Of Gems , nail polishes , Inflation and random rambling

So I got my nails painted in a questionable shade of Rani Pink (umm.. I wanted fluorescent yellow, but settled for this slightly gaudy looking colour ..Which is the craziest colour I have ever tried) Considering the fact that I am not even a nail polish kind of a person. But Lately Kareena Kapoor has been tempting me with yellow and green and what-not-crazy-neon-colour painted finger tips from the pages of mags , that I had to try something different from the standard peach/pink/nude nail paints that I prefer. I remember 20 years back, Lakme was the only ‘big’ brand that was commonly available (read affordable). And colours like yellow or pink were considered silly.Only unbranded players made colours like these, and they were available for 5 bucks per bottle. Now  a teeny weeny bottle costs 200 bucks . Crazy how prices have gone up 40 times in the last 20 years. I now realise what my grandma feels when she says that she used to buy a full-fledged meal for one ana. Someday, I’ll probably look back on the days of 200-rupee nail polishes when my grand daughter tells me that a nail polish bottle costs 2000 bucks 😉 Or wait maybe more. I think we already have 2000-rupee nail polishes.    
So I painted my nails and showed them to the little girl , who is quite the fashionista. She loves dressing up , and am sure will soon want to dig into my meagre make-up dabba in a few years. Little girls are so much fun! When Beanie was a few months old , if we had to get her to stop bawling, we would just have to to open her cupboard and let her look at her clothes. The darling girl would stop instantly and gaze adoringly at her frocks . Even now if I take her to a shop, she’ll create a ruckus and demand that I buy her everything in sight. She’ll refuse to stop her tantrum till I buy her something. And ten minutes later, she’ll forget about it and demand that I get her something else. And this girl is all of 16 months. I wonder what she will be in her teens 🙂  
Anyway, back to the nail-paint story, the lil’ one looks at her  empty Gems dabba and at my fingers and shoves my finger (mainly a Rani Pink nail) into her mouth. Maybe she thought that it was a pink gems sitting on the edge of my finger! Then she looks at my feet ( painted in an even more questionable shade of purple ) and tries to pop my big toe into her mouth .. 
Now what a grotesque gem that would be ! 

Off with your head, Juliet..

Let me tell you a grisly story today. Not for the faint-heated , though ..

Once upon a time, not so long ago ,there lived a fair maiden , with pink cheeks, blue eyes,  long lovely lashes and golden sun-kissed hair. She was the apple of her  mother’s eye. But the mother was controlled by a tyrant , her second husband who was wealth and evil.He made sure that the damsel was protected from  the vulture-like eyes of young boys who prowled the area looking for pretty ladies to run away with. The damsel’s name was Juliet

Juliet spurned the love of hundreds of young men who wanted to have her any cost , as she believed in true love. And then walked in the dashing Romeo , with his I-don’t-care-if-you-don’t-look-at-me attitude, and Juliet had to fall for him. It was destined.

Their love blossomed , but was tinged with lingering sadness. Romeo was of a lower stature ,and  Juliet knew that her Step-father would never have allowed the match. The Step-father soon began to suspect that some illicit liaisons were being orchestrated behind his back. The evil step-father wanted Juliet , her riches,  her beauty  and her virginity all for himself. He shut Juliet in a window-less room and let her fester there.

“We are getting married as soon as I am done with disposing your mommy off. Till then , you may rot here !”

Juliet sobbed , her tears pooling in puddles on the floor.

Romeo was heart-broken that he couldn’t meet his love any longer. He sent a message through Juliet’s best-friend , who faithfully smuggled the love note into the Step-father’s carefully constructed cell.

“Let’s elope or die together trying to,”he had written.

Juliet wiped the tears of off her face, happy that her man felt the way she did.

 One foggy evening, the love-birds decided to elope. The best friend appealed to the remnants of humanity in the step-father asking him to let his daughter out for a few hours . The step-father agreed as he had seen Juliet wilting before his eyes, and he didn’t want a dead bride.

***

“Run , Juliet .. They are right  behind you,” cried Romeo.

Alas , she got pinned down to the ground , her arms flailing around like that of a mutilated hen.

In an unfortunate turn of events, the evil step-father had managed to get his evil hands on Romeo’s letter. His goondas dragged Romeo and tied him to the  town flagpost.

” You think Juliet is a virgin , you fool! Even if you have her , she is soiled. Used property. Of no value!” spat Romeo.

The crowd that had gathered around the town square was stunned at Romeo’s words.  Wasn’t theirs supposed to be true love. Juliet shuddered at her lover’s words and the step-father boiled over with anger.

“Soiled property- who wants that? Off your your head, Juliet. And make sure that you tonsure the haughty girl. No young girl should bewitch any more men in future. Let this be a lesson to all you whore women,” the step-father cried, “And off with this man’s eyes. Let him not foul any other girl with these eyes.”

Romeo stared in mute horror. He had lied  that Juliet was not a virgin ,as he had felt that the step-father would let them off if he realized that his prized goods were not that prized really. The crowd shuddered collectively. But nobody had the guts to speak a word against the step-father, who was also the mayor of the town.

“It is better to be tonsured and die a noble death than to be betrayed by one’s own true love. Take my head and all the hair on it!”

Romeo gasped.Juliet sighed. The crowd stood rooted. The evil father cheered.

The goons dragged Juliet towards the guillotine and shaved her hair off..

THWACK.. rolled the head .. off the platform , onto the ground.

“Hang the blind bastard too!” shouted the evil man.

The crowd dispersed  , going home to watch Saas-bahu serials. Who killed Julliet – the evil father , the conspicuously absent mother, Romeo or the town people ?

Here’s a picture of the love-birds united in death.

PS: Plot shamelessly copied from 3-4 stories. Now I know what the likes of Anu Malik feel like 😉 It is so easy to get “inspired”.Props courtesy : Beanie.

 

Mommy Dairies

I’m back…For now 😉 . Oh, I haven’t spelled “Diaries” wrongly. Its just one of my bad bad puns. I feel like a walking-talking milk booth, and have a sneaking suspicion that I smell like the Aavin milk depot near my house. Guess that is one of the “perks” of motherhood 😉
The new blogger interface is terrible and irritating. How do I get back the old interface? Anyway , how have you guys been ? Yeah ,I know I haven’t been visiting blogs or replying to comments on my last post.I am sometimes hopeless like that. Pls excuse. My lil’ lady(and I) finally slept continuously for a colossal 4 1/2 hours yesterday without interruption…and I am thrilled! Sleepless nights are gradually going to be a thing of the past (hopefully!). She also tried to roll over yesterday .. so I am double thrilled! I wake up everyday in anticipation of some little milestone my beanie will conquer that day. Gosh! I am more dependent on her than she is of me 😉 
What have I been upto-other than  happily “liking” people’s photos on FB. Nothing much. Just learning to be a mommy.Which is so darn difficult! Beanie will be 8 weeks old in a few days and is keeping  us all on our toes. I won’t say that the last fifty-two days have been easy. There have been nights when I’ve barely slept for a few hours (and couple of 30 hour stretches when I couldn’t sleep for a single minute).This was especially so in the initial few weeks when Beanie didn’t know how to latch on and kept losing weight.The jaundice didn’t help either. I left the hospital a nervous wreck and had doubts about whether I would be able to feed my lil lady and be a good mother. I am going to blame it all on the baby blues !Things became better in a while…  
 A few weeks  back the chap told me that I appeared a lot more relaxed and at peace now  than I’ve ever been. Strangely it is true.I feel a lot calmer. I don’t think I have that constant nagging gnawing thought in my mind  that I have places to be, things to do before time runs out. Maybe motherhood is just natures way of saying, “There are more important people in  your life than YOURSELF”. Anyway,the Beanie smiles at people wearing glasses a lot. And everyone in the household has started wearing glasses just to catch the little munchkin smile. Have a look at what her playmate Yoohoo aka Chintu has resorted to doing just to get into her good books…

Wonder how many  glasses I need to buy to amuse the lil one :-0

Have a super week guys..

The mystery cross-dressing gene

There is not a single shred of doubt in my mind. My family has some mystery kinky gene that causes cross- dressing. 
Shocked? Its actually not that bad .Let me clarify.
Our old family albums are full of cringe-worthy pictures of me dressed as Lord Krishna (in Dhothi and all) and of my brother dressed as a girl. And one would have to squint to recognise the boy hiding behind the lipstick, frock, bhindi, bangles and fountain pony tail. 
My parents wanted a daughter and a son and got one of each ‘variety’ .So why dress up their daughter like a boy and the son like a girl ?
Really beats me.. 
And its just not us, all my cousins have similar gender-confusion pictures in their respective family albums.
The second favorite pass-time in the family is, of course, photographing kids in their..erm.. birthday suits. How horribly embarrassing! As if they need to document the presence of the family jewels and tell the future brides that come into the family “See, all’s well !”;-) 
I hope fervently that the gene decided to miss me and I don’t toture other kids this way. Time will only tell..Sigh!
You have such embarrassing pics of yourself  in your family albums? Do share your horror stories…and make me feel better 🙂

Mirror,mirror on the wall..who stares back at you?

This morning when I looked in the mirror, I was shocked. An unknown face stared back at me: the chin has sprouted a beard like the wicked witch of the east ; eyes have become close-set like some ET-clone; the ears have elongated , and are incidentally sticking out of my hair; the face has become more tapered and wicked witch-ish ; extra legs have popped and groan… a tail has magically attached itself to… Meehhhh..
Mehhhh…Yeah, I’ve somehow magically transformed into a goat. 
Suspected cause: The grass my dietician has gracefully allowed me to graze on. If I am found missing from this space and not visiting your blogs like a bad girl.. ahem..goat, you can safely assume that I am off to find a new pasture of grass.. Bye ,bye.. Mehhhh , you guys.

Edit : I am becoming the goddess of mis-communication..Several of my posts have been tangential,to say the least.Lets just say that my sense of humour has gone to the dogs. Well, obviously I haven’t become a goat  or have metamorphosed physically , but have been made to eat things that goats normally enjoy.. officially, I am going to go slow on sarcasm.. Anyway , I don’t have internet connection 24X7 and am swamped with hospital visits (thanks to some more complications health-wise), prenatal classes, preparing my diabetic meals, shifting, helping with my baby-shower arrangements, shopping for the house and writing assignments, I am drained at the end of the day (translated to no time to blog-hop). I hope the madness eases off soon. Well, a diet of veggies and low-fat stuff doesn’t leave one chirpy at the end of the day too, does it ?  Oh, btw.. If you are in Chennai, Matsya and a whole load of designers  and handmade product brands are exhibiting their work on the 9th and 10th of this month in Royepettah.. I know I’ll be there 🙂

Of sizes and random tantrums

This post is going to be about weight and size and  pregnancy hormones and all those vain things pregnant women are not supposed to crib about.It also contains mildly inflammatory feminist sentiments,which some men might find disturbing. Well, grab an extra buttery muffin ,you’ll be just fine in a bit.

For someone who has  languished in  an “XS”  size for a substantial period of time, I’ve come a long way. I distinctly remember wanting to do nothing with the “XS” tag back when I was one and was truly ecstatic when I hit the “M” mark. Random aunties who had routinely bombarded me with ” How will you ever get married if you are so skinny?” suddenly started seeing me in a new light. As if the sole purpose of my existence was to  strive to become an “M” for the sake of  getting married to some guy who I barely knew. Its a different thing that the guy could be “XS”  or even an “XXXXS” and still be considered a “catch”. Because a man is a man and therefore above such trivial things.  

Anyway,the years just galloped by and one fine day I woke up being too small for my “M” clothes. Many Meena Kumari-acts followed , but I was refused re-entry back at the golden gates of “M”. I drowned my sorrows in  barrels of long island ice tea, and having seen so much trauma in life so early, I was ready for anything.
“XL biatch , bring it on..” was my war cry. 
Of course , I had no intention of becoming an “XL” in my lifetime. XL” happened to other people , not to me. I had superior “XS” genes, didn’t I ? Now that I fondly (not) reminisce about those days ,I  realize how delusional I’ve been ,because now “XL” is so much a part and parcel of my existence.
*Meena Kumari-act* and stop mosquito coil. Cut to the present.
  
The other day I was in some random snobby clothing store to pick up some stuff. The  snooty attendant looked at me bitchily for a second trying to ascertain whether I was just plain heavy or pregnant-heavy. I glared back at her and shoved my tummy at her nose ( If you are one of those visual people, please don’t take this statement literally). As if people needed to apologize to her highness for being plain heavy.
A second later, the girl smiled and blurted “How many months ,mam?” 
I mumbled something inaudibly and dilly-dallied when she asked me my size. Finally, having had enough of the “sour-pregnant-pain-in-the-arse-woman”, the woman left me alone to languish in the aisles.
A few minutes later, another young thing appeared and asked, “How many months, mam?”
But this one was was an “XL” herself and I warmed immediately to her. For the next 15 minutes or so , the girl tried to amuse me by pulling out shiny-bright clothes with the sole purpose of bankrupting me.
Nothing seemed interesting and I flipped my phone and stared disinterestedly  like some kitty-party-conducting-society-wife.
 Finally,  I spotted something promising and pointed it to her. 
“But mam, that is an XL.Maybe you should be looking at an XXL, with your… ahem.. si..pregnancy,” she said.
She meant  my “SIZE”.  XXL and me?!

The world stopped spinning for a minute.

She had been showing me XXL stuff all along. And I thought she was my friend. I had even proffered my life history, and offered to spam the chap’s inbox with her brother’s CV , all in a fit of giddy sister-hood bonding .

 No, I wouldn’t give in.
“XL will be fine,” I said firmly.
The girl sighed and pulled out the same thing in XL.
But wait ! It wasn’t the same pattern.
” I want that yellow design with the red piping and orange flowers, not purple flowers,” I whined.  
Which they didn’t have. A few more “patterns” that I liked weren’t available in the right colours too.Then it sunk in that the choices one has  gets appallingly lesser as on progresses up the size radar.It just wasn’t fair. Aren’t large people entitled to their orange flowers? Why should we be pretend to be happy with purple flowers ?

Suddenly, my whole existence seemed pointless.
I  probably looked like I was on the verge of shedding  a couple of tears.
By now the girl was exasperated with my hormone-fueled demands and looked like she would do a Meena Kumari-act herself. She let out a huge sigh of relief when I announced that I was leaving.

Poor thing.

I did feel a little bad later about giving her such a nasty time.If only they had stocked that orange flower kurta, everyone would have been happy.I am sure the girl will never forget the orange flower kurta in her lifetime..At least  I  know I won’t.

WTH ?

Umm…

Of course, it is Bubble gum…
I want my childhood back! NOW! So that I can pester my parents to buy me all these new things candy manufacturers are coming up with. My parents had it easy – there was just one  brand of bubble gum , Big Fun (hard , chewy mass that came with some stupid cricket freebie which boys collected) when I was growing up. I look at the variety that kids these days have and I feel all whiny.

Yes, I want to officially cry.

Sambhar-ism 101

Creative commons image
I am a Tamilian. Even if I try be something else, at times. Yeah, I know this is not really an intelligent statement by someone whose blog is littered with “aiyoos” and “chee thoos”, but I have never claimed to have inherited more than a couple of brain cells from the grand ancestors , so please humour me a little longer. 
Ok, where were we? Yeah, so having been reared on a staple of rasam and sambhar and curd rice for very many years, I have mildly depressive symptoms if I am kept off rice.  My enthusiastic “Wow.. Paneer and roti?!” can only last for a few days, before I start whining about how I am ready to be admitted into a hospital for having low rice-count in my blood. I’ll start behaving like anniyan-Vikram and exhibit extremely anti-social and aggressive behavior.  
“Please inject some rice into my blood,” I’ll scream at the duty doctors, forcing them and several other patients in the ward to look at me with pity and mutter “Poor thing, last stages of addiction!”
Also , it is my humble opinion that during evolution, I have simbly lost the capacity to digest “fatty-ghee-dripping- non-southie food “ and have to seek solace in a bottle of  Eno even if I eat something mildly un-South-Indian for a single meal. It is a different thing that I’ll happily jog to Grand Sweets and stuff my face with their gazillion-calorie poli. That I can digest. Because it is loaded with all the goodness of ghee and coconut and all the things that polis are made of (which I don’t know because I’ve nevah , nevah had the patience to make it before) .   
Though I claim to be the citizen of the world and what not, I get a panic attack if I don’t hear “chee thoo” or “aiyoo” for more than three days. Yes, I’ve counted and hence the confidence. I am not really a “Raghu thaatha”* person, can at most times manage to say “Rahatha tha” without mildly embarrassing myself .I  can even conduct a decent conversation in Hindi (applause..), but I don’t think I can keep up the charade for more than five minutes. I just will blabber something that will brand me as the South-Indian that I am. At least, references to a Matunga maami or T-Nagar Ranganathan street will pop up once in the conversation, leaving no room for speculation about my origins. Also, during November-December, my feet itch so horribly, that I have to make my presence felt at the music sabhas.  Not to listen to  the extremely “Kanchivaram-ed”, “temple jewellery-ied” , “mallipoo-ed” damsels or the overly-nodding-the-head maamas singing Hamsadvani ragam , but to sample the awesome Sabha-fare. What, you haven’t been in Chennai during December? What a shame!
Let’s talk weather. What, blah? I won’t make inane conversation. God promise. Though I have ample insulation, thanks to the ducting I’ve collected around myself for several decades following “best practices in food ingesting”, I say “Wow.. its winter!” if the temperature drops below thirty degree Celsius. Thanks for asking, but according to me, “It is winter currently in Chennai”. When things reach horrifying proportions (read in December and January, when the temperature often reaches mid-twenties  … SHUDDER!), I will bring out my moth-ball-smelling windcheater, pink sweater that  has a picture of some cartoon character ( a priceless possession that I’ve had  from the age twelve) , gloves (hideous purple colour with twenty holes), woolen socks (complementary grey Lufthansa fare) and monkey cap (brown on one side , depressing grey on the other) from the loft along with several kilos of cockroaches. I will happily wear them 24X7 till someone threatens to complain to the police that I am being a public nuisance by dressing up like a mummy(a stinking mummy at that) and scaring toddlers. My defense will be that one needs an occasion to wear fall-winter clothing, no? All you mommies in Chennai-you have another month to take precautionary measures, educate and warn your lov-hley kids about “The mummy-aunty”.
Yesh, I yam total Tamilian like that. 
So, even though I have many more million Tam quirks, I will stop because..
 a) I think I’ve already made my point with all my rambling. 
 b) You lov-hley peepals must have other work to do – blogs to stalk, meetings to sleep at, spouses to fight with, polis to make and so forth. 
 c) It’s really cool to list reasons as a-b-c (even if you have only one legitimate reason).I miss doing this a-b-c thing because I don’t prepare sub-standard credit reports for a living anymore. And this practice always makes one seem sophisticated and erudite and rational .Of course, one isn’t any of that.
*For people who are not aware of the legend of “Raghu Thatha”, I will currently elucidate. Raghu thatha  is  an extremely popular Tamil movie joke where a guy who is trying to woo a girl admits himself  into the Hindi class that the girl’s father teaches. Despite several scoldings and “ear-twistings”, the boy can never get himself to “Rahatha tha..” and keeps saying “Raghu thatha” (meaning Raghu’s  grandfather).  The girl’s father is exasperated and tears his hair in frustration at the appalling pronunciation of the boy. So, there it is- the legend of Raghu thatha for FREEE… 
** I have to deeply apologize to non-Indian readers who read this blog.You’ll probably  not understand the stuff I write here, because most of the references are extremely Indian. Sorry, I will hopefully write like a citizen of the world soon. 
Ok, then .Tata. Bye-bye. Alvida (Gasp!).

FREE,FREE,FREE…

There are just things one doesn’t tell /show their parents, even if one is on the verge of becoming a model for some hair dye company , or worse still for a dental clinic that is advertising their leak-proof dentures.I have some more time until the dentures become a necessity, though, but am still eligible for the hair dye commercial auditions (My tresses are perfect for the before-after ads). After several decades of carefully withholding classified information from my folks and perfecting the art, I am sharing all the know-how(FREE FREE FREE) to  all the lov-hley peepals who read this blog . Yes,I am nice like that vonly. 
Rule no1 :  NEVER ever disclose the price of anything you shop for. Even if you earn  your own manicure-pedicure money. As a thumb rule, always tell them only 1/4 th of the price of the thing. Most parents don’t get the idea of inflation.Actually this rule works extremely well husbands also.  Extra points if you hide/tear the bill in question,because you can then fib to your heart’s content . My dad still thinks that a plate of idly costs 3 bucks. Everytime I tell him it doesn’t, he almost convinces me that the restaurant fellows are capitalist pigs and that I over paid . No, actually most restaurant fellows are capitalist pigs, considering how they sell a fifteen-rupee MRP mineral water for forty bucks. Twenty bucks for letting the water experience the privilege of  sitting in their expensive fridge,huh? 
It is a different issue that when someone told me that their Diwali “new” dress cost 2000 bucks, I almost fainted. “Back in my days…”,I started. Yes…definite signs of aunty-hood. Guilty as charged.
Rule no2: NEVER NEVER ever tell your mother about your haircut, especially if you’ve shed more than 1 inch .
My mother can smell the shortening of my hair  even in her sleep. She’ll then go non-stop how I let my hair go to the dogs by abusing it as much as I can.She’ll shed a few tears and call up my grandma and complain about how “Children these days don’t listen to their mothers” perfectly ignoring the fact that I am an almost a senior citizen myself . Grandma will then ask me pointed questions about whether I use shikakai anymore and curse all the shampoo manufacturers in the world for corrupting her “little” grand-daughter. Oh, please hide the conditioner bottle while you are at it. The main cause of all horrible things happening in the world( like poverty, lack of world peace, global warming etc) is shampoo conditioner. Oh,you didn’t know?
And any salon-related activity necessitating me spending more than ten bucks (eyebrow threading is ok, because that is within the budget) makes my mother hyperventilate. NEVER NEVER NEVER ever mention tattoos, pedicures,manicures,facials,spa treatmenst, belly-piercings etc because they are all EVIL(also causing poverty, lack of world peace, global warming etc). The only time mom really didn’t have an issue with me doing something “unnatural” to my body was for my “getting-hitched” occasion. Too bad I can’t get married every month because I want her to shed tears of happiness when I come home from the salon slightly presentable. Actually, that’s an interesting thought , which if packaged well has immense potential 🙂
Rule no3 : NEVER NEVER NEVER tell your mother (or woman above the age of fifty) that the dal  that you are serving her for lunch when she visits you is three days old.
Always bring out the dal container from the fridge before she comes home and place it on the gas stove (yeah , like you’ve just made it and  let it scream FRESH FRESH FRESH at her from all the new coriander leaves you’ve added just now). Because when you get married , you become a superwoman overnight (just like her) and are expected to  make fresh dal everyday and be of ultimate service to the husband and the man of the house.
Rule no 4: NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER let your mom inspect your clothes cupboard , pantry and contents of the fridge. 
Though I persevere and try to be as organized as possible , I never really am totally in the clear. If the bedroom cupboards are clean, the kitchen cupboards invariably are in a state of disarray that will make most people mildly giddy. And do hide those vodka bottles before she ferrets them out and looks at you like you are some raving alcoholic. It doesn’t matter if you try to mumble something about the husband being the drunkard ,because to most mothers their son-in-laws are incorruptible , perfect and always correct. Yeah, life’s like that only.
Rule no 5: NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER give your parents an indication that you do grown-up things. Like see naughty movies (mainly) where some amount of intimacy between the hero and heroine is warranted. Hand-holding is acceptable, smooching is Aiyoo, Chee thoo.
Because parents are used to seeing only flowers bumping into each other on screen when there is  development of any remotely objectionable form of affection between the pair (thanks to tamil movies- especially starring the pink-lipsticked Ramarajan). Always change the channel or say “Chee thoo.. the movies these days.What rubbish they show!” and you’ll see them visibly relaxing. They’ll also shed a few tears of joy that their child has not been corrupted by the vagaries of life. Please also hide any Silk Smitha/Lady Shakila cds that you have managed to hoard (even if it is for the sake of your overall education/development).

Okay, so hope you’ll use my FREE FREE FREE tips and live happily ever after.

Tata .Bye-bye. Have a nice weekend.