Confessions of a SAHM

Gather around…this will not be repeated for the fear of an epidemic of husbands dumping more work on frazzled wives and especially the SAHMs.

I’m going to share the secrets of the sisterhood with you but hush now and come closer and read quickly because this post will self-destruct in 1 minute!

We like doing laundry. Especially when we add in that luscious, thick, summery liquid fabric softener that makes the clothes smell “soft”.

We like polishing our tables too. Why do you think Lemon-scented Pledge is all you see in the supermarkets. We love to polish till the gloss of the table starts reflecting the giant mountains of unfolded clothes lying on the couch.

And I shouldn’t tell you this but we like folding clothes too! Yesssssssssss….the way folded clothes makes the room seem larger suddenly and allows the light rays to bounce off from chair to chair like a natural pin ball makes us feel a warm, buttery glow that usually accompanies good brandy or an exceptional single malt.

The stack of ironed clothes, ironed till the sweat from our brow springs forth, makes us feel a glory that has little to do with clothes per se but has more to do with seeing shirt after shirt, crisply folded and looking new.

A clean kitchen counter is bliss! Wiping off the last bit of grease from the stove tops feels like having run through an obstacle course and not having tripped over a single hurdle.

The gleaming tiles, the newly made beds..oh…bliss! bliss! bliss!

That is the secret life of housewives no one knows about. Shhhh

 

P.S: the author takes no responsibility for the material above seeing how it was written in a state of caffeine deficit and her immense joy at taking a break from house work and travelling for a few days.

Cheers All…may the bleach be with you.

In Memoriam: Robin Williams

Woke up this morning to a truly saddening news- Robin Williams was no more. Had been a while since I’d seen anything he’d starred in but he was an actor who had a fantastic range of expressions but was largely categorized as a comic actor due to the large number of comedies he starred in. But you only have to see movies like What Dreams May Come to know the gamut of emotions he was capable of portraying.

He was the centerpiece of Dead Poet’s Society along with Sean Robert Leonard, the perfect foil to De Niro in Awakenings, a perfect delight in Patch Adams through all the sadness and Mrs.Doubtfire was classic Williams through out.

I remember watching him in HBO’s Comic Relief where he indulged in more of his adult themes in comedy along with Whoppi Goldberg and Billy Crytal but his ability to stay passive faced while his words caused cascades of laughter in others was his forte.

What is truly ironic is that the ‘funny man’ allegedly died by his own hands and due to depression. What does it to take to make the world laugh while you battle the very thing that prevents you from feeling joy or comfortable in your own skin?

I guess the answer dies with him and everyone else who decides that their life isn’t worth living anymore.

Be as it may, his gift will linger and I for one am going to do a Robin Williams marathon very soon.

Adieu Captain O My Captain.

Parenting Diaries: Lying…When To Be Concerned

MLM by and large is a fairly manageable child. He’s NOT docile neither does he stop and listen every single time but he’s not been sneaky or sly very often.

He celebrated his 5th birthday over the weekend and I found some of the toys brought out during the party had suspicious chunks taken out of them. There being no end to the kind of sticky situations kids can find themselves in, I asked him if he was the one who had done it. He calmly replied “no”. When I later found irrefutable proof that it was indeed he who had spoiled the toys I have to admit I got pretty angry. Not because of the toys but because he’d lied outright.

Now as parents, we lie to our kids without blinking an eye. We lie about Santa, where their old toys have gone, where people go to after they die or even how we tackle the question of death itself. It’s done out of two main factors:

1) Children, at a particular age, lack the life experience to understand everything life throws at them.

2) We lack the adequate ability to explain things to them about certain things because they actually require near-adult understanding.

But what I am concerned about is- where do I draw the line about lying? Don’t lie? Non-negotiable and no questions asked or depending on the situation and its gravity take a call?

No matter what stance Red and I take, life will teach him to tell fibs. To get out of dealing with tiresome people, to avoid doing something he’d prefer not to et al, to save himself from something uncomfortable…who knows! We do it so often.

With children in the formative stage it becomes so essential to watch our steps, words, everything around them!

So if I have to explain to him that telling a lying isn’t the best way to go, I guess I should start with telling him that the hugely expensive (and unnecessarily expensive also) dragon toy he wants isn’t really out of stock; I just don’t want to spend that kind of money on something that isn’t a bloody life-sized dragon!

Hard being a parent. Really. Truly. Absolutely!

The Sitar Diaries- The Good Stuff

The previous blogs have boiled down to this one- what to play on a sitar. Rather what is usually played. If it so pleases people I suppose they could play Pink Floyd as well but the compositions which have been around for centuries are usually based on something called Swar (the notes Sa Re Ga et al).

The Swars combine to make Thaats which in turn become bases for the ragas or the more detailed, elaborate music compositions.

Let’s break it down further. Say hello to the swars-

Sa– Shadaj, Re– Rishabh, Ga– Gandhar, Ma– Madhyam, Pa– Pancham, Dh-Dhaivad, Ni– Nishaad. The thaats use sharps and flats to arrange a pattern of notes on which the ragas are formed. Each thaat is named after the most popular raga generated in it.

These are the thaats and this is an easier way to understand some of them for those who read music- 

Some of the raags that I really are Maalkauns, Bhimpalaasi, Hansadhwani and Jaunpuri. The Hindustani raags are often identified by being aptly played during a particular time of day or time when it has the maximum effect due to its tonal quality and supposed when it causes the optimum amount of enjoyment to those listening and those playing it as well. 

Each raag has these elements- aaroh (the ascending scale), avroh (aka the descending scale), pakad (the particular arrangement of music that allows for a raag’s identification) and they start out with an aalap i.e introduction. The introduction is usually played without any other accompaniments barring a tanpura drone. The aalap is followed by the playing the raag in different lays aka speed. With vilambit meaning slow and dhrut meaning a fast tempo.

Bringing an end to a raag on a sitar is done by playing a jhaala that integrates a tihaai.

Each raag can be played on different types of beats or taal (click to listen) in Hindustani classical lingo. Some of the most common taals are: Teen taal, Keherva, Rupak, Ektaal, Chautal, Dadra, Tilwada et al.

This has been an attempt to encapsulate centuries of invaluable knowledge on music into a blog series. But the pursuit of music is a life long endeavor. I write pursuit because each time it feels like you’ve finally got your quarry in hand and begun to understand it, it suddenly shows a new dimension that has to be understood, learnt and mastered.

Be as that may, a foray into music of any sort, especially one where the learning starts from the foundation up; is a step in the right direction of enrichment, self- discovery and liberation.

Hilarity At Home- Lost In Translation

Author’s Note: This is an exclusive post for the people who understand Hindi. For the rest, it falls flat.

My husband’s native tongue isn’t Hindi. Neither is mine but having lived amongst Hindi-speaking people all my life, I can speak it without my native tongue’s influence intruding.

But living in India one cannot but be bombarded by Bollywood (ah! a perfect example of alliteration..won’t my erstwhile Litt profs be proud!) songs every step of the way.

One of the songs currently on loop in my mouth is Suno Na Sange Murmur  (or marmar, whatever rocks your boat) and while I was singing the chorus I stopped and asked Red if he knew what sangey murmur meant and Red being Red NEVER disappoints with his vast ocean of knowledge of the Hindi language..incidentally he scored more in this language than I did in his exams and never tires of emphasizing the point.

Anyhoo…he came up with this- sangey= together and marmar= die die ergo sangey marmar is we die together.

There wasn’t anymore conversation after that because I ran to write this post and left him standing there looking resigned at his wife’s behavior.

Yet another Red-letter day in our home. I won’t let him forget this till we marmar!!

P.S: For those who need a quick vocab refresher- sangey marmar is marble 🙂