would like to share here. This goes back to 2005 when I was committed but not married. We were in the same team, and sat around 50 feet apart. On the messenger-

Me: I am getting engaged.
AS: Congratulations! So many people getting married these days...
Me: Is it?
AS: Oh yes. A friend got engaged just last week.
Me: Do I know him?
AS: You might. He is employed here. Would you know AJ in the XYZ team?
Me: ??
AS: Wait, let me send you the engagement pic. They make a nice pair.
Me: *Scampering off to his place despite a minor heart attack*

I reach his desk in a split second, he has the picture already open by then. It has me and the then-fiance-now-husband sitting in Pizza Hut. He grins sheepishly, too embarrassed to even apologize.

Open ended questions-
1. The entire office knew about us, why was he so blissfully unaware?
2. Even if he couldn't recognize me in the picture(though there is really no reason for it), does he expect a North Indian girl to get engaged in a Pizza joint, dressed in jeans and an almost off-shoulder red top?
3. What qualified him to comment on the pair, calling it 'nice', when he did not even look at the girl properly?
4. Why did he offer to share a picture with me in which he had, in all probability, no genuine interest? Oh I know the answer to the last one.. he was sharing the picture to help me recall who 'AJ' was!

These men can be really weird.. stay warned!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I am worried..

.. about the Commonwealth Games. I know it is weird, I have very little to do with sports in any case, and given an opportunity, I would anytime prefer to play myself than watching other people play. Perhaps the patriot in me gets stirred everytime there are sad things in the newspaper about the games. And boy, these people do their job really well, the journalists that is. Isn't rousing people the motive behind writing such pinching headlines --'Games become India's shame'. If anything, it is a national shame. And to have people coming to your country, inspecting the games village and calling it 'filthy and uninhabitable' is downright embarrassing. I mean, how would you feel if your guests call your house a mess or your bathroom stinking? That is exactly how I feel when I read the newspaper these days.

There are shocking facts all through. For one, to think that these people had 70,000Cr rupees and 7 years to prepare, and some collapsing stadiums and an already-collapsed bridge and stinking loos are all they could come up with. Where does that place us as a nation? Ironically, this came the day following some study in the US that declared India as the third most powerful country. Wow, a powerful country that builds really weak structures, those that collapse even before they can be used. Truly wow!

As if this is not enough, there are some really highly placed idiots who make public statements without as much as a second reading.
'Westerners have different standards(of hygiene), we have different standards.'
Can't believe anyone can make a statement like this in defence of the filthy village reportedly infested with stray dogs and dogshit. Plain awesomeness.. and truly high standards of hygiene!

A couple of months back, while discussing the CWG, the husband very acridly remarked that he would be happy if all went awry and the rampant corruption in the country is exposed. It is scary to see that actually turning into reality. I so hope that somebody higher up has the decency and good sense to call off the games and salvage the nation's honour, whatever of it is left.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New member in the family :)

My little Pari is now an elder sister. 'Pari Didi'- goodness, that sounds so amazingly high-handed, but its true all the same. And the coincidence lies here - I became a Didi on Sep 20th, Pari managed to beat me by one full day and 2 hours! Unlike me, who had a brother, Pari has a beautiful little sister to love, pamper and boss around. Yes, she is gorgeous from what we have heard so far - almost like Pari(my imagination, not confirmed yet) but with a lot more hair(confirmed) on that tiny head. The pictures are on the way.. will upload them soon. Please wish the proud new parents(Chachu & Chachi) and all of us a lot of luck with the little princess.

Edited to add: *Drumrolls* Here she comes..

Now what did I say, isn't she the most lovely?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

From Patriotism to Religion..

And so we celebrate Independence Day, with mankind and dogkind..

..till Gods love makes a sudden appearance..

Wish you all a Happy Independence day and may God's love be always be there with you!

p.s. Apologise for the hazy recording, this was taken with the cell phone camera.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Striking a balance in life.. all about doing things in style..

..and having fun while doing them..

..without compromising on education ofcourse!

Learning can be fun too..

..especially with extra-curriculars..

..that also include food!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monkeys, Mumma's & Money

Four little mumma's jumping on the bed
One fell down and bumped his head
Monkey called the doctor and the doctor said
No more mumma's jumping on the bed!!

Pari was singing it this morning. Is it only me who feels the rhyme is a little twisted, or can you also sense something fishy? When I asked her about it, she just grinned and ran off!

On a separate note, we are trying to instill the concept of money in her little head. She still believes in a 'free' world and uses her 'free will' to shop. And if she wants something, she simply points out saying that she doesn't have it. Is she entitled to own every single toy/trinket in the world? This is a really twisted way of demanding stuff. Just yesterday, she declared she has 'no' toys, "mere paas koi toys nahi hain", only because she did not have the particular one on display. Now somebody please define the stuff that keeps our home flooded all the time if she has 'no' toys. What bothers me more is her growing disrespect for food. Even before I can offer her something, she declares that she doesn't like it. And she keeps begging me not to cook, "Mumma, please khana mat banao", just so that she doesn't have to eat. And no, I am not terrible at baby food which is plain dal and rice. Last evening when she declined milk, I showed her the TOI front page which had a picture of children sitting in a neat row and eating dal-rice, part of the mid day meal program sponsored by the government. The following conversation ensued-

Me: Pari, look at all these children eating dal rice.
Pari: I don't like dal-rice.
M: Their mumma and papa are poor. They can't buy honeyloops, popcorn and cookies. They don't even get milk.
P: I don't like milk.
M: I know you don't. These children like milk, but they don't get it. Their mumma can't buy it for them.
P: And their Papa?
M: Their Papa also can't buy. He has no money.
P: But he can buy with his card!
M: !!

I tried to keep a straight face and tell her that you can't get a card if you have no money, but not sure if she got it right. She got busy looking closely at the children and enquiring about their names, location and such.

How do you explain money to children?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A landmark day..

..for my poor feet. I got my first-ever pedicure done today, at the ripe old age of.. err.. never mind. To set facts straight, I am a tolerable face, ugly feet and ugly hands person. Thankfully, it is the visage that grabs the most attention, and so I have been sort of doing fine with these unsightly limbs of mine. Half a decade ago, a friend did mention that I have 'pretty small fingers', thanks for the compliment T. I know you read this blog, and I want you to know it meant a lot to me then and now. Coming from you, it was as pleasant as unexpected! Honestly though, my feet and hands look at least 10 years older than I actually am, but I still like them. They allow me to walk around and type this blog. As long as the purpose is served, I do not complain. So here I present, not so proudly, the pictures post pedicure. The husband says they look the same as before, but having spent 400 bucks and an hour in the parlour leafing through the insufferable fashion magazines, I think they look worth the effort. After all, it was just a pedicure, my feet require no less than a plastic surgery to look any better. Look at all those veins, tan and sandal marks, sigh!

To make matters worse, Pari has put her feet with mine. Look how my feet have been pushed to the edge of the chair. But who minds making way for such pretty, dainty feet!

Be prepared for more of such narcissistic posts. The husband had got me 11 YLG vouchers for my birthday last month, and only 3 have been used up. They expire this month end, and so manicure, hair spa, under eye treatment and such are in the pipeline.. all of which would be firsts :D

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Of hair-cuts and heart-breaks..

The disadvantages of having a single child shared by two adults are many (though still less than the number required to convince me to have another :P). What makes them even more pronounced is that the two adults in this case, me and the husband think very differently and agree on absolutely nothing. Since Pari is still too young to have a free will, at least in matters which do not involve colours,cartoon characters and food, we attempt to impose our choices on her. The husband wants to take her for rock climbing while I wish to enroll her in swimming classes. The husband wants to buy her a football team tshirt with some 'Messi' on the back, with a name like that I am sure he would have messed it up big time, while I like buying nice strappy frocks for her. You would agree, it is not exactly a pleasure to have your most-beautiful-to-your-own-eyes daughter mistaken for a boy so often, all because she made a wrong choice at the foetal stage and took her father's nose,forehead,eyes and lips. And when it comes to a hair cut, there is no consensus at all. I want to get her hair cut and the husband wants to keep it long.

The fault is not entirely his, we have just 2 acquaintances who have girls Pari's age and both have chosen to keep the children's hair long. And while the little girls do look gorgeous, I personally find it difficult to handle long hair rooted on such small heads. Besides, I really don't think it is all that important to look good, at this small age or any age for that matter. For me, it is always convenience that gains precedence over appearance, which kind of explains my own inability to look good. So this time, when Pari's hair grew long enough for her to pass off as Mowgli(who she loves to bits), I insisted on getting a decent hair cut while the husband wanted to tie it up. We had long and tedious, sometimes violent discussions over it, but all in vain. And then I took the Gandhian route of non-cooperation. I refused to wash/oil/comb/touch the child's hair till it was cut to a manageable length. It worked like a charm. The battle was won, but the war continued. This time on where to go for the hair cut. Some of my loyal readers, if not all 4 of them, might remember this post where I lamented how Pari hates salons, and how I, being the dutiful mom that I am, manage to cut her hair myself. I was confident enough to argue that no matter where in the world the husband takes her, my baby would not let a stranger touch her head and come back running to Mumma's exclusive salon. I couldn't have been more wrong! My little birdie is already taking strides to girlhood . I am yet to make up my mind whether to celebrate or to rue. Enough said.. I'll let the pictures do the talking now.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Retirement plans..

Part of a chat with the husband today, about our trip to Allahabad. Posting it here to ensure he remembers it years later...

A: is baar mujhe bhi allahabad accha laga
quiet city and I liked that

me: :)

A: aur khafi ghooma bhi halaki katra and civil lines hi
par maza aaya

me: hmm...

A: mera sangam dekhne ka man tha
par time hi nahi mila

me: Allahabad has an old world charm to it
i was born there

A: accha

me: and would like to spend my last days also there
when i retire
and pari is married

A: accha

me: i shall go back to alld
and live quietly

A: shehar logon se hota hain
kaun kaun bacha hain allahabad mein woh matter karega

me: dekho.. mere parents to wahin rahenge
papa to kahin nahi jayegne alld chhod kar

A: hmmm

me: pari ki shadi alld me kar denge
aur hum bhi wahin chale jayenge

A: agar tum choose karti ho ladka
allahabad mein kya karta hoga woh

me: Alld university me prof ho sakta hai
ya MNR me
ya medical college me doctor
ya high court me judge

A: hmmm
chalo main chai lekar aaya

Noticed how he fled for tea so suddenly :) And our sole concern in life is who Pari marries!! After all, there are just 15 short years left before she reaches the legal age.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Looking forward to..

..nothing!! The much anticipated trip to home is at its fag end, and the situation at home is exactly what we left it at. I am scared to return to Bangalore. To be honest, it was not so much about attending the sibling's wedding, and meeting the family as getting a break. I have been struggling endlessly since Feb 6th, which was when the last maid left. So when I left Bangalore on June 6th, all I was looking forward to was getting fed without having to cook, having the baby off my head for at least a couple of hours and return with a maid. All of it materialised except for the maid. This implies that by weekend, I shall be forced to rely on my own 2 feet and 2 hands to feed 3 mouths, along with the 9-6 office. And Bangalore traffic!

This is getting just too depressing. Let me think of the good things which I could look forward to. There aren't many but we shall still make an effort.
  • The heat, yes I'll get to escape the terrible weather there. It will probably be still raining in Bangalore. Also, I am longing for the humble fan in my Bangalore bedroom that I can turn off as and when I feel. I don't get along too well with the air conditioner, and wake up shivering every morning. The sad part is that I cannot even turn it off. There are 4 other people sweating in the same room, and then, I don't even know how to switch off the darn thing.
  • The husband will be back to his normal self, transforming into spouse and father from his current VIP persona, son-in-law and son, which effectively means that he can be pulled down from the revered pedestel and treated like ordinary mortals.
  • The baby is also behaving a tad weird. I think all the extra attention from the doting grand parents, uncles and aunts has swiftly made way to her head and she is acting unreasonably pricey. I so look forward to my well-behaved, humble child.
  • Being away from public eye! Yes, coming from an average, plain Jane, IT professional with no possible claim to fame, it sure sounds crazy but thats it. Living in Bangalore for the last
    7 years has accustomed me to living with a maximum of 3 folks in the house, be it roommates or family, and more importantly to doing exactly what I please, exactly when I wish. No, that doesn't make me a wastrel. I still manage the household and the family along with my work, all of which is pretty demanding (some superwomen definitely do it better, but I am happy being mediocre). It is just that I like to set my own priorities, like a dirty dish can wait if I need a nap post lunch. Also, I like to wear shorts when I give Pari her bath and not some 3K raw silk suit which is not done when you have 50 guests in the house. Remember, I live in Allahabad.. I missed you, my shabby shorts!

Alright. I feel better already.. Bangalore, here I come!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I am a bad bad mommy...

Pari's school reopened today, and I completely missed it! Her teacher called up a little while back, and asked if we intend to send her back. I am one who takes pride in remembering dates and events, and it is really unsettling to think that I forgot this. The husband is just the opposite, he depends on me for all the reminding duties, and the child is too young to comprehend dates. So practically, the household runs on my memory. And if this is what it has come to be, God save us!

Actually, there are reasons. The past couple of weeks have been crazy, and I have not had time to breathe. Thankfully, it is automated, the breathing that is! The maid went off yet again, she really played it foul this time, and I am bent on making her regret it. You think it is cheap? Go ahead and make me a monster, witch or what-you-will. I am determined to teach the smarty pants a lesson this time for ditching me when I needed her the most. Sorry for the digression, but I needed to vent. And then, there was this illness which extended to over a week and left me really weak and frustrated. To top the mess, I had to prepare for my brother's wedding along with the GMAT exam scheduled last week. All this between washing utensils, cleaning, cooking and baby sitting apart from office work. I think my bird brain couldn't keep up with so much and gave away. I actually lost track of time and date. Anyways, at Pari's age, missing school is not a big loss really. And we plan to send her to school only next month. My aunt and cousins are here for a week, and I would prefer that she spends time bonding with them rather than attend the montessori. Also, we are off to a 3 week long vacation this weekend. So there isn't much sense in sending her to school for just 4 days. But to think that I forgot the reopening date is absolutely unnerving, reasons or no reasons, loss or no loss!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Back from the dead!

Well.. almost! The annual fever fest is currently on in the Jain household, yours truly taking the lead this time though every one in the family would eventually get to savour his/her fair share of illness as we take turns. Last time, we even dragged the poor maid in it. Just to put things in perspective, last time it was pani puri at Calcutta chat house that did the trick while this time it was the ordered-in chicken from the adjacent TFC('exactly next to Calcutta chat house') that bought the virus in. Not that it will deter us from eating again at either of the places, the husband is a sworn TFC lover and their fried chicken will continue to make its way to our plates. We are incorrigible, plain and simple! And my old man has a strange strong logic, for every illness that we get from eating out, he lists me 100 other instances when we got sick after eating at home. And so we continue eating out, twice a week, and keep falling sick, twice an year, each time before our CMH membership expires. So much for the trade off.

Anyways, I am almost through with it, just one more day of medication left. The husband is somewhere in the middle, but in a much better state than me. As soon as he displayed the symptoms, I administered him exactly same medication as mine and saved him the trouble of roasting through 103 degrees before being diagnosed and prescribed. In fact, I had insisted that we buy some extra medicines when the doctor had precribed only a week's dosage. I could see it coming and you can't ignore a girl's intuition. The sad part is that the little one has also joined in, she woke up with a temperature today. It is going to be a long long week...

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Conversation with Pari this morning:
Pari : Mere papa kahaan hain? (Where is my Papa?)
Moi : Papa bathroom me hain. (Papa is in the bathroom.)
P: Papa bathroom me kya kar rahe hain? (What is Papa doing in the bathroom?)
M: Papa nai-nai kar rahe hain. (Papa is taking a bath.)
P: Kaun nai-nai kar raha hai? (Who is taking a bath?)
M: Papa nai-nai kar rahe hain. (Papa is taking a bath.)
P: Kiske papa nai-nai kar rahe hain? (Whose Papa is taking a bath?)

Aaargh.. kill me now! I so pity stay at home moms. What is with these kids asking useless questions that they already know the answers for, one after the other in the KBC fashion with only more questions for reward. To be fair, she does ask other questions too, probably reasonable for a child but they get my goat. Sample these -

1. Where is Paltu's mumma?
2. Where is that man going? (It can be any random person on the street.)
3. What is Golu doing at this time? (Golu is a friend's daughter.)
4. When will Lucy go to school? (Lucy is a girl teddy bear, if you can imagine that!)
5. What does Papa do in the office? (Hehehe... that was easy... I replied 'nothing'!! But then there were followup questions, sigh!)

And so on and so forth.. and her montessori Principal says, we should not discourage children from asking questions. I remember Pari asking the Principal, 'where are the children?', when we went to collect her progress report, and the Principal taking pains to explain it to her. But honestly, despite trying really hard, I sometimes lose patience with her never ending questions. At the same time, I have a strong feeling that it is only a few years before we start asking questions that Pari would find senseless and unworthy of her time!!

Excluding questions, conversations with Pari are growing increasingly interesting these days. There are so many that I wish to put down here, just to preserve them for eternity. I'll put the most recent one here, before laziness seeps in and I forget it. This one was last Sunday.

Pari: What is this mumma?
Moi: A cockroach.
P: ye mar gaya hai?
M: yes(wondering if she really knows 'marna')
P: Papa ne ise 'maraa' diya hai?
M: Hmm..
P: You don't worry mumma. I will tell the cockroach. Cockroach, you don't bite my mumma. Tum 'already' mar chuke ho!

The last sentence really cracked me up, specially the use of 'already'. Post this, we went out to get some groceries. By the time we came back, the cockroach had somehow managed to turn over to be back on its legs, and started running just as we turned in the key. Pari immediately climbed on the bed, and started screaming.

P: Mumma, cockroach is running.
M: Wait, I'll get Hit(pesticide, sprayed some of it on the poor thing till it died)
P: Mumma, tumne ise 'maraa' diya?
M: Yes.
P: (Climbing down the bed) You don't worry mumma.. I will tell the cockroach. Cockroach, you don't bite my mumma, tum 'phir se' mar chuke ho!

Thank you my child.. I really need protection against dead cockroaches!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Because I wish to share..

..I am posting this at the risk of being bullied by friends and family. Thankfully, friends don't follow the blog, and family would anyways find out sooner or later. I was caught by the traffic police today for talking on the phone while driving. Actually I had stopped at a signal, when the maid called up, and since she calls from a public phone, I simply could not afford to miss the call. She would have happily hung up and walked off, while I would be left wondering till eternity as to why she had called up. Moreover, she calls mostly to notify an absence, and this is 'the deciding factor' which determines what our day would look like the moment onwards, and who between us would take off from work and suffer the child. Digression over, the signal turned green while I was still on the call and almost immediately, the cop appeared out of nowhere. I think he saw me talking while I was still waiting at the signal, and with little luck with the traffic light, he made it. Anyways, I was taken to the other side of the road, and he demanded that I pay up. I asked for a challan, to which he cheekily replied - 'Madam, challan ka 200 lagega'. I was already irritated with the maid and the sequence of events, so pulled out 200 rupees from my wallet and handed it over to him without another word. He was taken aback a little, but then hurried off to get me a reciept which I just threw in without even checking. After I reached the office, I took out the reciept and realised that he had charged me for 2 offences, one was offcourse 'talking on phone while driving' and the other was lane indiscipline. Since the penalty for the actual offence was only 100 rupees, he added an imaginary one to make up the amount to 200. He probably thought that for 100 rupees, people might not be even interested in bribing him. But what really disappointed me was the penalty. Taking calls while driving can have terrible consequences, and 100 rupees is all you get fined for it? And tell me, who really minds shelling out that amount these days? My maid doesn't mind if I do not pay her for the day she takes off without prior notice, and continues to do so with delight. Her daily salary is more than 100 rupees, and she doesn't care. I spend an average of 100 rupees on petrol every day. It just doesn't sound like a fine, and the purpose is entirely lost. I have pledged not to recieve calls while driving because I know how wrong it is, but I know people who would not be deterred till they are made to pay for it. And paying it with a fine is a zillion times better than paying it with somebody's life. My cousin got fined for $250 for speeding on the freeway in Texas, and it was a lesson learnt the hard way. I so hope that they raise the penalty for all traffic offences to a reasonably high amount. However, given the state of affairs here, with the cops being so lowly paid and people so willing to bribe, it might just backfire and government may just lose out on the collections even more.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pappu pass ho gaya!

Yes.. our little Pari has moved to the next grade, or so I think. We recieved the Progress Report today and I must admit it made us incredibly proud though there was no mention of any promotion. What it did say was that the child has mastered skills like pouring, rolling, napkin folding, dusting, sweeping, mopping(which I incidently read as 'moping' and agreed almost immediately) and chopping. Er.. are we sending her to the right place?? Anyways, there was also a mention of skills that needed more practice viz. lacing, button holes and tying belts. Lacing was kind of expected, since I couldn't tie my shoe laces till almost the 4th standard. I don't remember much trouble with buttoning, except that I often messed up the order missing a couple of holes in the process. And tying belts, how can I forget that.. my mom used to put elastic waist bands in all my pajamas because I could never tie those strings. So we can safely assume that the genes did trickle down.. and I am grateful for that. Because for all we know, she might just turn up pretty, bright and virtuous courtesy these very genes :) And not just that, all her following progress reports will be as delightful if not more :D

All in all, it was a good report and the Principal had only good things to say about Pari. I strongly feel she said the same nice sounding stuff to at least 95% of the parents and tried hard to explain the same to the indulgent father. The father, he needs a special mention here. We were required to reach the school at 9 am, and it is 200 meters from our house, ignore that we always take the car. Guess who was up at 7 am unlike on office days, took an elaborate bath, shampooed, shaved, pruned and emptied the D&G spray on self after dressing in his Sunday best on a Saturday... And who prayed an extra 10 minutes to ensure that the very important day went off well. Yes.. the father! He absorbed every word that the Principal uttered and broadcasted her feedback on Pari verbatim to all relatives, grand parents, aunts & uncles over the telephone. The old man has been sporting a very silly grin the entire day, and when I last checked on him, he was checking out trampolines on ebay. Offcourse, you would agree that daughter dearest deserves a special gift for her exceptional performance in the playgroup. He is the same man who has gifted me 3 Calvin n Hobbes paperbacks for the 3 birthdays I have had post wedding. How I wish that he had adopted me instead of marrying me!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Summer Camps

Pari's 'first' summer vacations are fast approaching, and we are excited. As a rule of thumb, we feel obliged to feel excited at all things on her behalf, since she is too young to comprehend and feel the thrill, be it the annual day, or distribution of progress reports. It is us who go with throbbing hearts and shaky nerves while Pari goes in with the calm demeanour of one going around his usual business. This reminds that I have not provided any updates on Pari since long, and there has been so much.. her third B'day, annual day, Yercaud trip. All these are things I want to write about and preserve for posterity.

Coming back to summer vacations, I did not really view it as something significant, so it shocked me to see parents regard and gear up for vacations as if it were an impending calamity. We, as a matter of fact had not thought of it at all. After all, last year this time Pari stayed at home all day long with the maid - eating, sleeping, playing and watching TV as is appropriate for a toddler. And honestly, even as teenagers, that is how we spent all our summer/winter/dussera/Christmas vacations. The TV and the walls around would change periodically, while we visited our Nani in Delhi for the vacations. But apart from that, there was nothing else that we did. Our days were full of fun just doing nothing and learning zilch. Even the holiday homework was picked up only the week before the school reopening, so busy were we enjoying the holidays. And here, schools have not even pulled their shutters down, and we are flooded with summer camps. They are all over the place - colorful banners, posters, brochures, print advertisements, even radio ads all announcing different summer camps, promising to keep our children engaged in the most productive manner. And parents are running like headless chickens to procure an entry for their chicks. Now I know why I did not do well in life.. my parents never sent me to a summer camp. But what the hell happened to visits to grandparents? I had just one set of grandparents to visit since we stayed permanently with the others. Pari lives in a nuclear family and has both the options wide open. Apart from that, she has several add-on sets of grandparents, like my aunts who are willing to trade their left eye and right arm to host her for the vacations. The family is, to summarize, an acute case of 'Parimania'. I feel so tempted to bundle her off to camp at one of these places but for the husband. My old man cannot do without Pari. He cannot sleep till Pari plants some tight kicks in the pit of his stomach, gets his daily workout by running after her every evening with the dinner and finds the task of picking Pari from school in the hot summer afternoons 'highly gratifying'. Courtesy Darling Daddy, Pari might just end up in a 'Summer Camp'!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

हमारे बाद अब महफ़िल में अफ़साने बयां होंगे...

बहारें हमको ढूँढेंगी न जाने हम कहाँ होंगे

इसी अंदाज़ से झूमेगा मौसम, गाएगी दुनिया
मोहब्बत फ़िर हसीं होगी, नज़ारे फ़िर जवाँ होंगे

न तुम होगे न हम होंगे, न दिल होगा मगर फ़िर भी
हज़ारों मंजिलें होंगी हज़ारों कारवां होंगे

बहारें हमको ढूँढेगी न जाने हम कहाँ होंगे

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In the Multilevel Parking

My work place is located in a Tech park which houses lot of other companies as well. We share with them the 10 storeys tall, monster of a parking lot and our company owns the 5th storey. And I hate it, totally and unconditionally. To begin with, each storey is split into 2 levels - lower and upper, and to reach the 5th one I need to drive through 9 levels, don't forget the basement. It feels like going into a seemingly endless spiral and my head usually starts spinning by the time I am able to finally park the wretched car. Also, it eats up almost 15 minutes to park and another 10 to walk back to the office. That is, if I get the elevator immediately in both the parking and the office building, which is a hypothetical situation. Usually, with my luck I end up spending another 5 min each at both the places, an utter waste of time. And that is not the only concern. The parking is so dark and poorly lit. Even at 7 pm, I find it deserted and scary. The sight of the few chauffeurs who while away their time playing cards is not exactly relaxing. And who hasn't heard of all the horrible things that happen in parking lots. Moreover, my own sense of direction betrays me just when I need it the most. At times, I enter the lot with an intention of parking, but one wrong turn and I am sent spiralling down to the exit. A WTF moment, if there was one ever! Seriously, they should make these Multi level parkings more women friendly, and have clear directions on each level. Those ambigous red arrows do not work for me.

That was a fairly detailed piece of cribbing. Thankfully, I do not have to put up with this often because I mostly grab a slot in the miniscule parking bang in front of the office. And I come early for it, even if it means missing the breakfast or repeating the previous day's clothes. Despite being a girl. The car stays roasting in the sun and I can't care any less. However, today I got really late and had to go to ML parking. It was past 11 am when I reached, and terribly hot, bright and sunny outside. In contrast, the parking was extremely dark. I initially thought it is because I have come from the sun and my eyes are taking time to adjust to the low light. I turned on the headlights. But things refused to improve as I fumbled my way through the levels. Whatever happened to the visual purple or something like that in my eyes!! It sure worked well earlier, though I had not put it to test recently. Finally, I reached the 5th-upper level parking, and there was this space between 2 cars. I missed it first, then reversed the car to check it again. I couldn't see well enough to assess how much is that space and then if it was really vacant or had a black car parked. Luckily, a security guard spotted me stalled in the center of the floor and came to my aid. He tried giving me directions which given my prowess in reversing and my faltering eyesight, I 'tried' to follow. Anyways, after some 4 cycles of reverse-forward-reverse, and a slight scratch to the car on the left, the car finally got into a position which could pass off as parking. Exhausted, I got out of the car, wondering if I would ever be able to see things the way I used to. I lurched to retrieve my cell phone from the glove compartment, where I noticed the spectacle case ajar. And then it dawned on me, I had been wearing sunglasses all this while.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Big Switch*

Friday, 2/5

8.30 AM: Wake up
10.00 AM: Reach office after a nice breakfast, armed with cut fruits and packed lunch
5.30 PM: Leave office, head for the office party at The Capitol
9.30 PM: Husband picks from The Capitol, brings back home.
10.30 PM: Watch TV, crash on the bed.

Monday, 2/8

7.00 AM: Wake up
7.30 AM: Prepare tiffin for Husband
8.30 AM: Wake up the child, give her milk.
9.00 AM: Prepare tiffin for child, log in the office network, drop a wfh email.
9.30 AM: Dress up the child, brush her teeth, fill her 'Barbie' water bottle, put tiffin, bottle, napkins in the 'Shinchan' bag and hand her over to the husband to be dropped to school. It is not as straight forward, she is watching 9XM and doesn't want to go to the montessori, neither does she finish her milk.. but we will ignore that.
10.00 AM: Check emails while helping husband with breakfast.
10.30 AM: Husband leaves, secure the door, Home Alone!
11.00 AM: Electricity goes off, internet goes off, VPN goes off.. Tidy the house, fold the blankets, pick toys off the floor.
11.30 AM: Sweep/mop the floor
12.00 AM: Take breakfast in top gear and leave to pick the child.
12.30 AM: Return with the child. Change her clothes, plonk her on the sofa with 9XM on if the electricity is back.
12.45 AM: Prepare lunch for child and self. Reconnect to VPN, and check emails again.
1.30 PM: Give bath to the child followed by commencement of the child's lunch.
2.00 PM: Feed child further.
2.30 PM: Continue feeding the child.
3.00 PM: Give up on the child. Struggle with her, and put her to bed.
3.30 PM: Finally, start the day's work. Electricity goes off by the time the VPN comes up. Curse, swear, abuse.
4.00 PM: Heat lunch on gas stove, using 2 more utensils in the process, which could have been saved if microwave/OTG could be used, i.e. electricity were available.
4.30 PM: Call husband/mother/aunt/MIL and crib
5.00 PM: Power is back. Once again, connect to the office network. Child bawls. Pick child and carry her around till her mood improves.
5.30 PM: Child is ready to play. 54,657 toys,jigsaw puzzles, building blocks and pieces there-of are again on the floor, bed, sofa, center table, everywhere!
5.45 PM: Make milk for the child, after duly washing the utensils required for the process. This includes 3 plastic cups, each holds 50 ml of milk and are used in the order Y-G-B-Y till the milk is exhausted.
6.00 PM: Nudge child to finish the 1st, i.e. yellow cup of milk. Apply for a leave from office, for today.
7.00 PM: Threaten the child, throw incentives, grovel before her, do anything and everything to ensure her milk is over.
7.30 PM: Scramble eggs, feed the child those.
8.30 PM: Husband returns, complain about the child's misbehaviour, shed copious tears and hand over the child to him along with the left over eggs.
8.45 PM: Start preparing dinner.
9.30 PM: Start feeding child again.
11.00 PM: Wash utensils, simultaneously put on the washing machine.
12.00 AM: Hang out clothes for drying.
12.30 AM: Apply ointment on the back, pop hurting legs on a pillow and pass out.

Yes.. the maid, our beloved Shaila has quit. Please send some prayers my way, and a woman for household chores, just in case you know of any. I am willing to part with one of my kidneys to return the favour.

*reality TV series on UTV Bindass.

Monday, January 4, 2010


My Nani passed away last weekend. Yes, while the world was busy ushering in the new year, my nani, lonely and sick, quietly left for the next world. I was offcourse part of the world, out on dinner with husband and daughter. We were probably enjoying our three course euro meal when she was calling out to the neighbours for her last sip of water. I had not even cared to call her up to wish the new year. She anyways could not hear well enough to comprehend much of what I would have talked on phone.

Nani was a tough nut. My mother,an only child moved to a different state to be a part of my Dad's family when they got married. And then, Nanaji passed away barely an year after his retirement. That was 15 yrs back. Since then, Nani had been on her own, living all alone in Nanaji's ancestral house in Old Delhi, now better known as Delhi-6. As the years passed, her health began to fail. Numerous efforts were made by us to bring her to Allahabad to stay with us, but she never stayed beyond a week. Her attachment to her place, her home was probably greater than to us. And we could do nothing other than helplessly watch the gutsy woman from Punjab getting reduced to a bunch of bones. Nani was immensely proud of her punjabi roots. She dressed fashionably, wore sleeveless blouses and chiffon sarees at a time when they were both unheard of in Allahabad, which is why my mom never had any. Her punjabi taste was most prominent in the way she tied her hair with a false braid, which had colorful hoops in the end. As a child, I sometimes tied it to my hair to make it look longer. And to top it, Nani had an impressive collection of cosmetics- lipsticks, vanishing creams, compacts, stuff that looks basic today but it really fascinated me then, especially since my mom never used any of it. Not just that, Nani was so very house-proud. And she had reason to be.. her house was always so neat and impeccably clean. When we visited her during summer vacations, she had a tough time keeping the house together. She would often compare us to our Mom, telling us how quiet and well-behaved mom was as a child, and how hard it is to imagine that she could have such naughty kids as us.

Now that Nani is gone, I have this terrible urge to travel back in time and spend some more time with her. It is queer how we realise the value in things the moment they go beyond our reach. Her voice, which was only a phone call away all these years, her cute wrinkled face which required me to just fly for 2.5 hours for it to light up with joy is now lost forever. All I have are memories, and one of my fondest is undoubtedly of her efforts to teach me cooking. No, I never learnt, but she did succeed in getting me make rotis. The perfectionist in her drove me nuts in the pursuit of making the roundest, softest roti, but it left me with a skill I would use and take pride in every single day for the rest of my life. Talk about gifts, eh? I wish I had the sense to learn more from her, she was such a wonderful cook, one who could even make the normal dal so tasty that we would be left asking for more. I never told her this, but I so want to, as so many other things. But it is too late now.. I will still say the only thing that makes sense anymore.. R.I.P.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Random.. really so!

My husband never ceases to amaze me! We have been married for close to 4 years now, and I already knew him for almost 2 years before we tied the knot. It is such a long time now, I feel I have known him since ever. So much that it is difficult to imagine that there was actually a time when we were not together. And still, there is so much to him waiting to be explored. If you just scratch the surface, we are a very regular kind of couple. Most couples look that ways.. but I am sure they share a different chemistry each. We are so different in so many ways that I often wonder what bought us close. But then, on second thoughts, we were not so different 5 yrs back. Moving from the early twenties to late twenties has changed us a lot, and top it with marriage and a baby. You get the picture, right? No, you don't.. You can't! There is so much more than that, and it is not possible to put it all down in writing.
Now before I ramble further, let me tell you what triggered it. He has updated his blog after nearly 2 years, and after reading the recent one, I just went on to read his previous posts. He has hardly blogged since we got married, the last 3 posts are on food, food and more food. But when I read the stuff he posted 4,5 and 6 yrs back, I find him so different. It is like rediscovering him. I have off course read all of it earlier, but that was so long back that it is as good as never. Today, it reminded me of the person I fell in love with.. the person I yearned to spend time with, and pledged my life to.. Post wedding, we have had a love-hate relationship. I say that for myself. He is not the kind to hate anybody, least of all his wife. It is me who hates people seriously, remembers every rude word directed towards self, trusts God to even out.. Yes I do all of it. But then, I am one who craves for her people, her place like crazy, and never forgets the slightest act of kindness. The spouse is sort of neutral, and manages to appear annoyingly so. However, his blog says otherwise. It speaks of a gentle, sensitive, warm soul who probably uses a cold exterior to create a formidable facade. Deep within, we are probably still the same. I so wish he would blog more often!