Showing posts with label this and that. Show all posts
Showing posts with label this and that. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The 'happy party'

So its been a while since I posted here last. Not counting the Punekar posts which were written some time back and which I decided to put up just to fill in the increasingly growing gap between posts. The last three months have been far from rosy and for a while I had just given up on everything, blogging included. It all started with P falling ill, followed in close succession by Nikki, which I blogged about here. Just when life seemed to be limping back to normal and things were getting back on track, Nikki fell ill again. Except that this time round it wasn't the routine fall ill- go to the doctor-take a dose of antibiotics jig that we had kind of gotten used to, given the number of times she's been unwell ever since she started playschool. No, what happened this time round made the whole go to the doctor- take antibiotics routine seem like a faraway, rosy dream. It was a complete nightmare from the word go, comprising a week's stay in the hospital, two days of which were spent in the ICU. My first and only visit to a hospital before this was when Nikki was born and that was something I had prepped for, for over a year. This time round it was unexpected and scarily so. Its been well over a month, nearly two, since this happened but even now just the thought of that hospital stay gives me nightmares. The only good thing that came of the entire episode, even though I wouldn't have thought such a thing possible at the time, was that the short, harrowing hospital stay helped me get a lot of things in perspective. They say illness always gives you a new, sometimes improved perspective on life. Very true in my case. This episode happened at a time when I certainly needed some perspective and I got it by the cartloads. And cliched as it may sound, I think somewhere it has left me a wiser person. I can handle any shit Mr Murphy (he seems rather fond of me) chooses to throw my way now. Having said that, an illness of this magnitude for Nikki is certainly not something I want to undergo ever again. I would much rather happily go under a truck. Even a multitude of trucks. Its one thing to be ill yourself or even watch another adult suffer. Its excruciatingly difficult when its your young child and its not something I think I have the fortitude to bear again. Food for thought that, considering I've always considered myself to be a rather strong person otherwise, but this episode left me shattered. For weeks after we'd got back home and even after Nikki was back to her usual naughty little chatterbox self, I was moping around wallowing in self pity, feeling quite fed up with life.

Life, meanwhile, went about her business with nary a care as she is wont to. The maid vanished into thin air a few days after we got back from the hospital without so much as a by-your-leave. The dhobi continued to delight with burnt shirts and mysteriously stained collars. The people who live on the floor right above us carried on with their all year round home renovation program which gives one the constant impression of living under either a bowling alley or a hammer wielder with a particularly nasty temper, or on some particularly good days, both. All delightful little reminders that the show must go on and you really have no choice but to pull up your socks and get on with it. And eventually, time will heal all wounds even if it doesn't necessarily erase all memories, and life will seem less miserable even with the bais who don't show up and the errant dhobis. (I draw the line at the people on top though, they really are a a royal pain.)

In other news, in all of this general chaos and turmoil, my beloved book was launched. I really couldn't give it the attention or the time it deserved, much less blog about it but I hope to be able to do that now. All in all, it has been around for a couple of months now and by the grace of God its doing well. The reviews have been very encouraging, its made it to the Landmark best-seller list two weeks in a row(Woo Hoo!) and readers have written in to me with very ego boosting kind of stuff which could have potentially gone to my head if it hadn't been for the able support of my family who've taken it upon themselves to keep me grounded.In their own special ways, of course. A couple of months ago when the book had just been launched, an impromptu get-together was organized at my aunt's home. "Read from the book!" someone shouted.
I blushingly obliged. Surrounded by a gaggle of aunts and cousins, heart thumping so hard in my mouth I could barely get the words out, I nervously read from what I hoped was one of the funnier bits in the book. A frozen silence ensued. Baffled looks were exchanged.
"Erm, are we supposed to laugh now? That was the funny bit was it?" inquired a bewildered voice.
Yep, don't think there's any danger of my developing a swollen head anytime soon. They help me stay grounded, my family, they do.

I was chatting with my mum on the phone about the last three months the other day and I told her I was fed up with all the worrying and the fretting and that 'the pity party was over'.
"What is a pity party Mama?" chirped an inquisitive little voice at my elbow.
"Umm, a pity party is when you're feeling sad Nikks. But Mama has decided not to feel sad anymore."
"So Mama will be happy now? Have a happy party?"
And a happy party it will be. Let the good times roll.

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?

Friday, August 13, 2010

An update-y sort of post

Perfect Posture, PERFECT POSTURE
Sit up straight, Sit up STRAIGHT
Grow up to be pr-e-e-ty
Grow up to be h-a-aa-a-ndsome
Do not slouch

Just in case you've been wondering why I haven't been blogging of late (yeah right, I know), its because I've been spending every waking moment singing the afore mentioned 'Perfect Posture' song to Nikki. Well, not entirely true, we do take a break now and then for 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' and 'Do you have a Sunshine Smile?', but mostly its 'Perfect Posture' All.Day.Long. I guess this is her way of making me pay for all the times I made her listen to Dekha Tujhe Dekha, my all time fave song from Billu Barber when I was pregnant. At the time I used to think the baby was enjoying it too, considering all the activity that would start inside whenever the song came on, but now it only seems to make her angst-y so I'm thinking maybe not. So anyway, Perfect Posture is one of the many many (sigh) songs they sing at the mother toddler group and observant little Nikki likes a replay at home with the accompanying hand movements and all.
"Good Morning Nikki!" I'll say in a tremulous voice as she opens her eyes at the crack of dawn. "Shall I switch on some nice jazz for you? Or Yanni perhaps?"
"Hah, nice try!" snorts Nikki fixing me with a beady look. And then she slaps her knees in a commandeering way, signaling that it is time to start with 'Perfect Posture', the first rendition of many to come during the day.It has to be sung with the right intonations and accompanying hand gestures too, else some angry shrieks thrown my way demand that I start all over again. She remembers ever single nuance, just the way the teachers sing it at school. Of course all these brilliant powers of observation are kept on hold while we're at school where she refuses to display any of her many talents.
"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" the teacher will say "Show me your stars children!"
Most of the other kids around immediately oblige with the appropriate hand gesture bunching up their fingers like twinkling stars. Young Nikki examines her nails and gives a bored yawn.
"Nikki? Where are your stars darling?" asks the teacher hopefully. "Where are Nikki's stars? Oh okay, where are Nikki's fingers?"
Nikki's fingers are promptly stuck up her nose and a particularly obdurate glance is thrown at the teacher.
"Oh all right" says the defeated woman "Maybe she doesn't like this song, ha ha!"
Yeah right. Even the  auto wallah who ferries us to school everyday can sing it verbatim by now. With the accompanying hand gestures too, considering how Nikki metamorphoses into her "Let's revise everything we did in school today" mode the minute we step out of the school premises. This also means that while we are in the school she refuses to participate in most of the activities mom and baby are supposed to do together. Most of the other mom baby groups sit in nice little pairs with the mom manoeuvring baby's hands as they sing along to the song of the day. That looks cute. In our case, Nikki flings my hands away and trots off to a corner if I so much as try to touch her, while I do the whole song and act jig on my own. That does not look cute, I can assure you.
"Roly-Poly, Roly-Poly, Up, Up, Up!" I sing hopefully, rolling my hands around like a circus clown who's forgotten how to juggle.
"Get a life mother!" Nikki seems to say as she glowers at me from a corner.
Oh well. The good part is she really is enjoying  school tremendously and is learning loads of stuff. Like she now lets me brush her teeth instead of screaming blue murder whenever I approach her with her toothbrush because that's something the teachers show at school. And she's also learning to self feed with a spoon and a fork. Speaking of which she's majorly into pretend play these days and likes to pretend feed all her toys. She has become rather attached to a large doll, almost as large as Nikki herself, which my dad had gifted her and insists on having her around at mealtimes. She then attempts to feed the doll with a little bowl and spoon, making pretend munching sounds herself :) When we read books together, Dolly is always around too to listen to the story. We take Dolly with us when we go to the park, even though all she does is sit dolefully in the pram while Nikki runs amok pulling out flowers and leaves and clumps of grass. And we even put Dolly to bed before Nikki's own bedtime, Nikki pats her to sleep herself while I sing a lullaby. Inspired by all this, I thought it might be a good idea to involve Dolly in the all important Project Potty Training which we have embarked on these days. A few attempts of "Look what Dolly does when she wants to poop Nikki!" and "Oooh when Dolly wants to poop she sits on the potty!" have followed which don't seem to interest Nikki in the least bit. Any tips on how to go about potty training are most welcome!

In other news, Nikki seems to be going through some bit of separation anxiety these days, so its Mama! Mama! all day long. If I try going for a longer than usual shower or a bit of a lie in on weekends anxious cries of Mama! begin to resonate through the house. When she first started displaying this behavior I was quite overcome at this hereto undisplayed show of affection. So the first cry of Mama! would see me emerge sopping wet from the shower of spring out of bed with an eager "Yes Nikki? Mommy is here!", only to be met with a dismissive "Oh there you are. Run along now, just stay where I can see you so I know you're still here." Then there is this other new thing of getting stuff from all over the house to me and insisting that I hold it. It won't be uncommon for random visitors to my house to find me sitting at the dining table, trying to eat my lunch with Nikki's entire collection of soft toys piled up in my lap or on the couch trying to read a book with the day's newspapers, car keys, kitchen towels, bath mats and floor cushions for company. Any attempt to dislodge this carefully selected assortment is met with instant and earth shattering shrieks so I prefer to just stay put. Nikki's also become more demanding of my time now, wanting me to actively engage in activities with her as opposed to earlier when she was quite happy to potter about on her own. She does spend a fair bit of alone time too but just when I think she's quite happy playing with her shape sorter or her doll, a tiny, red faced little person will attach herself to my hip making it quite obvious from her expression that she's rather miffed at this blatant lack of attention. And now Her Majesty is back after a (rather short) nap and its that time of the day again. And if you don't know what I mean just go right back to the beginning of this post.

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 :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

If The Mommy Woman is not alert AT ALL TIMES.....

......she may find herself drifting into gentle slumber as little Nikki plays nearby, only to awaken to the feel of some strange sort of scraping on her posterior. On closer examination she may find that the source of the gentle scraping is little Nikki herself, busy doing up The Mommy Woman's  posterior (in need of renovation, yes, but this may not quite have been what The Mommy Woman was thinking) with The Mommy Woman's favorite lip gloss. Further inspection may reveal that little Nikki is quite the budding artist and has generously given of her talent to paint the bedspread, the pillow covers, several patches of the floor and The Mommy Woman's new handbag as well. Just as The Mommy Woman is recovering from the effect these startling sights are bound to have, the doorbell may ring to announce the arrival of the not so friendly new neighbors, stopping by to ask some questions about the neighborhood. The Mommy Woman may ask them inside and offer them a cup of tea but as she walks into her living room she may hear some strange sort of squeaks and snorts and the new neighbors may quickly excuse themselves citing that all important purchase of groceries as the excuse. The Mommy Woman may feel a little perplexed at this strange behavior until she catches sight of herself in a mirror as she turns a corner and sees that her posterior, encased in white tracks, is now a brilliant, shiny, glossy PINK. Did you know that on a pristine white background pink stands out really well? Well it does. Vivid.

And to think this is a child who eschews crayons unless it is to generally toss them around.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A special rainy day recipe

Ingredients: A large helping of torrential rains, some blustering wind, one weary adult and one cranky toddler

Preparation time: Take as long as you like!

Serves: Enough to knock out an army!


1. Take a generous helping of a toddler who wakes up at 4 a.m. and promptly attempts to careen headfirst over sleeping parents into the fascinating abyss that lies beyond the bed, thereby causing parents to snap out of slumber pronto with near panic attacks.
2. Stir in some wailing and crying and resisting all attempts to go back to bed, deigning to finally do so only at 6.30 a.m. when it is time for the hapless parents to rise and shine, all bleary eyed.
3. Sprinkle some shrieking like the mother-is-an-axe-murderer when attempts are made to lather/ rinse/ wipe or any other such activity that takes away from the all important task of playing and splashing around in the bath water. Ensure that you add at least one teaspoon of getting the hapless mother soaking wet in the process.
4. Gently fold in some more screeching and prancing around on the bed immediately post-bath, wriggling out of the mother's grasp and making it a point to stay in the middle of the bed which she can't get to because of afore mentioned soaking wet status.
5. Briskly whip in a couple of kilos of the stuff babies make, making sure the diaper is freshly blessed only after the help has left the house so that there is no one to aid the defenseless mother from The Attack of The Fingers That Squish.
6. Deftly add The Fingers That Squish to the mix, making sure you use them for other purposes like touching all objects that the eye can see, thereby necessitating Operation Clean Up No. 1.
7. In the micro nano second that it takes the mother to slip on a fresh diaper, stir in the wriggling-out-of-the-grasp act again and pee in at least three empty spaces. Stir briskly to a smooth consistency.
8. Add some relentless wailing and being a general crank to taste.
8. Add some finely chopped messing around in the freshly peed in spaces, necessitating Operation Clean Up No 2.
9. Repeat Steps 3 & 4. This time make sure to add a generous helping of shrieking and relentless wailing as mother attempts to put on a fresh diaper and change of clothes.
10. Whip to a smooth consistency, stirring in some of throwing up of the dinner, necessitating Operation Clean Up No. 3.
11. Add a generous smattering of taking approximately one hour, forty five minutes and 15 seconds to go into a state of gentle sleep insisting only on the finest patting and rocking to get there, ignoring the fact that mother now looks and feels like a sixty year old on the brink of senility. Wait for the flavors to infuse.
12. Garnish with waking up at the sound of the slightest peep for at least thirty minutes more, drifting off finally into a resigned sort of sleep. We have a 4 a.m. appointment to keep after all.

Serve cold on a rainy day.

Tip: Works best in the absence of that fine ingredient, The Papa Man. Be sure to try when this ingredient is out of town, working late or is otherwise missing in action.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Conversations with my daughter

Its a pleasant evening and Nikki and The Mommy Woman are out for their evening stroll. As they saunter around in the park, they run into the unfriendly neighborhood Grumpy Grandpa. Nikki fixes Grumpy Gramps with an interested eye. The mellow evening sunlight bounces off Grumpy Gramps shiny, bald pate. Nikki leans out of her pram and gives Grumpy Gramps a friendly wave. Grumpy Gramps, true to his nature, ignores Nikki and tries to walk past.
Nikki: Tak-loo!
GG (glaring at The Mommy Woman!): Cough! Splutter!...
Nikki, in a louder voice, pointing at Grumpy Gramps: TAK-LOOO!
The bright red human tomato, earlier known as The Mommy Woman, wheels the pram away at top speed, mumbling incoherent, apologetic sounding somethings under her breath.


The Mommy Woman, overcome with love for her only child, envelops Nikki in a bear hug and plants a big kiss on her face.
Nikki, looking thoroughly disgusted and shoving The Mommy Woman away with an indignant look: MIND IT!!! ( pronounced Mann-dayyy!!! in Nikki- speak)


Nikki's evening snack is finally ready. The Mommy Woman is feeling rather chuffed with her own concoction of bananas, soy milk and litchis and can't wait for Nikki to sample the stuff.
The Mommy Woman: Nikki! Something yummy for your tummy! Your smoothie is rrrrreaddy!
Nikki(looking supremely disinterested): Ohhh maaaan!!


The Papa Man: Nikki, I LOVE you!
Nikki: Aaa WUV ooo!
The Mommy Woman, jealously hovering around: Nikki, I LOVE you!
Nikki: YAWN!


Its a busy evening in a crowded suburban shopping mall. Nikki, The Papa Man and The Mommy Woman are shopping and hanging out. Nikki is looking particularly cute in a pink Tokyo Baby t-shirt and corduroys and is attracting a lot of attention from passers-by, especially young college girls who are thronging the place in hordes.
A group of hot, young college girls: Awwww SO cute!
Nikki, with a shy smile: Hi!
Hot, young college girls: SCREECH! She spoke to me! She said Hi! Awww I wanna KISS her!
Nikki: Kisssssssssssss 
Hot, young college girls surround Nikki and the fortunate Papa Man who's holding her and take turns hugging and kissing Nikki. Five minutes later...
The Papa Man, with a blissful smile: We should go shopping with Nikki more often!
The Mommy Woman: Hmph!


The Mommy Woman, back after a much needed trip to the salon, is overcome with separation anxiety at having left Nikki behind for TWO WHOLE HOURS.
The Mommy Woman: Nikki! Mommy is BACK!
Nikki and The Papa Man, looking up from a mess involving crayons and a copy of The Mommy Woman's latest copy of Mother & Baby: AIYYO!

Footnote: Nikki's conversational skills training and enriched vocabulary courtesy The Papa Man.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Its been a long break...

...and it feels good to be back! A personal mini-crisis, coupled with multiple disasters on the domestic front of the boy, oh boy, oh bai! kind (strange how this stuff ALWAYS hits you all at the same time), added up to the long absence from the blogging scene thus far but I'm back and I've promised myself that next time round, crisis or no crisis there aren't going to be any more long breaks.

So anyway its been a crazy, crazy couple of weeks and a LOT has happened in the last one month that I was away from the blogosphere. My last post was just before the trip to the in-laws and I was bubbling over with a strange combination of dread and anticipation over the impending mundan and ear piercing, given that there was no running away from either. Well all the bubbling over was rather pointless as it turned out, because we ended up doing neither! The trip to the in-laws came and went sans mundan, with the in laws averring that the numerous merits of a bald and shiny pate notwithstanding, it wouldn't look good on a girl on the eve of her first birthday. And so it was put off till the birthday party had come and gone. The ear piercing met with a similar fate. Now this whole ear piercing thing is custom in my part of the family but not so much in P's. The mother in law looked suitably aghast when I mentioned that we were considering getting Nikki's ears pierced, reacting rather like I'd just mentioned the French guillotine and proclaimed that her own ears had been pierced on the eve of her wedding! And so, given that the in-laws were to return with us to celebrate Nikki's first birthday, and stay on for a couple of weeks, the ear piercing too was postponed till after they had left. On the basis of that happy principle that what they don't know won't hurt 'em and we could always get it done later and present them a few months down the line with a pair of happily pierced ears. Yes we are very adept at dealing with situations like these, P & I. And so a month down the line I find myself once again faced with the prospect of an impending mundan and ear piercing yet to happen. Sigh.

The trip to the in-laws went off fairly well, albeit hectic and a bit tiring, given that Nikki was down with a touch of fever. The mundan ceremony turned out to be pretty good fun, since tonsuring of the scalp had been wiped off the agenda. Just a lock of Nikki's hair was snipped off, which she didn't even notice being busy trying to shove some grapes down my throat at that moment, and that was that! Afterward we feasted on halwa and aloo-puri, bought some toys- a drum playing monkey, a large yellow inflatable ball which Nikks instantly fell in love with and some wooden blocks and went back home happy and well-fed.On our way to the in-laws home I had got the chance to catch up with an old and dear and verry pregnant friend in Delhi and on the evening of Nikki's mundan we got news that she had delivered a bonny baby boy. What's more he had been born at pretty much the exact same time that Nikki's solitary lock was being chopped off, making my friend and I believe this is surely a sign from the Lord ordaining a long and beautiful friendship between our offspring!

We got back home a few days later, just two days before Nikki's birthday. Her birthday was on a Tuesday and we had planned the party for the weekend following it so that friends and relatives from out of town could be there too. A couple of them chose to come down earlier, on Tuesday, staying on for the party over the weekend, making it more of a celebration week rather than just one day! We celebrated at home on Tuesday with friends and family. I baked a special cake just for Nikki, made with the stuff that she eats on a regular basis: atta, ghee, bananas and powdered dry fruits and my mom got one of the more sinful cakes for the rest of the crowd from a local bakery. I'd wanted to make the day special for Nikki and so taking a break from her usual porridge- khichdi we had special food for her that day: eggy bread for breakfast, pasta with cheese sauce for lunch and rice kheer for the evening snack. She loved all of it except the cake, which she refused to even take a nibble of, preferring instead to squish it around on her high chair tray but the rest of the group loved it so it was worth the effort! The day went by in a bit of a whirl what with all the people around but I took some quiet time out with just me and Nikki at 4.08 pm, the exact same time she had been born a year ago. We went for a quiet stroll in the park and sat in the grass for a bit, Nikki frolicking around, me just trying to soak in the overwhelming feeling that enveloped me as I relived all the experiences I've been through over the last one year. One year of being a mommy, the most beautiful one year of my life :)
Later that evening after P was back, we had a small pooja and celebration at home and after Nikki had gone to bed we spent the rest of the evening poring over all the pictures and videos taken over the last one year.

The birthday party (Hallelujah, its FINALLY over!) a few days later was a big hit too. It started on a less than pleasant note with Nikki having a major meltdown as soon as we reached the venue. The house had been buzzing with guests for a few days and the morning of the party had been particularly hectic as a result of which Nikki's nap schedule had gone awry, making her terribly cranky at the start of the party. Thankfully she calmed down before the cake cutting ceremony, making for some splendid photo ops and even obliged the cheering crowd by smearing the cake generously into P's hair and shirt. From then on she got progressively cheerier and by the time the last of the guests had left she was positively having a blast. A few snide remarks were passed about how she seemed to have inherited my anti-social gene, given that she was horribly cranky at the start of the party and then got progressively happier as people started leaving, but I overlooked them all. After all, the last one year has been all about The Maturity That Comes With Motherhood, and I am nothing if not changed by the experiences the year brought with it!
Anyway, getting back to the party, it really was a smashing success even if I do say so myself! We had changed the venue rather last minute to a new place we chanced upon quite by luck and it turned out to be a superb venue for a birthday party. The ambience, the food, the music, everything rocked and there was even an exclusive children's play area for the little guests. The service was super fast, with all the waiters making it a point to whisk my plate or glass away if I so much as put it down for an instant, so what if I was still midway through my meal, but I managed to stuff myself to the gills with the good stuff nonetheless.

And oh, I almost forgot, we had our verrry own caricaturist! We did too! After all that mindless dithering over magicians and tattoo artists, we finally discovered a caricaturist who could entertain all- young and old, and so we hired him for the party where he proceeded to do just that. He soon had a crowd gathered all around him with people waiting patiently in line for their turn and soon almost everyone had gotten their portrait made. I got mine done at the fag end too and was rather upset by the sketch; he'd made me look like an angry, old she-bull who's just discovered that she's been gypped by the matador in the bull fight but what made it much, much worse was that everyone promptly began oohing and aahing and saying that it looked just like me! Thankfully the party ended soon after giving me time to rip the travesty of a sketch into itty bitty shreds and we drove back home to the much awaited gift opening ceremony.Much awaited by me that is. Yes I shamelessly admit it, I was looking forward to the gifts more than anyone else! Definitely more than the budday gal who was quite happy playing with the scraps of gift wrapping paper instead. We spent a happy evening, Nikks and I, me lovingly unwrapping each gift and Nikki playing with the assorted boxes and gift wrapping paper they'd come in. There were some pretty neat gifts but my pick of the lot was a red Minnie Mouse swimsuit and pink sunglasses that a friend had gifted Nikki. She took to the sunglasses almost immediately, putting them on and taking them off with a one-handed flourish, like quite the seasoned diva and had all of us cracking up for the better part of the evening. One of the other gifts was an inflatable swimming pool, so we're all set for some summer fun now that all the gear is in place. That is, if I can get the child to overcome her fear of water anytime soon.

Life is kind of back to normal now with the grand first birthday with its ensuing chaos and excitement having faded away into the backdrop, leaving us instead with some bitter sweet memories. For the next few birthdays though, I'm thinking a quiet holiday someplace nice will do just fine. That is of course until Nikki grows old enough to start demanding Hannah Montana themed parties replete with birthday planners, personalized invites, farmhouse venues, party favors that cost a bomb and a fleet of entertainers. Gulp. Maybe I should start planning for them already!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The tag that never was and other random updates

I got my very first tag a few days ago from MRC and after dealing with this with my trademark grace and equanimity (SCREEEECH!!!!! I've been TAGGED!! Tell anyone with ears about it right from S to the elderly aunt in upstairs balcony!! Call the husband to GLOAT GLOAT GLOAT- bet nobody ever tagged you!!)I dithered and dawdled over it till I realized I had totally missed the deadline and now had the inglorious honor of not having completed my first tag. You can bet P is not going to let me live this down for the rest of my years of existence on this planet. You would win too.
Anyway, no point crying over spilt milk as they say, and the point remains that I got my very first tag and I feel like I belong in the blogosphere! Yayyyyyyyyyyy!!! Yes I'm very needy like that. Thank you MRC and please forgive me for not completing the tag. You will tag me again won't you? Pretty please?

Nikki's first birthday is coming up soon and yours truly is in charge of organizing the budday pardy. Deep breath. Several deep breaths. Stay calm, STAY CALM. Oh God, I can't handle the pressure! I thought I had it all figured out at first. A simple birthday lunch with close family and friends, at a restaurant known for its lip smacking cuisine. Then I spoke to a few random people and found out that people go all out for these things. We're talking magic shows and puppeteers and tattoo artists and what not! Of course being the firm, decisive kinds this threw me into a right tizzy and I called P out of an urgent meeting to discuss the issue like two mature adults.
"I want a magic show!" I wailed like a banshee, "And puppets! And tattoos! And a dance floor with a DJ and dhinchak dhinchak music!"
"We can do all that if you want honey" said the wise husband "But there are hardly any kids at our party and I'm not sure the adults will enjoy a puppet show. Er, and what do you need a tattoo for?"
He has a point of course. About the lack of kids at the party I mean, I really don't need a tattoo. There are less than five kids I think and they're all around Nikki's age so they probably won't appreciate a magic show. And we have a pretty mixed group of family and friends, so there can't be a one size fits all as far as the entertainment goes. So I'm thinking we'll go with the original plan. A cake cutting ceremony, a lavish lunch buffet (the chef is going to hang up his chef's hat and take sanyaas in the Himalayas if I hound him any more), mood music, and hopefully a pleasant and relaxed afternoon spent with some of the people who care about Nikki. Any ideas about how I can make the day special for Nikki and the guests are most welcome!

We're off on a short holiday to the in-laws next week for Nikki's mundan which I am totally dreading. This is a custom in P's family and ideally we would have liked to do it when Nikki was around eight or nine months old, but the swine flu bug (heh heh! just kidding bug!) had other things in mind and we had to postpone our trip. I hope its not too much of an ordeal for Nikki, but that apart I think it will be quite a relief to get her hair cut, given that it has grown all straggly and unmanageable and is always in her face. I spend the day following her around and trying to pin it back and stuff but the child will have none of it. The sad part is she won't have any hair on her birthday, coz straggly or not, it does look rather cute :) Oh well. I hope it grows back all nice and silky and then I can get it cut into a cute little bob and pin it up with some pretty clips and bows. If she lets me.
Note to Self: DO NOT turn into one of those obsessive parents always planning stuff for their kids. Yes, even the hair, it always starts with the hair. Just let her be. If she doesn't want clips and bows, drop it.

Nikki seems to have developed a sudden fear of water these days. She used to be this complete water baby, but now just the sight of her tub is enough to give her the heebie jeebies. There go my plans of a half hour of fun water games every day. Reminder: Refer Note to Self again.
On a serious note I'm wondering what to do to make her comfortable with water. Any suggestions, anybody?
Oh and a few other things I had forgotten when I wrote the last Nikki-dom update.
Like the way she likes to jump out of my arms the minute I set her down on our bed and crawl very fast towards the headrest where all the pillows are stacked. Then she sinks her face into the pillows and giggles, totally blissed out :) These little things make her so happy. I wish we adults could be as uncomplicated.
I've taken to keeping her awake for five minutes extra whenever I know P is about to reach home so that he can spend a little time with her. These five minutes are probably the happiest five minutes of the day for both of them as they play some silly games and Nikki is usually in fits of giggles till she finally goes to sleep, tired out.
Oh and did I mention the rousing reception P gets when he's back from work? No such thing for me of course. I'm the ghar ki murgi all right, daal barabar. Stale daal, too. I get a cold glance thrown my way at best. The "Oh there you are, change my diaper will ya?" kind.
Anyway, getting back to Nikki-updates, her love for all things musical is just growing by the day. She loves music and starts jigging up and down the minute there's even the hint of a tune. I think she may grow up to be a great dancer. Maybe I should think about signing her up for some dance classes when she grows a little older.
Reminder: Just get the Note to Self tattooed on forehead, will be easier to remember that way.

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.*

Friday, January 15, 2010

Snippety Updates

I was re-organizing Nikki's wardrobe today and I was stunned to see the number of clothes she has outgrown. All the pretty little summery sleeveless frocks that I'd packed away for later because its too chilly these days. Several bodysuits I hadn't pulled out for a while. The frilly bonnet she looks so cute in. She's outgrown them all! It broke my heart to see how tiny the clothes seem in comparison to what seems like just yesterday, when they were a tad over sized. I tell you I'm SO not prepared for the way Nikki is just growing up on me overnight. It'll just be a matter of days before she leaves home for college and I sit by the window weeping wistful tears and reminiscing about her babyhood. Sniff. Maybe I should just change the name of this blog to goodbye babyhood.


The blissful ease with which Nikki used to fall asleep on her own in Goa has become a thing of the past but the sleep struggles are a lot easier to deal with now. On most days that is. Over the last couple of nights Nikki has taken to waking up every 3-4 hours screaming blue murder. Her frantic shrieking has an instant effect; P & I spring out of bed and leap to her cotside to soothe and pacify. Except that no amount of soothing and pacifying works. Or even rocking, singing or even that erstwhile instant pacifier: nursing. After what seems like hours of walking up and down, patting and comforting, she finally nods off and if we're lucky stays that way for some time. She wakes up at 6am like clockwork of course, all bright and sunny smiles and demands to be fed and played with instantly.
We met the good pediatrician today and I hopefully asked if this night waking could be a result of teething and if there was anything we could do about it. Oh its just a passing phase, could be due to anything, some kids behave like this till they're 3 or even 4, she told P & I cheerfully, leaving us reeling in our tracks. The thought of a few more years of sleep deprivation has convinced us that some serious sleep training is probably due. Dr Ferber, here I come.
While on sleep, Nikki has figured out what methods normally work at putting her to sleep and has devised several smart stay awake strategies. Like rocking herself vigorously while nursing, or pulling her own hair while she is being rocked and the most ingenious one of all; clutching tightly at my clothes or managing to entwine her fingers with mine as I put her to sleep. It requires Houdini like manipulation to get myself un-entwined, offering ample opportunity in the process for the child to be all bright and awake again. Maybe Dr Ferber will have some tips to handle this as well.


Yesterday P & I decided we needed to be a little more adventurous and experiment with pizzas other than those of Dominoes and Pizza Hut. We'd tried Garcia's and Smokin' Joes once each in the past so we decided to go for Papa Jones. Bad decision. The pizzas tasted like cardboard cutouts with sawdust toppings. Quite surprising, considering so many of our friends had spoken quite highly about the place. Maybe they were just having an off day.

Have you noticed how the service quality of these pizza delivery guys is directly correlated to the cost? Here are a few sample conversations to illustrate:

Scenario One: Dominoes/ Pizza Hut

Delivery Guy: Good Evening Ma'am, myself Hercules (I swear that's what he said), this is your order one large chicken supreme pizza with garlic bread and cheesy dip and some extra oregano and chilly flakes and paper napkins and one copy of our menu. Thank you very much for ordering from Dominoes/ PH, enjoy your pizza, good night!
You, somewhat dazed after the verbal onslaught: Err..righto, yes, thank you, good night!

Scenario Two: The relatively cheaper Smoking Joes

Delivery Guy, gruffly: Smoking Joes Pizza. Your bill.
You, after making the payment and still impressed by the Dominoes/ PH guy: Thank You! Good Night!
Delivery Guy: Snorts and walks away

Scenario Three: the relatively cheapest Garcia's

You open the door. Delivery Chappie shoves the pizza and the bill, in that order, in your face.
You: One minute, I'll get my wallet.
Delivery Chappie: Grunt
You hand over the cash and are about to shut the door when the delivery chappie barks: Coupons!!
You: Huh?
Delivery Chappie roars: COUPONS. You have taken our Friday Special offer today because you had the discount coupons. Now Gimme!
You, scrabbling nervously in the drawer: Yes, yes one minute, here it is.
Delivery Chappie, now in a really menacing tone: This coupon has the wrong date, do you have the right coupons or not?
Thankfully you find the right coupon soon after and hand it over. Delivery Chappie grunts while you are doing the finding and finally leaves with one last menacing stare. By now the pizza is cold and you've lost your appetite anyway.
I think I'm just going to stick to Dominoes/ PH from now on. What with the lack of sleep and resulting frazzled nerves, I can do with all the politeness and friendly service I can get!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The times, they are a changin!

A lot of times in the last eight months I've felt strangely disconnected from the outside world. Having taken a break from work post Nikki's arrival, for a variety of reasons AND having relocated to a new city, my life these days pretty much revolves around the home and the hearth. And this has not always been easy, given that it is a big change from my crazy, career obsessed pre-baby life.

Anyhow, the purpose of this rambling prelude, before I lose myself completely in the rambling, is to say that there are a few things in my life that have remained constant and that I turn to once in a way for cheer or comfort. Like some of my favorite blogs. Or books. Or music. Or friends who are always just a phone call away. There I go again. Getting back, there has been another thing that I sometimes turn to, just to get a different perspective. Bad television. Somehow, watching corny Hindi soaps once in a way works as a great stress buster for me, in spite of the glowering P ranting in the corner about the senseless trash people will watch these days. To be more specific there is one soap on Star One that I've been following quite diligently, which means I watch the odd episode once in a couple of weeks and it reassures me that all's well with the world and some things will always be around.

Back when I was working, watching a couple of minutes of this soap was a tried and tested remedy to dispel the blues. It was like a rock steady comfort blanket, if you know what I mean. The storyline hadn't wavered for decades. The actors were like old pals, except for one lead female character whom they kept changing for some reason, but since all she had to do was make gooey eyes at the male lead opposite her it really didn't matter. It had all gotten into a rather comfortable routine. Lead pair fights. Makes up. Fights again. Makes up. An so on and so forth. Even the background drum beat remained comfortingly the same. It was all very peaceful and de-stressing. None of that saas bahu banter, nor the drama of reality shows. Just pure unadulterated drivel that remained consistently the same with characters that went nowhere and did nothing in particular. Apart from fighting and making up of course.

Which is why I wasn't at all prepared for what happened yesterday. It had been a bad day with the maid playing hooky, P working late and Nikki deciding that this was the day to beat the tar out of the sleep fairy. So at 8 pm or thereabouts, in severe need of some comfort viewing and deciding it was time for a dose of Dill Mill Gayye, I turned on the television. True it had been weeks and weeks since I'd last seen it but the thing had been going on without anything remotely resembling change forEVER and I was mentally prepared to watch some of the same old, same old. Only to get totally gobsmacked at what I saw! This couldn't possibly be my DMG! There was none of the same or even the old about this DMG! Everyone and everything had changed! My peace of mind now completely shattered, I quickly called the teenage female cousin who specializes in all things telly related for an update. I had to know what the hell had happened here. Turns out the earlier cast have all being either killed (gasp) or retired (shudder) and a new young and restless cast and crew is in place. The only thing that seems to have remained constant is the lack of a storyline. Not that I care anymore. My reasons for watching the damn thing in the first place have all been wiped out along with the old cast. Goes to show you can't take anything in life for granted anymore. Not even bad television. Sob.


Telly obsessed cousin, who bonded instantly with me after aforementioned phone conversation (having given up on me for being one of the geeks of the family earlier) called some time back. The poor girl was shattered with the turn of events in DMG too having fallen madly in love with Dr Armaan, the erstwhile male lead, specialist in gooey eye making. Nobody from the new cast is cute enough apparently. Anyway, she seems to have discovered a new show on the rebound which goes by the name of Mile Jab Hum Tum and has cute young guys and gals who keep fighting and making up all the time. Just the kind of stuff I would've liked in the old days. Except that I'm not taking any risks with any more of these fickle soaps. From now on its the tried and tested DVD re-runs for me, thankyouverymuch. Good ole Remington Steele, Poirot, Sex & the City, Friends & OC! Always there when I need 'em!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A brush with the nasties

I had a frightful scare last morning. During the course of one of her day time naps, Nikki rolled right off her bed! It was the first time something like that had happened and I was petrified that she may have hurt herself. Thankfully, apart from being very rattled because of the fall, she was absolutely unhurt; not even a minor scratch or bruise. I fed her and rocked her to calm her down, and within 20 minutes she was right as rain. It took me a lot longer to calm myself down though. After a few frantic calls to P and Nikki's ped, who managed to convince me that a visit to the hospital emergency section was really not required, I spent the better part of an hour examining Nikki in minute detail to be really really sure she was a-OK. She was of course by then, and demonstrated likewise by being her usual super active self and bouncing off of all available surfaces. So then I got down to the next important task of worrying myself to death about how I could have ever let such a thing happen. I usually put Nikki down at night in her cot, but the bed still remains her preferred choice of location for daytime naps. Since we have a really really large double bed in the master bedroom, thanks to a Delhi based carpenter who believed deeply in the concept of materialistic largesse, I had been putting Nikki down to nap bang in the center of this for her naps, surrounded by a veritable fortress of cushions and bolsters. No longer good enough, clearly, coz she had scaled all of these to make a clean landing on the floor. She also managed to do this within the span of 2.5 minutes, since between me and the help we make sure we check on her every 5 minutes when she's alone on the bed. Anyways, I decided that the cot it is now for every nap, short or long, and spent the rest of the day being a super clingy, chipku kind of parent. I think Nikki was quite relieved to be rid of me when P got back from work. I've also decided its high time I stopped procrastinating on the baby proofing of home project that is way overdue now. So the weekend will see me headed, guns blazing, to the land of corner cushions and child proof locks and such, so that we have a safe haven for Nikki to crawl around in, in the next couple of days.

In other news, I had a mastitis scare over the weekend. Thankfully it was just a clogged milk duct and went away on its own in a few days time, after loads of nursing and warm showers. The timing sucked though, I had a wedding to attend on Sunday and being in terrible pain I went around greeting all and sundry with a horrible glassy smile plastered on my face. I think I single handedly managed to save the bridal party a fair bit of moolah; the sight of me must've ruined the appetite of a lot of people for sure, causing them to beat a hasty retreat before lunch. Sigh, there go all my la-di-dah notions of being one of 'em yummy mummies.

And in other nastier news I espied a rat in my home yesterday. A rat. A RAT. In MY home. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarghhh!! Now don't get me wrong, I'm usually pretty good at dealing with this stuff. Like cockroaches. Pish tosh! Long live the pest control guys! Or lizards. P is a great lizard evictor, he shoos them out quite regularly outta the apartment and into the elevator to go forth and explore fresher territories. Or mosquitoes even, I was on back slapping terms with them in our old apartment in Bombay (hail All Out!). But rats? This is the first time in six years of playing house, that I've had to contend with this menace. I spent the first half of the day raising hell for my help and turning the house inside out. I mean I have OCD when it comes to keeping the house clean, so there had to be something wrong here. My maid, who still hasn't figured out how to put Nikki to sleep and is therefore not among my favorite people at the moment, redeemed herself greatly by picking up a broom and venturing forth bravely in search of the rodent. Eventually we figured out that the rat is probably a resident of the drying area in the flat directly above ours and was probably just dropping by to check out new locations. Even so, there was always the possibility that it could make this aimless wandering around a habit. Then what? Naturally, I've resolved to deal with this sticky situation with my characteristic calm and fortitude.
I'm thinking, a couple of months at my mum's while P figures out how to make these parts rodent free?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Boss kaun hai, maloom hai na?

Ten reasons why, in the last couple of months, I've begun to see my ex-boss in a new light:

1. My new boss is one of the most demanding people I've ever met. I'm expected to be on call 24*7. 365 days a year. For the rest of my life.
2. My new boss keeps erratic hours.Picture this: Its 3.45 am after a long, tiring, never ending day. You collapse into bed desperately hoping for a few hours of shut-eye. Only to be awakened by an urgent call from the boss. Tough luck baby. The boss needs you. NOW.
3. As may be obvious from point number two, my new boss thinks life is too short to be whiled away sleeping. Awake and active is the boss's preferred mode of operation. Sleeping on the job is heresy!
4. Face time is very important with the new boss. You gotta be around if you want the boss to be happy. And you DO want the boss to be happy. Trust me.
5. My new boss hates structure. Or scheduling. Needless to say there's no point in my making any plans. You just have to take it as it comes and hope it doesn't blow up in your face.
6. My new boss has a unique style of communicating which I am yet to become proficient at. So I currently try to make things work through trial and error. And the boss doesn't like error.
7. Hell hath no fury like the new boss in a bad mood. The boss's expressions of displeasure are enough to peel the plaster off the walls. I work very hard to keep the boss happy all the time!
8. I used to have a life before the new boss entered into it. P used to have a life before my new boss entered his life as well. Now what's left of our lives revolves around the new boss.
9. My new boss is not toilet trained. And one of my future assignments will involve doing the needful. Sigh.
10. I'm in love with my new boss. So everything is personal, even though nothing is official.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Of this and that

One of my closest friends, D, who's in the US ( I think I now have more friends per square foot in the US than in all of India), is expecting her first baby next month and is in a tizzy over what to name the child. What has D & her husband all het up is the fact that they've been pondering about the perfect name for eight months now and are nowhere close to short listing even the top twenty. To add to their pondering woes, they need to have TWO names in mind coz they have opted to keep the sex of the baby a surprise for when D Junior makes an appearance.

Got me thinking back to the days when P & I would have given an arm and a leg (P's of course, I was expecting for crissake!), to find out the sex of our baby. Thinking back now I don't know why we were so eager to find out, but there we were. We just couldn't handle the suspense. The only way we could have found out would've been a trip abroad in the second trimester, and given both our manic work schedules that didn't seem likely. As a result P had taken to asking, what he thought discreet questions to the Hapless Sonographer (HS), whom we met every couple of weeks to check on Nikki's in-utero progress. We had already gotten off to a rather bad start with the HS, when I in my new found pregnancy enthusiasm, had bombarded him with more questions than he could handle. It was the eight week scan and according to my pregnancy book, our baby was, at this stage an embryo, and embryos have tails. Everyone knows that. So I didn't expect the HS to jump like a cat on a hot tin roof when I hopefully asked if he could show me the baby's tail and sputter that it was a 'BABY' that I was having, not a THING with a tail!

I piped down after that incident but there was no stopping P. What P lacked in discretion he more than made up in confidence, and he was convinced that he was going to 'crack the sex of this baby'! A typical appointment at the ultrasound clinic went something like this:
HS, looking petulant as images of tails emerge in his memory: So here is your baby, see these are its arms and these are the legs...
P: The arms! Is HE waving the right arm Doctor?
HS (irritated): Yes, IT is. Movement is quite common at this stage you know. Now these are the ventricles of ITS heart..bla, bla, bla...see this is ITS face...
P: Ahhhhh the face! Beautiful! Doesn't SHE have a beautiful face Doc?
HS, gnashing his teeth: Grrr..and this is ITS spine...bla bla bla...placenta bla bla...umblilical cord...
P: Ohmigod Doc! What if HE has a loop around HIS neck? We had some friends who…
HS, cutting him off with a snarl: We will TELL you if ITS anything serious! Now that's IT, all for today. Thankyouverymuch. Next patient.
P, valiantly making one last effort: Thanks Doc! So we're off to do some shopping for the baby now! Ha Ha! Maybe you could give us some advice, you know, PINK or BLUE? What should Mommy & Daddy buy?
HS, looking like he was about to bawl for HIS Mommy & Daddy: NEXT PATIENT!
I think HS aged a few years in the nine months of my pregnancy. He looked positively relieved when the time came for my last scan, bidding me farewell quite cheerfully and assuring me that I had absolutely no need to return to the clinic whatsoever. When we did return a few weeks after Nikki's birth to give him some celebratory chocolates he visibly paled and looked like he'd like to mingle with the butterflies on his wallpaper. P of course only made it worse by jovially remarking that "YOU knew it was a girl all along didn't you Doc? Ha Ha Ha!"
I tried to make up for P’s faux pas by offering some words of reassurance as we left, “Thanks for everything Doctor. We’ll only come back for our second baby now!” I didn’t really get what HS said but I thought I heard a shuddering gasp emanate from where he stood. Something tells me maybe I shouldn’t have spoken those words of reassurance after all.