Thursday, March 30, 2017

April is coming...

Sounds ominous, doesn't it?

It's almost time for the annual A-Z blogging challenge! That crazy month of April where some crazy people write a blog post every day of the month, except Sundays.

And yes, I'm jumping headfirst.

I think I'm past that stage where, come March, I'd wonder if I should do the challenge. Viv travels every April so I need to take over his duties of dropping Xena to school and brushing her teeth and putting her to bed at night, all of which eats into my work time (and work always seems crazier than ever before in April; Murphy is my chacha after all!), keeping me in a constant state of panic about what to post every day. But now I've reached the stage where I just calmly tell myself, "Of course you gotta do it. Of course there will be daily panic attacks. Of course there will be total chaos. But there will also be FUN. Think about that!"

Soooooo... here we go -- it's ON!

Are you joining the challenge? As a blogger or a reader?

Monday, March 13, 2017


I have been a fan of Coke Studio Pakistan since... forever. I don't remember what my initiation song to CSP was, but I remember my first thoughts: "WHAT SORCERY IS THIS? WHY IS THIS SOOOO GOOOOOD?"

Strangely, over the last few years, I've not kept myself updated on CSP. However, last week, this link popped up on my FB feed, and I couldn't help but click on it and then go on to listen to every single song listed there. Memories came rushing back, and I went straight to Youtube and listened to every song from Season 9. I went completely bonkers over Shamaan Pai Gaiyaan (soooo refreshing to see Rachel Viccaji get out of her backing vocalist seat and own the song like a boss!) and Uddi Ja (Uddi Ja initially took up a 3D2N residence in my head but now it's refusing to vacate!), playing them on loop all day long, until Xena protested, "Mama, I need to fill my head with other songs. Your songs have gone inside!"

(I know, right?)

Eventually, I stumbled upon 'Khaki banda' and after about two listens, I got the exact feeling that I'd got when I'd heard my first CSP song. "WHAT SORCERY IS THIS? WHY IS THIS SOOOO GOOOOOD?"

No, seriously. The lyrics, the music, the emotions, the singing (especially Ahmed Jahanzeb's voice -- HOW CAN ANYONE SING SOOOO WELL??? HOWWW???) -- it's the kind of stuff that can leave you goosebumpy and teary-eyed at the same time.

Viv didn't get why I loved the song so much, so I tried to explain to him how meaningful and humbling the lyrics are and how the song is about our ego and how we simply have no right to think of ourselves as highly as we do yada yada yada. He nodded along apprehensively, and I said, "I mean, the song title itself -- khaaki banda... is so deep and meaningful. Wait, you know what 'khaaki banda' means, right?"

"Of course," He said. "Policeman."

Okay, where's a pillar when you need it badly to thunk your head on?

Anyway, good things must be shared, so here you go -- be mesmerised by this mind-blowing piece of sheer musical genius. (Make sure the CC option is on, so you can get the lyrics AND the translation.)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Her word against mine

"Mama, is this cell farting?" Xena asked me.

I jumped. "Who? What? Where?"

"Here." She pointed to a page in the book she was reading. It was a cartoon showing the process of fermentation in pizza dough. A yeast cell was shown to be, yes, farting.

I was surprised that she knew the word. Contrary to what every parenting book and website suggests, I have not made any conscious effort to teach her the proper names of body parts and body functions. In fact, I almost fell down laughing when I overheard a lady in a mall toilet ask her 2-year-old if he wanted to "pass urine".

I know I know. It's high time. It's the right, safe thing to do. I should probably stop asking Xena if she wants to "pee" and "poop" and ask her if she wants to, you know, "pass urine" or "pass motion". (I think both of us will fall down laughing.) On some levels, it might just be the mommy in me hanging on to Xena's fast-disappearing 'baby-ness'. She still uses words like 'bum-bum' and I don't even have the heart to 'correct' her.

Yeah, so back to the 'farting' thing. It was not a term I thought she knew, even though it falls midway between the formal 'passing gas' and the informal whatever-she-called-it (I was about to find out soon).

"This..." she pointed to the 'cloud' near the yeast cell's bum-bum. "Is this a fart?"

"Yes, it is a fart indeed." I answered. "But tell me, what does 'fart' mean? Do you know?"

"Oh Mama," she said in a chiding voice, "'Fart' is just the English word for 'bum-bum burp'!"

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Tooth and mail

My child looked different when I went to pick her up from school yesterday. She was also doing some kind of crazy, tribal dance, in the audience of an amused teacher, another parent and a couple of kids.

"I PULLED IT OUT!" She exclaimed the moment she saw me.

So, after more than a month of shaking, Xena's first baby tooth finally fell. Or like she says, "It didn't fall, Mama! I PULLED it out! In the middle of the Chinese lesson. Lao shi (teacher) said 'congratulations!' and helped to pack it for me in a paper towel. My friends hugged me."

Last night, she put the wrapped tooth and this letter under her pillow.

Thankfully, the "tooth fairy" had set aside a super shiny coin for the occasion. Phew!