The Scorpios

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Snatches of Conversation

Where is Mamu?
Where is Dadda?
Eshan wear these shorts
Chee chee, gilu, (wet), kakka (dirty) (accompanied with appropriate facial expression) - obviously bluffing though.
Proceeds to pick up his favourite pajama
Aryamman, ask mamma rice.
Aryamman chants "ask mamma rice" to mamma
Notices mamma is hogging noodles.
Changes to "ask mamma noodals"
Day 1-
Eshan- Duddu...
Nani- No Eshan, I will give you poori for eating

Day 2-
Eshan- Duddu...
Nani- No Eshan, I will give you something else to eat.
Eshan- Poori?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Photo Feature- Winter Collection

I love winter wear. The cozy looking cardigans, smart pullovers, Hip stoles & shawls and important looking coats. And when you have an ardent knitter mom at home, the possibilities are endless- embroideries, cables, patterns, styles, buttons, colours & colour combinations all churned out at great speed by hand or machine. This winter, the visit at Patna resulted my kids wearing sweaters for the 2nd time - the first time being when they were born and Chennai had heavy rains and cold breeze.

Tejas in black skivy, Ojas has a matching one- They considered themselves looking very smart in it and refused to remove them. Bought in Patna
Tejas in red pullover gifted by Choti-Mami-Nani, the white sticker was pulled off without remorse by Ojas from his blue pullover

Ojas in Mamu's Fur coat (long ago purchased in a Delhi winter), and cap gifted by Dad's grand aunt (ex-London)

Sweaters gifted by Mom's aunt when they were 6 months old

Tejas in Mausi's Coat

Tejas looking hip in black sleeveless sweater (jacket style) knitted by Nani- The front and back has the theme of traffic light, cars, traffic signs from my Mom's embroidery book atleast 35 years old (ex-London)

Ojas in matching black sweater- the car pattern is visible- it is knitted into the sweater substituting black wool for red, not embroidered separately
Ojas in Mamu's sweater. This one had matching pajamas and he looked like an absolute doll

Tejas in Mamma's coat & pajama set (ex- Scotland)

Ojas in a pullover gifted by Choti Mami- Nani- the sticker was pulled off

Tejas in Mamu's Coat fashioned out of Nana's T-shirt (ex- London)

Flashback Collection- 2 Days old- in the hospital

Red & Grey sweaters knitted by Nani, with cap & socks

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ojas Tejas Milestones

I debated on the play schools on this blog a few months back. I convinced myself that a play school is essential. I was going to go for the admissions last monday but sort of in a flash I decided that I don't want to send them off to school yet. More so because the school I zeroed upon will be God willing the school from where they will do their 12th Standard. We fell in love with the school. It has a sprawling campus, neat and well maintained, impeccably turned out and smart teachers (the Talwalker, VLCC types- I spotted a few I knew from the gym), pretty classrooms, and most important of all, a great stress on sports and performing arts, workshops etc. Perhaps I will be able to live my dreams via Ojas & Tejas. They will have options to choose from. They may have an alternate talent/ career to fall back upon incase they get tired of academic based career. They might discover a passion for some of the arts/ sports. In a way, I am making up for what I did not do at their age and how I regret it. I regret not having participated enough. I regret not taking part in all the dance programmes inspite of being a student of / diploma holder in kathak. I regret that the school master use to leave me out the few times I tried, on flimsy grounds because my dance teacher was his ex-student, then rival. I regret not being part of the big dramas & dance dramas. More than anything else, I regret never completing my singing lessons- once because the prssure of class 10 was too much to continue both singing, dancing & 2nd time because I was pregnant after a few months of classes. I want to ensure that the opportunity is given to my kids to choose whether they want to do it. I so wish that they will love sports as much as their dad does and performing arts as much as I do. I so badly want them to learn an instrument. Perhaps I will take lessons from them or together with them once they start. Perhaps one day I will be among the many mothers who are forced to cry out of joy or sorrow at live shows- Well, there I have said it. My most embarassing secrets. I have proved that I am a typical parent, trying to live through the kids. That I am no different from millions of other parents who try to seek vicarious pleasure and pride via their children's victories. I am just a common and an ordinary mother despite my so called modern thinking.
Dreams, aspirations, these are what keeps us going...hoping, guessing, praying and living for the future.
They would have done play school for 3 months Feb onwards and nursery from June onwards. No big deal if they stay at home for another 4 months.
Lots of new clothes were bought in preparation for the school. Money was readied and Nani was on the way to Chennai to support the first few months of school going. But this mom decided not to let go. She felt bad about forcing them into a regime. Since Mom has already readied them for school with all the bookch and puzzles and play doh, she felt that direct nursery will do as well.
I was very comfortable about sending them to this school becasue they encouraged me not to put them in diapers even if they are not completely trained. That really put a smile on my face.
Well, that brings me to another highlight that I can say that touch wood, they are 90% toilet trained.
A few months back, I was frustrated that they could communicate everything except the need to pee or poop. I read up everything on the net on potty training. I forced them, smacked them and cried at my failure. I devised my own motivational methods- I took prints of kids and kittens sitting on both child & adult toilet seats. It served academic interests but I am not sure they really took inspiration from them. I tried to force them on the adult seat. Tejas was still doing it on his potty but Ojas was adamant about constipating himself for the whole day until he was put in diapers or left to run free. He made it a point to soil his diapers everytime we were outside. He used to hide himself and do it on the floor and blame it on the dog. The trouble with twins is that if one of them does it right, your success rate is still 50%. If the other does not do it in the right place and time, you still end up cleaning the mess.
The beginning of shame at his BM. A sure positive sign so I fuelled it by saying - duggi, kakka, duggi should do it on the potty etc.
During out Patna trip, Ojas constipated for 3 days, had a few cursory accidents, but by the 4th day he was happily doing it on the adult potty. Tejas was comfortable, singing while pooping in the potty. Proud of his achievemnts.
I do not know when the transition took place. I missed noticing it altogether because it was sporadic and sudden and not always 100 success. Now they wake up in the morning and rush to their seat removing their shorts and pee in their potty, not in the kitchen or bed (their favourite spots). While playing, they remember to go to the potty with or without reminder. They sit on the potty when the feel the pressure and don't want to wash. They love sitting on the potty, I can imagine that soon a book will appear in their hands.
10% accidents happen, but nothing that is annoying me, well it is, when it happens in the kitchen.
They are still not out of diapers yet, when we go out for long duration.
Night time dryness in not achieved completely, but semi controlled. I wake up ever 2-3 hours to take them to the loo. And they go back to sleep after that. Only in the morning I have to give them the milk bottle in exchange.
If I was in a 3-bedroom apartment, it would have been the right time to move them to their own room as they do not wake up in the night.
So if any Mom out there is looking for some sure short potty training method, I have nothing to offer. I can only say that it just happened and no amount of pestering made them do it. Just hang on and watch for the signs to materialize. But, in a way, I am glad that this trying time is nearly over. The last lap and I will be done. Once they begin to express along with control I can take the diapers off.
The next milestone I am looking forward is to do away with the bottle.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Email Goof Ups

Some gems I have encountered...

We will replace the vacancy caused by the creation of Sivakumar
He meant resignation not creation

We will submit colourless juice samples of suggestive flavours
He meant we will add our suggested flavours to juice samples but not add any colours to them
Dear VI
Please collect my tickets from N and bring it to the airport with you.
He meant Dear AD. VI was his boss and N was VI's secretary
PS: in the era of job rotation anything is possible.

From a resume
Won many prices in competitions (this was repeated across the resume)
She meant prizes

All this is regarding....
He meant Hi All, This is regarding....(this was repeated in all his mails for many years until someone had the goodwill of correcting him)

Since you are a person I trust, I wanted to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn. I'm using it to discover inside connections I didn't know I had. It's interesting to see the level of access you can have with only a few people in your network.
Sounds very underhand!! inside connections...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Little Doses of Pleasure

Taking a cue from Eve's Post, listing out the small things in life that give big joy...

1. Writing a well drafted article or a well created (client) presentation
2. A nice long chat with a friend - the one in which you bitch a lot and talk of all things under the sun
3. Shopping a good bargain.
4. A page turner novel- the one which you want to reach the last page as soon as possible out of curiosity but feel sorry when it is over.
5. Coming home from work planning what to cook and the hubby suggests an impromptu dinner outside or discovering that dinner is already cooked by a houseguest.
6. Satiating food cravings during pregnancy
7. The royal treatment during pregnancy
8. Being able to eat without guilt
9. Singing out loud along with the radio/ cd player and getting the tune and wordings right.
10. Hindi songs on the radio (Bummer being in Chennai)
11. Going out for a drive in the afternoon and coming home while the night is still young...not too tired to want to sleep... but being able to catch up on a movie after putting the kids to sleep.
12. Being able to stay outdoors without worrying about getting home on time.
13. Cleaning the cupboard
14. Lunch at a not so full restaurant, walking out in the afternoon sun, slightly sleepy, slightly languid, and someone to drive you back home while you idly watch outside
15. Bunking work and meeting hubby for a movie/ snack
16. Someone you know drops in at your workplace giving you a breather from work.
17. Dancing with friends - especially matching steps ..we used to do this in my previous office. Wherever we were, we could form an individual group dancing with the same coordinated steps, much to the amazement of the rest of the crowd.
18. Chatting up in Hindi, being able to negotiate in Hindi with shop/ auto wallahs (bummer chennai again)
19. Reading in the winter morning sun in the garden and dozing off
20. Learning a poem by heart with all expressions (at school)
21. Being the first in the group to watch a particular movie or read a particular book or discover a newly launched food item/ newly opened restaurant/ store.
22. A new flower in your plant or a plucking a new fruit from your garden
23. Picking potatoes from the kitchen garden- feels like you have unearthed some buried treasure.
24. Getting a call from the ex-boss- just to wish you for new year.
25. Gifting something to someone and the person loving the gift instantly
26. For once, looking good in a photograph- something that you wish to pass around for everyone to see.
27. Buying a new attire and then immediately getting a chance to dress up for a party
28. Making a feel good list like this
29. Making any list/ things to do and striking off each item as you complete it
30. Channel surfing and chancing upon a good program
31. Being able to find time on official trip for shopping or catching up with an old friend.
32. Driving on a tree lined road.
33. Going to a blog and discovering that (s)he has linked you up. Not to mention, getting comments on your posts.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Tamil Goof Ups Could Fill a Book

1. Setting- Skit with the theme of Yamlok. Chitragupta begins every sentence with "Arasu"
After trying hard to follow what is going on, yours truly asks her colleague, why is he using Rice before every sentence?
Arasu means king, Arasi means rice.

2. Setting- The fish seller comes to the door step and asks if we want Yera. MIL says no and she walks off. I get excited and call her back saying I want to eat Yera.
Me- Why is yera looking like prawn.
MIL- Because this is prawn.
Me- But I want that fish you made last week
MIL- That was Sura
Me- I wanted Sura not Yera
The scene ends with very dirty looks from the fish seller.

3. Setting- This was when I was in college and my Tamil vocablary was limited to a few words like po, ille, aiyo.
I was in my then-not-my-hubby's house and there was a small girl doing all sorts of naughtiness, not eating food etc. Every sentence people spoke to her was like- eat, else, Pune, come ...Pune. I constructed the whole conversation as she must eat this type of food because in Pune she will not get it, or before going to Pune she must visit again, etc.
Then just to do some small talk I asked- when are they going to Pune?
It took a while for then-not-my-hubby to explain that they were talking about the stray poone (cat) that had found it's way into the house.

4. Hubby asked his Mom- What is for dinner
MIL- Soar
Me- Wow, soar is there
Hubby- Why are you so excited?
Me- Mutton you meant right?
I don't know by what logic I had derived that soar means Mutton while it actually means Rice

5. This was in college. A group of boys were trying their hand at hindi "bad words" to try on 2 of us hindi-speaking girls. Then-not-my-hubby was among the lot who were using them.
To take revenge I asked one of the boys who was apparently supporting us to teach me some Tamil swear words.
He asked me to tell Na Orru Paithyam and explained to me it meant You are mad.
I repeated with a whole lot of forceful vengeance thrown in my expression.
The class burst into laughter and I realized that Na means I & Nee means You.

6. MIL- I don't have a sari here, need to get it from my apartment (in Tamil)
Me- Naa Vaangita Vera(my rendering in Tamil, which according to me means I will get it from your house)
MIL- No need to buy, I have at home.
I repeated what I had said earlier.
MIL- You mean Erthite va (you wll bring it)

Believe me, there are many more such goof ups in everyday conversations...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I am the Boss

We moved to Hubby's new office in Pondicherry on 20th Jan. Details and pics will come later. This post exclusively places on record the sweetest thing that hubby could tell me, ever.
I was drafting the press release of the inaugaration in hubby's office. He asked me to move over and occupy his chair for typing the press release so that the visitors could sit on the chairs opposite and he could carry on the conversation with them.
I hesitated saying that it is his chair and he should be occupying it. Very sweetly he claimed in front of his visitors and friends- But you are my boss, you sit there.
Well, now, Hubby dear, you have said that and there were a few witnesses. By posting about it, I have on my side, the blogworld as witnesses too.
I solemnly swear that I will henceforth continue my best to live up to being your boss K- controlling, domineering and bossing over you.
And you have only yourself to blame for it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Why are free left turns never left free?

Why do I find it difficult to recognize and sort out hubby's shirts/ trousers from others? Are men's clothes so similar?

Me- Do you have my room keys?
Security- No madam
One month Later
Me- I remember giving them to you
Security- No Madam, I don't Have your keys, I have only the duplicate.
Me- ?????

It's the minorities who can make or break a political party. It is the minorities - Christians, Muslims, Sikhs who get restricted holidays on Christmas eve or Eid. Why then the minorities in Chennai don't get Hindi station on the Radio?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mom's Holiday

We were in Pondy during the Pongal weekend.
Hubby is moving to the new office this Sunday and we will be back in Pondy this tonight / tomorrow.
The maid is on a week long leave.
Logistically and logically it is better to leave the kids in Pondy, is it not?
So that is exactly what I did and I am home alone since Wednesday morning.
Day 1 was spent in stores and Cascade chinese restaurant with sis.
Day 2 was delayed at office.
Day 3 Hubby would be back to do some artifact shopping for the new office and we will get back together to Pondy.
The break has been good.
The kids have been missed terribly but not so bad. Did not have the time to dwell over the fact that I am missing them. Dreamt about them a lot both nights.
Finished watching Om Shanti Om in 2 sittings.
Stayed at sis' place.
Did not cook at all.

Ojas had developed an itchy rash in Pondy- 2 doses of Atarax syrup did the trick.
Tejas' recuring diarreah problem has been investigated via urine/ stool report- Ecoli colonies in large numbers, seemingly resistant to around 15 drugs have been found.
The doc has put him on a course of Phexin for 20 days to finish them.
Learnt today that Metrogyl sysrup is given to cure anaerobic dysentry caused by amoebic infection and The phexins/ cephaloxins/ ampicillins are for diarrhea caused by bacterial infection. Diagnosed by clinical conditions so my self medication may not always work!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Take you for a Ride

A unique initiative by residents of Valmiki Nagar Chennai...
They have 10 Lift points within Valmiki Nagar where they have placed signs with their logo. Participating residents also sport the logo on their vehicle. Anyone needing a ride may stand at any of the lift points and request the participating vehicle to stop, at their discretion of course.

Interesting idea that could be adopted by any colony. Wonderful chance for people to socialize. Great for the environment. No more hassles over auto fare. Wonder how they take care of the logistics. I mean anyone could get the logo made and use it to con people or abduct.. I am getting filmy here but possibilities are there.

Saw a girl of about 8-10 years begging near Cascade Besant Nagar at 10 pm. She wore tights and a blue knitted top and curly hair cut short. She could be anyone you or me would know.
She was with a beggar woman and we called her back and asked her where she lived. She said I have no home. I asked where did you get this dress. She said from the Church. She looked too neat and well turned out to be a beggar. The dress was ok but the hair style? The looks? But refused to indicate any such thing when we probed. Soon another girl who looked more like a beggar came right up and we drove off.
I am still wondering whether she had been kidnapped. Wish we could have done something about it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Factual Fiction- Saviour

She squealed in fright and clutched at his shirt sleeves.

There is a large dog there.

Now he was expected to act brave and assure her that nothing would happen to her as long as he, her husband was there to protect her.

If only he was not shit scared of dogs too

Friday, January 11, 2008

Factual Fiction- Being the Visitor

Atleast this time I have my daughter's house to stay in the city. I don't have to take help from the relatives living here. And neither do I have to worry about conveyance and hope to hitch hike a ride from the relatives.
No need to be polite and proper and formal and inform them of our every move.
No need to try to make myself useful around the kitchen or pretend to want to take care of her kids.
No need to seek help when I need to go shopping. I don't have to rely upon complicated directions from others. I can blindly follow my daughter to where ever I want to go.
In fact, I can actually invite them for a dinner to return their favour of having me at their home last year.
If I have the time.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Factual Fiction- Host

I am going to be the perfect host when she comes. Inspite of the fact that she made me feel like an unwelcome guest.
I will make the best efforts for the meals. And not expect her to help in the kitchen. (She could dice the veggies and make tea though and make her famous gulabjamuns and help me make the pickles)
I will take her shopping to all the places I am sure she will love. (I will also do my pending shopping at the same time, I will have someone to guide me also while I select)
May be we could go sight seeing. (I have also never been to Mahabs before)
We will take her to the multiplex. (With so many of us, taking care of the kids will not be a problem)

I am Sick of the Loosies

Tejas is again down with diarrhea. The 4th round in a span of a month. He doesn't seem to b getting rid of this cycle of vomiting and loose motions. His regular doctor is out of town. We went to a new one who has prescribed only g-norm and ascezin. This doc believes in as less antibiotic as possible. So no metrogyl or phexin or monocef this time. I don't want to subject him to antibiotics anyway. A series of homeopathic is being administered- Aloe s, Apis, Chamomile, Carbo veg, nux, Podophyllum...hoping atleast one of them will hit home....Doc says no sugar no honey milk offcourse
He is bored of the bland stuff he is getting to eat and is crying for roti/ veggies/ chips..anything. Poor boy...
Ojas is also deprived of them all so that Tejas doesn't ask for it seeing him eating it.
I took 2 days off to tend him as I have no baby maid since last month. He is still passing loose stools and I am trying to reach the doctor who is sure to brush aside my concern saying that unless he does it every 5 minutes, there is nothing to worry. Yes, tell that to a mother or someone who has to clean up everytime it happens- Sofa, bed, cycle, chair, floor...

Despite this off-schedule holiday, I am waiting ofr the Pongal 4-day break...the only black spot being that the maid will take a long 5-day off and there are no substitutes in sight. I have also indicated to the boss that I may have to take a few days leave apart from the 4 day break since the maid has to go on her holiday! Or may be I will go off to Pondy where atleast the office cleanign ladies can come and help us.

Ojas wakes up in the morning scratching the palm of his hands and soles of his feet. Sometimes it happens while sleeping also. Wonder whether he has suddenly developed some allergic reaction to something?

The Pulse Polio volunteers came to administer in our building. I had to remind them off course that I had registered our building a year back. Somehow the drive here is not so intense maybe because Chennai is a low incidence zone?? In Patna I was asked at the railway station, exhibition, market and home by volunteers whether I had participated. I am guilty of lying as I was not sure whether the drops were authentic or not. I ought to have done it as I was there in the city but I did not. So does it make me a UK-Born-Bihari-Brought-Up Confused Chennaite?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Factual Fiction- Visitor

Oh no, she is coming to town this week. I am sure she will want to visit us and ask us to take her shopping. I will say I am busy. Last time she bored the hell out of me.

By the end of the week..
Wonder why she hasn't called. Let me call her and check if she wants to come over.
Hello, hi, you never called, what happened? Why don't you drop in tomorrow.
Was too busy, wanted to call you but misplaced your number. Am leaving tomorrow and your place is too far off. Will try and make it next time.

Opportunist. she never made the effort to come and meet me. Last time when she had no where to go, she stayed with me and this time she is making excuses. She could have spared some time to pay me a visit. Matlabi.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Dizzy Heights

Height of blame game- Ojas doing potty on the floor and blaming that "Dadda' did it or the soft toy dog did it

Height of pretense- my brother kissed Tejas and he complained- chot (bruise)

Height of acting- They call a small rectangular piece of toy as soap, rub it all over the body and then over the eyes and say "eeyaah" and shut their eyes tight as if soap has gone into their eyes

Height of copying- Ojas picks up the mobile and says "what" exactly as I do when hubby calls and then passes the phone to Tejas saying Dadda

Height of dismay- when the doorbell rings they say Dadda and if he is not there, they cry and search for him beyond the door

Height of disgust- When one shits the other bends low over it, smells it and says Hey God, Smell and pinches his nose.

Height of creativity- the only object they want me to mould out of the play doh is potato.

Height of self- reliance- they take mini cooked rotis from me, roll them on their miniature chakla with their miniature belan and then eat them

Height of rationing- if one has 2 toys of the same kind, the other tells him very strictly only one

Height of predicting the predictable- I take their book at bedtime and open a page, both say unanimously- "show me car" in uncanny imitation of mine

Height of correlation- my sister came home, they immediately informed her-Mamu and pointed inside the room. Conversely, when they are looking for my sister, they ask my brother- Mausi?

Height of patronising- they teach my brother the names of all the vehicles on the road as if he is the only one in the group who is ignorant

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Factual Fiction- Movie

They bunked classes and went to watch a "matter movie".
They entered the darkened theater to avoid known faces if any. Groping their way in the semi darkness, they found a row to themselves and sank into the seats and looked around trying to get their eyes adjusted.
Oops! this looks like the cranky Maths teacher. Nudge, nudge, Is that him? Nudge, nudge, Anand, look if that is Angle sitting there?
Shit, yes, what should we do now.
Your problem, Subbs, you are on the aisle so he can see you, not any of us.
Lets walk out when the lights come on. Turn, turn, turn away, he is looking our side.
F&%k, he has seen me and not the others.
The lights are coming on, let's walk out quickly.
On a sudden inspiration, Subbu shouted loudly making sure Angle heard him as all of them started walking out in a single file - Anand, Balu, Rags, let's get a cool drink. Siddharth, Gokul, Rams, move fast yaar.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy 2008

We were in Pondicherry the entire extended weekend. 31st was an eventful day with the kids enjoying themselves messing around in the sand while we parents sneaked away to the office. We had a fun time designing the theme of the new office we are planning to shift to. More on it when it materializes by mid month.

We had grand plans to have a dinner for two in a good hotel and then join the office party that the team had thrown. But all went for a toss when MIL prepared some very good chicken and fish. Along with her crisp, calorific dosas, the food is a wow. We did not have the heart to jostle in the crowd and get lousy food served in return coupled with the guilt of leaving the kids behind. So we, kids and the in-laws went for a round in the town, sampled a few cakes and shakes and came back to the office where the team was waiting for us to begin the celebrations.

The girls danced to various songs and we were requested to judge. For the first time in my life (apart from my wedding day) I had to act he part of a demure lady. I was role playing the CEO's wife, the tough owner, I was not playing my 30 something but was acting atleast 40, no sudden outbreaking into claps and funny dance postures, no pulling hubby to join the fun and no loud noises. Only bringing down the guard for my kids. Another kind of crowd, I could have done it but not this one.

The future/ actual owners- Ojas & Tejas cut the cake and before anyone could, Ojas helped himself to a large piece of cake and offered the rest to me.

I wanted to have a chance to say- everyone did well, but there can be only one winner but unfortunately the kids were in no mood to stay and I had to get back home to a lovely dinner.
Finished the new year day with a fantastic meal at sis' place in Chennai

The only black spot in the weekend was a drunk boy kicking our car on the passenger door and creating a big dent as a result. The local goonda traced him and he and his father created a crying scene in the office. He is a barber by profession and ironically, he was studying hard so that he could join my husband's company just like some of the boys in his neighbourhood!

Pics from the festivities taken on a mobile phone