Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Din Mahine Saal Guzarte Jaayenge

We are rushing towards Month Eighteen,on the 31st he will be just six months away from officially being a Terrible Two. Crikey!thats scary. I guess time flies when you are changing pampers. Some of the highlights from this month:

1)Listen Up: When people far wiser than you say something LISTEN. Dont be smug and tell yourself Well our child will be Far More Reasonable or Of course I will have far more patience, this is the light of my eyes, the thandak of my kaleja we are talking about. I was warned. Even then I let that infernal Bubbles enter my house and the @#$$ monkey is now the stuff a mother's worst nightmare is made of. Bubbles Gets Lost (but not lost enough), Bubbles is Careless, he finds a Red Ball and he litters a park. And there is a liberal dose of Mummyyyyy and Yippee. So the father and me live in a state of trepidation, we cower behind doors as a set of footsteps come marching purposely towards us. Mummmyy!! Ball? Ball? He knows when we cheat and skip pages, taking us back and pointing with a schoolmarmish expression "Perhaps we could go over this again hmmm?" Once more with feeling I say.
I earnestly believe that ALL this is an evil conspiracy. I am sure hidden between the pages are some subversive images that play with toddler's minds, get them addicted to the darned monkey, and train them in threatening a melt down unless the book is read an exact 996 times before sun down. One day that evil monkey is going to rule our world I warn you.

2) Houston we have a problem. But we are not admitting it. We all know about Katrina and her incredible skills of making fussy eaters gobble their food (I have a pet theory that Katrina and Deepika will make fantastic moms...one tantrum from their kids and the father will call out Chal Katrina (deepika) Naach). Meal times at our home find me holding a bowl in hand willing 9XM (yup HAQ SE!!) or as Arhaan calls it Bheegeebilly (all you moms out there know whom I am referring to)to play Paisa Paisa and quick (We are also OK with Oh Girl! You're mine and Prem Ki Nayya....Jee Karda Bhai Jee Karda and Uff Teri Ada??...bows down WE ARE NOT WORTHY!!!) Of course while we wait its tough to know who is crying more, Arhaan or me. Gman did ask me to just buy a CD and play the songs on loop but that would be admitting defeat right? I am quite like the Pakistan government=ostrich head in sand= this way. Its not LIKE a REAL problem, bus one off rogue elements hain and we will soon have them under control. Tomorrow, qasam se. Just this once let it slide.

3) Kora Kagahz Tha: I realize now the pain of not being able to read the written word. Uff its a killer. When not harassing us to read to him Arhaan spends his time holding a book quite close to his face just willing the words to make sense. M...M he mutters, there is the occasional G and S that he remembers from the alphabet I recite to him. Its quite a gut wrenching sight and if I was not hiding from him fearing an onslaught of Bubbles On Demand I might step out and just give him a hug and help him with his reading. But such is the fear of being roped in for Bubbles Duty. We have also seen him turning newspaper pages or his books upside down, perhaps this will do the trick he thinks and the mysterious portal to the reading world will open for me.

He has a hit and miss relationship with numbers as well. He is very articulate with Two and Eight, everything else is a jumble. And then we enter the teens. He has aced them and some. Tha-teen, Fourteen, FUNTEEN, Fifteen.
Yup Kiddo Fun Teens they will be.

We realise that we have been pretty lax with his " skills training". We have promised ourselves that when we return to Dhaka he will start some kind of play school or whatever kids his age are supposed to do. There is so much of sneaking him into workshops the dad is running, hoping that he can get some kind of " training" this way. We are pretty stingy this way.



Play school for really cheap parents



I say we build the shelters right there

Sunday, July 18, 2010

bachpan key din bhula na deyna

This post has been " commissioned" by Sue and the Tulika Blogathon. Sue had asked for something originating from the North East. As I am so late with this post Ive thrown in one from the (former) North West (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)...I forget the term but vegetable sellers in our part of the world have this endearing habit of throwing in the coriander, chillies for free when you buy your vegetables.
The translation is literal not lyrical...will revise (all in good time!)

From the North East we have one in Assamese (অসমীয়া Ôxômiya):

Jonbai-e beji eti diya
Beji nu kele?
Muna xhi boloi.
Muna nu kele?
Dhon bhoraboloi.
Dhon nu kele?
Hati kini boloi.
Hati nu kele?
Uthi phuri boloi.
Uthile nu ki hoi?
Bor manuh hoi.
Hatit uthi Paniram ghoroloi jai,
Ali bator manuhe ghuri ghuri sai."


Jonabai, give me a needle
Why a needle?
To sew a sack
Why a sack?
To make more money
Why more money?
To buy an elephant
Why an elephant?
To go on rides
What happens when we go on rides?
You become one of the big people
Paniram will ride the elephant to go home
With all the people on Ali road looking up to you


And from my part of the world we have in Pushto (Naskh: پښتو - [paʂˈto]; also Pakhto)


yaw wana wa
wanay laandai gatta wa
Gattay laandai maar o
Maar pa khulay kai taar o
taar zama pakaar o
Naskam da jabeen obo
khula ba mai tarhaaka shee
Kabul ba raa na patay shee.


There was a tree
With a rock underneath
Underneath the rock lived a snake
The snake has a thread in its mouth
which I want
I will not drink the water off its forehead
My mouth will turn bitter
And I will have to let go of Kabul


Clearly even as toddlers we were worried that our acts of mischief could have powerful ramifications when it came to Af-Pak relations.

p.s: some of us use the term ghanna (thicket) instead of the gatta rock

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi



I admit that I have been very late with this post (my birthday is on July 4, but considering we have to pay Oliver Stone royalty every time we say Oh so born on the 4th of July? any mention of my birthday is kept to a bare minimum). Plus the Americans manage to requisition all the balloons and firecrackers in the Northern Hemisphere so we cant have as much masti magic. Eons ago, kids in school would remark Uff tumhey Amereekan visa yoon lag jaayega. Clearly even at a young age we had our qibla durast.

But it was a really lovely day. I got three of the cakes featured in the pic above. By the end of the evening, I bet the guy at the bakery had started piping Happy Birthday Aneela everytime someone asked for a dark chocolate cake. Arhaan got high on all the chocolate and I assume secondary candle fumes. Regrettably towards the end of the evening he had stripped off and was channeling Fardeen Khan snorting flowers in a corner.

When Babies Go Bad

And the following Friday the party continued with a group of us going out to Mainland China. Much fun was had until Arhaan punched an overhead lamp, and short circuited the place. Most of the patrons thought it was load shedding so we did manage to exit the place with some dignity. Arhaan is none the worse for wear and amuses himself with an 'action replay' of the evening (skipping along Nee nah, nee nah-- punch--mock shudder--on floor).

My mother and Gman have pooled in resources to give me an awesome one week beach holiday in Koh Samui, followed by a month in Pakistan (I guess this is what they meant by the gift that keeps on giving...nani ka ladla being around full time and all). I will be joined by my sister and her children (loosely translated as Free Babysitters Inc) so fingers crossed, and personal hotline to Allah established Im ready for exciting times ahead.

So all in all it has been a good week for me with the promise of fun times to come.
I am debating whether I should get Pesho's travel carrier for Arhaan. The boy is in a hurry to get to the terrible of the terrible twos before his second birthday.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Yeh Larki Zara Si Dewanee Lagtee Hai

A couple of days ago Dipali-ji tagged me into listing my " sins against gender stereotypes" , I spent the better half of the day vacillating over whether to take up this tag or not . I think Unmana spells out my dilemma best when she writes "saying that you are against a particular stereotype only causes that stereotype to be brought out again and looked at, and I believe all stereotypes should die quick deaths". Surely the recent posts on this issue coming from bloggers with such diverse backgrounds should prove that we have to rethink certain stereotypes. None of us live those living- by the- book lives any more. And it has not just been our generation , 'a change has been coming' for a while. For quite some time we have been surrounded by women who dont bhangra to the same hackneyed tune any more. Three decades ago my mother upon widowhood should have taken to a life of a white dupatta and sewing machine waiting for the day I pranced in twirling two pigtails " Maa kal Vicky key Mummy Daddy ney chai pay bulaya hai,hee hee hee" . But she didnt (and I said adieu to the pigtails when I turned 16).

What I can do (I just cannot say no to Dipali-ji, it is like telling Mother Teresa, isnt what you do bad for the skin) is list the times I didnt confirm to certain expectations of me as when it comes to my life choices I continue to " rock the boat".


1) Growing up I was never a sucker for the meesni Cinderella or dreamed of a Prince Charming taking me away from the hum drum of my plebian life. The only fairy tale I liked was The Snow Queen, girl you go out and get that man.

2) I refused to settle down. I guess for most people reaching that point in your relationship meant making a deposit on the Crystal Ballroom at your local Marriott and going on a diet, for me it was grabbing my running shoes and making a sprint.
Oh the number of times I got cold feet and chickened out on some really decent guys was just not funny. They were actually planning on asking Julia Roberts to dump the twins to play me in Runaway Bride Part 2. Even when I met Gman and knew he was the one I took a long long time before signing that paper. Hell it was so long another month and he could qualify for a pension for amount of years put in in this relationship.

3) Getting married didnt " settle" me either. I continued gallivanting and working in cities that may or may not host my significant other. (I use the word " settle" as thats what a relative told my aunt " she is married now why such an unsettling life, cant you tell her to stay put? Why does she work like this?")

4) When I had Arhaan I defied expectations of me (and this time I disappointed a certain wave of feminists). I did not juggle work and baby and become the fun ferocious fearless female Cosmo taught me to be. Yes initially I did turn up at work. The first six months were to prove (to me and the world) that Nothing Has Changed. I have written before about how my love for coffee and personal space made me run out of the car and not even turn around to look at Arhaan but then one day I just packed up bags , baby and life in a house with a picket fence(and not enough books)to follow my man to a flat in Dhaka where the Gul in Gulshan has long disappeared. I flirt with potential employers, come back home and take a look at Arhaan, and dont sign on the dotted line.

5) I am a new mother, and as a rule should be watching over Arhaan with a hawk eye. My life mission should be to give him stability and a routine or at least keep him away from the crocs. Sigh! I have not been very good. Arhaan has seen 18 cities in 17 months. We could not keep him away from the crocs as well.

Apologies this did not turn out the Ek Gunah Aur Sahi post it should have been. But at least you now have Five Fun Facts about me.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tang Aa Chuke Hain Kash-ma-Kash-e-Zindagi Se Hum

The ironies of motherhood. You think of yourself as the lucky one. After all you are not the one trying to extricate yourself from the clutches of Toddler Octopus Arms as he latches on to you, defying you to call in sick and not go to work. Until you realize that you will be the one watching your son. His ear to the door. Straining to catch the footsteps walking away.
(Tag inspired by Rohini)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Yeh Kiya Hua

This week my life has been a filo-pastry of grouchiness. As in I dont know whether Im bummed because of the carnage in Lahore , is it because Arhaan has decided that milk doesnt do it for him any more, or that I find myself dragging my feet completing a book project. How can I when there is so much happening at High Heel Confidential, there are all these interesting blog posts up today (in addition to this facebook stalking takes up most of our time).

Gman feels equally bad about the " milk hartal" . Our evening walks have become exceptionally slow. Major Guru Dutt moment. Think of us all black and white singing Waqt Ney Kiya Kiya Haseen Satam
Arhaan knows he has been bad so he tries to keep up the chatter pretending nothing is wrong, he is a tough cookie I realize. Gman turned to me and said Bahut kharab lagta hai. It really feels bad when kids dont drink milk.
We have been pretty immature about coping with the toddler tantrums. Most of the time we try forming our own cool clique and whisper stuff to each other taking swigs from the mug (Kids who Dont Drink Milk Need Not Apply to our club). I have also tried channeling Nirupa Roy crying copious tears trying to guilt trip him into drinking milk but he aint buying (damn if he is so stubborn now what will I do when he bunks school and joins the biker gang)

We are tired and Im depressed. I tell myself I could have used all this energy writing something (or so I hope) that would have made a difference (modest arent we) or thinking up a way to resolve the political crisis. Project World Peace too could be tackled, no dramas. But here am I playing mind games with a toddler. So we do things like disguise it in his sooji halwa, or mix it in ice cream or boil his vegetables in milk. Lets see. He is enjoying the sudden deluge of ice cream and yoghurt in his life.

Dhaka has gone into mourning after Brazil and Argentina[s exit from the World Cup. I was not joking when I had written earlier about the religious devotion accorded to the two teams . Its kind of funny all this while I have been trying to keep Arhaan away from the angst of divided loyalties but it just follows him everywhere. All last month, it has been do you believe in the power of Brazil or Argentina? Choose choose choose. Who does the baba like? And finally it was an Argentina jersey for him. The other day in the park this 10 year old came running to him and hugged him tight. And an old man shook his fist and went Dushto! (think Yanna Rascala).

Oh well so is life. Any suggestions welcome (on the milk front. we are taking a break from football)