Friday, June 29, 2007

Tie the knot ...........

........around your neck that is !

I am just back from a few hours of shopping with my friend and her 5-year old son. Among other things , we discussed weddings and our own marriages . And we're doing fine , thank you very much .

And we spoke about some of our friends and acquaintances who've not yet tied the knot or are untying the knot. And I was not shocked or surprised. And she was offended that I chose not to react with symapthy ( or actually not react at all ) . I mean I am all for weddings and marriages , but if two people have decided that it's not working , what's there to sympathize about . I like nice endings but there is no endings is there ? It's an ongoing process .

Leks , Vim and D are gorgeous women - all have fantastic jobs and travel a lot . All are in their mid-thirties and unmarried. And I almost feel guilty going to meet their mums ( in fact , I haven't the last two times because it's excruciating ). They will gush " Oh ! look , you have a baby. And my daughter is not even married . What kind of friend are you ?" The kind that minds her own business and does not try and setup her friends because frankly, I really haven't found anyone worth their while. ( Oops, once I thought of setting up my boss with one of them - but he married a much younger woman - damn !). In my heart , I do hope they find the man of their dreams soon enough . But not because I feel their lives are incomplete . Because I truly want them to know what love is . To share their lives with someone they care about . And because I don't want their lives to be like this.

Dips is a smart girl - educated, social and amazingly entrepreneurial at such a young age. She was married at 24 to a software engineer in the US ( where else !) . Within a year, she had an abortion at the behest of her husband saying the timing was not good . And when her in-laws found out, they had the marriage annulled because they feared she wouldn't conceive ever again. So she returned and smart that she is , she went on with her business and work. But social pressures got the better of her and her parents found another alliance for her. They got married under the condition that neither was to ask about the past. I didn't like it - I would rather they put the cards on the table and take it from there. In a few months , she found not only was he schizophrenic. And gem that she is , she told him she'd stand by him if he agreed to go for counselling and treatments . He refused saying he was not sick. And then he was gay !! And she was shocked - while she hadn't expected a trouble-free marriage, this was the last thing. And she pleaded with her mother " Amma, I am here in a strange house with a complete stranger and I am not welcome. Please say it's ok if I am not married . Can I just come back home and be your daughter ?"

And that's why , I am not in favour of people getting married just because it's time to do so ? Or just because Jagada maami across the street quizzed your mom why you were still at home unmarried ? She might as well tie a knot around her daughter's head and hang her. Because this is certainly not what she wanted for the baby girl she gave birth to . Just because she wants acceptance from society and doesn't care what her child goes through.

Dips is happy , at home in her mom's safe arms and that's the way it should be .

Friday, June 22, 2007

Speak the fcuk up !!!

What is it with women nowadays ? You have an education, you can go into space ,you can manage a team of 20 but but ....... you can't speak up against the damn eve teaser brushing against you . I witnessed the most annoying thing yesterday. Two women on a two-wheeler , obviously well educated and modern,are at a signal. Two more men , educated and modern bozzos for all appearances ,arrive on the scene. They laugh raucously and inch their bike inches away from the women. And one of them leans over and touches and I mean , touches one of the girls. She looks at him and cowers and leans away. And I am like WTF ?!!!

What is it , people , I ask ? What makes a woman take this kind of non-sense ? For what it's worth, I drove my car inches away from the bozzos bike and ran over his toes - yeah put me in jail if you like ( I am like that , I carry only pointed umbrellas in Mumbai locals , no foldable innocuous umbrellas for me , thank you ). And sent him scuttling away. But I see this reaction in women all the time.

Starting with my mum. My dad was in the Air Force and my mom decided we needed a stable life to get through out Std 10th and 12th - so mom and two of us sisters moved to Pune while dad was posted in Allahabad. Now my mom is educated , has an M.Sc in Mathematics and teaches in school. But she is also the most gullible and naive of all women I have met. So one day , one guy on the pretext of advertising a newspaper subscription came home and after the spiel , took our number and left. A few days later, we started getting crank calls with the usual heavy breathing and innuendo talk. My mom would jump at the sound of the phone ring and pick up the receiver and wouldn't let us pick any calls lest we hear the crap. But one day , she burst into tears and I knew something was wrong. So the next time the phone rang, I swatted her hand and took the call and heard the loser at the other end. And my mother weeped ," I don't want to be alone like this. Appa should be here". And my blood was boiling - "Why the hell can't we deal with this ?" and I was in the 11th std at that time. So I called what is now BSNL and asked them how we can deal with the crank call and if we can trace this call. The lady said no but I suggest you tell the perpretator next time he calls , that he's being traced. And I did just that . I said ," Keep talking , Mr Newspaper agency. I am having your call traced. Another 10 seconds , and I will have your number, you asshole". That's the last time we heard from him. Simple, no rocket science.

And I have hope when I see something like this. Walking down MG Road in Bangalore, bunch of loser college boys decided to brush against a couple of hip hipster clad women . But they were having none of it . One of the girls gave the brusher a nice one in the pants with her knee - yeah right there ! Ouch !!! The rest of the boys just stood there gaping like fish. Of course , it helped that other female shoppers of all sizes and shapes , aunties,munnis,pinkies,college girls showered the guy with handbags, umbrellas, sandals ( platforms , I must add !) and one project manager managed to kick him in the stomach for all the atrocities any man had ever done . For my mom, for the girls at the signal, for the BPO girl who was raped and killed , for heaven's sake - speak up !!!! Don't just stand there when you see something happening , do something , say something . For it is our modesty and sheer lack of guts that the losers count on.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Playschool begins

Bubbles started on June 11. Bubble's papa and I took him to school and I drove the car since it would be me dropping him off and then going to office. He looked darn cute in his new red helicopter T-shirt and shorts and his "Cars" bag. Upon reaching the school , he bounded out of the car and went running in. We had to drag him back to get his shoes off as is the norm in the school. He looked a little suspicious of going into the playschool but they had set a nice lil slide in the courtyard and they had a fan and clock right there on the wall - yes, those three are his favorite things besides cars and wheels.

The door of the playschool closed and my baby was gone - into the depths of play , learning , socializing and whatever . I kept my eyes peeled every time the door opened slightly to take in a unwilling toddler or eject a fussy newcomer.But no sign of the imp. So finally I begged to be let in to see what he was doing. I couldn't find him anywhere on the ground floor where all the newcomers are bawling their lungs out in a closed room full of colorful, bright , hitherto ignored toys. My heart stopped beating for a second as I thought the worst. So I begged ( again !) to be let upstairs where the more settled toddlers were "moved up" . I peeped in , saw him sitting at a desk surrounded by some similar sized imps. Walked away knowing he was fine. And was called back the next instant - seems he saw me and that did it ! He started bawling - stupid me - now why would I rock the boat ?

Day two - enthusiastic drive to school, no parents allowed in ( the teacher told me yesterday one parent forced her way upstairs and made her baby upset . What an idiot ! How dumb could she be ?Yeah , tell me about it ... and I will wipe that grin off your face) . The ayah took him in to the learning room - closed room with AC. My baby howled , howled till he threw up. Poor baby ! Am I sending you too early to playschool ? But you seem to love going there nonetheless

Day 3 - I showed him the AC and fan in the playschool and he went in willingly. The last I saw he was bawling at the play-yard with the teacher and ayah trying to focus him on the slide , beach toys and other kids. My MIL is at the playschool to keep an eye on him and I drove to work - I do hope he settles. Later , she called me to say he was OK today - napped a little at school .

Here's to you , baby ! you seem to be settling better than some of the older kids .

Some points I want to make for mothers sending their babies to playschool first time :-

1) Get a bag , snack box and water bottle much before they start school and get them familiar with all of it.
2) Take them bag and all to the playschool ( when it's not functioning ) just to get them familiar with the routine minus all the chaos of thousand bawling babies.
3)Let them watch a Barney goes to school or one of those starting school CDs
4) Know your school routine and try to get your child familiar with story time, snack time etc.
5) Never ever barge into your child's class in the attempt to quell your fears . Ask the teacher to do it for you ( sheepish grin !)
6) Remember to let them handle your child - he needs to get familiar with strange surroundings and people. I had this bright idea that they should enter notes in my not-yet-speaking toddler's notepad about daily happenings . I had this brighter idea that they should blow bubbles in the play-yard . All kids like bubbles. But I have kept it to myself . After all , they are the one who've done this for much longer. But of course, it's not stopping me from telling them what to show my son to distract him or how to console him when he's upset.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Paradoxically yours

I am a hypochondriac ( I love looking up medical stuff ) but I hate going to the doctor ( and hate their guts when they roll their eyes and say "internet ?! ")

I loved the convenience of formula and cerelac but am always looking for ways to sneak veggies and fruits into my son's diet (he hates fruits and that is so not-me !)

I believe in god but hate going to temples and places of worship unless someone leans heavily onto me

I am a rational person but let my friend read my palm and he predicted I would know true love and have problems with childbirth ( and how ! ) . I have lost touch with Jamshed but wherever you are , Amen ! He also said I have a tendency for insanity - scary ! and humbling !!!

I diss all ritualistic forms of religiosity but I did a prayer at Nandalala temple when I was dealing with infertility ( and I cried buckets !!!). And I said a prayer 52 times , daily from that day until the 4th month of my pregnancy.

I insisted on the doctor doing an IUI even though she wanted just one more Clomid cycle. She knew I was doing the prayers and she didn't want to interfere ! ( Now she is a paradox , isn't she ?)

I hate jewellery but my son runs around in ( hold your breath ) earrings, bangles,payals,necklace and did I mention a arnakayaru ( yeah , you guessed it - I live with the ILs ). And don't worry, not any more - he's two years old and starts playschool so on the pretext of security, he's rid of all that.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Bubbles starts school

Bubbles starts playschool on Monday. I get a tight knot in my throat as I say this becasue I feel partly happy, partly sad. Happy because the apple of my eyes has come a long way and this is his stepping stone to his future. Sad because my baby is no longer a baby - he's a toddler. A few days ago , I left him at the sand pit with the other kids and said " I am going to go and sit by the pool". The imp waved to me said "Ta-ta" , gave me a flying kiss and returned to building castles in the sand. I don't think he's going to feel separation anxiety - I am totally another story.

He's got a bag, new clothes, straw sippy and I am going to buy him a snack box with cars on it. I am planning to add a notepad to his bag and ask his teacher to write a few words everyday. You see, he's not totally talking yet . So I don't want to feel left out from his playschool hours since he can't tell me about it YET . And how will they know his name -should I pin a ID card with his name on it ? And he's not fully potty trained - he'll poop only in the pot but he doesn't tell us when he needs to pee. Shall I tell the teacher he needs to be taken to the toilet once an hour or so ? How about snack time - will someone keep an eye on him ? What if he chokes on the biscuit ? Shall I break the biscuits into pieces ? or better yet - send it soaked in juice or milk ?

OK , I will stop now as I am displaying signs of paranoia .

Best of luck , Bubbles. I know you will love the kids , the games and the teachers . I hope you have a good first day at school.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Anjali's Prateeksha

Anjali made it - she had a baby girl this morning at 3 AM . I have tears rolling down my cheeks as I write this. I am not going to try to phrase this right or do a spellcheck or check the grammar on this post coz I am just speaking my heart out.

She's been through treatments for 14 years . 10 IUIs and 2 IVFs later - she got pregnant. She's had a hard time throughout the pregnancy . Every time she bled a little, her heart, head everything was a mess . She thought the worst of it . But she made it . Heres' wishing her ( and her husband and family ) a happy happy life ahead with her baby miracle. I know she will make a good mother - patient and calm because of all the heartbreak and trouble she went through to become a mommy.

Anjali, I don't know you . You don't know me. I heard of you and about your struggles when I myself was going through all this . But I feel I know you because of the struggles that bind us . So here's wishing you a great life ahead and no looking back. Kudos to your bundle of joy - she's the most precious baby on earth today - for a family that waited 14 years, 10 IUI and 2 IVF for her . I don't know what you are going to call her but to me , she'll always be "Prateeksha" - a magic waiting to happen .

Anjali named her Anaya .

Perfect name for an answer to a zillion prayers of a family.

Monday, June 4, 2007

the o-ah

This is my son on the o-ah ( bubblespeak for sofa ) .

he eats there
he plays there
he reads there
he brushes his teeth there

Now if someone can recommend a mommy gadget that can attach a potty and tub to the sofa, we're all set - everything we need in one piece of furniture. Man, is this one couch potato or what ?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Bubbles-speak !!

Guess what they mean !

Laballa ( used to say Umbella --- regressing ... maybe !)
Thub ( now called Dabbah )