Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Diyas, mithai and all sorts of goodness

Wishing all the readers of Radio Parul the best Diwali ever. I sort of disappeared these last few days. I'd have liked to declare that that was because I jetsetted off to an exotic destination for a surprise holiday but the real reason was less glamorous and contained antibiotics galore. Yes, after ten days of high fever, a hacking cough that has left an aching rib in its wake and many, many pills later, I hope I am finally ready to kick back the covers and get some Diwali in the house, yo. These images are from before my illness. Latest ones should hit press anytime between today and tomorrow. Hope you guys are having yourselves the kind of Diwali you like, quiet, decadent, sinful, with/out the teeming millions, take your pick.

That's my cake stand. I don't bake much and so it needs to earn its living in other avataars.

Kartik. Made by Amma (M's mom). Appropriated by yours truly.

The laddoos hadn't been made yet. Ferraro Rochers fill in.

Annapoorna. I always wanted one of these in my dining room. Making sure we don't run out of rations and so on. These are inflationary times.

Hehe, what's Diwali without a little Instagram, eh?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Diwali kab ki hai

That's the question we ask each other as soon as year starts to turn a little old. And now that it's really around the corner, I am wondering how to bring it in. I started with the silver odds and ends today. Maybe with some white jasmine, it will make for a good decor decision. M took some pictures while I cleaned the incense holder and the chaabi ka guchha and the anklets and so on. And my hands are having their own Scarlett O'Hara moment now ('you've been working like a mule'). Tomorrow, we will see what we can make of the wooden pieces. You know, if there is enough interest, maybe I will write a series of posts like this between now and Diwali, sort of like an inspirational mood-board for Diwali. Only if there is interest though (putting up pictures takes a lot of time). Let me know and I hope you are having yourselves a wonderful festive season.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ek baar se dil nahin bharta

In hindsight, having a second baby is probably the smartest thing I did. Well, it does not entirely counter the-world-is-upside-down-ness of having the first one but once that is done and you are left to sob at what has become of your life, having a second one is, all things told, a Very Good Idea. Before you flush the contraceptive down the toilet (assuming you are getting any in the first place, ha), you should know why.

The first and foremost reason is purely economical. Let's admit it, in the first flush of impending motherhood, we all did some really stupid things and there were some very evil people out there to take advantage of us, some of which rhymed with Pisher-Frice. We bought expensive equipment of all shapes and sizes, bottle-warmers and food-zappers and dabbas with and without lids in all the colours of the rainbow and jungle gym mobiles with matching playmats and very soon, you were contemplating a bigger house. I am sure people wonder why parents start talking of a bigger house as soon as the line turns pink. How much space can a new baby take? You can just bung in into a spare drawer, can't you? Well, here is the demystification all spelt out for you - it's not the baby, it's the baby's accessories. About the time baby is getting ready to blow out the candle on his first birthday cake, you will be coming to your senses. Why on earth did you spend this much money on...all this? Well, the only thing to do is to get another baby and force him to Lie. Down. On. That. Jungle. Gym. Dammit.

Then there is that whole concept of siblings keeping each other occupied. How do they do this? Do they come out singing 'Rakhi ke bandhan ko nibhaana bhaiyya more' from the womb? Do they know that their task as far as we are concerned is to keep themselves out of our hair? Do they love each others company to bits? No, haha, au contraire. The thing is - and this is the pillar on which your parenting strategies should be based - they want the same thing. Always. Be it the end of a cucumber meant to be discarded under normal circumstances or a half-chewed bookmark which they very helpfully took out of your novel or The Kohinoor, they both leap at the same object at the same time with the same intensity and can keep themselves busy drawing parallels between the Kashmir situation and their own. Two parties. Want same thing. What to do? Now, all you need to do is ignore the screams emanating from the playroom. Sort of like the UN.

Third reason. School admissions. Sibling points. Enough said.

Then there is the whole Senior Vs Fachha angle. Look, the first time around you were a babe in the woods. Inexperienced. Raw. Nervous. Bewildered. The second time around you can get the pleasure of looking at the first-timers and shaking your head in pity. People will come up at you and ask in wonder, two- two aa? How do you manage? In response, you can look in the distance, looking like the very picture of sobriety, propriety and piety. These cheap kicks help. When you are clutching at straws, that is.

It is also quite rewarding to press the older one into good behaviour because oh my god, child, you are the didi/bhaiyya...you must/cannot do that! And the younger one can always be asked to emulate the older one if they ever want to achieve the dizzying heights of accomplishment on display at that level. One day, beta/beti, you too will do potty in the bathroom.

Any other reasons why people should go for the second one? Feel free to share.