Reunited…

Once there was a little necklace. It was very happy and bright. It had rounded beads and was liked by everyone who saw it. It was a very happy little necklace indeed!

One day came the Little Grabby Fingered Imp. The Imp grabbed and pulled the necklace towards himself but the necklace didn’t want to go with an Imp. It wanted to stay with the girl whose neck he had made his home.

But the Imp kept grabbing and pulling and grabbing some more till the necklace broke and the beads danced away into the shadows. The Imp didn’t want the it anymore because it was broken now. The necklace was sad. The girl was sadder still.

After many, many years the girl was getting her toes painted and without knowing it, she chose the colors of the necklace…it was time again to make the necklace whole. She would do it very soon indeed!

The Child: Lockdown Version

I started this post over a year ago and like many things which come to a grinding halt, so did this one. But it was too funny for me pass up posting it and since things are in a better state than they were a year ago, with the pandemic and its fallout, this post is one that looks back with a smile at a truly difficult time for all of us.

This lockdown has been an experience in more ways than one. Earlier I knew my child viewed me as The Enabler, The Witch, The Taskmaster, The Cuddlebunny at different times depending on his mood but now I’m almost convinced that when he sees me, he sees icons floating all over and all he has to do is just push one for a desired action to occur.

I’m also convinced that his speech has suffered a set back since he tends to bark out single words and use them like sentences. For eg: he’ll see me and say, “FOOD!”. If I stop in my tracks because of the terse and abrupt nature of his communication, he’ll look at me as if my IQ points aren’t what they ought to be and lift his t-shirt and rub his tummy signifying that food needs to provided. If I just want to mess with his head a bit more and act like I’ve still not understood him, he opens his mouth and points towards it and then rubs his tummy. Occasionally he’ll throw in a “DUH” very sotto voce.

These are the various icons I sport: when he needs digital entertainment: sadly most of which need unlocking. Am convinced he sees me like this and in this order!

Oh life…what more will you put me through…

Chronicles Of A Mom In A Car#1

Mothers spend a lot of time waiting for their children. Starting with the actual birth itself, then the latching on, followed by the weaning off, the all-important toilet training, eating solids, walking, talking, running and then the slow and inevitable process of growing up. And lest I forget…the UBER-important…the falling asleep.

Over the past few years, I’ve spent a lot of time waiting for TO to wind up with classes/sessions of something or the other and then we head home. I don’t always have the comfort or inclination of a nice waiting area each time around so my default waiting room becomes the car. And for a short round woman, a car can be a very comfortable place to be in.

Incline the chair a bit, take a sip of your carry-along espresso, smoothie, soft drink (cough cough- we’re supposed to be eating healthy) and you have your own little queendom where blissful silence reigns and so does the ability to do whatever you feel like- for those 45 minutes to an hour.

I’ve read books in utter silence, I’ve headbanged to songs, I’ve had marathon calls with friends and family, caught up with old friends, churned out blog posts, binged-watched my favourite serials and most importantly- had time to think.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think a lot. A LOT. But at home when there are things happening around you all the time, the thinking becomes very guided. Transactional even. In the cocoon of your car, the thinking just brims over and flows rampant and a lot of decisions get taken then- right from the dinner menu to taking a stance about issues in life. And those are some solid decisions that get taken.

Yesterday while I was waiting for the fresh and blood to decompress from his day-long online classes and wield his cricket bat like the stylish cricketer he thinks he is; I was on a trip down Retro Lane. Retro Lane is chockfull of Retro Music- rock, R&B, ballads, pop and what have you. And this song came up-

A lot of time has been spent sighing, pining, staring into space and smiling over this song…it’s been an anthem of sorts from the college days when crushes had more of a scope to flourish and when “heartbreak” was equally rampant amongst the newly minted young adults. It’s too bad Cutting Crew never got around to anything else that became as lasting as this song but it’ll do for me and my ilk. We have memories galore associated with it and that’s a good thing to look back at sitting in my 40s…

So crank up the volume and explore your own Retro Lane! Who knows what forgotten treasures will come up!

Red Reblogged

In order to write I need to read. Sometimes reading what’s passed through my head ages ago isn’t just hugely entertaining but quite enlightening. This one wasn’t enlightening in any way; caused major eye-rolls because things with Red are still status quo in some aspects of our lives.

Here goes:

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Red likes me to tell him Sardarji jokes.
I do it in my Punjju accent and put in plenty of “oye papeys” to punch things up.

A few days ago he told me via mournful sms that I hadn’t told him any Sard jokes of late.

To rectify the situation, I sent across a joke today that goes like this… A Sardar declares: I will never marry in my life and I’ll give the same advice to my children also! 

My Homer Simpson-loving husband mails back, baldly stating that one doesn’t need to be married to have children. Now, I know that and apparently so does Red…but who’s going to tell the poor Sardar? 

On the flip side, think of the facepalm moments of a person who lives with! a guy who tries to make sense of Sardarji jokes!

Oh teri!”

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Friday Funnies

Back in the day when the word ‘meme’ was still gaining traction, I had NO clue what it actually was. And for a person like me to admit that is HUGE. I think Red (the Lord&Master, for the uninitiated) will do a happy dance just reading this bit. Anyhoo, when I came across ‘meme’ I used to pronounce is as ‘mee-mee’ and thought it meant stuff that people wrote about themselves ergo the ‘me’ part being fulfilled. #bigtimefacepalm

Later on when I got wise to the notion and most importantly, the pronunciation, I changed tracks and stopped me-meing all over my erstwhile blog. But while I was still headed the wrong way, I wrote this post and I still kind of like it so am reposting it here. Oh naiveté…

  • I love my time alone at home. Well am technically not alone. But in a way I am. Booga Booga Booga!
  • I love making up silly songs for my kid. Most of them are recycled tunes but the words are FRESHAA!
  • My ideal job would be where someone paid me to read the books that I want.
  • I love bean bags.
  • There’s no food like Chinese food. Even the kind the street vendor sells.
  • I always apologize to my kid (when he’s asleep) for having yelled at him or spanked his bum.
  • I am inherently lazy. I act busy to confuse others 🙂
  • If I could, I would travel and read all my life long.
  • I am getting addicted to online shopping. Or for now, online cart-filling.
  • I buy bubble wands et al saying it’s for my kid, but I’m the one blowing bubbles all day long 🙂
  • I am a bit of a snob for brands but it’s under control now. I think. I hope. Erm…not really.
  • AND…I am narcissistic enough to go back and re-read this meme even after I post it here and cross-post it on FB and Twitter 🙂

Am very happy that the written word endures and because of it I was able to picture myself smooshed into a beanbag and tapping this out 8 1/2 years ago when life largely consisted of running behind a kid and wiping his butt half a dozen times a day and blowing raspberries on his tummy whenever I could.

*heaves a sigh for the good old days*

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The Road Not Taken

Note: This is hardly an original title but extremely apt nonetheless, especially for this particular post. Somehow this post was particularly difficult to write. The words didn’t flow the way they usually do and I’ve made more revisions than I’ve ever done before, left it cooling on the rack as it were till I decided to just get it done once and for all. Read on…

I’ve often touched upon the nomadic life I’d led as a child. It was never dull whatever else it may have been. It was hectic at times and sometimes trying but never dull. And in the process the one thing I always wondered about was whether putting down roots somewhere was really everything it was cracked up to be and if it was something I’d be able to aspire to one day. Because after 9 schools and 11 cities you really wonder at times where it’s all going.

There was a point of time when I thought I’d got it figured out. I was much younger but without the rose-tinted glasses. Work was shaping up, other aspects of life were also pretty much where they needed to be. And then they changed. Not entirely drastically but they changed and the path that was taken has led up to today. And it’s been a good one for the most part. But a part of me wondered about the shape of things had the divergence not occurred. The all too elusive what-ifs occasionally rear their head and you can’t help but extrapolate things and wonder if you’d have been able to follow the blueprint through and where that might have got you.

Now nostalgia is just fine on it’s own, indulged from a few hundred kilometers away but when you get down to brass tacks and walk in the same paths the younger you did, sometimes it’s just not the same at all. Imagine a place, a cafe if you will, was something you zoomed into regularly like it was home base. The food tasted great, the drinks even better and the time spent there was memorable. And then one day, you walk in there after a few years and it’s not really special anymore. It’s run-of-the-mill. The place isn’t run down or shady…it’s just not what you want anymore. The younger you sure, the older you…not so much. And that can be a slightly bittersweet realization for those of us who sometimes want to desperately hang onto the vision of something the way we remember it.

I remember visiting my college with my best friend a long while after we finished our graduation.While the original structure was still standing, the new extensions to the building made it look more like a transport hub than the college where I spent 3 very significant years of my life. And while I’m not opposed to change, there’s change and there’s CHANGE. And as we grow up and older, some changes are inevitable and often seem irrevocable.

Nostalgia works well for some time but the deeper you go into it at times you realize that you aren’t acknowledging the most often critical part of whole situation- that you’re the  one that’s changed the most. Older, maybe wiser, definitely healthier (we’re a body positive blog folks) and once you get to that point; at best nostalgia can be a joyful interlude but one best kept brief. Because there’s so much happening now! The future maybe unknown but the past is something we’ve already gone through. Reliving it or attempting to kind of seems like walking backwards to me. Best to grab onto whatever’s happening now and hang on for the ride.

Here endeth the lesson.

 

Musing At The Waiting Lounge

I like tea. I like tea infused with herbs and flowers which many people (read husband) make a face at and deduce that either am a hippie, far-Left, tree-hugging kook or a pretentious individual who wants to stand out by ordering hibiscus tea when everyone else at the table is just fine with their latte, thank you very much!

But despite caffeine being the lifeblood, I really enjoy a good cup of tea from time to time. Brewed well, steeped just long enough and fragrant as well as flavorful.

Am sitting at the Chennai airport right now, watching humanity rush, loiter and basically mill about. A subdued cyclone brought gusty winds and heavy rains and suddenly I needed a tea fix. And while grub or anything at an airport is hideously overpriced but the heart wants what the heart wants especially with 2 hours to kill before a flight. 

So I chose a tea bar (yes…teas have their own bars now..le posh!) and found that they had a lemon-chamomile blend which seemed like a good choice. Alas…seeming and being are two ends of a spectrum at times. This blend is blah. And to top it off, it looks like a specimen one reluctantly gives at the doctor’s office and tastes like nothing. Just a big, fat nothing.I think I’m qualified to rant a bit because I’ve had the real deal and it was just lovely. 

Nearly 20 years ago, I was on a trip with my folks up in the hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh and we ran into a colleague of my dad’s who was a local there. He and his wife lived in a lovely, quaint wooden house and she grew chamomile…just because. 

She brewed it and added it to various things and also had it as a tisane. She also knitted some lovely woollen socks and gave me a pair; which I ended up giving to an ex-roomie because her toes were freezing off in Frankfurt in the middle of their rather harsh winter, but that’s another story for another day. 

My mother had that baggie of chamomile tea for years. It was fragrant, mild and soothing. It grew in good earth, without too many pollutants and was given as a going away gift by an extremely simple lady who didn’t know how that tea would travel with us over the next couple of years and become an anecdote each time it was brewed.

The only good thing to come out of this cuppa is the stirring of memories of a sunny days, hills and good people. 

Salut.

A Post From The Past

I wrote this post on a Word doc years ago and didn’t get around to publishing it. Discovered it today and publishing it because it’s still relevant and I’m still fighting for my space on the bed!”

Travails of Sleepytime

Many of us sleep alone at nights. And they are the lucky ones. The ones who don’t aren’t unlucky per se but they’ve lost that God-given privilege of rolling about on their bed all by their lonesome, unless something bad happens and well…that’s where couches (in conjunction with angry spouses) come in.

Why am I suddenly tripping on sleeping alone? Well let’s see now- the only child that I am, I graduated to a bed of my own at a fairly early age I’d say. And after that I’ve found that a bed mate (even a chaste one) just didn’t do it for me all in all. Something would happen that’d make me long to sleep. A-L-O-N-E!!

The current trigger is the hubby’s death grip on my coverlet. Boy! You think it’d be easy to shove a slender guy out of the way and dig out my wrap from under him. You’d think wrong. I’d have better luck excavating dinosaur bones somewhere. The sheet’ll be free once he moves. And he doesn’t move. Much.

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Which leads me to another bone of contention. I’m a wriggler. When I get into bed for the first time I HAVE to wriggle till I mush out a nice cozy space for myself and get the place a bit warm in the process. Not everyone’s a natural bed warmer like my father. I remember some pretty cold winters as a kid when I’ve tried to sneak under his comforter because he radiates furnace-like heat when all covered up.

I sadly, warm up only the place I lie in and since I’m a twitchy sleeper by nature I seldom lie in one place long enough for it to get properly toasty. I inevitably used to wake up from a cold spot on the bed during the winters in various places I’ve spent my childhood in. Hyderabad not really having much semblance of a winter is definitely easier on my malfunctioning heating coils. Anyhow, I realized that sleeping alone is a gift that is never given again post marriage and during the times when you have clingy roommates in the hostel. But that’s a different cuppa tea altogether.

Take me for example- I frequently smacked the new groom across his face while we got used to sharing a bed. Now I can sleep pretty much anywhere. But he NEEDS to be on his left else he feels as if he’s deprived himself of a good night’s sleep. Don’t ask me why. It’s not as if the mattress people stuffed his side of the mattress with more foam and left spikes in mine right? But adamant he is and on the nights when I’ve occupied the left side, the following mornings have brought me face to face with Monsieur Le Grumpy.

Bonuses of sleeping alone #1 your posture can be anything at all and you don’t ever have to have people grumbling over you at odd times of the night about why you are mimicking the Karate Kid’s Crane kick in your sleep. So whether it’s a pose of a bird hatching an egg or a midget hatching a plan, your posture is your thing and you get to indulge in all sorts of jungle gym activities all while sleeping beatifically.

Advantage # 2- you can emit any kinds of noise from anywhere you wish and not be thought as disgusting or get an elbow in the ribs right in the middle of the gorgeous dream of you and….never mind who else. It’s a great and understandable provocation for bodily harm leading to murder if you’re startled away by a monstrous snort of your partner. That pillow never looked handier for smothering, am I right?

Drool is also another dread to have to encounter. Imagine while fast asleep, you roll over/ reach out and your hands, feet touch something cold, sticky and thoroughly unpleasant. It’s enough to recreate the bedroom scene in the Godfather!

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Another reason to not let others in your bed, especially kids, is that they’ll never want to leave!! Mine starts out in his cot and somehow always ends up draped over my head, feet in my face, fingers tangled in my hair or moving around between the sheets like a wraith from the horror movies. Am convinced the hubby sleepwalks and then picks up El Munchkin and places him between us. And after a few attempts of his kicking his father (whose bones hurt your hands and feet when you make contact) my son’s permanently turned his limbs towards me. Courtesy my cellulite.

Apparently I often go *bleep-bleep* in the night after being kicked in the face or almost being pushed off the bed. I don’t remember them of course. I’m told about my runaway mouth across the dining table, over a cup of life-restoring coffee I’m; by a disapproving spouse in stern tones. But in my defense, I was in limbo you see. Formed of fatigue and memories of the days when I ruled my own bed and rolled around in circles, formed odd geometric shapes that were a puzzle to my mother.

For now I’ll just dream of sleeping by myself instead of tugging the sheet free (it aint gonna happen) and get a few winks in before the sheet usurper and the child repo agent (it SO feels like that) both work in tandem to have me lying awake through the night and working on another blogpost.

Nighty night!

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1998

5 girls met. Talked. Slowly at first and then incessantly. They sat in the last benches of most of their classes. Had some adventures. Loads of giggles, some fights. Went through a bunch of guys. Made other gal pals and 20 years later are still around in a pretty good capacity given that work, home, spouses, kids and pets do make their presence felt quite a bit on a daily basis.

College was such a melting pot. You had all the directions of the country converge along with linguistic and religious backgrounds and still found that you fit somewhere; with someone. And you wore each other like gloves and the fit just got better with time with a few mends here and there.

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There were classes where you each were at sea, and then those where you still had the chance to sail through. There were gaffes, bloopers, red-letter days and some days you’d rather really just never remember again. There were fests and fiestas where you met the next few months’ rides in the form of people (ahem..guys) from other colleges and also did a quick dipstick to see if you were on the right end of the social spectrum when compared to the rest of the lot out there. Fashion played a big role. Some were gawked at, some gaped at and some just grimaced at as a bad idea never to be repeated with oneself.

You had days when the homework hadn’t been done and the entire class (barring the usual goody two-shoes suspects) was asked to leave by the lecturer with clenched teeth and furrowed brows. There were classes which were bunked at the proverbial last minute to go watch a newbie director’s movie premiere with no money left for snacks ergo home made lunches came to the rescue…however lame the situation seemed.

These 5 girls had their own idiosyncrasies; they still do but they had FUN! They didn’t have stars in their eyes but didn’t really know what the world had in store for them either. They sat and laughed at the teachers’ often utterly ludicrous utterances and marveled at the sophistication and expanse of knowledge the others possessed. They wrote their hearts out, thought about new things; had their horizons and visions broadened by good books recommended by even better teachers and still managed to sleep through at least half of their graduation.

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Endless sandwiches were eaten along with innumerable cups of tepid coffee which kept the noggin running, however sporadically. They bitched, they gossiped, they cried, they guffawed with laughter and they made memories. In time they shared these memories with their significant others and introduced their friends to the new people they’d share their lives with thereon.

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Twenty years on, on the right side of the dreaded (?) 40s, it’s nice to look back and know there was a time and a place and people who made you carefree, kept you young, foolish (in the best way possible) and buoyant.

Here’s to you ladies…you know who you are.

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Salut!

Gummy Flashback

8 years ago, someone stepped on the stage for the 1st time. They wore a gummy bear costume for the 1st time too, along with shoes that had laces….something that sadly hasn’t been mastered till date. They had whiskers painted on their tiny, chubby, kissable face and didn’t complain a bit for the long wait before everyone was seated and they got to do their thaang for the parents present in the auditorium.
This gummy bear has come a long way now. No longer chubby, but still cute (when he sleeps though), saying extremely interesting things and mangling up song lyrics with hilarious results.
The home is a louder, funner and definitely more laughter-filled place because someone learnt to shake their booty 6 years ago. Here’s a look through my trip down memory lane…
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