Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Why do people do that

I cannot fathom for the love of god how can people walk and read ! I know some people are very adept at multi tasking (though there is credible proof to the fact that human beings actually 'cannot ' multi task. We can only move from one task to another. Some can do it real fast giving the semblance of multi tasking ) 

Walking and reading takes it to a whole new level though. The pair of eyes are supposed to guide one on the road. If they are engrossed in reading - hmm - how do you walk in the right pace ? That's why I have seen such people being a major stumbling block for pedestrian traffic . They amble at their own leisurely pace forcing those behind them to reduce momentum. Or if they walk at a normal rate I cannot imagine how can they savour the delights of the book. Are they not neglecting some brilliant pieces by the author when they are concentrating on manoeuvring the road ? What is the need to read and walk? More importantly is it possible to do them both together ? I cannot even flip through pics of a glamour magazine while walking. People walking  with their e-readers and thick novels completely beats me. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

The joy luck club

Ever since I read The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan I wanted to gobble up all her books . She writes about her homeland China  with a love and nostalgia that is heart tugging. 

The joy luck club is her most famous book. It is a book which is for all mothers and daughters. (So says the advertising :)  ) My maternal granny has  3 daughters, my mom has 2 and I have 1. So this book was literally a must read for me. 

The book is about 4 mothers and their daughters . The paraphrase at the end of the book says that it like wind blowing from any of the four directions and the reader has to fathom where it is coming from. The story switches between the 4 daughters and their mothers. They all narrate it in first person so it gets really confusing as to who is who. Well it's fashionable to confuse maybe. Which reminds me of a short piece of fiction I wrote *ahem ahem* . It was nothing to be proud of at all. The feedback I got from the people I sent it across to was that it was confusing because of the usage of a lot of pronouns . I can see the joy luck club as an example which does precisely that.

Back to the book :) The book toggles between the life of the mothers  in China , their re-alignment to a life in the USA, the daughters' lives and the constant shuttle cork of judgement and misunderstanding that passes between the parents and children. All the families know each other and all is not hunky dory between them either. There is the usual bad mouthing, teenage squabbles that continue into adulthood, one up man ship and the works. 

The author is very vivid in her description. The struggles and strifes are very real. But the book is so confusing that after a point I stopped following what was happening to whom and concentrated on the events only. There were instances where the mothers were referring to their mothers *rolls eyes* I wish the author had been clear about the narrator at each juncture. 

Another angle that did not work for me was the utter disconnect between the mothers and the daughters. The Chinese philosophy as per the book is that mothers are in the bones of the daughters . But this deep connection did not come across in the book. The mothers seemed ruthless disciplinarians and the daughters seemed to be inhabiting parallel universe totally unaware of the feelings of the mother . I have read Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother and got the same feeling. The authoritative nature of the parents seems excessive and unjustified. I wish there is an author who could  show me the reasoning behind the dictatorial nature of Chinese mothers. The distancing of the daughters (children ) seems natural.

The climax of the book is a real tear jerker. The last 30 pages especially are very emotive. They redeem the author. It made me realise that the rest of the book does warrant a thorough and more engrossed read. 

Give the book a chance for a different story telling. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Satisfying Saturday

  • Cooked a scrumptious lunch which wowed K :)
  • Went for a swim after a long time
  • Took a long walk after that with K and the lil one (could not feel my legs after it though :( too much cardio in a day - not cool )
  • Managed to watch The Karate Kid since our kid drifted off to sleep (Jaden Smith is sooooooo cuteeee!)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fab Friday

Taking a cue from last blog -Athon the four amazing things of a day :)

  • A bright sun was with us for the whole day 
  • The little bank errand ended up being a long exuberant stroll which lasted 2 hours
  • While listening to a street performer the kid ate a banana and boy was I happy! ( I am really paranoid about making her eat at least a fruit a day. Some days ate good some days very bad)
  • Had pizza for dinner!!! Woo hoo!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Totally self inflicted

Now I am no AB that people hang on to every word I say or every post I write (come to think about it my initials are also AB :D but the similarities end exactly there :)) ) But I am going to do something again that I tried last year - hmm well a blog-athon. Though this time let me go for the mini version for 15 days .

I am going to include yesterday 's post in this event. I know technically its cheating but in my defense the idea struck me after I had hit publish :P 

Anyhow :) Amma started back to India yesterday. Since we were booking a cab to and fro the airport (which is in another city) we decided to take Chiyaa along. Boy was she happy! She loved the long car ride inspite of waking at the unearthly hour of 0430 in the morning. She liked the bright lights, the big luggages, people and the general din of the airport. We dropped Amma and headed home. Ironically K was the most beat. He was'dead tired ' and needed to hit the bed immediately!!!!!!!!!! :O men and their aaraam farosh nature huh! 

The kitten was frolicking around the house. Once K started for work and the house was quiet did mademoiselle doze off. That was my chance to knock off some chores. Daddad gave us a pleasant surprise by popping over for lunch. After which just like old times Chiyaa and I headed off on a stroll . We went to the children's library. Since it is summer vacation time there was a fair in front of the library. Of course we did not miss a chance to get on some of the rides. 

We reached home pretty exhausted. While the kid napped and rejuvenated I got the dinner ready. 

Beginner's luck maybe but the first day alone with the kid was pretty I eventful. In fact everything she did seemed more special to me so much so I ended up taking some 4 videos in a single day. I felt that being away at work made me cherish her and gave me the patience. The experience yesterday changed my view. Kids are special no matter what :) They naturally evoke the best in us :) 

But the cherry on the cake was yet to come . I had received some awesome news from roomie dear :) I had intended to shout out to her as soon as soon as I  was privy  to the news but bid my time till she cleared an examination . Clear she did and that warranted a call. We spoke after maybe 6 months but we hit off as if we met everyday . Close to 60 mins just flew by and it was super duper brilliant !!!!! I could nt have asked for a better ending to the day :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Of course I am a bit nervous

Amma finishes her 6 month stint in UK tomorrow . She will be going back to India for a couple of weeks and be back for 6 more months after that . 

I am on leave in the meanwhile. And to be honest I am a little nervous about things. It's been 6 months and we have been a 3 member tag team in handling Chiyaa. It was weird to have help initially but with time it has become the norm. I handled all the house hold chores and Chiyaa s tasks with K's help in the first year. With Amma  I went back to work and things slowly started falling into place. The first 7 hours of the day I would be away from her . Amma would be totally involved in her care. Once back I would take over her care and we would synchronously finish cooking, the dishes , the clothes, grocery shopping etc etc etc. 

Chiyaa has grown in the span of mil's stay. She has started walking , been totally weaned, adjusting to a lot of 'grown up' food. She has started expressing emotions like anger, frustration, glee, sense of achievement. She had all these emotions earlier but now as she is becoming a 'little person' her expressions are becoming more vivid and  discernible . It will be a bit over whelming for me to handle all of them on a day. 

As I gear up for these next two weeks I cannot help but reminisce about the blitz of last year. Handling a new born just by ourselves . Those cold dark days of constant struggle, the seeping of strength and confidence, the slow ventures to the outside world which lead to full blown outings and trips with the lil one, my battle with my bulge and finally reaching there. Those truly exhausting days when there was no succor, those made awesome by the mere return of K early from work, those swimming lessons when everything seemed so new and those transitions where everything was so flabbergasting. From tomorrow I shall have a new game plan. Maybe lots more time to read and catch up with my hobbies. Maybe lots more outings and trips to the parks. Maybe a rehash with my routine in sync with Chiyaa's (up when she's up and zzzzz when she hits the bed) .

I also think what if Chiyaa misses her paati a lot. I know being with me full time will be different experience for her. I hope she gets used to it. I have taken tips of the trade from Amma regarding her morning pattern (I know I miss a bit when I am at work, yea many times miss a lot :( But then somethings gotta give :) )

Things will be different , a lot will be happening . Lets wait and watch :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

The ultimate hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy

Now before I start talking business some general updates :) 
The kid does not let me go close to any electronic device- laptops , smart phones ,even epilators and hair dryers are out of bounds . Hence I am slack in blogging and am a bit on and off  social networking ( which I must confess I am quite liking- really better than being constantly hooked on to fb. The phone does feel lighter ever since I uninstalled the app. Yes I uninstall apps I don't use much hence goodbye fb app) 

Work had been crazy busy for a month with me clocking literally full days(I need not since I work part time) Things do look a bit better on that front as well(touch wood). I was rewarded with an extra day of holiday which I feel is awesome . You see I loveeeeee not going to work :)

Now before I keep on drifting back to the book -  the ultimate guide to survive the galaxy . I had this book on my radar ever since I heard about it which was some 3 years back ( maybe before that I was living in the Congo basin) Now this is the ultimate guide - all the 5 books of the trilogy . And 2 total waste of spaces in the shape of 2 novellas. 

The series centres around Arthur Dent a very 'mango' person from planet earth, his extra terrestrial friend Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox - president of the galaxy and Trillian again an earthling. The story starts with the destruction of earth for the construction of an inter galactic expressway . Arthur is saved by Ford and they are able to hitch a ride in the space ship of the Vogons(residents of another planet) 

A roller coaster ride ensues which borders at insane . It is so insane that it is utterly hilarious. Book 1 - which is the hitchiker's guide to the galaxy is my favourite. 

The next instalment is the Restaurant at the end of the Universe. Here end is end in time rather than space which is mostly the norm . So rather than being a restaurant at the border of the universe it is a restaurant at the border of the existence of the universe. The author plays around with a lot of space time travel which is funny in parts and totally baffling in others.

Book three which is Life, Universe and Everything was honestly filled with a lot of technicality . I was loosing the plot though ardent 'hitchikers' claim to it being the best. It had Arthur Dent trying to save the universe from the crazy Krikkit robots. It was very funny in portions but some parts were too OTT. I was waiting for it to get over. On second thoughts maybe it warrants another read for better understanding and more laughs. 

It did get over and So Long and thanks for all the Fish brought Arthur back on earth. He even got to meet a pretty lady which was so Big Bang Theory-ish.  The book was vivid , very funny and minus a lot of gibberish . All the space talk in the preceding books does make a normal average intellect person like me go squint eyed. This book on Terra firma was sweet and enjoyable. 

Mostly Harmless is well mostly harmless. :) it takes us wayyyyy into the future where lot of things have fallen into place or so we think. It's like a little epilogue to the whole journey. 

I can not complete the review without some excerpts from the book: 

"You know," said Arthur,"It's at times like this, when i'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse and  about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I's listened to what my mother told me when I was young." "Why ,what did she tell you?" "I don't know, I did'nt listen"

:P :P 

Number Two's eyes narrowed and became what are known in the Shouting and Killing people trade as cold slits, the idea presumably being to give your opponent the impression that you have lost your glasses or are having difficulty keeping awake. Why this is frightening is  an, as yet, unresolved problem.

He was staring at the instruments with the air of one who is trying to convert Fahrenheit to centigrade in his head while his house is burning down.

(LOL :D)

Just as a slow series of clicks  when speeded up will lose the definition of each individual click and gradually take on the quality of a sustained and rising tone, so a series of individual impressions here took on the quality of a sustained emotion - and yet not an emotion.If it was an emotion, it was totally emotionlessone. It was hatred, implacable hatred.It was cold, not like ice is cold, but like a wall is cold. It was impersonal, not like a randomly flung fist in the crowd is impersonal, but like a computer issues parking summons is impersonal. and it was deadly, again,not like a bullet or a knife is deadly, but like a brick wall across an expressway is deadly.

Hmm :) I liked that piece a lot :) 

He had read somewhere that the Eskimos had over two hundred different words for snow, without which their conversation would probably have got very monotonous. So they would distinguish between thin snow and thick snow,light snow and heavy snow,sludgy snow ,brittle snow, snow that came in flurries, snow that came in drifts, snow that came in on the bottom of your neighbor's boots all over your nice clean igloo floor, the snows of winter, the snows of spring, the snows you remember from your childhood that were so much better than any of your modern snow, fine snow, feathery snow, hill snow, valley snow,snow that falls in the morning, snow that falls at night, snow that falls all of a sudden just when you were going out fishing, and snow that despite all your efforts to train them, the huskies have pissed on.

"Search me buster," said the creature."As I said, I'm new here. Life is entirely strange to me. What's it like?" Here was something that Ford felt he could about with authority. "Life," he said,"is like a grapefruit." "Er, how so?""Well,it's sort of orangy yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in themiddle. It's got pips inside too. Oh,and some people have half a one for breakfast".

The author's humour is dry and outlandish is nt it?

Give the series a try if geeky humour might be up your street. Book 1 would surely win you over. The curve might start falling down with 2 and 3 if you find it all  too obscure. Might as well jump over to book 4 and 5 for good 'earthy' fun.Don't worry the plot is not lost if you chose to skip the other books - its like a sitcom , they tie in together but then each episode is an entity in itself :) 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Before I turn into Ekta Kapoor

I thought I would end my passport saga in 2 parts. But there has been no end even in part 3. Hopefully before I turn into a veritable EK who drags her stories on and on and on let me bring this story to a close( or will I ?) 

When we were dismissed from counter7 with the much needed information we trudged to the bus station. We had close to 2 hours before our return. We decided to grab some grub. We missed our cutie in every toddler we saw . We were all ooing and aahing seeing the activities of any child from 0-60 months :) yea schmaltz . We were having our very first trip without the munchkin  ( not a fun trip I agree) (thinking of which the two of us had never ever gone without the kid anywhere )And here we were missing her. 

The return bus journey was 4.5 hours long (yawwwwwwwwwn) my company of   books saved the day again . We returned home dead tired and had the lil one waiting on us. She had been walking around the house searching for us in the evening. She is used to me being back from work in the evenings. Not finding me around she kept looking for me in the bathrooms and all. Amma did take her to neighbours's house and she had played quite a bit there. 

I booked the Friday to deliver the remaining documents. I was very jittery - I hoped this would be the final trip, I hoped they would not ask me for any more document , I hoped this would all get sorted out. 

I reached the consulate , got my token (yea good ol counter7) and waited. It was all so familiar . My turn came, the nice lady took my docs and said it would be done! Ahem ! That's all???? You sure? You don't want any other document. , family history no nothing? I was 4 hours away from my return bus journey and my work was over ! 

I spent the rest of the days waiting with trepidation . Will it won't it? Kept checking my phone and my emails.  Till finally I got a message from Amma 'ammu passport has come' With an expiry slated for 2023 the little blue valuable document was well worth the effort and the subsequent wait of 7 days.