Birthdays today! 

Birthdays – until I had children I never thought it would be such a huge thing. Birthdays always meant celebration at home; sandwiches, mini pizzas, samosa ( as we grew older), wafers, and juice. 

Games at these parties were what my mother would come up with. 1 minute challenges, passing the parcel, paper dance, and some random dancing. 

Photographs would be clicked by my father and the roll would be given for developing once it got over. Some pictures would be great, some obscure, and some just laughable. But so much fun. 


Return gifts – would almost always be stationary. Pencil boxes, fancy erasers, sharpeners, pencils, colours. 

Today it’s a different world out there. There’s insane amount of planning that is needed to pull of a good birthday. Hats off to all parents who painstakingly put these parties together. From the decor to the food to the cake to the outfit that the child and parents wear needs planning. Birthdays were so much simpler when I was growing up. 

A friend asked me if I would be there at a birthday party and I asked which one. Then I realised I wasn’t invited to it so said no to my friend. Note how I say ‘I’ wasn’t invited, birthdays now are more for the adults to socialise than the children really. 

Since a bunch of others were invited to the party and I was perhaps one of the few mothers who wasn’t, I felt bad. 

I didn’t realise that I had carried this sadness home. After dinner I was sitting alone and trying to read when my son came up to me and asked what’s wrong. 

Me – nothing at all

Son – you are looking sad Amma 

Me- smiling, just thinking about something

Son- prodding, but what?

Me- some birthday party that we are not invited to

Son- whose? 

Me- I tell him the name 

Son- who is that?

Me- that’s when it struck me. While I may be feeling sad about not being invited to a party where everyone else has been, my child was right – he didn’t know the child at all. What sense would it make to be invited? 

Lesson learnt – don’t try and be everywhere with everyone. It’s not possible and you won’t do justice to either them or yourself. Choose well and stay happy! 

Help please! 

There has to be a limit to pushing my buttons. There will be a point beyond which I will snap. I’m a fairly tolerant person and it takes a lot to get me angry. But off late my help at home has been managing to do this very often. 

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I must have requested the dhobi on multiple occasions to never let our clothes be with him overnight. If for some reason he is unable to finish the work I have always asked him to return the clothes and pick it up the following day. Despite being told again and again he chooses to do just that. What would you think? Is he doing it on purpose to irk me? Or is he genuinely incapable of comprehending a simple instruction. 

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I have, sorry strike that, I had a help who was the Schumacher equivalent in housework. In less than 60 minutes she accomplished so much work that it often gave me a complex. Anyway, to cut a long story short. The one day that my entire family decides to wake up late and laze around madam decides to clean all the bathrooms before any of us could even saunter out of bed. 

Just as she was gathering her things to leave, I told her she’d have to come back given that none of us had had a bath. She looked straight at me and said NO. Unsure of whether I had heard right I repeated myself. She repeated herself, NO. If you all cannot wake up and have a bath on time I can’t help it, I can’t change my time for you, she said. Trust me I felt like I’d been punched. 

This was perhaps the only time I had asked anything of her. The next day she didn’t show up and the day after when she did she tells me she can’t work in my house because I don’t adjust 😵 really now! 

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The highlight has to be the help who worked for 1.5 days. In that short period of time she made me go through a gamut of emotions. She was brilliant at her job no doubt and perhaps thought she could use that to her advantage. On her second day at work as she was making the bed she tells me she needs an advance of ₹15,000/-. 

I’m not even sure on how to react so continue feeding my child. She asked again. I said, you’ve barely stepped into my house and you want ₹15,000/-? What she says next blew my mind. She puts the quilt down and says, ‘if you can’t give it to me then I’ll just have to leave.’ And just like that she walked out 😤

Be kind! 

One statement is all it took to rattle me and make me supremely uncomfortable. At a dinner we recently attended with kids in tow, another mom whom I was meeting for the first time said to me, ‘is he also 4.5 years of age?’ She asked this pointing to my son who was playing with a group of 4 other similar age group kids. ‘Yes, he is,’ I said looking at my son and smiling. 

She then goes to say rather loudly, ‘oh I thought he was older. He looks so much ‘bigger’ than the other kids.’ The word bigger stuck to me. Why say anything at all if you can’t be tactful in what you say? The rest of the evening, for me, was a blur. What killed me further was when my child came up to me and apologetically said, ‘Amma I will pull my stomach in like this, see.’ 


To all those amazing people whom I come in contact with – don’t do and say things that will scar my child or me. Another time a well meaning friend while picking my child up feigned a back pain and said, ‘ah looks like you’ve gotten big.’ He went on to make some sounds that clearly indicated how hard it was on him to carry my child. 

Did I ask you to carry him?? Why take it upon yourself and then trouble us this way? 

It is also so important that we as patents watch what we say in front of kids. Kids don’t learn to call each other ‘motu’, ‘ladoo’, ‘golu’ etc. if they haven’t heard it being said at home. 

So please, if you can’t be kind just stay away. It’s so much better that way. 

Motivation 


Ok so I must admit that I’ve watched the fat to fit video of Aamir Khan atleast a dozen times if not more. It’s amazing to see the transformation that he went through all in a span of five months. I’m amazed and inspired.

The inspiration stayed with me until last evening, through the night I was thinking about it. Aamir Khan’s profession demands that he looks ‘good’ and stays fit. He has a barrage of people working on him. His diet, his every exercise is monitored and that is what you see before you. The results are the efforts of all those people who worked on him and with him to lose the weight and get fit. While it is inspiring it is also very deceptive. Losing that kind of weight, especially that stubborn belly fat ( ask me) is a Herculean task and I wonder if it is doable by you and me in five months. 

For Aamir Khan the motivation was the movie and obviously he had to lose that weight to play the part of the younger wrestler. What’s my motivation? Honestly I’m now at a stage, which I am hating, of having zilch motivation. Why should I lose weight? To look good? I look good as I am. To feel energetic? That doesn’t seem to push me enough. To lead a healthy life? I feel I am healthier than many other ‘thin’ ‘slim’ people around me. 

So what do I do? Where do I get that motivation from? I see so many older people wake up so early in the morning to get out for a walk. What pushes them? I wonder. Will that motivate me too? 

Never go Indigo 

I’m not a first time traveller, I’m not a fussy traveller, I’m also not one to take crazy policies lying down. Indigo, you have enraged the mother in me and I’m sitting in your flight from Mumbai to Goa and typing this out.

 

I walk into the airport almost an hour and a half before the schedules flight time. I am travelling with my two kids and husband. I walk towards the counter which has a board mzshowing infants. The help staff stops me and says, ‘madam yeh line only for mother and infant.’

I point to my 1.5 year old and say, ‘he is an infant.’ By then your staff has come close to me and asks, ‘you bought infant ticket for him?’ I’m not sure what that means even so say, ‘yes, he is an infant so I have bought an infant ticket for him.’

After this conversation I go and stand in the queue. The loader comes back to me and asks my husband to go to the other queue. Now this is where my issues begin. We are a family of four travelling together. Our tickets are in one mail, what sense would it make to split us up and leave me with two children, one of whom is by now howling.

I tried my best to request, ask, question, and even argue about this policy. I would assume you have a counter for special assistance to work efficiently and offer assistance. But this policy defeats that completely. If my husband were to travel with the infant would he not be allowed to stand in that counter? #sexistmuchisn’tit? #regressivepolicy

Also, when you are printing three boarding passes how is it going to make a difference if you printed one more. I would think it’s better use of the time and resources on hand. #timetorethinkindigo

While I was checking in your staff at the counter asks me to place my bags on the belt, now what’s the big deal about the separate counter if you don’t even help me with my baggage? You saw I had my child in one arm and a bag in the other. For that you say to me, ‘ma’am please ask your husband to place the bags on the belt.’ Come on, for picking up the bags you want my husband to stand around otherwise you were happy to shoo him away to another counter. #whatsensedoesitmake

I ask you why you have that special assistance counter? Is it for the mothers comfort? The child’s comfort? Because neither me or my children felt comfortable. Also, if I were to stand in that counter and check in and then had to wait another 20 odd minutes for the husband to check in, what sense does the special assistance make? I’m waiting around anyway. 

Also, indigo you are not doing me a favour by flying me. So please throw the nose up in the air and we are too good for you attitude out of the window. I understand you work on a low fare model but here’s what I suggest, increase your prices to match the better airlines and then see how many customers stay loyal to your airline. I know I won’t.

#disgruntledcustomer #indigogroundstaffbemoresensitive #nomoreindigo

Elevator Etiquette

What is it with us Indians and elevators? I was at a mall yesterday waiting for the elevator and in those 5 minutes of waiting went from happy after watching a movie to absolutely disgusted that I decided to even step outside my house. Here’s why:

1. Aunty, once the elevator button has been pressed the sensible thing to do is to wait. Repeatedly pressing the button will not miraculously make the elevator appear at a faster speed. 

2. Dear mother-of-a-young-girl-whom-you-are-influencing-with-your-bad-actions, people who are waiting outside the elevator door are not crazy to be standing there. They are doing so because they want to get in when the elevator gets there. Randomly barging in from somewhere and pretending to not notice anyone else is so not cool. 

3. Hello severely overweight uncle, the elevators have a weight limit for a reason. Waiting a few extra minutes for the elevator to come back to you is not going to change a thing, it would have saved my toe from getting crushed for sure. 

4. Dear young couple, congratulations on being young and being in love and all that. Kindly refrain from showering physical love on each other in an elevator filled with other people. I certainly do not want to witness any sort of public diaplay of love and affection between strangers. 

5. Dear bored Aunty, will it kill you to wait for a few minutes before asking your husband what he would like for dinner tonight? You almost screamed into my ear in the process of ensuring that your husband, who by the way was absolutely disinterested in listening to you, answers your question on the menu. 

When will we ever learn?!?

Pretence here and pretence there! 


So much pretence all around, gets to me. Aren’t you tired of pretending to be a friend? Pretending to care? Pretending to be concerned? Why waste so much energy on doing something that you clearly don’t enjoy doing. 

With age I’m glad I’ve reached a stage where I can say with clarity and certainty that I don’t care if you like me or not, I don’t care if you invite me to your parties or not, I don’t care if you chose to call someone else to share happiness/sadness over me, and I genuinely don’t care if you decide to stop liking me 😛 I’m sure you have your reasons. 

This age is a great thing, it puts a lot of things in perspective. So much of what we run after in our ‘younger’ days suddenly seems so futile now. 

I’m thankful for the things I have, work hard for what I want, and enjoy the moments that I get with those who matter. So I can safely say I’m in a happy place as of now. 

My sincere advice to you is to do the same. Try and be happy with yourself and your immediate circle. Don’t be someone you wouldn’t like to bump into.