Friday, March 25, 2011

Frangipani

The trees in the office campus are all in full bloom. Though the skin erupts in rashes unhappy about the pollen in the air the mind rejoices at the colours and the fragrance of the blooming flowers.

Especially the Frangipani flowers - In full bloom.Only flowers on leafless branches. Beeeauuuutiful. And it brings back a memory of evenings in Summer holidays when I used to walk with Granny to the City Central library. While she chose books I read for an hour in the children's section. And at the end of it - out of the 3 cards to borrow books 1 book was reserved for me :-).

Along the path was this lone Frangipani tree and there used to be flowers scattered on the ground below. That was my first tryst with the flower. The fragrance would be so powerful that invariably I would be drawn to it. I always picked up a few flowers and brought it home which used to be then kept in a steel tumbler
 until it wilted. Granny also told me that this flower is not used for the Gods - because its considered incomplete. It does not have the pollen stalks. Whatever! That made me covet those flowers more - somehow then I used to feel pity for those pretty fragrant flowers. I remember expressing my anger and saying that it was unfair - that was when she said - That's the whole point. I'm glad you are able to appreciate the flower for what it is and that is how you should be when it comes to people too. Don't judge the person by looks, see the goodness in them. Dont listen to people's preconceived notions... Such valuable lessons learnt from the small flower!

And even today I'm very fond of this flower. Any body lotion/cream/perfume label that has Frangipani mentioned - I covet it! :-) And I still pick them up from the path and smell them while walking back to my desk from lunch - it still gives me a great satisfaction...
 
(Picture courtesy:
http://chenected.aiche.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Frangipani-Flowers.jpg )

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Appa Yelli?

Are the constant words from the 15 month old at least a 100 times a day.Asked to me,his ammamma thatha, care takers at the day care - anyone he talks to... The said Appa is on a business trip to Mumbai for 3 days and the little fellow is very restless. He asks - in the middle of playing/eating/running around...


I didn't think he would be so upset - rather hubby thought he might not even miss his Dad since he had his grand parents to play with! But we were sooo wrong. I wish he could express better. Poor thing - he kept getting up all through the night searching for his Dad, crying in his sleep, and then finally he woke up at 3.30am and asked again - Appa Yelli! He was so sleep deprived that he slept straight through lunch at the day care yesterday.He woke up at 5am today too :-( All this while we've been telling him that Dad's in the office and today he seems to be better.

And the said Appa is out on an official trip to Mumbai and will be back Wednesday midnight. I'm just waiting to see how this little fellow will react on seeing his Dad :-D

Is Chutku's Amma missing Appa too? You bet! Especially when she has to get up in the midnight to feed the little fellow his milk, giving him bath, feeding him dinner, when she has to travel by Auto and company bus to and from work, also carrying the little fellow and walking back home - which is a 10mins walk... Hmmm *Sigh* Doesnt sound romantic - I know - but this is the stage we are in right now - working together in tandem...sharing responsibilities...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thoughts death bring...

Early today morning Hubby's uncle passed away. He had been suffering for quite sometime now, and all his brothers and sister had visited him. Everyone knew that he was deteriorating and that anything might happen anytime. He had been under aunty's care for over 10 years now - completely. Even knowing all these, when the news came at 5am early morning - it did come as a shock. I guess no amount of knowing the truth and knowing that this was the only way his suffering could end - basically there is nothing called preparation for a news like this. And now no matter how much we all tell the aunt that this was for the best (Yes, she knows it too) and we tell her that this had to happen sometime - they will all just be words of consolation.

I have seen both my grand parents suffer and being bed ridden for a couple of years and I've also seen how much effort the people in the house (in my grand father's case - my grand mother, in my grand mother's case -my parents, and in uncle's case - aunt ) would put to make sure that the person is as comfortable as possible. And I have also witnessed the void the death of this person creates. Suddenly, there isnt someone who has to be taken care of all the time,suddenly you dont know what to do with all the time you have - I've seen Dad suddenly thinking that its time for Granny's medicine or food and realising that she's no more. I only wish God gives Aunt the mental strength to over come this void, the emptyness. Nearly 40 years of married life and companionship - all suddenly just lost...

This uncle was a doctor -he has served many people and lots of people would be there to pay their last respects to him. Hubby recollects all the times that the cousins just loaded themselves in the car and went out for a ride in teh evening, all the ice creams and chocolates he has bought for them, sunday evenings when the whole family got into the ambassador and uncle driving them all to cubbon park to play... Many memories. Many people have taken care of him through the years too, many lives that he has touched while he lived.

I step in to work and I realise that my friend lost her cousin to accident - another news of death in a span of few hours... And invariably, selfish thoughts come back to myself. How inconsistent life is. Im still so cocooned in my daily meagre life and cycle of everyday living. When my time comes will there be someone who would so willingly take care of me? (Ofcourse Hubby, I know you will) but at what cost - at the cost of putting their own life on hold? Am I worth all that effort and pain? What am I doing to help anyone at all? Im just leading my own selfish life! And would I want to be like that? Can I opt for death in such a case? Do I have the guts for it? How suddenly small and inconsequential my whole life sounds! I cannot even adopt a stray dog!!! What am I doing to anybody else that they would want to do something for me? How many people am I going to touch in my life?

So many questions and no valid answer, rather Im just scared to even think of answers... The more I think of it the more I want to do something good before my time comes - I guess maybe I will atleast have a little bit of last minute satisfaction when my life runs through my eyes in those last moments...

Doddappa - RIP

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Some Pictures of Naughtiness

I've been speaking so much about the little fellow's naughtiness - I thought, A Picture speaks a thousand words -



Playing at the window - hiding behind the curtain



Inside my saree suitcase

  
Playing with Mamma's necklace in the car - He is always on me in the car


Opening Dad's Drawer


"Muddi" to Amma. Notice all his clothes strewn around the bed and window sill :-(

Hiding and playing peek-a-boo behind the Sofa


If Mamma can comb and walk why cant I?

Running Away from Dad - Notice Dad near the door...

Another Peek-A-Boo in the car with Mamma's dupatta

Cheeky smile after climbing the stairs


Say 'Haaiii' to Me

Picking Up Dad's shoe among the pile to go 'Tata' - And he created the pile in the first place!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Less of a Woman?

Ok, all said and done about the Women's Day, I have a few questions to those who think a woman should be like that new Star Plus Ad or like the epitome of all goodness like in TV serials:


Am I going to be less of a woman if:

I want to sleep over until late morning - not because Im ill but I just don't want to get up

Why cant I expect Breakfast in bed?

I spend the day in a dishevelled state including skipping bath - By the way who made this rule that a woman has to be dressed all the time?!! And also sleep with lipstick and eye shadow?

I decide that I'm NOT cleaning the house every weekend - even if toys are strewn around and clothes are lying around - Just because...

I need some 'Me' time too - to just read/visit the parlour/meet friends - without giving any explanations.

I decide to go simple for a wedding? - A man can wear jeans for reception so why are you judging me by what Im wearing? And no - Im not going to give you any reasons for it either - son was behaving perfectly fine and hubby was co-operating- I just wanted to wear this so I wore it - why cant I? I just wasn't in the mood to dress.

Oh! And talking of mood - why cant I have mood swings and scream and shout? Why should I always be calm and collected? - Am I not human too?

I Don't want to invite guests home over a weekend - Not because Im tired (That probably becomes a valid excuse) but because I want to finish reading that novel? Or I just don't want to...

I don't want to go visiting because I want to watch my fave awards show tonight? (What?The Man can say he doesn't want to go out because of the cricket match - why cant I?)

I go to work with no hint of makeup on my face - Because I don't like it - simple! (The fact that I end up eating/drinking all my lipstick is another matter that's of no concern to anyone else!)

Why cant you appreciate that I can take care of my child/children the whole day with no help? - When you EXPECT me to do it why cant the Dad do it too? Isn't it all about equal parenting? How does it make him the Epitome of an ideal man and I'm just doing my 'duty'?

I don't want to cook - At all... Because I'm bored - no other reason

I speak my mind - bluntly - All the time and tell you exactly how it is? No - diplomacy is NOT my strong suit - so if you don't want to hear it - don't bother telling me either...

Tell my Boss that Im NOT going to stay back and slog like a pig - don't give me your work too - you do it yourself...

-Finally - if I refuse to help you out because I have my own life to think about - as a daughter/DIL/Friend/Wife - why should I do as you want me to? Why should I postpone/rearrange my plans for you? Why cant I do it my way? - Well I would - only depending on how much you are ready to do for me...

If I put my foot down and say - That's It! Its my life, I will lead it my way - If I happen to like you, I might adjust but not more - Isn't that how a man's life works? Why not mine too?

Are you going to judge me - If I teach my son to cook and sew and my daughter to skate and baseball/rugby? Why?

'I' , Here can be anyone - Might even think of more such Rants  but here are a few situations where I think we are taken for granted - all the time, noting them from both personal experience and from what I've heard from the others...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Celebrating Women Inspiration

My entry to the FemInspiration contest on Women's Web:



Come on - why dont you do it too. Check out the contest here: http://www.womensweb.in/item/celebrate-women-s-day-with-feminspiration.html/


Note: I wrote it yesterday but unfortuately the internet went down - so having to post it today :-(

Today being women's day a lot of talk and discussions are happening on FB and in the blogshere too...and here's my small attempt to putting my admiration in words: (This is also my entry to the women's web FemInspiration!)


Is it possible that we are inspired by just 1 woman all our life? For me there have been a lot of women I've looked up to and admired for various traits in them. And most of all their strength and their capabalities to handle the odds in mature and graceful manner.

My Granny and her sister: A total of 8 brothers and sisters born pre independence, the best gift their father could give them was education - matriculation despite all odds. My granny recollects the time when they were all sent back home when Salt Satyagraha happened, times when they stood for hours to watch the then king of Mysore along with Nehru go in procession. Getting married early into not very well to do family and wearing torn Sarees to save money for her own son's (my Dad's) education. She stitched clothes for others, went without food herself, put up with all odds and when Grand Dad suggested that Dad stop studying after 10th std so he could get a job and help financially - it was she who put up a fight and insisted he study further, showing her husband all the pennies she had saved for years to give it to her son's education. She used to say "Hani Hani koodidare haLLa" loosely translated to: "Many drops of water make an ocean". I loved her spirit/ her forward mindedness - when the rest of my friends cribbed that their Granny restricted them from wearing the clothes of their choice/going out with friends, mine used to always side with me!I guess its enough explanation if I say that I used to talk to her about all my boy-friends, who went out with whom and for that matter she was the first one I spoke to about my then boyfriend/current hubby too! I would love to see more women like her - with her kind of forward thinking...

My granny's sister- Im only going to say that 30/35 years ago, this lady convinced her husband and took care of her ailing mother for nearly 10 years when all her 3 brothers refused to. That when the norm was the son always took care of the parents - that was when it first struck me,at the age of 4, that even I CAN take care of my parents, that they need not depend on the son only...! I still see so many people having issues with that!

My mother: I admire the strength in this woman. Taking care of ailing in-laws along with 2 children while the husband was away on bank transferred jobs for years. Would I do it today - NO! When people ask me how I manage home,baby and work and still keep smiling at the end of the day - I think - this is nothing - look at my mother! She mostly single handedly raised my brother and me when Dad was away for years.I have never seen her cry. I remember when I Was a teenager and cried at the drop of the Hat - I had asked her how come she never cries - doesn't she get affected by anything? - and she had told me only one thing: "OF course I cry, things affect me as much as they affect you. But, think about it, crying doesn't resolve any issues. And when you cry in front of people who don't know you - they will only think of it as a weakness. Cry - cry in private. Finish it, but most importantly find a solution to the problem. That is what will give you confidence to move on. Life doesn't end at 1 problem that you can cry and say its over. The next day will come and you will have to face it - so do it with determination". And that's what Im trying to do today...

Finally My mother-in-law: I admire her zest for life.Let me just say, with the problems she faces, if it were for me - I would've probably gone into hiding. Despite everyday issues, she strives at running her home, keeping herself occupied and loves to learn new things all the time! With 3 masters degree she gave up her job as a school principal to be at home with her dysfunctional older son who needed her attention. But that didn't stop her from learning, doing new things. She has the energy to go out watch a movie,come back and teach tuition and then go to yoga all in a day. To top it, she's well read,well dressed and wants to be the best in whatever she does - I would love to get that enthusiasm for life from her on days when I just want to leave everything and put my feet up.I always wonder how she manages it at her age while at half her age Im already tired!

Women like these are everyday inspiration in our daily lives. There is much more to write but then how much more to put into words ? So keeping it as short as possible!

Books Ba Books Ba Books Books

Shaba..dooba...daaba...bookksssssssss! What? Dont remember the Derek O'Brien's Bournvita Quiz on Zee TV on Sunday mornings? - Thats how the jingle was! :-)

Well the point is not that though - its all about me going to Blossoms today! Yippeee!!!! And as usual exceeded the budget. The best Bahana I was thinking of came up in the form of my Friend's Daughter's 2nd Bday in a couple of weeks and she was cribbing that everyone only gives toys and clothes. So I decided to give her what else - but books :-). So well, today morning I left Chuktu in the office Day care as usual, had breakfast and set out to Blossoms. I had some 6 books that I had bought there last time and didnt think I should continue to keep them - so I returned them and earned 300rs :-) Good na? Thats the best part of the place - they take back their own books at 50% of the cost and other books at (I think) 40%. I first decided to buy books for the present and picked up loads of books and then sorted them out to include some 4 books -
-First letters/1-10 numbers with sliding panel/baby animals/first words.
-And the little girl Loves Kanha on cartoon network - so I picked one book on Krishna,
-1 coloring book,1 Good Night stories book and 1 book of Panchatantra from ACK.
So in all I think I just about covered everything to last her for an year :-) - It all cost me about 660rs.

And then I began to pick up stuff for me. I remember when we first began to go to Blossoms we shopped like crazy sometimes buying stuff for 5000Rs. And so we made a deal - 1000 for each one of us. And the best part was that I also read what ever hubby picked up too :-) - All the Ken Follets/David Baldacci/Robert Ludlum and Jeffery Archers. So this time I picked up
The latest Jeffery Archer
Chanakya's Chant - After reading the reviews here on the blog sphere,
Sudha Murthy's Dollar Bride (Have read all her short stories collection and liking them - both Hubby and I) I want to read Mahasweta too - next time,
Salman Rushdie's East and West (This was the smallest book that I could find and I wanted to first read and see if I would like it before I began the others)
Khushwant Singh's The Company of Women (Had heard a lot about this book -so I thought if I want to start with a new author I will pick up something interesting :-p)
Charles Dickens Great Expectations - I also took David Copperfield but then found a couple of pages missing in it so dropped it - next time :-)
Penny Jordan - forget the name now :-( And then billed them all.Guess what! All this was just 1660 bucks! So I called hubby and made a deal with him that Im going to spend another 400 ish and make it a round figure of 2K! :-D And went hunting again. This time I saw the latest Marian Keyes/Nicholas Sparks and Danielle Steele but then guess what I found!!! I found the entire collection of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales for just 475 rs! wow! I have always loved fairy tales - so I dropped all my other books and just picked up this one :-D
And I've asked the owner to let me know when he gets the Rupa publications "Thousand nights and one night" all volumes of Arabian nights. I've been searching for 1 which is in simple english. They always seem to not have all the volumes. Hoping they will give me a call soon...

On the Aside:

1. In all my life this is the first time I went out like this all alone and it felt Oh.So.Good! :-) Im going to definitely do it again!
2.Volvo buses Rock! They are plenty - so one doesn't have to wait for long. All the way from Whitefield to Lifestyle/Mayo Hall. They are cool and they are hardly crowded! Suuper! BMTC has really done a great job 3. I walked after a really long time. From Lifestyle to Blossoms and then from Blossoms to Mayo Hall back - and the walk back was more strenuous thanks to the load of books - Man! Those chotu board books ARE heavy! Especially if you are walking back with 6 of them at 1.30 in the afternoon without lunch...
4.With Peter Andre,J.Lo, Tony Braxton and Bryan Adams giving me company on the Ipod - it was a great journey too! (Oh Yeah! And the new Fast Track sunglasses from hubby as Valentine's day gift helped too!)
5. I always, always, always over shoot the budget with books :-( This time - just about managed to stick to it...
6. Finally, to the lady in the bus: Im sorry, I really dont comment on people and their dressing sense but I couldn't control this: Its not because you are fat (Im not thin either and neither do I have a great dressing sense) but PLEASE don't just blindly wear whatever you get from your wardrobe - A parrot green top and a light pink loop ear-rings DO NOT MATCH with a black and white wrap around. AND I hope you have 1 sincere friend who will tell you that wrap around skirt is not for people with waist larger than 34!

A memory: I remember when I was around 13/14, the Reader's Digest was due for another annual subscription renewal around the time of my Bday. Mom was talking about going out to buy new clothes and suddenly Dad said: You cant get both - new clothes and Reader's Digest. Think about it and tell me what you want by tomorrow - either book or Clothes. But I immediately replied that I wanted the book. Dad was soo happy that I understood the value of books and reading that he got me both :-D

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Some Days

are just so unpredictable. And yesterday was one such. You plan something and something entirely different happens. Not that its bad though...


It being Shivaraatri I thought I will atleast keep a little bit of TuLasi and do a little pooja to the God in the evening. (I rarely ever light the lamps in the evening either these days :-( - should get back into the habit soon) And also finish some house work since I thought we will be going home earlier than usual...

Hubby had a dental checkup and we went there on the way home. Chuktu being his usual self was running around in the open area, looking at the fish and running behind another little girl there. Trying to go under the centre table, almost banging on the aquarium making it shake like it would topple off any second :-O - just being naughty. God! He's becoming so naughty and so stubborn that Im already dreading the coming years! And then we went home while there was still enough day light outside.
Anyway, I decided to let him work off his excess energy - He was so excited that he climbed all the stairs to the main door on the first floor by himself. He refused to hold our hand and screamed bloody murder if we tried to hold him either.We just stood behind him to hold him if he lost balance. This kid is really growing too fast for us...So, I put his shoes and took him out on the street. The little bugger refused to come back home after that! He just kept waving his hand and saying 'Tata' 'Tata'. For about half an hour we let him walk around while we spoke to the neighbours - which we rarely do. So it was kind of nice unwind for us too...

We came back and he refused to remove his shoes and there began the crankiness.And suddenly all my josh to do anything went out the window! My head began to ache and I felt so tired (I wonder if it was the lack of water or food through the day) that I just sat down and since dinner just had to be heated, hubby took care of it. Hubby very kindly also offered to feed dinner to the little fellow (Thats always a toss everyday between us - something like who bells the cat!) and in that process Chuktu decided to feed his Dad too! Thats a first! That was sooo sweet - trying to put a soggy wet biscuit into his Dad's mouth :-) That kind of melted all the tiredness away. And once he slept I had dinner and read a novel  until 10.30 before I could finally fall asleep. So at the end of the day I didnt do what I had initially planned but the day didnt end bad either...Like I said - you just cant predict how things will be.