The Scorpios

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Monday, December 31, 2007

Counting My Blessings 2007

Another year ends and here I am sitting in Hubby's office in Pondicherry, doing a self-introspection and resolution making for 2008

I take pride in...
  1. Regularising my exercise routine- the best gift for myself has been my enrolment to the gym. Weight loss and getting into shape being the key goal. But I discovered that I enjoyed doing it and have extended my membership. I amazed myself by controlling the hunger pangs and snacking binges. I achieved my weight loss first target, gained back some of the lost kilos and want to start full swing after the holiday binging comes into control.
  2. Driving- The new job forced me to drive my way to the workplace and I have it to thank for the confidence it gave me. I no longer rely on anyone to take me around but I am confident that I can manage the odd hospital visits, tailor trips or an outing with a friend on my own.
  3. Reading with kids- this is something that has given me personal satisfaction. My kids can point out and name correctly all that I have taught them and I take full credit for channelising their knowledge by way of buying the right books and relentlessly taking them through it everyday, every moment. I have treated every occasion with them as a learning opportunity, be it while we are driving or watching TV or playing or shopping. I am proud that they have a thirst for books (fingers crossed) and hope the same continues
  4. Blogging- I have continued with full ardour and I am glad I am able to churn out posts and crystallize thoughts. The blogger badges and getting featured in the Telegraph and Indian Bloggers list have added to my enthusiasm. I am particularly happy with the factual fiction series. I only wish I had the time to blog hop much more and leave behind my thoughts on all posts I read.
  5. Secretary to the society- I continued the role, albeit with a little detachment due to kid management issues. I could have done better but I chose to resign from the post after my term was up. I had proven a point to myself and the society that if I could do it despite kids and work so could others. I hope I have inspired people to volunteer more for the building.
  6. Travel- survived a week long trip and another 1-nighter and enjoyed the experience. Did miss the kids terribly though. Did the much awaited 15-day vacation with the kids. Also managed a few weekends at Pondicherry and visited the alma mater.
  7. Shopping- My favourite activity got due justice. Multi-location shopping managed all for clothes mostly. Refreshed the kids and my wardrobe with a whole lot of new clothes. Picked up patterns, colours and styles that I used to never do before, thereby moving away from my stereotype. My Lajpat Nagar shopping dreams were finally realized after 8 years of trying and failing. Both cars- Swift and Honda City were brought home this year.
  8. Reading- Fed on short story selections all year. My favourite this year has been none other than Harry Potter. After multiple re-reads, I am hoping that I have finally come to terms with the closure.
  9. Homemaker- we are surviving hubby's absence during the weekdays because of the business and that to me is the biggest achievement. Seriously, it is not easy being the only person in charge.
  10. Business- Hubby left his job and is full time into the business. My contribution towards it has been the website content management until the launch. I could have done a better job had I comprehended completely what I was doing.
  11. Food- Did many lunches/ dinners with and without kids, with family or friends. I have realized that doing a meal without the kids is the best time to catch up with friends or spouse or family and so I plan to do it more often. I have realized that one can enjoy a social/ business meal too, given the right company.
  12. Appearance- Finally had the courage to get a new hair style and I am pleased with the results.
  13. We got Duggi as a gift and much has been said about that. He has taken residence in Pondicherry and is a much grown up dog now, dominating and scaring the kids. The tables have turned now.

I solemnly resolve that...

1. Ojas & Tejas- We will put them in school this Feb. We have selected a school that is to our taste in terms of facilities, environment, location. A place where kids will love to come back to. We are hoping to let them stay on till 12th Std. They have to learn to cycle and I need to take them out more often. They have discovered the joys of playing in the sand and I intend to make it possiblefor them to do more of that. The beach is one more destination I need to go more often. The first visit to the Auro beach at Pondy had Ojas screaming and curling his legs up (exactly how I did when I was of that age). The learning sessions to continue and Table manners/ Ps and Qs to be taught

2. Travel- I want to do atleast a couple of joy trips this year and a few weekends depending on the schedules.

3. Work- be more focussed rather than generic, do better than what I did this year. I need to reinvent and surpass myself. Need to get more involved in hubby's business even though I can't make head or tail of what he is doing computer/techno-blind spot

4. Entertainment- Did a marathon round of movies in December (DVDs only). I found I have enjoyed doing it. This needs to continue.

5. Parties- A poor show in 2007. Can't let that happen again

6. Wardrobe- Both mine and the kids- has to be up to date, more trips to orphanage with old stuff and toys/ shoes.

7. Home Management- poor show again this year. Completely in a mess. Need to put my act together for this.

8. To myself- More self discipline

Friday, December 28, 2007

Factual Fiction- Argument

He was going to lose the argument. He had no points to counter the verbal charade. He had to think something fast.
Eeks, Stop. I can't take it anymore. Your mouth is stinking.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Brand Me- My Name

Piecing together disjointed thoughts
A wise man said that the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. When a child is born, parents go through great lengths to select the appropriate name for their child. All goes well for a girl until she gets married. She is supposed and expected to change her surname and adopt her husband's name or surname. While for men, the same does not hold true in the patriarchal society. Infact, come to think of it, men do not have too many hassles except for seemingly changing allegiance from one woman to another- the mother to the wife, shifting from one breast to another!
For women, a whole lot of decisions to make, emotions to consider, people to answer to- whether she should sport the various signs of marriage, what dress she should wear in the presence of whom, whether it is compulsary to use the bindi, flowers, bangles, and also the automatic assumption that the name must change.
I have nothing against the signs of marriage. Infact I myself display them proudly, solely because I like having them on me, not because I have to please my husband. If my mangalsutra does not go well with my attire, I don't wear it, and when I do wear it, it is displayed and not hidden behind my clothing. I don't do flowers but I do bangles- lots of them. It's all a matter of preference and liking rather than compulsion. I don't judge people who don't wear them and I don't bother to explain to anyone why I take the trouble to wear them.
I never did change my name officially. For all practical purpose, I still hold my maiden name. Call it asserting my feminity or importance by holding on to the surname of one man (father) rather than another (husband) - which is a contradiction of sorts- a woman (and a man too) still needs to back her name with a man's name no matter how modern she may be.
I did not change my name apart from practical reasons, because in South, there is no concept of family name/surname. You have to hold on to your father's name or husband's name resulting in a mixed bag of feminine and masculine name as your name unless the man's name is a generic sounding one- which was not to my taste at all. Moreover there was this practical problem of official documents, emails, etc. I hate confusion of any sort.
For all my blog related work, I attach my husband's name as (sheepish look on my face) it is numerologically lucky and it sounds cool to have a pen name (high hopes!).
I have had hilarious mistakes- we being called as Mr & Mrs (my surname) by doctors, travels and sundry others.
I have encountered annoying questions- why are you not changing your name- why the hell should I or rather why the hell should I answer you. I don't think in this day and age this topic discussed between a much older person and today's generation will lead to satisfactory answers for both.
I have been asked whether (my surname) is my husband. Why don't you ask me straight- what is your husband's name, rather than asking yes/no questions.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali has attached his mother's name to his. A very sweet gesture. Probably I would have liked my daughter to contain my name in hers using a play of letters and words- wishful thinking! Not because I want to defy tradition, but because it is a nice feeling. Just like how any parent wants the child to look like him/her.
Hubby and I have had our discussions on my name stance- girls love adopting their husband's name- why not me. My argument is my love does not lessen or increase based on whether I take his name. I know he will love it if I adopt his name but I like the fact that he is liberal about his views on my preferences across the signs of marriage (name included).
Most of the time I live for today and I have a right to change my mind if tomorrow my idealogies and views change. Until then, it is status quo.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Photo Feature- This is what we did in Patna

Bought Cheap Toys at the door step Called the Snake Charmer
Visited the Club all bundled up
Participated in the Satnarayan Katha

Went to Bade Nana's house

Painted the town red dressed up like heroes

Played at our favourite spotAllowed Mom to feed me if she allowed me to slide and make my pant seats dirty
Ate in the garden only
Watched the grapefruits in the tree and called them orange

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sure Signs

Sure Signs that Ojas & Tejas are Bihari

  1. Sh is pronounced as S- Issaan, Sip (Ship)
  2. Fish is pronounced as Phiss
  3. Roti and Daal eaten with relish
  4. Potato is enjoyed immensely
  5. They say budhu, bamaas (badmaash) very often

Sure Signs that they are Madrasi (Tamil)

  1. They love dosa (dooffaa)
  2. They love idly (Aidly)
  3. They say Dekko for dekho and bai for bhai
  4. They say Vennaaaa (venda), seep (comb), pais (speak on phone) quite often

Sure Signs that they are Angrej chale gaye unko chod gaye

  1. They like to eat cake as breakfast (happy to you)

Sure Signs that they are their momma's sons

  1. They love chip (chips), gulabjamun, non-veg(chicken), aaloo bhujiya (pixture)
  2. They love bookch and puzzles
  3. They love Tukkis (chocolate)

Sure Signs they are their Dadda's sons

  1. They love fruits, jam, bread, chocolate
Sure Signs that they are confused
  1. they mix up between who is Eshan and who is Aryamman
Heights of blame game- Ojas doing potty on the floor and blaming that "Dadda' did it or the soft toy dog did it
Height of acting- my brother kissed Tejas and he complained- chot (bruise)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Office Humour

His mails are so long, I am unable to read them on the laptop. So I always take a print...
And read them in the toilet.

Hello, is this Siva? (35 year old man)
Ganapaty (60 plus)- No I am Siva's son Ganapaty speaking.

Our Brahmin Dean- I thought I was the only punster in the family. Now my wife is also catching on. She calls me a "pun"dit.

AD- how old are you?
AS- you should not ask men their age.
AD without missing a beat- ok, so what is your salary?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Factual Fiction- Kaleidoscope

The trio bent over the newly purchased kaleidoscope. They shrieked excitedly as they moved the pieces trying to solve the first challenge as quickly as possible.
"Sshh he (CEO) is coming"
The quickthinker AD quickly shoved the pieces haphazardously into her drawer and jabbed madly at the keyboard.
"What's going on?"
The quickthinker said "Just going over this article, Amway has launched a new perfume"

They will never learn. Just a day before they had barely escaped being caught playing Bookworm

Monday, December 17, 2007

Back Home- My 251st post

Back home after my much deserved vacation.
I could have shopped more,
...if only I had the space to carry them all. Blame it on Air Deccan's luggage limits.
...if only the kids would have agreed to stay at home and give me a few precious hours to shop hop.
...if only I had more sickness free days...Blame it on the Patna water that definitely causes stomach problems.
Anyway, to sum it all up...

A break helps in more ways than one can think of.

Other things that help to revive, pep you up when you are feeling low or bored...

  1. Shopping- tops my list, even window shopping helps.
  2. A lunch / afternoon date with a friend / group of friends- especially if you bunk office for that. Fodder for the stomach and the gossippy tongue
  3. A vacation
  4. Blogging and blog hopping/ net surfing
  5. Parlour visit
  6. Giving multiple dress material to the tailor for stitching, fixing up the patterns for each and then getting them back
  7. A solo time at the coffee shop
  8. Cathing up on the phone with mom or friends or relatives
  9. Late night gossip sessions
  10. A random book especially some fiction with a pack of snacks
  11. Spring cleaning your cupboard, finding long lost clothes and recycling them or discarding the non-useable ones

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Factual Fiction- Ragging

The ragging would continue for a month.
She left hostel for college with her long hair plaited into two braids, attired in salwar suit and neatly pinned up dupatta, her new pair of hawai chappals adorning her feet.
She walked for 15 minutes, stopped at a corner, furtively looked around and removed her high heeled sandals from her bag. Quickly she removed the chappals and stuffed them into her bag. She would reverse the process on her way back to the hostel.
2 braids were ok. Salwar suits for a month was ok. But bathroom slippers to college, and that too without the comfort of doing it in a group of newcomers, being the only girl in a class of 140?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Factual Fiction- Truncated

The Office Buddhu/ Long Mail Sender- Do you know the meaning of truncated?
She- yes, cut short (knowing fully well why he was asking the question)

A week later- yes a full week later
The Office Buddhu/ Long Mail Sender- Have you heard of the word truncated.
She- Yes
The Office Buddhu/ Long Mail Sender- I am getting this message at the end of every mail- "this mail is truncated"
She- "High time you call the IS", setting the mail options to "retrieve full documents" instead of "retreive only summary & 40kb" and instructing how to download the truncated mails.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Factual Fiction- Alarm Clock

She was sick of her dormitory mate. She had enough of that girl setting her alarm clock at God forsaken hours of the morning. Enough of waking up at the monotonous incessant sound of alarm clock, enough of forcing herself of jabbing her sleeping dormitory mate to wake her up and then again waking up with the loud snores of that girl sleeping hunched over her medical entrance book, with the 200watt bulb glaring over her eyes.

The monotonous sound of the alarm clock woke her up. It's 2'o clock, cuckdoo koo.
She woke up quickly, jammed the alarm button down, switched off the overhead light (left on from the previous night) and for the first time in 3 months, slept peacefully for the entire night.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Factual Fiction- Picturesque

The boss asked her to create the entire marketing presentation for the top management.
Put in lot of pictures to depict the trends. Send me a note on the narration for the slides.
You won't need the narration, I will pitch in while you are presenting.
You may not be there when I am presenting it- only the sales team will be present.

She laughed to herself as she created the presentation full of cartoon pictures depicting the trends. She ensured that the presentation carried her unique signature style.

Now picture this picturesque presentation being done to the top guns, watched by the entire team. Obviously not his work.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Patna Tales

4th wedding anniversary spen away from hubby - for the 1st time today.
Both kids pucking away to glory- some infection I guess- electrobion given
Ojas fell into a bucket of water- mildly shocked!
seen- donkey on the road- delighted
talking hindi relatively fluently- connecting words, repeating after us when we talk
shitting on the adult potty seat as no other option available- singing in the loo also
making parody- good boy good boy good boy, where have you been (to the tune of pussy cat pussy cat where have you been)
loving the plastic tea set- serving us coffee in them
love the plastic animal model toys
can recognize colours- black is mummy car, red is mausi car, and so on - can recite the colour names too.
can say numbers in tamil- upto 10 by rote
can recite few notes from the sargam- sa re ga
Shopping worth Rs 15k- blown up in 5 designer saris and 2 suits - still raring to go for more

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

This was for tharini

Factual Fiction- Shutting the Big Mouth

The Office Big Mouth- All you girls dozing in the bus and looking sleepy in the office. After marriage wonder why you all are always sleepy.
She- Atleast you have no proof of what we are doing in the night. But in your case, we all know what exactly you are doing- you have 2 living proofs- 1 boy and 1 girl by now.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Winter Vacation

eating potato chips early morning in the train

Languishing in Patna at the start of winter.

Lazy mornings, gossip sessions and the only thing I need to worry is kids management.

Feeling like an SAHM minus the trappings of home management, and other jobs including husband management that take up an SAHM's time.

That's why, I realize ladies love coming back to their parent's place.

I plan to make the most of this stay.

Spend as much time with the kids - make up for what my job does not allow.

The story so far...

The flight to Kolkatta was uneventful except that Ojas was mighty scared during take off and landing. They discovered life size air-planes and loved it judging by the look on their faces.

s quick trip to the bathroom and we were off to the pre paid taxi. The rules say 4 adults & 25 kg allowed per taxi. We could not undertsand why the cabbie made such a big deal of 3 adults, 2 kids, 3 suitcases, 2 air bags. One adult himself is atleast 70 kg so why he was creating such a fuss about overloading, we could not fathom. Well,a big fight and a change of cabs later we had a nail biting journey of an hour. Reached right on time together with a leaking overfull diaper- result of no big job done at home!

We did it all- potty, eating, messing mausi's jeans with susu when the diaper was off, changing into comfortable pajamas, messing the entire compartment with aaloo bhujiya/ chips/ cheeselings, sleeping.

Inspite of that everyone said the kids are not naughty.

There was a general discussion among passengers-

both are same except one has a hair cut. ..

Are they identical or fraternal?

The girl isalso wearing shirt .....

Both are dressed alike except for the colour of the shirt...

They have discovered Buffaloes and Ojas is very scared of them. Stays hidden inside the house when any crosses the road.

They loved the huge grapefruits hanging from the tree in the house

Points of interests-

"Kai pichish"- colour pencils/ crayons (which they hide between the mosquito net and mattress while sleeping)

Bookch, newspapers

Our old toys- they love play-acting on the plastic tea set.

All the soft toys- penguin, rabbit, teddy esp