Last Minute Homework and an Evening with Chopin!

This is me, being my sorry Saggitarian-self and mother…by which I mean – random & haphazard!

Ishaan starts school tomorrow after a 3 week break and I remember he has one page of homework still left in his school folder. Yup! Just one day before! Am I not brilliant? It’s a Diwali ‘diya’ that he has to color (God save us all!) and a picture of two puny firecrackers (the kind that go BANG!), that he has to say ‘No’ to by drawing a red cross. I’m glad they’re the kind that go ‘BANG’, coz the rest he loves and I couldn’t honestly make him say ‘No’ 😛

So after he’s showered, I sit him in his high-chair and lay the sheet in front of him, get out the Crayola box and try to get him to hold the red crayon in his hand so we can make the X. That goes Ok, only I think, because it’s all too sudden and he has no time to react! After that it’s all predictably downhill!! He grabs the red crayon and makes a few random strokes over the ‘diya’, after which he loses interest (it’s been a whole 5 seconds already!!), turns the page over and scribbles all over with a blue one. I make a few half-hearted attempts to direct his attention back to the task at hand, but who am I kidding? He’s not going to be coloring anything for a long time to come and frankly I don’t give a Damn!

Here’s what we started with…

Before we began...

And here’s what he accomplished in the 5 minutes he sat in the chair!

5 sec of coloring!
Creative genius on the back of his homework 😛

p.s. haven’t bothered to time him, if you noticed!

Sunday evening was fun! A close friend and her daughter (whom I shall just call M & N), took me along for a piano recital by Russian Pianist – Natalia Kapylova. The private concert was in honor of Chopin’s 200th Birth Anniversary on the 21st of Nov. The recital was at the Art Chamber (which doubles as an art gallery), a fitting venue, with its ivy-covered red-brick walls and castle-like architecture. The I-95 restaurant next-door, which we wandered through while waiting for the recital to begin, looked promising! It’s on my ‘to visit’ list 🙂 This is Goa however, and while we are surrounded by beauty, we are also victims of circumstance! In this case an unexpected power outage, means indefinite delay, as we sweat it out in the damp, autumn heat. Inside, an examiner from the London School of Music is conducting exams, which are now necessarily delayed. Outside, members of the ‘Namah’ Choir group, young girls and boys, smartly dressed in black suits, mill around enthusiastically, taking pictures and practicing for their performance, that we will sit in on, seemingly oblivious of the sweltering heat. Oh for the nonchalance of youth!

The Venue...

During the black-out, Natalia arrives with her family (her daughter looking droll in a pale, pink kimono) and stops to chat with M & N, whom she knows from previous encounters. She’s a stunning woman, svelte with delicate features, dressed in black with a string of pearls and the most gorgeous pair of crimson patent-leather heels, this side of the Mandovi 🙂 We are, all three of us, instantly covetous! Never mind that we would never balance on them for 2 sec, or what our lower backs would suffer if we tried 😉 When I manage to drag my gaze away from her shoes, I notice her hands – musicians’ hands she has – long, fluid, delicate fingers designed for precision, skill and harmony! Like surgeons’ hands…they’re powerful instruments! As suddenly as they had disappeared, the lights come back on and after a 40 minute delay, we finally enter the large, square hall of the Chamber, with its red floor, white-washed walls and domed ceiling, and make our way to our seats. The edges of the dome overhead are scattered with intriguing metallic characters, that look like Russian letters, but what do I know? I’m no linguist. I forgot to ask what they were…goes on my ‘to do’ list.

Natalia, Prof. Tutin & Chris from 'Namah'

The space is dominated by the gleaming, black Steinway Grand. I’m no musician, but I tell you, there’s just something about being in the presence of a Grand piano, that makes you sit up straighter. It’s quiet dignity demands respect and reverence. Like being in the presence of royalty! The Recital begins with the Choir. This is an exam, but I see no signs of nerves on the young faces 🙂 They start with Vande Mataram and immediately I have  goose-flesh. They are good these kids! There’s something inherently soul-stirring and heart-warming about Choirs, isn’t there? All those voices raised in unison in praise of God and country…invigorating 🙂 They sing O Come All Ye Faithful and We wish you a Merry Christmas next and the effect is magical 🙂 Yuletide is the air! They end, surprisingly, with a great rendition of a popular foot-tapping Bollywood number! We are all impressed but more importantly, so is the examiner 🙂

Natalia is next. She enters to enthusiastic applause, receives a bouquet of lilies, which she hands over to her daughter, walks over to the piano and the recital begins. For the next hour I am ‘Lost in Chopin’! The music washes over me – mesmerizing. I’m no music critique, but if I had to decribe Chopin’s music in one word (as if!), I think that would be it – mesmerizing or perhaps haunting?! In an instant it is a storm…loud, angry and insistent; in the next it is a gentle stream, a tinkling brook going merrily on its way! At times it seems like a conversation between the sea and river, mountain and hill, the strong and the weak…at once urgent, exhilarating, deep and robust! Natalia is engrossed, which lends Soul to her performance. Her head bobs vigorously as her fingers fly over the keys, and ever so often, one hand rises gracefully upwards in slow motion, while the other dances over the ivory. She plays several pieces with interestingly flowery, surgical names like fantasy F minor, Nocturnes E flat major and C sharp minor, Etude F minor and Fantasie Impromptu (the pièce de résistance), among others. She ends with Mozart’s Turkish Rondo, which delights me, coz even I know this one!

All too soon, it’s time to leave. There’s some frenzied picture-taking and we are on our way home. M and I make plans to meet up more often (we have a pathetic track record for friends living within a few miles of each other!), in the future, for concerts and otherwise. I hope she won’t be scared off by the fact that I talked my head off on the way to the venue!! It’s just so good to have a peer to talk to…and it’s been a while since I did 🙂 So, Sorry M, if I gave you a headache 😛 It was meant as a compliment 😉

And thank-you for a fabulous evening, I won’t forget in a hurry 🙂

Happy Monday People!

Funk-buster is Back!

There really is something magical about writing and letting one’s thoughts out into the cosmos…no sooner do I spill my funk-beans online…news of my first Funk-buster’s impeding arrival, warms my heart 🙂 I feel light and joyous like a bird that’s just been released from its cage! It’s Pushpa, my helper, arriving back right on schedule. My messiah, my bringer of sanity, my gateway to a free world 🙂

Then the crazy logistics hit me. In typical Sagittarian fashion, I’ve forgotten to tell her which station she needs to get off at! There are 4 railway stations in Goa and now we’re all in a panic as to where she’ll get off and, “How on earth will we trace her? Poor girl, travelling all alone too!”  The panic sets in because her cell phone is not working. Both hubby and I have tried her number every half-hour to no avail. The battery’s gone and died on us all, at this crucial hour (talk about Murphy’s Law!). Be that as it may, it still leaves us with no solution to the problem. Finally I decide to go to Margao, the last station on the route and also the train’s last stop. The station is an hour-long drive away and I don’t know the way, so I call hubby’s brother who lives in Margao and who kindly offers to come with me, both to show me the way and help in the search. He’s a gem 🙂

The NRP "Sagres", where hubby spends his evening...

Hubby meanwhile, is off to the port city of Vasco da Gama (named after the famed Portuguese navigator who first landed near Calicut, on India’s south-western coast in 1498), with his buddies from Portuguese class to tour the N. R. P. Sagres, which is docked in Goa, as a part of its round-the-world trip, commemorating that first voyage all those centuries ago. Hubby takes his Portuguese nationality rather seriously. Talk about priorities! So while he’s off on his voyage of discovery, I’m off on my own ‘Mission Pushpa’.

My brother-in-law and niece come along to keep me company. We get to Margao station at 7 o’clock, after ascertaining that the train has been delayed by an hour (which can mean anything here in India!). At the station, the disinterested man in the Information Booth, tells us the train is 40 minutes late and he’ll let us know the platform number when it’s decided later! There’s nothing to do and nowhere to sit. The railway station is a place in constant flux. Nothing is permanent, except perhaps the stalls and their wares; the hoards of cockroaches which scurry around making me nauseous and the perpetual stench of urine. The seats are full of waiting passengers, with varying degrees of baggage, whiling away time, eating, sleeping, playing cards and the like; families with children on their way home after the quintessential Goan holiday, their bags probably bursting with cashew-nuts, cashew-feni, and shell-souvenirs; gangs of workers in their patchy, sweaty attire off home to see their families; the small-town businessmen, clad in vintage ‘safari-suits’, greasy looking and full of self-importance, distinguished by the single smart briefcase or valise; all waiting for a ride to their next destination, which likely as not is delayed!

...while mine is spent here @ Margao Station

We stand around watching the comings and goings on the platform and make conversation for half-hour before the loudspeaker overhead, crackles to life and a disembodied female voice  loaded with static, announces the arrival of the Mandovi Express (that’s our train!), from Mumbai, on Platform No.1! Yoohoo! We are in the right place and there’s no need now to scale the gargantuan staircase that connects the two platforms 🙂 A good 15 minutes after said announcement, the train lumbers into the station. It screeches to a halt and we split up to look for Pushpa among the disembarking throngs. While I’m fairly certain Pushpa will do the right thing and get off here, deep down, the nervous jitters persist. What if she’s not on the train? What if she gets off at the wrong station? A ton of what ifs, each one frightening. My niece and I walk towards the engine, while my brother-in-law checks out the rear carriages. We see a horde of humanity but no Pushpa. We turn back and my nerves are back in full force, until we meet my smiling brother-in-law, gesturing to Pushpa, who’s following behind 🙂 We smile and embrace, and in that instant I see before me long hours of free time in which to write, read, sleep and just Live!

Freedom beckons.

Suddenly, all is right with the world 🙂

Mid-week Recharge & Happy Diwali!

In the midst of a chaotic build-up to the Festival of Lights on Friday, Wednesday offered an oasis of if not quite calm, then respite from the craziness of last-minute cleaning and shopping sprees!

Here’s what I did…

Ishaan & I visited a dear friend and her family, who are visiting Goa for a couple of days from Bombay.  It feels like I’ve known her all my life, although in years I think it would be just about 7. Aparna & I first met when we were working together at Good Health. She’s a dedicated professional (a dermatologist), a passionate woman with a wicked sense of humor and a fabulous Mom! She is now also a newly-published author and her first book, Skin Deep, An Inside Out Approach to Looking Good, Naturally!, has just hit bookshelves all over India. We hit it off at once and our friendship is now in that comfort-zone that exists between best friends. You know, the one where long gaps in communication seem not to matter at all, where there is understanding, acceptance and no judgement. I think I can safely say that we both wish we could see each other more often than we do, but when we do, we don’t waste any time getting down to the business of making every moment count, every moment special 🙂

Yesterday was no different! Aparna now has an adorable, exuberant, 1-yr-old Lab called Rocco, a recent addition to her family. Rocco and I have been introduced on our recent trip to Bombay when he licked me and especially Ishaan on every body part he could get too!! A bit overwhelming for Ishaan, but exciting for a dog-lover like me 🙂

Rocco 🙂

Thanks to her, I discovered a hitherto unvisited beach in South Goa (unvisited by me I mean, and from the looks of it by the touristy throngs thank goodness), Arossim. A beautiful stretch of smooth white sand, the water line dotted with hundreds of scurrying translucent crabs and sadly dead starfish, and a solitary shack. After an unseasonal thunderstorm, the weather was beautiful…cool and breezy. We all enjoyed the water – humans & dog! Ishaan is becoming quite the water baby 🙂 I’m definitely going back to take pictures…we were too busy having fun yesterday to take too many.

We had lunch at the resort next door to where Aparna was staying, @ the Heritage Village Resort, a charming boutique hotel that has pleasant, helpful staff and a very good lunch buffet! I pigged out on the croutons that were done to perfection (a rarity!) and Ishaan enjoyed the fried fish and Mediterranean roasted chicken! Before lunch, we worked up our appetite by playing (what else?) cricket on the lawns. I don’t think Ishaan could have asked for more enthusiastic playmates 🙂 He took to them all, like a duck to water & and walked back from lunch, happily holding on to Aparna’s hubby’s finger 🙂

We were loathe to leave, of course! There’s always that one more thing to say, to ask, to discuss…it’s never ending! And I was happy to have spent time with Sharanya with whom I share a special relationship.

All Aboard!

She’s goofy, witty, smart and utterly fun! She gets me 🙂 and I’m happy to report, approves of my parenting skills, such as they are 😉 High praise indeed!

And so, though by the time we got home, we were pretty pooped, I was also feeling recharged like you do after meeting a dear friend. The fatigue of preparations seemed lifted and the world a brighter place! Such is the healing power of a great friendship!

Tonight, we do the rounds to catch the Narakasurs on display and tomorrow we celebrate Diwali, the ‘Festival of Lights’, with enough horsepower to recharge our lives!! You’ll hear about that here in due course, probably next week after the dust has settled!

Until then…Stay Safe and have a Wonderful Diwali surrounded by love and lights 😀

Happy Diwali!!

A Party, a Phone-call & a Reunion…of sorts

Have been busy as a bee this weekend! I’m still getting used to the feeling. Before Ishaan, both Hubby and I preferred quiet, lazy weekends with only each other for company. We are not party animals and Hubby especially needed the time to unwind from a hectic corporate schedule (that’s if he was in town at all!). With Ishaan, we feel the need to make an effort to do stuff with him…take him out, to the beach, to the park, for a drive…you get the picture.

As you know, spent Saturday morning with a peacock on Vagator. Spent the evening with (I wish I could say peacocks of the human kind here! But…they were all good people :P), humans, partying. It was a seriously rollicking party…loud, noisy and fun-filled! Left Ishaan @ home with Mom and proceeded to enjoy 4 guilt-free hours, of adult conversation and banter with gay abandon 🙂 (Don’t scoff people and NEVER underestimate the therapeutic value of adult banter. I won’t!). No watching my language, no worrying about being a role-model and setting a good example and (here’s my favorite), guzzling down obscene amounts of Thums Up, without having to hide from Ishaan’s hawk-eyes 😉 Bliss 🙂 I must mention the ‘egg pakodas’…they were a marvel those pakodas! Piping hot, fried to a crispy, crunchy golden-yellow batter on the outside, enclosing a succulent bite of boiled egg within! Heaven! Was a glutton to add to my other sins 😉

The perfect ingredients for a gluttonous evening...Egg pakodas...
...and Thums Up!

Then there were the games! It’s been a while since I played games, other than cricket with Ishaan! My cousin K, our host, is quite the whiz, especially at Bollywood-based games and these were no different. Interesting and well thought-out. We were 5 teams and had to figure out in turn, the lead pair of a movie from its title (harder than you think!); the debut film of a given actor (ditto); and actors on whom a particular song had been picturized (toughest one this, especially since you only heard a garbled bit of the song for 20 sec!). Amidst much shouting and screaming and cries of “No fair!”, our team won all 3 games in spectacular fashion, thanks to P, who apart from being a Mills & Boon addict, also has a PhD in Bollywood Science 😉 Wicked skills P!! I haven’t enjoyed myself so much in a long time 🙂

Also realized that I’m quite the local celebrity (well in my limited friend-circle) as a blog-writer! That fact can cheer me up on my darkest days, and this one was far from it. I do hope I was suitably modest and humble, but I can tell you right now, I was bursting with pride and joy 🙂 A friend, I shall call S was especially kind 🙂 She called herself a ‘Fan’ and said there should have been a button that says as much, so she could click it on my posts!! Aaaaaaaaaw S…you’re very sweet and I’m very flattered and now it’s on ‘record’ so you can’t retract it later 😉 LOL…seriously though, I’m very grateful that you take time out to read my scribbles 🙂 However, to be fair, I must add that when I let S know that the party and its people would probably find themselves in my next post, her exuberance did taper a little! “You’re dangerous!”, she said, “Very dangerous!”, she announced to all those listening, before erupting into a bout of uncontrollable giggles 🙂 S & the afore-mentioned P are related (who isn’t in Goa?!), and yet while P has the Bollywood PhD, S is…well lets just keep it simple and say, she’s  Bollywood-challenged 😉 And yet thanks to her knack for making the right sort of friends, she had the largest pile of chocolates (that’s what we won for all our troubles!), at the end of the games session, without winning a single one! But that’s S…smart, witty, tongue-firmly-in-cheek! Here’s to you S…enjoyed your company & for what’s it worth, am a ‘Fan’ too – yours 😉

At 9.30, I made the mandatory call (good mother that I am), to check on the doings of my little devil. That led to the most amusing if rather weird phone conversation I have ever had! Mom picked up the phone and informed me that they were all still at the dinner table, and that Ishaan in his high-chair was in one of his crazy moods or should I say sugar-highs?! He had them enthralled with crazy talk and faces and they were all in splits! I must admit at that moment any teenie-weenie vestiges of guilt I may have felt for leaving him behind, magically evaporated! He was having a good time and so was I, and what could be better? 😀 Ishaan then came on (phone conversations are his new area of interest these days), and burst into an amusing incoherent monologue, punctuated occasionally with meaningful phrases like ‘Beggin yo! Sandwich khali. Nani asa.” (Come quickly! Ate a sandwich. Grandma’s here.). He went on in this vein for a good 15 -20 minutes, while I asked him questions in the hopes of improving his coherence, trying hard to control my laughter that threatened to ruin everything! Finally, after a particularly long diatribe, Mom managed to get the phone back and rather reluctantly, with Ishaan still yelling at the top of his voice in the background, we hung up. It really was too funny! We finally got home after midnight (we gave the karaoke session a miss :(), to be told that Ishaan has just fallen asleep not  10 minutes ago!! Looking down at his peaceful, sleeping face, I’m seized by a sudden urge to wake him up, tickle him and have a chance to say Good-night…but I resist (see, I am truly a good Mom!). It’s been a wonderful evening 🙂

Sunday morning and Hubby & Ishaan sleep in until 10 am! I should be so lucky! Still, I wrestle out of the bed by 8.30 and wandering downstairs decide to clean up the living room, which these days looks like a permanent war-zone! I’m expecting a friend in the evening and if I don’t get to it, she and her kids will have to squat on the floor like refugees 😛 There’s something you should know about me…I’m the world’s laziest person except when I’m possessed by a fiendish form of the cleaning-fairy. Then I can be clinically brutal. I spent the morning happily banishing Ishaan’s  innumerable toys to obscure corners, rearranging and dusting furniture, and sprucing up cushions. When I was done, the room was once again fit for human habitation. The evening was an extremely pleasant and memorable one 🙂 M arrived with her Mom and twins and we talked ourselves hoarse! A little background…M is related to me (Didn’t I tell you before that’s how it is in Goa!), and has visited our home, several times as a young girl. She’s my brother’s age though and I must confess that until she found and wrote me on Fb, I had no clue she even existed! She however had wonderful memories of time spent with my brother at home, on the beach, eating ice-cream and the like, which she was happy to share and we were more than happy to relive 🙂 The twins are 3 and a 1/2, adorable and Ishaan enjoyed their company. M is just as I thought she would be! You know how disappointing it is when you think you know someone and are then cruelly disappointed on the actual meeting? I’m happy to report, M met and exceeded every one of my expectations such as they were! We hit it off splendidly as I had known we would and my only wish was for more time together, a wish I hoped M shares 🙂 She did as I got to know from her very sweet message later that night 🙂 I do hope we get to catch up again, just the two of us over lunch. As always with women, there’s so much more to talk about 😉

A thoroughly enjoyable weekend…one that I’ll remember for a long time to come.

And now, Happy Monday Folks 🙂

Of Ticks, Books and Bringing Home Lady!

Shall we begin with the tick? You know you want to! You can’t help wondering what I’ve been up to now 😛

Here goes…first a little background…

Tuesday evening found me in friend Sushma’s Pediatric Clinic, proof reading the final draft of the Bulletin for the Conference over the weekend. I sat in one of the chairs meant for patients and tried to weed my way through full-stops and commas, while interacting with her patients! If you think this is unusual – it is. But with Sushma, such things don’t matter and since I’ve worked for her before, her patients know me and none of them object to the presence of a second, evidently junior and rather silent doctor, whose main contribution to the proceedings is playing with their children, making them laugh and occasionally offering advice based on my experience with Ishaan. Harmless…that’s what I am or so they think 😉

Her last patient is a 12 yr old boy in 8th grade. His right ear is inflamed…angry-red and swollen and he’s shielding it with his hand, in obvious pain. His Mom & Dad are with him, but he refuses to allow Sushma to get anywhere near it. He screams with the vigor and panache of an 8-month-old, which is amusing for about 8 sec, and then just gets annoyingly deafening. His Mom looks sheepish and has no idea of how to control her well-built son, which makes me think she’s had plenty of occasions to! Sushma has no such problems. She’s in full-blown Doctor mode…no let me clarify…she’s in full-blown angry-doctor mode! After rational explanations and pleas fail, she yells at him with as much vigor as he’s got! It’s a shouting match worthy of kings or whoever! She asks me to direct the flash-light at his ear and sees a suspicious black dot in its crease. She thinks it’s a tick that’s holding on to his skin and gorging on his blood! I can see his parents looking stunned and rather squeamish at such a possibility. “A tick”, they’re thinking, “Did she just say tick? isn’t that what dogs have?” The boy has powerful lungs and vocal cords! As soon as he sees the forceps in Sushma’s hands, his voice rises to fever-pitch and now he’s thrashing around in the tiny clinic, doing everything he can to keep the ear out of Sushma’s reach. If it wasn’t so awful, it might have been funny. Finally, after a tongue-lashing from Sushma (I’m very impressed with her ‘aggro-persona’! She’s as gentle as a lamb otherwise!), that would put a witch to shame, he settles down gingerly for a moment, just long enough for her to pull out the offending bug with a good yank of the tweezers. We all gaze at the ‘thing’ in awe, except for the boy, who’s back to yelling. She cleans the wound and prescribes medication and sends him on his way with an apology for having yelled at him so bad! I tell him to make sure he boasts of his heroics with his friends in school which brings on a sheepish grin. They leave, happy if rather shocked and we collapse into our chairs. What a case! I wish I had my camera with me, but I didn’t, so you’ll have to make do with this Google picture of what a tick looks like. Unless you have dogs…then you know what one looks like.



And so on to books. I have discovered Pseudonymous Bosch and boy am I enjoying myself! He or she (it’s a pseudonym after all!), has written a pentalogy, a series of 5 books, each one based on one of the 5 senses. The idea is intriguing, so are the plots, characters and the writing-style. I read the 3rd book in the series first, enjoyed it and managed to get hold of the first one just yesterday. Am enjoying this one too 🙂 I highly recommend them as fun-reads, although they do have lessons in them, for all those willing to learn 😉 More details in later posts.


Book 1 in The 'Secret' Series.

And that brings me to the whole point of this post…Lady. The tick and the books were just a clever cover-up, an excuse for an interesting title (something I’ve picked up from PB :P), and to get you hooked so you would read further (who can resist a good tick story?!) 😉

We brought Lady home yesterday evening. We’d been waiting for her for a week, eagerly, impatiently. She was waiting for us too, dressed in red satin, like a demure bride, covered from head to toe! I thought it a bit much, but we played along. Hubby and Ishaan then gently unveiled her, trying their best to contain their excitement. And in seconds, she stood revealed in all her splendor with a big silver bow 🙂 I chuckled softly to myself at all the dramatics, and yet I can’t say I didn’t enjoy every moment 😉 Our friend then took a picture of us together, and presented us with an instant print. The histrionics continued…I was led to a ‘puja thaly’ with vermilion powder, a few marigolds, incense sticks and a little lamp. Did a little ‘puja’ to ward of the evil eye, broke a coconut for good luck and finally we were ready to leave.

Here’s to Lady…sleek, smooth and suave. Without her, Life in Goa would be unimaginable 🙂

With Lady 😉

And now…be honest…how many of you thought lady was a dog?? 😛

p.s. Now that Lady’s identity has been revealed…I would like to say a big Thank-you to the guys at Honda for their excellent service!!! From the preparations for a ‘puja’, to the photograph; from a ‘Ganesh’ idol on the dashboard to the box of tissue in the back; and from the red satin cover to the box of chocolates for Ishaan…Perfecto! When I think of a second car (you may notice I say when not if ;-)), Honda’s first on the list 🙂

A Fight of Unusual Consequence!

Have been in a rotten mood these past few days…generally crabby and short-tempered with all and sundry.

Only Ishaan, with his solemn stares and mischievous smiles brought the occasional smile to my face…


Mr. Solemn-Face!


Two days ago, had a blow-up with hubby (Much needed, extremely therapeutic and thoroughly enjoyed! So don’t feel sorry for me in the least ;-)), over some trivial matter (which have since forgotten), first thing in the morning. Almost didn’t send Ishaan to school because of it…was just so pissed off and what do a few missed hours of school matter anyway at the age of 2 and a half, I ask you! However, wisdom prevailed (my own), coz I needed those precious child-free hours to get some editing done and meet with the publisher and so sent him, rather shell-shocked (that’s what makes me sad – the volume of our voices scared him…don’t want to have that happen again but know instinctively that it will), and so rendered silent, that…he forgot to cry! Uh Huh! He did! And then he went ahead and had a great time in school! Yoohoo for prayers answered!

Since I was treating my hubby to the full-fledged ‘silent treatment‘, I didn’t get to know of this utterly inexplicable and uplifting fact until last evening! Since yesterday, he’s been going quite happily to school, apparently calling out to his ‘aunty’ (they don’t say ‘Teacher’ in the Montessori system apparently), and going off with her with new enthusiasm! Strange are the ways of children and even stranger their timing!! I have been noticing his growing interest in other children. He likes older children and approaches them rather shyly but with conviction and calls them all ‘uncle’ and ‘aunty’ to my amazement and horror! They don’t seem to mind though (perhaps they don’t hear him too well :P), and pinch his cheeks and call him ‘sweetie’ and ‘cutie-pie’ in a most satisfactory fashion 🙂 The girls do. The boys offer him a firm hand-shake which he returns in an adorably grave manner, as if to say, “I’m one of you too!” Straddling two worlds with ease, my little chap!

So, it looks like we’ve finally made it to a tear-free school-life, although I’m still cautious and I have reason to be! Lest you think ‘All is Well’  (that would never do ;-)), he’s now started howling his head off, when hubby leaves for work!! “Paaaaaaaaaaaaapa”, he howls, “Paaaaaaaaaaaaapa”, in heart-rending fashion, especially on days, when hubby has to leave as soon as he’s dropped off from school (like today), only to fall into an exhausted sleep 5 minutes later. Is it just me, or do all children look like ‘angels’, only when asleep?! Oh come now…I know, you know what I mean!

With the weekend here, I’d rather reserve final judgement until Monday. But I’m hopeful and cautiously optimistic and of course fingers & toes crossed firmly 😛

But, my devious mind is now off on a dangerous track…dangerous to hubby that is! If one good blow-out brings such miraculous results, what might a regular dose of them do? Every couple of months or so? What say? Therein may lie the secret to my potty training issues 😉

But you guys…you have a fabulous, blowout free weekend, People 🙂

I’m going to…don’t you know…NO HOMEWORK!!!

Sunday evening @ Miramar beach…

Sunday evening finds us at Miramar beach. We have driven to Panjim to check out the new KFC outlet that was due to open (the first in Goa), but on arrival are told that it would only do so 2 days later – typical Goan style 😉 Thwarted in our efforts to munch on the Colonel’s fried chicken…we make for the beach, which is fast becoming Ishaan’s favorite spot 🙂 Like all toddlers, he’s finally discovered his love for the water, after an initial period in which he avoided it like the plague 😛



Father & Son: Contemplation


It’s late evening, the sun has just set, leaving the sky hued in shades of gold and orange, and the distant silver sickle of the moon casts a soft glow on the restless Arabian Sea. High up, there’s an orange streak…evidence of a jet on a journey. The tide is out and the sand firm and Ishaan jogs comfortably right up to the water’s edge, where he stands shrieking in delight every time the waves lap his tiny feet 🙂


Happiness in a puddle 🙂


Elsewhere, are typical beach scenes…a group throwing Frisbees, another playing soccer, dogs walking their owners and families on picnics. A cool gentle breeze takes the edge off the October heat. As we wander along the sands, I look down, and see this.




It’s a perfect imprint of what I gather is a fern leaf and I think of how it must have stayed hidden, safe under cover of water, until exposed by the receding tide. It just IS – there in the sand for the world to see and admire and something about that is oddly touching and uplifting. I look up, still moved and suddenly, a pair of birds (can’t say what kind) flies low over the water’s edge, in a kind of salutary dance, perhaps wishing the Sea goodnight, before taking off and soaring back up into the indigo sky. In that magical moment, I AM those birds…free and high-flying, rid of all worldly worries and one with the elements. A moment of communion. A perfect evening.


Miramar beach after sunset


p.s. After we get home, while looking through the newspapers, I see that the date is 10.10.10 and there’s a write-up on how at 10 minutes past 10 o’clock, it would be 10.10 on 10.10.10!! Apparently this only happens once every 100 years and I’m happy that unknowingly we’ve marked this memorable date with a magical evening 🙂

Now you see it…

This post is just to illustrate how absent-minded and blind I can be at times…although the blindness in this case may be blamed on the article lost 😉

So here goes – I’m absent-minded at the best of times. At the worst of times, I don’t even remember that I’ve forgotten stuff, if you get what I mean, which can be rather scary. So, last week, immersed as I was in the celebrations of the Elephant God festival (if you follow this blog, you’ll know what I mean and more power to you!), I was at my forgetful best or is it worst?! Well, whichever’s right…I didn’t realize until a few days ago that I had misplaced a pair glasses. Now this in itself didn’t worry me, one ‘coz it’s a regular occurence (I’m always leaving them around the house) and two ‘coz with my characteristic optimism, I assumed I would find them soon enough (as is usual). I did a cursory search in all the usual places…bedside tables, anywhere there are books, visible shelves. No luck! Still wasn’t overly alarmed, but a little uneasy ‘coz said glasses were a new pair that hubby had managed to get for me with much difficulty from Delhi!

A short history of the glasses seems in order here (lest you think I’ve totally lost it!) – I’ve always had two pairs, one for home and one for when I’m out. All these years (have been wearing glasses since I was 10!), haven’t lost a pair and have only lost two frames through wear and tear. Enter Ishaan and suddenly nothing’s safe! In a span of a few days, he had broken both my frames!!! One of them, an expensive pair that I had had made just before leaving Singapore…sigh. My guess is he was experimenting with the stretchability of metal by trying to fit them on his pretty little head! However I did manage to salvage the expensive, photo-chromatic lenses and hoped to have them refitted. Either way…I now needed not one but two new pairs. Oh I know…I shouldn’t have left them where he could get his hands on them, I should have been more alert, I should have this and I should have that…but like I’ve made clear before…I’m absentminded and I can’t be everywhere at once! Back to the new pairs…had one made (Do you know just how obscenely expensive a pair of decent glasses can get??!! Sigh…), here in Goa, for immediate use (by immediate I mean I got them a week later!)

Then began the hunt for a new frame in which to refit the lenses. A merry chase they led me! I couldn’t find a frame in Goa. The lenses would have to be reshaped and resized and apparently that’s harder than scaling Mt. Everest!! I gave up and decided I would just get a second new pair made, but the thought of those expensive, as-good-as-new lenses, lying uselessly in a box, still rankled. This is where hubby showed remarkable and uncharacteristic intelligence (I’m being knowingly mean, ‘coz we’ve just had a non-glasses related fight!). I’m sure he did what he did ‘coz the thought of all those wasted dollars gave him sleepless nights (still being mean here!). Well, unbekownst to me, he took the lenses with him on a business trip to Delhi and managed to find a frame that was a perfect fit…an Esprit…light and cool…and surprised me on return! Miracles do happen 🙂 (He has his moments…albeit few and far between ;-)) This miraculous frame then, was the one that I could not now seem to find…I hope this helps you dear reader, understand my growing unease at the inability to find the pesky frames and my extreme reluctance to enlist hubby in the search! I didn’t think he would take kindly to me losing glasses that had been made with such effort and cost a pretty penny!

The miraculous spectacles!

In my own haphazard way therefore, I kept up the search, re-visiting every potential nook and cranny that could keep them hidden from sight, to no avail. None! The unease was now full-blown panic…but still I held my tongue and in desperation asked for divine help! We have a patron God of the lost & found in our native village and I have watched generations of women of the house invoke his help in times of need. All he asks in return is a bit of jaggery…rather cool chap! So this was the the deity I asked for help! Desperate times call for desperate measures and what’s a little jaggery?

The next day (rather clichéd I know! But true!), I was making the bed and there wedged between the wooden railing at the foot-end and the mattress, a dull brown gleam caught my eye. Maybe it was the light. I recoiled ‘coz the first thing I thought of was an insect, a cockroach’s antennae to be precise (Don’t ask me why! It’s a whole other post!), although in a while I realized the thing, whatever it was, didn’t seem to be moving. I touched the thing gingerly and pulled and there in my hand was the absconding pair of glasses!! I couldn’t believe my eyes…here they were, none the worse for the wear, undamaged despite their awkward resting place other than a little dust. I cannot for the life of me figure out how they got there and still less, how they stayed hidden when I make my bed every day (I do! I do!). The best I can do is this – I must have taken them off to read and laid them on the bed and forgotten about them being there. Then either Ishaan or I kicked them around while asleep and sent them to their strange resting place!! I’ve never found my glasses in a stranger place before 😛


I can’t believe I’ve actually got a post out of the episode! Well, all’s well…and Holy Jaggery 😉

p.s. For all those who think I have nothing better to do than photograph my glasses…I would like to say…your Right 😉 Should have taken a pic of the wrecked ones…they were a sight!

p. p. s. I’m sure you all have your own personal lost and found stories. Feel free to share 🙂

Drive. Dinner. Mr.Tickles!

The gist of my Saturday!

A glimpse of the Reis Magos fort...

The morning started out with a drive, its been a while since we’ve been on one…and the weather was perfect! Misty, crisp, breezy and a light drizzle. We set of in the direction of Coco Beach…we were in the vicinity for a family gathering on Monday last, and loved the surrounds 🙂 On the way, we stopped at the Reis Magos Fort (Goa has more forts than I had imagined. Apparently the Portuguese were keen fort-builders!), although we didn’t go up and explore it. That’s for another day.

Sea. Sand. Stone.

We did however stop by the road side and feel the breeze in our faces while taking in vistas of a heaving, choppy, Arabian Sea and the Panjim shoreline. At the risk of repeating myself ad nauseum…I must say that Goa in the monsoons is enchantingly beautiful and the air you breathe…words fail me…suffice it to say…I feel ALIVE and it’s a good feeling 🙂

Colorful Sentinel!

We wandered on until we got to Coco beach and there stopped on a narrow road that ran along the bank of the Sinquerim river. It’s an idyllic spot…paddy fields stretching green all around, a temple in the midst of them, standing colorful guard, exuberant greenery bordering the road with tiny yellow and purple wildflowers that seemed to have attracted every butterfly and bee in the neighborhood, a pair of black ducks diving for fish and the river flowing smooth, it’s surface disturbed only by the soft pattering of random raindrops, providing safe harbor for resting fishing boats. Calm. Peaceful. Soothing. I could have stayed there forever…well for a few hours at least…urban soul that I am 😉 Ishaan enjoyed too and ran around yelling ‘Butata‘ (his word for Butterfly), trying hard to catch one! All in all…a fabulous morning 🙂

A typical Goan fishing village scene...

In the evening, we had dinner with family @ The Pan Asian Bowl, a restaurant that specializes in South-Asian cuisine, which means it’s got a great Indian-Chinese menu, of which most of my family (those who have good taste ;-)) are die-hard fans! Stuffed ourselves on Malaysian Chicken, which came with delicate rice noodles, fried (heaven!); Shrimp in chilli garlic sauce; Thai-style barbecue chicken; Fish Phoenix (I half expected the fish to rise from it’s sticky, red-brown sauce!); Burnt garlic rice and that old favorite American chopsuey!! Great food and company, a very decent Mojito to go with and an old favorite, a glass of Bailey’s on ice to finish of a fabulous evening 🙂 I wish I had pictures of the food (it was pretty too!), but it disappeared soon enough and I didn’t want any distractions while eating. So maybe next time! We didn’t take Ishaan along, leaving him at home with my Grandma and his Nanny, which brings me to Mr.Tickles 🙂

Enjoying the breeze 🙂

We were back home at 10.30 pm and all seemed quite within. I am disappointed…I hate it when I don’t get to tuck Ishaan in and say goodnight. It leaves me incomplete. I tip-toe to Granny’s room and the lights are out…further sinkage…I nudge the door open an inch and instantly hear, “Mama?” In a flash, he’s in my arms and all is well with the world!! In that moment, I remember Maura’s tag and the question about best compliments received…and I think…this is it,right here! My son gives me my best compliment every time he says Mama 🙂 Lots of kisses and hugs later, the scene shifts upstairs to our bed…and that’s when the tickling starts…he loves being tickled and it’s become part of our bed-time routine 🙂 Then the giggling begins and the sound of his laughter surrounds us. For a good 20 minutes we’re all lost in an orgy of tickling and laughter, until finally, spent, cheeks flushed and eyes shining bright…I hush him and crooning softly, coax him to sleep.

Oh Happy Day 🙂


Yesterday morning was special…my dad tried his hand at driving again after ages. Frankly, I can’t remember the last time he drove the car, it’s that long ago! He learnt late like me, in his forties and quit when Parkinson’s struck. The tremors made it difficult to change gears and gradually he lost confidence and stopped driving altogether.

So, yesterday morning, when he got into the car and started the engine, we all ran out shocked with surprise! While it’s true that this past year, we’ve managed to get his symptoms under control, we were surprised that he would even want to attempt such a thing! Well, it didn’t stop there. He called out to my Mom and Ishaan and off they all went, chugging hesitantly down the road as my father rediscovered the power in his limbs and the courage in his heart. 🙂 I have no words to describe what I felt then, a combination of pride and joy tinged with trepidation – but all good! Yes indeed, all good! 🙂

They were back in 15 minutes (all of which my Granny spent praying earnestly to every God in her book, to deliver them home safely! So much for confidence in your son-in-law ;-)), my Dad’s face aglow with excitement and a sense of accomplishment. 🙂 He even attempted, successfully albeit haltingly, I might add, to reverse the car back into our garage! We all broke into spontaneous applause when he alighted and it was one of the happiest moments we’ve shared as a family in recent times and one that we will cherish always. 🙂

He may never get back to driving full time, frankly he doesn’t need nor want to, but the occasional drive with Ishaan and Mom will bring them all great joy, I know. 🙂

It’s moments like these that make all the rest of it worth your while…