Thursday, March 28, 2019

The other two

“Thank you for telling us about Button Bear, we will replace it here so please do not worry about it.
would you like to take Button Bear again?

I hope you have a lovely Evening”

My first reaction was “pagal hai kya fir se lungi wo bhalu?” (Am I crazy to take that bear again?)
But I professionally responded
“That is just so kind of you! We really appreciate it!
I think Shambhavi had her share of fun with Button Bear when he was with us. It would be fair to let the other children have a turn. :) 
Again we are very touched by your gesture. “

Phew! That was on bullet dodged.
Also now you see why I blog? If I kept saying what was on my mind, I would make the world an unhappier place ;)

No I have not forgotten about things 2 and 3. Lets get on with them. Monday morning Chiyaa woke up with a smile. Chiyaa can wake up in multifarious ways
  1. Howling Mummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyy
  2. Groggy
  3. Reluctant – Can I have a few more minutes of sleep
  4. Worried – Is it going to rain today? Is it PE (Physical Education) today?  Have you signed my book log? And so on..
  5. Hyper
  6. Mature – just gets on with what shes meant to do without any of us even telling.
  7. Happy
But last Monday was yet another way – with a smile. As I went to wake her up, she opened her eyes before I said anything and smiled. Then I asked her to come and brush her teeth. She said she wanted to come down first. I comb her hair downstairs.  I reached downstairs but she was nowhere to be seen. It is a small house, but then I went looking for her (On hindsight I shouldn’t have bothered. Not that she ran away to the streets). I felt she was in the bathroom and I opened the door. She was trying to brush her teeth. Her intention had been to surprise me. But when I opened the door, I ruined her surprise and (hehe she got a nasty surprise) . She was majorly upset and started crying. I am generally bit hurried in the morning. I started shouting back that she was being ridiculous. K came running and shouting at me. All the shouting woke Pumpki up.

Pumpki has 2 ways of getting up
  1. Happy – wassup guys types
  2. Grumpy – Go away I want to sleep.
Thank God she chose option 1 that day. All the shoutings later, we had a big group hug, lots of kisses and sorries and then I dashed out.

I felt bad about losing my cool so easily. It was all sorted eventually, but I ruined the smile Chiyaa had the first thing she woke up. Anyways that was one bad thing for the day.

I got my bus and was 2 stops away from my destination when K called. This did not augur well. I picked the phone and he asked in a very calm expectant way “Hey Mu, have you seen my car keys?” (He drops the kids and I pick them up and we need the car for that )
I was filled with a gazillion OMG, Oh no, and other unparliamentary words.
I knew the answer. Cos the answer came to me Bang! Like a thunderbolt. And I replied
“Its with me”. (Well before the said outing where we lost Button Bear, K had moved out with my car keys to open the car. Since Chiyaa was hovering around doing something which she felt was ultra important to do before stepping out (I don’t know what) I came with her a few minutes later. I picked up K’s keys to lock and put it in my pocket. I stayed there warm and cosy the entire weekend. Monday morn, when I saw my keys hanging on the key holder, I picked it without thinking much)
“What both the keys are with you? Yours and mine?”
“How, What, £$*”£$*  OK BYE”

I was shoot shoot shoot, too bad. It was 0818 and the Chiyaa needed to be in school at 0855. Taxis are highly unreliable in the mornings thanks to school and office runs. I was worried. I wanted to go back just for moral support. I called again. K picked “WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME ??? I CANT TALK TO YOU RIGHT NOW”.
I reached my bus stop and called him again
“ Did you get cab” I asked before he could say anything.
“I have booked Uber, but please don’t call. I cant talk to you”.
“Shall I come back?”
“Why? It will be of zero use”
I messaged him to send me a message once the drops were over.
0853 I got the message “Dropped in school, going to daycare now”

Phewwwwww!!! Chiyaa wasn’t late. The school is quite stern about being on time. Its not that an off incident is not pardoned. But if shes delayed Chiyaa gets very nervous. I have been with her once and she was literally having a panic attack when she thought she might be late. Anyways that was another horrible thing within a span of 1.5 hours!

I crossed my fingers through the rest of the day which was rather uneventful (Touchwood!) So that’s my happening weekend + 1 folks!

Monday, March 25, 2019

3 bad things

I am generally a very positive person. Touchwood. My manager does a spot quiz where she makes us tell 3 good things that happened over the last 24 hours. Like she literally jumps that question on you. So you need to be thinking all the time. It is not so hard for me, cos I can come up with 9 good things that happened over the last 24 hours.

But this time, the bad is a bit easier to say. Technically its not over the last 24 hours, more like its over the weekend covering Monday morning too. But some real bad, horrible things have happened.

Friday, Pumpki got Button Bear. Now for the back story. Her day care is called Little Buttons (Aww cute! I know :D ) They have a teddy bear called Button Bear, who is given home over a weekend and the child can take Button Bear for adventures (aka everywhere the child goes, the bear goes and this is the big adventure the bear has! ) I know I sound so cynical don't I. The child just chugs along, while the parent notes (or fabricates) experiences of the child and the bear. There is the option of supporting the adventure with pictures too. Very drawn out assignment. But I have no comments. Its how this country works! Chiyaa had some Twinkle Teddy I think! *rolls eyes* When K sees any of these creatures coming home, his language becomes very colourful. Anyways, so for Pumpki's "good behaviour" on Friday, she got the bear. She did not care so much, while we nudged her to play with it, and slowly she got the drift that she has to play with her. We took some customary pics too.

Saturday we went for lunch. Pupmki was happy posing with the bear for lunch. Then we made a trip to a supermarket. (By this time you might be aware of where this story is going ) The kids were going berserk. But then they were being kids. So we did some shopping. Chiyaa managed to break an entire pack of eggs! Boom! 12 eggs gone! Not one egg tried to put a brave shell and not shatter. Huh. The shop assistant came and calmly said "It's fine it was just an accident." And promptly asked for someone to clean it. Since no one saw, everyone assumed Pumpki was to be blamed for it "Was it you little one? Did you want to bake a cake you cheeky". We did not bother to correct. :| For shes still at an age "where she does not understand" many things. But Pumpki if you are 18 and want to sue us, here is some written proof.

Ok, so we went to the billing counter. Billed. Kids had some cookies to make them feel better, because they were a bit ill at ease after the egg-breaking episode. I asked, "Where is Button Bear". Chiyaa - the ever clever, observant one said "Oh we left it in the car". For a change K was correct when he said " No you girls were going crazy running around chasing each other. The bear was with Pumpki then". That's when the penny dropped.We searched. We spoke to customer services. No result. The store asked us to call in 3-4 hours in case it got handed over by some one. ( But we knew, we had lost it for good) Pumpki was crying her lungs out by this time. And got a good shouting (which ironically made her stop crying, so maybe it was a good thing)

Back home Chiyaa was the most impacted by the incident. She went on telling alternatives. She said one time, she thought she had lost something, but when she came back, it was back in her room. (Not the case this time) Then she said, what if someone from Little Buttons saw it and kept and returned it to the nursery on Monday. (Very optimistic, kudos to that, but again, a far stretch) Another alternative - what if we buy a new bear and give it back (I had already worked to that end and emailed the daycare. I even tried searching for an identical bear, but nothing matched the definition. I hope its not some custom made fancy bear which will take half of my March salary). We were happy that Pumpki was ok, since the teddy was meant for her. It was only next morning, when she woke up that she said, "Where is Button Bear", that we felt that she was not that unscathed either.

In one of the episodes of South Park called Follow That Egg, the kids in the class are paired and given an egg to take care of as if they were parents. I felt like we had broken our egg. I felt very incompetent that we had managed to lose something which maybe held sentimental value to many kids! K commented " Big adventure huh! There you just got lost!" Well, maybe I was jittery about being judged too. All the nursery staff know we are the parents who lost the bear!! 

Well, the only way to cope is to think that it was not a matter of life and death. 

That has been a long summation of bad thing number 1 ( I am not counting egg-breaking because technically I did not do it. Well I am responsible for actions of a minor child, but then, lets leave it at that). 2 and 3 in the next post maybe. :(

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Updates time

The last post was very solemn. The fallout from there on was grim as well. Every time I came upon my space to post something, I would see the last post and retreat.

I was hugely impacted by the state of events in India in February. I have always felt very strongly about defence and defence personnel. In fact I was very keen to join the army short service commission back in the day. But I spoke to a very distant relative of ours who was in the armed forces. He gave me a good reality check. He did not dissuade me, but gave an overview from an employment and employability perspective. I had my well meaning parents who also gently nudged me towards a more traditional career. But the dogfight in February made me think about it and I decided to start a signature campaign to get justice for a martyred soldier. I was skeptical about signature campaigns, and I read up a lot online. The verdict was still out there. I thought it was better to take steps and know rather than not know. I went ahead and raised a campaign. I got a slow trickle of signatures. The initial aim was to reach 100. As soon as there were 20 signatures, I received an email to make a contribution of £20 to get the campaign publicized. It would get more views and its chances of going through would be more. Now this seemed like a proper scam to me. I was not averse to paying the £20, but the whole raison d'ĂȘtre of such campaigns was being violated by asking for money. Wasn’t the whole purpose of such campaigns was to bring in such issues to the forefront about which people had a certain opinion about. Linking money to it, made it seem very trivial. There was also the very real threat of accounts being hacked. I would be putting my payment details into yet another site! And with the current spew of hacks, I was not so comfortable doing that. So in case you have thought of online signature campaigns, you know a bit more now.

While I was trying to make this impact (and failed), I was also motivated to make another change. Again historically I have been quite an environmentally aware person. I used to carry plastic bags with me as a teenager in India. I tried to continue as far as possible. In the western world it is quite easy to be flippant about nature since for the sake of convenience a lot of things are  disposable. I feel in that respect a lot of Indian values are far better. The way many street side foods are served in plates made of leaves, snacks are served in paper and in fact my sis and I were reminiscing that in Indian railways, the eggs used to be cut with thread and given. The Indian lifestyle is far more harmonious with the environment. Our wedding decorations are reused, we use so much bamboo and environment friendly artifacts. Any bad habits that are creeping in are more due to the mindless emulation of economically developed countries.  In the west, there is a manic obsession for plastic packaging. I was reading an article which questioned the rationale behind packaging something as transient as fruits in something as undegradable as plastic. The fruit rots away in days while the plastic remains for centuries. It is hard to eliminate plastic – they are all pervasive. As I was setting up our house last year, I tried to get stuff made of natural products like rubber, fiber or recycled plastic. I have also opted for cleaning products such as vinegar and baking soda which can be bought in huge bulk and thus abstain from using a lot of bottles. I read up on making natural body scrubs and for the past 3 months have stuck to using a sugar scrub (sugar + olive oil /any oil of preference + few drops of essential oil for fragrance), thus avoiding the shower gels. It also helps me avoid the body lotions and the bottles there of. There are few other changes too, such as doing away with disposable wipes for cleaning surfaces. Last month after toddling with the idea for a long time, I went full throttle. I started using menstrual cups. I was completely cynical of them at one time, but then without dilly dallying I went full on in one month. And I would recommend to anyone who has been thinking about them. With my environment friendly ways, I feel better. I don’t feel like a hippie, but I can imagine how they might be feeling being so one with nature. It’s a good way to live though in all honesty it is time consuming. Everything natural takes time. Again in all this I think how much has the west got to learn from India. I remember how my mom used to apply turmeric and yogurt on our face, wash our hair with egg and yoghurt, the mandatory oil massage, the natural way of living. I just hope and wish we keep going back to them, because for the sake of convenience of a few minutes, we do end up doing a lot of damage to ourselves and to the world around us.

Speaking of the world around us, to anyone and everyone who likes to pick a book – I am recommending The Spellman Files!! It is an amaaaaaaaazing book! Please read it. It’s a book about a family of PIs (Personal Investigators). They are a quirky family and the way the book has been written is quite quirky as well. There are so many instances in the book that just make me chuckle aloud in the bus. It is a fantastic book. I see a few regular people who take the bus from my neighbourhood. And the book makes me want to find out more ;) (Recreational Investigation as book calls it! ) Don’t worry I am not going to go around following others, nor am I going to keep looking over my shoulder. But well, it’s a very interesting book and well worth a read. This is one book I will ensure my daughters read when they are ready. This along with Summertime by J M Coetzee. Thankfully both my girls like reading. I hope this is one habit they retain as they grow up. Because this is the only habit I have managed to retain. I think I am old enough to find TV boring!!

Well my old fingers have run out of strength to type any more. So till next time, be well :)