The Wild Kingdom…Right At Home!

I have ALWAYS wanted to go to the Serengeti. Snorkel in the clear blue waters of atolls in Maldives. Scuba dive and even be inside a shark cage and see makos and great whites glide by. I’d probably give up the ghost right there if such an opportunity presented itself, truth be told, but one has dreams. The whackier, the better methinks. Prosaic dreams can be realized but those elusive, funky, oddball ones make the bucket lists more interesting and keep one gunning for more.

But seeing that I’m a SAHM and will be one for some more time in the foreseeable future, an idea of embracing wildlife starts and ends with my kid. And occasionally my husband.

But my child has a kind heart. He loves to thrill his mother. Give her opportunities to flex the unused muscles her less than fit body and get her adrenaline rush at the same time. If I can’t go to the heart of Africa, then Africa will come to ME! Giving Mohammed and the mountain some stiff competition at the same time.

At any given day I can fully expect to step on a beluga whale while getting down from the bed. Roll over and find half of a giraffe staring at me with one beady eye. If you thought a whole antelope was fun, imagine half an antelope with one horn sticking up from its head and daring you to come and make it whole again.

Everyday, inane, prosaic activities get their dose of adrenaline as well! A hammerhead lurks in the waters of the washing machine, unseen, unknown. The mighty African rhino pokes your rump when you sit down on the couch and don’t get me started on the dinos with their claws, sharp teeth and spikes that jump out at you from the closets, trip you up while you go to take your bath and the great white which secrets itself away in your handbag, just waiting for those fingers to dangle above its jaws while you grope for the lip balm.

Talk about living on the edge! I guess the everyday urban life is no less fierce than a jungle with all these creatures roaming, swimming, slithering in my house. Who needs spelunking or bungee jumping for that hit of adrenaline? It’s a jungle out here, every single day.

Image courtesy-http://amarjeetsingh7.blogspot.in/2012/10/10-things-to-do-before-i-die.html

Image courtesy-http://amarjeetsingh7.blogspot.in/2012/10/10-things-to-do-before-i-die.html

Unending Home Improvement

I remember watching Bob Vila commercials during my few years in US. And after that Tim Allen’s Home Improvement. So my idea of home improvement is something that usually be tackled with wrenches, spackle et al

We’ve experienced hiccups, big and small,  in the new house almost right from before we moved in and it’s been tough to get the builder to send their people to fix things since we’ve already moved in and the unoccupied apartments are still being worked on. So in terms of priority we’ve pretty far down the pecking order.

Now I’m a fairly reasonable person. I only let go of the reigns of my temper once the last straw has broken the proverbial camel’s back. But before that I have a systemic flow to my ire. It’ll start with grumbling. Then grumbling with slangs. Then profanity gets added which normally questions my target audience/person’s parentage, IQ et al. The next levels can be skipped and an escalation can happen if the issue is utterly vexing and I’m faced with additional pressures aka a child at home from school, holidays in summer camp, a backache, having to pack for a long holiday at my parents, worrying about the flab that sticks to me like a limpet…you get the drift.

But the step before the dam breaks is entirely Biblical in its nature. My mind invokes plague and pestilence and there are these massive lightning bolts that come down to the sky and smite the pesky, money-grubbing , no-good, pathetic excuses for human beings individuals and blasts them into a black hole for all eternity. And it usually wipes out Mondays for good measures.

Before the thought crosses your mind, I am not and never have been on any meds. I cannot however promise that I won’t require any in the future.

But be as that may…it is deeply disheartening to see good, hard-earned money put to bad use time and time again towards a something that should have been executed perfectly the first time around.

But again, as my father keeps telling me, that’s life. Deal with it. Don’t implode. Or explode. And if you end up doing so nonetheless, take the b******* down with you. The last bit is my own philosophy.

All in all, a not so great start to a week that’s supposed to culminate in travel, a wedding, trip to mountains, road trips and a pilgrimage if all goes well.

Fingers crossed and till all the mending work goes in I’ll keep invoking damnation without relief upon these people. It’s what I do best!

Image courtesy-http://www.drdavewhite.com/

Image courtesy-http://www.drdavewhite.com/

FREEDOM!!! A la Braveheart

The moment I woke up this morning, I inevitably beat my alarm to the punch, I was struck by a glorious thought- IT WAS THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER CAMP!!!

MLM’s school had closed earlier than the schools in our locality and he’s been vegetating at home and I have been sinking deeper into the mouth of madness. I kid you not. Being a parent teaches you the paradox of loving your children but not always liking them. But that’s another thought to delve into another day.

I woke him up and after the initial NO NO, NEVER, NEVER!! he realized he was going to see his favorite people and go back to the place of untold happiness and cuddles, his very own school! And suddenly he was all agog. He packed his (current) favored prehistoric reptiles and marine mammal figurines, supervised Red while his lunch was packed-again I kid you not! Husband has no idea where what is. Child knows everything to a degree that makes me uncomfortable 😦

Once his puppy (lunch box) was packed, Tang put into his bottle and his bag packed, he picked out his own clothes- his cheetah tee shirt (it’s actually a Puma tee but hey, it’s one big cat over another…not worth splitting hair over) and soon off we went!

I was more than smug thinking that I was reclaiming my freedom but his happiness was unbound and unabashed! He hugged and kissed me so many times I could tell that the last 3 weeks hadn’t been a cakewalk for him either. His darling mother wasn’t quite the darling after spending too many hours in confined quarters.

He waved us off almost dismissively but with a small smile too and just got back into the groove. And HOW!

And what did I do to celebrate this new-found, short-lived freedom? I caught up with a friend for a bit. Bathed luxuriously aka with no interruptions, blasted music, put the clothes away, am blogging, ate my breakfast and I haven’t even stopped for a second cuppa joe. Adrenaline is making me soar. Well that and endorphins. I was slightly taken aback at the love that was rushing through my system for MLM while dropping him off.

I might actually get everything done on my list of things-to-do-at-home today.

Ah…what a beautiful thing temporary separation between a mother and child is.

*rushes off boogying*

Image courtesy-http://olddesignshop.com/

Image courtesy-http://olddesignshop.com/

A Few More Candles On The Birthday Cake

I recently celebrated another birthday. Firmly ensconced into the 30s now. And having fun actually. Gravity has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged me to an out-and-out war but barring that life is pretty good. The little hiccups of home improvement, a child at home during summer holidays; getting bored but barring that I thought about it and life is pretty good.

I have a slightly weird yardstick for gauging the “good” factor of life. I look at how efficient I have been in getting things done around the house (my 2nd primary responsibility), how often MLM has enjoyed good health vs having fallen sick, if we’ve been able to take a holiday as a family (even a mini getaway) and if I have had at least some uninterrupted face time with my parents and husband. The icing on the cake is how many books I’ve read (and reread) but then that’s me and my quirks.

Last Friday we all headed off to my BFF/sister’s place in Chennai. It’s hot and humid but she lives a stone’s throw away from the beach so what the heck! We try to catch up once a year given that we live in different cities but rarely do days go by when we don’t talk at least once a day on the phone. On a good day it’s either one long conversation or two depending upon how enthusiastic MLM is feeling about having my company or hungry for cookies.

We reached at night and both Red and MLM conked off pretty quickly. I changed into grungy home wear (what better attire for a midnight birthday party?) to find assorted pastries on a table, dim lighting, a poster/XL birthday card and a chilled bottle of Kahlua awaiting me. Am getting teary-eyed just thinking of it. A whole bottle…chillled. Sighs.

Anyhow, I’ve become pretty blase about my birthdays. I do like getting greetings but what I would rather do above anything else is just have a memorable day. And it was! Let me tell you, Korean food on your birthday is like nothing else, ever!

We headed to a cozy little Korean restaurant- InSeoul and just hunkered down in true Korean fashion and dug in. Bowls of everyday veggies with exotic aromas, unusual tangs and endless strands of noodles. It was an experience! And just what I wanted.

See it’s not always possible to seek out new experiences and be fulfilled while doing so. Every so often the new experiences come to you and sweep you up in them. Here, it was sharing food with loved ones I don’t see too often and everything was peppered with laughter and gastronomical delights. One of the reasons why food and music bring people closer together is that it allows you to share your journey with people around you while you’re riding the waves yourself, so to speak. And add coffee (tea) and conversation to the mix…well its a recipe for good times, good memories and in short, happiness.

So it was Bulgogi one day, while sitting on square mats on the floor while the food was cooked right on the table and delivered up into our plates and the next it was sharing bowls of pasta and pizza in a little villa down the road from the sea while a little fan whirled above our heads from the thatched roof.

This has largely turned into a glimpse of the food consumed rather than the birthday weekend but with my best friend, food plays a very large part in our interaction with each other. We’ve expanded considerably as a result of it as well but nonetheless, we have food milestones as well in our 16 year history with each other. Right from street food to fine dining to home cooked nourishing soul food, we have food as markers in our journey with each other. Over the years the families, spouses and children have been brought in to share the ride. And what a ride it’s been.

So here’s to turning a year older, in the presence of people you know, love and who love you back and most importantly…really know you.