Cricket Mania continued..

While we’re on the topic of A Jr I thought it would be a good idea to share a few of his new gems here. Like I’ve mentioned before this boy is turning into quite a riot. He has a question and an opinion about everything. It takes only the likes of yours truly to challenge and alter his better judgement.

So, I’m working in the kitchen and he comes to me all excited.

A Jr: *amused and excited* Mamma you know, M S Dhoni has grown up!

Me: *bewildered* Huh?

A Jr: *explaining* Ya… I just saw picture of him in the newspaper. He has a beard and a moustache now. He has grown up!

I still had that ‘huh’ expression on my face. When I did get over it I told him sweetly that he already had a beard and a moustache, that he is old enough to be a father and that he has a baby too. He is just clean shaven most of the time. A Jr seemed a bit hurt with this revelation though.

A Jr: *sadly* He should then shave all the time or not shave at all. How will I know?!

Poor boy!!

This time we’re watching some cricket match on tv. We as in, me A and A Jr. Honestly, I’m pretending to watch while reading some blogs on my phone. The match is Australia versus someone.

Suddenly A Jr starts…

A Jr: Mamma, it is good that Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Stark are in the same team.

Me: *absentmindedly* Oh ya? Why?

A Jr: They’re both Mitchells na. They are both brothers. It’s a good thing they belong to the same team na.

A: *helpfully cutting in* No dear. They are not brothers. Their names are same. That doesn’t make them brothers.

A Jr: *defensively* Why not? Why can’t they be brothers?

( This boy never takes a word from A. Not done!)

Me: Papa’s right baby. Brothers have the same surname mostly. Like you and your cousin have the same surname since you are brothers. If you meet someone else with your name would he be your brother?

A Jr: *immediately agreeing* Yes Mamma you’re right. Chacha and Papa also have the same surname but different names na. Correct you are.

A has stopped giving the didn’t-I-tell-the-same-thing-you-brat look anymore. He did give me a helpless shrug though.

Poor thing again!!

The encyclopaedia I mentioned in my last post is making us both hunt for cover. He picks any topic he likes and then plays Kaun Banega Crorepati with us on it.

As if doing us a big favour, he very generously informs us the topic in advance at times and gives us time to prepare and revise. (I hope there’s no punishment for wrong answers. Need to ask him!)

Half of his waking time is spent playing with Angel. He cuddles with her, carries her around, even removes her wet nappies if I’m not around or busy with something. God bless Angel for taking his mind off us for some time atleast!

All in all, a hyper nonstop boy and a girl who in all probability will soon catch up. A roller coaster ride will seem like a pittance to us, I’m sure.

The Game of India

With the rain playing havoc in Mumbai, getting out with Angel has become very difficult. Apart from the essential groceries there isn’t much I go out for these days, but something I truly miss shopping for are books. Not only for me but also for A Jr.

I got this Student’s General Knowledge Encyclopaedia for A Jr the other day. He couldn’t control his excitement since it was the first ever thing he got delivered from Amazon! There were a bunch of books I’d ordered but this one caught his fancy. He was quick to go through it, asking for assistance whenever needed.

Between the Presidents of India, the currencies of various countries, a list of famous books worldwide, etc. the one thing that truly puzzled him was the number of games played in India. This was how our conversation transpired.

A Jr: *puzzled* Mamma…it is written here that India plays tennis also? And basketball also?

Me: Ofcourse. Weren’t you taught that our National Sport is Hockey? India plays a lot of games like football, kabaddi, badminton, tennis, swimming…

A Jr: *still puzzled* But there is cricket match on tv so many times. Dhoni plays cricket. I want to be a cricketer too when I grow up.

Me: Sure. But there are other games too that you can play. Like in hockey or football you need more energy or chess where you use your mind.

A Jr: *defensively* But cricket…

Me: Beta, what’s the fun in playing a game where half the time you’re fielding waiting for the ball to come your way? If you ask me, it’s rather boring.

A Jr: *thinking* Ok. I will consider playing other games too….but… I will watch cricket also. OK?

Me:*smiling* Ok!

I haven’t ever liked the way cricket makes news even when we aren’t performing moderately well and a blind eye is turned to all other games. IPL is probably responsible for glorifying it further.

While slowly the face of sports is changing in our country we still need to go a long way. Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, Mary Kom are just few of the many names that are making a mark worldwide with their talent and hard work.

I’m trying to get A Jr hooked on to some sport but as of now nothing’s happening. He has his mind in every sport…sort of a jack of all trades. Whatever he plays though, I wish he does see beyond cricket.

Relationships

I wanted to write something about relationships, and that made me ponder over how many different type of relationships we maintain in our lives; happily, by obligation or simply for fun.

~ some are a mistake right from the start with nothing working for anyone.
~ some aren’t balanced, with one side investing lot more than the other.
~ some are one-sided all the way.
~ some constantly require time and effort to even sustain themselves.
~ some are maintained only to have someone to fall back on.
~ some we’re attached with by virtue of birth or lineage.
~ some are bound by common goals and interests.
~ some are circumstantial.
~ some we create, like marriage and kids.
~ some exist only because they make us happy.

This isn’t a list, just a few of the many examples we come across everyday.

The truth is, no relationship ever remains the same. When even a hint of stagnancy appears in it, it means the time has come to move on if you can, or recreate the spark that got you together in the first place.

There is no reason for why something works and why it doesn’t. There might be someone who was your entire world in some phase of your life but who is not more than a speck in your present. Conversely, someone who you walked past earlier without noticing can now be the one who always ‘gets you’.

What drives any relationship though is the commitment towards it and where it exists in peoples’ priority list. Hoping to make fire from ash, doesn’t work. Sometimes they just run out of their natural course.

A Little Me on Me

Dear Me,

I’m glad that you finally realised the need to have this small chat with yourself. It was long pending, yes?

Your life is anything but dull right now. Working around the schedule of two demanding kids isn’t easy. You don’t give yourself enough credit but I think you’re doing a decent job. OK. Better than decent. Happy? ☺

I’ve always admired how much you invest yourself in any relationship you are in. I haven’t agreed with it at times, but I know that now you’re on the right track. You’re doing the right things for the right people.

I can see signs of maturity developing in you. The once hyper Varsh has now mellowed down and learned to put others before her, if need be. You’ve understood that giving is more important than receiving, and if you give you will certainly receive.

Your constant need for validation and attention needs to be worked on yet. Always remember, the eyes that can make you see right through the person’s soul need not be on you everytime. Does it change what they convey?

Try to give your best to everything but don’t expect to excel at everything. If you lose, don’t regret. If you win, give yourself a pat on the back and move on. Don’t dwell too much. It is the done that deserves a mention, not undone.

You’re part of an extremely special bond. Live it. Cherish it. Not everyone gets a second chance in life. Open your arms wide and let these moments sweep you off your feet. Their warmth is yours, so is their charisma.

The face of truth is before you. Welcome it. Treasure it.

Love yourself,
Varsh.

Typical!

Me: (excitedly) Did you see the dress I finally bought?

A: (not interested) Yes.

Me: (expectantly) So, what do you think? It’s nice na?

A: (still not interested) Yes.

Me: (slightly dreamy) Oh I loved the colour. I’ve never worn this colour.

A: (unfazed) Hmm.

Me: (bit edgy now) What happened? Is it not good? Does it not suit me? Just tell me.

A: (without any expression) Yes it is good. It suits you. But why do you have to buy stuff like this?

Me: (frowning) What do you mean? Why didn’t you say anything when I selected it? Do you want me to return it?

A: (smiling gloriously) There there. Now this is your natural face. When you behave all good and sweet I feel like you’re not well.

Me: (very confused and irritated by now) Huh????

‘Bas 2 minute’ is enough?

As kids we were taught that anything that comes easy probably isn’t worth it and that all good things take time and effort to come to us. It was an unwritten rule that we needed patience and perseverence for anything we wanted.

We believed it like we believed everything else we were told, with one tiny exception. Maggi noodles. They cooked in ‘bas 2 minute’, didn’t need parental guidance while cooking (like while making chapatis, vegetables, poha, tea etc), and tasted simply delicious. Growing up, we learned to experiment with it with various sauces and vegetables too.

My brother loved it and used it as an afternoon snack, while I wasn’t much of a fan. A hostel friend of mine would substitute it for meals at times, only to invite unending lectures from me about how ‘not healthy’ they were. Another one would wait for her mother to cook and kept a packet of Maggi handy if a veggie she didn’t like was made. There are other examples but I think I’ve made my point.

In our world of instant gratification and (not quite) lesser availability of time it is easy to rely on such options. Why have chapatis or rice which necessarily need an accompaniment when you can have a whole dish in instant noodles? Why bother if you are getting the correct nutrition when you are given a variety of atta, multigrain or oats noodles? Isn’t it simpler to stick to the familiar masala taste than trying some other alternative?

I wondered at the uproar created over the presence of MSG (monosodium glutamate) in Maggi. The lab test results also apparently showed that the lead percentage was way over the permissible limit. Was this supposed to be some kind of revelation? Maggi has been around for a long time. Weren’t we supposed to find this out by now or some new tests were devised and conducted?

Kudos to the marketing strategy adopted by these companies! A mother rewarding her child with it, a bunch of travellers cooking it up in a hut in the mountains, a daughter showing her love for her mother by following her recipe are just a few of their concepts to cater to the Indian market. A stroke of genius is by topping it all by roping in superstars to do the convincing regarding it’s health benefits. I wonder if they’ve ever tasted it.

As a mother of a toddler I feel cheated. Maggi isn’t a necessity and does nothing for our body. At a young age, when good eating habits need to be instilled in kids, I see many mothers encourage their children to have it. Laziness, pampering and simply the get-the-meal-done-with attitude of mothers is like a slow poison for children.

Nestle is a huge brand and more often than not these companies work hand in glove with government authorities. Nestle has obviously countered the lab tests claiming that they are clean at their end. While there has been a lot of hue and cry over the banning in few states and calling back of packets from stores, they seem confident.

In my personal opinion, someone somewhere was left out while benefits for turning a blind eye to all of this were rolled out. As soon as they get their share of the pie, Nestle will win with flying colours and we’ll be told about some random error that had got ignored earlier. People fond of these sticky wiry edibles will finally breathe a sigh of relief and get back to it like long lost lovers.

Till then, guys please make do with the boring good food! ☺

The Magic of Life

I had once read a line somewhere in Marathi. Translating it here in English roughly, it meant, “Dissatisfaction is the mother of all art”. I had loved the line, but it is only now that I can understand the true meaning of it.

I’m very happy today. No, very very happy. Why? Let’s just say that today something amazing has happened that was long overdue. Something that was merely an imagination but that has now become one of the biggest and most inseparable truth of my life. Something that has soaked me into it so much that I feel I’m lost in it, and I love it.

Only someone who has been or is in the same place as me can know what I mean. When something becomes a purpose of your life, even a small step in it’s direction makes you feel like you are close to achieving it. Waiting for it even for years on end seems worth it, because it is meant only for you.

It all sounds nice, but I feel something strange happening with me. I want to express so much, yet I’m at a loss of words. I’m struggling to make sense and sound faintly articulate. Only great, awesome, blissful etc type of mundane words are crowding my mind. I’m not making much sense and not conveying anything the way I want to.

I don’t know if this happens with everyone and don’t want to, as of now. I want to live with this feeling forever. Not everyone is blessed with the good fortune to feel this magic. Some things are supposed to be only for you, right?

This isn’t gossip, girl!

Although I write a lot about my personal life, husband, kids, moments, etc on my blog, I have always tried to maintain a guarded identity from people I don’t know personally. Privacy is a major concern for me, not just mine but others’ also.

Time and again, I’ve written about people I know in general. It has been about my equation with them, my experiences with them or my personal opinion about something regarding them. In every case I’ve refrained from naming anyone. I’ve always used initials or passing references. I have tried not to offend anyone and hopefully succeeded.

Yet, I was taken aback when some time back a friend of mine, who isn’t even a regular on my blog, while having a simple conversation with me suddenly blurted out, “Hey, you aren’t going to make me the subject of your next post right? I read what you wrote about so and so. Don’t you get worried he/she might read it and not like it?”.

For a moment I didn’t know what to say. I have been friends with this girl despite the fact that she has been mean and rude to me at times. I have been less of a friend and more of a shrink to her(without getting paid for the torture😈). I thought that I needed to give her a chance, hence the bother to tolerate. Quite frankly, I didn’t consider her worth mentioning.

This incident left me wondering though. In today’s world of social media, should a casual mention on a not-so-popular blog be a point of concern for anyone? When the readers don’t know me, what chance is there for them to know some xyz person who’s name isn’t even clear on my blog? Considering they do know them, I haven’t exactly tried to start a World War here right?

More so, blogging is my choice and reading my blog or not is others’ choice. This is my personal space and I reserve the right to express myself openly and uninhibitedly here. I consider this as my diary to jot down details about events that I’d like to remember later in my life and about people who affected me in some or the other way. Understandably, they are comprised of shades of black, white and grey.

I don’t go around telling people that I have a blog or what is it about. Sometimes people in the know somehow stumble upon it and follow it silently before informing me about it. Thankfully, till date no one has confronted me or complained to me as to why I wrote about him/her.

It is true that we are always on the lookout for topics to blog about even when we aren’t actively blogging. This however doesn’t mean that we’re prepared to jeopardise our relations with anyone in real life. This virtual world might give us some temporary respite, but we belong in the real world. Everything said here needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

When health is lost..

….a lot more than something is lost, and I can say this with certainty owing to the numerous health-related problems I’ve been witnessing since past many years.

No, this isn’t about me. My health has thankfully been kind to me till now. Apart from dealing with the never-ending weight issues, I’ve had a rather smooth ride. My sickness always began and ended on common cold (much to my irritation when I was younger). I felt left out when my friends/classmates had bouts of fever or some other disease and had to be admitted. For me it was a school-approved holiday and I missed it. Silly me! 😄

Even when I was expecting, both times, I was working right till the last day and was never dependant on anyone for anything. Both my deliveries were normal and I was back on my feet fending for myself and my tiny tots within a month, by God’s grace.

The health issues I mentioned earlier are related to family. Not one, but many of them. Heart problems, diabetes, arthritis, insomnia etc. are just a few of them. I haven’t included the psychological concerns that arise due to prolonged ailments here. The dependance on medicines for survival is immense and yet nothing seems to work towards bringing things back to normal.

Frustration comes easy in such situations and hampers not just the sick, but everyone around them. Any suggestions to still keep the spirits up somehow are met with a stiff refusal or the simple blame that we can’t even begin to contemplate what they go through day in and day out.

Medical expenses are going through the roof, irrespective of what the illness is. In our country one more thing that works (or doesn’t) on patients as much as doctors is superstition. All kinds of Gods are called upon for favours and apologised to for any misdeeds, deliberate or otherwise. At times I’ve seen more prominence given to our in-house pandits than medical experts.

Well, we do what we can. Enable. Emphathise. Serve. Tolerate, at times. Beyond a certain point however there’s little one can do, other than hoping that by any sort of intervention something good happens.

Somewhere deep down (due to the medical history in the family), the scare of being in a similar situation haunts me.  Who knows if our kids will stand up to serve us when they have to or will they bicker and procastinate. Better to live a shorter and fuller life than feeling unwanted and living longer.

Hope that the health that has never been an issue for me always stays like this and never makes me rely on anyone for anything.