Tuesday, December 29, 2009

on the reads

I LOVED Palace Of Illusions. One of the first times that knowing the end hasn't spoilt the book for me. Actually there was even more of a thrill in knowing that this was-to-come-next, and I was not disappointed by Divakaruni. Awesomely written.

Found Two States so-so. The North-South divide was a tad too exaggerated, I felt. Also I felt that the boy was too much of a mama's boy. Or is it that I am loyal to the South?
I liked Five Point Someone, disliked the Call Centre, liked Three mistakes and didn't find Two States too great. So maybe I might find his next appealing...?

How to Kill your Husband was given to me by a girl friend. And its now being read by my husband. Before I could read it! hmmmmmm......

The Time Travelers's Wife was started by me before I started any of the earleir ones. But- right now, I'm having to make myself read it. The book does not have a grip on me. yet. I know, I know, its supposed to be a wonderful book- not one person I know has said anything not-nice about it. Well, I shall finish it over the weekend. Good way to welcome the year 2010?

And yeah- my 20 M&B's are done. I need to refresh them. But not before I finish TTTW.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Panankula pole mudi!!!!

Any true blue mallu girl will be able to vouch for having had to oil her hair (plaits or monkey crop or whatever) with that magical anointment- coconut oil.
Its the secret of our CURLY locks, you see.

I have had my share of Ammammas and Moothammas running after me with the coconut oil, with threats/brandishments.

It was said to make our hair 'panankula pole' Like the flower of a species of palm....

Cousins spread across were chased with the oil, in the effort to make their hair like a panankula. I for one, am glad that I resisted all efforts to make mine as lush.

For on one of our road trips to Kannur, I saw the famed Panankula in full bloom.

a close up

Now you tell me if you want hair like this!

Monday, December 14, 2009

This is what we do when told to go to sleep alone...

Chappal Art

and the proud creator.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Long outgrown, but....

The other day, I was going through Sonny boy's stuff to see what all could be given away. Found a whole lot of old, and brand new stuff as well, that he'd outgrown. Packed them up to be given away to an orphanage.

It was then that I once again came across these Tshirts of his that are wayyyyy too small for him now. But I still hold onto them... for the only reason that these were all painted by me.

At a time when I was a stay-at-home momma.

My paints and my sewing machine are gathering dust now. Years since I have done anything with either. Not that I'm a whiz at either, but I bought them to try my hand out at them. And while I did make a brief start, both of them are now consigned to the back of my drawers/cupboards.


Monday, December 7, 2009

days of the week

We start out in all enthusiasm







" !!! January??? Noooo, Sonny boy..."


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rachana- a movie review.

This was a movie review I wrote a long time back, of a movie I saw as a young girl. I'd love to see the movie again....Srividya the actress is no more, it was one of her best performances.
Warning: Spoiler ahead. But then its a movie that released in '83...

I saw Rachana a long way back. Certain nuances of the movie totally escaped me, as I was a kid when I saw it. But even so, the movie about a writer and his experiments with creativity was searing in its impact. Rachana in Malayalam means the same as Rachna in Hindi.- a piece of work, writing, creation…

The movie starts off with the night sea. It is a breezy night, and an old man (Gopi) is being interviewed after winning an award for his latest book. As the waves crash upon the shore relentlessly and recede, the man talks about his experiences while writing the book, and he goes back in time…

Gopi and Srividya are a happily married couple, he's a succesful writer and she's a Head/Supervisor in an office. One day, there’s a new joinee in office. The new guy ( Nedumudi Venu) is a country bumpkin who is so sensitive, his eyes fill up at the slightest rebuke from his Supervisor.

Srividya habitually relates all office happenings to her husband and she tells her husband about this new colleague of hers who provides quite a few laughs at office. On hearing of various bumbling incidents, Gopi is inspired to use him in his new story. He encourages Srividya to befriend the young man and enlists her help in creating certain situations to elicit predictable responses.

Srividya agrees and befriends her new colleague. She does not deliberately lie about her being happily married, but commits a lie of omission regarding the same. She gradually draws the young man out of his cocoon of shyness and gets him to talk about himself, his sister and his family. They go for a cup of coffee, walk together to the bus stop, go for a movie 'together' except that Gopi accompanies them, unknown to Venu …, and each day she recounts the proceedings of the relationship to her writer husband. Since she is the Head of the Dept, other male office staff ( who are Venu's room mates) are intrigued by the relationship and egg Venu on. He turns a deaf ear to their suggestive jokes and comments, but gradually he too starts wondering if Srividya does not like him a little more than the others... and he starts to reciprocate, opening his mind and heart a little more, with each consecutive day.

Srividya senses the man's feelings and also the first pangs of guilt. She tells her husband that she does not want to be used as a pawn thus, but Gopi quiets her protests, saying it is only for a short while more, and that she is unnecessarily making a mountain out of a molehill. The unusual bond between Srividya and Venu grows, until finally Srividya can no longer bear to project such a false image. She no longer finds any fun in the proceedings and is consumed with guilt at leading Venu on, when she knows it is a totally futile and potentially heartbreaking situation for the vulnerable, shy and naïve Venu. She refuses to go any further.
Gopi tells her that she can stop with a last scenario- inviting Venu home for dinner under the false notion that her husband is not at home.

Venu is thrilled at the invitation. His room mates are too, and he sets out all agog for the rendezvous. At Srividya's house, Venu is on tenterhooks,seeing that the two of them are alone. He even goes to the toilet in his nervousness. She serves him an elaborate dinner and dinner over, Srividya takes him to the bedroom, and tells him that she will just be back. Venu sits in anticipation, lost in happy dreams. He is all set to embrace her when she returns, make the final gesture of commitment…. She comes back - with a smiling Gopi in tow. They are ready to confess that the whole thing has been a huge joke, and are sure that he will join in.

But Venu is shattered when he realises that the whole thing has been a farce.
He rushes out of the house. Srividya waits for him anxiously in office the next day, wanting to apologise, to make amends, not knowing what exactly she CAN do... but Venu does not turn up that day, nor the next day , nor the next. His roommates are not able to give her a proper response either and she is unable to concentrate on anything. Her hitherto loving relationship with her husband is affected as well, as guilt eats into her for her callous behaviour. She finally goes to meet Venu in his room and breaks down at seeing his state. Their colleagues witness that she is genuinely torn with guilt and misery and worry, and take Venu to task for being such a silly fellow. They advise him to get over the affair and act like a grown man and resume office in a normal way the next day.

The next day a messenger comes to Srividya's house - Venu has committed suicide.

Back to the sea beating relentlessly on the shores, coming forward and ebbing... The old man is Gopi, and the book that has won the award is their story- his story and Venu's story and the story of Srividya, who lost her mind.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The movie’s success was in its characterization and the actors who lived their roles.
Nedumudi Venu was such a gauche, confiding, lovable chap, who wore his heart on his sleeve. Initially you enjoyed seeing him fall for Srividya's wiles and laughed along with Gopi and Srividya at his naivete. But gradually you too start feeling that it is not right to play with his emotions in that way, and at the end you are as staggered as Srividya with the enormity of the hurt to his psyche.

Srividya is utterly believable as the happy wife who agrees to a little bit of tomfoolery to please her beloved husband. But then she genuinely comes to care for Venu and does not like making him a guinea pig. Eyes are truly windows to the soul- her lovely eyes are all sparkling and happy and contented in the beginning, but then towards the end, they reflect her tormented soul. Definitely one of her best performances

Gopi is the talented, successful author, to whom creative license justifies even playing with another human’s emotions as he predicts reactions. But then, life is not at all as predictable and sweeps over boundaries, taking you along with it.

And at the end, you ache for so many things- a gentle man’s ruined dreams and life, a happy housewife's loss of peace of mind, and ultimately sanity, and the waste of a talented writer's life- who's suffered the biggest loss of them all, and who has to live with the consequences of his actions- day in and day out.

It was a hard hitting movie and a typically realistic mallu movie.Good clean fun in the beginning, only towards the end does your gut get twisted. This was one of the earlier movies that had today’s leading star Mammooty in a side role. He was one of Venu’s dashing, hip colleagues.
From the net, I find that Mohan was the director, Anthony Eastman the writer, and the screenplay was by John Paul and the movie was released in 1983.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Book Paradise!

Went Blossom hunting last week.
With the result that I have at my disposal now-

The Time Traveler's Wife

Agatha Christie Omnibus.

Two States.

The Evening News

and some 15 M&Bs!

All waiting my pleasure.
Life can sometimes be blissful even amid the chaos.

Monday, November 30, 2009

to-do-when-you're-bored tag

1.What is your current obsession ?

2. What are you wearing today?
Red and black kurta pyjama.

3. What’s for dinner?
Rice, sambar, cabbage+carrot varavu, papad, pickle, curd, water,.. ;-) fruit.

4. What’s the last thing you bought?
Books from Blossom

5. What are you listening to right now?
A colleague talking to a client,out in the corridor, the sound of traffic streaking thru Bannerghatta MAin Road- (not nice!)

6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?
Just started reading her today, found this tag interesting

7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
Right now, here in B'lore, near Sonny boy's school! Can move in from the rented house we currently stay in and maybe sell off our old flat.

8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?
LOL! Anything, really

9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
If its paid for, a cruise around the Bahamas. Just read about it in a book yesterday.

10. Which language do you want to learn?

11. What’s your favourite quote?
When you have an elephant by the hind leg and he wants to run, it is best to let him run. Abe Lincoln.

12. Who do you want to meet right now?
My dog at Kerala. Apparently she has a real bad wound on her leg and I haven't seen it and nobody loves there loves her like I do. Awww, baby, get well soon!

13. What is your favourite colour?
For now, blue.

14. What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own closet?
Nothing comes to mind! Time for me to buy one?

15. What is your dream job?
Right now, one that leaves me with enough time to be a good mother to my son. Sigh!

16. What’s your favourite magazine?
Stardust. Tho' I only read it from the beauty parlour.

17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
Books and chocolates.

18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?
People wearing the 'IN' things and looking very 'OUT' indeed!

19. Who according to you is the most over-rated style icon?
I'm not a big follower of the icons, especially on style.

20. What kind of haircut do you prefer?
Sigh again! Nothing can make my hair look good, so I just let it behave as it wants!

21. What are you going to do after this?
Lunch, 2 client meetings and then HOME!

22. What are your favourite movies?
Sound of Music. Rachana- Malayalam (one of these days I'll post the story), Ice Age Part 1, Mausam (saw it as a girl, want to see it again now), Mouna Ragam (I LOVE this movie), Madanolsavam.

23. What are three cosmetic/makeup/perfume products that you can't live without?
My deo, lipgel, and my bindi

24. What inspires you ?
Graciousness. Animals

25. Give us three styling tips that always work for you:
a cheerful smile!

26. What do you do when you “have nothing to wear” (even though your closet’s packed)?
Treat it as inspiration to shop!

27. Coffee or tea?

28. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
Curl up into myself and brood, for as long as I have the luxury. Eat chocolate.

29. What is the meaning of your name?
Sigh! My Dad named me with much love to rhyme after my sister. LOL! ANd rhymes are not made to mean or reason!

30. Which other blogs do you love visiting?
Plenty of 'em.

31. Favorite Dessert/Sweet?
ice cream/chocolate/caramel pudding

32. Favorite Season ?
Monsoon. in Kerala.

33. If I come to your house now, what would u cook for me?
Am in office! You could cook something for me tho', to welcome me when I get back.

34. What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?
Avoid them, period! If it can be managed.

35. What are you afraid of the most?

36. My Question: Is it possible to be in love with two persons simultaneously??
In-love love- No. Not for me. Being in love with ONE person was taxing enough!

Feel free to copy past the tag.

Friday, November 27, 2009


The more I try to get out of answering questions and save on time, the more I am made to wish that I had answered the question in the first place.

Sonny boy: Amma, do you know why/how/what .......?
A harried Amma: No.

Sonny boy: Amma you don't know how/why/what....?
Amma: I DON'T know, Sonny boy.

Sonny boy: I know, Amma. I will tell you...
And he goes on to earnestly make up the most ridiculous stories about why/how/what....
He ends in all seriousness, Amma, now you know why/how/what..?

I'm torn between feeling ashamed of myself for not being patient enough to answer all his questions and wanting to laugh out loud at the wondrous nonsense he churns out.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

o the pain!

thankfully the apples and oranges survived
but not so the pumpkins and strawberries
they just rotted and wasted away.

3 days of neglect was not to be borne...

alas! Facebook games are banned in office!
Boo! Hoo! Hoo!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

happy sad

The whole of last week, you could trip over people in our house!

My Mom's of course been with us the last month.
Along came last week, her brother's younger daughter
and her brother's MIL who happens to be her old classmate and movie mate and library mate.
That the two had a BALL does not need to be said, does it?

Also came my sis, and her son.
And of course, there were the 3 of us.

On the weekend, we crammed all 8 of us into our car(!!!!) and took off to Innovative Film City. (I lived and as you can read, am telling the tale.)

The Ripley exhibits were awesome, and that bridge thingie with psychedelic lights spinning all round made our heads swim too. I took Sonny boy on it just for the fun of it, and he started swaying from when he put his feet on the bridge. LOL!
My sister insisted on reading every single thing and we kidded her that if she'd done this when she was studying, she'd have gotten State rank or something.

The Tussaud exhibit was a total let-down after Ripleys.
Apparently, someone stole Gandhiji's trademark specs! He didn't at all look like Gandhi without 'em and neither did plenty of others. Was good fun though, the highlights being that Sonny boy went peeping under Marilyn Monroe's flying skirt to see puppy shame.
All of us laughed to see his abashed face.
Only to collapse laughing a minute later.
Cos he insisted on lifting Ammamma's sari to show us the skirt she had on underneath and tell us that that was what Marilyn had on underneath. LOL It was almost a replica of the Monroe act, with Ammamma holding down her sari with both hands!
The Ammamma was scandalised, and thanked her stars that we being 8 of us, were the only group around at the time.

And in the mirror maze, we kept bumping into our and each other's reflections and had a hilarious time laughing all the times we came back round to the SAME place! We finally had to resort to help from the guys to get out of the place.

The 4D movie was awesome too, except for the scurrying mice. Ewwwwwwwww!
Don't get discouraged, folks, the place was clean and well maintained, the rats were just the 4D effect.

It was an afternoon well spent, even though we had to dish out 4000 bucks for tickets alone for all of us.

Reached back home by 9.

And 2 days later all of them are gone.

My home now knows what the fair ground feels like when the fair's moved on.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

a known 'celebrity'?

This morning I was taken some many years back - to my college days. My undergraduate days- when elections were round the corner.

And there were all those candidates, for all those parties... there were of course, the ubiquitous KSU and SFI, also the ABVP and the famous/much laughed at ECEC. (Election Committee for Efficient Candidates) While the KSU and SFI campaigned hard for every single vote, the ECEC would while the time away under the ECEC tree, and generally have a rollicking time making fun of everybody who dared pass within hearing distance.

Voting day dawned with all of us getting beseiged from the time we alighted from the bus, till we reached our respective classes.The various candidates would smile winningly, and their supporters would entreat us once again to not forget them. Slips of all parties would be thrust into our hands. But everyone knew that the main parties contending, and the main rivals, were KSU and SFI.

I can remember at least one thrilling occasion in which KSU and SFI locked horns with each other and there was a NASTY fight on campus, with knives drawn and local goondas gate crashing and finally the police being called in... Freshly out from convent school, we were awed and delighted at the ruckus. I can still hear the collective 'ooooooh ' that went up when we saw the glint of sunlight on the knife from our vantage safe viewing point upstairs, from outside the lab...

AP Abdullakutty was one of those standing for election in those days. For the SFI. He was in the Arts section while I was in the Science section. So we didn't see too much of each other, or get to know each other well. I don't remember if he won that election, I think he did, but what I do remember is that he was a well liked boy, even by those who didn't like the party he stood for. Always polite and smiling, dressed even then in a white mundu and shirt.

Some years down the line, he won the State elections from the LDF. I was working in B'lore by then and one day when I was going home by bus, he happened to be in the same bus. Wearing his trademark white mundu and shirt. We remembered each other with delight and exchanged some small talk before the lights went off and the bus got going. The husband who was with me was delighted at the encounter and used to make fun of my 'high connections'.

Some more years down the line, I heard with regret that he was expelled from the party. The husband who reads about 5 newspapers and watches about 20 news channels gave me the news. I do not know the whys and wherefores of his dismissal...

Life went on, with all its little ups and downs and I forgot all about Abdullakutty. Until today, when I found that Abdullakkuty was contesting the Elections in Kannur. I was zapped to hear that he'd moved from LDF to the UDF! The Ammamma who was here with us was keenly following the progress in her 'naadu' on TV and the husband as usual was glued to the news.
And since it was good ol' Abdullakutty, I too stopped in my tracks.
Only to cheer when I heard that he had a lead of close to eleven thousand.

He's won the elections with a lead of over 12000 votes, I heard.
Way to go, Abdullakutty! Good luck to you!

Seeing his photo, I was reminded of one day long back, when on the rocks in front of the Economics wing, a young boy smilingly asked a group of girls for their votes. To think that one day he would go on to win the elections of his State!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ganga flowing on....

D wrote a post on child labour, which reminded me of the one time I employed someone I was sure was a minor, despite parental affirmations to the contrary.

My current-at-the-time maid who was moving to her hometown had brought her as a replacement, and the only reason I didn't send her off rightaway was that I was pregnant and throwing up 24/7.

Just putting down a post I had writen elsewhere on Ganga, in 2006

This weekend, while rolling out chappatties, I was idly reading an article on the newspaper I had laid out to spread the chappatties on... It was on child labour- or the necessities of doing away with child labour.

I am all support for the abolishment of child labour. Every child has the right to his/her childhood- a time all of us look back upon with such nostalgia. But will the government by abolishing child labour, ensure that the child gets to spend its formative years happily, peacefully, usefully? Without falling into the clutches of unscrupulous people, without getting abused, without suffering the pangs of hunger? Will it ensure that the child doesn't see its siblings crying for food, its parents worried over where the money for the next mouthfull , the next instalment of rent will come from? Will it ensure that he/she has a roof above his/her head?
I think not.

However I do not know what the solution is, unless it is one that is too Utopian. Where every child lives as the apple of its parents' eyes. And parents who are not living below poverty line.

The article also led me to wonder about Ganga, a delightful child who had come to help me out in my household chores about 2 years back. We had moved into our new flat, and as is the headache whenever you move into a new place, were on the lookout for a maid. There were still 2 more flats being constructed in the vicinity and there was no dearth of women volunteering as maids.I was quite satisfied with the one I got, but about 6 months into the job, she had to go back to her native place She came to me with a replacement- a girl who would have been hardly few feet above my waist. I was horrified, so was my husband. But the good woman insisted that she- Ganga- did all the housework in her house -sweeping, washing vessels, clothes etc and was a good worker and was older than she looked. When I still refused, Ganga spoke up. She pleaded with me to let her work in my house as her family needed the money and was offended at the fact that I thought her too small. She was vociferous in support of her qualifications to work in my house and finally wore down my reservations.
The next day Ganga reported to work promptly. Her responsibilities included sweeping, swabbing and washing vessels. Being a child (till date I do not know her age, but I wouldn't have put it above 10-12yrs when she came to work for me) I did a fair share of the work in the initial days. But she knew the earlier lady's work profile and insisted that she do the same.

Ganga was a delight to have in the house. She had a child's innocent pleasure still in going about her chores, and a disarming smile every time our eyes met. She was a shy creature, but yet mature beyond her years and confident. The microwave and computer, which were not familiar objects to her were sources of unending delight. The TV was a big attraction as well, and sometimes, when my husband had left for office and her work was over, she would stay on and watch. Not being a TV freak, I would be reading and she would be watching, ( for her sake I would put on Kannada music/film channels) until she woke up to her responsibilities and ran off home as she had to finish up her washing and cleaning at her home.

Yes, Ganga would come to my house on the dot of seven and sweep, and swab my house and also clean up the dirty utensils. (Tue, and Fri, she would clean the bathrooms as well.)This would take up her time till 9, when she was actually free to leave. After that she had to go home and finish her sweeping and cleaning at her home, wash vessels and wash clothes at her home. and after all this, look after her brother's baby, as her sister-in-law had to sweep the flat premises.All this from a slightly built, chit of a girl. She used to make me feel ashamed of myself and my laziness, (for compared to her, that was what I was).
One of my flatmates owned a parlour and Ganga took on the responsibility of sweeping the parlour as well, in the morning. In the afternnon, she would have to go and fetch water from a public tap about a 20 min away from her house. So her time was chock full of chores and it was hard physical work , that she did- most of the time, only lapsing into occasional bouts of laziness. And all this from a young girl who should be going to school and playing with her classmates and doing her school homework, not housework.

With all this, she was the most cheerful maid I ever had. Gradually she started to open up more and more. She knew only kannada and I knew barely some, so our conversations together were a source of unending fun to both of us.We used to end up laughing at each other's ignorance and it was a wonder that we managed to communicate anything at all, but we managed beautifully.She was more resourceful than me too. She volunteered to take the newspapers to the vendor down the road, instead of giving it to the nespaper boys who would come by every weekend- she got more money for them that way, and I gave her 10 bucks for her pains. She would lug the newspapers all the way balancing them on her head. When I protested saying it was too heavy, she would laugh at me and say she lifted heavier loads of drinking water for her home. She would sell the milk packets as well (that money, I let her keep).

I was pregnant at the time and she would look at me with concern as I would puke, puke and puke yet again. When I had to leave for my hometown at the end of 7 months, she saw me off fondly, telling me to come back soon with the baby. By now she had made friends with my husband too, who was totally taken with with Ganga.(She was the first maid whom he could relate to as a person, talk to and joke with and scold :-)) Actually nobody who came to my house was not charmed by Ganga- precocious girl -woman that she was- playful,yet responsible; shy, yet talkative; reserved, yet bold.. Ganga was, as I have said earlier, a delight.

When I came back with my baby, she was one of the most delighted persons in the flat. She was shy initially, but gradually, she started cooing to my son and making these weird noises to catch his attention ( she probably did the same antics with her nephew at her home) My husband and I would be convulsed by these noises, but we never let her know that and as if to prove her right, my son would be totally entranced by those weird noises and playful contortions.

But it was time for her to move on... One day she came to me and asked me to increase her salary (at the time I used to pay her 350/-). It was going to be a year since she had joined us, so without demurring, I said I would increase it to 450/- Then she asked me with hope, and yet no hope in her expressive eyes, if I could give her 2000/-. I was flabbergasted and said that I could not. Then I probed and asked her what the problem was.

The problem was money. Her father was a construction worker and had found her a job on a construction site that would pay 60/- per day.And since the whole family worked on the site, they were comfortable with her also working on the site. By now Ganga had grown a few inches- she was probably closer to my shoulders now, but she still didn't look any older than she did when she came to me.
If I was horrified at the thought of her doing housework then, I was even more dismayed now. My shy, vulnerable Ganga on construction sites! Unimaginable. I asked her if she wanted to go. She said that she didn't want to , but the money? Her family needed the money. They had a new mouth to feed, and it WAS a big hike from the 500- 600 that I could offer her.
I asked her if she would be able to do the hard work. She shrugged and smiled and said philosophically, everybody does it, with time I will adjust, will have to adjust.
Yes, I knew her to be resourceful and responsible and hardworking.An asset to any family. And if the work was going to be hard (probably backbreaking in the initial days) , her family was there to support her. I had met her father and mother and sister-in-law at tmes.A rough noisy lot, but loving and warm hearted and extremely close-knit.
So,wishing each other well from the bottom of our hearts, we parted ways. And my Ganga moved on, yet another dop in the vast ocean of humanity going about earning their daily wages, to meet their family requirements. Proud to be doing her bit to contribute.
Yet another child labourer?

This was in our old flat, and I still bump into her when I go there. She is a young woman now, as bashful and cheerful as ever, and will make some young man an admirable wife. She still works on construction sites.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

a lil bit of whimsy

After Diwali is what I am
Burnt paper and metal ends lying in a heap
Sweep them and set fire to them
Bits of sparklers come to life
Ghosts of what they were!

This is what was initially written.....

And then, when thought it was a bit dismal, this followed....
Ghosts they remain
Awaiting Rama`s return Lakshmi`s Glory or Krishna`s Triumph
To burst again in all splendour
As a thousand dazzling suns in heaven!

from the husband.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.. even God!

So today I came back early from office as Sonny boy had been down with wheezing and had only started school after 2 days of leave.

In the evening, after prompting him for the regular prayers, I was about to do namaskaram and get up when Sonny boy said
"Wait, Amma, mine..."
And he proceeded to prompt his class prayer for me to repeat after him.
That done, he looked at me and said "Now yours.."

I hid a smile and started the Our Father...

Amma: Forgive us our sins
Sonny boy: Forgive us our sins

Amma: As we forgive
Sonny boy: As we forgive - Your sins?

I was hard put to stop laughing out loud.
Sonny boy, you do so enrich my life, sweetheart!

Monday, October 12, 2009

what? BREAD??

Sonny boy has now(after his Ammamma started staying longer periods with us) started reciting some longer sandhyanaamangal.
He says the slokams devoted to Ganesha, Saraswati, Bhagwati, Krishna.. etc.

When the Ammamma went off 2 weeks back, I decided to continue with the habit whenever I could - if I got back from office early enough to light the evening lamp.

So yesterday evening, when I had prompted him for all of the slokams he knew, he said
"Amma, I know one more!"
I looked enquiringly at him.
And he proceeded to say an English prayer- one that he recites every morning in his school.

And I was reminded of the mad jumble that morning prayers used to be in my own school, every morning before class began
(I've forgotten the end. If any of my readers remembers this ancient prayer, please do tell me the whole of it again.)

And then I thought that there was a prayer that I DID remember.
And I told him the Our Father...

He repeated the words after me, for a change understanding a little bit of what he was praying for.

Our Father in Heaven
hallowed be Your name
Your Kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as in Heaven.
Give us today our daily bread...


"Give us today our daily bread..." I repeated encouragingly

"Bread??!! you're asking Him for bread????"

"Yes", I hushed him, and we completed the rest of the prayer

Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us
Do not bring us to the test
But deliver us from all evil

And I threw a look at the Gods and said in my mind,
Ok God, Bread, and some more...?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

a friend with a toy is a friend indeed!

This evening, Sonny boy had gone downstairs to play. Last when I looked, he and our neighbour's A5, a 5 yr old, were busy at work in the sandpit, getting the trains to transport sand. Very industrious indeed. Ok. Satisfied, the Amma went back to her presentations and mails.

An hour later, the bell rang. A disgruntled Sonny boy stood out. He brushed past me in a huff, and on my asking him what happened, this is what he had to say

"Amma..... that A5! I was allowing him to play with my trains like a good boy, but he broke it!" And he looked at me, eyebrows together, a flush on his face from the emotions whirling inside.

Said train is a measly looking Ben10 train that we bought when we'd gone to Tirupati last year. A cheap eyesore, frankly speaking, compared to the Thomases and Percies and Ferguses... But then, he loved trains! And that particular train was a BEN10 TRAIN! It was an enormous loss to Sonny boy.

I tried to bring some sympathy into my tone, and told him,
"Never mind, you had fun playing with it, didn't you? It was anyway a little old. You go down and play again with A5, with something else."

But no.
Sonny boy was UPSET.
He started playing with his Superman jigsaw and his Thomas set. (he can rarely play with just ONE toy at a time)

Some 10 minutes later, there was a thud, then a dragging sound, then a slow but insistent knocking on the door.Sonny boy looked at me and I looked at him. Both of us knew who that could be. I let Sonny boy decide.

Sonny boy went to the door and opened it.
Little A5 stood there, bright blue cricket bat in hand. Looking determinedly at Sonny boy's chest, he said, "why you not openin the door for me?"
A not-sure-how-to-react Sonny boy stood to one side and let him enter. And then followed him, saying, "A5, I was angry with you for breaking my train..." (A5 was nonchalantly walking towards Sonny boy's train set on the floor...)"but now my anger is gone."
And both of them ventured happily forward.

Half an hour later, again, quarrels broke out.
A5 wanted Sonny boy to play with one toy and Sonny boy wanted A5 to play with a different toy.
An aggrieved A5 went to stomp out of the house.
Sonny boy was only too happy to see him go.
On his way out, A5 picked up a Ben10 phone saying that he didn't have one and he was taking it.
Sonny boy almost in tears stormed to the door, opened it and took A5's arm and ushered him out of the house!
I intervened, and separated the two, saying that that was no way to behave.
An offended A5 stalked out, stating, "You a bad Sonny boy!"

5 minutes later,
"Amma, A5 left his bat here. Can I go to his house to return his bat???"
Smiling, I said Ok.
Unfortunately A5 was not at home, so the day's entertaining drama ended there.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where I wonder...

if Sonny boy's prayers are being answered...

Owing to a death and a wedding respectively, the Ammamma and the maid are both missing in action this week.

I understood the maid to say that it was her husband's brother's son's wedding and she needed 3 days now, but would take no more leave the entire year. Ha! Taking the latter part of the statement with a pinch of salt, I gave her leave anyways.
And the Ammamma who had gone along with Sonny boy back to Kerala last week, told me that she was just getting the scent of her home into her nostrils properly and that it was too soon for her to return....
I need to bottle that perfume now!

So the working parents are left all alone to cope with the son in UKG- who returns home by 12.20 every day. We've re-scheduled our office matters in such a way that one of us is there for him these 3 days. Today was my turn to take time off to collect him from the school bus, while the Acha takes over in the evening when I have a client meeting (this dear client only ever starts his meetings post 5.30, and it goes on till 8, irrespective of whether anything is achieved or not)
I rushed through some things at work with my mind on the time and raced back home with a minute to spare for 12.20.

As I stood outside the gate and watched the yellow bus take the turn to our apartment, I heaved a sigh of relief. The bus curves past our apartment to go to the one ahead of ours and then returns.

And today, the bus curved, and then I saw a delightedly grinning face at the back of the bus. An answering broad grin broke out on my face, and I waved.
Two little hands came up waving madly.

And I wondered if he had been sending up a prayer to the One-Sitting-Above, for his Amma to be at home to receive him in place of the maid.

He'd asked me once why I couldn't go and get him every day at the gates. When I told him that my Boss (akin to his Ma'am) would not be happy with me if I did that every day. He mulled it over thoughtfully, then accepted resignedly that Ma'ams and Bosses were not to be trifled with.

But today's delighted smile showed me how MUCH it matters to one little boy (and his Amma) to have his Amma come and collect him. He was the first off the bus when it stopped.
When will God answer a big girl's prayers too, I wonder?

Monday, September 21, 2009

to and fro thru Nagarhole.

Sonny boy has gone for the puja hols to his Ammamma's. He'll be back only after a week. Its going to be only the two of us for a WHOLE week. Sigh! Ammamma will not be coming back with Sonny boy next week. Sigh! Sigh!

We drove down to Kannur via Nagarhole, thinking to show Sonny boy the jungle and some wild animals in their jungle environment so he can differentiate between the 'domestic' and 'wild' he's been learning in school.

The boy who woke up at 5 in the morning, stayed awake chattering, despite all our efforts to make him sleep in the car till we were nearing Nagarhole, and then - he promptly went off to sleep! And woke up just as were were past the jungliest part of Nagarhole! The best laid plans...

Coming back, without him, we saw-


puh-lenty of chital with antlers and all,

an elephant having a mud bath. We almost drove past thinking it to be a rock, when it lifted its trunk and we glimpsed white tusks and a shower of mud.(we heard the trumpteting of the herd farther away and accelerated past before they decided to cross the road and stand in the middle of the road like they did once before - we had to wait 5 min that time before they decided to make a move.)

Two domesticated elephants near the kraal..we could've stopped there if Sonny boy were there, like we did once before..

We had a rare sighting of a handsome sambar towering majestically before it darted away startled, into the foliage.

And towards dusk, we saw some eyes gleaming redly in the dark, but couldn't see the animal it belonged to. Sigh!

I've seen bison too once, tho' not on this occasion.

And one unforgettable time, the husband and I were (again coming back from dropping Sonny boy) driving slowly thru at noon. We'd seen plenty of monkeys on our drive the previous day, and this time too, only monkeys seemed to be available and we were not enthused.

Husband: *boredly* "One more monkey!"
me: *sleepily* "umm.."

Husband: *conversationally* "Quite a big monkey tho' "
Me: "Umm...yeah" *focussing sleepily on the monkey*

Me: "But .. the monkey has spots...? *waking up*
Husband: *galvanised with excitement*: Wife! that's not a monkey! That's a .. DAMN!"

It was a baby cheetah!
Who had been in the middle of the road like a common monkey, when the husband who was driving spotted it. In the bright sunlight, at a distance, the yellow and the black spots blended to a kind of grey. As the car approached slowly, the black spots on yellow became evident, and it moved with cat-like grace to the side of the road, its long tail touching the road, with the tip lifting up in that characteristic curve.

We stopped the car and drank in the sight, not moving a muscle, but almost trembling with delight, as it drew almost level with the car.
When a bloody ASININE person driving a car coming up behind behind, honked at us to get a move on-
and it slunk away, melted away almost, into the bushes lining the road.

The other car passed us, and we looked at it fuming, then tried to catch a glimpse of the yellow thru the undergrowth, but yellow blends very easily with green...

Two awed adults looked at each other and laughed in delight like kids, with only ONE regret- that they hadn't been able to click a pic. (other than not being able to sock the idjit driver one, of course)

Imagine - a cheetah - just about 6 ft ahead - right in front of us - walking towards us....
and we thought it was a monkey!!!

Every time we pass Nagarhole we keep a lookout for the kid we saw, who'd be a full blown adult now... but we've never seen it since.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I used to think that the husband spoke too much.

His son is a chip right off the block, and can put the block to shame.
From the time he gets up to the time his eyes droop down in sleep, he chatters nineteen to the dozen - on anything and everything!

Ammammma says that her grandson is going to be a politician the way he can go on and on on anything! She doesn't say that appreciatively.

There are times when we literally keep our fingers over his mouth and can still feel the lips moving in protest. He is incorrigible.

Sample this-

Amma: Sonny boy, write red.
Sonny boy: Red? You want me to write red?

Amma : Yes, write red.
Sonny boy: ruh-eh-duh-red you want me to write?

Amma Yes.
Sonny boy: or ruh-a-duh?

Amma: Sonny boy, I have told you so many times- either use phonetics OR use only alphabets when spelling, DO NOT confuse the two.
Now write ruh-eh-duh. WRITE!
Sonny boy: Amma, red or read? like you know, in read a book?

Amma: Sonny boy, ruh-eh-duh is what I said.
Sonny boy: Oh, you mean red colour? THAT red? yeah? THAT red, Amma? Amma? Ok I will write... ruh.... eh....
Amma, red is the colour of your dress?

Amma: Sonny boy, please, PLEASE write red.

I tell you this is just a minor sample. He talks non-stop.

And last weekend, when we had gone to school, this is what his teacher had to say.

"He's intelligent, but he gets distracted easily. And he talks a lot...."

At which the Acha and I made a face and said that we had the same problem at home too.
And she said, "In fact he talks so much he manages to distract the rest of the class too, so I've put him right at the front of the class. Only him in a row. At first it was peaceful. But now, he turns around and talks ..."

sigh! It's not easy being a future politician's parents, I tell you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Onam, folks!

Since they say a picture says a thousand words....

my Onam was happy.
Hope yours was too!

Monday, August 24, 2009

row row row your boat, comforbatly on...

Sonny boy has always been pronouncing his words most funnily ( now I know he's not specially amusing, ALL kids do it, to a higher or lower extent)

It started when he was a toddler and could just lisp out the words,

Lorry was Rolly
Potato was Topato
Elephant was Ephilant
and so on...

It produced paroxysms of mirth from me, which the Acha sternly disapproved of.
He believed I should not be laughing at the child so.
But it was of no use, I was unable to resist being entertained by Sonny boy.

His vocabulary grew to include

and Mavaya (for that guy Mayavi who comes in Magic Pot)

It amazed me the way syllables that were not there so easily fell into place.
He was entirely comforbatle (in his own words) with his language. And I continued to enjoy him.

Until now, when he's learning his spellings, and learning to read.
and I realise-

that he THINKS of the words thus.

He spells hospital as h-o-s-T-i-p-a-l! The puh after hos just doesn't exist for him!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

a tail tale!

Ever since the outbreak of chicken pox, Sonny boy has been extra taken with the Goddess Durga.

Her 1000 arms, and weapons from all the Gods and her prowess and strength ..all that have made quite an impression on that impressionable young mind, and Tales of Durga are one of his favourite ACKs to listen to at night or whenever.

Since he's started learning to read simple words at school, I try to make him read word that he can while relating stories from whichever book.

Yesterday was Durga again, and we made him read the title
Sonny boy: tuh..aah..luh..eh..suh... talus? questioning tone and look.

At which the Acha who was on storytelling duty yesterday, corrected and told him it was pronounced Tayles.

At which he turned to me and delightedly exclaimed, "Amma, Durga has tails also!!!"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

break point

People, especially close relatives should know where to draw the line.
Where they (their far from pleasant doings) stop being ignorable and start being positively abhorrent. Where their self centered doings affect the life of their relatives adversely.

And when they don't, there is, I believe, a time for keeping quiet and a time to open one's mouth. While I don't find it pleasant to be rude, its better to have someone else stew (if their thick skin will allow that) than stew myself.

It is unbelievable how self centered some people can get. How much of sponges they can be! How oblivious to all except their pleasure. How uncaring of others' sacrifices.

One of my prayers to God, is that we always have enough to be able to give to relatives needier than us. So that we can give freely without feeling deprived ourselves. But this is to those needier than us. Not to those as well-off or more so than us. A line needs to be drawn, methinks.

How much can one take? and for how long?

Right now, what someone is doing goes against all tenets of decency. It raises my hackles to even think about it.
I just want that person dissasociated from me.
No matter what!
Enough of putting up a facade, or keeping quiet for the sake of a loved person.

This feeling has always been there, sometimes peaking, sometimes lying dormant for the last 9 YEARS! In the last couple of months, happenings have gotten totally out of hand. Matters can only be stretched to a point. After that it has to break. That's what I learnt in Physics!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tagging other book nerds as instructed...

Received this from my husband on chat. Thought it was good enough for a post.

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read. Tag other book nerds.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen x
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien x
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte x
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling x
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee x
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte x
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell x
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens x

Total: 8

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott x
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy x
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier x
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot x

Total: 4

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell x
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck x
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll x
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

Total: 3

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens x
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen x
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini x
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden x
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

Total: 4

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell x
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown x
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez x
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy x
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding x
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

Total: 5

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel x
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens x
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez x

Total: 3

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville x

Total: 1

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens x
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt

Total: 1

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens x
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry x
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle x
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

Total: 3

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad x
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute x
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas x
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare x
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo x

Total: 5

I've done my list in this post itself. I've not read even half - read only about 37 in that 100. But hey! definitely more than 6! The husband's read about 49
Do jot down a comment to let me know how many you've read- just for fun! Am sure most of us would have read at least 25 and more.
And some who'd have read maybe half?


6.50: Amma gets up
6.50-7: Acha and Sonny boy get up
7.02: Acha brushes Sonny boy's teeth
by 7.10: Amma boils milk, makes Bournvita for Sonny boy, tea for Acha and maid, decoction coffee for Ammamma and herself
till 7.25: Acha is to sit at the dining table and make Sonny boy drink Bournvita, but actually spreads the newspaper on said table and reads it while sipping tea made by his wife.
by 7.30: Sonny boy makes potty
by 7.40: Amma washes his bum, gives him his bath, gets him dressed, makes him eat min 1 idli, max 2 idlis...
while Acha gets the snacks into the lunchbox
7.40-7.45: Sonny boy says Hi/Bye to the Gods, Acha puts on Sonny boy's shoes, makes him drink a glass of water

and he's off!!!!! The Acha takes him down to the bus.

You notice that it takes 15 min for Sonny boy to drink milk while it takes max 10 min for him to have his bath, eat and get dressed.

Every day it pisses me off that its me(from the kitchen, in between my job) who has to take inititative in shouting at Sonny boy to drink the G*****N milk. While the Acha who sits RIGHT next to him JUST DOESN'T NOTICE IT.

What is it with these men????? Gah!

Hearing me shout at him in a voice fit to kill (lesser mortals than my son and husband), all the Acha will do is utter a token
"Sonny boy, haven't you finished your milk yet?"
This without even raising his eyes from the blasted newspaper.*

To which obviously Sonny boy gives as much heed as the cockroaches in my house do to Hit/Baygon/Lakshman Rekha.

Some days the Acha does his share of shouting, but this is only after Amma maintains a controlled silence till 7.30 and the Acha finds the silence abnormal and raises his head from the damn newspaper. By which time it is already late and the Amma will have to treble her shouting for the next 10 minutes, adding a few smacks for good measure.

The Ammamma is going off this weekend, and come next Mon, yours truly will have to do the boiling of milk, and the making of whatever breakfast before 7.30.to say nothing of making lunch too by 8.15.

The Acha and I are due for some serious talking/arguing. And maybe I better make an appointment with my doctor. For blood pressure control.

Edited to add:
My crib with the Acha is not that he doesn't do things, (he DOES. A lot of things on my requesting him, that maybe other dads wouldn't, and I do appreciate that in him) but that he doesn't think it his responsibility to do it. I need to keep requesting him...
He thinks it is MY responsibility to do certain things (feeding, teaching etc), while it is his to help out. That attitude is what galls me.
Also that I end up being bad cop most of the time, while he stays good cop most of the time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Free, free, all free!

I love it when the seasons come to an end.
Why, you ask?
Why, because of the end-of-season sales!
Its a different matter that these days seasons are ending all year round!

In B'lore Benetton is having a sale, Central is having a sale, Pantaloon is having a sale, Westside is having a sale, Shoppers Stop just finished theirs, (or is it still on?)...... loads to choose from.

So this weekend sale hopping is what we did.

Bought sarees, contacts, coffee mugs, Ben 10 bubble blowers and then finally landed at Central where the Happiness sale was on.
Rushed about evaluating the 20%s and the 30%s and the 40%s.....!
The buy one-get ones, the buy two-get ones and the buy two-get twos.....!!

The Happiness was infectious. Sonny boy came galloping up with his balloons.
Amma, come here! This place is Buy one, Take 50 free!!!
He'd seen one of Central's placards placed all over saying upto 51% off.

Sigh! If only, Sonny boy, if only….!!!

What takes the cake is the Acha's disgusted remark on mother-daughter shopping habits.
“The two of you shop like you're tourists! Swarming all over the place! Why can’t you just buy what you want and get it over with?”

And not know what all you missed? No way!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Castles in the air

Ok, I don't really want a castle. A medium sized cottage would be fine.

And around that medium sized, cosy, comfy cottage, I would have-

a mango tree
low branches, green leaves turning brown in the autumn, flowers strewn on the ground, kanni maanga for Vishu and for homemade pickles, and lots of ripe mangoes to pluck as well as pick.

a neem tree
a wonderfully healthy breeze all round the year, a swing for me and Sonny boy, that lovely noise of swaying, swishing leaves, and helpful armful to all those chicken poxers (!)

a jackfruit tree
ok, this one is just cos it used to be there in my Mom's ancestral house, and also because it was great fun to make spoons of their leaves and spoon kanji and chammandi. Ate with it once with gusto from a friend's place while at college and have loved that experience. So maybe one day when the husband and I are old, and I'm too lazy to wash spoons, I can go out a pluck a coupla leaves and have a meal to relish.

a banana tree
for all those fresh glistening leaves to eat your meal from, for the bunches of plantains, for the delight of cutting a straight line thru the leaf, for cutlets from the stalk, the kaambu and the koombu...

2 palm trees
I can hardly be a mallu without these around my cottage, can I? Brooms, dish scrubs, tender coconut water, coconut curries, coconut toffee...what all things to make form it.. truly a kalpavriksha! Of course I can do without the fuel for those old fireplaces.

And these flowering plants
a jasmine creeper,
a few hibiscus plants...
that orange creeper that's a feast for the eyes in B'lore during the season- dunno what its called

And these for the veggie garden
tomato, curry leaf, mint, chilli...

And a dog to run amuck around all these and make me scream in mock despair....

Sigh! Time to wake up (to realities), shut down, pack up and go home to Sonny boy.
Ciao, good people!

*popping back for a second* what's your tree wishlist??

Thursday, July 9, 2009

yayyyy! Am vindicated!

Sonny boy had been learning about families in school.
A mother who loves everyone
A father who has lots of fun (certainly have it down pat, don't they)
A sister who plays and works
A baby who's growing each day
A dog who chews a bone.

After singing me the song and after due rounds of applause and encore

Me: "Sonny boy, we don't have a sister. So maybe we aren't a family? (Yeah, I sometimes mess with him)
Sonny boy: *looks at me like I'm a total Suppandi*(remember that character in Tinkle who was such a blunderer?)"Silly!! This is about ANOTHER family. Not OUR family."
Me: "Oooh, ok."

Me: *Looking at gaining me a partner well in advance for dog requests to the husband* But Sonny boy, there's a dog also. Maybe we should get a dog..???
Sonny boy: But we already have Tinty!
(Tinty(Trinity) is Ammamma's Labrador that is at Kerala.)
Me: "Yeah, but Tinty is not here, and she's Ammamma's dog...."
Sonny boy: "That's ok, she's our dog also!"

Me: *Very very cautiously, for we don't want to be jumping into hidden potholes* "Sonny boy, there's a baby also. You think we should also have a baby?"
Sonny boy: "We already have one- K!" (my SIL's son, and his most loved enemy when it comes to sharing affections- material and otherwise)
Me: "But K is Chitta's baby, not ours."
Sonny boy. "No, K is my baby also."

Me: "And then, you're always shouting at and fighting with K. If he's your baby, why do you do that?"
Sonny boy*again giving me that Suppandi look* "Silly!!!! That is because I want to teach him all nice things- how to be good and good manners and all that..."
Me: *a slow smile dawning* "Aah.. like how I do to you, Sonny boy?"
Sonny boy: * a wide, happy smile on his face* "YEAH!! Just like you!"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My heart is beating....

the other day, a distant relative passed away suddenly from a heart attack.

And then the next day, MJ passed away, and last weekend, in the evening, I was generally acquainting Sonny boy with all his music that I was playing on Utube.

Sonny boy: "Amma, what is this man's name?"
Me: "Michael Jackson, Sonny boy. He sings very well, doesn't he?"

I think Sonny boy was more inclined to think he danced superbly. But let me not digress.

Me: "He sang, actually. He's now dead, Sonny boy," I said solemnly. Not really thinking about what I said, engrossed in the music and absorbing the fact that there would be no more hits from Michael Jackson.

Sonny boy: "How did he die?"
Me: "Umm..... he had a heart attack." *gradually awakening to the conversation we were having...*
Sonny Boy: Heart attack is what?
Me: *Sigh!* "Heart attack is what happens when the heart stops beating , Sonny boy. And then you can't live any more.

I got up and we got busy with other matters.

That night, after the story was over and we were cuddling to sleep, Sonny boy lifted his head and suddenly laid it on my breast. And then he looked up at me with a smile

Sonny boy: "Amma, I can hear your heart go thup thup thup thup. It is not stopped. So you're not dead, no?"
Amma: *Hugging him close* No, Sonny boy, I am not dead."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Everything that happens in between...

'If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with - Michael Jackson' ...

This statement of his made me feel so sad for the boy-man who only ever wanted to be loved.

I hope he can feel now how MUCH so MANY people love him inspite of all his faults. A great way to be loved, surely.

RIP, Michael Jackson, RIP.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

of football clubs and raaahu kaalams.

My Mom has these podikai's as we call it in Malayalam. These shortcuts. Some of them are quite quaint.

Like this one.

As you know, there is this concept of raahu kaalam, which is basically an inauspicious time to embark on anything good. Exams, interviews, joining a new job, going on a long journey, getting operated upon... for all these, raahu kaalam was looked into and avoided, as much as possible.

While we were younger, we used to consult the good 'ol Manorama or Mathrubhoomi calendar for the time of 'raahu kaalam' But looking up the calendar was not always possible, especially if we were not at home. Then, we used to make a call to good 'ol Mom and she never failed us.

Her method was simple- just a little sentence- eleven boys had a good football club. We would hear her mutter this seemingly silly sentence and fiddle with her fingers, and a few seconds later, she would pronounce the raahu kaalam!

It never failed to intrigue us. And when we were younger, she maintained that it was magic. But now she's let her grown daughter into the magic.

And I'm giving it to you guys- for the fun of it, as well as for you to put to good use if you want to. For, eleven boys have a good football club never fails!

Here goes..

Eleven boys have a good football club.

7 days of the week, stating with Mon, and 7 letters in 'eleven boys have a good football club'.

Today being Wed, lets take it that you want to find the raahu kaalam on Wed.

Wed is the third day of the week.

Third word in 'eleven boys have a good football club' is HAVE. Take the first letter of the word, which is H.

Count up to H on your fingers.

You get 8, right? Halve it. You get 4, right?

Add 8+4. You get 12.

Bingo! You have the start of raahu kaalam. It lasts for one and a half hours, so you have raahu kaalam on Wed from 12 noon to 1.30pm.

Try it guys, and have fun!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And OFF it came!

For an update on my pore ol' toe nail that was....

15th dawned bright and beautiful.
Packed Sonny boy off to school with his new Ben 10 bag and Ben 10 water bottle and Ben 10 lunch box, and old Ben 10 socks.

Mom said 9 was raahu kalam and to leave only after nine. So presented ourselves at the Dermatology Dept of one of the reputed medical colleges at 9.30. And we waited and waited and waited till about 11.30 outside OT. Turned out we'd paid the fees for the surgery, but the lady omitted to tell us that we also had to pay a nominal amount of 40/- for re-registration!!! So almost 3 hours after we reached, my Doc got involved and tore a strip off the nurses at the reception and asked for my file to be sent in pronto and a bed to be vacated in the OT as well.

The waiting was eventful. Had gone with the husband and my nephew, Mom staying back at home to collect Sonny boy when he came back from school.

Said nephew being a normal 18 yr old, started feeling famished (this after a hearty breakfast of puri sabzi at 9) half an hour into the waiting. And fidgeted and fidgeted, till we sent him off to fill his stomach with whatever.

I kept getting EMERGENCY calls from my client and my boss, regarding a) negotitations on a deal that HAD to be closed that day and b) some muck-up that had occured in the creative of another client. This being two of the 3 ripe apples that I had been waiting for, I attended all the calls and went mad co-ordinating Blr and Delhi and Mumbai all from outside the OT.

Husband got mad at me raising my BP! (I think he was tenser than me at the prospect of having my toe nail off) and we had a hot quarrel over my not switching off my mobile. THAT raised my BP more than the office calls. Husbands!

Nephew came back and wondered that I had still not gone in. Turned out he was waiting for me to go into the OT so that he and the husband could go off to Forum mall in the meantime!!! After he gets married and his wife is pregnant I HAVE to tell her this!
Nephews! But since it was his first time as a bystander, I forgave him.

Finally one of the beds was empty and I walked in, giving my toenail a last look. The Doc (he was an associate professor) came, accompanied by a couple of junior students (very earnest and big eyed) and a relatively snobbish senior student (must be doing her MD in dermatology)
The doc cheerfully asked me if I was alright, I smiled at him in affirmation, and he set in to work.

Cleaned my foot, and started quizzing the girls conversationally. I was almost enjoying it if not for the fact that it was me on the operating table. Gave my toe two injections one on each side beneath my nail. These stung like mad going in. After some time when the doc pricked my little finger, I could feel it; and he did the same (he said he did) to my toe, but I couldn't feel a thing. Just a big numbness.
So he said he was going to start. I smiled. And in my mind called upon all the Gods and Godessses I knew.

The quizzing and explanations continued on procedures to be followed. And the doc told me to tell him if I felt the slightest pain. I intensified my prayers, and watched their faces. In between, I could see two of the younger faces swivelling around curiously to see my reaction. I guessed that the good doc must be pulling my nail off. But I didn't feel a thing. Good ol' local! I smiled at them and they smiled back.

Then the doc cauterized the roots on either side of my nail. He asked the MD girl to try, but she couldn't do something, I dunno what, and gave the instrument back to him. I think she held a grudge against me for that. She certainly lacked a bedside manner!

And then, it was over. The doc told the MD/nurse to take care of the rest of the stuff- to dress my nail temporarily, then re-dress it again after another 20 min when the bleeding would lessen, and walked out.

I limped out and was given a warm welcome by the husband and nephew. The white gauze on my foot grew progressively red with the passing minutes. After 45 min, I limped into another OT where the nurse pulled off the dressing gingerly. I appreciate her treating me like a person and not like an object. Ms. MD student, you have much to learn still.

And that was it. Things went off pretty much better than expected. I thanked all my Gods and Godesses from the bottom of my heart.

Today was when I was supposed to dress it again. My doc said I needn't go back there, but could get it done locally at any of the regular hospitals. So I went to one nearby. And Man!

All the stars that had been spared me during the actual avulsion (that was the medical name given the nail pulling out procedure)came out in their full glory.
Phew. Phew! and PHEW!

Suffice to say that I DREAD going in dy after to dress my nail again.
Please to send up a prayer. Or two. Or more. For the dressing to go smoothly, painlessly. Phew! Brrr!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

It was the most delightful surprise

bumping into a fellow blogger last week at Sonny boy's school.

Had to go to school to pay up the fees and stuff and also to meet up with Sonny boy's new Godess-Who-Knows-It-All/Who Can't-Go-Wrong- his teacher for the current year. She promises to be as nice as the earlier one. And while I was smiling and informing her of her Goddess status, she laughed and said she had to compete with the same thing at hoome- with her son's teacher.
We had a nice time talking, submitted all the things that had to be submitted, gathered all the things that had to be taken with us, and then it was time to leave.

Downstairs, I was waiting in line to pay the fees, when a petite, pretty Mom whom I'd noticed earlier too, while buying shoes, came up to me with a tentative smile and asked, "excuse me, are you 'my name"?"
I had noticed her, but I certainly didn't know her, how did she know me...? "Yeah", I replied confusedly, with a doubtful smile.

At that, the grin widened and she said, "I'm DDMom"
And the surroundings dissolved as we grinned at each other broadly!

I shoved the cheque book into the husband's (who was looking on perplexedly)hands, and we yakked and yakked.

It was so so nice to meet her so very unexpectedly.

I had not been reading her (and some other old favourites too- cos I mucked up bigtime with my blogroll, and lost their ids) for some time, but she was an old favourite and the name DDMom registered immediately.
You know, DDmom, Rbdans was more like how I thought of you!

Turns out she lives quite close to where I stay. Small world, isn't it?

She knew me by my grin, she said. (And to think I just did a post on that some time back!) And once she thought that it MIGHT be me, she just HAD to ask, even if she might be wrong. Am so glad you did, DDmom.

Inspite of the fact that I haven't read her in almost a year, and she said she's been pretty erratic too, we still got on so well. Unfortunately I had to get back to sign the cheque and she had already finished with all her stuff, so we had to say au revoir too soon.

So now, of all my old blogpals, I have met WIAN, Udtahaathi, ~Nm, MadMomma, Suki, Poppins, Bmom, Aargee, Swati, Kiran, Mama Mia, CoS, Compulsive Dreamer, Vidooshak, ... and DDmom.
14 of them.
I did meet Monica and Pixie at BMom's baby shower, but we didn't really yak.
Missed Art earlier this week, and Chox too.
Who next, I wonder?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rolling on the floor in abandon...

is what Sonny boy does when we start to play with the ball.

This is an offshoot of IPL and all those cricket matches he's been watching with the Acha. Balls caught neatly as a matter of course are not applauded much even if it involves the taking of a wicket. Turns out he's seen the Acha APPLAUD WITH GUSTO when the fielders fling themselves to the ground and grapple with the ball.

Which is what he does now.
A perfectly decently thrown ball, perfectly catchable too... involves much of throwing himself to the ground. and rolling about. and getting up with grimaces/glee. and limping back to his place.

All this done with a secret eye to applause. Which he gets in good dose. He does not see, my dear clown of a son, that half of the laughter is in sheer mirth at his clowning around.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

health issues.

There was an ingrown toenail
who lived in neglect for some years.
Decided he'd had enough of the neglect
and could do with some attention...

So it started-
an occasional prod, a poke
and when attention was still found wanting,
white hot needles were pressed into action...

Remonstrances and restraints were tried
Strong doses of them in vain,
the decision was made
If necessary.

Guys, HALP!
Going to see the doc about my toe nail, which is come off on one side, digging into for dear life on the other.
My toe hurts, but am sure the hurt will be nothing compared to what will be if it has to come off.

Pls send up a prayer. Or two. Or MANY.
Am sure in need of it. Brrr!

Edited to add:

Saw two docs. Both said to remove.
But right now, its inflamed and infected, so have to wait for that to subside before they can remove it.

On Mon, 15th June, Sonny Boy starts school and I go off to hospital to have my toenail removed. The doc was a good guy, explained the procedure very concisely.
Yup, they will give me local. They will poke one needle into the right and another into the left side of my poor big toe.
Then when its nice and numb, will pull out the nail and cauterize the roots on two ends so that whatever grows back will grow narrower.
Apparently my nail was too big for my nail bed, which is why the problem arose. (So now you know that not only should you not grow too big for your boots, you should also not grow too big for your beds. Else- OUT is the way for you.)

Also, please to not cut your nails into a curve. CUT IT FLAT ACROSS THE TOP. Will ensure that the nails grow the way they are supposed to - straight and not curving inside.

I will have to rest my toe for 4-5 days, after which the good doc says I 'll be fine. I sure hope so too.

Thanks for the good wishes, guys, and keep my pore ol' toe in your thoughts on the 15th.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Of Diana and the Phantom

The other day, my husband's gmail chat status message read: "I know a woman who drives the Phantom"

It evoked fond memories of the handsome Phantom and the curvaceous Diana and dear Devil and the kids and Rex, and Guran and.... Both of us love the Phantom comics, and there are hardly any available today, except dog-eared ones with pages missing or untidily drawn upon..
I wondered what had made the husband suddenly remember Phantom....

Was rudely shaken out of the misunderstanding today. When the Acha slobbered over a BMW and a Cayenne we saw on our way to work today. When I realised that he meant he literally knew a woman who 'drove' a Phantom. From the Rolls Royce stable, I think he said.

Bah! Cars do NOT set my blood on fire.

Men!!! Do they ever outgrow their toys?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

from there to here....

I remember, in school and college, I was often identified as the girl with a perpetual smile on her face. I was genuinely a very cheerful, optimistic person and it showed on my face too.

In University, I was dubbed the 'Cheshire Cat' by my husband-to-be (though neither of us knew it then) for the ever-present smile of course. Also the fact that I was almost never to be harried by anything.

In hostel, during those semester exams, bowing to peer pressure, I too would burn the nightlight way into the wee hours of morning. But only the light burnt. The eyelids would be shut tight, and dreaming about an easy paper, only rarely succumbing to the nightmare of a question paper that was totally Greek and Latin to me.

Not for me the pressure to be top of the pack. I would be quite happy to be somewhere among the top 5 or 10.
Not for me the last minute frenzy of rushing around for most likely questions and last minute mugging. Tho' I WOULD have my mental antennae up for any little word or two that I could catch, which could easily be elongated into 2 or 3 pages in the answer sheet. (That's the charm of marketing- puh-lenty you can digress on...)

I was bent on advertising as a career, and started off quite promisingly on that road.. I was enjoying my work, my colleagues, my boss...No huge targets..
and then the road curved.

Unwittingly I was dragged into the hairpin curves of a job in sales. And while the highs were HIGH, the lows could be TROUGHS!

Looking back, I think it the height of irony that the girl who had nary a care in the world, should now live her life ruled by numbers and the pressure to reach a certain number by the end of the month, by hook or by crook!

The smile still is on my lips most of the time, but in my mind runs the thought- you dratted fellow/felly, why can't you SIGN the damned deal?!!!
And certain days, when the pressure mounts sky high, can you believe it- I start having nightmares about my bete noire in school and college- Math! I dream - never that I'm flunking- but that I haven't studied one bit and my exams are tomorrow. And I toss and turn thinking about a way out.


I remember, while I was about to join up for my graduation, an astrologer family friend advised my mother to enrol me up for Maths, cos he could see that I would 'shine' in Math. We were very polite to him, but once he left, all of us fell over laughing at the joke! Me and Maths! and shining!

"hahahahahohohohehehehe" That's Uncle having the last laugh. For shining or not, numbers sure have ruled my life for some time now.
I admit Uncle just MAY have had something in what he prophesied. Though I still have my doubts about why I'm doing what I'm doing, and whether I'm going to go anywhere with it.

And in addition to this, I have to juggle the balls of motherhood and wifehood and housekeeper-hood.
Little wonder that I think I'm going crazed!

This post is provoked by the fact that I have 3 bloody deals that have been pending for SO long and have been tantalisingly going from small to medium to big, falling just that little bit short of getting signed at each discussion. Just one of them will almost meet my targets for the month, BUT!

Man!I wish I could turn back the clock......
In the meantime, pliss to keep your fingers crossed for me and for those deals to get signed. Immediately!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Am torn!

"Don't leave me here, there and everywhere, Amma...."
said Sonny boy, between sobs, to me and the Acha when we called him last night.

As some of you might be knowing, have again been left high and dry by my maid. As in the one who I'd got to stay with Sonny boy while I earned jam for the family.
This was in March. We got a new person for the housework bit, but we had no luck with the stay-at-home companion to Sonny boy bit. Luckily my Mom was with us,so we didn't face an immediate problem.

Then, towards the end of Mar, the Acha's grandmother passed away. We went to Cochin for the funeral and came back, leaving Sonny boy with the grandparents in Cochin for about 2 weeks, till the Acha went back for the 16th day rites. A joyful re-union took place with the Acha at Cochin and with me at B'lore the next day. ( I couldn't go- I barely managed to get my leave approved for the funeral!!!)

Since the summer vacation was on, we took recourse to the summer camps that mushroomed all over. But there were none that would keep the kiddies till about 7, all of them shut shop by 6. (Don't the people runing these places know that office timings are till 6 and it takes about an hour in B'lore traffic to reach ANYWHERE?)
Luckily there was one near my office that would keep 'em till 8. Darned expensive, but then beggars can't be choosers. And after all the jam WAS coming in, wasn't it? April passed.

In May, my cousin was getting married, and we went off to my place in Kannur. We came back, leaving Sonny boy with my Mom. Where we planned to leave him for another 2weeks, in which time we hoped to find a maid.

Sonny boy has stayed happily with his Ammamma before, so I didn't foresee a problem. But the maximum Sonny boy has ever stayed away from us in the past is 2 weeks. And he'd already had his quota of separation in Cochin.
Another 2 weeks so soon after the first was a little tough to digest for a wee little 5 year old.

In the past whenever we had left him away from us, he wouldn't come to the phone. He wouldn't talk to us at all. Ammamma would have to coax him to come and talk. But these days, he would talk. And he used to recriminate bitterly with us.
'You don't love me.'
'Why can't you come to pick me up?'
'You left me alone here.'
'I want you to come and pick me up! TODAY!'

In between somehow, he managed to hide his despair. But then, yesterday, when we told him that we were coming to pick him up this weekend, the flood gates broke. He started sobbing.
"Don't leave me here and there and everywhere...."
"I love you. You don't love me...."

And when I told him softly, that we'd left him with his Ammamma because there wouldn't be anyone to look after him in Bangalore, he cried

"Why can't YOU look after me?"

Why can't I look after him?
Because I have to go to office and earn money.
For what?
So that we can save towards a nice house we can buy, where we can stay in after Sonny boy has grown his life in summer camps and day cares.
Because we need to earn the money to pay the daycares and the summer camps which will spend time with him, and entertain him.
Because we need the money to pay a good maid to stay with him, in place of his parents.
Because we need the big car and the eating out and the umpteen toys and the books and the gadgets.

Why o why do we have to make such difficult choices in life?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just for the record

I am PRO gay rights.

This morning was reading in the newspaper of how Celina Jaitley was inviting support for gays and their rights, and I was thinking that she was doing a great job.

I truly don't understand how a mature choice that a man or a woman makes regarding his/her sexual partner can be a source of contempt. So long as it is not with children, or your own offspring, or an animal, I think its ok.

Enforce a law that forbids child marriage.
Enforce laws that make employment of children a punishable offence.
Enforce laws that ensure that dowry is neither given nor asked.
Enforce laws that enable the girl child to thrive- inside the womb and outside.
Make it legal to chop off the balls of a rapist, I say.

But to condone child marriage, child employment, dowry, female infanticide, rape....and then to heap the kind of ridicule that exists currently for a love that thrives between two people albeit of the same sex, to me, smacks of stupidity and intolerance.

And it is the height of cruelty to force a person who is gay to get married to someone who is not, just to satify societal mores. Height of cruelty to the gay person as well as to the non-gay person. I have seen two such people at close quarters and it has only reinforced my firm opinion that it is high time we recognised gay rights.

At least then gay people can hold up their heads in society and not feel cornered.
I wonder when India will make a serial like Will and Grace. That pokes fun gently, merrily, without being hurtful.

I do not know what comments this post might attract, but no matter if I earn my first trolls, I wanted to make a stand.
We need to learn to be more tolerant, people.
And, for the record, am not gay, nor is my husband.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

All in a day's ride.

98% of them are crooks, 2% of them are ordinary people like you n me, eking out a living the way they know to. Am talking about auto drivers.

However, coming across the rare 2% is a pleasure. Once in a while I get into these conversations too- manage to have one would be a better way to say it- what with Kannada, Tamil, Hindi, English, hands, eyes all being called into service.

One of them made me feel ashamed of myself when he told me in Malayalam that he had only been 3 months in Kerala and he had picked up the language, while I had been here 7 yrs and was not yet fluent. And when I started off in Hindi to converse better, he told me "Illa, neevu kannadaleye mathaadu, athe channagide." (No, you speak in Kannada only, that's better)I don't know whether that was a reflection on my Hindi (sic) or whether he wanted me to use Kannada, but anyway, we spoke in Kannada the rest of the trip.

However the guy I met this afternoon takes the cake. We had just started off after I had given my destination, when he asked me a long sentence in Kannada, of which I only caught something that sounded like Obama.
Errr... what? I asked with a polite smile.

Only to sit back in wonder when he repeated
"Madam, will Obama stop all our software jobs? What does he plan to do?"
"Errr.... Errr....!!!!

The second question was a little too deep for the likes of me, but I attempted to answer the first.
"He won't stop it totally, but he sure means to bring it down"

And then followed a nightmare of explaining to him that Obama wanted to levy tax on all those companies that continued to outsource their job requirements from India.
Nightmare, because, it was difficult to explain in Kannada/Hindi what I had read in the newspaper yesterday. (Yes, Dad/husband, I actually knew what he was asking and moreover, enough to answer him as well!)

What compounded the matter was that he asked me questions on my answers! Answers made in Kanhinglish. So that I was confused as to what I had conveyed, what he had understood and what more he wanted to know. Phew!

He was actually a young boy- maybe some 20- 22 yrs old. What he told me with a disarming smile at the end of our conversation was, "You see, Madam, our livelihood depends on the software industry. If software suffers, we suffer. It has brought money into our city. I take so many software people all around the city...now this Obama is going to make life difficult for us."

I smiled at him reassuringly, but then hastened to inform him that I was not from the software industry as I did not want to get fleeced.

We sat in a companionable silence, then he asked me " Nimmege kannada baralla?" Now it didn't take an Obama to realise that, but I smiled and said, "Not much, I'm basically from Kerala."

"Aaah! Kerala! You must be very educated??"

"All people in Kerala are very educated." He answered the quesion himself. "They put a great premium on education, right?"
"Right," I answered.

"They are very rich also in Kerala, right, Madam?"
"Errr.. "

"I have been there some time back- to the wedding of a muslim friend of mine. These muslims have lots of money." and he looked back at me for confirmation.
"Ummmmmm...yes, Gulf money exists, but there are quite a lot of ordinary folks as well in Kerala"

He pooh-poohed my remark. "100 kilos of gold is what that bride had on. I couldn't see any clothes at all, only gold"
I smiled. "Yeah, they do wear a lot of gold in Kerala."
He smiled back at me in camaraderie.

And we had reached. He was an honest driver, with an honest meter too, he only took the correct fare. But I tipped him 8/- (change) for the conversation.

From Obama to the Bangalore economy to the Kerala economy...phew!
However one MUST count one's blessings. Thank God he didn't ask me about the elections and the chances of leadership in our country. I'll take Obama any day to THAT.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rehashing old grudges...

Day before, was feeling in a particularly lousy mood at home, as I had been having stomach cramps the whole day and by evening was throwing up, throwing down.. lala...
Attributed the cause to a sandwich/pineapple juice I had had from office as the cramps started immediately after that.

The Acha to be honest, was concerned, and pattered about a bit after me, but soon, the spots in the leopard surfaced and the man was back to doing what he always does these days. Gah! And as I was in a particularly crabby mood, I found myself eyeing the husband nastily and remembering this little piece I wrote long back on another site..
**** **** **** ****

My Sout, was present in my husband’s life even before I entered it, so I don’t know if you can call her that. I am a fool, I should have seen it in the very beginning, certainly my hubby had never hidden her existence. To his credit,(?) he has been very open about it, tho from the beginning, Sout never came out into the open, but always hovered in the background, arms wide open to seduce, the minute my pathetic partner succumbed to her enticements over and above his wife’s.

For a brief time during the start of our courtship, I held centrestage in my hubby dear’s life, and she was relegated backstage. Knowing the hold she had over my hubby, Sout was quite happy to stay there, biding her time.
Post our marriage after a long courtship of 6 yrs, (9 yrs of knowing each other)though we were still delighted with each other’s company, it is rightly said that no man is an island, and gradually, our idyll was broken into by friends, family and assorted acquaintances.

This was when my Sout came back into her own.
She came on stage with a vengeance, while poor young wifey slogged in the kitchen to prove her culinary skills to friends, family et al.
Hubby would occasionally come in and hug me in the middle of my slicing and dicing, and swear that he loved me so much, but then, would go back to Sout, who would be preening in front of the guests.
Even when I came back all freshened up, to become the light of the party, I would still have to be nice to all our guests, but Sout needed to put a show on only for hubby dear’s eyes/interests. And while hubby dearest tried to remain loyal, his attention would inevitably stray...

To my irritation, even I could see she was so much more interesting than I was. Sout was a veritable library of topics- and could swiftly shift from one subject to another almost without a break, be it sports, movies, music or the perennial current affairs.

Initial days saw me being very gracious and sharing all the attention with my Sout. But gradually, I started realising that Sout certainly had no such compunctions. When Sout wanted to hog my hubby’s attentions, Sout didn’t give a d--- for me. Sout even started getting all our friends more interested in her than me. Some of our well-meaning female friends would occasionally give Sout the cold shoulder and one dear friend of mine actually ventured to say that Sout should shut her mouth and let the rest of us enjoy ourselves!

I couldn’t shut my eyes any longer. I had to come to terms with the unpalatable fact that hubby dear had fallen for another’s charms, and that too after just 2 years. (I could probably have -just probably-condoned a 7 year itch!) The weekends stopped being lazy, enjoyable days spent curled up cosily with our respective books or re-reading a much loved Wodehouse together. Sout thought nothing of interrupting our cosiness any time of the day, and once she started to hold sway, everything else was a blur to my hubby.

My nasty side started surfacing. I would be openly sarcastic and bring the conflict into the open. My hubby ’s reactions to my accusations went from- "Don’t be ridiculous!" to "Stop being so melodramatic!" to "You must be joking! Do you mean to tell me you are jealous of HER?!" and finally to a guilty, defensive "Everybody does it!!

Dear readers, do you know who my Sout is?
Our television set.

These days when we enter our home, hubby dearest reaches not for the light swith, but the tv switch!
He neither drinks nor smokes, but he suffers from withdrawal symptoms- when our cable operator (I LOVE that guy) switches off., which is quite often , BLESS him.
He gives pleading looks and winsome smiles to get me to search his misplaced/lost stuff , passing me dirty looks and nasty comments if I refuse pointblank. But he can be more diligent than a police dog when it comes to searching for the remote, and by now he knows better than to ask my help in that!

GRRRRRR! I would have done anything to get rid of the dratted idiot box, but I would have given my soul to get rid of the remote! For folks, I can put up with watching the news at 9, the news at 9.20, the news at 9.40 at 10 etc but I draw the line at having to catch a glimpse of CNN, NDTV, HBO, Star Movies/Sports Mallu news channels, mallu GE channels, and sometimes just a blur on the screen and a loud drone in our living room, which once upon a time used to be full of chat , laughter or melodious music.
But, God decided that He values my soul. For we have been blessed with a little son- our little bundle of joy. And that little gentleman being his father’s son, of course took to TV like a duck to water. And he has a mind of his own, and very strict ideas of what to watch and not to watch.
So now once again peace reigns at home, for all of us sit and watch Pogo or Disney or Cartoon Network in cosy togetherness. And the remote is a useless rectaangular piece in my husband’s hands.