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Saturday, December 24, 2011

RED Christmas !

Its that time of the year again. Jingle Bells ! I remember writing a very home-sicky post last year as I couldn't be home for Christmas. Its not like I am not home sick this time, but its Aaron's first Christmas and we are celebrating it in every possible way. I have put up a Christmas tree, just with red and silver, and he loves it ! So I am posting a picture of my Christmas tree, which gleams in the corner of my living room, with small round white lights which shines subtly in the darkness of the night.

Merry Christmas to everyone here at blogger, the ones who read me and supported me :) I am really thankful ! Another year of blogging has passed by, and this could probably be my last post of 2011. So here is wishing all a happy, peaceful and blessed 2012 and may the movie 2012 NOT come true :D

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Luck By Chance !

There always comes a hurdle or two when I try to send gifts for my sister. 
My sister who is very lovable, genuine and witty, is also notorious among us at home for being slightly pessimistic and calling herself unlucky for even trivial coincidences.

 Last I remember, it was this cute little woolen jacket which I found at a store. I bought one for myself, as I was unsure whether my sister would want a similar one or not. So I displayed it to her on webcam, she loved it, and off I went again to the same store to pick up another one for her. The store had like tens of it in different colors, and I picked up the black one which she wanted, and waited at the cash counter in a queue which seemed to move at a snail’s pace. Finally after around forty odd minutes, when my turn came, the cashier guy nonchalantly threw the jacket into the basket nearby and heartlessly mumbled that it does not have a price tag, and printed out a bill for the other items I bought. My rage took the better of me and I argued with him, only to invite cold stares from people waiting behind me in the same queue and some were close to pointing a knife to my head. I left the store, weeping all the way home. I decided to give my jacket to her which she pleasantly denied.

It’s Christmas, and this time I was way too determined for any ill fate or anything to come my way. I bought a dress for her. The next day, my colleague was going to India, to the same place as my sister and I decided to send the dress through him. So everything was well planned and I ensured that nothing could go wrong this time. The previous night (yes I am Miss. Procrastinator who waits until the eleventh hour to buy the gift)  I went to a neighborhood mall, and chose a dress which I thought she would love. We hurried home and I started packing when I noticed that there were no buttons on it. It was a damaged dress.
I was supposed to send it the next day. I couldn’t believe that all situations were only helping to prove my sister right. I hated myself for not checking the dress as I chose it, but made a mental note to get it exchanged the next day and give that lady at the store an earful.

Morning came, my reminder ticked off, telling me that its vaccination day for my son. Now this is a dreaded day not just for him, but for us as well. We left to the clinic in the morning, gave him the vaccine shot and returned home with the little one crying in pain. Now consoling a crying baby is no cakewalk. I carried him around, sang to him, showed him some moving objects, and finally lulled him to sleep. I gave instructions to my maid and fled back to office when my lead told me about a technical document pending from my end which was almost like a showstopper for a process. I sat down at my desk, trying to focus, but my head was spinning. I was mentally at my home, where the baby slept and I couldn’t imagine the hell that will break loose if he wakes up to his pain. At a corner, I am unable to accept that this time around too, a gift exchange with my sister will be a total failure. (Not that I cant send by courier or cargo, but it would take longer and I wanted this to be reach her sooner for various reasons). But I typed away, completed, and sent the document across to the people concerned.

Me and hubby work in the same office, so I decided to put the dress issue across to him, but when I walked out of my cabin, I caught a glance of him striding across the corridor with a few people carrying laptops, as if they were on their way to stop a major bomb blast. So I called a friend who offered to drive me to the mall and help me get it exchanged. She came at around 3:30 pm, and I waited for her at my home. She called me as she reached my building and as soon as I closed my apartment door, a shrill cry from the cradle startled me. My little one was in total pain. I apologized to my friend and hurried back home, fed and consoled the him, rocked him patiently and soon he fell back into a little slumber, and I put him down in his cradle. I made my maid watch over him. My friend waited, and we left soon after. It was almost 4:00 pm, and I was rushing through the store when my friend said, that the guy who was supposed to carry my parcel already left for home. . I felt shattered. She continued to say that he leaves for the airport only at 6:00 pm.

When I reached back to office, I found a guy there who offered to give the parcel to the colleague who was travelling that day. And my mission was finally accomplished.

The day after, I got a call from my sister and as I answered it, there were no words, just flying kisses! It was totally worth the adventurous day I had, the day before.

 See?  I told you no? Do you think she is “just plain unlucky” as she always says ?

Monday, December 12, 2011

An underrated picture.

This is a snap taken by my hubby on one of his "bachelor trips" to Salalah, a place near Muscat. It was the time he assumed bachelor status, as I had gone to India with my new born for the customary functions with subsequent pampering and eating spree( also known as maternity leave )  in which he had absolutely no role, so he stayed back and enjoyed his short term freedom to the maximum !

He has a passion - or should I say a growing passion for photography and had spent an astronomic amount for a camera, which supersedes my six month old in size and weight. Anyway, I should mention that he is not much into portraits yet, but some landscapes and nature photography which he had done is brilliant and I fished some of them out of the 'My Pictures' folder of his laptop.I think these are stuff which are to be shared, and not be archived under folders.

This picture, of two camels, one behind another is a momentary capture, and I guess that is the essence of photography . A minute later one wouldn't have got the same picture. So I am posting it over here as I am very proud of him for this picture. I also think it is the most underrated one, from his collection.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Motherhood Makeover !

When I was single, I thought my life couldn’t be better. And then, I got married. Then I thought oh it’s not that bad…its good atleast until a kid comes into picture. And then the kid came. And I am still the same with a few teeny tiny details changed.
  • I hear myself telling the beautician that I’m unable to book a prior appointment, and my arrival depends on the mood of the baby and availability of my husband.
  • I find myself in a rocking motion even when I am not holding the baby.
  • Soaps and shampoos do not form lather on my hair or skin as they are washed off before that. I wonder what I did during my forty minute bath before. And what a lather looks like.

  • Hormonal imbalances took half of my hair, and the rest were uprooted by my baby.
  • At malls I make mental guesses of the age in months of any babies I see around and compare them with my own.
  • I browse through babycenter as much as facebook and twitter.
  • My mobile reminders consist of vaccination dates.
  • I've given strict instructions to everyone in the house to talk in hushed tones when the baby is asleep.
  • That guy who honks in front of our house exactly when the baby is sleeping is going to hell .
  • My maid is trained to treat vessels like flowers so that no noise comes out of the kitchen.
  • Packets with plastic covers which need to be opened while the baby is asleep either has to wait or will be opened outside the apartment.
  • If the shoe polish is not found around in the last minute, baby wipes will be used. 
  • If I meet anyone who has a baby the first thing I check with them would be about the pediatrician they consult, or about the reputation of ours.
  • I started folding our clothes to form small squared lumps so that they fit in the corner allotted to me and hubby. The rest of the wardrobe belongs to the baby.
  • I have stopped wearing watch, bangles or bracelets for the fear of hurting my baby as I hold him.
  • I have also stopped wearing long earrings as when I wear them my baby thinks they are hoops to which he can hang on.
  • I sleep at the edge of the bed. In fact I am almost hanging from the edge of my bed.
  • I make international calls to my friends I've known since primary school and end up discussing about feeding bottles and baby utensils.
  • I call my parents only to narrate what my baby did that day, as no one wants to know about me.
  • In photographs people seem to see only the baby. To my parents I am invisible ever since he was born.
  • I cant remember what the hell I used to talk with my close friends before.
  • I have a baby poop stain in all my tops and tees in the washing machine.
  • I sigh aloud seeing prices of bibs.
  • I shop more at mothercare  than lifestyle.
  • There isn’t any furniture in the house on which there is no hand sanitizer.
  • If someone advices me about infant food or medicine, I reply quoting from WHO guidelines to infant feeding and supplements.

Oh now coming to think of it, these are not teeny tiny details. It’s a huge makeover ! I deserve a relaxing holiday. I need to get a  break. I should remember to discuss a vacation with my friends next time I call them. Wait. Don’t I have to check with them about baby walker? Wonder whether they bought it. Or is it time to get my baby one. Where is the phone. I will ask her right away. Ohh what was the other thing I wanted to discuss?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Super Drama Family !

My parents were the top favorites of the strictest nuns and teachers at my school.

Some teachers acted like their main concern was to see whether I wore the uniform  tie around my neck or not. I hated the tie . Just like I hate seat belts. So, my tie rested peacefully cuddled within the comfort of my skirt pocket. Unable to stand it any longer, one day I went  home with a note in my school diary saying,

 ‘Dear parents, 

Your ward, Anita Jeyan, does not comply with the rules and discipline of the school. As you can find in Page 9 , Column I, paragraph 3, point two of the school diary, all students are expected to wear the uniform tie while they are within the school premises . However your ward has repeatedly violated the rules despite warnings. I request you to either sign this note or come to the school to have a word with her class teacher’.

Signing the diary hardly took five seconds. But Noo…Papa took the longest route – he came to school promptly the very next day. He doesn’t believe in signing diaries or letting me go. He had to ride the ancient, creaky scooter all the way to the school, drag me along, almost pin me on the wall, gang around me with the teachers and throw dart arrows at me. Then he rode atleast 30km to his office in the hot morning sun. And when he arrived, they came running to him with complaints ranging from socks not pulled up – not wearing the right pair – wore nail polish – turned around and talked to a friend during the national anthem type of silly, unreasonable complaints with an expression as grave as if I took drugs or something. And I stand there, inspecting my nails, or the lizard on the ceiling, with a sheepish expression. Mostly I’d be tediously gulping down laughter wondering how jobless must be these people to be discussing intently about my socks on the prime working hours of a productive day. The note in the diary was not worth it you see. Papa could’ve just signed the page and saved the day.

That’s not all, buddies. There was an open house day at school, which was the most dreaded, and the most awaited day for me and my parents respectively. It was the day the parents were allowed to see the term exam answer sheets. My parents came equipped with all the question papers, pinned and sorted by date and sat down with the corresponding answer sheets in classroom.  What followed was at least an hour of brickbats and I skillfully wore three dresses to shield my thighs from the occasional pinching that most pages of my answer sheet triggered. Most parents of all my friends were more or less the same – they were on the teacher’s side – but very few pinched their wards on the venue of open house - for them the pinching waited until they got home.

But there was this girl, Ms.K,  whose parents came to school to sing praises about her- Who’d  yell at the teachers for reducing her marks for spelling mistakes - Who wouldn’t let her travel in school buses or vans - Who waited outside the school chanting prayers as she wrote exams.

Our school had this policy that the students were allowed to wear color dress on one day of every academic year, and that was for Christmas party. On that day, we ate, drank (frooti of course) , danced, sang, commented on each others dresses, talked, screamed and did everything which we were usually yelled at for doing inside the classroom. Then we had make-believe fashion shows, mostly comical, and based on popular interest we chose a class beauty. Every year. So when I was in my seventh grade, one of my friends was chosen as the class beauty, and we all lauded and celebrated that by making a lot of noise. However, K was of the impression that she would be the class beauty that year and started crying while the other girl was chosen. Noone could console K. She cried so much that her eyes became red, cheeks swollen, much to the amusement of my friends and myself. Oh how she took this class beauty thing seriously! We slowly came out of the classroom and laughed our lungs out, went inside as if nothing happened and enjoyed every moment she cried. Sorry if I sound like a sadist but this girl was unbelievably silly.

Soon after, my friends and I walked to the shop just outside the school with permission and fund from the teacher to buy sip-up for the whole class where we met K’s parents eagerly waiting for her. I really wonder what their source of income was. May be someone paid them for waiting there all day. Seeing us, her mother asked, ‘How is the party…whats K doing?’ Then we all replied in unison that K cried because she wasn’t crowned the class beauty and few of us smirked sarcastically. Her mother looked like she was going to pass out. Then we went our way back to school.

As soon as the bell rang, K snatched her pink bag, which by the way no one is allowed to touch or even look, and ran outside after banging the classroom door in total disgust. Few minutes later, regaining our composure after laughing our heads off, my friend and me walked to the school gate where K waited with the pink bag, her parents by her side. K looked like she was using her pink bag as a weapon for a war against the bulls that were running at her. Her mother rolled eyes at us. We almost walked past them, when K said ‘ Wait’ , in a filmy bass and tone. The drama family looked at us fuming with anger. And her father spoke. “ Who told you girls that K cried  ? “ We looked at each other and at K, who was now all composed and confident. We mumbled..’Err…uncle… actually’… and he roared ‘Don’t you dare talk nonsense about K !’ We mumble again…’But….the….’ But K and the drama King and Queen already strode off into their luxurious Maruti 800 car and vroomed past us leaving a cloud of smoke and confusion.

We weren’t able to speak for the next few seconds. We then looked at each other in sheer disbelief and then burst into peals of laughter.

This incident, which then did rounds at school in various versions created a brilliant sucker image for K , which she rightly deserved.
 Her self-assumed super-model display picture on gtalk makes my day :D

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dubai Chronicles.

I’m back to my space after a five day trip to Dubai. Of course after much convincing and making a zillion promises to parents. 

Our five month old kiddo was not interested in outdoor trips, which we learnt the hard way. So all other outdoor ideas were cancelled and we stuck on to what I like the most. The malls. 
The magnificent malls of Dubai which makes one go wide mouthed. The malls which would make you run to edit your location preference in the resume at naukri. The malls which are huge and run in kilometers but never makes you tired. The malls which are the houses of worship for every shopaholic. The malls which raises the spirits of every child. The malls which are the nightmares of every husband.

About Dubai – It’s the land of the decent Malayali. The majority of arrogant, perverse, excessive spitters of Kerala are all gentlemen in Dubai. They undergo a makeover in the three hour flight, I guess. But at malls and other tourist attractions they sometimes go overboard so much that the actual Malayali pops out of the thin layers of fake decorum. Some of them got fashionable overnight, ripped off their shiny, sequence stuck salwars, crawled into tee shirt and jeans and walked straight into the malls. However they forgot to undo the oil plait, the dot on the forehead and jewellery. Now that’s why Dubai calls them -  Typical Mallus ! It is such a pleasure to watch them search for dustbins to dispose the empty package of cheese chips, because back in Kerala, it usually lands on the road, or floats in the air only to land on your face, that is, if you are very lucky.

Anyway, there was this one incident which came as a huge surprise to us. As we walked on, our kiddo showed signs of a diaper change and we stopped for one. I walked into the baby room, when hubby temporarily sat on a wooden bench where few others were also resting their butts. As I came out, I saw a middle aged couple sitting next to where our bags were, with a baby that looked like a doll. Size wise. Not exaggerating here, but considering the texture of the skin of this baby, it could have been hardly five to ten days old. And it was not more than 1 kg heavy. Looked more like a premature baby. I’m sorry I had addressed the baby as ‘it’, but its hard to say ‘he’ or ‘she’ considering the size. The baby was all red and the usual Dubai trend of not staring or poking into others business stopped to take a look and pity this one. The baby was fast asleep (well what else can it do at a mall) and the parents trying their best to avoid  the ‘why the bloody hell cant you stay at home’ looks that came daggering into their fake conversation like arrows. 

Its their baby, their business. Who am I to discuss about it, right ? But I still cant stop wondering, why did they bring a baby as tiny as that, whose immunity wouldn’t have even formed, into a mall which in a baby world would rather be a pool of viruses ? Why, oh, why ? To check out fall/winter collection at mothercare?

People are different, so are cultures and customs. I am young, haven’t seen the world and am barely the one to comment, but I seriously doubt whether there will be any community in the world which will support them.

Baby, I feel so sorry for your ridiculously ignorant parents, and I hope you don’t catch any germs from here. Stay safe. Take care.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mobile Appointments.

My first mobile phone was a Nokia 1100. It had a white moonlight display and was gifted by Papa in my final semester of engineering, as he was overwhelmed by my marks in the seventh semester. Haha I wish !  The truth is, there were only two theory papers and a project in the final semester. The project demanded frequent shuttling between hostel, printing press and computer center, and the gadget helped him trace me.

After six tiresome and frustrating months of job hunting after graduation, I landed at a software firm as a trainee and started earning on my own. My first investment was a mobile phone (which is hardly an investment ) worth twice my trainee pay. I spent my entire salary of that month and a monetary donation from Mummy to buy it and flaunted it around for almost three years. That’s when I got married and ever since I’d been using my husband's discarded phones.

Okay I am not trying to be the super modest wife here because the very infamous nagging also happened in parallel. Whenever I shop for clothes or shoes, my excuse would be…’See this? I don’t even have a mobile..This is your old one. Poor me .’ and it always worked. Last month he bought me a new mobile, the most happening Android. ( Ya I know what an Android is, he explained it to me.)

Ever since, our appointments and reminders happen as follows.
Our son has to be taken to the Clinic for his third dose of vaccination on December 7th. I create a reminder in my calendar and add  hubby’s name as the participant. As soon as I create, it sends an email to my hubby with the attached calendar , which looks somewhat like this:

Event: Aaron vaccination.
Date: 7th December 2011.
Location: Muscat Clinic
Participants: Anita Jeyan
Going? Options: Yes  No  May Be
Then he clicks ‘Yes’.

Immediately this is added to his calendar as well, and I get an email saying ‘Accepted’.

Aren’t we the super hifi Gizmo freak couple or what ?  So the calendar became our Godfather reminding us for Sunday Mass, Grocery purchase, Car servicing, ATM, etc.

Later one day I reported a dearth of clothes in my wardrobe and wanted to go shopping.
 As usual I created the event on my calendar.

Event: Shopping.
Date: 3rd November 2011.
Location: City Center.
Participants: Anita Jeyan

An email pops up in his inbox.
He notes the undesirable event.
The mail continues.

Going? Options: Yes  No  May Be
May Be.

My email reads: ‘Tentatively Accepted”. L

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Banana Sequel.

Its 4:00 pm, and here I am, at office, drinking milk. Not the warm milk from the vending machine (which does not exist), but the milk I brought from home in a vacuum flask. Yes people, I am a child in an adult’s body. If my Papa sees me drinking milk at office, he will jump with joy. Anyone else seeing this might think that I am retarded. Well, I don’t care as long as there is a calcium blast happening in my stomach.

My life was very eventful during my high school days.  I’d get up at 5 am, get ready and travel many miles to attend the tuition class, then go to school, after which I’d race to my entrance coaching center ( which proved to  be unfruitful when the results came) , and would reach home by 9 pm. Pretty hectic. 

So my parents derived a round the clock, all-round nutrition plan for me which goes something like this. A full mug of Horlicks at 5 a.m…. in which the horlicks would be just a negligible percentage and rest would be whole milk. Anyway the color made me believe that it was hot chocolate or something and we had a win-win situation there. My breakfast was carefully packed in aluminum foil, which was usually toast and omlette. How many eggs went into the making of the omlette is not known till date, but a diet conscious me was made to believe that it was just one egg and nothing more. ( After marriage when I stepped into the kitchen and started making omlettes myself, I realized that one egg cant make an omlette as big as the one I used to have.  Later,I forgave them for that ). Then came lunch, which was usually a combination of rice, vegetables and fish.

However, the evening snack was my personal choice. Before going to entrance coaching I was expected to eat a banana. But I ate hot chicken puffs. Papa said it was junk food, and that bananas were healthy and some nutrition facts about bananas and blah blah….  

But bananas? In front of people ?

So years and years of chicken puffs, hot dogs, burgers and pizzas  later,  here I am, at my desk, drinking milk and wondering which fruit to crush for my baby.

 How about bananas ?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fraud Fraaands !

I grew up watching my parents help a lot of people who were either in need or in trouble. Back in the 90’s, when we bought a second hand car, whenever we went to the city they slowed down at the bus stop to check for familiar faces. And if there were any, my parents would drop them first. However I used to get pissed at that, as I’d have to share the seat with some random aunty who would eventually ask me my grade and how I was doing at school. That’s the last topic I want to discuss about, you see.

My sister and brother in law are sponsors for the education expenses of a child at an orphanage and are doing their bit. My mother, ever since she started earning, saved a portion of her income for the poor. I am not proud to say that I’m not doing any of these, but I never turned down any genuine opportunity that came my way.

Recently I got an email from an acquaintance. Not a school friend, or a college mate or an ex colleague. Just a random face I met once or twice in my journey. In the email, she said: Hey Anita, hope you’re doing good. How is your family? I need a small help from you. I want to do a course in a XXX university here which would cost me 15000 euros.  I can’t ask my father as he is in a financial crunch from a recent huge expense. My husband doesn’t want me to do this course. Can you please send some money to my account? I will return it once I get a job. Thanks, Ms. ABCD.

Now my reaction to this is WHAT THE HELL !? or even worse.

The mail talks volumes about the immaturity of the person and her perception of others that they are fools. Her husband doesn’t want her to do this course. So she is going around begging and how the hell is she going to collect money as much as that? And she says she will return the money if at all she gets a job ! What if she doesn’t and decides to stay at home? Would that mean that as per the deal the money doesn’t have to be returned? When the husband is around, and the wife collects fund from her friends for her expenses what does that say about the husband? Anyway, I replied to the email in the most decent way possible, that I had a baby now and we are currently unable to meet our own expenses and closed the chapter.

A month later, Ms.ABCD posted on facebook: “ Browsing through my new iphone”.

The same month a bunch of pics were posted in facebook. The album was named ‘ Weekend at the London tower’. Ms. ABCD and her husband, dressed luxuriously looked all classy in the pics.

Do you think this person actually needed the money?

P.S: This was one of the very few instances in all my life that I felt proud of myself. If I had sent the money however small it may be, the above updates on facebook would have made me suicidal.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Random family amusements ..:)

The dentist finally gave me the verdict. Root Canal it is. I hurried home and the first thing I did, was to call my sister, reason being, if something is painful she plainly says it. For her, sympathy and consolation comes later. It was helpful to me many times before, as I could mentally prepare to face such situations. (The other instances I asked her this, was about threading eyebrows and recently about delivery - and for the latter any mental preparation doesn’t help)

Me: Does it pain?

She: No, not at all…They give you an anesthesia before doing it. You wont even know it.

Me: Really ?  You sure?

She: And yes, I had a small jaw ache initially, but that’s nothing to do with root canal…its because  I had to keep my mouth opened for a long time.

Me: Ohh !

She: But for you, that shouldn’t be a problem. :|


Now that our baby is here and we do most of the talking to him (which I think is better at this stage as he isn’t old enough to respond) , the only time we get to talk to each other is during the long walk from the parking lot to the grocery shop.

Me: You know, Mummy said I have lots of patience when I give oil massage and bathe Aaron…my sister also said the same. Why don’t you ever appreciate anything about me..?

Few seconds later. (Ya that’s all he takes to find a convincing answer to death questions)

He: “There are too many good things about you that I don’t know where to start from”.\


When Aaron was a couple days old, and we were still at the hospital, he started crying at night and my Mom picked him up. I’d been flamboyantly living like a bachelorette post marriage and now post delivery, and so wasn’t used to baby cries or waking up in the middle of the night. I slowly opened my eyes and saw my Mom pacifying the new born and he soon drifted off to sleep in her arms. I dint get up from my bed, instead peeped into his cradle through the two round holes of the arm rest of the hospital bed.
As my Mom turned, with an expression which clearly said ‘will she ever learn!’ , all she saw were my eyes, through those holes. As she walked back to the bystander bed, she murmured, ‘Reminds me of the dinosaur’.


Although my Papa advices everyone to drive safe, one needs to be life insured and iron hearted to be in the car while he drives. He uses neither of the rear view mirrors -  I was told that it wasn’t in the syllabus during his time. That our car rests unscratched in the garage is the simple testimony to the existence of God and that he listens to our prayers. Once as we were speeding on a particularly busy road, I noticed a small cat which was about to cross. I yelled ‘Papa, don’t !’ and closed my eyes tight…In a split second I turned around and saw that the cat had escaped unscathed. Papa continued the drive totally oblivious of me, or the cat. 

Then I asked, ‘Papa, have you ever run across a cat and killed it?’ ..

Papa: ‘No, but I badly wanted to’.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Scrappy Oxymorons .

Dear Internet ad/app programmers, 

Please have some sense. Or atleast humanitarian traits.
By the way, have you ever seen a baby?

Yours sincerely,
Human Beings.

P.S: Screenshot from a random site I was browsing through.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Car Scars !

I have seen a lot of passionate people, their passion varying from bikes to earrings to interior decoration, but I should genuinely admit that none were as intense as my hubby’s passion to drive cars. Any aspect of a car is known to him, may be as much as a mechanic. He works in software but I believe he was born to be a mechanical engineer.

 We owned a Maruti Swift VDi ( high end Diesel version) at Bangalore and traveled by car from Bangalore to Cochin and back, almost 550km one way, and not a second was boring with him.

The story goes like this...Long long ago, I introduced my best-boy-friend ( presently my hubby) to my parents. Years later he turned out to be such a darling with them that I (still) feel like a daughter in law in my own house. One of those days, Mummy was talking to him on phone and she mentioned casually that I rejected one other proposal of a guy who was very rich, owned several cars and that one of his cars was a Skoda . Of all the things why Mummy had to specify that, and how the Skoda part alone struck deep with him, is still a mystery.
 Since then, no skoda would be spared on the road without him overtaking it. :D Sometimes in the jam packed roads of Bangalore city, if he spots a Skoda, he goes out of his way to overtake it.! Are we mad or what :D

Coming back to the point, all other cars on the road are rated based on its technical  specifications.  For example, if a swift Ldi honks hard from behind he still won’t give way for it to overtake us, whereas he will not only give way but also make the car bow down to a Honda Accord !!. Are we weird or what:D 

Our car not only had a soap but a shampoo and conditioner as well ! So now you’d know that this car rests in the car shed only because we dint have enough space to bring it to our bedroom.

One unfortunate day, while I was parking in the basement of the closely packed parking lot of my office, I happened to glance into the rear view mirror and found that the Maruti Zen parked next to where I was trying to park was shaking. The rear end of my car had accidentally ‘touched’ it (due to poor visibility *cough cough*)…I then took a reverse and parked right, but a teeny weeny scar had appeared there. (I din't check what happened to the Zen... of course :D ). On reaching home when I told him this, he jumped out of his chair, grabbed the keys and ran to the car shed. After ten to fifteen minutes of close examination, during which a lot of undesirable ‘hoo’s and hmph’s and ‘grrrr’s were hurled at me, he said that I was careless and still unfit to drive on the main road on a non-hartal day. I sheepishly went back to my room.

The next day, my aunt invited us to her apartment and we both went very enthusiastically (as she was a great cook ). At the parking area for visitors, hubby could not find a decent place to park and was struggling amidst lots of other cars which were parked in total disarray. I requested him that I will get out of the car and tell him how much more to go on reverse but my request was dismissed with a grin and a hmph.

BANG !  

The noise alerted a sleepy security guy who came running as I hurried to the backside. A pillar had hit into the rear end of the car. The damage was awful. I turned and looked at him.

“The pillar settings are not right in this building” he said.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Baby news :)

When our baby came into our lives in June, many people asked me whether I’d continue to write. Why should I stop blogging because a baby is here? A new born can hardly read my blog and ask me to stop, I thought. But now I know the gist of that question. If I stretch out in any direction, my hands are sure to land on a diaper(sometimes a soiled one) or a baby tissue. Such is the state of affairs at my house after I came from my hometown. I literally worship my parents now…they looked after my sister and me at a time when there were no diapers and took us places when prams were unheard of. Having said that about diapers and prams, it doesn’t mean I am old and lived in the black and white era. Diapers weren’t there or we couldn’t afford it that’s all.

Now talking about the baby, he is a sweetheart. He sleeps all day and plays at night, so that when I toil at work all day I can come home and play with him at unearthly hours …which in turn means that his age in months is equal to how many days I was sleep deprived. But somehow nature has it that a mother falls for her baby’s smile even if he smiles at 2:00 am and so it happened that I have forgotten what sleep is like.  No I am not complaining, because sometimes I wonder what we did before he was born. I cant seem to remember how my husband and me spent our evenings and weekends before he came :D Of course, we talked, gossiped, argued and even fought – about what? No idea.

Walking at malls pushing a pram has become a new experience as well. As he is an infant now, we have adjusted the pram in such a way that he can see us…and I am sure one day he might blog about how he had to see my face all the time, even at malls where there were lots of hot chicks flocking around. And when he is inside he has no other option than to flash his oh-so-innocent toothless smile, which I fall for, and as a response I also start smiling and playing with him. However other people don’t see the baby inside ; they just see me smiling and talking playfully and think I am crazy or something. Well one cant be bothered about all that. Once I am out of Kerala, I can be assured that others mind their own business and not poke into mine.

However I always think that the pregnancy phase was the most beautiful one. People opened doors for me, stared admiringly, gave way at long queues,  parents pampered me to bits and above all, I had the license to eat. Well that eating habit still continues. Earlier I had the tummy and a small person inside to justify about. But now? Neither. Hmm. Certain habits die hard , you see.

So that’s all I can find to write. I am fearfully anticipating the day my baby grows up, finds this blog, and disowns me. :-(

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Choir Gags

I used to be one of the forty singers of a popular choir. It was not a church choir, but one which was conducted independently by the grandson of a Christian musical maestro, who composed many popular Christian songs we sing in church to this day. Our choir master, who is a seventy-something old man, weak and frail, was very particular and strict about English pronunciations, tones and every other technical detail of Western church music. We practiced two hours on Sunday evenings, and held concerts during Christmas, sometimes on Easter and on the death anniversary of our choir master’s grandpa.

The attendance of choir members was consistent, regardless of the choir master being extremely strict. When forty of us sang in a harmony, this old genius would know who sang the wrong note, and made us sing from the start.

The two words our choir master insisted on were ‘round tones’. He pressed on the fact that for good vocal output, one should open the mouth and let the jaws loose. But most of us in the choir never did that, and the choir master kept on accusing us saying that we were tight lipped singers who sang through the nose. He was so annoyed with our lip movements and said that we were more concerned of how our faces would look when we opened our mouths, than in the tone quality of the song. He used to advice us to stand in front of a mirror at home, open the mouth in round tones and sing so that we can feel the sound from the chest. Well, you know we can do anything but sing in front of a mirror.
 Soon, our choir master became so infamous on this, that the church public commented that the dog at his house barked in round tones in fright.

One fine Sunday evening, my Mom was bathing my eight month old niece who was in turn, trying to crawl out of her grip. It was a usual ritual so my Mom kept on talking to turn her attention and said… “Does anyone want to see my little beauty here without clothes…no tickets required…it is a free show…free show…” . My grandmother also used to call it ‘free show’ when we were little one or two year olds and refused to wear any clothes. Anyway, after her bath, Mom and me quickly got dressed, waved at the little one, and sped to the choir practice. 

Soon after, our choir master appeared with black notes of a new hymn and distributed it. Along with his copy of the song was an off white envelope which clearly was an invitation card. He opened it, put on his spectacles and read through it seriously. He then slowly put the card back in the envelope raised his small, thin head looked at us, and said, 

There will be a Russian church concert next Sunday; All are welcome. It will be from 5:00 pm onwards at the Parish hall next to the cemetery

After a serious pause, he continued,I repeat. This is no joke. I should see all of you at the concert next Sunday and learn how lip movement and round tones make a difference in singing

Soon we all started whispering among ourselves. The choir master, noticed our concern, and proceeded,

No need to worry about entry passes. It is going to be a free show”

Monday, August 22, 2011

From rags to riches...a real story.

I was three years old when my parents built their dream home in Trivandrum. It was not in the heart of the city, but very close. My neighborhood looked more or less like a slum and our house was the only double storeyed structure which stood tall in the entire locality.

Every day, be it day or night, you could hear a tapping sound from any room of our house. Soon we got so familiarized to this noise that we couldn’t hear it anymore. Behind our house, was a small thatched hut, where a man who carved little elephants out of wood for his livelihood, lived with his family. His wife, three sons of whom the youngest was retarded, lived in this hut of two rooms. However all other houses here were more or less of the same type, and so we never felt anything so special about this hut or the people living in it. You could hear the tapping of tools on wood even at nights and many a time I have wondered the practicality of this to raise and educate two kids.

When I was in high school a major change came across this hut, as it changed from thatched roof to a tiled one. Tiled roofs are not very helpful on rainy days but are certainly an improvement from a thatched house. Then Papa used to tell me how hard work and modesty paid off. Me being a teenager at that time, despised advice and stories with morals - or lets put it this way, I hated anything which had atleast a remote chance of making me a better person. And not to mention at that age, parents would always sound wrong and outdated.

Years passed. Our neighborhood changed for the better. This month I came down to my home on a month long vacation. As usual I went to the terrace, and was in for a huge shock. In the place of the tiled roof house there is now a palatial double storeyed building, with modern amenities, granite floors and was huge enough to place our house inside it. Obviously, the man who made wooden elephants moved out and sold his land. I heard that his youngest son was moved temporarily to an asylum and this was a painful occasion for them and everyone else in the neighborhood. This could have made them move out. I stared blankly at the new house, which was getting ready for a house warming ceremony, decorated in blue and yellow lights.

Soon a lady emerged from the front door, appearing all busy and tensed with a huge vessel of a local sweet in it. She called out to someone and a guy took the vessel from her and went out. She looked familiar.Papa came on to the terrace for a smoke and told, that she was the same old lady, whose husband was the man who made wooden elephants. They’d saved and accumulated the meager income, and educated their sons, by living in poverty and sacrifice. The sons made good value of the money, got placed, promoted, worked in Dubai and London for almost a decade and gifted their parents with a home they deserved for sacrificing all their lives for them.

Do you know a better real story for the same theme?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stork Visit :)

There is absolutely nothing like being on a vacation at home and to be pampered by parents, I tell you. Once again, I got to be my real self, the crazy and lazy daughter, who opens the fridge every now and then wishfully searching for the appearance of a new dish. As my Mom and me had just returned from Muscat, we bought chocolates for relatives, friends and neighbors which were religiously consumed by yours truly. So now my Mom has to look for alternate methods to satisfy her acquaintances whose demands and expectations seems to grow each time she returns from Muscat.

As I was lazing around, gluttony took the better of me and eventually Mom had to toil in the kitchen to meet my ever changing menu. Soon after, my sister and six year old niece turned up from Chennai and we had a blast. Literally it was a blast, as I fought with her, and it hurt her bad. And to mention about the war-of-words, it was not with my sister, but with her six year old. I must be really sick to fight with a kid. Anyway, after leaving for Chennai she accepted my apologies over telephone. I hear she has high regards for me, as I do for her, I will continue to fight with her but if anyone else tries to hurt her I will kick their butt.

Kids, these days, I say. Well, if God gives us kids, then He must surely know how these little menaces are born gizmo freaks. My niece knows better than my sister about the varied options on her mobile phone and so my sister prefers not to reveal her qualification. Shh…She is an electronics engineer, you see. However my niece is not much convinced about this, as she was taught in school that engineers design and build bridges and buildings.

I remember another incident when a friend was expected to visit us with her family on a weekend. They had three kids, and we thoughtfully stocked ice creams and chocolates in the fridge. On their arrival, we proudly offered the kids ice creams first when the eldest of them snapped ‘Sorry aunty, this is chocolate flavored ice cream. My flavor is butterscotch. Anyway, thank you’. God will ask me justification on the judgment day if wasted ice cream. (Even before God asks, my ice cream crazy sister surely will). And so I had to consume that also. ( No, I am not going to conclude this article stating how and why I gained weight).

Another friend of mine, who owns a laptop which signs in with his fingerprint says, that his two year old takes his laptop while he sleeps, brings it to him, takes his finger and swipes it across. Now that the laptop is logged on, the kiddo has signed in to his world of games :D

Well, I am saying all this to conclude, that kids can be fun, tough to handle, a challenge to raise, and a huge responsibility to bear …but we were kind of ready to welcome one and see how we excel in it. God has blessed us with a baby boy on June 7th this year, and all posts after that were typed hurriedly when he was sleeping, and so they were not really spell checked. We christened him as Aaron. So that is the reason why posts these days are not as frequent as before, but you readers out there…don’t be happy that I am gone…I will continue like I always did…there is always time to type a few paragraphs!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Undisclosed Utilities !

On a particularly boring weekend, I was alone at home wondering what to do. Time seemed to stagnate every passing second. Suddenly I noticed this wall in the living room which looked all plain and blank (ready to be spoilt by me) and I decided to give it a new look. I opened my cupboard and took the envelope holder which my Mom gifted me…It is a beautiful jute piece which had pockets that can hold envelopes and post cards (exactly like the one in the picture ). When we were younger, my Mom used to put the day’s mail and post cards in it.
 I hung the envelope holder on the wall, which now looked full and aesthetic, and lay back in the bliss of having done something productive.

        However, my tech savvy husband has an aversion to wall hangings or any home décor, like I have to his endless cables and wires which runs haywire on the floor and ceiling. After reaching home, he switched on his denial mode when he saw it.

He: Whats this ?

Me: Envelope Holder .

He: “Envelope!!” he exclaims, as if I told a new word. “Soldiers at Kargil have 3G phones!”

Me: You can put other stuff too.

He: ‘Like what !!!”

Me: **cold stare**

Conversation ends, and the outcome is settled. The husband dislikes, but the envelope holder stays. (Cold stares bring screeching halts to any conversation, good or bad. It is very handy in such situations.)

Few weeks later, on a similar boring day, I was at home lazing, and hubby was out to settle bills. ( " bill payment " reminds me of Papa, as he used to say, that it had actually  turned out to be the purpose of his existence over the years :D )

Me: Hello?

He: Hey I am at Airtel office…Can you check this month’s copy of landline bill and call me back..?

I searched every nook and corner of the house, but in vain. The mobile rings again.

He: Found?

Me: No ...

He: Check that envelope holder of yours…I keep airtel bills there…

Me: !!!! Oh, I see !

The shy grin at the other end would've made an excellent Kodak moment :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A 'fishy' collision...

It was the last working day of the week. Mom and I were waiting for hubby to come home, after the grocery purchase for the weekend. Papa had already left to India.

10:30 p.m. 
Me: Hello? Where are you?
Hubby: At the parking lot… will be there in five minutes.

So Mom and I arranged plates and got ready for dinner… Meanwhile she also diplomatically made space in the fridge for the items that were on the way. We switched on the TV, but my mind was programmed for the five minute wait, the noise the entrance door makes when someone enters the building, followed by the ring of the bell at our apartment.

5..10…15 minutes passed, and the bell did not ring.

I optimistically expected a traffic block, which could scarcely happen at this part of the town especially at this hour of the day. I took my mobile and dialed him on the speed dial. The call opened initially to the noise of a crowd, followed by his voice.

“Hello..Actually there is a small problem…I met with an accident here…a guy on a two wheeler was hit by our car and he is being taken to the hospital…I am surrounded by his people here…I will call you back”.

The statement sent chill waves down my spine. I ran to my Mom and broke the news to her.
We’re just two ladies at home. We do not know what exactly happened. It is a country where punishments are quick and extreme for even trivial faults. We are expats here. We do not have lawyers or support of any kind. I broke down emotionally, as pessimistic thoughts clouded my head..which also froze my ability to think. I took my mobile and rang up a colleague. He did not answer the call…it was 11 pm already. I rang up another colleague who said that he was already at the accident site, but also added that he couldn’t make out anything.

I was convinced that someone died and that we were going to face a criminal lawsuit. Tears started gushing out of my eyes... followed by persistent whining and melodrama. My Mom, who couldn’t stand me crying, took great effort to hide her own and consoled me despite the mountain of anxiety burning within her. Soon I got calls from various friends of his, who pacified me with updates every now and then. The latest one being, that the victim had come from the wrong direction, on a one-way road and the mistake was all his. He was not injured and was discharged from hospital after dressing up minor wounds. Hubby was in the police station now, where the police tried to document an FIR.  Although this much information was enough to stop the tears, I couldn’t get back to my normal self unless and until I could see and talk to him. The FIR could take some time, I was told.
 Mom and I thanked the Almighty for being there when the world was miles away.

Soon, there was a knock at our door. I rushed to open it... it was a friend, and he held out a small plastic bag to me, and said : “ Hi Anita…I just came from the police station…saw him …he is fine… by the way this is some fresh fish…he said , if he has to stay longer at the police station, it will become stale, and you might be pissed”

What do I say to that?    "Thank you" ????!!!!!!
His friends must now have built an excellent image about me... the wife who would be worried about the fish going stale when husband is at the police station. Sigh..!.

Anyway, hubby was back home in another hour, by God’s grace, and I quietly explained to him that come what may, I just can’t do without fresh fish :-D

Friday, July 15, 2011

Being me !

I was the youngest in my family for several years, until my cousin was born. Its not a cakewalk, my friend. Yes, I was pampered to bits…but it all came at a cost !!!. Here are a few prices I pay to this day, for the unintentional fault of being the youngest and these might be true for you if you’ve been there too.

You may be a he or a she, but your family refers to you as ‘It’.

They will take you for movies and picnic, but never will the choice of movie/picnic spot be yours.

You are shushed if you try to speak when they are discussing something.

If at all you speak, they will find grammatical mistakes in your sentence, or simply laugh for reasons only known to them.

If you make the mistake of: singing a song by the wrong lyrics/writing poetry/speak English in your younger years, it will be remembered by them all your life and will be recited even in front of your spouse.

As you grow older, you grow younger in their heads.

When you complete high school / degree / graduation, they will wonder how it even happened! (Your grades wouldn’t matter)

To you they increasingly appear to be silly people who do not understand the concept that once toddlers will not be toddlers forever.

At your marriage they will laugh and pity your spouse.

They will ensure that the spouse also doesn’t take you seriously.

After your marriage they will continue to make decisions.

You will be shushed in front of your spouse.

They will make long distance calls to your hostel/workplace and wind up asking you to check whether the front door is properly locked, and not to play with power plugs.

You will not be entrusted with money, gold, keys to home/car, umbrella, purse …in short, any valuables.

Whenever they get a chance to book tickets for you, they think aloud that it seemed like yesterday they booked a half ticket for you. Every time.

If at all you make a serious statement at any point in your life, they will annoy you further by a melodramatic reminiscence of the frock and shoes you wore at age 3, which sits in the in the Godrej wardrobe of your ancestral home.

They will make you feel that you did a terrible crime by growing up.

 ;-) Here is to all my folks for whom I am still the little girl in a pink frock!  Yes, you are welcome.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A super-cool B'day gift !

It was my birthday on June 15, and Indiblogger decided to give me a birthday gift !
Its true, I won Rs.10,000  in their contest to write on 'Real Beauty' , and the prize was announced on my birthday ! I couldn't ask for more !

Thanks to everyone who read that post on my blog, and to those who promoted, supported 
and selected my post on Indiblogger! I am so motivated ( and also scared now that I have to keep up a standard ) ! Thanks again !

You can scroll down to see my prize winning entry, or just click HERE.

You can find the Indiblogger prize winners on this page -  and navigate to see the prize winning entries.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Conversational Torture .. MUTED.

*Papa, Mummy , Hubby and me are on a road trip*

Me: You know what? There is one MNC in which if an employee completes 25 years of service, they acknowledge the tenure with a certificate and a pug !

Mummy: A pug ! Why would they give a pug ! 25 years of service… all for a pug? What if that guy doesn’t want the pug?

Me: May be they will give cash equivalent to the cost of the pug…Pugs are costly…atleast 30k for an old and dying one.

( Papa is surprisingly silent)

Mummy: Anyway I still don’t understand why they would do that.

Hubby: “Basically, pugs are useless. It has wrinkles on its face which needs to be brushed and cleaned on a regular basis, has to be fed special food and in just lazes inside the house and poses for photographs. What a waste”

Me: “Who wouldn’t want to brush a pug…it is so cute ….” **unwarranted high pitch noises to justify the degree of cuteness**

Papa couldn’t stand it any longer and breaks the silence…

"What is a pug ?"

We all break into a roar of laughter…Few minutes later, after dramatically regaining my breath, I explain to him saying that it is a breed of dog commonly seen in the Vodafone ad. Well, we all know he hasn't seen that ad either unless it was aired in the news break.

 His expression changed from a question mark to complete regret on the time wasted discussing about this creature.

But sadly for him, the discussion goes on…as I explain animatedly about a guy whose family in India hesitates to come to stay with him, as they have a dog back home and cant part with it at any cost.

Mummy: This reminds me... Do u remember my ex colleague ABCD? Her daughter and family went to the US... Initially they decided to sell their puppy…later they thought of leaving it at their relative’s place where it will be taken care of…but emotional attachment to the pup took the better of them and finally the it got to go to US too !

Me: Oh my.. ! That could be costly right? What if after spending so much on its travel expense it dies after reaching there, succumbing to climate differences or something like that?
*Looks worried*

Mummy: You don’t worry about it too much…they will take care :D

Me: You know what…there is another guy from India who got the offer letter from our office, and accepted the offer … then he and his dog came first…his family came three months later!

Hubby: Oh ..! That is nothing... There is one animal saloon here…where they bathe puppies using dog shampoo…then they blow dry and brush its fur, and even pedicure and manicure them !!

(Papa is still in the car despite his exponentially increasing urge to escape, just because it was scorching heat outside)

But little did we know that he was cooking up a brilliant idea to silence all of us.

Papa : “ Do you know what Karl Marx said about pets” ?

Complete silence.

Epilogue: Thus ended the conversation about dogs, or even animals in general. Thanks to our collective knowledge about Karl Marx.

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