Sunday, April 4, 2010

HongKong.... I do like

Just back from HK and need another vacation to recover. But loved the city. It’s near the sea, is not flat, is crowded with amazing organisation and has a pulse to it! Drove by Hollywood Street and it had these great antique shops intermingled with cute cafes and bars and single (?) beautiful people were enjoying the start of the long weekend. Was I envious with my two monsters who had passed out on either side after a day of seeing and shopping!

Anyway did Disney with definitely less enthusiasm then the first time. But I think the kids enjoyed. In my effort not to be unfair to Vir, I think Jai gets in double doses. I sincerely wish kids came with a manual or I was less confused.

Got onto to my exercise wagon with 20 minutes of walking and 20 minutes of catching my breath so you can just imagine how badly I am off. Cross my fingers that I do not fall off this "wagon".

Oh yes must describe scene at airport. Vir has an overly sensitive nose and Jai .....well we had left the hotel at six in the morning with just about time to brush our teeth. So when Jai put it delicately made some "popping “sounds, Vir says loudly ...".eeeuw Dada you farted". Jai of course duly embarrassed hurried off with "no I didn't" to which Vir takes major objection. So Jai is hurrying off trying to look nonchalant and Vir is running behind him shouting "you farted, dada you did" and I and Mohit are in vain trying to sush him up. And the whole of HK thinks we are now the strange Indian family with bodily emissions polluting their rather nice airport. See what I told you about manuals.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

NOT "off the wagon"

I had to get at least one post in, for March. Otherwise it would be the story about “off the wagon” again. The settling into Manila continues. Most people or rather many of our Indian friends find living in Manila comparable to having discovered “wonderland” am I being perverse by not accepting that or is my disconnect or looking for something more a reflection of me, myself. Don’t get me wrong Manila is comfortable- the drivers, the maids, the malls but it lacks something, that something I can’t put my finger on but I think might have something to do with a comment I heard –“Manila is very busy socially, but very lonely.” Food for thought, or thought for food.

On food, it never surprises me how poor the quality of Indian groceries available in Manila is compared to Melbourne or Bangkok. I mean there is a huge Indian population here. Me thinks it’s because Melbourne being Melbourne with stricter controls and Bangkok because the initial Indian population was Sikhs and the sardars are used to good quality food is the reason. Manila’s original Indian population  I feel are/were less circumspect. Any way Manila is out of Arhar dal and have never heard of idli rava and everest milk masala is like asking for the moon. I wonder what Reshma Patil's experience is in Beijing. Reshma Patil is a HT correspondent whose blog I have of recent started following and which I quite like. I guess my shift in loyalties from TOI to HT is now kind of sealed. Although I do not like Vir Sanghvi, for some reason I find his columns “supercilious” and of course good old KT is my all time favorite.

Off to HK for a four fun filled days with the kids. Jai is jaded when it comes to Disneyland, Ranvir raring to go and M well the less said the better of a man who cannot even ride the merry go round! Me ? Bring it on folks, I mean with a few more birthdays, will not even be able to heave myself into/onto a ride!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A “full on” weekend

A lot has been happening this weekend. On 20th Feb Mohit and I celeberated our 15th marriage anniversary. Wow…with all the ups and downs and turns and twists I think we can safely say…yes we are still best of friends…..and If I had to do these fifteen years all over again they would be with M again (unless of course Pierce Brosnan was in the reckoning). Also on your 15th wedding anniversary it is extremely difficult to be “romantic” as every time one tries to hug there are two little monsters converting it promptly into a “faaaammmillly hug.” What can I say they are and will always be the best part of our marriage.

Oh god I am getting quite senti…..I think I can attribute it to seeing- My Name is Khan this evening. But besides being a “good” film (me being partial to Sharukh Khan) no it really is an honest attempt by KJ and Sharukh has done a great job , the evening was filled with classic “nuggets” which I must put down less I lose them to time and my age.

Vir with his butter won’t melt expression is truly a little hoodlum in the making. Since the movie was for an Indian audience why would it evvveer start on time, so our little friend was getting quite restless. Then he clambers on to my lap looks up at the projector window at the back and tells me – bas ab tomatoes phek the hain( Mom we should throw tomatoes at the window now)- He had probably picked the line from our senior friend but my gut feeling is Jai will remain the “talker” but this fellow will be the “do-er.”

The other little nugget of this evening being……Most of the times I think I am a very average or even below average mother. I yell, shout , loose my temper, throw in a few whacks and feel horribly guilty of not doing enough. But there a few, mind you very few instances when I feel yes may be I have got some part of it right. Jai has a morbid interest in terrorism, knows details of the Mumbai attacks, watches the reruns of 9/11 with great interst on NatGeo. I wasn’t sure MINK would hold his interest but it did….and somewhere in the second half he whispers to me …..You know with Martin Luther King it was a fight for blacks and browns now it is about Muslims and those who are not Muslims but actually there are only good people and bad people and no religion ever teaches you to be bad….. then we go back to eating our popcorn.

My ten year old son gets it……oh god I do hope and pray it stay with him. I might be a bit optimistic, a bit na├»ve but I am very proud of Jai and the fact that he “gets it.” When will the others….?

In the word of Karan Thappar...." mein garv se kehti hoon mein secular hoon, aur garv se kehti hoon ki (mere ankhon ka tara, budhapeka sahara... quote, unquote Kajol in MINK) Jai secular banega."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Of learning and learnt

This Friday was a day of learning. Jai has in his unit of inquiry been learning about Child Rights. I was a bit concerned of its manifestation at home as all “good” mothers know children have no rights and what mom says is law! Anyway as part of that unit the school showed the kids a movie on Martin Luther King (My friend Martin), which I guess impressed our little friend (at least I hope so). But he came back and asked if we could go and check if the movie was available on DVD. One has to grab these few moments of enlightenment, as most are submerged under PSP, DS’, Spongebob and WWF. So we headed off on the way back from school to the mall, of course to find that it was not available and told “we don’t keep movies like this” by a nubile nymphet.

As we got home and I gathered stuff from the car, picking up a sodden bag of swim stuff pushed me into asking Jai-“sunscreen applied?” Why do I bother… of course I know it’s never slapped on unless I am the one doing the “slapping”. But what is life without hope. In all innocence I loudly proclaimed “you’ll turn black”. This being a direct translation of “kale ho jayo ge” which stems from a deep Indian mother psyche of “bachha kale na ho jaye”. Prompt came the response “Mom that is so racist.” WHOOOOOOps tried to back track, explain etc etc. but the face in front was stoic and unyielding.

This from a kid who a few months back (in Delhi) had shocked me by proclaiming that “all Muslims are terrorists” and this was conveyed to him by So-and-so who in turn had heard it from his Dad. I could have kicked So-and-so’s dad and it took an accelerated course in respect for all religions and a reminder about Aneela masi, Saajid uncle and Shawar ma’am to wipe that out. So learning being –watch the mouth (mothers and fathers) and if you don’t (cause you are human too) sometime the kids will surprise you.

Black or rather blackened Radhika
Ps: Have decided its time to "tweet" under Manilamusings

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Initiating Manila Musings

I have come to the conclusion that I lack consistency. It’s really not rocket science and frankly being able to say it or write it, actually is quite relieving. My last post was when we were just leaving Melbourne in Dec 2008 and moving to Delhi. It’s been more than a year and includes a second move. So we are now in Manila having arrived on Jan 4 2010 after having spent exactly a year in New Delhi (we arrived in New Delhi on 4 Jan 2009). Most people when they hear this say, “I guess you couldn’t adjust”, implying that’s why we left. Nothing could be further from the truth. We loved Delhi; even though the last year was quite challenging, but took what we think is a very “mature” decision primarily for the kids. If I could just go with my heart, that’s without the rational logical thinking, I would say it was a bloody “@!#@$)” decision.

So anyway we are now in Manila. I am back to “blogging” on a chapter that shall be called “MANILA MUSINGS. I am seriously going to try and be more “consistent” and muse on these pages and lot more. But que sera sera ..... what ever wil be will be