Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tag about weird stuff

Tagged by Mona to do the seven weird things tag.

Edited to add: Also tagged by 2B's Mommy.

The rules are:
1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

  1. I am very easily embarassed. And when I am embarrased, everyone in a ten-mile radius knows. This is so because in the immortal words of my husband, the estimable M, I have a pigment problem. Due to the said problem, the most minor blush appears on my face like someone has pasted an angry lobster on to it. Weird, eh? Oh but that is the let us get on...
  2. I don't like using abbreviations, particularly of the sms kind. I like to use full words. Wt evr b da rsn 4 dis...
  3. I cannot and will not put a book down before finishing it, however bad it may be and however bored I may get trying to finish it. Given limited reading time, this means that I am prevented from getting to the books that I could have enjoyed a lot more. But well, there it is!
  4. I cannot think of a weird thing right now so let me tell you something that could be seen as a little spooky instead - when I was expecting Adi, sometime in the ninth month, I had a feeling that he had scratched his face with his fingernails. I told this to M too. Here's the weird part - when Adi was born, he had a long scratch across his face, which looked like it was a few days old! Strange, eh?
  5. I weigh myself every single morning of my life. Enough said.
  6. I eat fruits like apple and pear down to the part where there is not a single shred of pulp left on the core. It is truly disgusting sight.
  7. I do not like to drink out of a glass that is wet on the outside (not counting condensation on a glass containing an iced drink). I don't know whether this is being weird or just finicky but I just hate the feeling!

Right, so now you know that I am a certified weirdo. Join me, won't you...








One more thing girls - I am really bad at tagging. I always end up tagging people who have taken it up some three months back and they then gently point me towards the post in question. I am sure I have done it again. If so, gently point me towards the post in question. Else, on with it, chop, chop!

I don't know about you but I would rather sleep


Adi is now readily moving short distances with the help of two techniques -
- Creeping
- Crawling

The use of the above two techniques does not render my son a bug.

For some reason, the onset of movement makes him feel the acute pangs of separation anxiety. He is probably scared that he may move too far away and lose his way back to mama. Resultantly, he has started waking up every ten minutes at night again and demands to feed in order to fall asleep. This has resulted in a very tired, exhausted and evil-tempered me. I am also looking like a raccoon due to the advent of huge dark circles under my peepers. So its all rather rummy out here.

I am thinking that it is a good thing that Adi has till date never once slept through the night. Because you know, we could have gotten used to that and think how difficult it would be to start waking up frequently all over again. We are still in the habit, we are still fighting fit.

While Adi is clearly a daddy's boy through the day and the evening, come nightfall, he refuses to go to him. Mahesh blames the lack of mammary glands on his person for this rejection. I am saying, just grow them or something, just take this boy off my hands for some time so that I can sleep.

If I sound strange, it is most likely because I feel it.

Adi is now partaking of three solid feeds a day, a vegetable, a fruit and a cereal. This means that his meals are balanced. Wish the same could be said about his parents who are positively losing it as they stumble over the furniture and try to read the newspaper upside down and perform other such amusing activities for his viewing pleasure.

To add to existing complications, Adi now goes to sleep with the radio blaring loudly in the background. Ambient noise, I believe it is called. Good, good, I think. He is getting a steady stream of Bollywood injected into his bloodstream. But I am quite certain that the in-laws would beg to disagree.

"Hello, hello, HELLOOO, Parul, are you playing Mozart to Adi every day?"

"Yes, Amma/Appa, I am. Not to worry. And Suprabhatam in the mornings."

"Oh great! What is that noise in the background?"

"Nothing! Just some....muzac."

"Surely the singer is not singing Mauja re mauja...why is he looking for socks?"

"Uh, oh. I guess I better go." Click. Whirr.

When do you think Adi will start sleeping through the night?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Late, late, hurry, hurry...

...yes, yes, much to blog about. Darned internet connection has spoilt the...AHEM...flow with which I was blogging. It was all so....AHEM...effortless...and then the internet connection had to go to wherever internet connections go when they need a break.

But broken internet connections have something to them for sure. For one thing, they establish beyond all doubt that I am in fact an internet junkie and am ready to check into rehab when I need to do without connectivity for 24 hours. The withdrawal symptoms are rapid to surface and quite intense and when they do, I am liable to throw things at people.

Over the course of the last three days, slowly and little by little, I realized that there is in fact a world other than the world wide web that I used to be a part of and that I miss. This world consists of books that are lying unread, music CDs that are pining for a listen-to, and friends that can be called rather than chatted/IMed with. This came as something of a revelation and I bought into this novel concept with gusto. I started reading 'Through the woods' by Bill Bryson, an author I really, really like and it was a good choice because in this book he too talks of getting away from the world as we know it to experience something else. In his case, it is the Appalachian Trail, in mine it is an internet-less world.

I also realized that I pay more attention to other things when I am not constantly running off to check my mail. For eg., I realized that the wire of the hand-blender was dirty. I screamed at Kalpana and Padma and then feeling almost murderously virtuous, cleaned it myself. Then I called Mom to brag about what a totally rocking domestic goddess I had become. Mom got worried and asked me if all was well.

"Sab theek hai, Mamma. Sirf internet nahin aa raha hai."

Flash of understanding. She sighs in relief,"Koi baat nahin, beta. Aa jayega."

Talking of Kalpana, she is really nervous these days because when I am not online, I am liable to wander into the kitchen and when I do that, I can also notice how inept a cook she is. Yesterday, I showed her a wonderful additive that can make a huge difference to cooking. Imagine, this white wonder had been in the kitchen all along.

"This is called salt, Kalpana. One adds it to food to impart flavour. Next class we will learn what flavour means."

Having downed this bucket of sarcasm on her head, I wandered out again. Adi was napping. What could I do? I remembered that I had some nice pictures that I had picked up on a trip to Bangkok some three years back and had never got around to getting framed. So I got that done. Then I got some pending plumbing work done in the bathrooms. Amazing how much work one can get accomplished if not glued to the computer screen for every second of one's leisure time. I was stunned at how productive I had suddenly become.

I also realized that I was looking at people and events purely for themselves and not constantly running them through the filter of blog-worthiness. This was a strange and I thought, intellectually a rather superior discovery. I decided to share this with M.

" So it's like I exist in two worlds at the same time - one the real one and the other the know?"

Not entirely surprisingly, he looked at me strangely and said, "I think we will get it back soon, baby. Why don't you use the data card for some time?"

"DATA CARD? That is like asking a cocaine addict to make do with coca-cola!" I thought to myself. I am glad I didn't say it aloud then. I am not ready to come out of the Internet Addicts' Virtual Closet just yet.

It is good to be back.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Not so well-connected

Our internet connection has conked off yet again. Posting will be light till it gets back into action. I hate the data card and refuse to blog using it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Finding out

It all started when those two decided to take a holiday in August, 2006. They are the super-planning kinds so that ensured that the ovulation dates were marked out clearly. I watched all this in the utmost glee, knowing as I did that this was pretty much the last bit of planning they were going to do in a long, long time. Five days after I came into existence, Mom was indulging in some paragliding. Rather nice, I thought. She would not be going out much couple of weeks from then on.

Guess this is where I introduce myself. I am Adi and you can call me Adi. At that time, I was Adi the Fetus and you could have called me Adi the Fetus, except in the first month of my being when I went by the infinitely less glamorous name of Adi the Embryo. Fortunately, that doesn’t last too long. Oh, and before that I was called Adi the Sperm…but I am really too young to talk about it. Plus this is Mom's blog and she has been going on and on about how she got Parental Guidance for her rating.

My parents are normal enough I guess. But like all parents-to-be, they do have a somewhat romantic notion of what having a Baby (yeah, that’s what I ultimately become) entails. My mission was to single-handedly (a twin would have helped but may know him as Y Chromosome...enured that wasn’t going to happen and frankly, I am not given to complaining…I just get down to business) destroy this notion and bring the old folks crashing down to reality. And that is what this story is all about….hope you enjoy the ride!

Finding out - the story

The folks were expecting this of course but they sure made an event out of the entire episode. Mom was her usual absent-minded self and quite failed to notice that she was late. On returning from Switzerland, she started serving her notice period at work. She loves quitting jobs, I say. Also, she was partying away as usual, completely oblivious to the fact that I COULD BE AROUND!! Thankfully, Dad was his usual eagle-eyed self. He was the one who asked mom if she would like to take THE TEST. She mumbled something that sounded like, "Huh, test? Sure, why, am I late?".
Having decided that it was indeed time to take the test, Dad furtively went out and bought some Home Pregnancy Tests (branded and pack of three, he likes to be sure). Mom couldn’t wait to pee on the stick and then she peered and peered and even when the line appeared, she carried on peering. Dad, in the meanwhile was pacing frenziedly outside the door.

Finally, he lost patience, “Well??”

In reply, mom stepped out, looking quite stricken, dazed and joyful and handed him the pee-drenched stick. The perfect romantic moment, I assure you.

Dad went berserk at this point. I actually give him credit for not asking mom to pee in a cup and then conducting the test himself, surely you know by now how much importance he attaches to a concept called Control. Anyhow, both of them immediately wore their 'We Are Not Telling Anyone Till We Meet The Doctor' look. Of course, it was a dead giveaway and the first twenty people who met them post this moment were able to immediately tell that mom was pregnant and two of these people were below six years in age. I was no more than a cell at this point but I was already prepping for some fun!
So that is how these two found out that they were going to have me. You know that I am not given to being cutesy. So I will just say this plainly and simply - tell me the story of how your old man and woman found out that they were about to have you - Moppet, Squiggles, Peanut, 2Bs, The Bhabhlet, Ayaan, Poppins,The Brat and the Bean, Kiran's Brat (I don't call anyone Aunty yet...) Winkie, Thambi, Anirudh, Aryan, Ina, Kodi, Popol, KT, DD, Apple, Naren, Tejas and Ojas, Aparna, Abhay and everyone else whose mom/dad is out there blogging about you....I may have missed you here but that doesn't mean you get away without telling me the story. I will remember later and then I will tag you then. Let us just say that when it comes to ferreting out a story, I take after mother. Oh, and I am not linking up, considering that there are so many of you. Our parents are really up to the stuff, what?
A la Frasier, tell me, I am listening. (Ok, this one I picked up from Mom but she picked it up from Frasier so WTH....oops there goes mom's blog rating again!! HA HA HA!!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sandeep, the auto-wallah

There comes a time in every blogger's life when a blog post comes walking up to you, begging to be uploaded. In this case, it drove up. In an auto. But not just any auto. Meet Sandeep, the autowallah who likes to make a difference. He ferried me to the gym a couple of days back. As soon as I got in, I knew that I was in the company of a person who clearly took his work seriously. Not undertstanding this trait in people at all, I got talking to him.

"Aap ka auto toh bahut badiya hai!"

"Haan, Madam. Sab yahi kehte hain."

"Main photo kheench sakti hoon?"

"Haan, haan, bilkul. Sab hi lete hain." I am not surprised.

"Aur main yeh photo internet par daal sakti hoon?" Doubting he will understand the concept of internet, specially since I don't understand it particularly well myself.

"Haan haan, woh computer mein na. Phir yeh photo aur log bhi dekh sakte hain." Wow, I couldn't have put it better.


"Aap bindaas daalo. Mera auto toh Times of India, Mumbai Mirror par bhi aaya hai. Aur maine FM par bhi interview diya hai." Huh, a regular celebrity, what?

I proceeded to click pictures of his ultra customer-friendly auto.

The footmat that gathers no dust.

The first-aid box for any emergency. Oh, and he gives a 25% discount to disabled people.

Clearly, someone believes in the courtesy of choice. Though, keep your feet to yourself. Hey, Bangalore auto-wallahs used to say this too!

Some fresh news, anyone? But don't get engrossed enough to lose sight of your possessions! Or yourself, for that matter.

I didn't ask if the TV works. but do check out the legends such as Ameer ho ya bhikhari, sabko paise ki bimari....a truer word was n'ver spoken....and also my favourite - the apologetic 'Toilet not available'. The mirror proclaims that this is cool Mumbai's cool ride and decorates this statement with religious symbols.

In case you spontaneously combust.

The idol of Sidhhi Vinayak, on special request by Sandeep.

The coin holder that fits into the steering wheel(?) and readily comes out.

The Munnabhai-inspired, 'Bapu bola get well soon, mann'... Lovely!

He then went on to tell me that he had helped ferry people for free at the time of the Mumbai train blasts, how his white shirt had been drenched in the blood of complete strangers, how the cops had barricaded the place because they wanted to loot the belongings (mobile phones, cash, jewelery) of the diamond merchants travelling in the ill-fated first class compartment; and that is how the media had heard of him.

This is what I like about blogging. Earlier, I would have met this interesting character, been touched by his generosity and moved on. Not now. Now Sandeep is on the internet, jahan par aur log bhi uski photo dekh sakte hain!

Monday, November 19, 2007

If you are here, call mom

I mean it. Go ahead. Make that call. Or dad, if you prefer. Give them this URL

Ask them to surf the blog. I hope they have access to a computer. If not, buy and ship one to them. And while you are at it, teach them how to access the internet also. Just minor technicalities that are best out of the way. You know.

Ask them if they are okay with you visiting this blog every now and then. They may ask why in the world would you want to do that but that is only sidetracking the issue.

Once you have got the go-ahead, you may proceed to read this so-called parenting blog.

Why? Oh, because....

free dating sites

Anyway, calling mom is always a good idea. Do it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What women want

A fun tag came my way from Poppins Mom, who herself did it it here. Here goes -

1. How do you feel after a one night stand?

Depends on how the night went, really.

2. Do you ever get used to wearing a thong?

No, it is like flossing one's butt. I haven't even gotten used to flossing my teeth yet.

3. Does it hurt?

Is this someone's idea of a BDSM fantasy? If so, I really don't want to ruin it for you.

4. Do you know when you are acting crazy?

As against?

5. Does size really matter?

Of the wallet, yes.

6. When the bill comes are you still a feminist?

Refer answer to No. 5 above.

7. Why do you take so long to get ready?

It is not long. It just appears long because you are hopelessly in love with me and cannot wait to catch sight of my dazzling presence again.

8. Do you watch porn, too?

I used to. I gave up after my 19th attempt to find a storyline.

9. Will something from Tiffany's solve everything?

No. But many somethings from Tiffany's could. Try.

10. Are guys as big of a mystery to you as you are to us?

No. You are remarkably stupid, actually.

11. Why do you sometimes think you look fat?

Because I am? Duh.

12. Why are you always late?

I am not late. I just appear to be late because you are hopelessly in love with me and cannot wait to catch sight of my dazzling presence again.

13. Does it bother you when we scratch?

No, no, not at all. Go right ahead. In fact, here, let me help you. It doesn't catch though, does it?

14. Do you wish you could pee standing up?

No. In fact I pity the poor sods who need to do it standing up. Do you think it is a punishment for their remarkable stupidity?

15. Why do so many women cut their hair short as soon as they get married?

To balance out the weight they are putting on their hips.

16. How often do you think about sex?

Not every sixth second, rest assured.

17. What do you think of women who sleep with guys on the first date?

They are terminally ill and in a hurry to do everything at least once before they die.

18. Would you?

Nopes. Self-explanatory.

19. Do you realize every guy wants a girl just like his mom?

Of course! My mother-in-law is beautiful, smart and rich.

20. Why does every woman think she can change him?

Because it is difficult to just watch them rot in their own stupidity and not do anything.

21. Does it matter what car I drive?

Not if you are Brad Pitt.

22. Do you ever fart?

No. I also don't belch, sweat, pee or shit . In fact, I would rather die choked by my by own noxious matter than let it out.

I need to pass it on. So go ahead, have fun, dotmom, sue and the most natural choice for this tag, ganju.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Three years of putting up with me

An aura of forgetfulness all over
She is quite confused, you see
Her wit is dry
Funny and wry
Your blog author - that is she

Checking out the babe above
He is floored by the smile
A quick calculation later thinks
This investment is worth my while

Control Freak and Lost Soul
Decide to tie the knot
Luckily for him she thinks
Geeks and nerds are hot

Good thing they got together
The serious and the wild
How else in the world would they get
This completely gorgeous child

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Trying to be pseud and failing

We just got back from a coffee shop where we ran into my ex-CEO...ex as in, I have quit that company, NOT that he has got fired. Just thought I would make things clear. Meeting him, suddenly I wished that I were dressed better, and was not quite so grossly overweight. I also wished that I had remembered to comb my hair and put on some lipstick. I believe that one should be impeccably turned out when running into ex-bosses and ex-boyfriends. (In some cases, of course that would be the same thing but not so in mine. I don't juggle well.) Unfortunately, there is no way to tell when the said event will take place and resultantly one cannot prepare in advance. The logical amongst us will point out that one way to ensure this would be to ALWAYS dress impeccably but if you think I can do that, you don't really know me at all.

Right, so let me get back to the point. I can't help wishing that I had the effortless style that some women seem to have. You know, just casually throw the cashmere stole over the tailored jacket and one is off (wearing pants, of course). I am just not able to pull that pseud thing off. It is however my heart's desire to be effortlessly stylish.

"You are too much of a country bumpkin", M informs me kindly.

Well, well.

A few days back when sis was over, we went shopping to this rather nice crafts/decor store called TURQUOIS (yeah, that is the spelling). Some of you may remember it as M'zuri Sana (Swahili for Very Nice...erm...I speak Swahili all the time...don't you?). It is run by this effortlessly stylish lady called Preeti D'Mello. If you know the place, you know the place. If you don't, suffice it to say that if you are a woman, you would ooh and aah over every little item. If you are a man, you would ooh and aah too and would be thinking to yourself, "What a bloody waste of time" or "5000 bucks for that? Why, I could do that!" Just to put things into perspective, that particular day, there was a sale in the store on Balinese crockery. Right, I knew that would help.

So anyway, there we were, sis and I, in the nice store, browsing through really beautiful things and checking out the really high prices as we went along. Suddenly sis comes across this rather nice looking set of wooden pails and tells me in her clear and loud voice, "Deeds, check out these baltis."

Now, before I could indeed check out the baltis in question, the proprieter overheard us and couldn't bear the idea of her beautifully crafted and grossly over-prices pails as an item that would be at home in any bathroom.

"BALTIS?? Ha ha I haven't heard that term in such a long time! Does anyone even use them anymore?"

Sister immediately scowls, sticks her chin out and assumes the expression that I know as bullish and subsequently, trouble.

"That is what they are. BALTIS! No other word to describe them."

Poor effortlessly stylish lady didn't quite know how to deal with this rather mulish statement and got busy with other customers. The baltis in question were not bought because sis felt that we could do better than that for Diwali gifts.

Also I knew then that the pseudness that I so crave will be a long time coming.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The tee that was not to be

I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog my proximity to Linking Road. For those of you not familiar with the clothes market at Linking Road in Mumbai....well, what do I say? Picture rows and rows and rows of makeshift shops all selling clothes and bags and footwear, the likes of which put the best street bazaars in the world to shame. They are bright and colorful and altogether crazy. In fact, that particular market is always bursting at the seams. Everyone shops at Linking Road - celebrities, college kids, fat housewives with a dozen kids in tow, firangs looking for the Indian experience...everyone that is, except me. Why not, you ask. After all, I need to walk a mere hundred steps and I am in the midst of the best shopping mayhem this side of the Arabian Sea (and that side too, I guess)..

Well, the problem is rather simple - I cannot bargain. Now the vendors on Linking Road are smart people. They like to indulge in a bit of tol-mol. It is their way of attaining job satisfaction. Where is the thrill in just exchanging goods for notes, huh, huh? One has to go through the motions. Motions that include feigned indifference, exaggerated disbelief and resigned-to-one's-fate facial expressions before the deal is finally done. I am no player in this game and I don't pretend to be one. To tell you the truth, I am rather petrified of it all. Like dogs smelling fear, these shopkeepers can always tell when a rookie bargainer is entering their hallows. And yes, that would be me. Of course.

When I was pregnant, I was looking for maternity wear pretty much the fourth month onwards. While other women don't show for seven, even eight months, there was no mistaking the bump on me. Nothing fit. Nothing. I did venture into the expensive and rather boring Mothercare a couple of times and got bored of the dull grey skirts and tops very quickly. Fab India was no better. The lady manning (?) the counter looked me up and down a couple of times and then in an over-familiar fashion told me that I would not find anything in their store that would fit. I almost sat on her before Mahesh decided to drag me out.

Enter Mom. No daughter of hers would go around in frumpy clothes just because she was...well..huge. Mom went off to the shopping mecca of Linking Road and came back armed with the most colourful pajamas and the cutest vests and tees. I was thrilled. Jeezie-Beezie, I had not been this nicely dressed even when I was un-pregnant!

And oh, there was the minor matter of the price tags. Mom would come in breezily and casually say, "Oh, and these four pants are for 100 rupees."

"A hundred each?" I would ask hopefully.

"No, all four, silly!"

WHAT?? That is like...quick mental maths...twenty-five bucks a pair. That is like point something dollars. Why am I counting in dollars, though? I must be really disturbed.

I could have never, ever managed to strike this kind of a deal. In fact, one day, mom came in empty-handed (she was shopping practically everyday, the fiend) but beaming nevertheless...

"I saw these womderful pajamas today. But I didn't buy."

"Why not, mom?"

"Oh...because I said I would pay fifteen rupees a pair."

Fifteen rupees a pair? I was speechless. Surely the thread used to stitch the darned (?) pajamas would cost more than that.

"Mom, he would never sell it for fifteen bucks."

"Oh, he will. These boys get in new stock almost every day. He will need to get rid of the old stuff. He will sell it tomorrow. Plus he needs to meet a set target every day."

Good heavens!! In one fell swoop, my mother had unravelled (?) the dynamics of the market, understood the economics of the business and uncovered the psyche of the shopkeeper.

Sure enough, the next day she came in happily carrying an armload of pjs, bought at fifteen rupees a pair.

"He came running after me!' she boasted.

Ah well. You can't win them all. After all, there must be things that I can do and my mom cannot. For example....hmmm...hmmm...hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....I will get back to you, aye?

The story is slowly moving towards the issue at hand which is that a couple of days ago, while walking back from the gym I saw this amazing Metallica t-shirt hanging from one of the stall's overhead bars. Now, I am a sucker for Metallica. I would even part with my credit card number online and over the phone if you were promising me free passes to a concert. So naturally I was rather thrilled at seeing this particular tee. Please also note that Metallica tees are not as common as say, Nirvana or Indian Cricket Team with SAHARA emblazoned on them.

I sidled upto the shopkeeper.

"That tee....*drooling, salivating*...the Metallica one."

He picked it out non-chalantly.

"Aur bhi hain," he said and three four more at me. Four gorgeous Metallica tees!! Hetfield and the boys, all smiling at me. Well, maybe not smiling. Snarling is more like it. But you know what I mean.

"How much?"

"275 per tee."

I was reaching out for my wallet, in a semi-dreamy state when I suddenly remembered Mom and her fifteen rupee pjs. Surely, he was asking for too much?

"Yeh toh bahut zyaada hai," I ventured tentatively.

He looked at me up and down and sized me up. Figuratively. (I mean...oh, you know. Jeez, I am so witty, I pun when I don't even want to.)

"Toh aap kitna dengi?" he deftly put the ball in my court.

I was like a deer facing the headlight. Fumbling for a price that would show him that I was no novice to this business...

"Fifty rupees per t-shirt!" I blurted.

He sneered at me.

"Kya baat kar rahin hai, Madam. Aap toh leti rehti hongi." Wicked, wicked man.

I was wishing that I had not started this conversation and just bought the tees at the MRP. However, now there was no turning back.

"Itna hi hoga. Dete ho toh bolo warna main ja rahi hoon."

All the while pleading silently, don't take my L-O-V-E-R-L-Y tees away from me. Please, Mr. Shopkeeper Man.

He swooped all the tees, MY tees, away and put them back. Without a word. And turned to deal with his other customers.

I didn't know what to do. It was my pride versus my love for the band. Finally, my pride won. That and the fact that everyone would laugh SO MUCH at me. So I turned away and started walking home. For the first twenty feet, I was hoping that I would hear someone call out to me and I would run back, happy to call his bluff, victorious at last.

But that was not to be. When my sis was over for Diwali, I asked her (she has inherited the bargaining genes) how much she would pay for a tee on Linking Road.

"I don't know. Forty bucks?"

GAH! It is just me, I think.

These days, every evening I walk back from the gym and take slow steps while passing by that particular shop, hoping that the fifteen rupee pajama phenomenon would play itself over again. However, the shopkeeper just stares blankly at me. He probably knows that I am a true fan and will be back.

We will see how it goes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Back to blogging with a Diwali update

It really seems like a long long time since I last sat down and seriously....blogged. (Now that is a sentence I never thought I would ever write but whaddaya know, the world wide web is full of surprises!)

Right, so hope everyone had a great Diwali. Our own Diwali was rather quiet and nice, as ususual. This was actually the first time that my mom was not around in Mumbai for Diwali so it was upto me to bring in the traditions. And my Lord knows I tried. I kept missing out on the crucial bits but there was no one around to point that out to me. For eg. now I that I think of it, the puja thali should have had Lakshmi and Ganesh idols on it. For that matter, isn't one supposed to buy new murtis every year? I clean forgot. BUT BUT BUT (and that is not Marc Anthony calling out to his wife) I did not forget to clean and resultantly all the stuff and nonsense in the house is now sitting pretty in their sparkling corners.

Also, Padma took out the decorative lights out of the dabba where they spend their life awaiting the festival season and asked me if she should hang them from the window ledge (this is Mumbai, we DO NOT have a terrace)...Feeling very efficient and altogether in-charge (not to mention all together)...I told her that if she could just put them, there, in the corner, that would do very nicely, thank you very much and I would personally put them out when the right time came, namely Diwali night. Well, the abovementioned Diwali night has come and gone and the lights have probably been put back in their box by Padma, doubtless accompanied by a silent snigger. I certainly didn't see the poor lights. In fact, I have only just remembered them. Rather like ordering dessert and keeping it in the refrigerator to serve post-dinner and then finally remembering it after the guests have departed. I have done that too, and not always on purpose.

I also grandly gave Pramod, the driver, Kalpana, the cook and Padma, the be-all-and-end-all a day off on Diwali which meant there was not too much of a holiday left for Mahesh and yours truly. But at least they were happy and that was rather nice. It can't be easy for them to work with a scatterbrain like me and they deserved it.

Diwali was also special because the day before the festival I got to see my little sister. No, she doesn't live abroad. She lives right here in Mumbai. However, she works in the television industry. That means that she has no days off, E-V-E-R. I got to see her after SIX WHOLE MONTHS!! Can you imagine the amount of non-phone-call gossip that accumulates in the system in that period? Anyway, so upon seeing each other, we immediately started cleansing our spiritual selves by getting the bitching out of the way and then went out shopping. Adi and Padma came along too.

My sis wanted to check out some clothes etc. at the UCB store on Linking Road. As we were sifting through the garments, we saw a couple of minor tv actors, also shopping. After quickly ascertaining that they looked shorter and SO PUNY off-screen, I went back to my shopping. My sis, of course refused to give them a second glance, considering she deals with the like day in and day out (literally). However, we had not accounted for dear old star-struck Padma, who took one look at the celebs, did a dramatic double-take, nudged me hard in the ribs and screamed, "DIDI, WOH DEKHO, WOHI AURAT JOH TV MEIN AATI HAI!!!". She then beamed at me expectantly, probably hoping to see me do a couple of thrilled cartwheels at this startling discovery but I shot her one dirty look and hissed at her to just tone down. I then stole a look at my sis. Sure enough, she was positively cringing at this gross display of bad manners by my domestic staff.

We also WATCHED A MOVIE!! AFTER SIX MONTHS!! I AM SO EXCITED I CAN'T STOP USING CAPSLOCK!! Oh, it was lovely. Om Shanti Om, that is. Mahesh and I laughed through the movie. It was hilarious, superb, outstanding. Wait a minute, how come no one else is smiling broadly at interval? How come they are mouthing words like 'timepass' and 'ok types'. OK TYPES? It is brilliant, can't they see it? It is Hindi cinema at its best. It is like India's answer to The Godfather. Ah well, maybe it is just us and our movie-deprived souls. Who is to say?

All in all, it was a rather fun Diwali! How was yours?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Diwali means calories

Posted by Picasa

Hey, all is low-energy as usual at Mangalkunj. The only difference is that busy filling myself to the gills with laddus and pedas and assorted dry fruit, I have been finding it difficult to find the time to blog. Also, M has been at home and we have been having profound discussions of the kind that will prove important to the way the world will be twenty years from now.

So, just to say, Happy Diwali and Bhai Dooj to everyone out there. Hope the coming days are as fattening for you as they promise to be for me.

Oh and Adi says Happy Diwali too. So does M.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Introducing Nilesh

I have a feeling Nilesh is going to be a fixture in my somewhat humdrum life for a while so I might as well get him into this blog right away and start making fun of him.

Nilesh is my trainer, the man who has been entrusted with the colossal (?!) task of getting me back into pre-pregnancy shape. No, cross that out. Getting me into shape. Yes, that sounds better.

Nilesh is clearly not a man to mess around with. He casually passes over 40 pound weights to people even as he is talking to me, without so much as a break in conversation. The first time he did this, I was rather impressed with my choice of trainer. Any man who can perform these feats knows his anatomy. And mine too, I hope. In the most platonic sense of the word, obviously. However, the more I think about it, the less appealing the idea appears. You see, he thinks that if he can sculpt his body to become what it has, so can I.

(Nilesh is polite, he calls me 'Madam' for some reason. I think he has just forgotten my name and is too embarassed to ask again.)

"OK MADAM!! Today we will do the exercise with the 15 pounds and the 25 reps (repetitions)."

"Whyyyyyyyyyyy, Nilesh, why, why, why?"

"Come on. UP!"

I meekly submit to the Up! command and start pushing myself to somehow get to the magic number of 25. Sometimes I think Nilesh could be numerically challenged. Why else would he find it so tough to reach 25..... 1-2-3-3-4-5-6-6-7-7-8-9-10-10....I say, not to be pushy or anything but move forward, already! Or maybe when he says 25, he actually means 125. In any event, the answer is always 42.

Anyhow, we have been doing this for about a month now and Nilesh is now itching to see RESULTS.

"Have you lost any of the weight?"


"Ok. Now you start the dieting."

Wait a minute, buster! That was not a part of the deal. He was only supposed to perform his Chinese torture for an hour every day and let me go home after that with my poor, aching bones. Contrary to the deal terms, he was now entering the holy area around the refrigerator. How does it matter to him that as soon as I return from the gym, I head straight to the cookie corner?? You know, I am only saying.

This could have been very painful indeed, if not for a rather fortuitous discovery. Now Nilesh knows that there is a baby in the background somewhere but I don't say too much about Adi, partly because I am too busy trying to breathe. Our conversation about Adi had been limited to this -

"What is your baby's name?"


"Aditya? But I though you said you have the baby. You actually have the baba."

However,recently I mentioned something about needing to go home soon because it was close to Adi's feed-time and Nilesh looked rather flustered and looked away, mumbling something rather incomprehensible.

HA HA HA! It is clear what his problem is. Being rather young and clearly unmarried, he is embarassed by the idea of breastfeeding. This has so much potential!! The possibilities are running amok in my mind!!

Think about it...

"Madam, you do some of the cardio today."

"But Nilesh, I need to go feed Adi."

"GAAAHHH...Ok, ok, you can go to the home now."


"Madam, you get me the chart for your diet tomorrow."

"Nilesh, are you sure I should diet? I am, after all...(pause for effect)...feeding Adi."

"Splutter, splutter....ok, ok, we will do the diet can go and fee...just go to the home now."

HEE HEE HEE!! Now, I better tell the Mahesh about my recent trip upon this accidental fortune. Someone up there really likes me. Either that, or they want me to remain fat all my life. Whatever be the case, things are looking up!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Adi's solids or how I got my groove back

Woo hoo, Adi is now six months old! All it means is that there are added complications in my life. The first one is that of food. Naturally. It has to be food. My most complex relationship is with food. I know I love it. I don’t know how it feels about me though. Sometimes I really think it likes me, the way it looks at me, tempts me, invites me even. Sometimes I am convinced that it is only physical, a few quick gulps and it is all over. And sometimes, I think we are soulmates, the way it quickly converts into love handles that settle around my hips and refuse to go.

Anyway, so I was saying that now Adi is officially supposed to be on solids. I had started giving him applesauce and mashed lauki and some Cerelac. But lately I have been getting the feeling that he is so full of the solid stuff that he doesn’t want to feed. Huh? This is Adi, the ferocious barracuda baby who used to feed 20 hours a day in the first few days of his life. How come HE of all people decided to wean himself? I got very confused and worried when this went on for a couple of days and then called his doctor, Dr SS. Dr SS refuses to take me seriously. In her mind, I am a mother with too much time on her hands who just worries unnecessarily. So, imagine my shock when even she sounded worried at Adi’s non-compliance. Stop all solids, she said before going away to attend to another emergency cesarean.

Stop all solids? STOP ALL SOLIDS? Easier said than done. I tried it and Adi appeared hungry. Of course, when Adi is hungry, everyone knows. But he looked thinner to me. Have I become one of those mothers who always think their little blimps are malnourished? My mom is one of those. Maybe I am one too. So I asked Mahesh for his opinion. He added to the confusion by looking Adi up and down very worriedly and saying, “ Yes….I think he looks thinner….but maybe you are just imagining it….let us ask the doctor…, I think he looks fine…I am not sure.” And women are supposed to be indecisive. I say, these stereotypes serve no purpose.

I started having nightmares about Adi starving while I am stuffing myself with club sandwiches and whatnot. I always and immediately blame myself when anything goes amiss with Adi. I have realized that I have an inexhaustible capacity for guilt and self-blame. So I tortured myself with these thoughts. In the meanwhile, Adi started feeding again, having figured that he was not getting any of those yummy bowls full of lauki, blech, and carrots, blecher and peas, blechest.

Hum ho. That did not help matters any. Everyone knows that cheh maheene ki umar se shishu ko poorna ahaar chahiye….Nestle has been telling us that for ages and I take my advertising very seriously. And Adi continued to look thin to me. I CAN FEEL HIS RIBS!! Everyone knows babies are just fat and no bones. Look at his knuckles. There are no knuckles. There are only dimples. Q.E.D.

And on and on it went in my head. Of course, Adi looked remarkably happy and active for a baby who is being starved by an inept mother. But that didn’t provide me with any solace. I wallowed in my misery. And continued to do things that were neither here, not there. Like giving him Cerelac mixed with expressed milk, so that he got both. I was in a dark, dark place.

Then this morning my mom called. I was almost in tears when I heard her voice. I am still a baby myself. No wonder I cannot look after my own baby. They should have stricter rules about who can have a baby. All this ‘intercourse and there you go, nine months later, here is your baby’ is not good enough a filter. Morons like me end up with little angels.

“What happened? How is Adi doing?”

Tirade against self ensues.

“Oh! But that is so normal. All babies do that when started on solids. They think milk is not exciting enough. You cut down on his portion size when giving his solids, a couple of tbsps should be enough. And feed him solids only twice a day. He will have milk the rest of the time. And don’t worry! You used to do that too! If he is active and playful, clearly he is not hungry. Believe me, they let you KNOW when they need food.”

HA HA HA! She is right. That is what I need to do! I should have called mom earlier. Moms are great. Wait a second, I am a mom too. So that makes me great too, right?! HA HA HA!

Feeling significantly better about myself and my mothering abilities, I have now finally taken a break from beating myself up mentally and written this post. If you have had a different experience regarding solids, liquids and gases and/or think that I am not doing something right, do wait for sometime before telling me that, aye? However, if you think I am a fantastic mother, this is where you jump up and down and raise a cheer for me. Thank you.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Another weekend in my boring life

Mahesh comes back from London today. Although he has been away for only two days, I kind of miss his goofy grin already and am quite looking forward to hearing him bitch about the weather, the lack of food, the excessive work, the jet-lag and how he hated each and every thing about the entire trip. Even more than that I am looking forward to my goody-bag. Mahesh is not allowed to enter this house after any trip abroad unless he gets me a goody-bag. It used to be less frequent earlier but considering that he ends up going abroad almost every alternate week these days, it is now becoming a problem for him.

"What should I get you?" he asks. His tone is deceptively casual.

"Something nice!" I say helpfully.

He looks away morosely.

"I will have time only at the airport. Should I just get some chocolates? Wine?"

"NO! I am trying to avoid chocolates. Have you seen my size? And you know I can't drink wine when I am feeding Adi."

My abstinence from wine and my burgeoning waistline are both Sensitive Topics. He hastily tries to move me away from these depressing thoughts.

"Right, forget that. How about something else? Clothes, accessories?"

"NO! You have no clue what to buy. Last time you bought me that Burberry scarf. I don't want something so expensive. Where will I wear it? I don't have a life. I hardly go out these days. I will just wither away, right here, in this room."

My lack of a social life is a Very Sensitive Topic. He rearranges his features into a cheerful frame and tries to draw me out of that particular black hole.

"Yes, yes. Forget about the scarf. Let us see - what else can we get you...hey, perfume! You like perfume. And you can wear it everyday."

"Perfume? Bah! That is so regular. Actually I want a Juicy Couture bag. You know the one I liked...I showed it to you on the website. THAT I won't get in Mumbai."

"Yes, I know. Will I get it at the airport?"

"NO, you won't! That is the tragedy! I have never had a Juicy bag and I am 30 already. It is all so dismal. I should have had a Juicy bag before I had a baby. What is the point now? I should not be carrying things that are baby pink and have shiny buckles now. I will look so ridiculous, with a baby on one arm and a candy bag on the other."

Things That I Should Have Done Before I Had A Baby are an explosive topic. M's powerful sensors are now on high alert. He knows that he needs to end this conversation before it turns into a self-pity supertrip around the world for his ever-so-low-maintenance wife.

"Oh come on baby. That is not true. Of course you can still wear/carry whatever you want. F*** matters what people will think. Ok baby, now you tell me what you want."

Cheering up considerably...

"Something nice!"

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Award! But also domestic challenges.

Kiran decided that I rock, that I blog and that I am a girl. The result is this -

If you think I am going to miss the opportunity to boast that this is in fact the second time I have got this award, you are mistaken. I am in fact going to put a link to my post where I had expressed my joy at that time. Here you go -

Let us see who I can pass it on to - women who have done something particularly how about Y (again!), who has just finished 100 posts on her supremely funny blog, and Sur Notes whose film will be shown in Delhi and Svety too, because she plays football with the guys! Well done, ladies!

Welcome the new domestic goddess in town.

The bare corner of the living room, crying out for my magic touch.

The same corner, doing a merry number after I am done with it.

Martha Stewart, move over already.


I am very encouraged by all the comaraderie that exists between us bloggers. So this time I am really begging, pleading, requesting for help. Don't let me down, ladies. I NEED YOU.

The question is that of Diwali bonus to domestic staff. To be more precise, how much is enough?

To provide context to my question, last Diwali, I attempted to give my cook, driver and cleaning girl Rs 500 each and a dabba of mithai. It was met with disbelief and contempt in parts.

"Yeh kya dein rahi hain?", they asked.

A perfectly good piece of legal tender, I wanted to say, considering no one was giving ME a Diwali bonus.

I was very shamed after this episode and asked a colleague/neighbour if I had really been a bad employer by doing so.

"Its either a month's pay or you get them something in gold," she informed me.

Huh? HUH?

Month's pay? Gold? If I were to give all this to the three people, let us just say there is not much of a Diwali left for me.

Also, where does length of tenure fit into the entire matrix? Two of the three have not been with me for even a year. Should that make a difference?

I specially hope that the Mumbai girls will put in their two cents, though of course it will be great to have other cities contributing too, to do some valid benchmarking across India (globe?).

Also, when was it that I and not Mom started taking decisions of this nature?