5 days to go.  30000 words to write. 15% of brain left unfried.


Such is life…

I have been ignoring the kid the past few days because of my own work work pressure.  Not that the kid minds, she has been terribly busy herself.  Nevertheless, seeing her unusually silent and thoughtful yesterday, I pushed the work out of my mind and sat with her, knowing that she could do with an ear or two.

“Amma, do you know, for how horribly annoying you are, you are actually a cool mom”.

“I will gloss over the annoying bit, and just take the compliment and run !  But why this gyan suddenly?”

“A (one of her bffs) has been having some serious issues – I can’t tell you what the issues are, I promised her , and her mother is not being supportive at all – in fact, instead of helping her out, she is yelling more at her; A is very troubled and cries a lot.  I think moms must be supportive of children, otherwise they shouldn’t have children”.

“Umm…am I being supportive to you?”

“I am different amma, I am strong, I may have issues, but I can deal with them myself.  But I know that you won’t make it more difficult for me like A’s mom is making it for her”.

I am happy that the kid knows her strength and is confident that she can deal with whatever life throws at her.  And thrilled that she thinks I am doing an ok job, despite my constant doubts and insecurities.  But a tiny part of me is wistful that my baby does not need me for her issues.  Moms are a weird lot, I say.


The kid took the day off school yesterday because she had a cold.  It happened that half the class was absent, for whatever reason.  When the teacher commented on it, one of her classmates, seeking brownie points through boot licking, apparently said “I am sure all of them bunked for no good reason, ma’am”.  The teacher was miffed and is going to lead the absentees to the principal today.  My kid was upset about the girl, as was I.

“Are you going to ask S why she was being a snitch?”

“She isn’t a snitch ma, she is another word that rhymes with it”.

Glossing over the sexism of the use of the word, and the fact that my child actually uses it in context,  I am gobsmacked – my kid is all grown up.


A mail from my best friend today:

“Today is the anniversary of a big decision of my life.  Twenty years ago, the question I heard was “Will you marry me?”.  This morning, the question I heard was “Did you get the milk in?””

I think “Did you get the milk in” is so much more romantic.  Middle age, I suppose.




Sharing my world

Here is my answers to questions on Cee’s Share Your World this week

Are you a practical jokester?

Certainly not. I hate to do anything that makes another person uncomfortable in any way.  I don’t like being tricked either.  I, on the other hand, love humour, the sense of humour I dig most is the wry self-depreciating type, ala Wodehouse/Erma Bombeck.  I don’t relate to Indian humour one bit, because I feel Indian humour is largely built on teasing.  Brit humour gets me every single time. American, sometimes, yeah, sometimes not so much.

This is a bit of a dirty linen – I don’t like teasing.  I don’t like being teased. Call me stuffy, sensitive or un-fun, I simply hate the concept of teasing/ribbing/ragging whatever you call it.  My marital family, on the other hand, is big time into teasing.   There is no neutral conversation between any two people, any interaction always involves pulling the other’s leg.  When I was a newly wed, I was miserable about it.  Then I let the better-half know of my discomfort with teasing, and he stopped teasing me and around me.  Fifteen years since, I still hate to go to gatherings at one branch of the marital family because that branch is the royalty of teasing.

I like to surprise people though.  Especially my kid.  I like doing little nice things for her unexpectedly, and the look of joy on her face is priceless.  That does not count as practical joking, I am sure.

Who cuts your hair?  You, a friend, or professional.

Like I have hair to cut.  You can count the strands on the egg with a few fingers.  The rare time that the hair grows a fraction of an inch longer and tapers into an ugly rat’s tail, I get it trimmed at the local parlor.  I am not particular about which parlor – how complicated can snipping off quarter inch of seven hair strands be?

Did you have a stuffed animal when you were a kid, if so what kind?

Never.  I have never even wanted one.  When I was really young, I vaguely remember being scared of stuffed animals.  Now, stuffed animals scream “dust” to me – the place in which I live is very hot and dusty most of the time, and the idea of all the dust in the fur of the toy puts me off it.

I remember answering a similar question earlier.  Yes, there was.  I reproduce it here:

Is there a stuffed animal in your bedroom? 

My teenage daughter had a large sack full of stuffed animals (at least 30 of them) in her room until a month ago.  We live in a wooded area, and on the ground floor, which makes us targets of various creepy crawlies.  Last month, the kid saw a vicious looking centipede in her room before she ran out screaming like a banshee, and no amount of searching for it was yielding result.  I figured the creature had to be inside the bag with the stuffed toys and I unceremoniously chucked the bag out, toys and all.  As I heaved the bag, what do you know, the centipede fell out of it.    I sent it to centipede heaven with my slipper, and threw out the bag of toys because I didn’t want clutter in her room for critters to hide.

The kid was given a stuffed toy for her birthday last month, by her friend, and I have told her that this one toy is all she can have on her bed.  The moment I see it on the floor, it goes into the dustbin.  She eyes me with fear and hugs on to the toy every time I enter her room.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I am not quite sure about the smile, because when deadline times overlap with PMS, there is no room for rapture.

I am not sure if you can call this inspirational, but my client is one heck of a chap.  He and I have been working together (in the immediate past) since end of November on various grueling deadlines, and while I am physically exhausted and just a tad bit brain fried, he is like that battery bunny, with nary a sign of humanness.  Yes, he loves the job, but so do I, and yet, my flesh is weaker than his; and he is 61 years old – how? just how?  Sometimes I wonder if he is a robot with an unending supply of energy.

There are also a few things I am a little on the tenterhooks about.

We booked a new car because our old one was more than a decade old, and was beginning to lose steam.  Compromising between my need for a simple, small functional vehicle to drive from point A to point B, and my family’s need for a large, fancy gas guzzler, we settled for, what is termed, an “urban SUV”, of local make, with the maximum fuel efficiency possible for that genre of vehicles.  I like the vehicle on an objective scale – it is pretty, fuel efficient, and local made (not international brand), but there is discomfort at having fallen prey to the rampant consumerism that I abhor – yes, call me a hypocrite, you are justified. Still, no point regretting compromises.  The car arrives sometime this week, and I am still not sure how I feel about it.

Another possible change – we moved into the present apartment ten years ago.  I love the apartment, but could do with a change.  We have applied for a larger apartment, we may not get it if some one more eligible than us applies, but if we do, we’ll probably move.  It is within the same wooded area, but further in, and is in two levels, with ample yard space for a garden, lovely trees around and insulated from the neighboring houses by a lot of buffer space.  We may not get it, and I may not be disappointed too much because I have nothing against where we live now, but it will be nice if we got it.  Keeping fingers crossed.

Wow, that turned out to be a long post, didn’t it?

English question

This is new to me. After 17 years of writing in the field of materials science, I learn today that there is no singular form for materials, i.e. “material” is not a word.  Like “jean” is not the singular form of  “jeans”.  If I absolutely must use it as a singular form, it would be, weirdly enough, “materials’ ”  (apostrophe after the s).

The word “material” can be however used as an adjective –  “material desires” type.

I searched about this in all kinds of dictionary, but everywhere “material” seems to be a legitimate word used as a singular noun.  The person who pointed out the above to me, is excellent (if pedantic) in English, and therefore, I am unable to doubt him either.

Does anyone else know anything about this?

That aside, I have decided never to use the word “material” again ever.  Why take a risk, huh?

Good morning

Another busy week ahead – my last deadline for the next couple of months approaches.  My eyes feel tired, as does the rest of me.  The spirit, however, is fired.  The flesh had better keep up.

Have a good week folks.  I will obviously be writing a lot here this week, if only to grumble.