Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I Have No 'Pla' for 2016.Thank You.

From a blogger point of view, the good thing about year-end is the mandatory ‘year-that-was’ post. I am extremely proud to say that this year was as unproductive as the years before. As I have not set any goals for myself, I have no scope for improvement or anything to achieve. Wow that line would be perfect in the ‘About me’ section of my resume. Who wouldn’t want to recruit me?

If eating a lot of food, mastering few new recipes, visiting a new country and making some weird friends count as achievements, then yeah, 2015 had indeed been a fruitful one.  Like every year, I came across people I’d never want to meet again but there is no other way we can come back to appreciate the people in our lives. There had been no change in my patience level, though. However, I did meet some short-tempered people who taught me that I am more mature than I give myself credit for. When Monica asked Phoebe whether she has any plans, Phoebe's epic reply really defined my whole existence. 

Image Courtesy: Here

When there is no plan and you don't even try, that is when life is enjoyed best. I tell you, we are not going to the grave with our updated resumes (I don’t know about you, but I can go freely because my resume went before me).

Never in my life have I set resolutions for New Year. If I feel I should lose weight I take necessary measures from that day. If I feel I should let something go, I sing the ‘Let it Go’ song from Frozen and annoy everyone(but don’t let it go). I do not wait for the first of January to start doing anything because I do not like to think of life as a project which has a kick-off date and a deadline. It is completely ironic to feel this way because I am a software person and I am ALWAYS somewhere between a kickoff and a deadline myself. Still, surprises and suspense are best enjoyed when there is no 'pla'. But there is a catch to that. When something comes our way, we have to make a decision.

Decisions. They are hard. No one ever escaped from decisions. Even a baby has decisions to make- mostly whether to keep the parents up at night or show some sympathy and go to sleep. It is mostly up to the baby. We have decisions of a different kind to make. Most of them translate into –should I be stupid or wise? Stupid always sounds great. Wisdom is painful just like the teeth it is named after. Anyone can advise but in the end, decisions are ours to make- which is why always stupid sounds great. Anyway, what is life without making stupid mistakes, right? In my case, how many mistakes is the question. I still have (N+1) to make before I start getting clarity about people in general. Well, what can I say? I actually met a colleague from my hometown who said he will bring stuff from my Mom as he was traveling back to Muscat on Christmas. Later when he reached here, he came to my house completely drunk, and even missed to give me the gift Mom sent to my hubby on Christmas. Later, I had to ask him about the missing item (which was embarrassing for me NOT for him apparently), and then I got the hint. After the whole episode, my family pointed fingers at me – How do you even find such people and make them friends? That requires a special skill you know?

I have friends, who are absolute gems. I don’t want to name them here, but they are there on messenger at 3 a.m. to listen to my rants. Then I meet people and make them friends and shit happens. End of the day one expensive Christmas gift sent by Mom to her son-in-law turned son is gone with the wind, thanks to my expertise in choosing friends.

I just hope 2016 is better wisdom wise. 

On a completely different note - All you 8 people who unfollowed my blog – what did I do to you? Please tell me! Of course, you unfollowed and are probably not reading this. I wish that the wrong people I met in 2015 meet you in 2016. Good luck! **evil laugh**

Happy New Year all MY READERS! May your year be full of fun, love and laughter! **smiling innocently**


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Waiting for Santa!

December- when the living room mess becomes less noticeable as the Christmas tree stands tall and majestic in the corner. My living room has become jam-packed with stuff the existence of which has now become questionable. As if this is not disaster enough, it is during Christmas when there will be guests. Good luck all you guests. We will probably put your stuff under the tree. *Evil grin*.

My little one was very excited about decorating the tree that he was after me for putting it up from October itself. If only I had a nickel every time I said ‘No baby, the Christmas tree will be up only in December’ in various frequencies and wavelengths and tones and tunes all through November. So the first weekend of December, the enthusiastic Mom and son that we are, brought the box from the ruins and started tree building. However, my son was blissfully unaware of the pain part of it as he thought a fully decorated tree will knock the door, catwalk into the house and sit where it has to. I had a small discussion with the father and son that setting up a Christmas tree and decorating it involves effort, just like there is for cooked food on the table and fresh clothes in the wardrobe. Some feathers were mighty ruffled with that sentence as I got death stares and a collective walkout in protest.

When I opened the box and unpacked the tree which has a base, screws, and multiple bunches of leaves each having a code, corresponding code on the stem of the tree, and a user manual, the male members of my family had already vanished. Of course they will later invite their friends to see the tree and click pics alongside it, and pretend that they painstakingly built it from scratch, when I will royally stand in some corner like a complete loser. Story of my life my friends, story of my life.

*sigh*

Christmas shopping was a big deal when I was younger because that’s when we got new clothes. Well, nowadays it is a big deal if I don’t buy new clothes. When my son was younger he used to give me company during shopping. Now he is four, all man and can’t stand the sight of apparel stores. The Y chromosome, I tell you. It repels all things good, pretty and pink. Both father and son have to go to that video game store to stare at all the astronomically priced junk. I am like ‘Hey, I bought him snakes and ladders… Jigsaw puzzles, Ludo. …What is wrong with those games? They are cheap too. With this kind of money I could buy some gold you know’.

“Can you race in Ferrari cars with that gold?’ came the prompt response.


Image Courtesy: Here
 Of course, who am I kidding, right?
I just have to take it with a pinch of salt and hold on to my sanity just like I do when there are missing socks. No matter how branded they are, a pair cannot coexist. Then hell breaks loose. I always suggest buying cheaper socks. But, no. Socks have to be branded so when they are lost, you can look at the woman in the house and say punch dialogues like ‘It was a Hush Puppies sock!’ and loud sighs for dramatic effect.And women are considered to be drama queens.


Guys don’t care about any festival, birthday or anniversary. Everything has to be manly for them. How about a Christmas tree with a moustache and a beard? Will someone give me a hand then? If they are wearing a branded shirt, they will not dispose the trash. They will not temporarily put your phone in their pocket because it will make them look fat. They will never have a pair of identical socks. They will never agree with you. They think you are responsible for everything that goes missing. They look at you like you are secretly running a high-security personal website to sell their stupid junk stuff. End of the day, they say that women are complicated.

I can actually see my son’s vocabulary changing with inspiration derived from his Appa.

Past:  ‘Amma where did you put my green crayon’?

Present: ‘Amma where did you MISPLACE my green crayon?’

Future: ‘Where the hell is my green crayon?’

This Christmas, if Santa asks me what I want, I am just going to ask whether I can accompany him. 


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What my teacher unintentionally taught.

Summing up the week, saree day went well and most importantly, it did not fall apart. My son is a big time fan of the saree because the Principal of his school wears it oh-so-elegantly every single day. He thinks she looks like a bride. Yes, Bride. Since he was born four years ago he must have seen a lot of brides by this time. His grandmothers have tucked their sarees to the top shelves and are flaunting their churidhars with chiffon shawls with much élan. All Indian dudes grow up to be total suckers of the saree, because a major part of their lives are spent watching others suffer – be it wearing a saree or in a labor room.

It is a fact that we all adore well-dressed teachers. Particularly in colleges where students are only physically present and are forced to focus their eyes on the teachers. My Mom was a teacher and she dressed immaculately every single day to college. She, being a fan of well ironed and tediously maintained cotton sarees, effortlessly gained respect from students and colleagues alike. A teacher who has a sartorial sense gains respect irrespective of her teaching abilities. Some others may not dress as well, but has good knowledge of the subject. Others are friendly and just let live. Then there is that fourth kind.

About that.

Image Courtesy: Here


So back in my Engineering days, most of our teachers were really young so they were fun and harmless. Then there was this lady, senior most in our department, short and stout, shrill, and always carries a ‘F you’ expression. She taught us that not all teachers deserve to be respected. Unfortunately, semester exams came every six months, and during the final classes of each semester, most of the staff used to get friendlier and wished us best of luck. Engineering exams are passed only by God’s grace which roughly translates itself as ‘luck’ in Layman terms. However, the lady in question begged to differ. She used to walk in on the last class before the exams and curse us. “You know what. I wish you guys don’t pass this semester. None of you. I will be here in my cabin and I want to see each one of you coming year after year to clear your arrears”.

I did not fabricate that sentence. These were the exact words spoken to us. Not once, but on multiple occasions. Most of us, far away from home, just needed a gentle push to keep going. A few words of kindness to keep ourselves afloat. In the case of this lady, if she hadn’t turned up at all, that would have been a big favor for us. However, she decided to do what no teacher should do under any circumstances.When I told this to my parents they couldn’t possibly believe what they were hearing. Even though I was capable of hating anyone who did not agree with me, they knew that it was beyond me to make this up. My Mom was literally shocked to know that anyone can talk like this, let alone a teacher. Just because someone is a ‘teacher’ according to the payroll of a college doesn’t mean she is one. 

Such people come into our lives for a reason. Now I know how a teacher should not behave. Some kids have shown me what my son should not grow up to become. Some have shown me that a degree in medicine does not make a Doctor. Some friends have taught me never to trust a single human being. Since I have been doing a lot of learning, I am exhausted. It is high time I start teaching a lesson or two.

Now, what do I teach? :-|


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Mission Diwali : Almost Impossible.

It is that time of the year again. Diwali is just round the corner and so is the mandatory saree day.

While everyone I know can’t wait for saree day to come, I have my own prejudices about it. The only reason I still wear it on Diwali day is that in the movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Shah Rukh Khan started romancing his lady after she started wearing sarees. Well, that is some solid reason for a die-hard fan to wear it right?  Secondly I am bored being normal and insignificant all year long, so here is a chance for people who haven’t noticed me before to get amused. Coming soon at the office in Muscat, the ultimate chance to watch in flesh and blood, the walking documentary of ‘HOW NOT TO WEAR A SAREE’. Thank you very much.

The reason I still resort to this impossible mission.
Image Courtesy: Here

I have never in my life rocked a saree look. On my wedding day, the saree was obviously heavy so when the stylist draped it around and put it accurately in place with around 86433 safety pins, it stayed put until evening. I will not attribute the massive success of that to the safety pins or the stylist, but to the saree whose weight made it stay. Saree falling apart on wedding day would have been a kind of a major setback for the dignity of my family. Anyway blessings followed us on that day and beyond because neither the saree nor the marriage fell apart :D

Coming to the groom’s suit, hubby was kind of overweight that time. So bringing both sides of the suit together at the tummy and sliding the button on was a challenge. Throughout the wedding he was expecting the button to burst into the altar with a thud and the videographers covering the entire footage in detail, so occasionally I kept reminding him, ‘Hold your breath, Hold it! Hold it!’ . Meanwhile somewhere between the infinite folds, a pin was about to succumb to the weight of my saree. In general, our wedding day was a strength test day for safety pins and buttons.

Nowadays we have readymade blouses which have actually made life much easier. Who would have thought that this day would finally arrive! It has everything inbuilt (if you know what I mean ;-) ) so everyone is happy ( if you know what I really mean *wink* *wink*)! I got mine from Trivandrum when I went blouse shopping with Mummy. Well, I got a lot of time to try and choose the right one, as Mom was there and my son was trying to figure out whether the mannequin near the blouse section was male or female. So in general, peace prevailed during blouse shopping.

The one thing that makes saree impossible for me is the long list of prerequisites that makes it unreasonable and time consuming. I am not very systematic; my things don’t sit in the same designated place every day. Hence I buy dozens of safety pins every year for this purpose, and when I am done, they just vanish into thin air. Which is good because storage space is saved. For the chronically absent-minded person that I am, a checklist should be in place. There is a probability that I may miss something in the checklist itself, so I am off to Google ‘Dummies guide to wearing saree’. 

Okay, then.  


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Toys R NOT Us.

It had been one hell of a week. Today, after a refreshing weekend, I saw this news that ZARA owner, Amancio Ortega topped the Forbes list leaving behind Bill Gates, to become the richest man. Ladies, ZARA owner’s win is our win, basically. For sure behind the success of this man there are a lot of women including us. Yay! So three cheers to Amancio!

The reason why it was one hell of an awesome week for me is that hubby was out of station for five whole days, which gave us full ownership over the TV. The kiddo was missing his Appa a lot, but he fell for the unlimited Disney offer. Another shocking revelation was made during this period, which is that the house was surprisingly clean these five days. Till date I was under the impression that it was the little one, but boy, I couldn't be more wrong. The kiddo and his girlfriend played in our living room all these days, and still the house was reasonably organized. So the bottom line is that one should think twice before blaming children for the untidy house. The real culprit is actually hiding behind the innocent child and never caught.

Another thing I noticed is that things stop working when the hubby is not around. The day he announced his official tour to me, the bedroom switch, the shower in the main bathroom and the kitchen sink overheard it somehow and all of them went on a collective strike. Initially, I planned to call the plumber after hubby came back, but the kitchen sink could not wait. Finally, I got things fixed. It was nevertheless obvious that most of the switches and appliances were pissed. Like how employees come to work after a negligible yearly increment. I was basically expecting a ceiling fan to fall on me or other things that happen only in ‘Final Destination’ series, but things went fine and we are alive. So yay. 

Another proud moment was when I actually drove the kiddo to school despite not having driven at all in the last two months. This car and I are not like friends who catch up even after ages like they spoke the previous day. Like I have mentioned before, the car thinks that I am a b***h (and I think the same way about it too).  Anyway we made our peace and things went fine.

On Saturday, hubby came home to super excited shrieks of the little one. He brought him helicopters! Till date, whenever I came out of the kitchen I looked left and right for any remote operated speeding cars, scooters or cycles because once it hits me or I accidentally step on it, the excruciating pain actually takes me to the doors of the labor room. Tiny cars are everywhere. The ones under the pillows are worst because some nights I have woken up with something pulling my hair and haven’t been able to go back to sleep, even after throwing the car into oblivion and cursing it. The next morning I step on it of course. Other days I wake up with a car imprinted cheek.  Still these things stuck to the ground (thanks to gravity) and I almost got used to the places they are likely to strike.
Image Courtesy: Here

With the advent of helicopters, my life is endangered.  Unrestricted flying objects have added to the countless cars among other things with wheels under them. My whole existence is compromised now. This reminds me that I should get my health insurance renewed. Also I should start wearing those CAT trekking shoes and helmet at home.

When the helicopter takes off and goes haywire across the hall, there are multiple emotions. Hubby’s heart beats really fast because there is a TV in the same room. I keep a straight face, but I am actually praying soulfully yet silently to the Almighty for a smooth landing. Then there is the kiddo whose elated big eyes follow the helicopter everywhere while he jumps with joy.

That is worth wearing a helmet for. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

All About HBDs.

Birthdays from my childhood are incomparable to any sophistication we have these days. Nowadays birthdays are bigger and they dig such holes in our wallets that we end up feeling like the entire economy has slowed down. To be honest, it actually slows down for us in the following months.

Not much long ago when I was a child, birthdays used to be really nice. The highlight being, one can’t get scolded on that day. As school uniforms were worn five days a week and the nuns made it mandatory even on weekend classes, our parents thought that dresses other than uniforms were a luxury. We got two new dresses each year, one for birthday and the other for Christmas (still there was no place in my wardrobe, which is a mystery). On my birthday, the happiness factor for me was that only I had the new dress (unlike Christmas when everyone has one). 

My Mom baked the cake always; I don’t remember a single time birthday cake was bought. Baking a cake is not a cakewalk, and the smell of homemade cake from the oven defined the real birthday atmosphere.  One could actually catch the scent from outside too. Despite our in-house differences, (sometimes we couldn’t stand each other so badly that it hurt to be in the same room) we all came together and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ as I cut the cake. 

That feeling. 

Nowadays birthdays are not bad either. Hundreds of wishes I get from Facebook, Whatsapp and the excitement of showing off the birthday dress. The little girl in me is still particular about the dress. Random people I don’t know much about wish me too. I want to be wished, I want people to like my pictures and all the people on my list to see where I checked in. That is the whole point of Facebook right?  According to the unwritten laws of Facebook etiquette, this is where normalcy ends.

HBD, my friend. Really...HBD...I mean it !  :D
Image Courtesy: Here

Then, people take this birthday thing to a whole other level. The thin line which separates normalcy from eccentricity is compromised.  They are the ones who type “HBD”. I want to talk to these people, like really.  Dude. How long does it take to type H-A-P-P-Y  B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y ? I mean, you are not Barack Obama. Or Narendra Modi, or anybody we know is extremely busy. There is no justification to typing ‘HBD’. For the uninitiated, HBD is nothing but ‘Happy Birthday’ according to the ‘Encyclopedia of imaginary jargons for jerks’. To be honest if someone said HBD to me on some other day I’d think it is something like HIV or H1N1. Just because it was seen on someone’s timeline on their birthday, I made this wild guess that it must be ‘Happy Birthday’.

So a happy anniversary is gonna be ‘HA’? And ‘Get well soon’ would be GWS? If I had a daughter and someone says ‘GWS’ to her when she is ill, I’d tell her ‘Sweetheart, this guy who said GWS. You should marry him’. When are GoodByes and Farewells going under the knife? 
You know Farewell could be just ‘F’ and that would be epic, considering how popular the alphabet 'F' is, in general.  

We have the luxury of being reminded about people’s birthdays. Let’s use it to make a person feel good. Don’t be a CJ.


P.S:- CJ – Complete Jerk. 


Monday, October 5, 2015

Fresh gyaan, straight from The Alps.

To be honest, I am not a punctual person. I respect punctual people. However, I will not fuss too much for plus or minus five minutes. Mostly plus five minutes, because there has never been a minus five minutes. Of course, the invigilator at the exam hall may not agree with me, but generally it is my personal trait. Every single day I run from home to office to swipe my fingerprint before the machine crosses the 8:00:00 mark. I will not do anything from my part to reach before time, so contrary to whatever anyone who sees me run may think, I know for one that people who come earlier to office than what is required are losers.

When we talk time, we should discuss two people whose murderous looks through my childhood haunts me till date. My parents. They are the type of people who reach before the hosts at a birthday party. I was the type who equated ‘late’ with ‘latest’. I scooped that from a Rajnikanth dialogue, but we are all Rajni fans aren’t we? We are allowed to do that.

Every single Sunday, we reached the church at least ten minutes before the service started, and these ten minutes felt like ages. Once it started and the sermon was over, I could feel wrinkles on my face. My peers who came on time or at least ten minutes into the service always stayed young and fresh even after the service. I blamed my parents for this. God was not giving out blessings on a first-come-first-served basis. Even trips to relative’s houses or shopping always began with arguments because when I start to decide what to wear, these two along with my sister would have got into the car already. Each time they honk after that, something inside me ticked off. I think that was my sanity. People need time!

As if reaching the store before the security arrived was not torture enough, they also gave me gyaan. That punctuality defines you. I thought, yeah the security decides your character. He will issue conduct certificate which you can use to avail discount. Man, I don’t understand this! The psychological move to improve my time management failed miserably. I do not clearly remember which category my sister belonged to, but as far as I know her she may have made it on time just to avoid the free advice.

When the train and you are 'On Time'.
Image Courtesy: Here

So last month we were in Switzerland on vacation. Switzerland makes all the expensive watches for a reason, my friend. Time in Switzerland is more expensive than Cartier watches. In Switzerland, it doesn’t matter if you come latest. Nobody cares. If you come late, you miss the train. If you miss the train, you wait. Also, in India you can safely assume that the train may be late. Even if you are unlucky with your predictions, you can put your money on this one. However, this assumption is invalid in Swiss. If the train is scheduled to arrive at 6:57 pm, it will. You adjust your watch with the time the train arrives.

Surprisingly there are no Rajni fans in Switzerland. People are religiously punctual, and they act like each second counts! I mean how can all the people in a country act like my parents? This is weird. I was like, this is not the place I want to be…Escaaaaapppee!

Honestly, my parents should be in Switzerland. They will have a whole country of like-minded people for friends. There will be no dearth of principles to live by. Plus, Tissot is cheap. Victorinox is available in plenty. Going by the culture of local train passengers, there are more readers than gossipers. This is like the Promised Land for them.


I’d like to add here, that the train that arrives at 6:57 will be there only at 6:57. If you get to the train station for this train at 6:00, this does not get you brownie points. You will search for seats in the train the same way the person who arrived at 6:55 does. Switzerland is cold, so you better stay warm at home for some extra time. That is my gyaan for you, straight from the Alps. You are welcome.  Okay, Bye. **runs away**

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Updates from the virtual living room.

Did you know that slipping and falling down is funny when it happens to others, but extremely painful otherwise? Did you also know that the pain is directly proportional to the number of people who witnessed it? I am just adding to Murphy’s Law, because Murphy never fell down and hurt his ankle with at least 25 people watching him. Pretending that nothing happened and walking away without making eye contact is easy because the pain is already blinding.

Image Corutesy: Here
This happened to me when the week started, and I did not tell my parents. We have a family group on whatsapp so anything that is said in it, is like talking in our living room.  There are not enough emoticons in whatsapp that represent most common emotions from our living room, but whatsapp has certain limitations you see. It cannot cater to the emotional demands of every family. However, the shocked emoticon would have been used more often, if whatsapp existed in my school days.  If you are wondering why my parents should be shocked, you don’t know me enough. My report cards usually evoke feelings of shock. I sometimes wish that had I been a school girl now, I would just take a picture of my report card and send it on whatsapp before opening the door of my room. This way verbal abuse and emotional blackmailing could be avoided. The luxuries kids enjoy these days! Back in time, we had to make eye contact with parents on report card day. It was so hard I tell you.

I decided not to tell parents about the ‘great fall’ of this week because it was not as fatal as the one Humpty Dumpty had. However, I am the ultimate dumbo who  took a picture of my foot in ankle support and accidentally posted it in the group. Don’t ask what happened next.

I am kind of responsible for most some of the disasters happening to me, so I owned this one completely. Thanks to WhatsApp I didn't have to make eye contact and I also have options to send flowers, hearts, wine and beer to cool them down. And it is FREE ! Now it is all fine.
We have some upcoming holidays (perks of being in the Middle East) and a Switzerland trip coming soon. Real soon! Adding a cherry on that cold coffee with extra cream, this blog was chosen by Blogadda as one among the top five blogs in India under the ‘Humor and Satire’ category! How cool is that? That is cooler than Switzerland right now!

Well, there are so many things happening. The ankle should heal, packing is pending, and it is getting busy at office each day. I have to update my virtual living room as well about the progress I am making. I am doing pretty well in heels today ;-)

My son had been asking me repeatedly to show him exactly where I fell down. He likes my ankle support and wants to wear it too. Which means, he probably thinks once he stages a fall there he will get to wear ankle support too? Man, how his brain works! My son has widened my imagination exponentially over the years.


Hence I solemnly dedicate the blog award to him. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Vacation, Onam and a Dress Code Disaster.

I am back after a three-week vacation to India, and boy what a getaway it has been! Braving the rains we travelled to Thekkady, Kuttikkanam and Kanyakumari apart from Cochin and Trivandrum. Then there was Onam, two baptisms in the family, a housewarming, an engagement party, catching up with old friends… Three weeks flew by like a dream with lots of food in it. By food, I mean meat and by meat, I mean red meat. Going by the red meat I ate in the last few weeks, I realized that I am not the same person I was maybe ten years ago. My younger self would feel guilty before sinking my teeth into that third cutlet, but now I am arrogant, unregretful and endlessly hungry.If that is the case, in another ten years I may become a cannibal.

The thing I hate the most about our vacations is the inevitable train ride between Trivandrum and Cochin. Being the Trivandrum person that I am, I was warned against marrying the Cochin guy, citing geographical hurdles I may have to overcome. Like all things we learn only from experience, this one was learnt in a hard way. Trains have been hell rides for me. I have tried to dodge the train by planning car/plane trips, but it has to be the train to get the collective approval from elders. Well. The train is basically a reminder that life is not a bed of roses; it can be a rodent infested compartment too. From the smelly curtains to the non-functioning fan/AC to the nosey aunty who wants to record the census of my family, I hate every bit of it. The only thing that is to be loved is the super economic ticket charges. IRCTC is slow for a purpose, my dear friend. It knows that you will wait.

Another remarkable achievement during the vacation was that a lot of badminton was played in the evenings. Cochin is known for mosquitoes that barge into our houses in large numbers in the evenings. If we didn't play, we’d be anyway doing something similar in action, which is swatting mosquitoes, so badminton seemed like a strategic choice of sport. Whenever I was not playing I stayed close to my son who was wearing a mosquito repellent sticker. Note to parents: If you want to visit Cochin, buy your kids mosquito repellent stickers and do not snub them during your stay there. Cochin mosquitoes can bite like dogs I tell you.


Mahabali. Image Courtesy: Here
For my son, this vacation had been immensely enriching. Like, the time he met Mahabali at the mall during Onam week. Now he points at random potbellied men and screams ‘Look Amma Mahabali!’
Ranbir Kapoor played Barfi in a two-hour movie. God knows how many times I played Barfi.



The vacation was not all rosy, though. There was a sufficient dose of embarrassment too. During our stay in Cochin there was a memorial gathering to which the in-laws were invited. According to the understanding I had with the hubby, we were not planning to go and were supposed to drop them and return to the mall. So I was dressed for the mall, in jeans and a loose top. Later, in an unexpected twist, we were forced to attend this prayer with no time to change. At the event, all people were elegantly dressed in pristine whites and other respectable colors. I was the only one, in jeans, loose top, unkempt hair, a small backpack and flat shoes. I wasn’t the immediate family so people did not care about what I wore, but I felt like being in a spotlight. Yes, I did get a few lame looks here and there, some with pity and others wondering if I wore skinny jeans at a memorial service, what I’d wear for a party. After I topped my plate with food and hid behind a pillar wishing that I was invisible, I realized how important dress codes are and how it can make you squirm with embarrassment.
Lesson learnt; when in India, always carry an alternate decent dress. You never know when you will be dragged into a church.

I consoled myself thinking about the day I spotted a Dominos Pizza delivery boy who turned up near our building, on Onam day around lunch time. Eating pizza for lunch on Onam day is far worse than wearing skinny jeans for a memorial service, right? 
Right?
No?


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 is an like an acting CEO (or so he thinks ). 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, 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?