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Archive for November, 2010

By the Water Cooler : Review

Do you ever have that uncanny feeling that you’re being watched? You swiftly turn to look, but everyone seems to be about their work innocently. Yet, yet you can’t help but feel that there’s someone around you. Or that there’s someone watching you! You try to shake away the feeling and carry on…..only to encounter it some days later!

Do you ever get that feeling? Do you?

I do.

And I now know who/what that someone is!

Its Parul (of the Radio Parul fame).

(It has to be her!! No doubt about it!)

So its Parul who was sneaking up behind me, following me and taking down notes while I had one faux-pas after the other. I can almost imagine her glee as she saw my monster-boss giving me hell, her sheer delight when I faced the unhelpful manager, her chortling with laughter when the “coffee-club” helped me reduce my woes 😀

She was there to eavesdrop on all the gossip and the secret crushes. And also hiding behind corners when I tried to knock some sense into career-suicidal colleagues !!

Ok Parul. Own up now!! It was you all this time, wasn’t it?!!

It is MY professional life you’ve catalogued in “By the Water Cooler”, Isn’t it? Isn’t it??!!!!

I agree you changed the setting a bit. Replaced the IT work environment with the corporate one. But the illogical managerial dictats, the crazy-doesn’t-cut-it boss, the impractical client demands, they are all there!! Just as they happen(ed) with me.

Reading “By the Water Cooler” is like going down memory lane and marveling at how I managed to survive in this cut-throat environment with my sanity intact 😀

Kudos to Parul for making this book so real.So believable.And SO FUNNY 😀

There were parts where I was laughing out so loud, I almost woke up the twins 😀  (For the record, I could have completed the book within a day, so captivating it was, but because of the twins-who didn’t permit me the time and solitude 😦 – it took me so long!! . Any reading could be done only after they toodled off to sleep, which meant, I caught a few pages in the wee hours of the morning 😀 ).

Anyhow, if winning the book was the cake,reading it was licking the icing.

Yummy 😀



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Monday Laughs :)

There was once an island kingdom whose people were all fabulously wealthy. Even though they could have afforded to live anywhere they wanted, tradition dictated they stay on their tiny island home.
Eventually, their king became frustrated and called a meeting of the tribe’s elders. He said he wanted them to figure out a way he could enjoy his wealth, and stay within traditional guidelines.

After much consideration, the elders suggested he build a magnificent throne. When he objected there was not enough room in his hut for a throne, the elders suggested he call in an engineer to solve the problem.

Soon, the king’s tiny hut was rigged with an elaborate system of ropes and pulleys. He could lower the huge throne for use during the day, and at night, he could haul the throne up, and lower his bed. This was truly the best of both worlds for the king.

Unfortunately, after a few months of constant use the ropes frayed, and one night, the throne slipped and came crashing down on the king, killing him.

The wise men of the island recognized a lesson in this experience and added to the lore of their people this statement: “People who live in grass houses should not stow thrones.”

 🙂



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26/11

Image source: Google images

Dedicated –

To all the valiant soldiers who lost their lives.

To all the innocent victims.

To all the parents who lost their children, all the men & women who lost their spouses and to all the brave people who turned back to fight.

 

Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning, hush,

I am the swift, uplifting rush.

Of quiet birds in circled flight,

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there, I did not die.

~ Anonymous.

 



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Smoochikins :)

I was going through a few B’day snaps of the twins last night.

Wonder how I missed out on this one!! Escape is NOT an option for poor Shobs 😀  :-

Being generous

 

The attack of the Serial Kisser 😀



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Daddy-ism!!

There’s this horrible hoax email doing the rounds these days. It’s from some virus application called Fanbox. It sends out mailers to all the people in your contacts list and asks them to view your photos at some fake site.

A few days back, a similar mail was sent to all the contacts on my list from my mail id. Most people recognised it for what it was and deleted it. Some simply ignored it, because we keep receiving such mailers from most gmail user ids.

But Dad……not being one to take things lying down, HAD to reply 😀

Oh Dad!!

I wish these Fanbox people take a panga with you.

I would SO love to read your reply to them 😀



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Of movies, friends and kids

When I ranted about Action Replayy recently, good friend Sheets suggested that I watch “Jhootha hi Sahi”. I wasn’t keen on it, mostly because I have a very low opinion of a certain Mr. Abraham . I agree he’s rather dishy and pleasing to the eye, but that’s just about it! Mr.Wooden Face gives fierce competition to the study table that I have back home.

As the fierce lover in Jism, he had The Smirk in place.

As the righteous police officer in Paap, he had The Smirk in place.

As the clever villian in Dhoom, he had The Smirk in place.

As the acting-gay buffoon in Dostana, he had The Smirk in place.

I tell you, I was so SICK of the same slightly-bowed head-half-smile/smirk -raised eyebrow look, I almost felt like feeding him a plateful of bhut-jolokia, just to see if it could dislodge The Smirk!!

Anyhow.

This weekend, I watched “Jhootha hi sahi”.

And I take back every rotten thing I’ve ever said about him 😦

*Sigh*

I had no idea he had it in him!! How did he do it??

For people wondering what I’m raving about, do take some time to watch this film. Its a rather sweet movie and I don’t know how I’m ever going to overcome the John-crush I’m going through right now!! He is simply irresistible 🙂

And oh, my favourite scene is the one in the video store where he goes to meet the female lead. And the scene right after that when he takes her for coffee.

The scenes by themselves are rather short, but you seriously feel for this guy folks!! He’s SO DAMN CUTE!!!

Ok, I gotta stop all this gushing…and I need to start praying that he does the same magic in his other movies 🙂 . And for the record, I didn’t much like the female lead, but the BF found her cute!!

(I married this guy, so I better not judge his taste 😐 )

And oh, Sheets. Thanks a lot sweetheart! I wouldn’t have bothered to watch it if you hadn’t suggested it . Mmuaahh!! 🙂

**********************

Good friend (and cubicle mate) SK  is BACK!!!

She was in Obama-land for the last two months and I was really bored with her absence! I had planned a nice welcome set-up for her for which I wrapped up household chores early, shopped for colourful streamers and balloons and then dashed to office to decorate her desk. And being the good friend that she is, she ruined it all by turning up early!! And this is the same girl who used to arrive as late as 11 am to work!!

Sheesh!! Either she’s changed for the better or I’ve lost my touch for better planning!

Whatever the case, am glad she’s back 😀

And ohh, she brought us loads of chocolates (but obviously) and also some Victoria’s Secret cosmetics!. I tell you, girls know how to gift girls 😀

Take a tip guys!!

*********************

Talking of chocolates, there were nearly 10-12 people who’d gone on-site for their project. There were 4 girls in that group (SK was one of them).

All the people returned in phases, some before the others . SK was the last to come back.

All the guys who came back, brought large bags of chocolates (for the uninitiated, it is an unwritten rule in IT companies that anyone coming from on-site HAS to come back bearing chocolates. Or don’t turn up to work at all!! You may change any IT company, but this unwritten rule is all omnipresent).

We were rather surprised to note that the none of the other three girls brought back anything for the rest of the team. It was all the more noticeable because the guys at work mentioned this fact. And some friendly sorts didn’t back off from saying that girls are born “kanjoos”!!

Aah Well. I’m glad SK proved them wrong.

Auratoen ki laaj bacha li 😀

***********************

So we were all sitting around having dinner. Lui was on her father’s lap and he was busy nuzzling her. At one time, the BF gently bit into her cheek. Lui howled dramatically and wriggled out of his lap. She went running to the GMIL and pointed at her father,

Lui : dadi……abba…kaata.

BF : (mock angry) Lui, did I bite you??

Lui : (ponders over this, looks at he BF, looks at me and says confidently) Mamma!!

GMIL : who bit you Lui?

Lui : Mamma 🙂

Me : Grrrr……!!!

Anyhow, I wasn’t gonna take this lying down. So in order to drive in the lesson of honesty and truthfulness, I sat down my daughter post dinner for a heart-to-heart mother-daughter talk. The BF sidled up to me to find out what was up.

Me : (holding her hands) Lui, tell me now, WHO bit you?

Lui : (bows her head, peeks at her father, peeks at me, raises her head and says confidently) Dadi!

(The BF was in guffaws at this point)

Me : No Lui, tell me honestly, who bit you?

Lui : (totally confident) Dadi!!

Now if this girl doesn’t have the makings of a politician, I don’t know who does 😐

***************

I’m in a rush to leave for work. I pick up my purse,helmet and lunch bag and head towards the shoe stand near the front door. At the door, I place my stuff on the table and bend down to search for my sandals. Little Shobby comes running up to me.

Shobs : Mamma….oppice…jaata?

Me : Yes baby.

Shobs : Mamma…shoes. (so saying, he dives to the shoe rack and retrieves my sandals in seconds)

Me : (blowing him a kiss) Thanks a lot betu 🙂

Shobs : Mamma…helmet lo.

Me : Haan beta.

Shobs : Mamma ….dabba lo.

Me : (totally worked up because of the delay but not wanting to be rude to my boy) Haan betu. I’m leaving now.

Just as I open the door, my little boy stands and stares at me.

Shobs : Mamma!!

Me : (turning back ) Now what baby??

Shobs : (with a straight face) Mamma…..mat jao.

I nearly drop my stuff!!

When did my itsy-bitsy little boy learn to talk so much?? When did he learn to use just a few words to render me speechless?? When did he learn to use his emotions against mine?!

When did my kids grow up to give me my first heartache?!!

I’m thinking this year’s going to be tough. Life is not just going to be about food,sleep and play. I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to handle my children’s emotions. How well I’ll manage to keep their fragile selves intact, to not cause any damage!

*Sigh*

Who said motherhood was easy?

And like I said before….the one who said that must have been the father !!

***************************


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For the twin’s birthday, I had planned to spend the day somewhere far off, away from the daily hustle-bustle of the city, where there is loads of greenery and fresh air. The initial plan was to make a road trip to either Mahabaleshwar or Matheran. But the BF returned very late the previous night. One look at his exhausted face as he slept and I didn’t have the heart to wake him up early for the trip. I let him wake up on his own and then thought of alternative places we could visit.  Krushnai Water Park on Sinhgadh road was next in line. But since the BF was still not up and it was threatening to rain, I had to do a quick rethink. Katraj Zoo (or Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park) was the nearest place we could go to. The more I thought of it, the more I liked the idea. It was ages since I’d been to a zoo.

Once the BF was up, even he was quite excited about the zoo trip (and here I was, thinking up arguments to convince Mr.Prim! Just goes to show that when you think you know them, you realize you don’t know them at all!). By the time we all were dressed and ready to leave, it was 11:45 AM already 🙄 . The GMIL wondered if it was a good idea to be out at the peak of noon, but we decided to go ahead anyway. The day was slightly cloudy and the humidity was stifling. I mentally kicked myself for not waking up the BF earlier and making that trip to Mahabaleshwar or Matheran, where the weather was far more cooler. Anyhow, the twins were pretty kicked up about the trip and it was all we could do to make sure they didn’t run across the road to where our car was parked.

The BF asked me one last time if I was sure about the zoo. I replied in the positive. And off we went.

The entry ticket was rather cheap at Rs5/- . Once inside, we were in a totally different environment. Where it was hot and clammy outside, inside the zoo, the temperature was cool, there was a gentle breeze and the large canopy of trees made sure we didn’t get sun-burns while we strolled along. One more thing that impressed us was the cleanliness of the place. It was very, VERY clean. Not a scrap of paper in sight!

Clean and green!

Right at the entrance, we were faced with a fork. The sign on the left said Snake Park, peacocks, etc. The one on the right said, Elephants, Tiger,etc. So obviously, we took the right turn.

We walked for a rather long distance before saw the first enclosure. It was a pair of porcupines. They were the cutest things ever 🙂 . The BF had never seen one before and looked like a school kid as he peered at the animal with his mouth open 😀 .

Porcupine

The twins didn’t show much interest in the rodents so we headed towards the next enclosure, which turned out to be quite a long walk ahead!

The next in line were the bears. Initially, we couldn’t locate them , as they were frolicking in the moat right below us. The thick bushes and the railing prevented us from peering in (safety comes first, I agree….but its quite a shame when you come this far and then barely get a chance to see the animals!). Luckily, the zoom helped and I caught the bears playing. Or at least that is what we told the twins. What the bears were indulging in was actually an act of nature…if you know what I mean 😉

Censor-free version of bears 🙂

One of the bears is hidden by the other. Ooops!! Bad bad me. I forget this is a family blog 😀 !

On an aside, my heart went out to these furry beasts!! Must be a sauna under all that fur!!

The Tiger was busy sleeping. Its lucky that I could at least locate him on camera (zoom zindabad!). The BF and the twins strained their necks trying to get a glimpse of the cat ,but no such luck 😦 . I had to show them the sleeping tiger on the camera. That didn’t impress them much 😀

Sleepy Cat!

Searching for the tiger

The next was the leopard, which had the highest fence. There was a large crowd around the railing, anxiously waiting for the beast to make an appearance. We waited for about 10 minutes, but didn’t have any luck , so we skipped this section and walked on to the Nilgai,deer and antelope section.

The Nilgai family

Shobby loves the deers 🙂

It was here that Shobby fell in love with the deers. He hung on to the railing and gazed at them for a long time. It was good that the enclosure was full of deers. Must have been around 20-25 of them in that one area. There was another enclosure for the black-bucks, which again in quite a large number! Lui and Shobby were thrilled to see the baby deers frolicking about. In fact, so cheered up were they by this sight that they took to running helter-skelter along the path, giggling uncontrollably and keeping me and the BF on our toes, lest they fall and hurt themselves!! Didn’t have a chance at clicking them at this point, as I was busy doing the guardian angel act 😀

We took a break for the twin’s milk time after which the two were reluctant to proceed further. But we had the Elephant to see yet and hence we coaxed the twins along.

Bad idea 😦

The elephants, it turned out, were kept in the very last enclosure at the end of the park. It seemed as though we were walking for ages before we finally came across them. And what a let-down!! The pachyderms were chained to a pillar of their shed , which was a good 500 metres or so away from the viewing railing and that too at the bottom of a slope. So we could make out the trunk of one elephant and the torso of the other. We had to point out the animals tot he twins, but they didn’t bother to strain their necks and eyes this time 😦 . Also, Shobby had taken a fall a short while back and hurt his nose. He was in a bad mood and it was clear that all this walking had made them tired. Even we were quite bushed by this time.

But we were in for another shock.

Any regular zoo has a circular pathway following which one can cover all the animals in the zoo without having to turn back. Alas, the designers of Katraj zoo thought otherwise. their layout was something like this (click on the image for a clearer picture):-

The layout

After the entrance, we had taken a right. When we turned the curve, we naturally assumed that the trail would lead right back to the entrance. Unfortunately,we assumed wrong. At the end of the park, was a dead-end. At the centre, was the lake where there is boating facility, but from where we stood, even the lake was fenced off. That left us with only one option. To trudge back the way we came!

2 km is not much of a distance per se, but it is when a) you are tired b) it is 2pm in the afternoon c) you are carrying a heavy baby bag and d) you ALSO have to carry a baby!! Whew!

The twins were really tired and refused to walk another step. As soon as we hefted them in our arms and started walking, the little munchkins were off to dreamland. Now let me give you a little parenting nugget. A sleeping baby is twice as heavy as a wakeful one. Some physics there, but I’m not in the mood to get into the technicalities 😀 . Suffice to say, me and the BF took turns carrying the bag, cursing the zoo,cursing  the zoo officials,cursing the animals who were too far to be seen and cursing our ability to make enquiries before we came there. Apparently, there are electric cars available on rent which takes groups of people around the zoo. The booking has to be done at the gate itself, because one cannot avail the car facility inside the zoo (some logic there!!). Later on, we did find out that the cars are very few in number and the waiting list is usually large. If we have the time to kill, we may wait for our turn to be zipped around. Maybe next time 🙂

Anyhow, by the time we returned to the main gate, I swear I could feel my arms ripping out of their sockets! With the last of my strength , I made it till the car and settled the twins in the rear seat before slumping in myself! Just as we stepped inside the house, the twins woke up. They were surprisingly refreshed and chirpy, where as me and the BF looked like we’d just been battered by Khali! I handed the twins to the nanny, prepared their lunch, fed them and their father and called it a day!  I took a nap, but can’t say I felt better after that 😀 . When I woke up, the SIL was home with her two sons.  She had bought presents for the twins, which were duly demolished and damaged within the first 30 minutes. Ahh well……!! Happens, right 😉 ?!

Anyhow, by 6pm, it was time to get the twins ready for the evening 🙂

Lui with Ab

That is Lui with cousin Ab. The poor boy is a year older then her and already apprehensive of her!! The bossy Lui made sure I clicked her cousin Ab’s snap (which she thought I wouldn’t do unless she grabs his hand!)

Shobby

You can see the red scar on Shobby’s face. He hurt himself on a stone while we were at the zoo. The in-laws weren’t too happy with us about it. But like the BF says, kids need to fall and get hurt, else they would never know how to be careful! And I agree with him. Can’t be molly coddling them all the time!!

And ohh…we finally figured out the reason for the bad picture quality. Slow shutter speed. Looks like its time to show our camera to experts. Or to buy a new camera. Lets see…..

Anyhow, the BIL bought a cake, we lit the candles and cut the cake, just our family, the SIL and her kids. It was a lovely warm setting, the kids enjoyed blowing at the candles (the trick ones, which don’t go off in one go)

SIL placing the candles

We initially thought of lighting only two candles ….but then since the SIL’s kids also love the cake cutting part, the BF said, what the hell, light them all. And we did 🙂

Lui went crazy blowing at the candles. And while I sat near the table clicking away, I realized that a camera cannot capture the glee on her face as good as my heart does. Those bright twinkling eyes, the big smile, the sheer happiness of it all……I don’t think this snap does it any justice

My darling daughter

The twins had dinner with their aunt. She’s awfully good with them and whenever she’s around, the twins scamper around her like pups 😀 . It also helps that they LOVE the company of their cousins and would rather spend dinner time with them than with us!

The twins crashed out early for the night. They’d had a eventful day…..maybe even more than us. They won’t remember any of this ……but we do. Because more than anything else, there is nothing better in life than spending time with one’s own. It was a special day for us. And long after the twins were asleep, me and the BF ,while massaging sore shoulders with Moov, chatted over how rich our life has become post kids.

And oh, a parting good-night message from the BF :-

“You really need to exercise and lose weight pronto. It was sad to see you struggling to walk when you were carrying Lui. You are in awful physical shape. Better do something about it fast. Good night”.

Yep.

Some guys do know how to ruin a perfectly wonderful day 😦



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