The pitter-patter of love

These days, I barely get time to myself. I shifted house recently, and there are so many pending chores, which I must get done but don’t find the time for, I’m beginning to get really annoyed at myself! It’s not easy; in fact, it borders on frustration most times.

And as if that was not enough, since the day I moved, everything seemed to go wrong for no reason. Mobile phone stops working. Then washing machine stops working. Then Wi-fi stops working. Then fixed-line stops working. And I call one customer care after the other, but no one comes until it’s too late and I absolutely need to get to office. Then bank transactions become a problem because mobile number changed. Everything takes over a week or two to get fixed, and I end up having to be immensely dependent on others who have better things to do in life than make customer-care calls on my behalf. NOT to my liking. At all.

And when there is so much work that I am ending up staying more at office than at home, all this gets tougher to deal with. Especially so, when I know there are two tiny tots all alone at home, all day, waiting for my return.

The past two weeks, especially, have been extremely tough. With an official travel thrown in too, at short notice. I’ve been coming home really late. And then staying up later, ending up heavily sleep deprived. Most nights when I reach home, I’m so dead tired that I’m scared to even lean against the walls of the elevator, lest I fall asleep there :P

And every single day, I walk out of the lift, into the corridor, towards my door — and I desperately wish I had someone to come home to. Well, ok…not just “someone”, but my mom (which would mean “food, laughter and comfort” readily available).

It’s about 20 steps, from the lift to my door. In that short span, I wonder why I’m doing this, why things could not be different, why I can’t just quit and go home to good old Trivandrum, why the hell there is so much work, how the hell I’m to find time for personal chores, how life is so devoid of joy, how I’m tired and do not have the energy to cook and clean up, how all I want to do is just make a beeline to my bed and crash…

This is about the time I reach my door, pull out the key, insert it into the lock…and invariably shake my head at the HUGE smile that’s on my just-a-micro-second-ago-grumpy-and-tired face.

Because I hear the pitter-patter of love, from the other side of the door, as Pumbaa and Khloe jump off the sofa and run to the door to welcome me home.

As I get in, it is a mad rush of Pumbaa welcoming me by jumping all over me and then skidding across the living room, grabbing his toy and rushing back at me…and Khloe continuing to jump all over me till I pet her enough.

Fatigue, annoyance, despair, sleep: everything’s taken care of! I’m a happy soul again. I play with him, I cook their food, fix something for self, I feed them, I clean up, I play with him some more. And then, I hug them both tight and apologize for being away too long, and thank them both for the understanding, the patience and the unconditional love.

It’s this pitter-patter of love that keeps me going. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

Image

Pumbaa and Khloe, back on the sofa, 5 mins after I sternly told them it is off limits. Sigh. Well, they let me cover it at least. :)

After 8 long years…

…after several instances of misgivings

…after wishing I’d not let interruptions stop me

…after cursing self for giving it up

…after agonizing over having lost it forever

…after realising there is no more the confidence that once came so naturally

…after many days of thinking and re-thinking

…after one trial that was not good, and another that was barely satisfactory

…it happened.

Once again, I got on stage. As part of the office band. And sang! This and this :) 

I will not comment on how I could have done a LOT better.
I will not comment on how one was way better than the other.
I will not comment on the pathetic sound system or the wrong pitch (which spoiled one) :D

I will just say I felt on top of the world!
People who gave me the opportunity — the ALKMS Band — I’m eternally grateful! Thank you! :)

My first ever ‘Karwa Chauth’

Yes, I admit — like I’ve admitted in this space many times in the past — I’m a true blue Malayali, and happily so. I love the yummy “Mallu food” as it is popularly called, I love Malayalam movies and songs, I love going to Kerala, and I love hearing someone talk in Malayalam around me when I’m out of Kerala. I love my Onams and my Vishus and my Thrissur Poorams and my Sree Padmanbha’s Arattu and my Pongalas (well, that one, not so much).

So, it should be no surprise to any of you that I had no idea about Karwa Chauth whatsoever. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve seen it in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Ishq Vishk and DDLJ (in that order), and never thought much of it. Those days, I was a happy, single girl and I dismissed it as something only married ‘aunties’ do (besides love-struck girls in Hindi movies). Plus, it was a North Indian ‘thing’ I had no clue about. Not to mention the fact that where Hindi is concerned, I’m like “bhaiyon aur behno…chor machaaye shor. chorine pidikal hamara kaam hey…hoom…hai”! All I knew was that Karwa Chauth had something to do with going hungry all day, cribbing about irresponsible husbands/husbands-to-be and staying up on the terrace all night, looking at the full moon like it is a blue-moon night :D Why, in fact, it was quite recently that I realised the word is actually Karwa Chauth and not Karwa Chatth — what with everyone doing something on the terrace and all that.

So well, when a friend said she was looking for a young married girl to share her views on Karwa Chauth and identified me as a prospect, I almost gagged. Had she not heard her sister’s favourite phrase “Know your audience, honey!” enough times already!? That’s when she rephrased the request and made it sound like it could also be a “fresher’s view” on Karwa Chauth. Had nothing to  counter that one!

So here I am. Writing an authentic piece on ‘My first ever Karwa Chauth’. Discovering this tradition and the romance associated with it. Using technology to walk me through the rituals and some amazing mehendi designs. And likely to actually celebrate it on a 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm screen, where I will be able to stalk the moon to the hour, minute and second of its rising, look at it through a 13MP camera that magically transforms into a “chalni“, and snoop around on the Moon for a shiny gift that is ‘Pure Jewellery. Pure Joy’. However, one must hope the husband volunteers to be the next Neil Armstrong because he will need to first find a spot on the Moon to dig one tiny hole to bury the gift along with a love note — written or spoken!

Right. Before you think I’ve moved from fluent Malayalam to broken Hindi to absolute Greek and Latin, let me clarify what I’m talking about.

Imagine Karwa Chauth. Reminisce on the family get-togethers. Go daft about the glittery attires and the mehendi-laden hands. Smack your lips at the thought of some awesome food at the end of a long hungry day! Agonise over how today’s busy schedules leave you with no time to follow rituals. Pity the daughters who will perhaps never know the joy that Karwa Chauth was in your younger days. Lean on the pile of nostalgia, and let out a long, deep sigh. Then, pull out your mobile phone.

Relive tradition through an app. Celebrate it on an Android. Gaze at the Moon, and then at your husband, through a megapixel sieve! Imagine that the Moon holds a treasure in one of its many craters, and your husband has the secret key to the treasure chest. Enjoy treasure hunts where he sends you hints through SMS. Romance him till he can no longer hold it from you. Walk with him, hand in hand, excavating the Moon till you find your special gift.

Thank Tanishq. For giving you the joy of having Karwa Chauth in the palms of your hands through this appImage

Thought I was just a ‘sample’ to review an app, I enjoyed the experience. I learnt that the sieve is called a chalni. I am enlightened to the fact that the Sasumaa is this amazing person who will send you an elaborate pre-dawn Karwa Chauth meal, and top it with gifts! I realise that fasting from the break of dawn, without eating anything till dusk falls, has some advantages — like not having to do any household work :D That ‘baya’ is a gift given to your mother-in-law or sister-in-law by you or your mother, and that it’s perhaps the ONLY day when the wives (at least by this country’s tradition) get to eat before their husbands, and that too, by being fed by them! :D However, the best part for most would be the Tanishq gallery the app gives access to, if you’re a jewellery lover!

So what are you waiting for? Karwa Chauth is almost around the corner.
Have some “app“ening fun and be over the Moon! :)

A Labrador and a Beagle under the same roof

In case you didn’t notice, there are two new pages on this blog now — one for Khloe and one for Pumbaa and Khloe – and of course, the evergreen one for Pumbaa. :D

This post is JUSTLY for all those people who melt into puddles when it is to do with dogs, and Pumbaa in general. Oh, or it that the other way around? :D

Yes, clearly, I have no time to blog, but I don’t want you to abandon this page :D Just because I’m not here. Pfffft!

Oh, and while i’m here, let me also say that this blog has successfully crossed 101,805 hits since…naah! No ‘since’. That doesn’t matter now, does it :P No, wait! Don’t try to find… Fine! Be that way.

Can anyone identify this set of coins?

To anyone who has a coin collection…

To anyone who knows about coins, the eras they were traded in and their history…

To anyone who knows someone who knows about coins, the eras they were traded in and their history…

To anyone who knows someone who knows anyone who knows about coins, the eras they were traded in and their history…

You get the drift, right? Any coin collectors out there who can identify this set?

 

One side...

The one side…

...and the other.

…and the other.

Any idea?

Any idea, peoples?

When Pumbaa met Khloe…

…we anticipated much circus — jealousy, aggression, mad barking, general crazy behaviour. Only, nothing happened.

Pumbaa
…has not changed. He is still scared of other dogs. That Khloe is only half his size did not seem to give him any false sense of superiority! He walked in, did not seem to register who I was (irrespective that I was overjoyed and screeching with love :D), was in search of refuge from this new doggy person and quickly hid behind my brother! Khloe came around to him, and they sniffed at each other. No barking, no aggression, no pangs of jealousy — nothing. We were surprised, and pleased. One less thing to take care of ;)

Khloe
…was not scared at all, of course not. She calmly went around to him, sniffed at him, and was generally curious at the presence of another 4-legged companion. That he is almost twice her size did not seem to affect her in the least. Having lived all her life with a group of/in the presence of other dogs (all Beagles, in her case), we knew she would not be scared of him — but the size difference, at least, was expected to have some bearing on her. None at all.

It is really endearing to see how they both are very curious about the other one’s presence. I am pretty sure Khloe would like to have his companionship. Pumbaa, I’m sure, will take his sweet time to break the ice and be pally with her. I remember how things were when Spike, a friend’s Cocker Spaniel, spent a week here with us long back. The first two days, Pumbaa pretended Spike did not exist. Even when we sat them opposite each other, Pumbaa would slowly either look away, or look at the ceiling, or look over Spike’s head (again, Spike was tiny when compared to Pumbaa). Like “If I cannot see him, I’m sure he doesn’t exist”. The third day, the ice began melting, and Pumbaa started trailing Spike everywhere. On the fourth day, he was seen actually playing with Spike, having mock-fights with him, and even falling all over him :D By the time the friendship was formed, it was time for Spike to return home :P Secretly, though, I think Spike was glad to go ;) After the initial days, Pumbaa did not let him have one moment to himself :D

Pumbaa and Spike -- from scared to paired ;)

Pumbaa and Spike — from scared to paired ;)

Pumbaa and Khloe
…have not become friends yet. She is very interested in him, and is probably baffled by his behaviour. I can almost see a thought bubble constantly hovering over her head with the words “Just when I thought I had some good company…why is this guy so weird? Pffft!” I can almost see a thought bubble constantly hovering over his head as well, that says “Oh my God! This woman. Just does NOT let me be. Can’t she see I have no interest in her? Well, almost no interest…

When they first met...he kept a safe distance

When they first met…he kept a safe distance.

Then he decided to pretend she did not exist!

Later, he decided to pretend she did not exist! :D

And then he decided to get to know her...

The next day, he decided to get to know her…

And then he again decided to pretend she does not exist! :P

…and decided it was safer to pretend she does not exist! :P

After she settled down with a bone, he heaved a sigh of relief and settled down with his.

After she settled down with a bone, he heaved a sigh of relief and settled down with his.

But when I tried to make them exchange a few words, he again pretended she did not exist! :-o

But when I tried to make them exchange a few words, he again pretended she did not exist! :-o

Later, as he sat watching the world go by, she joined him.

Later, as he sat watching the world go by, she joined him.

And as I almost heaved a sigh of contentment at this new bond, she gave him a kissie, and he ran off! :D

And as I almost heaved a sigh of contentment at this new bond, she gave him a kissie, and he slowly got up and ran off! :D

Pumbaa is pretty miffed that the house (and people) he owned all these years have to now be shared with this puny little thing who keeps harassing him all the time. “Stop following me around, can’t she? Duh! Do not take my submissiveness as lack of courage. Grrrrrrrrrrowl” says his thought bubble.

Playing hard to get, huh Pumbaa? ;)

I used to OWN this place. Duh!

As Pumbaa continues to play hard to get, Khloe is slowly realising that someone can actually be scared of her! “Scared of me, tiny lil’ me! Yay!” says her thought bubble now ;) And another one says, “Just because you can bark loudly and occasionally growl at me, I am not going anywhere. This house (and these people) are as much mine as they are yours.” Khloe is clearly not very impressed by Pumbaa’s strange behaviour :D

You don't impress me much...Pumbaa.

You don’t impress me much…Pumbaa.

Aside: Today, Khloe had her first taste of rice and beef. And boy, did she love it! All these days, she totally refused to eat anything else apart from bread and boiled eggs, and milk. We tried giving her everything, she would take none of it. After Pumbaa arrived, Khloe seems to appreciate variety in food ;)

  • He dropped a few tiny pieces of dog biscuit, and she gobbled them up. This, after I had tried my best and failed to make her even lick a piece of it all these days!
  • The moment he puts down the bone he is chewing on and goes off for water or a loo break, she quietly claims it as her own!
  • And today, after making her taste a tiny spoonful of Pumbaa’s “beef biriyani” as we call it, she could NOT wait for it to cool down. So we made her a share, gave it to her, which she wolfed down! And then she made a move to his share as well! He “grrrrrrr”ed at her, but of course, did nothing; pouted and went under the table. The husband and I had to then form a human barricade and block the hungry girl on one side while I fed the distraught boy on the other side!

Sooooo much fun :D I think the circus we had anticipated is just waiting to kick off ;)

Pumbaa, sooooooooo happy to have you back (even if for a while)! You are such a sweetheart :)