Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2013

….returns!!!

Seems like a gazillion years since I updated on my weekend escapades (you can call it that…seeing as how I escape doing half the stuff I’m supposed to do).

Life in the MomofRS household seems to flow in a languid pace. With the BF away, much of the vigour and vitality seems to be missing. We get through one day to the next. The only exciting thing happening currently is the full-throttle hunt for a bride for the BIL.

The BIL, sadly never had a girlfriend. This is something over which everyone at home grumbles about. For some unknown reasons, an appropriate match just isn’t taking place 😦 .Β  We haven’t yet found anyone to the satisfaction of everyone (excluding me of course. I have no expectations from the BIL’s wife and apart from the parents and BIL, I don’t think anyone should have a say in this matter). For now, I’m just going along with the ride.

I’m not enjoying it, though.

This arranged-marriage business is so tricky. Either things get fixed in one go or they take ages to to come to a conclusion. The BIL, alas, falls in the latter category. It seems as though the more proposals we see, the more we get muddled. MIL is going white, lamenting her son’s lack of skill in ‘pataoing‘ a girl πŸ˜€ .

We were supposed to meet a prospective girl and her family this weekend, but things didn’t work out and we had to drop the plan. It’s just sad because I had planned to meet up with G and PΒ  (and if possible, Unmana too) over the weekend and now our meet has been postponed to the next weekend!

———————————–

“The President Is Coming”.

Oh yeah, I saw the Prez. He was on his way to inaugurate the ISKCON temple near my place (well, not really near my house, but you get it). The Prez’s entourage was to pass by on the road in front of my house. The policemen were everywhere keeping people off the road. In the 6+ years of my residence here, its the first time I’ve ever heard true silence. Not a single vehicle was allowed to move. People already on the road were asked to move to the by-lanes and stay put. Even pedestrians were told to keep off the road 😦 . The security was rather severe I must say, but it was rather sad to see hundreds of people standing under a really HOT sun (I’ve forgotten what winter looks like in Pune ), waiting for the Prez to come by. Motorists didn’t even have a chance to turn back, as there was a huge traffic jam in the junctions leading to the road in front of my house. Old men, women with little kids, babies even, weren’t allowed to cross the road.

The vehicles finally passed by, I got to see the President and even though I thought it would be a momentous occasion, I didn’t really feel that way after all 😐 .

———————————————-

Shobby’s school bag was coming undone. The straps were practically torn to shreds and the side pocket for the bottle was….best not to describe it.

I struggled for a few weeks….debating whether to dump it and get a new one. With only 2 months of school to go, my middle-class-cost-conscious mind just wouldn’t allow me the liberty to splurge on a new bag.

So this weekend, I finally got down to it. Grabbed a big needle, a large scissor and oodles of heavy-duty thread. After much snipping, cutting and sewing, Shobby’s bag is as good as new. For added measure, I even soaked them bags in soap water and gave them a good brushing.

*Sigh*

It was tough work. But somewhere deep inside, I have this distinct satisfaction of doing some good for my kids, making an effort on their behalf, not to mention, saving a few bucks in the bargain πŸ˜€ .

At least my kids have learned that mending things gets them going and each time you needn’t just dump the old and get the new.

The stuff one has to take care of, I tell you 😐

—————————————————–

I went shopping. Doesn’t seem like a big deal but it was. Because I was out shopping ( and I mean, bona-fide shopping, with big lists and all) after months!! In fact, I don’t even remember the last time I went about it. So out-of-touch was I that I missed out on buying half the stuff that was listed (brown rice, whole-wheat bread, etc). But I did end up buying stuff I hadn’t planned on (cheesy-potato wafers, books, a bag of candies)Β  so basically, some shopper instinct is still alive πŸ˜‰ .

Also, I really need to start buying stuff that is NOT grocery. Pronto 😐 !!

I’ll start with clothes for the twins…maybe sometime this week πŸ™‚

—————————————————–

This weekend, I cooked a variety of stuff . The cook usually makes the regular food but on days when she doesn’t turn up, I take control. And how!! Β  A lot!

In two days’ time I came up with –

– Mutton Curry and bagara rice (1.5 kgs of mutton and 2 kgs of rice.Β  I really can cook large quantities, me thinks πŸ˜‰ )

– Veg Hakka Noodles, plain noodles and cheese-tomato soup.

– Cauliflower manchurian

– Veg Pulao

Not really considered as cooking, but I did churn butter and make ghee. This time, we managed to get nearly a kilo of ghee (after 4 weeks of saving up theΒ  malai). Looks like our doodhwala is giving us pretty good milk πŸ™‚ .

It also means that the kids aren’t drinking as much milk as they should 😦

—————————————————–

I’m reading the book, “The Japanese Wife” by Kunal Basu.

The story is riveting, no doubt, but am I the only one who wasn’t touched by it? Apparently, Aparna Sen was impressed enough to make a full-fledged movie out of it!

In the book, the Japanese woman, Miyage proposes to Snehamoya when she finds out that he is about to get betrothed to another. For 20 long years they lead a married life, albeit separately. Never once does she visit him or vice versa.

Why then does Miyage visit his village when he confesses to her (in a letter) about his slight indiscretion? Was insecurity the only thing that drives Miyage’s character? Why was she so distant and aloofΒ  throughout? How does she come to know about his death and her status as a widow?

Maybe I just didn’t get the story. Or maybe, I didn’t read it in the best frame of mind. Whatever the case, if anyone has read it before and understands the subtext, please take the trouble and explain it to me too. I really need to know how that end came about 😐 !!

——————————————————–

I finally saw “Harishchandrachi Factory”.

A long time ago I had confessed to making an effort towards learning Marathi (and what better teacher than movies, I ask you!). I saw a few movies and then got hooked. Something like the way the BF got hooked to South Indian cinema πŸ˜€

Anyhow, since this movie was India’s entry for Oscars a couple of years ago, I decided to give it a go.

Frankly, it is a rather sweet tale. Dada Phalke’s character loosely resembles Roberto Benigni’s Guido in Life Is Beautiful (if you haven’t seen LIB yet, make a dash for it. I don’t remember the last time I sobbed so hard. No, not even for Titanic. Or TZP ). Dada Phalke is a happy-go-lucky small-time magician with not a single shard of negativity to mar his persona. He dreams of bringing the first moving Indian film to India . The film is about his endeavors as he goes about fulfilling his dream. In this he is ably supported by his wife and two kids (which later become three πŸ˜€ ). He finally makes the film and gets recognized for it. But it isnt the film he makes that matters. It is the sheer enjoyment and dedication for the craft that matters. We feel the glee as he shows off his first moving picture, that of a growing pea plant. We laugh at his attempts to convince women to act in his movie. We also get to laugh at the valiant efforts of the motley crew which comprises of the cast.

Overall, the movie is full of positive vibes with the only negative turn being a blindness scare. Watch it if you get the time. The language is rather simple, but subtitles help πŸ™‚

————————————-

Thats all for now folks…….I’m just glad to be updating this space after a really long time πŸ™‚

If you’re around, do drop by and say hello πŸ™‚

Have a GREAT week ahead πŸ™‚

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Letters

Dear Mr.Bell

What would we do without a phone?? No, no, I don’t mean the smartphones that let us do all but communicate with the dead! I mean the simple little thing you made that made talking across miles possible. The simple wires carrying sounds to lands far and away…making it possible for a very sappy me to talk to my one true love across the oceans!

Yours,

Eternally-Grateful.

===============================

Dear Mom,

How did you do it?? How did you survive for months on end without Dad?? How did you cope when there was no provision of a phone call? I know Dad called up once in a while (make that once in 2-3 months as phone used to be a luxury in border areas his unit was manning). I know you wrote letters, piles of them, but there was no guarantee they would reach him. Or that he would reply πŸ˜€

I call up the BF at least thrice a day. He calls me up an equal number of times. And then we have a video chat. We drop mails. In fact, its as if he’s still in town but doesn’t have the time to drop by home 😐 . I hardly realize that he is far far away and that we live in different timezones. What matters is that we are so constantly in touch. He is updated with each day’s activities of the kids. He knows what they’ve been up to, the things they say and the way they behave. Apart from the slight difference in their size (when he sees them next), I doubt he would find anything new!

I cant imagine how you went through those years. Must have been terribly tough, isn’t it? I realize it just now 😦

Yours,

Forever-In-Awe!

========================================

Dear Lui And Shobby,

You’ve taken your father’s absence much better than I had anticipated. I know you miss him and he misses you two, in fact, terribly so. If there is one reason (make that two) for him to give up his work and fly back home, its you. But rather than saying “Abu come back home” all you ever told him on the phone is, “Finish your work and come back home”. Well, he better follow those orders, right? Its cute you know, the way you ask him if he’s done a ‘good job’ of his work πŸ™‚ . I’m sure he’s tickled pink each time he hears it!

I think you are handling his absence admirably well. You were a little whiny initially but lately your temperaments have improved. You don’t give me much trouble and though I risk jinxing myself, I must admit that you two actually listen to me! Your temper tantrums are down by a notch and we actually have reasonable discussions *gasp* (will wonders never cease?!) The only thing you have conspired to do is to keep me running around the house after you two. It is an activity which I thoroughly despise and there seems to be no respite in sight. Alas, I’ll pick the pros over the cons for now πŸ™‚

Please keep up the good behavior even after your father comes back. I do want to take credit for it all πŸ˜€

Yours,

Forever-On-The-Toes

================================

Dear Unix,

Where have you been?? I know, I know, I deserted you…left you for Windows.Β  Worked on GUIs and became depressed and morose enough to think of quitting my job. Nothing I did seemed worthwhile. I was disillusioned and listless. Work didn’t interest me anymore and I had serious doubts on what I wanted to do next.

Then you came along. My old friend. You forgave me my defection and welcomed me back with open arms.Β  All those forgotten commands came flooding back -grep, ls, pwd, rm, ant, awk, sed……. So engrossed am I in my VNC that I no longer find the time to blog ( :O ) . I’m totally lost in your console and your prompt ensconces me like home. I’m once more charged up and can see some meaning in the work I do.

Never again am I working on a Windows-based project again. For me, its just gonna be U(nix).

Yours,

Eternally-Smitten.

=================================

Dear BF,

We’ve been together, we’ve been apart. We were then together and then apart. In the last 14 years, I think we’ve had enough instances of being away from each other. Yet, each time it hurts terribly. I miss your presence and your PJs. Being away from the family has robbed you of your under-appreciated sense of humour. Its been ages since I heard you laugh. Okay, maybe not really. You do guffaw out aloud when on video chat with the kids πŸ™‚ .

The twins miss you terribly, but they are more concerned about what you plan to get for them. Me, I miss the fights and the arguments over the use of cupboards, tables and bed. Having all this space to myself is getting a tad unnerving. I’d rather have two shelves in the cupboard after a good, well-deserved win, than having it all to myself on a platter.

*Sigh*

Do come back soon. After you wrap up your work, of course. Wouldn’t want to harm the hand that puts the bread-n-butter on the table, right?!

Yours.

πŸ™‚

==================================

Dear US Consulate,

I have no idea what Section 221(g) means. I have no idea why it is termed so. All I know is that I’d like to spend a few months with my husband while he is in your land. I swear that my kids have no ulterior motive other than to fleece their father of his last hard-earnedΒ  penny, all in order to help your economy. Why then would you, dear people, label my visa as “Administration pending”. What exactly does it mean? No one seems to give a proper reply. The Visa Officer was highly apologetic when he said my visa was in pending state but he gave no reason for it. Its been more than a month , I haven’t heard a thing from anyone. The pending case_status document hasn’t been updated at all for the day when I had my interview. Pray, give me one hint as to whats going on? Even if my visa is rejected just LET ME KNOW!! I need to plan my leaves accordingly.

Eternally Hopeful.

===================================

Read Full Post »

RIP_1

Without any preamble, I’d like to start off by saying that there is nothing, nothing subtle about RIP!Β  Read the disclaimer at the beginning, if you may, but its more fun if you just ignore it and jump into the book. The blatant references to corrupt politicians and their ilk is so wickedly juicy, you might as well super-impose their actual names over the ones given by the author. I think if this book lands in the hands of any of the people in authority, Mr.Mukul Deva would find himself in BIG trouble πŸ™‚

RIP or Resurgent Indian Patriots is a bunch of Special Forces ex-officers who go by the moniker, The K-Team (as all their names begin with ‘K’), lead by Krishna Athawale, a widower and a staunch believer of the need to bring about some drastic changes in India’s political scene. He, along with his team embark on a mission to eliminate corruption and force the government to cede to the demands of the common man, in this case,Β  represented in the form of a certain Mr.Hazarika (Anna Hazare anyone?).

The CBI Director, Vinod Bedi is assigned the task of identifying and eliminating the RIP. It is a daunting task, because though the K-Team leave clues to determine the identity of their next victim, the sheer number of corrupt politicians/officials/judges who fit the bill, make it difficult to identify that one single target. Also, Vinod does not want to give in to the Home Minister’s subtle hints to ‘eliminate’ the RIP instead of just capturing them.

Raghav Bhagat, a rogue ex-para trooper is on the roll of the Home Minister, who is assigned the actual task of killing the RIP, once they are identified by Vinod and his team. Vinod and his team are unaware of the Home Minister’s back-up plan to hunt for RIP. With three different teams working on one target (one to carry out the killing and two to prevent it) , the first assassination after the RIP go public, is so fraught with confusion, it is difficult to put the book down!

There is a love triangle in here too, but I will not give away much about it.

This is no doubt a gutsy book. It is bold, blatant and doesn’t mince words. I confess I had a tough time putting it down after the first three victims were eliminated in quick succession. The book is fast-paced, even though the rampage of the K-Team, their meticulous planning, the different methods they employ to carry out their killings are described in detail. Honest confession, it tickled my funny bone to read about how a particular victim meets his/her end and then I would super-impose that image with the real politician who is referenced.Β  I’m sure there are thousands of people in this country who would want those people to suffer the exact same fate 😐

The portions that deal with the love story do tend to slow down the pace of the book but I feel this could be because of a probable movie script for the future. It does not take anything away from the story though. Like I said before, the book is fast-paced and gripping.Β  The language is very simple and not fancy (the language used to describe Raghav’s character was a little showy). My only gripe, like all the books I have reviewed till date, is with the proof-reading. That, and spell-check. But there aren’t too many of these errors to distract from the actual content, so no loss here πŸ™‚

For the record, I had never heard of Mukul Deva before. I’ve also never read any books on the military, espionage, etc. Yet, I picked up this book for reviewing because I really wanted to give this genre a chance. I’m glad I did, because I enjoyed reading “RIP”. I think I might be tempted enough to read more of his other books soon.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com . Participate now to get free books!

Read Full Post »

Since I wasΒ  a part of the Scout/Guides troops in school, Independence and Republic Days are very close to my heart. It wasn’t about the hours of marching we had to do. It was more about the freedom to bunk boring lectures, march in the sun during chilly winters (those classrooms were morgues!!) and be entitled to a bag of goodies (refreshments, we called them) after the practice. Needless to say, I didn’t mind a minute of all that Left-Right-Left πŸ™‚ !! Somewhere in my cupboard in B’lore, I still have my uniform, the indigo blue frock, brown leather belt, the tightly wound rope that hangs from the belt, the scarf, the line-yard and the beret.

My most wonderful memory of Republic Day has to be in the one in the year 1990. Though I was a Guide, in those days I also used to be a member of the school choir. Which meant, endless hours practicing welcome songs for the chief-guest along with the sessions of march-past, which means, an entire day off from classes πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ !!!

Anyhow, so there we were, soaking in the warm sun, waiting for the chief guest to arrive. For the life of me, I cannot recollect who the person was. I just know that he looked snooty and acted the part. He came in late but we were okay with it….we had come to school around 7AM and given the terribly chilly Bhatinda winter, standing for hours in the sun seemed like a boon. The chief guest arrived sometime around 8:30-9:00 AM. We sprung up from our chairs and lustily sang some welcome number. After the usual welcome speech by the Principal, it was time for the flag hoisting. The school band was in attention, itching to play the National Anthem as soon as the flag fluttered high. The chief guest stepped over to the podium, the sports teacher handed him the rope.

We waited with baited breath.

The chief guest tugged at the rope.

Nothing happened.

He tugged harder.

Nothing happened.

He tugged with all his might.

The by now severed rope gave way and the bundled flag landed on the chief guests head with a loud “Thump”.

A thousand plus children laughed uproariously while a miffed Principal yelled over the mike to “Keep quiet” and “Haso mat!!” Haso mat!! Indeed!! Was it even possible?!!

The Chief guest was seriously ticked off and the sports teacher, who had tied that unfortunate knot, was almost bent double, apologizing profusely πŸ™‚ . The music teacher started the harmonium, which was cue for the band to start playing and for us to start singing. So yeah, even though we didn’t ‘hoist’ the flag, we had our Republic day πŸ™‚ .

After that incident, each time I visit any flag-hoisting ceremony, I somehow keep wondering if the flag will open or just land on someone’s head πŸ˜€Β  . This in no way is an indication that I disrespect the flag, its just that having the flag give the chief guest (specially if its those kinds who think they are doing the rest a big favour) a nice public ‘spanking’ , is a thought too delicious to ignore πŸ˜€

Anyway, this year, I decided to take the twins along to my office, which hosts the flag-hoisting ceremony twice a year. The Chief guest is none other than the MD himself and the crowd is the usual one which comes every year. The preparations to take them along were started a week in advance. The twins were so eager that they were ready to sacrifice their sleep on a Saturday morning.

We left for my office around 8:30 AM (the old office actually. I now sit in the new office building at a different location). The twins were so excited that they didn’t even want their morning milk!. Once at the office, I realized that hardly a couple of employees had brought their kids along. My kids, not the ones to keep their opinions to themselves, wondered aloud how long they would have to stand around. I did a lot of “Shhh”, but obviously they are immune to that sound. Lui was social enough to shake hands with my friends and even talk to some seniors. Shobby hid himself behind my dupatta 😦

The actual flag-hoisting was a short affair. The twins kept disturbing me as I was singing the National Anthem…Shobby insisted loudly, “Mummy…please aap gao mat !!” Yes, everyone around now knows what my child thinks of my singing skills 😐 . Anyhow, once the parade by security guards went by, we trooped inside for a hot cup of tea. I took a few snaps, posting them here :-

P1080103

P1080102

Shobby decided to dig his nose just as I clicked :(

Shobby decided to dig his nose just as I clicked 😦

Try as I might, the two refused to salute!

Once inside, they sat down with their cups of tea and quietly sipped at it. A few people came around to meet them, thankfully my children were well mannered and cordial with them all!

P1080109

Behind the water glass

The twins took a fancy for the water glass. They were stuck there for ages. I had to literally drag them away from there. A friend clicked this snap for me –

P1080108Don’t ask me why Lui’s bent like that 😐

While leaving, I took the kids outside to a tiny garden maintained by my company

P1080110

The twins ran around for a while and then we left for home. On the way, the twins insisted they wanted the stick flags (those paper flags with a windmill attached to it). I bought two and we went back home.

Throughout the day, I reminded the children about the flag-hoisting and how we were free people now compared to being slaves earlier (blah blah blah… am sure it went over their heads). Each time, they nodded their heads sagely, excited only when they remembered the shower of petals from above, something they both LOVED on sight πŸ™‚

Overall, it was a day nicely spent. I felt glad that I did my duty as an Indian.

Towards evening, Shobby’s paper flag tore (both the kids were using their sticks as swords). He came running to me with the torn paper in his hands. “Mummy, this is broke”, he said and then holding out the piece of paper, added further,”Yeh kya hai?”

“Oh no!! This is the flag baby!!”

He looked at the windmill on the stick with a puzzled look.

“Toh, yeh flag nahin hai??”

*Sigh*

Some lessons still need to be taught !!

😐

 

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: