Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another Day in Paradise!!

Last evening had to be spent waiting for my turn at the Pediatricians. For some reason the best doctors in town be it kids docs or gynecologists just cannot be on time. Was stuck for three hours with a fretting kid. Anyways I think my problems were very much smaller than what was happening in and around town.

When I heard the news quickly called up to check where family was friends were. I was panicking so much. But how much can you check, was annoyed with the best friend whose mobile was switched off for a good two hours and non reachable on direct line. By this time the stupid mobile ran out of battery.

Parents called me up and told not to hang around shopping complexes or sales too much ( god they make me sound like the mc dudes). I have not found time to stop anywhere these days. But whenever I am free I do have a habit of stopping at sales and shops at peak times. The probability of getting caught in a situation like that is there for everyone.

Was a bit worried that might die of early and who are going to look after the kids. H is clueless about what the kids’ activities are. Was getting more panicky about my dilemma by the minute and called up a friend who reassured me “ only the good die young” and surely u are not in that category!

Now its time to look at migration again and play my part in that big brain drain in the country. But all this talk and I will not leave the country, will forget about this when the schools are open and things are normal and we are back in the Christmas sales.

Monday, November 26, 2007

How a Woman should be?

As explained in one of my previous posts, work has been a big headache due to product defects. It’s become stricter with sourcing goods. My colleague was off work today and told me to keep an eye on his section.

His supplier turned up with some crap and had to reject it. The supplier did not take it too well. He had the nerve to say “Do you know how a woman should behave? Even a man like M won’t reject this. Be like a woman you are a shame to all women in general”

I got really upset and lost my temper. But later just thinking about the whole thing made me realize that’s what he wanted anyways for me to lose my temper. I could not keep it in check. The days I pay his bill it does not make a difference whether I am a woman or man but if u point out mistakes it becomes one big thing blown up.

I sometimes wonder if I am becoming too aggressive. So being aggressive, assertive is for guys and not for girls is it? I used to be a doormat nodding my head to everything but no promotion no responsibility came my way. Due to some circumstances I had to change my ways and am back with a better job responsibility and having a good career. So should learn to ignore and go on with whats left to do. Cause as I read somewhere " money when it’s being brought in as profits does not know the gender u are! "

Another Festival of lights!

Plans of stopping at Paradise came to a stand still this weekend. Since I had conveniently forgotten that we had a festival of lights business this poya weekend. Woke up late on Saturday morning and my mother calls from Chennai (she has been there for two weeks now). She was like hope u got everything ready for light festival thing (Karthikai Deepam). Oh damn I had forgotten. Pretended I had everything under control (not).

This light festival falls right after Deepavali and is on Poya in the month of November. Still not sure the real reason why it’s done. But most Hindus light all these lamps all round the house garden and its really colorful. Called up sister in law she said she had gotten early dawn to start preparations this was at two pm

So I slowly started the preparation at 4 and was done by six. My mum in laws all spend the whole day dragging and doing all this customs. We are supposed to make these rice dumplings and pray. Well did that too and for once the dumplings came out quite nicely and was perfect. When I was in Chennai last had got these really beautiful Lamps and had fun setting them out on Rangoli** (this is beautiful patterns drawn in front of the house). The house was really like Wesak Come early and the neighbors wanted to know what it was about (the neighbors ask this every year and I just bluff my way through as special poya). Kids asked questions bluffed my way through them too. Have to hunt the Hindu rituals book or ask my mom what it’s all about.

** rangoli these are intricate beautiful patterns which can be drawn and fun. In India it’s a huge thing where all girls learn the art of it. This is mainly to draw in front of the house. If u aint an artist like me, this is the easy way to try your hand at being one. Very simple with dots put out and logical way of connecting them to make beautiful patterns.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Stopping At Paradise!

Strangely have not visited Odel recently. I think after Deepavali saga where the driver inquired whether we are dropping of sweets for odel I have not been there. Have been reading so much and hearing so much about the Christmas d├ęcor. Also noticed Harpo’s pizza van going out of Odel when I was passing by, which means they have opened a pizza place in the front entrance. This weekend its operation Odel (have to make time to reach paradise)

Thank god the weekend is long and I don’t need to work tomorrow. Just trying to remember when was the last time I stayed home on a Saturday. Oh damn I cant remember its been that long that a Saturday has been spent in relaxation.

Walked into work this morning and accountant rushes in to ask how her hair looked. God it was one shade gone wrong. I had to lie and say she looked nice (very Ronaldo the Clown Orange) . Maybe I should have been frank and told her the truth but then did not have the heart or courage to do it. Since I am planning to get highlights done and if it is a disaster would rather not know………

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Meeting For Coffee

After many days of postponing meeting up with different set of friends made it last evening to coffee bean. Everyday passing by the place it looks always packed. And packed it was. It is quite expensive but the coffee and desserts are really much better than other places here. The sandwich was nothing much to shout about. There was a young couple making out in one of the sofas. My friends kept turning around and staring at them so much that they left. So if u do end up going to the new coffee spot where everyones running to try the walnut brownie.

The thing with Colombo is I am still to come across a very good coffee (except the one I make at home). There is this five bucks coffee that u get in Chennai. That is the best coffee I have ever had in my life.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Business Proposals

While on maternity leave was contemplating ditching the job and starting my own business. Had many bright ideas (so I thought myself). Now when I think of it am glad did not venture out.

Planning birthday parties for kids and having a venue with all fun stuff to do. Wanted to call it party poppers( aka poopers). Anyways was having endless discussions with a couple of friends and had a good laugh. When I really sat down and thought of it did I want to handle kids day in day out running parties. But the thing with that kind of business is kids are always around and would have been profitable business.
Start abacus classes. This is the new maths thing using all the beads and stuff. Went to meet people about it and apply for franchise blah and I don’t know never got around doing it.

What I realized with all this proposals was that starting out with friends might not work out for me. And doing a business with kids involved is risky. You are responsible for the kids and I was not ready for that kind of thing( 2 is risky enough).

Presently at a work environment where most people are single or don’t have kids. So its two different worlds which might never meet at any point.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Positive Improvements!

When I see people who read self help books, I used to joke and make fun as if I know it all. Recently, I took to reading Robin Sharma’s books and I am telling you they really make an impact on you. Feel bad about laughing it off before. So thought I have to start using some of the many advices. I am yet to get up early morning and do all the stuff robin has been saying. It does make a lot of sense and I see things in a different angle but it’s all momentary and I seem to forget it after I have slept.

This is just like when I started the yoga class a couple of months back. Thought it would be stress free and easy, but I could not concentrate. The instructor would keep telling “please concentrate here”. My mind would be happily away thinking of pending emails, grocery list, shopping list and what not. Everything except yoga. With all this going on I had to drop the class since I was the disturbance in the class with the instructor trying to catch my attention all the time.

After all this thought I would stick positive notes about how to be stress free on my mirror and office wall and read it everyday. But that’s left for another day. I have only three of Robins books but thought I will buy the whole collection……… I might become a self help guru just by reading all this.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

One of those days

I have been having a long three days since Monday afternoon. Product defect, labor shortage, office staff shortage, meeting deadlines. I have this management crisis all rolled into one and unable to meet it all. Have been going home late coming early and still not reaching a proper solution. So much pending work left. Feel like going to end up lost in a mound of papers….. Have to get home and do homework with the kids and teach the four year old the difference between b and d.

Friend of mine called up and said she gets this Christmassy feeling and whether I feel it. Am I missing out on something here? Why am I not getting into Christmas, holiday coming up, sale time mood.

Only thing to look forward is Ugly Betty tonight.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Nanny Nightmares

About a year back I spent about two weeks interviewing Nannies, since the one who was working departed to work for some foreigners. I think interviewing people to work at an office is easier that Nanny interviews. With a Nanny I am so paranoid about hiring because this is the person who is going to spend so much more time than I do with my kids. I am so paranoid with all these question whether she is going to beat the kid up (highly unlikely would usually be the other way around), kidnap the kid (another unlike situation cause they weigh a ton each), or I don’t know teach bad words (which they anyway pick up in school) and the kids should not love her more than me (I know Complicated with a capital C)

So started the process by running an ad on Sunday paper. Get calls from really posh sounding ones I did not know which ones to call for interview but was getting desperate cause had to hire one fast. So call about ten ones who sounded ok. My mom was very particular that nanny should be English speaking; I don’t know why this obsession but anyways since nanny has to get along with mom I said ok. Ms posh nanny came, I looked at her and was speechless, and she was stunningly beautiful. Was feeling a bit inferior looking at her the kids were very friendly and on best behavior mode. Told her I will get back to her. Mom was insistent but I really did not want some model type to be with kids
Old nanny came she looked pretty cool a sixty year old wearing jeans and sneakers. Liked the look of her looked solid and dependable until she spoke. She was interviewing me and kept insisting that the kids should sleep for a solid four hours during the day time and watch Sesame Street when they are awake. My foot I would allow them to sleep all day they would be up all night and she just kept chewing gum and blowing bubbles into my face. That is such a no no. Yes I do chew gum but not if someone’s interviewing me. This interview session went on for a week and at last hired model type nanny for a month. She had to leave the country. Was glad to see her go since all my friends kept teasing me to death about the madam (i.e. nanny) and me the maid.

Presently, I have a nanny for the last year. She is honest, simple and really nice to the kids. I know she wont manipulate the kids. I am not kidding here; I have watched little kids who love their caretaker much more than their parents. These are some of the problems of leaving the kids and going to work……..

Friday, November 9, 2007

On Sweets and Rats!

Its strange how kids these days know so much more than I do. Day before deepavali was cleaning the house and listened to D going on about the story behind the festival of lights. I should be ashamed of myself but I had a vague idea only about what it was all about. Now I am enlightened about Deepavali ( Have been very materialistic all these years only concentrating on sweets and new clothes)

Yesterday was good fun went to temple, visited relatives and changed about three sets of new clothes and ate far too much of sweets which is frankly a waste on my waist! Only while delivering sweets to friends had to stop at odel, while getting out of the car the driver handed me a box of sweets. He assumed my close friend works there (what with the stopping there all the time every week). Was too embarrassed to explain otherwise so took the sweets. Must reduce visits.

So woke up in the morning with a sugar high what with trying aunties cousins friends sweets was feeling sick. Made my coffee and went into the backyard saw a tiny rat( I am scared of all kinds of animals and rats are a big no no). Dropped coffee cup ran back in and locked door. That was the end of any morning activity. M gave me an insight about how old the rat could be apparently a week old have no idea how he arrived at that conclusion, but then M knows everything !!! Poor kids had to leave with cereal only and now I am having visions of the tiny fellow inside the house….. (what with all the left over sweet the mice must be at play)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Deepavali Vs Housework!

Its that time of the year where my days get longer and nights shorter. The maid, the gardner, driver all go off for deepavali holiday for a week( which might get longer and become 10 days). I should not complain I have it great the rest of the year except during festivals and got to think of women who work really hard and give birth to babies in paddy fields and keep on working without complaining.

M was nice enough to tell me that it’s a different work out from my aerobics class and I don’t have to get out of the house. Looking at the bright side all this makes me stop eating the whole week so that I can stuff my face on deepavali.

Deepavali in Colombo is so much different to Deepavali in Chennai. Chennai is full of crackers morning till night and a bunch of new movies out. Here it is quite I have not heard a cracker in years for festivals and very quite, sometimes its easy to forget that it’s a special day. Chennai is with high hype and you feel the festival of light( I cant really put it in words properly.) Anyways Mil has asked me to make sweets. I agreed happily cause I am going to get this lady to make and pretend I did it ( Seem to be doing a lot of that lately.) The festival is another reason to buy clothes and buy I did from India.
Dear God please make sure that all the domestics come back safely to their intended houses and don’t jump houses. Hats off to everyone who lives abroad and do all their work by themselves

Friday, November 2, 2007

Kiddies party and ambalangoda!

After a long day at work, had to take the four year old for a birthday party last evening. The kiddies parties these days are much more complicated and extravagant than simple parties that I remember. Anyways, all the mummies in town are in competition with each other to hire the barney, clown, mr. elephant and whoever other cartoon character is available. Loot bags are also a big competition who gives the best or the most expensive and in the kids words “coolest”. The kids do not and will not leave a party without a loot bag.

I am also with all this talk the competitor to join in the competition of Birthday parties. I think it comes from the guilt of going to work full time and traveling on work I try to sometimes make it all up by buying the best gifts and doing the coolest loot bags. If that’s called spoiling so be it. I have spent an all nighter packing 40 loot bags for a six year old party and I am telling you it is tiring. Like doing a project, hunting for stuff that thrills six year olds is a task by itself. Its worth it when the kid has a big smile and is proud of her party.

So wait at the party watching the four year olds trying to push each other off the slide (someone’s going to break his / her head soon). Start getting questioned by my four year old son (s)
S : mummy do you know all my friends
Me : Yes of course
S : so whats his name ( and points at some kid)
Now frankly I had no clue who he was, I know a couple of kids names but I don’t know the class of twenty. All the mums looking at my face expectantly, so I try to be clever cough a bit and ask the one standing next to me what the kids name. Woman looks pissed off and by then
S : Its Dinush
Me : I knew that
S : No you did not
Me : yes I did
S : you should come to school everyday then u will know all names

Now all the women burst out giggling well I joined too what am I suppose to do.
Woman standing next to me is the sweet cutesy Dinush’s mum. Ok whatever I need to memorise all the brats names and I have to do it fast.

Then get home and get questioned by the Daughter D
D : mummy whats ambalangoda famous for
Me : ( now what is ambalangoda famous for? Damn it I don’t know cant remember ) Amba (mangoes)
D : Haaa no its not you are lying
Me : it is that’s why its ambalangoda – amba means mango they have loads of it there ( I have no clue where that came from)
D : its famous for masks
Me : I knew that
D : No you didn’t (smirky smile)
At times I know this brat does it for purpose just to irritate me.

Need to memorise stuff on sri lanka tooooo!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

For the love of Chick Lit !

Last week I had the opportunity of meeting up with a friend from London lets call her R. She always brings me a list of stuff that I ask, and usually its books. Books that I read are varied from booker prizes to my all time favorite Chick lit. I love reading chick lit. When I say this in public, usually people just laugh at it including friend from London. She always makes it a point to give me her five minutes lecture on wastage of time reading these books and I should expand my horizons. I do expand my horizons and read serious stuff once in a way but have built a vast collection of some great Chick Lit books (which I hope to donate to charity soon).

Anyways dropped in to see R and she gave me my stuff and gave her usual lecture. While the conversation was going on I mistakenly dropped my mobile ( which I seem to do a lot, time to get a new one). Bend to pick up mobile and there is a book under the sofa, I quickly grab it and look at the title. Surprise!!! It’s a good chick lit book. Turned to see R who is red in her face and goes OH that was for my cousin she likes this too. I was like uhm ok. ( wonder why u had to put it under the sofa then) I guess that will be the end of her advising me to stop reading what I like.

I think the best advise I ever got in my life was in a Bangalore Book store. I was browsing around the bookstore and an Indian aunty walk in. The guy in charge was no help the aunty kept asking him different things and he was blank. She scolded at him and started talking to me. It’s sometimes weird how you can have conversations with strangers. She was like you should read these books and rambled off some books (not chick lit). Surprisingly, I had read all of them and she gave me a compliment I shall always treasure. You are well read, I just wish youngsters today read that much and please do not stop. She happens to be one famous Indian authors mum, and am very glad that I got a moment to chat with her….