Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Twenty Questions

No, not the fun game. But a tag by Chitra. I am too pre-occupied to come up with non-random posts, so this tag comes in handy :)

1. Name Three Most Valuable Assets.

Whose, mine? No, I won't take the risk. I don't want anybody saying, "Yeah, Right".


2. If you have the chance, what would you probably say to your beloved one?

I definitely have a chance, and what I will say to him is for his ears only.. muhahaha!


3. If you were to be stranded on a desert island, who are the 3 blog buddies you would take with you?

Anybody who can build ships from scratch.

Ok seriously -

Anitha, Usha and Shyam. All of them wonderful ladies with whom I am sure I can talk about anything under the sun (pun not intended). I might starve on the island, but I sure won't die of boredom.


4. Where is the place that you want to go the most?

Right now? The kitchen. I am hungry. Ok seriously? Italy. Or rather, Scotland. No, the Grand Canyon. Or rather, Japan. No, let's say... ok, forget it.


5. If you can have one dream to come true, what would it be?

That there should be peace on earth. Cliched, maybe, but true.


6.Till now, what is the moment that you regret the most?

There have been no regrettable moments in my life. Only enlightening situations.


7. What are you afraid to lose the most?

My memory ;)


8. What would you do if you found a briefcase full of money?

Leave it right where I found it ;)


9. If you meet someone that you love, would you confess to him/her?

Been there, done that.


10. List out 3 good points of the person who tagged you.

Chitra? C for Cheerful, C for comfortable, C for cute :D


11. What are the requirements that you wish from your other half?

That it should match my first half. *Shudder* Imagine a body with unmatching halves!


12. Which type of person do you hate the most?

I am not qualified to answer this, not with my faults :o


13. What is your ambition?

To travel around the world?


14. What is the thing that will make you think someone is a bad person?

The thing? Only one thing? That's hard.


15. (My question) What is your idea of a perfect day?

Before Puttachi - A day with family, good food, long walks, long conversations over tea....
After Puttachi - A day in which Puttachi eats well, sleeps well, and is an angel. How many such days have I had in the last eight months? Zero. Yet - each day is perfect with her around. Now how can that be?


16. If you could do one thing different in life, what would it be?

I would have taken life more seriously.


17. Are you a shopaholic or not?

No. If there is a word for the opposite of shopaholic, I am that.

18. What is your stress buster?

Playing with Puttachi, of course. Sure-fire cure.


19. Do you have a new year’s resolution?

No.


20. What’s one thing in yourself that you would like to change?

My attitude about certain things.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Eight Months

- Puttachi crawls around on all fours and follows me around everywhere. Mary had a Little Lamb has a new meaning!

- Her second tooth has sprouted, and is hastening to be as tall as the first. Even before I saw the second tooth, I knew it had come out - how? By the imprint of two little teeth on my wrist where she bit me.

- I am convinced that she tries to imitate whatever we say. Her first conscious word (we are so quick to want to point that out, don't we?) is probably "Ta-ta". She even waves when she is in the mood. She has been saying "ammammmammma" from a couple of days. I like to think that she is trying to say "Amma"... though it is more likely that she is just trying out a new sound :D [Psst... I am glad that she tried out "Ma" first and not "Pa".... imagine how S~ would have gloated over it... already he is insanely proud of the fact that Puttachi is crazy about him!]

- Her night awakenings are increasing because when she awakens, she first rolls over, then gets into the crawling position, then she sits, and after all that, she wakes up, and wonders, probably, what is happening. She doesn't know how to lie down again and go to sleep, so she cries. Such helpless, funny little things babies are!

- There was this one night when she woke up, crawled up to me, bit my shoulder, placed her head on it, and fell asleep. It was such a lovely feeling.. a mixture of amusement and tenderness! :) I was trying hard not to shake with laughter for it would wake her up. And it didn't help one bit that S~ was laughing his head off.

- A few times, she wakes up suddenly with a smile, then she babbles something sweetly and goes back to sleep. "Must be a good dream", I commented once. "Must be dreaming that Papa has just come back from office", says S~. Yeah right.

- If I have left her playing by herself and am doing something else, there is an infallible way of finding out if she is up to something naughty. If I hear a sharp intake of breath, and a very loud exhalation of breath through the mouth [something like the models in toothpaste ads checking the smell of their breath] - then I know that she has spotted something interesting [read 'forbidden"]. And to her, the most attractive object in the whole house is the rug outside the bathroom. *sob*

- She has this habit of bending her head sideways and looking at people that way. I guess she thinks she is playing peekaboo. But sometimes, when she is too enthusiastic, she bends far too much, loses her balance, topples over, and then bawls.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Eating food in class

When I was a student, I had an eternal problem. I would feel very hungry in the class just before lunch. I would have eaten a heavy breakfast, but as far as I was concerned, the lunch break was always too far away. In engineering college, we had a mid-morning mini-break, and I would have a quick snack packed for that break. So I was okay. But in school and pre-university , it was very bad.

The main problem was that I cannot concentrate when I am hungry. There was absolutely no use sitting in class when I was hungry. But eating during class was totally taboo. Something that didn't even cross my mind. So all that I did was think about my lunch box and look at my watch. What a waste of time.

In pre-university, we were slightly rebellious, so I would eat my lunch during class without being found out. My stomach would stop growling temporarily and I could concentrate.

When my sis PeeVee went to class in the US in the beginning, she took a long time to get used to people eating in class. She watched, horrified as they sauntered in with a sandwich and a drink and ate as the lectures progressed. She nearly fainted when the professors themselves walked in with food and proceeded to eat as they taught. She got used to it very quickly, and now she does it too.

It make so much sense. There is no way some people like us can concentrate on an empty stomach. So why make such a fuss if we can just have a quick snack during class? I wish the trend changes here too. At least the future generations can benefit!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pic of the year

Ano tagged me to post my favourite pic of the year.

Most of the pictures I took this year are of people, and especially, little people, and I cannot put those up on the blog. So I had to rummage through my "other" pics - and I found this - of course, how could I forget it?




Why this is special -

This picture is a great example of how random things come together unexpectedly to form a beautiful moment.

Earlier in the evening, my mom had cut some overgrown branches of the Ratnagandhi bush. She had placed a few flowers from the cut branches, in this old flask. It is not even a regular vase. This was placed on the crochet table-mat on top of the glass-topped dining table.

Then there was a power cut and I switched on the solar lantern. And then I turn to see this sight - as if it had been arranged to be photographed. Out came my camera (a very ordinary aim-and-shoot digicam) and here is the pic!

I would like to tag so many of you... so I'll just say, I tag all of you in the blogroll on the right. Please go ahead. Pick your fave pic of 2007 and tell us why it is special.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What do we have here?!

Remember my post about the maid's pregnant daughter who went to have a scan, and the sex of the foetus was revealed to her? That she was going to have a son? Well, she delivered her baby yesterday, and it is a...... girl!

Go figure!

Update: The child's father has been distributing sweets. So, all of you out there who have been worrying about the fate of this girl, please rest your troubled minds.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Short notes

There has been a burst of change in Puttachi in the last two weeks.

- She now moves forward - a creeping, nearly-crawling style... and she cannot be held back.

- She babbles a lot more now. There were mostly vowels in her language before, and know there are a lot more consonants. She seems to imitate us. She says "Aye" in the same tone that we use for "Hi". She repeats "Ey" in the same tone too.

- We have been suspecting for about a month or more that she makes a sound identical in frequency to any note that is being sung or played, but we couldn't be sure. [1]

But a couple of days ago, my mom was teaching her music class, and she sang the word "Hariye" in a "Ni-Re-Sa" combination aloud. Puttachi stopped in the middle of play, and immediately repeated the "Ni-Re-Sa" combination (as aa-ee-ay) - perfectly in tune, correct pitch. S~ and I nearly fell off our chairs in surprise.

- She now demands to be cuddled. She nuzzles up to me, and rubs her cheek against mine. And she also gives me what I can only term a kiss. She licks and bites my cheeks, nose, chin, anything that she can reach, and then stands back and smiles!

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Haven't you moms and dads ever felt that we need an extra pair of hands with kids? When one pair of hands is doing the changing or feeding, etc., the other pair could be used for pinning down or entertaining the baby. Showing her a toy, or waving it about, or holding a book - you know, that kind of thing. It could also be used to take photographs of the baby when your hands are full but the child is looking adorable and you just have to have a snap of her and there is no one around.

S~ asked me if I would like a robotic arm to attach to my shoulder. Sure, I said, I would like two, and one should be extensible. What say?

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A couple of days ago, my sis Peevee was watching me contemplatively while I struggled to pin down an extremely sleepy and cranky Puttachi. I was hungry, tired, and sleep-deprived, and close to collapsing with exhaustion.

Me: Peevee, don't have kids.
Peevee: *Thinks* Hmm.. okay. But in that case, can I have more nieces and nephews, please?
Me: *faints*

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Puttachi wants to stand all the time. When she is playing, being changed, being fed, being bathed, all the time. It is impossible sometimes, me with one hand holding her arm, and my other hand doing what I have to. The moment I plonk her down, she pulls herself up and bounces delightedly. Phew.

So my mom came up with a solution. Get one of those stands you find in the chemistry lab, she said, and clamp her up like a burette. Fantastic idea. Does anybody know where three foot tall stands with palm sized clamps are available?

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Did you know that "Shoorpanakha" means "sharp nails"? I didn't, until my dad started calling Puttachi "Shoorpanakha". I cut her nails every five days, yet they grow so quickly, and are extremely sharp.

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Peevee loves her niece. Adores her. Puttachi didn't care much for Peevee until Peevee started taking her to the garden and showing her the bougainvilla. Now, just at the time when Puttachi is finally in love with Peevee, it is time for Peevee to leave. She left for the airport a couple of hours ago to go back to the US. :(

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[1] I didn't want it to be the case as in this joke:

Man: My goat can speak.
Woman: Prove it.
Man: Goat, which month comes after April?
Goat: May-ay-ay-ay.

Friday, January 04, 2008

On surnames.

I read an article recently about someone named, say, Nirupama Raghuram*. Throughout the article, the author kept saying, "Raghuram graduated from Bangalore University, Raghuram works with the poor, Raghuram likes animals..." - Hello! It is not Raghuram who likes animals, it is Nirupama! Raghuram is probably her father or her husband. And he isn't the one who works with the poor and likes animals!

Haven't you seen this often? It makes me laugh out loud. You could refer to her as Nirupama Raghuram! Or if that makes you cross the word-limit, just say Nirupama. Or is that too informal?

This problem arises mostly with South-Indian names, where the usage of surnames is not too widespread. But since the concept of surnames is catching on, most people just affix the father's name to their names. In fact, even in the above Nirupama Raghuram example, say the article was about Akshay Raghuram. Akshay is the guy, and Raghuram is his father's name. In the article, they would say, "Raghuram likes dogs", which again is not true. It is not Raghuram, but Raghuram's son Akshay who likes dogs. So, isn't there a rule in written media, about not using surnames, but the whole name?

This brings me to another thing that I have noticed. Say this Akshay Raghuram character gets married to Sahana Subbanna. Sahana wants to change her surname after her wedding. So she takes Akshay's surname, which is Raghuram. That makes her, "Sahana Raghuram". Now, Sahana is stuck with a surname which is neither her husband's name nor her father's name - but that of her father-in-law!

Of course, nowadays, many people I know simply attach their husband's name to their surname. For example, Sahana would be Sahana Akshay.

That brings me to changing surnames. Now, what is the necessity? Ok, I won't get into that argument - it is the individual's choice. But I also feel that there are some people in particular, who should not change their surnames after marriage. My sister had a friend who was doing her post-doctorate. Many of her papers were published in respected journals. Her name was, well, a known name in those circles. She was going to get married, and mentioned to my sister that she was going to change her surname. What? Asked PeeVee. And start from scratch? Building a reputation is not that easy. Why give it all up? At least use a hyphenated surname - but no, she was adamant. PeeVee gave up. She must have her reasons!

That brings us to hyphenated surnames. i.e. Sahana in the above example would be Sahana Subbanna-Raghuram. I think these are quite cool. You retain your surname, you add your husband's surname. Great. Do let me know if this results in any major hassles!

By the way, many Akshay Raghurams have got over their "Father's name as surname-not convenient" problem, by adapting the father's ancestral village as their surname. If Raghuram hails from, say, Doddakere, Akshay calls himself Akshay Doddakere. Personally, I think these sound quite nice!

Now, you might be wondering - what has Shruthi done? Retained her surname? Used S~'s surname? Used a hyphenated surname? Well. I had it easy. S~ has the same surname as mine. No, that wasn't one of the reasons I married him. It just turned out to be a bonus, though.

There are many, many more questions that remain unanswered. As to why a child should be given only the father's name, and not the mother's name. And why a husband should not take his wife's name after they get married. I leave the historians to explain that. If one of you can explain it to me, please go ahead.

Then there is the argument - why do we need a surname? We can have another name instead of a surname. We could. For example, Sahana could be Sahana Madhuri. I have heard of some people are going in for this option too. Will it catch on? Let's watch and see!

P.S. All the above statements are made on actual observation, and about my personal opinions on them. I am in no way demeaning any choice. I respect each individual's decision to do what he or she pleases.

*All names in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to anybody living or dead is purely coincidental.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Newness

As I give and receive new year wishes, I think - the 1st of Jan is just another day like any other. The sun rises like any other day and sets as usual. But yet, we celebrate it because it is the first day of something new. Everything seems new, whereas, it really isn't. But if you think of it, every day is new. Every moment is new.

This hits me every morning when Puttachi wakes up. She opens her eyes, looks around, and whoops and smiles as if she is seeing everybody and everything for the first time. In the soft sunlight of the morning, her bright eyes look brighter as she greets everybody with the same unbridled enthusiasm. She bounces, and dances, and gurgles and coos. She looks around every room with delight and smiles happily when she encounters her favourite things. It is as if she re-discovers everybody and everything each day and finds happiness in it.

And that fills me with cheer and I find myself looking around and saying, "Yes, Life IS Beautiful."

I wonder when we stop being like that - looking at each day, each moment as something special, and enjoying it whole-heartedly. I wonder what makes us start waking up with a yawn and grumble, "Hmph. Yet another day."

I think all of us ought to bring back the children within us.

So this year, along with joy and peace, I wish for all of you the ability to find delight in every new moment, appreciate little things, and live life completely.

Happy New Year!
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