The blurb ob by blob...

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Mother, writer and daydreamer. Also chocoholic and chick-flick lover. But mainly mommy. To two boys, at that! When not escorting my Elder One (EO) to karate class, I'm trying to get in as many cuddles as possible from my Younger One (YO). And when not doing either, I'm hard-at-work trying to maintain a steady relationship with my laptop. And as for the Man I Married (MIM), well, let’s just put it this way – even though we share a bedroom, our most meaningful conversations are held over the cell-phone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

M4 needs...

prayers and an endless stream of positive energy. Above all she needs faith. And HOPE.

For she is floundering.

Please. PLEASE help...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

They said...

...that it's obstructive jaundice, caused by a blockage in the bile duct, which therefore causes bile build-up.

He'd been looking sick for a while now. It was as if he was shrinking in front of my very eyes. It's so difficult to watch your parents age. It's even more difficult to finally acknowledge that fact to yourself.

Now the blockage can be caused by either a stone or a tumour. 95% of the time it's a stone.

My father is not in the 95%.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Why is it so hard to be honest?
Why speak in half-truths?
Why insult my intelligence?

I'm kinda heart-broken today...and hating it :-(

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

EO Speak & YO Speak

M4 is lying down next to the YO and getting in as many cuddles as she could get.

M4 (mushy-mummy-ly) : Tumi aamaar ke? (exact translation coming up so it does sound icky: Who are you to me?)
YO: YO (says his name)
M4: Naa, tumi aamaar chhotto baby. (No, you're my little baby.)
YO: Naa, aami tomaar YO. (No, I'm your YO.)
M4: Taaholey aamaar chhotto baby ke? (Then who's my little baby?)
YO: EO dada.
M4: Naa to. EO dada aamaar boro baby, aar tumi aamaar chhotto baby. (No...EO dada is my big baby and you are my little baby.)
YO: Naaaaaaaaa! Aami ekhon boro hoyey gechi, aami chhotto baby naa! (Noooooooo! I've grown up now, I'm not a little baby!)
M4: Tumi koto boro hoyey gechcho? (How big are you now?)
YO: Eto, dekho... (This much, see...) {and he proceeds to extend his arms above his head, hands spread the width of a full-grown cat, apart} Aami puro big boy. (I'm totally a big boy now.)

Ok my baby, even though you have no concept of size, length and width, if you insist, then you are a 'big boy' now. Sigh!!! :-(
M4 treated her boys to a Domino's Pizza dinner, since they were sad about their Mamu leaving.

At the table, EO, though stuffed, is eyeing the last two slices of pizza in the box.
EO: Mamma, can I have that for tiffin tomorrow?
M4: No baba, you've already had too much. Tomorrow, I'm packing a banana in your tiffin box.

A debate ensues over which fruit to pack. Then the EO pipes up again, but naturally, since he's a fighter that one, and will keep trying with various lines of logic. Also, he loves getting in the last word...

EO: But Mamma, pizza is full of vegeytebils and cheese. So it's healthy. It's a healthy junk food, ok Maa?

Aaahh, my little one! You have no idea how many people, the world over, are waiting for the creative discovery of this wondrous thing called 'healthy junk food'...your Mamma being one of them!

Monday, December 14, 2009

So Says the EO

"But why does Mamu have to go back? I don't want him to go!", states a very teary-eyed EO.

M4: Because he needs to go back to office, my shona.
EO: Then I'll go to Ameyrica and bring the full office to here.

M4 sighs and says o herself,"If only, my sweet. If only."
The MIM, to EO: You know naa, that your Mamu is leaving tomorrow?
EO: Yes. And I'm sad. I'll miss him for ONE HUNDRED days!!

M4 overhears the conversation, sighs and says to herself, "Me too, my sweet. Me too."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Vision of India

Ten years down the line, India will be a country boasting 1, 533 states, with the demand for 453 more on the table. Yes, just a mere one decade later.

To the supporters of the Telengana movement...congratulations. You should be ashamed of yourselves!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sports and the Elder One

So yesterday, Sunday, December 6th, was the EO's first Sport's Day in Big School.

Now, I know, as do you, that I am not the biggest fan of the EO's school and the 'old, traditional schools' in general, but they have one huge plus point. A point that is of enormous significance in my life in general. And that is TRADITION.

There is something about the way these schools go the whole nine yards and then some, when it comes to their events and special days. It's what kick-starts those old stirrings of pride in the four chambers of the heart. Something about the familiar grounds, experiences and yes, the school song just puts one helluva goofy grin on one's face. Yup, there is something about all that ceremonial splendour that touches the core of me.

So, yesterday, was the EO's first Sport's Day. And we were a big gang, cheering the EO and the Nephew MIL (for whom the day brought back many, MANY memories of her two little boys and their Sport's Days on these very grounds), the Bro, my SIL, BIL-ly Boy, the YO and the Neice. The MIM was busy partying with models in Mumbai. Harumph!!! 'Nother story!! Ok, the party was on Saturday night. Geez!

Now the jocks in my family are basically the MIM and the Bro. They have drawers and cupboards full of medals, certs and trophies. Sport's Day was always THEIR day. That's why the Bro was sooo looking forward to watching his beloved nephew, while the MIM kept calling and speaking to me in whispers from his conference in far away Bombay.

What a grandiose atmosphere, in terms of energy, excitement and spirit. Wow! The bands, the colours, the march-past and the pledge...ooooohh! Thoroughly goose-bump inducing!

And what of the two budding sports-men? Little flash-back first. When the Nephew and the EO first started walking, they both had very unique and yes, hilarious individual styles. The Nephew would walk on tip-toe, his arms held out at each side for balance, with his thumb and forefinger joined together and pointing downwards. Dainty? Deliciously so!!
Now the EO, well, he had this rather wild swagger with arms flailing from side to side and a very stompy Bharatnatyam placement of feet. Kinda like tipsy baby gorilla meets sozzled Friar Tuck.
Seeing these two very unusual gaits, the SIL's younger brother christened the bearers of those swaggers, the French Barmaid and the Drunken Monk. Guess which one fit whom...

Cut to five years later. Said cutie-pies with the weird walks have evolved into pint-sized heart-throbs with even stranger running styles. My brother didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He finally settled on joining in on the belly-aching laughter.

The Nephew has finally managed to pin those arms down to his side now instead of somewhere mid-air. So now, he had morphed into the Penguin. My EO has taken on the mantle of the hoppity-skippity French Barmaid with gazelle genes in it's DNA.

But you know what, hopping and skipping aside, the EO had a blast! I could see the sheer joy on his face as he ran and to me, that was all that mattered!

The other YO, despite being quite ill, participated in the visitor's race, little boys under ten. He was definitely the smallest and youngest in the line-up, but he finished the race. He finished. And he was so proud of himself. As was I.

I was proud of both of my boys.

Now it's time to teach them how to run.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Of Music, Old Age and Contests

The Bro is in town! Yaaayyyy! He arrived on the 25th, a little before midnight. So the boys and I are currently at the 'maike'! Bigger 'YAAAYYYYY!!!' Of course the weekend saw us back at the sasuraal because it was the FIL's b'day bash and plus an adorable and gorgeous SIL was in town, but as of today, we's back at the parents'! So allow me to say it again -- yaaaayyyyyyyy!

It was beyond touching to see the way the EO behaved when he saw his Mamu. He woke up to find himself sleeping next to my mom (which he normally looks forward to, but not this Thursday!!) Disappointed at not being next to his Mamu, he shook MaaJanoni awake, reprimanded her for not depositing him next to said beloved Mamu and then proceeded to run to that same beloved Mamu's room and wake him up with little brother in tow. The Bro very sleepily hugged his nephews and then I shushed them out of the room to start off with the business of the daily grind. Two minutes later, my sleepy Bro walks into the room and a very, very, VERY thrilled little EO shrieks with delight and launches himself at his Mamu. The Bro picks him up and my EO hugs him with all his might, refusing to let go, for a full five minutes, until I had to finally pry him off! The EO then proceeded to do a happy dance :-)

The YO didn't behave as enthusiastically, observing the Bro for some time before he decided that he was alright. Hes, the pack of Hot Wheel cars definitely helped!! But I can't really blame my little one, after all 'Mamu' was just a concept to him, someone his big brother, mother and grand-parents spoke about with great love and affection; someone whom he had no memories of at all, being just a year-and-a-half when he was last here. But here's someone who has the good sense to bring him cars and chocolates...what's not to love?

As for me? It's great having him back! We've already had our chats, heart-to-hearts and many conversations. One of the more memorable ones ran thus...
After coming back from a day trip to Shantiniketan with the MIM, MaaJanoni and MY iPod, the Bro, who has always loved my taste in music, says to me, "Dids, good collection...some great music there...but why does everything have to be so slow?"
Me: Slow?!? Have you seen all my playlists?!?
the Bro: Oh yeah, I have...hence the 'slow'. And old.
Me: (sputtering) But it's got the Scorpions, Bon Jovi, some Deep Purple and Guns 'n' Roses on it!!!
the Bro: Yeah...slow. And old!!

That's it. I've done it. I've actually lived long enough for 'The Scorpions' and 'Deep Purple' to be declared slow and old!! And no...I'm not even remotely interested in what's on the Bro's music list!
I'm a contest junkie. The SMS and online kind. Remember that site that I had asked all of you to visit a while back? Well, the good folks there are back with another great contest...this one's for the bookworms!! Trust me, you'll love it!! Please do go and check it out folks! Go, participate, win!! Click here for deets!
And if you find the time, let the gals there know what you like, don't like and would like to see on their site! :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Spread the Love, Please

I love the blogworld. I love reading blogs, discovering new ones and adding my own two bits too. I love it so much that I kick myself for not finding myself a place on it earlier. Anyway, better late than never.

Now, there are a few blogs out there that put the 'zip' in my 'zippety-do-dah'. Parul's blog is one of them and it has been nominated in the Best Personal Indiblog category. Do go over and vote for her. PLEASE!! If anyone deserves it, she does!

While voting for her, I noticed two other nominations that deserve all the support that they can get; Indian Homemaker in the Best Humanities Indiblog category and IndieQuill for the Best Entertainment Indiblog category.

Lots of other popular blogs are up for nominations in various categories. Go on and show them all your love. Here. Please. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The One With Noddy In It: The YO's 3rd Birthday Party


That's right, I'm starting off this one with a sigh.

This is the long over-due birthday party post. The one with Noddy in it. The one where my YO turns three. The one where my little one leaves his toddlerhood behind him.

Before I start describing the party, I need to draw out a little table. Of birthdays in my family. Birthdays that are celebrated before the YO's birthday.
September: Bro, YO, SIL, the MIM
October: the Neice, Maa-Janoni, BIL
That's seven...yup, count 'em, SEVEN big birthdays, bashes, cake cuttings, Happy Birthday 'singing' et al, that happen before the YO's, (Okay, maybe not the Bro's but the rest...yups!) Add to that the fact that the entire population seems to have procreated during the winter months (finding pleasurable ways to keep warm, I'm guessing...what, blankets not enough for you folks?!?) and thus spawned in the fall, the majority of birthday parties seem to fall in the fall! So with all these birthdays happening all over the world and Jupiter, the YO was getting desperate for his own bash...with his own friends and his own cake and his own khoi bag, with a 'Happy Birthday' song just for him.

Words can not do justice to portray his impatience. Everyday he'd wake up and ask me, "Aajge aamaar budday?" (Today's my budday?) The same question, at least 150 times through the course of the day. His little face falling each time he was told it wasn't but not enough to deter him from asking me yet again after fifteen minutes. As if by sheer dint of his perseverance, the answer would be different this time round.

And then, it happened. After more than a month of being told, "Naa babu, aajke naa, aashchey" (No sweetheart, not today, it's coming) happened. The sparkle left his eyes and the anticipation died.

When he woke up that morning and I kissed him and hugged him and wished him a big, jolly 'Happy Birthday', he just asked me, "Aajge aamaar budday?" and I squeezed him tight and said "Yes, my baby, yes!! Aajke tomaar budday!!", he just nodded sagely and got down from my lap. I think I died a little.

The YO's birthday is on the 17th of October. This time, it coincided with Diwali so we decided to have the party on the 15th, even though Maa-Janoni and the MIM's parents weren't in town. It was the MIM's decision actually. It was breaking his heart to see how badly the YO wanted to celebrate his birthday. I now think we should have celebrated it two weeks earlier, while he was still excited! Anyway, while I had taken Diwali into account, I'd forgotten about Dhanteras, which explains why 70% of the YO's class was MIA. I'm not ashamed to say that I was upset and angry as hell!

We had chosen Timezone as the party venue...a place kids LOVE!! Video games for different age groups, a toy train, rocking animals, cars and planes, a minuscule bowling alley, a tiny merry-go-round and a small kids area.

Now normally, the YO runs amok here. But somehow, that day, his heart just wasn't in it. He saw his friends come in bearing gifts of love, but all he wanted was to be carried by either me, the MIM or his ayah.

It was killing me to see him so distant, cranky and disinterested. All the kids and their parents!, were playing the various video games and having fun. All the kids except my little one. Wasn't anything going to change his mood?

And happened! The smiles...the whoops of delight...the sparkle in his eyes and the excitement. When my DaddyDearest walked in with the cake. One look at the pastry pieces of Noddy and Big Ears sitting in a marzipan and chocolate sponge Noddy car cake and my little boy was jumping up and down with excitement. He refused to leave it's side and watched over if he was guarding over the treasures of Fort Knox; as if he was an M4 watching over her EO and YO.

When it was finally time to cut the cake, I was actually a bit worried about the YO. I was hoping and praying that we be spared a tantrum of YO-tuan proportions when it came to the actual, physical cutting of the cake...and luckily, the gods heard my prayers! Amidst much clapping, singing and blowing of candles, and with loving help from the EO, the Nephew and the Neice, my YO happily cut his cake. He was now ready to eat and party!

Aahhh! Happy times were here again! The menu was simple...pizzas, non-veg momos, veg spring rolls, veg noodles with a non-veg or veg side-dish, and of course, the cake! After the eatings and drinkings there was much more playings to be done and this time my happy little YO joined in with great gusto!

So many friends made this day special. A big shout-out to bloggy Sue who was there with her Vicks and the heart-meltingly gorgeous Bhablet, as well as to the MIM's BFF who happened to be down from London. Equally special mention to me made of friends P and J (hehehe...PJ!), who catered the food and more so to J, whose birthday it 'really' was! (See! Another one of them fall babies!)

Back home, the presents were attacked with much respect. The MIM had gone out with said BFF and I looked on indulgently at the mess my boys created, their shrieks of delight like music to my ears, especially the YO's.

It was a happy birthday after all!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Birthday Wish and a Thought

Happy birthday to the first man in my life -- DaddyDearest. Having you live so close to me is knowing that my slice of peace and bliss are near. You're the bestest, daddy, and I wish for you a life free from aches, pains and worries. I wish for you peace of mind, contentment and huge large chunks of happy! Love you!


Dear YO,

You know, today you are exactly as old as your brother was when you came into his life. I don't know why, but I can't stop thinking about this little statistic and it's been on my mind for the past few weeks.

Perhaps it's because that time is a blur to me. I was so busy wrapping my brains around the fact that I was a mommy of two, that I seem to have missed out on precious moments with the both of you. Looking at you now, I seem to be getting a sense of what your brother may have been like at that time.

Or perhaps it's because you suddenly seem to have gone baby-crazy. You see a baby on TV and you're riveted. When you can finally tear your eyes away long enough, you shriek at the top of your voice, "Dekho! Dekho! Baby, baby, BABY!" Then this time at the pujo pandal, and even more recently at a birthday party, you just wanted to be with the baby there. You wanted to pick her up in your arms, carry her around, sit her down on your lap and just plain drink in the essence of her delightful baby smell and revel in being the big boy. It's almost like you're trying to tell me that you're ready to be a big brother.

Or perhaps all this wistful reminiscing is because you're growing up WAY too fast for me, my little one. I miss your chubby hands and dimpled thighs. I miss the gurgles and the coos and the cuddles.

I miss your babyhood, my baby.


Monday, November 16, 2009

I Wish I Had a Camera Today

Which is very ironic, as I was wishing this wish in a photographer's studio where I had taken the YO to get a passport-size snap clicked.

I think the photographer clicked about a dozen snaps before she finally got one right (or rather, one which I half-heartedly approved!!) All the ones before deserve to be put up in a Funny Faces Hall of Fame...each expression more Court Jester than the last! And what comedic timing! Just as the photographer would say, "Smile" and press down on the shutter, he'd transform from well-behaved school-boy complete with side-parting in hair, to YO the Comical, YO the Horrid, YO the Prince of Imps. Either he'd squint his eyes, roll his eyes side-ways, give us a toothy grin complete with a thumbs-up sign or he'd squeal 'Cheese' or 'Banana Pudding' and then break out in a buck-toothed grin!!

Yes, yes! It all sounds delightful and adorable and oh-so howlarious! But you should have been there...

to see just how much!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Children's Day

My beloved EO and YO,

Yesterday was Children's Day and think I wished you both at least 22 times during the course of the day. While"Happy Children's Day, my boys" were the wishes spoken out loud, here are the unspoken wishes that I have for you.

This Children's Day, I wish for you a mother with an abundance of patience.
This Children's Day, I wish for you a father with an abundance of energy.
This Children's Day, I wish for you music and joy and evenings of cricket, cycling and friends. I wish for you bags full of giggles, boxes full of chuckles and truck-loads of hearty, belly-aching laughter. I wish for you funny faces and potty jokes. I wish for you cheeks flushed with good health, mouths full of good food and eyes full of love and twinkles.

This Children's Day, my loves, I wish for you, your precious childhood.
I love you both...biggest.

And to my dear bloggy-mommies...I wish the same for your blessed children. I wish the same for all the children.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Today was not...

...the EO's day. He wasn't allowed to have his tiffin (small break as well as big break) because he didn't finish his classwork. Add to that his Mamma's disappointment when she finds out and marches his tiny little butt back to class and quickly makes him copy down what on the board (i.e. she scribbles it hastily in the back of his book because she knows that left to him, they'd be there till the bell rang for school next morning!!). Add to that Mamma's frustration upon learning that he lost his eraser...the third so far...this week! Add to that his discovery that his diary had been taken home by the boy who sits nest to him in class.

All the way home, he encounters Mamma's stony silence.

He looks forward to his much-loved cricket class and gets ready with great enthu. Mamma and younger brother drop him off and come to pick him up, ten minutes early.

EO is mortified that they arrive just in time to see him being punished...standing on the side of the 'field' holding his ears while the other boys practise their bowling techniques.

Mamma, (having been informed by the Nephew that he was 'punished' in a similar manner during the last cricket class as well) is at first shocked and then angry. Angry that she is paying good money to have someone else punish her son when she is perfectly capable herself.

Then Mamma mellows. Her heart begins to melt as she sees the small figure of her little boy, standing there, pulling at his own ears, while trying to scratch a knee with foot as he's prime mosquito bait, standing there instead of running about.

So on the way back, Mamma decides to stop at the new patisserie to buy some sinfully delicious and rich chocolate Mud Slices to cheer them up. (let's not dwell on the fact that Mamma had been craving these herself ever since she came to know of their existence). When EO sees Mamma getting into the car with tell-tale box, his heart shines through in his smile.

By the time the pj's are on her EO, Mamma's heart has become a gooey replica of the warm centre of the Mud Slice. She decides to give EO a treat.

She takes out a hand-made paper notebook. Five years ago, Mamma had started writing stories about her EO and Nephew. It has gone the way of many of Mamma's literary aspirations and is lying incomplete in a drawer with many others of its kind.

Mamma decides to read out the first half of chapter one. She then kisses EO good-night and walks out of the room.

She is called back to the room by a sobbing EO, who grabs her and hugs her in a tight bear-hug and refuses to let her go.

My poor child. The whole day his heart was on the verge of breaking thanks to one thing going wrong after another. Who knew that he would be overwhelmed enough by an unfinished story that his Mamma wrote about him five years ago.

Maybe this blog is not being written in vain after all...I don't know, I can only hope and pray.

One thing I do know for sure is that there's this story that needs to be completed...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

M4 is in raptures.

They were like gazelles, leaping across the stage. Their effortless grace, youthful beauty and absolute surrender to the supreme artform took my breath away and left me a blubbering, sobbing mess in the auditorium.

I have been so moved after ages.

A perfectly executed Odissi recital does that to me.

It always does.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Are You Frikkin' Kidding Me?!?!?!?!?!

WARNING: The following post is about something I read in the papers today that left me sick and shaking with rage for almost the whole day. It may do the same to you. So why am I writing about it? Because we all have children whom we love and would do anything to protect. Because I think that we have a responsibility to each other and we need to let each other know what kind of sick crap there is out there, ready to corrupt our angels, our innocents.

I read with absolute HORROR, in fact 'horror' doesn't even begin to describe what I'm feeling, about this video game created in Japan called RapeLay...a 3D 'rape simulator' video game where one gets to pretend to be a sexual predator and test out his 'raping skills' on a mom and her two teenage daughters!!!!!!

It has been banned in Japan...thankfully! It has, unfortunately, found its way into India.

One more reason why I will NOT be apologetic about monitoring all my sons' activities as they grow up. And I don't need any bull-crap statements about violating my children's privacy and if I have faith in the way I've brought them up, then I shouldn't worry about them getting into bad company or doing bad things.

The thing is, I do have faith in the way the MIM and I are bringing up our boys. I do believe in, strongly, the morals and values that we are trying to impart to them with every constant moment of living. But what freaks the shittin' daylights out of me is that the world is full of bad people, freaks, paedophiles and wackos who think it's okay to create a video game where you can rape a woman and her daughters repeatedly until you break them to the point where they are willing to become your sex slaves.

The world is full of predators of various kinds who are ready to kill our children's innocence, corrupt them any chance they get. It is our responsibility, duty and right to protect our children any way we deem fit.

What a shitty world.

God. I am so scared.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Nightmare in London

"London Dreams." A misnomer if ever there was one. I mean, dreams are supposed to be pleasant, right? Well, this one soooooo wasn't! We actually saw this with friends last Friday and I'm still waking up shrieking as bits and pieces, feviquiked to my inner mind, suddenly pop out to haunt me!

That it was bad, you can probably get from my opening para, but just how wishing-for-a-migraine-attack-so-that-my-head-is-pleasantly-occupied bad, you can't even begin to fathom. Not even in your wildest nightmare, err, dream!

What made it so god-awful, well, 'let me count the ways'.
  1. For starters, Ajay Devgn (no, that's not a typo, that's how he spells it now). Now don't get me wrong, I have no major issues with the guy. In fact, thanks to his portrayal of Bhagat Singh, I quite like the guy. But for some crazy reason, he's begun to think that he can pull off comedy. Yo! Jay! I mean this in the nicest way possible, but you can't! Not that this movie was a comedy, but I needed to get that out of the way.
    Here's the thing though, if you've been noticing his last few movies, it almost looks as if he's trying to reclaim his lost youth. This has to be said...Jay, you were too old for this movie. This role deserved a younger actor, and you, my friend, were so not it!
  2. Which brings me to fogey #2, Salman Khan. Where do I begin? Yikes!! Crass, crude, ridiculous and, and..errrr...oh yes -- OLD!!
    What were the makers of this film thinking when they were handing out the parts? Yes, of course there was the mandatory shirt-taking-off scene and his body still looks pretty darned good, but the rest of the package? Bloated! Been hitting the bottle, my friend?
    I mean, come on, if you're gonna plan a "Rock On!" type of movie, at least get your band of brothers right!
  3. Which in turn brings me to it being a pale, sad, pathetic shadow of "Rock On!" They tried so hard to copy from perfection and instead ended up massacring it, like a botched-up boob-job.
  4. I mean, they even had a Farhan Akhtar look-a-like, frizzy hair and all. Now he was cute and all, and had I still been in school uniform I would have totally kissed his poster and all that, but baby-doll, a Farhan Akhtar you ain't!
  5. The weaker-than-my-grandma's-punch story-line. Let's not even go there. It was the hastily done patch-up job to cover up the botched-up boob-job.
  6. Asin. She's pretty. Pretty dumb. And that's how she came across. And Lolita-like relationships just make me really uncomfortable. I get all squeamish when they are forcefully inflicted upon me. And the recent Bollywood trend of pairing these uncle types with a fresh pair of boobs is really nauseating. You have Sanju baba (who should really be rechristened Sanju dadu) rolling around in the sand with a clearly desperate-for-any-role Lara Dutta in the recently made 'Blue', and in this movie you have AD and SK lusting after Asin. What's the matter guys? Overdoing the testosterone shots? Not getting any at home? Well whatever the reason, stop pawing these toddlers in mini-skirts! It's ugly!
  7. And what's with the whipping?!?!?!?! DUDE!!!! I mean, seriously!! I mean WTF!! I mean DUDE!!!!!! That was soooooo a bad lift from "The DaVinci Code"! And it was so, so, soooo...DUDE!!!

You know, I can go on. But I don't want to nit-pick, because I can really go on forever!

This movie ranks on my "Top Ten Worst Big-Screen Disasters Ever" list at #2! Come to think of it, it may even rank somewhere on my list of "Top Ten Stupidest Mistakes I Ever Made"!!

Yes, good people, that bad. Only worse!

Friday, October 30, 2009


I'm a great believer in educational toys and games. Oh, I love the silly stuff too but nothing like a Scrabble, Pictionary, brain-teasers and puzzles to keep engage a young mind and stimulate his thinking skills. So, it's no wonder that our home is full of puzzles of many different kinds...animal puzzles, number puzzles, the alphabets, colours, shapes and Disney characters too! There are foam mat puzzles, colourful cardboard puzzles and lovely wooden ones too!

I asked the YO, who loves school but is allergic to learning of any kind outside the educational building, to sit with his wooden alphabet puzzle next to me while I worked on my computer. No matter how much cheering and singing I did each time he got something right, he had sniffed out the true goal of this activity-- that it was meant to reinforce knowledge. After a few letters had been done, he looked at me, eyebrows furrowed, forehead creased, expression one of disgust, and asked me irritatedly, "Eitaa ki school?!?" (Are we in school?!?)

Both my sons are very fashion conscious. They are all about the jeans and are both trying to become masters of The Right Look.
Now normally, the EO doesn't have a problem with the clothes that I pick out for him. In fact, if he's being especially difficult, all I have to do to change his mood is to offer him a favourite T-shirt and his world becomes as right as a sunny day with lots of ice-cream!
He had a tea party to attend and I chose a funky pair of pants for him along with a matching T-shirt. He wanted to wear a different T-shirt, one with long sleeves and which didn't go with the pants as well as the one that I had chosen. A heated discussion ensued, in which Mamma and son argued back and forth, with Mamma winning because --
a) Mamma could easily revoke her decision to let EO go to said party,
and b) because Mamma is a big bully.

After he came out of his room, all freshly changed and handsome, in the clothes that I had picked out for him to wear, he launches into a final attack, "Mamma, the clothes that you wear, do I tell you which which ones to wear? So how come you tell me which ones to?

My boys have me stumped!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cute Conversations of the Unforgettable Type

So the YO runs up to me while I'm eyeball and brain deep in e-mails and says something. It doesn't register. I don't even grunt in reply, so he decides to repeat himself and I catch a snatch of it. Not too sure if I really heard what I did, I asked him to repeat himself.

The conversation ran thus:

YO: I am Noddy, Mamma.
Me: You are Noddy?
YO: Yesh. I am Noddy. (extending his arm and handing me some air) Heyaar ijj your prejjant.
Me: This is my present? What is it?
YO:Bob da buildaa.
Me: (at a loss for words...) Ooooo...
YO: Mamma, my hat hajj fall down, mamma. Pleejj gib me hat, mamma. (pointing to non-existent hat next to my feet).
Me: (picking up said non-existent Noddy hat and placing it firmly on his head) There you go. Now Noddy, who am I? (eager for a part in his lovely little world)
YO: You Mamma! (he says this triumphantly, as if he has correctly negotiated a trick question) Bye Mamma! I go my car!

And my little Noddy-YO zooms off at terrifying speed on his little car leaving me to watch after him in amusement as well as with a strange kind of wistfulness.

Am I not play-worthy any more?

The feeling disappears as soon as it comes, because he comes back to me again and then again and yet again. Sometimes to entertain me with his words, sometimes his thoughts and most of the time, with his antics. I may not be his best playmate, but I sure am his favourite audience!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Aaah! Father Time! What Showest Me Thou Next??

Yesterday, was a Special Activity Day at the YO's school. It was an activity day and I had to accompany him and take him from room to room where there were different activities centred around the "Five Senses". Each room was dedicated to a particular sensory action and the teachers in those rooms did corresponding activities with the kids. For example, in the 'Smell' room, there were three bowls of different flowers...jui, rajanigandha and tube-rose. There were three other bowls covered with white gauze and the child had to smell and identify the matching fragrances. In the 'Taste' room, there were five different types of things to taste. The 'Sound' room is where the kids literally had a blast! They banged on drums, kettles, pot and pans; went berserk with the maracas, bells and xylophone. There were different instruments from China and Africa as well!

My gregarious little imp stayed chipku to me during the beginning and wasn't very forthcoming at first, but after a while, he started opening up, taking part in all the activities with a huge smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes. He 'chatted' with a few of his friends and did some semi-cartwheels with them before the slide show in the 'Sight' room, but all the while, he kept looking back to make sure I was there. Once his eyes would meet mine, he'd give me a huge, toothy grin and go back to doing what he was, content and reassured that Mamma was right where he'd left her. I'm always there baby and I always will be...even when you stop looking...I'll always be there.

I love going to the YO's school during Special Activity Day. I used to love going with the EO too. It gives me a chance to see him in his other environment, the one that I am not a part of. I get to see how much he's picked up, how he interacts with his 'peers' (such a grown-up sounding word!) and teachers. And most lovely of all, I get to bond with him, and delight over the things that he's mastered while he gets to preen and show-off. I can literally see him grow ten-feet tall when I shower him with praise and award him with a little applause. And that sight?...ooooff!!...phenomenal, I say!

I also get to meet one of the EO's teachers and she always wants to know about him and what he's up to. The warmth in her eyes as she talks about him is genuine and it makes me feel good...and a little wistful too truthfully; because it reminds me that not too long ago, my baby was here, having fun and loving it, and now he goes to some stuffed-up old school in uniform everyday, with a huge, heavy load on his back.

I also met the EO's first ever teacher there yesterday! She left soon after the EO 'graduated' from her class, to get married and have a baby. And yesterday, she was there with HER son, doing the different activities with him, as a mommy. We chatted for a while and I marvelled again at the passing of Time. My first-born's first teacher with her first-born!

How Time flies! How baby birds grow wings and fly!

Keep holding on to my hand YO, for just a while longer...I'm not ready to let go yet.

Monday, October 26, 2009

M4 is lost... the pages of "The Lost Symbol", the latest by Dan Brown.
Regular programming will continue once she has devoured and digested the contents.

However, before I sign off, I would like to tell you all, about this site a good friend of mine has been working on. I think it's brilliant and something we mommies can all use as a reference guide. As a favour to me, please do check it out and if you like what you see, do spread the word. There's a contest going on now too! FUN!!

Here's the link...and remember, suggestions are most welcome!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Diwali...and Happy 3rd Birthday, YO!!!

My darling pixie-prince, my teddy bear, my coochi-coochie-coo,

It’s your third birthday today! FINALLY!! Yaaaaayyyyyy!!!!! You have been waiting for this day desperately, ever since your brother’s birthday party, last month; you’d ask me at least twenty times throughout the day, “Aajke aamaar budday?” (Today's my budday?) and your little face would fall each time I said, “Naa babu, aajkey na...aashchey!” (No baby, not's coming!) Whenever we went anywhere, you thought we were making tracks to your birthday party and you’d begin to cry as soon as you’d see the gate to the house and begin wailing, “Naa, naa...baari jaabo naa!! Aamaar budday paatee jaabo!!!” (No, no!! I don't want to go home! I want to go to my budday paatee!!!)

Well baby! Your day is here! You had ‘two’ birthdays actually, this time round. Today being Diwali, we knew it wouldn’t be a good idea to throw a birthday party, so your party with your friends, presents, Noddy cake and the works, was on the 15th and today, we had a different, but definitely wonderful celebration at home and at my mama’r baari. But more on the celebrations some other time. This letter is about you, me and this past one year...

Do you know, that as much as you were looking forward to your birthday, I was dreading it. You just up-ed and grow-ed on me sweetheart and where was I? Wasn’t I looking? Wasn’t I paying attention?

It's are not just not-a-baby-no-more, but a toddler-no-more! And it kills me to think that I somehow missed it all. I wish I was more 'in the moments' of your transformation from pupa to caterpillar rather than obsessing about the fact that you are indeed transforming. I was all mopey and down from the fact that my young one, my little one, my last one is, well, not a baby anymore. And never will be. And I'm afraid I've missed out. On your babyhood, your toddlerhood, moments, kisses, missed opportunities...and I'm never going to get those chances back. I wish I could turn back the months and watch everything on repeat mode with editing as and when required.

However, it's done. You're a little boy now, with a big personality and a huge smile and I promise you one thing my son, no more wasted moments.

But I have a confession to make here. While you were potty-trained a long time ago and weaned an even LONGER time ago (another lifetime, in fact!!), there's one thing that you are not yet still free from and that is due primarily to your father's stiff resistance and my half-hearted attempst, and that object is...the bottle! Yup, you still need your bottle of milk first thing in the morning, as soon as you open your eyes. You want it for your evening milk as well, but even though it's a mini-battle (anything food-related is a battle with you my son!), you finally do have it from a cup, except when you're sick or cranky due to no afternoon nap. I know I should try harder to make you switch from bottle to cup in the morning as well, but there's just something so beautiful and tender and yes, adorably baby-like as you fall back on the pillow in a grateful thud and start putting the milk away.'s just makes me cling to the illusion that you're still a baby. Okay...maybe three more months?

You, my late-bloomer in the speech department (and I say this because your seven-day older cousin was chittering, chattering and chirping away in the most adorable way imaginable) are now speaking in not just long, lengthy sentences with logic and reason, can speak in three-ish languages now! So yaaayyy! Your Bangla’s the best, your English, adorable, and you Hindi, very entertaining!

You’ve never been a big fan of The Cuddle, like your big bro, but whenever you feel like it, you cover us from top to toe with the sweetest, softest, gentlest kisses in the world! They make me sooooo greedy for more, and you only indulge me if you feel like it, but if you’ve dispensed with your quota, nothing on earth can make you part with even one! While it pains me a little to see you squirm in my arms and twist away, what more than makes up for it is the way you suddenly, out of nowhere, come and plant these kisses on whatever body part you can grab! It’s always most unexpected and never fails to take me by surprise! Muwaaah!

You are so a ‘baba-ka-bachchaa’. The relationship you have with your father is something special. Whenever the two of you are together, it’s like you are ensconced in your own little world and I can only watch from the fringes. Yes, I do feel left out at times, but mostly, there’s a lump in my throat and a melty feeling in my heart as I watch you both, thoroughly entranced. It's touching and tender and funny too, and I'm just so grateful to be a part of it even if it is as spectator.

You are such a dare-devil! Nothing scares you my baby! It's like Speed Racer is your guru, your hero, your idol! You have this 'car' which we bought you for your last birthday and you're always racing around on it, skidding and performing tricks on it! You fall down on purpose and crash into things on purpose...and always get up with an impish grin on your face and a mischievous twinkle in your eyes. And last week, we bought you a cycle for your birthday, and you're already performing baby!! F1 racing? Tour de France? Or just plain old entertainment? Whatever it is baby, keep that deadly combination of smile-and-twinkle and you'll have quite the fan base, I assure you!

Oh, but about the 'not scared' bit, well there are two things, actually. You hate going into a dark room by yourself and you hate heights. The latter is quite confusing really, considering you love climbing up things...window ledges, curtains, table tops, kitchen even bring the wicker modas to places you can't reach and attempt to scale peaks. And yet, whenever your baba or kaka pick you up above their heads for a whirl, or try to make you sit on their shoulders, you cling to their heads like a baby monkey clutching onto a banana tree with all four limbs! Quite the sight, my baby, quite the sight!

But everything about you is a sight, my jaan! I watch in wonder as you grow from giggle to chuckle to belly-shaking laughter; from anger to wail to full-blown tantrum; from cuteness to sweetness to pure, unadulterated delight!

You take my breath away darling, in many, many ways...and I absolutely know that you always will!

God bless you my jaan! Happy, happy birthday! I love you more than you can imagine...I love you more than I can imagine!

Thank you for being mine,

Friday, October 16, 2009

Of Magic Keer, Murderous Fathers and Libidinous Gods

Mythology has always been a passion of mine and that too from a very young age. Indian, Greek, Roman and Norse. There was a time in my life when I knew the names of all the Gods and Goddesses of these vast and varied pantheons along with their back-stories. That time in my life was when I was nine years old!! (Yup! I can't help but marvel at it myself!!)

Although I still do remember lots, there are big gaps in my memory as far as the Latin, Greek and Nordic myths go. I should go back and refresh my memories...

However, Indian mythology has a strong-hold over me. I've read at least seven different versions of the Mahabharatha -- THE greatest epic EVER written, in my humble opinion -- and I am ready to read seventy more. I never tire of it.
I have over 100 Amar Chitra Kathas and they rank on my list of 'Top Ten Material Possessions'. And yes, I will buy more! Twas a dark day in my young like when Maa-Janoni sold the sixty odd that I had to the raddiwallah! Yes! My own flesh and blood! The woman who gave birth to me! 'Tis a pain worse than a 24-hour toothache!

I can do a separate post on Amar Chitra Kathas and maybe one day I will. this post is about something else...

Growing up gorging on these wondrous myths and legends, my concept of the Gods and Goddesses, Indian values (moral as well as social), the Hindu way of life...they fascinated me...and at times, confounded me...and at other times, scared the holy crap out of me! What fascinating stories! What frightening consequences! What colourful lives!!

How could Krishna have more than 108 wives? Did He Have favourites? If He could, why couldn't mortal men?
And Shiv actually Burnt Kama to a crisp? He nearly Destroyed the Earth with a dance?
So magic kheer could get three queens pregnant, huh? Wow! Sure takes all the fun out of baby-making!
And a magic mantra that could help you summon any God of your desire for a booty call?
And how could one man beget 60,000 sons?
Gods with weaknesses; rishis with black tongues and powerful curses; immaculate conceptions; surrogacy; incest; illegitimacy; nuclear warfare; in-vitro fertilisation...all of it, ALL of it, right there in our myths, legends and epics.

But so many of these stories of our Gods and Goddesses actually played foul with my innocence; toyed around with my sense of morality and right'n'wrong; and just caused me to question, question and question some more. And the questions got tougher and tougher...

How does one justify Ram, 'the perfect man', killing Vali the way He did? And His treatment of Sita?!? (That one still makes my blood boil and it's why I'm not a big fan of the Ramayana.)
Wasn't Ravan a devotee of Shiva and Indrajit a devotee of Durga? So explain puja, worship and devotion to me here... In fact, many of the 'asuras' were devotees of various Gods. So does that mean, after all, that the Gods and Goddesses do indeed Have favourites?
And how on earth could Draupadi tell which son beloged to which Pandava?
The apsaras...celestial nymphs, multi-talented artistes or divine whores?
It just goes on and on...

And today, I saw my son face a similar horror and dilemma.

He was watching 'Bal Ganesha' on TV. Nothing new; he'd seen it a couple of times before. Today though, I think he was really, REALLY paying attention. He actually understood what happened to Ganesha and how he was 'put together' again. He looked at me horrified, "Shib takur killed Ganesha? His OWN son?!?!?!?" and "Why did they kill that baby elephant? That's not fair! You shouldn't kill animals, right naa mamma?" and "Why did they use an animal's head?"

Sigh! I wonder what's going to happen when he discovers what a Shivalinga actually is!!

It took a lot of growing up and a LOT of reading to understand that these stories are pregnant with meaning, allegories and even euphemisms. I've just touched the tip of the ice-berg and I know I have a long way to go before I reach, if I ever do, true and absolute understanding.

My son has started his journey today. He is the religious sort, because that is how he has been taught. I haven't taught him to question yet, but it seems that he's started on his own and I am so glad. I'll be here to guide him as best as I can now, but as he grows older, I hope he looks for the answers himself. While I marvel at those with blind faith, the kind that the MIM has, I prefer to keep my eyes open myself. Maybe it makes me a bit cynical, but it makes my faith that much stronger, hard won and precious.

I hope he finds faith, even if he has to go through a period of doubt and questioning to get there, because ultimately, we all know what a little faith can do. And I'm not just talking about God, here.

The trek through our numerous myths and legends is an adventurous one, an enchanting one as well, and I hope both my boys are eager for it. I know I still am...

And speaking of little children and their questions, here are two funnies I'd like you to chuckle over :
1) A friend of mine was narrating the story of Ganesha to his niece. After the story, she looked at him wordlessly for a few minutes as she digested all that she had just learnt. "So Parvati got upset with Shiva because he walked into the bathroom when she was taking a bath and that's why she made a boy to guard their palace?" My friend answered in the affirmative to which she threw her googly, "Why didn't she just lock the door?"
2) A little child, after hearing about how Kamsa killed Devaki and Vasudev's children because the Heavens had prophesied that their eighth child would be the death of him, asked his mother, rather incredulously, "So why didn't he just keep them in separate cells?"

Children! They come up with some howlers, don't they? They also come up with some real toughies!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Big Sentences and Little Boys

The YO has been fluent in Bangla for a very long time. Even though he started talking 'late' (and here the yardstick is the Niece who is older to him by seven days and against whom we couldn't help but measure his progress since we live together), he can hold his own rather well in a conversation/fight/discussion.

However, that being said, he still manages to stop me in my tracks by the things that he says.

I was having dinner, a light, home-made, chicken biriyani and he asked me what I was eating. Now table manners being of utmost importance to me and my mouth being full, I didn't answer back, so he helpfully asked me leading questions; "Chicken?" he asked and I nodded my head vigourously in the affirmative. I then gulped my food down and asked him, with much hope, "Tumi khaabey?" (Do you want some?)

And my little boy uttered, in the clearest tones and with the most perfect pronunciation ever, the longest sentence of his whole life, "Na! Aami chicken bhaalobaashi naa karon aamaar chicken jhaal laagey." (No. I don't like chicken because I find it too spicy.)

And while I'm not gonna focus on the fact that he doesn't love chicken, (Really YO? Did you not get any of my good genes at all?...there, end of non-focusing), I'm celebrating my son's first ever longer-than-him-sentence, complete with reason and logic! Phew!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Pathetic Kind of Pathos

Remember that mean Bengali teacher of the EO's? It looks like she's gotten under their skin good and proper, because on Saturday, after the Niece's birthday party was pretty much over, the EO was in the midst of a boisterous game with some of our friends' kids who had stayed back for some good, old-fashioned adda.

Now they're being really noisy and loud, and they were all in the thick of the game, when suddenly, the EO detaches himself from the group, sidles up to me and plaintively says, "Mamma, please transform me from Bangla to Hindi."

I would have laughed at the cute swap of words in his sentence had the pathos of his plea not gone straight to my heart instead. I asked him why and he said, "Because Bangla ma'am is so mean and Hindi ma'am is not mean. So please will you transform me to Hindi?"

My darling son! If I had the power to 'transform' you into anything I would have 'transformed' you from a six-year old into a six-month old...

This won't make any sense to you now, but chin up, this too shall pass...and hopefully sooner rather than soon.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Transformers Party: Birthday # 6 for the EO

Yesterday was the Niece's birthday. She turned three. Bless you sweetheart, may you always be the adorable, joyful entertainer and chatterbox that you are now!

Today, is Maa-Janoni's birthday. Happy birthday my Mamma. Having you near me is like having heaven nearby. Thank God for you and may good health and the spiritual happiness that you draw your strength from, always be yours.

I've been having the blahs! lately (duh! as if you haven't noticed!), which is why I haven't posted much in the past two weeks. Even though there have been things to write about, I'm just not getting the motivation to type it all out :(

This blog of mine was started primarily to record significant events and moments in my life as a mom and more so, about my boys. Even if I ever stop writing about all 'the other stuff', I hope to continue this blog of mine as a memoir of my boy's birthdays.

And that's why, 27 days after he turned six years old, I'm writing about my EO's birthday party. For him.

While he's been eagerly looking forward to birthdays for the last three years, this was the first time that he actually stared a countdown for it. So every morning, he'd wake up and say, "You know Mamma, only 'x' more days for my birthday and then how old I will be then? SIX YEARS OLD!!" Man! The little dude just couldn't wait to turn six. I on the other hand was praying desperately for a formula to stop time...

Last year was the big 'Ben 10' birthday party. In this past one year, master Ben Tennyson has turned five years older...something that is possible, I believe, in the wonderful world of TeeVee Land. The taller, ganglier look and the leap in age weren't the only things new about the precocious, alien-transforming, boy-hero. Also new were ten more alien avatars. While I can reel off the names of the earlier ten avatars in less than five seconds, I'm still trying to figure out what's what with the new alien life forms. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the EO wanted a Ben 10 Alien Force birthday party...and I nearly aged five years myself at the thought of procuring return gifts concurrent with the theme.

So I put my foot down and turned my little boy's sunny smile upside down...and hated myself for it. So I promised, unthinkingly and unwittingly, that whatever else he chose, I would definitely do, I would not say "No, can't be done!" Yes, I'm stupid like that. Because the theme he chose was 'The Transformers'. I begged him to go back to alien avatars and teen heroes, but he wouldn't budge.

Yup! Stupid, stupid, stupid! STUPID! That's me! I guess I thoroughly deserved it!

Along with the theme, the EO also chose the place for his party. A really cool video-game parlour plus bowling alley near our place, called 'Sparkz'. We'd been there for a couple of birthdays and the kids always have a blast! The star attraction of the place? The bumper cars!!

And yes, on the 14th of September this year, my EO and his friends had a blast royale! Because the age range is so wide, from less than a year to 15 years, we need to consider games and activities that everyone can enjoy. Now, thanks to the bumper cars and video games, the 5+ age group was well-covered. I needed a couple of things for the younger lot to enjoy. Since the food zone, where all the cake-cutting and eating was scheduled to take place, was nice and big, the MIM and I asked for some extras...such as a tattoo artist, a ball pool and a bouncy castle.

There was 95% turn-out and the kids went wild. The MIM was in-charge of the bumper car section and at one point during the chaos, I actually thought he was going to be trampled underfoot in a mini stampede!

The Grandparents Generation had all turned up, beautifully dressed and smiling indulgently at the noise and general hullabaloo. My parents, the SIL's mom and MIM's parents, three aunts and an uncle made up that generation.

There were thermacol cut-outs of various Transformers all around the party area; four Autobots (the good machino-techno-thingumies) and one Decepticon (the evil ones). And this I have to say -- the cut-outs were mind-blowing! Every year we have theme appropriate, thermacol cut-outs to decorate the party zone and normally made by the party planner. This year, we had to use the Sparkz guy and I am so, SOOOOO glad that we did, because he did a phenomenal job! The Autobots of choice were Optimus Prime (leader and my EO's favourite), Bumblebee, Jazz and Ratchet. The only Decepticon representative was Megatron, the leader. (Yes, I know all this stuff. I know about Hot Wheels and Bakugan and Power Rangers too! I wish I didn't, but I doooo....)

The delicious chocolate cake had the Autobot logo drawn out in icing and the khoi bag was also a tribute to Optimus Prime. The food was catered by Don Giovani, a well-known food joint as well as in-house caterer at Sparkz. On the menu, we had veg pizzas with baby corn, onion and tomato toppings; freshly made dosa with a plethora of chutneys and sambhar; veg chowmein; chicken lollipops, chicken burgers, chips and cold drinks. Everybody ate well and raved about the food. Personally, I loved the chicken lollipops but the burgers could have been better.

And so, another birthday came to an end. The icing on the cake? My EO thanking me and saying that this birthday party of his was not just cool but "super-cool"!

And that's where I get the strength to do it all over again!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

An Early in the Morning WTF Moment

A peeved MIM complaining to me after being given two rounds of vigourous 'Good bye and have/hab a nice/nishe day' hugs: M4, please explain to EO that he needs to be careful! Every morning he throws himself at me and knees me in the groin! He's six years old now, he should understand these things. You need to explain to him. Who's going to teach him these things and make him understand?

Me: Erm, you?!?

So I take it he would have been happy to explain menstruation to the daughter-that-we-don't-have?!?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Of Bijoya Blessings and Wishes

Yesterday was Bijoy Dashami. I'm still waiting for the MIM to return from the bisarjan (immersion). It was a good day...

Every year, without fail, I feel slightly sad on this day.
Sad that the five days that bring us together as a community, are over. We can now go back to forgetting about our neighbour's existence.

Sad that five days of dressing up morning and evening in new clothes, accessorizing and making the effort to look good, are over. From tomorrow I can wear my potato sacks and look all dull, colourless and lack-lustre.

Sad to see the Woman who dwells deep inside my heart and to Whom I constantly turn to with my cribs and rants and raves, Has to Go, Taking all Her Beauty, Grandeur and Splendidness with Her. From tomorrow, I have to go back to talking to the memory of this year's ravishing Images of Her in my head.

But, in all Her Benevolence, She Leaves behind an abundance of blessings. And hope.

For yesterday, after the sindoor khela, I stood there looking at Her Beautiful Face and then came home to find one of Her blessings waiting for me. And I decided to count all my blessings...

  • My EO and YO. They are precious, innocent and beautiful. They are my biggest blessings. I sat back amused and watched the EO fiddle with his hair after coming back home from a friend's house. They had been experimenting with gel and it was the EO's first time. It seemed a blessing to just be able to watch from a distance and then to be called in to share the moment. I watched with even more amusement as the YO followed his dada around, wanting to be like him, with the gel and spiked hair (more like after-bath-uncomed-wet-hair) and everything. Motherhood is full of moments like these and yes, motherhood is a blessing.
  • My MIM. I don't say it enough, but the man adores me. He infuriates me to the point of insanity, true, but yes, he still does love me in huge, big, truck-load amounts. And that is a blessing too.
  • My parents. They are healthy and safe and near me and I can't be grateful enough. Their health is a blessing.
  • My brother. He lives soooo far away and we are hardly in touch. But I know he's on my side, he's my rock and he's still my biggest fan. Siblings are always a blessing.
  • My friends. They are there to prop me up, hold me and love me for who I am. I don't have many, but the ones I have are absolute keepers. Friendship is a blessing.
  • My MIL. She's gentle, kind and sweet. And the best thing of all, is that I can talk to her like a friend. You don't get many in her mould, I can promise you that. She is a blessing.
  • My FIL. A man I have a difficult and very tempestuous relationship with. We fight, we argue; he makes me cry, sulk and brood in my room, but...he's also a huge fan of my work. He's immensely proud of me and boasts to his friends about me whenever he gets the chance. We have our differences, She soooo knows we do!, but sometimes we do get along...famously! And that's a blessing.
  • My blog buddies. I've said this before and I know I'll probably say it again, but the comfort that I get from you all has been like a life-line to me. Your words, your comments, your understanding of my feelings and experiences, have often been a string and steady stream of light in a very dark, dank and musty cave. You are all a blessing.

Shubho Bijoya to you all. May your lives always be full of blessings...blessings that count, blessing that matter and blessings that make you happy. Peace, joy, good health and love be with you and yours.

So what was the blessing that triggered this off? I got my author copy of "Chicken Soup for the Indian Teenager's Soul" yesterday and I just couldn't help but be gobsmacked at the date it chose to arrive. When I tore open the packet, I felt truly, truly blessed.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Out of the Chocolate-smeared Mouth of my Babe

Now before you read any further, you need to remember that I am a chocoholic. A HUGE one, physically and poetically speaking. My inner goddess is a chocoholic and can be satiated with any humble offering. My inner diva is a chocoholic too and for her, only creamy, milky Lindt will do. My inner junkie is also a chocoholic and for her, almond clusters and chocolaty butterscotch bits are what help her channelise her flower power.

So, now that I've explained the different types of chocoholic that make up this me, let us proceed...

Believe it or not, but this morning, I was the absolute picture of will-power and self-control. I'm sitting there with a huge, chunky slice of Double Chocolate Truffle Cake from the MIM's birthday. I'm sitting there and feeding every last bit to my boys and not having a single crumb myself. That's a victory folks. A HUGE one! ;p

Anyways, to put some more fun into the whole business of cake-eating (as if it wasn't fun enough!), I start to sing to my boys as I spoon in each mouthful; "Yummy, yummy, my tummy...It's so funny! Good!" -- to the tune of ABBA's "Money, money, money." (Yeah, I'm lame like that, but at least my boys think I'm a hoot!)

The YO is really kicked with this song, so he starts his Noddy head-dance and singing to his own made-up tune, "Yaammee, yaamee, yaamee, in taamee, taamee...faanee, faanee."

And he's looking so cute and scrumptious and adorable, with those twinkling, impish eyes, that chocolaty smile and with that head moving crazily and dizzily, that I just put my face in front of his and said, "Yummy, yummy, yummy! Yes! You are my yummy, my delicious, my sweetie-peety-pie!"

He cocks his head to one said, looks at me and says, "Aami cake?" (Am I cake?)
I laugh and say, "Yes, my sweetheart! You are my cake!"
He laughs back and sings, "Aar tumi chocolate!" (And you are chocolate!)

Awwwww! He called me chocolate! That's like a direct, one-way ticket straight to the core of my heart!

My cup of cocoa overfloweth!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Main Kya Karoo Yaah...

Happy birthday, MIM, you old man you!

And your double-chin notwithstanding, you've still got one helluva sexy glint in your eyes...or is that your eyesight failing you?

Sigh...the perils of old age; when massages that were once part of a romantic seduction scheme are now a means to soothe aching bones and joints.

Hugs and kisses baby!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sometimes, when you're down and out...

...the magic mix of music, chocolate and a chick-flick is all it takes to get the cool breeze to tickle your eye-lashes again.

My week-end recommendations:
Music --
1) ABBA (Thank You for the Music, Slipping Through My Fingers, I Have a Dream)
2) Bryan Adams (Cloud No. 9, Heaven, Summer of '69, Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?)
3) Bob Marley (Buffalo Soldier, Is This Love)
...all played on a really high volume.

Chick-Flick --
1) Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
2) Confessions of a Shopaholic

Chocolate --
1) What? Are you kidding me? ANY!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Poetry; Out of the Mouths of my Babes

So the EO is sitting next to me patiently as I am arm -deep in a pile of Transformers (the spoils of the birthday), trying to assemble them and keep my cool at the same time. The procedure is delicate, complex and nerve-wracking, which explains why I feel like a neuro-surgeon operating on the spinal cord of a neonate.

My EO, overwhelmed, suddenly exclaims, "Mamma, I love you like December!"

My jaws dropped and I was stupefied! My son was waxing eloquent! My son was being poetic! Yes, I was truly stupefied. ANd stupid.

Instead of enjoying the sheer spontaneity and beauty of the line, I asked him to explain what he meant. So he sweetly and innocently tried to make his dense, poetry-less Mamma understand.

EO: What is the first month of the year?
Stupid Woman, a.k.a. M4: January.
EO: And the last?
M4: December.
EO: So I love you like that. Like from January to December.

I actually though he meant, December because of the holidays, the Christmas parties, the snuggles, Santa Claus and every fun thing that the month stands for.

I loved his explanation just fine. :D
And then there's my little YO.

It's Wednesday evening. Big brother has gone to karate class, so the YO has his Mamma all to himself. They're playing and laughing and tickling when suddenly the YO stops and looks deep into his Mamma's eyes. Something 's caught his attention and he's fascinated.

The following is their conversation, and if this is not poetry, then what is?

YO: Mamma, tomaar eye-jhey 'YO' baby. (Mamma, you've got 'YO' baby in your eyes).
M4, smiling to herself: Heinh, baby. (Yes, my baby).
YO, coming closer to get a better look: Oi to, 'YO' baby. (There he is, 'YO' baby).
M4: Heinh, my baby.
YO: Tumi dekho. (You look).
M4: Aami dekhtey paarchhi to. (But I can see you).
YO: Naa, tumi dekho. (No, you look).
M4, goes all cross-eyed: Ei je, dekhchhi aamaar 'YO' baby ke. (There, I can see my 'YO' baby).
YO, satisfied: Tumi dekhchho? (screws up his face into an adorable epression) Eibaar aami dekhchhi, aamaar eye-jhey Mamma achhey. (You can see? Now I am looking at the Mamma in my eyes).

So many expressions ran through my head at the end of this conversation -- the eyes are the window to one's soul... the apple of one's eye... the eyes have it...

All I know is that this apple of my eye is an intrinsic part of my soul, and at this perfect moment in time, in his own, perfect, child-like way, he expressed the same sentiment about me.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy 6th Birthday, EO!!

My darling son,

Do you know what I’ll be doing right after I type this letter and press the ’publish’ button on BlogSpot? I’ll be cuddling up right next to you, keeping my promise to you.

You see, sometime in the afternoon, barely 12 hours ago, we were relaxing in your Dida’s house. We were talking about somebody’s, ahem-ahem, sixth birthday and that’s when you turned to me and said, “And for night-time mamma, please will you sleep in my bed?”

Oh my baby, how could I not?

How could I not want to look into your handsome, peaceful face as you dreamed dreams of the Divine and had your conversations with God?

How could I not want to peer at your sleeping form and gaze in wonder at this body that had become more than half my height, yet once lived inside of me, no bigger than a grape?

How could I not want to be squeezed awake by the tightest, happiest, warmest bear-hug ever given to me on the first day of your sixth year?

Happy sixth birthday my son, my boy, my pride and joy.

What a year it’s been for you.

I’ve seen you change schools for the third time in your young life and as before, you took my breath away. You didn’t throw tantrums. You adjusted on the first day itself. You made friends and found things to love about your school right from day one. Your new school has been more of an adjustment issue for me, than for you. You just embraced the change, recognised it as a part of your life from now onwards and soldiered on. You’re quite the little trooper and it never ceases to amaze me. Of course, you’d still be happier if there was no homework and if assessments didn’t exist, but then, so would I!

You started cricket class this year and you LOVE it! You look forward to it with glee and even though you need to take a million steps before you become a Sourav Ganguly, I am enjoying watching you enjoy yourself. Karate continues and you are an orange belt. I wish you had the same enthusiasm for it as you do for cricket, but at least you don't hate it. You go for it, because...well, because I make you, quite truthfully. Let's see, next year might see some changes in your co-curricular life.

You love travelling. At the beginning of this year, we took a family vacation to the Andamans. You are such a water baby, just like me! And you take delight in anything new and show your joy and enthusiasm with the pure, unbridled joy of a child that is so healing and soul-satisfying to watch. I’ll never forget your excitement on the glass-bottomed boat as we saw all those schools of rainbow fish, starfish and corals. And while on the subject of vacations, you went for your first international holiday. Although the trip was cut short due to a family emergency, we certainly made some happy memories which I shall cherish for a lifetime. How sweetly you chatted with your friend on the entire flight from Kolkata to Bangkok. How excited you were when you saw the hotel where we were staying. How thrilled you were when you saw that heavenly bathtub in the master bed-room. How deliriously happy you were when you saw the kids’ activity and playroom. How mesmerised you were by the show at Phuket Fantasea.

I’ve been reading to you almost ever since you were born in an effort to inculcate a love for books. Well, you certainly do love stories...and how! You’re ever ready for story-time, you love making up stories of your own, you follow the plots and dialogues of new movies with wide-eyed interest and always ask me the most astonishing and in-depth questions. It actually fills my heart with an unnameable pride to see you take a story book and pore over it, taking in each and every detail. I love how you take the story outside it’s life-span of those few pages and give the characters a new lease of life in your fantasy world, making up new adventures for them to face, new people for them to meet. What a lovely world you create, my son.

I also saw you try and desperately fit into the Age of Boyhood this year, shedding the last remnants of Toddlerdom behind. I saw you try and struggle with your emotions and try to keep them under check. I saw you fight tears and put on a brave face. I saw you stand at the fringes of games wanting very much to be a part of it all, but too hurt by unkind words and actions to swallow your pride and give in.

But there’s one area, where you haven’t been successful in becoming that Big Boy that you are so ready and anxious to be. And that is in the area of hugs, cuddles and ‘ador’. You love being the baby then and aren’t afraid to show it. Mamma’s lap is still the best place to read a book or watch TV from. Mamma’s arms are still the heavenliest place for a sound sleep. Baba’s tight embraces are still assurances that you are his ‘hirer tukro’. His bear hugs remind you that nowhere else in this world will you feel safer and more cocooned.

Oh my gentle son with eyes that say everything his heart wants to but can’t, do you have even the slightest idea what you’ve done to me? You’ve turned me into a mom. You’ve helped me become the best version of myself that I can possibly be. You are one of my greatest teachers. You are one of my greatest partners in fun. You are one of my life’s purest forms of bliss, love and joy. You are also my greatest prayer to God; for each time I see those eyes sparkle with the brightness of the North Star and that bone-melting smile, accompanied by that giggle that plays on my heart-strings, stretch across your beloved face, I can't thank God enough for giving you to me.

And I’m so grateful you’re mine.

Happy birthday, my EO. I want you to know that you’re smart, funny, caring and sensitive, and you are so full of surprises. Continue being just the way you are. And one day, in the not too distant future, you’ll turn into a gem of a man.

But for now, you are a gem of a boy.

And I’m so grateful that you’re my precious, priceless gem.

With eternal love and blessings,
Your Mamma

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

And a Crappy Teacher's Day to You, B****

Saturday, September 5th, was Teacher's Day. The EO's school celebrated it on the 3rd, Thursday and as a gift to the children of KG and Class 1, declared Friday a holiday for them.

Thursday, I was also called into school by the EO's Bangla teacher. The meeting was not a happy one. Let's just say that she has "been in the teaching line for 28 years!!!", which probably entitles her to be cold and scary. It's also why she probably has that huge boulder on her shoulder about being right and therefore closed to the possibilities of logic and systematic approach to teaching. She spoke to me and two other moms and we realised that it was absolutely futile to say anything. She paces herself against the above-average students and doesn't really give a tiny rodent's behind about the weak ones! She then gave her assessments for each of our sons. She said my son's handwriting is pathetic...I agreed. She said he's always chatting thus never finishing his work on which I added he's easily distracted as well as slow. She said he needed to work which I nodded my head since I was biting down on my tongue to not say what I really felt.

Two hours later, I got a call from school, informing me that the EO had a high fever. Went and picked my flushed son up and the poor boy missed out on the celebrations.

Over the weekend, I sat down with him and we made a lovely card for his teacher. The MIM told us to make one for the Bangla teacher as well. I knew it would be an exercise in futility, having met her and been charmed (NOT!) by her personality. But the MIM was insistent and so, more for his sake than anyone else's, I agreed. And so, we made another card and I even made the EO sign his name in Bangla.

So what happens when my son gives the cards to his teachers? The class teacher smilingly accepts and says, "Thank you baby!"

The vernacular lady says, "Teacher's Day tho shesh. ( over)", and then she gives it back. SHE GIVES IT BACK, PEOPLE!!!!

Where does she get off crushing a little boy's feelings like that? Where do these people get their degrees from? How can they even be allowed near little children? Send them to look after the inmates of a correctional institute instead!

I felt so terrible for my sensitive little boy, the one who gets easily hurt and crushed, and I shuddered to think what her cruel gesture must have done to his precious, loving heart. But when I looked down at his face, he was smiling and the sun was radiating in his beautiful face and I realised that that was not the end of it. "So what did you do?"

He shrugged, smiled and simply said, "I told her, 'Kintu aami tho kichhu diye ni'* and I put it back in her hand and sat down." *(But I didn't give you anything)

Bravo EO!! Well done! I would have expected you to burst into tears, because's your way. But hopefully, not anymore. You really are growing up, aren't you? May you always have the strength, attitude and personality to deal with unpleasant people and situations in this calm, smiley, sunshine-y, graceful way. This is my wish for you, my soon to be six-year-old.

Oh, and MIM? What does this incident teach you?!?! That Mamma's always, ALWAYS right!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Santoor Moment

I went for a superfantabulous Rabindra nritya-natya (Tagorean dance-drama) today. A friend of mine, rather well-known in Kolkata, was one of the PR agents and he organised the passes for Maa-Janoni and me.

Now my mom is a very open, warm, gregarious and friendly person. She attracts friends like I attract cellulite. She can talk to anyone and everyone and people tend to open up to her very easily. I am so the opposite of her that growing up I got and still do get, very often, "I can't believe you're her daughter!" Yup, shy, reserved, timid wallflower -- that's me. But then, I'm also Daddy's girl.

But I digress.

So, we're sitting in the auditorium. My Ma-Janoni in the meanwhile has managed to get chatty with her neighbour. My friend has just made a speech in perfect Bengali followed by excellent English. The two women start singing his praises and Ma-Janoni tells the woman that he's a friend of mine. Woman looks over at me, takes in my appearance from over the top of her spectacles, and then smiles.

Woman: Tomaar bondhu? (Your friend?)
Me: Hein. (Yes.)
Woman: Bhishon talented chheley. (Very talented young man.)
Me: Hein. (Yes.)
Woman: Khub bhaalo gaan korey. (He sings very well.)
Me: *Nods and makes a note to make him sing the next opportunity she gets*
Woman: Toh, kono future-ttuchure kichchu achchey? (Toh koi future-wuture ka chakkar hai?-- the 'with him' is implied.)
Me: *Totally albeit pleasantly zapped!!* Ki?!? Aamaar? Aamaar biyey hoyey gechchey aar duto chcheeley achchey. (What?!? Me? [the 'and him' is implied] I'm married with two sons!)
Woman: *Totally zapped and open-mouthed*

Hehehe! God bless oily skin! I cribbed throughout my adolescence, but it sure is coming to good use now!
(Aur bure nazar waale and jealous cats, tere chehere pe 100 pimples!!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Of Animal Stories and Lessons Learnt

A few weeks ago, eight wild Brazilian Marmoset monkeys were stolen from the Alipore Zoo. The good news is that they were rescued. The bad news is that the monkey-napper who had been nabbed by the police, did a Houdini. Not that it would require one to know expert escape tricks when your captor is SLEEPING!! Tcha! Shame! But then again, meh! What else is new? What's new is, that he was caught again!! Bravo!

Well, given the EO's love for stories, especially stories that have the familiar and comforting features of action, good guys, bad guys, an encounter, a comic twist, some animals and finally justice and a happy ending, I thought this would be a great story to tell him. So my parents and I told him what happened and he listened, wide-eyed and fascinated.

His questions ran thus:
1) Were they baby monkeys?
2) Were they brothers and sisters?
3) But what was their mamma doing when the bad mans came to stole them?
4) [directed at me] Aah! I know! I think so she was sleeping like sometimes how you are still sleeping when I am awaked, right naa?

When qtn nos. 1-3 happened, my heart melted with love. Such tender, little-boy concerns. Such a strong belief that Mamma, all Mammas, will save her young from all harm. You can't put one past the universal Mamma because she is the ultimate protector, the shield, the forcefield, the safe haven. I started wondering whether I did the right thing in telling him this story and whether I should have gone in for heavy-duty censoring with regards to this particular tale.

And then of course qtn. 4 happened and I felt guilty.

There was a time when the EO would sleep in between the MIM and me.
Then his brother came into the world, got a cot and therefore the EO got his own bed.
So, instead of waking up between us, he would come snuggle in between us after having woken up in his own bed in his own room.
Of course, it never remained at snuggling. It also involved sitting on our chests, blowing raspberries on our tummies and planting wet, slobbery kisses on our faces. Not to mention singing into our ears.
While we loved it, the MIM and I are night-owls and go to sleep very late at night. I can still manage on a few hours of sleep, but the MIM can't. So, as soon as the EO would come into the bed and immediately after the first few cuddles, I'd carry him out, back into his room and lie down next to him on his bed and have the YO brought next to me too.
Then, what with school timings and getting up early in the morning and all that jazz, I started getting up earlier than him, so I'd go and lie down next to him and cuddle-and-tickle-and kiss him awake.
School timings have changed once again. Both my boys wake up at the same time. So I've asked my ayah to make them play with each other until I come out.

But he misses it. My very-very-VERY-soon-to-be-six-year-old son still misses sleeping with his Mamma. Once upon a time, the requests to sleep in our bed or at least have me in theirs would start non-stop from the moment the sun would set. Then it went down to a few times through the entire course of the night-time rituals. Then it became a single, solitary pleading. And now, it's gone down to every other night.

I thought maybe my son finally is becoming a big boy and then he goes and says something like "because she was sleeping". That's when I realised that the little-boy in him keeps quiet because the big-boy that he is struggling to become is trying to put on a brave face and adopt an air of maturity.

I should be grateful that my EO still wants me around. That most often, his moments of bliss are just of him sitting next to me and chattering non-stop even as I'm working on the comp and grunting in response.

It's all changing though. He loves being with his friends, hates coming home when he's having a good time with them, goes off happily to do fun things without me, has a world of his own which I know about but am an not a part of. At times I feel intensely proud to see him blossom into his own person and wear that streak of independence about him so casually, so non-chalantly. And at times, it hurts real bad when he'd rather be with his cousin or his friends than me. It hurts. Real. Bad.

But here's the thing.

And the thing is, he still wants to wake up and snuggle his head under my chin, breathe in my particular brand of Mommy-Love and sigh to himself that all is right with his little world.

I'm setting my alarm clock for an hour earlier in the mornings so that I can sneak into their room and lie down in between them until they wake up, Mondays to Fridays. I'm doing this for them. More so for the boy who will be celebrating his sixth birthday this month, but still believes in Santa Claus and in the myth that his Mamma is perfect.

But I'm doing this most of all for me.

Don't all animal stories come with a moral? Whoever though that this particular story would have a lesson for me.

Well, lesson learnt. Lesson learnt.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Uncle Sam and the EO

There are times when I think the EO is an American by osmosis. He's picked up quite a few Americanisms thanks to his beloved Mamu. Phrases like "Aww! Man!!", "Are you kidding me?", "Aww! Come on!!" and "Cool!" flow fast and furious from his lips. He can also happily set up camp in McDonald's and Pizza Hut.

So while we were away on Saturday, my parents decided to indulge their grandsons and took them out for a Happy Meal, which by the way is so aptly named. I mean, find me another meal or dish that so perfectly describes the state of being that you will be transported to upon consumption. 'Amrit' and 'ambrosia'? Don't think so. While 'Amrit' has a nice, village-belle from Punjab ring to it, 'Ambrosia' sounds like what you would name a porn star's boob.

Anyways. So on Saturday. thanks to doting grandparents, state of happiness was achieved.

Sunday, the MIM and I are driving back home with a car full of excited, jump, yelling-with-all-their-lung-power boys (our two brats, the Nephew and S1) when we drive past one of Calcutta's most famous landmarks/heritage sites/tourist attractions.

The EO, eager to show off his knowledge, jumps up and down on his seat, points out said famous-landmark and shouts, "Look! Look! Victorrrria McMorial!"

Looks like Ronald McDonald has gotten a good grip on my son. It'll be a steady diet of shukto-shaak-maachcher-jhol-bhaat and Rabindrasangeet for my boy for some time now.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Shantiniketan and Party Time

So the MIM and I went to Shantiniketan. Suddenly. An impromptu but much needed trip. I won't say much about why we went, except for the fact that a project very close to our hearts required immediate attention. We were supposed to go two weeks ago, but what with the boys being ill, that obviously didn't happen.

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 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

English and the YO

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

If Only My Heart Were A Camcorder...

...and my memory an 'unerasable' video cassette. But no, my mind is pretty much like a sieve, where even the most precious of images manage to slip through.

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.

The EO
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.

The YO
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?