Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Appreciating the inane

A few years back, I met Amitabh Bachchan during an event that we were organizing for IIFA. I had always prided myself on being un-starstruck till then. And then, one evening, after the event was done and we were wrapping up, I heard our key client contact (for want of a better term) saying, "Mr Bachchan, I would like you to meet Parul." Parul, PARUL, me, ME!! So naturally I swayed over nonchalantly. The big man rose from behind his desk where he had been looking at some documents and smiled at me. ME, ME, Parul!! Then he said, "Hello Parul, I have been seeing you around but never got to meet you." HUH, HUH, HUH?? He, Amitabh Bachchan, AMITABH BACHCHAN had seen me, noticed me, remembered me. I had missed my calling. I was meant to be a superstar. Then he came over and shook my hand. Sikandar ne zindagi mein bahut kam logo se hath milaya hai....I think he was asking me something but I was just gawping, with some drool doubtlessly running down my chin, very un-superstar-like. All I could see was Vijay and then Jai and then Anthony.....Fortunately, he was quite used to this reaction and politely asked me if I would like a picture with him. Shore, i mean sure, said I and proceeded to pose for a picture that I never got to see later. It was over before it started and he deftly moved on to an Amit or Sanjay or whatever and was saying, "Hello Amit or Sanjay or whatever, I have been noticing you but never got to meet you" thus elevating yet another ego to highrise levels.

The next time I felt like this was when I saw Rakhi Sawant at a clinic at Bandra. Had I not been nine months pregnant at the time, I would have surely skipped over and asked for a picture with her. I am a huge fan of Rakhi Sawant. I am quite certain I am just one among millions. This morning, I saw a brief snatch of her on some morning news show and realised that what I missed most about watching television was indeed Rakhi's quotable quotes. She was mouthing yet another gem to the tune of "Main kya kar sakti hoon....main hoon hi itni sexy....sab mujhse jalte hai...kyunki mera boyfriend mujhse itna pyaar karta hai." Can you believe it? She is just awesome! She never fails to surpise me with her confidence, given limited talent/looks.

She blew the pants off Karan Johar (KJo, I believe he is called...excuse me while I retch uncontrollably) on Koffee with Karan. I believe no celebrity agreed to attend the show with her because they were petrified of her clever repartee and powerful wit. Who can blame them? Plus she wore a non-existent blouse with a Manish Malhotra sari - a certified crowd-puller even for say, Shamita Shetty.

And oh dear lord, Bigg Boss - if I had a flatmate like Rakhi for six months, I would have committed suicide just for the sheer inferiority complex. I will never, ever, till my dying day forget how pious Carol Gracias tried to convert Rakhi into a good christian and Rakhi, good sport that she is, immediately took to Ganpati Bappa Jee-jus.....what a saint! I wish she had won, not that sour-faced Rahul Roy. I sms voted for her err...religiously. I remember being hugely pregnant and lying on the couch like a pregnant whale (big, big, BIG) and watching Rakhi's antics everyday and shaking the entire house with my straight-from-the-belly laughter. She is a true rock star.

Rakhi has also been known to comment on her plastic surgeon's good job in doing up her lips (and nose too, I think)!! I mean - how many people would do that? Dear old Sushmita Sen is denying the silicone in her body its righful place in the sun (?) to this day. Sushmita Sen is also on the cover of all the latest glossies that I read lovingly every month, thanks to her contract with Olay...but I digress.

I believe she (Rakhi, not Sush...thank God) is on Nach Baliye or one of those dance shows with her boyfriend Abhishek these days. I am heart-broken at the thought of missing out on so much fun...she must be saying things like, "You know, I am very honest...but...*proceed to say rude things*". Adi better be really grateful that I am giving up all my deeply intellectual, spritually enlightening interests for him.

Really, who can blame Mika Singh for having the hots for Rakhi? If that is indeed what it was...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

From my childhood to yours

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my childhood. There is a world of difference between Adi's wonder years and mine. There were many, many things that were ubiquitous to us but will be at a premium for him... playing space for one.

If there were a few things that I could pick up from my childhood for my boy to experience in his life, they would be these...

Pets - We always had dogs in the house. One of my first memories is of a very large German Shepherd. I can still close my eyes and feel her fur in my mind. My mom tells me, pretending to be disgusted but actually rather amused, that I would often be found behind doors as a toddler, sharing my food with the dog OUT OF THE SAME PLATE!! So much hygiene, I tell you... but I still grew to be five feet seven inches and a frame to match!! In the later years, there was a black labrador and I can assure you - you can never know true love till you have one of those in the house.

On top of that, I was always getting strays into the house and my parents never turned them away. There were other animals - a sick kitten who we nursed back to health, a calf who adopted me at the school bus-stop, a frog that lived in my doll-house, a cow that would come asking for rotis....it was not a surprise that I turned out to be a staunch vegetarian in a family of non-vegetarians.

So, yes, Adi needs to have a dog at some point, a nice St. Bernard. And a cat, too. And a calf, if one adopts him at his school bus-stop.

Pets make us better people.

Books - My father was a doctor and he worked for the UP government. Resultantly, we were always getting stationed in small, mofussil towns. New books were expensive and these small towns did not boast of public libraries. Yet, my parents struggled to keep us flush with books. There was no one to guide us about suitable books, so we read whatever we could get. To this day, M gets shocked by how eclectic my reading list has been! There was a time that a friend of my father's invited all three of us kids to come and borrow his sons' books. The boys had both gone away to IITs. We licked their collection clean. Alistair MacLean, Dr Seuss, Ian Fleming - and other authors that boys like, all were read and re-read!! Of course, I was only 10 at that time and probably should have waited for some time before diving into such stuff - specially the raunchy James Bond numbers - but hey, there was no choice!

About a couple of years after that, my mother took me and my younger sister to the Book Fair. And she told us that we could buy WHATEVER WE WANTED!! It must have taken my parents a lot of effort to be able to say that but that really was the happiest day of my life. Again, a strange mix of books was bought - Gone With The Wind, To Sir With Love, Love Story, David Copperfield, Lust For Life - and we spent so many happy hours poring over those lovely, delicious books. That was also the trip that started my love affair with PG Wodehouse and my sister's with Agatha Christie. To this day, the two relationships are flourishing.

So, Adi, I may not say Yes to a lot of things. But every year, I will take you to the Book Fair and you can buy whatever you want.

These are material things - the last thing is in the mind.

It is the ability to be comfortable in one's own company. All relationships, however deep they may be, are transient. Ultimately, there is only one person you need to be happy with. Loneliness can be strangely liberating, if spent in the company of a person you like and admire and love - you. I have this ability and I can assure you, its a remarkable gift.

So Adi, I hope you don't always need people around you to be happy and can seek happiness in solitude. What I am saying means many things at many levels and if you read the books I mentioned above, one day you will be able to express what those things are.

That's it, then.

What is it about your childhood that you would like to pass on to your children? Tell me, I am listening.

Monday, October 29, 2007

An elephant in a china shop

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco
o haseena, o neelampari, kar gayi kaisi jaadugari
neend in aankhon se cheen li hai, dil mein bechainiya hai bhari
main bechara hoon awaraa bolo samjahon main yeh ab kis kis ko
dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco


There....I hope it is out of my system and into yours. Blasted song.

I have no idea which promos are doing the rounds on my favourite channel Zoom (Issko Dekho) these days, thanks to my son who is not supposed to watch TV and tries very, very hard to. However, that does not mean that I am out of the Bollywood scene. I have been religiously listening to all the latesht numbers on Radio Mirchi every single morning and I can bet you a dabba of Cerelac that I can sing any new release pretty much the whole way through.

I need to get a life.

Are you humming the song yet? No, no, no hurry...just checking. I am pretty sure it will be flowing in your bloodstream before the day is out. You're welcome.

And now to the episode to which this post owes its title.

We are the kind of neighbours that you are neither pleased nor pissed to have, for the simple reason that we are hardly ever seen. Pre-Adi, both of us were working round the clock and we were never around to make small talk with anyone. Sure, we would smile at people if we ran into them in the lift...its just that we could never be sure that the people we were smiling at were indeed inhabitants of the same building complex or just some food delivery guys. However, when Adi was born, my mom insisted that we send out sweets to everyone. I am not one to share dessert with anyone at the best of times...but mom was rather adamant. So sweets were sent and lo and behold, from that evening itself, we started getting a steady stream of visitors. Very sweet, we thought (precisely, I am thinking now). Almost everyone asked us if we were new to the building and looked aghast when we told them that we were probably renting out the flat before they did.

Anyway, this period of unnatural social activity soon drew to a close. We continued to smile at people. Now and then, I would find a somewhat familiar face and break out my widest grin. That would only bring out comments like, "Sooooo, small baby at home and enjoying life, eh?" Anyone who goes to the gym knows that it is not for enjoyment that one lifts weights....but I let it pass.

This morning, Kalpana, our cook, came in looking quite excited. She burst into the house and happily informed me, "Didi, panchve maale par koi off ho gaya."

Kalpana needs a life too.

I asked her who had passed away. Jharna Bhabhi's father, she replied and carried on with the task of making inedible aloo-methi.

M was getting ready to go to work. I asked him to go and offer condolences to Jharna Bhabhi and her family.

"I am running late, baby. I will come back and do it in the evening."

Hmmpphh. Here I was, bursting with neighbourly warmth and he wanted to delay it till the evening. I would do it on my own. I am sure that you recall that whenever I use that phrase, it is followed by a disaster of reasonable proportions.

True enough. I went to the fifth floor. Everyone looked familiar. Sort of. Oooh, so that guy is not a driver after all. He is sitting with the rest of the men-folk. Anyway...work to do...

No one came up to me so I boldly walked into the house. In the kitchen, I saw two women. I remembered that both of them had come to my house to see Adi but for the life of me, I could not remember their names. Anyway, I had not come to see them. I was there to see Jharna.

"Hello! Um, where is Jharna."

Looks at me strangely.

"I AM Jharna. I had come to your house to see Aditya. How is Sainath (Mahesh)? Is he travelling a lot? And has your mother gone back to Delhi?"

Woo, off to a bad start.

"Hey, look here. I am sorry for your loss. Was your father ill?"

The other woman (non-Jharna) looks at me and replies -

"It was not her father. It was our father-in-law. And yes, he was 90+ and ailing for some time."

OUR father-in-law....that could only mean...(furious mental calculation)...that

"We are sisters-in-law."

"Oh. Oh! I am sorry. I thought you just lived in the same building."

Looks at me icily.

"I do. I also live on the fifth floor. I had come to see you and Aditya with my daughter. How is he? He must be about six months now."

Holy-moly! I should have just quit at that point and just come home but no!no!no! this was the new neighbourly me, bursting with solidarity.

"I just met your husband outside. Tall,lanky guy with a moustache."

"That is our driver."


At that point, I just gave up and came downstairs to the familiarity of our own, warm apartment, which I shall not leave again, as long as I live.

Are you humming the song yet?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Oh, oh, oh - the award!!

Naina Ashley decided to give me this award.



Much has been said about this award by the various winners. Since I just have to be the last person to both get as well as deserve this award, I think I get the right to declare the cycle for the same finally over!

Thanks Naina! It was very sweet of you to remember that I had been left out of this one. I am back in the club, baybay!

Child's play is anything but that

My friend RR is moving from Delhi to Mumbai. After she battled Mumbai property brokers, braved several apartments that ended before they began and successfully discovered the house situated at the exact point that would save her husband 1.3 minutes in commute time, she arrived at the most critical of all questions - that of a playschool for her two-year old. New as she is to Mumbai, she is open to suggestions, even from me. So I sent her off on her merry way to Kangaroo Kids, which has top-of-mind recall for me, thanks to the one branch next to Crossword, a place I am often found lurking at. Well, it was not to be simple at all...what is about kids? So after putting the little one on a waiting list where she was promised a seat in the playschool in the year 2025, RR went back to Delhi.

However, lady luck was about to smile on them. After a few days, RR's husband received a call from Kangaroo Kids.

KK - Hello, is this RR's husband?

RR's Husband - Yes, it is.

KK- This is Kangaroo Kids calling.

RR's Husband - What?

KK- This is Kangaroo Kids calling.

RR's Husband (doubtless forming an image of baby marsupials gathered around a phone somewhere and calling him) - Kangaroo...as in the animal?

KK - Yes, we have got a place for your child. Cough up the dough.

and so on...

Turns out it had slipped RR's mind to mention to her husband that she had shared his landline number with the playschool. Fortunately for all concerned, RR's husband quickly arrived at the understanding that his offspring's academic future was at stake and ran off to pay up. And a little girl has now earned the right to frolic with other....kangaroo kids.

This got me thinking. An activity not recommended for even the best of times, definitely a bad idea when one is a new mother. Maybe we were lagging behind. So far I had been rather comfortable in the fact that Adi is only six months or so. SCHOOL and all that nonsense was WAYYYYY out there in the comfortable distance. RR's experience hinted otherwise. I immediately sprung into action and decided that I would take matters into my immediate control and do what needs to be done. In other words, I called Mahesh and asked him to register at Kangaroo Kids. As a thank you, here is a picture of Mahesh waiting to stuff his face at Papa Pancho's - a dhaba-themed restaurant at Bandra. You can see he looks starved.



Soon after I took this picture, he told me "When Adi is about two, we should get a puppy...so that we continue to be used to the hardship."

To get back to the playschool, we registered Adi at KK for the June 2008 batch and were feeling mighty puffed at being so proactive when a couple friend of ours dropped in to see us that evening. Their daughter is only a couple of months older to Adi.....its really surprising how our entire friends-list comprises people with kids, where are all our single friends, the ones we used to hang out with, eh? Anyhow, so when Mahesh asked our visiting friends about good playschools (smirking mentally, I am certain), they fired a list of the top academies...and get this - we had NOT HEARD OF any of the schools on the list.
This set me thinking yet again. I am quite, quite certain that I am not going to be an Over-Achieving Parent. Sure, I'd like Adi to get a great start and everything but the point is this - I am not quite sure how does one go about it. I have been trusting my instinct for the last six months and I was rather counting on it to come to my aid for the rest of my parenting years also. Sure hope I am doing the right thing.

However, if you have contacts in the top playschools of Mumbai, please do help out a parent in need. Else, it looks like marsupial babies for Adi.


I hope they don't read this post and take his name off the list.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lost and found - one clueless but intelligent person

If you have been brave enough to endure this blog lately, you will notice that there are a few broad themes running through it -

1. Making fun of Mahesh
2. Cribbing about Adi's lack of sleep
3. My perfection as a human

Now, I thought this reflected the reality of our universe rather nicely, except that my conscience gets prickly every now and then and asks me if I would ever let the world in on my Flaws. I don't quite like the idea of a prickly anything (specially heat but conscience is bad too). So today is the day I shall enlighten this wise gathering on one of my shortcomings. Do try and relax, I am not about to whip out my AA speech. It is something a little more serious than just tippling a little more than one ought to. It is, in fact, the absence of a sense of direction and the complete inability to read maps.

I just cannot do it. I am incapable of asking or giving directions for the simple reason that I have no clue what they are. I normally reach from one point to another by memorizing landmarks - turn left from ICICI Bank...huh, they opened a new branch...where am I...shit, I am lost again. Or - look out for tall blue building - tall blue building is now tall pink building thanks to Diwali renovation - oh, that means that I am lost. I have gotten (got?) lost countless number of times in my life, most of them in perfectly familiar situations. It is as if there is a connection in everyone's brain except mine that responsibly tells them the relative position of x with respect to y. In fact, in my engagement story, I forgot to mention that one of the top reasons why I married M was his superior map-reading and direction-knowing skills. Often I will call M,

"Hey, you know Hakim's Alim?"

"Sure"

"So, I am, you know, trying to get there."

"Where are you?"

"Bandstand....I think."

"Describe it to me."

"Oh, oh (enthusiastic at finding something can do successfully])....well, there are lots of people walking by, the sea is there...and yes, I can see a Barista."

"But baby, that could be anywhere in Mumbai, no?"


etc. etc.

At first I used to think that it is only the circular roads of Delhi that get me (or not) and I was regularly mistaking my Shah Jehans for my Jehangirs (roads, that is) but we moved to Bangalore and then to Mumbai and nothing has changed. In fact, I am equally lost anywhere in the world. And Mahesh equally at home. Picture this. We alight in New City. I look around bleary-eyed thinking how much I will be missing dal-chawal while M peers at one document ('map' I believe it is called), raises his head, sniffs the air and starts marching purposefully in one direction mouthing wisdoms such as, "So basically that means we are 4.31 kms from the City Square. I think the shortest route will be through the xyz street in the north-west corner of obscure cafe. Come on, lets go." Terrified as I am of getting lost in any country where I have to constantly do extensive multiplication in order to pay for simple things, I immediately start following him around like a faithful puppy. I wanted to tell you the story of how I nearly got separated from him at a train station in Switzerland last year but maybe not...

Some People Known To Me have hinted that it has a correlation with intelligence. Well, I have been looking for intelligent people with no sense of direction and I am pretty sure soon I will be able to unearth one such person(NOT COUNTING ME, NOT COUNTING ME). I was also told that it has to do something with the iron in one's nose. Huh? Well, I am upto stuffing some spinach up my nose. No problem. I knew ma insisted on it for a reason.

But that is in the long run. For now, as long as banks keep opening new branches and buildings keep getting repainted, there is no chance in hell of me finding my own way.

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Updates!

Adi is patting everything. It is almost as if the world is his puppy. Pat, pat, pat. Comforter - soft, cushiony, NICE! Mama's tummy - softer, even more cushiony, NICE!, Padma's hand - smooth, soft, NICE! Dad's face - not smooth, stubbly, NICE!...pat, pat, pat.

He is now also sitting up...or at least attempting to. Here he is trying to sit with the aid of multiple cushions. The cushions are not helping much.

Posted by Picasa


So he decides to eat them.


After we go to bed every night (read, collapse, exhausted), Adi quietly climbs out and goes out to put fertilizer and water on his nails. How else do you explain the speed at which they grow?

He is also slurping up some solids like Cerelac. That is indeed awesome.... though that also means that he is practically grown up and will be going away to college in a matter of days. Last evening I cried thinking about it. I think I need therapy. Mahesh tried to cheer me up by reminding me that I could drink my beloved Chianti once again after Adi was weaned. It only made me cry harder. I know I need therapy.
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Monday, October 22, 2007

Words of encouragement

Updates!

Adi can now say words like UMM-MAA and UPP-PAA. I thought we were imagining it but Padma, clearly the sanest and most objective human in this household ratified the same. Isn't he smart? I bet he will go to Harvard. And become a neurosurgeon. And an astronaut. An astronaut who performs brain surgery in space.

This also means that his south Indian genes are
a. more dominant
b. earlier to show (than the north ones)
c. both of the above

I can take either a. or b. but if it is c. then I am just a blubbering mass of despair, despondency and disappointment. (I become alliterative in moments of crisis.) Why should it matter so much? Am I not proud of having married a Tam Bram? (I am!) Am I a 'Penjabi' snob who is not proud of her south-of- the- Vindhyas connection? (I am not a Penjabi, I am proud of the connection) But I would really like Adi to have some of my cowbeltish-ness (definitely not my vocabulary though). I am quite,quite sure Meerut has not spawned any astronauts, let alone ones that perform brain surgery in space.

Anyway, his words are a really ironical development considering that just a few days back, I was wondering if Adi would pick up any Tamil at all.

"How will he pick up any Tamil, eh?"

"He won't."

"How come that does not bother you?"

"Because I can't do anything about it."

"I am sure you can. You speak to him in Tamil every day. Am sure he will pick it up."

"But then you won't understand what I am saying."

And so on. So I decided to approach Padma.

"Padma, you should speak to Adi in Tamil."

Looks at me with an air of exaggerated patience, an air I detest. Makes me feel like a complete idiot. I am not saying I am not one. I just don't like being treated like one.

"But you would not be able to understand what I am saying."

They are all in this together. I needed to do something about this ON MY OWN. On My Own is also a very cute clothing and accessory store in Bandra. That is not the point but I just like giving out these precious nuggets of information. Mahesh tells me that if you google for Pure Magic biscuits or Krackjack cookies, my blog pops up on first page. Tells you a lot about the sheer intellectual force that is my blog.

Where WAS I?

Right, so I decided to teach Adi some chaste Tamil myself. I have lived in Bangalore. Everyone there speaks Tamil (and Kannada. I think). Of course, I needed to pick up only sufficient Tamil to be able to ask Theresa, the office help to get me some more coffee. Right, so we would start with that.

"Adi, ur cup coffee vennum."

Of course, technically speaking there are only two words of Tamil in that sentence but I repeated it ad nauseum. I was fairly certain Adi will be able to fetch me some coffee before the year is out.

And now this, he is already speaking Tamil as if it were his mother-tongue. IT IS NOT. And there is no word in the world called father-tongue.

****************************************************************************

M has been strutting around after last night as if he personally drove the car that ferried Kimi Raikkonen to the F1 World Championship (of course that would mean that M and not Kimi is the World Champion but surely by now you know what I mean). He kept up a countdown through the day - only 14 hours to go, only 13 hours to go - I was quite relieved when the blasted 14 hours were up and the race started. He kept coming into the room where I was trying to make Adi sleep (we have a pact - I will look after Adi when he watches his races every Sunday and in return he has to buy me whatever I want, whenever I want for the rest of our lives, NO QUESTIONS ASKED) and giving me updates on just how brilliantly his boy (the Finnish one) was performing.I tried to get excited without waking up Adi, an impossible task, I discovered.

Anyway, the F1 season is over. Sundays evenings are free again..HA HA HA!!

*****************************************************************************

M is reading my blog with an intent seriousness. He looks up to ask me,

"Why do you have Google Ads on your blog?"

"So that everyone clicks on them and I make millons and I never have to work again."

"But you're not working even now. So how come they are there?"

"Err...so that everyone clicks on them and I make millons and you never have to work again."

Looks thoughtful and proceeds to click on ads zillions of times.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Creatively titled - The Engagement Story

Tagged by dotmom to do the engagement story and threatened with third degree in the event of non-compliance. So, ahem, lets get this over and done with before I chicken out.

Mahesh and I had been seeing each other for a few months when things took a turn, well, several turns. Well, not seeing is probably closer to the truth. He worked with a management consulting firm and was busy taking away whatever little value his client had at a horrifying pace in a small western industrial town while I was doing the same to my clients in Delhi. His company was also a cheapo and gave only bi-monthly flybacks. Time together on those two days was also limited to the few hours that we could snatch from my work that demanded a piece of my flesh even on Saturdays. So if you are a client to some poor agency girl/boy, give them a break, NOW!!

And those were only the practical problems.

The emotional mayhem was even better (worse). I had been through a What-Were-You-Thinking-Relationship and This-Is-Going-Nowhere-Relationship and was petrified of committing to a diet, let alone a man. In fact, I had agreed to date him only on the condition that we would go with the flow and we would take it as it came and play it by the ear and not force things and see what developments were in store and just enjoy our time together and…right, I know you get what I am saying. Thought I would make it clear. Just in case.

Right, so there we were.

The wearying logistics and the complicated heart – both were far from cooperative.

To throw me into a deeper tizzy – a close friend decided to give some advice.

“Babes, I think that guy is planning on marrying you...”

Huh? How would she know?

“I don’t know. I just….know.”

Very helpful.

Well, it mattered not. I was smart. I would not get into this deep. I could spend time with him, of course. But one had to protect one’s self-interests and emotional health

Heart.

Also, I was waiting for my biker/musician/poet to come along. I would meet him at a rock festival where we would do some grass together and afterwards sleep outdoors under the starlit sky and then ride into the sunrise on his Harley Davidson.

(Note to Adi: I am just speaking figuratively, my boy. Grass is not cool. Say NO to drugs, son.)

This guy was NOT that guy. Sure, he was immense fun to hang out with. And he read. And he was smart. And he could make me laugh so hard with all the good-natured bitching he did. (Well, maybe not all of it was good natured….but that was good, too). And he always looked out for me. I didn’t need anyone to do that, of course. I was INDEPENDENT. But it was rather nice the way he did those things, like getting my car’s broken registration plate repaired. It had been broken for a few months since my car’s crash with a mortar-carrying truck (!) and I had been meaning to get around it but just…never…did.

Like I was saying, this guy was not my Jim Morrison reincarnate. He was calm. Nothing seemed to ruffle him. In fact it was distressing to see that he did not appear even remotely bothered by all the PMSing I did around him. Rational. Logical. Everything was addressed in a step-wise, flow-chartish manner. Hmmpphh. I needed a rock star to my Penny Lane. Not this geeky boy who never did anything out of turn. Where was all the madness?

But wait a second. Why was I getting so used to him? This was not a good sign. I had lost my father just a few months ago. Surely, I was not getting attached to the first man that displayed the same crazy love for me. Not good, not good. Time to backtrack. Phew….close call, that one.

And so it went on in my head. And some of it in my heart too. I love mush. Who doesn’t? But like most people, I am too shy to show it. And like most people, I respond to anything lovey-dovey with a “Ewwwww….GROSS!!” Well, maybe most people don’t do it. But you know what I mean. Anyhow, the point of all this was that it was a good thing that things were unmushy.

“Don’t think about it so much. You’re stressing yourself out,” said the sisters.

Yeah, baby. That’s right. Stay cool.

Then came along a nice job offer in Bangalore that allowed me to be rid of my flesh-eating clients (Hello clients, I am just kidding. You know I love you!). Now, for all its traffic jams, Bangalore is, to borrow from Orhan Pamuk, the city of my heart. I have been really happy there, despite the fact that auto-rikshaw drivers there refuse to go anywhere.

“Bhaiyya (giving away North Indian roots), Koramangala chaloge?”
Drives off without a reply.

“Indira Nagar?”
Drives off without a reply.

“MG Road?”
Drives off without a reply.

Anyway, this deserves a separate post. And a death sentence.

To get back to the engagement story, I moved to Bangalore.

The boy moved too. To Chennai. Just to be close to Bangalore. And started coming to visit me every weekend. We explored every little bit of that city. We would go to Styx (I miss you, Styx!) and I would happily head-bang along with all the metalhead teens while he looked on, slightly amused. There was other stuff that he was amused at too but we will leave that out (Hi, Mom!). This went on for a few months. Things were good. The voices in my mind had also stopped bothering me too much. This could go on. Life was perfect.

Then, on his birthday, we decided to celebrate in Chennai. It was the most natural thing to do. Every one knows what a party-happy, hip and happening place Chennai is. Shake that kanjeevaram, baybeh! That evening we decided to hang out at Leather Bar. A very nice, swishy-swish place. There was a live band playing some great jazz and the vibe was just fantastic. I was so glad I had decided to come. Then, out of nowhere came The Bartender. He did some tricks that involved fire, alcohol and juggling bottles and I was hooked and plastered to the stool. I am such a sucker for all this, I tell you. I gleefully told the bartender that I was with a birthday boy and could he do something special for us. Who knew that before the night was out, the joke would be on me? The Bartender said that he could do something very special indeed and proceeded to ply us with shots of various shades, sizes, colours and tastes. We were game for anything. However, in a couple of hours, I was not plastered to the stool. I was just plastered. The live band continued to play some great music and I was in a place that is rather poetically called the Purple Haze.

On our way back, M asked me if I would marry him. Yecks, I mean Yes, replied I. It was as simple as that. I proceeded to pass out soon after.

The next morning he gently reminded me of the fact that I was indeed engaged to him. What nonsense, I said. An inebriated proposal doesn’t count. Well, neither of us is inebriated now and I am asking again, he said. Huh? That was a googly, if I ever saw one. But dude, it felt just fine to be engaged, drunk or otherwise. It was The Right Thing to do. How did I know it? I don’t know. I just knew. I could carry on being engaged and eventually get married to him and have his kids and it would be alright. So I figured that my drunken mind and heart had done what I wanted to do all along and just let it be.

We were married later that year.

Of course I still tease M about how he could have never gathered the courage to do this without being under the influence of alcohol and he says that he would have never got me to accept him otherwise. The jury is still out on that one.

Alright, now I am seriously embarrassed. So, I will disappear for some time and surface later to see what you guys have to say about all this. Really, the things that people disclose on their blogs!

But wait a minute - I hope no one has escaped this tag - Y? Kiran? Fuzzy? Come on, out with it. And if you got away with only telling us Your Song, that's not enough. You gotta spill the full can of beans.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The life of a WOOHM

My elder sister is a new mom too. This time when I met her on my trip to Delhi, I asked her what her 'plans' were. Plans used to mean, "When are you going to have a kid?". Now they mean, "When do you plan to go back to work?". In reply, my sister told me about a friend of hers. Now, we know about my penchant for real names. Had it been my friend, her life would be laid out right here, on this very page, for your reading pleasure. However, my sister may not take the same view on her friends and I can tell you with the aid of personal experience, my sister packs a solid punch. Also, she continues to be five years older even if she is twenty kilos lighter. So, we will refer to her friend as the Hottie. Apparently, Hottie is not just hot, she is Very Successful, is a Fabulous Mother and a Great Wife. Her husband and children adore her, as do her personal trainer, her neighbours and all her colleagues, not to mention the courier and doodhwallah.

I would have forgotten about the existence of Hottie if not for what followed that evening. As I complained to my mom about the inches and kilos that refused to move after my attempt to make her complete by blessing her with a grandchild, she only looked contemplatively at my plate of aloo paranthas and said, "You know, you should really see Hottie. She works, works out and has great taste in shoes."

Huh? Et tu, mother? Then fall off the tequila wagon, Parul.

Maybe there is something in being a superwoman. One gets to be thin and sexy, have a flourishing career, boast of a great set of friends that fawn all over you, have adoring children that in their interviews to Time magazine (later in life, naturally) always credit their mother for driving them to excellence.

I have decided. I am going to be a superwoman.

I kicked my decision off with the only way to do these things. I painted my nails.

The first indulgence that any woman sacrifices after having a child is the ability to paint her nails. Quick...are you a mom? Are your nails painted? See?

I was feeling quite kicked looking at my newly painted nails when the phone rang. Hmmm....office calling. Now, so far whenever my old workplace has approached me with anything even remotely resembling work, I have responded with a maniacal laugh that has successfully scared them off. This was different though. This was the new, superwoman me. The one with the painted nails and fantastic taste in shoes.....DRAT, the nail paint had gotten smudged as I was busy talking on the phone. I had forgotten to let it dry before going about. Never mind, now I also had work to do. Yes, I was a career woman again.

The next morning saw me up and about bright and early. All was going to be right with the world. I would Take Charge. Go Out There. Do Things. You know.

I hit the gym and pushed myself to work out like all the others do instead of hiding behind pillars whenever a trainer walked by. Thus boosting my confidence, I came back home armed with muscle power, though a tad worn out.

"You walk funny."

"Thank you!"

"No, not talk...WALK. W-A-L-K."

"Oh! Oh, its that lower body workout. It was a little tough on me. I will be fine. I will go take a shower now and put on my superwoman uniform."

"Ok. Don't overdo things at the gym."


HAH! That man, he doesn't know I am filled to the brim with Power Boosters. Or something.

Half an hour later, the old bones were really creaking. However, superwomen don't take naps. I proceeded to put my plan to be a Good Mother into action. There was Adi, lying quietly on his cushion as Padma showed him some flash cards. I snatched the cards from Padma and sent her off to take a break. I reached as far as D for Disney (stupid subliminal marketing strategy) when the phone rang again. Oh dear, the office again. The familar stress rash was beginning to break out. Oh, the deadline is preponed. No problem. Superwoman to the rescue. I couldn't really hear them very well as Adi had broken out a nice and loud wail that was drowning out all communication. I think I agreed to complete the work two days early. I think. Anyway, it was time for my Pranayam to keep my skin glowing and my breathing constant. Damn, how come it was the afternoon already. I had not even begun to work. Plus I needed some Moove ki neend already as my back was killing me.

No,no! This was all wrong. I am supposed to be Driven. Motivated. Enthusiastic.

I abandoned the Pranayam and started on some analysis. Huh, what is that? Is Adi crying? Yes, indeed he is. And why is he still in his nightclothes? I need to massage and bathe him. Right, lets get started.

Phone rings again. It is a friend wanting to drop in. Sure, sure, no problem. Come right over. We are doing just great. Swinging, you know.

Padma gives me a discreet head-to-toe look. I need to shower and change and eat some lunch, though it is getting closer to tea time now.

Phone rings. How is the analysis going, asks office. Huh? Oh, analysis. Fine, fine, don't you worry.

Call bell rings. It can't be my friend already. It is? Oh, great. Let me just forget about everything and gossip for some time with her. It is important to network, be in on all the news. GAH, surely That One is not sleeping with That Other One? What wonderful developments!

Where is Adi? Sleeping? No? I need to feed him? Again? What, is it that late? Is Padma leaving already? Where is the cook? I hope she is not taking an off. Oof, my back hurts. And why is my nail-paint looking so chipped?

And my blog! MY BLOG! I need to write. All my readers, all four of them, must be waiting for a new post.

When Mahesh came home he found me with Adi, lounging on the bed, a tube of Moove resting next to us on the side-table and some left-over pizza in the process of being devoured between bites of chocolate.

"Hey there M. How was your day?"

"Tiring. How did it go with you?"

"Ok, I think."

"You are so lucky, man. I wish I could also stay at home."


Should I just let him?



Don't you love it?

It is all courtesy Grafx. Earlier she was just Grafx Girl. Since she interacted with me, I am fairly certain she is a Very Exasperated Grafx Girl! All compliments to her please.

Take a bow (yet again), Grafx.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Don't go, stay!

Adi is displaying his first signs of separation anxiety. Yesterday, he let out his lower lip and communicated in no uncertain terms that he did not appreciate that, I, his mother was indeed tying her shoelaces and gettting ready to go to the gym and leaving him behind in the company of a Padma who spends all her time ensuring that he is happy and entertained. It was only my reflection in the strategically placed mirror that bolstered my resolve. That mirror needs to go next to the refrigerator, I am quite, quite certain.

Then, this morning as Mahesh dressed to go to work, namely put on the uniform that consists of the same old blue shirt and black-grey trousers that I will personally burn once I have some time, Adi let out another wail. Wowie, he knows, this boy, that we are indeed something of parents and caregivers and not just some morons who he is sadly bundled with on a daily basis and who do not understand his lordship's carefully worded commands. Why, only yesterday, when he said "Gah", he wanted to be lifted and shown the DVD player whereas he was unceremoniously laid on the changing table and his diaper changed. The things he needs to put up with.....

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By the time Mahesh comes home from work, I have switched off the lights in the bedroom and am trying to rock Adi to sleep, a process that starts at arouns 7 pm and goes on till whenever he deems fit. Resultantly, Mahesh has not seen the bedroom lit in a while and can now expertly and blindfolded make his way around the room without running into the bedpost and knocking over the side tables. We only see each others' faces lit up in the light of the Blackberry or the laptops. Urban livin' with a baby is tough love, baby.

Last night, the face over the Blackberry suddenly looked very worried . I couldn't dare ask aloud what was wrong as Adi had been asleep for precisely five minutes and was liable to wake up and start looking around with bright eyes at the slightest sound. So I wildly gestured to get Mahesh's attention and tried to show my concern in sign language. He looked up at me and intoned, "Tomorrow is going to be such a bloodbath."

Whoa. That sounded pretty serious and demanded some urgent attention. While all evidence points to the contrary, I am actually a very concerned and loving wife. I carefully put Adi in his crib where for once he did not wake up and went over to Mahesh to ask him what was likely to bring about such violence in his life on the morrow. He is not one to be disturbed by the ordinary. This had to be something of life-changing proportions.

"What happened, love? You can tell me."

"Sigh."

"Come on. I am here. Please tell me."

"Oh..ok. SEBI is going to put an end to the issue of P-Notes by FIIs....mumbo-jumbo."

"Huh?"

"Yes. I know. That's terrible. That is how all the money flows into the market. They are trying to stem the inflows....blah blah...offshore derivative instruments....more blah blah....assets under custody...yet more blah blah..."

Really? You don't say.

"Um. Ok, dear. I am sure it will get better. Why don't you get some rest?"

"Sigh...grumble, grumble. Let me go finish those nice chocolate chip cookies. Maybe I will feel better."

"Uh...sure. Whatever rocks your boat."

After partaking of some high-calorie food, he was indeed able to relax a bit and even cheered up enough to play some video games.

He so needs me, this man.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Stuffed nonsense

Dolls to you. Take a read here before you read this post.

Right. There we are. Now the world is indeed complete. A Barbie that is dolled up in scarves and the like. Somebody tell that lady-mom that the lack of clothes is not the biggest problem with that anorexia promotion campaign from Mattel. Or is the mother in question accepting of the fact that her daughter may aspire to have a waist-hip ratio that would render her incapable of standing, let alone playing with toys as long she covers it all up?

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My home decor project is on full-throttle. I will do a before and after photo blogpost after it is done and you, dear readers get to guess which one is which.

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I have been sucked into weight training yet again, this time by a man the size of whose muscles invited no arguement. This Nutrition and Fitness Consultant (I love this euphemistic title grabbing!) tells me that if I do not start pumping some iron, I am doomed to a life of crackling bones hidden under layers of lard. No problem, I wanted to say but better sense prevailed as he bent to pick up a pen and some serious biceps rippled. Sure, whatever you say, sir, sir, yes, sir, I meekly submitted.

So, its goodbye lounging-on-the-treadmill and on to come-on-fifteen-more-why-are-you-panting-so-much.

If I paid as much attention to working out as I do to watching what the others are doing, I would be half my size my now. I would also be half the gossip I am and that is just not acceptable to my husband.

Have you seen gym dates? You know, a couple who sweats it together showers together? There is one such duo in my gym too. They get on two parallel treadmills and run. It doesn't help the poor guy's ego that the lady's fitness quotient is some fifteen notches higher, so while she effortlessly runs at an incredible speed and talks to him at the same time, he is barely breathing with his blue nose and holding on. Once he has recovered, they proceed to do some crunches,except that in this case, their toes are touching as they lie on the floor facing each other. It could be an illustration for 21 Ways to Get Closer to Your Man in Cosmopolitan. Do you read Cosmo? I do. And I always wonder, who lives like that? Who are all these women who are deal clinchers by day and dude grabbers by night? This reminds me of Anthony Bourdain, who is doubtless leading an ultra-glamorous life himself, wondering if there were indeed women in his New York who lived like the ladies of Sex and the City. So freelance writers can't actually afford a closet full of Manolo Blahniks? Oh cruel, disillusioning world.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Time to shower the world with thank yous!

The ever-so-kind dotmom decided to write some really nice things about me. In fact, she decided to pull out all stops and award me with this:


Ever the stoic, I just took it my stride and moved on with the barest hint of a smile.

SCREEEEEEEECH! As soon as Mahesh entered the house, I bounded over to him, Adi hanging on to dear life from my waist as I displayed the award to him on the laptop. Very nice, very nice, now can I come inside, he asked. I could instantly see that he was insanely jealous. After all, no one has ever called him a Rocking Girl Blogger.

Err. That didn’t come out like it was meant to.

I think I am supposed to pass on the award to other girls (or at least internet girls…can never tell with the hidden ids). With Diwali around the corner, I am in the mood for some home improvement. I actively go through many design/d├ęcor websites every day, note the wonderful things people are doing with their homes and think how I could replicate them in my own house before I come to my senses and collapse on the old sofa with some sugary coffee to revive me. I think I am going to make a break from tradition and instead of a mom blogger, give it to a girl who I think runs an awesome blog (website, now) indeed. Most of you may have seen it. It is Grace at
Design Sponge. Her own apartment is gorgeous. I would like to have a home like that one day – all vintage rugs and French chairs and lolling cats (dogs) and all.

Once again, thank you, dotmom. It feels embarrassingly good to get this!

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The opportunity to thank arose again as I opened Bombay Times this morning (how come they didn’t have to rechristen it to Mumbai Times, eh?) and saw a (paid-for) article showcasing the virtues of Identiti nameplates for kids. I thought it was enough to give kids names that didn’t make them the butt of jokes for all times to come. Apparently you need to cement that with branded designer nameplates. “These are very personal gifts guaranteed to instill a sense of pride in children from a very young age.” I see.

How lovely, I say. Now I can just go ahead and accept that pending invite to the crack party and round off the night with some binge drinking. All Adi needs to get a sense of pride is a nameplate. I am all for simplification in life.

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Adi is turning over and creeping all over the place. All three of my eyes are constantly on high alert as the boy decides to take a REALLY CLOSE LOOK at that particular paisley on the printed bedspread. As if life wasn’t a giant to-do list already, I have also taken on a nicely complex project from work. Goody, one more thing to be half-hearted and guilty about!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What's in a middle name? Plenty, apparently.

I think pretty much everyone I know/read has taken up this tag, so I am at a loss as to who I can pass it on to. Anyway, we will cross that bridge later. First, the rules. I am copying them straight from Moppet's Mom and Timepass.

The three rules to be followed are:
a) The rules must be mentioned in the beginning of the tag.
b) You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
c) At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Right, so lets see. Like most of you out there, I do not have a middle name. So I will roll with my father's middle name. I have had to work rather hard at this because it is a long-ish name but YOU LUCKY PEOPLE, YOU are about to find out SEVEN things about me. Isn't this your lottery-winning day? No? Then think, for a moment, if you dare, that I were Greek. With a name like Athanasios or Georgiopoulos, my life would be practically an open book. (Of course, with a name like that, I would also be a shipping tycoon but that is irrelevant.) Helps put a perspective on things, eh?

I thought of a smart or clever way to do this for a long time. No ideas were forthcoming (God asked me to choose between superior alcohol capacity and superior intellect...guess which one I went for) and so I decided to keep it simple go with associations (I am such a market researcher, yuck.). These were the first things that came to mind.

P is for Passport. I hold the record for being passport-less for the longest period possible. In my family, both money and inclination to travel and see far-off places were rather scarce. It was only when my first workplace wanted to send me to Colombo for a conference that I realized that I needed to do something about this state of affairs. This was the beginning of an ordeal the thought of which still makes me break out in a rash. You see, since finishing my post-graduation, I never stayed in a single place for more than six months and therefore no one could verify that I was not a bomb-toting terrorist. In the time I have spent filling out passport forms and standing in queues with other hopefuls, I could have read The Lord of the Rings in Elvish. Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai - I have been a regular at all the passport offices and been on chai-drinking terms with many brokers. I finally got the sacred document in 2003 and have been guarding it with my life since. Considering all this, I did not pass a single comment on how terrible I looked in my passport photo. Incidentally, I did look terrible.

R is for Rock Music. For a person who loves Pink (the colour, not the singer although she is quite good too), rock does not seem to be a suitable genre. But I love heavy metal. My life's dream is to see Metallica live in concert. I will dress Adi and myself in matching black tees that proclaim our love for the group and then sing along to the Call of the Ktulu. Geriatric Mahesh will be left behind at home. HA HA HA!!

A is for Aditya. I named Aditya Aditya because all the Adityas I have met in life have been good people, meaning they have gone to good business schools and have married nice girls. I am very shallow that way. My son, the sun.

K is for Kurt Cobain. For the longest time, my room at MICA had the suicide note of Kurt pasted on a wall. He was a great man. He did drugs and was probably not very smart(could not read dosage on recreational and not so recreational drugs) but dude, he sang so well. I would have so liked to be his groupie.

A is for Atticus (Finch). To kill a mockingbird is my favourite book, the upright Atticus my favourite character and Gregory Peck my favourite actor/man. Put them all together and you could bathe in my drool.

S is for Sainath aka Mahesh. Only because he threatens to tickle me till I die of asphyxiation if I don't write this. Actually, S is for Sleep. I miss it so.

H is for Humour. Self-explanatory. If you don't get the joke, its probably on you. I am so charitable, I tell you.

There. Done.

Now, I need to pass the baton.

I tag:

Poppin
Rohini
Anirudh's mom
Kiran
Adi's mom...wait...she has already done it.
Squiggles' mom
H - I really can't think of anyone with H so will take a step back and tag
Gauri

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

More awards, a tale of two cities


In the inanimate category, the award for the Most Ineffective Piece of Shit Ever to Touch This Planet goes to Pedicloryl. This calming medicine is supposed to knock out flying infants to prevent ear-pain etc. But all it does to Adi is make him as restless as a mouse with a hangover. He squeaks and squeals and makes me want to personally assault the medicine company...what is it...yes, Dr. Reddy's Labs...you are on my hitlist too.

Do you think I will ever stop talking about Adi's (lack of) sleep patterns? Or will I become a psychotic, doddering old lady who constantly calls her 35-year old son wherever he is in the world asking him if FOR GOD'S SAKE, HAS HE FINALLY SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT?

Let's move to cheery topics, like how I didn't gain any weight despite gorging on glorious food for an entire week. I know, I truly rock. I wish my mom would share her recipes with the world on the internet, so that everyone would download them and then no one needs to suffer bad food again. Huh, huh...cool idea, what?

The award for the Best Cook Ever to Be Born goes to my mom. It is also her fault that I am fat. Her's and Adi's. I totally blame you.



If Adi was a little older, he would have been liable to have been completely spoilt on this trip. Dear Lord, he was fawned over so much that after some time, even I was jealous.


And here is my sister about to put him between two slices of bread and devour him.



My brother-in-law, Manish, trying to beat his wife to the devouring. (Manish looks like Carlos from Desperate Housewives, I personally told him 18 times on this trip alone.)



And here is his cousin, Vir, forty-five days younger and still managing to tell him how cute he is.



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I was truly miserable coming back to Mumbai. It is a great city. For some people. For me, just experiencing the first nip of Delhi winter early in the mornings and thinking how I wouldn't be around to feel the dreadful cold when my fingers and toes take their vacation and refuse to cooperate with my brain was enough to plunge me into non-trivial depths of depression.

Of course, Gurgaon (where my family stays) is not the same as Delhi. Every time I go back to Gurgaon I feel like I am in an artificial bubble, replete with affluence and sans any basic infrastrucure (did you note how casually I used 'sans' in a sentence?). It is a little like Singapore, I think, where "artificiality continues to intensify" with every passing day. Of course, Gurgaon is still dusty.

I got thinking about whether I would like to raise my children (eventually, I will have subsequent children. I know. I am amazed myself) in this created atmosphere. Superficially, the township has everything that a kid might need. Good parks, lots of other kids, reputed play-schools and day care. But somehow, it just seems to lack a certain....how do I say this...culture. I wish it would open a mall where it just sold some soul. Currently, the cross-section of India that it represents is rather untrue. But why should that matter? Don't we anyway spend our lives trying to insulate ourselves from the poverty and squalor that is deep-set in our crevices? Why should Rich Cosmopolitan of Gurgaon be worse than just Plain Cosmopolitan of Mumbai? Why do I feel that Gurgaon has raging potential to 'spoil' kids when Mumbai kids would not have any less to boast of? And do cities really have the power to spoil a child or not?

My sister tells me San Francisco is the best place in the world to raise children, Mahesh thinks Singapore with its anti-drug laws is pretty good. What do you think? What makes a city a good place to live in with kids?

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This is also the place where I tell all you people out there - if you are here, say hello before leaving. It helps us needy, low self-esteemed bloggers to know that we are being read. And why shouldn't you? Reading my blog is neither criminal nor immoral, though sometimes it may feel like that.


Monday, October 8, 2007

Just how inappropriate is Baby Got Back as a comeback title?

Boy, do I have stuff to write. I am so bursting with things to share that it reminds me of my worst ever constipation.

Great, now that the ladies amongst us have taken their leave, let us move to the awards ceremony.

The Award for the Most Deserved Thrashing goes to the lady (b****) who strolled off with Adi’s suitcase at Delhi Airport.

There we are at the bustling IGI at six in the evening, having just finished a flight that saw our little boy overcome the Sleep Demon yet again while we watched as hapless bystanders and took turns to entertain the infant. I will say this for flying with a baby – after showing him the empty feeding bottle, switching the overhead lights off and on a few dozen times and changing his diaper whether he needs it or not, there is not much you can do to engage him…. short of opening the door and jumping out, of course. This had also been the redoubtable Padma’s maiden flight and hence the normally rock-solid lady was a little shaken. We had traveled with practically every second item in the house and were prepared for every emergency. Resultantly there was much heavy luggage floating around. I had had to go without food in the flight and had missed the opportunity to bitch about airline cuisine to anyone who cared to listen (or not) and was feeling very deprived due to the same. Mahesh was not only traveling with this trio, he needed to leave for Frankfurt the same evening and his brain was planning at 2x speed. If you know Mahesh, this roughly translates into one step away from exploding with all the mental calculating and filing away and documenting.

We were all dying to get home to my mother’s and partake of some chai and biscut.

The conveyer belt had done 186 rounds in front of our eyes and we were still shy of one suitcase. Not just any suitcase. The suitcase that held Adi’s things. You know,
the stuff

Hmmm…..there was one suitcase that looked similar and no one seemed to want it. The penny dropped and we were chasing the Jet Airways officials in no time. They traced the woman who had packed off with our property (I become very verbose in moments of crisis) and she confirmed that she had indeed walked out with a suitcase full of diapers. Imagine her cheek though that instead of sounding contrite, she informed us that she would get home and then send her driver back with Adi’s stuff. As if. HMMMPPHH.

The polite people at Jet asked her (too nicely) to come back immediately as there was a baby who was tired and cranky and needed his things back. She hemmed and hawed and after much persuasion agreed to come back IN FORTY-FIVE MINUTES!!!

There was only one thing that would make the entire episode worthwhile.

The chance to sink my fangs into the flesh of the culprit.

One of the many drawbacks of marriage is that in moments like this, your partner can read your intentions very, very clearly. And indeed, sooner than I thought possible, Mahesh was hustling me off to mom’s place, shouting after me that he would get the suitcase and catch us at home soon. I tried to reason with him, appealing that he needed me with him to deal with the Suitcase Snatcher and would he not consider letting me stay on, baby and all, pretty please. He however would not hear of it and soon we were packed into the car and sent on our way.

Naturally I lost the way and confused the hell out of the driver who finally begged with me to stop giving him wrong directions. The rest of the journey was spent in taking turns with Padma to hold an increasingly cranky Adi. To pile up one insult on another, Mahesh actually resolved the suitcase crisis, hired a cab and reached home before we did. Despite much prodding, he refused to divulge the details of his meeting with the thief and would not even describe if she was ugly or not. Most disappointing.

I cheered up only at the sight of the incomparable karhi-chawal that Mom makes and no one in Mumbai can even begin to replicate.

I hate missing out on a good brawl but being back home sort of made up for it.

More awards to follow soon….

Suitcase lady, wait till you are alone in a dark and lonely alley.