There’s A Great White Under The Bed

It’s only 3 inches long but my big toe did come in contact with its great gaping maws…and this isn’t the first time there was a “dangerous” animal lurking where it shouldn’t have been. We’ve had similar incidents earlier also.

Want to know what else is going on? Well there’s a mini Giant Octopus hiding behind the sink in my bathroom. Probably waiting to wrap its tentacle around my wrist when I reach for my toothbrush!

Or the crocodile that swished its tail at my nose last night when I turned over in my sleep.

The only saving grace has been the Stegosaurus (aptly named as Steggy) who was nice enough not to squish me when he landed on my head before MLM’s bed time.

Between coiled up snakes at Red’s feet during breakfast and Giant Squid’s surfacing in the shower cubicle, MLM’s toys are everywhere! Day and night and in every kind of scenario. The only place they aren’t in is the damn toy box.

Is this the same kid who used to go to Gymboree and do “clean-up, clean-up” after playtime was done? I can’t see hide nor hair of him anymore. It’s prehistoric reptiles and marine creatures as far as my myopic eyes can see and my toes can step on…sadly enough…

 

Ask And Ye Shall Receive…

an answer, that is. It  might not be the one you wanted to hear because let’s admit it; we seldom ask questions we don’t know or want the answers to. Especially the existential kind. Even with the academic kind, we’re hoping that we don’t have to be in situations where algebraic equations or doing a syntax analysis of a “complex” sentence is a regular staple.

But we do end up asking the all important, inevitable question from time to time viz WHY ME?

And the universe answers. Even with those implicit questions which you kept inside your head and hadn’t voiced out. Take my case for example. I was planning that today, Friday, was going to be the Friday that would define how the rest of the Fridays were going to be in 2016 or at least for the first half of the year. I was going to be a human whirlwind (because the position of human hurricane has been filled for the last 5+ years by the offspring) and tackle the laundry, the linens, the stuff I’d normally hide stuff in closets and get the house tidy! T-I-D-Y. And then I was going to really enjoy the weekend because I’d earned it. Big time!

And what happens this morning? I put my back out. Just a sign from the universe that the untidiness is fated to linger a la Doris Riordan’s song of the same ilk. And here I am now. Playing my role as a ungainly combo of R2D2 and C-3PO (the chunky, rotunda of the former and the stiff, jerky movements of the latter). And that ladies and gents is our little nod to the Star Wars fever that’s taken over the world!

Anyhoo, getting back to moi…I guess I was (am) disappointed because today was going to be the day I zipped across town after getting the car back from the shop and not play the cliched role of a housewife binge-watching her favorite shows and grazing all day long. In properly-spaced intervals I mean. The grazing. Not the watching. That’s a continuous process.

And now I’m actually compelled to be stationary when I wanted to be bustling about.

So if we get back to where we started from viz the question we ask the Universe in an utterly vexed fashion, “why me?” it’s not difficult at all to imagine the universe answer in a deep voice (James Earl Jones for the majority and Kathleen Turner for the feminists among us), “why not you?”

Me Being Me…

I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t indulge in gripes about my pet peeves. So what if it’s at the start of the year? This way am getting some rants and grumbles out of my system so there’s less to spew and gnash my teeth about!

I have made a couple of decisions. Won’t call them resolutions because then it’s nearly a foregone conclusion that they’ll be deviated from sooner or later.

I am quite bugged with one of my lifelines..Amazon. I buy books from them quite often and they end up being my kid’s toy shop of choice for all the exotic variety of dragons not available in our city, nay…country! But for them to restrict the sale of certain digital media if you choose your country as India is super annoying. You get access to loads of books nonetheless. More than I could finish in this lifetime. But still! And if you do choose USA as your country then the world is your oyster but the Indian government plays spoilsport and tacks on a Swachhh Bharat tax on top of the foreign currency mark-up and what not!

Now the Swachh Bharat tax isn’t something I’m not crazy about. It might have started out with good intentions (as do most things on the road to hell am told) but levying it on all and sundry just seems bloody annoying. And pardon my French but I missed the fine print where it was notified that it would be levied on everything that generates a bill.

The last time I encountered this level of “being anal” is when the bean counters at the T.I.S.S literally tried to brainwash my colleagues and I for all the expenses we could and would encounter during our field work. Even in those small mom&pop stores where they just write down the bill for all amounts big and small. They wanted to make sure we would get the Rs.1 revenue stamp affixed on all relevant bills and then the ancient relic in the accounts office went further and said he wanted a receipt for a revenue stamp also. Yikes! The paper work was staggering…oye ve!

But that lovely little anecdote from the past aside here are some more things I have decided I’m GOING to do.

  1. Finish watching every single movie/t.v show I’ve downloaded and only keep those that I know I’ll watch again. Ergo, no hoarding the sheer “wealth” of torrents.
  2. Public a minimum of 3 blog posts every week- photography or otherwise.
  3. Use up or give away bed linen that’s been languishing in the closet because I only bring out the higher thread count ones or the ones with monkeys on them to keep the brat happy.
  4. Take more pictures and master a bit more of photo editing because that’s what makes or breaks an image.
  5. Try out one new recipe (sweet, savory anything!) a week.
  6. Try and grow taller! Psych…had you going there for a minute, didn’t I?
  7. Try and read more non-fiction because Red thinks I’m growing dumb or murderous with all the crime fiction and mythological stuff I read.
  8. Take at least 3 holidays this year and discover a new place or two. Or ten.
  9. Teach the offspring a few words of my native tongue.
  10. Keep those bleeped out words in my head and not in my mouth. Tiny ears to mouth transmission speed is shockingly good!
  11. Learn to swim with my head above water else I’ll drown if not in a pool or just keep treading water like a doofus.
  12. Publish one book digitally no matter how silly. And this one am really, really serious about.

So, 12 months and 12 non-resolutions. Doable? 2017 will tell.

Cheers!

 

 

2015: A Retrospective

2015 is about to come to a close and yet there were times it seemed to drag itself out unendingly!

Biggest news from our side is that the brat is now in a big kids’ school. He’s only in first grade but he seems to be changing perceptibly in front of our eyes. He’s learning loads, expressing himself more and socializing way more. He’s a year older, more specific in his tastes, choices and behavior as well. He is also acting up a little more; not something we are thrilled about. Of late, during some particularly stern parenting moments, he has packed his bag and threatened to walk out of the house.

While the temptation to laugh out loud at his antics is difficult to tamp down; the fact that his little face gets solemn and he scuttles around dragging his trolley bag full of his favorite things is also something we mull over. Seeing the way our child thinks and expresses himself is always a learning experience for me and Red. Even the parts we aren’t crazy about. He’s still quite naive and childlike compared to other kids I see his age but no complains there. Last thing a parent wants is for their babies to grow up before their time.

We took our first holiday abroad as a family this June and loved it! In fact Singapore has become the de facto destination in the offspring’s mind; that’s how much fun it was!

There have been solemn moments too. The incidents that have happened and continue to happen around the world and in my country have given a lot of us pause and certainly given me a lot of food for thought. Whether atrocities and hardship happen on our doorstep or not; it’s a sign of the times we live in. And no one is insulated beyond a point. When my best friend and her family were stuck during the Chennai floods and storms I remember standing on my balcony and thinking that a couple of hundred miles away there were people who literally didn’t know where the next drink of fresh water was going to come from or the next meal. And how unfair it was that they were caught unprepared and terrified beyond comprehension. Really gives you perspective. Not that you should feel guilty for what you have but how you should enjoy and appreciate the stuff you have good, down to the last atom! God knows when the tide turns. But moving on…

The year has been interesting too. Good songs,good food, movies (good and bad), memorable times spent with family and friends, less than good times have also cropped up but what’re you gonna do? Shit happens. You learn to skirt around the shit in the future. Read this to for more funny shit (‘cuuuse the pun)

While we wait for December to end on a funky note, we are geared up for another family holiday with my folks and plans for more getaways are already being made for 2016. God knows if they’ll materialize ultimately but the fun part is in the planning.

Knowing me, I might not blog till the new year or just have a blogging burst suddenly..so on that wonky note…happy holidays everyone.

Here’s hoping you wake up in 2016 without a heavy head!

 

 

A Decade Of Blogging Erratically

I first blogged in 2005. Courtesy Red. When we met he asked me a couple of questions about my interests and what sort of things was I into; sadly my answer to most were no. And stoic man that he is, he never batted an eyelid at any of them. And still doesn’t a decade after knowing me. But when he asked me about blogging something sparked an interest and I decided to set me up a blog and see for myself what it was all about.

I made friends via my posts, most whom I’ve yet to meet face to face. I got glimpses into lives in other counties, states, countries, continents and gave them one into the garrulousness of mine.

I exchanged relationship advice with some, starting from dating, marriage and then moved onto parenting. Lost a blogger friend and grieved for a while because he had been funny, very real and gave some really interesting parenting advice and never took me to task for cribbing. About anything.

I’ve made my blog my ranting corner, my mouthpiece for everything under the heavens and earth and it’s a part of my life now.

I started out with a blog on Livejournal, transitioned to Blogger and then finally this one on WordPress. I guess I was looking for something that fit well and over the years, each one has fit in some measure depending upon what I wanted to say and how I wanted it to be said.

It’s honestly like looking back at a ten years-younger me and marvelling at somethings, shaking my head at plenty others and occasionally saying, “Bet you never saw this coming huh?”.

So what’s next? Hopefully another ten-year reunion in 2025 with the me from today and seeing what we’ve got up to in the decade that followed.

Salut!

Lennon Had It Right!

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

I’m not feeling particularly nostalgic or philosophical today so have no fear that this is one of “those” posts.

After a week of particularly fragmented sleep due to a very, very unfortunate incident witnessed, I finally slept good and proper. And it was also due to a long, no-holds barred, candid talk with my father.

It seems to me that while life is something that we are born into; it’s also something that keeps happening around us whether we are consciously in the moment or not. It does go on. Extremely fluidly.

One moment someone is literally surrounded by all that is good and the next moment they are gone. Really, really gone. Because saying they passed on doesn’t seem to do justice to it.

One moment you’re one of a bunch of quasi-serious group of girls studying the human mind, ogling boys, chatting with strangers on the net for the thrill of it and bunking classes to watch Hyderabad Blues (first day-first show) and then you blink and you’re a housewife who buys sheets based on thread count and is quite happy about it as well.

One day you’re the thread that holds together someone’s sanity and the next you’re nowhere in the horizon because life happened and people moved on; and so did you.

One day you were playing hopscotch and counting nickels to see if you had enough for an ice cream sandwich and the next you were just among the multitude of kids who were moving out of home room to go to French or Spanish class.

You make plans. We all do. We plan the hell out of our lives. Even those who don’t have a proper schematic in place and aren’t hopelessly anal about where they’re going and how they want to get there. But things still keep happening around us, we get caught up in them and sometimes they lead someplace good and other times it leads to places we can’t wait to get out of fast enough.

If I look back today on things good and bad, the only thing that consistently occurs to me is that I have enough to go on to look ahead as well. And not just through rose-colored glasses to see the prettiness. To also see things for how they are: a shifting balance of things that test us to the core and those which lift us up to glorious peaks of joy.

And no…this post will not end with an “embrace life now!” or “count your blessings and live each day to the fullest” kind of blather. It’s just an ongoing realization of how we are yet to plumb the depths of all that’s in store for us and how the tip of the iceberg isn’t really a bad place to be when everything else is still ahead of you.

Makes me feel good about the times to come. In a mildly daunted and yet-excited way.

So since I have to end the post on some note, let it be this.

Yet Another Epiphany

I had another Ah-HA! experience this morning while “attempting” to explain to MLM why something is desirable and why something isn’t. People (parenting experts, those whose kids are no longer a pain-in-the-ass and those who are blissfully childless) usually say that it sets a bad example to communicate with a growing child using largely negatives viz “NO”, “NOT”. “DONT” et al. However, given that the vocabulary of most children who aren’t prodigies or savants of some kind are largely rudimentary till the middle school years, it becomes a tough job navigating the world of communicating what you want with what your child can comprehend.

But I have finally realized the biggest challenge I face day in and day out while trying to bring this boy up- I have to be an adult in the face of his childishness. And therein lies the rub. I no longer know how to be a child and he’s not reached that stage where he knows anything else but how to be a child.

Just a few minutes back, I had another locking-horns session with my offspring. Reason? He’s been using a turtle stencil to draw outlines on an otherwise pristine ivory colored wall. Again.

The first time this was noticed and commented upon, he apologized. In a flash. And went off to do whatever it is he does when one road to mischief has been shut down. Today when I noticed the second drawing I called him to ask why he had drawn on the walls again when he knew it wasn’t appreciated at all. He simply replied that he wanted to. No defiance. No attitude. Just a simple statement of fact.

And that in nutshell is how children usually are. While some are more compliant, for reasons known only to them, others are more willful in the sense that they are guided largely by their whims. A state that many older people fall back into in their advanced years.

But try as I might, I couldn’t explain to MLM why I was upset. He finally came up with a solution of wiping it off with water. But the crux of the problem escaped him and it entirely escaped me how to clue him in.

As adults we live with and in cliches. We stay in the lines. It starts by learning to color in them, writing within in, standing in them and also driving in them. We don’t always turn into lab rats or hamsters in their wheels but we become regulated. And can also see the benefits of such a life for its opposite is chaos in some form or the other.

But a child, especially one right out of early childhood is all about seeing his or her environment as a giant canvas, playground or anything without boundaries. They want to color furiously all over the paper. Never mind that the dam fruit they were to color got buried under the strokes. They want to scribble on walls because that’s the largest unending surface that surrounds them everyday. They want to climb higher, use the bed as a trampoline because everything that gives them a sense of freedom, even briefly, is exhilarating. Never mind that you’ll be replacing the mattress or the bed springs will poke through before long. It’s just so much more fun than just calmly lying down somewhere and sleeping.

And this is why I blogged this. Right here and now. So when I’m about to have an aneurysm tomorrow or day after from whatever my son wasn’t supposed to have done but did so anyhow; I can take a quick peek at this post before my head blows up. Hell! I’ll have to clean up that mess too so I might as well read these pearls of wisdom and count to a 1000 and keep telling myself there’s always school and the next summer holidays are a year away.

Amen!