Monthly Archives: May 2009

Overheard

We have a long weekend (again) this weekend thanks to the Pentecost holiday. For the unbiblical, that is the 50th day after the resurrection of Christ when his disciples received the Holy Spirit.

The only holy spirit I received today had ample quantities of vodka in it. This post may slur.

Arvind: ” So we’re not going to school on Monday? Is Jesus going to take Monday off too?”

Yup, Jesus and Mamma need a looong weekend. And beer.

Would that look good on a t-shirt?

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In Which She Goes Against Her Grain

I need to learn mindful eating. As opposed to mindless binging on crisps.

I am eliciting help from the folks at RealAge, who have incidentally estimated my real age to be 56. Or was it 58? Either way, it was the T.V’s fault.

RealAge experts offer the following spiritual pearl, in all likelihood nicked from a tome-like buddhist treatise entitled The Zen of the Raisin.

To teach yourself how to eat mindfully, start with a raisin. Take a deep, relaxing breath as you pick it up. Look at it for a few seconds. Smell it. Place it in your mouth and roll it around on your tongue. Feel the wrinkles. Now bite. Note the chewy, gritty texture — the sweet, fruity, astringent taste. Extract all the flavor before you swallow. That’s kind of the idea with mindful eating — to savor the look, smell, texture, and taste of every bite. And it works! It had a huge impact on curbing chronic binge eating in a recent study.

Sweet! Thank you RealAge. After an intimate sexual encounter with the solitary raisin, I’ve gone and scarfed the entire box.

My utter lack of food spirituality is killing me. There is no hope..

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Milestones and Magic

I was checking my mail during lunch when this little missive came in.

Dearest ******, (pet name for MGM)

Congrats on crossing 10,000 hits on your blog. Now I hope you will be gaining in confidence to start that BOOK me and the Viking have been waiting for.

Hugs n kisses,

Your proud Mamma

Two things must be said in this regard.

  • The Amma is a bit of a dog with a bone when it comes to fierce, relentless faith in her offspring’s capabilities. She more than compensates for all the amibition I lack:-) She also feigns deafness when I tell her repeatedly that there is no book in me, that there is no such goal. If she hasn’t heard it, it isn’t true:-)

  • This is why you need mothers – and why you love them when you’re all growed up.

I am awful at rolling out the big brass drum and marking these milestones, but somehow I’ve crossed two major blogging ones.

10,000 hits and my 50th post.

Peanuts and entirely insignificant compared to some of the major league bloggers I read. I don’t have to worry about blogger celebrity anytime soon and I’m really happy with the relative anonymity. Yet today, it is a big deal for several small reasons.

I started out with no ambition other than needing to write, wanting to stay sane and needing  a space to vent and express myself. I wanted to remember the puppies’ childhood – to record the small and insignificant little moments that I would otherwise forget. Being read by someone was just an added bonus, but quite frankly, I didn’t expect to be read by anyone but close family and friends. Initially, I was appallingly shy about reaching out to other bloggers and delurking to comment.

The real joy of blogging, the fun, doesn’t really kick in till the interaction kicks in. I’ve had the time of my life getting to know these other amazing bloggers, cherishing their thoughts, relishing their play with words. I seek out their writing daily like a junkie craving a fix with his morning coffee. Hanging out virtually and cyber-chewing the fat has given me meaningful connections to other people, to their lives – connections to different perspectives.

So thank you, to the 10 of you (6 excluding my family? WAIL!) who maybe comprise most of my hits:-) Thanks for wanting to read what I have to say and actually stopping by to give me feedback. You make my day everyday. What? You didn’t get the memo about Moi – the feedback whore? Shame. I don’t really care about notching up a readership, but I care greatly for the personal e-mails you sometimes send and for letting me get to know you better. You have made it worthwhile. and GAWD..

Without intending to, I sound like I’m on a goddamn soapbox taking home an Oscar. Ok, an Emmy then. No? At least a Tony?

I saved my best for last – and its a Friendship Award from the lovely Era, who hosts an awesome blog and actually updates daily. Yes, you heard me. So go on over. You’ll stay warm in Florida and she’ll make you laugh.

Ta-daaaa.

FriendsAward

The award says:

“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.”

Awwww. I melt into a big fat puddle is what.

Era, you rocked me with this one! She awarded me almost two weeks ago and I’ve felt like an ungrateful wretch for not posting it sooner. But looking at it now, its a perfect fit for this post! Thanks again, Era!

Edited to add: Err guys?? The wordpress edit monster ate some comments. Dunno how. Pliss to post again if you find your comment swallowed.  Remember? Feedback whore:-)

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Curls and Woes

“Isn’t it about time he got his hair cut?” the Viking enquires gingerly.

Head of hair – exhibit A. Now tell me why this man is puzzled when I mete out the usual corporal punishment and thwack him soundly before snorting imperiously, “What nonsense!”

Yes, am v. classy like that.

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I am a slave to these curls. Wispy, brown curls that are perfectly springy and soft as down. They are as nuts as the baby endowed with them and they live a life that is entirely their own with the discreet assistance of some Loreal curl cream. (Seriously people, what were the odds that I wouldn’t? Hopefully, the vanity entered his blood in utero.)

I’m the gluesniffer inhaling Curlytop – the mashed banana, strawberry yoghurt, baby shampoo scent of him and drowning happily, just a little.

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These curls are all thats left of the baby before the full-blown toddler takes over with strong, stubby arms and legs, a confident stride, a startling smile and a mouth full of words masquerading as sentences.

So smitten am I that I am holding on for dear life, but unfortunately so is that cold he’s had for a month.

This misanthropic bastard has me beat.

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The drive to the hairdressers had me feeling like Delilah preparing to shaft Samson.

Being at the hairdressers was a Rudaali convention. Armaan not only let out a mighty wail – he babbled furiously through his tears. I think I made out the part where he wailed, “You’re killing the mojo, yo.”

Je comprends, mon cheri.

And here’s what we got after the river of tears was mopped up and a good nights sleep was had. Luckily, the boy has the memory of a gnat.

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Curlytop all gone. No longer the Child With Ambiguous Gender, but a little boy. A wicked little boy with short hair – shorn of the dancing curls of a girl. The mothers heart is just a wee bit achy.

Edited to add: The first commenter that encourages me to reactivate the uterus and have a girl will be my freshly-appointed surrogate mother. I kid you not. Hey, whats good enough for Sarah Jessica Parker is plenty good enough for me!

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Running Away

Today I needed to run away.

I needed to be somewhere that wasn’t home.

I needed to breathe some new air.

I needed a space where my thoughts would be kind to me, less agitated.

I have missed re-connecting with the loner in me who dies just a little whenever the extrovert takes over the oxygen supply.

I needed to be by the sea. I needed to be close to my element.

I’ve been fortunate to have almost always lived by the sea. Now I’m even more fortunate in that I live on the South west coast of Norway, which boasts of spectacular beaches.

In the ebb and flow of this tide lies my peace and solitude.

As soon as the kids are in bed, I’m out of the door. I’m restless and unable to settle on any song as I drive. I’m greedy with longing for the bracing cool air, the taste of salt on my lips, the feel of sand in my shoes.

Longing to tune my heart to the rhythm of the waves.

15 minutes and I’m here.

Sola Beach

This particular picture captures the light at the beach at around 9 in the evening.

Perched on a dune, looking out at this glorious calm, I can breathe again. Great, huge lungfuls of air – as if air was to be rationed shortly. The gentle lapping of the waves against the shore pulls me to the  water’s edge and had it not been so cold, I would have begun to swim. I would have dived into the deep and relished the murky, pounding silence. I settle for splashing the sea water on my face and am delighted by the tingling of the skin, the salty dryness.

Facing the inexorable power of the sea; its potential for unfathomable violence; for subterranean calm,  its easy to let go.

I can acknowledge that its not in my hands.

I can see the beauty of breathing from the pit of your being and releasing this invisible, yet heavy cloud of worry.

let me share with you the opening lines of one of my favourite poems by Thomas Hood:

There is a silence where hath been no sound,

There is a silence where no sound may be,

In the cold grave – under the deep deep sea.

And just like that, I’m ready to go home again.

picture credit: http://www.visitnorway.com

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Its That Meme Time of the Month

I was tagged ages ago by Nat, the BFF and lately by Richa do the Around The World In 80 Clicks tag.

Five things I love about being a mother. But alas for you! I am an anarchist and I loathe precision and brevity.

Can you imagine the Sound of Music if Rodgers and Hammerstein just got to mention five favourite things?

You would have raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles, warm woollen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string and a helluva crappy song. No dogbites, bee stings or general gaeity.

But I ramble now. You were forewarned.

Right. Deep breath and here goes:

1. Tiny fingerprints, lip-prints, wet open-mouth prints on all glassy and semi-matt surfaces. A top reason not to dust or wash windows. I can spend ages staring, remembering funny faces meshed into glass and feel molten with love.

2. Bedtimes in a darkened room. The way soft hair tickles your nose when you bury your face into his neck to hum a lullaby. The mother of pearl eyelids. The heartbeats that make your heart stop. The slack-jawed sleep of the innocent child. Drool and milk on my t-shirt.

3. Scribbles on walls. The spot outside our bedroom door where Arvind scribbled our names as soon as he learnt to write. The way he drew me beside his bed because it made him feel I was always there. (I had a small head and a huge gut – he was amazingly accurate) The tiny red hearts drawn on the wall next to our bed. The use of Scotch Brite can be met with capital punishment in this home.

4. The banishment of self-indulgence. Had a bad day? Bad week at work? Sprained back? Cracked ribs? Well, pop an aspirin with your whisky, end the goddamn pity party and get a move on. You have a child to raise, a path to beat down, huge mistakes to make and no-one else to take the blame. (This is sucky, but I love how character building it is for a wuz like me who would gladly chuck it otherwise!)

5. The sheer physicality of it all. More than the marrow-squeezing hugs and sloppy kisses. Knowing their geography and topography by heart. The cuts, the moles, the scars, the ingrown nail, the dimples. Learning a new language – the hunch of dejected shoulders, the excited restless legs, fluttering hands, bursting hearts and eyes all welled-up or shining like black opals. The way the spoon is always just so.

6. The Dad. Only other human being as overwhelmingly in love with them as I am. 50-50 parenting partner since 2003. (Ok, often 75-25 in his favour if you will). You breed, you weep, you gnash a little, but suddenly there you are, knee-deep in it together, developing this code – this secret braille of adoration incomprehensible to anyone else. Yes, even the Mossad.

7. The Dad – Part 2. Gallows humour during the very worst of times. Deliveries from hell, a child’s operation, almost kicking the bucket post-partum second time round. We have never held each other so much or laughed as much. Being the Better to the other’s Worse. Life, screw your lemons. We’ve made Seinfeld episodes out of you each time.

8. Oh the humility. Next to Death, probably the best leveller in these parts. The kick in the teeth to all those bourgeoisie notions of self, of parenting and childrearing. Throwing out the books and playing it by the ear, the gut and occasionally an armhole. On a wing and a prayer, folks!

Tagging:

Cecilie@Allrighthere

Picolo’s Mamma – June

Piccolo Rajiv’s Mom

Meena@Innerscapes

Muthamma – Arzoo’s and Tamanna’s Mom

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Wondering Aloud

1. Is it redundant to say “trying to shed baby weight” when said baby is almost two? Does it smack of such sloth that I must revert to “widening girth indicative of expanding heart” or similiar comforting euphemism for blubber?

Can I hide behind or in a giant tub of ice-cream when I get there?

2. When son sees mother sobbing over random YouTube film clip, when will it be appropriate to answer honestly, “Its ok, darling. Don’t you worry. Mamma is just pre-menstrual.”

Never you say?

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Just Dance

Oh, Ellen!

You, I love. You make insomnia worthwhile. You make me incontinent with laughter.

Enjoy, dear readers. Ellen DeGeneres at Tulane’s 2009 Commencement Speech.

Found on Amit’s wonderful blog.

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Overheard

Venue: Breakfast table

Arvind: When are we going to move?

Puzzled Mom and Dad: Uhh…move? We aren’t. Why?

Arvind: Unless you clean up this messy house soon, I would really like to move.

*Sigh* We have gone terribly wrong somewhere. Arvind complains of inhospitable living conditions if there is an undie on the floor. Armaan starts sweeping the floor with a broom as soon as he enters the house. Nothing rocks his world like a vacuum cleaner.

We thought we were passing on real values. Not tripe like cleanliness and that being next to godliness and all.

Guess what Mamma has been doing all day? Guess who can eat their dinner off the hardwood floor now?

Hope you’re happy now, neatniks.  Enjoy your frozen pizza. What? You thought you were getting real dinner after my blood, sweat and toil?

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Notes From Deutschland

1. This is the country most compatible with my control freak heart. Seriously, how do you not love a country where every bus and train station will tell you the exact friggin’ number of minutes till your bus or train arrives? Its like Deutschbahn just knows that I will develop palpitations if there is a one minute delay. They are taking no chances on my mental health and they have earned my lauw.

2. I have such an antenna for the uptight German. (No, not all of them are. I testify to this, having drunk copious quantities of beer and having sung in inebriated glee with German companions on many-a-decent German street.) Latest victim was  a Reputable Type With a Job in Finance. He is so excruciatingly polite that it leaves me no recourse but to mess with his head.

He enquires in a strained, polite tone (such as you reserve for people you are forced into unholy proximity with when you travel coach) what I do for a living. I paint my bureucratic life is broad, boring strokes for about half a minute and wait till he relaxes enough to sip his coffee before I move in for the kill.

“Being a stripper was just really tough, y’know, what with the poor pay and two kids and all.” Sipping wine is so much more fun when you’re watching someone trying not to splutter their coffee. I recommend it.

3. I will never be cool enough for Berlin. Like N.E.V.E.R. We wander into this uber-cool club where we are almost denied entry for not being able to tick off the following boxes.

a) Had a sex change recently. I have almost-tits and some 5 o’clock shadow. My voice and demeanour are right off The L Word.
b) I can wear a poncho with a cowboy hat and look ridiculously cool instead of looking like wierd, misplaced Joan Baez wannabee.
c) I will arrive in a shiny, golden/flesh coloured body suit with tits painted on. Because I am fabulous and artistic, I will let totally random people feel me up/lick me as I cruise through this realm that I so own.

Yes, my harem pants and I were both begging to be incinerated and put out of our misery.

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4. Dear God, I have forgotten how to flirt. Please tell me its the sleep deprivation or I will have to slash myself. The bartender brings me a glass of wine – compliments of Adam Levine lookalike from across the bar. AL cocks his head in utterly adorable manner and raises his hand unsurely in greeting.  I smile wanly because frankly – those harem pants are feeling kinda tight around the waist. Normally by midnight, my waistline needs the elastic comfort of my jammies and the gut responds to green tea. Yes, I’m the Cinderalla story you never want to hear.

Anyway – AL lookalike comes over, pulls up a barstool, makes polite PC with Schminderella’s buddies and sheesh! is articulate and really funny.  Schminderalla is in an uninspired semi-coma and is pulled aside by concerned colleague who points out that AL looks like err.. AL and in case I’d had too much to drink, he felt compelled to remind me that my correct age was 33, not 63.

I might have wept some gentle tears on his shoulder. “Sweetie,” he says comfortingly, “Live a little while your boobs still live in the Northern hemisphere and your hips aren’t screaming for replacement.” ( You will correctly gather that we’re close.)

“But I was good at this! I was!” I wail inconsolably.

I was. Just like some people love a great crossword, I love the challenge of a great flirt with a smart cookie. I won’t be caught dead batting my lashes or swinging my hips, but I love the verbal thrust and parry, the volley, the pace and the impeccable timing of a charged exchange. I love the sparkle in my challengers eyes when that rejoinder zings. The way I feel just a tiny bit more nerve-ending tinglier and alive because of this random connection.

It ain’t cheap when you’ve made it an art. But it ain’t an art if you’re in a coma.

Ultimately, I was more seduced by the thought of my suite. A king size bed all to myself. Watching MTV and raiding the minibar without anyone screaming for Cartoon Network. And the seemingly impossible, mirage-like fantasy of 10 hours sleep. Adam Levine in the flesh can’t beat that.

Dear God, these are new levels of pathetic, but nothing some cyanide won’t cure. Please to oblige.

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