Friday, March 27, 2009

You know you grew up in Rawalpindi Cantt when.....

Parul is responsible for this walk down memory lane...I hope it strikes a chord for some soul out there for a particular 'moment in time, point in space' that existed before the current season of madness descended upon us.

1. Every spring the gardener painted the gamlas fire engine red with a white border...the kiyaris were lined with bricks (painted white every spring)...the whole street had trees with the tree trunks painted the regulation white.
2. Batmen were not comic book super heroes...but they were many a home maker's hero for saving the day and laundry.
3. “Ji, peechey sey bund hai’ was a perfectly good reason for the electricity complaint centre when you complained about a power failure. End of story.
4.You still remember the time PTV re-telecast an episode of Dhoop Kinarey FOR ALL OF PAKISTAN as there was a power failure in the greater Rawalpindi, Islamabad area. Good times!
5.There was only one way to eat corn...challi..baked in hot sand and topped with lemon, red pepper and salt. Roasting it on coal like the Karachites is going against the word of the Lord. So also is your mother insisting on boiling the cobs and topping it with butter and salt...Bleeecchhhhh.
6.Lal Kurti is NOT an item of clothing.
7.Boys, three a motorbike or ten piled in a car would park in front of your school and college ‘to pick up their sister’...it was the highlight of everyone’s day.
8.You knew it was a cardinal rule for the support staff to salute everything that moved and whitewash anything that was stationary.
9.Heaters and geysers were switched on and off on a precise date of the calendar (that your grandmother and General Head Quarters had decided on some time in 1920) and there was no compromise whether you were sweating it out in a late summer or freezing in an early winter.
10.And you knew you were a Pathan in Rawalpindi when elders who had actually NAMED most of your cousins , parents, and you refused to take any peson's name as it was meant to be (or of the gender it was supposed to be)....Usman was an Usmania..Mariana a Marianey..and you will always be a NEEEEELAAAAAA.
11.Karachi was abroad.
12.Islamabad was a separate ‘temperature zone’ and state of mind. You so got the New Jersey-New York equation.
13.7pm was considered late.
14. Only apostates of the faith called between the hours of 1 and 4pm (siesta time)and after 930pm (when all shareef people go to bed).
15. No shopkeeper worth his salt would ever want to sell anything. Bhai ki dukkan hai and a shrug of the shoulders to fob off the more persistent.
16. Our proudest day was when they opened a KFC in Saddar way before Islamabad..still wiping the tears of joy.
17. The Army Museum was 'culture'.
18. You should know the difference between a SHODA and a SHEEDA.
(OK for the uninitiated a Shoda is a show-off and a Sheeda is a particular kind of Punjabi lout).

In The News----Ek Garam Chai Ki Piyali Ho

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7965380.stm
a cup of hot tea causes cancer...proving all along, we do kill our guests with kindness. neykee ki maar deyna

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Monday Madness

Dear ABR also known as GS,

I know that one day this too will pass...one fine morning I will not be (fingers crossed!) wiping your vomit off everything within your range (raise your hand, whoever thinks the constant assurance "making curd is a good sign" is only a conspiracy to make a harried mother less hassled about the sheer ickiness of it)..I will not be massaging your back and your tummy of whatever evil that lurks within your stomach. That I will no longer think dark thoughts of whether my life would have been less complicated if I had decided to raise you on formula and grown old never knowing what 'latching problems', 'let down', 'sudden cold triggering vasospasm' ever meant. Of every morning not being an obstacle race of expressing for Thursday, cleaning up after you, feeding, putting you to sleep, house keeping and catching up with what is happening in the world.

I am now convinced that the only thing you got from the Pakistani side of the family is the 'politician's disposition'...a fact that was drummed into us very recently when I realised that it is only a call from your grand mother in Rawalpindi cantt (where Rawalpindi Cantt also happens to be GHQ for the uninitiated) that shuts you up when you are throwing a tantrum. Sigh, as a generation of politicians before and after you have learnt, when Rawalpindi calls you better start toeing the line.

But amongst all this insanity there are moments which remind me of the power of the 'human will' ...when after a fortnight of my adamantly typing away with one finger while you chomped at my breast and wriggled in my lap I did manage to complete a journal article. Your smug smile while you snuggle into my shoulder (having broken me down into not putting you into the crib).

For the life of us we cannot fathom why you are OK shuttling between crib and cot during the day but will scream blue murder when we put you down in the cot at night, and how you will only sleep when you are in the bed with me (actually sleeping on top of me)...I dont know whether to believe the lobby "you cant spoil the kid before they are three months old" or those who are telling me that the baby's sleep habits are set from week one. And Im miserable that with all that is wrong with the world this is what should consume my nights...so you might become a night owl like me, if that is the extent of my 'legacy' , so be it.

Yesterday night Gman told me that if it makes arhaan happy sleeping with me, to allow him that, he will learn to sleep on his own some day...he doesnt know of any 50 year old who cant sleep on their own. Me, Im worried that I might be raising you into entering unsuitable relationships just because you are scared to go to bed alone.

On 'lighter' topics I have been tagged by Mimi to put up a picture from my folder...so I am putting it up:

This is 'technically' Gman's pic as he had used my laptop to download some pics from his camera...its of Geneva or as Europe is referred to in Parul's household @###ing Geneva. The reason for my ire? I find it bloody unfair that its me who has spent a lifetime consuming Yash Chopra and its the philistine Gman who gets to cavort in the vales of Switzerland every year...Ok wrong choice of words...for the life of me I cannot imagine Gman cavorting..angry furrowed brow as he plans the logistics of Sri Devi crossing the meadows, yes..we have tried so many times to get me to accompany him, but our plans are always jinxed. But I will persevere...Switzerland ki vaadiya may aa rahee hoon. I also hate Geneva for every time Gman is there something crazy happens...our home floods, land lord gives us moving orders, Pesho falls sick.


Ok Im going to cheat and put up the fourth pic from the fourth folder that has MY pics:



its one of me and my mom and arhaan (as site under construction) in gold coast last year...yup, a slice of Nepal in good ol' Oz.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Forty days counting

So last week I was reminded of the "40 days post baby" milepost (lest we forget our pagan past)...I had not forgotten, having made arrangements with mom regarding sadqa for the Bajaur refugees. And cajoling Gman to visit the Ganapati site in our area (could not forget how exactly an year ago I was doing the Amar, Akbar, Anthony trek in Mumbai).
But what was the true "deal breaker" when it comes to matters spiritual was realising that 40 days of bub coincided with my first day back at work (well I am going Thursdays for three hours in the evening)...thus taking a page out of SRK's book "Work should be developed as the new religion"...and now that all my gods are happy (!!), I can rest easy....and it was really sweet amongst all the nay sayers to have a great-aunt tell my mom how lucky Arhaan was to see a university so early in his young life when so many like her were speen sar (white in the hair) when they visited one. Happy faces everyone!!!
And there is a rumbling in Arhaan's pamper (the poor soul has inherited my problematic bowel so any poop is marked with congratulatory calls from friends and family) and a roar in the streets of Pakistan...lets see how the day develops for me and mine.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In the News Part 2

So the " Aap Munney ko chup kiyoo nahee karatee?" syndrome is not exclusive to South Asians alone.

A study of rhesus macaques revealed that females were more likely to feed their bawling babies if irritated bystanders lurked nearby. The researchers discovered that females were twice as likely to respond to their infants by feeding them in the presence of aggressive males or more dominant females than when in the company of less dominant or closely related monkeys.

Further study of the population revealed that although attacks were rare, mothers and infants were more than 30 times more likely to face aggressive behaviour from angry onlookers when a baby was crying than if the baby was content.(Retrieved fron http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7934852.stm)

Monday, March 09, 2009

In the News

So "cougars" had it right all along!! Turn the conventional May-September romance on its head eh.

Children of older fathers perform less well in intelligence tests during infancy and early childhood, Australian reserchers have found, adding to evidences linking paternal age to neuro-developmental disorders in offspring.

However, children born to older mothers gain higher scores in the same tests, designed to measure the ability to think and reason, memory and concentration, and motor skills, revealed University of Queensland researchers.

The results, they said, were surprising a clear warning to the growing number of men in Western societies who are delaying parenthood until their 40s or older.

The study lead author John McGrath from the Queensland Brain Institute at the university said biological clocks were also ticking for men.

"The results were quite startling as it was thought that the age of the father was less of a concern compared to the age of the mother," McGrath said adding "Now we are getting more evidence of the age of the father being just as important."

Sunday, March 08, 2009

This Week in (Aneela)Story

Recapping some of the highlights:


Shahbaz Sharif acknowledged that there is Something to What Bhabhi Kulsoom tells us from her English books...every (Governor's Rule) cloud does have a silver lining, better him than us to have botched up the security

Aneela predicts that 2009 is the year Gulli Danda will finally take off in Pakistan...its now or never baybeh, and there are a couple of guys who have killer arms and are out of action for a while CALL PCB NOW!!

Aneela tries to pacify all the conspiracy theorists (like Sardar Gabol)...OK lets have a compromise, perhaps the intention was local but the 'action' was outsourced to an Indian BPO, damn those competitive hourly rates.

And I wondered whether the Universe and the terrorists just wanted us to play more hockey.

In other news the mother left for Pakistan...she said I was managing OK and she felt kind of redundant here...since when did you start getting punished for being good at something?? And Gman left for his first work trip overseas since arrival of bub, and there were two days when it was just Arhaan, Pesho and me holding fort and we survived OK...there was a mild earthquake (4.7) and Pesho proved us wrong about animals "sixth sense" regarding earthquakes, she continued chasing possums as I ran about frantically for her.

And Arhaan bless his soul ROYALLY ignored my mom when he heard she was leaving us...any attempt by her to click a snap on her last day in Melbourne as a "memento" of them together was snubbed by him.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

The First Born Tag

1. WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED?
Oh very much...military logistic commanders would take notes from me.

2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME?
Yes...and above the age of consent too Nosy Parker.

3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS?

Sigh...laugh if you must...but SRK dialogue from OSO (Itni shidaat se main tumhe paane ki koshish ki hai,hi har zaare ne mujhe tumse milane ki saazish ki hai) echoed in the background as I read the words on the digital display .




4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU?

Wrong questionnaire.



5. HOW OLD WERE YOU?

As I said above the age of consent....and Rajo Devi can rest easy, Im not taking away her laurels any time soon.



6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT?
Through the test.


7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST?

The cat...she was the only one up at 3am.



8. DUE DATE?

Feb 22.


9. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS?

No...you have to remember where Im coming from...we wont waste good food and money by throwing it up.


10. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE?

Margaritas...but no one was buying it...sigh. And Dev Patel and Farhan Akhtar...nada on that front too.

11. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST?
"What To Expect When You are Expecting", all the "documentaries" my mom claimed to have just watched on tele every time she wanted me to do something...and when someone would say "Are You sure You are Pregnant".

12. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CHILD'S SEX?
A boy.


13. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING?
i did initially ..well quite a lot (read earlier posts) but since the bub has arrived Ive stopped "reading" him as a boy...and he is adorable just the way he is ( yes baby you are).


14. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY?

8 kgs or so.


15. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER?

well I was supposed to have a 'surprise' shower but the baby , actually my liver pushed the arrival date to one earlier.



16. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW?

Surprise...but good friend G and Sups and A arrived the night before and treated me to some good food and company to compensate.


17. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY?

None initially...but in the last week developed a nasty case of cholestasis.


18. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH?

Melbourne.


19. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR?

A minute or less.


20. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL/BIRTH CENTER?

Husband.



21. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH?

the husband and a whole lot of people I had to pay to.



22. WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION?
C Section and I LOVED it.


23. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN?
Nyaah, and refused later...the nursing staff would freak out, finally took some Panadol to pacify them.


24. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH?
3 kgs.


25. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN ?

At 1145 am.


26. WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN THE DOCTOR ANNOUNCED THE SEX OF THE BABY?

That I would love it anyway...

27. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST REACTION ON SEEING THE BABY?
That I would never impose any "expectations" on him..that would be my gift to him..my first words to him were 'may you always be happy'..dont know if it is wind but he has been laughing ever since.

28. DID YOU CRY?

No which is surprising as I cry at the drop of the heart...I was really in awe and surprised how smooth everything was..and cursing myself to be discussing my research project with the assistant to the anaesthetist as they took him out.


29. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER?
Gul Sher (which has become his daak naam)...Arhaan for the rest of the world.


30. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY.
A month, five days.

I tag Jammie, MayG, Kiran, Pip's mum and anyone else who is interested in taking it up.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Silly Season is Upon Us

Sardar Nabil Ahmed Gabol believes the assault came in reaction to the Mumbai attacks, and was a "declaration of open war on Pakistan by India.

Earlier Imran Khan had naively declared that "Sportsmen are in absolutely no danger from terrorist attacks, I've always maintained that....But cricketers, of all the sportsmen, would never be attacked by terrorists because simply the public opinion would turn against whoever the terrorists are".

So I think I will be in good company if I float the idea that the terrorists just want us to play more hockey.

Monday, March 02, 2009

WTF?!!

so i have given up on learning any lullabies...its very difficult for me to whisper sweet nothings to a sleeping baby with the same mouth that is screaming profanities at the TV screen. Assholes...to do this to the lone country that 'bailed' Pakistani cricket out when no one wanted to play with us...to a nation that literally gives our blighted eyes vision (Sri Lanka is the largest donor of corneas to Pakistan).

There are no excuses...absolutely no excuses...our heads hang in shame.