Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuppence, Two Cents and my Baarah Aane.

The last few weeks have been a riot, both in my little world and the big bad world outside.

Like my eco prof in b-school would say in his accent, "Let ush doo da maaaacro-ekonumiksh fusht" :) Was ashamed to read of the death at IIT-Kharagpur caused by lack of medical facilities. Imagine his parents... they would have had so many dreams for their child. He must've slogged his butt off to get into IIT. And then a sudden end because of no medical facilities? Shocking. And we talk of "india Shining'. God help us! In the same vein, I was stunned to read of the death of a medical student in HP in a ragging incident. He was beaten to death by his seniors. I know all of us have academic or professional or personal pressures, but does it ever merit violence of this order? I wonder why not one of these wannabe doctors had the sense to stop? They have sealed their own fate in one case of peer pressure. Sigh!

IPL and the elections are leaving me bemused, sometimes bored. So I skip the topic and move on to my little world.

Last saturday P and I attended an orientation at a school (based in Bandra) for their mother-toddler program. This program is offered to infants and toddlers in the age bracket of 7 - 17 months and their mother/father (who accompany the child to the school for a one hour and fifteen minutes session thrice a week). Given the age of the 'students', naturally, no formal teaching is involved. The child is exposed to music, games involving gross and fine motor skills and different languages (Hindi, English and Marathi). Nothing that cannot be taught at home, but I like the concept of Button being able to interact with babies his age. P and I were stunned to receive a questionnaire at the end of the orientation. We had to fill out the answers separately. A sample of the questions is listed below.
* If you think your child should inculcate good manners such as being polite, who do you think is responsible for developing the same?
* What do you want your child to be?
* Why do you think your child should receive a holistic education?
* What is the difference between spirituality and religion?

Well, we were amused, but being the tams that we are, any exam is to be taken seriously, even if it is an opinion poll :) So we did our best and await results this friday. Am not yet sure if Button should travel from Prabhadevi to Bandra (travel time = 1 hour) at this age, but the decision can wait until results are out!

I have become a maid manager these days. My cook comes in the morning and watches me cook (seriously, she doesn't know how to cook and has been 'learning' for over a week now. Even how to make tea!) Then my kaamwali maid arrives and takes no notice of my repeated entreaties to wash the vessels after scouring them or to pour water over the bathroom floors after washing them with a floor cleaner. (She has a ball watching me do my slide dance when I enter the bathroom to bathe Button). In the meantime my baby-sitter arrives. She forgets any instruction I give her (to rival my memory!) So every day's work spills over to the next 2 -4 days. Finally in the evening, another maid comes to sweep and swab again. She has to have a story-telling session everyday (and in true spirit I compete with make-believe episodes!) Mostly stories of her 'koliwada', the absence of morality there, her good old days as a fish monger and how I have to be 'careful' with a young baby around. Oh, and how could I forget my driver? Mr.Gautam just has to see a red light and becomes a bull worthy of a spanish matador. He zooms ahead at full speed. Sometimes, even a speed-breaker does the same to him. And if I do not ask him to switch off the music, I get to hear the same 'Kiss me kiss me kiss me' type song on every station (he fiddles at top speed too) at top volume. I must say that at about half past seven, when it is just me and a tranquil cooing Button, I feel like I am in heaven, in peace. Only until P arrives. I have to return to adult words and the adult world then. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mere paas Maa hai!

I went through this horrendous phase of forgetfulness a few days ago. One day, I called some friends over for tea. And conveniently coerced my husband into taking me to a mall for some shopping. He had no idea that I had "not" cancelled the invitation. And horror of horrors, they turned up home on time too! I feel terrible about the incident even today. Thank god these friends are close friends and know me well enough to take my trip about it often enough without malice or hurt! Another day, a friend, her husband and infant daughter were in the hall. I had just taken a quick shower and stepped out without my pants (HORROR!!!) Thank god it was breezy and I wondered why it was droughty around my knees and looked down just in time to rectify my blunder. Would have gone into hibernation for years had I walked out. The worst incident happened last week, when I forgot to cook for Button. I just forgot. Poor chappie had to do with Nestum and Cerelac the whole day. Short Term Memory Loss a la Ghajini, anyone?

My building is undergoing a massive renovation now. All windows except the one shall be boarded up soon and we shall live in stifling heat and dust while the exteriors are recoated with waterproof plaster. Just as the work started, Button came down with a massive fever. Whenever I read blogposts talking about how stressed mommies were when their li'l uns were sick, I would tell myself that I would be strong and courageous and practical and not worry at all whenever Button fell sick. Ah! how the mighty fall :) Button is unwell now, and people around me are sick of my fussing around him. Am getting over the Florence Nightingale phase, but it tugs my heart to see the little baby burning up and not able to eat or be too active. Get well soon Button. I promise to endure your tantrums and naughty deeds.

Thank god for moms. My mom is here for a week-long visit and had she not been there, my husband would've definitely checked himself into an asylum. She manages to keep peace in the house despite my constant questions such as - "oh, isn't he hot?" or "Should I wrap another blanket around him?" or "His temperature was 100 deg a minute ago, should I check again?" What is scary is the thought that one day I shall be the mom who brings sanity to Button's house. Will I ever be able to don the mantle of a calm, composed mom?? I doubt!

The next few weeks should be super fun with the IPL and the elections. As NDTV calls it, its time for the Great Indian Tamasha. On another note, I recommend 'The Reader' and 'Vicky, Christina, Barcelona'. Happy Holi everyone.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Madness and Mayhem

Button is so clearly developing a mind of his own. He can now babble 'ba ba ba' continuously, but chooses to do it ONLY when his dad is around. His baby-sitter is not helping my case by teaching him how to say 'appa' all the time. So the moment P comes into the room, Button goes into babble-overdrive. Its a task to shut him up!

ARR's youngest fan is Button indeed(after all both of us are such staunch fans of ARR). Whenever he listens to 'Masakali' he begins grinning. He also goes still (as if when he grins the rest of the body cannot move). I caught on immediately and began putting on the tape only when I had to change his diapers. So one evening, I put on the CD (despite the fact that he did not need a diaper change) and he started howling and stopped only when I pulled out a diaper and showed him. Gosh, how fast does a routine set in?

Button loves to watch the view from my bedroom and what a view it is (pls refer to pics). In the migratory season (NOW), there are scores of egrets and herons and storks and other such birds which alight on the mudflats near my home in low tide (those little specks in the pic). Button loves to watch them. These birds fly in a large group and often change mudflats in a huge swirl of white wings. Button, at 9 months, does not understand the concept of 'distance' yet. He puts out his hands in the hope of capturing one of 'em and gets annoyed when none of them alight near him. Bozo!

In TV news, I feel really sorry for a character in 'Balika Vadhu', whose husband-to-be is killed on the way to their wedding. But I feel sorrier for the characters who have to mouth silly lines... for example, the mother of the slain groom. As he son is bleeding, she has a line that goes "Dekhiye na, un badmaashon ne hamare bete to kya kiya". Duh! And even more amusing is the fact that the boy (who is shot through his chest and forced to lie on his mom's lap) smiles in memory of his waiting bride and refuses to let go of some flowers he picked for he. Is is possible to smile when a bullet is making friends with your lungs? Double duh.

Another TV grouse. Yes, it is shocking that Sri Lankan cricketers were attacked in Lahore. But CNN-IBN had no business talking to Javed Miandad the way they did. The reporters seemed to imply that terrorist attacks in Mumbai posed no security threats, but God save Pakistan if even a fire cracker shouted out to the cricketers. They asked him several RUDE questions with phrases like "in your country" and "terror outfits seem to originate in Pakistan". Please give normal citizens of the country a break. After all India has several terror outfits too (Ram Sene included). No need to harass a poor ex-cricketer. Am certainly Cheesed off.

Am continuing to battle maid trouble and lack of will power to lose weight. Hope both get resolved quickly. :) My last maid stopped doing one chore after the other citing lack of time, until she wore my patience out. When I asked her about her inefficiency, she said she would only do 1 - 3 of 10 agreed tasks as she did not 'feel' like doing the rest for me! (Is it me or is it me?) My current maid, on the 3rd day of her employment wants me to increase her salary by 200 bucks every month. Now, the money is one part, but what about professionalism? Where is it? I feel like am being held threat by a gang of extortionists.