Thursday, September 25, 2008

No words

1999.Married. New Job.Friends. Challenges. Juggle work and home. Bored. Farewell.Tidel Park.Work Hard. Team. Laughter.Tears.Anger. Promotion. Merger.New faces.Boss.Manager.More power.Miscarriage.Discrimination.Fight Back.Kick Ass.Bag a project.Palo Alto.More teamwork.Laughter.Tears.Goodbyes.Pregnant.Maternity Leave.Bubbles.Another merger.Another boss.Promotions.Territory.End of project.Bored.Pulling Along.Offers.re-evaluation.introspection.Take the plunge.Fight back tears.No more words.

Tuesday is going to be very difficult.I feel like I am leaving my nine-year old baby in an orphanage.Yesterday we went out for a team lunch and we joked and ribbed as usual.Came back to office and we gathered in my office for a team meeting and farewell gifts. All the 15 of us were silent - deathly silent until one of them said " She's not dead you know. Just leaving us". And at least 4 of us burst into tears. So much for a dignified exit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rock on and on !

Just for the record, I saw Rock On.

Farhan Akhtar is cool !

But Arjun Rampal is drool-icious !!! And smoking hot.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Awards and Plans





ok, this is my first blog award. Thanks Art.

Pardon me while I do the happy jig !

BTW, I make her laugh. And bubbles said to me "amma, I laav you. You are punny". I must be !!!


And I now pass on this award to the people whose blogs I haunt.

The Mad Momma - Because she is frank, straight from the heart and I am in love with the brat and the bean ;-)

Itchy - Because I love the way she logically arranges her thoughts and I love the factual fiction and Tiny thoughts series. In fact I even wrote one in her comments section right on Itchy's blog

Kiran - She articulates Krish's pranks, witticisms and her own ups and downs with parenthood beautifully.

ok , speech done. I am truly kicked about this. Art, you have no idea how I sulked that I was never awarded. Yeah yeah , I am like that !


------------------------------------

Now for breaking news . I have finally quit the job I held for 9 years. I plan to take a break for 2 months and then decide what to do . At this point, I am thrilled that I will be spending the next 2 months at home and spending all my time with Bubbles. It's a well deserved break after 12 years of slogging my butt ( errr digits ) off !!! My butt still needs some working so hopefully I will do that in the following months.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Waiting for Banno

Banno was supposed to come home on Friday . But thanks to Friday and Monday being declared holidays, she will come home only tomorrow.

In the meantime, I sold kutti yannai. He knew I was trying to lose him and had started acting up lately. The day they came to take him, his battery coughed out and he had to be pushed to get started. Sigh ! I hated to see him go and Bubbles said " don't want red car, wanted only gray car".

Meanwhile as I wait for Banno, I have started taking the MRTS to work. And I just realized all the fun I have missed sitting cooped in the confines of an AC car. And of course, the nostalgia of train rides in Mumbai ( I know some may think I am nuts for this very same reason ).

Nothing beats the thrill of the wind in your face and watching people go by. Buying roses from a lady with a baby slung on her back. Recognizing the teller from the bank and making her acquaintance. Giving up a seat to a pregnant woman and asking her when she's due. 20 minutes of zipping fresh air, fresh faces, sounds, laughter, introspection versus 45 minutes of mindless traffic, RJ's making trite conversation and the same old boring music. Not to mention actually walking and losing some calories. I must thank the dealer for delaying the new car !!! I may not need her after all.

Say Hello to Banno !

Goodbye Kutti Yannai




Say Helllloooo to Banno




images from the Hyundai Website

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Not by the hairs on my Chinny chin chin

Bubbles( to amma ): Chubby Cheeks, ( eyeing chin critically ) Double Chin !!!

Time to hit the gym methinks

Bubbles : ( Eyeing the growth on the upper lip ) Nool podanum ( have to put thread )

Time to hit the parlour too , methinks.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ode to the drivers

Long years ago , I rode a Kinetic Honda. My days in college were spent zipping around in twos or threes around Pune ( yes, we didn't attend too many lectures !). Close friendships ( and potential husband ) were made on those wonderful drives .

So when it finally came down to buying a car , I was quite keen on mastering the art of driving a car. So I took the classes and got the license. And the car was bought. A driver, Raman was appointed to "assist and augment" my driving skills which he did by saying "madam, gear change pannanga.", " ippo brake podanga" while I seethed helplessly beside him. Then one day he took over the driving seat after telling my family that maybe madam was not quite upto it and promptly put a nice long scratch on the car in an encounter with an MTC bus. I rejoiced and promptly fired him.

And started driving myself around and my , what a blast I had ! I love the independence and the wind in my face , not so much the parking nightmares.

Then came the happy news that I was expecting. The family collectively plotted against me and reinstated Raman. I sheepishly accepted his services and spent 7 blissful months snoring in the backseat on the drives to/fro office , waking up only when Raman coughed politely at the destination. What bliss , except for the times I had to wait for him to turn up.

I have had a long line of drivers since then and seem to be jinxed . Read on :

1) Raman once decided the best way to negotiate Kotturpuram bridge is to follow the VIP motorcade for whom the roads had been cleared up. We were promptly stopped by the cops and questioned.

2) Vignesh once overtake an old man on a scooter , missing by a hair's width and smirked in the mirror. Only to have the old man take off after us onto Adyar bridge , force us to stop and manhandle Vignesh. Did I tell you Vignesh was training as a boxer in a local college ?!!!

3) Ezhumalai decided to leave the car running with me in it to check what the hullabaloo in the traffic jam was. And he was at least 15 seconds late in getting back when the traffic finally moved. Oh the ignominy of it !

4) Last but not least, Sekar , Raman's cohort, stopped in full traffic in front of Kapaleeshwarar Koil. Decided to jump out and assist me with opening the door. I step out and shut the door. He goes back to the driver door and finds that shut too. Car running , AC running and idiots locked out.And. Horns. Blaring. I have never been so frazzled. I got someone to open it with a ruler. Meanwhile , I asked Sekar to leave because I was almost volcanic and ready to erupt. He says he couldn't possibly because his slippers and lunch box are locked in !!

So now , I am a hands-on driver. And no plans to change.

Until yesterday that is .

I drove into a dead end and parked my car. And went in for a dental x-ray all the time hyperventilating on how I was going to get out. X-ray done and news of not needing a root canal did not gladden my heart coz I still had to reverse my car out. I decided that I had to somehow turn the car around and in doing so , caught myself in a tight spot - in between a wall and a parked kinetic. I thanked the good lord there weren't many spectators to witness the infamy of it all. But there was !! One man came out, opened his gate and helped me reverse the car and said the words "you should get a driver , madam" . Raman, Vignesh and Sekar's visage swam in a montage in front of my eyes.

Maybe I need to contact an astrologer to do some pariharam for driver-dosham.

Maybe Art is sticking pins in a voodoo doll for putting point 13 in my last post.

I am just saying.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

oh the injustice

Thanks MM for the great rant post that can balloon out of proportion when I think about it

1) Why is it ok for you to let your child run riot and glare at me for disciplining mine with firm words and a steely glare ?

2) How comes it's ok for you to be in ill-fitting clothes with half your boobs hanging out but not ok for me to gracefully accept I am not built for certain clothes ?

3) Why is it ok for you to allow your child to eat eggs outside the house but not ok for me to choose cooking eggs for him at home to ensure hygiene ?

4) How is it ok for you to say "you leave your child with your in-laws for 8 hours! " and shudder when your child is taken to the sand pit by an underage maid?

5) Why is it ok for your parents to expect you to look after them in their old age but not mine ?

6) Where's the justice in attributing the baby's mercurial temper to the mother but not the persistent focus that's obviously her one big trait ?

7) Why's it ok for you to waste company time on surfing the net but not OK for me to gobble my lunch, finish my assignments and run home on time ?

8) If you talked your husband into moving out of his parents house, why is it a crime for someone else to do the same ?

9) Why is it ok for you to wait for your driver to open the door while your car blocks the driveway but not ok for me to blare the horn in the meanwhile ?

10) Why is it ok for you to say that bringing up a child is no picnic but cringe when I say my kid is driving me up the wall ?

11) Why is ok for you to ask me why I never join the ILs-bashing ladies club but not OK for me to say I am not into these shallow sports ?

12) you can advise me on child rearing but I cannot advise you to drop being a sati savithri and go out and fend for yourself.

13) if you are going to ask me why I don't employ a driver, be prepared to answer if you've lost the use of your limbs.

Productivity

So my team has 14 members. 4 are unmarried . Of the remaining 10 , 6 are knocked up and delivered/expecting between July and Nov this year. We all got off a highly stressful project in June , winding down since Feb.

Absolutely no doubt that stress busts productivity.

What a productive team , I say !Let some of it rub off on me .

Just remembered a song from "Come September" - multiplication , that's the game

Job security

There's a guy after my job. He's qualified, efficient and what's more - the boss loves him. And boy , do they connect ? I feel like an unwanted limb when they are doing their thing. They agree on everything - junk food,TV watching, sports, car rides and I am left spluttering inane advice on nutrition, pitfalls of watching Mr Bean and Takeshi's castle and risks to life and limb. They have even bought matching bean bags to lounge around in.

The boss has even said " Amma, don't come. Kunju and appa playing". ( Mom, don't come. Baby and dad are playing )

How can I sabotage my hubby's plans of becoming a WOHD or even SAHD ?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Two become one

How brilliant is this whacky gadget ?



And this must be Bubbles dream gadget. Why you ask ? Let's just say if he was asked to take two things to an island, it won't be his amma and appa. They'll come anyway !!

Go here for more whacky gadgets ! Some actually make a whole lot of sense.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rest in peace

As a teenager, I admired you. Your sense of purpose, focus and clarity of thought. Your single minded determination to do well and climb up the ladder inspired me when I was younger. You were my hero ( despite the fact that you were the grammar nazi ).I don't know when I started calling you by your first name. But thanks all the same. It made you a friend more than anything else. RIP chittappa.

In my last conversation with you , you said "main wapas aake karoonga. Where am I going to run away?". Little did you know.

Today, 5 days after you have left us , I look back upon all the good times with you and the lessons I have learnt from your life.

- thanks for all the ice creams at Matunga Gymkhana that you rewarded us with if we kept out of your hair while you played bridge.
- the New Year's eve drive around Marine Drive, the aquarium
- the expensive chocolates you reserved for my sis and me. We loved them.
- introducing us to frankies and kachchi dabeli
- showing a 8-year old your Rolex
- correcting diction, grammar, pronunciation and punctuation ( are we done yet ?)
- bringing back those lovely clothes from Mothercare ( I wish I had kept some )
- Crates of alphonso mangoes at our disposal
- Last but not least, I have learnt that we must live in the now. Success and fame are not the only yardsticks of life. Health and happiness are more important.


PS - note how every second memory of you is inspired by food !!! That has to change.

Rough weekend

Bubbles : Amma, push the train . Make it faster, faster.

Bubbles : Amma, push the rocks. make it tumbling down the hill.

Clearly , I am superwoman.


Me: Bubbles, we won't be going to Kabini. We have to go to Bangalore. I am sorry.

Bubbles: Don't cry , baby. We go affer some time. It's ok.

Clearly , he is superest baby.

We had a rough weekend but Bubbles was an angel. This post is to remind me of how bubbles adjusted to change in plans and took everything in his stride. He gave me the space I needed to grieve over a death in the family. Off late, I have grudged the fact that I haven't been able to spend as much time with my parents and family in general when I visit them , thanks to being occupied with his needs . But for this once, he seemed to understand that I needed the space and allowed his father to take over for 2 whole days without a whimper ( knowing him , this is a big deal ). Thanks baby !

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Survey Schmurvey

A survey said Women who married less attractive partners , were more satisfied and content.And men who married homely women were less satisfied and content.


That would make me dissatisfied and my husband simply over the moon.

Something doesn't add up! Someone do the math.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

An irreverent mind

.. I have, so God save me !!

MIL's SIL ( MS) : These idlis are hard. My idlis are really soft

MIL (M ) ( bristling) : It must be the new urad I used

MS : Mine are always SOFT no matter what brand I use

DIL eyes her husband and asks irreverently "What do you think of my idlis ?"

Husband turns beet red . But the conversation continues.

MS: Batter must be old. When it's old, it becomes hard.

DIL : Oh ! I thought it sags when it's old

M : We've never had this hard idlis before. Hain na, Beta ?

MS : But mine are always soft


By now ,I have a post in my head and husband Idlis on his mind !!!

G is for ........


Jeeero !!!


Thus spake Bubbles ..... or Laloo !!!

Doesn't Bubbles at 8 mos look like Laloo and now speaks like him too ?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Shake it Baby

R : Wow ! Cool phone. Which model ?

Me : Oh ! Hrithik Roshan . Shake it baby !!!

R ( with Steely glare): I mean what is the model number.

Me: I don't know. It's the ad in which Hrithik dances.

R : (throwing up hands in air) Bah !


A little later , R and another colleague are waiting for me in my office cabin. We are supposed to discuss project allocations. R was holding a copy of Cinema Plus .As I enter the room,

Me: Hi R, Hi V

R: (Breaking off from his conversation with V) So who do you think is the best ?

Me:(eyeing the Cinema Plus) Hrithik if you ask me and hmmm Brad Pitt maybe.

V ( spluttering): We cannot hire Hrithik or Brad Pitt for this project.

Me: Oh ! ah !

I have to find a cure for foot-in-mouthitis.

PS- I need a job where I can have more female colleagues. There is only so much of Aishwayra or Angelina Jolie I can bear to hear.

Bittersweet memories

For years , I resented you. You gave me claustrophobia of the worst kind. I cringed at your conservativeness and who appointed you the moral police ? Your cloying sense of spirituality and superiority made me want to rebel. But I accepted and tried to fit in. And I know it's almost time to say goodbye.

And then I remember the good times.

Admiring the rustling silks and handicrafts at Rasi. Keerai vadai and poli at Karpagambal mess. The mandatory silver bowl and spoon from Sukra for the newborn. Diwali morning visits to rain drenched Kapaleeshwarar Koil. Watching in awe as the tank finally filled and feeding the catfish pori. Haggling with the vegetable and fruit vendors. Picking up cheap toys at Rs 5/- at the roadside. Buying bangles for the seemantham in Mada street. Waiting to watch the theru.

I am going to miss you Mylapore.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 4 of school

Amma and Bubbles take the lift to the ground floor. As soon as the gates open, Bubbles is out like a shot trotting off to school

Amma : wait , baby . Hold amma's hand !

Bubbles :Kaiye vidda ( leave my hand ). I go mine self. You be there.

Amma : Baby , wait ! I ...oh .. want to ....

Bubbles : Bye amma, best of luck


Best of luck , indeed ! Yeah I am that needy clingy mother who insists on being the one to drop him at the school gate . Only .... he doesn't need me to .

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Boys will be boys

Bubbles learns life skills in the art of

Doing nothing





Being a couch potato




Shaving



Baking




Cooking

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Living in denial

Bubbles on day 3 of school :school starts at 9.20 AM

At 9:05 AM - amma, I wear uniform affer some time. Then we...... hmmm .......you go to school.

At 9:10 AM - amma, school is closed. Ebbybuddy go home. Bye tata. ( followed by flying kisses )

But the little trooper went whining just a little.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Jab we met Mommies and not Dora

So we met . At Fruit Shop in Besant Nagar. I think I had the chance to have a conversation for exactly 10 minutes with the mommies and the rest was spent runnning after Bubbles who was in a tizzy ( I had Itchy for company - twice over !!!) . I had a wonderful time meeting Itchy, Tharini,Art, Kausalya and Crazymom.

Did Tharini say she's lost for words after reading all the comments on someone's post and hence doesn't comment ? I didn't get a chance to tell her how I cried in office when I read her post reminding herself to be patient with Winkie.

I really wanted to ask Kausalya what prompted her to quit working. Only if to settle battles in my head.

And Crazymom has a 4- year old and a 18 month old. And she looks like she's fresh out of college!!There should be a law against moms not looking like moms .

Art has enlightened me about the perils of not updating my blog often enough. Bubbles is going to think he wasn't interesting enough. Shudder ! I solemnly promise to update hereafter.Art, if we can work this, I am going to ask you to motivate me to lose weight also.

The ladies left their cameras,phones and purses lying invitingly in front of Bubbles. His hands were itching to wreak havoc but he caught my dagger-looks. And turned tables by wagging his finger at the ladies saying " PLEASE PUT YOUR TOYS AWAY". The cheek !!

Bubbles first day in school on June 23 . He woke up bright and early and said " Ojas, Tejas, Anushka, ebby-buddy come to school". He loved it too !!


-----------------------------

So we left Fruit Shop and headed to Citi Center to meet Dora. Against my better judgement !! Parking was full , so while Bubbles and I headed optimistically to meet Dora, K rode dizzy circles around to find parking. Meanwhile, I meandered through aisles of book shelves trying to get a glimpse of Bubbles no.1 "Hero". And he tried to clamber up the shelves and managed to dislodge a 100 copies of kamasutra-type tomes from their resting place. Oh well !!

After beating a sheepish retreat , I bumped into another harried mommy trying to get a glimpse of Dora for her daughters. Turns out to be Khushboo !!! Yes, the very same. She didn't get to meet Dora either. Right , so it doesn't matter if you have temples dedicated to you , you still cannot meet Dora if you are not destined to.

But seriously, I admired Khushboo as a mother for a whole lot of things ( I am not a fan of her movies or shows , haven't seen any ). She put up with the jostling at the Dora event and the long billing lines with amazing grace. No diva-like tantrums or wanting to be treated differently. Hats off to you , Khushboo !

-------------

Day 2 in school . I just got a call from my MIL who picked bubbles up from school. He has broken a bench by jumping off it . His limbs and teeth are intact. Pardon me while I tear my hair out !

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bubbles turns three















The Good


- He's a bundle of energy. No one can ignore his infectious energy. "Hi Everybody" is his favourite line
- He loves books . " Amma, palikalama(padikalama)" is the oft-heard refrain
- He loves to sing " theerada vilayattu pillai" on top of his voice !!! and beginning to get the fun in "Do-re-me"
- I am so proud that he speaks in tamil fluently most of the time. And I just love it when he says " amma, amma, nee enga irukkai". And "It's a secret. I love you "
- He really is a non-fussy eater but very rigid in his taste. He loves healthy foods - beans,idli,carrots,chapatis,milk) and just instinctively dislikes unhealthy ones (bread,cheese,biscuits ). I am the one who agonizes over his total lack of enthusiasm in trying new tastes .
- He doesn't insist on watching TV while eating anymore ( a habit I am to be blamed for since I just couldn't muster energy to run after him for his meals ). Instead , we read a book ( or at times, he will play with water on the dining table while I feed him . Oh well !!! )
- He loves puzzles, alphabets,shapes,colors,nursery rhymes
- he's 100 % potty trained. I thank my in-laws since they insisted on no diapers in the daytime since he was 1 and half years old.

The Bad

- the insistence for TV ( which we're slowly weaning him off ! ) . He's allowed 30 minutes of Dora in the evening and thankfully turns a blind eye when the ILs watch the evening soaps .
- the keen ear for bad language !!! ( i cannot curse in the confines of my car anymore knowing my words will come bite me in the butt later in the day )
- the separation anxiety still lives on. I leave my home for work every morning on cat quiet feet. He knows I go to office to work. But the sight of me leaving in my work clothes still upsets him. A few times, he's cried so much he's thrown up. So in the interest of his health ( and my bleeding heart !) , we've decided I leave incognito. Not perfect but will do for now !
- He absolutely hates coloring , crayons, painting. Yeah , you heard me right ! No Monet in the making , no Sir !



The Ugly


-the tantrums
-the inherited temper (from moi)
-the inability to concentrate for too long ( I agonize over this but am resisting evaluating yet since he just seems like a high energy child and I have had no problems teaching him anything other than coloring which he's genuinely not interested in right now .We'll see when he starts school in June)
-Not self feeding yet ( I guess part of the reason is lack of opportunity !! )



And now for myself !!!

Ooooh boy ! How am I doing as his mother ? Am I doing right by him and for him ?

The good -
-I make sure I spend time reading books, doing puzzles, stickers with him. I make sure his evenings are totally TV-free and spent talking to me about his day or generally goofing around. This also means we don't do elaborate meals or have a social life at all. Also means no time for exercise of any sort ( save chasing him around ) and I look more like the Goodyear blimp now than ever before!
-I have accepted ( hopefully gracefully enough ) that it's in my son's own interest to pick a little from every one in the family. I agonized earlier about the over-protective and over-religious influences of other family members alienating him from what I want for his upbringing. But I realize that finally , what matters is he's happy, safe and healthy. Everything else is secondary.

The bad -
- My temper and rigidity gets the better of me most times.
- I want a more cosmopolitan upbringing for him simply because it worked for me and I've seen the intolerance and rigidity that comes with being exposed to a single community, culture all the time. But my misgivings will be solved when he joins school and exposed to kids from all over the country and I don't have to fret over this , I hope !


The downright Ugly -
- The battles in my head if it would be better for him if I were not working. This one is never going to be resolved I think.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Am I nuts ?!

will Bubbles enjoy at least his new big school ?

Will the bathrooms there be clean and will someone help him use it ?

Will R ( my friend who's trying to conceive for so long ) be bothered if I talk about Bubbles too much ?

Should I just not talk about Bubbles ?

Has Broom told her parents about TG ? ( I don't know coz she's gone private ) I hope they took it well

Why did that guy stare at me in City Center like that ? I am PMS-ing - I could have ripped him apart right there .

I really must call and meet Art this weekend .Can we meet Itchy too ?

Where's that damned remote control ? The AC is freezing .


( Thoughts that cross my mind at 3 AM !!!!!! )

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Faces and memories

Yesterday was the day of faces and memories .

I was walking down the aisle in the supermarket looking for a particular brand of biscuit. I had to wait for a woman down on her knees , picking something from a lower shelf. And when she got up and apologized for taking so long, she looked up at me. There was fleeting recognition and then poof ! we went opposite ways and my mind was abuzz. It was such a familiar face but I couldn't place it. And it was not someone I knew very well yet familiar enough. Normally , I would just let it go. But it nagged me. I kept walking around the aisles. And then it struck me - she was someone I had seen almost everyday on the bus commute in Mumbai . Almost ten years ago !! We had never talked but the face remained familiar. So I went back and talked to her - turns out she's from Mumbai and did actually travel on that bus years ago. And her kid goes to the same playschool as mine ( her hubby drops the kid so I've never seen her ). Say hello to Swati then !!!

Finally , I bought the butter and headed to billing. Bill paid and I turned to see a kid being pushed in the cart by her mother. Again , I froze. Another familiar face. That cute smile and curls ! And I looked up at the mother and I was quite sure I didn't know her. Now what are the chances that I know the kid but not the parents - zilch unless I am a teacher. She got out of the cart and walked around. At some point, I smiled at her and she at me. And her mother called " Anush". And then it hit me - Anush and ArtNavy !! So I said hello to Art and Anush .

PS - I almost asked Art if they had decided about the second one. Then I realized it's a thin line between the blog and real world.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mama, don't preach

"Oh , I don't send my child to playschool. What is there to learn there ? Nursery rhymes ? What good is that ?"

2 minutes later

Toddler bopping to dard-e-disco , moves , lyrics , etc al and she says

"Yeah ! He's really sharp. Picks up all the LYRICS, MOVES and TUNES"

A few minutes later, Shriya shows up gyrating sexily in the Saravana Stores ad and Bubbles as usual , goes into a shy tizzy hiding his face in my clothes and peeking out at her. And once again,

"Oh! You shouldn't allow him to watch TV. He will definitely develop a sexist attitude".

And her son was thumbing through the latest issue of Vogue staring goggle eyed at near naked women peddling their wares .

By now , I am squirming in my seat.

Later, my son takes out his Bob Builder tiffin box and shares his Little Hearts with his friend. The boy practically latches onto the box and pleads "I want Spiderman box". Mom throws me dagger looks "I don't allow cartoon prints on anything. It makes them materialistic and slaves to advertising firms"

I rest my case. That was shortest dinner ever. Thankfully !

When Ka met Minka

Just about everyone is done with their love story. Well, that just leaves me !! so let me bring it on.

I met K on the first day of college ( jeez ! what cheese !). He was in my class and sat on the first row in engg college. On the second day , we met on the way to college and I had butterflies in my tummy walking next to this tall, dark and handsome guy who didn't say much. Needless to say , I chickened out and took a ride with another of my girl classmates when she stopped to offer me a lift ( Leena, I could have killed you).The rest of the year went in a blur buried in studies and craziness.

Then, K , ever the sportsman, fell on football field and displaced his kneecap. And was admitted in hospital. I knew I wanted to go and see him. But something just held me back - I don't know if it was not wanting to admit my feelings or knowing that he liked someone else. But I went anyway, one in a gaggle of classmates, to go and see him. I went back later with a close friend of mine and played Florence Nightingale ( only I gave him orange juice on a acidic tummy and made him throw up). The friend stepped out and we were alone and the whole world just came to a standstill. It was weird - I had tons to tell him but it seemed like everytime we were alone, a silence would descend. Again, I fled ( ever the chicken !)

I think we both kind of accepted our feelings but decided not say anything about it yet. Which brings us to that fateful day in the third year when we went out in a gang to have coffee. All of us started talking about how next year we would all be engineers and go our separate ways. Each one of them was laying out plans on what to do with their lives. And K and I looked at each other, never saying a word. It was just crazy ! Suddenly , no one else existed. And someone asked me a question and caught me off guard. And I just stammered and spluttered.

K insisted I drop him to his house. And there in the parking lot, he said the magic words, " You know , I like you a lot too". Notice the "like" and the "too". Presumptuous , aren't we and we live in semi-denial as well. SO I said " me too " and zoomed off . And he went off to Mumbai for his Diwali vacation . And called me everyday from home and we spoke like never before.

When he came back to college, it was like floodgates had been opened. We talked and talked whenever we were alone. Yet, when all others were around, he would clam up almost as if he didn't want to admit his feelings to anyone. I know he wasn't one for public announcements and is a very private person. But it was killing me to not talk about it with my friends. And even more annoying when the classmate who he once liked, kept harping about the fact. At one point , someone asked him point blank if we were an item and he said no. He said no !!! I was hopping mad - he could have been diplomatic and said it's none of their business ( like I did !). But he said no !!!

I went home and cried till I made myself sick. I didn't go to college or even leave the house for 4 days straight. My mother was worried because she has never seen me this depressed. He came home with one of my friends and I basically cold shouldered him. My friend was cringing on seeing what a monster I had become but she had no choice just to go with the drama.

A few days went by - as far as I was concerned, I was done with hiding our relationship and was ready to throw in the towel. And then we had this Mr Personality contest in our college and I saw he'd enrolled for it. Here I am , my whole life falling apart and he wants to be Mr Personality. I decide not to attend that bloody contest and see how charming , witty and stud he can be !!! Halfway through that contest, when I realized all my friends had abandoned me and were in the hall cheering for him, I went in and sat sheepishly among my friends who just ignored the hellcat I had become. So when a question like "What are you most confident of?" was put forth, all the other studs, of course, were quoting appendages and brawn and he said " I am confident I will marry the girl I love although right now , she thinks I am the biggest jerk". Needless to say, he didn't win that contest - no prizes for cheesy lines !! But I was floored that such a private person could do that only to prove that he wasn't a jerk after all.

So that's my story. We're married - next month we complete 9 years of being married!!