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.

Movie Review: Inside Out

All that glitters is not gold and every animated flick isn’t just a kiddy movie.

Image courtesy- http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/

When I made plans for Inside Out I didn’t expect to see a movie that was as well fleshed-out, had a lot of important things to convey and loads of nuances. That it’s animated is just the icing on the cake.

So first off…we are treated to the view of the emotions inside a little girl’s head and how that shapes her ; life, personality, the works! When life throws her curve balls and changes, how her emotions help her navigate and also go through the growing up stages with her is beautifully and sensitively portrayed.

What happens when some emotions (Joy and Sadness) get lost, misplaced or just got out of the picture while Disgust, Anger and Fear have to hold the fort down? that’s what movie is all about.

The people at Pixar have proved it again- they are magicians and psychologists and their creativity is off the charts!

The subject isn’t really for kids at all because barring the obvious toony stuff and some gags, it is actually a very sweet, real movie that deals with sensitive issues that most young children might not begin to experience let alone comprehend at a young age. Mine is very much in the Minionesque gags’ stage and this movie might not have held his interest for too long. IMHO the ideal target audiences for IO are the young adults and the actual adults because each is uniquely positioned to appreciate the crux of it. One will be going through what’s portrayed and the other will have the benefit of having experienced what the movie is about.

It’s actually a bit deeper than most animated features since it lacks frivolity and the out and gags of the Sponge Bob Squarepants and their ilk.

If you do decide to watch Inside Out, do it for the sheer expanse of creativity, imagination of the creators, animators and of course the voice actors who finally breathe life into the finished product.

It just might end up moving you.

Rating: ***

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!

Reblogged:Playing With The Hand You’re Dealt…

Isn’t that what it all boils down to in life?
It isn’t always celebrating the things that go well or in accordance with our plans or even making our peace with the things that don’t. It’s finally just existing with what IS.
Sometimes we are able to do it gracefully and other times it takes a lot of plodding and prodding to get through each day.

There’s a saying by Oscar Wilde that people often smugly quote- ” There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

I’ve found that while tragedy might be too strong a word for it, it does seem difficult to comprehend and accept ,what you sought out, opted for even isn’t all that it’s cut out to be or even worse…it’s not what you want. Is inadequate.

So you shuffle the deck a few times and hope the next hand is better than the one that has you staring in bafflement.

Or you chuck the cards up in the air and don’t care if they scatter all over; since it’s mimicking life in doing so.

And some of us painstakingly make a house of cards. Trying to balance each card over the other and anxiously watching whether they stay up or come tumbling down.
In the end you either end up with a steady house you used up all your cards in making and are proud of or you decide to call it quits after you reach a plateau and are still left holding a few cards for later.

It’s all about playing with the hand you were dealt.

ReBlogged: Fee Fie Fo Fum!

Said the giant before Jack whooped his bottom and took away his essence of being a giant altogether!

Ok…how does that make any sense you ask? I’ll tell you…just let me spin out my tale a bit more…

Parenting. Glorious parenting. Tis fun. Tis joyous. Brings tears to your eyes at times (for many reasons, not all of them good) but god dammit! Why does it have to be so HARD???!!!

One mom I met a few months back at the doctor’s office said something which is SO true for most of us…we wait for our babies to talk and take their first steps and then when they achieve said milestones all we seem to be capable of telling them is SHUSH and DON’T RUN AROUND!

If my speech was transcribed throughout the day (like a court reporter does) I have a feeling most of it would start like this (especially when taken in conjunction to my communication with MLM):

Morning (before coffee)- moan, groan, grumble, curse (while stepping on some toy which has wheels or a part sharp enough to poke).

Waking up MLM- (singsong) Hey Buddy..waaaaake upppp! Good morningggg! How are you todayyy? Kissy kissy, cuddley-wuddley and all that jazz.

Getting him to brush his teeth and bathe while keeping an eye on the wall clock- To the tune of This is the Way We Go To School- this is how we brush our teeth…la la la la laaaa.
On seeing that aforementioned teeth are not getting brushed- WOULD YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH ALREADY!! JESUS CHRIST! YOU NEED A DARN JACK TO PRISE OPEN THIS CHILD’S MOUTH! OPEN UP NOW!!! GOOD BOY…see…pretty white teeth…keep them nice and clean…STOP CHEWING ON YOUR TOOTHBRUSH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! YE GODS..I GAVE BIRTH TO A GOAT!

And so the morning progresses.

On the way to school we sing Eeya Eeya O!! till new requests for songs get delivered right into my ear. And then the exchange becomes like this-
WHY ARE YOU HISSING INTO MY EAR!  NO! NO! DON’T FIDDLE WITH THE RADIO…AAARGH TURN IT DOWN..TOO LOUD..NO I DON’T WANT THE WIPERS GOING SWISH SWISH..IT’S NOT RAINING…OK FINE..NO! DON’T TOUCH THE HAZARD LIGHTS…I CAN’T SEE THE ELEPHANT IN THE CLOUD NOW I’M DRIVING! SIT DOWN NOW!!

And so we get dropped off to school, exchange kisses and promises of being good and having fun yada yada.
Then comes the coming back from school part- ( again imagine singsong happy-happy la-la voice…to start with): How was school? Did you have fun! What did you see? Did you eat your snacks? Wha..what…! NO NO…NO CHOCOSHOT! STOP LYING DOWN ON THE ROAD…NO KFC NOW EITHER…WOULD YOU PLEASE NOT KICK MY SEAT WHILE YOU THROW THE TANTRUM…AARGH….GOD! I MISS BEING SINGLE!!

Then comes the bath and evening play time: (less singsong…cheer is decidedly being summoned)- Let’s go bathe and get fresh…you’re all stinky poo-poo (yes we baby talk..so shoot me!). HANG ON HANG ON…DON’T POUR MY FACE WASH INTO THE TUB..THOSE AREN’T BUBBLES…OK YES THEY ARE BUBBLES BUT NOT YOUR BUBBLES..THOSE ARE MY BUBBLES…SIGH..TAKE IT ALL…just sit down and get clean you force of nature…

Going to the playground- Who’s going to have FUN?! YES! That’s right…10 minutes into the playtime…please share the swings…plEASE…PLEASE..WOULD YOU JUST GO PLAY ON THE SLIDES OR SOMETHING…IT’S BEEN AN HOUR AND MY HANDS ARE GOING TO FALL OFF..I’M NOT PUSHING YOU ANYMORE AND THAT’S FINAL! AM LEAVING…DON’T THINK AM BLUFFING..AM GOING…WHOA…HANG ON…DON’T RUN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION THE CAR IS THIS WAY…grumble grumble…curse curse…pine for alcohol and wish for a husband who worked from home!!

Bed time: RINSE YOUR MOUTH. GO PEE. GET INTO BED. LET’S READ YOUR BOOKS FOR THE UPTEENTH TIME ON THE SAME PAGE, SAME LINE, SAME WORD….

By the time the little eyes close and the HUK (hug) and kisses happen the voice is again mellow and singsong and thinking ‘ awww…isn’t he beautiful? Yeah…I can do this another day. NOT RIGHT NOW…later. much later.

Mommyhood: Some Truths

Any mother will eventually admit to this- they love their kids the most when the children are either asleep or doing something that doesn’t require them (the moms) to be an active participant all the time.

See the thing with kids is this- you are doing things with them, for them, watching them do things while doing things with them or for them; you’re never really just watching them. And often when you do get the time to stop and watch them you realize that they’re grown up or a little less of the baby you knew just a few months back.

Here’s a silly little anecdote but one that made me feel all warm and gooey inside so naturally it’s all good.

Once we moved into the new place I realized that the toilets were higher than at the old place. MLM had to get some help to get hoisted onto the pot initially and would need to stand on tiptoes to pee. Very banal stuff right? And then I walk into the loo one morning and I realize he’s not on tiptoes anymore and can hoist himself onto the pot. Give the kid a medal! In a mom’s book that calls for an “awww my baby’s growing up”.

We can often miss out on the subtext in day-to-day life. The stuff going on in the background and even the foreground while we’re going about with the essentials.

What I like to do these days since MLM learnt to swing on his own is observe him and his interactions with other around him.

I find it satisfying in a way when he doesn’t come to me with his problems but tackles them on his own because that too is a sign of independence and growing up.

He has a funny way of referring to certain children’s’ moms as ‘Mother’. When I asked him why he was calling a particular lady as Mother since she wasn’t his mother and why not call her Aunty instead, pat came his reply- “So many aunties”. That is his to-the-point way of telling me he’s trying to keep from confusing the issue and directly addressing some kid’s mom instead of saying Aunty and having half a dozen women look at him. That he didn’t remember the lady’s name was well evidenced as well.

But the overall dynamics are very entertaining and enlightening to observe. Just yesterday MLM told another child’s mother than her daughter was hungry and wanted to go home. Out of the blue. The child in question was happily playing around with no idea she was the topic of a conversation. Why this sudden benevolence towards a peer? Well MLM’s soon-to-be-ex-best-friend who has of late started playing with other girls and keeping him at an arm’s length was approaching the playground and my darling son decided upon a preemptive strike before he lost the battle!

It’s amazing how these little minds work, how complex and yet simple their thought processes can be. And I get to be a spectator and take mental snapshots…all because a little boy has learnt to swing and I don’t have to give my biceps a workout anymore.

Amen. And thank you Galactic Ameba for your benevolence.