Friday, September 28, 2012

A woman's work

I had been feeling ill all day, and by evening I was so ill I could barely stand straight. I tried eating something, but ended up throwing it all up. My head was aching so much I thought it might just burst.
And yet, there were chores I could not put off. Bathe the kids, pack their school lunches, fill the water, hang out the laundry. I was suffering, but had to do it.

“You lie down, Mamma, I’ll finish all your jobs”,
A woman’s work is never done. But after hearing those words, those chores got so much easier.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Traditions die hard

Three years back, when I first registered for NaBloWriMo, blogging everyday in the month of October was easy- it was what I had been doing ever since I’d started the blog a year earlier. The second year of NaBloWriMo had been no harder than the first, but sometime last year, I gave up trying to keep up with my blog. October had been a successful NaBloWriMo month, but I couldn’t sustain the momentum.
Traditions die hard, and I am back again. In October, I will attempt to blog once a day, everyday. And take it one day at a time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Is that the way.....

For a 50th birthday, a friend ordered a birthday cake from a designer cake boutique that charges the earth and promises to deliver heaven. When she went to pick-up the cake, she was appalled. Instead of something pretty, or even quirky, what she got was something straight out of a horror show. Lipsticks dripping blood, skulls made of gold, a frying pan. Even a bow tie if you wanted to kill yourself!

Her disappointment was apparent, but the baker was unrepentant. She was an artist- you had to take what she gave. Is that the way to run a business?
Disclaimer- this is NOT 'The Cake'. This is what a customized cake should look like!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Are you sure?

“Are you sure you want to eat that”, I asked Thing Two as he reached for the Jalapeno Poppers at a fancy restaurant yesterday. “It might be a little too hot for you.”
He ignored me, and popped it into his mouth. And then reached for another. And yet another. He liked them so much, we actually ordered a second plate just for him.
Since he is such a fussy eater, I took the trouble to find the recipe, and made Jalapeno Poppers for him today. He refused to touch a single one. Who says kids are not fickle eaters?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Often turn out Right

Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to surprise the Hubby by baking him a birthday cake. I gathered all the ingredients before realizing that the expiry date of the baking powder had passed two years back. Too late to do anything about it, I left it out altogether. The cake, naturally, didn’t rise, but it smelt good otherwise.
Today, in a fit of inspiration, I cut the cake in half, and sandwiched a layer of Nutella and banana slices in between. It was delicious.
Things don’t always turn out as we want them to, but they often turn out right.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Will he ever get it?

“But he is a Muslim”, my son insisted. “He must be a terrorist.”
Where he gets these ideas from, I do not know, but now was not the time to probe.  “Muslims are not terrorists”, I told him firmly.
“But all terrorists are Muslims”, he insisted.
“That doesn’t mean that all Muslims are terrorists. Most Muslims are against terrorism.”
“Okay, all terrorists are Muslims”, he insisted. “Same thing.”
“No, not the same thing. In any case, terrorists do not have a religion; no religion asks you to kill. Terrorists worship only Terror.”
Will he ever get it? Will the world?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our Elephant-headed One

Created by his Mother! Given the head of an Elephant by his Father!
In a contest with his brother, he could not be bothered to race around the world three times- he strode leisurely around his parents- they make up the world for him.

The Remover of Obstacles! The Scribe of the Mahabharata!
While other Gods compete with each other on their majestic mounts, he is happy pottering around on his trusty mouse. He is content, but when required, his physical bravery and intellectual powers surpass those of the other Gods.

How can anyone not love our Elephant-headed God? 

Monday, September 17, 2012

There are no answers

“Can I speak to Vishal*”, my son asked me. “He hasn’t been coming to school for two weeks, and I want to tell him what we are doing in class.”
His mother didn’t pick the phone up, so I texted asking when we could call.
“Vishal’s fasting”, his mother texted back, “he’s very weak, and can’t speak.”
The kid is going to have nothing but water for 40 days.

Can a nine year old take a decision of that magnitude? Do his parents have the right to force something so dangerous on such a young child? There are no answers.

* name changed

Friday, September 14, 2012

The choices that others make

Home. Kids. Family. Work. Friends. Few jugglers can keep as many balls in the air as we do; or for as long.
Throw into the mix the other things that refuse to go away. Social commitments you can’t get out of. Passions you don’t want to give up. Time you feel you owe to yourself.
The only reason we survive is because we learn to prioritize. There is no right way, or wrong way. Only the way we choose for ourselves.
We all do it. Why then are we so quick to pass judgement on the choices that others make?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Couldn't take a joke

He is a minor cartoonist. It was just a cartoon. Not even a particularly clever one- just a crudely drawn image where the tigers making-up the national emblem were replaced by blood-thirsty wolves.
The people in power took offence. They arrested him, accused him of sedition. His arrest became headline news. There was wide-spread public outcry.
He has now been released from custody. The entire nation has seen his cartoon. He has become a national hero. And all because the people in power couldn’t take a joke.
I wonder if they would have arrested him had they known the outcome? 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It shows!

“You’re looking hawt!!!!”, my friend exclaimed.
Can’t say I didn’t appreciate what was clearly a compliment, but I was also extremely amused. Me and hot- the words just don’t go together. I can be accused of lots of things but not of being “hot”!
Maybe she didn’t mean me. Maybe she meant my brand new running shoes. The Nike Frees that I had been lusting after for months. The pair that felt every bit as good as it looked. The shoes that epitomized “hawt”, now mine for keeps!
I guess when you are feeling really good about something, it shows.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

This is very normal

“I cannot eat this”, said my son pushing his aubergine curry away. “It is too hot.”
“Wait for it to get cold”, I told him.
“Not that hot”, he corrected. “The other hot. Chilli hot.”
“But I didn’t even put any chillies.”
He was not buying that, and finally let himself be partially placated after I sprinkled sugar on the offending curry. Minutes after finishing dinner, he wolfed down an entire packet of fiery hot jalapeƱo flavoured wafers.
“And you don’t think this is hot?”, I asked him.
“Not at all”, he replied with a smile. “This is very normal.”

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Man who Dreamt. The Man who Did

Game-Changer is not a term I use often, but nothing describes Dr. Verghese Kurien better than that.
In a nation talking about socialism but doing little to implement it, he created a co-operative movement that successfully took on the might of multinational firms. Long before it became fashionable to talk about it, he realized that true change can only start with the financial empowerment of women. He brought about a paradigm shift by taking a model that worked in a few hundred villages and replicating it across the nation.
Visionary, Leader, Manager.
The Man who Dreamt. The Man who Did.
Verghese Kurien
(November 26, 1921 – September 9, 2012 )
Requiescat in pace


Friday, September 7, 2012

Can't we use pencils forever?

“You have to start writing neatly”, I admonished my fourth grader. “Or they wouldn’t let you start using a pen next term.”
“Oh good”, he exclaimed. “I don’t want to write with a pen. What if I make a mistake- how will I rub it out?”
“When you start using a pen”, his younger brother piped up, “you will stop making mistakes. Big people don’t make mistakes, do they?”

Did he realize how profound his statement was? The day you stop admitting to your mistakes, isn’t that the day you stop growing? I wish we could all use pencils forever.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I will never understand

Too lazy to wait for the lift, I used the stairs today. A couple of floors up, I was greeted by the stench of rotting vegetable peel and a solitary diaper sunning itself on the steps. Someone had dumped their garbage bag in the stairwell. The diaper made it easy to identify the perpetrator- a perfectly turned-out lady, who’s immaculately kept house could easily feature in a home decor magazine.
How anyone can dump their garbage in a common area is beyond me. How someone can be so fussy about their house, and yet do it, I will never understand.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A tea-break

I had a really tight deadline to meet, there were three calls to return. Laundry waits for no one, and plants need to be watered at least twice a week even during the monsoons. There was nothing in the fridge, so unless I wanted to order a pizza or starve, I had option but to cook something for myself.

I brewed myself a cup of tea, and plonked it next to my laptop. Just as I was easing into my chair, I changed my mind, and carried the cup to the window. The rain was beautiful. I needed the break. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Forgotten how to laugh

While alighting from the school-bus, my younger one exclaimed, “Jahapanah!”
“Jodha!”, I replied, taking his school-bag from him.
All three of us dissolved into laughter, and continued with the silly word-association game we had invented the previous day. It wasn’t particularly funny, but we had giggled so much while making up the rules, we couldn’t not laugh.
“Mamma, please”, hissed the older one suddenly. Someone else had got into the lift, and was giving us strange looks. To save him embarrassment, I struggled to control my laughter.
But isn’t it a pity that the world has forgotten how to laugh.

Monday, September 3, 2012

At home in the Universe

A light drizzle started during my run. Within minutes, the sky opened up, and I was caught in a heavy downpour. Umbrellas erupted, people took shelter under trees; the park emptied out. I had the track to myself. Raindrops hit my face, and washed the sweat away. My feet took on the rhythm of the falling rain, any fatigue long washed away. I was one with the elements- at home in the Universe.
People thought me crazy. Then one joined me, and another, and another. The park was full of bobbing umbrellas. Can life get any more beautiful than that?


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