Sunday, September 30, 2007

I be Krishna. I go to school nangu...

For reasons best known to them, the school has decided that the brat be Krishna for the festivals special. Therefore the hunt for the Krishna costume. Me being icky finicky me, almost did a double flip somersault when blase mom at school suggested me not get my undies in a bind and just hire the damn costume. "Hire???" Blasphemy. For one, to me that spells sheer laziness. And two, and more importantly, germophobe me doesnt even want to know where the costume has been before the brat gets it on his body. Therefore the hunt all through last week for beads and pearls and assorted aabhushan to decorate the little makhan chor. Then the big debate about sending him in with a dhoti and an angavastram as in the original given that on the best days he emerges like an icicle from his classroom which probably has the airconditioner set on 'freeze them to their seats so we can teach the critters something'. Brat, with visions of the Krishna animated movie still fresh in his head, imagined himself painted blue all over with gadzillion jewellery items adorning the body, and nangu. "How can I go to school nangu? Everyone will laugh at me. I dont want to wear necklace. I not a girl. I dont want to wear feather on the head. Everyone will laugh at me." And here I am ferretting out references from calendar art in order to match the jewellery and the cummerbands and such like.
Truce is called for, and a Krishna costume bought fresh and new from a store at Natraj market in Malad. One with a top that will keep the cold at bay. And cover state of nangu-ness. The brat puts in on for size and falls in love with his transformed appearance. He even allows one to put on all the beads and baubles and the crown in a state of narcissistic induced trance. And then I hand him the flute. The moment is dissipated. He sees his reflection and storms off in disgust and plots his revenge. The flute becomes a weapon of mass destruction. He 's still playing incessantly on it, and we have all been downing handfulls of Dispirin to ward off the inevitable headache. Am now hunting for a mute flute.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Back and blogging....

For the infinite mails and messages, and the touching concern from so many blogging friends, thank you, thank you, thank you. Didnt realise that being away for a few days would have so many wondering and worried about me. Am totally overwhelmed and, for a rare moment, devoid of words.
The reason for my long absence. The brat was ill. The maid and cook situation was bad. A new maid who has the cleanliness quotient of a dungeon rat and a sty pig. Therefore requiring me to double mop after her. This is a lady who enters my house with feet encrusted upto the ankles with muck (this being rainy days in Mumbai) and washes the filth off in my spanking clean bathroom. Grrrrrrr!!!! But am desperate so tolerate her. She's fresh from the MIL's village and they have long conversations in the native tongue, to which I am not privy.
The new cook comes in at 6 am. And then needs to know where everything is kept since he is new to the kitchen. This after a complete sleepless night with the brat feverish and with a ear ache and chest congestion. Me being a girl who needs her beauty sleep, am looking and feeling like a grouchy panda. The eyes, the size, the surliness, the klutziness.
The new house is being done up with interior designer who needs me to stand on his head, to ensure things are being done my way. We have our Grihpravesh scheduled for October 14, and with family flying in from all around the country for it, I have to be double sure the house is done up and livable by then. Or we will be sleeping on the floors like a dharamshala situation.
I turned to comfort eating and how. The new cook makes excellent pakoras, which I discovered much to my delight. Its the weather for pakoras. Cold clammy, dark and rainy. Nothing like some hot chai and pakoras. And they just keep going down the hatch. Sometimes fresh loaves of bread from the pao wallah with dollops of butter. Therefore I am now a blimp. Went into garment store yesterday to check out slinky sequinned churidar kurta number displayed on mannequin (dont faint, will have to get my tush into some formal Indian ethnic for the brat's birthday which is also in line, and have realised everything I currently own is two sizes too small and will need corsets and a Mammy aka Scarlett O Hara to get me into them) and the man tells me "Madam, XXL mein nahin hain." I threw some shoes at him and stormed out of the store swearing to the skies when I caught glimpse of self in the glass show windows and almost ran back to apologise.
It all started with a cold and a runny nose, and went on into fever over the last weekend. Hot footed it to the doctors--the pediatrician and the homeopath, me being me, fever has me on red alert with a constant taking of the temperature every 15 minutes, till the brat himself starts protesting. "Bukhar nahi hain. Let me sleep na mamma." Then the administration of medicines. As most moms would agree, that in itself requires army commando assistance, with the brat displaying an agility worthy of a gymnast to get out of any grip. The husband, the mother in law and me, three people have to line up and grip every limb and one additional person required to keep the head steady and the mouth open, after which entire episode brat with promptly puke up all the medicine, so one is totally unsure how much has gone in and how much needs to be readministered. This is a child who gets febrile convulsions at 99 degrees. I am paranoid.
The city has been raining cats and dogs, and the husband's laptop was drowned in one such deluge when the roof of his office cabin (a converted and enclosed balcony) opened and let the rain in. Therefore, no access to the net from home.
The brat has to be dressed as Krishna for the festival celebration week next week, and I am trying to convince a tailor to stitch me an elastic dhoti from an old sari. And yes, he wants a Spongebob Squarepants birthday party. Spidey has been rejected. Which means I now start from scratch. All the Spiderman props I had painstakingly collected over the past year in preparation for the big day gets junked and I start looking for or making Spongebob stuff. Trust the brat to choose the ugliest toon around.
More updates next Monday. No laptop at home.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tagged, and nick named...

Now that I shamelessly have begged and grovelled to get tagged on the brat's nicknames by Choxbox, and found out, much to my embarassment that Kodi's Mom had graciously tagged me years ago, and me read her entire post, and skipped the tag part blindly, am listing out the brat's nicknames. Thanks nam and Kodi's mom. But will first start with the horror that was mine own.
Yes, I have suffered being at the receiving end of a nickname like Goblet. I kid you not. This was what the father called me, and no, the reason was not because I was so fun and intoxicating to be with (I was too young back then anyways to be remotely associated with wine and women and these were good days, when the word pedophile was unheard of), but rather the speed of ingestion of anything edible. I am speaking about a nine year old who could put away one dozen Punjabi samosas during a three hour movie and threw a tantrum should the parents even dare dream of sneaking their hand into the packet and taking one. The waistline at age nine was 28. I kid you not. Salesmen in kids shops requested the mother to take me to the grown up section in stores to get my size. That of course, is an ongoing battle. The nickname got into disuse when my father died.
The consistent nickname was Dolly. God knows how that came about, there was nothing doll like about rotundly bespectacled and acne infested me, and it only went away, when I decided, at age 13, I needed to be grown up and dignified and refused to answer to anything but my own name. Needless to say, Dolly died a quick death.
Now to the brat. He has been nicknamed in the womb. He was Baby Singh then. Baby Singh is having the hiccups. Baby Singh is kicking around, Baby Singh is giving me fire belches. You get the gist. He emerged and was one round red bawling ball of flesh. The mother promptly called him 'Tamatar'. That stuck for a while. The bro in law examined his features and felt there was nothing remotely masculine about them and called him 'Munni', another aberration which still continues, and which brat now is wise enough to debate furiously on why we should not call him Munni anymore. "Because I a boy. Munni is for girls." Not that anyone pays him much heed. Post Munnabhai, Munni got bastardised to Munnibhai, at times, if pronounced in a hurry, making him sound like the madam of some Bollywood kotha.
The first words he spoke, through default were 'gu gu' and 'gi gi'. Gi gi gu gu. Translated from babyspeak, "give me some milk." Gu Gu still stays on for Milk. A bastardisation of Du Du. Therefore he became Gu Gu Singh. And Gu Gu ly. Dont ask me how.
His name lends itself marvellously to nicknames. Therefore, here come Khichdi. Kichu. As in "Kichu, Kichu de do." As you might guess, a lot of Kichus are happening, with some little girls tugging my pants to complain bitterly about unwanted attention smack on the lips from an overamorous brat. From Kichu, his classmates, rightly so, call him now, Kichidoo...
Other assorted nicknames include Duggu, Gudda (which I rejected furiously knowing Mr Bal's orientations, and me being the phobe I am) and Doggie Howser. From Doogie Howser. Remember. The list goes on. Will keep adding.
Right now I have a furious brat asking me, "Why you call me Munni. I a Munna. I not a Munni. Dont call me Munni. I said." Eyes threateningly wide. I broker peace. And call him Munnibhai.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The dandiya king is here...

The king of the beats is ready to groove....

All set to rock the garba floor..
In his spiffy new dandiya costume. Dare I even hand him the dandiyas? Or will that mean risking arrest for letting loose a menace to law abiding citizens, armed with assault weapons?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ganapati Bappa Morya...

Twas close to midnight. The Manral household was shushed to sleep, and hushed with vehement threats of no trip to the mall and park if eyes were not shut right now, and I mean it. Gentle snores emanating from mamma (I hope gentle, though the husband might disagree violently), deeper more sonorific snores from the pappa and baby snores from the brat. Then the band baajaa of a Ganapati idol being taken for immersion begins on the street outside. The drumming drills a hole into migraine stricken Mamma's head. Mamma opens one myopic weary eye, conscious that the equilibrium of the sleeping room has somehow become awry, and what does she see?
Brat, having undone all the buttons on his nightshirt, and placed it half off his shoulders in tapori fashion is butt and shoulder shaking violently on the bed in the tapori dance of the devout, as seen in the umpteen processions he has been witnessing over the past couple of days. Mithun Chakravarthy move over. The new tapori dance king is here.... on our bed.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Why I bring Ganapati home every year....

Tis done. The elephant headed god has visited us. Blessed our home. And been sent off with due respect. And I have no hands and feet left. The beautiful part of it, is that I dont even feel resentful or even the teeniest bit put upon. Cant say the same about human guests who visit and stay a while. Some of them at the very least, I actually get to help me with the dishes. Ah, did I mention I am currently cookless, maidless and driverless. The whole world is celebrating the Ganpati festival. I cant grudge them their celebrations, when Ganapati bappa has given me miracle after miracle consistently.
It was my third infertility treatment cycle with Dr Indira Hinduja. Anyone who has been through these knows the stress levels are incredible. I had been married eight years. I had crossed thirty. Time, I thought, was running out. I was due in the clinic for a pregnancy test. Twice before, the tests were negative. We were passing the Siddhivinayak temple on the way to the clinic and I spontaneously asked Ganapatiji to bless me with a child. I promised I would bring him home for three years if my wish was granted. I reached the clinic, the test was positive. I had a difficult pregnancy. I was on complete bedrest for the better part of it. High BP, high sugar levels, foetal heartbeat gone awry. Krish was born on a Tuesday. The anaesthesist exclaimed, "Ganapati bappa aa gaya," as he emerged bawling his lungs out. Even in my daze I wondered how he had made the connection between my little angel (now complete devil) and Ganapati bappa. I brought Ganapati home for the first time with much trepidation. There were so many dos and donts, and they said Ganapati is a magnanimous God, but a strict God. I followed as many rituals as everyone told me to. And asked for forgiveness if I had unknowingly erred in anyway. It has always been tiring because no maids come to work during these days. And the house overflows with guests. It starts from the morning and they keep coming in till past midnight. I am blessed that so many people come to seek our Bappa's blessings.
This is the fourth year Bappa has come to our home. And he will continue coming as long as I have anything to do about it, and am alive. He gave me my second miracle. When all the doctors told me Krish was going to be different from other children, he would have trouble integrating, he would be borderline autistic. I cried for days. Then I asked Bappa for my second wish. I pleaded with him to make my child a regular child. I didnt want a superachiever, I didnt want him to break every milestone, I wanted a child whom other children would play with and adore. A child who could make himself understood even if I were not around. A child who could communicate with the world, and be a social animal. I wanted brat to be as normal as was required to integrate. And when his therapist tells me today that its a miracle, look at how his speech, his responses, his thought process has developed, I genuflect before the lord mentally and thank him for my second miracle.
The night before the day I met my husband I had a dream that a huge building sized Ganapati idol was outside my window and put its trunk in and touched me on the forehead. Out of the blue. It was in January, no Ganapati festival happening. The next day I met the man I was to marry six years down the line. And he turned out to be an ardent Siddhivinayak devotee, walking barefoot from our home in the distant western suburbs to the Siddhivinayak temple most Tuesdays, even though he was a teenager. Was that a sign? At the time, I didnot know, I just thought of it as a strange dream, the kind that lingers in your mind much after you awake. And I am completely uninitiated into Hindu religion, I was brought up with no religion, no creed. Strangely enough, my husband, who introduced me to Siddhivinayak and Ganapati became a disbeliever and got drawn to Osho Rajneesh and his teachings. I continued my Tuesday visits to the temple. After my miracle, the husband is a believer again. And no, I have not been in any way influencing him, I just went about with my belief firm in my mind. After all, wasnt I a non believer to start with? But miracles in my life have compelled me to have faith. And today I leave everything to this miracle worker, who has given me so much and asked for nothing in return but devotion and belief.
Ganapati bappa morya, pudhchya varshi lawkar yaa!!
Do you have any miracles in your life?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A superstar is born...and a liar

...The brat came down the stairs in slowmotion. Rather like royalty descending down to the cheers of their adoring subjects. He waved regally at the collected throng gawping at his magnificence, with the slight condescendence that the truly magnificently famous have. Little children from the other classes rushed to him to shake his hand and talk to him. He divested himself of his bag and waterbottle impatiently on his waiting hand maiden (me) and bestowed gracious smiles at all who approached. I half expected to see some whipping out of pens and papers in a bid for autographs. Wait, thats my brat being jostled for a photo-op.

The teacher informed me that brat was taken from class to class as Exhibit A from Toy land. He was put in a yellow paper cut out car and smiled beatifically at the throng. His head is swollen so huge, he's floating somewhere in the stratosphere right now. "I be Noddy. Everyone shake my hand," he informed his father in the evening in all seriousness. Is this the start of a career in showbiz? God knows this child lives for an audience. He doesnt even allow a conversation between two adults in his presence unless the conversations includes and revolves around him.

Other mothers informed me that their kids were swatting them angrily as to why they were not dressed up as Noddy and only Krish was chosen to be Noddy. Good behaviour was definitely not a good excuse or reason to offer with brat being the chosen one.

This morning he was all set to get into his Noddy outfit again and was quite crestfallen when informed he would have to stick to his boring old school uniform. Perhaps it is a jester in the making, rather than a superstar.

The major crisis looming over me in the midst of my house shift is that of a new maid and a cook. God knows I've tried. I've asked everyone who could possibly be of any help, including people off the street. Anyone with a sympathetic face gets asked. Not a good idea, I know, considering they could send in serial murderers, but am desperate. The husband has already warned me sternly that I have to organise a cook from day one. Translated, he is not willing to suffer my cooking even for a single day. There are seven new restaurants in the building complex just ahead of us. And all good ones at that. On Toes, Crepe Station, Yokos, Lemon Grass Cafe, Little Italy. And some more I can remember off the cuff. Ordering in seems to be the only option at the moment. Anyone who can help out with a full time maid please write in. You will earn my undying gratitude and eternal obeisance. Perhaps I should now make Nigella Lawson newest idol and remodel self on her. The tight sweaters included.

At speech therapy yesterday the brat sat back in his designated chair and informed his therapist that Mamma cried in the night. Papa said "Get out." to Mamma. Very Loudly. And he shouted the words out for effect. I assured the therapist that there had been no such marital squabble, and the brat was making up detailed stories. And then he continued, unfazed by the interruption, Papa beat me very badly with a stick. See, see, I got hurt here, (holding up absolutely unmarked hand) and here, (holding out absolutely unmarked leg). Flustered, I began babbling to assure her that there was no child abuse going on here, and the only swatting that ever happens is with the hand on the bum when intolerable bad behaviour happens. And she was absolutely delighted. "Imagination and story telling has come in. Thats a wonderful progression." Huh? I thought it was just telling plain old lies. Do I now need to celebrate his graduation into a little liar???

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Noddy throws a 'tantum'

The brat was Noddy this morning. Last night I ironed out his Noddy cap, checked if the bell was tinkling to be enough incentive for him to want to wear it, got out his red shoes, checked if the shoelaces were intact, tied the polka dotted scarf around his neck for size and went to sleep content that all was done, and angelic Noddy would sail into school and charm everyone's pants off.
I should have known better. We got up this morning in a right funk. Even the antics of the klutziest Korean Polar Bear (How, why, dont ask me!) on Nick failed to amuse him. Milk went down ever so painfully. Bathing was an exercise in self restraint. On my part from swatting him one, since he took great pains to empty the contents of his shampoo bottle down the drain and open the hand shower set to icy cold on me. Dress up time after wipey wipey and pat the powder on was ably assisted by pappa where no tantums are brooked. So on went the scarf, and the red pullover, and the blue shorts and the red shoes and the belled cap. And a perfect picture we were until we got into the car. Now mamma being mamma, and vain at that had rouged the cheeks of little Noddy into perfect pink circles and Noddy was bristling with rage at this 'girlie' aberration on self. Much scratching of face and Mamma happened. Then mamma consented to wipe off pink with assistance of water from the water bottle and handkerchief, leaving a nice healthy flush on the face, which he still objected to, "Mamma, take it off, take it off, I looking a girlie. Dont want." And the frustration at looking a girlie made the scarf and the cap come off. The scarf was trampled underfoot with muddy shoe (we had hopped and skipped our way through puddles to the car) and the cap was wrenched off with the tie string snapped into two. I almost burst into tears then and there. But contained myself. Bravely. Many deep breaths and calm self down positive self talk happened with brat flailing in self disgust on the floor of the car. Finally, reverse incentive came as the brainwave. "Okay, will tell your teacher you dont want to be Noddy today, and she will make M Noddy today." Ah, this stroke of absolute genius. M being best friend we love to hate. "Noooooooooooo." The cap was put back on and fastened with a safety pin (sometimes, these humungous bags I insist on lugging around have treasures like safety pins in their depths), the scarf was dusted off and folded carefully to conceal the mud marks. And little cheeks were offered to be rouged up again. No resistance offered.
He strutted into school like a gladiator going into the arena. "Where's M? I beat him if he becomes Noddy." With such uncharitable un Noddylike sentiments, he marched up the stairs.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Make way for Noddy...

The brat's school has a visit to Toyland day on Wednesday, and guess who gets chosen to be Noddy? We have been practising the Noddy song till it comes out of Mamma's ears.

For flashback, here's a picture of brat as Noddy when he was in Playschool two years ago. Thank the lord, lil hoarder me hung onto the cap and the scarf.

Gu-gu in the cup, and all zippered up

Tis has been a weekend of surprises again. (PS: Why is it that the brat always takes on the weekends to shock the wits out of me, is it because I am comparatively more relaxed therefore easier to shock?).

Will keep it brief.
Scene one: Eight thirty am on a Sunday morning. Mamma sits straight backed before groggy brat with hated Mickey Mouse cup filled to brim with Gu gu and requisite mix of Complan and sugar (yes, sugar, sorry, without sugar no chance of it getting past the first spoon, rather the calcium goes in than prevent the hyperactivity that comes post it). Preparing grimly for battle, Mamma mentally lines up her arsenal, napkin on the lap, Pappa at shouting distance away, tempting offers of new park and new mall, and best of all, the promise of the wearing of new Tshirt with Bob the Builder on it. First spoon up, "Cmon Krish open your mouth." No response, just a furrowed determined brow. "Please open your mouth." He reaches out for the cup. Instinctively, mamma holds on to the cup ferociously determined not to give in, envisaging a repeat of gu gu dunked on self, and freshly washed and deep conditioned hair. Not that milk is bad for hair. But. "Please give me the cup, mamma," says brat in dulcet tones that set the pigeons outside the window cooing and fluttering in response. Warily mamma hands him the cup, all senses on alert for the cup being flung either at self or on floor or at window. And then, she clangs to the floor in shock. Brat has lifted cup to mouth and drained the gu gu to the last drop and hands cup over with a smile. "I finished gu-gu, mamma." Mamma heaves carcass up from supine position, having thrown some water over face to assured herself this is not a dream, and she is in fact awake. The levering of immense self back to feet through holding onto bed and chair assures her this is very much awake time. She rushes babbling incoherently in her amazement to inform the rest of the household about this stupendous development. The amazing feat was repeated again at night. This morning though, we were back to square one. Clammed lips pursed together like the nuns at the school I went to, whenever we turned up in civvies, like we were wearing transparent dresses revealing all (this disapproval for jeans and tshirts), 180 degree turning of head to avoid spoon shovelling, kicking, screaming and such like. Such wonderful behavior seems to be restricted for the weekend when I have all the time to shovel in the milk. Something about me looking constantly at the clock sets off the pursed lips one thinks.
But now that I know brat has the capacity to drain off entire contents of the mug in a single gulp, there is hope in the heavens.

Scene 2: Last night, Brat picks up school bag which has been kept in readiness for school today. Opens it and takes out his spare set of clothes kept inside for emergencies like food spillage, su su in the pants and grimmer things one will not mention, but which involves poo. Strips himself of the clothes currently on him and adeptly puts on the spare set. Undies. Tshirt. And Trousers. And buttons and zips himself up. Ahem. And here was I getting the Little Lord Fauntleroy dressed like his bespoke tailor every day. Now that his secret is revealed, he can jolly well dress himself up on his own.

What can I say? He even did his standing line sleeping line half way on his own. I needed smelling salts.

What is the gu gu situation in your house? And the self dressing? The brat added his own little twist and wrapped himself in his grandmothers saree and then insisted on being taken to the park. The father began hiccoughing furiously in shock, and I gently divested him of the garment. And sat him down for a little lesson on girls clothes and boys clothes.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Only five to list…

The wise, and ever gracious Dipali has tagged me for this and knowing me, I need to pick a tag hot off the rack. So without further thought and ado, I proceed to list out my five top OCDs. Go ahead, think of me as the biggest bimbette ever…

My bed has to be perfectly done up every morning, even if I have to physically fling the brat and husband off it, or tuck them in with the sheets if they refuse to budge. I cringe at flowery bedsheets and prefer satin sheets in monochromes or beautiful block printed cottonsheets. The tragedy? I have a wonderful family that insists on gifting me disastrous bedsheets so I never really need to buy any, and am compelled to use the ones gifted to keep them happy. I cannot bear to even look at a bed with rumpled sheets, no matter how many lascivious memories it might bring forth.

I need to brush my teeth twice a day and wash my hair everyday. I bathe with boiling hot water, enough to scald anyone. I scrub myself raw with a loofah. I have cleanliness issues that need to be resolved by some intensive therapy and counseling. I cannot use anyone else’s towel or soap. Even my husband and child.

I dissect flaws in movies as I watch them. Improper characterization, lack of logical leaps in time, inappropriate costume design in period dramas (one historical has one character wearing spectacles, more recently Partner had Govinda as an MBA buffoon from IIM A, on a salary of Rs 30,000, as a finance director….you see what I am getting at). The husband doesn’t like to watch movies much with me. I think anyone would sympathise with him.

My feet have to be perfectly pedicured. My hands used to be too, but since the brat have given up on the nail polish, since it ends up getting chipped every couple of days, but the foot pedicure fetish remains intact. I judge people by their feet and their shoes. Anyone with dirty feet, overgrown toe nails, worn out shoes and inappropriate shoes are immediately docked by me. I cannot step out in public without nail polish on my toes and lipstick on my lips.

I am obsessed with bags and shoes. And clothes. I have at last count, 25 bags. And these are the good ones. The ones with the ransom amount logos on them. The roadside stuff is mating in my cupboard and producing offspring. Shoes, have given up counting. They’re like rabbits. Breeding so fast they’re taking over the house. The husband says I should hold a shoe exhibition, and can I please think of throwing out some so he has space to keep in his sparse three pairs comfortably without having to behind over down and do an entire pile sorting every evening. And am still buying more. Clothes are more than I can ever hope to use in a year should I use one tshirt or top a day. I hang my head in shame, and go back and shop some more.

Okay, now that I have embarrassed myself in public, I tag Mad Momma, Poppins, Moppets Mom, Rohini and Sue…and anyone else who wants to take it up
Have fun girls…

Job offer turn down time...

....Right after all that song and dance about the mopey 'Who will give this out of work and over the hill hack a job," comes along a job offer, an editorship of a to be launched city magazine. In another city. Needless to say, with heavy hand on the heart, one has turned it down.

But made one feel good to know one was still sought after.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Too much to think about...

Lots of research popping up every second day about how children exposed to more television than the minimum required tend to grow up to be ADHD. I am very confused. The brat would turn his head a 180 degree angle in the crib to watch television if it happened to be on even if the volume was on mute, and the crib angled in such a way that he couldnt see. FTV had saved my sanity and self esteem during those cow like nights when all one saw self as was jelly belly and a humunguous feeding machine, and I swear brat would turn feeding head towards the television and milch me with one eye on the flickering screen. Why FTV? It was mindless viewing of beautiful clothes on beautifully made up models and gave me hope. When you are just with a baby out of you, and facing a once flat stomach now with triple indentations, self esteem really does need boosting. Volume set to mute. Am I to blame for his hyperactivity and ADHD? The guilt is killing me. That somehow I am to blame, I was the reason the brat's brain wiring has gone haywire. But maybe not. I dont know. I am not much of a television watcher. But I did watch television when I was pregnant because I was on complete bed rest, and there's only so much reading you can do when you are in virtual house arrest.
But then I left the brat at home when he was three months old and went back to work. Albeit in my own office, but I was away from the house. And he began getting hooked onto television. I blame myself for this. By the time I realised it, the damage had been done. He was not responding to name calling, he was in a little world all his own. He was interested only in spinning wheels, opening and shutting doors, he was unmanageable, unresponsive, closing out the world and unable to understand communication, or communicate his needs. He wasnt playing with toys the way other children did. He had no attachment to anyone. He had shut us all out, and I honestly within me knew something was not right, but was so scared to confront it. He was one when we realised something wasnt quite right with him. It was my sister in law who prodded me, to open my eyes and accept the fact that the brat needed help. "He's not like other children, Kiran. You need to get him checked out." I hated her when she said that, but today I thank her on bended knees. It took me much crying and much denial before I got myself to visit specialists. And I did. I went through the entire roll call of experts in the field in India. I am that sort of a person. I dont want a second opinion. I want many opinions. I want to be absolutely sure and certain. The diagnoses rolled in. PDD/NOS. SID. He did not meet the criteria for autism. But he was borderline. Just. They all recommended therapy. Speech and occupational and physio. Thrice a week, each. He was one and a half. I had put my entire life on hold. It is still on hold.
But he is a different child today. The other day we were at the mall with his classmate and his mother. Both the kids were playing inside the play pen while we did coffee and small talk outside, in the cafetaria, keeping an eagle eye on them both ofcourse. From mundanities, the conversation drifted to maids and why both of us dont have a maid for our kids. She had kept a maid she says, when her son was seven months old. And the maid would take the baby down to the park and slap and abuse the little fellow. When one neighbour brought it to their notice, they were unable to believe it because the maid was a 45 year old, ever smiling, ever genial, loving person. Or so she seemed. Then a second neighbour witnessed the same behavior. Of course the maid was thrown out. And this lady, one of the most gentle souls I have ever meet, cannot ever trust anyone with her child again. What can I say, I told her? I am too paranoid. I am still bearing the guilt for having left brat behind at home when he was just three months. And for what? Ingrate clients who happily ditch agencies when they find someone else offering half a percent less. For them I left my baby for the entire day, sometimes staying back through the night to complete deadlines on creative material.
And looking at the brat playing with his friend, conversing with him, climbing through the play equipments, going up to the other kids and initiating games, looking constantly to check if I was in sight, I knew I had taken the right decision. Television is still there, but I try to keep him out of the house or busy as much as possible to ensure that there's not too much of it. I really dont know if it is television that changes the hardwiring of the infant brain or whether it is children with a propensity to ADHD who get more attracted to the constant stimulus provided by the television, I prefer to think it is the latter. I am still not at peace with the research. But I do know that now that brat has calmed down quite a bit, and is able to distract himself with toys and games and books, he does not need television as much as he used too. Its been a long trip to get here. Its given me grey hair and ulcers and migraines and wrinkles and polycystic ovaries. But it has been worth it. Just to see him being inches away from being a regular child. And he will cross those few remaining inches too. And soon. I promise him that.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Aaa khushi se....

....khudkhushi kar le.... This is what the brat has been singing. Loudly. Unabashedly. While I sink further and further into my chair.

This to the uninitiated and those of innocent times when bushes were jammed together and flowers crushed beneath implied passion played proxy to human amour is the latest manifestation of Bollywood lust, with dance steps choreograph to mimic hand movements required in the nicknamed activity.

I could have committed real life suicide then and there, when he started out in the therapy clinic and I got strange glances from everyone within.

Will someone out there please do something about the lyrics of these songs? Or do I have to carry around a permanent gag for the brat?

And itttteeeezz Superrrrbrrrat....

...and he's got super powers too...

...the only one who can make his mamma dance to his tune. If that isnt a super power, what is?

Sushmita Sen meets Hema Malini meets Amrita Singh

The wondrous Poppins has done it again. Done a side splitting post on who among Bollywood and other filmdom heroines do we blogging moms look like. And the gracious Surabhi had me pegged down as Hema Malini. Thankee for the kind words Sur, but I think if you ever have the misfortune to meet up with me, you will realise I am many Hema Malini's put together. Side by side. And my dancing skills are legion. Suffice to say, the brat demands a performance whenever he is feeling down in the dumps and needs a quick pick me up. And the husband shoots me a dagger glance with a loaded what-will-the-neighbours-say kind of implication. The one time I was invited to dance at a friend's engagement ceremony (the high profile type where dance masters train the bride's friends for at least a month before the do), I was summarily dismissed the very same day. They wondered if the stage could take so much unregulated pounding. And yes, marrying a taken man is a big no no in my books. Even if he is a Greek God. But then I will accept the honour kindly Surabhi, because always thought the woman is still gorgeous. Hope to remain at least wrinkle free like she is till I hit my fifties. There, fie to you, you cobweb latticing wickedly under my eyes. I dont want to have a face with character. I want to have a characterless, wrinkle free face. Like Hema Malini's. Am not even talking of the plastic surgeons here.
Moving onto Sushmita Sen. Never liked Aishwarya Rai. Too plastic and perfect for me, or am I just being incredibly green eyed. Liked Sushmita Sen and her life. And her langour. But not her incredibly baaaaaaaad poetry and her cocky over smartness. I'd like to hope I never inflicted the same on anyone. Have torn and flushed down all adolescent poetry on love unrequited and such like. Wouldnt do well for the husband to start reading it. Even though these unrequited loves were only sighs from the window of the heart and the drawing room, and the local studamuffins who would never deign to give one a sideways look and if ever they did twas only to ask for an introduction to friends. Told you was always the fat and funny one. But having said that, like the effortless elegance she projects and her self confidence. Her ability to carry off everything from a saree to a bikini with elan. Wish one had that. Right now am into shirt dresstops. Cover up all the avoir dupois. With elan. And love the rocks on her fingers. Yes, told you I was a material girl. A eleven carat ring? I am a sold woman.
Coming to Amrita Singh. The best part about her is the fact that she married Saif. Snagging a younger hottie puts her up notches for me. I have the masculine built to match with her, but a mouse of a face, which only looks huge in photographs. The hair I like. And I think I have too, put career and life on hold for the kids. Like she did. The priorities match. And yes, I have the temper to match too. But, point to be noted, had Saif left me for Italian hook nosed wannabe witch, would have had his bollocks for earrings.

For those who watch FRIENDS (and yes, I am an addict), was always told I was Rachel. You get it. The flakey self obsession, the clothes fiend, the big softie, but not the guy magnet part. The oval face and small eyes matched too. Didnt get my nose done though, would have been twins with Jennifer. And she got Brad. And then lost him...

But honestly, was always called Madhuri. It was the small face and the curly hair that did it. I swear. Never could hope to fit into her black jeans or have a quarter of her oomph. But she's a good dancer. And the husband adores her. So am not complaining. I most resembled Madhuri. NOTE: I use the word resemble in past tense. Present comparisons would be Guddi Maruti.

And here is the baaaad part. I tag everyone reading this to do a post on which actress they think they resemble the most. Happy writing.