Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Palace of Illusions

It came recommended by two people - an avid reader friend who raved about it and my mum, who was matter of fact about it. The opening surprised me, probably by the language employed. For some reason, I find it hard to to reconcile with Draupadi talking about houseflies farting and buttocks and such like. I cant quite get the word to describe the disconnect; maybe I expect a certain lofty prose and gravitas associated with mythology that Divakaruni Bannerjee's book fails to provide. I think I will reconcile to the language in a couple of chapters and write a more objective review.
The word for the feeling I described is, 'anachronism'.
That's what is amiss. I cannot reconcile to contemporary language in a story with a period setting. Is this even considered period? Hell No. Its a myth.

Three days and a hundred odd pages later, I think I have made my peace with the language. Actually, I don't see the anachronistic language popping up again. The gravitas has been restored and its tinged with a slight bit of drama that I can make my peace with.
Its a page turner and that's quite something for a mythological piece.My memories of mythology are tainted with preachy overtones that totally put me off. At least this one is not like that.
Five days into the book I have reached, what can be described as the singular event that made an epic out of the Mahabharatha - the Vastraharan. I was angry as I read her version of events. I was bristling at her five able bodied husbands who sat there watching her humiliation. I rage with her, at the injustice of the men of the world. I think again of Nirbhaya and how, not much has changed.If the Mahabharata did actually occur, it was a patriarchal setup that attached zilch importance to women then and is so now.
I was sad today at the murder of Abhimanyu, orchestrated by Drona, Karna and the others, flouting all rules of righteous war.
'So Abhimanyu fell, his beautiful face turned toward the women's tent where Uttara waited, his eyes filled with astonishment at the perfidy of men he'd respected as heroes. And his killers- so greatly had war altered them-roared their triumph like beasts.'
Angry at Drona, for being a blood-thirsty elder and at Karna the righteous who was swayed by the blood heat of battle.

Thursday, January 09, 2014


Dear Me,

This is my wishlist for 2014:
1. I want to lose 7 kilos by the end of the year.I'd then be at my ideal body weight.
2. I will not shop until October this year.
3. I will get a license and drive myself.
4. I will work on my marriage.
5. I want to travel to Bhutan and one other location for a vacation- Gujarat maybe. I want one to be a child free vacation
6. I will pursue my love of food, by innovating and cooking healthier meals.
7. I will gather from my mum and periamma and mil a collection of traditional recipes in a handmade book. My heirloom.
8. I will bake in my porcelain bakeware.
9. I will get Athru to be a better human.
10. I will socialise more.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

how do i protect my baby?

Today my eyes well up, as I pick up Athar at school.
The maid has bunked right after taking a hefty loan from me. I spent the morning hassled and raging about the errant maid. She made me yell at the spouse and Athar, both- I was snapping at them dawdling over morning tasks. I decided to work from home and go pick up the child early, because he has a cough and I'd rather he stay home.
So turns out, he fell down in school- jostled accidentally by another child. His teacher explains that they iced the spot and he is better now. I see a slight bump where he hurt himself.
What really upset me is how the teacher explained that , Atharva is an adorable child and not at all aggressive. Should I be proud of him? My little slightly built angel never even mentioned the fall to me. Long forgotten. Resilient.
Even when older kids snatch things from him, he doesn't snatch it back.
He looks bewildered and moves on to another toy.
Do I wish he was a little more assertive, a wee bit aggressive ?
I am not sure.
But I sure as hell know, that he gets it from his mum who gets bullied by mere maids and his father who will melt at the very hint of a sob story.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Of milestones and learnings

July has been a month of great progress, parenting-wise and couple-wise.
Atharva is finally susu trained. He has been telling us when he needs to pee and one of us is hauling him to the loo. About time too- He will be 3, come September.
The brat is also getting really good with observing, mimicking and making up tales.
After a brief phase of disobedience that had us tearing our hair out and me crying copious amounts about the lacunae in my parenting skills, we are back to being civilized and sweet.
The big birthday decision has been made. we are taking the weekend off to travel to Mysore to see the Zoo, explore the museums and do the stuff that Atharva wants. Spares me the agony of planning a birthday party.

Of course I'll send muffins to school and suchlike.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Satisfaction is ...

a pair of perfect brown suede shoes, that don't cost a bomb.
I am not a sucker for laden shopping bags. All those do to me- guilt.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

why is to so hard to be superwoman

Why is it so hard for me to do it all. Be the super-fit 30 something woman, on top of things mom and super-cool wife.

Monday, April 29, 2013

In which I learn something new

Inspired by a recent spate of not so encouraging events in my professional life, I realize that I need a plan B. A plan B that does not involve a corporate job replete with benefits.

So I have resolved to learn something new everyday. Thank you R! That sounds like a good way to start my life anew.
I learnt today about the 21 day rule for learning something new.
" The patterns we repeat consistently (over a 21 day period) become neurological programs that we then run on a daily basis. You are writing programs all the time, you just may be unconscious of this process."
But there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of success in any new endeavor, including:

Take small steps. Don't try to do everything at once.
Only try to change one habit at a time.
Write down the habit you want to change, and write down specific plans for achieving that goal.

Repeat the behavior you're aiming for as often as you can. The more a behavior is repeated, the more likely it is that it will become "instinctive."

I will wake up at 5 a.m and run on the terrace on Tuesday.
At work I will read up on all the firewall stuff by Tuesday EOD.

Ill come back here to check it off.
Ta then.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Is your child exactly 2 years and 10 months old?

Yes good people, it is that time of the year. Queueing up outside schools to gather forms, ferret information from other parents while in queue and get all muddled up.
For a certain school, that both me and A are sold on, Athar is 2 months younger, than the eligible age. I just assumed that, they'd ignore that minor difference, but turns out they don't.
Since my child is not exactly 2 years and 10 months old for said school, I have slumped back in resignation and am faced with the difficult task of decision making. Should we just give up on this school and opt for others, or should he just wait another year?

Friday, October 05, 2012

In which Ma has a moment and then NOT...

Ma and Athar are watching the Masterchef Australia Finale and its a fancy pastry that Andy and Julia have to put together in their bake-off.
Athar says" Ma... cake cake...verrrrrry naice".
Ma has a moment here and she asks him tenderly, "baby do you want to be a chef, painter?". Athar replies, " Ma, banana, potato", then looking at my perplexed face says confidently, "Amma, hyena...heeheeehehehe (laughs )". Yes you can be a happy hyena my son. We can make a career out of giggling, your angelic laughter.

The littlest things make you giggle...

You roll up a book and hold it between us, each of us peeking from either end. One long lashed eye meets one tired eye. you say, "Amma..." and go blink blink blink... and want me to follow suit from my end of our paper cylinder. Then, just to make things funner, i blow from my end... you roll off laughing; you say, " Ma fuuu fuu", making a fish mouth.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


What is the one effing quality I wish I had?
You don't care to know, do you? I mean, why would you...
But hell I want to shout it off rooftops -- P-E-R-S-E-V-E-R-A-N-C-E

My old school mum would call it Determination, same difference ma, I have neither.

I will not rant an entire web-page about, how I wish I was different.

I have stated the fact. PERIOD. What do I say, my life will be a self-improvement project till whenever.

R asked me today, " Do you know what makes you happy, H?"


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Resolution Day- july 18th

Good Hair and skin:
Oil at least once a week.
Eat dry fruits daily.
eat 2 servings of fruits daily.
Veggie juice
Yoghurt with fenugreek.
run in the park with athar.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Free Ads here we come!

Conversation between Atharva (20 months) and Dad

Atharva: Appa appa star (pointing to his wrist where grandpa had scrawled 2 stars)

Dad: (looking at me, with surprise as there has been ongoing talk of tantrummy child)Good behavior?

Me: Note the black star-- its extra bad behavior.

Dad: (to Athar)Thats it, another black star by Thursday(deadline for FREE AD submissions) and we are selling you off on FREE ADS!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A lot of stuff is spiraling out of control... Breakdown imminent More when the fighting subsides.

Monday, April 16, 2012

when did you grow up to be 'not so into your mum'?

i was your hero. Your awestruck, open mouthed laugh, your toothy chuckle, were all reserved for mumma's silly antics. you hollering out to me, non-stop, was for me, hai na? Abhi kya hua? Now, mumma is just this headless chicken who is running all over the house to get your stuff ready before you head to day care and she rushes to work. And you dont even say Ta Ta to her eh? She demands a "buh bye" from you... Of course you come running, when I demand the said buh-bye, and plant a ' huggie' and air kiss my cheek... You are better behaved with the MIL. yes that irks me. There, I said it. IT IRKS ME NO END. You are at your worst with Dad. The mumma wants to see you progress and the MIL is always mollycoddling you, babying you. I know, you want me for your nighty nighty nap. Because as you get sleepy, my little 18 month old, you start babbling and insist on mumma singing 'Humpy Humpy... sat on the waaaaaaaaaall'. But how come,mumma is now the last option guy? Maybe that's how you are engineered;to be a 'sway along with the palm trees in the wind' kind of guy... I am trying to understand how to discipline you. Are you picking up this hitting from the TV you are subjected to?

Friday, April 13, 2012

we survived

needless to say... the title sums it all up.

Monday, April 09, 2012

What if it does happen?

I have an App discussion scheduled for tom. Not a very nice feeling but hell when is it ever. I am bracing for the worst. The app itself shouldn't be bad-- because I have worked my A** of this last year, gone above and beyond what was asked of me. In fact I have been daft enough never to say NO. I have never refused P anything. Im her servile help. I have survived cut-paste from emails clearly to steal credit. I am on the brink of taking the fall for her buddy who screwed up while taking off on matrimonial vacation. In my chat this morning when i volunteered to come in for the app discussion, she was gleeful and threw me a smiley. She said, 'you can leave in the afternoon', maybe she will have me leave for ever. I have never been laid off, in my career that spans 9 years. this will be the worst ever humiliation. will walk out head held high. If I am made a fall guy, I'm definitely definitely updating the resume -- that email stinks of lack of respect. I cant live with that. but now that I have spelled out these possibilities, its business as usual until 11 am tom. So long blogger.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Remember this

It doesn't matter how prestigious the school you went to was, how distinguished your educational qualifications are, or how famous you are. Especially when you are dishonest. It doesn't irk during the act itself-- but years later when it comes back to haunt you, by means of an expose, that's when you'd want to bury yourself ostrich-like. So do not do anything, you'll live to regret. IAS babus tainted in Adarsh.


while tears prick, threatening to spill over, I am amazed at the lack of respect amassed over two years in this shit hole. I have never said 'no'. I have always accommodated. Its easy to gloss over mistakes of loved ones. I need to work for a place which respects people as equals, for in respect there cant be varying degrees can there?
being fickle is second nature to me. Once abandoned, once neglected,I have come back to seek you. Of course , my first instinct was to start afresh -- like always, like that brief page on Tumblr, which is complicated as shit. That was a good year ago. Atharva, the little one, was actually little then -- now at 18 months, he is small, not little. I have a project in mind - I dare not spell it out, for fear that it'll fizzle out, like the bookworm (another ambitious project)which I haven't fully written off yet. But I have promised myself that I'll step out of my comfort zone, do things that make me uncomfortable and then conquer them -- no that's too ambitious(just like me)-- I can at least attempt to be friends with things that make me uncomfortable.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The eternal worriers

Amma and Appa, each feeding the other's paranoia. Believing that our man Murphy's theory is based on their lives and that of their only child and her spouse. Perpetually talking about erring on the side of caution, and effectively so far left of caution, that it seems ludicrous. And they have their use cases finely etched, a fifteen year old story that happened to a brother-in-law of a friend of a cousin sister of appa's childhood friend, who appa hasn't spoken to in like years. The story itself is not of significance here - the grainy details of the story though have been exaggerated in their minds by continual discussion, and aspects of it have been created to terrorise their child. The child meanwhile deals with her spouse calling her family, "the hyper paranoids".

Monday, July 20, 2009

100 word fiction!

She looked up anxiously at the clock, while chopping up the fruits. A power packed smoothie at 7:00 pm like every evening. It was seven, she could hear the car backing up into the garage. She was late today. A key turned in the lock. She scurried into the kitchen to load up the blender. He had switched on the television. She slid out the ice tray; the metal of the Smith and Wesson not so cold yet. The sharp recoil, almost rocked her off her feet. She turned off the blender and the television and sighed.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I have seen The Curse of the Jade Scorpion for the umpteenth time and giggled through it. All Hail C.W. Briggs!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I am sick to my stomach ...

gorging on them beautiful pepper flecked milagu vadais from Chennai.
I am addicted to them things, which the husband lovingly brought for me from his recent trip.
I can down six of 'em and still not feel satiated. All of the Rujuta Diwekar plus Gym eating right shenanigans are therefore being forsaked. And my good self is not quite enjoying it.

So I asked the husband to put it away in a discreet loctation and hand me one every alternate day when I am particularly needy of my junk fix.

So this morning, after getting breakfast I go into the kitchen to check on groceries that need replenishing and there it was, sitting pretty, my milagu vadais. Sigh(!!!), so much for discreet.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Things that make you feel nice...

(with or without vino in your system)

1. Playing Scrabble
2. Trashing your opponents, by purely adding one alphabet worth 10 points on a 'triple word score' box.
3. Spending a pleasant Sunday afternoon reading on the patio
4. Drinking a concoction of tea, at half past four - a totally unconventional brew of masala chai flecked with chocolate and cinnamon and actually enjoying it.
5. Soaking in hot water with pleasant smelling bath salts.
6. Watching the hustle of life, while strolling on a quiet by lane of a busy arterial road

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What do you do when...

Your head is pounding with the heat of an imminent confrontation, and your hand is trembling with rage. The rage that comes from a million questions bursting in your heart. The rage of the injustice meted out to you simmers inside like lava, waiting to erupt out a volcano.

Especially if you are a peace loving Libran, who hates confrontations.

You down some water, feel the liquid course through your very being and try some deep breathing.

If that doesn't help either, you write on your blog and hope to God, the negativity stops short of consuming you.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Forgive me God, for...

... I have sinned.
Yeah me. In the blur of busy everyday morns and eves, I starved my plants for 2 days prior to Earth Day. Today morning on the august occasion of World Earth Day, they looked up me all wilted and forlorn, beseeching me to feed them.
I was running late for work and was lugging around the laptop, lunch, pile of books to donate, clothes to be laundered etc.
Feeling terribly miserable about my neglecting ways, I dropped all the stuff I was holding, and unlocked two sets of doors and another to reach my pail of water to feed them.
I spoke softly to them, apologising for my oversight and made a mental note to not forget their grub.
In the evening, when I returned home, they looked cheery and uplifted and I felt forgiven.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Poll trail

Till today, I was smug in the knowledge that my generation aka the youth spoke a single language; the language of secularism and peace and equal respect for all religions.

I stand corrected. A certain Varun Gandhi has shamed my generation today.

I am a Hindu and an Indian and I am ashamed on both counts, of the behaviour meted out by supposed protectors and propagators my religion and of the laws of the land, that permit such politics of hate, to go unchecked.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Question on News Hour today is ' Should incest be awarded the death penalty'?

IMHO, Mr. Arnab Goswami-- NO! Death is too miniscule a punishment for a crime this heinous. To award death, is a liberation too quick , a redemption too easy, a chapter closed , too soon.

My raging self cannot think of any punishment that measures up to the wrongdoings of these monsters.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

On mobs and other manifestations of prejudice

He was all shook up by the ugly reality of his society. He knew things had changed;he could sense it in their vacant stares, their hostility and on their breath. They breathe differently you know-- an unhealthy, ragged,gaspy breath.

He had heard that they had been taken over by a legion of fanatics. He stored that information in a superficial area, and dismissed it as hyperbole.

What he witnessed, in the twilight, confirmed their growing bigotry.

He was stunned into a loud unnerving silence.

He fled their antagonism and sought his peace in the waiting, expectant eyes, at home.

She-- simple, unaware yet all knowing, would widen her eyes at his account and nod sympathetically. The sadness, he knew, which remained buried inside of her, would well up, and shine through her eyes. She would envelope him in her warmth. She would soak up the growing coldness, inside of him.

Something died inside him that unfortunate evening.The familiar streets of his adoptive city, no longer comforted him, even in their quiet evening stillness.
He would never be the free spirit, high on camaraderie, in this city.

He would be furtive and uncomfortable, for a long time now. He'd keep looking over his shoulder to ensure that, he was not violating 'their democracy'.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lately, I have been running up against people, who are sweating the small stuff. Really, they are stressing themselves out over minor details and in the process are completely blindsided and thwacked across the face by the big picture, when it actually zones into their consciousness.
And then, when I launch into " Duh... I told you so", I get a mouthful of venom.

It is happening at work and home :-(!

Am I lacking in " attention to detail"? Am I over simplifying or are THEY complicating their lives.

I'd like to believe its THEY!

Monday, February 23, 2009

My communication quotient is...

You Communicate Passionately

You speak from the heart. You can't separate your feelings from what you're saying, even in a professional context.

You tend to speak dramatically, with lots of passion and emotion. It's easy for you to get swept up in what you're saying.

You like to connect with people early on so that you can personalize what you are saying to them.

When you converse, you try to find common ground and harmony. Even if you disagree with someone, you try to emphasize where you agree.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Frivolous Friday activity

We are in a minimalistic mode, on account of summer setting in early in B'lore. Hence, the strip down to a 'bare bare' look (on the blog; even at home :-P but one mustn't care -- at the risk of retinal displacement) . Like Dee would say, deep down within you are all ' brown -brown'.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

In memory of she who left...

To Jun Jun,

How do you tell someone that its OK that his baby of eleven years passed on? You can't.
What I can tell you, Jun Boy, is Goldie lived a loved charmed life. The poor baby, never hurt a fly all her life... She barked, early on only at Candy, the rather catty dog, next door.
She was all hugs and jumps and licks and kisses. Even people who were scared of a big doggie like her, couldn't escape her display of affection and eventually came to love her.
She had the most mournfully sparkly eyes and she could win you over, just by gazing at you.
She loved people and I remember, how as young teens when we'd all be in deep discussion of a crush, a possible love story, a little fling, she'd slink into the room soundlessly and plonk herself right in between the group having the intensest discussion. She'd push past people to cuddle up to anyone, who'd let her. She'd cock her ears up and gaze at you, almost like she understood, all the trials of your teenage life. She'd engage you in a game of "Fetch", when you were especially crabby after a bad day.
She made no demands on your affection or time. She just was her lovable, huggable self and you'd just lose yourself in her make believe games.
She'd let you play with her long floppy ears, even if it bugged her.

She knew, she was loved, because the family, never took a vacation together all these years, lest she be alone and mopey. No one even thought of leaving her all by herself or with strangers at a kennel club.

So Jun Boy, I want you to think of Goldie in 'Doggie Heaven', where she lies on a velvet cushion draped in a fur of gold (complementing her skin tone), wearing a diamond, ' bone shaped' tiara and mascara on her lashes. She lies by a freezer stuffed with all her doggie treats and ice cream. She has her parents and brothers and sisters and cousins all flocking around her, glad to see her after eleven long years. They want to bask in the gentle warmth of her love and affection.
She watches over them now, benevolently and smiles indulgently at them other fellas pouncing on her treats!

From Your Sister,

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

V Day plans

V's day is around the corner and discussing plans A commented, ' I don't wanna be hanging around with you, hand in hand on V's day haan... that Mutalik bugger might get us married man. Kitne baar wohi mistake???'
Many pillows were hurled in the direction of the statement.
We have senior citizen visitors (like the extended in-law family ) over the valentines weekend, so no pda around the house :-P.
We might just go catch a movie- Dev D maybe, perfect for valentines eh, the modern take on the most tragic love saga of all times. mournful for a 'luuvverly day'? .Naah, I have high hopes from Dev D- I am looking for slick , darkly comic, Devdas.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mind Troddings

The air this January hangs heavy with the shame, despondency, discontent and the heat of ensuing conflict.
What is wrong with us as a populace-- for surely , we have a role in lending a voice to manic madmen like Mutalik and self professed godpeople like Sadhvi Pragya.
Is it our misdirected anxiety (at the general state of the recession hit globe) manifesting itself as a suddenly retrogressive society?
Can something as active and aware as a mind be demoted to just an organ without rationale?
Excellent editorial in TOI:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Even across continents, seven seas etc., at 10 p.m on the night of 01/20/09 , Obama's Inaugural speech gave me goosebumps.
No fluffy clouds and rose tinted dreams; the man did cut to the grey dreary depressing chase, right on.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009