Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Never touch a lady's handbag



....specially, when she herself opens it out for you!

One numbers

  1. Collins Spanish Dictionary: self-explanatory. I hope. (And hehe, I just got the joke). Part of the highly academic set of Nightingale notebook, textbook and remarkably ugly pencil-box.
  2. Cadbury's Gems: Critical bribing equipment for controlling tantrums outside the house. Also early education in How To Use Food To Define Every Moment of Your Life courtesy the mother
  3. Green Paper Caterpillar: Sample of artwork from playschool. I refuse to get attached to these. For one thing, they are made more by me/Mahesh/teacher than Adi himself. Second, I am all spaced out.
  4. Sunglasses: Gucci=Very posh. A rare relic from the pre-Adi era.
  5. Diaper: Naturally. Because a parent, much like good boy (and one assumes girl) scouts are always prepared.
  6. Dr Seuss Crazy Colours: Red fish. Blue mouse. Green House. Brain dead.
  7. A box containing biscuits: Because one doesn't know when hunger can strike and render us helpless, given that we live in a jungle which has no known food shops in a 100 km radius.
  8. Lipstick: The perfect orange that will become the perfect brown as it goes through life lying forgotten in this handbag, except for the brief moment of glory where it gets to feature in random post on random blog.
  9. Water-bottle: What will you wash the biscuits down with?
  10. Hair-band: Rendered redundant as current length of hair does not need hair-bands.
  11. Wallet: Makes the world go round, baby.
I really need to glam up my life.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A day out and about in town

We were in town over the weekend. I love that part of the city. It is old and experienced and smells of a time that men wore hats and women carried parasols. Well, perhaps they did not actually do so but well, one is given to flights of fancy in this heat when hats and parasols would be a damn good idea. Anyhow, so at some point we drove past the Royal Opera House. Wiki tells me that it was built in 1912 and was India's only opera house. It is a really old building (duh, 1912) and is completely in shambles. The tall doors are locked and covered with years of dust and grime.I looked at it, mesmerized.



Me: Mahesh, look at this building. I am sure it was owned by a rich seth (frames of Guru Dutt era films furiously running riot in my mind). He would have fallen in love with the leading lady of the opera. She would have been beautiful and spoilt. She would not have reciprocated his love and broken-hearted, he would have shut the opera house and gone abroad where he would have lived a reclusive life to the end of his days. Since then, the Opera House would have been locked down. What do you think?


Mahesh: This is prime real estate. It should be broken down and an apartment building built here. Ha ha ha!

Humph.

***

After being threatened to be cut off altogether if we did not watch Gulaal, we finally complied. As it turned out, it was a good decision. As usual, we will leave the reviews to the experts. It is heartening to see this new style of film-making from the likes of Vishal Bharadwaj (hey, wasn't he supposed to adapt Romeo and Juliet for his next, what happened to that?) and Anurag Kashyap co-exist with the Karan Johars and Yash Chopras of Bollywood. I wouldn't want to do away with either.

The film was nice of course but the lunch at Tea Center was even better. It's one of my favourite places in Mumbai, one of those old-fashioned places that make you think that Mumbai is not a half-bad place to live in. It is a real tea-room, complete with one of these on each table!




I always stuff myself silly when I go to Tea Center. Yesterday was no exception. After the paneer pakoras and biryani and aloo-paranthas, I still had space left over for a delicious caramel custard. Do you have a restaurant that forces you to overeat?

Friday, March 27, 2009

You know you're from UP when....

  1. Deep-fried kachauris, aloo-subzi and piping hot jalebis are a perfectly reasonable breakfast
  2. You refer to all random suppliers and vendors, including the security guard in your office as Bhaiyya
  3. The word 'loo' brings to the mind a scorching, dry wind that drives people indoors and not a restroom
  4. You can tell apart your Mausajis from your Phuphajis and your Taujis from your Chachajis perfectly effortlessly
  5. The ji slips out when you want to show deference
  6. Every festival, every occasion -sad, happy, indifferent, every birthday, every season, every town, every goddamn thing in life has a defining food
  7. Your address back home had a gunj, chowk, sadak or gali somewhere in it
  8. Irrespective of if whether you actually do it or not, you know you can curse like a sailor if the occasion demands it
  9. Rickshaw is a cycle-rikshaw, auto is the other one
  10. Your vocabulary contains in it remarkably evocative and description/translation defying words such as cheecha-laider, hudhdang, muchhad, hudak, jugaad and so on
  11. You know people that respond to Raja, Guddu, Gudiya, Bachhu, Bunty, Munni, Chunni, Mitthu and so on

Consider this a tag if you like and do it for the place you come from....do direct me to your posts.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Meeting Sue

The lovely Sue came down to Mumbai and the ranks of Mumbai bloggers were bolstered by the presence of los ninos (get used to it, people) Krish and Ayaan. After much mailing back and forth, Moti Mahal in Bandra was decided as the eatery of choice given that dal and rice were the kids' requirements (and mine too). I was to pick up Sue from her office after my Spanish class. While I waited for her to come down, I think the heat started to mess with my brain because I very nearly walked up to a (as it turned out, random) tall and dusky girl, intending to slap her on the back and shout 'wassup, old girl?' in her ear. Fortunately, I desisted. As it turned out, the real Sue did not have any trouble recognizing me. We braved the heat and my spatial challengedness and hailed an auto to get to where Kiran and her gorgeous escort were waiting for us in a blissfully air-conditioned car. At good old Moti Mahal (though given that I was there for the first time, I am hardly in a position of calling it that), the waiters were pressed into service and the much-awaited dal chaawal ordered for the babies. At this point, Rohini and Ayaan walked in. Very excited at seeing them, Sue jumped up to meet Ayaan. Ayaan responded with the same fervour and dived behind Ro's skirt.



Ayaan and parts of Rohini

Rohini and Kiran then decided to close ranks and sat on either side of the sofa while capturing the two kids between them. Clearly the kids knew this to be an old trick because they proceeded to pummel the mummies with all sorts of flailing arms and legs. As mothers of toddlers that were safely ensconced at home, Sue and I watched on with much mirth as Kiran and Ro fielded the punches and tried to eat at the same time. At one point I politely asked of them if they were getting acute indigestion but they could not get their breath back to reply. Kiran only managed to mutter that anyone who claims that the two boys are well-behaved should see what they get upto when they are together.

Krish kept insisting that anyone who misbehaved would be sent to Jurassic Park. Sue pointed out that her dad would consider that an equivalent of a trip to Disneyland, so fond is he of horror films. Amongst all this, Sue also kept insisting that the boys were just being kids. I of course focused on the food and managed to eat more than my fair share of butter naan, malai kofta and jeera aloo.

As always, the kids got to reap the fruits of their mom's blogging and received many gifts and redurngeefs (Krishspeak). Adi got quite a bit of loot again, including some from the amazing Dipali. Sue had got the kids some lovely paper puppets. Fortunately, there was one extra and I got to keep it. While the ones that kids had were predictably limbless by the end of the lunch, mine survived under my hawkish eyes. Look at it. Lovely.



My lovely blue man!

Post lunch, I asked everyone to drop on for some digestion-inducing tea at my place. Ro and Ayaan bailed out, thanks to a doctor's appointment but Sue and Kiran decided to come over to say Hi to Adi. Krish opined that that staying in the car with the driver would be much more fun but Kiran tempted him with promises of Ben10 toys waiting for his playing pleasure at my house. Now frankly I have no clue of what Ben10 entails but hey, whatever gets the child home, I thought as I nodded along furiously. Sue pointed out that I would forever be known as the aunty who does not keep her promises. Maybe, maybe, who is to say. A little later, Adi woke up from his nap and welcomed Sue by bawling loudly and running away as fast as his little legs would carry him. Quite the social butterfly like his mother.

Would have been nice to have Sur join in the fun too with little Sana but next time.

As is customary with such posts, pictures!!



Sue and Ro...can you see Ayaan in the background?




Tres elegant Kiran who also saved the (ugly) terracotta pots at the back



The two who ate well



Our two stars - Ayaan and Krish!

Oh and hey, I have since been informed by Sue that the puppet was not an extra and it was intended for Adi. With as much grace as I can muster, I have passed it on to the rightful owner. Here is evidence.



Adi with what was meant to be my blue man

Monday, March 23, 2009

Maybe one day I can solve Spanish crosswords

You know how when you learn a new word, it just seems to jump at you from everywhere? It is happening to me now. With Spanish words. There is a whole new Hispanic world out there, just waiting to hurl Spanish words at me. Whether you like it or not, I will now illustrate the same with boring instances from my life:

Surfing the internet while dreaming about the upcoming U2 concert in August. Come across a video of Bruce Springsteen inducting U2 into the Rock and Roll House of Fame and what are the first words of his speech....Un, Dos, Tres, Catorce!

Doing the crossword this morning and 'a region in Spain' and 'Madrid language' are staring at me.

I pick up a book and all the words are Spanish. It was my Spanish textbook. He he, got you.

***

Speaking of crosswords, I am an addict. But only of the quick kind. There was a time I thought I would give the cryptic ones a try. Then at some college festival, there was a crossword competition taking place. Essentially, you just collected the crossword from a counter and submitted it back when you were done. I took one and started looking through the cryptic clues. I could have got one or maybe two in the entire grid. Just then, a lanky looking boy walks in, collects the crossword from the counter, takes out a pen and without pausing for a single moment, he just fills in one word after another. In two minutes, he had completed the grid, put the completed crossword back into the box and walked out. I threw mine in the dustbin and walked out too. That was the last time I ever attempted a cryptic crossy. That's one of my talents - I don't play games that I can't win. If M tells you this is his line, he is lying.

***
Since it all seems to keep coming back to the Spanish, I have to tell you that I have my first class-test tomorrow. M has been supporting me in my hour of need by asking me highly pertinent questions such as, 'what if there is a question from chapter three? Will you stand up and shout, 'but miss, this is out of the syllabus?'' I have been responding in my usual graceful fashion by vilifying him on my blog.

***

And finally, if you come here for the funnies, that is exactly what you are going to get.





The evil cyborg one is the best by far, don't you think?
Obviously I did not make these.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The times, they are not a changin' that much

I sometimes think that if I had the chance to live my academic life again, I would do it a lot differently. Por ejemplo (hehe,I know), I would focus more on figuring out the system and beating the shit out of it to suit my own advantage rather than devoting endless hours to just purposeless studying. As you can imagine, I am an embittered soul. Bittered too.

My Spanish class was to be my chance it at this re-living of my youth. I had decided that I would do things differently and do different things.

The plan was:

(in order of importance)

  1. Cultivate the class muggu and borrow her notes when the time for exam comes. Chill out in class. Grab a nap or two. SMS furiously (there were no cellphones in class back then)
  2. Focus only on the important exam-related stuff and weed out the trivial things. Do not seek any joy in first principles. Go for the top grade with a combination of 1. above and furious by-hearting of ten year exam papers.

Turns out, it's tougher for people to change than they imagine possible. After a few classes, it is quite evident that

  1. I in fact am the class muggu. The profound fact of life is that you can take the mugguness out of a nerd but you cannot take the nerdiness out of a muggu. What does that mean? Think harder (I have no idea).
  2. The classroom does not get any cellphone signals and there are no ten-year exam papers to be had for love (which I haven't tried to be honest) or money (which I don't make too much of)

Mahesh has been on my case mercilessly. He finds me poring over my notes or doing my homework and he explodes with the sheer mirth of it all. Better you than me, he shouts as he runs off to play with Adi or watch senseless television. I am done studying and I have no idea what sort of people would willingly go to a place that requires them to study more, he has told me on several occasions. I was quite happy to see him go to Singapore for two days.

I have since arrived at the conclusion that it may be time to kiss my dream of being a feckless and cool estudiante de espanol hasta la vista, baby. Sigh, back to the books.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Downgrading means degrading and other such wisdom

I have been downgraded. Yes, that's the price I have to pay to quit my job to become a full-time writer. No more privileges of the Jet kind. In the last two and a half years since I gave up (on) my last office, I have seen my frequent flyer status slide from about-to-make-Gold to Silver to Blue Plus and now the final insult - Blue. I shouldn't care. This is a small price to pay for lofty dreams such as following my heart and that sort of nonsense but hey, I like my upgrades to business class and tele-check-in and what have you. I cribbed to Mahesh about this and he has decided to come up with a strategy to put an end to my misery. This straight-forward and easy-peasy as they come plan involves getting an expensive credit card that gives free Platinum frequent flyer cards and then arm-twisting the credit card company to bend rules to transfer said card to the spouse - me. Who says romance is dead? At least, in geekland, it is thriving.

***

Michael Jackson will be resurrected very soon. I predict so. This I do with the help of acutely scientific measures such as the songs being chosen by the American Idol participants. Seriously, every second person on that show (including our own should-have-gone-to-IIT-what-is-he-doing-singing-on-tv Anoop) has chosen an MJ number. This is me at my trendspotting best, I tell ya.

Alright, sudden deep-dive into nostalgia. Many years ago, when MJ was still human, I was a huge fan. I could (can) sing every song from Dangerous and it is a reasonably difficult thing to do, given how every second word is a screech, yowl or yelp. Then the unthinkable happened. MJ announced a concert in India. There was no way I could dream of attending that concert but then as any ardent Bollywood lover knows, agar kissi cheez ko mann se chaho etc. Well, the Times of India ran a slogan contest, promising concert tickets to all winners. I immediately sent across an entry and given abysmal levels of quality control, even won! How a thirteen (or something) year old would go to a concert in Delhi all by herself was anybody's guess. My parents were still fretting about this new development that I had brought down on them when MJ went and decided that pedophilia was the best thing he could do to his career. Naturally, the India concert was cancelled. This was so long back that not even Google can help me with appropriate links.

The Times of India sent me a Videocon walkman instead. It was not the same.

***

We were at a mall over the weekend when we spotted a poster advertising land for sale in Khandala. Never before prices, it said.

'Never before high or never before low' said M and I at the same time. Gosh, but we're becoming really predictable.

***

My happy birthday is now truly over. I received more Facebook messages than I did on the blog and more on the blog than I did as text messages and more text messages than phone calls and more phone calls than personal greetings. It says something. I am just not sure what.

***


Sunday, March 15, 2009

And the ides of March come by again

Thirty-two is not a bad age to be. It is after all, two sweet sixteens.

How did I ring in my birthday? Well, seeing how we are given to posting pictures these days, here is a remarkably symbolic picture (even more symbolic than Delhi 6, which I believe had symbols within symbols within symbols and the viewer needed a degree in symbology - yes, it's a word, go check - to understand the sheer depth of each scene.)



Hard Rock Cafe, on the eve of my birthday


Of course, to the more savvy amongst you, what I am trying to say is already crystal clear. To the uninitiated, I am hoping for a little rock and roll in this year, baby!

Alcohol? Who said anything about alcohol, huh? Goodness, but what some people will read into things!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hola, Holi!

After Kalpana's sudden decision to feed us rotten paneer and then the equally sudden but happier decision of quitting, things had returned to normal. We were all nicely holied out in this house. Total calorie count had touched five million over the course of the festival. Billion. Gujhiyas and besan ke laddoo had been polished off. I had made my customary phone call to Mom to get her recipe for her absolutely divine phirni and even though made by me, it had turned out well, hallelujah or shukr hai bhagwaan ka. (Unnatural modesty = your cue for showering compliments) Pooja was done (many jokes erupt in my mind at this but none of them in good taste). In fact, here you go, some Holi pictures because they are nice and colourful. And because they are worth a thousand words.






Do you have any idea how long it takes to write a thousand words? Almost as long as taking pictures, finding the cable to transfer them to laptop, swatting away a child that is bent upon decoding every last mystery that the computer holds within its magical body and uploading them to Blogger and then waiting for it to oblige.


Anyway, just when I thought we were done with our share of domestic disasters, Pramod went and banged the car yesterday. Poor car. All smashed up. It's so bad that it will be out of action for a couple of weeks at least. Since men treat cars as humans (validated by research done by yours truly) , I believe M wanted to take it to the hospital rather than the repair shop. Anyway, I really shouldn't make fun of M given how shattered he really is about the car. So let's move on to happier topics.

My Spanish class! I started today. It was great to be in a classroom again. The last time I was in one was for my (utterly useless as it turned out) Lamaze sessions. But this is great. For one thing, I am really relieved that the class does not comprise only PYTs. There are all sorts of people and I am quite looking forward to this. Very soon, I will be singing along Santana because that after all was the only reason I signed up in the first place. We did the Spanish alphabet today. Now the Spanish alphabet is really competitive. In fact, it beats the pants off the English one because it has three extra characters. I think Iike it already. More stories as they happen of course. You've been warned.

Poor car though.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Who moved my paneer?

Kalpana, the cook formerly known as the merry widow is no more in our employment. It all started innocently enough, with a block of paneer.

Kalpana (in her usual world-weary, how-do-I-take-out-time-for-all-my-fans voice) : Didi, what do I cook tonight?
Me : Hmm? Whatever! No, wait, I must eat protein! And greens! Palak-paneer. Is there paneer in the house?
Kalpana: Err, yes, there is a little bit.

Takes paneer out of the fridge.

Me: So make it. Is it alright?

Kalpana smells it again and turns to Padma and starts speaking to her in Marathi, something that the feudal lord (lady?) in my just cannot stand, not being fluent or even the youngest cousin of fluent in the language.


Me: What? What? What? What are you saying to her?
Kalpana: It's ok, I think. I will make it.

Padma shoots me warning looks.

Me (smelling a rat, more likely rotting paneer): Bring it here, let me see.

Paneer is brought for inspection. The stench gives me chakkars.

Me: WTF (said in low voice, in-laws visiting and all that)! This has gone bad! I don't know what I am more angry about, that you are letting expensive foodstuff go bad or that you are willing to feed it to us.
Kalpana: Mumble, mumble, grumble.
Me: Just listen to what I am saying and don't do it again, get it? And if you ever answer back again.....

I stomped out at this point, doubting that I will ever find my temper again, so soundly had I lost it. No more was said.

This morning, no Kalpana reports for work. The portly driver urf Pramod is sent to check on her.

Pramod (gleefully): Didi, Kalpana says she will not come to work anymore.
Me: (early morning tea not consumed yet and in a very un-egalitarian mood) : WTF!

I am in a very dark place since. I should have fed her some of that paneer while I still had the chance. Never mind, maybe next time?

And to think that I don't even like paneer.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Vertigo!

I went hunting for shoes today and came away empty-handed (or barefoot, if you please). Reason, the shops are filled with shoes that are not wearable by a girl with no prior experience in stilt walking. Think I am kidding?

























Yes, ma'am, these are the foot fashions for this season. Do you have a pair of extreme shoes such as these? Would you like to? And while you're at it, tell me what's a tall girl to do?

Pictures courtesy here

Friday, March 6, 2009

Of hunks and Holis of yore

Something's different when I run these days.

I am not distracted by the painful people whose sole purpose in life seems to be to lap you and I do not have the urge to box them soundly on their ears.

I am not counting the minutes to when I will complete the time that I have set for myself and can finally breathe normally. Or even breathe again.

I am not even looking at my watch my ten seconds and thinking - shit, only ten seconds have passed?

I am not thinking of the cramps, real and imagined in my legs. Knees. Back of knees. Elbows. The soft part of the ears.


What has happened?


Have I become like those women in Nike ads where there is a karmic connection between the road and you? Thud, thud, thud.

Have I finally discovered the love for running, where all that matters is the act of connecting that shoe with that road, just one more time?

Have I become lighter, in person and on my feet and can therefore carry my own weight more effortlessly?


Or is there a simpler, much simpler explanation?


That I have rediscovered my love for this man and I am picturing him (yes, in those jeans, sigh) as he sings 'Brilliant Disguise' in my ear?







I think my quest for the perfect running list is finally over, my friends. The Boss runs with me.

***

And now Holi has to come and bring with it another wave of nostalgia. Seriously, I think the older I get, the more I crave for things of the past. Someone stop me before I shift bag and baggage to Dilli for the chaat or Mathura for the pedas or Banaras for the kalakand (full marks to anyone who can tell me which film I am quoting from). Strange how it's always about the food though.

Holi. It brought with it the promise of a summer of loos (as in the winds, not the toilets) that ripen the kharboojas and the mangoes. It meant a feast - dahi-bada, aloo-tikki, namakpare and gujhiya, even thinking about them is enough to make you gain five kilos. It meant colour - either accepting it or avoiding it, depending on which side of the terrible teens you were at. It also meant bhang that your well-meaning mother put in the thandai and the rave party that went in your head for hours afterwards with just two glasses of the good stuff (and i mean it, it was really good). It meant exams the thought of which buzzed around you like an irritating mosquito and which you tried to swat away repeatedly. It sometimes meant my birthday too, which I was never entirely sure I liked, not wanting to share my special day with any festival, triumph of good over evil notwithstanding.

And now, all it means is a day off in the middle of the week. And for some, not even that.

***

Pictures courtesy this website.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

And my other boy turns 30!!

M turns the big three-oh today. I keep asking him how he feels about it. I mean, I knew that I wanted to be pregnant at 30 and so had my last party-to-beat-all-parties when I turned 29 instead. (Wise plan, as it turned out.) But Mahesh doesn't seem to care and says so. I think it's mostly because he is too busy wondering who will fill the tremendous void left in the industry by the marriages of Amrita Arora and Ayesha Takia. I let him be. Only till he sees the cake though which has a big 30 in chocolate icing resting on it. Just in case he forgets or something, now that senility is knocking at the door.

Happy 30th, baby. (And you, gentle reader, leave him your wishes, won't you, in comments or thoughts, thank you very much.)

Now off to get some vinotherapy, first in massage and then in oral form. Ooooh.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Twenty two months letter

Dear Adi,

When you grow up, you will go through your parents' collection of M*A*S*H. It's the most wonderful TV series and you will really enjoy watching Hawkeye Pierce and his life in a mobile hospital in Korea. At some point you will discover the 'Dear Dad' episodes,where Hawkeye writes to his father back home. For some reason, they were always my favourite, giving a glimpse into what Hawkeye was really feeling about the war, his helplessness at being caught in circumstances beyond his control and always, his ready wit and humour to counter them. As was wont, they were also the most poignant episodes.

Nothing like that about the Dear Adi posts, though. Twenty two months old today and the ride gets funner.

The love for Bollywood gets stronger. You humour me when I put on the doctor-recommended Travel & Living and Discovery etc on the telly but your eyes really light up when Neil Nitin Mukesh and Bips groove to Aa Dekhen Zara and you can sing along. I loved that song as a kid too so I guess we can discuss the relative merits and demerits of Sanjay Dutt in Rocky versus this Johnny come lately when you are a little older. In the meanwhile, way to go, child.

Cricket is also establishing as a game for all seasons. There, now you are a true blue Indian. You will never run out of conversation in this country again.

The third C that completes the picture is naturally the one in Cars. Goodness, but you love them. Sometimes you diversify into aeroplanes and trucks but by and large you remain true to your first love. In fact now you have started taking the figurative wheel of control in the car when we go out. After you have commanded Pramod to put the radio on (with preferably Jai Ho or Aa Dekhen Zara or Singh is King doing the rounds), you turn to your co-passengers and shout 'HOLD!' . This is our cue to hold the handle bars (or whatever they are called) given at the top of the car-doors. I guess our family comes across as being really nervous about riding in cars, what with everyone holding on tightly to the bars, under your ever-vigilant eye. I am game to do it of course but yesterday on our way to the hospital, you wanted me to hold the two bars on either side of the car with my hands. If people saw a harried-looking woman resembling a fly stuck in a spider's web, that would be me.

One by one, your friends, if we can call them that, have started reaching the two-year milestone. That means only one thing. Birthday parties. All good. You seem to have a good time after you have procured the host's racquet or cricket bat or some such and can be trusted to spend the rest of the party asking me to chase after the ball that you like to knock about. I have been known to dive behind sofas and take catches that if missed would not cost us a match but a tad more. A different avataar to my party animal, if you ask me.

I think you know that you are approaching the two year mark, too. Why else would you look at the babies in the Johnson's ads and declare 'Chhota, chhota baby' in the tone of a venerable old man?

In this last month, I achieved a milestone of my own and took a trip without you in tow. You have been quite clingy since, perhaps fearing that your maternal parent will run off if you let her be for even a minute. I know Iron Maiden would be long since retired by the time you grow up but hey, put them under your classic rock playlist but listen to them for sure. You will then understand.

That's all for this time then. Whatever you decide to do in the next month then, just have fun.

Love

Mom


Monday, March 2, 2009

Films and flowers

There is a very short window of opportunity that we get in the mornings where Adi is awake but is willing to spend time with someone other than parent. This is the time period in which we need to steal out if we want to see the outside world at all. Of course it is a little tough to find people who would agree to drink with us at that hour (roughly 9:30 am) and even tougher to find a pub that would be open and serving customers. Look at me, will you, going on and on about missed Margaritas. One would think I quite like my drinkies. Ahem.

However, what I was saying was is that this time is fairly convenient for movie shows, if you like empty theaters, that is. And so yesterday, we crept out of the house and went to watch The Curious Case of Banjamin Button. Normally I would consider my paisa to be vasooled if and only if I can (wolf) whistle whenever Brad Pitt comes on screen but yesterday I was reminded how the man is a half-decent actor too. The last time I felt thus was in Meet Joe Black. Anyway, so I was left wondering about how any movie could beat this one for the Oscar for the Best Film. I decided to watch the Slumdog DVD that has been floating around the house. I couldn't get too far what with the boy deciding to launch a massive tantrum at that very point etc but from whatever little I did watch, I was left feeling that perhaps the underdog theme was being taken a little too seriously by the Academy people. More when I have actually watched the full film, assuming child's cooperation.

***

I am quite a sucker for fresh flowers. Makes me feel like I own Manderley for some reason. I used to buy them from the vendors who sit around at various points in Bandra and used to pay out big bucks too. One day when the seller asked for Rs 35 for a single stem of lily, Pramod finally had enough. Have you heard of the Dadar Flower Market, he asked me. Of course I have, I replied, I used to get stuck there every morning while going to work. No, from buying flowers perspective, he demanded. Too dirty and messy for me, I replied, ever the snoot. He sighed loudly and volunteered to get me flowers on his way to our home in the mornings. And I am not exaggerating when I say that they are at least ten times cheaper. I am so thrilled at this turn of events that I am overdoing it completely. Take a look at my house today.



Normally, not a rose person at all but a bargain person at all times.




The left-over lilies from the main bunch.



My all-time favourite Rajnigandha. I have no clue what the English equivalent is and it doesn't matter because I am already established as clueless after the Wedgwood episode.



The aforementioned main bunch.



Orchids! So many!

I wasn't kidding about the overdoing part, was I, but still quite loverly, eh? I know the pictures suck but after an attack of acute laziness I cannot be bothered to take out my camera and use only the phone. Otherwise I am India's answer to Leibovitz.

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