Monday, December 3, 2007

Tag Time

I love 2b's momma for throwing tags at me at regular intervals, but momma I do not know how to create links in my blog! So one of my quirks have to be that I am a silly fool who can blog but cannot create links to others' blogs. I do not have seven blogging friends. I visit the madmomma's blog regularly and 2b's mom's blog and my brother's and Jonathan's random ruminations when he choses to wite and sends us cheeky invitations, Izzy'a and Amrita's blog sometimes and the adventure dad's blog more regularly, so that does not make seven and half of them don't know who the heck I am! What I can do is jot down the seven quirks and implore who ever comes to my blog to consider themselves tagged. If they do not have a blog I implore them to create one and be tagged!

1 My sun sign is scorpio so you can guess how quirky I am, the fact that I am a scorpio and so affected by the fact is in itself a quirk I think.

2 I have a very strong sense of justice and I view the world in black or white. If I am convinced that a particular action is the correct one I proceed to argue and bring others around to my way of thinking thereby wasting precious time. The Mr says I would make a good lawyer!

3 I choose to think that I am a feminist and am very suspicious of the abilities of a man. In fact a close friend of mine accuses me of trying to make her hate men. I told her knowledgeably a long time ago that all boys are suspicious characters and one should steer clear of them!That did not stop her from falling in love with and then marrying her classmate. I think this suspicion of men comes from being educated in a convent where we were told that whereas girls are made of sugar and spice and all things nice, boys are made of puppy dog's tails scissors and snails and all things bad!

4 I am dislexic, while coming back from college I read a sign that said ' NAUSEA BAGH-I', taken aback I looked more carefully to find that it is actually 'NAUSENA BAGH-I', and that is the most recent incident!

5 Following from the above I am very bad at spellings, this was hidden from my teachers since a classmate of mine was even worse and the teacher once commented that she (the classmate, not me) can make a dictionary of her own. I thank God for this classmate as my ridiculous spellings went unnoticed.

6I am obessed with clearing the ears and noses of my children and cutting their nails. My children respond to this quirk with loud screams of protest and so does my mother. The moment one of my children land on my lap I start examining his/her ear and nose for wax or nose booger and proceed to remove it immediately making the skin of those watching the episode crawl.

7I can sit just about anywhere, ignoring the dust-stairs, footpaths, floors of the DTC buses, anywhere. This is a common ailment of those who have passed out from Delhi University, so I have heard.

Well 2b's mommy, what do you think? can you teach me to create links?

Missing The Baby

A lot of high drama in my life and finally when the dust settles my little baby is along with my Mr lodged far away in Bangalore. My first born will always be my baby, she is still very babyish and has never really grown up. I have never been away from her except when I went to have the mite and that was only for two days and I was hardly conscious of it has I was recovering from surgery. But now having to send her all alone to her father so that she can appear for an entrance exam was like cutting off a part of me and parcelling it away. Don't know how I did it. The parents in law does not know what hit them when the mr said that if we wish to put her in Kendriya Vidyalaya then we have to send her immediately.My baby bravely went off alone an evening flight. The next morning she appeared for an exam and the principal took her in. It was her first day in school today. The Mr is doing the job of both father and mother, knowing well that it is for four days only as they'll be back on Friday and we will go to Bangalore all together a week from then. If it had been for any longer we would bot have blown a fuse, him for having to deal with her and me for not having her always stuck to my side!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Precocious Little Ones

"Aamar ekta mamma chhilo, shei mammata kothai galo?" (I had a mom, where is that mom of mine?) enquires the little one of his grandparent when I go off to college in the morning. The other day the kids had attacked me from two sides and I commented that I feel like a sandwich. The mite pinned his sister down and said "aami 'wich baniye diyechhi" (i have made a sandwich), to which the elder one said "mamma dekhona 22 amake witch bolchhe" (mom brother is calling me a witch!) to which I replied " donot be mad he does not know the meaning of witch" then we heard what he had to say carefully and found out that he meant that he had sandwiched his didi between the bed and himself. All through the day the moment anyone is out of sight we hear enquiries like "Dadubhai kothai gelo?", "Thamma kothai galo?" (Where has grandpa and grandma gone) etc He loves listening to stories and exhausts his grandfather's stock by saying "aarekta golpo bolo dadubhai." (tell me another story grandpa). His favourite game is asking things like-"oi car e ekta babu boshe aachhe shei babu tar naam ki, mamma?" then we have to say that the babu who is sitting in the car is none other than 22babu. He picks up words very fast, and speaks in complex sentences, the other day he produced a scribble which looked like an 'A' which sent all of us into a tizzy. He is even now he is directing me "ekhane akta red bus bana mamma" (mom make a red bus for me here ). He is into 'calaling' (coloring) and he can make circles and oval shapes and he can scribble quite well. My daughter was also very good at these things she used to sing pretty well at this stage but I am happy with the mite's progress.

As for big sister, she is mastering the art of spellings very slowly, but I cannot make her study routinely. TV is the main problem, she steels quick glances at her grandmom's sereals and the other day she told me " Mom you have such a lot of hair on your legs, when I get hair I will use hair removal creams on it, why don't you do that" I almost fainted! She will be asking for a nose job the moment she reaches her teens! I immediately cut an hour of TV time and crossed my fingers.


...with questions most of which I do not understand...but what the hell, here goes


1. How do you feel after a one night stand?

Thank God I have not had any but in case it had occured I would be emotionally drained and angry at myself.

2. Do you ever get used to wearing a thong?

Donno what it is, haven't encountered one. Read about them and have concluded that they must be a sleazy undergarment, I am so backward, am I not?

3. Does it hurt?

It hurts not to know about it. Would use it on hubby for sure!

4. Do you know when you are acting crazy?

I am crazy and subscribe to the maxim 'it is a pleasure sure in being mad that none but madmen (in this case women) know'.

5. Does size really matter?

No no never, it is all in the mind dears if the emotions are on everything else pales in significance.

6. When the bill comes are you still a feminist?

I am a feminist, in every circumstance, if I could I would run the house with my own earnings I just don't trust the hubby to look after my babies.

7. Why do you take so long to get ready?

I never take long to get ready, my hubby takes longer. Now a days I have to get the babies ready so I start early and do a great job of it, ask the Mr. if do not believe me.

8. Do you watch porn, too?

Who doesn't, it is a good way to learn the tricks, although I cannot understand how men can get it up while others are watching, women can fake it but a hard on is hard on is impossible to fake.

9. Will something from Tiffany’s solve everything?

NO definitely not, I detest bribes in any form!

10. Are guys as big of a mystery to you as you are to us?

No mystery these guys, they are selfish creatures and think no end of themselves. In India they are very badly brought up and they have no idea how obnoxious they are. But unfortunately we are stuck with them....

11. Why do you sometimes think you look fat?

I am fat, no thinking about it.

12. Why are you always late?

I am never late, unless something serious goes wrong.

13. Does it bother you when we scratch?

YES, you dirty animals!

14. Do you wish you could pee standing up?

No thank you, even we would think that all the walls ever erected are there for us to pee on!

15. Why do so many women cut their hair short as soon as they get married?

I am impatient so I never can grow my hair beyond my shoulders.

16. How often do you think about sex?

What else is there to think about?

17. What do you think of women who sleep with guys on the first date?

Its their life.

18. Would you?

If the attachment is instant and I feel really emotionally touched, I would, maybe.

19. Do you realize every guy wants a girl just like his mom?

Mine doesn't thank God.

20. Why does every woman think she can change him?

She has made the first changes in her life, moving away from family, adjusting to his home and parents so is it too much to expect that he will change a bit to accomodate her in his life?

21. Does it matter what car I drive?

No you need not have a car at all.

22. Do you ever fart?

Yes but we excuse ourselves we do not pretend that it has come from someone else.

Well, how have I done then, 2b's momma?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thank God for 2B's Momma!

Initially I got a lot of support from my cousins and brother by way of comments but now all have fallen silent, except my dear friend 2b's mommy whose blog I visit every time I get on the NET, thank you my dear for missing me. My house resembles a hospital with both the kids and the parents in law and me to a lesser extent falling pray to the seasonal viral infection. Also it was discovered that my daughter has a raging urine infection! She has told me not to make this public in my blog so I leave it at that without going into the gory details of her treatment. She is better now and so are all of us! I am working as Guest Lecturer and taking a class on Japanese History for which considerable amounts of preparation is required and we are also preparing to leave this city in about twenty days or so, most importantly, my husband is already in Bangalore so I am dealing with a strange loneliness. These are the reasons for my lack of inclination to write, till I saw 2b's mom's gentle encouragement in the form of a comment to my last post which I translated as "GET YOUR LAZY ARSE ON THE CHAIR AND WRITE SOMETHING, THERE IS SOMEONE WASTING PRECIOUS TIME ON THE NET LOOKING UP YOUR BLOG!!!"

I am grateful for this as I was meaning to write but have been making excuses for myself. Afterall my life has not been as eventful as this for a long time. Every morning (except Thursdays and Sundays) I slip off to college and each day is eventful because I go by bus and come back in an autorickshaw and thus encounter a lot of people. Then I rush back home to a baby who is spewing new words by the dozen and says the darndest things as he has just learnt to talk in complex sentences. Then there is the elder one whose study routine is still haphazard and who is in the habit of bursting into tears the moment I mention studies! My husband adds to this confusion by calling up and giving updates from Bangalore, every day we have a new plan of action depending on the circumstances that are constantly changing there making it difficult for the poor soul to give a definite answer to any of my probing questions. I am excited about the change that is occuring in my life but I am feeling a few pangs for this city that I am about to leave. A city that I am getting intimately involved with once again travelling to a college where I had studied myself .That was the time when I got acquainted with Delhi as an adult who is allowed to travel on her own in the great big DTC buses. That was when a true bong like me learnt that bus hemesha 'aati hai' coz it is streeling or female in Hindi.

Even today I like travelling in buses not only in Delhi but in Kolkata too which is the other city that I know very intimately. The other day I was walking from the Safdar Jung Terminus towards Africa Avenue when an auto came rushing by, I stopped it and said I wanted to go to my college, he said "mujhe Nizamuddin jana hai, main aapko us golchakkar tak pahuchan sakta hoon' I said ok because I had taken a new route and part of my calculations had misfired so I was running a little late. The guy dropped me and did not take a penny, ' aapko kuch nahin dena parega, mujhe Nizamuddin jana hai nahin to main aapko le jata' the guy was actually apologizing for not taking me to my destination, how peculiar, never knew this kind existed in this city. Clearly I don't know the city as intimately as I thought I did. I suddenly felt quite queer, I will miss this city. I have missed the trade fair this year, God knows when I will be able to visit the trade fair again, another pang. Look here Diya, I told mysel, you hated this city, you have been here for the past ten years, you have NEVER stayed in one place for so long in your life! YES YES, I can't wait to get out of this city, I am really and truely looking forward to living in Bangalore but still it is like leaveing a friend behind a bustling, bumbling, flashy, boistrous and yet beautiful city.

Travelling the ten kilometers to and from college I am expose anew to the idiosyncracies of the city. I was horrified to see that Africa Avenue has been renamed 'Africa Avenue Marg' ! Some poor half literate sign painter after painting half a dozen 'Margs' must have done this . Then I enjoyed a fight we women had with a man who refused to leave the ladies seat, an elderly lady later admitted that she also felt like punching the guy but was scared because she felt she would die if the guy managed to plant a punch on her!So women are fighting back the brutish Delhi male so watch out guys! I like my teaching assignment too, I have met a few excellent women. One teacher is a slip of a girl and very blind, her teaching strategies are the most interesting and innovative. She has taught me to see the so called disabled in a different light. There is much much more, people, places all kinds of stuff. I wanted to visit the Nizamuddin Dargah, I don't know when I will be able to, inspite of the fact that it is very close to my house, I wanted to go to the Okhla barrage to catch the flocks of flamingos that come here ( as I have heard), I wanted to make atrip to the Corbett National Park. The teachers of my college are actually planning a trip there! Well, I will do all those things some other time, a new city is calling me. God only knows what wonders lie in the lanes of Bangalore I am eager to explore the city completely so that I have no regrets when I leave it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Eighteen Year Old 'Children'

My class reminded me on Tuesday that the next day was children's day, "Oh yes..." I said absentmindedly. There was a poignant silence for a few seconds and then someone ventured "Ma'am we want a treat"! Hello, I thought this is BA IIIrd year class,these girls must be 17-18 years old and they want a treat for children's day!! Then I relented and said "what do you want coffee?" "soup" said someone "no ma'am, get us some sweets". "OK, but be sure to submit your assignments" I said and walked out. On childern's day I bought small chocolate bars from the canteen for the girls, I gave it to one of them to distribute and these girls behaved like little children all excited with their chocolates, asking me whether they could have the chocos right then in class, which I allowed. I sat back and watched this class of 17-18 year olds behave like little children, grabbing and throwing, accusing each other of taking more than one, chomping happily on the bars and teasing each other. Really, these girls do deserve a treat for they are still children, thought I. They are not old enough to have this little joy and thrill taken from their lives. They need to hold on a little longer to the carefree existence of a child for this is their last chance. After college I am sure no one will give them the benifit of doubt regarding this matter. They will be adults both legally and in real terms. All the best guys, I thought, have a happy adult life!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

O(h) So Entertaining!

OSO has outdone Saawariya at the BO. Although the two are completely different kinds of films, their names got linked together due to the simultaneous efforts of its actors', the parents of a couple of them and the director of one of the films to promote their respective efforts. Thus from a month before the Diwali release the television channels were invaded by SRK, Farah Khan, Deepika P, Ranbir K, Sonam K and their parents. Every music show on TV had the actors (and Rishi and Neetu parents of Ranbir) dance, sing, judge and finally politely ask the people to watch the movies. The news channels jumped into the fray and pitted the one against the other, and thereafter sat back and watched the fun. I think that it was a cheap trick, why compare the films and actors just because they are releasing at the same time. Why make the public feel that they have to choose one over the other. No one was contemplating victory for both, only one could succeed. This became so ingrained in a nation full of idiot box addicts that it has chosen only one of them. Anyhow I want to watch both of them. I am a very lazy person and I know that if the Mr had been around we would have watched one of them by now.
For the past one year or two (since the birth of our second baby put an end to prospects of watching a film in the theatre in peace) the man has been diligently acquiring VCDs or DVDs of the films that I want to see and taking out time for me to watch it. In fact he takes offence if I donot watch the films with him! I don't even know how to put on the movies either on the laptop or the VCD player!Which brings me to the topic of how much I miss the guy. today while coming back from college, I glanced out of the auto to see a man going about his daily routine of oiling his hair and the way his hair stood up on end reminded me of the Mr and I felt the tears come to my eyes. As you can see I am slowly becoming insane! Now I am not the mushy type, in fact I dont like men very much, but I don't know why I am so emotionally attached to this bloke. So much so that I want him to spend every waking and sleeping hour (outside of his office hours) stuck to my side. He cannot so much as venture out to watch a film without me throwing a tantrum.
He is labouring all alone in Bangalore trying to find a school for our daughter and a home for us while working terribly hard on his project. I hope everything will work out fine for us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Diwali Fever

Well season change time and the entire household is under the weather. One can hear a chorus of sniffles and coughs and sneezes.The children are have fever. I am the fittest of the lot and apart from a few sniffs and snorts and the midnight chain of sneezes I am able to go about my daily business. The others are a bit slow and decidedly not themselves. I knew of a lady who used to give her children haldi (not the powder but the solid raw haldi) and honey all through the year and they never had a cold in their lives! Now I am happy if I can get two square meals and the morning and evening milk past the children's lips for they are very picky and choosey about their food. The elder one takes out any morsel that I might have quickly inserted in her mouth without prior notice and inspects it closely before reinserting or rejecting it according to her taste. The younger one also immediately ejects stuff that he does not like the taste of leaving me to clear up the mess so I know it is futile to try and get them to have haldi and honey and if I tried I would be letting myself in for some unpleasant clearing ups!
The elder one also refuses to switch to winter wear even if the nip in the air becomes very evident. She does not like to wear socks or sandles at home either, so she is running amok bare feet and clad in her summer skimpies well into November and the result is obvious!The little one catches it promptly from whoever has it first.My Father in law is roaming about miserably in a shawl and Mom in law is also complaining of headache. Ah well, winter will be here soon and put an end to our misery I suppose. However the in-laws barely survive winter as I do summer so it is still more misery in store for the poor things!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Heppy Diwali ji Heppy Diwali!

Delhi is always in high spirits (in both its senses) at Diwali. Our neighbourhood shop spills over with Diwali gifts on display andyoung shop assistants madly packing gifts of dry fruits, chocolates and crockery. To keep my daughter out of my hair I made her clean and colour some terracotta diyas that I had bought two years ago and am recycling successfully every diwali! The diyas and a terracotta plate have turned out very nicely.My daughter spent her last seven diwalis with her fingers firmly stuck in her ears, this time she claims that she will not seal her ears. The mite is also very much against noise pollution however when he hears a big bang he just turns around and asks "etkli mamma" (what's that mom?) and when I say it is a fire cracker he accepts the answer and does not show any great reaction to them.
I was born on Diwali day and hence the name 'diya' . Since my birth, my birthday was on diwali only on one occassion, ie my 19th birthday and I felt like the world was celebrating it. Generally all happy occassions fall on the full moon in the Hindu calender, this is the only festival that is celebrated on a new moon night. The full moon is considered auspicious and the new moon dark and evil, hence we worship the dark and delightfully unconventional Goddess Kali on this day. All this darkness adds to my mysterious quotient, according to me, and highlights all that is scorpio in me.So beware all!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Exciting World of Teaching: Some Thrilling Times Ahead

W1ell, the high spirits that unleash itself at the time of Diwali resulted in the unilateral calling off of the classes by my students from today. I am feeling utterly bored as a result. Blogging is good but the interactive atmosphere that prevails in class gives a different kind of high. The play of reactions in the eyes of the students as I discuss Japan with them is exhilerating to watch. I do not allow lolling in my class, if I see their eyes glaze while I am dictating notes I stop immediately and tell them how important it is to study History or some other stuff that takes their minds off the drugery of taking down notes. I have been instructed to give written notes because they fare quite badly in exams otherwise, but I try to make them do some research of their own. I also do not lose an opportunity to try to incite them express themselves more forcefully, participate in debates and discussions and generally make their presence felt in this world.
At the home front I am still struggling to make my daughter sit down to study routinely and without my constant supervision- and let me tell you I am succeeding slowly but surely.The little one is talking 19 to the doz and creating havoc in the lives of his grandparents while I am away at college!
This is my first diwali after my marriage without the Mr. My MIL also said yesterday that he will be away for the first time in many years. Saying I miss him will be an understatement, it is a strange emptyness that even he would not understand perhaps. I am trying to ignore this period in my life and thinking about the time when we will be starting a new life in a new city barely a month from now.
I have always liked change, I would be thrilled when my father got transferred and used to go about grinning to myself when my parents and grandmom used to ponder the pros and cons of it. Every transfer of my father's has been a learning experience for us. We have been exposed to a variety of people and have dealt with a lot of different situations and have been the wiser for it. My children will also be able to experience a different culture and a different city I am really glad. Thank God for this change.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Of Sea Changes and a Glorious Visit to the Sea

Long break because there are so many changes in my life right now that I could not decide where to start and how to end. But for the soothing visit to Mumbai and Tarkarli I would surely have had a nervous breakdown!
We went to Mumbai in the Garib Rath Express and I recommend this train strongly. The seats are a millimeter or so less than that of the Rajdhani Express and there is no pantry car however they serve a mean egg biryani (Rs 30) and the veg thali is also good, you have to pay Rs 25 for your bedding. In spite of this the fare comes to half of that of Rajdhani Express and it takes the same amount of time too.
It was great to just be with my brother in law's family, to see our children spend some quality time together, to see the two brothers (the Mr and my BIL) go off together for a boys' day out and exchanging notes with my sister inlaw regarding how to deal with the Mr and how to manage the children and generally about life. My little unfriendly one took hardly a moment to adjust to this calm and love filled atmosphere.
On the very next day we set off for our sea expedition. The Konkan Kanya Express was a little late but the children did not show any sign of exhaustion or impatience, inference- my babies are born travellers! The mite calmly settled down to the second night of sleeping on a train in two days. The elder one is a pro but i was not so sure of the little one. The Upma -shira the next morning was heavenly. From Kudal station Tarkarli village is an hour's ride on an auto. We proceeded to loll on three unspoilt and unique beaches over the next three days. We saw dolphins early in the morning in the Deobagh beach which is also the point where the Karli river meets the sea and is therefore an unusually calm and serene beach. The last day was spent splashing about on the bhogwa beach a refreshing and soul stirring experience. We also managed to squeeze in the fort -Sindhudurg in the middle of the sea that has a unique Shivaji temple and an astounding view of the sea.
We returned to Mumbai to find that the Goddess Durga had arrived in all her finery. We went through the routine of anjali and bhog. We visited the Shivaji Park puja the grandest one in Mumbai I think and spent a reflective moment at the Dadar Choupatti.
Unfortunately the trip ended on a sombre note with my sister in laws father passing away in Bihar after a prolonged fight with that painful disease cancer.
Back to Delhi and the Mr's transfer order was out and he is off to Bangalore for a four year project and we will join him in a couple of months with al the turmoil of a transfer, but I am looking forward to this change in our lives.
And wonder of wonders, my teaching career has also started! I bagged a one month teaching assignment at my ex college with the help of my ex prof. In fact I am filling in for her as she has taken off for a month due to health reasons. The job is perfect because I am here for only a month or so and would have been unable to take up a longer assignment. It is as if a supirior force were carefully planning my life. I have felt like this many times before and am sure that a fairy godmother kind of being is watching over me and throwing the right kind of opportunities at me at the right moment.
For the time being I am planning furiously for my classes and for the new life ahead of me and loving every moment of it. Thank you God

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Little Mite's Path to Progress...and Some Problems that still remain

The baby has started speaking in sentences proving the long standing belief wrong that boys talk later than girls. " Dadubal, boon kotaigelo, boloto?" (grandpa can you tell me where the ball went?) asks he scarcely able to accommodate so many words in that little mouth of his. " Thamma, o thamma, auto kole balata jaa" (grandma, lets go out in an auto) says he, reducing the MIL into putty in his tiny hands. that " Didda opore dekh pakhhi" (Didi look up there its a bird), says he pointing up at the ledge of our neighbour's house where is pigeon is sitting, which makes my daughter rush to me and report this remarkable feat.
My daughter at this age used to entertain the presswali sitting below our balcony and an assorted number of her friends with songs that her grandmomhad taught her. This little one is not so social but that does not mean that he cannot communicate with his family.
Both the brother and sister, however dislayed one strange similarity, they can sleep while breast feeding and they enjoy doing so, so much so that they will get up every half hour to enjoy their addiction to the great discomfiture of their mother. Please all mothers who chance to visit this site can you give me a suggestion will help me wean my child without making him cry? I weaned my daughter with the help of an uncle of mine who is a pro in such matters. The child was 2 and a half at that time and I told her that the source of her addiction had turned sour due to frequent use, then I smeared it with a very potent liver tonic. When she tried to test whether I was telling the truth she got such a bad taste in her mouth that she never tried it again. Now the little one is not old enough to buy this cause and effect theory, so I need a different strategy, otherwise I will have to carry on this way till he is 2 and a half!

Happy Days are Here Again!

Well the Mr has been back for a while but the real thing that is making me wild with excitement is our forthcoming trip to Mumbai and Tarkarli! I am really looking forward to some days of carefree existance with my brother and sister in law and our nephew. The children will also enjoy some relaxed moments with their uncle and aunt and big brother. Of course we will throw their routine totally out of gear but they enjoy being swept about by our stormy visits from time to time. We will spend the pujas with them this time. I was tired of our Delhi puja routine inspite of the fact that my parents will be here (as is their routine for the past few years). As for our short trip to Tarkarli from Mumbai-I can't wait to hit the beach! In my enthusiasm I dragged the whole family off to Sarojini nagar to buy a dress (those slinky chiffon numbers), and flowery beach sandals. Well everyone else also bought something or the other for themselves so its ok.
It will be the little one's first encounter with the sea. I saw the sea quite late in life, I was in class X when we went to Puri. Thereafter there was the wonderful experience of Goa. After marrige I went to the Marina beach in Chennai and the Kovalam beach in Kerala and also Kanya Kumari. Then we had a rollicking trip to Alibagh. After my daughter was born, we went to Diu and we also had a wonderful family trip to Goa with a Juhu beach thrown in for good measure still later. Now we are off to Tarkarli, the Tahiti of India. The whole extended family will not be able to make it but we are determined to have a good time none the less.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Birthdays Galore

This is the time of the year that my brother and I and two of my cousins and a brother in law have their birthdays. My borther and I are both Scorpio. My grandmother did not know her birthday except that she said she was born in the month of Kartik according to the Bengali calender which is roughly October-November and seeing her stubborn and very scorpio personality I am sure she was one. Thus I have lived my young and immpressionable years with three out of five people in the house being very scorpio and my poor mother had to suffer all three of us and was none the better for it. I had decided that I definitely do not want scorpio children. I ofcourse have to fight a raging battle with my strong willed sagittarius baby but I can see myself winning in my overpowering scorpio ways. My husband is Piscean and most of the time has to eat his words for one small slip that he might have made! My little one is aquarius and is suitably under my spell so I have managed to be one up with my family in the power game!
Yesterday I met an old neighbourhood acquaintance, a mom who now has two kids like me. she said she was actually trying for a scorpio baby and her elder one is November born. The reason she cites was that all the scorpios in her family circle are well settled and successful in life. She had no idea that she knows me, another scorpio, a jobless mother of two getting by with the pocket money provided by the husband, having no career inspite of being 36 years of age. Not at all successful by today's standards.
As I stare 37 in the face what do I have to show for myself, two children and a submitted PhD awaiting the viva examination, ah well, one cannot have everything, at one point I was not sure that I would get into MA class, now I have a MA, BEd, MPhil, and an about to be PhD quite something I guess but no use until I get a job.Till that day I can vent myself in this blog and count my blessings and overlook the hurdles.
If I had my way I would like to lead a life like Annie's ( she is where its at, visiting the remotest village writing about real people, travelling throughout the country. All I can do is feel sorry for a starving child, an exploited woman, people killed in a stampede, etc she can actually go there reach out to the people and face the truth, looking it in the eye. I envy her courage and her opportunities at the same time I pray fervently for her well being, she is living my dream.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Gandhi and Gandhigiri

There is a saying that goes roughly like this 'laachaari ka naam Mahatma Gandhi' (helplessness thy name is you know what), there is a school of thought that believes that Gandhian principles have no value in these very violent and aggresive days. True if a mugger slams you in a deserted place you will not try toreason with him or put forward the other cheek so to say. You can either fight back or use your feet and run! In fact this is the problem with Gandhian strategies, they take time and organisation. In the face of direct and immediate life threatening attacks one must rely ultimately on one's own physical strength or capacity to retreat quickly. However the value of Gandhi's political strategy can be understood only in its proper context i.e. the atmosphere of repressive colonial rule. Gandhi is the only leader who could bring the Hindus and Muslims together in a mass movement in the 1920s. Furthermore, he was the only person who devised a strategy to bring out the women as an important player in his satyagraha. He is often accused of calling off a movement at its height just because he did not like the way it was going. But no one asked the rank and file to obey his command, so why did they? If everyone was keen on continuing the movement then they could have defied him, but none did. Why? This man had great charisma and appeal. But the charisma and appeal and hold over the people had faded by the time of independence, his efforts were unable to stop the bloodbath of the partition. In fact a group of people accuse him of all sorts of shortcomings.
Yes, Gandhi's political philosophy is not flawless, he himself said that the truth may change and it did in the August of 1942 when he said 'Do or Die' and did nothing to arrest the violence that followed. I think we are being too harsh on the man by lifting his satyagraha out of its context and trying to blindly apply it to all situations. Come on guys use your brains, apply it wisely, see what it actually means, as Gandhi had once said, if the principle of an eye for an eye is applied indiscriminately then it would render the whole world blind, (or something to that effect). We try to pick some points out of the philosophy and apply it to any situation and expect it to work and when it does not we throw up our hands and say that Gandhi is redundant or he was no great shakes in the first place! This lifting up and throwing down of personalities is the norm in the highly strung public psyche. His teachings need interpretation and understanding as was revealed in the film on Gandhigiri and it can be applied in several situation as was shown in the film. All that is needed is for us to use our grey cells.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Blogworld's Pros and the World of Would bes

DaShiv is famous in the Blogworld so much so that the moment he lands up in New York there are parties galore and lots of blogging friends to meet and make much of him. The significant part is that he does not have a blog of his own! He gets by by posting comments and beautiful photos on other people's blogs!!!He is a pro at commenting on blogs and I am the shakey novice trying to get people to read my blog and vote for something that irritates me no end and hoping for moral support from others and failing miserably. Today I will go on a vote appeal in the blog world and see whether people respond.
I read in the papers today that there is a blogger who has got tremendous support from others who think in the same manner when she wrote about her objection to the use of unnecessary quotation marks!
Aah well some people have exemplary communication skills and technical skills, to reach out to people and trmendous luck too to find others who think just as you do, I am sadly lacking in all these areas. Lets see what kind of response I can get by reaching out to the blogs I visit.The world of would bes is a bleak one for now but we still plod on.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wake up Call

"Mammaa, pancin daa" (mom give me a pencil) says the little one scarcely five minutes after getting up, the moment I reach for the pencil it is followed by-"Mammaa, kagozs daa" (mom give me paper), sometimes qualified with "Mammaa bolo kagozs daa", at which time my alarm bells start ringing and I know what I am in for. For the good part of the next hour I will have to draw vehicles and the lord and master i.e. my 1 and half year old will recite "truck..." and before I finish drawing that he will say "bus..." then "caal..(car)..Mo.....(motor bike)" and so on and finally "ghola..(horse)...booon....(ball)....dam...(egg)....dukku...(dog)..."by this time I will be panting with exhaustion, the moment I have finished the last request he will say-"bhaat dal tukkulu daaa" (give me rice pulses and vegetables). "look here my dear," I want to say, "breakfast constitutes stuff like bread, butter, milk, fruits and not bhaat dal tu..whatever" but I have no strength left from drawing so I scurry off to bring the breakfast. The next half hour of the day will be spent in following the mite around and putting the food in the moment he opens his mouth. He will be busy playing with his toys.
The elder one has a different routine, I have to kiss her awake and carry her to the loo, then I say stuff like "pleasae brush your teeth" "splash water in the eyes" " comb your hair"etc. On holidays I have to attend to both of them at the same time "Mammaa makhoon (butter) daa" , "Mamma where is the fevicol?", "Mammaa shaam (jam) daa', " Where did you put the two side empty paper for my drawing Mamma", " Mammaa shol (water) daaa", " Mamma please sharpen the pencil", "Mammaa bolo boonun (big balloon) daa", "Which colours should I use for the drawing, oil pastels or felt pens?", " Mammaa balata" (corruption of Bengali barate i.e. going out , the sentence is "i want to go out to play") ," Mamma see how nicely I have written these lines", "Mammaaaaa sssusssu" and I find that the baby has relieved himself all over the floor. At this juncture I feel like giving in my resignation- " Dear God, I hereby tender my resignation from the post of mother of two children. I am afraid that I am totally incapable of handling the job. I would be better at being almost anything else, please accept this resignation and asign some easy task like scrubbing floors and washing dishes. "
Then I sit back and think when both the children are busy playing with each other, how quickly these babies grow, here I was the only playmate for my daughter, and now I can relax while she entertains her brother. Soon very soon they will not need me, what will I do then?Anyhow I am happy for now, tired but happy. The pleasure of watching my two babies play together, sleeping side by side, hugging each other,colouring furiously together and just generally being. I thank God for all that She has given me, please don't let anything happen to them, please.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Ironic Situation Arising From Putting Religious Identity Before the National

While saying the two words that the losing captain is allowed to say at the presentation ceremony, the captain of Pakistan said something strange " I assure my countrymen and all Muslims all over the world that the team is going to do well in the coming series." or something to that effect. The line immediately rang a bell in my mind, hello, why should the Muslims of the world, other than Pakistanis, care about whether the Pakistani cricket team wins or looses? After reading Amrita's blog ( where there is a poignant snippet about how a Pakistani girl sold to the idea of an Islamic state reacted to the information that Pakistan was infact created as a refuge of Muslims and not envisaged as an Islamic State. I have also read about how the Pakistani team has become extremely Islamacised, I do not remember Imran Khan ever beginning his comments with the religious phrase praising Allah, it sounds good and who is not praying during the cliff hanger matches. But this is no innocent declaration of faith it is a political statement, this time I observed even Irfan Pathan begin with the prayer, maybe he felt the need because it has come to be established that you are not Muslim enough if you do not punctuate your statement with these proclaimations.
Today there was a scathing comment on the Pakistani captain's statement in the Times of India by a very respected and eminent jurist and teacher on p17 'Nation Mailbox' colomn, truely the Indian Muslim has always been suspected of secretly or overtly supporting Pakistan and it is funny how no one protested when such statements are made. Sir rightly points out that the only interest the Indian Muslim has in the Pakistani team is to see it being demolished by the Indian attack! The incongruity of the statement is also apparent if one applies it to nations other than India, would Nasir Husain the one time English captain ever hope for a Pakistani victory just because he is a Muslim. Will the Bangladesh team feel happy to see Pakistan win? All I can say is "muh dhoke aao bhaiya aur apne dimag ka istamaal karo jab public seaking kar rahe ho".

Aha! Did That First

Yesterday's Delhi Times p8 carries photos of Michael J and SRK side by side to show how the former has begun to resemble the latter. The Mr had pointed it out on the day itself, I just wasn't as tech savy to pick out pictures of the two and post them on the blog. So dear folks who visit my blog or chance upon it, the Mr and I rest our case. But the thrust of the article written is diametrically opposite to our view. The journalist, undoubtedly an SRK fan, infact compares the two while endorsing the new look of SRK. Look here, my dear, I have no intention of watching SRK doing the moonwalk, that would be disgusting, what is Michael Jackson there in the world for? There are enough MJ clones in the world why should anyone be happy to see our Badshah resemble him?This is crazy, one should not become such a blind fan of anyone to the extent that one endorses the most serious blunder of the guy. I am a die hard fan of Amitabh Bachhan but could not sit through Mard or Coolie and did not shy away from saying so. I don't think that ANYONE would like to see SRK look like MJ so very few of these die hard fans must be around( and I am crossing my fingers tightly behind my back).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Still no Mr on the Horizon

I had read somewhere that the unhappiest of women are not those without children but those who are single mothers with no spouse. Well I am temporarily in that condition. The Mr had to extend his stay so the life is without drama and excitement. We just manage some hurried smses before I zonk off at night so no scope for a juicy argument either!The kids are ok, the younger one tries to call his father up a few times everyday. "hao, Baba?" he says putting the toy mobile phone to his ear. But he is used to not having his Baba around for the entire day with only a short encounter at night. The older one ofcourse asks when Baba is going to be back and calculates the number of days that are left. Thanks to the grandparents the absence of their Baba is not as disorienting.
I really envy the guys who can murmur sweet nothings on the phone, the Mr and I start off on an argument barely three minutes into the call which can lead anywhere- in the realm of threats - including me moving out the next day or us filing for divorce!The parents in law save the dayby calling up my parents or sending counter threats our way. In any case we have spent ten years in this now on now off marriage and I am happy to see that we have done pretty well for ourselves if nothing else we can show off our bright and intelligent children each of whom has more brains and talent than the two of us put together. There is also the other side of our relationship when we kiss and make up within a few hours after deciding to get a divorce!No one can understand the vagaries of the human relationship, not even the people who are in it!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Missing the Mr

One year into my marriage my husband recounting a conversation at office said-"I told Mr so and so that my Mrs is down with fever.."I was quite taken aback to hear myself being addressed as 'the Mrs' and all my militant feminist instincts started tingling. I had no intention of getting married and if I did marry I had decided that I would marry as far away from my caste and clan as possible- a Zulu warrior was a definite possibility at one point of time. I would be an exotic partner who the Zulu would take good care of. Anyhow such is the quirk of fate that I ended up in my own community, and even my own caste and the only thing revolutionary about my marriage is that we are even of the same gotra (ancient grouping meaning people of the same cow shed or some such stuff), a fact for which many couples are killied in the parts of this country that have not evolved from the dark ages. Since that was the first year of my marriage I did not scream in protest and mildly said 'Mrs?' The husband said "yeah, Mrs , whatelse?" completely missing the point. Well I still hate to be referred to as 'the Mrs' but nowadays I just wince slightly because the hubby means no harm and I love him so.
In my blog therefore I think I will address him as the Mr. Well, the Mr is in Bangalore again and I am missing his presence around the place, which includes finding trademark Mr stuff all over the house-his specs under the bed, his slippers under the table, his gold chain on the commode cistern, etc I will leave out some other gory stuff as the poor soul says he will be completely 'exposed' by the time I am done with him in this blog! Lets just say I am missing him every moment of the day although when he was leaving I let him believe that I was glad to have the laptop to myself for the whole week!I admit that I shamelessly plagarise his ideas to feed my blog- it was he who pointed out that SRK has begun to resemble Michael Jackson, I knew he looked familiar but could not put my finger on who he had started resembling. So dear Mr pining for you now hoping to see you soon my blog is not what it can be without your smart comments.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hail Team India, the Rest May Drown!

Two million for the team, promotions for all, houses for all fifteen, one crore for the six sixes..chuk de! Hello, my dear India lovers caste a glance to the east and look at the flooding waters my friends! Let not the crores dry up when we need it most. This one victory has fixed the stars for life and life is a great party with champagne flowing. Cut to the contrast in Orissa, this is the second time in the year that floods have set in. The death tool has passed double figures and once the waters receed there is going to be a spate of water borne diseases that will kill a few hudreds more, there is going to be no food and no urgent medical fecilities will be available. Less miserable but thought provoking all the same is the condition of neighbouring Bengal. Every year during the monsoons water enters the mud houses of lakhs of people. This time there has been a flood situation in several districts. The domestic help employed by my mother in Kolkata come from areas around the city and flood or no flood, their houses get washed away EVERY YEAR during the monsoons and they have to rebuild it. This year too they are sitting on the bed with waters entering their houses.
What is our notion of nationalism a victory in cricket or the victory over natural disasters like these? Will the givers of awards and cash to the Indian team spare a few lakhs for flood relief, will the politicians who are falling over each other to bestow honours to the team caste a glance at those organisations that are trying to aid relief operations? national pride will truely be worthy of bestowal when the object of our adulation is someone who can device a method by which monsoon excesses may be managed and flooding comes to an end. Perhaps it is fitting that the heavens are weeping as crowds gather to receive our heroes reminding us of the lakhs of our countrymen and women who are going to loose their lives in the floods this year.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Thanks Saurav for the T20 Victory!

While watching the festivities after India's win in the nail biting match yesteday I suddenly came upon a statement made by Saurav Ganguly that was being flashed in the panel at the bottom of the screen on one of the innumerable news channels-'Saurav regrets turning down chance to play in T20 tournament'- hello my dear, if you had not turned down chance we would not have won. I have been screaming myself hoarse in my blog rooting for young blood in the team since the beginning of my blogging career! Now my dream has come true. The young side with no emotional baggage and no serious injury and no politics, a fresh, energetic, stress free side with a uber cool captain-wah India wah!And what is this talk of having a different captain for the test side, I am sure that Dhoni has put such thoughts to rest. He is the undisputed leader of the side! I am glad that the 'Big Three' Sachin, Saurav and Dravid had absented themselves from the scene, thank you again guys. I am sure that they could have used their political clout to enter the team but they must have thought that it would not be worth their while. They would never have guessed that T20 would be such a hit and the chaps would bring home the cup!
The comic relief was provided by our own Badshah of Bollywood who turned up looking like Michael Jackson, his six pack seems to have fed itself from his face which has shrunk deep into his hair, his son looked cool though he does not have his father's dimples and his fathers dimples have disappeared in his hair! Mr Badshah needs help, the guy who is responsible for his present look should be fired forthwith. Oh for the simple dimpled sweet badshah of the 'Fauji' days sigggghhhh.....

Sunday, September 23, 2007

So Its Darjeeling over Shillong!

Prashant Tamang pipped Amit Paul to the post last night to be the next Indaian Idol. Well I am happy in some respects and sad in others. Lets have it happy side up-
1 When my friend Fenela, her mother and aunt went about Delhi in their Khasi dress they were asked which country they had come from. My friend whose feature are slightly on the lines of the people of the north east has been asked "tto, aap kya Nepal side ki hein?" I am sure many people have come across many such examples where people of the north east are taken as belonging to some place across the eastern border of India, in this scenario to have a very north eastern guy as the new idol of the nation was a pleasant surprise.
2 This guy really made it good. He comes from a lower middle class family and this windfall will really be of great use.
3 These shows have given a lot of ordinary folks who have some talent a very very wide platform.
4 We TV watchers have got a respite from saas bahu serials and can watch our children sing and dance to entertain us.
The down side
1 This is a show about music and the best guy should win. This chap Amit was the better singer, he had improved a lot since he first arrived here and Prashant has remained the same, just a good casual singer.
2 The Indian prejudices have come to the fore in the sms voting system- 'no girls please, we are Indian', Dipali and Puja were good, I would have liked to see a Dipali vs Amit final. There was another Amit whom I felt for Amit Sana of the first Indian idol fame, he sang much better than the winner and was the better performer, he was a few shades darker than skin colour maatters in India.
3Vote appeals to particular states or linguisting peoples really irks me. There were posters of Prashant in Kolkata saying 'Please Make Prashant Win' politicians were also plying to these sentiments. If you are good the whole of India should support you why do you have to appeal to the people of your particular state? This was seen in the case of winners of other shows like Debojit and Qazi. But I was glad to see Qazi win because the boy had really worked on his singing amazing even the judges, and Ruprekha the other winner had also performed consistently well.
4This is a music show, so why so much importance to 'performance'?
5The attempt to stage emotional scenes, romances and cat fights between judges to compete with the soaps is disgusting.
All in all I think a good thing has started and though the cons seem more than the pros at this point of time they are nothing that cannot be rectified. maybe next time there will be a female Indian idol who sings the best and who wins because the whole of India voted for her. Meanwhile I am looking forward to see the new crop of performers of the next round of the show.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

To My Daughter

My daughter was born on the fourteenth of December 1999. We were hoping for a millenium baby but she was in a hurry to see the world. I saw her first after two days because I was in the ICU after my BP shot up. She was fast asleep and did not show the slightest interest in mommy when the nurse brought her to me for the first time. But on her second visit her eyes were wide open (as wide open as a three day old child's came be), she sized me up with her piercing gaze, took a look around the small hospital room and then proceeded to get on with the task of feeding. Well it has been a rollercoaster ride, raising her since then and I have somehow got by with the trial and error method. Motherhood cannot be taught because each child is different and no amount of advice can help you deal with the case in point. My baby is exeptionally intelligent therefore she makes her own rules and can't think why she needs to follow the dictats of this disgruntled adult. From an early age her sleeping hours were very less compared to other new borns who slept for 18 -20 hours. She took very small naps of 20mins and woke up fresh and raring to go while I was raring to go to the nearest water body and drown myself unable to deal with the exhaution. I had become mom for the first and my mother in her wisdom had taught me to slip in the nipple as soon as the baby opened her mouth so it seemed as if she were joind to me at the breast! I have corrected that mistake when my little one was born. My daughter is a very friendly baby and she loves the out doors. She learnt to talk at one and communicated with us in Bengali and the maidservant in Hindi quite effortlessly. But it was a struggle to make her do the regular things that one is supposed to do in daily life (and it still is difficult) like brushing teeth, doing su su and potty, taking a bath, wearing proper clothes, combing her hair, eating food, wearing slippers at home and now studying. She is still under the impression that all these tasks are optional the main thing in life is playing and having fun.
From the age of two and a half my baby could draw a full human figure and she had a unique way of colouring too.She draws exeptionally well even now and she makes beautiful craftwork and cards. Whenever I tried to complain to her play school teacher nor art teacher about her tantrums they said "oh artists are like that"! So I have somehow made up my mind that she will study art if she sustains the interest she has in it. Meanwhile I am struggling hard to reach out to her and help her deal with life. I would not mind if I did not have a son but if I did not have a daughter I would have that niggling regret in my mind. Mother daughter relationships are much closer in our society than mother son. I have seen my father share a very close relation with his mother but what my aunt shared with my grandmom was deeper even if they stayed far away. My aunt sent innumerable post cards to my grandmom and she signed off with the two words 'Tomar Kum' ( Your Daughter Kum) those two words still move me it reflects how deeply she belonged to her mother and was connected with her in spite of the distance between them.
My baby also is stuck on me, in spite of scoldings, beatings, emotional blackmailings and all sorts of torture that I employ to make her do her daily chores she will still come running and smother me with kisses if she finds me sitting by myself at any point of time. She will tell me about her friends and her likes and dislikes, she will share her dreams and will also ask me about my plans. We know each other completely and I want to keep it that way. I will try to reach out to my son in the same way but I don't know how societal stereo types will affect our relationship. I cross my fingures and hope for best. I pray for my children let them get the chance to express themselves and may I help them achieve all that they are capable of. For my daughter on this special day I have only to offer my gratitude, she has taught me patience, responsibility, anger management and above all a lesson on how to love unconditionally and inspite of all the faults in your loved one's character.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Support of the Blood Relations

I felt very glad today while looking at all the comments I have received from my brothers and didi. Much of my life experiences would not have been the same without them being a part of it. It is very important for me to know what they feel about what I have to say about those good old days as it is part of their life too, us being so inextricably linked together. I am glad that they like my blog. Thanks folks.
My paternal grandparents, Mr Bijon Sengupta and Mrs Bina Sengupta had three children the children had two children each thus they had six grandchildren and I am one of them.There is a common strain among all of us, the grandchildren of MrBS and Mrs BS, at least I think so, we can all express ourselves quite well in writing! my grandfather was an MA in English and a journalist by profession, so ofcourse he could write but my grandmom was also a prolific writer, she maintained a diary for more than twenty years and recorded the day to day events of her life in the minutest detail. Even now when there is a difference of opinion in the family regarding an ancient fact we quickly refer to Amma's diary of that year and find out the truth. Things like whether there was 'chingri machher malai kari' (steamed prawn delicacy) in the menu of my 'annoprashaon' ( ceremony when the child first eats solids) can be found out in a jiffy from her accounts. I am sure that if she were alive she would try her hand at blogging! Amongst my cousins the two eldest ones are the most gifted. Didi excels in English writing , is a master of grammer and can never get a spelling wrong in any language, I have tried to give her tough Hindi words and although she has never studied the language she can spell 'kinkartavyavimudh' without blinking even once! Her handwriting is beautiful and her brother and I copied it all over lives and our writing is now just copied versions of hers (though not as good). Dada is highly confident and expressive and he was the first among us to start a blog and frankly it was so high brow and subtle with lots of poetry and lyrics of such philosophical songs that much of it was beyond my understanding. There are three of us in the same age group a sister who is a journalist whose style is easy and direct, myself with my ramblings and a brother who is the most sensitive of the lot and had written a story about a dog in his childhood which had brought tears to my eyes and in his letters to me over the years he has expressed himself beautifully. The youngest is my brother who can bring humour into the most staid and serious matter. He is the complete entertainer like a masala bollywood film that he so likes writing about. On the whole after a brief survey of the cousin brigade I am still convinced that the writing bug that existed in both Mr and Mrs B Sengupta has found its way into all of us and binds us together in a strange and wonderful way.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

On Nothing in Particular

Have not posted for sometime so I thought I would just let my mind wander on this second post of the day! I am not sure whether anyone is reading this blog, I know my didi will some day or the other when she gets time, but still even if no one reads me this is a good way of pouring out one's soul. When I was in school I used to unload myself on my mother and she tried to listen patiently to all that I had to say although her eyes glazed over sometimes with sleep on the sultry afternoons. After marriage my husband and parents in law try to hear me out when I relate my experiences during my outings. But blogging has brought about a very exciting way of venting my inner most thoughts. I can say whatever I feel because it is my space no guarded phrases and no mincing my words, just being me-take it or leave it. Its cool.
The husband and I have planned a trip during the Pujas after a long time. Actually I was sick of our routine during the pujas, the same places the same kind of food the same discussions. This time we are hitting the beach! My parents come over to Delhi during that time, they stay at my brother's and have to balance us and him rushing from one corner to another as we are too busy with our own lives to give time to them. Ma seemed quite relieved to hear that we are out of the way for the pujas and is planning trips to her favourite places in Delhi.
Pujas were a time of great celebration in my family and so I get quite excited around this time even now. I get up at 4 in the morning on Mahalaya day and compel the in laws to listen to the early morning programme on the radio that welcomes the goddess durga on the first day of her annual visit to the earth. I am sure they would be very happy to miss the programme and catch up on some sleep but I do not allow them that. I religiously buy clothes for my children and ensure that they wear new dresses on all the four main days of the pujas. I try to offer the morning pushpanjali on all the days and I start visiting pandals as soon as the idols are placed in them.
Well its that time of the year now and what with the pujas and winter round the corner I am feeling quite light and happy.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I Love Delhi...On Some Rare Moments as This

Today I met that very rare species the meter using auto man. I was off to a place scarely four kilometers away from my place. The first empty auto shrugged shoulder and simply refused to go there. The second guy asked for 40 Rs, I tried to bargain reluctantly when I spied another empty auto approaching ( yes I am a pro at auto catching), I let the 40Rs guy go and asked the new guy-"Deshbandhu college chaloge?"
"Baithiye." He said without a fuss and proceeded to lower a new meter. Staring at the guy's back a few minutes later, I thought, this guy will never know how glad I am to meet him- a regular meter using automan, how no fuss and convenient .Delhi would be a much better place if there are more like him. My eyes filled up with gratitude for him.I looked out of the side of the auto into the world outside. Smartly dressed people off to do their daily business. Everyone down to the lowly sweeper of the streets dressed to kill and now adays everyone sporting headphones listening to their favourite FM channel on their nokia phones. I loved the sight, Delhi looks good, as long as people keep mouth shut, I could not hear anybody speaking now, so the rosy picture continued. The meter read 22 Rs 68p upto my destination and I gave 25Rs where the other guy was asking for 40!Auto guys are truely villainous in this city. Before the meter rates were hiked the chaps used to say "mehengai kitni hai, dal ka bhav kita badh gaya!" and we clicked our tongues in sympathy and gave 5-6Rs extra. Slowly, emboldened by this success they began to ask for prepostrous sums for even very short distances. Then I lauched a counter attack by saying "hamare liye mehengai nahin badhi hai kya?" which is quite true, I am an unemployed mother of two positively way below the poverty line if there was no family support!
Well back to the city of Delhi. I generally live for the four months of winter and somehow survive the six months of summer here and the pleasant month of October is also greatly anticipated however I am sad in the month of Maech although the weather is pleasant for summer is lurking right round the corner. It is mid September now and yet there is no respite from the heat. The mornings have become a little pleasant but the day stretches long and hot and sultry. But I know the next month will bring the smell of winter in the air and I have already started sniffing in anticipation!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Locating the I Me and Myself in a Space Usurped by the Kids

Well I have nearly survived the whole of the week without the in laws and have even managed to find time for blogging! There is a two way force working in me a part of me wants to be involved in every aspect of my childrens' growing up process from wiping potty bottoms to sorting out fights with classmates. The other part of me at moments such as this when the elder one is watching TV and the baby is sleeping soundly, wants to look back at the life I have lead as just ME not mamma. My Institute where I worked before my little one was born. My married life and the special relationship that I share with the husband, all this runs through my mind.
I have always been very opinionated and argumentative with a very strong sense of right and wrong fair and unfair, these personality traits are least accepted in daughters in law, so my love hate relationship with my in laws also has been quite interesting and something that can be given much thought to in such reflective moments.
I think I have had quite a good life till now, relationshipwise. My family, friends, teachers, students, husband and family, and last but not the least my children have given me lots of love and support, perhaps more than I deserved.
I think most often also of those that I have lost firstly my grandmother who was a woman os substance and did everything in her power to control our lives. She was more like a mother to me than my mom who is a peace-loving mild and unobtrusive kind of a person. We (including my mom) had always been under the shadow of the personality of my grandmother- I could not imagine living my life without her trying to control it. But yet she is gone I expected her to shrug off the sheet and get up and say 'what nonsense, why are you crying, I am not dead' till the moment that they took her away for the last rites. Gariahat Market in Calcutta, which was her favourite haunt, did not seem the same again after she was gone. Calcutta itself does not seem the same after the death of my father's friend B uncle. I always headed for his house on the very day that I reached the city, now I steer clear of the very road on which his house stands. Another death that I cannot come to terms with is that of my aunt, we had wept in each others' arms when my grandmother died and stayed up all night next to her body, to lose her to the same killer disease as my grandmother's scarcely nine years later is a grief that I cannot come to terms with. This aunt was very much like me in temperament very direct and with a keen sense of justice and right and wrong. Ofcourse she was much more accomplished than I and she was very dutiful hardworking and self-sacrificing to the extreme, I cannot hold a candle to her in those matters.
Another needless and shocking death was of my uncle in a road accident followed in quick succession with the death of his father my maternal grandfather who could not bear the loss of his son. My maternal grandmother was spared the grief of losing her son as she had passed away a few years earlier. So now my parents are the only members of their respective families who have survived.
All these people, those who are gone and those who still survive have shaped my life and make me what I am. My children are lucky that they have both sets of grandparents at their disposal and I do hope that these memories stay with them for ever and the grandparents are blessed with long disease free lives so that they may participate fully in the lives of their grandchildren.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Cornered With the Kids

My prents in law are going out of station for family reasons for a week so I will be stuck with the kids for a whole week. Before any mom who is visiting this blog recoils in horror from the spector of a momma who is scared to be alone with her own kids let me tell you that I am really the one deserving the sympathies and clicking of the tongues. My kids are really a handful and I have always had the in laws around to pass the blame on. " What to expect if you spoil her" say I to the poor in laws when the elder one is refusing to study point blank, she is seven but still continues to throw tantrums at the drop of a hat. Of course I get paid back in the same coin when I am held responsible for her misdemeanors that range from biting her nails to watching too much TV to not learning spellings to not eating or even talking too much. Well all is ok if it an equal fight it always is. I know for a fact that they are crazy about the kids and they will be complaining about them while slipping a chocolate into their hands all at the same time giving a totally warped message to the child.
The little one has just discovered that he can climb up and down from the sofa and always wants complete attention. I have to draw all the modes of transport for him and a horse too for he is interested in these thinks currently. I remember a time when my daughter was similarly smitten by the story of the Ramayan and I had to draw all the characters from Ram to Ravan for her! The mite is also interested in WHATEVER the elder sister is handling be it pencils, scissors, glue, glitters, crayons most of which are a no no for one year olds. So I have to referee grabbing games and snatching matches.I generally send one of them to the grandparents but alas no such respite for the entire week now. So you see I need all the patting on shoulders and consolations

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Celebrating Brothers and Sisters

I wish all brothers and sisters a very happy raksha bandhan. It is a beautiful and unique festival. I can go all teary eyed about it but putting sentimentality aside I am today thinking about the practicalities of having siblings. Without a doubt those with siblings have and edge over those who are alone. The least important reason being that they gain an invaluable life experience from interacting so closely with another human being and most important being that they can in the long run get a lot of emotional support in the absence of parents, for after all the sibling is the only other person who shares ones parents. My brother has contributed a lot of high drama and excitement in my life ranging from tooth and nail fights over bits of paper and also pieces of string to moving me by buying a ear-ring for me on my birthday with all the twenty-five rupees that he had saved as his pocket money. He has an awfully short memory so he must have forgotton all about it but I still have the earings in my almirah locker. I am also ever grateful for the nobility he showed when he realised that he could hurt me in the fist fights we used to have he refrained from hitting me even though I admit that I had provoked him enough. Anyhow these incidents of sibling infighting apart we have had a fairly cordial and supportive relationship. The one time that I really thanked God for my brother was when my father was ill. The immence peace of mind and strength that he gave me by just being there for my parents cannot be compared to anything in this world. I was unable to go to them promptly but atleast he was there, that thought was really reassuring for me.
My account about brothers would not be complete without mentioning my cousin. I share a very special relation with this cousin of mine, from terrible fist fights to the exchange of our innermost thoughts during our growing up years, I cherish his presence in my life. There are only seventeen days separating our ages, that's why we literally grew up at the same time. We used to correspond very regularly and exchaged ideas about life in general. I remember our lament when we crossed our teens and reached the 'ripe old age' of twenty. We are still very good friends but it is bond that transcends friendship and is a million other little things that has come out of years of common experiences and shared joys and frustrations.
At our time only brothers wore rakhis but my daughter receives rakhis from her grandparents and cousin and now even from her new little brother. I like this unique custom in my marital home. My mom in law used to send rakhis to her grandson my brother in law's son and she gave one to her new grand daughter too which I think was a very beautiful thought. Raksha bandhan, it means tying a string on the wrist of someone on whom you can rely to come to your help unconditionally and for whose long life you pray all the time. I am sure that a grand-daughter also comes with the purview of that description. During the anti-partition movement in Bengal in 1905 strangers tied the string on each others' wrists to show exemplary solidarity at the behest of Rabindranath Tagore indeed a unique and beautiful gesture.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Little World Full of Violence

Have been meaning to write a post on violence in our children's lives. Two posts made me attempt it today (let me tell you it is not easy to write about such things) one was adventure dad's post showing the video recording of a father and coach hitting a teen age athelete for underperformance and the other was Kiran's post at karmickids about the Adnan killing. Kiran asks whether anyone has answers, I think I have after observing the amount of violence in my young daughter's life and I am to blame too.

Violence is celebrated in our society, we advise our kids to go out and get it at any cost. I remember long ago my then toddler daughter took part in a toffee picking race with other kids of her age. She picked only two toffees from those strewn on the ground whereas the other children had collected fistfulls of the stuff and also managed to finish the race ahead of her. I admonished my baby and told her to grab as many as she could next time. There also is a particularly objectionable game which is a part of every birthday party when a big bag of goodies is hung high up on the ceiling when it is burst and the children are supposed to pick up the stuff which falls all over the floor. The biggest and the most boistrous children can grab the most. This game celebrates brute force and grabbing power but we all whisper to the children "go for it, push shove and you will get what you want".

Although I noticed that some kids at the play school pushed others while playing in the slides and see saws, my daughter first started complaining of the hitting when she entered the big school. I told her to ignore it and steer clear of the perpetrators. Sometimes I even told her to hit back. Sometime later the complains stopped, she made a group of friends. I started believing that all was well. Then it began again. There was no problem in Class I but now there is a serious problem which will not go away by itself. It is affecting my daughter's studies. Aparently there is a boy in the class who is good at some kind of combat game.He teaches the moves to the others who use the knowledge so gained on hapless children who are not the hitting back types. One of the boys is my daughter's close friend. One day I went to the park with my daughter and the friend and his mother. When they were at play I noticed that the boy was more interested in playing pranks on my daughter than playing cricket. My girl would run up to bowl only to have him disappear behind a tree! As we were leaving the park his mother and I were talking while they were walking near us suddenly he had her in a death grip his hands looped from under her arms to behind her head, I was shoched, while his mom went on talking non-chalantly. When she realised that I was not responding to her banter she turned her attention to the children locked together in that strange position. "Ah," she said proudly, "Govind has taught him that, he is a very athletic boy and knows a lot of these twists and turns". "Hello", I thought," how about asking your son to let go, now that it is established that my child has lost the match?" Seeing that she had no plans to do any such thing I tried to tell the boy that my girl was not the type when she quickly added, " haan woh larki hai na, usko chhor de". That irked me even further, let me see him attacking a girl bigger than himself with a reputation of hitting everyone like B also in my daughter's class.

Finally I extracted her from him and came home shaken. Now this boy was then sitting next to my daughter in class and she began complaining of similar incidents as the park in class. I told her to ask for help from the teacher. She said children got letters from home requesting change of place but I wanted her to deal with the problem herself. A few days earlier her place was changed but she was disapointed as the new boy was more notorious than her previous partner. The complainings increased, the teacher also told her off by saying that she has to adjust to everyone. Matters came to a head when one day during her class test she did not write more than one line. she did not even attempt the drawing part and part of the page was torn. At this stage I decided to act. I went to school with her copy and told her class teacher the entire matter . All she did was change her place again and give her 1 on 10 for the one line and wrote in her copy that she has to write faster! The new partner did not hit her but he also did not want to sit with her and he made that quite apparent to her. Well, all was quiet for some days, then the murmerings began. The new boy has started hitting me now and then etc.

At the parent-teacher meeting I brought up this concern with the class teacher. Undoubtedly the children are under the impression that it is ok to hit their friends and it is acceptable behaviour, boys are specially enouraged to pick up fighting skills and teachers shrug shoulders and say "boys will be boys" and carry on with their nonchalant lives. This apathy is making our society violent and encouraging overt aggressiveness.

And then there is us I plead guilty of forcing the child to get up, brush teeth do potty go to school, study and also learn the cycle, eat healthy food. Mounting pressure on her I admit hitting her as she is stubborn and I have to really establish my superior strength before she toes the line. I am being drawn into this circle of violence perpetuating it in the name of disciplining the child. Where is all this leading us? Is my daughter ready to face the violence all around her. How can I make learning spellings easy for her, how can I increase her writing speed without intimidating her? How can I stop her classmates from hitting her?

Clearly part of the blame lies at our doors. Violence is encouraged and children think it is ok to be agressive. I have told my daughter to protest loudly when she is hit even if she cannot hit back. Incidentally her new partner has asked his parents to write a letter to the class teacher saying that my daughter hits him and has asked for his place to be changed!When I asked the boy whether it was true he could not look me in the eye and hung his head and looked the other way, clearly the boy was not telling the truth. I have asked the class teacher to hold a sensitizing meeting involving the children and parents lets see what comes of it.

The killers of Adnan are the products of this same system which is turning violent day by day. These killers think nothing of using force upon helpless people because they have been doing so for their entire lives this is just a step further- snuffing of a young life.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cars for Boys and Dolls for Girls

When my daughter was born I decided that I would not let her be confined to the toys that are traditionally meant for girls, so she had cars, aeroplanes, guns, later tops and bay blades along with dolls and tea sets in her kitty. We also gave her unisex stuff like blocks, puzzles and loads and loads of books. She started turning strange the moment she got into school. She was always madly interested in drawing and colouring and making crafts, however I saw her getting more attached to her girly stuff. One day she was playing with the doctor set when she said," I am the nurse and Dadubhai (her grandfather) is the doctor", I casually said why don't you be the doctor then you can really play with the stuff", "girls cannot be doctors, they can only be nurses!" She declared, I proceeded to go beserk and dragged her about to the friendly neighbourhood lady doctor and my gynae, who is a lady. I also made it a point to attract her attention whenever there was a reference to women doctors on TV or during family conversations.

My daughter is in class II now and she brings home all kinds of peculiar prejudices from school that I try to talk her out of. What can I expect in Delhi which has a notoriously low sex ratio. At least two people asked me during my last pregnancy whether I have had a sex determination test done one was a beauty salon owner who hardly knew me (one can't expect anything else from these types) and the other was a close family friend (that really alarmed me) it is quite the norm I suppose and no one cares if it is illegal. Anyhow after being exposed to this environment my dauhter's favourite colour is now pink (I distinctly remember it being yellow in her playschool days) anything remotely connected with her has to be pink. She has a pink school bag , bottle, pencil box, ruler. Her favourite dresses are pink and so are her clips we also had to get a pink toilet seat to get her to use the commode. She claims her favourite toy is a barbie doll she has many dolls but I have not see her engage with them for more than a minute. Her passion is drawing colouring cutting and pasting she spends most of her spare time cutting paper with her pink scissors.

When my son was born I decided to give him the same opportunity to choose his toys. So he dabbles with all his sisters toys and some very eclectic toys of his own. One fine day a relative gave him a bus since then his interest in vehicles has increased. The moment he wakes up he recites " bus, truck, car, mo, ghola" mo is a motorbike toy presented by another relative and ghola is a corruption of ghora or horse. His sister too was crazy about this Rajasthani horse which we had given her. I plead guilty to encouraging him by presenting him with more cars, buses, trucks and what have you. However his attachment to toys have these phases, he was deeply fascinated by balls and used to throw them around for ages. We bought balls of all sizes for him. He plays with them even now but the bus, truck etc makes him very happy and his expression changes instantly when he sets eyes on them. He loves some of his stuffed toys too and I have caught him planting kisses on a big Pooh toy.

Thus in spite of all my efforts my girl has turned out more girly than I had wished and the boy is running crazily after buses and cars! So very stereotypical!

Pictures All Over the Place!

Since I learnt the fine art of inserting pictures in my blog I have been pasting them all over the place. I still have not figured out how to make them scroll down with the text so they take up fixed positions and my posts start from a little way down the page. The husband is in Bangalore still and I am already fed up with this enforced separation!My daughter wants me to write in detail about all the pictures I have put up. There is one with her holding her 'Best Artist' award which she had received when she was in KG. My family is very egalitarian when it comes to giving of Rakhis everyone receives one! So there is one of hers holding up her haul from last year.

It is that time of the year when the Bengali sniffs the air and thinks to himself or herself 'aah the smell of the pujas'. I have started to look for the shiuli flowers on the ground under the shiuli trees in my neighbourhood. Mother Durga please bring us happiness and give us strength to bear the sorrows you give us.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jealous Husbands, Missed Nonetheless

One of the hundred or so blogs that I visited in the last few days mentions that the husband calls the momma's blogging fraternity a 'kitty-party', my husband also displays similar irritable reactions when I tell him something about the blogs I have been reading. It is plain jealousy I tell you. It irritates the boys to see that we have found a space for ourselves independent of him and his children where we can vent our feelings about him and his children and his parents along with our own. Didi you are right, it is a great way to unwind. Tell me who else but us blogging mommas would be interested in my stretch marks or lack of them and carry on a long conversation on them. The husband hates to discuss them and I'm sure the mother in law or my children wil be horryfied to learn of my sagging tummy or the warped up belly button. It is only here in the semi-anonymous world of blogging that one can fearlessly discuss any gory topic and if the visitors are put off by it they can move on. Till lately I used to be deeply offended if the husband went off by himself to one of his favourite haunts around the town to unwind by himself. I know full well that I cannot go everywhere with him leaving my babies behind, I used to resent his freedom of movement. I got terribly angry one time when he called from a cinema hall during the interval of a movie which he had gone off to watch by himself. I was in the middle of trying to feed the younger one while making the elder one study for a test the next day. The conversation went as follows-
Husband (cheerfully)- Hi, what's up? This movie is good, it is interval time now.
Me- huh huh...( to daughter" write the word three times, NOW!!!" all the while trying to put a spoonful into the mouth of the toddler)
Husband- You seem to be busy.
Me- (screaming wildly) you bet I am, and if you have nothing else to say I am keeping the phone.
Husband-(taking offence) ok bye, I will be back by ten.
Me-(still screaming) I don't care when you will be back!
And I am not sorry for my behavior, I am breaking my back looking after HIS kids and not only does he push off by himself but also has the audacity to rub salt and provide a blow by blow account of the evening while I am at the height of the battle with the little hooligans! The guy had asked for it! But now I also have some place to unwind which is a click away and the reach of the thing is amazing from Delhi to Mumbai to Bangalore to New York to Australia, the world is at my finger tips and all are interested in my babies and our day to day strife to raise them. This is exciting stuff beyond my wildest dreams.
Well the subject of my tirade is off to Bangalore on official tour and look at the peculiarity of this relationship here I was getting ready to skin him with a blunt knife and here I am missing the bloke. Let him be a confused little day dreamer but he is my own confused little you know what. He is gone for a week and I don't know how I will get by without him around. Of course there is the phone. All our telephonic conservations end in fights so that is a relief. We can make up when he comes back. Making up is fun I never say sorry however obnoxious I may have been, he apologises very easily for he never means it, he might do the same objectionable thing the very next day! But he makes up very nicely with cards ( one such card said 'let's talk about why we are not talking') and music ( he might play meaningful songs) the works. There is a lot of high drama in our marriage and I like it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Aha, One Comment

I knew there would be some response to my posts the moment my babies appear on it, even if it was of exasperation from my dear dd. I am sorry I still do not know how to correct the distortions. I think you have to open the file in paint and crop it or some such gibberish which the dear husband was mumbling. For the time being I have tried to ease the problem by changing the photo and adding another photo one of the first ones taken of my two darlings together as soon as we brought the mite home therefore he resembles a little mouse. Today I was reading Preeti's post ( I have vowed to read all the blogs that are there in the list on Madmomma's page, I have reached till the letter P now only the last ten or so are left) she is lamenting that slowly but surely her blog is turning into a regular momma blog. I have also tried , like her, not to limit my writing to the topic of my kids. I do think about other things, but the momma and poppa blogs are awesome. I like adventure dad, he is really good and madmomma is my favourite she is prolific, humorous, informative, enjoyable and her baby photos are the BEST. Well I am trying to get my babies more prominently in my blog so people please say something if you come by ok?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

How to get my babies in my blog

Today I learnt the technicalities of putting photos on the blog. The result is a distorted image on the right of this blog anyhow it is a start. All the mommy bloggers have such lovely photos. Well some day I will have an album too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Jashn e Azadi

There are various things that struck me about our Independence day this year. Generally it is a staid sort of a day nothing compared to the pomp and show of Republic Day. This year there was a rare sense of celebration and joy. This date is associated with the pain of partition and communal riots and the niggling regret that the new nation so created celebrates their independence a day earlier than us. This year that neighbour of ours is in troubled waters and the ghost of partition and communal strife has finally left us. There was only a passing reference to it on television when a host of the programme in the national channel made a short reference to it. The private channels aired a host of programmes on mainly Hindi film songs on patriotism. There was a programme co-organised by the Indian Express Group which had young singers rendering the songs and every aspect of our patriotism was touched upon right from 'mere desh ki dharti' to the 'Rang De Basanti' kind of hard hitting patriotism of revolution and sensitising of the youth. The only dampner was the murder of the national anthem by no less than a music director of the stature of AR Rehman and singers like the nightingale of India, her eminent sister, SP (why SP, why?) and another leading classical music maestro. It was sung in the genre of 'ai mere vatan ke logon' slowly with 'harkats' here and there. Makes you feel like screaming because the national anthem is not supposed to move you to tears it is supposed to inspire you to act for the good of your nation- it is a motivating song for God's sake and it sounded like a dirge!There was another programme telecaste on the DD national channel on the 13th which was held at the Talkatora Stadium and which had no entry tickets. Folk artistes from various states participated along with our friendly neighbourhood rock star Palash Sen. It was awsome! No Hindi film songs just folk dances and songs of patriotism. A Punjabi songstress with a rendition that would put all the opera singers of the world to shame. Gaurav Gatha, little rajasthani boys with magic fingers, acrobatic dancers dressed as women, chhau dancers, martial art from the north east, all this gave Republic day celebrations a run for their money. GOOD SHOW Ms Dixit I love my India.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Turning Sixty

Well our independent nation turns sixty tomorrow. The media will take this opportunity to draw up a score card of what has been achieved and what might have gone seriously wrong in these years of independence. I can't remember whether I read it somewhere or someone has related this incident but I heard of a person being quite taken aback by a book entitled Three Thousand Years of Pakistani History! Well actually when we keep refering to the thousands of years of Indian history we should be similarly struck by the incongruity of the phrase as what we know as India is only sixty years old.
That consideration apart, I was just thinking of all that we have achieved as a nation. Quite a lot really when we look as the economics of it and then may be quite a lot still needs to be done. This nation was created amidst severe violence and communal strife and the violence latent in the people is finding new forms of expression. Consider the news headings of the last few days_ Taslima Nasreen attacked by Islamic fundamentalists in full view of the media and no sign of repentence and no retribution for the perpetrators, pandemonium at MCD meeting with counsillors fighting like common street goons and more alarmingly a young mother of two doused in kerosene and burnt in front of her own house not in some remote village but in the heart of the capital of this country. I ask you if this is not violence what is? The new incarnation of non-violence -Gandhigiri is forgotten in less time than the teachings of the original Mahatma. The most scarey part is that the perpetrators do not for one moment think themselves to be in the wrong or they are smug in the belief that they will not be punished for their act. Such is the disregard for ahimsa and compassion for others that children, youth or women no one is spared from violence and tyranny.
What is the nation coming to?Are we scripting our end even before we complete a century?For violence can only reap violence and death and destruction follows. On this auspicious day I pray for sanity and the rise of humanity among the people of my country, may we think twice before harming others in any way may we be able to bring lasting peace and prosperity in the country. Jai Hind!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Friends Forever

Friendship day went off uneventfully for me. I just wished a long lost pal by email and I also wrote to madmomma as I think she needs an extra friend now. My daughter had a busy day though. She made eight friendship bands to take to school today! She had received two bands from friends and was thinking of giving one to all her friends. This is the time that friends are made, so you have to work hard to strengthen the ties. At my stage I think you start taking your friends for granted, there is no outward show and exchanging of gifts. In fact we have let each other lead our separate lives for years on end. However friendship is such a bond that I am sure that if we meet after all these years we will launch into each other's arms and start from where we had left off. This I can say of not one but atleast ten or so friends. Its as if we have never been apart, no distance, no communication gap, neither motherhood nor domesticity, nothing, absolutely nothing has come in the way or ever will. That is the force of friendship.

I was lamenting that I have not sent wishes to many of my friends when my husband quietly said, "am I not your friend too", that shocked me considerably, I had completely forgotten about this chap and his solid friendship. This sort of forced me to look into this relationship of ours. We have each seen the other's worst...I mean really the worst.. and still we want to share our life with each other. If this is not friendship what is? I wonder about us, two strangers brought together by our family members, with some peculiar force joining us together. When he comforts me he is my mom, when he goads me to complete my pending academic work he's like my dad, when he encourages me in different ways he is my cousin, when he opens his heart to me he is like my child. He is all relations rolled into one- I quite like the guy, in spite of the fact that most often I feel like wringing his neck! However he and I are in a pitiable state due to the onslaught of our children who demand most of my attention with the result that the husband goes about like a misguided missile and when I am free of the kids I hardly have time or energy to interact with him. He spends most of the day in office and the pressure of this lack of face to face communication is telling on both of us, we have most of our discussions on the phone.

I have heard of husbands loosing it when the wife is thus engaged with the kids but my chap is hanging on bravely and I admire him for that so when he said"am..." I got a jolt. I know he will be there for me when the kids have grown up and I have more time to give him. All I want to say is I love you husband, and am proud to have a friend like you.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Of Heroes Behind Bars and on the Field and Court

Sanjay Dutt went off to serve his prison term declaring his love for the country. "I love India" he declared while going off in those prison vans with media persons asking him to repeat his profession of patriotism again and again. So what is he a hero or a villain? The majority think that the law is being harsh on the poor dude who has been dished out a raw deal by life itself. I feel a tug of conflicting reactions. on the one hand I feel that a spoilt brat has been punished for his callousness act.He did an irresponsible thing by allowing himself to be associated with the underworld, given the respected position of his father. He was not a teenager at that point. On the other hand I hold that he did whatever he did because of stupidity and shortsightedness rather than malice or murderous intentions. Also why should the producers who have put their money on him make huge losses because of his asinine behaviour 14 years back. Well, let law take its course I say. Let him get a pardon if he can. One cannot help but say a prayer for the poor old spoilt chap.
But I am not saying prayers for our old horses at the cricket field. Even though India had a convincing win, it was because of the young gun bowlers.Let the senior guys move out I still say and the daredevil newbies flow in.
However my heart still beats for our no-longer-a- teen tennis star precisely because I can't see anyone steping into her shoes any time soon. Her grit and dedication has inspired many I am proud of her and my country that has produced such sportsperson.