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Showing posts from October, 2009

Weather and Emotions

Is there a connection between the weather and our emotions?  Well, I suppose if you ever really thought about it, you would say that yes, there most certainly is.  Calm peaceful days with gentle sunshine would seem to symbolize contentment.   Drizzling rain would point to sorrow.  Torrential rain seems connected to deep grief and turmoil.  Roaring thunder seems to symbolize anger and fury.  Then there is an actual illness known as Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD).  This illness, as far as I remember reading  a long time ago, is a type of depression associated with living for prolonged periods in a dull climate, where the sunshine is seldom seen.  Well, who would disagree? I remember meeting an Indian woman in Dublin in 1990, who was the wife of the then Indian Ambassador to Ireland .  Although she seems to have found Dublin quite congenial in terms of facilities and people, she was badly affected by the seemingly never-ending dull weather.  Having come from India , which has a l


Things are not going well! I'm not sleeping well these days.  My rooms are upside down.  Nitin is off school AGAIN with an upset stomach.  I slept in this morning and did not send the girls to school.  I've got to get to the boy's school before the last minute.  Oh how will I manage?  I think I need a break!

Birthday Curtain

There is a school concert coming up in the girls' convent school.  Mel is in the choir, so the only costume she will require is a pristine school uniform.  No problem there.  But Trish is in the Hawaiian Dance Group.  I know it is going to be wonderful.  (One of my favourite bloggers, Angela Norton, blogs from Hawaii !  Hi, Angela!). But last week, Trish came home and told me that while the top of the costume (a white spaghetti strap tee shirt) may be purchased in a local drapers, the skirt was to be made of a red and silver material called 'birthday curtain', easily available in a place called 'Aminabad'. There are shops all over Lucknow, but Aminabad, in Lucknow, is the ultimate market.  It has traditionally been the one market where you can get anything.  It is a very traditional type of market and apparently, if you have the skill, you can haggle with the shopkeepers to get a better price. But while every Lucknow housewife may have served her time negotiatin

Where Does The Time Go To?

It seems like only minutes ago I sent them all off to school and work.  And already the youngest one is due home in minutes!  And I'm just not ready!  What happened to all the plans I had for this morning?  Nothing materialised.  Well,  I suppose you could say I wrote a blog post! And once they get home, the race is on.  Better hurry!  The youngest one will be here soon!


A hero is someone who goes all out for others on some level. The late Stephen Gately, the co-lead singer of the pop group Boyzone, seems, by all accounts, to have been quite a hero, not only for the gay community, but for the community in general. Why? Because he ‘came out’ as a homosexual at a time when it wasn’t considered very safe to do so. Being a lead singer in a band which had a largely female following, his ‘coming out’ could have spelt professional death for him. But as we all know, it didn’t. The emotional funeral which bade him farewell last Saturday (17th October 2009)in Dublin is a testament to the popularity of the man, and the adoration, even reverence with which he is held. Ronan Keating, his fellow band member, even stated that he was going to “pray for his guidance” with future endeavours. That’s quite a compliment. When an English columnist suggested that there was something not quite savoury about Gately’s death, she was silenced in a ferocious Twitter cam

Post-Diwali Reflections

I did not enjoy Diwali. The crackers, the food, the visitors, the celebrations. None of it. I hope the children did. But me? Nah. Sorry. Went right over my head. Why? Yash got depressed, that's why. Therefore, I was also affected. His father has become quite weak in the last few months. For man of eighty years, he was quite wiry and robust. He is now a shadow of his former self. A mere wisp. Hardly a whisper of breath left in him. But while he is around, he will have his say. On Diwali morning, after celebrating the Diwali prayers (Puja!) with the family, he hit on Yash, and wouldn't stop talking. I wondered what he was talking about and moved a bit closer. To my horror, I heard him telling my husband "your wife has never adjusted to our ways in fifteen years. She must learn to do so!" Do what? Adjust? Isn't that what I've been doing all these years? I've adjusted to the language, which I speak passably. The food. I gave up meat


Collecting things is a human activity, something which has been going on since the first hunting and gathering groups of humans started collecting nuts and eggs and other edible foodstuffs to eat back in the cave – or wherever. I suppose gathering is another word for it really. Oh, the vagaries of the English language. When my bilingual English/Hindi speaking children speak of what I would have called ‘saving up’ for something, they say ‘collect’. “I will collect money!” says Neil, my fourteen year old son (or whichever child of mine is speaking at the time!) , “and buy a birthday gift for my friend.” Suppose I use some of the milk at home to make an amount of plain yogurt, to eat with my curry. My mother in law might ask me (literal translation from Hindi!) “Did you collect this?” What she’s really asking is “Is it yours? May I have some too?” (Of course she can!). Although there are a few creatures (like magpies for example) who collect shiny objects and hide them some


My nephew Prabhat arrived home for a few days' leave from engineering college this morning. His parents, my brother in law Sanjeiv and his wife Tapasya, have a television in their room, and Prabhat was there watching digital video disks (DVDs). I'm in the kitchen making my breakfast, having banished my brood to their schools, when some very familiar music reaches my years - Irish instrumental music, which, let's face it, isn't heard often in this part of the globe. Intrigued, I leave the kitchen and look in the room from where the music is emanating....and I see The Corrs playing some melodious piece. The Corrs! I might as well tell you that when I left Ireland fifteen years ago, they had not yet made their mark, but's quite a different story. It seems that The Corrs have done for Irish music what Michael Flatley and 'Riverdance' did for Irish dancing. I often catch a bit of Irish dancing on Star World and go crazy showing it to my kids - and

A Strange Visitor in the Classroom!

My Mel had an amazing experience in school yesterday. There was a visitor to the school from outside. No, it wasn't a guest speaker. It was a monkey, in fact, several of them! The monkeys seem to have entered the room while the girls were sitting at their desks. Once their presence was noticed, the girls ran screaming from the room. It is not that a monkey is anything to be scared of, but you see, a bite from a monkey can be a little dangerous. If the monkey is rabid that is. Now, I haven't heard of anyone in our city dying of rabies from a monkey bite, but still..... Do you know what the monkeys did? They opened up several schoolbags and took out the lunchboxes! And had a feed! The cheek of them all the same. Did you ever the like of it in all your life? How clever they are! The girls re-entered the classroom only when the 'visitors' had left! Presumeably, having eaten their fill! I made sure Mel told the whole story to her grandparents when she reached

Another Fast!

Today there was another fast, Ahoi Ashtami, in the run up to Diwali, the high point of the holiday season, the Festival of Lights. In order to get into the spirit of things, I joined in. My mother-in-law tells me that this fast is for the welfare of the children. Well, that's a good reason to fast. But I believe that the real reason for this fast is for the sons. I am not quite sure whether it is for the welfare of the sons, or to get sons. Well, I've already got two sons. And I do pray for their welfare and success in life every day. And my daughters too. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing about my children without my daughters. I must say, that from what I have seen, Indians love their daughters very much. Sons represent the wealth of the family because they traditionally stay with the family for life and take responsibility for the protection of the parents in old age, and safeguard the family property for coming generations. Girls, on the other hand, ha


Loose Bloggers Consortium This is my first post as a member of the Loose Bloggers Consortium, an informal group of bloggers who post on a given topic each Friday, each one giving the same topic their own individual treatment. I wish to thank Conrad , the group Co-ordinator, who has invited me to become a member. The group consists of (in alphabetical order) Ashok , Conrad, Grannymar , Magpie 11 , Maria , Marianna and Rummuser , or Ramanaji, as I call him. Members hail from places as diverse as the UK , the USA , Ireland , India and Canada . So we all have our own unique vantage point. If you have time, take a look at the posts of the other group members too. It is true that different words have different meanings for different people. Depending on where you are at, speed could be a noun or a verb. Speed means ‘move swiftly’, or the rate at which something moves swiftly. It is also a slang word for some kind of drug as far as I know, but my knowledge of drugs

I'm Fasting for my Husband!

My mother-in-law did me a great favour this evening. She sent my eldest son to remind me that tomorrow (well, it's today now, or afterwards, as you read this) is Karwa Chauth. That means a special day when many pious Hindu women fast for their husband's long long life and prosperity. Well, I'm not a Hindu woman, but I am very much married to a Hindu man. Obviously I would like to do the right thing by him! So I shall fast for my beloved, that God will bless him and give him a long and prosperous life, good health et cetera. I'd love to know if he would ever do the same for me, but I guess he would if he had to. If I do a Christian fast, I usually stick to bread and water. Hindu fasts are much more liberal. You can take milk, nuts and sweets. But no salt for some reason. Many Hindu ladies, like my sister-in-law Tapasya, touch nothing at all. Not even water! I'd never do that. Suppose I got ill and died of dehydration? God forbid. So I'll eat wha

Bad Publicity.

I don't watch too much television. I would if there was time, but my life is so busy nowadays. My main occupation is taking care of the needs of my four schoolgoing children, jostling for a place in the kitchen and juggling my household tasks like laundry, housecleaning, etc. When a little time becomes available, I'd prefer to sit at my computer. I love to read, write and visit blogs. It is a matter of choosing to do the thing which I enjoy most. I catch a bit of television when I'm eating, as the television set is right next to the dining table. There has been an advertisement for a new reality show (can't for the life of me remember the name!) running for a while. It is a set-up situation type show, where a couple, i.e. one male and one female have to care for an infant for a while. I only know a little about the show, but one of the couples includes Rakhi Sawant, a glamour girl type who is often seen doing singing and dancing numbers in Hindi films - usuall