Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Farewell for Mothers!

Now who would have thunk that?

In kiddie's school - us under appreciated mothers were given a farewell - by the teachers and the 'junior' moms. It was such a shockingly pleasant experience - other than the fact that it was indeed a 'farewell' that I was quite emotional by the end of it.

My back is holding up better now (touchwood!) so I was able to attend the event + Have also started organizing the long neglected workspace!

Its good to be better! What say?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Sick Leave!

A quick post to remind you that I still exist!

Been a sickly last few days - very sore back combined with yet another flu-like attack and I've been flat out quite literally! So much so that out of the last 72 hours I may have possibly spent 36 sleeping! Its been quite crazy for even me to cope - I'm still somehow managing childcare duties while sleeping/lying down in all the time in between :(

Add to that - its Christmas next week, and apart from putting up the tree and crib (which the Kidlet and the husband actually did)..nada..nothing!

I feel so low, but I guess I'd rather get better than worsen my condition by over stretching :(

So thats news from me then.


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Behind that door..

I ran. Fast. Out of breath. Lungs bursting. Legs hitting the earth. I thudded up the path, around the corner, right up the stairs and reached the door. I flung it open and..

It was pitch dark. And quiet. Only the slow creak of the fan that moved unseen above, broke it. I stepped into the cold floor, instinctively leaving my slippers behind. She had never liked my coming into her room with my footwear on. She had never said so. But I had always known, even whilst breaking this unspoken rule.

As I moved in, I could feel her presence. She never had had a bed of her own. But the last time that I had visited her, there had been one. A metal contraption of the kind that she would never have approved of, had it been her choice. As my eyes got accustomed to the darkness some of the first shapes I could see were that of the IV stand, tubes running down its length and a white basin placed at the foot of the bed. The rest of her bed was one amorphous being.

I had been told not to bother. She would most likely not respond. The doctors were doing their best to keep her out of pain, I had been told. She slept through the days, waking only to scream and be calmed down by medicines.

A memory flitted by in my mind as I moved towards her bed. I was five then. Mother had gone on one of her field trips. Only Baba and the other servants were there at home. Bhai had left the room after touching my forehead but once. 'Oh no, you are ill again' he had said. He was thirteen then. Meena had comforted me all through the night, as my body raged with fever and sleep came in the form of nightmares. She was not allowed to sit on my bed and even though there was no one to remind her of this all night, she stood there for all those hours. Patting my forehead down, and praying beneath her breath for my recovery.

I could see her now. Her mouth open and coverlet askew.  I picked up the basin of water that lay near her feet and readied a cloth to wipe her mouth. Meena would not approve. But this was my choice. In gratitude to the woman who had lived her life without many choices, but had helped bring up one who had fought and won her right to choose.



Friday, 14 December 2012

Holiday blues

The cards spell out JOY..Peace..
Tis is the season of sparkling stars and mistletoe..
Of warmth and togetherness and lots of good food...
And if you are a real Christian - a season for worship, introspection and forgiveness ..
But when it comes to Christmas time - all I feel is a certain dampness in my heart...
It's been years since any if the above was even remotely felt. All I can feel is a heavy sense of getting through the days with as little emotional effort as possible.
This is the only time of the year where I resent planning anything - because as luck would have it - these plans never turn out as they were supposed..
Now, we just go out of town on those days and spend Christmas with our families in whatever way they deem worthy. It feels like a lot less effort - but also a lot less return.
Why am I on a rant about this? Because deep down I believe that every family should have its festival traditions - and ours has yet to make any .. It may be a whimsical, impractical desire - but that does not stop me from wishing for it! And that is the reason I feel blue as write this Christmas card to you :/

On failure..

As part of the marathon blogging effort this month - I had to write one post every day .. And I managed to - for 12 days - but what happens on day thirteen? I slip. I feel miserable. If what I want to do in my life is to write for a living I need to keep deadlines.
But enough of self pity and flagellation :/ I'm picking up from where I'd left off - because giving up forever was never the plan !
How is it going for you all.. What are the resolutions and challenges that you are fighting to keep up with ?

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

When we fall

Like she did today ...

There you are, going about your own business, doing the things that you are supposed to be, worrying about trivialities - and your child falls.

There is something second splitting about watching your child fall or get hurt. Everything is in slow motion and unfurls frame by frame. And yet your feet do not move fast enough. And then there is that sickening thud when there is impact .

In retrospect you wonder if you froze for an extra instant. Couldn't you have been faster. Was it your fault that it happened in the first place? Were you not supposed to be more vigilant to start with?

Where are the answers when one needs them? Where is the reassurance when the pain that your child bears crushes you with guilt? What do you do when you know that you have failed without even having tried too. But most of all why does it hurt more in your heart than it possibly could have hurt your bruised child?

Monday, 10 December 2012

What I would like for X-mas

A world without stereotypes :)

Gifts that are not pink

Toys that do not scream dress up and coy

Stories that are not about happily ever after

And treasures that ARE thoughtful and interesting instead

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Of a lazy lump and a Lit fest..

So the weekend before the big event (Ya,ya..the fun fair!) and all I wanted to do was to curl up under a blankie and sleep. But what do we have instead? PLANS. Suddenly in my usually go-with-the-flow pace of my life there were plans.

My in-laws are here and they really wanted to visit the Mount Mary church in Bandra. Saturday morning was fixed for the excursion - and since the TOI lit-fest is happening in Bandra, I made hopeful noises about attending a session or two after church. It helped that two authors whom I've read and sort of admire ( Suketu Mehta & Katherine Boo) were doing a session together.

So we all went up to Bandra and visited the church. After which we made a pit stop at Candies which really did me in. The stuporous travel, followed by the soporific lunch made me want to do just one thing - go back right where I belonged - under the blankie! Yes ..:(

Instead, what I had was an enthusiastic bunch egging me to go to the lit-fest. 

'You already are in Bandra. All you need to do is walk in to Mehboob studios' 

'But I need to use the Loo!'

'I am sure there are loos around this part of town'

'But how will I get back? I don't know this part of town'

'How long have you lived in Bombay? You can always ask. We will send the car back' (Also hinted: How old are you exactly?)

'I don't want to go alone'

'Do you want me to come with you?' (This from the husband - who errrm does not really make a great lit-fest partner..sorry A)

Anyways, the majority won and I was left huffing and puffing along with the artsy crowds (what is it with lit-fest and fab-india kurtas and kohl-lined eyes and wooden beads and unmade hair?) . Anyways, I luckily found myself a companion after a very frantic whatsapp session. I got a seat in the front row!! (Yay!) Managed to do some celeb type spotting (Kiran Desai, Nandita Das and of course the aforementioned speakers) and finally felt my apprehensions melting away as the session progressed..

And for that I need to thank the husband, the parents and of course the kidlet - I think I had forgotten how it feels like to have some time of unbridled enjoyment not festered with guilt! I sort of liked doing this - and be prepared A - next time you may not have to try so hard to convince me ;)

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Blast from the Past!

This post is part of the 'Marathon Bloggers' challenge that I am doing this month! The themed post for this week is 'Blast from the Past'. You need to be glad that I did not find the picture that I had actually wanted to post about - it would've been one weepy washy tale ;)

Instead I give to you : The fried fish from Namma Bengaluru!

Alright - jokes apart - that is me standing in the back. And the sweet lady who is seated is my first ever Boss! Yes, you guessed it - my first job! My first gig after doing the all important MBA, landing a job in a land far away from home and even living all by myself!

Though I do look like fried fish ( I did go through a no-makeup phase, eh?) there is a reason why I like this picture - and if you haven't noticed - I am THIN!! And I am wearing WHITE pants! I had forgotten  that I ever owned a pair in that colour - let alone merrily wore it to work! 

I also like the picture a bit because of the T-shirt I am wearing - it was partly designed (ok, only the words on it were) by me - and it was not the only one created. It was part of the merchandise that we had made for a play we had done at MICA (my alma mater).

But mostly I like the picture because it reminds me of youth, of new beginnings, of the sweet promise of tomorrow, of a new phase of independence and responsibility that was just taking off...

Thursday, 6 December 2012

100 cupcakes to X-mas..

..really, don't ask..
two words


in my daughters school!

What do I have to do, in this parent sponsored jamboree?

Image :
1. Bake a 100 cupcakes - ice them in a X-masy theme - pack them in individual packages.

2. Be 'Props in-charge' for a puppet show. Have you seen puppets. How tall are they? What do you think their shoe size is? Do you know a clever way of converting 'sexy-suzy' teacher puppet into old graying 'aunty-carol' puppet?
Image :

3. Buy christmas decorations for a classroom the size of an average Bombay living room - not bad you say. Now hand me a budget of 1000 Rupees. Oh wait, don't smudge your manicure (of how many rupees?) while you are handing me that note ? :/

4. Buy raffle tickets. Sell raffle tickets. And how will a raffle ever be one without your generous contribution to the raffle prizes? What did I hear you say ? A lose-lose situation? Close.

5. Wear a two-sizes too small T-shirt in a dried puke hue which screams out to the world that you are 'Super Mom'. If that doesn't do it for you - heaven knows what will.

: This is a totally fictional post. All rants and complaints are of an imaginative nature. I am of course a very happy to help, Bree incarnate, Mom-in-chief! 

Monday, 3 December 2012

Home Improvement..

Ok..let me begin by saying that I am not one of those eternally arty and crafty people. And this is not to say that I do not admire people who are! On the contrary, I perk up at the sight of a beautifully done up house, or corner, or store, or anything. I lurk around on decor and interiors websites which give me an instant pick-me-up! It is a dichotomy in my personality that I find most difficult to reconcile (Which basically means I can sit in the middle of what essentially is a pigsty and drool-drool-drool at pictures of stunningly done up spaces or art projects!).

Why am I going on about this you ask? Because, I just got over with a mini home-improvement project just about an hour back. This involved mostly added shelving and juggling around of a few fittings. And I am exhausted. And - the house looks even more chaotic than it was before..hmmm! How do these guys who do it so well, and make it look as simple as it?

Image Courtesy : Design Sponge
Image Courtesy :
Well, since I am still trying to figure that one out and simultaneously looking at pictures of what I would like my workspace to look like...I've decided to share some inspiring home office pictures with you all.

Most of these pictures have a white accent - but unfortunately my workspace is cream and brown! But oh - I love these home offices - don't you ?

Image courtesy :
Image courstesy :

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Food memories

This year has been full of interesting ideas and people as I have already mentioned.. part of which has been participating in the NaNoWriMo (or the national novel writing month!) - albeit ever so briefly and now I have signed up with the marathon bloggers - which means one post every day - all of December!!Yay!

Which brings me to the topic of conversation for today - food! Indeed I have come to believe that food and blogging have some sort of illicit relationship, you know. Every second blog I go to has got to have delicious, delectable, drool-worthy pictures and recipes and soliloquies about food, food, and food! And oh my lord - am I complaining? Not at all!

So, heres the thing : as part of a food based theme, I've brought it upon myself to write about 5 memorable meals that I've had. That cannot be difficult, can it? Lets find out.

My trajectory of food appreciation (or rather the realization that there are food categories beyond dal, chawal and chocolate) began only after I got married. My idea of food heaven was the Hot Chocolate Fudge at Nirulas..and as you will see, not much has changed.

So ladies and gentlemen, here is presenting my 5 favourite food memories of all time:

1. Hot Chocolate Fudge at Nirulas, New Delhi
Do not tell me that you are from 'the Dallee' and don't know what the HCF is. When I was in college (a seriously long time ago) Nirula's was THE place to hang out. And the HCF was THE thing to have. With its generous dollops of thick fudgy chocolate and ice-cream and nuts - it was just the treat to be had by poor starving students. There are days in hot humid Mumbai, that I seriously crave HCF - but have yet to find a worthy equivalent. Anywhere! (Not even the Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity NY). So there.

2. Anything with Pesto Genovese
Ok, I have a little food crush - and it is green and sort of slimy. It goes by the name of Pesto and originated in quaint little Genoa. I had it for the first time at its place of origin (yes - bragging rights - fresh off the mortar in Genoa). It surprised my taste buds with its flavour and yumminess. I am no food blogger - but really I have since been hooked to this divine accompaniment - and use it with everything - from parathas (gasp) to Cheese sandwiches - with Italian hari chutney like I call it!

3. Hot dogs in NYC
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This should be banal, I thought. What's the big deal about a piece of bread with a sausage? Oh, but how wrong I was. I hereby declare the NY Hotdog the best on-the-go food in the world. The sheer simplicity and taste make it win the prize. Trust me, I love the Bombay vada-pav (and I live next to Ladoo-Samrat!), but the hotdog made with its melt in your mouth bread with the cooked just right sausage has won me over. No accompaniments needed. Heaven.

4. Death by Chocolate at Corner House, Bangalore
When people think of Bangalore, they think of gardens, of cool breeze, of pubs maybe, but leave me to it and I'll come up with Death by chocolate. So much decadence on one plate is criminal. And I can confess to have indulged in this crime multiple times. It really is a good thing I don't live in Bangalore anymore.

5. Bircher Muesli, Switzerland 
Image Courtesy :
Bircher Muesli is an acquired taste - but once you acquire it, it is difficult to forget or not to lust over. Made right (unfortunately only happens in Switzerland) it is the ultimate cold breakfast. With its creamy undertones, bursting berries and inherent mealiness (I am not really trying hard to be poetic here!), I just cannot begin to describe how refreshing a bowl of well made Bircher Muesli can be.

And that dear friends are the top 5 food memories that I can think of. You may notice that they are not very well refined - and mostly fall into the 'junk' food category. Do not judge me please - I can savor a fruit salad as well - as long as it is pepped up with some lime and chaat masala :)