Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dont want Mamma, want baby sister

The brat has been having a blast ever since his cousins have come down. What to say, we are one big happy family. To the extent that cousin sister feeds him, bathes him, clothes him, plays with him, and he even wants to go to sleep in their room, with her. He is the kind of child who thrives with people around, the day the house is full with people is the day he is best behaved. Leave him alone with me in an empty house and he makes me tear my hair out.
His hyperactivity aside, his seems to be an issue of what to do with himself. He is a social animal. I was not. I was a lone wolf. Even at a party, I could be counted on to get myself to a deserted corner with a book in my hand. I could spend days of my summer vacations at home without seeing another human being except the milkman and my mother and be at peace with myself. The brat would be climbing walls. He is a very different child from either me or his father. I was silent, introverted, very shy, hesitant to meet new people, terrified of going anywhere alone. Much of that still persists. The class clown act might fool most, but within myself I am still this nervous, pimpled, obese bespectacled teenager who is the outcaste among the cool crowd. The husband is reclusive, a man of few words and fewer friends. Quick to anger and quick to pamper. Fixed in his ways. A total homebody. I would probably need a lever to prise him off his position in front of the telly to get him to go anywhere. And attending parties or social engagements are to him the equivalent of an appendicitis operation without the anaesthesia, his words not mine, since that is the zenith of pain he has undergone.
On the other hand, the brat is like my father, sunny, naturally extroverted, seeks out random strangers to pick up conversations with, goes behind children at malls and parks forcing his friendship on them, and is thickskinned enough not to take it as a personal rejection when they turn away. My heart breaks for him, when he is alone at home, with only his crayons and his books, and toys and a tired and irritable mamma for company. I was a friendly sociable creature when I was his age. I would pick up random conversations with strangers in buses and trains, much to the embarassment of the mother. I would want to stay over at friends homes where the friend in question had a sibling or two. Then I moulded myself into being a loner. I dont want that to happen to my son.
I see my husband and his siblings. He has four. Three sisters and one brother. Whenever one is in crisis the rest of the siblings rally behind the one in trouble like an impenetrable wall. The husband is like the supporting wall of them all, financially, emotionally. Any issues they know they can come to him. And get it sorted out. When they need a sympathetic ear, they call each other up, and pour their hearts out in a way that can never happen with any friend no matter how close. Friends dont have that shared womb, that respository of a shared childhood, the connection that goes beyond the obvious. A connection of blood that I can never hope to share with anyone except my mother and my son. It scares me. The thought that if anything should happen to my mother I am all alone. Completely. Given the rate at which marriages are going to the rocks these days, I wouldnt dare call mine rock solid. Nothing is predictable. I have seen marriages crumble over a burnt morning toast. Well not just one, but maybe that was the last straw on their camel's back. I know that I am alone. And have no one to turn to except myself. And that is scary. Do I want this for my child? Obviously not.
I long to see him playing with his sibling. A girl or a boy doesnt matter to me. I want him to have a shared bond of blood with another person, who will hopefully be with him long after his father and I are dead and gone. Someone he can call at any moment with not a second of hesitation should he be in trouble. I want him to have someone to share his sorrows and celebrate his joys with him when I am just a photograph in an album. A shared history, a shared childhood, a connection that no amount of friends and money can ever buy or replicate.
He asks me, Mamma, I want Baby Sister. When you going to hospital? Enough and more of his friends have had new siblings. I am far gone enough from the terrifying days of the early months not to be feel terrified by them again, and still fighting fit enough for these old bones to take the load of another pregnancy. So what is it that is stopping me. The husband. He has his reasons. I will not get into it right now. This being a public blog and all that. But the bottomline is that I am at the kind of crossroads I have never been in before in my life. Should I be selfish for my child and go ahead and have another baby? It would be completely singlehandedly, I cannot count on any support from the man if I do. Or should I respect his wish not to have another child and let my child find his sibling substitutes through friends? After all he does have reproductive rights, and I cannot just con him into being an unwilling father the second time around. That would be unethical, according to me. Yes, yes, I am a big one on ethics. The debate has been tearing us apart, we're like two tigers on the issue, each ferocious, unwilling to back down, and I refuse to get pregnant sneakily. I donot want to spring an unwanted pregnancy on him.
I'm waiting for some sign from the heavens above. Till then, let my child play with his cousins. They're the closest to real siblings as he might ever have.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The brat in Bengaluru

Aint this fella one cool dude. Thats the 'Black Drink Horlicks Be Cool Sunglasses' which by the way are good money paid for ones from Lilliput. And the pitambari ensemble is what he wore when he dressed as Krishna for school, and is being getting every wear squeezed out of it.

Trying to find some friends in the bungalow opposite.Unfortunately, the children from the construction site were more appealing than those in the houses around. And they had some interesting conversations in Kannada and Hinglish.
The rare moments when the brat behaved. Perhaps the solemnity of the occasion it was.

Spidey, my mate.

School reopens in a couple of weeks and we prepare ourselves the best way we can for such emergency situations by doing what we do the best. Prepare our wardrobe for such exigencies. Therefore we took ourselves shopping. Actually, the SIL is down from Bangalore (what to do, we cant bear to be parted) for a couple of weeks, and she was doing her rounds of the Mumbai shops for her annual shopping and the brat decided he was doing his two bits too.
So there we were at Alfa in Irla, where she was checking out some luggage (good cheap stuff, which is also sturdy at one fifth the cost of the branded stuff, highly recommended by yours truly), when something of interest caught the brat’s eye and he scrambled up on the counter. “Uncle, uncle,” he squeaked insistently, pulling the harried salesman’s sleeve, “Do you have Power Ranger bag?” Mamma gently reminded him that he'd just been bought a brand new number while in Bengaluru. “Thas a red Power Ranger. I want a Blue Power Ranger Bag and a Yellow Power Ranger bag and a Green Power Ranger bag. Not d Pink. D Pink is a girlie Power Ranger.”
A happy compromise was reached with the entire squad present on one bag, with appropriate murderous pose, which was duly bought. And worn immediately to be broken in for comfort, while we traipsed around the public place.
From there we went on to Lokhandwala market. Where we wandered into random shops, and where a Power Ranger umbrella, a Spiderman Pencil box, and a Power Ranger tiffin box and sipper were selected and duly purchased. “Why did you get a Spiderman Pencil box?” I asked the little man of definite sartorial preferences. This being the only aberrant in the series of Power Ranger stuff. He thought long and hard with his face screwed up, like a fist about to strike. “I have Spiderman Bag (from last year), and Spiderman umbrella. If I don’t get any new Spiderman, he will not be my friend anymore. I want Spiderman also, and Power Ranger also. One day I take Spiderman, one day I take Power Ranger. They both be my friends.”
Then began the scurry to find the rest of the Spidery stuff to make the quorum of essential components of a school going day. I can just see myself laying out the two sets on alternate nights, and going mad with stress of ensuring that each set is perfect.
This is called having your sins come back to bite you in the butt. Why did I ever introduce this child to the concept of having things coordinated?

Visualise this...

Scene: The New Bengaluru International Airport Waiting Lounge
Many passengers counting the tiles on the floor of said shiny new airport given that flight delays were fighting with each other to be announced.
The brat in his fancy new white Benetton Tshirt gifted to him by Poppins. Corduroy pants. Denim jacket. Black Lilliput shades firmly on the bridge of his nose. And standing on them plastic chairs, doing dshuffle moves to :
Onyourmarks Gasolina
Hanuman Gasolina
Kantala Gasolina
(Lyric bastardisation courtesy the brat. Apologies to Daddy Yankee.)
Needless to say many bored and weary travellers blessed us for the entertainment. Do you think I can market the act and make me some money.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The return trip from hell

Yes, Bengaluru International Airport at the remote outpost of Devanahalli opened its pearly gates for the weary, and so we landed there, a short car ride away from the outpost we were put up at. Reaching there itself took the better part of the day, I was sure, half an hour more I would have reached Mumbai and in retrospect that would probably would have been a better and faster decision than taking the cheap flight out.
When I got the curt little message on my mobile that Passenger No XYZ was being notified to take her carcass to the new international airport, which had commenced operations just a day before my departure, an icy finger ran up my spine. Given my personal record with such premonitions, including the one that shouted "chuck off those stilettoes and run" when one came face to face with certain individuals including ex-bosses, and ex-crushes, and given that I almost never paid heed to them, I should have known what was in store for me, and done a quick puja to appease the travel gods, along with some human sacrifice if possible. Know a lot of humans right now just begging to be sacrificed.
So there were we were. The Mother, the brat and I. Did I ever mention that I get royal escorts to and fro? The MIL having departed to Mumbai after having completed her assigned task of dropping me to safe custody and the Mother was assigned, by the kind husband, the task of getting me and the spawn of his sperm back in one piece. Obviously there is no faith in my abilities to land from place A to place B without some drama on the way, missed flights, getting on wrong tarmac buses and such like.
And there was the luggage. Lots of it. I went with lots of it. And it all mated furiously in the cupboards in Bengaluru to produce offspring and so I actually had to pack with people sitting on the suitcase to help zip it up and then search for pieces of twine to tie it together. Zips were splitting at the seams in the most obscene manner, and I was forced to call on the hospitality of my mother's non existent luggage to accommodate the spillage. The good mother being the frugal practical person she is, had come down for a weeks trip on three salwar kameezes and two night dresses. Obviously, someone didnt get her practical good sense, seeing that someone had packed three sets of matching shoes and handbags, home wear clothes, casual outing clothes, formal outing clothes and such like crap which ended up going home their ironing creases still intact given that all one ended up doing was visit the shopping districts and return home well before pumpkin hour, and dead sober to boot. Yes, yes, that one dancing in her underwear on table tops, that was so not me.
Anyway, so shopping combined with overpacking the first time round did not a good combination make, so one hauled luggage onto trolley and made our way gingerly to check in. The brat skipped along holding the mother's hand, and one was delighted that this assistance was available. Actually, one needs to thank the husband for his thoughtfulness in ensuring I had company on the way too and fro, or would have been reported to the authorities for cruelty to a small child in a public place, albeit in the face of immense provocation.
The check in, for a domestic flight, was a line the size of the Great wall of China. I rolled my trolley up, picking up the stray pieces of luggage which kept falling off on toes and in the way of other trolleys and stood meekly in line. Knowing me, the meekness lasted for a fraction of a second before I began clawing my way to the front of the line from hell to figure out what the chaos was about and bring some order to the situation. In the meanwhile, brat was whizzing up and down the new smooth floor, and coming to a grinding halt slap bang in front of loaded trolleys, giving my mother mini strokes. So I dragged him with me on the quest for a counter which didnt look like a ST depot booth with passengers clamouring for tickets to the last bus out of hellhole.
I found a line with a sole passenger standing aimlessly in front and shamelessly smirking at the increasingly frantic trolleybearers in other lines, and checked if it was for the cheap airlines I was flying on, found it was, deposited brat on the counter in safe custody of check in staff (yes, yes, I am naive at times, but these were desperate times, and he had already begun charming the stockings off the checkin lady by commenting on how nice her eyes were looking with shiny colour on them), threw the crowd apart much in the manner of Moses parting the sea, ran with trolley and luggage pieces flying off trolley and whizzed to said counter, just as the computer there decided to hang itself in shame, or maybe the brat tinkered with it on the sly. I'm not telling. So then the counter and the woman manning it decided to close both, leaving me rather perplexed, and shall I say, fuming mad. I am not nice when I am fuming mad.
Of course, the brat was having too much fun behind the counter to be bothered about such niceties as getting back at the fag end of the next humungous line that probably stretched all the way to Mumbai, so I stood at said abruptly closed counter and did the Princess throws a Tantrum act, getting upset Airport men in walkie talkies to close in on me, and frogmarch me, my trolley, my mother and my brat to the first spot in said humungous line, and so we were checked in priority. (Moral of the story: Throw great tantrums, and make sure you look helpless and stressed out while doing so). Overload, forgiven they said, just get this screaming vixen out of the gaze of any media which may be present to pounce on such drama. I missed being in the papers.
The brat was quite thrilled to go through security check and insisted on doing a return check to the lady in the uniform lingering happily over her beeping belt.
Then the huge terminal. And with Shoppers Stop and Tommy Hilfiger and such like within. I thought I had died and entered the pearly gates for real. Then the serafim announced a 20 minute delay on my flight. If God had been kinder the brat would have been sleepy and content to be seated peacefully instead of having the airport witness the horrific sight of fat woman teetering around in impossible stilletoes chasing pint sized brat who was intent on picking up conversation with random strangers about why they were sitting around indolently, and not get on the plane right now. I cast longing looks at the stores as I ran past, (much like when you have a crush on someone and sneak looks as you pass by, unable to muster enough gumption to introduce oneself) longing to get in throw some money at the salespeople and pick up more stuff I didnt need. I sure had the place for more unwanted luggage in my huge handbag. Maybe I should have put the brat in said handbag and shopped in peace. After around an hour and a half of running around, the 20 minute delay was done with and the cattle were herded back in line to a gate which was at the other end of the terminus from where we were so we ran helter skelter, holding onto handluggage and brat, with the poor mother hobbling behind struggling to keep pace, and we made our descent to the tarmac. Try descending down an escalator with two bags of handluggage, a brat, and an arthritic mother. And them stilletoes. Yes, yes. Am wearing sports shoes the next I fly. Only if I magically grow three inches taller overnight. Then we wrestled into the bus to take us to the plane. Can anyone explain to me what the damn rush is to get into the bus? Why the fights to get on? The brat happily copped a punch to an unsuspecting soul to his left, thinking that pushing and punching was the norm in this sitch. Will the plane take off without all of us checked in souls?
And on the flight. We waited. And waited. And waited. And the poor captain kept announcing apologetically that they were waiting for clearance, since it was a new airport, teething troubles and such like. I asked whom I should take a bite out of, since I was not buying these teething troubles an hour and a half on the tarmac. In the plane. The legs went into happy crampland. Luckily, the running around at the airport had done its job well, and sweet sleep overcame the brat, for which said humungous handbag was used as prop to rest tired little head, since cheap airline had no damn pillows.
We landed four hours late. At the international airport, and were then ferried to the domestic airport, then the interminable wait for the luggage. Ah, but it feels good to be home. In celebration, the brat got whacked two in public for throwing his hopping mad tantrums at being denied running opportunity on the luggage carousel.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Brat in Bengaluru

The arrival
The high drama started the day we left. Having been pampered all his life by flying only Kingfisher, the child starved through the day in anticipation of the flight. To his bad luck, we were flying the cheap tickets this time, and no food on flight. So breakfast time came and went at home. “No,” says brat, virtuously, like a virgin saving herself for the Lord. “I’ll eat on the plane.” Mamma explained in graphic detail how this was a sasta flight with cling film wrapped real bad sandwiches, but he was not buying. The flight was at 2.30pm. So lunch time came and went. Mamma danced like the courtesans of yore trying to entice the man to get a spoonful or two of something into his stomach before we left home. To no avail. He pursed lips primly and sat, faced screwed into a disapproving little ball of flesh. “I said I will eat mummum on the plane.”
Mamma gave up and stuffed her face. And had the wonderful foresight to pack food into her carryon luggage. Which, mamma being mamma, checked in with all the confusion of not knowing which bag she'd packed the food in. So there we were at the airport, with an extremely apologetic voice telling us that Spice Jet flight blah blah blah has been delayed for a minimum of an hour, passengers are please requested to bear with the inconvenience. Mamma took the inconvenience to the loo and promptly bought said inconvenience some chocolate. Which prissy face refused yet again. Of course, hot and sticky Mumbai necessitated Mamma demolish the chocolate pronto since brat had had first right of refusal. Ably assisted by the diabetic MIL who does not have sugar in her tea but whallops down anything else that comprises sugar as an essential ingredient. In this case, two bites were enough to consign a full sized Dairy Milk to the bottomless pit of a stomach.
Lays were bought and refused, and a sandwich too was bought and consigned to Mamma’s new handbag in which it congealed with perfume miniatures and tissues to morph into some indeterminate mess which promptly stuck itself to mamma’s hand just when she was trying to act all sauve and sophisticated and woman of the world given that corporate hunk type was across the aisle. To credit of corporate hunk type, he offered a tissue by way of assistance and visual distraction by means of smile, following which mamma realized flight had been announced and the hordes had thronged the gate, rather in the manner of villagers trying to clamber onto the only ST bus passing through their village for a week. Flinging tissue and sticky sandwich into dustbin, hauling hand luggage brat and the MIL, mamma clambers through pearly gates and into the bus to the aircraft to realize she has another battle on her hands. The brat does not want to get off the bus to get into the aircraft. “Lets go to Bangalore in the bus. Plane is boring.” At which point, the quiet thread of patience snaps and Brat is physically hauled up and direly threatened with abandonment to stern pot bellied burping police uncles and their sniffer dogs if he acts up anymore. Calm ensues. Till the seat belt is strapped on.
He sat in his seat and piped up loudly, “Chee ganda plane. Where dTV? Where the earphones? Where the crayon and colouring book?” A look that could have killed passed between him a rather affronted purser. On flight, he asks the airhostess, repeatedly, “Aunty, khana lao. Mamma Aunty khana kyun nahin laa rahin hai?” Mamma bought another sandwich, paying obscene amount of cash for it, on flight, only to have brat turn face away in disdain. By the time we disembarked, his face was the size of a starving rat. “I want chicken. I want mutton. I want fish,” so went the refrain like some offspring of rakshashas. And then namma Bengaluru traffic put paid to any hopes of him eating anything within the hour, what mamma had packed had already dissipated itself through the bag and through all the clothes packed around it, so we reached home at 7.30 pm, with not one single edible thing being ingested by the brat. We go back this Sunday also by the cheap flight. I hope he's learnt his lesson.

The housewarming
We were down to be part of the housewarming celebrations for my sister in laws new home. The perfect opportunity for the brat to be all precious and get everyone to go ‘Oh so cute” and escape the occasional well aimed raps administered by mamma when precious becomes precocious. The brat, fortunately, found company in the maid’s three year old daughter and happily played with her till the rituals were dispensed with. And it was adorable to see how they both managed to communicate, she with her Kannada and he trying out every language he knows, English, Hindi, pidgin Marathi and Bengali. But they managed to get their mischief done regardless of the language barrier.

Bengaluru shopping
His misfortune to be the son of a woman who lives to shop ensured that he spent a lot of time wandering around the bylanes of the shopping districts to sniff out bargains. Which unfortunately, his mother found not much of. The high point of which being a visit to the Hum India sale at Safina Plaza which had mamma pounce on a pack of UCB lion charactered kiddy undies like she had found manna from heaven. And where the brat insisted he do a strip down and try on for size in public. Mamma still has to live down the visual spectacle and humiliation of brat down to six rib chest and undies in full view of random shoppers.

The Bengaluru Mommy Bloggers Meet
I reached late, and was the last to arrive, so as I entered Aargee’s lovely home, I was told I could only be part of the meet if I guessed who was who. Thanks to our clever little escapade on a google group, I could by the process of elimination. My initial impressions, Poppins Mom at the gate to receive me. “Gah, and she’s pretending she’s pregnant. Her waist is slimmer than mine. And so pretty too, positively glowing. Why did I go all goth and drained out when I was pregnant. So unfair.”
Collection of Stars accompanied her with Aargee’s bundle of energy, Aaditya. The kind of person I would love to have next to me in a crisis. And Aaditya, throwing himself all about the place, refusing to go to sleep, basking in the presence of these noisy, loud aunties chatting away nineteen to a dozen, until a much harassed Aargee forcible put him to sleep. Aargee, very desi chic with her nose ring and flared gypsy skirt, the perfect gracious hostess. A great time was had by all. I promise a more detailed post on the meet when I have more time at more disposal, and better memory, and brat not swinging on my hair as I try to type this out.

When the brat meet the poppin
Given that Mamma and Brat were put up in a part of the city where until recently wild animals roamed, and shepherds went about their business in peace, Poppins Mom did us the kindness of bringing the Poppin over to meet the brat. The brat was on preening overdrive since the morning on being told that a little girl was coming to meet him. A girl!!! Coming to meet him!!! He’d changed three tshirts in anticipation, and was contemplating changing into his fourth when the visiting dignitary arrived. So he quickly put on his black cool Lilliput sunglasses and slipped into his new Power Ranger school bag to impress the hell out of her. I think he terrified her into stunned silence with the vision he presented.
And she came, chubby cute in pink and a pretty frilled skirt. And shy. So shy, it was absolutely adorable, making Mamma feel like the wicked witch who lured in Hansel into her cake house and wanted to gobble him right up.
Brat of course, was his usual brash, loud overbearing self, scaring pretty little gentle Poppin into silence, her voice only emerging when she was out of the house and out of his scary influence. And the oh-so-cool Hawaiian shirt Poppin got him has now become the favoured outfit for his off shoulder version of Shah Rukh Khan Dard E Disco number. Something tells me this boy is going to take after his father in the wooing the ladies department.

(Part two to follow)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bye folks, be back on the 25th.

So we're off to Bangalore tomorrow. We have thrown all the contents of our cupboard on the floor and shovelled them into every bag we could find. These being plastic bags from whence Mamma had to retrieve them and place them in some semblance of order in suitcase type thingie.
We then insisted on taking along all our shoes and Mamma begged and pleaded to limit ourselves to two. Excluding slippers and sandals. We then fought bitter duels on the sunglasses, needing at least four in order to be perfectly coordinately. Sly Mamma, kept single black one, and hopes and prays he will calm down once he realises his stash is a long way off.
We dragged out every jacket we possessed including the ones with the cuffs to our elbows now, and mamma pretend packed them and threw all excepting a couple back into the cupboard. We threw in some of our ethnic wear too, incase we happened to go for a costume party. Mamma has by now perfected the art of slipping back unwanted stuff into the deeper recesses of the cupboard.
We now turned our attention to our toybasket and full dinkum overturned it into the open suitcase. Mamma does a big show of wrapping them in plastic and cuts down the horde to a couple of dinky cars and two power rangers.
Do you think am in for the tantrum from hell when we land?
Anyway, see you all back after the 25th.
Forgive me all my unanswered mails.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Khichdi it will be

The brat is developing the strangest culinary tastes. Considering that the best his mother can come up with on demand is pasta from a packet he really doesnt have much of a choice does he?

Nonetheless, the recent entrance of a new cook into the household was greeted with the fanfare it deserved. I mean, the cheerleaders at the IPL didnt put on a better show than I did. Unfortunately, the pompoms were not the only things that shook violently at mine dance of cheer. And the people staying below thumped their ceiling with their long handled broom to demand peace and silence and the safety of their false ceiling.

The brat walked upto her the first day she entered. "Aunty, aap kya khana banaoge?" His brow furrowed in earnest hope and prayer that this angel from culinary heaven (albeit wizened and scrawny, sans wings of any sort) had been sent by the Good Lord above to save him from his mother's culinary misadventures everyday, the least of which involved cooking rice to a pulp that resembled a saltless tasteless pudding. And the worst of which involved pouring in salt by the shovelful into a labor of love which had involved much boiling and cutting and such torture filled exercises which had me considering therapy for overwork related stress.

Therefore the brat's obvious, undisguised relief that his culinary ingestion was going to be in safer hands than the absolutely culinarily challenged abilities of his mother. No excuses, just am too scattered to focus on cooking. The scrawny one surveyed the new entrant from top to bottom rather like a madam sizing up potential big spender entering her kotha.

So he asks the lady, "Aunty aap sab khana banate ho?"

This after the mother in law had already put her to a grilling regarding her cooking techniques and demanded a demo for the day on the basis of which the hiring decision was done. Its easy to please the mother in law. Her favourite vegetable is the karela. Tossed in with every spice powder and charred. Fingerlicking perfect for her. Such cooking everyday and I still cant manage to lose weight. I should have been Posh Spice by now, but I slip into malls and cheat and wolf down nutrition on the sly.

Naturally most cooks pass with flying colours when it comes to providing such culinary delights. Anyone wanting to go the extra mile and add onions and do a bit of grinding, and such waste of time techniques is totally unsuited to our exacting standards. And if the vegetables arent charred to a crisp they arent cooked. Never mind all my scientific discourses on the nutrition factor of vegetables getting oxidated on high flame and such like. Anyway I digress. The bottom line being that between the two of us, the brat and his father were being starved for edible food.

Suprised at the question, the new recruit knelt down to brat level and asked him, "Beta, tumko kya khana hai? Chicken, mutton, biryani, paneer, chole....Kya khana chahiye."

Mamma's stomach was growling most unbecomingly at all this dirty food talk, and she downed some water to cool the raging fire in belly.

Brat looks up at aunty and pipes up loud and clear. "Khichdi khayega. Aunty aap khichdi banayenge? Mamma nahin banati."

I could have dug myself into my Marbonite tiles and pulled them over me. The shame, the shame. To be humbled before the hired help such by my own fruit of the womb.

It has been a week since, and khichdi has been on the menu since.

Shameless, heartless mother me. Starving the child of khichdi.