Thursday, November 21, 2013

MamMam blues

As my daughter turned one I noticed a lot of changes in her. Till her first birthday she needed a bit of support to walk and took a few steps on her own. But the very next day after her birthday she started walking as if she had done it all her life. Her moods are different, she is more assertive about not wanting to eat something and most of all she gives me a lot more hugs... spontaneous ones at unexpected moments. She calls me 'MamMam' sometimes sweetly, sometimes sternly depending on whether she just wants a hug or her diaper changed. While I am loving this phase I am also scared. As a child grows up she absorbs so much of her surroundings. I always wonder if I am setting a good example.. I wonder if I could be a good mother... I wonder if a few years down the line she would turn around and accuse me of not being a good role model.
I hope I don't turn out to be overbearing or pushy. I consciously try not to impose my wishes on her but end up despairing that she isn't eating enough or sleeping enough. Will these small worries turn into big ones and will they make me want to control every move she makes? Oh I hope not.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My last surviving grandmom expired last night at the age of 88. She was my mom's step-mother but the only nani I ever knew. My mom's mother expired when she was only 6 years old leaving my grandfather a young widower with three children, one only a few days old infant. He tried taking care of the children for two years with the help of servants and relatives. He refused to remarry lest the new mother ill treated his children. However coming under pressure from family he remarried a woman who was four years his senior and twice divorced.
My grandmother had a tragic life. Her first marriage was happy but broke up due to misunderstandings and ego issues between her husband and her father. Her father wouldn't let her return to her husband after the birth of her first son. She decided to elope but was caught. In a fit of rage and one-upmanship, her father got her remarried. That marriage didn't last long either. She had another son, another fight and came home permanently. She then dedicated herself to social work and politics. She was educated till the seventh standard which was a big qualification for women those days. She knew a bit of English and wrote very well in Malayalam.
She was remotely related to my real grandmother and came often to visit her when she was alive. My grandpa used to call her 'Chechi' or elder sister. She was very fond of my mom who was a chatterbox and loved to dance and sing as a child. So when my real grandmom died at childbirth and she was called to look after the children, she agreed to marry my grandpa although very reluctantly. Initially it seemed the relationship was platonic, but eventually they had a son together. Then the problems began. My grandfather was embarrassed to have another child with a lady who was supposed to have married him only to look after his children from his previous marriage. They started having daily fights and although the children weren't ill-treated the atmosphere at home was toxic for them. Eventually by marriage or for jobs all the children moved away and my grandparents started living separate lives in the same house. My grandfather converted a section of the house into a second kitchen and started cooking his own meals.
My grandmom being egotistical herself, didn't want to take money from him and started asking her three sons to help her out. All the children including the step-children, helped both their parents out, but failed to have them reconcile.
Eventually due to a fall my grandmom was incapacitated and moved in with one of her sons while my grandfather stayed back in the same house where his elder son had moved back with his family.
I remember spending my vacations in my grandparents house where both of them had cooked food and I would have to eat two meals to satisfy them both. They wouldn't speak to each other but ask passers-by to pass on a message. The message would be conveyed loud enough that the passers-by didn't need to repeat it. It was funny and sad at the same time. Only a few years in my memory have I seen them living a family life together albiet with a lot of arguments. I guess in old age they decided to bring an end to all the fighting and find peace in solitude.
Both my grandparents are now no more, my grandfather having passed away four years ago. They never spoke to each other again although they enquired after each other's health from the children.
A tragic life but I hope in death there is peace and tranquillity.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

It's a girl

Our little baby girl has finally come home. The past couple of days Chrys and I have been slowly learning how to take care of a six month old. A few mistakes have been made but our little one is all forgiving and smiles at us as if to say, "It's ok Mamma and Daddy, I'll be patient with you".

A new direction has been given to our lives and there are more smiles per mile awaiting us :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I am not a friendly neighbour

We have pretty strange neighbours upstairs. Every morning at around 5:30, they go bump, thump, dham. It sounds like a baby elephant walking across the room. I can't imagine what's going on. Also they usually drop their laundry into my balcony while hanging it up to dry and usually it's the unmentionables.
This morning a heavily bearded lungi wearing fellow rang my doorbell and stood their with a sheepish smile and pointed to the room behind me and made some mumbling noises. I instantly realised it's the guy living upstairs but I decided to let him sweat a bit.
I asked him, "Yes?"
He said, "My... that..." (in a heavy south indian accent)
I asked, "What?"
He said, "Pants, my... fallen".
Then I told him he could pick up his pants himself, (I'm not touching them). It turned out it was a pair of ladies salwar. He went in and picked it up while I ran to switch off the gas (I was boiling some tea).
When I turned around he was standing there with that sheepish smile. He asked, "Neenge Tamil-a?" (Are you tamilian?) I anwered in English, "No, I'm a mallu".
Then I started moving towards the front door- hinting that he should leave. He moved towards the exit reluctantly and asked something again in Tamil. I pretended not to understand. Then in broken English, "Where from you are?" I said, "Mumbai". "Your husband where from?". I said in a firm voice, "My husband isn't here, he has gone to work" and opened the door. He finally got the hint and left.
I don't like nosy people, especially ones that go BUMP in the night...ok, early morning!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How much is two much?

There is this really fat lady that attends my Zumba class. She is extremely lazy and makes half-hearted efforts at performing the steps and almost after each song, plonks herself on the floor. The trainer always advises her not to sit down as she might suddenly feel faint, but she wouldn't listen always giving some lame reason.
The other day this lady sat down again and the trainer went to her advising her to get up and maybe walk around a bit before the next song. The lady complained loudly, "I had loose motions so I am feeling weak, that is why I am sitting". The trainer was aghast and said politely, "Ok, that's too much information for me. Maybe you shouldn't have come today". The lady continued to complain and the trainer laughingly said, "Now you are just mumbling".
A few seconds later we all started dancing to a song and this lady got up and made some faces and started dancing. A minute into the song she screamed, "Excuse me! I need to go!" and made the two sign with her fingers and ran away.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

"She is real, flawed, practical and not intelligent. When I got into this relationship, I was getting into a fling with a beautiful girl not realising that in reality she was a full pati parmeshwar kind of person......... I abuse and get aggressive with the woman I love and always throw my tantrums with her. I guess that is what she likes about me as she knows I would not do that to anyone else and makes her feel special"

This is what a young director, whose movie released this week, has to say about his wife and his relationship with her. It could be the result of a troubled childhood, misguided ideas about marriage and relationships or just plain chauvinism. I wonder how long such a marriage would last.

Why do human beings think that venting anger and aggression is a display of love. Partners in abusive relationships are only deluding themselves if they think that way. Get out and find your peace. Nobody deserves a bully!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Refreshed and happy :)

Goa at this time of the year is actually beautiful provided you stay in the shade. Almost all plants and trees are flowering or laden with fruit. I didn't know that the fragrance of cashew flowers and fruits could be so intoxicating. Also the air is abuzz with varied insects and birds chirping away happily. The bird songs are so varied and melodious in the mornings, that I could just sit there forever carefree and light-headed.
The food tastes more delicious when you have woken up to so much beauty and fresh air.
I wish we could spend more time there - walking in the cool sand in the morning, dipping our toes in the sea or strolling through cashew and mango orchards listening in on the birds gossiping amongst each other.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

'Disgusting' stories

Yesterday, Chrys' crazy cousin landed up at my place. Everytime I spend a few hours with her, I am exhausted. Good or bad, it's never boring spending time with these eccentric Parsis. So Dee is a tiny bundle of high-strung energy. She is a photographer, painter, wildlife enthusiast, manic driver-while-applying-nailpolish, and general go to person if you've got a snake or lizard terrorizing your home.

She once caught a cobra from some suburban housing complex and brought it home in a little bag or pillow-case and placed it on her dining table. Her mother saw the bag moving and almost had a heart-attack. Just a few days ago while her entire household was freaking out and standing atop tables and chairs screaming about a little lizard, she calmly picked the tiny thing up and freed it outdoors. This is the same girl who spent two hours digging her bright red finger-nails into my arms in fear while watching a movie coz it had giant spiders terrorising some children.

Yesterday, I offered to serve Dee the dudhi my cook had made for lunch and she made a face. Then, I suggested eating out at Britannia, the most popular Zoroastrian-run restaurant this part of town. She jumped at the idea and from the moment we landed at the quaint little place in Ballard Estate she started clicking pictures. We had a nice fish-patra and were just about to dig into a mutton berry pulao when her phone rang. Another animal (or amphibian) emergency. It was a friend calling from Kalina. A little frog had gotten into her bathroom and was nicely swimming in the pot. The friend was screaming so loudly on the phone that I could hear her across the table. Dee kept saying, "Calm down, it's only a frog". Then her friend said something that really got Dee riled up... "It's disgusting!". Dee almost had a fit. She sternly admonished her friend, "It's not disgusting, it's beautiful. It's a frog. Share your planet!"

Finally it was decided that Dee would go over after lunch and fish the frog out of the pot. Her friend suggested using a spoon and Dee just angrily brushed away the idea saying, "I don't need a spoon". When I left her, she was trying to find a place where she could buy gloves coz she didn't want to put her hands in the 'disgusting pot'.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

That SINKing feeling

One day while I was blankly staring at a news reporter on TV almost having a fit screaming 'Bitti Mohanty BITTI MOHANTY BITTI BITTI'...and so on, I had an epiphany. I am a SINK - Single Income No Kids.
Now you might ask how a screaming reporter and bold news tickers running at 20 mph on the top and bottom of the screen got me thinking about my jobless and childless existence. Well, here is an explanation.
This guy Bitti, who raped a tourist and ran away had the complete support of his father. His father went to great lengths to create a new identity for him so that he could live his life free while the entire world and their neighbour's dog searched for him.
I wondered how it felt to be the parent of a criminal. That fellow's father just couldn't accept his son's guilt and his love for his child destroyed his own life.
So from there, I started thinking that he would have been better off without kids. At least he wouldn't have been video-graphed in his bath towel - semi-naked... a clip they are playing again and again on the channels for cheap thrills I suppose.
Then, I thought about all those super-rich DINKs (Double Income...) who go on exotic holidays and pop expensive champagne bottles (even if they can't pronounce the name). Then I had a sinking feeling as realisation hit me. I am one half of a SINK - the jobless half.
Thankfully, we have registered for adoption and our child will be here soon to save us :)