Friday, September 26, 2014

After Eight

No it's not the chocolate I'm talking about. Although, given the chocoholic that I am, that divine chocolate bathed mint is quite likely to figure in this list one of these days too. But for today, it is the time that I'm talking about. After eight. Eight p.m. that is (Eight a.m.? Now that be a whole different story. School runs. Ack!).

Eight p.m. is when the kids go to bed and I am once again the master of my own time. Eight p.m. is when silence, peace and tranquility descend over our hitherto bustling household where up until then chaos, disarray and mayhem have been merrily reaching an ear shattering crescendo. Okay, maybe I'm getting a little carried away here, those are only the bad days, but anyhoo (Yes! Always wanted to use that word somewhere) post eight p.m., once the two little munchkins are safely tucked in bed, life becomes significantly quieter and one can actually envision oneself sitting down for fifteen minutes at a stretch with a mug of hot chocolate without having to mediate a fight, supervise an art activity or prevent a soap flake or a dust ball from being ingested by the resident soon-to-be- toddler.

Suffice to say the after eight feeling is right up there on the list of things that give me the instant 'I love my life right now' feeling.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Happy Firsts

It was kind of like love at first sight...


I still remember the day we first met. It was the perfect setting. The lights were dim. Trance like music pulsating in the background. I was feeling impatient, restless. I'd been looking for someone like her for a while now but I didn't know then that she was, quite literally, just around the corner. I nearly bumped into her as I turned said corner and screeched to a halt just short of her. My pulse quickened as I laid eyes on her. Was she the one I had been looking for? I came to a decision after a few minutes of mulling over this.Yes, she was. It didn't me long after that. I can be very quick to act when I want to. Almost impulsive sometimes. And act quickly I did. It was just a matter of days before she was back at my place. I got back home early the day she first arrived. I could feel the excitement coursing through my veins just thinking about her back at home, waiting for me. And waiting she was, in the exact place I had envisioned her to be when I'd first laid eyes on her. I approached her, almost dizzy with anticipation. She was gorgeous. My very own beauty in black. My breath caught in my throat as I reached out and touched her gleaming black curves. I couldn't wait any longer. Grasping her firmly by the sides I moved quickly and...............RAN. My very own Sole F80 treadmill was here at last! She was sleek, gorgeous and stunning! And running on her was an absolute joy! We've kept our running dates quite religiously after that, she and I. Come hail or hot weather, rain or even too much shine, we make it a point to run all our troubles away. Because running on her is sheer, unadulterated happiness! This is my first hundred days of happy then. And I even got a picture!

My Sole Mate :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I give comebacks a bad name...

...BUT I have a plan! And about time too. Between work, artsy craftsy projects with the five year old, bed time battles with the eleven month old (some things never grow old), travel and the million other things that constitute my life currently, it was becoming only too easy to neglect this space. Except for the niggling little voice in my head that piped up every now and then, reminding me why I had started this blog in the first place. So, five whole years later (I know! We may lose out on consistency but full marks for persistence!), here I am yet again giving it another shot. Unlike the long, rambling, excuse laden posts that I've been wont to indulge in earlier (aside from the fact that with two children, long rambling posts now seem like a bit of a luxury), I'm going to keep it short and crisp this time round. No excuses. Its been five months since the last post but lookie, I'm back! AND, like I said, I have a plan. I'm sure all of you (I can has imaginary readers. So there.) have heard of this. You can't not have. Unless you eschew social media, avoid newspapers because what are they but harbingers of doom every morning and have a whole bunch of friends who think like you. In which case you probably wouldn't be reading this either, so its safe to assume that you do know about the #100HAPPYDAYS challenge. You've probably even done it yourself! I know I've been fantasizing about it for a while now, as a means of reviving this blog. What better way to revive your fading blogging mojo than to publicly take up a challenge like this one and then keep at it hundred days in a row! Originally, I was even planning to follow the guidelines and do a picture a day like the challenge says. And that is precisely why I've been fantasizing about it for so long and done zilch to make the fantasy come true. Because, as many of my close friends will tell you, the chances of me clicking a new picture every single day, even if it is of something that sends me into raptures of joy (unless its the kids and you can't really put a pic of the children every single day, aside from the obvious privacy issues) and then actually uploading it on the blog and writing about it are about as bright as the weather department getting the forecast right with unmatched accuracy every single time. Hopelessly dim, in other words. So I thought I'd just stick to the writing. That being the idea of doing this challenge in the first place. To come here and write. Because with me, and I suspect it would be this way with most bloggers, the more I write the, more I write. The less I write, the further the blog slips into depressing blog-oblivion. I might even throw in the occasional picture on good days! But for the most part it will be about the writing. And the blog reviving. And as a bonus, I even get to be happier, more optimistic, in a better mood yada yada like the challenge says. Not that I need much to make me happy these days. About six straight hours of sleep without the baby waking up for a session of intense night time rocking/ lullaby singing is enough to make me wake up ecstatic. My needs are simple like that. The main thing for me about doing this is really to get this blog up and running again. So, if I do  stick to the guidelines and manage to get a post up everyday, I'm actually going to have one hundred posts up here in the next hundred days! Which is considerably more than the just about hundred odd posts I've managed in the last five years. And that in itself will make me feel quite chipper. Here's to #100BloggyDays then. Blogging Nirvana here I come!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What to expect (from your preschooler) when you're expecting (the second baby)!: Part 2

Random conversations around the house...

The Mommy Woman and Nikki are enjoying a leisurely alfresco brunch while The Daddy Man determinedly pounds away on the treadmill to the tune of Linkin Park. In the pre second pregnancy days, I'd usually oblige Nikki post my treadmill workout with her very own 'workout' which comprised setting the treadmill to the slowest speed and holding her hand as she gingerly took a few steps with a look of intense concentration on her face, before collapsing in a heap and demanding an 'energy drink'.

Nikki: Mama, why don't you work out on the treadmill anymore?

TMW: The doctor has asked me not to for some time because I have a baby in my tummy now.

Nikki (lost in thought): Ohhhh....Mama?

TMW: Yes?

Nikki: I have a baby in my tummy too! So I also won't work out on the treadmill from now on.

TMW: Erm...OK!

Nikki: Let Dada work out. He only has Poha in his tummy!

*Sound of The Daddy Man crashing off the treadmill to the tune of Linkin Park in the background*


Nikki: When I have a baby sister we will both play with my Barbie dolls.... When I have a baby sister we will both dress up like princesses....When I have a baby sister we will....

TMW: What if its a boy?

Nikki: YOU are having the baby, make sure its a girl!

TMW: It can be either a boy or a girl so you have to be okay with the fact that you may get a baby brother as well.

Nikki: I know! If its a baby brother, just go back to the mall and exchange it for a baby sister!


The husband and I are having one of our usual  intense and meaningful discussions about what to name the new baby:

Me: If its a girl, do you like the names Ria/ Aditi/ Riddhima/ Amyra/ Tara?

The Husband, nose buried in Blackberry, in a firm and convinced tone: NO. Okay, maybe... Ria is okay...

Me: You like Ria?

The Husband: Come to think of it, not. NO.

Me: If its a boy, what do you think of Aryan, Neel, Abeer, Arnav....

The Husband (cutting me off midway, or maybe it was right at the outset):  No, no, NO!

Me: Bhalachandra, then?

TH: It does have a nice sound to it...

Nikki: Mama! I have already decided the baby's name!

Me: Eh?

Nikki: If its a girl, we'll call her Anika Dubey (name of current BFF) and if its a boy we'll call him Arnav Priyadarshi (name of current BMF)

Me: Ermm, Anika and Arnav are nice names but we may want to drop the surnames seeing as in their fathers and your father may have a slight problem with that.


TH, nose firmly ensconced in Blackberry again: See? This is a pointless conversation. The names are already decided!


It is the third trimester and The Mommy Woman is waddling around the house.

Nikki, with a look of faint alarm on her face: Mama, your tummy is really big now...

TMW: Yes darling, the baby will be ready to come out soon!

Nikki: Is your tummy going to grow any more?

TMW: Um, yes, there are three months more to go so it will grow a little more.

Nikki, look of faint alarm now replaced with undisguised horror: Will your tummy grow so big that it touches the roof??

TMW: Hahaha! No don't worry, its not going to grow that big!

Nikki: Don't worry Mama, if your tummy grows too big and you start flying away like a hot air baloon, I will tie a string around your ankle so that you don't fly away!

Look of undisguised horror passes from Nikki's face to The Mommy Woman's.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What to expect (from your preschooler) when you're expecting (the second baby)!: Part 1

Breaking the news...

The Mommy Woman to herself: Should we or should we not? Maybe we should wait...she's still so little after all, not even four yet! I read in my parenting book that children this age have a different concept of time, nine months is like an eternity to them! Yes, we really should wait till a little later before we tell her, maybe when the bump starts showing. *Walks around feeling smug about smart parenting decision*

Nikki: Mama?

TMW: Yes, buttercup?

Nikki: Are you pregnant?

TMW: Choke, splutter, gasp, faint!!!

Nikki, with an air of easy nonchalance: Because I heard you talking to your friend S Massi the other day, when you were whispering and trying to talk softly so I wouldn't hear (faint disdain in voice now)

TMW: Heh heh heh Oh, ah, er....

Nikki: So are you?

TMW: Heh heh heh Er, ah, oh...Ummm Nikki?

Nikki: Hmm?

TMW: Umm...let me tell you what being pregnant means....

Nikki (impatiently): I know that! There's a baby in your tummy and I'm going to get a brother or a sister. Oh by the way, make sure its a girl. I was going to tell you to have a baby anyway. I want a sister.

TMW: Collapses in dead faint on floor on nearest available non hazardous surface.

Last words from The Daddy Man: What was it your parenting book said again? Hahahahaha!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hello Mommyhood: The Sequel

Its been almost a year since I clean fell off the blogging radar- and what a year it has been! It wasn't just my poor neglected blog that hasn't seen an update in months, I haven't caught up on reading some of my favourite blogs either. Unlike the Bollywood sequels of yore though which come forth with cheesy titles and cheesier content, Hello Mommyhood redux will hopefully be a better, brighter avatar of its former self! After all we have newer stuff to blog about and a brand new baby on the block! :) Yup that's right, when I said 'The Sequel' I wasn't talking just about reviving the blog alone (although that is definitely on the agenda!) but I was also referring to being mommified for the second time round! Our second little bundle of joy and Nikki's brand new baby brother arrived in our lives four and a half months ago and is currently giving his mommy sleepless nights and nap-less days ( So much for fervently hoping I would get one of those peaceful, nap three hours a day at a stretch babies I seemed to be surrounded with last time round. Hah!).

On that supremely sleep deprived note let me introduce you to Cube, the new and most adorable man in my life (heh, heh, hello P!). Here's to more Nikki and Cube tales in this space and to- hopefully- more frequent updates. Its good to be back!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Unleash your Inner Diva: A general how-to guide

Dear Aspiring Divas,

Being a diva can be tough. It requires patience, dedication and hours of practice, but it is not impossible to achieve. Ask me! Four years of practice (and running) later, I’ve managed to hone the art of diva-dom to a finely tuned skill, so much so that being a true diva is now second nature to me. I thought I would share some tips with those of you out there who are divas in the making too and could do with some friendly advice! 

Read on:
  1. The first rule of being a diva is that you must always select your own clothes. Nobody and I mean NOBODY else gets to chose what you will wear. Take your time when you put together an outfit; clothes are meant to be inspected, evaluated and tossed. And changing your mind inexplicably and often is the prerogative of a diva. So set aside a couple of hours in the day for selecting your clothes and use them well. Oh, and keep in mind that a diva changes her outfits often and colour co-ordinates EVERYTHING. Right down to the innerwear, shoes and accessories, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
  2. The path to diva-dom has ne‘er been smooth so expect plenty of obstacles in your way, especially from those pesky creatures otherwise known as the Mommy Women who will take it upon themselves to object to the smallest of things. Take this afternoon, for example. I had finally put together my carefully selected outfit for the evening trip to the park when a series of shrieks disrupted the afternoon quiet. “Purple tights with a red striped top; green shoes and that long bead necklace?? Noooooo!” It was the Mommy Woman of course, up to her usual tricks. Her latest strategy is to try and object to any outfit I try to select by telling me how the colours clash or the bottoms don’t match the top at all or some such silly reason. Bah! Like she would know! The woman has no idea, which is why her own dress sense is so blah. “Be exciting!” I try and tell her “Live a little! If you feel like wearing a pink tutu over green polka dotted tights and a yellow sparkly tee, do it! Fashion should be fun!” None of it permeates her thick skull of course, she just pretends she’s going into a dead faint and tries to get me into her favourite combo of jeans and a deathly boring tee, so naturally I have to resort to the most powerful weapon in my arsenal, the screechy tantrum, designed to knock out even the most obstinate Mommy Woman. A few minutes later, I have her on her knees, weeping, begging me to wear my underwear over my tutu if I so wish. Smart idea, that. Maybe I’ll try it for my next trip to the mall. Moral of the story: never underestimate the power of tantrums. A good, solid tantrum can get you ‘most everything. Besides, tantrums are the prerogative of divas, everyone knows that. So use them often and use them well. 
  3.  Make sure you have pretty, clean, sweet smelling, well moisturized hands at all times. And I mean all times. This might sound simple but in reality it is no easy feat to achieve. For one you need to spend copious amounts of time in the bathroom washing your hands with the best fruity smelling, pink (but naturally!) soap you can get your pretties on. Here again, except plenty of resistance from the Mommy Women (‘You want to wash your hands again! But you just spent an hour in the bathroom! You washed your hands five seconds ago! You can’t keep messing around in the water! You’ll catch a cold…yada yada yada!) Worry not; such petty objections can be easily overruled. Your best beseeching look and something along the lines of ‘but washing hands kills germs, mommy!’ or ‘I stuck my hand in the flowerpot so my hands are really dirty and need to be washed!’ usually does the trick. Next, we come to the moisturizing. Pink cream is my personal favourite, great big generous blobs of it, massaged lovingly into the hands and the arms- oh, and after a shower make sure you massage it all over. You might face resistance from the Mommy Women here again, like I did. At first she refused outright! Then she’d act all stingy and give me this insanely tiny little drop of cream that wasn’t even enough for my fingernail! A few months down the line, all I have to do is fix the woman with my best beady look and she just groans and gives me as many blobs as I want. Remember, divas have to be persistent. 
  4.  Lip balm. Aaah lip balm! Pink, shiny, smooth; gliding over your lips like melting butter on hot toast…I could go on and on! And to think I discovered its many pleasures only recently and by chance at that! If I hadn’t happened to sneak up on the Mommy Woman when she was cowering in the corner the other day trying to hide behind her handbag I would never have found out she was sneakily putting on some lip balm while pretending to look for something in her bag. That little snitch! I’ve punished her by hiding her lip balm in my bag; one has to be firm about these things. And now that it’s within easy reach, I make sure my lips are glossy and soft at all times, just like a diva’s should be. Whenever I have to step out whether it’s the mall or the park, I make sure I dab on some lip balm. Each time I get into the car, even if it’s just the Mommy Woman doing one of her quick grocery runs. Bedtime and naptimes. Play date times. Just looking at yourself in the bathroom mirror times. Story hour at the library times. I even tried putting some on for school but, you know, there are other women like the Mommy Women out there and one has to pick one’s battles. The other important bit to remember with lip balm is to be generous in its application. I mean, you can never have too much of something like lip balm can you? The Mommy Woman will object to this as well, naturally, screeching and whining about how it’s not just on your lips but all over half of your face and may even try to wipe it off with a tissue, but remember, be firm. 
  5. When it comes to your stuff, be protective of your turf. If your Mommy Woman is like mine, she may develop an intense dislike to something you yourself particularly like and she may even try to- sit down when you read this- get rid of it! Yes, she is capable of that too! Mine actually tried it, can you imagine? Hard to believe I know, but one day when I got back from the park with Daddy a little earlier than usual, guess what I found stashed away in the bin? My favourite purple hair band, a particularly darling one with black and purple feathers that swept right down to my brow, one that I had been wearing in the park every single day for a few months before I kind of forgot about it and moved on to something else. Still it didn’t mean I didn’t want it anymore! There was absolutely no excuse for the Mommy Woman to claim that it was just languishing in my room and it looked all raggedy anyway and to try and trash it on one of her ghastly spring cleaning sprees. Anyway, prevention is better than cure I say and in order to avoid any such future incidents I’ve taken to stashing my stuff away- specially stuff that the Mommy Woman tends to look at with that ‘far away, she’s definitely off her rocker’ look in her eyes- in safe places where she doesn’t look or better yet, where she can’t reach. Like that nice hole in the home theatre woofer that only my hand fits into. Or in one of my many bags at the bottom of all my shopping lists and notes that the Mommy Woman has given up on clearing because it makes her feel faint. Or glued to some of the lumpy bits in the playdough jar, hidden under the other playdough. You get my drift. Remember it’s your stuff and only you are responsible for it. 
  6. I touched upon this briefly in point one but it really deserves a separate point for itself. I’m talking about accessories, the stuff that can make or break an outfit. I have my own favourites like that purple feathery hairband I just told you about; or my beaded necklaces; or the many bracelets that used to belong to the Mommy Woman but which I have now appropriated. What I like doing best is mixing and matching. The floor length beaded necklace (come to think of it, that one used to be the Mommy Woman’s too) with the pink crown headband. The jingly bracelets with the bangles Dadi got me for Diwali, all of them together on one hand of course, all the way up to my shoulder. Ooh and dupattas, I lurrve dupattas! My favourite teacher at school always carries her dupattas so well! I’ve taken to draping my own dupatta over my shoulders when I step out sometimes; I find it goes just as well with shorts or a skirt as it does with ethnic stuff. It’s a pity I don’t own too many of my own dupattas but I can always borrow the Mommy Woman’s, so it’s no biggie. 
  7. Seeing as to how accessories can make or break your look, it makes sense to carry plenty of them with you so you can change your look in a jiffy if you so desire. Now that I have my own handbag, I make it a point to carry my hand cream, sunglasses and the Mommy Woman’s lip balm in addition to an assortment of hairbands and bracelets. If there’s any extra stuff that doesn’t fit in my bag I just stuff it in the Mommy Woman’s; remember divas have to be resourceful! Besides the Mommy Woman doesn’t even notice most times. Apart from that one time where she had to pay someone and began fishing around in her handbag for her wallet. It was quite amusing to watch her eyes grow wide and her mouth grow wider as she drew out first my electric blue feather purse (I was carrying an extra purse, you know, just in case) and then my Dora bracelet and then a series of jangly necklaces. I don’t mean to boast but even the man at the cash counter seemed quite impressed at my collection! There was absolutely no need for the Mommy Woman to get all flushed and embarrassed and start apologizing for holding up the queue, but that’s her, always overreacting! 
  8.  Last but not the least, remember to throw your shoulders back, chin up and dazzle ‘em with that smile when you step out! Now this is easier said than done, especially if you have a wet blanket Mommy Woman tagging along with you, but if you want to be a true diva you gotta be tough! Last week, after spending over an hour selecting my outfit for a birthday party I finally got dressed and then, because the Mommy Woman, that obstinate mule, just outright refused to let me use any of her perfumes, I massaged some Vicks over my hands and throat. It was quite nice smelling I thought, rather exotic. Unfortunately it was also a little strong because the Mommy Woman sniffed it out like a bloodhound and went at me with her arsenal of wipes. She was so flipped out after that she came to the birthday party dressed in jeans and a tee (grey, that most miserable of colours at that) and a long face, totally overlooking my suggestions of that nice black skirt she has instead with a shimmery gold dupatta. But did I let her get me down? No sir! I was the life and soul of the party and in spite of the Mommy Woman’s efforts with those wipes I still managed to smell faintly of Vicks. Hah!
 With that I’ll leave you to channel and unleash your own inner diva! I’m not entirely done yet, in fact I just thought of a few other things I could share, but one of the tricks to being a good diva is to develop your own style which you can only do with trial and error so I’ll leave you to it. Besides, I need to sort out my wardrobe. I decided to rearrange my clothes today and its turning out to be quite a tedious exercise. At first I was quite excited about it; the Mommy Woman had left my wardrobe doors ajar and forgotten about it and I used the opportunity to get all the clothes out and spread them all over my room. The plan was to sort them out and club them together in some fun way, not the boring ‘day wear- night wear’ or ‘party clothes-park clothes’ like the Mommy Woman does. I was thinking something along the lines of a ‘Caribbean theme’ with all my shorts and strappy tops clubbed together and an ‘Egyptian line’ with the shimmery stuff and the necklaces, but that’s stuff for another day. My good friend S is coming over in sometime for a play date and I need to get dressed. I’ll just lump these clothes together and shove them back in. Hey, there’s that red and black glittery outfit someone had gifted me last month; I thought the Mommy Woman said it had got lost! It looks so retro and cool, I heard the Mommy Woman saying it looked like something Govinda would wear! No idea who Govinda is of course but I’m sure it’s someone cool; must remember to check with the MW later. In the meantime, I think it would be perfect for the playdate with S…yes it would! Oooh, so exciting! Laters then...and keep that diva within you glowing bright!