Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Little Hello

This is not a post, atleast not a decent one. This is just a little note, to say hi to all the usual readers and friends, wishing them a very very good New Year, and hoping they had a nice Christmas too. I am finally in my new home, its lovely, but I have a long long way to go in settling in, it takes a while to feel at home in a new home isn't it? I have loads to share, about the last few days in India, the journey( which was not so nice, since the BB did not take all the long hours of flying too well.) and then ofcourse the experience it has been since I got here, where all shops close at 5pm and the sun sets way past 8pm, the temperature is 40+ one day and down to 17 the very next. Taking it all in and trying to feel at home, is what I am doing right now. I don't really know when, right now, so will not make any false promises here, but I will be back to blogging.

PS - Replying to comments is pending, and I will do that too, just not right now. Thanks everyone, who had lovely things to say on the last post and for everyone who wished the BB to get well.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why Do We Hesitate?

There is just one friend I have, in this whole wide world, with whom I can talk about my spiritual beliefs, without a second thought. Anywhere else, and I would have to keep interjecting the flow with things like, maybe you would find this strange or I don't know if you believe in this and similair expressions or better still, never mention anything at all. And it is not just me, but most other people too, who become very conscious while talking about such things. And I wonder why.

The determinedly religious people, have a lot to say, the followers of rituals, openly flaunt their status, the ones with scant belief in any higher power, vehemently say so, but the ones who believe in spirituality, energies, vibrations, are the ones who are almost always apologetic about having their say, inspite of having firm belief in their thinking. I pretty much never talk about what I think, and though they form a strong part of who I am, these beliefs pretty much never appear in this space. And besides that one friend and the DH, there is no one I openly discuss these matters with. The more I think about it, the more I believe that I don't do it, because I don't want to explain my beliefs to people, and especially to ones. with a diametrically opposite line of thought, more so, because religion and spirituality are very close to the heart of most people who have any kind of faith or belief in such things, and arguing about it is just pointless. The second reason being that my beliefs are not tangible, and hence the fear of being ridiculed, holds me back, the fear of being branded a loony.

I realised this reason very very recently, when I met an old neighbour, who has recently become involved with a spiritual mission, which has a modern world guru and is working in-depth in serving mankind and leading a good life. People who make such activities an active part of their life, are highly motivated, and are likely to talk about the higher goals of life at most times. As she started talking about her experiences, positive vibrations, a new lifestyle, she at once said. "You may think I am crazy, but...", and she continued. And I realised that indeed, the fear of being thought of as someone who is nuts, is part of the reason, I never freely talk about my views or beliefs. I was very very impressed by all that she had to say, mainly because it appealed to my logical mind and spiritual beliefs. Another person who was present there on the other hand, later, indeed commented, saying she felt the lady has become too religious and has nothing else left in her life. I on the other hand admired her immense motivation to stay put on that path to enlightenment, inspite of living in society and completely understood her desire to spread the word around.

I still am not going to start talking about what I think, because my thinking is neither evolved enough to be spread around, nor am I over my barriers yet. But I just wanted to wonder about why we hesitate, or do you guys never, or is it just something that is not quite up there in the priority of things? I don't know whether there are signs, I am not smart enough to spot them yet, but there seems to be a strong force pushing me towards opening up to my spirituality, and being more active about that part of life. My old neighbour, a new reality show on television about past lives, my many health issues which seem to have very little medical explanations, and many such things. But I somehow wonder if I can go that way, living the life I currently do. I hope that someday when the BB is grown up enough, I am able to give up the pleasures and attractions of this world and head to attain my spiritual goal. I said that to someone, and I was called crazy on the face, and that it is impossible to ever cut off the worldly ties. I don't know, whether I can ever indeed, head out and become an ascetic, or if I can indeed work towards a higher spiritual plane, but what I do know is that right now, there are way too many things talking to me, telling me that I need to work harder towards it, and I know if I don't do it, the calling will pass, and I will go back into my life with its cycle of wants-needs-desires-attachments-disappointments-hate-frustration-anger even deeper. And yet I know, this point in life is not where I can break away or step out, but is the point where I can try and work harder towards becoming a better person, so that I can influence the BB in a positive way too.

This post maybe quite incoherent, and terribly written, my thoughts itself are not perfectly clear at this point in time, and I believe this post reflects just that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A BIG Thank You And Some Shock....

This is a quick short post, to thank all of you, who sent their prayers and wishes for the BB, namely M4, Sraboney, Shrutzz, Silvara, Rakesh, DIC, Swapna, Pixie, Nancy and D.Thanks a lot for your wishes people, you prayers and wishes mean a LOT to me, and the BB is doing a lot better now. I am keeping my fingers crossed about him being well enough and fit to travel.

On a separate note, please head over to Roop's blog and get dismayed at the heights of plagiarism which takes place. A photo from her wedding, she had put up on her blog, has been used by a magazine without her knowledge or permission. So what does that tell us, don't share your pics? After the many many other cases of violations of cyberworld copyrights, this is one more. It is just getting worse, and we need to stand together and fight this kins of theft.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ill At Grandma's

OK, so the BB is not doing too well. He resents his medicines strongly and absolutely denies having them without vehement protests. I hated those syrupy things doctors prescribed for me, when I was a kid, so I quite sympathise with his situation, but I also need to see him healthy, happy and at present, most importantly, fit to travel. So that means a huge amount of restraining and forcing goes on each time a dose of medicine has to be administered. And no matter, what, the final decision on whether to ingest the unpalatable syrups or not, lies with him, and he promptly spits out whatever is forced into his mouth. The process has left me with bitten-off fingers, and a very very resentful mother-in-law, who would continue to delude herself into believing that anything that makes her precious grandchild cry, is paramount to criminal behaviour. The fact that she holds down the BB at these times only after millions of my helpless pleas, is something to be grateful about in itself.

Considering the extent of the the BB's infection and symptoms, he was prescribed four different medicines, and strong ones at that, since I was scheduled to travel the very next day. The symptoms subsided, the desire to avoid medicines remained just as strong in the BB, I gave in and almost stopped his medication. I am weak willed that way, and not having the GP around, makes me more so. So what do you think happened? The symptoms made a grand comeback today, and I got shivers when his temperature began to spike. So hurried calls were made to the pediatrician. He prescribed a different antibiotic, and I scheduled an appointment with him tomorrow morning. And yes, I swear by my life that I will continue the medicines, for as long as scheduled this time, no exceptions.

And in the meantime, loads have happened for the BB's illness management, that could only happen here, at his Gamma's place. There has been intense praying, blessings, smearing his forehead with all kinds of holy things like oil, ash and some more. I cannot help but be touched by the fervor with which these gestures are carried out. A family friend went and prayed to Mother Mary, and placed on her feet with requests of making the BB fit and fine. the BB's other grandmother, has been praying at her end, with all kinds of offerings to her Guru ji. And then there has been all kinds of nazar utaarna. For the uninitiated, those are preventive methods, used to remove any kind of negative emotions from others, that might have affected the person, usually a child. Besides all the other types done, today evening, there was a small ceremony, which involved burning coconut shells and some more. People may or may not believe in the effectiveness of these methods, some laugh it off, while many others swear by it and some like me, never believe in it, till they become parents themselves, and then everything becomes plausible, as long as it keeps the precious child safe. But whatever, I am so very touched by the amount of efforts being taken, and all the people involved in it. The BB may not remember the events that have taken place lately, but I am sure the affection which is felt for him, will remain with him forever.

And though the GP is not here, it is tough to manage an ill BB in his absence, especially when the medicines need to be given, I am overwhelmed by the efforts being taken to ensure his speedy recovery, by so many many people.

And for the non-believers, here is an article I found which talks about how the organs in our body are associated with particular emotions, and how negative emotions may remain trapped in the associated organ, and harm the entire body. Though not the perfect fit to what I wrote about in this post, it does give some truth to the connection between mind(emotions) and body.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Single Parent Chapter

Its just not nice, not at all, when the husband is miles away and the child falls ill. As parents, the DH and I completely freak out each time the BB is seriously ill. Anytime he has fever, we are up all the time, and pretending to be all nonchalant about it to each other. But we basically are pair of nutcases till he gets well.

So here I was, all ready to fly out on Thursday night, and the BB promptly falls ill on Wednesday evening. I rush to the pediatrician (thank God, because he is my most favourite and reliable pediatrician), a list of medicines are given, to get the fever down, stop the vomiting and more. I was totally freaking out, and going nuts in my head. What followed was nightmarish night, with continual vomiting, high temperatures and no food. Had to get a special medicine from the hospital in the middle of the night, that finally got the temperature under control. The next morning, the vomiting was still on, and we had to go to the hospital and get the BB a shot to stop the vomiting, so that he could ingest some food, and then some medicines. i never anticipated needing to inject medicines into him at such an early age, but that just goes on to show, that we are never really prepared for everything that may come our way. A night without sleep, loads of stress, and the BB just not settling in, it was not easy. And I have never quite missed the DH as much as I did that night.

While battling this, I was also trying to reschedule my flight, and having booked it through an online portal, it was not an easy task, it took me marathon phone sessions to finally have new tickets issued to me, about five hours before my original flight was scheduled to take off. It was a to-hell-and-back kind of experience, and I don't know how I survived through it. But fortunately I did! The tickets were re-scheduled, the BB has been without fever for over 24 hours now, and I am breathing easy. It has been worse for the GP, since all he has is news that I am passing on to him, and he cannot see the BB for himself. Yes, we are quite overly sensitive parents that way. A sick child leaves us more anxious and stressed than anything else, and I have read enough mommy-blogs to know, that is exactly how most other parents go.

But this entire experience makes me realise just how tough it is to be a single parent, to not have that another equally responsible adult by your side to care for your child, especially when the child is unwell. I really admire the parents who do all of this alone, and balance a job too. Its just too much to handle for mere mortals like me. And I know that I definitely never ever want to go through this again, not alone.

The stay in India is now extended by a few more days. The mother-in-law, I think has added quite a few new grey hair to her collection, by this, now seemingly infinitely long stay, with the added excitement of the BB falling ill. I am quite sure, the way we are driving her crazy, she will surely let the champagne flow, when we finally fly out. Then there is me too, eagerly waiting to be in my own home now, after being like a nomad for over a month now. But then I also believe that destiny always has its own plans, and there must be some real good reason why I could not fly out on the 10th like it had been planned. I am getting into this very spiritual bent of mind these days, and am getting more and more convinced about what a sham this world really is, and how I am wasting my time, living the way I do. Had it not been for the BB, I might gone the ascetic way by now. The divine scheme of things is what I believe made me re-schedule my trip and I am sure its all for the best.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Did I Miss The Memo?

..... which said slips have gone out of style? Just wondering, because I see way too many women with way too transparent clothes, without any decent innerwear these days. From the sheerest of of gorgettes, to the leanest of linen is what I see used as tops with just the bra underneath. Transparency somehow just looks sluttish, atleast to me, an open cleavage, or a high hemline is much preferred for a sexy look. I am no fashion guru, but to me, see-through is just trashy, not stylish. Or maybe I am too old-fashioned and out of touch with modern civilisation, but I still think I have missed a link somewhere, because not too long ago, I think women wore a lot more inner wear than they do now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kabhi Happy Kabhi Nahin

Yes, and big time. Three days, and we will be off to join the DH, down under braving a terribly long journey, in cramped leg space. I can either be all cheerful and excited about it, or completely anxious and gloomy. At present I am like a pendulum swinging between the two extremes, and hoping to be more in control of my emotions by the time I actually get there. Taming baggage weight is a skill I still have not acquired, so I am struggling with it, and am pretty sure will have to beg the airlines to be a little lenient with me, how lenient though, I don't exactly know right now. I am the last person to throw things out, so cutting back on goods is one of the toughest things for me to do. I am trying hard, and very hard none the less.

While it is an exciting prospect, moving to a new place, starting afresh, which would also mean loads of shopping, the practical aspects of it leave me with a creased eyebrow way to often. It is easier to manage these things as a couple, but when there is a child to take care of, I need everything to be in place. But then again the BB is a bit grown up now, so maybe he can manage some changes, and everything will work out just fine.

The thing that most worries me, is making a new home mine. That is a long process, to fill a home with our presence, and make it our own, and though it does not happen suddenly, the gradual process takes a while, but I think that is the most important indicator of how settled one feels. There are way too many worries in hand, just trying to keep the happy, excited, positive bit of me afloat, so that things get a bit easier.

The last few days here have also started tugging at my heartstrings now, and I know I will miss India almost as soon as I leave it. And so all I am chanting to myself now is stay strong.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Single Ya Double?

How do you like to live your life? Being single and free to mingle, or much married/into a relationship, a cosy twosome? What appeals to you, being where you are, or does the other side of the fence look much greener?

Its been a while now, since I have been wondering about how I like it, being a married, family woman that I am, or would I have preferred being single, playing the field (as if!!) and doing exactly what I want to do, whenever and wherever. Loads of my friends from school and college, are still unmarried and even unattached to anyone in particular. Their photo albums on social networking sites are full of photos of the vacations they are going on with friends, or parties or general fun stuff they do. Their life looks so seductively gorgeous. Would I want it? Would I? You mean, no needing to take care of a house, no cooking and feeding a child, no need to get off the Internet to put a child to sleep, watching exactly what I want on TV all the time, going out with friends, just about anywhere and anytime I want to....... who would not? But then that would also mean not having that one someone I can trust with my life, yes indeed, there is no single friend of mine who I could do that with, no one to nurse me when I am unwell, not having someone on the bed I sleep in, no one to come home to, no one to fight and make-up with, no one to miss when I am away from them, and then I am not sure I want to go that way at all.

I am sure there are loads of very happy single people, but I know that is not the way I want it, that is not what will make me happy. I need commitment in any relationship I have, be it a friend, a parent or anyone at all. And its quite naive to expect complete commitment from unrelated people in today's days and times. Some lucky ones do find it, I have not. One of my oldest and closest friends is untraceable now. I have been trying to call her, since I got to India, but the phone is switched off, as is her husbands. My e-mails remain unanswered. A blog-friend, who I thought was quite close, and I really wanted to speak to, never called, I had pretty much forced my contact number down her throat I think. (If you are reading this, you know who you are, and I am completely OK, if you don't wish to or cannot call.) I love both of them dearly, and they are no less my friends now, than they were before, but had I been single, and really counted on these friends, I don't think I would have survived for too long. Friends may remain or not, sometimes its distance, sometimes its lack of equal feelings, sometimes being in different stages of life, we cannot expect a consistency, until we live together, or at least almost. Then what happen to someone like me, who is actually like an emotional creeper (not a good thing, I know), I either beg people to be my friend, or become super clingy, or just simply super-pessimistic in life. None of which sound like a great way to be. For people who are strong and capable of complete emotional independence(if that is indeed really possible) or are fortunate enough to find a super-duper soulmate kind of friend, or have a great great family to live with, it works out I think, but for me, its not the way to go.

Hence this is to say, I am happy, married, a mother. I have my own person, to be with me forever, with whom I have no constraints, secrets, hassles or any such thing, and who is there with and for me any hour of the day or night. I think that really rocks. And also makes me realise how much I am missing the DH who is far far away from me, since the past ten days now, and I still have some days to go, before I see him again. Lucky me, that the BB is with me, and the DH has managed to find us an accommodation in Melbourne, which means I leave on the scheduled day, and do not need to postpone my move.

So what works for you, are you happy where you are, or would you rather be in the other group? How many of you think, you are a couple, but have tons of fun with your friends too? If you do, then do you think your dynamics with these very friends would remain the same even if you were single? Tell me what you think!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Fighter In Me... And You?

I believe its always easier to fight, when I am not fighting for a personal cause. I don't know if that is the way it is with most people or its just the other way round. I can fight for a larger cause, I can fight for the weaker people, I can even fight for animals, but I can never ever fight for myself, baring when the DH is my opponent. Possibly that is the only completely honest, true and absolutely open relationship I have in my life, and hence most precious and very treasured. But getting back to the point, how easy or difficult is it for a person to fight for himself?

Very recently, I was out with the BB one evening, when a Jeep, ferrying school children stopped in front of a building, and a child got out of the vehicle. There was a stray dog resting near the spot where he got off, and he immediately kicked it, I involuntarily screamed aye, and followed it up by telling the child that the dog hurts and he should not kick it that way, while he kept running away, and the bystanders looked on at me, like I am a crazy person. But I was unfazed and quite happy at what I had done, and did not mind it at all. But believe you me, if it had been me who had been pushed or shoved or even bitten for that matter I would not have uttered a word. It has always been this way with me. Maybe its my Libran trait that cannot tolerate injustice to others, but finds it beneath myself to actually speak out for me. This was the most recent incident that I could think of, but that is the way it has always been with me.

Somehow I never fight for myself. I think its so much easier to raise my voice, fight or work for others or for a cause, but I can never be assertive enough to do it for myself. It would have been all good, possibly had I been an ideal woman, with no grudges or grouses. Reality though is quite different. My lack of confrontational abilities, leave me frustrated from within. Sometimes it is pretty much impossible to confront at all. I am currently in quite a soup, where my name and image are being tarnished left right and centre, and everyone is using me to cover up their own backsides to be honest. I know it, and I simply sit quietly, avoiding everyone involved in the fiasco, rather than go and tell them honestly what I think of them too. A few words are being picked up from entire conversations and being misrepresented, I am being blamed for reacting to being accused of things, I am said to be thinking that I am too high and mighty, just because I openly did what I thought was the right thing to do, where everything was getting muddled up. An act that could have been a sweet and nice gesture has now turned out into a total mess. I am completely sure of what I did, and totally stand by my action, but I also stand up and hear silently all the accusations and blame, so that the others can keep fueling their personal interests. When earlier people have told me such stories about themselves, I have actually gone up and stood for them and fought, and openly. Some have appreciated my standing up for them, when they could not and then there have been the others too. But the point is why can I never just stand up for myself and say it like it is, when I am being wronged or need to be defended? I think I am just a non-confrontational coward.

Tell me about you, what are your fighting skills, how much and how far can you go, when can you never do it, and what if anything makes you an unstoppable fighter? For me, I think it would be the DH and the BB, I can never take a word or hurt against them, no matter from whom it comes, but I let people walk all over me.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Homeless At The End Of The Year Of The Itch

Officially gave up the keys to the only home I have ever owned, today evening, and believe me its not a happy feeling. Especially not when its my seventh wedding anniversary, the DH is in a different continent altogether, and pretty much no one even remembered the day. I have been steely strong, knee deep in work the whole day, but I think this post will eventually leave me weeping. What do I write about, the home or the anniversary? I had long back planned on doing a mushy open letter to the DH, especially since we completed the proverbial year of the itch, but today just cannot bring myself to it.

The house I gave up today, holds some of the sweetest memories of my life, the first own home, the first big thing the DH and I got ourselves, the first home the BB came to, the one which was always my shelter from the world, words cannot do justice to the emotions attached to the place, or rather I am not skilled enough to use the right words. The place has been taken by a family friend, which made me believe that the whole transition would be very happy and smooth for me, unfortunately though it has not been so, and has left a really bitter taste in my mouth. I had to keep my possessions in that place, till they were ready for shipping, but neither patience nor grace were to be had. With the DH gone, it became increasingly difficult for me to request a few more days of waiting. I waited with bated breath literally for the relocators, to pack and just move the things out of that place, so I could hand over the last remaining key to the new owner. Today its done, and I have given up the keys. My home is not mine anymore, unfortunately the hand over has not been in the sweetest way it could have been. But life I guess moves on, and I have to too, and at this minute, I just send my love to my old home, for all the happy moments I have spent there, and all the moments of despair, when it has kept me cosy in its warmth and safety. I don't have the DH here by me, to share this moment unfortunately.

And yes, the DH away, its our anniversary and I don't like it. The day was not special in anyway today, with me being busy shuttling to and from my ex-home as the packers came in , and then the movers, and then to remove the last traces of our existence from that home. The time difference between him and me, gives us a very small window of time that is convenient for both of us to talk, add to that my super hectic day today, and him being knee deep trying to find a decent accommodation for us, we hardly managed a decent conversation in the whole day. Its not quite so simple having romantic conversations when all stressed out, being miserable missing each other and being surrounded by people. Its strange how most of my anniversaries have been jinxed, we were apart even on our very first one, and another couple in-between. But what the heck? Seven years, a baby and still going strong, shouldn't I be really happy about that? I have a man who is as honest as can be, he is more liberal than am I, quite saintly in most ways and the most loving and calming person I have ever had in my life. To be honest I don't think I am letting him go for a few lifetimes, so whats not being together for an anniversary or two? Well, I atleast attempt to find the best of every situation, and staying sad and miserable does not agree with me for too long.

Now I am just counting days for the three of us to re-unite and hopefully we would not have to be apart again, atleast like this for a really really long time.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Little This And A Little That

Its been a while, since I last opened this page, to create a new post for the blog. I did not really value, the twenty four hour Net connectivity I had back in Sharjah, till it was finally disconnected. To say I miss it now, will be putting it quite mildly. On the up side though, my eyes are thanking me profusely, for the much needed rest they are getting from the glare, as well as the greenery they are soaking in all around. Currently stationed at my in-laws, life is quite nice in terms, of food, sleep, rest, relaxation and everything. Since I got here, I have been running around doing too many things. Things that may seem mundane, but are supremely time consuming. A thousand phone calls a day is one such thing, followed by shopping ofcourse and such like. The shopping this time is strictly to the point, as per the many lists I have been drawing since the past couple of months. And yet, its fun.

Last week I managed a two day to Nashik and Shirdi. I had visited the Shirdi temple, once as a college student, with the DH, the, then my much besotted with me, boyfriend, and this time I went with the BB, it was just so unbelievable, quite like taking him out on the bike with us last time. It just makes me go awwwwwwww..... The temple itself is nice, and clean, very surprisingly, but the management, not so much. By the time, we reached the darshan area, we were actually being controlled by the crowd, it was nice having the protective arm of the DH around. I was happy, and really happy getting there. I did pick up a few momentos and gifts from a shop outside the temple, and a small idol, I had really hoped to carry with me, but in the last minute rush of getting everything, and visiting a few other sites, the entire package was lost somewhere. And yes, I am mighty depressed about that, because it makes me feel like Sai Baba does not wish to come to me with his blessings, or maybe its his way of saying, being a good person is more important than idol worship... I don't really know, but I am feeling very very bad about losing the package, and I am not someone who is bothered about losing things usually. There is a lot more from that trip, but hopefully I can do a dedicated post on that sometime.

For now, its life-in-limbo. I am in the middle, neither here, nor there, hanging somewhere in-between, too much of luggage has come in with us, and it is difficult to get the things I need out of the entire packing. We got lucky while coming here, and a lot of our extra baggage weight was let in without charges. But once here, the problems are not over. We are finding it pretty much impossible to find a person who ships personal goods. Limited air freight is what I may need to settle for, and that means, all my plans of having my comfort items around, is just going down the drain. I will have to cut down drastically even in my cargo package. So everyone's sympathies are most welcome at this point in time.

Also just learned how difficult it is to have a fight with the DH in the presence of his parents. It is just so tough to not be able to blow the steam right off. Have any of you faced similair situations?? How did you cope. I am so incapable of pretending to be all calm and cool when I am feeling the exact opposite. And if you need to know why, its because he has pushed the shipping of goods till the very last minute, and now I cannot carry things to my heart's content, and I do have the right to be absolutely furious at him for that, no holds barred. So what if he was busy with other equally important things, he had to sort this out in time. All is calm out here now though, and hence I am able to do a little post. :)

I go off to Calcutta for a bit, and the worst bit is, inspite of the gorgeous and dirt cheap goods available there, I simply cannot shop. So I am in quite a pitiable condition. I think I will eat and sleep all day long there, as a means of wallowing in self pity. And for a change my phone is ringing off the hook. Unfortunately though, when on a vacation, the phone is often in untraceable locations, those from where the sound does not reach, and I pick up the phone quite a while later, to find so many missed calls. I am really enjoying catching up with friends, re-connected after a couple of years with a dear dear friend, with whom I used to talk almost everyday earlier, and it feels great. And yes, thanks to all you ladies, who called up, and especially the ones with advice on how to work things out in Melbourne. Forgive me for not being prompt in my returning calls, but I really really am on a very tight schedule.

That kind of rounds off most of what has been up with me, and what I am up with for now, hopefully a few more posts can happen before I leave India. The BB, by the way is acting like a completely spoilt brat under the loving lenience of his grandparents. It will be tough getting him to be his former self later, me thinks!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

One Post Before The Break

The very last post from my current post, Sharjah. I am absolutely sure this is the last one, because it is 5:30 am, and I haven't slept a wink all night, getting the packing done, and trying to balance all the weight, not exceeding the permitted limits too much. Have shopped like crazy the last few days, and as is always the case with me, one object catches my fancy, and I keep buying multiples of that. This time it was carpets, yes those lovely hand-made ones from Iran and around. To be honest, ever since I came here, I wanted to own one, but it was only recently that I got determined to possess one before I left from here. And so my heart's desire is satiated, since I picked up not one, but three of them. I also learnt about a new kind of carpet, called the kilim, which actually caught my fancy more than the famous, silk carpets. If you google for images of kilims, you will amazed at the beauty of them. Definitely things to go up on the wall, because I will die a thousand deaths if anyone so much as spills a drop of water on them, though the seller assured me that they will come to no harm, and can easily be spot cleaned. So I have basically added to my already tight luggage limit, but there was no way on earth I was leaving this country without one.

The weekend has been full of guests, shopping, eating, packers coming and taking away pretty much everything, tomorrow, my Internet connection goes, oh sorry, its later today, and I will be spending the day at friend's place, since there is absolutely nothing to do at home, nor food to be eaten. So that is the current story of my life. (This post is feeling more like a letter, is it not?) I have loads to write in conclusion of the time I have spent here, but now is not the time I can do justice to the thoughts or the experience, this place has been. Shruti, has sweetly requested me for a post on Dubai, recommending places to visit, and that one will DEFINITELY happen, but not just now. A night without sleep, and constant work is not the right time to do any proper post infact, but somehow, knowing that it maybe a long long time before I post again, who knows I may even get over the blogging addiction in the mean while, I just had to do this, while the rest of the household gets some sleep, after being done with the job. In fact, it is going to be over a month , before it will be just the three of us, and while I would enjoy thoroughly with friends and family while in India, I will miss just being the three of us too. Tomorrow, sorry yet again, tonight, will be my last night in this home, and though it has not been a very long stay, I know I will miss it in some ways.

Also want to thank everyone, who has been wishing me luck with my packing and shifting. its been smooth so far, even managed to sell the last item on my online trading list today evening, which basically makes me a hundred percent successful in my endeavor.(Please applaud, its not a mean feat, the person who took away the home theatre system today, had been haggling for the price since the last 3 weeks, so you can imagine how patiently I dealt with him!) Now I just hope that the airways is a little lenient with my baggage, my carpets deserve that respect!

And before I bid adieu, not sure for how long though, just thought I will share a few laughs with all my wonderful, encouraging and supportive readers. I don't know if these words have a different meaning in Arabic, but these shop-names really had me cracking up.


Al 'Tabahi' Ladies Saloon.
This is one of the first funny ones I saw here.

Diva Gents Salon.
Why should men be left behind?

Yateem Optician.
It is a chain of stores, in the more expensive malls around the UAE.

Al Samadi Sweets.
Sorry, bad photo, just clicked tonight.

And this is called, saving the best for the last. Say it out aloud, at least in your mind!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It Sure Feels Strange

To be in a house, which we made into a home, and has suddenly in a few hours gone back to just being a house. It is bare, with everything gone, not even a table left to use. I have just a day and half, and two nights left to spend here, and yet cannot get the feeling of eeriness out. The rooms actually echo, when talk now. Fortunately my Internet connection remain till tomorrow, and then I will be off that too. The TV is still hung on the wall, because the GP and me would both be lost without some constant din. No fridge, no oven, the kitchen has never felt this alien to me.

Shifting is not easy, more than the material losses, its the things of emotional value to me, that I have to leave behind that hurt. But then such is life I guess. I am really lost in this place that was my home the past year and half. It is strange to know how much of our comforts are created my the possessions we accumulate around us.

I should officially say good bye here, atleast for a while, but I still want to post a few before I leave, so I am stubbornly not doing it. However, if newer posts, don't follow this one, remember I am in transit for about the next one month, and I will definitely attempt posts from there too.

What An Amazing Sight!

We were driving around, in Dubai in the afternoon today with a friend, , and this sight quite took our breath away. Its the dream turning into reality, for people who own a place in Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, living in the clouds. The clouds stand somewhere in the middle of the building, surrounding a few floors. It was just such an amazing sight. A gorgeous, goodbye view from the city I believe!







Looks amazing isn't it?

That is the entire building, and you can see exactly where the clouds touch the building along its length.

Could not resist sharing this one.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Food Wrapped in Memories

A tag, after a really really long time. And one that I am doing, because it seems like fun. Food is a such a HUGE passion in my life. D, tagged me for this one, and has herself done an amazingly good job with the tag, which says, I must write about -
"Five memorable meals ever eaten: It could be anything that makes the meal memorable - the food, the place, the place you were in your life when you ate, the company, the weather, the ambiance - heck, the guy who served the food!"
The first thought that came to my mind, when I read the tag, was the poori-sabzi at Itarsi railway station. When I lived in the hostel, Itarsi was a station on my way home. Itarsi would be reached somewhere in the middle of the night, but never once did I or my friends, miss eating the steaming hot dish. It tasted especially delicious on winter nights. The fact that the sabzi, was plain curry, and rarely did one find any pieces of aloo in it or that the pooris were shaped like nothing defined in geometry was never of any consequence. I miss the poori-sabzi of Itarsi, in fact so much, that the one and only time, after college, that I passed through the station, i made the GP, who was not yet a papa then, get us a few plates.

The next memory, is again from my hostel days, and its plain and simple Masala Maggi. Back home, I had never had Maggi, the way it is meant to be eaten. My mother prepared a yummy and nutritious dish, which resembled noodles more than Maggi, with chopped vegetables, and scrambled eggs, the packets of masala were never ever opened. It was in the hostel that I was first introduced to the true taste of Maggi. Midnight Maggi during exams, or late night gossip session, Maggi when the mess was closed, Maggi when we wanted a change of taste, hot steaming Maggi Masala. I have been hooked ever since. And the memories attached to it, will remain for a lifetime.

The next one is a dish, not so much a meal. It was a special sweet my naani (maternal grandmother) used to make for me. I don't know the recipe, and i don't even want to give it a try, for the fear of spoiling the memory I have of it, but I do indeed loved those sweets. It took her hours of patiently sitting on the chulha(used for its slow heat) to stir and prepare the batter. Once done it would be put on the intricate moulds, which too had been made by her. The sweet needs to be tasted to be appreciated. She made them for me every chance she got, when i visited her, when she visited us, when I was leaving after a vacation, if anyone she knew was going to come to our town, or if my father visited her during one of his business trips, a box of those sweets were assured for me. Chocolate Mishti is what I called them.

Samosas at the small canteen in college, is another one of my absolute favourites. I am an absolute samosa fan. Anywhere, anytime and I am game for them. But the ones in that particular canteen of college, my mouth waters at the very mention of them, besides the many warm memories, of sitting around with friends, chomping on the hot steaming things, and then emptying out pockets to pay for them. I wonder though if those samosas would taste half as good, if I just went there and had it today.

A valentine dinner at Kamling, with the GP, back in the days when we were completely broke, and it was our first valentine after marriage. Kamling is a reasonably priced Chinese restaurant in South Bombay, and I really wanted to dine there. However, the prices were a bit too steep for us back then, and we ordered by looking more at the prices, than the dishes. But it was an amazing feeling just sitting there, in the dim light, after a tiring day at work, just the DH and me, our first valentine post marriage. We had both surprised each other with roses, picked up on the way to the restaurant. the meal was followed by a nice walk along the Marine Drive. I have been to Kamling, many times ever since, but never enjoyed as much. the food though is amazing, and a must do for all Chinese lovers.

Most people I know have already done this tag, so I am passing it on to anyone who wants to take it up.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bombay - Places, Faces & More

The Face of Bombay - The Gateway Of India.

The Churchgate Railway Station. The Final Stop For Locals.

A Little boy, enjoying his new toys on Eid, near a Dargah.

The colourful Balloon Man.

A Victoria, the horse drawn carriages, near gateway, a ride of fun. I loved the figurine embossed on the back.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

After A Really Long Time, Turning on The BB News

From the day one becomes a parent, each day seems to bring their child closer to adulthood, every growing-up moment making them smarter, and more grown-up. I know I have felt that with pretty much every developmental milestone the BB crossed. When I blogged, about something new he had learnt, it made me feel like he had grown up so much since he was born. And yes its always a bitter-sweet feeling, while the growing up makes me proud, I will forever miss the small, look-and-fall-in-love-with-me bundle handed over to me at the hospital. I think most parents do.

From the time I started the new blog, the tales of the BB have started dwindling, not because of lack of events, but because I have many more things happening in life, many thoughts always going through, which take priority over BB postings. Sometimes I just feel like storing up somethings in my mind, and remembering them forever in my memories, the old fashioned way, like people did before blogs and digital cameras came a dime a dozen.

But here I am, back to writing some about the BB yet again. There have been a lot of small incidents which did not make it to the blog, and things happen each day, but don't quite make it till here. But in all the days that have been passing, there are some very definite growing-up signs that have come. In some ways, I see the BB now showing traits, personality traits. I know a lot of people talk about personalities, from the time a baby is born, but I never found any consistent pattern, and I think, when they are that little they are just motivated by their basic needs. So I waited, waited and waited till I could spot something, that I could attribute as his personality, and I think, I see some now. Things that make him a bit like me and a bit like the GP. And it so amazes me, how he has picked up things from both of us. I see him now with a personality, all his own.

What I love about the BB is that he needs very little to be happy. He loves having guests at home, and actually freaks out when people come over, with joy, and yet he is just as fine when they leave. He is easy to please, and can use just about anything around the house to keep him amused. Old toys, kitchen utensils, a door. He is happy when he goes out, and is just as content if he does not step out of the house a few days in a row. Walking is as much fun as is a drive to him. Basically he is happy and content. Just hope that these are traits that remain with him, as he grows up, because no one is happier than a person who is content.

Copying the GP and me, is what the BB is always doing these days. He wants to do pretty much everything we do, he observes us closely and replicates every action perfectly. He can now put on his own shoes, operate the GPS perfectly, me expertly manages the trolley at the supermarket, and is really really upset if anyone else tries to guide the thing, and to be honest he manages it perfectly, 180 degree turns, avoiding bumping people and everything, and that holding a handle that's above his head. He is aware of his abilities and his limitations, and works around the limitations and uses his skills to their hilt. Just seeing an event once is enough for him to remember it well if that catches his fancy. Locking and unlocking doors, operating the elevator, switching the TV(& set-top box) on and off are easy tricks for my little boy now, he is aiming for higher efficiency, trying to work the grill, the mixer, maybe even the washing machine. And about the washing machine, he is at it for hours, and working it manually, which basically means, he stuffs it with any piece of cloth he can find lying around the house, and rotates the drum with his hands endlessly. I get tiered just watching him do it relentlessly, and with the sound effects at that too. He adds sounds, almost perfectly imitated, to any gadget he pretends to use, the hand blender, the washing machine. He even imitates the honking of vehicles when he hears them on the streets. Just today I finished, a box of detergent, and the BB has completely taken it over, ever since. He pretends to scoop the non-existent detergent out of it, puts it into the appropriate dish in the washing machine, and then commences with his manual working of it. Oh! And he is attempting to pee like an all grown up boy too these days. It is just too much fun to watch, just how much he has picked up just by observing mundane things around the house.

Yesterday I spent the most wonderful half an hour with the BB when I went out with him for a walk. We were walking along a footpath which had a resort on the side, and hence had many plants along the wall. And here I touched a flower, and said,'flower', he repeated, this was followed, by leaf, grass, tree, light, and it was just so amazing. We kept repeating the words, spotting the objects every few seconds, all along the way. I was amazed at how clearly he pronounced flower in the very first attempt. He even pocketed a tiny flower I picked for him. He loves pocketing things these days, makes him feel all big and grown up.

I think I am very fortunate to have an undemanding, rather content child. That bit he definitely gets from the GP, the contentedness. And may I just add here, that some recent events around the household, has reinforced my beliefs on what a wonderful man the GP is, and how lucky I am that he is all mine. So over all, a happy state of affairs, with two amazing men in my life. And even though I am heaped with work, and organising activities, you can still say, I am in a very happy place.

Monday, November 2, 2009

And So, Whats Up With Me?

I never realised, just how easy it is to build a nest and make it cosier each day. It has been just a little over one and half years since, I set foot on the Arabian shores, and now when it is time to leave, I am amazed at the amount of things I have amassed. Some things necessary for practical living and some for peace of mind. Its just that now that it is time to move, I am not sure just what or how much of it I am ready to leave behind. The worst is selecting the clothes that I will indeed take away with me.

Have started my work for the shifting. Am sorting things everyday. Today was spent sorting out the BB's clothes, and his toys. Threw out three bags of broken toys. Mostly cars which have been deprived of their divine right to wheels. I am super duper sorry that I need to leave behind his tricycle, and the little table we had bought for him this year. Both too heavy to be taken, and the table will not really fit back well together, once its pulled apart, and hence so not worth the attempt. I am sure that we will end up with better things, that will last longer, as he grows, and yet it hurts to leave these things behind. Oh! And I also organised all my jewelery, which I have collected here patiently and lovingly, so that they can be easily packed and moved now.

On a different note, I managed to sell six different things through online portals. Cannot tell you, just how proud I am of myself for that. Its just too much of a job managing to communicate with so many people, some, who are not even interested in the item, but just mail for fun. There is this one guy who bargained for an item for two weeks, and then when we finally settled on a price, he just evaporated. Then there was another, who would send a message saying "x, will pay cash immediately"(x being an amount always a third of my expected price). He wanted 2-3 items, even called up and spoke to me, continued to haggle, and I dealt with that calmly. Eventually he did not buy anything either. With such people, aplenty, I am mighty proud I managed to sell six of the seven items I had listed.

I will sort my books, the very few I have here, and start the weighing process to get a vague idea of just how much more I can fit in. There are a few last minute purchases I have planned, things that can only be got here, and I need to keep enough baggage allowance for them. The GP has given me strict warnings, to not so much as dream of fitting in a handkerchief into the allowance he has, and everything will need to be fit into the baggage that is for the BB and me. Of course there is the hand baggage allowance too, but trust me with a kid, a lot of it is actually used up for things required on board. Tomorrow, I weigh in my options, and literally!

That is how the scene is with moving at the moment. I have a lot more to write and share, but am really hard pressed for time. Hope to do some more blogging in the days ahead. Or maybe this is the way things will be till I actually settle into my new home.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Can We Hear The Sobs Of Tiny Voices?


October is the Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and pretty much every heart wrenching, and very touching post I have read so far, is about violence against adult women, by their husbands and in-laws. The posts by IHM, Smitha and Solilo are the ones I would recommend for reading. Abuse of women, is the most obvious kind of thing that comes to mind, when we talk of domestic violence today, a wife being beaten, harassed and even marital rape. Personally, I have very little experience with this kind of violence, strange but true, I have no friends, who are harassed, except the usual tug of war, all Indian women have with in-laws, none of my maids were abused at home, fortunately both had rather loving husbands. I have only heard incidents about people who are known to someone, who know someone I know, or through the media. I would want however to stress on a different kind of domestic violence which is very prevalent in India, but very very little attention is paid to it, and in more ways than one it is a lot worse than wife beating.

It is violence, and aggression against children in homes. It happens more commonly than we are ready to accept or even acknowledge, but the situation is scarier than most of us can fathom. Bad childhood, is a very simple and general term used to describe this situation, and push it under the carpet, in a land where parents are treated like Gods, no matter how they are. When its a woman being abused, there is a possibility of her receiving support from her parental home, but a child has no where to hide and nowhere to run, from his own parents. Nowhere at all. Imagine a five year old being beaten mercilessly by his own parents in the confines of his own home, which should be his sanctuary, the place where he should feel the most loved and safe. Where does this child go looking for help, how does he even know he should get out, and how will he survive if he does? When I saw this video on IHM's post, the first thought that came to my mind is, would the man have done the same thing had the abuser been abusing his child instead of his wife? How commonly do we see parents hitting, and verbally abusing children publicly, and how often are we shocked by it, the way we are with violence against women? Rarely ever, then who would even bother with what happens behind closed doors. A child is too shamed and scared, and knows too little to understand that what is being done to him is wrong, unjust. And a child who grows up in such an environment is unlikely to realise it either, because of conditioning.

Image Courtsey - http://abdoukili.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/children-faced-with-parental-and-social-abuse/

Its a myth that such abuse lies only in the lower strata of the society, it exists everywhere. I have bonded with many a blog friend, simply because we share a common history of childhood abuse, and somehow that has turned us into similar people in some ways. Two of my closest friends from the blog world, have faced abuse all through their childhood, and we can talk to each other openly, without feeling any guilt, like we can't with anyone else. The gory details are never put up on the blog, or discussed openly and people who have been fortunate enough to have nice parents, cannot really understand, what can possibly justify a person bad-mouthing her own parents. You have to live it, to know the pain, to understand what cannot be explained in words. These are people who are well educated themselves and belong to affluent, educated families. At five where could we have escaped? From our own parents? When I had finally had enough, and realised that I could be loved and appreciated, and left my parental home for good and married the DH, a relative I had newly acquired, questioned me about my actions, told me that people are abused much worse, even sexually by their parents, what then, have I to complain about? It is tough enough to take a stance, but then to be questioned, and to need to defend yourself for having escaped abuse is not easy either.

And even then we are never completely free of our parents, while a spouse can possibly be replaced, parents cannot. And we do tend to keep turning back, hoping for something that never really existed, longing for something we never really had. And I cannot help but wonder why, do we keep going back to the people who wronged us, and who will never accept that they have done so. And I finally found an answer to that in an article Solilo pointed out to me, which finally gave words to my vague beliefs. It says

Research on early attachment, both in humans and in nonhuman primates, shows that we are hard-wired for bonding — even to those who aren’t very nice to us.

No wonder then that even the abused children and spouses continue to be affectionate towards the abuser. An abused child is unable to completely cut ties off with the parents without either feeling guilty, or being made to feel as such by people, such is our social conditioning. A wronged child feels guilty to even say aloud, what he knows and feels is wrong.

There are people who feel that physically intimidating children is an important tool for disciplining them. The very line of thought is outrageous. How can violence, and physical aggression be used against a child? I know of girls being beaten black and blue by leather belts, for wearing clothes the parents considered inappropriate, boys who were not fed for days, because they failed an exam, children being beaten, till their tears dry up and they hiccup for hours, because they said something in the presence of outsiders that they should not have. Why is the Indian society NOT outraged by these acts of domestic violence, why do children have no rights in our country? Many developed countries, explain their rights to children, have strict rules against verbal or physical abuse of children, India is far away from even acknowledging the existence of this issue. No one raises a voice, or thinks its even slightly out of place, if parents are abusive. It is time we started nipping the problem in the bud, if we wish to eliminate domestic violence entirely.

While not even for a moment can I say domestic violence against women is any less atrocious, but its violence against children that I think causes much deeper harm, and leads to creating an unhappy, unstable, prone to violence, self-respect lacking or a human deficient in many other ways. Scars in the heart and mind which never heal, which never leave.

Stop Violence Against Children. They Are People In Their Own Right.
Image Courtsey - http://www.studentsoftheworld.info/sites/society/childabuse.php


An old post, very relevant to this topic, is what I dug up, and am linking here, for anyone who wishes to read.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Right Is Left

A few years back, as part of my office's annual celebrations, I had taken part in a group discussion, where the topic was, 'Right Is Left'. Since it was an on-the-spot thing, the simple meaning that came to my mind, was that there what is right according to me, maybe wrong according to another, and literally speaking that is the exact way it will be, when someone stands facing me. I interpreted it to mean, to each his own, there being no absolute right or wrong.

That is something I truly and deeply believe in. What is right to me, is unacceptable to someone else; something I think of as the norm, maybe exotic to another; my black maybe another's white. And that is exactly the way the world as we know it exists. It has been a while now, since I have come to the realisation that there is no absolute right or wrong. Everything is relative. What still remains with me though, is a feeling of disapproval that sweeps through me, when I see people who are drastically different from me.

As a very obvious and simple instance here, I can mention women who wear abayas. It is simply their life, their choice, and unlike the way I would like to believe that they suffer, they may infact be absolutely comfortable in their choice of clothing. And yet a part of me cannot but feel pity/sadness each time a woman dressed as such. It happens to many that we disapprove of things that we don't accept or agree with, when we see it in others. Often its instinctive, and makes me judgmental, because the other person does things differently or follows a different code of conduct. What is it in me that, inspite of my strong belief, of there being 'no one rule to fit all', I find certain things difficult to accept as normal, when it is different from the way I am? Is it human psychology, could I just use that as my excuse and shun it?

But then that conflicts with another one of my attitudes, which says, if I acknowledge a problem, it is within me to find a solution. Most people, I believe never change, because they never accept that any flaw exists within them. The toughest part of self improvement is possibly the acceptance of our flaws. Every human being inherently believes himself to be good, even a terrorist believe that his actions are for a reason, and he is doing the right thing. Believing we are flawed is a great step in self improvement of a person. But then comes another roadblock, that a lot of people land up in, which is an attitude says, 'Yes, that's the way I am.'. Which simply put means, the person has no intention of changing, and takes the flaws as a part of his being that do not require any actions. Only after both the issues are tackled can the true process of self improvement begin. A process which can actually become a part of one's lifestyle, and last forever.

If I know, there is a quality or attribute in my personality, which in my own view is negative, why would I not want to change it? Sometimes it is easy to just let go, settle into what comes to me naturally and easily and just go on. But that seems such a waste of the abilities and gifts that every human is born with. In our mundane existence, dealing with daily issues, these thoughts often become so distant from us, and begin to seem so far fetched. I have been that way, and have learnt that it is only, and simply a downward spiral from there on. Never again do I want to be there, I want to change and improve each day of my existence, in ways that I think are good. Which brings me back to the point, that my good maybe your bad. So what then? Even a simple thing like honesty can have many different interpretations under different circumstances. Would I tell a close friend that her crooning abilities, are bad enough to scare dogs, and hurt her emotions, or would I not? Would honesty indeed be the best policy there, or is it better to let her be happy, humming a tune now and then. Personally, honesty in such a situation is not my choice of action, because to me that would translate into being insensitive and rude. And yet again a person who would call a spade,a spade even in such situations is an upright and honest being, and is not wrong in his own way is it not? So who and how do we then decide what is right and what is wrong?

I am an instinctive person, who lives by what her heart believes in, who makes mistakes, and tries to learn from them. My rights are what instinctively come to me, but somehow I cannot apply them to everyone, except maybe not being cruel to others, animals included. What are your absolute rights and wrongs, and do you think they can be universally applied? And do you think you can judge others based on those?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When The Words Just Don't Flow

I want to write something, but cannot. I have a few post ideas in mind, but they are just not translating into posts. I am either too sleepy, or too diverted to post anything coherent and sensible these days. Hope its just a phase, that passes away very very soon. Till then this space is likely to remain as is. And honestly I am not enjoying this at all.


Today is a special day, because its the birthday of a very very dear friend, Roop, she has practically stopped blogging, but remains a great friend none the less. Cheers to you Roop, on this special day, and wish you a grand a wonderful year ahead. Go on and flood her almost dead blog with your lovely wishes. :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Greens After The Desert

The thing that most tugged at my heartstrings in India, on my last trip was the greenery. My eyes lusting to see some natural greens, got its heart's fill, when I reached India right after the monsoons. Here are some sights that I loved. Aah! The lovely green.




Thursday, October 22, 2009

Something Close To My Heart

The Diwali weekend, had my home teeming with guests. Unexpected, but very welcome. It was only the night before Diwali that I had invited some friends over for dinner, and managed to feed them some overly salted Daal-Makhni. Being the people they are, they had it without a word. Besides them though, we were a full house through the day on Friday and Saturday, and it was tons of fun, mostly because I had enough food to feed everyone who dropped in. I hate ordering from out for guests, and I equally hate missing out on conversations, because I need to cook. So this weekend turned out to be quite a win-win situation for me.

This weekend I also made a new friend, an ex-colleague of the DH. He is really tall, and I think that is what catches one's attention when you first see him, is his height, and the fact that at just a year short of being thirty, he can still pass for a school kid, so I'll call him Mr.Tall here. He is a no-nonsense, straight up guy, who takes his friendships seriously, and has no time to pretend that he likes people he does not. He stands out like a piece of carrot in an omelette, in the hypocritical world we inhabit today. To say he is not a popular guy, would be putting it mildly, the problems he faces because of his attitude, can put the Everest to shame. The one day he spent with us, made him feel comfortable enough to talk to us candidly, and I am humbled, that just that much time with us, was enough for him to trust us so. Its the story of his life, and not mine to tell, and so I will not go into details. But it was something the DH told me after he left that remains with me, and brings me back to a topic I have discussed before on this blog, the blind love expected of every Indian for his parents.

He has had a tough childhood, to say the least, and knowing what he went through, I don't think I would have survived it as well as he has. He has his bone to pick with his parents, and in my view rightly so. He does not deny the fact that he cares very little for his parents, and does not maintain an active relationship with them, but he does not go around explaining his stance to people either. The DH, being his nonchalant, completely non judgmental self, was the only one in his previous organisation who did not think of him in poor light. Every other person had a mean and bad image of Mr.Tall. The DH told me, that another one of our friend, who is also his ex-colleague, thinks very poorly of Mr.Tall, because he does not love his parents. And this really bothered me, because it brings me back to the point of unreasonable expectation in India that everyone needs to love their parents. And if they don't, they owe an explanation to everyone out on the streets on why they don't. I appreciate Mr.Tall for not bothering with that, and not giving into societal pressures, but I cannot help but feel the unfairness of it all. Having been through a traumatic childhood is bad enough in itself, but imagine being forever having to either keep up a facade of a decent relationship with the very people who created the bad childhood, or being prepared for criticism all your life, if you are not hypocritical enough to either lie to people, or to explain your decisions to just about everyone.

Life can indeed serve out a mean deal to some people, for no apparent fault of theirs. But I really liked the way Mr.Tall, deals with life, content with himself, and righteous to a fault. The DH was amazed at the way he opened up to us at our place, because he is known to be a guy who keeps his private life private, and remain logical at all times. Being the person he is, it possibly does not bother him, the way people react to him, or form their opinion, but I just cannot stop ruing at the unfairness of it all. I had been through a phase myself, where I thought it necessary to explain my actions to all and sundry, fortunately that is behind me now, and I live life for myself, and know that I owe an explanation to no one. People can form whatever opinions they want of me.
And hence I feel more for this man, who is strong and upright, but people will ignore all of that, to judge him so very unjustly.

Addendum - Solilo has left a link from the New York Times in the comments section, which I believe is very much worth a read, so I am putting it up here for anyone who reads this post to have a look at.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Whole Year Of Summer

... No Rains, No Winters! That is exactly what 2009 is for me. Having survived the Gulf Summer, as the winter approaches this place, I move away to very distant shores. I am moving to the other hemisphere, to a place known as the land of beer, Australia. Yes, that is where I am headed, hopefully for the long haul. But then again, knowing me and the way my life shapes up, one never knows.

When I was in college, my room-mate, N and I, were both keen to live in Bombay and Australia. How strange that I have lived some years in Bombay and am heading to Australia. Makes me wonder, if indeed we should be careful about what we wish for! The change is going to be huge definitely, and indeed it will take a while to settle in, get used to life there, but I am sure it will be a better life. Isn't that the way we should look at every change life, hoping for the very best.

The recent tales of racist attacks in the country-continent have shaken up Indians across the globe, and hearing about it, made me apprehensive too. But every friend and acquaintance living there, has a different tale to tell, so that satisfies my anxiety. A lot has to be worked out, right from the how to the exactly when and all else in between and after. With the BB in tow, I need to get there, into a place which is settled enough to provide us a bed to sleep on and regular food to be prepared in. Yes, having a child, and a small one at that does complicate things. The move would also entail me exploring and learning about a new place. Everything changes, from my brand of detergent to toothpaste, and it will take a while to settle into a comfort zone, after a lot of buy and try. However having recently shifted places once, I am better prepared in terms of what to expect and how to work around it. One of the cons though is, that Australia is far far away from everywhere else, and hence I cannot just jump on a flight and head to India if I feel really homesick!

This year is thus an entire year of summer for me. Works out great, because that means I can explore the place nice and fine after reaching, and would be better prepared to face the temperature dip in the winters. There is not much else to do now, except jump into the frenetic pace at which things need to be done and organised, before we leave here in less than a month. A month or so of transit in India and then off I will be to the land of the Late Steve Irwin, kangaroos, koalas, ostriches, gorgeous beaches and more.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Book I Loved and Yet Disagreed With


I had been hearing great things about 'The Palace Of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni' for the longest time. Everyone who read it was raving about it. And my curiosity about the book was quite piqued by all those recommendations. Truth be told, there was a time in my life, when no matter how tiered, I could not shut my eyes, till I read some. Life changed, as did my habits, my association with books, could at best be called dead till a few months back. Then a couple of bloggers started discussing about the books they were reading on Twitter, and I felt a twinge, which made me realise how much I miss reading books. So I bought a few, and started getting back on track. It was on my way back from India at the airport, when we had an hour at hand, and I was running around the BB, that I stopped at the bookstore. And that is where I spotted The Palace of Illusions. And I immediately bought it. Its not easy to find an Indian author's book here, I had to source 'Bringing Up Vasu' all the way from India, and strangely enough that landed up with me on the day I was leaving from India, and I read it there.

However, getting back to The Palace of Illusions, it is a very gripping and captivating tale or maybe I should say narration. Since I did not know even that much about the book, it surprised me to know that it is the tale of Mahabharata as the author felt was experienced by Draupadi. The original tale itself is supremely riveting and captivating, with its twists and turns, intricate side stories and the entire chain of events. So a re-narration is very unlikely to be bad. One has to be a really bad writer to mess up the original, and that Chitra Banerjee is not. Her style of narration is wonderful. I could not wait to grab the book each chance I got, and go on reading it. Simply put, it is the narration of the epic as experienced by Draupadi. Her emotions, her views, her life everything expressed as she felt. The book also speaks of a love she holds in her heart for Karna, a secret love she harbours all her life, as does Karna. I have not read the unabridged version of the epic, and hence I do not know whether this is supported in the original or a personal addition of the author. But this does touch a little something special to the book. A touch of the forbidden love, a relationship doomed by the stars, feelings that run deeper than the formality of relationships, and yet morals strong enough to hold both the people back. The book is a wonderful read.

And yet I am not convinced by the idea of the book. While the author claims to write from Draupadi's stance, I don't think it is fair. We with our modern, liberated mindset, cannot claim to know how a woman who lived eons ago felt or thought. I do not believe the wants, beliefs or morals of a woman in those times are the same as those of the women today. It was a different society, a very different mind set. It is unfair to look at that world with today's mindset. There can be arguments saying human nature has always been the same, but I strongly believe that the society we grow up in, does shape up the way we are. And hence a woman today will be very different from a woman who lived thousands of years ago. That is my belief and hence the flaw in the very premise of the narration. The book is worth a read though, either which way. And that is my simple opinion.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Festival Flowers

Flowers define festivals in India. Here are some from my trip during the all the festivities.

Eid : Outside a Dargah

Dussehara

Some more for the festivities.

From a Flower Garden. For the puja maybe.

And then, just about to bloom. For Festive Gajras??

My attempts at photography, is what I present here. What do you think of them?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Huh?

Oh! How this would crush all the Indian wants of the chubbiest baby possible. A four month old baby in the US was denied Health Insurance because he was deemed too fat. It would be worth a good grand laugh, if it were not so completely absurd. And the only reason it possibly worked was because it was in the US. In India, imagine that happening?

Ever since the BB was born, I have constantly been bearing the brunt about his weight and eating habits. The initial months as a new mother was extremely tough for me, as I would doubt myself. A certain relative, always wanted me to feed him till he puked, and was constantly grumbling about how I eat good(read spicy) food and feed the BB, (a mere six months at that time,) bland things. The hilarity of it all puts a smile on my face now, when I can picture feeding some spicy mutton roast to my six month old, just-on-solids baby, but back then it used to just get on my nerves.

(Pic Courtesy: blogs.babble.com)

Getting back to the news, it might have been just an excuse for the Insurance Company to make some money, but the excuse does not get any more strange. Little Alex seems like quite an average four month old from the photo, so I indeed wonder if the Company wants super-model like size sero figures right from birth. It would change the entire concept of pregnancy, a woman would need to starve instead of eat through it. Alex's father, Bernie's statement was just perfect for the situation.
“I could understand if we could control what he’s eating. But he’s 4 months old. We can’t put him on the Atkins diet or on a treadmill,” Bernie joked. “There is just something absurd about denying an infant.”
In a world that is actually going crazy, and where little seems to be done for any purpose besides making money, when there is little sense or logic to actions, this piece of news really makes me wonder, how absurd can absurd get?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Ongoings of My Life

We are moving out of the UAE. In less than a month we will bid goodbye to this place, and may never come here again in our lifetimes. Am I sad? No, not really, because my stay here has been too short for me to have an emotional connect, and I don't have too many friends or family here. I have built up a life here yes, but it has not been long enough for me to fall into a deep comfort zone. And hence I think the move is coming at just the right time. The trap of a comfort zone is much tougher to break out of than anything else in life. happens with jobs people hate, a home too small to live in, a city not good enough, but people stay right there, because that is their comfort zone, the place where they feel nice and safe. I am just a few steps away from making this place, my comfort zone.

But that is not what I am writing this post about. I will do a nice flowery post on that in relative leisure sometime. This post is to take a break and relax a little from what I am going through. We are moving, that is a hell lot of work. Loans need to be cleared, our possessions need to be sold/given/disposed. All kind of leaving formalities need to be cleared, and regular life continues in the meanwhile. Cooking, cleaning, eating and all else.

Our biggest challenge was selling the car, fortunately we have manged to finally find a buyer. Putting it straight up, I love my, soon to be ex car. That is the only possession I have collected here, that I am really sorry to give up. But what has to be done, has to be done. Unfortunately this is a really bad time to sell an almost new car.(It is not even a year old!!) Too many people have lost jobs, there are too many used cars available in the market, the rates have really fallen, due to the simple rule of supply and demand. There is plenty of supply and very little demand. Another issue being we possess an American car, while the demand here is mostly for Japanese cars. So, we were in quite a soup. The car needs to be sold, so that we can clear up our car loan, and so finally we let it go for less than half the price we bought it for. I will not harp about the losses, because we are fortunate that someone has purchased it. Though I feel really sad giving up my really amazing car, I am happy that the anxiety the DH was in about the sale of the car is finally over, and the car has found a new home. The process is on, and the car will leave us within the next 3-4 days.

And so now, I am working on selling of the smaller things around the house. A spare netbook, a couple of used mobiles, and such like. Spent the better part of last night putting up the advertisements on various classified sites, and am spending most of the time today, replying to queries on them today. Am a little flustered with it all, and hence decided to sit down and do a post on this to take a break. My desire to stay away from the laptop is definitely not working, as I am constantly checking my mail, replying, trying to fix up deals, maintaining my cool, while people bargain even at throw away prices. Lets hope I can get some money in. Wish me luck people.

PS - My previous post, was not a rant or a reaction to anything. It was just a random post. And I am not wanting to prove myself to anyone, or unhappy in any way about the way I am. But thanks everyone for the morale boosting comments. Am really neck deep in work, so have been unable to reply to the comments. Hope to do it soon.