Friday, February 29, 2008

No Shit!

Go read this, if you haven't already.

I don't think they'll ever let her (mother and/or daughter) forget about it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Maidless and Fancy-Free

Really. I toy with the idea of getting one but I'm now starting to think I never shall. Just read Parul's story and shivered.

I have heard so many like that. Of the five year-old girl who was listless and whiny all day and how her parents discovered that the ayah had been draining away her blood to sell. My reaction to this was -- the needles!

Then there are the maids who've come and gone for Mighty Mountain (that's what this kid's name means.) All of them stole his stuff and his parents' stuff and things from house as well. This despite a very efficient grandmother, who they stay with.

And then I had my own brush with ayahs during my two months of bed-rest while pregnant (may the doctor rot in hell. Heard about the nightmare she put Anjita through, yesterday). They were not clean. I had to use a bed-pan. Imagine my horror when I found brown stains on the back of my nightie one day. Then I realised that she didn't always use soap while washing her hands after cleaning me. And then she picked up a bug and sneezed it all over me. So I, who had been told not to even laugh too hard, sneezed for ten days on end and had a nasty hacking cough for even longer.

The other three were no better and two of them may just have been worse.

I read about Rohini's maids and how well they look after Ayaan so I know it can be done. My cousins and I were all brought up by our ayahs up to a point, in fact. So much so that my mother didn't remember the more basic things about newborn care -- the howtos of sunning, coping with feeding problems, weaning etc. She'd had help all through and had forgotten the details since.

But I cannot trust another person with my baby. Giga, yes, but even her I caution and remind. She brought me up in part twenty years ago, but I need to insist on my way now and she accepts it (because she was much the same in her time). Barring her, Vicky and my mother I cannot think of another human being with whom I believe Rahul is safe. Oh they might let him fall and feed him stuff he oughtn't have but I know his care is their first concern and everything else comes way after that. A maid will not do this.

I have seen good maids, but how do I know I'll get one like them? What if she hits him? What if she locks him indoors and goes outside to chat with friends? What if she picks up the food dropped on the floor and feeds him that? What if she lets him wander around wet/soiled for hours on end because she isn't paying attention?

I could be a much better mother than I am, I know I have it in me. But even as I am, I know I'm giving my son a certain security, some insistence on learning manners and decency, neat and clean and comfortable clothes at all times and when I can, companionship. Yes, I know mothers do more than maids but I don't want him growing up with less than he already has.

It would have been great if I had found someone to assist me through the day, alternate between the housework and Rahul as I attended to whichever I thought needed me more. But I start work next week, there is no more time to train somebody and I'm just not ready to let a stranger in my house. So we'll order in more food if I can't handle all the cooking, and Giga will babysit more evenings so Vicky can get a break (I guess both she and the great-nephew will be happy about that) and I'll let the chores pile up for the weekend, if necessary. I've decided that my primary concerns now will be Rahul while I'm at home and work while I'm out. Everything else can work itself in around that.

Foreplay -- V Ishtyle

Sue: Hel-lo! Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

V (in fake sexy voice): Oh, I'm just happy to see you, baby.

[Short pause while he feels around in his pocket.]

V: Er, actually, that was my cell phone.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

6 and 20 = 2 More Tags

Jaya sent me two tags and I'll do them both together here.

The 6 Random Facts Tag

The Rules:
- Post the rules on your blog.
- Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
- Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
- Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

1. I am very uncomfortable having male photographs in bedrooms, because that's where I dress and undress. Even a poster of an actor is not really welcome.

2. I love the colour red. And mustard. But I have so many red and mustard sarees, I don't want any more for a couple of years, thank you.

3. I feel lost if I don't check my mail at least once a day.

4. I need things to be tidy around me. Clean would be good but they need to be where they belong. Most fights between V and I start because he does not share this OCD of mine.

5. I love momos. With the fiery red chilli sauce.

6. I'm terrified of lizards. (And the new place houses a few.)

I tag Anansi, Ditty, Moppet's Mom, Sqiggle's Mom, Smugbug and Gauri. (If any of you have done it already, please to skippit.)

--------

And the 20 Random Questions Tag

Rules: Remove 1 question from the tag and add your personal question. Make it a total of 20 questions, then tag people in your list, list them out at the end of this post. Notify them that he/she has been tagged.

1. Name three most valuable assets?
- My library, my car and my kitchen stuff. All three so valued that they are sparingly used, by self at least.

2. If you have the chance, what would you probably say to your beloved one?
- I love you, that's why I fuss so much. So learn to live with it.

3. If you were to be stranded on a deserted island, who are the 3 blog buddies you would take with you?
- Rohini, Rimi and Dipali

4. Where is the place that you want to go the most?
- In Europe.

5. If you can have 1 dream to come true, what would it be?
- People start telling me what they actually want from me so that we can discuss it in a civilised manner; I hate second-guessing and getting it wrong.

6. Till now, what is the moment that you regret the most?
- 1st April 2005.

7. What are you afraid to lose the most?
- My sanity

8. What would you do if you found a briefcase full of money?
- Very reluctantly take it to the police.

9. If you meet someone that you love, would you confess to him/her?
- Probably not. I'm good at signalling interest, though.

10. List out 3 good points of the person who tagged you...
- Frank blogger, therefore fun to read; friendly and willing to make the first move; indulged in a quickie in a McDonald's parking lot!

11. What are the requirements that you wish from your other half?
- Ah don't get me started. V hears it all day anyway.

12. Which type of person do you hate the most?
- Those who don't say what they mean. Hypocrites.

13. What is your ambition?
- To be financially secure and own our own place.

14. What is the thing that will make you think someone is a bad person?
- Cruelty. Whether in their behaviour, jokes or writing.

15. What is the one thing you would change about yourself?
- My filthy language. I'd really like to lose that.

16. Pets -- yes or no?
- Yes. I guess. Do I even have a say in this house?

17. What is your stress buster?
- Books.

18. What should be done to people who make such long tags..
- They should be ostracised...

19. Do you think God actually exists?
- Dunno. Why not?

20. What is the naughtiest thing you ever did?
- Hard to choose. Maybe the time V and I ran away for a holiday.

I tag Anamika, Grafx, and Umarah. Umarah, I can't access your blog, but I hope you'll do it if you read this post.

P.S.
My connection is slow and giving me trouble, so I'm not sure everybody's got the tagged notification. If not, I hope you read it here. If not that either, never mind.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

V is Disgusted

Q. What do a cuddling/cuddled Bhablet and a cutlet with a cold in its nose have in common?

A. They're both called Cuddlet!

Forty Questions from Anansi

I've been feeling a trifle guilty over the recent tags which I've been putting off doing and now I see I have two more of even earlier vintage. Sigh. Well, here goes.

Forty Questions from Anansi:

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
- I don't know. Motherhood keeps on throwing up new stuff at me, y'know? Oh and I got a tattoo. And I spent time alone at home with The Bhablet for days while Vicky was away.

2. Did you keep your new years resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
- I didn't make any resolutions that I remember for 2007 but I did make one for 2008.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
- Oh yes. Nunu had her Nunulet with his beautifully manicured little fingers and long legs and charming smile.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
- Yes, Cousin T's grandfather. There was another death recently. Of a fairly distant relative, but he's somebody I remember rather fondly from my childhood and the circumstances of his death were very sad.

5. What places did you visit?
- Madras, Hyderabad, Delhi, Gurgaon. Did I mention Madras? Oh and we also visited Madras.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
- Balance. In my marriage mostly.

7. What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
- Can't think of one, thank god. Odds are, I'd have remembered a date for the sadness associated with it.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
- Getting back on stage. It required a high degree of self-confidence, something I'd almost completely lost. I was so grateful to Proof for restoring it.

9. What was your biggest failure?
- Losing the pregnancy fat pileup. Sigh. It's more evenly distributed now. I just look bigger all over, so I suppose it's better than a couple of spare tires.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
- Yes. De Quervain's disease -- the pain in my wrists.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
- Didn't buy much. Spent most of all we had (and some money we didn't have) on airfare.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
- V's mother. In May she finally began thawing.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and/or depressed?
- His mother, before that...

14. Where did most of your money go?
- Airfare

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
- Proof. Journeys to Gurgaon.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
- Old MacDonald Had a Farm. It was The Bhablet's favourite song for quite a while.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
- Far happier. Healthier and more capable.

18. Thinner or fatter? Thinner!!
- Weightwise only slightly lighter but hey, it's now migrated to an even layer all over.

19. What do you wish you'd done more of?
- Spent more time giving some people the tongue-lashing they deserved. Stood up for myself. Been more loving and patient with V and The Bhablet.

20. What do you wish you'd done less of?
- Shouting and hurting and being hurt.

21. How will you be spending Christmas?
- I spent it with V and The Bhablet. We had a mini party in the evening.

22. Did you fall in love in 2007?
- Yes, with my son. It was a Bhablet of an experience. You'd think I'd know better by now but I went through it all once more last week in Madras.

23. How many one night stands
- I refuse to stand, no matter what any child specialist says. I sat and held The Bhablet as he screamed all night and refused to sleep. There were a lot of such nights.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
-The Bhablet show. (We didn't get to catch much else.)

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
- Don't think so.

26. What was the best book you read?
- Damn, I hate these questions. I read plenty and liked plenty. No single winner.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
- Amy Winehouse. I'm now a fan.

28. What did you want and get?
- A part in Proof (followed by postive reviews).

29. What did you want and not get?
- A nice new place to live in. (We moved to this place in 2008 so it doesn't count).

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
- Life in a Metro probably. Don't remember watching so many movies last year anyway.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
- Went for a drive to Burdwan where we dutifully bought langchas. I was twenty-five.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
- Better financial management.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
- Boring. Old. Dowdy. Ill-fitting. Depressing.

34. What kept you sane?
- Books. Trips out of Cal. Acting.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
- Johnny Depp.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
- Nandigram

37. Who did you miss?
- Esha, as always. And I missed my mother.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
- Anjita, who recently gave birth to The Plumber.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
- That The Bhablet loves me.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
- It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.

I've to pass this on, eh? Ok, I tag Dipali.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Back to the real world. Sigh.

Going home in a few hours. Am looking forward to it (have been really missing V this last one week) but, oh well, no buts.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mujhmein itna hain dum? Let me see now...

I've been off Facebook for close on a month now, what with one thing and another. I see I've got close to 120 requests, over a hundred of which are for those random quizzes and tests.

Now, do you think I'm going to do them all? Or at least the first ninety?

Watch this space!

My World This Week (So Far)

On Monday we tried out Sparky's Diner on East Spurtank Road (I think). Quite liked the place -- food and decor. Not mention a cute little 14 monh-old girl who was wandering around. Her parents were in charge of the place for the evening (not sure if they own it) so she was running loose. The Bhablet went to make friends and she responded in Babble (our name for his language) which was all very cute but she definitely did not like the hugging. Oh well. She seemed to be able to fend off unwanted affection. It did bewilder The Bhablet however. I really must work out a way to handle this. Obviously strange kids don't believe me if I tell them that he won't hurt them.

On Tuesday Itchy and ArtNavy and I met up at Ispahani Centre. I was, funnily enough, not the least bit nervous. Left home well in time, persuaded an auto to take me there at a reasonable rate and then went around the shops. Reached CCD with time to spare so I settled in with my book (The Private World of Georgette Heyer, which I'm definitely grabbing off Ma someday). I had no idea who to look out for and just hoped that they'd remember what I looked like. In the end it wasn't quite that simple, as Itchy points out, but she was smart enough to call my mum and find out what I was wearing.

It was so much fun meeting her, and later, Art and Anush. When we met MM and her family last Christmas (a post I still haven't written, dammit) we'd hit it off fairly comfortably but I didn't want to bank on that. I mean, I'd always had the feeling that MM and I would get along, disagreements and all. After all, we're both divas beneath the surface. But what if there were long, awkward pauses here in Madras? What if we didn't know what to talk about? What if...???

You know something? Bloggers never run out of things to say, I'm finding. We like to talk. And blogfriends talk more, because it's like picking up a conversation started before they even met.

What I'm saying here is, we had fun. It was great meeting Anush who reminded me of one of my oldest friends. (For the record, Art, she's grown up to have a great sense of dress and is studying medicine. Just saying.)

Then I went around and spent a bomb on clothes. I've spent three thousand rupees on clothes on this trip and that's the most I've spent at one go in the last two years. On clothes for V and me, at any rate. I walked all over the place, got slightly lost and ended up walking some extra, but I did pick up a couple of good deals at the Cotton World sale (thanks, Minka). I walked so much, I'm fairly convinced that the coffee and chocolate fantasy cake were all worked off me. They better have been. I have been stuck at 59 kgs for the last year and am getting pretty bored with it.

On Wednesday I went out to dinner with Srinivas, Madhavi and Chinni. Went to Sigree at Quality Inn Aruna because it was close. Food was ok. Biriyani was decent while the rotis were only just acceptable, but Madhavi and I were hungry enough not to care. The ice cream afterwards was delicious. I don't remember the name of the place but it's bang opposite Shopper's Stop. Before that I had gone to Valluvarkottam High Road to buy fruit and veggies. Was impressed by how I managed to get all that weight home all by myself. It's a long walk and I don't care who says otherwise.

Incidentally, my new look is getting me whistles on the road. I don't mind those so much (although they do make me a trifle nervous on occasion) but I certainly minded the slap on my butt I got in B'lore. The ruddy nerve.

On Thursday (today-that-was) my father came home a little early and we all went to Mera Toy Shop. It keeps changing names, but it's basically the toy-shop opposite the Gemini Corner Landmark. Hang on, is it still Landmark? Silly name changes. I went looking for summer vests for The Bhablet but they couldn't show me anything in his size. Only had thick vest-short sets which were not at all what I was looking for. At this rate I may just end up making him t-shirts for home wear myself. I'll try out Just Born tomorrow, if I have time. Or try Calcutta, bound to find something there.

Dinner was at China Town, and a very nice dinner it was too. The food was very tasty and the service extremely pleasant. The Bhablet wanted to bounce his new ball off the chinaware but I managed to persuade him not to. (I confiscated the ball.)

---

My parents' servant problem continues. After the gem they had for the first couple of years, they were stuck with a daft, destructive woman when she left. When they moved to Nungambakkam they were landed with an over-paid, under-worked voodoo woman. (If you ever have the misfortune to meet her you'll know exactly why I describe her thus. If you don't, you won't, so spare me the hate comments.) After putting up with her and her airs and graces (and extremely bad housework) my folks fired her in December and my mum's been managing on her own ever since. I think the strain's showing. The flat is large, even if the floor is easy to clean. I've been doing the floors and dishes and tidying up after The Bhablet, but I hope they find another maid soon. The best thing would be a once a week cleaning service. Anybody know if such a thing exists in Madras?

---

As I said, I'm going back to work. It's the same thing as I was doing in my last semester of Uni. I'll be working on Call Cutta, Phase II. Am excited at the work. The two people I disliked working with the most last time aren't back, so that's good news. Am sure somebody else will pop up -- every team must have an obnoxious member -- but by and large I'm looking forward to this. I love the concept, enjoyed what we did with it the last time and am looking forward to the new phase. Hey, and I can always boast that I was part of a movie.

It's my idea of a job: comes with a best before date, pays well, is exciting, involves other lands and languages and people, is theatrical in nature and I can do it part-time. The last is really important because I nearly said no because of the time factor. I can only go for so many hours and I certainly don't want to work 6 days a week, especially when you consider that we'll be playing on weekends too. V and I can work out a precarious time schedule but he will have to learn to go to work in the mornings (and not amble off to work around noon) and I will have to finish all the housework, cooking and other chores, including shopping, in the morning. I've no idea how we'll cope but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

I guess this is what I've been waiting for. The adrenalin rush. The knowing that I'll soon have money of my own. The feel of a creative satisfaction that has nothing to do with anybody else but me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

So we left bright and early on Saturday. I couldn't help keep contrasting this return to B'lore with my earlier visits in 2005. After the eventful one I did go back the very next week, and spent the day at Blossoms mainly with Vicky. That was a more, um, conventional trip, but nothing to beat going on an overnight trip with my parents, son and uncle-by-marriage. Ok, this uncle is Cousin J's dad and Giga's husband so he's a pretty close relative, but still.

The drive took twice as long as I'd hoped -- 7 hours, which surpassed even Srinivas's gloomy predictions, dammit -- and we reached B'lore in time for a late lunch. Our service apartment, Su Casa, at Indira Nagar was rather pleasant. Very expensive if you ask me, but the service was pretty good and the suite comfortable.

Shall I stop while you finish giggling over Sue at Su Casa?

Done? Good. I'll carry on then.

Spent some part of the afternoon trying to work out a visit to Poppin but since she wasn't keeping well it didn't work out. Soothed my sorrows at the Mothercare sale there. Ma had a gala time, from the look of things. Forgot to buy a sling for our circle's latest baby, silly of me. Oh and folks, this is rather late but allow me to announce the advent of The Plumber. Born to Anjita and Bodhi on Feb 3rd, apart from being generally far too cute for his own good, he is also sporting the neatest pair of ears I have seen in a while. Altogether adorable.

But I digress. Some clothes were bought for The Bhablet, and socks to replace the ones his grandfather had burnt trying to dry in the microwave. Nesting cups were bought, to my sorrow. They have lived up to my pessimism because I have spent a lot of time bending under furniture and searching for them. I think I shall suggest that they stay behind at Madras. Stuff was bought for other kids too, of family friends. (I believe my parents keep the Madras Mothercare in business, although they vehemently deny it.)

The Bhablet had a cookie while my father had a coffee and then they went around pulling CDs and atlases (respectively) down from shelves. Of course, my father didn't do it quite the same way, but it didn't look that different by the time they were done.

Dropped them all off back at Su Casa. Left mum feeding The Bhablet and walked down to a sale nearby. A Jealous store. It was expensive but I felt like a little splurge, what with going back to work next week and therefore imminent income. So I bought myself two shirts and a denim skirt. Very nice. Very corpo, those shirts and I loved the fit.

Dinner was roast mutton with mint sauce from Tangerine next door and then I read my Anne Perry (Ashworth Hall) till midnight. Woke up early, tried to work out a visit to Poppin and her mom but gave up. We managed to breakfast, bathe, pack and check out by 10 a.m. (or thereabouts) which was fairly impressive. Drove down to Cauvery where sandalwood sticks were bought and wooden rattles -- did you ever realise that wooden rattles banged lovingly all over your face hurt more than their plastic cousins at the same game? -- and stuff like that. Then finally went to Blossoms. The Bhablet didn't allow me to browse much (we were playing the face-banging game then) so we saved ourselves much money and luggage. I shall probably be grateful to him for that someday, no? Perhaps. He found himself a friend and proceeded to hug the life out of him. The poor little kid (about 2 and a half years old) looked pretty spooked and kept a safe distance from us thereafter.

We left for Madras after that, somehow managed to find our way out. Considering the driver of our hired Tavera knew very little English and had no knowledge of B'lore streets, this was an achievement we are proud of. This and finding our way to Su Casa in the first place.

Another very long drive back home. Lunch at some motel on the way. It was a pleasant place with a nice garden.

Saw Jab We Met this evening, on tv. I really like the movie. Funny how Shahid Kapoor looks hot. Never thought I'd find him attractive, far less hot.

I'm yawning my face off, so more later.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Scribbles from Madras

Well, where do I begin? Short takes will have to suffice.
1. New place looking very nice. We're nt all unpacked but it's warm and welcoming and can accomodate visitors. What else do you want? Working kitchen, bedroom and bathrooms. Yes, I said bedroom and bathroomS. Great place. 2 loos to a bedroom.

2. The Bhablet is loving Madras. He's being petted silly, my parents love having him over and I'm finally getting a little rest. Not sure why I didn't feel rested last few times I was over, but this time I'm very relaxed and quite cheerful. Potty training gone haywire but hey, what's a little potty training when you have grandparents and grandson having a whale of a time. Ok, a Bhablet of a time. That describes the joyous abandon better than "whale of a time". Silly phrase, anyway.

3. Vicky is not well. I've decided to get off his case. I do not ask him after his meals or how he is managing. If he says he is fine I take his word for it. I hope he is all right but even if he isn't, I'll cope with it all once I get back home, i.e. on the 24th.

4. I've had a wonderful haircut. I came to MDR with hair that fell an inch or two below my bra strap at the back and was thick enough to make two decent plaits. I loved the length and the thickness but it was killing me. I went to Studio Profile (introduced to me by this wonderful, er, native of these parts) and had it all chopped off. They carted it away in shovelfuls. I've still got most of the length (bar two inches at the bottom) but had the rest of it ruthlessly thinned. This means I can now actually tie my hair in a ponytail and the damn thing stays in place. It also means no more thick plait and no more fashionable knots, but hey, who had the time for knots anyway?

5. I wanted to buy myself some clothes at the Globus sale but seem to have missed it. My parents bought me a couple of nice tops but I really wanted a couple of formal shirts. Oh well.

4. Toddlers need a separate seat in aircraft. Why the hell can't the airlines just accept that? I'll pay for the damn seat.

5. The Bhablet just woke up so pretty much everything else I wanted to say has gone out of my head.

6. We're off to B'lore tomorrow. Saying the night, returning on Sunday. Anybody want to meet up? Sunday morning? Saturday evening?

7. Blogmeet in Madras anyone? Tuesday/Wed evening?

More, as always, later. Ta, all!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hullo

I'm back online. In Madras now for a quick holiday with The Bhablet.

We've moved, the new place is looking very nice and all is mostly well.

More later. Got lots of mail to catch up with!