*NEW* Recent blog entries

December 1, 2010

Read my new blog?

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Oh yes, that's where I'm gonna be. For those who don't know, the cool dudette in the picture is my almost-five-months old daughter, Mia. She is supercool and often tells me she will be better than me at most things. :/

All the writing-fighting-shiting is happening at the new blog, Twist in the Tail. It has old posts from this blog and the older food blog as well (yay to Blogger's new import tool).

Catch you at the new place.

November 24, 2010

Moved on love.

13 comments
That basically means I won't be writing here anymore. The blog will remain -- too much pain importing everything elsewhere -- but fresh posts etc will be put up on the other blog.

It's called The Twist in the Tail. Yes, tail. Like doggie's tail, or the Hindi version, kutte ki dum, which I hope you remember, kabhi seedhi nahi hoti. For the non-Hindi speaking, it translates to 'a dog's tail is never straight'. Or a dog has a curly tail. We will not talk about tail-less dogs here, that saying came about when humans weren't stuffing around with dog breeding. Personally I feel the saying would be better if it said 'a pig's tail is never straight' -- pigs have cute tails I think -- but nevermind.

What it means though is that old habits cannot be changed. So why new blog? Because I needed a change somewhere. While now with a baby I'm a mommy and that's a huge change, as a writer and a creative person, I feel s.t.u.c.k. And extremely undisciplined. I need to get my mojo going and get into shape. Physically and mentally.

Thank-you for sticking around despite the silence(s). Hope to see you reading the new blog as well. Catch ya.

PS: It's 4.45 am, Mia woke up at 3am. I could sleep again but I will go do some writing now. I got a deadline and I'm feeling determined. I am feeling good. Here's to mojo finding.

October 18, 2010

Divinely orange

4 comments
Spring in Melbourne means many things: the green and gold lushness of wattle, the breath-taking beauty of blossom trees, the cheery daisies and daffodils and the sight of many a gardener mowing, sowing and weeding away on sunny afternoons.

Unless of course it is grey and drizzly. Or so windy it could blow the hair off your scalp. Or it might hail. That too is part 'n' parcel of Melbourne spring.

This time of the year is also when families and friends are seen across the city's parks and gardens, having barbeques, playing with their dogs and kids and sometimes just snoozing. It's also time for fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies and what you can cook with them.

Since coming to Melbourne, I've had a new appreciation for cooking (baking rather) with seasonal fruits and veggies. Perhaps it has to do with the many cooking shows or perhaps because now I am cooking full-time instead of just as a hobby. It also makes me appreciate anew my mother's cooking. I never really noticed how she cooked with seasonal vegetables when I was living in India. So many learning opportunities lost...

The first time I had an orange cake was last year. My in-laws were down for Diwali and Mum (Ma would be my mother) had baked this beautiful orange cake. It had finely grated orange zest (the peel) cooked in an absolutely divine orange syrup on it. The cake was soft, moist and so flavorsome, I had a hard time stopping at three slices. Stupid me though, I was so busy eating the cake and then finishing my Diwali-dinner preps -- kebab, Mughlai biryani, gulab jamun -- that I completely forgot asking her for the recipe.

I'd been searching for a good orange cake recipe since. Early this year I tried an orange cake recipe -- Whole Orange Syrup Cake - -from Tamarra Milstein's 'Bake Your Cake and Eat It Too'. The cake calls for both flour and almond-meal, a bit of a pain if you ask me and used buttermilk and marmalade, both of which I don't usually have in my pantry. The result was tasty but nowhere close to satisfying the craving I had for Mum's orange cake. Till about a month ago.

A dear friend and (then) almost full-term pregnant friend of mine came over to see Mia, my then-two-month-old daughter. As she walked in, I noticed she was carrying this delicate-looking, drippy cake... I nearly cried out when I bit into the cake. It was EXACTLY what I wanted. Moist, rich and absolutely singing with orangy flavours. She told me it was her mother-in-law's recipe, very easy to make and used only almond meal and no flour.

I've baked the cake twice now. Once for my mothers' group and once for myself (grin). It's a hit and I love it. Without making this story any longer, here's the recipe.

August 24, 2010

Went where that month?

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So Mia is already a month old. In fact, she is already two weeks short of being two months old. And not kidding folks, I don't know who, what, when, how it all happened. From one poo to another, time's just gone by.

Given I had several other women popping out kids here, I had been wondering about some of the new-mom cliches. (That's before I joined that particular club) Y'know like, I-am-sleep-deprived. Or, I-don't-have-time-for-a-shower. Or, I-sometimes-forget-to-eat.

Now that I am one-month-been-there-etc, is all that true? Yes and no. Mia's been a "good" baby so far. That's to say she lets me have at least 4-5 hours sleep on most nights and does not drive me up the wall with (much) crying. Since I had already been surviving on 4 hours sleep while I was pregnant, this does not feel much different.

Most days I manage a shower as well. Only, she seems to wake up just when I'm about to do the whole moisturize-my-body routine. She also does not like it when I watch TV and somehow has perfect timing. Just when the case is about to be solved or the most interesting part of a documentary is about to start, she decides she wants mum. But she shuts up when cuddled.

Oh yes, other than the feed-me cry, Mia has figured out a new cry. I call it the testing-mum cry. So she will be lying perfectly happily in her pram or cot when she decides she is bored and needs entertainment --> mum. So despite no reason to cry -- there's a baby checklist of fed, cleaned, burped therefore no reason to cry -- she does this sort of WANH. Just one loud WANH and then she waits to see if I turn up.

I've stood just beyond her line of sight to see what she does and the little minx does the WANH just to get a response from me. Of course, if there is no response or no mum forthcoming in 10 minutes, the WANH then rises to WAAAAAAAAAAAANHA-AAHH. So she makes it kinda clear: Either respond when I'm just kidding or deal with the real thing.

That apart, we all have been doing pretty well (er, just heard a WANH). She's managed to projectile spew into her dad's left eye and has even managed to shit all over him. It's amazing that despite me spending more time with her, I have been pretty incident-free. Men, shrug. (Feels superior, goes before bub loses it).

PS: The pic is of Mia, four days old, in the car capsule, on her way home. The red jumper is hand knit and obviously too big for her.

August 2, 2010

Cuz you are a whale, you stupid bat.

20 comments
Right. I’ve had it with women, especially other mothers. Particularly absolute strangers who take one look at Mia and instantly go (on and on), “Ah, but she is very small, isn’t she?”

I don’t hold anything against moms who forget that their babies were equally small at birth. I DO understand that compared to their babies – who could now be two or ten months old – Mia does look small. Comments from them are all right because I know there is no stupid comparison-shit happening there.

It is comments from the I-feel-superior mothers – “Yes, she is rather small. My baby was such-and-such size at birth. She is very small, really” – that really piss me off. And yes Mia is small because she’s two-bloody-weeks-old. Given that I birthed a human baby and not a troll, she’s supposed to be small. Like every other two week old baby.

I also understand that Mia was not the standard 4 kgs-plus-size baby. She was 3 kgs at birth, which by the way is 50 percentile of most babies born. According to my doctor, Mia’s a great size given that her mother’s size is “only 10 percentile of average women”. A 3 kg-48.5 cm-baby from a mother who is petite and 5 feet tall is not “oh so small”. It’s bloody brilliant. Mia also has a beautifully shaped, small head. A mercy if you ask me. I delivered her naturally with a natural tear that needed two stitches instead of a perineum-to-bloody-belly button tear.

What irritates me (to put it politely) is how some women feel superior because their babies were huge at birth.

If I may point out here, unless a mother was malnourished or was cranked up on heroine or steroids, most mothers do not consciously contribute towards their babies sizes. You eat and rest well and try do everything right and hope the baby is a good size. All babies develop differently – and independently – inside the uterus. You, dear mother, have had nothing to do with your baby being big or small.

Some mothers have big babies because they had gestational diabetes. And that’s not a good thing. Again though, it’s not as if as the mother wanted to have diabetes. Similarly, no mother wants a premature baby or a small-at-birth baby. It happens. You deal with it and you (and I) love your baby irrespective of size.

Size is also not any guarantee that your baby will be/is healthy. A big baby could have a plethora of problems while a small baby could be fit as a fiddle or vice versa. As I said, you hope for the best for your baby. Mia, like all my friends who’ve had big babies and the friend who had twins, is a healthy baby and doing well (god bless).

Unlike a lot of babies who were born along with her, she does not cry a lot. She is a happy, content baby and cute as a button (I’m prejudiced, shrug). I don’t feel superior about her calm nature because (a) I have nothing to do with her not crying and (b) She could turn into a screamer, who knows?

So I’ve decided that I’ve had enough with mothers trying to make me feel bad – so they can feel better about themselves – about Mia’s size. Next time a mother comments on her oh-so-smallness I shall have a ready response*. *(Anyone having to deal with similar comments, feel free to use any of the below or if you come up with something better, share here.)

“Ah your baby is too small isn’t she? My baby was such-and-such size at birth.”

Possible responses:

“Oh really. Must be because I am petite and you are SO huge.” (Look her up and down disbelievingly) OR

“It takes a GINORMOUS waist to birth something THAT big.” (Spread your arms real wide; however, do follow it up with a, “But isn’t s/he cute?”) OR

“Your vagina must be a gaping hole you poor thing!” (Look horrified) AND

“And er, what’s that on your skin? Not doing too well after the birth, are you?” (Even women with flawless skin will spend at least two days fretting)

(Scowl) If any of the above is mean and nasty, so be it. It’s not f*cking nice to go commenting on other peoples’ kids. If you don’t have anything nice to say – and you don’t need to – just f*cking shut up. Stupid cows.

PS: The picture is a hippo and not a whale, in case some of you wondered. ;)

July 30, 2010

Bizarreness of babies...

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Despite reading some of the best books on bringing up babies, you (read me) just cannot be prepared for some things.

1. Babies fart louder than adults. Mia beats Partner in the sound and smell department. Baap par gayi hai (scowl). The first time I was soooo shocked; t'was bloody hard correlating the angelic face with THAT sound and the stench.

2. Babies have perfect timing when it comes to spoiling a photograph. One moment perfect photo pose and the next the weirdest expression possible.

3. Babies love contemplating with a tit in their mouth. Mia can do it for 10 minutes at a stretch. Usually at 2 am.

4. Babies are the only creatures who can have someone fiddling with their bums while they stare happily at the ceiling making gurgling noises.

5. Against all medical/scientific evidence, (I insist) babies know exactly what they are doing. They can open their mouths REALLY wide for a boob but would pretend they can't (or won't) when you want them to.

6. Babies have very stinky poos when all they eat/drink is milk. Tis a mystery. (Mia's Nanna calls it "sweet smelling poo". Not!)

7. Babies are devious. They know exactly when Mum is in the bordering-on-deep-sleep zone and therefore decide to make fake choking sounds.

8. Babies have amazing capacity for splatter-shitting...all in, around and out of their nappies, over their bums and then even manage to rub their heels in it. (scowl)

9. Babies have perfect aim. The other night Mia perfectly spewed straight into Partner's left eye. He was shocked, I clapped.

10. Babies are manipulators. Just when you think you might have a teensy breakdown -- after all you're doing so much for a creature that prefers looking at everything else but you -- they start practicing mysterious smiles in their sleep... With the promise you might just get a special one. Some day, soon...

July 22, 2010

Mamma's Mia...

22 comments
...is finally here. Born two weeks early according to the calendar but not a day earlier if you ask me. All that begging to my belly and imploring to meet her seems to have worked. And no, despite it looking staged, the pose was her own doing.

I don't have words to describe what I am feeling. Fatigued to the bone could be apt but somehow that's not it. It's almost 7am here, I've been up since 5am, fed her, cleaned second round of yellow potty (I now know five different shades) in the night, put her back to bed and then couldn't sleep.

Despite all advice that says "sleep when the baby sleeps", it ain't that easy. For one, when everyone else is sleeping -- Mia included -- is about the only time I get to cuddle-cuddle her, as against cuddle-to-calm or cuddle-to-feed. Everyone else seems to get heaps of time just doing nothing with her. On the other hand, I seem to only feed, clean, repeat the same and then put her to bed because "You NEED to sleep JB". I even get scolded for not sleeping enough.

But what to do? It's just SO much fun just watching her, even when she' doing nothing but sleeping. The result being I look like something that should hide under a rock, I am even hairy to fit the part. My eyes look like an Amazonian toad's and I haven't really looked at the rest of me. Thankfully babies neither see very clearly at this age -- 5 days old as I type -- nor remember what they see (hopefully). Because if they do then I am afraid that every time Mia sees someone with a moustache, she's going to think it's her mom. Hrmph.

Her birth was (almost) by the book, much to my surprise. I had been nervous that I wouldn't be up to the job and had been mentally prepared for a caesarian. In fact ever since reaching week 36, I'd been trying to coax my doctor (absolutely love her and very grateful as well) to discuss the merits of elective caesarian. Of course, my doctor heard me out patiently, pretended to agree and then came up with devious ways to keep me going week after week. Thankfully though, Mia decided she wanted to come out early.

I was sitting at the computer having put up a FB message bemoaning the baby not coming and now (ie then) playing Mushroom Farm Revolution on addictinggames.com when I realised I had pee-d in my pants without meaning to pee in my pants. As in, I didn't want to go, but was going.

Now I was confused because a week earlier I had actually pee-d in bed. Well not intentionally but it's kinda hard to get out of bed easily when you're hugely pregnant and I think I was dreaming about going to the loo and then woke up cold to realise I had wet my bed. I was horrified. I had called the hospital thinking I'd broken my bag of waters only to be told that it was just incontinence and as a 31-year-old I'd just done soo-soo in bed. I was sooooo upset.

So then when the not-going-but-going happened, I called the hospital, confused and horrified that now I was pant-wetting when awake! This time though the midwife said, "Sounds like your waters breaking. You need to come to the hospital, is your partner around?" Partner was at an official function. My first reaction was, "Baap re, it's happening." As I called him, there was this HUGE gush and the first thing I said as Partner answered the phone was, "Oh my god I am leaking. Come home!"

Despite having packed my hospital suitcase two days earlier -- just-in-case planning -- I'd proceeded to then wear things out of it so in the end, leaking all the while, I just stood there not knowing what to do and without a clue about where things were. My uterus was leaking while my brain was frozen. Partner arrived, we threw stuff into the case and dashed off. That night I was kept under observation.

Next day at 11am the doctor confirmed that almost all of the amniotic fluid was gone and that she was going to hormonally induce me. Twelve hours, four hours of active pain, much moaning, some crying and one epidural later, I felt the urge to have the biggest shit in my life. Except I was informed that it was the baby coming.

I had had visions of me giving birth rather dignified. You know, lying on a bed wearing a white gown or something, hair neatly combed, gentle beads of sweat on my forehead, feet apart, holding on to the railing or to Partner's hand, cursing some... And then a baby is born and I cry etc etc. In the end, my dress was up my boobs, my legs were up in the air, held by the midwife and Partner on either side, my hair was all over, I was grunting and while I obeyed commands to "Take a deep breath, hold it, pull legs closer to chest and now PUSHHHHH"... All I could think of was "I REALLY want to poo" and "I don't want to poo in the doctor's hands."

It was surreal, having three people looking up your (my) fanny. One in concentration ("There's a bulge, no head yet), another in expectation ("Yes, the cervix is fully dilated") and the third in awe ("I do see her head, push baby, push!"). Eventually much to the surprise of the midwife -- "Most women do it here you know" -- I did not shit on the birthing table. Instead Mia was mostly-pushed and partly-sucked out. She was placed on my chest, all wet and mucusy and I had my arm around her and I didn't cry but Partner did and I was thinking, "She has elf-ears" followed by a loud "Can I go and poo now? I really need to*."

Whatever it was that I had thought giving birth would be like, I was proven wrong on most counts. And I am SO bloody happy about it. I can't write about what (or how) I am feeling about Mia because frankly, I am speechless/wordless. She just makes me feel too many things all at the same time and the only feeling that I can describe is that when I hold her close to my chest, her head under my chin, arms spread out, her eyes closed and me smelling her... it makes breathing easy for me and clears my head of every other thought.

*PS: It never happened.

June 23, 2010

Anti-nesting feelings

17 comments
There's state of mind and then there's a state your mind's in. Or moments when I am so cranky it irritates me. Or I am so irritated I really want to cry.

My belly is HUGE. Correction: The thing under my boobs with red streaks and spider veins running all over -- that can sometimes change shape on its own -- is HUGE. I also projectile puked yesterday because the body felt like it.

I am terrified of the night. It usually means I will have tremendous tummy ache after dinner and will not feel good till I puke. Then I will feel worse for making myself puke. I am terrified of going to bed because I know I won't get any sleep. And because I will be hungry all night because I puked out my dinner. Then next morning it will be a repeat of the cranky-weepy-weepy-therefore-cranky phase. *whimper*

I seem to feel either perpetually terrified, tired, cranky or cantankerous. I am hating it because it's not me. I don't even remember who me is or was. Who me? I want to fight with Partner for doing *this* to me. Then realise I had always been the one going, "I soooo want a baby." (snort) Then I get mad at my body for feeling like this. Followed by bouts of extreme guilt and verbal apologies to my tummy saying, "I am so sorry, it's not your fault and Mamma didn't think those thoughts. Mamma is just tired, hungry and absolutely at her wits end." *waaaanh*

I REALLY want to fight with my doctor, who is so, so nice. Because I want her to say things like, "I think we need to get the baby out of you early." Even though the pregnancy is progressing perfectly (touch wood). Because I have HAD it with being pregnant. Really. And there are STILL four weeks to go. 4x7 = 28 days. If Bub is on time. I don't even want to think of what I'll do if Bub's late.

I want to be able to sleep ON MY BACK with my legs wide apart. Without cramping or my pubic bone hurting. I didn't even know I had a pubic bone (cartilage to be right), or definitely didn't think of it every waking, walking moment. I don't want to get up at night to pee. And pee. And pee. And then take at least 8 minutes to get on bed, keep legs together, swing legs up, hold belly while turning on right side, balance on one arm while gently lowering myself...and then get breathless with the effort.

:( I feel so guilty for writing all that. And more for feeling it. Bub is definitely not getting to see my blog for a long, long, long time. I REALLY want my baby. Now. It's got a lot to do with body going bonkers and also because three of my friends here have had their babies. Their ages (bubs) are 11 months, almost-three months and barely-over-a month (the twins).

I know that other than the belly-discomfort, I definitely won't get any sleep after the baby. But I've just had it and now want to get on with it. Ok, tata bye. Mope for the day over. Now I will go and look at the house and things that need to be done. Then make a list, stick it on the fridge and do nothing about it. At all. F**k nesting. It's just another way of making you clean up.
Don't want to.

June 18, 2010

Retail therapy

5 comments
It’s become such a problem, writing anything at all. In desperate need to get my writing juices flowing – all other juices freely flowing, thank you – I shall try the simple mantra of ‘Even if the shit you write kills you, (try and) write every day’. So be warned, everyone. Due to my complete apathy towards writing anything that could change lives (rolls eyes), I shall take a leaf out of Mad Momma’s blog and write about some of my recent purchases (!).

While browsing through MM’s post, I realised I’m really not into buying jewellery, or for that matter wearing much of it. I love wearing toe rings and my favourite anklets. I can also comfortably wear ear rings but beyond that, I find it very hard to deck up. I don’t wear bracelets and even if I try a necklace, I end up taking it off before stepping out. I wear two very simple, silver rings but cannot get myself to wear the nice-looking, big, fancy ones that are so in vogue today. I do love looking at them though.

It’s also been ages since I’ve bought any clothes. While the last seven months or so have been about restricted clothing choice due to the growing belly; I also don’t like much that I see in the stores here. Couple that with the fact that finding stuff in my size is really tough – Aussie girls are bigger, Asian girls are skinnier, I’m stuck in between – and ‘retail therapy’ is more like a torture session for me. Most times I’ve gone shopping for clothes, I’ve come back depressed.

All my recent shopping, especially since I’ve been living in Melbourne has either been plants, things to prettify the house, books (of course) and shoes. I love shopping for the house! I love shoes! I lurve books! I am the happiest when left in a nursery or a home-ware store. Like some women get off on clothes and jewellery, I get off on whisks, cake tins, pretty plates and bake-ware. And pots and planters or quirky artifacts. And I DO love a good bargain.

Here are some of the home stuff I’ve been buying: Let me know what you think and let’s compare where you’ve been spending your money.

<--- Box from K-Mart: I use this for storing buttons, ribbons and other sewing paraphernalia. I love the trunk-like look and it's the right size for my stuff.

Planter from Complete Garden Store --->Supposed to be for putting pots in or if you are more adventurous, lining with moss and planting herbs/flowers. Currently though I'm using it for all my art-craft stuff, crayons, brushes etc. Plans are to paint it soon, line it with plastic and hay and plant petunias or freesias.

<--- Jug from 'antique' store, can't remember: I love the colours! It alternates as a water jug and as seen here, as a flower vase.

Candle stand Yarraville bric-a-brac store---> Partner absolutely hates the colour, the reason I bought it in the first place! It's a bright orange, somewhat bordering on fluoro. Since I've been wearing a lot of black and grey lately, I compensate for colours elsewhere. Looks really pretty with a lit up candle inside.


<--- Big wooden candle holder on sale, Dusk: I have a weakness for wooden things, especially if they look non-modern. While I appreciate the sleek, 'minimalistic' or whatever-it's-called look often pictured in home decor magazines -- all chrome, steel and whites etc -- I find it quite sterile, somehow lacks feeling. (The candle is from Le Desire, Moonee Ponds, Egyptian musk scented, mmm). PS: For those in Melbourne, the Dusk store at Melbourne Central is shutting down; store closing sale on currently.

Votive candle holders made from recycled glass, Dusk ---> Again because I loved the red and it was on sale. There was another candelabra that was really, really pretty but I really could not justify buying it. More because it wouldn't fit into my house than any other reason.

Woven basket from Chinese gift store: I adore baskets of any sort and will usually find a reason and a need even if neither exist. This one isn't wood, some synthetic material that looks woodsy. It's very light, cleans easily and looks nice. I've been hunting for a big, round basket with a lid to store all my wool in, no luck so far. Perhaps I'll find it in one of those stores with old stuff -- Melbourne has many of them -- but for some bizarre reason Partner refuses to drive me to one. :)

Shoe ashtray from some nursery I can’t remember ---> I love nurseries and not just for the awesome greenery and plants. Nurseries here have some unique ideas and often have pottery or other art-work by independent artists. I don't think this shoe-ashtray is very unique, but I found it very realistic...and I do like that sand brown. Since we have two smokers (one on a break) at home and some friends smoke as well, having an outdoor ashtray is a must. It's highly unpleasant chasing after sucked up butts (please note sad attempt at butt joke).

<--- Herb pots from Costco: Originally these were meant to be potted with herbs and kept inside the kitchen. However given my ability to manage to crowd bench space -- and we have a lot of it in the new house -- I decided to keep them outside. Currently each has one hyacinth bulb in it (just look at the baby shoots). I shall take this moment to gloat: I'm good with foliage but not very good with growing flowers. The hyacinths, bought last winter, were my first attempt at bulbs and they revived this year! One of them has even given off two mini bulbs so now I have five! I am delighted.

Lastly the recent book purchases: Rana Dasgupta's Solo was Partner's purchase and he totally loved the book. I'm still to read it. The book was a revelation to me because Partner strictly reads books on history, war and about historical people who waged wars. Solo was fiction and it was one of the fastest reads I've seen Partner go through. It was also one of the first books -- some chapters at least -- that he read out loud to me in bed. I love it when Partner reads books, he is a complete natural. Given his talent and Dasgupta's brilliance at creating scenes from words, I'm looking forward to either reading it or having Partner complete reading it to me.
Sara Douglass's Infinity Gate was the last in the Darkglass Mountain trilogy that I'd written about in earlier. Given that Ms Douglass is dealing with chemotherapy and has written about how she's over writing SFF, let's see if she writes any other books.
Despite the price tag that I mentioned when the book came out, could not resist buying Pratchett's Unseen Academicals and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I can't wait for Bub to grow up (can't wait for s/he to be born!) so that I can read Harry Potter and the Discworld series to him/her.
Larsson's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was bought yesterday and haven't started reading it yet. Let's see what all the hype's about, eh?
Charlaine Harris's Dead in the Family is book 10 in the Sookie Stackhouse series. The inspiration behind HBO's True Blood teleserial -- that's currently started season three and has dominated TRP ratings in the past -- the book was fun, but not as much when I started reading the series. Somewhere I get the feeling Harris is selling out. But then, who wouldn't if there's money to be made?
The Cookery Encyclopedia and delicious sweets were both bargain buys, after reading and gardening, cooking is my preferred activity.

May 28, 2010

Naming-shaming

11 comments
Spent some really good hours with a friend and her 9 month old son today. The boy is absolutely adorable -- will be really handsome -- and it was so, so nice to see mother and son doing their thing. I loved the way he would just throw himself at her, completely trusting that she wouldn't let him fall. Of how she lifted him over her head and he simply stretched his arms out and shrieked with delight. Or how each time she left the room, he would crane his neck to see her or to hear her footsteps. Mostly I really cherished watching the exchange of touches between them.

When I was little -- as in not five feet 'little' but a kid! -- and I'd hurt myself or fall down or bump into things (which was usual and has not changed), Papa would rub wherever it was that I'd hurt myself and say, "There, it would now be all right." It didn't 'do' anything to the injury as such, but I would feel much better instantly. Or how when my period cramps would get really bad, Ma would fuss around me, stroke my hair and get me a hot water bottle. The bottle helped heaps, but it was the gentle touching that helped much more.

I clearly remember when I was 13 and Thamma (paternal grandma) was staying with us... I had developed these black corn-like things on my ankles from wearing tight shoes. Now my (late) Thamma was obese and didn't move around much. However, every nigh, unfailingly, she would painstakingly rub cream on my ankles and massage it in. "Snow cream will soften the skin and make the marks disappear," she would say. The marks did go away. She was so, so good at providing physical comfort to other people. Pressing your forehead if you had a headache, pinching the eyebrows (er, can't explain it in English but it's the most divine thing EVER!) if fatigued, gently massaging cream to relax the skin, the most bloody awesome head oil massages... It's amazing the things I have picked up from Thamma. Things I hadn't realised I had learned.

Like 'dotting' my face with cream before rubbing it in because "it spreads better and you don't miss out any area." Or knowing that when another is tired, nothing works a miracle quicker than running your fingers through their hair. So far I have not known anyone who does not like it. She 'finger combed' my hair every night when she stayed with us.

I am really fatigued today. I was fine in the morning but once my friend left, I have progressively become more and more tired. Now I feel it's in my bones and I miss Thamma so much. I miss my Ma a lot too. I had always assumed that I would have my mother around whenever it was that I had my first child. Now I don't know when I'll see her; though it's definitely sometime Bub's born.

I wonder how it would have been had either Ma or Thamma been around. I know it's normal to not be able to sleep in the third trimester but perhaps Thamma would have gently patted my back or stroked my hair each night I lay awake. And perhaps every time I would have said my back hurts, Ma would have rushed to get me a hot water bottle. Then arranged cushions around me, pulled a stool or something for me to rest my feet on, offer a back rub, touch my cheek and say, "Aaram kore di?" Papa on the other hand would have gone and brought some tandoori chicken, knowing it's comfort food for me.

Home-cooked Indian food, made by someone else -- that's what I have missed most during my pregnancy. I can make most dishes myself -- and I have -- but I have sorely missed the sense of being pampered with food. Restaurant food is just not the same. I have had -- and have -- many, many cuddles and hugs (Partner is really good with those), but I think I have really missed my Ma's concern. And I cannot tell her how much I want her near or how sorely I miss her because then she would really miss me and get upset.

Now as the date draws nearer (still couple of months though), I am getting sort-of edgy. Wondering about what's to come and wondering what I've missed out on because I am so far away. If I was in India, would I have had a naming ceremony for my child? And a traditional Indian baby shower? With bangles and henna? Would my baby have had many pishis and kakus and maamas? And many uncles and aunties instead of now calling everyone by their first names? On names: I know Bengali nicknames are joked about and well, I have at least seven that I can recall instantly... but would my child have had as many names...instead of Mum struggling with getting any names on the shortlist?

Indian or Australian? Complicated Indian? But how the hell will the Aussies pronounce it when even 'Jhoomur' has become "Zhumoore"? (Though to be honest even most Indians have had trouble pronouncing my name, rolls eyes) Simple Indian name? But then would Ratan become Rat and Pooja turn to Poo?! Based on grandparents? But Partner didn't know mine and vice-versa and 'Abha' would become Ava... it's not the same. A name that has a meaning? But desi or Aussie meaning!?

May 17, 2010

Abe, normal

13 comments
Still don't have the internet home, which is probably a good thing in hindsight. If I had had (easy) access to wikipedia last week, I probably would have gone into pre-term labour due to mouse-induced stress. So I went for my routine 28-week checkup, it coincided with my birthday (May 6). Along with all the great news the doc gave me -- vitamin and iron levels sweeping bottom etc -- she also told me she was sending me to a cancer specialist for another colposcopy.

I had my PAP smear (abnormal) followed by the first colposcopy (abnormal) in Jan/Feb 2010. Back then the doc told me that some cells in my cervix looked suspicious but that she would wait a couple of months before further action. Those couple of months passed pretty quickly and now she was sending me to a C-specialist. The appointment was in four days in which I was convinced I had only two more years to live (full blown cervical cancer) and that my doc was not telling me everything. Very routine check up that and a great 31st birthday. I refused to do anything and spent the evening wondering if my baby would be motherless and if eventually s/he would have a white or a dark-skinned step mom. Partner was very loving, which made it even worse.

Silver lining in the situation? No internet access to confirm my suspicions and confirmation that despite my MIL's very helpful "You have not grown much since I last saw you" statement (I immediately began thinking premature, underweight baby), my doctor told me the baby's size is/was slightly above average for 28 weeks. By the end of the week thought things were back bright and beautiful (except for the bit about an unsigned contract, looming deadline and absolute inability to write anything, even shopping lists).

The visit to the C-specialist was bad. Instead of focussing on what she said about the suspicious cells now being possible early cancer, I was more pissed off about her attitude and comments about me, ie about exercise and smoking.
"Do you do any exercise?"
"No."
Disapproving frown. "Do you at least walk?"
"Yes. I walk to the supermarket. ?"
Humour not appreciated, frown deepens. "So basically you don't do any form of structured exercise are a smoker."
"I haven't since I've been pregnant."
Not impressed, rolls eyes and says in very authoritarian, disapproval-laden, you-are-a-moron tone, "What are we going to DO about you?"
I smile to avoid telling her exactly what was on my mind. Despite usually harping about my lack of exercise, Partner wisely did not join teams with the C-specialist.

Towards the end of the session that included questions about vegetarianism and the efficacy of yoga, C-specialist performs a biopsy. It alarmed me somewhat because so far according to what I had read (er,) biopsies are not performed in pregnancies. At least that's also what my doc had told me after the first colposcopy. After the C-specialist pokes around in me and tells me not to worry about the biopsy ("But doctor..." was ignored), she announces that depending on the test results we could be looking at a possible operation at 34 weeks. And that "usually" that would mean the baby would be born as well.

"Can it harm the baby?"
"Not really, unless you bleed too much."
"But then it would be a pre-term baby...?" I sound somewhat harsh because I didn't want to sound hysterical.
"Yes, but the baby has good chances of survival?" she says.

WTF does "good" chances of survival mean? I've had morning sickness, severe tummy and abdominal aches (I thought my pancreatic fluid or something was leaking), horrendous constipation (enough to make me fantasize about having good poos), inconvenient kicks in the gut, less than desirable physical manifestation of mental horniness (decipher that!) and many unwanted horror baby-birth stories... in short, I've been through some things and I'm WAITING for my baby. I want to say "My waters have broken" or "Honey, we need to go to the hospital NOW" or "The baby's on its way" or "Where's my Prodigy CD?" or whatever else... I want to feel the pain, have someone tell me to push, crush Partner's fingers and after it all, HOLD my baby.

And now this bloody, possibly vegetarian, definitely yoga-loving, disapproving, insensitive-to-pregnant-mother C-specialist tells me my baby has "good chances of survival"? It was not enough and I was shit scared. Of everything. Both Partner and I were shaken up. That was on Monday (May 10). Thankfully by Friday evening, my doc had called and informed me that I did not have gestational diabetes and that my biopsy showed that it was only CIN , ie not cancer and only on the surface. She still has to tell me about operation dates. Let's see.

The C-scare apart, I've been exercising like a maniac, in a manner of speaking. We moved house recently and it's a two level place, so I've been doing tonnes of cleaning up, setting up and general stuff that has me moving a lot. Even going up and down stairs, which anyone will tell you is legitimate exercise. The fact that I just cannot sleep -- baby obediently and religiously kicks at 12 am, 2 am and 4 am -- also helps in clocking extra hours for exercise.

I am also expanding exponentially. And helpful statements from well-meaning friends/people like, "You haven't put on much weight, you're all baby" are not helping at all. Since I've recently rearranged my clothes, I know just HOW big I am. All my jeans are getting stuck at the knees, I've discovered underwear that can now only fit my ears and bras that... Well, Partner pointed out that my breast(s) are bigger than my head. Get the picture?

I am also changing fundamentally and I can't seem to control, shape or prevent it -- and it's the lack of control that's bothering me the most. Like retail therapy now means shopping for various types of cleaning products and optimum space management solutions. While the criteria for personal clothing is still the same -- feels good against my skin and comes off easily -- the intent and purpose are dramatically different. Earlier it was seduction, now its turning into sedation. AND I have 10 more weeks to go of waiting. Sigh.



May 13, 2010

Quick update

4 comments
Don't have access to the internet yet, shifted home four days back. Sorry about not putting up the Mother's Day post, should be up once I am connected.

Had routine prenatal check recently, baby doing fine, touch wood. Other than that... kind of zapped. Low on Vit D, iron levels dismal. Maybe gestational diabetes. And, cervical cancer scare. Pre-cancerous cells, awaiting results and operation dates. Shocked. Still.

It's not cancer yet. But somehow, just the word is very scary. More details later.

April 22, 2010

India shining?

7 comments
Top 5 stories on ibnlive.com are about the IPL.
BCCI-Modi 'divorce' is top story on timesofindia.com, with other stories including Gilchrist's drive, something about Payal Rohatgi and Priyanka Chopra.
More cricket, one item on the PM's stand on naxals and er, Beckham learning rapping from Snoop Dog on hindustantimes.com.
Absolute IPL overkill on ndtv.com as well.

And all this while a disabled Dalit girl and her father were burnt alive in Haryana. The police sketch of the prime suspect in the Bangalore blast is hidden somewhere inside.

When I log in from Australia to read about what's happening back home, nothing and no news website gives me ANY idea. Is this news?

March 22, 2010

Impatience

23 comments
I yearn for you and in yearning realise
I have never felt anything like this before.
The fear, the love, the passion,
The overwhelming sense I have been waiting for this.

For so long.

I am dying to touch you, to hold you, to smell you, to cuddle you.
Even to have you puke and dribble on me.
I won’t say I am overjoyed at the thought of,
Ballistic baby potty…

But if it means you have good bowel movement,
I will be enthralled at the efficiency of your li’l bowels.
And your little hands, little toes, round little bottom
And the eyes that I so imagine now.

Eyes like mine, eyes like his.

The eyes that I will look into
And behold the wonder at what you see.
To wonder at what you think
And what or who you will grow up to be.

I cannot wait to have our first argument,
When I will know that you are expressing your will
And despite wanting it my way, an old habit
I will revel in the fact that you have your own opinions.

And moan at how stubborn you can be. (I know it)

I am terrified sometimes that you might not be
But then I banish those thoughts as easily as they come
For you have my will and your father’s strength of being
And I believe you shall be and be all that you can be.

You are the epitome of my hopes, my dreams, all the love I can possibly have.

I know there will be times when you will think I am silly
When perhaps I will not be as cool, calm or smart as other moms
But I hope you will see that I am trying for you
And that at times I will seek your help in being all I can be.

For I do believe there will be things you will know better than me.

I am dying to dress you up, to marvel at the beauty I know you are.
To relive everything I could not be, am not.
I know that soon you will not want to wear what I decide
And I hope that perhaps then you will pick out what I should wear instead

And think that I am the prettiest mom you have ever laid eyes on.

I love you. Already. Totally. Irrevocably.
And I desperately hope you will love me.
It’s not fair, I know, to want so much from you.
But I am weak and I have my faults

And I hope that just like your father, you will love me despite my faults…

I hope you will enjoy head massages and give them to me as well
I want to see you swim even if you laugh at how scared I can be in water
I want to see you dive and hold my hand and teach me how.
I want to see you play and teach me new tricks…

And new words, even though I fear they might be slangs.

I am dying to touch you, to hold you, to smell you, to cuddle you.
To have you and be blessed that you are mine.
Ours. To love.

March 19, 2010

Stranger, danger?

7 comments
One of my earliest random memories is from when I was 9-years-old. I had just won a prize for a dance performance (on Jahan chaar yaar mil jaaye from Sharaabi!) at an army function and was being pretty much adored by everyone around. ‘Everyone’ then included lots of army ‘uncles’ and ‘aunties’ and particulary a large number of ‘young’ uncles. Young uncles in the army are unmarried lieutenants and captains who are (or were back then at least) usually treated as the kids at a cantonment.

What I clearly remember is not the dancing or the prize but of some young uncle picking me up in his arms and throwing me in the air while the others cheered and applauded my (excellent) dance moves… and later, of Papa growling at Ma for ‘letting’ that officer pick me up, Ma whining her helplessness and Papa finishing off with, “You don’t let any bastard touch my daughter”. I remember feeling bad for Ma and being confused at Papa’s reaction (didn’t he like my dance?) and yet understanding then (and for the rest of my life) that Papa did not want me picked up or cuddled – even as a 9 year old – by other men, even nice young uncles.

If my vocabulary had included ‘over-reacting’ then, I probably would have used it. (I did use it often for Papa in my teen years). I understood the why of Papa’s fury much later; and now that I am expecting my first child, suddenly, mysteriously and guiltily, ‘over-reacting’ seems such a useless, over-used word. How can you overreact in protecting your child…or can you?

One of the things Partner really had to train me for (or against) when we first came to Melbourne was to NOT go “how c.u.t.e.” over strangers’ babies. I’ve always liked babies and have (or had) not thought twice about walking up to parents with an adorable tot and striking a conversation that usually started with, “Your baby is so cute etc.” Or if at times a child was found wandering by himself/herself – somehow toddlers seem to manage it extremely well despite vigilant parents – holding its hand and asking where its mother was and simply waiting for the parents to turn up.

In Melbourne, it’s not as easy. First couple of months here a similar lonely-child incident had happened. I had promptly walked up to the child and was asking it about its parents when they had come running...The mother was relieved and said thanks but the father – He looked like my father as he stared at me suspiciously. I was so hurt, Partner was understanding but upset (with me). “Baby, you cannot just talk to kids here, you could be arrested.”

I’ve received varied reactions from parents when I’ve smiled at a cute tot or made faces at babies (it’s awesome when they react and smile or laugh). Some parents have smiled back and others have glared at me, with mistrust, some with fear. I don’t think it had anything to do with me being Indian etc. These were protective parents. It hurt me initially and I wailed at Partner, “But I was just being friendly!” “You know I am not a ‘kiddie fiddler’!” And Partner had again patiently explained and I had understood but lamented how innocent people were being viewed through the same lens as the paedophiles.

And yet, can we – can I? – ever know who is innocent and who can harm my child?

It’s considered good mothering here if you let your baby be cuddled by others. ‘Others’ does not mean strangers but say family, friends etc. It is said that it helps children socialise better and lets them get used to other people more. If a mother smothers her child in her bosom (not literally but is over-protective), the child is thought to grow up as an introvert or someone who is not as socially adept. It’s here that I get confused. What if I trust the wrong person?

Papa’s (over) protectiveness did not end with strangers; it extended to everyone, regardless of friend or family status. He did not trust anyone. It protected but it also choked. I had no night outs at friends’ homes because they had older brothers and fathers; didn’t go for school trips or picnics because I’d be alone with boys, didn’t learn swimming because there were too many men in the swimming pool (and I had developed breasts at 10, bloody things), was not allowed to compete in the doubles badminton tournament (after winning three prizes) because that would have meant partnering with an unmarried officer (I was 14)…the list goes on.

But did it eventually protect? Or did it exclude me from people? Is that the reason that I can be ‘popular’ with people but don’t have many friends…and don’t know how to ‘make’ friends? Was it his protectiveness that harnessed extreme reckless, rebelliousness in me and made me seek out things and experiences that were the antithesis of whatever he believed in? Or was it my destiny to learn things the hard way (f**k destiny really)?

And most importantly, how am I going to be with my child? Am I content to teach it ‘stranger danger’? How do I explain the difference between good and bad strangers? Yes I know about the good touch and bad touch…but how do I explain how to see/fathom malicious intent before the touch? How do I prevent the touch? Will I be a good judge to know who’s good/bad for my child? Can I trust anyone… or have I become like my father?

How do you – those with children – know what to do? Are you not scared?

Read this on similar thoughts, from a mother of three

Some scary facts:
USA: Most sexual abuse offenders are acquainted with their victims; approximately 30% are relatives of the child, most often brothers, fathers, uncles or cousins; around 60% are other acquaintances such as friends of the family, babysitters, or neighbors; strangers are the offenders in approximately 10% of child sexual abuse cases.
[Julia Whealin, Ph.D. (2007-05-22). "Child Sexual Abuse". National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, US Department of Veterans Affairs.]

India: 53.22% of children in India reported having faced sexual abuse. Among them 52.94% were boys and 47.06% girls (sample of 12,447 children, 2,324 young adults and 2,449 stakeholders across 13 states). The study looked at different forms of child abuse: Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Emotional Abuse and Girl Child Neglect in five evidence groups, namely, children in a family environment, children in school, children at work, children on the street and children in institutions.
["Study on Child Abuse: India 2007" (PDF). Published by the Government of India, (Ministry of Women and Child Development).]

March 16, 2010

Kaise ho?

8 comments
There's really no point in me apologising for vanishing acts since I know I could (and would) be doing it again. Lots has been happening.

For one, Bub is kicking around, not very hard and you still cannot feel it from the top (as in if you place your hand on tummy etc) but I sure can feel the flutters. Doesn't seem to like spicy food since it kicks more after curries. Hrmph. I am determined that Bub shall like curries -- and all Indian food -- as much as its mum does; though I shall compromise and feed it vegemite as well. Personally I can't stand the damn thing.

Two, we've got to move from this house in May -- right when I will be mega-huge -- and so house-hunting as well. And surfing the internet for homes is about as much of the 'nesting instinct' I am indulging in. The moment I walk into baby stores the sheer sight of the things on display and for sale scares (the shit out of) me. What not to buy?!

Three, trying very hard not to say f**k and failing brilliantly. Very worried -- since now Bub is at the stage it can apparently hear me -- that the first word it will say will be either idiot, dingbat or f**k. 'Dingbat' is a new and recently coined term (by me), and I don't know why I came up with it but it's a good substitute for asshole (and other similar insults).

Four, very worried about swearing during labour. And worried about birth plan and all that since the only thing I have decided so far -- and which has met with either laughter (friends) or horror (Partner) -- is that I definitely want to play Smack My Bitch Up (Prodigy) during labour. That song really gets me going. :D Don't know if the hospital will allow it though.

Five, knitting these days. Tried it couple of months back and ended up buying a whole lot of wool and all possible needle sizes and then knitting the arm holes near the hem line instead of next to the shoulders. Now at it again but this time determinedly focussed on Bub-clothes. BUT if things go wrong will e-bay the wool and buy the damn things (always have exit options ready).

That's all from me. I am 57.30 kgs and think there's a bit of fat on my nose as well, though most of it is primarily distributed between the boobs (now udders), waist and upper thighs. Apparently the boobs are going to get EVEN bigger and I am considering buying crutches to support them. If I find any, shall report. ;)

February 8, 2010

Honesty-shonesty

13 comments
Oh well. I had some stuff I wanted to write about but then this turned out to be a much quicker post. Thanks to Chandni for giving me this award. Big truth: I am very self-conscious about accepting blog awards, especially tags. First self-conscious bit is the award and second would be the answering the tag thing that makes me either avoid acceptance or procrastinate the writing!

I think I'm honest most of the times, and more than honest at most other times. *evil grin* So according to "rules", here are 10 more honest things...though how relevant to anyone/anything, I take no responsibility for!!

1. I cannot understand when people (on Facebook) tag me on notes when they haven't said hello for ages. I always remove the tag.

2. Sometimes I think I'm too low maintenance. :/ Like my comfort food is khichuri (for crying out loud) and most animation movies make me really happy.

3. I am never happy with the bras I buy. Never. And now that I officially have udders, it's getting even tougher.

4. Though I have a baby bump, I have to confess that my doctor said, ''A lot of your bump is in fact belly,'' which kind of had me a bit glum. :/ But then rather a doc who's easy to talk to then overly bloody maternal.

5. I am scared of driving cars and can't believe I am being forced to er, learn. However, before you laugh, I have no fears about hopping on a motorcycle and riding around. Parents and Partner have forbidden it.
(And I thought I'd get to make my own decisions once I was 30)


6. I secretly (well not anymore) fear that someday I will stop being attractive for Partner. (However if any woman EVER thinks of using my sometimes low self-confidence as a weakness and tries any moves-shoves on my territory, oh boy, she better be bloody prepared for my real nastiness. Evil laugh)

7. Yet I find it very tough to use the above as enough motivation to really exercise. I mean what's the point if affection is only physical eh? Bring on the chocolates.

8. I am always a bit apprehensive discussing what's bothering me with people -- even really close ones -- because I can't stand the expectation that I am expected to follow their advice!
(I mean it's fair though, I make them listen for hours and then get pissed off when they give me all-knowing advice.)

9. I am very jealous of women who can sing (they always behave like divas) and women who say they "play a lot of sport". I can do neither...though I am darned good at some video games. I demand video games be declared sport.
(Er, if you sing or play sport, it totally does not mean you, thik-hai?)

10. I SUCK at shooting games/war games, especially on the Xbox. I always get my head blown up in 2 seconds (usually Partner) and completely hate it. I am VERY competitive in video games... I also insist that all double/multiplayer video games should ALWAYS have a default female character. WHY should I play Modern Warcraft 2 when I always have to be a man?

I pass this on to:
Silvara (who is very honest about (failure) with weight loss attempts)
Goofy Mumma (who writes so sweetly about shifting to a new country)
Pirate of the Arabian (who writes one bloody post a year, should bloody well be writing more)
DewDropDream (who I have not seen in aaaaaages)
Sree (who is so honest...it hurts. And I wish it would stop hurting)

January 29, 2010

Paranoia

18 comments
I didn't know her in college. But I saw a picture where she had the kind of waist-line I could kill for. And had I known her then, perhaps would have hated her for it.

I got to know her -- not really -- through her blog. Even went to her house for dinner once with Partner. And I remember her Brat. He had that smile that makes you want to smile. No matter how pissed off you are.

Sometimes her posts piss me off. I will not go into reasons now. Sometimes they echo what I think. Sometimes they make me wonder about the starkness with which she writes.

I don't think she is perfect, but if there's someone flawed doing a damn good job of things -- fumbling, learning, screaming, loving -- perhaps it's her. Especially since we are the same age and she has two children.

My biggest problem as a blogger is that I am not reciprocal. In other words I really don't keep up with reading others. I do it sporadically. Read 20 blogs in one day and then not do it for months.

I loved this post. Not because of the happy ending but because it scared me to bits.

I am nearly 15 weeks pregnant. I was smoking till the day before I discovered I was pregnant. Smoking meant 20 cigarettes. I had drags the other day (judge me at your own peril, absolutely not up for moral declarations of any f*cking sort).

And I get scared. Will my placenta tear off? What if I have a spontaneous abortion before 20 weeks? What if the baby is still born? What if it has webbed hands and feet? What if he has ADD? Or is hyper-active?

Most of my doubts are related to smoking. I research everyday, incessantly on the effects of smoking on unborn babies. And everyday I find something new. What if, what if, what if... What is most scary is that every bloody research is inconclusive.

And then her this post. What if everything is right and then something goes wrong with my child? Four years, 10 years later...? HOW will I cope? What will I do? And most selfishly of all... will it be my fault? Will I be blamed?

"... it takes more than half a teaspoon of sperm to make a father." --- The Mad Momma

January 28, 2010

It's not me, it's the baby

27 comments
IF I see one more Bollywood movie with divinely pregnant women practicing lullabies the moment their bloody ovum is fertilised...
Or any more filmi sequences where hero-heroine burst into "the moon of our eye and the apple of your womb" type romantic number when they discover they/she are/is pregnant.
Or any references to how life is going to change (completely, drastically, horrendously) because tum maa banne waali ho*. (All Hindi translations given at the end of this post, and if some are missing, I can't be f*cked.)
I swear I WILL kill.

I mean yes, it's great that I am preggers. Yes, it was quite shocking to discover something barely 6 cms long kicking around that energetically INSIDE me. And once I got over the first shock, it was quite... shocking, again, but this time more like, ''It is alive AND kicking.'' (Also finally understood the meaning of that phrase, thank-you very much) Then only to be scared persistently, horrendously for the next four weeks wondering, ''Is it still kicking?'' "Oh shit I was lying on my tummy...is it squished?'' ''If I sneeze or cough or laugh too hard...does it get dizzy?'' ''If I get horny, does it know?!" (Freaked me out completely that one)

What I am trying to say is that I am feeling... That yes I am willing to do all that's necessary....or simply that I know I am having a baby. Yes thank-you I am excited. But no thank-you I cannot pretend that everything is peaches and apples and other rosy things. I cannot be all angelic.
I am having a bloody nicotine withdrawal all right?! And my boobs feel like, like extra appendages from Total Recall that have a mind of their own. They certainly have a centre of gravity of their own given the directions they go off to when I lie down. (Like how would you feel if you had to tuck your boob from UNDER your arm pit and...nevermind.)

And my back hurts. And people tell me it's only the beginning. Ooh, ha, ha, very funny. And there are these twingy feelings at the side of my, well, uterus. (How many times have you spoken about your uterus in a normal conversation eh?) Though from where the uterus originally was now it has apparently risen. And I thought it was just man-balls (as against woman-balls?!) that did the rising-descending thing. And the time I told Partner, "I think I am hurting because my uterus is rising," he stopped, mid-step, one foot in the air, almost jerk-braked and whilst staring somewhere in the region of my belly said horrified, "What?! Like rising right now?"

I know gazillions of women have done it before me -- infact our friend group has a new mom and two others who'd be popping out their bubs before me -- and have all gone bravely etc, etc. But if I am a bit chicken, can I please not be laughed at? Can I please get some bloody sympathy?

And not have anyone (like Partner, though I know he is trying to be understanding etc) patting me on the arm and saying, "Ah, you'll be fine." Really and he's scared of tweezers.

And someone wished me a baby with a big head. :( Like severe constipation, multiplied by 20 times and the wrong orifice. I am petrified.
(*Translation: You are going to be a mother, usually said with nudge, nudge, wink, wink)
PS: Despite one father and one mother possibly reading this blog, I shall blog about Things That Piss Me Off About Being Pregnant, all filed under the category: "up the duff". For what that means and the origin of the phrase, go here.
Pic courtesy: Steve Harpster of Studio Harpster

January 20, 2010

A little, big thing

28 comments
Why am I writing this, writing here? That’s the question I’ve asked the umpteen times I’ve tried blogging and haven’t. Each time I haven’t been certain of the answer and so haven’t bothered to write. I’ve sat and played game after game of online monopoly (pogo.com), tried the same campaign on Age of Empires at various difficulty levels, surfed through various websites…Done everything but blog.

Either I’ve not known why I want to write – not what, never what – or someone else has said it better than I would, could. There’s no dearth of opinions, I’ve always had them by the truckloads, there’s just a sense of… Can’t-be-bothered.

There’s so much that’s happened. It made the last year go by so fast, it seems I went straight from 2008 to 2010. Perhaps my not wanting to write was a way of dealing with so many new things, adjustments, changes. Perhaps.

So many remember-it-lifelong events, moments. So many that at times you (and I) forgot them in an instant unless it had a Facebook album dedicated to it.

The desperation of unemployment. While living an all-paid-for life. The consequent, complete loss of identity, or feeling thereof. It’s not money if it’s not my money, joint account be damned.

The jealousy (and anger) I felt…towards my own Partner because he was doing so well while I languished in self pity. You are someone and I am that someone’s girlfriend. The intense guilt because some times I really wished it was the other way round. And because I was never denied anything.

The acute realisation that I have different coloured skin. And that it’s supposed to be inferior. Not because anyone has been racist towards me. But because the media said they could be. Or that I am supposed to have a “new found sense of superiority”. A polite way of saying “Indians are getting cocky”. Apparently I belong to the “rising Indian middle class” with more “spending power”. I swear I didn’t notice.

A year – well couple of months at least – of travelling, where “travelling” did not mean an 18-hour train journey to see the parents or a road trip to Manali. International travel dudes, spending power and all that. (But it’s not your money said that thought at the back of my head, sometimes at the front of my head too).

The realisation people more qualified than me are walking around jobless. Like the Masters in Accounts waitress at the local restaurant… and feeling guilty that I got a job at one of the community newspapers. It’s a casual position – I have a job if someone resigns or goes on leave – it could go any day. Community reporting, it’s something I did when I started out as a journalist. BUT, it beats making sandwiches and cleaning tables any day. So I lied when she recently asked if I had a job.

It was a year of scoring really well in my Masters final semester. Being “awarded” (it was a book) by this high flying, resident-author-at-uni…and wondering if I deserved it or if it was international student appeasement. Of getting really good feedback from two well-respected industry sources on my novel draft… and wondering if it was because I was selling a West-accepted image of India.

Umm, what is the India-accepted image of India?

Then of course was the grand finale: Finding out that I am pregnant. And realising that I really didn’t ¬– and don’t – have an answer to, “Are you ready for it?” I don’t know, but I know I am having a baby. I know am excited. I know I am bloody petrified.

And I know that no matter how much I am paid, I don't think I can pose nude when pregnant. Nope.

PS: Will this blog now become a "mommy" blog. I don't know. Is it allowed?

January 18, 2010

Sometimes, stuff hides

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(Republished without permission, please go here for more such)

Tears and stuff

Things got a bit intense last evening.

I walked in on my daughter watching a re-run of Jungle Book 2 on television. You know it. Mowgli rediscovers his old friends in the jungle, after discovering hormones in the man-village. My daughter was crying because Mowgli knew he had to return to mankind, and Baloo the bear was giving him a hug to make it easier.

‘Why aren’t you crying?’ My daughter asked me. She was pouring tears. ‘It’s so sad and happy at the same time.’

So I cried a little. I was surprised at how easily the tears came.

We sat there, sniffling, pre-teen daughter and middle-aged father, as the credits rolled up. It felt good to know that in her eyes I wasn’t a wimp.

She went off to bed, as I channel-surfed: a four year-old girl raped in Delhi; real estate dealers in cahoots with politicians brokering a regime-shift in Goa; George W saying something silly; the mess in Andhra Pradesh after police killed protesters demanding government land for the landless; Aussies shipping back Doctor Haneef the terror un-suspect to India. The usual.

Then I chanced on the finals between Iraq and Saudi Arabia at Asia Cup soccer being played in Jakarta. As I watched disbelieving, the Iraqi team—a happy, committed collection of Shias, Sunnis and Kurds leaving angst and vendetta behind—went one goal up. And then won the match.

The entire Iraqi team was crying with joy. They were probably crying in Baghdad and Basra and Kirkuk and up and down the Tigris and Euphrates. I cried, too. If I had a Kalashnikov, I would probably have shot some brass into the air—to hell with my neighbours.

The last time I felt this way over a sporting event was in 1996 when Sri Lanka won the Cricket World Cup. For a brief spell, it brought that torn nation together. Tamil Tigers had declared a ceasefire of sorts for the duration. The government responded. And there was magic. Blood and gore and desperation were kept away for some weeks by the power of emotion woven by eleven people on a green playing field in a foreign land.

Some of that came back, watching the Iraqis win. Maybe they cried because they were happy. Maybe they cried for their nation—they finally could, in public, on live TV as the world watched, and nobody would call them wimps.

(Maybe it’s time someone takes Osama and Dubya, put them in the same cell at Guantanamo, and throws away the keys. That would surely lead to grand celebration in the East and West. I’d cry again, no problem.)

January 7, 2010

Bushtailed!

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A good idea needs few words.

Really like the work done by these guys, a new advertising firm called Bushtail.

I quite enjoyed their website too, give it a go, something quite hatke. And yes, if you know people looking for advertisers, pass the link on.

January 6, 2010

Quote

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"The human race would have died out if it was left to men to have babies."
--- Colleague at work when discussing a picture of a woman in labour that appeared in the Sunday Age newspaper. She believes, and we all agreed, that men cannot tolerate pain as well as women do. They (men) just don't have any pain threshold level.
Pic courtesy: theage.com

January 5, 2010

Aao, khao!

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What better way to start 2010 than by completely feeding my face? In the year and half of my being in Melbourne, I've made no pretenses about missing Indian food. Especially when it comes down to chaat and sweets and the other goodies we take for granted back home.

It was a random chat with one of the dude's at the Indian store at Moonee Ponds that lead to my best discovery in Melbourne yet. Ironic though that it should be Partner asking about "Where to get authentic gulab jamuns?" instead of me. Perhaps because Partner has been quite sick of the disintegrating gulab jamuns I've tried making. They taste almost the same except they are not round or any other shape.Add Image

So we end up at this store that's hidden away behind a bigger store. And inside was the most amazing sight ever. Motichoor laddoos, gulab jamun in paper cups and syrup, rosogolla (spelled as such too), ras malai, kaju barfi, barfi, jalebi and to my utter, utter delight dhokla...with the steamed green chillies! In Melbourne!

The owner and his wife were very polite and extremely helpful in pointing out what I might like to eat! ;) Given that I was/am a greedy pig, I really appreciated their help.

Partner watched with honest amazement as I went through each item with absolute relish. I had doubts if the taste would be "authentic", I need not have worried. God they were SO tasty. Though I think I miscalculated my love for samosas and should have ordered more. I wonder if they do gol gappas, shall call and ask.

This evening after work I'm eating the ras malai -- both of them -- since Partner got to eat more of the gulab jamuns. I am so happy. I love food. I love sweets even more. I love Indian sweets the most.

Happy new year, may you all eat well.

This is the store:
Sweet India, Factory 9, 1-3 Kilmur Rd, Hoppers Crossing, Vic 3029.
Ph/Fax: 9369 6694