Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ruk Ruk Ruk Arey Baba Ruk

I think this city has been good for me . Or perhaps it is motherhood. But I have been pretty OK with the election results.
Making me a demographic of ummm Total Population: 1,

But I think I am counting our blessings.

For you see I cannot recognize the party (formerly known as PPP) in its avatar today. And but for a day before the elections  my Facebook DP still unchanged (though I did support this...the ANP as I loved it, on my twitter TimeLine)
But then someone shared this with me.

And I started listening to 

Until Arhaan entered the room " MAMA I AM TRYING TO SLEEP"

(sigh! I HATE Naya Pakistan)

So yes, nothing can bring back BB. And I realise it  has been two elections without her. 

And yes the PM-to-be has ALL THAT HISTORY what with my  mom being beaten up and our dog killed and the heart break when he pressed the nuclear button but I am still OK with the election results and as I said counting our blessings. Here we have a civilian government that completed it's term. A Pakistan  that is no longer apathetic. Turning up to vote in spite of bomb threats. Friends who have signed up to be part of the process like becoming polling agents next time! And the Kaptaan will always have Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a laboratory for his Naya Pakistan experiment.

I am also very proud of my fellow Pakhtuns...KP whom certain people have reviled for so long saved their sorry revolution,and also when some of the same(as ANP) lost they showed Pakistan how to be gracious in defeat.

And for NS ki Waapsi.
Who knows , they may surprise us yet.
For remember Tabu?

And Ab Dekhe? Yes Bilkul JUST THAT

Meanwhile my DesiMartini Movie Jockeying gig has been turning out well. An excerpt from my review came up here.

And the other day Hindustan Times carried something by me on motherhood


I had been condescending towards Delhi. In my one month avatar as student in the city, as the self-important person on conference visits. Moving in 2012 as  Bhabhiji,  mom to a pre-schooler changed that. Somehow I was at peace with the loneliness that motherhood brings. I live in a world where most of my significant relationships are conducted in cyber space. Dad tucks the kid into bed over Skype. Grandmother oversees her grandson’s lunch over a webcam.

Delhi allowed us to run outdoors, play amongst its built history in spring, attend open air concerts, pick up thirty rupee puppets, ride toy trains, walk to school picking up silk cotton flowers for the teacher.

Come summer, the heat gave us permission to treat ourselves the gift of getting bored. In Delhi we decided to be a TV free household. Sundays there was no going out,  the help's day off, no pressure to be productive. Lying around in pyjamas, reading the papers, playing board games with the boy. By evening dying to go out for a walk. We would, but quickly run off to buy ice-creams, cold chach from Mother Dairy. Coming home to a shower, looking forward to Monday! It was like a spa for the mind, minus calculating tips for aromatherapy sessions.

Fall and Dussehra season made for interesting conversations.

8am panic attacks by 3 year olds WHERE IS SITA DU-PATTA, MAMA? WHERE IS SITA DU-PATTA? He has grown all self righteous my boy, pulling Sita's ghoonghat to her knees , parading the paper puppet like a triumphant banner. I push him in a stroller to school "Let her breathe yara", his words awaken dormant memories of visiting my village in Pakistan, a chador covering my face. But his little heart does not relent. In Delhi he has signed up for the Moral Police.

He channels our tirade about Delhi’s infamous traffic sense.

 "Ravan is so naughty so naughty Mama. HE DOESNT LOOK AT THE GREEN MAN CROSSING THE ROAD. DOESNT LOOK LEFT RIGHT". He is also indignant that Ravan is not returning Sita, but  mostly the bad traffic sense. I go to sleep giggling at the image of a ten-headed Ravan at the traffic lights looking left right left right while a Sita squawks at his side trying to wriggle her wrist away. 

By December I have a fortnightly salon at my place where my  people come over for a meal , "scintillating conversation" ; my husband and boy just a room away so I am never in a rush to be with them. I was finally home.

But soon the city reminds me that I have been altruistic about motherhood courtesy a tadka of selfishness. That it is class, my location that provides for a rape suraksha kavach.  Playing Happy Families dressed for comfort not a character certificate. Chasing Arhaan in parks with the guard at the gate keeping Delhi away. Putting up the bubble that helps me push April’s newspapers under the sofa. I cant afford not to listen.

Aneela Z Babar is a  researcher/anthropologist dividing her time between writing on gender, popular culture,militarism; and telling people her son is toilet trained sleeping through the night. She lives with her husband who is a development worker and a boy who is toilet trained sleeping through the night.


  1. Wonderful post! I love your article. Congrats!

  2. Hi Aneela:

    Bahut din ho gaye..Could not stop giggling at the way you ended your post.

    At my end, telling one and all that my 12 month old twins are "toilet trained sleeping through the night" is a door ki baat.

    Looking forward to hearing more from you.

    Warm wishes


  3. YOU HAVE TWINS? How did this happen? OK I know THAT part, but oh wow! wow! wow!
    so so happy, and proud, and happy, and teary ...but sab khushi ke aansoo khushi ke. Did I tell you I am so so happy? You are my fav visitor to the blog , and I am so happy when good things (or two) happen to good people.

  4. Thanks Aneela for your warm wishes...Dilli ki garmi texas aa gayee.

    Btw, do you have an e mail address where visitors to your blog can e mail you.


  5. aneela DOT zeb DOT babar at gmail DOT com

  6. "Somehow I was at peace with the loneliness that motherhood brings."
    The most pertinent line yet, how you simplified what i have been trying to articulate about this new mom state of mind i have been in for the past year. It is lonely, isnt it and peaceful too cos you no longer feel the need to explain the gamut of emotions that engulf you .You learn to let go a few things and wonder why in earth's name did these things matter before?

    Thank you for the wonderful article.

  7. *Grins delightedly at HER Aneela loving HER Dilli*

  8. Hey Aneela. It was a lovely article and as a Delhiite, I can totally relate to each season. I am glad your son is toilet trained and sleeps through the night :p


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