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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