Saturday, September 20, 2008

Can't think of a Subject. Please adjust.

Okay, first of all, the news is that Peanut has started walking. It's quite a sight because she holds her hands high up in the air and totters forward uncertainly, abandoning all pretence at grace towards the end of her sojourn, as she lurches forward and grabs at her object of desire, which is typically the sofa, or my leg. It's started. The baby has turned into the toddler, who holds on to my leg, rendering me helpless, as she turns up her face, either with unmasked adoration if I'm playing with her, or crumpled up in a plea not to leave her and go to office.


The good thing is being able to leave her at my Bua's place every morning - one of the great things about staying in the same complex. There are days when she cries when I drop her off in the morning, but of late, there have been others when she looks pretty happy to be deposited in the Bua's arms. There's just no substitute for having family around. Sometimes I wonder, though - what about later, what if we decide to go somewhere else where there is no family? But then I remember that my mother is going to probably have retired then, so we can just take her wherever. Mum, if you're reading this, start wrapping up your own life. You have to admit this is quite a fair bit of notice. I'm nothing if not fair. And selfless. And all-round wonderful. And humble.

And to my brother, the expectant father, I say 'Shusssshhhh. Remember 'Bags I?'' I've bagged her!


I have not renewed my gym membership after the first month. I think I will, but the weather has been so fine of late that I just prefer going to the park within our complex, every morning. It's really just a big garden but it's very nice and green and peaceful.

I've also discovered that I really like the feeling of openness in the mornings, rather than the stuffines of the gym. The other funny thing is that I actually prefer the company in the park - which is a bunch of old ladies and old men - to the stern and determined looking women in the gym, who are closer to my own age.

The women in the gym are strange - a couple of them are so skinny, but appear to be compulsively trying to lose weight. A few are heavy and fat and older, and I can understand why they should be there, but can't get why they treat the gym instructor Ajay as their own personal water boy ( Ajay, get me my glass from there. Ajay, pass me a tissue. Ajay, do this, do that, blah blah blah. Sheesh).

There is just one remarkably fit and good looking young woman there, but she is too hardcore for me to connect with. We were both jogging alongside on the treadmill the other day, when the lights suddenly went off and the treadmills stopped. I was just thankful it didn't throw me off balance and I wandered around in semi-darkness and lounged around, waiting for the lights to come back on. But the Fit Girl didn't miss even a beat, and went running straight out of the gym to the stairs leading up, and I soon realized she was running up and down the steps because she didn't want to break the flow of her workout.

I know, I know - she was doing the sensible thing and I was the lazy treadmill potato - but it's just that you have to see the scarily determined expression on this girl's face every morning to know you really don't want to start the day in her company.

So I think I'll continue going to the park, where the few people seem to be in a fairy peaceful and good mood. And even smile, once in a while. And where I have a good chance of running into my 92 year old grandpa out on his walk, who always greets me enthuastically and happily, almost as if he hasn't seen me in days. Just one of the key bonuses.


Peanut has developed a fascination for the 20 month old daughter of our next door neighbour. That little girl returns her affection, but her attention is more shortlived - I suppose because she has many more friends and is generally older and more worldly wise. The other day, I was getting back home with her after picking her up from my Bua's - and as I struggled with Peanut and the lock on our door, some people arrived to visit at the neighbour's, along with their own kids. As their door opened and Peanut caught sight of her little friend Sai, she tried to wriggle out of my arms and go to her. I was reluctant to let her go over because they had company over, but Sai's mom asked me to let her come in for a few minutes. Peanut walked off into their house, holding onto the hand of Sai's mom - who signalled me over after a few minutes. I walked in to fetch Peanut.

She was just standing there in the middle of the drawing room with her back to me, looking at Sai, who was darting here and there with her visiting friends. The adults were milling about, all unfamiliar faces which I barely registered. All I could see was my tiny daughter, standing uncertainly in a room full of near-strangers, looking in awe at someone who seemed to barely notice she was there. My heart went out to her in a way I haven't felt before.

I quickly walked up to her and took her by the hand and led her back home and cuddled her, bathed her, read her a book, fed her and put her to sleep.

I have no idea why this little incident was a big deal to me, but it was. Of course, it is very likely that I'm just projecting my own discomfort around strangers and social situations onto her. In fact, she was probably fine and oblivious to any such feelings. Rule number one of modern parenting - do not project your own fears, desires, hopes or anything onto your children. But how?

Damn, this parenting thing is tough.


Will end on a more uplifting note. My faux pas in my own mother tongue.

I entered the lift to my office the other day, and told the liftman ( and around 8 other witnesses) to take it to the 11th floor. Except that I, for some reason, chose to phrase it as 'Bhaiiya, Gyaarah Bajao'.

I have been made quite a bit of fun of, for this one. Almost beats my telling my driver to fetch my pants from the tailor with a 'Mera Pant uthana'

Vijay is no help though.

Y: Honey, what is Behuda?
V: Behuda is bekaar...inappropriate...improper...strange...
Y: Hmmm....okay, so it is Be-huda...without Huda...what is huda?
V: Good point. Behuda is 'without the haryana urban development authorities'
Y: Very funny. I'm just trying to understand this properly. Explain it in a sentence.
V: Yeh behuda kism ka sawaal hai.

Fine. Be like that.

And what's new with you?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dekho Baarish Ho Rahi Hai...

.....It's raining, it's raining, it's raaaaiining!

Yes, indeed, it is raining extremely cats and dogs types. Sunday night, of course, and suddenly the weekend is already over - which tends to happen when you work alternate Saturdays and consequently get only Sunday off.

So remarkably inadequate.


So, moving on from there, life is trundling on. Have set up pretty decently in the new house, it's been over a month here now. Our new office is a great place, very colorful and full of light. It's almost worthwhile going there on Saturdays, too. Ha ha!

Damn it, I thought I had so much to write about but suddenly I've forgotten everything, so let me just go with what's been happening at our gym.

* Almost all the machines have stopped working ( and not because of anything I did). The only thing functional currently is the Upen Patel lookalike (sort of) instructor and the other dumb-bells.

* I still valiantly go there almost every day, and Vijay joins me once in four days. The gym instructor keeps asking 'Where's Vijay? Where's Vijay?', sounding exactly like all the members of my family who rarely get to see him. I don't know why he develops such a fan base. Anyway, the gym instructor, let's call him Ajay ( because that's his name) recently rationalized to himself 'Haan, unka to office hoga na...dikkat ho jaati hai phir...'. When I tartly retorted that I work too and leave for office exactly when he does, he expressed as much shock as he had when I informed him that I work out regularly. I really don't like him very much.

* The few times that Vijay comes along, I keep seeing him just admiring himself in the mirror. When he does deign to work out on with some weights, he follows it up with all sorts of oooohs and aaaahs and 'budhapa aa gaya's. To pass the time in between, he fools around by doing things like pretending to run behind me and slowly overtaking me while I'm on the treadmill, passing me with a gleeful grin.

* Ajay doesn't seem to appreciate our clowning around. Especially things like when I was cycling on the exercycle and Vijay came and sat on a much lower cycling machine right next to me, and we looked at each other and raised our hands way up in the air and started singing 'Yehhh dosti.....hum nahiiii chhodenge...'

* The last time Vijay was on the exercycle, I decided to try his own silly line on him. I sauntered up to him and asked 'Kahan pahunche, Bhai?', but he just smoothly answered 'Ajmeri Gate'. I stood there thinking of a suitable reply but Ajay came up and started mocking me for spending only 3 minutes on the stepping machine and sent me off to do something else.

* It's very distracting when you're trying to work out and your six foot tall husband has positioned himself so that only you can see him in the mirror and starts dancing to the dhinchak-dhinchak music playing in the gym.

And on a not totally unrelated note, have you also been traumatized by Himmesh and Urmila in 'tan-tannanana-tandoori nights?'