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And thus...

I am back! I mean to Bangalore. I was away for so long that I was beginning to forget that I used to run a house all by myself. I was getting so used to having hot food in my hands that I remarked to my sister, only half in jest, that I wouldn't be surprised to discover that I have forgotten how to cook when I get back.

After spending close to two months in quick succession at the parents, I was having a tempo load of luggage to be taken back. Actually, not that many in number. My modest belongings comprised one particularly huge and hheeavvvvvvy suitcase and a few more smaller and comparatively lighter bags. My mom was especially worried of how I'll manage to load and off load them with a fidgety and restless toddler by the side. After a last minute panic-struck idea of taking an extra suitcase to even out the over-stuffed large suitcase was considered and voted out in cycles in a 5 member household, we said solemn goodbyes to each other and I left with R and the luggage in …

Kids!

Anyone out there who thinks it is great to have two kids close in age to one another, please do not read any further because I am just about to pour out all the angst two such kids are giving me us at the moment.

S and R are very similar in nature. Meaning, both have a similar disposition with respect to the amount of mischief they can create. They are a handful even on their own (though they can be handled individually), so just imagine the chaos and mental trauma for the rest of the adult folk when these two get together. They are a deadly combination. Each teaches the other newer tricks and the two build up on them. While S talks non-stop all day, R cannot stop moving. He forever wants to be on the go or be in a vehicle that is on the go. Being stationary is not a part of his dictionary. And when they squabble with each other, you might want to tear your head and dash off the house. Mostly they get along pretty well. Which makes life tougher for us, coz all the trouble doubles up.…

R at the wedding

R is at a stage where he does what he wants to do irrespective of how much I try to make him do otherwise-cajoling, threatening, whacking or reasoning, nothing seems to work! It is especially exasperating when he behaves so in front of a crowd that is judging both me and him. This is precisely what happened at the wedding.

A day preceding the wedding was a small Tambram function spanning half a day. This was conducted in a different hall from that of the main wedding. Unfortunately this particular venue was particularly non-kids friendly. Meaning, the place was small, so R couldn't expend his energy suitably within the confines. Hence he decided to spend the time outside the hall. Running all around the small courtyard, collecting the pebbles and throwing it all over the place. The place was bang on the main road, so there was this constant fear of his running on to the road, which he promptly did a few times only to be caught by a tired and frustrated mother in tow. I hardly got…

Beyond comprehension

Somethings do not fit into the logical mind that struggles to find sense in everything. Some term it God, others may say luck, some others may just shrug off the incident without much thought for it disturbs the hitherto analytical way of life experienced. One such incident happened at the wedding which might make even the skeptics think a little more on the lines of there being a super power above us after all.

S, my niece, wore a pair of gold kundalams (jhumka) for the wedding. We were all busy with the festivities and the kids were busy merry making running all over the place. During breakfast, my aunt came over with a clasp (the thing that goes behind the earring to secure it) and remarked that the priest had found it near the hallway and gave it to her. We immediately checked our earrings and checked S too to make sure we had our earrings in place. Satisfied that the lost clasp wasn't one of ours, we decided to safeguard the clasp till someone came to claim it. A few minutes…

And we are back!

A vacation that lasted less than a week but had action packed ingredients for much more. This trip to Bhubaneshwar will be remembered for a whole lot of things apart from the wedding related stories. Before the details get all muddled up in my brains and I pour it all out in the same incomprehensible manner, let me take a huge breath and narrate the details as they happened.

The 3 and 1/2 hr flight to Bbnswr from Mumbai was via Hyd where we (My sister, niece, R and I. Did I mention, my b-i-l dropped out of the trip at last moment, leaving us sisters to deal with the respective brats all alone?..well..) were joined by our cousin A (whose wedding we were to attend). The adventure began as soon as we alighted at the Biju Patnaik airport at Bhubaneshwar. The airport is so small that you can just walk to the arrival hall after you alight from the plane and then pick your bags from the belt and in the same speed proceed to the exit. As we were driven down to the hotel where we were to be p…

A short update

It's been more than week here now and things are far better, actually good when compared to the last time I was here. R had no adjustment problems this time and I am far more relaxed and enjoying my stay. The niece and R get along like a house on fire- always upto some mischief and conspiring against the other folks at home. While it is fun to watch them and also a relief to see the two kids playing more and squabbling less, it also means that the mayhem and chaos is twice as much as it would have been with a single toddler. At times, the situation gets quite out of control leaving each of us (older folks) silently thanking the "temporary" set-up.

It has been a more fruitful time for me in a way that I got some "me" time in which I accomplished some soul-satisfying knick-knack shopping, ate yummilicious chaat and caught up with some old friends over phone. Oh boy! don't these give you a high each time?

We are now getting ready to pack our bags and head to…

Happy Birthday to you..

...My dear R,

We are back in Mumbai at your paati's place since your appa had to go to the US for work. Am sure he is missing you as much as you and I are on this special day when you complete 2 years of age. No worries, we shall celebrate again once he is back!

It means another year of motherhood for me, my son. umm..so, how do I sum up my experience so far?
I have come a long way from being the tensed new mother of a newborn who was anxious about every little out-of-the-book symptom you exhibited. I am now a more confident and brave mother of a swift and energetic toddler who does throw in little shocks and surprises every now and then. I am by no means a know-all mother but now that you and I are no longer strangers to one another there is a known and comforting factor each time we deal with a difficult situation.

I still remember the first few months after you were born. I only remember feeding you all day with of course the potty and su-su cleaning in-between. You were alway…

Thoughts from the heart

You came into my life like a whiff of fresh air
took me under your wings and said,
come, lets travel this life together

You and me are very different,
you are the epitome of calm, ever composed
I am the spice, ever potent
while I like things planned,
you are a person of the moment

Disagree we do, and a lot
but even amidst emotions gamut,
you've guarded the wedding pact
of keeping love, respect and faith intact

Truly, my love, I am blessed
to have you by my side
I hope to have played my role,
in all justice, warmth and care

I wish you all the best in life;
all that the universe can grant and give,
of health and wealth, friends and cheer,
of never dying trust and lots of love,
between you and ones dear

On this special day,
you may be miles away,
hence, sending you my wishes
and a note of thanks, dear hubby
wishing you a very Happy Birthday!

********************************
P.s.: The husband tried his best to leave on the night of 26th, so that we could be together for his as well …

Gone missing

Ever wondered how some things in the house go "missing" and despite deploying thorough search warrants along with sniffer dogs (ok, maybe not sniffer dogs), the thing remains elusive. And one fine day, while a search warrant is being deployed for a different misplaced item, pop! there you find the first misplaced thing staring right in your face as though shaming you by saying, "I was here only all the time. Too bad you lost sleep over me!" But of course the timing of things going amiss and emerging suddenly from dark alleys is always disproportional to the urgency of the need.

I have been the eternal "loser" of erasers, pencils, sharpeners, water-bottles and tiffin boxes when in school. It was as though I had no control of myself when it came to "forgetting" to take these back home. Had I saved the money spent on the fines that I have paid to retrieve the "lost belongings", I would've had a size-able amount in my kitty by now.  I…

I wish....

... I had the boon of sprouting extra arms. Really, I need it at least in the morning hours. Imagine a scene, when the coffee needs to be made, the lunch and breakfast prepared, lunch packed, breakfast eaten, something called a bath needs to be checked off the list and in the midst of all this the toddler needs to be fed, cleaned and kept away from making merry and mischief. Imagine doing all of this like a juggler's act. Phew!




I wish I could yell at the clock, "shrimati tickticky shaant hojayiye!" "Mujhe lifeline chaahiye!!!". Actually it works much better if this is directed at the Husband who is peacefully meditating while the circus is on at full swing. No fun being alone in the circus. More the merrier. So the Husband joins in haplessly. He dons the garb of the lifeline and proceeds to handle the toddler who is a gleeful spectator and also the secret catalyst in sprucing the whole show.

Then there are days that seem like the universe is out to punish you…

Of friends and friendship

I was browsing through my e-mails the other day and pop on the side chat-bar a very familiar name goes green. I am torn between opening up the chat box and typing an enthusiastic HI and keeping a check on my friendly hormones that are threatening to spill onto the keyboard. It's been really long since we chatted or spoke over the phone. Whatever little updates I keep getting about her is from the good old Facebook. She seems to be a busy person, what with one morning in the US and the other evening in Vienna. Lovely pictures of her family used to be a part of her regular updates but since a few months they have ominously been replaced with travel and work updates. My heart is jumping to ask her how she is REALLY doing and what has she been up to these days? Is all OK?? But it has been really really long since we had a heart-to-heart talk and I am unsure if the warmth we shared is still alive in the hearts (hers...). Amidst the tug-of-war between heart and mind, I type a hesitant …

I was like that

Yesterday a participant on KBC asked the Big B to name the only two letters in the Alphabet from which none of the names of his movies began with. The question took me back to those days where I had made a chart that featured the BigB's movie names starting with each letter of the Alphabet. I also made a list that listed out the movies that had an unusual pairing of a leading lady with the superstar.I used to be so star-crazed and overawed by Mr. Bachchan back then. Not that I am no longer his fan but these statistics don't mean much to me now. I know what you are thinking. You can say that aloud. I am getting old. Hmm..Ok. But WTH, who has not gone through this phase? When I see people much older than I going ga-ga over him on the hot seat, I can only smile and think that I have not been alone in idol-worshiping the actor.


I have watched almost all his movies. Ok, not the ones from the 80s era. That decade is certainly the most forgettable phase in the otherwise glorious car…

Who's correct?

Disclaimer: Only Tamil-knowing people might appreciate the below post.


Among other differences that Hubby and I have, is the language difference. Well, OK we both speak Tamil. But the Tamil I speak is very different from his. He speaks the Chennai lingo and I speak the Mumbai lingo. What, you don't know what Mumbai lingo is? If you have spoken to Tamilians from this corner of the country, you would know. You might assume that person hails from Kerala. Like many have assumed so for me. Some have even asked if I am a mallu. I have that huge an influence of palakkad tamil in my way of speaking. Why, you ask? Just blame it on the number of actual Palakkadus I was surrounded by when I was growing up. Also I use the pure version of Tamil like "vango, pongo, aatuku vango" as opposed to the chennai lingo of "vanga, ponga, veetuku vaanga".


Once Hubby said, with reference to some joke, that it was "chance e illa". It was the initial period of marriage and was …

Boozho toh jaano

Ok, here is a riddle. No, no, don't search for your reading glasses and the browser is also not playing any truant. These are some gems from R speak vocabulary. See, if you can decipher them.

faain down faain down
dandan
myfaedady

buii du ainchi ainchi
buii du ainchi ainchi
myfaedady

ainchi bendabo bendabo
ainchi bendabo myfaedady


daki daki gaati
daki daki gaati
kaati goda
dumpeche maya
goda goda goda

gambatti moyya
mangamuti moyaa

dain dain goway
come agen andade
ittle ichab wanchupay


Do you want the answers?

******
Some favourite phrases:

Appa yenge..kaanume...adho..
tukiko (used only at times)
vendama..poruma..bashh (when asked to eat something he doesn't want/like)
tata ponam..kai picchu (used at all times!)
tupaesh/bach
enadadhu?
aebeecheedee paatu (his fav on the comp along with the rhymes. He is just crazy about the abcd, rhymes and stuff. But I dissuade him from watching too much of it. I think it will be an overdose at this stage and he'll get bored of school t…

The will to achieve

Is it possible to work without any expectations? Is it possible to dream a life that is entirely an antithesis of your present existence and yet be grounded enough to work towards the goal, however far-fetched, it may seem?
A dream, we may have. But not many of us have the faith in it or the perseverance to attain it. Self-doubts about our ability surface when met with the smallest of hurdles. Giving it all up to settle for something mediocre or "more achievable" seems like a practical and sane option rather than fighting with yourself, your destiny and the society.

The burning desire to achieve is probably more present in those that have "apparently" nothing to lose. No false ego that will see a fall in the event of a failure; in underdogs that are free from the expectations of society. Probably, this is why people from small towns do so well in the KBC contest. They are much more well-read and more importantly grounded than their many city-bred counterparts who …

Amchi Mumbai or namma Bengalooru?

I had written a post earlierabout how I felt about life in Hyderabad as compared to that in Mumbai, my hometown. Now that I am back from Mumbai after a looong vacation, I am inclined towards comparing it with Bangalore, my current home for the past one year. Some random observations, in no particular order, preference or importance:

When I landed in Mumbai, it was hot, humid, sultry and I was sweating like mad. Nothing unusual. Only, I have got used to better weather conditions. Ya, ya, after spending 25 good years in the same weather conditions, how can I say that? My mother felt so too. But..but..one does get used to good things faster, right? Imagine a city, where for most part of the year, you do not need a fan running even in the dead of the afternoon, where, your bag always has a pair of warm clothes for the kid to brace out the cool and windy evenings, where, a light drizzle can bring the temperature notches down on a warm day. Well, you really can't blame me now.

In Mumba…

Passport to a healthy pregnancy

When I found out I was pregnant, my first reaction was like oh god! really, so soon, already??
Now, it was all planned but we never expected it to happen that fast. It was just a month after we decided we would have a baby and we had given ourselves at least 6 months time to "let it happen". So, we were more surprised and a tad (only a tad) reluctant to let go of our carefree days yet :-).

My first point or secret to a healthy pregnancy would be that : it starts much before "getting pregnant". The body needs to be well-maintained and healthy before you embark on this ever-exhausting journey of motherhood. Both my husband and I were practicing yoga for quite sometime and we attribute our effortless entry into this phase to this fact. In this fast paced life where sedentary and stressful lifestyle giving rise to fertility issues is not uncommon, this is an important criterion to be fulfilled.

I dealt with severe nausea and vomiting during the entire first trimester.…

A rush of thrill

Bloggers live in the perennial fear of getting a writer's block and get nightmares of their blog slipping into a coma-like state. I have been close to coming to this stage many times but fortunately something or the other would serve as the proverbial straw to a drowning man. Mostly it would either be someone else's blog post that would inspire me to write a similar experience or a timely blog contest. This time it is both. The contest is by Women's Web about the Passport to a healthy pregnancy; details here. Tan wrote a post about her adventurous experience here, which lit up the bulb in my head where a similar experience was lying buried gathering dust. For no particular reason or intention, the contest has been given the second preference.

I am basically not an adventurous person. Though I like some surprises thrown in here and there, to a large extent I like things planned. Also, I lack the courage to do something out of the ordinary just for a thrill. For the really…

A rant

I know I know, I said it is break time and here is a new post from me. But let me warn you, it is purely a rant. Had to get it out of my system. So guys you are free to skip reading the following.

It has been a crazy and sick-literally- holiday so far. For the first 10 days, R and S (niece) took ill one after the other. We barely got well and adjusted to the new place and my mom has now fallen sick. R is still being strange. He is back to his naughty and mischievous self, no doubt. But he rarely plays alone with my parents. Not even his paati with whom he was all chummy just a month back at Bangalore. Five minutes with them and he begins to look for me. This has thrown all my plans of meeting friends, shopping and general TP out of the window. There is no point dragging him along for the above itinerary.  He wouldn't relish it or let me either. Also, he eating all my time by insisting on viewing some rhymes whenever I get a chance to be at the computer. The keyboard and CPU bein…

Break (brake?) time....

A combination of various factors is keeping me away from my favourite activity of blogging.

Blog idea planting its seed. No time to make it into a full-fledged post because either the kids (R and niece S) are viewing Tom & Jerry on the computer or within minutes of logging on, I am required to play referee to a power-struggle between R & S. Net result-Idea lost. 
Computer free, I can contemplate writing. But *Tish* the power goes off. Damm the load-shedding.

Power on, computer free, surprise of surprise- kids not climbing on me or chewing my brains. Perfect? oh no, the net connection is so poor that I can take a short walk and still find the page loading screen.
But, I badly want to post something, so, here I vainly announce that my blog crossed 10,000 page hits today.

So, folks maybe it's time I take a short break till the factors start to favour me.

The festive mania

The Navaratri mania is over. Phew! Now, don't mistake me. I am all for the tradition and the festivities but when it goes beyond one's reasoning and ceases to retain its flavour to turn into just a mad frenzy of calling sundry maamis over and going over to another set of sundry maami's houses for "vettalai paaku", its time to take stock. With due respect to the intentions and sentiments that go behind celebrating a festival, I feel today the original custom has been twisted and contorted to the extent of dis-figuration.

The scene goes like this : some maami chances upon you at the temple/road/someone else's house and invites you over for "vettalai-paaku". You don't know her too well but you go nevertheless because of respect or sentiments. Its your turn then, you call the same mami with whom you have never spoken more than two lines in the chance encounter of five times in a year, out of courtesy. Another lady is very enterprising and decides …

A roller-coaster ride

Oh! what a weekend it has been. I  landed at the parent's place in B'bay yesterday and boy I am glad that it was nearly uneventful. It has been a test of my nerves since Friday last.

Like any other evening, I was at the play area with R on Friday evening. R was his usual self, running and scampering around, with me close at his heels. It was nearing time to head back home when R wanted to play a little extra on the standing merry-go-round. No sooner did I place him down back on the ground than he shot off in a run. My friend N and her son V (around R's age) were a feet away and she beckoned him. It was that split second's delay that decided the course of the rest of the evening. I waited just that much time to see if R went to her before rushing off to run after him. By then it was little too late. R dashed off from underneath the slide and darted towards where some older kids were rocking pretty fast on the swing. He missed getting hit from one on coming swing only t…

Blogging and its effects on me

I had always been fascinated with the idea of writing. No, not from school times or even college. At that time, I simply detested the manner in which we had to fill some pages with content that was cramped forcefully into the heads a few evenings before and had to be spilled before the content itself got lost. Even essays never gave me the thrill of writing. My imagination always betrayed me when presented with a theme and time constraint. So, when exactly did I develop a fascination? I cannot say. When I was in college, my friend, who was studying astrology and palmistry then, told me that I may possess some flair for writing as my hand showed artistic nature, I had, at that time, laughed dismissively at the prospect. I told her, maybe the talent is elsewhere. Artistic could mean a lot of things. Although I found the idea, at least then, quite absurd, it somehow remained in my mind. I began to have notions of discovering a latent author in me. I did nothing about it, though. Not…

An ode to life

As I sit to write an ode
words fail to come afore
fleeting thoughts swim by
like white clouds against the blue sky

Though the eyes capture the sight
the mind fathom not the flight
Each cloud shares a story
of sunshine and rain; of laughter and gory

Who is to perish; who is to stay;
we shall be gone one day
Who are we to state
He is dark, she is fair
for even the dark cloud, as they say,
conceals a silver ray

Image courtesy: google.com

As you like it

Funny, at an age where your opinions are already formed and you dare to call yourself rational, you find yourself helplessly giving in to your toddler's whims and fancies.

Scene 1:Amma: (Having a meal plate with rotis and sabzi, trying to feed R)

R:iddu *pointing to the sabzi*.

I try to reason with him and say that rotis and sabzis have to be eaten together. Distract him with a story and feed him a morsel of roti and sabzi.
R promptly spits it out. Insists iddu to the sabzi.

Amma: *resignedly feeds him what is asked*.

Rinse, repeat for rotis after a while. As long as whatever is on the plate goes in, I am not too bothered. But I am on the edge till the plate is at least 3/4th empty for you never know when these whimsical toddlers might change their minds.

The above scene can be played in many ways and in any situation.

Scene 2:  At the play area
I usually let R decide what he wants to do as long as he does not come in the way of the older kids playing or the ones cycling.
R:anga..poin…

A lovely time and a blue Monday- weekend update II

Part one here.

Saturday evening, we went out for shopping at a near by mall. R is generally very restless during mall outings. He would keep running around the stores, trying to topple any stack of goods, generally creating a nuisance and not allowing me to shop. This time, though, we had two pairs of extra hands and legs. So mom and I shopped while hubby and dad kept a watchful eye on R. R anyway got his due share of fun- a toy train ride. These children rides in malls are out to loot you, I say. There were toy cars that ran on batteries and had attendants who maneuvered the vehicle if the kid was very young, there was this toy train and one huge bouncer. The rate for all the rides was Rs. 50 for a mere 3 minutes! We asked R to choose a ride and guess what, he said "aipain" (airplane). There was none around and it took us a while to understand R's gestures at the glass-paned lift which he referred to as airplane. Of all the rides, he chose the "free" one. Whi…

The hunt begins- a weekend update I

Saturday morning, our friend-couple, whose kid is as old as R, called up to ask if we were interested in joining them to check out a particular pre-school for R.  We left around mid-morning, leaving R who was sleeping then in the company of his grandparents. We were confident that he would not miss us. I left without the preoccupying thought of "what about lunch? when and what to cook" as my mom took the reins of the kitchen that day to give me a break. Lovely mothers!

The school- the play home is affiliated to the main school that runs on the principles of a renowned spiritual guru- was located away from the main road which was a plus. The courtyard, unlike most others that are housed in a house bang on the main road, was fairly big with a small play area for the kids. The lady who attended us briefed us about the activities conducted, fee structure and also addressed our queries. The place in itself was pleasant, although it seemed bereft of the modern amenities that the …