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Showing posts from September, 2006

Belated greetings

Babycentre wishes my baby on her birthday a week after the event - can't blame them, Miriam was born 10 days in advance, and they have probably gone by the actual due date I had given. This is their greetings reproduced:

Hello BabyCentre member, from BabyCentre! Your 1-Year-Old
And a happy birthday to your baby! Can you believe a whole year has gone by since you gave birth? A lot has happened, in her life and yours. (Very true - I still remember those dreary nights in the first few months when Miriam would stay awake much of the night and sleep much of the day. Thought I'd go crazy) If only you had a pound(rupee)for every dirty nappy, every blackcurrant-juice-stained shirt (I'll make that orange juice as we dont get blackcurrants here), and every precious baby smile, you'd be able to buy yourself the great big bunch of flowers that every parent deserves!Your little one is probably toddling around now, or on the verge of that crucial physical milestone (yeah, she still cr…

Ageing

A friend asked me today over email: "Do growing up children compensate for the seeming loss of youth? Have been feeling low in this regard for a while. Your take on this?"
I guess so. I hate to see myself in photos these days - only then I realise how fat and old I am getting. I dont beleive the salesgirl at the boutique when she tells me, 'madam, U need to go for L size, M wont fit you.' I look at her as if she is raving mad but oblige anyway. I go home and find that even L is not good enough and that I might need XL. To think that I was comfortable in S size some 6 years ago! My mom and granny worried that I'd never put on weight - and now here I am weighing over 60 kg.

Mass to juice

Back in office. Went to church yesterday - took Mira too. Came back and had a good sleep after breakfast. Went vegetable and provision shopping in the evening. Topped it with a custard apple juice at the malloo chai shop we frequent. Tamilians joke that even if one goes the moon, you will find a malloo running a teashop there. That is one enterprise that non-resident Keralites specialse in across the country.
Ash
My parents are a bit worried about Ash - he is missing us sorely. They have instructed us not to call at night as it upsets him and he doesnt sleep well. So dad has got him a new cycle to keep him happy. When we called yesterday, he said: Appa, krrrr. And ran off to play.

The day after

The great day is past. Mira got a decent though different bday from what one-year-olds get. For one, we sponsored breakfast to the kids at our church's orphanage in Sriperumpudur. Secondly, neither of us took leave to pamper her. Third, we cut 2 blackforest cakes - V had forgotten to order a big fancy cake the previous day, so had to make do with the baker's daily churn of smaller cakes.

The first cake was cut with the maids as guests. My part-time maid had come to present Mira a pair of gold studs with white stones. The cake was distributed to the maid's family and our neighbours. The second cake was cut only after our guests of honour - Sajichayan and family - came at 9 ish. We all then went to Fisherman's Fare on Casa Major Road for dinner. As the name suggests, seafood is their specialty - so we tried out seafood broth (soup) and seafood pulav and Andhra fish curry. All so-so - wish we had ordered the chicken fare like Sophiechechi and Jeffrin did. Mira liked the s…

Miriam turns one

It is our daughter's first birthday today. Took her to the Catholic church nearby in the morning for a quick blessing. Since the church is located inside a school campus, Mira got her first sight of school. It was almost time for the morning assembly and there was much din and confusion inside and outside on the road - parents dropping children and older kids cycling in. The church was packed to capacity with children trying to make themselves heard and some with their books open. It was like being inside a bees nest. I was worried Mira would start crying but she looked around in wonder and dropped a coin in the offertory.
We had got maid to prepare Appam, egg curry and vermicelli payasam. The only morning guest was Kala, our Tamilian maid, who said she wanted to come again in the evening to present her a pair of gold studs. It made me want to cry.
WE are planning a cake-cutting session in the evening to be attended by V's first cousin and family and Kala, as of now. Plan to fol…

Our little lady

The big news is that we got Mira's ears pierced yesterday at an ENT clinic nearby. Painless ear piercing - more than the actual piercing, which took only a second each, it was readying her for the event that was more difficult. She howled at the sight of the doctor and his wife, so marking the spot took a while as we had to pacify her at first.
We chose a pair of studs with a single red stone - supposedly gold plated and nickel free, imported from the US. The dr. gave some instructions to prevent infection in the wound.

Reminded of the time I got my ears pierced. I must have been in Class 6 or 7 at that time. I was one of the late entrants into the ear-ringed club as most girls in school had their ears pierced at a young age. The piercing was done by a goldsmith at our family jeweller's shop. Those days they used the thorn of a plant, I think. It took him so long and by the time he was through with the first ear, I was sweating and wishing that I'd rather not pierce the seco…

A toddler at home

Spent a quite Sunday at home. Didnt go to church though the Family Fellowship Committtee had organised a belated Onam celebration after church. Each participant was to pay Rs. 60 towards lunch.
Had slept well past midnight the previous day as we had guests. BY the time they left it was 12.45 am, and Mira and maid had slept early.

Mira alias Kripa is building up her vocabulary - right now she parrots ajjaa (i think that is what she calls V), amma, and umma. She carefully finds her way around the house - she crawls/walks/stands with minimum damage to herself. Her movements are pretty slow compared to Ash's - he had the speed of the wind even when it came to walking on all fours.
P.S. That's her learning to use the potty.

new look

I changed the blog template. Been experimenting with a few but nothing really catches my fancy. This seems okay though the dots are a bit distracting.
The new maid doesn't seem all that bad after all. She is trying to do her work without much noise (mil had instructed her not to). I had this feeling she was a bit bossy, so I have to show without much friction who is boss here.
Anyway having someone to cook tasty meals itself is a big thing especially for someone who is averse to cooking.
Apparently she wants to save the salary to buy gold bangles for herself. She is planning to sell her car. She probably belongs to that group of people in Kerala who cant live within their means and have to be lavish whether they can afford it or not.
A church member, who has taken a maid from an agency, tells me that many well-off women nowadays resort to this job to make some extra buck - after all, the expenses are taken care of by the family they work for and they get their salary without any cuts …

'Model' maid

Just got back from Kerala with maid and Mira today morn. Brought the former on a one-month probation! I wasnt keen on bringing her - intution told me that she wont be right for me and I kept telling that to my folks in vain.
Dad was angry with me and said I shouldnt pre-judge people and should try her out. He said she took good care of Mira while she was at Chply. Mom secretly told me that the maid wasnt all that good and that she was shirking work especially in the presence of the part-time maids mom has. She needs hot water for bathing and for drinking. Doesnt bother about Ash at all except when it comes to bathing him. Looks a bit too fashionable to pass for a maid - she dyes her hair though she professes to be around 50, uses false teeth, and plucks her underchin hair. Seems more right for the ramp than the kitchen. She landed at Chry, in her Maruti 800 car, in time to pack her dinner - she had already conveyed that she doesnt want to sweat in the kitchen making dinner when she com…

Psychopaths and prisoners

I am reading The Collector by John Fowles, who also wrote the French Leiutenant's Woman. The book has suddenly come to the limelight after the Natascha episode in Austria. The Austrian girl who was kept captive by a man for 10 yrs. She was kidnapped when she was 10 and escaped just last week. The man killed himself after she escaped. Sends a shiver down my spine.

Work

Went to church today morn as it was the last day of the ettu nombu. For a change, we reached the church early and got a seat. Even otherwise, being a working day the attendance was the bare minimum. Got chakkara pongal as nercha, all on the house.
A long day at work. Tomorrow we finish work, and then we get a rest period of 4 days. I am going home on Sunday night. Hope to be back on Friday next with maid and Mira.

Mira

Good evening all! Nothing much is happening in my part of the world - save for the Vande mataram controversy and PJ Joseph's resignation.
Need to plan Mira's first birthday - whether to hold it on 21st itself as it falls on a working Thursday or later. I think the party itself is going to be sabotaged - our folks dont seem keen on coming over. Bringing Ash to Madras and then taking him back will be another problem. We want him to be in Kerala for another 2 months - have to see how the new maid manages babysitting, secondly Ash has to get a bit healthy and organised under my parents' care...
So her b'day is likely to be low-key, if at all it is held. Her birth had also not been an occasion for celebration, unlike Ash's. Circumstances were such that we could not even give a box of sweets even to the obstetrician who brought her out to the world. V tells me it wasn't deliberate, so now the onus is on him to prove that Mira is just as dear as Ash to him.

Onam

Belated Onam greetings to all! Celebrated Kerala's state festival yesterday with a mini sadya (feast) just for the two of us. The menu had aviyal, kaalan, parippu curry and papad, and payasam (thanks to Nirapara instant ada payasam mix). Nowadays everything is instant - right from idiappams to chappatis.
There was no banana leaf to serve the meal on. Wore my Onam-mark salwar kurta to work. V took leave under the Restricted Holiday quota. HE watched a movie on Asianet. With TV channels exhorting viewers to "celebrate this Onam with us", viewers have a hard time deciding which movie to watch. And all channels manage to come up with at least one movie that has not been shown on TV yet.
In my childhood days, Onam meant Athappookalams, kaduvakali and the wait for the invisible Maveli, the benevolent Asura king of Kerala who is supposed to be visiting his subjects on Onam day. The most exciting part was the swing, which had a palm frond for a seat while a long rope secured it ti…

Celebrating a church

The St. Pauls & St. Peters (a strange pair?) chapel at Koyambedu that we frequent has been upgraded to a church. The promotion has been long overdue but since the over 200 families of church-goers (or -comers) here didnt request it until recently (while the other smaller chapel in the area got it after a signature campaign), it continued to be under the Broadway Cathedral.

The celebration was marked by the priest reading out the Patriarch's order, followed by the achen's speech (which was interrupted by crackers bursting outside) and the Catholicos anthem. After the mass and offerings, the parishioners were treated with laddu, and a breakfast of idiappam-veg kuruma (since most devotees are off non-veg for 8 days beginning Sept.1, it is the ettu-nombu period here taken in deference to the Virgin Mary), uzhunnu vada, coffee and biscuits.
A pious Ammachi (granny) took out the ring on her finger to make the first offering for the new-born church. I was not so benevolent, but did…

Why go?

Yesterday at the bus stop, I got to see for the first time since I came to Chennai, a mainstream political leader from Tamil Nadu. The MDMK (Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) was holding a rally, which seemed to be proceeding towards Marina beach, in support of Sri Lankan Tamils. Men in black (with strips of red here and there as in the shirt collars and cuffs) and went past raising slogans and ogling at women bystanders. Red and black is the colour most favoured by the Dravidian parties of Tamil Nadu.
The police team accompanying the rally hinted that something big was following - that came in the shape of MDMK supremo Vaiko or Y. Gopalasamy (which was probably shortened to Y.Go and got corrupted to Vaiko). The Tamils have a quaint way of using English alphabets. So you find an apartment named SS Terrace being spelt out as YesYes Terrace and a person with SV in the initials of his name calling himself "Yeswe"! The English would be shocked/amazed by the innovative use …

Down memory lane

Lost my credit card. Can't remember where I lost/misplaced it. I last used it 2 weeks back at a kidstore before I went to Kerala. I am so forgetful these days, I think I need to get my thyroid tested. A friend told me that hypothyroidism can lead to poor memory. At this rate I am heading for Alzheimer's.
Chennai saw a sudden downpour at noon - should have expected it as it was so humid in the morning.
Almost through with my work for the day. Had edited an article on Gondwanaland (a supercontinent made up of Africa, Australia, India and Antartica some 200 million years ago, before the continental drift) expedition made by 10 Indian scientists/geologists on 3 Mahindra Scorpios. They drove from The Himalayas (shimla) to Delhi and then flew to Iran. The real expedition begins from Iran. Driving through 17 countries - including Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique - they reach the tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet.
The writer…