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.