Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Le grande finale

So some blog awards were hopping around and a couple hopped my way and I would like to acknowledge them before they become last year's news.

Kiran, D and Abha all thought that Sunny Days is
a blog that invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.
In turn, I think that these bloggers promote proximity:

Dipali
Sunita
The Mad Momma
JAP
Mona
Rohini
Gauri
Parul

Elsewhere, M4 thinks that this blog also
acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day.

Thank you, M4. This is a big compliment to me, you must understand, because all I'd ever say I transmit are my own personal values, but yes, you're right, to those who don't know world I live in, I must be some sort of ambassador. So yeah, now if I'm scared right off blogging you lot know who to frown at.

On the other hand, I can think of some other blogs who make a sincere effort to do this very thing (unlike scatty ol' Sue) and they certainly deserve acknowledgement:

Amrita
GreatBong
Nilanjana
Choxbox
DotThoughts

On that note of mutual appreciation, shared bonhomie and goodwill, I wish you all an interesting new year ahead and hope that you get what you need.

I don't know about the resolutions you have in mind but I'm thinking of sticking to the one I made a year ago -- decluttering my life -- because while I've done plenty already, there is still much work to be done. Drawers need clearing, shelves need sorting, toxic relationships need pruning and finances need a more streamlined understanding. So I'm challenging myself to tackle this load and I hope you get to do all the stuff you plan as well.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Minding His Ps and Qs

… is a task difficult for Bhablets. If only because there is too much to see, do and explore to waste time over little things like manners and etiquette.

But the child does learn. One fine day he wanted a book from me and I said no, sternly, only to nearly drop the damn thing when he looked up at me beseechingly and said, “Babu, biota, peesh?” (Mum, the book, peesh?)

He refuses to say thanku except very, very rarely, but he nods his appreciation in a quick bob of his head or a shy grin that vanishes almost before we catch it.

And I’m thinking, we’ll make a man of him yet.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Names and The Bhablet

So he's on his way to sentences, making up small ones now. You have to discount the extra tatatas after each word and you can usually understand what he's trying to tell you.

"Eta Babuta bagtata" -- This is Mum's bag.

Which brings me to the point of this post: so not only am I no longer Emm, nor am I Ma or even Mamma. When we went to Madras last month, he discovered that I call my mum Mamma, so he started calling her that. To add to the confusion, there was also in residence his mama, my brother. In all, he could throw a car and hit a Ma, Mamma or a Mama. Which, of course, he did quite a lot. He also threw everything else he could pick up, mostly out of sheer joie de vivre, from what we could tell.

Anyway, to distinguish me he began calling me by my endearment for him, Babu. Which worked fine until we came back home and he discovered that he was in the middle of Baba (Vicky), Babu (me) and Baby (him). Probably giving it up as a bad job he's stuck to this nomenclature ever since.

I thought they'd say something closer to 50...

What's Your Mental Age?

Result: 25 Years Old

Like a young adult, you've got a pretty mature perspective on the world, but you still know how to have fun.

Which Calvin and Hobbes Character are You?

Susie
You are Susie. Now many think that Susie is a very sad character as she is always being picked on by Calvin. Truth is, they like each other, and that's why he throws snowballs at her, and she retaliates with something even bigger. She never just lets him push her around. She's a girl with determination and skill. And so are you (not that you're a girl if you aren't), but you're a strong person even if others don't think you are. You are very intelligent and know what you want in life. You are quiet until someone tries to screw you over, then you hit 'em hard, and you love doing it. You deserve all the good things you get, because honestly, you work for it.

You'd have thought I wouldn't have needed to ask in the first place.

What I'm Listening To

This.

Tomorrow is a whole new day to fuck up. Lovely thought.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

If I can sing

... like this, I shall die a happy woman. When I had the voice I hadn't the maturity and now. Now I have a voice only fit to sing Smelly Cat.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Totto Baby!

Last night, when we were driving around town to see the lights, a sleepy Bhablet piped up, "Totto baby kuta?" (Where is the little boy I saw 50 metres earlier?)

Before I could say anything, his father said, "Chhotto baby kal ashbe." (The little boy will come tomorrow.)

I actually wracked my brains for a few seconds, wondering whether we were expecting guests I couldn't remember, until the penny dropped.

And that is how you know that unlike the husband, I am not 'missionary educated'.

With that I wish you all a Happy Christmas. Make merry and don't do anything I wouldn't do (now).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Knitted a Baby Vest

inspired by Trishna, using acrylic wool and number 3 needles. Here is my pattern:

Cast on 74 stitches.

Knit 6 rows.

Knit 4; keep purling until the last 4, and those you knit. Make the first (lowermost) buttonhole around the 8-10th line from casting on.

Keep doing this until you have completed approx 7”. Make 3 to 4 buttonholes at appropriate places along the right vertical rib.

Knit 10, purl 4, knit 12, purl 4, knit 15, purl 4, knit 12, purl 4, knit 9. Do this for three rows. *Include the topmost buttonhole in this final ribbing.*

You should be back at the side from which you started the last step.

Close 8, knit 2, purl 4, knit 2, close 8, knit 2, purl 4, knit 2, close 11, knit 2, purl 4, knit 2, close 8, knit 2, purl 4, knit 2, close seven.

So now you have four sets of stitches which will form the shoulder straps. You can continue knitting with the only same two needles (as I did) or slip off the sets you are not working on to other needles or a stitch holder.

Knit 2, purl 4, knit 2 each strap until it’s about 2 and a half inches long. I knitted the seams in a Three Needle Bind-Off (so I didn't know what it was called when I did it, because I just did what my aunt instructed over the phone!) to join each shoulder, so I didn’t cast off strap #1 until #2 was ready to join it, and I held #3 until #4 was done. All easy with a stitch holder and still very doable with just an extra needle.

Then you weave in trailing ends, stitch on buttons and feel very good about yourself. At least, that’s what I did.

Oh and if you, like me, are a complete novice at this, you may benefit from this site I just discovered.

Lastly, just because he's cute, here's a picture of my other baby wearing the same vest, Mach 1. It has mistooks aplenty and buttonloops because then I was as yet uninitiated into the mysteries of Wool Forward Knit Two.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blood

Being what it is, it is the basis of our lives in a very elemental way, really. Ask the parents of a thalassaemic kid.

So anyway, there's a blood donation camp being held in the neighbourhood and we've been getting an earful from their mikes since before 8 a.m. What one man said just now though made some sense. He said that as we arrange for our children's marriages, much depends on the match of gotra. Centuries ago, when tribal lines were more clearly drawn and the chances of people staying within their castes and tribes higher, it made sense to match bloodlines to ensure that the children of that marriage had a better chance of being born healthy and surviving. Now that these distinctions have blurred, he said, one needed to have blood tests matched before the gotra, because it came down to the same thing and indeed the blood tests are merely a clearer indication of what the gotra was supposed to show (your blood type).

It is not commonly known but Vicky and I got ourselves tested for HIV before our marriage. I had no reason to think I had that or any other STD and I was his first partner so he had even less reason to do this, but I wanted the tests done on principle. A call from a concerned uncle served as a reminder and we went ahead and got the ELISA done*. It should have been easy, just letting them draw a little blood, but needles and I don't really get along and then, there were the inevitable stares at our unmarried status and the subtle signs of disapproval that we should need such a test and of course, the crazy wait for the results when I was convinced that I was not only HIV positive but had AIDS as well and was trying to remember the phone numbers of the people I'd slept with to warn them that they would shortly die a painful death, and...

The tests came out negative and I started breathing once more -- and if you've been laughing I suggest you get yourself tested. Actually, do get yourself tested. If you are contemplating marriage it's only fair and it's a routine procedure, easier now than it was when we did it three years ago (the test, not marriage) and really, you should. Not because it shows a suspicious bent of mind but because it shows that you are aware of the social problems around you and are doing your bit.

A friend is getting married and his finacee asked him to get himself tested. I told him, this one little thing told me pretty much all I needed to know that he had found himself the right sort of girl. Everything else I could find out later. Because to me, when a person asks for a blood test match, he or she is showing a commitment and concern for a shared future that augurs well for the marriage in question.


*We should have tested for thalassaemia too and nearly did but each test cost Rs. 1000 and we felt that was too much for a whim. I would have been glad to have had done it when I found myself pregnant six months later.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winter is finally here

And the days are short and cold. My baby's got a snuffly nose, his parents are exhausted and his Thakurda is in the hospital with serious problems. His Thakurma is off her head with worry, his Jethu has come from Dilli and his Dimma and Mama from Madras to help out.

We're coping with good news and bad, worrying all day and sleeping fitfully at night but it's reassuring to have the family net drawn close at a time like this.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Stress

You can see I'm on the phone, why can't you be quiet for a minute? Can't you see I'm busy? You're not a baby!

Except, of course, that he is.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Because I Loved the Poster

Urmi's been doing some good work for them.


Oh and the band is good, too. Rohanwa's going great guns, bald head and all.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A week

... is a long time to not kiss the husband when you leave for work.

I should have known he felt the same.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Coming to work in the Metro

I suddenly acknowledged that I could love a man with a scarred body/face. I mean, I could love him for the scars as much as not be repulsed by them.

For a second there I could close my eyes and imagine learning a lover's scarred hand by memory and loving each jagged ridge just because it was a part of the man he was.

It's funny, I always thought I was superficial that way.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Friedman on Mumbai

Here is the article. What do you think? I've read plenty but wanted to link to this.

I am twenty-six years old

... and it was only day before yesterday that I finally noticed that I have unlobed ears. All my life I've admired lobed ears and thought they were the only kind to have. (Because, of course, one can choose this kind of thing.)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

In a startling chain of developments

... The Bhablet is acting nearly human. Keep checking with us as we struggle to keep up.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Such Crap

An anti-lefties article.

What crap. And parents read stuff like this and get psyched out and then force their poor kids into something their bodies are not naturally wired to do.

Monday, December 01, 2008

My Face is Not a Toy!

yelled Vicky, as The Bhablet tried, yet again, to rearrange his father's features to his liking.

I was strongly reminded of Mr. Potato Head. I wonder if he feels the same way. And I wonder if anybody else think he and Vicky have more similarities than people trying to readjust their faces?


See what I mean? No?