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