Showing posts with label a little bit of me. Show all posts
Showing posts with label a little bit of me. Show all posts

Monday, July 2, 2012

Travails of a work-from-home mom

The art of conducting an involved conversation with a toddler from behind a closed door. Work related phone calls to the tune of background screeching and whining. Super quick bathroom breaks, before your toddler who’s convinced that mommy has vanished into dark oblivion, breaks the door down. Even quicker showers that leave you feeling that emerging from a whirlwind might be more relaxing. Protecting your laptop as you try and work, from pint sized elements who think tapping away at laptop keys is an exciting form of recreation. Coffee breaks with the Teletubbies.

Sounds familiar? If it doesn’t, welcome to the world of a ‘Work from Home Mom’.

When I first became a mother, along with the joys of endless nappy changes and sleepless nights, I was also introduced to the complex terminology used to classify different types of mothers. There were SAHMs or stay-at- home moms and WOHMs or working-out-of-the- home moms. And somewhere in between were the WFHMs, or the work-from- home moms, whose category I soon joined.

Initially, I was smugly satisfied about the whole work-from-home concept. After several years of killer commutes, long hours peering at a computer screen in fluorescent light and suffering the tasteless dishwater most office vending machines serve up in the name of coffee, working from home felt a little like having your cake and eating it too. With an extra cherry and frosted icing thrown in for good measure. I would get to spend time with my daughter without giving up on work I loved doing. Plus, with office being a hop and a skip away (quite literally), there would be no commuting woes; I could work in my pajamas if I so wanted from the comforts of my home and have easy access to freshly brewed coffee.

Working from home would be a breeze, I thought.

I was in for a rude shock.

While working from home has its unparalleled benefits especially when you’re a mother, it is certainly no cakewalk.For one, there is the small matter of getting afore mentioned pint sized elements to behave while you try and get some work done. Given that the PSE’s are prone to unreasonable tantrums and sudden urges to go potty, especially when you’re in the middle of an important call, the whole work from home jig can become quite challenging. Of course you can hire help to look after your kids, but that often throws up a whole new set of challenges in uncharted territory. Finding good help, for one. And then training said help to care for your kids while you work.

I remember emerging from a seven second shower (the norm, when you’re any kind of mom, unless you’re really lucky) once, eager to get some work done, only to nearly step on my daughter and her nanny who were both camping on the bathmat outside.
“We were waiting for you to come out and tell us what to do” said the nanny matter-of-factly when I demanded to know why my daughter was getting intimate with the bathmat instead of doing something constructive with her time.  “After all you are at home only, no?”

Being ‘at home only, no’ can be far more difficult than getting away to an office where you can neatly compartmentalize your home and work life. Not so much at home, where even if you are lucky to have a somewhat secluded space to do your work in, people always manage to find you. I made the mistake of having a dining table office in the first couple of weeks when I started working from home. Apart from having to share work space with the breakfast dishes, this also put me in the precarious position of being within easy reach of my open plan kitchen from where my rather chatty cook would feel free to strike up a conversation about the latest skirmish in the neighbor’s house or her son’s school report, whenever the fancy struck her.
Besides, when you are at home, you have increased visibility of the things that you could have happily ignored had you been away at an office. Like the dust bunnies lurking in the corners or the pile of growing laundry. Even if, like me, you are adept at ignoring these little housekeeping niggles, it can be tough to ignore the attitude of assorted people who will drop in announced just because ‘you are at home’ or call you whenever the fancy strikes them to give you elaborate updates on their dog’s gastric condition, completely ignoring the fact that you may be trying to get some work done.

Or people who give you the ‘yeah, right’ look when you tell them you work from home. As in “yeah, right, and I’m Santa’s little helper.”
“Its okay didi, I know” my cook whispered to me conspiratorially last week, when I reminded her for the umpteenth time to get on with her work and let me get on with mine, instead of giving me the latest scoop on building gossip.
“You know what?” I asked, slightly confused.
“I know what you really do. The lady on the 9th floor in whose house I work said that there is no such thing as ‘work from home’. She said you must be just doing some time pass on the internet.”

Yes, so being a work-from-home mom is not for the faint-hearted. And I’m not even getting started on the bad days when schools are shut, or the children fall ill or the help mysteriously disappear to their gaons for vague, unexplained reasons. So the next time, someone you know tells you she’s a work-from-home mom, give her an encouraging pat on the back. Even better, take her out for coffee or offer to watch her kids while she takes a luxurious ten minute shower. Trust me, she deserves it.

Originally written for 'The Punekar'

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Book Predators

We've all met them. The Book Predators who borrow your books and never return them. I was introduced to them fairly early in life, probably because the collective love for books that ran in my family had ensured that I had a massive collection of wonderful books from a very young age. At first I had no problem lending my books to people I knew. I'd derived several hours of pure joy thanks to a particularly wonderful book that I had chanced upon at a friend or relative's house and that they had been kind enough to lend me, and I knew only too well the thrill one gets when one feels that instant connect with a book, the blissful feeling of losing oneself between its covers, savoring the moment when one can get back to it after a break and basking in that warm feeling after a delightful read, reliving the high points and knowing that you could reach out to savour them all over again.

'Anne of Green Gables' was one such find, I'd come across it at a family friend's house where we'd been invited for dinner and had spent the evening devouring it, much to the chagrin of the other kids who were one player short for a detective game they wanted to play. 'What Katy Did Next' was another. 'A Suitable Boy' was read over the course of a weekend at my aunt's, hidden under the duvet by my cousin's bed so the adults couldn't find me and send me packing to the club for swimming lessons with my cousins.

And so I lent my books as well, to friends who asked, hoping that this would be the start of a wonderful relationship between them and my beloved book. And that's when I encountered the Book Predators. Those heartless souls who steal your books without a second thought, with no intention of ever returning them. I had no idea how to deal with them then and the years haven't made me any wiser. If at all, it was easier when I was a child, I could just impose the 'House Rules' on them, namely, direct them to my parents for permission before borrowing a book or simply state that I was not allowed to lend books. This backfired quite often, especially if the parent in question was my mother who tended to have a rather liberal, 'ah, these things happen' outlook when a book went missing, and who in general felt that I read way too much anyway and would be better off being out of doors instead. Still, there were times when I was able to save my books thanks to the 'House Rules'. However the problem with house rules is that they tend to become redundant after a point. That point is typically reached when you find you now have a house of your own, and worse still you are now the parent and the figure of authority, so you can't exactly tell that beady eyed female spectre eyeing your beloved Wodehouse that you have to check with Daddy first.

I have no problem lending my books to someone who I know shares my love and respect for books and who I know will return a borrowed book in good condition eventually. But what does one do with a predator? The new acquaintance who borrows a book and promptly forgets all about it. The relative who forgets that it was your book they'd borrowed and lends it to someone else and then loses track of it. The sister in law's friend who moves to a new country taking three of your precious books along and proceeds to completely lose touch with both you and the sister in law.

What does one do? Taking a cue from a friend, who's lost several books of her own, I began to write 'STOLEN FROM MANASI' in large, bold letters on the front page of all my books in an attempt to dissuade potential book predators. It didn't work. A friend's wife borrowed one such book three years ago and it vanished into near oblivion. This was one of my favourite books and it had been gifted by a dear friend, so it had that much more sentimental value attached to it. I tried asking for it politely after a longish time period had passed, definitely enough for the friend's wife to have read it three times over.
"I haven't even read it yet!" she laughed breezily.
"In that case, why the hell did you borrow it in the first place?" I asked. In my head of course, as I smiled politely and told her to take her time.
I asked again after some more time had elapsed. And again, the reminders getting less polite each time. I never got the book back. They moved to another city some time later and we lost touch. A few days ago I happened to be in the same city they were in and my friend invited us over for dinner. And there was my beloved book, bang in the center of the arty looking bookshelf, ensconced between a film magazine and a trade journal, gazing at me beseechingly. What happened next was bizarre. I politely asked the friend's wife if it was the same book she'd borrowed from me. She flatly denied it and said it was her own. What's more she had no recollection of ever having borrowed such a book from me. I asked if I could look at the book and opened it to the first page where my own handwriting and the words 'STOLEN FROM MANASI' awaited me. The friend's wife found this hilarious. She'd forgotten that she'd ever borrowed this book, forgotten that she'd ever had it all these years. The worst part? She hadn't even read it.

P doesn't get my frustration with the Book Predators. His attitude is, you can't really refuse point blank if someone asks to borrow a book. So you lend it and hope for the best. If you don't get it back, you can always buy it again. I disagree. It's not just about buying the book again. It's all the memories and the special moments associated with that one particular book. The book that accompanied you on your first train journey alone. The book that you bought to celebrate getting into b-school and that spent that first year with you in your hostel room. The book that you discovered, and later fell in love with, on a crowded, dusty shelf in the airport bookstore of a seaside town as you waited for a long delayed flight, while the rain Gods unleashed their torrential fury outside. A newly purchased book clinically bought as a replacement can never bring those memories back.

Its not like I don't fight for my books. There are some people to whom you can lend your books without a second thought. Then there are the others, who fall into the grey category; some of these people could be predators. I've been rude and refused to lend my books point blank. I've laid down conditions and told them the reason why. I've had to follow up and remind people to return my books. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't. But it's always painful. People get offended and relationships get strained. And books still go missing. And until I find that elusive perfect solution I guess I must suffer. What about you? How do you guard your books against the Book Predators?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A 'once upon a time...' with a very happy ending!

Once upon a time, long long ago, in a far away land there lived a Young Girl who loved to read. Well, maybe it was 2003 and the land was Gurgaon, but the point is this girl really, really loved books. She also loved to write and in a distant past had written reams and reams of prose and poetry, but that love for writing had sort of got overtaken with a million other seemingly important things-to-be-done that had crowded up her life. Things like building-a-career and getting-ahead-in-life and climbing-the-corporate-ladder.

Once in a while the Young Girl did stop however to smell the roses. Or rather, in her case, since roses weren't that abundant in Gurgaon at the time, she stopped to read some books. Lots of books. For long hours into the night and whenever she could catch a quick break during a busy work day. In lunch hours and on the road and sometimes, when the book was particularly unputdownable, even in the office loo (just don't mention this to anyone okay? thanks). And on weekends. Oh those glorious, languorous weekends filled with hours and hours of reading.

At the end of one such particularly happy weekend, the Young Girl, feeling quite inspired by some of the tomes she'd read, said impulsively to her husband: "Someday, I want to write a book."
She half expected him to laugh off her statement but to her surprise he turned around and said, "Yes, you should. You write well. Why don't you do it?"
"I will...someday", the Young Girl laughed and went on with the rest of her life. But somewhere in her head the thought had firmly planted itself. Someday she would write a book. She had a very good idea of the sort of book it would be. It would be a funny book, but it would also be very romantic and it would capture several nuances of the corporate life the Young Girl lived and breathed every day. The Young Girl began to look at life with a different perspective. Every experience became a vignette that she could capture in The Book. A batty boss screaming because the font size in the sixteenth presentation of the day was light green and not deep purple stopped becoming a source of frustration and became an inspiration instead.
"I will write about this batty boss in The Book" she'd tell herself as she modified the font colour.

The Young Girl had a close friend at work and she confided her plans to write to her too. The close friend was most encouraging.
"You must write!" she urged "Sometimes when you speak, you're so animated, it's like watching a real-life version of Tom & Jerry! What fun if you can put some of those thoughts down in a book!" The Young Girl was most encouraged and her dream of The Book became stronger and stronger.

A few years later the Not-So-Young Girl had moved to a different city and a different job. A lot of things in her life had changed but some things remained the same. She was still busy with building-a-career and getting-ahead-in-life and climbing-the-corporate-ladder. She still had a Dream for The Book, and often, this dream helped her cope with some of the less than rosy realities life often threw her way. Then the Not-So-Young Girl went through a big life changing experience. She had a baby. Her life, or what remained of of it that hadn't turned topsy-turvy as lives often do when you bung a baby into the picture, began to revolve around the baby. She took a break from building-a-career and getting-ahead-in-life and climbing-the-corporate-ladder to focus on the baby. And that's when her husband reminded her about her Dream for The Book.
"Why don't you write the book now that you're on a break?" he asked "You may never get the chance again."

The Not-So-Young-Girl knew he was right. Now was the best time to begin. And so the Dream began to become a reality. She started writing her book. She wrote when the baby was asleep, in the afternoons, for long hours into the night, on weekends and holidays when her husband took care of the baby. And she realized that she was happier doing that than she had been for a long time. Suddenly, building-a-career and getting-ahead-in-life and climbing-the-corporate-ladder didn't seem so important any more.

She had her days of course. Days of self- doubt, severe crises-of-confidence, of feeling like a lost ship with the lighthouse nowhere on the horizon.
She would often wake up her husband with cries of "I don't know what I'm doing! What if I'm not a writer! What if nobody likes what I write! What if I don't even know how to write? What am I doing?!"
"Just write your book" her husband would tell her. "You're doing great. But I'm going to have to move to the guest room to catch up on sleep if you're going to make these 4am conversations a regular feature."

One day, at long last, The Book was finished! The NSYG (I'm getting carpal tunnel syndrome with all this typing, and I guess you're not exactly thrilled with reading that over and over are you?)was ecstatic!
"I've done it! I've written The Book!" she exulted.
"Fantastic!" said her husband, who'd read every single word himself and suffered inordinately through all her "I've written five more words! Read, read, read! What d'you think? Huh, huh, huh?"
"And now to get it published!" he said with a smile.
"Published" squeaked the NSYG "The Book you mean? I have to get it published?"
"Unless, of course, you want to get it pickled or bottled?" asked her husband wryly.

And so the NSYG, resisting the strong urge to curl up under a corner of her duvet, began the long drawn out task of getting The Book published. She approached a publisher she had dreamed of being published with, in some of her many wild day dreams, and sent them a synopsis of The Book. And waited. And badgered the husband with more whiny 4am pleas "D'you think they'll get back? D'you think they might be even remotely interested? Huh? Huh? HUH?"
"Relax, lets wait and see how it goes" her husband always replied calmly, even as he eyed the guest room earnestly.
A couple of weeks later the publishers replied. They liked what they saw, and could the NSYG please send the complete manuscript as soon as possible?
The NSYG promptly turned into an absolute nervous wreck and spent two feverish all nighters reading and re-reading and refining The Book. Finally, with her eyes feeling like buttons and fingers like jelly she sent out her manuscript.
And waited again. And waited some more. And had nightmares about the chief editor hating her manuscript at the end of which she'd wake up her husband on the verge of a near nervous breakdown. And had dreams about the chief editor liking the manuscript at the end of which she'd wake up her husband in a happy haze.
"Do you think she'll like it? What if she hates it? What will I do? My life will be over. Waahhh!!!"
"Hey you know what, she liked my book! She LIKED it! Oh crap, it was a dream! Oh crap! Waahhhh!"
And on and on. Her husband held her hand, and wiped her tears and assured her all would be well. He also moved into the guest room.
One day she got a call from the chief editor. She liked the book, would the NSYG like to sign a contract with them?

At this point the NSYG went into a happiness-cum-hysteria induced near-coma and the husband had to be roped in to take things further.
The NSYG could only think of one thing. The dream had come true. The Book was going to be published. Her 'once upon a time' had a happy ending. And she was the happiest girl in the world!

P.S. Er, P, do you think you might want to move back into our room from the guest room anytime soon?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The one where I have nothing to blog about and so I shall ramble

Right, so just after I'd gotten myself all pepped up with all those noble intentions of blogging every week, I've discovered that the creative juices seem to have all but dried up. One minute I have a million ideas buzzing through the mind like Nikki on a sugar high (have you seen what a slice of birthday cake can do to an 18 month old, whose paranoid mother otherwise carefully monitors her sugar intake? *shudder*), the next minute my mind is a staggering blank. This is what happens to me when I don't blog regularly. I dunno if you've experienced this as well? When you're blogging regularly, you get so caught up in the enthusiasm of it all that as you write one post there are a million others brewing in your head like fresh espresso. And the writing flows easy, like a blob of butter meting on hot toast. And then you take a break and bam! It gets harder and harder to write and there are millions of unfinished drafts until you're convinced the blogging part of your brain has sort of fossilized because of the lack of use.

Of course in my characteristic organized and disciplined way, I regularly fail to jot down the inspiring thoughts that flit through my mind a thousand times a day providing much needed blogging fodder. Instead I just let them whir around in my head like windmills and when its finally time to sit down and do the actual writing bit it gets a tad tough dealing with all the cacophony that's flying around inside. The domestic woes that have plagued me of late haven't helped any. But its all going to change for the better soon I hope because I have finally found someone who is willing to share in the domestic burden and she will be coming on board soon. In fact she was here yesterday for a few hours and I felt rather proud as I took her down to the park with Nikki, like a coy bride, showing off her macho, rich husband.

Strange how much havoc lack of domestic help can wreak in your life. Specially when you've gotten used to them and life has fallen into a comfortable pattern and then they suddenly hit you with the disappearing act. I was quite indignant about the whole thing initially and declared to P that I was never going to depend on a bai again.
"Cooking and cleaning and child care, I can do it all on my own!" I screamed vehemently. " I don't need any of these nasty bais. What's more I'll be a super mom and a yummy mummy and a domestic goddess to boot!! I'll show 'em all!"
"Right" said P in a resigned sort of voice and went off to order pizza while I collapsed on the couch at the sheer exhaustion of thinking of it all.
Anyway things seem to be back on track now and hopefully they'll stay that away. Anti jinx chant, anti jinx chant, anti jinx chant. Dear Goddess in Charge of Bai Karma up there, I've had my share of misfortune, please bestow your blessings and goodwill on me now, thankyouverymuch. While we're on the subject of domestic help I also have to mention this fabulous dhobi I've found! Yeah, see how exciting my life is? I'm devoting a whole post to the bai and the dhobi, it doesn't get better than this! I wonder what the girl I was seven years ago would say to me now, as she toiled in a swanky office with corner office dreams in her eyes. That being as it may, this is the way life as I've chosen it seems to be panning out at the moment and I can't say I haven't enjoyed the ride so far. So anyway, getting back, this guy, the dhobi is absolutely fabulous! He's punctual and regular, does a fabulous job with the clothes quite unlike Rajkumar The Rascal and get this- he smiles and wishes me with a polite 'Good Morning Madam' when I open the door. Oh yes, life seems to be getting back on track all right. Hopefully the weight loss wagon, off which I'd fallen so long ago that I don't even remember what it looks like anymore, will get back on track too and I'll leave it at that. (Note to self: Consistency is going to the gym everyday, not once in six months). There, now that I've put it on the blog I'll have to hit the gym! Then again, I have mentioned the battle of the bulge earlier haven't I and it didn't really shame me into doing anything about it. Oh well. Onwards ho to the gym then, I'm sure that gym instructor whom I'd earnestly assured that I would be terribly regular at my last visit a few years ago is going to want to have a word with me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A tag by any other name...

Blogging has been a bit slow lately thanks to the internet connection (hello you!) which has been acting more mercurial that the Rain Gods themselves. It had reached a stage where I'd become quite superstitious about switching the blasted internet switch on without an elaborate 'switch it on' ritual, you never know when the Internet Gods decide they are displeased after all and go on the blink without so much as a by-your-leave. Matters have been resolved since thankfully, and I can finally get down to the tag on gender stereotypes that Piper and Momo's Ma had tagged me to do some time ago. I've had great fun doing this tag, though I'm not so sure if it conforms exactly to the popular notion of gender stereotypes. From what I can see around me, not conforming to a stereotype is fast becoming a stereotype in itself these days, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway so here goes:

1. I DETEST shopping, and am completely hopeless at buying stuff for myself. P on the other hand loves shopping and can spend HOURS even at the local mom and pop store, shopping for household groceries. Most of our joint shopping expeditions end with me having to drag him kicking and screaming back home, when I reach the end of my tether and am on the verge of collapsing into a shopping induced dead faint. P is an excellent shopper though (I think Becky Bloomwood could take tips from him) and can be counted on for finding excellent picks in all sorts of stores ranging from high fashion to hardware.

2. I'm a pretty good cook, even if I do say so myself, but my culinary skills  fall short when it comes to making rotis; for the life of me I just can't get it right.  The dough is either too lumpy or too gooey and on the rare occasion that I get that right the rotis themselves decide that they would much rather masquerade as maps of assorted continents. Only once in my life did I manage to make perfect looking, almost circular rotis and I stored them away carefully to show them to P. When I unveiled them proudly later that evening I found, much to my horror, that they had hardened into completely inedible, rock solid slabs that would require a hammer if one were to attempt breaking them into bite sized pieces. Its all rather sad, because I really do love cooking and roti making is an art I would love to master.

3. Like a lot of other bloggers I read who've done this tag, I'm not into make up at all. Way back when we were just friends and P didn't know me too well, he'd fondly bought me a (really nice, come to think of it) state of the art makeup kit as a birthday gift from one his trips abroad,  which had stuff I'd never even heard of before(eyelash tip darkener anyone?). Eight years later the make up kit occupies pride of place; in my special keepsakes basket where I've stored stuff from the past that has sentimental value. Needless to say and much to poor P's chagrin it is completely untouched. Not that I have anything against makeup, in fact I'm rather awed by its power, but most days I just can't get myself to do more than run a comb through my hair and put on some lip gloss. Also I guess the older you get the more difficult it is to break old, entrenched habits; the one time I was coerced by a well meaning friend into wearing some lipstick and kohl at an office party, I spent the evening feeling hideously pan-caked and couldn't wait to go home and wash my face squeaky clean. The friend hasn't given up since and I'm nothing if not open to change, so you never know, I may just metamorphose into the next fat mu pro yet.

4. I love traveling, and mostly alone. I find traveling alone the best way to recharge my batteries, get my thoughts sorted and connect with myself. I haven't traveled alone for leisure for a very long time now, but back when I was working I'd enjoy even the solitary work related trips. I'd like to do a back packing trip on my own some day, though with my newly developed tendencies to get panic attacks about what might happen to Nikki when I'm in a 1.5 minute shower I don't see that happening anytime soon.

5. I'm excellent at packing and unpacking stuff and am the designated packer (and un-packer) for vacations, short trips, weekend getaways and even moving home. In fact after our relocation from Bombay last year when Nikki was under three months old, with minimal help, I think I can single handedly manage any kind of move now.

6. I'm a whiz at ironing clothes and can easily put the local dhobi out of business if I try (not sure if this is a gender stereotype but have you noticed how the local dhobi is almost always a man?). I have a half a mind to do so too considering the local dhobi in question has been trying to fleece us out of home and hearth by his money laundering ways.

7. The other thing that I'm a whiz at is giving a good head massage *Brief pause here to make a quick plea to The Lord. Dear Lord, while I truly am grateful for my blessings, do you not think in the next round you could bless me with some more conventional and infinitely more useful skills? Like singing and maybe strumming the guitar for example?* So yeah, the local champi wala is the other guy I can easily put out of business.

8. I'm not a terribly maternal person, and for the longest time I wasn't sure if I would be a good mother. Having Nikki has changed all that, though I have to say P is a whole lot better than I am at most things when it comes to her as well. I hope he doesn't read this post.

9. I don't particularly enjoy and am terrible at multitasking. The image of the super mommy who brilliantly manages home, work, social life and a gazillion other things does inspire awe but also scares me a little bit. Give me one thing to focus on any day and I'll do a much better job than if I'm trying to manage fifty other things at the same time.

10. I rather like gymming, even if I'm not the most terribly regular person around, and have constant visions of myself in a size zero avatar, dressed in the latest Juicy couture gym attire as I effortless power my way through a grueling cardio and strength training routine like a sleek powerhouse of energy and grace. In the meantime, I'll settle for plodding along on the treadmill huffing and puffing away in my current size 86 real life version.

I think the whole world and its aunt has done this tag by the time I've finally gotten around to doing it so there really isn't anyone left to tag. Guess I'll settle for the blue pants, I prefer 'em to the blue skirt any day :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Just catching up!

It's been a long break; it feels good to be back!
Although I must admit, I have been rather slack

After grumbling away at the lack of a single tag
I find I have THREE unfinished in my bag!

This one's for MRC, my partner in crime
Who inspires me to spout pomes, time after time!

Dear MRC, d'you remember sometime ago?
We started some silly rhymes and then really got into the flow!

I dedicate to you this particular little ditty,
I would've written more, but more's the pity

The husband's read my rhymes, they packed 'im quite a wallop
'Egad! Please stick to prose!' begged he, and so I've gotta stop

So thank you dear friend, your tags I love to do
I will proceed now to complete tag number two :)

Alright you can heave that sigh of relief now, I'm not turning to poetry as a form of creative expression. This was just an unfinished, long overdue tag from MRC who had also tagged me to do the seven random things about me tag. So here goes.

First the rules:
1. You have to tag seven people
2. You have to link their pages in your tag post
3. You have to leave a comment in their comments section telling them they've been tagged
4. You have to say who tagged you

1. I have this thing with books. I love reading and when I start a book I simply have to finish it, no matter how boring it may be or how much I dislike it. I will crib and rant to anyone who cares to listen and drive myself into a headache inducing frenzy, but finish the book I will. I'm stuck with one such now :(

2. I lurrrve Shahrukh Khan. I fell in love with him after watching Darr and Baazigar and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na back to back- a special post-board exams treat many years ago and the love affair has endured. Everyone else in my family hates him with a vengeance; when I left home to do my MBA my mom tore down several (life size) SRK posters that occupied pride of place in my bedroom and called the neighbors over for a celebratory cup of chai. Many of my close friends (who share similar sentiments as my family) refuse to believe this SRK loving side to me, the only reason many of them are still friends with me is because I also love Johnny Depp.

3. I also have this thing with music. No, I don't have to listen to a song even if I detest it, thank the Lord, but if I do like a particular song I listen to it ALL THE TIME. Over and over again. Anytime, anywhere, wherever I go and I also keep it humming it and playing it in my head over and you get the drift. I love rock music. I also like Bollywood music, especially the dhinchak dhinchak kind- my current favorite is 'Uff teri adaa' from KCK. If you're in a pub or a bar and the sound of this particular song causes an otherwise strong looking chappie to turn pale and groan silently, there's a good chance that the chappie in question might be P. I've been subjecting him to it endlessly whenever he's around.

4. For the longest time, I wasn't sure if I wanted to have kids. I wasn't sure if I was ready. And now I can't imagine life without Nikki. An hour or two away from home and I get this unbearable urge to rush back home and blow raspberries on her tummy. I wasn't even sure if I would be a good mom but I think I'm doing okay. Still don't know too many nursery rhymes though.

5. When I eat oranges, I eat everything except the outer rind. The soft inner, wispy white skin, the seeds, the threads, I eat 'em all. Even the childhood threat that an orange tree would grow out of my belly button if I continued eating oranges in this fashion didn't deter me. Oh, and I love oranges and can wolf down half a dozen at one go!

6. I've been in search of the elusive, perfect haircut all my life, at least since I was old enough to go get my own haircut. I go to every new hairdresser with hope in my eyes and visions of a Jennifer Anistonish haircut  swimming in my mind, but true to its nature, the elusive perfect haircut has continued to me elude me thus far. Still there is always hope and I will be off to get a new haircut this Saturday.

7. I'm a chocoholic. Dangerous things have been known to happen when I've been left alone in the house with anything that is chocolate and edible. If there were a Chocoholics Anonymous local chapter in my neighborhood I'd have been the founding member. Or the chairperson. Things have gotten so bad now, what with the post pregnancy weight loss struggle (Yes it's still on, and if you've lost all your excess pounds don't tell me about it okay?) that I beg P not to get any chocolates for me whenever he travels abroad, give him a hard time for doing precisely that when he gets back and then forage around for chocolate from hapless people whom he does get chocolates for. It's really quite sad :( Last night, overcome with unbearable cocoa cravings while watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I ordered a Domino's pizza just so I could order some Chocolate Lava Cake along with it. I ordered two cakes; one for me and one for P, which was really rather generous of me, given that he doesn't even get any chocolates for me when he travels abroad. Except that when the pizza arrived he was already asleep and so I ended up eating both. Sigh, all this talk of chocolate is making me rather hungry. Maybe I'll just go make myself a cup of hot chocolate....

Okay so I know I'm horribly late and everyone who wanted to has probably already done this tag, but in case you haven't and if you feel like it, give it a shot won't you- Momo's Ma, Aneela, comfortablynam, Priyanka, Mindful Meanderer, Veena and Divs.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mommy made a boo boo

Eeeps. I've just about recovered from the most Horribly Mortifying Experience (HME)this evening. Just about enough to write this post. I'll be taking myself off to curl up in a ball and whimper under the blanket post the post, a-ha-ha-ha.
Right. The HME seems to have damaged the killer sense of wit as well.

Getting back, so there I was taking my customary evening jroll (jog-stroll, its what I do okay?) in the park, while S watched over Nikki and tried to bung in some formula into her. I was jrolling absent mindedly, minding my own business when suddenly I spotted HIM. There he was, sitting in front of my helpless Nikki's pram FEEDING her formula, while S just stood there simpering. What the hell?!! I thought to myself, bubbling over with rage. How can this MORON just randomly feed my child like that? I mean he probably doesn't even know how to feed a baby! Even S has just about managed to get the hang of it after WEEKS of painstaking effort and training! And we've just started feeding her with the sippy cup, what if he tilts it incorrectly? What if the flow is too fast? What if Nikki chokes! Aaaaarrrghhhh!! I charged towards them like a raging bull determined to take their collective cases. Bajao them like there was no tomorrow. Or no bajaoing for that matter.

"WHAT THE HELL are you doing feeding MY child??!!!" I yelled and froze mid sentence, gaping like a goldfish as I locked eyes with P. My husband. Just sitting there, feeding his child. "Oh hi honey" P said mildly looking up from Nikki and the sippy cup "Err she's my child too isn't she?"

Quick flashback to some eighteen years ago when an impressionable twelve year old was told at her regular eye check up that the twin sources of sight on her face were about to get some company. Of the glassy kind. Being the impressionable kind the young lass thought back to the time when a wise friend had told her 'Guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses'.
Egad! said the young lass to herself, I shan't wear them either! Not unless its absolutely necessary you know. Of course the guys and the passes continued to remain absent, but the lass plodded on undeterred in her resolve of not wearing glasses. Unless it was absolutely necessary of course. What followed were a series of comic (in hindsight) events wherein the lass looked through some of her loved ones, gave the blatant cold shoulder to the closest of friends and waved or smiled at complete strangers triggering an assortment of unfortunate events.

And then one day something really embarrassing happened. The young lass trotted out one evening after college to a spot where a good friend was supposed to pick her up for a play. Good friend drove a white Maruti 800 and was often spotted wearing a red cap. As the lass neared the appointed spot she caught sight of a white Maruti 800 waiting. A figure in a red cap lurked behind the wheel. She dove right in with a loud and cheery HIII! only to freeze mid way and glance in horror at the complete stranger who was glancing back. In complete horror himself. "M-m-m-m-madam aapko kya chahiye?" the poor soul implored beseechingly. The lass jumped out as swiftly as she had jumped in, her face a fiery shade of red. Only to see her good friend doubled over with laughter a few feet away. He had been waiting for the lass and had been stunned to see her march past and jump into another car. Of course he recovered from the shock soon enough to find the whole situation terribly funny and made it a point to narrate the incident to every single person they met later that day, with a generous dollop of masala added for good effect.

To cut a long, agonizing story short, the lass decided that Enough was Enough and Something Had To Be Done. She launched a valiant search for the perfect solution and soon enough she discovered it. The wonderful world, as seen from the perfect, safe and not overtly glassy world of contact lenses.
Life was bliss. Life went on. The young lass even met a few of those guys who did make passes and she married one of them. They even had a baby. And then life got busy. The disposable contact lenses the not so young anymore lass used were used up quickly. The not so young lass didn't have the time to go buy new ones. Being a tired new mum as well as a lazy jackass she didn't go out to get new ones. Of course she didn't wear her glasses either. Not unless it was absolutely necessary. Even though she was blind as a bat, well nearly so, without them. Not that she wanted any guys to makes passes at her of course. No No No, she was so over that. *Smiles ingratiatingly at P* It was just, you know, force of habit.

As the observant reader may have guessed the lass (not so young anymore)is me and the long and agonizing (to narrate, YOU better enjoy reading it)story is mine. So there I was, a familiar shade of red, What The Hell'ing my husband as he looked back at me unfazed. After six years of marriage, he goes through these things unblinking. Comes with the territory.
In my defense, P was supposed to be traveling that day and return much much later at night so I could be excused at being caught completely off guard and thinking the male figure I saw feeding my baby was some random stranger. I mean my husband was supposed to be a thousand miles away. How the hell could I even have guessed that he would land up in the park of all places and that too at 5pm?

I was just telling myself as much and beginning to feel a tiny bit better. I mean these things happen right? It could have happened to anybody!
And then I heard her. My house help S, rolling over with mirth as she narrated the funeee storee to her gaggle of friends, who in turn took it upon themselves to spread the word, far and wide. Furtive amused glances were shot my way and I heard a few muffled giggles amidst S's brays of laughter, curse her blasted tonsils.

Gathering the few remaining shreds of dignity around me I picked up Nikki in my arms and looked her in the eye. "Mommy made a boo boo honey" I told her ruefully and marched off to the safe embrace of my home. Where I shall continue to remain for the rest of my blasted life.
Only stepping out under cover of darkness to purchase some new lenses. And a wig and some fake teeth while I'm at it to restart life with a new identity.

*Edited to add: Comments expressing sympathy and commiseration are MOST welcome. As are narrations of your own embarrassing experiences. Trust me, they can't beat my own.*