Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Just for laughs

If you liked this, you may like the below. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The warrior princess diaries - V

Okie dok, long time no Xena update. (Thanks, Arun, for the reminder!)

Well, this is not so much an update as a compilation of my FB status updates (that's all the time the girl gives me, and hence the much ignored bar). So those on my FB list may find this repetitive but I figured I should compile everything in one place so that when Xena grows up, she can read it and then sue me for violation of baby privacy.

  • Xena recently attended her first Christmas party -- with 23 babies no less! It was quite a sight (and complete chaos) as all the mommies put all the babies on a mat on the floor for a photograph. Xena was fine and smiling until the cute Chinese baby boy next to her started hitting (on) her!
  • I have been feeling a lot better lately as more and more people have been commenting that she looks like me. Finally! Phew! A few months ago, everyone (and by that, EVERYONE) said that she's all Viv with no trace of me at all. No wait, some people said that she even looked like Viv's sister, Viv's father, and what not. And oh, who was that person who very annoyingly said that she even looks like Viv's grandmother but nothing like me?? Yeah, that was my mom. :/
  • Last month, Xena had her first solid food -- 1/1000th of a banana, and gave me a hurt "And you had kept this from me all these months??" look. But that was just the first time. Now she can't stand bananas. Or avocado. Or butternut squash. Or sweet potato. Or rice cereal. I am lucky if she eats 1 teaspoon of anything without starting her protest rally. Remember when you were a picky eater as a child and your mom used to say, "Dekhna, jab tumhaare bache honge..."? Yeah, that bad-dua actually works...
  • Ok, here's some advice for new moms. Before you pat yourself on the back for managing to get a big spoonful of apple purée into your baby's mouth, move your face away. Remember... babies can, will and have the right to sneeze before swallowing. It's their way of saying 'In your face!' Literally. Lil Xena is already into vandalism. She has been spray-painting mommy all over with purée at every opportunity she can get. I am seriously considering borrowing Viv's cricket helmet.
  • It's December, which means that finally sunny Singapore gets some good rain -- every day! Two days ago, Xena and I had a lovely mommy-baby bonding moment observing the rain pelting down on the window pane. She lost interest after a while though. I suspect it was because I started explaining to her how thunder and lightning work. Sheesh. Side effects of being a primary science book editor...
  • Then there was this time she was sitting on the bed (she has been sitting up without support now, and she can manage that for a few minutes) and she toppled over, and the first thing this nerd mommy said as she picked up her baby was, "Centre of mass, baby, centre of mass!"
  • Weather permitting, I take Xena for a walk every day. Last week, I met the world's most polite toddler during our walk. She actually asked, "Excuse me, can I see your baby, please?" and after looking at Xena, said "Thank you." and left. A friend of mine said that I should have bagged and tagged that very rare species.
  • Xena keeps me busy and these walks are the only form of exercise I am getting. Wait, that's not true. The rest of me may be gym-deprived but thanks to the ridiculous faces and sounds I make all day long for Xena's entertainment, my facial muscles are in top form!
  • Xena was busy playing with her toys and I managed to intervene just in time to prevent a Tyson-Holyfield moment. Let's just say Xena's stuffed purple elephant is sure glad that she doesn't have any teeth yet.
  • I am not very sure if she is teething yet, but her finger-chomping is full on. First she chomped on her own fingers. Then she chomped on my fingers. Then she made me chomp on her fingers. At one point, I considered chomping on my own fingers just to complete the circle. I finally put mittens on her hands to stop all the slurpy chomping and it was hilarious -- she looked like she was just about to take something out of the oven!
  • A friend of Viv's once said about babies, "It's like they download new features overnight!" Truer words were never spoken. Xena woke up one morning with the raspberry function downloaded, and now a lot of her actions are accompanied by that hilarious sound.
  • Speaking of new features, Xena and I had a disagreement over her bedtime and she insisted she was right. And the very next moment, she had her foot in her mouth. Muahahaha. Ok, I meant literally. Some of my Chinese and Malay friends remarked that when a baby starts chomping on his or her feet, he or she is putting in a request for a sibling. HOLY COW. Thankyouverymuch.
  • Viv ran the StanChart marathon this year too, and Xena and I tracked his route using the 'Find My Friends' app on the iPad. Well, I did the tracking and pointing "Look, papa is here!" and "Oh look, papa is now here!" while she just looked bored.
  • Were you affected by the Kolaveri phenomenon? I was! And very much so. And Xena had to suffer the consequences. (No, I didn't play it for her all the time. I did something worse. I SANG it to her all the time.)
  • I was once interrupted in the middle of singing a lullaby by Xena's own singing. Yep, her majesty prefers to sing her own lullabies, thankyouverymuch.
  • Ok, before you call child services, let me tell you that I don't always sing for her. Sometimes I play songs online for her too, especially during her massage. Once I played Kailasa, but I got THE look. I knew it. I shouldn't have started off with Sheila ki jawani.
  • Viv is great with her. He is in charge of her massage and bath before he leaves for work, and he bottlefeeds her after coming back from work. He sings to her and she sings back! (Hmmph!) The only thing he's not very good at is fashion designing for babies. There was this time when she spit up a bit of milk and he changed only her top. I swear she looked like Govinda in her yellow top and pink pants!
  • She doesn't have much hair yet, but I bought this hairband for her online, which comes with two nylon pigtails attached. It was such a riot when I put it on her. She suddenly looked a lot older! (Yes, yes, calm down, there is a picture below).
  • She doesn't sleep much in the daytime but calls it at a day quite early at about 6:30 pm. If I want to watch something on TV in the afternoon, she gears up to watch it too. But Viv and I have a strict no-TV policy with her, so I put a tissue box in front of her and tell her that's her TV and she watches that without complaining.
  • Because of her short daytime naps, I can't get much done during the day. I have to split tasks such as cooking and washing and sterilising her bottles into short chunks. However, on one memorable afternoon, she took a record 3-hour nap. I suspect she was watching a full Hindi movie in her dream. Without fast-forwarding the songs. Aakhir beti kiski hai...
  • Oh the luxurious life of a baby. Once Xena woke up in the middle of the night, distressed because her sleeves were too long and she couldn't see her fingers. I rolled back her sleeves, she examined (and probably counted) all her fingers and promptly went back to sleep.
  • She is generally a happy baby, but what I like the most is that she reserves her best toothless watermelon smile just for mommy. (What is a watermelon smile, you ask? Well, it's a smile that looks like a watermelon slice -- when the upper lip is a horizontal line and the lower lip is a semicircle.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Can't put a name to her?

It's a scene of total chaos at the Bachchans'. The Bachchan clan is in the living room, everyone talking at once. There is a punditji sitting on a mat on the floor. Sayesha Smitten Showbiz Kitten is sitting on a branch on the tree in the garden, hurriedly taking notes.

Amitabh - Ok everybody, I have called this urgent meeting because it has become a matter of embarrassment that we don't have a name for the baby yet! So let's get cracking and decide on the name today itself.

Abhishek (beams proudly) - Pa, I have already asked everyone on Twitter to suggest names. What an idea, sirjee, huh? Bas ek do din ki baat hai, achha sa naam rakh denge.

Amitabh - Twitter?? You asked tweeple to name your baby? Cheh! This is a private affair. Hamaare ghar ki baat hai!

Abhishek (mutters under his breath) - Says the person who tweets if he pees.

A servant comes, holding the phone.

Servant (to Aishwarya) - Madamji, aapke liye hospital se phone aaya hai...

Aishwarya - Hospital se phone? What do they want now? Bol do unko... hum bill pay chuke sanam!

Amitabh (to servant) - Aur kisi ka phone uthaane ki zaroorat nahin. Not until this discussion is over. Punditji, aap hi kuchh achha sa naam bataayein?

Punditji - Yajmaan, main sochta hoon ki naam toh bache ke maa-baap ko hi rakhna chahiye. Kyun Abhishek, tumhaari kya rai hai?

Abhishek - Meri toh Aishwarya Rai hai! Heh heh!

Amitabh gives him a dirty look.

Punditji - Meri taraf se taiyaari ho chuki hai. Namkaran ka shubh muhurt bhi nikal aaya hai. Bas naam aur naamkaran kahan karna hai yeh bata deejiye, main pahunch jaunga.

Amitabh - Kahan karna hai matlab?? Duh! Twitter par, aur kahan?? Oh I see! Abhishek, zara punditji ka account khulwa dena twitter par...

Punditji (looks lost) - Jee? Twitter? Yeh kaun sa mandir hai? Yajmaan, naamkaran toh mandir mein kiya jata hai...

Amitabh - Twitter mandir hi hai, punditji. Wahan par ek karod se zyada log mujhe worship karte hain... (gives a condescending look to Abhishek)

Abhishek (looks grumpy) - Pa, aap Twitter par bahut zyada regular hain is liye itne followers hain... Mujhe toh time hi nahin milta...

Amitabh - Haan haan kyun nahin, dozens of movies ke offers jo aa rahe hain!

Abhishek - Pa, jab mera career khatam ho jaayega aur main retired ho jaunga toh main bhi...

Amitabh - Toh what are you waiting for??

Jaya - Stop it, you too! Let's focus on the issue at hand! Abhishek, do you have any suggestions?

Aishwarya - I have one...

Jaya - I did not ask you. You stay out of this, my dear. Abhishek, do you have any suggestions?

Abhishek - I have one, I have one! Abhineta. The name starts with Abhi and it means 'actor'. And if acting doesn't work out, she can join politics and be a 'neta'! Heh heh!

Amitabh (shakes his head) - Sheesh. Sometimes it's hard to believe you're my son... Aishwarya, what did you see in him?

Aishwarya - Actually...

Amitabh - There is no need to answer that.

Abhishek - Ok, let's look at the suggestions given by some of the tweeple. Shaayad kuchh achha sa naam nikal aaye?

Amitabh - Ok fine.

Abhishek - Ok this one is from Malaika Arora. She says we should take 'Ash' from 'Aishwarya' and 'Shek' from Abhishek. Not a bad idea, huh?

Jaya - ASS SHAKE?!

Abhishek - Ahem. Ok rejected. I should have known, it's Malaika after all... Ass shake... uska toh kaam hi wohi hai...

Amitabh - SRK ne koi suggestion diya hai?

Abhishek - Haan, lekin we won't take that.

Amitabh - Why not?!

Abhishek (looks around shiftily)- Because his Ra.One did better than our Raavan. Hmmph!

Amitabh - Ok, that's a good point. And what did Karan say?

Abhishek - Karan didn't suggest a name but he has asked for dates.

Jaya - Dates? Whose?

Abhishek - Baby's. He wants to have her on his show as soon as she can speak.

Aishwarya - Koffee with Karan? You want our baby to have coffee with Karan??

Abhishek - Of course not! Arre, it's a special episode. It will be called Toffee with Karan.

Amitabh - Haan woh sab baad mein. Woh Navratan lal tel waalon ka bhi phone aaya tha. I told them baby will do the endorsement as soon as she grows some hair.

Abhishek - Oh look, Sushmita also sent a message.

Aishwarya (surprised)- Oh, she did?? What does she say??

Abhishek - She says she has reserved a place for baby in her beauty pageant training academy.

Aishwarya - Oh that's nice of her.

Abhishek - Wait, there's a PS in small font.

Aishwarya - What does it say??

Abhishek - PS: I beat you in the Miss India contest in '94, ha!

Aishwarya storms off and reaches the garden.

SSSK climbs down from the tree to get a byte.

SSSK - Aishwarya! Aishwarya!

Aishwarya - Huh?! Who are you??

SSSK - I am a reporter. Could I please just ask you one question?

Aishwarya - Finally! Please go ahead.

SSSK - So I read that you gave birth without opting for any painkillers? Why? I mean... why why why?

Aishwarya - Hmmm... I am going to answer that question not because I want to, but because in this house someone has finally asked for MY input.

SSSK - Erm... Sure...

Aishwarya - Well, I have dated Salman Khan and now I am a Bachchan bahu. What's a little physical pain compared to that, eh?

Aishwarya winks and goes back into the house, leaving SSSK gaping.

The discussion is still going strong. It's also not going anywhere.

Amitabh - We need a really really good name. Something that stands out. Something that is royal and majestic and announces the arrival of the greatest actress of all time.

Abhishek & Aishwarya - Actress??

Amitabh - Of course. She will be a very talented actress.

Abhishek - Actress toh theek hai, Pa, but how can you be so sure ki talented actress banegi?

Amitabh (exchanges a look with Jaya, leans forward and looks straight at Abhishek and Aishwarya) - Yes, I am sure. You see... talent skips a generation.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time

The designer qaidi sits alone in her cell, thinking about what she has done.

(Criminal record: Didn't finish her milk. Repeat offender. Already on parole.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

The warrior princess diaries - IV

So Shub reminded me that it has been a while since I posted any updates on Xena's health. (Yes yes I know I know. The bar is increasingly becoming a reminder-based system, and all posts are baby-related. Blame Xena, not me.)

  • So here are some updates from the last few follow-ups Xena had at the hospital. The brain scan showed that the bleed is now smaller but it's still there. They will scan again in two months to check the size. Her heart scan showed that the 'unnatural hole' that the doctors had hoped would have closed has still not closed. They will scan again in a year's time to check on it. Her weight gain is quite slow; she is gaining about half of what regular babies gain each month. As she was very premature and had very low birth weight, some other developmental delays may occur, such as the timeline for crawling, sitting without support, etc. Let's see.
  • Before her heart scan, the doctor asked me, "Pacifier ready? Milk ready?" I nodded, wondering how much she was going to cry. To our surprise, not only did she not cry at all, she even held the doctor's hand and tried to guide the sensor as if saying, "Offo, this is how you do it!" The doctor and the nurse were amused to no end.
  • At her last blood test, the nurse was examining her hand to find a vein when she said, "Wow. So many!" I looked at her hand to see what she was talking about and saw them - poke marks from all the blood tests she had had in her ICU days. I think I counted about 19 in total on both hands. :(
  • Every single time she went to the hopsital, the doctors and nurses referred to her as 'he'. Sheesh. Even when she was in a PINK bodysuit! Double sheesh. So for her vaccination appointment, I made her wear a romper with words that said it loud and clear - Baby Girl.
  • Xena had fever after her vaccination. It was the first time she was unwell at home. It's really really scary when babies get fever. Viv and I were up sponging her, giving her paracetamol and taking her temperature every now and then. Fortunately, she was totally fine by morning and showed all signs of her usual cheerful self.
  • Xena outgrew two outfits. Finally. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was.
  • Mom has gone back and suddenly the house seems odd. I have had my parents or in-laws at home with me since January, so it seems everything has suddenly gone quiet. Xena and I do try to make as much noise as possible though. For example, we danced to Ra.One's 'Chammak chhallo' today!
  • There was a problem with Mom's ticket and she jokingly asked Xena to 'fix it'. Next thing we know, her departure was postponed by a week. YEAY! I told her that our little 'travel agent' had 'fixed it' and kept a nice bonus for herself -- an extra week with grandma! When I told my sister, she was horrified. "Here I am, hoping to make Aishu the President of USA, and you're calling Xena a travel agent???"
  • I found some home remedies on google for Mom and Dad, and Mom was so impressed. "Yeah, I have an MBBS from Google University." I told her. From that day, Mom started calling me 'Doctor' and Xena 'compounder' from that day! (You can only imagine my sister's horror when she heard this.)
  • I had a wonderful heart-melting moment last week. I woke up, stretched and turned to look at Xena who had been sleeping next to me, and she had also just woken up and was stretching in exactly the same way!
  • Speaking of waking up, Xena thinks my nose is a knob that she needs to turn at 6 am every day "in order to wake mommy up".
  • She has discovered that she can hold both feet with her hands and 'shows off' at every opportunity she can get.
  • She has learnt to pull her own hair in frustration. I suppose she figured that she had pulled almost everything off Mommy's head already, so it was time to move on to 'blacker' pastures. Luckily, she doesn't have much on her head at the moment. And I know you guys are going to ask me what I did to frustrate her thus, so here it is -- I was singing. Happy now? Hmmmph!
  • I caught her doing crunches! All right, who called her fat??
  • She has started a new trick of giving 'taal' by beating her palm on my hand, as if she is singing some major Indian classical piece.
  • Remember how our moms used to say, "You will understand when you have your own kids." at every opportunity they got, and we never took it seriously? Well, from experience, it's true. You start to see the world and your life in a completely new light once you have a kid. And the biggest change that I have noticed is that even though I had always been terribly close to Mom, now I appreciate her so so SO much more.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On speaking terms

After a week of trying to teach Xena to say the preferred "Mama" and "Papa", this is the result. She said "Amma" and "Baba" in the same, erm, "sentence".

What can you do, the gundi wants her own terms.

Behind-the-scenes / The-making-of video

Friday, October 07, 2011

My word!

Check out the first set of tiles I got in a game of Words With Friends. :D

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The warrior princess diaries - III

No no no, I haven't completely forgotten about the bar. It has been at the back of my mind along with the 383846458292846585 other things I have promised myself I would do something about as soon as Xena gives me some time. And here I am.

  • My dad is now here to see baby Xena. Which also means that he and my mom will leave soon. She has been here for almost two months, and Dad always gets here towards the tail-end of her visits because his third kid -- his garden -- cannot be left unattended for more than two weeks. Hmmph! I was totally getting used to chai and gupshup with mom and Xena (just to be clear -- no chai for Xena, gupshup only).
  • Speaking of my dad, he has gone nuts. Coconuts to be precise. He has a cough so he has quarantined himself for a few days before he can play with Xena, so he spends his time on the beach picking up coconuts to plant in his backyard! There are now four very large coconuts next to his suitcase that he looks lovingly at every day, while Mom shakes her head in disbelief. (Okay, it's very strange to be blogging about him knowing that he will be on this very computer in a few hours reading this and saying, "Arre you blogged about me??")
  • Dad also said that he is extremely amused that his 'wild, carefree and happy-go-lucky daughter' is now 'a responsible mother'. (His words, not mine.)
  • I do know what he means though. Sometimes I myself can't believe that Viv and I are parents. Maybe it was because of all that we went through or the fact that she came to us two months earlier than expected, but sometimes we just look at her and ask each other, "Oh my goodness, did we really make this one?" But then there are moments when I totally feel like a mother, like when she sees me and gives a sudden smile, or when I am making the bed and I see her tiny pillow tucked between Viv's and mine, or when I wake up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water and see her stroller in a corner of the dining room, or when I am folding her laundry and I hold up a tiny sock, totally amazed.
  • Oh. Em. Gee. Dad cracked what I believe is his first ever Bollywood joke! That too involving Xena! "Xena isi ka naam hai." He declared.
  • The very musical Xena woke me up this morning by reaching out and strumming my lips as if they were guitar strings. Seriously, there is no better alarm clock than a baby who wants to play at 6 in the morning every day.
  • I read that babies laugh hysterically if you rip paper in front of them. I verified this successfully. Xena laughed so loudly my mom actually got a little scared and asked me to stop. Unfortunately, it was a one-time offer only. She refused to repeat it in the same way when Viv got home. I have since torn up 373855839320274 newspapers but all I get from her is a "My mommy has gone completely bonkers" look.
  • Xena went to Pizza Hut! Her first outing to an air-conditioned public place (well, excluding the hospital, of course). Well, she didn't do much other than napping and throwing up (well, there has to be some drama. And that's how she marks her territory. Been there done that. Literally.) but it was a big step for our confidence in taking her out more. One of the waitresses there recognised us and said, "Oh my goodness, you had a bayyy-beee!"
  • I am beginning to believe that throwing up on her outfits is her way of telling me that she doesn't approve of what I make her wear. Ahem.
  • My mom has come up with this ingenious way of vomit management. Since Xena tends to throw up right after a feed when we're burping her, Mom just hands her a small plastic container and makes her sit up. It's hilarious to see her actually holding the container herself and waiting for (a) the burp, or (b) the throwing-up.
  • She is generally a lively kid and grins very widely when she's happy (which is most of the time). In fact, sometimes I forget that she's not a regular baby and still needs special care. She had a follow-up visit with the hernia surgeon who thinks that further surgery will most probably not be required. Touchwood. We are seeing the cardiologist next month about the hole in her heart. Fingers crossed that all goes well.
  • She continues to amaze me with the list of what disturbs her sleep. I was channel surfing with her sleeping on my lap when I switched to a channel that was showing 'India - A Love Story'. It's a Brazillian TV show, where Brazillian actors play Indians and these "Indians" are shown to be wearing sherwanis and maang tikaas when they go to buy vegetables. Sheesh. But that's another story. So the title song of this show is 'Beedi jalai le'! (Trust me. I am not making this up.) and it stars Himesh Reshammiya (ok I made that up.) So Xena slept through Sunidhi Chauhan yelling "Beedi jalai le!!" at the top of her voice, but woke up because I cracked a knuckle.
  • I read that now is about the time when she will start recognising her own name and responding to it. Oh my goodness. She has like one thousand names, 999 of them courtesy of my mom. No, I cannot disclose any of them, as your kid may be in school with my kid some day and I will not want my kid coming home to me in tears because someone told everyone at school about the embarrassing nicknames that her grandma gave her.
  • She is finally big enough to fit into the very pretty lehenga-choli that Shub got for her, and here's a picture of my dancing queen.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Picture perfect

I was holding Xena and strolling along the beach yesterday when Clueless took this lovely picture of us that I absolutely had to stick on the bar's notice board.

Love how we are mere specks amidst nature's grandeur. :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A nose for trouble

MTV is shocking.

Shocking shocking shocking.

I got a big shock the other day, and I thought I should warn all of you out there who may unknowingly switch on the TV and see what I saw, and hear what I heard. And I think Xena did too. Oh the horror.

Lock your doors and windows. Hide your kids.

He is back.

(And no, he is not better.)

Monday, September 12, 2011


Sometimes the funniest compliments come from the most unusual sources. Come to think of it, they probably never meant it as a compliment but we extracted one anyway. I remember being super thrilled when the bouncer at a casino entrance in Malaysia demanded to see proof of age before he let me in. Muahahaha! Today something similar happened.

I had taken Xena to the hospital for her follow-up with the surgeon. I also dropped by the hospital's pharmacy to pick up a bottle of MCT oil, as Xena's current bottle is running low. MCT (Medium-chain triglyceride) oil is something that helps in quick weight gain. As Xena's birth weight was very low, MCT oil had been prescribed by her doctors to help her put on weight quickly. However, you can't simply pick up a bottle of MCT oil in the pharmacy and head to the cashier; you have to order it through the pharmacist.

Me - Hi, I'd like to order a bottle of MCT oil.

Pharmacist - Sure, ma'am. For yourself or baby?

:D :D :D :D :D

Friday, September 09, 2011

A small wish

Every year, I try to plan or be part of something special for Viv's birthday -- sometimes a triple surprise, sometimes a kidnapping, and sometimes just some silly poetry. This year, things have just been so hectic with Xena that I couldn't think of anything elaborate. Add to that the fact that Viv is away on work in Amsterdam.

So I decided to outsource it to Xena. (Child labour?)

Mom and I had secretly bought a 'I <3 Dad' t-shirt last week, and kept it hidden till Viv had flown off. So for his birthday, I clicked a picture of Xena in the t-shirt and sent it with a birthday wish to Viv from Xena's gmail account (of course she has one!). Needless to say, it made his day! :D

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The warrior princess diaries - II


Okay, a lot has happened since the last update on the warrior princess that I posted in early July. Friends who read my blog would have read some of these updates on Facebook, but I still wanted to keep everything in one place on the blog for archiving purposes.

  • The big news first. I quit my awesome awesome job at the prestigious 204-year-old publisher. :( But... but... but... I have a new job. My new boss is extremely demanding, likes to play politics, makes everyone work overtime, talks nonsense, wears tiny outfits and is often spotted drinking or napping. But she is very generous with the bonus -- a huge toothless grin reserved only for her mommy. Yep, that's right. I have decided to be a stay-at-home-mommy until Xena's hospital visits and medication stop. Even though I will miss the career I had painstakingly built by breaking free from the shackles of engineering and bulldozing my way into publishing, Xena needs my company more than a company needs me. We thought long and hard about it, and decided this was the best for her. Her special needs mean that we can't place her in a childcare centre or have a nanny. Though one set of Xena's grandparents will be here most of the time, we did not want grandparenting to be so stressful for them. They should not be measuring medicines and running to the hospital and keeping note of the baby's throwing up. They have already had their share of stress in life, and should now just spend time agoo-ing with their granddaughter.
  • Xena is still on a lot of medication and supplements, which need to be given in very precise quantities (sample this -- 2/3rd of a 2.5-ml spoon, 8 times a day. What the...?!), and if she throws up (which she does regularly), it needs to be adjusted in the next feed. So I have to do weird calculations like this, "Hmmm... so she threw up about half of her feed, which means at the next feed, I need to add 1/2 of 2/3rd of 2.5 ml, in addition to 2/3rd of 2.5 ml. Aaaaaa!" And of course, hope that she doesn't throw up again, or I'll really need to engage the services of Shakuntala Devi.
  • She showed the first classic sign of being a party animal when she got drunk (on milk) and threw up in a cab. She also haq se threw up on my dear dear friend Starbreez when the latter came to visit. Well, as I said, Starbreez can now truly consider herself as family. Ladies and gentlemen, I now live in constant fear. Fear of the ultimate WMD that Xena comes fitted with -- projectile vomiting.
  • Xena is now outgrowing the word 'agoo'. She sure has said that a lot in the last few weeks, and now only uses it sparingly, when she's very very happy about something, such as erm, pooping. Speaking of 'agoo', when she went to the hospital for her last blood test, she smiled and chuckled at the nurse and said 'Agoo'. The nurse smiled back and the very next second poked her with a giant needle. And that is why humans learn very early not to trust one another. :|
  • These days she wakes us up at 5 AM with her Carnatic classical singing. We have no option but to politely listen and applaud. Sometimes I pitch in, but I get a look of disapproval. It was hilarious when Mom handed her a tiny bolster. It looked like she was playing a tanpura to accompany her singing.
  • I spend a lot of time thinking up novel ways to entertain her. Once I staged an intense fight (with sound effects and all) between a toy moose and a toy dog. She loved it. Viv says I am a violent mother.
  • Speaking of violence, Xena has now started pulling my hair with violent determination. She's like a tiny Tarzan using my hair as vines. Thousands of mothers have been bullied by infants into cutting their hair really short. I am still standing strong. Let's see.
  • She is still not allowed into air-conditioned crowded places, so other than her hospital visits, we only take her for short walks. We did take her to the beach once for a dinner outing, and to our surprise, she was a very well-behaved baby, interrupting the conversation of the grown-ups around her only to put in a humble request for milk.
  • Even though Mom is fully aware of my intense dislike for gold, she got a gold chain, bangles and get this, A RING, made for Xena. A gold ring for an infant. Ya allah! She made Xena wear everything for a picture ('only for the picture', I told her), and I just stood there shaking my head at my child who was now bearing a close resemblance to Bappi Lahiri.
  • Sometimes it takes an incredibly long time to put her down for a nap. I have to hold her close to me and then... I rock. (Yeah, literally and otherwise. Hehe!) Sometimes I get bored because she has already half-closed her eyes but is not fully sleeping yet. So I start reading up on the iPad about baby care. As I say, it takes more than just parents and grandparents to take good care of a baby. You need google. You definitely need google.
  • Even though she's a real gundi, she is reinforcing every stereotype about women. She uses tears to get her way, starves herself or throws up because she probably thinks she's too fat, and it's impossible to figure out what she wants.
  • Xena is quite adversely affecting my dressing sense and I am pretty sure I am gonna get arrested by the fashion police soon. She insists I only wear clothes with cartoons on them. She only finishes her bottle if she can tug at the cartoon on my T-shirt. On days when I wear 'normal' T-shirts, she gives me a disappointed look and refuses to drink milk.
  • It's amazing how she can sleep through the sounds of the construction next door, but wakes up crying at the rustle of a chocolate wrapper. Perhaps she is trying to tell me something in a diplomatic manner? Excuse me, missy! I have lost all 13 kgs I had put on when you were inside. I deserve my chocolate now!
  • Lately, she has started trying to eat her hands, even though the doctor has said no solids till she is 6 months old. It's amazing how she rejects the bottle as if she's very full, and then proceeds to chomp on her fingers. I nearly fell off laughing when Clueless referred to it as 'finger food'.
  • I had never thought how much work taking care of a baby is. Yes, Xena has special needs, but her regular needs are enough to keep me on my toes. I really salute the mother of twins, especially my friend Karen who is taking care of premature twins rather admirably.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

On the watch

Me (to mom) - So Mom, now that I am a mother too, give me some tips on good upbringing.

Mom (smiling) - Don't worry, you'll get there.

Me - No, but tell me how you managed to keep my sister and me, well, you know... morally upright, through the rebellious teenage years.

Mom (smiling again) - Well, it's too early. There's time for that.

Me (really really fishing for a compliment) - No, I mean, we were so good as teenagers. You could fully trust us. You never had to keep your eye on us all the time.

Mom (without batting an eyelid) - I had my eye on both of you all the time. You just didn't know it.


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Random review: Zindagi na milegi dobara

My apologies to the bewdas and bewdis for my prolonged absence from the bar. I have been terribly busy serving her majesty the warrior princess 24 hours a day. Today, her papa (whose cricket match got washed out) offered to look after her, while I whisked my mom off to watch Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. And though there is tons of Xena stuff that I will be blogging about, I thought of doing up this review before I get back into the endless loop of milk and diapers. A special shoutout to Yamini for getting me back to the bar!

So here goes, my random thoughts after watching Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara:

  • Is it only me who keeps calling it Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara because that's how the words were arranged in the title song in 'Rock On'?
  • So how come someone thought of casting Hrithik and Katrina together ONLY NOW?! Gosh, what a good-looking pair! So much beauty at once... Aaaahhh! My eyes! My eyes!
  • Hrithik's hair is dreeeeamyyy...
  • I am beginning to really like Katrina as an actress. She had so many preachy lines in the movie, but she managed to pull them off quite well. Katrina, please get your Hindi diction right soon so SSSK can stop making fun of you.
  • Did you know that Mandi Sidhu, the girl who played Rohini, was offered the role of Latika in Slumdog Millionaire? Freida Pinto must be thanking her stars that Mandi turned down the role. (Btw, I did not like Slumdog Millionaire. At all.)
  • Farhan Akhtar seems to be involved in a lot of movies about friends (and their spats) - DCH, Rock On and now ZNMD.
  • I read an interview somewhere that Abhay Deol was the only guy not shirtless in the Tomatina festival because the stylist told him that squashed tomatoes on his hairy chest would not make a pretty sight, and he didn't want to wax his chest. Sheesh.
  • I can't really decide if I find Kalki Koechlin very pretty or horribly ugly. Weird, I know. :|
  • I LOVED the Doordarshan scene. That logo and that depressing music. Goodness.
  • It was really cute to have the three guys sing the Senorita song themselves. Hrithik sounded really good.
  • Deep sea diving, sky diving, bike-riding -- did the actors really do all that themselves or was it body doubles and effects?
  • Hmm... so why on earth did 'Saare jahan se achha' start playing when they were about to jump off the plane?
  • I liked the idea of the three guys fighting with the ghosts from their past, but the Naseeruddin Shah angle seemed a bit too 'off the story', if you know what I mean.
  • Speaking of Naseer, why oh why has he played that same role in so many movies? Pani puri on the house for the bewda/bewdi who can name the maximum number of movies in which Naseer has had an illegitimate child. So far, I have got four.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Repeat telecast - the sequel

And this is what happens when you play too much 'Akhoo!' with your baby.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Repeat telecast

I was fortunate enough to capture something very cool on video. Viv was talking to Xena and he kept saying 'Aakhoo!' in a false, high-pitched voice. Turn up the volume to hear her response. :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Biker chick

Bewdas who have been here for a while may remember the series of photo posts (here and here) I had done for my niece baby Aish. Well, Aish is now a young lady of five who would take offence at such posts. It is therefore no wonder that baby Xena has now stepped into those tiny shoes.

The 10-step guide to becoming a biker chick baby
by Xena the gundi warrior princess