Monday, October 26, 2009

Baar Baar Dekho Hazaar Baar Dekho

ke dekhne ki cheez hai hamari Katrina Kaif...taali ho.

As we draw closer to the day you turn nine months old, this could be the soundtrack to meal times. No TV watching for baby, huh who sedddatt? We have long got down off that high horse. Right around the time when we started petitioning Cerelac to put Katrina Kaif's picture on the cereal box. Katrina Kaif ka secretary might not have prayed that hard she stays in business and uskey gaaney chaley on every channel jitna Ive been praying to the media gods to play her songs in a loop come dinner time. The first time you laid eyes on the comely maiden you went

Duhh I Thought I Saw a Puddy Cat?
No Puddy Cat nahee beta, Kat...corrected your mom gently.

You stare at her mouth agape and it has been very easy to shovel the food in.

The kabhi khushi kabhi gham temperamental Chayya has been joined by the cheerful Shaguni. She has literally been the good news of my angsty month so far. She was hired to cook some but mostly help out with you. However she is doing everything but that as your mother is still struggling with The Rules of (Dis)engagement when it comes to you. I had told myself that I will feed and change you , the dad will continue with Giving Baby A Bath and general uff how much i miss baby at work routine and Madam Shaguni could amuse the baby while I am at my writing table. But it seems so tempting to join in in all the fun when you are playing with her. Im new at this. My mother was lucky as she belonged to the mother's club that came with family crone and waisey bhee they were sensible types who didnt stress that much about constructive play and led their lives while baby played in the corner. Im trying to get there but you make it so so hard. Your father could tell that we needed help, as you were just not the kind of baby who could " make his own entertainment", I was pretty vehement that I didnt need someone full time as I dont want my privacy compromised. Your dad parroted the privacy hypothesis when friends suggested getting help until I realised that people might think we have quite the swinging lifestyle that we want to keep private....we are very very boring I swear. So enter Shaguni the 8 to 4 types who could make life pretty easy for me if I let her. She has been quite the Kitchen Queen and has been whipping up one culinary feast after the other . Yes with her and Katrina in my corner we will fatten you up pretty soon. And Im hoping the universe (and all you who comment on this blog out there) could help me with my other questions. Will you ever become independent? Who is responsible for what when it comes to the help and me? Will I ever lose my weight---I must be the only mother who gained weight AFTER having the baby.

I hope you do realise that I have made no reference to the Annus Horribilis Pakistan has suffered so far...let some days be just about you and not my personal demons. And its a small concession after all that you have done to cheer me up in such gloomy times. I realise that the speed with which you pick up things to make me laugh might be an attempt on your part to compensate for all that makes me sad. Your recent trick has been to push your tongue against your lower lip and push out your mouth making the most grotesque monkey face ever. But oh so cute. You are a wise kid and want no documentary proof to be used against you in future switching to smiley faces when I whip out a camera.
I hope your mother and some 180,808,000 people who share your genetic pool get their act together and give you a safer and happier tomorrow.
All my prayers,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

jab tak rahega samosey may aloo

Last night i had an argument with gman as he once again brought home this sorry potato-carrot-pea bhara samosa "acha so is this the potato samosa you are always hankering about"? and I had to repeat my chant of no no no , its boiled potato cut in cubes (NOT MASHED), zeera, chili flakes filling encased in a thick not flaky pastry. He shrugged his shoulders exasperated "I think tumharey imagination may hai, there is no such samosa". I fought back my tears. No its not a figment of my imagination. Just as
long summer evenings breathing in raat ki rani
motiya flowers at traffic signals and the fragrance filling up your car
twilight in summers marked by spraying water on the bricked courtyard, pulling out the GFC fan, dragging out the chairs turning the TV around so you watched it sitting outside, late night gup shup and listening to the BBC bulletin on the radio before turning in for the night.
winter evenings sprawled in front of the heater doing heater math. too close and my cheek burns move an inch and i feel cold. breathing in damp clothes set out to dry. Giggling at Razia Butt and A R Khatun novels....Rehaan Rehaan Rehaan. Somehow winters meant Ammi Jans and Bari Buas and Afshan, Farrukh and saunf supari. Summers were Queen's Library and the entire Louis L'Amour collection.
Childhood fears that the Russians will invade us. And it will not just be the cheap Russian air conditioners, sardine tins, chocolate raisins and notebooks flooding the market. Years afterwards someone asked me if I had ever thought all the cheap Russian food stuff was courtesy the toxic larders of Chernobyl. I am not glowing in the dark ..not yet, I think not.
our annual CMH pilgrimage for our shots and our glee when the orderly said some God forsaken childhood disease had been eradicated.
There is a couplet in Urdu:
Ab ke hum bichde to shaayad kabhi khwaabon mein mile
If we were to part today our only hope is to rendezvous in dreams (apologies for the translation. Never ask a Pashtun to translate Urdu)
Dear Alu Waley Samosey, I might dream the past which is another country but only when this current nightmare can end.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

nazar and all

This morning Arhaan laughed in his was not a giggle, not even the smiling in his sleep followed by a content sigh combo we have been observing for a while. It was a full-on Ha! Ha! Wasnt That So Hilarious chuckle. There have also been times in the past fortnight when he has babbled in his sleep, sleeping burh-burh as they called it in some movie (now if someone could tell me which movie its from..I think its Maine Piyar Kiya) . Which can only mean one thing...he is becoming a he will not be The Mouth at the other end of the spoon, or Someone who Has To Be Watched lest he rolls off the bed/couch/lap or That Wail From The Corner that has to be minded forever. Its interesting, I will be laughing at something I am reading and I look down at my lap and there are these two dancing eyes with a question So Tell Me Tell Me Whats So Funny. He is also now somewhere at the borderline of empathy, so if Im crying watching television (and frankly there is a lot of crying if you are watching the news lately) he will have a quizzical expression followed by a nervous laugh. Less TV for me Im afraid until I learn how to control my reactions. But Im nervous as soon he will be asking me questions about the world I have brought him into and I better have some good answers.
In other news I was nursing a sore throat for a while, which thanks to the fertile air around here has turned into a pretty interesting cough. Arhaan beychaara bhi kab tak bachta..he ran fever last Sunday which went away after a dose of paracetamol and this morning he has been coughing like a seal. Paediatricians visited and all. Of course if some people are to be believed its the evil nazar and at the doctor's this morning Arhaan seemed pretty conspicuous being the only kid with no big fat kala teeka on his forehead. He had been gifted the ubiquitous black gold bead nazar, and my sister asks me every other day if I am doing the red chilly ka nazar. Now Im pretty good with saying the necessary prayers now and then in the evening. But I have to admit Im pretty lax about putting on the bracelets and well the chillies that were bought are floating in my daal (lentil) curry . I have asked Gman whether we should be doing any of the warding off of the evil nazar, and he just shrugged his shoulders but I bet he was thinking Actually I would rather you were not giving the baby your germs honey. Khair, what to do. The baby would do Sooraj Barjatya proud with his Hum Saath Saath Hain mantra towards life. I tried sleeping in another room but he was visibly distressed and would keep on waking up. And the other night when I returned to bed after my nocturnal internet world darshan, he just looked at both his parents, took a big contented sigh and smiled and went back to sleep. So shweeet what to do?!!!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Month Eight And Counting

Kind of ironic that I have to get "blog writer block" at a time when sigh so much is happening. And even after drinking Bengal ka paani? I had been thinking all along that there was something in the water responsible for the Bengali mafia out there when it comes to men and women of literature but alas. Chalo Tagore ki Gitanjali na sahee but koee decent blog post tau likho.
So what did we do this month? The question is what did we NOT do? We travelled. After transiting through Bangkok where alas a rendezvous with Jammie was not to be, we landed in Dhaka. Toto, something tells me we are not in Kansas any more, we are not in Rawalpindi either. You do the math. Blurry eyed, hot and sticky, we do Sophie's Choice Part Deux between two apartments minutes upon arrival. Errr, hot pink chocolate kitchen or the one with suspicious smell? Pink kitchen apartment it is. Thus proving smell before sight (if ever there is a slug fest between the five senses). The apartment is where the owners of the place Parul recently bought might have felt very comfortable. Showcases where teeny toony lights never go off. Tartan print cushions. Smugglers wala bed, all it needs is Raj Kumar ka Jaani dressing gown. Bathroom may tabahee , uff what killer marble. And kitchen jalwa you already know about. Spent the first day floundering about and very Jealous of Pesho who we heard through a volley of SMSes was quite Queen of the Castle (where castle is not Technicolour like ours).
Escaped to India for work and some Rest and Recreation the next day. Guwahati was fun for you. I mostly slept and tut tutted how the city was changing. Gman held his tongue about what a little hypocrite I was turning into as I had bemoaned the lack of " something happening" in Dhaka only 48 hours ago. Phir it was Delhi's turn to be subject to Mom and Bub while Baba did what Babas do. Even that city has changed, so many changes to adjust to sweet heart. Kajol is peaches and cream courtesy Olay, Delhi has Select City, Emporio and a cool airport.
I met MM and Parul and was struck by how we could pick up from where we left off on a blog post. And how incredibly cute their kids are.
And then back to Dhaka it was this weekend. Baba had returned to Bangladesh two days ago, and though I left for the airport with great trepidation you were a little trooper and muItalicch better behaved than your mother who ranted and raved as Jet Air was delayed by two hours.
On return the apartment did not look that bad. My sister said it is because slowly my aesthetic sense is disappearing. Oh well at least my olfactory nerves are safe. I dont think they would have survived an year in the Apartment from Smell Hell.
We have a maid who cleans ( where we is the operative word, she works in all of the homes of the organization that is employing Gman, so we are either very fortunate to bag her or horribly unlucky as the days unfold) Chaaya Madam too is yet to make up her mind regarding what she thinks of us. There are days when she comes in cheerily and tries to make cooing sounds towards us, other days she comes nose in air and will not even make eye contact.
You have become chipkoo numero uno. We cant even break eye contact with you lest the famous lower lip starts trembling. I am waiting for a day in the future when you will be all gel in hair, dressed up tashan sey, friends waiting at the door and I swear I am going to cling to you crying Dont Goooo, Im going out with you too, You ALWAYS leave me , bawwwlllll.
Just You Wait,