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Archive for January, 2013

The Fairy GodMother

Dear Shobby,

By the time you are old enough to read this, you may not even have an iota of recollection about it. But the moment was too beautiful to ignore. I just had to write it down. I want you to read this and realize, that there is one person on this planet who is so tuned in to you, that your discomfort becomes her’s. Your pain becomes her’s. If you stop smiling, so does she.

No, its not me 🙂 . Even though I do confess to being all the above, I know that another person beats me to it hollow. Your sister, your twin. Lui.

For the past few months, all I’ve seen you two do, is to bicker and fight. You yell at each other, steal each other’s candies, come running to us, tattling about the other and in short, doing your best to convince us to get rid of the other. We parents are having a hard time just maintaining peace around the house 😐

Anyhow, on Sunday 27th Jan 2013, Lui woke up with a bad fever. We had to attend a wedding and your poor sister came along and didn’t create as much of a fuss as expected. We returned in the evening and both of you, for once, allowed me to get some shut-eye without screaming. You were a bundle of energy throughout the day, bouncing all over the wedding hall, getting in people’s way and just having a ball 🙂 . Towards evening, I hoped you would tire and relax for a bit.

Fat chance!

You were in no mood to oblige and kept bouncing all over the house. In between, you came hopping to me on one leg, claiming you wanted to go to the loo. As is the case these days, I switched on the light of the loo and turned my back. You, my little skipper, hopped into the loo, on one leg. Now I needn’t say what happens when a bubbly little kid does a one-leg hop on the wet tiles of a loo. Within a fraction of a second, you had bumped both shins against the hard ledge of the step-up loo. You let out a yell that was so full of pain that I dropped the washed clothes I was hanging up to dry and rushed to you.

You were hurt, very badly….there were nasty bumps on both your shins. You cried fat tears and I did all I could to calm you down. After a brief check to see if any bones were broken (thankfully not), I applied iodex and wrapped your legs in crepe bandage. It was disheartening to see your earlier cheerful face reduced to a glum, morose one.

Lui took your fall really bad. She was upset and kept pestering me to press your legs (“Shooby ke paer dabao”). Even when you slept on the sofa, she rushed inside to get you a blanket which she tucked lovingly under your chin. When you complained that you couldn’t see the TV, she ran back inside and fetched you a pillow. As you lay there, wallowing in self-pity, she dragged me into the kitchen and forced me to prepare a glass of sherbet. When I handed her the glass, she took a spoon and then proceeded to feed you the sherbet spoon by spoon. Its a different matter that she spilled a lot and you got bored of it and finally, I had to take the glass away from her. I just want  you to know, that in those few moments, when she was mothering you, I had a lump the size of a fist lodged in my throat. I could have stretched my hand for my phone and clicked a few snaps, but the beauty of her actions left me immobile. I just wish and pray, that you are able to imagine and feel the love she showered on you that day. I want you to realize that even at the tender age of four years, your sister felt your pain and did everything she could, to relieve you. And all this while, she was running a high temperature herself!!Even if you cant remember, just close your eyes after reading this post.

You are lucky my boy….she is a gem of a sister. You can have your squabbles, but don’t forget to cherish her, pamper her, humour her. She has her tantrums but she also has the deep-seated love for you. She may yell at you, but she can’t bear us yelling at you. She may scream and accuse you of stealing all her candies, but she also wakes me up in the night to make sure that you haven’t kicked away your blanket. She’s a bundle of contradictions, but she’s also your best buddy and forever companion. Treasure her, make her feel as special as she makes you feel. Beat up the baddies for her as she beats them up for you. Fight for her, protect her, love her. Because she does all this and more for you.

Take care of her too, because she is not just your twin sister, she’s also your fairy Godmother.

Yours (and Lui’s too)

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I recently read a book called “Break In” by Dick Francis. Its a story of a steeplechase jockey and his twin sister set in  the backdrop of Francis’ forte – horse racing.

Right from the beginning of the story, it is made clear that the two leads have a bond that is strongly telepathic, they can both read each others mind and even as kids, could figure out where the other was , when the elders got tired of searching for one.

As I went deeper into the narration, I felt as though this book was written for Lui and Shobbs !! The invisible bonds that tie Kit and Holly together, is creepily similar to the bond between Lui and Shobby. It is fascinating, to see them both together. They fight, they yell, they squabble, they land punches and usually beg us to get rid of the other. But the second we, the adults, try and reprimand any one of them, the other gives out a banshee call and literally goes for our throats 😐

Lui will complain about Shobby, I turn to scold Shobby and Lui will whack me with her plastic bat, indignant that I dared to raise my voice on her brother! Shobby, not the whacking type, tends to hurl himself on us to put maximum distance between us and his sister. A kabaddi-champion in the making, is my wild guess!

I can list a hundred different instances when they both abhor the intervention of any third person between them. At school, they may completely ignore each other, reveling in the company of other friends. But the day Lui skips school or Shobby is at home, the others gets restless, refusing to talk or play with the other kids 😐 . Their teachers have time and again pointed out this behavior in every parent-teacher’s meet.

Recently, since the BF is away, the twins sleep with me. One night, since Shobby and Lui were involved in a major fight where Shobby was the main culprit, I punished him by making him sleep on his bunk bed. What I didn’t bargain for, was the effect on Lui. She was awake most of the night. She kept waking me up to convince me to bring Shobby to our bed. She was worried that he would be scared all alone. Apparently, she was deaf to his snores 😐 . Each time she woke me up, I would ask her to go back to sleep and not disturb me. Eventually, she woke me up to inform that she was joining her brother on the bunk-bed.

By the time the two woke up the next morning, they were back to screeching and clawing at each other.

Frankly, I’ve given up on the two. They might bring the house down with their yelling, but I desist from playing the referee. Let them fight, they’ll obviously make-up after a while. Then they will shoot accusing looks my way and hold me responsible for all the misunderstanding between the two 😦

Its funny and sad at the same time…..I mean I know the kids love me and all but somewhere, I believe they have their own little space where I’m not invited. As they grow older, I can feel the space expanding. Earlier, they used to come and talk to me directly about anything. Nowadays, they discuss among themselves before approaching me 😐 . They crack their own jokes, get under the blanket and laugh their guts out, play peek-a-boo with each other…and I, stand outside like a silent observer, simply watching them and thanking Allah that they don’t need me to keep them busy. That they have each other.

But it hurts too 😦 . A teeny tiny ache in the vicinity of the heart……

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….. I can now plan my weekends 🙂

Okay, I may sound a little heartless right now, but hear me out.

When the hubs is around, my weekends depend on him. He has this typical habit of letting me know his plans at the nth minute.

At 6pm on a Saturday evening, he would say, “We have to attend my colleague’s kid’s birthday party”.

“What time?” I would ask.

“6:30 pm”, he would reply.

“Ummm…so that gives me 30 minutes to get myself and the kids ready, pack their bag, buy a gift and be there on time. Great. I’ll start pronto”, I say and proceed to do exactly that.

Within a few minutes of my preparations, he would say, “Rehde ….kabhi aur chalenge”.

And I would go, ” 😐 🙄 😐 ” .

Sometimes, I would tell him that I’m going out shopping. He would ask me to be back within an hour because we have to go out somewhere. I would end up cancelling my plan because seriously, just one hour for shopping?? Unless you have a list of only 10 items, all available at the same spot, it just isn’t possible 😐 !

Anyhow, you get the drift. Mostly, we would plan something, it wouldn’t work out and then we would plan something entirely different and end up doing something that we just hadn’t planned. Go figure!

So, now that the BF is away, I have a few activities lined up for myself –

1) I had bought blocks for doing some block printing on dupattas. May start with those first. I’ll post the result of my efforts soon 🙂

2) Visit all my friends in town who’ve become new Mommies. A visit to them all is long due 😦 . a long line of kids await their not-yet-present maasi 😀

3) Visit my sister…maybe even stay with her overnight (along with the kids, of course ). Being in the same city, it’s a shame I meet her barely once in 3-4 month’s time 😦

4) Visit my relatives. And also the BF’s. I really think I must take the kids out to meet the extended families as often as possible. I don’t want them to nod their heads in dismissively when I take a relative’ s name (I do that sometimes…..because I barely know them 😐 )

5) Visit a parlour. Yes, I think I should visit a parlour more than twice a year. More so because my skin is slowly and steadily turning into a hot-spot for all kinds of zits of all colours and shapes. Right now, I have bumps whose colours range from white, yellow, orange, pink, red, brown and black. How’s that for a pallette?!!

6) *ahem…ahem* Exercise. Okay, I’ll wait till you finish laughing.

*tap*

*tap*

*tap*

Done?? Good. Have we got that tiny moment of disbelief out of the way,yes? Excellent.

So where was I?

Yeah, about the working out. I’m serious this time. Dead serious 😐 . Not only that, I’m going to start eating healthier. More greens and lesser oils. More raw than cooked. At least the vegetarian part. Don’t think the raw non-veg stuff will agree with me 😀

7) Start some new routines with the kids. We do have the regular feeding, storytelling, bathing and getting ready routines. I think the kids are now old enough to start on crafts. Maybe once a week, we’ll sit down together to get our hands dirty with paints and play-dough and glue and glitter. I think it will be awesome 🙂

8 ) Read more. Yes, I can now read more books as long as I want to without worrying about he BF waking up. Frankly, he sleeps deep and has never asked me to put down a book. But I feel guilty all the while. A part of me gets distracted to check if he’s disturbed because of the light. However interesting the book, I’m never able to give it my 100% attention. Now, I can.

9) Bake more. There are a hundred baking ideas floating in my head. Its time I gave them some life. Successful outcomes will be posted here. Failures would best be forgotten 😀

10) Sleep more. It kind of contradicts with 8) but can’t help it. I intend to hit the sack early and get up early for 6). Only a nice deep sleep will allow me to look at 6) favorably. Else, all will be lost 😦

There is also this teeny-tiny thing that I keep ignoring. I must and Really, REALLY MUST start taking the car out, at least on early mornings. It seems ridiculous that I got a four-wheeler driving license last year and till date  haven’t had the courage to take our car out, by myself *hanging head in shame* . I do think I should take this risk, though frankly, I’m not sure I can commit myself on it.

Dear BF, if you are reading this, believe me, I do miss you. I’m just packing my itinerary so that I don’t sit around the house and mope for you 😦 ….not that I’m not doing that already, its just that it upsets the kids!! Anyway, here’s a song for you today…heard it on the radio this morning….its a nice foot-tapping number and the lyrics are quite appropriate for what I feel right now 🙂 . Here goes :-

 Missing you, as always !

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With the BF out of the country on work, I’m busy fretting what to do next. I mean, since every second of my spare time was spent in needling him towards the abyss of irritation, I have no idea how I will use up my time now 😐

I’m still writing him enough mails but this time, I think he’s actually enjoying them (he hasn’t yet begged me to stop the deluge). Fret. Fret. Fret 😦

Its terrible, you know, to get so used to a person around you that you have no clue how to go on when the said person isn’t around. I think I went around in circles back there but again, I’m too lazy to correct it.

*Sigh*

My mind refuses to be still. I’ve been day-dreaming about him since morning and its doing me no good. There’s a status report that needs to go out to the clients today and you know what?! I couldn’t care less 😐

Somebody help me !

BF, if you are reading this, then let me tell you how I feel right now –

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Winter in Pune, is a joke 😐 . Not a typical ‘HAHA’ joke, per se, but a ridiculous one where you eagerly pull out woolens from boxes, sun them and then wait patiently till the weather is cool enough to use them. And then you sit back and twiddle your thumbs, waiting for the cold winds to blow your way.

The weather, alas, has other plans. So while the Northern region of the country freezes away to glory, the twins at home refuse to wear a shirt over their vest, claiming it to be ‘too hot’. The fan whirls at a nice speed as we sleep in the night, justifying, somewhat, the need to use a blanket (forget the heavy ‘razai‘ !).

Winter hasn’t technically arrived yet and I have already packed my woolies back in their boxes. Maybe next year, I will give them all away to charity.

Anyhow, so desperate was I for hint for chapped skin and dry lips that the BF obliged and took us to the nearby hill-station of Mahabaleshwar – the land of the Strawberry goodness 🙂 . This was couple of weekends back. We just decided on the spot, packed our bags, fished for a few woolens for the kids and set off. I had just picked jackets for the twins but the BF suggested that Mahabi (as Mahabaleshwar is lovingly called) is a LOT cooler than Pune. With a hum and a haw I packed two sweaters too. Okay, on a side note, believe this – I packed clothes for me, the BF and two kids, with two sets of changes in one ruck-sack. I’m smug as I type this, because before this, each time I stepped out of the house, even for a day, I would carry at least 4-5 sets each for the kids, with towels, napkins, jackets, etc. Not this time. I kept it to a minimum, with just another hand-bag with the edibles. Thats it. With two bags in hand, we set off. The BF was mighty impressed with the limited luggage (He wasn’t so impressed the next day when he found that I’d forgotten his change of inners 😐 !! Oh well….we’re learning, aren’t we?!)

So we started not-so-early on Saturday, had a nice 3 and an half hour pleasurable ride through beautiful hills and fields. We crossed the picturesque town of Wai, famous for many movies (Swades, Bol Bachchan, Gangajal, etc). We didn’t stop there though. The ghat stretch was pretty treacherous with sharp bends and we wanted to reach Mahabi before the traffic got worse.  Once we hit Mahabi, we visited the Mapro Garden. I think it is a popular destination for food/ice-creams (served with fresh strawberries)/ candies, syrups, squashes/jams/honey, etc. Though Lui had a bad cough, she kicked up a big fuss when we refused her the ice-cream. When she started screaming blue murder, we gave in and got her a cone. “She won’t be able to finish it”, the BF told me. Knowing my girl, I should have bet him on it. She finished it without a care about the world. I mentally thanked myself for remembering to ger her cough syrup along!

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Shobby wouldn’t allow me to click his snap, behaving like a celebrity caught in the vicious circle of paparazzi. After a few snaps of him covering his face, I gave up 😦 .

The Mapro farm had put up a big trampoline inside their premises. There were a bunch of kids already going bonkers on it. I was a little apprehensive, what if someone lands on them?! But then, the kids seemed excited and we dumped them on the trampoline.

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The twins had a blast, as you can see 😀 . Lui was annoyed when we pulled her out from there and started another tirade of rants. The BF quickly bought a big box of fresh strawberries from a counter outside and handed it to her. Thats it. The girl was on her best behavior throughout the trip. By the way, strawberries are her favorite fruit. She was overwhelmed at being given an entire box to herself, to eat as much as she wants. Believe me, she was so quiet afterwards that we wondered what was wrong with her 😀

We reached the MTDC resort by noon (why MTDC?? Because the Country Club membership is one the worst mistakes we’ve ever committed in our lives!! In spite of being members, in spite of paying the AMCs, we still have to inform months in advance even if we need to go on a short vacation of 2 days 😐 !! We tried to book the rooms in the Country Club resort around Nov/Dec. Even then, we were told that bookings weren’t available. Anyone know if we can get a refund from the CC guys?? )

Anyhow, the MTDC resort was pretty good too. Not luxurious, but serviceable, yes. We got a nice family suite with two rooms. At 1pm in the afternoon, the room was chill enough to freeze water. I’m not kidding. The mattresses were frozen blocks of ice! When we rested there for a while, no matter how much we rubbed our feet together, the bed wouldn’t thaw 😐 . Exactly what I wanted 😀

We ordered lunch, quickly gobbled the food and then contemplated the next step. I think an honest confession is due here. Neither the BF nor I am keen on walking long distances. We thought and we planned and then after much discussion resorted to taking a well-deserved nap after the long drive. So we all hit the bed.

I woke up the kids around 4pm. The MTDC resort is closet to the sunset point and I wanted to take the kids there. By now, there was severe chill in the air, even though it was sunny outside. The kids wore their sweaters and then the jackets over the sweaters! For kids running around in chaddi-banian at home, this was a major weather indicator 😀

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I took the above two snaps while the kids were playing outside our rooms. Though there were two swing sets, the two settled into one 🙂

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Don’t be fooled by the sun. It looks warm and sunny but it really wasn’t. It was COLD!!!

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It was pretty cold at the sunset point. I thought it would be enjoyable, but ummm, frankly speaking, I wasn’t impressed. Towards sunset the crowd swelled to hundreds and before my very eyes, dry winter dust rose sky high and provided very little clear view of the sunset. It didn’t help that the horse-riders were galloping around, kicking up further dust! Before we knew it, the sunset was over. We trooped back to the resort. There, the twins spotted a complex set of slides and bridges and set off for it even before I could give my consent (not that they expected otherwise, but still. A mother ought to command some respect 😐 )

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After nearly an hour of play, we finally headed to the restaurant for dinner. It never struck any of us that we could take the car out and roam around the town streets, checking out their night-life 😐

Once back in our suite, I have the kids a nice hot water bath, bundled them in their pyjamas and sweaters and settled them to watch “Charlie and the chocolate factory”. Meanwhile, me and the BF took a leisurely stroll outside, reveling in the chilled air, the one which makes your insides shiver (bliss 🙂 ). Eventually, we saw the lights going off all around us, one by one. so we pulled out chairs and sat outside the room, chatting like we used to , a long time back. I think hours passed. Sure that it must be nearing 12:30 in the night, I asked the BF if we should go in.

“Its only 10:30 now”, he informed me.

“What?!!” I mean, it seemed like ages since we were sitting in the darkness. If it was still 10:30, what time did the people around us go off to sleep?? 8:30??!! Its an unthinkable hour, by our regular standards 😐

Anyhow, we called it a night . At least the BF did. I was busy finishing “the immortals of Meluha”. We woke up early the next morning. The BF had some work to attend to back in Pune, we wanted to be home by afternoon. On the drive back, we came across Venna lake. Lui and Shobby wanted to go boating, but he service hadn’t started yet. The BF was in a hurry so we kind of cajoled the kids into believing that only kids who can swim are allowed to go boating. My poor little angels for the fib 😦 . Though they agreed, Lui wasn’t happy about the whole deal, something that she made clear by pasting the biggest frown on her face when I asked them to pose for snaps! Shobbs had no qualms in smiling though.

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We made only one stop on the way back. Halfway through, we came across a nice stretch of farms and on one end was a stall selling sugarcane juice. Who could resist?? We bought 2-3 mugs of it. I asked the seller to add ginger to make it easily digestible for the kids. Alas, they hated the taste of it. But again, they had no problems posing for a snap 🙂 . Lui’s good mood was restored too.

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We reached home by lunch time and after that, life was back to routine.

After reaching back,  I realized that we had crossed a major milestone. I rarely took the kids out for long drives before, bothered more about their toilet urges and not having proper facilities on the way. I wondered if the kids will fall sick, throw up and be miserable. I wondered if I would be able to manage them.

This trip was an eye-opener. I realized that my kids can control their urge until we reach back to our room. There were no accidents, no throwing up, no peeing on the bed and surprisingly, in spite of that big ice-cream, no coughing and fever from Lui. The kids have grown up, and how!

I feel useless 😦 . Drat them! Why couldn’t they have been the itty-bitty babies they were before 😦

*sniff*

 

 

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Its been a while since this song has been doing the rounds in music chart but its only lately that I’ve actually sat and listened to it.

Okay, before that, I’m talking about the “Radha” song from SOTY. Forgettable movie, that.  I’ll not go there. The other songs were hummable but easy forgettable. I wasn’t too keen on the Disco Song, as the original was much better. Call me a grumpy old grandma but I really don’t appreciate Hindi songs which have English rap or English lyrics in them. There are exceptions, of course, like “My heart is bleeding” from Julie, which was an all-out English number in a Hindi movie. More recently, the song, “Tera, hone laga hoon” from Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani had English lines which didn’t hurt the ears!

Anyhow, the Radha song too had English lyrics and it took me multiple rewinds to understand what was being said. Apparently, the lines were “Everyone takes it on Radha”. I didn’t get the context, because before this line, Radha claims that ‘particular’ someone is pursuing her, grabbing her arms, etc. Umm..on hindsight, isn’t it actually true? I mean, girl gets stalked and everyone blames the girl. Looks like the origin of blame started a really long time back!

But that isn’t what the post is about. The problem is, with repeated playing of this number, I have become attached to it. There is something downright tappy about this number. When I hum it at work, I find myself either tapping my feet or my fingers! It disturbs the others, but who cares 😀 . So, there I was, listening to it for the nth time on my phone and it struck me. The reason I listen to this song is because, there is a certain section in it which comes alive, the portion which I look forward to. It is the part which is sung by Udit Narayan. He may not be a favourite with many, but he brings a certain flair to the miniscule lines given to him. Even as I hear it, I can imagine him singing with a big smile plastered on his face, enjoying the song  enough to give a dash of chutzpah! This song was made for him. A pity that he had to settle for just two lines! The other singers (Shreya Ghoshal, Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravijani) do their bit, but they don’t give this song their all.

I really wonder why Udit Narayan isn’t getting more offers 😐

Anyhow, I’ll leave you with this song which really peps me up each time I hear it . enjoy 🙂 :-

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Dear Friend,

I made a resolution this year that when I felt something was wrong, I would make sure that I voice that opinion. I’m speaking out now.

After more than a decade of friendship, of ups and downs, of cramming for exams and scrounging for projects, of late-night Maggis and late-night movie shows, of early morning coffee and CDs played on my computer, we’ve done it all. You were always the quiet and shy one and I would be the brash one, speaking out for when you when you clammed up!  You would goad me into asking the teachers for an off if you didn’t feel like attending class. I would do it.I used to bargain for you when you went shopping (remember the time you liked a particular pair of shoe but didn’t want to pay more than 100/- for it? I haggled with the shopkeeper for it the next day, insisting that I wanted that very pair, even though it was a size small for me. He must have thought me a nut-case, buying shoes that don’t fit!). I could have left you to fight your own battles but I didn’t.

And this is why, I blame myself as much as I blame you for what I feel about the status of our friendship now.

For the last few years, I’ve realized that the equation of our friendship has changed. I’m not sure if you realize when exactly this change came about but I can pinpoint the exact time frame – August 2005. I’m sure this date must have triggered some dormant memories. Dormant for you but not for me. Because I remember the days that followed after that very well. Days, that didn’t turn out too good or favorable for me.

Before I go into the specifics, I’ll let you on a secret. You are a joy to be with – when you are not in the circle of your family. Maybe that’s why the first year of college with you was so much fun. You were gay, unabashed, spoke your mind and were a riot. In the second year, your family settled in town and you moved in with them. Though you were still fun to be with, you weren’t as gay and unabashed as before. Cautious, is what you were. You were careful about what you said and did. I did irk me a bit, but then, I wasn’t so into dissecting personalities.

Honestly speaking, over the last few years, I’ve thought a hundred times about breaking ties with you. I realized that my friendship meant nothing to you. You never really were around during my bad times and when I was around for you, I was reprimanded by your family while you stood by meekly. You neither defended me nor apologized later for the insults I had to bear. At one point, I realized what a grave mistake I had made by taking your side when you came to me for help. Remember this line. You came to me. Till then, I had NO IDEA what was brewing. I had NO IDEA what trouble you were in. I was about to leave town to return God-Knows-When and there you were, sobbing buckets. I did the best I could, FOR YOU. I stood up for you when there was no one besides you. I faced your family FOR YOU.

And that, in Aug 2005 was my biggest mistake.

For years after that, your family has been more than rude to me. Maybe you didn’t realize it. Or just maybe, you realized and chose to keep quiet. Like always. Even before Aug 2005, when results came out in college and I was interrogated on my marks in each subject. Like the time I got my first job and I was asked to give a salary break-up description. Like the time, after a late evening show, I waited with you at a lonely bus-stop till your parents came to pick you up, since no autos were going your way (I could still hail down autos going my way). At 11:30 in the night, when your parents finally came, you hopped into your car and drove away, leaving me alone on a deserted stretch of road. Neither you nor your parents realized the slight. For a whole 10 minutes after that, I stood there in shock, my mouth agape. I waited, because I thought you guys might come back to pick me. My house was after all, almost half-way through to your’s. You didn’t come back (didn’t it bother you one bit that I waited there at the bus-stop for your sake?! Didn’t you owe me anything??). Somehow, when I reverse the position and think of you in my place, I KNOW that my dad would have driven you home even if your house was in the other end of the city. Sure he would have given us an earful, but that would have been out of concern for our safety. For days and years after that, you acted as if that incident didn’t happen. You never acknowledged, nor apologized.

Around 12 am, I finally gathered the guts to call the BF, who woke up from his slumber  and drove halfway across the city to drop me home. He gave me a tongue lashing throughout the ride. I didn’t deserve that flak. What surprises me is that when you have to be dropped at the airport at an ungodly hour, your parents called up the BF and asked him to do the needful. Not requested, mind you, just told him to do so. Somehow, their daughter is precious, but someone else’s isn’t?!  If we weren’t old buddies, the BF wouldn’t have. But frankly, he isn’t as heartless.

It hurts me terribly as I type this. I’ve been meaning to vent it out to you personally over the years. But then again, I realized that being vocal isn’t your strength. Instead of a discussion, I would be talking to a statue. You would sit patiently, waiting for me to get over and offer nothing in return. Not even the benefit of a good yell. Even as you read this, I don’t expect a reaction. I’m a little miffed that I’m taking the cowardly path and writing this down instead of confronting you. I can’t help it. I just have the consolation that maybe, someday, you will read this post.

I really cannot carry this load anymore. Each time I decided to severe ties with you, the BF calmed me down and pointed out that this lifetime was too short to hold grudges. He’s right. So even though I was insulted a hundred times, even though I vowed never to step into your doorway again, I did. Each time I did it for you. You are aware of the first time the insults started.  This was when your mom called me and another friend to reprimand us for being a wrong influence on you.

Wrong influence?! You were 25+ at that time. Not a teenager!

What was our crime?? We had boyfriends. I went ahead to marry mine. The other one is yet to marry hers. But do you remember the actual accusation?? I do. It was implied, directly that I pushed you into doing what you did. That I was the one who initiated the actual problem. I vehemently denied the accusation and looked to you for help. You sat there meekly, letting your mom do all the talking. We understood that with deference to your mother you would not be able to say anything. But what about later?? Wasn’t an apology due from your side? At least a confession that you agree we were misjudged and wrongly accused! You gave away nothing. It was almost as if along with your mother , even you were convinced that we were at fault! For months after that, I and the other friend wondered where we went wrong. How could your actions be cleanly dumped on our shoulders?? We weren’t even aware what you were up to!! What hurt more, was the way you used us.

We were invited to your wedding and though the BF would be missing out on an extremely crucial office meet, against our better judgment, we agreed to go. The other two friends’ family kept a condition that they would allow their daughters to travel the distance only if me and BF also came along. For their sake, we agreed to come. Since we couldn’t leave the kids behind, I dragged them along too. That was another terrible mistake. In the peak of summer, you were magnanimous in giving us a dorm that was without air-conditioning. Your reason of keeping the four of us together lacked substance. How exactly do you suppose the other two girls would have managed to change clothes or sleep with the BF in the same room? With the blistering heat outside, the friends were kind enough to adjust for the BF’s sake so that he didn’t have to step out in the heat each time. Not only that, the dorm was converted into a dining area, with breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet throughout the day. The workers would come early in the morning for setting up the tables and would walk in till late at night after the last of the dinner was cleared up.  Your guests would linger on, chatting. We didn’t get a moment’s peace or privacy throughout the day. The children didn’t get a decent hour’s sleep(at the age of 1.5 years they deserved it though). The heat made my daughter ill. When we requested for a room change, we were told that none were available. This was before the last batch of your friends turned up on the day of the wedding.  They got AC rooms, by the way. The BF suggested that we move out to a better hotel outside, but on discussion with the others, we collectively thought that it’d be rude to your family. Surprisingly, no one from your family was considerate about us. Frankly, only because all four of us protested vehemently that the dorm wasn’t converted into a bar for the daru-party planned for later on the wedding night.

I doubt you can feign ignorance about all this, or maybe you can. I really don’t know anymore.

All I know is that your family has treated me beneath your status, class, whatever!! You, in turn,  have treated me more like an errand boy than a friend. In fact, I wouldn’t mind running the errands, its just that your acknowledgement of my efforts doesn’t exist. Each time you need something you give me a call. Each time I decide I wouldn’t do it anymore and then I give in. I end up at your doorstep to help you out.

When you came to town this time, you called me up to get a lady to help with the massage. On my kid’s birthday, leaving the preparations behind, I came with the said lady to your house. What did I get for my efforts?? Just a lot of flak on how massages are useless and not really needed. I think you should have had this conversation and come to a decision with your mother before calling me. I didn’t need to make an attempt to convince her on why exactly it would be good for you. With the first word of dissent from her side, I could have walked out. I didn’t. For YOU. Because I knew it would do you good. Because I knew you needed it. You kept quiet while I argued your case with your own mother!!! Your silence is what irks me the most!!

When I suggested places where you could buy diapers for cheap, I was told rather rudely by your mom that they could be bought for the same rate at other places. Made me whack myself for even bringing up the suggestions for you. I’ll never learn, I guess. I did keep my distance from you after that. Each visit to your house leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Now tell me, how do you expect me to react when you send me a message and ask me to deliver 150 diapers of varying sizes, from the very place I had suggested before, at your doorstep before you leave town? How exactly do you suppose I’m expected to carry out the feat?? Take an off from work to travel to the heart of the city? Strap the huge packs on my scooty and travel right across the city? What would I get in return for all my efforts?? Why should I do it??

Let me remind you again. I’m NOT your errand-boy. I’m a married woman who works full time and has two kids to boot. Your assumption that I’ll always be available at your beck and call is highly misplaced. However terrible your circumstances, they aren’t so bad that you can’t call up JustDial, take the number of BigBazaar and have the diapers delivered to your home. By the way, you do have other friends in this city, don’t you (the ones we lovingly call your ‘AC friends’)? Why don’t you ask them for these favors? But you won’t, I’ll tell you why? Because you care for what they might think. You are apprehensive of approaching others, whereas with me, you simply call up and order. Words like ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’ or ‘Sorry’ were never a part of your vocabulary. After all these years, I don’t expect them either.

The only person who’s hurting right now is me. I never expected it to reach a situation like this. But I’m sorry to say, it was long due. I’m tired of taking insults from your family and grinning through it. I’m tired of being treated like a sidekick. I’m upset that along with making me run errands, you have no qualms in expecting my husband to do the same.I’m upset that in all these years, you kept quiet when you shouldn’t have. You may argue that this is the way you are. But darling, I’m tired of standing up for you when you cant stand up for yourself. Its a pity you allow your parents to run your life even now. I know for sure that your mother disapproves of me. I don’t want to continue this farce of being friends when your expectations from me are solely based on what I can do for you. Try to remember, when was the last time you did something for me, however trivial?!

I’m not sure when you will read this or whether you ever will. I don’t care. Whenever you do, please remember, it is harder on me as I write this than it will be on you as you read. The first draft of this post was much scathing. But like the BF says, this lifetime is too short to carry grudges. I don’t want to carry that weight. If you are upset over this post, I’m sorry, it couldn’t be helped. If you want to burn the bridges, then call me. If you value even a percent of our friendship, call me and let me know if you realize the injustice meted out to me. The ball is in your court now. If you don’t call, its okay. It would be something that I would expect from you.

But for once, break the mould. Surprise me. Speak up!

I wish you and your family all the happiness in this world. May you enjoy your new city and your new life.

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Rather late in the day if you ask me, but better late than never, right?!

I’ve been meaning to compile a list of New Year resolutions that will, InshaAllah, last for more than the end of this month 😀

No, I’m not opting for weight reduction, eating healthier, working less and the likes. Those kind of resolutions don’t work. The ones I’m aiming are for better personality development. Thats right. I have a crappy personality which makes me fit for the role of a doormat. I’ve been walked over all my life and I guess its time now to put an end to it. The worst part is that  I know my one major failing and yet I’ve never actively done anything to counter it. The kids are growing up fast and absorbing things rapidly. I want to bring about a change in myself before they get to see this weakness in me 😐

So, without further dillydallying, in no particular order, presenting my list for 2013 –

1) Listen More

listen-more

Jumper-of-conclusions, thats me 🙂 . My overactive mind cannot wait for someone to finish what they are saying and I chip in with inputs even in their slightest pauses. This either puts them off track for a while before they recover and collect themselves or worse, they believe I’m mocking them and they drop the topic . This is something which upsets me because inadvertently, I hurt the people I try to ‘help’.

So yeah, unless the pause stretches for more than  a minute, I’ll keep quiet and wait. Sometimes, its the silence which speaks. I need to learn to listen to those!

2) Talk Less

talk-less

Follows 1) right in the footsteps. Foot-in-mouth-itis needs to be controlled. This is the year to keep the foot where it rightfully belongs – in the shoes.

3) Say No

say-no

I took me more than a decade to finally muster up the courage and say NO to a friend recently. My only guilt is that I replied through a message and not upfront. I think I’m as much of a coward as she is. This year, I plan to say No if I mean No. Bending backwards is not really doing me any good. There are very few people who are ready to do it for me and giving out free service at the cost of my time, my job and my kids is no longer acceptable to me. So this year, if I cant make it to a party, I’ll say, “No, I cannot come”, instead of evading it with a “Maybe”, “I’ll see if I can”, etc. If people make me run errands when I barely have 5 minutes to myself, I’ll say, “No, but I won’t be able to do your bidding. Find someone else!”

Its not easy, since I’m a very affable person and my friends know that I’ve always been around for them any time of the day/year. Alas, some of these very friends have misconstrued my loyalty as servility and have no qualms in making me run around for them. Not anymore.

4) Speak Up

speak-up

Not to be confused with 2). While I generally talk nineteen to a dozen when not required, I somehow clam up when I should be speaking up! Apart from my lack of ability to say ‘No’, I also lack the guts to speak out at the right time. When a situation occurs, I’m mostly tongue-tied, falling silent and facing  misery. Later, I look back and wonder, “what if I’d said this”, or “I should have said that”. Its futile, really, because the moment is long past. The people who should have heard what I have to say, have long ago left my company, taking my silence for acceptance of what they say. Not anymore. This year, I plant o speak up right then and there, when I find something which does not suit my sensibilities.

5) Worry Less

worry-less

He he 🙂  . Okay, this one’s a bouncer, coz seriously, I have the genes of the most manic worriers in history – my parents! My every pore worries. Considering there are millions of them constricting their cells in worry right this minute, this is going to be one very impossible task. But, I’ve got to at least attempt to take things easy , no? Its not as if I can measure the quantity of worry I indulge in on a daily basis. But if I can sleep easy at night without a zillion thoughts clouding my mind, I will call myself victorious 🙂

6) Laugh More

laugh-more

Hmmm….This one’s not difficult but given that my preference for humour hovers over the sardonic to dry-wit, laughing out loud is not an activity I indulge in often. I’m more of  a smirk or giggle type. Joke books can draw a chuckle from me, nothing more. The BF’s jokes take me one step closer to suicide. How exactly does one laugh out loud often?? I’ve heard laughing is good for the heart and I want my ticker to last as long as possible! Any pointers?

7) Shop Less

shop-less

As I write this, I have 3 new hand bags sitting in my cupboard. I bought a new pair of sandals last Sunday when I already had two new ones awaiting inauguration 😐 . Last month, I bought 4 pairs of jeans for the twins on a whim and the very next week, they were gifted 2 each by my family when they came visiting. The family also gifted me dress materials (3 of them) and yet, I went ahead and bought two new ones for myself. In the interim, the MIL also gifted me one.  Lui and Shobbs have close to 15 sets of shoes between them, some which were worn only one or twice before the kids outgrew them.

I buy more stuff than I use. Its not as though I’m a compulsive buyer. I’m just a reckless one. I buy stuff even though I know its not needed! Needless to say, my bank account is always hovering over the ’empty’ mark. I just manage to get through the month. I have no personal savings to speak of and in nearly a decade of work experience, I’ve never collected enough money to buy myself even a pair of gold ear-rings!

Time to rethink the spending habit, methinks 😐

8) Read More

read-more

Need I say more 🙂 ?!

9) Value Family

val-familyLast year, I did the unforgivable thing of keeping my family secondary to my work. I spent more time at work than with kids. When parents came over, I gave them a few hours. This, after I saw them after nearly 2 years!! All because there were deadlines at work, the dev code was breaking , there were hundreds of issues, etc. It ALL seems so trivial now. The code still has a hundred issues, we knew they would be there. 5 months of dev-code cannot be tested in a week’s time! Yet, I put in all the hours I could. Leaving early in the morning and returning around 11:30 in the night. I ended up having an accident and yet reported to work!! All bruised and in pain, but seated at my machine and hard at work. For some unknown reason, my manager casually mentioned in my appraisal that I didn’t seem ‘serious’ about my work. All because I used to laugh off the physical pain and the hurt within at being deprived time with people I love. It was misconstrued as my carelessness and lack of seriousness. Oh-hum! Each to his own, I guess.

It did teach me something vital though. Work is temporary. Family is eternal. I have to be there with them. They may not need me, but I sure as hell need them!!

10) Enjoy Friends

enjoy-friends

What would we do without friends? Last year, I all but lost contact with most of my friends. Didn’t call, rarely messaged. My FB account is all but non-existant and my one window to the world, my blog, was snatched away from me by the sys-admins 😦

I was off blogging and off contact with friends for so long that when I call friends these days, I start with, “Remember me??”

To correct this one error, me and the BF started off the new year by having lunch with our dear friends and then spending the day together. He is, after all, my Best Friend 😀 (I really should rename him from BF to BFF. It would be more apt!!)

I also need to re-think my equations with people I’ve called friends as long as I can remember. Alas, they are unaware of the friendship pact. I thought it used to be a ‘give-and-take’. Some friends have been just taking for so long now that I’m tired of giving 😐 . I just need to let them know.

Thats all for now folks. By the way, I’ll let you on in a secret . I finally have internet access!! At WORK!! 😀 😀 😀  (Dont ask me how, its a long story!) I’ve missed out on reading SO MANY BLOGS!! If I started now, I’d never get any work done. So yeah, what I wanted to say is that, if you have written any of your resolutions for 2013, do share the link 🙂

Hope 2013 treats everyone fairly!!

Cheers…have a great weekend 🙂

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The song’s actually, “Dil kabootar khana hai” .

But since its the only appropriate song for yesterday’s situation, I just had to title this post as such 🙂

So what happened yesterday??

I came back from work, all tired and cranky. It was the traffic that ticked me off. I swear Pune traffic is the WORST in this planet! The kids cheered me up considerably with their enthusiastic welcome. MIL handed me a cup of tea before I progressed towards my room. Once inside, I closed the door, sat on the sofa and closed my eyes for a few minutes. A routine that I follow practically everyday. Helps me re-energise to get through the evening.

Anyhow, so there I was, happily lost in my thoughts when I heard a clear “gutar-goo”. The pigeons are getting louder eat day, I muttered to myself. And then, I felt the flutter. The distinct movement of air as a pigeon flew right over my head.

I yelped as I hopped out of the sofa, spilling tea left and right and struggled to unlock the bolt.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against pigeons. They are nice little, grey birds that wake me up each morning with their constant cooing. But a pigeon in the room, on my bed, is something I’m not comfortable with.

I rushed to the hall to check for the FIL, a tall, stately person, whose presence itself would suffice to get rid of them birds. Alas, he had just left for some work. I moaned in despair. My phone and change of clothes were in the bedroom and there was no way I was going back there.

“Don’t be chicken”, chided the MIL, “Pigeons don’t harm people”.

Yeah, right. Those sharp beaks and red eyes are for show!

But my anger was directed elsewhere now. The BF!!! He left those windows open! Oh well, then he was gonna get rid of that birdie! I had to call him to let him know.

My phone. It was in the room.

I summoned all the guts I had. I didn’t have a choice. The kids were looking on and they didn’t seem to appreciate their mother’s petrified stance. Not when they themselves seemed nonchalant about the whole pigeon issue. So armed with a big broom, the dupatta tied tightly across my waist, hair up in a bun, I stealthily approached the room. The said pigeon was sitting atop the cupboard. I groaned. No change of clothes for me  now 😦 . On the brighter side, the table on which I’d dumped my jhola, was safe.

With utmost stealth, I crept up to the table, dug my hands in for the phone and pulled it out with a triumphant snort. Only to face another pigeon which sat mutely on the bookshelf, observing me at close quarters. I did a repeat of the yelp and the dash and was out in a flash. Called up the BF and asked him to come home PRONTO. He drawled that it would take him another hour or so. I grumbled and muttered and finally disconnected.

I spent the rest of the evening glued to the drawing room. No ironing of kid’s uniforms for the next day, no ironing of mine.  No sorting of washed laundry and arranging in cupboards. I just sat in the hall and yelled at the kids to do my bidding.

Anyhow, around 9:30 pm, the BF sauntered in. I glared for all I was worth. He gave a disarming smile and said the pigeons would be out in no time. I didn’t bother to follow him inside to check.

A little over 20 minutes later, when the sounds of  ‘hudd hudd’, ‘sshhhhhhh’,’whee wheeeeee’, were still coming from the room, I couldn’t bear it anymore and walked in. The BF was trying his best to get rid of the birds. Must give it to him. He looked rather cute though , with the towel in one hand and the eyes focused on the birds and reserving a sheepish smile for me 🙂 . All the windows were open, curtains drawn and yet, YET, the pigeons kept flying in front of the window, but would not fly out!!

Finally, we gave up.

It was late, we were all tired and if a pair of pigeons refused to leave the warmth of your house, there is very little you can do about it. That is how I ended up sharing my bedroom with a pair of pigeons last night. Mercifully, they were silent throughout. My only grouse was that they pooped a load!! All over my room 😐

This morning, they didn’t immediately fly out after sunrise. One disappeared when I was busy in the kitchen. The other took a round of the house and finally flew out of the balcony door. Surprisingly, it barely took a few minutes for the birds to abandon us! I kind of agree with the BF that the birds just wanted to stay warm for the night, nothing else!

Anyhow, thats my kabootar-khana tale. When the kids grow up, I’ll share this tale of spending a night with the pigeons. A fancy memory this will make 🙂 . What say?

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Ahead Of His Times

This morning, as I was getting ready for work, Shobby popped a question.

“Mumma….shaadi kyun karte hain?” (why marriages happen)

I was perplexed. An answer had to be given, as the little face looked up, patiently awaiting my reply.

“Ummm…to stay together. I married your father so that I could live with him”.

The boy stared off into space, deep in thought. I figured I was off the hook, until he quipped –

“Saath rehne ke liye shaadi kyun karna hai? Aise hi saath raho! Shaadi ki kya zaroorat hai?” (what is the need to get married to stay together? Live together without marriage!)

Yup, I almost fainted! 😐

For a four-year-old, my little boy is pretty ahead for his time, isn’t it 😀 ?!

For the record, the matter of marriages came up because we are actively looking for a bride for the BIL. My kids are wondering why – a) the BIL needs a woman.

b) The BF and I got married.

c) The in-laws got married and didn’t invite them 😐

Some tough questions out there still await us 😦

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