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March 30, 2006

I knew there was a reason why I kept a journal!


Update:
People are getting turned off by kids and all reading this post. Now, I can't allow that, can I? So read this previous post of mine after this one so that you ll only be confused and not turned off! :) Why baby?

I found my breast feeding journal today. Yes, I had a journal. Not because it was fancy or anything, I just needed to remember when I fed Ashu, which breast and for how long. And the note book I wrote on was a ordinary spiral book which we had used to keep scores of card games. The remaining pages contained my breast feeding rituals. Anyway, I found this entry dated 1st May 2005, four days after Ashu was born. I was still in the hospital and ALONE!

1.30 am (yes! like in the middle of the night!)
5 to 6 mins straight from the right breast without the nipple shield. Then she did nt drink. Breasts are swollen and are very hard. The nurse asked me to pump and I pumped around 20 ml from both the breasts.

2.00 am
10 mins from the left breast with the nipple shield.

2.15 am
The nurse wrapped both my breasts in cold sheets which is like yogurt/cream. She called it Quarck, should find out what it is! I have to keep it for 20 mins. Hope it helps.

3.00 am
Going to sleep. I am bleeding very badly and its not only from the vagina. I ll check in the morning. I am sleepy.

6.15 am
After struggling for 15 mins, Ashu drank from the right breast for 5 mins. She has started crying a lot while feeding unlike earlier when she just went to sleep. May be shes getting hungry.

Man, this is one tough food business. Just one customer to feed and Im already thinking of closing the restaurant!

There were many more entries like these. This was just the beginning! I cant believe I survived all this. It just made me realize two things:
Second baby? Are you kidding me?
And HD better read this post. Because if he wakes me up tomorrow morning, hes a dead man! I still have nt compensated the lack of sleep!

March 29, 2006

Baby Talk.


I am planning to write tips, advice, personal experience, etc.. about child care and try to make justice to this blogs name! Heres my first post on the topic. (Useful if you are in India/Bangalore and have a baby ofcourse!)

J & J baby cream is better than the J & J baby milk lotion. The cream does nt spread as easily as the lotion but its better especially if your baby's skin is sensitive.

Like I said earlier in this post, Huggies is definitely DOWN. Thumbs up for Pampers!

When you are buying stuff like walkers, high chairs, swings, cot, etc.. its better to buy them at big stores like Shoppers Stop, Life Style. Central, etc.. I know they are very expensive compared to the ordinary baby shops you find everywhere. But I scooted in the Jayanagar area and the chairs had sharp corners, some were even rusty. Toys have small parts, they break very easily and the battery operated toys just die after a few weeks.

I bought pajamas for Ashu in a baby clothes shop in Commercial street. Ashu wore it one night and the next morning when I picked her up, 2 of the four buttons on the shirt were missing. I was terrified. I found one in her cot but could nt find the other. I was sure that she had swallowed it. But thankfully, I found the other on the floor. So make sure you sew the buttons tightly once more before letting your child wear it. Or go for t-shirts!

Make sure the elastic in the baby clothes are nt too tight. Especially caps and booties.

J&J top to toe wash is better than using soap and shampoo. Makes your job easier. Or use it while traveling. Less messy.

If you are using wet wipes, the PIGEON brand (I have seen it in Life Style and Central) is the best. I have tried 4 other brands and all of them are heavily perfumed and gave rashes instantly after use. You also get Avent wet wipes in Life Style but they are way too expensive especially for wiping butts! ;) (I bought Pampers wet wipes once in LS but they have stopped stocking it now!)

For the first one year, its better to use some mild detergent for baby clothes and wash them separately. I recommend Wipro Safewash liquid detergent. You get it in all department stores. (Currently its on buy one get one free offer. So hurry!) But you CANT use it on front loading washing machines. Only for hand washing and top loading washing machines.

Thats all for this post folks. More as and when I think of something useful.

March 28, 2006

Secret.


"Is the card Queen spade?"
"Yes."
"See! I told you that I know magic."
"You must have peeked."
"You know I did nt. I can do it once more if you want. This time you make sure I am not peeking."
"Ok."
"Is it Ten hearts?"
"No."
"Come on!"
"Yes, it was. Tell me the trick."
"No way. My dad will kill me. I had to stand upside down for 3 days before I learnt the trick from him."
"Don't lie."
"I am no lying. I swear!"
"Ok, if you teach me the trick, I will teach you the card trick I showed you earlier."
"Sure? Promise?"
"God promise."
"Ok, you tell me first."
"No, you first."
"What if you don't tell me after I tell you?"
"I made God promise, no?"
"Ok. This is the trick."


But he never told her his trick. She did nt talk to him after that. And she was so angry and embarrassed that he cheated her. She was scared that her dad will find out and scold her for leaking the family card trick. But thankfully, that never happened. She just hopes that he has a guilty face when hes showing that card trick at a party even if its 15 years later!

March 27, 2006

Almost there!


I can't think of anything to write. So put some mushy, sentimental words like "I cant believe she is almost a year old", "Time flies", etc... Ashu is eleven months old today. Everything on the floor goes into her mouth and I have to watch her like a hawk every minute. Too much work this month. So no time for being nice. I am realizing that she means business now. So far it has been just a breeze! (or has it?) On Saturday we went to a Resort. It was HD's office party. For the first time, Ashu got into a pool. She held to her father for dear life and had so much fun splashing. Her face had this unbelievable expression and though at times she was scared, she quickly got over it, squealed and laughed and had a blast. I was really thrilled. So there. You got your gift 2 days early kiddo. Happy Birthday! Next month, this time "Happy Birthday" will sound more real. I cant believe she is almost a year old. Time flies! :)

March 23, 2006

Metti Oli!


My cousin was sleeping and her 3 year old daughter was playing near her feet and started fiddling with my cousin's toe rings. Cousin thought "anything to keep the child occupied" and let her play. After a while, the child woke her mom up and gave her 3 toe rings. When my cousin asked where the fourth ring was, she opened her mouth and pointed there it seems. The mouth was only the entry point. It had long gone into her stomach! Cousin was shocked and ran to a Doctor. The Doctor asked her to give the child lots of fruits and hope it comes out the next day! And it did! :) I think these are the dangers you wont be warned about in "What to expect" books! Anyway, now if someone(?!) asks me why I am not wearing toe rings(Pommanaatiyaa lakshanamaa!), I have a ready excuse to shut them up! ;-)

ps. Hat tip: My mom! :)

March 21, 2006

'Prick'ly heat.


Ashu had some rashes on her back and shoulder last week. It looked like prickly heat. But on Sunday HD noticed it was getting bad and Ashu started to scratch. Since our paediatrician was out of town and being a Sunday, we took her to a nearby hospital. There were no paediatricians available but the nurse told us that the duty doctor can check her. We were unsure but did nt want to take any chance as the rash might be because of some allergy. So we went to see the duty doctor. He was a young chap. He examined Ashu's back and asked us if she wore any new dress or did she sweat a lot recently? It was No to both the questions. He said its prickly heat, nothing to worry about and prescribed a medicine. He said it was for allergy. HD told him Ashu is 10 months old and asked him if the medicine and dosage are ok for her age. The doctor thought for 2 seconds and told its ok. We left after paying the fee. HD and I were really shocked that he did nt even ask how old Ashu was, let alone the other details. I told HD that I am not planning to buy the medicine he prescribed for her. Let's check with our Doctor later, HD said. On our way back home, I went to a Pharmacy for buying Formula for Ashu and showed them the prescription the Doctor had given earlier. The salesman said that it was a cold medicine for kids! Go figure!

March 19, 2006

Gilli.


I have been "Gillied" and I never knew. Especially my birthday post and all. It feels like a birthday present! Being recognized sure feels good! :)

March 18, 2006

A rose by any other name... will not be remembered.

*(Update on this post in the comments section)*

I am not so bad at remembering names. I am actually good. Pretty good. But if I sense that the other person has forgotten my name, I pretend not remembering their names too. And if the other person assumes I must have forgotten their name, I promptly say their name and embarrass them. And if the other person admits not remembering my name after I have told their name, I am offended that they did nt think I left an impression on them. I am not that boring! (Perhaps they might ve remembered me if I were that boring!) Enough confusing you all. The thing is I am in a tight spot and have been punished for all the name calling! I cant remember a girls name. She is a friends wife. They re newly married and I met her for the first time in a party 2 months back. After that we did nt speak or meet each other. Then yesterday they call and come home and I cant remember her name. How can I ask the name of a person who has come home? I scratched my head but could nt remember. She has brought a huge stuffed bunny for Ashu. I cant remember her name. We were yapping for two hours and I could nt remember her name. By then it was too late to ask her. We don't have any common friends and I don't know whom else to ask. Adding injury to insult, we are going to her place tomorrow. And I STILL don't remember her name. I am thinking about all the ways I can indirectly ask.

So how do you spell your name? (What if it is something simple like Radha?)
So have you changed your name after getting married? (yes or no answer?)
So whats your initial? (hoping she ll tell her name along with her initial!)
Whats your email id? (mail me at gmail?)
So how does your hubby call you? (Honey?)
Last and definitely least, What is your name? (What if she wants the Bunny back? Ashu is already attached!)

Please leave your valuable comments on how to learn her name without letting her know what kind of an Idiot I am. Within 24 hours, if you please. The winning entry will get Maneka Gandhi's Book of Hindu Names! Provided I remember your name, that is!


March 14, 2006

Growing up and stuff...


All of a sudden, Ashu has almost 7 teeth and looks like she has grown a foot taller. All while sleeping! Observe if you have a kid at home or if you don’t, just believe me. Children grow up a lot while sleeping. Especially, their teeth, their hair, their height. The baby you rocked to sleep is not the one who gets up! How freaky is that? I sent my sister a photo of Ashu taken 2 days after she left Bangalore. And I could hear her saying, "Who is this baby?" That’s how different she is from day to day. She has taken up my mom on stargazing. She loves to watch the moon and follows it when we are in the car. Ask her, "Nila enga?"(Where's the Moon?) and she will look up, sometimes pointing a finger upwards. I am so proud that I am passing the knowledge I gathered in my lifetime to her!

By the way, this is how my birthday went!

A bouquet of five(!) red roses.
The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud.
A 21-cent Solitaire Diamond ring in White Gold.
A denim top too tight for me. (From my mom who thinks I am never fat!)
Dinner at Sahib Sindh Sultan with a surprise cake cutting thrown in to embarrass me.
Loads of wishes from my near and dear ones. (Some of them yet anonymous!)

A greeting card that says, "You are always cute and adorable"...... "when other people are seeing!" (From my sis and BIL, who else?!)

No prize for guessing which one of the above made my day. The diamond ring of course, silly!

March 13, 2006

Officially changed from today...

When I was in my teens, I used to wonder why film actresses were hiding their age and why it was said that women should nt be asked their age. I was proud to say I was 16 or 17 or 18. And I thought it would never change. Puhleese, I am not that silly! I am 78 born and in my school and college, I was always the youngest or at least the same age as everyone. We will only ask the month our classmates were born and if someone was born in 77, they were considered old! (You know? She’s 77! Probably failed in 5th standard! ha ha ha!) Since I got married when I was 22, I was pretty much the youngest among the couple friends too. Then a couple of years back when we were living in the UK, we made new friends and were getting to know them. As usual birthdays were asked around and A says she was 83 born (or was it 84?). And I was like "WHAT?" The last time I checked, kids born in the 80s were still in schools! That’s precisely when I started feeling old. Very old. I have cousins who were born in the 80s and are still babies to me for Gods sakes! As if this is nt enough, 90s born are already out of school and in college doing PUC here. Are nt they supposed to be still in diapers or something? 70s were cool, 60s were old and 50s were ancient. But now? I AM ANCIENT!? Oh no! I was looking forward to my birthdays until I was 25. After that, it has been a downhill for the past 2 years. I don’t want to grow old. No thanks. So I have decided I am NOT going to turn 28 today. Instead I will be 18. (Is there some place you can change your birthday just like you change the name?) Got married at 16, had Ashu at 17 and today I am 18. Yippeee! I might look 10 years older but then I looked like 23 when I was actually 13. So it does nt matter. What matters is I am 18! Today! Because I say so and it's my birthday(today if you did nt get the point of this post by now!) and I can get whatever I want today. Double Yippeee!

March 11, 2006

Excursion.


"Appa, please Pa!"
"No! You can’t go to the school excursion. "
"Appa please. Only this time. This is my last year in this school. I will never ever ask you again. Last time Pa. Please."
"I said No."
"I will take the money from my Undiyal (piggy bank) Pa."
"What? How much do you have in the Undiyal? Give me all the money now."
"No no. I will keep it safely. I will use it only for the excursion."
"Tell me how much money you want. I will give you. You can put it in the Undiyal but you can’t go for the excursion."

This was a regular conversation every year. He never let her go. She will cry for days. She will plan to run away from home, plan to kill her dad and then run away from home, plan to go to the excursion without telling her parents. But she did nothing. Until one year when he let her go after she pleaded a million times. She does nt have any fond memory of the trip. But she remembers clearly all the times he did nt let her go.


ps. My attempt to write a short one inspired by who else but Ammani! Laugh at me if its no good, kudos to her even if its just passable.

March 09, 2006

Poochi.

***Warning: Creepy Crawlies ahead. Not for the faint-hearted.***

We had a surprise visitor at our house yesterday. A “Pooraan”. (Centipede.) My mom found it in the bathroom and I went in with a broom and did the honours. Ashu was in the hall and the bathroom door had been open all this while and it gave me the shivers imagining the worst. My mom goes bonkers even if she finds a mosquito at home in the evenings afraid Ashu will get her allergy again if bitten. This made me thinking. I grew up in our native village and a small town, most of my childhood. Visitors like these and even more dangerous than these were very common. The nearest hospital was miles away and the adults took care of the children but were nt overly paranoid. We were always outdoors by day playing and if we had nt found at least one scorpion and a water snake, the day was nt made. Ants, spiders, centipedes, millipedes, rats, wild cats, etc. lived harmoniously with us. I think I was only once bitten by a tiny scorpion. It did nt hurt much but I made a big scene. (Now that I think of it, I am not sure if I was actually bitten or I was just looking for some attention.) Anyway, I was nt even taken to the Doctor. Some home remedy and in an hour I was out playing again. Scorpions have also bitten my dad and my cousin so I knew the drill.

My sister, a friend and I used to go to the "pump set" almost everyday and have a blast in the "thotti" (Concrete tub) bathing and playing in the water. We would see a water snake or imagine seeing one and in a jiffy, will be out of the water and laugh hysterically that we escaped death. We used to climb the "vaikol por" (hay stack) which I am sure was infested with every insect and possibly snakes too and slid down from there. It was our own slide. We would go home only to eat. We would go to our Mango grove and climb the low branches and pick a mango in spite of truckloads of mangoes waiting at home for us. The "kadukka erumbu" (Big Red Ant) residing in the mango trees will take their anger out on us for disturbing them and it will sting like hell and I would scream and run home to my grandma who will promptly put some "Viboodhi" (sacred ash) and out I ll run again. This time to the dark woods opposite our house where there were “Iluppai” trees. If I was by myself, I would play a game thinking that I was Masha or Dasha (the young girls’ names in the Russian folklore books we had at home!) lost in the woods and pick “Iluppakaai” and “gundumani”. The red and black small bead- like “Gundumani” was poisonous, I heard from my mother. So I would make sure I did not taste it however tempting it was. And to think I was 4 to 5 years old then. We used to collect them and used them while playing “Pallankuzhi” (something like a board game. Picture here.) to fill the “peechankuzhis”. (the vacant holes in the Pallankuzhi game.) We always wanted some cool stuff to put in the “peechankuzhis”.

There were always lizards, ants, cockroaches and rats in the house. We also had a couple of cats, a dog and dozens of buffaloes and cows in our village farm. The large lizards were “marapalli”. Ants were categorized as “sitherumbu” (red ants), “katterumbu” (big black ants) and “pillayaar erumbu” (small black ants) which we never killed. I was very scared of flying cockroaches. If goaded enough, I would pick a cockroach by the whiskers and earn the gang's respect. Rats absolutely terrified me but I did nt like it when they were killed. Especially the “sundelis” (small mice), since I started watching Tom and Jerry and Mickey Mouse. (Once my mom killed a cornered small mouse and I did nt talk with her for days.) Another time, she was taking a bath and found a snake hanging in the clothesline. The snake could nt move because it had just swallowed a rat. It was a cobra so after killing it, we buried it in the "kollai" (backyard) with a 10 paise coin, some milk and rice, lit a lamp and prayed that we never get to kill another cobra. Then there were monkeys. Once when we were out, they entered the kitchen and had made such a mess that my mom started crying wondering where to start. And recently, a monkey started chasing me in Nandi hills and did nt stop until I threw my “Cornetto” ice cream at it. (Bloody ape! Nobody messes with my food. You owe me one Cornetto, chocolate flavour to be precise!) Then there were stray dogs everywhere. I remember while going to our village with my dad in his scooter, I had to keep my legs up as some dogs were really ferocious and did nt like two wheelers and would chase us for a mile! It was damn funny, I swear! And then there was this supposed to be ferocious creature called “Jalamandali”. According to my mom, it looks like a spider only with hundred more legs. It lives in water and a friend of her was in coma after being bitten by a “jalamandali”. Though I have nt seen it in my life, I used to be the most scared about this one. Everyday while taking a shower, I used to inspect the mug full of water closely for a second before pouring it on my head. I stopped doing it after a while. But I think I will start it again soon after finishing this post! Oh, what dangerous time we lived! And to think that I am worried about my daughter’s safety after a centipede-episode. Bah!

In our family, men were nt supposed to kill the centipedes (some curse which was okay for women but not for men!) and that’s when we girls got to show our true valour. Just like I did yesterday. Thank God HD was nt home. I am pretty sure he would have wanted to know if there were Exterminators in Bangalore and after booking a room in a hotel for us, would have sold the house to the guy who was brave enough to kill a centipede! The price I pay for marrying a city guy, I guess!

March 07, 2006

Street harassment and me.

(For Blank Noise Project Blog-a-thon 2006)

I don’t know to write essays on the topic of Street Harassment. I ll let my own experience speak.

The earliest experience that I can remember very clearly and has been haunting me forever was on a train. I was walking with my dad while my sis and mom were coming behind. We were walking on the train to get to our seats. A man who was walking towards us bumped on me, put his hand inside my top and groped my breasts. I was 13. I was wearing a white salwar with tiny pink flowers printed on them. I was too shocked to react and the man was gone by the time I came to my sense. Welcome to the world of perverts!

The three years I studied in Trichy was hell. I was groped, pinched, slapped behind, touched or the least teased almost everyday. I can write a book about it. I would say Coimbatore is a heaven compared to Trichy or Chennai. In my personal experience that is! To each to their own. I would really want to know why these men behave the way they do. Most definitely they have a mother and perhaps a sister at home. Or at least cousins. I can’t believe they will marry one day, have a family and be a responsible person. And lets not even get to the topic of old perverts. They just make me plain sick.

I went to the RK Hospital in Bangalore 4 years back for a medical check up. A chest x-ray was taken. There was a man in that big lab and while I stood with my chest pressed to the machine, he came behind me and told me he had to adjust a little. When I said ok, he put both his hands on my breasts and adjusted them! Whoa! I was shivering. I was wearing the skimpy hospital gown with nothing underneath. I did nt know what to do. I did nt even note down the assholes name. I am stupid, I know. I came out very angry and spoke to the girl who had her x-ray taken before me. She said she went in with her mom (smart move!) but even she felt a little scared about that guy. I have not felt that violated even when I got my first pap smear in a strange country by a strange man speaking a strange language. There’s always a female nurse with you all the time when a male doctor is examining you there. I can’t tell you how safe it makes you feel.

The worst thing about all this harassment is that it follows you home and screws up your life. I am in a bad mood for days; I pick up a fight on the drop of a hat with people at home. I want them to understand even without me telling them what happened. I am afraid they will call me stupid for not having reacted. I am angry with my parents for not keeping me safe from these animals. I want them to listen to every whim of mine because I think they owe me for making me go through this shit. I hate them for being irresponsible. I hate men. I am always suspicious about men. Now that I have a daughter, I am going to be paranoid all my life. Welcome to the world of perverts, kiddo.


And this is the first time I am talking about the harassment loudly. Telling your mother/sister/friend that you were pinched in your inner thigh today by an asshole on the bus is not easy. Believe me, its not easy. Especially when you are 15 years old. So I welcome projects like Blank Noise. Heres to safer streets!

ps. The two years I lived in the UK and another two years in Switzerland, I did nt have one experience of street harassment.

pps. And all the nice men out there who are really hurt that women are always suspicious about every man, stop being a whiner! Would you rather get hurt by getting pinched in your non-existent breasts? Please! Don't make this "your" issue.

March 06, 2006

Linking.


The Blank Noise Project blog-a-thon is sure making waves in the blogosphere. I am posting some of the posts that really affected me in one way or the other.

Guptavati has written a fable against street harassment. Very imaginative. Ammani has reposted one of her quick tales. As always, short and shocking! Deepti has made an awesome collage and written her experiences. She has hit a nail with this paragrpah explaining the feelings of the victim-

You are not indignant.
You are not outraged.
Instead, you feel ashamed.
Humiliated and ashamed of YOURSELF.

Megha Krishnan has written some tips on how to handle and avoid street harassment and the comment box is a riot in there. Shoefiend has written on this issue and the last sentence of her post speaks volumes.

Ideasmith hides in the crowd and reading her contribution, I felt like my heart was being squeezed by some invisible hands.

I can't thank the Blank Noise people enough for giving all of us a chance to speak out and be heard. My post for the blog-a-thon is coming up next. But having read so many experiences, I would only be repeating what others have said. How ironic is that!

March 05, 2006

FIGHT!


What goes through your mind when you are fighting? I mean at the exact moment you are lashing out verbally and screaming and blaming, what goes in your mind? Especially when it's a fight with your husband/wife. I think "Hope the fight ends soon and we get back to normal" while I am fighting. All I have to do is shut up and there would nt even be a fight. But no! Why would a person in their right mind do that? Fighting and making up may be part of married life and some may even call it romantic and all that crap. But not to the person who started the fight and when the reasons are the silliest in the world. But it hurts nevertheless. So I start a fight. And want to end it too even while I am fighting. But the person who starts a fight can NEVER end it. Try how many sorries you can, but unless the other person makes his/her mind to forgive you, you are still fighting. And the few times when I don’t start the fight and the other party wants to end it, I don’t relent that easily either. I wait for just one more sorry. I wait for one more “I love you”. By the time, I decide to make up; the other party has enough of this bullshit and vows to never talk to me again. So it continues.

Sometimes, I wonder where it is going and feel that these are the fights which lead to big ones and why couples separate. I pray that that’s not the case here and sometimes secretly wish it is too! Ok, we met, we courted, we got engaged, we got married, and we have a baby, now what? Mission accomplished. Let’s call it quits! Or let’s just wait for one more baby perhaps? Sharing will be easier? No. Just kidding! Or am I? Why is that loving a person is so easy but letting them go is so damn impossible? I want to undo love. Can I?

I mentally do the math on how much work we have to put if we separate and feel that the work required to stay together is far less and since I am a lazy person by nature, decide to stick with the latter option and with a ready “I am very sorry” at the tip of my tongue, go and say it even if I don’t meant it. (That’s the longest sentence I ve ever written in my blog!) I just hope it works this time too.

March 04, 2006

DUI


Do you live in Bangalore? Can’t walk in the side of the road peacefully? Does a car sneak near to you and then honk and scares the bejeezes out of you? You can’t seem to overtake a very slow moving car in the middle of the road? Beware people! Your friendly neighborhood blogger Boo is taking driving lessons! Hoshiyaar!!

It’s not like I can’t drive. I can. I have a driving license. Ok, lemme rephrase that. I have a driving license. It’s not like I can drive. I can’t. Six years back when I was still in college, I took driving lessons for a month, took a test, passed and got myself a driving license. I was confident but my dad would never let me drive on my own. He borrowed our friend’s driver and their second hand dabba Maruthi car and let me drive it in the evenings. I got really upset. One evening, without telling anyone, I stole the key and the car and went out on my own. At home, when my dad could nt find me, he thought I have eloped with someone and sighed with relief that he did nt have to spend his entire life savings on another daughters wedding. But when he realized that the car was also gone, that’s when he panicked. He sent 4 people on my search and he stayed home and called the police about a stolen car. Unaware, I drove 10 kms to my college, picked up my friend from the hostel, continued the road trip with her for another 5 kms, took an U turn, dropped her and was coming back home with a BIG grin in my face when the car comes to an abrupt halt. I somehow manage to get to the side of the road and wondering what happened when 2 of the 4 men in search of me find me. They find out that the car is out of petrol and go to a gas station, buy petrol in a can and fill up the car. I drive home. My dad comes rushing out of the house and inspects the car! Takes the key from me and that was the last day I drove a car. It happened 6 years ago.

I don’t know what happened to that girl. It’s not like you can forget cycling. So how is that I forgot to drive? Steering is fine but the footwork is just horrible. I wanted to dig the BTM side roads a little deeper and bury myself. I slammed on the brakes so often that after an hour I had not moved a foot. I was honked at signals so much that the noise pollution level increased a record level yesterday. I have been a passenger seat driver for almost 20 years now. So suddenly being in the driver seat did nt feel so good. I can criticize movies nicely but that does nt mean I can direct a movie, right? Anyway, the second class today was nt so bad. I hope the instructor thought the same too! But just incase you are talking a walk in the wee hours of the morning in BTM, watch out for me!

ps. the DUI on the title is Driving Under an Instructor!

March 03, 2006

More than one reason to have a baby


Me: Amma wants to buy some gold bangles from Dubai through Aunty. She wants some money.
Dad: She promised me she would never buy gold jewellery again. What happened to that?
Me: They are not for her. She wants to buy them for me.
Dad: Why do you want gold bangles again?
Me: Actually Appa, they are not exactly for me. They are for Ashu.
Dad: How much does she want?

Now does this answer all the questions on why to have children?

March 01, 2006

Blank Noise Project.


I just came to know about the Blank Noise Project and their Blog-a-thon on the issue of street harassment. My whole teenage life would be a fitting entry for the same. I am planning to send the previous post. If you are interested too, send an email to blurtblanknoise@gmail.com. The last date for the entries is March 6th.

Kudos to the Blank Noise team for doing a commendable job. I had shivers while reading some of the posts in that blog as I had very similar experiences too. Hope I could do more than just write about it.

A page from my teenage...


I was asked which college I was in by people when I was 13 years old and studying in 8th standard at school. I hated it. I hated that I had breasts. I hated that the school belt I had to wear had to be set in the maximum for me to wear it. If not for Kavitha and Ratnamala, I would have been the fattest in my class. I was good at dancing and sports, so that was a relief. But in a small town, a girl going by bicycle to school which was 4 kms away was like asking for trouble. I asked for my share too. I had to cross a rickshaw stand amidst vulgar comments passed by the rickshaw wallas who dropped me at school when I was younger. I had to pass a cinema hall. The housing unit where sometimes my classmates joined me when I did nt have to go early for my Hindi class. Lots of puncture shops where I stood sometimes and waited for the guy to fix my cycle tyre amidst stares. A roundabout where I had to get down from the cycle, cross and then ride again as per my fathers instructions. Then at last the safety of my school compound. Safe only from the men, that is. Girls can be very cruel in their own way. I was always caught between two groups and used as a spy by both the groups. I never had the same best friend in the 3 years I studied in that school. I made it up later in high school and college. If not, I would have died of shame. Thanks Vee and Pam. Even then, my whole family says that my sis has such nice friends and poor Boo, who has nobody. The scoundrels!

So one day, a boy probably a year or two older than me, who I knew lived in my street, followed me in his cycle. He tried to talk to me but I always speeded up when he came near and almost peed in my pants in the process. This kept happening for a week and then I gathered courage and told my sis. She was quite surprised and asked at what time he followed me. I told her that it was mostly in the mornings and sometimes in the evenings. Then she confessed that the same guy has been following her mostly in the evenings. (She went to a different school.) Never the one to let me have my own limelight. We had to share even the stalking! This went for a few more days and I got paranoid and did nt go to school faking stomachaches. I am not sure what I was so scared about. Probably, girls-only-schools do this to you but I was terrified. So one rotten day, I blurted out to my dad. I regret it till this day. I plead temporary insanity. I was young. I did nt know what to do. My father was my hero. I did nt know being my hero, he has to be a villain to some poor, harmless guy. (I know that only now.) He and his friend beat the shit out of him and got a letter signed by him saying that he will never ever go near any girl ever again. I was guilt ridden for months after that episode and blamed my sister for everything and for not having warned me on what to expect. The worst thing is that I came across the poor guy a lot of times after that and felt really bad for him. If I had any filmy bone in my body, I would have even ended up loving him and ran away with him. But probably God was with him on this one and he escaped unscathed this time.

Few years after that, we had gone to Kodaikanal as a big group and as fate would have it, we had another cycle episode yet again. My sister and I were cycling around the lake and our dad and his friends were coming behind us at a distance. A boy without having done his homework on stalking started following my sis and me and asked our names. That’s all he did. Poor fellow, he did nt know what hit him next. My dad and the other goons pounced upon him. My sis and I did nt stay there to see what happened. But there was no confession letter this time, so it should nt ve been very bad. The goons shared their war stories and my sis and I went guilt ridden yet again. After we went to college, my sis and I warned our respective guy pals about their fate if they were to call/visit/write to us. Of course they all thought that we were exaggerating.


The Man fakes selective amnesia and with the father-of-all-denials that he has, it’s hard to talk to him. But last year I told HD these stories. On one occasion, the topic came up when my dad was present and HD asked my dad, "Was nt it wrong what you did to the poor boy in Kodaikanal?" My dad feigned ignorance. Then HD said something I am really, really proud of. He said, "Appa, I am the young boy whom you hit and I hunted down your family to marry your daughter for revenge". The expression on my dads face was absolutely priceless.