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Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Meeting RM And Little R

I’ve been meaning to do this post for ages, but the awful hectic deadlines at work and the awful clutter at home barely allowed me the luxury to sit and do a post 😐 .

A few weeks back, I met RM . She was in Pune for a marathon and dropped me a message earlier in the month asking me if we could meet up. Obviously I was overjoyed at meeting her in person and we set the date of meeting which was a Saturday.

On the said Saturday morning, I quickly wrapped up work at home, handed over the twins to the BIL and accompanied the MIL and SIL to do something called as “wedding shopping”. This is an activity which can drive non-shoppers to the edge of insanity. Considering that the trio of us who went shopping are all non-shoppers ( the types who pick up the first dress or stuff that comes into view), we were the ideal kind to fleece. The shopkeepers cajoled and even chided us on our choice of sarees. “Yeh mat lo!! Shaadi ke liye itna sasta kaise le sakte ho” kind of statements had us hanging our heads in shame! The BIL had begged me to go easy on the shopping as he handed me his credit cards with tears in his eyes. Possibly the first time he was giving it to a woman 😐 . Poor chap! Little did he know that it was just the beginning.

I did take pity on him and was cautious with the expenses. We went to just two shops, quickly bought a few sarees and dress materials and called it a day. But even by our quick standards, it was around 5pm when we finally dragged our sorry selves back home 😦 . Lugging all those bags had made us weary like hell and we just collapsed on our beds.

I think it took me 2 seconds after hitting the pillow to remember that I had promised RM that I would meet her. Quickly got up, dressed up the kids, took a quick bath and got ready. The BIL said he will drop me to the meeting point but he asked me to wait for a minutes as he was waiting for his friend to return our car. So we waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, I snapped and told him that I was taking an auto. He was rather ticked off at his friend but he didn’t want us to take an auto so he dropped us there on his bike. The worst part was that it being a Saturday night, the entire city came on the roads ! It took us much longer than expected to reach the venue where I would be meeting RM for the first time 🙂 .

In my hurry to leave, I hadn’t combed my hair nor remembered to wear ear-rings. So as I walked towards the venue, I combed my hair (looked mighty silly doing that in public) and hunted in my purse for some ear-rings. Thankfully, found a pair ! Just then, got a call from RM. I looked around and there she was 🙂 . Believe me, I think when I first saw her, I thought that I knew her forever! We rushed at each other and hugged like long-lost sisters! The twins looked on keenly, almost worried to see their mother smothering someone besides them 😀 ! Two men looked on in wonder and then RM introduced me to the wonderful RD and her cousin. As I was talking to them, I looked down and saw that I was still holding one ear-ring in my hand. The other was in my ear 😐 . I wonder what the two men thought of my haphazard appearance 😦

The icing on the cake was little R who has the brightest smile ever!! EVER. And dimples!! I had no idea she had DIMPLES!! 😀 😀 😀  My one weakness in human form is for dimples (I found the BF rather attractive because of the tiny dimple that forms under his lower lip when he smiles or talks. Its captivating 🙂 ). Anyhow, Little R is a bright little thing with killer dimples. Did I say that already? Never mind! She’s a precocious little thing and it felt good to see that Lui took an immediate affinity to her. Within minutes of meeting each other, they were holding hands and sharing secrets 😀 . Shobby held on to my hand, a tad shy of the sudden gushing all around him and apprehensive because his beloved sister had forgotten about him after meeting R 🙂

RM is exactly like I imagined her…she talks just like she writes in her blog 🙂 ….we started talking and walking and I realized that it just didn’t seem like our first meeting 🙂 ….we spoke about so many things and nothing in particular! But the best part is, we didn’t bring up the topic of our respective blogs at all! Figure that? I mean, blogging is what brought us together, but throughout the time we were together, we talked about the kids, jobs, work pressure, toilet-training and what not 😀 .

At a little Italian restaurant, we had pasta and some baked corn bread and paneer tikka roll. The kids had orange juice to go with the bread and the pasta. RM, preparing for the Pune International Marathon the next morning, hardly had anything! It was up to me to finish the roll and the pasta which I did without much guilt 😀 . Lui didn’t want to go home so soon as she wanted to spend more time with Little R. So RM, being generous, suggested that we all go to her hotel room and spend some time there. Once in the room, we had the mandatory rounds of the loo for the kids :). We tried talking, the two of us, but it was so difficult with the three kids running around the room and playing hide-and-seek (hiding under the blanket while the others searched 🙄 ) . They were having so much fun that we in turn were enjoying all the laughter coming from them.

We had a round of photo session where the kids obliged us by making poses 🙂 I would have put them up here, but my laptop has conked out and I’m unable to download the snaps to it. Will do it sometime later (with due permission from RM, of course 🙂 )

A quick look at the watch made me realize that it was already 9:30 pm and it was time I left since I had a long way to go. Not only that, RM had to get up really early the next morning because of the run. It felt bad bidding goodbye, because I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked to 😦 ….with promises to keep in touch and visit each other, we parted ways. I felt rather sad when I was walking out of the hotel….I’m terrible at keeping in touch and it seemed such a shame that I could meet a wonderful person like RM for such a short while. I didn’t know if I would keep my promise to her and God knows I want to 😐

Dear RM, it was so wonderful to meet you….I really hope and pray that we meet again! Thank you so much for a wonderful time and also, for the lovely books you got for the kids. We had a great time doing the activities and reading stories about Toto the Auto 🙂 . Also, the ear-rings you brought for me are beautiful! They are the exact shades that I didn’t have and needed …! You must be a mind-reader 🙂

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

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 and  after reading her posts I’m usually grinning throughout the day 🙂

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 🙂

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 😀 ). 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 🙂

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 🙂 . 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 🙂

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 🙂 .

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 😀 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 😀 . 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 😛

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 🙂 . 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 🙂

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 🙂 . Am sure she gets her way with Pal and PK 😀

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 🙂 . 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.  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.  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 😀

Maybe next time 🙂

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Dear Friend,

I made a resolution this year that when I felt something was wrong, I would make sure that I voice that opinion. I’m speaking out now.

After more than a decade of friendship, of ups and downs, of cramming for exams and scrounging for projects, of late-night Maggis and late-night movie shows, of early morning coffee and CDs played on my computer, we’ve done it all. You were always the quiet and shy one and I would be the brash one, speaking out for when you when you clammed up!  You would goad me into asking the teachers for an off if you didn’t feel like attending class. I would do it.I used to bargain for you when you went shopping (remember the time you liked a particular pair of shoe but didn’t want to pay more than 100/- for it? I haggled with the shopkeeper for it the next day, insisting that I wanted that very pair, even though it was a size small for me. He must have thought me a nut-case, buying shoes that don’t fit!). I could have left you to fight your own battles but I didn’t.

And this is why, I blame myself as much as I blame you for what I feel about the status of our friendship now.

For the last few years, I’ve realized that the equation of our friendship has changed. I’m not sure if you realize when exactly this change came about but I can pinpoint the exact time frame – August 2005. I’m sure this date must have triggered some dormant memories. Dormant for you but not for me. Because I remember the days that followed after that very well. Days, that didn’t turn out too good or favorable for me.

Before I go into the specifics, I’ll let you on a secret. You are a joy to be with – when you are not in the circle of your family. Maybe that’s why the first year of college with you was so much fun. You were gay, unabashed, spoke your mind and were a riot. In the second year, your family settled in town and you moved in with them. Though you were still fun to be with, you weren’t as gay and unabashed as before. Cautious, is what you were. You were careful about what you said and did. I did irk me a bit, but then, I wasn’t so into dissecting personalities.

Honestly speaking, over the last few years, I’ve thought a hundred times about breaking ties with you. I realized that my friendship meant nothing to you. You never really were around during my bad times and when I was around for you, I was reprimanded by your family while you stood by meekly. You neither defended me nor apologized later for the insults I had to bear. At one point, I realized what a grave mistake I had made by taking your side when you came to me for help. Remember this line. You came to me. Till then, I had NO IDEA what was brewing. I had NO IDEA what trouble you were in. I was about to leave town to return God-Knows-When and there you were, sobbing buckets. I did the best I could, FOR YOU. I stood up for you when there was no one besides you. I faced your family FOR YOU.

And that, in Aug 2005 was my biggest mistake.

For years after that, your family has been more than rude to me. Maybe you didn’t realize it. Or just maybe, you realized and chose to keep quiet. Like always. Even before Aug 2005, when results came out in college and I was interrogated on my marks in each subject. Like the time I got my first job and I was asked to give a salary break-up description. Like the time, after a late evening show, I waited with you at a lonely bus-stop till your parents came to pick you up, since no autos were going your way (I could still hail down autos going my way). At 11:30 in the night, when your parents finally came, you hopped into your car and drove away, leaving me alone on a deserted stretch of road. Neither you nor your parents realized the slight. For a whole 10 minutes after that, I stood there in shock, my mouth agape. I waited, because I thought you guys might come back to pick me. My house was after all, almost half-way through to your’s. You didn’t come back (didn’t it bother you one bit that I waited there at the bus-stop for your sake?! Didn’t you owe me anything??). Somehow, when I reverse the position and think of you in my place, I KNOW that my dad would have driven you home even if your house was in the other end of the city. Sure he would have given us an earful, but that would have been out of concern for our safety. For days and years after that, you acted as if that incident didn’t happen. You never acknowledged, nor apologized.

Around 12 am, I finally gathered the guts to call the BF, who woke up from his slumber  and drove halfway across the city to drop me home. He gave me a tongue lashing throughout the ride. I didn’t deserve that flak. What surprises me is that when you have to be dropped at the airport at an ungodly hour, your parents called up the BF and asked him to do the needful. Not requested, mind you, just told him to do so. Somehow, their daughter is precious, but someone else’s isn’t?!  If we weren’t old buddies, the BF wouldn’t have. But frankly, he isn’t as heartless.

It hurts me terribly as I type this. I’ve been meaning to vent it out to you personally over the years. But then again, I realized that being vocal isn’t your strength. Instead of a discussion, I would be talking to a statue. You would sit patiently, waiting for me to get over and offer nothing in return. Not even the benefit of a good yell. Even as you read this, I don’t expect a reaction. I’m a little miffed that I’m taking the cowardly path and writing this down instead of confronting you. I can’t help it. I just have the consolation that maybe, someday, you will read this post.

I really cannot carry this load anymore. Each time I decided to severe ties with you, the BF calmed me down and pointed out that this lifetime was too short to hold grudges. He’s right. So even though I was insulted a hundred times, even though I vowed never to step into your doorway again, I did. Each time I did it for you. You are aware of the first time the insults started.  This was when your mom called me and another friend to reprimand us for being a wrong influence on you.

Wrong influence?! You were 25+ at that time. Not a teenager!

What was our crime?? We had boyfriends. I went ahead to marry mine. The other one is yet to marry hers. But do you remember the actual accusation?? I do. It was implied, directly that I pushed you into doing what you did. That I was the one who initiated the actual problem. I vehemently denied the accusation and looked to you for help. You sat there meekly, letting your mom do all the talking. We understood that with deference to your mother you would not be able to say anything. But what about later?? Wasn’t an apology due from your side? At least a confession that you agree we were misjudged and wrongly accused! You gave away nothing. It was almost as if along with your mother , even you were convinced that we were at fault! For months after that, I and the other friend wondered where we went wrong. How could your actions be cleanly dumped on our shoulders?? We weren’t even aware what you were up to!! What hurt more, was the way you used us.

We were invited to your wedding and though the BF would be missing out on an extremely crucial office meet, against our better judgment, we agreed to go. The other two friends’ family kept a condition that they would allow their daughters to travel the distance only if me and BF also came along. For their sake, we agreed to come. Since we couldn’t leave the kids behind, I dragged them along too. That was another terrible mistake. In the peak of summer, you were magnanimous in giving us a dorm that was without air-conditioning. Your reason of keeping the four of us together lacked substance. How exactly do you suppose the other two girls would have managed to change clothes or sleep with the BF in the same room? With the blistering heat outside, the friends were kind enough to adjust for the BF’s sake so that he didn’t have to step out in the heat each time. Not only that, the dorm was converted into a dining area, with breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet throughout the day. The workers would come early in the morning for setting up the tables and would walk in till late at night after the last of the dinner was cleared up.  Your guests would linger on, chatting. We didn’t get a moment’s peace or privacy throughout the day. The children didn’t get a decent hour’s sleep(at the age of 1.5 years they deserved it though). The heat made my daughter ill. When we requested for a room change, we were told that none were available. This was before the last batch of your friends turned up on the day of the wedding.  They got AC rooms, by the way. The BF suggested that we move out to a better hotel outside, but on discussion with the others, we collectively thought that it’d be rude to your family. Surprisingly, no one from your family was considerate about us. Frankly, only because all four of us protested vehemently that the dorm wasn’t converted into a bar for the daru-party planned for later on the wedding night.

I doubt you can feign ignorance about all this, or maybe you can. I really don’t know anymore.

All I know is that your family has treated me beneath your status, class, whatever!! You, in turn,  have treated me more like an errand boy than a friend. In fact, I wouldn’t mind running the errands, its just that your acknowledgement of my efforts doesn’t exist. Each time you need something you give me a call. Each time I decide I wouldn’t do it anymore and then I give in. I end up at your doorstep to help you out.

When you came to town this time, you called me up to get a lady to help with the massage. On my kid’s birthday, leaving the preparations behind, I came with the said lady to your house. What did I get for my efforts?? Just a lot of flak on how massages are useless and not really needed. I think you should have had this conversation and come to a decision with your mother before calling me. I didn’t need to make an attempt to convince her on why exactly it would be good for you. With the first word of dissent from her side, I could have walked out. I didn’t. For YOU. Because I knew it would do you good. Because I knew you needed it. You kept quiet while I argued your case with your own mother!!! Your silence is what irks me the most!!

When I suggested places where you could buy diapers for cheap, I was told rather rudely by your mom that they could be bought for the same rate at other places. Made me whack myself for even bringing up the suggestions for you. I’ll never learn, I guess. I did keep my distance from you after that. Each visit to your house leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Now tell me, how do you expect me to react when you send me a message and ask me to deliver 150 diapers of varying sizes, from the very place I had suggested before, at your doorstep before you leave town? How exactly do you suppose I’m expected to carry out the feat?? Take an off from work to travel to the heart of the city? Strap the huge packs on my scooty and travel right across the city? What would I get in return for all my efforts?? Why should I do it??

Let me remind you again. I’m NOT your errand-boy. I’m a married woman who works full time and has two kids to boot. Your assumption that I’ll always be available at your beck and call is highly misplaced. However terrible your circumstances, they aren’t so bad that you can’t call up JustDial, take the number of BigBazaar and have the diapers delivered to your home. By the way, you do have other friends in this city, don’t you (the ones we lovingly call your ‘AC friends’)? Why don’t you ask them for these favors? But you won’t, I’ll tell you why? Because you care for what they might think. You are apprehensive of approaching others, whereas with me, you simply call up and order. Words like ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’ or ‘Sorry’ were never a part of your vocabulary. After all these years, I don’t expect them either.

The only person who’s hurting right now is me. I never expected it to reach a situation like this. But I’m sorry to say, it was long due. I’m tired of taking insults from your family and grinning through it. I’m tired of being treated like a sidekick. I’m upset that along with making me run errands, you have no qualms in expecting my husband to do the same.I’m upset that in all these years, you kept quiet when you shouldn’t have. You may argue that this is the way you are. But darling, I’m tired of standing up for you when you cant stand up for yourself. Its a pity you allow your parents to run your life even now. I know for sure that your mother disapproves of me. I don’t want to continue this farce of being friends when your expectations from me are solely based on what I can do for you. Try to remember, when was the last time you did something for me, however trivial?!

I’m not sure when you will read this or whether you ever will. I don’t care. Whenever you do, please remember, it is harder on me as I write this than it will be on you as you read. The first draft of this post was much scathing. But like the BF says, this lifetime is too short to carry grudges. I don’t want to carry that weight. If you are upset over this post, I’m sorry, it couldn’t be helped. If you want to burn the bridges, then call me. If you value even a percent of our friendship, call me and let me know if you realize the injustice meted out to me. The ball is in your court now. If you don’t call, its okay. It would be something that I would expect from you.

But for once, break the mould. Surprise me. Speak up!

I wish you and your family all the happiness in this world. May you enjoy your new city and your new life.

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After a long time, very long actually, I got to spend some quality time with friends, old and new.
“Friendship” seems to be the flavour of the season and I’m drinking it up as much as possible 🙂
So wrapped up was I in work and at home that I’ve been guilty of giving the cold-shoulder to people who are equally important to me. People who I’ve shared my secrets with and who have shared theirs. People I’ve laughed with, cried with. People who care about me and I about them. So after a very long, I spent a few days where my friends were the focus of my day 🙂

The first one on the list is Mini.
Last week, Mini was in town. She was on her way to Mumbai with her hubby and the little Artimator.We had planned to meet up weeks ago. Unfortunately, on that particular day, last Thursday, I got caught up at work. It didn’t help that she was staying put at the air-force base which is a good 25-30 km from my office 😦 . I called her up to apologize for not making it. She replied that she’ll be here the next day too and it would be great if I could make it.
The daft me forgot my cell at home that day 😦
The in-laws were out for a wedding and had taken the twins along. I couldnt even ask them to check my phone for the redial list (of course I didn’t remember her number!!)
I twiddled my thumbs and fretted over how to reach her. No luck 😦
Short of driving to the air-force base and yelling Mini, Miiiiniiii, I was left with no option, but to wrap up work and go home. And oh, it was a Friday, right?! So yeah, I could finally leave office by 8 pm 😦
Anyway, crux of the matter is that I didnt get to meet darling Artim or the fabulous Mini 😦
But it helps to think that blogging has brought me new friends who look forward to meeting me ….and think of me when in town.
*Sigh* Its good to feel thought about 🙂

So Mini, if you are reading this, then please accept my sincere apology. I didn’t mean to dump you like that. It looks like fate has reserved our meeting for a better time!!
Second on the list would be good friend VSG from the clients place I used to work at earlier. She had delivered a baby girl a couple of months back and was in town. I’d been planning to visit her for ages, but the plan never got executed. Last Saturday, I decided that come hell or high water, I’m gonna meet her!! So I cooked the meals for people at home, bathed the twins and handed them over to the nanny and the BF, packed my purse and sped away. Since I’m really stupid with gifts, I bought some rattles for the baby and a memory game for the elder kid (which, after opening the box turned out to be rather unfitting of the snazzy pics on the box-cover. In other words, the memory cards sucked big time. They were nothing better than 2-inch cardboard pieces with a printed image on one side. Even the regular playing cards look better than the ones I bought 😦 )
It was good to see VSG. She was positively glowing, a look achieved only after one has babies. No amount of make-up can ever, ever replicate this look 🙂 . Anyhow, so me and VSG chatted for ages, had some awesome lunch and then she handed me some things she had bought for me :-
1) A beautiful frock for Lui. Which Lui wore for the wedding on Sunday.
2) The most awesome hyderabadi stone-work bangles set for me. When she opened the box, I just sucked in my breath and forgot to breathe for like ages!! They were that beautiful!! I was literally speechless and she was pleased that I liked it. Liked it?? I would have killed for it 😐 !!
3) The most kick-ass Andhra mango pickle!! This is a gloriously spicy concoction of fresh, unripe mangoes, Andhra spices/chillies and humongous quantities of oil.Oh dear Lord!! What bounty!!

Okay, so I felt cheap 😦
I hadn’t got her anything and here she was, showering me with so many things!! Reminder to self : Next time I meet her, MUST give her something for herself and not just the kids!

Sunday was a busy day, mostly spent in attending a wedding, visiting relatives (the GMIL’s sister who is in much the same condition as GMIL was a few months back 😦 ) and hunting for lost children.
Monday was a terribly busy day at work, with a call in the evening which stretched on till 7:30pm. After that I stayed back to read/drop a few mails, an activity I never get to do at home. Reached home by 9pm.

Tuesday was another one of those days that are so satisfying that they bring back a smile every time you recollect it 🙂 .
I met Prabha Tai. Or in other words, one of my seniors at work and an unofficial mentor. She was the one who made life bearable when I thought I couldnt work anymore. She boosted my confidence in my abilities when there were others denouncing it every minute!! In other words, she’s a genuinely good friend and mentor. I look up to her (literally and figuratively. She’s around 5’8″-5’9″ in height 😀 ).
Tai currently works in the US and was down in Pune for a visit her parents and son ( CI’s a ridiculously tall guy!! I mean, when I last him, he was in standard 8th and stood around 5’8″ tall 😐 . I remember Tai ranting that she couldn’t find him jeans with his length and waist size ! ). Right now, he’s MUCH taller and bigger 🙂 . I’m sure Tai buys his clothes from abroad 😀
Anyway, we were supposed to meet on Sunday, but the delays in visiting relatives made certain that I couldn’t make it back in time to meet her. So we had rescheduled it for Tuesday. And what a day it was!!
The minute her door was opened, we ran to hug each other and clung on for ages!!!
Lui, who had accompanied me, gaped at us, probably wondering why her mother was acting like a baby leech.
But seriously, I love this woman 🙂 . Just being in her company is awesomeness itself 🙂
We chatted for a while and then she tells me that she has invited another friend over. A certain Mr.AMR who is a dear friend from a long time back!! I squeeled in delight, because I hadn’t seen him in ages! There was a time, some 8 years back, when we had an iftaar group at work. We were the ones who used to fast during Ramzan and get- together for iftar in the evening. It was a great gang. AMR was the youngest of the group and we used to have a fun time ribbing him 😀
Anyhow, he turned up shortly with his very beautiful wife. And then we had a wonderful time reminiscing about the old time….of the work, the people, the highs and the lows. We chatted for ages, over samosas and pizzas, rasgullas and dhoklas and Coke, of course. Lui, though a little perturbed at being the only kid around was reasonably well behaved, by which I obviously mean that no crockery was broken or windows shattered. No walls were scrawled upon, though I did see her eye twitching when she spotted the sparkling, clean walls 😐 . Thankfully, Tai gifted her with a set of washable-ink sketch pens which Lui now treasures more than her ragged-y doll. The sketch pens kept her busy for the rest of the afternoon 🙂 .
It was with a heavy heart that I parted from there. I met Tai after 8 long years! This weekend, she’ll be gone again. I have no idea when I’ll get to meet her again 😦 .

That evening, I met another dear friend, at a traffic signal, no less, who shared the news that she was on the family way! I would have leapt up right there and given her a hug! But prior experience with miscarriages and the fact that I was tied up with the twins on my bike, made it difficult for me to perform that action. Though I was jumping with joy inside, I kept a calm face and congratulated her. It was tough, being neutral like that 😦

But seriously! My friend circle rocks as of now 🙂
Three of my BEST friends are expecting, one for the second time 🙂 . I can barely wait for them babies to pop-out 😀

I met some great friends over a period of few days and I’m now in better touch with them than through FB!

Basically, I’m on a high right now.

So if you have great friends around, raise your cup and and say a loud “Cheers” for friendship.

Its the greatest gift ever 🙂



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……..And we’re back!

Because we still have to wrap up all that I did on Sunday (not that anyone cares, but just because, you know 🙂 )

Sunday was relatively more relaxed than Saturday, in the sense that there weren’t as many events packed into one day. But I did manage to do my bit and use up every minute I had 🙂 . So without much ado, lets start :-

Event 1 :-

Guests!!

This time, they were my relatives 😀 . Aapa had dropped by with her kids and MIL to check up on GMIL. The twins were tickled pink to see their cousins and I guess they went a tad too overboard with expressing their love 😀 . Shobs wanted to hug and kiss Baby Simu throughout whereas Lui demanded that the baby be placed on her lap to be rocked to sleep!! Nephew Bojo, now a strappy, lean boy kept himself busy with the BF, as usual  (whom he secretly hero worships, I dread!) .

Aapa was shocked to see the twins so grown up (she had come by after a long time) but she confessed that though Shobs had grown a little in height, he still looked like the baby he was a year ago 😐 . Hmmm…that did seem true actually. My boy still looks a little innocent (though he isn’t) even as his sister now looks like the biggest rogue on this planet!!

I tried to convince Aapa to stay back for lunch, but she had to go because baby Simu had to be administered oral polio drops. Which reminded me that the twins had to be taken too! So after bidding goodbye to Aapa, I got the kids ready and waited for the nanny to come (She had taken a half-day off since some marriage proposal had come for her). Once she came, we piled the twins on my bike and off we went.

Event 2 :-

The polio drop event was pretty uneventful. Except for the twin’s being pretty charged up at the idea of having ‘medicine’!! Where other kids have to be cajoled into taking their medication with promises of chocolates, my kids have to be cajoled into having their meals with the promise of medicines. The bitter, the better 🙄 !!

Anyhow, when we reached the venue, there was a lady struggling to hold down her year-old baby who was howling pink! One look at her and little Shobs had the worry frowns fighting for place on his forehead. Lui, being the elder and more caring of the two, immediately called out to the baby, “Nai ro baby, plish nai ro” . If I wasn’t carrying her, she would have launched herself at the poor unsuspecting baby to wipe the tears!

The other mother and I shared a smile, silently acknowledging the pain of handling a toddler in the throes of a tantrum. The twins, on their turn were too good to be true. They smiled at the nurse, opened their mouths wide and after she was done, asked for more !! Of course she couldn’t give more and was firm and polite in her refusal. Luckily, the twins were in a good mood and because they behaved well, I took them back home via a longer route (since they LOVE bike rides 😀 ) .

Event 3 :-

Shital is was back in Pune.

Which obviously meant I met up with her. She was down in town for her brother’s wedding and because of the short duration of her stay, I met up with her only twice. Once was after she touched down in Pune and the other time was on last Sunday.

After the kids had their lunch and everyone was settled for their afternoon siesta, I sneaked out to meet up my dear friend. We spent barely two hours together, catching up on all that’s happening in our lives, on friends, families, work, etc. Another good friend, SK joined us shortly and we just got into the flow. The time went by so fast, I still regret that I didn’t get a chance to stay longer with her 😦 and though we chatted nineteen to a dozen, I frankly don’t remember a single thing of relevance 😀 . *Sigh* I guess I’ll be missing her even more now 😦

One more thing to make me guilty – Shital brought me gifts and for the kids too. And I didn’t get the time/chance to get her anything 😦  . I feel like a wretch. She’s too magnanimous to even notice the slight, but I’m cringing within 😦 .

She left for the US this Monday.

Event 4 :-

After bidding good-bye to Shital, I made my way to BigBazaar to get a few groceries for home. I usually carry a list with me whenever I enter such stores. I pick u p stuff that’s on my list and don’t linger around shelves that don’t figure in it.

Alas, this time I didn’t have a list. BIG MISTAKE!!

So I ended up buying stuff that I didn’t need. Seriously. I bought two kilos of washing powder when there was already loads of it at home. And also socks. Four of them.Because they came in a pack with discounted rates. One look at them and the BF tossed them into the pile in his cupboard which already has two of such packs 😦 . Looks like I haven’t registered the fact that the BF does NOT like these socks 😦 *Sigh* I think I should just gift them to the BIL then 😐

Some more such trivia-shopping later, I made my way back home. To find it full of guests once again. Ta-Da!!

Event 5 :-

Tea.Biscuits.Juice.

Looks like my weekends will be spent around serving the above mentioned stuff. Luckily, the last of the guests left around 7:30 pm. The MIL and FIL had to visit a relative’s place. I implored the MIL to take at least one kid along. She chose Shobs (not surprising, given little Shob’s good behavior in public) .

The cook had already prepared dinner, so that was one worry off my list 🙂 . I just had to manage Lui, her father , the aunts and GMIL. I can do that, I smiled to myself.

Or so I thought!

The BF was glued to the TV. I swear he didn’t blink even once. What was the big deal about the India-England match anyway? The last I asked, he said India was already qualified for the next round. This cricket business is seriously over my head.

Anyhow, since he could not tear his eyes away, he ordered that snacks (deep fried chicken nuggets with extra sauce) be served to him.

Grrrr!!!

“Go fry yourself”, I yelled back at him. Not a dainty thing to do, but still, one has to make one’s position clear. Makes the relationship stronger,I’m told. The BF didn’t bother to reply. I came back to my room, played with Lui a bit, answered her questions on where Shobs was and when the grandparents will return. After a while, I got bugged up and went and fried those nuggets! Served them to the BF, who just grunted in appreciation, and without even looking at me once, started munching loudly 😦 . The BIL joined him shortly and the two brothers were kept busy for the next hour. Surprisingly, Lui joined her father and was still as a mouse. She neither yelled or shouted or cried, which was totally against character for her !

The only time she really screamed out loud was after Shobs got back. I’m amazed at how much the two are affected by each other’s presence/absence! God Bless and touch wood 😀

I fed the GMIL her dinner, then the aunts and me got together to have our’s. By the time we were done, the in-laws returned. It took the better of an hour and a half to get the kids to sleep after that. And once again, after my head hit the pillow, I was out like the light 🙂

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the saga of the very hectic weekend I had. I’m surprised I managed to get so many things done in two day’s time, stuff I was planning on carrying out for ages!!

Hopefully now, the next weekend will be a little relaxed . Or maybe not! Its the granny’s first visit to the hospital after the surgery. Big event, I guess. Keeping fingers crossed and hoping she’s able to walk soon 🙂

Do pray for her.



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You know I’ve been cribbing lately of not having time to myself! But the worst part of it all is when I try to remedy this situation. And end up packing a zillion activities in one day. Yup. Thats me 😀

I’ve been meaning to do a lot of things lately, like meeting up my cousin, watching a movie, shopping, meeting friends, visiting my doctor, spending time with the kids, cooking, etc. So I went overboard and did ALL of the above 🙂 . I even started putting them all down, but  didn’t realize that there was so much to write that it would take me more than 2 days!!

Whew!

So without much ado, lets start with Saturday. The Sunday part comes in tomorrow’s post 🙂

Event 1 :-

Went to my uncle’s place to pick up cousin L. She had called me the previous evening to pour out her heart. The girl is at that stage in her life when parents seek proposals diligently and the girl is just not able to express any liking for any of them. Obviously, the parents feel they are losing a battle here. It doesn’t help that the cousin is an only child and her parents tend to go overboard in every business concerning her, including groom-hunting 😀 . I must have seen the same scene being enacted in all the households which have daughters 🙄 . Somehow, once the parents feel their daughter is of marriageable age, they go on a war footing to find that groom. And if the girl refuses the guy of their liking, there is much teeth clenching and jaw-gnashing. But they can do little other than to drag the girl to the altar (which frankly, never really happens. There are other stronger weapons such as a Mother’s tears and a father’s broken voice. Sob!)

Anyhow, cousin L is at the barrel end of this emotional outpouring from her parents and has to listen to stuff like her parent’s being worried about her staying a spinster all her life, or that she may be leading her parents to an early grave 🙄 and so on and so forth. Though the girl is a tough nut and asks her parents to get a grip, there are times when melancholy takes over and she picks up the phone to went her woes at me. And me, being the kind, married,experienced elder sister have no other job to do than lend a willing shoulder and a box-full of tissues to the little sis.

This time, I wanted to take her away from her house, spend some quality time, disperse some gyaan and generally, cheer her up a bit. So after wrapping up the breakfast and lunch for GMIL, her sister, her daughter, the BF and the MIL (and any other expected/unexpected guests of the day) I made my way to the uncle’s house. The aunt had made hot idlis with sambhar and the aroma was enough to remind me that I had forgotten to have breakfast in my hurry to reach there.

I quickly gobbled down a couple of idlis and then off we were on our way.

Event 2 :-

Visited my doc. It was pending for a long time. I’ve been having some problems lately, the outcome of which was that I’ve been feeling extremely fatigued and worn out by the end of the day. It didn’t help that I was getting irritable by the hour and the BF was at the receiving end of severe tongue lashing! It was he who in his infinite wisdom suggested that I visit my doc as soon as possible!

So I did.

The verdict is that I may have a possible thyroid problem. The tiny little matter of my mom and sisters suffering from the same fate didn’t escape the doc’s eye (who, incidentally is also the consulting doc for them. Talk about jumping on the same boat * !!)

Event 3 :-

Cousin L expressed her wish to watch “7 Khoon Maaf” as we exited the doctor’s office. Not a bad idea at all, I agreed and we made our way to the nearest multiplex. There was 7KM playing in the next 10 minutes and another show of “Tanu weds Manu” after an hour. Since it was already past 12, we contemplated on having some lunch first and then going for a show. But 7KM was playing much later that afternoon and I had to get back home too. So we bought the tickets to the 12:15 show and made our way to the screen.

Halfway there, cousin L confessed softly that she didn’t like Kangana Ranaut at all. What the hell girl, I said, you can yell that piece of news across this theatre and I doubt anyone would contradict you! If the original was awful, I have no words for the plumped up one now!! The next 10 minutes were spent in decrying the awfulness of the aforementioned actress.

Hearts much lighter by the end of 10 minutes, we went in to grab our seats.

The theatre was , erm, rather empty, which didn’t look like a good sign. We were rather doubtful about our choice, each trying to confirm from the other about the reviews. We dissected the TOI, Mirror, Rediff, NDTV and IBNLive reviews. Good time pass, I must say 🙂

Anyhow, the movie was ……well, different.

Certainly not what we expected, but enjoyable, because at one point, we just wanted to know how the next guy would be bumped off. Some scenes made us queasy (Irrfan Khan’s and Annu Kapoor’s), there was loads of laughter in the crowd and at some places we couldn’t help but gasp in shock and surprise 😀 . We loved the woman-oriented theme of the movie, but there were too many loopholes which couldn’t be ignored. I guess the director should have spent some time in tying them up. But it is indeed a nice movie, worth at least one watch. The only drawback of the movie would be the lead actress. Though Priyanka has put in commendable effort (which is evident in every frame), you can’t help but think that it is just that, an effort. Not , a success. Because in every shot, you see Priyanka, the actress, and not Susanna, the protagonist. Such a pity, because it was such a wonderful role to play !!

There’s a new guy in town to look out for. Vivaan Shah is damn confident of his role and one can’t help but think about genes 🙂 . All the other actors did pretty well in their roles, though frankly, I think Neil rose above my expectations and John worked that lingerie + wig big time 😀

But pray, seriously, just what was Usha Utthup doing in this film?!!!

Event 4 :-

Post movie, we hopped into the nearest McD’s for lunch, as we were both VERY hungry by this time (neither of us likes the pop-corn or coke served in multiplexes . Pop-corn = Way too expensive. Coke = Way too watery!! . Munching over McVeggies and fries, she poured out her heart on everything that was going wrong with her life. Issues with her aunt who is a permanent resident in their house, to studies, friends, marriage proposals, parents, everything. Its no surprise then that I finished with my burger and started on her’s. Finished my Coke and started slurping from her’s. I really think I shouldn’t take this “listening to sad heart outpourings business” seriously. Very bad for the health, if you get the drift 😐

Poor cousin was so caught up in her woes, she didn’t see her fast disappearing food. Frankly, I didn’t bother to advise her this time. There wasn’t any need. Situations like her’s sort out by themselves. She just wanted a sounding board and I was a willing applicant for the post 😀 .

By the time we were done with the food, it was 4pm. Time to drop her back home.

Event 5 :-

Just opposite to the cousin’s place is her friend’s house. The friend in question is the daughter of one of my mom’s soul-sister, what with them both sharing the same name and fate (only difference being, the aunt lost her husband at the young age of 29 – TWENTY-NINE!!! I dread to think of suffering such a fate at any age 😦 – and looking after the upbringing of her two daughters and caring for her mother-in-law) . Anyhow, since the aunt’s daughter was pregnant, and I hadn’t found the time to meet her even once, me and cousin L decided to drop by and say Hi.

So we dropped by to their place, only to find the gate locked. We almost decided to go back, but then cousin L had the foresight to call up her friend. We found that they usually kept the gate locked because of the recent spate of robberies in the neighbourhood. Since there were only four women staying alone at that place, it was safer to stay behind locked gates. Shortly, the aunt’s younger daughter came out to open the gate. We went in and were met with a pleasant surprise. The elder daughter had already given birth!! She had a premature delivery when the child was just 35 weeks old (same as my twins 😀 ). The mother and baby were fine 🙂 .Me and L spent the better half of the hour cooing over the newborn. Seriously, there is no joy like holding an infant in your arms. Even today, I miss the time my babies were babies, those itsy-bitsy pieces of humanity who had the power to turn you to a mushy wreck with just one small smile 🙂 . Aaahh!! Those were the good times indeed !!!

The young mother wasn’t all that well though. She had undergone C-sec and her stitches hurt bad. I Shared a few tips with her, cracked a couple of jokes to lighten the mood, but they kind of backfired when she asked me to stop. Apparently, I was hurting her more 😐 ! Oh well, gotta direct my goodwill efforts somewhere else then 😦

After spending an hour here, we bid goodbye and I dropped cousin L to her house and went back home.

Event 6 :-

It being a Saturday evening,the house was flooded with guests who had dropped by to meet the Granny. I stepped in to find the MIL all flushed and tired and busy serving the third round of tea+Biscuits+snacks. Made me feel guilty for leaving her alone to tend to the people at home 😦 . She, being the good soul that she is, didn’t remonstrate or anything, just asked if I had a good time! Jale par namak, I tell you. There is nothing like a good dose of guilt to make one feel as big as a dust mite 😦 . I quickly got into the grind, dropped my purse on the bed, ordered the MIL to rest her feet and got about the serving business myself. Half an hour of frantic serving later, the BF reminded me that we had a dinner date with BFG and BFS!! Oh God!! I had so totally forgotten !! How could I face the MIL now, being away from home the entire day and then just when there were people over for dinner (the relatives who drop by for a visit rarely, if ever are let out without being fed one major meal. Some rules of the in-laws drive me MAD. But what to do?! Tradition it is 😦 ) I ditch her and swing away for another party?!

I could cancel the date, but given the fact that after BFC’s wedding, this was the first time all four of us were meeting up, it was too much to tell the other two members that we weren’t turning up (the we being me and the BF) . Anyhow, I approached the MIL and told her our plan. She asked me if I was taking the kids along. I nodded in the affirmative. She looked relieved. That, I guess was the green signal. Without much ado, I wrapped the kids in their Saturday best (Hah!!) and bundled them into the car before you could say Hallelujah!!

Event 7 :-

The BF hadn’t seen BFG’s new office yet. So we all decided to gather there for dinner. The initial plan was to go out for dinner, but one look at the office and we decided to stay put there itself. There’s nothing more intimate than sitting around with close friends, chatting, catching up on each other’s lives, the jobs, familes, kids and not getting bored for a minute! The BF and BFG went out to bring dinner and BFS kept herself busy with the twins. She was teaching them “lakdi ki kaathi” and it was rather cute to hear her missing out on a few words or gettign them wrong ( thats the Goan in her!) and the kids repeating the same after her 😀

We had no idea that by the time we decided to split for the night, it was 11pm!! Technically not very late for many people, but definitely late for people whose kids are up way beyond their sleep time 😦 .

Hugs and kisses went around and we decided to meet up often in the office. It helps that BFG is the owner 😀 . I swear the twins messed up the place big time, but she was rather kind and assured us that a maid will come to do the clean-up the next day. Once more bidding good night, we went back home.

By the time we reached back, I was ready to hit the sack even without changing for the night. But the kids!!! Someone MUST have given them a dose of Glucon-D while I wasn’t looking. What else can explain their hyper-energetic state close to midnight 😦 ? It took immense patience and self-control to rein them in make them catch those precious zzzzz while we tried to steal our’s. Finally, we (correction, ‘I’, since the BF was in la-la land much earlier) got the chance to sleep 🙂 .

It was a pretty good Saturday, I must say 🙂

*****************

(To be continued…………………)



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On being 30+

No, this post isn’t about me.

(although I agree I’m on the other side of 30 🙂 !)

This is about my friends who are 30 plus and what they are facing in life today.

For the record, my BFF group has two members who are 30+ and still single. Which isn’t really something bad. Both my friends are strong independent women who have made a life for themselves and their families. BFG has set up her own business and BFS just bought a house for her parents. In fact, for the last few years, BFS has not only run her household, she has also supported her younger sister’s education and its related expenses. Slowly, but surely, she has now bought a vehicle and also booked a house. I know I’m immensely proud of my friend for doing all that she has, because somewhere deep inside, I know I wouldn’t be able to handle the hardships that she has!! She not only has my unbound love, but also deep admiration. The same goes for BFG.

I met them both yesterday when I attended BFG’s sister’s wedding. Since no good proposals were turning up for BFG , she gave the green signal for her younger sister to get married. I believe her parents were in a quandary, but it was rather generous of BFG to take this decision. And oh, a few years back, even BFC took the same decision. Her younger sister got married much before her. I know it is a taboo in our society if a younger one gets married before the elder one, and I know how much flak these two and their parents must have received! But these girls were ready to brave society for the sake of their sibling’s happiness.

Anyhow, so there I was at the wedding, waiting for the baraat to come, when me and BFS got talking about her single status. During the course of conversation, I found out some really startling facts. BFS explained how difficult it gets each day when she has to thwart attempts by lecherous men who think she is ‘desperate’ to get married. Even the flirting is not harmless anymore as more and more men claim themselves available for her. What’s worse is that most of these guys are husbands of her friends. Some guys are her childhood friends. She thought they would know her better. But alas. Just because she is still single, they shower her with their sympathy and boldly claim that they will find a suitable guy for her, if not then they are ready to present themselves!!

Thank you, but NO THANKS!!

BFS had a bad experience in love and I’m not surprised that she is playing her cards rather carefully. She doesn’t want to make the same mistake twice and doesn’t mind waiting till the right man comes along. Heck, she’s not even keen to find a man anymore. I don’t blame her. The cad who left her was a stink-worm from the word go. While BFS was struggling and fighting with her family for this guy, he was busy planning on relocating to Australia where his fiancée was a resident! Yeah, that’s right. He had a fiancée tucked in one corner of the world and was busy cozying up with another here! Thankfully, BFS found out about him before she took the final step of leaving behind her family for him. It was a shock, a brutal one at that, but the way my friend came out of it is remarkable. She is now so much stronger and wiser, a new confidence brimming from every pore, something which totally defies her tiny petite frame!

As for BFG, she’s rather reserved in matters of the heart. Though she did come close to nearly accepting a proposal from a guy, who also turned out to be a rotten deal. Luckily, BFG was not deeply involved with him and she could back-out in time with minimal heartbreak. But the scars are there. It’s not so easy to give oneself up for love when one suffers such setbacks.

Apart from the love-lives, my friends are a huge success in all other aspects. They are financially independent women, decision makers, responsible elders in their families, whom other members look up to. Whom even friends like me look up to. I envy them their success, their rock-solid foundation. It is only a matter of time before they too settle into matrimony or motherhood. I don’t wonder when, because I’m sure they are meant to have a family of their own. And more than anything else, I’m glad they have supportive families, loving parents and siblings who come what may, stand behind them. I know BFG and BFS have to face  a lot of ‘well-meaning’ relatives who question them on their single status. Though frankly, it is none of their business! One guy, who is a friend of BFS’ elder sister, even had the audacity to preach BFS on how she’s in denial mode and how she’s taking her family on a wild goose chase (groom-hunting) and how she should just confront her parents and accept that she’s not interested in marriage!!  It was a total WTF moment when I heard this. Who the hell is this guy to decide whether BFS wants to get married or not. Who the hell is he anyway? The interfering busybody!!! If it was me, he would have received an earful by now and if he ever had the guts to face me, I’d go straight for the jugular!!

Phew!

I’ve been rather disturbed by the talk I had yesterday.

Why can’t people leave girls alone? Why is their existence defined by their marital status? I know my friends want a husband (and children too) , but why should they agree to marry the first lout who comes along? Is growing older synonymous with being choice-less? What if they are waiting for the right guy? Who are we to decide when the wait should stop?

There is so much that needs to change……but isn’t it high time we directed some respect towards women?! Specially ones who have proven themselves in every possible aspect, except marriage! Why term them failures just because they don’t have another surname appended to their own? Why be judgemental of them or think of them as ‘loose’ or ‘available’?!

My heart went out to BFS when she admitted that more men ‘proposed’ to her now than before and that most of these guys are married men!! What were they thinking?!! That just because she isn’t married, she’d be willing to hop into their beds?!! Eat crap guys!! Because that’s all you deserve!!

There’s not much I can do for my friends, except maybe pray for them to be stronger and ride this wave, to not let ugly words and attitude ruin the good that is today. I know they will ultimately get what they deserve, both of them being gentle, loving girls who will never hurt an ant!

But seriously, is it a crime to be 30+ and single??



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