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Archive for July, 2013

Its pouring heavily this year and finally, we decided to get the open balconies covered with a shed. Now our balconies, they are rather large, the size of the bedrooms in the flats below. The flats two floors up do cover our balconies but it isn’t sufficient. If there are high winds with the rains, everything gets wet. By everything, I mean, all the extra stuff that we dump in the balcony, stuff that has no place inside the house, but no one has the heart to trash it. You know, regular stuff that every house has ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyhow, so these welding chaps came over to do the needful this week. For the last one week they’ve been welding, drilling, hammering and cutting. To do all this, they need space. To make space, all the extra stuff lying in one of the balconies is dumped in my room. That’sย because,

a) it’s the largest room in the house

b) it’s the closest to the balcony.

2+2 =4

So thats how, I ended up with the clutter that is now my room.

clutter

Even as I sit here and type, my eyes hover over the stuff and I cant help but shudder to think what the BF would say if he were here to witness it.

For the record, the new stuff that now adorns my room is as follows :-

2 Plastic chairs

1 large Clothes-stand to dry the clothes

2 Cycles

2 small children’s car

2 gas cylinders

1 cane swing

1 water cooler

5Kgs of Onion and 1Kg of Garlic which had the misfortune of getting wet and are now spread to dry on a paper on the floor.

This is in addition to the regular stuff in my room which includes :-

1 double bed

1 bunk bed

2 cupboards

1 bookshelf

1 Exercycle

1 study table and chair

1 large steel trunk

two cane single-seater chairs

1 large carton of children’s toys.

Try imagining ALL the above under the roof one ONE room and you’ll know what I mean by clutter. My erstwhile ย spacious bedroom has barely any space to move about in. Hopefully, by tomorrow, the men will be done with their work and I’ll finally dump the stuff back where it came from.

Right now, the dampness due to wet clothes, smell of onions/garlic and just the whole junkyard look of the room is driving me nuts ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

(Nothing against the rains though. Love the weather, love the rains….we need all the water that God can give us ๐Ÿ™‚ ย ).

I think I’m done with the oddly-timed rant. Logging off for the day.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead.

So long,

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For Lui and Shobbs, a game of “Hide-n-Seek” goes something like this :-

1) Whisper loudly about their plans to play HnS right behind Momma’s back. Obviously, she’s deaf as a whale and wouldn’t hear a word.

2) One of them hops onto the bed and snuggles under the blankets. The other comes up to Momma and innocently claims that the other twin is ‘Lost’, so will Momma please find him/her??

Where was Momma all this time? Right next to the bed, ironing their uniform. Obviously she’s blind as a dingbat too and didn’t see the kid hiding.

3) The said Momma wrings her hands with worry and goes around the house, searching for the ‘Lost’ kid with one giggling kid tagging along.

4) The tag-along-kid finally gets bored and asks Momma to search the bedroom, particularly the bed. Momma is led safely back to the room.

5) The hiding kid pops out from under the blankets with a big “BOO”!

6) Momma faints with shock and relief. The “Boo” scared the pants off her and she was relieved because , whew! her baby was safe! The kids giggle and clap their hands wildly.

7) Steps 2 to 6 are repeated for the other kid, with plans made right under Mumma’s nose. And yes, Mumma does go around the house a second time, ย hunting for the newly ‘lost’ kid ๐Ÿ˜€

The twins suck a Hide-n-Seek ๐Ÿ˜€ . I mean, they haven’t really figured out the essence of the game yet. They know they have to hide, but they have no clue that the hiding part should be a secret. Mostly, they suffer from a fit of giggles which gives away their hideout. But the best is when they do the Ostrich act, you know, the one where they stuff their heads under the pillow and have their bums sticking out and seriously believe that their Mumma has NO CLUE about their hiding place :|.

Yes, those are the best times ๐Ÿ™‚

And Oh, it’s not just HnS that they are terrible at, try playing treasure hunt with them. They’ll hide stuff in the most obvious places and then ‘lead’ you to it just when you finish counting! Its been a frustrating time trying to explain that I need to search for that darn thing! When I hide it, I make them search, giving out only simple clues. But when they hide it, I know right at the onset where it is ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

hns

You know, the best part about having twins is that they always have each other to play with or against. Hardly ever do the twins pester me to join in or to entertain them. I can leave them alone and they will keep each other busy throughout the day. Thats one of the reasons why its easy for us to prevent them from watching television. I mean, they are okay with not watching cartoons, because they have each other to play with. I’m really lucky that way (Alhamdulillah!)

Even as I type this, the kids are discussing their next hideout. They’re doing it right in front of me ๐Ÿ˜

Now, seriously, they do think I’m deaf and blind, don’t they ๐Ÿ˜€

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Striking A Pose

One fine morning, as I stood waiting for the twin’s school van, Shobby turns to me and says, “Mumma, do I look good”.

“Of course you do”, I gushed, even as I wondered where this came about!

Phir meri photo kyun nahin lete?”, he asked.

“Well, because its cloudy and the light is not very good right now”, I reasoned.

“Please Mumma, please photo lo na, mera mood ho raha hai“.

“Haha!! Why not”, I said and unlocked my phone to click one.

The little boy walks up a certain distance, turns around, folds his hands and says, “Abhi photo lo”.

So I take his snap and show it to him.

“Hmmmm, mujhe lagta hai mai issmein achcha dikh raha hoon“, says the tyke.

“Haan Shobby, aap toh hansom lag rahe ho“, chips in Lui.

Well, as their ย mother, I’m inclined to agree with them ๐Ÿ™‚ .

What say ๐Ÿ˜€ ?!!

Photo0011

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Some time back, I’d read a wonderful post on OM’s blog about her daughter’s love for Krishna. The little girl loves her idol of Krishna and even lines up her barbies as his devotees ๐Ÿ˜€ . It was a very cute post and I confess I felt a bit teary towards the end. A child’s love is so pure!! Do check out that post.

Reading the blog, I was reminded of an innocent question a colleague asked me at lunch one day. We were talking about goodnight prayers and I was narrating the twin’s prayers to Allah to keep their Big-Dadi (The BF’s grandmother) trouble free in heaven. I also mentioned that whenever the kids get hurt or fall ill, I ask them to ask Allah for relief. They do this without question.ย At this, the friend quipped, “Do your kids understand the concept of God?”

I was a trifle startled at this question but realized that the answer was Yes, indeed they did. They did believe in a God up there. I’m not really sure when exactly they started believing, but the truth is that they understand the concept of God, of a power much higher and greater than us, a power that is invisible, no form, no image, without representation.

I realized early in life that being a Muslim was purely about believing in Allah. That there was a power up there which wrote our destinies, who gave us a choice in everything we did and decided our fate based on the choices we make. As a kid, we didn’t realize the depth of believing in that power with our eyes closed, with no visual aids, no images, no pictures, no idols. How exactly could we believe in something that we knew nothing about? I personally believe that most muslims don’t become muslims by birth. We become muslims the day we realize that the power exists, that our prayers do get answered (and I’m not talking about the wishes for extra helpings of ice-cream or a lifetime supply of chocolates ๐Ÿ™‚ )

We become muslims the day we understand that there is someone out there looking out for us. That one day, we have to go back and meet our maker and on that day we will have to answer for all the good or bad that we did in our lifetime. I’m sure my children aren’t there yet. The only thing I’ve instructed them to do is to believe in their hearts that even when it appears that no one is watching over them, there is someone up there who is doing so. For now, they do understand that Allah is watching over them, so they have to be good ๐Ÿ™‚ .

The kid’s day-care lady is a Jain. She adores the twins and sometimes, she takes them along to her Society’s Mandir for a puja. I don’t mind it. The kids enjoy the visits and tell me in the evening that they went to see ‘Bhagwan’. Its only when ย I accidentally kick a book which is lying on the floor and a kid says, “Mummy, say sorry to the book. Issmein Bhagwan hai“, that I feel the need to correct them. I know that there are other religions that equate many things with God. Islam doesn’t. For us, the Lord above is too mighty and too sacred to be compared or even represented by anything on this mortal planet. This is just our belief and not meant to offend anyone else’s sensibilities. But yes, a book is a book, it helps one get education, so respecting it is fine. Keeping them in its place, is what I teach them to do. But I draw the line when they start referring to it as God.

Being a muslim is not easy. Specially when it comes to teaching the kids about Allah. We have no aids, only books written in a foreign language that the children will understand only much later. Till then, they are on their own. I can just let them know what I’m doing, I cannot make them do what I do. I can teach them prayers, but the only ones which are answered are the ones which are offered from the heart. They may not offer namaz, but whenever one gets hurt, the other quickly asks Allah to heal the hurt. Though this is not a formal prayer, it is true in its expression and I’m sure Allah understands ๐Ÿ™‚ .

I send my daughter to school with a headscarf. She is free to remove it if she wants. This is just my way of introducing her to the beauty of this most misunderstood concept of Islam. As she grows older, she will make her own choices, but till then, I do my bit and introduce her to it. Alhamdulillah, she has taken quite a fancy to it, though she does remove it after school and goes to the day-care. One day, in office, as I was showing the snaps of my kids in their uniform to my colleagues, one was offended to see Lui with a headscarf.

“Why is she wearing a scarf?” she asked me.

“Because I like her to”, I replied.

“Doesn’t the school object?” she asked further.

“No. They don’t object”, I replied.

“But why not?” she asked vehemently, ย ” They should ban it . It is against National Integration”.

At this point, I was too stumped and stupefied to reply.

Our country’s National Integration was at the mercy of my daughter’s headscarf! That was quite a burden she was carrying on her head, I say!!!

Over the years, I’ve met many people who have zero knowledge about Islam but consider themselves an authority on anything Islamic. Like, for instance, believing that the huge population of muslims in India exists only because the Mughals forcefully converted the Hindus. ย By that logic, the Christian population should be almost neck-to-neck with the muslims, right?

Anyhow, that is an argument for a different time. For now, as I see my kids grow older and learn new things, I need to show them that there is lot of beauty around them. That though some people may doubt their loyalties (Heck! My Dad served in the Indian Army and yet there were certain people who made snide remarks about his loyalty. Imagine! A man who gets war medals for his country, was looked upon with suspicion. What chances do my kids have? ), there will be others who will give their undying love and friendship. That there will be hurdles in their lives, surprisingly the kind which never appear for their friends, but for them alone, but still, the One above will sail them over it.

Faith is all about believing. I believe that though there is a lot of hatred in this world, my children will find their share of love and kindness, of friendships and happiness. Of loyalty and togetherness. Not just with each other but with most of the people they come across in their life.

I pray that my children will not be stigmatized as adults, if they chose to wear a headscarf or a cap. That no one will question their loyalty towards their country. That they will be accepted for who they are and how they chose to live. InshaAllah, those days will come.

Because Allah is watching over them ๐Ÿ™‚ .

Note : The contents of this post are my opinions alone. I apologize if any sentiments are hurt and want to assure everyone that such was not my intention.

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There’s this advertisement that plays regularly on TV. It’s an ad for “Moov” pain relieving balm. Personally, I’m a BIG fan of “Moov”. It works like a charm when having a severe headache or body-ache! In fact, for common-cold, Moov works much better than Vicks, when applied on chest and back. It’s a different matter that the skin practically sizzles with the resulting heat. Not advised for kids, no.

Anyway, coming to the ad, it’s a rather sweet one. Wife and husband having a few moments of playful fun.

It’s all very cute, something that I think most couples could relate to. Except, maybe, the end.

The end bugs me to no end ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Why does the couple break their embrace so hastily when their kid walks in? What was so wrong in what they were doing? Come to think of it, the kid wouldn’t be there in the first place if the parents hadn’t got intimate! Why couldn’t they still cling on and call the kid to join in a group-hug?

A long time back, I’d written a post about my parents being the epitome of coolth (I made that word up. Don’t bother to check in a dicsh. I made up that one too ๐Ÿ˜€ ). One of the points listed there was about the intimacy Dad shared with Mom. They were unapologetic about it. As we grew older, we realized that they had every right to do what they pleased. If we walked in on them, we learned to walk out too. Our parents were doing nothing wrong and I’m sure we never got suspicious of what they were up to. If they were to jump apart and look guilty every time one of us walked by, we would have definitely thought they were up to something sinful and *gasp* ‘wrong‘!! Since there were four of us, that would have been a LOT of jumping the parents would have to do ๐Ÿ˜

The one thing I learned ย is that seeing parents so in love with each other, gave me a sense of security. It makes me want to have the same level of comfort and love with my husband. We are getting there too. Hugging and kissing each other is a routine activity between us and the twins. When we cuddle up, either the kids join us or leave us alone ๐Ÿ™‚ . The kids are comfortable with our intimacy and we are careful not to cross the ‘laxman rekha‘ in their presence ๐Ÿ˜€ . For obvious reasons, we don’t indulge in PDA in front of the in-laws ๐Ÿ˜€ .

Which reminds me, if the ad depicted the couple moving away because an elder entered the room, it would have struck a decent chord, what with keeping in tune with the Indian sensibilities. The blush on the woman’s face would have been justified then.

It just seemed so silly that they jumped away only because their kid walked in.

I mean, I found it odd. Did you too ??

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Reaching New Heights

Decades ago, I used to be a wide-eyed innocent, absorbing the new things around me with astonishment and delight. ย Those were the days of wonder, new discoveries and sometimes, disappointments. There was delight when I ‘understood’ the concept of animation and how drawings could be brought to life. I was stunned to know that the songs in Hindi movies were sung by different people than the ones on screen. It just made watching the actors so difficult, because it made no sense for them to enact the the song, miming with their lips ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . Disappointing, YES!!

There is a huge list of first-time achievements/realizations that I still remember from my childhood.ย Of a hundred new things that I learned, there is one very distant activity that is imprinted on my mind. The sheer happiness when I learned to fold a saree. Yup! I remember distinctly because those 6 yards gave me enough trouble! I used to love folding freshly washed laundry, except for mom’s looooooong sarees which seemed like the toughest things ever. Even bed-sheets were easier, because I would spread them on the floor and then go about folding them. There just wasn’t enough space to lay the saree flat on the ground ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . So I used to struggle, get entwined and sometimes, just when I thought I had done it, one folded section would slip from my hand and I would have to do it all over again. It was rather frustrating, irritating even. Mom never asked me to fold her sarees, she would be okay doing it herself or sometimes, Aapa, the elder sister, would do it. But I just couldn’t!!

Then one fine day, I got it. Just like that! I got the hang of how exactly I needed to go about the business and within seconds, I had a neatly folded saree in my hands. I still remember the rush of excitement, of knowing that I could figure out the solution to a problem, myself. That I had made my own discovery ๐Ÿ™‚ . It was a high of a different kind. For a few seconds, I thought that I had just ‘grown-up’ a tad bit ๐Ÿ˜€

Maybe, Lui felt something on the same lines last weekend.

I was busy in the kitchen making tea. Lui comes in and says, “Mumma, see this”. As I turned around, she stood on her toes and stretched out her hands to flip the switch for the kitchen lights. It was at a height that she couldn’t reach earlier. As I stood there and looked at her grinning there proudly, I couldn’t help but remember my childhood. The same sense of victory, of achievement.

Lui was pleased as hell, I could tell ๐Ÿ™‚ . It was an act that she could perform all by herself. In fact, switching on lights is an activity that I never ask the kids to do. I’m a tad paranoid about them . But here was my daughter, beaming brightly, showing me how she could reach the light and flip them on and off. When Shobby strolled in and rued that he could NEVER reach them buttons, Lui graciously offered to ‘lift’ her brother so that he too can have his share of fun ๐Ÿ˜€

Shobby still couldn’t make it ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, the only reason I posted about this small development was because, for a fraction of a second, I saw the little me in Lui. I saw her happiness and her glee…..it used to be mine once, though it seems so far off now. Even though we keep learning new things even today, the sense of wonderment is lost . A pity ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Not sure if I posted this snap here before….but this is how the twins look these days –

Lui and Shobbs

Lui and Shobbs

 

 

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