Friday, February 29, 2008

The Missing Link

A kind soul has put the link up on You tube, and much to my consternation, another kind commenter (Thank you Gypsy) led me to it.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=k7CQxXgNakw

I'm the one in the corner with the funny hair and the crossed legs. And since the uplinked portion is strangely only half the programme with only my part in it, you will not get to hear the words of wisdom being spewed by the other two guests.

My two unknown benefactors. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A playdate for the brat...

The brat had a playdate today with very best friend in the whole wide world and since yesterday evil Mamma has been getting foul milk ingested, veggies down the hatch and such like with the threat of Not Taking You to B's House. Since brat had meekly acquiescenced to everything evil Mamma forced him into, she was left with no option but to take him to B's house. Which was on the 25th floor of a skyscraper in Lokhandwala. The lift opened to copper pillared doorways and exotic statues. Mamma should have guessed what awaited within. The doorbell was rung, and brat scruffing his shoes holding the huge chocolate he had brought along for very best friend B like a teenager on his prom night holding the corsage he's bought for his date. Shy, nervous, anxious and very very excited. Sounds of frenzied yipping which could only come from dogs of the tiny, easily excitable variety, heralded the door being opened into an expanse of luxury, the likes of which Mamma has only seen in magazines of interior decor featuring the homes of the very wealthy. Since the carpenters are still hammering nails and ply together in her own house, mamma is tempted to pull out everpresent diary and make notes of the decor, but restrains herself. Until she realises that the house is two entire floors plus a terrace. She faints and has to be revived with water sprinkled, and the maids looking sadly at where she cracked the marble as she landed.
B toddles out, chuffed to the gills that his best friend is at his home and leads him into his room, which is a boudoir to boydom, filled with toys to the roof and manna for the brat who promptly shooed me away and got busy. I promised to return in an hour to pick him up and returned in two. To meet stiff resistance, the likes of which I had never seen before. Chasing the brat through two floors of someone else's house is embarassing, especially when you are sweaty after a prolonged bout of window shopping through the dusty Lokhandwala market, and are acutely conscious of dustblackened feet, and sweat ringed armpits (yes, the Mumbai winter is truly and completely over, and we are back to the killing humidity). A right royal chase later, with three very agitated dogs nipping at my heels, the brat was cornered and hauled off to much hitting and tantrums and tears, with very best friend B hanging onto Evil Mamma's feet to let brat go, and pleading with Evil Mamma to let brat stay the night.
Wrestling with a squirming brat, evil Mamma managed to get brat into the lift, scratching and hissing like a right understudy for the character in The Exorcist. And then got him into the car, with the help of watchman and driver. Only to have him collapse in a geyser of tears, with loud bawls. "I hate you Mamma. I was having so much fun. Why did you take me away. I dont want you. Go away."
Evil Mamma kept silent, unable to explain the logistics of reaching home before the cook arrived or being compelled to do the cooking herself, and then find herself arrested for poisoning the entire family with unpalatable food. "I dont want to talk to you. And when you go to play with your friends, even I will pull you away. Like that." He wagged a threatening finger at me and continued sobbing. I felt miserable, not gloatful like an evil Mamma should feel at this point. Trying to make up for it, I say, "I will call B over to our house tomorrow." To meet a sullen gaze. "But I want to play in his house. With his doggies. Mamma. I dont want baby brother. Can I have three doggies????"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Crazy 8 Tag....

The Grail Tags me
With the Crazy 8s. And since it involves talking about myself and baring my soul, I am so very comfortable doing it, that I have put it off for three entire days, until I think up enough interesting stuff about myself to make this a paisa vasool read. And then quail some more for a couple of days more, before I finally get it on the blog.

8 Things I am passionate about

1. My son. My son. My son.
2. My husband. My husband. My husband.
3. Never saying no to a request for help. If I can do it.
4. Lipsticks. Perfumes. Bags. Shoes. Clothes. (Thats makes four).
5. A long leisurely bath. With the works. Perfumed hand milled soap bars. Aromatherapy oils. Intensive conditioning treatments for the hair. Unfortunately, this ritual happens perhaps once a fortnight. If I am lucky.
6. Never saying mean things to anyone, no matter what. And especially never being rude to older people. I’m getting there too.
7. Never being judgemental. I don’t know what I would do in similar situations.
8. Being thankful to the Lord for blessing me with all I have.


8 Things I want to do before I die

1. Ensure my son is able to support himself and live on his own. When I am not around.
2. Write a bestseller. Pulp Fiction. A fun read that is perfect for a train journey. Or a day on the beach. A Sophie Kinsella kind of Shopaholics series.
3. Buy at least one house with my own money.
4. Visit the new seven wonders of the world.
5. Learn to dance. Salsa. Tango. Whatever, even Bollywood dance.
6. Lose weight. Lots of it.
7. Go on a complete veg out no answerable on my own vacation to an island resort.
8. Live on my own. Without toxins surrounding me.


8 Things I say often

1. Absolutely. Anyone watched the show??? I repeated it one million times much to my embarassed horror.
2. Am I looking fat in this?
3. Krish. KRISH. Stop that right now I said. KKKRRRIIISSSHHHHH...
4. Mamma is going to get very angry.
5. I’ve got a headache (not to the husband. I never have a headache for him.)
6. Do you still love me/find me attractive/ want me now?
7. I’ll talk to you later, Krish is pulling out the curtains.
8. Hmmm. Hmmm. Hmmmm. (This to the MIL, when she’s on her rants).


8 Books I've read recently

1. The Witch of Portobello - Paul Coelho
2. The Alchemist - Paul Coelho
3. The Kite Runner- Khaled Hossaini
4. Collected Short Stories of PG Wodehouse
5. A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
6. Dare to Discipline- (a very wise doctor whose name I cant recall)
7. The collected stories of Roald Dahl
8. Fanny-Erica Jong
(Yes, yes, most of them are being re read, since havent shopped for new books in a while)


8 songs I could listen to over and over
All for varying reasons.

1. Faith-George Michael
2. Truly, Madly, Deeply-Savage Garden
3. Is mod se aate hain- Aandhi
4. You’re beautiful-James Blunt
5. Pon deReplay - Rihanna
6. Namak Ishq Da—Sung by Rekha Bharadwaj in Omkara
7. Frozen-Madonna
8. Man ki Lagan-from Paap


8 Things that attract me to my best friends

1. They make me want to be a better person.
2. I can unload a lot of stress on them, and they’re still there for me. I can walk into their homes anytime and feel right at home.
3. They humour me. They actually believe, that no, that double chin is just a trick of the light. But yet, they are the first to pounce on me if I drag myself in looking like something the cat found and played with.
4. They adore my son. Genuinely so.
5. They are all women who are positive, earnest about life, and know they are the boss of themselves.
6. Some of them have been there with me since college days. And old friends need to be held onto tight.
7. Whenever I am low, they find a way to pull me out of it.
8. I learn something from every one of them. Every single day.


8 People I think should do this tag

1. Childwoman
2. Y
3. Birdseyeview
4. Noon
5. Gauri
6. MoppetsMom
7. Poppins Mom
8. Trishna-Aadya’s mom
(And with my past track record, if I have tagged someone who has already done the tag, abject apologies, and a link to the post in the comments section please. I've really got the memory of a seive these days.)

What do you do when...

...your son looks at you, out of the blue, with a quizzical worried look in his eyes, and asks, "Mamma, are you happy with me? Even though I am a naughty boy."
My eyes misted over, and I replied, "Yes, my son. I couldnt be more happy."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Snowed down by tags...

Since I have been bestowed the honour, by not one but three people, for three different tags, will be brave, gird them loins, and ger right down to it before I forget all about it, and become the Very Bad Lady on the Blogging Circuit, who never does any tags.

So here's the first, the Alphabet Tag from the Mad Momma and Birds Eye View, Grail, your tag follows.

A - Available?: No. No. No. And even if I was, no one would want to take me up.
B-Best friend: Sadly enough. No best friend anymore. I miss having a best friend. I have a multitude of friends and no best friend. Vacancy for post of best friend. Any interested candidates please apply in the comments section.
C-Cake or Pie?: Cake. Rich Gooey Chocolate Cake. Black Forrest. Rum and raisin cake. Roquefort.
D-Drink of choice: Coffee. Cappuchino.
E-Essential thing used everyday: Lipstick. Lipstick. And P-Cap. What do I say? The sun makes the sun burn. Soap. Shampoo. Toothpaste and toothbrush.
F-Favourite colour: To wear: Black. On husband: White.
G-Gummi bears or worms: No thank you. You're welcome to both.
H-Hometown: Mumbai. Born and brought up here.
I-Indulgence: How many can I list? Shoes. Bags. Makeup. Books. Clothes. Perfumes. Gosh. Am a regular shop.
J-January or February: January of course. The start of a new year. The hope of a new year.
K-Kids and names: One. The brat aka Krish. Aka Guggu Singh. Aka Munnibhai.
L-Life: is what happens while you're making other plans.
M-Marriage Anniversary : Jan 4, 1996
N-Number of siblings: None. Am a lone ranger
O-Oranges or apples: Neither. Strawberries.
P-Phobias: Being caught unzipped. Seeing as them zips always give way under the pressure of so much flab to contain. Q-Quote: Its a funny thing about life, if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. W Somerset Maugham.
R-Reason to smile: My son. My husband. My mother. A 50 per cent sale. A diamond bracelet. A few kilos less on the scales. My new home. My new shoes.
S-Season: The monsoon. Minus the floods.
T-Tag three people: Sue, Dipali, Parul.
U-Unknown fact about me: I need to have two loaves of bread every morning with tea before I feel alive.
V-Vegetable you do not like: I dont like veggies. Period. God help me trying to get them down the brat's throat.
W-Worst habit: Obsessing about what to wear. When no one really notices.
X-x-rays you have had: Spine. Head. Hand. Chest. Uterus. Femur. What can I say? Have led an adventurous life.
Y-Your favorite food: Biryani. Dum. Chicken Biryani. Yuuuummm. I can live on biryani and only biryani for months.
Z-Zodiac: Cancer

Edited to add: Since I have brilliantly tagged Dipali and Parul who have already done the tag, (says a lot about my memory doesnt it??) anyone who wants to take this up, please do so pronto.

When the weekend is done....

and you have a chance to recover from the enforced sloth of the two days, you decide to do some shared reminscencing...and since you are lazy you will do it in point form and hope your blog friends and readers will forgive you.

The annual day like the last annual day was a study in last minute chaos that resolved itself into beautiful performances by children you would think would just bop around aimlessly on stage. No you dont have pictures of the brat dressed as an African tribal/bushman since you followed the rule printed on the ticket which said no cameras will be allowed into the hall, only to realise once the child had left your hands, and had been transferred to the skittish hands of the class teacher that the world and their inlaws were busy handycaming everything including the footlights.

The brat stood patiently while you muffed up umpteen attempts at cellotaping flourescent green shiny bands around his arms and wrists, and stayed still while you velcro taped and stapled the painfully made feather headgear on his head. For that you are thankfull to the Good Lord above. It is a different matter that when he reached backstage with the rest of his tribe, they pulled off everything and hurled them into the air, resulting in an avalanche of feathers, with the teachers scrambling around to retrieve and recreate said prop.

The dance had the brat sitting in the centre of a ring of his classmates jumping all around him in adoration. Story of his life. He thinks nothing of it. The world is meant to pay obeisance to him.

And no, he didnt get lost. Though, the parents coming to collect their children were worse behaved than the kids, for all their solitaires and LV handbags and Gucci bucklebelt wrap dresses. They pushed and pushed and created a wall of people through which the brat was almost crushed, and I just couldnt extricate him when I went to collect him. Luckily for me, a friend's husband saw my panic and hauled him over the mob and handed him to me. I needed a lot of shopping to calm me down after that.

Yes, I came on TV. And yes, I believe now that the television adds a gadzillion kilos onto you. My arms had morphed to thigh size on screen. I saw a double chin where none existed when I went into the studio, the chipped front tooth which I dont even notice in everyday life made mocking faces at me, the kind kids make with tongue out and fingers waving from ears. And I was shivering with the double whammy of being in the august presence of Rajat Kapoor whose films I love, Mithya, Bheja Fry, Raghu Romeo, (how can you not adore this man) and a freezing studio airconditioner and it showed. The forces above had conspired with the camera man to take a Really Really Bad Camera Angle, read right side, low angle, so I ended up even wierder with some wierd off center part the hairdresser in his insistence had inflicted on me and flat headed.

Okay, lets cut the crap. I looked bad. But I hope I made sense for the little I spoke. Thats what matters.

And no. No more television appearances till I lose ten kilos. Oprah, I feel your pain.

As I said, to a friend. The only thing that looked good about me were the shoes. And they only came into frame once.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jingoooooo, jingo hah hah haha

The brat goes on stage tomorrow to perform for his annual day. In keeping with tradition, I have forked out half my monthly allowance to buy passes for the extended family to see him in his two minutes of glory. Last year he was a monkey (must commend the teacher for her infinite wisdom in assigning him that character, given that all he did was bound around the stage, and then stare into the dimmed auditorium searching for us, and then, at the end of it all manage to get lost. Will post the link to that when I can locate it.) This year he sinks further. He becomes an African tribal dancing to Jingoo. Therefore a skirt with leaves attached has been made. A garland of sequinned leaves. And many more real leaves to adorn arms and neck. This apart from the headpiece of feathers. Needless to say, Mamma has collapsed under the sheer effort of making these damn props and is ready to run away to the jungle herself. Pronto. The brat occasionally deigns to demonstrate the Jingo Dance for us at home. But first he has to get into the skin of the character. Which includes bounding around wildly, and then yelling out whooping war cries at top pitch. When he has ensured that the eardrums of everyone in the near vicinity have been punctured beyond repair, he gets into costume. This includes stripping down to his Spongebob chaddis (he has only spongebob squarepant chaddis. And Superman vests. I have still not figured out how to interpret the choice of character assignment for part of anatomy), tying a brown towel around his waist and taking the flower garlands from the mandir, and much to his grandmother's horror draping it around his neck. And then proceed to bound aimlessly through the house yelling "Jingooooooooo. Jingo ha haha ha." This will be punctuated by some intense imaginary bongo playing at which point I thank my stars that there is no real percussion instrument before him, or I would have to sign up for a hearing aid.

25 kids banging on bongos in complete dissonance at 10 am tomorrow in an auditorium. Should I carry along some earplugs?

Do you get NDTV's Good Times?

...If you do, great. You can watch me make a complete fool of myself at 11 pm, this Sunday on The Lounge, anchored by Rajat Kapoor. A re telecast happens on next Thursday night at 11 pm. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hey you from Alaska...

...you are actually out there reading this blog? And you too, from Papua New Guinea? I am in total shock. I actually did a Wikipedia on the two countries. Please say hi if you keep coming back.

Edited to add: Choxbox, I agree, make that two locations. Alaska is not a country. But yes, whoever out there is reading me, please do say hi. And you from Bucharest, too. And you from Locarno. And you from Dublin. And you from Geneva. The names are so exotic, I am fascinated that people from such wonderful places are wasting their time reading me.

The Great Khali...and the little Khalbali

The brat has a new icon. Ishaan Awasthi has been discarded for the mighty brute The Great Khali, who has, thanks to some wonderful endocrinal imbalance, attained an ungodly height of 7 ft 3 inches. So you have the wonderful vision, in black pants and no tshirt of gigantic megalithic Great Khali making mincemeat of the hapless person left inside the ring by cruel sadists, and a three foot nothing critter hopping on his feet in glee at the vision. Also in black pants and no tshirt, in obeisance to his new hero. "Mamma, mamma. Khalbali breaking uncle's head." Mamma feigns instant deafness and wonders how to get the infernal remote to herself, away from the wicked manipulations of Pappa, who no doubt, worried by the fruit of his loins worrisome preferences for Barbie dolls, and Barbie cars, and kitchen sets, and playing house house, has got the brat hooked onto WWF.
Everything from chocolate to brand new crayons to paint sets, to going to the park is offered as bait to get them eyes away from the gratuitious violence playing out in loops on the screen. Then the brat bounds up, suffused with the energy that comes from watching a fight too many. "Come mamma," he says jumping all around the room with nervous energy that refuses to dissipate until some fisticuffs have been swung. With Mamma being the target of the dissipation of said energy. "Lets do fighting fighting. I will be Khalbali. You be uncle with broken head." Mamma bristles. And then takes her revenge. "Does Khali fight with an aunty? No. He fights with an uncle." Brat looks quizzical. Wondering where this is leading upto. "So you must also fight with uncle. Go fight with Pappa." And then smirks as Pappa defends himself haplessly against the slew of tiny fisticuffs denting his stomach.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

New Mamma in the stomach?

Scene 1: Darkened room. Brat wriggling uncomfortably between Pappa deep in gentle snores, which had not yet accelerated to ear drum shattering levels and Mamma getting antsy with wriggly wormy brat, making drifting into deep REM impossible. A few rounds of tossing and turning and adjusting his adult sized pillow (because how dare I even suggest that he needs a small pillow because he is a small boy, he is soooooo big boy now, this always said standing on tiny toes and puffing chest out like a wannabe at a Mr Universe parade) and brat turns to mamma. Here it comes, thinks Mamma, the profound philosophical question to which Mamma will have no answer and then berate herself for not having read all the pile of parenting tomes she spent precious money on, and never refered to.
Brat: Mamma, did you ask Jai Jai for me to be your baby? And then I came in your stomach and became big and then the doctor cut your stomach and pulled me out?
All said in one continuous sentence.
Mamma gasped audibly at this overload of information which had not come from her, but yet had obviously been discussed often enough to make the brat comfortable with the concept of being a stomach resident. The things these kids discuss in school. But thats another post.
Mamma: *Sighing, sensing the beginning of yet another long conversation that would delve into the esoteric and end with threats of chocolate and cartoon deprivation should brat not shut his eyes and sleep pronto* Yes, darling, I did.
Brat: How did you talk to Jai Jai? On the telephone?
Mamma: *Thinking fast and furious and deciding that random numbers pressed into ISD in a bid to contact Jai Jai are not worth risking* No, I close my eyes and think of Jai Jai and then Jai Jai talks to me.
Brat: Oh. So if I close my eyes and think of Jai Jai, Jai Jai will talk to me also? Now? Just now?
Mamma: Yes, brat.
Brat: Okay, I close my eyes and think of Jai Jai.
In the dim light of the powerful all nighter construction lights at ground floor level across the compound, Mamma sees a scrunched up face and eyes, like that of a wizened old monkey. A face that remains scrunched for exactly two seconds.
Brat: Mamma?
The eyes are unscrunched and wide open.
Mamma: Yes, beta?
Brat: Jai Jai not talking with me. You talk to Jai Jai for me?
Mamma: Okay, what do you want to ask Jai Jai?
Brat: I want to ask Jai Jai for new mamma.
Mamma: *Heartbroken and crestfallen, asks piteously* Why do you want new mamma?
Brat: I want to see how doctor takes out mamma. Will Jai Jai put new mamma in my stomach?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tag time again. Quirky this time.

Jayashri tags me, and given my bad manners, I take over a week to respond to it. Thanks Jay, and here go the rules.
The Rules:
- - Post the rules on your blog.
- Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
- Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
- Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

Here are my six quirks
-Everything in my cupboard has to be arranged in a specific way. In fact, every pile is arranged according to occasion of use -- school pick up drop or lunch meet or office meeting or evening out. And the same with the brat's clothes. And I throw a hissy fit if the order is messed with. And this also means, I know exactly when someone has been rifling through the contents of my wardrobe. I would be as obssessive about the kitchen had I been running it. Right now I can only agonise at the chaos which masquerades as containers, with no order in shape or size or rationale of stocking.

-I cannot bear a newspaper that is not folded back neatly to the front page. Had I had my way, I would have a butler iron my newspaper for me the first thing every morning to remove the ink, and get crisp folds. But alas. Which also means I crib to the heavens when I get the badly folded, almost crumpled newspaper after it has been read by the husband.

-I must multitask. Which means I feel I have wasted time if I dont do some quality work on the way to office in the car, so I am making phonecalls, replying to emails, and planning features and organising my day.

-I wash my hands one gadzillion times a day. God knows where the cold virus could be lurking.

- My shoes and my clothes must be coordinated. Even if they arent the same exact colour, they must be in the same tonal family. And the style should go with what I am wearing. God forbid I wear gladiator sandals with a formal pair of trousers. May lightning strike me dead if I wear pink with green. I cringe to have my feet on public display. Like anyone is even bothered about my feet. Which also must be pedicured to perfection. Which it often isnt, but I try.

- I am terrified of body odour and bad breath. My handbag carries a full size deo, miniature perfume bottles. Mouth fresheners by the packetloads.

Lots more I can think of, but then this post would end up being an open invitation to the husband to institutionalise me.

And I pass the honours to nainaashley, noon, ceekay, choxbox, suki and big zed.
Enjoy.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

To the new mall, to the new mall…

Given the spate of malls springing up like blotches on the face of suburbia, we are soon confronted with the exciting prospect of visiting an average of a new mall a week. Yesterday, the honour of our esteemed presence was bestowed on Mega Mall, at Oshiwara. It was chosen for a very fickle reason. I loved the graphics done for the ads which blared out that the entire mall was on sale. Therefore we went. Jacketed and sweatered, in the unearthly chill of this February freezing over the city. Parked and entered. The brat spotted a two floor sized Ronald McDonald and yelled a greeting to his old friend, threw his red woolen cap in the air and ran off for a friendly hug. With me running behind him holding discarded cap in hand trying to fix it back in place. The cold wind was already digging canals to my brain and my unfixed cavities. Ever try putting on a cap on a disinclined child running at warp speed towards object of interest. Lets say, I broke my own record for the 100 m dash yesterday, and then waved at adoring audience of wide mouthed male gawpers staring horrifically at the vision of huge momma sprinting behind skeletal child. Luckily, in a moment of sanity I had worn flat gold croc skin ballerinas yesterday. Am back to insanity today and chocolate pumps.
Having got the greetings and the clambering into the lap of said Ronald McDonald out of the way, we consented to enter the mall. Not before asking the guard whether he was a real security guard, and if yes, be a man and show me your gun. In Hindi. Was dragged away by red faced mom. Too many gangsta flicks being watched in the august company of gangsta flick aficionado papa. This papa has the world record of having watched Reservoir Dogs, Vaastav and Satya one gadzillion times each to the point, where the father starts on the dialogue and the son repeats it. Verbatim. And this is a kid who will not say his nursery rhymes for love or chocolate.
Anyway, mamma entered said mall in a semi trance seeing that every store as far as the eye could go bore the magic four letter word on its window display. The word that gets her heart into knots, and thudding with a spiraling overdose of adrenalin, resulting a rush that can only be matched by the kind of rush that comes with the dizzy giddy high of a first love. SALE. SALE. SALE. Everywhere. Mamma controlled her immediate urge to rush shrieking into the stores gathering up everything she could lay her hands on, and more, and summoned driver from car to supervise brat in order to leave her free to run shrieking into stores gathering up everything…well you get my drift. The driver came in but was no match for the brat’s sheer agility at disappearing into confined spaces and vanishing behind corners, so mamma ended up being chaser and bodyguard all over again, looking wistfully at store fronts from the outside. The one store the brat deigned to grace with his presence was Adams Kids where he had a right out meltdown because he wanted a shirt like the many he already has, while mamma was trying to con him into a brilliantly styled hoodie. And when mamma was trying to control flailing mass of flesh and bones, she looked up to see two glamazons at the cash counter, buying kiddy clothes, and was suddenly acutely aware of blackpullover pulled over hastily over home tee, hair scraped back into nondescript ponytail, no make up, except for lipgloss, and spectacles completing the vision of beauty. And then it struck mamma. That was Mini Mathur. Her of the ex MTV VJ fame. Now of the Indian Idol fame. And Shaheen Abbas. Of the jewellery designing fame. In wonderfully casual chic. Toned bodies. Perfect hair. Perfect skin. Perfect nails. Perfect shoes. Tis okay. Page 3 ites are meant to be glamazons. Mamma cum personal lackeys aren’t, she consoled self and continued with the arm wrestling and body lock tactics on the floor of the store.
Needless to say, nothing was bought from said mall. Despite the 60 per cent sale signs. Except a Barbie remote controlled car. In Pink. The husband is walking around with a very furrowed brow.

The day mamma cried yet again.

Was called in by the school on Thursday. By the class teacher to be specific. I had missed the PTM the previous Saturday with the brat being feverish and the entire house and my life being on high alert. Therefore, one went in meekly, one's heart in one's mouth and chest thudding the jungle drum beat, so loud one was certain everyone in the radius of two kilometers was wondering where the party was. And dont even ask me about the twisting of the stomach, and the cold sweat and the clammy hands. Never was this nervous about my own results after any exam. Including them big ones, which have children these days on the edge. But thats another post. It turned out I had reason to be anxious. The brat's assessment this term is beyond the pale. His skills are at the bottom of the heap. His alphabet recognition, upper case, lower case, are scraped through by the skin of my teeth. His writing is pathetic. He does not write. He does not copy. He cannot draw. Period. He refuses to write on his own. He has no control over where he will take his hand. This despite me sitting with him and making him write, through love and maternal intimidation involving the dire, "I will tell Papa" types of threats. Holding his hand. He writes when his hand is held. He moves his hand perfectly. But when the hand is removed he is at a loss. He will colour and scribble and do everything but write. They are doing three alphabet words in class, the current topic for the month is dinosaurs. They are working on addition and subtraction, when the brat is still struggling with figuring out his numbers. And because he cannot figure out what is going on in class, he runs around. Gets into trouble. Disturbs other kids. Is hyperactive. Has meltdowns. Wants to play in class. Is made to sit separate or sent to the special educator in school. Who sits with him for a while and works with him. And then he is sent back to class. Where he is back to his regular shennanigans. My heart broke into a million pieces. I have been struggling to keep him up with his class, and now that I know how far far far behind it really is, I feel guilty for having forced him into a situation where he doesnt fit in. And yet, I know he is highly intelligent. Just not in the regular way. A special school? No way. He will be even more of a misfit there. The school wants me to hire a special educator exclusively for him, someone who will sit with him for the entire duration of his class, for the entire week. I will have to sell myself to pay for that. But thats not the issue. My pain is that he will be marginalised all the more as the buddhu who needs a special teacher. He will be the object of ridicule amongst all his friends. I am so sick and tired of this issue rearing its head up every other month. Just as I think he's doing fine and and can cope, wham, this comes along and hits me on the head. And it is my headache. According to the father, his son is absolutely fine. What are my options? Should I hire a special educator? Should I keep a home tutor? I find that ridiculous for a kid in Junior KG. Should I shift him to an alternative school. I have been recommended Tridha at Vile Parle East by well meaning friends. I found the distance appalling for a four year old child to travel, from Malad to Vile Parle.But that seems to be the only option I have now, if he still cannot cope with the class. I so want him to be a regular child, to do the norm, if only to fit in. I dont care if he never tops any exams, God, just let him scrape through in order to survive in this world. Am tired of pushing my baby so hard, when he should be having fun and laughing and wanting to draw and colour rather than have him throw tantrums everytime I bring out the paper and the book. He is such a beautiful boy. Why should he be labelled different?

Edited to add: Thanks guys. Am overwhelmed by the flood of mails and so much concern, that it makes me feel foolish about whining on and on about this on the blog. Anyway, since it would be impossible for me to reply to each mail individually, here goes the gist of my situation. For those who came in late, Krish already goes for 16 sessions of speech and occupational therapy a week. He started in July 06. He was then not speaking. Not responding to his name. If he ever spoke it was only to repeat what was being said to him. Classic symptoms. Spinning wheels. Banging doors. Constantly seeking stimulation. Terrible temper tantrums and meltdowns. Especially in public situations. Inability to communicate. Obviously he has been evaluated. By three of the best experts in the country. I have differing diagnosis from each. PDD/NOS. SID Vestibular. Semantic Pragmatic. ADD/ADHD was deferred since he was too young to be diagnosed as such. IQ tests done recently show him to have an above average IQ. Today, he is a different child. He has verbal hyperactivity, laughs his speech therapist. He just doesnt stop talking. Picks up random conversations with strangers. He plays with toys, make believe war zone conflicts. And his friends adore him. He is to the untrained eye, just another really naughty kid. As are so many others in his class. Ro, Sur, Parul and Y who have met him would agree I am sure. His fine motor skills are the only issue right now as is his hyperactivity and distractibility. I am working on that. He goes to drawing classes to improve his grip and his confidence. He does yoga to improve his concentration, and body control and flexibility. I would love to put him in music classes, but the poor child hardly gets any time left over to play from all the therapy and drawing classes. Add to this grief is the fact that he is at the bottom end, age wise in his class. The batch begins from Jan 2003, and he is October end born. I had requested the school last year itself to detain him for a year to allow him to be with kids nearer his age. In their wisdom they didnt. I am now going to request them again, to detain him for a year, to see whether he catches up. And keep a private special educator-tutor at home to help him with his classwork. If he still finds it tough to cope, he will go to an alternative school. Tridha, most likely, if they will have him. He will be older too, and more capable of coping with long distance travel. I travelled from Goregaon to Bandra to school everyday and know how I hated it, so have been resistant to inflict the same on my child. Plus there is the issue of his seizures. If, God forbid, anything were to happen, the school would be too far for me to get there in a snap. Given Mumbai traffic.
There are other children who are unable to cope in the school I know for a fact, but it seems I am the only honest parent who has given in a complete file of the brat;s case history and put the school in touch with his therapists, both speech and OT, because I believed they could work in tandem to help him. The rest of the parents in a similar situation are just, sweeping things under the carpet, with a "Oh, he's slow, he will catch up." attitude. The only issue right now is writing. And reading. And the maths. I feel the portion the kids are doing today is equivalent to what we did as children in Std I. Am going to give this route a try. If it still doesnt work out, then I look at alternatives.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Five Pointed Tag continues....

Dipali, the wise and warm, tagged me for this one. So I take it up promptly, given my past record of dillydallying on tags until I get into the mood, and then finding out that everyone who could be possibly tagged by me has already been tagged.

Here are the rules:
Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given (family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like). Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better. Now don’t forget to read the archived posts and leave comments.

Family: I come from a very complicated family. And have married into a complicated family. Lets say, we have a fair share of drama happening every single day. But, for me family is still my search for a sense of roots and belonging which I still havent been able to find. Here's why. I would kill to be part of a huge extended family, with cousins, and family lunches, and family traditions, and shared childhoods. I missed that. But I do know that my mother did the very best she could under the circumstances. But here's what I wrote about my father. And about my mother.

Friend: The Mad Momma wrote recently on the dying phenomenon of the best friend. It touched me to the core, I realised that I no longer had a best friend anymore, but many friends, whom I related to on completely different levels. So here's something I wrote on friends, friends from the blogging world, who have come to mean so much to me over the past few years in ways I could have never imagined possible earlier.

Yourself: About me, I could dwell on for hours and have your eyes glaze over in shock. But here's what defines me the best. Apart from the shoe and bag and clothes obsession. Yes, yes, I judge a book by the cover, and intend to keep my cover from getting tattered for as long as I can. (Dont tell me about the cobwebs under my eyes, they're character lines.)

Your love: My love. No two ways about it. I have two loves. One I have loved for 18 years. And the second I have loved for five, the first year being the year he was still within my womb. So here's what I wrote about the Love No 1, the engagement non story, and my soppy mushy ode to him (Cmon, even old fools are allowed to get nostalgic) and here's my letter to the brat.

Anything you like: This would have to be the post. This post on parenting, rather my constant agonising about it. Am I wierd, paranoid, or simply like any other mother? I yet have to figure that out.


The people I would like to tag are two new acquaintances BirdsEyeView and Anamika, and three old pals, Moppets Mom, Surabhi and Sue...take it away girls.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The brat was ill, and mamma got greyer...

It all began on Friday when the sniffles and the running nose coagelesced into a mild fever and mamma running around like a headless chicken. He was promptly taken to the pediatrician and the homeopath, and medicines prescribed. Antibiotics included. Now this pediatrician is always very reluctant to prescribe antibiotics much to the disgust of the husband who believes military level dosages are required to kill them germs rather than trying to wish them away through good thoughts and positive thinking. Mamma set out the row on row of medicines and did her chanting and waving of incense to ward off ill health demons and commenced on the antibiotics. Oh yes, I do my bit of voodoo everytime the bugs attack the brat. It goes without saying that I will never be able to set up a successful practice, am such a flop at pranic healing.
So it came to pass that the brat would be jumping around doing the Nagada Nagada dance one minute, on the bed, insisting on wearing his kurta and dhoti for the pathani suit authenticity of image one second and lie down meekly on the bed the next, pulling his Noddy blanket right to his chin, while I ran around with various strips of cloth to be dipped in eaudecologned water and applied to his extremities. And then wait and wait for the fever to recede, all the while praying to every diety in the pantheon not to let him have another seizure. I had put the entire house on red alert, including the poor husband who wasnt allowed to even get his butt to the gym, given that this was the weekend and his given off time to indulge in the spa and massage and sauna and steam, things he doesnt get a chance to do over the week. The driver was made to stay over. Never know when. One one occasion, he went into a bout of seizures in the thick of the rainy season, with no driver around, husband at office and no public transport available for love or money. I remember running carrying a limp brat, in pouring rain, pleading with taxi drivers to take us to a hospital. One agreed through sheer kindness, but we were then stuck in infernal traffic that seemed to go one for miles, and knee deep water. And the child jerking in my arms while I prayed with all my might....I dont even want to remember those days.
"Its only a fever," said well meaning friend, when she called, and heard my voice. I must have sounded like the cherubim were heralding the Apocalypse. "He'll be okay." No, she is not a mother. Which is why I forgave her. And then she wanted to discuss meeting up for lunch the next day. Needless to elaborate, I was exceedingly curt. Its never only a fever for the brat. Five times he's been hospitalised for only a fever which had his little body go into tremors, his skin and nails turn blue, and his body sinks limp and drained for hours. The mercury going to even a 99 has me in a blather.
After a particularly excruitiating bout when the fever refused to subside for two hours after medicine, I rushed him to the closest and available doctor. It was a Sunday. An injection brought the fever levels down to normal. Medicines were changed. He's okay now. Back to bashing up the universe and doing the occasional dance number while at it. Demanding his chocolates, and Lays and Chickabugawidcheez treats. All of which were allowed during the fever phase to get something, anything, down his throat.
Washed my face this morning, and actually had the time to look at self while doing so. The left temple has a new patch of greys staring cheekily back at me. What was that about Marie Antoniette greying overnight???

Just wondering....

...if there was one thing you could really change about yourself or your life, what would you choose?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Let the poor girl be...

So Britney Spears has been hospitalised. Yet again. One would think that from the mess she has made of herself, people would be a little ashamed of themselves and back off, and give her the space and time and care she needs to get herself sorted out with some good medical help and some love and care. But no. What we get are frenetic videos of Britney being carted off into the ambulance with a collage of her with her no panty flash, her drunk driving court appearances, her shaving head escapade.....one would think by now people would have had enough. But apparently not. Apparently there are vultures out there in the form of paparazzo who earn megabucks for every picture they click of her spirally down into a private hell that it seems she will never get out of, and she has, in her poor misguided, troubled mind, gone and fallen for one of them.
My heart breaks. Not because I am a fan, am not and never have been. Because I am a mother, and I wonder what sort of a legacy her poor children are going to bear with a mother who is so unstable, she is deemed a threat to herself. And I wonder at the pressures of a life of fame so early that has caused her to implode so viciously that she seems, as of this point, absolutely beyond salvation. And I wonder whether it is worth it all, the fame, the glitz, the money, the adulation, the designer clothes and the high flying life, to be not able to have control over one's own self and actions. And what would have pushed her off the brink.
The time I really got antsy reading about Britney and her kids, was when her first kid was taken to hospital for a nasty fall to the head. From a supposed high chair. The child was in seizures. The nanny was supposedly at fault. Then came the picture of her almost falling over with a baby in her arms. Wearing disgustingly high heels. Then the report of her changing a baby's diaper on the floor of a store. She was unravelling from way back. It is stressful, caring for a child. And caring for two when you are still mentally a pampered child would be tougher. I know I couldnt deal with handling the brat when he was just born. I was so terrified I do something wrong and hurt him that I had backed into an emotional corner from which I just didnt want to emerge. I didnt step out of my home for months. Except for doctors visits. And I had help. I wasnt alone. I had maids. I had a mother in law and a mother to help. I had convinced myself I was the world's worst mother and I didnt deserve this baby. To put it bluntly, I had the baby blues, and they were taking their time to go away, and had I not, through the grace of god pulled out of it, I might have been wheeled away too. That would have been the scary part. What would have happened to my son had I not been around. He would have been bathed and fed and schooled I know, but would anyone have sat up with him through the night sponging him down when his body was racked with fever? Would anyone take the trouble of taking him to therapy every other day and sit with him through three hours of sessions? Would anyone make him a jam sandwich in the middle of the night just because he felt like it? Would anyone agonise if his weight went down after it had increased by a kilo? Would anyone care?
With Britney, the world was her oyster. Was it the kids who tipped her over, or is there a history of mental illness that we dont know about? But we can have some grace as people to sympathise with her, rather than think she had it coming to her. And pray. Pray that two innocent kids get a mother who is capable mentally of bringing them up to be good human beings.