Thursday, February 24, 2005

Fishy tales

To say my husband loved fishing, as a kid, is an understatement.

How else would you explain his hooking the same fish again and again? Yes, the same fish!

The story goes... as a kid, hubby often grabbed his home-made rod and ran off to fish in the pond a little away, with some bigger boys. And he did manage to catch a few unfortunate fish.

And soon it would be dark and time to get home before the dad got furious and snarled with flaring nostrils.

Once home, the caught fish would be emptied in a little puddle in the backyard. And my sadist of a hubby would get down to the business of camouflaging the menacing hook with delicious dough and hanging it next to the unsuspecting fish. Again! Ouch!

And fish, true to their memories lasting the blink of an eye, get lured by the dough bait, offered by a vicious little boy. Again and again.

The love for fishing still lives. But the skill is gone, I believe. How else would you explain, armed with a state-of-the-art handsome rod and reel, he doesn't catch even the hint of a fish? (If you don't consider the ones that just about get away!)

Or maybe the fish have finally got wiser to the ways of a wicked wicked boy a long time back.
A little highlight in the day...

Two and a half year old Krishang singing to me, "Agar mein ka..hoo... mujhe tumse moh..ha..bat hai, toh kya"

I made him repeat it several times. And he did it each time with his million dollar smile!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

A lot of us are wearing baby pink today and must say it's a pretty picture. We all admitted pink suits February. This was sent by a friend in pink. I just loved it.

If I could paint in harmony and colors were words I had sung,
If I could climb way up in the sky where the stars are carefully hung,
There are flowers in her backyard that resemble the spots of the sun,
And there are times I look into her eyes and see the woman and God as one.

Goo Goo Dolls, inside-cover poem

Friday, February 18, 2005

a v-day dinner

Valentine’s evening, as we waited for a table at the 5th restaurant we tried, I was faint with hunger. It had been a long day without food. And the whole world seems to be cuddling long and late at the city’s eating places.

I didn’t have time to eat the whole day. Breakfast time in office was taken up by a grave meeting in a dark cold room. At lunch time, I ran to look for the book I wanted to buy the hubby. He had, of course, done his usual surprise number at midnight with flower delivery and gifts. All I had was a guilty conscience and my sweetest smile.

After trying all the bookshops, (slipping out of office at every conceivable opportunity) I couldn’t find the book I so wanted and settled for miserable substitutes. For a change, the hubby beat me at mush too by writing lovely dovey messages. I was mortified! Couldn’t I have taken a little time to shop for him, to write a personal card for him, a day before?

I felt fairly atoned as I stayed hungry. On the way to dinner, he stopped at this big store and I almost sank into the ground as he picked a packet (an exorbitant gift of a perfume, for me!). Oh god, I couldn’t have got a better man! Made a mental note not to be mean to him. I keep making these notes and forgetting about them. That reminds me, I am losing my memory. Yesterday I forgot my maid’s name as I looked at her blankly. I had to ask the hubby later what it was.

Back to V-day night, by the time we were ready to eat, the whole world and their wives, girlfriends and mistresses were too. Except they all seemed to have booked their tables, well in advance.

So there we were, at a place where the waiters were kind and the manager was actually apologetic. Complimentary drinks and anything we wanted were offered. Time and again. All we wanted was a table to eat on.

Ah finally! As we sank into comfortable seats, we had indulgent waiters hovering all around. Young boys, looking happy to serve as if they were to the job born. Working so hard on valentine’s night. I hoped they were at least pocketing hefty tips. We were glad we finally landed up at this place.

Suddenly, a man barged in and announced loudly, “I left my cell phone behind.� I recognized him from the jovial group who had just left the place a few minutes back. And so the search for the phone began. Left, right, under, behind, over. Every place and position.

“Are you sure, sir?� the staff asked hesitantly.

“I am. I just got a call while I was sitting here.�

10 minutes passed. It was getting difficult to eat with all the excitement around. Everybody was fairly distracted. The young waiters were visibly panicking. I wanted to ask the guy to stop accusing them without proof. But I kept quiet.

15 minutes passed. The owner was called too. “You guys better give it up or I am getting the cops.�

The brute! I wanted to kick him out of the restaurant. He needs to learn to take care of his expensive phone!

25 minutes passed. A waiter comes with a phone in hand. It was in the restroom, he says. “I never went there. So how did it reach there?� Saying that, the brute started hitting the 2 young waiters who had served his table. He dragged them out and kept slapping them. And the poor boys were both crying out, “I didn’t steal it!�

We lost our appetite. Packing the rest of our food, we left. Maybe one of them stole it, maybe none of them did. But the once smiling, enthusiastic faces of the waiters, suddenly terrified and screaming with fear, haunts me till today.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

A lost size?

I am one of those who can look at clothes and decide whether they would fit me, sizewise. Of course, I try them on to make sure. What I always prided myself with was I CAN buy clothes by just looking at them, if I didn't have the time to go into the trial room and preen into the mirrored walls.

Among the various shopping done on a recent trip, there features 3 pairs of jeans and a tee. I picked up the jeans without trying them on. The first one was spotted hanging at the door. Stylish, low waist, no waistband and blasted dark blue. I had to have them! A size smaller and they would be perfect, I thought. But they didn't have another size. I clung to them and bought them anyway, before hubby changed his mind.

The next shop, I saw some amazing denims again. Great looking. And this time, just my size! The girl at the shop, a slim pretty young thing looked at me and looked at the denims I was holding. A little hesitant... "this isn't your size."

"Of course it is! I have been wearing this size since I can remember! Quick! Quick! Pack them!" Kept an eye out for the hubby who had gone on ahead and had no idea of the extra damage to his pocket.

She held the waist of the jeans and wrapped it around my neck. (Incidently that's how they check the sizes and fittings in that part of the country!) Don't know what she deciphered but she packed them anyways. I grabbed the packet, left the money on her table and ran.

The tee was a gift. In Delhi, while waiting for us to show up at a mall, hubby's cousin picked up gifts for us. His, fortunately, was a perfume which didn't require any specific size checks. Mine was the tee. She held it out and asked if it was okay or we could get it exchanged. After the "You shouldn't have...!" I finally held it against myself, loved it and announced it was perfect.

Once home, the horror began.

The bigger jeans bought earlier is the only thing that fitted me comfortably. The other two pairs just about make it up to my waist. After that it's a struggle with the zip, the button and mere movement. I was horrified. How could this happen?

And the tee... with me in it could be displayed in a museum! Chest stretched till the threads could be counted. Arms once lifted, looked like a wrestler's when brought down with the tee giving magnificent shape to the muscles. What a nightmare!

Other than dearest hubby, everyone has been assuring me I look the same. Not an extra ounce visible. Hubby, of course assures me, they are all lying. I, out of habit, never listen to him. In my case, mirrors have also lied. Or maybe I have stood before the wrong mirrors. Those ones that make you look thinner and so much better than you are. My friend, A, has one like that. Does wonders to the self esteem, if you glance at it before moving out of the house. Anyway I digressed.

Now I have just accepted a fact that I have not been admitting to myself. Mentally I am my old size, physically I have moved on. I need to bid adieu to my old size in clothes and look forward to a brand new bigger size.

Alternatively, I could start with eating out of need, instead of greed. Alongwith dragging myself onto the forgotten road to the gym.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Holidays moods

A lifetime has passed. Yes, that was another life. That’s what it feels like now.

I am back from one of the most refreshing holidays. Just 3 weeks. But so much packed in. Plenty of traveling covering the north to the north east. There was a list I posted before leaving for my holiday. And now when I look at it, it still remains a list. Not much of that was covered. But there is enough to make another ‘DONE’ list.

I did want to write everyday but sometimes it’s so much better to just experience, even at the risk of not being able to recall some of it later. At times I would just have a few minutes to check mails. And sometimes not even that.

One word that precedes the entire trip was COLD WEATHER, besides of course, FOOD. Not having moved out of Bombay during winter in years, this was indeed a bone chilling experience.

In Bombay, if our lives were speeding at 300 kph, we slowed down to 3 kph and enjoyed the cruise.

A few notes…

Delhi has good roads and bad drivers. And the most beautiful women. Hubby is almost cock-eyed now after continuous leching at the beauties.

Delhi dresses. For every occasion. And for no occasion.

In Assam, people live to eat. And to feed.

Have decided not to shop in Bombay anymore. Feel foolish after seeing the same things at half the prices everywhere else.

Shillong is another mecca for shopping. Just have to hold on to hubby’s purse as he forgets to haggle with the smart and pretty Khasi girls.

Waiting and wondering if I have lost the hubby, at 1 degree Celsius with only a sweater is not fun, as hubby disappears to answer nature’s call. He always has to go at the worst of times!

Hubby becomes a spoilt irritating brat at his parents and a gentleman again at my parents. I have learnt to do the same. Kudos!

At the park, the nephew, little Aryan bullied the foxes to wake up and growl. We had to hurry before they tore the fences down trying to get Aryan.

Little Aryan, realizing hubby was scared while boating, kept trying to push him into the water.

Aryan refused to give me his new born cousin and told me I am going to have one soon! He joined his little palms, closed his eyes tight and prayed to God. So adorable!

It was enchanting traveling 8 hours through the beautiful state of Assam. Except it was close to Republic Day and unsafe with ULFA threats. People were warned against traveling and asked to do so at their own risk.

It was infuriating to be stopped and bags etc checked at intervals. None from our bus was responsible for the bombs that exploded that day.

Have realized the tea gardens give me a feeling of peace and a sense of belonging. Serenity takes over and time stands still here.

Parents are getting older. Need to see them more and spend more time with them.

No one cooks my favourite dishes like Mom and she seems to know what I want and when.

She still buys me pots and pans to cook in and gave me little boxes for ‘only-mothers-can-think-of’ purposes. Yes, only mothers do all this for you!

In Delhi, nobody eats food, parathas to be precise, without dollops of butter. The more the better. To hell with your size and weight!

Delhi friends asked for extra butter in Shimla too… and I wondered how they ate my almost oil free food when they came to Bombay.

I took my first step in Shimla, and slipped, and went rolling down on my behind for a good 100 metres in the snow. Unfortunately it was in the public car park and all the drivers ran to look at me. Their day was made.

Was surprised to see people I had seen at the other end of the country, walking blissfully on Mall Road. The world is indeed small!

Was ecstatic to see Barista after hours of walking in the freezing air. Bladders were bursting. While A and J ordered impatiently, two of us raced to the restrooms. And lo, “CLOSED. INCONVENIENCE REGRETTED.� All four of us sat cross legged to have the coffees ordered. Thank god for central heating! Decided on a game of chess too. Finally the game and atmosphere got so heated, we almost came to blows! Abandoned chess and walked out into the subzero dark night, screaming at each other. Bloated bladders forgotten.

Bought a bottle of rum and vodka at exorbitant prices. At the hotel, turned on the heaters and got under the blankets. Switched on some movie too. I dozed off peacefully as usual. Can’t take too much of a good thing and still stay awake. The others never managed to get drunk. What a waste!

After the car couldn’t go further up in Kufri, I mounted a horse to reach the top. So did hubby and both our friends.

My horse, Hero, halfway up the steep climb, imagined himself to be a camel and I was rocked back and forth as he humped along! At times he would head for the edge and bring my heart to a halt, and holding on to the saddle, I could hear my voice screaming madly and the others laughing loudly.

Glad to be at the top all four of us raced to empty our bladders. We girls were halted and warned. There are no toilets. “What happened to them?� Looking at the direction pointed we saw snowed under walls in open view!

Cursing the boys (for their ability to unzip their fly and pee to their heart's content), tried to concentrate on buckling up the ski-ing shoes. Suddenly realized it’s not as easy as it looks. Turned to find my friend ski-ing down, in full force, legs getting wider and wider! She had no control! “Help!! I am going to split!� She collided into another skier.

Ski-ing down was lovely. Climbing up was a pain. I urged the instructor to push me up. He gladly complied. With a firm grip on my freezing bums, he pushed with all his might. I kept telling myself, "Am wearing too much to get him excited." Anyway hubby seemed to be glad it wasn't him labouring to get my bulk up the slope.

Hubby pretended to be a pro and kept asking to go to the higher slopes. The guys there didn’t know that if they allowed him to go, he would be shitting bricks!

Young pahari boys pelted snowballs and sang “Mere sapnon ki Rani� as we rode past. The hubbies were far ahead, thankfully. They would never have understood that we were enjoying it all.

Kufri bids one goodbye with a barrage of snowballs and plenty of cheering. The experienced driver has asked us to keep our windows rolled up as snow hit our windows hard and made it difficult to see. We looked at the fresh snow around. At that moment, Bombay seemed far far away.

And today suddenly, Bombay looks better. It feels good to get back to work. Good to be able to leap out of bed without feeling the chill. Good to be amongst familiar faces and familiar places.

Good to be able to recall an amazing holiday.