Lindy’s beautiful necklace and a whole bunch of rambling..

A few weeks back , one of the art blogs I follow, Serpent Mandalas had hosted a giveaway. Lindy, the artist who owns the blog creates beautiful mandalas and paintings , all striking and beautiful. I was surprised when I got to know that despite not winning the giveaway, Lindy was sending me a beautiful necklace with her art.. just because I took part in the giveaway! How sweet and generous is that ? Let me show you the goodies Lindy sent  my way… 

No, thanks, Lindy !

 Now for a close-up of the necklace..

How cute is this pendant? !
 
That’s the print on the necklace…

Lindy very sweetly let us choose the print we wanted, and I chose the one above(yeah , it has a baby and all.I am sentimental and mushy like that ;-)).

Gorgeous ,no? To drool over her wonderful prints, necklaces and paintings, do visit her Etsy shop.

Umm…I finally received my author copies of Seven Across..I had a few intense moments holding the copies. I didn’t leap around or jump in joy, like I thought I would, but just stared at the copies! Sometimes, when you’ve been waiting for something for a really long time, you just don’t feel anything but a burst of strong inexplicable emotion.. and nothing else.Its always been that way for me ! Yeah, the first baby is here 🙂

Edited to add: The book is now available on Flipkart and Indiaplaza. Indiaplaza is offering the book at a 35% discount off MRP! You can find the links on the sidebar..

Hot off the press..:-)

On another note, I am technically “at term” , meaning the baby can come anytime now (I haven’t  completed 40 weeks yet, which is full-term). Strange uncomfortable things have been happening to the body for the last 1 week, and needless to say I am on tenterhooks.The last month of pregnancy definitely kicks one’s ass, what with all the assorted pains and aches that it heralds. But hey,I am not complaining! I am more excited about the lil’ one’s arrival than worried about labour pains and other child-birth related things…The lady at the prenatal class I go to gave me this cute little ball (to use for stress-relief during labour) and a sweet card. 

What’s on the ball?..

Yeah.. it says BREATHE!
“Breathing right” is the key to managing labour well, according to a lot of people. Hopefully, I’ll use the techniques I learnt in the class, and not SCCCCRRREEEAMMMMM at  people around me when in pain. My biggest fear  is that I’ll make an undignified mess of myself by moaning and groaning way too much 😉
Anyway , have a super week ahead and if I disappear without a trace for a few weeks, you know the reason for that..
Bu-bye ! 

The neem leaf story..

Another one of those priceless Mother-isms…
Mom: Your grandma says you shouldn’t be going out for walks at night. 
Me: Ummm..Why?
Mom :You know there are bad things hovering the air that’ll upset you..
Me: Like what? ghosts? Bad spirits? What kind of strange stories you come up with!
The mother  looks to the father for moral support (and mostly for someone to endorse her view). The chap
and the father are trying their best not to get drawn into this conversation.
Mom : Ok, be like that and not listen to me as usual . Even grandma  and xyz aunt says you need to tuck a
small leaf of neem into your hair before you head out after dark. Neem wards off bad things, you know.
You won’t get startled if you see bad things on the road.
Me: Bad things like what ? A man smoking and another one peeing against the tree. Ma, neem is just an
antiseptic. I don’t think it can keep away bad things , even if there are bad things in the air!
Mom :  Oh, you stupid girl. Always arguing and asking questions..We oldies say things from experience.
 
By now the father and chap are rolling their eyes (a tad inconspicuously because they don’t want to be caught
out) and I am trying my best to control my laughter.
Mom :  Of course , it is true – that’s why even grandma and xyz aunt also said the same thing.
By now I can’t control it any longer and burst out laughing , followed by strange guffaw-type sounds. Yeah,
the menfolk decided that  a good laugh outweighed the merits of showing solidarity and all.
Mom: Ok, all of you  laugh at me! But it is true.
The best course of action, I decide at this point , is to say ok to her. 
Me : Fine, I’ll do it.
The mother relaxes finally and a look that can only be described as “Finally she sees sense!” settles on her
face.
So if you are out in the streets of Chennai and see a girl with a neem leaf tucked into her hair, you know who
that is 🙂 Yeah, mothers are priceless !

How you doin?

Hola, peeepals. New year parties all over ? Hangovers finally banished? Apppy New year to all..The chap and I had the most “happening” New Year celebrations in the history of our lives. We graduated to “that middle aged couple that hangs out at boring apartment parties where kids dance to Chammak Challo and Gasolina , with their parent’s chests bursting out with pride and screaming- that’s my kid on  the stage!”. Yeah, we cheered random kids that won painting competitions and suchlike and wondered aloud if this is what life reduces us all to…finally. Holly,molly.. before we know, we’ll be attending dance rehearsals and fraternizing with other middle aged people.And discussing schools and educational system in India and nappy rashes and nipple creams and pooping behavior of babies.Gosh! And how did we bring in the New year, you ask .. Well, we promptly fell asleep by 11:00pm , after deciding that a New year was no big deal.Comes every year, right? Gosh! again. Does this what impending parent-hood reduces people to ?
Anyway, the lil one’s been creating enough drama for the past 3-4 days, that one hasn’t really had the time to dwell on the implications of becoming “that embarrassing middle-aged couple” or blog hop (sooooryyy!).It looked like the baby was in a hurry to get out and join us for the Pongal and Republic day celebrations, until we coaxed it into remaining indoors for a few more months.Well, I am on medication to prevent pre-term labour and after a few days of insane contractions and cramping things are back to normal.Or so we hope. I am now on a “strict rest” regimen for the next one week, and needless to say its doing wonders to the already grouchy self. How much can one sleep in a day, I ask? So much to do before baby comes and I am forced to watch the speed of my walk! Bah! Maybe,its time i get back to the manuscript that has been languishing in my laptop for the last 2 years. I have managed to write a “colossal” 12,000 words in the last 2 years and have edited it almost 25 times.I realise that can’t claim a “writer’s block” ad-infinitum.Time to bid adieu to the lazy me and start writing again. I also realised that it is insane to keep waiting for my first two books to come out and then start writing.75,000 words to go..Here I come, biatch!

Along with all this drama, I got to learn that I might not be diabetic after all and that the glucose tolerance test results that implicated me as a shameful sugar-maniac was a sham all along. My doc is now urging me to eat like a normal person, because I have just gained a paltry 4 kilos in the last 8 months.So,I am hogging  full -throttle to make sure that the baby gets more fat and is not some skinny little thing like what the mom used to be once upon a time.The worst part of this development is that I am  now nauseated at the thought of sweets. After I had stuffed my face with some sweet mom had made I felt so sick that I swore that I would never eat  anything sweet ever in my life. Just a week ago I was craving Kesari and rava ladoo and donuts and pastries and whatnot.Now, all i want is my salads and healthy stuff. Crazy, I say!
Books-wise I am saddled with the most boring book in the history of mankind ( The nanny returns) and am wondering why some books become such big hits despite being so difficult to finish ,whereas other good ones sink into oblivion.I am officially off chick-lits as of now and can’t stand another book with a pink cover.I did finish reading a good book a few days back (Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert).The feminist in me had a field day reading this book on marriage.A full-fledged post coming up soon on my thoughts on the interesting things the book broaches.
Umm.. what else? Did i mention that I am totally in love with Dexter (from the sitcom and not the cartoon). I find the serial fascinating. A little too morbid to be watching at this juncture, but heck how can one not find a serial killer-blood splatter analyst fascinating ? And just like so many other things in my life, I discovered the sitcom so late (after 6 seasons getting over). I am done with two seasons and am hooked big time. Its a different matter that I felt horrendously embarassed when my mother walked in when Dexter’s victim was parading around naked (butt show and all).To my mother’s credit,she just said ” Oi, look at him all nanga-panga”.Needless to say I have never been this proud of my mother before. Sometimes, parents are forced to do grow up too 😉 What say?
Rambling over..Over and Out. Have a super week ahead, peepals 😉

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 🙂

This and that ..

This baby loves sweets and grease. It also loves chocolates and cakes and everything that is making me put on weight. I have graduated from looking like a cow to a whale now. I often wonder what animal it is going to be next. Anyway, the baby has a special liking for Ferro Rocher chocolates and makes me feel blue and dull if some sugar is not injected into the bloodstream ASAP. Of course, I hate chocolates and am the most health conscious person on earth. It’s all because of the baby. See, I am not like other typical moms that will say, “No, Bunty. No chocolates. Eat your salad. Now!”. I earnestly believe in empowerment of kids and all that.
At the prenatal classes I’ve signed up for, I’ve been asked to produce evidence of the baby’s crab-loving-chocolate-loving-behavior and every day I have to come up with something creative to camouflage the damning evidence that this baby has a sweet tooth. Like I have had to replace the double chocolate fudge that the baby insisted on eating last week with green salad  because I didn’t want people to faint on seeing the chart. You see, I hate fibbing, but have no choice now. The things I am having to do for this baby already !
I had a glucose tolerance test (to test the blood sugar) a few days back and am supposedly a prime candidate for diabetes, thanks to my slightly abnormal blood glucose levels. More needle-poking will follow to confirm the fact that the baby can’t eat sweets for the next three months.. Of course, I don’t mind. I am just sad that the baby will not get to eat its favourite food any longer. Poor thing! The last time I had a glucose tolerance test, I was sick of the number of times they poked and prodded me with the needle (six times technically in a span of three hours for the curious minded people). But it wasn’t that simple. The lab attendant couldn’t find my vein, so she actually ended up prodding me 15-20 times till my arms were blue. And she kept chatting away with an attendant friend of hers about how her in-laws ill treated her as she twisted the needle inside me. I really wanted to tell her at one point to stop the Ekta-kapoor-serial-type story and get on with the job. But secretly I must confess that I really enjoyed eavesdropping on that story. Good time pass, it was. So all that pain was actually worth it.
The incessant rains and dull, grey skies in this part of the world are getting on my nerves. The first few showers were a welcome break from the heat and I wanted to sing some song extolling the virtues of the rain and dance in a white dress like a heroine from a Tamil movie. But after almost three months of rains, slush, horrible bumpy roads, water stagnation and stinky clothes that just refuse to dry, I am plain tired of it all. The image of me singing and dancing(waddling rather) in the rain is frankly not that appealing either. Give me some sunshine NOW! Before I crack up.
And then, there are the shifting blues. I’ve hoarded so much stuff over the last few years , that our cleaning activity has been going on and on like some five-year plan. I swear I’ll puke if I see another plastic bag containing old broken cell phones, assorted papers and junk whose origins I am not privy to. The chap’s idea of shifting, of course, is simple. Call the packers- shove everything into boxes- shift the godamn stuff to the new house. I wish I could think like that and not be so anal by insisting on doing a SWOT analysis of every single item we have. Every time I have to throw something away, my heart just bleeds. How does one reconcile with parting of stuff one has lovingly hoarded over the years? I’ll send you a bunch of cupcakes, if you come up with something brilliant that will ease my heartache.
While on the subject of cupcakes, looks like the cup-cake fever has finally hit Chennai. I bugged the chap to take me to a hip-looking shop called” The Cupcake factory” last week.The sign looked super cute and I had to check it out. Only when we went into the 50sqft space, did we realize that the sign was just meant to lure unsuspecting-middle-class-languishing-in-mid-life-crisis people like us.One look at the prices and I was about to faint.The chap wasn’t doing too good either. But then, there were other “young” things around,  buying cakes by the dozen, so we decided to buy a token cupcake each and bitch about the place later.There is only so much unhip-ness one can exhibit while in the company of young-uns , and leaving a shop after looking at the price list is just epitome of uncool-ness. Thank God, we are not completely uncle-aunty-fied yet. But can somebody please tell me why a medium-sized cupcake with some frosting spread on top and a chunk of what tasted like strawberry jam inside should cost 100 bucks? No… seriously I would love to know.
Oh, have a nice week everyone and somebody please make the rains go away.. More cupcakes for the one that manages that feat 🙂

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.

Diwali,Bubba and colour stories..

creative commons image
It’s been a while since I burst any crackers for Diwali .I would have probably lit the odd sparkler a few times in the last ten years . But still, I think I used to be excited about the Diwali ritual of getting up early at 4:30AM and bursting a cracker the first thing in the morning till about I was twenty years old. With every new generation, the age kids grow bored/ conscientious about pollution gets lower. My younger cousins don’t burst crackers any longer. I don’t know whether to feel sad or happy about it. Obviously, this is a good thing for the environment and our poor ozone layer, but I wonder if kids are missing out on some real simple forms of enjoyment these days. 
I still remember the days when appa used to bring home a huge bag of crackers and a bunch of us cousins used to waste no time in starting to burst all the “heavy duty” crackers. We had competitions in the neighborhood as to who would burst the noisiest cracker. We always lost , because our parents didn’t believe in getting us anything more than a thousand-wallah. Somehow Lakshmi patakas and atom bombs were enough to keep up deliriously happy. We looked down upon kids that burst “bhijilis” and lit sparklers. 
Anyway, this Diwali , as usual no cracker bursting happened and I got a belated Diwali gift of seeing the little Bubba  the very next day. The second trimester is a very strange thing- you suddenly stop throwing up and your appetite is suddenly so huge that you start wondering if you are pregnant any longer at all. Add to that the fact that I last saw the lil’ Bubba almost two months back during a scan , I was antsy and a tad worried. I have always been a chronic worrier and despite everybody telling me everything was going to be okay, I started imagining the worst possible things. Also , the fact that I wasn’t able to sense Bubba’s movements when I was well into my 21st week  was getting me a little jittery.
But then every pregnancy is different and each expectant mother experiences these things at a different time period. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for my mother’s generation , where medical screening  before delivery was kept to the bare minimum. Amma tells me that she saw me just once before I was born. An aunt says that she didn’t even know that she was pregnant with twins until the nurse handed her two  bundles and told her that she was a momma of two lil’ boys. Technology just increases tension and nervousness associated with pregnancy, I think.
My date with Bubba was fun. He/she refused to co-operate when the technician wanted to take the spinal measurements. I had to walk for almost an hour in the hope that the Bubba would wake up. and turn .But the lil’ one was stubborn (like me) and refused to move an inch. After three unsuccessful attempts at getting Bubba to turn , the technician started spanking my stomach  in the hope that it would wake the lil’ one up. Still no luck. Finally, as the last resort , the technician asked me to slap my stomach. I hesitated a little , but decided to go ahead. Three brief taps later , Bubba  turned and showed the technician his/her spine. 
I was speechless. 
The tech told me that sometimes the lil’ ones get so used to their mommas that they listen only to them. All I can say is , life is such a miracle that one really can’t explain it. A baby whose brain is not yet developed and is currently the size of a banana can actually recognize it’s mother’s touch?  Wow! After the scan, I stopped referring to the baby as an “IT” and it has really sunk in that there really is a living thing inside me and not just a bunch of cells. 
Sex determination is a crime in India and has been banned for several decades now. We briefly toyed with the idea of going outside India to check Bubba’s “goods” , but finally decided against it. On day of the scan , the lab-tech was discussing the weather with another colleague of hers  and she suddenly goes 
“The S-U-N is not shining today. I wish it would come out and give us some respite from the rains.”
It took me a few minutes to figure out the implication of that sentence. These lab-techs are so damn brilliant. If she had said “Sun” and had not spelled it out, it could have gotten her into trouble , as I could have assumed that the lady meant that the baby was a boy. She smartly spelled the words out , so that there was no confusion in anyone’s mind (nor would she get into trouble!). I am sure the techs are given a primer on the words to avoid during a scan, but still I was amused that the lady said “S-U-N” almost as naturally as someone would say “hi”.
While still on the subject of ultrasounds , the hubby has resorted to pulling my leg about how I teared at my first scan. Of course, I hadn’t shed any tears and no amount of arguing makes him drop the subject. He very embarrassingly tells everyone that I “cried” when I saw a bunch of cells (during the first scan only the embryo is seen;The baby shape is discernible much later ). I might have felt overwhelmed during the first scan , but  am sure that I am at least four months away from reducing into a ball of hormones, mush and tears.
Hopefully !
Well, the latest of Bubba-chronicles is that I started sensing the lil’ one’s movements a few days back and I have no qualms in saying that this is one of the most wonderful feelings I have ever experienced. Bubba is most active when I play him/her a song that I’ve been playing for the last five months. I like to believe that Bubba recognizes certain sounds, though there apparently is no scientific proof that says that babies recognize sounds that they heard in the womb.Yeah, I guess lil’ Bubba is already making a huge difference to my life. I can’t wait for my life to change completely and be taken over by a whirlwind of nappy-changings and sleepless vigils.
The last few days we have been finalizing wall colours and fittings for the house and I found myself perpetually confused and hare-brained. For someone who is slightly design-challenged (yours truly) , I find the choices available just mind boggling. We contemplated hiring a much-recommended interior designer, but it turned out to be a nightmare , because he just wouldn’t listen to what we wanted and just went on about how our house would edgy and sophisticated and contemporary and stream-lined and colour-coordinated. 
Well, I don’t want to live in a museum or an edgy-impractical home. I need lots of clutter and colours in my home. I am happy we didn’t hire the guy (so much easier on the pocket too! Some of these designer guys are frightfully expensive). Our home might end up looking like some Mondrian primary colour nightmare, but I guess it would be “home” and  not a prime subject of  an ad for a interior design company.
Have a super week,guys! 

Pregnancy diaries – 1

Creative commons Flickr image

Some pearls of wisdom on the second trimester of pregnancy. A typical sleep cycle of someone who once used to be able to sleep at the drop of the hat..

 10:30PM Slightly sleepy, despite the Vishnu Sahasranamam that is blaring (recommended by mom, mom-in-law,neighbour, neighbours’ grandma etc. so that the baby is not half as dysfunctional as you are and learns all the good things before it comes out and gets corrupted, eventually). Personally, you would rather that it listen to Preeti Sagar nursery rhymes because you already have notions of baby being a genius and spouting “Baba black sheep” the day it is born. You shudder because realize that you are going to end up institutionalized, if you continue to be so competitive and thrust all your unfulfilled ambitions on the little thing that is  now merely the size of a banana .
You toss and turn trying to find a position that challenges the laws of gravity. You try different permutations and combinations for fifteen minutes, before hitting the jackpot. You doze off sometime around 11.
12:00AM You wake up feeling weird and woozy. REM cycle rudely interrupted courtesy Pee break: 1. You curse yourself for drinking so much water before going to bed. Aimless surfing – you google Aishwarya’s  pregnancy pics(GOSH!) ; log into FB twice, gmail thrice ,goodreads five times and blog-hop randomly and still feel bored ; make 4 aborted attempts at reading  the simplest book lying around (A few days earlier you had picked up a  Murakami and had stared blankly at the black and white  patterns on the pages for ten minutes, wondering what in the hell he was talking about. Having become wiser, you decide to pick up Nanny Diaries or similar alleged-fluff with pink covers.)
Sleep continues to elude you. You end up giving the neighborhood dogs company- yet again( by now you know more about these dogs than the owners themselves)  and wonder why Caesar is groaning piteously today. Maybe something he ate last night didn’t agree with him ? 
1:30AM Sleep trying to visit again. Plus, by now you are bored with the book and “really” want to make an honest effort to go back to sleep. Finally you manage to find a comfortable position after much tossing and turning. You have managed to reclaim your right on five pillows in the household, so that others don’t have any pillows for themselves. They surrender the pillows to you without a fight because a) they are sleeping and you aren’t  b) you are pregnant and  therefore your needs(read as baby’s needs) always come before theirs.
2:45AM Wake up in the middle of REM again feeling ravenously hungry.WTH? Several apples and slices of breads later, you feel less zombie-like, though you know that this binging is going to hurt you because you have been warned about assorted diabetic relatives in the family and you being a sitting duck for becoming a diabetic yourself. Also lately you have not been able to recognize yourself in the mirror , but are safe in the knowledge that a thinner version of yourself lurks below all those layers of fat.
More tossing and turning . Pee break : 2 and 3 ; Aimless surfing  – Google “How to sleep + pregnancy + pee breaks ”, rough calories of items ingested a few hours back. Groan- 400  ; two aborted attempts to read a book(Nanny diaries, again); one unsuccessful attempt at trying to do the Hindu crossword(you  feel sad that you have managed to crack only “three down” ); one attempt at the Times Sudoku (  you feel happy that here at least you’ve managed to fill a few “dabbas”).You briefly try to get some writing done,only to realize that  words have clotted in your brain .You give up because you don’t want your novel to be  bought and read by only five people (three of whom will hate it, but won’t say anything bad about it because they are family). You get bored. 
4:00AM Sleep again. Ah!..
5:00AM REM again. Pee break 4. “What the F*beep* am I drinking to pee so much?”you wonder. You apologize to the baby profusely that you “swore in your head”. Your mother,mother-in-law,relatives,neighbor, neighbour’s aunty, flower-seller etc have already warned you that the baby can sense all bad things going inside you .. You wonder if the baby knows how good it felt to swear (if only it was in your head).You sigh because you know that soon you can no longer utter such words, whereas everyone around you will be having a gala time saying the aforementioned *beep* word. You get bored.
This time nothing works anyway and you finally end up staring at the patterns on the ceiling. Suddenly it hits you that one patch looks like Australia and you feel this uncontrollable itch to wake someone up and share the news. You know you can’t , so you text  the hubby and hope and pray that the noise wakes him up. After all, you realize that this could be the single biggest discovery since electricity and  more importantly , nobody is entitled to more than three hours of sleep (especially if it is your husband). 
6:00 AM Some semblance of sleep. Scratch,whoosh,scratch,whoosh- Sounds of your mother washing the household entrance for drawing  the kolam. Groan. Sounds of newspaper-wala, milk-man and sundry all out on a secret mission to rouse you. Pee break 5. Ravenous again. You hang around the kitchen hoping the mother will feel pity (you put on your most miserable look, but you really don’t have to try too hard. Because by now you are a zombie and look like one too) .You already know she always does and will move the heaven and earth to make you (read baby ,again) something nutritious, healthy and low-fat. Translated as “Ughhh!”
Belly full again, you give up trying to fall asleep , because the  doc and five different pregnancy books that you peruse on a daily basis warns you not to lay down for at least two hours after a meal. Groan. You make a move (stealthily) on the day’s newspaper before the dad confiscates all printed matter that remotely  says “Hindu” and snap groggily when he asks you “Did you sleep well last night?” just like he asks you every morning.
7:00AM Snore finally for a few hours of shut-eye.
DISCLAIMER : Before any radical mahila-mukthi types spams me with comments of what a pig  I am for writing something bad about pregnancy, let me assert that everything has been written in jest and it does NOT mean that I don’t realize how wonderful pregnancy really is 🙂  Also , I am terribly sleep-deprived, so adjust please.