Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Karvachauth Kissy-Kissy

I was out on my walk last night - usually at about 8 p.m, I have the little park in our complex all to myself. I was meandering along dreamily, when I chanced upon a couple all entangled in an embrace barely fit for public consumption. They were presumably a newly married husband and wife who also thought they had the park all to themselves.
All three of us were slightly embarassed by this but I passed them nonchalantly pretending not to notice anything. The man then said loudly 'Er, so where is that Damn Moon anyway?'.
They stood there scrutinizing the sky for the Damn Moon and my lips twitched just a little bit when I was a safe distance away.
Ah, Tradition. Nothing like it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

K and the Microbe

The K loves the Microwave oven, which she refers to fondly as the Microbe. The Peanut, too, thanks to her now calls it that.

A couple of days ago, I was trying to sleep. It had been a bad night, with my having to wake up almost every hour on the hour to feed Pickle and Papad. At about 6.30 a.m., I realized I couldn't sleep because there was too much noise coming from outside the room.

I also realized that there was this consistent beep-beep that sounded like the Microwave oven being put on to heat something for 30 seconds - this beep-beep was repeated over and over, and I wondered who on earth was heating something at this hour. I finally decided to get up to investigate.

In the kitchen, I found the K standing near the microwave oven with several cups of milk lying nearby.

'What' I asked her ' Are you doing with the microwave so early?'

She mumbled that she was making tea for Vijay's parents, who were early risers. Fair enough.
'But why are you heating milk in the microwave'.
She said that she did not like to put cold milk in the tea, so she warmed it in the microwave first and then put it in the tea.
Okaayyyyy, I thought. I then asked her 'But what are these extra cups for?'
She said that one of the mugs was for Vijay's tea, which she was just going to make next.
I asked her why she was making Vijay's tea now when he would not rise for the next two hours.
She had no answer for this.
I then asked her if she did want to make Vijay's tea in advance for any reason, why had she just not made three cups of tea, and made his along with his parents.
She had no answer for this either and just looked surly. She then informed me that one of the other cups of milk was for me.
I said, even I had my cup of milk with some protein powder two hours later, and more importantly, I liked it cold. So why was she heating it?
She said that she believed that if she heated it once, and then kept it in the fridge for me, then it would remain fresh for longer.
I did not understand this logic at all. I then asked her who the final cup was for.
She brightened up, saying that this one was for Peanut, who wanted her choco-dudu as soon as she woke up.
I said that Peanut wanted her milk warm, and would again, rise only a couple of hours from now - so what was the point of heating it now and then having to heat it again?
The K kept silent, clearly not appreciating this game of twenty questions early in the morning.

I tried to keep my cool, and said perhaps she could lessen her use of the 'Microbe' in the mornings and find something else to do, since it created a disturbance for people trying to sleep. I surmised that this was just a case of her trying to create some work for herself, given that she was an early riser.

The next morning, I was awake again at 6.30 a.m., bleary eyed after another bad night. I then heard a creaking sound - somebody, presumably the K, had walked up to my bedroom door and was shutting it tight. There was a slight click that indicated that the door was indeed shut as tight as it could be.

The now slightly muffled beep-beep of the Microbe started up again, every 30 seconds for the next several minutes.

I just buried my head under the pillow and tried to block it out.

Monday, October 18, 2010

But I WANT to lean on the Brudda...

Peanut tends to get upset when we ask her to be gentle with her brothers. She is very fond of them and wants to kiss them and clamber all over them, all the time. Especially when she caught an infection, we tried our best to get some distance between her and them but it didn't really work.

She displays amazing resilience -after a brief sulk in a corner, wherein she tells anybody passing by that some offender (me or Vijay usually) had the temerity to tell her 'Not to lean on the Brudda', she bounces back and comes back to do the exact same thing.
Admirable tenacity. Admirable.
That's my girl.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

By the Water Cooler

I am republishing an old office post as part of the By The Water Cooler Contest.

Read, enjoy, participate and spread the word about Parul's new book :-)

My Office Story: Get Well Soon, Bhani

A most unfortunate incident has occurred. I feel almost bad making fun of it.Almost.But seriously... it is quite terrible. Vani had an accident two days back. To cut a long story short....( click and read original post here)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Work-Life Balance

Ever since I went on maternity leave this time round, I've noticed a pattern amongst my friends.
Basically all of them are working in corporates, and they don't seem to have lives.
It's strange. Especially after the twins arrived, there were so many people who were enthusiastic about coming over. One particular weekend, four different friends - Vani, Shome, Manav and Anirudh had promised to come over.
None of them showed up. Not one. And the amazing thing was that none of them even bothered to call.
I realized that when they had said 'I'm going to come and see you and the babies this weekend' - they didn't really mean it. I, on the other hand, had taken it quite literally as their planning to come over. In fact, it was quite funny because here I was thinking 'How will we fit in so many visitors on one weekend' - and then all of them bailed.
I think there is a lot of insincerity creeping into our daily interactions. Some of it is of the type where you meet someone you knew a while back but don't really care too much about anymore, and then you go 'Oh give me a missed call, I'll save your number' - and you know pretty well you're never going to call them or hear from them again. But this particular thing - ''I'll see you this weekend, for sure''- occurred to me with people who happen to be amongst my closest friends. And I know they don't mean it -and I also know that perhaps I am guilty of exactly the same behaviour - but still, it's kind of sad.
The basic issue seems to be that very few people know how to manage their lives outside of their work. The companies that we work in seem to be taking it all out of us. Squeezing out all the energy that we have. Leaving us with only a day or two here and there in which to manage all our household chores and other family committments - and giving us hardly any time and space to nurture any other type of relationship.
I'm sure a lot has been said and written about some sort of social transformation in the big cities in India and the resulting loneliness of the urban working population. But it's only become obvious to me personally during this time that I've been sitting at home feeding my babies.
Incidentally, all these people eventually came and visited. But it took each of them an average of two cancellations and re-schedulings to eventually make it.
Surely there is a better way. There must be a way to hold down a job - no, to be pretty damn good at your job - and still find a way to make time for your family - and the, above and beyond that, still find time for your friends.
You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one.
Or am I?

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's a Twin Thing

Occasionally over the last few weeks, I've been taking out Pickle and Papad for a walk in the little park inside our complex.

I was gifted the nicest twin stroller by a complete stranger - basically, a lady in the park has a friend whose twins are now grown up. The stroller she had used for them was still in good shape and she didn't know what to do with it - so when the park-lady mentioned it to her, she was only too happy to offer this stroller and I was only too happy to accept.

The thing is that there is no concept of a peaceful walk with the twins. Everybody wants to stop and look at them and ask questions about whether they are identical, how old they are, and so on. The little kids and old aunties alike are equally fascinated by them.

I must say that as a mother it is gratifying to hear things like 'They are sooo cute', and 'How Gorgeous are they'...and so on. Especially since the first few weeks I was hearing comments like 'alien' and 'rats' - and the fact is, they were very alien-and-rat-like in those days.

But now, they are growing well, both over 5 kgs and chubby with the fattest little dimpled thighs and cheeks you ever did see. They are well within the normal range, and their difficult start in the nursery seems to have done them no harm, but in fact has made them much easier to deal with than Peanut ever was. They don't cry or fuss even half as much as she did and they are in general very peaceful little creatures - sleeping, playing by themselves, feeding, burping loudly, pooping and doing all the things that little babies do.

Of course, they are not sleeping through the night but I'm convinced no kid ever does! They wake up every couple of hours for a feed even now, although they are almost 3 months old. I wake up dutifully to feed them and they fall back asleep after a solid burp or two. The fact that there are two of them does make it a fairly continuous process through the night but it bothers me surprisingly little. After the last 3 months being the way they were, little things actually bother me a whole lot less!

Anyway, no one is happier when I bring them to the park than Peanut. She is typically playing football with the K or a friend when I land up with them, and she runs squealing all the way across the park and insists on pushing the stroller with me. She guards them jealously and gives the evil eye to the other tiny girls who bend over too close and -gasp-have the temerity to kiss them. I haven't learnt the art of telling little girls not to do that, despite the risk of infection - they do it so sweetly.

One new lady at the park saw me strolling them around and asked me a couple of questions about them including 'How do you manage?'. There is never an answer to that question so I just laughed and told her that I, in fact, have one more child - and pointed out little Peanut running around in the distance.

Instead of saying anything about how difficult it must be, all the woman said was 'Wow! You are one blessed lady!'.

And I thought 'Yes Ma'am. That I am!'

This is one of those Kala Tika posts, isn't it! All Jinxes, Go Away! Go on now - Shoo!