Wednesday, April 23, 2008
1. Dump. Whatever it is I have in my hands. Car keys on top of the TV. Laptop bag on the sofa (this never fails to irritate the husband, btw :-D) Hand bag on the dining table. (this also irritates him sometimes, tho it never occurs to him that he keeps his watch, his wallet, his bills, his mail, his credit card slips, his loose change, ALL!!!!!! on the dining table and he 's not the one who clears it before dinner either. Shopping bags in the bedroom.
2. Then its Sonny boy's turn to ask "What Amma got for me?" and rifle thru my handbag. Or the shopping bags. So Acha and Amma daily try to impress on Sonny boy that he will not get a toy every time Amma or Acha step out of the house. A lesson that's never learnt, for the next time we come back from a trip without him, its back again to "What Amma got for me?" (Interestingly enough, its rarely "What Acha got for me..") Hugs and cuddles follow, unless Tom is chasing Jerry on Cartoowokkok.
3. If it is before 7.30, the husband might ask the wife for a cup of tea, and this MIGHT send the wife off to the kitchen muttering to herself about how SHE is always the one who has to make the tea, tho' BOTH of them have been working the whole day. Sometimes (make that most times for the last year- who will wash the b****y vessels?) she refuses to do so and this is enough to start a cold war that the Chinese could take lessons from. Note that when the husband does make tea those times, it is always microwaved tea bag tea, not the milk and tea leaves and strainer tea.
4. There used to be homework for Sonny boy to be done, tho' now its vacation time, there's no pressure on work as such. I try and make him talk to me about his day, but that's something I've been trying to do from the time he could talk, without much success. We watch TV if the husband will keep from flipping 20 channels in 5 min. Gah! Or I side with Sonny boy in wanting Cartoon Network/Pogo/Hungama TV on TV. Sigh!
5. Get dinner ready.. which is a laborious process.. remember all those things lying on the table..? High time I taught Sonny boy to clear and lay the table for dinner. Dinner just has to be heated up, for I cook lunch (for Sonny boy)and dinner in the morning.. A simple meal mostly of rice, a curry, a varavu, curd and papad. Occasionally I whisk up an an omelette or scramble eggs. I grumble if I have to make chappaties on a working day.
Well, that's it. This is almost the routine I follow on a daily basis. Now that Suma (not Thinking Aloud) is there, things are going to change, I guess, but its not a very welcome change, except for not having to wash up after dinner. And yeah, someone who knows N Indian and S Indian cuisine will surely know to make simple chappaties..?
In turn, I tag,
Suki, HGMom, and Maggie.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
and wash vessels
and sweep and scrub
and drive 12 km to work one way,
and go out on calls
and then drive 12 kms again
to return to some more child rearing and thoughts of divorcing the husband (I'm not totally kidding here), finally the Gods have deigned to smile down on poor ol' me. I have finally got a live-in maid! Praise be to God, even if it may be premature.
I am not totally happy with her staying in chez moi. I would have much preferred her to be someone who'd push out after we came in, but.. beggars can't be choosers. No sireee, not at all.
So am stuck with her, for better, I hope.
The name is Sumitra, aka Sumi, aka Suma, and she came to us referred by the husband's friend's friend's friend's friend! So that we're no longer sure from whom she came to us and we don't really have a direct reference at all. Terrible thought, isn't it? The nth friend said that the family she was working with was moving to Kashmir and she didn't want to move, ...
But when we met her, she said she did go to Kashmir, but had to work in a beauty parlour, and apparently the lady she was working for was in some film circles and had clients coming in at all hours, at night too and she wasn't happy with that state of affairs.. Made me and the husband raise our eyebrows and wonder at this beauty parlour business. And then apparently, she came away from there without their consent and so she didn't have any of her clothes with her. Huh?
If her story 's true, she an unfortunate young girl. But if its just a pack of lies, we're the biggest suckers ever. And we're not able to decide which statement is correct. We're paying her 3500/- She said she'd do ANY work, but wanted every penny of the 3500/- cos she and her sister and mother were the earning members of her family which comprised 6. The rest of them sons, whose tuition fees were being met by the income. And yet, when she came to meet us at 8 in the night- a young girl of maybe 24 yrs, she was alone and not one of the said brothers accompanied her. I found that strange.
She was supposed to come last week, and on the appointed day, she called up in the morning to ask if she could come and I said ok. Then in the evening, she just didn't turn up! No call from her the whole night, or the next day, The next evening, again she called and asked if she could come then, and I enquired in my sternest manner, what she meant by not coming or informing us about anything yesterday.. She again gave us a sad story of her granny slipping down the stairs and breaking/dislocating her ankle and having to be taken to the hospital and resting at home with a bandaged foot, which was why she couldn't come or call the previous day....
Hmmm.. Sad? or Suckered?
Still not decided. But anyway, she's with us now. And I'm left wishing that the house were a bit more orderly when she came in. It was clean, but had clothes and newspapers thrown about helter-skelter. Now, she's going to think I'm a lousy housekeeper, which I'm not. I may crib about it, but I do take pride in keeping my house neat and clean. I'm not the husband, you know.
So now, she's installed. And we've found that we've misplaced all the keys of the bedrooms. So that when we went off to work today, she had the the entire house at her disposal. Not very conducive to a productive day in office. Sigh! I HAVE to search out those keys from wherever they're languishing. If only the Google Gods could help!
Monday, April 21, 2008
One good thing was that we were able to sleep in till 8.30 or so- a luxury I have almost forgotten. But, since the whole day started not according to plan, rushed at 10, from the station to home, had a quick bath and reached office in a hurry by 12.30.
The stomach was rumbling inspite of the packet of murukku (the only thing we could find to eat at home) shared between hubby and me in the car. So when 1.30 came, told Housekeeping to get me two plates of curd rice for lunch.
'Erudu plate, madam?" she asked me.
"Oudhu," I replied, not looking up from the laptop, where I was busy reading blogs.
"Alli barthara madam? Illa illiye thagondu barabeka?"
(Are you coming to the canteen, or shall I bring it here to your seat?)
"Illi.." replied me, with a smile. (Here)
Bere yaaru madam?
(Who else is joining?)
"Erudum nange. Belege nashtha madilla, athukke.. "replied me with a broader smile.
(Both are for me, I didn't have breakfast in the morning.)
A bigger pause. An embarassed smile. A look around the office.
Madam, onthu naan platalli hakkthini. Mathonthu naan packetliye thagond barthini. Dhristi agathe, athukke.
(Madam, I'll put one onto a plate and bring, the other I'll keep in a packet. People will cast an evil eye.)
And giving me a swift smile, she vanished to bring me the two servings of curd rice.
You should see the said curd rice, people! Quite sad! Dhrishti indeed! !!
But maybe she didn't mean the curd rice, she meant my Kumbakarni stomach? Boo! Hoo! Hoo! Are two plates of curd rice such a big deal? I just finished them both!
Friday, April 18, 2008
Last Movie You Saw In A Theater:
hmm.. hmm.. hmmm... yeah- that far back- Chak De, I think...
What Book Are You Reading:
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. A long time back, when we were compiling our reading list on Indian Writing, this was one book/author mentioned by many, that I hadn't read. am liking what I have read so far.
Favorite Board Game:
Scrabble. In spite of the fact that every time it ends in an acrimonious name-calling game between me and the husband.
No particular favourite. I read whatever is bought by others- Vanitha, Good Housekeeping (Mom), Outlook (Hubby), Stardust, Cosmo (my Beauty Parlour), Magic pot (Sonny boy)
That totally unique smell of babies under a year old, the smell of the first raindrops wetting the earth..., fresh jasmine flowers...
A dog's joyous, welcoming bark, Sonny boy calling me Amma..., Genuine uncontrollable laughter- anybody's :-D
Worst Feeling In The World:
The feeling of loss.
What Is The First Thing You Think Of When You Wake?
" Sigh! I wish today was a holiday".
Favorite Fast Food Place:
Because it's Sonny boy's current favourite- Mc Donalds. Tho Sonny boy prefers to call it The Fry Shop. Mac's advertising agency would be scandalised if they heard!
Future Child's Name:
Considering we decided on Sonny boy's name exactly half an hour before the ceremony, think this question is wayyyyyy too premature- we aren't even ANYWHERE near having a baby!
Finish This Statement. "If I Had A Lot Of Money I'd...”
Build myself a house with lots of land around it, and lots of trees, in beautiful unpolluted countryside so I could keep a dog, get 2 maids for the price of one, and have a driver to drive the spare car.
Do You Drive Fast?
My whole family certainly seems to think I do. So maybe yes.
Do You Sleep With A Stuffed Animal?
I wish I did. It certainly wouldn't want things early in the morning when all I want to do is savour the last few minutes of sleep. Sigh!
Storms-Cool Or Scary?
Cool- the ones that make you feel good about God's creations.
What Was Your First Car?
Mine - in my name- the Alto I currently drive.
Nothing like a drink of plain water, esp in this scorching summer.
Finish This Statement, "If I Had The Time I Would .....”
Spend it with my son and husband and mother.
Do You Eat The Stems On Broccoli?
If I ate broccoli, I probably would.
If You Could Dye Your Hair Any Color, What Would Be Your Choice?
'Raven black' hair always sounded so good in those fairy tales I read in my childhood. Unfortunately, on us Indian dames, it is just plain black hair! But right now, I'd settle for plain black tresses all over my head, without those ever increasing strands of grey here and there..
Name All The Different Cities/Towns You Have Lived In.
That I remember .. Madurai, Rameswaram, Kannur, Udumalpet, Sivakasi, Thalassery, Kozhikode, Cochin, Bangalore....
Favorite Sports To Watch:
One Nice Thing About The Person Who Sent This To You:
She's eninently likeable! :-D
What's Under Your Bed?
Sigh! Some toys (courtesy Sonny boy), newpapers (courtesy husband) Dust (courtesy lazy Mom who didn't clean today or yesterday)
Would You Like To Be Born As Yourself Again?
Sure thing. Only- a more assertive, less dumb, more patient, smarter Me.
Morning Person Or Night Owl?
Depends on what's to be done.
Over Easy Or Sunny Side Up?
Neither. Am not particularly fond of eggs 'cept in omelette or scrambled form.
Favorite Place To Relax:
So long as its tasty, any.
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Butter scotch. But anything, actually.
Of All The People You Tagged This To, Who's Most Likely To Respond First?
I don't know, definitely not WIAN tho :-p
Happy weekend, folks!
Friday, April 11, 2008
You are an amazingly sweet lot! I never expected so many of you to respond so fast, tho' I did go popping into a few blogs to request opinions.. Thank you SOOOOO MUCH for the responses, and it helped so in clearing the cobwebs in my mind.
Almost all of you immediately zeroed in in a duplex not being suitable for a toddler. I guess it is a glaringly obvious thing, but it WAS such a cute house Sigh! Maybe for some lovey-dovey newly married couple to play running and catching on those stairs, perhaps.. SIGH! We said No to the brokers of that duplex yesterday.
We decided that we'd not commit to the apartment, so the husband didn't accompany me, but I went alone to the apt to meet the caretaker yesterday. It is precisely 11 km from my office, not too far actually..., but again, while I looked over the place, a vague sense of unrest stole over me. If it was so good, why was it going so cheap? The amenities are all quite nice actually, and it ought to have cost a bomb, but it didn't. Why? Maybe perverse thinking on my part, but really, why ?
Somehow the house didn't give off a good aura from inside. It was a two storey building and this and another on top of this were the only two flats facing south. Ok, so this one was unoccupied, but I was checking the flat above this one and that one's balconies too looked pretty sad. All the other homes in that complex were filled with pots and flowers and clothes hanging out and cycles and general homely messes, but not these two.
I dunno anything about the other flat on top, but regarding this one, the caretaker had told us that there was a bachelor who stayed there for just 6 months, and he went back to Delhi as he was transferred back, and since it was a company rented flat, the company stopped paying rent.
Now- tell me which bachelor takes up a 3 bedroomed HUGE flat? Even if he were planning to get married, he would surely look at a 2 bed place inititally?So he had to be married, but wasn't able to bring his family along. Which was sad.
And somehow, I keep wondering if the Co stopped paying rent because they sacked him and that was why he went back..? to Delhi? I'm not generally so morbid. I'm the eternal optimist, while the husband is the pessimist. But somehow this thought stole in and would get out from the recesses of my mind. The house seemed to have SOME unhappy history to it.
And I was reminded of one of the houses we'd stayed in on rent.
The owners had bought the house from a friend of theirs. These original owners were super rich, with plenty of property in their name. They built this one - a two storied house in a prominent residential area, for their son. But this house somehow proved not so lucky for them. They started losing their riches slowly. The parents passed away. The son lost in everything he invested in and gradually started living on loans. Finally the son went so bankrupt that he was forced to sell the house. To our landlords.
Who were doing quite ok for themselves tho' they weren't particularly well off. When they bought this house, they decided to give the ground floor on rent so they could use the extra income. Both of us were new to the place- them the owners- a family of four and us the tenants. But the lady used to tell me how they were finding it difficult to manage expenses which semed to just keep mounting. She could have been laying the base for a rent hike soon, but somehow I don't think she was, and we maintained the same rent for the whole year . When we moved in, I had just gotten a new job. A good one. The husband got himself an office car. This added to the discontent of the owners, who didn't have a car. I started getting bloody irritated and got increasingly so with the BIL, contributing to a lot of ill -will at times between the husband and me. Our landlord lost his mother while he was in that house. My new company shut shop after 6 months. And my father's kidney took a turn for the worse and I lost him while in that house.
We moved out after a year and a half. I keep thinking I'll go by that house one of these days, but I haven't so far. For while we still maintain extremely cordial relations with our houseowners prior to this house, in this house, our owners used to envy us even a pot we bought! Not a pleasant thing to happen. Though we invited them to our housewarming, they didn't come.
So you see, while I myself feel I'm stupid to believe about unhappy auras for houses, I DO believe in that.
So although I went to the apt last evening, thinking to pay a token advance of a 1000k to the caretaker which wouldn 't be a loss even if we stood to lose it, at the last minute I didn't pay him anything. I told him I would come tomorrow. Outside a swimming coaching class was on in full swing, and I was left thinking how much Sonny boy would have enjoyed staying there..
It was nice & breezy at 5 in the evening, there were children of his age, plenty of place for him to cycle (his current craze), walkways for us to walk, place to park two cars, a gym with enough equipment in it, a tennis court, it was close to his school (and to some 5 IT complexes), near enough to the main road, but yet secluded... quite idyllic, isn't it? But yet, something about it made me not quite happy.
The husband had already told me that if I wasn't happy, not to break my head over it and that there was no mad hurry to settle on a house. And then, last night I read all of your comments. Many of you advising me to wait before I committed in case I wasn't a 100% sure.
So its back to square one again.
Sonny boy says to us when we return late from office sometimes, "I waiting, waiting, waiting, WAITing for you!!" Like wise, we're back to searching, searching, searching, SEARCHing for a house.
Thanks a million for your comments which helped so much.
Awaiting my next home-to-be,
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I am SOOOO confused.
Do help out with your views.
As you know Sonny boy is going to a new school June onwards, and said school is at least 22 kms from our home, so , we decided we had to shift homes.
We were initially looking at buying a new place, but then, everybody has been advising us to not go in for a purchase now, as there is going to be a downward spiral in the real estate market soon. So we put off purchase. Also (more)because the rates of the places we liked were going thru the sky! and with us having to pay emi on our existing flat, going in for another hefty emi just wasn't feasible. So it was down to a rented place.
Things were not simple, because, Sonny boy's school is SouthEast, my office is SouthWest and Hubby's office is out North. However, we started off looking at places within a 10 km distance from his darned school which has a green belt area near it for 8 kms, which means no residential /commercial habitation anywhere in those 8 kms.
We were looking for a 2 bedroomplace, but then, apparently , there are NO decent 2 bed apartments in B'lore anymore- its all min 3 bedrooms! So if you wanted only 2 bedrooms, you had to go in for houses. But we didn't see any decent houses either, finally the house we liked turned out to be a duplex, in a 20x30 site. The owners have done a damn good job of putting together a decent home in that size- if we hadn't had a kid, I would have taken that house without a second thought.
So this duplex has just the living cum-dining area and the kitchen on the ground floor and the other 3 bedrooms are on the first floor, with a terrace on the second floor, where you can dry clothes. It is a cute self contained little house, except-
-for EVERY small thing you have to run up the stairs.
- Sonny boy has no place to run around inside the house.
- and no place outside either, for there is just a garage outside.
-the steps are triangle shaped and easy to trip over for small kids and aged grandparents.
- if my current no-maid situation continues, I shudder to think of climbing 2 floors every day to clean..!!!
- when the grandies come, they will have to traipse up and down even if they want to have a lie-down for some 10 minutes.
- you cannot keep track of what one naughty 4 year old with a keen sense for micshief is upto on whichever floor, when you are not on that particular floor.
- In our current home, we are used to some space in the passage to rooms, in this one, there is just a landing which branches out into 3 rooms. the rooms in themselves are big, but..
- His school bus might drop him off in front of the house, or it might be at the head of the road.
- We are out most weekends, so an independent house poses security issues
The pros are-
- It is CLOSER to both our offices than the other option.
- It is in an established residential locality, close to shopping complexes, hotels and so on..
- You can get autos to the place- if you're lucky enough to get a sane auto guy- without emptying your purse
- independent house- no neighbours to interfere in your decisions- you want light outside your house, you put it;you want water 24 hrs, you put on the motor for yourself..
- this is stupid, but the lady staying there currently gave a good rating for the house. They are currently moving to Dubai after her hubby got shifted there, and they have also bought a new flat after they moved here, so I believe it might be an auspicious house.
- house help might prove cheaper.
And - it is a whole 2000/- cheaper, rentwise, even with the brokerage
The other option we have on hand is an apartment complex,
- it comes with the works- swimming pool, gym, clubhouse, tennis club, blah blah..
- no brokerage involved. We came upon it by sheer luck- we barged into a lot of complexes asking if they had a place availalable for rent, and this one had!
- It is again a 3 bedroom place, but at least all on the same floor...
- Has security 24 hrs, which is a big draw for me where Sonny boy is concerned.
- Sonny boy will have more friends here than in an independent house.
- Lots of space inside the house as well as inside the complex.
- It is closer (10 kms from) to his school.
But the cons are
- It is 2000/- more than the duplex
- It is FAR for both of us parents, from our offices.
- It is far from everywhere else we go to, too.
- We MAY have to get a second car, if we move in there, which means more money outflow from already dried up banks!!!
- Inside the complex, it is nice and plush, but outside it is not so nice. The area is just developing, and there is only 1 super market close by
- Autos may well be just a dream, in every which way. Cititaxis are the only option, if guests need to go someplace when we are not around.
- Maids will automatically be more expensive, I guess.
- And ah! this is stupid, but you already know I'm stupid that way- the flat has a south facing door, it is considered auspicious by some, inauspicious by some. I'm in the latter slot. but... hubby very rationally , like a guy, asks me what earth shattering good fortune we've had in our north facing house currently and I 've no answer for that.
We have to tell either place whether we're interested or not before the weekend at least.
I am so confused, I can't decide which option would be better. There is no tenant currently staying at the apartment, so I could not ask them how their experience of 'home' was.
The husband has very 'considerately' and conveniently left it to me to decide, although I can sense that he has a slight bias in favour of the facilities of the apt.
Do let me know what you think gals, before the weekend.
Edited to add:
We have to move in by May 2nd week so that we get settled into a routine before school starts. And we have to decide on the house now, as we have to give out our own house on rent.. and we can only show the place while we are still staying there as, once we've moved, it would be madness to commute all the way to just show the house to a probable tenant.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
-Sonny boy can make my heart brim with happiness - every single day. Like I said, he's our biggest blessing from God.
-Not too long back, children I met while going about work /life didn't really register. But now, an uneven totter of a baby, an exasperated interchange between a toddler and his/her parent all make me smile.
- Dogs, any kind , anywhere can make me happy. Especially if I get a wag and a lick from them.
- Procrastination sometimes does make me happy too. Like when I forget to claim my conveyance for more than 3 months and then get a windfall the 4th month :-D
- A good book can make me happy, even if it makes me sad. You understand, right?
- Ditto for good movies/songs, tho' not to the same extent.
- Going to my home in Kerala makes me happy, even tho' it does not make the husband particularly ecstatic.
- Driving makes me happy too, in pleasant weather.... especially if there's a nice song on FM.
- Its very very rarely that I take up something like painting/drawing, stitching etc now, but when I do manage to complete it, I feel very happy.
- Cooking a simple, homely, tasty meal makes me happy, yes. Especially if I don't have to clean up afterwards.
-Blogging in peace without the husband nagging or work intruding - both make me feel guilty- makes me very happy indeed
-A weekend can make me very happy indeed, in the middle of this busy balancing act between home and work.
-And chocolate is my all time favourite- anybody wanting to make me happy can just give me a chocolate!
Tagging- Kodi's Mom, DotMom, Dipali, Moppet's-Candyfloss-Mom
Come on, what's your happiness quotient?
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Well, as they say, there's a time for everything, and this tag's time is now. Over to Sonny boy
8 things I'm passionate about.
1. TV-CartooWokkkok/Pogo/Tom n' Jerry.. (Amma says nastily that I have my father's genes for sure)
3. Wheels on my toys.
4. Night-time story.
5. Friends- having them over.
6. Friends- going over to their homes.
7.. Shopping. (Acha wonders how/why on earth I got THIS particular gene from my Amma. I don't understand my folks. Children inherit their parent's genes, right??!
8. Sleeping with Amma.
8 things I do that drive Amma crazy
1. Not drinking milk.
2. Not eating my food.
3. Not chewing my food.
4. Not swallowing my food.
5. Running off in the middle of a meal.
6. Keeping food in my mouth for more than 5 minutes.
7. Asking to do susu in the middle of my meal.
8. Throwing up cos I keep food in my mouth for too long.
Gee! Its all about food with her, isn't it? I think she has a problem. Poor thing!
8 things I say often.
1. Ille? Its my turn, ille? I want to go ille?
2. You stu. You stu buy me toy, ille? You stu tell me story ille?
3. I not happy to you.
4. Then I not your friend. (when my friends don't share their toys with me. Works like magic this does. Only thing- they say it too..!)And incidentally, this doesn't work with the parents.
5. Amma, after you finish your work on comptutor, you give me Garfield cd, ok?
6. Monekku- means -carry 'mon', which is an endearment for son in mallu.
7. Acha, can you give me build-engine on lattop?
8. Eni mathi. (Amma wonders why I have such a short attention span- be it eating, drinking, playing, reading, blogging... but my motto is- life is short, and there are so many things to see/do, so do it all when you can...what say, folks?
Books I've read recently.
1. Count on Clifford-Norman Bridwell.
2. The Woman and the Crow- by Shankar (from CBT)
3. The Ant and the Pigeon- Popular Stories series by Rhythm Publishing Co
4. Prop and Prep on the Trail- Marion Kemp and Sheila Lane
5. Magic Pot- Chotu and Motu is my favourite in this. I also like Lootappi and Mavaya.
6. The Jungle Book- Disney's Silver Screen Classics
7. Storytime for 3 year olds- Ladybird. This reminds me- time to get 4 year old stories
8. Lady and the Tramp- Grolier Book Club edition.
8 songs I can listen to over and over.
1. Bum bum bole- Taare Zameen Par
2. Hare Krishna Hare Ram- Bhool Bhulaiyya
3. Cheeni Kum- Cheeni Kum
4. Nagada Nagada- Jab We Met
5. Crazy Frog. This one can mesmerise me. Amma was scandalised when during one school interview, a pretty lady asked me my favourite rhyme and I ting tinged this.
6. Mauja e Mauja- Jab We Met
7. Ente Kalbile vennilaavu nee- Classmates
8. Sutrum Vizhi- Ghajini
8 things that make me me.
1. A fetching grin. I wish Acha would let Amma upload the pics and let you see for yourselves. :)
2. Chattering nineteen to the dozen. I have seen Acha and Amma give each other looks and put their hands to their heads sometimes in the middle of my chatter. But a kid's got to talk!
3. Disarming friendliness to one and all, esp of the feminine gender.
4. Tears that can well up in a second when called for. Most useful this. Acha still gets conned, but not Amma. Sigh!
5. Clambering onto laps like a little kitten. Amma falls for this one most times.
6. Mispronunciation of words. This makes Acha and Amma and everybody else crack up every time. They should remember they were also small kids once.
7. Love for stories and books.
8. Not practising what I preach. I learn the preaching from the folks, but there's no one practising it, whom I can copy!
See you later alligator!