Am having a goosebump moment..

The feeling, that very soon I am gonna finally fulfill my long awaited desire. That next time, when  I come across this title, I will be able to raise my hand and dig into my memory of today.

I finally have a copy of Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie!

MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN.

Am gonna read it. It’s stupid. I have a crush on a few titles. This is one of them.

In fact, I had to bribe my dear friend/hoarder-of-books/voracious-reader/sorry-cant-part-with-my-book with another of my favorite-yet-unfinished crush of mine. I will give you my “An Era in Darkness..” in exchange for Midnight Children? She paused just for a sec before saying yes. She has her crushes too 😉 I was feeling devilish exploiting her, but heart pounding for Midnight Children!

Some titles are the legend. The authors are the greatest artist in the world. They have created a masterpiece that will live in the memory of millions of peoples, that will outlive them and their readers. That will inspire millions of minds. Will make a person completely stranger to the author smile, or cry or just connect in the deepest level of the heart without even knowing of the existence. That is the power the authors have. The magician of words, the creators of history.

So then, How can I not have a crush? 

I have to admit. I just don’t go out and buy all my favorites. They come to me. Each one is an episode. Like it is a conspiracy to slowly unravel to me instead of just heading to my bookshelf.

Here is the conspiracy.

Gone with the Wind – From a college friend, who just wanted to offload book. Was at awe at the courage of Scarlet-O-Hara then and even today.

The Kite Runner – I don’t possess a copy. I got it from my colleague. I loved Afganistan and I could see a boy running under a blue sky covered with colorful paper wings even thinking about it.

The God of Small Thing– Has its own post 🙂

The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Story of Love in the most difficult of time.

On a side note- Why couldn’t I finish “An Era in Darkness…”? because two chapters into the book, I couldn’t look at anything British..ily without resenting them. I just hated them. Plain Hate. And I wasn’t feeling good about the hate. And I know, I love Hugh Grant and Harry Potter! So, it was a tussle and the best thing to do at the time was to abandon the book and pick it up after I could stabilize the raging hormones within me.

So, what am I doing here instead of delving into the story of children born on the stroke of midnight of 15th Aug, 1947?

Am just sitting and admiring the book. Literally. Am just happy that I can start reading it. I have it. The words, the story will come alive soon and I will die knowing I have read a masterpiece, that one day my son, his child and generation of Sayed clan to come have a chance to read this masterpiece and at that moment will be connected to my soul.

Too much? I should just stop now..Am having goosebumps!

Now, tell me about your crush ❤

 

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Am still his favourite, despite everything.

Am a strict mother these days. Most days, am not. Meeting the supply with the demand. My son has his first first-grade school assessment coming up next week tomorrow. Maths. English, English dictation and Environment Science. But he is not showing any interest in preparing himself to be assessed. I really envy mother who has THE kid, natural in studies. (Are you reading this neighbour?)

On most of the days, I have no patience with a first-grade kid. I do not sit with him for his school work. That is the only job for my better half. He is a master. I do feel, Husband is disposable when he is around the house.  But clearly, I need him when there is an assessment next week… Get your butt here soon!  Puff! But he isn’t here this week.

So there I was, on the last weekend. Sitting along with my son, with practice sheets and prayers to God “Please give me the strength to make it alive till the end of this hour these 10 minutes and not strangle him.” Every 10 minutes, I remind myself. He is my only son. Be a saint, DO NOT kill. 

He clearly wants to escape.  Actually me too. Both of us. But Life is cruel. Doesn’t give us what we want. I hope he understood that last weekend.

Do not judge me. Before you imagine me as a  fat-rat matron holding a stick, wearing a printed knee-length frock and thick-framed black spectacles conducting a reign of terror, try spending 10 minutes with a boy who is more interested in super-hero than vowels of English.

10 minutes. Only. With a six-year-old who imagines wand in a pencil, the erasure as a transformer disguised and living among us in plain sight, who have to pee because I asked him the spelling of piled.  What?! pencil is to write notes? I thought it is a magic wand with the black core from kryptonite!

Don’t blame him though.  English is a weird language.

For instance,  Why the hell Silent letter? Silent K in Knew.  And wait, this gets better on the Island. There! A letter, an alphabet sitting right there, not making any sound. Just being there. Silently. The same S when added to “ex” becomes one hot cake bun.  Or , Don’t get me even started about Queue. That is just one letter Q. What are the others doing there? Did the person doze off with one hand on u, other on e?

So now I have to know why K is silent in Knew but not Clock.

Me: “Listen to the sound Adi, K, clock ends with K.”

Son: But Mummy ..K is silent. 

Oh Boy! Not in every word honey. That will be like a totally deaf alphabet. No sound.

Imagine how many zillions of space, wordpress would have saved, if it weren’t for these notorious silent letters. They exist but only in bytes. Taking up space but producing no sound.

That was English. Maths seems like a good boy. I mean, the subject is all logical, Right? Wrong. What the hell number-names doing here….legacy of English gf?. I mean who writes forty, repeat. forty and not 40 these days?

Meh! On the cheque lady? Hmm. Okay. But still. All the number names, just teach so he can write me a thousand dollar cheque every month. I only need that much. Teach him that. Did you notice the silent “ue” in there, with that condescending mind..won’t make a noise, these aren’t worth our talk.

So that was my Sunday.

At the end of the day, It was time for bed. The teacher was out of my system and mother was in, the guilty mother who punished her child and raised voice a bit longer than desired. He was almost asleep. Eyes closed and heavy breathing.

I said ” Adi, Maine aaj aap pe bahut gussa hui na ? Was I too angry at you today?”

Barely had these words left me and could reach my son sleeping next, I heard him reply. Yes. I signed. This is gonna be tough. All I wanted to tell him how much I love him and how important is reading, writing and learning and other parenting stuff.. yada yada yada blablabla.

Me: “But, You know that I love you no bounds. Right?”

No answer.

Who is my favourite boy in the whole world?

He raised his head enough to show me his smile: Me!

Him again barely 2 secs later.Or may be less than a sec: And you are my favourite person Mummy!

❤  

My heart just melted. And I relaxed. probably the first time on that hard day.

The best part of being Ma is the love I get from my little man, No matter, how much I keep him away from his playtime and his super-hero, in the end, am forgiven and loved again. Any adult would have labelled me lunatic for life, but for my son, Am still his favourite ❤

 

 

 

I hate reading…

…..because life sucks when am NOT reading. Why can’t life be about reading, sleeping and occasionally eating?

Life, the sucker, has to happen exactly when I have a good book in hand, Exactly while the story is creating a world filled with moving images, characters, era, location, emotions and transporting me to a time where I cannot possibly ever reach without the words in the book.

When I remember the quotes from the book, or can almost smell the rain, barish, soil my feet walking down the muddy path, feel the sadness of the daughter waiting for her father, the pain of losing a dear friend, the happiness of finding love, the redemption,the world of witches and wizards and flying dinosaurs

At least life doesn’t suck when it is within words.

And so I do all that life expects from me, cooking, packing lunch, office -home, But I hate the author for engaging my mind.

The result? I read whenever I can.

On the toilet seat; when the pot is whistling on the stove; when am walking eight stairs down at the office; when am at the elevator; on the dinning.

THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS, is the first novel in my memory by an Indian author to won BOOKER PRIZE(1997). I remember when I heard this news, I was very proud. I didn’t forget the name ever Arundhati Roy and the title. But I wasn’t a collector then. I couldn’t afford to buy it. It was too expensive for someone who just started reading novels outside academic. I was very sure, one day I will read it.

20 years later ( See, why I complain about life?), it took me 20 years to buy this book.

I was at the mall last weekend, waiting for father-son to join me when I wandered into a Bookstore and found this. 20th ANNIVERSARY EDITION.

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And of course, I bought it. Without thinking that probably it will be cheaper to order online. Am on page 43 and I know why this is a winner Book. I have already been to Kerala(where the story is set) and back several times. Am a Christian now. The book is a poetic novel.

“Things can change in a day.”

“Chacko was Mammachi’s only son. Her own grief grieved her. His devasted her.”

Good authors are like pied-piper of Hamelin. The readers will merrily follow them into the world that really doesn’t exist; to doom or rejoice. The beauty of this world is that there is only one story and as many dimensions as there are readers. Each reader follow the pied-piper but see, feel, smell and sign in his world! For me, some days the story comes alive at the night in the softness of light from the table-lamp, after the father-son have gone to sleep. This is the time when the world outside my window is still and dark. But the words in the book are thumping for my attention to be read more. I stop reading and soak in the story. Estha and Rahel (Twins from God of Small Things)  forms a bond that I wish to share with my unreal twin brother 🙂

Then there are non-readers like my husband, who never failed to ask me when he sees me with a book in hand.

Am gonna ask you a question from that book now! Ready for the exam?” ” Does it have pictures?! What no photo..must be a very bore book”  “Abhi tak pass nahi hui, kitna padege?

I hate reading because I miss it so much when am not!

If only I had a job that gives me money while I spend time reading a novel from my favorite genre.

 

I have analyzed this life situation very carefully, There is perhaps a parallel universe where I can read all I want, but it doesn’t sound like a good ending.

Somewhere Am a librarian but it is too silent for a Libran social butterfly like me.

Or working at a bookstore- that will be then even more pathetic, surrounded by this sea of novels of all genre by all authors great, small, big and all I can do is arrange shelf, help the kid find coloring book! I wouldn’t survive a day.

Or working at a publisher – Naah, I wanna read a book that I like, not the one I publish. Not anyone bossing me to read this when I wanna read that.

So in this universe, I have settled for reading on the toilet seat.

I do have the plan to open my own Reading Cafe one day. Walls filled with books. From all genre. By all authors. A chalkboard-painted wall to write your favorite quote, to paint the world from novel just finished. The cafe will have all sort of sitting arrangement, from hammock to bean-bag, to give you a cocoon to just read and drink coffee. Where one could come out and quote favorite line or read fav passage and not feel out of life.

I will serve coffee and wait for monsoons. Authors will be the celebrity. Air will be filled with quotes from books and stories will come alive. There will be talks, discussions and book club meetings. Each will have own world to immerse in from any genre or be at any place the author takes them to.

One room definitely will be for people reading the last leg of the novel. DO NOT DISTURB ME when I need to know the end.

Life finally will stop sucking.

Don’t we all miss Home?

Last December, I was home. Am now approx 3000 Kilometers away from home. Too far to be away from home, for anyone, Isn’t it?

My home is Assam and is part of North East India. It is one of the seven sisters and is a beautiful place.

It is my cynefin. Being there, I feel, am exactly where I need to be, among people and nature I wish to be always. Just bring in my husband and son here and the scene will be complete.

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My father, after retirement settled at his native, an indistinguishable small village, fulguri, 17 kilometers from Guwahati airport. Guwahati is the biggest city in North-east and is the pseudo- capital of Assam.

I have memories of spending my school vacation there.At least those were a month long. Ever since life caught up, I could only visit for two weeks in a year. I remember looking forward to my visit every year during school days and I was so determined that I will be more frequent when I will have my own money and time.

Hmm, Don’t I have enough money and time now?

Honestly, It is sort of unreal. My longing for this place. What possibly could be the reason for loving this place so much? I have actually never lived there, at least for any time longer than a month. I have no real friends there. No childhood chadi-badi. I cannot speak the language correctly. Am no expert in its cuisine or culture. Assam and I have nothing in common! I shouldn’t fall for it..fulguri ! Sign!

But, it feels like a big part of my heart is left there, the part refuses to come with me, miles away, where am settled with my husband and son.

Perhaps it is the people – my parent, sibling, all my cousins, relatives, uncle, aunt, niece-nephews whom I probably won’t recognize anymore.

Or perhaps it is the place- the air, the language, the culture, the cuisine, the lahe-lahe attitude, the laughter, the curated smiles, the music, the raw, the freshness, the incessant pour, the early sunset/sunrise, the terrible heat of hot summer, the bonfire in chilly winter, the warmth of winter sun, the orient eyes, the shiny hair, the makela-sadar- dress, the fashion, the nail-art , the dekhi-local grinder, the mighty river, the hills, the green, the tea-garden, the mountains.Everything.

May be it is my mother’s kitchen garden or the pukhuri.

Enough of sob story.

So, As I was saying, I was home at the end of Dec, last year. Most of the time was spent in visiting new places and meeting relatives. I was hardly home. But one day was special, between all busy schedule and slipping vacation, the day I remember the most was when my husband decided to try fishing in our pukhuri. Pukhuri is a small pond next to my father’s house. Where my mother dumps all left-over food for the fishes. It isn’t too romantic or clean. It is actually muddy water.

I forgot, how relaxing this corner of my home is.

Some of the pictures from that day below.

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Early morning, I spotted my hero 🙂 when I was looking for the warmth of winter sun after a hot-water bath , almost ready for my winter-sun-nap !.
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The morning tea-cup . This was surely an indication of a relaxing day ahead. Pls spot my mother’s kitchen garden, beyond which is the pukhuri..

And there was my little pumpkin. Trying to see how good fisherman his father is.20171230_104133.jpg

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I just settled my butt at one place and then I looked up.
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He was in for a long haul 😉 trying to find perfect location where fishes will fall for this bait.
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The expert joined us , immeditely at work..

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He did manage to catch one fish. And many more.

Moral of the story.

I miss my home. I miss pukhuri . So am gonna build one, right next to the swimming pool in my apartment. Throw in some fishes, get a fishing net and settle my butt right there…some 3000 miles away from where it wants to be.

Aha..By the way, Today is my Ma’s birthday 🎂..Happy Birthday Ma. I terribly miss you.

Happy Ramzan…

Happy Ramzan.

We are introducing my almost 5-year-old son to the holy month of Ramzan this year. He knows other festivals of India – won’t stop saying “Ganapati bappa moria” much to my embarrassment in front of my Muslim in-laws.He knows that Diwali is the time for diya, rangoli and crackers and Holi is all about colors and water.

He can even recognize Santa Claus and won’t stop singing Jingle bell, jingle bell – again to my embarrassment. By the way, I don’t know why am embarrassed. my in-laws are lovely people. 

So we told him that this is the holiest month and he has to be a good boy. Sharing, caring and helping others.I write down all his good deeds in a diary daily and will show it to the Almighty Allah at the end of the month on Eid. If he finishes his meal, that counts too.

And in return, Allah will give him a gift on Eid. A big wonderful gift. A super-cool gift. It could be a supercar or a giant dinosaur. It could even be the spiderman figurine. How wonderful is that?

And the same goes for all of us. We get a nice gift if we behave well.

So this is how it goes at my home now…

“Mummy, what if Allah sleeps before I finish my meal, he wouldn’t know?” Allah, if you are listening, Aadil usual dinner time is 8-9 PM. Please do not sleep before 9. Nevertheless, I have the diary.

“What if Allah runs out of the gift and none is left for me ?” OMG! That would be scandalous..for all the pain the boy has taken in the month. 

“Mummy, You are shouting – you will not get any gift.”  Allah- You are all knowing and wise, you made me shout/scream… I did not. I deserve the gift.

“Papa, you are not playing with me – you will not get any gift.” Yes (raised fist) That will serve him right Allah, no gift for him.

All in all, am happy with the way Ramzan is going and I can’t wait to see the big smile on his face on the day of Eid when he gets his present (from Allah.)

Happy Ramzan everyone! I hope you may all celebrate this holy month by sharing, caring, and helping.

4 years 4 month
This was the pic taken when he turned 4 years, 4 month and 4 days, when we celebrated his Bismillah ceremony. I was so nervous that he is not gonna repeat the verses read out to him, but he did! Without any fuss, he sat through it and made be really proud that day.

Wishes for New Year!

I have been thinking after reading numerous wishes I have received in last 24 hours. Everyone suddenly seems to be sincerely wishing me love, peace, happiness, and prosperity for the new year ahead.  Are you listening to all this Universe – You have got a job to do!

Hmm, Something tells me that love, peace, happiness .. is all perspective. God will be confused, he She has no time to read between lines, and given the amount of request perhaps it would be better if my friends could send me wishes, telling exactly what to do. Anything could go wrong in sending love,peace and happiness my way!

God:  Hmm, Someone sent her happiness – So should I send a puppy or give a flat tummy? Hell .. I have got plenty to do ..let’s just send her a puppy. 

Noooooooooooooo ! It’s the other one lady!

To all my wonderful readers, visitor, bloggers, followers, if you have not send any wishes, read and you will know what you have say. Be precise 😉

On top of my list, and that of everyone else 

“May you get a waistline that will fit you into size XS,   S (Alright, I will be practical) M size!”

Head: Something tells me this will be wish of 90% of people of ladies on planet earth, which might be too much for God to handle and also that am writing this very late, I might be already at the bottom of wish list, but I could certainly outwit if everyone wishes me this, certainly the number of messages counts ! See there are lots of these waistline messages, let’s just do it and get the hell out of her list.

May your dinner plate have a constant supply of chicken, mutton   keema, and pan fried spice wrapped fish fry, and on the days when dinner looks  green and veggie, the universal-power-of-meat magically turns every veg mouth-full into chicken-curry/fish-fry mouth-full!

May you get super-eyes that can burn your calories just by “looking” at the person running on the treadmill. Just a stare and there 100 calories gone!  Evil laugh

May your husband learns to put the SUPER WET towel on the clothesline, NOT, definitely NOT on the bed.

May your son learns to keep his mouth shut during poo, I swear I do not find his Look mummy, that is bada(fat) potty, this is chota(small) potty talks cute anymore!

May you win a lotto to visit Venice and a wonderful nanny to take care of your son at home (definitely not with you), while you and husband live your dream of Gondola ride where you are singing at the top of voice THE song that made you fall in love with Venice!

May your husband shaves his beard every day, each and every of 365 days ahead,  such that it no more render half of his face area useless, giving him a powerful weaponry to annoy me just by brushing it off my face whenever I plan to annoy him and he wants to scare me away. Trust me, you do not want to feel those little prickly hair monster and loose a game of I-can-outsmart-you with your partner.

May you get to walk in the rain, under the umbrella, big enough to hold you and your husband together, but small to keep you both close. AFTER he has put his towel on the clothesline and shaved his beard.

May you never hold onto the feeling of I need to pee immediately outside the bathroom door contemplating if it would be rude to knock while some lady is possibly just looking through her facebook feeds and planning her next selfie – a pout with beauty mode ON to make her skin glowing like a light bulb.

May the days and nights of the weekend be longer than weekdays. And that your days be filled with absolutely nothing but a bed and pillow.If that is a subject, then be the subject matter expert in it.

May WordPress gives you a free domain! Yay!

And as for new year resolution, I have tried , revised and finally made peace with what Calvin says.

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Just when I decided to quit eating sweet , Universe noticed Aha.

And my dear neighbor decided to learn to bake cakes !

Two. Chocolate and Pineapple.

With frosting. Pink !

Pineapple is my favorite !

True Story.

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Universe : Victory! 

 

Coming back to work , after a heavy lunch at a fine-dine restaurant , on a Friday  , sponsored by the office , I learned a great deal about human anatomy.

When stomach is full up to the brim  , brain stops functioning.

Mind is in trance and human body is capable of sleep walker-talker-worker.

Would you say Zombie – Stage 1 ??

One word inspiration ,Never do it empty stomach.

(Feeling inspired , thinking head and  jumping heart )

That was awesome .. ? I think it is a wonderful idea..

Yeah , Yes.. We should totally do it.

Define a word that would be my North Star  for 2016. Am thinking…………

Sleep. 

Head : What ? How could you come up with that word. one word , just (louder) ONE word  , you lazy lazy bum …ONE word to be your torch for 2016 , that you would embrace completely , love deeply , stick by it  and the first word you choose is ( insulting pause ) S-L-E-E-P .  

You are not my heart anymore!

Like it or not , am sticking around.  Can’t you see? We both looooove sleeping . Why not make it  official!

Any trouble in life , just sleep it off. This too shall pass while you dream on your cozy bed , with you, my dear head resting on pillow.

Head: Thinking is my job , stupid heart.  Lemme do it. Quietly.

Hmm , Okay.

After a minute .

Here is another one. Chicken.

Ta-da!

Head: (fumes coming out of one ear ) Aha, Chicken , hmm? Exactly ,How does that inspire you ? When do you ever hear anyone say let’s do it like chicken … Let’s be like chicken ? Chicken is born to die .. remember , it’s bred only for recipe .

C’on .Chicken is inspiration .We go extra miles for that one joint in other part of city famous for chicken biryani! How can you forget Afgani chicken kebabs..

Head : (fumes coming out of both the ears and a bit of nose )Did you even get what the post means? What it means to have a word as torch for 2016.

(murmuring) Well .. chicken fits. Its a light .. a  guiding torch , guiding us to that biryani wala .

Head: (fuming) We need a word which is like #growing 

After a minute .

Oh wait. Here is another one..

Head (interrupting  harshly) : Not FISH!  That doesn’t qualify either. What is wrong with you .. Food is your inspiration ? Think Verb .. think action.

(murmuring) Sleeping qualifies as verb , and you are thinking now at dinner time rather than eating ….food. I can only see chicken and fish floating around me now .

Head is in complete state of meditation , thinking , occasionally a sound , a murmur  , sometimes yapping  : A word for me ….. to help me  …inspiration….

After dinner.

I could see chicken and fish cannot be inspiration for 2016! That was my empty stomach talking before dinner. Now stomach is sleeping , head is still searching for word… yapping…

My 3 year old boy walks in, comes straight to my lap , face towards me … his little arms wrapped around my neck.. 

Adi : Mummy , let’s play the game happy face , angry face.

(Presses my right cheek) c’on , show me happy face, (presses again) abhi gussa(= now angry face). Wiggles his nose to get his angry look , giggles with laughter for happy face.

Head and Heart , both measuring his immeasurable cuteness..

One word.  Son.

Will get me through , any or everything .. when he has his arms around my neck .

PS :  This post is Blogging 101 assignment , to write a post inspired by other post.

In reality , though I agree with Safari Girl, I could not think of anything more inspiring for me than my own family and especially my son. A bit bore ending , humorless than originally intended. Nevertheless ..  am still measuring his cuteness..