Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2011

According to certain analysts in the United Kingdom, that’s how a working mother in their country divides her time for self and her kids. For the record, it is,

26 minutes for self.

81 minutes for their children.

For the former, I think they are being too generous. For the latter, far too stingy.

Frankly, what I don’t understand is, who are these people who do random research on how much time a woman gives for her children, or herself for that matter. What is the purpose or aim of these researches? Is the purpose to send the women on a guilt trip? Or to send them a reminder that they are shirking from their so-called ‘primary responsibilities’? Or to emphasize on how bad this generation is compared to the last?

What??

I fail to understand these studies. I fail to under how they conclude on those random figures.

Forget UK, I’m sure every working mom around the world would bristle at the blatant way it is declared that working women give 81 minutes of ‘quality time’ inclusive of meals! Who are these people who come up with a random figure of ’26’ and ’81’ minutes. Really!

I am a working Mom.

Which ultimately translates to oodles fo chaos at home. It helps that I live in a joint family and in my absence, I do have people (read family) to look after the kids. There are times when I wonder if I jumped into the parenting bandwagon without proper planning. At others,  I wonder if I took long to come to the decision! Whatever the case, I know what all goes into bringing up children and I’m doing my damn best to ensure that my kids never complain about the time I give them. Thankfully, they don’t. Not yet.

But in doing so, I compromise on the ‘me’ time. I love reading, the last book I read was more than 6 months back. I love baking. The last cake I baked was 4 months back. I love doing embroidery, a little darning, drawing, painting and what not. I’ve given it all up so that I spend that time with my kids. 26 minutes?! I’ll be shouting from the rooftops if I get even 15 minutes to myself (except when I crash after the kids call it a night!). When I’m not playing with the kids, feeding them, washing their bums, bathing them or taking them to the park, I’m busy with office . And when I’m not in office, I’m home, running a thousand errands for the MIL or the GMIL or the BF. Making sure that the gears which run the family are well oiled. I buy the groceries and the other necessities, making sure that everyone at home gets what they want. The day I have to leave early for work, I get up at 5:30 in the morning and make sure that I prepare the lunch boxes of all the working members and also the meals for the ones staying at home.

I know of so many other women who run the same routine. Its hectic, tiring and sometimes irritating. But I’m putting in my best efforts. I LOVE my job. So I put in hard work there too. It is nothing new or out of the ordinary. There are millions of other women out there who are making sure that their homes run well in spite of their jobs. So if some random group comes along and tells me that I have only 26 minutes to myself, I can easily say, buddy. Get real!! The figure is ZERO! Zilch, nada!

And if anyone else comes up and says that I’m not spending enough time with my kids, he’s in for a royal bashing! Every minute that I’m not in office, I spend with the kids (now don’t get technical and remind me of the time I take to travel between home and office! It doesn’t count). I may be bone tired when I come back home, but I still play peek-a-boo with the kids, still run after them, climb furniture along with them, drape bed sheets over tables and chairs and call it our home,  narrate stories as I feed them, pick up thrown stuff a zillion times, change them whenever they pee or poop and mop the floor another dozen of times. I dare anyone to tell me that all this is NOT inclusive of ‘quality time’!!

If not, then WHAT IS?!!

The article is not only affront to women in UK (who I feel are VERY wrongly targetted by such reports) but also an insinuation at the working mother populace at large. The MIL faced a lot of flak in her younger years when she was working and had three kids. There were accusations on the way her children were brought up. The same people are now having trouble handling their own. The BF and his brother do not have any vices. They dont drink or smoke or hang out in wrong company. No wild partying and boozing for them. People may argue that a woman’s absence leads the kids onto the wrong path, but I’m not convinced. I see a different scenario at home. And I know, that it is not the amount of time I give them, but the kind of time I give them that matters. There will come a time when the kids wouldn’t want to be with me, preferring the company of their friends over me. I’m fine with that. But what would worry me then, would be to sit idle, and wonder about all that I could have done, had I stuck to the job and not quit. This is something the MIL keeps reminding me of whenever I think of quitting. She says I need to work, not for the kids or the family, but for myself. That is, IF I like what I do. And I can I see her point.

I whole-heartedly agree with another article on the same topic  :-

“I wonder what value, if any, there is in breaking parenting down to the minutes spent in the trenches. Unless of course the results are to be used as ammunition to make mothers feel like garbage. Particularly British working mothers, who apparently reported spending less time with kids, than did working mothers from other countries.”

Do check it out.

Frankly, I also fail to understand the BIG hype over working women and homes/families.

How come there are no researches on how much time a man spends at work and at home, how much time he devotes to his children, how much he contributes towards the running of the household! Also, if you read those articles, you can make out the faint condescending undertone of it .Its like gently knocking on our already fragile sentiments . Exactly what is achieved, I fail to understand 😦

Anyhow, I’ll take a break from my rant and put down a little comment by the kids this morning. As I was leaving for office, Lui and Shobs informed me that they had pooped in their diapers. So I rolled up the sleeves and got to work. Once we were done washing the bums (after much splashing around), the kids walked out of the bathroom, beaming and clapping their hands and proudly declaring, “Mumma…kitna maza aaya na?!”

This is the kind of time I spend with the kids.

Needless to say I left with a smile on my lips and water sloshing around my feet. 81 minutes be damned. Even these 5 minutes are enough for us 😀



Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Ho Hum Yaaawn.

Another day, another match (India-Pak, to be precise) and another round of questions. Clearly, my being a muslim puts a BIG question mark on my loyalties.

I guess I started hating this game when a colleague at work asked me to go back to Pakistan because India had lost a match to them. “Aap to wahin ke ho, wahin jao”.

Sigh. Sometimes, education is not enough. Sometimes, the hatred for us kinds is so inbuilt, that no amount of education (or free-wheeling around the world ) is enough to uproot it.

I’m no longer upset. Though I think I should be.

Because each time a match comes up, I’m judged.

I’m judged on my choice.

I’m judged on my patriotism.

I’m judged on my loyalties.

And by people, to whom I owe nothing.

I guess I’m better off washing my hands off the game. I don’t want a part of its victory. Or its loss.

Just.Leave.Me.Be.

Yours Ultra-Sad,


Edited to add :-

I got some very heartening response to this post. It sure made me feel good :) . But what I wrote is what I guess most muslims in India feel.Whenever it is an India-Pakistan match, the muslims have to go overboard in displaying their loyalties. They have to try harder to let the others know that they are rooting for their own country and not the other one. It is something I've seen all people close to my family doing. What I face is nothing new. The BF has faced it, so has my brother. In their case, it was much worse. Of course it makes us seethe inside. It makes us rue the injustice of it all.

But there's not much we can do about it. And that, is the bottomline.

Read Full Post »

Knock, knock

Who’s there?

Adolf.

Adolf who?

Adolph ball hit me in de mowf. Dat’s why I dawk dis way

 *********************

I cracked this joke to Dad recently. He didn’t find it funny. What’s more, he refused to laugh at it because it gave him a funny pain in his jaw. Plus, he threatened to sue me if I caused any more grievous damage to him.

(Naah, he didn’t.)

(It was Mom.)

The reason?

A couple of weeks back, Dad was happily ambling along the golf-course fairway, craning his neck to check if  his well teed-off shot could fetch him another hole-in-one or not. He couldn’t see his ball, but what he did see, he could have never anticipated in his wildest of dreams!!

A misplaced shot by an amateur golfer sent a fast paced golf ball right at his face.

Dad turned in time to prevent his head, but his jaw fell victim to the brutal assault.

Painful, I agree.

We asked Dad if he sued that bugger, but then Dad being Dad AND a true-blue golfer, said that Gentlemen playing golf don’t do that. They walk up to the offender and offer sympathies for the wrongly aimed shot. They then proceed to lecture the amateur on the technicalities of that most important tee off and then offer to conduct free of cost coaching for the next 3 months, at the convenience of the offender.

Thats how Gentlemen play golf, I’m told.

Thank you, but no thanks.

If I find a dimpled thingy hurtling at me, I’d run for the nearest cover. And in case I get hit, then I know what to do with that 3-Wood in my golf-bag !!

Anyhow, in case you are wondering how dad is, well, he’s recovering. Luckily, no bones were cracked or teeth torn out of their roots (that comes from years of existing as an Army man, I guess. Can’t see the BF encountering the same fate and returning with his complete set of dentures 😐 . No, I don’t think that would happen. And what would, is too ugly to  contemplate)

I like sporting injuries. They are like trophies. You display them with a hint of pride and loads of lovely memories. They are reminders of the time when you were quick like a fox and nimble like the fish. The days when you didn’t have an ounce of extra fat on you, when the sun’s rays were just that – sunrays. They weren’t cancer causing ultraviolet radiations out to kill you! I have a sporting injury. A crooked right ankle, thanks to an obscenely obese 13-year old toppling herself on me in a do-or-die kabaddi match. For the record, I did and almost died (that bag of lard fell on me, geddit? She was squeezing the life juice out of me lungs!!) I survived to tell the tale. It’s another thing that for years afterwards, I couldn’t run without suffering the severest muscle-pull around the ankle. For years, I steadily piled on the weight until I started resembling that bag-of-lard myself. Except that I have better sense and refrain from Kabaddi. Of course.

Bro has his share of tennis elbow injuries. Bags suffered from her swimming cramps (they are deadly, I tell you!!) . The BF had his wrists knocked out in Volleyball. And Aapa, though a non-sporty person now, was quite a basketball champ in her hey-days (in Tambaram High School, West Tambaram, Tamil Nadu). Whatever the case, I think its vital that we clung on to the sports even though we were knocked out black n blue. The most Mom would do would be to hand over a jar of iodex or bandage a severely scraped knee. Thats it. We were back in the field.

Come to think of it, don’t we pamper our kids a tad too much?? I mean, I scream like a banshee when my kid topples off the bed and lands on the floor (like Lui did this morning), all arm-waving, chest beating picture of motherhood gone crazy. Somehow, I just can’t picture my mother in the same mold.

Good for her, I say. Ooops, correction. Good for me. Else I would have turned into a namby-pamby good-for-nothing still striving for my mother’s apron strings!

But I’m not.

(A namby-pamby, that is. I confess I still strive for mumma’s apron strings though 😦 )

 But the point is, I’m kind of tough. Years of being in sports does that to you. Of course I don’t have a steel jaw like Dad or sinewy arms like Bro or  mile -wide shoulders like the BF (aaarghh!! that would’ve looked awful), but I’m tough. I can take a injury and still smile through it. I have a strong resistance to pain (except for that one time I got my eye-brows done and swore never to touch them again 😐 ) and am proud to say I’m one tough cookie.

So if a golf ball comes carting my way, I’ll survive. I may lose a couple of the pearlies, but I’ll back to post about it. Maybe , even add a knock-knock joke of my own.

Hopefully, Dad would find it funny then 🙂

 

 

Read Full Post »

Bribe Bandh | I PAID A BRIBE.

JANAAGRAHA  ipaidabribe.com 

 

    2011 –  Tahrir Square – Egypt revolutionized

      2011 –  Bribe Bandh –   Revolutionizes India

 

BRIBE BANDH

 

             Your CLick  starts the

 

Revolution

 

 
 
 
 



Read Full Post »

This post was selected by Blogadda for their Spicy Saturday pick.

Thank you BlogAdda 🙂

Spicy Saturday

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

Me and my daughter, we have a complicated relationship.

Volatile at its best. Turbulent too.

She’s just two years and a handful months but in all matters that matter, she’s the boss, the leading lady, the woman who wields the sword and what not. It doesn’t help that she’s the kind who is feisty, impulsive, impatient, stubborn and opinionated. It doesn’t help that I am short-tempered, impulsive, impatient and not-so-stubborn. It also doesn’t help that I’m rather rigid in my upbringing. I like following rules and would prefer if my kids learnt early on to toe the line. Shobby does. Lui doesn’t. Not only does she refuse to toe the line, she loves making a path of her own and following it with her head held high. No amount of talk, explanations, discussions, reasoning and scoldings work with her. Its either her way, or no way at all!!

Needless to say, I’m facing an uphill task where her upbringing is concerned. I love my daughter to bits. And I know she reciprocates as best as she possibly could. She’s the one who runs to me when I come back from work. She’s the one who gets up in the middle of the night to plant kisses on her mumma’s cheeks but hates being kissed back. She’s the one who wouldn’t think twice before going down on her knees and kissing my feet if I yowl after stubbing a toe. She’s the one who believes she is the sole owner of her mother’s lap. She’s the one who yells at anyone if they so much as raise their voices at me (in jest). She’s the one who has changed loyalties and claims she is now her mumma’s baby and not her Abu’s (Ha!! Hide under a stone BF. You’ve just lost your most faithful follower. Muahahaha).

But there are times when she tests my patience. Like when I tell her NOT to touch the plug point and yet, she directs her fingers there. I call out in warning, once , twice and thrice.She continues to ignore my pleas. Sometimes, I have to pull her back forcibly if she doesn’t listen, and then she bursts out in loud bawls , enough to bring the neighbours banging on our doors. There are times, when I have to spank her.

And that’s where the rift lies.

Because, unlike Shobs, who is immediately repentant, my little angel girl turns into a rebel. She glares at me, her chest heaving, lips quivering and yet daring me to spank her once more. If I do, she turns a defiant glare towards me which easily says that do what I might, she is not going to listen. Sometimes, when we have this glare-duel, she can make out the exact second when I’m going to give in and starts smiling cheekily, immediately relieving the tension. We both burst out laughing then, glad that the worst has passed. She collapses in my arms for a snuggle and I hug her back, hard. She hugs me back, just as hard.

As a daughter, she is everything I ever wanted, and more. As a child, she is everything that pushes me towards grey hair and early retirement! With my work hours, I’m not able to spend as much time with the twins, but what little time we do get, I make sure that it is well spent. So if I have to make castles out of bed-sheets after returning home at 9pm, I’ll do it. If I have to narrate new stories every time they demand it, I’ll do it. The good part is that I have a large household. There are plenty of people to look after the twins and teach them good stuff . The sad part is that Lui does not listen to anyone. Shobs does. He is the little lamb, forever trotting behind his grandfather. He is not bothered about me as long as he has his ‘dada’.

But Lui demands me to be there for her. So if she pees/poops, its only me who she demands should wash her up. If she spills stuff, she wouldn’t let anyone else clean up other than me 🙄 . She demands of me my time for her. To carry her around, to feed her , to play with her. To cover up for all those hours lost while I was at work.

A couple of days back, I came back home one evening and found her being naughty, talking back to the MIL. I scolded her a little too harshly. She turned around to face me and coolly said, “Mumma, aap jao office”. I was nothing but stunned. Stunned into silence. Into deep hurt. She doesn’t want me around her if I’m being strict. She doesn’t want to hear me if all I can emphasize on is discipline. She thinks she will be better off if her mother’s not home.

Clearly, I’ve gone wrong somewhere. Or maybe I’m not doing something right. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m being too particular about doing things right! Whatever the case, I’m still uncomfortable thinking about that evening. As usual, I’ve carted myself onto the guilt train and am wondering where I went wrong. The confusion stems from Shobby’s near-to-perfect behavior. He faces the same wrath that Lui does, but he’s quick to learn and correct himself. He is not adamant and stubborn (at times, mostly when he’s hungry, but never as a rule). If he doesn’t retaliate the way she does, then maybe I’m not all that wrong. Or maybe, the same method doesn’t work for the two. Just the thought of using a new parenting technique with Lui gives me the jitters. I’m at sea 😦

This morning, my darling daughter gave me another dose of her opinion.

I was taking a bath and she was pounding the door for me to come out. Obviously, I came out only when I was done. By this time, she was busy in the GMIL’s room, so I quickly got dressed, picked up my bags and went to the granny’s room to bid goodbye.

Lui looked up at me and said,” Maine bulayi thi na! Maine aapko bulayi thi na!”

“Yes dear, lekin mumma ko late ho raha hai aur abhi hum ja rahe hain”.

“Mumma mujhe nahin leti?”

“No baby. Abhi nahin”.

“Nahin leti??”, glares at me for a second, “Katti”.

And then she turns her back to me.

Goodness!! Wasn’t it just last year when I was holding her hand, encouraging her to walk? Wasn’t it just a year back when try as we might, the kids just couldn’t say “mumma”. Was it really that far back when they ate what I fed them and slept when we wanted them to?!

When did my child learn to show displeasure in this way? When did she learn to feel hurt herself and then inflict some on her mother?! When did my child grow up?!!

For all matters of reasoning, Lui is still a baby, a toddler. At two years, I don’t expect much of her. But its a shocker when I come across instances where her behaviour is more of an adult than a child.I know that girls grow up faster than boys, both mentally and physically. I have ample proof at home . But all I want is for my child to remain a child. A baby, full of innocence and smelling of baby powder. All hugs and kisses and warmth and cuddles.

I think I’m asking for the impossible 😦 . My demands are nothing short of demanding a time capsule to capture the kids as they are ! (which, by the way, is not a bad idea at all!!). Truth is, they’ll continue to grow. Lui will race her brother to adulthood. And I’ll have no option but to let out a deep sigh and rue the loss of  childhood , the days of innocence 😦

Clearly, I’m in the pits today.

But this pic brings a smile to my face. It was taken a month back when the night air could bring out the goosebumps. Lui pretended that the blanket was her headgear and posed for her father –

Lui

 

I LOVE this girl, I tell you 🙂



Read Full Post »

Wordless Wednesday

Sparkle!

The above pic was clicked by good friend from work, SK (click on the image for a better view).

She has just ventured into amateur photography and by what I can see, she’s pretty good at it!! The first time saw this pic, it caught my eye like nothing else. That tiny sparkle is so inviting 🙂

By the way, that green thing is a methi sprout holding a drop of water.

You may catch more of SK’s pics here. I’m behind her to load more of her stuff there. Hope she obliges soon 🙂



Read Full Post »

I’m a girl.

I read.

Which works very well for me. But then there are a hundred other women out there, achievers, home-makers, career-women, who do NOT read. I don’t grudge them. Whatever rocks their boat is fine with me. Which is why, when I read articles like the one below, I’m flummoxed. More than 80% of the text applies to me. And yet, I can’t help feel slightly uncomfortable at the judgemental tone of it all. I know so many awe-inspiring women who have no interest in books. Does that make them bad dates?? Are they not worthy of someone’s time and affection?

I think it is very difficult to handle a compulsive reader if the other partner is a non-reader. I know. I read voraciously, whereas the only thing the BF can read are mounds of official documents. Hand him a novel and see him shudder. Talk about fiction and he looks like Alice of Wonderland. He has no idea who Vikram Seth is 🙄

It does not make our relationship easier. On more counts than one, I’ve been accused of living in fantasy land and assuming that all the wrongs would right themselves. He’s right. I’m guilty of it. And because he’s the rooted in reality type, I’m still connected to the real world. Else I would have drifted off ages ago. He’s my anchor, and not the other way round.

What I say above applies to me alone. I’m not categorizing or generalizing the reading-women populace here. I’ve met some awesome people and friends because of our common love for books and for that I’m grateful. It is similar to a cricket-loving guy being attracted to a group of other cricket-lovers. This does not mean that they are better than other non-cricketers? Does it?

Anyhow, do read the piece “Date a girl who reads.”

I didn’t have words to express why exactly I was peeved with this write-up. I thought of putting down my thoughts , but the words eluded me.

And then, someone else felt the same. And came up with this brilliant post 🙂

Do read it folks. Its hilarious , without being mean (just a tad. But with the right amount of spice 😀 )

Am still grinning 😀

 



Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: