Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
So yesterday was the day of retribution.
It took me a lot of unlearning to stop saying kan-gaaa-roo. But sometimes I do slip back into that mode and yesterday says Tejas-
Kangaaaroo? it is Kain-ga- roo Mamma!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
And the husband got a dart board for himself.
The kids have appropriated the dart board and play with them and during one such play, one dart vanished.
Dadda- why are you touching my toy?
Ojas- why are you playing with my beyblade?
Friday, March 18, 2011
It does feel nice to be called back. Because it makes you feel good about yourself. And you realize perhaps you were valued after all!
I have gone through a gamut of emotions the last 3 months. And today I am feeling truly very very sad.
Most importantly, I was happy and content here. I was at peace. I had an easy time. The less work pressure left me with a lot of time to devote to my children, a much needed thing during the last 4 plus years. I was taught, I was given respect, I was cared for. I loved the twisted sense of humour of my lunch companions.
I learnt new things. And most importantly I tasted many new and varied things in my line of work. I learnt my wasabis and galangals and even beefs without eating beef in the real sense. I ate my first centrefilled gum here. I have eaten more types and quantity of chocolates during the last 4 years than my entire lifetime perhaps. (And I hate to go- it will cut off my perpetual chocolate supply for ever)
I carved a niche for myself in presentation making.
I did many things and perhaps it is time to do more. Enhanced role, more responsibility, more learning.
Wish me Luck!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Something about his answer just warms my heart. Both he and Tejas then go on to explain the various activities they did in school, but the key message remains- I learned!
Are we doing that?
Are we learning?
Are we just doing our mundane activities or are we learning something new anyday?
I simply love the attitude and I learn this from him!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Yes, this happens the moment I hear that the maid is not coming.
I have reached a certain stage in my life when the tone of the entire day depends upon the arrival of this all important person in life- the maid. Until she comes, I have something nagging at the back of my head. Every happy episode of the day like coming to know the bonus figures or getting a surprise phone call from the kids seems to be clouded by something. Until I hear that the maid is safely inside the house happily working and banishing the dirt demons of the house. Then on, the day seems bright and sunshiny and I appreciate the joy in the little little pleasures of life-like a gulabjamun served at the office lunch or simply completing the task of a bill payment.
I am an total disaster when the maid goes away. I curse, I cry, I fume, I scream at every available person or non person.
I then use all resources to hunt for availabe maid- anyone who is willing to do just dishes. I call friends, neighbours, maids who have phones. I beg, cajole and follow up if they agree to come which is not very often.
Then I collect myself and begin to say to self- ah well, atleast she will be back tomorrow or the day after. Atleast it is not permanent. Just do it today. I then go about the laborious task of attacking dirty dishes, washing clothes and say to myself thank God I have a machine, scrub sink tops and say to myself atleast because the maid is not there, the sink top is looking cleaner. The husband vacuums- ah another positive- atleast the house gets to have the monthly vacuuming done because of her absence. And after that initial starting prolem, on pure inertia I do the jhaadoo, pocha, bartan, kapda the next day and the next until the maid madam arrives.
And I vow to myself, never again will I let myself get into this situation.
And so the hunt for the second maid begins. She will be my back up. A lower salary one. The one who comes early morning and does atleast half the job. The one who will go the extra mile if the second one takes leave. The one who will never take leave without informing me. Or rather, will never take leave. The one who will live at walking distance, will have a phone and will come even if I call her to work at odd hours. Basically, she will be accessible at all times, all days, round the year. Even though I do not need her. I just want her to be there. Eventually she will become my main maid and the current one will become a back up and I, from this position of power, will negotiate with her on her awful timings, or chores that she gives a miss or even cut her salary if she takes too many leaves.
But it is not easy.
My Standard Operating Protocol for Maid Hunt
1. Spread the word- talk to the maid encyclopedia of the building- the one who knows about every available maid, the building maid, the neighbour's maid, iron wallah, security, fish waali who has the advantage of knowing about maids in other buildings.
2. Go from flat to flat staring at their doorstep- if there is a pair of chappals which are likely to be a maid's, ring the bell even if you have never ever spoken to the occupants before. Ask for the maid without preamble. Because- they understand how it is like to be maidless. But, don't say you want their maid to work- say you want to ask their maid to find someone- because maid poaching is another feared thing- some people clam up the moment you say words to that effect. The drill is same when you speak to the maid- give flat number, timing when you need a maid, give a brief overview of the work load and extract a promise from her that she will bring her friend to work for you, then pray for the miracle.
3. Stare at every possible person in the vicinity. If they look like a maid- accost them.
4. Follow up- with 1 & 2 & 3 above.
5. Now when a maid comes you need to judge- do you tell the entire workload and fix upfront or just give a sketch and as she enters your home give additional responsibility and may be increase the salary thereby. Do you straightaway come to a final figure or negotiate upwards. Remember, there is no sure shot here. Some walk away the moment they hear the figure and you will never feel like calling them back even if you had a higher budget, while some will negotiate. Some name their price while others wait for you to open your trap then size you up.
6. Even if one agrees to come and work, the story does not end. They may not turn up and you lose a day and a half worth of maid hunt. So keep the search on even then.
7. Even if they join work, there is no guarantee that they will last the month even. Believe me, I have changed 6 last year and have already experienced 2 this month alone. Therefore, rinse, repeat until you get a feeling that the new one has settled.
8. And as you begin to have good thought for her and start thinking of giving her a big bonus inspite of she not completing even a year of service, or start thinking of giving her a hike as she completes a year, or plan to give her some more work because, after all, the workload isn't as much as you initially spoke of- she throws a googly and quits.
9. Rinse, repeat 1-8.
10. Now a word of caution- never hire 2 people from the same family- if someone dies or someone is born, both will take leave at the same time. Also, even if with each passing maidless day you increase your walkaway salary for the new maid, the next one will throw a figure which is phenomenally higher. No matter how much impatient you are to hire, never hire someone if you plan to throw her out eventually after you get a better one- her gang of friends will never let you hire another one and you will be stuck with her ultimately.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Also reviewed Here
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
...because I was going out for lunch with friend AD.
We did lunch - where else- at Barbecue Nation and stuffed our faces until full.
In the evening, I am meeting another friend NS- funny thing is that it is more like a playdate- and funny because all our life we have been having so called play dates with each other and now we are doing the same with our children.
And I am also reading Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and appreciating the making of a well loved comedy.
Monday, March 07, 2011
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Saturday, March 05, 2011
Post that, Ojas whispered into my ear- Mamma, you must kiss him now!
Friday, March 04, 2011
Thursday, March 03, 2011
Tejas- I will tell you. He learnt through his buttocks, not his brain.
Now where did that come from ?
Meanwhile, I am ashamed to say that my kids have become expert on the N8 touchscreen while I am still breaking my head over it.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
We romantically eat 1.5 large pieces together.
The husband smirks- Did you go to the gym today?
Does he prefer me fat? I ask. Why is he doing his to me? And I was not even in the mood to eat chocolate cake.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
The blog had disappeared from the face of google. Was not even appearing on searches. Neither on my dashboard.
When a scheduled post did not appear on my email, I got suspicious and logged on to the blog. Imagine the shock. Colour draining from my face, stomach cramps and restlessness and crankiness and all that. I rooted around, did searches, mailed to friends to check the blog. Looked for the xml I had saved yonks ago and could find only a word document of posts.
And dear Monika called from Lavasa the moment she heard of it. So sweet of her. Like a mother hen she did lots of virtual clucking and hand holding and smsing into the evening and adviced me to go to bukvorm who put in a very strong word to those who matter. Soundest advice I guess as perhaps that worked because blogger forums had a very negative picture of getting back your blogs quickly.
Parallely I went to blogger help and posted a request to bring my blog back to life in their forum and also logged my blog name on their spreadsheet.
I called google and they assured me that going through the help forum is the surest and fastest way to get the blog back and that there is no contact person to whom I could voice my concerns.
Meanwhile Cee the expert put her head on to it and gave me lots of links to go through and offered a massive help to try and figure out things for me.
I bugged people, cried on their virtual shoulders, pestered everyone including the husband to work the magic through his team.
Friends mailed me asking about the site.
Thank you all of you for missing the blog as much as I did. I realised how important it is to me. Even though I have a back up of all posts on a word file and on email and comments on the email, it is really not the same - because the blog also is made of comments in real time. I couldn't possibly post back all comments on each post.
I agonised the entire night. And had vivid dreams of typing the url and finding my site back in action.
This morning I woke up and straight went onto the site. Voila, it was back.
The first thing what I did was-
Go to dashboard settings- basic- blogging tools
and Exported my blog onto an xml.
The xml took some time considering the years of work and loads of pics on them.
And then I made a private blog (yeah blogspot again as this seemed the simplest and quickest at that point of time) and imported this xml onto it. Being a private blog, it is not open to spam comments which could be a reason for blog removal or perhaps some maintenance issue where my site got caught.
Now I am evaluating a few options-
1. Put an alternate blog version on wordpress.
2. Go to my own domain.
What say readers?
Meanwhile as a standard operating protocol, I will back up my blog every week. And import it to the private blog.
Comment moderation would help? Atleast I can avoid spams being posted.
I went through my emails & spam comment inbox in blogger and rooted out spam comments and deleted them dilligently from the blog archives.
The world seems a happier place today.