Thursday, January 18, 2007

Baby's day in

So it was my sister's good fortune that I decided to relieve her of her fulltime job at Motherhood Unlimited for a few hours while she went to get her shopping done. On the other hand, it was my good fortune that she actually trusted me enough to let me baby-sit Aish without supervision.

Barely had I shut the door when the phone rang.

"What's she doing??" My sis asked.

"Huh?? Are you even out of the lift??" I asked.

"What's she doing??"

"She's looking at me talk to you, you crazy woman."


"And..?? There's an 'and'?? Errr... She's not crying?"

"Oh okay then."


Fifteen minutes later, the phone rang again.

"What's she doing??"

"She's sleeping... and not crying!"

"Oh okay."

This happened another hour later.

"She's not crying! Stop calling me!" I hung up.


OhdearGodAishwasawake!!!! :O :O :O

"Uhh... let's get you into your stroller, okay?"

I did that. She became quiet. I drove her around the house, and she chuckled. But soon she started looking really bored.

"Now what?" I looked at her.

She gave me a "you're-supposed-to-know-that-you-dhakkan!" look.

"Shall we watch some TV? Oh yeah, let's do that!"

So I turned on the TV and started flipping channels. I felt like Chandler as he sat with his chick (as in the bird and not the woman) and explained the storyline (is there one?) of Baywatch when they were watching TV together.


Himmesh Reshammiya appears on screen.

Me - Look Aish, that is Himmesh Reshammiya. We don't like him. But he doesn't care. Because he has made a lot of money from all that oooooing that he does all day about the surooooorrrr of his huzoooorrr.


Brett Lee appears on screen in his album with Asha Bhosle.

Me - That is Brett Lee. He is a cricketer. We don't know/care which country he plays for. He can't sing in hindi for nuts. But we love him.


Abhishek Bachchan appears on screen.

Me - That is Abhishek Bachchan. We don't like his dad too much but we like him. He just got engaged to Aish so we gotta wait and watch.


A bored lion appears on screen.

Me - This is a lion on the national geographic channel. We will not watch this channel. You can watch when you grow up.


Newsreader appears on screen.

Me - This is a news channel. They show the day's happenings. We won't watch it because we are here for a wedding. There's enough happenings in the house already.


Rakhi Sawant appears on screen.

Me - This is Rakhi Sawant on Bigg Boss. We think she's too innocent for a show like that. And oh, we hate the show.


Akshay Kumar appears on screen.

Me - This is Akshay Kumar. Your mom doesn't like him, but we do.


A large over-dressed family appears on screen.

Me - This is a serial by Ekta Kapoor. She can't spell for nuts. And her stories are all the same. The evil bahu always has short hair and a weird fringe, and wears silver or purple lipstick. And see that old woman in the corner? She's been on the show so long, she must be 140 years old. Nice saris on the show, though.


Siddhu appears on screen.

Me - That is Siddhu. He used to play cricket. He did some cricket commentary too. Also killed a man. Now he laughs at senseless jokes on a stupid show called 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge'. We don't like him.


Aish appears on screen.

Me - You see that? That's Aishwarya Rai. She's the most beautiful woman in the world. Doesn't she look super hot in this song 'Crazy kiya re'? We don't have that face, but we should strive for that body, ok?


Me - So which one do you like?

Aish looks at me, puzzled.


John Abraham appears on screen.

Aish - Thisssss!

Me - That's my girl! :D

Monday, January 15, 2007

Kol Kata Aaj Cuttack

Bhai's whereabouts: I have moved out of Calcutta and landed at Cuttack (my ancestral home) and finally got net access! I think my fingers jumped with joy at the touch of a keyboard after so long, even though most of the keys have had their letters rubbed off so I'm just typing on blank keys. My Dad saw me doing that and kinda freaked out. :P

A few months ago, Dad told me he was getting a transfer. I wasn't happy. I hadn't seen Lucknow and looked like he would be outta there before I visited India next. He told me he didn't know where he was getting transferred to, but he was trying for one of the eastern states.

"Dad, go anywhere but Calcutta, okay?" I was not really a fan of Calcutta as my last encounter with the city had left behind images of the bad traffic, crowds and pollution.

A few days later, after consultation with his good friend Murphy, Dad called me. He sounded very cheerful.

"I'm getting transferred to Calcutta!" He said.

Gee, thanks a lot, Dad. :/

So when I packed my bags and part of my wedding shopping and landed at Calcutta on the 5th of January, I wasn't exactly ecstatic. But somehow, within the very first week, the city seemed to grow on me. I would go with Dad for his morning walks and check out the roadside sabziwalas selling amazingly fresh vegetables. They even have customer service now, the fish seller insisted on buying Dad a cup of tea as he waited for the fish to be cut. It was hilarious to see Dad try and converse with them in Bengali considering that his vocabulary is limited to 'Koto kori?" Even Mom sounds adorable when she struggles with Bengali while speaking to the domestic helper, who by the way remarked that my Bengali was better than Mom's. Muahahaha! :D

Our neighbour took an instant liking to me and I'm still trying to figure out why. Her Bengali-mixed Hindi is so cute it's almost distracting. "Tumi itna roga kyun?" She asked me. ("Why are you so thin?") Also, "Aami shokaal mein thaanda jol chul mein daalkar chan kiya." ("I washed my hair with cold water while bathing this morning.") Why one would do that in winter is beyond me, but apparently she likes bathing with cold water. Brrrr!

Baby Aish is here too, and attempting to stuff all her toes into her mouth seems to be her ultimate goal in life, while mine seems to be teach her to do a high five, which is more like her entire hand against my thumb. Her other antics include holding up the book I bought her (yes yes, there are books for infants) between her legs, and turning the pages with her hands. And oh, she spoke her first word and it is "This." I swear. Actually it's more like "Thissss!"

And may I also mention that I have successfully convinced baby Aish that I am John Abraham. Come to think of it, "Sayesha, you look like John Abraham." is not exactly a compliment, but she was watching the song "Where's the paty tonight?" on TV and really smiling whenever they showed John, and suddenly the song changed and she started crying so I kinda continued from where John had left off and she smiled again, even though I kept repeating "Where's the party tonight? On the dance floor!" like a zillion times because I don't know the lyrics, but she was happy to see me prance around I guess. It's amazing how she has made a singer and dancer of everyone in my family. And I seriously believe that I have lost the ability to speak in anything other than baby talk.

Things are still the same at home though. The fight for the remote control continues. I continue to treat my elder sister like my baby sister. Speaking of which, baby Aish caught a cold, and we took her to a child clinic. The paediatrician took one look at my sister and baby Aish and said "So which one of you is my patient??"

We've been wedding-shopping every single day. Frankly speaking, it feels great not to have a job to wake up to, and just roam around Calcutta and spend Dad's money. Mom has got the hang of crossing the busy streets of Calcutta with such expertise that I'm absolutely amazed! This is how it happens:

Mom - Okay, cross after the taxi!
Me - Err.. which one of the twenty thousand??
Mom - Arre...This one...
Me - Uhh... are you sure?
Mom - Go now! Chalchalchal!
Me - Jai ma Kalkatte-wali!

While looking for my wedding sari, I met a few interesting characters. These days, when you're selecting a sari, the shopkeepers ask you "Should I drape it?" It basically means that they will help to drape it around you using a welcro belt so that you don't really have to 'wear' it to see how you will look in it. I remember this one particular shopkeeper who was showing us a sari that I really liked. "Should I drape it?" He asked. "Yes yes." I said. What happened in the next few seconds is something I would have never imagined. The dude draped the sari around himself!!! I think it will take me a while to get rid of the image of that moustached man in what could have potentially been MY wedding sari. Sheesh! Obviously I could not look at that sari the same way again. The guy is probably sitting in his shop and wondering to this day what made me reject the sari that I had initially been so enthusiatic about.

After the wedding saris were bought, we went to the tailor to get the blouses stitched. When I saw them, the blouses looked breathtakingly beautiful! When I tried them on, they were...err... breath-taking.

"Dude, I can't quite remember asking you to stitch corsets." I wanted to say to the tailor, but I managed with a "Khoob tight aachhe." ("It's very tight.") He went on to give me a long lecture on how girls of today like me don't wear saris, and so we have no idea that blouses are meant to be tight. "Aap Star Plus dekhta hai? Saas-bahu wala sherial? Usme blousa dekha? Shob tight hota." He said. ("Do you watch Star Plus channel? The mom-in-law and daughter-in-law type soaps? Seen the blouses they wear? They're all tight.") The dude even got his mother to try and convince me that the blouses were fine, and it was only because I was not used to wearing them that I found them so tight. Anyway, we came home, and Mom and I altered them ourselves, and now I think I can breathe when I wear them. Here's one sashtang pranaam to all the women out there who can manage to stay alive in those blouses. :O

I'm also trying to learn how to tie a sari myself. And yes I do watch the saas-bahu serials to check out the way the bahus seem to effortlessly carry the heavy saris and jewellery.

Shopping in Cuttack will start tomorrow. The weather here is nice too, it's not as cold as Calcutta but it's pleasant. Baby Aish and I have become the centre of attention of everyone. I think even the dog here (I call him Manohar, cos I dunno his real name) is feeling kinda jealous.

Relatives are fawning over me like anything, and I'm loving the attention. Some of them are asking me funny questions. "Is the boy nice?" Hehehe... what do they expect me to say? "No, actually he's not, I'm just marrying him for the heck of it!"? :P

I'm also undergoing the ceremony whereby everyone thinks that it is good luck to invite the bride-to-be for lunch/dinner and stuff her with stuff fried in desi ghee. Sheesh! I'm eating so much here I'm amazed at myself. The servants too (some of whom have seen me from my diaper days) are also pampering me with all my favourite dishes. The tailor's warning rings in my ears "E jo aapka figaar hai na figaar? Usko maintain rokhte hobey!" ("You must maintain this figure of yours.") Sheesh! :/

That's all from me as of now. I will try to update more if I can squirm out of adoring aunts pinching my cheeks and saying "Sayesha!! I saw you when you were a little baby! I can't believe you're getting married!"

Well, frankly speaking, I didn't see myself as a little baby, and even I can't believe I'm getting married! :O

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I made pasta in Chinatown

Before my India trips, I like to buy some stuff from Chinatown. Mainly because it's getting incredibly difficult to buy gifts for people in India without them (mostly the aunty-types) making the annoying statement "Aaj kal toh yahan par sab kuchh milta hai." ("These days, we get everything in India.") So I go to Chinatown and buy some of the most Chinesey Chinese stuff - things that even the Indian Chinatowns would probably not have, just for those aunties.

So I'm roaming around Chinatown in the middle of the day, when this ang moh (blanket term used in Singapore for Caucasians) hesitatingly approaches me.

"Excuse me, are you from here?"

"Yes." (Sometimes I just conserve energy by saying "Yes" instead of "No-actually-I'm-originally-from-India-but-I've-been-here -for-almost-nine-years-now.")

"But originally from India?"


"I am from Italy. Some day I would like to visit India too. I like the Indian people. To me, more than the place, the people matter."

"Hmmm... okay." I was wondering why he was telling me all this.

"I'm a tourist here. Can you help me with something?"

"Yeah, sure."

"Is this a good place to shop for souvenirs?"

"Yes, I think it's one of the best."

"So a lot of tourists come here?"

"Yes, you can see..." I pointed out the million and one ang mohs roaming the area.

"Could you suggest me some things to buy here?"

"Oh okay, no problem. Whom do you want to buy stuff for?"

"My mother."

Ah. Sweet.

"You can get her some purses, maybe? The traditional Chinese kinds? Would she like that?" I asked.

"Oh yeah, that would be nice. Where can I get them?"

"They're all over the place, but my favourite shop is over there." I pointed to the shop.

Instead of looking where I was pointing, I noticed that he was looking at me. Then he paused and asked, "Uhh... I'm sorry, where?"

"There. The second shop on the left."

"Ah. Okay. Thank you very much."

"You're welcome." I started to walk out of the shop.

"One more thing..."

Sheesh! I'm a busy person this week, I have no time to talk to hot Italian men! :/


"Can you suggest a good place for me to go to, tonight? I only have tonight. I'm leaving Singapore tomorrow morning."

"Well, depends on what you've not seen yet. Have you been to Boat Quay and Clarke Quay?" I suggested the two popular places where most drunk ang mohs are found in Singapore.


"How about Suntec City? They have the famous fountain there... and some kinda laser show..."
(Personally I don't know what the big deal about the fountain is, but apparently it's a hit with tourists.)

"Oh okay... I have not been to Suntec City..."

"All right then..." I gave him my goodbye smile.

But he wouldn't get out of my way.

"What are you doing tonight?" He smiled.

"What am I doing tonight??" Frankly speaking, having never had an Italian guy hit on me, I was a bit stunned.

"Yes... what are you doing tonight?" He smiled that knowing smile again.

"I'm packing tonight. To go to India tomorrow. For my wedding."

And I smiled too.

Chinese sandalwood fan: $24
Red and gold cheongsam: $89
Expression on the face of the Italian: Priceless

Monday, January 01, 2007

Watching the replay chronicled the events that shaped 2006. Inspired, I decided to chronicle the events that shaped my life in 2006. Here are the highlights.


  • I finally decide to act mature and acknowledge the presence of Ian in my life.
  • A fabulous trip to Hong Kong with one of my best friends

  • Business trip to Manila (chronicled in parts 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  • I saw him sing. Sigh.

  • Flawless planning and execution of a blog buddy's birthday surprise (also known as the longest post at Sayeshaz)
  • My favourite restaurant in Singapore sends me a little blogging perk.
  • Big career dilemma part 1 (I'm facing part 2 right now). If I hadn't made the decision I did, I wouldn't have met the amazing people I met at work recently.


  • Trip to the US to meet the latest addition to my family - baby Aish.
  • I saw him sing. Sigh again.








*Sayesha takes a step back and looks at the list*

Yeah, not bad. Not bad at all. :)