Thursday, February 26, 2015

Boo-shelf !

For as long as I remember, I have always loved books. I have always wanted more of them. And when I grew up a little, I wanted to own a library. Slowly the dream shrunk to an affordable and manageable book shelf. School and college kept us busy through the years, but the passion for reading and penchant for books never dimmed.

Once I got married, I knew that it was finally possible for me to turn my dream into a reality. When the husband and I shifted to our own place, we started our book collection from scratch. Our collection uptil now lay safely in our homes as we didn't have a safer option right away. And later, we kept it that way. But over time, we kept reading and kept buying. But my ideal bookshelf was always at the back of my mind. And until then, we kept storing our books on our bedside tables. And later on, in shoe boxes and cartons.

We kept scouring furniture markets and online shops for our first ever book shelf. Of course, it had to be special. Finally, this year, we were able to zero in on a very old-school looking wooden bookshelf. It was something we both liked at the first go. And so it was bought.

I was so excited, I wanted to have a ribbon cutting ceremony for it. Lol. Well that never happened, but I did place little S's books first in the bookshelf and prayed to God she would read as much :)

I think I had the best time opening the dusty cartons, cleaning my books and placing them in the shelf. I also randomly opened my favorite books and read random pages from them. Such fun!

This is a picture of it. It occupies a place of pride in our hearts as well as our living room :)

PS: IF you read my last post, you would know that the title is not a spelling mistake :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Little Miss S!

I hate it when I realize I haven’t written about the little missy in a long time. I still remember the time I feared pregnancy like it was ebola or something. And now I have a daughter who is 14 months old. Phew! Mr. Time! You gotta stop running like Ussain Bolt.

I hate it that when she grows up, I will not have as many stories of hers to cherish because I didn’t write them down. That’s lame, right? A mother got to do what she got to do. The little missy is growing up fasshhtt. Thank you God! She is such a pretty child (touchwood!) and so so naughty. 

She loves to shout. Wow, right? Such a great thing for a hobby. She can easily compete with your latest fighter jets and what not.

She loves to sing. This is not a surprise as her mommy is a bathroom singer and daddy, an amateur singer. The funny part is she loves to sing even though she still babbles in her own language. But it’s a lot of fun to watch her sing. I think she has picked this up from the TV. She puckers up her face in deep concentration and then moves head from left to right as if she is doing a raag alaap.And do you know what her favorite song is? Humsafar! Yo, mommy’s favorite is her favorite as well! Until we grow up and rebel !

Like all toddlers, she can shake a mean bum to Yo Honey Singh! I can only hope her choice gets better as she grows up. Right now, she loves “Baby Doll” and “Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan”. She actually tries to copy the dance steps from TV. Imagine! 14 month old, so what!

She loves the kitchen as she can find her shastras there. Eveery evening, as I prepare her food, she walks in , opens the drawer, fishes out 2 chamchas (ladels) and starts to beat the mommy. Yo domestic violence!
When denied the authority of the said shastra, she proceeds to bite the gas pipe in retaliation. Badle ki aag, you see! I think she has inherited the filmy quotient from her melodramatic mother :P

She has recently started to say “chai” (tea). She goes to the kitchen drawer, retrieves the seiver, bites it and says chai! I think I’ll be forced to switch to coffee soon! She also calles “aaloo” (potato) as “laloo” and then smiles. I think she does it on purpose. Political satirist in the making? ;-)

She loves to listen to her rhymes. Any number of them, any number of times a day! No wonder on most days, I am humming Twinkle Twinkle and Humpty Dumpty under my breath. #NotGood

She calls us mumma and papa in the sweetest tone possible. She goes all soft and cutesy, cocks her head to a side, and says Mumma/Papa and gives a deep dimpled smile. I think I thank God countless times each day for this Heaven!

But the best of all is her love for books. As soon as I had gotten pregnant, I had worried about if my child would share my penchant for books. And I am so glad, she does. Her eyes instantly perk up at the sight of a new book. Her tireless feet halt only at the sight of a book. Although it is another matter that she finishes her book in under a minute. She stops at a page, sees the picture, copies whatever the animal/human in her book is doing, and turns the page. So one day, as I walked past her, sitting on the bed and reading, she looked up and put her finger on the mouth and said to me “chup”.She was aping the monkey from her "Boo" (that's what she calls her books)

May we always have more "Boo"s to read and our "Boo" shelf be overflowing! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Going forth, Happy Fourth!

Every year our wedding anniversary evokes different emotions in me. Which is weird? Or may be it is natural. In 2011, the year we got married, this date was waited for with a lot of excitement and anxiety. An year later, we couldn't believe we had spent a whole year together already, as man and wife. There were hardly any change in our relationship. And for what it's worth, it had only become better with the staying together part. By the second anniversary, things were more or less the same. We were working, and travelling.and pretty much living a life we had dreamt of, together.

But in the last 2 years, where we have carried and birthed a child and now parents to a 14 month old, we have changed. All our decisions are now centered around the precious little miss. I am no longer the one who is pampered silly by the husband. He is no longer the only one who makes my heart skip a beat.
We have started addressing each other as Mumma and Papa :-) But this is only the cute part of the change.

We have also become a little less patient with each other. We have become so much more opinionated. Our screaming matches have become more passionate. At heart, we are still the same people who want to live and love each other the way we did. But. Our priorities have changed a little bit. This one tiny creature in our life takes the cake for the change. She is so lively she fills our heart with pride. So is so naughty, she deprives us of all our energy, which basically makes us so cranky with each other. He thinks I love her more than him. I think he loves her more than me. We both know that's true. But we don't agree :-)

The first year as parents is the toughest, I think, in every which way. But we are learning. Things are already beginning to fall back in the same place. We are getting back to becoming the couple that we were, before we became parents (only). So this post is a toast to this new beginning. Happy fourth, my dear :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Book Review : Ramanayana, The Game of Life

I have never been a fan of the mythological drama genre. SO even though the husband loved the Nagas series, I haven’t read it yet. But sometime back I read a book called the “Palace of Illusions” which dealt with the story of Mahabharata from Draupadi’s point of view. All my knowledge of Mahabharata hitherto had only been from the famous tele-series of the 90s by the same name. But the book had so much more to offer. And that is what got me hooked on. Last year I read Shubha Vilas’ Rise of the Sun Prince. Initially I found it a little slow. Maybe it had something to do with my expectation. I had expected it to be something of a story built around Ramayana, which it was, but in a “motivational speaker” kind of way. It starts with how the Ramayana came into being, about Valmiki and why he was chosen to write it. But with the amount of information that I never had, it had me hooked on in no time.

And when BlogAdda approached me to review the second part of this book, there was no way I was not doing it. The sequel to the book, Shattered Dreams, starts with king Dashratha fighting his inner demons. He decides to relinquish the throne and make his eldest son Rama the new king of Ayodhya. Thereafter starts the story of love, anxiety, betrayal and politics. It feels so much like an everyday story of any Indian household. I think we have the likes of Sumanthra, Kaikeyi, Kausalya, Lakshmana, and Bharatha in our families. The author goes through the stages from Rama’s abhisheka as a king to the time he is sent to the exile. Even though we read a lot of motivational and self healing books, there are various places where the author drives home a point in such a subtle way, using Ramayana and its characters as a backdrop that you would be left wondering how you didn’t figure it yourself. Pretty much like what the Bhagwad Gita preaches. That everything is right before our eyes. We just need to discover it through connecting better with our inner self.

What didn’t work for me in the first few pages of the book, became a strong point for me later. I loved the footnotes at the bottom of each page where the author shared wisdom and analogy about situations that are so similar with our regular life. That how all things that appear godly, have such simple humane traits behind them. And how, it is not the people who are gods, but their learning, manner and character that makes them so.

Let me quote some gems from the book:

- Diplomacy is an art that changes your body language drastically with no change in the language of the heart

- A fasted belly and a fattened ego sometimes reside in the same body!

- Love is not a passive monologue but an action packed movie that ends with pleasing the beloved.

- Damned by despair and buoyed by hope. Isn't that what life is about? Life is a combination of hope and despair. The one that dominates you, carves your personality.

I have had to read the book in a week in order to facilitate this review. But truth be told, this is one such which should be held longer, like a drink, stirred, and held in the mouth to taste it completely. So hold on to your drinks and enjoy :)

This review is a part of the biggest Book ReviewProgram for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The AIB Roast's Roast !

I smiled, I laughed, then I guffawed, then I went Hawww...and then I rolled some more with laughter. Before the AIB roast video had been released on YouTube, AIB had released a small trailer video to advertise that the real thing would be screened on YouTube on the 28th of the month. I eagerly waited for the day, put the little one to sleep and watched the entire thing in a go. A week later, mayhem of sorts has ensued on my FB timeline. Apparently, I have come to know I am no sanskari Indian girl !

Apart from the fact that every second guys out there, and mind you, all you sophisticated holding-white-collar jobs too, leer at girls on the road, calling out the choicest ma-behen ki gaalis and can go on to say "it’s all in fun, yaar"! But when actually somebody does it for fun, you have a problem?

There must be some reason why our national capital is called the Rape capital. I wish you could first do something about that too. Infact, wait a minute! Don’t even DO something yet. The next time there is a rape case, I will applaud you only if you
a) Don’t blame the girl
b) Don’t blame her clothes/time of day or night/choice of friends she was hanging out with
c) Don’t cover up for the accused saying "ladkon se galti ho jaati h"

There. I said it. Too un-sanskari,eh?

I completely understand when people say that we are hypocrites because we detest ma-behen ki gaalis but enjoy them when the Bollywood celebs used them on the Roast. First thing, they didn’t use it on any of us. There were two consenting adults there who knew they would be subjected to this and they agreed. There was an audience who again were consenting (I say this because they each paid 4K for the show).

Secondly, if you have a problem with the whole gaali business, irrespective of who it was used on, take this. The Roast was released on YouTube, not screened on National TV on prime time where your minor children could have watched it. You had an option to not watch it. Even if you did click on the link, it categorically mentioned that if "you are one of those who get offended, you should leave right now!" So you had to be consenting too to subject yourself to that humor. I think it is pretty much like the Porn site business. Everybody knows it's out there. There is discretion attached to watch those videos. Those who fancy the stuff, watch it. For those who don't, don't.

But no, you can sit in the Parliament and watch porn, but if somebody decides to have some fun by calling each other BC MC, you call it a porn show and threaten action. I also heard there were racist remarks (they called AIB member Ashish Shakya black) on the show. So, Even though you call the North East people immigrants, you call them chinki and you racially discriminate against them, you are SO not racist. You are sanskari Indians. You’d rather do everything chupke-chupke, deny that porn or BC-MC exists, but will happily be a jerk or jerk off to anything that resembles a female anatomy. And yet, when Raghu Ram mentions a part of female anatomy in Hindi, you collectively go hawwwwwwwww.

Pretty much like the kindergarteners going “Shame shame puppy shame…”.

I can only say “Grow up!”

PS: A huge thumbs up to Karan Johar, Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor for daring to take this up. To have the balls to be up there, and have every shred of dignity and that celebrated cloak of stardom shredded. And a special mention of the girls Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha and Alia Bhatt who got roasted just being in the audience and were very sporty about it all. What these guys did is what we need to do exactly - lighten up and laugh at our own selves for our eccentricities.