Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Birthday bumps

I took G to a birthday party on Saturday. An old college friend’s son’s. Needless to say then, it was a gathering of probashi bangalis at the town’s hottest party spot, Pizza Corner. I’ve mentioned before, I love their party organizing skills. Nothing short of impeccable. Long live outsourcing! So, while the friendly pizzaboys and girls conducted the games for the kids and handed out the winner’s gifts, the accompanying parents huddled together to talk shop.

There was a clear divide between the hep Bong and not-so-hep non-Bong Moms. There was that Cosmo-educated Mom who looked almost ready to replace the cover babe from the magazine; the seasoned jean-clad mother of two, with a figure those 22-year olds would die for; then there was the non-Bong Mom in sequined capris who first wanted to know where my hubby worked, based on which she’d decide how snooty she would be next time she met me on the road; there was the paavam, trying-to-be-hep Amma and finally, there was the quintessential Bong Ma.

The conversation of the hep lot essentially veered around the recently released movies, aka Don, Dor and Devil Wears Prada. (I swear I didn’t make that alliteration up!) and there was actually someone who hadn’t seen the original. So obviously she “quite liked” the new Don as did her kids. Thankfully, everyone else acquiesced the remake was F’all (ok so this is my language, because they were all prim and propah, unlike me). And that SRK sucks. I was impressed muchly by such sublime intelligence of the most superfluous Moms. Coincidentally( ok, so there isn’t anything called coincidence, big deal), none of us have watched the other two. Promptly, Yours Truly floated the idea of a Mom’s Day Out to catch both the movies. Sadly, both have gone from the theatres, but seeds of a MDO have been sowed (evil grin), nice and deep into the kitschy crania. And while they were planning the day out, I picked up sound bytes of “No, now they hab pheeneeshed that, they hab staarted counting huwith their phingaars.” I turned around to see her animatedly showing how to count with the fingers to the other equally engrossed two Non-Bong non-hep Moms. “They are now counting backwards, sebhen, seex, phaibe, phour, like this…” The hep Moms too caught the drift of the conversation and giggled and smirked condescendingly at their neighbours, faces conscientiously turned to the wall. In the meantime, talks moved further on to homework and such like which I chose to ignore to save my sanity.

Amazing though, hep Moms or no, the boys all go to the same school, the most renowned school in this city of soon to be has-beans.

As for self, felt quite out of place, honestly, since I belonged to neither group and had only a pretty Cinderella-esque daughter to dote on, while I mentally noted points for this blog. Whattosay, I’m just lovin’ it. To be at your service, that is.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Holiday Hullaballoo

Holidays are the most anticipated few days of our lives, no matter which stage of life we are in. Of course, the connotation of a holiday has evolved over the decades quite disproportionately with our disposable incomes, but we shall not grudge that, shall we?

As school kids, summer and pujo vacations, more than the winter one, were the few months of freedom we desperately longed for. And of course, planning for a vacation was the only topic of discussion at the dinner table or during a drive to a boring relative. At that stage, the execution of the plan was of course, the parents’ dull job and I was happy to have accomplished mine by merely suggesting a preferred locale. Not that I always got a chance to do that either. But never really cared much as long as I knew I didn’t have to stay home in Calcutta for at least 10 of the 30 days! And those were the best days of my life! (Please note that we were angels as kids, never demanding such things like a resort with swimming pool, AC, TV etc. during a holiday). So whether it was closer to home in Darjeeling, Kalimpong or Hazaribag or a little further off to Agra, Nainital or Ranikhet or even Goa, I have wonderful memories of each vacation. Over the years, of course, I started getting bored of accompanying them on holidays so summer holidays were invariably pilgrimages to cousins in Delhi (yes, 5 weeks of the scorching summer were spent in utter bliss at the then happening places. Don’t ask for details please that was 20 years ago!!)

I stopped going on holidays once cousins left Delhi and life found other excitement in creatures such as boyfriends. Vacations were the only time when we could find friendly alibis in even our worst enemies and go for movies or spend time together over never ending games of Scrabble (yes, in those days life wasn’t all about ball games, you see, so we were happy to indulge in sundry boardgames) or Boggle( again, very mind boggling stuff!)

Post marriage, holidays have been great fun. Family holidays have been few, in fact just that one to Goa and another Down Under. But we have a close knit group of friends who we go out with and so far, touchwood, each one, whether it was to Gadiara (West Bengal) or to Bangkok, has been a riot. The reason I’ve enjoyed myself to the hilt, I realized, is because I wasn’t the one planning any of these holidays! One of the friends was with Thomas Cook so we really just had to land up at the destination and the rest were very well taken care of. Tension-free, adulterated fun is all that mattered.

This time it’s a little different. The friends have decided to descend upon us, in namma Bengaluru. And from here, they want to go on a “holiday” together. Having been made hosts, we’re expected to organise the tours and sightseeing plans. And to be the perfect hosts, all bookings must be done well in advance to avoid any disappointment, especially since the period of travel is between December 22 and 26. They couldn’t have chosen a better “peak season”. So the last few days have been spent on surfing the Net for the best possible package since someone wants the forest, another wants the hills, and yet another the beaches! Never had to contend with such variety. South India does provide all these and more, but to chalk out a route map and then book the hotels all within a given budget? The Planning Director has been very proactive, especially since they are, strictly speaking, his friends and their respective wives. But there’s been some shared responsibilities, especially the hotel surfing and booking. The route map’s chalked out, thankfully, and no, we’re not pandering to everyone’s tastebuds. Just not possible. They get what we give. And I’m just short of going completely bonkers. The more the options, the more the confusion. If the photo on the net is decent enough, a phone call proves just how inefficient the service will be. Not only do I not want to go on a holiday, I don’t even want to play host now. But for the sheer fun of it, I don’t want to miss out on it either. So let’s just go on a holiday guys, and the more unplanned and adventurous it is, the better it will turn out, trust me on this! (pleading, with folded hands).

PS: This is my first post on my recently acquired new toy: a laptop. Thanks to my company, they thought I needed one to work from home. Ya right! They have no clue of the work I’ll now be doing from the cozy workstation. So there, my Angels, satiate those curious minds;)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Time Will Tell

Time heals. And can some wise soul please tell me just how? Is it a balm or is Time the doc with the magical hands that every patient desires to touch and feel? If he's a doc, has someone bothered to check his credentials? So far, He hasn't healed any of my wounds. Not those my parents inflicted, neither those the sons of bitches caused, not the ones so called friends imposed and certainly not those that were meted out in the name of love. These wounds keep oozing pus every once in a while and those mental band-aids soak, so I change them and stick on fresh ones. But for how long?

Can't I be stricken with selective amnesia, at least?

There are theories and there are theories on Time the healer, the ravages of time, on wasting it and managing it. Have you ever stopped to think just how controversial they all are. If it's a healer, why does it plunder, in the first place? If it is wasted, then why bother to manage it? No seriously, I'm as boggled by the theory of the healer as by spiels on how to manage time effectively so you can fit in the world's chores and yours and yet hit the bed at midnight with a smile on your lips and a rush of adrenalin in your body, ready to take on the same circus next day and the day after.
How long, just how long can I keep the facade going?
Time will tell, I guess.