Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The hair cut agony

Hair today gone tomorrow! It isn’t that easy. Hair tales of my kids have been quite a nightmare for me. The elder one Arnnav was born with a nice mane, I simply loved his curly hair. The moment he became an year old his hair started touching his collar, he still looked cool, Sometimes I would tie his hair up into tiny pony tails and loved the way my baby looked…..Absolutely cute and adorable. Then was the time to give him a good haircut, in our culture the first haircut is a ‘mundan’ where the baby’s head is completely shaved off. The ceremony is a feast for everyone whereas the little child keeps crying buckets full. It’s such a heart breaking moment for the mother. Holding my son I cried too when I saw all his curly hair falling on to the cloth wrapped around him. Somehow both of us managed to get through the ceremony. Everyone congratulated me and my baby on reaching the new milestone.

The next few months saw the hair growing. Just after 3 months it was time to give Arnnav another haircut. Since hubby sails and is out at work for nearly 3-4 months I had to take him to the barber. I contemplated with the idea of visiting the barber shop on a Sunday morning. I dropped the idea, decided on the beauty parlour instead where I’d be comfortable and guessed that it wouldn’t be an issue for Arnnav as well. I took him to the neighbourhood parlour, the lady was very friendly with a warm smile. Arnnav was at ease but the moment, I made him sit on the chair for the haircut, he started screaming. We both couldn’t handle him and I had to take him back without a haircut. Another week passed by I took him to my parents home which is quite close to my residence. Dad and I took Arnnav to the barber shop this time. No matter what he wouldn’t let anyone touch his hair. The barber managed a few trims but the boy cried so much that he started to puke. Dad said nothing doing he’d try to level his hair at home. We got Arnnav home, gave him his favourite ice cream and a pastry. He had it and when he fell asleep I made him lie on my lap and dad trimmed his hair. His haircut was really uneven and funny but it was okay as he didn’t understand haircuts much, at one and a half years this was acceptable.

Then Dad bought a Philips electric shaver that had attachments for trimming hair. We gave him haircuts with this machine while he slept on my lap and dad playing the not so perfect barber. This went on for more than a year and dad becoming better with every haircut he did.  We tried taking him to different  barber shops  every time he needed a haircut  but somehow never managed any success. I knew almost all barber shop’s / salon in my area. It gave me a peak into the domain where women hardly ventured. Found it rather funny seeing men sitting with face masks on but yeah everyone has a right to feel and look good.

It gave me a true sense of liberation when Arnnav had a haircut at the local barber shop without any drama. I gave a good tip to the barber and a treat to my boy. It settled after 2 years of nightmare.
Just when Arnnav learnt to handle the barber my younger one Abhinav embarked on the same path as his elder brother. Infact It was longer with him as he had his mundan when he was just 3 months old. This Sunday Abhinav had a haircut at the barber shop and I am on a celebratory mood.
It’s such a great feeling to have bid farewell to the haircut agony!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Melbourne for Me!

The contest on Indiblogger made me read about Melbourne, not that I know nothing about it. Having read in the history books and seeing the cricket matches played in Melbourne I do know a bit about the city.  Not just a bit… may be a little bit more!

Aww …it also takes me back to the days when I had a huge crush on the suave, shy and very sexy Steve Waugh. How I got weak on my knees seeing him at the hotel in Mumbai when the Australian team was touring India in 1997- 98. He smiled at me and that has remained frozen in time. But being a staff on duty at the prestigious Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Mumbai, I couldn’t even take his autograph.  May be this is my chance to meet him and this time take not just his autograph but a photograph too.
The places that I would like to see in Melbourne would be a mix of everything historic, modern, adventure or just plain cricket!

I have heard that it’s the cultural capital of Australia. I looked up on the internet and found some useful information on the city. Of course these are the places that I’ll be visiting as well.
By the way, just for the information of my readers I haven’t travelled out of India as yet. I do have a valid passport though which is recently renewed after it expired without being stamped even once.  Did we hear somewhere?

If wishes were horses
Beggars would ride:
If turnips were watches
I would wear one by my side

Melbourne is a city that knows how to live. One can choose from high-end cuisine to low brow rock gigs, plays, festivals and blockbuster sporting events, all taking place across a city full of parks, gardens and historic architecture. 

Here’s my finding of the city of Melbourne from

Laneways and byways

Explore historic arcades and laneways lined with fine dining restaurants, chic cafes, hidden bars and fashion boutiques or head to one of the many lush gardens throughout the city.

Cheer on your heroes

Discover Melbourne's obsession with football, cricket, soccer and just about anything else that involves working up a sweat. Head to the sports precinct to visit the hallowed ground of the MCG.

Festival fever

In Melbourne everything has its own festival. From food, film, art and music festivals to celebrations of writing, anime, design and projections – get involved and experience the city through the arts.

Art and culture

Melbourne is home to world-class arts and cultural heritage institutions, cutting-edge design and dynamic festivals and community events.

Food and wine

Melbourne is a melting pot of cultures, a fact reflected in its restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars. Feast on a dizzying spread of the world's great cuisines.


In Melbourne, you'll find an ever-increasing number of trendy clubs and bars, live music venues, comedy, jazz, cinema, caberet and old style pubs.


Whether you're after high fashion, independent local designers, jewellery, furniture or fine art, find out where to start your spree in Melbourne.

Spa & wellbeing

Melbourne offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to indulge in soothing relaxation therapies.

Nature and wildlife

Surround yourself with age-old trees, manicured lawns and abundant wildlife in a pocket of calm and tranquillity in the middle of Melbourne.

Outdoor activities

Make the most of the rivers, parks and coastline Melbourne has to offer with a range of outdoor activities to suit your interests and lifestyle.

History and heritage

Explore Melbourne's rich and diverse cultural heritage from the Aboriginal people to early European settlers in historic buildings and monuments.

Family activities

There's plenty of things to do for the whole family in Melbourne from interactive museums and kids' festivals to zoos and wildlife parks.

Aboriginal Victoria

Explore Aboriginal culture and heritage in Melbourne and surrounds. Take a heritage walk and visit cultural centres, galleries and museums.

There’s certainly loads to bring back from Melbourne not just a stamp on my passport!
 That's Melbourne me.... and it's your time to visit Melbourne NOW!!

Do check out the link:

Wishy washy.........

Soaked in the bright new world in the 70s
Blessed with love from one and sundry
Grew up soaking in the learning and fun at school
College was as cool…
Soaked in the career and the challenges that came by
Building it up with every passing day…..
Soaked in the new love, hopes, dreams and beauty
Together we got soaked for Life!
Two little bubbles added to the soaking
Life seems to be just Rocking!

But when it comes to clothes it should be soak no more… what a delight would that be!

Being a career woman and a mother, time is something that I am hard pressed always!  Mornings being the prime where I am ‘Jhansi ki Rani’ living upto my namesake!  Everything is clock work. Get out of bed and head to the kitchen.  Get the morning cuppa ready and fix breakfast and kid’s school Tiffin.  Get the kids out of bed, and get them to brush their pearly whites. While they sit and munch on the breakfast I take a quick round of the bathroom and soak the clothes that won’t go in the washing machine. Bathe the kids, get them ready and send them off to school.

That’s when I would head to the bathroom and attend to the clothes that have barely got enough time to soak.  I love washing my dresses; I don’t even trust the washing machine to do the job.  Then it’s time for me to head for office by 8.30 AM. Finally I take a deep breath after parking myself on my chair at work. That’s how the routine is each day. This may be familiar story to a whole lot of you.
Don’t you think life would be a bit different if we got a bit of bonus time in the morning? Say 30 minutes… It would certainly feel like winning Gold at the Olympics and basking in the glory of it forever. If there was a detergent that did the trick of not remaining in the bucket for 30 minutes, I would be 30 minutes faster!  What say?

I teach in a hotel management institute, where the second year syllabus has laundry operations. As a part of the introduction to the topic, I ask the students how they wash their clothes. They tell me that they soak the clothes in a bucket of water, adding some detergent to it and allowing it to rest for while. So many of them, specially the hostelers say that they end up keeping the clothes in the bucket for almost 5-6 hours at times even overnight. As at times they just don't have the patience to wait or at times they just forget that they had left the clothes to soak. I ask them what result they get, they tell me that there’s a typical stink to the clothes which is difficult to get rid of even after washing them all over again. After hearing their narrations in the class, I tell them the formulation of the detergents and the right technique for washing clothes. Once they get the logic behind using the detergent for washing clothes, the next part of the study on commercial laundering is covered with them.

If a detergent didn’t require soaking time, life would be so much easier for the homemakers, busy career women, the hostel residents and not to forget…. our friendly neighbourhood dhobi!

Umm Daag achhe hain............
So soak in the fun not just in a little bucket of water!

This post is written  for Indiblogger and Surf Excel Matic's -" #SoakNoMore" Contest

These pictures have been take from various websites, if anyone has an objection to their use here, they'll be promptly removed.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Arranged togetherness!

Last evening, I saw this contest on indiblogger, about a debate on love or arranged marriages. Hubby was sitting beside me and was reading a book since I wanted to know what he thought about it, I asked him. He redirected the question to me said that he wanted to know my opinion first. I pretended to think deep about it and then gave him a very rounded…. Read it as a diplomatic answer. I said it depends ….What society are the individuals from? whether they live in cities or in the villages? also whether they stay in a joint family or just the two of them etc. Actually it only matters in the first year or two of marriage after that everything is on the same plane. The getting along is better if it’s a love marriage whereas for an arranged marriage it’s a mystery unwinding each day and there’s a surprise element... something to look forward to. But once its past a year or two both the kinds of marriages are on the same plane. I also added that if the couple stay in a joint family, with in-laws, arranged marriages are better as the transition is smoother for the new bride as well as the rest of the family especially in Indian societies. Love marriage may have more love in them …. I teased him as ours is an arranged marriage.

I just took him down the memory lane we met… our marriage!

We met according to a plan. Parents were getting proposals for me, they would meet the boys and then the chosen ones would get to meet me. If we both liked each other then the families would sit together but it never actually happened that way. At that time I was focusing on my career and education and not really looking at marriage. Parents  had asked me to tell them if I had someone in mind but I didn’t. It went on for a couple of years; parents always respected my choice never forcing me to accept a proposal. One such meeting was with Rajesh, through my mom’s friend circle. We both are from the defence background our mothers had common friends. He was invited to our place with his parents. We met one evening in October 2004. After tea with family the elders asked both of us to go to my room and speak to each other.

We both were casually dressed, just ourselves nothing to impress anyone and we got talking. He was frank and spoke everything especially all the negatives that he thought he had. I was told that he was a Physics graduate, a First officer in the Merchant Navy and the eldest of his siblings. Extremely intelligent, having a good personality and very down to earth. I was weighing him on all those parameters. What made me really pay attention to him was that he didn’t speak any of his positive qualities or any quality for that matter!  He only highlighted negatives about him and his profession. Which was so contrary, to the usual talk of saying all things nice, I found him interesting and of course different…. No sparks flew as yet.

After the meeting, mom asked me about Rajesh and I told her that he was okay. She would’ve conveyed it to his mother. Then I didn’t hear anything of him. Our mothers felt that we were a good match and were trying to push things from their side, he went sailing and I was back into my routine work. I didn’t feel like seeing any other proposal. Then one day in the month of April while I was on my way to work, mom called me to say that Rajesh’s mother had called and they both thought that we should get engaged that Friday, 22nd  April 2004. I wasn’t pleased with mom's arguing. I was working as a Lecturer in a professional college and it was exam time. I told her that it was difficult to manage a day's leave. She started highlighting that it was a nice proposal and started complaining that I didn’t listen to her, the usual emotional talk. Giving in, I told her that I would try. That day I walked straight to the principal’s office requested for leave that Friday saying that I was getting engaged and that even I got to know just that very day. We made some changes in the practical schedule and I got the leave sanctioned. In the evening my brother and I were going looking for a venue for the engagement. As we were driving, my brother  asked me whether I was happy. I told him that it was okay….he stopped the car , told me what else did I want, being from the shipping industry himself he said that Rajesh was a great guy, he had a good personality, he was earning well and he was a fabulous human being. It should not be just okay but I should feel happy about it. I accepted that and my confused mind was settling a bit.

We fixed a venue for our engagement, mothers were happy as our horoscopes had matched perfectly. Everyone was gearing up for the engagement. I called up my friends and told them that I was getting engaged in 3 days. Everyone was surprised but happy for me at the same time. Finally I met my would- be on our engagement day. Then we started calling up each other and getting to know each other better.  Once he was coming back from his office and told me that he could pick me on his way back, He asked me to come to the point from where he could pick me. I told this to my mom, He picked me up and we just talked as he was driving, and he dropped me home. When I rang the door bell, mom was surprised to see me early. She asked me how I was early as I was to meet Rajesh. She asked whether we both had coffee together. I smiled at the fact that my fiancĂ© didn't even know that he had to make an offer for a cup of coffee. Somehow I liked that. Even now I tease him about it and he says that he didn't know a thing about dating and how come I didn't tell him either. He remembers what I wore that day and how I looked. Every time we pass that place where he picked me from he mentions it.

 He had to join back in the first week of May. We started sending emails to each other. I would wait to hear from him, would read the sms that he would send while at a port over and over again, in fact my phone couldn’t store so much of data so I started writing all the sms in a diary. It was a time for communication.
He came back home after 4 months. Our wedding date was fixed for December 14th 2005. This was our real courtship we learnt everything about each other, about our families and the love grew into trust and friendship. I also learnt that he too had met a few of the proposals for him and nothing created that ‘wow’ factor for him. When his mother asked him to meet me, he had said that this was the last girl he was seeing. He often teases me with save the best for the last. I thank God for being that ‘last girl”. Finally the D- day arrived and we had one of the perfect weddings! Typical North Indian affair going into several days. As I moved into his home I felt that I knew everything as we had talked about it all. Though we are from different communities, the difference was hardly felt. We were blessed with our elder son Arnnav in 2006 and younger son Abhinav was born in 2009. We both feel that ours was an arranged love match! We have learnt to appreciate not just each other’s opinions and beliefs but also each other’s interests. He has been my biggest critique and a true friend. We do have our differences and our dose of couple fights but what remains is we have immense respect for each other as individuals and we take pride in each other’s achievements. So for me arranged love marriage is the best!

This story is written for LoveYaArrange contest on indibloggers,