Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I never liked Autumn back in India. I really don’t know why!

The weather would play pranks, hot during the day and pretty much chilly at night. The monsoon showers would be a thing of the past. The leaves on the trees would simply fall off without any indication of ageing or changing of color. Laden with dust and pollutants, the leaves look a dull green/brown throughout the year (except during monsoons, when the dust washes off and we are blinded by  the beauty of the green underneath 🙂 ).

Autumn, or Fall as it is called here, is a delight to see 🙂 . The trees around have such bright shades. From burgundy red to fiery oranges to vivid yellows. Some trees hang on to the green and add that dash of charm to the palette. The trees outside my window are all yellow now. A shade so bright, I have never seen anything like it before. Within this week, they will turn brown and most probably, by next week, the trees would shed off their leaves. Then, the sight is pretty desolate 😦

Anyhow, on the outskirts of Chicago is an area called Lisle (pronounced ‘La-ill’) which is famous for its arboretum. Whats an arboretum, you may ask! And I’ll gladly reply – it is a tree museum.


The Morton Arboretum is a famous tree museum where the motto is, “Plant Trees”. Seriously! Its that simple. Conceptualized by Joy Morton, the arboretum was first open to public in 1922. Since then, they have a massive collection of trees from all over the world! Apart from planting trees, the museum also does research on tree-growth factors, impact of pollution on trees and environmental benefits from different types of trees. Needless to say, the arboretum covers a whopping 1700 acres of land which is beautifully landscaped to showcase the trees. Please do check out the link.

Sunday was bright and sunny (which does NOT mean it was warm!), unlike the last two weeks before it and I decided to make the best use of it. It was also the last day of fall season, meaning, by now, 80 percent of the trees would have shed their leaves. Luckily, we were on time and got to see some really wonderful fall colours.


Green, yellow and brown


Maple patch


love the contrast 🙂


Orange and yellow



My favorite 🙂


Turning brown

It was a breathtaking experience. The beauty of nature is so powerful, I don’t have words to describe the sights 🙂

For once, I rued not getting a decent camera along for the trip 😦

The twins enjoyed the trip, not because they felt very close to nature and all that jazz but because they had their friends along with them and all they appreciated was the vast expanse of ground where they could run to their heart’s content 😀 (and also climb trees!)


Lui on top

Lui on top

Shobby trying his best :)

Shobby trying his best 🙂

Clicking pictures of the trees was a piece of cake compared to clicking snaps of the kids! They were so pumped up with adrenaline that we barely got a couple of decent shots in which none of them was moving (whew!). We had a great time, albeit a tiring one. By the time we got back home, it was 9pm and we could barely eat dinner before crashing out!

And ohh! The BF could not accompany us for the trip, but he had the most amazing Maggi, hot and ready for us when we got back. And he also had  hot tea ready for me 🙂 .

( Tired out by the long journey, legs throbbing with all the walking we did and throat sore from yelling after the kids throughout the day, I realized in that one moment, once again, why I love this man so much!! )

Winter is around the corner and it is just a matter of days when everything will be covered in white! I’ll miss these wonderful colors then 😐


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Shortcut Mein Update

I’ve been asked many times what I was up to in the last 5 months . And each time, I’d say, “Nothing…just regular routine…nothing new”.

But thats not all true, of course 😀

A LOT happened in the last few months . I’ve been meaning to do individual posts for all of them but since I’ve put them off for so long, I regret that I don’t remember the entire sequence of events. I’m quickly jotting down the remnants of those events in my collapsing memory. So here goes (In no particular order. That would be too cruel on my poor brain) –

The twins finished Kindergarten with flying colors. Well, they ought to ! After all, they spent an entire 12 months doing just KG! ( Their session started in India in the first week of July ’13 and ended here in Chicago in the last week of June ’14).

Their teachers were pleased with the English, Math and overall obedience of the two . I howled and wailed that they must have got my kids mixed up with someone else’s but they wouldn’t listen. To prove their point, they gave the kids medals for perfect attendance and slapped a certificate at me which declared me the parent of the month!

I kid you not!

Our gifts

Our gifts

I got The Egg. Though hand-painted and exquisite, it kind of epitomizes what I really deserve!!


We finally had Summer!! Not the dusty, hot summer of India, but a quaint, dainty summer which lasted exactly 90 days. The temperature never dipped enough to make you sweat, unless you ran or did some major physical activity ( It was hot enough for the Americans to shed their clothes and their inhibitions, though!) Overall, it was the Spring of India passed off as Summer of Chicago.

The sunny weather was the perfect opportunity to make use of the swimming pool on our terrace top. The twins splashed and jumped and had the greatest time of their lives. Whenever we entered the pool area, people already in the pool would look at the twins, grin and decently come out one by one. So the kids had the pool to themselves most of the time (The people here can be really, really kind towards kids). I did my best to teach them to swim, but they were too enamored by the water to pay me any heed 😦


Shobby and his “Zebu”


The other water source was the beach of Lake Michigan. Enough sand was dragged back home for me to make my own private sand castle.


Digging sand for the castle


The twins undertook the Summer Reading Challenge to read and record the amount of time they read each day. It was a wonderful way to spend the summer vacation and the twins loved the visits to the library which was conducting the challenge. Apart from selecting books, they had book-reading sessions, crafts, lucky draws, etc each week. The twins won books and binoculars in the lucky dip 🙂

The library also conducted workshops on puppet-making and introduction to the insect/reptile world (which was seriously good). They got to touch real live pythons and alligators and black widows !


With Puppets and Miss Annie

With Puppets and Miss Annie

Picking up the python

Picking up the python


The BF’s parents came down for a visit and it was YAY! time all around 🙂

After a long time, I could take a siesta without worrying about the kids. The moment the kids spotted their grandparents at the airport, they forgot they had a Momma or an Abu. For the next two months, they only spoke to Dada and Dadi. Just as well 🙂 . Sometimes, it is good to have the kids off your hands, even if its for a little while !

Once the in-laws came, it truly felt like home once again 🙂 .  Me and the MIL would cook together, all of us would have our meals together, there would be talks and discussions, jokes and spats,  just like old times. I think I spent more time with them here than all those years back in Pune when we would all meet for hardly a couple of hours each day!

The in-laws would go for long walks around the neighborhood.  FIL made more friends around the area than people I know!

Keeping an eye on their grand-kids

Keeping an eye on their grand-kids


We finally visited the Niagara Falls.

It was Amazing! In fact, “Amazing” doesn’t even begin to cover the experience! It was mind-blowingly magnificent!

The power of nature at its best!

The twins drove me nuts on our drive till the falls. It was a long way and they were rather fidgety, being unused to getting strapped to their car-seats. The lack of movement, couple with the long distance made them eat the brains of the only person on their row. Me!

Lui : Mumma, have we reached?

Me : No, not yet.

Shobby : When will we reach??

Me : Maybe in another hour.

2 seconds pass by.

Shobby : Mumma, have we reached?

And so the loop went on. Somewhere towards the end, I lost my head and asked the BF to pull over. “Anything wrong?” he asked. “Yeah, I just want to leap off this window and jump into that river below”, I said. The in-laws found it funny! But of course! They weren’t the ones enduring those pesky , ranting, whining kids!

Desperately waiting to reach the falls

Desperately waiting to reach the falls

The Falls

The Falls

The torture was well worth it! One look at the falls and I realized the insignificance of our existence. Tonnes of water cascading down the gorge, the terrific sounds, the multiple rainbows over it, it was too beautiful! Almost exhilarating, yet bringing us down a bit. Nature’s creations are supreme. Nothing man-made can come any closer (SubhanAllah).


The rainbow


Since the In-laws were with us, we made a trip to the Water-park capital of the world – Wisconsin. I thought the title was exaggerated, but you have to visit the place to believe it! I think I have never seen so many water parks (and I’m talking about really large ones here) on one road! The resort we were staying at was called Kalahari, with a jungle theme and loads of indoor/outdoor water rides and an indoor theme park. The indoor water park even had temperature controlled water, so it wasn’t cold, a little on the warm side. In the toddler’s section, there was actual warm water flowing/splashing around!

We had great fun there. Even the MIL got down into the pool to play water basket-ball 😀

The friendly gorilla :)

The friendly gorilla 🙂


The climbing wall

The Kalahari trip was by far the most entertaining. Apart from the time we spent in the water, we all also got to do a lot of indoor fun activities like the sky-walk, go-carts, bowling, ferris-wheel, climbing walls, carousal and a dozen other arcade games.  It was nearly midnight before the twins agreed to be dragged back to our rooms!


The in-laws visit also gave us an excuse to go sight-seeing around Chicago, something we’d been putting off for reasons unknown. We covered all the tourist sites, except the museums. The kids aren’t too fond of museums yet and they get irritable if we spend too much time on one! So we did the rounds of Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountains, Architectural Boat tour (Where they take you on the Chicago river and give a brief description/history on the landmark towers/buildings in downtown), Magnificent Mile and the likes.

Overall, it was an amazing two months, not only because the parents were with us, also because we got to spend a lot of quality time together as a family. Thats precious 🙂

On the boat tour

On the boat tour

At the Buckingham Fountain

At the Buckingham Fountain

At John Hancock

At John Hancock


And then, the school started! The kids are in Grade 1 now, older and much wiser than before. They give me enough reason to take refuge in my blog once again 😀

New Academic year begins!

New Academic year begins!

Thats it folks. A quick summary if there ever was one 🙂

I’m a house-wife, still. I did get my work permit, but didn’t have the time or inclination to hunt for a job. InshaAllah, with the in-laws back home and the kids back in school, this might just be the right time to think about a profession again.

So wish me luck.



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I’ve made it a point that we all have dinner together at the table after the BF gets back from work. We have an early dinner, around 7:30 PM, so that we can start packing the kids off for sleep time around 9pm. Given the cold days and even colder nights, the twins are reluctant to come out of their comforters in the morning. Unless of course if they have slept well. Then they get up bright and early.

So dinner time is when we all get together and break bread. I mean that literally! The BF had bought two loaves of bread one day (on my insistence that two was better than one). The loaves were huge and had a zillion slices each. So we gave up on rice and rotis to finish the damn slices before they got stale 😦 . Anyhow, the kids love talking about the day at school, the teachers, classmates (no friends yet !), their Pune friends and mostly lots of idle talk . Lately though, we’ve been having some rather interesting things to talk about. Hear this :-

1) We were talking about why the twins need to eat the vegetables when suddenly, Shobby had a brainwave.

Shobby : Abbu, mai bhi apne bete ko vegetables khane bolunga.

BF : Huh?! What?

Shobby : (gives a loud sigh and explains as if to child) Jab mujhe bhi baby hoga, tab mai bhi unko vegetables khane bolunga.

BF : Ohh! Okay, good.

Lui : Shobby, aapko kitne babies chahiye.

Shobby : (promptly) TWO!!

Lui : Boys or girls??

Shobby : Boys!

Lui : Abbu, mujhe two girls chahiye.

BF : (looking totally baffled by now) Huh?!

Lui : Shobby, aapko girl chahiye?

Shobby : (After a thought) Yes. Two girls.

Lui : Ok. So you have 2 boys and two girls. That is four. I will have 3 boys and 3 girls (counting on fingers) Six children.

Both the kids look pleased as punch and beam at us.

Sitting across the table, the BF and me just shake our heads in wonder. Or was it sorrow?!!

2) Another day, another time. We are all having dinner. The BF was to leave us for a short trip to India (He’s left already even as I type this) and he was preparing the kids for his departure.

BF : Lui, I will go only for a few days. Be good and don’t trouble your mother.

Lui : (with all solemnity) yes Abbu. I will be good. But I will miss you so much.

(Here she makes her puppy dog face and the BF and barely control the pricking of tears in his eyes )

Lui : But I promise I will NEVER leave you and go.Ever, ever, EVER!

BF : What about when you get married?

Lui : Koi problem nahin? Mere husband ko bhi hamare saath rakhenge.

Here, both the BF and I almost choke on our food.

Me : What??

Lui : (looking very decisive) Dekho mummy, shaadi toh mai karungi hi, lekin, mere husband ko hamare ghar lekar aaoongi rehne ke liye.

The feminist in me did a fist-pump and cheered for her. The BF knit his brows…probably, the future worries him 😛

3) The BF isn’t here. While we were having dinner, the twins got talking about the Pune home.  I realize that they miss the space to run around, not only in our house but also our neighbours. They even miss the trips to the grocery store on the ground floor of the building to buy a packet of Maggi or Chocos (Oh the luxury of it all 😐 ). But I didnt realize that what they missed the most were the bathrooms and wash-basins 😐 . The twins started talking at length about how each of them could brush at a different sink without needing to share or how they could both attend nature’s call at the same time ( 🙄 ) . For the record, we have only one washroom in the apartment here which has a large sink, commode and a tub . As I mulled over the things the kids were talking about, Shobby turns to me and says,

Shobby : Mummy, dekho. If I am taking bath, aur aapko bahut zor se toilet jaana hai, toh aap andar aa jana. Waise bhi curtain hai, aap mujhe nahin dekh sakte.

Lui : Haan mummy. Hum aapke liye adjust karne ke liye tayyar hai.

Me : Ya Allah!! The sacrifices these kids make for me 😐 😐

😀 😀 😀

Here are pics of the two struggling with chop-sticks. For the record, they did manage to finish their dinner with it 🙂


“MUST get this damn noodle into my mouth!”


“Its going to be a long night, I see!”

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A Valentine’s Day On Friday

It is the season of love 🙂

Well, maybe not so much here in the US as it is back home!

I mean, by now every street in Pune would be covered with hawkers selling roses by the dozens and heart shaped balloons. The rates, though a bit high, would be pocket-friendly. Archies and Hallmark would be doing some serious business. Camp and Deccan would be covered with the college crowd, strolling along, some gutsy ones even holding hands 🙂 .


I miss that!

Though I’m right in the city here, things appear a little damp! A few stores have heart-shaped balloons, the department stores keep the rose bouquets but thats about it ! The streets are bare…..there’s no crowd around (maybe the weather is to blame) and clearly, youngsters are missing from the scene!


Nothing beats the snow and the lovely contrast it brings to red balloons and roses, however few they may be around 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone in and out of Love!

Because there is never just one person who demands your love 😀


There’s one experience that I had today, a very unique one!

You know how women in India and abroad visit temples? Well, muslim women in Asian subcontinent pray at home but in the rest of the world, they go to the Masjid. There are separate sections for men and women of course. So today, being a Friday, the BF suggested that I join him for Friday prayers at the local Masjid here in Chicago.

I got the kids ready and took a cab to the destination where the BF was waiting for us. Once inside, we separated, with Shobby joining his father and Lui with me. We went to the area where women were to pray. It was possibly the first time in my life that I was praying in a group! Frankly, it felt pretty good. There were women from so many different countries, different colours, dresses and accents 🙂 !

After the prayer, we went down to the basement for a lovely lunch of Hyderabadi Biryani! Yum!! 🙂 🙂

It was awesome experience !






About the Valentine’s Day, nothing speaks better than Roses and Chocolates, isn’t it?

So I got my Rose AND the chocolate 😀

The Rose

The Rose

The Chocolate

The Chocolate

Have a great weekend ahead folks.

Have fun 🙂

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In Chicago!

So! After a long hiatus which saw plenty of ups and downs, I’m finally back on the blog. Though I want to get into details, this will be a short post with a summary of my trip to Chicago.

The last few months have been nothing but crazy. I quit work (I mean, I took a long break again and in the bargain jeopardized any chance of a favourable appraisal or promotion anytime in future).  The BIL got married, the BF fell terribly ill in his short stay and in the flurry of rushing him to and fro from the hospital, we missed out on inviting many people for the wedding 😦 . The week after the wedding was spent in attending lunches and dinners by relatives to welcome the new bride and to bid us goodbye.


Suddenly, it was time for us to leave and I still hadn’t packed ! Mom came to the rescue. Being an expert packer, she managed to squeeze all of our stuff into four big and four small bags. Considering we are going for a possibly long term, the BF was impressed that we weren’t carrying the entire house 🙄

(There’s a LOT I forgot to pack though 😦 . Hopefully, the stuff I left back isn’t critical to our stay here! )

Farewell was tough 😦

Though I was excited, there was a lot I was leaving behind and that made me feel rather heavy. Mom and MIL were in tears and though the FIL kept a gruff exterior we knew he was crushed inside. His most adorable grandchildren were going away……and we have no clue when we will be back!

We took the road to reach Mumbai airport where we realized that ………

Immigration sucks!

I think my heart goes out to all those people who travel frequently. Waiting long hours for immigration check not only tested our patience, but even the twin’s ! On their part, though it was late at night, the two kept up their good spirits and complied with moving along the queue at snail’s pace. Security check was another bummer 😦

Once inside the plane, Lui was upset that we didn’t get a window seat. Eventually, she gave in to routine and went off to sleep. Shobby enjoyed the cartoons playing on the in-flight entertainment system. He even ate the snacks available 🙂

(For some unknown reason, the snap above refuses to rotate right! ),

We reached Munich, local time around 5:30 in the morning. The next flight to Chicago was at 12:30 in the afternoon! We had nearly 6 hours to while away in a very deserted airport! But I must say, I saw some of the most stylish crowd in Munich. The BF had to remind me more than a couple of times to not stare at the women 😀 . The furs, the boots, the caps! The women, even at  that ungodly hour were dressed to the nines. Compared to them, I looked like a dump in my tracks, knotted hair and obviously, no make up 😦 .


At Munich airport

It was difficult to keep the kids occupied. The BF was still recovering from his ill-health and was in no condition to run after them.  The twins, on their behalf, behaved much better. We sat near the windows and counted the aeroplanes, told stories, ate candies and biscuits, ran along the huge passage way when there was no crowd and just tried to while away the time. Finally, after 6 long hours, it was time for us to board the flight to Chicago.

You know how people make fun of flight attendants on Air India? Well, the United Airlines’ Flight Attendants were no better. The women were definitely over 40 and not in the best of mood. One male attendant must have been in his late thirties, but the others were definitely pushing forty. And no, none of them were skinny. I was possibly thinner than a couple of them 🙂 . So no more jokes on Air India, okay?!

After a really long flight…must have been 9 hours, we finally arrived at O’Hare airport in Chicago where we had to suffer another long wait for immigration check. Though the twins were irritated, they behaved and didn’t throw a tantrum even though they were tired of walking along the queue. Frankly, it was smooth sailing with no hiccups and thanks to Mom’s packing, my fears of our ayurvedic medicines being confiscated, were put to rest 😀 . We were cleared to go and were welcomed by the coldest blast of frigid air when we stepped out. So we stepped right back in 😀

The BF went out to book us a taxi, while I made sure that the twins were bundled up properly once again. I am used to snow as I have spent my early childhood in Kashmir. The cold air wasn’t a surprise to me . But to the kids, it sure was ! The minute Shobby was outside, he started shaking like a leaf! Lui handled the cold much better I think. Both were over-awed with the snow….their first time ever 🙂

We took a cab to the apartment. The BF loaded our luggage on a cart and took us to his floor. We came in and dumped our luggage on the floor. The BF left us to return the cart back to the admin office. He must have gone for around five minutes. When he got back, he found three bodies lying on the carpeted floor. We had crashed out. It was around 5:30 pm local time.

Lui woke me up at 3:30 AM. She was hungry. Shobby was also up. So we all headed to the kitchen to find something. The BF, God bless him, had stocked up the refrigerator with the essentials. We had bread and butter, a safe dish to eat at odd hours 🙂 . The BF woke up too, he couldn’t sleep with all the noise the twins were making.

It took us a week to get back into our normal day-night cycle! I had heard about jet lag but experiencing it first-hand was a different thing altogether 🙂 .

I am slowly getting used to this place. The twins are yet to start school (we are still hunting for something close to our place). At times, I take the twins out for a short walk, just to let them get them get the hang of the weather. Spending too much time at home isn’t good for little kids ! Thankfully, the two are in good spirits, the LOVE the snow and love going out (all bundled up of course). The only problem lies in the effort to get dressed for going out! The layers of clothing, outerwear, jackets, boots, gloves, ear-muffs, Whew! Its tiring just to get dressed!

First walk in the snow

First walk in the snow

In their new winter-wear

In their new winter-wear

It is week 2 in Chicago and I think I am more or less adjusted. The people are friendly and courteous, I know the relevant stores around our place and though this place is expensive, I’m slowly letting go of mentally converting everything to rupees and gasping at the rates. My breathing, Alhamdulillah, is pretty normal when I shop now 😀

I’m in downtown Chicago, so if there is any reader here who knows this place, do drop by and say hello. You are all welcome 🙂


Note : I am really sorry for the hiatus. There was a lot happening back home and at the end of each day, I just ran out of steam and didn’t have the heart to sit and do a post. Many of you messaged me, commented on posts and asked if everything was okay. I’m sorry that I could not even reply to those comments. Sincere apologies 😦

But I am back and intend to be here more often 🙂 . Looking forward to hearing from you all once again. Love you 🙂

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Thanks to you all, I have finally managed to collect the required documents for my passport. Hopefully, I’ll get a submission date sometime this week and after that, all is in Allah’s hands 🙂 . I think I’ve been jinxed enough already. Every time I get one step closer to joining the BF, something or the other pulls me back two steps! BTW, have I mentioned that I finally got my visa? Well, I did, after a horrendous wait of 10 months! There are many other factors  which will decode whether I finally get to join him or not! Keeping fingers crossed…….the twins are so, SO keen to see the snow…and hopefully (inshaAllah), we’ll fulfill their wish this winter 😉

Else, I’ll just hand then both a cube of ice 😐


I had to get my photograph taken this weekend for the passport submission. The neighborhood Kodak store came to the rescue and the fellow assured me that I’ll get good quality prints in an hour. Well enough, I said, as I sat demurely in front of a white curtain. A look at the mirror in front of me had me a little worried. For the last few weeks, I have been suffering a severe facial allergy which has left me with some horrible red/brown rashes. The marks were still there 😦

The photographer took a couple of snaps and asked me to select the one which I wanted to get printed. I selected the least offensive one and went my way. Later that evening, I collected the snaps and came back home. Going through the snaps, I realized that , man! I still look good 😀

But hey, wait an effing minute? Is that my snap?? Well…it did seem so.

Then, why did it look so different?? I mean, it was me, but it was somehow not me? Got what I’m saying?!

And then, with a bang, it hit me – The photographer Photoshopped me 😐 !!

There was distinct airbrushing around the cheeks and nose which gave me a smooth , blemish-free alabaster skin tone! I’m not sure whether to be flattered that I have such a lovely snap of myself (which will eventually go into my passport) or be appalled that the guy took the liberty to Photoshop me without my consent 😐 !! Did I really look that bad in person?!!

Truly torn 😐


The house-help snapped!

Not at me, or at any of her employers. She finally snapped at her husband.

This maid (lets call her L )has been with us for the last 5 years. She is a gentle soul and like all gentle souls, she was subject to inhuman levels of physical violence and torture by her husband. In her words, its not just his drinking habit which is at fault, it is his mental instability which is the root cause of his illness. She had him treated many times, even got him admitted with a psychiatrist, but there was no luck. She suffered his wrath because he was ‘ill’ and like a good dutiful wife, it was her duty to stick by him. Though we begged her to leave him and move out with her children, she was afraid of what ‘people will say’ and refused to do so.

Anyhow, last week, for the first time in her life, she raised her hand at him. Beat him with a broom, she confessed. For a long time now, I’ve been goading her to fight back, to not take his violence sitting down, to think of the repercussions of the discord on her children (who are blessedly boys and above 15 years of age). The husband did not take the broom-hit lying down either. He threatened to kill her and her children . That was enough for her to snap . She has complained to a local women’s group about him, logged a police complaint and even told him that she will be leaving the house. He, in turn told her that he is ready to leave himself, provided she shell out money for his everyday food and drinking 🙄 .

Obviously, the lady is so ticked off that she wants him to rot in his house 😀 . Sometime this week, she will look out for a new accommodation for herself and her sons and move out for good.

I’m really happy for her, for her being able to finally take a stand , to open her eyes and realize that a husband who is less of a man is no ‘pati-parmeshwar’ she has to suffer for life.

Send your good wishes her way please….she needs all the good vibes for the difficult task of breaking free 🙂


Antibiotics make me crazy!

Am on a dose of heavy-duty antibiotics for an infection I ignored earlier and which is now rather severe (What?!! Can’t the educated be stupid for a change?!). So the dosage is rather high and it is doing strange things to me (besides killing the bad bacteria inside me). I’m woozy, have difficulty keeping my eye-lids open, though I’m in complete control of my mind and I think I know how Pinocchio must have felt with his wooden body.

Antibiotics bring out empathy. Must note that one!

Its tough typing out this post with only one eye open at a time. This line is courtesy the right one. The top para was by the left.

The meds have also given me the patience of gun-powder. So just don’t ask me how I am…most likely I will bite your head off first and then spit out the remains to figure out what exactly it was that you asked about.

So yeah, Antibiotics make me crazy. Very crazy.



Why do children turn to gold in the night? And then turn right back into the devils in the day-time?

I was feeling rather low last night, the above antibiotics were kicking in with a frenzy and my inner turmoil was buzzing loud and clear in my ears. The twins were a tad upset to see me so distraught, so they did the best they could. Snuggling up to me, they put their little arms around me and muttered the sincerest promises they could come up with.

“Mumma, we will never do any masti again”.

“Mumma, we will always listen to you”.

Hum kabhi bhi zidd nahin karenge“.

“Mumma, always aapki baat sunenge“.

“I will never ask for anything”.

“We will be happy with what you give us”.

I think I passed out even as they kept cooing their vows into my ears.

This morning, I think I’m the only one who remembered them vows. The kids were back to being the brats they are.

“I DON’T want to get up”, yells Lui from under the covers.

“I want Pediasure in my milk. Why did you add Bournvita”, howls Shobby.

“Mumma, please don’t go to office today”, begs Lui.

“I want to talk to Abbu RIGHT NOW”,  demands Shobby.

And life is back on the regular track !


So, how is the week kicking off for you?!

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A Day At The Park

The twins miss their evening time at the park.

With my schedule, its impossible for me to take them out. By the time the in-laws get back from work, it is either too late for them to accompany the kids or they are too tired to do so. Can’t blame them too. The nanny whom we had hired a long time back, was given the boot sometime early this year. Her constant disappearances and no-shows were not working for us. So now, the twins go to the day-care after school, the in-laws pick them up around 5:30-6:00 pm after which they come home. We cant let the twins go alone because there are plenty of bullies out there who have pushed and shoved my kids off swings and slides right in front of me !! I wonder what they will do if my children don’t have an adult for supervision 😐 .

Every weekend, I plan to take them to play, but each weekend, something for the other comes up and we miss out on the trip. Lately, I’ve been feeling very guilty of the kids being deprived their play-time. Sure they play at home, run around and jump over every visible furniture at home but it isn’t the same as going down a slide or feeling the hair blowing behind you as you reach out high on a swing 😐

Last Sunday, we visited the BF’s aunt. The minute we landed at her place, the kids pleaded to be let out to play in the society garden. Since we’ve been there before, the kids knew where to go and what to play with. I went down with them because I’m still not confident of letting them out of my sight in public places!

The sheer glee with which the kids went out running was a little heart-breaking! I mean, its a simple pleasure of life, loads of kids play in parks everyday, but for mine, it was a luxury to be let out in the open like this. Even after entering the park, they were torn between running to the swings or climbing up the slide or the merry-go-round or see-saw! They finally charted their own paths and began enjoying in earnest 🙂

swinging along !

swinging along !


Shobby tried the swing, but as always, his motion sickness kicked in and within a couple of minutes, he begged to be let off! Its funny once again, how completely opposite the twins can get…Lui swings so high I’m terrified that she will flip and break her head and Shobbs cant tolerate even a moderately paced swing 😐

But my boy is a great slider! He can play on a slide in continous loops for ages, without a break! Wonder why the motion sickness doesnt kick in then….it sure does to me, at least when I look at him constantly. All that flurry of his movements makes me dizzy 😐


Sliding down together

Sometimes, he’s brave enough to even try out stunts

"And this is where I decide to give Mom the shock of her life"

“And this is where I decide to give Mom the shock of her life”

After about an hour’s play, I took them inside. Keeping the kids occupied at relative’s place is usually a difficult thing to do so I normally carry some toys for them. This time, I’d bought a cheap railway track with four bogies (running on a single pencil cell) from a store near my place. It was a last minute purchase and surprisingly, the kids have preserved it in its minted form. Many expensive toys have been trashed within minutes, but this silly little train is cared for deeply. The twins dismantle it carefully, stack the tracks and the bogies in their respective slots in the box , put it inside its cover and then keep the box inside the plastic bag I had bought it in 😐 . The worst part is, they follow this routine religiously , each time they play with the train! Finally growing up, I must say 😀


“Look Mom, we assembled the train”

I went a bit off-track there (see what I did here? 😀 ) . Was talking about the park-time!

The kids were so happy with the park that towards evening, they once again insisted on going there. This time, they wanted the see-saw. I’m not very happy about see-saws myself. I have sustained more injuries because of see-saws as a child and in my opinion, it is a very unsafe plaything. But the twins insisted so I piled them on one. I think what I’ll remember most about that evening was the way the twins laughed heartily each time they soared up and came crashing down 🙂


Lui LOVES being called a Chinese. Wonder why?! 😀


Shobby giggles far more than Lui. Wonder why?? 😐

For all the time I was there with the kids, I realized with a pang just how much they are deprived of some joys and how less they complain about it 😦 . We had a blast at the play area and I think I must make the visits to the society park at least a weekend affair.

Its only fair on the kids, right ?! 🙂

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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.  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 😦 . Disappointing, YES!!

There is a huge list of first-time achievements/realizations that I still remember from my childhood. 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 😦 . 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 🙂 . It was a high of a different kind. For a few seconds, I thought that I had just ‘grown-up’ a tad bit 😀

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 🙂 . 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 😀

Shobby still couldn’t make it 😀

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 😦

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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The Fairy GodMother

Dear Shobby,

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

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

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

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

Fat chance!

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

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

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

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

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

Yours (and Lui’s too)

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For The Very First Time…..

….we made a trip with the kids to a …hold your breath…mall.


Thats right.


We were skeptical and undecided, then finally, we gave in. It was just a matter of an hour or so. We thought about it and discussed at length. No, don’t get us wrong. The BF and I have a LOT of things to talk about, but taking the kids to a mall is a decision we’ve been putting off since the time they were born. Strolling through one is not really our idea of a good time, but the BF had visited one mall where he saw kids enjoying a few rides in the play area and immediately thought that our kids would love it too.

After a lot of pondering over, we decided to go just this one time, since we had an hour or so to kill before visiting a relative. Also, the twin’s birthday is around the corner and we became a little generous towards them 😀

Anyhow, so it being a Sunday, we expected the place to be crowded. We took a quick stroll, looking for the play-area. Instead, we found an adorable toy-train which would take the kids around the floor. The per head cost of ticket was 100/- which gave me a cardiac. But since the train was super cute and the twins were super excited, I gave in.  Luckily, it wasn’t over-flowing, and we made our way around the floor. The BF didn’t join us, for obvious reasons 😀 .

Once the train ride was over (too quickly, if you ask me 😐 ), we went over to the play-area.  The rides which would cost 10/- anywhere else in the city, were billed at 40/- each. The worst part was that we just couldn’t pick any ride and be done with it! We had to purchase a card worth 220/- and then we could use any ride we wanted. This kind of flummoxed us and I was about to back out. My middle-class sensibilities reacted violently at this blatant loot. But the kids were already clambering into the toy helicopters and the BF just didn’t have the heart to ask them to come out. So we bought the cards and took the kids through the various rides.

The twins enjoyed all the rides, obviously 🙂

“Mumma, kitna mazza aa raha hai”, squealed Lui, as the toy boat swung up and down. Well, the happiness on the twin’s faces were worth every penny spent, I must say.

Once the rides were over, we went over to the food court. Now, this was a bad decision on all counts. For two adults and two toddlers, we shelled out nearly 1000/- . The fact that the food wasn’t worth the price grated on us. The only reason we ate there was because the kids were tired and hungry and it would have taken us time to go out somewhere else.

Anyhow, sharing a few pics from the evening . Getting Shobby to pose for a pic is the toughest task ever. Just when I’m ready to click, he turns his head right. Then left. And then, thankfully, he looks straight ahead. Luckily, no such problem with Lui 🙂 .:-

Overall, it was a fun evening, but not something we would be doing again.

On their part, the kids totally erased the memory of the mall-trip the minute we reached home. They haven’t mentioned it or the rides since last week. It almost as if they never went there 😐 (we took them there last to last Sunday), which works just fine for us. Probably, the kids didn’t enjoy it as much to demand a second trip!

Hopefully, the next time they step into one, will be when they are much older and wiser 😀



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