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Archive for October, 2013

Monday Rants!

I love my early morning solitude. Sometimes, when I get up early, I stand in the balcony with a cup of tea. There would be occasional chirping of early birds, if I’m lucky, I might spot a sparrow (so rare these days) or a parrot. Pigeons flock by hundreds and are possibly the only birds I get to see at any time of the day, any day! It is a nice idyllic scene. There is minimal traffic, the air is crisp and all seems well with the world.

Imagine my irritation when this nice, scenic set-up is marred by the sounds of a man gargling. I’m assuming he’s gargling because frankly speaking it sounds like a man puking his guts out. The audio come loud and clear from some apartment close by. Within minutes, the sounds are repeated from practically ALL the apartments!

For the life of me, I can’t understand why men can’t brush and gargle in silence! I’ve never heard women make such horrific sounds early in the morning!!

I’m terribly, terribly peeved 😐

 


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Tobacco, the chewing kind, should be banned ASAP!!!

I hate, Hate, HATE people spitting gallons of goop right in front of me while I’m driving! Its insane you know, to be on the look-out for the heavy traffic as well as the shower of spit which can land from anywhere ! People in buses should be particularly banned from eating that stuff!

I think it is a disgusting habit to spit on the roads and to see people indulging in it all around you is more than nauseating. It is revolting 😐 !!

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Dussehra is over. So what do educated people of Pune do? They throng the bridges over the city’s rivers and dump large plastic bags full of flowers into the water below!Β  I crossed three bridges on m y way to work today and all of them were crowded with people thronging over them to dispose off the flowers! I really wanted to give them a piece of my mind. But it is difficult to talk sense to people when there are so many of them in the wrong! And I am a minority 😐

I’m not against them throwing flowers into the river. Flowers decompose. But what about the plastic bags?!

People in fancy cars were jumping out to quickly dispose of the said flowers before any cop sees them. I doubt any cop would stop them from throwing flowers into the water. It’s those bags which cause all the toxic waste!

When will people learn 😐 !!!

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When will the twins stop playing mind games with me ?!

The twins have holidays for a few days (Dussehra-Eid combined) and for the last two weeks, I’ve been preparing them to stay at the day-care for the whole day. The twins hate going for full-day stay because the other kids there come only post lunch. Even the twins go there post lunch so they have a lot of friends for company. When they go in the morning, they don’t have other friends to play with and get bored easily!

For the last two days, I’ve been thinking up tricks and treats to convince the kids. I had it all planned. The minute they start bickering, I was all set to come up with the bribes (horrible parenting, I know…..but its difficult to handle two irritable kids in the morning when I’m myself rushed).

So the twins got up in time, brushed, bathed, got into the clothes laid out for them, had their milk, didn’t crib about their lunchbox and only requested that I allow them to watch cartoon till the time BIL drops them off at the day-care.

😐 😐 😐

As I walked out of the door, with final goodbyes to the kids, I realized with a sinking heart that my babies have grown up 😦

That I actually enjoyed their bickering and my bargaining. Their mute acceptance of the circumstances tore at my heart 😦

I’m feeling a little sad today!

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To make life a little better, the twins come up with some rather precious words for their mother :-

Shobby :- “(In a very happy mood) Mumma, you know, you are very cute. You are my heavy pumpkin”.

Huh! 😐

Lui :- “(in a very pensive mood) Mumma, I’ll pray to Allah, aapki sab problem mujhe mil jaye” (I beamed at my daughter) aur meri problems aapko mil jaye”.

Yup! Exactly what I need right now.

πŸ™„

Thats all from my side….how is your week starting up??

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Compensation

There was a short post on FB by Shail on modern parents compensating their love with gadgets. It was a humorous take on gadgets at least being available now πŸ˜€

It did get me thinking though.

What exactly does it mean by compensating love?

Does it mean that you cannot love your child enough and that is why you have to give them expensive stuff to be happy?

Or does it mean that you don’t have the time to love your child and buy them expensive stuff to keep them busy?

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If it’s any of the above two, then gadgets do serve the purpose, don’t they? They keep the children happy as well as busy. And if some parents are okay with it, who am I to judge? I, personally speaking, have very strong views about children and gadgets (it doesn’t help that a very popular cartoon character fishes out amazing gadgets at the drop of a hat! My children think he’ s the epitome of cool-th and want a magic pocket just like him 😐 ).

Since, its none of the above two reasons for me, I desist from making my children gadget friendly. I’d rather they be an ignoramus than be a smart-ass.

But then, this post isn’t about gadgets. It’s about compensation.

I wonder, who started using the word “compensation” in a parent-child relationship anyway? How exactly in this world can we compensate for something that we cannot measure? And by ‘something’, I mean Love, not time! Time is measurable πŸ˜€

What got me thinking more on these lines was an incident that happened at home the other day. The twins were jumping up and down on the sofas after being strictly warned not to do so. I raised my voice sharply and scolded the two to stop the jumping right now!

The FIL, who was in the hall with me, immediately cautioned me, “Don’t shout at the kids, remember, you are not at home the whole day“. He didn’t add to it further but the wheels of my mind started churning rapidly. Should I not correct my children when they are doing wrong, just because I go to work?Β  Should I be always sweet and obliging because I don’t spend the whole day with them?

I did not point out my vehemence to the FIL right then, maybe next time a similar situation comes up, I will voice my opinion.

But I just want to know, how many people believe that because a woman goes out to work, she should be extra kind and generous towards her children?

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Since the kids started school, I’ve kept telling them that I need to go to work just as they need to go to school. Only that my work timings are longer. The twins have learned to accept my absence. Sure, they miss me when I get late but it isn’t a deal-breaker in our relationship. I do everything that a regular mother does. I get them up, make their lunch boxes, prepare their breakfast, brush their teeth, bathe them, get them dressed for school, pack their bags and see them off. The only thing I don’t do is give them lunch (they have it at the day-care). Once I’m back, I take their homework/studies, feed them, prepare their uniform/shoes for the next day, tell them stories, give them milk and lie down with them till they go off to sleep.Β  Projects, assignments, preparing for assessments, all are done in time. Any extra work of mine is done after the kids are asleep.

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Nowhere in my regular day do I feel that I lack in my responsibilities as a mother. I may be spending less time with my children, but every second that I do, is accounted for. From the minute I come back from office to the time the kids leave for school, we are together. Weekends we either laze about or do some crafts. Sometimes, I even take them out to meet relatives or friends (Shopping with children is still off the list).

Till date, I’ve never let my work come between me and the kids. They are my priority, sure, but my work is important too. The kids understand this. I’ve done nothing to let my children feel that they can boss over me using the guilt train because I’m not at home! They don’t do it. I was just peeved that the FIL felt I should be guilty because I’m a working woman.

Maybe its just a generation thing. At their time a woman’s sole responsibility was to look after the home and hearth. My in-laws are by far one of the most broad-minded couple in my entire relative circle, but there are times, like recently,Β  when age-old conditioning sets in . I don’t grudge them that.

I’m just worried that someday, their perception of a working woman’s attitude towards her children will rub off on my children. I don’t want my kids to believe that I’m doing something wrong by going out to work and they need to be compensated for my absence ( They will never get anything from me if they take that route 😐  ) . Today they are too small to understand the implication of the FIL’s words, but tomorrow, they will understand it and God forbid, even use it to their advantage!

So, has anyone else faced similar circumstances, arm-twisting by the children, guilt-trips? Please share how you went about handling such situations!

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Its been more than three years since I met Pallavi from Anti-Brevity.Β 

She’s a fellow blogger who, for some unknown reason, has let her blog languish with tid-bits thrown in once in a while. For the record, Pal has a wicked sense of humour andΒ  after reading her posts I’m usually grinning throughout the day πŸ™‚

We’d been planning to meet again for ages….and finally, after a really long wait, we caught up last Saturday. I was hoping that G from koyri could join us with her little bundle of joy….but my last minute planning (as usual) and a misplaced phone from G’s side kind of tossed the plan for a get-together out of the window 😦 . Never mind, next time πŸ™‚

I prepped up the kids to meet Pal and her two adorable pets, Mojo and Phoebe(more on them later). I think it was good to advise the children beforehand on what to expect , more so because none of our friends/relatives/acquaintances have pets! The twins had never seen a pet at close quarters 😐

I told them about Dalmatians, showed them a few pictures and then, we were ready to go! The BIL dropped us to Pal’s place (who gave us some amazingly detailed instructions, there was no scope of getting lost πŸ˜€ ). The twins were very excited at the thought of seeing Mojo and Phoebe ….I was just glad that I’m finally meeting up with Pal πŸ™‚

Pal and her husband PK are a really adorable couple, full of warmth and hospitality…never making me feel for an instance that it was my first visit to their place πŸ™‚ . Pal, seriously girl, we’ve met only twice, caught up only with blog comments and YET, I feel as though I’ve known you for ages πŸ™‚

The twins were initially excited to see the little kitten and the sleepy Rottweiler pup. I won’t say they were outright brave, at least Shobby wasn’t. He took some time to get used to the little babies but then was content in just observing them from a distance. Lui, though initially skeptical, took an immediate affinity to the kitten πŸ™‚ .

All this while, Pal had kept Mojo and Phoebe locked up in her room. Once the twins were settled in, they first let out Phoebe and then Mojo. Lui and Shobby did squeal with terror because they’d never seen such large dogs before πŸ˜€ Shobby all but clambered onto my head in his bid to escape. At least he didn’t jump out of the balcony as I expected him to πŸ˜€ . A little while later, the two mustered up enough courage to touch and pet M and P. Shobby was brave enough to attempt counting the spots on M and P πŸ˜›

A few words for the pets – Mojo and Phoebe are by the far the BEST pet dogs, EVER!!

I’ve never seen such well-behaved dogs in my life! They didn’t bark or howl or intimidate the twins at all. The twins were initially scared just because of the dog’s sizes πŸ™‚ . But the best part was to see how easily M and P had accepted the little kitten and the little black pup (who was asleep most of the time) in their house. All those tales about the rivalry between dogs and cats can be easily thrown out of the window! The little kitty was as comfortable around the dogs as they were with her. Cute πŸ™‚

Mojo has the brightest eyes I’ve seen on a dog, all sparkling and active. He was also rather tame and hardly woofed or growled. Phoebe has the softest ( I dare say) puppy-dog-eyes …I mean, she isn’t a puppy but yet, just looking at her you feel like giving her whatever she wants πŸ™‚ . Am sure she gets her way with Pal and PK πŸ˜€

The dog’s good behavior should be attributed solely to Pal and PK. It is quite obvious where the dogs get their friendly nature from πŸ™‚ . Also, Pal and PK fawn over the two as I do over the twins. Its so beautiful to see their love for their dogs and how easily their life revolves around looking after the two of them.Β  The dogs , I’m sure, reciprocate that love. You can see it in the way Mojo nuzzles up to Pal or the way Phoebe settles herself at PK’s feet.

And oh! Pal also picks up little strays and tends to them until they find a proper home.

( For people who are interested, the little kitty and the Rottweiler pup are up for adoption.Β  Just drop me a message/comment if anyone from Pune is interested).

The only reason we couldn’t get the kitty back with us is because the FIL has an aversion to keeping pets. Also, though the BF isn’t here, I know cat-hair causes him to have sneezing fits. Lui was very disappointed and even till this morning, she kept moaning that,”mujhe kitty ki yaad aa rahi hai”.

😦

Anyway, leaving you with a few pics here ….twins and the little animals :-

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Lui posing with her new-found love

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Left one is Mojo, on the right is Phoebe

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The silent observer, Shobby

I’m glad I made the trip this time. Like always, there was a chance of giving it a miss this time too, but something that the BF told me struck hard. “If you really want to go, then nothing should stop you. If you are okay with giving it a miss then you just need an excuse to NOT go”, he said.

Since that wasn’t the case and we’ve been planning to meet up since ages, the stars favoured me and I got a chance to meet Pal once again.

Now if only G and Unmana were here, we’d have a royal bloggers get-together πŸ˜€

Maybe next time πŸ™‚

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Spelling B !!

“Mumma”, pips up Shobbs one day,”What is the spelling of sleep?”

“S-l-e-e-p”, I said.

“Wrong wrong wrong”, he jumped up and down in excitement.

“Spelling is Esss, Elll Peeeee. Sleep”

“Aaahhh!! And how would you spell Apple?” I asked him.

“Apple?? Kitna easy hai. Aeee Peeee Ellll. Apple”, grinned the genius.

Not a spelling bee contestant in the making, is he??

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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Changing Times

ABI was at a bakery (which also is a cafe-cum-restaurant.)near my place the other day . This place sells fresh off-the-oven brown bread and for that alone, I ignore the ridiculous pricing. Am sure the rest of the stuff there is just as good (it sure smells good) but it seems over-priced.

Anyhow, this post isn’t about the bakery.

Right opposite to the bakery is a prestigious girl’s school. Needless to say, the bakery turned into the latest hot-spot for the kids πŸ™‚ . While I was waiting at the counter for my turn, I saw the cafe tables occupied by girls, most of whom were not older than 15. One particular table caught my attention because the girls here were around 13 years of age, ALL of them had smartphones and they were ordering cappuccinos and death-by-chocolate as an everyday business.

That more than surprised me!

My point is, this wasn’t just a birthday celebration treat or just a “lets-splurge-today” kind of a scene. What I was seeing was a bunch of very young girls ordering expensive food like they do it everyday.

It shook me up a bit, I admit. Brought up in a lifestyle where we could have anything we wanted (at home) and where money given to us was expected to be saved and invested wisely, the blatant “throwing away” of cash seemed a little difficult to digest! The girls pulled out wallets filled with 500/- notes!

Who gives that kind of money to children?!!

It reminded me of the time when back in college, I had gone to visit a friend who was pretty well off. In the course of our conversation in her room , she walked to the wardrobe and pulled out a drawer. My jaw dropped at the sight of the drawer stuffed with bundles of cash! The fact that the drawer wasn’t even locked left me even more puzzled! But my friend, in all the time I knew her, never threw around her money. She never spent more than what was necessary and lived life just the way we did.

But here were the next generation of kids, obviously coming from well-to-do families where pockets are always filled with money 😐 . I don’t know what irked me the most! Was it because the children were spending their parent’s hard-earned money, not realizing the effort that goes behind earning that much or was it because someday, given the changing circumstances, I would see my children doing the same?!

I sure hope not 😐 !!

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A Day Out With The BF

In the one month that the BF was in town, we went out more often and had more lunches and dinners together than we usually do in an entire year! We practically ate out every evening. If not out, we ordered home delivery πŸ™‚

One of the best days that I had with him was last Sunday. He had to leave that night and we took the day off to do some quick last minute shopping. since it was a pleasant day, we took the new bike.Β  On our way, about a kilometer away from our house, it started drizzling.

“Oh no! Its raining now. We’ll get soaked” , I moaned.

“Want to turn back and get the car? I have the keys in my pocket”, suggested BF.

“Umm….lets see…I think it will stop shortly”.

So we went a little distance before the rain started pelting us a little more strongly.

“Uh oh dear…I think we better get the car”, I yelled in his ear.

So the BF took a quick U-turn and we headed back home. On the way, we passed a couple with their young son, sitting on their bike under a tree, obviously taking shelter for a few minutes.

“N”, said the BF after a brief silence,”What if we didn’t have a car?”

“Well, then we’d also be standing under a tree like that family back there”, I said.

“Don’t you think we are getting too soft? I mean, we can handle this much rain, can’t we?”

“Well……..we sure could”, I said.

So we stopped under another tree and waited for a few minutes. When there was no sign of the rain letting up, we threw caution to the winds, the BF wore my helmet and riding jacket, I wrapped my scarf around my head and we headed towards our destination.

Sure, we got soaked in the lower half but it was so worth it! I can’t remember the last time both of us went on a bike ride in the rain.

It was beautiful πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ !!

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The BF wanted to buy gifts for his female colleagues back in Chicago. I suggested we get them scarves, preferably, woollen ones because it will be winter there soon enough. We went to this shop called The Bombay Stores in Camp. It is a good place full of souvenirs at exorbitant rates that is frequented mostly by tourists or foreigners. I was a bit skeptical, but the last time the BF bought some good stuff from there at reasonable rates, so we took our chances and barged in.

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The Bombay Store

I found the scarf section soon enough. They were hanging prettily on a shelf. I pointed out a few woollen ones to the BF and asked him if he liked the colours. Being no expert in scarves, he just nodded along as he checked out the price tags.

An audible gasp from him had me running back to check the tags myself. He looked stunned as showed it to me. “9999/-” it said.

It was my turn to gasp loudly.

“What is it made of”, I wondered, “Gold?!!” He made no reply 😐

“Ummm……why don’t we go for something lighter, say, silk ones?”, I suggested.

“Sure”, said a very shaken-up BF.

So I made my way to the silk scarf section and started hunting around, this time making sure that I checked the price-tags first.

7K

8K

12.5K

*Gulp*

“N…..just remember, I need to get FIVE of them scarves”, the BF was not really liking the scenario, I could make out. So being a wise and considerate wife, I dragged myself and the BF out of that place.

We stood outside, weighing our options on going to the other section of the city for shopping. Just then , I suggested that we drop by into the other souvenir store nearby, called Heritage Handicrafts Emporium.

heritage-handicraft-emporium-pune

That was the best move of the day.

The place was run by Kashmiris and had the usual collection of carved elephants in marble, jade and wood, silver jewellery, semi-precious stones and other knick-knacks. I asked for scarves and the fellow led us to an inside room which was full of beautiful Kashmiri fabrics, right from colourful Phirhans to coats, jackets, scarves, shawls, you name it, they had it!

The owner pulled out the different silk scarves from a shelf and laid them out. They were pure silk and if crumpled, could fit into a fist. They were also very rich in colour and texture. The cost? 1/10th the cost of scarves in the previous storeΒ  πŸ˜€

We grabbed 5 of them within minutes and made our purchase.

The BF looked visibly relaxed and happy after that πŸ™‚

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It was lunch time but we didn’t plan on eating anything heavy. So the BF asked me if I was interested in going to the Starbucks cafe.Β  I wasn’t interested in coffee and said no. So we made our way to an ancient Irani restaurant called “Vohuman Cafe” (it was a dump of a place which served the worlds BEST double cheese omelet ). I’d never been there before and didn’t know what to expect.Β  An hour of finger licking goodness later, I decided that looks don’t matter even where food is concerned. As long as the bread is fresh off the oven and slathered generously with Amul butter, as long as the omelet arrives at your table sizzling hot with cheese bubbles popping on it, as long as the tea is strong with a hint of spice, ALL is well with the world and everything in it πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

(To my cousin Gullu who’s been championing the cause of VC forever, I’d like to say, “You’re right Bro!!”)

Somehow, watching a crowd of college youngsters huddled over tables loaded with Bun-maska and chai, I realized that we can have our share of Baristas and CCDs and Starbucks (which might even do good business), but its these little tiny restaurants which have the heart of young people short on budget. It is here that one gets the satisfaction of having a filling meal without shelling out hundreds for a single cup of coffee. No wonder the place was packed to the gills πŸ™‚

(It also reminded us of the days when all we could afford was a cup of tea shared between the two of us πŸ˜€ )

We were so stuffed at the end of an hour that I almost dozed off behind the BF as we made our way back home.

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The BF left that night.

And no, I did not do the sobbing and wailing act like I wanted to. Lui beat me to it 😦

She cried like crazy at the thought of her ‘favourite Abbu’ leaving her. Even Shobby was subdued. He kept up a happy chatter till the BF was around and even blew kisses as his father left. But once back home, he too cried silently because he was missing his father 😦

Lui kept crying for a very long time, almost till 12 in the night. It just made us all even more upset (for the millionth time, I kept wondering what went wrong with my visa interview that my visa is still under processing 😦 ) . I’ll admit I felt more than guilty that the kids were left behind because of me. They could have been with their father right now, if only…..I don’t know what I did wrong or didn’t do 😦 . Hopefully, the BF will come back sooner than expected. Ameen πŸ™‚

Dear BF, your visit was short but it had enough wonderful moments in it to get us by till you come back. Missing you loads 😦

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