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January 29, 2010


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

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

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

(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


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


"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!

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