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Archive for June, 2010

Whew!!

I did so much in the last 48 hours that I have trouble figuring out how I managed all of it ūüôā

It was wonderful, it was tiring, it was exciting , it was irritating, it was anything and everything!!

Setting aside the suspense, here’s the weekend update :-

1) On Saturday afternoon, I met *hold your breath* blog friend SimplyPallu¬†!! It was such a WOW!! experience. I felt as if I’ve known her forever! She’s so easy to talk to and we had such a fun time catching up on each other’s life that I totally regretted the fact that I had to get back soon ūüė¶ . Oh P, if you’re reading this, let me tell you, I had a grand time ūüôā . Love ya sweetheart, you are SUCH a munchkin!!! (yeah, yeah, I’m ignoring that bike comment you made on me here ¬†ūüėÄ . At least you did mention that I was ‘good’ which in turn means I didn’t crash us into anyone ūüôā )¬†. And yeah, I’d LOVE to get together again and like you said, we’ll wait for G¬†to get back. Gosh!! Am so excited right now, I can barely stay still as I type this ūüėÄ .

I just have to let you all know that you shouldn’t be deceived by that tiny profile pic of her’s on her blog. P has the MOST gorgeous hair ever. Long , lustrous and oh-so-shiny!! I could barely keep my eyes away from her hair, that is, when I could distract myself enough from her eyes ūüėÄ . For the record, she has honey brown eyes which express the world!! I seriously regret not spending enough time with her !!

2) After the lunch with P, I went back home and made my awesome fruit-custard pudding. I call it awesome, because the people who had it here, rarely, if ever make custard. So they found my dish yummilicious. As for me, ask ANY army-kid and they’ll let you know they detest Custards from the core of their heart, simply¬†because they’ve had it by the kilos during their Pop’s tenure. We practically grew up with a spoon of custard in our mouth, possibly our first ‘solid’ meal!! We wouldn’t touch custard with a barge-pole now!!

But the ‘civilians’ are a different matter altogether. For people who’ve been brought up on ‘halwas’ ,’gulab-jamoons’ and ‘rabdis’ all their life, custard is a welcome change. Specially, when its riddled with fruits, cake,chocolate and two different kinds of jellies. I was sincerely complimented for making something that I could do with my left hand and one eye closed ūüôā . But it feels great to bask in all those compliments. Bliss ūüėÄ

3) Me and the BF had planned on meeting up the other BFs¬†(namely, BFS,BFC¬†and BFG) for dinner. Alas, the MIL had invited a few close relatives for a get-together at home. So we had to cancel our plan. The guest list finally rose from 6 people to, 21 people. AND 5 kids!! Luckily, the BIL¬†refused to let his mother and bhabhi¬†slog in the kitchen and ordered the food from a caterer. God bless this guy. Seriously ūüėÄ !! Once people started trooping in, it was a constant trip from one room to another, checking up on all of them, making sure they were well attended to, cooked separate food for the kids and then generally spent time making sure no damage was done to anything.

The twins had a blast, since they LOVE being around other children. Both of them were big show-offs and displayed their newly learnt tricks to anyone who bothered to look at them, even for an instance.

Anyway, it was quite a gala evening, much fun, much food,much laughter. And then everybody(barring a few) left. Wrapping up took some more time and then we all crashed out.

4) Woke up on Sunday and realized that we still had guests. The GMIL¬†was pretty annoyed because the breakfast wasn’t ready yet (even though the guests were still asleep!!). Rushed around with the morning chores, made breakfast, served everyone, made tea, served everyone once again and then got back to the kitchen since I’d invited aapa and cousin sister L to spend the day with me.

The plan was to make Chinese Chilli Chicken . The MIL took over making the mutton curry and rice. My CCC rocked big time, with everyone falling head over heels complimenting it (except, of course, the BF. He didn’t understand what the fuss was about!! Loser!).

By the way, aapa¬†had come with her kids, my nephew Bojo¬†and the darling niece Simra who has the most amazing eye-lashes which curl all the way up and touch her brows. Beautiful!! The twins fell head-over-heels in love with her. Last seen, both were busy smothering the baby with kisses……almost as if they couldn’t get enough ūüėÄ

5) Post lunch, we sisters got together for a gossip marathon. I mean, its been ages since we got together and now that we did, it was such a fun time, I tell you !! We talked about clothes (OBVIOUSLY!!),jewellery, prospective grooms for cousin L and many more such trivial topics. I seriously regret not having such a get-together¬†often!! We talked our heart out. It was getting late and though aapa has earlier mentioned that she would be leaving at 4 pm, it was 6 before she actually left the front door ūüôā . I handed cousin L some skirts that I’d bought for her and she loved them, which was a blessing, since she is awfully choosy and finicky about her clothes. At least my efforts didn’t go waste ūüėÄ

6) Once they left,¬† I was ¬†busy in clearing up the room (the bed was piled¬†with clothes from my wardrobe and had to be¬†folded and kept back) . Then it was tea time for all and as we were sipping on it, the BF told me that he and the FIL¬†were going on a visit to the FIL’s¬†native village (where he was born and had spent time in his childhood). A second later he asked me if I wanted to come along too. Though I was initially reluctant (I mean, I was tired and just wanted to rest at home with the kids) the weather was just too perfect to ignore a nice drive up the hills. So we quickly got the twins ready, packed their milk and goodies and piled into the car.

It was a beautiful drive…..along the ghats, with a slight drizzle and yet , we could see the Sun burning on the horizon. Not surprisingly, we saw many rainbows on the way (I could kick myself for forgetting the camera. AGAIN!!) but the kids were so fidgety throughout , wanting to hop from the back seat to the front and then back again, that I doubt I’d have the chance to click anything. As it is, we were pretty delayed and it was dark by the time we reached the village.

I’ve never been to a proper village before and believe me, it was so quaint, so untouched , so fresh in its beauty, I was spellbound!! Maybe the rains had added to the charm of the place,but the greenery was stunning. Just traversing the narrow lanes itself felt like being transported to the past. There was no electricity, which the locals said was nothing new!! So there were little houses lit up with kerosene lamps and candles, people going about their business in the dark, totally used to it. The houses by themselves were pretty large from the outside, but given the fact that¬†the walls were nearly 2 feet thick, most of them appeared rather cramped from the inside. The windows were the tiniest I’ve ever seen and I wondered if it was enough to let in sunlight during the day!! The BF explained that usually, around the year, it was very hot and the small windows and thick walls made sure that the room was much cooler inside (no fans, remember?!). Whatever the case, it was beautiful. I loved it. Even asked the FIL¬†if there was a possibility of us making a nice little house for ourselves here, you know, something to get away from the city when we felt like it. Luckily, the MIL supported my thought eventually, while driving back, we ended up discussing on how and where we should invest in the village. I seriously hope things work out and we find something. I would LOVE to have my kids in touch with nature, where cows and buffaloes roam the roads, where there are fields as far as the eye could see, little hillocks to clamber over and lots and lots of trees everywhere.What fun that would be ūüėÄ !!!

7) Came back home, and prepared dinner (rather , warmed up stuff we’d made earlier that day ūüôā ). Then while the MIL and FIL¬†took the twins to their room to sleep, I sat down to write the Father’s day tribute that was clouding my head for the last few days. There was so much more to write, but I was feeling tired and sleepy and I could kick myself for not taking out the time to write it earlier (I’d be rather sore if I could actually kick myself each time I goofed up!!). Anyhow, once the post was published, I shut down and went to get the kids from the parent’s room. MIL accompanied me with SS while I carried RS back to my room. And for some unknown reason, we all got chatting again. I mean, the BF, me , MIL and BIL¬†talked till 1 am in the night. And we broke up only when the FIL came in and enquired why we were all up and not in bed yet.

That was all folks. The weekend was hectic. Awfully so. But I don’t remember the last time it was hectic AND enjoyable!! The twins are on their good behavior these days (except SS who insists on throwing stuff out of the windows or terrace).

For now, life is good. Allah is being kind and I can’t thank him enough¬† .

ūüôā

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Dear Dad,

Remember this scene?

A man comes back home after two years of field posting to a loving family. He is tired and maybe just wants  to rest his head for a while. But the four kids are just too excited to see their dad and refuse to give him privacy for even a few minutes. The boy starts yapping about the latest sports at school, the eldest starts ranting about all things wrong with the world, the third one clambers on his arms and refuses to let go while the youngest demands to know what all edible goodies the pater has brought back with him (such a glutton, I tell you!!).
The wife stands by patiently, waiting for her turn, a chance to look at her husband and let him read the pain of parting which she bore. He doesn’t get the chance. The children are too demanding, too hungry for his attention to care if he’s tired,too young to realize that he too is eager to¬† let his wife know that the parting was equally hard for him.

And then, the kids demand to be swung.Their favorite game with their daddy, where he holds his hands behind his head and two kids hang on to each arm. Then he swings his body from side to side and the kids sway. By the way, I use the term kids rather loosely here. The eldest at that time was 14 years old, the youngest, 7.It was immense fun. The kids loved having their dad around.

You dad, the father, never let out that you were tired. That you had traveled non-stop for the last three days from some remote border in Arunachal Pradesh till Bangalore. Maybe you were equally charged up on seeing your family. As kids, I never realized this, but when I look back now, I can only marvel at the strength of this man, who is my father.When we were kids, you were our He-Man and the Master of Our Universe!!

Though you were away most of the time when we were kids, you more or less made up for all the lost time.

While other parents were busy buying Barbie stuff for their daughters, you bought us encyclopedias.The brother had his share of cricket bats,hockey stick and TT paddles.You taught us to play badminton (I still remember the surge of love I felt when I saw those rackets for the first time in my life!! And for the record, we still have those very same rackets at home ūüôā ).
You taught us to swim, bought us bicycles and supervised while we fell off a zillion times.

But the best thing you did, was to instill the love of books, the love of reading, in us.
I had a library subscription when I was 7-8 years old. I remember trotting with brother to a small private library and choosing a picture book for reading (English was still new to  me and I found Noddy a pretty easy read).Eventually we graduated to Chacha Chowdary, Archies, Tinkle (its a shame they stopped publishing this most-appropriate-for-teens magazine!!), Nancy Drew and the like.

You made sure that everywhere we went, we had a library subscription. Mom was skeptical, wondering if our love for novels/comics would deter us away from our text books. But it was the other way round. The books built up our vocabulary and it was easier for us to understand our text books. For a long time, me and my siblings were toppers in English in our respective classes. It felt good, but back then, we never gave you credit for it.

And now looking back, I can’t thank you enough!
It wasn’t just for giving us the best of two worlds, the world of the defense forces, the privileged life where swimming pools, dance parties and sports extravaganzas are a way of life. And the second world, where we were rooted firmly to the ground,where we were punished for leaving leftovers on our plates,where switching off lights and fans while leaving a room were not just rules, they were COMMANDMENTS!!

We didn’t get pocket-money, but we learnt to understand the difference between ‘price’ and ‘value’. We learnt impeccable manners, we learnt to respect our elders and never retort back, we learnt to share and care and to take out time for those less privileged than us. You never cared whether our friends were children of your colleagues or the offspring of clerks or gardeners. I know a lot of your colleagues didn’t like their children mingling with people ‘lower’ than them in rank. But you kept us firmly grounded. You encouraged us to help others, by being a role model yourself.

And that brings me to say a few words of your generosity.I felt many times, and still do, that your generosity amounts to a fault, more of a vice than a virtue. You’ve never given a second thought to demands by many relatives,many of whom live off you like¬† parasites off a tree. In that perspective, you are a tree. A large, green tree, like a Banyan, that spreads its roots far from the trunk,covering a vast expanse in its shade.You’ve taken so many people in your fold that I’m sure even you have lost count ūüôā .

You know we keep complaining about it till date,but it doesn’t take away the truth that we will never be able to measure up to your standards. We don’t have it in us to support families other than our own, and by support, you know what I mean. You’ve provided for people’s education,marriage,deliveries and then their children’s education, marriages and deliveries and so on. All along, we can only wonder at your deep sense of commitment and responsibility. Alas, we will never be able to come anywhere close ūüė¶ .

It never ceases to amaze us that you still make out time to perform a zillion other activities when you are not already busy with your supporting. You get up early, play golf, work full time, socialize¬† and in between, also take the time to pen a hundred mails. You caught on to the web like fish to water and I’m glad to say,you are technically much ahead than your counterparts. I’m SO proud of you ūüėĬ†.

Dad, there are so many things I’d like to say, so many emotions I’d like to express, but I lack the talent to use words like you do.

But I’d like to thank you for one thing the most.

That, in spite of me being the youngest, the most pampered and spoilt of the lot, you treated me like an adult at the right time. You trusted my judgement and also confessed you considered me responsible enough. For that, I’ll be eternally grateful. I could never take that vital step in my life if I didn’t have your blessings. And I’m glad that you have not only accepted my choices, but also welcomed them with open arms. You are truly generous to a fault ūüôā

I know I don’t call often enough or write mails that frequently, but since its Father’s Day today, I’d just like to say, Dad , you are Better than the Best. And the Best don’t matter. They can never match up to you ūüôā

Love ya P.

Yours,

T.

Edited to Add :-

After I went through this post a second time, I realized that I’ve written so little about you, as a person!! I’m yet to write about your addiction-like-love for tea, your secret love for good movies, your awful pampering of your grand-kids, your creepy skill with a gun, your gallantry decoration (the Sena Medal), your restless mind which refuses to let you rest , your keeness to learn new technology and keep yourself at par with us and many more other things.

Dad, you’re going to feature a lot on my blog and I’m glad I have one topic on whom I can write forever. Love ya loads, Pops.

¬†ūüôā .

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Drat that Bag!!!

 To,

The-women-who-sling-their-hand-bag/purses-over-their-shoulder-while-riding-a-two-wheeler.

Dear Miss I-wont-Let-Go-Of-My-Bag,

There are a few things I’d like to bring to your attention first¬†–

1) Its been raining here for the last few days. Note that. Its going to rain here everyday. They call it the Monsoon.

2) There is something¬†called as a ‘dicky’ or storage¬†space in your scooterette.

3) There is also a possibility of something called as a goods-hook under your seat (above the footrest) or maybe under the bike’s dashboard.

4) Read the newspapers. There are cases of bag-snatching incidents practically everyday.

And now, to the real purpose¬†of ¬†this message –

1) It’s not¬†funny when you are driving at high-speed¬†and your bag’s strap slips down your shoulder. I know you manage to put it back, but not without much zigzagging¬†at high-speed and enough to scare¬† the wits off the¬†riders behind you.

2) If the bag is so precious that you pull it towards the front and then hunker down over it to prevent it from getting wet, in the bargain, making sure that you pay very little attention to the people driving in front and around you, I suggest you make use of the area under you. Of course I mean the dicky and NOT the expanse of your posterior!!

3) If the bag is bigger than you (which seems to be¬†the normal case these days. Whats it with treating oneself as menial labourers!! I’ve seen awfully petite women lugging the biggest, ugliest monstrosities!!) and you have difficulty in maintaining your balance, do a favour. Put down the bag on the footrest. Believe me, your designer bag is not more expensive than your life!!

4) If you are busy driving on a lonely road, and someone snatches at your handbag, what exactly do you intend to do? Do you intend to die saving your bag or maybe get jerked badly enough to crash anyway and lose your bag? Either way, how would you benefit?? I’m rather curious to know!!

I seriously hope that this slinging-bag-on-shoulder-while-driving is just a trend and wouldn’t last long!! I mean, your ¬†fashion-street bag may be as precious to you as diamonds…but definitely not when it threatens my life, which you do when you apply sudden brakes or swerve suddenly, just so that your bag doesn’t slip off your non-existent shoulder!!

On that note, I hope you and I are on the same bag. I mean, page. Of course!!

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Good

I’ve been pondering¬†for some time, over a good deed (at least I feel so) I did last Monday. It was pouring cats and dogs and as usual I was stuck¬†at the base of a flyover. I splashed around a bit with my feet ,whiling away time, waiting for the vehicles up ahead to move. It was a tedious wait…I guess, close to 30 minutes. Finally, there was some movement and I got a chance to start my bike. It took about 15 minutes to get down from the other side of the flyover. As I was busy cursing my bad luck, a girl (maybe around 23-24 years of age) came up to me , gasping for breath. She asked me if I could drop her till the next big crossing. I didn’t even look at her properly, but asked her to get busy and hop on.She clambered on eagerly and once again, we trundled our way through the enormous traffic jam. she wasn’t much of a talker and though I was, I had to pay more attention to the road, where every possible vehicle was squealing¬†their brakes¬†at regular frequency. Tempers were running high and I was in no mood to bump into anyone and have an altercation.

When we reached the crossing, the girl hopped off and gripping my hand, thanked me profusely. Apparently, she had come walking a very long distance from her office till the flyover, searching for an auto, but given the jam, she had no option but to foot it. By the time she reached the end of the flyover, she was awfully tired and as a last resort she asked me for help. I nodded my head sagely and told her it was no big deal and she was most welcome. After a few more pleasantries, we parted ways.

At least she did. Because I was rooted¬†at the same spot for a few more seconds. Here was a lady¬†thanking me deeply for something I did. And like I told her before, it really wasn’t a big deal. I mean, I had to pass that route anyway. The pillion of my bike was empty. I didn’t go ‘out of my way’ to help her.

And that’s what made me feel guilty of her gratitude. Did I really deserve it? I know I felt rotten after not helping out this kid one time. But it didn’t make me feel happy after I helped out the girl that day. Now don’t get me wrong….I meant that I didn’t have the satisfaction of doing something good. My actions, somehow , felt inconsequential in the scheme of things….

Which makes me wonder, are their different barometers for measuring good and bad?

——————————————————————————————–

Bad

One downpour.

That is all it takes for this city’s roads to turn into into muddy , pot-holed slush-fests!!

I’ve always wondered why Pune roads were so fragile, that a single shower has the ability to deteriorate entire stretches of it. And I welcomed the concrete roads which replaced the earlier tar ones. Though marginally better, the concrete roads could not defend themselves for more than a couple of years. The result being that this year, even the concrete roads are breaking down with the rain.

The worst part is that monsoons have just started!! Its been a couple of days and the city roads are a mess. No, make that a capital M-E-S-S!!

We have slush filled roadsides, unexpected potholes where earlier there were none, widening chasms between the concrete road and their neighboring tarred stretches, stones,pebbles and sand piles in the middle of the road and what not!! It requires quite¬†a bit of concentration and maneuvering¬†to make one’s way through the traffic. Almost all the vehicles try their best to avoid the holes. God know how deep they are!! If the wheels get stuck in one, it would need a tow-truck to rescue it ūüôā

I used to earlier wonder why the civic administration does not make good roads. I expressed my concern to the BF who gave me an explanation that made complete sense. Hear this –

Every year, the local government floats tenders for road repairs. There are plenty of contractors who apply for the tender. The contractor who agrees to grease¬†more palms, gets the deal. IF the babus¬†are satisfied, the contractor may be¬†able to bag the deal once again next year. Once a contractor is finalized, the funds are allotted¬†for the repairs. A percentage of the funds again goes to the babu’s¬†pockets and the rest is handed over to the contractor.

Now, this is¬† a vicious circle. If the contractor uses good material and makes a good quality road, there would be no need to repair it the next year. In turn, there would be no tenders passed for it, which in turn would mean that some of the babus¬†would not be avail their annual ‘benefits’. So the contractors use sub-standard material ,do their job and then¬†take their share of the money . If the babus pay them less than what they deserve, the disgruntled contractor might be justified for using poor quality material.

And such it goes……

Each year we may rave and rant about the bad roads, and every year the same cycle repeats itself.

It’s just bad , bad roads out there ūüė¶

————————————————————————————

Etc….

* Saw a few foreigners at “Kalyan¬†Bhel” the other day. They were ordering “Pani-puris” and “bhel” as if they were born eating it!! Even the counter guys were surprised¬†to¬†see¬†the authority with¬†which one guy said he wanted “medium-tikhat“. Obviously, they were impressed¬†and were serving these guys with much gusto. The foreigners, on their part, seemed to be enjoying the snacks like nobody’s business. Warmed the cockles of the heart, seriously ūüôā

* The twins woke up only twice in the night for the last couple of days. Am not going to say anymore lest I jinx myself!!

* Good news all around!! The BF got promoted earlier this year. This month I got promoted. The BIL got his results yesterday, he is now an MBA. I guess Allah is being pretty kind to us all this year. Now if only the good luck with the point above continues !! Bliss ūüėÄ

 

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…….to make your child’s evening worthwhile??

Apparently, a length of old,torn bedsheet is enough to do the trick ūüôā

All smiles ūüôā

RS was whiny and irritable when I reached home on Monday night. The minute I entered the house, she howled to be¬†carried around. Well, I was tired¬†after ‘walking’ through traffic for the last two hours (did I mention before I was stuck¬†in an awful traffic jam?!) and wanted a minute to rest my back. Our little miss would have none of it and refused to get down. The BIL¬†took her away forcibly to give me some respite. The last I saw, she was howling and kicking at the BIL¬†for all she was worth. I rushed to my room to change. Surprisingly, I didn’t hear her howling as before and went to the MIL’s room to check on her. And that’s¬†where I found her head wrapped up in a ‘pagdi’ made of an old piece of bed sheet.

You can see how delighted she was!!

All the whines and rants were over ūüôā .

By the way, the pagdi¬†was the FIL’s idea.

In case you are wondering why I haven’t put up a snap of SS, then it is because my boy hates facing the camera. The minute we pointed the camera at him, he ripped off his pagdi ūüė¶ . After a couple of tries, we gave up. But believe me, he looked adorable ūüôā

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Hiya¬†folks, it’s already¬†Tuesday and I’m yet to start with the weekend updates. Somehow, I’m just not in the mood…you see, after all the rollicking fun I had last weekend, this one’s back to the routine !! So we had the same rigmarole of maid¬†not reporting,irritable twins and a not-so-serious-altercation with the GMIL.

Anyhow, since I’ve started , might as well sum up the weekend.

1) The monsoons are officially here and so,¬†we have our daily dose of nightly downpour and some intermittent showers during the day. Which means, the clothes just don’t dry. The regular maid is still on unscheduled leave and we have no idea when she plans to return, that is, IF she plans to return!

On Saturday, I dug into the trunks for my raincoat and windcheaters.And a good thing too, because yesterday, while going home from work, it started pouring. The roads were clogged¬†within minutes and there was a massive traffic jam. I was stuck¬†somewhere at the base of a flyover where I had no option but to switch off the bike, put it on side stand, get off and¬†do a couple of stretches. Ok, maybe not so much last part ūüôā . I didn’t get off the bike, but I did do a few stretches.

2) Awful¬†lot of work. I had mounds of clothes to be¬†washed, and another mound of utensils awaited me in the sink. The MIL gave the dishes a rueful look and then just rolled back her sleeves and got to work. In the meanwhile, I tried to wrap up the cooking part. Made breakfast (sabudana¬†khichdi), and lunch. This task wouldn’t have taken more than an hour(max) under any other circumstance. But when I’m home with the kids, they refuse to leave me alone even for a moment. So I chop the onion, then pick up SS, who’s hanging on to my dress for all he’s worth. I show him what I’m doing¬† and then take him to the drawing-room. Hand him over to the BF and return and chop some tomatoes. Meanwhile, RS sidled¬†up to me and demands water. I give her some water in a glass. She takes a sip and pours the rest on the floor. I leave the chopping and mop up the floor lest someone skids on on. Back to chopping.RS then howls for something to eat (something=cheese). I open the fridge and hand her a piece of the cheese slice. She ambles off to another room. I return to cooking. SS comes bounding into the kitchen demanding to see what I’m doing at the gas. And so it goes on ……… ūüôā .

3) Planned to visit the tailor for the MIL’s dresses. But wasn’t really in the mood. The kids were being put¬†to sleep by the GMIL and the nanny. So I thought of catching a movie on the comp. I saw “The Nanny Diaries” starring Scarlett Johansson. It was a nice movie…..but it made me feel rather guilty ūüė¶ .

The movie showed how the upper class mother had no time for her son who was left to be brought up by the nanny.Towards the end, the nanny questions the mother’s priorities and points out exactly how important the child actually is. There is one statement which totally caught me.”The is your child. He wasn’t ordered from a catalog”.

Everyday , when I leave for work, I face the same conflict. Many a times I’ve fought the dilemma of giving up my job and staying home with the kids. But I know that I’m the type who needs the space and time for myself, doing what I feel good doing. Working in the field that I do is not only for the money. It also brings out my individuality and I want it that way. Maybe, it stems from the regret of seeing my mother drown herself in our family and now become totally oblivious to her own needs and wants. I don’t want to be¬†that. I know that I regret my mother gave up everything to look after me and my siblings, but I also fear that my kids will grow up wanting their mother to be¬†the types who’s home¬†when they come back from school , feed them hot meals and then play with them. I know that my work timings will not permit me these luxuries ūüė¶

The only silver lining in this cloud is that I have some consolation of having a big family. At least, my kids are not handled solely by strangers. They have their Big-dadi, dadi, dada and chachu to fuss over them. At least till I come back.

So much for having a good time watching a movie!!

4) Took the kids shopping, for the very first time. Went to a supermarket near our place, just so that the MIL gets the feel of the place. She had never even visited BigBazaar¬†before and the BF thought it was high time¬†we initiated her to the pleasures of aisle shopping ūüôā . The twins were seated¬†in one trolley each and they LOVED the moving about (as expected). For the record, I don’t intend to take the kids shopping once they grow old enough to demand toys!! I don’t think I’d ever want to put myself in the position of giving in to the demands of two loud, boisterous,stubborn and bratty kids!!

The MIL enjoyed selecting stuff and dumping it in the trolley.I think she had a pretty good time ūüôā . And we also overheard this conversation between a group of girls who were supposed¬†to mind the counters, but left the customers to help themselves-

Girl1: Mujhe¬†itna¬†gussa¬†aata¬†hai…khud toh¬†kuchh¬†kaam¬†nahin¬†karti, doosroen¬†ko naam¬†rakhti¬†hai. Mujhe¬†kaam¬†se aane¬†mein late hota¬†hai, to uske¬†baap¬†ka kya¬†jaata hai?

Girl2 : Meri neighbour bhi aisi hi hai. Mummy ke kaan bharti rehti hai. Ek to main itna kaam karke thak-kar ghar jaati hoon, phir bhi mummy ko lagta hai mera yahan affair chal raha hai!

Girl3 : Meri mummy bhi gussa karti hai. Usko achha nahin lagta der se aana. Par kya karoon. Bus milne mein der ho jaati hai! Mere paas gaadi hoti to itna late nahin hota.

Girl2 : Jab meri mummy daant-ti hai , toh mujhe lagta hai, mujhe affair karna hi chahiye!! Phir maza aayega!!

Girl1 : Sahi¬†mein¬†yaar….mujhe bhi lagta¬†hai, mera¬†koi yaar hota ya boyfriend hota¬†toh¬†kitna¬†maza¬†aata!

The MIL looked shocked at this conversation. Me and the BF just giggled ūüėÄ .

5) Sunday was another hectic day at home. The BF had to work that day and left for office. For the first time since summer ,we had water shortage. There was no water and I couldn’t take a bath. We couldn’t load the washing machine or even wash the dishes. Luckily, we had enough water to drink and were quite content with that. The BIL¬†wanted to have biryani, but I wasn’t in the mood to stay in the kitchen for that long. But since he really craved it, we asked him to volunteer, which he did gladly. So we had him chop up the onions . The MIL then fried it golden. We decided to have the biryani for dinner and hence, just kept all the ingredients ready.

Luckily, the tanks filled with water once again and we got back to our washing. After that, I made that all important trip to the tailor’s. The ‘master’ was out for his tea break and it was nearly 20 minutes before he came back. I was nearing the end of my patience and was about to give up and return. Thankfully, he turned up and I handed him MIL’s clothes for stitching. While picking up my purse, I noticed a photograph stuck on the wall ( the kind of photograph which comes along with a dress material, showing a model wearing a dress stitched of the same material, usually holding the dupatta behind her so that you can get the full impact of how the dress looks ). The brand name said , “Bun Fool”. I kid you not!! I stared at it for a couple of seconds before breaking into a laugh!! I mean, they may have meant a “flower of the forest”¬† or “wildflower”, but they surely spelt it all wrong!!

Anyhow, I returned in time to help MIL with the biryani. The twins were very curious about what we were upto¬†and kept coming into the kitchen. We had a tough time keeping them away. I called the BF and invited him home for dinner. Yup, that’s right. I ‘invited’ him, else he would have gone ahead and had dinner with his friends from work!!

6) I tried a small change in the kid’s routine. Like you all know, they still wake up twice or thrice in the night for their feed. I thought of making sure that they had a heavy dinner before they went off to sleep and hence, I omitted their evening 7 pm milk so that they were sufficiently hungry by 8:30pm. And as I’d surmised, the kids had more than their usual share of dinner and were off like lights by 10pm. RS woke up only once in the night (Yay!!) but SS woke up thrice!! Ah well….it might take some time before the twins stop getting up in the night altogether!!

Since the kids were sleeping, me and the BF caught up on another movie at home, “Quantum of Solace”. Yeah, I got to watch it now!! I liked Daniel Craig as the new Mr.Bond, but seriously, is it only me who thinks that Pierce Brosnan was the ONLY one who did the character any justice?!! The BF, who’s not a Bond fan, couldn’t care either way and I had no one to discuss the issue with!!

7) The Sunday papers carried a local news item that had me beaming with happiness ūüôā . There was a “Vada-paav” contest in the city and not surprisingly, my favourite vada-paav¬†joint won the honour as having the BEST vada-paav¬†in the city ūüôā .I immediately called up my brother, who’s a HUGE fan of the same vada-paav¬†joint and gave him the good news. He was as delighted as I expected and he yelled this good news to Bhabhi. Unfortunately, she couldn’t understand what the fuss was about …..how could she?!! She’s hardly been to Pune and even then, rarely for more than 4 days. I doubt she’s had the pleasure of gorging on the fabulous JJ Garden vada-paav¬†joint (famously called “Hungama¬†Vada-paav” and rightly so!!).

8) Me and SimplyPallu were planning to meet up some day and Pallu¬†suggested we meet on Saturday, but I had guests coming over and cancelled the plan. And what do you know, the guests cancelled their visit. The worst part? The guests who were arriving on Sunday, also cancelled their visit. I was seriously hopping mad. I mean, if you are not coming, you should at least have the courtesy to inform, rather than¬†wait for your hosts to wonder why you haven’t turned up at their doorstep yet!! If the MIL was annoyed, she did a good job of hiding it. No point in ALL of us ranting and raving over it, is there ?! One DIL doing the ranting was enough ūüėÄ

Anyhow, that’s what my weekend was like.

I forgot to add, in a way I love the weekends, because I get to bathe the twins and feed them and sing them to sleep.

And then I spend the rest 5 days away from them, the guilt riding heavy in my heart.

Yeah, that “Nanny diaries” has added some more to my already damaged¬†psych ūüė¶

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Aaaarrghh!!!

Feel like yanking the hair off my head.Or maybe HER head!!

Whatever!

You know, I’ve been raving and ranting over bad manners since the time I was old enough to understand what categorizes as bad manners. I’ve seen plenty of grown-ups behaving in an atrocious manner¬†and I just cluck my tongue in pity for their offsprings. In many cases, cultural difference accounts for a lot of differences and such instances may be excused.

But not what I saw on Friday afternoon.And Oh, that reminds me, I started writing this post on Friday itself , but then let it sit in the drafts till I cooled down. Because I was sure that in my anger, I might lose out on the objectivity of the situation and may write something that I would regret later.

I’m sufficiently cool now. But I’m still MAD!! Every time I recollect that scene, I feel I should have done something about it, but didn’t.

Anyhow, here is what happened :-

We , the people of my company who are deployed¬†on the client side along with me, went out for a team lunch on Friday afternoon. Our managers were joining us at the venue , so we all left accordingly. Of the 16 people there, four were women and the rest were men. One of the girls, lets call her X, was pregnant and in her 7th month. This woman, though a “Hi-Bye” colleague, is quite brash. I’ve never had any altercations with her before and had no reason to believe that one day I’d love to knock some senses into her!!

Anyway, while waiting for the managers to arrive, we went ahead and ordered the starters. Since she’s pregnant, I asked her to name her choice and we ordered all that she wanted. If that wasn’t privilege enough, we even asked the waiters to serve her first . This lady started eating as soon as the starters arrived. We didn’t mind. The waiters served the rest of the people and we started eating when the managers joined us. By now, she was on her second round. We still didn’t mind. Shortly, while we were all in our first round, she asked the waiters to empty ALL the starters on her plate!!¬†¬†A couple of guys shot her shocked looks, but didn’t say anything. And being considerate towards a pregnant woman, even I thought of overlooking her gaffe.

BUT, it took all my effort to NOT get angry, when after a couple of bites, this woman realizes she wasn’t liking those starters after all (maybe her taste buds didn’t kick in till after the second round!) and asked the waiters to clear her plate.

So ,not only did she have the gall to pile her plate without bothering to politely ask if anyone else was keen on seconds (which many were), she also had the audacity to throw away her heaped up food!!

I don’t know what ticked me off more!!

The sheer blatant impunity of being uncourteous or the horrific wastage of food!!

On hindsight,I really feel I should have given her a piece of my mind, but seriously wonder if it would have mattered!! ¬†One might gain education and secure a job in the best of companies…..but basic etiquettes are not a part of their education or job profile , so such instances are pretty common. If they haven’t learnt such simple, trivial manners of how to behave when in a crowd in spite of being in¬†a ‘professional’ ,¬†what hope is there of me instilling it in them now?!

I really don’t know if pregnant women lose their senses !! I mean, when I was pregnant, I was hungry ALL the time, but I was home on a long leave and rarely , if ever , went out anywhere.

So , giving the lady the benefit of doubt, tell me folks, do pregnant women behave like this? Have you known anyone else who does queer things like this? Or is it just plain BAD Manners and not pregnancy related??

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