Month: April 2010

Laughs for the day

Buzz gets up for the day. Brought to our bed from her crib (sleepy parents still want to snooze for a bit). Paa gets her Sippy-cup full of milk so that she can drink (keep quite) while parents snooze. Hands it over to her. She starts crying. Hands the Sippy-cup to Maa. Maa hands it back to her. She smiles and starts drinking.

Moral of the story: Morning milk to be given to her by Maa..


Maa and Paa are sitting on the couch, while Buzz is running around..playing. Time to head to work/daycare.

Maa: Chalo Buzz chalein. (Let’s go)

Buzz: Dashes to the door and picks up her shoe.

Maa, Paa: In splits, laughing like crazy

Buzz: Looks up, sees no one has followed..starts screaming, all the while pointing to the door.

Moral of the story: She understands what is being said, so say ‘Let’s go’ only when you are really ready to leave.


Paa is sitting on the couch eating bread with Tea. Buzz wants to eat too. So Paa gives her a real small piece to eat. As soon as the bread goes in her mouth she cleans her hands by hitting her hands together, just like Paa was doing not a minute back.

Moral of the story: She is copying everything these days. Be careful what is being done.


Buzz is running without looking where she is going. Falls. Hard. Starts crying.

Maa goes and picks her up and starts to divert her attention. Once Buzz is almost quite

Maa: Buzz high-five

Buzz: Naaein Naaein (all the while shaking her head vehemently) and starts to cry again.

Moral of the story: She has learned how to say No and cannot be distracted that easily anymore.


Maa and Paa need to stop laughing at what she does but it is all so spontaneous, that they can’t help but laugh.

Travel Thursday – Chasing the twilight sky

My love story with sunsets started back in college. The days were in not literally, more like the light inside me was low, did not shine as bright, did not light things around as much. So I wander off to be alone, sit in the farmland beyond college grounds or on the steps of this small lake after the day’s lecture were done. Open skies..big summer setting sun..myriad of colors..mixed with the red brick houses all around. It was a sight that cannot be forgotten, if you but take a minute to watch. I watched the wonder that is nature day in, day out..Mesmerized. The fiery red, soothing yellow, glowing orange, endless black, diminishing blue..gave me hope, soothed the wounded me, calmed the racing mind.

That time is long gone, those days are long done with..but the love still strong as ever. I don’t have any pictures of the sunset back then. I did not have a camera back in the day and I will never go back to click a picture. But I see it in my mind’s eye and enjoy it as much as then. And cherish every sunset the same way. They are so different every day. But so very different at all the places I visit. So here is me chasing a love of mine.

Watching the colors and setting sun play hide and seek within tree branches. Another dimension added to the spectacle.

Peeking from the tree

Watching the way the cloud formation change not only shape but color. Clouds make sunsets all the more beautiful by filtering the colors.

Dispersing Clouds

Watching the unadulterated colors of sunset. Nothing in between. Just pure sun and the drama it creates as it finishes it journey for the day.

Splash of color

Watching how the lack of light creates silhouettes of everything. Nothing in visible clearly. Heightening the sense of colors of the sky even more.

Shadows at the end of the day

Watching the ride into the sunset, wishing was able to be part of it, knowing full well it is the imagination which is what makes the ride oh so beautiful.

Ridding into the sunset

Watching the effect the sun and its setting light have on the tall buildings of a bustling city. How everything looks like holding its breath.

Golden City

Watching the clouds form a pillow to catch the sun from falling down. Alas the all-powerful sun stop for no one.

Cotton clouds

Watching the ocean embrace the sun, lapping it with waves, which changes hues as the sun descends.

Golden water

Watching the silvery white snow turn to white gold.

Snow covered mountains

Watching the setting sun way back in the horizon while journeying in man-made contraption at top speed.

Looking out the window

Positive spin

on the glass of the coffee table that I broke by mistake?

Buzz scrambles in, stands inside and laughs all the time she is in there, running around in circles rectangles. Dancing on the wood platform, jumping on the same, banging on the wood sides all happen.

Added bonus: She has not figured out how to come out. So I get to run errands around the kitchen that she does not let me do otherwise :mrgreen:

A look on the other side

The blog world is full of rants about the in-laws in general and Mother-in-law in specific. Every time I read them, I shake my head and sympathies. The Indian system of living with the in-laws and if not living with the in-laws then having them a whole lot of say in your life is not for everyone and anyone who wants to write about the trauma is perfectly within their right to do so. But the more I read such posts, I want to write about the things I see happening on the other side. Things I see but never read about because people in that generation are not a whole lot in to technology and hence are not writing about the going ons. What I am writing is my experiences are from here, this land far away from India, where the ILs come for a visit, not for long stays and hence it is not like you are living with them day in day out all your life.

The scenario goes thus: Baby is on the way. Want to keep him/her home for as long as possible, because they get sick oh so much in daycare. So parents and ILs are lined up to come stay for as long as they can. When it comes to grandkids, grandparents are willing to bend backwards. So they come, take care of the baby while the new parents head to work. And since they are home, they take care of the cooking, cleaning, laundry along with the baby.

  • A friend got in to this huge fight with her MIL on the way she cooked food. It was too bland.
  • Another I know was constantly miffed with her MIL for not folding the clothes after washing the way she wanted them to.
  • One was upset that her MIL did not tell her things were about to get over because she likes her fridge and pantry always packed (which means things over just beyond the half way mark need to be bought and stock replenished)
  • I heard of someone who was irritated with the clothes the baby was made to wear at home.
  • Someone was in tears because no one helped her out with the baby at night.
  • Calmed a friend when she did not find something in the correct place in her kitchen.

And I always think to myself:

  • Our parents (and ILs) are set in their ways. Can’t we mold ourselves a little or let go a little. And if we can’t, how do you expect 60+ year olds to change themselves overnight?
  • Our parents (and ILs) are old. We are in our 20s and early 30s. When we come home, we want to sit in one place and have things served to us. All chores finished. A shiny happy baby handed over to us. How is that fair? When you can’t move your 30-year-old backside because you are tired after a long day of work, how do we expect the 60-year-old to keep going? And taking care of a baby all day is not easy. It is a lot of work and I am totally exhausted when I am home over the weekend. So why not move it a bit and do your part when you come home.
  • But most importantly our parents (and ILs) are here to help us out. They are not unpaid maids to cater to our every whim and fancy. They are here to help out while you go to work. They should get a break once you get home. So get up and take care of your house and your baby.

Hence here is what I think

  • If you don’t like how the food is cooked. Get up and cook something when you get home. And please don’t force your husband to choose which meal he wants to eat (am saying because the same friend got boiling angry when husband did not care which food he ate, the one his mom cooked or his wife. She wanted him to take her side).
  • If you don’t like the way how your clothes are washed, please do the laundry yourself, rather than telling them ‘Oh I am out of undergarments. Do the laundry today’, before walking out the door.
  • If you like your pantry always full, take 5 mins out over the weekend to look through the kitchen to see what needs to be replenished.
  • If you don’t like what your baby is wearing, take 2 mins out before you leave to take a dress out that you want the baby to wear for the day. 
  • If you want help at night with the baby, ask your husband. Don’t look at your parents (or ILs). They have done their part during the day.
  • If you like things a certain way then work on putting them back the way you like ever so often. The simple fact is the person who works in the house does more things around based on their convenience.

Let me talk about myself since that is easy to talk about: My parents were with us from a month after Buzz was born and the time Buzz was about 6 months till she turned a year old. The simple fact is that once you have lived on your own for a while, it is difficult to live with someone. Your sense of privacy and personal space in invaded by your parents. It is difficult to see things a different way than what you are used to (and these are my parents so I am used to them doing things the way they do and kind of do things the same as them just a little different). And after I come back from work, having been gone all day, it is not that I want to help (though I kind of don’t, I am tired and I see that work is getting done so why do I need to pitch in), I want to spend as much time as I can with Buzz. She is my baby, I love her, and I have been away all day, so ofcourse I want to spend all my remaining time with her. But my Mom is tired and needs to rest too. It is morning in India, so my Dad wants to get online and read the Indian newspapers and relax a bit. So we came with a strategy which worked for all of us. Where there was give and take and the final product worked. And every time I did not keep my end of the deal, Mom came up and told me straight up.

Now imagine a MIL doing the same. Telling a DIL that she was tired. Or saying she needed a hand. I have heard enough DILs crib and call their MILs insensitive, rude and a myriad of other things, to know how that goes down. I have seen MIL will dark circles under their eyes, exhausted with all the work that needs to be done, bending backwards since they are here to help and don’t want to be labeled that kind of MIL.

Leaving with a couple of other incidents:

  • A friend’s kids first Birthday party. All the food is being made at home. I volunteer to help, so head over to their place. Do my part of cutting, chopping, frying with Aunty while my friend flutters around counting plates and cups and who knows what else. One of the items on the menu is ‘Bhel Puri’ which aunty has no clue how to make and I am deemed the expert. So I get everything ready. Since the party is in the evening, and this is around 11:00 in the morning, chopping onions, potatoes, tomatoes are deemed too early (mostly by the my friend). When we get to the venue of the party in the evening, my friend asks me to mix the ‘Bhel Puri’ to get the proportion right. I start mixing everything, ask for the onion, tomatoes..there is none. My friend turns to aunty, gives her a nasty look and says ‘List banaani chaniye thi naa’. All I could think of was, what were you doing? Why did you not make the list and ensure that everything was there?
  • A friend gets a bulk load of stuff from her ILs via someone who was coming from India. She cribs non-stop about the fact that ‘X’ was not send when she specifically asked for it, while ‘Y’ was send. Followed by throwing ‘Y’ as not to be used. I look at her and say, “but ‘Y’ would be something you would buy since it is much to your taste, so why would she not use it”. Her reply: “Since my in-laws sent it”.

Again I am not saying that all the in-laws horror stories one reads are not true, or that everyone treat their ILs as above. Just saying that it is not always their fault. There are a lot of us who are less tolerant to our ILs and are of the mindset that whatever they do is wrong and with malice.

And this is not the post about the clash of modern and old-fashioned thinking. This is about work and its doing. Day to day stuff.

In Buzz's world..

..every bird is a Duk (Duck)

..every demand is conveyed by saying Mummaa, what actually is required is for Maa or Paa to interpret

..every and anything rectangular is the phone and is held next to the ear and Hiiiii said

..every water body is meant for splashing in, what if it is the toilet pot

..every sweater that Maa owns has to be thrown on the floor..not Paa’s only Maa’ matter how many times Maa folds them up and keeps them in the shelf

..every body part is the one that has been pointed to the first time. So ear is pointed to correctly when asked but any subsequent..nose, mouth, head, eyes..finger goes to the ear. First one always wins

..every wire plugged in to the power outlet has to be pulled out the minute they are spotted

..every hurt can be soothed by come crying to Maa

It’s all about M

After D got all upset and threw a fit when Buzz went up to him as called him Mummaa, I started paying attention to what she has been saying.

The result of the analysis is out and most of everything she says starts with the letter ‘M’. ‘Papa’ that she used to say very easily has stopped and has been very conveniently changed to Mammaa (remember the fit I was talking about above?). ‘Yum’ has become ‘mum’. Anything  that is wanted is pointed to and ‘Mmmm’ follows.

To top it all off the best association she has made goes as follows:

In daycare they are made to sit down in their little chairs in front of their little table and little bowls with food are placed on the table. Once they get done eating (throwing) the food in the bowl, they get to ask for more by saying ‘More’ and signing ‘Please’. And then more food is given to them. So now Miss Buzz, who is having her first brush with the language English, thinks More = Food. And can be heard all over the house saying ‘Moe’ ‘Moe’ when hungry. Oh and this is not only while she is awake. She can be heard mumbling ‘Moe’ in her sleep in the middle of the night (and whoever says 4:00 A.M. is not middle of the night gets to come over and take over the night duty), just before she gets up for milk. And the crescendo of ‘Moe’ and the frequency with which it is spoken goes up till the Sippy-Cup is handed over to her.

So everything starts with M these days..except, except when you ask her:

Buzz cow kaise karti hei? (What does Cow do?)

Pat comes the reply


Travel Thursday – Cairns in Ladak

Remember that story we read as a kid about a little boy dropping white stones when was kidnapped all the way along and hence found his way home? That is what Cairns are meant for. Just they are a lot more complicated than dropping one stone.

They are created painstakingly by piling stones one on top of the other, such that they are high enough to be visible from some distance away and you can find your way back. Hence they are placed in all the critical areas where there is a potential of one getting lost.

Mark left behind

But the Cairn made in Ladak are special for a lot of reasons. The land is barren with rocks plenty, but a cairn has to do extra work to stand out in the sameness in looks and color of the land around. They have to really standout, so that they serve the purpose set aside from them.

Showing the way

Often times prayer flags are also tied in and around a cairn. Each prayer flag has chants written on them. They are then stringed along and tied in a way that they flutter in the wind. It is believed in the Buddhist culture that the flowing of the flags in the wind actually carries the prayer in the wind, showering wishes on one and all. Hence a cairn and prayer flags are seen together a whole lot because not only are the cairns showing the way, the flags and blessing anyone who might need a sign to find their way back.

Along with prayer flags

Cairn also carry a special meanings in the way and shape they are placed. Pointing in the direction to precede, indicating danger, marking a place of worship, sign that you are on the top of a mountain and so many other things, all in the shape they are put together and how the top most stone is placed.

On top a monastery

The tourists can’t read the signs and their significance but the Ladakhi people can and hence you see all the guides sitting just below the prayer flags, resting in front of the cairns and prayer flags, soaking in all the blessings, after a hard..arduous climb.

On Mountain Peak

This was not the post I had in mind when I did WW yesterday, but with all the game references and pushing the cairn comments, I changed the post to this. Will do the original intended post some other time 🙂


I woke up somewhere in the middle of the night..time unknown..reason unknown. Once over my total disorientation of  waking up, became aware of the sound of two deep breaths of slumber around me.. I touched no one..though I could if all I did was stretch my hand in either direction. The sense of sound so heightened (to make up for diminished sense of sight ❓ ). The feeling so overwhelming with its love, enveloped me like a warm secure blanket, that I want to hold on to it for a lifetime and beyond.

The only constant in life is change. And there are changes aplenty in store for us..some I can foresee..most not. Changes are already coming. Rediscovered the familiar touch that had been missing, without me realizing that I was missing it or just how much I was missing it. Will miss the physical proximity of another, even when it is only a few feet away. The new surroundings..the new place for everything..the sense of wonder..the trepidation..the uncertainty. Changes some I have control over..some I can/will prepare for..some which will take me by surprise.

But in that moment..that night..when nothing moved..everything just the way it should, I soaked in the peace that comes from being surrounded by the two people who mean the world to me.