Monthly Archives: March 2009

even before i start…


blame1… being a cleanaholic, i’d like to er.. neatly (ouchie, am killing myself with my puns)

anyways, I’d like to apportion some blame wherever its due…

now if i could only sublimate this graph-making energy into lifting a surunai (tamil for dusting cloth)


three months later


wj asked me about how the sugar-free is going.
three whole months later

    key learnings

1. it worked for a month
2. the India trip sent me on a binge.
3. grandmas are not on your side.
4. ‘one tiny mysore pak won’t make a difference’ are the most deceptive words strung together in a sentence… because there is no such thing as eating only ONE mysore pak
5. beware of nino’s mum.
6. but… i have sort of touched a plateau ..sugar intake HAS reduced
7. am down to heaping up the raw sugar servings only twice a day
8. haven’t made payasam in a while
9. decided not to hype up such resolutions in the blog

oh er … might as well announce to you that am going to be a clean-aholic for the next trimester.

the siren and the pigeon


if i they weren’t already firstborn and baby param on this blog…
i should really call them siren and pigeon

Firstborn ALWAYS sounds like he is an : ‘ambulance in a hurry’/ ‘fire engine speeding to save cat’/ and a long line of police cars tearing down the street while holding up traffic for the VIP’
… sometimes all 3 together.

… also factor in Baby Param consistently contributing to the din. This Baby Param is so STUCK on me that we are like siamese twins. And he’s always making these pigeon-like noises, only more angry and impatient.

Remember our neighbour who gave me rhose spongy vadas?
If the kids get any louder…
I think she’s just going to deepfreeze those vadas, and aim everyone last of ’em at the back of my head.

i scored .5 on 3


Parenthood is like that – it hurtles past and suddenly they’re off, and you forgot to teach them how to deal with life: pay a bill, unblock a sink, fill in a tax return

…Valerie Grove in an article on being a reluctant granny

i can pay a bill (and forget to collect the change) and gingerly, very gingerly unblock a sink…

what’s your score?

Post Script to the Pregnancy Tag


grandma is back home in chennai, and i am here in KL. i did the tag based on the stories she’s told me, while i grew up…

(i seem to have missed the time number one nearly drowned,
and number two got lost in a temple mela and number three finished her lunch faster than all her brothers
and number four always whistled at the door, mindful of his napping dad
and number five taught his mum to sing “mehbooba, mehbooba”…)

she’s not the tagging sort. she would be embarrassed, really.

her life story is staggeringly brave. She lived in a time when money was short, rituals were endless, and the kids’ loved deep-fried crunchy snacks (home-made of course)…

I would loved to have made a more vivid, more descriptive tag… but grandma is a planner: always talking more of the future than the past.

that’s all i gleaned in these 30 years.

thanks all 🙂

pregnancy tag


1. Were the pregnancies planned?
5th: No
2. Was I married at the time?
1st: Yes

3. Reactions?

1st: Happiness
2nd: Ditto
5th: omigosh

4. Abortion an option?
1st: No way in hell
5th: nope

5. My age then?1st: 20
2nd: 22
3rd: 24
4th: 27
5th: 30

6. How did I find out?1st:Missed a period
2nd: Missed a period for three months
3rd: Ho hum. missed a period
4th: Ditto.
5th: Ditto

7. Who did I tell first?1st: mother-in-law
2nd: mother-in-law
3rd: mother
4th: mother
5th: husband

8. Due dates?I know all tamil stars – avittam, sadayam, hastam, krittika, mrigasheersham, / don’t know their dates.

9. Morning sickness?
1st: It wasn’t allowed. I had to pull water from the well, cook on the fire, clean and do a hundred other chores.
2nd:Do all the above plus one child in tow.
3rd:Do all the above plus two kids in tow. Kid number two hadsmall pox, btw,
4th:Do all the above plus three kids in tow. Kids 2 and 3 had small pox.
5th:Do all the above. Have two permanent house guests as well.

11. What/who irritated me?When they grew older… I didn’t whack any one of them… everytime two kids came fighting, i whacked both.

12. And the children are..
the reason i live.

13. Did I wish they were boys?And they are. Number 3 is the girl.

14. How many pounds did I gain?Enough to lose it all soon enough.

15. Baby shower?

17. Complications?
1st:Travelling in the bullock cart back home while being heavily pregnant off to my village was tiring.
2nd:I had to make 24 bakshanams for Krishna Jayanthi. And I wanted to finish the 100 laddoo target up before i gave birth that night.
3rd:Didn’t feel a thing
4th:What pain?
5th: Baby’s here before I knew it.

18. Where did I give birth?1st: At mom’s home in a small village in Tamil Nadu
2nd: Ditto
3rd: Hospital
4th: Hospital
5th: Hospital

19. How many hours in labour?
1st: 20 something
2nd: long
3rd: fast
4th: faster
5th: fastest

21. Who watched me give birth?1st: the witch-doctor mid-wife lady.
2nd: the witch-doctor lady.
3rd: the hospital lady nurses
4th:the hospital lady nurses
5th : the hospital lady nurses

22. Natural or c-sec?
All Natural

23. Pain medication taken?Grit teeth and say Krishna rama Govinda

24. Weight of the babies?all chubby ones, waiting to be breastfed for upto three years.

26. What did we name them?we chose names from the god and goddesses in the Hindu elastic pantheon

27. How old are they?1st: Died five years ago before he turned 60. my greatest sorrow.

I have lost a son, a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law.

2nd 62
3. 60
4th 58
5th: 56

29. What was my reaction after seeing them first time?
1st : was the most handsome of my babies. I close my eyes and see his smile, feel his leadership and marvel his genius. The first graduate in our family. My engineer.

2nd: The quietest of the lot. The one who studied till 3 a.m. He’s the one with hidden charisma. The one that we never felt he had. The one who became a doctor.

3rd: The girl, who i thought would be peaceful, homebody and helpful. Turned out to be the one who rushed out to play even before we could open the door. The volatile one who loved her brothers so much that her heart would burst.

4th. The one who went on to shake hands with IBM’s Lou Gershner. The one who helped me grind my idli batter. The one who carried my veggie basket back home.
The one who bathed and changed me when I was paralysed for a while. The one who cuts my toe-nails whenever he’s in town. My scientist.

5th: My other engineer. The one who made Sardar jokes and ate 20 idlis in a sitting. The one who’s now even more religious than me. The one who lost his wife to cancer and is bravely bringing up two boys alone.

30. Did you cry?
1st Yes.
3rd: No
5th. No.

this is my grandma doing the tag.
inspired by asaaan to do the tag. and nitya how could i refuse you?

one of those days


when i am sure i’ll see a real live train chugging into the living room. and not be surprised. the rest of the house looks like a railway station anyways.

i hope food will reach baby param’s tummy via his bib. because most of the baby cereal is landing on his bib, cheek or hair

i look lovingly at firstborn’s uniform, and tell myself that after seventeen rides on baby param, fifty-five instances of non-sharing toys, four days of nap-refusal,… it’s going to be back-to-school-again !!!

i wonder how come my sister-in-law’s kids haven’t outgrown their nap: and they are 20 and 16 respectively; but my not-yet-four-year-old is threatening to.

Motherhood – served pressurecooked


the thing about motherhood is that it’s gloriously uniform. it has episodes, phases and milestones that are boringly universal.

take breastfeeding, and try to do that in your own ‘creative, imaginative, harvard scientist’ way?

how bout breastfeeding with your elbow/ankle or big toe. You’ll see that tried and tested and beaten paths are really what you must choose.

it chips away at your eccentricities; it doesn’t give you exclusivity – doesn’t allow you to practice your chosen metier with pre-motherhood mind, heart and soul anymore. Mind, taken. Heart, taken over and Soul, taken over completely.

It takes away your time. it tires you by not giving you three hours for a movie; two hours for a book or even one hour for a nap. it wears you out by the same ‘ol.

You are not completely grossed out discussing snot shapes (elephant or tiger). you cannot uni-task without trying to multi-task.

It’s as complicated as driving a car while sitting in the back-seat. You need to stretch yourself to the maximum. You can’t really get out of home without an accident. And surely, an extra pair of hands would help.

My crib/gripe/sore spot is that you can hardly concentrate on you, now.

But hey! it makes you a lot of blogging buddies! *big wave all*
and thanks nino’s mum for letting me pressure-cook.

how long is one week?


long enough for firstborn to squash baby param’s attempts of crawling. firstborn is sitting astride baby param, maharaja style.

long enough to cut into every single one of baby param’s naps with sudden and unnecessary banging.

time enough for firstborn to ‘assist’ in baby param’s bath, and be of no use at all, except to increase the splashing and decrease the bath-time

i think i need all the alcohol that the cough syrup is giving me to see me through the vacation.