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Archive for the ‘Celebrations’ Category

Dearest Lui and Shobbs,

I’m visiting these pages after ages! For no fathomable reason, I had stopped writing. I convinced myself it is because I’d rather ‘stay in the moment’ than mentally take down notes to blog about it. I wanted to be an active participant of your life than be an observer of your growth (of which I’m guilty at times!).

But I was wrong.

Capturing the precious moments of my life with you is what makes this blog so special to me. Each time I pull out an old post and read about your antics, it brings a smile to my face 🙂 . I may not immediately remember the incident, but reading about it does jog my memory and everything becomes clearer, as if it happened recently. I’m sad that these last two years, which have brought about such tremendous changes in you, have not been penned 😦 . It is my fault and now that you are turning 7 (Gosh! I still can’t believe it !!), I think its high time I do justice to you and my blog.

But first, a confession.

I sit here sobbing a little as I type. Tears flow down my cheeks because I feel overwhelmed. You two have turned out to be so terrific in every way that I feel incompetent as your mother, your guardian. I can’t think of any single good deed that I did to deserve you. I sob because I want to give you all that you desire, but you never demand. You both derive pleasure from the smallest things in life, making me realize that it isnt money that buys happiness. I’m proud to say that you both are my sunshine. You are the brightness that fills every crevice of my heart and make me giddy with joy 🙂

Lui sweetheart,  you are our resident angel, bet you already know that 😀 . You can spin me and the BF around your little finger just as easily as you did 7 years back! The only difference being that you’ve got a loud mouth to go with it now 🙄 ! I have watched you grow into a wonderfully confident little thing, quiet unlike the shy, gawky me of yore. I puff up with pride at your grace, your kindness and generosity, your impeccable manners and your readiness to apologize for your mistakes. Believe me darling, it takes people many many years to achieve all that! You are just seven, but I have seen how wonderfully  you go about making friends, being kind towards the underdogs, helping out friends and classmates as best as you can and pleasing your teachers with your impish smile 🙂 .  These are not things that I have ‘taught’ you, they come from within you. I can only pray to Allah to keep this warmth in you forever.

Shobby darling, you are our bundle of joy, wrapped in multiple layers of humour and mirth 😀 . I can’t believe that a kid as young as you has a wicked sense of humour, but you do! It is a great gift and I seriously pray that it stays with you forever, for there is no medicine like laughter, right 😀 ?! You are seven but people ask me if you are 4! Some even ‘recommend’ that I feed you 🙄 . At times I feel offended, but then I realize that those people don’t know how tough your beginning was. You put up a good fight champ and and in the last 7 years I’m grateful to Allah for giving you a healthy constitution. Though tiny, you are sturdier than most kids your age. Like Lui, making friends comes so easily to you! This is all the more surprising because earlier you were quite the shy guy, offering nothing more than a smile! Your confidence has blossomed and I’ll confess that I preen a little when people complement me on your kind disposition.

Seven years back today, as I lay on that hospital bed, I marveled at the beauty of Lui and the fragility of Shobbs. Today, I see character in Lui and strength in Shobby. So much has changed, for the better I’m glad to say (Alhamdulillah) and I can only pray that you progress towards your own betterment. I have not set any benchmarks for you, I do not expect you to do great things, frankly, I feel just honoured being your mom.

We’ve reached the lucky seven, you and me together, although for me, it is twice the luck 😉 . You are neither little kids nor young adults. It is a difficult phase for me because you have grown curious about so many things. You ask questions and I do my best to answer them (ex: What does showing the middle finger mean?) . It is difficult to gauge your level of comprehension and I worry that I might push you across the border of innocence (frankly, NO mother likes to believe that her kids grew up!), but there are so many things you need to be prepared for. The world today is not as kind as before, people around you would be quick to judge, quick to blame and quick to demean. But you need to hold on to the goodness in your heart. Keep that flame of kindness alive, no matter how others treat you.

And laugh. Laugh as you laugh today, from your belly, with abandon, with the sparkle in your eyes.

Because that’s all it takes to make your world a better place to live in 🙂

Many Happy Returns of the Day my Babies…….!

PS : Here’s a little collage of you two over the last two years! Am sure you’ll find pictures of before somewhere in this blog 🙂

Six to Seven :)

Six to Seven 🙂

 

Love you forever 🙂

Yours,

 

 

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F-I-V-E

Dear Lui & Shobbs,

There were a lot of ways in which I wanted to write this post. The first plan was to do a comparative analysis of the differences between the time when you were wee little infants and your current boisterous selves.

I dropped that plan pronto 😐

(No point in going back to the infant you. That time is long past. You are individuals in your own right with a mind of your own 🙂 )

Then I thought of doing a round-up of the year, of listing all the major milestones covered, the achievements, the speed-breakers….but then I realized that I have not chronicled this year very well 😦 . There were large gaps between my posts and not much can be inferred from what I did put up! I regret it deeply and I guess this situation kind of motivates me to write more often, take down every little thing you say or do 🙂

Frankly, this year was very different from the past few. This was the first time your father wasn’t here to pamper you silly. If you were a little older, you could understand how deeply he was hurt at missing your birthday. His prayers though, are with you , as usual 🙂

We didn’t have a party on your birthday, per se, but two days before that. It confused you a bit initially, but you realized soon enough the difference between “just-a-party” and “actual-birthday” 😀

You got more gifts this year than all the years before put together!

This was the first time you both helped me with the decorations, suggesting where to put up the balloons and how to string the streamers 😀

You didn’t cry or throw a tantrum, rather, I guess this was the first time you were comfortable with the crowd and enjoyed the company of other children 🙂

You didn’t eat a single bite of the delicious chocolate cake or the kiwi one 😦 (everyone else enjoyed it immensely except the two it was meant for !)

As I went through the party snaps, I realized with a pang that you two have indeed grown up. You  Lui at 3’8″ and Shobby at 3’5″ are not nearly as tall as other children your age, but when I see the confident gaze as Lui looks at the camera, or the casual stance that Shobby takes as he poses for his snap, I realize just how much has changed. You have become aware, if I may use the term here….aware of your surroundings, things, people and each other. You understand your effect on your family. You know the reactions you can get out of us with your one statement or action. The difference now is that you aren’t as naive as before 😀 ….and I haven’t been able to figure out if that is a good thing ! 🙄

This year, you added to your vocabulary by leaps and bounds. It is futile to have secret conversations around you two 😦 . Which reminds me of your new-found love for secrets! Though you both confide in me, it is a little surprising that you both want to keep secrets from each other! Maybe, just maybe, you are making an attempt to wean yourself off from each other! Yet again, am not sure if that is a good thing 😐

This year I saw you both going through your own set of hurdles  …..friendly Lui had trouble keeping friends , got bullied ,was nick-named a cry-baby (even at home) but came back with excellent grades in school. Shobby, you turned into a popular guy in class, had to struggle with memorizing sentences, excelled in maths and drove everyone nuts with your constant volley of questions! None of the hurdles were bad enough to stop you two. And we are trying to make sure that you continue to do good in the things that interest you.

This last one year has been a little sad, with you both missing your “favorite Abbu” (your words, not mine 😀 ) like anything and insisting on talking to him every morning and night 🙂 . Somewhere along the way, I realized that you two had taken control over the situation much better than we had anticipated (Alhamdulillah). Though Lui cried buckets when your father was leaving last time, she was back to normal the next day, even philosophical about why he had to be away 🙂 .

This year, I saw an immense improvement in your manners and your public behavior….more than once, I have swelled with pride when people have congratulated me on you. I shouldn’t be taking credit, I’m not responsible for your good behavior alone.  Your grandparents and Chachu have done pretty much from their side in bringing out the best in you 🙂

Dear babies (and I’ll continue to call you that even when I’m halfway to my grave), you are the light of my life and your father’s life itself! We both love you so much, it is difficult to describe in words how we really feel. Many a times, when your father is here and we see you sleeping peacefully, your lashes fanning your soft cheeks, Shobby curled into a little ball like a hedgehog and Lui’s arms and legs flung across the bed, we can’t help but marvel at the wonder of having two gorgeous babies like you two and wonder, for the umpteenth time, what we did right in life to deserve you two 🙂

Happy Birthday Sweethearts…may you have all the best in life in all the coming years. Ameen.

I know I should have done this post yesterday but I was too busy spending the day with you to notice when time flew by! Its a day late, but I know you wouldn’t mind 😀

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Pretty in Pink

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Dapper Shobby

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Pleased as punch 🙂

Love you both! A thousand times over 🙂

Yours,

 

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Diwali Mela

I’m not a Diwali shopper for obvious reasons! The markets are far too crowded and rushed with genuine shoppers for me to indulge in window shopping. So , I usually desist.
Also, a long time ago, when I was out shopping during Diwali in a very crowded part of the city, I heard a woman howling piteously because someone had stolen her money-bag. She lamented about the money she had lost, the answers she will have to give at home and at the end, the despair her children will feel. So deep and heart-breaking was her anguish that it felt as though she had lost a loved one. Though I wanted to help her, I was not at that stage in my life when I could monetarily recompense her in any way. The lady was there with a relative and both women were genuinely grieved at the loss.
That incident is always fresh in my mind….maybe thats why I don’t make a big deal of buying new things or clothes during Eid. Sure I do buy stuff, but I usually buy the clothes whenever I get the chance and not necessarily around Eid time. I’m not afraid of pickpockets……I just don’t want to build up the anticipation in my children. God forbid, if  I’m unable to fulfill their expectation, I would be in the same place as that woman and that is somewhere I don’t want to be 😦

So yeah, i buy stuff around the year as and when I get the chance. Also, I get to shop without the hustle and bustle. Sometimes, I get great  off-season deals too 🙂

Anyhow, this post isn’t about me going out shopping. I wanted to talk about what happens when the shops come to me 😐

People who know me, also know that I have very little control over my purse strings. Show me something pretty, weave a sad little tale around it and chances are that I will fish out my purse and shell out whatever amount you quote for it.

Its a disease!

Needless to say, I’ve been putty in the hands of hardened salesmen and women. Being older and wiser, I don’t allow any of them near my door anymore. But seriously, how do you control yourself when your office arranges a plethora of stalls for Diwali shopping right in your work-premises?! I mean, check out the stuff below….who can resist, I ask you!

Sparkling stones.....!

Sparkling stones…..!

I had a tough time pulling myself away from the glittering tables loaded with stone jewellery. They were so sparkly I sure my eyes twinkled just looking at them 😐

The *ahem* price tags changed my mind. Spoilsports!

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Little diyas and tea-lights

The diyas surprisingly didn’t find many takers….I think even my Diwali celebrating friends found them too steeply priced. The tea-lights were priced between 400-500 for a set of three. For that rate, I’ll simply light up the bulbs in my house 😐

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Pretty mugs and haldi-kumkum cases

The haldi-kumkum containers were cute. I’ve never seen them before so they were a novelty. A pity that I have no need of them 😦

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Baubles….loads of them!

Confession time  – The baubles drew the largest crowds. I think I must have personally held each and every piece in my hand before replacing it back with a big sigh. Why oh why are delicate, beady necklaces so expensive 😦

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Aroma dispensers

This aromatherapy diffuser was my personal favorite.It was so cute and effective! Just light a small lamp inside and add a few drops of aromatic oils to two tablespoons of water in the top container. The heat from the lamp will diffuse the oild all over the room. Enchanting! I booked one immediately. Alas, I didn’t buy it at the end of the day. The renovations in my house will begin shortly and I realized that I shouldn’t be adding to the existing clutter.

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More colourful diyas

These diyas were expensive too. But yet, it found some takers 🙂

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Pretty kurtas

I took a fancy to this black and blue kurta, although it was two sizes too small for me. It was just so fish-like (the light blue sleeves go right down till the bottom of the kurta, something like fish fins) and different, I just had to have it. The wise friend who had accompanied me, made me see the truth and dragged me away from that counter 😦

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Awesome handcrafted lanterns

These were the most beautiful lanterns I have ever seen. They may be common to many, having seeing them before, but I think that the fellow who made them must be a very talented chap to make the cut-outs so neat and clean!

Of all the stuff above, I didn’t buy anything. But I did buy a beautiful white Lucknowi kurta which was exorbitantly priced at 1170/-. But the fabric was pure heaven and I  just had to have it 🙂

I also bought a nice cotton dress-material for the MIL. Haven’t shown it to her though. Will get it stitched and then surprise her with it 🙂

Also bought a pack of Khakhra and garlic-sev for the in-between hunger times in office. I had withdrawn 2K from the office ATM and at the end, I was left with a Rs.50 note 😦 . I’m awfully apologetic towards all those people whom I had booked stuff with, but didn’t bother to buy from. I hope the booking amount keeps you happy….don’t want to ruin your Diwali, seriously 🙂

I hadn’t planned on spending as much as I did yesterday, but I’m sure you all must have splurged for Diwali 🙂

Since most people will be on leave from tomorrow itself, here’s wishing you all a lovely, bright and safe Diwali.

Bring out the lights people 🙂

Love,

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Gluttony Overload

Coffee-Walnut
Pineapple-Walnut-Cashew
Chocolate Cheesecake
Pineapple
Black Forest
Dark Chocolate

First two made by me. Cut by twins, devoured by all.
Chocolate Cheesecake bought by BIL. Cut by twins, eaten by all. Finished by me.
Pineapple bought by BF. Cut by twins, devoured by all.
Black forest bought by ex-project colleagues and lunch group at work. Cut by me, devoured by all.
Dark chocolate bought by current project team. Cut by me, devoured by all.

I’m hoping, really hoping that this is the end of the cake saga. Frankly, I’m now having dreams of whipped cream frosting with pink cherries and I swear it is liquid chocolate that now flows through my veins.
Ideally, I should be nauseous at the thought of more cake…but you know what?? Its just the opposite. I feel like having more and more *hangs head in shame* . Its almost like an addiction, you know. You start eating and eating and realize with a gasp that you just cant stop! All the sugar goes up the brain and fires up some circuits. The choco gives a constant buzz and whatever little remnants of sane thoughts residing in the brain are neatly tossed out of the window. So now, after a year of sincere efforts to lose weight (while I was 65kgs), I now weigh a ridiculous 75!!
Go on. I’ll wait while you digest that fact.
Thousands spent on gym membership, sporadic yoga at home, constant running after the twins and yet, YET, the weighing machine seems to inch further and further the wrong way.

This Birthday, I threw caution to the wind and dug my way through food. What to do? I feel hungry all the time and I LOVE cake 🙂
B-U-T. This is wrong. So wrong 😦
It’ll take me ages to undo the damages. I’ll just have to start with baby steps once again, isn’t it?
Tomorrow, ladies and gentlemen, tomorrow, I shall turn into a new leaf.
As for today, I need to wrap up the leftover cakes 😀 . Get rid of the temptation. Clean up the refrigerator. Warn family and friends of dire consequences if another cake crosses the threshold. In short, erase every memory of the sweet, creamy, gooey, chocolatey,….goodness!! What the hell am I doing?!! I gotta stop right now!!
C’ya folks tomorrow 🙂



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Through Tears And Smiles

It is Dad’s fault.
He was the one who called me up early in the morning. On a Sunday!!
I spoke to him for a few minutes. It felt good. He sent me oodles of prayers and best wishes for the future. As I bid goodbye, I promised to call him up more often.
“So, how does it feel?”, the BF asked.
Thats when the dam burst.
I sobbed. I sobbed hard. The BF was shocked. He didn’t think I would take it this bad.
“Its okay sweetheart…you are just a year older”.
“Ish knwat that. I mish my pah-ents”, I muttered between sniffles.
“Lets ask them to come and settle in Pune”, he offered by way of help.
I would have thumped him with a pillow if I wasn’t already busy with drowning in my tears.
“Okay, why don’t you make a quick trip to B’lore next weekend”, he offered, in the way he knows which helps avoiding major conflicts.
“*sniff* *snort*”.
“Take the kids, spend some time with them”, he comforted.
“Cant. Much work. Tickets ‘spensive”.
“Well…you either gotta think about the money or about the family. Take your pick”.
Damn this guy!! He cant even let me wallow in pity on my own birthday!!

So friends, this is how I ushered in another year in my life. I was sad, upset and whiny. I wanted my Mumma and my Dad and I wanted to be the little girl I once was. For a few moments there, I was overwhelmed by it all, the kids, my job, the home, my responsibilities and my overall ineptitude. A part of me wanted to get out of it all. I don’t want to grow any older 😦 . Thirty Three done. Thirty Four Start. Whew!! Seems a count too many, doesn’t it.
But then, like Dad says, age is frame of mind (His frame is definitely the best teak out there, because he just seems to get better as the years pass by. Mine must be made of oak, rotting from the inside 😦 ).
Anyhow, the dark clouds didn’t linger too long over my head :). By 9:30AM, I was happily making curries and whipping up cakes. Good cheer and sanity were restored. The kids were in a benevolent mood. There were no tantrums or howls of protest 😀 . They got to cut up cakes and blow out candles (in that order 😀 ). The BF and I managed to sneak in a couple of hours to go and watch a movie (Barfi. Good one). We bought some toys for the kids on our way back. Evening was spent with the family. We had a family dinner, followed by some more cake-cutting. The BF had to go out for some work and got delayed.He came back with another cake and a bunch of red roses *blush*
So we cut the last cake of the day at around 11 in the night. The kids were too full of sugar to feel sleepy and we had a nice story-telling session till late night.
As we finally said the prayers for the night, I thanked Allah for all the little bits of love and happiness that surrounds us.
And here’s hoping (and I really, really hope) that I mature up and have the courage to face whatever comes my way.
Brick or bouquets, I’m ready for both 🙂

Edited to Add : To everyone who called/messaged/emailed/walled/scrapped or did anything else to wish me, Thank You. You made it a great day for me 🙂



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A Birthday Just Passed By

We turned Three yesterday.

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

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

Oh My Gosh!!

I missed my own blog’s birthday!!

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

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

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

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

The answer, by the way, is 42 😀



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We Won! We Won!! We Won!!!

We didn’t come first though.
But we did come in SECOND!!!
🙂 🙂 🙂
*skipping around my cubicle*
Yay Yay Yippee Yippee Yay Yay!!!

Whew!
*gasp*
*Wheeze*
*Plonking on my chair*
Doesn’t suit my age to skip so much 😦

I’m off on a tangent here and I’m sure most of you would wonder what I’m rambling about !
Let me clarify. We had a cooking competition at work. After a lot of ‘hmmmm’ and ‘hawwww’ I registered my name along with two more members (Thanks DiCh and RuSo).
The rules were such :-
– No in-flammables allowed (no gas, no induction plates, no electric cookers, etc)
– No completely cooked product from home (partially boiled stuff allowed).
– Two dishes : 1 Mocktail and 1 Chaat (of our choice).
– Points for presentation, cleanliness and team-work.
– 1 Hour to prepare everything.
The second round had the same rules but different menu – 1 Dessert and a side-dish of our choice.
Needless to say, we barely knew any dishes that didn’t require cooking in the conventional way 😐 . Somehow, we rustled up these in the two rounds :-
1 Mocktail : Splitzy Splash
1 Chaat : Jhatpat Chatpat
1 Dessert : Gorge-ous
1 Side-Dish : Cous Cous Hota Hai.

Apparently, the judges liked our efforts enough to award us the second place (out of 10 teams 😀 ).

Right now I’m too caught up with completing the work I ignored in the frenzy of the competition.
I’m getting back to my excels and reports now…..For the snaps and detailed recipes of all these dishes, will do another post ;).
Please do come back 🙂

Love,



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32 teeth

32 points of a compass

32  black/white/pieces in a game of chess

The atomic number of germanium

My age.

Netizens, I’m now officially 32 years old 🙂 and that is reason enough for me to grin and expose my 32 teeth 😀

Thankfully, I have survived till now with all my teeth intact with no caps, fillers or other dental fixtures. I have but sprouted a strand of white hair, which sits mesmerizing-proudly on my head. Just looking at it makes me take a deep breath and marvel at its silvery beauty !

I celebrated my birthday on the 23rd of this month, took the day off from work, spent the day at home, and the evening with the BF. Friends noticed that I didn’t take the twins along…..is anyone surprised why?! C’mon, its obvious 😀

Had a lovely evening, saw a movie (Mausam, full marks to SK -Shahid Kapoor and minus points to SK – Sonam Kapoor), ate at a favourite sea-food joint , obviously, and then brought a few gifts for the twins 🙂

Altogether, I enjoyed a lovely weekend with family, kids and hubby. Too bad it  came to an end and I’m back at work now! Good things last, but a while. *Sigh*

And hey, a BIG THANKS to all of you who called/messaged/commented/posted your birthday wishes 🙂 . I’m lousy at FB and that is why you haven’t seen thank-you notes yet. A slight I plan to correct as soon as possible. Apologies for the meanwhile 🙂

On that note , wishing you all a wonderful week ahead. Have fun 🙂



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Hello Hello Hello.

I’m back after a week of celebrations, feasting, donkey-work and relaxing. Apologies for abandoning this blog for quite some time, but like I’ve said before, when I’m home, the last thing I touch is my laptop 😦

I thank ALL of you who messaged/sms-ed/mailed/commented your Eid wishes. Its my fault entirely that I wasn’t around to do a proper Eid post. Blame it on the lack of planning and some last minute wrapping up (I bought new shoes for the twins on the eve of Eid. How early is that?!!).

Anyway, Eid was a muted affair this year. Somehow, since GMIL’s not an active force anymore, much of the hyperactivity is lost. We did some last-minute chopping and drying of the dry-fruits (something which is usually done much before Eid). In fact, I was chopping up dates the night before Eid. Muslims reading this part would be aghast at the horrifying delay in preparations. But what to do?! Somehow, we were just not clued in to Eid this year as we usually are 😦 . Maybe it has to do with GMIL being incapacitated. I somehow miss the old times when she used to yell at us to get things done! Aah well. Please pray for her quick recovery. Also, it was the first time in my living memory when I did not apply mehendi for Eid 😦 . There just wasn’t time for it. And when I did have the time, I also had two kids to mind over. All chances of sitting idle with henna-ed hands went out the windows 😦 .

There were plenty of guests though, except mine. After my first Eid, post marriage, I realized that my set of friends was the only group which did not have a host attending to them. The BF was busy with his friends and the same applied to the BIL, FIL and MIL. I was the one left to do the serving to all parties (being the conventional muslim family, we dont let the house-helps serve the guests). In the bargain, my friends from different groups sat stiffly, gulped down their sheer-kurma and bid me a hasty goodbye. I felt bad then. And I felt bad again , each year after that. Maybe I’ll invite friends over when the twins are a little older….or better even, when the BF and the BIL learn to cater to their own set and leave me alone with mine 😉

I think I must have washed a gazillion utensils last week. The maid took an off for the week and the nanny, who now helps around with the house work too (obviously with extra pay) started coming in by 12 or 1 in the afternoon. Severe test of patience it was, specially since the twins had a week off from school and made it their life’s purpose to compel me into yanking off that last hair from my head. Wanna know what all they were up to? They took out dry wheat atta in a bowl, added loads of water to it and then smeared it over the refrigerator and walls. They squeezed out mehendi from the cones, smeared it over their hands and then made palm prints over the house, on the walls, the floors, bed sheets and of course, their clothes( The stains refuse to ‘Vanish’ in spite of generous usage of the same! ). They insisted on having separate plates for their dinner and then proceeded to drop its entire contents on the floor. They spilled water by the jugful. They opened bottles of liquid handwash and smeared it all over themselves, then screamed their hearts off when some of it entered their eyes. They bumped into walls,doors and each other. They fell off beds, tables and chairs. They fought and they cussed. They yelled and they screamed. They cried buckets . They refused to eat proper meals and survived on junk-food. They made me feel shitty like a loser mom. In all, they were just being normal 😐

*Whew! *

Anyhow, since it was a rather WET weekend, much time was spent in idling by the windows , ruminating on life and other such wonders 🙂 . The twins had a blast, hanging on to the windows, looking down at the Dhol-tasha processions passing by below. Believe me, if you haven’t seen a dhol-tasha procession up close, you’ve seen nothing of the Ganpati festival. The air positively resonates with the beats! I bet by next year the twins will be down there on the road, dancing themselves silly with the crowd 😀

We did a whale of house-visits on Sunday. Took the twins to visit one of BF’s friends who had set up an elaborate tableau for Ganpati and Gauri in his house. It was beautifully done 🙂 The BF narrated stories of how he used to assist his friends in making those very same decorations when he was younger. Hidden talent that I never knew of 😐 . After this friend, we went to another one’s place for dinner and what a dinner it was!! Sumptuous chicken-lollipops, chicken&corn hot&sour soup and biryani wrapped up with hot Sheer-kurma. Bliss 🙂

Needless to say, this morning was awful!! Got terribly late while preparing food for lunch , the twins refused to cooperate and the BF refused to come out of his burrow to help. Somehow, managed to wrap up everything and leave for office. And once here, am back in the grind 😀

Thats all about me. How about you all?? Did you have a wonderful Eid too?? Have you set up Ganpati at your place? How is Shravan proceeding? Tell me all. I want to know what all I missed out on in the last week.

I’m all ears 🙂



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For the twin’s birthday, I had planned to spend the day somewhere far off, away from the daily hustle-bustle of the city, where there is loads of greenery and fresh air. The initial plan was to make a road trip to either Mahabaleshwar or Matheran. But the BF returned very late the previous night. One look at his exhausted face as he slept and I didn’t have the heart to wake him up early for the trip. I let him wake up on his own and then thought of alternative places we could visit.  Krushnai Water Park on Sinhgadh road was next in line. But since the BF was still not up and it was threatening to rain, I had to do a quick rethink. Katraj Zoo (or Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park) was the nearest place we could go to. The more I thought of it, the more I liked the idea. It was ages since I’d been to a zoo.

Once the BF was up, even he was quite excited about the zoo trip (and here I was, thinking up arguments to convince Mr.Prim! Just goes to show that when you think you know them, you realize you don’t know them at all!). By the time we all were dressed and ready to leave, it was 11:45 AM already 🙄 . The GMIL wondered if it was a good idea to be out at the peak of noon, but we decided to go ahead anyway. The day was slightly cloudy and the humidity was stifling. I mentally kicked myself for not waking up the BF earlier and making that trip to Mahabaleshwar or Matheran, where the weather was far more cooler. Anyhow, the twins were pretty kicked up about the trip and it was all we could do to make sure they didn’t run across the road to where our car was parked.

The BF asked me one last time if I was sure about the zoo. I replied in the positive. And off we went.

The entry ticket was rather cheap at Rs5/- . Once inside, we were in a totally different environment. Where it was hot and clammy outside, inside the zoo, the temperature was cool, there was a gentle breeze and the large canopy of trees made sure we didn’t get sun-burns while we strolled along. One more thing that impressed us was the cleanliness of the place. It was very, VERY clean. Not a scrap of paper in sight!

Clean and green!

Right at the entrance, we were faced with a fork. The sign on the left said Snake Park, peacocks, etc. The one on the right said, Elephants, Tiger,etc. So obviously, we took the right turn.

We walked for a rather long distance before saw the first enclosure. It was a pair of porcupines. They were the cutest things ever 🙂 . The BF had never seen one before and looked like a school kid as he peered at the animal with his mouth open 😀 .

Porcupine

The twins didn’t show much interest in the rodents so we headed towards the next enclosure, which turned out to be quite a long walk ahead!

The next in line were the bears. Initially, we couldn’t locate them , as they were frolicking in the moat right below us. The thick bushes and the railing prevented us from peering in (safety comes first, I agree….but its quite a shame when you come this far and then barely get a chance to see the animals!). Luckily, the zoom helped and I caught the bears playing. Or at least that is what we told the twins. What the bears were indulging in was actually an act of nature…if you know what I mean 😉

Censor-free version of bears 🙂

One of the bears is hidden by the other. Ooops!! Bad bad me. I forget this is a family blog 😀 !

On an aside, my heart went out to these furry beasts!! Must be a sauna under all that fur!!

The Tiger was busy sleeping. Its lucky that I could at least locate him on camera (zoom zindabad!). The BF and the twins strained their necks trying to get a glimpse of the cat ,but no such luck 😦 . I had to show them the sleeping tiger on the camera. That didn’t impress them much 😀

Sleepy Cat!

Searching for the tiger

The next was the leopard, which had the highest fence. There was a large crowd around the railing, anxiously waiting for the beast to make an appearance. We waited for about 10 minutes, but didn’t have any luck , so we skipped this section and walked on to the Nilgai,deer and antelope section.

The Nilgai family

Shobby loves the deers 🙂

It was here that Shobby fell in love with the deers. He hung on to the railing and gazed at them for a long time. It was good that the enclosure was full of deers. Must have been around 20-25 of them in that one area. There was another enclosure for the black-bucks, which again in quite a large number! Lui and Shobby were thrilled to see the baby deers frolicking about. In fact, so cheered up were they by this sight that they took to running helter-skelter along the path, giggling uncontrollably and keeping me and the BF on our toes, lest they fall and hurt themselves!! Didn’t have a chance at clicking them at this point, as I was busy doing the guardian angel act 😀

We took a break for the twin’s milk time after which the two were reluctant to proceed further. But we had the Elephant to see yet and hence we coaxed the twins along.

Bad idea 😦

The elephants, it turned out, were kept in the very last enclosure at the end of the park. It seemed as though we were walking for ages before we finally came across them. And what a let-down!! The pachyderms were chained to a pillar of their shed , which was a good 500 metres or so away from the viewing railing and that too at the bottom of a slope. So we could make out the trunk of one elephant and the torso of the other. We had to point out the animals tot he twins, but they didn’t bother to strain their necks and eyes this time 😦 . Also, Shobby had taken a fall a short while back and hurt his nose. He was in a bad mood and it was clear that all this walking had made them tired. Even we were quite bushed by this time.

But we were in for another shock.

Any regular zoo has a circular pathway following which one can cover all the animals in the zoo without having to turn back. Alas, the designers of Katraj zoo thought otherwise. their layout was something like this (click on the image for a clearer picture):-

The layout

After the entrance, we had taken a right. When we turned the curve, we naturally assumed that the trail would lead right back to the entrance. Unfortunately,we assumed wrong. At the end of the park, was a dead-end. At the centre, was the lake where there is boating facility, but from where we stood, even the lake was fenced off. That left us with only one option. To trudge back the way we came!

2 km is not much of a distance per se, but it is when a) you are tired b) it is 2pm in the afternoon c) you are carrying a heavy baby bag and d) you ALSO have to carry a baby!! Whew!

The twins were really tired and refused to walk another step. As soon as we hefted them in our arms and started walking, the little munchkins were off to dreamland. Now let me give you a little parenting nugget. A sleeping baby is twice as heavy as a wakeful one. Some physics there, but I’m not in the mood to get into the technicalities 😀 . Suffice to say, me and the BF took turns carrying the bag, cursing the zoo,cursing  the zoo officials,cursing the animals who were too far to be seen and cursing our ability to make enquiries before we came there. Apparently, there are electric cars available on rent which takes groups of people around the zoo. The booking has to be done at the gate itself, because one cannot avail the car facility inside the zoo (some logic there!!). Later on, we did find out that the cars are very few in number and the waiting list is usually large. If we have the time to kill, we may wait for our turn to be zipped around. Maybe next time 🙂

Anyhow, by the time we returned to the main gate, I swear I could feel my arms ripping out of their sockets! With the last of my strength , I made it till the car and settled the twins in the rear seat before slumping in myself! Just as we stepped inside the house, the twins woke up. They were surprisingly refreshed and chirpy, where as me and the BF looked like we’d just been battered by Khali! I handed the twins to the nanny, prepared their lunch, fed them and their father and called it a day!  I took a nap, but can’t say I felt better after that 😀 . When I woke up, the SIL was home with her two sons.  She had bought presents for the twins, which were duly demolished and damaged within the first 30 minutes. Ahh well……!! Happens, right 😉 ?!

Anyhow, by 6pm, it was time to get the twins ready for the evening 🙂

Lui with Ab

That is Lui with cousin Ab. The poor boy is a year older then her and already apprehensive of her!! The bossy Lui made sure I clicked her cousin Ab’s snap (which she thought I wouldn’t do unless she grabs his hand!)

Shobby

You can see the red scar on Shobby’s face. He hurt himself on a stone while we were at the zoo. The in-laws weren’t too happy with us about it. But like the BF says, kids need to fall and get hurt, else they would never know how to be careful! And I agree with him. Can’t be molly coddling them all the time!!

And ohh…we finally figured out the reason for the bad picture quality. Slow shutter speed. Looks like its time to show our camera to experts. Or to buy a new camera. Lets see…..

Anyhow, the BIL bought a cake, we lit the candles and cut the cake, just our family, the SIL and her kids. It was a lovely warm setting, the kids enjoyed blowing at the candles (the trick ones, which don’t go off in one go)

SIL placing the candles

We initially thought of lighting only two candles ….but then since the SIL’s kids also love the cake cutting part, the BF said, what the hell, light them all. And we did 🙂

Lui went crazy blowing at the candles. And while I sat near the table clicking away, I realized that a camera cannot capture the glee on her face as good as my heart does. Those bright twinkling eyes, the big smile, the sheer happiness of it all……I don’t think this snap does it any justice

My darling daughter

The twins had dinner with their aunt. She’s awfully good with them and whenever she’s around, the twins scamper around her like pups 😀 . It also helps that they LOVE the company of their cousins and would rather spend dinner time with them than with us!

The twins crashed out early for the night. They’d had a eventful day…..maybe even more than us. They won’t remember any of this ……but we do. Because more than anything else, there is nothing better in life than spending time with one’s own. It was a special day for us. And long after the twins were asleep, me and the BF ,while massaging sore shoulders with Moov, chatted over how rich our life has become post kids.

And oh, a parting good-night message from the BF :-

“You really need to exercise and lose weight pronto. It was sad to see you struggling to walk when you were carrying Lui. You are in awful physical shape. Better do something about it fast. Good night”.

Yep.

Some guys do know how to ruin a perfectly wonderful day 😦



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