Little Miss Manners

October 21, 2016

She thanks the maid who comes over each morning to clean our house, ‘Thanks for cleaning, M Aunty.’

She thanks me for buttoning her up, ‘Thanks for helping button, Mama.’

She wants to thank anyone who’s  given her something, long after she’s already thanked them for it. She wants to thank them the next time she sees them. 

She eats her favourite pumpkin soup. And says, ‘Nice. Thank you for made soup, Mummy.’

She learns so much just by observing. The other day, I held open a door for her at a restaurant, and she said Thank you, Mummy. I was amazed and wanted to clarify why before I let my head swell up to insane proportions. And she said, casually, ‘for opening the door’. When we’ve never actually taught her to do it.

On the Singapore trip, she watched me navigating through a crowd saying, ‘Excuse me’ and promptly asked me why I said that. I explained. And she filed it away. Only to spring an ‘Excuse me’ on me, two weeks later, when she wanted to get past me. 

She makes my day, at the most unexpected moments in the day. I’m thankful for that. And that reassurance that we, as parents must be doing something right. 

Thank you, darling A. 


So I don’t forget this feeling

October 6, 2016

Running gives me an endorphin rush.

Sketching, on the other hand calms me down like nothing else. An hour with my paints while A naps, is the best thing I could ask for.

I’m ever so grateful to have the time and ability for these two interests, so vastly different, and yet, the joy they bring me isn’t too different ❤️


On friendships

September 15, 2016

A and I went off to Singapore for the last couple weeks. For about four days of it, we were touristy with my in-laws. The other days were mostly spent hanging out with friends and being most laidback. Enjoying several meals out, some at old favourite places, some at new. Nursing a drink at night after the kids were tucked in – at one time four of us jumping to our collective feet when we heard one of the kids bawling. That memory will always make me smile. Going through old photographs, reminiscing about old holidays and looking back at how young/fat/thin/stupid we were. I loved how slow-paced the holiday was and I’m ever so fortunate to be able to do this. There was dumb charades with the six of us at Sayesha’s place, and the missing S, miming over Skype. I was lucky enough to be able to catch up with my fabulous ex-boss, who at 82 is still larger than life to me, and the person I want to grow up to be. Lil A took a liking to him (she better had!) and wanted him to carry her everywhere 🙂 And as usual, he made me feel like a million bucks and like S puts it, his zest for life and curiosity left me in awe again. And then, meeting a couple of my ex-flat mates. We reminisced about the people we were once upon a time, and how far we’ve come, all of us mothers today. Ten years back feels like a different era. 

Time and again I feel incredibly lucky to have met the people I’ve met and the friendships I’ve made. Like idiots, we forgot to take pictures that we could laugh at years down the line. Oh well, hopefully the memories won’t fade. Also there’s Sayesha’s diligent record-keeping on the blog that we’re all counting on 😉

Singapore was hot and sunny alright, but it is the warmth of friendships that I’m still basking in. 


A 5k run in Hyderabad

August 27, 2016

So, I had signed up for the 5k fun run at the Hyderabad marathon, instead of the usual 10k (since S was running the half which was the same day), and given how little I had been training because S had been travelling, I wasn’t really optimistic. And I was glad it wasn’t a 10k. 

My knee issues keep coming and going. I’ve been fairly regular at strength training, except for the last month, and yet, the knee issues haven’t gone away. The one thing I have been trying to do regularly in the last month though, is the set of stretches my physio recommended.

And yet, it is never pain-free. Earlier this week I began running again, to get some training in before today’s 5k and sure enough, the knees hurt again. I struggled and finished a 5k in 41 minutes on Thursday, later in the day, my right knee began to hurt. I began to consider giving up running in events, especially 10k runs for good. Because it seemed that despite all the stretches and work I put in at the gym, the knees still hurt. 

And yesterday ended being a long day with a lot of  walking around, carrying A for quite a bit. And I was exhausted, angry and in pain (shoebites too!). And I mentioned to S the thought I had about giving up running. And he said, be kinder to yourself, it’s the night before your run. And I said, I want to be kinder, I want to be kinder on my body. 

Given how much my knee hurt last night, I put off bedtime by a good 15 minutes by doing my stretches and rolling my calf muscles and quads for a bit. 

I dunno if that helped, or it was simply a great day, I woke up and ran this morning and finished 5k in just under 35 minutes, my personal best. I had managed to keep my average speed at under 7 minutes per km for the entire 5km. I don’t quite know what it was, but there were no niggles, none of the left knee beginning to hurt when I pushed myself hard, and I felt like a well-oiled machine. 

And as soon as I met S at the finish line, the first thing I said to S was this, ‘This is what happens, I consider giving up, and then along comes a good run and I don’t wanna stop doing this.’

And I don’t want to. The gooseflesh at the start of the run, all the music, the mad sprint to the finish line and the euphoria at the end of it all. I don’t wanna stop doing this. 

PS: My knees, miraculously are still great and there’s no pain yet. Fingers crossed. 


Your friendly neighbourhood parlour

August 17, 2016

(A rare evening when the child is asleep by 8, and I’m done with dinner and twiddling thumbs and hey, it’s not even 8.30pm!)

About six weeks back, I decided to get a haircut and went with a really short style (boy-cut, short bob, whatever it’s called). And as I’m re-learning, with short hair, you need haircuts far more frequently that your average once in 3-4 months affair you’d otherwise go for. And this means they’re heavier on the pocket. 

And so it came to be that I decided to ditch the fancyass salon where I got the haircut paying over a thousand bucks. And also the Lakme and the Naturals salons which have been my go-to places for the last few years, and a basic hair trim costs about 500 bucks upwards. And I decided to check out the no-frills parlour beside the apartment I live in. 

I went in expecting the usual question about getting hair coloured (I have a lot of grey, suffice to say). And well, the girl exclaimed and remarked that’s it all black at the back and grey in top. How? I shrugged. And then she said your hair is healthy, has it been grey for a while? I said yeah, for a while now. And then to my great relief, she did not proceed to hard sell any brand of colour that would turn my hair black and yet keep it soft and healthy. Or specific shampoo or conditioner or hair spa, all of which the fancy places do and annoy the bejesus out of me. In fact she said please don’t try any colour and spoil your hair, keep it the way it is. Why thank you, that’s nice to hear, for a change, I thought. 

And then of course, the questions came. Which are less likely in a more professional, swanky gleaming setup (or so I’d imagine). About your personal life. Who you live with etc.

I was slightly skeptical about her ability to do a good job, but I figured even if it was bad, it’ll grow back. At one point she brought out an electric shaver, the kind S uses, and after going to town with it at the back of my neck, she was about to tackle my sideburns. ‘No!’ I shrieked. 

‘Just a little shorter here, near my ears,’ I said. And then she brought the really sharp pair of scissors really close to my ears. And I REALLY panicked as she began trimming away, the sharp end of the scissors occasionally touching my ear. And I got goosebumps purely out of fear I think. When there was a lull in the trimming, I nervously said, ‘I’m a little scared.’

To which she laughed and replied, ‘Me too, my hands actually shiver when I’m doing this part.’

(Insert the classic emoji 😒)

Apart from being more personal, less hygienic, less pushy and up-selling and wayy cheaper, I wonder if this is what differentiates the ₹200/- haircut from the ₹1000++ ones. The disarming, almost uncalled for honesty, versus the ability at least look cool and unshakeable, and well, the professionalism. 

I’m still deciding whether to go back there for my next haircut. Oh wait, the girl’s getting married around then. Now I’m curious to see if she’ll be around. 



August 10, 2016

While my Mom is attempting to make A take her second nap (ha-ha) I’m sitting with a cup of tea, having just set out a loaf of masala bread  (caramelised onion-pudina-jeera-coriander) for its second rise. With the lil missy going through (or starting out?) her phase of terrible twos or what I’m afraid is supposedly  normal toddler behaviour, I haven’t got too many such moments to myself lately, and I want to pause and say thanks to Mom and the universe for this. 

PS: She came looking for me once already and didn’t find me cos I was quite nicely hiding out in the bedroom 


On consent. And respect. 

July 25, 2016

I’m at an uncle’s place in the middle of a big family gathering, and it’s been great to see A spend time with many of her grand-uncles and aunts. But this post is going to be a rant. On how people take little people for granted. And don’t treat them with enough respect. And how they don’t care about consent. 

  1. If my daughter repeatedly tells you that she doesn’t like you pinching or even touching her cheeks, please respect that. Sure, go ahead and laugh at how cute it sounds when she tells you not to do that in a mixture of Tamil and Kannada, but PLEASE. RESPECT. THAT. And DON’T do it again after a while for heaven’s sake. 
  2. What strange joy do you derive from taking away her book or toy and refusing to give to her and making her cry? She is a child, who doesn’t understand the concept of sharing. What on earth is your excuse?
  3. Don’t even get me started on trying to bribe her with things so that she will let you pick her up. Or spend time playing with you. Is this what we want to teach kids? What are we doing, saying, ‘If you come to me, I’ll give you sweets?’ Not only is that manipulative, that’s also how kidnappers operate.
  4. Consent. Ask the child if it’s okay to pick her up. (She is my daughter, and don’t pick her up if she doesn’t want to) Ask her if you can tie her hair. Or hey, maybe you can even ask the mother of the child (who is sitting with her) if it’s okay for you to tie her hair. And for ffs, ASK before you shove a mobile screen with a Chota Bheem video into her face while she’s actually quite nicely eating her lunch with no distractions. 
  5. Don’t offer her maggi noodles without asking me!
  6. If you see her brushing her teeth at bedtime, please don’t say hey stay up for a little longer, someone is coming over with sweets!
  7. And how on earth is it acceptable to interrupt her dinner since you want a picture with her? How’s it okay to say ‘You’re always eating in pics with me. Stop eating for a bit and take a pic with me.’ You are nearly 25 years older than she is. Please grow up. 

End rant.