Thursday, November 29, 2007

When Ro met Sur met Y met Parul met Kiran….

…Or in other words, pictorial evidence that we met up and had a ball.
Exhibit A: The obligatory group photograph. Left to right. The cute little thing at the back, looking coy and ladylike is the Peanut being held by Y, and there’s Parul with the immensely well behaved Aditya. Needless to say, the babies were the star attractions at the meet being passed around at dizzying speeds, until they were quite disgusted with this bunch of cooing moms and decided they needed their naps and feeds, not necessarily in that order to stay sane.
Kneeling down in the front row, left to right, the brat all cheesy grins and wide smiles and decaled jacket, his Mamma, Rohini with Ayaan and Surabhi with gentle, gracious Sanah.

Exhibit B: And here is me, being gheraoed by the mob of little tykes who wanted more exciting things in their sippy cups than what we were willing to give them. The story here is that the brat wanted a drink of water in a glass, and everytime I got him a glass full of the stuff from the kitchen, Ayaan would recognize the glass as his own and claim the water. Ultimately another glass was called for and peace brokered for.

Dont you wish you were here???

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I put a cap...

The school is taking the brat and the rest of the brat friends from class on a field trip today. To a florist. Mamma wishes she could sneak into the bus, so enamoured is Mamma of flowers and such like but the thought of 25 brat alikes in a confined space is enough to deter the strongest of hearts and the best of intentions. Therefore, it came to pass that the brat was awakened at a single yell of "Its getting late. The bus will leave without you." In fact, so awakened was he, that he bounded up out of bed, calmly put on his school bag over his night suit and was all set to catch the bus feet running, until it was explained in graphic detail that a bath needed to be had, teeth had to be brushed, and milk ingested. Having got those essentials out of the way, the hunt began for the cap. Now, mamma, knowing that uniform is red and white, calmly and sensibly picked out the red and white checked cap for the brat to wear, considering that she didnot want the harsh October sun beating down on the bare head of her only offspring. The only offspring had other plans. The red and white checked cap was the sort worn by bermuda clad Japanese tourists laden with Nikons and such like, and was ruthlessly vetoed, and so began the hunt for the right cap. The denim one, vetoed. The green one vetoed. The hunt for a blue and red Peaked cap, which was finally dug out from the boot of the car (this after enlisting the maid, the mother and the driver in the hunt for the perfect cap). Needless to say, we were late. Late is an understatement. We were still in the lift while the man manning the first bell in school was exerting himself.
Mamma threw herself into the car, uncombed and unmade up, hair straggly from being washed, face oily with exertion, and no contact lenses inserted. The brat puts on his fleece waistcoat in bright orange over his Tshirt and zips it up. (Come on, we have a winter going on.) The only good thing about this fleece waistcoat is that he can be spotted from a distance in a crowd and that is always a good thing on a field trip. Or on any trip for that matter. And then he takes the cap. Mamma tries to help and places it on the head. With the peak in front. Where the good Lord meant it to be. To throw shade on the face and prevent the ruthless sun from burning the skin. Or so she thought. But the brat, decisive as ever, takes it off, straightens his cowlick and places it back on. Peak at the back. Like the good rapsters meant it to be. And mamma thought she was clued into fashion. But of course, she is a dinosaur when it comes to current trends. And the brat is already rubbing it in. "Put cap like this mamma. Shahid Kapur puts it like this." Ehhhh????

Sunday, November 25, 2007

When Mumbai Mommy Bloggers Met.....

Yup, we did. Finally. And it was so strangely, eeriely familiar, like we had met a thousand times before, with no uncomfortable silences, no wondering which way the conversation was headed, why are we here, and does my breath stink, and such earthshattering stuff that invariably bothers one on first meetings with anyone, male or female, because these were all conversations we had had before, online, and we knew each other's lives through our blogs, and were uncannily clued in to the other. The kind of feeling when you walk into someplace you know you have been to before and are yet paradoxically certain you have never been in. Deja Vu, it is called I think.
First the thankyous. One gadzillion thanks to Rohini, who made her tastefully done up and meticulously kept home available for scatterbrained mommas with little hellraiser kids (I speak for myself of course) to come into and wreck havoc. Am sure, the maids cursed us for the mess long after we left. And despite her avowations to the contrary, she was an excellent hostess, putting everyone at complete ease, making us feel at home.
And then, thank you Parul, Yashodhara and Surabhi for making the effort to come along and put faces to names and blogs. An important factor, I felt, was the fact that all of us who met, were mommas who blog under our real names, and have never thought it necessary to blog under assumed nicknames and concealed identities. Of course, Surabhi fainted quite with shock on confronting the real me, seeing that the camera does very very nice things to me, I have the kind of face they say clicks differently each time. Therefore, reality was quite harsh. Smelling salts were called for and she picked herself off the floor after a good five minutes, by which time Ayaan and Krish had led away little Sanah into Ayaan's room for some boisterous play. Ayaan and Krish hit it off like a house on fire, and my shameless brat usurped the poor host's feeding table and plate and glass, with absolutely no consideration for little woebegone Ayaan who then ate his meal out of a tiffin box. They sat together with much camaraderie and clinked sippers together to 'Cheers'. My brat blew air kisses to Parul. I am not even thinking of what is going to happen when adolescence hits this fellow. Ladylike genteel Sanah looked on these two hooligans in horror, and did her own thing. Ah, for a girl!
The Peanut and Aditya were both very well behaved and obligingly had their little naps, letting their moms chat a bit, without rushing in for too many feeds or diaper changes.
And yes, everyone found that 6 degrees of separation factor, knew this one or that one, and I was the only oddball out. Luckily Surabhi had just seen something I had compiled in an ancient issue of a magazine, to validate my existence. Topics discussed? Take a wild guess. Weaning, feeding, playschool admissions, creches, etc. Come on. We are mommy bloggers. So what if all of us were and are working serious jobs at serious places, or with serious careers we gave up or struggle to juggle with babies in tow. At a mommy blogger meet you discuss these. I repeat, weaning, feeding schedules, co-sleeping, poop, and such like. And we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Until next time girls.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Report card time....

The brat shuffled down the stairs yesterday holding onto his teacher's hand and looking around at everything except me. This is the look that instantly has me buzzing on red alert, the kind that has me needing to call in the commandos with walky talkies and such like. The teacher handed him over to me with a smile. "Check his bag," she says sweetly. "His report card is inside. You need to sign the diary once you've seen it." As anyone who has ever been certain of getting a C double minus in every subject knows, the heart immediately does a graceful double somersault and flip lands belly up somewhere near one's feet. Instant flashback time to Std X results, and Algebra waving his grim sceptre at a hapless me. I smiled back, as sweetly. "I will do so." Brat looks up at me for the first time. "Mamma. You have to sign my report card. Now." This said very loudly. I hold him by the hand and smile through gritted teeth and attempt to tear him away from the general populace of mothers and children hanging around, greedily opening their report cards in full public view and going through the contents with varying expressions ranging from unabashed shameless jubilation down to the positively hangdog. I had no illusions about what I was going to look like, and no, it doesnt suit me. If I was going to be hangdog, I was going to be hangdog in the confines of my home. No report card of my son was available for public scrutiny.
"How's he done, Kiran?" asks well meaning friend, basking in the super duper excellent in all fields report she must have surely received for her son, a child who is nothing short of genius level, writing out entire words by rote, while the brat struggles to get his H and N sorted out. And we've not yet begun to assimilate our lower case letters. Never mind. Thats another story.
"I will check it later. At home," I replied. Now I knew why the mother preferred not to discuss exam results with other mothers. And why she would turn up grim faced and pursed lips at all my parent teacher meets. I could feel my lips pursing themselves on their own. Darn it, am turning into my mother.
Dragged a frolicking brat away from his gaggle of friends much like the farmhand pulling a reluctant heifer on heat away from the bull raring to go. Got myself into the car, huffing and puffing, settled the brat down with some biscuits, and got down to the very very serious business of Reading The Report Card. To put things in perspective, the brat has only had an evaluation sheet at the end of each term thus far. And the evaluation sheet is a wonderful device designed to say nice things about every child, such lovely positive, gladden the cockles of your heart kind of stuff, that you actually wonder whether evaluation sheets have been interchanged and this is actually another little boy genius they are writing about. I sat to read, while driver bumped the car around at signals and with sudden brakes, given cyclist and cow situation on the roads. I even polished my spectacles with care and precision.
And here's what. Of the 20 odd categories, the four levels of ratings being Satisfaction Achieved, Gaining Mastery, Attempt to Learn and the last, meaning, generally "Your kid is at bottom of the heap, and parents get your act together," the brat has got Satisfaction Achieved in all, except five. In which, he gets a Gaining Mastery. I genuflected in the car to the good lord above. I even did a little war dance. I held the brat and plastered him with infinite kisses till he began swatting me off like an irritant pesky fly. I immediately bought him "Onechickabugawidcheez" as a treat. And had I been able to turn cartwheels, I would have. Lets just say, I needed three people to pull me out of the Innova, had swollen up so terribly with maternal gushy teary eyed pride. My lil genius rocks. And so what if its the important ones like Alphabet recognition, phonics, Mathematical skills and conversation that have him stumped. He's still almost there. He's a Gaining Mastery.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The brat, the pavement and a cut on the head..

The brat had a rather nasty fall yesterday. Happened in Inorbit's parking area. He had finished a rather rumbunctious session of play up in the playarea and a full hour and a half of running through the mall. With me in tow. I had me the best full body workout ever through climbing up and down one zillion times, carrying him over the shoulder when it was time to get off a damn ride, and skidding on my heels around him when he turned corners.
Now after all this running around, I thought I deserved me a coffee, and ordered a takeaway cappucino at the coffee shop near the exit. I asked the driver to haul brat up and take him to the car. So he did, like he has done one million times before. As I walked out into the parking lot, I heard the unmistakable sound of the brat howling at the top of his voice. And he has a very very loud voice. And saw, in the dark, the driver running top speed towards the car, hauling the brat over. I yelled. And broke into a run myself. Two elderly gentlemen looked at me with strange looks, then one informed me to get some ice, "He's had a really nasty fall." I couldve given any world class athlete stiff competition with the speed at which I sprinted to them. And sure enough, there it was, nasty bruising and swelling. And my heart sinking down into my feet, and that cold clammy feeling that closes in on your guts, and makes you break out into cold sweat. I grabbed my son and took him back into the mall, where, thankfully, kind people organised ice cubes and napkins and even Dettol. I could have committed murder. First aid was proferred by mall staff, and one was very impressed by their level of concern. Not much blood lost. I cannot let this child fall on his head. He has had enough problems with his seizures. I was nauseous with the fear that something worse could have happened. I was watching him like a hawk all through last night and this morning. All seemed well. I kept going through Dr Spock, to keep myself calm. And then the priceless quote, "A child who never falls, is being watched over too much."
And the self flagellation I have been through is unbearable. Why did I let him out of my sight? What if anything worse had happened? After all, this was concrete and right next to the granite seating edge. And worse, how dare the damned driver run off with him, trying to hush him up before I landed on the scene. What do I say? This driver has been with us for eight years, he's seen brat grow up and probably spends more time with him than his Pappa does. Mistakes happen, but the running away and trying to hush it up was unforgiveable. The husband blasted me for letting the driver take him to the car, I moued that all I had stopped for was a takeaway coffee, which I was drinking and walking some steps behind.
The moral of the story? Children fall. But the mothers suffer the guilt. I know now for sure that I will never ever let anyone else watch over him in a public situation, even if it is for a few minutes. I was trying hard to wean myself off from being a helicopter mother. Looks like the brat has other plans.

Tagged thrice over....22 Things every man wants to know...

It perhaps says a lot about what people think of one's equation with the male populace when they want me to answer 22 earthshattering questions about what men want to know about women. And when three lovely ladies ask me to do the same thing, it does rather go right to my head, which is so swollen right now, you could put me on a string and I'd float happily with you wherever you want to take me. So MadMomma, Moppets Mom and Itchingtowrite here goes my version of the questionnaire. And god help any male who dares ask me these questions. Afterall, am respectable married woman.

1. How do you feel after a one night stand?
Depends on whether I wore my stilettoes or not
2. Do you ever get used to wearing a thong?
Butt floss. Never a great idea.
3. Does it hurt?
Women are strong. We can take it.
4. Do you know when you are acting crazy?
If I dont realise it, you're around to let me know. Loudly.
5. Does size really matter?
Of course. Especially when it comes to carats.
6. When the bill comes are you still a feminist?
I am not a feminist. I am a kept woman. I will always give the male the privilege of being the provider. I will feed the male ego.
7. Why do you take so long to get ready?
Well, I am always ready. Such infinite beauty never needs primping.
8. Do you watch porn, too?
I'd rather not watch. I'm a prude. I reserve that pleasure for those who dont get enough.
9. Will something from Tiffany’s solve everything?
No. Everything from Tiffany's might solve something though.
10. Are guys as big of a mystery to you as you are to us?
Oh yes, you strong, silent, I have no conversation to share types. You get me into a blathering mess.
11. Why do you sometimes think you look fat?
Maybe because I really do. And you dont let me forget it.
12. Why are you always late?
I am never late. I make an entrance.
13. Does it bother you when we scratch?
Who cares. Just do it when I am not watching or I might be forced to comment.
14. Do you wish you could pee standing up?
Why? So I need to wash my hands everytime?
15. Why do so many women cut their hair short as soon as they get married?
They've now got their husbands to add extra weight to their heads
16. How often do you think about sex?
How many minutes are there in a day???
17. What do you think of women who sleep with guys on the first date?
More power to them.
18. Would you?
Maybe, if my first date was with Richard Gere.
19. Do you realize every guy wants a girl just like his mom?
Why? Are they masochists?
20. Why does every woman think she can change him?
Women are always giving the important things in their lives a makeover. Men included.
21. Does it matter what car I drive?
No. It matters what car you gift me.
22. Do you ever fart?
Eww no. That plant next to me just did.

And since I must, this goes out to Trishna, Sahithi's Mom, Choxbox, Naina Ashley and Suki.
Full on girls!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beauty Products and the shameful lusting of

Yo, Mad Momma, here’s where I take off from where you left off from your post.

A topic after my own heart, a woman who has tried and tested so many products that she is often found advising the salespersons at beauty counters what shades they should be wearing and why they shouldn’t be gawk speil selling her that particular product, rather the other one which is more suitable to the skin type she possesses (which for the kind information of anyone who might be interested is the oozing oil from every sebum encrusted pore). For which, of course, any product that works like a mop would be welcome. You get my drift. The next time you are in a rush, trying to pick up your very vital L’Oreal White Perfect from the counter at the store, and a fat lady has blocked all counter access by debating pros and cons and ingredients furiously with the poor harassed salesgirls behind the counter, who are raising eyebrows in consternation and trying hard to pass her to the next counter and hapless salesgirls, do stop by to say hello.

My obsession with beauty products started young. Glamazon foreign returned aunt would take pre pubescent me on shopping trips where she would stock herself with, of all things, Lakme lipsticks and nail polishes and powder compacts. (Remember, these are the dark ages before Maybelline and L’Oreal came into India). Why, one might ask, given that she was foreign returned. But the poor lady had the bad taste to choose a Scandinavian country where the rest of the populace was blonde haired and blue eyed and no colours ever matched her skin tone. So there was aunty, followed around by puppy dog niece who was then rewarded with bushels of half used cosmetics, much to mother’s dismay, and niece transferring painting skills to the face and doing a rather terrible job of it. Yes, yes, the hygiene factor apart. Eww. All I can say in my defence was that I was very young, and fascinated beyond fascination for them colour things.
Then college happened, and contact lenses, and my being allowed to wear lipstick. Ah, the liberation. Wearing lipstick is the second rite of passage into adulthood, the first being the permission to wear high heels. I have been unabashedly obsessed with both since. I had been gifted two Mary Quant lipsticks by another foreign returned aunt, and in absolute garish shades of red and orange which only my extreme youth and innocence permitted me to carry of with any aplomb. I wore them down to a nub and then scraped the remainder off with my painting brush and cleaned the holder bare. The tragedy today is that none of the lipsticks I have ever get used up. I am shameless. And I have the maxim, when depressed buy a lipstick. I have many lipsticks. No, that is an understatement. I have, to paraphrase Alfred J Prufrock, measured out my life in lipsticks. In fact, I must have some hundred odd lipsticks which keep getting passed on to friends and nieces (Is there a pattern emerging here?) The one that I really loved is a L’Oreal Fawn Fatale, which I used down to lipbrush level and then rebought. My ultimate validation. Right now my current favourite is MAC Viva Glam, and Avon Perfect Wear Capture topped with some Maybelline Liquid Diamonds or L’Oreal Glamshine in a similar shade. I can wholeheartedly recommend Glamshine for anyone who wants a natural looking pout, with the glamour. And MAC’s Chai. Smooth Glassy. And very very shiny. Bobbi Brown Chocolate collection lipsticks are another obsession. Max Factor is another favourite. Smooth and lasts forever. I swear. Through the entire day. I need to scrub it off in the evenings. Which rather defeats the purpose of applying lipstick, the guilty pleasure of primping up through the day, and touching up with one’s handheld mirror. Never claimed I was not vain. I donot even step out to the park in the building complex without my lipstick. After all, I am firm believer of the maxim, “There are no ugly women, only lazy women.”
And yes, I love them Sylvania stick lipsticks too, great texture and smooth creamy matt finish. Don’t you look down your nose at them. They can beat any of them super duper whack your wallet out brands hollow. Having said that current favourite is a fire engine red from Versace, which I love to open and apply because the packaging is so exquisite.

Perfumes: A Ph D thesis could come out of this one. Lets just say my first ever gift to hubby was Drakkar Noir. My father used Old Spice and Tabac, and till today if I catch a whiff of those fragrances anywhere, I get all misty eyed. Grew up enveloped in Mom’s Charlie and Intimate. Those were the perfumes of the era. The husband began showering me with perfumes as his income levels began rising. If that was a subtle message about body odour and such like, I wasn’t taking the hint. All time favourites, Chanel No 5, Coco Chanel, Eternity, Carolina Herrerra 212, Bulgaria Omnia (What a lovely bottle!!! I confess, the packaging is what gets me half the time), Le Must De Cartier, Lanvin’s Arpege, Clinique’s Happy, and yes, whenever I want to feel like a diva, Fendi. Only Fendi. Lush, rich and very sensual, it’s got so many feel good memories associated with it, that I just know that I will have a guaranteed super duper double rocking great time whenever I wear it. Recent loves are Chanel Allure, J Lo, Versace’s Versus in Purple, Valentino’s Rock n Rose and D&G’s The One. And surely, being the perfume slut I am, more will follow. What was that about being true to a single perfume? Not me. I am only monogamous with my man.

Foundations and compacts: I’m not so hot on foundations, using my beloved Lacto Calamine 99 per cent of the time. The one percent that I need stronger coverage, have like Bourjois Repulpant. Yes, laugh all you want. It is the one that plumps up lines. Yes, I need it. I have lines and wrinkles that all become craters in which make up falls and settles comfortably in for a quick nap. L’Oreal true match and Revlon make the greatest lightest compacts. MAC Select Tint and Prescriptives Photocrome Light Adjusting Foundation is great for nighttime use, smooths out the skin to flawless. And god knows, we all could do with that. Or else major sittings for peels.

Eyes: Again, a promiscuous woman here. Everything from Chand Budhia ka kajal to Chanel Quad d’Ombres has been flirted up. Old favourites? Gala of London liquid Liner. Avon glimmersticks. Rimmel Bronze and Gold duo sticks. And I am set. Mascara never used. If I must, L’Oreal Volume Shocking. Yes, does make me look like a transvestite in full drag if done in a rush, but adds the volume real quick. Been a recent convert to Hello Bright Eyes Liner from Intimisso Organica and Shiseido The Make Up Liquid Liner. Stays on forever and doesn’t budge even when you’re sobbing through crappy emotional dramas. No raccoon eyes. Makes it indispensable. You could be having the fight of your lifetime and secure in the knowledge that you wont look like a clown, you can let the waterworks flow. There. You win the battle.
Then there is Chanel’s Lumieres Magiques which I swear is worth its price in gold, eyeshadow, blush, highlighter, works any which way you want it. And I have, in a crunch used it under gloss as a lipstick.

And if all this has got you hurling “Bimbette, make up junkie,” and other such superlative epithets in your mind, here’s the downer.

The majority of the stuff in my dressing table is the humble stuff. Stuff that really works. And while I might be complacent enough to sacrifice my Dior quad eyeshadow for the greater cause of less visual monstrosities for the rest of the world to contend with, tear me away from my Lacto Calamine and you’ve got a snarling feral woman wronged to contend with.

I have Lacto Calamine bottles everywhere. In the handbag. In the car. In the bathroom. In the bedroom cupboard. In the dressing table. Always been using it. Morning evening night. Works as a sunblock. Mops up oil. Acts like a foundation. Keeps the skin pimple free. I swear on my last few remaining strands of hair.

Cetaphil: Moisturiser and cleanser. Available at any chemist.

Moisturex or Efaderm or just plain old Vaseline for the feet. And Vaseline Body Lotion for dry skin. Really dry skin needs Oilatum or Jergens. After a bath.

Garnier Fructis long and strong for the hair. Recently converted to FiAma di Wills. But will sway again. I am not faithful to my basic shampoo. My all time favourite? Clinic All Clear. Love the fragrance. Dont ask what it does to the hair though. Only a lot of Livon helps.

Glycerine, rosewater and lime: My MIL swears by this and she has the best complexion I have ever seen.

Johnson's Baby Lotion and oil for body and hair. (Started on this when brat was born, and continued)

Olive oil for the hair. Intensive hot oil massage twice a week, leave on overnight, wash next morning. The best hair products are from Kerastase. Believe me, I've really abused my hair and gone through the gamut, from perming to straightening to colouring to highlighting. And now that I have lost almost three fourth of it, am I growing to respect it and take care of the way Mamma would have. And if the hair is falling faster than rain, Mahabhringraj generally solves it after a couple of weeks of intensive application.

Life saver: Livon/Silk n Shine on a very bad hair day. Or a silk scarf. Polish dry hair with a silk scarf. You get shine, and it tames the flyaway. Only during winter, mind you.

Am also a mask fiend so you will find every mask ever manufactured in my bathroom. Also swear by Himalaya products, and Biotique. Ponds Cold Cream. Nivea Blue box. And humble old dahi, besan and haldi. Or if your skin is dry, milk cream, besan and haldi. Half the kitchen makes its way onto my face, the husband is never sure if I’m putting a fruit through the juicer to be drunk or to be applied. Ah, yes, those limes you squeeze out all the time? They’re great for a quick rub over on patchy areas like elbows and knees.

And soap. Anyone remember Medimix and Chandrika and Mysore Sandalwood. I love them. I still use them.

The moral of the story: The luxe and the humble have to all work hard in tandem for one to be able to step out in public. Never mind if the brat shrieks in horror when one emerges with Thermal Algae Weed Mask turning the face a peculiar shade of blue. “Mammaaaaaa…goooo waaash faaaaaace. You’re looking so yuck.” Well… ermmm….

Monday, November 19, 2007

So what did you do over the weekend?

Yes, I will confess. I did it. I succumbed to the lure, the hype, the overkill and dragged a not so reluctant brat and a very very reluctant husband to see Om Shanti Om. And I will live to regret it. Yes I will, and no, its not only because of the part when Arjun Ramphal sees the ghost of the dead Shantipriya and Bindu exclaims theatrically, "Maine Baby ko kaha that make up mat utarna," and the husband passing me a loaded glance and a chuckle, which had me shamefacedly reaching for the wet wipes. Its not even about the insider jokes, the spoofing on Bollywood which finally gets to you after ten minutes into the film when you start hunting high and low for a storyline, since you are well past the stage of the Police Academy school of film making and need some sort of a narrative or at least interesting cinematography to hold your attention visually. Is it me, or is there anyone else out there who also hated it. Saawariya was out of the question. Blue sets and Sanjay Leela Bhansali get my goat. In fact he has always got my goat since Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. If truth be told, his are the only films hubby and I have walked out on, and the hubby is a hardfisted paisa vasool thug who waits till credits roll everytime. Therefore we chose OSO. It seemed like it would be a fun movie. The costumes were fun. The heroine was pretty. The man had gone and carved six packs into his abdomen and made his face even more rubbery (PS: Did anyone notice a marked resemblance to Mick Jagger creeping in, nose aside?)
But the level of the film was that of a college spoof. In every department. Ugghhh. I cant even enjoy the one film I see over half a year in a theatre without ruining it with my criticism. What can I say. The brat slept through half of it, and didnt awake even to dance to Dard e disco. And this was the brat who didnt get off the aisles dancing in Partner. Farah, you've given a hit, now give us some sensibly funny films. This is college level stuff. And Shah Rukh, you've proved enough that you can take a dig or two at yourself and the industry and get away with it, now give us some more of them fluffy stuff with K Jo, or the misty eyed variety like Swades. Or some good sci fi. God knows we could do with some good Indian sci-fi.

We had friends over for lunch and dinner twice in the week. We rarely have friends over. Correction. We never have friends over. This despite me being the most gregarious, over the top, loud, stuff your face till you pass out kind of person. I grew up in an open house. You know the kind where guests drop in at any odd time and expect a seven course meal with homemade dessert thrown in. Thats the kind of man the father was. Thankfully for him, the mother is a great cook. My husband sadly hasnt inherited this luck and must have on certainty the presence of the cook on the day guests have been invited over or at least the takeaway numbers of the good restaurants in the vicinity. Secondly, one lives with other people who dont take kindly to having their routine disturbed. Since a vacant house happened, we have been living it up. Some good friends with their own brats of the same size as the brat so a good time was had by all. Long disused hostessing skills were put to the test, and thank the lord, these were friends, or would have been hauled over the skewers for lack of graciousness. I am the sort of hostess who scrubs and spit polishes the house till the guests arrive, and then collapses in a heap on the sofa and expects to be handed a Breezer and the chakna, while the guests help themselves to food and drink. I call it informality. Others might call it laziness. I know it is not laziness, just a predisposition to whack myself out of shape obsessing about white flowers over yellow flowers, tableware being all coordinated, table mats and coasters being part of the same colour family and other such nitty gritties that I am sure no one even notices. The husband kindly told me to take out the paper plates left over from the Ganpati festival and the thermocol glasses, rather than obsess over fingerprints on the crystal, seeing that I had taken down the damn cut glass thingies and kept them back up like one thousand times. Ofcourse, I continued obssessing. A compromise was reached with the kids being the main reason proferred and ordinary glassware used.

Here is the bedroom. All spruced up. Spit and polish. Ah the wonderful feeling of extreme tiredness in every muscle that comes from intensive cleaning. Its almost addictive. I think I am becoming my mother. Gah. And for some strange reason I forgot to click the dining table, it was never perfectly set according to me. Hope you had a great weekend too!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nana dont go home.

The mother is staying with us for a few days now that the MIL is gone on her annual trip to her daughter's home in the hills. It all started quite innocently. The brat was at Nana's house for the day while Mamma was blogging furiously at the office under the guise of catching up with her deadlines. When it was evening and time to return to the nest, major meltdown happened. "Dont wanna go home, dont wanna leave Nana House. Dont wanna, dont wanna, dont wanna." This accompanied by copious streams of tears, a face crumpled like paper and well aimed kicks at Cruella de Vil Mamma's shin, as she attempted to drag him kicking and squealing down the lift into the car. I knew then that I could never be cut out for a life of crime, I would be the kind of kidnapper who would throw her hands up while dragging a gunny bag full struggling victim and just throw it where it would roll down conveniently.
The mother's eyes filled with tears. "Let him stay," she pleaded. I couldnt. His slew of medicines were at home. What can I say, I get my bleeding heart from her. Therefore Nana pursed her lips, packed up her essentials and came with us, freshly powdered and with her clutch purse tucked under her arm.
Nana staying over is a rare occurence.With Nana around, I have been on total holiday. The brat is fully taken care of. He even sleeps peacefully his arms wrapped around his Nana, and doesnt once ask for Mamma. Felt heartbroken the first night it happened, but am sure the husband is doing the war dance of victory complete with tribal drums circling the skinned buffalo on the skewer in his mind.
Today the brat has gone into therapy with his Nana. I am in the office working. Life is good. I even had time enough to myself last evening to apply some bleach on my face, secure in the knowledge that the brat would be fed, and changed and not need to come near me and my bleach for any reason. The glow on my face is partly due to a good night's sleep and Jolen. And of course, Nana. God bless all Nanas in the world.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A loo story

Scene: At the super sanitised restrooms at one of those obscenely perfumed five star loos where you wouldnt dare even do your business since they donot have water, only toilet rolls and we donot use toilet rolls, and need our mug of water even if it means climbing onto the basin to wash the unmentionable area of anatomy.

Cast: Mamma and brat.
Brat: Mamma, dont want to do su su here.
Mamma, ready to pluck her last few remaining strands of hair out, having torn out the remainder in the course of the day (ever try shopping for gifts with a brat in attendance, especially at places where the damn crockery and silverware is worth more than what your entire kitchen cost you?).
This refusal to do the deed statement coming after hurtling through infinite lobby space and shopping zone corridors and unamused snooty nosed attendants in the tony shop where brat had the sudden urge to pee.
Mamma: You just told me you wanted to do su-su baaaaaadly.
This stated in the interrogative. The brat responds with a sad and feeble little nod.
Mamma: (Decibel level of voice on the upswing to a steady screech, much to the consternation of botoxed ladies around going about drying their hands and touching up their lipstick hastily, afraid this manic mother will just about get her nail file out) Why dont you want to do su su here?
Steady counting to hundred happening within the head. Meanwhile the steam emanating from said head was fogging up the mirrors.
Brat crossing and uncrossing legs uncomfortably, looks shamefacedly at Mamma.
Brat: I cant do su-su here. This is a ladies toilet. Only ladies do su su here. Only ladies, girls and aunties.
Mamma holds heart and collapses to Italian marble floor in an undignified heap.
Damage to hotel flooring minimal. Crack to Mamma's skull needing MRI.
Meanwhile, brat continues crossing and uncrossing legs in sheer agony and obstinate refusal.
Needless to say, Mamma had to pick self from the floor and then request male attendant to clear the loo of any males, and then take her pint sized man into the mens room. I have now gone where no woman has gone before.

Monday, November 12, 2007

And here's how we celebrated our Diwali.

Firstly, we climbed into our sherwani and refused to climb out under duress or threat of no park, no mall and no chocolates. We spent an approximate of an hour admiring self in every available reflecting surface, including mamma's spectacles.

Here's me with my mamma, who is hiding behind me to camouflage how wide she has grown. Dont let that wide smile fool you for one minute, all she is thinking is *Crouch down, and come to brat level to conceal differential in girth*
And here's me being brave and lighting a fountain. And then lighting some dozen more. Here's me in my brand new zari encrusted dapper number. Dont I look dashing?

Mamma made rangoli decorations at the entrance of our house, and did it her usual short cut route by sprinkling rangoli and glitter powder all over and drawing freehand designs and then spending the rest of the evening moaning and groaning about how her back had packed up on her. And how next year she would buy stencils. And about how even if she had tossed powder on the floor, she would have come up with a great design. Of course, we all tittered politely.
We then got set for Lakshmi puja, where Mamma conducted the proceedings dressed in jeans and shiny kurta, with a golden tissue dupatta thrown over at the last minute for decorum purposes. Needless to say, she couldnt squeeze into a single blouse even if she huffed and puffed and blew the house down. Here's me with the sparklers exactly my height.

Here's me with my handsome pappa, who never gets out of his jeans and tshirt even on a festive occasion. The sole exception was his wedding, when he was conned into wearing a suit, and of course, our grihpravesh when the pandits assaulted him and physically changed him into a dhoti kurta.

And that, dear friends, was how I spent my Diwali. Since the maids have all gone on indeterminate leave since, Mamma is too exhausted to do any coherent post, and will return once the blisters on her fingers heal.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mumbai Mommy Bloggers Awake....

Last and final call for Mumbai Mommy Bloggers to put sloth and Diwali laziness behind trying for the last time to get us all together for a meet. Preferably over a weekend. Preferably at a mall playzone, where we can put the little ones in the play pens while we chat over some coffee and knowing me, some stuff to pile on the calories to the ever expanding gone to waste line.

Or if we can all find babysitters, a nice long leisurely lunch would be ideal. Mid western suburbs to be convenient to all.

Interested parties please to respond in the comments section. Rohini, Surabhi and Parul, am counting on you guys to make the numbers.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wishing you a happy and safe Diwali

Its time to get the diyas out and light up the house. Its time to keep the Burnol and Dettol and ice handy. Time to bring out the old disused Rangoli books, leaf through them in unblinking shock and acceptance of the fact that your designs will look like a funny mirror warped version of their perfection. Time to then go to the market, and buy, blasphemy, stencils, which will preserve your sanity. Its time to get the brat into ethnic wear and replace the nada on the pyjama with elastic so we dont have one of those infamous peeing at the last minute emergency disasters. Its time for the brat to decide he wants to live in a sherwani and refuse to take it off even to go to sleep or to sit on the potty. Its time to string out the mirchi bulbs all over the balconies and put up the stars and lanterns. And then go down to the ground floor and admire one's house from the ground level. And then go back up and make the requisite adjustments if required. Its time to be butt lazy about cleaning given that this is a brand new home and all one needs to do is dust off cobwebs. Its time to get out the saris from the mothballs, and bring out the wedding jewellery from the locker and retch at one's bad taste from ten years ago. And wear lycra blouses with artificial jewellery and sarees that are chiffony and hopefully slim the silhouette. And its time to realise that no blouse fits, therefore one will squeeze self into extra large salwar kameez, in A line cut that flares flatteringly around already flared hips. Its time to make a resolution not to eat too many sweets, and its time to break the resolution at the first home one visits. Its time to get an overdose of sweet so bad, that three days down the line its possible to retch at the sight of a kaju katri. Its time to be handing out gifts and baksheesh left right and centre, so that by the end of it all, one is left actually counting the small change till next month household expense handout time. Its time to go to the shops and check out which have sweets, savouries and chivdas which can be passed off as homemade without any guilt. Its time to get the firecrackers, this by the husband, to much protestation from me, given environmental pollution, child labour, safety and other concerns. Its time for our annual squabble about how left to me the brat will be a sissy unable to light a simple rocket. Its time for me to sit the brat down with a CD of The Legend of Ram and try and explain to him why we celebrate Diwali. Its time for brat to say dont want Ram, want Harry Potter. Its time for the MIL to make her standard Diwali menu of alu sabji, puri, raita, vade and kheer. Its time for all the maids to go on leave. Its time to go visiting and be visited on. Its time to meet people you havent managed to meet the entire year even though you are neighbours. Its time to celebrate Diwali. Its time to celebrate the gift of a new year, and the initiation of our children into festivities that they will hopefully look back on in happiness and joy when they think about their childhood. I am not celebrating Diwali. I am making a landmark memory in the mind of the brat, I hope. And yes, thats brat from last year's Diwali festivities. Gun in hand.
Happy Diwali all my dear blogging friends. Will be out of action for a week. And hope the lights of Diwali bring joy and happiness into your lives.