Monday, August 1, 2016

Mumstruction #1 How to make a cup of tea (and drink it)

It's very simple really. Just these simple steps:

1. When baby (finally) goes down for a nap stare at her sweet face for 2 mins. Time is 10:30am. Time for a hot cuppa.

2. Stretch and walk into the kitchen enjoying the bliss of a quiet house. Fill the kettle with water.

3. Turn the kettle on. You think you hear baby stirring.

4. Check on baby. She is stirring but she will self soothe. No cry is starting to build intensity pick baby up rock. Baby is sleeping again. Put baby back in cot. Time 10:35.

5. Back in the kitchen, open cupboard. Stare blankly at tea options. You've had only 3 hours of sleep last night so you reach towards the regular English breakfast. As you reach for it guilt sets in for being a shit mum who breastfeeds her baby with caffeine. Logical brain then takes over and says "It's only like 0.1% that goes to the baby. You need this". Just as your hands touch the jar logical brain comes back saying "Actually you'll need atleast 5 cups to get through the day best to start with decaf.. Imagine how many loo trips you'll have to make otherwise" You shudder and quickly grab the decaf before you change your mind.

6. Drop tea bag in cup. You can hear baby crying again.

7. Go back rock baby, doesn't work. She's crying with her eyes closed. Bounce on exercise ball with baby. Baby calms down sucks fingers to sleep. Pop her back in the cot and she screams like you placed her on a bed of burning coal. Ok rock rock again. Baby is asleep again. This time she let's you put her down. Success! Time 11:15am. What that can't be right! Maybe you should've decided your tea options faster huh.

8. Water is cold switch on kettle again. Pour water in cup. Stirr. Throw away tea bag. Add sugar and milk. You feel so accomplished already!

9. Attempt to leave kitchen with tea hear baby cry again. This time she's wide awake. Carry her to kitchen with you.

10. Attempt to drink tea while carrying baby. Baby is too wriggly and you worry about spilling hot tea on her so you try to put her on the play mat. Baby screams. Ok bouncer? Baby screams. Carry her again. Time is 11:20am

11. Gently put her back in the bouncer. Baby starts to cry but you sing I'm a little tea pot.. With hand actions.. Do not forget the hand actions. Baby is smiling and cooing. Hah you're brilliant aren't you.

12. Tea has gone from boiling hot to warm. You missed the right time. Consider microwaving for a few secs. Baby starts to frown again so you decide against it and quickly drink the tea.

13. You did it!! Yay.. Time is now 11:35pm 
Congrats it took you just an hour to make and drink a cup of tea. Smile because it'll be lunch time soon.

Go on then.. ask me what I do all day One. More. Time.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Mumstructions - a how to guide for new mums

Disclaimer - you will need a basic sense of humour and the ability to detect sarcasm to understand this blog.

I've been missing for almost two years now. I blame it on my increasingly hectic and soul destroying corporate job and this little matter of pregnancy and child birth. Now that my body has adjusted to be able to perform on 3 hours of sleep per 24hrs I'm back.

Now I have the privilege of a new job. Being full time mum to my now 6 month old baby girl. Safe to say harder than anything I've done before but the most rewarding. But I now get the question "What do you do all day?" from friends who mean well.

Mumstructions will give you an idea of what I do all day with my cute and cuddly baby.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cherishing Neela Paati

An ode to the lady who was my third parent.

Clean, perfectly groomed and the lingering perfume of Afghan snow. That's how I remember my grandma.
My grandparents lived with us so when I think back on the 'parenting' I had its hard to remember something that my grandma was not involved in.

She was the cool grandma who approved of my jeans. Who let me sleep late on weekends. She was so intelligent that if they had girls only schools back in her day I'm sure she'd be a Supreme Court judge or an IAS officer.

She taught me some things that have become a part of me. She taught me to keep a clean kitchen, when i see my kitchen counter dirty, I shudder because I can see her with a disapproving look on her face. She taught me how to crochet and knit, when I finish a baby sweater I can see her smiling proudly. She passed on to me her green thumb, when I see my little pots flower and bloom I can picture her nodding in approval. Most importantly, she taught me that you can be a small person but still stand taller than everyone. She had the will power of 20 people put together.

It's been 4 months since she passed away in her sleep, 90 years of age. Her will power played out till the very end. Her biggest fear was being bed ridden, to have a nurse care for her, to no longer be independent. The very day that they had a nurse come to care for her she decided enough was enough and passed in her sleep. I'd like to think she's happy, pain free watching over us.

I love you Paati and I will miss you forever. But I wont be sad, I will cherish the time we had and celebrate your life every time I'm reminded of you

The last day I spent with Paati

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Corporate Choirsters

Why and how I learnt more about team work as part of my office choir than I did from my day job. (And why it pays when companies invest in their people)

I've been interviewing a lot lately. And as a part of this preparation I ask myself all kinds of questions from my CV. My husfriend told me to also look at the 'Extra' section and be ready to talk about it. The 'Extra' bit is the bit we think no one reads or cares about. The bit in the end with your hobbies and extra curricular activities.

I looked there and right on top I'd added a line about being part of the Office Choir and winning runners up in the Office choir of the year contest. What did I learn from here? I wondered. And realised I learnt a lot more about 'team work' than from my regular day job!

A few things that really struck me:

Cliche alert: There is no ME in team.. How many times I've cringed when I heard that. But in the choir it cant be more true! If the audience can hear your voice above the others, it means you are doing something very wrong. Harmony is the keyword here.

Everyone has their place, and unless you give a 100% nothing of value will come out of your effort. A Soprano cannot sing both their and the Alto parts together. Each person has a skill, a strong point and they play on it and trust the others to do their bits. Listen to each other, know exactly where to come in, if not you have one ear shattering mess.

Your ego has no place in a team- or a choir. Especially being an office choir where none of us were professional singers, there were some of us who were trained from a very young age, some of us who could not read music. Some of us were there with an agenda- to win against all odds, some of us were there for the experience, just to have fun. It didn't matter if you were an Alpha personality or a wallflower, you cant shine alone nor can you fade away in the background. You have to swallow your pride and be willing to learn. You have to remind yourself not to be overbearing and demanding of others. There had to be a halfway point, where we all came together, irrespective of our agendas or personalities.

In a group of almost 20 musically inclined people there will be creative differences. Its what we do with these differences that determine whether we sink or swim.

In the end we won, together, as a team and I couldn't be more proud!

Click here for the highlights of our 'teamwork'

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Big Picture

She read softly aloud to herself, for the umpteenth time. As she scanned the screen she spotted one unfamiliar word and the panic started building up again. ‘Oh god I can’t remember what that is now’ she thought  to herself as she quickly opened another window to do a search. She’d spent the last hour or so like this, anxiously flitting about from one page to another, one set of interview questions after another.

She looked at the time on the corner of her screen, 20 mins more. She was still coming to grasps that she was going to be interviewed for a new role. This was going to be a huge step up if she got it. And thus started the days of anxious studying and preparing. She hadn't interviewed in 3 years and she felt rusty.

No amount of studying seemed enough. Her stomach twisted and turned and her mouth went dry as the mins ticked closer to the time. 'Ok enough I'm not going to learn anything new now, I need to calm down' she thought to herself. She was nauseated from the anxiety.

15 mins more. She could see the interview room from where she sat. The manager who was going to interview her sat a few rows away and she could see his head if she stretched. No point in going there too early. She decided to read the news for the next 10 mins and then walk into the interview room.

After all the important headlines, at the bottom a picture of a little boy caught her eye. There was something sickly yet strong about him that drew her attention. 'Terminally ill child declares that he wont continue treatment'. She read about how a 10 year old boy who'd been suffering from cancer for most of his life had decided that he no longer wished to do hospital trips and treatments that were not working. He declared publicly that he wished to spend whatever little time he had doing things he loved. Then came a few lines where the mother expressed her heartbreak but decided that she had to respect his wishes and not let him suffer any more. It was so sad. 10 year old boys making such big decisions, and a mother unselfishly letting her son die rather than suffer some more and then die. He looked so brave in the picture.

Oh my god she thought to herself. She had a wonderful life, and here she was making herself sick with anxiety. So what if she didn't get the job? Nothing! Nothing life altering really. Sometimes in the petty first world problems that we face, we really tend to loose sight of the big picture. She sighed and said a little prayer for the boy.

She then walked into the interview room, calmer than ever. With a confident smile on her face.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

For better or for worse..

Three years ago a bright eyed girl smiled a lot as the man she was in love with tied the knot.

The man she'd fallen madly in love with.

For better or for worse they promised each other as they walked round and round a fire.

What she had then was a best friend for whom she had endless love. Endless she thought then. And surely it grew bigger and bigger everyday.

There were days of better and then there were days of worse. So many feelings, some win and some lose.
Of the ones that stayed, a strong feeling endured. Familiarity? She wondered, no it's more than that for sure.

A couple of years came and went pretty quick. Trust? Was that it? Yes trust, an unshakeable trust, she didn't know when it came but it was there now along with the love that always seemed to grow.

But there was more, she couldn't put her finger on it. The couple grew a little older together and wiser by a bit. All around the world they wandered arms knit.

Another year went by, and one day while missing him she realised how big the love had grown. How many storms the trust had borne.

And then suddenly she realised what that other feeling was! It wasn't new, always there but this year, his toil and achievements had made this other feeling win, over all others (maybe sometimes tie for first place with love?)

Respect. That's it! Thats the one, she thought, and smiled, with a lot more reasons to do so, than that day three years ago.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


There's a new cult that's expanding by the minute. It's one of those cults where people join voluntarily and practice religiously. Its called Complainism. And I'm sick of it.

I don't know if its the fact that I grew up in a developing country or the fact that I don't have too many regrets in life but this way of life doesn't attract me at all.

Here's a list of things that Complainists do that totally kills my buzz

1. Complain about their job/relationship or lack of one/life etc
I'm not talking about the occasional bitching to your friends or your partner about your crazy boss or your horrid day at work. That's ok. We all need to vent sometimes.
I'm talking about people, who sit you down and give you a blow by blow detailed picture of why their job sucks or how they are being victimised in their relationship, or how they just cant seem to find 'the one'. Its those people who's name resonates with depression in your head. Oh, you aren't allowed to ask questions or raise valid points about why they aren't doing anything to get out of their situation.

2. Even worse, the people from point 1 above who add 'But you are lucky..' at the end of the rant.
Its always complain complain and then 'Oh but you are lucky to have this/be here/etc'
Usually I'm too polite to say it to their face but I probably should : 'I am not where I am with what I have because of luck. Its because I worked my backside off to get it. Trust me, If I let luck decide my fate I'd be rotting away in misery like you'.

3. Complaints about society/politics that consume their entire existence.
You cannot have a conversation with these people without them bringing up 'How horrible this world is' or 'How unfairly high cost of living is' or 'How the recession is completely unfair'. I'd like to ask them: Did anyone ever promise you that life was going to be fair? This is our reality, take it or change it.
I'm not sure if these people are really 'affected' by these issues or just like to talk about it to sound philosophical and intelligent.

A very wise person once told me 'Opportunities multiply as they are seized' and this is something I have blind faith in. If you cant be bothered to pro-actively change your situation don't bother wasting my time.

Big question that I ask myself often: Why do I even bother listening to these people if it annoys me so much? Because, these are people I genuinely care about. Who didn't used to be like this. Who used to have hopes and dreams and positive energy. Some people don't wait for an audience. With the magic of Facebook and Twitter they have the power to force in into your attention zone even if you didn't want to be around any negative energy that day.

Am I complaining? Probably, but I'll do it just once and wont let it become my religion.