Archive for September, 2011

Here’s some more of the loose ends I’ve been wrapping up lately. Consider them short nuggets of updates from my very busy life 😀

1) I forgot to credit two people who made my birthday feel very special. One is G, who I met up with the day before and had lunch with. G gifted me a pair of hand-made ear-rings which are so pretty that when I wore it to office, everyone asked me where I bought them from 🙂 . This girl has some serious hidden talents, I tell you. Check out her little effort here  . And she also has a very active green thumb, not to mention her wonderful skill at making jewellery.

*Sigh* Some people have it all 😐

The other person who made the day special was my cousin sister L. She dropped by early at my place with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a lovely card. Also, she was going to make paav-bhaji for lunch and bring it to my office!! When I told her that I had taken the day off, the poor girl was disappointed, because then she wouldn’t get to execute her lunch plan! Crazy girl , I tell you . But I did feel a deep rush of love for her 🙂 . I think in the recent years , we have grown rather close. She’s a single child and has told me many a times that she misses the presence of siblings in her life 😐 . Its her birthday in Nov (on the same day as Dad and Aapa’s 🙄 ) and I plan to make it special for her too 🙂 (send in some ideas will you, pretty please 🙂  )

2) I don’t like cricket. I think I must have said this a million times. And maybe that’s why I believe that no cricketer is bigger than the game or equal to God. If they were God, they would play for free. But they don’t. They charge millions, splurge more than that and yet don’t always guarantee a win. But, they are put up on a pedestal and worshipped! Ironical. Anyhow, so when I read this wonderful article in Tuesday’s Pune Mirror by Kunal Pradhan, I just had to share it with you. You may read the article here . Click on the article that says “Mera Sachin Mahaan”.  My agreement with the post is not because I favor Shoaib Akhtar, but because, in my eyes, I see no difference between him and Sachin Tendulkar. They are both cricketers, they have their fan-following and both are talented and rich. That is enough for me, because frankly, however great a sportsperson, he/she will never be flawless. They are humans and have their faults. If you dont agree with someone pointing out your faults, you are free to clamp your ears shut, but dont expect the other to walk around with a duct-tape over their mouth!

Anyway, the statements from the article that I wholeheartedly agreed with are :-

“At some point during his incredible cricketing journey,the words Sachin Tendulkar and national pride were used together so often that they formed a mixture in which you couldn’t tell the two apart. A suggestion that one may not be flawless was seen as an assault on the other.”

“As far as Shoaib is concerned,he was many things during his playing days,but he wasnt an also-ran.When he steamed in from the boundary line his hair flying,his chest out,holding the ball like a weapon it made the finest batsmen quake in their boots.How well they handled him was a testimony to their own skill,but it took nothing away from his.”

Eventually, I think this mob mentality of banning everything that goes against one’s idea of how it should go is disturbing. Somehow, “Strength in Unity” takes an altogether negative aspect !

3) We have these planning meetings in office every 2 months. A lot of teams get together to plan the tasks for the coming 2 months and in the bargain, a lot of white sheets/chart papers are used up. The problem does not lie with using the sheets. The problem lies in using them for exactly a few hours before they are summarily disposed off in the garbage can! And this, when most of the sheets are still blank, because instead of writing on the sheet, we have to stick post-it notes on them!! So a big chart paper has just one line on it (the header or team name) and at the end of the day, the chart paper along with the post-it notes is dumped in the trash can. Now this isn’t the only thing that gets my goat. What irks me to no end is that we use six such sheets and there are a total of around 10 teams!! So we waste a colossal sum of sixty sheets without using them entirely !! Whew!! I must have raved and ranted over it enough….but it appears to fall on deaf ears 😦

Anyhow, as a remedial action, I collect the used sheets at the end of the day and take them home. What I do next, is plaster them over my bedroom wall (with the blank side facing outwards). Fortunately, I have two brats at home who are more than pleased to have a canvas to paint their hearts out 🙂 . I clicked a few snaps from my mobile phone so the pics are not too clear. But you can make out that they love doing their bit of art 🙂

Someone forgot to tell Lui where she should be painting!

The ART....up close

We’ve been having fun with the sheets, seriously 🙂 . Once the sheets are plastered with enough scrawls and paint, we remove them and add another layer ! The kids love it and it helps me to keep them busy while I catch up with the evening paper. In fact, if there is anything urgent that I need to do, I simply give them their paint box and let them do whatever they want to do with it. Apart from a little spillage (that hurt none) , it is usually a very fun-filled activity for them 🙂

As for the used-up sheets, we give it to the maid who then collects them and later, when required, uses them for her out-doors stove! In all, I think I make some good use of the sheets before disposing of them.

But the real trick would be to convince everyone here to use as few sheets as possible and not forget, that each time they waste paper, they lose a lose a tree that gives them oxygen 😐 .

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There are so many little bits and pieces of things that I want to talk about, but none of them have substance enough to warrant a complete mail! I think for once, I’ll just dump them all in one post and have the off my head 😀

1) Firstly, I want to apologise to all those people who drop by my blog and post comments. I know I love to have you all here, but I’m sure somewhere in your heart, you must be wondering why I never get back to you?! Why I rarely ever comment on your’s!  Believe me, it’s not because I don’t want to, it is because I cannot 😦

I have limited net access at work. Most of the time, if I open the blogs from their own sites, it eats up too much of my allotted bandwidth. But I can’t stay without reading you all …..so I resort to using Google Reader, which for all its greatness, just doesn’t allow one to post comments. Also, for those of you who do posts with a “Read More” break, what can I say, I stand deprived 😦

Sometimes, I publish a post without an iota of an idea of how it appears on my blog! For the record, I type out the text in an editor, and when I’m done, I look around furtively, make sure none of the bosses are around, quickly open IE, hit my URL, open the section for “New” post, paste my already typed out text,hit publish. Whew! The sweat one has to dispense to carry out a hobby 😐

As for blogging from home….err…lets just say two little people at my house object to it 😐

2) I’ve been feeling surprisingly light after the Birthday!! Maybe its my new , improved eating habits (yeah, I wish!) or just maybe, I’m finally not associating age with weight 😀 ! Whatever the case, 32 is a good number, is the reverse of my birth date and makes me smile 🙂 .

It is also the minimum required amount for a poor man to position himself above the poverty line! I’m sure, the Finance Minister and the people who came up with this number did a practical implementation of the same. I’m sure they tried to survive a day on 32/- and called themselves richer . And once again, I wish! Frankly, since I first heard of the news, I’ve been wondering how this figure came about! I mean, why not just 30/- or 35/- ?! Why only 32/- ?!!

And then, like an epiphany, it struck me, did the great machine Deep Thought spout this answer like it did for the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything? The answer being, 42, of course ! But then, Deep Thought took 7.5 million years to come up with that answer. I wonder how long it must have taken for this?!

3) I had my first incident of road-rage yesterday!

Well, it wasn’t really road-rage from my side, since my impeccable manners didn’t allow me to go beyond calling that person “aap”!! Sheesh! No wonder he didn’t take me seriously 😦

Anyhow, background first! I was on my way back home last evening. At a particular stretch of the road, which was packed with traffic , by the way, a car came up behind me honked itself silly. I would have made way for it if only I had anywhere else to move. Alas, I had a car in front of me, other vehicles on my left and the honk-er behind me. I could have overtaken the car in front of me, but since there was a rush of vehicles from the opposite lane, I resisted the temptation. The honk-er, meanwhile, was losing his cool pretty fast, because as soon as there was a break in the oncoming traffic, he pulled alongside and directed a few choice expletives my way! Obviously, this made my blood boil, since I was doing the right thing and he ad NO right to expect me to risk my life for him. Who did he think he was?! Some effing royalty?!

Anyhow, for once, I refused to take this lying down. I sped up a bit and tried to get besides his left hand window. Unfortunately, the traffic didn’t permit me the space. then shortly, just as I was about to give up (or rather, the steam of rage was fizzing out) I spotted a gap in the traffic, pulled up by his right side window and screamed at him, “Uncle, pehle aap overtake karna to seekho!!” After which , I coolly overtook him and went my way. The last I saw of him was his car trapped between a horde of other cars at the junction which we had just crossed! But you know what they say about anger, it hurts no one but the one who’s angry! I didn’t feel good about shouting at that man. And plus, with my mind full of the incident, I forgot to buy some important stuff on the way home,which I absolutely had to!!

So in all, a wasted effort it was 😦

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Wordless Wednesday

What next??

Umbilical clothes lines??

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32 teeth

32 points of a compass

32  black/white/pieces in a game of chess

The atomic number of germanium

My age.

Netizens, I’m now officially 32 years old 🙂 and that is reason enough for me to grin and expose my 32 teeth 😀

Thankfully, I have survived till now with all my teeth intact with no caps, fillers or other dental fixtures. I have but sprouted a strand of white hair, which sits mesmerizing-proudly on my head. Just looking at it makes me take a deep breath and marvel at its silvery beauty !

I celebrated my birthday on the 23rd of this month, took the day off from work, spent the day at home, and the evening with the BF. Friends noticed that I didn’t take the twins along…..is anyone surprised why?! C’mon, its obvious 😀

Had a lovely evening, saw a movie (Mausam, full marks to SK -Shahid Kapoor and minus points to SK – Sonam Kapoor), ate at a favourite sea-food joint , obviously, and then brought a few gifts for the twins 🙂

Altogether, I enjoyed a lovely weekend with family, kids and hubby. Too bad it  came to an end and I’m back at work now! Good things last, but a while. *Sigh*

And hey, a BIG THANKS to all of you who called/messaged/commented/posted your birthday wishes 🙂 . I’m lousy at FB and that is why you haven’t seen thank-you notes yet. A slight I plan to correct as soon as possible. Apologies for the meanwhile 🙂

On that note , wishing you all a wonderful week ahead. Have fun 🙂

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I Need To Clear The Air

….regarding this post.

I received a lot of comments for it and it even evoked a response from, wonders will never cease, Dad!!

Unfortunately, after going through the comments and then re-reading the post, I realized with horror that in my hurry to hit the Publish button, I left out many of the minor details which made the post lop-sided in my favour. I painted a rather grim image of the GMIL and my travails in her presence, the result of which, I received many empathizing comments and also a heart-felt, anguish-filled one from Dad.

I apologize. Because I had no idea then how contrived my outburst looked !!

But, the truth is far from it, at least from where I stand now. True, I felt bad then. True, her behavior was brusque, but then, that was only because she valued her family so. She would care two-hoots about my job, but it would concern her more if the men in the family didn’t get their meals on time 🙂 . Keeping them fed and doing their bidding made her happy. This attitude was not just an obsession, it was a way of life. That is how they were taught to treat men in their families and that is exactly what she expected of me. On my part, I come from a VERY different background, like chalk and cheese. I was unused to being spoken to rudely and that too from someone who was a family member! Also, being the last child of my parents, I was a pampered brat 😀  (this you have to agree to, Dad !!) Alas, I also had this habit of asking the BF to run around and do his own work, pick his own clothes, help around the house and generally be of assistance. Obviously, this didn’t go too well with the granny 😀 . Her favourite grand-child was turning into a “Joru-Ka-Ghulam”, this after she treated him like the most delicate petal of her carefully preserved flower/family!! Not done at all 😀 !

Jokes apart, fact remains that GMIL comes from an illiterate, village background. Working women, time-constrained women, away-from-home women are not the types that go down easy with her. Though she has never objected to me or the MIL working, her only demand was that in lieu of our absence, we had to cover up whatever other homely responsibilities that came our way. Obviously, this was difficult since I have a full-time job (though, I was a full-time cook for the family before the twins were born). So I hired a maid, a nanny and a cook. Life became easier for me and just a tad complicated for her, because staying at home, she would have to monitor all the three!! I’m sure their casual attitude and callous ways troubled her more than my mere absence 🙂 . So the minute the MIL stepped into the house and after that when I did, we got to hear an earful on which maid did what !! Add to that the chaos of the kids! Its a wonder she herself didn’t give up and run for cover!

In all, I would say that it helps to have a senior person in the house. They bring about a stability which is otherwise difficult to maintain. Granny’s gruff ways also helped me team up with the MIL. So where people usually have scuffles with their in-laws, I have an amicable relationship with mine. We bond over talk on who was treated worse 😉 .  Also, irrespective of what treatment I received at her hands, fact remains that she gave up her comfort time for the twins. She gave up her afternoon siestas if the kids refused to sleep. She ate only when the kids were fed. She took a bath only after bathing the two (GMIL refused to let the maids or anyone else bathe the children till they were a year old) .At the age of 80+, this is a big sacrifice.

And for that, like it or not, I’m abundantly grateful to her.

And maybe this is why, when I see her detached from all this, I miss the old days. She may not realize it, but we do need her presence in our daily life. It added that much spice to our otherwise boring days 🙂 .

And for comments which held me in high esteem, what can I say? I’m sorry for shattering your faith in me 😦

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The Lunch Box

Note : This post is strictly for Mommys and mothers of kids-to-be-introduced-to-schooling. Anyone else reading it is welcome to do so on their peril 😀

Firstly, this post is long due. I wanted to do it much earlier but then I thought I’ll do some nice image captures of the lunch dabba and post them here. alas, I’m much too lazy with the camera to do the needful. Hence, this post will be mainly text, with a smattering of links to lip-smacking (your kid’s at least ) dishes. So here goes –

Since the twin’s class teacher praised me for their lunch boxI’ve been talking to people around me on what their children prefer. Mostly, I received comments like, “He doesn’t eat anything at school”, “She comes back home with her box untouched”, etc. I compared this with the attitude my kids have with their lunch box and I realized I must be doing something right, because the lunch box is the twin’s incentive for going to school.  Once there, the teacher has to restrain them from opening up the boxes and binging immediately 😀 . Needless to say, there are extremely rare instances of my kids coming back with their lunch boxes full. Of all the stuff I give them, more than 80% is consumed on a regular basis. The 20% left back is a rarity.

So what makes the lunch box click?

My idea is :  1) portions  2) variety.

The above two points work hand-in-hand. Seeing a box full of things they don’t like, turns off the child’s hunger. If you want them to have chapati for lunch, make sure it isn’t the only item in the box. Knowing that there is an option to not have the chapati allows the child to let go of resentment towards it and maybe even have some of it. I try this with veggies for the twins. I know they aren’t keen on eating cooked vegetables. So how do I sneak in the roughage in their diet? I add 2 small slices of sauteed carrots (pre-steamed) along with sauteed potatoes (a sure-fire winner ALL the time). The kids may not eat all the carrots, but they will definitely bite into a few. The key here is portions. When I say ‘2 small slices’, I mean exactly that. Because I know exceeding it will be a total waste.

A child’s enthusiasm about the lunch box is directly connected to the variety that lies in it. On an average, I have 4 items in the lunch box. Not all of them take time, but they all add to the colour and attraction of the lunch box. A regular day’s lunch box for the twins comprises of the following :-

1) 1 chapati with ghee/jam/butter with a slight sprinkling of sugar , rolled and cut and halved.

(Alternately, I sometimes give a chapati roll with an omelette, or with mild pudina chutney (no chillies)

2) 2 wedges of Apple

(alternately, a wedge or two of sweet-limes or half a banana)

3) half of a boiled egg

(alternately, a couple of chicken nuggets )

4) Dry fruits/nuts (1 kaju, a few raisins brown or black, 1 soft khajoor, 1 badam)

Again, the quantities are not much. Each child gets half a chapati, half an egg, a quarter of an apple and some dry fruits. I add the dry-fruits in the little side partition of the lunch box and cover it with a tissue (which they then use to wipe their hands/face).

The point is, the lunch box contains carbs (chapati), proteins (eggs/chicken), fibre (fruits) and minerals (nuts). The bigger point is that I never realized the completeness of this collection till I typed it out right now 😀 (pure awesomeness or what?! )

Once in a week, I give them Upma/ Poha/ rice with a cheese slice.

Once in a fortnight, I give them Maggi.

Once in a month, I give them bread.

Clearly, I avoid stuff that contains maida. Even at home, we get a loaf of bread maybe once a month! Maida and its products like bread, noodles, pasta, etc make for a quick lunch item,but they are not a healthy option in the long run. I know I wont be able to keep the kids away from the ‘junk-food’ as we call it, but I’d like to delay the process as much as possible! For now, bread and biscuits are not very popular with the twins and I’m thankful to Allah for it 🙂

Once in a while, I make a specialty dish like Rosti (which is totally Yum, takes little time and looks scrumptious 🙂 ). But this is mostly when the kids are behaving well. The Maggi is also given in their lunch-box as a reward for good behavior! But then, they rarely behave well, so I get to save them from the noodles 😀

Anyhow, I hope this post is of some use to the Mommies who wonder what to give their precious babies for their lunch boxes. If it is, do let me know. Better still, help me improvise….send me your entries 🙂

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This post has been lying in the drafts for quite some time now. I add to it, then delete it. I think of hitting publish and then pull back again. I’m not sure if I should be putting it out here for anyone to read and then I think I should, since I feel so strongly about it.

And then, I just decided to do it today……….


It is funny you know, the way life takes a sudden turn and you are forced to rethink on your thought process. How something which seemed mammoth-like earlier now just appears like dust particles – insignificant! How an earlier humiliation now seems like a miniscule scratch on a well-worn slipper!

Lately, I find myself thinking about and analysing my relationship with my two MILs. This December, I’ll complete 5 years of married life and 5 years of living that life as a DIL, day in and day out. I’ll admit that it isn’t easy. It never was.  But life is much better now 🙂 and there is some cheer in that confession 🙂

Within a couple of weeks of my wedding, everyone at home resumed their work, except me, who was jobless, the BIL who was studying and the GMIL. A simple chore of asking me to ‘give’ breakfast to the BIL would comprise of the following actions by the GMIL –

1) Call me out from my room.

2) Ask me to take the food out to the other end of the house where BIL was studying.

3) The BIL would refuse breakfast, I would come back and report to the GMIL. She would order me to make something alternate for him.

4) I make something new, take it to the BIL, who would calmly explain that he was not hungry and if he was, he would come and take his breakfast.

5) I report back to GMIL and she would ask me to make him tea. I say he doesn’t want it. She argues that he said that about breakfast and not tea.

6) I make tea and take it to the BIL. He looks at me as if I’ve gone bonkers. No words spoken. I come back and inform the same to the GMIL.

7) She asks me to make him juice, since he doesn’t want tea. I almost start, but the BIL drops by and clearly tells the GMIL that he is in NO mood for food OR drink because the GMIL had already given him breakfast earlier in the morning.


So the GMIL made me run from one end of the house to another for NO REASON!! Till date, I’m not sure what made her resort to such techniques of harassment. There were many more instances, many more harsh words, many more slights and insults. When the twins refused to feed, the GMIL left no stone unturned in letting each and every person, who dropped by for a visit, know about my lack of feeding capability. It is a barb that still hurts. But the wounds are not that fresh now. The healing process is on. Mostly because however sharp the GMIL was towards me, she was the epitome of mushy goodness with the twins. She handled them with tender care  and that is one of the reasons I could resume working so soon after the twins were born (the second reason was that I couldn’t stand the same comments everyday. Call it hormones or whatever, I found it easier to sob my heart out in the office washroom than at home. Also, I had friends here, people who cheered me up immensely with their jokes and one-liner. Thanks OSD1HT gang. It’s good to know you all). But still, there are times I  wonder why she used to say all that, do all those things which could be described in just one word – nasty!!

One of the disciplining rules of my parents was that one should never ever talk back to elders, whatever may be the case. Till date, my parents follow that golden rule. Their parents met their end knowing that their children never uttered an insult towards them, irrespective of however bad they were treated. This behavior rubbed on us, I guess. Because no matter how awful I felt or how low, I could never utter a single word in protest. So if the GMIL thundered at me, I just cowered in a corner (no , don’t imagine that scene. It wasn’t that bad 😀 ) . Mostly, I used to keep quiet, take it in, and sob over it later.

I could have threatened to walk out of the house many times. But the one thing that held me back was that the BF is his granny’s favourite. A first-born, much pampered child, the BF is besotted by his granny. A fact that didn’t escape the grand-mater, since most of her attacks occurred in the absence of her grandson!! Since he could not say much to his grand-mother, given her advanced age, he did his best to make life a little easier for me, cheered me up and asked me to do what I wanted to do and not just what she wanted me to do.

Another factor holding me back was the MIL, who turned out to be a complete anti-thesis of the GMIL. So where granny was loud, MIL was silent, where granny was grumpy, MIL was cheerful, where the old lady was dominating, the MIL was subservient. Moreover, the MIL has a sincere penchant for family values, of holding on to family members and  of letting go of ill-will and bad vibes. Probably the reason she herself never walked out when she was the target of granny’s ire 😐

The last six months have been trying on our family. GMIL’s accidental fall and subsequent operations, hospitalization and nursing care is taking its toll on us.  But the worst affected is the granny herself. Once the roaring lion of the house, she is now barely a mewing cat. I’ll confess here that the devil in me was partly glad that the GMIL no longer poked her nose in kitchen matters (there was a time when she made me cook 6 separate dishes for 6 people!!)  or didn’t make me run around like an errand girl all day. In a way, GMIL stopped giving me the accusing looks that she used to give earlier, the look which said that I was incapable of doing anything right! Sure, it was always infuriating……but now that I don’t suffer that fate anymore, I realized that I feel something is amiss. Life isn’t as spicy as before. And because I no longer have GMIL’s interference, I’ve become lax in my responsibilities 😦

It comes as a shock really….because there was a time that I wanted the GMIL to stay in her room and not dig into what I do all day. But now since she’s doing exactly that, I hate it!! I hate to see her huddled in her bed, barely talking and mostly being alone. I hate to see the plea in her eyes when she needs to pee and asks for help. I hate to see her barely gulping down a few morsels before she tires out.  I hate to see the tears in her eyes as the pain shoots up her leg. I hate to see her detached from the homely responsibilities that were once her lifeline! I hate to see that the twins are slowly distancing themselves from the Big-dadi who was once their savior and idol! There was a time when the twins used to frolic on her lap, climb all over her and she would be giggling just as childishly as them. The twins now barely enter her room, though I’ve told the nanny to make sure that the kids have their lunch and afternoon siesta with Granny. They sometimes refuse to enter her room and I know that innocent as their refusal might be, it hurts the GMIL bad. And it is that hurt resignation which hurts me the most 😦

Come to think of it, I’m ready to be a errand-girl once again, I’ll cook a thousand dishes if she wants me to, I’ll do all the running around as she wants and am ready to take whatever harsh words she wants to spit out.

But I want the old granny back. Life’s just not the same anymore without her caustic presence. When I tend to her nowadays, she’s very gentle, kind. This has improved our relationship considerably, by leaps and bounds, if I may say so. I can now sit and chat with her without fear. But this submissive attitude doesn’t suit her at all! I’d rather have the fiery tiger any day 🙂

Please send your prayers and good wishes for GMIL. She needs all she can to muster her strength and walk again.


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I had been on a weekend rant for so long now that I almost forgot what enjoying a weekend meant. And no, it doesn’t mean long lazy hours (at least in my case). It does not mean ready-made meals served on a platter or having the kids off my hands (I’d rather chop my hands off 😀 . The weekends are , after all, for the kids, right?!).

What then, does it take to make a weekend really worth it??

After months of howling and cribbing, I’ve now realized that the way to a happy weekend lies in me.

On how I treat the time I have. What I do and what I don’t. But most important, what attitude I carry when I do the things that I have to do!

So this weekend too, we had our fair share of bunking maids . The regular maid as well as the nanny didn’t turn up. So instead of fretting over them and cursing them under my breath, I took the easier way out and decided to show them the literal finger! I was going to enjoy the weekend with the twins and family and the maids be damned if I was going to let them spoil this time for me!!

On Saturday, I got busy early. Got GMIL settled after her bath and breakfast and made Gulab Jamuns and Vegetable Pulao (I might add here, that in our house, weekend menus generally cross the 1 Kg mark. So the pulao was 1 kg rice with added vegetables. Large scale cooking to make sure rice lasts for dinner too 😉 ) . Post cooking, did a random round of cleaning, did a few utensils and bathed and readied the twins. The twins were less peskier because I had enticed them with a visit to their khala’s place (cousin L’s place, who stays close by). Thankfully, the kids co-operated. The BF was busy with some society work and was out most of the day. Once the MIL came back from school at mid-day, I handed over the house, GMIL and her sons to her care and took my kids out for an evening at my uncle’s house.

Had fun at Cousin L’s place. Helped her prepare lunch while the aunt was busy getting some food into the twin’s tummy 🙂 . Thankfully, the twins were better behaved and didn’t break anything or rip anything apart (the stress of which alone causes me gray hair 😦 ). We had a short siesta post lunch, after which I took the twins to visit my mom’s old family friend. Spent some time there, where the twins gorged on potato wafers as though their life depended on it 😐 (I don’t give them chips at home…mostly avoided since their school requested us parents to stop giving children packed oily stuff. So no more chips, no Peppys or their ilk. I know, my kids will hate me a few years down the line 😦 . *Sigh*…the things one has to do for motherhood!!)

When I got back home later that evening, the house was full of guests of the BF. I herded the kids inside and asked the MIL if I could help with anything. She said that the guests were about to leave….so not much work to be done 🙂 .  The twins had a light dinner and then I played them some nursery rhymes on the laptop. They were good as gold and didn’t touch any key other than the one I showed them for playing the next track 🙂 . They even dropped off to sleep early, tired as they were after a long day!

Sunday was even better. The MIL had made breakfast by the time I woke up so I just contributed to the sweeping house, washing dishes, loading washing machine kind of tasks. The MIL also agreed to make lunch for the day because I had to leave for a birthday party at 10:30. Getting the twins bathed and ready took a better part of my morning and it was only 11 AM before I could step out of the house! It took us some time to find an auto and finally head to the party venue. The Birthday Girl was the daughter of one of my best friend, who is a part of my friend circle mentioned here. Needless to say, once again there were hugs and handshakes galore. It is NEVER boring to meet your friends, specially ones who go back a long way 🙂 . The best part was that this time Shobs was tagging along and he got to meet my friends whom he couldn’t meet last time. By the time we left after lunch, everyone declared that the howling cry-baby Lui was a replica of me and that the silent, observant Shobs was his father’s true son ! Where do they get these ideas , I ask!

Anyhow, we took an auto back home, by which time, the twins were almost falling off to sleep. Once home, they were enveloped in the loving arms of the family, who said they found the house boring in the absence of the twins 🙂 . The BF and BIL played with the kids for some time after which I herded them in for some nap time. I woke up after an hour or so, made tea for everyone and instructed the cook  for dinner. The MIL and FIL had to leave for some house visits, the BIL went to meet his friends and that left me with the GMIL, kids and BF to handle. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel even a wee bit tired even till late in the night (I watched Chillar Party on my laptop till 2 AM. Never expected the movie to be so engrossing and entertaining 🙂 ) . In fact, I think I enjoyed myself this time, in spite of loads of work. Maybe the kids contributed by not being so cranky and demanding of my time…..or just maybe, I’ve grown up a wee bit 😀 . The crux of the matter is that I just changed the way I think about weekends. And it has immensely helped me in getting through the two days 🙂

And oh, since I’m feeling good, here are a couple of conversation snippets between the twins. I never knew when they grew up so much. I could swear they were born yesterday 😐


1) I’m attending to the GMIL in her room. Lui is playing with her rubik-cube. In between, she tires of it and places it on the table. Shobby comes hopping into the room, sees the cube and grabs at it. Lui immediately lets out a loud wail. I think of intervening, but then decide otherwise. Better to let the two sort out their problems themselves!!

Lui : (crying louder than ever) Mera cube!! Shobby ne mera cube liya

Shobs : Lui, mere paas cube nahin hai na. Mera wala toot gaya

Lui : (quietening down immediately) Sobby, aapke paas cube nahin hai?

Shobs : Nahin hai na. Mera cube toot gaya.

Lui : Aapka cube kisne toda.

Shobs : (obviousy thinking of the first name that came to his head) Mummy ne.

Lui : Haan Shobby? Mummy ne toda?

Shobs : (clucking his tongue) Haan na 😦

Lui : (holding up her palm) Aap 2 minutes ke liye khelo , phir humko do.

Shobs : Haan. Okay. (Trying to figure out 2 from his set of fingers, ultimately settling for 4 ) Mai aapko 2 minutes ke baad deta hoon.

So the brother-sister duo walk out of the room hand-in-hand, in complete harmony.

As for me, I just stood there looking like this ” 😯 ”


2) I’m in the kitchen making dinner last night. Shobs, who had earlier gone out with the BIL to buy some stuff, had just returned. In his absence, I had given Lui a piece of chocolate , a brand which Shobs doesn’t like. So I didn’t offer it to him after his return.

I’m standing at the stove, stirring my pot when the two brats start ‘whispering’. Well, they thought they were whispring, but they were pretty audible alright.

Lui : Bhaiya, aap please mummy se chocolate maango.

Shobs : Mujhe nahin chahiye chocolate.

Lui : Mujhe chahiye na. Aap please maango.

Shobs : Nahin aap maango.

Lui : Mummy mujhe gussa karegi na.

Shobs : Haa-aan?? Mummy ko chocolate maangne se mummy ‘very funny’ bolegi.

Lui : (giggling) Mummy ‘Very funny’ nahin bolegi.

Shobs : Bolegi na.

After which, he proceeds to prove his point by coming by my side and demanding the said chocolate –

Shobs :  Mumma….Lui ko chocolate chahiye.

Me :  (Answering in mock anger ) Chocolate chahiye??  Very Funny!!

Lui and Shobs break out in rollicking laughter , practically clutching their tummies as they turned to each other

Shobs : Maine bola tha na?! Mummy ‘Very Funny’ boli 🙂

Lui : (giggles)

I’m giggling myself as I think of these two 🙂

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Not lovely, but I do have Chubby Cheeks. At least when I grin. Or smile!

Anyhow, this incident happened this Monday – I walked into the VLCC centre closest to my place, I had an appointment for 11 AM, but I was a tad early and walked in by 10:40 AM. The only person around to greet me was the cleaning maid. I waited for a while and then asked for something to read. The maid reluctantly handed me the previous day’s paper. She looked grumpy, so I didn’t pester her for the current copy. I read the paper from start to end. Then started on the crossword. then did a few Mensa puzzles (successfully, if I might add 😀 ) and then finally proceeded to do Sudoku. By now, it was 11:20 AM, yet there was barely any activity inside the parlour/fitness-centre.

I doodled for some time, when finally a lady walked up to me and gave me a form to fill (since it was my first time there). I filled up eagerly and went to hand it over to her. The lady watches me approach her and as she accepts my form, coughs discreetly and says, ” *Ahem* Would you be interested in our special figure-correction package?”.


I mean, I know I’m kinda healthy…but figure correction? I mean, do you actually massage yourself to cut away the flab in order to get a better silhouette or what?!

She took in my flabbergasted expression and took it for a yes. I’m still not sure if she realized I was offended big time 😦 . Anyhow, so this other woman with gorgeous long hair leads me inside and makes me stand on this machine which my feet placed over some metals pads and hands holding on to some bars while the machine does a complete body scan. The device had a tiny display and suffice to say, the readings were not pretty. I now realize why the figure-correcting lady thought I needed to chop up the fat!

In a short summary, this is what the dratted machine had to say –

1) Height : 155 cms

2) Weight 69.1 kgs

(normal range 43.9 – 59.4)

3) Muscle mass 19.4 kgs

(normal range 19.5 -23.8)

4) Body Fat Mass 32.6 kgs

(normal range 10.3 – 16.5)

There!! See that?! My body fat turns out to be twice that of the max amount of the normal range. I , for one, am NOT normal 😐

The report also had detailed sectional reports on where the fat deposit is more and where it is normal. Apparently, each leg weighs 5 kgs more than required, the tummy region is *hold your breath* 15 kgs over the normal and shoulders are each 2.5 kgs over.

While I was recovering from the shock, the dear counselor went on a long spiel about how VLCC could come to the rescue and with a minimal amount of 25K, guarantee loss of 5 kgs and a couple of inches.

I almost told the lady that I’d rather starve myself to death. Lose weight and save money in one go. All that two-birds and one stone theory churned in my mind. But I stayed mum. “We’ll see”, was all that I could croak. I mean, frankly speaking, my fatness is not their fault. So what if they offer the services for ‘reasonable’ amounts which appear gargantuan to me ?! It would have been much better if I’d seen the gargantuan-ness of my fat before I stepped through their door, hadn’t it?!

Anyhow, I asked them to wrap up with what I’d come there for (A facial,manicure,hair-wash, conditioning,haircut, blow-dry,threading and skin and hair analysis). Again, for the record, these are not activities I normally indulge in. Good friend from work, SK had found a package deal online which gave us these services from VLCC for 600/- when the actual cost of the same was 4000/-.Obviously, we grabbed at it with both hands.

Talking of hands, the attendant who took charge of my manicure wasn’t impressed with my hands. “Too rough”, “Too much cuticle”, “too much tan”. A lot of head-shaking and marketing spiel later (well, they ALL tried to sell me VLCC products. I can give them marks for trying 🙂 ) work began on making my hands look presentable. Post the session, I rued the fact that it never clicked me to get a before and after snap 😦 . *Sigh* I always miss such moments I tell you 😐 . The fingers did look better, but a tad sore, since my cuticles were more or less ripped off my nails. Alas, the effect stayed but just a day. I scraped my nails with the knife while chopping veggies the next day. Made me realize that pampering the hands works for only those people who don’t have to rough it out in the kitchen. If you are the regular food provider , chances are, you’ll always have trimmed nails and at least a couple of remnant oil burn marks on your hands/wrists 🙂

I digress again. Apologies.

The main attraction of the session was the hair wash (pleasant), the conditioning (yummm) and the blow-dry/ setting which was an awesome job because my normally fly-away zig-zag hair looked like those of our North-Eastern counterparts. Silky, straight and oh so shiny!!  I mean, I could actually leave my hair open without a thousand clips or bands in place 🙂 . SK had the same package and we were both flaunting our hair in office the next day, much to the amusement and envy of our colleagues ! Unfortunately, SK washed her hair today and its back to normal. I haven’t washed mine yet…I don’t want my hair to get back to their normal messy state 😦

I came back home that evening and showed the print-out of my body analysis report to the BF

BF :  (feigning shock) Goodness?!! Whatever gave them the idea that you are *gasp* fat?!!

Me : Ha ha. Not funny mister.

BF :  No really. I mean, I swear their machine must be faulty. Go back and ask them for a refund.

Me : You wish!!

BF : No. No. YOU wish 😀

At which point I aimed a good kick towards the punster, which was easily sidestepped because frankly, I can raise my leg just about a foot off the ground 😦

The BF continued snorting with laughter as he exited the room, probably because he didn’t want to be beaten to a pulp. The leg couldn’t be raised high, I agree, but it carries weight, all 5.1 kgs more than the normal range 😐 !!

To round up the tale, my fitness level is at an all time low of 56 when it is supposed to be a minimum of 74. To correct the anomalies, I have made a slight change in my diet. Breakfast is Muesli and a cup of tea. Lunch is a fruit and large jar of Herbalife shake. Dinner is one chapati, a little sabzi and a little rice. I have stopped taking sugar in tea and eating sweets. The trip to the gym is pending. Hoping to correct that as soon as possible.

I don’t mind losing the chubby cheeks, I guess…..if it means being healthier and fitter to run around with the twins 🙂

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Many moons ago, Dad was posted in Pune. It was a quaint Army establishment, about 20 km away from the main city, near the famous Khadakwasla lake and under the veritable shadow of NDA. The place was called Institute of Armament Technology, now called the Defense Institute of Advanced Technology.


Dad was posted as the Chief Administration Officer, a profile which in common terms would be classified as Jack-Of-All-Trades. So apart from managing the infrastructure of IAT, dad was also much involved in settling squabbles, rehabilitating retired servicemen, touring the premises umpteen times a day and in general, getting on everyone’s nerves!! (hehe, just kidding Dad 😀 )

The weekend before Eid, me and the BF got an opportunity to drive down to Khadakwasla village. There is a quaint little Masjid there, the maulana of which used to teach us the Holy Quran. Every year, it is a ritual to visit the Masjid and hand over some Hadiya(gift) to the Maulana. Usually, we used to visit the place in the early days of Ramzan…alas , this time we were caught up with many other things and couldn’t make it until the last minute.

Now Khadakwasla is a good 20+ km from my place. A distance, which I usually never think of covering myself unless the BF is with me 🙂 . We did think of taking the kids along, but what with them being cranky the whole day and then dropping off to sleep just when we were planning on leaving, there was no option but to leave them behind. Also, since it was raining cats and dogs and their mamas and chachas, we thought it prudent to leave the kids back home (though we were travelling by car, the road to Khadakwasla is not known to be in the best of conditions…more so in the rains  !!).

It was a lovely drive….after simply ages, me and the BF were together without the noisy presence of the kids 😀 . We sang out loud, gossiped, called each other names and in general, had much more fun in that one hour than in the last 6 months !! Once we reached our destination, we met up with the maulana, handed over the Hadiya and then prepared for the long trip back since we wanted to get home before Iftaar time. Coming out of the tiny village, I had a whim and asked the BF if we could just take a short trip to IAT which was barely 500 metres away from where we had stopped. The BF obliged and we made the turn.

Now, IAT has two gates, one is the main gate which was a kilometer away and the other one was the smaller gate usually taken by residents of the bungalows in that section of IAT. When we used to live here, this gate was our regular route. So me and the BF made straight for the smaller gate. There were two security guards standing there, who on seeing us, instead of opening the gate, yelled at us to go back.

I was a little stunned at this reaction…but then realized that this was a defense establishment and given the current scenario, the security would be pumped up high. The older of the two guards, a man around 60 came up to us and sternly told us not to breach security. We were a bit indignant , because frankly, the way he said it , made it sound as though we were planning on running right through the gate !!

Anyhow, the old man came up to my window and this is how our conversation went :-

Old Guard (OG) : Gaadi peechhe lo. Gate ke itne paas mat aao. Aapko pata nahin hai kya, yeh defense establishment hai.

Me : (in all politeness) Haan pata hai. Hum yahan rehte the pehle.

OG : (looking even more guarded than before) Kahan??

Me : Yahin. P-9 bungalow mein. Mai Colonel Yasin ki beti hoon. Aap jaante hain unko?

OG : (looking suspiciously at me) Haan ….mai jaanta hoon unko….lekin unki beti to… (here he wags his index finger , a sign generally used to denote the slimmer side of things)

Me :  (smiling politely while jabbing my elbow into the BF’s ribs to stop his mirthful giggling) Haan..unki teen betiyaan hai. Mai sabse chhoti hoon. Aap meri behen ko jaante hai….

OG : (breaking into a smile finally ) Arre haan…unki yahan shaadi hui thi na?! Hum aaye the. Sahab ne bulaya tha.

Me :  (totally amazed) Aapko shaadi yaad hai?!

OG :  (grinning happily) Ji haan. Hum logoen ko sir ne khud invite kiya tha. Aisa kijiye, waise to yahan se andar jaana allowed nahin hai….par aapko andar kaam kya hai??

Me : Mujhe apne husband ko hamara purana ghar dikhana hai. Bas 2 minute lagenge.

OG : Achcha theek hai. Lekin please aap jaldi aao.

Me : Zaroor. Thank you.

The OG opened the gate for us and we cruised in. A couple of minutes of silence later, during which we were busy absorbing the beauty of the place, the BF finally piped, “He remembers your dad!!”. I just smiled on smugly 🙂

We made a small trip around  the place…..went to the bungalow where I used to live and where the BF used to drop by once in a while for group study during college days 🙂 . Okay, so we weren’t really truthful when we told the guard that I wanted to show the BF my house. The husband had been to this place ages ago and loved it just as much as I did. That’s the reason we planned to drop by again. Those were wonderful days and it was great to relive it once again.

While on the way back, the OG rushed to open the gates for us once more. I rolled down the window to thank him. He just saluted us with a big grin and told me, “Sahab ko bolna, hum unko abhi bhi yaad karte hain. Kabhi Pune aaye, toh IAT zaroor aane bolna”.

I replied back in the affirmative and we made our way back home.

For a long while, we were silent, both of us ruminating over the past 15 minutes.

After a while, the BF broke the silence, “You know….I’ve been in this company for 5 years. Tomorrow if I leave this place and then come back after a year or so, probably no one will ever remember me”.

“Same here “, I replied glumly.

“You dad was here for only 3 years, yet 11 years later, people still remember him”.


“That is some reputation, I say”.



“We’ve got a long way to go”, says the BF.

And I realized he wasn’t just talking about the way back home 😐

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