Wednesday, January 27, 2010

'Looking' For People?

How important are looks I wonder. I hear people admire others,, just because the look good, others who weigh their own worth only for their physical appearance, those who obsess about it day and night and then ones who form relationships based only on looks. I feel like a stranger in a world obsessed with physical beauty, mostly because I don't look like a dish myself I think, and partly because I knew from a very young age, that looks mean nothing in any relationship. Not everyone is all about the looks ofcourse, but there is no denying that the world as we know it today is growing more obsessed with looks each passing minute. Is it not?

I am not completely unbiased about looks ofcourse. My first crush was a looker, the second was one of the hottest boys in school, I think there was a point in time I watched sports only to drool over the male players,then of course there is my life long love for Akshay Kumar, purely based on his looks, (but we will discuss that some other time, )and I definitely like looking at people whose appearance is pleasing to the eyes. But somehow when it came to friendships, I never ever cared for how the person looked, in fact I think I specifically went for people who were never the best lookers around.Part of it is possibly because I was this huge, wheatish, buxom creature growing up in a sea of pretty, fair and nubile girls in school. I had no illusions about the way I looked, and I think subconsciously I knew I would never fit into a group of lookers and always managed to hook up with the others. But whatever the reason, whether its my own looks or just my principles, or whatever,looks never mattered to me when I connected with another person.

Why am I blogging about this you wonder, because it surprises me each day, every single time, when I meet people who never look beyond the physical appearance of anything. A friend in college, had one criteria for picking a man, his meter reading on the fairness scale. Only a boy with a peaches and pink complexion was acceptable, in fact the reason she is not in touch with me today, is because I don't match the required criteria. Strange? Maybe not, but it is to me. I hear people eulogising about their spouse, of many many years based only on their looks. An aunt married for about a quarter of a century now, never fails to bring up the fact that her husband is an exceedingly fair complexioned man, the fact that he used to beat her up black and blue at one point of time, seems to be of little consequence. Another couple, well into their fifties, and the man will always talk of how gorgeous his partner is, and forever fear her running away with someone else for the very same reason. Just does not make sense to me.

When I am hurt, or in pain, or need support, when I am sad and need a shoulder to lean on, the looks of the man is the last thing that counts. Strangely enough, for someone who was as kiddish as kiddish gets, I never wanted to fall in love with a man, because he looks good. The GP's looks somehow never even registered in my mind when we fell in love. I loved him for the person he was, and I love him each day for that, but looks, they never mattered. The fact remains that he comes across as quite a looker to many. A recent incident, where someone wanting to buy the flat we owned in India, came to have a look, and seeing the GP's photo in the living room, was convinced that it was in fact John Abraham (thanks to his long straightened locks during the time.), and we all agree John Abraham is drool worthy right? Everyone who knew him in college, and even some others, have commented on his striking resemblance to Dino Morea, I have never managed to observe it myself. I couldn't care less if he was a short, fat, bald man tomo, as long as he remains to be the person he is today. I never cared, and I hope I never do. So what I cannot understand is, how do people form relationships based on just looks, how and just how? How obsessed can one be with an outer appearance.

Its great to look good, and more importantly feel good. I would love to have a flat tummy and smaller face, but I would hate it if people liked or disliked me based on just that. I wish I never have friends or for that matter what is more likely, foes, based on my looks, and I hope I never ever change so much that I base my own likings or friendships based on looks. What is your take? How important are looks to you?

On an aside, a salesman in the mall yesterday congratulated me on my imagined pregnancy. How do you think I took it? I sulked for the entire fifteen minutes on the way back home!! And then of course tweeted about it to glory. And thanks to everyone who tried to cheer me up, I enjoyed the attention!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Full Circle

Life somehow has come a full circle for me, bringing me to Australia I think. There are so many things that was part of my childhood, that has come back into my life, in the last few months, that I feel I have reached, the point from where I started. A very obvious reason for that, is that I am living in a house. Yes a house, not an apartment, but a house. I have lived all my growing up years in a house, and while apartments are much easier to maintain, I did miss the open spaces, the feeling of being on my own, rather than sandwiched from top and bottom, and most importantly, I wanted to be on the ground floor.

And here I got all of that, even got a backyard, where I dry my laundry, just like my mothers used to when I was young. And then with my new camera in hand, here are somethings, I love about being back in a house.

A Backyard, visible from my kitchen, scope for a kitchen garden, and some open -air running space for the BB. The balloons are remnants of his birthday decor.

Spotting birds on trees, from the backyard, and sometimes in it. A little bit of nature, in my yard.

A plant in a huge wooden tub, making for a good photo.

Also, there is a garden, full of plants, flowering plants. It is not well maintained at the moment, and most of it is growing wild, but that does not take away from the joy of having flowers in my garden. Have a look.

Just blooming.

Gorgeous isn't it? There are four bushes of yellow roses in my garden.

You can tell me what these are called, but what a dash of gorgeous colour!

And then flowers, willows and greens.

I am loving being in a house, where there is no one living above or below me, with open air space that is just mine, and seeing the BB enjoying it all. What is strange though, is the creaking foot boards, and the strange sounding walls. Its all wood, yes wood. Most houses here are not made of iron and bricks, like in India, but most of it is wooden. That took me a bit of getting used to. I kept thinking, can the house really take all our weight, and a hard knock if it comes. I guess it can, and am a little more used to living in a wooden home now.

And I am back in a country, which celebrates 26th of January, as a national holiday. It is marked as Australia Day here, what I have grown up celebrating as Republic Day in India. Life has come a full circle indeed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Would I Come Up And Say Hi?

There are a lot of blogs I follow, where the bloggers have their names and photos up on their blog or profile or both. Some I am friends with, some not. So what if I was walking down the street and saw one of these people? What would I do, especially if I am just a reader of their blog, maybe even a lurker?

I have read about two instances where bloggers were accosted by readers of their blog, and that took them by surprise. One did not acknowledge being the blogger, the other did, but was caught by surprise and not quite sure about how to handle the situation. Considering the fact that I blog anonymously, or atleast I like to believe I do, and I don't have my recognisable photos up on the blog, I doubt, someone I don't know would recognise me as 'goofy mumma' while I walk down the street, however, how would I feel if they do? I write my blog freely and openly, a lot of what's in the depths of my heart surfaces in this space, things that I may not sit and talk about with people I know. And then up pops someone who reads all of this, and says a hi. How would I feel? Unnerved I think, unprepared, and I would not know which way to look. A lot of compliments from the reader, might make me all blushed, and gushy and happy though. (Just a hint for anyone who spots me somewhere.) However the point is would I go and say hi to a blogger I read, who is not too aware of my existence?

Earlier, maybe a year back, my reply to this would have been a vehement yes. Of course I would. I read the blogs that I love, the bloggers I read are the ones whom I hold in high esteem, for some reason or the other, they are great writers, I enjoy their writing or their posts are inspiring, motivating, some I read because they always make me smile, but whatever the reason, I really do love those , and that is also the reason I keep updating/editing my blog roll, because I don't keep blogs which give me no joy. Seeing one of them would be like spotting a celebrity, and I would be too happy to find words for a bit, but beyond that, I don't know what I would do. Being me, with my foot-in-the-mouth issues, I would possibly still just go and jump up in front of them, but now atleast I know, that maybe it would not be a very acceptable/cool thing to my beloved blogger. But it may just not be in me to act all cool, and pretend like I don't recognise the person at all. In fact, all through my stay in Bombay, each time I ventured out, I hoped I would catch a glimpse of one of those lovely Bombay bloggers. No, did not happen, my sore luck! But, that is not the point of the post. The point is should I go and make conversation?

Prudence says I should not. And I think I will train my mind to not do that, even if I sneak in furtive, awe struck glances at them. Though our blogs are public, and for everyone to read, how many would appreciate a stranger walking down the street coming up and saying, "Hi! I know you from your blog." Not all of us, and having seen all kinds of people, I would think its better not to risk it, and lose the chance of remaining a regular interactive reader, or being stamped a stalker or a nut case, esp, since I can be very very profuse with my compliments. I think it would be better to watch from a distance, and feel happy, like having seen a celebrity. Keep the talk of blogs in the blogs, and the real world out and away from it, unless its a pre-decided meeting of friends. What would you do, if you saw one of your favourite bloggers walking down the street or in the mall or some place like that, someone you just know as a blogger, no more and no less?

Monday, January 18, 2010

One Month And Some Fears

When I shifted to Melbourne, I definitely thought that it would mean better standards of living, cleaner environs and . Friends who have been here a while, were liking the life, and said the kids were happy too. Stories of racial attacks on Indians had been filtering through for a while, but our acquaintances, had never experienced any hostile racism , and that re-assured us, because they seemed more reliable than the media which thrives on sensationalising the reality.

Happily here, and within a fortnight, an Indian student is murdered, followed by the attempted burning of an Indian man, late on a Friday night, very very close to home. I had not been in this city long enough to have an opinion on the city, its culture or people. All I have is a handful of acquaintances, and rented place, I call home. So what do I do? For starters, after the second incident, I was terrified and depressed. I lost my entire weekend fretting over the issue. Wondering if it had been a good decision to come here, went onto realise that safety and security trumps all other considerations in life, and that clean environs, and good roads have no standing when it comes to a choice between them and safety. It was a heavy, depressing weekend, where we considered every possibility available to us, and thought hard and deep about what we needed to do. Had dinner at a friends place Saturday night, and I think I tired out everyone present there, with my questions on their brushes with racism here. Did I conclude anything? No, I don't think so. I was too disturbed to think clearly at that point. It is definitely not comforting, when one is new to a place, and before starting to feel at home, there are incidents of violent attacks on people of similair origins. It is in fact terrifying. The current media trend of sensationalising everything, does not help much either .

After a couple of days, when I had calmed down, I began to think more clearly. Indeed, people were rather polite and nice here. The little bit that I had been around, I did not find anyone being openly hostile or rude to me, people at stores were smiling, when serving me at the counters, and I obviously don't look like them, and have a distinctly different accent to boost. So what did that say to me about racism here, if it existed at all? I realised that the general population did not seem racist. In fact, if you read my previous post, I do feel the people here are quite understanding and helpful. There is respect for the old, pregnant women, women with children, and that is irrespective of the colour of skin or accent. I have not seen much, but from what I had seen so far, things did not seem openly hostile. And for every rude and inconsiderate bus driver, there is also a kind and sweet man to proactively help out. So here I am back at square one with my opinion. And yet I knew that there was something in my mind I could not put into words.

While discussing this with the GP, a few days down the line, I said, there are rotten apples everywhere. Considering that some of the attacks on the Indians were indeed racial, does not make the whole place bad. We should indeed give this place a chance, and since the BB is yet to start formal schooling, we can get a good idea about everything in and around here by then, and reconsider our options if needed. And just a few days after that the GP told me about this article the TOI, and he seemed to have put into exact words what I had in my mind. I don't know at this point if I concur with him on all counts, or if everything he has said is indeed true, because I have not been here long enough(Just completed a month since arriving here, today!) to know, but I do get what he is saying, and he definitely seemed to be coming out in the open about tackling the issues. The headlines by TOI(Australian top cop says there is racism in Melbourne), though does not do justice to the police commissioner Ken Jones' honesty.

Reading newspapers or following the happenings around the world, is just not my thing. I pick it up from people around me talking, or even tweeting these days, an occasional catching of headlines on the telly, and that is about it. But when the GP told me about what he had read, it piqued my interest, so I googled it and found the original interview in The Australian. I know for a fact that the government here is strictly against racism and has very strong laws in place to ensure that. The fact remains that students, coming here to study, live on a strict budget, and end up staying huddled in seedy neighbourhoods, which offer cheaper rents, and the fact also remains that there are bound to be some racist, discriminating elements in the society here, as there are anywhere else. The problem for me now, is, if a boy in a car passing by the road, looks at me and screams something,(yes, it happened, and I don't know what the guys were saying, because they were quite a distance away) do I think of it as racist or just a boisterous kid getting cheap thrills? Do I know if he is in fact a racist or not? The only way I would differentiate this incident happening in India is, that there I would be 100% sure its just eve-teasing, while here it can be either of the things.

Coming back to the interview, I am in absolute agreement to Ken Jones' approach and what he has said.

"Part of that is being absolutely upfront about every society having racism and racists," he said. "We have got murderers and rapists, but for a developed country, less than our share. We've got less than our share of racists, but we have got them.

"The more we can be accurate in our discussion . . . the more likely we are to be able to focus on that small element of society and prosecute it.

"The more scattergun our commentary and approach is, we are offending an awful lot of people unnecessarily."

It is a fact that turning a blind eye and saying there is absolutely no racism here, is like going to a huge flower garden and saying, there are absolutely no dry flowers here. Only when we accept that a problem exists can it be solved. Blowing it out of proportion, or completely denying its existence, are both detrimental to actually solving the problem. The Indian media is doing the former, while some government agencies in Australia are doing the latter. The simple example being, the title given for the same interview by TOI(Australian top cop says there is racism in Melbourne) and The Australian(Melbourne not racist, top cop says). And when in reality he has said the exact opposite of both of these things. He said it precisely, with the statement

But Indians should not be blamed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, he said. "The fact we have got morons out there waiting to attack people who happen to be wandering through a park late at night is a problem for us all."

In fact, the approach should be to control crime, of any kind at all, and improve safety and security of all inhabitants of this place.

Having just arrived, I don't know enough people here, to have a distinct opinion on the issue of racism in Melbourne, but I do like the approach taken by the police commissioner. For now, I am watching out, and trying to find out how this place really works, friends who have lived here for ages, assure me that it is a nice place to be in, but those two incidents one after the other, followed by a couple of minor ones, have indeed rattled me, and I am going about carefully and testily, trying to know the place myself. The only thing if any, is that I am going to be more alert and careful about everything I do.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Place, Same Goofy Me!

The city of Melbourne and its suburbs are said to have a great network of public transport, consisting of buses, trams and the metro. You simply go to a website, put in your address, the place where you want to reach, and it chalks out an entire travel plan for you. Is that not cool, I thought to myself. What did I know then, that I was just challenging fate, trying out things too soon, to do it right, being my clumsy, goofy self.

So here I was on a bright afternoon, out with the BB to meet a friend and her daughter, in the heart of the city. The route was simple enough. Straight down my street, I had to reach the tram station, get in, and it would take me exactly to where I needed to go. The GP told me to carry a lot of coins, because I would require them to purchase my ticket, and to take a full day ticket, which is like a whole days pass to travel by the trams.Good enough. I start walking, miss a couple of stops, and end up walking a lot of extra distance getting to the 3rd closest one to me. Wait for the tram, it comes, I get in, and then I don't know how to get the ticket. To me, a bus has a conductor selling tickets, and he asks you what stop, tells you the fare, you pay him, he gives you the ticket. And that's it. But in a country that is far too technologically advanced for the half-witted me, and where manual labour pays more than blue collar jobs, there was no conductor. There were some validation machines, but I had nothing to be validated. Feeling like a complete fool, i went to the driver and asked him for a ticket. he told me to go to the big machine at the back and get it. I go back, and still don't spot it easily. All this time I am holding onto the BB's hand, balancing his stroller, and hoping for dear life that I don't fall in the moving tram and look like a complete fool. So I manage to find the machine, enter the numerous details it needs, some based on pure guess work, and it asks me to put in the required amount in the slot machine.I did not have enough change, so ended up paying a few cents extra. Got my ticket and went and sat down. Called up the GP to boast about my great triumph at managing all of this too. And thank the lord who looks after children, that BB managed to be too happy/overwhelmed/ashamed of being with an inept woman for a mother, to not get upset or want something, or do anything crazy. I had to get off at the last stop, so that definitely did not need much of a genius I figured, and relaxed into my seat. The BB happily looking out of the window, I picked out something to read.

What I did not know then, was that this was just the start of my adventure. A few stops along the way, climbed in too men. I did not see them, because I was too deep into my reading, I just realised that someone came and sat in front of me, and adjusted the stroller, to make better space. Look up to see a man, who wore nothing on the upper half, was sweating like a pig and was constantly hitting himself. Before I could register it all, his friend pulled him up, he touched my head and walked off. Wow! I did not even realise what happened. I don't think anyone else on the tram cared, and as long as he went away, I kept quiet. But this man was mad, he got upto all kinds of antics post this, and pretty much all other passengers were upset. And then suddenly an announcement, saying the next stop would be the last stop, and the tram would not go further. It did not seem like a final stop or the end of tracks, and I was confused, but got off the tram with everyone else. And realised it was somewhere in the middle, there had been an accident ahead, and the trams could not go any further. So what do you think I do? I had no idea where I was. Fun is it not, first day out on my own, and I don't know where I am. I asked around, and a sweet guy, forthcomingly came forward and told me that I just needed to walk straight ahead for about a kilometre and I would get to where I needed to be. And that is how, walking down the road, I reached my destination

The return was a lot better, because the journey itself was uneventful, except that I got off a few stops too early. Waited at the same stop, for the next tram, hopped on and got off where I need to, and then walked back home from there.

And then the very next day, there is some more travel fun. I visit a friend's place for lunch. She is about two kilometres from my place, and so I walk down, have some lunch, chat up and leave. I strap the BB onto his pram, plug in some soul rendering music from Wake Up Sid, into my ears and start to get back home. And what do you know after about twenty minutes of walking I realise I have no idea about where I am. Pancic. Panic some more. Look around. A board with the street name. Uh-oh! I did not take the first turn I had to, and continued unabated on the street on which my friend lives. Can I please blame this one on Shankar Ehsaan Loy, because their music just left me day dreaming, humming along? Coming back to my predicament, I realise that I just did not want to walk all the way back now, because that would mean first covering back these twenty minutes and then another thirty minutes or so to home. I spot a bus-stop nearby, call my friend, get the details, and wait for the bus. It comes, I get in, again problem with the ticket. There is no ticket vending machine in the bus. Here, I have to buy it from the driver. I ask him for one, he is rude, and tells me to carry change next time. I tell him, I had no plans of taking a bus today. I tell him what stop I need to get off at, and go and sit. When we start nearing my stop, I stand up, only to see a big 'No Standing' written on the floor. All confused, I sit back down, thinking he would stop it at the stop, esp since I have told him where I need to get off. Well what do you know? He does not stop it, I go running to him and say, "I had to get off there", and pat comes the reply, "Well, you missed your stop." and he just goes on. Normally it would have been ok, but missing my stop, which is the last one on my street means, I go across the highway/freeway to the next stop. That means I cannot walk back, and have to again take a bus to get back to my stop. So I get off at the next stop, and so does an older man with me. I look across the street, and there is no bus stop there. So? How do I get back. I ask the man, and he tells me, buses going either way, come on the same side at this stop, and he told me which one to get on. Then he nicely looked up the time table, and his watch and said the next one might take a while, basically 15-16 minutes. He knew what happened back in the bus, because he was sitting upfront, and I guess he is a regular traveller of that bus, because he told me, that particular driver was a bit rough and rude. I thanked him profusely and he went his way.

And you would think it was just one stop now, and I was home right? No! I took the right bus, but gave wrong stop-name. Know why? Because the names of the stop on one side of the road do not match those across, basically because they are the names of the streets which lead inside. And how was I to know that? The driver this time round, however was a pleasant man, and he stopped at the next stop for me, which meant a little more for me to walk, but I reached home all the same,just a little worse for wear. So that was how my first two attempts at going places in my own have turned out. Am I daunted? Hell no! Because I have learnt, some, and I am sure I can do a lot better next time, and only if I keep doing it, will I get the hang of it isn't it? Surprisingly though I have never got lost, or gone the wrong place ever before, not even when I was new to Bombay and had just started traveling on my own, local trains and all.

A few things that I really liked, during these two trips, was that people around the place are very forthcomingly helpful when they see you with a child. Getting onto public transport with a stroller, and a child, would invariably mean people would help without even asking or expecting a word of thanks,. It almost seemed like a norm. Coming from Bombay locals, where heavily pregnant women stand through long journeys in crowded trains, and young students or women who have been there themselves, just sit in their seats, not giving relief to the women for a second, this was really amazing to me. A man even offered me his seat in the tram, when I was returning, since it was quite crowded and I was with the BB. When we were dropped off mid-way, because the trams could not go further, I was all bewildered, and even without me asking, people came and asked me where I wanted to go, and offered me directions. The guy who really guided me in detail, was an Indian, I believe a student out with his friends, and he did so his own, without my asking. I mentions Indian here, because I would never expect teh same courtesy back in India, atleast not proactively done. And that was indeed nice.

Just wanted to share my crazy adventures on the blog, and hence this overly long post!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What Did You Think?

Any ideas now on what it is?

Look around the 'picture' and you have hints abound.

Got it?

It is in fact a chalk drawing/sketching by man you can see on the left hand side. The purple bowl is kept there, for people to drop in money. I don't know if and what famous painting has been replicated, but the man was just sitting by the busy roadside, and drawing them with chalk. I have seen people do pencil sketches/ portraits of people for money, outside the Jehangir Art Gallery in Bombay, or a few malls in Sharjah/Dubai. But this man just seemed to be doing it because he was enjoying it, and the little tips he was getting (or not), did not seem to concern him one bit.

It just caught my eye, the moment I saw it on the busy roadside of the main business district in Melbourne. I just stood there, and adored the work for a while, then took permission from the sketch artist and clicked a few photos. I just wanted to show it to everyone of you, but did not wish to do it straight up, and after a lot of thought, asked you to guess, what it is. I am neither a great artist, nor do I know much about art, but this man, his sketching nonchalantly , by the side of the busy street, and the breathtaking beauties of his work, there was no way I could pass it by without registering it in my mind. Gorgeous wouldn't you say?

Do you see the artist at work on another piece? Just rotated the previous photo, to give you a better view.

The man deep into work on another sketch.

MRC, yes yes yes, you got it right. But how? How did you guess? Are you an artist yourself? I was so so surprised when I read your comment, how on earth did you know? I don't have any prize to give, but if you would like, I can make a header for your blog, as in photoshop something for you, to the best of my ability, let me know if you would like it. And now everyone please applaud MRC for her correct answer, and I am really waiting to know how she got it!

PS - Trishna, thanks for not telling. She was the one I was out with.

Friday, January 15, 2010


This is something I came across today. Can anyone tell me what it is, or any other details, like where I saw it? Better still, if you see this, just tell me whatever comes to your mind about it. If it is a famous painting, which it most likely is, I have no idea about it, so if you know, do enlighten me. I would really love it if everyone who sees this, takes a guess, and see if any and then how many of you guess correctly.

The details will be up in my next post.

Hint - It is something exceptional, and that is why I clicked it.

PS - Based on the two comments I have so far, I don't think I put my question out clearly enough. What I would like you to guess is, where could I have seen this thing, like do you think its a poster or something? I hope I am clearer in expressing myself now.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The One Where I Take The Flight

And so, here I am, in a new place, a new home, but fortunately with the same old family, and a few old friends. Its been nearly a month since I finally managed to take my flight to Melbourne, after all the hiccups, and so far, its been nice, or rather its all fine now. Let me chronicle the events from where I left it last, and you can find out yourself what a roller coaster ride it has been, just getting till here.

My tickets were rescheduled, for the 16th, which meant the BB had a week to recover, which he did not, had a relapse, and he was still on his course of antibitotics when I finally flew out of Bombay. I had no idea how I would single-handedly administer the medicines to him, during the travel time of close to 24 hours. All was well, when he had a tiny meal at the airport, and then some salad in-flight. I had to change my flight at Hong Kong, and the flight landed there an hour earlier than scheduled, and I was just wondering what I would do with an extra hour at hand. (Taking here the opportunity to say, people, do fly Kingfisher whenever you get the opportunity, you will love it. The glam interiors, the great service, the huge leg-space. It is ready to compete with the best names in international travel services. Mr. Mallya I just need to say this, great job!) The extra hour was put to great use, when the BB threw up all over himself and my back, (yes I was carrying him in a carrier on my back). I had extra set of clothes for the BB, which I cleaned him up and changed him into, me, well I had a denim jacket on, which was immediately taken off, and away I went in my sheer cotton top, in temperature of below ten degrees. Fortunately the panic button remained switched off, and I managed to take care of it all, it was only the GP, who was snapped off, when he called me at that point. After taking a train to the next terminal, I managed to check into the connecting flight. The HK international airport fortunately offered trolleys at most places even for hand baggage, and that was a super duper relief for me, since I did have loads at hand, besides a not so well BB. I managed to get the BB juice from the Starbucks there, where they refused to take any currency but the HK dollar or USD, fortunately I had a few scraps of USD, and hence procured a bottle. Thank God for the smart GP, who ensured that I carried some USD with me. What would I do without that man I tell you.

A rather meek BB, looking out, waiting for our connecting flight. The sea is visible from the airport here.

Got onto the next flight, gladly, and I think the BB and I snored through most of it, and I woke up with just a couple of hours left for us to land. The BB was just tiered after having been flying for the better part of 24 hours. On a side note, I did not like the Qantas air hostess who made faces, when the BB was taking his time to get off the flight, dragging the case I had carried in hand baggage.( We were the last to leave the plane, because I did not want others to get stuck behind me.) You are supposed to be a hostess woman, and being sweet and kind to kids is a part of what you are paid for, forget about common human courtesy. Once off the flight, the BB decided enough was enough, and promptly threw a tantrum, and I had absolutely no idea, what to do. He just refused to move ahead. I think that lasted for a good twenty minutes, which meant all my fellow passengers were half way home, by the time I even reached the immigration counter. Managed to pick up my luggage, and found that one of it had not arrived, filled out the required papers for its retrieval, and finally moved out through the customs.

When I exited from the airport door, I had about a hundred pair of eyes trained on me, if not more. That made me so uncomfortable, that I did not even look for the GP, but just kept walking, averting all the eyes on me. There were loads of people waiting for their loved ones, and I was a solitary exit from the airport after a really long interval of time I believe. Finally met the GP, hugged him, and handed over the BB, I was too drained for any more expression of emotions. The honest fact is I have never missed the GP, as much as I had this last one month, with an ill BB, the incredibly long journey, and for no, just having him around.

The next day was not too good either, the BB went back to throwing up, and we had to locate a doctor and take him there, the very first day we got here. The antibiotics were given up on, but fortunately there was no relapse of the fever, and over the next couple of days he recovered from everything. And after all this ordeal, all he is left with is some skin and bones. His skeletal look when he arrived, completely shocked the GP, who had left him less than a month back. He is attempting to feed the BB every fattening thing available on the face of this earth ever since. Illnesses are really hard on kids, but the good news is, they bounce back faster than we ever can. And hence I am just happy that he is not ill anymore.

Happy Happy New New - A Celebration, At Last!

When the BB was born, I knew that for the rest of my life, new years would be associated with my son's birthday. Born just a couple of days after the New Year came in, his birthday celebrations happen along with the Christmas-New Year festivities. All my past regrets were finally put at rest, because we did in fact had something like-a-party to celebrate the day this time. Considering the fact, that it was just about a fortnight, since I came to this entirely new place, I am happy that atleast something could be done.

We invited three families, one of whom, we met for the first time in our lives and fell quite in love with, Trishna's. It was rather sweet of everyone to come in. The party actually happened on the eve of the BB's birthday, since I did not want to spend his birthday all busy with the dinner preparations. A set of friends, trooped in earlier, and helped with the decorations and preparations. Below is a photo of what the living room looked like, just after being decorated.

And next, is one of a gorgeous cap, that was gifted to the BB, which was just ideal for the day, since it is shaped like a birthday cake, with exactly three candles on it. I think it is absolutely adorable, so just wanted everyone to peek at it.

My job for the day was to prepare the dinner. And never in my life have I cooked for eight adults and three kids. I have a great habit of choking up, while cooking, and invariably mess up the food, when having guests over. I neither had great cutlery, nor my regular resources and so the task just got more daunting. The cake was ordered from a shop ofcourse, I have no idea about cake icings, and I had not even tested the oven here till then. Chips and dips were all that was kept on the ready for starters. A friend made some yummy pineapple raita, and fortunately, the rest of the food, that I prepared, turned out quite nicely, nothing was burnt, had extra or less salt, and that for me is good enough reason to celebrate. There were seven dishes including the raita, and I am super-duper happy that I could pull it off. A completely Indian meal, and decently edible. Unfortunately, I was all rushed, and have never hosted a party at home, so I don't claim to have been half as decent a host as I would have liked to be, but I loved the guests, who were gracious enough not to mind that, and just go about the whole thing happily.

The spread above, is what was served. The meal consisted of peas pulav, puri, raita, chhole, sukha aalu and lamb curry, followed by kheer/payesh.Yes, yes that is completely me bragging. But I am sure the serving, and presentation could have been greatly improved. But I give myself the concession of having just moved in, and managing with whatever I had.

I don't think the BB got the point of being the star of the evening. He was rather smitten by Aadya(Trishna's daughter). So much so, infact, that even while cutting his cake, his eyes were fixed on her. After the eventual shyness, she too became relaxed, and these two little ones, under the supervision of an elder, kid managed to amuse themselves well. Did I tell you, all my culinary efforts were completely ignored by these two kids, and they actually survived the evening on just the chips served with the cake. Just look at them, hovering around the bowl of chips.

The candles were blown, people sang the birthday song, My BB cut the cake, and so it was the kind of celebration I had been waiting to have for his birthday since the day he was born. And finally it was done. Not huge, but a party all the same. And here is saying cheers to my little baby, who had suddenly turned into a boy of three, and life has become a bit tougher!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Some More, Just About Me.

The rules are:
Tell your readers 10 things about you that they may or may not know, but are true.
Tag 10 people with the award, and be sure to let them know they’ve been tagged (a quick comment on their blog will do).
Link back to the blogger who tagged you.

What a lovely tag Reflections has passed onto me. The self-obsessed me, would love to talk some more about myself. Would you like to hear about it???Ten whole things about myself, this should be tons of fun.

1. I always count my vegetables/fruits, while I am picking them up in the supermarket. Like when I am buying tomatoes, though they sell by kilos, I would just count the number I pick up. No particular reason, just a quirk.

2. I love people, generally, I just love people, talking to them, knowing them, observing them, everything. Till you really bother me, or turn out to be a total jerk, by default, I like you.

3. I have come out of the ladies' room in my office with my kurta stuck inside my salwaar, not once or twice, but thrice. There is a reason I call myself a goof people, I am a super clumsy goof. And yes, I don't even want to think of it again.

4. I never forget unfinished business, I never forget the phone call that was not returned, by me or vice-versa, a friend who suddenly stopped being in touch, a letter I needed to have written 15 years back, I remember all of it, and they bother me. I working on getting rid of this, getting there, bit by bit.

5. I suck at keeping secrets, but am really good at maintaining trust. If there is gossip about XYZ, that ABC tells me, I am very unlikely to be able to contain it, but if you trust me enough to share something really important, I am too overwhelmed by that show of faith, to ever speak a word about it.

6. I once bought this huge and expensive coffee-table book on Kama Sutra, from a book exhibition held in my office. Had to hide the damn thing till I left office, and a friend who knew I had bought the book, made sure she publicised it to the whole wide world. The sad bit is, that the book is not with me anymore.

7. I love gifts, but hate choices. The better-half has lot of options and no decisions, so if he wants to buy me something, he basically gives me a list of options, and tells me to decide what I want. i usually end up buying nothing, because I get so confused. Fortunately, things did not go that way this weekend, and I got an amazing new DSLR.

8. I can never sleep in the day, at home, if I am alone, or everyone else is asleep. Which basically means, a daytime nap almost never happens, because rarely will the GP stay up, if I am napping, and on weekdays, there is no other adult around.

9. I work in bursts, there are days full of activity, and there are the ones, where I do nothing, its never a regular routine in my life, atleast so far.

10.I am a very slow reader, and I mean really slow. I have never finished a decent sized book in a day or in one night. The fastest I have been was finishing a Nancy Drew book in one night. I read every word and every detail, I have no fast reading skills, and hence I was never suitable to appear for a CAT exam.

And for the people who have patiently read through this drivel, here is a BIG round of applause from me. And I shall now pass on this to ten people, whom I would like to know some more.

1. Sraikh
2. Chandni
3. Monika
4. Piper
5. 'A'
6. Indyeah
7. Rakesh
8. Trishna
9. Parul
10. M4

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bidding a Farewell

2009, to me was a year that came, and went, and I gladly bid good bye to it. No, it wasn't a horrible horrible year, but it was a year where bad things happened, to bring out the good, something like the hardest tests are needed to bring out a person's biggest strengths. I did find parts of me, that I had never known existed, I found a side of myself that I never knew could be there, and prove to myself that I can beat my worst vices with true determination. So that sounds like a year I should be proud of is it not? Maybe in due time I will be, for the strengths that showed, the true friends I found in the tough times, and yet all that remains with me is the test, the fear, the pain. So for now, 2009 does not go into my list of best years spent!

The end of the year however saw a dramatic turn of events. It was good, it was a revelation, and it was positive. We moved places, and I am happy being where I am. I found a spiritual channelisation, that I am trying hard to hold on to and keeping the flame alive within. I think I was long hankering for something strong and positive to influence me, and it finally came to me in the form of something that was relateable, and made perfect sense to me. Has it changed me completely? No, but I see something positive developing, which I hope to nurture and nourish as much as I can. It is strange to see, how in a way life has come a full circle, I am going back to the thoughts and lifestyle my grandmother stressed on, and its strange how those small teachings from childhood are re-surfacing with the new learnings, how every small tale I had heard is suddenly shining in new light in the new things that I am learning. I just hope that I don't let go this time.

The year also ended with the goofy gang landing up in a new place. A place that seems full of promise and niceness so far. Fortunately I have some friends here, and they have shown amazing support, so its been much easier settling in. Its different (yes indeed, like the Maggi ketchup), is all I will say about this place, till I do a detailed post on it, hopefully soon.

As a family, I don't think 2009 had a lot to offer to us. We are poorer by a house, and of course money. But then we get some, we lose some right? So I guess we are doing OK on that front. Else as a year 2009 was nothing exceptional, nothing exceptionally amazing happened, and it was only towards the end that the year turned around a bit for the better, besides ofcourse the BB having one of his worst illnesses till date, which just did not seem ready to go away.

So what do I take away from 2009? Hopefully better health, and left all the scary excess weight I was carrying, and I have left behind a wardrobe full of clothes that had become too huge for me to fit into. This is not the best photo to have as the first photo of the new year for this blog, but this is the best of 2009 for me, so here, I am sharing it with you.(I give in, and give you a typical before and after shot!)

Bye bye 2009. Though you will not be one of the best years of my life, I will always remember you, for what you gave me, just as you were leaving.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Three Connect

How do you decipher this?

The BB turned 3 on the 3rd of this month.
We are a family of 3.
We use the mobile services of 3.
We invited 3 families for the BB's birthday party.
There were 3 kids in the party.
This is the 3rd country we are living in.
The organisation GP works for is the 3rd one he has joined.
This year is numerologically a 3. (2+0+1+0 = 3)

So what do you make of this? It as a fun discussion with friends, when I said, how the BB is turning 3 on the 3rd, and then suddenly there was an avalanche of threes. And we realised that we have a lot of '3' in our lives right now, wonder what that means though. Any numerologists out there reading this???

Not the post I had in mind to start the year, but this was the best I could do to break the blogger's block. Wish you all a very very very Happy New Year.