Friday, March 27, 2009

What will I do?

Yesterday a friend of my colleague and I were having a discussion if we will be aggressive Desi mothers who will push their kids to do well in education over anything. And I told her ( of course with no experience whatsoever) that I will try not to stress about it. My friend (who has a lot of experience) told me that no matter what it is you will always want your kid to do better...and it got me thinking and really it has been at the back of my head since.

I remember my childhood. I was at best a below average student. My main focus was on playing and more playing. Mom tried her best to tell me again and again that education would be my only way out to give me independence. Mom quit her active life to be a home maker and that was a long time ago and mom has always felt that need for a girl to be independent and stand on her own feet. After all mom had seen a lot of turmoil in her family that she wanted to spare me from.

Around 7th standard I started to study. Probably because I left Trichy and moved to Chennai and suddenly things seemed easier to me. I really do not know how but I started enjoying school and I moved up in ranks too. Maths still evaded me though. It wasn't until my 9th standard when I met Mr. Ramachandran who made me love maths. Ya, he was first to teach me the logic  behind maths. He told me how I cannot simply memorize maths like geography or social studies and that I have to play with it to enjoy it. From then on there was no looking back for me. Which is exactly why I always tell that my arithmetic sucks while my mathematics rocks. And yes there is a difference between the two, will save that for another post.

So anyhow, as much as mom insisted me on studying well she never forced it upon me. She had some kind of confidence that I would pull up together when the enlightening came. Though it came late, it came at the right time and saved me from a dismal future. And at a time when every other kid was doing engineering or medicine amma let me do Architecture (albeit some reservations) and my neighbors wondered WHY??!

Thank you mom for giving me the opportunity to mature slowly, to enjoy my childhood, to actually have childhood memories that are more than just studying. Thanks for letting me play when others were cramming and thanks for telling me the importance of being an independent woman. I am obviously what I am because of you.

But the question for me is, will I be as good as you were to me? Will I be a mother who does not force her daughter to study, will I be able to let myself let my child to pursue her dreams? I want to but I do not know if I will be because I have not met that challenge yet. And I do agree with my friend that I do enjoy when Babbi shines at doing something. So will I push her to do something she does not like because I like it? Oh God, please help me and direct me in the right path lest I not regret my ways when it will be too late.

XoXo
ART

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thank you...

This rarely happens. When G decides to throw a party for me. The last two years my birthday was pretty subdued. 

Reason for 2007: I was pregnant and was in no mood to do anything big.
Reason for 2008: I was a cranky biatch. I had a baby who was sick all the time and it was driving me nuts with self doubt of being a nice mother or not and such worries. I fought with G on the day of my birthday and refused to do anything fun. I even ignored phone calls and stayed home talking only to my babs.

So for 2009, I told him, "honey, you do something and it better make up for the last two years." G knows that I love dancing and eating. Since we have a 1.5 year old baby we decided that we will keep the dancing for later and went on the eating plan. G cooked. He made veggie/paneer/chicken and mutton kabab's and invited our closest friends over for dinner and drinks. He also made amazing Pina Colada of which I had two drinks.

I helped him clean the place before and after and made my favorite Artichoke Dip. It was fun. And since Babs went to sleep at 10.30pm sharp I had the liberty to get drunk and party with friends. I think Babs knew that I had to take some time off. 

So, I wanted to thank G and my friends who made my day and night special by being a part of our family when I invited my 31st year. And I also wanted to keep this on record incase I forget what G has done for me in the future and pick a fight with him saying, "After all that I have done for youwhat have you done nothing for me..." Which of course happens every now and then :)

xoxo
ART

So many things...

To write about...another year has passed since I came into this world. A year older or a year wiser, all means the same to me. The only thing that concerns me about age is not that it is a countdown but with every passing year I feel that I am getting less strong physically.

Since Sunday I have been busy trying to organize our college (K-State) pictures in chronological order into three albums. Which is almost 500+ photos. As I started organizing them I started living through the moments in life that defined what we are today. I say that because in those photos lie all the past that me and G have shared for 8+ years now. I go through a photo and I remember how we partied that night and then the fight after that, or how I hate this one person on that photo and wish I could take him or her out of it to make the photo more perfect and so on and so forth.

Those photos literally came back to life as I started putting them in order as if I was there and knew exactly how and where we were and in what order. It is so funny and then I started missing "me" and "us" from then. G and I, so carefree about life and enjoying every minute of it. Even then I was the one who was panicky. I had courses to study for, cannot let go of my 4.0, had to save money and such but G had me grounded and actually got me to enjoy life and for which I thank him.

And when I finally got all the pics into the album with just two or three photos left out of order and stuffed hastily to the back of the album I felt the loss again. The loss of youth, the loss of innocence, the loss of a lifestyle that we cannot ever go back to. We did gain somethings in the process though, like weight, debt, car payments, responsibility, stress, and so on. Which is what prompted me to write the first para that with all that I have gained in the last few years after we finished Grad School I have lost my physical strength. 

I am no more as fit as I used to be. I do not walk much any more, I drive everywhere. I eat unhealthy, I sleep on time but sleep rarely comes on time for me, unlike then when I would go to bed at 8 in the morning after partying the whole night but sleep as soon as my head rested on the pillow. I am tired now at 8 in the night and long to get to bed by 10.30pm, which of course never happens and ergo I am eternally tired so on and so forth. I have also learnt the names of a lot of new diseases and syndromes and sickness in the gain phase of life. And this will be the only reason why I am really not so excited about the age gain though other wise it makes no difference to me.

Love y'all and in true Gossip Girl fan style I sign of with a 
xoxo
ART

Monday, March 16, 2009

The best time of our life!

All of us do not even realize that we are having the best time of our life when we were indeed having it. We live through it in oblivion and then for the rest of our lives crave for it. I am talking about childhood. The first few years of our life when everyone is trying to appease you, keep you happy, carry you around, feed you your favorite foods, dance for you, sing for you, give you oil massages, sing your praise to everyone, be there at your beck and call, do everything possible on earth to just see you laugh, listen to the same songs 20,000 times just so you are happy, and on and on and on...and we just don't know it then!

After craving for adulthood all through our childhood and when we finally get there, we want to be kids again, sleep like a baby, eat like a baby, miss mom taking care of us and all our troubles and we look at a playing kid with envy and wonder, "wish we were kids again." We forget that we were kids and only never knew that we were having the time our life then!


PS: I saw this program : Mark and Olly with the Machigenga on Travel Channel and I was so enamored by the simple life of the Machigenga a tribe in the Peruvian Amazon. Then I realized that that they too have stress. Stress about getting food on the table, about taking care of kids, about invading conlonistas who take the tribal people for slaves and rape and plunder their women. They have stress about too much rain, about loosing their kids to the civilization, about forgetting who they are and loosing their identity. They have stress too. Looking at the wonderful landscape they live in (but for the insects) you will think that they are far from feeling as stressed as you who has to drive througha 40 minute traffic jam. But trust me they are as stressed. And then it made me think, who on earth is stress free. No one. I think that my daughter probably does not have too much stress, but who knows. She does cry when I do not take her out because it is cold or when I refuse to play Masakali for the 100th time. Who knows...One thing is for sure stress is for everyone!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bindi - Chukka - Pottu

So on Monday night I had weird dreams. One had President Obama in it, ya I hear you, but I assure you that I was not drinking or smoking anything. My mind wanders a lot and this was one of its escapade. Anyway, I had another dream too which kind of freaked me out. So I decided to pen it down here. I will first start with the premise.

I have always worn bindi when I wear a traditional dress. I am not the kind that wears a bindi on jeans and tee but if I am wearing salwar or saree then my face has to have a bindi. The truth is I was never forced to wear it. My mom always wears one and I like the way she looks with it. If by chance the bindi fell off then my mom's face would look dull or sad. It is just something I am used to. So I choose to wear it too. So now over to the dream.

In my dream a decree is passed in India wherein every Hindu woman living there is forced to wear a bindi. There is a furor, as usual news channels telecast it with SMS polls and people are all confused and the country is in a state of panic. Such a thing has never been done and it is the only thing everyone is talking about. I freak out, then what do I do? Patiently stick a bindi on my forehead and on that of my daughter's and walk out telling myself, why should I fight, better to adhere to the rule than fight it.

When I awoke I was disgusted with myself. Why did I do that? Why did I not stand up and fight? Well, I think that is where the human element comes into picture. We are all humans who want to survive. Most of us are even afraid to speak out the truth in the fear or saying something true that might hurt others or sound un-parlimentary. We (no matter where you are born and raised) are trained to do things as told to us by elders or in this case leaders. In the West people might raise their voice a bit but the majority still just follow and in India no one even cares to raise their voice and the few that do are sushed up by the majority.

I guess this is exactly what drives the politicians in India to make ridiculous rules and have BS logic. I mean seriously have you read the interview of Ram Sena leader Mr. Muthalik? That man must have been seriously brain washed to talk like he does and trust me trying to put some logic into him will be next to impossible. And he is using our powerless state to his advantage.

The majority must raise their voice against such stupidity while the minority supporting them must be sushed and we must put an end to people telling us what our culture is. Law and order is different from decrees.

This whole issue has upset me so much that I am even dreaming about it. Gosh! poor me brain!

Always - Have a Happy Period!

My foot! Who did you think came up with this slogan? Obviously has to be a MAN! I mean really? Have a happy period? Anyone who has had a period will know better than to put on the piece of paper holding the flaps of a sanitary napkin together.

If you are of the squeamish and want to do ewwww-what-is-she-talking then please stop reading here. I am not actually going to go into details but please feel to free to check out other posts in this blog. I am definitely not writing about any of my nasty fantasy but about something that caught my attention the other day and I could not stop laughing.

I mean periods are fine. Not like I have any choice but I would definitely not pop any of those pills that keep periods away and in the process make me a man, well at least that is what I think about it. But then they (periods) are certainly not fun or HAPPY for that matter.

The whole process is so stressing, think about it and if you are a girl relate to me. It starts with a PMS, yelling, screaming, senseless fights and tears, then moves on to a bloat, not as if you were not feeling fat already and then it finally makes a presence with all the fan fare of the cramp where you feel like you are in labor for three darn days! And neither of this is hopefully painting a happy picture in your head.

So my dear caption writer, please repeat for my sake again, How on earth can I have a HAPPY Frigging Period?? How? Or why? It is natural, true, but that does not mean I should be HAPPY about it. So many other things are natural but do we go about being happy about them? If you do not have a smart caption to think about, just leave the darned piece of paper empty or if you want to advertise just put the name of the product, leave your smart Alec thinking behind or better still ask any women in your life what they think about it. Jerk!

And god forbid you are a women who came up with it, then please go visit a psych. or you might be one of those on the drug I mentioned above, then you are half way to becoming a man anyway!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Memory?

G and I love watching Food Network, Science Channel, Discovery, and Travel Channel among ESPN and NBC and CBS and KERA, and others. Dang looks like we watch TV the most. But do note that most of the channels we watch are just not entertainment but educative entertainment. As much as I like watching How I Met Your Mother, I also enjoy watching How It Is Made. You get the point.

So our recent favorite program is this half hour show called Brink on Science Channel. It is a fun program on the latest Science innovations and hosted by this cute cute cute Aussie dude called Josh Zepps. I just learned today that he has nothing so ever to do with Science but he does a great job hosting it and making it interesting.

Last night I was watching last weeks DVR'ed episode of Brink and they discussed about memory. They took the example of how we remember our 8th birthday vividly with lots of details? Well think again because what you did on your birthday is not what is exactly in your brain right now, it is what you thought it is or what you think it is. The reason for this being our brain works on a SAVE AS mode and not on SAVE mode. Everytime you pull out a memory you create new images along with a fresh feel to it. Which puts a new spin on our recollection capacities in terms of judging people on witness stands and such.

Anyway, my point is, then my whole blog is a lie. Every little childhood incident that I have narrated here has been twisted and adapted with what I think it was not what it really was. Gosh! Now I am trying hard not to think of anything in past lest I adultrate it more.

SOS! Panic...my whole life is a lie, whatever I think and thought about things are all contorted! Gawd Dang...my future is not sure, my past is not sure and who cares about the present...Dang, Dang, Double Dang!

Hopefully I remember all of you as what you are and not as what I want you to be :P
ART

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Anitha

So Bubs used to go to this other day care initially. It was a licensed place and supposed to be really good to good because they have rules and regulations. At least that is what everyone told me. But of the three short months that Bubs was there, she was sick for about 2+ months. So finally we pulled her out of there with no notice, had a big fight and all that. Bah. I kept her home for a month based on the doctor's advice and then found a desi lady to take care of Bubs. I found her on eknazar.com.

It was as simple as that. I called five or six people who had posted an ad on that website and she was only one to call back and talk politely. I drove there with Bubs, checked out her apartment which was clean and the lady looked nice and decent. I went back the same evening with G so that he would also approve of her. When Bubs was ready to go back to daycare after getting her tubing in her ears done I spent a few days with Anitha, my babysitter to teach her how to handle Bubs who was all of six months. Even though Anitha has a son, she had help while in India to take care of him and so she was not sure what to do with a girl so small.

I called Anitha at least 10 times everyday to find out how things were going. How Bubs was, if she drank milk, if she played enough, so on and so forth. From then on we formed a bond that was amazing. She is the world's best baby sitter followed by Pooja my current baby sitter.

When G was sick and I had to take him to ER. I called Anitha at 6 in the morning on a Saturday, woke her up from sleep and asked to drop Bubs at her house. She was ready. She fed her, bathed her, dressed her and took care of her 4 days and even offered to keep her through the night.

If I had to work late, she would give Bubs a bath and keep her fed and ready for us to pick her up. If I was hungry, she sent food for us. She bought Bubs new clothes all the time. She baby sat her on weekends and if she was not free she had her friend helping us out.

But as all good things last only for a short time, this also had to come to an end exactly a year after we had met. Anitha had to move back to India but as she left, she introduced me to her childhood friend and classmate from intermediate, Pooja. Spent time with P training her to adjust to Bubs schedule, telling her Bubs likes and dislikes, and got Bubs also adjusted to P.

I had to hide my tears the day I bid her farewell and sincerely hope that she comes back soon as promised in July. I miss her and the love and affection she showed to Bubs. I will never ever have a better baby sitter than her. P is great too, but without Anitha I would never have met P. and for that I love you Anitha.

You are the World's Best Baby Sitter as far as I am concerned. What would I have done without you!

Thanks for everything.

ART

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

E-mails

So when you write an e-mail, with no intentions of being rude or angry or anything whatsoever, with just the sole intention of passing on a message, it can lead you to trouble. And I am sure you have all experienced this too just like me.

You receive an e-mail and when you read it, the message is read with your current frame of mind, not with the frame of mind of the author. Therefore chances of you thinking that the person on the other end of the computer is rude, mean, arrogant, sweet, nice, innocent and so on and so forth.

Is that not annoying? That your words printed black and white on the screen with very little emotions attached to it can evoke such personality analysis? This would never happen if the same discussion took place over the phone. I know it is even better in person but who has the time nowadays to go and meet people (argh @ the world we live in).

This applies to chatting too.

I guess this is when the smiley emoticons come in our favor and help us out a bit. But some people abuse the use of smiley's too. Smiling too much can never hurt though, well, most of the times at least.

Keep smiling and always think and read many times over the e-mails you send out. However innocent your intentions are people can always misinterpret it giving themselves the benefit of the doubt.

Chill
ART