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Friday, December 29, 2006

Flashback March 2005

Taking a cue from Art Navy’s post of 26th Dec, on her initial days of pregnancy, I thought of documenting my experiences too.
We tested positive with the in-home test done over the weekend and since my doctor was busy getting her daughter married to Muralitharan, we waited till Good Friday to see her. We decided not to break the news to the family until the doc gave a clear go ahead. And after the confirmation, we decided to celebrate with a “whirlwind” romantic getaway to Pondicherry!
While we were quite wary of the test as I was not experiencing any tell-tale signs of pregnancy like giddiness/ nausea like the heroines in bollywood movies do, yet after 1 week of hugging the news of “baby” happening, to ourselves, we were sitting at the doc’s room with the confirmed, official medical test. She asked me to do the scan just to ensure everything was alright as I was already on the 6th week.
As we were waiting for our turn, I frivolously mentioned that it would be great to have twins.
I went in for the scan after loads of water and the doctor was taking his own sweet time and asking me plenty of questions. In turn I also started asking him whether everything was fine. Annoyingly he did not want to answer. Another doc came by and started looking at the screen. He just muttered “twins aa??” I thought I heard something that sounded like twins and on cue started troubling the doctor with questions- what happened, what is it?
After a long time the doctor turned the screen towards me and said -its twins. I could see two distinct dots.
They called hubby to show him the goods. As I saw him coming I made a ‘V’ sign indicating 2 – I doubt it whether he understood as he had such a goofy smile on his face as the doctor started giving him the good news.
Hubby’s feeling is beautifully summed up by him – Never in my school exams I scored more than what I estimated. After seeing the scan results, I felt I was getting a better score than I had anticipated!
Dr Nithyaa said probably her good luck had rubbed off on mine! I had planned not to tell my office about the pregnancy during the initial days, for obvious reasons- all should go well, and bonus and increments at office were due. But as they say one should never plan too much- Doctor advised bed rest for 6 weeks atleast to tide over the high risk twin gestation, if possible for the entire 40 weeks. So I had to break the news to one and all in office. And thereafter “baby” became “babies” in our conversation.
And Pondicherry trip went out of the window.
My CEO’s comment- how can I blend two different fragrances in the same vessel!.. For the uninitiated, I worked that time in the fragrance industry and the fragrances supplied to FMCG manufactures are a blend of ingredients that are mixed in individual vessels.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Do They Beggar Description

Yet again I wait at the traffic signal and the pirate beggar urgently taps on my window- pirate I say as he is attired that way but lame. And another fellow is forcefully using a dirty rag to wipe the car windshield in exchange for money. You will notice that they know where to knock- at the driver’s or passenger’s window in owner driven cars and passenger window in chauffeur driven ones or taxis.
Typically one can segment beggars in many ways-
a) Place of begging-temple, road, beach, train etc
b) Style of begging- physical diability, labour beggars- beg in exchange for song/ dance, car cleaning, astrology, outright sale- of flowers probably stolen from cemetary, cloth for wiping car, cheap toys, fancy dress
c) Age group
d) Alm Specific- amount of money expected or food or clothes or supposedly charity for education
e) Status- simple, straightforward beggars, forced beggars- they would have lost their money and need cash to get back home or beggars in disguise- sellers, proper salesmen who come door-to-door- the cash outflow from the donor goes higher as the status of the beggar goes up

I set thinking about my memorable beggar related incidents and have documented them below-
1. Lost Family- most common in Chennai- typically 2 couples. Either one of the men or one of the women will suddenly start walking along with you almost whispering- hindi maalum hai kya- meaning do you know Hindi? In a city like Chennai where any self-respecting Hindi speaking individual who rarely gets a chance to display his or her language skills, will open his or her trap and eagerly reply in the affirmative, mentally flexing the muscles. Then the raam kahaani (literally meaning autobiography or the epic-story) will start. Typically they would be going to Rameswaram in a group by train and would have been left behind when they got down at Chennai station to drink tea or fill water and all their money and ticket would be with the rest of the group who are on their way to Rameswaram. The women would be almost crying pathetically meanwhile at the very talk of their plight. Now they would ask for some money which they are raising to get back home in UP or Bihar or Orissa and would require a hefty donation from you who would be having just enough money to pay for auto fare in your purse. They will also want your address for returning the cash. It’s up to you to fall for the trap or suggest they go to the police to get their help.

2. Sick Baby- I had 2 same encounters in the same place in a 1 year gap- A woman in unidentifiable colour sari will be carrying a baby of less than a year and will ask you to pay for the fare to take the baby to the hospital. I parted with Rs 5 coin to pay for the bus fare to the nearest hospital that was walking distance away- Adyar Signal to Malar Hospital. And she demanded Auto fare! I refused and had an identical encounter next year and then I threatened to take her to the police. Before I could even get a response from her, she had sprinted across the signal that was still green and reached the other side. One who is familiar with the Adyar signal would know that there are too many other sides at this signal. I wonder where she picked up the baby and whether it was drugged.

3. Nautankibaaj Daaku (Dramatic Dacoit) - This one happened in Ranchi- an armed dacoit with face covered and all entered the shop where I was doing my purchases. At gun point he asked for money. The shop keeper and his assistants were smiling and giving coins to him. He was a regular “dacoit beggar” in the shops in that locality.

4. English (Speaking) Patient- We met this man at the Elliot’s Beach- He called himself Stalin.He mentioned that he had hurt his leg and was limping because of that and needed to go to the hospital at the other end of the town. Because of the good fortune of losing his wallet, he said, he had the good fortune of meeting us – everything happens for the good adage truly followed. Having said this, he regarded us as someone sent by God to help him reach right across the town to the hospital. We were brought to the beach that day to solely give him money. Not bus fare but auto or cab fare. And we must not imagine that he is a beggar- only a person in need asking for help. Well, well, well- as usual we suggested to get help from Police and he scooted off- quite fast despite his limping limb.

5. Sales Manager- This one frequents Elliots beach and carries a discarded bag used by Marketing / Sales Managers, for collecting his alms.

6. Blind Man’s Buff- Man is blind and wife can see. They are consistently seen on Elliots beach- (I seem to specialize on this locale) - man walks with hand on wife’s shoulder in typical hindi movie style. One day the husband was begging alone and his eyes were intact- I personally tested his seeing skills…even confirmed later whether or not he was that blind man.

7. Jadugar Muni- (Magician Sage) - This one accosted us at the Ranchi station when we were just about to drive away. Claimed that he can read our future and show magic. His magic show was to take a 10-rupee note from us, draw a few circles in the air, place the cash back on our palm, close the palm and walk away. When one opens the palm there is a blank paper on it.

8. Pester Power- the kids who wanted money to eat. I wanted to buy bananas worth Rs 5 for them but they wanted money so that they could go to the nearby hotel to have idly.

9. Applauding Menace- The eunuchs at Mumbai traffic signals- I had 2 major encounters with them when I was in an autorickshaw. They all of a sudden come and clap loudly in front of your face. I once screamed as I was too startled by the sudden clap. And then they prod and poke you for money and even smile sweetly at you since they know you are scared. I did some small talk saying that they startled me and therefore I screamed not because of the fact that they are eunuchs- one should not offend them you know! I parted reluctantly and slowly with a Re 1 coin – all the while waiting for the signal to turn green and since I couldn’t be slow beyond a point I had to hand it over to the waiting hand and got a soft yet firm slap on my thigh in exchange as the coin was of too low a denomination. Since the signal turned yellow they rushed to the next in line else do not know how many slaps and of what intensity I would have got. Moral Dilemma- it was a business trip so should I claim that Re 1 I parted with, under the section tips without bill? Or should I take the expensive cool cabs for the short distance from airport to Andheri or should I anyway take an auto and budget about Rs 5-10 for the eunuch beggars and claim that against tips- it would be anyway cheaper that the cost of the cool cab fare. In another encounter after a marriage in Delhi the eunuch gang came over and asked for Rs 12000 (roughly $250) since the family had the good fortune of obtaining a baby making machine. Final settled amount was Rs 8000 ($160)- not bad for a day during the marriage season and not forgetting that there is no season for births and they will smell out the new baby in their part of the town and come begging. And quite an upgrade from the 25 years ago when eunuchs came and danced in my neighbour’s house and in exchange took Rs 20 ( at that time the Indian Rupee value was equivalent to around Pound 1.6) and tried to snatch the frock that my mom was embroidering.

10. Mahatma’s Descendant- Met this one on the train at Vijaywada station- small puny boy painted in silver, dressed up like Gandhiji complete with the trademark spectacles, begging for alms.

11. Door to Door Salesman-cross between a beggar and a thief- this one was the biggest looter of all. He rang my bell on an afternoon when I was at home alone during the advanced stage of my pregnancy. He claimed to be from Hindustan gas-you know Hindustan gas Ma’m. We are installing fuel savers for your gas. I actually imagined that they have been sent from HP or Indane or the likes and are on Government orders. He exalted the virtues of fuel saving using that stuff– this is a metal net like thing that fits on the burner and channelises the flame to the dish and does not allow wastage. And it was coming at a reduced price of Rs 250 a pair. He handed over the item to me and asked me if I wanted more for fitting on all my 4 burners. Thankfully I said 2 will be enough. The state that I was in, I was feeling quite vulnerable and I still think that my mind had stopped functioning even though my instincts were telling me that he is a cheat. I asked him for the bill and the guarantee card which he gave- bill being a receipt that you get for ordinary donations that you make and the guarantee card was the pack cover and some obscure number printed on it. He even gave me the telephone number of the company on request. The moment he left I sort of gained my senses and dialed the number- off course it did not exist and I immediately called the security to search for this man in the building but he had made his sale and left immediately unnoticed by our extra efficient security. Also the price on the product cover was Rs 20. Post that the algorithm for responding to any salesperson or promoter as they say is-
a. Ask how did you enter the premises- answer will be usually exit gate or 1 of the side gates – they do their homework well and know the weak links in the complex.
b. Next ask did you check with the Secretary of the building – Since I am the Secretary currently I know whether they have done that or not otherwise send them to the then secretary’s flat to take the necessary permission – usually they would be chased out on the Secretary’s orders
c. Chase them out threatening that you will call the police/ Shout at the Security in vain
d. Whatever happens- never ever buy anything and close the door as fast as possible. When calling up the Security or Secretary- close the door – more often than not they will escape by the time you re-open the door.
On another occasion one salesman sold an air freshener for Rs 300 (at more than double the price of an ordinary one) saying that it is made by orphans and will even kill pests. Actually it was some Chinese stuff imported by some local unknown agency and was plain air freshener with no actives that kill or chase mosquitoes

12. Door to Door Jeweler-The con men who come to your door to clean up your jewelry or brass/ copper items. This happened to my Mom. One such guy came and she gave a brass item for polishing. This man suddenly grabbed at my mom’s chain and said he would clean that for her. Luckily my mom acted immediately, and chased him away.

Googled for beggar industry and found the following interesting links that estimate the size of the industry which is not taxed by the government. May be one of these days the governments will find a way to make these beggars file tax returns or worse make the giver pay a percentage of the 50 p or Re 1 coin that you hand over so thoughtfully or rather thoughtlessly to the maimed beggar at the traffic signal.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Watch Out For…

KideX 2006 was organized by CII at Chennai Trade centre on 22-24 Dec’06. It was a 3-day exhibition of products related to kids- right from Alphabet Blocks to X-Box. A conference on Friday concluded the event. There were delegates from various organizations like Britannia, NIIT, Star India, Pidilite, Lowe, The School- KFI, to name a few that spoke on the theme- Child is the Father of Man. A few students represented their schools and spoke on the theme too mainly referring to what makes them tick.

I gathered the following for future reference at the expo-
1. Chandamama – the magazine with a collection of stories that used to seem to go on and on. I used to love the Vikram and Vetaal esp but I vaguely remember that there were many ghost stories in the whole book. Price- Rs 180 for 12 issues. For subscriptions, mail to –,
2. Young Scientists- 60 page science comic magazine- on basic science in three broad levels for class 1 through 7. Price- Rs 500 for 10 issues. Mail to-,
3. Monster Club- Located at Abhinav Centre, No 4, Co-operative colony, Alwarpet, Chennai-18. Ph- 18004256786, 044- 32977482. - Library for kids between 1 to 14 years of age. Variety of books available and also special rates for purchase and even a buy back scheme. Mail to-, Rates- Rs 1200 for 1 year
4. Geo Junior- Magazine for age group- 7-14 that captures the essence of earth matters
5. Disney Adventures- 100 page magazine for kids, talking of a variety of subjects- science, brain games, technology, details of schools, humour, art & craft, sports etc. mail to-
6. Kiddoscope- Party Planner- mail to, 9840051068, 044-42604468
Currently Reading John Grisham's King of Torts. Half way through and the going has been good. Ihad bought a whole lot of Grisham's at the bargain counter of landmark and never got around to reading them. Expectations were high from my side after The Runaway Jury that I had read long time ago, the movie fails to do justice to the book though. After reading Last Juror, which was quite boring in parts, I really needed a break from Grisham but I am back on it.
Went to Odyssey to check the new releases and discovered that there is an offer of select 3 books and get the lowest priced one free. Did a chance discovery of books by Geoffrey Archer located just below the Jeffery Archer collection. I had never heard of the author. Any reviews on his books?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Tejas & Ojas @13 + Months

Time to make a quick update on my babes.
1. Tejas is cutting his 3rd upper tooth
2. Both prefer to walk rather than crawl
3. List of naughty stuff- try to roll on the gas regulator, open the water bubble tap, remove vessels from there storage and try to take the knife whenever possible
4. When we say “so jao” they will sleep wherever they are or they will bring a pillow or a soft toy each and sleep on it- acting off course
5. When we ask where is Christmas Star, they point upwards and Tejas even says – E Taaaaar may be meaning Star who knows?
6. The moment we say Hello Daddy they will take their hands to their ears.
7. They take our mobiles and place them on their ears and walk around muttering something
8. They love to play with the switch and say “aaaa” in appreciation if the light turns on
9. They point to the cupboard where I stock the homeopathic medicines and say Mama and ask for it
10. Tejas hugs Ojas and Ojas doesn’t like it even one bit. He feels threatened.
11. Ojas pulls at Tejas’ hair
12. If we snatch away a dangerous toy they lick the floor or bang their head on the floor in protest
13. When they want something they say – de de meaning give
14. They can switch on the TV
15. When I come back from office the response is not so enthusiastic as it used to be in the early days. May be they have got completely used to the routine
Below is the update by Tejas
;,m nnn

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Road Well Travelled

As I drive by I can see the traffic police waving us past the signal but don’t know why he suddenly decided that I should not be allowed to pass and just before I was going to cross he stopped us. I was cursing him mentally but as they say everything happens for the best, had I passed by I would have missed an episode that acted as a blogworthy balm to my auto/ taxi/ bus/ truck bruised soul. The same traffic cop stopped a taxi who was on the left lane on the Madhya Kailash signal and seeing that the right lane people were allowed to move before him took a sudden right without any warning. The good cop (previously bad cop for me)stopped him, detained him for a while and made him take a reverse and go back straight into SP road rather than taking the right to Tidel Park which he had done all of a sudden. Provedence eh!
If I had the time I would have showed a thumbs up to the cop.
As I pass by I can see more trees being felled along Raj Bhawan and I am told all of them will go to pave the way for the sea of humanity and teeming vehicles that go by it everyday. So much for the benevolent signs of “Tree Ahead” that the Ecotel Rain Tree put on each of the trees. Also I notice that the cops on this road at this time are much more vigilant so defaulters, be aware. The flyover happening at Kathipara junction near Le Meridian should hopefully regulate the traffic much better and for the uninitiated, I have learnt of a much easier and faster and most important scenic route from Kathipara to airport- go through Bhat Road, get into the Cantonment area and you can avoid the entire traffic.

As I listen to English songs on Radio City FM 91.1 (happens between 9-10 am and afternoon around 3 and somewhere after 5 pm there is hindi happening), I feel it is a good time to think of a post for the blog and most obvious one is an update on my driving skills–
I can be classified as a semi ass-hole driver now (excuse me for the use of the word).
1. I honk unnecessarily at the taxi/ auto in front of me when the light turns green as I know that if I would have been in front of me he would have done the same. I understand it’s rude to honk in many countries whereas in India honking is done as a warning so that they don’t hit you.
2. I don’t quail in fear as much as I used to before when the bully truck or bus drives past me almost threatening to shove me off the road/ median
3. I did the unpardonable offence- spoke on my cell while driving. Promise I‘ll never do it again and delete this line before my husband sees it.
4. I don’t allow the fellow to change lanes and come in front of me if he suddenly switches on the indicator- instead I honk honk honk and speed till he loses hope of getting the better of me
5. The combined time I drive in 1st & 2nd gear is less than the time I drive in 3rd & 4th gear
6. Instead of 45 minutes of commuting time, I now take 35- 40 minutes.
7. If the signal is green and I am a little away from the stop line, I am able to drive in speed and cross the finish line well before the light turns red.
8. I can overtake from the left now and am not mortally afraid of driving on the middle lane.
9. I can mentally created blog posts while driving
10. I can do an autorickshaw turn which means suddenly turn right angles and move to the next lane if you find that your lane is too long or blocked by a stopped vehicle/ red signal and the next lane is moving.

With this improvement in confidence level I can start planning on buying my new vehicle. Any reviews on Estello? Anyone rate Wagon N dual, Swift, Estello & Indica both petrol & diesel for me please.
Does anyone know of an authentic homeopathic shop around adyar- the one that sells the german ones? The one I buy at basement of Ambika Appalam depot building seems to be ineffective. I repeatedly need to tell them to add extra drops in the globule as they don't smell or taste medicinal at all.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Miss You

As I drive down to work, I notice that the buildings on the left side of Sardar Patel road, right before Alexandar Square is much more visible that what it was before I also notice that the road looks brighter and the sun is streaming down unrestricted. And then it suddenly hit me as I saw the remaining boughs of the giant trees that used to border the SP road. Yes I miss you- all you trees that have been cut down brutally to make way for the snarling traffic, a number that is ever growing and to which I have also contributed by taking a job on this part of the town. To make life easier for us commuters, the trees have to be sacrificed. And I question, has there been an equal number of trees planted elsewhere to make up for this loss in the ecosystem? If this continues, what legacy on this earth are we leaving for our progeny? Questions to which, unfortunately, I have no answers!

And I set about thinking the other stuff I have been missing nowadays. And as it often happens, the thoughts move to blogworld. To list out specifically, I am missing Hip hop grandmom who is grounded because of system problems, Visitor who is lost in action- please come back and enlighten us with new blog fodder, or atleast tell us what form have you assumed in blogworld, Twisted DNA who has not been blogging as regularly as before he went to his holiday. hariwho used to be a regular visitor even if he did not blog as regularly and gave food for thought every weekend, K’s exploits from k’s mom, has to be me’s views on a wide variety of topics, Sush who is busy with her pre and post wedding, apu and appu are not enlightening us with the corporate world and otherwise (and btw I miss apu’s stories/ serials), ammani’s QT, kk and his brainwaves, patti and control freak who started well and did not move beyond the 1st gear, the kid’s out of the blue thoughts and tales. I am missing all the posts containing burning topics, hot topics and controversial topics.

Life has been pretty dull in the blog world. I guess other priorities and lack of time.
And to top it all I have been missing the most frequent and regular visitors on my blog. My last post had 2 comments out of which one was a spam and one was from artnavy whom I bulldozed personally into commenting.
My earnest request to my blog friends on the left column- come back please!!

Just finished reading Cat'o'nine tales. If not anything else, prison sentence has helped Jeffery archer make a lot of money since he has relased atleast 4 books recounting his experiences. Prison Diaries - I, II, III which I have not read and off course, the one that I just finished reading. Liked the tales a lot esp the Indian one and the Chess one.
I am currrently readinbg C Rajagopalachari's rendering of the Ramayana that I had bought long ago for my collection. It's a good read unlike to what I thought it would be. I had not expected it to be as interesting as Mahabharata which i smore multidimensional. However I still feel that justice to all characters in Mahabharata has not been done, some of them just get a passing reference and could do with a more elaborate introduction.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ad lib Eloquence

Taking up Art Navy's tag...

Warmest ad
Hutch Pug Network

Most romantic ad
Titan ad – couple in restaurant
The Cadbury Girl
Archies Card
Close-up dance of yester years

Sexiest Ad
Gucci Rush
Liril aloe vera

Most Suprising Ad
St Gobain series
Radio Mirchi
Ad in which the truck driver is saving fuel by asking people to push the vehicle- forgot the name of the ad….

Funniest Ad
Unequivocally The Amul hoardings

Funny Ad
Since funniest is occupied by Amul- I am forced to put this entry
May be you should try the beach café…Dumb Dumb Dumb Dumb…
KBC II Ads umeed se duguna- annoying yet funny

Cleverest Ad
Fevicol hen-egg
Matching- Not Matching- FAL dark circles- only Fair & Lovely ad that was not offensive and conveyed the idea therefore clever…
Maruti True Value- kids come with toy cars for exchanging
Mileaaaaaaage- annoying but clever
Kamasutra- what were you thinking of?

Mocking Ad
Sprite all taste no gyan
Sunsilk – Time kya hua – iske baal dekhkar- 4 baje hain…

Stupidest Ad
paan pasand- shadi aur tumse, kabhi nahin
Rajnigandha paan masala- munh mein rajnigandha kadmon mein duniya- what crap
Clinic- Vipasha basu/John Abraham
Fridge si thandi mein garmahat- Dollar thermal wear
The list is going on & on…

Most Offensive ad
Fair and Lovely -coffee ad/ Ayurvedic fair & lovely- beauty company ad
Kaua kala – hair dye ad

One that gave Goosebumps
Raymonds Ads – all of them

Social ad that left a lump in the throat
Eye donation ads

Lost in Translation
Detergent ad in Print in Islam countries- dirty clothes in the left, detergent in the middle and clean clothes on the right- They read from right to left!!

Favourite Mnemonic
Maharaja - Air India/ Appu- Asiad
Louis mosquito- I like the pride in his work that he displays
Also the acidity / headache following the sufferer
Vicks Khitch khitch

Earliest Jingle you recollect
Washing Powder Nirma/ OK –OK aa Tata ka OK/ Lifebuoy

Earliest Ad you recollect
Colgate- Saans ki badbu pareshani…

Jingle of your teens
Har baat hoti man chaahi- Ponds DF Talc/ Deewana Banati ho- Pond’s Dream flower Magic

Jingle of today
Kya Aap Close Up karte hain?

Favourite kids in Ads
the naughty boy in Vaseline all through his growing up years, jalebi boy, surf excel siblings, eureka – isse kya hota hai

Grooviest Man/ Woman in any ad
Siyaram Guy- early ones
Oil of Olay- old one

Annoying Ad
Harpic esp during dinner time
Itch Guard

Nostalgic Ad
Krackjack- Kittu Gidwani etc

Favourite Ad Animal
Hutch Pug, Wrinkled dog, jealous dog who scratches the CD

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mixed Bag

The little monsters are making it difficult for me to be away from them now. I feel like just watching their antics the whole day- of course without the perks - crying, poo, pee etc. Their current favourite word is dadda said insistingly even though I beg them to say mamma. And you must see daddy going mushy over them. Their favourite hangout is the vegetable drawer and they love playing with the potatoes and nibbling at the garlic pods- acquired taste!
The shape sorter toy has been well taken and they have learnt the trick real quick. the ping pong ball is the ever favourite and they follow those all over the house like two squirrels. The remote lock of the car is copied dutifully- "aa aa" as soon as the car beeps so and they do recognize their car among the crowd of cars parked.
Yesterday both were introduced, rather they got themselves introduced to noodles. They loved it- served on a plate and hand picked.
Their favourite game is hide and seek around the sofa with each other. I once read that twins play hide & seek a lot esp peek-a-bo around the curtains as it reminds them of their time together in the womb.

Watched Dhoom 2- liked it - quite entertaining but they could have had more escapades of Mr A- at least to the level of Bunty aur Bubbly. Was it reminiscent of Ocean's 12? Anyone? BTW, what exactly was Bipasha- Sonali-Monali doing there- no frill value either. Abhishek was dashing as usual, Hritik's make-up quite versatile and Aish gorgeous. Both ladies did a great job in toning up. Tapori Uday deserves a good mention but underutilized like Circuit in Munna bhai sequel. The end was predictable. Refining the criminal seems to be the mantra now days exp if the criminal is a dashing good looking hero- (also done in Bunty & Bubbly, catch me if you can, Dhoom). The songs were unnecessary and too many. I must say they have done a great job with Sathyam online ticket booking. Even the snacks can be booked I suppose.

Went to the Kabab factory- don't know why but I could not enjoy it as much as I have done before on all occassions. May be because I went with hubby and got the lousiest table. Right in the middle- table for 2 and we could hardly talk to each other without all diners knowing what we are talking and if we moved too much the various extra cutlery, crockery and the sauces would have toppled off so had to concentrate top much on the food. The flip side of going as a couple to a well known joint is that you more often than not get the tiniest, most un-private and least comfortable table. Restaurants - are you listening? And then there was this card trick that the magician showed us. I am still wondering whether we were hypnotised for that split seconds.

The new company has Worldspace channel music. I discoverd it recently either because they turned up the volume and it is now audible in my room or they had stopped playing for a while nad re started- whatever, I didn't care to find out. Eat mangoes, don't count the trees.. But only english played. no hindi - sob sob.
THey also use the Humidous machine for water- it uses atmospheric moisture to create drinking water. quite nice. Has anyone else reviewed the product post use? Is it fit for home use?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Double Trouble or Double the fun? Smart Ways of Bringing up Twins

I have done a lot of Internet search looking for articles on bringing up twins and have come up with the following pointers that I am trying to follow:

1. Individuality- Never refer to them as a combination like the twins, the boys, the duo, the sisters. Always refer to them by their names. It's fun to dress them alike but sometimes I try not to dress them alike just to protect the individuality. I may use similar styles like T-shirts for both or rompers for both. People more often than not gift identical dresses. I do try to drop heavy hints to do otherwise!
2. First among Equals - Don’t follow the same order while referring to them nor designate one as older. Try to reverse the order too. Especially in c- section, the difference is usually a minute. Refrain from forcing one to call the other bhayia, didi etc. Help them adopt a non –hierarchical reference or use the name.
3. Birthday Parties- Have individual cakes for each of them and insist on the birthday song being sung twice. Record for whom it was done first and the next year cut the cake for the other one first. (I was unable to do this as each cake was of 2 kg owing to the shapes I wanted and since there were 2 parties and I wanted the cake to be cut during both, and more than 4kg of cake was not desirable so I had to make do with 2 cakes only and both cut the same cake both times)
4. During rituals and ceremonies don’t always have the same fellow being attended to first.
5. When someone asks who is the smarter one or who is your favourite- never give a clear answer. Be non-committal
6. Don’t compare them in any aspect or say one is good and the other is being bad
7. Don’t promote rivalry. Some people give one toy to one of them and wait for the other to react by crying or snatching. But true that they often try to fight for the same piece after comparing two identical pieces. In that case, divert their attention
8. They are not parts of a whole but individuals as well.
9. Milestones- May not be same for both.
a. Tejas started walking last month after many days of attempting to walk. But Ojas got up and started walking all of a sudden yesterday.
b. Similarly Tejas got 4 teeth all together in August, and Ojas has 1 full, 1 half & 1 emerging tooth.
c. Ojas imitates us in whatever we do and Tejas only smiles, albeit picks it up later from Ojas.
10. Illness- when 1 gets the other will soon follow so precautions have to be appropriate.
11. Sometimes I feel I have not paid attention to one of them the whole day may be if the other one is ill or cranky. I try not to feel guilty as I went by need of the child for that particular day.

Re- Equipped

High chair- The high chair is serving the purpose of feeding and generally seating them
However despite being strapped they stand up on the chair. Quite dangerous hence back to the bouncers…

Bath Tub- a little late in the day – gift from grandparents- they are enjoying the group bath, yes even the finger pointing is happening!! Ojas enjoys lying flat in the tub and “back float”- off course- need to be careful

Tri Cycle- even before they have started walking, grandparents have gifted them. For starters they are sitting on them with support and pressing the control button to switch on the song and lights. Both like to hang on to the same cycle inspite of having 2 of the same kind. One sits on it and the other holds on to the handle to watch the lights

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Why I don’t Orkut

Cardamom suggested I do something on Orkut- so here goes...
1. I understand Orkut is to search out old friends- Well, whichever friend I need to be in touch with – I already am and others- I don’t want to.
2. Orkut is a forum to make new friends- Arrey it is becoming difficult for me to manage and do complete justice to my new friends (both 1 –sided and otherwise) in blogland- proof- the growing list of “Oft visited” sites on my blog- how will I manage the new Orkut ones.
3. Why should I Orkut- Why should I blog has answers but Why should I orkut is not giving me answers
4. Beyond 1 & 2 above, I don’t understand what Orkut is all about – well that’s out in the open now- till now I used to tell everyone that I don’t have time
5. I don’t want to become fat or poor- if bad bad server no donut for you screen keeps coming to me even once a day, I can bet I will buy and eat a donut that same evening
6. And of course- I don’t have the time- my blog posts are suffering already

New Company Update

Finally I have arrived
I have made a live client presentation. But I felt that I was blabbering in the air as I have not yet got the grip on the subject.

Just completed a huge omnibus presentation on one subject and feeling really good after the boss said "well done". Some of the fundas got appreciated.

Pressure on me- to completely learn the market details and get it on the finger tips as soon as possible.

As they say- a month is over and so the honey moon period ends.

An observation- the formats, some of the words and even pictures are same as what I used in my previou company. So someone out there has been shifting jobs and circulating similar formats form one company to another!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Dizzy Heights-3, Addendas

Height of Association- Ojas says “Thaa” for Kutta (dog). I tied up my hair high on my head with a clip and he pointed at it and said thaa thaa

Height of Starting Early- They don’t know how to walk properly but love to sit on their tricycle (gift from grandma)

Height of (Dis)advantage- Ojas crawling away in top speed with a toy and Tejas following him-haltingly walking

Height of Dodge- Tejas playing with the cordless phone and when he saw Ojas coming to snatch it, he pushes the mobile cover towards Ojas for him to play with it.

Height of Dodge 2- Both playing with cordless phone. Tejas happens to get the one that does not work; he throws it away and snatches the one that Ojas is having. Ojas refuses to give so Tejas surreptitiously pushes the phone that is not working towards Ojas and confuses him and snatched the good piece

Height of Socializing- Both sitting and drinking from their bottles and towards the end both drink bottoms up.
Addenda to Only in Bihar
1. Chain pronounced like Man means Zip (pronounced as Jip)
2. When they say switch on the Mercury (pronounced- Mer-Ka-ree) they mean switch on the tubelight- wonder how I could forget that – I almost laughed out loud when I thought of it.
3. Glass (tumbler) is pronounced as Gilass
4. Labour means Labourer
5. Tempo means Autorickshaw
6. Ration- pronounced as Raashan means monthly grocery- what's the alternate hindi word for monthly grocery- any one?
7. Kerosene is also called Matti tel literally meaning mud-oil or of course Kiraasan
8. Cycle is pronounced as Cykil
9. Yellow is pronounced Yall-low
10. Funy is pronounced as Fun-nee

Only in Chennai
1. When someone says nice Salwar or nice Churidaar- they mean the Kurta or salwar suit- For very long I use to wonder why people never complimented my kurta but only the salwar
2. If a man and woman are sitting in a bus together it follows that they are husband and wife
3. When they say- you don’t have brine they mean you don’t have brain
4. Everything here is a cover- Envelope, Plastic Bag and the covers..
5. Most flowers are some "malli"
6. You don't put lipstick or nailpolish but wear them
7. I used to laugh when I heard soft drink is called cool drink - in North they are called cold drink

Only in Bengal
1. They don't travel in train without a mug
2. Rubber band is Gudder or gaarder(derived Garter? or Girder?)- anyone please enlighten us
3. In winter,they tie a scarf on their head even while going to the bathroom
4. You is pronounced as iu and We is pronounced as ui
5. And the best part- they serve a good variety of non veg dishes in weddings but if they happen to have a sit and get served system, they will start with lemon, salt, papad and proceed to vegetarian food, rice etc and towards the end only they will serve poori and non-veg in huge quantities- so adjust your eating speed and quantity accordingly
6. Ambassador is pronounced as Am-ba-sadoor (am & ba is slowly and sadoor is very fast)
7. Embroidery is pronounced as ambraidory

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

When does the cross over to too much/ extreme happens…& Tagged to Create a Scene

1. When every Saturday becomes working day due to work pressure
2. When everyone seems to be taking you for granted
3. When every thing you do seems to be criticised
4. When one (in-house) guest goes and paves the way for another one
5. When you take leave to sack at home and a long lost relative or the (in-law side) relative living in a nearby hostel drops in – believe me it his happened to me
6. When travel extends beyond 2 weeks at a stretch (for hubby)
7. When everyone in the house falls ill one after the other
8. When power supply goes off just for the duration when your favourite program is on TV
9. When your laptop crashes in front of the client
10. When dispatch sends wrong samples to client and advices that we should check the samples before it leaves. Well do I need a change in job description?
11. When deadline from client is yesterday and feedback happens the day after day after (repeat infinity times) tomorrow

Tagged to Create a Scene
I was tagged by Aashun to write the best scenes I have seen. Well, since i am not too much of a movie critic and like to watch a movie for the fun and entertainment of it without putting too much of grey matter at work on it, I took quite some time to think it up. Like I told him, it was a difficult tag for me.

1. Jaane bhi do yaaron- the finale when the Mahabharat and Ramayana scenes interchange
2. Golmaal- old one- Utpal Dutt chases the eloping couple in his Ambassador- his expressions are world class
3. One fine day- the demure mom dressing up for a “passionate” night with the raunchy- rowdy hero- and the anti-climax
4. Deewar- mere paas maan hai – off course! Not funny to me when I saw that initially but after seeing the rip offs on MTV and the other forwarded SMS etc
5. Masoom- emotional one- when Naseeruddin Shah returns back to the car after supposedly seeing off his son
6. Lagaan- match and the Indian bowlers
7. Catch me if you can & Bunty aur Bubbly- everytime the authorities realize that their man has escaped
8. Namak Halaal- the shoe episode, espisode with the grandfather and his scenes as Shashi Kapoor’s attendant (gatekeeper and all)
9. Yaraana- Amitabh’s Tassshan dress in the song in the stadium- serial lights and all
Well, now the fun (evil look) part
I tag Patti, Art Navy, somethingtosay, analog, la vida

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Strange Things that I like

1. Taking leave from office and going shopping/ parlour- playing the truant lends a strange sort of pleasure and excitement to the whole expedition
2. Reaching a destination in less than the usual time- even if it is just a margin of 5 minutes, I feel good
3. Collecting data even if it is not of any use to me- I feel learned after doing it
4. Catching any of my favourite song while channel surfing or on the radio-even if I have it on a CD. Also if I am listening to it on the CD / in the car just before going out, I just cannot switch it off before the entire song is finished playing
5. Changing the monthly calendar page- makes me feel fresh and the new picture gives a good feeling
6. Completing a project much before deadline
7. Buying / eating something at dirt cheap price/ sale/ offer even if I don’t need/ want it- If I don’t want to buy it I like to force someone else to buy it for themselves- gives me a sense of satisfaction that the offer was there and someone utilized it
8. Exhibitions of any kind. Until last year there wasn’t a single one which I had not gone to.
9. Making hubby drop me to work

Readers- you could take it up as a tag!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hateful Characters on the Road

Hi Guys
found some time to breathe and therefore a fresh post for the day. Will meet you on your blogs soon
1. Road Hog- drives in the centre of the road and does not allow anyone to pass
2. Zig Zag- drives in zig zag fashion. Very dangerous as the vehicle behind can never know where he will move next
3. Lane Straddler- at a given point of time will occupy 2 lanes, at times even the opposite lane- therefore vehicles on both lanes cannot cross him
4. Trend Setter- his pace- usually extremely slow, will define the speed of the whole queue in narrow roads. Usually a novice. On multi lane roads, he will typically occupy the fastest lane so that he can stay rightmost on the road and no one can overtake him from the right at least.
5. 3-wheeler & their types- I am calling the 3-wheeler auto-rickshaws as a separate category due to their unique characteristics. They encompass all irritating characteristics of other types like staying in the fastest lane even though they should not, not allowing anyone to pass through by zig zagging, filling even the slightest gaps thereby stopping in such a way at signals that one will never know whether they are going front, left, right or backwards. They have the special property of suddenly dashing off into your lane without any warning signal. Even 4-wheelers especially taxis do that as they have nothing to lose – even if their vehicle gets scratched, it does not hurt their sentiments
6. Bus, Truck and the likes- drive on the right lane, are Trend Setter and Road Hog, but they send smoke signals as if they are stranded on a lonely island. Especially in Chennai, the buses stop in the middle of the road some times as that is their designated stop. After halting at a bus stop that is on the left-most side of the road, they behave like auto-rickshaws with a size disadvantage-they suddenly turn sharply to the right into your and all the other lanes when they have to re-start the journey.
7. 2- wheelers- they Zig-Zag, occupy the slimmest gap and while stopping at the signal, position their legs in such a way that it automatically increases the total girth of the vehicle. (I would love to drive my wheel over that right leg that is in my lane!)
8. Clueless- Will decide to turn or not turn at the last moment.
9. Egoist- will not allow any one to overtake by emulating all the characteristics above
10. Cyclops- one-eyed monster- especially dangerous when coming from the opposite direction on it’s rightmost lane and with only the left eye in working condition
11. Diwali Celebrator- Drives in high beam and poses a menace to drivers in the opposite direction. We need to teach them the mnemonic- “high beam is for highway as you have to see far-away and low beam / normal beam is for roads and lanes as you have to see nearby.
12. Ass Kissers- stop so near to the bumper that your car feels (sexually) threatened
13. Passion Killers- they act spoil sport just when you are in the throes of passion- ie you would be accelerating or changing gears and these vehicls would appear from the middle of no where and you will have to reduce your speed and go back to the lower gear
New Company Update
Empty mailbox
Cautious and unsure smiles/ hellos
Curious questions, looks
Some people eager to please, guide and help out
Clueless participation in projects/ conversation
Instructed to follow rules religiously
Unsure on protocols- dress code, address code (Mr/ Name/ Sir/ Madam), Internet code of conduct (indiscriminate vs cautious)

I have already made a few good friends- colleague doing the same function, ex-company club (people who were earlier in my previous company and are now working here), the nice security person who helps me every morning in finding me a parking place and guiding me to park. He strategically places me away from the big bosses’ cars while the other security guys and drivers smile slyly.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

First Birthday

How Time Flies...

We celebrated the first birthday on 1st November. Had 2 parties, one for the 50 kids in the apartment complex. Surprisingly managing them was quite easy as we kept the duration very short. Just enough to allow the kids to play 2 games (delegated to 2 of the kids of the complex), participate in cake cutting and eat their chole, bhature, gulabjamun, samosa and cake. We cut the car shaped cake then. We had gift wrapped the return gifts - activity books/ colour pencils etc and labelled them with names of the recievers. We requested the kids themselves to distribute the books and they had a nice time doing so - pretending to be class monitors.

The 2nd party was for around 60 close friends. We cut the mobile phone cake at that time. Surprisingly Ojas (Aryamman) and Tejas (Eshan) were quite cooperative through out. The difficult part was keeping an eye on them while entertaining the guests.

Back home we are surrounded with a room full of gifts, mostly toys and absolutely no space in my home to accomodate them. Hell, I am not going to celebrate another birthday for atleast a year- I vow to myself. Some gifts like colour pencils, building blocks, alphabets, modelling clay are potentially useful, thoughtful and likeable. Among the pothers some are broken, some obviously passed on/ hand me downs, some useful for infants below 6 months, some horribly expensive, some road-side purchases, some totally useless. Without sounding crass and ungrateful, I would like to mention that I have realised that when there is a big party, everyone tries their best to give what they think would be useful to the receiver, who ends up with duplicates and not very useful articles especially where toys are concerned. I mean how many pull alongs, drums or battery operated toys can a child use. I have realised that no matter how one feels that one has selected the right gift for the receiver, a gift voucher or cash in an envelope is most welcome and easy to handle.
A lesson well learnt and I am armed with a gift voucher for the first birthday party that Ojas & Tejas have been invited to today.


She- shall we take the fresh cream cake or normal cream cake?
He- Fresh Cream
She- fresh cream cake is more expensive and for the quantities we have to buy, it’s better to buy normal cream
He- no I want to take the best one. No compromises
She- ok, let’s take black forest flavour then
He- Cheee, I hate black forest, so light that you will hardly feel you have eaten anything
She- But you said fresh cream
He- Yes, you use the fresh cream to make cake at home, that’s what I meant
She- Well, black forest is fresh cream cake and more expensive so the best (as per your logic) and normal cream is the ordinary cake and less expensive. Since you said you want the best you should take fresh cream and so black forest (She did not mention chocolate truffle as that is even more expensive and he loves that)
He- Ok we will take normal cream cake

Kid- Aunty I did not get the (return) gift
Aunty- What's your name?
Kid- Akshat
Aunty- Realising that the kid was a guest to the complex and was therefore not invited to the party- Did you eat?
Kid- I did not come to eat, only to take the gift

Since some return gifts were activity books including colouring books and some were colour pencils, some kids came and said- Aunty I got only the books and not the colour pencils!

Aunty- Who won the first game
Kid- Rupa
Aunty- ok, chocolates for whoever won the game
All kids (including those who were not playing)- Aunty I, Aunty I won...

Aunty- Why are you not playing
Kid- I don't want to play
Aunty- Pulling her along- join the game, you will enjoy it
Kid- aunty, actually I am already out (of the game after playing one round)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

factual fiction-Pointless Experimentation

She looked at the mirror, putting the finishing touches to her make-up. She realized that she had not worn her earrings. She had removed it last night to clean it up. As she searched in her jewel box for the earring she thought, why not skip wearing it for a day. Will anyone notice it? Will anyone comment? Will I look different? Will it look good not wearing an earring? When I stopped wearing the bindi everyone commented on it but earring? Why not give it a shot.

A week later she still had not worn her earring. Okay, the world has not come crashing down, as I did not wear the earring. No one has asked me so far where my ubiquitous earring is. Nobody has noticed it at all. Not even he who used to object if I did not wear my chain or mangal sutra. As usual he is absorbed in the newspaper.

That is 7 days in a row that she has not worn her earring. Wonder what new style statement this is. First the bindi went off then other chains replaced the mangalsutra. Sometimes she does not wear the chain too and now the earring is suddenly gone. This time I am not going to mention it. Let her explain herself. He turned his attention back to the morning newspaper.

update- after I wrote this, I chanced upon an article that said that in Dhoom II as a style statement they did not use earrings. Shall I start thinking of an alternate career in style industry?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Factual fiction Stuck to Routine

She was running late for work. If she would not leave the house in another 8 minutes, she would be unable to walk to her stop to be able to reach in 7 minutes exactly.
As she applied the moisturizer she did a quick calculation- if she would just dump her jewelry in her bag and skip the perfume application, she would save 2 minutes and another 2 minutes if she just clipped her hair up without combing and another half a minute if she skipped the lipstick. She could do that in the ladies’ room in the office.

The jewelry will not take time. It will take equal time if it gets dumped into her handbag. She quickly wore the basic jewelry and well, just a light coat of lipstick will not take much time and just a few strokes of the hair brush and there we are done and time would be saved as the clip is being secured into place while the shoe is being taken out of the rack with the big and second toe of the right foot and slipped on. She rushed out of the door grabbing an apple, ran out of the apartment gates and hailed one of the waiting autos to drop her to her stop. Hardly 10 bucks…to make up for the time lost while getting ready

Friday, October 27, 2006

Other Than Normal Types of Eaters

1. Frog/ Conveyor Belt type- Sticks the tongue out, places the food on it and pulls the tongue back
2. Shovel type- Places the food with the spoon on the tongue, turns in the spoon at the same time pulls the tongue inside in such a way that the spoon hits the teeth and makes a clinging sound.
3. Cricketer- makes the food into balls and throws it into the mouth. Surprisingly, never misses the throw
4. Serial Killer- eats each item in the plate one by one. Will not proceed to the next without finishing one item
5. Mass-a-Chews-ates- will mix everything en masse’ and eat. Noodles, pulao, paneer, peas..etc – does not believe in course by course eating
6. Embarrassment of the Buffet- will pile the plate with everything available – does not believe in seconds as is afraid that the food may get over or does not want to stand in the queue again
7. Angrez ka Nana (pretends to be English gentleman)- will not use the hands but only spoon/ knife/ fork to eat- even the finger food
8. Apna Haath Jagannath (Literally means own hands are god- basically meaning self-dependant)- will use only hands no cutlery
9. Fist Filler- will fill up the fist with the food press them together hard, make it into a ball and then eat- may be feels that the food will fall off on it’s way to the mouth so secures it by tightening I into a single piece
10. Diligent Student- completes the course- will not go for seconds without finish the entire food on the plate. And then will serve the entire spread again such that on may think that the person is on the first helping
11. Lick them clean- one will never know that the plate has been used- it will be licked clean like new
12. Debris of Construction- the plate will look like a construction site- so many leftovers haphazardly placed on the plate
13. Organising committee- waste arranged neatly on the plate
14. Orchestra Member- Makes lot of noise with the cutlery
15. Lick, Slurp, Gobble- Makes a lot of slurping sounds wile eating
16. Knead, Collect & Eat- cannot lift the food with the fingers, uses the whole hand to make a kneading like motion, thereby lifting a large quantity of the food – especially if it’s a combination of gravy and solid food.
17. Slide and Pick- Uses the edge of the hand, - the end near the little finger- to push the food to the corner of the plate and pick it up
18. Finger in the pie- not well versed with the spoon/ fork- will sometimes push food on the spoon with the help of the left index finger
19. Drip Drip Drip- the gravy will drip from the hands toward the wrist and will be licked clean in one quick swirling motion of the tongue
20. Unknown Stranger- the pile of food will be so high that only when the person is half way through and the pile of food has come down, his/her identity will be revealed to the fellow eaters
21. Early to bed but Late to rise- 1st to start and last to finish- either very slow or eats too much
22. Fast & Furious- will eat in top speed – even if is the last one to start, will be the first one to finish
23. Gobbler- Does not believe in chewing

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

How Safe Are We On The Roads

The other day I was driving home from work. It was raining and already dark. As I was inching at the signal, my car moved a little backward as the road was sloping so. There was a sumo behind me and imagine the audacity of the driver. He came and opened my door and started cursing at me... even though my car had not hit his.I didn't want to get into a fight and so I simply shut my door & locked it. Meanwhile a guy on a bike positioned himself right in front of my headlight and started talking something which I suspect was really rude. And I always thought this never happened in Chennai.

Another day, a one-eyed rickshaw puller saw me taking the turn and purposely crossed my path giving a seemingly evil smile - the best he could muster- just to irk me I guess.

A friend of mine was driving with the window rolled down. She had overtaken this man and at the next signal he snatched her keys from the open window and ran into a nearby apartment.

Moral of the story- for your own safety, drive with the A/C on and lock all doors. Don't get into ego trips on the road - don't bother about racing with the morons on the road- they have nothing to lose but you have your sanity, life and precious time. Don't ever swear - throw a stone in the muck and you get muck on yourself

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Only in Bihar

Terminiology typical to Bihar which outsiders find confusing

When someone says he has gone for Marketing they mean he has gone for Shopping

Baadaam means peanut and not Almond as they shorten the word chiniaa baadaam to baadaam

Underwear is a euphamised Bra

Meat means mutton or goat's flesh

When someone says "there is no Light" they mean there is no power supply

This one is not even corrected in school- Copy- which means notebook

Pronunciation goof ups

The r is not silent in Iron

Is-too means Stew

Any Additions to the list? Probably someone can do a similar one for their home town!

NB- I am a proud Bihari!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Final Countdown

The last day of my 1st job.
I am going to miss the place I have spent a quarter of my lifetime. I am going to miss getting up in the morning and rushing to be on time at the bus stop. I am going to miss calling P and telling her beforehand that I am on the way so that they don’t leave me and go. I am going to miss even fighting with the driver if he comes early and does not wait. I am going to miss taking the familiar, scenic route to office situated like in the middle of nowhere. I am going to miss the fun, laughter, gossiping and bitching at the workplace. I will miss having the same mailbox, id & password for the last so many years. I am going to miss my colleagues old and new. I will miss being a fossil or a veteran whichever way you want to call it and being known well among colleagues. I am going to miss my 17 inch LCD monitor, miss the computer that I have gotten so used to and the new mouse that I pestered IS into giving me. I will miss the never ending conferences and project meetings too. I will miss the nitpicking of the canteen food. I am going to miss the broken key I used to open the desk drawer with & the chair that I have adjusted so well to suit my contour and my liking. I am going to miss my cubicle and it’s paraphernalia. I am going to miss smelling fragrances good and bad. Hell, I am even going to miss the security who salutes if I happen to come in my car & hardly looks my way if I come in public transport. All in all I will miss the familiarity of my workplace.
Till I join my new place, I have to depend on Hubby’s laptop and that too during the god-forsaken hours that he comes back home. So I may become a little antisocial due to lack of time, not lack of interest. I will try to post as regularly as possible but please do not ditch my blog. Please, please, please visit my blog for updates and keep the comments flowing in.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Babies- Their Royal Highnesses

The adorable babies in their innocence can unknowingly make one feel elated or insecure in different situations.

• Elation is when they fight for my lap when I come back home and insecurity is when they don’t look at me when hubby comes back
• Insecurity is when they refused to recognize hubby when he came back home after a long tour
• Elation is when they hug me (spontaneously) when they want a feed and insecurity is when they slip out of my lap on other occasions
• Insecurity is when a friend’s daughter asked her mom “who is this uncle” (referring her father who was abroad for sometime)
• Ojas smiled at the ex –maid and bawled at the current maid at the same time
• They gave my Mom suspicious looks when they saw her after 5 months. They keep looking askance at her while playing and don’t’ smile at all. (My mom took care of them the 1st 6 months and she used to be their favourite during that time)
• They forget my brother every weekend. Ojas howls when he sees him.
• My Dad spent the nights walking them to sleep when they were a month old. They are giving him the cold shoulder treatment
• Insecurity was during the 1st 6 months when they used to scream everytime they saw my In-laws and now there is elation when they treat them with angry “words” if they are late or don’t turn up for a day
• Ojas screamed at my neighbor when she tried to pick up Tejas
• My nephew never used to come to me even though I used to show him the car keys. Since he had never seen me drive, he thought I was cheating him
• Ojas was trying to crawl to my room when he woke up in the middle of the night and found that he was sleeping with My Mom- inspite of sleeping a good part of the 1st 6 months with my Mom

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

His & Hers - Quirks of Nature

Ideas picked up from personal experience and my interaction with other couples

He throws the wet towel on the bed instead of putting it up on the clothes line

Leaves the newspaper lying around in unimaginable places after reading

Stuffs the socks inside the shoes for days and gives for washing when they reach the yuck stage

Banana peel/ chocolate wrapper will be proudly seated on the sofa

Leaves soap wrapper on the bathroom shelf

An empty glass will almost always be found under the sofa

He will say I‘ll be back in 15 minutes and will take almost 2 hours to be back

Will never pick up the clothes from clothes line

Will expect her to keep the home spic & span. He will do the major cleaning once in a blue moon and expect to receive the benefit of the good deed in the form of praises and no major work given till the next blue moon when he decides that the cleaning has to be done.

She refuses to order a soft drink in the restaurant, even tries to dissuade him from ordering one- but happily take a larger than fair share from the soft drink that he orders

Makes long telephone calls to her Mom & other relatives but blames him if the bills are huge –tells him that it is all because of the continuous browsing he did.

Somehow blames him for everything- unpaid/ overdue bills, missed couriers, even maid not turning up

Asks him to drop her to work, for shopping etc even if she knows how to drive- gives the cold treatment if he refuses to drop her.

She fights with him if he watches TV but keeps a tight schedule of TV viewing herself

Will always complain that he does not take her out

Always asks why do you love me or do you love me or how much do you love me.

Will compare present behaviour with pre-marriage behaviour- holding hands, romancing, giving flowers

Will expect him to clean the loo

Unanswered Questions
Who fills the water bottles and keeps inside the fridge?
Who makes the bed?
Who keeps the groceries inside when both have taken the trouble to shop for them?
Who remembers the due date for bills?
Who supervises the plumber, carpenter, mechanic and gardener?
Who reads the documents of investments?
Who negotiates or rather bargains during purchases?
Who does the planning & organizing of functions/ parties?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dizzy* Heights- Version 2

Continuing with my previous post of Heights
Height of Dodge- When I want Ojas to give me whatever he has in his hand, I say “Thank you”. He immediately gives it to me & before I can take possession of it, he takes it back & runs away.

Height of Starting Early- Ojas sings aa aa aa in the tune of bheege honth tere song of the movie Murder …well - almost

Height of Unsportsmanship spirit- I play hide & seek with Ojas & Tejas. If they cannot find me, they cry

Height of Piousness- Both join hubby when he does the puja

Height of Teasing- I tell Tejas not to lick the floor; he looks at me & then licks it again.

Height of Studiousness- both fighting for the single Alphabets book they possess.

Height of Similarity- Both will take a pair of socks and play with it- “banging” them together

Height of Persistance- Ojas is playing with a dangerous toy, I snatch it & give him another. He takes it & throws it away and does that until I give the dangerous one to him.

Height of Challenge- Tejas stands up holding me/ chair, leaves his hands and smiles to himself till he is able to hold himself up.

Height of Playfulness- Tejas thinks Ojas is playing with him when he crawls fast. Seeing him do that, Tejas grins, shakes his head, crawls rapidly & tries to hide in my lap

Height of Daredevilry- Ojas used to be scared of the food processor. Now, he goes to the kitchen in his walker and stares at the food processor straight “into the eye” when it is running.

Height of Technocrat- Tejas has removed the “Fn” key of my sister’s laptop

Height of Buttering- Tejas will look sweetly at my sister or hubby when they switch on their laptop

Height of Sixth Sense- Ojas will say Ta Ta when he sees someone wearing their sandals or picking the handbag.

Height of Engrossment- They gobble up the entire food while watching ads on TV or some song

Height of Cultural Activity- They favour certain songs and rush to the TV whenever those songs are playing. Ojas will dance (arms moving balle balle) and tejas will have a foolish smile on his face.

Height of Cleanliness- During meals, Tejas will wipe his mouth over my dress.

Height of Grooming- Both will wipe each other's face with their nappy pads.

Height of Participation- Both will have their own glasses in the Juice shop

Height of Arrogance- The look on their face when they are standing at the steering wheel

* The term dizzy heights is borrowed from Hip Hop grand Mom (mentioned on the comments in my heights post)


I have been Tagged by Has to Be Me
I have to list out as per the questions in her 2nd post . So here goes.

3 Smells I love:
1. Perfumes 2. Sunshine (Believe me it smells) 3. Any Food

3 Smells I hate:
1. Dustbin odour 2. outside Aavin milk factory 3. drainage smell

3 Jobs that I have had in my life:
1. Student 2. Fragrance Selecting & Marketing 3. Wife & Mom

3 Movies that I could watch over and over:
1. Jaane bhi do yaaron 2. while you were sleeping 3. Munna bhaai MBBS (with the english translation – I speak hindi but I like the way it has been translated on the DVD)

3 Fond memories:
1. When I got my first job
2. When I got a letter from Rajiv Gandhi when I was a kid
3. My pregnancy

3 Jobs I would love to have:
1. Writing for a Magazine 2. Mystery Shopper 3. Librarian- so that I can read all books

3 Things I like to do:
1. Read and munch on snacks 2 shop – actual or window 3 Net surfing

3 Of my favorite foods:
1. Salted snacks- Lays Chips/ Haldiram aaloo bhujia/ Peanuts 2. Sweets- gulabjaamun/ cakes 3 Non veg

3 Places I would like to be right now:
1. Switzerland 2. London 3. Paris

3 Things that make me cry:
1. Fight 2. Losing an argument 3. Disappointment

I tag art navy, usha, apu, vinay.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Notice Period

Things change rapidly the moment one puts in the papers. No matter how long one has served the company. A few changes I have experienced this week are-
1. The extra chair in my cubicle has been borrowed & never returned, within a few minutes of my resigning
2. The beverage served has reduced by a quarter!!
3. Mailbox is empty
4. I can browse the net/ blog as much as possible without feeling guilty
5. I can take leave or come late or levae early without feeling guilty
6. I hardly get phone calls
7. Suddenly people have become overtly friendly and are bitching about the company/ people or discussing secrets
8. Suddenly some friendly people have started ignoring me- I am not asked for creative inputs at all
9. I need not participate in projects as info is sensitive around me
10. I can make long phone calls on my cell without feeling guilty
11. People are asking me how to apply for a job in that particular place where I am joining
12. People are discussing their salary details with me even though I do not want to hear it.
13. I have become detached to everything that is happening & look at things with neutral eyes
When I think of the way things have changed within minutes of my resigning, I feel that the mandatory notice period should be waived off in special cases where the employee can no longer contribute. Especially in my case when I have a team who is intimately involved in the projects so I need not do any particular handover or close projects. Food for thought!!

Notice Period

Things change rapidly the moment one puts in the papers. No matter how long one has served the company. A few changes I have experienced this week are-
1. The extra chair in my cubicle has been borrowed & never returned, within a few minutes of my resigning
2. The beverage served has reduced by a quarter!!
3. Mailbox is empty
4. I can browse the net/ blog as much as possible without feeling guilty
5. I can take leave or come late or levae early without feeling guilty
6. I hardly get phone calls
7. Suddenly people have become overtly friendly and are bitching about the company/ people or discussing secrets
8. Suddenly some friendly people have started ignoring me- I am not asked for creative inputs at all
9. I need not participate in projects as info is sensitive around me
10. I can make long phone calls on my cell without feeling guilty
11. People are asking me how to apply for a job in that particular place where I am joining
12. People are discussing their salary details with me even though I do not want to hear it.
13. I have become detached to everything that is happening & look at things with neutral eyes
When I think of the way things have changed within minutes of my resigning, I feel that the mandatory notice period should be waived off in special cases where the employee can no longer contribute. Especially in my case when I have a team who is intimately involved in the projects so I need not do any particular handover or close projects. Food for thought!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Experiences during Pregnancy

Apart from the usual, there are a few things I experienced with the twin gestation

1. Heart Beat- Doc heard the 1st heart beat on my right side and automatically searched the left side for the 2nd. She couldn’t find it. After a few tries, she discovered that the 2nd one was on the right too. Meaning both had their heads in the same direction- so friendly
2. 1st trimester scan- twin 1 was sitting and twin 2 was lying down. Twin 1 was boxing twin 2’s bum & Twin 2 was kicking twin 1’s nose- “in”fighting
3. Each kick by one twin had an answering kick by the 2nd twin
4. There were times when I couldn’t sleep during the advanced stage- both used to invariably have their heads towards the top and I could hardly breath forget about lying down. No amount of “hitting” them would make them budge. Sometimes this used to happen when I was having my food and I could not eat until they moved downwards
5. When both their heads used to move to one side in the last trimester, I could not turn to that side until one of them deigned to move to the other part.
6. If one was kicking and the 2nd was not, the 1st one used to continue kicking until the 2nd one woke up and started answering the kicks.
7. Doc said that C-section is the best way to do because one can never ensure that both will be normal deliveries so better not to take a chance
8. Twins tend not to stay inside after the 37th week. There is no space to grow further. The doc suggested an auspicious date & time according to the charts for delivery. My little monsters did not agree to that, is another story- they were 4 days earlier than the good date & 18 days earlier than the calendar date.
9. No allowed physical activity – even walking- since I was working, the exercise was considered to be more than enough. So I told all those who asked me to walk to go take a walk themselves & leave me to my devices.
10. While I was happily doing all the fun things like shopping, going to restaurants (had been to kabab court 2 days before the delivery) a friend of mine who is also carrying twins is strictly on bed rest due to complications
11. Walking became difficult from 5th month onwards and I was looking as if I will deliver anytime.
12. I gained 25 kgs

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Yuck Yuck! Nose Diggers Ahoy!

STATUTORY WARNING- Ok guys, here is a yucky post. Read only if you can stomach it & promise you won’t think I am an ick person…

I have done intensive research on the fine art of nose digging. People dig their nose as if they were doing normal things like sneezing or coughing. With all due respect to views otherwise, this really yucks me. I remember reading somewhere that nose picking is quite therapeutic and de-stressing. Anyways, my observations-

1. The Hidden Agenda- holds the newspaper with one hand, hides his face completely behind it and digs with the other hand
2. The Sculptor- digs out the boogies, rolls it between the finger and thumb to create various shapes
3. The Sportsman- Makes the boogie into balls and rolls it around
4. The Public Display Artist- Can pick the nose in an open forum, in front of anybody
5. The Pick Flick- Picks the nose & flicks the boogie away in any direction
6. The Daring- does not follow the adage- People who live in glass houses should not throw boogies- sits in his all glass cabin and digs away to glory
7. Twist & Turn- Twists the nose while digging
8. The Rapist- digs real deep, vigorously
9. Hide & Seek- Rolls away the boogie & then picks it up again to re-roll if there is none left in the nose. Will be annoyed if he cannot find it
10. Disguiser- will be picking the nose when alone but if someone walks into the room, he will pretend he was just scratching his nose or rubbing his face- well the secret is out if the boogie happens to get stuck onto his face. Eeeow!
11. Regional Manager- The finger/ hand is always in that region of face where the nose belongs- and you will never realize how swiftly the finger will dig in and come out.
12. Shop till you Drop- they will dig and drop it in you cubicle at times- I have many times followed the descent of the boogie when the offender is leaning at my cubicle wall and talking.
13. Side business- They dig and then fold their hands and drop it down daintily- just today a lady co-traveler in my office van did it- I changed my seat immediately-Well early morning you can’t have boogies falling on your dress- absolutely unacceptable!!
14. Leisure Hobby- will not do it in public but once he is back home he will do it relaxingly much to the disgust of the family members
15, My favourite- The altruistic- these are the mothers/ fathers who willingly clean up the unwilling noses of their babies- I am one of those!! And can feel the relief my babies must feel after the clearing!! (BTW, I have seen an infant nose cleaner in Lifestyle stores. Works on suction principle- Has anyone tried it? Please give a product review.)

Monday, October 09, 2006

End of a Chapter

How does one feel when one is in the process of ending a relationship?
Or when one is courting outside the current relationship?
How does one go about searching for the right one during the illicit courtship?
The clandestine meetings that happen to size up the other party. How one goes about fixing the right place and time so that either party is not caught off-guard.
And if the courtship does not end in a new relationship, how do they back out and ensure that the secret is not out? Is either party at ease after that?
And once a deal is final, how does one go and inform the home turf that the relationship is off?
What happens just before one is actually going to end it all? What are the thoughts the few days before? How should I say it? Shall I leave a letter? Whom shall I say first?
Once the deed is done isn’t there a strange empty feeling? Or a feeling of elation of breaking free? Being in a no-man’s land with no responsibility or accountability until the day one begins the new relationship?
How does one go about packing up the belongings? What should be taken, what should be thrown away and what should be handed over? Should one leave instructions behind? How does the current “partner” carry on without the one who is ending it up? Does one feel a responsibility towards it?
Yes folks, I have ended a 7.5 year long relationship this morning. I always thought it was easy to end it all and used to advice my friends who were unhappy, to go for a change. But when I am the one who is taking the plunge, I have realized that the decision is not so easy. You have to think the pros and cons of ending a chapter of your life. Will the new relationship be better than or even as good as the current one?
On my part, I have invested more than 7 years- that is a little less than a quarter of my lifetime and the 2nd longest institution I have been attached to – the first being my school where I spent 12 years.
This morning I have resigned from my 1st job. During the courtship phase I have experienced a gamut of emotions ranging from the high one gets after a dare-devilry to the guilt of not being true to the current relationship. And since I am moving within the industry, the stakes of courtship have been high. What if things had not materialized and I were “caught” before that? Or”caught” after that too?
I do not know whether I have taken the right decision. I am going by the oft repeated adage- everything happens for the best. So touch wood.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Festivals give us a break from routine life along with the accompanying holiday, (Come to think of it, since every month we have some festival or the other to look forward to, the breaks are too often!)
Especially true when we are kids or not married. Once women get married, it’s a lot of hard work- they become accountable for making the entire thing work. They conceive the entire celebrations down to the last detail, starting from “spring” cleaning, making/ buying goodies and keeping them in a safe place so that the kids or the “big” kid in the house do not finish them up before the d-day arrives. And then there is planning for new clothes, decorations, pooja, inviting guests & deciding whom to visit and when. Of course the man of the house or the older kids are the one who do the errands but in true managerial fashion, “Home Ministry” takes the all important role of planning, organizing & financial control.
And the praises that are showered- the woman of the house basks in the glory with the modest- oh, it was nothing. So kudos to every woman who manages the whole show.

When I got down thinking why exactly we welcome festivals, these are a few thoughts apart from the “break from routine” that came to my mind-

1. Upholding & Cultivating Values, Traditions, Culture
2. Outlet to the creative streak & special skills- sweet making, decorations
3. Joy of giving- time for gifts
4. Shopoholics’ delight- you can never have enough of new clothes and what best excuse than the festival
5. Time to reach out- family & friends get together
6. Dress up for the occasion
7. The light feeling that comes after making the house sparkling clean and trash free
8. For old time’s sake & for future reference- especially once kids come into the picture, we want to make the day extra special for them. Memories that they would carry forward in their life and the hope that they will carry on the tradition that was passed on to us
9. Have something consistently to look forward to- like gamble on diwali, drink bhaang/ thandayi on Holi, play Dandiya during Navratri.
10. Use the occasion to do Social Work/ Charity and feel good about it.

Dhanteras day (also check)
4. Attempt to make sweets for Diwali (with Mom & MIL doing most of the things)
5. Ganesh Laxmi Puja on Diwali evening- will set up a small gharaunda- mini house made of cardboard & do the Ganesh- Laxmi puja on it.
6. Visit the diwali night
7. Celebration- We plan to celebrate Diwali in our apartment complex with Laxmi puja, Bhai dooj – Will fall 2 days after Diwali. Hope my brother will be there that day for the bhai dooj pooja.
9. Check out with the nearby orphanage on what I could do for them- sponsor a meal or give cash or any other durable that they need.

What else can I do? Suggestions would be welcome.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


From the word go, we have surrounded ourselves with stuff that would make our lives easy with the little monsters around.

Feeding Bottles- by the dozen. The pediatrician told us strictly not to use the feeding bottles. Till date we hide the feeding bottle before entering his room. Well, who wants to get a lecture from him on the demerits of it anyway? I just prop it and they drink by themselves. Spoon feeding milk is a little time consuming and messy since they will decide to turn the head away the moment I bring the spoon to their mouth. Sterilizing routine is tedious and chances of infection high if not cleaned properly. Should replace as often as possible and not reuse the left over milk

Kangaroo Bags- Useful during our lame attempts to shop. But gives back pain. The bag tends to hang and strains the neck / shoulders/ back. Sometimes my little monsters feel hot and tied down. They have already outgrown it. It also blocks the view- once I had Tejas in the kangaroo bag and missed a step and fell down - plonk.

Single Pram- as old as me. Everytime I decide to take them out, one of them falls asleep and I have to take only the one awake for a stroll. Single pram is more handy & easy to maneuver. I also take it with me to malls as the pram which they give is sometimes dirty with puke, food or what not. Also useful to put them to sleep.

Double pram- extremely useful when I have to take both of them out together, going to the beach or restaurant. But quite unwieldy.

Bouncers- extensively used- for sitting, making them sleep, feeding them (they can’t fidget and move around), rocking. The blue one can be used till they are about 1.5 years old. The chairs have music, calming vibrations, removable toys, lights to entertain the little ones. Keep a watchful eye as they tend to bend over to pick up stuff they have dropped and then can’t raise themselves back again sometimes.

High Chair- as old as me- has a chair cum potty- despite advices on the contrary, I started training them on the potty since they were 3 months as they were already on top feed and so were quite regularized. I expect it was more comfortable and well – satisfying, for them to sit & do relaxingly. Strap well though.

Small Potty- for travel time.

Walkers- This one was gifted to them and I was quite against using it. But tried one day just for the heck of it & found that it gave them freedom to move around, kept them busy and they stopped crying when we move away from their line of vision. They have become experts in negotiating curves and adjusting speed & one of them volunteers to go reverse gear if both get stuck in a corner- better road sense than we elders? But, be careful, it may trip. Make them wear shoes so that they don't dirty or hurt their feet.

Pending Purchases-
Bathtub- but I have no space to keep it, so I have decided to skip it as they will soon not need it.
Car seat- but once strapped that space can't be used by anyone else. The high chair that I have can be strapped to the car seat incidentally.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Height of cruelty- Tejas hitting his toy butterfly with his toy doggie

Height of reward- I strike a conversation with Ojas when he wakes up in the morning. He picks up his bottle and hands it to me in reward.

Height of challenge- Ojas surpasses himself in his achievements. He holds his feeding bottle cap between his toes, the next level is the feeding bottle, followed by his pillow, his bolster & finally my pillow. The ultimate goal is to be able to hold one end between his toes & the other in his mouth.

Height of vigilance- Tejas periodically removing the Velcro of Ojas’ nappy (to check if he has soiled it?)

Height of dieting- Ojas touches the roti to his foot before putting in his mouth until he is done with it.

Height of desperation- If we give the bottle to one baby who is hungry, the other automatically wants the bottle too.

Height of competition- Who gets into my lap first when I come back from office.

Height of comparison- Ojas comparing his foot with Daddy’s. What next?

Height of rivalry- Tejas crawls and climbs over Ojas who is taking his feed and cries until he gets it. Sometimes even snatches the bottle from Ojas’ mouth.

Height of anger- you take them out of the door & then come back into the house & the reaction you get post that.

Height of table manners- I gave Tejas a piece of bread & he grabbed at my plate & wouldn’t eat his bread until I gave him a plate of his own.

Height of fitness- Ojas doing push ups when trying to crawl & doing Adho mukha shvaanaasana when trying to stand up

Height of choice- the toy they select from their toy basket would be the lid of a box or a clothes clip that would have accidentally found its way into their basket

Height of choosiness- among his toy mobile phone, a normal cell phone & a flip model cell phone, Tejas selects the flip model every time and hates it if it is not flipped open before handing it over to him

Height of dadagiri- both shout at MIL aaayyyy if she arrives late in the morning

Height of frustration- Ojas trying to scratch his bum over his diaper

Height of provocation- Tejas snatches the remote from Ojas' hands, "runs" away in his walker, returns to Ojas, dangles the remote in front of him & runs away again.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tagged- weirdly

Rules of the tag- as I gathered from my trysts to other blogs
What is a tag- a tag is a set of questions, about self or books or movies or a wishlist. A tag can reach a blogger through another blogger. A blogger can even initiate a tag, forming a unique set of questions.

Doing the tag- the process

Name the person who has tagged you.
Do the tag in a similar way as the person who tagged you- in this case, I have to mention 9 weird things about myself.
Tag atleast 6 people
Inform the people you have tagged by posting a comment on their blog and also mention on the tag post.

Thanks Hip Hop Grandmom for tagging me- My first. I have to list out 9 weird things about myself.
The good thing about tags is that it sets you thinking, almost introspective. So here is my list

I think a lot, and when I get excited I think aloud- sometimes my brother has caught me pacing the floor and talking to myself. Sometimes, I go into my own dream world in the middle of a meeting and have been caught a few times off-guard. Post a good thinking session, I like to trace back & check from where I began & what thought led to the next

I am bad at remembering names. I am forever asking my husband the names of his close friends’ wives- can’t goof up on such things. Sometimes I mismatch names & faces. Extremely embarrassing. But contradictorily I have a very good photographic memory. I can recall a scene that took place years ago even indicating who was sitting where.

I am a compulsive sanitation freak. I wash hands quite often, wipe the kitchen counter even if a drop of water falls and clean the bathroom floor if there is a single dirty footprint.

I can recognize a song through the tune but can't sing it.

I cannot argue to prove my point. I find it extremely bothersome. Later on I will hate myself for giving in and not coming up with a smart retort to shut the other person off.

I don’t know how to do make-up. Lipstick is my mainstay.

I can cook an elaborate dinner for a guest but can’t do simple snacks. I do not know how to make pakoras.

I am normally very energetic - I like to do everything on my own and cannot bring myself to ask someone for even a glass of water. But I suffer from bouts of laziness during which I will postpone every simple task.

When I am reading a book or closely watching a tele-serial, I almost live with the characters.

I tag- the kid, the madmomma, @, rebel, sush, control freak, hastobeme, keshi, cardamom- more than the quota of 6 but I have tried to include a variety of personalities as per the image I have in my mind of the blogger and therefore would like to know their other side through the tag.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Pregnancy and Compassion

I am Pregnant, not sick. This is the sentence that appears in most of the Mills & Boons books where the pregnant heroine is treated with kids’ gloves by the Tall, Dark, Handsome hunk. I also found myself telling the same sentence to many people who tried to restrict me too much. I guess the only people who understood and applied this sentence in totality are the guys who give us Mediclaim cover – where in you need to get admitted to the hospital for 24hours and avail cashless facility for the expenses within the prescribed limit. The ugly truth dawned on me when I was carrying- pregnancy is not covered under Mediclaim but my company had negotiated with the insurance guys to allow around a quarter of what I am otherwise eligible- and this covered less than half of my actual expenses in the hospital. Infact some medication taken post a hospitalization incident are also covered under mediclaim but not the medicines taken post pregnancy. Atleast I was luckier than my husband, who got no coverage for his pregnant wife. The saving grace was that I was allowed to cover my kids from day 1 so their expenses were completely taken care of.

Somebody needs to educate the insurance guys out there that while pregnancy may not be a disease the pregnant woman has to endure 9 months carrying & hospital visits + 5 days in hospital + atleast 6 months recuperating. Atleast we can move to 100% coverage for up to 2 child births?

The discrimination exists everywhere. Bosses/ colleagues use the episode of pregnancy as a reference point during introductions- she has just come back from maternity leave, or she is carrying and is continuing to work for as long as she can, as if the rest of the achievements don’t count at all. As if she has done no work all this while, simply came, go married, got pregnant, took maternity leave & is back again. This happens when a girl gets married also- she is introduced as “just married” whereas men are never introduced using marriage or planning a child as a reference point. I have seen some women who are in the middle of crucial project, not telling the boss about the pregnancy until it becomes too obvious for they fear that their commitment levels would be questioned. Sad but true. Some bosses even leave the lady in question without meaningful projects, clearly doubting whether she would come back or not.

She bears the jabs from colleagues - I guess you are in a different world and your priorities are different so you have not been paying attention, or the inhuman ones like- how come you don’t come down to the lab nowadays totally forgetting that even walking down to the loo is such an effort for her who is carrying a hell lot of extra weight around her middle.

Bosses have been known to use pregnancy as an excuse during appraisal times indicating the poor increments a result of the long maternity leave. Totally ignoring the fact that she would have worked from home, received umpteen no of phone calls regarding work related issues from team members and ghost directed the projects. Completely forgetting that she would have filled in for others who would have resigned or were getting married & had taken a month long break and that she was working till the last moment until she could walk no more. Ignoring how beautifully she would have mentored the colleagues who would fill in after she leaves and how impeccably she would have maintained documents and records so that the transition is smooth. They miss out on the fact that after getting back to work post maternity leave, how swiftly she gets cued on to the whole set of projects and starts of from where she has left.

On the flip side, companies, bosses and colleagues also offer a lot of support in terms of extended maternity leave, allowing flexitime, ignoring late-coming and early leaving, allowing faster access to the lunch, at times taking a detour when she hitch hikes a ride etc. People are by & large compassionate but if only they were more professional about the job front too…