Saturday, 24 October 2015

The Diwali ki Safai

I was sitting on the sofa with my laptop, catching up on my latest social media notifications and stories, when my phone rang. With my eyes still fixed on my laptop, I stretched my hands to pick up the phone.

It started with the basic niceties of a typical call from close relative, without the slightest hint of how this routine call would drift to become the dreaded call of the season.

“Have you started off with the Diwali safai?”

“Hain”, my eyes popped out and jaw dropped. Is it that time of the year again? So soon?

I placed a hand on my heart and said “All is well. All is well”.

I had almost forgotten the call until that day. One of the whatsapp groups forwarded a pic displaying hundreds of gold bars, silver crockery , bundles of notes lying on the ground and a message saying that we have just started with the diwali clean up. And the idea of diwali cleaning came back to haunt me.

I had to come with a fake yet original answer quickly to satisfy all the soon-to-come calls of concerned family members, asking me the status of my “safai abhiyaan”.

Diwali clean up is a serious social issue. The weaker sections of the society, not capable of spotting a single spider web, hint of dust behind the doors and aliens residing in the kitchen cabinets feel the sudden pressure from the maid-equipped, calendar minding and bragging sections of the society.

If you are brave, you might answer, “No, I shall not.”

But the weak hearted like me, hide behind the excuses like, kids exam time, or we just moved in here, or we are about to move out of this house or I will start later because I am fast.

I know I need to be more creative and less repetitive. I want to rather say, “Why don’t you ask the husband?” or “I’ll do it when its off-season for the maids and they are relieved from other houses?” or maybe “The forecast says it will not be sunny this whole week, so why bother giving everything up in the sunshine?” or “By the time I finish the herculean task, the first thing I finished cleaning will be the same as it was when I started. Don’t you think so?” or maybe “I finished everything already when the PM launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Under his mantra “Na gandgi karenge aur na karnedenge”, my home is ever so clean.”

You can dodge every question unless your mom is on the other end of the line. Every season, I tell her that you should ask me this question when there is enough time for me to finish what I start. And every season she answers that she was busy cleaning up and a homemaker should know better. I have to tell her the truth. I confess and beg her to come down after she has rushed up with hers. Maybe that’s the reason she never tells me well in advance, or I’ll make her come down to my place in real. I tell her it’s hard. It’s unfair for a single person to clean up what has been messed by the whole family. It’s unending. Its cruel.

And she tells me all over again, how cleaning up will bring good luck. She tells me, how this is a way to clean up atleast once a year. And how it is a way to make sure you give up what you haven’t used for the whole year. It’s her way of telling me to go through all my stuff once and avoid pressing the panic button when something is to be quickly located.

Its remarkable how firm the roots of safai are in the hearts of moms and how they struggle and stumble in imbibing the same in their children every year.

Yet every next call that I get, the pressure mounts as the frequency of being asked and bragging gains momentum. Next month or two, feels just like the exam preparatory days in school. Remember those days when the smarter ones used to call to tease the hardworking yet slow ones.

“How much course have you finished yet, my dear” asks the one friend who enjoys others pain.

“I don’t know yaar. I haven’t touched most of it yet. And what ever I had finished seems like a new chapter to me now.” I reply wiping my forehead and sit down as I lose the ground under me.

“Haha. You’re funny. Don’t worry you will be fine. Don’t go by my standards”, come the words that stabbing-friend for who this call is more like a stress buster and entertainment.

The only difference between now and then, is that I used to take the insult to heart and buckle up to work harder. But now, I think.

Happy Dussehra!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Classification of WhatsApp Groups

Whatsapp is officially as much a part of our lives as the morning newspaper. It might not serve the purpose as much as twitter and facebook, taking a sneak peek into others lives, but it surely connects you to people you call your loved ones, at least you call them loved ones on their faces.

But not all the groups get your attention in the same way as others. You have a hierarchy in which you choose to check your messages and that tells the priority of that group in your life. Agree?

So here is my classification of Whatsapp groups according to my degree of love-hate relationship with them, not particularly in the same order though-

  1. Relatives aka Happy Bday group – Now what would you write in a group that you know that your uncles and aunts are part of too. So all I do in these groups is either wish Happy Bday, Anniversary, Congratulations, Best wishes after being reminded 50 times by other members. Or forward some religion specific forwards to tell them that I too am religiously involved and active (even if that means actively forwarding and being forwarded religious stuff in other groups).

  1. Kids School Moms aka Guilt Trip group – Oh this one is a scary group and never ever fails to remind me how scrappy I am as a mom. Most of the moms here are super active at all times. If the kid is late from school by 5 min, they start questioning and reporting about the traffic status on the roads these days. If the kid was absent from school that day, they start inquiring about the homework right from when the other kids start for school and are a good 10 hours away from returning back home. Everything from school toilets to tips and tricks for raising kids well, is discussed every day, every minute here. I know they mean well and are great moms, but they never cease to surprise me. And you haven’t heard the worst yet. The exam time is when the moms are most nervous and they make sure it reflects in the number of messages they send on this group. Question paper, model test papers, number of pages in the question paper, who finished the paper first, which apps to download for educational play time, how many mosquitoes were there in school, how many leaves teacher takes and post pictures of completed home work is all well covered and under control here. Oh gosh, I feel better venting that out.

  1. Siblings’ aka Most Beloved group – Now this is the group that I can never miss being part of any conversation. We might not message on a daily basis, but know that if I message in distress it will be heard immediately and I won’t be left alone until I feel better. We make fun of each other and then suddenly say the exact same words when it concerns our parents. Its because we connect at a different level and always know that we will never be misunderstood. Love you guys!
  1. Out of touch Friends aka Forwards group – What is the best way to keep in touch when you don’t have anything to say? Its simple, you forward messages. You can still show that you care, by forwarding the relevant and newest forwards. If you don’t overdo the forwarding, chances are you will always stay in touch with even your school friends. I do have my doubts if this kind of staying in touch does good to anyone, but then again what’s there to lose. The worst that might happen is that they might decide to walk out of the group and your link will be dead (again), but then you were already out of touch, remember.

  1. Crib Friends group aka unloading – There are times when you just want to hear “Yes, Me Too!”, “Stay calm, this too shall pass!” or “You need a coffee, come home”. This is the group where I text just to hear these words, not any advice, no side effects but just for them to raise their hands to mark their presence that we are sailing in the same boat and hold hands.

  1. Stupid Marketing groups aka Ignore – 99% of the times I don’t want to be a part of these groups. But that 1% of the time, when I really want to buy some stuff and have nowhere to go and have no clue what’s trending, they come right to the rescue. You sometime can’t exit from the group because you even know the person often and want to just avoid that awkward moment when you meet again in person.

Do you agree with me? 

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Freelancing - Art of earning without stressing! Tips and Secrets Revealed

Spicy Saturday

So like me, you were duped by the fake term too - Freelancing!

Well, I only tricked you into reading this post with a catchy title when I was tricked into leaving behind my glorious corporate career (not that I really had one in years, but atleast had a chance).

The word Freelancing means different things to different people. But to me, as a freelancer, what it meant earlier is quite different from what it means now.

I saw it as a fancy word for contractors, working on and off while still adding numbers to their years of experience. But once you work as a freelancer yourself, you realize that you have not been missing out on something sane in aya young heartperience and xperience and erring t door library to tely help you feel good about your

What my mom thinks- My Mom is the really innocent. She thinks I am the best multi-tasking, new age, oh-so talented person, whom people want to employ even when I deny coming to office. Every time she calls me, she says, “I hope you were not busy or I can call later. Nothing so important that can’t wait.” And I reply honestly, “I have all the time in the world for you Mom”.

What my husband thinks – Mr husband thinks, there is no work pressure. Really? I think he gets it from here -
no peers = no peer pressure = no work pressure – logic
And if I am saving a lot of time on travel, I can invest that time in either making the house into home and devote more time to other funny things like, cleaning up the collar better, hand wash the new t-shirts that become not-so-soft and wrinkly after machine spin and wash (when he can simply invest in teddy bears and wear them to office in different colours) or make projects for kids before he returns from home or kids return from school. Night is the time for best undivided concentration, and so I should be putting on my eye glasses and owl night suit to work on office stuff without yelling to lower down the volume of TV.

What my friends think – My friends and well wishers think I am absolutely out of work. No in-business corporate will hire me and I am too insecure to label myself as un-employed. So what do I do, I go and change the title of my resume from Full-Time Employee to Freelancer. Not only that, if someone asks, what is my CTC, I have no one-word or a five digit number. Freelancer is a way to complicate your status gracefully. While trying to mislead the new generation of get-back-to-work-moms I tell them that Freelancing is the glorified form of part-time-work-from-home crap. While actually all I do is ask people to trust me that I will work honestly, not charge them unduly, will be available to talk and meet as need be and yes I have a Linked-In profile too.

What my kids think – My kids think freelancing job(not that they understand the term , but the way I work) gives me the an earned right to Facebooking at any time. Dad goes to office, so when he comes back from office we all need to ask him, how was your day, what did you bring back for us and why you don’t have enough leaves to take us out on a vacation? But me, me they ask, can we have some more of the ice-cream? Why can’t you work later and go to the park with us now? Can you make aaloo parantha for dinner today? Why did you forget to send my textbook to school today? Can you take a picture of my blocks rocket that I made?

So what I actually think – Freelancing work may sound all fancy and an alternate world with freedom from suffocating cubicles and flexibility to enjoy healthy work-life balance. But that is just day 1.

Freelancing comes with its own set of trouble. You may not be answerable to your boss, true. But you are actually juggling clients, who can more often than not just pain in the neck.

Discipline is hard, especially it is self imposed. Believe me, it is easier to wear formals with office ID around your neck and swipe card to maintain the 9 hour office duty. But if you are struggling to maintain a routine and if things can be postponed to later, chances are, they will be postponed to later.

I am always on the look out for a client which also means I am always negotiating. As if negotiating with kids over healthy eating and taking bath daily wasn’t enough to make my life exciting.

And if by chance, you add the word “remote” to the word “freelancer”, it makes the perfect recipe for insanity. When you are talking to a potential client about the possibility of working together, you happen to mention the word, “remote”. It changes the whole equation. “Oh you are a freelancer (to be interpreted as, “good! We won’t have to pay for your insurance”). Sure we are up for it.” Somewhere at the end of a sentence, I add “remote”, so that it can be easily go unnoticed. But the word always gets the due attention, “Oh you mean, we will not know whether you are working or not? But we wanted someone who sits close to the manager. We are sorry, we don’t do that.”

It’s a tiring job to manage yourself, when you are someone who doesn’t listen to your head all the time. Being in control and bossing yourself, is more difficult.

You haven’t heard the best yet. After all this, asking the client to clear your bills, over and over again makes me sometimes wonder who’s money is it that I am asking for, anyway? You asked for creativity, I did it. You asked for re-edits, I did it. You asked for plagiarism free, I did it. You asked for proof-reading, I did it. So why can’t you pay me the money I asked for. I said freelancer not volunteer.

In all this I forgot to mention, I still love freelancing and would highly recommend it. Because I am the boss and enjoying the best of both worlds, It sure is difficult, but who said difficult can't be fun.

Happy Freelancing!

Monday, 31 August 2015

5 Reasons Why I love Driving in India

If you drive in India and make a statement like this, people are surely going to doubt your sanity. You either have to be a crazy I-love-traffic-kind-of-person they show in Ads these days. Or probably are in college and have a girlfriend to sit behind/besides you.

But I have my reasons for validating it - 

  1. Honk at will. Everyone here thinks, only they see the red light turn green and shoulder the responsibility of informing of all other lazy heads. Honk to wake all other drivers to green signal. Sometimes, or rather at most times, if someone has honked it means they are in a hurry, assume they have an invisible red light mounted on their car and thus should be given the right to jump ahead of you magically. But mind you, like dogs barking, honking can have different meanings in different contexts and you should apply common sense, not logic to decode it. If an autowala honks at you incessantly, it does not always mean he is trying to make a pass at you. It sometime also means that he might just be asking you what time of hour it is or informing you that your dupatta is stuck in the car door. So caution is advised to understand the meaning of honk before applying your vocal skills and abusive language to god use

2. Yellow traffic light means, don’t slow down yet. You see a yellow light somewhere, it feels like there is an opportunity, it has a small window, and if you don’t hurry up, you will lose it. You feel the sense of urgency, the need to act fast instead of slowing down. Accept the challenge and drive faster.

3. If you are a girl and know how to say “Please Bhaiya” correctly, chances are people will even park your vehicle for you. People are kind enough to offer you free tips, “thoda left, thoda left”, “nahin nahin thoda aur kaato”. Unless there is an emergency and your life depends on it, you can get most work done with those two magic words.

4. GPS or no GPS you will find your way. People go out of their way to make sure you have understood where you need to go. There are hundreds of videos and news articles of how people ignore someone needing medical attention on the road. But if you need to get your directions right, there is no need to panic and consume your mobile data pack by putting the navigation on. They might not really know the correct directions, but they will ask someone for you or give you incorrect directions, but they will not let your hope die.

5. You rule the roads here. In true words, mere baap ki road hai. You see someone is trying to cross the roads, without getting to the zebra crossing (ofcourse there are no zebra crossing, but you are on the other side of the table and are driving). What do you do? You drive faster. Because its your right of way and no-one, not even that little angel on the shoulder can take it from you (except the traffic policeman ofcourse). So if you see someone trying to cross the roads and mock at your speed, you need to teach them a lesson by speeding up and scaring the hell out of them.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

I Eat and Cheat! I Lie and Deep Fry!

This time I was determined that I will follow the diet strictly and lose weight.

“I have had enough with the excess weight”, I said to myself. I have been carrying around the baby weight with love, years after delivering. The younger offspring is 3.5 years old and I still haven’t thrown the maternity jeans away.

This was a proof enough to jolt me out, but what really served as a wake up call were incidents like when my FB pics stopped getting as many likes, the kids teacher stopped taking notice of what I am wearing and found myself constantly bitching about the friend who had miraculously lost weight overnight.

I always take serious note when people tell me about their weight loss journey and secretly follow the most trending diet plans online. So I had found myself a diet that works (theoretically or on other people) and decided to give it a try. Losing weight cannot be so hard, I keep telling myself.

But after the first day, the logical thinking seems to question the motivation. And the weighing machine seems to be taking revenge because it has been overworked and doesn’t seem to reflect the weight change.

So here are the after-effects and after-thoughts of 2 days of dieting and mental toll –

  1. I am always hungry and I tell you, its not a pleasant feeling. Why doesn’t eating just veggies and fruits make you full? Not a difficult question now is it?

  1. It gave me a sense of understanding why there are so many foods and recipes around. They all have a meaning and a reason in life. (I think I see the deeper meaning of every food with empty stomach). Pakodas are meant to keep you warm on the rainy days and soups can’t replace it. Just like paav bhaji is meant to clean up all the left over veggies in the fridge and the same veggies will not make a good salad because they are mostly rotten.

  1. Now I know exactly what thy neighbors cook, whether they add curry leaves or onion in the tadka or how deep frying potatoes smell different from frying poories.

  1. I have officially become the veggie terminator/ “veggienasur” of the house. If I am not eating, you can find me shopping for the veggies/ fruits or chopping them. It definitely takes a lot of buying and a fridge weight to lose weight.

  1. Weekend binging. What would you do if you are at a buffet table and the waiter keeps asking, would you like to try this kebab, and some kachori, with a sugary drink, after some paneer tikka. Would you like to try our signature dish? Should I say no and break his heart? I look around the table and everyone is munching and gobbling in peace. Nobody cares about the bloody oil and calories here. Why should I be left alone in the struggle? I too am going to have a good time and try every piece of sweet on the buffet, I thought. After all I am paying for the complete thali, so why not try the shrikhand, gulab jamun, ice-cream, some barfi and cake. It can’t change my fate, now can it?

  1. I have a new perspective towards everything. Anything and everything can be measured in calories. If you see a little healthy person on the road, you calculate. If the husband is putting some extra bhujia over poha, it is being looked down upon. If I have to go and pick up kid from bus bay, I put the fitness app on to calculate the steps I have taken and how far away I am from my goal. Everything can now be quantified and takes you closer or farther from your goal.

  1. Can you really prepare a nice meal for the family and then go eat your soup? I sniff and sob in a quiet corner with my bowl of soup. A husband once vowed that we are in together for better or for worse. But the truth is that, you are alone. Only you can burn your calories and no arguments can ever convince him to support and workout together.

What is better – a little cheating or giving up? This is a big question, I know. But I think a little cheating does less damage than giving up. (Don’t ask me the same question and expect the same answer in my kid’s presence.) So over and above the diet plan, I had 2 cups of tea, eat a little breakfast, eat cookies and tell everyone, no I am not dieting.

One fine day, when someone will ask me how I managed to lose so much weight, I will get a chance to speak out the rehearsed answer, “Oh really! Have I lost weight? It must have just melted away from taking care of family and working hard.”

So what do you think? I would love to hear back your experience and thoughts. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

"Working From home" Not "Working For Home"


Once upon a time I dared to tell my maid that you are late. She replied while still checking whatsapp messages on her mobile, “The other madam was getting late for office, so she asked me to finish work at her place first.” I almost crushed the tea cup with my clenched fists like Singham in anger, pain and shock. I didn’t know I was capable of reflecting so many emotions at one point of time. What caused the emotional overflow was that, not even my own maid considers my working from home as actually working and the work flexibility cascades down even to her, without my consent, ofcourse.

Its not about the maid (only), it’s the general attitude. If I am working from home, I am working for home, that’s what THEY think.

It takes a lot of discipline, concentration and letting go, to sit down and work when the circus activities of the home never cease to carry you along. It’s a mad house and its easy to get weighed down by it at times. But I chose this.

I chose a different work style, this is the choice I made for myself and my family. Everyone is different, their priorities are different, their family requirements are different and so are there opinions about work. But does this give anyone the right to question someone’s career or look down upon them?

I have to myself, some short intervals to work with full focus i.e. from 10am -12 noon and thereafter from 1pm – 4pm. If I miss that, I have to put on horse blinkers and some ear plugs to get back to work with a lot of motivation from husband and threatening from the clients.

It’s a constant struggle to strike a balance between work and home. My brain is overworking all the time. Its like, let me soak the daal now, so that it can sit for a while before I finish writing the client mail. Why is that LPG delivery guy not here yet? Just one call will not harm anything and then get back to work with a single track mind.

I agree that you do have a domestic mind working behind the professional mind all the time. But does that mean I am not doing justice to each one of them? Does that give you the right to think any less of me or my working style? Should I care about what you think? Or am I just seeking some respect from both the worlds?

Here is a glimpse of my daily struggle, challenges and conflicts while WFH–

  1. I am always in my PJs – The iron-man (not that iron-man, silly, the press-waala guy) thinks I am saving on precious money. The neighbors think I am always sleeping. My kids ask me, “Are we going out”, if I am dressed otherwise. “Is someone coming”, husband remarks. And me, I think, they are most comfortable, no fuss, wrinkle-free and all season wear.
  There is not motivation to dress better. Forget the husband; he has absolutely no clue if I am wearing a Chanel or Jockey, i.e. if I do.

  1. People come and go and I am always working – It just never ends. When you do not have any strict working hours, you don’t need to swipe in and out of office, you are playing every possible role at the same time, there is no one monitoring your screen from behind, you get little distracted at times. But then you work overtime to makeup for the loss.
  2. No meal but always snacking - Eating has become a way to take a break. I am always opening the kitchen cabinets, looking for that one last thing to eat. I eat on the sofa, work on the bed and listen to music on the dining table while keeping a watch on the maid from the corner of my eye.
  3. Panic if I need to get out in the middle of the day- No, its true. There is a checklist that I need to tick off, before stepping out. Bath – check. Change of clothes – check. Sniff test for clothes I am wearing– check. Comb hair – check. Kids disarmed – check. Call husband to tell him about my will if I don’t return, ever – check. Mobile Data working – check. House keys – check. I am cutting the list short here, for the sake of brevity.
  4. Forget free office parties, say goodbye to good feedback reviews and RIP pay hikes.
  5. Flexibility is a universal thing – Flexibility as a freelancer to work anytime anywhere means a lot of things to a lot of people. Some people, like one husband, Day 1 (of 5 working days in a week) – Can you please renew car insurance? Day 2 – Can you check on that plumber? Day 3 – Can you drop by at school for Parent-Teacher meet. Day 4 – Can you give directions to the delivery guy that is coming to drop by some office package? Day 5- Can you research online about which is the best mobile in market these days?
  6. Network issues when office calls. This is a serious problem. Whenever some client or office tries to reach me, I am unreachable. So they assume that I am backpacking on the trails of Kerala or watching a movie in some remote theater. But if I am in the bathroom or missed the ring, the kids are the first to jump up and answer the phone. Not only they say that mom is taking a loo break, but they take turns to talk to the other person and cutely engage them for over 20 min or until the client disconnects. It is not just embarrassing and so unprofessional. It re-establishes the boss’s faith in you forever.
Its awesome and terrible!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Reflections of turning 35! Its about celebration and not age

Spicy Saturday

I turned 35 recently. Calls, messages, gifts, bouquets, hugs and dinner, every cue I had subtly (yet loudly) dropped had been picked up to satisfy my birthday greed and I completely enjoyed it. Oreo and Brownie might not have been very happy with the adult ways of birthday celebration with no return gifts, magician, balloons or games, but what do they know.

But after the birthday celebrations were over, the reality of moving towards the late 30’s struck me. There are times when I tend to forget how old I am, like reciting Twinkle Twinkle when rolling chapatti (because that’s what I hear most often) or applying Barbie nail paint that Brownie sometimes allows me to borrow. But when I am asked over and over again with each birthday blessing call (disguised as an age reminder call), it is difficult to ignore the big number.

Did I say ignore, how can I ignore when my offsprings have a no-snooze-age-reminder setup loaded for me. They keep running back from park, yelling
“Sorry, how old are you, you said?” Oreo said, back from a discussion with friends and all-ears-moms around.
“35”, I am yelling again.
“Its easy to remember you know Oreo. You are 3, I was 5 until recently and so Mom is 3 and 5 together. That is 35. Its easy”, said an over excited Brownie.

Voila, what an impromptu trick. I should have appreciated it but the number carried me away. Number that keeps ticking in my head like a time bomb. 35! 35! 35! I keep reminding myself its just a number. But when I try remembering what I did in those 35 years that just poofed away, all I see is grey hair, extra kilos and stretch marks that stand as a testimony to something wise I must have done.

So here I am taking a retrospective look at the past years, in a typical Now and Then table format -

Who I was 20 years back – Ancient history
I weighed 44kgs, loved the mirror and fitted clothes
I might have been fighting a losing battle with the weighing scale but I am proud of all the stretch marks, the bulges, the flab, the double chin and the ever-pregnant belly. I carry it with pride like an injured soldier with his scars (whatever that means)
Never a topper in class or sports
Always a topper in class and every other field for that matter, if you ask my kids
Love (as misled by movies) meant, being good friends, romantic dinners, hand holding, surprise gifts and late night chats.
Now I love to swipe the credit card, call him for OTP and later end up paying cash on delivery for the purchase husband made for himself. I also ask him to save receipts of rare gifts he gets me so I can shamelessly exchange them later.
My Mom is a little drama queen when she said, 4 kids are too much, so I thought
Managing 2 small and 1 adult kid with tantrum throwing maids, can give you 5 grey hair everyday.
Good day meant a bowl of ice-cream
Good day means good bowel and a novel
Best food is found in expensive restaurants
My Mom’s food is the best. My kids have been not so lucky but then they have their Nani to look up to.
Oh how I wished for a TV or PC in the bedroom
A separate entertainment room with a lock where I can sit with my invisibility cloak on.
30 minutes in the bathroom were never enough
Bath, afternoon nap and combing hair, you can’t have it all in one day
Periods were the bad days of the month
They are good days when you actually have a reason to say no to lot of things
Outsourcing meant, job opportunities
Now it means a way to get away with boring and repetitive house chores
Shopping was for the ones with the luxury of money
Shopping is a necessity and meant for the ones with the luxury of time.
Track pants meant night wear
They are all day comfort wear and easily available in all shapes and sizes
All I ever wanted was 20,000 bank balance and small low maintenance apartment
I wish I can have a big villa, where I can grow my own weed and live happily ever after
Hated school
Love school as it means time away from kids and memories of good old days
TV meant MTV
TV means answering Dora’s dumb questions

You might think I am materialistic, mean and rather 53 years old. But the truth is that I now know, better than ever, what I want to be and who I am. My mantra for life has changed. One short life, forgive, let go and live it. Don't hold everything so tightly, let go! 

Somethings in me haven’t changed at all, like I still keep hinting everyone about the upcoming birthday and mandatory gifts. I am still greedy and super excited about my birthday, even though husband would keep trying to pull me back to reality and insists it is only meant for kids.

But there are times when I surprise myself like how I slow down around my kids, how I end up calling my mom everyday and enjoy a hot cup of tea with newspaper on Sundays.  I don’t feel like I am missing anything if I am not going out on the weekends. I never knew how well I could yell until I became a mom. I can also act well now, when the moment after yelling I turn around and beg my maid to do some more work at barely audible pitch and folded hands.  

There are lots of things that I still want to learn like salsa dancing, surf boarding and patience. But not everything anymore. I expected too much and gave back too little. I have finally understood that husband and I are at opposite end of the lover’s spectrum and deeds speak louder than words or gifts (views and opinions are my own, believe me).

Monday, 1 June 2015

Unsolved Mysteries - I bet you can't answer any!

I have given up on Google now. I don’t know how to answer so many new questions everyday, and explain it to my Curious Georges, Brownie and Oreo. Here are some questions to tickle your brain, asked over a period of 4 days -

  1. Why do you put Bindi when grand parents come home? You said it signifies marriage to papa, right?

  1. Why are there so many planets, if they are not at all useful? There should be only one, i.e. Earth and make it bigger.

  1. Human being were Gorilla (Apes, she meant) once, no? So how did they shampoo so much hair?

  1. You said every story has a moral, what is the moral of your story?

  1. Why does Piku change her name in every movie, when you said I can have only one?

  1. Why did God give you only 2 kids, when he gave Naani 4 kids? How is it decided?

  1. Can we download pizza, please?

  1. If all people die and become stars, was there a time when there were no stars?

  1. Why did God make Sun so hot and Moon so white?

  1. Where do Dr Seuss and Chotta Bheem live?

  1. What is the difference between lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm?

  1. Why do we always have to eat and drink fast?

  1. Its always according to your will in this house, get up early, brush twice a day, drink milk, poop everyday, take a bath, go to school, why can’t I have my own home?

  1. Why can’t I get a permanent tattoo of a Barbie?

  1. Why don’t we just buy some money from the market?

It’s your turn now. Tell me if you have any answers or similar questions? 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Lifecycle of a Fight in Blissfully-Wedded-Life-With-Kids

Marriage as I see it!

Disclaimer - Please keep your hopes low from the read, because there will be no disclosures about my personal life. All incidents are purely fictional and any resemblance to any person living/ dead is purely coincidental. Did I say, its not based on my personal life?

Phase 1 – Inception of the Fight
It is 9 pm. Dad just returned from office, hungry and cranky as ever.

Kid 1 - “Dad, you promised you will finish that book you were reading me yesterday.”

Dad - “First keep my laptop bag there”

Kid 2 - “Did you bring me Dairy Milk Silk today?”

Dad - “No, you go and pee first. I don’t know how you can remember the names of all chocolates and cars and not learn anything about how-to-keep-your-pants-dry.”

Dad goes to the bathroom to change and freshen up, leaving the kids wishing only if he would change his mood too. Meanwhile, Mom collects all the kids and food, and arranges them appropriately on the dinner table.

Everyone is now at the dinner table. Kids are holding their breath as mom is removing the lid from the curry and revealing what’s in their fate today. While Dad doesn't mind anything that is edible right now and starts serving right away.

Dad – “Did you call up the bike service guy to come and pick up the bike for repair? I am sure you didn't.” looking at Mom and saying like he has been planning this conversation since morning, while stuffing his mouth with food.

Mom – “Yes, I did try to call the company. But nobody bloody picks up the call”, said after finished chewing and resisting the urge to look into everyone else’s plate.

Dad – “How many times did you try to call”, now more aggressive in his tone as well as gobbling.

Mom – “Are you trying to say that I didn't try enough? Why don’t you do it yourself”, said holding the bite in hand and tear drops in eyes, the choice depends on answer.

Dad – “Can’t I ask you to do one thing? I have been trying to tell you to get it done since last 4 days. After all, its not my bike alone. No, no, no, no, don’t start crying. Now this is an over reaction”, said with a deep understanding of where this conversation is going.

Mom – “Don’t talk about over reaction. Over reaction is what you did in the morning, when you were complaining about the breakfast.” Now up from her seat in the middle of the meal, sniffing loudly and dropping the left over from the plate, right in the dustbin.

Dad – “That was pain, not over reaction. I just had a temporary tooth filling done and small things hurt if they get stuck in the sensitive cavity”, in a big dilemma, whether to continue eating or not?

Mom – “How would I know that something as small as mustard seed will get stuck, when you can easily manage eating things you like”, now howling from the living room while trying to find the unfinished novel.

Dad – “Why do you always have a problem with what I eat, how I eat and how much I eat?” got up stomping his feet and leaving everything behind on the table.

Phase 2 – The “Long Silence” aka “Cold war”

Phase 3 – Decoding the enemy’s mind
Mom’s mind -
Have the kids finished their dinner yet? Should I go and check? No, why should I, am I the only parent? Lets see, who takes care of the kids today?

I am going to finish reading this book today and not get up from the couch, at all. Read, read and read. Should I smile or resist, when I read something funny?

Should I put the left over in the fridge at least, so that we can eat it tomorrow?

I will not tell him about the call from his friend that he missed, why should I?

Will I lose weight by skipping today’s dinner? I have to remember to weigh myself, first thing tomorrow?

Dad’s mind -
I am not going to say sorry this time. Why am I feeling sorry, maybe I am just hungry or sleepy?

Should I put the TV on or not? I wanted the other side of the couch. Now I will be stuck here forever. Is she going to the bathroom or anywhere else, so I can sneak in some food?

If I switch on the laptop, she’ll think I am working. If I start reading too, she will think I am mocking her. Should I take client calls now, or keep my face red and do nothing? Who will put the kids to eat and sleep? Is the worst over or yet to come?

Everybody sleeps, somehow, at a point.

Phase 4 – Peace treaty
In the morning, Dad makes Tea and wakes up Mom by banging the fridge and utensils aloud. Mom is not looking directly in his eyes, but wondering if has he forgotten about yesterday’s fight? Should I eat today or continue the hunger strike? I can’t afford to skip the morning tea esp after no dinner yesterday or else the day will be a complete waste.

Dad seems to be zoned out with newspaper and hot tea.

Phase 5 - Aftermath
Kid 1 –“Mom and Dad, are you friends again, or still katti? Because if both of you are wearing the same color, it means you are friends.”

Kid 2 – “You said, we are siblings so we should always look after each other and never fight. So why did you?”

Kid 1 – “You know what. The same day the padoosi uncle aunty fought too. Believe me, didi told me about her parents, while we were talking in the park. Did you throw something at each other too, like they do?”

Kid 2 – “Will we get breakfast today?”

Kid 1 – “Did you put mustard seed in breakfast today? I am just trying to remind you.”

Kid 2 – “Dad had dinner after you slept. So why didn't you eat, after he slept?”

Kid 1 – “Dad slept on the sofa without his favorite pillow. So can I take his pillow today, because he can sleep without it?”

Kid 2 – “Mom, see my pants are still dry. Did you notice? Nobody helped me.”

Kid 1 – “Who said sorry first? Do you become friends, with a thumbs-up like us?”

Kid 2 – “Can we order pizza if you are not going to cook today?”

Stage 6 – Happily Ever-after
The end is only the beginning of a new fight.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Confessions of a Not-so-perfect mom

Spicy Saturday
It’s a full moon night and my Vampires are still out in the park slaying other kids. While they are away, the werewolf at home is busy collecting their art and craft work which has been piling up like my to-do-list.

Its everywhere and its spreading, its on the dining table, TV table, near the wash basin, under the sofa, kitchen counter, near the telephone, on the fridge. So before they return, I am going to throw it all away. Yes, yes throw it away in the trash, as in, toss in the garbage. Yes, the same modern art that they had spent over two minutes in making and sucking the blood out of the A4 size paper we bought for our printing needs.
Don't go by their innocent faces

But I have to find a better way than just throwing in the bin, because otherwise after the vampires cast some spell, the craft work magically reappears everywhere and then looks at me, straight in the eye seeking an explanation.

I don’t do this out of any sick habit or to avenge them. Rather I take advantage of their short memory and my visionary sight in an attempt to keep the house manageable and clean (as per my standards). They make 10 art and craft wonders everyday, and not exactly the way Mister Maker or the summer camp teaches them. So can you imagine the amount of collection I will have if I keep saving it?

I also throw away the wretched KinderJoy toys. Every trip to buy groceries means you have to sacrifice some amount of money to keep the tribe happy and sane. And to ensure that we might not forget buying these expensive treats, the store stacks them up right at the checkout counter. But we have to admit that the marketing tactics of this otherwise Rs5 stuff has been a topic of discussion among friends.

Eat their chocolates. I have a sweet tooth but only for chocolates (no sweets, no kinder joy, thanks). I ensure that kids don’t over indulge in chocolates and spoil their teeth. Once they put it away, I take just a bite, and then another, and then another. And before I know, its gone. But I can’t replace it with a new chocolate, because that would mean buying a new chocolate first and then eating some more to bring it back to amount they had left. And obviously I can’t eat more, because I am on a diet.

Delete their Selfies. Brushed teeth, take a selfie. New hairpin, take a selfie. Milk moustache, take a selfie. Sibling pooping, takes a selfie with him. Eating Maggie, take a selfie. I am dealing with some selfie addiction here. So what do I do, I delete them. No honestly, you tell me, how many can I keep, 10, 20, 50. We have a new one everyday.

Send Dad whatsap messages “When are you coming home?” and when he gets annoyed being asked at 2pm, I blame the kids. Life is so much simpler now (in some ways only) that I have more people to put the blame on. Disconnect unwanted calls, and blame the kids. House is dirty, blame the kids.

Do you think I should be feeling guilty about this, because I don’t? 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Jobs I am overqualified for, but can’t make a career out of

 Did you miss me all this time I was away? Ok, don’t answer that. Did you wonder what I have been upto neglecting my poor baby blog? I know you did, maybe a little.

I was not sleeping when I was away. No, I didn’t watch (too much) TV either. I wasn’t holidaying for long either, because you never actually do, with kids. I was not talking or texting on phone, all the time. I have even got rid of my facebook and tea addiction.

Crazy Kids!

I started job hunting. You know how tough that is when you have had “no job” (as people refer to, when you are a stay at home mom) for the last 4 years. I have been very busy.

I was trying to evaluate my skills to find myself a better career. I can’t go to my last corporate job, because they know I am a fraud at writing software and supporting (others shit). I know I have to raise the kids I have given birth to (no choice).  But now that the Oreo will be away to playschool and Brownie would not return till 4pm, I will have lots of time at hand.

I should rather say, there was a higher calling from somewhere. Somewhere, I know, but where I am still trying to find out. So I got down and started writing down the skills I have.

Let me take you straight to where I am right now, after serving 3 month notice period from my home job and sorting out some domestic chaos.

Here is a list of the jobs I think I can apply to-

  1. Dog Walker/ Trainer– I have been seriously contemplating this job position because I have what it takes -
    1. I walk my kids everyday.
    2. I have the necessary skills to take them to park, on leash, without growling at strangers.
    3. I can train them from scratch, Sit-Tommy-Sit to Go-Fetch.
    4. I can scoop poop, anytime, anywhere, any amount, any kind.
  2. Story Writer – Every morning from getting them out of the bed to putting them back to sleep, I am telling them a story.
    1. I can write any genre, horror, fiction, non-fiction, humor, moral stories, epics, you name it.
    2. Give me a title, and I can write a story around it with the neighborhood evil Munna and good kid (my offspring) in it.
    3. I can write short and long stories, depending on the requirement. If they are getting late for school, I tell short story. And when I have to distract them while Dad has just returned from office and needs space, I can pull a complete novel. I can send you samples if you know of any opening.
  3. Personal Shopper – I can help shopping and be your very own personal shopper.
    1. Any age, any size, any sex. I have more than 30 years experience.
    2. I will even try it on for you, and walk the ramp
    3. Online, offline, credit card, no credit card, sale, no sale. I am very versatile and flexible.
  4. Butler/ Cook – I don’t want to boast my own skills, but I don’t have a choice if I want to get a job.
    1. I manage to cook on short notice.
    2. Bai or Bye - I survive
    3. I have learnt a lot from my guests as to how I should keep clean and maintain the house better.
    4. Like a good butler, I can be invisible sometimes yet available all the time (I practice this with Oreo and Brownie regularly)
    5. I can plan budget really well. I always manage to save enough for my hair and nail spa.
  5. Counselor – Believe me, I can do this. Infact my friends tell me, I am really good at it.
    1. Family Counseling – I have watched a lot of soap opera and I can counsel without reacting on a scene three times, unlike Ekta Kapoor’s shows. My family has never failed to give me a new learning experience every day.
    2. Addiction therapy – I have been there, done that. The first step to clean up, is to accept the addiction, just like I did. Now I spend less than an hour on facebook and drink only 3 cups of tea. I wish to inspire others from my success story.
  6.  Critique Writer– I know I have a skill.
    1. Movie Critique - I can predict a movie’s future by just watching the trailer. Isn’t that something? The role description says, you have to critique without spilling the story. That might be a problem, but I know my passion will stand out.
    2. Stylist/ Spa Critique – I have had some really bad experiences in the past and I want people to avoid them. I want to help others. (I will be chosen Miss India, if I continue saying that)
    3. Resume/ Career Critique – I know what doesn’t work from my experience. So I can definitely guide you if you have something similar, so that you don’t repeat the mistake I did.
  7. Private Detective – I am getting better at this by the day. Thanks to my kids and husband equally, for honing my skills. My training sessions starts in the morning with “Where are my socks?”  and ends at night when I hear a whisper “Don’t tell mom!”

What do you think?

Friday, 6 February 2015

Mom, I'm Fine!

It is so difficult to comprehend these mutable adult minds, most of the times, unlike mine. My reactions are almost predictable given a situation, like I like to look out from my school bus window, period. I cry when I am angry. I hit and push Brownie when she tries to take my toy away or eat my chocolate.

But my mom reacts differently to the same situations, making her so unpredictable. When I come back from school, she usually carries my bag for me and asks me what I did in school and if I finished my snack box or not. But yesterday, she hugged me tight, kissed me on the forehead and checked me from top to bottom. I would not change in the 3 hours I was away in school, now would I? But I loved it.

And instead of asking me what I did, she barged inside the bus and had a heated argument with the bus driver and the attendant. I could hear her say “Are you trying to punish my child for my act? Are you trying to teach me a lesson? Have you no mercy for a 4 year old?” She choked somewhere in the middle of the last sentence and came out of the bus. She held me in her arms tight and took me home while stroking my hair.

My dad also came right then, might be had a half day at office. He gave me a high-five and kept checking me out from a distance.

I got special attention the whole day later, Mom asked me what I wanted to eat and prepared me my favorite instant pasta without veggies. She kept telling me, “I am sorry sweetheart; you had to go through it”.

I was busy eating, but stopped briefly because I thought I heard someone sobbing. But, I continued gobbling in the fear of Brownie returning, my elder sister who comes later in the afternoon and has longer session in school.

I could hear mom talking to dad in a little weird tone, like the one I have when I cry a lot. “How traumatic it must have been, sitting alone in the bus, on unknown route. He must have waited for me looking around anxiously at the bus stop, but when no one came to pick him up he must have been heartbroken. When bus must have started, leaving behind his assigned stop, he would have wanted to call me out loudly. But I was not there”. Mom burst into tears.

“His pants were a little wet, because he could not have hold on for two long hours and didn’t have anywhere to go in a bus. But he looked ok otherwise.” Mom continued her explanation.

Dad interrupted, trying to stop mom from saying, “Its okay, don’t worry dear. Everything’s well that ends well”.

Mom came to check if I had finished eating and asked me I wanted a piece of cake. And brought me one without waiting for my reply and continued talking to dad.

“How could I do that? I have started taking things for granted at home and am busy with my own stuff. What if he had started crying, he would have been crying the whole 2 hours it took the bus to complete the route and drop him back. But I was only 2 minutes late to pick him up. I am usually always on time and if I am not, they are suppose to give a missed ring.”

Her emotions are something I am still learning to comprehend. Somewhere from being sorry and apologetic, she suddenly became angry. She was louder than, she usually is while scolding me. She was now saying, “Why can’t they give a call, and conveniently take the kid away. I was worried sick, when I called up school after 15-20 minutes of waiting in vain. They casually said he has been dropped. That pressed the panic button for me, I asked them to check again and they said they will get back to me within 15 minutes after confirming. That’s when I called you and asked you to go to school and check. They were the longest 15 minutes, my mind was processing all the negative possibilities there could have been. Oh God! Thank you for proving it all wrong.

Dad is usually silent, but this time around, he dared to interrupt mom to share his side of the story. He said, “When I reached the school, they were still trying to get in touch with the bus driver after you told them the bus route number. They talk about these camera installation and bus tracking systems, when they can’t even get their basics right. Its not acceptable, with so many nuisances we are hearing around.”

There was a time when both dad and mom were talking together. Its funny how each wants to tell his story first and they end up fighting like me and Brownie. Mom said, “When the school finally got in touch with the driver, they said  the driver took the kid with him and he is safe and finishing his snack box right now. He said he would drop the remaining kids and then on his way back to school he would drop the kid back to his apartment. Telling me in the most nonchalant way possible.”

“What a moment of relief that was, and put an end to those pessimistic thoughts we both we were going through but couldn’t share with each other.” Mom said and dad kept a hand on her shoulder.

I started feeling sleepy then and was throwing tantrums for her attention now. Mom was setting the table to sit down and eat.

They could not finish their conversation or lunch. As mom went to put me to bed, dad went to pick up Brownie at the bus stop. He didn’t want to be late.

Monday, 26 January 2015

One and a half grand and a hair cut later!!

Its been long overdue, so I decided to go to a hair salon. I forgot to take an appointment, as its always last minute and dear receptionist asked to wait for just 5 minutes, and you know how long 5 minutes can take sometimes. While I was waiting, and reading some nonsense Fashion magazine from last year and hearing the person next to me cribbing about her MIL, another lady come up at the reception desk. I hadn’t even finished scanning her from top to bottom and wondering, what the hell she needs to get done, she looks like she is just out from a Salon, she whisked right in without waiting. Making me feel like, Why should I have to wait so much? Am I not paying for the service? Or should I get that damn membership that the reception lady always advises me to get? Sulking in the corner.

Anyways, after few five minutes later, the receptionist asked, who do you want to get styled with, Stylist, Senior Stylist, Style Director, or a Creative Director. If you want to go with the Junior Stylist, he will be with you right away, but since you didn’t book prior with Senior Stylist, you might have to wait. Yeah right, I know how busy he is sipping coffee and counting money.

I felt like I guinea pig choosing a Junior Stylist. What does that term mean beside a little lesser charges, anyways. Ok I understand he is less experienced, but it makes me feel cheap choosing that service and also he might just be a newbie, with no experience what so ever. There is no going back with haircuts, no warranties, no guarantees, no return policy.

I still chose the lowest priced service available holding my wallet tight and counting my blessings. So a trendy looking metrosexual guy with hair highlights walked up to me, introduced himself and asked me what I wanted. While he checked the volume, checked the texture, checked the length and checked the scalp, I was shivered nervously whether I passed his standards or not. What if I am denied a haircut today?

The red horned one, on one shoulder said, “Get a Perm done. It can’t get past unnoticed with I-could-care-less-husband of mine”

While the winged and harped one on the other shoulder spoke some sense, “Don’t do what you did last time. Just say that can be tied later and let him decide the rest. Don’t wake up your sleeping brains now.”

“Can you please get up and come to the hair wash area. We need to shampoo.” B..but..I …d…on’t …need…” He looks in horror at my bohemian style, unmanaged, unkept hair and I stood up silently and walked towards the wash area. I sniffed silently in my tissue at the humiliation.

We came back to the hair cut area and a man was getting groomed next to me. The kind that always fascinate me and inspire me to groom better. While I get my hair done, he is resting with his green facepack and cotton balls covering his eyes. I wish I could see his face and judge him.

He asked me the same question, I get asked every time I am in a Salon, in an attempt to engage me in small talks and showing off how caring he is about his customers. I don’t need small talks, please concentrate on my hair and that’s how I will know you care.

But as he showed me how much length he is going to cut, there should be a written contract with picture to support the claims. He cut as he wished and then showed me if its okay, like I can go back. Few minutes of serious blow-drying business later, he showed it to me again with a back mirror. I felt happy with my hair cut, as I always do the first day with half a bottle of each factory product in my hair, and as much time spent on my hair as much as I do the whole week in total.

I get back home and ask Mr Husband, “So?” He looks up from his laptop, takes a quick glance and says,”Nice. Have you found that bill I was telling you about anywhere?”

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Battle of the Sexes.....No!!

I sometimes feel that Mr Husband and I don't live in the same house. Or maybe our eyes have been trained to see different set of things. Or our minds are wired differently. I know I maintain an exhaustive list, see below. But I really wonder how come he can see all this, when I can totally overlook it or choose to ignore it. Sometimes, when I have time, I wonder if it is all intentional or a master plan of the Architect. Not inspired by the Matrix :)

I bring a different perspective to the house. My eyesight is a little weak, better half says I need reading glasses, but that's his personal opinion. Which means I don’t see the dirt, or minute things. I look at the bigger picture, the brighter side, far sighted. No kidding.. 

If you are thinking if this post is a battle of the sexes or a Couple rivalry or another one of those Mars and Venus discussion. It is not, but this is a pre-anniversary gift (secretly reminding him of getting me a gift, hidden intentions you see). A celebration of how we complete each other. He brings details and I bring ……still figuring out. While you read on. 

Jan hit mein jaari - Anniversary is still far away, so you still have time to buy us the gift you forgot last time.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

My Travel Diary is a little Different

Exactly !! Should have taken a picture

I bumped my car again. Don’t worry I’m fine, hence the post. New Year, New Accidents, New Stories. In the last 4 years of my driving in the crazy Bangalore traffic, touch wood I have had no major hit and run case.

It was not entirely my fault this time though and FYI no one was hurt. Around 11am, I was returning home from my swimming lessons and I was just a turn away from home then. So that makes you very confident in known territory and also hurry up because you tend to suddenly remember the load of unwashed dishes lying all over the kitchen waiting for you. You know how one looks after a swim, nasty hair that look just like they have been electrocuted, tanning so bad that anyone can tell how your swim goggles are as they are imprinted deep into your skin. And body smelling like dead fish.

So there I was, waiting to take just the last turn for past 10 min. Can you believe so much traffic at that time of hour, is everyone jobless or they are all working the 11am shift? Oreo comes back from school at 11:45am and before that the love of my life, my bai is supposed to come. I need to get the chores finished, ok atleast my part of the chores finished by then. I was in a genuine hurry and cant afford to waste so much time. I decided to reverse a little, on the main road yes, and take left turn along the ramp that goes up to a restaurant.

What I didn’t realize, atleast that time, was that there is a step ahead, and not an inclined road. So as soon as I turned, the front wheels landed with a thud and the mud guard was making screeching sound as it was being torn apart and the back was in a different longitude and latitude. I stopped before the back wheel mud guard also came out. Oh God, it looked bad and there was no way I could get it out on my own.  While I was analyzing the damage done, the driver who was right across the street came out smiling and saying, I was waving at you to stop, but you just ignored. Now how was I suppose to understand the signal, I thought he was asking to pass before me, so ofcouse I increased my speed.

The driver, asked the madam sitting behind if he could offer help and if she could wait for 2 min. The madam sitting behind, looked at her watch, faked a smile towards me, and said drop me to office and you can help on your way back. Just as I expected. The driver said, I should call the towing company or the on-road assistance. Like I have the number on the back of my hand or understand how the stuff works. I have a husband to do such work.

So while I called Mr Husband, some 10-12 people gathered around the car. I don’t know if they were wondering if I was driving a stolen car from my rag look or were genuinely worried about my car and wanted to help. I surely didn’t look like a damsel in distress, so I doubted that anyone wanted to help.

Mr Husband said it would take him atleast 20 min to reach, so I should try taking the help of someone around. You see we have been married for more than a decade now, so situations like these are just a way to get back at each other.

A guy, passing by, in car, said try lifting the front wheels using a Jack. Well how am I supposed to know who Mr Jack is and where it is. But a guy from a neighborhood restaurant, whose entrance my car was blocking, offered to take out the jack and try lifting it. A couple of his staff and people on road, lifted the front wheels using the jack. I was too nervous to go back behind the wheels, so a scooter guy, who looked like his mom had just combed his hair, said he can. I was ok with whatever help I could get.

But the jack couldn’t hold on to the wheels as they tried to race and lift the whole body. So the idea was rejected by another fellow passerby, who later asked “How did you managed to get the car in this condition”. I tried not to beat him up by just saying “Good question.”

Meanwhile a group of people tried to lift the front of the car by hand, but it was badly stuck and was getting more scratched in the process. So that didn’t work out.

The manager of the same restaurant just drove in a mini truck, the ones they carry poultry hens and eggs in, had a better idea. He called all his staff and a few people around to lift the back of the car and move it out of the step without. It was easier because the car was on a slope and the guy behind the wheels was turning it in the opposite side.

And the car was out. I couldn’t be more thankful. The whole process took around 20-25 min, so just in time to pick up Oreo. I didn’t need Mr Husband, who I guess must have been helping some old lady cross the road or playing CandyCrush after stopping on side road. Now I wouldn’t have to do make the bed tea for him as a payback.

There was a lesson I learnt from the whole experience. People are more helpful than you think or they show in Bollywood movies. Not everyone has a meinu-ki-fark-penda-hai attitude. And the number of Road side assistance is available on a sticker right in the windscreen.