New

I could not post on Saturday. It was a super busy day, as my SIL was getting engaged on Sunday. Parents were here, relatives were here and we were shuttling between the guest house and home. On the top of that, I somehow had this feeling that Kavya’s clothes are ready and I just need to iron them. Friday night when we came back, Kavya was already asleep in the car, and I got down to iron her clothes. I bought her a lehnga for Diwali, and since the top was fitting her well, I decided to go with it. Though I was not very happy with the dress, but my mind was against buying yet another dress for her, which I knew would only be more once or max twice. While ironing it, it hit me that she had another brand new lehnga top, which was gifted to her a couple of months back. So I took that also out, and started comparing the two. While doing so I also picked up the iron and resumed ironing. Not realizing how hot it was, it put it straight on the lehnga, making 2-3 holes in the cloth!! The child is very fond of dressing up. She loves wearing good clothes, wearing bangles and admiring herself in the mirror. I thought for a moment, that may be she is destined to wear something better and new, because deep down even I was not very happy with the Diwali dress which I was planning to make her wear.
Since the function was at 12 noon the next day, I had no option but to fix it. I dug out two tassels from one of my old blouse and tried to fix them to cover the burnt part and save the dress. My mum arrived after sometime, and I gave her the responsibility of fixing the dress….:) (You can rely only on mum at time of such crises!)
Next day morning the first thing she did was to fix it. So while it was looking pretty ok, and the mend was not visible, still both of us had the view, that the dress was not good enough for the occasion. Since the other lehnga she had was a bit dull, and had no matching dupatta, I was left with no option but to rush to market and get her a new dress.
Since the mall opened only at 11 am, I rushed to the parlor to get ready, and from there took a cab to the mall at around 11 30 am. I almost ran inside the mall to reach the shop and in flat 10 minutes, had picked the dress for her. This was definitely one of my fastest purchases..:) Being Sunday morning it helped, there was hardly any crowd. I dashed out of the mall after paying and in next 15 minutes I was home. Kavya was delighted to see the new dress, though she still wanted to wear the lehnga..:) So we had a new dress for her and for her dad, for the new beginnings of my SIL.
This is her wearing the dress:

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She would not let go of her Duppatta even for a second. Although she was finding it difficult to manage it, but she still carried it throughout the function and was trying her best to adjust it properly…:)
Btw- the iron seems to have some real issue. Next day morning it burnt my mother’s saaree as well!!
I will be doing another post today with ‘O’, to remain on track in the marathon.

Friends

I wanted to make this post a Faux Post. Like faux chiffon, faux georgette. A faux post, where I just excuse myself from doing a proper post. Too tired. But then I decided against it. I want to do this blogging challenge as seriously as possible. So here is my post for today with F- FRIENDS

One of the major by-products of being grown up is that I am left with hardly any friends. I had a lot of friends till I got married. Around the same time many or rather most of my friends got married. Everyone got busy settling in their new lives, and so did I. Then work took its toll, and I was in touch with very few of them. In 2011, a year after I moved to Gurgaon, my BFF relocated to the US, permanently. We were friends since 2004, and though we would meet rarely, we were constantly connected over phone. Both of us knew that this movement of her would end our almost daily conversations. Time zone difference is a difficult thing to manage. However, we still stayed connected- though the call frequency became like once a month or once in two months and sometimes even more. However, since best friends are best friends, the connection is still the same, and we can just call up each other and start with our story right from where we left. I still feel that we are very connected and that is a good feeling.

Other than that, almost all of my other girlfriends got busy with their lives. Only one is here in Gurgaon now, and we meet up like once every six months. I had a lot of guy friends too. I was in touch with them till I had Kavya. Post that I got busy, and I realized they also got busy with kids and work and family, and now I realize that I am hardly connected to any of them. We do speak over phone on birthdays etc., but it is definitely nothing close to how it was. With one of them I still connect frequently, mostly over chat as he is in the US. He is also the laziest of us all, so when in India, it is almost impossible to meet him.

Why am I writing this post today? Off late I have realized that among other things in my life I miss having friends at this stage of life. The past few years just whizzed past and I was too busy with my kid to miss anything. But now that Kavya is also growing up, I miss having any friends around to hang out with or to do a heart to heart conversation once in a while. I miss having people with whom I could go out for a movie or a coffee or just chill on a weekend. Husband is there, but you need an outlet from the monotony of domestic life. We have some family friends, some of husband’s friends who are now my friends too. But the friendship with their wives is not “hangout” worthy. The last friend I made was in 2008, on an official trip to Mumbai where I met R, and we immediately clicked. She stays in NCR- but around 50 kms away. Has a 2 years old and a full time job, and a joint family. So meetings with her are also not more than annual. I think our requirements from relationships also change with time. Like, the other friend who is in Gurgaon, was my batch mate in college. We would speak to each other for hours about anything and everything under the sun. She was always the less chatty one, and also with a very low entertainment quotient. However, the friendship survived because we connected on a different level. Today, I do not see that connection. May be we grow in different directions owing to our priorities in life.

The other day I was talking to husband, and we discussed, how I am totally friend-less. Even he has few friends, but he managed to make good friends with people in his office. So he has a couple of people to hang out with whom not only does he connect well at work level, but they are well meaning people who have become close friends. I on the other hand failed to meet likeminded people at work post R, and now I miss having a friends circle. It is not that I do not meet new people, but among many other things which suck as we grow, forming new bonds is also one, and is quite up there. I interact with Kavya’s playgroup moms, through a wassap group of course, have also met a couple of them, but no luck.

I am not sure if this front of my life will sort itself up in the near future. I am not sure how to end this post. Just say-All the best to me!

Connect

I am off FB these days. I do this every few months (every time with a plan to never activate my account again!). The obvious reason being that I become an addict and it saps a lot of my time and energy. Therefore, when few days back I got an article from Husband in Wassap, about Spring cleaning, I deactivated my account as part of the cleaning to clear some mind space and wasteful activities from my day. It’s a big relief. Not having to see random updates on your timeline about who is eating what, travelling where, buying house, reproducing etc etc, prevents the mind from being clogged with unnecessary things. I had removed the app from my phone long time back, but since I am in front of my system most of the time as part of my work, I could never keep away from it for a long time. There are few things though for which it is useful these days- like Kavya’s playschool pics are uploaded on the school FB page. I think last time also I logged back in because of that only. One day I decided that I will remove people from my friends list, who are not my “friends”. Then I will have hardly 10 people left in my list, and with them I can stay connected over phone or mails. Is there any value add with being connected to 500+ people, who are nothing but mere acquaintances? There are some, who I can no more even place. I do not know how I know them, and how they came into my friends list at the first place!! But when I see pics of their wedding or their Holi celebration, I am sometimes tempted to click on the pictures and waste few precious minutes, and many times even make myself feel miserable, thinking how amazing other people’s lives are.

Anyway, so the point is, that what is the actual purpose of these platforms like FB? To stay connected? With whom? Hundreds of people whom I hardly know on a personal level. I would want to be connected with family, friends (close and other few), colleagues, ex-colleagues (again, some not all). That’s it! Why would I want to be connected to so many people and be fed constant updates about what they are doing in/ with their lives! Would it not just clog my head with useless information, and make me think about stuff which is not needed. So what is whole purpose of having these platforms? Do they solve any actual purpose? I understand that in a social world humans need to stay connected, but what kind of connection are we talking about?

Even say Instagram. So after I withdrew from FB, I have been kind of active on Instagram (Yes, you can have your big laugh!!). However, being active here had a different reason. I joined the #100sareepact, and since it is happening on Insta, therefore I had to be active there. But fact is, that sooner or later, it also has full potential to be another FB. Following random people for their pictures and again starting that chain of being fed random pictures from people you may not even know. The only good point is that I am still quite restrained on Instagram, and somehow it is not as energy sapping as FB. May be the reason is because here, I can choose to follow people I want. And I have chosen to follow some known and many unknown people who post inspiring pictures. So that comparison streak does not come in, and mostly I am in admiration of what these people are doing or post about. It is kind of a positive feeling, and I am glad about it. However, self-restrain is needed here too, as there are never enough good pictures, and one may get too sucked into the world of pictures wasting lot of time.

I am not aware of any other social platforms right now where time can be easily wasted. Glad. Oh yes, except our good old Wassap. That’s also pretty weird at times. We have a family group, which is a very functional group, where the 5 of us (me, my parents and siblings) share pictures and broadcast information. I have few groups with school friends. Mainly used to forward jokes. I am ok with that as they are good source of entertainment. I deliberately avoid being part of multiple groups, where I have nothing to share with the people involved, and updates from such groups are just plain time waste. But since Wassap is pretty much a messaging thing, so it’s still ok. But honestly, I am the happiest on days, when my phone battery is dead, or the phone is not working..:) I feel so light. I have a landline at home, and my family has the number. So I know if there is anything urgent, they can call me on that. Rest, I do not care…J I know other than them, nothing or no one’s life in the world will stop if I am not reachable for one day (For office I prefer only mails).

I missed Twitter. Man, I do not even want to talk about it. I joined it way back in 2008, it was quite in those days to be on Twitter. What a big time waster! I use to wonder, how do people manage to tweet so frequently during the day? When do they work? And then the pressure of sounding witty in each tweet, because then only will you be popular with Twitterati (I think that’s the word!). I left it soon, and have never gathered the courage to go back again.

I am yet to understand the real purpose of these so called social platforms, and this whole thing about staying connected. I can understand it from the point of view of businesses as it’s a way of connecting with customers, but for individuals isn’t it too much of shallow connections? I am connected to the whole world through Likes, comments and Retweets! I find it strange, and pretty useless too.

I feel, so much of online “connect” can only work for people with very good self-restrain. Those who can control the amount of time they spend online. Which in my view are not many. For rest of us, it eats away on the most precious resource- Time.

Birthday

We celebrated Kavya’s birthday at my parents’ place this time. We stay in an independent house in Gurgaon. Her 2nd birthday last year was quite a boring affair for the kid as all kids we knew were either older to her or too young than her; and everyone had come with their parents. So it was more of a gathering for parents than kids. Also, I made a wrong choice of cake- a photo cake with Chota Bheem, and it turned out so dull that I decided never to order a photo cake ever in my life.

This year Kavya’s spring break started from 19th March. I was planning to celebrate her birthday in Gurgaon and then leave for my parents’ place the next day. However, when I started making the guest list, I realized that the scene would almost be similar to last year’s. She still does not have many kids her age in the colony (the ones that are there, I hardly know them), and the other option of calling all her school friends was beyond budget (for reasons I will elaborate some other time).

So I had this brainwave, of celebrating the third birthday at my parents place. Husband also found it ok, and we came to my hometown on the 19th to celebrate the birthday here on 20th. This colony has around 25 kids who may not be same age as Kavya but are in that good age group- where they make birthday parties fun. I had seen their gathering at the Navratri Kanya Poojan in the past, and was sure that Kavya would enjoy having so many kids for her birthday.

We celebrated her simple yet fun birthday party here, with a not so good looking but nevertheless tasty Tweety cake, and some basic snacks. The kids were a riot, as they came laden with birthday presents that reminded me of my own childhood, when a tiffin box/ pencil box were the favorite gifts to carry…J

Kavya had lots of fun getting all the attention. Husband played some games with the kids, and then we proceeded to cake cutting followed by snacks. Kavya very confidently blew the candle and also cut the cake without any help from me. She looked quite delighted. She was heard telling other kids- “Aaj tumhara Birthday nahi hai..mera birthday hai!!”

However, I was not aware that snacks here mean, that kids await their return gifts and then rush back home!! So after snack time, they started demanding their return gifts which were small goody bags. The moment I distributed those, the bachcha party disappeared!! I was amazed..:D  I literally had to run behind some to make them pose for a group photo…J

Anyway, overall it turned out a fun birthday party for Kavya.

She had asked for a Mickey Mouse cake for her birthday celebrations at school. Actually I had pestered her for months asking which two cakes she would want for her birthday. I gave her a couple of options, and she chose Tweety and a Fairy cake. Since she does not watch any cartoons, she is not acquainted with any characters in particular. I guess she liked these two names and decided. However, just before her birthday there was another birthday in school and she saw a Minnie Mouse cake. So the fairy cake was replaced by a Minnie Mouse cake. I played smart and instead of going for a full-fledged cake in shape of Minnie Mouse, I ordered a simple gems chocolate cake with a Minnie figurine on top..:) She enjoyed the cake and later the toy!

This year I plan to buy a cycle for her. I bought a tricycle for her when she was not even 2. But she hardly rode it. Even now I am not sure if she would be interested in riding one. In the park she tries to explore other children’s cycles, but if she would show any interest in her own cycle is not very clear to me. Anyway, I think I will still buy one for her…J

Also, this post is not complete without a mention of her lovely yellow frock which I bought from Faye.in. I discovered this site before her first birthday, and this was the third time in a row that I got her birthday dress from here. They have a lovely collection, prices slightly on the higher side, but amazing stuff.

Here is the picture in which I could manage to have less than half of the total junta:

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Day 9- Guests and more

Today turned out to be a totally unplanned day. We started our morning around 8 30 am, and had plans to go to some mall to enjoy some furniture sale. At around 10 30, a batch-mate from my engineering days called, he stays in Delhi and his wife is also from our college only. They were coming to Gurgaon, and wanted to come over. Since our plan was very fluid, I also agreed and he told me that they would reach by 12 30 pm. Since my maid was already half way through the lunch preparation, I decided to order something once they reach. Both husband and I immediately started house cleaning, which continued for around an hour and a half. I gave K a bath, took a bath myself and started waiting for the couple. They have two kids, both older than K, but I was still looking forward for some good company for K.

Finally, it was around 2 30 pm, when the guests turned up. The guy, my batch-mate had some work, so he dropped the wife and the kids at our place and left, to join  us back in an hour or so. The moment the kids entered the living room, I thought to myself, that today would be an active day. They gathered around K’s toys, and within few minutes our living room was a mini play area. Toys spread all over the room and both the siblings fighting over every toy! No, I am not complaining at all. After having a child of my own I am perfectly ok with all this. However, the siblings just did not show any interest in my little daughter. Little K, kept roaming here and there, very surprised by the fact, that how come no one is interested in her antics. She is so used to attention from her parents, dada daadi and bua, that she felt strange when everyone in the room was busy in their own things, including Mommy, who was catching up with aunty. The wife was also my batch- mate and use to stay in the room opposite mine in the hostel. Anyway, after I noticed that my baby was getting bored, I ensured that I paid attention towards her and also made the siblings involve her as well.

Catching up with P (the wife), was fun after a long time. though we were neighbours in hostel, we were never friends. We only started talking to each other frequently, after both of us shifted to Delhi few years ago. Now that both of us are mommies, we did catch up once in a while. However, since we had the same graduation history; there was a lot to talk about. Along with it the mommy experiences, we were definitely not short of topics.

Then we ordered pizzas. The kids were super excited. I just love to see the excitement in kids for food!! the moment they heard that pizza was being ordered, both the siblings gathered around their mother, and started telling their preferences. Once we ordered the pizza, they would come after every 2 minutes asking if pizza had arrived..:D When it finally came, it was all chaos around. The girl was busy picking out vegetables from the toppings, the boy was curious to know if cheesy dip had also come with garlic bread. It was total fun to watch the kids enjoy the pizza treat so much.

Post the lunch, the kids again got busy with all the hullabaloo. After some time the room was as if someone had just shaken the entire house. there was no space on the floor to walk! K had special fun with P. She would see her and start singing..”nayi paai laayenge ..kaava ko banayenge..” (a line from “Chanda maama door ke”). She would start her up and down dance and keep on singing this song every time she saw P showing even a teeny weeny bit of interest in her. It was so much fun! Once I said..”baby, aunty so gayi hain ab..”, so K quickly changed her tone, and started singing the same two lines in a lower volume just like a lullaby..:D Both P and I had so much fun watching her! She kept on doing the same till the end of the evening. Kids are so innocent, she actually thought that she was doing something absolutely novel and wonderful!

Contrary to the pre decided time, A (the friend) did not turn up on time, and the evening kept getting extended. While I was enjoying it, I was not mentally prepared to playing host for so long. I had a bad back today, and sitting for long hours was proving to be very painful. However, in between we had another set of guests, the good old couple friend, with their daughter, who is of K’s age also turned up. However, they left soon, and it turned out that the first set of guests would have dinner also at our place only. By this time the friend had also come back. Since both husband and him are from Lucknow, it was kind of easy for them to bond. I quickly arranged for the dinner, nothing fancy, but whatever was cooked at home was presented in a better manner. By now, the K was totally exhausted and had reached her hyper stage where she just keeps falling down here and there and singing all random rhymes and songs which she knew. The set of siblings were also quite tired and were fighting at the drop of a hat! Finally, the guests left at around 8 30 pm. thankfully, on the mom’s instructions, the son had collected all the toys in the toy basket. The living room was at least walk-able. Both husband and I were too tired by that time. Still, we did spent our customary half an hour talking about the guests, where I told him stories from our college days and about the love story of the couple. It was kind of refreshing for me to reminiscence the good old days.  We put K to sleep and I sat with my laptop to type this post..:)

I have a learning from today. We need to do something to our house to make it look better. We moved here 5 years back, and have actually not invested much in doing up the place. However, today, I realized that its high time we do something about it! No, its not that the guests said anything directly or indirectly about this, but I somehow got this feeling, that having a good looking home (not necessary expensive, but at least done up nicely) is not a luxury but a requirement. Both husband and I are not very keen on this department and generally do not take any initiative. This year, we will.

That is all for today. I have typed this post while watching TV, so pls ignore if it looks disconnected at places.

Day 3- A day well spent

Before I forget, I need to chronicle this here:

K is very fond of songs, Husband and I both sing a lot of songs for her. One of them is “One two ka four…four two ka one…my name is Lakhan..” from Ram Lakhan. She kind of knows these songs now and very often sings them herself. The other day, at my In- law’s place, my MIL asked K to say her name…in order to make her say it properly, MIL said..”aapka naam kya hai?…bolo my name is….”…and K promptly jumped and said..Lakhan!!!

MIL was surprised, then I explained to her…this is what she knows about “My name is..” and all of us burst in to a laughter! Kids are so innocent and cute…J

We had a good day today. I was finally able to take an interview as a volunteer for one of the partition survivor for- 1947partitionarchive.org. I will blog about it in detail in some later post. However, the only thing which I felt after the interview was, the experience which it gave me. I was humbled to say the least. We crib about our lives day in and day out, I was really shaken by the first-hand experience of an elderly uncle who migrated from Narowal, Pakistan to India in 1947.  They have seen what is called struggle. What we define as our difficult life is a cake walk in front of that. I am yet to compile the video and the complete content in order, and share it with the archive; but I am already looking forward to another interview which I plan to conduct in January itself. A schools friend’s naani is a partition survivor and stays in Delhi. I am so thankful for social connectivity these days. I could touch base with so many of my school friends to give me references if they had any. While I am no more active on FB, I re-logged into it just to touch base with people for this purpose only.

So first half today I travelled all the way to East Delhi to complete my interview. Second half we went to a friend’s place, who are expecting their first child. We went there with another couple friend who have a daughter of same age as K. It was fun, except for the later part when husband started getting irritated, because we were not sticking to the so called time limit we had set for ourselves. Overall, it is fun being in happy company. And yes, we also played antakshari while coming back. Ha1 after so long I played antaakshari. It was fun for whatever time it lasted, as K started getting cranky, and I had to sing her choice of songs in loop.

Anyway, that’s all for today. I would be going to office starting tomorrow, for this complete week. I am hopeful, that I will get time to write more meaningful posts starting tomorrow.

cheers

FB- Deaddiction

I am off Facebook. I deactivated my account few days back. I think the account will be deleted in 14 days. Like many others i had become kind of FB addict. I would spend a lot of my time online on Facebook. Not that i was too much into posting stuff, but I would spend a lot of time browsing through profiles of people on my friend’s list, in their friend list and so on! It was such a wastage of time. With a full time job and a baby to take care of, I realized that I cannot afford the luxury of wasting my time on non productive activities like FB. However, I cannot say that I am unaffected by the move. When a click any good picture these days, the first thought which comes to mind is, will put it on FB..and then I realize that I can no longer do so. And then a train of thought starts…it suddenly feels weird, that now no one will know, that I had this awesome moment which I have just captured in my camera! What will I do with it if I am not going to share it on FB and tell the whole world…It seemed weird. Because for a long time now, pictures were clicked with the sole intention of uploading them on FB, in expectation of likes and comments. I feel a void suddenly. It seems that I am isolated..I am not connected to anyone…no one will know what I am upto….it feels like a disconnected life!! yes, I know this is abnormal, and to get rid of this abnormality only I decided to quit FB. This constant need to peep into others people’s life and subconscious comparisons with batch mates and colleagues were not doing even an iota of good to me. For a person of my maturity, I would need to attain nirvana to be in a state where I am on a social networking site and not affected by any of the happenings there. So, I decided to quit. Good part is, when the said train of thoughts ends, I feel relieved. I am no longer bothered about a good or a bad picture…I no longer have to feel bad because of that old classmate from LKG who was a bhondu in class, but is touring the world now! I no longer have to feel depressed about my mundane marriage life where my husband does not surprises me with cushions printed with our pictures on our anniversary!! I no longer have to feel like a loser reading about some random senior from college doing cross country marathons along with a full time job and two kids to look after! Basically, I can live a life which is not constantly being compared with others..in my head of course!! I am still getting used to it…but i know I am not going back to FB any time soon.

I have already started to realize the benefits of staying away from it. I clearly have more time on hand. Even if I spend that time online, I can spend it on stuff which actually adds some value to me and gives me happiness, like- writing more often on my blog or reading something I really like…or just arranging K’s pics in order and selecting the ones which I want to get printed in hard copy. Anything is better than spending time aimlessly peeping into random people’s lives and then feeling miserable about my own!

Husband is already off FB for quite sometime now. He spends his free time mostly reading either on net or a book. I had quit FB earlier also, i guess three years back. But such was the temptation of wasting time and energy on keeping myself updated with happenings of others life that I returned to the site after barely a month!! But this time things look a bit different and better. I do not see myself committing the same mistake again. Wish me luck and hope this wisdom prevails!!

Song on my mind right now…