Friday, June 29, 2007

My Great Grandmothers!

I feel I'm one of those lucky ones who have not only seen their great grandmothers, paternal and maternal both, but also spent good amount of time with them. So its not just one of those picture memories for me but those REAL precious and fond memories.

Maiyyo - My Paternal Grandmother
She was my father's grandmother. We used to call her "Maiyyo". In fact, everyone used to call her with that name only. She was real fun to be with. With all the folk lore's that she used to sing and the way she used to be amused with certain things, it still brings a big smile on my face when I think of her. My earliest memories of her are when I was around 10-11 yrs. She was in mid 80s then I guess. With all the wrinkled skin hanging from anywhere and everywhere which we used to love touching and making it jiggle. And she used to give that beautiful toothless smile looking at us having fun of all the things with her wrinkled skin. When I think of it now, her smile seems no less than a small babies smile...the same toothless, innocent and beautiful smile.

1983 : In this picture, Maiyyo is laughing as someone had picked her up!

1983 : Maiyyo doing a prayer!

In summers, she used to love sitting in front of the coolers (ACs were a rarity those days). With the strong air blowing from the cooler would whisk away the pallu off her head which she would keep pulling it back on. Her silky white hair flying around while she would sit right in front of the cooler - real close, with her eyes closed and such calmness, serenity and satisfaction on her face. I still smile when I remember her words "Hooler (Cooler) chal lo hai?" in her brij lingo which in English meant "Cooler is running?". Whenever she would be thirsty, she would say "Moye ek katori thando paani de de!" (Give me one bowl of cold water).

I do not remember how and why but she used to call my father, her grandson as "Judge" whereas my father is a Civil Engineer by profession. So in the evenings she would enquire "Judge aa gayo?" (Judge is back from work?). Also, Appa(as I fondly call my father and we are not south Indians) was quite thin by physique and Maiyyo would take out her pointer finger and wave it saying "Kausala to.." trying to convey he's so skinny. And Appa would tell her "Sher ki bhi haddiyan dikhti hain" (you can see the bones of lions too!) and Maiyyo would have a little laugh and hug Appa.

How I wish I could have remembered the songs she used to sing. Some of the used to be about fights between Saas-Bahu (Mother in law and daughter in law). I still remember the naughty smiles on her face when she used to sing such saas bahu songs. And she used to simply enjoy singing them to us!

Maiyyo and her little aluminium baksa (box) with her minimal set of clothes which comprised mainly of white Saree's and petticoats. During the recent white washing
at home, I came across the special Re 1 coin that she had given me once. This is how I earned that special coin -

Maiyyo had just come out of her bath and I saw her trying to wear her Saree but was fumbling with it. So I went and put it on her. Once I finished, she gave me a peck on my forehead and asked me to sit with her. She then opened her baksa and took out one small box. She opened it out came a smaller box. From the smaller box, out came a small cloth satchel, from there she took out a small handkerchief tied into a knot. After she opened the knot, I saw it had few coins and a few Rs 2 notes. So she took out one Re 1 coin and out it in my palm and closed my hands and gave me a big smile.

I was not more than 12 years or so then but still I remember how thrilled I was to get that prize! I could have easily spent that in buying some toffee or chocolate but I didn't. I kept it safely. So when recently I saw that coin again (I had put a note with it long back as a record of the memory) all the memories kept flowing in. Here is the picture of that coin and the note that I've kept with it. (I've blurred my signature on the note though)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My attempts at glass paintings...

I've been wanting to learn and try out my hand at stained glass paintings since very long..since college days if I remember correctly. But don't know why I never got into learn in it then. And when I say stained glass painting, I do not mean the actual actual stained glass which is made out of different colored glass pieces welded together. That requires LOTS of time. So you can just call my attempts as simple glass paintings.

So I finally dived into trying it out about 6 months ago. I've had the time to make only 7 as of now. I need more designs and more glass. I had been using the broken/old glass pieces lying at home till now. But now that I've used up all that were at home, I will need to buy more now.

Here are some that I made recently :

Now I'm looking for more designs to make more. But before that I need to go and buy some colors!

And how can I forget the fiasco that the framing guy did to these paintings! I was so furious! Dunno what he did, but when I went to collect them, he had newspaper impressions on all of the paintings! God only know what he did. He tried to tell me that I gave him when they were still wet and I didn't tell him so. I was so mad and told him if the painting that was done 3 months ago is still called wet, then it was wet!

And when I told him instead of me paying him anything for the framing he should be paying me back for ruining them, he goes its OK if I don't pay him anything. That made me more mad. I was like how can he be so nonchalant about the whole thing. I in fact didn't want to pay him anything but somehow my conscience didn't let me do that. But I still deducted 25% from what I was to pay as his fine. Although from his attitude it made him no difference.

How can people be so indifferent to others? I had to do some more work on them to restore them and i was so relieved when they looked just fine after drying up.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Good news Vs. Sad news - Who wins?

The moment I saw the 2 posts on madmomma's blog, I was so filled with emotions which I'm trying to write here. I don't know at all how aptly will I be able to put that in words. But I will try...

One post talked about the birth of a baby and the other talked about the demise of little boy suffering from cancer. These two posts were there on the blog just next to each other. I don't know which post should have outweighed the other. Probably they shouldn't have outweighed each other at all..having their own space in our minds. I don't know if I should have been happy on reading about the birth of the baby or sad about the death of a striving little boy who wanted to live on!

Somehow, for me, the death overbore the birth for me. Its not that I didn't feel happy for the the parents to whom the child was born to. It did bring a smile on my face and for few seconds brought back the memories when we had our son! But it was the demise of that little boy which lingered on and is still there.

I asked myself the question "WHY?" so many times but I got no answer. I'm still trying to know why the sad news had more impact on me than the good news. None of the people to whom these news belonged were known to me. They are total strangers to me! If I had known anyone of them probably my thoughts would have been different. Probably...I don't know for sure. Many a times, for certain situations that have not happened as of now, we say "Had I been in that situation, I would have done that or this" but when we ACTUALLY face that hypothetical situation for real, we behave in a totally different manner from what we had thought of earlier. Is it just me or happens with you all too?

Is it human nature to linger on to sadness more than happiness? Or have we, over the time, become like this?

As I'm writing this, I get a thought in my mind "Is it so because I always relate the word death with the death of my Ma?" Perhaps... it is. Perhaps that's the reason why I felt more sad than happy. Perhaps because I had seen death of someone so close to me..perhaps...

Monday, June 18, 2007

2 in a go!

Its quite an achievement for a person like me to watch 2 movies in a single day! And before you get your mind running around, I saw them both at home on DVD. I watched Bheja Fry and Salaam-e-Ishq. You might say " saw them NOW??? They were released ages ago!" But yes, I saw them now. For me watching the movie anytime is a bliss!

Both the movies belonged to totally different genre and I loved them both. Bheja Fry was simply hilarious. The dialogues, the dialogues delivery, the picturisation/presentation was just too good! Even now when I think of certain scenes in the movie, I can't stop smiling.

Salaam-e-Ishq on the other hand was a mix of romance, comedy, drama and tragedy! The way the 6 stories were intertwined into one movie was quite good. Although I found the roles of Sohail Khan and Isha Koppikar quite stupid. It was very bad attempt/version of slapstick comedy.

I was never a fan of Govinda but I still felt that his role was a little stretched out.

Anil Kapoor looks as sexy as he can get minus the few shots where he had a completely shaved-off look! He looks ughhh in that style. Juhi Chawla looks as charming as ever! I've always liked her.

John Abraham also did complete justice to his role. In fact he did it quite brilliantly. But must say, the voice of Adnan Sami didn't suit him...where he was singing the title track of the movie. Vidya Balan was great as ever! I think she's simply superb! The way her face emotes is awesome! I will always be in her fan following list!

Ayesha Takia looked so different from her role in the movie "
Dor". I do not remember any of her other movies so can't comment more on her looks. I had loved her performance in Dor. In this movie it was just an OK performance. What to say about Akshaye Khanna. I've always found his smile quite charming! And DH always gets jealous when I praise any of the male actors! Hehehe...

Thats that for the movies. Its another story that I was up till 2:30 AM yesterday night or shall I say till today morning (:P ) watching them. And its still another story that I woke up with a heavy head and ready to doze off at work! But that is not and will never be a reason to stop me from staying up late watching movies again!!

Lets see what movies I can get to see next week. I'm planning either to watch "
Cheeni Kum" or "Life in a...Metro". Lets see if I succeed or not!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

White washing - Its almost over!

We are getting the white washing done in our house after 5 years. We probably wouldn't have gone for it but for the beautiful artwork done by our son on almost all the walls and doors. I referred to it as artwork because when I complained to his Nanu once about all his coloring-on-the-wall-escapades, I promptly got a response, don't call it making the wall dirty...its precious artwork! When I heard his Nanu saying that I was literally rolling my eyes..thinking what an idiot I was complaining to his Nanu.

Whether its Nanu or Dadu or Dadi, it just makes no difference for us since in return we do not get any empathy as they all take betu's side only. Me and DH both wonder what a difference in outlook of grandparents towards their grandchildren. When grandchild do the same pranks that we did as their children, its just fine. They are kids. If Kids don't do badmashi's who will. And its always our mistake as parents as we didn't pay attention. But when they were parents we used to get such scoldings/punishments when we did such things.

These are just 2 views of the artwork - pay attention to the wall and not him in the picture!

I will write in detail some other day on our efforts on stopping him from writing on the wall!

Anyhow, the white washing started and is 80% done. Some of the wood polishing and painting is still pending. Am I glad its almost over? YOU BET! I was getting cold feet as the days approached and was actually thinking of calling it off. Even on just the day before the workers were to come I was discussing with DH to cancel it despite the fact that I knew that how badly the house needed few coats of fresh paint.

Anyhow, the works started! It was the most horrible day. Firstly, it was terribly hot that day. Around 44 degrees. Since the workers were coming in and out again and again, our doors were literally open all the time so you can now imagine how 'sun' filled our rooms were *smirk*...

And to add to that they started with out bedroom first (although it was decided by us only), the only room in our house which had an AC. So now you get the picture of how lovely time we had?

Since it was a Sunday we tried to get as much work done as we could and by afternoon decided to get the kitchen done as well as having no kitchen on a weekday would be totally chaotic! So with lot of huffing and puffing to move things out and putting them here and there and once it was done, huffing and puffing once again to clean up and put things back in place! *phew* we all were dead tired that day!

And to add to all this, my migraine also decided to drop in the same day! Grrrrrrrrr.....

But now when I look back and look at the house now, it wasn't that bad a deal. The house looks so much neater. I can't say cleaner as everyday I've to spend at least an hour dusting the house because the enamel paint work is still doing on. And we all are looking forward to the day when its all over!

But not to leave out the person me and DH really need to thank is my FIL (DH's dad). For being here and getting the things done when we both were at work for the past 5 days. We both know things would have been totally different if he hadn't been here. But at the same time we feel a bit guilty of spoiling his stay here and burdening him with our work.

So a big big thank you goes out to him from both of us from the deepest of our hearts!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Update on DH's b'day party!

As you know a surprise party for DH's birthday was planned for the Saturday, June 9. It was going as planned without him knowing there was a party organised until late evening when he peeked into the kitchen and looking at the quantities of food I'd cooked, he knew there's something fishy! He asked me if anyone else is coming. I matter of factly told him "Nahi..tumko to pata hai sab busy hain! Sirf Appa (my dad) hi aa rahein hain" So he went away.

Few days before his b'day and also in the morning he insisted that we go out instead of eating at home. But I somehow just waved off the idea saying its too hot to eat out and then my stomach is also not that to well. And I also told him since we had already eaten out twice that week - once when some relatives were visiting from out of town and once when we had an all cousins get-together, lets eat at home! And he agreed.

Then in the evening when I had to go to pick up the cake, I asked betu if he wants to go for a Rickshaw ride. And since he loves it, he promptly agreed. Dh again asked me very curiously/questioningly if we are just going for Rickshaw ride? So again I told him ki haan, betu subah se ghar mein hai, irritate ho raha hai, it would be a good change for him. And when we returned with the cake, he laughed and said "Mujhe pata tha kuchh gadbad hai!" :D

We always arrange for an eggless cake since some of the guests eat only those kinds. And the bakery from where I order always makes them real good! Here's a pic of the yummy fresh fruit cake -

But when he looked at the quantity of food I had cooked he was sure that there are more people coming. So it didn't turn out to be a surprise party exactly but on the whole it was good fun. Everyone loved the food and the dahi vada's especially.

I had to make some changes in the menu also because certain things I did not find in the market like kachha aam for aam ka panna so I made mango shake instead. Then instead of ordering Daal Makhani, I ordered mixed vegetables as the other two dishes that I had made were gravy kinds so decided against daal. For sweet dish also we didn't order anything as my FIL had got special mithai from Jaipur. Its called malai laddoo. They are quite yumm and quite filling! And as always I forgot to take pictures of my food laden table.

For his gift, I had ordered a photo mug online from with betu's photo and a message. This was to be a gift from betu to him. They did a great job not only in the quality but also in such prompt delivery. I had ordered few photo prints from them earlier and they also came out pretty well. So this is the site for any online photo printing or related stuff for me.

Here is the pic of that Mug -

So when betu gave the gift to DH, he was quite surprised and quite happy to see the mug! The next day when my FIL was having tea in that mug, betu got angry and told his Dadu "Yeh maine Papa ko diya tha! Yeh unka hai! Aapne kyun liya?" On hearing that we really had to control our laughter and had to tell him that he should not say like that and its OK if Dadu uses it.

Cousin's get together!

We managed to have a cousin's get together last week on June 6, 2007. One of my cousin's was visiting from US and who all were present here in Delhi met for dinner at Big Chill, Khan Market.

It was a long due get together and we all had a good time talking and catching up on each other besides devouring the yummy pastas. The pastas at Big Chill are just too good!

So here are some pictures from the get together!

Cheeky Kids!

The kids showing off their brand new glares that my cousin got from US!

What babies do inside? -- Very Funny!

I got these funnies as a mail forward from a friend and I found it quite funny and also cute at the same time!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Is it important for your child to speak english?

I've no negatives against children speaking English but its funny when parents only speak to their children in English and want their children to speak back only in English too. If the child is a little older I would have had no issues with that. You are just adding another language in their schedule. But at the age of 3 or 2 or even less, is it the right thing to do? Is our language that bad? Is it shameful to speak in Hindi or in any other dialect?

I also speak to my son in English and quite often. But its only now when I feel his Hindi vocabulary is more than enough at the age he is in(3 yrs.). So now we are starting to focus on his learning words for the same things etc in English too. But that doesn't mean talking in Hindi is a no-no.

The other day when I had some guests over at our son's b'day, one of my friends wife was talking to her son, who was 2.5 year old, only in English and asked him to say bye to us by calling our names! I was astounded. I didn't say anything then since they were our guests and it wasn't anything positive that I wanted to say.

Maybe some of you will not agree with my thoughts. However, I feel when we call our elders by uncle or aunt or anything but their names, we do so to give them respect. And I don't see anything wrong in it. Do you? We don't even call the non-relatives who are elder to us by their names or even the strangers.

My mother never taught us to call even the house helpers/aides by their names. We were always asked to refer to them as bhaiyya or didi. I also have the same rules for my son. He is not allowed to call my maid and cook by their names. He also has to refer to them as didi. And I also talk to them saying "aap". They are also human beings and deserve their share of respect.

I've seen a lot of small children talking to the house helpers in such a rude, disrespectful tone and their parents don't say anything to them. I really wonder at the kind of values that are being passed on to the children.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Surprise party for my DH!

I had thought of having a surprise birthday party for DH a month ago. But that time I was not sure how successful I will be at keeping the party a surprise. But now that his b'day is just 4 days away I'm sure that it will work out just fine. All the guests have been invited and everything is all planned except the menu.

Menu doesn't bother me at all now. I feel I've become a pro at having parties with lots of people! :D Beating my own trumpet ...ehh? But seriously...I've done parties of approx 20 people on the average so many times now with all the cooking done at home. Latest one was at betu's 3rd birthday celebrations 2 months ago.

But there are chances that we might have the party at Saravana Bhawan, Connaught Place. But since there are time restrictions, I feel home would be a good option. We can relax and take as much time for snacks and dinner and chit-chats as much as we want. Also because its a weekend, everyone would be in a mood for it!

We are also planning for a havan at home to be done by Nanaji.

But now that I've some time in my hands, let me think of the menu
  1. Snacks - Pop corns (esp for kids), steamed corn, palak-aloo cutlets
  2. Drinks - Aam ka panna
  3. Main Menu
    • Dahi Vadas
    • Kachumber salad
    • Babycorn - Paneer with tomato gravy
    • Chhole
    • Daal makhni
    • Matar Pulao
    • Pooris
  4. Sweet - Rasmalai
  5. Cake

I might have to order a bit of stuff from outside so that hubby doesn't get curious why I'm cooking all the stuff.

So what says you? How does the menu look?

Friday, June 1, 2007

Creating a memory book for my son!

A few days ago I decided to create a memory book for my son as I was forgetting things as he's growing older...or is it because I'm growing older???

Well, whatever be the reason, I finally managed to
create one. And I've started to pen down thoughts, feelings, memories from day one.

He's 3 years young and I'm sure it will take me a lot of time to catch up to this date. So wish me all the best!