Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Luxury in the Vicinity.

Image Courtesy: Here

Recently we moved to a new apartment at a different location in the same city. This shift has given me everything I ever wanted, as all I ever wanted was space. However, for all the excellent neighbors, spacious rooms, and proximity to the beach, we did sacrifice some of the basic facilities we had taken for granted over the years.

My new premises is not favorable to anyone who is even remotely absent minded. In my earlier apartment, if I remembered that I dint have curry leaves after I had started sautéing the onions, I could have got them in less than five minutes. The grocery was nearby and this was a huge blessing for a person like me who is not an advocate of the seven habits of highly effective people. Now things are different. Like the other day I was explaining to a friend on phone.

“Listen ..this place could actually force me to be more systematic”

Friend: (Laughs) “As far as I know NOTHING will make you systematic! By the way what makes you say that?”

“Mannnnn there are no grocery shops in the vicinity. I feel jealous of my Mom who has a grocery in her campus and my sister who lives 10 centimeters away from Nilgiris”

Friend: “Then which part of the earth do you live? What did you consider while you zeroed in on this apartment?”

“Bigger wardrobes”

Friend : “You have your priorities straightened out so early in life”

“You are not helping”

Friend: “Then what is there next to your apartment?”

“BMW showroom”

Friend: (Laughs again, now louder and meaner than before). “Well that’s not too bad!”

“Okay you laugh at my misery. Once you finish laughing I would have taken you off my favorite contacts. They wouldn’t even approve my loan for a BMW ”

Friend: (Laughs harder and almost breathless).

I disconnected the call and remembered that there is no milk, eggs or lentils in the house. I am stuck on the sofa like the dosa sticks on the cast iron tawa. One cannot make me move once I am set there, you see. I would have had a long day at office, I work out in the evenings, but after I have freshened up, finished dinner and hit the sofa, I call it a day. Nothing on earth can make me get up and do anything, unless there is fire under the sofa I am sitting on. I do not plan what to wear next day, or what should be for breakfast, nor do I iron the school uniform or sharpen the pencils. No. That’s not how I function.  The next day is practically next day. If I wake up alive I will do everything in my time. Any advice or tips on how to be more productive is strictly prohibited within my boundaries.

Few minutes later the friend called back. Finally! I sighed. I smiled seeing the name on display.

 “Hello?” I grinned.

Friend: “Hi I am calling to ask the price in Oman for the new BMW 8 Coupe. This is the showroom right?”

“Get Lost”.


 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Unconditional One.


Sometimes, my 8 year old starts his sentences with ‘Amma when YOU become big…”-

“Oh DUDE I am already BIG ! How else do you think I gave birth to you?”

“Amma not like that…when you become bigger…”

“I can’t get any bigger!”

“Amma ! I mean when you have grey hair and all !!”

“Oh you meant older? Yeah that seems possible..”

“Oh MAA now I don’t remember what I was going to say…the FLOW is lost. You ruined it!!!!!”
FLOW it seems. FLOW! I also lost the FLOW when I gave birth to him I wanted to say, but Anita, CONTROL.
‘Good!’ I snapped at him.

Well, I am honestly grateful he did not finish that sentence. I don’t want him to give me things to do when I have grey hair. I am pretty clear that I am not accepting any KPIs from anyone.

Kids can give us brutal reality checks especially when we need it the least. Like the other day I was wearing a skirt and he said ‘Amma your leg looks FAT”

‘I thought you were watching TV” I sarcastically retorted.

“Yes I am, but I saw your dress” said he, assertively, eyes still fixed firmly on the TV screen.

I was flabbergasted to say the least. He did not have eyes at the back or sides when I gave birth to him. Boys, I tell you!
Image Courtesy: Here

To be honest, none of my family members or friends would put that comment on my face. However for me, unsolicited comments are free. He was watching TV and thought that my leg is fat! And, he was not even watching Motu Patlu. This little guy taps my head occasionally to bring me back to reality from the wonderland I usually live in.

The one little guy who is at times extremely clingy, like “Amma this green peas is slipping away! Can you put in my spoon?” and expects me to come from another room to do that. At other times, he says, “This pink dress is so nice, I wanna hug you” and squeezes the life out of me or ‘Ma one popcorn fell inside my pant, what do you think I should do with it?” .

This eagle-eyed dude also remembers what I said two weeks back, at noon precisely at 2:37p.m. I wonder how we can be poles apart on that one. The other day he was referring to something which his teacher said at the PTA meeting, and me being the Queen of absent mindedness, failed to respond positively and he yelled “Just two days ago, Maaa…how can you forget SO SOON? The Central Government will be so pissed with you!
(Social Studies Reference: “The Central Government takes care of the needs and welfare of the people of the country”).
Well he feels that by being so absent minded I am not doing justice to the Central Government. Little does he know that his Mom gets stuck outside her car with keys inside – in a car which boasts of having intelligent key and anti-lock-in features.  He also does not know that this morning I came to office without my laptop as though I came here to plant trees?
End of day, the most critical one is also the coolest one and is also the one that loves me unconditionally. Whatever I do, say, react, mess up, yell, laugh embarrassingly, add too much salt; he still loves me and my tomato chutney.
 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

To Laughter, and to Friendship!


It is every parent’s dream to be someone their children look up to, to be their source of inspiration, and a pillar of strength. Well, we failed.
I can explain. One day, his teacher informed that all the students were supposed to submit their most recent passport size photograph for school identity card. Unfortunately for us, all photographs were used for various purposes and digital copies saved in pen drives were missing too. There is this weird thing about pen drives in our house. When we want it, it vanishes into oblivion. However, when we are travelling and our hand baggage goes through the airport scanners, all the pen drives we ever bought in our lifetime miraculously appears out of thin air and places themselves into various little dark corners of the bags. We launched a “pen drive search” operation and pulled out every single thing out of every wardrobe, drawer and shelf like how the Income Tax officials raid wealthy homes in movies. Finally we lost our time and energy trying to find the needle in the haystack and drove to the studio with our home looking like it had been hit by a violent tornado.

At the studio, my son wearing his school uniform looked crisp and cute. Fortunately he dint have to wear his earlier identity card for the photo, as that was also missing. Basically all things are missing except the three of us. He sat on a chair they asked him to, with a white screen behind him. He looked quite smart and gave a very decent smile at the camera. Not a laugh, or a sarcastic grin, just a small decent smile. Meanwhile, we were standing near the camera admiring him and the spouse broke into a wild laughter for no reason. Usually if I crack the most hilarious joke and laugh uncontrollably, he doesn’t budge and stares back at me stone faced. This man couldn’t control his laughter for no apparent reason and as contagious as laughter usually gets, he passed on that crazy laugh to me also. The photographer had other clients waiting and impatiently gestured my son not to smile and look straight at the camera. The poor thing couldn’t put up the serious face he was asked to, however hard he tried, as both his lunatic parents were holding their stomachs and laughing their heads off. 

The photographer had now reached his limits and told us ‘Will you both please leave?”.

We both slowly walked out, laughing louder than we could when we were inside. I actually saw the photographer looking at my son pitifully and he was embarrassed. After the clicks were taken he came outside and asked us: “What was so funny?” Well he got satisfactory answers.

“Ask your Dad”

“Ask your Mom”

Well laughter like such is rare and far between now, but there were times I used to laugh like crazy every day. Those were my school days. That’s where I got this non-stop laughter from. 
I remember a similar incident that happened when I was in the tenth grade, when my friend cracked some stupid joke during class and we started laughing. Then we looked at each other and laughed more. Soon enough we could not control our laughter. Actually the joke is not relevant and surely was not so funny that the laughter which started could not be stopped. Initially the teacher was writing something on the board so we tried to stop it before she turned around, but when she did, tears started coming out of our eyes and it just wouldn’t stop. Inevitably, we landed outside the classroom for the rest of her session, holding our breaths and stomachs with both hands in laughter. Before she sent us outside, she interrogated us with questions like ‘Can you both please explain what is so amusing in this lesson?’ and it was physically impossible for us to form words between our peals of laughter and my friend somehow managed to blurt out ‘ Just… you know… jokes..”.

 “GET OUT BOTH OF YOU!”

Punishments are harmless as long as the Principal was not doing the rounds exactly at that time on that floor. And she wasn’t, so we were saved. I couldn’t begin to think of the consequences if the Principal walked in on us and then we would have to bring our parents all the way to school for the simple mistake of laughing. Explaining to my Mom, who unfortunately is also a teacher, about why we laughed is more horrific than explaining to the Principal. If at all our parents came to school, this laughter episode wouldn’t be the only thing discussed with them so it was a very dangerous situation which had ripple effects. It was indeed a big-time save and a priceless memory.

On Friendship Day, here's to all my school friends and the innumerable memories we created at Holy Angels' Convent. Each and every little incident was a lot of fun, and I cant go down the memory lane of school days without a smile on my lips!
To all the amazing girls who defined what friendship is and trust me, till date, I compare anyone I meet, with you guys and there is absolutely no comparison!  "We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun" dint we !
Thank you girls for being there even today, recreating the magic from different continents. Don’t know what I’d do without all of you !
Happy Friendship Day!

Holy Angels' Convent ISC Batch of 2001

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Blessed.


Image Courtesy: Here
It’s been a mind blowing month with myriad surprises. Suddenly a lightning of change flashed across my mundane life like the Sunlight ad, and Tadaaaa !!everything is colorful again! My address has changed. My parents are here, there have been guests, birthdays in the family…and so on and so forth. Packing and moving has squeezed out the last drop of life in me. There was a point when I felt that two hands and  two feet are too less, so I promptly developed a neck sprain and was bedridden.

Sitting aback comfortably on my couch with my little man, a pillow to rest my aching arms and a hot water bottle firmly supporting my neck, a day-off gave me a much-needed break from the stifling pain of shifting.
I was also granted a sick leave(yay!), which in our organization, we get only if we are:
1. Sick.
2. We look reasonably sick.
3. Our stars are aligned. 
4. Prove that we will not request sick leave for the same reason again.
So the stars aligned themselves on the day of The India Pakistan World Cup match. My little man knew most of the players from both teams, and is surprisingly good at the technicalities of the game. He even taught me several aspects of the cricket I never knew before (it is hard to concentrate in the game when one is ogling at Kohli you see ;-) ). As he was religiously explaining I corrected his grammar and he gave me a ‘you thankless creature’ look, but otherwise it was a lovely evening. I was amazed at the mathematical calculations he was effortlessly doing while counting runs in overs and making comparisons and predictions. We had a minor setback when popcorn was served, because he is yet to understand that I am not that Mom who happily distributes the Lions share to the child and starves, being the categorical beacon of sacrifice that motherhood is. I will fight for popcorn with my child and I am not sorry.

It is amazing how much a child can teach us. Now that my son is on his summer vacation, I spend more time with him and I am bowled over by how much he knows about the world around us, and how he always keeps cool as a cucumber! Children are not selfish, and they are not completely selfless either. The toughest thing to do in life is to maintain a delicate balance between these. Children are busy with their own lives and have zero expectations. When I get bothered or unhappy, I reach to my little guy, who not only keeps me on my toes but also keeps me sane. He is bewildered by the very concept that I am pissed because of something that doesn’t really matter. He just doesn’t get it. ‘Stop thinking and deal the cards!’ he says. He is my free therapy.

The Universe has a way to help us deal with difficult situations so that we appreciate the new place, people and everything new that happens to us. We just have to accept change and change accepts us wholeheartedly. Sometimes there are bumpy rides , but rejoice! there is always change, waiting to be embraced.

What can be timelier than celebrating birthday with parents two years in a row? What can be greater than moving to a new and awesome location to stay? What can be more satisfying than finding a hidden talent? What can be better than having friends from school days who never grew up? What can be more amazing than an extra ordinary birthday ?

Blessed is the word. Life is too short to be gloomy.

 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

About K..


Precisely from 1997 to 1998, we had a cat at our home. This cat strayed into our premises as a kitten, along with its cuter sibling which later died in an accident. Ever since, he became a part of our household. We named him K.  I think K was a male. K had no interest in our shoes or clothes and spent a lot of time napping, meowing and woke up only to eat, so it was clearly a male.


Image Courtesy:Here
My parents, sister or housemaid were not fond of K. However K did not need any invitation or approval and made his bed cosy on a stack of newspapers under the staircase. K stayed.

Slowly the hearts of all haters melted like ice and they even started searching for K when he was out with his friends. He had no curfew and enjoyed his freedom unlike me or my sister. We assumed that he is our feline male sibling who gets to enjoy freedom like any male in our society would. Soon K became an integral part of our lives, even though his growing friendship with the neighborhood cats bothered me.

After being a part of my family for around two years, one fateful day, K left us forever without a trace. He couldn’t be found anywhere in the neighborhood and we dint have any clue of him. I went around the neighborhood searching frantically for him and checked every nook and corner but in vain. Finally we came to terms with the horrifying fact that K was unlikely to return and that we had to move on in his absence. Years passed.

Not one day in my family whatsapp group passes without a mention of K. Papa, Mummy, sister and me being participants in this group, it could be the most versatile group in my whatsapp. We could say anything under the sun, and one or two of us may exit, leaving the rest scrolling up and down to see what went wrong! It has nostalgia, comedy, drama, suspense…you name it, and we have it. Dramatic exits being the most entertaining sport played by us, Papa continues to be the constant member of the group, who has never exited ever. Considering the topics the rest of us discuss, gossip and fight about, we couldn’t blame Papa if he considers leaving us in real for a life of meditation in the Himalayas.

 We could send Sanjay Leela Bhansali a run for his money in terms of drama. Noone can beat us at sarcasm either. Our favorite hobbies include digging up unpleasant incidents that happened three decades ago, justifying annoying relatives, taking sides and debating. We joke about our maid whose grandmother died 17 times or another one who cooked for 25 people. Earlier we did not have the option of exiting the house whenever we were pissed, but thanks to whatsapp it allows us to leave even at midnight. It has given us the freedom we never tasted as children or in youth. We ask recipe doubts; even share our unedited pictures!!! We make comments about our spouses and laugh at their expense (our parents are not a sport to this one, but we still do it anyway, because….FREEDOM!).

So recently my colleague taught us Pebble Art and with her help I made a picture of a cat.. While posting it to my family group, I innocently captioned it ‘Dedicated to K’. Never in the faintest of my dreams was I prepared to face the outpour of sentiments that followed. My sister replied ‘K, the love of our lives”.

I was like, “Really? Have you ever spoken about any human like that? Ever?”

She was not done. Later she added “He must be watching us fondly from heaven”.

With all due respect and love, I can say that she never said the same even about our deceased grandparents.

Similar drama continued and somehow my art got drowned in the fond remembrance of K. I was about to suggest that we could mark that day as the Memorial Day for K, but then that would go too far considering my sister who may start crying and take the day off.

Just by existing and minding its own business and never being of any use to anyone, K has such an impact on all of us.

I wish I could be like that someday.

 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Don't forget!


I have a section in my wardrobe dedicated for clothes that are saved for special occasions. Years passed but no festival, birthday or anniversary made it to that ‘special occasion’ category. I may consider wearing one of those when I receive a trophy from The President, which means that all of those clothes are going to die a silent death without making it into any pictures.

From grade one to 12, I wore uniform like anyone else. That is 12 solid years of repeating the same outfit. Then again destiny dragged me into an engineering college which had a pathetic uniform for student dress code. That is another 4 golden years of youth, lost, and never coming back. So 16 years of my life was wasted wearing clothes that everyone else was wearing. Before I started school, I was at home crawling and writing on walls, basically not wearing anything. That makes it 20 years of no clothes/uniforms.

So now it is undeniably understood that I have to dress up to compensate for the wasted years. I want the clothes I bought at insanely unreasonable prices to see the light of the day. The occasion called LIFE is here! Usually I don’t make a big deal about Vishu, but this time I decided to relieve some festive dresses from the darkness of my wardrobe. So I wore this super flashy pink silk kurti and paired it with big earrings and heels.

I have two pairs of heels doomed to be permanent inmates of the shoe rack. I am always a flat shoe wearer, because...

·         I walk fast as a habit, and I don’t know anything about postures or the art of feminine graceful walking.

·         My husband is only as tall as me

·         I can’t stand the galloping sound it makes as I walk through office corridors.

Vishu day was going smoothly until a critical issue came at work. Mails were flying, people walking up and down, phones ringing continuously, managers following up, and brain getting fried… Meanwhile makeup went down the drain, ankles were hurting and ears were about to fall off because of the excessively large earring. The disaster of this day was not the ankles or the ear or the office issue. It was the fact that not one picture or selfie was taken before any of this happened. There is not one proof that I tried!

Usually I do not put myself in situations where I do not have pictures of a certain day or occasion especially when I have made an effort to dress up. Finally I went home with unbearable pain on the ankles and ears, reminiscing of a day that went past without any photos. The spouse was looking at the ceiling as I was dramatically elaborating the unexplainable pain on my ankles.

Image Courtesy: Here
“Did anyone force you to wear heels?” He quipped.
 “Then who am I supposed to crib to? I don’t have a personal grievance app! You are the person who signed up for this!” I yelled.

 Seriously, if you wear heels, click pictures. If you wear extraordinarily heavy earrings, click pictures. Atleast you will not end up like me, writhing in pain, ruining peace in the family and nothing to upload on Instagram.