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Archive for June, 2012

No,don’t get me wrong…. this post isn’t about the BF and me ๐Ÿ™‚

We are practically conjoined twins ourselves ๐Ÿ˜€

I have lamented enough about my reluctance to keep distance from the twins. There are times when I crib that the BF and me don’t have our personal space. Its true, but it is also mostly my doing.
Last month, the MIL went to stay overnight at the SIL’s place, taking the twins along with her. I’m ashamed to say, I was a nervous wreck that evening ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . Not having the twins near me after I came back from work, was a jolt in itself. As the hours passed, I realized that I was calling up the MIL every hour to check up on the kids. At one time, the SIL took over the phone and gently assured me that the kids were fine and were playing with her sons.
I spent the rest of the night moping. Cried buckets into my pillow and swore never to let the twins away from me , EVER!!! It was the first time in 3.5 years that the twins weren’t with me in the night ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
Around 3 AM, I was too exhausted to cry anymore and went off to sleep!
Frankly, I was heartbroken.
Never knew that I’d be so weak….and here I was , always under the impression that I’m a tough cookie and a go-getter who started working just as the twins completed 5 months!! But then…..the reasons for my starting work were entirely different than they are now ๐Ÿ˜

Anyhow, so after that one instance, I realized that I cant be snuggling up with the kids forever. It was time to start letting go, albeit gently.
Last Sunday was my cousin’s engagement. We had to travel to a town roughly 6-7 hours from the city. Given the long distance travel by bus, I thought it prudent to leave the kids behind. Moreover, I received a call from my uncle to bring our bottled water as that particular area had reported cases of Hepatitis patients. That kind of sealed my decision to leave the kids behind. Later, I found that there were others who had brought their children with them. I felt bad that I hadn’t ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . In fact, I was hoping that if the BF accompanied me, we could have managed the kids between us. Though the MIL is keen to share the responsibility of the kids, the twins don’t pay her much attention, specially when we are out. Also, the MIL was as eager to attend the engagement as I was :).
The BF tried his best to convince me that he would take care of the kids. I wasn’t buying any of it. Just that morning, when I told him to supervise the kid’s bath, he happily went and told the twins, “Yaay….today is Saturday……Aaj nahane ki chhutti!!!” Kids and father, all yelled in delight ๐Ÿ˜
So yeah, he wasn’t very successful in his eager plea for trust! To think of leaving him alone with the kids game me a chill in my spine. The MIL must have felt something similar, because she promptly called the nanny to spend a day at our house (we had dispensed of her services since the twins started their day-care)

I woke early on Sunday morning, 5 AM. We were to leave by 6 AM . We left the house by 5:50 to reach my uncle’s place which was close by. It took us another hour from my uncle’s place to finally commence on our journey.
That one hour was one of the most fretful of my life ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I know that Shobs gets up early and demands his milk. I also know that the BF sleeps like, well…any working man on a weekend.
I called him 4-5 times in the next one hour, he didn’t pick the call. Was probably asleep. But I was frantic…..all my thoughts focused on poor Shobs who would be deprived of his milk. MIL reassured me that since the FIL was home, he would be awake and would look after Shobby till the time BF woke up. That was some consolation, but not all.

Once we were out of the network range, I just clutched my phone and fretted over whether the kids were awake or not, whether they had their milk or not, whether the BF gave then breakfast or not…..you get the drift. The MIL tried cheering me up a couple of time but I just wasn’t in the mood.

Though I got dressed and attended the function, I realized later that I was just sitting in one corner throughout. I got up just once to congratulate my cousin brother and his would-be-bride and then slithered back onto my chair. You won’t find any snaps of me in that event.
The only bright spark in my otherwise solemn day was that I got to meet my parents ๐Ÿ™‚ . Mom and Dad had come to the town for the engagement and were going to come back to Pune with us. I was seeing Mom after one whole year!!!
Post lunch, we spent some time idling about while the families sorted out the nitty-gritties of wedding preparations. I called the BF once more, ready to blast him if he picked the call (he hadn’t picked the phone since morning and I was truly ticked off). Clever man that he is, he handed the phone to the kids. My babies!! They were so wonderfully mature when they said that they weren’t troubling their father and had their food on time ๐Ÿ™‚ . That was all the reassurance I needed.
We were a tad delayed because of the rains and it was after 1 AM when we finally reached home. I saw the twins sleeping peacefully with their dad on the double bed. It was a beautiful sight. But I broke down once more ! I’m still not sure why I sobbed as I saw them sleeping peacefully ๐Ÿ˜
Was it because they spent an entire wakeful day without me?
Was it because they didn’t really miss me much?
Was it because the twins learned to stay away from me much sooner than I anticipated?
Was it because I was riding high on the guilt trip of leaving them behind?
Was it because I was plain exhausted after a longer-than-bargained-for drive back to Pune??
Whatever the case, I was out in seconds after my head hit the pillow.

When I woke up the next morning, the twins were delighted to see me, but they didn’t ask me where I was the previous day ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . Its almost as if they didn’t miss my presence at all ๐Ÿ˜ (major morale depressor, that!)
For the major part of this week, I’ve been pondering over my reaction and the twin’s. On hindsight, I feel that leaving the kids behind with their father wasn’t a catastrophe begging to occur as I had expected. Its okay if the children don’t take a bath one day or just eat maggi/chips/fruits throughout the day. The kids were fine, their father was fine and the only one who missed out on the fun, was me ๐Ÿ˜

Frankly, there is no concrete plot to this post. I’m just grumpy that the kids have weaned away from me and I’m still holding on to their teethers and sippy-cups ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
Time to let go a wee bit, isn’t it?!



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Since I’m Away

I’ll be generous and share with you a friend’s blog that usually leaves me so choked that I’ve not been able to bring myself to comment on it. Before you get me wrong, let me clarify that coming from a young girl, it is surprisingly very mature in its content. This may seem like a plug, but it isn’t.
I want to share her words with you.
So please head to Dipis Blog .
A young girl, carrying many a heartbreaks. Do read her and please comment.
I’m sure you’d want her to write more ๐Ÿ™‚

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Here are the pictures and recipes of our prize winning entries for the cookery competition at work last week.

Frankly, I had intended to do a big and long dramatized version of the two evening’s events, but unfortunately, I have a VERY early morning tomorrow (need to leave at 6AM for an out of town engagement) and I received all the pics by noon today. Though I had the time, I also had two tornadoes to handle and switching on the laptop in their presence is like entering a tiger’s cage with raw meat in your hands ๐Ÿ˜

Anyhow, I’ll start with the first round and then go on to the second round.

Here goes then –

Round 1

Mocktail : Splitzy Splash

Ingredients :

Almond Syrup (or any transparent almond flavoured syrup)
Kiwi Squash (we used Mapro)
Limca
1 Lemon
Crushed Ice
Fresh cream
Cherries, Lime slices, apple and fresh cream for garnishing.

Procedure :
Pour 1 Teaspoon almond syrup at the bottom of the mocktail glass.
Add 1 large teaspoon of Kiwi squash over the almond, pouring gently.
Squeeze half a lemon over the kiwi squash.
Top the glass with crushed ice.
Gently pour Limca over the ice making sure that the Limca does not rise over the existing crushed ice levels.
Beat fresh cream and gently place a dollop in the centre of the glass, right over the ice.
Decorate the glass with lemon slice and cherries. Provide a stirrer just before drinking.
Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Splitzy Splash

So immersed were we in wrapping up our work in time that it never occurred to us to click snaps. This particular snap was taken nearly an hour after the mocktail was made, by which time the cream had melted away and our dear apples were on the verge of drowning :(. Luckily, the judges arrived in time to appreciate that little effort with the apple (by me) and those cute stirrer flowers by my teams mate DiCh ๐Ÿ™‚

Chaat : Jhatpat – Chatpat

Ingredients :
3 Types of base – Pani puri, papdi chat and Monaco biscuits.
Green coriander chutney
Tamarind Chutney
Fresh curd
1 Onion finely chopped.
1 tomato finely chopped.
Coriander finely chopped.
2 boiled potatoes
1/2 cup of boiled black gram (kala chana) .
1/2 cup sev.
Salt, chaat powder, chilli powder.

Procedure :
Mash the potatoes with the black grams. Add salt,chaat masala and chilli powder according to taste.
Make a hole in the puris used for Panipuri and stuff it with the potato mix.For the puris used for Papdii-chaat, place the potato mix over it. The same goes for monaco biscuits.
Once the puris are done, decorate with green coriander chutney, tamarind chutney and curd. Top it all with a little bit of sev
Arrange on a platter.

Jhatpat Chatpat

The pic is not very clear, kindly excuse ๐Ÿ˜ I have better pics in my cellphone, but don’t have a cable to download it. Confession here, my only contribution to this dish is in chopping the veggies and also making that centerpiece rose ๐Ÿ˜€ . I have never really made chaat before and this dish belongs to my two diligent team mates ๐Ÿ™‚ .

Apparently, the judges liked what they saw, enough to get us through the first round at least ๐Ÿ™‚

Close Inspection by the judges!!

PS : Thats me on t he left. Had to cut out my snap because I’ve rarely looked this hot, sweaty and flustered in public ๐Ÿ˜ฆ (Blame it on the air-conditioning in the cafeteria that was turned out at 6:30 pm itself. By the time the judges arrived at our table, it was 8 pm ๐Ÿ˜ฆ )

—————————–

Round 2

Dessert : Gorge-ous

Ingredients :
1 Eggless cake
Fruits : Apple, mango,peaches,kiwi,cherries,sweetlime
1 bottle maaza
Fresh Cream
Raspberry jelly
Chocolate syrup (Hersheys)
Kiwi squash
Strawberry squash
Dry fruits and nuts

Procedure:
cut away the brown sides, base and top of the cake. Crumble it coarsely.
Chop the rest of the cake in 1 cm cubes and pour a little Maaza on them (not too much though, don’t want the cake to become entirely soggy)
Add a spoon or two of this crumble to the dessert bowls.
Add a layer of chocolate syrup.
Pour a little fresh cream over it.
Add a few pieces of peaches over the cream. Top it with a little Kiwi squah.
Pour cream over it.
Add the cake cubes. Top it with fresh cut mango cubes.
Pour cream.
Add chopped apples. Top it with scoops of jelly.
Pour cream.
Decorate the top layer as you like with cherries, dry nuts, jelly and squashes.

Gorgeous

Once again, the judges appreciated the decoration and those pretty spoon flowers made by my team mate ๐Ÿ™‚

Side Dish : Cous Cous Hota Hai
Ingredients :
1 packet (250 gm) Couscous
Capsicums : Red, Green and Yellow.
2-3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2-3 lemons
1 cup chopped cabbage
2-3 chopped babycorns
1 chopped tomato
1/2 cup cream cheese (Amul cheesespread would do)
1/2 cup olives (green and black). Set aside a few for decoration.
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1 packet Tortilla chips

Procedure:
Soak the Couscous in boiled water with half a lemon, 1 teaspoon Extra virgin olive oil and salt to taste.
Set it aside.
Finely chop halves of the green, yellow and red capsicums.Add them to a bowl. Add the juice of 1 lemon to it.
Chop the babycorns, olives and tomatoes to the capsicum. Toss it well.
Add the cream cheese to this mixture so that the vegetables are evenly covered.
Add the couscous. Mix well.
The mixture should be in ‘upma’ consistency. Since our dish was served to the judges an hour after it was prepared, it had dried out.
To prevent this, you can also add a spoon of salad dressing to the mixture.
Chop the cabbage and the rest of the capsicums.
Add the couscous mixture to the centre of the serving dish. Surround it with the chopped cabbage and capsicum mix.
Surround the cabbage with the Tortilla chips.
Top the couscous with olives for decoration.
Drizzle some olive oil over the mixture just before serving.

CousCous Hota Hai !

Thankfully, the judges had heard of couscous (unlike the rest of the populace who kept wondering what this secret item is all about. Once the judges left our table (after spending less than 5 mins with us), the audience demolished the couscous in minutes ๐Ÿ™‚

Frankly, we were disappointed by the judges’ reactions. They spent far more time on other people’s tables than our’s. In fact, we had to force them to take at least a bite of the dessert ๐Ÿ˜ . There were other tables where the judges had spent close to 20 mins!! We were a little disappointed initially but our mood was cheered up instantly when we saw that our entire project team had come to cheer us on ๐Ÿ˜€

These were some of the dishes made by other teams :-

As you can see, these dishes were far more attractive and tempting than our’s. When the results were announced (starting from the two consolation and 3 positions), we were expecting the above entries to win. After the consolation prizes were called out, we dropped all pretense of expecting anything. It was clear that if we didn’t get the consolation, we weren’t getting anything! After the 2nd Runner up was announced, we even turned back to clean up our table and wrap up for the day.

So you can imagine our delight when at the 1st runner up position, our team was announced ๐Ÿ™‚

The trophy and the smiles ๐Ÿ™‚

The medal and the Trophy

It was much later that I found out the true reasons for our winย  Teamwork + Effort + Taste !!

The judges were impressed with the efficiency with which we three went about our work.

Preparing the ingredients for chaat

They appreciated our neat table and the extra work we had put in. Most of the other teams had come prepared beforehand. Like the two dishes above. They were prepared at home and decorated during the competition. We were the diligent ones to actually start from scratch, right from peeling onions to plucking coriander ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyhow, this win would have been impossible without the contribution and efforts of Dich and RuSo.

So thanks Girls…it was wonderful to be a part of your team ๐Ÿ™‚

Love you all ๐Ÿ™‚



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We Won! We Won!! We Won!!!

We didn’t come first though.
But we did come in SECOND!!!
๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
*skipping around my cubicle*
Yay Yay Yippee Yippee Yay Yay!!!

Whew!
*gasp*
*Wheeze*
*Plonking on my chair*
Doesn’t suit my age to skip so much ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I’m off on a tangent here and I’m sure most of you would wonder what I’m rambling about !
Let me clarify. We had a cooking competition at work. After a lot of ‘hmmmm’ and ‘hawwww’ I registered my name along with two more members (Thanks DiCh and RuSo).
The rules were such :-
– No in-flammables allowed (no gas, no induction plates, no electric cookers, etc)
– No completely cooked product from home (partially boiled stuff allowed).
– Two dishes : 1 Mocktail and 1 Chaat (of our choice).
– Points for presentation, cleanliness and team-work.
– 1 Hour to prepare everything.
The second round had the same rules but different menu – 1 Dessert and a side-dish of our choice.
Needless to say, we barely knew any dishes that didn’t require cooking in the conventional way ๐Ÿ˜ . Somehow, we rustled up these in the two rounds :-
1 Mocktail : Splitzy Splash
1 Chaat : Jhatpat Chatpat
1 Dessert : Gorge-ous
1 Side-Dish : Cous Cous Hota Hai.

Apparently, the judges liked our efforts enough to award us the second place (out of 10 teams ๐Ÿ˜€ ).

Right now I’m too caught up with completing the work I ignored in the frenzy of the competition.
I’m getting back to my excels and reports now…..For the snaps and detailed recipes of all these dishes, will do another post ;).
Please do come back ๐Ÿ™‚

Love,



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Of ALL the months in a year, I guess I’m least inclined towards the month of June! For as far as I can remember, June is the month when –
* Vacations get over and school starts *groan*
* We move to a new classroom (usually a dump after the seniors vacate it), make new friends and start getting used to new teachers.
* It starts raining.
* People normally fall ill.
* There are no occasions to bunk the routine. No festivals, weddings or celebrations.
* There is very little fish ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Needless to say, most of my grumbles rise from school perspective. Continuing on the second point – Dad’s transfers ensured we entered a new school every 2-3 years. I was apprehensive about the first day at school even when I joined a new one when in 12th! And we know how that went!!

Earlier, this sinking feeling was mine alone, but lately,I think I harbor the same sentiment for my kids! Right now, the kids aren’t complaining about the new classroom or new teacher or new friends, or the rain or the fish for that matter!!! But they’re my kids! So I expect them to be expert cribbers in a couple of year’s time ๐Ÿ˜€
They have the liberty to enjoy themselves!! They aren’t the ones who have to cover a zillion books in brown paper and label them ๐Ÿ˜ . And just when I send those books to school, their teacher sends a note that the books aren’t covered in transparent plastic !!
For Gosh’s sake!! They’re covered!! Isn’t that enough?? The books will only leave the school when the kids move to the next grade, sometime next year. What on earth do they want the plastics for?!!
*grumble grumble*
Anyhow, back to June.
I’ve never liked this month much. More so lately. It is supposed to rain. I like the rain. What I don’t like is the waiting one has to do for it! Every day, the skies are overcast, the day is gloomy and hot and we have no rain. Each time we look up, it seems as though it would rain, but it doesn’t. The only water-fall that occurs, erupts from a million pores in the form of sweat. Most people become walking water-fountains ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
In my bike’s dicky (who ever coined this term, pray tell me ๐Ÿ˜ ) I carry a jacket (for short rainy spells) and a raincoat for longer rainy spells. But since the sun still blazes in all its glory, I need to carry a scarf, gloves and glares. In short, my dicky (eeks!! I need to find a new name for it ASAP!!) is stuffed to the brim with rain essentials, so my purse now dangles on the bike handles and the helmet rests on the foot-rest (Oops!! Sorry Bro. I do wear it , I swear, right before entering the office gates and just before exiting them ๐Ÿ˜ !!! )

The only plus point till now is that there is a constant breeze all around. So even if we have a power cut or the sun is blazing down, there’s a nice cool breeze blowing away to cool those frayed nerves. Now, I like the breeze….but not when it turns into one of those whooshing gusts which whip your clothes off the clotheline to deposit it nicely in the middle of the road (reachable) or at the roof edge of a nearby building (unreachable). “Why not put a clothes-pin, then?”, you wonder to yourself as you read this part. And I would say, “I’d LOVE to, if only the Terrible-Two hadn’t already demolished a few and thrown away the rest ๐Ÿ˜ ” !! A clothespin is the LAST thing you would find intact in the MomOfRS household.
*Sigh*
I hate this month. I seriously do.

The reason this rant came up is that we had a team lunch yesterday (So??!!)
Well, we went to this reputed Sea-Food restaurant near my office. It usually has some awesome, fresh sea-food. But yesterday was an unlucky day for me, I guess. The fish we ordered didn’t smell very good ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . Clearly, the specimen was either dead before being picked out from the waters or was definitely waaaaaay past its prime. There’s a reason we are advised against eating fish in the months that don’t have an ‘r’ in them :(.
I know, I know! July and August don’t have an ‘r’ in them either!
But they have RAIN!!!!
June, I hate you so much!!!
*Sob*
*Sniff* Sorry folks….I haven’t been myself lately. Its all this stress over the uncovered books (two weeks past their submission dates), the production deployment at work (this weekend) and the cookery competition finals (Today)!!
So wish me luck to get through the day!

BTW, the post on the first round is due. Will do it once we get through today. I’ll club the items and recipes of both the rounds in the same post. Along with the pictures. Of course ๐Ÿ™‚
Till then you all, be Good ๐Ÿ˜‰



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Comments Unanswered

Dear Friends-Who-Comment-On-This-Blog,

I sincerely apologize for not replying to your comments. The comments section is piling up every day and though I wish to approve and reply to all, I’m unable to do so. WordPress (or whatever of it is allowed at work) does not permit me to approve comments ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . It doesn’t allow me to reply to comments ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . Heck! It doesn’t even allow me to write comments on other people’s posts !!
I don’t know about you all, but if any of my comments went unanswered, I’d feel a bit peeved at being ignored like this. I can very well imagine what you all must be thinking. Believe me, its something out of my control.
I kindly request you to wait till this weekend , when I can get a chance to reply to you all. Till then, please do not stop dropping by :).

Love you all ๐Ÿ™‚



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Rude Awakening

Imagine this โ€“

You have a cookery competition at work. Youโ€™ve done everything you possibly could have and tentatively wait for the judges to arrive. They finally come to your table, which, incidentally is the LAST one in the row. The judges are already stuffed to the gills and you have this sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that far from delivering a just verdict on your dishes, the judges are barely capable of inserting another morsel of food in their mouths.
The judges stand there, peering at your plates and then give you a glare. It is immensely difficult to fathom what goes on behind those beady eyes and flushed cheeks. One of them tentatively picks up one item and brings it to his mouth. You can see the hesitation, the reluctance, the sheer effort to control the surge of nausea as they have to perform their duty. You know, even before they are capable of taking that bite that things are not working in your favour. Your team-mates look just as glum. You stand there with your head bowed, praying for them to just leave, before any one of them indeed throws up! Itโ€™s a scary thought, but you really donโ€™t want any projectiles landing on the fruits of your labour ๏‹
Somehow, the seconds seems to drag endlessly. Then you see another chubby arm reaching out for another bite. Then another. And another.
Your head whips up in time to see the most satisfied look on the judges face. If souls could preen, yours did exactly that. Though stuffed, the judges cannot seem to get enough of your dishes. You hand them more. They gulp in delight, like little children lost in Candy land. Your team mates shake hands and thump you in the back. Theyโ€™ve been green with worry throughout the day. It is clear that the judges LOVED your dishes. You patiently wait for them to finish, letting them take their own sweet time to demolish whatever youโ€™ve made. Its an effort well spent.
The others send envious looks your way. You donโ€™t care. It is obvious whom the judges favour . It is no longer a secret. You stand there patiently, waiting for the verdict, which you already know by now. One of the judges extends his hand for a bite, alas, the plate is empty. You look down at it disappointed and then meet eyes with the judge. You send a smile in apology. The judge isnโ€™t buying it. It is a tad late for you to react, but frankly, that punch that landed on your face just wasnโ€™t expected, was it??
You gasp in shock, fear and pain. Your nose hurts a lot more than you ever expected. Unexpected tears trickle down your eyes. You shake your head to clear the haze. The lights have disappeared. It is dark. You wonder if youโ€™ve lost your sight along with your nose. A curtain ruffles in the breeze. The haze clears.
You are in your bed. You daughter has just delivered a well-aimed kick at your nose. Her foot resides just inches from your face, ready to cause pain if she bothers to turn in her sleep. You crawl out of bed, only to find that you landed on the floor even before you could crawl two steps. The haze is definitely clearer now. You stand up to survey the damage. The nose, thankfully, is intact. No bleeding diagnosed.
You turn to the wardrobe mirror and laugh stupidly. Some crazy dream, that.
You make some space on the bed, shift your son and daughter into a better position and then cuddle down with them.
You canโ€™t sleep.
The competition is still on tomorrow and you dread the judges once more ๏Œ
And that is how, I spent last night and got up this morning!!

Hope you guys had a better start to the day ๏Š



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//For some unknown reason, my images refuse to get displayed on this page. WordPress is acting Wonky but I cant really blame it because my office firewall is playing truant ๐Ÿ˜ . Kindly adjust ๐Ÿ™‚ //

A funny thing happened a couple of days back.

I was at the chemists store, waiting to get a box of Pediasure for the twins (highly recommended by the pediatrician!). A man walked in and this is the conversation between him and the shop attendant(SA) –

Man : Do you have face cream?

SA : Yes sir. Which one do you want?

Man :ย  (looking around vaguely) Just anything….any plain face cream for men.

SA : (Dumping a few brands on the counter) Take this, Emami skin cream.

 

Man : (giving an embarrassed laugh) No no. I don’t want fairness cream. I just want any normal skin cream.

SA: Garnier sir?

 

Man : (Taking a look at the Garnier box ) I said I don’t want fairness creams. I don’t intend painting my face white!

SA : Sir , we have just these two and Vaseline.

Man : Give me Vaseline.

(The shop assistant hands over the tube of Vaseline face cream)

 

Man : Oh No!! Yeh bhi whitening?!!! Don’t you have any normal cream??

SA : Sorry sir….we have onlyย  these creams ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

(A helpful lady, overhearing this conversation, pipped in)

HL : Why don’t you try Vicco?

Man : Vicco?? Isn’t that a toothpaste?

(Clearly, this man must have been an NRI!! Imagine, living in India and never hearing of Vicco Turmeric :O !!)

SA : (Placing a tube of Vicco turmeric on the counter) You can try this Sir…very herbal, good for skin.

 

By this time, even I was quite piqued by the array of face creams.

Me :ย  (to SA) Whats this “WSO” in this cream?

SA : Its for “Without Sandalwood Oil”.

Me : Oh!

Man : Oh!

HL : Oh!

Man : …And, how does that help?

SA : No idea sir. But regular use of this cream will make you fairer. The turmeric is for fairness.

Man : AAAARRRGGGHHHH!! Isn’t there just one simple cream that I can use?? How about Nivea??

SA : Sorry sir, we are out of stock.

Me : (taking serious pity on the guy’s plight) Why don’t you try Boroline?

SA : Yessir. Very nice fragrant cream.

(And he dumps the dark-green tube on the counter)

 

Man : I hope this isn’t a fairness cream ๐Ÿ˜

SA : (laughing ) He he!! Why you need fairness cream sir?! You are already very fair.

Man : ๐Ÿ˜

Me : ๐Ÿ˜

HL : |

SA : Ohh sorry, you don’t want fairness cream!! But we get demand only for whitening creams sir…thats why we have to keep it. Everyone wants to become fair now! He heย  ๐Ÿ˜€ !!

Man : (paying for the tube of Boroline and turning to me) Thanks.

Me : You are welcome.

The man left the store, but I was left with many a questions in my mind.

Firstly, why indeed are Indians crazy about becoming ‘white’ ??

Why do movie stars, who are already fair, have to endorse fairness products? Do they really believe in the product? Are they aware of the psychological impact their actions have on millions??ย  Do they feel accountable for what they do?

Why do men have to look pretty ALL the time?? Is it a crime if they sweat at a game of tennis??

Why do women have to be white ALL OVER?? Earlier it used to be just about the face. Now they’ve gone into regions which are best not mentioned ๐Ÿ˜ !!

A long time back, when we were looking for proposals for my sisters, I remember guffawing at the “wanted brides” section. “Tall, fair, convent educated….” , went the requirement list. Some people, who wanted to clarify that by fair they didn’t means the bride’s sense of justice, would word their requirements as ,”Tall, gori, convent educated….”.

“You know Dad, going by this list, I will never get married through the arranged marriage system ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ” , I once confessed to Pop.

“Hmmpphh”, was all he said, busy with his morning papers. Obviously, his daughter’s marital prospects were of least concern to him ๐Ÿ˜

It wasn’t so funny when we had people coming over to our place and then rejecting my sisters because they didn’t find them fair enough! For the record, one of my sister is just short of being milky-white and the other was fairer than the term “wheatish”. In such demands of ‘white’, what hope did I have? Luckily, the BF (who is around 8 shades lighter than me) never bothered about the colour of my skin. Just as well ๐Ÿ™‚ …it isn’t even a topic of discussion between us…has never been!!

My sisters finally got married to men who saw beyond their skin colour. I’m glad to say, they have perfect spouses (touch wood). Conversely, my bhabhi (who is around 15 shades lighter than my brother) never bothered that Bro was three shades lighter than Rajnikant! All my siblings had arranged marriages. They all get along fabulously with their spouses. And I’m sure, none of them would ever, EVER suggest the other to use any kind of so-called skin whitening products.

Then who uses them??

The people whoย  use these creams are the impressionable youth.

It is used by youngsters fresh out of college or young men/women available on the marriage market. It is used by young men who are advised that girls are attracted to only the fairest amongst them. Young girls use it believing that the same expectations rise from the guys.

It is used by youngsters who are easily influenced into believing that to achieve ANY success in life, they have to look fair. That employers are more impressed with their glowing looks than their capabilities.

Every time such an advertisement played on the telly, I would have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. My kids are not fair, but given the societal expectations, I’ll have a tough time helping them build their personalities without worrying about the color of their skin. I’m already mad at that unknown person who put it in Lui’s mind that she is not fair enough and if she wants to be, she needs to use a ‘fairness cream’. So every time those dumb ads come on screen, my daughter demands that I buy her that very cream because she needs to become fairer. Any amount of counseling on the lies perpetrated by those ads, falls on deaf ears.

“Woh aunty gorey-gorey ho gaye na. Mujhe bhi hona hai”, is her stubborn claim.

Keeping the telly switched off around the twins is the best option possible.

The only bright spark in this gloom of fairness is the latest WHO report on the use of Mercury for skin lightening (Read more here :-ย http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs361/en/ ). The article lists out the various harmful effects of mercury. Among the list of common culprits using mercury are (from the site)ย  :-

  • batteries
  • measuring devices, such as thermometers and barometers
  • electric switches and relays in equipment
  • lamps (including some types of light bulbs)
  • dental amalgam (for dental fillings)
  • skin-lightening products and other cosmetics
  • pharmaceuticals

“……….Inorganic mercury is added to some skin-lightening products in significant amounts. Many countries have banned mercury-containing skin-lightening products because they are hazardous to human health.”

Obviously, India is NOT one of those countries. I doubt whether the Government itself would think of pulling down the shutters on a 2000 crore industry (and growing), if these reports are to be believed :-

Skin whitening trend driving male cosmetic market in India

“……Having amassed a dominant share in the Indian menโ€™s cosmetics market, fairness creams are emerging as a key trend in the country according to a new market report.”

http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Market-Trends/Skin-whitening-trend-driving-male-cosmetic-market-in-India

 

Though this is a serious reason for concern, I don’t blame the men for wanting to look good. Women have been at the receiving end of being psyched out into believing that they are the ugliest, fattest, darkest damsels on the planet. Clever money-making manufacturers of fairness products have just shifted the focus on to the men now. The men have, unfortunately, bitten the bait ๐Ÿ˜ฆ .

If the above news reports on Indian male cosmetics market is true, then what can I say guys?!

Join the club ๐Ÿ˜

(You know when I’ll be like, REALLY worried?? When they start making sanitary napkins for the men ๐Ÿ˜ )

*EGAD!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO *

Anyhow, to end this post, I would like to say that I personally know a couple of girls who used skin whitening creams right before their marriage (as insisted on by the in-laws/family members) and ended up with severe skin rashes. Believe me, their wedding snaps weren’t very pretty ๐Ÿ˜ .

The only way to reduce the usage of these harmful products is to spread awareness. If you see people around you using them, ask them politely why they want to use a fairness cream. I tried it with the nanny. She was flustered for a minute, then sheepishly admitted that she thought she would look fairer. I asked her then if she has found any difference from before. As expected her reply was a simple ‘No’. I then told her to stop wasting her money on it and she hasn’t used it since. Believe me, she looks much better now ๐Ÿ™‚ .

I only pray that this fetish for ‘fairness’ dies a natural death one day, preferably before my kids hit puberty !

On that note, have a great week ahead you all ๐Ÿ™‚

Ciao!!

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….that I’m doing the right thing, my son goes and burns his finger onย  the hot tawa at the day-care lady’s house ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

When I called her, she apologized profusely. I know it isn’t really her fault. The twins can be a handful most of the times and it is very difficult to believe what move they will make , when.

Somehow, Shobby burning his finger at home will not have me fretting so much! But because he burnt it while at a place where I thought he would be safe, I’m once again jittery and nervous ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

God!!!

Seriously…this parenting jig is far more complicated than I bargained for ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

 

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The Day Care

Yesterday, the twins spent their first day at the day-care.

Now, this isn’t a professional day-care center. The woman who runs it is in her fifties (if I’m not wrong :|), is single and has a daughter who is pursuing her MBA.

The lady is an ex-school teacher who has been conducting tuitions to support herself and her daughter. We needed someplace where we can leave the kids between 2-6pm, that is, after their school gets over and the in-laws get back from work. Leaving them home was an option but we weren’t comfortable with the idea of leaving the kids alone with the nanny. The girl (the nanny), a slip of a thing, tends to sleep deeply, so deep in fact that many a times we’ve found the kids prancing around the house whereas she is deep asleep inside. As long as there were other adults in the house, it was okay. Now, there is no one ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . Thats the major reason we thought of keeping the kids someplace where they can be watched over all the time.

I’ve mentioned in some posts before, about my futile efforts in hunting for a day care. There isnโ€™t a single one near my place, not surprising, since itโ€™s a purely residential area. Itโ€™s kind of funny, that we found out about this lady just the day before the twin’s school was to start ๐Ÿ˜

I met up withย  the lady first, then the MIL accompanied me to settle on the payments and then I took the kids to meet her. One thing that did strike me was that the lady and her daughter were kind, but firm in their handling of the twins. When her daughter raised her voice at Lui who was jumping over the sofa, I’ll confess I felt bad. But more than that, I realized that so bratty had my daughter become lately that nothing we said or did made any difference to her. A little stern treatment would do her some good.

And that is exactly what each one of us kept re-assuring the other about yesterday.

 

MIL : I don’t like it….feeling bad….its not good to keep children away…..kya karein?…..lekin zaroori hai.

FIL : I don’t approve. What is the need?? We can call my sister again…let her stay with us….now you realize the importance of my mother?!….

BIL : I wonder how the kids are faring…..

BFย  : I don’t like it….am upset…..what if they ill-treat the kids….poor Shobby….he has to suffer because of Lui….she’s a brat…but yeah, she needs some discipline…my babies…I don’t like it.

Me ย : *call up daycare*….did the driver bring in the kids on time?…

ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  ย *call up nanny*…what?? shobby was crying??…

ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  ย *call up BF*….they’ll take some time to adjust..

ย ย ย ย ย ย  ย  *call up daycare*…are the kids having something to eat?…..

ย ย ย ย ย  ย ย  *call up MIL*…Lui seems to be doing just fine…..

ย ย ย ย ย ย  ย  *call up nanny* pick the kids….

ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  ย *call up day-care*…hope they didn’t trouble much….

ย ย ย ย ย  ย ย  *call up MIL* …did they reach?…

ย ย ย ย ย  ย ย  *call up BF*…they’ve come home….

BFย  : I don’t like it yaar ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Meย  : Me too ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

 

And so, we’ve all been going back and forth on our decision to put the kids in day-care !

As of now, they haven’t been scarred or anything. The only thing Lui complained about was that the aunty scolded her. But I know that my daughter can test the patience of a saint, so I don’t blame the aunty right-away. The lady is used to handling little children and I’m sure I’ll see positive results shortly.

On that positive note, I’ll try and get through another day, even as my mind diverts itself involuntarily, wondering how the kids will fare today ๐Ÿ˜ . I know that this arrangement will be best for them and us. We can go about our work without the constant nagging worry of what the twins would be up to or how the nanny is treating them. Plus, the twins will learn to behave and eat (two things that the daycare lady has promised to instill in the kids). As of now, they are both fussy eaters and tend to boss others around !

It is 3 pm now and I’ve made only two calls (to home) and one chat (with BF). Still resisting the urge to call up the day-care. Shouldn’t sound too uncertain about them, I think. We need to get through this month before finalizing on our decision to continue further.

Hmmpphh!!

I wonder why we are all getting so sentimental about the day care !

Its not as if we are cutting off the proverbial umbilical cord or something! We are just keeping the kids in a different place till their grandparents come home.

Why then, is it so difficult to accept itย  ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ?!!

 

 

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