Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Peanut's Such a Little...Person!

I am quite amazed by some of the stuff that Peanut has started doing. And of course, I assume you share my fascination, so here goes.

* She recognizes the term 'Get down' and actually inches backwards towards the edge of the bed to try and climb down. Of course, sometimes she decides to change her mind at the last minute and ends up hanging off the side precariously but determinedly, and has to be pushed off the edge. When she lands and receives applause, she squeals in delight, a sound that sounds like a triumphant 'A-haaaa!'. She then, in her excitement, attempts to walk away from the bed, forgetting that she can't actually walk, and has to be rescued from the imminent fall.

* If any one of the rest of us lies down in front of her with our eyes closed, she leans over and 'kisses' us on the cheek. Well, this works for her father, her masi and her nani anyway. When it comes to me trying this out, I end up getting poked in the eye. If I make the mistake of giggling, she will do it again. And again. And it's really not that funny to have someone trying to claw your eyelid open. Just when I'm about to put an end to this, she deigns to lean over and put her mouth on my cheek, often biting me hard with her gums. And it's fantastic.

* She seems to know the time that I'm about to come home, and always gets terribly excited when I ring the doorbell. The K insists that if someone else comes home around the time, the baby gets very disappointed to see that it's them instead of me. My sister told me that when she came home one day, Peanut actually put on a sulky, sullen face for a while before deciding to forgive her and play with her.

* She continues to exhibit a clear preference for me - Vijay continues to try and get her to say Papa, which is met with dogged 'Mama' in response. I am, in the spirit of fairness, attempting to teach her to say Papa now too, if a little half-heartedly.

* She dances! When she's on all fours, she'll rock back and forth. When she's sitting up or standing, she shakes her head side to side with the biggest grin on her face - oftentimes, she does this head shaking even without music, just to express her happiness with life in general. I think she'll be quite musical because she manages to beat out a fair rhythm on her katori and spoons. I even saw her daintily pick out a tune on the huge keyboard that Vijay bought for her a while back. Okay, so maybe I exaggerate here a bit. It's amusing to see her play an instrument six times her size.

* She loves reading- she listens with rapt attention to the stories that I read out and cries everytime a book is closed. This process goes on and on until I finally toss the books aside, telling her to just learn to read them herself if she's that interested.

* Like every other baby, she loves throwing things, getting a huge kick out of this and laughing loudly and wildly each time the unfortunate object reaches the floor with a satisfying, resounding clang. I've never laughed so much to see things being actively destroyed before.

Yes. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I've never met a more interesting person in my life.

Friday, May 23, 2008

She's Back and this time, She's Rambling!

...Okay, okay, quickly, gotta do this quickly. There's been so much happening but I just don't get time to blog about it. Hey what's this ओह माय गोद , नो नोट गोद, गव्द okay, sorry about that, I got excited because I saw the hindi scripting feature just now. Have I really been away that long, Blogger? How much you've changed. Sigh.

It's a beautiful Saturday morning in Delhi. One of those alternate non-working Saturdays and the possibility of a whole lazy two-day weekend stretches before me. It's been so lovely, the weather. I remember I came to Delhi just about this time last year, a couple of months before delivering Peanut - the weather was nothing like this.

I mentioned it here in this post, and it was one where I wrote about our 'awesome twosome' - our help in Mumbai, Zareena and Vinod. Well, I think I haven't really had time to mention it, but Zareena was totally broken when we decided to relocate to Delhi a couple of months back. She was very emotional when she heard about it, and was quite depressed for a few days - having become fond of all us, especially the baby.

She came with Vinod to drop us to the airport when we were all leaving, dressed in her 'outside of home' Sari, with her long hair open, looking quite tragic - no more tears while waving us goodbye, but a shaky little smile. Funnily enough, that's one thing about Mumbai that I'm really missing - having Zareena around.

I'm not missing the equally valuable driver, Vinod, though - for the very simple reason that the young man has decided to relocate and has come to Delhi to continue to be with us. That's something which I'm really glad about although I've felt slightly worried about his settling into this city - he was just so comfortable in Mumbai, had lots of contacts, stayed with his elder brother there - but he seems to be doing alright and claims to like the city well enough. In fact, in Mumbai, he had an offer from his earlier 'Model Memsahib' to come back to her, for around 50% more than we can pay him - but he decided to just stick on with us because he seems to like us. Good for us. Given how difficult good help is to find, it makes to keep the ones you can. Couldn't take Zareena with us though. She calls occasionally but apart from hearing her familiar yell 'KAISE HO, THEEK HOON MEMSAHIB, KAJAL KYA KAR RAHIN HAI, BABY KYA KAR RAHIN HAI', there isn't really that much you talk about on the phone with her.

Anyway, so life goes on and I'm quite excited because there are going to be three new babies - yes, three! - amongst my close family and friends over the next few months - that's really good because I have these visions of Peanut growing up with all of them, even though none of them are in my city so far. I guess I'm hoping that they will all converge to Delhi like we did, realizing that it's just so much better to be with family around this time.

After joining work, I've been really busy because there is so much going on and it's all very exciting stuff - I think the best thing about my new workplace is the energy that we've got going on over there - it's a whole new business, and a whole new world, but I'm able to apply the stuff I've learned over the last few years quite well - it's good to be in a place where you can make a difference and also keep learning something new everyday. But we're little short on people and so it's quite madly busy during the week. Oh, by the way, any one of you interested in working in a great Internet business, in marketing ? Let me know.

Wow, I didn't want to convert this post into a recruitment bid, so let me smoothly move on. Peanut is doing fine, she's almost 10 months old now. She has been irritating Vijay by refusing to say Papa, doggedly repeats Mamamamamamama whenever he tries to get her to say it. I try to tell him that he needn't put forth his case in the form of his own personal cheer - he sits down in front of her and chants 'Who is the best? Pa-PA...Who is the best? Pa-PA'. She watches with an amused expression and then quickly crawls over to me, going 'Mamamamama'. The other thing she's learnt to say quite well is 'Nai-nai-nai-nai-nai-nai' which is typically used when we're trying to get her to sleep at night.

I'm a lot less tired now, having recovered from a cold over the last week and deciding that I will get in some exercise every morning no matter how bad I wake up feeling. Peanut's been consenting to sleep by 10.30 p.m. and nowadays I actually can't remember in the mornings, whether she wakes up with the same frequency at night as before - so I suspect keenly that this might be why I'm feeling better rested but here I will unsuccessfully search for that anti-jinx thing and end up quickly changing the subject again.

Actually, I think I'll just post later because I can hear Peanut playing in the other room and she seems to be finding something very funny indeed. During the week, I do come back to feed her every day at lunchtime and that is really important to me - but now that my time with her is cut down on working days, I tend to cling on to her the same way she clings on to me while I'm home. And that's pretty much why the infrequency of posts.

And how are all of you? Good, I hope? Let me know if you're still there?

See you later!

I'm sure you understand.

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Regular Childhood

Aaaarrgh! A weekend post again. I am becoming a mere weekend blogger at this rate. Anyway, for some vague reason, I've been wondering what constitutes an 'average' childhood for us middle class Indians. So, I am curious to know how many people have done a bulk of these things when they were kids.

a. Peed in a pool. Fairly regularly, actually. It was just easier, you know?
b. Dressed up in white flowing robes, painted their faces white, called themselves 'Bhootneeta' and frightened smaller kids in the family/neighbourhood, perhaps unintentionally causing a lot of trauma in later life.
c. Called 100 just to check if the police would really pick up. Called them again a few more times before resting easy.
d. Pranced out of the house to play with the neighbourhood kids, your enthusiasm causing you to forget that you were only in your undies.
e. Adopted a stray cat or dog, and regularly fed them with milk and burnt cookies made in the microwave. Had your heart broken irreparably when one of them died, and no, it wasn't because of the cookies.
f. Developed a fixation for 'buried treasure', and spent hours on hot summer afternoons digging in the neighbour's garden for it. Finally found a dirty old bone and convinced you had discovered the remnants of a dinosaur.
g. Performed silly, never-ending songs at the drop of a hat. That bloody 'When you're happy and you know it, clap your hands' and others like it.
h. Refused to complete a homework assignment regarding the hair colour of your parents, on the grounds that 'my Daddy doesn't have any hair', only to have the class teacher scruitinize his head carefully at PTA and embarass him by informing him that he does have some hair left.
i. Attempted to teach yourself juggling, but choosing to do so ambitiously using eggs, and broken right on top of your mother's radio. Wiped the surface clean but still causing the mother shock when she investigated why it wasn't working by taking it apart, and discovering egg yolk inside.
j. Hidden under the bed regularly to read your mean brother's collection of books and thus forever associating the Hardy Boys with dusty darkness.
k. Rather fancied yourself a hairdresser and practiced on your sister's long, flowing locks, chopping them mercilessly and reducing her to blubbering tears. Hid in the bathroom while your Mom consoled her and tried to to fix it, trying to convince everyone that she had wanted a more stylish look and you were only trying to help.

So, tell me, is this a 'usual' childhood? How many of you have done things like this in some form or the other?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Faux Pas of the Week

So my dear mother has given a pair of my pants for alteration at our tailor's, and instructed me to hand over 40 bucks to my driver and ask him to pick it up. 'He knows where it is', she tells me confidently.

But when I get to the office, I'm in a bit of a hurry and busy thinking of ten things at the same time. As I'm getting out of the car, I just about remember to tell him to pick up the pants. I notice his strange expression only as I'm slamming the door shut and realize it is due to the fact that I have just tossed him a hundred rupee note, with the words:

'Bhaiiya, Mera Pant Uthana'