Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cheap you say?

Ever watched Russell Peters? He was one of the reasons I started watching stand up comedy! He makes the most outrageous racist jokes, not to mention the language... but still I watch and laugh! Although I had to keep closing Cheeky's ears.. and shooing him off to the other room last afternoon while I watched his show RED on Showtime:On Demand! Still I was holding my tummy laughing. But I am not here to recommend him to you, the reason I write this that one of his comments had me thinking (while I flinched). He called Indians cheap. Are you Indian? then you know what he is talking about! We have all seen it and like he says we think being called cheap skates is a compliment! We carry that air... I am CHEAP and proud of it! And I am no exception!

This weekend we went to the local grocery store for some weekly shopping. M picked up a bag of pistachios and threw it into the cart. I picked the bag up and eyed it suspiciously... turned it over and over (I have lived here so long but still look for the price tag on the pack like in good old India). Then ran down the aisle to look up the price $4.68. "I bet its a lot cheaper at Costco" !
"I am sure it is but I want to eat them now" said M. "I have almonds at home" I replied!
"Did you know that almonds and pistachios aren't the same?" M threw the bag back in the cart. Now I am cheap but not enough to throw a hissy fit over $4.68 in the middle of a store. Not to mention the look M gave me "Mention the word Cheap again..." he keeps shushing me so I just shift to Tamil to whine about the "Anju Rupa" (5 ruppes). But I sometimes have the good sense to know when the argument has been lost! So I brought my long face back home!
The bag was broken open and we sat watching yet another movie on the television.
I started again "These pistachios are so small, I bet the ones in Costco are a lot bigger"
"I am sure the ones in Costco are tastier and saltier"
"I bet you get a much bigger bag at Costco for the same $"
#$#W$%^^%
I was beginning to sound like a stuck tape of a Costco Ad. All for $5! M wisely ignored me and turned up the volume!
Today when Russell Peters talked about the Indian Cheap Skates.. this was like a Deja Vu. I could hear myself talking to a friend about the pistachio incident and shaking our heads "Who do these people think they are Donald Trump?" All for five dollars!

The other day I was watching a talk show on television and the book Tsar by Ted Bell was featured. I really thought I would love to read it! I ran and saw if it was available at the local library.. mm no luck. I looked it up on Amazon - 27$ .. I called my sister in India and asked her to see how much it cost. She was upset. I wont find it on the street vendors stall she moaned. (Pirated books can be got for Rs 70 - $1.50 there as against Rs 300 to 400 - $6.5 to $8.5 at the book stores ). Finally my uncle told her not to courier it to the states - too expensive. My friend's son's friend's uncle's sister in law is going to Seattle in 2 months. We will send it through her. (????) And she could just drop it out the plane when she flies past North Carolina! But who am I to talk, I look at the bag of pistachios for confirmation!

Talking of pistachios, a friend (Indian of course) told me the other day.. a Costco membership is a complete waste of money. We should share the membership among 4 of us that would be $25 per year per household.. then that would make some economic sense she told me! I looked at her in awe of course!

But we can take this farther. I went to a party sometime back. I stood there groping for conversation .. a friend nearby commented "nice table". Friend A was mighty pleased. "Really...guess where I got it?" I was wondering if you got stuff like that at Ikea. "I found it near the dumpster" she declared beaming with pride. As you can imagine I kept wondering every time I sat on anything in her house! I kept imagining germs crawling up my arms and back! Apparently this is not so uncommon I found out soon.. people even talk about "Dumpster Diving" as a divine hobby! But then who am I to talk.. the pistachio's stand evidence to my inclination! (img courtesy: http://www.collegeotr.com/tag/furniture)

Another friend owned a humidifier one winter and it went suddenly missing in 3 months time. I was at a play date at their home and went to turn it on and it was missing. On inquiry it had been returned back to the store "They only allow us to keep it for 3 months!" Looking bewildered? This is why Costco and Walmart and Circuit City have a 3 month return policy on electronics. So that we could use the humidifier for the worst of winter!

Then there was this guy...years ago we were in a car crash in Arizona. The accident was my friend's fault as he made a turn without noticing the approaching vehicle. I had glass on my face and the car I was in was totaled. The other car had a displaced bumper. All of us were thankfully unhurt.. but as the police car arrived the other guy mysteriously developed a limp and then could no longer move his leg anymore! No this guy was not Indian (just for the records)

There is one thing though that you should grant to all the so called cheapskates! They are the most creative lot! But then its offensive to call yourself cheap.. call yourself thrifty or frugal!! After all we are not like the guy (I don't know this guy trust me.. ).. who wrote the wrong room number on the hotel bar tab, or the one who put the "To address" on the return address of an envelope so it gets sent "back" for lack of postage! (Want more tips at being cheap ... check this out - SNEAKY CHEAP). Me, I am unhappy enough looking at my bag of pistachios for now!

Coming up:
(c) Preethi @ Incessant Musings, September 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Scam.. Scam.. Scam...

I received an email today where this guy promises to give me 8.6 million $. We all know I am not lucky and God loves playing jokes with me. So my immediate response.. was not jumping around in circles whooping in joy.. but to look at the sky at that guy up there who thinks my life is a comic relief! Sure enough he had opened the skies up and the rain was pouring down.. Not to mention that I have the sorest of sore throats and sound like I have sand sifting through my throat as I talk! His cheekiness had a full blown water works today when he found out that both his teachers had decided to take the day off and there sat 2 substitute teachers in their absence. It took 4 kids and 4 moms all promising him that their kids would play with him while the kids ran off to play by themselves, to convince Cheeky not to go in! And finally I played the worst trick...I just slipped out.. don't you dare roll your eyes? I am tired, hungry and its pouring outside! (img courtesy: http://www.dennisholmesdesigns.com/cartoons_clipart.html)

I came home and turned on the computer and there sat this email with a promise of $8.6 million... now I know I am not lucky... all the powerball tickets lying around my house are living proof of that reality. Not to mention that I am the one who has never won a single thing in my life. Not to mention if I get something that I have not spent money over/ or turned on the water works for (what I dont work, how do you think I get my wishes granted?). Anyway I have to have worked hard for everything I own or they go mysteriously missing. No freebie ever stays with me.. I think there is a magnetic force in the sky that just pulls it away!

But today this email arrived! Sure it has entertainment value (see end of post for the complete transcript of the email). So this nincompoop says that his wife (why wife I wonder, does he think that women evoke more trust?) found me through yahoo to be the most trustworthy person in the whole world! 6.725 Billion people according to Wikipedia and I am the most trustworthy, imagine that! I who slip out of my own son's line of vision and get away! And this nincompoop has been fasting and praying to find someone to give away this money too.. Right, if I had $8.6 million I would want to give it away too!

And whats more .. A year or so back I got a phone call along similar lines! The guy on the phone sounded like a desi with a bad case of tongue blisters.. identified himself as part of a social service organization that saves people from fraud! Hahaha I know! He tells me "Our database shows that a few thousand $ was wrongly removed from your bank account a couple of years back and we want to help you recover that money!" Yeah right! Seriously these people are so selfless! I decided to play along and asked him all kinds of questions about his database and I must say he tackled it pretty well, but I got bored in a while and told him try to pull that one on me again and I am calling the cops you moron! It only took one more such phone call and a big chunk of my sour tongue for them to stop calling! A friend was surprised "How did you find out it was a hoax" she asked!

Naivete can be tormenting ... seriously do you think some guy half way across the world wants to give away money to you of all people? Absolutely bewildering that people fall for scams like this! Seriously common sense is not so common at all!

I leave you with the email I received today.. and if you are as naive as my friend with a warning that if you really want millions of dollars try the lottery not this man!

Coming up:
(c) Preethi @ Incessant Musings, September 2008
***********************************************************************
Email transcript:
frombambara_kute@libero.it
to
dateFri, Sep 26, 2008 at 4:39 AM
subjectdear friend
mailed-bylibero.it

hide details 4:39 AM (4 hours ago)
Reply

DEAR FRIEND
It is truth, that we have not met or known each other before but I have a situation that warrants me casting out this trust and confidence to you for a private and confidential matter. sorry it was my wife that got your email through her yahoo searching for a trustworthy person that will assist us in this matter,
I have been fasting and praying to almighty GOD that he should send a trustworthy person that will assist me to transfer this money into his/her account. because as a bank manager, i cannot transfer this money into my personal bank account. except i contacts a foreign partner that will apply to the bank as a next of kin to the late deceases customer.MR GEORGE BRUMLEY an american I am very happy to share this transaction with you,but you must keep everything as very confidential. The deceased account holder with our bank He held account with BANK OF AFRICA .Since his death ,his account has been dormant and nobody has applied to our bank for the release of this money to him or her as the next of kin. As the bill and exchange manager of this bank, i have studied this transaction very carefully and i have noted that there is no risk involved.I am here to protect all your intrests in this transaction until this money is transfer to your account. My advise to you is to arrange for a receiving bank account into which our bank shall transfer this money in your favor as next of kin and you have nothing to fear since i am here ,i shall be giving you all the developmental information from the bank as soon as the transaction commence. Also note that 14 working days from the date the bank receives your application is enough for the funds to get transferred and the transaction will come to a successful conclusion. i hope that you will not disappoint me when this money enters into your account, i have all my hope in this transaction because i shall soon go on retirement, i am a simple banker whose credibility is still intact and with my maturity and understanding,I promise to give the best co-operation. If you are really intertested in this transaction,then we must hurry up so that our bank and government shall not claim and inherit this money because it has over-stayed. As soon as I hear from you, I will send to you a text of application which you will fill and send to the bank. But before that I will like to be reassured of the manner of person whom I am dealing with because 8.6million U.S.D is not a little money,therefore I have to get certain necessary facts about you before we proceed. Such information I will like to know before we proceed are as follows:
(1) Your age...........................
..............................................................
(2)Your occupation....................
..........................................................
(3)Your marital stautus.......................
.................................................
(4)Your full residential address.......................
...................................
(5)Your direct phone and fax numbers.......................
.....................
(6)A copy of Your photo scanned and sent to me by mail...............
there will be a little expenses
as soon as I receive these datas, I will forward to you the application form which you will send to the bank. Meanwhile I will like you to know more about myself. I am a family man with 2 children a girl and a boy.I have decided to do this deal because i have worked in this bank for years without achieving anything due to the corruption in this country.Workers salaries are hardly paid.Its true this country is one of the poorest in the world but the leaders are very wicked and corrupt.Even the Aids we receive from Donor countries as well as the international communities are being diverted into the private pockets of the few in authority. Therefore while the rich are getting richer,the poor masses continues to suffer.Could you believe a bill and exchange manager like myself can't even take good care of my children?I only have a name NOT money or any material possessions.So this is why when i saw this opportunity, i decided to capitalize on it with my position in the bank and i hope with your co-operation,success will be for us. Pls always keep in touch with me, preferably by phone because i'm a very busy man who has little or no time for internets. So as i've told you i have studied and perfected this transaction before i contacted you. May the infinity blessing of almighty GOD shower upon you and your family.
HERE IS MY PERSONAL DATAS AND PROFILE AND THE DETAILS FOR THIS TRANSACTION. SO SEND ME YOUR DETAILS URGENT PLEASE THIS MY PERSONAL DATA / PROFILE.
(1) DATE OF BIRTH: 11th April 1961

(2) PLACE OF BIRTH: Fada N'Gourma.
(3) HEIGHT: 1.99
(4) WEIGHT: 84 kg , Not Permanent.

(5) SEX: Male.

(6) QUALIFICATION: M.B.A in Economics.

(7) OCCUPATION: Banker.
(8) PRESENT POSITION: (B.O.A) Manager.
(9) WORKING EXPERIENCE :( T.I.C) Insurance Banjul Gambia , & Presently In (B.O.A) Ouagadougou Burkina Faso
(10) MARITAL STATUS: Married With 2 Children.

(11) PROVINCE OF ORIGIN OR STATE: Bobo-Dioulasso.

(12) NATIONALITY: Burkina-Faso West Africa .
(13)BLOOD TYPE: Ax.
(14) HOME: Dad, Mum with 2 Brothers, My Wife & 2 Children.

(15) ZODIAC SIGN: Capricorn.
(16) PASS.PORT NOS: A1008622.

(17) DRIVING LICENCE NOS: If 08140.
(18) HOBBIES: Listing To Music & Instructing School Kids.
(19) H.I.V TEST: Negative.
(20) LIFE POLICIES: Always Sober & Calm.
(21) LIFE STYLES: Corporate & Decent.

(22) WORK IN A KITTY: Don’t Take It Personal.
(23) FAVOURITE FOOD: Snacks & Rice.
(24) FAVOURITE DRINKS: Soft Drinks.
(25) AIM: To Resign From Bank & Become An International Business Man.
(26) FAMILY ADAGE: To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected.

OFFICE ADDRESS: (B.O.A) North West Zone-Annex, 01 Ouaga Burkina Faso.
HOUSE ADDRESS: 82 Zangote Yenugua 02 Bp 4587 Ouagadougou 02 Burkina-Faso West Africa .

please note..this is not a scam or fraud,you are very free to come down to burkinafaso to verify the genuity of this transaction
Thanks
Best regards Mr.BAMBARA KUTE bambara.kute74@yahoo.com

Monday, September 22, 2008

Letter to Cheeky

A lot of sentimental notes in the blog-sphere today.. about husbands, kids and room mates! I wondered if I ever wrote a note to the men that ruled my life how would that sound.. Could I write a letter to either of them and come off sounding sentimental and sending my readers in search of Kleenex? No one has ever shed a tear reading my posts.
Hmm.. lets see if we can remedy that as I write a letter to Cheeky. Yes I do lack in originality.. but what I lack in that, I hope to make up for in content.
Dearest Cheeky,
So you have finally managed to get here after years of hiding this blog from you! Before you run out to find and confront me for using you as a fodder for my blog all these years.. I want you to remember that it was all fair and square. I put up with your impishness and being the parent of a Cheeky toddler. And in return I earned some fame only by letting the whole world know about it!! What fame? I have 20 readers on good days.. 5 on bad! Now that the secret is out, can you help spread the word.. might as well get something out of this! And will you also let me in your realm (video camera et al) to gather some material!

As I write this that transition has already begun! From being mommy's ardent fan, you have begun to ignore me! I realize this every morning as I drop you off at school! I take you to the doorstep of the (much hyped) classroom every morning having rushed through the hoopla of packing lunches and stuffing breakfast down your throat (so what if lunch is a sandwich every day.. atleast I try ). And every morning you have a momentarily lapse of memory as you dance in without a backward glance at the woman who brought you into this world!

I shake my head at all the thankless kids while I trudge home sure to miss you every minute of the day. After all I have shamelessly given up my job to be with you every waking minute (and sleeping.. but we will leave that rant for later). I do not mention to you or your dad that I did a little dance on the way home. While you believed that I was at the gym working off those extra pounds, I was at the mall sashaying my way through the Gucci, Prada and Fendi aisles! And lamenting to myself on how I should win the lottery soon to fill the hole in my pocket! I then rush home to drown my sorrows - kid who has forgotten mommy, Prada and Gucci bags that can't be mine... you get the drift. I have a lot to mope about. So I bring out the carton of ice cream and dig in - (yeah no decent ice cream in a bowl.when you are not around!)... I turn on that girly movie and lose myself in it. What it is time to pick you up already? The movie isn't even over! With a sigh and a backward glance at the TV I trudge back to school to peer in at you through the glass pane on the door.
You are supposed to be eating lunch, but while the box remains full you are yapping away to your friend nearby. I sigh, now I have to stuff the lunch into you when we get home and that will sure take the better part of the afternoon! Phew! I move aside to give room to the next mommy looking to peer in at her kid.. Her kid waves back at her.. Sigh again! I think if calling you an imp has led to this impish behavior on your part or if the impish behavior is the reason why I call you imp. The chicken and egg story of my life which helps occupy my brain on most days. The much eyed door finally opens and all the chattering kids make a beeline to their parents. Finally you do not diasppoint.. you give me the customary hug around the legs before you drag me off on a dance down the pavement home! I look at you bemused.. my day has just begun!!

The better half of the afternoon is spent feeding you lunch and threatening you with dire
consequences if you do not eat that food! But once again I succumb to your declarations of love (what a loser!) and the dire consequences end up being a yummilicous snack! Soon you are seen dragging me off to the yard to play soccer. What do I know? I never touched a soccer ball in my life till you turned me into the clich'ed soccer mom!

After all the huffing and puffing I trudge back home.. only to find the favored parent is back home and I am all but forgotten as Daddy gets hugs and kisses. At least I get to arrange myself on the couch and stay that way while your dad gets to share the recliner with you while protecting himself from injury with you bouncing off the walls onto him! Remind me to get him an iron clad armor for his birth day next year! But in the middle of the night when you decide to visit my bed why is Daddy forgotten and its my sleep that is lost as I hang in precarious balance while trying to sleep through the kicks you send my way! Aah I forget, he is the favored parent right? Sigh!

Whew just writing this letter has worn me out, and today is one of those days you stay at home and with no Super dad to the rescue, I will have to deal with the bouncing myself. So I am going to sign off and build the farm you are demanding!

Your sleep deprived Mom!

In the midst of this rant, I forgot the Kleenex.. oh well I have to say my life is all the more interesting for Cheeky. What exactly did I do to beat boredom before Cheeky? Yeah I know watch girly movies (which have now been declared silly), hindi movies (which are now olaral - or gibberish), read books (Mommy is reading her boring book again Dad, there are no pictures in it.. how boring!), talk on the phone (Mom I need to talk, give me the phone). No I am never going to help you get out the kleenex might as well give it up!! :)

(Img Courtesy: http://www.stuartngbooks.com, www.momgadget.com, http://secret-agent-josephine.com)

This post was inspired by Dottie, Sandhya and Rayshma

Meanwhile in anticipation of this never ending rant and wallowing in self pity, 2 lovely women sent some awards my way!! Raysh sent me this without much ado.. and the picture says it all.. I am cute friend ain't I? But Raysh why are you a man??!!

Meanwhile PG decided to award me the brilliant blog award again. Cool eh? And she had such lovely things to say too "a very creative person - a talented writer and poet. I was quite impressed by her lovely poems and stories she writes at her blog creative outburtsts. A very nice and neat blog. She writes such lively posts about her everyday life with her son Cheeky (or Nantu) at Incessant Musings."
I was so touched and impressed by the kind words she had to say! Thanks PG. And although you claim "Writing is not in my blood. It does not always come as easily" .. I think you write admirably well! I love your Richie posts for the life that shines through in them. Richie is an adorable kid!

And with that note.. signing off from you for now.. A sleep deprived mom of a little bouncer who wants to invite his friends for his birth day with this invite that he had mommy write out at her other blog Creative Outbursts.

Coming up:
***************************************************************
Post (c) Preethi @ Incessant Musings, Spetember 2008 (yeah right, like anyone would want any part of this.. )

Thursday, September 18, 2008

w@ did ya sA?

Ever received an email like this and been lost?

Hi, Hope ur fyn n d wx S fyn now aftr d hurr. Hope u had a gr8 tym lst w/e on yr BDay. hpE BDay 2 u.
hw r yr hubby n kid? S chky gunA skool now. S he NjoyN himself der? S he tlkN 2 evry1 or bn shh?
Im havN a gr8 tym hre W my F?. I went2 a moV dis w/e n luvD it. bt d moV had a sad endng. I 1ly lk hpE endngs n Mvies. f u dont lk sad endngs 2 u shd nt woch dat moV.
Im doiN wel n my colleG n am sure 2 gt phat marks. Ill nd 2 prep my cv 4t campus intRvw. cyhm W dat?
I wz n NSS n evn attndd camp 4 10 days. whr shd I put der n Acheivemnts or
xtra curr?
Ive also tkn part n st8 lvl muzc comps n 1 n 1 2nd n st8 lvl 4 grp singin conductd by AIR wich wz a nat lvl comp . .

bt d thng S I dont av Ny kinda certificate. DY tnk I shd include em? n giv me a crrc
t 4mat 4 cv f posbL.
otherwys w'r ll fyn. Mom S bZ W her tempL n Dad S bZ W hs activities evryday.
dur? Ganja Karuppu? He had Bcum an phat sk8R. hes gunA taK part ina sk8N comp nxt wk. Ill snd u d pix or ul em dat w/e.

otherwys no mor nws. t2ul ovr d ph. SYL F2F.
B4N. H+K
MM

Now am I am moronic oldie or does that letter make no sense at all? T
his my friends is called the SMS lingo and every time I receive messages on orkut, emails and such from my younger cousins and such, I can see every gray hair on my head.. because I do not follow most of it (or lets just say all of it). But for oldies like me there are translators - here . Phew! And yay!! The previous passage has red lines all over.. so my editor cant understand this either. If you are part of this group who feels lost when accosted by such lingo, here is the translation.

Hi, Hope you are fine and the weather is fine now after the hurricane. Hope you had a great time last weekend on your birthday. Happy Birthday to you. How are your husband and kid? Is CHEEKY going to school now. Is he enjoying himself there? Is he talking to everyone or being quiet? I am having a great time here with my friends. I went to a movie this weekend and loved it. But the movie had a sad ending. I only like happy endings in movies. If you dont like sad endings too you should not watch that movie. I am doing well in my college and am sure to get excellent marks. I will need to prepare my resume for the campus interview. Can you help me with that? I was in NSS and even attended camp for 10 days. Where should I put there in Aceivements or Extra curricular? I have also taken part in state level music competitions and won and Won 2nd in State level for Group singing conducted by AIR which was a National level competition . . But the thing is I dont have any kind of certificate. Do you think I should include them? And give me a correct format for resume if possible. Otherwise we are all fine. Mom is busy with her temple and Dad is busy with his activities everyday. Do you remember Ganja Karuppu? He had become an excellent skater. He is going to take part in a skating competition next week. I will send you the photos or upload them that weekend. Otherwise no more news. Talk to you later over the phone. See you later face to face. Bye for now. Hugs and Kisses Manga Madaya!

This post was inspired by Galadriel's post - Big Bang Baby
No comments whatsoever on which category I support.. could it hurt to type just a wee bit more letters or is it just more cooler to use the LINGO? What say?
Signing off - Boring Me!
(Pics Courtesy: Blogsphere, If any of you created these pictures you are super cool and I kow tow to you.. let me know and the copy right will be published!)

Coming Up:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WW: Wilderness at the doorstep!

(c) Preethi @ Incessant Musings, September 2008

(c) Preethi @ Incessant Musings, September 2008

(c) Preethi @ Incessant Musings, September 2008

**************************************************************************
Wordless Wednesday

Monday, September 15, 2008

I dub thee Supandi!

As unwilling as I am to put behind my previous post written in a fit of morbid mood... I have to move on. If you haven't read my post on Is the world in wrong hands?, please do!

Moving on.. or moving back on to the humor in my life! I talked about how God thinks the purpose of my birth is so that he can have some fun with me! So I must not have set my hopes too high when I did a stint in India a couple of years back, but of course I did!
When I moved to India I was very excited by the prospect of finally having a maid! I pictured myself languishing in the lap of luxury while my maid waited on me hand and foot! Instead I was washing clothes and piles of dishes coated with grease in hot humid Chennai while my maid took yet another impromptu holiday!
And then Cheeky happened. My MIL had dropped her life to rush to our side to care for the baby! But knowing that no son of mine was going to be less than a handful I decided to get her a babysitter to help! So I called this agency and asked them to help me out! Sure enough they brought me a candidate. The first thing I noticed about her was her hair flying in all directions. But I was desperate by then (maid hunting is no fun I tell you) and returning to work in a week, so I hired her!
The hours she spent sleeping in the patio were far longer than the hours she spent working! And when we left the baby unattended for a minute in his cradle.. she would make a beeline to his side ... to ..... sing (of all things). I could not stop laughing unfortunately!
Then one afternoon we came home to find the carpet that adorned my living room in the parking lot. Wondering what prompted this flinging out of such a precious thing we dragged the heavy carpet home. To find out the lady had brushed it out and decided to put it out in the sun on the patio wall! So I told her, next time make sure you keep something on it so that it doesn't fall off!
The next day as I rushed home I was accosted by the security. He informed me that an aruvamanai had fallen off my patio and the maid had asked him not to tell me about it. Whats an aruvamanai? Its a huge sharp blade mounted on a wooden plank used in place of a knife. Kind of like the Veechu Aruval from all the morbid Tamil movies(very difficult to explain.. see the picture). I was shocked needless to say! Having images of all the tamil movies I had watched so far.. images of an actor flinging a aruvamanai at a villain to save the damsel in distress ran through my mind. Not to mention the pictures of cop cars that flit to my dazed and confused brain. I rushed home to question her. And guess what? The aruvamanai had been the weight to keep the carpet from falling off the patio wall!! The lady far from realizing the havoc she could have caused was worried about the broken aruvamanai! "I am sorry I will replace it" she kept saying! In her mind that was why I was yelling like a banshee? Because a 50 buck Aruvamani was broken? I was not sure whether to laugh or cry. I repeated this tale to a friend who aptly named my maid "Supandi". And that was how it came about that we started calling her Supandi. (A character in old Indian folk tales - is the basis of many jokes of instructions gone haywire in his foolish brain!)

For weeks I kept having dreams of being taken off by the police and languishing in the jail with Supandi by my side! Imagine that!

Still later (yes I let her keep her job, but couldn't get her to keep her wits), one afternoon my MIL called me and begged me to rush home. The apartment is flooded she claimed! On further inquiry I found that the Supandi had been cleaning the health faucet! If you are wondering how she managed to flood the apartment? She broke off the top of the faucet and the water came gushing out.. drenching her. Then she rushed out to get a mop to mop the mess (while the water still gushed). My MIL hearing the chaos rushed to the scene and asked her to turn off the valve. But the lady tripped and fell while trying to close that thereby breaking off the valve too! Sounds like a scene from a movie right? Needless to say I dropped my work and rushed home plumber in tow! Imagine what I told my colleagues "Supandi has hit again!"

A few weeks later sanity prevailed and the maid was let go (Finally I had decided to stop listening to her sob stories about how she needed the money and think about my freedom and sanity instead). She called my MIL a few weeks later to inform her she had gotten herself a better paying job as a baby sitter (did I mention that she was hired to be maid/ baby sitter at my place.. but seeing her antics my MIL wisely refused to let her handle the child). But still that bit of information hurt. I paid her a fortune.. but more fool them who hired her!! Apparently their life is a big joke too!
(pic courtesy: http://www.inmagine.com/, http://live2cook.wordpress.com, http://movies.sulekha.com, http://www.iclipart.com/)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Is the world in wrong hands?

I woke up today with a morbid mood.. and the prompt on Matinee Muse suited me .. In wrong Hands it said.. and had me wondering. The world is in wrong hands don't you think? Terrorism is a curse all over the world.. while some parts of the world are just waking up to it, this has been rampant in India for many years!

I sometimes wonder if the world would be a better place if no one believed in God? But no, then there would be yet another cause to fight for! As I sat here thinking about all this I wrote this poem on my other blog in response to the prompt. But I want to make a repost here to share with my readers on this blog!

Have you ever had a cut
Have you ever seen the blood
Have you ever let it flow
Let it mix with that of the man next door?

Bring the men all together
Cutting the barriers of religion and color
Cut each hand with a tiny tear
And let a drop of blood mix here

Now I will give you this little jar
Separate the drops will you dear?

Separate the black, white and blue
And that of the Christians and Muslims too
Separate the East and West from each
And show me the difference will you please?

Have you ever squirmed in shame?
When on God you lay your blame?
Years have passed and millions lie dead
And yet we cannot stop this dread

The world is in wrong hands I say!
For while we roam clothed and free
The ones in the forests live in perfect harmony!

So what do you think? Is the world in wrong hands? After all the world leaders are at a loss to battle this impending doom called Terrorism. And the solution they seem to come up with is just more fighting and bloodshed!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Friendly Encounters

I have talked before about friends I have encountered in the blogging world. Even though I am not usually the most expressive of people when it comes to such declarations. But as I have already said before this blogging is a strange thing. I meet so many virtual identities and their blogs transform them to real people for me!

Three such people are the lively Rayshma , the Witty Suma and the Queen of retrospection Prats. I love their blogs not to mention their personalities and ... their families. While Rayshma has the poor Vin wrapped around her little finger, Suma dances to the tunes of her cute little boys (I am sure if they heard the term "little" they would hunt me out and ... lets leave that unsaid.) Prats and Suma sometimes mix up in my brain because they are so similar to me.. almost like long lost twins. Prats has two very precocious sons too... and I am in awe of both her and them!

They are among the few that I have sought out outside the blogging circles to see what they really look and sound like. And they have all turned out to be even better in realty. So while these women have already touched my life in more ways than one, they decided to do it yet again by giving me this award!


Thank you so much girls .. and right back at ya! I want to pass this on to everyone of you who takes the time to come here and read my blog. To every one of you whose blogs I visit and enjoy. To every one of you who shares a part of your life with me. And to those of you who always have a nice thing to say to me.. and also to those of you who want to hit me for the nonsense I spout out, but due to demands of decency have refrained from doing so ...

And to those of you who never leave a comment. Even if you dont comment ever, I still will like you nevertheless if only for putting up with my unwired brain!
Reminds me of this quote that I read in someone's orkut message "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."
No I am not telling the rest of you not to comment, please do... I feel better when the comments come pouring in!!

Now for some special mentions ...

Dottie - The super mom with a super son. Actually Dottie I have changed my mind (fickle as it is)...I am going to give this award to Chip instead
Aryan's mom - She is going to stop blogging.. but I want to let her go with this award and hope it will tempt her to come back soon. I am going to miss the Aryan tales
2B's Mommy - Her honest posts put me to shame for spewing so many tales here!
Uthra - My dear friend from real life. Welcome to Blogger!
K3 - She calls herself the forever mom! A very balanced and sensible girl.. and a wonderful writer
Neera - An honest writer and a doting mom to 2 adorable kids
And like I already said all of you out there who touch my blogging world every day! And as I leave you today.. here is what Quizpox thinks my bumper sticker should say



Coming Up
  • I dub thee Supandi

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Slice of life- Finding Humor in everyday life!

That should have been the header for my blog don't you think? Because my life does not lack in humor for one! God definitely has a sense of humor when it comes to me! I think when he is feeling light hearted he turns to me! I thought of this on the day we tried to salvage our vacation and head to the zoo. I forgot the camera.... and amidst the head bashing at this miss, I looked up at the sky and I swear I could hear a resounding "gotcha!"
And this humor is profound! For example a trip to the store this weekend. The store for some reason was filled with Indians most dressed in Salwar Kameez. I was wondering if I had come to the wrong place - it was Costco for Heaven's sake! (I am sure it is this taking of God's name in vain that gets me in trouble.. what do you think?) And then there was this guy who loves India apparently, ignored all the swarming salwar kameezes and chose to ask me "Where are you from?". I sputter and claim "North Carolina" .. If I launch into where I am from that would take the better part of the day and I am sure I would have been dialing 911 to report an unconscious man! But the man was unwilling to let go... "Where are your parents from?" he asked.. and I knew I had lost it.. so we stood there being "talked at" about Mahabalipuram and Saravana Belagola and Srilanka (which incidentally I have only seen on the map) and why Mumbai was renamed, Taaj Mahaaal... and whatever else knowledge of India he could pile on top of it!
Or the day we went to the auto show. What are the chances that I (a complete blubbering nincompoop when it comes to cars) was reaching for some literature on a drag racing car when I get asked by a driver (4 time champion in drag racing nonetheless) if I wanted his autograph! So Cheeky got an autographed picture addressed to him from a race car driver (kind of a role model for an aspiring nascar champion). But I got my chance to look like a complete fool .. I was just discovering the drag roadsters for heaven's sake! The guy knew discussing cars with me was moot.. I had the look that lets people know that I am lost in a clueless land.. so he proceeded to ask me "Where are you from?" .. I am sure he heard the "Not Again" shouts from my head!! He then told me about the dry cleaners friends he knew in Georgia who were "Of Indian Origin". I was ready to say "Not all Indians are related you know?" ... but it was time to grin and bear it, for what are the chances that a champion race car driver will talk to you about his dry cleaner friends who happened to share the same ethnic origin as you?!!

I remember the time my friend who was in the dance troupe of a once famous actress took me to a practice session. They were practicing for a national new year eve show to be live telecast from Delhi. And I sashayed in there looking my worst and sat on the sidelines watching the dance practice. I cannot even walk without getting hurt and here these folks were doing the unthinkable as far as I was concerned. This famous actress though brought my world crashing down when she walked up to me and asked me if I could massage her neck. What did she take me for a masseuse? My excitement at the first encounter with a famous personality came further crashing down when we were served snacks (she was served high end stuff while the guests in her house were served mundane stuff of plastic plates!). I am sure God was having a good laugh while my face went burning hot.. but it was only me, the others in the room the dance troupe including my friend seemed unperturbed! Served me right for wanting to meet a famous personality.. that kept me away from joining my friend on her escapades in the future!

There is more though.. Oh yes you thought I forgot? There is Cheeky of course who thinks the aim of his life is to rile up mommy and to keep her on her toes! Just as I completed the post on Cheeky changing his name and finally deciding to keep his original name for now, the little imp has decided to rename himself again! Now his name is Peter Cheeky! Oh yes he decided to change his surname for good measure! Of all the things, I have a son who insists on renaming himself! Contributing to the humor in my everyday life! And promising to keep making my life as interesting and eventful as he possibly can!

And this is the story of my everyday life... but there is more as you will see when I come to part 2 of this post "I dub thee Supandi" !
For now I put on the grin in the image and bury my face in the sand and pretend all is well with my fun filled life!! But if you put your ear to the ground.. you can hear me whispering (/whimpering?) "why me?".. and if you look up at the sky you can hear laughter!!
(img courtesy: http://laffoff.files.wordpress.com, http://carpefactum.typepad.com, http://i12.photobucket.com, http://www.anonymousspace.com)

Talking of humor here is one.. an expensive mistake by the federal government.

The carrier card for these duck stamps had an incorrect phone number on it.
Duck stamps printed by the The Fish and Wildlife Service are required to hunt migratory fowl. But now if you call the number listed on the carrier card you will be greeted by "Intimate Connections" and enticed by a husky female voice to "talk only to the girls that turn you on".

What a blooper eh? Instead of listing 1-800-STAMP24, the number listed is 1-800-TRAMP24.

The mistake is too expensive to correct apparently! Wanna read more go to cnn.com
With that "fowl" note.. signing off!!

Coming Up:
  • I dub thee Supandi
  • Toon Mania - Getting to know the real me!
  • Friendly Encounters!
[Note: For those of you who read my other blog.. I have finally posted again after a long break - Just a Dream and Chip off the old block]

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sistah! Sistah!

To the making of every Calvin there is a Hobbes lurking in the background. There is one such in the making of Cheeky too.. although I identify with the Hobbes position, there is one person better suited for that position who teaches Cheeky the tricks of the trade! I am ill fated enough to call that Big Imp my sister. She is none other than Ms. Fantasy... She blogs too at Fantasies of a Lifetime! Well what did you expect from someone who refuses to grow up right? ARE YOU SAYING IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY?


So here is how she works her charm on the imp!
My son had a very interesting riddle to share the other day! Who works weekends he asked? People with a lot of work? No geeks he answered! What did you say? What is a geek I asked! Like he hadn't just defined it to me, I should have been sighing with relief! I am not a geek, after all I never work! So can a woman who drapes herself over the couch feigning a headache while eating enormous amounts of chip and dip be called a geek? No there is another word for her, which I am not about to reveal!
Anyway I had to find out from my son where he got this accurate definition of Geek. I did not even know he knew what a weekend was! And then I discovered the culprit.. my sistah! The same lady who taught a 1.5 year old Cheeky
"What goes up?" we would say..
"Dhan" Cheeky would answer!
"What is that called?" we would ask
"dhavity " he would respond! In case you are as physically challenged as me that was gravity, remember the silly guy Newton who sat under an apple tree and discovered that the apples fell to the ground? Most of what he said went right over my head!
But my sister keeps trying to teach Cheeky the most precious things. At around the same time (1.5 yrs of age), Cheeky was taught to say when asked "Where will you got to college?"
"Aye Aye T" he would start
The fantasy girl could not let that be.. "Post Graduation?"
"Hahvad" the babe would pipe!

Sometimes I just have to tune right off when I hear the imp and his aunt in conversation.. They are talking in code about monsters and pirates who have the weirdest of names! And this lady is guilty of starting this fascination with one eyed monsters! A friend asked.. "Isn't he scared of monsters". Far from being scared this imp keeps drawing and modeling one eyed monsters and one legged pirates. So much so the dinosaurs and jumbo elephants he creates keep ending up single eyed!

The same lady is guilty of teaching him the scare of our childhood! My mom used to scare us saying "Buchandi" would come get us! Apparently in her attempt to discipline the imp Ms. Fantasy tried the old tried and tested Buchandi Missile! But Cheeky was not to succumb far from feeling fear the little imp was actually amused. And he made up a nice story. "There is a town called Ghaza where there lives a lady called Bucha Aunty. She lives there with Bucha Uncle and the Bucha Kids - Bucha brother and Bucha Sister. They all lived in the Bucha house ... "

I remember being spoilt rotten by my aunt.. much to my mom's dismay! And like they say history repeats itself!! What I am glad of? Is a free baby sitter everytime I am in India!!

Coming Up:
  • I dub thee Supandi
  • Toon Mania - Getting to know the real me!
  • Friendly Encounters!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

School year begins finally!

We have new neighbors.. the sky is rolling and that's how we know... Its been so long since we lived in a first floor apartment and now that we are here, we can hear every step our neighbors make. But I think we are living down the stairs from Rolly Polly Tornadoes! So the minute I think of resting me head on the couch for a siesta they start again.. grumble, rock and roll! M thinks its a good thing will keep me from the afternoon nap and the growing waistline! I think he is jealous and has resorted to bribery, talk about loving husband!

School year is about to start.. and I wait with bated breath. We had a parent's meet followed by a kids meet and greet. School opening seems like the weather forecast.. never comes true! So we went for the meet and greet and the play ground passed Cheeky's test. His teacher already seems to have caught on.. "So did it pass, is it atleast a little cool?" she asked.. A beaming Cheeky replied "Its very cool". What a relief! But then I have a son who choses schools based on the playgrounds! Should I be worried? Naah...

But like mom like son! Last night as I sat filling out a form for school I encountered the question "What do you want your child to learn from school?" .. I sat there thinking about it well into the night as M finally gave up and went to bed.. Both of us haven't the faintest clue? What am I sending my son to school for.. I should have replied "you keep asking questions like that and I will demand a refund!". But then in the grasp of sleep finally I just wrote some nonsense.. maybe what I want for my son at school is a good playground? Might as well follow his lead! (pic - http://www.angleton.isd.tenet.edu)

Still earlier yesterday I was asked if I would like to join the parent council, be a volunteer or be a substitute teacher. Substitute teacher? Do you think the kids would want me? I call my own son an imp for God's sake! Just for the records no I did not sign up for being a substitute teacher.. thank God the kids are saved! And so am I.. imagine being in a room with 8-10 preschoolers.. I would drive them insane!!

Back home I wanted to help Cheeky with his memory power. So we got out the spiderman memory game. A few minutes later Mr Blankie lay on the floor and I was informed that it hid a surprise. Lo behold all the cards from the memory game lay there "The mess is the surprise amma" said the little imp! Yeah right and I am surprised every hour of the day!! (pic - http://testimonials.epromos.com)

My son has inherited my im-modest ways! At school today his teacher said "Wow you are smart" when he read his own name written there. And Cheeky answers "Yeah"! No thank you, but yes I know!!

As for Janmashtami.. yes I did finally convince Cheeky to dress up as Krishna (Just tied the sherwani dupatta on his head) and stuck a plastic peacock feather on it, put on a tikka and even convinced him to let me take a couple of pics .. dancing and with the flute which he insisted on treating like a horn! So there is still hope! I acheived this with a bribe of a Krishna Tattoo.. Yay!! I have been asked why I wont post pictures here.. you really want to see me? Even after all the descriptions? Whats wrong with you?! Aah.. you are talking about Cheeky? I try to keep these blogs upto his approval, and he isn't approving pictures just yet!!
(Truth be told .. the internet is still scary enough for me to stop posting pictures, not to mention the mystery image will help identifying with the Cheeky Monkey rather than a cute face !! hehe!!). Which reminds me of yet another thing.. have you seen mommies with kids..they always take credits for the kids looks. "Your kid is cute" you tell them and they answer "Thanks" (Gee thanks that's my part of the gene pool showing or Thanks that was one successful experiment?). But well, they do deserve to take the credit better than the father's after all.. they do do all the work! But there are father's like M who would say "Honey dont worry he looks like you too, his back bears an uncanny resemblance to yours.. his face is all mine!"

Coming up:
  • Sistah Sistah!
  • I dub thee Supandi!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How confused am I?

Hmm... I bragged about my brilliance and the award bestowed upon me by 2 unsuspecting souls.. and I got a meager response of 7 comments. So apparently I gather that my brilliance is neither appealing nor does it ring true.. Not to mention the shadows it casts on the rest of the world!
But then I have obtained the bragging rights fair and square... so I will continue to do so! But since I cant dedicate yet another post to this.. I have decided to move on.. from brilliance to confusions (I knew this would seem more realistic to you!)
(Pict Courtesy: http://www.koolbadges.co.uk)
I have finally finished reading The Namesake by Jumpa Lahiri! Why so long? Apart from the fact that I keep being accosted by Cheeky for a slice of my time.. not to mention all the other things I have to do for the two men in my life! Another factor for the delay was the attack of Deja Vu. Why you ask? After all I am Fresh of the boat Desi Mom.. what else do I need to be attacked by Deja Vu on reading this book?
And I have reason to worry too.. when Cheeky was a wee thing of 2 he once told a stranger that his name was "Ronak". I was amused but in the hustle and bustle that was my life those days, let this observation slip through my scatter brained self! A few days later sure enough when he was asked his name by a friend he claimed it was "Ronak". I wondered where he had gotten that impression. After all we had spent the better part of 9 months arguing about a name for the little imp. We wanted a name that was Indian, traditional, modern and which would hold up in a place like America without getting obscured when it rolls of an American tongue. So after a lot of deliberation and careful thought (bah!! not to mention hair tearing arguments) the name was chosen and put on the birth certificate. Also on the 28th day of birth uttered three times into the wee ear thereby officially sealing the deal. Yet here we were just 2 years later and this little brat was renaming himself! He claimed he liked the name "Ronak" better and wanted to be called that! (Pict Courtesy : mindflirting.wordpress.com)
A couple more years have passed and he has learnt to live with the name his parents decided for now. He no longer likes "Ronak" he claims and for now he has not thought of any other way he would like to be called. But as I sat reading The Namesake a loud gasp escaped and I asked M what he would say if after High School our son re-baptized himself to "Ronak". No one takes me seriously of course, so if the inevitable happens I will just learn to live with it! But dont expect me to be happy about it!

Meanwhile I have been coming across a lot of articles about ABCD's. I had always found the term funny without actually relating to it. But now that I can start relating to it, I think its wrong!! They are not confused, we are the confused lot! This breed we call ABCD although very alien to us, are very clear in their allegiances and are not confused even the teeny weeny bit!

This summer when we were in India, a friend of mine gifted Cheeky with a Sherwani.. he thought it was "awesome" and I breathed a sigh of relief. This guy had never seen a sherwani, and thankfully I did not have to sell the idea to him. So I let him adorn the awesome clothes and told him we are off to a Birthday Party. "Alright" whooped Cheeky! Clueless that I am, I never thought to tell him that it was a 1st bday "Ayushhomam". The surprise on Cheeky's face began when I turned up in a shiny Saree to go. "Why are you wearing that?" he asked. "That is what people wear here" I answered shushing him up for then and cursing myself for not heeding to my friends and turning up in jeans for every Indian party or temple we ever went to! After all they had warned me this would happen! At the party the surprise grew when he saw a crowd of hundred's. What kind of party has so many people? My son immediately retreated behind my legs and quietly inquired "Has the cake been cut?". I had to explain this was not a cake cutting but a praying party like the pictures he has seen of his first birth day! (pic - choiceindiasherwani.tradeindia.com)
Then came the real surprise. Leafs laden with food. "Hey whats that?" the imp asked! I explained that this was how food was eaten looking around to make sure no one was listening to my son's ignorance of Indian ways. Can't have the Indian Mami's telling me on how to bring up a kid with appreciation of "our customs". But when Cheeky asked loudly "So do they eat the leaf now?" I gave up! We went and sat down to eat and Cheeky was seen asking the server mama "Excuse me sir may I have a spoon?". Sure enough the guy produced a spoon and much to the amusement of the party this little guy proceeded to eat with a spoon off a leaf and 5 minutes later was seen whispering "Don't they have happy meals for kids?"
If you are thinking this is the story of an ABCD, you are wrong! Recently Cheeky's cousin celebrated his birthday. When informed, he wisely asked "So what kind of party was it Indian or American". So in his mind he is very clear.. I am the confused one! (pict courtesy: flickr.com)

Then there was the Independence day. July 4th I baked a cake and we had a picnic lunch with a couple of Cheeky's friends! Come August 15th (Indian Independence day) I was guilt ridden in the tug of war that is my mind! So I suggested that we bake a cake. Cheeky obliged me and mixed and poured and did most of the preparation all by himself. We cut the cake singing Happy Bday to India! A few days later Cheeky asked me .. "So when is Australia's Independence day? Lets bake a cake for that!". Aaah, the 3 countries he is aware of. One that he lives in, the other that he originated from, and the third one owing to the fascination with Kangaroo's (Roo's hometown) and Koala bears.

On Janmashtami, I asked Cheeky to wear the Sherwani his aunt got him. He obliged me and sat down to watch "Bob the Builder". I prepared all delicacies and put it in front of God and told him that if he closed his eyes Krishna would come eat! So my very amused little imp stood there with one eye closed waiting for Krishna. Then he said "I dont think he is coming today, can I eat?". I try not to argue with his brand of logic. But I asked him if he would dress up like Krishna for me! A few pictures and I could look good among relatives who would praise me for bringing up my son with awareness of "our traditions and customs". I know you are wondering if none of these people really know me? They do, which is why they need photographic evidence! But the imp looked at me suspiciously and asked "Is it Halloween?". What if his mom had tricked him and not said a word about Halloween.. he could have spent the better part of the month shopping for costumes after all! Now that is an idea, shush lets not tell him Halloween will be here soon.. and lets not put up the pumpkins this year.. now if only my neighbors would co-operate!!

Oh well, I try my best to confuse him and he tries his best to make sense of my confused world! And we still live in perfect harmony !!(knew you wouldn't buy that!!)