Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Project Broccoli.


 Two months of school summer vacation are almost coming to an end with just two days to go. People of Middle East who were on their annual vacations to India are back, with Oman International Airport Authorities detecting banana chips in almost every single suitcase going through their scanners. Here we are, the couple who did not go on vacation and enjoying the scorching hot summer, eating freshly imported chips, playing the sympathy card.
So now all our friends are back from vacation and official projects that have been dragged beyond its capacity due to the absence of key resources (that were partying in India), are back in full swing.  Little one’s school reopens next week, so that is when we will go to India. Well, his IIT JEE exams are not for another two decades and it’s not like alphabets and numbers are REALLY important for entrance examinations.


Annual leave is exciting, but the week before is a period of low in areas of sanity, self-control, emotional quotient and common sense. When these four key factors hit a low, then it is madness that prevails. When madness takes over, I am usually not seen in my best behavior. For example, one of the tedious exercises the week before travelling is emptying the fridge. Unlike a lot of people we know, we are unique in fridge matters. We do not store cooked food inside for more than a day, cakes and bread are a rarity on our dining table, but there are vegetables in its tray lying forgotten, grated coconut in the freezer, two sets of tomatoes I bought by mistake, and few other stuff ignored because ‘problem of plenty’. I realize that I am writing this when kids are starving in Somalia, and I am such a moron. One problem at a time, Anita, one problem at a time. Tomatoes and Broccoli.

Image Courtesy: Here



Basically, I can make yummy things with all the tomatoes and exhaust it completely. However, even though I hate to waste food, broccoli is something I wish got spoiled so that there is a reason to throw it away. I always get the grocery myself, but whenever the hubby does it, broccoli comes back with him. I never ask my kid to eat broccoli, because even my parents can’t coax me to eat it. Broccoli never was a reason we had Isaac Newton or Steve Jobs. 


Coming to think of it, this whole thing is a project in itself with a deadline in place. The only difference is, I am my own boss. Life, my friend, is a consolidation of mini projects. Who you report to (it should always be you) and who will report to you (kids) matter. Deadlines should be met. Spouse acts like a CEO who is given the cabin and the status, whose contribution to the project is minimal, and is made to believe that he owns the project. As I write this, somewhere in the corner of the vegetable tray of my fridge, the broccoli is (hopefully) changing color.


It's time I use my corporate expertise in this situation. The strategy to be adopted is, I will wait until the last minute comes. Then I will escalate the broccoli issue to the CEO who can take a call on the matter. By then it will be too late, the CEO will have his hands tied and is most likely to approve the suggestion collectively made by the board of directors (kiddo and me).


Hey don’t give me that look, that’s how all projects run, right?



Sunday, July 26, 2015

The unusual hater !

Did you know that cars are females and they have favorite drivers too?

My theory comes with distinct evidence from 'The Fast and The Furious', in which a specific car performs best when the handsome hero drives it. This also proof that cars are females and why it is always addressed to as ‘she’. Sleek, shiny, elegant and comes in all shapes and colors. She behaves perfectly when there is a guy on the driver’s seat. Whereas when a woman drives, Madame gets pissed and does whatever is required to make the universe believe that women are bad drivers. Even some kitchen appliances hate women, but we will come to that later.

Okay, so all people secretly know that women are not the best drivers in the world. Trust me whenever there some kind of idiocy going on a busy road, my first instinct tells me that it is a woman behind the wheels. That’s also when I think I am a man in a woman’s body.  Well, even if I fast forward a hundred years women will always come second when it comes to driving, and this is not the woman’s fault. That is where my discovery applies – cars are women too and they hate it when women drive. Fair enough.

To begin with, I already know that our car hates me. Ever since I got a license it has been showing displeasure whenever I sat on the driver’s seat. For instance, five days after I got my license, she banged herself into an electric post (may be in an attempt to commit suicide) when I was carefully trying to park it. I should mention here, that in India I drove a Swift, and later practiced here in Muscat with my trainer whose car was actually a tractor in disguise, so when suddenly I drove an actual sedan, my calculations about its sensitivity was nowhere close to reality. This car actually does not even require a touch on its accelerator to move. You just have to think about going and it goes. Such is the technology built into cars these days and I am not used to such sophistication. So basically, it is not my fault. The car just decided to take full advantage of my unfamiliarity and this would not have happened if it was the guy behind the wheels. Being the forgiving person I am, I just let bygones be bygones and went on with my life. Meanwhile, in the basement parking, the car was silently scheming against me.


It is the peak of summer here and all we want from Middle Eastern cars is the AC. The hubby was at a different location that day for official purposes and I was on pickup and drop duty for the little one. By noon, the summer camp gets over and I walked over to the parking area in the scorching sun. As soon as I entered the car I  switched on the AC which blew hot air in my face. Such wicked humor I tell you. I called the hubby, who was in a meeting and he answered after I repeatedly called at least 576 times. I spoke about the AC and he had no clue, so obviously this car was missing its real owner. I still drove the car to the summer camp, at approximately 47 degree Celsius, and hot air blowing on my face. When the kid came in I had to convince him that the AC was not working and he started a mini tantrum. Completely drenched (in sweat), I looked like an extra for a Bollywood rain dance. Somehow the ride home was made and I reached the last signal before home. When it turned green, the car started jerking like crazy. Some sadistic morons started honking behind me and the kid looked baffled. I took the foot off the accelerator and the jolting stopped. I slowly managed to move forward and parked in the nearest available spot.

Image Courtesy: Here

It was the day before Eid holidays when a car is all one wants. On further investigation by an expert, it was revealed that there was a radiator leak. All this happens when on one day of all the years in Muscat the guy happens to be away on duty!

After two days, we managed to get it back from the garage.

I need a car which is male. Straight, young and handsome. Suggestions are welcome.



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Hedgehog.

The worst mistake I may have done as a parent, may be reading the story of ' The Hedgehog’ to my son. The little guy who used to walk into rooms alone like everyone else is now frightened to go from one room to another, thanks to my story reading skills. He thinks there are hedgehogs hiding in our rooms, which I did not convey directly, so basically he has started reading between the lines and that should be counted as a milestone. Instead, I am facing a lot of flak from his Dad about misleading the child and other blah blah. In my defense, I was trying to improve his imagination and vocabulary by reading an actual story. I did not make him watch any Rohit Shetty movie and ask him to FIND the story!

Image Courtesy: Here 

The fear of hedgehog has turned out to be bothersome for all of us. For example, if I am sitting on the sofa watching TV, and I need my phone which is ringing in the other room, I can no longer ask him to bring it to me. He asks me to accompany him, so I’d rather get the phone myself. Moving from the sofa can be a really exhausting experience, and there is none other than the hedgehog to blame. The most brutal part of this whole ordeal is that I can’t even complain.

To be honest, I read a lot of children’s stories in my childhood and the ‘Hedgehog’ was not one of them. Until recently I dint even know what it was, I had to actually Google it. In the story that I read to him, it was mentioned that the hedgehog springs into action once the lights are out in the house. Aaron initially was worried that it was going to finish the milk he was supposed to drink next morning. Later he started wishing that it happened.

Stories are known to have strong impact on little minds and one can't unlearn it. I was actually having a fun time reading to him, because now he doesn’t ask unanswerable questions, like ‘Amma why is the ugly duckling ugly?’ I mean if anybody had the answer to that then half of the world’s problems would be solved. He was beginning to understand what I read and my horrible selection of stories is proof that one day I will be a producer in Bollywood.

One evening I was searching for his school bag but it was nowhere to be found. I walked into the living room and he was engrossed in ripping a car open with a screw driver.

“Aaron where is your schoolbag?”

He: “My schoolbag? Come with me ..”

He lead me to every corner of the house, and I obediently followed.  He quickly glanced at the places it is usually dumped in. Finally when there were no more rooms left he said,

“I think the hedgehog may have taken it”

Until then I hadn't realized the extent of the damage I had done. The hedgehog had started taking the blame for everything that went missing, and I am sure if it lasts long enough it will soon steal his homework, marks and girlfriends too. That night I tried to tell him that Jesus came and kicked the hedgehog out of our house and now it does not exist at all, I made the nervous boy a bit confused. 

For a while there was no talk of hedgehogs in our house and I was relieved. In fact I was secretly feeling proud of myself for having instilled in him the ‘Jesus saves us’ concept.

The next morning we were walking down the road and saw a bearded man coming towards us.


‘Amma, is this Jesus?’


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Grandma.

Crazy, crazy, crazy is all I can say about whatever happened this week.

My parents landed at Muscat last Saturday, and we were so overjoyed that we had a Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham moment right there at the airport, for everyone to see. Our family had patented PDA (Public Display of Affection) long before it even had a name. When we were younger, a taxi with jam packed kids used to come pick us from home to school. When the taxi came, our Mom hugged and kissed us before we left, and no, she couldn't have done it earlier. She never cared about who looked, and neither did we. It was our little ritual; hence hugging and kissing parents at airport when thousands of strangers looked at us was practically nothing.

My grandma was sick and bedridden for the last two years. Whenever I went to Kerala I visited her, come what may. There was little I could do for her in terms of my physical presence. Grandma's condition worsened over the last month, so ever since parents arrived, I noticed that my Mom was not emotionally active. I could also tell that her mind was subtly disturbed. On the 23rd of June, I had to go to a different office for official purposes. I completed around 4 pm, and even though my team was still there I insisted to come back. I found two others who later helped me reach home when I got that news we all were expecting, but not prepared to take in. 

Grandma passed away.

July is vacation time in Middle East and flights from Muscat to India are usually packed. Hubby and me managed to get two tickets the same day for them. My son was inconsolable, but everything fell in place, and Mom could be there on time and for all the rituals thereafter.

My grandma was a hardworking woman. She made the best of wines and pickles. She cooked and cleaned for a large family, with no help. Since wines were made by grandma herself, we tasted wines since school days, and as a result, any amount of wine does not kick me out of my senses. Alcohol does not turn me into a different person. Thanks to my grandma, store bought wines always come second in terms of authenticity and taste. Her mango pickles were so tasty, that through my hostel days my friends and I did not have any shortage of side dishes. I do not miss her for what she cooked, though. I miss her for the person I called ‘Ammamma’ whom I hugged so tight whenever we went to her home for holidays. She was so round, chubby and soft that it was like hugging a life sized teddy bear. Her face was so round we made lame jokes about it. The times my cousins and I fought with each other, to decide who gets to sleep next to her, are still fresh in my memories. It is the end of an era.


I have fond memories of grandma that smell of homemade wine, which I will hold close to my heart. The hugs and kisses she planted on my cheeks irrespective of place or the number of people around. 

Now I realize, yes, that was where PDA originated. I am just glad I dint shy away from those. 



Monday, June 15, 2015

Birthday Post !


It’s my birthday today, and I feel so immensely happy for all the wishes that keep pouring in since morning. Facebook reminders are so great and I love that because everyone can’t keep track of birthdays of all the people we ever came across, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t want to remember them on their birthdays. So yes, love you all, doesn’t matter who or what reminded you, thank you so much for wishing me!

My day started with the phone call from home which is mandatory to kick start my day. Well, my Mom literally kick started my life many years ago. However my little one was not pleased with the spotlight being shared, so he decided to throw a tantrum arguing that it was his birthday. I agreed with him because hey, sanity is more important than spotlight. My husband and I work in the same office so the inevitable question of what he gifted me was thrown at me at regular intervals. Well, he has not given me anything yet, but his deadline. ends at 7:00 p.m.

It was also the kiddo’s birthday last week, so ever since he had been using that as an excuse to save himself from serious punishments. He thinks his birthday is like IPL which goes on for two months every year. I also got a lot of wishes from Whatsapp groups, which again like I said are special, each one of them.

Sometimes I wonder how many people would wish me if not for reminders. I can say for sure that parents don’t forget, because they have a count of the number of years I drained them emotionally and financially. Spouse will remember in the initial years, and if he had forgotten once in between he never again will. Friends may or may not wish, depends on where they are and what situation they are in. I don’t judge anyone for not wishing me despite reminders that can crop up from any place you login, because now I am 21 and old enough to understand that not everyone is in a mood to wish or congratulate. I must say that the most special wish came from State Bank of Travancore. I am just hoping they’d surprise me with a gift only they can give.
Look how Google wished me !
Google gifted me a smart doodle without my age on it. Love you, Google.

I did not cut a cake yet, as it is a working day, and if I cut a cake, I will not get my finger on that fingerprint device on time. Now I am blogging so I am not saying it is a productive day. All important things including cake cutting is planned for the evening, assuming that my spouse will not drown himself in the numerous projects he is a part of. Well if he doesn’t turn up on time he will drown in a different way. ;-)


Everything is good about birthdays except the part where age = age + 1. Whenever that thought comes up, I just try to remember all my friends who took a minute off their busy schedules and wished me today...that they all turned a year older sometime during the year. We are all going down, my friends. 

Why, GOD, why did you do this to us? 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Are you a morning person ?

Image Courtesy: Here 

Morning people can't sleep for a second after the first ray of the rising sun hits the earth.  Then there are others, like me, who believe in the power of sleep. 

Our world is changing. People are trying harder to pretend to be broad minded, they are keeping their racist thoughts in their heads, and are openly gay. Morning people haven't made any progress in this department, and they  continue to taunt us happy sleepers with their narrow minded judgments. We should understand that choosing not to wake up early morning is a personal choice, which Ms.Deepika Padukone should consider making a video about.  Everybody has the fundamental right to sleep.

There are some myths morning people have about the normal ones, which call for some serious busting.

1.      Normal people are testimonies of poor upbringing.
 We were brought up very well; we get more things done waking up late than you guys. By the way what do you do waking up so early? Read the newspaper; listen to the news on TV, watch birds – none of which qualifies for good upbringing because you are judging sleeping people while doing all of the above. Whereas we sleep longer giving our bodies much needed rest and rejuvenate our skin cells in the process. If you notice, we have lesser dark circles around our eyes.

2.      Morning people are fresh.
LOL.

3.      Women must wake up before the sun does.
This is a concept that is as old as Adam and Eve, and those who agree with it should have been there in the Eden Garden (not the stadium) with them. These people were born so ridiculously late, that waking up early does not justify this unforgivable delay. Please go back to your times.

4.      Time Management.
I am supposed to reach office before 8:00a.m and mark my attendance using fingerprint system. Every day I reach around 7:59 a.m, hyperventilating my lungs out. Had I woken up earlier and walked to office before time, I’d never enjoy this incredible thrill of the machine recording my time 7:59 a.m. Have some adventure, people. Run. Laugh.  Have some sense of accomplishment.

5.      Rush.
About that. It burns calories. Contrary to popular belief, rushing through things does not make chores half done or anything. If you can do it, you can do it fast without compromising on quality. We are planning to take things slow when we are on wheelchairs with hair that has fifty shades of grey.

6.      Always Right.
Morning people think that they are always right. May be it has something to do with the first golden rays of dawn that is screwing them in ways they don’t know. Some guys bring out the sarcastic devil in them by saying women are always right, but my dear friends, the mere thought of someone being always right itself is not right.

7.      Ancient Proverbs.
Early to bed, early to rise, well you know it. Most successful people around the world have either been college dropouts or annoying back-benchers perceived to have no future at all. It is a valid assumption that they did not wake up early in the morning to meditate.

I could go on and on, but you get the drift. Do not feel guilty because you do not enjoy early mornings. Do not regret to have overslept. Live and let live.
Wait. It is a working day tomorrow. I have to sleep now so that I can wake up late. Okay, then.