A sob story

The week had been hectic with Kiddo starting nursery school on Wednesday. Am back to managing cooking, getting him to school on time and doing my work.

Surprisingly, he has taken to school lovingly. Even though we are in the settling in period and I have to wait back with him, he hasn’t cried yet and is enjoying playing. Phew! That is one job done. However there is no guarantee that he won’t bawl the next time I leave him there.

Just when I was feeling relieved that kiddo is adjusting well in school, this had to happen. Kiddo and I were returning home from school on Friday and I was thanking my lucky stars for his good behaviour. And when I got down from the bus at my stop at around 10:15 am, I realised something amiss. I checked my pockets for my cell phone and realised it wasn’t there!

10:16: Panic!!
Check pockets again. Look back disbelievingly at the bus!
10:17: Shit! What will my pappa say?! Cold sweat all over the body in this cold weather. This never happens to me. How can this happen to me?
10:18: Frantically search all the pockets of the jacket, sweater, jeans! Shit! This cannot be happening. Disbelief at what has happened and dread at what will happen now?!?
10:19: Realise that kiddo is standing next to me and looking confused and I shouldn’t swear! Search pockets again. And again.
10:20: Holding back my tears now and walking towards the house. Cursing myself in my head. What an idiot!
10:21: Need to let hubby know what a moron his wife is! Search pockets again to call hubby. Realise once again I  just lost my phone! Mentally bawl loudly. Stare at kiddo as if he would miraculously hand over my phone.
10:22: Curse myself! What an idiot I am! What will dad say? How will I get my phone back? Will someone return deposit it in the lost and found dept? What will dad say? What should I do? I need to tell hubby. Shit but I just lost my phone! How can I tell him. Kiddo looking confused all this time. Finally he says, dad will get you a new phone, don’t cry! My sweet bachcha! Awwww Oh no my phone
10:23: Reached home. Start crying loudly. Walk towards hubby who is working on his laptop and talking to someone from office. Continue crying silently.
10:30: Hubby is finally off the phone. I tell him in between sobs that I lost my cell phone. He starts laughing out loudly. Yeah, well, he has been there many times, lost his phone before, shoes, and I don’t know what else.
After some time: Stop crying but keep groaning and moaning at regular intervals. 😦 Start ranting. This never happens to me. I have never lost a single thing in my entire life. Take out the two bus tickets and show it to hubby .. see I even got the bus tickets. I didn’t lose them. How could I lose the phone? Why is this happening to me?? All the while, kiddo keeps reassuring me that dad will buy me a new phone. Ahh such innocent childhood.

Hubby calls on my phone. Some kind-hearted passenger on the bus answers it and tells him that he is handing it over to the bus driver. Bless that soul! Then I log on to the bus site and fill up a customer support form to inform them that I lost my phone and please would they be kind enough to let me know if they found it.

With my continuing rants and groans, hubby decides to visit the lost and found dept. to ask about my phone. They tell him that they haven’t got it yet and chances are they will get it late at night on Friday or  on Monday morning.

This is heart wrenching. 😦 How can the dept. be close on weekends? What if someone has lost something really really important and needs it over the weekend. Hubby tells me that if something is so important then one shouldn’t lose it. Then he goes on a mini lecture about data security and what all can go wrong if my phone falls into wrong hands. I should have really thought it through before marrying an information security guy! 😦

Evening: After a glass of wine or two: Rant again, cry, wail, sob…start singing… yeh kya hua, kaise hua….kya se kya ho gaya…yeh dard bhara afasaana…

Saturday: same story…rant, sigh, groan..feel dejected and walk around like a zombie!

Now: Sunday morning: same thing…what did you think? Another 24 hours to go before I go to their office and haunt them!

Pray for me all you readers.


Updated to add, Wed, 31st Oct, 2012: Got my phone back on Monday morning safe and sound and in one piece for the price of 2 pounds. But that’s nothing eh? What would have been a nightmare in India was a cakewalk here! 🙂 Thank you readers for all your prayers!

Passive aggressive anger from fellow passengers

No, I am not talking about the seat acquisition game that is part and parcel of Mumbai locals – where you struggle and strategize to outwit fellow passengers to get seats on trains.

What I want to talk about is perhaps more complex. We went to York this weekend – just a day trip to one of my favourite places. Our return train was late by half an hour and we heaved a sigh of relief when we finally boarded.

After we settled down in our seats with reasonable commotion, hubby went off to visit the loo. Within the seconds the ticket collector came asking the recently boarded passengers for tickets. Now, usually, the passengers who have boarded the train at the last station immediately hand out the tickets and the TC does not ask each and everyone. In our case, hubby had the tickets and he was not there. The rest of us made no attempts to tell the TC that we need to show our tickets and he just passed us by.

Now there was this lady probably in her mid 50s who was sitting opposite me a few seats away. She had a big round face with a straight nose, sharp blue eyes that looked down on everything around, frown lines creasing her forehead, curly auburn hair cut in a nice bob and a scowl on her face which was perhaps permanent. She seemed the kind of person who was completely pissed off with life.

When she scowled at me, I thought that she thought that we don’t have tickets and hence didn’t show them to the TC. She eyed me with this haughty contempt look. There was this another lady sitting next to her who was probably her sister. She murmured something to her and the sister started laughing with little interest in the matter. Now then this lady again swept the compartment with a disdainful look and looked at me as if I was utterly unworthy to be sitting there.

This all happened before hubby returned to our seats and I gave him a quick update. The saint took one look at her and said that she is probably frustrated with her life in general and it is none of her business whether we have our tickets or not. (This is why I think men don’t understand visual cues and body language!)

To add to her frustration, we soon got out our snacks of bread and chutney, cheese, khakra, chiwda and got into a discussion. Now I am the kind of person who gets angry with such behaviour. I hate being made to feel wrong when I am obviously not wrong. In this situation however, I had no opportunity to perpetuate the anger/rudeness/contempt by talking to her as she got down at the next station.

Oh how I would have loved to fan out our tickets like a pack of cards or even better, make everyone rush to the next compartment in the false pretext of not having tickets just to irritate her further when the TC came back later.

I hate not being able to give back!

What do housewives do?

‘What do you do all day! except washing utensils and cooking whatever groceries your husband brings home’ asked a relative some time back. Note the contempt. It was said with a sneer even.

‘Nothing! I just sit around all day, read books, watch TV and eat ready meals heated in the microwave’ was my retort or something like that. After all I am just a housewife.

It is a falsity universally acknowledged that a housewife or a stay at home mom has no work and just sits around all day being lazy and making merry.

The working woman is the one who does all the work at office and at home! The housewife should in fact be ashamed to stay at home and be a burden on her husband – as he has to work hard to provide for her.

For the work of the housewife cannot be seen, evaluated and appraised. She doesn’t get a pay check at the end of the month to prove she’s done any work.

Here are some of the chores/housework that takes place automatically/mechanically/magically at my home:

  • The house is always clean – the rooms, furniture, upholstery are cleansing agents – they clean themselves. They do not need a person dusting, washing and swiping at them.
  • The delicious food gets cooked automatically and magically finds itself served hot on the table. Three times a day.
  • The clothes, when spoiled, find their way to the washing machine and when the machine is done, go and hang themselves on the stand. What’s more, when they are all dry they walk up to the closet and fold themselves neatly in the shelves; some of them even place themselves on ironing stands and get themselves ironed – again to walk into the closets in neat folds.
  • The groceries are automatically replenished. Perhaps the refrigerator has a mechanism with the superstore to refill the items.
  • The trash – when it finds itself stinking unbearably walks out into the trash-cans outside the building.
  • If you are in India, the door is automatically answered 20 times a day for salesman, postman, neighbours, watchman, sundry people and their requirements are answered.
  • The phone is answered by an operator.
  • The small baby in the house dresses, feeds and cleans himself without any help from the adult. Or perhaps the fairy mother takes care of the child and looks after his needs.
  • The kids raise themselves with good values, discipline and nutrition. If the child has good values, is well-behaved, obedient and generally a good boy all around – then it must be his inherent nature and he is born with it – the stay at home mom has no influence or contribution in it at all.
  • Note that if you are living abroad, the maid, servant, driver, etc. is all rolled into one person – the housewife. There is no maid to do your daily chores of washing the dishes and clothes. You have to do your own groceries shopping and carry them from the shop to your house.

So then what do housewives have to crib about?

Today if a woman chooses to stay home it is usually because she has the option and wants to care for her children. The fact that despite being well-educated and worked hard enough to make a career, these women have made a conscious and rational decision to give up their jobs to take care of their children, I think such women should be respected for their choices.

To blog or not to blog

that is the creative question!

I mean who even reads this stuff? Apart from my family and a handful of my blogging friends. Seriously, who wants to read stuff that has nothing to do with them? It’s not even like I write something that is funny or entertaining or even useful.

I could be doing so many things right now:

  • Job Hunting
  • Cleaning up the mess that is my house
  • Reading a book that’s long been on my TBR list
  • Cooking some fantastic dish
  • Having a meaningful conversation with a friend
  • Blogging about something that is actually useful or entertaining to someone

It is such a grey, dreary day that makes me want to lie down and mop about the depressing thing that is my blog!

It’s final. Am quitting. Or am thinking about quitting. There I said it.

PS: This blog completes 4 years this month. Phew!

Back to reality

More rants from the NRI…

For more than a year now, we have been living in a city with no illness. Two days after coming to Mumbai, diarrhea struck kiddo. After living abroad it is now ingrained on my mind that kiddo needs to build his immunity and no medical attention is required for such infections. However, after a day of no relief, we finally took him to the doc. The anti-bacterial medicine didn’t help and we had to put him on antibiotics. This is the first time we gave him antibiotics. He has not completely recovered from dysentery but it is down to a couple of times a day.

While in Edinburgh, he never suffered from dysentery or diarrhoea. Ever. In the past one and a quarter year. We went out a lot on day trips and holidays, gave him outside food, juices and drinks but never once did it upset his stomach. Is it any wonder then, that I am bad mouthing Mumbai, its weather, pollution, water, milk, everything!

Kiddo has always been thin. Like me. He has never been the chubby cheeks baby. Neither was I. I had a secret hope that when I come back to Mumbai, he will get proper ghar ka khana from his grandmothers and that might help him put on some weight. Now I seriously doubt that. He will taste a variety of delicious food here but am not sure whether that will help him put on any more weight.

It is not even one week since I arrived in Mumbai and I am already eager to take him back to Scotland, feed him some brandy in the chilly winters when I reach there.

On negativity and negative people

Most of the times, people don’t realise that their words uttered in innocence can hurt other people and affect their esteem. I, being a victim of this many times know how draining this can be physically and emotionally. Instead of ranting on about a recent experience, let me write down some coping mechanisms:

It is easy to blame ourselves and get into the same old cycle of guilt, blames, anger and no results. Instead of blaming  yourself for all the guilt and pessimism, you need to identify that negativity is coming from the other person. It doesn’t origin in our minds. You need to identify that this isn’t a one time experience and that something is off and perhaps someone is subtly manipulating you and not being honest with you. Identify this negative behaviour.

Do not try to make these people see their error and ill ways. There is no point in doing battle. By fighting them, you only give them more attention and more value in your life. These people want our energetic resources and the more we dwell on them, the more they receive what they want. We do not have to fight them in order to ‘help’ them as they do not need our help.

Keep your thoughts in check when you encounter situations created by negative people. Our thoughts usually run around these lines, “I can’t believe he/she did this to me! How unfair this is to me. How could she lie to me like that? I will show him. I will say this to him..blah blah..because that is what she deserves. Or maybe I will not talk to her anymore..that will show her” and so on. You see how much mental energy we are sending them?

The solution is not easy. We need some mental discipline. Try to stop those thought patterns. Get out of that situation, location, place. A change in surroundings can drastically change your thoughts and perceptions about a negative situation.

Stop dwelling on these people long after the events as that will turn out to be a true obstacle. If we keep thinking about them all the time then these people become a negative force in our life. Try to turn your thoughts towards positive things and towards what brings you joy.

The energy we send them makes negative people thrive. Stop sending them energy. You may find that the negativity may initially increase to regain our attention. Don’t give up even if it may seem difficult and the negativity will subside and eventually cease. Negative people disappear of their own when we stop giving them attention.

We all have negative people in our lives, bosses, subordinates, relatives etc. If we focus on them, we will send them more energy and they will have more power over you. Try not to let them affect your happiness and joy. They only have power because we send them the energy to feed their negativity. If we stop doing that, they will have no control over us.

How you resolve a situation is always up to you. Direct your energy towards something else, your job, your kids, your spouse, your hobbies.  Once you have set the aim, the universe will conspire to assist you in it.

Sometimes we have no idea how to resolve a situation. If this is a family member then we can definitely not walk away. However, miraculous things happen when we focus on the solution.

visualise what you want to happen. The power of visualisation is amazing. Send your energies towards this positive visualisation and things might just come out in the way you want them to. Surround yourself with things and people who bring you joy and distance yourself from the negativity of these people.

Blog, rant out, let your energies out by helping other people. 🙂

The Birthday Week

One day is not enough to celebrate your birthday, seriously.

There is too much excitement, you receive assorted gifts in the coming days from friends and relatives and mostly there is too much food to be hogged and you just cannot do it in one day!

When we are small, we have birthday parties, one single get together with friends and family to celebrate your birthday, grab the gifts, eat cakes and other delicious food. And then you are done. The excitement is over. Just like that. But as you grow older, the birthday parties are rare and not organised every year, the number of gifts dwindle and in general it’s not a big deal. 

To recreate the fun, we (mostly me and my uncle-aunt) decided that birthdays should be celebrated for the entire week – a few days before and a few days after the big day. It should be a more elaborate event. Like Diwali – each day you have something to celebrate, more fun, more sweets, more food – in all a darn good time over a few days. We started having impromptu dinner parties at home and restaurants, ordered takeaways, indulged in roadside chats, paani puri, ice creams – the reason always being, someone’s birthday was due in a couple of days. That way you could enjoy for more than one day and eat all your favourite foods and specially feel special and important.

Why am I suddenly being nostalgic and ranting about this. My birthday falls in this first week of August. Fortunately this week also marks the beginning of Shraavan. Although we are not following Shraavan, no non-veg food can be consumed during this entire week as festivals are marked throughout. Be still my heavy heart, we can still have fun with the veg food. Afterall, ghaas-phus can be made interesting.


So am officially announcing the commencement of celebrations for my birthday, besides, the world is a better place because of me. I have already started my celebration with mutton chops, Pomfret curry and strawberry wine. Go ahead, stop fretting, stop worrying, indulge yourselves, eat out, have fun, go on a holiday you have been longing to, meet your loved ones, have that tempting plate of food (to hell with the calories) and have a great week. In case anyone asks or you have guilty pangs, blame it on my birthday.

Things I wish/want for my birthday:

  • Mental peace, an anchor, something to hold onto – to rest my mind from the tangle of thoughts that obstruct my clarity of vision and judgement.
  • Get a hold on as many books as I can since I have the feeling that this is the only leisurely time I will ever get to read and relax.
  • A job: Something that will make me productive again – something to which I can apply my mind to and feel satisfied with the results. I miss those deadlines, pressure and anxiety, yes I miss feeling miserable.
  • Self actualisation: My grandma will agree with me that age has not brought me what it is supposed to bring in people  – wisdom, astuteness and some personality. I can’t at times find any changes in myself from when I was a teenager. Anger has always been my downfall and letting it get the better of me has often led me into trouble. People will not bother with who is right and who is wrong – they will only pinpoint at the person who is angry and shouting – and mostly that is me. Still need to change that.
  • Physical exercise: Have never done it, nor likely to do in near future unless advised by the doctor. But I always feel good after a coming back from a walk or running after the brat.  Need to do that more often. Need some fresh air and here it is plenty.
  • Music: There was once a time when I lived and thrived on music. I used to carry my Walkman to college and listen to songs during my commute. I used to go to sleep at night listening to songs. Nowadays I hardly ever turn on the music. Nursery rhymes, Thomas, Chuggington, Tom and Jerry are the order of the day. I want to make an attempt to listen to more of my favourite songs. Find that iPod!
  • Take a break: from my routine – from cooking, cleaning, other household chores, being a mother and care taker. I need a break. I mean a real break from all that I am doing 24/7. I need a carefree life for sometime for at least a few days. I know it will come soon but till then need to hang in there.
  • Chocolate: It helps, really it does. One bar of dairy milk can work wonders and I have been indulging since quite some time now. I want to dig up more recipes for all sorts of chocolate milkshakes, cakes, etc for this summer. A girl needs her chocolate, that’s the bottom line.

That should do for now. 🙂

Rainbow at my window after a thunderous weekend and comfort books

The rains stayed well into the weekend with lightning, thunder and heavy showers but ended with a rainbow. This was the scene outside our drawing-room window when it finally ended.

Rainbow at my window
Every time see I rainbow, and believe me, I have spotted it a lot of time, I fall in love with this city all over again. I mean, back in Mumbai, how many times do you get a chance to relax and look out of your window at home, spot a rainbow and smile? I love this escape from my hectic life in Mumbai. I absolutely love watching rainbows with my son and I know this is one thing I will always remember about this city – the relaxed life and spotting rainbows with sonny. It is so very comforting.
Although I didn’t eat pakoras, this weather had me wrapped under a blanket with my favourite book – Pride and Prejudice. Almost all of us have our comfort reads..books that are on our shelf for keeps. Books that we go back to when we need a guaranteed entertainment.  

Pride and Prejudice
Image by elycefeliz via Flickr
Books that fulfill this function for me are any of Agatha Christie‘s and Pride and Prejudice. And sometimes we wish to watch a movie instead of reading a book. For me that would again be, P&P, the Colin Firth mini-series, Father of the Bride – both parts, Devil Wears Prada. Surely, you all must also have such lists. Tell me, which are your comfort books and movies?