Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ruhi on her 9th birthday ....


November 13, 2010
9 years of magic unfolds...

In just a year, you are quite as tall as me
You know too many things -
Those that you should learn much later
Those that I even do not speak.

This year, your favorite colour is 'Mauve',
Last year it was Pink !
You scoff at kiddish stuff and all,
But I know you secretly love your dolls.

You can fix a sandwich,
roll a 'roti' and make me tea !
You can act like a grandmother,
bully your baby brother
and shout the house down.
Though sometimes you are so soft spoken,
you are not seen or heard or heeded
something I always worry about.

A strong girl, you know to hide your tears.
You are quiet and shy.
Specially, when unkind children make light of
all the things that you so genuinely do believe
then, I have seen you wilt and cry.

You know the clothes you want to wear,
love high heels and lipstick.
Your pry on my things,
You want to know it all...
You own me like I belong to you;
But guard your own little secrets.

To the world's most beautiful girl - Happy birthday !!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Idea that is India and those who will usurp it !

Arundhati Roy says Naxalites are "Gandhians with guns". She says many things that are meant to ignite and destroy and are a good payoff for herself. And it mostly just irritates, but this time I feel ignited that this Booker winning, celebrated with the Sydney Peace prize, Page 3 fashionably 'non conformist' writer with the illegal bunglow in Panchgani calls India "bhooka nanga Hindustan" on a terrorists sponsored public platform.

What could she possibly want to achieve ? And why didn't she stick to the language that she knows best ? Your guess is as good as mine. She got TRPs and invaded digital media opinion with a storm, strategically in advance of the American President's visit. Don't we know how to become eligible for the noble peace prize ! If only she could go to Jail.

And though I hate dissent, specially with the people I love, I am arguing bitterly with my dear friend Anna who feels that democracy urgently needs people like Ms. Roy. Reproducing an article she sent me to assuage my doubts about the object of her admiration. Maybe I have receded to intellectual infancy but she ignites me further !

I am living the situation every day, of a rising tide of unreasonable, cocky and destructive ideology that if indulged will usurp the Idea that is India. In a more devastating way than corruption, hunger and inefficiency can.

Out of every 5 people in my immediate family (in laws) 4 openly represent the partisan ideology of the 'fire-breathing mullahs and the maniacs' who believe that Islam will, or should, rule the world. These are not as Arundhati Rao terms the 'the detritus of two Afghan wars". These are public school educated Indian citizens, brought up and indulged in this secular country. Such bigots are indulged by our middle class intelligentsia, the english speaking erudite, fair people who sympathize for every just cause. I was quite on that side till I had a close brush with reality in the last 2 decades. I hate religious bigotry. I would not stand out on a limb until I have genuine reason to do so.

I believe that each one of us should stand up for the idea that is India before we point fingers. We are too busy trying to criticise in order to be fair. Criticisim and name calling is OK too, but in the national context, it has to have an objective ? Specially in the case of individuals who have the voice which can have far reaching global impact.

In the case of Ms. Roy, her prose is brilliant. " The blood of "martyrs" irrigates terrorism. " !! Wah, love the brilliance of your words madam. Implications be damned. Its always a pleasure ( sometimes painful pleasure) to read her language but when has she ever, if by mistake, stood up for the idea that is India. This woman, born and indulged in this country has only used her prowess to accuse her country. That is is my grouse against her. And her accusations have caused no civil change except that it gets her personal gain - peace prizes et all.

And did she just realise that Kashmir needed her voice ? Or did she weigh the maximum impact possibilities before she chose her words and her stage to repeat what thousands have said before her !

If you will read her very well written article posted above, the gist is as following :

1. LTTE of Sri Lanka were trained by the Indian Army and we have no business to denounce terrorism.

2. India is seeking war with Pakistan to avoid facing up to the serious trouble building on our home front. Pakistan is a really spoilt brat and if you mess with it, its going to be very bad for India.

3. The cute 'boy terrorists' who attacked Mumbai in 2008 s got such excellent TRPs, its admirable.

4. MumbaI police, the elite National Security Guard, and the marine commandos of this silly country willingly let non- elite people be massacred at railways stations and hospitals because did not want to risk the lives of elite hostages inside the Taj.

4. Stupid Indians enjoyed prolonged live TV coverage of the event since it was even more exciting than the movie 'Die Hard 2'. She can't get over the TRPs all that got.

5. Sadly in Kashmir, there is not adequate TV coverage, so stupid Indian are less sensitive about hostages getting killed and surmount terrorists rather fast. Brainless duds don't realise the aspirations and rights of these hapless terrorists.

6. India is a Police State. The collective Indian Media has made it a Police State.

7. Police and the Army are glorified in India ( by the media ?) at the cost of the poor little underdog - the Politicians. Perhaps she may even accuse that the govt co funded Dabangg ?

8. For Arnab Goswami, anchorperson of Times Now television, to call Arundhati Roy 'Disgusting" on National TV should have cost him his Job and amounts to incitement, as well as threat. But for Arundhati Roy to call India "bhooke Nange" ( despicable beggars in parlance") is her right to free speech !! Arnab Goswami didnt get the Booker or the Sydney Peace Prize, that Loser !

9. India is a country with a shadowy history !

10. Americans are the most hated in the world. Indians are like the Americans. Bloody Indians. Is it clear by now that Arundhati Roy gave up her Indian nationality in disgust?

11. Anti-terrorism laws are not meant for terrorists !

After the trademark ranting she offers her final one line naive solution to the mammoth issues. She ordains that terrorism can be contained by only one way - giving JUSTICE to the terrorists.

Give me a a break Arundhati Roy. We think you are disgusting.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Checkmate

Two things happened this week, enough to make me wake up from blogging slumber !

The first - thanks to resourceful bureaucrat friends, I managed to catch CWG Athletics and Badminton. While in the car en route to a friend's office, Ruhi was struggling with the math of how the 5 tickets that we had were going to be utilised. I told her A, you and me make 3 girls and there are 2 boys going with us. She immediately replied " But you are not a girl Mamma" .

I decided to be funny " Oops Ruhi, but of course ! So there are 3 boys including me and 2 girls ". She looked at me earnestly and asked " are you serious ?"

"Of course Ruhi, didnt you know I am a man ?"

Ruhi looked confused and astonished. In my heart I was confused and astonished myself !

So I look like an Android to her ? How can a nearly 9 year old not establish human anatomy ? Was she being funny as well ? Unfortunately we arrived at our destination and the conversation was forgotten.

2 days later in our lazy hour at night, I reminded her of that conversation and asked if she genuinely thought I was a man.

She looked embarrassed "but mamma you sounded so sure.....I thought maybe you are a man with long hair....for a minute I thought you may be wearing a wig stuck with glue..."

I was roaring with laughter. She looked more embarrassed and sweetly said " but you could be a man..."

The second - after we finished laughing ourselves silly about the man thing, she said " now please don't write all this on your blog".

I cannot explain how I felt at that moment. I was shocked and felt so cheated that my privacy had been invaded upon by my little baby. My ears burning in indignation I felt a surge of concern - what had she read ? what could she have understood ? what about all my angst about mixed parentage. Pretending to sound casual I asked " Have you seen my blog ? Where ? " .

She had gone to spend a night at my brother's house and it seems my nephew googled her name and they landed at my blog !! He is 10 years old.

She saw the pic where Rayyan was doodling on my leg and she read the accompanying post where I had said that Ruhi was very jealous of his talent (to draw).

My heart broke when I saw her bravely trying to fight tears as she told me " I was very angry with you mamma".

She had not called me during that trip as she usually does. She had also said nothing for about a week that she had been back home. It was disturbing.

I instinctively picked up my laptop and took her through my blog. I showed her tens of posts about her, her pics on my blog. Read out some post to her. She was very pleased and said "not sad anymore, I never saw all this". We talked some more and she fell asleep.

Am stunned to say the least. I had not anticipated she would get here, she is not yet nine !! Just proves how little I know and how ill prepared I am for the future. I am also worried about internet access and what lies in store...

However the thought that bothers me the most is that its not going to be my personal blog anymore, but the blog of the mother of my children.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Old age plans !

"Rayyan will you take care of me when I grow old"

"ABBSOLOOTELY"

"well, what will you do for me ?"

" I will buy you a computer to do the cooking and take you to the beauty parlour, and I..."

At this point Ruhi cut him abruptly, sounding very cross " No Rayyan I will take care of Mama. I will come to meet her and do makeup for her "

I am half amused half shocked ! While they squabble I wonder what I had been doing to make them both believe that all the care that I would ever need would be beauty care. And a computer that cooks ?! I wish Ruhi had let him finish.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

5 years without fuss ?

The school saga continues and just as Ruhi outgrows her cocoon, Rayyan's travails begin.

I landed up to meet the teacher on the walk-in Friday and introduced myself :

"I am Rayyan's Mother'.

The teacher had been smiling politely from her desk as I entered from the further end of the room. Her smile vanished at my introduction as she gestured me to be seated.

She said : "Ah.. just as well that you came by, I was going to call you Mrs. Wasi." Deja Vu !

She said Rayyan speaks "weird things". The other day when the children were routinely asked if they were happy or sad that morning, Rayyan's eyes swelled up. He said he was "Very sad".

Upon asking the reason he said " because last night I could not finish cleaning up the house before I went to sleep". I cracked up at that and had tears rolling down my eyes. What a cheeky little pretender ! But the teacher cut me short and said " Its not funny".

He was asked to take out his swimming trunks from the school bag and he said : I havn't got any, I am just a beggar".

And another times when he hadn't finished his homework, he told the teacher his mother "lives somewhere else" and sometimes comes home late at night, "at 11 pm" to be precise.

Also, that he visits his mother on weekends and his Dad just looks him up when he is ready for school in the mornings. It looked like the teacher half believed what she had heard. I told her I was at home most of the time these days and that I do flexi hours but the tales continued, and the air became heavy in that room.

" Have you been ignoring him ?"
" Is there something wrong at home ?"
"Why would he say he is a beggar...kids don't have that vocabulary...is there a possibility of abusive language..."

My head was spinning. Of course I ignore him a lot. Of course he talks gibberish and thats one reason he is so popular. Of course he told Sridevi Maasi that her hair looked like Donkey's hair....but then we always thought he was so amusing and so cool.

He isn't shy. He talks nines to the dozens, he is sharp, much sharper than Ruhi and he is a happy child. I had never figured something could be wrong with the little chap. The teacher said I needed to watch him and that they had already started moral lessons with him about right thing and wrong thing and that God gives silver stars for truth spoken and black stars for lies. It didn't feel right to me. I didn't want a judgmental, ill natured God up there dishing out stars and stuff but then I was the mother whose child was telling highly detailed contrived stuff and it was obvious I had got it all wrong !

On another day he told the teacher (again with tearful eyes) that he was "so sad" because his mother buys new toys for him all the time when he has so many old toys that he can play with. I started to feel like someone caught doing illegal stuff " but Ma'm, thats not correct, he always demands new toys...". At the same time I felt like rushing home and spanking his tiny bum !!

The teacher agrees it may all be attention getting tactics but then I must realise that he is demanding attention and work on it. So thats my summer holiday homework to watch him closely, encourage him to speak the truth and wean him off the maid who may be inspiring him to fantasize himself as a cleaning boy or a beggar !!!

I came home and gently prodded him about what he had been saying in school. He pretended not to listen and then looked me straight into the eye and said " do you know I have REAL parents and ANOTHER parents?"

I gulped down spit and pretended to be casual and asked "Am I the REAL mother or ANOTHER one ?"

He said " REAL mother" most somberly.

"Who is the fake mother ?"

"Sheetal "

I have no friend by that name. My husband knows no woman by that name too (hopefully !). There is just no Sheetal in our universe.

I asked : "Hmmmm...who is the fake father then ?"

"Sheetal 2 ....both are Sheetal"

I wanted to laugh but I killed that urge. I thought I should tell him the angry God will give a black star but that wasnt an attractive thought either !

I told him it wasn't nice to make up stuff. He got mighty worked up and said he wasn't making up anything and that Sheetal 2 often comes to the Garage and I could meet him there.

I decided to change the topic and try another day !

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

5 years without fuss !


Rayyan's birthdays take me to my own childhood when birthdays were so simple and unassuming.

Only the samosas and jalebis are now replaced with Choco Pie and French Fries and of course there were no return gifts back then.

This year I set up the inflatable pool in the backyard and put up some yellow balloons. Ruhi enthusiastically invited the smaller kids from the park with a request to get along their towels and swim suits and an emphatic "please don't come if you have a running nose !"

Rayyan had a blast and that is all I had hoped for :)


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

My budding Little Artist !

When Rayyan runs out of paper, walls, magazines and books, he finds more surfaces for his graffiti. Like my leg for example !

Rayyan's figures have pointed angular heads and a lot of small details. Ruhi is very jealous of his talent and threw a fit the other day, sobbing uncontrollably about " why he can draw so well ! "

I am just another doting mother but I really think his drawings are very 'Souza'ish and I have been scheming to to take him to the Souza exhibition.

That should surely bring on the worst Ruhi tantrum that I may have seen till date :)



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

That I lovfe him !

Rayyan is trying to fit a helicopter inside the belly of a hollow plastic turtle.

I am on my laptop and there has been silence for too long, I decide to break the ice.

In a sugary sweet voice I say : "Raayi, I love you".
He looks up and in the most dismissive tone ever : " ITS OK"
Me : "What do you meant its OK ???"
Rayyan, impatiently : "that you LOVFE me "

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Ruhi update

I think we've reached a milestone with Ruhi at 8 years. I find myself completely at my wit's end most of the times and apprehensive about what may come next.
As of now, Ruhi knows everything. Sometimes more than everybody else . She says "I KNOW IT" after everything. Example :
Ruhi : Mama what does 'Do not drink and drive' mean ?
Me : Means one should not drink alcohol and drive.
Ruhi : I know it.
pause.
Ruhi : Mama what is alcohol ?
Me : Its a very bitter drink that makes people sleepy so they may have an accident if they drive
Ruhi : I know it
And so on and so forth.
I hope this too will pass ?
She is more concerned than ever, about right and wrong. Like she walked up to a man she had seen pissing on a colony wall and told him softly " pissing not allowed here" (in hindi). He was apparently some driver, he sniggered and told her to buzz off. Knowing her she must have muttered all the guts in her to do this. She didnt give up and waited for the chowkidar on the colony rounds to come by and complained about the incident. She felt very worthy when the chowkidar promised to fix the guy.

She has had her first sleep over at her best friend Rhea's house.

She has close friends who she likes and dislikes at the same time. Being a soft spoken gentle girl, she is at the receiving end of some highly manipulative behavior from other children her age. She is learning to deal with it albeit slowly. Her teacher said she needs lessons in how to be mean !

She shows a strong desire to do well in school. She is suddenly very competitive and wants to do better than most of her peers but accepts that a few friends are "way smarter" than her in class.

She wants to dress up fashionably when going to meet her friends. She is taller and skinnier than most children her age and as a result her long arms and legs make her look gawky. I never have the heart to tell her that she looks rather funny in dresses and skirts which she loves to wear !!

She is constantly testing her limits with me and I have finally begun to google for " behavior problems in 8 year olds" !