Thursday, February 28, 2008

The 20 questions tag

The 20 questions tag from Jayashri:

1. Name Three Most Valuable Assets?

The hourglass figure, the shining intellect and the stunning career. Then, maybe not.

2. If you have the chance, what would you probably say to your beloved one?

*In an accusing tone and with fingers pointed* - "We're out of chocolate. Again."

3. If you were to be stranded on a deserted island, who are the 3 blog buddies you would take with you?

I really don't think I am popular enough to be making the choice. I will go with whoever takes me though. Sort of needy, I am.

4. Where is the place that you want to go the most?

The loo, after drinking a tall glass of nariyal pani.

5. If you can have 1 dream to come true, what would it be?

That I have slept through the night.

6. Till now, what is the moment that you regret the most?

Buying a smaller pair of jeans thinking that I would fit into them. No way, Jose!

7. What are you afraid to lose the most?

My waist. Going, going, GONE!

8. What would you do if you found a briefcase full of money?

Run to the cops shouting 'NOT MINE, NOT MINE'. God only knows who is out to frame me.

9. If you meet someone that you love, would you confess to him/her?

Yeah, sure. Arrange for a meeting with Ethan Hawke, someone.

10. List out 3 good points of the person who tagged you

In her words

"My positive attitude - I am not a very talented or smart person but have a positive outlook which gives me the ability to overcome shortcomings.
- My ability to work hard - I can work like a donkey when required and not complain a bit.
- My commitment and love for my family and friends." -

11. What are the requirements that you wish from your other half?

Stop snoring.

12. Which type of person do you hate the most?

Woo, strong words. How about Gisele Bundchen for looking like the way she does?

13. What is your ambition?

To vegetate.

14. What is the thing that will make you think someone is a bad person?

If they didn't share dessert.

15. What is the one thing you would change about yourself?

The number I draw up on the weighing scales.

16. Are you a shopaholic or no?

I guess so. OKAY, OKAY, I AM...*as M twists arm out of shape*

17. What is your stress buster?

Long Island Iced Tea

18. What should be done to people who make such long tags?

Cut off their internet connection?

19. Do you think God actually exists?


20. What is the naughtiest thing you ever did?

I gotta replace this, right? So I will change it to 'What did you eat for lunch today' and give the ultra-glamorous answer of - aloo gobhi, dal and roti.

I tag Y and anyone else who is in a sharing mood.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The horror of it all

Yesterday my friend PG called to tell me something that gave me the shivers.

This happened in Delhi. A Young Lady used to go to work leaving behind her 10 month old son with the maid. The maid had been sourced from a village and was believed to be completely trustworthy. One afternoon, a friend of Young Lady saw the little baby with a random woman (not the maid) on the streets. Not being sure that she had seen right, the friend called Young Lady. I think I saw your baby with someone, she said, call your maid and check if everything is alright at home.

Worried sick, Young Lady called up the maid. Where is the baby, she asked. Sleeping, replied the maid. Wake him up, said Young Lady, I want to hear his voice. I can't, said the maid, he has slept after a lot of effort. Young Lady and her friend both rushed home immediately.

To cut the rest of the story short, the maid had been giving the child out to beggars every day. The beggars would drug the child to make him drowsy and then use him as a prop to ask for alms at traffic signals. The maid had been making money this way for several months.

The baby has been returned to Young Lady who has quit her job and is understandably completely shattered. The damage to the child is still being assessed. I am not sure about the extent of police involvement in the case.

I have written this story here because I have seen my sister struggle with maids for the last eight months. In fact, she has run through some nine maids in the period. The chief reason why they quit/are fired is because she insists on verifying their credentials. Turns out every single girl so far has lied about her family and background. I believe it is a good idea to suffer in the absence of help rather than hiring someone without checking their credentials with the police.

In the meanwhile, I cannot get this incident out of my mind.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Artificial reality, not to mention realty

We have M's friend from college/b-school staying with us for a couple of days. A lives in London and this is his first trip to Mumbai. He arrived last morning. The day proceeded thus.

9:30 am - M picks up A from the airport. After commenting on each other's weight, they proceed to the car where Pramod is dutifully waiting to ferry them home.

10:00 am - Thanks to it being Sunday, the roads are empty and it takes them no time to zip home.

10:30 am - Breakfast at home with Padma laying out the table and me making fresh, piping-hot omelettes. Toast and tea, conversation and laughter. All very nice. Very nice indeed.

11:00 am - Adi has slept off. We decide to take A out. We first stop at Shoppers Stop where we pick up some stuff for our nephews and then on to Carter Road. Again, being relatively early on Sunday morning, we easily get a table at the Cafe Coffee Day and sit there, watching the marvellous sea and sipping hot coffee. On our way back, we show him the beautiful bungalows of Bandra - Peace Haven and Wilhervin and the rest...

12:30 pm - Return home, I watch a little bit of 'The Devil Wears Prada' while the guys hang about and play with Adi. The second round of teething has taken place and he is not cranky anymore. Deigns to give a couple of smiles to A.

1:30 pm - Authentic sambhar, aloo subzi, chutney and soft dosas straight from the tawa - all made by the very-Tamil Padma and thus retaining genuine flavours (thankfully K-the-cook has taken Sunday off). M and A catch up.

3:30 pm - Adi has slept off for the afternoon. We decide to give A a Mumbai-Darshan tour. Pramod takes us from Bandra to Colaba - all in an hour! On our way we catch sight of devotees appearing in the distance as if they are walking on sea to reach Haji Ali, the Bombay Stock Exchange where M and A genuflect, the plush Atria Mall, the beautiful Fort, the lovely Mantralaya, the hidden-from-sight Moshe's and then take a break at Cafe Mondegar. The last few overs of the match are being bowled and we sit guzzling bear at Mondy's.

On our way back, we insist on taking the Tulsi Pipe route in order to give A a glimpse of the not-so-nice part of town. We try to conjure the flower market, vegetable market and fish market crowds for him on a weekday but fail....

6:30 pm - Back home and time for some chai-biscut again. Spend time with Adi, feed him and generally shoot the breeze. I watch some more of the movie.

8:00 pm - Go to Papa Pancho's for dinner. Stuff face with kofta curry, rajma chawal and chhole bhature. Eat at lightening fast speed because Adi refuses to sit down. Even so, enjoyable meal. Also, a milestone of sorts because this is the first time ever that we have been out for dinner with Adi, not counting weddings and holidays.

9:00 pm - Return home. I finish watching the movie. M and A help Adi destroy buildings made with plastic blocks.

10:00 pm - Start the process of making Adi sleep.

A thinks Mumbai is great. Beautiful, clean roads, no traffic, full-time help, driver, lots of options to hang around. Maybe I should move from London, he says. Uh uh.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Toy Story

A couple of days back I woke up in a really foul mood. Correction, I went from simply being awake to being awake in a foul mood. Thanks to Adi's insistence on getting up, looking around for MUM-UH, MUM-UHHHHH every hour of the night, I get no sleep. So when M tried to pass on a fresh-n-breezy 'Good Morning' and a little later, 'Ok baby I am off' to me, all I could manage was a grumpy 'Ughh'.

M is a solution-oriented sort of person and he immediately set to putting me in a better frame of mind. He brought out the bramhastra - FOOD. Let us meet for lunch, he said. I thought over stretching out my foul mood for a little longer and then decided that it was not worth it. In other words, agreed to break bread and stuff face with the spouse.

After the lunch, I wanted to go to the baby section of the mall (yeah, where else) to buy a feeding chair for Adi who has been decorating Padma, me, the walls and the furniture with vaguely impressionistic artworks made with food at meal-times. Regular Arcimboldo, this one. After looking at some ten feeding chairs and failing at working out the logic behind the wildly disparate pricing, I toodled off to the toy section. Amazing collection of toys! A pink doll-house! A pink Hello Kitty pillow! A Princess set! M gently tried to remind me that it was Adi who needed toys and not me and thereby broke yet another pleasant daydream into tiny pieces.

Looking through the more infant/boyish sort of playthings, I came across one of those toys that make various sounds when you press the different buttons. I went straight for The Little Duck and just to see what sounds would emanate from its yellow, plastic belly, pressed the button.

QUACK, QUACK, QUACK it went. And went on. And on. And boy, it was LOUD. People are now looking at me. I am red in the face, trying to figure out a way to stop the damn thing from quacking away. Quack Quack Quack. QUACK QUACK QUACK.

M sidles up to me.

"Baby, I think there is just one way to solve this problem."

I look up gratefully, thinking that he would take the toy from me and switch it off magically.

He hands me another similar green toy. "Here, you have to drown out The Little Duck by playing The Little Turtle."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Strange exchange

We bought our first car soon after we got married and moved to Mumbai. It is a nice enough sedan and has served us well. Now, I have done a fair bit of research at work on various car brands and so understand the bond that men form with cars. Even so, I was unprepared for the glisten in M's eyes when I broached the topic of trading the old set of wheels for newer, flashier, spacious-er ones.

M: I cannot sell this car. It is our first car.

Me: Sure! That is why we need to buy another one. Something better! No?

M: NO! I love this car. We can buy another car but we're not selling this one.

Me: Huh? Where will we park the second one? It's tough enough fighting for a parking spot for one car, you know that.

M: We will figure it out. (M-speak for 'My mind is made up and nothing you do including cartwheels around the house will make me change it')

I was not too fussed about getting a new car anyway so I just let it go. As long as I have something to ferry me about, I am pretty cool.

Yesterday our driver Pramod mentioned how petrol and diesel have become more expensive.

Pramod: we should get a diesel car, didi, maybe an Innova.

Me: But Pramod, diesel cars have terrible pick-up.

Pramod, proudly patting the steering wheel: That is true, didi. This one gives an average of 11.

Me: Yes but you're right....maybe we should sell this one....

Pramod: No, no, no, we should just get another car, didi.

Me, sensing where this is going: But Pramod, where will we park the second car?

Pramod: At Bhaiyya's office! They have a great garage there.

Me: I see.

Pramod: Don't sell this car, didi. I love this car. I have been driving it since I was 28. I am very attached to it.

I don't understand cars. Or men.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Events around here

How is this for achievement? M and I took Adi for his measles shots and got it done without breaking into sweat, panic or tears. Even the pede was impressed with the progress that has been made. By us, that is.

These last couple of days, Adi keeps folding his hands and raising them above his head. M felt that it was a vague throwback to an ancient Incan ritual. Gives you a definite idea about the extent of M's knowledge about the Incas. Turns out that the boy was only balancing himself as a precurser to letting go of the furniture that he has been clutching on to in order to 'cruise' (it sounds so glamorous). Wow, that was one hell of a complex sentence. ANYway, now he is able to stand up on his own two feet for a couple of seconds at a time. Yesterday, I came across a Johnny Walker ad somewhere and instead of conjuring up the intended image of an inviting glass of pure alcohol, all it brought to the mind was a toddler walking up and down the house. How the mighty have fallen.


Padma and K-the-cook keep blaming each other for breaking the expensive salt and pepper pots. I keep blaming myself for buying expsensive things when I don't have exclusive rights to the kitchen.


I am tired of asking 'Do you have this in a larger size?' at clothing stores. I am even more tired of checking my weight every single morning for the last three months and not see it budge a single milimeter. However, I am most tired of competing with my husband for the title of 'The Biggest Eater of Cadbury's Flake Chocolates'.


I want to develop a message for my Orkut/Facebook profile that is rude enough to ward off random, shady men. Any suggestions would be most welcome.


The battle of weaning Adi has been kickstarted. After making a bottle of formula, I took a sip to check the taste and temperature and it made ME I was not altogether surprised when Adi smelt the bottle and turned his head away. Evidently, this is not going to be easy. Also, I don't think my baby blues have vanished completely because the thought of weaning Adi makes me want to cry....I am not sure if these are tears borne of joy, sorrow, relief or just plain depression.


I personally think 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' is the funniest movie of all times. Amongst Hindi movies, somehow I cannot make up my mind between 'Andaaz Apna Apna' and 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron'. My feeling is that this is a fairly predictable sort of list though. I would like to watch some nice off-beat comedies. Do share if you know of any. The only condition is that the humour should not too subtle/obscure. We're pretty slow on hint-taking around here.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Missing Nilesh

So I have joined a new gym. When I looked at the rates they charge for personal training, I nearly fell off my chair, except that there was no chair and I was standing but there was a reason why my body suddenly went off into uncontrollable spasms the likes of which are only seen on Cosmo Kramer. I had to tell myself that my form and technique is near-perfect and a personal trainer could not really add any more value to my work-outs, except possibly doing them himself. So now I am officially a pleb again, taking the help of the common pool of trainers that lounge about at the new gym.

Incidentally, I have caught the habit of calling this 'the new gym' from Pramod.

Me: Pramod, gym chalenge.

Pramod: Kaunsa gym, didi? Naya wala?

This has been going on since I joined this new place. Don't you think its about time Pramod and I accepted that the old gym and with it, dear old Nilesh is really gone? Poof. And now we are stuck with this new gang of thugs.

Did I mention I am missing my old gym?

Anyway, so on my first day at the new gym, I was asked to undergo their fitness test. The fitness test basically comprised running on the treadmill, push-ups, crunches, touching the toes and other forms of break-your-spirit-manoeuvres reminiscent of a Nazi torture chamber. Now, I don't know whether it was the two boiled eggs and K-the-cook's special poha that I had consumed before commencing on the test or if Nilesh has really done a good job with building my stamina but I passed that test with flying colours!! Yeah baby!! The trainer who supervised the test looked really disappointed that I did not fall at his feet in an exhausted heap.

You could not blame me that I was strutting. Just a little bit. Come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!! Of course, what I overlooked at that time was the fact that R Thug (christened the trainer, clap clap) would be in charge of deciding my fitness regimen. Well, clearly he was not above feeling vengeful and as soon as I arrived at the gym the next day, he started putting me to task. I will not bore you to death with the details but let us just say that I am feeling aches and pains in places that I did not know existed. In fact, after that particular lower body workout, I am incapable of sitting down gracefully. I just sort of support my weight on the arm-rests with my arms and then flop the rest of me down on the seat.

Today however R Thug was busy showing off to someone else and did not thankfully supervise my workout. Instead a new guy, M Thug was in charge. M Thug was a little kinder and as a result, my upper body is telling my lower body - "See? This is the way it is done."

Ah well. There is a lot of sunlight streaming in from all sides in this gym and all my flaws (of the bodily kind) were only glaringly obvious in the mirrors. Add to this the couple of models who were working out right next to me and I could only bite back any protest that was threatening to escape from my mouth. Plus I am reminded time and again of my promise to lose all my pregnancy weight in the first six months....then the first nine months.....then by my birthday....and I think realistically it is only going to be the first twelve months. Most annoying. Sometimes I think that even if I manage to knock off the remaining extra kilos *starts day-dreaming* I will still N-E-V-E-R be able to fit into my old clothes the way I used to. Somehow things are just different. There are new bulges and lumps everywhere.

One would think that Mother Nature would encourage us to have babies by promising a fantastic post-natal body, all Heidi Klum like. I am only saying.

Mom's left for Delhi today. I am feeling so glum. I want my MOMMEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

The most thankless job in this world has got to be of an anchor in a cookery show. I mean, the chef does all the chopping, cutting, cooking, seasoning and all the explaining that goes with the dish. You can see that the person who is standing next to him is racking his/her brains to ask intelligent questions and finally erupting in gems such as 'achha ab hum isme jeera dal denge!!' or 'achha, isse dhak kar rakhna hai!!' Poor things.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Too many calls spoil the cook

God knows that I am very thankful for the domestic help that I have. The redoubtable Padma-the-childhelp-goddess, the effusive K-the-cook and the concerned P-the-driver - I deeply care about each of them. Of course, I am not above wanting to throw each and every one of them off our third floor apartment every now and then but I have not actually put thought into action. Ever. Yet.

K-the-cook is rather pretty and she is, no other way to put this, a merry widow. Her hubby 'off ho gaya' (really, there has got to be a better way to communicate news of a dear one's demise than making them sound like a faulty electricity switch) last year some time. She must have suffered a lot during his fatal illness but has made a remarkable emotional recovery since. What seems to have helped her immensely is her mobile phone. She talks on it incessantly. INCESSANTLY!!! All the time. ALL THE BLOODY TIME. There does not a moment pass when she is not on the phone jabbering away. Now, you might think that I am complaining because I am jealous as no one ever calls me on my mobile phone but I beseech you to believe that that is not the case. Allow me to conjure a typical scene of K-the-cook's arrival in the house.

K-the-cook : Ha ha ha....conversation in marathi....ho ho ho....conversation in marathi continues....giggle giggle....okay, hold on one second....haan didi, aaj kya pakana hai....*quick decision reached on menu*....haan bolo....hee hee hee...

As in normally the case, when K-the-cook first started working for us, she was rather intimidated by my larger-than-life presence. Add my baby blues to that physical persona and I was not the easiest person to be on back-slapping terms with. Resultantly, she was rather in awe of me, I think. On one of those early days, I walked into the kitchen just as Kalpana's mobile started ringing. I didn't say anything to that but she felt the need to justify after she had done a quick 'I will call you back later' after exchanging greetings with the caller.

"It was my daughter,"she said. Okies, said I. Except that I think it is cause for worry when a ten year old girl sounds like a grown man.

Of course she soon overcame her hesitation at taking calls while I was in hearing range and these days there is not a blip in the flow of conversation even if I am standing not in the kitchen but on her toes. Sigh, the price of being a benevolent dictator? High.

If the problem was only the vague irritation that people not participating in a phone conversation but forced to overhear it feel, then I could have still managed. However, K-the-cook's so involved in conducting her phone life that she often forgets to add salt to dishes, or leaves leftovers to fester in the microwave overnight, or forgets to cook half of the things that she has been asked to....clearly, not as efficient at multi-tasking as she would like to believe.

I have tried to put an end to it without losing my temper. I mentioned to her how Padma switches off her mobile for the duration that she is in the house. K-the-cook met that arguement with a cheery, "Haan, phone on rakhti hai toh usska aadmi usse pareshaan karta hai." Welllll, talk about ignoring a hint.

Another interesting dimension to the dilemma is the equation between Padma and K-the-cook. Much to my credit, I have never encouraged either of them to gossip about the other. (If you have any doubt about exactly how much to my credit this particular effort is, ask M, he ought to be able to enlighten you.)

However, Padma has rather discreetly hinted that K-the-cook is a young woman with limited prospects and flexible morals. Imagine her consternation then at the fact Adi has shown a definite liking for K-the-cook. He babbles at her when she talks to him in Marathi (putting the caller on hold for the duration, yay), smiles at her really widely and woe is Padma! even stretches out his arms, asking to be lifted and taken out for a walk!! I know I need a life and all that but Padma's expression is just priceless at the little man's unacceptable antics. In fact, every now and then I just stoke the fire by pointing out just how much Adi likes K-the-cook. It is normally enough to send Padma up in fumes. Delightful, the interplay of human emotions. Cough, cough.

In the meanwhile though I am stuck with a cook who could effortlessly replace SRK in the 'dus saal se mera saathi, mera vishwas, hamara Nokia' commercial and be a lot more convincing doing it. Ever face a situation like this one?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Of things unknown and unseen

I took up a meme recently that asked me to state my indulgences. Chocolate and wine, I answered and promptly forgot all about it. It was not until last evening when I should have been working on a ppt and was instead day-dreaming that the real answer struck me. If indulgence means....

...I just checked the meaning of 'indulgence' on
this website and it is "remission of part or all of the temporal and especially purgatorial punishment that according to Roman Catholicism is due for sins whose eternal punishment has been remitted and whose guilt has been pardoned (as through the sacrament of reconciliation)"....really, I would have never known.

...anyway, to get back to the point, one of the forbidden pleasures that I really, really like to give in to (that by the way is my own, humble, personal and agreeably shorter definition) is ghost stories. I am a huge fan of the supernatural. I have read a fairly large number of stories that deal with the bhoots of this world (or the other, as the case may be), watched an even larger number of the film adaptations and despite the same, my appetite for the same just does not wane.

Why is this an indulgence, you may well ask. Well, it is so because I am a fairly cowardly sort of person in life and quite liable to scream in terror when encountered by a visiting ghost in a dark corner of the house. This tendency only intensifies when one watches a few stray scenes of 'The Ring' or 'The Omen' in passing. Yet, I cannot resist the delicious chill that the mention of ghosts, spirits, atmaas and so on bring to the spine.

I am also usually the person who broaches the unearthly topic of ghosts on cold winter nights around a bonfire, thus inviting all attendees to open the veritable barrage of urban legends that everyone seems to be equipped with. Unfortunately I never have a personal tale of encounters with citizens from the other side but that is alright because I normally more than make up with fictitious ones. In any case, all of you who have had late night sessions with your friends/hostel-mates discussing ghosts know for a fact that these things never happen to self or to immediate family. Instead they take place with your neighbour's aunt's distant cousin. Now that I am complaining.

My family comprises fairly rational and scientific sort of people, not given to flights of fancy of any kind. Any mention of bhoots was always frowned upon by my father who would always make it a point to establish "bhoot-woot kuchh nahin hote." Sometimes he would take it a step further and state, "Yeh sab andh-vishwas ki baatein hain" - all this is superstitious nonsense. Sigh. Shattering news for someone who wanted to believe. Anyway, if I had ever dared express my fascination for the subject, Papa would not have hesitated in boxing my ears soundly and forbidding me to ever mention the word again. No wonder then ghosts and spirits stayed far, far away from such an unwelcome environment.

Anyway, I always wanted to do a tour like this one. But by the time I came around to making some real efforts towards making it a reality, I was pregnant. Naturally, M put an immediate end to all plans to go traipsing off to haunted castles while carrying the precious bundle. Note to M: I may have had to delay proceedings but that does not mean that I have forgotten about it. In fact, let this be a blogpost-sized hint that I am not above being surprised for Valentine's Day (tomorrow) or my birthday (next month) by being taken for the same. I always was low-maintenance.
But tell me, do you have a ghost story to tell? Tell me....I am listening.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cat on a hot tin roof

I am not being very efficient these days. Morning gives way to moonlight and as I mentally undress for the night, I am often found pondering quietly to myself-"Where the f%$# did all this time vanish to?" Surely cooking and mashing foods, playing with basic-colored toys and changing a baby cannot take up eighteen hours every day? There is no time to go out and exercise (ahem, I said that with a straight face too), to call back people whose calls I have missed on my ever-on-meeting-mode phone, to slap on some make-up and look half-decent, to cook a seven-course meal...alright, let us not stretch the truth too much. All I am saying is that I seem to be running from one task to another without as much as a pause for breath and I need to slow down, savour the moment, smell the flowers and all that rot.

In my bid to do so, I have started putting the household on some sort of a schedule, hoping against hope that once I plan everything well enough, I may actually get some time for guessed it...I CAN WORK!! What kind of a loser would organize current work only so that she could take on more work, huh? The kind of loser who looks remarkably like ME, that is who.

Anyway, so instead of spending the better part of the morning nursing cup after cup of strong coffee, recovering from my sleepless nights, I have decided to be productive and get some tasks, such as bathing Adi out of the way.

Clearly I was consuming those cups of coffee for a reason though, because after preparing for his bath and running the REALLY hot water in the bucket, I proceeded to absent-mindedly put my hand under it....OUCH OUCH OUUUUUUUUUUUUCH...I woke up in a jiffy of course but still had a badly scalded hand for my efforts. Ithurtsithurtsithurts was my refrain for a good five minutes while I bathed Adi. He looked at me nonchalantly and proceeded to mouth the plastic duckies that are his bathmates. And this is the child about whom I thought while listening to that song 'Maa' from TZP and had tears welling up....

ANYWAY, logic returned once the sting had worn off slightly and I remembered that I should put some Burnol on the darned thing. And that began the hunt for the yellow tube.

Me: PADMAAAAA!! I need Burnol.

Padma: It is not in the white medicine box.

Me: How about the red medicine box, the one that had the less-frequently-used-medicines?

Padma, rummaging: No, not here either.

Me: Oh well, then, look in the blue medicine box, the one that has the never-used-medicines.

Padma - Nopes!

Me: Oh then there is only one thing to do.

60 seconds later....

Me: HELLOW, where the hell did you put the tube of Burnol?

M: Huh? What happened? Who got burnt? Is Adi ok?

Me: What the f&^% do you mean by that? What if I am burnt alive?

M: I was about to ask that next.

Me: Hmmpphh, I don't care. Just tell me where you have put the tube and I will let you go. I have burnt my hand slightly.

M: Oh shit, have you burnt it badly? How did you do that? The Burnol is in my travel medicine pouch, go put some on.

Me: In your travel pouch? IN YOUR TRAVEL POUCH? What were you thinking? How dare you remove such an essential thing from the house without letting me know, huh? I am spending my life organizing this house and you are bent upon ruining everything. The least you can do is to help me keep it that way. How the hell am I supposed to find it in your travel pouch? You don't care about me or my efforts ...*pause for breath*

M: You had asked me to take it with me when I was going abroad and had said that you would replace it.

Me: Oh? OH! Right, so I gotta go now.

Shamefacedly disconnects call and morosely puts the now-found Burnol on the still-burning hand.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Nine month letter

Dear Mom,

No, don't even start, I have heard you say that you will write this letter for the last several days and you're not getting anywhere near doing it, so like some of your exasperated ex-bosses, I WILL JUST DO IT MYSELF!! Or was it your strategy to begin with? Anyway, like said bosses, I am beyond caring.

I am such a confident little person, I can almost stand up on my own. And while there is still an 'almost' in that sentence, I am making do with holding on to the railing, any railing and letting go for a few seconds and then flopping down, dissolving into giggles.

My fangs have inspired a new refrain in this goes "Two-two toothies...Two-two toothies". For some reason it amuses the hell out of me and any time people say this to me, I have to laugh uproariously. Ah well, one needs to keep motivation in the kingdom at a reasonable level.

Good news! I have recruited new talent. In other words, an old slave who goes under the name "Nani Amma" is currently in the house (though that gorgeous lady is verrry verrry distant from the image that that term conjures). This is turning out to be great fun. For one thing, she is a cook to my mom's non-cook. This means that I am getting to taste things other than vegetable purees and khichdi. I quite like the broccoli-potato mash and the sooji upma and the...slurp...I am a regular little gourmand, I think. A little less grey hair for you, mom, what?

Talking of grey hair, why do you need to do anything other than worshipping me, I ask. It is not as if I give you plenty of leisure time through the day. Even then, you had to go and take up another research project. See how badly you are getting screwed now? You are running from one thing to the other through the day and even then having sleepless night riddled with the nightmares of missed deadlines. Anyway, *shrug* , your call - its not as if you did not know what you were getting into.

Hey, what is all this talk of making me sleep in my crib? I adore Nani and all that but I am not, repeat NOT going to sleep anywhere other than your arms. You have to be nearby, Mom, when I decide to turn over or when I get hungry or when I just wake up for no reason and need to go back to sleep. If you are not around, I will send out piteous cries of 'Mumma, mumma". I KNOW how that tugs at your heartstrings, HA HA HA!! More importantly, I know how that tugs on Dad's heartstrings!! He will never let me go to the crib. I just know it.

Just to reward him for his good behaviour, I have been saying 'Papa pah-pah puh-puh up-puh' non-stop for the last few days. Of course, I sometimes break monotony and lighten proceedings by saying 'Boo-aa' and 'Nee nee' - the latter my way of protesting against a diaper change...why can't I treat the world as my toilet, huh? It is such a drag to be dressed, specially these days when you insist on putting shoes and socks on me. Anyway, I know I can't win them all. I am not going to let you do it witout a fight though.

I am playing with all my treasures these days during the course of which I have already alarmed you by giving you a sneak peak into my destructive nature. I love breaking the towers that you make with the plastic blocks and generally, I like taking toys and beating the shit out of them. It is such fun! Don't think I don't know that the magazines that you leave out are old ones and the latest ones are kept carefully out of my reach. Where is the fun in tearing apart an old mag, eh? I want NEW, SHINY, GLOSSY...and I will get there. Soon!

Learning for this month - a smile will melt more hearts than any tantrum will. Dude, I am so going to get the ladies with my charm, just you watch. Ouch, ouch, ok, ok, not dude, MOM. Sheesh, where is your sense of humour, evil Mom-lady? (That Calvin knows his names!)

Okies, enough is enough, now I am off to play with some moisturizer bottles again. I will also try to eat some lotion while I am at it. If not that, I will try to help you type. And if not even that, let me go eat your orange crocs.

See, I told you, my letter would be better than yours. I was right.

Laters then...


Friday, February 1, 2008

Right, now - the tags...

I have been tagged....thrice, in fact! All for different topics though, so let us be done with the talking and get to the writing...

But before disclaimer - I've linked up to a whole lot of people in this case you've already taken up the meme, please to forgive and direct me to the post...bachcha samajh ke maaf kar dena...thank ye much!

The first one -
nm and the alphabet tag

A-Available? Not for work, no.
B-Best friend: Sure, Shivani Sharma.
C-Cake or Pie? Oh I will have some cake and I'd like to eat it too, specially if its Chocolate Truffle...slurp!
D-Drink of choice: Long Island Ice Tea - bring out the drinking bets! If cocktail shaker out of business, bring out the Chianti or the rose champagne.
E-Essential thing used everyday: Many....what level of detail are we talking? My current favourite is my orange MAC lippy, yes, I use it everyday, irrespective of what I am wearing :)
F-Favourite colour: Olive green, Orange....I should probably add white and make it the tiranga
G-Gummi bears or worms: Bears? Worms I have never had.
H-Hometown: Meerut
I-Indulgence: Chocolate, wine
J-January or February: January, I don't know why!
K-Kids and names: Aditya
L-Life is incomplete without:, really!
M-Marriage date: November 17
N-Number of siblings: 2 sisters
O-Oranges or apples: Oranges
P-Phobias: Triskaidekaphobia...go google!
Q-Quote: Never let anyone outside the family know what you're thinking.
R-Reason to smile: A toilet-trained Aditya?
S-Season: Fall/Autumn
T-Tag three people:
Mandira, Rayshma, Cee Kay
U-Unknown fact about me: I am a perfume hoarder!
V-Vegetable you do not like: I don't like any green vegetable and yet I eat all of them. I find karela, lauki, tinda, baingan etc particularly appalling.
W-Worst habit: Mine - forgetting to switch the geyser off/others - woo, let me count the ways...okay, worst offender would be impunctuality.
X-x-rays you have had: teeth, chest
Y-Your favourite food: Kadhi-chawal made by mom
Z-Zodiac: Pisces


The second one -
The object tag from Kiran

You know, this tag really had me flummoxed. I was quite the sentimental collecter of things for the first twenty-something years of my life. I kept all letters (I kid you not!), greeting cards, toys, gifts, comics, books and other items that help create the universe safely and securely. Government bungalows that Dad was allotted always had the space and willingness to hoard a child's nothings. The last house that my parents stayed in together was a sprawling one with separate rooms for each of the kids. Even after I went away for (ostensibly) studying further, my room was kept in a working condition by Mom and it hid all my treasures and secrets well. Things changed, we lost Dad and that house was sold off. With that decision came the need to get rid of everything but the essentials. And somehow, all the grubby things that had held so much significance became just stuff that was taking up space. And so, I threw it all away. Just like that - huge bags containing letters and cards that were the only link between my oldest friends and me, love letters that held mushiness enough to melt a marshmallow, all sorts of mementos....I would call it a montage of memories if I were a pretentious, serious writer, ahem!

From that time on, I never stayed in a single house for more than six months. This nomadic existence came to an end only when I got married and was dragged by my tail to Mumbai. Where does that leave me in terms of the tag? Nowhere! I don't have a single object that has stayed with me for years and years....I asked my Mom too...and if she couldn't come up with anything, I guess my life is seriously decluttered.

Going back to the oldest objects that I have with me, here...take a look!

The perfume bottle - Sun, Moon, Stars by Karl Lagerfeld - my sister's first serious and expensive gift to me. She keeps telling me that perfume should be finished off in an year's time and I keep ignoring her. The other two blue things are badges (they say 'Head Girl' and 'Vice Head Girl' - the lighting is quite f#*%-all) are reminders of the adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely....MWAHAHHAHAHAHAH!

I tag the eminently enjoyable
Squiggles Mom (her blog, that is) and Mona, the adorable Hana's mom.


Third and last, tagged by
Chandni for the tag of five.

Copy-pasting from Chandni's post - Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given (family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like). Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better.

Family - I think I talk about them all the time but here is the one about
Mom and her bargaining skills and the one where I talk about our Delhi trip to visit family.
Friend - I talked about my best friend
Self - oh dear, this is getting to be hard work. Here is one that was
a truly, memorably embarassing moment. I also wrote one about the complete absence of any sense of direction in self.
Love - We will settle for M, eh? Here is
my drunken proposal story.
Anything I like - You may not have noticed it but I like Adi a lot. So here is my
seven month letter and also the eight month letter to him, again.

Who shall continue this meme, hmmm? How about
dotmom with a spanking new template
just like that
moppet's mom

Phew, that was a lot of work, I need to go lie down.