Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hello, 2009. Lookin' good!

And that's it - the end of another year. And what a year 2008 has been.

Peanut has really grown - she is 17 months old already, and an extremely powerful personality. She has begun to get extremely possessive about me - protests quite a bit when I talk to or am touched by anyone else. I don't think Vijay is very happy about this, because he can't even hug me after getting back from work, without triggering an eruption of Mt. Peanut.

Work has been good, despite many ups and downs. I still feel I have yet to discover my life's calling, but in the meantime, it's nice to work in a place which you can actually look forward to going to on most mornings. Most people there are very nice - but of course, there are the occasional odd characters that pop up now and then, just to try my patience and keep things interesting.

My days are so full between work, home and Peanut. I have decided that I can't be doing everything, and so of all the three things, 'home' is pretty much the one that is going to be getting less attention. So pardon me if I don't host too many fancy get-togethers - however, if you promise to be non-judgmental, you can come over for a glass of wine. I will even let you drop it on my sofa. Peanut does it everyday, anyway. Her own food - not wine. I don't give her wine. That's at least another year away. Ha ha.

I haven't been blogging as much as I would have liked, nor have I had the time to follow my favourite bloggers. Let's see, maybe I can figure out how to squeeze some of that in, going ahead.

I'm still breastfeeding Peanut and mostly enjoying it. I'm glad I didn't listen to some of you who told me to stop ( Just stop, it seems) . Of course, don't remind of this the next time Peanut decides to use me as a teething toy. Also, don't remind me of this when it really is time to quit and Peanut is an even more determined and strong-willed toddler.

So now, here they are - my resolutions for 2009:

- Stop demanding so much from myself. It's okay if the house is messy sometimes.
- Give up on trying to change Vijay. He's pretty okay the way he is. I don't have to eat the Alu Gobi everyday, but he should if he wants to.
- Continue with all the decent habits I have discovered in the last few months like good reading, exercise, meditation, yoga, pranayam - increase the time spent on these activities.
- Get up an hour earlier everyday. (I refuse to divulge what time I currently get up)
- Worry less about Peanut - and just enjoy her more.
- Play my guitar at least once in three days.And learn some new stuff, for God's sake.
- Be less sarcastic. To avoid snapping at people.
- Stop procastinating the tasks that I don't like.Get my papers in order - bank, tax, bills; figure out stuff about Peanut's playschool and so on.
- Socialize more, quit making snap judgments and actually remember people's names. Boy, have I got a good one to tell you about this - will do so in my next post.
- Write that darned book. Or at least the first chapter.
- Regularly remind myself to live in the moment and enjoy it.

Happy New Year, Everyone. Have a fantastic 2009.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I can't get over it...

It still sometimes shocks me that I've now graduated to 'What to Expect the Toddler Years'.

I mean, come on. Just yesterday, I was staring at a stick and going 'Whaaaat?' in an office loo. I happened to be in the same office as Vijay that day ( we previously worked in the same organization), and came out and informed him accusingly of what he had done. Of course, he asked me to take a chair, a slow smile forming on his face.

And now to this? From 'What do you least expect at this current moment' to 'What to expect when you're expecting' to 'What to expect the first year' and now 'What to expect the Toddler Years'. Really? What next? What to expect?


Merry Christmas, everyone.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Aadha Bola Karo, Honey

I have often been asked by various kinds of people if it would be possible for me to be a tad less sarcastic, in my daily dealings.

Now, here's the thing. The phrase 'Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit', cuts me to the quick. I refute this statement passionately - it appears to me to have been the invention of some non-sarcastic person, probably after being at the receiving end of some highly witty sarcastic statement. Think about it. It is highly possible that it came into being in this way:

The year is 1568. Two men, Sarcastic Thomas and Regular Theodore meet.

Sarcastic Thomas: Hello, Theodore. Nice hat.

Theodore: Thanks. Hey, I'm not wearing a hat today.

Thomas: I know. I meant your hair looks strange. I was being sarcastic.

Theodore: Oh, yeah? Yeah?

Thomas: Yeah. See ya!

Theodore goes home, in a foul mood. He's mulling over what he could have said in response to Sarcastic Thomas. He considers - should he have followed up the 'Oh yeah?' with a 'Your mother wears high heels' - or equivalent? Theodore is despondent because he realizes he can never beat Sarcastic Thomas this way - he just doesn't have that kind of sarcasm in him. After many days of ruminating on the subject, Theodore is finally hit by inspiration and leaps out of his bathtub and runs down the street naked, yelling 'Eureka! Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit'. He can't wait to meet Thomas again.

At this juncture, I must give my imagination a break and leave it to you to conjecture what might have transpired next between Thomas and Theodore. I must also say that I haven't had time to do my usual detailed research ( read: two minute Google search) before writing this post, and therefore there is some niggling fear in my mind that some cool dude like Shakespeare might have actually come up with this line. But my point is simply this - we don't have to agree with what random phrases are thrown at us by random people, right?

After all, without sarcasm, what would become of Chandler Bing ? Groucho Marx? Gerald Durrell? Some of my favourite bloggers and friends ( Mahogony, Ganju, Shome, Manav, Tambi - you guys listening?). I even like Snape because of his sarcasm ( and what a piece of casting that Allan Rickman was - but I digress!).

Anyway, my friend Ganju once said I was too sarcastic, back when we were in B-school together. My immediate response was 'Yeah, right'. I said it without even thinking but when he recovered from his paroxyms of laughter, he pointed it out as further evidence to support his claim.

Today, my mother was visiting and I was talking to her.

Y: On Thursday, the day when I was ill...
Ma: 'You never told me you were ill'.
Y: 'Of course I did, on the phone yesterday. It would be nice if you listened, Ma'.

At this point, Vijay looked over and said sweetly 'Honey. Tum aadha bola karo'
Y: (irritated) 'What do you mean?'
Vijay (smiling like a well-fed cat, knowing I can't smack him with my mom around) : 'It's just that - if you speak only half your sentences, your whole personality will change. You could have just said 'I told you on the phone', but you added 'if only you listened, Ma'...Sirf first part bolte to kitna achha lagta... Tum hamesha itne sweet lagte. Bas...Aadha bola karo'.

I decoded this quickly to mean that apparently I follow up quite a lot of my sentences with unnecessary tart statements which are an unappealing combination of sarcasm and nag-asm. I glowered, muttering 'Aadha bolo, what nonsense...'.

However, within the next ten minutes, the following conversations took place:

Conversation 1:

Vijay (calling out to me from another room) : What are you doing, Y?
Y: (dumping an armload of laundry into the washing machine) Putting the clothes in for a wash. You may believe otherwise, but the clothes don't wash themselves around here.
Vijay ( as my mother and sister giggle): See? Aadha bola karo.
Y: (Mutters to self in embarassment)

Conversation 2:

Y: Vijay, please get Peanut's jacket from the cupboard.
Vijay: (after rummaging through the wrong cupboard) - Where? Where is it?
Y: It is in the OTHER cupboard, on the right. You'd know, if only you bothered to be a bit more involved in... ( my voice trails off in horror as my mother and sister laughed at me)

So that's it. I would be a better person if I only said half of what I said.

I asked my sister that evening, in an unrelated conversation, why she was being so quiet.
She said 'I'm always quiet'. I said 'Oh yeah. That's right' and then a thought struck me very hard. I asked 'Is it because I always said twice as much as I was supposed to when we were kids? And didn't let you talk?'.
She seemed to like that theory because she said simply and in a highly convinced manner 'Yes'.

In short, the world is telling me to generally talk less and specifically cut back on the sarcasm. It's going to be tough - a whole new way of life. But since I'm fundamentally a lovely person at heart, I think I should be able to manage.

Yeah, right.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Midnight Feast

When I was a kid growing up on Enid Blyton's Malory Towers and St. Clare's series, there was nothing as enticing as the thought of the Midnight Feast. These were the forbidden feasts where the girls stealthily managed to enjoy spreads of wonderful-sounding food like kipper and scones. I really didn't have a clue what kipper and scones were but they sure sounded good. Discovering what kipper and scones are through the process of growing up has only lessened the charm of the whole thing.

However, I digress.

The point I was making was that the Midnight Feast had a certain meaning then.

And now - the Midnight Feast has a certain meaning.

For Peanut.

This morning, at 4 a.m. to be precise, my baby woke up and sat up in bed next to me. I was only half-awake but noticed in the nick of time that she was trying to escape from the bed through the simple yet ingenious means of hurtling out headfirst, with the carefree abandon that only a baby who has never been allowed to fall out of a bed, can possess. I lunged out at her and caught her by the legs and she giggled loudly, clearly thinking this was a great game to kick-start the day with.

Poor Vijay woke up with a start 'Huh? Kya? Kya?'. I told him to go back to sleep and tried to convince Peanut to do the same. She shouted loudly 'Du-du. Mama, Du-du', and I settled her down again next to me and fed her. Just when I was drifting off and hoping that she was too, she detached herself and sat up again.

I groaned and asked her what she wanted now. Godi? She nodded vigorously, with her whole body, the enthusiasm clearly visible even in the darkness. I got out of bed with her in my arms and started to rock her to sleep, but she wasn't having any of it. She struggled out of my arms, in her curiously effective wriggly-worm fashion and as soon as she landed on the floor, was out the door. I followed her groggily as she headed straight into the kitchen and went for the fridge.

'Du-du, du-du' she stated loudly. Vijay, who had followed us into the kitchen, immediately decided to jump into action and warm the milk in the fridge. I told him that she didn't really want it because she had just been fed, but he was adamant and started to rattle pans around indiscriminately.

I suspected that she might need to eat something else because she hadn't had much at dinnertime. I asked her if she wanted to eat something, and she grabbed the nearest available slice of cheese out of the fridge. I then remembered that I had bought some fruit buns for her to try, and figured that this was as good a time as any, and so took that out to warm for her. Vijay, unable to resist a shot, asked her if she wanted to eat 'Makkhan-Toast' and she looked up at him and nodded her assent vigorously again. He then proceeded to rattle a few more things around, digging out the Toaster, plugging it in and so on.

She had two bites of the cheese, one bite of the fruit bun which was then spat out unceremoniously into my hand, and then cheerfully refused both the milk and the makkhan-toast offered by Vijay, much to his annoyance.

And so it went. Vijay and I stood around bleary eyed while she giggled and darted here, there and everywhere. We looked at the clock and then at each other. It was 5 a.m. and Peanut showed no signs of falling asleep.

Eventually, she did fall asleep but woke up every half hour to demand her 'Du-du' loudly, falling back asleep within a couple of minutes, each time. Vijay and I woke up each time but it took us a lot longer to get back to sleep. As a consequence of which, we didn't actually sleep at all, but still dragged ourselves out of bed only at 8 a.m. and got late going to work.

I felt like I was going to collapse in the first half of the day, but a couple of cups of coffee and some paracetamol produced by my very kind-hearted young team members resulted in my bravely lasting through the rest of the day and actually managing to do a few productive things.

And now, at 10.30 p.m., again Peanut has just fallen asleep and I am about to go to bed. Sending up a silent prayer that she will not assume that 4 a.m. is now her official wake-up-and-play time.

In other words - Midnight feasts and all other night-time adventures appear highly overrated when you get to be an adult. Oh, to be ten again. Chalo, I can live that age vicariously through Peanut.

Should be fun.


G'night, all.