Saturday, August 29, 2009
So when friends of ours called Friday morning to tell us they were going and would we like to tag along, the MIM jumped at the opportunity. I declined...too much to do here. But an hour before they were scheduled to leave, I felt guilty about letting the MIM go and tackle everything on his own, so I called him up at work and said I'd go too. He was thrilled :)
I quickly coordinated with Maa-Janoni about my kids and I knew they'd be fine. Finally, sometime after one, the PJ couple and their two adorable sons, S1 and S2 arrived and we were on our way. Seeing S1 and S2, both of whom happen to be near about my boys' ages, made my heart ache for my little ones! This was the first time I had ever left both of them behind and gone off somewhere with the MIM. I am hoping this will be the last! ('hoping', I said 'hoping'! Don't want it to turn into a case of famous last words and jinx the proceedings now!)
Shantiniketan is glorious and peaceful and beautiful. It's just nature all around, nature and an awe-inspiring sense of creative energy. It's not beautiful in the picture-postcard sense, but there is that je ne sais quoi about it. A feeling, I guess. Moments waiting to be inhaled in deep lungfuls until it becomes a part of you. My words here cannot begin to do justice to the feelings I associate with the place...it just awakens the poet in me, the country-lover, the nature worshipper, the absolute pagan, Wiccan, songbird that my soul believes itself to be.
Here, I become a Tagorean song. I am batik and kantha and Santhali jewelry. Aami ghono megher chhaya, aami mishti haowaar chhowaa. Aami paakhir daak, aami maatir meye. I start wondering what I'm doing with my life, the sheer materialism of it all and worry about not nourishing my spirit enough. *sigh*
So last night, while one part of me drank deeply of the soil, the other part missed my boys something fierce...especially when I saw the way S1 and S2 were hugging each other in their sleep. Even the MIM stopped short in his tracks as he passed by the doorway and saw them sleeping. He stood there for a long time, looking at them wistfully and smiling a sweet-sad smile.
Never again. *sigh* Never again. I HOPE, I HOPE!! (jinx, anti0jinx, counter-jinx and whatever other jinx-nix there is!!)
I was in a rush to get back! The YO had a birthday party to attend, at 4.30 and I really wanted him to go. It was his first, official invitation, after all. The first, classmate's-birthday-party! How could he not go? And he was so excited about it too!
Things got off to a late start, we barely finished what we had come for, had lunch and by the time we set off, it was past two! Three hours is the bare minimum that it normally takes...without pee-breaks, cha-breaks and the like. That meant reaching the city by five...if we were lucky!
The MIM flew the car on the highway. Really! And we combined the breaks into a one-stop, do-all break and set off again. We reached home at 5.15! I literally jumped out of the car, made a mad scramble for the flat, changed and wrapped the birthday present in 15 minutes flat! A record! I'm sure!
It was almost 5.40 by the time we left and my little one could hardly contain his excitement! We reached at around 6.10...we had just missed the cake cutting :( but we were just in time for the khoi-bag. I had made a mental promise to my son that I would take him to his very own, first ever officially invited party, even if it was for half-an-hour. And I thank God that I was able to keep my promise to my little boy!
We were there for over an hour and I watched in wonder and happiness as I saw my little boy socialize with his friends, his peer group, his world away from home. I was filled with an indescribable sense of joy that I could do this for my son and be a part of it as well.
I had a lovely time as well and now, I'm finally feeling the strain of the last 48 hours and I'm ready to collapse. Let's not forget the pilates class that I attended before deciding to zoom off on the little road trip! As I feel my butt turn numb while my bones slowly turn to mud, one of my life's greatest truths comes crashing down on me...I'm so not a spring chicken any more. I'm all freeze-dried and rock solid. No amount of thawing is my salvation. I'm old, I'm old, I'm old.
Well, I'm just not young anymore. *sigh*
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The struggle to turn the YO bilingual continues.
While the EO picked up English simultaneously with Bangla, thanks to me being the primary care-giver (oooh! that's a big, scary, professional-sounding word!!), the YO did not get the benefit of me and my education as I was too busy ferrying the EO all over Kolkata thanks to school, extra-classes and his very busy social life. The YO, therefore, spent a lot of time and still does, truthfully speaking :( , with the ayah. So it comes as no surprise that his vernacular is much stronger than his foreign language speaking skills.
It's been close to a year since he started school and he's finally turning bilingual...except not in the language that I thought! Thanks to 15 of the 17 kids in his class coming from Hindi speaking homes, the YO is bombarded with the language. Add to that, there are story-telling sessions in Hindi in the school, owing to the fact that 96% of the students will eventually choose Hindi as their Second Language when they to to Big School -- so it's considered good practice for them from now. It's no wonder that he can recite "Machchli Jal Ki Rani" with more ease than "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."
So you will understand why I nearly fell off my chair today, when my little one approached, me holding out his car on the palm of his hand, and said, "Hejj cawrring you." (He's calling you.)
After I lifted my jaw off the floor, I asked him, "He's calling me? Why?"
Nodding his up and down in a perfect imitation of his idol, Noddy, he very seriously said, "He want chokeett."
Aaahhh! The cheeky little imp! But I had to celebrate our longest English conversation till date and so I pulled out an Alpenleibe from my purse, slowly. On seeing the familiar wrapping, my YO's English flew out the window and he looked at me with eyes as round as Ben10 watches dials and said, "Tumi aamaar jonno rorripop enechcho?" (You got me a lollipop?)
Ah well, tis a good start. And while I won't be reading out Shakespeare to him just yet, I'm thinking Lewis Carrol? No? *Sigh* Guess I'll just continue with Mother Goose.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
That's why this blog. To write down even the bare bones of the images, the instances, the moments that make motherhood a joy.
Two incidents took place yesterday where my heart went 'click' and I know I have to write them down before they disappear to the Island of Fuzzy-Warm Memories.
I arrived in school ten minutes late. The normally full-of-screaming-scramming-kids playground and gymnasium looked pretty sparsely populated, with around 30-odd kids running around or playing in small groups of twos and threes.
My eyes were on the look-out for three little boys, specifically the one who has my heart-strings nestling amongst the eyelashes of his big, brown eyes; eyes that have each and every kind of human emotion swimming on its surface so that its always easy to understand what he's feeling, sensing, experiencing.
I walked via the field in case 'my' three boys were playing there, getting all sweaty and piggy-like. Then I looked over by the ice-cream truck, or 'the spot', where they have been instructed to wait for me once dispersed from their classrooms. And sure enough, near the pillar, I saw half of a familiar orange school bag. Next to that, I saw a knee. As I approached the beloved body of that little knee, I saw my grubby little, tousle-haired boy, draw both his knees up to his chin and hug them close to his body, the corners of his mouth struggling not to droop while his eyes were firmly trained to the path from the gate that I normally tread when I come to pick them up. I stopped where I was, drinking in the sight of him, my sad, anxious little boy. What a beautiful picture he made. Here, sitting before me, was the dream child of a Horlicks, Complan or Airtel ad campaign. My boy, and countless other adorable ones like him, are the inspiration for all the awww-inducing ads that we see on TV.
After a few seconds, he must have felt my gaze upon him because he turned to exactly were I was standing and looked into my eyes. He didn't get up with a yell or a whoop, he didn't smile, he just continued sitting there in that sad pose looking at me with that little-boy-lost kind of expression on his face.
I quickly closed the gap between us, walking as fast as I could, trying hard not to trip and fall flat on my face, my eyes never leaving his for even for a second. I reached him and bent down to his level and asked him anxiously, "What's wrong my darling?"
He looked at me sadly, trying very bravely and very hard to be almost-six-years-old-now and not cry, "I thought dat you had forgotten about me."
I put my hand on his cheek and softly reassured him, "How can I ever, EVER forget you? That's impossible! I was stuck in a traffic jam. I'm sorry."
All reassured and happy with my explanation as well as my apology, he got up off the floor, dusted himself down and put on his bag, as the other two boys ran towards me, relief spreading across their faces upon seeing me.
Then all three started jabbering away, nineteen to the dozen. I don't remember much of what they said, because all my senses were still full of the image of my little boy, sitting there forlornly, waiting for his Mamma, hoping and praying hard that she hadn't forgotten about him.
It was late at night. The MIM was watching TV while I was sitting next to him, working on an assignment. The ayah had just stepped out of the room and gone to have dinner.
Ten minutes later, the EO walks out of the room, all groggy-eyed, arms outstretched towards me. I pick him up and carry him back to his room. I make him go to the bathroom, have a drink of water and tuck him into bed. I lie down next to him and he nuzzles into me.
A few minutes later, the YO wakes up and sits up in his bed. He peers around in the darkness, looking for his ayah. He sees me next to his dada and makes to clamber up between us. I quickly disengage from my elder son's grasp and scramble down to scoop my little one up in my arms. I then call the MIM for reinforcements and we each settle down next to a boy; he with our
YO and me with the EO.
Soon the ayah comes back. The MIM kisses his sleepy boys and leaves the room. After a few minutes, I get up to do the same.
A small little head lifts itself off the pillow and a tiny voice asks me, tentatively, softly, hesitantly, "Mamma, tumi aamaal shonge show?" (Mamma, will you lie down next to me?)
Aaahh, my precious little one! How could I not? How could I not?
Friday, August 21, 2009
So, said Mamma is carrying sick and fast-asleep YO down to the car. The elevator alarm and door banging episodes have already taken place and dire threats have been passed. We settle ourselves in the car -- the EO, the YO with his sleeping head resting on my left shoulder thus his little ear fully exposed to the EO's vocal chords, and me, a frazzled Mamma, body aching after the hour-long Pilates torment.
The EO suddenly shrieks loudly, "MAMMAAAA!!" right near the YO's ear! Thankfully my little one, too sozzled from the various cough syrups he's on, doesn't wake up. But I hiss out a loud and menacing "What's wrong with YOU!! Can't you see bhai is sleeping??!!"
My EO looks contrite and my she-devil horns droop a bit. "What?", I hiss, a bit more gently this time.
And my EO whispers to me, "Mamma, you know, I sawed this picture of a mamma monkey and she was doing like this to her baby...", and he proceeds to do a patting-plus-massaging kind of motion on my thigh, similar to the kind I do on their backs when I'm tucking them in and telling them stories at bedtime.
As if that's not enough, he finishes his hand movements, looks back up at me with eyes full of tenderness and whispers, "So sweet naa?"
I swear the boy tortures my soul on purpose!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Happiness for an M4 of a sick little YO is when said little boy suddenly grabs her face in his two soft, chubby-esque hands, looks deeply into her eyes, puts her head down on his little chest where she can hear the wheezing as well as the heart beating, and sighs out contentedly, "I raaabh yuu."
I am living proof that the heart can indeed break from too much tenderness.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Everything they're saying about the movie is spot-on. It is indeed very Tarantinoesque. Shahid Kapur has indeed worked his butt on! and into shape, totally going the six-pack way and how! (Got me slightly hot under the collar!) The Piggy Chops and Shahid lip-lock is indeed quite the scorcher and it can be labelled the first, real, true kiss of Indian cinema. (Got me slightly hot under the collar!)
Ok, I have to be honest and admit that this is not the kind of movie genre that's on my fave list, but I do enjoy them at least once, on the big-screen with friends, popcorn and cappuchino. The story is pretty much 'A Comedy of Errors' gone all wrong, but the treatment? Well, let's just say it was a flaming tequila shot up the a**! Totally bad-a**!
The first half drags a little bit, just a little, but the second half picks up the pace and runs with it...and how! Oh, and the dialogues between Sweety and Guddu's characters during the love-making scene? As corny as a double cheese pizza with extra mozzarella, parmesan and cheddar. Kinda pheko-ed paani on the hotness of that smooch!
All in all? Definitely worth a dekho! DEFINITELY! Dhan-ta-naa...
Friday, August 14, 2009
Here is what I learnt today...
- Stability balls. Seriously? You really couldn't find a better name for that one? In a Fickle Fest, it can easily go bouncing off with first prize, it's nearest contender a hormonal, teen-aged boy's heart.
SOOOOO erroneously named. But then, to paraphrase the immortal words of the Bard, what is in a friggin' name? After all, would not the rack, by any other name, be just as body-alteringly hellish?
- In Torture World, seconds are actually longer. So when the instructor says "Hold that position for ten more seconds", she means twenty.
- Women on the floor, flat on their backs, legs in the air, moaning and groaning? Not always sexy. Even when the balls are between their legs. No. Really not sexy.
- I always knew I had a jelly-belly, jiggle-jaggle-jugs and thunder thighs. I did not know I had knock-about knees. Now I know.
- I must be the shortest woman alive.
- Even the hair on my head is groaning in protest today.
- Endorphins are over-rated. At least during the entire procedure.
I so recommend this to everyone! You might die by the end of it, but at least you'll die fabulously and not flabulously.
And now, there's a grave out there somewhere with my name on it. Heaven is hopefully a land where pain-killers grow on trees. And chocolate is fat-free and still delicious. And the angels all look like Johnny Depp, Hugh Jackman and Hritik Roshan. And...
Ouch! I just pulled a finger muscle typing that last sentence. Right now, I'll just settle for the pain-killer tree.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Building the Body Beautiful...or, How to Die a Slow, Painful Death or The Fat Busting Diaries, Contd.
In my on-going quest to lose weight, I have joined a 'Body Balance' class at the swankiest health, fitness and beauty centre in town, 'Solace'. Although after today's back-breaking session, the place offers anything but! Once again, a little gem for my collection of 'The Bitter Ironies of This, My Life'.
My earlier venture did not bear fruit and was quickly abandoned. A lot of money, sanity and good humour was lost. I kid you not, but a law-suit was also considered for unethical practices, but I ran out of steam and patience. I still do think I'll write about my experiences to save others the trauma as well as a helluva lot of money, but who's gonna print it or believe it? You, my good friends and gentle readers, just believe me when I say, VLCC is all fraud. It is just a money-making machine -- STAY AWAY!!
Diets don't work. Except for one...water and one square inch of steamed tofu a day. But since I love food too much and hate tofu equally, we all know that said diet isn't even a consideration for moi.
At the ripe old age of 33, I have finally discovered the truth. And the truth is this...to lose weight, one must grant oneself a slow, painful, tortuous death. In other words, one must exercise.
Exercise is the key to losing weight. And that's why, two months ago, I renewed my love affair with the water. That's right, I started going swimming, 3 to 5 times a week.
I enjoy swimming. I love it. I'm a water-baby. A mermaid. A siren with a song. And the results showed! After three years, I finally had a waist again! Oh indescribable joy! And waist meet sari petticoat and bust-line say goodbye to sari petticoat! That's right people, the sari is being worn at it's righful place on this particular female form again!
And here's the thing about losing weight. When it starts to happen, I mean, really, really happen, it makes you hungry for more. I have always wondered whether after babies, boobage and blubber, you can ever be what you once were? Or are you reduced to a wardrobe of black for the rest of your days? I don't know, but I knew I wanted to try. Even if not what I was eight years ago, maybe what I was six years ago? And so when a friend of mine said she was going to join pilates class, I jumped on the band-wagon with a yee-hah and a vision of me in white, sleeveless dresses!
Monday was supposed to be the first class, but since I had a fever, I skipped it. This morning, I had a body-ache thanks to the viral, but other than that, I was okay. So I thought, let me give this body something to really ache about.
So mon amie and I, along with her really sweet mom, went for pilates today. As we stated working out together, side by side, I felt like I was in a chick flick movie :)
And then...OH MY GOD!!! It was sooooo intense!! My body hasn't hurt like that in years! And the poetic names for those poses, like Reverse Swan, Equestrian, Submissive Warrior and Rag Doll, did nothing to make the process easier.
I'm up for eleven more classes. My body feels like it's was used in a game of football by a team of rhinos and elephants. And yet I feel like I'm on a happy high.
Maybe the endorphins have something to do with it, but I know for a fact that I am happy with myself. Proud of myself. For actually trying to do something about the thing that's been keeping me down and depressed for so long.
I owned up. I took responsibility. And I'm fighting to get fit. So three cheers for me!
Next visit to the torture chamber, Friday. Oh, and we'll be working with balls.
Stability balls, y'all.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Last week, I saw a movie and a reality show finale that had me questioning my views on love. I thought I’d share them here and wonder aloud, and request you all to do me the honour of sharing your thoughts as well.
Ok. First, the movie. No prizes for guessing that it’s “Love Aaj Kal” that I’m talking about. I didn’t like it. There. I said it. I didn’t like it.
I won’t diss it totally; there are some things I liked about it, but only in hindsight. Like the fact that Deepika’s character, Meera, was shown to be a career-woman and that she was ambitious. And not in an evil, greedy, money-hungry way that most movies will depict career-minded women, to be. She was at a good place in her life, career-wise, and she chose that over a relationship that very possibly would have fizzled out after six months. She chose a certainty over what seemed to be a non-certainty at the time. And she wasn’t vilified for it. If anything, her choice seemed the most natural thing in the world. You know what the weird thing about this is? It’s the fact that so many blogs have talked about this very fact and hailed it to be a great step forward in the depiction of ‘real women, making real choices’ in a reel land, and yet it escaped me. That’s because her action never ever really struck me as being note-worthy or out of the ordinary. If anything, it was so natural, so RIGHT, that it didn’t make me sit and take notice. I glossed over how ground-breaking it might be. It was only later that I realised that “Wow, this is a slice of reality. Something that we are not only comfortable with, but also, something that we know to be regular and not at all extraordinary.”
It’s this practicality that’s kinda killing me though. Do love and reason go hand-in-hand? Is love supposed to be a well-thought out, logical reaction to a certain situation that presents itself before us? And if it is; if we start being logical about love from the very get-go, what prevents us from being logical right through the end? If so, then why didn’t Meera stick with the safe, secure, good-looking and madly-in-love-with-her, Rahul Khanna-character? Is it fair to ruin somebody else’s life so that you can wait for someone else to come to his senses and realise that he’s in love with you after all? Umm, what if that don’t happen, mamma? Wotchya gonna do then?
I know, I know…her arguments in defence of her actions made sense, but girl! Suck it up!! You could have done a lot worse!
I know a lot of people who agree with me. And yet, there are many who laud a Meera’s actions. They say, isn’t it better to get out once you know you don’t love a person, rather than drag on a relationship and be miserable? Ok, but what about the hurt and pain that you’re causing the other? Do you have the right to do that?
I don’t know. It all seems so confusing. I personally know of a few people who broke off engagements and relationships because they fell in love with other people or were in love with their ex-es. One of these worthies broke off his wedding twenty days before D-Day, months after all the invitation cards had been sent out and all the preparations had been made!! I mean, who does that?!?
Why am I so riled about this? Well, a little incident from my past. One of the MIM’s ex-girlfriends flew all the way from Delhi to Bombay, to convince him to change his mind, dump me and marry her! It didn’t happen (obviously!!), but what if she had managed to convince him? What would I have done? Drowned my sorrows, had indiscriminate sex with random guys, come out stronger six months later singing “I Will Survive”? Or would I have been broken, dejected and sworn-off men forever? Or would I have married the first guy who would have answered my matrimonial ad on Shaadi.com?
I left the theatre after watching ‘Love Aaj Kal’ feeling very irritated. Is this what our generation has become? Selfish to the point that we don’t care whose feelings we are trampling as long as we get what we want? Also, has marriage really become as easy as a fake orgasm…switch on and off as and when needed? Get on and off the train whenever and wherever you want…there are no scheduled stops anymore?
And our parent’s generation. Was it all so simple and pure for them? You fall in love just once and that too forever? How strategic to use Rishi and Neetu Singh as Veer and Harleen Singh, btw!! The symbol of romance and marriage gone right, direct from Bollywood !
And then of course, there’s another take on ‘love-shove’ and all that, by the tremendously loud and garish Ms. Rakhi Sawant. Say what you want about the woman, but what she did was pretty path-breaking. Centuries after this age-old, ancient Indian custom had come to a halt, Ms. Sawant chooses to revive it, and on television no less! While we all laughed, had fun, commented on the bad acting and said whatever we wanted about it being scripted and all, it doesn’t take away from the fact that what Rakhi did, was very empowering to many, many women, subjected to the torture of ‘being seen’ by guys and their families before marriage and then rejected, for not being fair enough, pretty enough, too educated, too fat, too skinny and what-not. Rakhi’s ultimate choice was a logical, practical one…the best kind to make when love ain’t sniffing at your door.
Which brings me back to my dilemma? Is love practical in today's day and age? I mean, here's what I think...I feel that the 'live on love and fresh air' variety is not only a rarity in today's world, isn't it too good to be true? Doesn't it even sound impractical? But that's not it. It's this -- marriage springs you many a googly. Painful and unexpected -- enough to shatter your heart. So I can't help but wonder, if many of us had weighed our love on a scale of practicality, would we have gone on and married our spouse nevertheless?
Friday, August 7, 2009
A slight touch of sadness
walks across my soul
and I shiver
with feelings unfelt
in a very long time.
My sighs stretch out
to cover me whole
and I walk
of wasted words.
of a life
my soul clings
to my bones
like rotting leaves
And that's what I do.
I wallow in dust
And I rot.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
I mean, was I right or was I right?!?
Damn! I wish I knew where to gamble!!
Oh, and Rakhi, kudos on getting the Amar Chitra Katha dancing-girl look down pat. Complete with bejewelled head! Wow! Only you madam, could have carried this look off!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Now good music can make me oblivious to my surroundings. A haunting melody can have me slowly drowning within its intrinsic beauty, like a marble in molasses. A peppy tune can have my insides dancing to its earthiness and richness of rhythm. And songs with deep meaning and soul-wrenching lyrics are my undoing. They unravel me, slowly, sensuously, pain-stakingly, like a single silk thread from a heavy Kanjeevaram saree.
That is why, it is one of my greatest joys to watch the EO develop a taste and fine ear for music. It thrills me no end when he listens to some of my favourite tunes, entranced, enraptured, engaged.
I remember how one day, I was listening to one of my most favourite songs, 'Slipping Through My Fingers' (originally by ABBA, but I was listening to the 'Mamma Mia' version). I was lying down on my bed, my eyes closed, silently mouthing the words, feeling the feeling and floating away somewhere else. I suddenly felt a presence next to me and I opened my eyes to see my EO lying down next to me, not looking at me, his eyes telling me that he was drowning deep in the song as well. I watched his angelic face as he took it all in. What was his understanding of this song that seemed to echo my soul's thoughts about watching my babies grow up? Did he feel the intense maternal love dripping from the song? Could he connect it in any way to how I felt about him? And then, when the song finished playing, he looked at me and said, "Mamma, please play the song again." I happily did so...again and again.
I adore Rabindrasangeet. It is one type of music that can define me. The EO has discovered the beauty of a particular favourite of mine, 'Aaj Jyotsna Raate'. Maa-Janoni was singing it to him one day while telling him a story and he fell for it like a ton of bricks. And now that he knows that I know it too, I have to sing it for him on demand. As a result, he's picked up most of the song.
It really is a gorgeous feeling to listen to him sing when he thinks that no one is listening. I stop whatever it is I'm doing and drink in the sight, sound and sensation. For me, the bliss of these musical moments is akin to religious ecstasy.
That's because a perfect musical moment always and unfailingly helps me remember the Divine. And to watch my son take part in this type of worship is no less than exhilarating.
Of course, no musical memory is complete without its set of funnies.
So while on the one hand I have a son who is trying earnestly to perfect, "Aaj jyotsna raate, shobai gechchey bon-ey. Bosonter-ei maataal shomiron-ey..."
On the other hand, I have another son who is singing, "Aaj jyotsna raate shobai gechchey bon-ey. Bosonter maathaa khaaraap hoyey gechchey..."
I don't even know how to begin to translate this! But trust me, it's hilarious!
My Bengali-speaking blog friends are welcome to try ;)