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March 28, 2007

Update on Ashu at 23 months.

Here is the last update when shes still one. Sigh!

--> I can see glimpses of two already and it is very interesting. You never know when she ll say what!

--> She said "Welcome" when I thanked her today. So cutely and with a smile as if "I'm surprised myself that it came out of my mouth!"

--> She has to have
closure for everything. Its bye TV when the TV is switched off, bye diapers while changing diapers, bye Pooh after reading Pooh book, bye doll when she puts down one doll and picks up another.

--> She showers kisses on her dolls. But only if we are nt looking. She becomes very conscious if we are looking and says "bye doll" and throws it!

--> She says "Sorry" even if I bump into her accidentally.

--> She ll say "Come Amma" and take me somewhere. It ll be to flaunt her creativity - the green block above the red block or a tissue paper torn to 100 pieces or her doll under a book. The "Come Amma" will be said with a "You ll like what you see. Come with me" tone!

--> Absolutely no sentiments for her. Its "bye appa" when she needs amma and "bye amma" when she needs appa. "Bye doll1" if she needs doll2. "Bye book1" if she needs book2.

--> Shes easily scared and I startle her a lot.

--> Obsessive compulsive about so many things. If she passes a room, she ll close the draws, smooth the rug on the floor, keep the phone in the base, keep the magazine under the table,.... Every thing has to be in its place and I did nt teach her to do any of this.

--> At last she has her own room with kiddie furniture and kiddie stuff. I love it more than her.

--> She sits on her stroller without fuss when we go out and almost always dozes off within half an hour.

--> The other day we went to a friends place for dinner. They have a 3 year old and I noticed that Ashu was nt tempted to take any of her toys. When she went to touch her cycle, I told Ashu to ask permission first. She did nt but she did nt touch the cycle again either!

--> She saw Pinocchio's figurine in a friends place and said "Elephant!" Now if this is nt logic, then what is? (On her defense, the liar's nose was unusually long!)

--> She starts crying if she cant find me while playing hide and seek.

--> She does nt like it if we laugh at her and never repeats the word/action again. So we have to be really careful not to laugh. Such an ego!

--> She is so careful, so careful that its so annoying! She ll crawl under the table and then crawl out back so carefully making sure she does nt stand until shes well clear off the table and will keep at it until her butt hits the wall! She ll hold onto us for dear life while we carry her or make her stand at high places. She ll take one whole minute to climb down one step and if the steps are too deep, I have to hold her hand. Its a different thing that she ll get hurt in totally unexpected situations.

--> Only now she has started associating children with their names rather than the generic baby, boy or girl. And she remembers the names quite well.

--> She saw Thomas train in another friends place and liked it very much. Last week I asked Ashu what she wanted for her birthday and if she would like Thomas. I just asked it in passing and did nt even think she understood. Then Hd asked her couple of days back what she wanted for birthday and she says Train! We asked her what train? And she says Thomas! Now we don't have a choice, do we? :)

March 26, 2007

Time out.

A decade and a half back when my cousin was very little, his dad (my uncle) used to give him time outs. The typical "stand facing the wall and count 1 to 100" when the boy behaved badly. I really pitied the boy and thought that my uncle was heartless. My dad thought it was barbaric. He never gave us time outs when my sis and I were young and only hit us instead. On several occasions. Long story short, I started Ashu on time outs when she was around 20 months. One day, she threw a toy and I asked her not to but she still did. So I asked her to stand facing the wall.(Statue pannu!) She gladly obliged with a big smile and did nt move even after I asked her to move. All hell broke loose since this took place in my parents place. My dad did nt speak to me for days because of my barbaric act towards my child! (which ended with "You will see when you are a grandparent", blah, blah, blah,...) Once when I gave time out for Ashu in Bangalore, my mom went out to the balcony banging the door after her and started muttering "Who will give time out for you? I did nt have to see this day if I had given time outs to you when you were young. Why has God kept me alive to see all this suffering?". Loud enough for me to hear, of course! So basically I gave two time outs in 2 months. My mom and dad knew that I was just waiting to go to Zurich to start my tyranny and bid a teary farewell to Ashu, the child they were sure will never be the same again when she returned back to India. They might have even put some money and biscuits in a Ziploc bag with an escape plan and hid it in her pant pocket, but so far I have nt found any incriminating evidence. True to their word, I did start giving her time outs as soon as I landed in the airport because she would nt pick up the suitcase from the baggage carousel and keep it in the trolley!.What nerve!

In the past 2 months, I would have given Ashu around 5 or 6 time outs. Either for throwing stuff or kicking me in my stomach to wake me up in the morning. As soon as I put her in the corner, she ll stand facing the wall and would nt even try to move. Nor does she cry. She stands there because her mother has asked her to. No explanations needed. Needless to say, I'm almost in tears whenever I do that to her. She stands for 2 minutes and then I ask her to be a good girl and not to do such things, and say I love her and give her a hug. She hugs me back. Once she refused to clean up the blocks from the floor and said no when I asked her nicely. So a "time out" it was and after the 2 minutes were up, she picked up the blocks and put them in the bag. I was surprised that it worked. But the funny thing is Ashu seems to like time outs. Any attention is good attention for her, the making of a true celebrity! Even if I threaten her with a time out, she immediately walks towards a wall! I must be a terror.

So yesterday I hear raised voices from Ashus room and go to inspect. The Boo doll is sitting facing the wall and Ashus shouting "bad girl! statue! no!" while threatening it with a finger. Shes also doing some baby talk in a stern voice but I understand her totally. It has to be "Think about what you did, stay where you are, face the wall,..." since I know the drill very well. There has to be a lesson for me in all this but for the life of me I cant figure out what it is!

In the photo, the scene was recreated the next day as the light was nt good for taking photos on the day the crime was committed.

Dad if you are reading this, please do NOT, I repeat, do NOT take the baggage carousel part seriously. I was only kidding. Im seriously counting on you for the Liposuction surgery expenses. All our money goes for my therapy and the shrink says its because I had a bad childhood. ;)

March 24, 2007

Daylight Savings in Europe.

One of the many things in this world I can never understand - Daylight Savings! Save and do what? And why not do it with your lights on without changing the time? For Gods sake, its THE time! And people laugh when I say I want to change my age! Bah!

When Hd and I visited Italy, it was the beginning of spring and the time changed and we were clueless. When we went for Breakfast at 9 am, it was actually 10 am. The people took pity on us and gave biscuits to eat and we also missed our train from Venice to Rome. Thank God we were nt flying that day!

Couple of years back I invited two couples for lunch not knowing that the time changed that day. Couple A knew about the time change and came at 12 when it was actually 1. Couple B did nt know and came at 2 when it was actually 1. So how long do you think Couple A and us were drinking juice and water before Couple B came? 1 hour or two? See what I mean about the time change? Stupid!

The time change is in UK and Europe from tomorrow, 25th March 2007. The US have already sprung forward 2 weeks back. As always, they have to be different in every way!

March 23, 2007

"She's into superstitions. Black cats and voodoo dolls!"

Last week when I was walking back home with Ashu in the stroller, there was this ladder propped against the wall on a narrow path. Now the old Boo would nt have given it a second thought and would have walked right under it. But that day I contemplated for 2 seconds, reversed the stroller and walked around it. I am so NOT a superstitious person! I was only considering Ashus feelings if she happened to be one. :)

March 22, 2007

Belated Birthday update.

Last week Hd learnt that he might have to go to Prague for 2 weeks on work. While I ran to pack my bags, I heard a small voice calling me "Amma". Oh yeah, that's right! I cant go anywhere at the drop of a hat anymore! Then Hd explained to me that Czech republic requires a visa, that he ll be put up in a hotel and will be very busy and even might have to work on weekends and it might be tough for me to sit with Ashu in a hotel room for 2 weeks. I wanted to go. I did nt care what Ashu will do. That's her problem! Then I realized that he is right and I ll be moping around after we reach there. Ashu wont have proper food, she might get sick, she might be bored,... So I decided to stay and mope around in a familiar environment. Last week Hd went to Bern to apply for the visa and he took our passports too just in case. The lady in the embassy said she can accept my application too but I had to come in person to collect it. And today I had to go and collect all our passports while Hd stayed home with Ashu. So on my birthday, I got a day out. Yippee! I took a train to Bern and while sitting on the train listening to Tamil songs(Lajjavadhiye! nostalgic song!) in my ipod and reading a book(the curious incident of the dog in the night time. awesome read!), looking out of the window at the beautiful scenery, drinking freshly squeezed orange juice and Hd calling me every 15 mins and putting Ashu on the phone and hearing her voice through the phone, everything was so refreshing! I was in Bern in an hour. Took a tram to the embassy, collected the passports and was back on a train to Zurich in 30 mins. I wanted to do some shopping in Bern but you have the same shops in Zurich too and there were children everywhere in prams and it made me want to get back to Ashu as soon as possible! And I was worried that Hd might set fire to the flat if at all he entered the kitchen, that is! I was back in Zurich by noon and we decided to go out for lunch. So I went directly to the restaurant and Hd came there with Ashu. First time I was going to a restaurant in 6 weeks since I came here. Except for Mc Donald's that is! Stuffed myself with Mini masala dosas, garlic naan and paneer masala. Ashu sat in her high chair and was cutting a tiny piece of paneer into 100 pieces with the silver knife which weighed a tonne. When we finished eating and the waiter cleared our plates, Ashu started screaming and asked the "uncle" to give her plate back. (Uncle, plate, kaanum) Hd and I were rolling on the floor laughing because she had such a gutted expression on her face. When we left some coins to tip the waiter, she pocketed one coin and left. Sweet revenge!

Otherwise, it was just another day, my birthday that is. Flowers, cards, cake and ice cream from Hd. A cute card from Ashu and phone calls from family. No gifts this time. I bought myself a cute shirt last week and told Hd I don't need anything else and not to waste money buying me something I don't need. He listened and I'm happy he did. Hes looking for some serviced apartments in Prague and if it works out, I might go with him for 2 weeks. Now that would be a fantastic gift!

Ok, I wrote this post on my birthday and forgot to publish! Anyway, the Prague plan got cancelled. We are thinking of going during Easter holidays since we have the visa anyway.
But doubtful since I am really scared to travel with Ashu.

March 20, 2007

The difference between yesterday and today is...

... SNOW!

When Ashu saw outside the window today morning, she was all confused. She might have thought we had moved house overnight! Ahhh... I love snowy landscapes especially in March! Let it snow, let it snow,...

March 18, 2007

I ain't fat for no reason.

OK. Its time I say this aloud, modesty be damned! I am a good cook. While I am at it, I'm an awesome cook! I'm not bloody creative or I don't claim to know everything that's there in cooking, but whatever I do I'm good at it. And I LOVE cooking. OK now, this does nt sound unbelievable to you does it? DOES it? I did nt think so too! So why the hell is it hard for my friends to believe the same? Every time I talk to one of my college friends, they re surprised that Im married, a house wife, a stay at home mother, a cook, a home maker, etc... One of them is surprised that I had a natural labor and not a C section because she did nt think I had it in me to go through a natural labor. Another one laughed on the phone when I announced that I was pregnant as in "YOU are pregnant!" Almost all of them think that I am lying when I tell them what I cooked for a dinner party. Now, why would a woman pushing 30 lie about what she cooked for dinner to anyone other than her mother in law? Beats me!

The thing is I was a tom boy in school and college. And our family moved a lot because of my dads job. So except for a couple of friends, I have nt met anyone after I got married. And me living out of India does nt help either. So everyone has this image of this girl who was out going, who did nt know how to cook, who had a boy friend even though she was in a girls college, who fought with her dad, who read Mills & Boon, blah, blah, blah! And I was the first one to get married among friends. Go figure! And I get all this heat from girls who don't know what gestational diabetes is even though they had it, cant spell Schezwan, don't name their babies until the babies start speaking, live with their in-laws and tell me that they like their MIL more than their mother and schedule a C section after consulting an astrologer! God only knows why I even bother to stay in touch with them. Who needs enemies when I have friends like these?

Now for some proof of my culinary skills:

Tomato baskets stuffed with capsicum rice. I made this inspired by a friends recipe.

Banana muffins I baked yesterday.

I don't have more photos here. But take my word for it when I say I make a mean Pineapple Rasam. That's my speciality. My Rava upma/khichdi is something else altogether. I have brought respect to the word Upma among friends and family. I make awesome Pasta with home made sauce. I am good at chopping veggies. I am better than a food processor! I don't use any frozen veggies except green peas. No pre cut veggies either! No tinned fruits except pineapples. No canned veggies except sweet corn. I am very popular among friends for making Veg puffs, Enchilada, Layered Aloo tikki chole, Khulfi, Rasam, Sambar, Veg clear soup,... My idlis, dosas and adai are always good. Im known to make tasty raita and mor kozhambu(kadhi) even though I don't like them and don't eat them.

Now to discard the evil eye, here are the things I am no good at.

I can never make a perfectly round chapathi/roti even if my life depended on it.

I am very scared to deep fry in oil. So I very rarely make pooris, bhajjis and pakodas much to the disappointment of Hd.

Except for Gulab jamoon, ghajar halwa, Rava kesari and Kheer, I have never tried making any other sweet. Oh, I made Basundi once. And I tried making Rasmalai. Gave up half way through. Don't ask!

Even though I make passable muffins and breads, I still have nt perfected the art of cake making.

I am NEVER consistent. No one can taste a dish and say for certain that I had cooked it. I still have nt got that "my" flavour!

I can never follow a recipe to the T. I have to give it my touch. At times, it does nt work!

Bottom line - Judge my cooking by my looks! Like I said, I ain't fat for no reason! ;)

March 15, 2007

March 13, 2007

28, 29,... Does it matter anymore?

I tagged myself after reading this post by MM. What better time to write about my mother than today? Here's to you, Mom!

Thank you so much for giving birth to me. I know I have asked you a million times why you brought me into this world. But it was always the WHY I wanted an answer for not the YOU. I am glad that you are my mother.

Thank you for letting me be. You never asked me where I was going, what I was doing, whether I finished my home work, how much I got in my midterms, how much was my college fee, ... Instead you told me you trusted me, you told friends and family that I am very responsible, I study well, I work hard and always appreciated me. You don't know how much it meant to me then.

Thank you for celebrating your daughters. I don't remember anyone in our family or friends who absolutely celebrate their daughters like you do. Especially in those times when having 2 girls and no sons made people look at your family with pity. Look who's laughing now!

Thank you for leading by example. You never lie, you never laze, you are generous, brave, strong, selfless and always bursting with energy. I'm not there yet but I'm getting there!

Thank you for always being positive. At times you completely annoy me with your overdose of positivity. Like this one time I dropped a pickle jar on the floor and called you and complained that I had to clean up the entire kitchen and you said "Look at the bright side, you have a clean floor". Nevertheless, your optimism is infectious.

Thank you for disciplining me in so many ways. Remember the time when I was 13 and brought five of my friends home? You gave us Rasna to drink and then we left to play outside. After I came back home, you showed me the clean glasses by the sink and told me that I did nt even bother to put the Rasna glasses in the sink while you took pain to make the drink for my friends. I was so ashamed of myself for having treated you like a maid in front of my friends. That's why I stop with cooking when HDs friends come home for dinner. He does all the dishes. What would I have done without you? That's a good lesson you taught me there, mom!

Thank you for being a wonderful mother-in-law. I ll stop with that because I don't like that word very much especially when I have got a raw deal!

And last but not the least, thanks a million for being this amazing grand mother. Boy, are nt you great? You are everything a girl wants in her grandma and more. Ashu is one lucky girl!

Happy birthday to me! Phew! I managed to complete the post without complaining about my age. Now for giving this post a title... Damn!

The first photo is my mom with me when I was about a year old. The second is with Ashu.

March 12, 2007

His and His!

A couple of days ago, I was rearranging the closet and found loads and loads of cosmetics. Mens shampoo, moisturiser, hand cream, conditioner, body wash, body spray, face wash,... Everything was 2 or 3 pack. These are the stuff Hd has bought in the past 4 months as RESERVE stock! Apart from this, currently he has sixteen items of toiletries in the bathroom cabinet, three in the shower and also uses my hand cream. I really wish for those good old days when we were both using the same Dove bar. What was I thinking when I introduced him to the world of Mens cosmetics? Stay away from that baby cream you, you, you ... metro sexual maniac!
When I confronted Hd in the evening with this treasure I found, he did nt even remember buying most of them. And he took out the 3for2 pack moisturiser out of his shopping bag. At least we won't die of dry skin!

March 10, 2007

Get well soon, Baby S.

Funny comes easy to me. Even when Im sick or down, I can joke about it. But I dont know what to say when my friends are unhappy. I usually tell them that Im there for them, my prayers are with them and then I shut up. I cant give a long speech like my sister does and make them feel better with my words. I cant figure out what to do for them or how to make them feel better. I willingly help if they ask but I cant pester them to take my help. And today I felt the most helpless ever in my life. I spoke with my friend who also lives in Swiss. She gave birth to her second baby 5 days back. A girl after a boy. Just like she wanted. But alls not well. The baby has a heart defect. The Doctors had diagnosed that the baby has some heart problems even when she was pregnant. But now it has become certain. The baby was 3 weeks early so her family is not here yet. Her older son is staying with friends. Its tough on the family to say the least. She lives in another city, so Im not of any help. The baby has trouble breathing. She has shortness of breath during feedings and gets tired very soon. So the Doctors dont want her to try too hard. But the baby has to gain weight and become healthy to withstand the surgery which will be in a month from now. Its a vicious cycle. For now, my friend is pumping and the breast milk is fed to the baby through her nose with a feeding tube. I had tears in my eyes when I heard that. The baby is in the NICU. My friend is getting discharged tomorrow. Thats right, shes going home tomorrow without the baby. And it might even take weeks for the baby to come home. I imagined myself in her place, leaving 5 days old baby girl in a cold hospital, all alone, amidst strangers and going home. I could nt. What a cruel world we live in. My friend is taking all this very positively and at least on the phone she sounded okay. I pray God to give the family all the strength they need and a very quick recovery for the baby girl. Please keep Baby S on your prayers too. It will mean a lot to the family.

Update on apr 16th.

She has been moved to the Children's Hospital in Zurich. So I got a chance to meet my friend, P. The baby was in the ICU so I did nt get to see her. Which was good as I don't think I could have handled it well. P started crying as soon as she saw me and I could nt take it. We were sitting and talking for a couple of hours about this and that and catching up as we were seeing each other after an year. Her husband and her son were at home.(in another city an hour away by train) This happened a month back. Now shes commuting between Zurich and home everyday. The baby is still in the ICU. A surgery was performed last week and they are waiting to see if theres any improvement. The doctors told her that its a very slow process. She still needs our prayers.

March 09, 2007

For The Mad Momma.

An online baby shower for MM.

Now I cant be left behind, can I? Why stop with a picture? Heres some pregnancy humor for you MM to distract you for a while. Keep smiling and heres wishing you a smooth labor and even smoother breast feeding, diaper changing, cleaning, feeding, bathing, dressing, sleeping,... OK I ll stop here! ;)

Q. How will I know if my vomiting is morning sickness or the flu?
A. If it's the flu, you'll get better.

Q. Since I became pregnant, My breasts, rear end, and even my feet have grown. Is there anything that gets smaller during pregnancy?
A. Yes, your bladder.

Q. My husband and I are very attractive. I'm sure our baby will be beautiful enough for commercials. Whom should I contact about this?
A. Your therapist.

Q. The more pregnant I get, the more often strangers smile at me. Why?
A. Because you're fatter then they are.

Q. Will I love my dog less when the baby is born?
A. No, but your husband might get on your nerves.

Q. What's the difference between a nine-months pregnant woman and a Playboy centerfold?
A. Nothing, if the pregnant woman's husband knows what's good for him.

Q. My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A. Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q. When is the best time to get an epidural?
A. Right after you find out your pregnant.

Q. I'm modest. Once I'm in the hospital to deliver, who will see me in that delicate position?
A. Authorized personnel only---doctors, nurses, oderlies, photographers, florists, cleaning crews, journalists, etc.

Q. Does labor cause hemorrhoids?
A. Labor causes anything you want to blame it for.

Q. Where is the best place to store breast milk?
A. In your breasts.

Q. Is there a safe alternative to breast pumps?
A. Yes, baby lips.

Q. How does one sanitize nipples?
A. Bathe daily and wear a clean bra. It beats boiling them in a saucepan.

Q. What are the terrible twos?
A. Your breasts after baby stops nursing cold turkey.

Q. What is the grasp reflex?
A. The reaction of new father's when he sees new mother's breasts.

Q. Can a mother get pregnant while nursing?
A. Yes, but it's much easier if she removes the baby from her breast and puts him to sleep first.

Q. What happens to disposable diapers after they're thrown away?
A. They are stored in a silo in the Midwest, in the event of global chemical warfare.

Q. What is colic?
A. A reminder for new parents to use birth control.

Q. My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A. So what's your question?

Q. How long is the average woman in labor?
A. Whatever she says, divided by two.

Q. Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A. Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.

Q. Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A. When the kids are in college.

Q: Under what circumstances can sex at the end of pregnancy bring on labor?
A: When the sex is between your husband and another woman.

Q. Do I have to have a baby shower?
A. Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.

March 08, 2007

Food guide.

The other day I gave Ashu some mashed potato and she says after one spoon, "Don't like it". (Pidikalai.) I was like huh! I asked her "What did you say?" and she clearly repeats again "Pidikalai". I was speechless for a minute. All of 22 months old and picky as hell.

She likes apple juice but not orange juice.

She likes salty biscuits but not sweet cookies.

We went to Mc Donalds the other day and this was the first trip for Ashu. She refused to eat the Fries. I told her its like papad and gave her one. She took one bite and said Enough. She did nt touch it the next time we went too after 3 weeks.

I have not given her a chocolate yet. So she does nt know even the word Chocolate. When we went to the paediatrician here for the first time, he had a big bowl of chocolates and asked Ashu to take some. She took one not knowing what it was and gave it to me. The doctor thought she was giving it to me to open it for her and opened one himself and gave it to her. I said I don't give her chocolates but the Dr said that it was white chocolate and its OK and gave it to her. She put it in her mouth and was surprised that something can taste this good. The next time we went, I pocketed the chocolate but Ashu understood what was going on and demanded I give the "chocky" to her. Damn the Doctor!

I bought her a lollipop for the first time a few days back. She liked to hold it and occasionally gave it a lick. But gave it back to me after a while.

She eats apples only if they are crunchy not soft but can eat bananas any time.

She has been drinking water and juice out of a straw for the past 4 months. The other day when we had gone out I bought those small milk cartons for her to drink. She thought it was juice so after one sip she refused to drink. And this is a child who lives for milk. So I transferred the milk from the carton to the sippy cup and her whole face lightened up when she saw it and started gulping down the milk from the sippy cup.

Note to self: Throw the cup out of the balcony. NOW.

I giver her corn flakes with milk and banana for breakfast everyday. Ran out of bananas one day so gave her just the cereal. One spoon and she asks me No banana?

She eats her breakfast cereal and curd rice dinner willingly. But feeding her lunch is a little tricky. So I have left the job to the cartoon shows on TV. She eats rice and dal with mashed carrots/spinach/beans/peas/any vegetable with a little tomato rasam and a cup of yogurt for lunch. Everything has to be mashed up nicely and should look like super glue! The speed at which she finishes lunch depends on how interesting the Noddy TV show is on that particular day. The more balloons and bouncy balls we see, the faster we eat!

I have never added sugar in her milk or cereal. She likes them plain or rather she has got used to it. The downside is that she does not want to eat anything too sweet like Kheer or Sweet pongal. And she wants plain toast without jam!

She loves yogurt but does nt want to eat Quark.

I cant figure out this human!

While I was writing this post, Ashu learnt to say a new thing. Today I was feeding her yogurt and she said she wanted "more" after her first cup. Thats a first! :) I have taught her to say Enough instead of No when it comes to food. So little Missy says enough even before the first spoon! And she likes to say it ALL the time. Even after she finishes eating she says Enough as if it was her idea to stop! ;) So hearing "Innum venum" (I want more) was music to my ears! Your wish is my command, sweet heart! Just dont push your luck too far.

March 07, 2007

"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer."

I have not been quiet all the time. I tried not to be a victim all the time. After being harassed a dozen times, you learn. You grow up from a child to an adult pretty fast. It jolts you awake from the sweet innocence of childhood to become a confused adult. I think I learnt to read the signs and be more weary only when I was around 17 and entered college. Every time I caught a bus to go to college, I looked at faces, judged them and hugged my backpack close to my chest. This one time, I was surrounded by men and this one guy kept staring at me. I stared at his hands all the time. As soon as he brought his hand close to me, I shifted and looked straight into his eyes and said in Tamil, "Don't even think about it! You wont know what hit you!" I could see fear and shame in his face and he got down at the next stop. For once, I felt powerful. But of course, for every situation like this one, there were dozens more where I was the victim with fear and shame in my face and tears in my eyes. But I grew stronger. I started looking out for young girls and tried to protect them as much as I could. I swore at the perverts, complained to the bus conductor, called them names but I have nt hit them. I regret it now. I should have slapped at least one of those perverts. It would have made me a little more happier person today and respect myself more.

Today when my 22 months old daughter told me shes afraid to walk on the dark corridor, all I could think about was how was she going to survive the bad, bad world out there if shes afraid to walk in the dark in our own home. I asked her to be brave, held her hand and walked with her. I told her to be strong like me, her mother. I knew I have to be an action hero so that she can be one too. I don't think I was a hero before but I am one now. Like the title quote* of this post, being a mother is my 5 minutes.

Thanks to the
Blank Noise Project for reminding me to stop being a victim.

*Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

March 05, 2007

Blank Noise invites you to participate in an online event-" BLANK NOISE ACTION HEROES"

Remember the Blog-a-thon by the Blank Noise Project last year? This was my contribution. Its that time of the year again. I am copying Blank Noise's mail here. Please spread the news and do a post on or before 8th of March.

On March 8 last year (Women's Day), we had a blog-a-thon of stories of street sexual harassment. The blog-a-thon was picked up by bloggers across India, and all over the world. We shared stories we had never shared before, stories we thought we had long forgotten, stories that we had often wanted to bury. We read each other, we linked to each other and we linked back to the Blank Noise Project blog. We were touched by each other's stories, and drew strength and sustenance from the the long, cross-cultural chain of shared experiences.

This year for Women's Day we're asking you to share experiences of times when you were an ACTION HERO and fought back against harassment. Blog about your experience, and let us know so we can link to you on our blog.

When did you flip a situation so you could resist, when did you give back as hard as you got? How did you choose to confront the situation? When did you become an Action Hero?

We hope that this response helps us understand the different strategies women (across age groups, cultures, and countries) have instinctively created to deal with street sexual harassment.(If you're a male blogger, ask your female friends and relatives about their experiences.)

Here's how to participate:
1. blog your story (as soon as possible, and definitely before March 8!)
2. email the link to your blog post to with a subject titled "Action Heroes Online"
3. we will link to you right away! And don't forget your non-blogging friends and family members -- we'd love to hear stories from your mothers, aunties and grandmothers!

If you're not a blogger, please feel free to email the action testimonials instead. We will upload them on a new blog site. (
Questions? Email us at Look forward to hearing from you.
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