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February 28, 2006

Bangalore Airport


There are always at least 6 people sending off my sis at the airport. At the most 12 people if my dad decides to have a meeting scheduled with his colleagues at the departure terminal. So far this was only at the Chennai airport. This time, it was Bangalore. Everything I have said against Chennai, its people, its weather, its autowallas, I take it back. It has the best airport. Definitely better than Mumbai and Bangalore in my personal experience. I mean Bangalore is not even fit to be in the comparison. The only thing which seems to working efficiently and planned flawlessly is the Rs.60 per person Airport Entrance Ticket counter and the checking at the entrance where they tear the ticket into half. You park the car and load the 4 huge suitcases, 2 pull-ons and 2 backpacks in 2 trolleys with faulty wheels and no brakes. You go in and see that there are 2 escalators to go up, one staircase, and one more luggage escalator going up where you have to put your suitcases. The visitors and the passengers have different escalators to go up and cant help the passengers unload the luggage or stand guard for them. While my BIL was loading the suitcases, my Sis went up and unloaded them. We had to stand away and watch them struggle and pay Rs.60 for this joke.

They both stood in the check-in line and took turns to come near the glass partition and talk to us by making gestures. Then we found a loophole. The left most corner had a small opening between the wall and the glass partition and we stood and spoke there. My sis put out her hand and touched Ashu and sang Rhymes to her. My mom and BILs mom said one hundred ‘byes’ and ‘take cares’ but did nt move from their places. Thankfully there were chairs and I sat there and watched the drama. This was the first time I saw my BIL and sis red-eyed while leaving. Because Ashu started crying when they said ta-ta to her. I have never cried at airports. I wait till I come home. The emptiness of the house just gets me. There were lots of people like us waving good byes to their dear ones. Another big crowd was waiting outside; the people who were smart enough to not buy the entry ticket. But I don’t know why they were standing though. Its not like they can see the passengers from there. Every time I think that I should nt go to the airports for send offs, but after a while, it becomes a ritual and you don’t want to jinx anything by not going. If everyone started buying entry tickets, I can’t imagine how the place can cope. But who cares about a bunch of fools coming to send off their loved ones?

February 27, 2006

Nine, Ten. A big fat hen!


Ashu is 10 months old today and I have posted a crybaby photo of her. Damn! Sorry Ashu. Like every month I say, I can’t believe she has grown up so much. Only 2 months short of a year! I wish I have a 10 months old Ashu always with me while another Ashu grows up to be 1, 2, 3...100!! :) I wish I become small again and grow up with her and be her best friend. I hate the fact that I am going to be the one laying out rules for her and she is going to hate me for that. I hate it that I have to put the nasal drops in her nose while she screams. I hate it that I am the one who uses most of the NOs already.

Anyhoo, Happy Birthday Kiddoo and here’s a laughing photo! Thanks for giving me so many cherishable photos! :)

Ps. Big Boo took this photo.

Pps. I just learnt that cherishable is nt a word. Did you know?


I hate goodbyes.

February 23, 2006

In the middle of chaos...

I am so busy that I don’t even have time take a shower. Not that I take a shower if I am not busy. But you get my point.

We are 8 people living in this little flat for the past 2 weeks and as if we have more room, my 6' 3" cousin dropped in to see us and stayed for 2 days. He left yesterday and today another cousin (only 5 feet thankfully!) is arriving. Oops, did I say 8? Forgot Ashu who is taking as much room as all of us put together, what with her toys, books, walker, chair, etc... My mom and another woman who is my sister’s mom-in-law and whom I call aunty and planning to adopt as my mom-in-law are slogging in the kitchen 24/7. When there’s spare time, all of us play cards (gamble should be the right word), go out for dinners, shop and watch movies. I have never had so much fun in this little flat since we bought it 4 years ago. The kitchen has a miserable excuse of a sink, the bathroom faucets are not fancy enough to be called even as taps, the servant maid does nt have even a spare tile to clean as there’s stuff everywhere. At any given instant, we have 1 PC, 3 laptops, 8 giant suitcases, 8 medium sized suitcases, a bucket load of dirty laundry and a bucket load of fresh laundry, one baby getting everyone’s attention, one baby feeling ignored(!)... The list goes on. My sis and BIL are leaving on Saturday. We have only 48 hours more and we still have nt covered Painted Platters(a dessert shop), an Indo-Chinese restaurant, a Pizza joint, Roadside Pani Puris, family portrait... The list goes on. On Sunday, Aunty and Uncle will leave and my dad too. I know Ashu is going to feel miserable after everyone leaves especially her PEPI, that’s what she calls her Uncle, my BIL. Anyway, right now its fun and that’s all that matters.

Ps. HD got me a Calvin and Hobbes book for Val day and a big bouquet of red roses. But C&H was dimmed by the sparkling of Gili diamonds my BIL got for my sis. Damn! But mere paas Ashu hai! :)

February 14, 2006

Will you buy me gifts, Valentine?

Yesterday we 4 went out at 9 pm and in 15 minutes (since the shop was closing), I helped my BIL buy a dress for my sis while HD was helping my sis buy something for my BIL in another corner of the shop! How romantic, huh? HD and I did nt have time to buy anything for each other. Today I went out and bought yet another shirt for HD. Hope HD found some time from work and "bought" something for me from his office stationery shop at least! I can see we have stretched this Val day thing enough and will put an end to all this silliness next year. But I am not going to make any promise to HD. I want gifts!

Saw this card in Yahoo Greetings. Happy Valentine's Day Everybody!

February 12, 2006

Ashu - Dated today.

Since hundreds of readers (okay, just one. But you don’t need to know that.) requested some updates on Ashu, here are what she’s up to these days.

~> Ashu is 291 days old today.

~> When she smiles you can see 1 1/2 dimples, 1 1/2 lower teeth and a 1/2 upper tooth.

~> She did nt give any extra trouble while teething. It was the usual.

~> Crawls and cruises. Stands without support for a couple of seconds.

~> She has to be in the same room as I am, even in the bathroom.

~> She understands NO and listens to me most of the time and I am absolutely proud of her for that. Hope her Dad learns from her!

~> She sleeps through the night.

~> Loves baths, massages, milk and banana.

~> It has been two weeks since I stopped breast-feeding her. I did nt give my breast for a week and after that when I tried giving her the breast again, she would nt take it. Brought tears in my eyes and HD's.

~> She would go to anyone if they pick her up and walk, much to my disappointment.

~> She loves watching kids and hearing them talk. She tries to talk to them in her own way, but that just the scares the other kids away!

~> I was wondering how everyone in my apartment knew that I ve got a new Sony Digicam and then realized they are calling Ashu "Sony baby" and not my camera. She is not the chubby Farex baby.

~> She takes off her dirty, filthy socks from her feet and chews on them.

~> One night I woke up at 2 am and found the TV on and was terrified for a minute thinking that my mother-in-law has made a surprise visit and watching one of the mega serials! Or perhaps a bored burglar? I mustered enough courage and went to the living room, but no one was sitting on the sofa with a remote. Pulled my hair out trying to solve the mystery. Then it hit me. Ashu was playing with the remote earlier and had set the wake up timer for the TV! Probably she wanted to catch up on something. Now I know why my dad always insists on switching off the main power.

~> Picks up even the tiniest dirt from the floor and does research on it and only if its determined as paper, it goes into her mouth.

~> Loves plastic bags just liker her grand mom!

~> Likes books! (Thank you, God!) "Noddy's squeaky shoes" is her current favorite.


~> If she falls down and no one is in the room, she does nt cry. But transforms into a drama queen in front of audience.

~> No one within a 1 km radius of her vicinity can read newspaper in pie(a)ce!

~> Tore the cover of my recipe book, first page of her ABC book and the 2 batteries in the TV remote will lose their privacy very soon as their bedroom door is hanging by a thread!

~> She has made a call to my friend in UK and talked for 3 mins. I did nt know that until I saw this months phone bill and realized that that friends number is the first entry in my phone book.

~> She likes my dad more than my sis (who arrived here yesterday from California) and it’s pissing her off. Hope she does nt ask me money for all the goodies she has brought for Ashu!

Thanks A for pointing out that I have been neglecting my daughter and for all the goodies too! :)

February 10, 2006

Not my gullible "baby" anymore.


Me: Can you wash the feeding bottles? I will make Ashu sleep. Or do you want to make her sleep? I will wash the bottles.

HD: How many bottles?

February 08, 2006

Mughal-e-Azam

I watched this classic on Sunday after a very long time. This time I could understand the dialogues a lot more. (Lot of Urdu.) Thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I was not bored even for a minute and that’s the highest praise I can give for a movie. I can’t remember saying that about any another movie in the recent past. I could see the passion the director had for this movie in every scene. I fell in love with the sets, the costume, the songs, the lyrics, the dance and last but not least, Madhubala. The expression she has while singing "Pyar kiya to darna kya" is priceless. Prithviraj Kapoor is absolutely fantastic. He does go overboard with his acting at times but the anger he shows in his face during that song is amazing. Dilip Kumar is just there in the movie. He did nt impress me much but for the one scene where he begs his mother with tears in his eyes asking for his love. It was very touching. "Teri Mehfil Mein Qismat Aazmakar" song was just awesome. Listening to this part

"Mohabbat Hamne Maanaa Zindagi Barbaad Karthi Hai
Ye Kya Kam Hai Ke Mar Jaane Se Duniya Yaad Karthi Hai
Kisi Ke Ishq Mein Duniya Lutaakar Hum Bhi Dekhenge
Tere Kadhmon Pe Sar Apna Jhukaakar Hum Bhi Dekhenge"

made me go crazy with weird thoughts. I wanted to be born in that period and die for my love. Then comes "Mohabbat Ki Jhooti Kahani Pe Roye" and after that "Pyar kiya tho Darna kya". I guess these 3 songs just sum up the movie. What awesome lyrics. I still can’t get over the warm feeling when I saw these songs three days ago. And the absolutely sensuous love scene between Anarkali and Salim with "Prem Jogan Ban Ke" song in the background sung by Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan is, for lack of a better word, AWESOME. I think this movie would be the first Hindi DVD I would be buying. Very soon. Somehow Valentines Day does nt mean so silly to me now! :)
"Ishq mein jeenaa ishq mein marnaa
Aur humei ab karnaa kyaa"

February 06, 2006

Travelogue - Part 3.

Click for Part 1 & Part 2.

In October 2003, we leave UK again and come back to India where I learn German in the Goethe Institute for 6 weeks before going to Basel, Swiss with HD. Parents, in-laws, sister, friends,... the works! 2 years and we travel every weekend to some place or the other. The month of May seems to be our lucky month for travelling as in 2004, we went to Greece. Athens, Crete and Santorini. I wish I had just gone to Santorini for a week and lounged there sunrise after sunrise, sunset after sunset. But Acropolis beckons everyone to Athens. Awesome.
Tip - Don’t ask anyone how many islands are there in Greece and where to go? There are hazaar (Yes! approx. 3000) islands. Just close your eyes, point a finger on the map and go there. You will love it.

June comes. It’s our anniversary. Rather than staying in boring Switzerland (I know! It was deliberate!), we go to Vienna, Austria for the weekend. Wow is the word. It seems I can’t hate any city! Paris comes very close though but whoever said familiarity breeds contempt hit the nail and was probably married to Aishwarya Rai! We go to the famous Musikverein to see the Orchestra performing Mozart. Though we decided to go just to tell folks back home that we went to a music performance, we enjoyed it immensely. Especially when HD recognized a tune from his Mobile phone ring tone!
Tip - Two days are just enough for Vienna so combine a trip to Salzburg too. We missed it.

Aug 2004 - We are pregnant. One hell of a trip to the moon and back!

Tip - Just do it!

Sep 2004 - We decide we ll go to one more country and then retire. We go to Barcelona. Hola! Do you remember the story Joey says on Friends, "I was just outside of Barcelona hiking in the foothills of Mount Tibidabo"? to impress girls and then teaches Ross this story? Well, I did nt think there was actually a place called Tibidabo. But it is very much here in Barcelona and it is a lovely place. Antonio Gaudi, the architect has played around in the city. (We use the word "Gaadi" in Tamil to describe something bright , shiny and 'in your face'. The word was probably derived from Gaudi's name!) Cool dude, though! Pure Genius! Have to give it to him!
Tip - Don’t miss the Casa Mila and buy me a flat there for this tip! :) Also if you want to drink Sangria, don’t be pregnant.

Nov 2004 - We decide not to ignore Poor little Liechtenstein bordering Switzerland and go there. It’s the 6th smallest country in the world. The touristy custom is to get a pretty stamping in your passport, buy the cute postage stamps and coins! So we did exactly that! Another country to add in our kitty.

Tip - Just a day trip will do for this country which is 25kms North to South and 6km East to West.
This photo courtesy of www.picturesofplaces.com as my Liechtenstein Photos are missing! :(

April 2005 - Delivered a baby girl. A trip to hell and back!
Tip - EPIDURAL!

After 4 continents, 13 countries (Can I include the brief stop-over in Ethiopia and say 14) and more than 2 dozen cities in 4 years, a saga ends. But I can see a cloud of dust, some camels and a huge pyramid in the distance. Just how far away it is, I’m not able to tell. Can you, HD?



~ The End ~

February 02, 2006

To all the near and dear ones!

Ok. Boo has been neglecting the baby talk. It has been a while since I talked about my pregnancy. I don’t want to forget those 9 months and the Grand Finale anytime soon. I started writing a pregnancy journal for 6 months and then quit because it became so boring. I guess I need audience to keep myself going! Anyway, I had told the news only to immediate family after becoming pregnant and did nt know when and how to break the news to the rest. 3 of my friends were also pregnant then and when everyone was comparing notes, I had to try really hard to keep my mouth shut. The reason being that I did nt want to jinx it by telling the news very early. I don’t know if everyone has this fear but I was terrified of the word "miscarriage" and the pity I will get from people afterwards. So I did nt tell anyone until the 12th week when the Doctor did an ultrasound and everything seemed good. (One other pregnant couple were there in the hospital for a check-up and seeing us, they assumed. Small world!) Anyway, now to tell the news to friends and family. A "We-are-pregnant" mail seemed so boring. (Yes, "We" are pregnant. Anyway, "I" was going to deliver. So including the husband at least here and giving him some credit!) So I went to someone I always go for advice. Google! After a thorough search, hit on a very "original" idea and composed this and sent to everyone.

To all the near and dear ones:

Forgot where I got the inspiration. People who have seen this before can enlighten me! Another way of saying, "Yes. I stole the idea and forgot the source". I know, shame on me! But I did get lots of compliments for my original(!) idea. Duh! :)

February 01, 2006

Penty & Sonu.

I am in love with my new camera. My 4 years old charming little Pentax Optio 330 started dying a slow death and when I could nt take photos of my little girl when she was doing something cute, Penty had to be replaced. After a detailed research, went with my BIL's suggestion and asked him to get me Sony Cybershot DSC-P200. (Jee, its now in print that it was your suggestion. Beware!) I knew it was a compact camera but this is ultra compact. It is unbelievably small and so cute. (Penty is out of earshot so he won’t mind!) When it took almost 10 seconds to take a picture with my Pentax, it takes only like a second with the Sony. Very helpful if you have a baby who does nt hold a pose for more than a second. I am clicking away to glory and life seems so colorful and interesting all of a sudden.

Check out some of the photos taken with Sonu(!) in my photo blog.
And this is Sonu.