Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Imagine if you will...

It is Diwali time.

You are at your In-laws.

Your in-laws are chaste, vegetarian Brahmins.

After seven years of marriage, they pretty much suspect you are not.

Yet, you are respectful enough to throw out (okay, hide) the non-veg stuff in the house when they visit, especially since you know it makes your mother in law sick.

Even eggs.

So, it's a harmonious balance that has been struck.

And now imagine, if you will.

It is dinner time during Diwali.

Your little Peanut is cheerfully perched on a chair right next to yours.

She is eating plain rice, her favorite dish.

Her Grandma asks her to also eat her sabzi - some alu-gobi, your husband's favorite - and therefore, ubiquitous dish.

Your Peanut looks suspiciously at the alu-gobi.

Reaches out and pokes one piece of the alu.

And then brightly and happily proclaims

'Chickunnn!'

You feel yourself sliding to the floor under the table while your husband chuckles through a mouthful of sabzi and roti, and your in-laws graciously pretend not to hear.

The joy. The infinite joy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The PTA Meeting

Last week, before Diwali, Vijay and I went to meet Peanut's teachers at her playschool, for our very first PTA Meeting.

First of all, of course, we got ready at the last possible minute and I was getting extremely agitated. Leaving a bewildered Peanut behind, we rushed off and landed up just in the nick of time. We waited around, smiling blandly at the other parents and were soon called in to meet her teachers - Neena and Niti.

Neena did most of the talking, and I found myself warming up to her even more than before - she spoke in a very affectionate way about Peanut and told us about the developments she and Niti had observed in the past few weeks.

This, therefore, is the public image of Peanut:

* She is a very sweet, tender, gentle and well-disciplined child
(Really? I think of the temper tantrums at home)

* She is very assiduous about her work and always puts back her things when asked to do so.
( Her favorite game at home is throwing my books of the shelves, stepping all over them gingerly and pretending to be deaf when I ask her to help me pick them up)

* She does not really communicate verbally, but through gestures it is clear she absorbs everything.
( When Vijay and I are at home, Peanut is the only one who talks. If we try, she resorts to varying levels of the word 'Aaaaa' in order to get us to pay attention to her, finally resulting in screaming if we continue to try and have a conversation).

* She loves music and dance, her favorite song is Bum Bum Bhole.
( This is undisputable - except I think her favorite song is 'Soni De Nakhre' but they probably don't expose a lot of that kind of music to vulnerable toddlers in school)

*She shares an unspoken bond with two kids called Karan and Khushi, and they often are observed doing their activities together and sharing things.
( I am delighted at this. Vijay spends the next few days in deep suspicion, asking Peanut at sudden intervals in an ingratiating manner 'Beta, Karan kaun hai?)

* She is the darling of the class ( wonder if they say that to all parents...nah!) - and is so adorable that all the kids often jump all over her, especially during dance sessions. The teachers are very fond of her and protect her from the rowdier boys ( I could feel Vijay bristling beside me) - and the teachers' special name for her is Tinkerbell.
(This I did not know. And when I went home later and called her Tinkerbell, she got a very special kind of shy smile - when I asked her who calls her that, she said 'Neenaanty'. )

* I was very touched by the description of how they suddenly one day observed her saying her rhymes along with the other kids - Neena says she saw her and held her breath, and gripped Niti's arm and pointed and they both stared in silent delight at her mouthing all the words correctly. ( This kind of excitement really amazed me - I always thought I was the only one who took a real interest in Peanut's little achievements but their delight seemed genuine. I like these people. And yes, Peanut says all sorts of rhymes at home and also sings Andy Pandy and the Teletubbies and the Boogie Beebies theme songs with me)

Anyway, that's about that. I leave you with a couple of older pictures from a school function. In the first one, she's the one in the audience who can't sit still. In the second, she's on stage doing 'Row Row...'


Friday, October 9, 2009

How grown up are WE?

Me: Honey, don't forget - tomorrow is our Parent-Teacher Meeting with Peanut's teacher - at 9.50 a.m.
Vijay: Do we have to take Peanut along?
Me: No, I checked with them at school - she can stay at home.
Vijay: Okay.

(Thoughtful Silence)

Vijay: Honey - it's our first Parent Teacher Meeting? Already?
Me: (Struck by this thought) Yes

(Wondering Silence)

Me: Does this mean we're growing up?
Vijay: I think so.

(Apprehensive silence)

Me: And old?
Vijay (almost immediately) Yes

(Brooding silence).

And for once, there was no mention of 'How fast our little girl is growing up'. It's all about us this time.

Sigh.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Many events. Sort of a Bulletin.

Much as I hate this sort of post, it really can't be helped. And if there's one thing that's making my life easier these days, it's taking things less seriously. And that therefore goes for this blog. Therefore, random thoughts and events, in no particular order of importance:

* Vani's had a baby boy, over a month back and is now in Delhi. Yayyy!
* My other best friend, Manav, has also had a baby boy. 'tis really the season.
* I've realized that I haven't made any new friends in over two years now. I think the age is now past. But if you want to be my friend, mail me at yonearthnot at gmail dot com and I promise you, I will consider it.
* Peanut's two cousins, Mahima (age 8) and Akriti (Age 3) have moved back to India from England. It's really great to see her in their company. Makes me want to have another kid just so she doesn't have to play alone. But a readymade one, and preferably older, would be better.
* I have been gymming and am now even lower than the pre-pregnancy weight. It's a good feeling and I'm not going to swell up again anytime soon, I can promise you that.
* The office gym is a cool concept. Also ensures I finish work by 6.30 or 7 p.m. on the days that I decide to work out. My office facilities in general are pretty cool.
* Work has recently stopped being as much fun as it used to be. And it's more to do with people than the work itself. And much like Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that.
* Peanut is very, very, very clingy. Seriously. As I type, she has found her way into my lap and is insisting I use the computer to show her videos instead of writing on my blog. I tell you, I'm just not used to having someone around who's more selfish than me.
* Peanut is also very, very, very cute. She's started to speak now - and Vijay is unfortunately teaching her things like ├Ło; Chill, Mom; and Whateva. What a great dad.
* Vijay has discovered today that he's going to a conference in Holland in November, and is trying to convince me to go along. I'm thinking - zero degrees temperature; stuck in a hotel room for three days while he's at the conference; with Peanut to amuse throughout the day. I'm thinking - not. But go, hubby - make the most of it!
* I'm reading many, many books at the same time and of course, it's taking ages to finish a single one. However, I've just started reading "I'm ok, you're ok'' and I'm totally fascinated by it. The whole concept of Parent, Adult, Child; the Games People Play; and so on. That's one book I plan to finish this weekend.
* I am really trying to increase my patience levels and control my temper. I really think I'm getting a lot better at it now. Ha ha ha ha ha. Look, the books all say to use humour. The best advice continues to be ''Count to ten''. Never heard anything more cliched and inane in my entire life. Must try it.
* My grandfather's birthday is coming up again - he's going to turn 94. He was over today at my Mum's, with the rest of the family, and it's really amazing to see him. Still in great shape, peaceful and happy. You give him a shirt and he thanks you, but adds that he has so many shirts. Have never met anyone with such few wants and needs. Awesome to think that some of those genes may have been passed on to me. Just wondering when they are going to show up. Maybe when I'm in my nineties.
* I haven't mentioned how sad I've been about Michael Jackson's passing. I still remember he was the first TV personality I really noticed and how much dissonance I felt when my father referred to him as a 'He'. Yes, you'd think that the fact that he was singing 'Man in the Mirror' at the Grammy Awards would have clued me in, but let's face it - I was 9 years old and obviously not a very bright one.
* My two good friends back in Bombay, who were management trainees along with me at my first company, are getting married. And no, it's not to each other - they are both men, or close enough anyway. So Fatso and Tools - congratulations to you. Seriously. It's great news.
* My other friend Amit, who has got married only a few months back, is actually pregnant already - that is, his wife is and they were both a bit embarassed by the fact that they got pregnant just a month after the wedding. I personally think there's something shady about the whole thing, and now it's all making sense - the last minute invitations, the sudden date-setting. Ha, ha. I'm only kidddding, guys. Congratulations! You guys are so not ready. I'll be right with you - cheering you on, giving you good advice and moral support and laughing all the way.
* I had this person who I considered my childhood enemy and we really hated each other in school, but for some strange reason, I got in touch with her over Facebook recently, and found that she actually seems like a pretty nice person and I actually warmed to her. I guess that's all part of the growing up process. My Adult is now less contaminated with my Child, as Thomas A harris, M.D would say. Really, you should read this book.

And now I'm tired. And yet satisfied. I've probably bored you to death with news of people who you couldn't possibly know or care about. But I love all these people and things. And it feels good to write about them.

And how have you been? Feel free to bore me to death in comments. Come on, let loose. Tell me who's still around on this ghissa-peeta, neglected old blog. And tell me what's new in your life, what books you're reading, any good recipes, and so on. I still can't cook, though. Scratch the recipe bit.