Friday, July 18, 2008

A strange sort of month

July was a rollercoaster month if there ever was one.

Padma informed me that her sister was not keeping well. Ever the impeccably polite one, I asked what was wrong. Someone has done jaadu-tona on her, Padma replied calmly as she dusted the sideboard. I spluttered in my cup of tea. What nonsense, what bullshit, what crap...I ran out of terms to describe my disdain. In response, Padma only gave me a look that said that she considers my clarity on some concepts to be rather limited. This discussion would have ended on this pleasant note except that Padma disappeared from the next day and switched her phone off. This meant that I was in a tight spot. To put it a tad more evocatively, I was horribly screwed. When a Padma acts like this, suffice it to say that my faith in humanity stands shaken.

When M got to know that Padma had gone off because her sister had had a brush with jaadu-tona, he came up with a story of his own. Apparently, our driver Pramod has been refusing to park the car in M's office because he has met a ghost with no legs in the car park on a number of occasions. This is a car park that regularly parks hundreds of cars from all the offices upstairs but trust Legless Bogeyman to have a run-in with our man.

While the help has been fanning their respective superstitions, I have been trying to maintain some semblance of sanity while I wash, feed, bathe, entertain, change and engage a fourteen month old with no help at all. The other day, Shilpa the cook took the day off too (without informing me obviously) and by the end of the day the house looked as if a tornado had had a heated argument with an earthquake. Both Adi and I have been struggling with runny noses and filling buckets with our collective snot. Hope that grosses you out. If not, think about this when you sit down for lunch. MWAHAHAHA. Actually, to be fair to Adi, he has been very patient with me. He even drinks his milk because I have made him believe that he doesn't, Mission Istanbul will fail. People have been looking at me strangely these last few days.

All this naturally had to happen just before our trip. We fly out tonight and my Mom has got her Schengen visa half an hour back. That means that she needs to collect her passport from the embassy, book and then catch a flight from Delhi to Mumbai and land here before eleven in the night which is when we leave the house. AUGH!

That doesn't mean that good stuff has not been happening though. Padma decided that she will come back after all. M had an outstanding time in London where he got to attend his beloved race. My dear friend is pregnant, yobabywaytogo! She gave us a couple of scares recently (as I said, a rollercoaster month) but all is well now. Hopefully I will get to attend my dream concert this week. Things have been developing at the work front too. Not to bore you with the details or anything but I have been led to believe that dil agar sachha ho rab sab kar de setting. On that deeply philosophical note, I will take your leave and be back with tales of Italy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ineffective all around

Last couple of days Adi slept off at eight, probably bored since M is not around. Naturally, I started to think that there was a definite trend emerging there and tried making him sleep after dinner tonight too. Aha, but I under-estimated his ability to change the rules of the game when I am least expecting it. Resultantly it is now past ten pm and he has just gone to sleep. Of course, he will still wake up about five to ten times during the night and I am past trying to figure just what is it that makes him get up. I just roll over, pat him or something and start snoring loudly again (I think). I am truly the leading example of feminine charm and grace.

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My poor blog has been suffering these last few weeks, perhaps even neglected. GASP. I guess that is ok. What is not ok is that I have not been replying to comments (either individually or collectively). The thing is - I have been so caught up in things that there is just enough time to either post or reply to the comments. For some selfish reason (gotta get to 200 posts...yes..yes), I always end up opting for the former. Maybe its just as well that I don't attract hundreds of comments (heck, its a lucky post that gets double-digits)....my guilt would have just shot through the stratosphere. My apologies - Dipali, Mona, Abha, illusion, NainaAshley, Kiran, Whatsinaname, leaving1302, Mandira, Chandni, Ro, Mystic Margarita, Suki, Shobana, ~nm, GTN, mayG, Nat...and the rest of you people who still bother to leave behind your thoughts.

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I have been feeling so short-tempered lately, as if I have absolutely no patience with anyone or anything. While this lack of charity is intended for the world at large, I am particularly pissed off at my help. Shilpa leaves the rajma half-boiled and I fly into a rage. Pramod turns up late for work, I see red. In fact I nearly burst a blood-vessel when Padma told me that she could not stay back last night, forcing me to cancel a get-together with some friends. Honestly, I don't like seeing myself as the evil memsahab who is likely to throw a tantrum if her manicured nail breaks so I have to start hoarding on some patience and good humour soon. However, it looks like the three of them have had a conference of their own because the moment I start a hissy fit, they assume an air of exaggerated patience and start patronizing me, treating me like a slightly deranged six year old who has managed to get her hands on a gun and needs to be handled carefully, yet gently. What the hell?

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I finished Neither here, Nor there a couple of days ago and decided to pick out a new book. Get this, there are at least twenty-five UNREAD books lying on my shelf. This is so because while I continue to buy books at the pre-Adi rate, I now read a book every four months. Or longer. This immediately made me feel really guilty. Here is a sample of the library that I am building here:
- The African Diary, Shakespeare: The World as Stage - think I will give Bryson a break though
- Difficult Daughters - when and why did I pick up this book?
- Sacred Games - part of the book-hamper farewell gift from the office gang...hope they never ask if I have read the entire bunch
- Polyester Prince - BANNED! and therefore bought from the traffic signal peddler in my modest attempt to abet piracy. Hope the police don't read this and arrest me though.
- Barbarians at the gates - On M's recommendation. Given five years back. Now I am feeling truly miserable.
- The Piranha Club - Same as above except for misery which has doubled.
- Remember me? - Read the first few pages but its not as gripping as Shopaholic.
- Maximum City - I finished Bombay, Meri Jaan just a few weeks ago....should avoid an over-dose, what?
- A thousand splendid suns - I hated The Kite Runner. Yeah, I know, I am a bit strange like that.

The list just goes on and on and on....sheesh! Maybe I will just curl up with an Asterix after all. Sigh. SIGH.

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fourteen month letter

Dear Adi,

Before you remind me, I know, I KNOW I am late but only by a couple of days. Its been a busy time with your father trooping off for trips every now and then. Even as I write this, he is in London, partly for a training but also for the Formula 1 race at Silverstone. He nearly didn't go, overcome by guilt at the thought of not seeing for two days more than he absolutely had to but I was my usual magnanimous self, prodding him to GO! HAVE FUN! Judging by his excitement after the qualifying yesterday, it was a good call. Kimi uncle though did moonh kaala again, landing up in third place. Why this is finding place in your monthly letter is because I still can't get over the fact that we can plan things other than your next diaper change.

Diaper change reminds me, we have trying to make you sit on your baby potty but you will have none of it and have been making your point clear by screaming at the top of your lungs every time we attempt preventing landfills. Anyway, this is your kingdom. Let me know when you are ready. Just make sure you don't wait till you are ten when you do it.

Trips also meant a weekend getaway to Alibaug that you enjoyed immensely, eating everything from our plates and in general being the sort of kid that fools people into having babies. Most fun and I am mighty kicked about taking you to Italy later this month. I am also hugely excited about the concert ad I am so scared of jinxing it that I am not even talking about it on my blog here. But you know and I know so...heh heh!!

You are rapidly expanding your vocabulary these days. Appa, Amma, Nahai-Nahai, bow-wow (doggie), baaa (sheep), Hi and Bye have now found company in Akka (Padma) and Allo (hello). Ask where is daddy and you reply 'uppice' (office). Its great fun to take you to the PPS these days and you pick up things quickly enough. You cling to me a lot of course but that is cool too. I know that you take time to warm up. Your mausi had come visiting yesterday and she was floored by all the things that you can do. Say chhup jaana and you cover your face with your hands, you shake hands, give kissies both flying and the real ones, comb your hair, show your belly, nosie and ears (of all things), show us how drills work, how formula one race drivers drive, how doctors examine people, how Paati powders her face....the list is endless and I don't want to miss out on a single thing, all these tricks are so precious and when you do these, I puff up like a toad with pride. Get into MIT, boy, and I will just burst open.

Climbing over everything is your latest passion, specially the back of the sofa from where you can look out the window. You do this first thing in the morning and Padma says this is your way of saying Good Morniiiiiiiiiiing Mumbai.




You seem to know your mind more and more and point to hugely suitable things such as toilet paper rolls or the ceiling lights, calling them with your hand and getting upset when they (thankfully) do not do your bidding.

You also seem to love the refrigerator and often poke your head inside when someone is taking something out from there, often managing to grab an apple or pear and running off with it before anyone can catch you. Well, as long as it only fruit and not a bottle of beer....

Your eye for pretty women gets stronger, my child and even though I have now banned TV for you (cruelly cutting short the love affair with Katrina Aunty), you are now seen offering dimpled smiles to the good-looking mommies at the playgroup. Ah, it could only be that children love symmetry, even in faces but who is to tell?

I have to hang a mirror where you can see yourself, kiddo. They had one at the playschool the other day and you could not help enough of admiring yourself.

Its been fun, this last month. Sorry for the delay once again and maybe you can do the letter next time, as some readers ask time and again?

Love

Parul

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rainy day holiday

We woke up in the morning to a startling sight that we have of course seen many times in the last few years - that of SV Road flooding up nicely, inviting us to get that smart little boat out of wherever it is parked (?) and proceed on the nautical equivalent of a jaunt, possibly meeting the likes of Vijay Mallya on the way, aboard their multi-quizillion dollar yachts. Instead, we looked worriedly at each other and ran to check on our internet connection. That's the thing with our MTNL broadband, it is the first casualty of heavy showers, right there with school attendance. Yesterday, surprisingly it stayed put, which is why I am able to blog today.

M called up Pramod, feeling very brave as he prepared to take on the showers to go earn the bread and subzi for the family. I am stuck in Parel, sir, bellowed Pramod over the phone, its all flooded but not to worry, I am on my way. Pramod has a thing for theatrics. M sighed and decided to work from home. Adi was delighted at this development, waddling up to M every five minutes calling Appa, Upp-pah. M was not averse to this pleasant interruption, given that he would immediately put aside everything and swoop up the kid. I would be surprised if he got too much done though.

I decided to forsake my usual demand for pakoras on rainy days given the bhajiya debacle from the last time and stuck my nose in my book. Hey, this may be the right time to tackle a tag that was given me a while back by Mystic Margarita.Pick up the nearest book, it says, open to page 123, find the fifth sentence, post the next three sentences, tag five people, and acknowledge the person who tagged you. Its a toughie I agree but I somehow managed to follow all the instructions and let us see what we have here:

I am reading Neither Here, Nor There by Bill Bryson and I don't think the man needs to be linked or anything given how half the civilized world has his books resting on their book-shelves (plus there is always Google).


I thought of what Konrad Adenauer used to say: 'You can smell Prussia when you get to Elbe.' I could only smell dead fish, or at least I assumed it was dead fish. Maybe it was Prussians.

(I love Bill Bryson. When I write a book, I hope I can be 1/37 times as funny as him.) Not tagging anyone in particular.

Pramod did turn up by the afternoon and I think was somewhat upset that M was not sitting, dressed in his raincoat, laptop covered in polythene, all set to capture the watery world outside.

Things took a downturn when Adi developed a slight temperature by the evening, doubtless brought about by so much excitement. PPS was given a miss. But it was nothing that a little paracetamol could not set right though. He is right as rain now.