Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A clinical report

Yesterday, I took Xena to her mothership for an appointment with Dr. T, her lung doctor. The slot we had got was for 2:50 pm, which meant that Xena would have to skip her afternoon nap. Parents of toddlers would know what catastrophe that spells. Fortunately, I was packing her hospital bag when I discovered a set of stickers inside. I was thrilled. Though Xena has tons of stickers, these looked new. I had no idea where they'd come from, so I was sure they would serve well in keeping Xena distracted in the bus. I usually take a small toy or a book for bus rides, but stickers are flatter and lighter and so much better.

We entered the bus at 2 pm, the exact moment when she goes to nap. Sure enough, in about 3.45773 seconds, she started getting restless and I took out my brahmastra. She was just as thrilled to see them as I had been. "Thank you, Mama!" She said as she took them from me. She examined them for a few seconds and then said, "Oh, Mama! I forgot to say 'Thank you!'".

"No, baby," I said, "You did say 'Thank you' to me."

"No, Mama! I forgot to say 'Thank you' to the nurse."

"Which nurse?"

"Dr. L's nurse. She gave me the stickers."

Oh wow. These 3-year-olds and their memory. Dr. L is her endrocrinologist whom we'd seen more than a month ago. After she said it, I vaguely remembered that her nurse had indeed given some stickers.

She played with the stickers throughout the bus ride and soon we reached the hospital. She was still fiddling with them when we entered Dr. T's clinic. Dr. T always likes to start off by making small talk with his small patients, and so does the nurse in his clinic. He said, "Oh, you have stickers! Where did you get them?"

"Dr. L's nurse gave them to me." Xena said.

Dr. T looked stumped for a while, and then said, "Oh you saw Dr. L? Hmmm... let me check what he said." He flipped through Xena's hospital file to look for it and really struggled because with all her gazillions of health issues starting from her birth, her file is the size of a Yellow Pages directory. I kid you not. His very competent nurse jumped in and in less than 3 seconds, had found the page he was looking for. He read it and then turned to his nurse. I thought he was going to discuss something Dr. L had written in the file.

"So Dr. L has been handing out stickers, huh?" He said to her. The nurse smiled and turned around to fiddle with something I could not see. Dr. T went back to examining Xena and then asking me the usual 2098437598435 questions about her. By the time we were done, the nurse had conjured up a rabbit toy, complete with long ears, out of... a blue surgical glove! (At first I thought it was a regular animal-shaped balloon, but Viv pointed out that it was a surgical glove. Mind. Blown.) The nurse even showed Xena how to make the rabbit's ears flap and then handed it to her. Xena was over the moon.

So that's what she had been doing when she had turned around. She had even drawn a face using markers. And the entire time, she had still been paying keen attention to everything he was saying because she recapped it for us very clearly (next appointment, medicines to take, etc.).

Dr. T looked at Xena's delighted face approvingly and then proudly grinned, "They are giving out stickers, huh? Well, we are giving out animals!"

"So it's a competition between the clinics!" I remarked. They laughed.

I was still smiling as we left the clinic. It was so cute and so heart-warming. In the middle of a busy day in one of the busiest hospitals in Singapore, a doctor and a nurse, without compromising their primary duties, had found some time to conjure up some fun.

For everyone.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Catch-up #6

Hola, bewdas!

I was going to start this post with 'How are you?' but it reminded me of the letters I used to write to my grandfather as a kid. I'd always - ALWAYS - start them with 'How are you?' until I got annoyed with it myself. So I switched to opening with 'I'm well and hope you are too.' So let me start my catch-up post with that. I'm well and hope you bewdas are too. I know several of you worry for Xena and send me emails whenever there is silence at the bar, and I thank you sincerely for thinking of us. So far so good, I'd say.

(Just a note that I reply to every single bewda/bewdi who writes to me. So if you have emailed me and not received a reply, please check that you haven't sent it to my old email address. That address had a totally unnecessary z somewhere, because in those days I was silly enough to join the bandwagon of adding a z after everything and actually finding it cool. Sheesh. Anyway, my new email address is visible when you click on my blog profile.)

The last few days have been crazy-busy. I've been wrapping up some projects, pitching new ones, going for Xena's hospital visits (regular check-ups, regular check-ups!), trying to get appointments with dentists and contractors (we are planning to renovate some parts of our home; I hope that it will be a neater place after that, but with a jumpy toddler in the house... who am I kidding?). The weird and wonderful thing is that in the middle of this chaos, I've also been able to slot in some time doing stuff for myself. My thoughtful sister-in-law Clueless, who's staying with us for a while, treated me to a pedicure last week. Complete with paraffin treatment and what not. (They put your feet in molten wax, sit back and pray that you don't scalded. Then they simply pull the solidified wax off your feet. Like a cast. I kid you not. I don't know if it does anything to beautify the feet, but it sure was an awesome phenomenon to witness). Clueless also persuaded me to go for a shade of nail-polish which I felt was too dhinchak, but it's grew on me, and after Xena's two thumbs-up rating (but then that woman would praise anything that's pink!), I really like it.

Thanks to Clueless' presence, Viv and I have also been able to watch some new movies in the theatre. IN THE THEATRE! We put Xena to bed and head off for a late show in a mall nearby, and then walk home. It's a 2-3 km walk and we actually get a real chance at conversation, without being interrupted every three seconds by Xena's alarmed accounts about her toys, "Mama, Poppy, Felix needs to poop NOW!!" (Why Felix needs to poop so much is honestly beyond me.) Anyway, we have managed to watch 'X-Men - Days of Future Past' and 'Edge of Tomorrow' in the theatre! And oh, did I mention that we watched these movies IN THE THEATRE??

Last night, as we exited the cinema just after midnight, we were stopped by a gang. No, we didn't have to turn in our phones and wallets. (Actually no self-respecting mugger would steal my phone.) If anything, they handed us a phone. It was a gang of friends having a surprise birthday party. They were crowded around a chocolate cake that had been placed on a supermarket trolley! They asked us to take a picture for them. Viv took it and then I realised that the plastic bag the cake came in was smack in front of the cake and though the friends were all in the picture, all you could see of the cake was the flame. They had already thanked us and taken the phone back, but I interrupted. I may be a lousy photographer, but I'm particular about composition and the story that a picture should tell. So I removed the plastic bag and rearranged stuff to make everything nice and visible and memorable. We redid the 'shoot', much to the amusement of the gang. We wished the birthday boy and moved on. I was reminded of the many midnight birthday celebrations we had during our university days, and how the birthday boy's/girl's hair, face and clothes were 'decorated' using a handmade mixture of cat food, flour, toothpaste and cabbage oil. They didn't call it 'birthday sabo' for nothing.

Aside from movies in the theatre, we also watched some DVDs I got from the library. We watch them accompanied by Breezers, after Xena has gone to bed. I quite liked the two recent ones we watched (Brothers Bloom and The Guilt Trip). I thought Brothers Bloom was particularly poetic, but Viv thought it was quite meh. The Guilt Trip, though somewhat predictable and armed with a really low rating on IMDB, was actually not too bad.

I have also managed to catch up on the trailers of the upcoming Hindi movies for 2014, and nothing seems really exciting. Ek Villain sounds a little promising, but after watching Hasee Toh Phasee, I'm of the firm view that in spite of Siddharth Malhotra's presence, a movie can be really bad. (I actually started disliking Parineeti after watching that movie.) Oh by the way, I'm going a bit mad over the songs of Ek Villain, especially Galliyan and Banjara. If you haven't, listen to them NOWNOWNOW. I do everything either humming the songs or playing them. Even Xena has started singing along with me. I'm seriously impressed at Shraddha Kapoor's rendition of Galliyan. I hope it really is her.

That's pretty much what has been happening here. And I'll wrap up this post with an extremely unusual ending.

How are you? :)


Friday, June 13, 2014

No fear

Viv and Xena were reading a book about a bug hiding under the bed and making strange noises.

Viv - ...The children heard the strange noises and got very scared...

Xena - But I'm not scared!

Viv - Oh yeah, why not?

(Both Viv and I were totally expecting a "Because I'm very brave!" kinda answer.)

Xena - Because I'm not in the book. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Have a Bolly good time VII

Edit: I have amended S-Z based on feedback from bewdi skirtsanddupattas. If you really want to know what happened, read the comments. The answers in the first two comments by Varsha and M are correct based on the old version.

The theme for the 7th Bollywood A-Z quiz is: Actors who were not the first choice. Can you identify A to Z?

Actor A starred as a murderer-lover in revenge saga B, a movie that cemented his position in Bollywood. This unconventional role had been turned down by his arch rival C, as well as not-so-arch-rival D. D's wife E was approached by successful filmmaker F for a role in movie G which he had specifically written with her in mind (even the character had been named after her!) but she turned it down, possibly because the movie started with her death scene. This role ultimately went to H, but not before it had been rejected by almost all the leading actresses of that time, including actress I. Actress I got rid of 80% of her eyebrows and appeared with a complete makeover in blockbuster J, a movie that had been rejected by beauty queen K because she wasn't sure that she wanted to be an actress. K's relative-by-marriage L had starred in M, one of the most iconic movies of all time, but he wasn't the first choice. The first choice had been N, who played a mix of good and bad characters in his movie career, and whose daughter O is now in the movies. M also carved the career of actor P who played the iconic baddie Q, which was supposed to have been played by actor R, whose son recently made his Bollywood debut. The producers were not too happy with P because they thought his voice was too weak to play the baddie they had envisioned, but P's dialogue delivery in the movie attained cult status. The movie also starred actor S who had rejected the blockbuster T that made a superstar out of L. S's son U played the good guy in movie V opposite actress W. V also featured A as a psychotic stalker, a role that had been rejected by actor X. Incidentally, X played a character half his age in Y, one of the all-time hits of Bollywood, which was based on a bestseller Z. To complete the circle, the first choice for this role had been A.