Thursday, December 24, 2009

For Joe

indian comics, webcomic, free comics, online indian comics, jokes
Fly You Fools - Indian Comics about Life.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ancestry

Today's QC strip brought a huge smile to my face. I can identify with the feeling from having been told by my father at an impressionable age that we were descended from rams.

If you want to know the story you'll have to ask Vicky. He loves telling it.

Oh well, at least I wasn't born a Niyogy, which is more than some people can say.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Wee Girlie


Ro sent me post this pic of my little doula baby, Tarana. Her older brother Ayaan has kindly arranged the toys around her and T herself is looking awesomely cuddly but this photograph is extra special to me because the red kantha she's lying upon was stitched by me this summer.

It was made out of an old saree of mine, a much-worn favourite given to me by Mejopishi one Pujo when she decided I was old enough to get sarees for the festival. I didn't like to cut it up but for my doula baby only the best would do, na?

I sat up hurriedly stitching it at nights after Rahul went to bed, trying to finish it before I met Ro in Madras in July. I thought it looked too plain even when I did give it to her so I brought it back to Cal and did a little more embroidery on it and then had to scramble trying to post it to Bombay when Ro had an early Caesarean.

I know it's not right to bind so much to material things but I look at that bright patch of red and I think of Ro telling us girls that she was pregnant. I think of her wondering what kind of an older brother Ayaan would make. I think of when I first started reading Ro's blog (I was expecting a Fidgety Fudge) and I used to pay great attention to whatever Ayaan did. I think of how much Ro wanted a little girl this time and how hard she and I tried to pretend we'd be just as happy with a little boy too. And I look at Girlie and you know, life seems so right.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ditto

Tom sent me this photo, er, essay, diptyche a couple of weeks ago. He calls it "ditto".

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Perspective

It's bad enough when your partner decides to sing "Singing in the Rain" at random moments, stuck in a continuous loop of the first two lines only. (Although really, I maintain that the rest of the lines don't really count for much, it's mainly yada yada something sun.)

But it's infinitely more painful when your son decides to watch the whole song on a continuous loop for an hour.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Knotty Knitting

As you may have noticed from my FB status lines, I've been knitting for a while. I decided to try my hand at a baby vest, this time in a size that would fit an actual baby. I even found the original vest that had inspired me and counted the stitches and thought the size was going be a cinch this time.

I've been knitting and knitting and gone up to nearly 4" of rows. And now I find that I'm using really big needles (a couple of sizes too big) so I have about 4" inches, nearly 5" more knitting than I needed.

I'm going to make a rotten grandmother.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Why Not in the Why

It’s wedding season here in Cal and that means every now and then I come across newly married couples off to work together in the Metro. It’s cute. You can make them out. The girl’s clothes tend to be new, so new they have never been washed. Her mehendi’s fast fading but the loha (iron bangle bound in gold) glitters brightly. Her clothes are coordinated and she mostly wears her shankha pola (bangles of conchshell and coral, respectively). The husband tries to find standing room near her and when they talk, she looks up at his face and he bends down. They find themselves touching all the time.

The couple I had in front of me this morning, they made me laugh. They had to be older than me but me, I’ll have been married four years come January. The days of taking the bus down Dhakuria bridge and having Vicky pay for my ticket seem like a long time ago. Now he drops me off at the Metro on odd mornings, if I ask nicely and leave at a convenient time. Some days he even offers off his own bat. He doesn’t bend down to hear what I say but I daresay my voice is no longer quiet and unsure. I look up into his face when he talks but as likely as not, he’s frowning at the clock or thinking of something else and looking at the Mac.

Some days I question myself, what I bring to him. Most days, if you were to ask, I’d say I bring the laughter. I bring the unexpected outings, the bizarre situations, the spur of the moment decisions. I bring the madness, good and bad.

What does he bring me? Go on, you tell me.

Plus les choses changent...

plus elles restent les meme.

Three years out and the relationship remains the same.

From Sur

A photo-poem for us.

That's got to be one of the most beautiful gifts Rahul and I have ever received. Thank you.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Plagiarism by Hindustan Times

HT strikes again.

Time to switch papers, perhaps.

Link via Mad Momma, by the way.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Talking Green

As the Copenhagen conference starts, I’m reminded of Dot’s old post on green living. Actually, to trace more accurately, this post is triggered off by a line in a mail from a friend, talking about the carbon footprint of a DVD he sent me. He was joking, of course, but the issue of carbon footprints one where I need to re-think my stances every now and then to make sure I don’t end up crazy and pointlessly anal or, at the other extreme, careless and wasteful.

If I think over my choices, I’m fairly comfortable with the carbon footprint I’m leaving. Mostly I used mass public transport; I don’t waste paper, water or electricity if I can help it; I don’t use too many sprays or aerosols; I try to maintain a balance between using disposable and reusable stuff. For instance, I remember giving Cee grief last year for using reusable paper towels to clean fans (I think). But surely it’s not the same as using tissue paper for the job? One such reusable towel, if carefully used, can clean four fans easy (at least, it did the other day in my house) and then one does not waste water or detergent or energy (or indeed time and thought) on having to clean it. To me that sounds like a useful way of utilising paper.

The next time the bulbs in our flat are changed, Vicky wants to install CFLs. Which is something we’ve been meaning to do for two years now, but really, it’s not that big a thing because we use tubelights mainly. A low power bulb switched on for a few minutes now and then probably aren’t as major as say, a leaking tap. We have a couple of taps that leak persistently so I position a mug/bucket underneath to catch whatever water we’d have lost. The thing to realise here is this: I do this as a matter of life and death, even though we don’t really have a water crisis here and I only have the training because I’ve lived in cities where water was at a premium. Vicky’s never really experienced that so he’s more relaxed about it.

Does this mean we need to experience hardship to really understand the value of what we have? Perhaps it does, a little. Just a sight of the ugly smog over Kolaghat is a useful reminder to me to be careful with the electricity because the price of what I’m using is calculated in more than rupees. I remember that smog – experienced just once – with a shudder.

The frequent power cuts we all live with get me good at mad, you all know that. But it’s not rocket science to know that we can all cut down a little. In the good ol’ days when I was a wee kid (I’m talking of the early ‘90s when many of you probably weren’t even born *sigh*) we used to have crazy power cuts every evening. We learnt to just not expect any electricity for hours at a time everyday. I guess that and paying my own electricity bills makes me think twice before I leave things switched on or plugged in all day.

I don’t think my carbon footprint is too extreme even though I do travel a lot and use paper towels at restaurants. Two things come to mind when I consider making further changes – thin plastic packets (the banned kind) and sanitary towels. The latter, well, I apologise to my great-grandchildren, but really, they’ll understand. I lived in the Dark Ages, I had no choice! The plastic packets on the other hand… well, they are used to pack groceries and fruits and small parcels of shopping everywhere. What I can do is carry one in my wallet so I don’t have to keep accepting fresh ones. That is something I have to remember to do, though!

What about you, how are you planning to reduce your carbon footprint?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Circle of Life

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who spoke quite clearly but just couldn't pronounce projapoti (butterfly): she called them 'plojaploti'.

Now she has a little boy who is finally losing his darling lisp but calls a projapati a 'blaaterfly'.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Breakfast

Buttermilk pancakes* (with honey)

Pork sausages from Kalman's

Half a fried tomato for me

Toast

Coffee


Yesterday's breakfast was interesting too:

One-eyed jack (an egg fried in the circle cut out in a piece of fried bread, most unhealthy)

Lean bacon from Kalman's

Toast

Coffee


*I had minor changes to Mona's recipe: three medium eggs since I didn't have two large; an extra spoon of baking powder since I didn't have baking soda. Used the milk+lemon combo since I didn't have buttermilk. And a dash of cinnamon on a couple of pancakes. Very tasty.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Your mom

For every child brought up by a mother out there -- a neat description of your maternal parent.

Rahul, this does not apply to you.

And if you have not discovered Dickipedia already, please, do take a look.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Dreaming

He would build me a large house with high, spacious rooms, quirky little verandahs, bow windows with window seats and cunning little cabinets, lots of greenery in between paved paths in the gardens, a fountain, a kitchen with all the latest mod cons and a breakfast counter, a long room for a library and an outhouse to call my own. I would actually live in one small, cosy room though. The rest of the space would be for me to venture out into, enjoy, invite friends over in, allow guests to fill up and for me to shut out when I retreat into my small room (with attached bathroom).

In response to Itchy's question: If Maya were to build you a palace, what would it be like?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

In which Sue cannot believe what Shuki just said!

My new profile pic on FB is getting a lot of responses. Mejopishi has loaned me a colourful set of woollens for our Delhi trip this month and I modelled them on receipt.


They led to the following exchange between Shuki and I:

Shuki: I want a scarf like that.

Me: We can make scarves like that. The one in the pic is crocheted but I think it could be knitted as well.

Shuki: Well, I can't knit to save my life but maybe you could knit one for me as a Christmas present?

Me: You know what we can do? We can form a knitting club. I have lots of wool I don't really need so I'd be happy to kit you out. I got it off Mejopishi so basically, it's free and can be experimented with. ;)

Shuki: You realize we are slowly becoming these comfortable elderly women? From pedicure parties to knitting clubs... It's no longer sleepovers and ganja parties.

Me: I'm blogging your mail.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A Free Nation?

I've said this before and I say it again, I consider myself a Hindu and I think I'm secure enough in my religion to not really care what anybody else has to say or do to my religion. I would prefer not to have my religious symbols tattooed on Madonna's ass, if I had to choose, but if she were to get such a tattoo (as far as I know, she hasn't!) I still don't think that harms me or my religion.

Because my God and His Divinity do not depend on what we do or do not do.

Rabble-rousing pieces like this piss me off. Big time.

I personally don't like Hussein's paintings but that is because his style does not appeal to me. If I visualise a clothed god and he visualises a naked one I don't see how his vision in any cancels mine out or undermines or demeans it. At the most extreme I would think that he and I have seperate faiths, something Hinduism, thankfully, does allow.

And for those who worry about Hussein demeaning India/Hinduism to the world with his art, I think it's more to the point for you to paint your 'better' visions to provide the world with alternatives rather than pull somebody else down because you couldn't be arsed to get up.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Lady in Green

somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff
not my poems or a dance i gave up in the street
but somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff
like a kleptomaniac workin hard & forgettin while stealin
this is mine
this aint yr stuff
now why don't you put me back & let me hang out in my own self
somebody almost walked off wit alla my stuff
& didn't care enuf to send a note home sayin
i was late for my solo conversation
or two sizes to small for my own tacky skirts
what can anybody do wit somethin of no value on a open market
did you getta dime for my things
hey man
where are you goin wid alla my stuff
this is a woman’s trip & i need my stuff to ohh & ahh abt
daddy I gotta mainline number from my own shit
now wontchu put me back& let me play this duet
wit this silver ring in my nose
honest to god
somebody almost run off wit alla my stuff
& i didnt bring anythin but the kick & sway of it
the perfect ass for my man & none of it is theirs
this is mine
ntozake 'her own things'
that's my name
now give me my stuff
i see ya hidin my laugh
& how i sit wif my legs open sometimes
to give my crotch some sunlight
& there goes my love my toes my chewed up finger nails
niggah
wif the curls in yr hair
mr. louisiana hot link
i want my stuff back
my rhytums & my voice
open my mouth
& let me talk ya outta
throwin my shit in the sewar
is some delicate leg & whimsical kiss
gotta have to give to my choice
without you runnin off wit alla my shit
now you cant have me less i give me away
& i waz doin all that
til ya run off on a good thing
who is this you left me wit
some simple bitch widda bad attitude
i wants my things
i want my arm wit the hot iron scar
& my leg wit the flea bite
i want my calloused feet & quik language back in my mouth
fried plantains
pineapple pear juice
sun-ra & joseph & jules
i want my own things
how i lived them
& give me my memories
how i waz when i waz there
you cant have them or do nothin wit them
stealin my shit from me
dont make it yrs
makes it stolen
somebody almost run off wit alla my stuff
& i waz standin there
lookin at myself
the whole time
& it waznt a spirit took my stuff
waz a man whose ego walked round like Rodan's shadow
waz a man faster n my innocence
waz a lover
i made too much room for
almost run off wit alla my stuff
& i didnt know i'd give it up so quik
& the one runnin wit it
don't know he got it
& i'm shoutin this is mine
& he dont know he got it
my stuff is the anonymous ripped off treasure of the year
did you know somebody almost got away wit me
me in a plastic bag under their arm
me danglin on a string of personal carelessness
i'm spattered wit mud & city rain
& no i didnt get a chance to take a douche
hey man
this is not your perogative
i gotta have me in my pocket
to get round like a good woman shd
& make the poem in the pot or the chicken in the dance
what i got to do
i gotta get my stuff to do it to
why dont ya find yr own things
& leave this package of me for my destiny
what ya got to get from me
i'll give it to ya
yeh
i'll give it to ya
round 5:00 in the winter
when the sky is blue-red
& Dew City is gettin pressed
if it's really my stuff
ya gotta give it to me
if ya really want it
i'm the only one
can handle it

From the choreopoem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange ("En-toh-zaa-kay Shong-ey")

The thing is, you are the person you are. People can only do so much to you; beyond that, you can always reclaim yourself, you can try yet again to be the person you always dreamt of being. You are the sum of your intentions more than you can ever be the sum of your actions. So, I believe, it's never too late to try again to be that wonderful person you are so capable of being.

Love you.

Friday, November 27, 2009

National Adoption Awareness Month

First, I suggest you go read this post on adoption by Starry-Eyed.

Then, if you are interested in adoption, you will find useful information over here and here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Excuse me, mamma, that man is scaring me.

It was one of those mad weekends. I was to go to Delhi for a day when Ma asked if she could take Bhabs to Madras since I wouldn’t be around anyway. It was her birthday on Saturday and Dada’s on Sunday. Then, since Vicky would be alone at home, I asked him to accompany me to Delhi. So Friday was quite chaotic, what with early morning packing and dispersals in different directions. Mejopishi moved to Delhi (permanently) on Saturday, so that was another big thing. She and I exchanged fridges, I took her geyser and wools and stuff as she wound up her household here.

Vicky and I took the Howrah Rajdhani on Friday afternoon. How the mighty are fallen… these new coaches are pathetic. The side berths are too small and too narrow for comfort and the service sucks. And the damn train was 2 hours late. We were carrying two suitcases of Mejopishi's so Anindyakaku very sweetly picked us up from the station.

Eventually, we spent just over a day in Delhi. But we got to meet the Mad Family and I got to meet Rads. Shopping happened. Vicky’s mum had asked for curtains, so I got her some from Sarojini. Very pretty ones too. Some funny animal socks for the boy and a couple of summer tops from Cottons and that was it. Pretty disciplined shopping, I think. The Mad Momma and the OA fed us and watered us and took us around so all in all, I think they’ve pretty much justified their existence. Oh and she found my butterfly earring. It's one of my favourites and I thought I'd lost it down the drain, so really, as a hostess she's rated pretty high just now. Even if my cutlery wasn't perfectly aligned on my plate.

Brat’s grown so much. His smile is just as full of mischief as ever and he first ignored me and then taunted me and then cuddled into me liked we never fought. I missed Rahul horribly just then.

Vicky decided to make faces at the Bean. The man just doesn’t learn. She took it for a while and then tugged at MM, saying piteously, “Excuse me Mamma, that man is scaring me.” When that didn’t work, she tugged at me and repeated, “Excuse me, that man is scaring me again.” I tried to explain that Vicky couldn’t scare little girls if his life depended on it but she wasn’t having any of it. I think it’s the beard, myself. No doubt he’ll never shave it off now.

It was lovely meeting Oye Pancho unexpectedly. Dude, I owe for that bike ride. And the hot dog. Look me up if you ever come this way, OK?

It was a good trip. We ate "ghol ghappey" and squabbled over accents and insults flew thick and fast and we pigged at the drop of a hat. Good fun.

It felt good traveling with Vicky. Just the two of us wandering around an airport. We seem to have a lot of time to ourselves these days. I miss Rahul then but at these times I remember how much I enjoyed Vicky’s company at one point. (Don’t nitpick, I still do, just saying it reminds me of the good old days.)

We saw Kurbaan last night. I thought it was pretty good, reviews notwithstanding. It’s not great art maybe but it’s definitely value for my money. Ma brought Rahul back this morning and I can’t wait to go home now.

Friday, November 20, 2009

OCD, Anyone?

Last night Dana, Shuki and I went out for coffee. (Yes, like every other time we've done this, we end up staying out far, far, far later than I meant to. So what?) We went to the the Coffee World/Fudge and Cream Factory that has opened up opposite Ballygunge Ice Skating Rink.

Their food is great although I'm still disappointed the waffle maker wasn't working, but their service is more friendly than efficient. And their ambience focuses more on providing semi-comfortable seating than it does on ensuring that their patrons can actually communicate with one another or, indeed, with the servers! In other words, the music system was bloody loud.

Trying to make the best of things, there was this one electrifying moment when Dana completely lost her shit and screamed out "Shut up!" mid-sentence and once I'd gotten over the fact that she hadn't just yelled at me, I wanted to jump up and hug her. Because, people, we all know it's bad manners and not quite what Ms. Post would like us to do, but for one second there, it was what I wanted to do. Just tell the people to shut the music up so we could actually hear ourselves talk.

And in the Metro this morning I found myself cursing out some utter morons travelling in the same compartment as me. Bloody rude, illiterate, totally kickable fuckfaces. And they weren't even actually doing something especially bad. Some days I would give a great deal to actully be Jack Nicholson from As Good As It Gets but if you ever tell Beq I admitted this I will totally deny it.

Sue is now leaving the building. She will be back next Monday. And just to rub it in, she will be in Delhi over the weekend, eating good food. There, you can go back to your miserable lives now.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Game of Me

Between now and the end of the year (that's 31st December 2009) I shall start blogging under a new name. No, I don't plan to tell you what it is right away or even when I shall start.

I shall blog at this blog I started already (so you can't go by the date on the first post, doh) and I may visit your blog and leave comments. I say I may because of course, I could just do what I do best and lurk. You can take the Sue out of the blogger but you can't take the blogger out of the Sue, can you?

Heh, bet you never even saw that witticism coming.

Anyway, so this is my plan. Feel free to glare suspiciously at all unknown commentors. Maybe, if I feel all friendly and generous, some time in Jan I shall let you know which one I am. Or perhaps, if I like my new voice better, I'll just shift gears.

Ooh, driving terminology 'n' all.

So, well, don't say I never declared the show open.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Presenting Debo

... and her gross bisons.

She doesn't blog all that much, but she should. Go over and tell her so, people.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bhabs the Barometer

When I left office yesterday evening, I was on the phone with Vicky. He'd called me to say that it looked like rain, was I carrying my umbrella? Even as he spoke, it started to rain in Lake Gardens (where he was). There was a short pause from him and then, in awed tones he said, "Do you know, when Bhabs woke up from his afternoon nap he exclaimed that we needed to get our umbrellas out because it would rain!"

I walked home from the Metro (there weren't too many rickshaws plying) in pouring rain, telling myself it was just a funny coincidence.

Welcome to Baby Hasan

Doula Sue is proud to announce the arrival of Noo's little baby brother. Hasan turned up on 16th November, weighing 3.2 kgs (just like my other doula baby, Tarana aka Girlie). Mona went into labour late on the 15th and delivered through a successful VBAC. Way to go, Mon!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fun Things to Do to Husbands

When he's in the toilet.

Knock on the door until he responds.

Then go, "Ooooo Oooo"

And when he goes, "Huh?"

Say "Ami bhoooot" (I'm a ghooooost)

:)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No Know Ingliss Pliss

I speak to the Bhabs in Bengali, mostly. Till he was about 2, I spoke to him in Bengali only. To ensure that he learnt it properly, mainly, but I also did improve my own fluency. (Or so I thought but more of that anon.)

Anyway, so when he joined school last January, I figured his teachers would teach him English. I believe they've been trying to do just that but with a marked lack of success. People told me I need to rectify this 'failing', because it would hamper him in big school but really, come on. English is my language of choice. Vicky and I speak about as much English in a day as we do Bengali. Even if we didn't speak it to the boy, he definitely heard it. So I was puzzled and rather suspicious when I was told that he can't follow the language.

A month ago his teacher requested us to please speak to him in English at home so that he'd be more comfortable trying to speak in it as well. Vital for school admissions, apparently. So I tried, didn't get very far, although he did learn enough to call himself Sunayana Roy and me Soubhik Niyogy and his jethu (the BIL) Kingshuk Sharabh Niyogy. Still, no real progress seemingly but all the while I was more and more convinced he followed us perfectly when we spoke in English.

Yesterday we were at Giga's in the evening, out for a little airing after a flue-ridden fortnight. Dididi (aka Giridi, Giga's help) had just returned from the shops, bearing a carton of juice for Himself when I decided that he ought to have dinner instead. The following conversation took place:

Me: Let's not give him the J-U-I-C-E just now.

Giga: Is the J-U-I-C-E here already?

Vicky: I think she's back.

Little Pitcher: Eshe gechhe? ("She's back?")

The next time somebody tells me he doesn't understand English, I'll, well, I'll probably make them babysit for a week. If that isn't punishment I don't know what is. Not only can the little blighter understand us all perfectly, he is also picking up on the spelled words. Whatever next!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

For Dipali, I think

It seems an African Prince was educated in England where he developed a fine regard for democratic principles that complemented his own strong character.

Shortly after he graduated and returned, his father died and he became king. He determined to apply the fine principles and be a good and honest leader of rather than over his people.

His first action was to do away with a symbol of previous times, the ancient historical ebony throne, which was stored in the attic.

Sadly he died that night when the heavy throne fell through the roof onto his bed. It proves that people who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones.

From here.

Edited to add:

While you're at the site, check out this discussion on modern manners. I found the idea intriguing.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Rahul just phoned

... to say, "I love you". Giga taught him to say it and he insisted on trying it out on me then and there.

He spent the night with her and I missed him so. He's been such a darling buffer these last days, I didn't know I was depending on him so much.

Monday, November 02, 2009

These Niyogy males...

Coffee or Me? Neither?

Do people eat more when they get less sex?

Don't get all uptight, I'm not pointing any fingers. Just wondering, is all.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

On the way to school this morning

... the boy said that his teacher did not serve him cooked rats.

(Amake Aantie indur ranna kore deye na toh!)

I wonder if he expects me to take it up with her?

What every woman needs

... is somebody to sensuously eat dessert with.

Or, failing that, to dream of sensuously eating dessert with, I suppose.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Help!

Now I'm following my own blog.

I don't know how I end up doing these things...

Your Aid is Solicited

You may remember my unfortunate experimentation that led to the loss of my blogroll. Ever since that cataclysmic day, I never know where to go when I want to read. So I have decided to re-form my blogroll.

Will you please leave me any two links you think I should read? Feel free to leave links to your own sites.

I plan to make a selection to put up here and save the rest for off-blog reference.

Thanks for taking the trouble.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Opinions I’ve Changed

When I was a teen I was pretty sure I’d always feel the way I did then about things. Funnily enough, in less than a decade, I’ve changed my mind about many of them.

1. Jewellery on men. I was brought up to think this was as wrong as wrong could get, but this was before George Michael entered my life. Know what I’m saying? I don’t always dig the jewellery men wear but I now know it can look very, very right. Vicky wore a couple of my anklets strung into a necklace for a while once and believe you me, it was hot.

2. Bikes and SUVs. I used to find them really sexy. Now I equate bikes with bad driving and messy hair and SUVs with bad driving and fuel waste. I like cars these days. I still like convertibles as much as ever.

3. Behenjis/Ammammas/Aunty types/Maamis. I like re-defining these terms now. But I’ve never really had a problem being called Aunty, come to think of it, although I did get a jolt last month when a shopkeeper in New Market called me Boudi.

4. Abortions. I’m no longer as judgmental as I was wont to be. I’ve never said that one should be forced to keep an unwanted pregnancy but I’ve often thought that people who had them didn’t try hard enough to keep the kid. I guess I’ve grown up about this.

5. My parents. I always thought they sucked at parenting but I now think they did a darn good job. Of course, Ma continues to insist that I brought myself up and that she and Baba oughtn’t be held responsible.

6. Clothes. In my early teens I continued to think clothes were over-rated. Now I may not remember people but I mostly remember what clothes they wore. Or I can be made to remember people from a description of the clothes they wore.

7. Waxing. I’m so very comfortable with my hairy arms now. I look at them occasionally, and mentally chide myself for not caring enough. And then I go back to my hairy existence.

8. Crackers. We as a family were never big on bombs or even crackers in general but we always had some every Diwali. Now that I have to buy them myself, it feels too much like burning money so we buy very little. I prefer to spend my money on mustard oil for diyas (which somehow doesn’t feel like burning money.) On that note, a Bihari vendor rang my bell this morning, selling fresh ghee. It smelt wonderful. I bought 250 gm at Rs. 60.

9. What other people think of me. It still matters but it matters so much less than it used to. I don’t lie awake nights wondering if I should have said this or not done that. I still analyse my behaviour but it doesn’t keep me up at night.

10. Money. I always wanted to marry money or earn lots because I wanted the lifestyle. But all my choices have been directed (deliberately or not) at a very laidback lifestyle. We seem to always teeter on the verge of not having enough but we seem to pull through too, touchwood.

So what have you changed your mind about in these last ten years?

Two Links that Made Me Go, 'Wow!'

First, QC. As you know, I have an unfortunate weakness for gray.

And then, the puppets. Link from Beq.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fishy News

Quite apart from acquiring Blobbie nieces, your favourite Sue has also been acquiring livestock. Like Blobbie girl actually belongs to Ro and Jai however (sigh), these goldfish actually belong to Rahul. This was the second and the original part of his third birthday gift.


We had fun scouting around a couple of shops looking for options. Ultimately, the shop we settled on all but refused to sell us anything but goldfish. We must have looked a really gormless lot.


But they're nice, eh? With their wee house and their orange gravel and nice, round fishbowl. That green blob at the back to the left is actually their wee net. Most exciting. Here's a closer look. Meet Pranav, he of the stripey tail (on the left, I think), and Uttam, he of the spotty tail. Names to be changed to Pranati and Uttara if found necessary.


Rahul enjoys watching them and feeding them (boy, are these fish greedy) but I see Vicky enjoys them even more. Very fishy man, my husband.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Doula Announcement

Blobbie's here. For more news, watch this space.

Me, I'm still dancing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fathers and Sons

While I was having a quick shower on Sunday I heard Vicky and Rahul having some sort of an argument. At one point, after a brief silence, I heard the boy squealing like a stuck pig. I thought they were playing but he was actually wailing, “Chaado!” which is Babble for chharo (let go) and this went on for a good few minutes. I got annoyed and opened the door, ready to give them both a piece of my mind for not even letting me bathe in peace.

What I saw was Vicky calmly sitting on the edge of the bed holding Rahul firmly in place over his knees. This was Vicky’s way of punishing him for some misdemeanour or the other. When he was satisfied, he replaced Rahul on his feet and they both went their way, honour satisfied.

I looked on, spluttering.

These Niyogys make no sense to me at all.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

notiss

life being very full and very busy and very hectic and very very, actually. all well, will post when i feel more like it. am feeling very lazy mostly. toodles.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

For Ayesha, with love

It's a hectic weekend so my post on our Vizag holiday over Durga Puja will have to wait a while. But I came across this poem written nearly four years ago that seemed to perfectly capture how the trip made me feel. Wistful for what I had and grateful for what I have.

On an unaccustomedly sunny day
You think of the man of your dreams
-- Not all he was cut out to be --
And it seems
As though you’ll have to make it do
And you never thought that you
Would be satisfied with that.

With the sea-breeze in your face
You will never be lonely again
The pain
Of it is now an old memory.

You will wish you had been more specific
When you’d asked, made a more complete list
But this
Is what you’ve got.
And it’s good.
So it must do.

In the unaccountable sun,
As the wind makes love to your hair,
Somewhere (not very far away)
As you think of what you once felt
I’ll be thinking of you
-- With love --
And you can consider yourself held.

Sunayana Roy

11th January 2005, revised 15th Jan 2005

Friday, October 02, 2009

Oh ye of little ambition...

Me: If you keep treating me like this, well, you'll be sorry.

V: Hmm.

Me: When I've gone away with my millionaire and you are alone, you'll be sorry, so there.

V: I'll catch up on my sleep.

Me: Well, I will be sleeping by the Mediterranean.

V: And I'll be in my bed.

Me: (getting carried away) And I'll open my eyes and there will be the most gorgeous beach, and he'll be Austrian so we'll go to the Alps and... and... eat chocoloates!

V: And I'll go to my 'fridge and eat chocolates.

At that point I decided to refrain from wasting my pearls on certain MCPs.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Third Birthday

Rahul's third birthday fell on Saptami this year so we had an early birthday party on the 19th instead. Ma couldn't make it to Cal as planned (Baba fell ill) and the MIL decided she wasn't up to it, but Dada and M'pishi were both in town. Unlike last year, I didn't have a guest list and menu and return gifts all ready about six months in advance. Actually, I only got my act together when I realised I had six days left. Luckily, I'd mostly finished the shopping for the school gifts. I spent a happy night packing twenty-six little glittery sacks with

a mask
6 boiled sweets, orange ones
a pencil
a small eraser
a tub of Play Doh

for each classmate, handed out on the Thursday, their last day of school. At the party on Saturday each kid got (in a glittery paper sack)

6 boiled sweets, orange ones
a pencil
a mask for some, erasers for others (I was 2 masks short)
a Camel painting kit (12 colour tablets with a paintbrush)

The ages ranged from two 13 year-olds to a nine month-old so water colours seemed like a versatile and comparatively safe gift. Ratul (the 9 monther) got a wee bowl and sippy cup set.

We ordered the cake from Flurys (Giga's gift to her "Dadubhai"):


It was a fantastic chocolate sponge, not too sweet and a perfect foil for the sweet figures. As you can see, there's a sugar train running over hilly country with much greenery around, a tiger, a horse, a rabbit and a fox decorating the scenery, a "mountem" concealing four little chocolates and a jawan (soldier) and a girl doing a Marilyn Monroe in short skirts at the side. Most inappropropriate really, for a kiddy cake, but I loved eating all that sugar.

As MayG pointed out, this was the year that Rahul had been looking forward to his birthday party. He loved the cake and kept running up, asking to be shown the "twain". This is him trying to blow out the candle (a lavender-scented 3 balanced on the "mountem") while brandishing the cake knife. His Ennapishi and Rijudada look on while I balance Ratul on the other side.

I don't know if you've noticed, but my baby's grown up on me. He's a "bada Dada" (big elder brother) to Ratul and very proud of this status although he's quick to state that he's a "chhotto Baby" too in case anyone thought otherwise. He wore the red Superman tee gifted by his Th'amma (Vicky's mum) for the party.

I kept the food simple. Chicken and veg patties from Flurys, cake, juice and chips. And two of the birthday boy's favourites, chocolate wafer rolls and "mishtikola"* (narkel nadu/coconut and jaggery laddus) on the side. To be ended with yummy nolen gur ice cream. M4, we missed you. :) Dipali was there for a quick fifteen minutes at the start of things. Evie came just before the cake was cut and the nicest pics of the party (these) were taken by her.


Rahul got lots of fun gifts although his favourite was probably the bright green Ben10 double decker bus from Ennapishi (you can see it where he's blowing out the candle). He also got a lovely wooden shape sorter from Dr D (father of Ratul the Cute) amongst some cool clothes and chocolates. But the grandest gift came from Baba and Babu (who seriously need to grow up, yo). It was opened at Giga's the next evening amidst much excitement and cries of "Tomis" and "twain"!


The set has three engines, Thomas, James and Percy, a wee tunnel for them to pass through, Wellsworth station to stop at and lots of loops and track changes. The engines are pull-backs and roll their eyes as they go. As you can see, they made Bheblu babu a very happy little boy.


* This note is dedicated to Rimi, who I think will enjoy it the most. And for being the mashi who brought him an early birthday gift after taking the trouble to sift through the books to weed out the ones with American spellings!

Narkel nadu comes from the mishti wala, right? The sweetmeat vendor who walks through our neighbourhood with his dekchi of sweets on his head. Vicky and Rahul are regulars of his, so he comes by every few days to refill our narkel nadu box. This man is fond of the boy, and lets him dip his hand right into the dekchi and help himself. To my eternal indignation, he gave me a lecture on treating children right because they are little gods. As you have rightly guessed, he is a grandfather himself. So anyway, the man and his sweet became part of the whole to Rahul who couldn't pronounce mishti wala right and called him mishtikala instead. From there to calling the sweets mishtikala was a short step. It kept us guessing for a few weeks though, given that mishti kala in Bengali sounds like "sweet banana"!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I think Vicky’s having an affair

1. In the last two weeks he has paid me as many compliments. Major ones too.

2. He offered to go get me a shawarma after I whined for one for a day.

3. He apologised twice in two days for things that were his fault.

The signs are all there, aren’t they? He hasn’t brought me flowers or chocolates yet but as soon as he does I need to Google for a good divorce lawyer.

...

On a diff note, major parenting milestone for me this morning. I wrote my first letter as a guardian for absenteeism. Felt weird writing it, almost like I ought to ask Baba to write and email it to me or something, because obviously no teacher will accept a letter written by me!

Monday, September 14, 2009

CAIN!

A nice thing about lazy Mondays at work is that I get to re-cap my weekends. Last weekend started early, with me dashing out of office at lunchtime to meet Dipali and her older daughter for Southie thalis at Dosas’n’More. After getting more food inside me than I should have been able to, they dropped me home and I peeled my saree off me and slept it off. Rahul was rather ill with a nasty virus all week and we didn’t like to take him to any crowded public places so we vegged out at home until about 10 and then went for a drive.

We weren’t really going any place particular until we passed the Gariahat tram terminus and saw a tram leaving. We promptly overtook it and Rahul and I boarded it at Birla Mandir. The next twenty minutes were great fun. We sat in the front, on the single seats to the left, and kept an eye on Vicky as he drove alongside. The roads were relatively empty and we passed through Park Circus, Mullick Bazaar and Elliot Road on our way to Dharmatala so we saw lots of bright lights and iftar feasting. We got off somewhat reluctantly at Dharmatala, re-joined Vicky and dreamily drove back home. And yes, I skipped dinner!

Saturday morning I decided I needed to sort out wardrobes. The nesting instinct has been kicking in for a while now, only it hasn’t been accompanied by the requisite amount of energy! I did get a fair amount done and then M’pishi came by to pick Rahul up but he wasn’t in the mood to go anywhere. Since they were expected to lunch at Pishithamma’s, I coaxed him into going but he insisted on coming back home after lunch. I wonder if he knows that it’s a bit of a wrench for me to pack him off on Saturday mornings? I don’t see all that much of him all week, being either immersed in chores or too tired to play, so Saturday mornings tend to be the first time I have for him all week. Anyway, he came home and Vicky was out so I bathed him and cuddled him and gave him his medicine and packed him off to bed. He slept like an angel and woke up demanding to be taken to Giga (M’pishi). E called in the interim and I couldn’t tell you what we discussed but we laughed a lot. That never changes.

Vicky spent most of the evening at Garfa while I sorted clothes and caught up on some mending and oh, read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. By the time he came home I was feeling pretty grumpy and by the time he coaxed me into changing and heading out for dinner, it was past 9.30. Eventually we had Chinese at Golden Dragon, Park Street (Taaja’s was closed, Mocambo was full, Flury’s too expensive). The food was great, as always, the Golden Fried Prawns and Chilli Roast Pork being better than great. My coffee plan with the girls fell through since Dana was ill and Vicky and I were too late to drop in on her that night, so we had ourselves another (comparatively) early night.

Sunday morning saw me up early (I wake up 6ish these days, no idea why) and I made sure I got rewarded for it. Then I scrubbed the floors, did the dishes and laundry and some dusting at lightning speed while Vicky took Ally to be serviced at the garage and then went over to Garfa once more with Rahul’s antibiotic. We both ran like mad and managed to catch the 10.45 show of 9 at Fame. The story was a bit weird but the animation was superb. Afterwards we went around the shops some and I bought soft cream cords for Rahul at the Benetton sale (50% off). We went crazy and spent three times what we’d budgeted for his birthday gifts but I’m consoling myself with the thought that Baba’s paying for some of it. We got some fantastic Thomas the Tank Engine sets. Those nice people at Little Johnnie gave us a wee discount too and also agreed to deliver all the stuff, while the folks at Starmark were uncharacteristically helpful and knowledgeable too.

We had a fantastic lunch at the Flury’s down in Spencer’s. Vicky had the all-day breakfast while I had the most delicious non-veg club sandwich (it had olives!) and the folks at Flury’s made my day by giving me a cup of coffee to make up for the coffee they hadn’t given me the last time I’d had the breakfast (I didn’t realise I’d paid for one). I know it’s good business but really, how many places do it? We met an interesting old gent there who reminded me of Baba, the way he talked. They’ve started an ice cream counter there and I loved the Indian flavours (nolen gur for my money although the rose sandesh was also very good). All in all, I think it’s a bigger bang for a smaller buck than the Food Court on the third floor.

Come to think of it, it was one of those days when I was making demands and getting what I asked for. Kind of like I'd had some Felix Felicis or something.

I went on to Garfa while Vicky went home. He reached Garfa an hour later and then we set out to visit Dr D at their new place. Ally was still at the garage so with a strong sense of déjà vu I ran down the driveway at Garfa yelling for the SD4 to wait. We got into a rickshaw at 8B after some trouble (we’d boarded a non-stand rick initially and were asked to change) and peacefully went to Golf Green. Dr D and his missus have done a lovely job with the flat and it’s peaceful and welcoming. We loafed around chatting while Vicky went to pick Ally up. It was a lovely evening. I’ve always thought Rahul would make a lovely older brother but this is the first time I’ve seen him play with an younger kid for a whole evening. I was so impressed by how quickly he accepted that the ‘bhai’ had to be treated gently and carefully. There was this point when he pushed the baby around in his little walker and, well, I think it’ll take me some more time to get used to the sight of our sons playing. Wasn’t that long ago that it was us playing (although I admit there were no walkers involved in our ‘games’.)

A lovely weekend and just right for the upcoming festivities. Life from now on is only going to get busier and more crowded. I can hardly wait!

Letting Sleeping Babas Lie

is a wise thing to do. Especially after you've done this:

And if there are any uncharitable types amongst you who think I'm framing the boy, here's a picture of him at the scene of the crime:


Anyway, so I didn't wake Vicky up either. Not until I'd taken enough photographs.

To Help You through the Week

So, why do the Emergency Service people come running when Dot's in a hurry?

Because she's all Dot Dot Dot dash dash dash Dot Dot Dot.

Hyuk hyuk hyuk

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Nicety of Taste

I stopped at Biba yesterday evening, seduced by the sale. They had some shalwars, churidars, tops and dupattas in bins priced at Rs. 99, Rs. 199 and so on. I’m looking to change the appearance of a kurta set I wear, and after much deliberation, I found a shalwar and a dupatta that seemed viable. I took them into the trial room to check the look and Rahul wriggled in.

He looked thoughtful when I wore the shalwar but as I held up the dupatta, he calmly said, “Tumi eta porte parbe na.” (You can’t wear this.)

Amused, I asked him, “Keno?” (Why?)

He thought for a moment – I could see him search for the word – and then said, with great satisfaction, “Karun eta nice na.” (Because it’s not nice.)

Vicky still doesn’t understand why I couldn’t possibly buy the stuff after that.

NB
This is how he speaks. On occasion he still speaks in Babble but this conversation has been written exactly as it took place, with the words clearly pronounced the way he does.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Oh, and I really need to wash my hair…

It was a pleasant weekend. I had been feeling rather flu-ey since Thursday morning, so I took the day off. Since Friday’s my flexi half day I forced myself to get out of bed and go to work. (I think I actually got out of bed because I was angry at something Vicky did, but I’ve forgiven him since. Besides, I can’t remember what he did.) A half day of nothing constructive, a lunch of ghugni-ruti and a lift home courtesy Smitadi made me feel a lot happier about life. I walked the ten minutes from Dakshinapan and enjoyed a very light rain (ilsheguNri brishti, isn’t that a lovely word) near my home.

We went out to dinner, all three of us. We went to KFC in the rain and while Park Street, sadly, is no longer at the top of my list of places to go for fun (it’s my workplace, innit) we did have a very pleasant time. The food was great. I had their boiled sweetcorn for the first time and that was also very nice. Rahul fell in love with his balloon. We went over to The Cafeteria afterwards. Someday I must write about the place but only if you promise not to visit it too much. Some lovely Viennese coffee and a brownie were enjoyed in absolute privacy and comfort while Rahul ‘fought’ with his balloon. It looked like balloon hockey to me. That kid’s crazy. Home and bed.

Saturday morning the boys slept a little late while I checked mail. Then we scurried out to visit Krishnamashi (Vicky’s aunt). She had surgery on Monday and is currently staying with one of her sisters in our neighbourhood. Rahul spent a happy half hour charming his didas and seeing pictures of a baby cousin. The rain continued. We eventually left for Garfa, picking up some puffs and pastries from Flury’s, South City for M’pishi. When we eventually reached Garfa Rahul announced that he didn’t want to stay back on his own. I felt rather bad about this, because he’d been saying he didn’t want to go since much earlier but I know he’s only messing with my head. As soon as I tell him he can’t stay he howls the place down until M’pishi pleads with us to let him stay the night. Weird kid. He’s reached the stage where he contradicts himself twice a minute. Makes for lots of tantrums but yes, it also makes for many interesting conversations.

Vicky brought some biriyani for lunch. The Singer teacher couldn’t come from Howrah because of the rain and I was grateful. It was a peaceful afternoon and I caught up on my ironing while watching Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on DVD (I'd never seen it before). It rained harder in the evening but Vicky sweetly offered us a lift, so Shuki and I went to watch Shob Charitra Kalponik with Joy at Priya for the 9 o’ clock show. Kaku and Co were expected to visit us but Kaku found himself driving to Rahul at Garfa instead, LOL! Grandparents, I tell you. The first half of the movie was very good while the second half was rather disappointing but the whole gave me much food for thought. Vicky picked Shuktara and me up from the cinema hall and we chatted (rather indiscreetly) over coffee at the CCD near Shishu Mongol. I’d have preferred a Barista but at least they’d turned off the music and we didn’t have much company so in the end it was rather pleasant. Then we pretty much kidnapped Shuki and insisted she come home to chat some more. By the time Shuki finally went home around 3 am, Lake Gardens was quite flooded.

Sunday morning I spent partly on the phone with Ma, partly attending to the household. For lunch we drove down to Forum for shawarmas but they have cordoned off much of the seating area for renovations and it all felt rather claustrophic so we went and had momos at Tibetan Delight instead. My first visit but you bet I’ll be back. Such lovely, lovely food. I ate my first kotheys – steamed momos pan-fried on one side only. The best of both worlds, really. Thought of Cousin T. I don’t suppose I can ever go there without thinking of her. Then we wandered round to Crossword (last day of the Sale) but escaped unscathed. We didn’t buy a single book, really.

Finally made our way to Garfa to pick up the Hope of the Household (which household would be a very pertinent question, yes) and feasted on ghugni and lots of piping hot, sweet, milky tea. Then M’pishi decided to take us to try the New! Improved! prawn cutlets at Kwality but we were all so full, we didn’t leave home till nearly eight. And when we did reach Kwality, the cutlets disappointed. But the chicken club sandwich was pretty decent. The ice creams were tasty enough even if my cassata did have a layer of virulent pink.

As you may expect, Rahul cribbed all the way home and wanted to stay back with M’pishi for the night. Twice a minute, I tell you.

This one weekend was both pleasant and relaxing and we didn’t spend astronomical sums of money (although I guess M’pishi did, over our dinner.) Both Vicky and I were looking rather wistful this morning, I noticed.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

And this one's for Vicky

Because I love you to bits, baby. And also to show you how lucky you are that it was a boy.

Double Indemnity

Friday, September 04, 2009

Links!

So, I've been surfing around a bit lately (AB, go away!) and here are some posts I think you'd like to read, if you haven't read them already.

Evaluating your worth as a blogger by Mom 101. This one reminds me of Daniel taping over the Apple logo on his Mac. He's still as much of a fan as ever but like he said, they aren't paying him to advertise. Spot on. Which is why I don't walk around with flashy labels. In fact, if you can read the labels on my clothes/accessories, chances are that they were gifted. I don't like paying good money to work for people. This brings me to something that particularly pisses me off -- sportswear. Ever seen the number of logos and whathaveyous on them? Sportspeople are paid to wear those clothes. The fans pay to get the chance to wear them. Whatever. Now you can call me cheap or you can call me smart but I refuse to pay crazy amounts to carry free advertising. (If the clothes were cheap, we could talk.)

Bossy's take on the season's fashion trends. I've been known to do similar things, only I haven't ever taken photos to blog, silly Sue. I do love funny fashion posts. And thanks to a Mad Pal, now I'm hooked to www.highheel.confidential.com. *sigh*

Bloggess talking about a book she could write. Sounds a lot like conversations chez Sue except that, heck, except nothing much. Except that yes, Booberry has got to be a girl, dude. How would you like to be a dude walking through life being called Booberry? I admit it might help if you weren't walking, if you were, say, driving a Ferrari, but really, Booberry is just not a boys' name. Says the woman who called her son a Bhablet. Although, really, he ought to blame his Shejdadu for that one.

Dipali posts a timely quote. I am so very possessive over that son of mine and the only way I can deal with it is to cut him loose and obviously, that doesn't precisely fix the matter either. Since the day I decided I was probably pregnant -- keep in mind my teens were closer to this date than they were probably to yours, unless, of course, you're Boo or Mon the child brides -- so where was I? Oh yeah, since then I swore to myself to give my kids the freedom I fought my parents so hard for. And I thought I was doing a fine job until I figured I don't give my boy the right to choose his own clothes or where he wants to go play or what he gets to eat or when he gets to step out of the house or anything, really. On the other hand, he still ain't three. When he's about 15 I'll try to feel properly guilty. Till then, as Dipali said, the house rules apply. If they can apply to the nearly 33 year-old, they jolly well apply to the 3 year-old. The 27 year-old says so.

Speaking of which, Spud-boy turned three. I know this may not be a life-changing event for most of my readers, but you see, Charlie's birthday is an announcement of sorts to me each year that Bhabbles is most definitely turning yet another year older and there's nothing I can do about it. Of course, as Sparx points out, the kids are getting funnier by the year, but still. I try to be in denial.

Anyway, so that's my little list. Got any links you want me to check out?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

For Beq

With thanks for the Fleet Foxes.



Bits of this reminds me of you. Except that you're neither hollow nor of no use.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Dhan te nan!

Rahul has not been well. Over the weekend he developed high fevers but no other symptoms of illness apart from some crankiness but that may as easily have been his resentment at being made to sleep so much. Anyway, he seems OK now.

Last night he went on his first outing in four days (the horror!) to Giga’s. And then refused to come home with us. Now, I was all for bodily carrying him away but his forlorn face and Giga’s unashamed pleading got Vicky to agree to pick him up the next morning in time for school (you couldn’t pay me enough to do this). Since we were on our own, we caught the last show of Kaminey. I’m down with a cold thanks to the over-high AC and I did come home feeling absolutely punished because I had been tired enough to start with and a three hour movie isn’t the easiest thing at the end of a long day. BUT. The movie was such great fun.

Go on, say it, Dhan te nan dhana nana!

I am liking this Vishal Bharadwaj chap more and more. To my utter shock and horror, I am also liking this Shahid Kapoor chap more and more. This is my official relegation to Auntyhood. Vicky and Rahul slept most of Sunday so I watched Jab We Met on DVD. I still think Shahid out-acted Kareena although she was really good too. I admire understated performances, they are never easy.



I have been thinking of so many things of late. So many people saying so many things, sparking off such tidal reactions. My cousin recently tried to say that I ought not take offence if people are rude to my father – my father, folks – because I insult him myself over here at this blog.

First, I don’t remember insulting him. I know he reads my blog too and I value my hide. So, most likely she misread whatever it is that I wrote.

Second, he’s my father to insult, nobody else’s. Unlike most of my cousins, I am not afraid to criticise my parents to their faces, nor is criticism the only thing I give them. I give them fierce love and open loyalty and I think they are also proud of the fact that they have brought up kids whose loyalties are not blind.

Third, this is so cowardly. This is not the first and it won’t be the last, but if you have criticism, bring it on here. Here, at the blog. Bring it out in the open. Don’t hide behind other people and expect me to ‘respect’ your point of view if you don’t even have the courage of your convictions to stand by them to my face.



So, I’m done ranting. I don’t like backbiting. Especially among us cousins. Especially now.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Sven's BACK!

You can take a look at His Cuteness here.

I'm so shameless about this guy. :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why were you sobbing, you silly girl?

I was just feeling blue.
The way you do.
When it all gets to you.

My first poem in some six years. Maybe I should stick to prose!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Heh


Click to enlarge.

I want to stop comparing myself to a mean, fat, orange cat. But damn, it's hard.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Four Nights and Five Days (Meals Included)

The days are flying by. Full days at work, no maid, family and friends visiting, so much so fast.

Rahul’s almost entirely grown up on me. Vicky is holding on hard to the last of the childishness but I find myself withdrawing. More and more I draw away and watch them from a distance. I don’t know why. I don’t think I feel excluded as such. Would it have been different if I’d had a daughter? Or is this just an office parent vs home parent thing?

He spends a lot of time at Mejopishi’s now. I had thought maybe he would fret now that Cousin J’s left for Uni but he’s happy there. M’pishi spoils him silly and he is happy enough. I am around him for an hour or two in the evenings and this way, I don’t see him much over the weekends. Even this isn’t bothering me quite so much any more. He is now doing much what Dada and I used to – decamp to other homes at the drop of a hat. I don’t think this harmed our relationship with our parents and I do appreciate being able to do the housework without little feet getting in the way.

He’ll be three in a month’s time and this birthday, I’m ready. I’ve been ready for a three year old for a while. This year, I didn’t pick out his birthday party clothes six months ago. I haven’t got a guest list prepared and I don’t even have a theme. Just a cake and the goody bag fillings for his classmates. Got some fun stuff from Starmark yesterday. God knows I've never been an OTT mum in these things but I can see myself handing him some cash by his twelfth birthday and asking him to take his friends out on his own!

Thursday night I worked late, till 5 am, on a freelance project. I don’t know why I work so slowly at night. And how I can let myself get distracted so easily when I know I’ll pay for it the next day.

On Friday I hurried home as soon as I could. Rahul had gone off to Mejopishi’s and I hurriedly did some dishes and went off to meet Dipali at Woodlands. She’s broken her arm and was in bed looking wan and most un-Dipali-ish. After a good half an hour of gossip, I felt much better and didn’t scold her after all for scaring me half to death. Hurried back home, hurried through a sambar recipe (it turned out inedible because of me hurriedly throwing in about four times as much spice as was needed), hurried into a black mini and silver heels and hurried to Roxy to catch Dhruv do a stand up comic act.

BTW, if Dhruv Mookerji tours your city, I suggest you go catch him. He’s good. His act can do with polishing, but he’s really good. I had the laughingest hour at Roxy that night.

After that Sumit took Dana, Shuki, Priya and me to have ice cream (cake for me) at Mama Mia. Then we girls drove around and landed up at Priya’s place for a couple of hours gossip. Home at 2.

Saturday was spent at office so I missed Bertie’s show. Got home late. Had a warm bath (so soothing) and then Vicky and I had a quick bite at the Food Court in South City before going to watch GI Joe. Not bad fun. Vicky and I went to Pepper Chino for an ice cream afterwards. Most disappointing. The sundaes were tasty (very little choice though) but there was a rat around and they didn’t take cards and some little boy tried to gyp us into paying parking fees. He was in cahoots with the restaurant people, seemingly.

Sunday I slept in till about half past nine. Then I tackled the cleaning, the laundry, the tidying. It had just piled on all week. Nilu and Shoma came to lunch bringing some ilish and that’s what we ate. Rice with ilish mach bhaja and ghee and the frying oil. I went out for a bit to pick up some blouses and petticoats for Mashi from Gariahat (Sarada is my place, where do you buy yours?) but came back soon. Vicky went to pick Rahul up sometime after 5.

By 6.30 or so Anindya and Ruma joined us. It was fun, all of us sitting around chatting. Some time after 7 I started on the biriyani. It turned out rather nice, even if I do say so myself. Everybody was very complimentary about it and Vicky gamely finished the leftovers at the end of the meal. Rahul, of course, didn’t like it. We gave him a cup of ‘Owleeksh (Horlicks) instead. We do that a lot these days rather than fight with him to eat something he doesn’t want to. We all went out and got some paan and then the party broke up.

I went to bed late anyway. Spent two hours on the phone to Ma talking of I’m no longer quite sure what.

Monday started off all chirpy. Mad rush in the Metro. The new extensions added to old infrastructure added to officials who insist on only keeping two ticket counters open anywhere mean huge crowds. I wore Vicky’s brown cord shirt as a jacket to work. I feel the very slight nip in the air. Must be my southern blood.

Hurried home in the evening, hurried to meet Krishnamashi at the nursing home before visiting hours ended and took Rahul for a haircut afterwards. He really hates them, poor kid. These are the two things Vicky refuses to do: clip nails and take him for a haircut. I suppose it could be worse. Bought him ice cream afterwards. And then walked into SC to wash our hands and didn’t find our way out for another couple of hours!

We looked around for birthday gifts but nothing seemed to catch our fancy. Vicky asked him to choose something he liked, and he kept repeating it to himself, “Ami konta nebo, amar konta chai?” (Which one shall I take, which one do I want?) but didn’t really choose anything except for a Zoozoo figurine which I didn’t buy because it had “love” written very tackily over its chest. Vicky tells me there were others, unmarked ones, so I may just get him one of those later. We had dinner at the Food Court, contrary to earlier plans.

Another late night as I sat up sewing little bedsheets for his new toddler bed. We’ve cannibalised the pullout section of Cousin J’s bed to make a low little bed and I’ve been meaning to stitch him sheets to size for nearly a month now. I cut up an ancient sheet of ours to make two for him. So much more sewing waiting for me. And now it’s Tuesday evening. Tonight I intend to go to bed early!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Resolute Return

Last month I felt I needed some time to think things over. More specifically, to think over my blogging ethics. Vicky said something which he may or may not have meant the way I took it, but it did make me endlessly question my own blogging rules.

A rock and a hard place doesn’t begin to describe the feeling. When you want to write but you can’t. Not because somebody has stopped you but because you can’t. It’s a thousand silences clamouring for expression.

And now that I’m back, I realise I’m at the beginning of yet another epoch in my blogging life. Since my marriage I have maintained that my blog would be answerable only to Vicky. Rahul doesn’t really come into it because I don’t blog about him so much. I have always said – and said it in all sincerity – that Vicky is the only person in the world who has the right to make me take a post down or even censor something I would otherwise publish.

I’m no longer saying that. For a month I have tried to blog without mentioning him or our life together and I couldn’t. I’m not a tech writer or a mommy blogger or an interior decorator or a culture vulture. What I write about is my own life, and it’s impossible to write of my life without writing of Vicky. And I’ve come to realise that if I accept his censoring – not that he has asked me to change or delete anything – then I resent him for it. In fact, the only censoring I take, like in all other aspects of my life, is my own self-imposed code.

I feel strangely free after coming to this decision. There were so many things I tied to Vicky or his approval on marrying him and slowly, I have been detaching these associations. Again, in all fairness, these were not codes Vicky indicated he wanted or asked for, so it wasn’t fair to him either, to impose something on myself and then resent him for it. It’s not easy, but with each of these little steps I feel more like the woman I wanted to be. Clinginess is simply not my forte.

So that, in a nutshell, is why I was away. No, as you can see, I did not go private. That was just Blogger’s default message. I did go on a weekend trip to Madras to meet the girls. I have also been very busy with work, friends and family. Beq (and Debo and Tina and Sandeep and Sen) came to town so a lot of evenings flew by. Cousin J flew the coop and promptly picked up a bug in Manipal (the silly twit) so that took care of a lot of time too. We had to go register Ally at Asansol. It’s been a mad, mad month. About the right kind of month to take a very sane decision.

In which you catch me preening

Click to enlarge.


Although, in all honesty, this reminds me even more of Beq than it does of myself!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

FYI

I am just as cute and interesting as you were probably wondering. And I hope you have a nice day too.

:)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sorry, I've been meaning to open Sunny Days for some time now, just never got around to it. The blog's open, but I suppose it will take me a little while longer to post. I don't feel like blogging yet.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Babuta Paliya Jachche

I'm leaving for a short holiday soon and will be closing the blog down for a bit in consequence. Am not exactly sure of when I'll be back.

Sunny Days will be closed in a few hours, as soon as I'm done backing up. Be good while I'm away.

Edit:
People have been mailing me to ask why I've gone private, so I'm leaving this message up a little longer. From tomorrow Sunny Days will be closed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ultra Violet

Check out this new place I found: www.ultraviolet.in -- I find it pretty interesting.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Conversation

Vicky went to the shops and this is what I got from his son:

Bhabbles: Baba kutai gechhey? (Where is Baba?)

Me: [mischievously] Baba paliye gechhey. (Baba has run away.)

Bhabbles: Baba tomar theke paliya gechhey? (Baba has run away from you?)

Some day, I tell you, I shall pack up my bags and leave. Then they’ll be sorry.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Awesome Things about Me and My Job

Why I love my job:

I like the fact that so much depends on my writing. More depends on the design but there’s a world of difference between random copy and my copy and it’s nice to be the difference.

I like the laidback attitude in my office. Most of the people here have been working together long enough to know each others’ buttons and mostly, they also know all the reasons why they need to get along. I realise this is not too much to expect from a workplace, but after the politics at my last place, I appreciate the set rhythm.

I like the fun of it. The fun of balancing what you want to say with what the client needs you to say. Some days it works, some days it doesn’t, but it’s a challenge to get the tone just right.

I like the world it’s opened up. I’ve always been critical of advertising but never really as an insider. Now I’m learning to figure out precisely why an ad does or does not work for me, how it could be bettered and how I can learn from it. Best yet, I’m learning to read between the lines of copy!

Seven reasons why I think it’s awesome being me:

It’s fun being me. Or at least, there’s rarely a dull moment. If I look into my life as an outsider, I almost envy the fun I have. If you know what I mean. By and large, it’s quite as eventful as I ever wanted my life to be!

I have awesome taste in men. I really do. The steadies, I mean. I pick out the winners. They may or may not earn pots of money, but my men are the ones you’ll remember for all the right reasons. One is now a corporate high-flyer, another is a journalist with his own big byline and the third? Why, the third is earning pots of money that I help him spend. Bigger than that even, I picked me a Bhablet-maker. You gotta admire that.

I have an awesome library. I have a random taste in books and hardly ever buy any these days, but my library is still a beautiful thing. It’s the kind of collection that stops bookworms in their tracks and lose interest in what I’m saying.

I have weird relatives. I never thought the day would come when I thought this would be a good thing, but my extended family has given me an enviable education in Dealing with the World. The fact that I still love them is a sign of my superior degree in this department.

I have awesome friends. I’ve been lonely a lot in my life and I appreciate the fact that I just have to pick up the phone most days and I have somebody’s shoulder to cry on, somebody to tease me out of my blues, somebody to help me find the sunshine.

I have a home, filled with all the stuff I need, a car to take us around, a husband and a child in good health. I think I have awesome luck. Dadu called me a survivor and he was right, I am. This is one quality I admire in me.

It’s awesome being Sue. Sue the blogger. I’ve picked up so much and so many friends from blogging, I have to sit back and wonder how I got so lucky. I think I’ve had a pretty awesome blog-life.

So, on that note, I wish myself a happy 27th birthday. I’m not declaring this a Delurk Divas but I would love to get a heads up from you. It would be a grand birthday gift, if you would.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Joys of Piracy

We all know of DVD covers using online reviews as blurbs. Well, here's one that nobody seems to have bothered to read!

With love, from me to you

Like the Mad Momma, I too have bad knees. Unlike her bone infection though, my complaint is a decade old and much less severe. Basically, I crocked them playing too much volleyball in the silliest way. I’ve learnt to live with them and am mostly careful about not over-stressing them, so they don’t really restrict my movements as much as I once feared they would.

The last one week my knee pain grew steadily. The humid weather (the monsoons are here at last, thank heavens), the floor scrubbing (I’m maidless once more), sleeplessness and mostly carelessness resulted in crippling me at last on Sunday evening. I fell into bed at the end of the day and, on Monday morning, couldn’t even walk around the house. It had gone beyond pain to the stage I dread the most, when my knees refuse to support weight and simply give way without any warning.

Vicky bundled me up in bed, stuck a hot water bag under my knees and made me so comfortable that I just went back to sleep. I didn’t get Rahul ready or drop him to school or make breakfast or do the laundry or do any of the things I would usually do. And it worked like magic. I woke up refreshed and with no pain whatsoever. I was late to work but it didn’t matter because I didn’t have too much to do.

I wanted to save this memory. Vicky’s been awfully caring of late but I don’t think he knows what a huge thing he did yesterday. Usually an onset of knee pain means the better part of a week wasted in nursing my knees back to health. To be fixed with just a couple of hours sleep is a real gift.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Filial Familiarity

I was surfing randomly when this Babycenter article caught my eye. It describes Rahul’s new behaviour very well.

Since last week he’s taken to using ‘tui’ in his interactions with us. Vicky says it’s all my fault (somebody around here has conveniently forgotten our pre-nup agreement, but here’s a reminder: nothing is ever my fault).

So we’re getting bombarded with “Chal, dekhe ashi” (Come, let’s go check it out) and so on. Now, this left me perplexed because I make no bones about being extremely old fashioned about these things. I do not care for familiarity because he’s my son, not my buddy. On the other hand, it sounded so damn cute! So I corrected him and all the while, I wondered if I would mind dreadfully if this phase were to last just a little longer.

Then, on Friday night, he told my aunt (Giga to him and you), “Shor, ami boshbo” (Shift over, I want to sit) and I knew things were going Too Far. The problem with this chap is, he is so cute with the stuff he does, it’s very easy to let him get away with murder!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Out of the Mouths of... Idiots

Rahul was playing on his new bed while we sat on ours having our breakfast of radhaballobi-alur dum. Since both my hands were occupied I was trying to distract him from fiddling with the table fan by pointing out random things every time his attention wandered fan-wards.

After I'd exhausted pretty much all else I desperately looked for inspiration and started calling out the stuff written on his t-shirt.

Dekho, baNdor, baNdorta koi? Oi dekho, 1982, oi 1982'r baNdor ta koi?

("Look, there's a monkey, where's the monkey? Oh see, there's 1982, now where's that monkey from 1982?")

In case you're scratching your head looking for the joke here, I must point out that I'll be 27 years old this birthday.

Vicky's already called up my parents and M'pishi and shared the 'joke'. I think I will divorce the man one of these days.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Mothers!

It’s my parents’ 31st wedding anniversary today. Baba’s in Delhi and Ma is munching cake in Madras. I wished Baba in the morning (he woke us up just in time to send Rahul to school) and called Ma to wish her just now. After happily chattering of other things, she ended with a ‘funny’ story: how, the other day, she’d been looking at the calendar and had been struck with one of her feelings that 8th July was somebody’s something but she just couldn’t remember exactly what.

Guess who’s not getting a call this year on 21st November. Hah.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

He Really Doesn't Deserve Me

Me: So, when I die, I want you to play Father Figure at my shaad (baby shower)… no, dammit, I mean shraddha (funeral).

V: (patently uninterested) What’s that?

Me: (rolling my eyes) Michael Jackson, silly! Dammit, I mean George Michael.

V: Hmmm…

Me: (tearful) You wouldn’t respect my final wish, is this how you’d treat the only wife you have…

V: (cutting in) But this is not your final wish, I’m sure you’ll come up with plenty more in the years to come.

I can’t decide if he’s laughing at me, telling me he would like me to live long, shuddering at the prospect of my longevity or… if he’s just laughing at me. For my next husband I’m picking one who doesn’t make it a hobby to laugh at me!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nureyev's Pupils


Measuring Shuki for a dress I'm trying to make her.

Photograph and title courtesy Soubhik Niyogy
Dancers: Sunayana Roy and Shuktara Lal
Hair, Makeup & Clothes: Dancers' own
Location: 675/1/1 Lake Gardens

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Say wha?

Apparently there's a Calcutta in Ohio.

Somehow, the universe just gets more random the more you find out about it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Calcutta Walks just re-defined crazy

Although I'm not sure Ifte would be willing to do this again.

Seriously. If you're in Cal, you need to take a Walk. And you should be in Cal.

Funny how a Cal-lover's story falls on Baba's birthday. If you're reading this, Happy Birthday, Atticus.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What is even more fun

...than getting your kid to say Czechoslovakia?

Getting your Bheblu-babu to say Lacto Calamine. You don't have to take my word for it. Go on, try it out.

(Lactamela, Kaltemo, Lactomobi, Lactomelamine being some of his best efforts but there have been plenty more where those came from.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Exposé

Beq sent me this link that I think all of you should read. The Indian Institue of Planning and Management (IIPM) is a fraud, they say.

Personally speaking, working as I do in an advertising agency, I do draw the line at such unethical advertising.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fathers Day 2009

I know I'm late but I spent the weekend doing stuff with you two (when not working) and that seems like an acceptable reason for a late post.

You've been a Work from Home Father for seven months now. I just wanted to say I can't think of anybody who'd do your job better. (I would, of course, but then I'm perfect and I wouldn't want you to compare yourself to perfection.)

Like I told you some weeks ago, some day our son is going to make a great father. I can see the signs in him. The willingness to make fun of critters smaller than him, the ability to create mess, mayhem and madness out of nothing on a Sunday morning, the inclination to throw himself headlong into a sulk at the drop of a hat... he'll have learnt it all from YOU.

Muah, baby. You're a fab Baba.

Friday, June 19, 2009

In Love, you'll improve your relationship by being honest.

That’s what my horoscope told me this morning. So I confessed all to Vicky. How, for a fortnight now, no matter what time I left for work, I found this man going down Park Street at the very time that I needed to cross the street. How he never looked directly at me, but surely it couldn’t be a coincidence that he would do this every single morning, whether I was there at 10.30 or at 11. How I didn’t like to read too much into it and I’m sure he’s quite a gentleman really, but you know, I am a married woman and we, er, need to be careful of our reputations and I wouldn’t want Vicky to think that I had anything, er, going on with the CM.



Yes, if you’re wondering, he only gave me one of those looks he reserves for me. Serve him right if Mr Bhattacharya were indeed stalking me. Humph.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Respect and Its Implications

This post has been on my mind, off and on for over a month now. A lot has been happening in my immediate circles, not the least of them being the shock of losing Vicky’s father so unexpectedly.

In the end, I think all relationships come down to respect. When a wife says something horrible about her husband – as I often do – it’s an unpleasant experience for bystanders, but it remains her right and one that has to be respected by the said bystanders. She was in the marriage with all its beauties and its troubles and she knows why she cursed. Whether it was a fair thing to say or not, it’s a right she has earned.

(I strongly recommend both links. Poppy's for the insight and Boo's for the frustrated agreement.)

In my own case, I’m no longer sure I’ve earned the right even though I’ve been freely exploiting it for three and a half years now. If there’s one thing that has changed about my marriage in the last six months it’s the rhythm of our fights. We fight now because we’re depressed. We don’t fight the marriage any more, being tied to one another. And as I accept the togetherness as a given (even while I’m having wistful thoughts of divorce/homicide or at least separation) more and more I question my right to speak to another human being as I speak to Vicky. Just because I show him more love than I show anybody else, does it automatically follow that I am entitled to abuse more than I’d dream of abusing another person to their face?

I read recently that in cases of violent relationships the first time you are a victim, after that you are just a volunteer. This thought made a deep impact on me because it’s the way of thinking I’m currently at. In any relationship, given any toxicity, the first time you’re faced with it, you are a victim. But if you cannot sort it out and you cannot see the need to sort it out and you will not break away, you are a volunteer. You will have my empathy but not my sympathy because I think you are strong enough to do something about it instead of sitting at home licking your wounds. That’s what I told myself, at any rate – I have long conversations to with myself, that at least has not changed – and so, I’ve tried to be neither a victim nor a volunteer.

In clearer terms: when we fight, I try not to take every little thing so personally. I may do so in the heat of the moment but when I’m calmer I try to treat it the same way I would wish my own little meannesses to be treated – to be forgiven and forgotten as something said in the heat of the moment rather than a deep truth fighting its way to the surface helped by the righteous fury of my indignation. It sounds like a very simple change to make and in a way, it was. But it’s been a very far-reaching change in my mindset. I am, for instance, far more forgiving a person today than I was five years ago. I’m less confrontational and less likely to think it’s all about me.

I find myself less willing to take a stand than I used to be. I’m very clear on my stance on a particular issue (take the recent blowup on the blogosphere) but I find myself respecting each blogger’s right to her opinion. Even when the opinion makes no sense to me. Where earlier I would have taken sides now I’m content to let the people involved find their own end. Now more than ever I’m learning the importance of letting the ones at loggerheads battle it out in their own way.

I used to think mediation helped, especially in close relationships, but hey, I don’t want anybody explaining me to E or the other way round either. I don’t know if it’s the right way, but it’s the way that is making sense to me these days. When friends of mine are having very serious relationship issues it still makes more sense for me to let them work their differences out themselves than for me to negotiate a truce only to find it shattered the second I step out of the picture.

Then again, perhaps I’m just a bad mediator. Now there’s a thought.

My father-in-law’s short fight with cancer emphasised the lesson I learnt from my watching my grandfather in action: that it’s better to live as you like and die young than live on as something you never wanted to be and die old and lost. When he fought his medical restrictions, for instance, I understood his frustration even as I wanted to yell at him to not complicate our lives any further. I think I learnt to respect a man’s right to live as he chooses even if he does break a bit of my son’s heart in the process. That is just another part of the picture I shall have to paint for Rahul – not just a grandfather who loved him and took pride in him but also man who did things his own way and was somebody to be proud of.

Yesterday I tried to explain to Vicky, yet again, why I want him to pull the plug on me rather than wait to see if I come out of a coma. To me it’s about the way I’ve lived my life. I’ve never lived my life particularly quietly and I don’t want to die a vegetable. I want him to respect my right to die. Whereas to him it’s unthinkable that he would give up on me while the slightest hope remained. Both of us make sense but I maintain that my personal right to die is of greater significance than his right/duty to do what he thinks is the best he can do by his wife.

I have always fought to see people as persons in their own right rather than the people they are to me. I learnt to step back from my parents and my brother when I was only in my mid-teens. It wasn’t a detachment so much as teaching myself to see the many parts of the whole. My brother, for example, is always going to be my brother to me. But it helps me see him through truer lenses if I also acknowledge his needs and shortcomings and achievements in aspects of his life that have nothing to do with me. It was even harder seeing my parents as husband and wife rather than my mother and father but learning to do so has helped me place my uncles and aunts in context. I’m not saying it’s always easy and I’m not claiming to be very expert at it either, but I do try to respect a person’s right to be the person they want to be. Being an inherently bossy person this is never easy but the advantages of this kind of learning are strong enough to make it worth while. I find my life much richer somehow, this way, when people are no longer uni-dimensional.

Edit:
A comment from Starry-Eyed that gave me a very valid additional perspective into this post:
" respect a person’s right to be the person they want to be." It sure takes a lot of burden off us women, otherwise we start taking responsibility for everybody else!
On thinking about it, it's true I feel less claustrophobic in my circumstances than I did before.

Edit:
Thanks Ro, for the link. Folks, IHM has a whole series of posts on the topic. Again, worth a read.