pic 1 - Kumudamma lounging in the garden amid the concrete around.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
pic 1 - Kumudamma lounging in the garden amid the concrete around.
Monday, December 22, 2008
I fell in love with the architecture of the kettle, the loop, the silhouette and most importantly the color. Red, the color of passion brews passion. Chamomile, herbal blend, green tea bags immersed in hot water form this slick pot... Ah, the simple pleasures of life!
Photographs by Alan Weintraub This calendar's thirty-two color photographs by Alan Weintraub show houses built by Wright all across the United States. Each photograph is annotated with historical information and accompanied by a quotation from the master builder. Also included are a brief essay about Wright, fifty-four weekly grids, twelve full-page monthly grids, lists of international holidays and international calling codes/time differences, double-page spreads of 2009 and 2010 yearly grids, pages for notes, and a personal information page. Size: 6 5/8 x 8 in.; 112 pages; hardcover Wire-O bound.
So, friends, what stays forever? Definitely not us - mortal beings. But don't we seem to plan and work things out in our mind's map day in and day out like we are here to stay? We live in an illusion that we are forever. The irony is that we kind of subconsciously acknowledge that we'll go away, but we still hold on to silly things - grudges, heart breaks, disappointments, worldly possessions, feelings and many more things. We can look around our adobes and finds tons of things that we hoard. Things that could be given away, that could make a difference to some one else. Things that can open up our space and de-clutter it if we let them go. Things that simply our lives and lighten our baggage both physical and emotional. Let go of those hard feelings, forgive and forget. Give and live. We all seem to know this. But we just hoard stuff like we need them since we are here forevermore.
We plan young. This necklace will go to my eldest daughter. My mom used to plan and decide what she wanted to give to each of her daughters when she was the age I am right now. I do my own plans for that matter. I look at each piece of my jewelry and foresee that Aarti will one day wear it or just put it in her curio since they will be too outdated for adornment. I look at the letters Sarat and I had written to each other and hope that a grandson would stumble upon them and get to know a love story. I plan for the day I'll have to leave but hold on to the first jeans I'd bought in the USA, the many little clothes that Aarti had worn in her initial months, the numerous quilts and comforters that do not co-ordinate with the size or the color of my current bedroom just because I might need them if a guest comes and decides to sleep on the couch watching TV. I imagine having another child or one of my sisters or cousins having a girl to use those clothes Aarti had long out grown, and a guest that would want to sleep on the couch just because I cannot let go of the things that I own. But I do plan on giving away the more precious stuff since all of us, not just me, know that we are not forevermore.
I lightened the burden of this house by a few tens of pounds since I donated Aarti's outgrown clothes, toys and all those quilts and comforters and also those Sunscreens and extra baby cremes that would hit the trash if they are hoarded for another year. Somewhere a little girl might need those clothes, a baby somewhere doesn't have a single toy perhaps. And what will all these possessions mean in the big picture? Yeah, nothing!
Memories are meant to be the ones that linger in the heart. May be an occasional dress or a trinket that was bought on a special occasion can be hoarded. But the rest will not mean a zilch once the person that deems those things as something meaningful is gone.
We hoard, pile things and emotions up making us weak, placing us in an enchantment that makes us consciously act like we are forevermore. A diamond could probably stay for ever - the person who wears it will not. Just like the things we plan to pass on, we should probably plan to pass on the love and lead a life a little selfless and a lot less self centered.
We take with us what we give away. What we keep will just stay back right where we left them.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Not too long ago, or a couple of days ago to be very precise, I was one of those moms that would proudly proclaim that my kid watches no TV at all. Change is the only thing that is constant they say and so the status quo of my proclamation has changed over the couple of days. Since it can get pretty stressful to manage a two going on three, "curious George's cousin" toddler whole day, I caved in and switched on the TV and made my little girl sit before that dinosaur (in shocking purple and green) from some one's imagination. Barney craze caught with Aarti like a house on fire and ever since she started negotiating TV time with daily activities like eating, taking vitamins and finishing the fruit snack. "I'll eat if I can watch Barney" she would exercise her new fond negotiation skills to get to watch her new fond friend in purple and green and I give in now and then - just to cut the stress off of dealing with a toddler that has thrown herself on the floor wailing in an uncontrollable fit of tears. To my good fortune, she doesn't yet understand that after the 15-20 mt program is over, the telly could still entertain her if her mom picks up the remote and punches a few "on demand" buttons. Needless to say, I am worried. I definitely do not want her to glue herself to the telly watching Barney marathons back to back and the only way I can get her to not do that is by stopping all my things and read her Dr.Seuss for the n th time or play with moonsand along with her or worse yet, tell her the story of a little baby named Aarti in an infinite loop. I do all of the above just in a hope to keep her from getting addicted to TV or getting addicted to swapping her TV time for my peace of mind.
TV is bad for everyone, not just kids. I feel it is such a timewaster. Time killer, to be more accurate. Most housewives in India are addicted to those all-defying plots of the likes of Ekta kapoor that has lady villains dressed like drag queens weaving one conspiracy after the other. Actually, it is not completely their fault. I feel that there is something compelling about watching TV with special reference to soaps. I remember how I used to watch Jassi every day - with more devotion than I said my daily prayers. The Virgo in me does think that watching TV is a waste of time though... and I want the Capricorn growing up in the house to think the same. I want her to be more imaginative, invent her own toys and find her own ways to keep herself entertained. May be I started seeing why Monica thought I'd be an ambitious mom. Or am I just being sensible without actually being too pushy on the little one?
I can either substitute TV with me or me with the TV and I choose the latter. So I just should get a cup of chamomile tea, sniff some lavender, take a deep breath, relax and go on telling the story of a little girl name Aarti for the fifty sixth time without losing enthu or compromising on the animation till Aarti is out and about in a preschool :-)
Monday, December 15, 2008
Anyway, Ambition and I are not a good pair. I was more of a dreamer than an achiever. I remember how I dreamed about being an astronaut when my idea about ambition was still hazy. I was this little girl in primary school and everyone made a hue and cry about how a certain Mr.Rakesh Sharma sang "saare jahan se atcha hindusita hamara" when asked about how he thought the space looked! That is quiet corny if I think now after getting on to the wrong side of 30, but when you are not yet a decade old, you probably like such things! Like them enough to do them one day :-)
Then I dreamed of being like Komal G B singh, the English news reader on DD1. My mom somehow thought that I looked like her and I though she had such a cool diction, so somewhere in between resembling her and wanting to pronounce like her, I smuggled newspapers into the toilet and whispered the news out loud - trying to sound cool when mispronouncing words that were too hard to read, let alone comprehend. Thus, a loo bookworm was born. I suspect if this is a genetic thing since Aarti wants her Shiny Dinah book every time she makes a visit to the powder room. Isn't that cute? For some reason, my mom didn't think I was cute like I think Aarti is. Probably because you cease to be less and less cute as you age. And eleven and a newspaper in the toilet is a wrong picture - at least it was, to my mom who is modern enough by all standards. So I had to shun my dreams to be a news reader. Then of course, I dreamed of being a Doc... The inspiration? Tanvi Azmi in Life Line (again a soap on DD1)
That didn't last long since I figured that being a doctor has more to it than lounging around the hospital ward in a cool white coat and a stethoscope :-)) yeah, who would dissect all those worms and cockroaches? Not a faint hearted idiot like me. So that dream was shelved before it actually emerged a full fledged dream.
In between, I dreamed of writing poetry, ( I still dream of writing poetry and also prose, thanks to Mr. Arvind Adiga, the recent one to have taken home a Booker. I did dream about writing when Ms. Roy won, Ms. Lahari won too... so I still am stuck on that particular dream ) being a photographer, painter, journalist and teacher.
Anyway, it gets back to the title...so where is ambition featured in all this evolution? I fail to see it. I am by far, the most non - ambitious person I'd ever had the pleasure of knowing. At the most I dream - Dream about losing weight, writing 1000 words each day, bringing home the Pulitzer or Booker, being an interior designer, a mural artist, opening a fusion restaurant,being a poet or a desi version of Martha Stewart, the domestic goddess. In fact, I was mighty inspired by her till she found herself in the middle of that stock fiasco.... But I still think she is a great role model:-)
I dunno if I will be an ambitious mom like Monica predicted I'd be. May be I will, may be I won't. I will surely let Aarti dream and decide the course of her own life. If she thinks being a nurse-practitioner better suits her than being a doc, or chooses to be a teacher instead of a prof, I'll let her be who she wants to be. I think the only thing I'd tell her is to be the best nurse or the best teacher she can be. I'll encourage her to dream and find her destiny. May be, she'll be a writer and bring home the Booker. I'll do just fine even if she doesn't become a book lover for that matter... it is her life.
But dreaming - it will come, like the urge to read "shiny Dinah" when in the restroom...after all inheritance is something. isn't it?
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The weather is cold. Almost chilly, specially since the last few months were spent in sultry India. I am back on track, out of the lag and bitten by the shopping bug. Isn't it that time of the year when people shop and shop?
They say that the economy is bad... The retailers are offering great discounts on all kinds of products imaginable. The cosmetic store and the big handbag store in the mall claim to have roaring business. (I asked the associates while window shopping! So it is first hand info!) And the pretty young thing next door just visited me to get a sari draping 101 lesson all dolled up with salon perfect hair, a extravagant sari (that I got for her form India - and she paid btw..he he he) and loads of make up sporting a smokey eye that went perfectly well with the intricately embroidered black sari and talked about an even more extravagant wedding that she is attending. Looks like the economy is not as bad as they say it is anyway...or am I surrounded with well doing businesses and people?
Anyway my loot for the evening was stationery, a fancy looking cup and saucer set set (meaning two sets of a fancy looking cup and saucer with some Chinese characters on it) and a box of Chinese green tea.
I bought a couple of journals - for doodling, scribbling, cussing, rewinding, jotting down recipes while my mom dictates them over the phone and writing all thoughts big and small. One has an over sized lady walking on a beach...I thought it would be perfect to remind me of my perpetual weight loss goal and just keep it as an inspiration to be artsy and heavy...
The Chinese green tea is not quiet as green as the Japanese green tea that I bought at Costco...not sure if it is superior or inferior to the Japanese one. I asked Google angel, Aarti interrupted before I could actually read the results (Google, when would you launch an audio option for the search results?, it'll come handy for moms on the go like yours truly!)
The cups are wide and shallow....kind of like me...wide, white and shallow, with some un-decipherable characters calligraphed on them, kind of like this senseless blog. I could have saved this if I'd added some pictures. Now where is my Nikon D40x? The same companion of mine that had depreciated a good $300 since I bought it. That doesn't make it any less precious to me. It will remain my other muse, the muse that is ready at the click of a hand. BTW, I had a hard time to get Aarti pose for my camera in the evening. She seems to be a chip of the old block. Not making any sense today.
Oh, the journal with the over sized lady came with a pack of 12 cards depicting over sized ladies in different moods. They are too symbolic to write notes to any of my girl friends...So I should probably write notes to myself. Notes like "operation clean the bathrooms" or "go to the grocery store to get milk". I am making sense. Aren't I?
The side effects of drinking Chinese green tea before bed.
Plagiarism (notice the title?)
Greed (gotta have it, gotta have it)
Nothing works like retail therapy
Nothing works like de-retail therapy (did I get the spelling right?)
All my treasures are a couple of dollar bargains.....Did they say that the economy is bad?
Thursday, December 04, 2008
A perfectly peaceful Wednesday was transformed into a nightmare within a matter of minutes. Many lost their lives - people who were at premium hotels celebrating, vacationing, discussing business and meeting up with friends did probably not imagine the inevitable stalker getting to them on such a casual hour in such a grizzly manner. Some fought, some succumbed to fate while friends and family waited out with stern faces wondering if they were safe. Media covered the events extensively and I'm sure whole of Mumbai watched it - numb but powerfully terrorized, thanking their lucky stars to not have ventured into that part of the city and feeling a tinge of guilt to think only about themselves and their kin when the world outside is unfolding a new brutal chapter in the history of Mumbai and taking hundreds of innocent lives as a price paid for senseless wars against the very spirit of humanism.
SMSes condemning the attacks scrolled down on the screens of TVs, public was enraged, politicians ducked under the pretense of rising and acting against the monster and bystanders like me just waited and watched, worrying about their trip back home or an important assignment at work or a shopping plan that went awry. There was a lot of anger but it generated nothing but just a senseless, powerful emotion burning in the heart and nothing else. No action taken, no wounds healed. People who were in close proximity felt insecure and blamed the netas, the police, the intelligence, the media...and went on to put this episode back and live a life full of themselves. CMs and ministers were made to resign claiming social responsibility, the security became more vigilant, little kids who understood bits and pieces of the drama cried out loud wanting to leave Mumbai. But what did we do to stop this from recurring again? Leopold was opened, Taj announced that it'll spring back to its previous glory. People resumed normal lives pretending that they are stronger than the faceless, coward bunch of idiots that spoilt their lives along with hundreds of perfectly blissful families. We shove all nightmares under the carpet and make idle chatter, psychologists analyse psyches of the minds behind the destruction. Friends and relatives of the deceased write letters and condolences in the most eloquent way possible.
We wait for another attack, not consciously, but we do. People live in fear and say they are not afraid. We react only when we are effected or threatened of our own safety. A handful of places on the world live in this uncertainty and attacks day in an day out. We blissfully sit with a cup of herbal tea and comment on what the world is going to, and go along with our own lives, our weight loss plans, weekend programs, travel etc. We don't do anything...we just get angry, accuse a community or a group, make retaliatory attacks and spread more hate. When it comes to electing a leader, we elect the one who can charm us...not the one who protects us. We are actually a bunch of bigger cowards than they are....that's the reason why we let this happen to us.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I should actually come up with a nice old original image, not necessarily funny or profound or meaningful, but original one for this bolg and all my blogs hereafter. Which gets me to the fact that Santoo the hippie younger bro is probably roaming about with my Nikon slr around his neck somewhere on the streets of Hyderabad (along with the brain and the moron perhaps) while I sit here in Mumbai, typing this blog:-)
So...so Crushes it is. I wonder how the term crush is derived. Crush has such a powerful, forceful, vengeful sound to it. May be that is what made someone come up with the term. So the focus is on my crushes - obviously! I'll keep the names concealed not because I am not proud of any of my series of crushes but just because I see the names as "not-necessary" in this context. The feel of my crushes or the way they evolved is more what I want to talk about. I hope you can connect with me:-)
Long before I learned how to read or add or subtract, I had a crush on my dad. yeah, kind of text book, kind of the thing you would hear form any well brought-up girl. And then came that guy in my class. I was in primary school but was old enough to know that the whole girl population in the class was crushing on him along my side. It was tough competition but I wish I had the nerve to tell him what I felt. He left the school and it was all out of mind the moment it was out of sight. But it was pretty powerful as long as it lasted.
Then I'd seen this guy in a dream like state, a real person though, that was ...possibly in middle school and had a crush on him. This was the biggest, most powerful crushes of mine. It lasted till I found my soul mate. Yeah, I told you, a pretty strong one:-)
Now Bobby Deol, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Khanna, Anil Kumble, Hrithik Roshan that guy I met in my sister's college, the English prof with grey hair and the short, stocky computer sir with thick glasses are all not discounted but are there, just reminding me of my many stages of evolving, of growing up:-) Looking back, I find that I'd crushed on a variety of people for a variety of reasons and the physical attraction seldom came into play. So attraction is actually so multi dimensional. Did some one say Love is blind? Crushes are in a way partially blind....a stage when you actually tend to look beyond what meets the eye to assimilate the part that meets it:-)In a way crushes are also chronicles of your mind set, your age, your likes, dislikes, vulnerabilities and impressions. Crushes are not as profound as love but equally powerful and life altering, just reminding us of our journey towards finding ourselves in our true partners:-)
Friday, November 21, 2008
I forgot to record this the last time it happened.
Aarti lies down on bed and I bend to take a peck on her cheek. She stops me, holds my face in her tender palms and says " look!! I am in your eyes".
I was startled the first time she said this since I look into her eyes a lot but never really cared to observe my reflection in them. She said this once again a while ago. I kissed her, looked into her eyes (at my reflection) and told her that I am in her eyes as well!!
Well, well, she does not buy that. She runs to the mirror, looks into the reflection and says, no you are not!
Ah, the precious moments of parenthood:-D.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Time is a very powerful thing. Volatile, quick to slip by but very powerful. I was in this city Mumbai a month and a half ago and 6 weeks looked awfully long to stay away from home. Yet, I am here almost packing my bags and coming up with a new fond inspiration to be svelte, sexy and what not? All in just 5 weeks. I'll explain svelte and sexy later since these terms need their own blog space but as of now time is one thing I want to focus on. It is amazing how seconds roll into minutes, minutes into days and days into decades and centuries. Time is money someone said - urging us to spend it wisely. But Time just passes by whether we choose to spend it or kill it unlike money which accumulates when not spent. Time makes us old, not necessarily wise or mature, but old. So time is definitely more than money. May be it is life since each passing moment brings us closer to the end of our time on earth and what we make out of the time on hand is entirely our call. We procrastinate things just in an illusion that we have unlimited time on hand...but once it is gone it is gone and time wasted is actually life wasted. But what exactly is spending time wisely? Are we supposed to slog our butts off being productive or is pausing to see the roses bloom or a baby laugh is wasting time? It is for us to decide. Time well spent is life well lived , brains well used, talents well explored , love well expressed, jobs well done, decisions well made and Beauty well appreciated. My stint in this city is all of the above and to commemorate the special five weeks of my life I had to own this Red Panda - A species that is at the verge of extinction, just like the time all of us have. Red Panda a symbol of my time well spent and a reminder of the clock that is ticking. A beautifully engraved brutal truth reminding me that I should live my time while I still have it:-)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
To inhale the crisp winter air of my backyard
To cook a full fledged meal in my kitchen
To catch up with Sarat
To get my hands on my Nikon again (santu borrowed it for the time being)
To get back to blogging
To take Aarti for a stroll in the neighborhood park
To read a good book
To Be myself again.
Just can't wait!!!
The who's who of Mumbai send their kids there. I saw Sachin, one of my teenage crushes, walk in with his demure wife. There was Juhi Chawla, the beauty from my childhood looking ravishing and just as young as I am ( ha ha) and there was Arjun Rampal at my arm's distance being a devoted dad and cheering his daughter on stage. He looked so believable, those enigmatic eyes, a hairstyle that didn't let me forget Santu my kid bro and a bod that could have been a Greek God's. But something about him was utterly believable. I spotted the Yesteryears Roja, (Madhoo?) the legendary Sekhar Kapoor looking preoccupied and his stunning ex Suchitra Krishnamoorthy and How can I forget Farhan Akthar?
Shahrukh entered a bit late with his wife. Both looked brown, emaciated and smaller than I thought they would look. Shahrukh sported a robust head of hair dyed brown, an airy off white kurta and a better half that looked like his identical twin. God bless their pair:-)
The celebration got each and every student of the school to contribute though there are some obvious stars of the show. The settings were detailed and oozed the aura of bollywood, the organisers were very efficient and almost all programme went as per schedule. The enactment of Martin Luther king Jr gave me goosebumps and obvious tears of emotion. I'd realised I'd go back to a foster mom with a new identity and a new president BTW. (that is a totally different blog altogether)
The yesterhalfadozendecades actress Nimmi was felicitated. It was thought provoking though as to how focus shifts from older generations of actors. Is it why people are scared of growing old? Will shahrukh khan carry the same aura and attract the same attention once he hits 80? It actually reminds me of that interview I saw of Sanjaydutt where his dad was invited to talk about him. His dad the ever handsome, popular Sunil dutt was eclipsed by the son that rose to limelight only because of his legendary parents. Okay, my pondering is treading new paths, I'll let it be here and ponder in another blog abt this:-=))
So who else? Saif Ali Khan... Now someone tell me why, oh why? Why Kareena? May be I know the answer! Love is blind...that's it folks....it really is.
I did spot some movie stars, industrialists and business people, but watching Mukhesh Ambani clad in a perpetual smile and a black tee was the treat of the day. Didn't know affluence comes in such a simple, down to earth package.
So what was the thought of the day? Celebrities are as normal as you and me but our curiosity, our feeling of knowing them, our awe....our awe is just abnormal. Right!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Yes, there are things that go unsaid and undone and there are relationships that get done for ever as a result.
It is the irony of life though, that there are so many sides to the same thing. Some one said "Ignorance is bliss" Someone else opined "knowledge is power"
So what is it that makes or breaks a relationship? things unsaid, things undone or things said and things done? People speak at lengths about being frank and outspoken when being in love, being over the fear of being misunderstood and having the liberty to talk out your mind. And then comes the "Don't say it if it is not kind or nice enough" part. So what is it that actually makes a relationship survive? things said or things not said?
I'd realised in life, partly by experience and partly by observation that you'd not come across a friend or a relative that would not hurt you. Okay, the hurt could be unintentional, the other person's frustration that has nothing to do with you or mere blurting out of one's mind without the fear of being misunderstood - but it does happen.
So, to keep the person, you should not keep the hurt and nurture it - instead, let it loose. Sometimes 'wouldn't have', 'couldn't have' and 'shouldn't have' become as grave as would've, would've or shouldv'e. The wisdom lies in balancing out the contradictions and applying a little bit of patience and a lot of understanding....then we'll probably never have broken hearts or relationships.
"Become the change you want to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Ghandi
Friday, October 17, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
The ones buried
Deep in the soil of a subconscious memory -
Why doesn't forgetfulness grace
The tiny notches of the grey cells
And valves of the bloody red ticker?
Why do memories metamorphosis into Memoirs
Like the garish, yellowish light of a solar garden stake
That looms instead of the darkness around
with mock illumination?
Why don't unpleasant flashes of images
cease to reappear on the canvas of the human mind?
Why oh why
Do souls suffer the sabotage of unfading reminiscence?
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Yeah, the little brat around here. Mom and daughter had a bitter battle of ego yesterday when daughter dearest not only announced that she'd do it, but also drank water out of her brand new (thankfully) crocs. I know, eek, gross and all that! I was speechless. Didn't know how to deal with the fully blown, busting at the seams ego of the two something toddler. I promptly took the shoe out of her hand, didn't threaten her of her usual time out mecca (read garage!) and tossed it into the recycling bin. She cried, threw herself on the floor, rolled around , protested, campaigned, pleaded and finally begged to get her shoe back. (She did get it after mommy dearest (the tough, sadistic disciplinarian) made sure that the teachable moment and the value that needed to be inculcated was driven home loud and clear. No messing with momma! The house rules are set and are seldom amended :-))
So, the point here is not about how firm I am to start discipline before it is too late - it is more about how Aarti's imagination is treading new, sometimes annoying and sometimes amusing paths.
Yesterday, she came out to me in the backyard with her Dora fun float sipper. The sipper has the silhouette of a wine glass , except with a cage like base where a little Dora figurine floats in teeny sparkles. The transparent liquid (probably water) formed a light froth on the surface and Dora is fully immersed. "Those are spilled M&ms all over" she explained with dilated eyes "and Dora is taking a bubble bath while spilling her M&Ms all over" she continued. Now is this another writer, painter, poet, director, handy person and blogger on the making??
Proud momma has a track record of her own fertile imagination. Darling daughter just follows cue!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Geeta and I painted the town a bright crimson. Yeah, red is kind of cliched. In the process we'd visited the Woodbridge mall twice. As always, visiting a Disney store was loads of fun. I scored a cute pink T with a piglet sketch which is now tucked into the armoire in fear of wearing something way too symbolic. LOL. Anyway, I wish I was as cute as him!
Cute brings me to the actual reason for blogging. After we'd loaded two hands full of shopping bags, Geeta volunteered to dump them in the trunk of the car so that our hands could get themselves around more shopping bags. In a desperate attempt to keep Aarti from running after her aunt, I dragged her into the nearest store not glancing again to make sure that I am not dragging her into the likes of Fredrick's of Hollywood! Thankfully it wasn't the kind at all. I ended up with my eyes locked with the most soulful brown eyes ever. They looked into mine almost like a plead. If having a kid didn't make me realise how much work caring for a kid is, I'd have picked that cute little pug (that I named Peppy the moment I set my eyes on him) and brought him home notwithstanding the hefty tag that was attached to his cage. But alas, pups are as much work and commitment as kids and that chickened me away.
So Peppy haunts me to date. And for once, I am extremely green of all the lucky souls who have the privilege of having a pet. One day, hopefully, when I am brave enough to let Aarti have a brother or a sister, I might let her have a Peppy! Till then Peppy, who is probably out of that cage and in some loving home by now, will haunt me with those soulful eyes!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I first listened to it in the wee hours of the morning while fighting a very strong urge to close the laptop and catch on some sleep, sply since my mind and body were functioning in a time zone three hours ahead. Then Santu comes and tells me about the song and how he'd listened to it on repeat all day. Okay, He's my kid bro and we have strong addictive tendencies meaning we'll do things repeatedly and with increasing passion every time we repeat it. So, addictive tendencies - inherited defect. Anyway, I listen to the song again and feel like a teenager. Probably like Aditi who is fortunate enough to have a dedicated group of friends who try to cheer her up. That is the ability of Rehman Bhayya. He makes me feel like the character involved in the song. I feel the heartbreak in Yeh Ajnabi, the vigor in Chayya Chayya, the playfulness in Yeh tara Who Tara, the devotion in Pal pal hai bhari, the sorrow in Lukkha Chuppi, the passion in Jiya Jale, the patriotism in Yeh jo des hai mera, the Love in Roja janeman and the energy in Rang de basanti. These are only a very very few of the emotions he makes me feel. For a song to do this to a hard to please person like me is pretty impressive. My "up scale taste"(read hard to please) as described my kid bro instantly approves the talent of Rehman. He makes me feel so much more of a better person when I listen to his music. Now, I don't know how some music can make anyone a better person, yeah it kind of sounds weird but it is exactly how Rehman bhayya's music makes me feel - better as a person. Probably because he shows to me thru the medium of his compositions, my ability to react to things! Doesn't make sense, I know! I cannot help it either! LOL.
So here goes a premature ending, just in awe, in absolute admiration for a talent so immense that it makes me wonder how it is humanly possible to be such an exhaustive source of art.
Rehman Bhayya, I bow to you and touch the feet of Saraswathi that lives in you!
Words fail me further.
BTW - For now, I am Aditi, mourning the little kitty:-)))
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
A pinch of a pinch
Probably of being human
A little woe
A wee frustration
Smidgen of childishness
Heap of introspection!
Immature conflicts within
Ripened thoughts to contradict
Life seems to be a celebration
Of occasions, victories, anniversaries
And most of all, the fight of living
With a conscience
Triumphant, tarnished, twisted
By some seriously silly thoughts!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
God bless Google
God bless perseverance.
God bless all of the above and me!
Madhavi Lata is easily the closest friend I'd had till date. Except that We did not speak to each other sine 2001. Yes, weird. We went to school together, shared a heap full of childhood and adolescent dreams together, talked incessantly about out sweethearts (who we are happily married to now!), shared hopes of being in the same profession and watched the mushy Telugu version of Maine Pyar kiya with hands held all thru the movie. (Phew...I dunno how we managed that, being 13 probably helps a little bit! LOL)
It was buddy hood at first sight for us - no. We didn't warm up to each other the moment we met. There was inertia, there were prejudices but all of them culminated into a beautiful relationship that I caught up with just a few minutes ago. When they say that a true friend is someone who never falls out of touch, they are probably true. I met her for the last time when she was preggers with her first baby. Now she has two girls, one six and one 4. Her hubby changed professions since I last met her and I have gotten a promotion too, as the mom to the cutest little brat around. We caught up, we laughed and we cracked jokes on who would be the heaviest among the two of us. "I look like a white pig now" I exclaimed. "No, you cant be a bigger, whiter pig than I am " She insisted. We were transformed to our eighth grade - days of absolute bliss, the days that are the happiest of memories. The past that revives the child in me!
So, I resolved that I'd talk to her today. I googled and googled for the local white pages listing and finally reached the web page of BSNL. After severe persistence and a lot of strain to the memory to recollect her last name (her hubby's) I finally succeeded.
It is amazing that the world is so small now. I wonder how people survived without the Internet, I wonder how researchers gathered information and dear ones communicated. Look, in the seriously wee hours , I am here typing my heart's content and letting that world know that I'd just caught up with a friend after seven years and we felt like we'd left off the conversation yesterday. Lahari, Ravi Kanth, Nalini and a whole lot of people who frequent here will know it as soon as they open my blog. Ahhh.....the boon of technology, the blessing of the world wide web.:-))
So, here I am gushing like a 13 year old and almost feeling like one in the triumph of tracing a long last friendship and in the bliss of discovering that I am blessed with a few things that'll never change.
My happily settled homemaker friend Madhavi might never venture out on the net to see what I'd to say about today but I am sure she'll have an ESP strong enough to know that long after the catching up is done, her childhood friend is still thinking about her and feeling extra fortunate and extremely blessed to have a friendship that is this precious.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The laptop feels wonderful. Sarat just gave this to me and I am getting over the fear of ruining a brand new, state of the art machine - Sleek and cute all rolled into one. Computers is one thing that intimidates me more than fascinates me. I have a uber brainy friend who is working on his start-up in Stanford (watch out, he could be the next Bill gates and I'll probably put up a picture of mine with him and start boasting.. "I know this new "Bill Gates"" "We were in the same class" blog. Anyway, He once told me that I cannot say that I hate computers when I use the technology. He is true. I should not. So..back to what I wanted to say - The laptop feels like a sports car. My fingers just glide on the keypad and it is sheer pleasure seeing my typing appear on the cute screen. I miss the knocked tooth one. It has all my pictures and unpublished writings and too crappy to publish ones as well. I'll probably carry this baby with me and try doing some blogging while I am in NJ.
Nj brings me back to drawing and painting. I did some of them on huge canvasses. Huge like the wall of our house. Literally. I should upload the images sometime. So, sketching and blogging so far and may be technology. I sometimes dream about being a techie and impressing my already impressed hubby. May be he'll see me in a new light like this uber brainy thing and not really play the "you are not technical" card. No, actually he doesn't play it. I am the bad guy most of the time. Sarat is pretty flexible. He is a little strong. Those number nines:-( But that is just how they are I guess. Till the sixes come into play. 9 and 6. Librans and Virgos. They are star couples. No I didn't make this up.
Singing is one more thing I enjoy. As a child, I once broke into the song from Saptapadhi clear and loud when I saw my Uncle come and hang a calendar that was compliments of Chamundeswari chitfunds. For those of you who know the song, it is the one that sings the accolades of Goddess Shakti. I actually did a mock classical number along with it for my couple of friends. It is amazing how free spirited I was. Look at me now. I go to the cardio tennis class and wonder what the instructor would be thinking of me "a not so fit housewife ruining the perfectly trained class" or " a way too un-flexible to be playing with the trained pack" LOL. I think I like the former better. But isn't it true that we should not bother what other's think as Santu says?
Writing poetry started in fifth grade.
I came up with weirdo stuff like these original examples below.
In the life of cricket
We should not lose the wicket
If we lose it
Our life will become a puppet!
What shall be I think
The roses of Pink
Or the dew that is twinkling
In the sunshine Blinking.
Wait, may be I didn't improve much in the past two decades on the poetry front but I am the only poet in the family right now. At least till Aarti catches up with her weirdo, wacky bathroom humor laden nursery rhymes. Yess....for the time being, I am the only poet and that is all that matters. It doesn't matter what you think. I'll moderate all the comments. Don't forget that :-)) ROFLMAO.
So what was I saying ??
Drawing, blogging, singing, dancing and writing verse - The simple, most precious pleasures of life.
It's your turn to throw eggs and tomatoes ( be considerate. Only the non-rotten ones please!)
Pic courtesy - Mrs. Mahalaxmi Krishnakumar, the Multi talented mom of my friend Satya.
Aunty, if you ever get to see this blog, Your pic just reminded me of all things creative and here I am strolling on the memory lane all egotistic and ecstatic.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
So, after my long enough prologue, (yeah, I talk a lot) I'll announce what I am writing about. It feels good to blog in the afternoon, under the endless cathedral ceiling of our formal living room when sunlight peeps thru the maple wood blinds creating a candle light effect on things around me. Aarti is watching her infant hood tapes, and before her attention span burns out, I better put my touch typing skills to use and finish off with this venture.
A day in the life of a Toddler's mom.
(disclaimer - I am blogging about an average day with average timing of things we do. It may be better or (usually) worse than what it is depicted to be.
8:00 hrs - I try to do some stuff before she gets up, but usually I just end up brushing and nature calls and browsing thru a fresh copy of the Wall Street Journal (if sarat didn't already take it to work in hopes of reading it on BART)
8:30 hrs - My reading bliss is punctuated with guilt of not doing the laundry or last night's dishes so this is not exactly the bliss one imagines it to be.
8:40 hrs - Toddler stirs in the bed impatiently and displays her lung capacity by yelling to me in repeated intervals. I drop the messy newspaper on the floor and run to her rescue. Toddler still feels lazy to get out of bed. She forces me to cuddle with her and tell her the story of Hita's birthday party for the millionth time in my life. I oblige hopelessly!
8:55 hrs - I convince her that she needs to brush her teeth before she could listen to any more stories. Our fight for the day commences with the teeth brushing routine. Toddler has more collection of brushes and tooth pastes than Purutchi Talaivi allegedly has jewelry or shoes. I offer her choices, she picks up a pink or blue paste and the Dora or Soccer ball brush. after a good 20 mts, the process of selecting brushes, paste and brushing with an attempt to minimize swallowing happens. The whole process is sprinkled generously with stores about having to go the doc if tooth brushing routine is not followed. The doc story works like a charm. Dr. Homer our super sweet pediatrician has no idea, poor man, that he is the substitute of Gabbar Singh in our daily routine!
9:15 hrs - Now the battle to give toddler a bath starts. Toddler is very fond of water, so bathing her is not as big a challenge as making her to make me give the bath is. The fun and freedom loving toddler wants to empty the water resource in Dublin paired with the bottle of Aveeno bath gel before she decides to get out of the tub. Toddler's recent obsession is the bubble bath that I foolishly introduced her to. Now after every attempt to use the big potty, toddler insists on a bubble bath instead of a "wash/wipe butt routine.
9:45 hrs - after the long process of bathing is done, the process of selecting a towel to dry the toddler starts. Toddler usually prefers a fresh and colorful towel after every bath routine. No, she is not concerned about the greenness of our planet - unfortunately!
9:55 hrs - It'll take me a good 25 minutes and lots of exercise to the lungs and legs before toddler gets herself moisturised, sun screened and dresses. I am skipping the part of messing the closet selecting her outfit because you might think that I am dramatizing details and I do not want people to get me wrong :-)
10: 20 hrs - Easily the worst part of the day. Getting the toddler to eat the first meal of the day. She would have had her glass of milk on getting up, but getting her to eat something like cereal or some crackers with string cheese is like a torture of first degree. I try not to give in but I usually do probably due to lack of will power or patience or sheer perseverance or probably because the toddler did not inherit the lack of these qualities form her mom!
11:10 hrs - The day is still not even into early noon and the stress starts showing on how I handle myself. By now, my hair is all frizzy and my complexion is all ruddy and the stress eating gets a jump start as I polish off the barely nibbled string cheese and barely touched honey bunches of oats with a cup of organic milk, leaving no trace that needs to be cleared in the wash basin. Toddler decides to munch on the apples that I diced for myself in an attempt to lose the seriously post-partum ponch!
11:30 hrs - Toddler wants to either get her face painted, or read a book with amma or meddle with amma's tolietries or pretend play and make amma some coffee in her kitchen. The reader should notice that 'AMMA' is the buzz word in all these activities. Amma usually ends up doing a 2o time imposition of any chosen routine including the face painting thing (yes, including the face painting)
12:15 hrs - Amma realises it is past noon and time to take a shower. Toddler takes advantage of amma being locked in a shower. Toddler pulls amma's glasses out of the night stand, puts on amma's moisturiser all over her feet and in the process on the area rug in the bedroom, toddler tries to pull out amma's nikon form its case to capture herself or just plain pulls out all the neatly folded laundry that amma postponed to put away last night in a desperate need of sleep.
12:25 hrs - I walk into a scene that resembles more of a battle field and less of a bedroom. Unable to decide where to start, I leave the mess as it is till another bout of energy hits my nerves.
12:35 hrs - I finish my preoccupied daily prayer as I am trying to consolidate the things to be done in the coming hours. Toddler insists on blowing the candle I just lighted to make the home get rid of the morning's cooking. Toddler goes crazy spotting a candle since she is looks at a lighted candle as an opportunity to sing a happy birthday song!
13:00 hrs - After making the toddler do all that she wants to do , I attempt to eat my meal before feeding her hers (it has to be in this order for the mom to stay conscious to feed the toddler)
13:10 hrs - toddler orders for a complicated dish - usually aloo or gobi paratha. I make it diligently without complains as I save my complaints for the evening when toddler's dad comes home.
13:25 hrs - the tougher than the toughest part comes to play. Toddler comes up with all types of creativity to skip lunch. Toddler wants to feed while climbing up and down stairs, walking in the front yard and playing with the water faucet in the kitchen. I obey with mouth shut and nerves grating, but mouth shut as I'd said. The project-feeding is never a complete success in spite of all the climbing up and down stairs and playing with paint and water and creating a messier than messy kitchen and living space.
14:30 hrs - Dead meat me is in for the binge of her life. Gulping everything down that the pantry and kitchen has to offer. Food therapy is the best therapy of all.
14:40 hrs - Toddler insists on watching something on TV. Toddler never watches anything seriously but the volume has to be full and the program has to be always teletubbies or kelly kubbies. Some freaky looking alien like creatures bombard me loud and clear with something to the effect of "lala's ball, lala's ball, lala's favourite thing of all" times one million two hundred and twenty. The little grey matter that grows back in sleep everyday is dead by now and I am waiting for the toddler's dad to arrive home.
15:00 hrs - I call toddler's daddy to see when he would come home. The calls is answered by a freaky sounding shrill lady's voice that asks me to leave a message. Desperate, I cut off the line hitting the fridge for more strawberries and cream from Coldstone.
15:10 hrs - Toddler wants to go out and play. I drag her with one shoe on and one sock off to chucke cheese's or super franks or Barnes and Noble. The toddler is usually hyper in public places and runs like a little chicken on loose bumping into people who look at me like I need to take parenting lessons. I conveniently ignore that looks discounting them as too old to have forgotten their own kids' childhood or too young to have kids of their own.
Toddler puts up a fierce fight to get into the child restraint after the said outing. I manage to get her there with minimal force and threats in a fear of being mistaken for a child abductor. Toddler sulks for some time before she gets into the "gimme attention" mode. I use the time to quickly go thru mail and collect the bits of Lego block and toys on the floor before toddler's dad comes home.
17:30 hrs - toddler gets on the small trash can and uses it as a step to the big trash can and gets on the island while I cut veggies for evening dinner. I freak out and yell to keep her hands off of the cutting board. Her inquisitive side kicks in. We get into a playful 'what is this' mode asking questions and giving silly answers. Toddler learns a few new words of the day.
19;00 hrs ish - After repeated phone calls and tracing, toddler's dad finally shows up. Toddler jumps ecstatically at the sight of dad and runs into her dad and looks at me like she'd seen a crazy monster (me) for the first time ever in her life.
19:30 hrs - toddler's dad shows signs of fatigue already from being toddler's primary care giver for half hour. Heated arguments and name calling follows in a language that toddler cannot follow (responsible parents you see:-)0 and I agree to take toddler away for a while so that dad has some breathing space.
20:00 hrs - ( Details edited ) In short, the third and final meal of the day progresses at a snail pace punctuated with lots of extreme scenes where toddler's dad and I exchange verbal weapons (edited to keep the blog PG 13) and after a good hour and a half, I win half and lose my last ounce of patience and sanity.
21:30 hrs - After a quick bath and shunning the delicate white gap dress that metamorphoses like the rag I use to clean counter tops, Toddler chooses her tooth paste, brush and night dress. Dr. Seuss comes and goes a million times in the form of sleep book , cat in the hat and green eggs and ham before Toddler decides to sleep for the day. Not to mention, the practise for my vocal cords singing turtle dove and shiny Dinah a hundred times each.
22:30 - toddler is asleep and toddler's dad is co-ordinating with his off0shore team. I get to re-cap with PG Wodehouse for the fifteenth time since I'd rented it from the library. Deciding that library books are jinxed, I started buying the likes of Jackie Collins and Sandra Brown.
00-00 hrs - Toddler's dad and I settle on either side of toddler, sharing stories about her cute ways and little tantrums and looking at a peacefully sleeping toddler in the middle of the bed. For those who are curious when the toddler will have an infant sibling, this should answer their question.
Note: I omitted the regimes of diaper training and art and craft projects for easy reading.
Note again: I'd taken twenty three (no exaggeration) breaks and three re-boots of my lap top to complete this blog. rather, I'd taken 23 little breaks form being a toddler's mom to complete this blog. For those of you who are curious why my blogs are usually late-night, this should answer their question.
Yet another note: For all those who wonder what I do at home whole day, and if I work - Yes, I have a schedule tighter and more nerve wrecking than an average career woman and yes, I do work without the luxury of having a paycheck deposited in my account every other week. Mind you, I am not complaining. As my good friend Valentina once said when I was considering taking up a job, Money will certainly come but the time spent with a child at home being a full time mom is Priceless!