Thursday, September 29, 2011

Violence Against Women Awareness Month: Stree Shakti

Remember CSA Awareness Month?

For October we are planning a similar initiative, on Violence Against Women. We know the subject is very wide and includes multiple aspects. To ensure that this awareness campaign is effective, we have limited our scope to the following aspects:

1. Domestic violence – physical violence by husband/partner, other family members etc
2. Violence against girl child – including deprivation
3. Sexual violence – including marital rape, date rape
4. Emotional/psychological abuse
5. Dowry-related violence – including bride burning
6. Female infanticide
7. Acid attacks

As a member of the core team, I invite you to support and strengthen VAWM Oct 2011 as only you can. You can...

Keep up with our blog.

Write about it and send your blog post links or writeups to (confidentiality and anonymity respected, as always).

Tweet about it – don't forget to add!/VAWMonth .

Join in the Facebook discussions.

Show your support with the badge:

It's the season that celebrates the power of women. Come join in our Stree Shakti special posts.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The period of the goddess -- Debipokkho -- has begun. This will be our last Pujo in this neighbourhood. I never thought I'd miss this place so but we have lived here nearly four years so I suppose that was inevitable. It's the only home Rahul remembers.

This is a very moving time for me. On the third day of this period five years ago, a little Niyogy was born to me.

It's also Tuesday.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Fifth Birthday

Here's why I would never make the cut for mommy blogger status:

Rahul turned five this morning and I'm only just writing out the blog post. Also, he celebrated it with his friends over a week ago and... I'm only just writing out the blog post.

The party was great even though several people had to drop out at the last minute because of various emergencies. People who could make it included Kingshuk and Aryan from his pre-school days, and Taishan, Ratul, Chinkydidi and little Magh from the family friends circle.

That's him, cutting the cake while all the other kids hold on.

That's our Dipali dida hugging the little guest of honour who tasted a little cake and a bit of his hostess' shoulder and didn't think too much of either. :)

That's me, looking a little bigger every year. One of my favourite school mums in the background.

And that's the cake. A bit rushed but it did taste good and that's the main thing, isn't it? It was two layers of chocolate cake sandwiched with coconut-gur laddu paste and covered with marzipan. Yes, it's an Angry Bird, his all time favourite phone game.

So that was the birthday party.

The actual birthday (today) was better than I'd hoped for. We left him with my mother (possibly his favourite person) while Vicky and I shifted furniture and worldly goods to our new flat. Yes, we are shifting to a new place on the Bypass and it's a complicated move and a very tiring one. We finished Part I today, with many more to follow!

After we were done with that stuff Vicky and I went to Moore Avenue to find Rahul in a rollicking good mood. The day was spent in cuddles and kisses. He received many phone calls and emails and smses wishing him, to which he responded in his own inimitable way. Dipali and her SRE, for instance, were treated to his special goodbye, while Itchy was firmly told that he didn't have to thank her since she hadn't given him anything.

Speaking of gifts, he was gifted a wooden 3-level car park by his grandparents and loves it to death. Went some way towards making up for all the birthday gifts I haven't allowed him to open yet (because we have begun packing) and our gift that he knows was due on his birthday but hasn't been given to him for the same reason. He even cut a little fruitcake after dinner but by then had long lost his appetite for [more] food.

And that was the fifth birthday. He's growing up on me, you know. He rolls his eyes and gives me these exasperated gestures and ticks me off and quietly comes to comfort me when I'm sad and does so much for me that I find it difficult to remember that he's actually such a little man.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Vicky bought his Macbook Pro in April. We went hunting for a bag for it but couldn't find anything to suit our budget as well as our tastes. I rashly promised to make him one instead. I even found some material that matched the fabric he had once said he would have liked for the bag.

That was in April.

This weekend, after yet another visit to a store where I guiltily sneaked past the laptop bag display, I decided to just go ahead and make that bag already. I present to you the fruit of my labours.

It's made of a loose weave multicoloured curtain fabric from Fabindia, lined with navy blue polyester and quilted using synthetic batting. The Apple-ique (heh) is cut from white felt. If you open it, you can see the quilting:

The strap is marginally shorter than I'd have liked but the bag is sturdy and machine washable and should last. I had a cute, ready-to-sew applique of a pair of macaws but the man insisted on this silly half-eaten apple instead. No accounting for tastes.

I made Shuktara wait a year for her dress so I think I'm improving, don't you?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

It's Tuesday

Get your episode here.

For future reference, you can look to the right sidebar on Tuesday mornings. All serial updates will be shown there. --->

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Unexpectedly Italian

I slept late this morning (I woke up with a headache and went back to sleep once the maid and car washer were done). My parents called, asking if we wanted to go out for lunch to the club, but I suggested that we try out the pizzas at Hotel Raj instead. It's a vegetarian joint so Vicky had been refusing to go there all these months, but we all loved the pizza. The bread was crunchy and soft in the right places, the cheese melting into long strands and the spicing just right. Ma had a thali and that was good too but the Southie stuff there is always good.

We went shopping for -- of all things -- photuas (a kind of traditional Bengali mens shirts) and dhutis afterwards and then came home and collapsed.

After they left we got a call from Mrs Dr D asking if she and little Ratul could come over. Eventually we persuaded them to stay for dinner. Dr D dropped in as well and we all had an impromptu dinner party. We dined on macaroni in white sauce with sweetcorn, onion and shredded chicken salami which took me about 20 minutes to make, chatting as I did with Mrs Dr D all through. It was a bit dry and I suppose a little underspiced for the Dr Ds (in our kitchen we keep the spice levels low) but it was a pleasant little dinner with ice cream for afters.

In fact, now I'm thinking all I needed to make these two meals perfect was some dry red wine.

Now I'm on the lookout for Italian recipes. I've promised to make Dr D an authentic Italian meal and he has promised to bring the necessary wine. Do you have any recipes you'd recommend? I'm thinking of a lazy Sunday brunch and since there are four males involved (two fathers and two sons) we must have meat. I was thinking of spaghetti with meatballs, some kind of bacon-pasta salad and perhaps a wee lasagna? Or should I think of a risotto instead? And any recommendations for the wine? Indian make please or at least something not prohibitively expensive.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Love in the morning school rush

The boy is running out of the door. His father's already downstairs getting the car out.

Me: I love you.

Rahul: Bolo, I love you.

Me: (very touched that he's actually asking for affection for a change!) Yes, I just said it, I love you.

R: Yes, abar bolo, I love you 5, 6, 11!

I dutifully repeat various combinations as he makes his way down the stairs. And what with the mushiness engendered by the above conversation I actually stand waiting by the window as he walks out of the gate.

Only to hear him gleefully telling his father, "Ami Babu-ke khyapachhilam!" (I was teasing Babu!)

I blame the paternal genes.