Why the husbd. will think twice before coming home late

Good news : We've zeroed in on a house, so will be shifting soon.
Bad news : Husbd is busy.
(btw, husbd is being busy, everytime there's something significant going on-got to check if this is sheer escapism he he)

There was loads to pack. Loads to dispose. I didn't know where to start. Can't wait for the husbd till weekend to do the honours, as we've got to shift Saturday morning. There were lots to do, I just couldn't figure where to start. So, I decided to take it easy. (take it easy=putting my feet up and relaxing on the sofa and let the mind do a bit of impertinent and unnecessary wandering like how Tamil actress Nadhiya could never age etc.,).

After what seemed like a nanosecond, I found myself staring at my husbd. I coudln't immediately gauge his expression. As an involuntary reaction, I looked at the clock.
So what I thought was a nanosecond was a good one hour. I had slept like a log of wood. Husbd had knocked the door (maybe he should have banged it instead). No answer. He's rang my mobile. No answer. He's gone down the lift to buzz the security phone. No answer. I usually lock the door from the inside, so he's never tried opening the door with the same key that we use to lock from outside. A neighbour suggested using the same key, and it has worked.

I had put the mobile in silence mode, while patting the baby to sleep, but I had no explanations for missing the phone beeps and door knocks. Maybe I had plugged into the ipod?

God, please save me.

Confusional Consequences!

So its house hunting time, yet again. And this time, Husbd has carefully said, "its your choice"! Well, I didn't feel flattered, as that was just a tactful way of saying that he's too busy to take the strain of house hunting.

I got my details and requirements registered with every other letting agency that I came across. This way, I wouldn't be missing out on any suitable property, I thought. I didn't spare the few websites where you get email alerts on rental properties as well. So I was happy that I've taken the first step in a very organised fashion. O N L Y , I didn't make a list of whom I've contacted. That wouldn't have mattered much.. B U T, I realised that the requirements which I've given to some have been inconsistent and contradictory.. that also would have been sorted out, U N T I L, this guy called up my husbd's mobile and asked him if we'd like to view a one bed apmt for £900.. husbd has said that's beyond our budget for a one bed apmt, and the guy has said your wife said its fine as long as its near the shops and tube station. Would I have said that? Well, I may have!

What was more interesting was this conversation over the phone:
Me: Hi there! I have an appointment to view properties this Saturday at 10 in the morning. D'ya think I could come in today instead?
Agt:I'm sorry, but we haven't booked any appmts on Saturday. Whom did you speak to earlier?
Me:I didn't get her name.
Agt: Was it Dan?
Me:Sorry, I didn't get her name at all.
Agt:Wait. You said its a she?
Me:yeah, it was a lady that I spoke to.
Agt:Guess you've called the wrong company. We've never hired women at all in this company.
I could only be thankful that I didn't indeed go in person. Spared the strain of picking my jaw from the floor.
I racked my brains. I already had to keep the 12 noon appmt on Saturday with another company as well. Although I had not taken her name, I remember jotting down the address. So I sought dear mr. google's help yet again. A N D, I stared at what I saw on the screen for a sec and laughed out loud. As it appeared it was the same company which I was to make it at noon time. I had double booked! I'm just over worked you see ;)
BTW, this is what happens when you T H I N K you're clicking, whereas all the while you've been video-ing :D

Just about this and that

How exciting would it be to get back in touch with an old friend?

This Saturday,I received a call around noon time. It was the excited voice of my mother : "do you remember that friend of yours? Her dad..." and then I lost the connection. Sitting thousands of miles away from home, only triggered all negative thoughts on what my mother was about to say. She called again within few seconds and thankfully put a fullstop to my wild speculations. Apparently my friend's dad had visited my house to get my contact info, as I had lost touch with the girl. This girl was a close buddy from school days, got married quite early, shifted places a dozen times eventually losing contacts with me. She had very sweetly sent her dad to my place to know how I've been. Numbers were exchanged, calls were made and we sank into sweet memories. I felt cared for, and happy.


How exasperating this could be?

Couple of hours later, I signed into the few social networking sites that I am a silent member of. While browsing through the ever interesting friend suggestions, I happened to see couple of names that I had already added months ago. Some have ceased being friends with me probably, as I've been deleted from their lists, and the poor software, innoccently prompts them as suggestions! Seriously, things couldn't get more kiddish. I felt bad; for maybe around 5.5 seconds.. (Thank you Almighty for the busy life that you've given me). Not responding or acknowledging is EVEN more kiddish. I'd rather someone add another as a friend, only if they want to know and want to continue to know them. But hey, that's just my 2 cents.

A cute knack

I recently switched over to a new mobile service provider with better features. The old provider had sent a cute card with very cute hand written messages.. Some of which are
"Don't forget us. It's been great, and if you ever fancy coming back, our arms are open."
"It won't be the same without you, but we wish you the best of luck if its really time to move on.. If you're not sure, ring us on ****** and we'll talk it thru. No pressure!"
"Was it something we said?If we went wrong somewhere and disappointed you, tell us what happened and we'll do our best to make it up to you."
If its a money thing, we can work something out. We could add a juicy credit to your bill or switch to a lower tariff. The lowest tariff is only ** per month."

Her Doubts

Once upon a time there was a little girl who wouldn't venture out of the protective atmosphere of home unless it was SO essential.. She couldn't understand, nor appreciate what was so rosy out there beyond the seas, far from homeland.. And what made people who did go out, stick there and not come back.. But abroad she did go... and the place just grew on her... Time came when she had to return.. but she wasn't exactly pleased.. Has she grown intolerant? Has she ceased to think like the little girl that she was? Has she got SO used to BEING AWAY FROM HER OWN PEOPLE, that she's now confused about returning? Does she find it easier living away?

Of phone calls

Me : Amma, how are you?
Amma : You tell me first.. How are u doing? Are u eating well?
Don't have oats or cornflakes for breakfast.. don't be lazy to make idlis..Don't forget to check if the door is locked properly... Don't read too much and strain your eyes.. or sit in front of the laptop for a long time.. ETC.

Me : Amma, how are you?
Amma : let that be.. You tell me first.. How is panju doing? Are you sterilizing his feeding bowls & spoons properly? Don't bring the porridge anywhere near him when its too hot.. Don't be busy reading while he's playing, or he'll put something in his mouth... btw what's he doing now? sleeping?? then why did u call now?u can take rest only when he's sleeping...

Ok. I am still being cared about.

Family Matters-Rohinton Mistry

If I ditch a book mid-way it could only mean it is one hopeless book. But if I toy with the idea of giving up reading a book albeit a brilliant one, it means that the book is forcing me to ruminate on issues that I choose not to think about i.e., if the book disturbs me. I found myself picking and dumping "Family Matters" off and on. Pun intended. Mistry has sure chosen the best possible title for the book, which is in itself a double entendre.

Nariman Vakeel, a retired English professor and an aged widower, lives with his middle-aged step children (Coomy & Jal). He is haunted with memories of his deceased lover (Lucy), whom he never got to marry. Memories of love haunt his mind, Parkinson's disease enfeeble his body. To make matters worse, he fractures his ankle during one of his perfunctory walks, making him bed ridden...He's considered an unwanted burden and is forcibly dumped in his biological daughter's (Roxana's) place. Roxana's husband who is not very pleased about the whole thing finds himself helpless in the hands of fate. Amidst Roxana's laborious yet affectionate care, Yezad's inability to alter the hapless situation, Coomy's cunning plots to distance her step father, is the dignity of an old man at stake.

Ofcourse, as with most of Mistry's other novels, its a Parsi family that the story revolves around.

Its both funny and sad, to think of the ways parents do so much for children, and children grow up and have second thoughts in taking care of elders at their twilight years. Isn't oldage called second childishness?

Not only is the author's narration strikingly honest and down to earth in portraying the lives of the various characters involved, the sarcasm with which he gets across the message is incomparable. Few highlights-

-Nariman inadvertently dirties the bed with his feces and the stink gets Coomy confused. "Nariman decided:he would open his eyes and come clean. He smiled the next instant, amused by the thought-clean was a state much to be desired in his present condition.". His thoughts are hopelessly sad, yet conveyed in a lighter vein.

-Roxana leads a happily married life with Yezad and their two sons in "Pleasant Villa". The name of the house only becomes an irony after the sick Nariman's entry into their family. What's more incongruous is "Chateu Felicity" which is what the house which Nariman shared with his step children is called. Though the house seems palatial what with seven rooms, the hearts of the stepchildren aren't accomodative enough.

-When questioned if Coomy isn't feeling even the least bit guilty, she answers "Conscience is easier to look after than Pappa".. Bloody brilliantly blunt, I'd say.

If Yezad's woebegone family scenario isn't a trouble enough, his employer adds to his exasperation by announcing his desire to run the elections at one time saying that his "beloved Bombay is being raped" and playing Santa to all others, not considering that his own employee would do with few extra bucks. But Yezad is sketched as having an amicable relationship with his boss. Wonder what stops him from openly asking for a hike/promotion instead of ploying unnecessary tactics. The lengthy description of the Parsi death ceremony was another uncalled for detail. Another area which I found faltering was the solution which Jal finds to all problems, financial and otherwise. It was disturbingly sudden.
But what stands out the most is the transformation of Yezad from a moody person to an elightened one. Helping a dying person to die peacefully, sure is the best way for one to assuage all other misdeeds. The conversations between Yezad and his father in law are witty and seem real.

The book is definitely worth a read. Though heart wrenching at places, its not a gloomy book in its entirety. To live with parents, or to leave them by themselves is a tricky conundrum. Be it as it may.... ultimately Family, matters...


Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

Feeling blue? Chocolates and Soft Music aren't the only ways to up your spirits. Books that could make you grin ear to ear promise even more fun!

Lexi (the protagonist) wakes up in a hospital bed after an accident, only to find out that she's forgotten the last 3 years of her past. And in those 3 years, she's become a high-nose boss from a merrily gossiping girl, an absolute fitness freak from an indulging glutton and a well-groomed perfectionist from a snaggletooth, unorganised giggling just another girl.

Needless to say she's confused. And she's hardly able to obtain any help from her sister (who's a scheming extortionist) and her mother (who feels her dogs require more attention than a recovering daughter). To add to the chaos, out of the blue comes Jon who claims to be Lexi's lover. Now, why would she have had an extra marital affair when she's married to the love of her life! Lexi's also clueless about why her old buddies seem to desert her. How has she got herself transformed into a person whom some people hate to even recognise, while others are proud to be associated with? And is this Jon guy telling the truth? How funny would it be if Lexi happens to recover her lost memory ?

Sophie Kinsella has a contagiously cheerful way of writing. One is sure to be entertained. There's something to laugh out loud in every page. This feel good factor is one reason I make sure to grab every book of hers. While reading her book "The Undomestic Goddess", I was being all critical about the flaws here and there. But there are times when you should NOT put on your thinking cap... instead just sit, have a good laugh and move on. Especially works when one is stressed out or weary of reading/watching all tear jerkers and serious heavy subjects. I would liken this book to giving way to temptations for a day, when on a strict diet.

The author also has a knack of making the main character unfailingly adorable. If you fell in love with the innocence and gaiety of Becky in the Shopaholic series, you're sure to associate with the snap decision-maker and emotionally vulnerable Lexi. There's a certain degree of suspense in WHY the protagonist becomes hell bent on her career overnight. Ofcourse any vigilant reader could easily guess half-way through the book, but the author does manage to maintain the tempo for most part. And didn't I say earlier not to prod on this and that?

I'm overwhelmed

Two posts, same day? That's not like me, is it? And I'm not any less busy for goodness sake!

Here I prepare dinner, (which is rasam, rice and potato fry for records sake heheh), come here and pour out the trivial taxi talk in the form of blog, and then get back to have dinner. I ask if all others are done with dinner, my father-in-law says "I'll eat after ur done". Yet again. And even without peeping into the kitchen, I could foretell that he would leave few potatoes just in case someone is tempted to have some more. Yet again.

As I was attacking the potato curry (unmindful of the baby bulge which I'm still fighting to get rid of), he asks me to come and join him to watch the Chelsea Flower Show on the telly. All because I once remarked very casually that I like gardens. Honestly, this might be a tiny gesture, but I'm touched. So though the show was more on some boring seeds, fertilisers and manure, and less on the blooms, I watched the show.

ps:Other than b/f lunch and dinner, I snack on ...err, fruits! My fil has just lunch and dinner and NO BREAKFAST!! people who could give their meal a miss, please please share how ur able to cope! as for me, I explode like a volcano out of anger

pps:I'm back to my pre-preg weight, which is... ok, let's just say not too bad! Guys, treat yourself to low-fat icecreams on my behalf!!


So the snail is back again. Yeah, me... Just when I was thinking of one post per day (!!), I slacken.

Today's conversation with the taxi driver triggered this post.. Taxi drivers are either too grumpy or too chatty.. How I react depends highly on my state of mind, how good my lunch was etc. Today I boarded the taxi with the baby, and this driver was a cute wrinkled 50 something. ( Wrinkles DO look cute on some!). He had this cheery air around him, as he asked me if I speak to the baby often. To my reply in the affirmative, he asked with huge curiosity if I baby talk in English or my own language. I found this funny. I mean, isn't there something called mother tongue? I told him any baby could only understand his/her mother tongue for the start.. and other languages need to be taught! The driver was relentless.. He emphatically said, the language that you guys speak at home is easily grasped, and its not that the baby's got some innate knowledge of the same. (This got me thinking and I made a mental note that I need to google this out. Any idea people?)

I told him you Britishers are lucky in that you'll have the same language at home and school. And I was reminded of how some Telugu girl struggled with Tamil being her second language at school. But, hey she got to learn and excel an additional language. As the taxi arrived at my destination, I paid and told the guy with finality "maybe u guys aren't that lucky! you seldom get the necessity to learn an extra language and that sounds boring!!". He chose not to respond..rather I chose to get out of the car before he got a chance to respond. I had barely stepped out, while someone announced the clinic is closed due to a suspected gas leak! I had to make a detour in the same taxi. I kept my big mouth shut. So did the cute old man.

As for the lump in the neck, something which could wait for 5 months, could wait a month longer, no? India, here I come!!

The Colour Question

When it comes to clothing or any accessories for babies : Pink for girls & Blue for boys. Its almost like an unwritten rule, eh? atleast in the west?

I did a li'l research on why it is so, this colour allocation. None of the theories seem THAT very satisfying. All this its-there-in-the-genes thing.

Bored of seeing rows and rows of pinks and blues I now cautiously avoid both colours.

I love pink. But I'm weary of seeing baby girls mercilessly invaded by pink accessories! Especially I find the pink prams a tad uncool. Seriously.

The other day I attended a Baby girl's b'day party, and the gorgeous little one was in a cute blue frock with pretty laces. Unable to contain my emotion, I lauded the girl's mum for buying something non-pink. And was ready to get into a row with anyone who'd remark why she's in the supposed-to-be-boy's-blue colour dress.

Sometime back I decked by little boy with hat, mittens, booties and babygros all in pink. The mother gets to decide what her baby would wear. huh.

Sinful Saturday

Saturday's are grocery shopping days. So hubs, baby and I went to the local supermarket. I meticulously start jotting down the list on a Monday, so the list would be comprehensive on a Friday.

We had bought everything on the list, and as hubs was wheeling the shopping cart towards the till, he told me to just hang on, as he had forgotten something. To the "what" question mark in my face he replied "cookies". I gave a "I'm on diet, don't u remember look"... He replied with a "well, I'm not on diet" look.

He came back with this Assortment of Cookies box. Bubble's resolve crashed 1500 meters below ground level :(

After reaching home, I usually prepare tea. But hubs didn't feel like, and somehow I too didn't feel like. He placed the cookies box in the most visible and frequented place. It was lying there, unopened and beggin for attention for around 3 hours. (Frankly,it didn't slip my thoughts for evevn a sec) SIGH!

I asked him if he forgot to open the box. He said let it be, I don't want to tempt u by having one. (poor hubs, didn't realise that bubble's brain was corrupted the minute he blurted out the word cookies)

So I opened the box.... er, actually with the intention of givng one to hubs, and closing the lid immediately. But I couldn't just overlook the crunchy biscuit enrobed in milk chocholate with a dark chocholate decoration, could I? (okay the description was taken from the back of the box, so?)

So I decided to just have one from each assortment. MIND YOU - JUST ONE.

ps:There were not much, just 14 varieties


After effect :- Guilty conscious mind couldn't let me sleep for a long time.

100 shades of white - Preethi Nair

"If you love something, set it free...If it comes back to you, its yours... otherwise it never was".

Not sure where I first came across those lines, but it was at a reckless age when the essence of the same didn't exactly grab my attention.... But as in some cases the lines just found a place at the back of my mind..Those lines best explain this book in a gist.

Ammamma lets go of her daughter (Nalini) to join her husband Raul, in London. As Nalini was struggling to adapt to the new environment with her kids, Raul disappears leaving behind debts and deceit. Just as you chuckle and think this is one of those woman fighting against all odds story, let me tell you its got more than that.

Maya (daughter of Nalini) never realises the worth of what she has in hand. She's often in the pursuit of love and care, and ends up trusting someone just to distract herself from things that hurt her. So how does one deal with the guilt that only surfaces when you can't quite alter the repercussions?

Just as her mother lets her go, Nalini lets Maya move away from her... Bur Nalini was a person with the determination of a rock, and so success embraced her with hard work and matter of time; while Maya's fear of rejection, cowardice, irresolute & unforgiving nature shadows all her activities. So how would Success recognise such a person?

Without sounding preachy the book emphasises the power of truth, forgiveness and belief. The prose is simple, straight and flawless. Though a tad bit predictable, the reader is sure to empathise with the characters. The book is not hard-hitting yet, the message slowly sinks in.

Nalini overcomes her problems (financial and otherwise) by preparing pickles and savouries. So there is frequent reference to the various spices and their benefits towards ailments (both physical and mind-related uncertainties). I couldn't help getting reminded of Mistress of Spices (by CBD) and Serving Crazy with Curry ( by Amulya Malladi).

We may have strived to get something in the grand scheme of life, but that something may have been elusive all along. But when it stares at you at the most inopportune moment, you come to realise that its absence hasn't mattered that much... that its only been a distraction from what you really needed... but how easy has it been, realising this ?

rating : 4/5

The Hero's Walk-Anita Rau Badami

Having read (and enjoyed) Badami's first book Tamarind Woman, I was very eager to read her sophomore novel, though with the apprehension that this one may also be in the same lines of woman trying to erase her past. Thankfully I was proved wrong.

Sripathi, a middle aged copywriter, has always settled down for something less than what he expected. His already ordinary and complaining life, suffers a severe blow when his estranged daughter (Maya) and son-in-law expire in an accident in faraway foreign land. All he's left with is his guilt, repentance for egotism, and a 7-year old grand-daughter who becomes unintentionally mute by the unforeseen tragedy. The rest of the story is how each person in the grief-stricken family fights the loss.

Now, the story-line sounds deceptively average, what with the mundane characters like succumbing-to-the-husband's-ego type wife and acid-tongued-attention-seeking-80 plus granny. But again when it comes to etching the characters in an impeccable manner Badami wins hands down.

Nirmala is the submissive wife of Sripathi. There's Putti the not-so-young sister and Ammayya the grit and greedy mother of Sripathi. So unsympathetic is she that on the death of her grand daughter Maya, she broods petulantly that her daily routine should not be affected in anyway. "Love was an extravagance that Ammayya could ill afford", describes the author of her rigid and tyrannical behaviour. She turns down all marital alliances seeking Putti, for fear of she being left alone.

Arun is the ascetic society conscious son of Sripathi & Nirmala. Yeah, you guessed it right.. his ideolgies are disliked by the family especially the dad. However he's the only solace for 7 year old Nandana, (Maya's daughter) who arrives in India and finds everything quaint and puzzling. Whenever the narration is from the viewpoint of the little girl, the understated melancholy would touch a chord.

The whole story revolves around Toturpuram. (Now this failed to make sense to me. Why would the author create a fictional town?, while all the street names and localities bear obvious semblance to an existing town)

I found the title of the book very interesting. Though Sripathi is the central character and the term "hero" is usually a reference to the male protagonist, there is room for assumption as to who the hero actually is, in this story. (Remember, some people do accept Ravana as the hero in Ramayana!). The way each character decides to move on with life is quite interesting and who the hero actually is, is left for you to read and figure out.

The narration takes the form of high drama (Chetan Bhagatish) towards the end, and this really let me down. I guess it was added for a dosage of humour. Nevertheless, the book promises an interesting read. I would give 3/5.

All good things come to an end!

I am one of those sentiment lot, who wouldn't easily adapt to changes.... and would attach undue importance to even things that one could own only temporarily. Like a rented house.

I stayed for a little over a year in a maisonnette, overlooking a wonderful spread of green grass and cherry blossom trees.

Enjoying the mild sunshine in the porch, I would sit in a cane chair, reading a book that I had borrowed from the library (which was at a 10 min walking distance from my house), glancing at the lappy for an off and on y! chat with few school buddies.

All this with the blissful thought that a bundle of joy is on the way. Not to mention the frequent phone calls from my concerned mom thousands of miles away. I didn't imagine in the wildest of my dreams that I would spend the most important phase of my life all alone (when the husbd was off to work) with absolutely no regrets.

Every morning I would look out of the window for a visual treat of nature at its best. When the spring season arrived, the cherry blossom tree which was withered during winter, went into full bloom (see pic attached). Then came the short British summer season, which meant a 4.30 am sunrise and 8.30 pm sunset. Needless to say that I almost lived the day in the balcony. A friend of mine once joked that the baby would be born with green hair if I don't stop staring at the grass. October arrived (and the baby too). I sneaked out enough time for short walks to see the leaves going red yellow, orange.

Winter arrived, which put a full stop to my nature gazing spree. I do enjoy watching the trees and plants sans leaves, but the damage was caused in the form of seepage in the roof due to condensation, which forced us to vacate the property. Thus, with a heavy heart we decided to move out of the house.

When it was about a month to go before moving out, I started looking for ways to dislike the house. (couldn't find many though!)

All good things must come to an end, afterall.. paving way for better things to happen! Thus I say to console myself!!

Time for some self-introspection

I admit...I would have done this 25 point thing about myself, even if I wasn't tagged by Avdi...When I sat back to think why I was so excited about the topic, I realised that I was craving for some "me time" for long.

Rules:Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

1.Despite making chapatis for dinner for nearly 2 years now, I can't make them nice and soft. I guess its hereditary.

2.Carving in chalk pieces was my hobby for a long time. Before my career swallowed all the time that I had.

3.I just need to eat within minutes of feeling hungry, else I lose my temper. I really envy all those who could carry on with their work, skipping meals.

4.I simply love to watch and enjoy the bounties of nature. But still poetry eludes me (I can almost hear you saying "Thank God for that").I refused to move out of my previous house (which had a huge expanse of greenery all around).

5.I'm a storng willed person and this is my greatest asset.

6.I have an authoritative voice and tone. This might give an impression that I'm impolite/harsh to people who do not know me well. I've tried in vain to modulate my voice/tone.

7.Though I enjoy good company and prefer to hang around with people, I don't mind spending time all by myself.

8.I never get bored of shopping. Or window shopping. I could spend 3-4 hours in the same supermarket that I frequent, and come back with just a 2 pint milk can.

9.I have few, but very close friends.

10.I am VERY possessive about my things. And I'm trying hard to forego this habit. ( I don't think I could succeed though)

11.I love cooking... Love more to see happy and contented faces after a good meal cooked by me :D

12.When priorities change, I could forego something which I have loved dearly.eg. career
ps:Its just "something".. not "someone".

Gosh! its getting tough to list more!!
13.I do not believe in any kind of astrology.

14.I love children.

15.There's always been someone to care for me when I most needed.

16.I can talk for hours together over the phone, but would remember a huge deal of things only after I hang up.

17.I can understand people well.(mostly)

18.I'm usually punctual in keeping up schedules. (That surely doesn't mean that I never waste time).

19.I love it when I could only partially remember last night's dream. Its like a half read book.

20.As a child I thought I would grow up to become a nun. This thought lasted for say about a week..

21.I'm lazy in some respects. Like I really want to understand the share market thing and all that, but would not even make an attempt.

22.I was born on the 7th of some month and have many friends who were born on either 7th or some other date which adds up to 7.

23.I repect customs and traditions set forth by elders. But would follow ones that I'm practically able to follow.

24.It takes a long time for me to trust someone. (Not a ridiculously long time though!)

25.I'm not very comfortable watching movies in the cinema hall.. Crowds make me feel dizzy and out of place.

Honestly, after point no.12/13 I had to think hard. Its easier to hear some known person say (nice) things about us rather than we listing it out.