Wednesday, January 19, 2011


An elephant-headed god.

An auspicious day.

It starts.

Bring out the antacid and the disprin.

And a foot massager.

Of Kites, a Baby, the Dog and Names

Since the last post so much has happened that i dont know where to start. Do i talk about how our kite flying was prematurely interrupted by the sister-in-law going into labour or do i start with how i spent 6 hours in a hospital room/corridor listening to the yells and shrieks that accompany the miracle of birth? Or maybe i should mention how the new baby is taking up all the attention and the dog is now spending several hours a day sulking and throwing dirty looks our way? And then i wonder if i should mention how (at least) 10 people have been trying for 5 days now to come to some kind of consensus on a name for the little one, and have failed spectacularly?

Either way, the story remains the same. Our lives have been thrown into a happy jumble by the arrival of a tiny little thing who is all sleep and no comprehension. The new father is still trying to *feel* like a father. We're trying to convince him that changing a poop-filled nappy will help achieve that feeling fastest. Meanwhile, the sister-in-law (who has conveniently forgotten her pain-filled, raise all hell shouting during labour) is in full new-mother mode and is a picture of bliss as she holds her little girl. Of course, i'm waiting for the day when her bliss converts into non-squeamishness at cleaning pooped-in nappies.

The new grandmother and great-grandmother are over the moon with joy and i foresee many a battle of wills about who gets to hold the baby the longest, who gets to bathe her, burp her and sing lullabies to her as she bawls her head off.

The brand new grandfather on the other hand, is more than content standing to a side and just looking at his granddaughter. His smile reflects his happiness and the fulfillment of a long-standing dream to have a daughter in the house (his own two sons not bringing the same grace and beauty you see).

The grandaunts are hovering around, knitting blankets and researching baby names. They're also quite useful when it comes to nappy-changing and gyan-giving (sometimes both together). And then they also have stories about how they did the same for the new father and it is only right they get pee-ed on by his baby too!

And us aunts simply have a new toy to play with. We're not of any help when it comes to cleaning her, feeding her or even managing her when she cries. But we can entertain her. And how. Yesterday she did the YMCA dance (with some assistance of course) and boxed her way into victory. She also gets rocked to and fro to Munni Badnam Hui and Sheila Ki Jawani just for kicks. And yesterday we got a bagful of baby clothes and toys, most of them just because they were just so cute.

So yes, it's been quite some 5 days we've had.

And the next 5 are going to be about the sister's wedding. But that's another post right?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Behind the Scenes at a Big Fat Marwari Wedding

The sister gets married in less than two weeks and while things have been a little crazy since her engagement last July, we are now close to the finishing line and everything is now a blur and slightly manic.

Wedding outfits are fighting with shoes and bangles for bag and wardrobe space, we're fighting physics when trying to fit 20 gift bags in a carton that will hold only 13, the bride is fighting all the yummy winter food and trying to stay in shape, the hugely pregnant sister-in-law is fighting with the universe and sulking about not being able to attend the wedding (she's also fighting with the baby and asking it to be born already), and the dog is simply fighting for attention.

Everywhere you turn there is a wedding related bag, box or list you see. The grandmother's house has been effectively taken over by the wedding party and i think she's a little in shock sover the sheer quantity of stuff that's emerging from every corner. Aunts are constantly in and out of the house with random bits of tradition they remember with regards to the marriage ceremony, all of which require more shopping (obviously). Jewellery is being reviewed and trips to and from the jeweller are on the to-do list for each day.

Tomorrow the NRI uncle and family arrive, complete with shopping list and bigger than the dog suitcases. Tomorrow is also when we start practice for the north-indian staple at any wedding - the (mahila) sangeet. And if the universe behaves like it usually does, we'll find ourselves knee deep in double sided tape, suitcases, cellophane paper and files of lists when the sister-in-law's baby will decide to finally be born.

And therein lies another blog post.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Of Bosses, Chicken and Bonfires

It was 7.30 pm and there we were, the Fellow and I (keeping to our resolution of a healthier lifestyle), getting ready to enjoy a quiet dinner of home-made pav-bhaji, apple juice and an episode of The Waking Dead or Bones (depending on who sulked more) when the phone rang. It was the Fellow’s deputy boss giving him a heads up – the boss and he (and wives and kids) were coming over.

Now under ordinary circumstances, this would have meant we groaned and whined about the evening being ruined and how we’d probably have to be up late into the night listening to the ramblings of a chap who really enjoys his drink. But not today.

Today we didn’t have the time to complain – we were too busy cleaning up. Thankfully the maid happened to come by at that exact same time and so we had 3 pairs of hands stuffing things into the spare room and dragging furniture back in place. So in went stacks of cds, a huge stuffed dog, a large bag of coins, a roll of toilet paper, a lounge chair, a couple of helmets, piles of papers and files, one suitcase with the Fellow’s clothes and two handbags full of books. There was also a moment of brilliance when I reminded the Fellow he’d wanted to enjoy a bonfire for quite some days now, and today was as good an opportunity as any for it. And so the maid was dispatched to get some wood for the bonfire, dust off the garden chairs and put my newly potted plants to one side to avoid breakage.

15 minutes later the house (what part the guests would see) was presentable, the alcohol had been reviewed, ice-cube trays emptied and refilled, hair combed, a couple of disprins had (by the Fellow), and onions and tomatoes chopped for a quick snack.

20 minutes later we were fake-smiling, laughing and offering drinks. 24 minutes later the Fellow realised he needed to get some more soda and vanished (for the next 30 minutes), returning triumphant with lots of chicken tikka.

And the rest of the evening was spent around a bonfire, discussing how good the chicken is.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Writer's Block x Infinite

For three days now I’ve been trying to write one measly little post giving my opinion on another year ending, bemoaning the passage of time and how it flies blah blah blah. And for three days now, all I’ve really done is clatter a few sentences out, and then hit the backspace key. Rinse and repeat. I’m so frustrated right now I can literally see the five hundred kilo block in my head that refuses to let the words through. And the words are there. Oh yes. A mob of them really, clambering, jostling, screaming even, yet unable to get through that barrier. Makes me miss the days of pen and paper writing really, when I could just tear stuff up and vent and match the chaos happening inside my head.

And so while I wait the mind-riot out and hope a meteorite falls on that barrier and smashes it to pieces, the three of you reading this space go and have a fun 2011.