Monday, December 30, 2013

Pehle aap pehle aap main gaadi na choot jaaye

Well I thought, someone would do it first. As in you know, start wishing happy new year, give a wrap up, etc etc. :( 

Hmm well maybe people are super duper busy, not on an extended holiday like me :( 

So let me take this opportunity to do the wind down.

January started with much trepidation, since February was just around the corner you see. And what happens in February? New mommy joins office.ARGH! Scary I know. In spite of mil being there, it was super duper scary. Not only for the sake of the kid, for me too...would I be able to survive pressing F9 and F5 again and again after a gap of a year? Survive we did, and survive we did just fine :) Now all this seems so far far away. February also had the little one turning one! Yayyy! What a milestone! First birthday ! Party!!!!

As spring brought out colors and the chirping of birds, it was time to venture out more with our little birdie. We fully utilised the relatively warmer days by making lots and lots of trips to the parks and play areas. Aise hi haste khelte days were passing when Amma's mid year return to India loomed close. There was a  professional glitch for K which was very perturbing. But then, we decided to look ahead. We also took the opportunity to step out of the island and visit Paris. It was exhilarating, exciting and a very exhausting trip. We certainly forgot the setbacks at work. 

Amma was back in town. Things were returning to status quo. But like all years,  matters get out of hand for us towards the year end. There was some news with my parents which was very distressing. The illness of a very close family member clouded everything. Things are still not under control, but then there is no escape from certain scenarios. As the weather turned colder and the trees shed their leaves and the days started getting shorter -  a sort of dullness entered our lives as well. Chiyaa did her test run at day care and her unhappiness unsettled everybody. K  tried his professional move the second time and failed again. Burning his fingers twice was not as bad as seeing his peers proceed effortlessly. Things worsened at my paternal home. 

Who does not deserve a little timeout. December we decided to visit our new found love Paris yet again.Vacation do do the needful - they numb out reality. 

Here I am on the penultimate day of the year fancying that all works out fine in real life. I sit wishing for K's success, Chiyaa's happiness, my little sister's progress and my relative's well being. I beseech God to grant to my family to take care of a very sick but young kin.I hope my friend who is expanding her family with her soul mate has the most joyous year ahead and others hopefully find their matches.

May our dreams soar high and take us all to our coveted destination. If not, may we have the strength to try again. May we all learn a lot, love a lot and live a lot in the coming year.

Wishing you all a very radiant, vibrant, gorgeous new year!  

Friday, December 27, 2013

Love locked and feet dead

I better get done with my Paris reverie else my mild OCD will not let me pick up anything till I am done :(
 
Day3 was slated for general roaming and loitering . Our top priority was food - yes not sight seeing. ;) As I might have mentioned umpteen times, K somehow always wants to have Indian food! We had decided on a place called coffee India, based on Tripadvisor recommendations and proximity to our hotel. The place was a little one and the fare was gourmet. The masala in the Masala Dosa had all sorts of vegetables (really healthy but then who wants to eat healthy in a hotel?!) . It was served with some really creamy chicken curry which was very tasty but my 'Indian' food sensibilities were crying at this outrage of authentic cuisine. K ordered a dish called Kothu which is some sort of scrambled dosa with some curry. The curries were again so rich and creamy and yes tasty but un-authentic. I hoped someone rescued French people from this travesty - but then sometimes lies sell :(
 
 We caught a tube to the Cité which was an island in river Seine. First on our itinerary was the Notre dame.  The church was a very majestic and magnificent. From there it was a long walk to Pont de Arts. This bridge has an urban legend regarding putting a lock on the bridge and throw the key in the river which in essence locks your love forever. We too followed tradition and bought a lock. It had 3 keys , I took one gave to K and the third to Chiyaa. As per tradition K and I dropped our keys into the waters of Seine. When asked to put her key, Chiyaa merely threw it till the edge of the bridge. Little kid, we let her try again. Same result. Huh. Ok third time lucky maybe? But same result. Hmm.. was she wishing for her parents to have their options open and not be another ever after ;) so we grabbed the key and threw it :P Of course we did not want any options :)
 
Since it was a foot bridge we allowed her to go crazy. She was running, crawling, jumping and squealing all over the place. We grabbed some coffee in a local café. We had read that the quaint restaurants and cafes in Paris were not to be missed. But we somehow found that facet a bit over romanticised and over rated. We did not get a decent brew in many places. I feel the vending machine at my work place serves better coffee. There was absolutely no variety in menu. French bakery which is supposed to be very renowned did not wow us at all just like the famed Mysore Masala Dosa did not cause a stir in our tongues. Some things are just over rated that’s why I never judge a movie or a book by what critics say :) As a side I just watched The secret life of Walter Mitty and simply lovedddddddddd itttt!!!!! Do do do watch it for some escapism, some too good to be true drama, some surrealism. Ok enough of this digression.
 
As it  was getting close to dusk, as per ritual we sighted our light house - the Eiffel and started our long walk to the coveted land  :D I know this portion is getting too monotonous and routine. But there is some pleasure in sticking to tradition. As usual we saw the lights at Eiffel, started the walk to the hotel and made the Little Birdie walk the final stretch.
 
The next day was our very last in Paris. We had to dedicate it to the famed Louvre which housed many artistic jewels of the world. I was most interested in the entrance which had been made oh so famous by the movie The Da Vinci code. Once I saw it and got a few clicks with it - I had had enough of Louvre. But the museum enthusiast K was not even warmed up. He got the audio guides and got started. Handling a pram, a bored toddler in it and the Nintendo DS which was being used as the guide and was very unintuitive - I was getting more irked by the moment. I gave up and allowed K to have a good wander. But as time passed, it was getting a bit out of hand with Chiyaa. She wanted to be let out of the pram. And if I let her out she went about touching the artefacts! The security at the famed museum was not too happy about it and I was getting 'the looks'. We viewed Venus de milo after which I started nagging K that the kitten was getting bored. K was enraged and we were in a deadlock situation. K wanted to continue his study in ancient arts, the kid and I were bored to our bones. Technically we should have won 2 against 1. To make matters worse, since we both were bored, we were getting hungry too :P I recommended we grab some grub after which K could return to the largest museum in the world, while I would take Chiyaa back to the hotel and somehow make do. K did not agree with it since he wanted us to be with him. Even I wanted to be with him, but then we can't have everything right? Anyhoo first things first, we had to get some food and zero in on a place for it. K with his utter fondness for his native delicacies recommended a place called Krishna Bhawan. (He was still peeved at Coffee India for having sold him some hocus pocus in the name of Indian food). The place was a bit far off but the 'Bhawan' in its name screamed authentic to K.
 
Authentic it was. Not only the place but the locale too. It was an south Asian dominated region. There were places marked with the south Indian languages, stores selling sarees and bangles! Wow ! Again a veritable Ranganathan street :) We got crazy with the ordering, it was Masala Vada, Idli, Spinach Vada, Thali and customary K dish of Kothu. Seriously mazaa aa gaya!!! Food made us think more clearly. We went to the museum where we decided on seeing stuff together come rain or storm. We had only managed Venus de Milo in the morning and there were so many pieces clamouring for our attention. Coming all the way to the Louvre and not seeing the Monalisa was something I did not agree with. I decided to have a dekko at that fabled portrait and then get on with taking care of the kiddo. I do not know whether something was amiss but I was not awed at all! I have no idea why the picture is so famous. Another over rated Parisian feature? :) Well maybe :)
 
Surprisingly the kid cooperated and fell asleep! We walked about, K diligently on his audio guide and dropping information to me. It was good fun in fact. Though our legs were dead with the hours of incessant walking, we kept going. We also remained true to tradition - in spite of the legs that were going numb, we saw Eiffel one last time and made the kid walk the last stretch one last time!
 
Aah Paris, je t'aime!



Monday, December 23, 2013

Revision time

As we gave our super duper tired legs some rest on Sunday night, we thought we would never be able to make it on Monday morning. In spite of our best intentions to give the next day an early start, it was 0930 by the time we saw morning. We made some quick calls to home and got cracking.

It was revision time and hence the visit to Disneyland. We opted for Disneyland Studios since Parks had been ticked off in August. As soon as we entered, we saw the little mermaid around. She was being hounded by little kids but our little kid had no patience for her. We made our move towards the Animagique show. There were five minutes to the show by the time we were seated and those five minutes were like five hours. I felt like Willy Bank might have felt as he watched his hotel being razed to the ground in 3 minutes. Why? Because Chiyaa wanted to run away. She wanted to run to the screen, shout out and unleash her most destructive powers. It needed the force of 2 adults to keep her seated and boy was it tough. Finally the show started and she started shouting Mimmie Mimmie. Well.. her initialisation to the Disney fold was via Minnie Mouse which she refers to as Mimmie. And poor dear does not see the difference between Mickey and Minnie. So though it was the Mickey Mouse on stage she was excited to see her Mimmie and from then on thoroughly enjoyed the show.

After the show was over, we kick started the rides  by one on magic carpets. The eager beaver again could scarcely rest till the ride started. She just wanted to go crazy. Thankfully this time the wait was in the region of 90 seconds and one we were off to a start she went about whooping and yaaying with us.

We were in dire need of some grub, but there seemed to be long queues in front of the stalls. And the stalls sold pancakes as the only fare we could have. Frustrated we had to get on with a big bag of chips and some carbonated beverages. That was not too bad since we had the live show of Stitch and Lulu to cheer us up. The show was really entertaining and a big surprise. It was getting close to nap time for the kiddo and as she drifted off to sleep, K chose to visit the Tower of Horrors. This ride/show was not recommended for kids and there was a sitting area where most of the abandoned families waited on the deserters to come back. I was not disappointed at all and grabbed a cup of cappuccino and chocolate drizzled waffles to keep company. With the kid asleep and K away I had some awesome time all by myself, sipping the warm cup, relishing the chocolatey treat and watching passers-by. After some time I thought of getting a smallish walk around and getting a drift of what remained. There was an Armageddon show which was closed down for repair work and a stunt show which was over as well. We had just a couple of shows remaining and as I was making my way back to the ‘waiting’ area, I caught K emerge.

We made our way to the Cinemagique show followed by Disney junior. Well the day was drawing to a good close and to best way to sign off would be with some good food. On our return we grabbed some chicken burger and fries. We were to catch the metro back to our hotel. Once we got down at our station, we could not brush aside the urge to pay another visit to the Eiffel tower. We walked in the opposite direction to have a glimpse of the beauty. We ended up being in a different part of the building this time and the light show at the strike of the hour awed us as usual. We started our trek back to the hotel and as usual the final leg of the journey we made Chiyaa walk with us J

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sunday start to finish

Well, we were off to a not so flying start. But a start is a start. At 2145 we reached Paris. Yep we had fallen in love with Paris one time in August. While talking about our next vacation destination we could not think beyond it. That was the only place both of us wanted to go, savour some more.

By the time we checked into the hotel it was way into mid night. But ah! The pure pleasure of checking into a hotel J I did mention K and I have very low standards when it comes to appreciating hotels. We literally like all of them. This time too we felt it was super awesome. We managed to get Chiyaa to have some milk and she drifted off after mid night. Inspite of a rather exhausting time at airports, we kept surfing mindless French channels till 2 in the morning. K can literally watch any tv (ok maybe not Odia tv :P ) And I have no idea why I can give him company K All the channels were French and the English ones were BBC world and CNN. They kept repeating the same news over and over. And we kept flicking over them. Senseless – I know.

It was 0930 that we woke to a lovely sunny Parisian morning. The Kabuki was a bit clingy. She did have an annoying cold to blame a bit. We had a bit of a tough time handling since she needed mommy only. The beautiful River Seine flowed right in front of our hotel. There was a replica of the Statue of Liberty near it which was a mini tourist attraction of sorts. We got there to kick start the touristy activities. Chiyaa also got into the flow and got posing for pictures and being the naughty little kitten that she is. We started wandering by the banks of the river to the nearest metro station. One thing that hit us hard was to see the number of people exercising. They were jogging, walking, running with a dog, cycling, you name it! In fact there was like a public open gym of sorts near the bank of the river with the basic twister exercise disc, rowing equipment, treadmills and some weights. There were people actually using it and boy were they making us feel bad. K suggested we get a big fat burger and eat it in the most noisy fashion possible to ‘break their spirit’. I wonder if that would have done the trick, those people seemed ultra-serious.

Not to be bogged down with the health freaks we walked on(I bet we were burning ‘some’ calories that way).  Our first stop was Arc de Triomphe. It is a beautiful monument commemorating the soldiers of the French revolution and the Napoleonic wars. It also houses the tomb of the unknown soldier from World War II. We got the tickets to visit the Arc up close and personal. We were trying to find a way to get inside since we had read reviews that the view from the top was not to be missed. Since most places in Paris are pretty ‘pram unfriendly’ we were retracing back. When all of a sudden a door opened – yep something like Open Sesame. And it was the elevator to the top of the Arc. The view was breath taking. I made some amateurish attempts to capture the beauty.

I was very insistent on trying French cuisine J So I kept asking for an ‘authentic’ place. Much to K’s petulance. I can pretty much ‘try’ anything –though I may not necessarily enjoy it. K poor dear had omelette as the best bet. We made our way into a small pub/restaurant. I  ordered some chicken dish and K a veg pancake. My dish was ok. K’s had chicken L He does eat chicken(but only if its very very spicy – so spicy that you don’t recognise the chicken)  and though the food on his plate was very unpalatable, he grinned and bore for lady love. Yea yea I am oh so lucky :P.

Our next stop was Cleopatra’s needle. I did not care much about the hows and whats of the place, but there was a couple who had just got married and they were being filmed dancing and prancing about in fountain that was not spitting water (yet). More than the actual monument it was very very amusing to watch them J I am not even sure if they were celebrities of some sorts. After having a look around, we made our way towards some building which we thought was important. It was. But unfortunately it was closed L Not to be despaired, we headed to a nearby coffee house. I ordered a Mocha and K a chocolate milk shake. They were delectable. It was the most unique mocha that K and I had ever tasted. And trust me we a lot of mocha in our blood J

Caffeine charged we were off to our next point Pont De Alexander. It was a grand bridge that stretched over the Seine. Dusk was slowly approaching and Paris was lighting up. It was changing colors gradually into a vibrant being. We kept wandering over bridges and roads, passed bustling shops and Christmas bazaars. It was around 1920 when we saw our light house – The Eiffel Tower. Luckily our hotel was a stone’s throw away from the tower as well. We decided to continue our walk to The Tower. We were to make it at the one hour mark since it lights up and does a dazzling show every hour. The deadline was a close one. And we made it! And watched The Eiffel make the most fantastic show J

That was quite some walking that we had done. We had the final trudge to the hotel. The final stretch of the walk, we decided to make the lil one walk too. She does a funny sort of march holding both our hands. It was brilliant fun. We wanted to see Paris through our eyes and legs and the first day was definitely hitting all the right chords.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hiccups

Well I did say what a stupendous start we had to the holiday. I am the proper believer in karma. If something bad happens something good is coming up. The cosmic equation keeps getting balanced in its own weird way. We had that fantastic 30 minute duel for two pieces of bread. What did it mean? Of course a wonderful problem free vacation was hiding just around the corner.

Chiyaa was a bit funny through the morning. Her paati had left to India 2 days back. She was not able to put her finger on the problem. Something was amiss but she could not fathom it. The head count was not 3. It did not make sense to her and she was super annoyed. She was also a bit wary should the count go even further down. Now that would worry any toddler would’nt it? So she kept cribbing, whining, clinging and not being her usual enthusiastic self. To make matters worse, all the altercation between her parents! Boy were things topsy turvy. We literally turned a deaf ear to her persistent crying and got her ready. The moment she was out under the clear blue sky – well she started doing march past! We should just leave the raccoon to frolic in the open.K

The taxi to the airport came on time. The crying and fretting had tired Chiyaa and she slept peacefully during the hour long drive. We reached the airport and seeing K managing a suitcase, a bag, a back pack, a folded up pram and me handling a super squirmy 21 month old a man remarked – it’s like moving houses is’nt it? Of course it is! I think moving houses is in fact easier!

Boarding pass – check. Luggage drop – check. Security check – check. Smoooooooooooth. K happened to cast his eye over the flight listing. Our flight was scheduled for 1445. ETD – 1830. Status - Passengers wait in lounge.  The color ran off his face. He showed me the screen. Me being the proper optimist pooh poohed it saying- ‘Oh come on don’t panic. Let’s move on to the departure gates.’ Thankfully at the departure gates there was an airlines customer service desk. I casually asked her (to confirm that my intuition that the information being displayed was incorrect ) ‘When might the flight depart’. Nonchalantly she replied – ‘1800 as of now per current air traffic. But it might be sooner.’  Seeeee… told you so I told you so .. it could be sooner. All this information displayed just to harry innocent passengers.

We got some sandwiches, two steaming cups of coffee and some muffins for the Munchie. We could engage her in eating for some time. After that she lost interest. She started getting bored. She had to be unleased from the pram. She had to be let go to roam the confines of the airport terminal. And we were to keep pace with her. We were running out of energy much sooner than she was. We kept praying for The Great Rescuer. No not the flight – sleep. It did come eventually and the Cutsie drifted off for an hour. We had our toilet breaks, had some more coffee(we were given coupons from the airlines for getting refreshments), and munched on a pizza (yayyy airlines sponsored airport pizza – so much for gourmet food!). As she woke up and started her afternoon round of activities again aka running amok, trying to reach for the garbage bins, putting her finger in the plug points – we got a waft of good news. The flight would start boarding at 1750! Again the optimist in me started doing the jump in joy – 1750 is such a magnificent improvement from 1830! We are in for a treat, we are in for a treat.

We got into the flight by 1815. By 1830 we would be off cruising to our destination. What we got instead was ‘This is your captain speaking. There has been some problem in the air traffic control at Birmingham which has caused the delay. We have you seated so that we can start as soon as situation improves. As of now we anticipate a delay of 45 minutes to an hour’ Arghhhh. Come on cosmic equation. Balance yourself now. Have’nt we had enough already????
The kid was hating being confined. How long could I keep making plane noises, showing her red light, green light and trucks carrying baggage. She wanted more. Even the cell phones did not pacify her. She wanted to play with the front seat tray table. Pop it down. Push it up. Lock it. In adult speak – annoy the passenger sitting right in front of us. There was a nice lady sitting next to us. She found an extra seat and moved away so that we had an her seat. God bless her! We kept Chiyaa in the middle, and since the seat in front of her was empty – she had a field day banging the tray table! I know kids! *rolls eyes*

K and I started betting when the flight might take off. Anything in the vicinity of 1900 seemed too good to be true. Finally at 1910 we got the frightful PA ‘This is your captain speaking. We anticipate a further delay of an hour but we are not sure. In sometime our crew members will come over go through any journey cancellations you may want to make’. K and I looked at each other. We had quite some money to loose in terms of the hotel booking. We hoped that the return flight would be refunded. We started doing the maths. K started getting in touch with the hotel and going through pressing button 1 through 9 to get to someone to talk to. While he was grasping his way through the labyrinth of customer service, the PA crackled again. ‘This is your captain speaking. And we have some good news. We should be ready to take off in 20 minutes.’ Of course there is a Father in Heaven. Halleluiah. 1940 we left terra firma.

The vacation had officially started!

Friday, December 13, 2013

The argumentative Indians


He : Oh my God! The toast is burning.
She (stuffing two cauliflowers into the freezer) : So?
He:So? SO? 
She: Yea just leave it.Why are you telling me.
He: What why am I telling you? Am I not supposed to tell you? 
She :What is there in telling me about a burnt toast. Just leave it aside. I will eat it.
He: Why will you eat it? No need to be a martyr.
She:What martyr? I said if you are so bothered about a burnt toast just throw it or leave it. Why are you telling me?
He: Am I not supposed to tell you? Its a burning toast. The house will be on fire and I am not supposed to tell you?
She(seething inside) :The house was not on fire
He: Oh so you wanted me to wait for it?
She : Oh  GOD! The house will not be on fire from a freaking toast in a toaster.
He:That is not the point.
She:What is the POINT? Why are we even talking about 2 burnt slices of bread?
He:What do you want me to do? Not talk to you? Very good.
She:ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGHH!! Not like that? Why take my permission. Toast is getting burnt. Just turn the darn toaster off.
He: You only say do this don't do that. If I do something its wrong, if I ask you its wrong.
She: Don't ask me about turning off a toaster for the love of God.
He:This is what you always do.
She:What?
He:Turn all melodramatic. Then I am sure you will cry.
She: Ok so you want me to cry is'nt it.
He: Does it matter what I want and what I don't.
She:Why are you talking on and on just because 2 slices of bread were getting burnt.
He: Because you are always so over worked and like a pressure cooker and you don't ask me for help. And all of a sudden you just explode.
She:When did I explode? You are asking me how to handle a burnt toast.
He:Is that so wrong?
She:It is not about right or wrong. Don't ask me. Just do it. Do whatever you want to do. I don't want to micro manage.
He: Why can't you ask me for help. What is soooo  urgent in stuffing 2 cauliflowers in the freezer?
She:You are not helping by asking what to do with the toast. I am keeping them in the freezer so that they don't get spoilt when we are away on vacation.
He: Food always gets spoilt and we throw it. Is that top priority?
She: Nothing is top priority.
He:Ya now you will talk like this.
She:Talk like what?
He:All this attitude as if you don't care and all.
She:Very fine.
He:See see there you go.
She: JUST LEAVE ME ALONE.Go get ready.
He:Ya now you are asking me to go.
She:I AM ASKING YOU TO GET READY. GO WAS JUST THE FIRST WORD. WERE YOU DEAF TO THE OTHERS THAT FOLLOWED?
He: Why are you yelling?
She: COS YOU ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY!  (As predicted by He she starts a trickle of tear)
He: Hey look here, I wanted a good nice vacation. I do not want to start it with a fight.
She: THEN WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT 2 BURNT SLICES OF BREAD FOR THE PAST 30 MINUTES
He:Ok ok calm down.Come on. Ask me to help and I will do it. You do not have to be so burdened all the time. 
She(feeling guilty) : Ya ok. I felt you were blaming me.
He: I was not blaming you. I was just telling you the bread was getting burnt.



Thursday, December 5, 2013

And it all comes tumbling down

It’s the last month of the year and things are all over the place :’(

We started taking steps forward as Amma’s return to India drew closer. We got the kid enrolled into a nursery, started planning our routine around it and got ready to handle it all ourselves (mil was a massive help over the past 10 months even though many a times we might have taken it for granted.)

We went ahead with a major assumption (which is risky in all sorts of projects – be it in life or at work) – that the kid was one helluva gregarious girl who would take to day care like a fish to water. Parents – if you think you know your kid through and through (for you created that little rascal did ‘nt you? ) think again. Its something like code -  you may feel it’s the most awesome-st thing since Google and users click on one innocuous button and all comes tumbling down. Same with Chiyaa and the nursery set up. She cried the first day, the second day, the third day, the fourth day and next just fell ill with a raging fever.  We were left with eight days with Amma and 10 days from a vacation. We decided to let her recuperate at home. Yes – this was going to take her off the day care routine, it was going to mess her system up – but then how could we let a sick  child go to nursery. We will take things for better or for worse once they come.

I elicited feedback from all parents. The group was divided. There was one whose kids were the fishy ones – who took to  nursery like water. (Oh how deluded was I to believe that I belonged here) There were the others who had lost count of how much their kids had cried – they had cried for ever. There was a parent who put it like an almanac entry – her son had cried from Vijay Dashami till Pongal! In plain speak for 3 months. Sister in law revealed her daughter used to cry and puke. She was a proper drama queen. Even though she enjoyed it, since she was made to sleep there, she thought she was staying there forever and would throw up a fit to take her nap. I even consulted my uncle who is a doctor (I do not want to break my kid’s spirits after all). Surprise surprise – he said the process was akin to getting vaccines (huh I think rationalisation runs in the family – I had literally thought of the same parallel myself. Or does he secretly read my blog :S ) I have been given estimates which ranged from 1 week (very optimistic) to 3 months (realistic). Some go as far as 6 months to a year (very pessimistic).

I have started searching up nannies and hmm well they are costly! I have even dilly dallied with the option of quitting work (Which well-meaning mother has’nt. I think its one of those tests :|) K and I sit up at 3 in the morning and talk about day care. It's the only topic we have spoken of in the past 3 weeks! I have had quite some peppy adages thrown. I loved the way an acquaintance of mine put it – as per the western school of thought, women do not give up on their jobs so easily. They plough through inconveniences and stay strong on their decision. Their strength instils the same rigidity in all around them including their kids. So they do see light at the end of it. Indian mommies on the other are so weakened by the tears of their dears that they just flip everything else out of the window. Mil said ‘We can't bear a child crying and they don’t mind a child crying’ Wow! Brilliant isn’t it?! Sil said, I  needed me to be strong and one day I would be laughing about it! I am so so so waiting for that proverbial day!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Blue day

Yes the kid started day care today. I enrolled the services of daddy to help her settle down and also for my own moral support. Both of us took the day off to be on standby hoping that the back up power would never ever be summoned . 


I was all through putting up a false bravado. I kept believing that the kid would fare way better and I had to keep my mind off it. She would adjust fine. I was conditioning myself.  As K says – you feel what you want to feel. There was quite some truth in that.  I wanted to feel positive, I wanted to feel relaxed, I wanted to feel this separation pangs would inevitably hit her when she got to school. I had to wear the safety net myself first before I could provide any reassurance to anyone else.


We woke up way ahead of our regular time. Our chores done we waited for Chiyaa to rise and shine. Generally the water tap, the microwave bing , lights and sound of any fashion wake her up. Today she kept sleeping like a angel . It was heart breaking to lift her from the bed, change her and get started. It felt out right cruel. But what is to be done is to be done . 


We started in the right earnest . Reached the daycare. Chiyaa saw her dad packing the pram and had the most pleading look on her eyes . We slowly took her over to her designated room. Kids were seated around having their breakfast. She reluctantly settled into a chair. Her eyes had welled up though she was curious of her surroundings. I felt as if something inside me was dead because I did not feel sad at all. Sounds ruthless I know . But I felt the whole process was akin to taking vaccine shots - painful but necessary and for our good. I felt I had somehow pushed all emotions under some big dead weight. K on the contrary was a crumble . His eyes had the faraway look, there was a sniffle and he would not utter a word. I could understand he wanted his time to realign . Finally he broke the silence and uttered 3 words - I miss her. I wished to hug him and say kind words and console him. I knew it would all be useless. K had to get his own anti bodies for his shot. 


It was barely 15 minutes since we had left her and I already felt the urge to call and check how she was faring. I somehow managed to hold myself till it was 1.5 hours without her. I was not too happy with what I heard. She had been pretty upset and been crying through out. I tried to brush the news and get on with my normal activities. I had planned to get her back at 1430 which would be the  time as per my part time schedule. At 1300 Amma asked me to check how she was faring. I could not resist once the idea had made home in my little head. I called up and I could hear her screaming. It was unbearable. I jumped into my jeans and mommy daddy rescue squad was on its way. 


We reached and saw her sobbing on the lap of a child minder who was trying her best to make her ok by showing a toy. All the other kids were fast asleep and my dear darling was crying her eyes out. We brought her out and got her dressed in her coat. The lady who was with her for most the time said that she had played a bit . The moment she would hear the door open or see parents drop their kids she would remember and start crying. I felt very sad at the thought of it but she reassured me that as she would realise that mom and dad are going to come back she would fare way better. Not a pleasant idea to make your child used to. I know. I got her a big cookie and was consoled by the fact that she was not responding adversely to either of us. I had heard instances from friends where the child became too clingy or repulsive towards a parent. Poor dear kids we sometimes bheja fry them :(. 


We brought her home. She looked relieved (or that was my interpretation of her look) she got on playing with her familiar toys. I wished her strength. I wished her patience . I wished I would never have to leave her but I would. Hope tomorrow is much better than today my little birdie . 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Things move on - pretty quick

My head was about to burst. Yep - I had so so many things to write. But time!! That elusive element that slips from our hands. :( 

Well whats been up. I mean what has been happening- lots.

Diwali came. A work related set back for K was not the prelude we were hoping for at all. He was crestfallen. But the proverbial things must move on. The day of lights started off low key with the usual feelings of nostalgia and reminiscence. As the kachori and achaari paneer got ready, we got into celebration mode. We had more the reason to celebrate since Amma was also with us. It was a Diwali when all four of us were together. K put on some channels streaming Tamil programmes (Diwali is celebrated by hosting debate competitions in TamilNadu. Incredible India! I hear you :D ) Some colleagues of his came up with savories. We also gave eenth ka jawab with pathar by serving mil made burfi and murukkus. Eating is such an integral part of our ethos. We eat and all is well.We munched upon a variety of food and Diwali was celebrated in the truest of spirits! 

The next day was Halloween celebration at K's work. The kid was the devil,mom a leopard and dad crazy cat. She danced her way to glory.It was so thrilling to watch Chiyaa just get into the flow and dance to the wild jhinchak music. Again - food glorious food-  was just too good! There were games, songs, dancing and general fun. Chiyaa was so beat that she literally came to me drifted off to sleep right in the middle of all the conundrum . 

The following morning work seemed unreal. I was in a trance. I had no clue about the happenings around. Slowly the senses returned. The usual humdrum of work prevailed. All was not so dark and murky even though summer was officially over. The Christmas decorations started coming up around the city. A fresh festive fervor started getting enthused. All started to look bright and happening again. 

Which made us for a moment forget that Amma's return was a month away. The month became 20 days, and then a fortnight. We had the trial run of Chiyaa at the daycare centre. The first day was a charm - she ran off,  played around and scarcely came back to us when we called. Morning shows the day?Unfortunately not in this case :( Second day she got really upset after 15 minutes. Day 3 the same saga. I decided to forgo the next session since I wanted her to have a day at peace at home with her granny. For tomorrow  we face the real deal. Yep just like my initial jitters about joining work after maternity I have total monarch butterflies in my stomach thinking about tomorrow when I start her day care. No amount of preparation can help me in gearing up to face the challenge. I know kids adjust way better, things fall into place way sooner, but when I look at her expectant little face which comes running to me for reassurance and security - I get on the inevitable guilt trip. Who will she go to tomorrow?

I just hope all goes well and all my fears are baseless hopeless paranoia.

Monday, October 28, 2013

It's been so long since I gave a din charya post

Yea there used to be times when my posts in succession would be about what happened during a day. Now the days are so filled in running after a toddler, work, studying for work and home chores that I feel I miss to put the moments in blank and white. But today let's change the pattern. 

Talking of pattern K and I have made a routine . We step out every Sunday with the Kabooki and have a lunch outside and get some shopping or window shopping done as the case may be and get back home . It gives Amma the much needed respite from the kid. She enjoys some alone time when she can catch up on her friends and family without chiyaa trying to snatch the phone from her. She does not quite enjoy eating the food available in restaurants here and prefers having a low key meal. We both have some time to ourselves. The kid is now big enough to participate in the meals and it's very exciting to try different cuisines every week and see her reaction to them :)

Today we hit on Nandos - the place that converted my die hard egg - eterian husband into chicken -eterian :) now he eats eggs and it s mommy mwahaha. Chiyaa loved the garlic bread there and munched upon it. Encouraged by her response we ordered the sinfully delicious chocolate cheesecake which ended up being quite appreciated by her. Nandos you are a family fav!!!!!

We had a longish walk to another shopping venue. We started off by searching  some Halloween costume for Chiyaa . At K's work place they are organising a Halloween party for kids. The costumes off kids were adorable. At the end we settled for a satan costume with the cutestttttt tail for her ;). Since amma would be returning to India in December we also purchased some clothes for our niece. It's such fun to shop for kids ! 

Next it was the turn of the adults. We had not got anything for Diwali yet. K started off by getting some really funky t shirts. I was not to be left far behind . Though I was dead tired , I found great joy in trying out some of the clothes and finally matched up  K's  funk (I think ) by picking a leopard print dress ;) 

As the grey clouds started hovering we made the long trek home. Amma had made the most scrumptious bitter gourd fry and curd rice. We decided to put shudh desi romance for time pass which is what it was precisely. Movie done we were so exhausted we just wished to hit the bed . And that we were able to since the lil one drifted off soon . Hurrrrrrayyyy!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Summertime

As I started reading this book I googled J.M.Coetzee. He came up as one of the most celebrated author in Anglosphere. I was living under a rock to have never ever heard of this two times booker winner and Nobel laureate . 

This book is supposed to be a fictional autobiography . That seems like an oxymoron does nt it? Well that is just the beginning of the interesting part. The author has written his story as interviews by his biographer with important people in his life. So what he has written are perceptions of other people of him. If you think it at the next level it is what the author perceives other people perceive of him. Tricky right? I found it very interesting , very unique. 

The biographer meets up with a Julia with whom he had an affair, Margot - a cousin, Adraina -a woman who he had a crush on, Sophie an old flame and Martin, a colleague. Since it is a fictional autobiography you tend to wonder how much of the characters are fact. 

The book takes us through his years in South Africa . He divulges bits of his relationship with his father, portions of his political affiliations and facets of his personality . The book is a very enjoyable and gripping read and the most engaging way of writing an autobiography ever. 

As usual I cannot do without putting forth the most appealing lines :-

As it is the fate of some generations to be destroyed by war, so it see,s the fate of the present one to be ground down by politics. --This is mentioned as bits from the diary of the author which the biographer records. 

If Jesus has stooped to play politics he might have become a key man in Roman Judea, a  big operator. It was because he was indifferent to politics, and made his indifference clear, that he was liquidated. How to live one's life outside politics , and one's death too:that was the example he set for his followers. 

So David Truscott who did not understand x and y, is a flourishing marketer or marketeer, while he , who had no trouble understanding x and y and much else besides ,  is an unemployed intellectual.What does that suggest about the workings of the world?What it seems most obviously to suggest is that the path that leads through Latin and algebra is not the path to material success.But it may suggest more: that understanding things is a waste of time;that if you want to succeed in the world and have a happy family and a nice home and a BMW you should not try to understand things but just add up the numbers or press the buttons or do whatever else it is that marketers are so richly rewarded for doing.

Did John love his father, do you think? Boys love their mothers,not their fathers. Don't you know you Freud? Boys hate their fathers and want to supplant them in their mother's affections. No,of course John did not love his father,he did not love anybody, he was not built for love. But he did feel guilty about his father.He felt guilty and therefore he behaved dutifully. With certain lapses.

For instance, white South Africans in those days liked to think of themselves as the Jews of Africa, or at least the Israelis of Africa: cunning,unscrupulous, resilient,running close   to the ground, hated and envied by the tribes they ruled over. All false.All nonsense. It takes a  Jew to know a Jew,as it takes a woman to know a man. Those people were not tough, they were not even cunning,or cunning enough. And they were certainly not Jews. In fact they were babes in the wood.That is how I think of them now:a tribe of babies looked after by slaves.

Their mutual grandfather had his finger in all too many pies. He was - the English word occurs to her - a go-getter in a land with few go-getters,a man with plenty of -another English word - spunk,more spunk probably than all his children put together. But perhaps that is the fate of the children of strong fathers: to be left with less than a full share of spunk.

I remember, in the days when I was a student, existentialism was the fashion, we all had to be existentialists. But to be accepted as an existentialist you had first to prove you were a libertine ,an extremist. Obey no restraints! Be free! -that was  what we were told.But how can I be free,I asked myself, if I am obeying someone else's order  to be free?

Students in my experience, soon work out whether what you are teaching matters to you. If it does, then they are prepared to consider letting it matter to them too.But if they conclude, rightly or wrongly, that it does'nt then, curtains, you may as well go home.

In Coetzee's eyes, we human beings will never abandon politics, because politics is too convenient and too attractive as a theatre in which to give play to our baser emotions. Baser emotions meaning hatred and rancour and spite and jealousy and bloodlust and so forth. In other words, politics is a symptom of our fallen state and expresses that fallen state.

Was he at ease with his black students - with black people in general? Was he at ease with anyone? He was not at-ease person(can you say that in English? ) He never relaxed. I witnesses that with my own eyes.So:Was he at ease with black people? No. He was not at ease among people who were at ease. The ease of others made him ill at ease. 

In the back pages of his diary he makes lists. Oneof them is headed Ways of Doing Away with Oneself.In the left-hand column he lists Methods, in the right-hand column Drawbacks . Of the ways of doing away with oneself he has listed , the one he favours on mature consideration is   drowning, that is to say, driving to Fish Hoek at night, parking near the deserted end of the beach,undressing in the car, putting on swimming trunks(why?) crossing the sand and entering the water(it will have to be a moonlit night), breasting the waves, striking out into the dark,swimming to the limit of physical endurance, then letting fate take its course.




Sunday, October 13, 2013

Make some noise

 I  was waiting on finishing a book to post its review. But then the blog was getting a bit monotonous. So though the work week has whooshed past I thought it was about time I picked up  the gauntlet . 

I shall write something and shall put my readers through some misery . Humility they say is a strange thing - the moment you think you have it you have lost it :) well I would love to think of myself as a humble person but then let me share a small joy . After 9 years and 4 firms I finally tasted a promotion. :) slurp! It tasted yum :) Let's pop some imaginary champagne :D Don't type cast me as vain now :( 

But that has meant a new not so cool boss :( lots of burning the midnight oil studying *groans* Once I am back from work I just want to plop on the bed and snooze. Barely the thought crosses my mind and I have Chiyaa poking my nose , pulling my hair and jumping on my tummy! ( wanna be parents this should not scar you from the untold joys of parenting :P ) 

Talking of Chiyaa she's picking up on actions of rhymes now. When she does pitter patter raindrops from 'i hear thunder ' the whole house goes awwww. ;) My mom keeps singing it all the while during the video calls. Chiyaa amuses her by doing the action for sometime but then my mom drags it in and the kid scampers off :D

Hmmm moms. They have such a calming effect don't they. I sometimes so miss her. When she says take care or get some rest sweetie I want to literally buzz away to her and let her give me her awesome neck massages :( I hope I am even close to what she is! 

If wishes were horses :( Anyhoo let's talk of the good things the weekend brought along. Like an impromptu movie The Adjustment Bureau(an old flop but it was free on the channel so who cares) . Like some delish food ( jeera rice , matar paneer and pakode  - the old classics) . Like being able to read some more pages of the book. Like being able to write this post while crunching some chips. 

Huh well I thought I would come up with a pretty elaborate one but then my words dried up . As I wait for another week to zip past here is my entry to the Write Over the Weekend initiative by blog adda :) which is about a post with sounds(This weekend your post must contain at least five sound words!For e.g. splash, crash, vroom, poof, etc.Are we all set? This week we go creative, phonetically! ) . 
There are supposed to be at least  five. How many did I manage? :)

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Glass Room


I wish I could finish this book soon. But given my slow pace, I took over a month to get done with it.

The novel starts in pre World War II  around the 1920s in Czechoslovakia where newly wed Viktor and Liesel Landeur plan their dream home  hiring the quirky architect Von Abt. Thus comes into existence The Glass Room. As the happy domesticity of the Landeur couple takes shape in and around the Glass Room with baby Ottilie and Martin, there emerges woeful saga of infidelity and betrayal. Liesel's best friend Hana is a breath of fresh air and comfort for the  cheated on wife.

As the war comes closer from faraway Germany things change overnight for the family since Viktor is Jew . As they flee from the comforts of their home in the hope of safety The Glass Room stands witness to the upheavals in Hana 's life. Having lost her closest friend she finds love in the form and place where she least expected. 

After the war a new country starts taking shape under the soviet reign. The Glass Room survives  the bombings and plunders to see hope rise and new beginnings take shape . It helps in the germination of the young love of Tomas and Zdenka. It seems like a déjà vu seeing Liesel  and Viktor through the ages. Will their love be faultless, blameless , selfless? Or will it be doomed - frail in the face of human idiosyncrasies and the vagaries of fate? 

A very good story I read in a long time. It certainly had a grip over me. It was a seamless patchwork of events and characters and happenings. One aspect of the book I really appreciated was the breakdown into chapters. It made it all the more lucid. The sexual undertones were a bit irrelevant and jarring for me but they were maybe for a different audience. The highs, the lows, the passage through time was is beautifully charted . The cherry on top was a wonderful sense of closure on finishing a book . 

Some excerpts from the lovely book :-
Women are'nt afraid. We just have real fears to deal with, not the silly fears that men dream up.

Perhaps that was what one expected as a relationship matured: love translated into affection, and lust into a kind of placid contentment.

It wasn't the way that Viktor and Katalin looked at each other, it was the way they did'nt look. It wasn't the notes it was the silences between the notes. Some music is the very enemy of silence, keeping the sounds coming so that the listener has no time to reflect.

It was only in the unknown that hope lay.

This is how Hana answers if she has belief in God.
"Not the compassionate God of the Christians. Some kind of malign life force, I suppose. Something that is always ready to trip you up just when you think things are going all right."

She knows what it is to be sad and miserable, but these emotions are almost enjoyable. They throw moments of happiness and laughter into sharper relief.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Do good and put it in the lake

Well for those who could not follow the pure genius in the title its an adaptation of neki kar aur darya main daal ;) Now for the saga behind this awesome title.

K had been complaining lately. About what? That he was getting out of shape. Mostly he blamed mil and me for it. Rather than exercising or exercising restrain on his intake, he put the onus on us to prepare smaller portions!! Yes - ghor kalyug! 

I had been pushing him to atleast go for a walk once in a while. But either he did not have the time or the mood. Yesterday I got a small window of opportunity and caught him. We had to go grocery shopping. After finishing I asked him to go on a long-ish route back home. First there was a crib session. He literally stomped his feet! I was like a drill sergeant. Nothing doing cadet. Walk on. 

After a point he started black mailing me. If I wanted him to walk I was to let him have a packet of chips. I was like whoa whoa whoa no kidding ! No chance in hell that I was going to open the chips. But then like a little nag the whining got a bit out of hand. I had to relent (God knows how I am going to handle the tantrums of my kid if I could not reason with an adult ) . I let him open the packet but he was to eat in moderation. 

Moderation as one may know is a subjective term. He had in quantities that he deemed moderate :|  He did wish to take shorter detours to home but I had to keep persevering to keep him on track. Finally with much ado we reached home . Was I happy to get a cribbing kid off my back. 

After dinner to get some scraps of appreciation I inquired if K enjoyed the 'walk' ? K was brutal in his reply . He felt uncomfortable, dragged and totally bored! ( bored in my company !!!! Talk about being absurd) He totally hated the 'walk' :(((((( 

Well everyone might not be as fanatical about walking as I am . Till I get a good walking partner and K some form of exercise he enjoys we shall go on our pursuits separately . :(

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Boo boo again

I realise my last post was due day before yesterday. My mistake may be excused in the light of the event that I was to get back to work after 2 weeks and 2 days. 

The morning looked promising with yours truly being able to wake up before the alarm went off . It was an incredible feat in itself. Though that was the end of the good part. I was totally bleary eyed at work . It was very daunting to keep my eyes open. The developments over 2 weeks seemed more phenomenal than those over my year's maternity leave. Team members I was  comfortable with had tendered their resignations. There was some changes on the applications landscape. Maybe after a year I was prepared got a lot of changes hence they did not matter much. But I was off for only a couple of weeks out of which most of the days I was in town. It seemed a bit excessive to have upheavals at the end of it. Anyways that is all part of a day's work. 

The good part was yet to come.When I reached home Chiyaa was elated to see me. She came running and hugged me and started jumping :) I was filled with boundless joy. You can be so important to a little one! Seriously.Who cares about bank balance or promotions or what ever label the world tries to weigh you by? A little kid's love is enough to make all wrongs right.

K popped over since work was a bit light for him. Being his typical self, he suggested a plan for going to Chennai Express. Mil and I were a bit skeptical. Our last movie experience with Chiyaa was not so cool. We had gone for the Superman movie and she was a proper nightingale. One hour into the movie we had to make our way home . We were not sure how she would react to another theatre experience . We decided to take a call depending on how she took her dinner. She seemed fine after dinner and we opted taking our chances. K offered that he would take care of her outside in case she became unmanageable . We were like neki aur pooch pooch? 

I am a TOTAL SRK fan. To top it I am a Rohit Shetty fan as well. I lovedddddd the movie. I was literally rolling on the floor laughing in the first. What a re-invention of SRK. He was spoofing himself . He did not seem ill at ease at all(which he seemed in the last couple of movies) He also did some good ol dhishoom dhishoom which reminded me of the SRK of Darr and Anjaam. Boy was the movie a lot of fun. K and mil also enjoyed it. The icing on the cake was chiyaa watched very calmly for 1.25 hours. And then drifted off to peaceful sleep. Another SRK fan in the making??? Hmmmm maybe :)

Day1 at work after vacatin done and day 15 of the mini blog-athon done :) au revoir :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday highlight post

This is the last day of my vacation and the penultimate day of the mini blog-athon. I am happy for one and sad for another hmmm :)

So let me post the customary high fours of Sabbath day.


  • Mil made the most amazinggggg pepper saalan. With parathas it was to die for.
  • Gave the kid a luxurious bath in recently arrived haldi powder from India . She smelled like a Kerala Ayurved shala ;)
  • Was able to catch up on the book 'And the mountains echoed'
  • As chiyaa played with her dad and granny in the park I got time for some tlc for my self. I applied a face pack in like 100 years:) even though I am terribly irregular it feels nice to do something good for oneself in the blue moon :D

Saturday, August 10, 2013

An open question

Yesterday the Facebook update of a friend of mine read - A chilled glass of wine, with her favourite music playing and her kid dancing to it made her day. Some weeks back another friends status read - Warm sunshine and relaxing time with her hubby and kid made her day. Yet another one posted pictures of vacation  with her children in some amusement park. The one thing common to all of them - apart from all the updates being upbeat was - they were based out of India.

Which set me pondering. Why were the frequencies of such updates not so common from my friends in India? I know day to day life is a bit tougher in India but then are there no small joys? Is'nt having family within reach a pleasure? Is'nt visiting the length and breadth of India equally spell binding? Is'nt having a cuppa tea with pakoras on a road side stall on over cast evenings delightful. 

Of course there are inconveniences. There are the frequent power cuts.There are mosquitoes and ants. There is the slow internet connection. There is the constant haggling with auto rickshaw drivers. But I am not talking the big issues of corruption, infrastructure, basic education, medical facilities. I know these big issues are way better taken care of in the developed societies. I am talking about the small things, the little niceties, the sweet nothings. I am talking about the beauty of the Durga Puja pandals, the pani puri stalls, the peanuts on the beach, the carnage during the sale in Bata ,enjoying and catching up on MTV Roadies. 

As an instance, I have noticed that catch up between friends is so few and far between in India even though accessible but in a foreign land people go through hell and high water to meet up! Of course there is a plethora of delectable dishes uploaded and smiling faces in social networking sites again with the location being CA, Manama, NJ or Singapore City. I long to see such updates from Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Bhubaneswar. Of course they are not absent. But wish they were more,lots more. On our recent trip back to India, we invited some of K's friends over to our home. They could not all come at the same time given their own commitments. What surprised us was one of them asked K if he knew what another pal was up to. K did know - but the incident did not fail to amaze me. Is it because the bigger things take up so much of our time and energy that we lack the zeal to pursue the God of small things? Or is it the case of ghar ki murgi? Or (no offense) the residents of developed nations are more flamboyant because it is cool to show case those exotic pictures? Just an open question, I would love to be enlightened.

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