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Showing posts from 2011

Being a Parent

When my first born was born, I discovered a 'variety' of love--the love for her, so different in depth and quality than anything I had ever known in life till then. She became the most natural recipient of all that I had worth giving. And I often heard myself saying, "really, is this what 'love' is?" I know hubby changed as a person too, he grew into a strict yet fuzzy person he never knew he could be . And then my belly started to grow with another little one growing inside it. Hubby declared that I could love whoever I wanted as much as I wanted, but his love for Miss Sunshine will remain 'unchanged and undiminished'.
That was then. And now as three of us surround the cradle of our littlest five month old buttercup, each of us trying to draw her attention as we clench our fists in almost uncontrollable spasms of emotions of 'chochweet', it surprises me how much unquestionably we love her--I love her, he loves her, and she loves her too. Most…

Bring my my Rainbow

Pick up a pen from the pen-holder closest to you, yes, any random pen (no, not a highlighter, just an ordinary pen), and I CHALLENGE you, that that pen writes in black ink.
In our house this is always true----all the pens create black print. And I ask---where have all the colors gone? Granted, that we hardly ever use the humble pen now days----we gladly type away on our keyboards. But even then why did we stop appreciating colorful script? Ok, not 'colorful' but at least script written in more than just black ink? Long long time ago, I used to be a teacher, and I would actually sit down with exam sheets and term papers, and check them and leave comments and grades written in red ink. Those words and points written in red, meant a lot to the reader, and I could see how anxiously the receiving student would scour through the sheets for all things in red. In those days itself, during office hours, I would make detailed graphs on white paper, indicating different things on the pict…

WRITE NOW

I read this person's blog, and he had written, right on the top right corner of the blog screen---his name and underneath 'author'...just that---that was his plain and simple introduction, and indeed that was the reason I was on his blog page to start with--his novel and his novel writing tips and all that. But those six letters in black on a white background--A U T H O R....wow those left a mark on my mind...and I actually looked at that word for more time than it takes an adult literate person to read and understand a simple english word.
What I would do to get that title for myself (I mean writing would be a good starting point, but then that ain't happening as much!). I did manage to convince (actually convincingly say to) two important people of my life that I am a 'writer'---one my three year old toddler, and other my semi-literate household helper--a Tibetan refugee lady who barely speaks english and of course given her super enslaved work hours (she wo…

Author, who are you?

When you read literature, of any kind, once the story has ended, and you have put the book down and you casually cast a glance at that small black and white picture of the writer on the back cover of the book, and you notice that this writer was just as much a person as you are, you are sometimes stirred to realise that this same person like you, had so much story to tell! For me, the greatest curiosity is always about when in the day did the author find the time to write.....I figure its my own quest at prioritizing my time, that must spark such queries, but I think its more than just that. I have this great desire to somehow plant myself, ghost-like---invisible, behind the author as s/he writes away on white sheets of paper, or pecks away on that overused keyboard. I want to examine the surroundings of the author, those stray empty cups of coffee/tea/water, those dust-lined book shelves, those wilting/blooming potted indoor plants, and perhaps a small bound planner beckoning the aut…

The Ideal Idle

I have this signature quote on my mails, which I am so aptly fully feeling today than ever before: It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most exhausting one. Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen. -Jerome K. Jerome, humorist and playwright (1859-1927)

Today for the first time my toddler starts to be in school for a full 3 hours....which leaves me with enough time for my infant and for myself. When the tiny buddy is asleep (like right now), that leaves me with just me----that cherished 'my time' is finally here, and it's not even dark outside...in broad daylight. Oh how I have missed this time forever. And look at me now---for the last one hour, ever since the debut my-time, all I have done is.......since we are confessing.....Facebooking! I have peeped into tons of people's holiday, birthday and just l…

Beatles and The Dad

I have lived with him all my living life----perhaps not always in physical proximity, but surely always, and always, he is part of who I am, and what makes me. He is a septuagenarian now, so you assume that loosely speaking he has been a senior for way more than a decade who has had all these years of retirement to repeatedly go over his life and narrate the remarkables and the highlights to everyone who has cared to listen. You have spent countless hours conversing at dinner tables or over phone, to start to feel that your old dad has by now pulled all the tricks from his hat, and told you all his life's stories, over and over and over and over again. But just then, as a matter of fact, he comes up with this anecdote, that casts a sliver of a spunky new light on what you knew or thought of your dad.

So, here we are on a Saturday morning of the East coast Fall, sitting on the couch and the carpet--dad, hubby and I, soaking in some much needed sun, as some music is presented to us b…

And you still care to read me here--Thanks

Gosh, I had not realised that despite my shameless infrequency of writing, there is one dear friend who still has my site on her 'following' list. What a show-down I am for her----not that she is crazy about my writing, but, and a big but, I have this lone 'follower', and she must occasionally browse here, and what do I have for her? A big blank.....no, not right. Life is happening with me full throttle----yes, that's a lovely excuse, but then dear 'follower', let me not lose you---let me keep something coming for you---perhaps you will be my 'dedication' when that masterpiece comes along-----for you I will write here, and perhaps there too!

This one's for her: To our little Miss Sunshine!

Warning: This note is super loaded with the word 'cute'-----I don't know how the dictionary defines it, and perhaps the thesaurus will have a whole list of synonyms for it.....but the person being described here, is nothing but cute and cute and cute---just the way we typically use this word. So here goes:

My toddler is growing up everyday. Yet, everyday she is unimaginably cuter than the day before. I tell her dad almost every day that I will not forget 'this' day and her immensely cute actions of that day for the rest of my life. Yet, come next day and I have already forgotten the details of the cuteness of the previous day. And that's because, each day is so intense with her. I find myself so enmeshed in her being--she so much seeped in my mind, that every day is full of the same, but invigorating emotions. Never a dull moment in my life---courtesy her. And she is just being herself. She is not posing, she is not pretending to be cute.....she is who she is...…

How long does it take?

I have a helper who comes very early in the morning to help with my household chores. She is promptly at the door, at a wee hour, and tirelessly works for as long as she can, before darting off to her full-time employment elsewhere in the neighborhood. Every once in a while, when I have partied late, or sat too long in front of my computer at night--mostly sucked in by online scrabble, I go to bed, hoping that she will skip coming the following morning. I want to sleep till late that morning. Hoping, I sleep with my alarm still on, just in case. Well, my hopes of the luxury of sleep are obviously way too weak than the need to work and earn for the helper. Every minute she is inside my house, is money made by her. And she knows, as well as I do, that she needs that money. She needs it to send her two kids to school, for them to make even a marginally better life than she made of hers. She needs it because she and her husband are both very ashamed and very helpless about the fact that h…

Film Review: 'Thelma and Louise' (1991)

Film Review: 'Thelma and Louise' (1991)

Yes, I come late to this scene---more than two decades have passed since this Oscar winner was made. I had heard the name forever, and if I am not mistaken, had even seen a clipping or two of the Oscar award ceremony then, on our grand old Sony back in India with dad and others. Yet, film watching was not my pet hobby then, as it is not now. Moreover, now that I do have frequent access to streaming movies, to enjoy the latest in the luxury of my home, with chai and all, I often end up seeing the Hindi movies, since Hindi cinema has come such a long way too. From just women dancing around trees and the hero flying off men in ear-splitting fist-fights (dhishum-dhishum), to the DhobhiGhaats and 3 Idiots......it is a pleasure to watch contemporary Indian cinema and the range of topics that it manages to cover and meaningfully portray. Anyhow, so TL was always there for me, but I had not sat down to watch it. Until, I read a recent interview b…

India's Anti-Corruption Movement and What It Tells About Our World Today

It is an unfortunate truth of living as far away from India, as I do, that sometimes some very important developments in India go unnoticed, only because I passively opt to view the world from the lenses of the media that surrounds me immediately. Fox, CNN or WSJ certainly did not do first-day reporting on the Anti-corruption movement that had come to a climax in India on April 5-there are Libya and the looming US Govt shutdown to fill their front pages after all. And these are valid newsworthy topics. But then for those of us in exile---away from the land we once called home, there are always two sets of 'local news' that impact us immediately. One that concerns the place where we are currently located, and the other one which concerns the place where a piece of our heart resides, where a big bag of our memories comes from, and perhaps where so many of our loved ones still navigate the traffic-ridden roads in scorching summer sun and where they haggle with the vegetable vend…

Tsunami in Japan

I was sound asleep, when the earthquake and then the Tsunami hit Japan. It had been raining the whole day, and most of the night, here in the New York area for sure, but that was that. I remember hearing on a quick weather update in the car last evening that a 'coastal flood advisory was in effect for New York City', and thinking what that actually meant---since the city is anyways an island--all of '13.4 miles length, and 2.1 miles wide at its widest part'! I myself live on the Jersey bank of the river Hudson, and actually peeped from between the blinds last night before going to bed, to see what the river was upto. In the diffused light of the lamps lining the boardwalk, I could see that the water was surely very active, and that the waves were lashing on the already wet side-rails. The darkness of the rainy night ominously beckoned over the river's width till the eyes met the patchily lit-up skyscrapers dotting the other bank. Even then I made nothing much of wh…

Brevity thy name is Twitter

With lack of time, but something interesting gnawing the mind, Twitter comes very handy indeed. However, once in that world--- the desire to dump all sorts of punctuations, and all other spaces is so intense, when the cup of words runneth over repeatedly while drafting a tweet, that it's not healthy for writing (FYI for the uninitiated:Twitter has a word limit of 140 words/tweet) .

Yet, I find that most people's tweets are actually correctly punctuated, and convey messages too. So, I guess, everyone has the ability to think concisely, when needed. I of course, am constantly squirming to write just one more word or so.....'convolutions of logic' need to be expressed I guess, and have thus to resort to that old-style, free- flowing, white-paper-beckoning times of 'no word limit'. As is apparent from my writing style, I use a lot of non-words while writing--the quotation marks, the exclamations, the ellipsis, the hyphens and so on. Taking these away from me, will …

Give Me My Mornings

[Pre-Script: All mention of names that sound unfamiliar are references to one person--who is not anonymous--just 'multi-nonymous.']

The Twitterbug was awake unusually early today ---(this is not at all related to Twitter.com---this is just one of my several names for my little walking heart--my toddler). Anyhow, so here I was just about getting ready to wake up and channelize some 'creative juices' into an ink for some writing. I would have stealthily got up from the bed, not even breathing while exiting the room, lest the toddler in her bed attached to ours should hear the mommy leaving. And then I would get rolling the plain but oh so invigorating ritual of heating water on the stove, taking part of it for drinking myself, keeping part of it for Buttercup when she wakes up, and then letting the third of it go back to a bubbling boil for my cuppa tea. Then while munching on an apple, I would browse through the mails, and headline news, and then with the large cup of g…

The Recall Button

[Prior warning: This is not about 'recall' as in remember, but about re-call as in calling back.]

We had congregated for a play-date for the kids, and as usual, the kids were in their own world, while we chatted away. The kids enjoyed our neglect, and we were happy to have them lost to some safe and happy (and loud and screaming and singing place), away from us. Thus as the spread of snacks kept filling up our tummies, and the decibels kept filling up the room, and the fat-bellied tea-pot kept getting emptied, we covered in our chatter all the absentees, some Egypt and Libya, and of course all the husbands of the world.

Then, as all conversations do, we somehow meandered onto an unlikely topic- of faux pas and blunders (and oh, is a full time mom's day punctuated with at least one blooper a day? You bet!). Anyhow, as us stay-at-home moms narrated our tales--sheepishly, apologetically, and guiltily, someone had to lift the morale of the company. So, this friend, who, co-inci…

I Understand My Hand?

I looked at my hand. Then I looked on both sides of both hands. I somehow knew that I would not find anything new, since I had seen my hands in the past enough times to by now know them well. Yet, the thought did cross my mind, that when they say, ‘I know something so well, like the back of my hand’, then I am not sure if I can say the same thing. I mean, if someone were to show me a set of pictures of the backs of hands of several people, I do not think that I would instantly identify my hand, without using the physical hand as a cheat-sheet. After all, unless there is a distinct mark, deformity or some such outstanding characteristic, what would make the combination of five digits attached to a broad palm anything unique? Take the palms of a few lighter skinned Indian females, and my hand will undoubtedly be indistinguishable from the others.

Hands are not like faces---as my then five year old niece, while sitting in a restaurant and observing the sea of people all around, had innoce…

Another Apple Story

I quite like the color green. I also consider myself a small but active worker of the green movement. For my daughter, I have categorically searched for, and bought, tops and caps and even a tutu in some shades of green. Yet, I have never delighted in buying or biting into a green apple.

When I was a more carefree shopper, even when the greener versions of Eve's tempter presented themselves in flawless and shiny turgidity, my fingers still touched and grabbed the mediocre looking red apples. However now, when I have started to stick to a regimen of strictly 'organic' apples, I really do not have much choice often times, if I am not at a specialty grocer. There is not only a dearth of the variety of apples, but there is actually a real scarcity of the units of apples too in my neighborhood store. So, I just have to buy what's available, even if there are just some green ones. And so the green ones are making their way into an unlikely address of late.

Typically, all thing…