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Archive for January, 2010

Here SHE is……

………The latest entrant to the brood.

Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together to welcome Ms.BABY!!!

(Drum rolll…….)

Baby

The elder sister has finally delivered the much awaited package. At around 4pm this evening.

The parcel weighs approximately 3kgs in weight and is of delicate composition. To be handled very VERY carefully.

Though the service was very poor (don’t even get me started on the delay!!), the end result was TOTALLY worth it!!

He He.

Jokes apart, the munchkin hasn’t been named yet, thats simply because no-one has bothered to ask me yet.

As the youngest Khala, I’ll impose my authority for the nomenclature asap.

Ages ago, Aapa had once mentioned that if she ever has a daughter, she’ll name her “Tazain” ( Isn’t it a pretty name?)

Not sure if Aps even remembers it now.

But i’ll surely remind her of this.

In case she doesn’t like it, my list is ready 🙂

Anyhow, please send in your blessings for the second-time-momma and her bonny baby.

G’night for now folks.

Much love to all 🙂 .

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PS:- RS and SS ADORE babies. Its just too sad that BOTH of them are suffering from a bad cold. Can’t risk the newbie, can I?

Introductions will have to wait 😦

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PPS: If you are tsk-tsking over the poor picture quality, let me state that the pics were taken from my ever-reliable Nokia 3230.

Not everyone travels with a Canon around their necks, do they?!!!

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Not quite right!!

I’m a B-I-G fan of HHC. And no day is complete without me checking out their latest fasion updates.

And just today, I came across a snap of Sridevi (walking the runway for Queenie Dhody’s jewellery collection) in a Herve Leger gown (Now don’t ask me what brand is that, coz frankly, I have no clue!!)

Sridevi

Neck-up, she looks gorgeous.

Its the neck-down part that has me worried.

Now seriously, is she really that busty?? (On an aside, are they even real??)

If yes, then isn’t she suffocating big time in that stiffling gown??

For a woman who is on the wrong side of forty, she surely carries herself well.

I mean, considering she has two children, she doesn’t have much of a tummy, unlike *ahem* some people I know!

She must have worked hard on getting back into shape.

Though, the gown seems to do little to compliment it 😦

Ahh…to be rich and famous!!

To have the money to correct that broad nose, to tuck in those slack jaws, to enhance that bust or get the derrière in shape.

If one could end up looking as lovely, then why not?!!!

But then, you could also end up looking like this :-

Rakhi Sawant

Shudder!!!!

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Note : This is NOT a book review.

I must have read the book “A prisoner of birth” about 3 times now.
And each time, I love the way it ends. With justice delayed, but not denied.
If I was younger, I would have fallen in love with the character of Daniel Cartwright.
But not now. Because however enchanting the narration and story, it is difficult to belive that something like that could also happen in real life.
Though from an impoverished background, Danny has the intelligence and skill to achieve in 2 years what he wasn’t able to do his whole life. Get an education.
Beth Wilson, his fiancée, is so devoted, it almost hurts.
Fate deals them a rotten blow, but they are redeemed at the end.
Good story, that. Read it when you get the chance.

I couldn’t help recollecting this story yesterday, when some distant relatives had come visiting.
These people had faced a lot of hardships in life and it’s just now that they were breaking even. Things were settling down and they were now able to provide for their children. The lady in question was one of five siblings. Their parents did everything to provide for them within their meagre income. Education was luxury which couldn’t be afforded after a time.

All this made me realize, that they were the real prisoners of their birth. Tied down to the life that fate has destined for them.
Think about it. We (the people who can afford a net connection) are born into households which provide for us. Many of us may not even know what a struggle it is to be deprived of food, of clothing, of a shelter over our heads.
It is fate that I was born in a loving family. I could just have been born to the house of a labourer and would have been none the wiser.
We lament on not being able to afford a new house or new furniture. The new Television set or the video game.
Don’t we take too much for granted?? The right to actually, feel bad about not being able to afford a luxury.

Isn’t it a boon enough that we don’t have to struggle for the basics?

There are many people who have struggled through life to give their children the best they can. My parents have.
I haven’t.
Not yet.

But I know that I wouldn’t like to compete. It’s always a loss-loss situation.
People who want to give their kids the world, are welcome to go ahead and do so.
I can ony give my kids a good education.

After all, isn’t that what helps Danny Cartwright in the end?

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Competing in Silliness

This post isn’t about the twins.

It’s about the BF and me.

(What ?? Can’t we be silly??)

And while at it, sometimes, its difficult to figure out who gets the trophy 😀

A long time back, maybe a decade ago (yes, make that 10 long years back), me and the BF were in college. We had a large gang and had fun chatting up after lectures before proceeding to our respective houses.

It just so happened, that me and the BF had the same bus-route till a point, after which we parted ways. But just because we used to travel together, the rest of the gang took friendly jibes at our expense. We were the targets of innumerable jokes and taunts. The BF took it in his stride. He was used to guys ribbing each other like this. Hell, he himself used to do it to others.

I hated it. And I hated the fact that the BF didn’t seem bothered. He used to tell me to ignore it all. And somehow, just because he said that, I wasn’t able to. There were times I preferred going alone, but then, like he rightfully pointed out, I was falling prey to their jokes. Giving up a natural friendship, just because others made fun of it seemed illogical. And I really couldn’t argue with that.

Anyhow, before long, we were termed a couple (Shit! I hate the term even NOW!!) . I was tired of negating the accusations. And really, how many people can you really stop?? Believe you me, my very own Bro and Aapa were worried about it. There’s a small instance once, when dear Bro took me to Khadakwasla to gently pry out the secret of my relationship with the BF. I don’t know if I was shocked enough!! Practically choked on the bhel-puri and am yet to get back to liking it as before. Anyhow, I had a fun time going back home and ridiculing Bro in front of Aapa and bags. How could he have thunk it?!! I had a good laugh at his expense. Much later, I found out that Aapa had assigned Bro this task. The Sneaky pests!! And to think we are related by blood!! I could have easily gone for their blood myself!!

In one way, being linked to the BF saved me from the advances of some others who I’d rather not name. Suffice to say, they give me the creeps even now. One of them (lets call him TP) , whom I tried to avoid majorly, stopped himself from proposing when he found out about the BF and me. Thank God for that!!

Anyhow, back in college, during one of our chat sessions , I plucked a few grass twigs lying besides us and deftly fashioned them into a ring. Others oohed and aahed over it. So I made some more. The BF, tried his hand at it and made one too. Since we were “the couple”, the others started pestering us to have a mock engagement with the grass rings. I refused flatly. So did the BF. The joke was going a bit too far. And he could see that I was awfully uncomfortable. We could either deny the whole thing or play along. Denying it was difficult, coz just that day, TP was also present with us. It would make the path open for him if we confessed that we were really not involved.
So we played along (lesser of the two evils). We exchanged the grass rings.

I would have forgotten about it all, if BFC hadn’t made a chance comment on it to the BF (BFC was also a part of our group. I guess, of all the rest, we three are the only ones who are still together).

On hearing about it, I recollected that I still had the ring. Though , after our marriage, I didn’t have a chance to see it, it was preserved safely. Cello-taped at the back of an old telephone diary. Years ago, there were many times when I had thought of throwing it away, but somehow, just couldn’t get myself to. So I left it in my mom’s house (the one in Pune). Safely packed away in bundles of books and notes.

Since parents are visiting Pune next weekend, I went to clean up the house. And I also searched the cupboards to dig up the diary. After all these years, I wanted to surprise the BF. Let him know, that even though it was in jest, I had preserved his ring. He might have given me gold rings after that, but this was the first and the most precious ring by far.

I found the diary where I had kept it last time. The ring was there. And like each time before this, I ran a gentle thumb over its outline, marveling at how fate had brought us together. Who would have thought that years later, I would be able to show the ring to the BF and see the surprise in his eyes.

Rushing back home, I found him engrossed in some stupid movie DVD. I eagerly pulled out the diary, flipped the pages to the end and showed him the ring.

“I didn’t throw it away, you know. I had it with me all these years”.

The BF looked at me with surprise. He was genuinely shocked . I could see the emotions flitting in his eyes. The surprise, the recollection, the love. He gave me a warm smile and said he loved me.

I looked at the ring, the date scribbled under it and was about to mention the large time gap when I saw the BF stretch out his hand towards me. I extended the diary towards him, only to find out that it wasn’t the diary he was asking for.

He was showing me his ring.

The one he had preserved.

In his wallet. All these years.

And I never knew.

I looked up to see him smiling.

It was my turn to be shocked, surprised and in love!!

Couldn’t resist dropping a kiss on his head!! After all, I had least expected him to remember, let alone actually save the ring for so many years!!

We both looked so silly, sitting there, grinning like kids.

At being such sentimental fools.

Yes, we are silly. As silly as could be. And loving every moment of it 🙂

The Rings

Here’s the snap of the old diary, its pages yellow with age. The one cello-taped, is mine (its still a little bit green, since it was well-preserved 🙂 ). The other one on the top is the one which the BF had.

In a way, the BF was more sincere in his sentiments. He had the ring close to him all these years. He kept it with him always. I know that he changed many a wallet in this time span. But he had the ring with him all the time.

It humbles me, you know, the way love catches up with you when you least expect it.

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When I say “NO” !!

Disciplining the twins has started in full steam.
And not always with favorable results.
You see, the twins are yet to understand what a “NO” means.
At times, I feel that they do understand, but yet take pleasure in pulling their mamma’s legs.
So we have instances like these :-
– Mamma changing RS’s diaper. The rolled-up diaper is shoved under the bed, out of SS’s reach. SS tries to pull it out. Mamma says, “No SS, No. No touching diapers”. SS, saunters off somewhere. Mamma is pleased with her boy. That’s how all kids should listen to their parents. Mamma gets back to putting the new diaper on RS, when suddenly, WHACK!! The loaded diaper hits mamma full in the face. The sneaky rat had managed to pull out the diaper behind his mother’s back after all. And now did the favor of giving it back to her!!!

– RS playing with the plastic cricket bat. SS comes dangerously close to her and gets a whack on the head. RS laughs with delight and repeats the action. SS howls piteously. Mamma calls out to RS and says firmly, “No, RS, NO. No hitting SS”. RS gives a big smile and comes to mamma. WHACK!! Mamma gets a taste of the bat on her head!!
Yes, exactly what I meant when I said “NO”.

– SS busy chewing off his fingers. Rotten habit, must break it. Mamma wags an admonishing finger at SS and says, “No putting fingers in mouth. Pull out your fingers now!!” SS Looks up keenly and pulls out his fingers.
To promptly grab the wagging finger of his mother and shove it into his mouth, biting hard on it.
Mamma can only yelp out loud in pain.

– RS taking her “making-baby-sleep” patting to an altogether new level with really violent thumps. SS yells loudly at being the recipient of this ‘love’. Mamma says ,”NO RS. STOP it. STOP!! NO patting SS”.
RS looks up to mamma, says , “maaaammaaaa….”. Mamma melts in a jiffy and picks up RS for a cuddle.
WHACK WHACK WHACK. Mamma gets a few loving “pats” on the face.
The nose still hurts as I type this.

– Mamma feeding kids. Kids refuse to sit in one place. Prefer running around. Mamma shouts, “NO running. Sit here and eat. NO, NO SS, NO Running, I said!!”. RS looks at SS, looks at mamma, and looks back at SS. The twins smile at each other. RS leans forward and dips her hand into the bowl of food. The food is then sweetly smeared on the mamma’s face.
Not sure if this is anger, vengeance or just plain love (in her attempt to ‘feed’ her mother).

So far, I’ve *ahem* NOT been very successful. B-U-T, I’m no lenient mom !! Am not the one to be taken lightly. I will not bow to the rebellion (albeit in milder doses) of the twins.
I’m a demon where disciplining is concerned.
And so, until the kids learn to understand the word “NO” and mind their ‘P’s and ‘Q’s, I shall not rest. I shall continue my quest for the perfectly mannered babies.

InshaAllah, I shall succeed. HA!!!!

Err….also hoping that the kids co-operate. You know, like NOT treating their mamma like a punch bag the WHOLE time !!!

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Maa…..

 

 The tired woman steps into the house. It has been a hectic day at work. And beating the rush hour traffic has sapped her of most of her energy.

She looks forward to seeing her children. Their smile, no doubt, helps to relieve the bonds of fatigue.

The hall is littered with toys. Thrown around with gay abandon by the terrible two!

The kids rush up to her as soon as she’s inside. Their faces are aglow with recognition and impatience. Each wants to be the first one to be lifted high by their mother.

She knows that the sharp eyes of the grandmother don’t miss a thing. She knows that the old lady would disapprove. She needs to wash up before being permitted to handle her children.

She tries to side step the kids. They howl in protest.Anger.Like jilted lovers, they yell their hearts out.

She has to turn a deaf ear to their screaming. She hurries inside. Quickly changes and performs the ablutions. Then rushes out to her children.

The boy turns away from her. Making her yearn for him as he did for her a few minutes back. It’s his way of punishing her. For not reciprocating his advances.

She is crestfallen. A little disappointed and sad. Amazed that a person this small could hold a power so strong over her. Could manipulate and twist her heart around his little finger.

Ruminating over this, she misses out on the small girl walking up to her, until suddenly; she comes very close and pulls at her mother’s dress.

She looks down at the little girl at her feet.

The girl holds up a toy in her hand for her mother to look at. And says, “Maa…”.

Her first words to address her mother.

After months of parroting “Mamma” in front of the girl and still not receiving that one word from her lips.

And now this. The title given so lightly. As if it was always meant to be.

Once more, the woman falls in love. And falls to her knees in gratitude.

To the little girl who made her mother’s day.

To finally, hear the one word that makes her existence seem worthwhile.

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So, in the next Lok Sabha elections, NRIs will be allowed to vote.

That’s a big Yay!! To all the Indians staying abroad. Its high time we stopped treating them like discards and letting them have a say in the matters of their country.

I personally know a lot of my friends staying abroad who welcome this move.

On the other hand, the BF is not too happy with this verdict. His argument being that people staying abroad have no idea what exactly is happening here. Which MLA or corporator is worth his ticket and which isn’t. The media may highlight the achievements of the main political parties, but no one other than the regular citizens is aware of what exactly happens in their area. The developments taking place, the infrastructure provided the facilities for citizens. He says that NRIs are not aware of these minute details and hence, those being in a large majority may tilt the balance towards some other political party which caters to their convenience.

At one level, I do agree with him. But as an Indian, I have the inherent desire to see all Indians with the same perspective. So if you want to go abroad and stay there, be my guest. But don’t vent your venom on people already there.

There is this colleague of mine who has been brought up in the USA since he was a baby. His parents relocated to USA shortly after his birth and the only contact he has with India are a few cousins/relatives from his father’s side whom he gets to meet once in 4-5 years. He has come to India for 6 months for work (his on-site trip :D).

Since the day he joined, I’ve seen people asking him whether he was an Indian or an American. It was sad to see him squirming with discomfort at the blatant questioning. Because though he has to vow allegiance to the land he was born in, his sensibilities are American. He was raised there and is more American than the locals.

Should this be taken as a case against him?? Poor guy was subjected to many condescending looks and jibes. As if it was his mistake that his family left the country for greener pastures.

Some colleagues even quipped that he was the ‘Non reliable Indian” and made jokes on it.

Frankly, it was disgusting. The expectation of him having to apologize for his non-Indian -ness.

It wasn’t funny. Why compel a guy to feel guilty for something he isn’t. He himself does not consider himself an Indian as much as an American, so how can we claim him for ourselves? Make him guilty for not knowing the national anthem. Rebuke him for not knowing his mother-tongue!!

What gives us the authority to be judgmental of such people??

Are we holier-than-thou just because we were born and brought up here??

And frankly, given a chance to go and settle abroad, how many of us would possibly refuse??

On t he other hand, there are people, who though abroad, are mentally rooted to their motherland. They follow the rules and regulations of the country they stay in, yet, it is their own country which is dear to them.

Would it be fair to deprive such people of their involvement in the development of their country?

It’s a different story that a lot of NRI money flows in for political purposes. There does arise some consternation as to the ethics of politics once the NRIs are allowed to vote. But then, Indian politics have NEVER been ethical, so that’s a very minor issue here.

Somehow, I relate to these people, unflatteringly called as the ‘Diaspora’ (Who coined this term anyway?!! Every time I hear it, I have this horrible mental image of adults going around in diapers!! Sheesh!!)

You may feel that you belong but then you end up having people from both sides condemning you as an outsider. What could be worse?

We say that world is getting smaller. But sometimes, I feel, we are doing our damned best to make sure that the distances grow further.

Its time we accept that those who do want to belong, shouldn’t be deprived. They have a right to their motherland too. They have a right to lend a hand in the progress of the nation. We don’t just need their dollars. We need their presence too.

I, personally, welcome the move.

I guess it stems from the fact that I can understand what “not belonging” feels like!!

So lets stop calling them “Non R***** Indians” .Why not rephrase it to “New Responsible Indians”?

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