Saturday, August 25, 2007


Sonny boy's summer vacations are not over yet!! So these days where ever I go, I have to drag him with me and play Bollywood item songs in the car to keep him entertained!! I know, I know I should be playing Rabindrasangeet or Beethoven to stimulate his young mind and not "Aa khushi se khudkushi kar le" I'm not raising a culturally elite kid...oh well!!!

These days most songs have bizzare Hinglish rap thrown in to make it more hip-hop I guess...I usually tune them out, but apparently sonny boy has been listening! So while such a song was playing, we had a conversation, which went like this:

Sonny Boy (SB): Mommy, can you turn down the volume please? I want to ask you a question!
Me: Yes baby!
SB: Mommy, what is sexy?
(Me pretending momentary deafness!)
SB: Mommy, you didn't answer my question!!
Me: Erm...
SB: I asked you, what is sexy!!??
Me: Sexy? Hmmm...lets see...what is sexy??!!
SB: Yes, what is sexy?
Me: describe a person who is...goodlooking, smart, well dressed and excercises regularly so that he or she has a very good body!
SB: That makes me sexy!!
Me: Huh?
SB: Yes! I'm goodlooking, smart, well dressed and I go to Aikido classes regularly!
Me: No baby! Only grown ups can be sexy! Children are not sexy - they are cute!
SB: Thats not fair!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Disgruntled As Ever

I have been away for a while – physically as well as emotionally. Its one of those periods in your life where you are just tired and weary and going into a cave to lick your wounds in private seems like a good idea. Well, that kind of sums up my situation. And I could just stop writing anything more in this post – but I guess I won’t and so dear readers, if you’re still with me, let me warn you that this will be a long one!!!

I had gone back home in Kolkata for a month and a half. What a trip that was! Some vacations stay etched in our memories for the fabulous time we have and the wonderful experiences that we carry with ourselves for a very long time. And then there are trips straight out of hell like this one. In retrospect I should have had consulted my horoscope before making the plans or done some puja paath havan at the temple or worn an amulet or something around my neck before leaving home.

I didn’t really want to go to India in the summer. But sonny boy’s school was over for the summer. I hadn’t been home in a year. Ma was extremely distraught since Chhotu and Bhalo passed on. Going home seemed like the right thing to do even though I had a bad feeling about it. That bad feeling intensified even more when sonny boy and I landed in Kolkata early morning on my birthday and was greeted by a sky almost as dark as night. As soon as I loaded my stuff in the car the heavy dark clouds broke into torrential rain and crackling thunder. It was terrifying! It always rains on my birthday – I was born on the first official day of monsoon anyway. But never in my long years have I seen it come down so hard and furious.

The first few days weren’t so bad after all, barring the terrible rains followed by terrible heat! I was already getting tired of Kolkata and looking forward to Mumbai where Ma and sis awaited my arrival! I love Mumbai – I’ve always associated the city with fun times and excessive shopping. This time it was slightly different. Ma was still mourning Chhotu and Bhalo in a way that is very hard to understand. No one was allowed to enter the mausoleum of her grief; no matter how hard we tried to make her realize that her daughters are still there by here, she seemed to be lost in the infinite vacuum of her profound sorrow and emptiness.

And then out of the blue life threw a curve at me – it was quite unexpected and needless to say very traumatic! That was probably the time I needed my mother the most! But she couldn’t come out of her shell and extend her hand towards her daughter! Sis was already overwhelmed with her own set of troubles plus baby-sitting Ma for two months had left her exhausted! I was supposed to relieve her of that duty – but there I was, in need of attention myself! Her stress was palpable! I was completely alone through the worst nightmare of my life!!! Spouse proved yet again that he is the pillar of my strength – he dropped everything and showed up at Mumbai to be by my side in less than three days!! Together we lived through the final act of the real-life drama that left us heart-broken and drained! They say “that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”! I guess its true to some extent. Am I stronger now? I don’t know! I don’t feel terribly strong! Even after more than a month I’m still limping towards normalcy! But then life goes on and while you never really get over your sorrows, you learn to live with it!

We decided to cut the trip short and come back home. I needed to be in my own space. The journey back had to be taken separately – spouse couldn’t manage to get tickets on the same flight as mine. He took a different route. I boarded the British Airways Kolkata-London flight on a Friday morning, eager to get home. But who knew that was the beginning of yet another nightmare!

I had mild flu symptoms when I left Kolkata. And as luck would have it, sonny boy and I got stranded in London for 48 hrs. It was total chaos in the true sense of the word! Thousands of stranded passengers, total collapse in the system, confusion, mayhem, fever, hunger, thirst, uncertainty…how I managed to stay sane through all that is still a bit of a mystery to me! Anyway, we gave up on British Airways and bought fresh tickets on Air Canada and flew in through Vancouver two days later. That flight also turned out to be rather interesting! I decided to glug down some of sonny boy’s emergency supply of Benadryl to control a rather embarrassingly hacking cough. It controlled the cough alright, but it made me real drowsy and added to that it gave me a major case of restless legs! So for 10 odd hours I stood next to the toilet dozing standing up!!!

Anyway I’m back now and we’ve moved into our new pad. There’s just way too much to do around the house – boxes to unpack, things to put away, curtains to hang, call the cable guy, mow the lawn, cut down the 6 feet tall weeds, fight with BA so that they reimburse all the expense I incurred in London…the list is never ending!! We’ve also discovered the presence of a rather large concrete box embedded in our yard! Now it could be for rain water retention or for collecting the neighborhood’s sewer waste – heaven knows!! Whatever it is, it has completely messed up all my lofty landscaping ideas!! All of a sudden a simple backyard beautification project has become entangled in endless bureaucratic paperwork and permits!!!! So now I have to go to the City Hall and find someone who can and is willing to answer my questions and help me out!! As if I already didn’t have enough to do!

As my spate of bad luck continues, I have burnt my hand; got mauled by predatory looking weeds; the city threatened to disconnect electric and gas line because we forgot transfer our accounts from the other house to here; my car is demanding an oil change for which I have to drive half-way across the state to the dealership…I wish I could bury my head somewhere and make it all go away!!!

Someone, whom we considered a very dear friend – in fact almost family, is acting very strange. Usually I would have just left this person alone, but this time I decided to go out of my way to figure out the problem. Apparently we have used a certain tone of voice with this person and that was not okay. Huh? What tone? Spouse and I sat down and painstakingly recalled the series of events before and after this person started this strange behavior and we couldn’t really fathom what could be wrong!! Still I went out on a limb and tried pacifying this person without much success! So I guess its over now – it was great while it lasted! Hope this person finds happiness and lots of tone-less friends!

Finally I caught up with Harry Potter – the last book and the movie! The movie was actually bad and I’m very upset because of that!!! The Deathly Hallows turned out to be a damp squib – I do feel like writing a review, but its just too tedious!! Just this post alone has taken me almost three weeks to write – at this rate the review will show up on Daniel Radcliffe’s 21st birthday!!

So here I am, disgruntled as ever, and with ample reasons to be so. The summer is almost over and it’ll be a summer I’ll remember for the rest of my life for all the wrong reasons! Hope the colors of the fall and the crispness in the air bring fresh hopes in our lives…