Thursday, April 16, 2009

Around the World in 80 Clicks

So Boo tagged me and here are the rules I must follow:
just write a post of your own (5 things that you love about being a mom) and find someone to link to and tag - someone from your own country, if you like, but definitely someone from another country (Google is a good resource if you don't know any; google any country name and 'mom' in their blog search function) (be sure to let them know that you've tagged them!) - and link back here and HBM and leave a comment.

Now, I dunno about loving being a mum, but I do love Bhablets and it’s not all bad being a Babu. And I do love this city I’m bringing my very own Bhablet up in, so my tag will be – ta daaaah! – 5 Reasons Why I Enjoy Being a Mum in Calcutta.

  1. The people, the people. I love how everybody stops to chat with him as he walks past. They don’t have to and they don’t always, but they do, mostly. And it’s not because of his essential Bhabletness either. It’s something about Cal. The way a watchman waylays us as we walk by and then tells us proudly that his own granddaughter is a much better talker (trust me, you can’t take offence); the way rickshawwalas, taxi and auto drivers wish him good bye when he gets off; the way an entire Post Office full of people babysits him while I send a letter off by courier; how women of all ages stop and offer advice; how shopkeepers get involved in my choice of baby cereal. It doesn’t annoy me somehow.
  2. The food. Knowing I can get cheap, safe food almost anywhere for a Wee One is a real help for a mum like me who likes to be on the move. Also, given that we’re surrounded by relatives and friends, we keep having delicious stuff everywhere. Separate meals are cooked for him, lovely sinful stuff.
  3. The CAINS! Rahul is train-mad and when I say mad, I mean he’ll forget all his woes if only somebody will show him something “cain”-related. Given that we live within easy access to the local railway (the line goes just behind us), the Metro (a short drive away) and the tramline (again, short drives away), he couldn’t be a better place to indulge in his obsession.
  4. The history. Personal and impersonal. Cal has so much I want to share with my son one day. Not just the building where his father got stinking drunk and proposed to me but also the building where his Babu lived as a little girl, the schools and colleges his parents went to, the place where his Grandfather Niyogy built a company… where does one stop? It’s the city where Grandfather Roy directs people using eateries as road signs, where Jimmamaashi and Tuamaashi pick up random toys for him, where R was born and it has the first home he had. Add to all this the historical wealth Cal has that has nothing to do with Rahul's family...
  5. The language. This is the one place where a Ghoti can marry a Bangal and this equation still be in comfortable balance. Because you have equal numbers of people speaking both Bengalis! Also, if, as is likely, he grows up here, he will be in touch with Bengali literature as I never have been. And I’ve always wanted to be, because it seems so rich.
I tag MayG, Cee Kay, Sparx, Choxbox and M4.


itchingtowrite said...

suester- i am honored to be tagged..and then feel extremely dismayed that u haven't read the same tag i did just a week back!!
*sulks in a corner*

Sue said...

Itchy -- You did? I remember one on sleeping, was that your version of this tag? Anyway, don't sulk. Think of July!

Monika,Ansh said...

Loved your post.

dipali said...

Sue, this was just lovely. Truly.

The Gori Wife said...

I love #1. When I travel back home (the southern US) I always notice how much friendlier people are to my son. Shopkeeper will talk to him and strangers will say hello or bend down to entertain him. That's not the case where we leave (Northern US) and it's always interesting to see these regional differences. I think it's so nice when it feels like you know people and the kids get a chance to talk to other people, too!

sumana001 said...

S, I'm not a Calcuttan, so do forgive my response. What came through is not just your love for the city and for motherhood, but your love for life, the lived and the unlived, or rather the yet-to-be-lived, a rare thing in our fretting and frumpy times.
That makes it such a beautiful post.

Sparx said...

Hi Sue - what a great post and thanks for the tag, I'll try to get something written soon (I'm rubbish at tags!). I love how this post brings a little bit of Calcutta to life for the rest of us, it's really good. Sorry for the last post (deleted) I'm not doing very well with this computer I'm on here!

Choxbox said...

lovely :)

was tagged to do this by art, have done it here -

Sue said...

Monika -- Let me know when you do yours, OK?

Dipali -- It was such a feel-good tag, y'know?

Gori -- Love your name! Yes, I've seen that difference as we travel around India. Not that people are unfriendly elsewhere, but it's cute the way they engage with unknown babies here in Cal.

Sumana -- What's to forgive in a compliment like that? Thank you.

Sparx -- Sure, do it whenever, and drop HBM a line, mind. I'm looking forward to hearing what you like. :)

Choxbox -- Sorry, I didn't realise that was the tag. I did tell you I enjoyed the breakup?

Ritu said...

I loved this one. Brought back memories of the atmosphere and people of Calcutta. Wonderful post

Hip Grandma said...

Well written tag and my version looks so ancient in comparison.but then I am a grandmom and it should not surprise anyone,least of all myself.

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

What a lovely, lovely tag lovely Sue. And so with you on no.5! Such a rich literature which I feel excluded from. Don't want that to happen to my boys.

What I loved about your post is your take on it, as a mum in Kolkata. Lovely!

Mama - Mia said...


what a cool twist! very niice!



the mad momma said...

:) i love bringing the brats up in delhi for the same reasons. i think kids make you feel differently about a place...

Neera said...

This was absolutely beauiful ..ur take on the tag, ur love for the city and ur enthusiasm to share it with ur son. I learnt from this post of urs :)

SUR NOTES said...

I am not a mom in cal. nor a bhablet growing up in that enchanted city.

yet i love it:
1. the people!
2.the food!!
3.i confess i love getting on and off the metro and the trams. personal history but enough picked up from ghatak, sen, ray and all the fiction i have read.
5.the language - a punjabi watching films and drinking with bong boys who think they are artists can pick up a lot! :)

Sue said...

Ritu -- I'm glad it had that effect on you.

Hip Grandma -- :) The word you want is experienced, not ancient!

M4, Abha -- Thanks, you two.

MM -- Yes, definitely.

Neera -- You did? I hope you learnt that you need to come here for a visit some time! :)

Sur -- LOL at #5! Bong boys who think they are artists is such a perfect, evocative description!