Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mirrors Don't Lie.

One fine Saturday morning I dragged myself from bed to the kitchen hoping to find milk in the fridge. I noticed that the lights were on in the living room. I wasn't surprised, as my husband cannot sleep a minute post dawn irrespective of when he slept or what he drank the previous night, or what day of the week it was. I opened the fridge and this very familiar nostalgic tune that emerged from the living room immediately caught my attention.

 It was our wedding reception video.

Unlike the wedding reception/whatever videos of all you people reading me, mine is not something I am proud of. The first time I watched this video, two weeks after my wedding reception, I cried inconsolably and vowed never to watch it again, ever. Seven years later here we were, back on that stage wearing something so hideous that it does not even have a name. Where we found such atrocious clothes, is a question among other things, I am planning to ask God when I meditate in the Himalayas.

The video was playing, guests walked up the stage handing us nicely wrapped gifts (clock, casseroles, and bed sheets of course) and smiled proudly at the camera with a sense of accomplishment on their faces. I admired how some ladies in my family had amazing sartorial choices, that they looked good even in a seven year old video. I then moved my glance back to where the spotlight was on. ME.

I do not understand what transpired in the head of this moron, who recorded the video that day. The camera settings, post processing, ancient grudge, criminal revenge, no brains whatever reason it is that made us look like lepers. Revisiting this video gives me a fresh bout of low self-esteem. I tell you, I looked better at my kid’s classmate’s birthday party last week than when I was a bride six years younger!

I look back at my school days, the photo albums from those times. It is all so incredible…I can’t stop looking at them or show them off to others. Was it because we wore uniforms instead of self-inflicted, detestable clothes? I do not know. Is it because the cameras were simpler and even a layman could take pictures without making the subject look like a monster? May be.

Was the wedding a wonderful day? Yes it most definitely was.

Does the cameraman deserve to go to hell? He most certainly does.

Image Courtesy: Here

I was still at the living room in my pajamas, disheveled hair and bad breath. My husband looked at the TV monitor and smiled amusingly at me. I returned a frown and a noise that sounded more like a roar. He looked around anxiously to find any possible flying objects. Some part of the screen got blurred; I realized I needed to wash my eyes. I walked straight to the washroom and noticed that most of my hair was somewhere from 30 to 50 degree angle to my head. I looked closer and realized that I looked better straight out of bed in a mirror that dint have any settings in it.

You moron cameraman, I will hunt you down some day. I will not be flossing that day.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

When Drama Queen becomes Busy Bee.

It has been a busy month with school admission of my little kindergartener. Added to it, the emotional turmoil I went through because of the whole new environment he had to cope with. The thing is, everyone else in my house seems to be robots and none of these feelings are applicable to them. And that makes me drama queen. Well, it feels good to be the queen of something.

Image courtesy: Here

When my little fears and very reasonable nervousness are misinterpreted as drama, I can’t help but remember my maternal relatives, who have invented the whole concept of reality drama. They can terrify you just by laughing. The reverberations of this laughter can send ghosts with the most obnoxious laughter running back to their graves in shame. When they are collectively judging someone else, often mild tremors were reported, significant enough to be measured by a Richter scale.  You must have heard a quote that says one should never judge a person by their relatives. Right ? If not, just keep it in mind ;-)

So where do we draw the line between regular and drama? I am really curious to know WHO draws this line, because I am capable of coaxing that person into increasing the threshold. A feminist would say not to be ashamed of your emotions; tears are shed by normal human beings with feelings. A feminist will also slam the man who calls you drama queen because you cried at your son’s kindergarten. So, I am not a feminist and I feel ashamed of uncontrollable tears. But if my tears dampen the enthusiasm of the kid, then it is a totally different problem. The kid began to think that this was not a fun place and something real bad was going to happen. I exited the scene with my son looking lost. Just then, another kid ignited the loose end of a chain of explosive crying. In two minutes when I peeped into that classroom, all the kids were in tears and looking at each other for more inspiration. One of them took it real hard; he kicked his school bag and tried to escape. I may not blame him that is exactly how I feel some days at office, the difference being there is a laptop instead of a school bag.

The teacher, about my age, (which is 19) and the assistant teacher looked completely in control. If people got paid by the patience they required from them on the job, then kindergarten teachers would be paid highest. However our society decided that surgeons be paid the most even if the people they work on are already heavily sedated and surgical procedures are painfully quiet. Oh, well.

So things have been smooth in the kindergarten classroom ever since and the kiddo is now worried only about his clothes and has to deal with the mild disappointment that he is not allowed to wear his Lightning McQueen watch to school. This dial of this watch is so huge that it looks like a time bomb; hence I have forbidden him to wear it to school. Other than this minor glitch on the dress-up front, everything looks fine for him.

So during the admission paperwork and first-day tears, there was my hubby giving me NO support at all, and criticizing me all along for being edgy. And that is too much adult talk for a person who once cried like a baby in his sleep. I can’t think of another night in my life when I laughed so hard that I couldn't sleep till morning. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

My pretty shoes, my pretty pretty shoes!

Last Friday after an occasional purchase, I walked down to the mall parking area where hubby and kiddo had agreed to meet me after our separate indulgences.

‘What did you buy now for XX Rials?” He exclaimed, before I could say anything.

No, he does not have any telepathic capabilities. Our evil bank gave us spouse credit cards and whenever I use mine, he gets a message.

‘Shoes’ I mumbled, arrogantly and not making eye contact. Obviously he thought I bought a car.

He did not say a word, or remind me of the number of existing pairs (he knows better), we just drove home.

The next day we were out again, this time I was wearing THE shoes. After walking a bit inside the mall, I felt something on my toe so I removed the shoe and knelt down for a closer examination. Blood. The pointed toe red shoes which I thought was crafted to perfection had made me bleed. I also noticed that my toe nails had overgrown as I don’t remember trimming those in the last three years. I squeezed my toes back into the shoes and started walking in slow motion careful not to limp.

All women know that when she sees blood on her toes, the whole world abandons her and instantly she is all alone. She can’t tell her parents, as their response is programmed to ‘In addition to the 678 existing ones?’ be it clothes or shoes. She can’t tell her husband due to obvious reasons or the kid in my case, who can’t understand the concept of secrecy or bribery yet. Now all she has are her friends on whatsapp. One of them assured that once I trim my nails it will be fine, another suggested that I walk in it more often so it will stretch a bit to make more room for my chubby toes. However both of them told me to suffer in silence and not to drive because the right foot is kind of important in automatic cars. Also, I don’t wear shoes while driving and it may expose my wound to potential audience in the front seat who are waiting to pounce on crucial law points like this.

At the parking area, I pretended to be tired so I could explain the slow walking. I almost baby walked straight to the passenger seat.

‘Are you not driving? Why did you get a license then? When are you going to drive? Why did you take car driving lessons?’ 
Other versions of the above questions kept coming and I finally said,
‘My feet hurts’.

He got into the driver’s seat and we drove out of the mall.

Meanwhile I bent a bit low and flashed my phone torch on the bruised toe ( I admit I shouldn't have done this). The blood clot near the toenail now looked so red that it actually matched with the shoes. I sat up and carried on the pretense.

‘What happened to your feet?’ He asked.

I am a crappy liar, so as I was trying to assemble some words to make a believable line, when he asked that earth shattering question.

He: ‘I hope it is not because of the XX Rial shoes’.

Me: ‘What? No! What makes you think that?’

He: ‘Nothing’. He made a straight face.

Straight face meant that HE KNEW.

As soon as I reached home I placed my beautiful pair of red shoes in the shoe rack. I also trimmed the toenails even though what really needed trimming was the toes. I wondered how he guessed so quickly that my new shoe hurt. Well, the price obviously hurt but one can’t run into conclusions about moderately overpriced, yet beautiful shoes.

God knows what else that bank tells him besides the details of my shopping bills.

Spouse credit cards are evil.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Six years and counting !

It may seem that writing software codes for a living is the most mind-numbing thing a person could ever end up doing, as it does not involve creativity. Software codes are not so bad, I tell you. They are kind of high-maintenance and all that but people who do it are not dead inside. I am a living example of that because six years ago, when there was a recession globally in the IT sector, I was stuck idle for over six months in a reputed IT company without any projects in hand. That was when my blog was born.

Programmers get extremely creative when they are on ‘bench’ (not literally). They do interesting things like, err…start a blog! Meanwhile, numerous projects came, new stuff learnt, changed roles, changed employer and shifted to Oman,  moved on to another domain, however the blog remained true to its origins and never made an attempt to improve. I started with mundane blabbering and six years later...voila ! I am still doing that ! The highest point of my blogging journey was reached when I won Rs.10,000 in a Yahoo-Dove contest, back in 2011. Later many contests came and I chose not to participate because it was not my thing. I am still bad at writing when a topic is given to me, because my mind just refuses to focus. It wanders a lot when I write and my blog is evidence. One may not find any logical connection between paragraphs of a post. Well, that is who I am, not that I don’t like prizes that they announce for contests. ;-)

So in September I was interviewed by a friend who works at Deccan Chronicle and it appeared in the Kerala edition. I saved it for five months to show off on this day!

This month I wrote a little something about my son Aaron, and his love for corduroy pants (you can read it HERE), concluding the blog by mentioning Dulquer Salman, his idol. Well, the star himself read it and messaged me on Twitter! I am enjoying all the envy coming from Dulquer fans :D

So as I complete six years on Blogger, I fail to find enough words to thank my husband, parents, sister and cousins who are the pillars of this blog, for the unswerving encouragement they have extended to me over the years. All my friends and bloggers-turned-friends, who never fail to leave a comment, be it on Facebook or on the comments section – you guys are my rock. Everyone else who have kept visiting this space  - thank you , please visit again...it is okay to not leave comments!

So as my blog turns 6, I just want to tell all my readers to just keep reading…who knows, one day I may actually improve my grammar!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Kindergarten admission is not a child's play.

Image Courtesy: Here
There is no right way to select students from a pool of application forms into a school which has limited seats. Every school has their own little algorithm they follow to ensure that quality students get selected. This algorithm can be biased, illogical or downright ridiculous but one cannot do anything about it. You don’t like it? Okay Bye.

My friends who are settled in different continents across the world gave me really interesting insights about admission processes they know about. Sadly for us in Muscat, the algorithm to selection of students to Indian Schools is a bigger secret than the secret ingredient in KFC chicken. All we could make out from this yearly unpromising ritual is that kids who have a sibling already enrolled in the school stand a better chance, which effectively means that we have gone back to the dreadful times from the Bible wherein first-borns are screwed big time. 
If my son came to know about this  he’d probably ask me ‘Amma why did I have to be born first? Why? Why?  WHY???!!’ and I will probably say ‘Excellent question’.

Some schools resort to customized skill tests and friendly interviews and rate children based on their performance in the same. This process starts a lot of stress and pressure on parents, because the chances are that the kid will refuse to disclose anything including his name at the interview. We all know kids do not give a damn about social norms. They also display extreme intolerance to interviews. They know all rules in the book to freak us out. Oh well we are all freaks anyway.

In some countries the authorities ask the parents to produce their payslip and tax returns with applications. Schools that are so concerned about the earnings of parents should also run a background check on them just to ensure that they are not smugglers or members of any underworld mafia gangs. After going through brochures of different schools and their fee structures, I am convinced that this is how normal hard working, straight forward individuals become business minded, tax evading people who usually end up above the law. I have also heard of schools that give preference to double incomes, so that hidden charges (without receipts) that crop up from nowhere can be met without too much fuss. Other schools do not consider kids whose mothers go to work, because some of the age inappropriate projects and assignments are meant for parents. Like we haven’t suffered enough already.

I am making my son continue in the same school where he went to nursery; however this school has classes up to KG-II only. The Indian Schools admission results (first draw) did not come in favor of him, so we are waiting for second draw results. This is not fun, I tell you.

The person who cares the least is none other than the primary applicant, my beloved son. He wants to go to a school which has a swing in the playground it seems. If only it could be that simple!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Corduroy trousers, tee shirts and other ultimatums.

There are few things my toddler can’t live without, one of which is his brown corduroy pants.  I remember buying it from a store at the mall on an impulse. My three year old instantly fell in love with the trousers and there was no looking back. Until then he never cared about his clothes but it was the corduroy that woke the sartorial devil in him. Stepping out of the house meant these very pants to Aaron. Other pants were worn when it went missing (I may have something to do with temporary disappearances), or if it was still wet from laundry.

 As I am a working Mom who loves to shop and hangout with him at every possible break, I took him everywhere since he was tiny.  I never had my parents or any relatives babysitting him, so I am used to going to trial rooms with him in a stroller, and as he grew older and started yelling ‘Mama shame shame puppy shame!’ I started trying clothes on top of the dress I wore. I involve him in my every shopping trip and seek his opinion about new stuff I pick up; he gives me honest (sometimes really brutal) remarks. Thank God, toddlers have a way of making everything sound cute. He always gave a close look at the dress or shoes and at me before voicing his professional advice and thus, he grew up being a little fashionista himself. As long as he is not tired or sleepy and if he is wearing his favorite pants, he is good company.

No compliment can be more genuine than the one that comes from a child, so he makes my day whenever he compliments me. In every crowd or TV show he identifies the shirts that look like those of his Daddy, or a bag that looks like mine. Wearing his father’s shoes when he is not around and looking at the mirror is only one of his favorite activities.

Like a lot of other little boys I know, Aaron is also a tee shirt lover. He does not like wearing shirts with collars and buttons. So today, I ironed his denim shirt and waited for the ruckus to begin. I paired it with his favorite corduroy strategically. However this did not go down well with the kiddo who understands strategies better than me. Usually hubby gets him dressed in the mornings, so as expected, arguments started between them over the shirt. Hubby gave up and left the scene. I tried to convince the predetermined toddler, but the water works had already started. Aaron walked across the room, wore a wrinkled red tee on his own and sat on the sofa happily, with his school bag, trying his best to ignore me as I walked past him. I made generic statements on how denim is cool but no favorable reaction was seen.

I refused to back down. After all, I ironed the denim shirt and I did not want my efforts go wasted. I lured him back to the bedroom and told him a little secret. What followed was a smooth and happy change in clothes, and his father was shocked to see him in front of the mirror checking out the denim shirt and looking happier than ever.

Dulquer Salmaan, my son's
favorite actor.
Image Courtesy: Here

Hubby asked me, ‘Oh My God what happened here?’

‘I told him that Dulquer has a denim shirt too and that he looks exactly like Dulquer when he wears it’.

Thus potential rampage was effectively evaded, and our week began on a happy note, thanks to Dulquer.

On a different yet very valid note, I wish all my readers a Happy Women’s day. I don’t want to brag or anything, but only a mother can get something like this done without declaring war or offering bribes! Cheers to all women!