Monthly Archives: June 2009

the 55-er goes to heaven


Vichithra gupta is keying in the records:

Name: Lalitha
Age: 51
Reasons for arrival:

~ medical reason: brain haemorrhage
~ what the neighbours think: shock. son became an accountant not
rock star.
~ real reason: the 4566th instance of an ‘i told you so’ by mil
(moral: 4565 is the number of “I-told-you-so’s ” that a woman can take)


the right to a friend


ponamma in chennai is widowed. she’s a housemaid at three homes. one of her employer’s can’t communicate without yelling. ponamma’s daughter is pregnant. and the dirty vessels at house number two wring out her hand.

but ponamma has lalitha. her friend across the fence. as lalitha washes an inskirt, and ponamma scrubs out the blackened pressure cooker, they share a laugh. lalitha mimics employer number 2, and ponamma covers her mouth with a vim-bar hand to stop herself from lol-ing.

Taki is Indonesian. she is a live-in maid, for a Malaysian family in Kuala Lumpur.
She stays indoors every single day of her annual contract. She minds the kids, changes the sheets, squeaky-cleans the mirrors, and pestle-pounds cinnamon for a masala chai. She doesnt share a common language with her employer. She’s allowed to watch TV, but not allowed a conversation with a friend.

It’s just over one year since I’ve lived here in Malaysia. i’ve watched from my sixthfloor window, snippets from the life of a maid in malaysia. and i really think the right to a friend is a basic right.

four awesome reasons…


when mgm tagged me for this one, I had tag-block,blog-block and the *splutter, splutter, develop high bp* feeling.

And still, i persevered to present to you one-half of the ossum-possum tag

I am an awesome-person because…

~ of my ‘love for total chaos’: take this room: there is only disorder, disarray and a third-world epidemic behind that laundry basket. and still i can function. feel. flourish.

~ of ‘my cheerleaders’. i keep finding ’em. and they love me back. every time i’m scratching my head and going d-uh, i soon find that i’m best-friends with the expert– breastfeeding advice, child-rearing, vada-making, planting a seed…

~ of “the in-laws on my side”: . I can stay in the same small room with 3 sisters-in-law, 1 b-in-law, and their 2+2+2+1 offspring. ( Once, I let them babysit while I updated this blog 🙂
btw, The parents in-law too are on my side. I only have to shout down my mum.

“that I tried to learn to cook”: when i started i was the opposite of a foodie. i hated sambar because it was brown. dal was so dull. and if the pachadi touched the rice, i went eyuuuuuuuuuu.
and my lentil dyslexia wasn’t helping either.
and now look at the gastronomical leap in tam-cooking i’ve made.
I’ve made batter for a 100 idlis. cooked for a table of 16. and can make rasam with my little finger having both eyes shut.

Now, I tag my fav. awesome mum Nitya,
awesomely-practical Starry-Eyed,
awesomely chamathu Sole,
awesomely on hartal Stray Gray,
awesomely cheery Abha and
and awesomely recently-aerodynamic Sur
awesomely awesomelu chox
awesome Pinang’s awesome little girl chumi

the gatotgacha-laugh tag


dedicated to bhu. my friend (and personal cheerleader) who interviewed hundreds and hundreds of pre-schoolers during
her PhD…)

I interviewed just one puffed-up firstborn holding up the sanjeevani
mountain. And i’m looking already round if someone’s going to give me an award or something. How’d you do this over and over, bhu?

1. What is something I say to you?
FB: “FIRSTBORN! clean up.” (heh! heh! at least someone thinks i am a cleanaholic)

2. What makes me happy?When I’m happy, you are happy

3. How do I make you laugh?
when you laugh like ghatotgacha (excusez moi? i have this gentle tinkle of a smile..)

4. What do you think I was like when I was a child?

5. How old am I?
16 years old (OK. OK. MAYBE just a few more questions)

6.How tall am I?
a little tall

7.What is my favorite thing to do?make chappati. and a lot of food. and solids for baby param (god! just how often have i been going on about “starting solids”)

8.What am I really good at?reading books (awwwwwwwww!*he gets a gatotgacha-like hug* )

What is my job?
to get me ready for school. keep my tiffin box,water bottle. amma, is that my job? (yes! starting Monday!)

10. What is my favorite food?rasam rice (nopey. its payasam)

11. How are we both the same?our faces are the same

12. how are we both different
you are wearing a bindi and i am not. *picks up a bindi from the drawer* now we are the same, amma.

(this is an edited version of the tag– for all the questions head to kodi’s and boo’s)

and all ye mamas, go ahead and do this one…. and i do NOT laugh like gatotgacha