09 April 2014

children's characters grown up, and love versus duty

for all of you who compulsively read the famous five, malory towers and other wonderful children's series, you may want to check out their lives some decades later. compulsive confessions's take on these characters grown up is.. deliciously dark, not what you would expect perhaps, but fun to read! why didn't anyone do this ages ago? (or did they, and i just don't know about it..?) the posts brought back so many memories.. ahh, enid blyton!

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100paths wrote a post some time ago on 'our duty to be happy', that has lots of nuggets to savor. such as "happiness comes and goes. but love? of all the things precious to man and god, it is love that goes on." and, "marriage is a dance with a mirror; we only receive the expression we make, we only swirl in the direction we move ourselves, we only reap what we sow into our own souls". totally worth reading, for these awesome nuggets, and for much food for thought. her conclusion, that living a life of love is more rewarding than striving for a life of happiness, is something that i came across on another blog (albeit in a different manner of expression).. and it is one that islam also preaches.. on a very very tiny scale, i am noticing the fruits of my tiny acts of love at home.. love is also not always easy though; my very first lesson after marriage was that love is a verb.. but that is all for another post!

31 March 2014

good movie experience

i saw vikas bahl’s ‘queen’ yesterday, and i thoroughly enjoyed myself. i did not go in with great expectations (bollywood movies and great expectations do not go together), but i was pleasantly surprised. it was not just the movie itself, but where we saw it, and the fact that H and i both enjoyed it (alas, this does not happen as frequently as i would like..!)

first of all, the new pvr cinema in kandivali is very nice. and you know, that makes a difference in watching the movie. really. our earlier option of too many seats in a too small cinema hall, resulting in cramped seating and no leg room, and literally climbing over people to get to your seat, not to mention people coming in even after 20-30 minutes of the movie beginning, people talking on their phones and so on, never made for a really enjoyable movie night out. here, the seats were perfect, the light was good, the audience was well behaved, no one was kicking my chair or stepping on my toes. moreover, the pvr concession stand was really good too -it offers way more than a samosa and a soft drink!! apart from three varieties of popcorn, they had burgers (veg and non-veg options), nachos, brownies and even blueberry cheesecake!! their soft drink options were also multiple (some places only have thums up and sprite, ugh). it's not like i want to eat a meal at the cinema, but if i ever felt like munching on something, i would appreciate having more than samosas or popcorn as my choices. especially since i rarely go watch movies nowadays, the entire experience seems to matter more :P

as for the movie itself, like i said, H and i both enjoyed it, we were both laughing, which made it a nice shared experience. the protagonist was brought to life brilliantly by kangana ranaut, and the first half of the film was light and disarming, with many laugh out loud moments. the second half dragged on a little; it was getting predictable, and i thought they could have cut out some of the scenes to make it shorter. overall though, it was a light, feel good movie, in a fancy new cinema; a nice ending to my weekend :) 

'queen' and pvr kandivali both have my recommendation! 

27 March 2014

twins march 2014: nineteen months

TODAY, you are 19 months, wow. in another five months, you will be two years old; the concept is mind boggling. age and months aside, you are growing beautifully, and everyday i am blown away by what you learn, what you do and your rampant curiosity.

most importantly--drumroll please--you sleep through the night now, with no more milk awakenings, ALHUMDOLILLAH. this began on our recent trip to kashmir, where you would wake up but not drink cold milk.. a few difficult nights ensued, but you got used to the lack of milk at night far more easily than i had anticipated. the subsequent five-six hours of consecutive sleep for me is BLISS.

your increasing vocab also means that you are able to communicate your wants, which truly is a relief. the few times you are not able to make us understand what you so pressingly require result in bouncing frustration levels all around. you use the same word to mean multiple things, which is quite clever and hilarious (sit down can mean: ‘he is sitting down’, ‘you sit down’, ‘i want to sit down’, ‘we should sit down to eat’, and so forth).

both of you are very affectionate, and i never tire of you constantly coming to press my cheeks between your palms, press your forehead against mine, or just cuddle in my lap. you do the same to each other, which is also joyous to behold.

m can hold a biscuit in his hand and bite it into nothingness, but a is still struggling with the idea of taking bites of food that are not already in his mouth, sigh. on the other hand, a can drink from a cup with relative ease, while m will end up spluttering and have a great deal of liquid spilt on him; yay for straws!

your next two milestones will be potty training and playgroup.. oh my!

07 February 2014

disappearing time and other rambles

i don’t know what i seem to do with the time these days. i am always running out of time. while having accomplished very little. i am spending too much time doing NOTHING. or taking too long to do little things. i just finished reading ‘the last anniversary’ by liane moriarty, and one of the characters could spend an hour contemplating a carton of milk, without realizing the amount of time having passed (she was suffering from undiagnosed postnatal depression). i can relate. i am quite sure that i am not suffering from depression, (although i admit to feeling blue and down occasionally), so i just need to get my act together.. (but you know, the whole postnatal depression thing, people should be made more aware. they should inform you and your family at the hospital. this character in the story, it was so sad that no one in her family, not even her husband (well, not until much later), realized what was going on..) 

anyways, related to this disappearing time that i am facing, is that i have not been blogging forever, even though i have several unfinished posts sitting in my draft folder, and many many ideas randomly going through my head. i decided today that i would just sit and spew it all out (well, not all, but some!). so please excuse the rambling and lengthy nature of this post. 

quite some time ago, i excitedly downloaded a daily workout app on my phone. when i used it for the first time, i started with a simple, 10 minute cardio workout, with essentially 10 different moves, all to be done for one minute. huh. i had forgotten how painful and long one minute can be.. pretty much all the moves requiring any form of jumping were impossible for me to do!! how on earth did i get so unfit?! not to mention all the weight i am putting on from the late night snacks i am 'forced' to eat due to the twins waking up several times each night.. ugh! apart from clothes not fitting me well, i am also concerned with the strain put on my body.. yes, we are getting older, and i suddenly have aches and pains that i thought i was immune to.. so, i will try to stick with this daily workout, at least until i can do all the moves comfortably, before heading on to something tougher. [so, it has been at least a month since i wrote this, and no, i never did the workout again :( i need to find a good time when i can do this, and then just stick with it. i know i can find 15 mins in my day for this.. if i could just stop blanking out hours at a time.. or stop playing so much scrabble and ruzzle. jeez.] 

another thing that i meant to do more of was write, and clearly, that is not happening either. aisha has a lovely post today on writing, and i REALLY need to follow her example of just sitting down and doing it. one of the reasons i procrastinate so much is that it is not always easy to get the rambling thoughts in my head into a coherent form on the screen. i know that it will get easier if i practice more, but this knowledge is not translating into action, despite my good intentions. again, i think i need to schedule a time for it, and then just do it. 

i am meant to be writing a book review for work, and while taking copious notes while reading the book, since i finished the book, i have yet to begin writing. i seriously need to kick my own butt. 

on a positive note, i asked a friend to write an article for work, and that has meant working with a friend! how fun :) 

the twins are 17 months now!! gosh gosh gosh. they babble a LOT, their vocab is constantly increasing and amazing me, as is their perception of the world around them. they crack me up daily, and every day i just want to hug them tight and bottle them up. all those people who kept telling me that babies are much better and easier when they are tiny and portable -but what about all the fun and interaction and giggling?? i loved them as babies when they just lay and flailed their limbs, but them being toddlers is so much more fun, and less anxiety prone for me. reading stories to them, drawing their favourite objects, watching them babble stories to each other or to themselves, watching them observe their surroundings and then trying to own them is so so precious and wonderful. alhumdolillah. (okay, their tantrums and aggression suck, but hey. that is for another post.)

26 December 2013

bad day blahs

there is nothing like watching the flurry of activity going on in the world at large to make me feel more dull, blah and listless at my own lack of 'happenings'. or to make me miss my family and friends. ugh. yes, this is me feeling gigantically sorry for myself.

i'm having a bad day. i was initially excited at being in india, comforting myself that everyone passes through here at some point, so surely i will be able to catch up on friendships every now and then. um, no. due to the colossal amount of family that people have to visit while they are here, not to mention all the shopping to be done, weddings to attend and so forth, no one ever has time to do anything else. as a result, i rarely get to meet up with most of my friends, no matter how many times they may visit.. today was another turned down invitation, which just hit me pretty low. i get that people have crazy busy lives, but still.. and you know, i cannot help that this will affect our friendship..

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a considerable amount of my pregnancy and post twins weight was lost quite rapidly, but now i am stuck.. these last few kilos (which of course, are sitting at importune and unflattering areas of my body) refuse to go. it looks like i will need the help of some vigorous cardio... it will have to be something i can do in my room, and in a short amount of time.. any recommendations?

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uh, before i start this new cardio regime, i think i should head down to the donut place.. :P


24 December 2013

people watching, schools and discipline


i took a train into town the other day, on my own. i was well prepared with my kindle and some polo mints for the journey, but in fact, i spent most of the time people watching. being on my own, without the twins, suddenly meant that i was free to participate in the larger world around me. when i go out with the twins, i have to say that i only notice other people if they have kids a similar age, or if they are interacting with the twins. most of my energy and attention is focused on the twins and other family members i am with.. everything else is superfluous. on my own in the train, i was fascinated by people's outfits, their choice of activity to pass the time, their accessories. there was an old lady sitting opposite me, wearing a sari, with her thinning hair left open (this is very unusual. not even middle aged women will leave their hair down here.. no idea why though..). she spent a considerable amount of time putting powder on her face and combing her hair, again, very unusual. the younger lady sitting next to her was busy texting on her phone, while i tried in vain to recollect who she so reminded me of. i noticed how muscular the women selling sundry items in the train were. i wondered why so many girls were wearing blue tops.. my hour long journey flew by! on the way back though, i happily immersed myself in my kindle.

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schools are insanely expensive here.. who are the people that can afford to pay hundreds of thousands of rupees per year in tuition fees?? we need their jobs!! it has been a pain trying to select schools (the crazy competition and painful process means that it is easier and smarter to put your child in the nursery of the school you want them to attend. hence why i am looking at schools for my 16-month kids!!), but we have narrowed down a few.. sigh.. let's see how it goes.. we still have to find a decent playgroup that is not smaller than my bedroom, is affordable, AND is close to home.

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a opened the dustbin, picked up an empty cheese wrapper and shook it on his head, ensuring some flakes of cheese covered his hair. m managed to peel an onion with his hands, and then proceeded to place bits of onion peel in his hair. where do they learn these things??

i need to figure out some discipline tricks and rules for the twins. 'no' at present seems to encourage them to increase the intensity of whatever they should not be doing. me shouting at them makes them laugh uncontrollably. removing them from the situation or removing the offending object is the only way to stop their behaviour, but this is not always possible or ideal.. most of the time i feel like i'm just shouting at the walls, and it is darn frustrating and depressing.

17 December 2013

random things and moments

many years ago, z and i decided there were two types of novels -plot based and prose based. we had lengthy conversations regarding the pros and cons of both, as well as our own preferences. the ultimate novel, clearly, is the one that uses magical prose to drive its fantastic plot. my love of marking pages, paragrahps and phrases, stems from awe at such prose.. my own personal test for how great a book was, was how many phrases i had marked in it (i used to fold the page corner and later copy down the relevant lines).

this practice has somewhat ended. i am not sure whether this is due to the soullessness of marking phrases on the kindle, or whether it is because i no longer take time to truly inhale the way sentences are built, but rather am too caught up in the plot. or, perhaps i just haven't come across anything that truly moves me lately, jaded that i have become in my early 30s!!

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the twins are a-growing! they are no longer tiny tiny babies! i am so happy that they cry less, play more (lots more), communicate better. they are too heavy for me to carry around now, and i am trying to get them to walk more when we are out (WALK, not run or dance or randomly sit down on the floor). and yet, i love it that they are still small enough to cuddle, to sit (and sleep, but only just!) on my lap. m knows exactly when he wants to be lying on my lap, and he will come, push away my hands or anything else obstructing his space, and plonk himself down. ah, the cuteness :)

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i went to a bookstore over the weekend. oh. my. gosh. to see all those beautiful books, on all those shelves.. to open them at random, smell their newness, oohhhh. i love my kindle, i am very thankful that it supplies me books that were otherwise difficult to access here.. but oh, how i miss real books. how i miss libraries!! and bookshelves, and armchairs. and books.

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while giving the twins gol and roti today, i licked some gol off my fingers, and whoosh, i was instantly transported to my childhood and my mom's awesome gol and butter concoction.. there are not many things that invoke a feeling or taste of childhood (as opposed to memories).. i should perhaps eat more gol -it's yummy, it would get me eating more rotis, and it is iron rich, which i need. an overall winner :)