Friday, December 25, 2009

Recession Hit

Am I imagining this or have I slipped into the role of the 'real' journalist, those ones who complain and create a ruckus for everything that is dished out while taken on a Press trip?
No, I haven't created a ruckus, but what I have seen is a change in the way the media is being treated. Well, earlier we were taken on first class or business class with every detail charted out and followed strictly.
Earlier we were put up in hotels that were in the lap of luxury. Rooms overlooking the London harbour, rooms that spoke volumes in comfort and understated luxury with bathrooms equally big as the rooms. wifi catered too, well you just had to ask and someone would make sure it was done...
Recession now has this burden to bear too - of taking the comforts away from us poor journalists taken on press trips!
This time around, no first class, just economy, but that is fine, no dinner except for the small roll handed on the plane. (I wasn't hungry but the fact that I was without food for a long time, bothered me)
The rooms were fine, not dipped in luxury but very economical and practical! No wifi and when we (me and a fellow journalist, who didn't speak a word or understand English, yet we managed to communicate quite well) ask the hotel authorities, our organiser (a marketing guy) looks away as if this was of no concern to him.(He did eventually pay for it)
All these are fine, really, aren't we supposed to be accommodative when the times are bad, but the thing that most irritated me was the talk from this guy of how privileged we should be to have come here. Ofcourse, I was but to say it so bluntly made it sound downright cheap...
And as we enter the Motor Show, he warns us, don't even look at other cars. We laugh at his seemingly good humour only to discover in a few hours that he was dead serious. We just had to turn and gaze in wonder at a Bentley or gape at an Aston Martin and then he would gesture asking us to hurry for an interview that inevitably got late. And when we talk to a (good looking) Rover guy, he gives me a missed call, standing right in front of me and has the cheek to say, "Hey, I saw u!"
(And silly me, at that instant I felt like a kid caught at a crime!)
When we take interviews he guides or directs us with the questions we ask, to get the right answers about the brand and the group.
And not to mention the questions on coverage even before we start on the trip. Well, others ask too, but isn't there a virtue called subtlety! If there is, then this man surely lacks it!
If Recession has done this to one of the money minting companies then imagine how we should react! Counting our pennies, eating bread every single day and taking our maid on an outing and reminding her of her luck every other moment? Chee!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A restaurant review

I had to write a review for my course and I thought of sharing it here:

Review: Al Koot Café
Location: Souq Waqif, near Qatar Central Bank, Doha
Sindhu visits AL Koot Café situated in Souq Waqif and finds herself in an Arabian fairy tale, horses, hookahs, exotic herbs et all.

I am a born multi-tasker. I read in the loo, I read while feeding my kids. I check mails while attending meetings; I open two different online editions of newspapers while I work on articles. And now when the idea of writing a review popped up while I was trying to fix a meeting for a story, my brains worked overtime and I plotted and schemed to finish two things at a time. Have the interview with the Architect for a story I was doing at a café that I intend to review. And so here I am, notepad in hand, questions jotted down and the tape recorder running with Simon Gathercole, Associate Director of Allies and Morrison, Architects, beside me and our photographer, Sampath, in a world of his own, clicking away. While Sampath tries to get the best picture, I judge every nook and corner of Al Koot Café in Souq Waqif.
But I cannot talk of the café without speaking more of the Souq, where the café is situated. Enter Souq Waqif and you feel that you have gone back in time. Stone pavements meander through forts clustered in an odd progression that form a beautiful picture. Merchants roam around the place, mixing with a steady flow of tourist, carting merchandise in ancient small steel carts. Soldiers on Arabian steeds trot around the place adding to the Arabic ambience. But aren't this a common sight in a Middle Eastern country, one would quip. No, not in Doha, would answer any resident of this place. Qatar is a country that has progressed leaps and bounds banking on its hydrocarbon resources, seen as a modern country with glass buildings lining the horizon, like any other country with little or no cultural imprint. But with Souq Waqif, it seems as if the country is slowly waking up to revive old customs and traditions.
Coming back to Al Koot Café, situated in one of the side lanes of the Souq, it fits snuggly into the cultural role that it has to play. Maroon tinged glass lanterns hang down the entrance lined with hookas. Simon opts for the cane chairs outside and from this vantage point I take in the surrounding. We start with the interview and then comes the efficient waitress, Dalia, who takes our orders. Come to think of it, the order did take a while to materialise but then, this is not a place to drink a cappuccino in a jiffy. Come here only if you have the whole evening free, to relax, smoke a hookah and just breathe in. The smell of exotic herbs fills the air with the hookah fumes adding to the 'souq' aura.
Our cappuccino arrives tasting like it should, strong, and hot. Sampath sips a mint lime and declares it as excellent. While he takes more pictures of Simon, I pop inside and look around, the same Arabic flavour continues though the seating is huge comfy red cushioned ones with glass lanterns lighting every nook of the small café. I talk to Jherald, who is in charge at the cashier's desk that is lined with cookies and sweets. I ask for a menu card and Jherald says they don't have any.
"But we can make any juice you want, any mix," he declares.
Al Koot is new, just three months old, in this surrounding and gets packed during weekends according to Jherald.
The interview is done, the bills arrive, a tad expensive I reflect, but my photographer gently reminds me, "Half of what you paid was for the ambience."

Monday, November 30, 2009

A dream city shattered

Every day my inbox gets flooded with press releases.(Mostly with unimportant releases, though) A year back, half of this were from Dubai.Now when things have slowed down, the steady flow has abated but there still is a trickle of such releases announcing to the world what Dubai is currently doing.
No, no more new buildings for some time...
The FM radio channels that we get here is all from Dubai and the world that side seemed to be shining, always, even when recession waves were hitting some countries and Dubai too to an extent.
It was the face of hard sell, of excessive marketing and now it has all gone bust...
Finally people are looking beyond the buildings and finding the face of the labourers who have suffered most in this crisis. Many of them have still not been payed their dues for more than a year, news reports say.
It was the most happening city, a city where dreams would be a reality, and a reporter had said, the city was more Las Vegas than Las Vegas.
Dubai, one of my cousins who lives there quipped, is the best city in India. It was a city in limelight and the torch-bearers were Indians too, Indians who have toiled hard to reach where they are.
But now dreams are being shattered, more now, than ever...
But I wish to God that the poor do not get poorer still while the rich are absolved of their sins of non payment of dues...

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Day After

Today is Amma's birthday and this year, we both (my sister and me) want her to remember this day as it is. Not as a day after the disaster that hit her some 29 years back.
November, she used to say, is a month of losses. For her and for us, too. Every year, this month she would be tensed throughout, as if expecting something bad to happen and come December, you could feel the tension waft out of her.
It is difficult not to be influenced by that particular incident, especially when it has rewritten her life, and particularly when she was so young, just about to enter her thirties, when it occurred.
When the sheltered life she lived, with her husband, was suddenly pulled away from her, leaving her alone and to top it all, with two girls to look after.
And when this incident had slowly taken a back seat, after 10 years, we had another incident in November, making her words seem even more ominous. That was when a thief got lucky, striking us at the right time, ransacking our house of all the jewels, a few months after my wedding. That incident pulled her back again, making her wallow further.
No, I don't want us to forget that incident, nor forget the few fading memories of Acha, I want her to go forward and take life as it comes not fear it for the shocks it gives, but also learn from the experiences.
So this day, we want Amma to think that November is a month of hope and happiness. Hope for all the things she wants to get done, and happiness by being with her grand children and be never alone…
Happy Birthday Amma.
From now remember November 23 and don't think of this special day as the day after Acha died…

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Moving On

It is like taking off the most snug, comfy old nightwear and slipping into a stiff, trim and maybe a bit fashionable office wear. You know you should like it still you can't. You know it will be easier this way, still you feel like clinging to the odd comfort of the weathered clothing. You see the beautiful surrounding, love it and yet remember the secure grey compound.
I have shifted into a bigger place and am learning to love it, trying to forget the old cozy flat which fitted us perfectly when we arrived here from Mumbai.
"It is huge," I remember saying, when I arrived on our second floor flat, that day six years back. It certainly was huge when you have lived in Mumbai for long.
It was to this flat that I came four months heavy with my younger one, loaded with dreams and some disappointment too being confronted by the depressing colourless sandy landscape, the first sight when the plane touched down on the tarmac at Doha.
But it was from here that I started to develop as a person, be more than a wife or a mother, be a person with some thoughts or opinions of my own.
Now as I leave the flat, I take some memories and shed some junk collected on the way. I keep my memories safe, to take out, dust through and refresh occasionally with my kids and mostly K, while the junk, I leave aside happily, to collect some more in the new place…
As I shuffled down the stairs weighed down by luggage in both hands, I remembered how I had climbed down these very stairs, on the verge of delivery, just hours before N was born. And how I climbed back, sore and tired yet a proud mom, the second-time around, the very next day, with Amma behind holding her newest grandchild then…
How we had a huge office party, (one of the last times we did those), the fun and the games that we had. How we gathered so many families together for dinner and even in the cramped space, had a really wonderful time…
Now, as I drive to the new place, I hope I will have happier enriching times with friends and family…
With this I hope my hiatus from blogging is lifted and I can write freely and openly...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The routine at K’s home:
A normal scene a week before
4 pm: K and S are both back from office. They grab a plate and have a generous helping of rice and homemade curries with pappad. Both love food and enjoy a good meal thoroughly.
K: “What sweets do we have?” after a burp of satisfaction, finishing off his meal.
S: “Nothing, we finished the payasam I made a week back and I haven’t had the time to cook anything new.”
K gives S a look of dissatisfaction. The way to K’s heart is through his stomach and well, let’s not talk about the other …
But S is not bothered. After 14 years of marriage who wants to be in the husband’s heart, anywhere near the purse is where she yearns to be!
S: “But there are those Arabic sweets, you can have those.”
K moves towards his next target, a bit mollified.
S doesn’t budge from her position, with her legs outstretched…and hands not letting go of the remote, a precious possession now….
The younger 11 year old, Kav is prowling nearby.
One has to be careful, or the programme would be suddenly change to Kav’s preferred Hannah Montana or Wizards of Waverly place…
K finishes the sweets and moves towards the bedroom and gestures to S, asking her to follow.
S ignores him while watching a mediocre Mallu programme and acts as if it is the most interesting programme till K gives up and moves on …
10 minutets later
K: “Daaa…”
S: ‘Varunnu….coming.”
Another 10 minutes pass by but S hasn’t budged from her seat
10 minutes and a sterner “Daaa,” later, S relinquishes her power position and hands over the remote to a victorious Kav.(who was expecting this move anyway)
S settles in quietly between K and N and the whole household rests in peace, the afternoon siesta time which extends into evening…
By 7pm
S is up and about making coffee and repeatedly calls out to K to come and have his cup…
By 7.30 finally K is up and relaxes with his coffee watching TV.
S cooks dinner while watching over the kid’s HW.
A peaceful scene but look out, a storm is already brewing in there…
K trys to be helpful but soon enough there is a huge commotion, Kav is not agreeing with the father K’s version to a certain solution and thus starts the war…
The younger N leaves her HW half done. She escapes unnoticed in the commotion and packs her books back into her bag.
By the time S reaches with her peace mission, the atmosphere is charged with verbosities and emotions are flying out into the air.
S’s mission is entirely unsuccessful. Father K now accuses S of bringing up the kid leniently and thus the entire cause of the whole incident is now resting squarely on S’s shoulder. She carries the load back to the kitchen, leaving the war scene unresolved…
By 9.30PM…the angry family again converges for more verbal debates and dinner….

The scene now at K’s house:
K’s family has finally registered with a club, after a month of hunting through the few options available. K has finally given his verdict, found the best one and the family too seconds the master’s decision.
6PM: K’s household is thriving with activity and everyone seems to be in a rush…packing, trying out old and unfitting training gear.
The younger one, N is again trying to finish her HW as that was a condition for being taken, but she leaves it after a few futile attempts…
N’s completed HW is a dream for the whole family and for N too …
K is smarter; she has cut short her TV watching session and has completed her HW way ahead of time.
The afternoon siesta is cut short, the bickering sessions are minimal and by 7pm, the whole family is on their way....

Moral of the story:“An active family is a peaceful family”
Quick take:“Hope they keep this interest alive for a month at least…”

Sunday, July 19, 2009

40 years of Moonhood

Remember the static sounds and the near muffled words uttered on the unclear and dark backdrop of the moon. Relive the excitement evoked every time you saw the clipping even if you were born years after this moment in history. Who can forget the ‘One step for man a giant leap for mankind’ quip by Neil Armstrong? I get goose pimples every time I hear these words and now, that historic moment is said to be faked.
Is the world really so unscrupulous or are we just cynical and sceptical of everything that is being reported? Is the media at fault here too for revealing their questioning nature for anything in particular?
And to make matters worse, the original recording of this historic moment has disappeared.
How can such slip-ups ever be forgiven? Why can’t an organisation that has launched man on the moon, the technological leap of the century, hold on to one of the most treasured moments in history and keep it safe?
According to NASA it has been erased and re-used, but newly restored copies of the original broadcast look even better.
Now that does smell suspicious, even to me… (I believe everything, even my younger one fool me and gets away with it.)
So what do you think,was this really a NASA fabricated lie by US to silence the Russians and their believed space supremacy?!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am gay

Now that is something to make people come running to my post, so guys it was just a standfirst, something that comes before a headline to attract readers to a story…Sorry to disappoint you, I am not 'that' Gay.
But I am happy! Because I have finished my second paper and am now hoping God blesses Mr Gavin, who will be correcting my paper, and keeps him in the best of spirits so that he can liberally overlook my literals!
But talking about that interesting word, ‘gay’, there are so many facets and many of them are being colourfully brought out in all the dailies without much restrain.
I am all for freedom as long as mine is not impinged.
But I do have an issue with one ‘minor’ detail that I just can’t understand. It could be my view but I have to say this aloud. I just can’t understand why gay men (at least some of them) behave and dress so outrageously almost as if vying for attention. If they want to be 'seen'as normal men why would they do that…why would they want to stand out and attract attention to themselves and be branded as ‘different’.
While that is just my thought on this I strongly feel that we are on the right path. It might take long for a tradition-bound society to accept homosexuals but after Section 377 was rewritten by the High Court; we have taken one big step that makes us think twice before we criminalise someone just for their nature.
And at this stage, I think of the beautiful movie, Philadelphia which was instrumental in making me consider homosexuality as natural as heterosexuality. Well, almost….(and that’s my primitive self raising its head)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Family calling...

Deeps photo tag was so cute, UMMON's so very touching...Now here is my version of the photo tag.

It is June, the month when I start getting this urge, this irresistive pull towards by home town. June, the month of rains, that time of the month when the fields are lush and green, when towns and cities get a new lease of life, cleaned and washed by rains...when the smell of wet earth gives me this queer joy that is secondary only to being at home...

And bringing back these memories is this picture...taken two years back at my husband's hometown, M....., a quiet village really but the one place that my kids love to go(other than my mom's house ofcourse), every year, to see the same sights, gaze at tall coconut trees, poke jackfruits hanging from short trees, look at the ponds and try counting the lotus floating on the murky waters, kill umpteen insects...go behind the cow and count the hens...followed, monitored and even encouraged by their two most lovable grand moms.

My mother-in-law (she is the shorter of the two in blue saree) and her sister(who lives there, she has no kids and but loves kids and is a child (at heart) herself)with my two...

And I wish it will be August soon and I can see them both, hug them and talk to them of things that don't matter at all in the big scheme of things, but still talk to feel loved, to be a part of family, to be near mother nature, to see my kids and my husband happy and carefree...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Questions..and some answers...

UMMON tagged me here...and she did the same too...
I follow...

What is something I always say to you?
N(the younger one): Sundarikutty (beautiful baby)
K(the elder, wiser one): Don’t watch TV, GO and study

Am I so impartial?!

What makes me happy?
N: when I do my HW
K: when I get full marks

Like any competitive mom?!

What makes me sad?
N: When I am not doing my HW and going to J..’s house
K: When I don’t take bath

How do I make you laugh?
N: When you cuddle and kiss me
K: When you dance and say silly things

What do you think I was like as a child?
N: A beautiful girl (she is a big ‘maska’mari one, I should tell you)
K: Always studying (that’s is the impression I gave her)

How old am I?
N: 10 (and when I laughed, she corrected it to 11)
K: 36

Ah, my kids, the younger they are the younger I get!

How tall am I?
N: very tall
K: same as my height

What is my favourite thing to do?
N: kiss
K:blog (ah, she knows me!)

What do I do when you’re not around?
N: Go to office
K: Go to office

Not very orginal, a boring mom!

If I become famous, what will it be for?
N: being a good mother
K: for writing a book! (wow…)

What am I really good at?
N: Loving me ( she first said kissing…did K, MY HUS, tell her or what?!)
K : shouting and scaring me (she has suddenly realised that she is making me happy and changes tactics)

What am I not really good at?
N: ugh (she means amma is good at everything, my intrepetation)
K: playing with us! (Look out for more mean-stuff from her…)

What is my job?

N: cooking…
K: chief correspondent

What is my favourite food?
N: everything…
K:Hameel fried rice! (Yummy, the cheapest but tastiest joint)

What makes you proud of me?
N: ………(she didn’t understand)
K: when you came to school to take journalism class

What makes me proud of you?
N: ….
K: when will this get over, so boring…

What do you and I do together?

How are we the same?
N:We are girls
K: We have brains

How are you and I different?
N: different hair (now she is desperate to go off and watch Mr Bean)
K: You don’t put any good accessories (bangles, earrings etc)

What is one thing you wish you could change about me?
N: (she has left…)
K: bossy attitude

I stop here…both are too irritated and I am sure they might do something drastic if I don’t.
Reflections, I am waiting to hear your version(I know you will tell me I have lots of tags to finish!), Smitha's, Solilo (who is already tagged) and Deeps(too tagged), Renu,Overdrive...everyone who wants to join in, please do...this tag...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

K's exhibition

She has been pestering me a lot for this…and finally I am doing it.
All of you are invited to a special preview of my elder one’s paintings. She is talented as you can see (and I hope this is not just mother’s pride talking here) but what I like most about her creativity is how she converts useless throwaway items into pieces of art. And as I show these, I pray that she keeps at this wonderful talent and doesn’t loose interest in it as she grows older...
These are the paintings she has done over two years with the guidance of a wonderful artist friend of mine who is so very unassuming and down-to-earth. I always like to think K is learning more than just art at her place but that she learns a lesson or two in humility too.

So here they go...

Do you remember this one below, UMMON, I had borrowed an Eid greeing card from you, well this is an attempted recreation of that

This one is her own attempt at creating a Warli painting...

I love this one, the effect looks good, though it is just crayons...

This one is also from an Eid greeting, she got a prize for this one too...

An earlier painting of hers...

And this one is in colour pencils done almost two years back...

And this is her attempt at creating something new, the colours are beautiful here aren't they?

This is what I like best, how she created beautiful pen-stands out of used soda cans...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Silver Lining

As if to debunk my myth on friendship and to remind me of some friendship that have tided over time and place, I went out with my college friend last week and thoroughly enjoyed myself. There were no concealed jabs, no underlying messages no whines over infinitesimal pains and aches, just open and ceaseless positive conversation, lot of gossip, a bit of nostalgia (thinking about college and our carefree life then), a bit of husband comparison (we came to the consensus that they are all the same), genuine thoughts on parenting thrown in with some good food, and excellent interiors (we can’t help but noticing that detail!)

Though my junior in college (she reminds of that minor detail incessantly), we hit it off from the moment we met in college and she was constantly in my room, talking about our passion then, architecture and our individual boyfriends…

Our passions have undergone a major change, she is now into sustainable architecture ( a slight change) and me into writing (a major change here) and our boyfriends have become our husbands so they are no longer a passion!

And our friendship has endured, and so there is a silver lining in the sky, though I take time to see it!

And this is one ingredient I wish that all of us would pepper our life with, maybe a little more generously, some girl-bonding time, a few hours in a month to connect with your friends and alone without tagging our family with us.

This is where we connected ...

How about you? And do you do this often?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friends and losing them

I hate losing friends, period. Even if it is a friendship forged out of convenience for the whole family, the husband’s friend and family becomes friends for the family because kids are of the same age and the guys like hanging out together.
I am like that person in ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ who remembers dates and goes all emotional remembering old incidents… Yes, I too have issues with friends and more so when it is family friends, when I hold grudges against them in my hearts and even bring them up in conversations and ask for explanation but am equally fiercely protective about them. I also feel I have the sole right to say anything against them and if someone even nods in agreement to my complaints, I defend them, because yes, they might do something that hurts me but they are my friends, right…
But what do you do when the signs are obvious, when your calls aren’t returned for the umpteen time, when you are constantly forgotten to be included in group outings, or there are no group outings for now everyone prefers to be alone, when you can sense that aloofness, like a shadow lurking between words and actions…
I tried once more, called them all over for another of our get together…but that too didn’t work, it left me strained and unhappy…the magic of togetherness is lost; the fun that we shared during the Thursday night get-togethers, the constant ribbing, the easy flow of mundane conversation…is all a thing of the past.
Should I let go or keep holding on to memories…
I hold on to memories for they are just mine to revisit and relive those good-old-days, when kids were small, when life was simple and uncomplicated …
And I let go too of expectations too and hope that I have friends for ever, friends whom I don’t have to call regularly but who understand your schedules, who don’t expect anything from you, who are there just within a phone call distance, for you to talk to and be just you…
Or is it expecting too much

Monday, June 1, 2009

I am officially the mother of a ‘grown-up’. And it hurts.
It hurt when I saw her large beautiful eyes widen in deep amazement and shock at her first sight of this unwelcome monthly visitor.
...when I think she is just 11, a kid, now, tomorrow and always to me...
…when I saw tears welling up in her eyes as I explained this will be a monthly ritual that will go on for years to come.
…when I see her trying to hide her growing panic at the unexplainable pain she endures
…when she asks me every hour when this will get over
…when she implores me to not tell her father about this change in her…
It hurts when I think she can’t be that carefree, sports loving, out going, innocent little girl of mine, who can only sit with her legs up.
But I will make her understand, that this does not hinder her in any way, in any of her activities… (though I don’t think it is fair at all that we have all the pain and the ‘unfair sex’ has all the fun)
On the flip side, I can see the beginning of a deeper bond…of mom and daughter, me and her, as both of us stand huddled in the bathroom, with me talking to her about experiences that are far worse than hers. How she comes to me just to talk, to put her confused mind to rest, to share her fears and how when she fervently swore that in her next birth, she wants to be born as a ‘boy’ and when I agreed with her and said, “Yeah, me too!” and we looked at each other and smiled our secret smile…I can see the bond blooming…and I hope it will grow stronger. Touchwood.
And not far behind the doors there is a pair of investigating eyes, those of my younger ones, who is trying hard to understand why we are sharing too many bathroom secrets…

Back at it

I had work, it was hot, I was depressed…but all these were limitations I had faced earlier on,and yet could write atleast 4 blogs a month, so WHY am I not, writing…! N, is gently prodding…and I have no answers….
It is a question that I am trying to answer, should I go on…or just put a stop to it, because it is really an effort to find time and the dedication to keep this page going.
Then I remember the joy I feel, each minute I upload a new blog and yet again, I decide to go back…
I have been feeling a bit depressed with life as such, with the reason why one blogs, how to write yet not hurt anybody who reads this. I know this is where we have to write without a care but I am not made that way, for me, each action I take is weighed against the consequences it has on others…I am moulded that way, call it hereditary, or an exclusive trait, but I have this…and it is difficult to change NOW.
So I tuck in my ‘hurt’ feathers, and go on with my strutting …

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ready for more...

14 years…that is a long time, it seems like yesterday though. The excitement, the tension, the anxiety on that day 14 years back, when we finally tied the knot after years of waiting.
And we have grown, together, learning to love and hold on in the face of adversities…during these years.
The first two years were a honeymoon except for the six months of being apart when he went sailing. And then our focus changed, from being so engrossed in each other, we both took on the role of being a provider to the addition in the family. I saw my life partner change from a careless, fun-loving youth to a mature man who took his responsibilities seriously, sometimes a bit too much. And I loved him even more…
I saw his eyes soften with a new light when he carried our first born, I saw him looking out for some characteristics of her that resembled his. And I loved him even more…
He was a strict father but I knew that he was a soft and completely malleable underneath the stern façade.
The next two years with the additional responsibility were tough years for both of us, he had left his lucrative sailing profession for a stable but less lucrative shore job (to be with us) and we were learning the ropes of living alone like a family.
Each year had its challenges, from living in a small rented flat to buying our own; we have scrapped through, with our own set of fights and disagreements. Two completely different people trying to live harmoniously…
The love has grown stronger, resilient and we have become so used to each other, we just can’t manage alone. He is my best friend, who I hate in between, but still kind of like his idiosyncrasies, because it is all about ‘him’. I love his grey hair, the slight paunch, his cynicism, how he looks at me and makes me tell the little secrets that I had thought not to give out. Well, the 14 years have been difficult, but I have loved each moment of it…
Love you, da…
(I have booked him for a massage session, but the evil me, made sure that is being done by a man (old too! You can never be too sure these days!)….

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A peek into my love life...

The arresting colour, the shine of skin under the blazing sun, contours that make you want to glide your hands over and caress the classic bends and dips, the trim lines and firm body. And then when you get closer and inside, the gentle purr of power, the quick response to my touch, the smooth glide and then the exhilaration once you master it…
Well, guys don’t get me wrong, this is just not what you think…
This is how I would describe our new Mazda CX9…and it truly gives a wonderful smooth ride!
The high I get of driving this powerful black beauty is beyond description…
The interiors are equally sexy with the dim blue light from the wedges near the door handles and from the front panel along with red hues behind panels giving the effect of an up-scale pub. And listening to music on the wonderful Bose system while driving is almost as heady as a sip of red wine!
But when will get it again? I eye the beauty whenever we go out but even before I can ask for the keys, my husband hurries into the driving seat and sits looking ahead ignoring my hurt look.
So till I get to drive this one yet again I live with the passion of unfulfilled love…

P.S: That's the black beauty for you

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ushering in the new era of blogging

The world is not so bad, guys. Look at this, how a blogger, who lost her child was consoled by all her blog friends...
Let's begin our new year (by the way, I am still waiting for Vishu wishes, N!)with three cheers for the world of blogging!
Hip Hip Hurray...
(silently praying that I can keep this spark alive by constant contributions, which does ebb when the going gets tough)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The First One

Deeps tagged me long back and I am reliving my 1st pregnancy, thanks to her...

It wasn’t but we were eager to extend our family…

Of course.

I was terrified as I was sailing with my husband with no doctors on board and the rule was that preganant women should not sail! And I wanted to be with my husband...

Never …

I was 26 years.

I could smell my husband from far… and I puked as soon as I smelt the dinner at the ship’s dining hall. We were sailing towards Italy and there was no way I could confirm and even at (Taranto) one of the port cities in Italy, where we berthed, we just had 12 hours to go and come back.
This is a big story so bear with me…We went inside what we thought was a hospital and it wasn’t, it was a old age centre and they (the receptionists) called for the ambulance, thinking I was ‘serious’. Neither us nor they understood what the other was speaking. (Nobody spoke a bit of English) So there I was, in a wheel chair, taken to a hospital on an ambulance (with the red lights on and the siren screaming…). Both of us were shocked into inaction. I was rushed into an examination room and checked by Italian doctors who finally gave us their verdict, “Gravidanca…” and seeing our bewildered faces repeated, “Pregnant, 3 months and all fine”. We were at peace only then…

My husband, but I didn’t have to tell him too, he could see the effects…I used to run as soon as he entered our cabin…to the loo and puke!

October 6 1997

Mine was different, it was not restricted to the mornings…I puked whenever I came in contact with food or my husband!

The first three months I hated food and then I just wanted home cooked food.

Do I have to tell you, my husband of course.


No, I was happy with a girl

Around 12 kgs


Not applicable

Thankfully , except for the first few months, I had an uneventful pregnancy.

AT my hometown, Kottayam

From 5pm to 8.30pm

My husband drove me but couldn’t park anywhere near and I walked to the hospital

None from the family



She was small, 2.8kg

8.28pm on September 30, a week early, in 1997

Kavya, I loved that name...

She is 11 years now…

I didn’t give it much thought, for me, the sex of the baby wasn’t important.

Well, I was just relieved it was all over

No, I was in too much in pain as the doctor began the stitching up soon after…

I am sure, this must have bored do you want me to go on and write about my second one?Ah, I can hear the groans...
Here I want to tag, Reflections, Renu and all those who haven't done this, it will be fun to read for us and will take you back to those years too...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Another 55f

This gets another try.

Lost Identity?

They slept like one, bodies intertwined, a bundle of mass…
Until a noise from downstairs woke her and she cried out, “My husband is home.”
The man gathered his clothes and jumped out of the window.
A few minutes later he walked back in and said sheepishly, “But I am the husband.”

About 55 Fiction
A literary work will be considered 55 Fiction if it has:
Fifty-five words or less (A non-negotiable rule)
A setting,
One or more characters,
Some conflict, and
A resolution. (Not limited to moral of the story)

Monday, March 30, 2009

A 55 Fiction

I found this interesting and wanted to try my hand at it...

I search for my toothbrush but can’t find it ...
“N…,” I shout, “Where is amma’s brush?”
N appears and says, innocently, “I put it here,” indicating the bidet. I peep down the pipe – and see three more.
I look at her threateningly.
She smiles angelically, “I was washing them.”
I succumb to her charm…

About 55 Fiction
A literary work will be considered 55 Fiction if it has:
Fifty-five words or less (A non-negotiable rule)
A setting,
One or more characters,
Some conflict, and
A resolution. (Not limited to moral of the story)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Is this Generation Gap?

Taking you back 25 years to my hometown, Kottayam

Exam time for me

The day starts quite early with some last hours of mugging up and then a cold bath. Then taking the pen with me, I would run off to the temple to offer my prayers. The last important step in getting good marks, I believed then and with conviction. The pen would be given for pooja and holding it reverently I would trek off to school.

Fast forward to this era
My daughter’s exams
I suggested this age old technique of mine and though K (my elder one who is 11 years old) expressed disdain, I saw her taking a small picture of the God and tucking it into her pencil box. I keep mum. Two exams later, I saw her keep it back. The next exam was Hindi, her toughest one and I saw her struggling with it, with just a few pushes and doubt clearing from both of us. But after the exams she came back happy, saying she has done it well.
Her reasoning to this, “I took God’s picture with me for the first two exams and I didn’t do the papers well, I kept God back and then the exams were easier.”
I explained, “God makes sure that what you remember what you studied. That is just 10 % of the total. How you fare depends ultimately on your hard work. You put in more work on the last exams and so naturally you did well. Hard work constitutes the 90 %.”
She listened, but she refuses to take the picture along with her…
I am sure she has her reasons, and the next time I insist she would even come with rejoinders, like, ‘You have said earlier, God is always with us’.
So I just let her be, I conclude that I was naïve at her age, I clung on to age-old beliefs, though it hasn’t done me any harm…it has only helped, maybe at least that 10 % bit.
And I don’t think I have changed much, even if I still believe work is worship, I don’t forget to think of God before I do anything important…and I am sure all this will rub off on K too.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Not me!

Picture this.
I am outside after a conference and am surrounded by familiar faces, those of the media and those who are participating in the talks, some familiar and some unfamiliar ones. And from far, this guy from a local newspaper, waves at me and bears down on me with a happy, almost triumphant look on his face. I look back, and there is the wall behind me, so I decide, Yes, all of this smile is for me!
I hope there is some good news in the offing and look at him expectantly.
He stretches out his hand and shakes my hand vigorously saying "Congrats"
ME: "What, why?"
(Trying to pull back my hand)
He: “Well, heard some good news!"
ME: "You did!"
He: "Yes, Congrats and how do you manage."
Me: (now slightly relieved...thinking he means about my job and the recent responsibilities I am handling, I almost preen in self appreciation) and say, "Well, it is difficult, but I manage."
He: “Is it a she or a he"
I almost faint in shock...and manage to mumble: “What!"
Now the confusion is in his face...
And then it dawned on me, this guy had heard of my boss's good news, a new baby girl, a happy addition to their family and mistook me for her.
I gave him a look, one of disgust and pity and well all the bad emotions that I could pull into one expression and said, "Kindly verify facts before you publish and utter them!"
And if looks could have killed, he is now a dead man...

A lady of contradictions?

I have all of it in me, bottled up, but the flood gates wouldn’t open. I tried hard to let the fingers fly over the keyboard but they were still and lifeless, when I navigated on to the blog page. (Only then, mind you, I have been writing lots for my job…)
Until finally, I decided, I should let loose the fire in me -- to write without inhibitions, without being bogged down by deadlines and word counts, and that will happen only if I don’t loosen up and write. Hence this…
A lot has been happening, yes, here in Qatar too and we the media have been on our toes trying to be everywhere.
On one of these trips, I met our very own Mira Nair. True to all expectations she was all words and actions and could be categorized as borderline brash too. The reasoning, I will come to later.
But here, Mira Nair, was addressing a foreign audience and she used her oratory skills to the max. She said that she didn’t want to be known as the cultural ambassador of India.
And that put me off, when (mostly) all her movies and the monies made from them can be attributed to that very country, how can she deny the effect of that upbringing here in front of a global audience!
But then as a contradiction to her own words, were her cinema, so full of colours and customs and traditions, especially the scene in Namesake where the protagonist (Tabu) mourns the death of her husband. And then I forgave her or rather understood that an artist should not be judged by her words but by her creations…for even if she hates being called the cultural ambassador of India, she is just that.
And for the brash part, well, it is partly my fault, while we were talking to her, my cell rang…and I instantly cut it and put in my sorry (and wasn’t I embarrassed, I am usually very careful and put it on silent for all meetings!), well, then this lady replied, “You should be!”
And then I wished I could be invisible, atleast during that moment!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Anyone for a Hiccup?

When things go bad….it kind of acceralates a chain reaction and you find that everything is going wrong around you…
I had a particular episode which is a case in point.
My exam day had dawned, bright and shiny, and though I had a bad night, trying to put my younger one to peaceful sleep and going through my notes in between, I got up feeling positive.
But that feeling just didn't last too long.
N’s fever shot up suddenly and I wrote part of the exam, carrying her and she was boiling hot… The clever tutors’ at LSJ had taken efforts to make the Law paper so hard that it was virtually impossible to finish it in time and that combined with the effort of carrying N made me lag a good 2 question behind schedule…
Well, not just that, K suddenly fell sick too and he even started with a loud new rather unheard of ailment -- hiccupps…
The first hiccup was just ignored, the second and third, partially, but when you have heard over a hundred hiccups, your patience wears thin and you cringe at the loud disturbance.(Well, please don’t doubt me, the love is there, of course, but the love gets lost behind the efforts of controlling this sound pollution!)
We tried everything, from water, to sugar, to tickling, to putting ice cubes down his body…but he just wouldn’t stop! But my poor husband was tired with the effort and I could just watch helplessly.
So we set off to the emergency (and he was at it for 4 hrs by then). Reaching there, I went to park the car. As I came running back, I find him standing in the queue, smiling and I wait for the next one, hiccup, that is….But miraculously, it has stopped and the reason…the nurse at the counter. He just walked to her and was in the process of explaining his predicament when he found out that the next great hiccup just didn’t come.
We came back after a brief consultation with the specialist, who gave him medicines, incase they returned. But my husband was of the opinion that the nurse was the best medicine and wanted atleast to get her picture...
We came back in a better frame of mind, had a coffee and then…he hiccupped again!
Any solutions folks, to this ailment?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A tag again...

N has passed on this so here I go...

1. I am very possessive about my immediate family and friends.
2. I can crib about my dear ones but if someone says a word against them, they are up for a fight.
3. When I was young, the prize I asked my mother to give me, when I came first in class was for a library membership.
4. I don’t rest UNTIL I finish all my work…that way, I can be called a workaholic…I just don’t relax until I am mentally free from work.
5. I am a die-hard romantic…
6. I don’t like to plan ahead, not much in advance…I am afraid to do so. I believe that God has already planned for us.
7. When we were young, my mom used to restrain us from laughing loud( she had her reasons.) and even now, when I laugh out loud, I feel guilty.
8. My husband is my first and best friend, we discuss everything and anything…I just can’t keep any secrets from him.
9. I want my kids to be with me, always, I can’t imagine them being on their own. This is one dream I can’t hold on to, I know, still…
10. I am very self critical, I need a lot of ego bolstering…
11. I yawn a lot…actually, yes; I also love to sleep a lot too.
12. I hate meeting new people…
13. I abhor change …if I could have it; I love things as they are, every day…
14. But I hate monotony too…so I am a typical Geminian…and everything depends on my moods.
15. I love movies…good family ones and I get so engrossed I live the parts along with the actors…
16. I notice everything about the way movies are made, from small nuances to cinematography…I always think of the effort that goes into the making…
17. I love the sea…I love to see the waves lashing on the land.
18. I love to just look at my kids, I feel they are beautiful…
19. I see only good things; I have yet to master the art of being a critic. But I am working at it, my job requires me to be critical and I am trying.
20. My idea of a perfect holiday is to just laze around, lie down reading a book.
21. I love to read…anytime, everytime.
22. I am very sentimental about relations but am not about stuff or belongings…
23. I used to go out of the way for friends, but now, I am prioritizing…
24. I forgive fast…
25. I love the sunshine and the wind…I love the greens and even the vacant deserts…I see beauty everywhere…

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Tag on Hold

This is a tag from a new blog that I have been reading...
And a simple gesture, Holding Hands and what it means ...
To me it is about Reassurance

Before I leave N's hands and let her go, I hold her hand and squeeze it tight, and it says a lot...
It says, " Molu, you might be going on your own, but I am there with you, in every step, in every thought and gesture...Be safe."

It's Love

When I hear a good song, a touching lyric, when the horizon is touched with that orange hue, when a beautiful building lines my vision, I am touched and I want to share it with my love, I hold his hands firmly, tug it and gesture with my eyes and in his eyes I see the reflection of what I feel...

It's comfort

When I go home, I love to cuddle (well, still!) with Amma, and she protests. But when we cross roads together, she holds on to me and we guide each other. Here it is comfort, b'coz even after the hurdle is crossed, we don't let go, we hold on...

It's timeless

I rememeber when I was young, my father used to put his pointer finger down and I would clutch on to was all these feelings put together, love, reassurance, togetherness, comfort and even the memory of that clutch, is timeless...
So all my fellow bloggers, you are tagged...go on...hold on to this!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Exam Fever

I am having it...THE EXAM FEVER
I am rambling in my sleep and walking around like a zombie at weird hours
Trying to make sense of the pages and notes of Media Law...
I sit, stare and scribble...
I read and mumble...
I ponder and speculate...
And then I nod off...
I shake myself, wash my face and get a cup of coffee to revive
Sit down and gulp it...
And go back to the notes...
But sleep comes back as soon as the cup is drained...
The eyelids get heavy...and drop...
To be opened yet again
I shake myself as if to ward off the evil
Make faces, smirk and sneer, cough and laugh (soundlessly) in the hopes of staying awake
But soon I am floating on a cloud...weightless, thoughtless...deliriously happy
Till K kicks me out of my beautiful reverie
And I am back at it...reading, nodding, dreaming...

Monday, February 2, 2009


It had to be written, it is heavily weighing me down and it keeps with the mood I am in right now. I think of N's elder one, P and see a reflection of another time, another kid...another place...
It goes to show how a small incident, one moment that hits you like a storm and twists the simple life you have led, changes your destiny!
I have a small incident to recount, one that changed the course of life too…of a nine-year-old…

It was like any other Saturday. But there was a small difference. The young girl had practise sessions to attend, and her father was feeding her a favourite combination, puttu and motta. It was a weird combination (the puttu and egg combination) but one that both of them preferred, the father and the daughter.
It was a rare sight indeed, a father bonding so perfectly, but the father had dreams, big ones for his elder one, and both of them shared a perfect understanding. He explaining the fundamentals of maths and science, making studies a wholly entertaining subject for the daughter, who had already shown signs of his dreams materialising by her interest for the figures…
The father sets his child off to school and she walks to the bus-stand to go for her march past practise for a function at her school. Her heart seems heavy for no reason; it is as if she could foresee what was to happen.
She stands waiting for over 15 minutes for the bus and finally she spots the company jeep speeding her way and she waves…imagining the person behind the wheel to be either the father or their neighbour and friend Sharma Uncle, on their way to office. The jeep screeches to a stop and someone from inside gestures and asks her to get it. She does so happily, opens the door and is shocked by the scene inside.
The father is lying with his head on the moms lap and she is bending over him, crying uncontrollably. He seems to be having difficulty breathing, his eyes were dilated and he was looking at his child yet not seeing her. She shook him calling “Acha, (father)”, but he just kept looking…gazing deeply as if he could see right through her. She relentlessly tries to get her father to answer her…till they reach the hospital and then she is left alone while the attendees rush her father inside…
It seems like ages before she gets to see the mother who seems to be tired with all the crying….
The daughter asks Sharma Uncle for her Achan and he hugs her close…but doesn’t answer her question…
She finds her teachers too at the hospital and wonders whether they will be angry with her for absconding the practise sessions. She smiles apologetically and approaches them and they too hold her close…and she wonders, why this sudden affection?
She feels important with the attention bestowed on her but is puzzled too…and walks to her mother and asks her …where her father is?
The mother breaks down yet again and she is led away by friends. Now she is almost frightened to ask the same question again. She keeps quiet till the evening when they reach home(which is filled with strangers) and her mother takes her aside and explains to her that her father (at the age of 40), had a massive heart attack and has died, leaving them alone. So, her mother explains, that she is the one who has to take care of S( the 2-year-old younger sister) and be responsible, not cry, but be brave…
Life changed from then…from being a carefree child whose only dream was to make her father happy… to take on a more responsible role ( a role she didn’t quite play well)Well, that’s how destiny shapes your future…from a warm cocoon one moment to an insecure future, the other.

And reflected in this scene, I see P… and I hope she doesn’t forget to enjoy life with the weight of her responsiblities, like I did…

Sunday, February 1, 2009

May God give you strength, my friend

She was the sweetest of all. Her smile lit her eyes; her laugh was loud and uninhibited. She always had friends around and I used to envy her for this trait of hers, how she mixed and mingled with all so effortlessly…
She never had a bad opinion about others, not even in jest did she laugh at others. We were part of a small gang, we three, but then N, had so many friends, outside this gang and she was never alone.
All this for two years and I left them to go on to another college but in those two years, we three had grown so close and I remember we cried when we parted ways…
Yes, we were in touch, but you know, how distance brings along changes. We used to call, but the gaps between the calls increased each year. The benefit of the net wasn’t there then and we grew further apart.
But the heart never forgets, nor did we…In our special ways, we remembered and carried beautiful memories of those carefree times, of laughing freely, of being irresponsible, of matters that were trivial…of college gossips….
Of course during our yearly visit to hometown there was a revisiting of all relationships. Last year, I spoke to her, N, and she seemed genuinely happy, after a long and tiring upheaval in life.
And now this…Her husband, I just came to know, is no more. Why, is it that she of all people has to go through this…? I think of her kids and go cold…so young and N too…
Why is God so unfair?
I think of another incident, but then that is for another time…

Monday, January 26, 2009

A cry for help

I have not blogged for some time as I have been bogged down with work! And now when the clouds have finally cleared, my companion for life is nowhere near. Now, I remember his refrains….Ones that used to irritate me when he voiced it but now, holds true. He used to say, “You don’t know how lucky you are…to have someone like me who dotes on you.”
Well, the doting used to get irritating at times, like when work got a bit overwhelming and classes got a bit tough, when kids were proving to be unbearable, when I wanted to talk to someone else other than him,…well, such instances were more and left me little time to devote time to this ‘man in my life’ which in effect left him fuming…
But now, when he has left for an official trip abroad, I find it difficult to handle the absence. The house is empty, the bed bare (not literally) and the silence (punctuated by the shrieks of the two imps) too long…
But the kids seem to be enjoying themselves…they were always naughty, now they have become more like terrorists, landing on me with a bump, hitting my nose in their fights and running havoc in the house. They think of me more in terms of their capture than their mother and even get me to dance for their fav numbers (I enjoy that bit, though…)
They have laid siege of our bed and sleep on either side with me as if blocking all ways of escape. At night, one throws an arm over while the other kicks me, the younger one pulls at my lips and the elder ones bones poke me in sensitive areas…
I will never complain of my husband or his wandering hands anymore, I vow!
Screaming obscenities, (the ones that they know) they make me run around for peace in my own house and when I scream at them, I can feel the loops stretching…the elastic limit has reached…the boiling point is nearing….I might burst any moment now…Help…

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Half Century

And finally, the 50th blog. I never thought this would grow beyond the second or the third one, so this is an instant to be proud of. When colleagues hit the 50th and then soon the 100th blog, I used to wonder, God, these talented gals, how do they do it?
This also seems to be the perfect time to show off my next award, one which was waiting for me behind the curtains, from Deeps and Just call me A…

This award was crafted with love, sprinkled with loads of peace and added with lots of prayers.

So I take a bow! (Is that the echo of claps that I hear! )

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hail Blogging!

Blogging in Wikipedia is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.

Blog to me:
A diary of sorts, where I can pour out my happiness, my frustrations, my thoughts, where I contemplate on my shortcoming, lay my dreams bare, recount my memories, share it with a select sensitive few.
But lately, I am bugged by this new fixation…on checking for comments, so much so that it has become an addiction of sorts…
That’s makes me think…Am I so desperate for appreciation?…and why?

Blog to my husband:
The wife’s ‘time pass’ fixation, which he scoffs on, yet is proud about. He calls it an entire waste of time but reads it word to word, even asks why he is not mentioned in it, in places he thinks he should be!

Blog to my kids:
One is too young to worry while the other worries constantly if her mom is writing about all the times she has been ‘bad’ while she helps me in her own silent way...

Blog to my colleagues:
We lightheartedly comment, ‘Beware of what and how you react, you never know, you could be blogged about too.”

Blog to near and dear ones:
Another form of being in touch – of being reminded of those memories, long forgotten. Brushing aside the dust and revisiting the good old days…

Blog to those who peep and go away:
Whew, another self righteous female, pompous and so full of herself! There is nothing new here…lets move on! Just another of those who like to lay bare personal musings!

Blog to other blogger friends:
Another of our peers, and hey lets recognise this endeavour, for we know it is not a simple effort, to make time and to keep at it, make it interesting to all who read by adding certain elements and to keep blogging on matters that touch each one of us in our daily lives…

And where do you fit in?

Thursday, January 1, 2009


2008 came with a bang. We had a huge party, we danced into 2008. We laughed (high on what we had drunk) and welcomed the New Year. Going back home from the party, we fought (K and I) and from then it was mostly downhill…
I went through tough times at work. Alternating from depression…and a feeling of worthlessness…and for some time, I wallowed in self-pity.
But mid-way through (thanks to Ks persistence) I emerged from those trying times…And as a result of all this, I took up a course, to fight my worthlessness, so to say, and that has been the best decision that I took in 2008.
That and this blog…which A literally forced me to do…(I had started a blog earlier but wasn’t sincere in my efforts of maintaining it) …were my real achievements of this year. But this time I had A behind, prodding till I wrote…regularly. We patted each others back and that gave me the initial push and then viola, I was writing and enjoying myself too. (I strongly believe that appreciation is the best possible way to keep one going and hence the daily checking for comments…on the blog)

2009, though, started on a low-key. No music, no dancing, no drinks, a quiet dinner with friends and home early as all of us had to be in office the next day.
But I hope the year will be good to me, help me do whatever I am doing in the best possible way, be more strict on my kids and make them a little more tame (they are getting wild, by the day, the younger one mostly and I melt when she just looks at me accusingly…when she hears my ‘angry’ tone) be more assertive and critical, for more peace at home and for that I also need to appreciate my husband more, for who else keeps sending you SMSes after 14 years of togetherness…
And I hope this year, I will loose all the flab around my tummy, which I know, is an impossible task, but yet I dream…
P.S: My nephew took this picture and isn't it is a beautiful one...though a bit desolate...but isn't life like that, lonely at times.