Friday, November 29, 2013

Conditions Apply

“It is a small compromise. You look great in sarees only. Why would you even want to go out with friends? Is my family not enough for you? You can do anything  you want. You have full freedom in this house”. He said .

“yes” She said.

 “I am free. Conditions Apply”

She left that day.

55 on Friday #WriteTribe

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Intangible Picture

Have you had a " Ah I wish I had a camera right now" moment?. I had one recently. We had gone to Ambience Mall a couple of weeks ago . We spent around 2 hours there and Vavoo had begun to chinigiffy (make ahu, hu, hu hm, ahu sounds) because he was getting hungry. We asked the security guard for the baby care room and he said it was near gate no 4. A bit of misunderstanding and not knowing which gate was where, resulted in me, hubby and Vavoo running here and there. I got tired in between so hubby took Vavoo in his arms and walked ahead of me in a faster pace.

Ambience Mall was well lit all golden and orangish with pretty lanterns hanging from above, it was not crowded that time, hubby was all in black and was walking fastly and I could only see Vavoo's face with surprisingly well combed hair peeking over his Achchan's shoulder. He was beaming with enjoyment  because he was bobbing up and down with every step his Achchan took. He smiled with delight , his eyes were twinkling like no star ever could and I felt that I saw him in his happiest moment. It was beautiful and I wished and wished that  I had some technology in which I could just capture it with my eyes or something and then download it and print it and savour that moment for ever and ever and ever.

I wish I could...


Monday, November 25, 2013

5 Random Thoughts 25.11.2013

I have been trying to make a blog button - the one you can see just above. I don't know if I have done it properly but I am happy that I have tried something new.


Every cloud has a silver lining. It was very difficult for us to stay in the house last week. So every evening, we either looked for another house or went to our friends' house. We invited our friends over for dinner on Saturday and played poker (not with money) and Jenga . It's such a long time since we played games. Maybe we can play Monopoly next weekend. Vavoo played passing the parcel with all of us, vavoo being the parcel.


Vavoo, you can now sit without support for some 10 sec. Yesterday Amma wanted to take a pic of you but the space in the digital camera was over because of your videos. We have to buy a card with more space. By the way you have started phoo phooing medicine. Not good Vavoo Not good. You have to have medicine. Do you want to nebulize????? do you baby???? You love cerelac , though once you have your fill you start phooing that also. Hopefully it's just a phase. Now that you can sit by holding to the sides of your tub, we are going to remove the holder thing in your bath tub. Maybe we will soon buy you a high chair. You are already 6 months????


This weekend was a good one. I had a proper haircut after so many years. I wanted to change my look a bit. I hate change and so normally have a U or a straight haircut. I was always afraid of trying new things as you have to live with a bad haircut until it grows away. Still this time I decided enough is enough and told the hairdresser to do what she thought would look nice. She gave me a layers haircut. It is good I must say. Not too different, yet a bit different.


By the way we also got a house. It's  a good house. Actually it has all the shelves required so we don't know what to do with the shelves we have right now. It's a bit far from Vavoo's daycare but we will just have to adjust. The owner seems to be a good man, I liked the way he talked to the first floor tenants, though this previous experience has left a bad taste in the mouth. I guess it will be sometime before we trust someone that blindly anymore. Anyhow it's a life lesson. Around Rs35000/- for a lesson. Hmmmm pretty costly one though. Still everything is for good - let's just believe that for now and move forward. Have already spent a lot of emotional energy  on that now.



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

House woes

Disclaimer: Long Loooooooooooooong rant ahead. But I need to get it out of my system. I realize it's a 4 page long rant. So have made it into sections.

The house hunting is going on still but we have a bit more of time. Yesterday for the first time in my life , I felt trapped. We actually felt cheated. I normally don't record anything bad that happens simply because- 1) who likes whining?
 2) who likes people who whine? And
 3) who wants to record things that are whinable? (OK dictionary - I know there is no word "whinable" but right now I seriously don't care)

It's not even been three months since we came to this house but the situation has become quite unbearable more because of the attitude of the people owning the house. (My dear last house owner! I appreciate you even more. You did not look very sophisticated, you did not speak that good...but you were great in things that mattered. You never were nonchalant. You gave us a good house and at such low rent)

The Initial Problems

We remember only 2 weekends which we have spent relaxed in this house because every single week something or the other happens. On the first week itself, we had no idea how the plumbing worked. Water did not come where it was supposed to come. When we called them they started berating the last owners (they had bought the house newly and we were their first ever tenants). They were of no use. It took around two weeks for us to figure out how the plumbing works. Then we found out that there was no shower in the bathroom. Come on its 2013. Anyhow that they kept and gave. Then we found that the geyser in the bathroom gave extreme hot water but there was no pipe for cold water. How is one supposed to bath in boiling water? It took a week and they made another pipe and gave us. That week we kind of adjusted. That same time we also found out that our water in the overhead tank was finishing very very quickly. We were around 4 people and vavoo was using cloth nappies so we had to use the washing machine at least two times a day. And the water tank would empty in one cycle. We found that they had a small 200 - 250l capacity tank. It was tiny. They figured out that we should not have a problem as instead of putting on the motor and filling the tank once every day we only had to do it say,2 or 3 times. What should be the problem? *Sarcasm*. If you think similar to them, I suggest you use such a small tank and see how difficult it is especially when you are at home with an infant in hand. Anyhow we asked them to keep a decent tank at least. Which they did after a week.

Backflow in the toilet Yuck!

Then my mom came and we found that there was backflow in the toilet. Yes! What we were not supposed to see we were cleaning on a regular basis. We told them but they were already getting fed up of the house. I guess they just wanted the returns and not the responsibility. It took around two weeks for them to take the issue seriously and it turned out to be a major issue.

The house owner was still ok, but his wife started trivializing issues. This house has only one bathroom and we have our mom who is aged and has medical conditions. The landlady was very insensitive - not going into the details. Frankly speaking I was beginning to get frustrated with her and had told my hubby that I was no longer going to talk to her about the house. I would not be able to bear nonsense anymore from her. Do you know some people who talk a lot of flowery sweet talk and do nothing? Yup! Voila, I hit jackpot this year.

Whenever I used to talk to her I used to feel as if I am talking to a wall. In fact I would have preferred the wall as at least it would not talk back insensibly. At least I could have pretended it was empathizing.

Anyhow two days were hell having no toilet. My mom got tensed, her depression returned and I am pretty sure I have scared her enough to never leave the comforts of her home again to come and stay with me. Who could blame her? I could not even give her the basic amenities.

After two days it became OK. Though they had not tiled the flooring of the toilet, we did not even ask, we just wanted the bathroom to be usable as soon as possible. And we are paying good rent for that house - believe me.

The Problem with the Water heater

Even during this time the heater was not working. There was some weird thing about the water levels in this house I guess, hot water would come in all pipes except the one it is supposed to. Somehow we adjusted but ultimately their rust ridden 20 year old heater died. We kept our very much newer heater in the bathroom but the issue persisted. We told them. They did not take us seriously and by that time they were behaving as if we were disturbing them so much so we began to deal with things on our own from our own pockets as we thought our peace of mind was more important than money. And frankly speaking the landlady's attitude was getting on to our nerves.

That coveted Diwali Weekend...

It was the Diwali weekend. My parents had left, we were having three days leave and we were looking forward to spending it with Vavoo leisurely. Three other guests were also coming that weekend. Even though this house had bogged us down we decided to light up the house this Diwali and just celebrate. We were trying to put on the lights when we heard water flowing somewhere. Guess what, Water was flowing from the walls in the bathroom. Some connection had burst. In two hours we would have guests for the weekend and water was flowing out of walls. It was a Diwali weekend.... which plumber would be free? Ultimately we got one and he came just because he felt sorry for us. It turned out to be a heavy duty work. Apparently the plumbing was of low quality and we using the washing machine in the pipe were stressing it out and hence it had a problem. He made it right somehow and told us to use it very very carefully. Obviously money came out of our pocket. We told the landlord about it but as expected, he was getting fed up with the house he had bought.

Gosh this has already become too long but it's just half the story.

Finding how "People live with one pipe also"

Why were we using the washing machine connected to the bathroom do you ask? Well there is a backstory here also. When we decided to take this house, the main attraction was a back room which was built extra and the pipes in the backyard. We thought we would just keep the washing machine there. But only when we came to the house, we saw that the pipes there worked only when the direct supply came and that too if we switched on another motor. Using the machine there was no longer possible. When hey realized that they said they would put a pipe for us (After all it was the amenity which we were told was there) After 3 weeks and water flooding our kitchen front area because of water flowing outside the bathroom to the hall every time the machine ran thanks to horrible flooring level of the bathroom, we asked them if we could do the work and take it out of the rent.

The landowner said, they would definitely do it, but they did not. It was three weeks before this happened.  The next day when the land lady came to see the problem area (just see mind you, not do anything about it) we asked her about the pipe in the back yard once again. She said - politely as always, that it was in their mind and they would definitely do it in two weeks. The two weeks have gone and they have not breathed a word about it. In the meantime she also commented how people do live with one pipe in their house also. Hubby did not think this comment even worth honoring. She passes many such comments which were plain insensitive. As if people who live with one pipe would give this much rent and live in such a big house.

So now the only usable pipe was the one in which the heater was connected and the one in the kitchen. So we connected the washing machine to the kitchen/ geyser as and when it was possible. Our water machine was not hot water compatible so the simple act of putting on washing machine itself required a lot of thought from then on.

At this point we thought that enough is enough. If there was one more problem with the house we will shift. But it was a decision we did not want to make because

1) Vavoo was happy in his daycare and the location was perfect for me to come and see him in lunch which may not be possible if we went somewhere else.

2) Really! We just shifted..... What an effort and Money does not grow in trees. We already lost half month rent in the other house.

The Last straw

After this last week came the issue of the burning geyser.  As usual we called up the landlord and he told us to go and tell his wife to come take a look at it. I went there. She came out with a "oh here they come again look. Let me be patient martyr look". I was tensed and worried obviously- the bathroom was smoking. I told her something weird had happened and could she come and look at it. She started saying "what will I do coming and looking at it. IF you and our husband are saying there is a problem then there must be. What is the point of me coming and looking at it..Blah blah." I felt as if she was meaning that we were disturbing her too much so I told her that her husband told her to come and look which she did not hear at all. And I repeated it once again. Suddenly she turned to me and said. “Why are you talking so roughly to me? I always talk so lovingly to you. You always talk so rough. I don't like it. It's there in my mind. I don't even like talking to you but because you smile at me, I also smile"

I was shocked. Till now, despite all the problems above, we have never complained or said what a horrible house they had given to us... though we informed them of what was happening, we never complained. We were always patient and empathized with them because we felt they had had a rough deal too. Nobody in that colony knows of how extremely terrible it was to live in that house. There was a bathroom full of smoke and the only problem this lady had was with the way I talked to her.  Really!

The Light bulb moment

It was a light bulb moment for me and I realized this person has no intention of doing anything for the house. It was something I always knew but it became final for me that there house owners were not the kind to take responsibility for the house. I told sorry and left. She had a problem with that too as I did not stand and listen to her admonishing me. Frankly speaking, I simply thought it was worthless standing there. I had listened to what she said. I had apologized. My hubby was listening and he was surprised when he heard me apologizing. He was even more surprised when I said I had apologized because I talked roughly. I was practically pleading at first.

We realized that we had to shift now. There was no heater. Putting on the washing machine was a head ach. It was winter and the house was a safety Hazard. We thought that they would be pretty happy to see us go too as whenever the problems came they kept saying how it was alright if we looked for another house and how they wouldnot complain and blah blah flowery talk. In fact I have felt that they actually wanted us to leave. But by this time I had already become weary of them. They had one month rent as safety deposit and I was almost sure that they would not give it back. My hubby however believed in the best of people.

How we realized that we were trapped.

He called the landowner yesterday night -(btw we were trying to talk to them for two days but they are rarely available) and told them that we were looking for a new house and that as he knew about the problems we were facing could he please waive off the one month notice we had to give. His tone changed and he point blank refused. So hubby said "OK but let the notice be from 15th of November to 15th of December. He refused for that too saying he won't get any tenant and that we had to stay here till Dec 31st and then only he would give back the deposit - .i.e. we have to pay December rent too. His broken promises obviously were not an issue for him. With his track record I am sure even if we stay till Dec 31st this guy is not going to give us our deposit back. Mark my words. We had given our previous land owner just 20 days yet he returned every rupee. Never before have I met a house owner like this. My PG uncle was miserly in many things but even he did not make an issue.

A person who is good will be good always. Personally we feel pretty miserable  right now. I and hubby have never dealt with such cheapness before. Some advice us to make a hallaboo, not pay rent the next month and to cut from the deposit but .... that would make us feel even more bad.

2013 has been a year of a lot of emotional stress. The only reason I would say 2013 was good would be because of Vavoo. Only because of him 2013, I will look back at you with fondness . Otherwise I can't wait for 2014 to come.

OK now I feel bad.

 I guess 2013, you were necessary for me to grow as a person. You have given back much that I had lost. So I guess this pain was necessary. After all you gave me my some unexpected ways.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

5 Random Thoughts

I had subscribed myself to Write Tribe for prompts so that I would write something every week. However this time it was to write a letter to someone who caused you pain; some one I wished I could forgive. Unfortunately I cannot do that. It is at such times I wish I was writing anonymously. Even then would I have written it? I doubt that. If I write a letter to someone, it will definitely become the property of the person I have written it for, so how do I share it publicly? If it was something nice or had some message, maybe it would have been a different matter. Of course the letter could always be fiction. For now, I guess I will just stay put.


Rudyard Kipling's IF has helped me a lot. Right now these lines feel so relevant to me.
 If you can keep your head when all about you
  Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
  But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
  Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
  And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
  If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
  And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
  Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
  And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
  And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
  And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
  To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
  Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
  Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
  If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
  With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
  And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Courtesy :  WIKIPEDIA

I think I will write down the verses and stick on my cupboard so that they can always remind me what's important and what is not.

Yesterday Vavoo turned 6 months. My little baby. You are  a sweet child vavoo. Capturing the heart of everyone who sees you. I love to hear you talk. You say aauuu and aaaaa and ghaaaa and grrrrrrrrr. You have recently learnt that your legs are stronger than before and so your new thing this week is to try to stand and suddenly you flop down /forward/backward which gives both me and your achchan mini heart attacks. You love climbing over us to go to the other side to take a toy even if there is space to crawl in bed. You have learnt to crawl a bit. You sometime sit with one hand supported and look at us to see if we are watching you. You have started using your judgements also . The other day achchan kept two toys one a bit far and one a bit nearer in a sort of triangle. You looked at both as if to see which was worthwhile and then wriggled to the toy that you liked more despite the fact that it was a bit further. You have began to jump from one person to another. Normally you give a bashful smile when someone smiles at you but we hardly saw that this week. Will we see more of it or have you already outgrown that phase too?You are so squirmy and wriggly - as if the moment you learn to walk you are going to run every where. My love, my sweetheart.....


This weekend is going to be pretty busy. This house has a lot of issues. Yesterday was the last straw. The geyser started burning on it's own accord. Hubby felt so helpless as the plug was off and when he tried to remove it, it would not budge. Luckily we were there in the house at that time. So going house hunting this weekend.


??? - nothing coming to my mind rightnow!!!!! Hope you guys have a great weekend. I started this post with a serious note. Right now, I feel as if I am going to go on a treasure hunt. Any tips on what to look out for when we go  house hunting especially in Gurgaon?. mmmm?


Friday, November 8, 2013

On First 25 from 101 things to do in 1001 days

When I started this project, I sincerely wanted to do each and every one of them. In my naivety I had written down some extremely unrealistic goals. Within the first 6 months I found out I was not going to finish many of them. But I can't say I am disappointed. This list has helped me try many things I wanted to do and also has given me closure on many things which I no longer want to do.

My challenge finishes in March 2014 and I just wanted to go through the list to see what all are viable and what I should just cross off my list. 101 is 75 too many hence just going through the first 25 for now.

1. Finish this list. (Completed on 8/07/2011)

Did complete. It was not easy. This itself was a task. I intend to start another project once March is over, but with a smaller list and a smaller time frame. However this list did help me list down the many things I wanted to do.

2. Donate Blood.

Looks like B+ve is abundantly available. No one needs it. I could have gone to the Blood bank and will do it too someday. What I underestimated was the one particular goal which took a toll on me for 9months and still ongoing that I really did not have the time or energy to concentrate on other goals ;). Definitely no regrets :)

3. Get an Organ Donation Card.

That I did and made sure my hubby knows that I am serious about it. Rather simple to do so. I must say. Now I feel a sense of responsibility towards my body. I mean, it can be of use to someone else too you know.

4. Read 10 Autobiographies/Biographies (0/10).
            Started with "Mein Kempf". I actually liked it - the first volume at least. But never read any other.

 5. Identify 10 local birds in Gurgaon Locality (10/10).

Loved this goal. I am so happy I did it. I understood that I DO like bird watching. Found a  hobby :)

6. See a shooting star.

Hoping to see one this winter. Though will have to gaze the sky for some time. Hopefully I will see one and I will make a wish and hopefully it will come true

7. Go for all the Heritage Walks organized by INTACH Delhi chapter. (Except Mehrauli walk)

            I am so glad I did this. There is one more to attend and I have plans to attend it this month end. We actually saw Delhi. Proper Delhi. Waking up early morning, going in the metro, going on a walk through the historic ruins..... It was fun. I wish there were many more such walks.

8. Go for a Moon walk organized by Let's Walk Gurgaon.

            Hubby was not very comfortable going out at midnight. It's Gurgaon after all. By the time we got a car I was not in a condition to do long walks.

9. Review a book every month. (1/33)

Ambitious. Did not do it.

10. Make Dosa Batter. (26.07.2011)

Make it all the time now. Amma bought me a tiny grinder. No store bought batter any more. Yay!!!!

11. Make Appam Batter.

            I always have a starting trouble and I put such things in list to overcome that. I will definitely make Appam batter and preferably this month itself. Wait ok.

12. Try 50 recipes I have not tried before.

            Although I have recorded only 26 in my foodings page, I am sure I have made at least 35-40 recipes. Does recording only count?

13. Get a pedicure again.

            Have to do it. This month surely!!!!

14. To have an addition to the family.

:) This is the Goal I was talking about  in Goal 2. Really how extremely silly of me to actually make a goal. I'm so thankful to that Supreme Being who has made this possible. Vavoo... you are a super duper addition.

15. Move to South India.

OK, not going to happen... unless someone somewhere intervenes.

16. Design a Building (min 3 storey).
            Again...Nope! No opportunity. Anyone want to give me an opportunity???? Will do it for free!!! IS codes only please

 17. Make a playlist of 101 fav. songs.

            When I began making a playlist I realized, I don't have that many fav. songs. Maybe 10. I did make a list of some sort. I have to dig it up.

18. Spend a day and night in a house boat.

            Soooooooooo much wanted to, but our holls are spent in native place and well it’s always less to incorporate this too. Still ...someday.

19. Fast for a day in Ramzan.

            Did not.... No longer possible. Next Ramzan is after March.

20. Have a "fruits only for food" day.

Did not. Won't anymore. Am perpetually hungry.

21. Write one more Poem. (Done)

Do you know I have written only one poem after 2006? I have no idea why it is so. Will I ever be able to write another one again!

 22. Read the Quran once (The Arabic one).
               Again did not.

23. Learn one of the language - Sanskrit/Arabic/Telugu.

Nope. Not possible.

24. Go for at least 6 classes of yoga.

We did go for Yoga Classes. But stopped after taking 5 classes. The amount of exercise was too much for me. My whole body was aching. And we were being bended and molded into different stances that frankly I was afraid it might affect our chances of having a baby. We wanted to have vavoo at that time.

25. Learn to play the Guitar.

Wanted to. Joined one place. Did not like the way it was being taught. He was just teaching songs. So left. After that I found I could not schedule my time properly. I will learn to play someday. But a good teacher is so absolutely necessary.

Viable Goals

6. See a shooting star

7. Go for all the Heritage Walks organized by INTACH Delhi chapter. (Except Mehrauli walk)

11. Make Appam Batter.

12. Try 50 recipes I have not tried before.

13. Get a pedicure again.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Life Lessons - Truth Based on Belief

A couple of months ago one of our uncle who is settled in UAE came to visit us. He is a jolly jolly person who is real fun. He loves having debates and on course of one of the conversations, he asked me if I would answer one of his questions. I knew where this was going; he loves controversies. At first I said "oh no no uncle. no need" But he pursued and I reluctantly agreed. "Tell me'' , he said.

 "Which came first? Mecca or Islam?"

"Anyone who knows the history of Islam knows that Mecca came first." I replied.

I guess he did not expect me to answer so, for he said." But no Arabi would accept that. I have asked many, showed them their own history but they would not accept it." He ejaculated. I found that amazing because I did not think there should be any confusion, after all it's recorded history. But I did not say anything at that time.

I kept wondering about it when suddenly it occurred to me that for a Muslim Islam was there from the time Adam was created. So from a Muslim's point of view, obviously Islam came first. But will a non Muslim ever accept that? Ofcourse not. For a non Mulsim, Islam originated sometime in the 7th Centuary AD. But both are correct in their reasoning based on their logic. The Arabi did not lie  but neither did  uncle. I realized then that as far as believes of people are concerned, there's no one thing that's true. It's all true.

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