Dec 31, 2008

Diced, cubed, shredded, sliced…..

I don’t know whether I am foodie but I’d like to think that of me. What could possibly make a foodie, a foodie? Love for food? That I have in truckloads. So, I qualify. And I also like to cook. Sometime back the ‘like to cook’ was almost ‘love to cook’ and the demotion in status is due to failed attempts of mine to bake (cooking, baking all same, ok?) a perfect and soft eggless chocolate cake for a relative’s birthday. A small cake and I couldn’t get it right. The cake got a little chewy and I had to heat it every time I cut a slice to eat because, the hotter cake was simply, more edible. Now I shudder at the thought of having to bake, but I know I am just addicted to getting it right someday. I have learned that I should just not follow multiple recipes and tweak it for my needs, without even knowing whether the original worked for me or not! Bah!

On recipes that I find online – I am sure most of us would’ve noticed the layout in which the cook/chef has detailed the procedure – first a brief of what the ‘dish’ is all about, then the ingredients, time estimate and then the procedure, with or without pictures. In the ingredients, there are measures for each of them and we can see the words cut, finely chopped, cubed, diced, shredded, roasted, ground, juiced, extracted, half-cooked, al-dente etc very generously used. Now this is where I have a problem!

The preparation time set out in the recipe just does not involve the time taken for one to cut or finely chop or cube or shred or roast (you get the idea) the particular ingredient. Take diced carrots, for example – for a slow person like me, peeling, washing and dicing (ok, for my defense I will also mention that I like to be a perfectionist and so no bad pieces, for which I also run a quality check), say 2 carrots takes at least 5 minutes. But the recipe says that after your ingredients take (are made to?) the shape necessary for the ‘dish’, the dish could be turned out in, say 20 minutes. Is this fair to assume that all the ingredients are readily available in the shape the recipe calls for? What if some flour has to be dry roasted for some time? These are the things that anger me. I want an approximate time for getting these prepared too…I don’t want to be fooled into an ‘easy and quick to make’ recipe, which required loads of time for preparation. As a matter of fact, some recipes do mention a ‘preparation time’ and then ‘cooking time’, but the ‘preparation time’ is so unrealistic. Only a trained chef or a robot can do that, I say!

People who think what I am talking about is too trivial, try walking by some recipes when you are having friends over for dinner at short notice or something. You will find yourself in your dirty apron still in the kitchen when they are at your door. So, I’ve decided to mentally add all the time to a recipe if I ever try anyone out again. And, yeah, the mouthwatering cumin cookies and almond drops are so inviting…..gosh…I might need to get to baking again.

Cookies, here I come!

Thank you Sri, friends and all anonymouses for stopping by this blog this year. Wish you all a Happy New Year! May you have a wonderful 2009!

Dec 24, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy 2nd Birthday kannamma....Have a great year and a lovely day :)

Love you so much.....

Dec 23, 2008

I must be getting old

I was on a random nostalgic trip today and I visited my first blog. There, I have a three-post series on my holiday in Munnar in 2005. I had in fact, signed off the last post of the series in haste saying that I am not going to do more travelogues unless I actually have the time to write them down beforehand.

Surprisingly someone has read that series of mine and commented that my write-up was not even near a ‘travelogue’ and followed that with some more trashing of my writing, anonymously. Now, even I know what I wrote was not a travelogue, but just my experiences on the way to and from the hill-station. And in some vague moment I had finished off my post with that word, for want of a better word. That was then. I read through my posts and I see clearly that I never had intentions of delving into details on how to get there, what to eat, what to expect, wallet factor and other such details. I had also mentioned about the longish route we had to take from Madurai via Thekkady and too much of dense vegetation and the like. I remember the entire drive during the day appeared like a drive in the night. And for me the 7-8 hour cold and hungry drive (reasons explained therein) only gave me a headache.

Reading that comment now, I am irked that someone ‘anonymously’ lashed out at me. Why did he/she want to assume that I wanted to see ‘bikini-clad’ women in a hill-station? How out of mind should he/she have been to assume this when all I said was about the boring drive? And frankly yes, there are not as many ‘spots’ in Munnar like there are in Kodaikkanal or even Ooty. So what, I had felt the hill-station lacking. If the reader had to disagree with me, there certainly was a better way, I am sure. The comment was pretty condescending. Having abandoned that blog, thankfully I got to see that comment only today. I could have felt really bad had I seen that then. I don’t know why, but I know I would’ve felt bad.

Actually, I had meant to write about my ‘then’ writing style myself when I noticed this comment and I have technically replied to it here! Well, I notice that when I had started to blog, every was written ‘evry’ didn’t was written ‘dint’, something became ‘sumthin’ etc. I don’t know when the transition from the broken English to‘better’ English happened. When I read my previous entries, I am not particularly proud of my sentence construction or usage of the shortened words. My bad and illogical flow of thoughts could have been because I never edited my posts and I don’t do them now either, but I know I am much better now.

I have written about random things in the spaces that I’ve put up here. I think the broken beginnings are worth it. Though I still have a long way to go, I have traveled some distance and it feels good to think about that, and bury the bad.

Dec 22, 2008


I am fat (bordering on obese!) and I have begun to workout to stay this way or simply put, not to get any fatter. And my twice or thrice a week sessions are sometimes eventful.

Last week, when I was at the gym in our office, a couple of loud mouthed idiots walked into the place. One of them was a mini-celebrity of sorts. He is part of the company band and has actually started worshipping himself, I guess. He is so full of himself and at most times uses his company-wide recognition to happily flirt around with a good section of his ‘fans’ and some equally stupid and pretty girls. Yeah, I have a problem with people who don’t know the word ‘humility’ and I don’t like to see show-offs. I cannot stand people who are beautiful and know they have-it-all, behave like….what else, have-it-alls. I have (happened to?) hear(d) all about this scumbag from a couple of other gym-mates at the ladies locker room. The other 2 ladies, oblivious of my presence or maybe assuming I am definitely not a Tamil, bitched about that guy in Tamil. And I can tell you, it was really entertaining. But see, a ladies’ locker room discussion should remain a secret, particularly so if it involves so many un-parliamentary words! *devilish grin*

Well, he walked into the gym dressed in shorts and a tight sleeveless whatever-it-was-that-looked-like-a-woman’s-undergarment. He is a short and a not so well built guy and this made him look funny (read eeeks so gay). The other guy didn’t look this bad, but was equally loud mouthed. These guys start warming up – keep yakking and its heard all above the sound of some rocking music. And unfortunately for me one other guy then wishes to hear ‘lounge’ music in the gym! I wanted to runaway from there, but I have this strict gym instructor who keeps reminding me of the great shape I am in. I gritted my teeth and continued as they talked non-stop when they were on the tread mill, when they did their push-ups and thankfully I was done and when I was about to leave, I heard one shout to the other doing the abdomen-crunches, “hang in there, hang in there”. It may not sound weird now, but then behind the closed doors of the gym and some lounge background music, you get the idea, it was ahem….

Dec 9, 2008

Blind, totally

An old friend of mine got married sometime back and I knew the guy she married but I didn’t know that they were going around. The shocking thing was, when I mentioned this to another friend of mine, she was surprised I didn’t know. I was probably the only one in the group who hadn’t seen this coming or even known when this was happening. You must’ve looked at the expression on my friend’s face when she asked me “you didn’t know they were a couple?”….I don’t ask her who’s-doing-what questions these days.

I miss things even if they are right under my nose, or is it only because they are where they are?! But seriously, it feels like Phoebe who feels that she is always the last one to know.

Nov 25, 2008

Dilbert's gone

I am removing the 'Dilbert' widget I had put up here - a lot of problems it caused when I opened my blog everytime....something in Adobe Flash malfunctioned. I am no techie and I just dont know what went wrong.
Its up there in one of my earlier, posts - but thats going to be a pain to look that up, everytime I want to read Dilbert. It used to be fun, to read Dilbert at you space - but like I said, too many problems - the IE closed down everytime I opened my blog and made it difficult for me to follow my own blog - thats punishement, I say!
I had liked the widget, though. So long, Dilbert.

Nov 19, 2008

The ‘draft’ thing

In most blogs I read, I come across this line – ‘I have a lot of drafts saved up and I will post them one after the other ….’ I mean I just don’t get that many ideas to keep my space up, one thing. Another, I don’t take my blogging so seriously. But today, even I get the opportunity to say that – not because blogging has grown seriously into me, but actually because I have a couple of posts I have ideas for and have outlined them in a word document.

Earlier, I used to log into Blogger when an idea struck me and posted about it live on my blog, never bothered to spell check, read through again, edit it and ‘present’ it. It was really push-button publishing for me. I pressed ‘Enter’ and my blog was updated with a post. Then I had no readership, and so not now too! But I am reading a lot of blogs, see the importance the bloggers attach to their writing and I don’t see why I shouldn’t maintain my space as neatly even if I am not read. My point is, I should read it years later and be able to see coherence in my thoughts.

So all ya people, I have some drafts waiting to be published and all you out there, better get ready to read it up.

Nov 4, 2008

Just that one?

I wrote just one post in the entire month of October!!! Pathetic....

*hehe.....even if dont write again in November, my post count is already two* *muwahahaha*

Wish you

...a happy wedding anniversary appa and amma.

Oct 6, 2008

Madame s*n*o*b

One of my colleagues at office is a big-time snob who mixes with the middle-class me only because I, being the noble soul that I am, refuse to refuse her a lift back home.

The person I am talking about, say madam K, lives just about 50-100 yards from the place I live in, but across the road. We got acquainted when I used to take the company bus to office during my initial months at work. Well, that worked well only till I got pregnant and I felt sick to even get up in the mornings to catch my 7.15 bus. I decided that I couldn’t do that and started driving down to work. I still do that because I am just used to it – Aditi turns 2 this December, which means I’ve been driving to work for over 2½ years now. I am just lazy to start getting up again at 6 – 6.30 to catch my bus. Also, I don’t know the drop point nearest to my new residence and I conveniently avoid the hassle!

I digress. Madam K has this great power of intuition to catch me a few minutes before I am set to leave for the day, everyday, or at least on all those days when she wants a lift. How she figures out that I am going to be around or am leaving then are all a mystery to me. What is wrong in dropping her back as the car would anyway be empty otherwise, you may ask? Yeah? That’s the risk considering you get to only listen to her all snobbish stories. Thank you. I do not wish to go through that torture again.

In my initial trimester I hadn’t told people in office about my state and was hush-hush. Madam K also didn’t know. One day on the way back, she told me that “I don’t think you want to start family now. You should be married for at least 4 or 5 years like we were, before we had D”. As if deciding for me was not worse, she added, “That is the only good way so you can have fun, you know”. I thought she would’ve fainted had I told her that I was already ‘there’. :P

Then there were this apartment hunting discussions during one of which, she offered to sell us one of her three apartments, because it would free up cash for the third (under construction) duplex penthouse. And, the reason for buying the penthouse was that her in-laws stay in the ground floor and she could peacefully stay in the top floor and enjoy some privacy. I somehow think she would make a bad mother-in-law. Why, I am almost sure!

One day, I asked her casually (actually casually) why she did not learn to drive. She joked that her husband freaks out when she starts the car and she had fought once on that issue and vowed never to drive again. I nodded, thinking that could not be a valid reason. After a minute of thought, maybe thinking whether to tell me or not, she said, “You know actually why I don’t want to learn to drive? That’s so I needn’t drive my parents-in-law around because they would start expecting me to drive them to places during weekends like their daughter does in the US. Tell me who can handle that?” I nodded again, so fast so that she didn’t catch me laughing. Oh yeah? That’s why some people don’t want to drive. To top it all, she wouldn’t want to engage chauffeurs because, then again, in-laws would use it for so many errands unnecessarily. But then she wants her in-laws around to take care of her son.

After shifting to our new house, I have not had a chance to bump into her as often, neither at office nor back in our old area, though I have been to our earlier place quite a few times. Once when I was damn hungry running an errand, my m-i-l called me to tell me that they were joining their friends for a visit to the nearby mandir and that I catch something to eat on the way back, to stay okay till dinner time. I stopped by my old area at a chat shop and was busy gobbling down a samosa. That’s when I met her again. She had to ask me why I was there and whether I come via that route everyday. Now, don’t you also get the intention of the question? I mean, she could see why I was there. I then informed here that I don’t frequent the route and I drive by whenever I am running an errand or just wished to drive that way.

Some people!

Sep 25, 2008

You know those types of friends you can’t bring home?

During a conversation with one of my colleagues, he said something on these lines and I was totally taken aback…..well, surprised. He said something like, “you know, we had to only meet outside of home (wife/spouse doesn’t know). We are friends but that’s the way it is, you know these things right?” No, I don’t. He is also a small town guy, but has had a much better exposure to the western world than I’ve ever had. I have never ventured out of India, as a matter of fact, never been to the northern and eastern parts of the country at all. But, I don’t think I have friends I cannot bring home or talk about at home. My parents knew all my friends, but for those one or two that don’t deserve any mention because we ourselves knew we wouldn’t last a week as friends and maybe we would never see each other again.

Agreed, this could be the issue with the way we could have been brought up, but don’t we form our own opinions when we get exposed to some new experiences. And, this is not with a guy-girl friendship alone, even where I do not subscribe to such a stupid idea that you ‘cannot’ bring them home. Why, because you become answerable to many questions on how you met, how come you became friends yada yada yada…again, how stupid is this?

When my colleague uttered such a thing….I wanted to ask him these things……..

Are there any such types of friends at all in the first place?

Are you ashamed of your own friends?

Are you actually friends or have something else going on but call it friendship?

Even writing about such a thing makes me feel very childish. I find myself asking, ‘Is this something that needs any mention at all?”. But many people out there are hypocrites. I realize this very late in life, maybe because I hadn’t met many like them before? I don’t feel comfortable calling that colleague of mine a friend now. I don’t want to. People like him are better left as colleagues or acquaintances, I think.

Sep 24, 2008

Aditi loves to sing…

When daddy sings along with Abida Parveen…”bekhudi besabab”….Aditi says ‘papap’ and tunes into the song….

When Sun TV plays Ramayan with the title song “Jai Shree Ram….”, she starts off with “Jai…” and drags it to no end and that too ‘sur mein’

She knows to sing “Happ budday”….She sings it like happ budday, happ budday and ends it with Aditi. The tune is perfect.

She also croons (ahem….I am a mother, see?) like Shreya Ghoshal in the tamil song “munbe vaa”…..Aditi also knows a couple of lines in the charanam.

Oh! I just can’t stop bragging about my daughter’s ear for music.

Sep 18, 2008

Eating alone

I don’t like to eat alone without a book. With a book in hand I don’t like to eat with anyone. Today was one day, when I had to lunch alone with no book in hand. I missed the book I had left behind at home. I wished it were here, to keep me company.

When you eat alone at a table, without a book, people actually look at you twice – once when they begin to notice that you are alone and are eating by yourself and later, after some time to see if you have had company (with a book, you suddenly graduate to be an intellectual or a well-read person). They most likely presume that you were waiting for someone and that person must’ve arrived by the time they look at you again. I would like to call this ‘humane’ concern. We are all social animals – just that one animal thinks, the other cannot live without company. Again people who have company give a sympathetic stare at you – ‘oh, poor lady, she is eating by herself’. The sympathy is at its peak, just when that person is a woman. Woman can never be alone, can they! The stares one after the other make you aware of yourself.

Once, my ex-boss was worried that I didn’t have someone to keep me company when I had newly joined the organization. He was probably worried that I don’t move around with people. He asked me whether I had not made friends with co-workers or whether they were not forthcoming enough. I said neither. They just felt hungry an hour after I started to hear noises from my stomach. He asked me to lunch with him in the initial days. I thought I couldn’t eat normally with him. I was always conscious of the way I was munching on food, whether I spilled anything etc. Not that I spill and gobble without any etiquette. Just that lunching with your boss day-in and day-out for me was a little out of normal, particularly when you think his’ is an act of kindness on you, if you know what I mean. In that way, I think eating all alone is just an experience in itself. You can munch with your mouth open for all you care, with food streaking down from the sides of your mouth and wipe it just milliseconds before they spill onto your dress. Manners are just not required.

All said I am happy that these days, women do not get as many sideward glances as they used to get before, when they eat out alone. I know that many women have done it for ages now, eating alone. But again, my viewpoint is of a person who has grown up in a small town, slowly graduating into the life of a big city. Bigger cities are yet to be seen and lived in.

Sep 17, 2008


Shivraj Patil finds time to change his attire/suit thrice ..............

...............because he wet his þäñ†§...

Is there nothing else worthwhile to report about?

Sep 16, 2008

Mohammed Uncle - II

Mohammed Uncle - first part here
My Mohd uncle is no more. He taught me to drive……and stood me when I started instructing him how to drive more efficiently. Some how I think he was the best with older cars like Ambassadors, Fiat (Premier Padmini) etc. As the new cars came by, he never adjusted his driving to suit them and I felt the cars were man-handled.

It was by chance, I spoke to him just a few days before he passed away. I was driving to work that morning it struck me all of a sudden that whatever I was able to do then, was all due to him. He had in ways helped me feel independent and grow up to be the woman I am. Both he and I have so many times taken pride in telling people that I learnt to drive a car without having an ‘L’ board on. I know its nothing great. But given that I grew up in a small town where not many girls drove cars, it appeared a feat in itself for us. My father spoke to him once a month. But somehow he had not called him that month and when I called, he was very happy. People at his household are surprised that I call him from Bangalore. They are accustomed to my dad’s calls, but don’t quite know why the ‘periya ponnu’ (the elder daughter) of the ‘SS sir’ calls. They don’t know the relationship I share with him. Mohd uncle was very happy to talk to me. I chided him for not making it to my daughter’s first birthday. We’d celebrated it with parties both in Bangalore and Coimbatore. I had come to know later that he had been admitted in the hospital during that time and that’s why he couldn’t make it. Still, I chided him for falling sick at the wrong time.

The name Mohd uncle brings back so many fond memories. How my father used to be so comfortable to leave us both (my sis and me) in his company. How much he trusted him. I don’t think he failed us, ever. We knew of the driving lessons he gave his kith and kin in our car, the frequent pick-ups and drops that happened. His friends he regularly called on, on his way back or to our school. These things, when I grew up to be aware, irritated me (us, rather). But, the other drivers were worse – they stole petrol, they lied, misused resources…..Somehow, even if we’d tried to console ourselves with such ideas, we knew he was the safest, the most loyal and the best guy of them all. He wouldn’t work elsewhere too. We slowly matured to overlook the petty issues that never meant anything to us, materially.

Mohd uncle was almost Tam-bram. My grand parents of both sides, who are very staunchly Tam-brams also loved him. He bought us sweets for Id and Ramzan. He reminded my dad about that month’s Amavasya, or other poojas or functions. He was my dad’s personal secretary, almost. He would’ve safely filed away in his memory, even a passing comment on a wedding-to-attend and bring that up, exactly at the right time. He never came late. Always on time, huffing and puffing on his bicycle. I now think how much we take our current employers for granted, in the name of working flexi-time. My dad has never had it and Mohd uncle never knew it. He had to rush us to school every day and he would never miss that for anything in the world. I remember the days when I used to get worked up when we used to be ready and he wouldn’t have come yet. I know we took him for granted – now I realize a driver like him would be very hard to come by.

Mohd uncle and I conversed in Hindi. That’s how my Hindi is conversation-standard. Otherwise who in Tamilnadu, in a small town like Coimbatore would’ve encouraged that. Besides, having studied in a Jain school, some friends also helped improve my language. Coimbatore as a city has a lot of Northie population (Marwari mostly) and many of them understand Hindi, though many do not speak fluently. Well, all said, my Hindi is still broken, though I manage myself quite well everywhere with this.

Mohd uncle was very protective of us. I remember the day when a friend of mine at the CA institute wanted to borrow some notes from me, spotted Mohd uncle near the premises and had asked him if he would pass on a note for me. Mohd uncle got suspicious – recall movie style love-letter instances – interrogated him and got him to write whatever he wanted to in a paper he produced. After Mohd uncle gave the note to me, he waited till I opened it, read it and translated it to him and he was sure that was true by looking at me closely (to find hints of a lie)!! He then had narrated the entire incident to my dad to be doubly sure of things. My dad had to assure him that it would’ve been a genuine note from a friend. My dad came back to tell me this and I was riled at being spied on, but had a good laugh and was moved by his concern. Then I knew, Mohd uncle religiously reported all our activities to dad, which enraged us as teens, but now it seems okay.

All this time, I have never said something to him. That he is special to me, to us and that we love him.

I have so much more to say about him, my Mohd uncle…..May his soul rest in peace.

Sep 9, 2008

What the 7ft guy taught us

Aditi, Sri & I were traveling from Bangalore to Chennai. We had rowed over something and traveled the distance from home to the Cantonment railway station in silence. My parents-in-law had advised Sri to take care of the situation, not blow it up further (yeah, they knew all about it – things are always out in the open). We wouldn’t listen, would we?

We reached the station only to find out the train was going to be at least 4 hours late. Now, we had to spend that time – we caught ourselves some good seats at the waiting room – opposite each other. Not wantonly – they were the ones available. After a few glares, we stopped looking at each other.

Half an-hour later in came a family of three – a man, at least 7ft. tall, his wife – a stout lady with the most ill-fitting track pants and sweat shirt and an “I am dumb” sign painted all over her and their son, a baby of 12-15 months max, dressed in some nightwear, half his size, with diaper visibly soggy. I turned away from looking at them because, the sight of the boy made me want to go up to them, grab him and change his diapers. I constantly kept checking Aditi’s diapers throughout the time we were there.

I consciously decided not to make an appearance judgment on the family. Meanwhile, as there was no room for all the three to sit on the sofas in the waiting room, the tall guy sat down with his legs straightened out with the baby on his chest (trying to put the kid to sleep) and the lady asked another to move a little bit and squeezed herself there. Well, the son wouldn’t sleep – he was amused at having company. Aditi was excited to see him too. She tried to go near them, but they were not too forthcoming, they did not even let the kid go. Sleep time, was sleep time, I guess. There was another older kid that wanted to play with her and we just let them be. The other kid’s mother offered her biscuits and that clinched things for Aditi. She never turned to the younger boy after that.

In the ordeal of putting the son to sleep, successful after a long time, the tall guy dozed off too. The kid slipped from him on to the chilly floor, but remained asleep. As a reasonable woman, I expected the lady to relieve the husband of the kid and let them both sleep. This dimwit tried to wake the hubby up to tell him that the kid had slipped on to the floor – she called out to him, “Sri, Sri”. Sri and I looked at them and stared back at each other. The tall guy didn’t budge. She again called out to him in a louder voice. He woke up and glowered at her. She meekly (subservient, is the word), told him that the kid had fallen down from his lap and he was falling asleep. He scowled and mumbled something and she left things at that. He looked like he would have slapped her hard that minute but had chosen not to, for her own good. Sri & I looked at each other.

Aditi was causing trouble. She was at everyone’s luggage busy opening zippers and stuff. Sri was working away on his laptop but decided against it, when he saw what Aditi was up to. The other kids were both fast asleep, but this lady was all charged-up. He had to get up, cross over and take the kid. When he was at it, I told him, “You are lucky, you don’t have a wife like that”. Sri said, “….and you, a husband like that”.

These days when we fight we tell each other how lucky we are :P and almost end the fight instantaneously.

Making marriage work…..

Well, three years may not be a long marriage, but my husband and I have fought like pigs all through this time to let the on-lookers (yeah, we shamelessly fight in front of everyone in the family), believe that we will most likely call it quits the next minute. Come to think of it, we probably would’ve gone over that thing in head once or twice and made up after sulking for some time. Most fights do not last the night but the handful of them that have extended to the next day have also been resolved with mutual reasoning.

I am surprised we are having to work this hard to make things work between us. We have known each other for quite some time now (7 years), almost know each other’s dark secrets from our days of being bestest friends et al. But when we became man and wife, I think a lot many things changed there. We took the friend in the other for granted, became run-of-the-mill couple. We ran out of things to discuss – I remember the days when we would have everything to talk under the sun, needed each other’s opinions, listened when the other spoke. I remember having once told Sri that I like that very quality in him – he listens. He does, probably even now, but nothing is enough for me. I always end up wanting more. I want more of his time – I could actually sit with a book for hours together – but I am willing to give that up for just an extra hour of being with him.

Now, that is an unhealthy sign because I am sacrificing my personal development and forcing Sri to forgo his as well. What development he is after, I don’t know. Most times it is his friends – hanging out with a mug of beer. I guess, I am psyched at the thought that I am not able to tag along, with Aditi at home and all. All excuses. I am plain jealous – I have admitted this to Sri and told him that I will only slowly get out of it and till then not do all outrageous outings without me. The problem is things crop up now and then, a friend is in town the weekend, a new client wants to discuss something over a mug of beer in the poshest of the pubs….things he can’t decline. Why would he? I act like this super-human when I tell him, “You do what you must”, heart-of-hearts wanting him to stay back and baby-sit Aditi as I would’ve had a long day at office too.

In the meanwhile, guilt eats me that I am not able to extend help to my exhausted parents-in-law, because Aditi has given them a hard day too. She is all charged up on seeing me home and I do not want to have late-nights during weekdays – which translates to additional responsibility for parents-in-law. I also love to cook, so I want dinner on me most days – my little to help my in-laws relax the evenings. I am torn.

What a rant!!! I feel so good after getting it out of my system.

Sep 4, 2008

Diary of Yarns – I

My attempt at story-telling…………..

It was the day of her big interview. She knew she was the best candidate for the position and also knew that they would eventually find her the most cost effective. She was nervous nevertheless. Getting to become a Director of a company of her dreams was something. She had all the qualifications and experience to support her. She was educated at the ivy-league institutes and was never below cum-laude in her time. She was one of the hot candidates and got most job offers when she passed out. She had settled for a low-key company with a great promising profile. She skyrocketed to the top. She waited for that particular role in that dream company to happen. She stepped into the room. The panel was ready. It was going to happen.

The interview went on well. The panel was visibly pleased that at her age, she could achieve as much as she had. They could, as she had hoped, see that she was not money hungry as she was for a good profile. That suited them fine. After all, they were hiring her because they had to. Someone had made, gender diversity in executive management, mandatory, you know?!

Aug 19, 2008

What do you do when…..

…….you see a bottle full of water lying unattended at your pantry?

Facts of the case:
- The pantry lies halfway from your work station and the rest rooms.
- It is usually a practice for people to fill their ‘personal’ bottles up, leave it on the big table to proceed to answer the nature’s call.

Now, I am sure that you know different people drink water from their bottles in different ways. There are people who crane their necks and drink water from a distance of over 12 inches. They probably are the pure-brahmins (some ancestors of my clan) who feel the ion-to-ion or molecule-to-molecule contact should not be made. There are also people who almost lick off the brim of the bottles. I am not here to pass judgments on people by the way they drink from their bottles.

For hygiene sake, I believe that for a group of people to drink from the same bottle, the saliva-touching drinking from the bottle (with most of its neck inside one’s mouth) is not okay.

And, this is what happened to me sometime back – I fill the bottle up and as is customary (!!!), proceed to the ladies’ room to answer the important call. I come back and find my bottle at the same damn place where I’d left it, but only half full. The person must’ve graphically plotted where my bottle lay before, before drinking from it and replacing it.

What I ask here is – how could that person conclude that this bottle is not taken? Or, how could he/she be sure that the ‘owner’ did not immerse the rim of the bottle in his/her mouth for drinking from it? Yuck! Would you drink from a bottle, when the water source (lazy bugger!) is just 3 feet away from you? I swore and almost ruined the person’s lineage in my mind, before condemning the bottle to a dustbin. Eeeks….I shudder to imagine how that ‘offender’ must have consumed water from my bottle!

Why such fuss? You may ask. I am freaky possessive about my belongings. That was MY water bottle. I won’t use yours; you please do NOT touch mine.

Strangely, I do not mind sharing food, eating with the same spoon in a group, so long as the food is not gooey, in that case, I am not interested in eating it at all, or I really nicely bond in the group (beshtu friends?!!).

Ah! Now I’ve stopped yawning.

Stop yawning

What do you do to stop yawning?

Agreed, it could be purely the play of oxygen and carbon-dioxide inside you that is causing so much of it…but if it happens once an hour, maybe, it is fine. Now, I would like you to picture one lady (me) at the computer yawning every 2 minutes. I am just not able to stop yawning.

I have finished whatever I had to do, for the day. I have read those blogs that I usually read…most of the bloggers apparently have something else to keep themselves occupied and hence have not updated their spaces. I tried hitting the ‘Next blog’ button on Blogger, but it takes me to all those random blogs, in so very many different languages. I finally am bored of all things – I am yawning and I am not able to stop.

The only way I thought I could help myself is ask my readers (kitne aadmi hain? One, two?), how to.

Aug 7, 2008

‘Cinderella Man’ and related woes

My husband and I watch a lot of movies. That is probably our important time together during the day.

On a normal day, Sri comes home at least two hours after I do. By the time, I am done with the dinner prep, some times, if I am badly hungry, I am also done with it. On weekdays, my parents-in-law have their regular TV shows running up until 10 to 10.15 in the night. Even if I am part of at least 2 to 3 of their weekly regulars, nothing interests me as much as spending time with Sri, does (obviously?).

So, it is after 10.15 that we usually explore the movies that are being played. Parents retire to bed; Aditi is off to sleep at 9.30 most days. So, we know we have the time totally to ourselves. After we installed Tata Sky at home, we’ve had the option of viewing what movies are playing at a particular time and a brief about them, which adds to our interest in viewing them. The movies that start late end at say, 12.30 or 1.00 in the night. So we end up hitting the bed at 12.30 or 1.00 or 1.30 almost all days.

Now you know what I am getting at?

Almost everyday, we get up only at around 7.30 or 8.00 in the mornings as we both sincerely believe that an average person needs a 7-7½ hour sleep. My daughter wakes up at about 7.15. So, keeping her occupied for another 15 minutes is not a problem. She is just so happy to see us both around when she gets up. And, I feel guilty (badly), when I walk in to the kitchen and see that most of my lunch and breakfast is done. My m-i-l asks me just one thing – what time was it yesterday? I look away – mumble something, and rush to finish my morning duties! Both of us are late for the office – everyday.

Fully knowing what we are doing wrong, Sri & I decided only yesterday that we will stop watching movies – no matter how tempting they are, rent DVDs in case we are desperate about the movie and cannot wait till they play it next time. We also decided for the nth time that we will try and get up at 6.30 in the morning today. We talked about it at 10.00 in the night. We hadn’t finished our dinner yet – so we sat down to eat. We happened to browse through the movies – and voila – Cinderella Man. Sri said “you have to watch this movie, awesome flick”. “Really?” I asked. We forgot about what we spoke just minutes back.

What a movie?!!!!! Loved the cast, drama, action, all of it. Yeah, I am watching it for the first time. We hit the sack at 1.20 in the ‘morning’. There begins the woes part of the post. Aditi is not comfortable for some reason. I am now guessing that she was hungry. She asked for water. Sri was fast asleep already. I asked him to fetch water – he probably swore something – I didn’t get it, but got the water. Usually, she drifts off to sleep when she drinks water…..but then, yesterday she didn’t. She started tossing and turning and then finally she asked for her grandma, then grandpa. It was 2.45 in the morning. I led her to their bedroom and knocked and said she wanted to be with them. Few seconds later, she was with me on my way back to our room. I gave her a biscuit (her favorite – you can literally blackmail her into things offering that), but she wouldn’t eat.

We must’ve drifted off in another 20-25 minutes. I woke up at 8.15 this morning. What a pathetic state of things!

I hate it when I don’t get 7 hours of sleep…….

Aug 6, 2008

Indian Born…..

I read this article on Rediff:

All of us in India, more so the media seem to think very highly of all those – Indian born, once –Indian, of Indian origin – people.
The most ridiculous was England Captain Nasser Hussain - - an Indian-born becomes English captain. Great feat, that.

I mean, agreed, they all glorify the average intelligence levels of average Indians, put or launch India on the global map. Yes, but isn’t this a shame? To identify everything remotely associated with India in a person, and say, this is what India is.

It is more pathetic, when the person concerned did what he/she did, without any support whatsoever from India in any form.

Who were those ladies who went to space? Indian connection found everywhere.

Be proud of India- mails – some x% of the scientists in NASA are Indians, this/these company/companies was/were started by Indians, blah, blah and more blah.

I would be proud, if some one even non-Indian did something here, than elsewhere. I am not bothered about the Indian connection in everything. I am a proud Indian.

Jul 29, 2008

Mohammed Uncle - I

I’ve been meaning to write about this man for quite sometime now. Mohammed uncle – my dad’s driver for as long as we were in Coimbatore, has played a significant role in my life. He has influenced the lives of all of us, my sister, parents and me in more ways than one. I discovered that it was not just us, but so many more others from the ranks of founding partners of my dad’s firm till my dad’s junior partner, all loved as well as hated him, alike.

Oh, love him for what he was – hate him for the same thing actually, for taking control of most situations. He’d decide things for you and stand firm on it. The reason for his deciding for you would always be – ‘in your best interests’. Some of my dad’s partners couldn’t live with that. They would comfortably transfer him to another partner who could cope. I think he stuck to my dad’s senior SN mama (uncle) and next my dad, the most. Neither opened their mouths to contradict him. They just let him be!

Brief history of how we came to get associated with him:

My dad was taken partner at his current firm (he has never worked anywhere else in life, yet) and was posted in Coimbatore, under SN mama (that’s how my sis and I used to call him). Mohammed Arif (Mohd.) was the then driver to SN uncle. My dad only had this Vespa scooter then. So, whenever we needed to run an errand, or maybe rush us to the doc or some thing, we would call our dad at his office and Mohd uncle would be sent home for that purpose. That’s how we first got used to him. Our dad told us to call him Mohd 'uncle'. These errands were at least once a week and SN mama being a home-loving person, used to almost give away his car to us on evenings or weekends. We started getting to know Mohd better that way. After, maybe after a couple of years, I think all partners met and decided my dad became eligible to get a car of his own. Well, then he did not know how to drive. So, Mohd got us a driver, in the form of Azeez. I don’t remember to have ever liked him. I don’t know about the others, but I remember to have thought that had it been Mohd uncle in this situation, he would’ve acted like this, like that etc.

Soon after, SN mama was transferred to Chennai to take up a senior role in the Head Office. I think my sister and I were in primary school then. Mohd uncle became ours! Because the then junior partner, who came by to join my dad, knew to drive, and wanted to drive to work, himself.

That is where our journey began……..

Jul 15, 2008

Did I write this?

I'd actually written this in an older blog of mine - as some one out there said - quoting self is so much fun LOL

Glorification of the self will eventually lead to a better expression of thought and help me move beyond the realms of the self.

Whatever that means!


My sister. She is off to the US to do her Masters next week. She was away from home for her undergrads too. I will miss her, bad.

She and I have been and still are at loggerheads for most of the issues that we happen to discuss. If we think we would both have the same opinion on something, we don’t discuss that at all. What’s the point? You get the drift. Our sole existence is to contradict each other.

But, she taught me fun. I am this, super-boring homosapien on earth. I never broke rules, never forgot homework, books, pencils, money, nothing. She always borrowed…I thought borrowing was below one’s pride. You admit that you failed (duh! Whoever gave me that idea?!). She thought it won you, friends. She always forgot. Every time she left for college, in a couple of days a parcel (huge or tiny) would follow from home, containing all things she left behind. This time, all of us have warned her that she will not get a parcel to the US.

She taught me how to shop. I excelled my teacher in the days to come, is a different matter. She demanded things, fought for her rights – against me, our mom and dad. She teased me till I cried for belonging to another family, after I got married. The fact that I still retain my maiden name professionally never bothers her. She disowned me. She probably still does. I vowed never to speak to her again some ten years back. She told me it was fun to shout “Kappathunga” (save me), when being driven back from school as if we were being kidnapped (poor Mohammed uncle, our driver – he used to sweat bullets!)

How I cried the last time, when she left for college after summer holidays, just before my wedding? She had finished all hers at home, but then I hadn’t broken down. I only consoled her. There she was, in Chennai Railway station, at her window seat and that’s when I burst out. All her friends had later told her, what a senti sis I was and what a b**** she was to not have responded. I liked that angle to it :-)

I don’t think I will cry this time, this weekend when I go visit her. I still don’t think we have grown apart or something. We still have our differences of opinions in some basic issues and I am sensing that’s why we aren’t like we were before. We still love to shop together – literally she’d shop till I drop. She is never tired……We still laugh at all our movies. They are ‘our movies’ because no one here at Sri’s enjoys it the whole-hearted way, we do. They need more humor. Bah! My sis and I could laugh our ass-off at things so silly…..most around us would only ponder why!

I would love to recall so many more things, love to keep on narrating, the fights we’ve had – that one where we were done with pillows, started hitting each other with hands and at one point were hanging from the side of the bed, the time when I was in teens, when she wasn’t yet, the way she was jealous of me…..when I grew jealous of her later, those days when she got her phone-calls when she was in her 3rd or 4th – oh so many more things. Fyi, I never got calls until I was in my secondary school. The way she exhibits a better taste in creative things, she being a better singer (way better), etc etc etc…..I think both of us share the same passion in only loving our dad…..we both love him, so very much.

Nithi holds a special place in my life. I still loathe her for her selfishness, rudeness and many a times condescending attitude to loads of people. She also finds many of my attributes objectionable. Heck! :-)

Not that we will not bump into each other again. It can’t happen like before, but. All said and done, she is my kutti sister. I will miss her around. I think I need to plan a vacation to South Carolina next.

Tata, bye-bye, see you, best of luck Nithi.

Oh, btw, Happy Birthday to you di....I know its tomorrow - but see naan dhaan first!

Jul 2, 2008

Romance and me

The title sounds like one of Mills & Boon’s romances. How many I used to read during those days, when all my friends had love-interests in their life (in their 10th, 11th and 12th standards!), and I, being one outcast that I was (read I am), would cuddle up with some romance like this and dream!

Even for being whatever I was, I remember to have tried to put off (what a big joke) some guys getting a little too friendly with me, telling them that I was interested in one of my cousin’s cousins and that he also felt the same way. I had also given the character a name and a qualification, MBA. Years later, I get to marry one (MBA, that is), is a different story altogether. Hell, suddenly all these guys were more eager to know about the love-angle of my life. They thought it was impossible for me to have such a thing. And to say, I kept them interested in my stories for close to 2 years is something. Isn’t it? I think I have been well qualified to direct a mega-serial and maybe I am destined to do one soon. LOL

Then comes the real twist to the story…..I vacation to my cousin’s place one summer and end up falling heads over heels for her cousin there (more about this, in coming posts) – just months after I reel this story out at school to keep those charming Romeos at bay. That helped me add details to the romance I never had, backed by the reams of imagination and fantasy filed in me from the M&Bs. I started something up, 6 months down the line I am smitten and fulfill my dreams with stories for another 18 months. And, I had one of the finest audiences one could ever have. Come to think of it, I think that’s why autobiographies sell. We are all nosey curious.

Believe it or not, I even conjured up a fitting break-up story to it, when I started finding one of my classmates more attractive than the character I’d created! How my friends sympathized!

Important Note: I am still friends with at least a couple of those guys from school and I know they don’t read my blog. But being as lucky as I am, I should only expect them to start exploring the blog world rightaway. If you are one of my school pals, then I sincerely apologize for taking you for a ride. But for that entertainment you sure owe me some money.

Jun 20, 2008

I am J

என்னத்தை சொல்றது?

என் புருஷன் என்னை விட்டுட்டு 'தசாவதாரம்' படம் பார்த்துட்டார். கோவம் கோவமா வருது. குழந்தைக்கு மொட்டை போட பழனிக்கு போன எடத்துல சார் காணாம போனதுக்கு இதுதான் காரணம் போல!

Anyway, I was J not because he went....but because he didnt take me along. Ethics and decorum அதுக்கு இடம் குடுக்கலை. மாமனார், மாமியார், அம்மா, அப்பா, தங்கை அண்ட் பாப்பாவை விட்டுட்டு போக முடியலை.

I tried convincing him (*she devil* tee hee!) out of the plan. He knows very well that I was totally enthu about the plan, but was tied down..... what to do!

Jun 9, 2008

Air conditioned travel

Third A/c train compartment - boarded well in advance....Aditi is not feeling all right, she is cranky and keeps crying every time she loses body contact with me...the bedding was not in place; clean sheets had to be brought in; the guy in charge for all that in our compartment was probably new, all of us in our bay had to walk up to the guy to get our stuff....most of the rest were asleep already....Aditi wouldnt let go of me, so I take her also with me to get our new sheets and bedding....come back set our bed and put her to sleep.....she is fast asleep............
A couple of minutes later, someone far*(t)ed in the same bay in the A/c compartment.....!The train journey was as pleasant as it could get.

Jun 6, 2008

I will also talk about it

I mean - etiquette.
Somethings have annoyed me and still do. I make a mental note of things that I shouldn't do. I end up only thinking about it. This time I want to write about it. Getting on and off a lift (elevator?).
People waiting in front of a lift, do so, just in front of the door. I am assuming that they want to be the first person to get in, when the door opens. When the door does open, I have seen people get a little irritated if the lift car has passengers in it, waiting to get out. Its a matter of fact thing.
These people want to get in even before those people want to get out....they try all means to do that. Say, if there are five people getting out, they typically file themselves one behind the other. The person who wants to get in, thinks he cant wait till all these get out. Tries to get in after 3 people are out, just in case, the 4th one is slow.....or gives the 5th one in such a 'can-you-not-do-it-faster' or 'move-it' stare. I promise, I've seen all this happen.
Now, dont you judge me by the people I am working with!

End of a ride

"So, what have you named your baby?", she asked me.

I knew it was the last question. They did not have anything more to ask me or even tell me.

I said,"Aditi", and walked out.

May 30, 2008

Friday dressing

I just have to write about it today – after years of simmering irritation

I do not believe in dressing up or rather down, on a Friday. I somehow don’t feel the need to exhibit my weekend mood. A lot of people are on the other side of the balance on this and they wish to Friday dress.

But, I have some observations on this. Girls wear outrageously outrageous clothes on Friday. Guys come out in those animal prints, floral print shirts and what not on those days. I am shocked to see that you guys buy such stuff. I thought the fad was all over with your college days.

I could be offending a whole bunch of people if they happen to read this (a big if, that is), but I stand by it. Fine – even if they just have to wear those block stripes or flashy colors to the office, I can see that they are not confident carrying it about. Most people (not all) just lack that attitude to match what they are wearing. I strongly recommend trying something on before buying it. Buy it when you really, really like what you see.

Frankly, I wear such out-dated stuff. I know it. I have never even tried to change my wardrobe. But, I have always wanted that dream makeovers – all those ravishing ladies on Oprah’s and stuff!!!! But I think I do not venture out to wear something bold, unless I am dead sure about it. Why all this rant? Because I saw so many awfully (understatement) dressed colleagues at office today! Yuck! That’s the word.

May 28, 2008

Love letter?

Have you ever been written a love letter to? If yes, lucky you! :)
No one has ever written one to me......yeah! My husband emailed me his love......our courtship was a distant thingy.......
I remember now, a guy, sorry, a boy wrote a love letter to me when I was in my second standard. Shit, yes! And, I tore it apart like in the movies. It was the in-thing to do in the 80s yaar.
The boy didn't give up. He, ganged up with another boy, and wrote to us (yes, all five girls sharing our bench). The boys used to sit two benches ahead of us, and used to sing love songs to us....oh,my, yes, really. We were kids totally drawing inspiration from movies of that time. It so happened that the guys got caught by our teacher one fine day. The stupid teacher that she was, she reported that to our supervisor (aka primary school headmistress). That stupid lady (now I think they both were stupid) summoned all our parents. My mom asked me before the teachers whether such a thing happened, I said yes, and she asked me where those letters were? I told her I tore them as they were rubbish! Bleddy, she didnt feel proud of me.
Well, she never said a thing there. But she came home, told me that it was all a wrong thing to do. Told my dad about it, heck! Both of them made me sit down, spoke to me about it, I remember to have said something like "I know everything, you dont have to tell me"....and thats it, hell broke loose. I got one tight slap.
Boys, guys, men, never wrote to me after that!

May 23, 2008

May 22, 2008

Aditi - birth story - V

Part 4 - here.

The doctor came in, examined me and told me that I was 3 cm dilated. They started something in the IV. Cleaned me up and attached this heart beat monitor. Now, after reading so many birth stories, I think they gave my some thing like pitocin. About half an hour later, I started getting very frequent pains. They asked me if I’d eaten anything or want to eat something. I wanted to poop again. The doctor told me to do it then and there and told me that I cannot go to the bathroom now. I told her I hadn’t bathed and she told me that I can do it with the baby sometime later. I was surprised. I’d thought I am going to take some time.

I couldn’t control myself – I peed and pooped on the sheet there. I feel embarrassing to even narrate it now….but that’s what I did. The nurses pulled the sheet out, put in a new sheet in a jiffy. I don’t remember how. Then my water broke. The doctor brought in another doc (they were both juniors to the obg-gyn I went to), examined me and asked me to push closing my mouth, directing all the energy I had to the inside and not open my mouth, puff and give vent to it. I did it twice, but failed to coincide it with my contractions. But suddenly the docs declared me full and told me that they are moving me into the episiotomy room.

I got up from the bed, sat on the wheelchair and was wheeled into the room. They asked me to get on to the table, propped me up on some two big round pillows and tied my legs to a couple of posts. I saw a guy walking in from the other door and asked the doc, who he was. I was told that he was the paediatrician. Then the doc told me that I needed to push with my mouth closed and whenever I felt my pain. I pushed once, she said, ‘yes, again”. I told her I couldn’t – I didn’t have any contraction then. Just as I told her, I got one and I pushed hard. PLOP came the baby. It was 9.52 in the morning. The actual labour time, as I see it, the time I was moaning in pain, started at about 7 in the morning. Not bad, everyone told me!!!

Then they massaged my tummy and plop, plop, came out the placenta. I could see her being taken across to be given to the paed. They hadn’t told me which baby it was even then. I shouted out to the doc and asked her, where my baby was, was it a boy or a girl. They told me it was a girl. In a couple of minutes, they showed me the baby, she was 3.2kgs at birth. I liked her. She was a little rosy in color and round. She was long, I don’t remember how long….but then she was not too long, a little over average I think. But when she lost her birth weight in the following days, she started looking like one lizard! Now at 17 months, she is one devil and angel, all rolled in to one!

The stitching me up part was the worst thing of all. Stupid me, I didn’t know what kind of a tear I’d suffered, how many stitches they put and all that. I just wanted them to get it over with. That’s all. I pushed and the doc hurried. That’s where all my problems started. They apparently stitched a little bit of my anus also together. Gosh, I knew this only after 2 months, was in pain all through out. Because of the stress, I didn’t have enough milk at all. I went through hell. Lost sleep for 2-3 days at a stretch post delivery. I cried loads in the first 2-2.5 months for not being able to feed my daughter. I became hysterical, I think. Aditi never slept properly. The day we brought her back from the hospital (I was there for 5 days – cos Aditi had run temperature one day, so they kept us back for monitoring), she was crying all night in colic pain. She had one bad time. I did not know then, that it was the colic pain. She was ok when I nursed her, but for nursing her I had to go through BAD pain. I hated those episodes of having to miss sleep because of her. Things fell into place slowly after some 10 weeks, I think…..but very slowly.
Post delivery I had loads of infections, one after the other, they had to do a small job to undo the extra-stitch they'd done. I was in pain again after that. Better, unsaid, I feel now!

Aditi - birth story - IV

I think the posts are getting too long, but I love the feeling of having to recall all of it and I just am not able to stop writing! My last part was here.

By mid – December, my mom, aunts, patti and me – all got really really tired of waiting. One of my aunts suggested that I take a second opinion of whether the head is engaged now, whether the delivery date has to be re-worked etc. She also suggested a doctor, who was retired from service now, but attended on deliveries sometimes. My mom and I visited her, the following day. She told me that my vagina was soft, so soft in fact that I had all chances of a good normal delivery. But she also told me that I look like I will deliver only by end of the year. I had no reaction to this news. I just exclaimed ‘Oh’! I thought I probably will give birth on the 1st of January.

I was due for an internal examination a week before my due date. I was scared to let the doctor do anything to me. I kinda screamed during the procedure. I was slightly shook up after the thing and was down with fever for the next three days. Those days were hell. I did not have any strength to even carry myself around. My mom now tells me that she feared if I’d had any pains then, I’d have to undergo a c-sec. Sri was also scared about me being out of health and offered to come down immediately. But I asked him to come over for the weekend.

Dec-23, 2006: Sri came down from Bangalore and I felt so relieved. He told me that “how I wish you just get the pain now, get to the hospital and give birth. Don’t you think we’ve waited long enough?” I wish too, I said. I had a great dinner. I ate a good amount more than what I wanted. I loved whatever was for dinner that day. At about 10 in the night, I declared that I shouldn’t have eaten that much, as I felt my stomach make some strange noises. I retired to bed soon after emptying my tummy.

Dec-24, 2006: Should have been 2 or 2.30 in the morning. I felt like I wanted to poop and bad. I cursed myself for overloading myself with food and went to the bathroom. Came back and slept. After half an hour, I felt the same way again. I pooped again. This time I was not able to empty my stomach of all that, I thought was pushing. That must have been the first contraction. Really, I still don’t know. But I went back to sleep. At about 15-20 minutes later, I woke Sri up and told him that my tummy had gone for a toss and I am having pains. Really, I didn’t know that it was “the” pain. I voiced concerns that the doctor is going to admonish me for ruining my system before the due date; admit me; induce pain et al.

Sri woke my mother and grandma. They came over and I told them that I was feeling uncomfortable and I didn’t know what it was. My grandma told me that labour starts with a shooting pain in your back, usually. I immediately gave in to that idea and relaxed that whatever I was going through then, was not anyway near labour pains. My mom wanted to wait a while before waking my dad up. By then, I was in pain once every 15-20 minutes. She woke him up at 6. They all had some coffee and by 6.30 we left for the hospital. I think we reached the hospital at 7. By then my pain was a little more frequent. But that was nothing of the sorts we see in the movies. I got down from the car and walked in to the near-empty waiting hall – this Sunday morning. A nurse asked me if I wanted to be wheeled in. They showed me in to a room, I had to share with another lady. Apparently she was here since 5 that morning; she had come in after he water broke. My mother told me that she would likely deliver first and that mine would be by mid-day or end of day. They let me into that room and closed all visitors outside.
Hopefully Aditi reads all this one day! To be contd..

May 19, 2008

Aditi - birth story - III

From Part 2, here.
Before, writing about my Chennai experiences, I want to thank my two devoted house helps in Bangalore. My maid, Kala, who by taking at least a couple of days off every fortnight, helped me flex my muscles. I did all vessels during that time. I also regularly dried clothes because that was not Kala’s job and did some cleaning on and off. But then, to give her, her due credence, she was and is still damn good (we’ve shifted house though). My cook, Lalitha mami, was great. While Sri always cribbed about her cooking, she wasn’t bad at all. She never missed a day. I had her cook for me both in the morning and the evening. She was literally godsend. She came at a time when I needed someone most – at the start of my second trimester when hunger pangs struck. My previous cook, Krishnamurthy, was also good. But I think he got paid much higher for the same time slot in another place. He took a week off and never came back.

In Chennai, I ate and I slept all I could and generally caught up with loads of friends. My good friend’s mom makes awesome puliyodarai and aviyal (being Iyengars). When I just told him one fine day that I wanted to taste it, he took so much pain to get 2 dabbas for me from his house in Velachery to mine in West Mambalam. A couple of my friends who were new moms, both who’d had c-sec, told me all about their ordeal. I just took the information in, without thinking too much about it or trying to figure out how I would react when my time came. I never did any baby shopping, I never read up about breast-feeding. I just read a lot of fiction which I’d missed during my office days.

Come first week of December, enters my grandma (my mom’s ma) from Hyderabad. We have a picture of all 4 of us together! Well, as soon as she set my eyes on me, she said, I would very likely have a baby boy and in that case, I would deliver at least 2 weeks in advance of my due date. I never asked her too many questions. It is better not to. Never try to reason things out. Just nod. Then in a week’s time, she’d expected my belly to shift downwards indicating some head-fixing and all that. When that didn’t happen, she was anxious because, she had booked her return tickets for the last week of January. This means, she had just about a month to spend with the new-born.

In the meantime, even I was getting a little too restless, I was angry with my dad for having pulled me out of office and work and Bangalore and Sri, way too early. I looked forward to alternate weekend visits by Sri. He worked the other weekends, just Saturdays. Everyday I religiously paced my mottai-maadi (terrace floor) up and down. I walked briskly all throughout my pregnancy period. And, last few weeks did not make any difference. I walked at least for half an hour once or twice a day. Just before my patti (grandma) arrived, I had some anal fissures and piles due to the extensive traveling in the first week of November. I’d traveled from B’lore to Chennai (for my parents’ anniversary), then from Chennai – Coimbatore for the shower and then back to Chennai. Food, heat and some constipation did me in. I suffered like crazy. The doc told me that in case, god forbid, I had to have a c-sec, he will operate on me for my anal thing too. That was scary. I was in bad pain. Regular application of medicines and a bland diet gave me good relief.

To be contd….

May 16, 2008

Aditi - birth story - II

Continuing from here

I drove to work everyday. I never felt uncomfortable after my initial sickness. Despite people advising me not to drive, some in fact warned me of after effects too, I enjoyed driving – even in Bangalore’s horrible traffic. Whenever I had to speed brake, or when I unexpectedly drove into pot-holes, I apologized to my baby. I sang to her then. It was our time. It could sound all clichéd, but I thought I was making up for all that time I lost throwing up. By the way, during the entire period of my pregnancy, I’d wanted the baby to be a girl, my companion. I have grown up with a sister; I do not know how a guy grows up. I thought I would be comfortable bringing a girl up, than a boy. Maybe, now I am confident……then, I wasn’t.

In a way, ignorance was bliss – I never researched extensively as to what should happen to me when, what should I be feeling, how should I prepare myself, and most important of all, how is the delivery going to be. It was all word of mouth – what my mom, m-i-l and my close friend, who was just a couple of months ahead of me, told me. In fact, I was pretty upset when the baby didn’t start kicking inside as per my friend’s schedule of things!

I had nearly 6 ultrasounds during my entire period….first two for viability of the fetus, as the doc thought, during the first scan the heart beat could not be heard and she wanted to be sure. Third one in the third month, fourth in the sixth month, fifth during eighth month before the doctor here in Bangalore could let me go to Chennai for delivery and one final one in Chennai, about 2 weeks before I delivered. I was also worried about the number of scans I had. Once or twice during the time, I also braved myself for expecting the unexpected – provisioning for other than good news. I tried to talk to Sri (hubby) about all possible outcomes of a delivery, but he just encouraged me to be positive and told me that we will evaluate things when we had to. I felt more than comfortable to leave it at that. Didn’t want to trouble myself any further.

I had my baby shower in the first week of November. My father (one extra-protective type) wanted me to come off to Chennai right away. I was due on December 25th. My mother in law was with him on this. She had nightmares about me getting sudden pains when driving et al. In toto, they bundled me off to Chennai, close to 8 weeks before I was due. I had wanted to work….but my doc didn’t want me to travel in the last few weeks. I was rock solid….but no one would want my opinion on that. I was delivering my first baby – I shouldn’t take chances. Having this been thrust down my throat, I spoke to my manager for an extra month’s leave without pay (boo-hoo) and left for Chennai.
Will be continued....

May 15, 2008

Aditi - birth story - I

First of all, thanks to all those mothers and their birth stories….thanks for inspiring me to do this.

My pregnancy period has been very typical of what we see in the movies – the lady who is pregnant first falls down unconscious, then a doc or maybe in Tamil movies, an old lady comes by, checks the pulse and says “neenga amma-aaga poreenga” (You are going to become a mother). Cut scene – Next scene – the lady rushes to the nearest available bathroom to waaaah---puke.

Well, even if I did not fall unconscious, I was feeling strangely giddy at 12.00 in the noons, more than an hour before lunch time. Then, I used to think that my cornflakes intake wasn’t enough. At about 1.15, on some days, if I hadn’t had my lunch by then, I would feel way too dizzy. After two weeks of this ordeal only I skipped my period and took the home test. Gosh! I couldn’t take it at first. We hadn’t planned it at all. No, I don’t blame it on condoms or anything. I think we mis-calculated the safe periods. After a lot of thinking through, we said we will go ahead with this. More than me, my husband was sure that we go ahead.

Cut – next scene – actually next 3 months I ate and threw up all that I could. I cried at every available instance. I hated anybody who tried to console me that “its always like that”. I hated my hubby for trying to pat me, I hated him even if he touched me. But he has been quite patient. Hehe…sometimes I used to blame my mood swings to my pregnancy. I envied everyone who said, I never had as much as you do. I hadn’t informed my office as yet. All because of the “drishti” thing!!! I used to sneak into the bathrooms, bend down as close as possible (yuck!!!) to the commodes and throw up. The sound of me vomiting shouldn’t come out you see….I hate myself for being secretive now. J

But, immediately after the first trimester got over, I stopped throwing up completely. It was like the baby thought, - Let me stop now – poor thing this. She stopped at the dawn of my second trimester. Bless her! I started loving being pregnant that day.

Now, me also going to do it in parts! Oh how I love the ideas that you guys give me.

May 14, 2008

Must dos

I have been meaning to write about these two things for some time now:
Just posting this to keep reminding myself -
  1. In memory of beloved Mohammed uncle (aka Mohd. Arif / Bai/ driver)
  2. Aditi - birth story

I have been *totally* smitten by the birth stories doing rounds in the blogosphere. Why leave Aditi's out of it? I wish to write about both of them some time soon.

Mar 26, 2008

Random Dumb Conversations

People who know me know that I am almost famous for this - absolutely random and dumb conversations. I do not consider myself eternally dumb though - I know that I am not the right person to judge this, but I thought I should throw in a disclaimer here.

The main problem with me is that I just do not think before I speak or many a times, even, write. The point of this post was not that - to ramble on about my meritorious activities - I saw a couple of instances where people spoke so dumbly to break ice.

We were on our journey back to Bangalore from Chennai where this is the conversation between Ms.X andMs.Y -

X: Are from Chennai? I meant to ask, is Chennai your native?
Y: No, I just used to work there. I used to stay at my aunt's. Just visiting you know.
X: Oh, so where in TN are you from?
Y: Oh, thats very near Chennai anyway (says something like Vellore, Vizhupuram or something)
X: Oh, really - do you know Vidya there? She used to work with me in my previous organisation. She comes from that place only.
Y: *blinks* *politely smiles* *no answer*

I mean look at this, Vidya from Vellore or Vizhupuram is so famous that even when Ms.Y didnt know which previous organisation this Ms.X was referring to, she needed to know!

I would've said "Oh, yeah, the Vidya who used to speak so nicely of you?, Yes, I know" or return it with "Do you know Karthik?"