Archive for September, 2012

An Unexpected Outcome……

of my previous post was that the BF is in a fix. The issue I mentioned, kind of snowballed into something bigger than anticipated and though I stand by what I had written, I now cannot ignore the possible threat of the BF having to face some uncomfortable questions coming from the concerned quarters.

I hereby felt that it is best to lay low for a while (the post will come up again some day, but not today 🙂 ). Thank you all for reading and commenting on it. I’m glad that we are all on consensus on how really such lay-offs should be handled. Hopefully, we haven’t really become as ‘western’ as the West and have a little compassion left in us 🙂

On that note, have a great day you all 🙂

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A Birthday Just Passed By

We turned Three yesterday.

Not the twins. The Blog and Me. We turned three.

Somehow, the date, 9th Sep, just didn’t register when I woke up yesterday. And this morning, as I saw the calendar in my Outlook, I got the proverbial flash of tube-lights coming on in my head.

Oh My Gosh!!

I missed my own blog’s birthday!!

Not that the blog was complaining or anything…but still!!

A quick look at the stats and the comments assured me that total number of hits I’ve received in these three years is far lesser than what most of you get in one month, or a week, or a day.

Yet, to all those who dropped by, I am indebted, for letting us live 🙂 . If not for you, I’d have quit ages ago (me being the procrastination queen after all 😐 )

On that note, I do hope you all come back again and we shall continue to ponder over the mysteries of life, universe and everything.

The answer, by the way, is 42 😀

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Note : This is not a paid plug for LifeCell 😀 😀 😀

I just remembered it today when I saw the folder containing the receipts of my payment for banking the umbilical stem cells for the twins.

It was my Bhabhi who first opted for it in our family. Bro didnt have much of a clue, but Bhabhi being a doctor, decided on it. When I was pregnant, I never thought about this, but then, one day I saw an advertisement in a magazine and was bowled over. I mean, here was a sureshot way to ensure treatment in case your child ever encountered any major illness after birth. We checked the site. We called the representatives to our house for a demo. We checked out the videos, spoke to Bhabhi and a few doctors, browsed for all available information on the net and finally made a decision. A couple of years later, Bags made the same decision.
A little background on stem cells, from their website –
“Stem cells are the body’s “master” cells that regenerate and turn into the cells that form all of the tissues, organs, and systems in the human body. Given the right environment, stem cells can give rise to a number of tissues that constitute the different organs.  Also serving as a kind of repair system for the body, stem cells can divide repeatedly and then differentiate and replenish cells within the body. These unique characteristics are the reason why stem cells are considered a breakthrough in regenerative medicine. They have the potential for providing cells and tissues to treat various debilitating, life-threatening diseases.”
Check out the list of diseases that are curable through stem cells here :- http://www.lifecellinternational.com/treatable-diseases.aspx

We went ahead with the stem cell banking at the time of delivery.
Surprisingly, my gynaec had no idea about LifeCell and its benefits. When I called up LifeCell’s branch in Pune, they immediately sent a representative to the doctor’s clinic to brief them about he procedure. My doctor was suitably impressed and even went ahead with suggesting it to her other clients.
We were given the boxes months in advance. I immediately kept the gel packs in the freezer and the boxes on the table. I warned everyone at home, that the minute I land up in the hospital, they’d have to rush there with the boxes and the gel packs. The nurse’s (from LifeCell) number was set on speed dial. My delivery was scheduled for 9am on 18th Nov (through C-Sec). But the lead surgeon was not available until 3pm. In that duration, there were many hoax instances when it appeared that the surgeon had come. I must have called up home a hundred times to say, “get the boxes” and “no no, don’t get them now. Keep them back”. The BIL must have rued bitterly about volunteering to fetch the lifecell kits and frozen gel packs to the hospital right before my surgery!
Finally, when I was called in for the prep, I made a final call home and begged the BIL to rush to the clinic ASAP.  The BF, poor soul, was stuck in a meeting with a visiting client and urged me to take it cool and not rush until he  came in. As if it was in my hands 😐
Post prep, I was led to the operation theater. I grinned my way in, totally kicked about getting the immense weight off my tummy 🙂 . When I walked in, I didn’t find a nice and quiet, squeaky place stuffed with equipments. I mean, it was clean and squeaky and there were equipments. Its just that, with the circus in there, I could barely make out any :|!! I  mean, excluding me, there was a plethora of doctors and nurses assembled . Wasn’t it a routine C-sec?, I wanted to ask my gynaec. But they were all so busy chatting among themselves that no one paid even the slightest attention to the specimen lying on the table. Me 😐
In between, the BF barged into the operation theater, wild-eyed and frantic.
“Don’t worry”, he mumbled, too shocked on seeing an operation theater for the first time and also disconcerted at the crowd in there.
“I won’t”, I assured him as the nurses hustled him out. Frankly, I just wasn’t worried. I knew I was in safe hands and I didnt have a single negative thought at all 🙂

For the record, there were 9 people in the op-theater, excluding me. There was my gynaec, the anesthesiologist, the lead surgeon, his assistant, the pediatrician, a back-from-Australia-doctor who wanted to observe a twin-delivery, two nurses of the clinic and the nurse from LifeCell.
Initially, the other doctors had no idea what the LifeCell nurse was there for. One of them asked her and she started explaining the concept. Eventually, the doctors lost all interest in me and started bombarding her with questions. In my limp state, I could not help but fret that the doctors were paying far too much attention to the nurse than the tummy they had just split open. I got a small glimpse of the surgeon as he rapidly sewed the tummy in place, all the while checking out the pros and cons of stem cell banking (i’m glad to say, its all Pro and no cons. Unless you consider good health a con. Its your choice, really :|) .  A tiny peek from under the eye-patches and I could see the surgeon deftly sewing up the gash. I surmised that the baby-pulling-out-slapping-bottom routine was completed. Twice 🙂 . Surprisingly, though the kids yelled out loud and clear (as vouched by those outside the theater) I don’t have any recollection of the sound 😦
The umbilical cord blood was drained into blood packs and encased between the frozen gel packs, the boxes were couriered to Chennai, where the LifeCell facility is.We received news of the successful blood typing and stem cell extraction within a month of delivery (Lui is O+ like me and Shobby is A+ like his father. There, we distributed
evenly amongst us, didn’t we? 🙂 🙂 )

The LifeCell stem cell storage facility is expensive. A little steep, if you consider that you may never actually need the extracted stem cells yourself. But if not you, any other member of the family can benefit from it ( you need to do the HLA matching first) if suffering from the list of ailments given above. A small excerpt on HLA typing from the website :-
“HLA antigens are proteins found in most cells in our body. Our immune system uses these proteins or markers to recognize which cells belong in our body and which do not. If the immune system determines a cell as not belonging to the body, the cell is attacked. Thus, HLA typing is done to reduce the risk of the transplanted stem cell being attacked by the immune system of the recipient. A close match between the patient’s HLA antigens and the donor’s can reduce the risk of the patient’s immune cells attacking the donor’s cells or vice versa. HLA typing is usually done for all allogeneic transplants, using a blood sample.
There are 6 HLA markers that are matched. For a successful transplant, at least 4 of these 6 markers must match. In some cases even a 3/6 match has been successful. However, it is best to have 4 or more markers that match as it reduces the risk of graft versus host disease”.

Lisa Ray, who suffered from Multiple Myeloma, was successfully treated using stem cell therapy. It just made me all the more glad that I had opted for it. More so, because it was the ONLY chance I had of securing a health insurance for my kids. Their stem cells will not generate again (except Lui, she still has a chance in future :-http://www.lifecellfemme.com/index.aspx). If the children or anyone else in the family never need it (InshaAllah), then I also have the chance to donate the stem cells to others who do need it. Or, I can allow LifeCell to use them for further research.
The reason I started typing this post was because I’ve seen so many of my friends going through pregnancies and deliveries, but no one seems to opt for this procedure 😐  (it isn’t altogether unaffordable). We suffer from far more lifestyle illnesses than ever before, with diabetes ruling the roost in India. I have friends from by office batch, who each suffers an ailment greater than the other. I’m at present , much better than them, but its just a matter of time before age catches up. By the time our kids grow up, I wonder what else we’ll have to encounter. Good health isn’t a given anymore.

So now, People who have opted for LifeCell, do let me know what you think about it.
People who had considered and then backed out, please let me know why you weren’t convinced enough.
People who are interested, do check out this site :- http://www.lifecellinternational.com.
And once more, I wasn’t paid to write this post. I have an uncle who has severe diabetes. The doctors say that his kidneys/liver aren’t up to the mark. There is a chance that his family contemplates stem cell therapy in the future. When that happens and they need a donor, they needn’t look far 🙂

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I think I’m the epitome of embarrassment.
There is something about me which begs embarrassment to come and hug me. Not only that, I’ve given the dear Em a place of permanent residence on my countenance.
The BF, aware of my predilection, choses to ignore it …well most of the time.
Other times, he’s busy bearing the brunt of it.
Once such incident, which came to my mind this morning will clarify my point further.
The year was 2005. Just a few months before, I had confessed to my parents about my undying love for the BF.

Actually, I didn’t. I just told them that I was ‘interested’ in marrying this guy, IF they approved 😀
Mom put the onus of decision on Dad.
Dad, being dad ( 🙄 ) had to say NO! I mean, what kind of a father gives a “Ja, Jee le apni zindagi” kind of approval when the daughter, the apple of his eye, the youngest of his off springs, drops in at his workplace one evening and drops the bombshell?? Tell,tell??
Anyhow, so Dad gave an outright NO. I realized I had some major brainwashing to do and decided to move to Bangalore, just so you know, I could be by his side and pester him into acceptance 😀 . It took time and I started seeing the first few signs of him thawing. Never the one to let an opportunity pass by, I rang up the BF and informed him about the update. The BF, bless his torn jeans, wasn’t really over the moon, but yeah, he cheered up a wee bit. Barely 😐

In between, BFS dropped in to B’lore for a visit and we had a great week together. During one of our shopping expeditions at Pantaloons, I found this really cool offer where they were giving away two T-shirts for the price of one.
Ek par ek free!! (If you know me even a wee bit by now, you’d know its my life’s mantra!) I simply HAD to buy them shirts. Purchase done, I asked the cashier to gift-wrap one. Handing it over to BFS I asked her to personally deliver it to the love of my life. She hugged me and promised that she would do exactly that 🙂 . Not hug the BF silly, hand over the T-shirt!
A few months went by. Dad had to make a trip to Pune, some stuff to be brought down to Pune for Bag’s wedding I suppose. I called up the BF and asked him to contact Dad on his arrival and be as much help as possible.
“I’m working, you know”, the BF lovingly informed me.
“Err yeah. Dad will be there this weekend. Make sure you take out some time for him”.
“Hmmphhh…the stuff I have to do for you….”!!
“Hey, it’s not as if you are sacrificing you weekend cricket match or your sleep?! Actually, you are, but what the hell! You love me no??” I wheedled.
Convinced that he had no option but to butter up the future pa-in-law, the BF got up early, shaved ( *gasp* on a weekend!!), put on his new shirt(gifted by his beloved) and went to do the needful.
*Ding Dong*
Dad opens the door.
The BF says it was a good 5 minutes that the two men stood there looking at each other. I’m sure he exaggerates. So what if both of them were wearing identical T-shirts?!! In my lah-di-dah way, I had gifted the other T-shirt to Dad, never assuming that there would be a day when he and the BF would end up wearing it in each other’s presence 😐
It’s a good thing that Dad didn’t hate the BF or anything…..else, the situation could have taken a much worse turn. BF says he was never more mortified in his entire life!! Both he and my Dad were tongue-tied, not sure what to say to the other, since both of them were wearing the same shirt gifted by the one who loved them both. Me 🙂
In a way, I think it worked out for the best, maybe they both saw that they had something in common after all 🙂

The rest of the morning was rather awkward. Dad needed the BF’s help in moving some luggage around. Some relatives who had come to visit Dad commented on how he and the BF were wearing the same shirts. Neither the BF nor Dad bothered to reply to those comments (Somehow, I’m tickled pick just thinking about that scene 😀 )

But yeah, one of life’s lessons I’ve learned is that never ever buy the same coloured T-shirt if buying two for the price of one!

(As for ek-par-ek-free offers, go for it dude 😀 !!)

Saves one a lot of embarrassment in the long run 😉


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Stumped and Stupefied

I just realized that its been ages, simply AGES since I posted anything about the twins 😐
Its a different matter that they are growing up (figuratively, since Shobby refuses to budge upwards 😐 ) so fast that I’m having trouble keeping pace with the rapidity of their thoughts. Add to it, their intense desire to speak only in English (more broken than a smashed cup of tea) and I’m left either gurgling with laugther, or stupefied.

Its mostly the latter, obviously.
So there we are, getting ready to sleep and I yell out to the kids, “Come here, you both. Come, so jayenge”.
So little Shobby runs up to me and says, “No mumma….not say ‘so jayenge’. Say ‘Come to the sleep’ “.
Me : Erm…hehe!! Right.
Shobby : No mumma, aap bolo. Say, Come…..
Me : Come…..
Shobby : Tooooo…
Me : Tooo…
Shobby : The….
Me : You don’t need ‘the’. Just say “Come to sleep”.
Shobby : No mumma. Aapko nahin aata. Say, ‘Come…..’
Me : 🙄 Not again.
Shobby : Jaldi bolo mumma…..sone ka time ho gaya hai.
Me : 😐
Lui was dilly-dallying in the morning and I was running after her, urging her to hurry up and get into the bathroom.
Me : We’re late sweety, jaldi karo. c’mon, remove your panty.
Lui : Not say panty mumma, say unna-waaayyy.
Me : Underwear.
Lui : No. Unnawaay, UNNA-WAAYY.
Me : Thats what I said, underwear.
Lui : No Mumma,say Unna..
Me : Unna..
Lui : Waaa..
Me : waaa..
Lui : Ayyyy..
Me : Ayyyy…
Lui : Unna-waayyy.
Me : Unna-waayy.
Lui : Wow mumma! Good Job.
Me : 😐
I had to pull down some stuff from the top of the cupboard where I had shoved it a few weeks back. The chair which I used to keep in my room was missing. So I asked Shobbs to hunt for it. He came back saying that there was one chair in the FIL’s room. I told him to check if there was another in the BIL’s room. Shobs ran to the BIL’s room and when he didn’t return a minute later, I thought he must have forgotten about it and would have gone to play with his sister in the drawing room.
So you can imagine my surprise when I went to the BIL’s room and found my little midget struggling with dragging the chair out.
Me : Shobby, what are you doing? Stop. I’ll take the chair.
Shobby : Mumma, aap hato. Aapko lag jayega. Yeh chair heavy hai. Aap room mein jao, mai lekar aata hoon.
Me : Sobby sweety, you will get hurt.
shobby : Nahin mumma, aap girl ho na, aap ko lag jayega. Aap jao, mai lekar aata hoon.
And much as I worried about him tripping and landing with the heavy chair on him, a part of me swelled with pride at the sign of chivalry from my little boy 🙂  and a part of me wanted to whack him for believing that girls are weaker. But his chivalry won over my feminism!
Needless to say, he dragged in the chair to my room shortly, all smiles and eager to please.
I, of course, smothered him with kisses 🙂
He wouldn’t be pulling in chairs for me any longer 😀

A few days back, I nearly blew my steam when the twins messed up the house (note, I said house and NOT room!) and I was sick and tired of picking up after them for the umpteenth time. For the record, I ask them to clear up the mess first, an order which is followed to some extent by Shobs and to no extent by Lui 😐 . Once they are loathe to move even a finger, I chip in and clear up the remaining mess.
So there we were….I was tired after a tiring day at work and the twins weren’t making it any easier by spilling water by the glassfuls, dropping food and tearing up bits of paper into even tinier bits of papers. The MIL had a tiring day herself and I guess she was just as irritated as me at the appearance of the drawing room. She told me, in no uncertain terms that the hall must be cleaned up. I agreed. And yelled out to Lui and Shobs. Both of them came up to me, like timid rabbits but with the devil dancing in their eyes.
Lui looks up at me, exaggeratedly rolls her eyes and says, “Okay…okay… OKAAAAAY!!! Kitna chillate ho aap!! My head is paining”.
And without a backward glance, she went back to playing with her doll.
Me :Wait an effing minute!! You aren’t supposed to say that until a decade later! Ya Allah….if this is how she behaves now, what will I have to face when she is in her teens??
The twins are getting ready to go to a birthday party. Lui, as usual, hogs the mirror, turning left and right to check all her angles.
Shobby observes her seriously for a while. Then turning to me, he says with a small smile,” Mumma, Lui heloine dikhti hai na”.
And shortly after I dress him up, he preens himself and claims solemnly, “Mumma, mai jab jeans pehenta hoon na, ekdum hero dikhta hoon”.
Its my turn to roll my eyes furiously 😐

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