Archive | February, 2017

The current scene

24 Feb

Currently feel : In physical pain. I have a terribly weak ankle.I had a ligament tear at the age of 16 that the doctor never treated properly and that I never tested properly , so now it’s weak for life. So this means I could be walking in say flat, or sports shoes or even bare foot at home and it will randomly twist on me and even make a resounding crack . I usually land up on the floor or wince in pain and sit down. The ankle is then swollen and tender for a few hours or days and then fine again till the next time.

My current favorite thing:  My new fitted sheets. I love making the bed and getting into hotel style tucked in sheets and Bandar does too.

Currently drinking : My new favorite thing to sip on cold evenings is dry fruits flavored warm whole milk. I barely drink milk normally but nowadays making my own dry fruit powder and slowly boiling the milk to form the creamy layer and then adding the home made flavoring and no sugar gives me a sense of peace and calm .

Currently Reading : I miss my book club in NYC 😦 . I am seriously debating starting one here. I am re reading  Bridget Jones for the nth time. Bandar and I together are reading Enid Blyton’s circus series about Mr. Galliano ‘s circus.

Currently watching : Old seasons of the Amazing Race by myself. “This is Us” with the husband when we get time to catch an episode. ” Master chef junior “as a family over the weekend .

Currently excited about :The weekend . Saturday is packed with a yoga class for me, a  birthday party invite for Bandar, a temple event for the whole family , a baby shower invite for Bandar and me and a house warming invite  for us all.

Currently proud of : My new Yelp Elite ! Badge for the area I live in. I write Yelp reviews fairly seriously and I am glad it’s paid off. Now to actually attend some elite events.

Currently not looking forward to : Getting Bandar two remaining vaccinations really soon. Maybe tomorrow . They are boosters and we pushed them out to avoid doing 5 on one day during her last appointment and now I just need to get the job done.

Pet peeves – version 2017

17 Feb

Here are my latest peeves. This series remains my favorite to write , only after the Dear Bandar series. So that should give you a glimpse of how easy it is to irritate me!

– Slow people on the stairs. Especially those who are on their cell phones browsing as they go up or down. .I try to stick to the right hand side of the staircase but  these idiots force me to say a quick “excuse me” and move past to their left. I am also genuinely worried for their safety. 

– Moms who act like child whisperers and immediately swoop in to comfort a crying child who is not theirs at a party or get together. This when the child’s own mother is trying to calm the child down in their own way. 

– A Costco trip with no vegetarian sample. What is with that?? I didn’t park my car and walk across the massive parking lot and get a huge ass cart to just shop. I need plenty of veggie samples to make my Costco trips worthwhile.
– Desis who will immediately start talking in their own language irrespective of the other Desis around then who don’t know the language or non Desis.  This even in meetings.Plain rude !When someone starts with me , I immediately respond loudly  in English for the benefit of the others around us  or pretend I don’t understand the language.

– Giant bows on baby girls heads. What is so cute about this ?? Ughh..Hate this trend. I am okay with a teeny tiny bow to keep hair off a baby’s face but babies don’t need overpriced fugly bows bigger than their heads.

-Ridiculous off shoulder ball gown like dresses for little girls on their bdays. Why do you want to make your child look older than she is.
That’s all I have for now . Do share yours !

Some sort of a V day post 

15 Feb

“So are you happy in your marriage? “, my dad asks me. We are seated across each other by the pier in Vancouver ,Canada. My mom, the husbadoo and Bandar are off enjoying a simulated ride. My dad who is petrified of rides of all kinds wanted to stay put and I decided to give him company, having experienced my fair share of simulated rides in Disney and the like.

So we have 45 minutes to kill and I have just walked him through exactly what I do at work. Now we are down to personal stuff!

“Yes, Dad ,very happy”,  I say. I immediately start wondering why he would think otherwise. My parents like any doting parents hate seeing the daughter ever strain a muscle more than she has to. (I know my folks are not exceptions here  – my friend told me about how her dad once burst into tears seeing his daughter load the dishwasher when he visited her in the US !So my parents on the whole are definitely a little saner and have so far atleast to my knowledge, not shed any tears over my “hardships” in my privileged , first world country life) .My folks have now grown to love my husband like a son, it’s taken us 7 plus years of marriage to get here but we are here now thankfully. But at the same time , they are my parents and I definitely come first in their book, so I know they notice and resent some things in our everyday household. These include but are not limited to the husbadoo coming in late from work most days of the week , the fact that I do most of the pick ups and drops for Bandar, me having to pack lunch boxes in the morning, me doing  almost all the grocery shopping  and the fact that I am the one who does the laundry usually . (Their disappointment about the laundry one surprises even me. Laundry at our house has only two inconveniences associated with it that really aren’t a big deal – one is getting the laundry down from the second floor down to the laundry room below and the second is folding, which I do while watching TV. So though I wouldn’t call the experience enjoyable , it is definitely not as hard as other chores – say planning and cooking meals ! ) . I hadn’t complained about any of this to them but somehow they saw these as potential opportunities for the husband to chip in more and have voiced this opinion to me.

It’s not that I am a saint and have never been pissed about having to do any of the above either. I have days when I am fed up of the routine and having my “single mom” kind of  evenings as I call them with all child duty after a work day. But then I know that our arrangement for splitting household and childcare between us is because of the practicality and our schedules and it works for us somehow. And more importantly I know that one call or text from me that says I am tired or unable to do my share of the chores on any particular day, the husbadoo will move mountains to cover for me. By this I mean he will not hesitate to cancel important meetings to let his wife simply go attend a happy hour with her colleagues. He will stop by the Indian store at 9 pm when he gets off work to save me the drive if I request it. He will get up after barely 2 hours of sleep to pack Bandar’s lunch if I am running late or if I am simply grabbing a few extra zzzzs. He will stop to wash Bandar’s lunch box just before he rushes out of the house to simply save me the trouble if he can. He will tirelessly make Bandar and me perfect dosas and ensure we eat them hot off the stove on the nights that he takes over the kitchen . And he will take a sick Bandar to work with him, to allow me to settle into a new job and not have to take a day off. So our arrangement on most days of the week works for us and allows for flexibility if I so much as just hint at it.  But I don’t unnecessarily pull that lever often. Why would I when I know I will be sending a guy to the grocery store after a 14 hour work day or asking someone who has been up half the night working to carry loads of laundry down for me. When I am physically and emotionally capable of handling these things, I simply do. 


So my parents simply viewing our lives from the outside for 3 weeks of the year and wondering if I am happy makes me wonder how they are not seeing or choosing to see what I see. There is so much more that I want to say to them about our relationship, how strong it is and that chores don’t faze me and it is an equal household in so many ways. So much more to say to them that goes like this –  Yes, yes, parents, I am truly happy! Believe it, please do. I made a good choice with this man and here is what it really boils down to:

I am married to a guy who simply puts me before anything else. This is over Bandar, over his family, over his career, pretty much anything else.

Him “letting me” slog it out on weekday evenings means nothing and is simply the way things have to be for us to lead an orderly life. He will go to the ends of the earth to stand up for me . I am often worried to tell him about small misunderstandings I have had with his family as he might blow his top at them and make a mountain out of  a molehill, all in support of me. He supports my career in every way possible and wouldn’t hesitate in moving states or countries for me, like he has done in the past . He will get into loud verbal altercations about simply supporting your wife with other Indian guys who refuse to take this strong stand by their wife’s side over their own parents.

But of course I don’t say any of this and instead just leave it at “I am happy”! It is nice to have some attention and milk some sympathy when I can 🙂



Where I show how little I know about the current Bollywood scene

14 Feb

I am clearly far behind in my Bollywood viewing. I lucked out and watched ae dil hain mushkil about 3 months after it released , but i typically only really get to watch most  bollywood movies a good year after release. This is usually if Netflix has it and the husband and I actually find time to sit down together after Bandar sleeps on a relaxed weekend once in a blue moon to watch one. Case in point , piku has been on Netflix for months and we are yet to watch it. 

Anyway , what I do watch when I can is Koffee with Karan and this keeps me up to date on my bollywood gossip and I am good for a year or so.

Thoughts from a few episodes I have watched recently 

– Firstly , I am so impressed that Karan and all his interviewees are so very open about his sexual orientation this season. He has not outted himself nor has anyone outted him but it is almost a non issue now. Shows that India is indeed progressing , though of course that it is debatable based on how you look at it  as he said in interviews himself that he cannot out himself in a country where being gay is considered illegal.

– Does anyone else get the thought that Shahid is so not over Kareena and married a little kid to somehow get even ? And did anyone do the math..Their child appears to be conceived like a month after the wedding. Anyhoo, I liked his honest answer of he really fell in love with his wife only after they got married and she was pregnant.Maybe similar to other arranged marriages.  Super honest and surprised they put that out there. 

– Oh and Kareena this season remarked that Saif was so well read  and a true man of the world.In her opinion they don’t make them like that anymore! I almost spluttered when I heard that – Saif being well bred might be something , but I somehow find well read and superb conversationalist hard to believe in the little I have seen of him. 

– SRK is getting on my nerves as he gets older. 

– Sonam sadly doesn’t have a brain in her pretty head. Her answers were horrible, she started off saying one thing and contradicted herself half way through the answer and lost me on a few answers this way. She actually made Kareena who was next to her sound intelligent.

– I was impressed with Katrina somehow. maybe because she can actually talk and has a sense of humor. This episode made me like her and think of her as more than a mere item number.

– In the Ranbir and Ranveer episode, I felt Ranveer was trying too hard somehow. And also I felt their brotherly and comraderie seemed forced. Also Ranbir is definitely still cuter and hotter.

– Ranveer and Deepika are still a thing. Thank goodness. And Malaika and Arbaaz aren’t – shocker ! Arbaaz didn’t seem too sad about it either, maybe a facade.

– Tiger is an actual name of a person?? Enuff said!

– I really liked the Priyanka episode . My favorite part was seeing her do the candid shots with Karan.

This is such a silly pointless post! But I am going to hit publish anyway and see if anyone else in the blogosphere has thoughts on any of this.

Those drives

10 Feb

Sadly , it takes seeing a bad example in front of you to learn what not to do.

As I pretty much do child pick up and and drop off 95 percent of the time, I am the first one to accept I have good days and bad days on these drives .

My mood at drop off is largely dependent on whether we are on time or not and how Bandar behaved as a whole in the mornings. Case in point today morning when she refused to even try a tomato cheese uttampam I had slaved over the stove for, I immediately brought in orphaned children with no one to cook for them into the picture. In today’s case we hugged and kissed before we left the house and the drive to school was full of pleasantries.But a few days ago, the drive was not so pleasant as I was reprimanding Bandar for something silly she had done at home in the process of getting ready . So she listened quietly to me all the way there and then burst into tears as we got to school saying we had wasted the drive discussing the bad deed that she had done  and had missed out on spotting Groundhogs which she had been excited about for months – being Groundhog Day that day ( Feb 2).So then I had to hug and sooth her in the parking lot and carry a 35 lb teary eyed child and all her paraphernalia into her classroom , only to say goodbye 1 minute later. I longed to check in on her through the day but of course it sounded silly to call up her school to ask if she was okay. But I vowed to make our morning drives atleast breezy and fun after that.

Evening drives home on the whole are better. There has been one incident when Bandar was pissed off with the snack I got her and kicked up a fuss that also involved actually kicking me and that led to me taking away the snack altogether and being very angry with her all the way home and her screaming bloody murder in the backseat.Needless to say she has never kicked me after after that incident or even voiced more than a mild unhappiness at an undesirable-to- her treat . So I have no qualms with the way that incident transpired at all.I would have been a bad mother if I hadn’t corrected behavior then and there.But with that one exception, our evening drives are more relaxed and we usually engage in conversation about our day as I drive her home. 

 Witnessing an incident related to another child and mother pick up situation at Bandar’s school this week, I realized yet again how important it is to make these drives pleasant and leave all reprimanding to be dealt with at home if one can. This is given of course that the issue can wait and doesnt need immediate course correction in those 15 minutes behind the wheel.

Bandar has a girl called K in her class. K is definitely more than a little mean to the others. She taught Bandar the word “spank” and threatened to give her a good dose of it too during a simple imaginary game of “family” when Bandar was the child and K was the parent. So it is safe to assume K has picked up the word and associated action at home. More recently, Bandar proudly told me to “shut up” and on prodding told me that K had taught her that. On the whole though , from what Bandar tells me K is better this year than she was last year . This week however at pick up one day , I noticed K’s mom having a serious conversation with the principal of the school, undoubtedly about something that K had done. The mom than ended the conversation,walked into the classroom, picked up K without a smile and headed out to the car. K followed sadly asking her mom about five times in 30 seconds if she was mad with her. Her mom simply told her she would see.And then the car door shut and I couldn’t eavesdrop anymore .

I thought about K a lot that evening , I wondered if what she had done had been that egregiously notorious. It probably wasn’t from what Bandar told me about K in fact being really nice recently atleast to Bandar. But it had been serious enough to warrant a conversation with the principal . K’s sad eyes which are usually mischievously glinting had had such a forlorn , beeseeching look about them that I couldn’t help wondering if Bandar looked and felt the same when I wasn’t in my best mood at pick up or drop off. I wonder how I would have handled it if I had been K’s mom. I would have been upset after my talk with the principal no doubt but would I have walked on without looking or listening to my pleading child. Experience tells me I would have been equally cold at that point and would have probably handled it the same or even worse.I have very very low tolerance for bad behavior in a four year old child.But seeing this incident as an outsider, reminded me to take that deep breathe next time , try to make the reunion after 9 hours apart happy each day and save the actual conversation on behavior if possible for the home.


3 Feb

I have lived in the US for 10 years now and have never once been groped , eve teased , sexually assaulted in any way until this last week. I have lived in shady parts of Atlanta and in NYC (not so shady parts  but  NYC all the same )and never encountered any situation that made me uncomfortable. And to think that I recently  encountered this nastiness in a supposedly safe suburb in San Diego last week.

I usually buy groceries on Wednesdays , as it is the say before my cook comes. I stop over to get my haul right before picking up Bandar as I think the whole process is fastest when it’s me alone. I am usually in and out the store in 15 minutes.  I walked into the store and saw this man of Hispanic origin coming up. The only thing I really noticed about him was the fact that he had his hands empty. Not bag or grocery item at all.  He made eye contact with me and gave me a disgusting smile.I looked away and went slightly to the right hand side to pick up a cart. He passed by me with his hands swinging and neatly felt me up my ass. It was so quick and sudden that I could barely react. Before I knew it he was out of the store and all I saw was his lecherous grin as he turned to his left past the shop door. ” What the hell, asshole” I yelled. It took me a good 30 seconds  to formulate a thought on what had happened and I felt helpless. I think he heard me , but I am not sure I was loud enough.

 The strange part was no one else saw any of this happen at all. It had been only me and him for those few seconds at the store foyer. 

Feeling disgusted, I pushed my cart into the store and started shopping. I briefly wondered if he had rubbed by me to steal something from my crossbody handbag.But no , everything was in and safe.It had been done deliberately to touch me. I felt grossed out in every way possible. The last time I remember being eve teased was maybe when I was 13  years old on the streets of Mumbai , shopping at colaba causeway . But the memory of it is so vague in my head now almost 12 years later.

The husband thinks I should have smacked with my bag but I hardly think that would have worked. What does one even do when this happens when you didn’t really take any sort of action immediately after it happened? And what action could I have really taken even then? 

End of the blogathon 

2 Feb

This was my third year doing the blogathon in January and this year was by far the most challenging one for me.I had previously worked from home for the other two years and had easy access to a personal laptop or tablet to write my posts. I refuse to ever post from my work computer , or even open my blog on it , so posting during the day at work was hard. I wrote every single post on my phone’s WordPress app and have not opened WordPress from a computer in months now .I composed my posts usually in bed the night before and roughly edited before publishing during down moments in the day. Sorry for all the typos and edits that were missed in each post.

 Some days I fell behind and this was hard to keep up with. I love cuddling Bandar and sleeping with her , so I struggled with having to get up after she slept to type out a post. Reading other blog posts by my favorite bloggers was hard for me  too. I tried to keep up in the evenings but Bandar needed my full attention in the 2 hours we get together and often commented that I wasn’t listening to her properly and was looking at my phone. Nothing like the truth to break this mommy heart !! Anyway ,I would read a post that resonated with me but often missed commenting due to a Bandar distraction .Due to the pure lack of time , I really didn’t explore reading any new to me blogs this time around. I wish I had as the blogathon is a great way to discover new reads .

The other thing I found hard this month was generating quality,meaningful posts. I hate cheat posts and try to avoid them as I honestly find them a waste of my time and my readers’ time . But that said, it’s freaking hard to generate a good solid post every single day ! 

Where do we go from here? I frankly don’t know. Daily posting is hard . But at the same time I don’t want to disappear for months together like I have in years past. I am going to try to blog atleast 3 times a week the next two months and see if that’s a good frequency for me. If it’s something I can keep up with, I will continue past the two months . 3 times in 7 days seems doable , right ? I hope so ! We will see how this goes.

Thank you dear reader for sticking around and commenting through this blogathon.The comments and blog world virtual friends and network is one of the reasons I do this each year. 

Day 31- Dear Bandar

1 Feb

I can’t believe I almost got through the blogathon without a post all about Bandar. This series of ” Dear Bandar “letters are really more for my memories to look back upon in a few years.
 Darling little Bandar,

I look at you a million times a day and tell myself that my little girl is growing up.

Each month brings with it a new bunch of developmental milestones . You have recently exhibited a very kind side. When you took truffles for your classmates recently, you told me you ensured you picked the smallest one for yourself,  so that no one else had to and wouldn’t feel bad about it.This is not something we told you do at all but something you thought would be the right thing to do.

When I told you recently that I am proud of the constant kindness you show your parents at home and friends at school and outside of it, you wisely remarked “I know , amma. I have become kind” and moved over to the next topic in a very matter of fact tone as if nothing less should be expected in the first place !

You also talk about asking Santa for nothing next year, and I really hope you will follow through with it when Christmas comes. You recently surprised us by coming to a toy shop for over 15 minutes and not asking for one single thing. 

A huge change recently is the fact that on the few occasions you make an undue fuss about anything or have a melt down , you apologize for it within a few minutes of calming down. Again, this is not something we told you to do but is simply something you have started on your own.

You have off late shown a lot of interest in arts and crafts -drawing and cutting.I hope you get your artistic talents from your paternal side of the family as I have nothing to offer in this space.

People remark you look just like me though, and the similarities is even more when I straighten my hair and we both wear our hair down. For some silly reaosn this makes my day every time I hear it.

You still love imaginary play and I would love to see you try other games too when you can. But you prefer to play within specific imaginary frameworks you have built .

You love your school and teacher and ask often if you can continue in the after school program here next year. You are excited to go to public school as well though in a few months and talk about it with anticipation.

The last few months haven’t been the healthiest for you. You were on antibiotics for three months back to back Oct through Dec and I hope and pray immunity builds soon and you stop bringing every little bug home.You are angelic about having your meds though and barely ever make a fuss.

You adore some kids at school who are not the kindest to you or the best influences out there and you still need to learn to stand up for yourself when there is a conflict . I worry about this a little as kids around you become older and sadly , meaner. You also surprisingly know a bunch of the kids in the lower classes as pre school and I wonder how. But you have shown so much interest in getting to know these two year olds , you know what sippy cups they have, who is potty trained and who is not and how many siblings they have. Considering you see these babies only for maybe an hour toward the end of the day, I am surprised you have observed them so much. 

You are petrified of dogs and both dad and I hope you outgrow this soon. Dad thinks we should just get you a dog to get over this, but as you remark all knowingly – “Dogs are a lot of work”.

We have stopped all classes and extra curricular activities recently and I can see you turning into a homebody. Your screen time is neglible in a week as that has never been a thing around here , but  I do wish we were giving you more exercise. As of now you prefer to play by yourself at home than going outside , even if given a choice.

You like your Elsa bike but are not a huge fan of riding it! You like your scooter a tad more and have recently become quite good at it. You are a reluctant hiker but can do a decent stretch with some distraction. Your favorite games to play when we are outside walking or in the car are – the animal guessing game, word building and the ” I went to the market” game. 

Your favorite cuisine when we eat out is Japanese ! Ramen specifically . This is obviously because we frequent ramen places around town.You are a pro at using chopsticks with trainers and make us proud when you chow down a bowl and make an adult sized burp. Remember to say ” Excuse me”  , Bandar ! Of course , your next favorite cuisine is Italian , specifically pizza. 

You love being read too and in the last few months we have read a bunch of Enid Blytons – The book of brownies , the Enchanted wood series and now are on Galliano’s circus series. I read to you as I feed you dinner each night. We have not gone to the library much recently as we have been getting through these books but I definitely want to do that activity with you more regularly as that was our thing.

4 and a quarter has been a delightful age and I love this stage of parenting. 

Lots of love,