How To Talk So Kids Will Listen

This is going into the category of a bloglet viz it’ll be brief.

There’s a book my husband bought me once the brat started pre-primary…it’s called How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk. Since the book did not mention anything about how to talk so husbands will listen and stop leaving wet towels all over the place; I decided not to do much about this book reco.

I already knew then and still know how to talk so my kid would listen- dress like a giant lollipop, have Play-Doh in one hand, the t.v. remote in the other and preferably enter riding on a dinosaur!

Maybe then….and maybe Utopia is just around the corner! Pshaw!!

utopia_in_four_movements_filmstill5_utopiasign.jpg (1650×1050)

 

Reblogged: Like A Phoenix

A lot of blogs turn out to be a plunge into some deep chasm of thought. It’s not. I suddenly get a notion in my head. It often cries for a platform. Some days I can give it one and other days it’s shunted onto my list of things-to-do-but-not-now-maybe-later.

After a long time I napped in the afternoon. It was my own fault. Sunday comes every week but I don’t indulge in heavy meals that make one languorous. Today I did and as a result I stretched out next to my mom (another factor in inducing sleep) and conked off the moment the head and pillow connected.

That Red kicked me out of the room and took charge of MLM was probably the biggest reason for being able to sleep for 2 hours.

When the mind is relaxed it seems into sink into itself. Not like a balloon with air going out of it but almost like it heaves a small sigh of relief that you aren’t stretching it to all ridiculous lengths and just starts emitting little blurbs of thoughts like a person lazily blowing bubbles. Or as in my case, a contented person emitting little burps.

So the mind burped this thought- everything that grows brings with it something that had to break.
It wasn’t a “Whoa horsey” kind of thought either. It was reflective.

An empty land becomes an apartment complex. It’s dug into and practically eviscerated but it’s growth. And breakage. The homes are built and we “break” the space which earlier existed and coop ourselves up into an affordable number of square feet and call it home.

Relationships grow and break your notions of what is and what should be. Things are seldom tweaked. It’s usually a structural kind of change that happens and the mind fits itself around the new thought, the new idea and tries it on. Sometimes it fits and other times you’re left with something that is chokingly tight or so loose that you just can’t work yourself into it and it just hangs uncomfortably around you and your life.

It was a very A-Ha experience as Red calls it. Another realization. One that you might have already had but didn’t allow yourself to dwell on for long.

And every time the phoenix that is the mind, rises above and tries to make sense of things, of relationships, of movements in life of the ground that is now a tall building that you have to call home, the people who are moving on, playing different roles, the child that is growing up…

Yup…Sunday afternoon naps are quite potent.

Am glad the next one will take another few months to come about 🙂

The Perils of Healthy Living

The biggest irk about “healthy living” is when it’s forced down your throat by someone who thinks they (meaning the rest of the family) ought to change their eating habits.

Recently Red went on a road trip with a childhood friend who has embraced healthier options in his life vis-a-vis his eating habits. This individual didn’t wake up one day and find a roll of fat around his waist and decided to go the Atkins way but thoroughly researched everything there is to find out there online and made changes right from the cooking oil to the stuff that finally winds up in his stomach.

Red was impressed. I wasn’t. It’s very easy for someone who doesn’t manage the kitchen to waltz in one day and ask for top-bottom changes in what we eat, what it’s made in and how it’s going to be made; and not lift a finger in the process. And the person asking for the said changes is slightly finicky about his grub to begin with.

But housewives being the modern-day Atlas, the brunt of doing the research fell on me, as was wont. Keeping all preconceived notions aside of what passes for good cooking traditionally I hit the Internet and started looking for credible sources (meaning I looked beyond Wikipedia) and I was surprised to find that Red and consequently his friend weren’t wrong. Canola oil, rice bran oil and many of the “lighter oils” I had known about earlier and thought were good for the heart and the overall health of a person, were actually not all that great. I found this and this to be helpful in understanding the matter at hand.

Still, I find that new findings crop up every now and then and there are still things which may end up being matters of long-term debates viz microwave cooking- impending health hazards vs. unsubstantiated myths. And now suddenly making these kind of changes is a bit tough. And we do it because no one wants arteries clogging up at 35. But more still because if there’s the slightest possibility of any of the findings being accurate then we owe it to ourselves to read a significant amount of literature backing pros and cons of the issue and then taking a call.

But in the meanwhile it gets me a bit testy to have Red looking over my shoulder of signs of improvement of “healthiness” in our eating patterns.

Very tough to be a meat and potatoes kind of person AND a midnight snacker in this day and age I must say,

 

The Mumbling Husband

Originally published in- http://fortunatecave.livejournal.com/110328.html

Red mumbles. And quite likely, I’m going deaf in one ear.

This is how it happened: 
I was saying something about Mumaith Khan 
Red said something I heard as thus- She looks like Cromwell.
Me: Cromwell? Oliver Cromwell? Eeks!!
Red: Cromwell?!! I said kaamwaali!!

*walks away shaking his head at me in a bewildered fashion*

The Bloggy Journey+ Blogging 101

It’s not like I’ve reached a massive milestone and there needs to be a post commemorating it but when I woke up this morning, this post was lurking about in my head and with there still being a bit of time left before I needed to dive into Monday, I thought why not!

I heard about blogs, blogging…the whole enchilada from my husband. Only he wasn’t my husband then. He was this still-kinda-new skinny, quiet guy who walked a bit too fast for me to keep up with him on the roads and who didn’t smile much. But he read books. Devoured them like me, but in his own way. After spending some great time in a bookstore he correctly surmised that I loved the written word and the previous night he had gotten to know how much I loved the spoken word. Especially my own.

I was leaving Bangalore the same day when he asked me if I blogged. And I have to admit…I didn’t know the word at all! I knew the word blob- the movie and the concept. But not blog. Seeing me look perplexed he elaborated…erm..weblog? Do you write?

I told him I wrote…journals; but they were private. And he told me about this blogging bit which could be as private as you wanted it to be or as public as well. It was like having your own online journal and you could write whatever took your fancy. Read stuff that other people had written and it was a great way of sharing ideas, knowing that others were thinking, reading good writing and it was as real-time as possible. I was intrigued. Seriously. When I asked him how I might go about it he told me (the same way he was going to end up telling me everything for the next 8+ years to come) to research it and look at the existing blog platforms but he was on Livejournal.

This man then put me on the train that would take me back to Hyderabad, gave me a book (that’ll be a different post and soon!) and told me to blog because I would like it and waved me off.

Back in Hyderabad work and a life of leisure consumed me. There wasn’t much room to think, much need either. Then one day I was a bit irked about something and didn’t have an outlet. I grumped about a bit and found no one at home paid me much heed. And suddenly the word blog popped into my head. And this is what passed for my first blog post on 16th May, 2005.

Since then I have blogged. Some times incessantly. Other times sporadically or not at all. But it’s been a constant in my life. I wake up with thoughts that seem like they were meant to be typed out and just unleashed on the Internet. And other times they serve as a outlet which I control with a valve maintain equilibrium in my life but they don’t see the light of day. They don’t languish in Drafts either. But their time to debut hasn’t yet come so there they shall remain.

I have a few things to say about blogging- Unless someone wants to be a professional blogger (and even then) writing about what comes naturally to you will always help more in getting the words out rather than writing on a trending issue just because more people are likely to read it.

Even if your blogs don’t get many/any comments doesn’t mean that it hasn’t reached people. Some are touched enough to leave a comment but it doesn’t showcase any enjoyment or smiles, food-for-thought moments that have been caused while it was read so… write regardless!

Formatting is good but if you are a long-winded person like me, trying to curb the flow of your words just so they are arranged better, look concise can be nothing short of a death knell in your inherent blogging form. Be true to yourself and your intrinsic style of blogging.

Add a picture. It *does* make the post look better but if you can’t find a picture that talks to you or seems to be tailor-made for the post, leave it be. Not everything needs to be pretty.

Speaking of pretty- write from your heart. To some extent screw grammar (Blasphemy!) and spellings (double blasphemy!). Mistakes are made when your thoughts flow faster than your fingers can keep up. But unless it changes the tone and intent of your blog post, don’t kill yourself over spell checks. Doing it does add accuracy but don’t get anal about it.

Write from the heart but try not to offend. There are SO many kinds of people out there. So many types of thought processes, life situations. An imperious tone can often come out like a judgement. Which we may or may not be qualified to make. If it’s a personal diary, make it personal to you…not personal for someone else necessarily.

It’s ok to not write posts from time to time. Just a tweet-like post will also be called a blog post. It’s still legitimate so don’t rack your brains trying to come up with paras.

At the end of it all, before hitting Publish, if you feel good, if you feel contented, fulfilled and happy…then you have blogged! Even if the followers are in single digits and yours isn’t in the first 3 search results on Google. You did it. Your thoughts and words count.

Happy Blogging People!

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.