Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Freedom to be for my baby



I saw this cartoon strip somewhere which compared rocking a baby to sleep to wrestling a 20lb bag of snakes. Well, that holds good in our household, not when rocking her to sleep, but trying to get my spirited toddler to wear her diaper and clothes, especially so after a bath. My daughter believes that clothes are not a real necessity and chooses running out of the bathroom to allowing me to dress her.
The one thing I do to lure her is to promise her time in her bath tub. On many occasions, I have resorted to bath tub and water to get things done. Below are few situations where I have gone with the idea of allowing my daughter go without clothes and enjoy to her heart’s content while I managed to get my work done. 

1.      Meal times: I have mentioned time and again on my blog that my daughter is a fussy eater. Slipping a spoon of rice or vegetables into her mouth which doesn’t get sputtered right out is a great feat. The one solution that always work to make meal time easier is filling the bath tub with water and allowing her to enjoy splashing around. By the end of the meal time, I normally look like I had a shower myself. Yet, as long as I’m sure that she has had a proper meal without having to resort to cartoons, I’ll take it. Sometimes, just to add an extra dose of fun, I add in a little bubble bath liquid and watch her getting fascinated with the bubbles and foam. 

2.      Exploring herself: As my little girl is growing up, she has started getting fascinated with her body. She keeps looking in the mirror and touching her body and seems gleeful and surprised in turn. I have read that at this age, toddlers tend to explore their bodies and it is pretty natural. I have also read that you are not supposed to shame them in such situations and that is what we follow at home.
3.      Swathed in cream: There have been those few occasions when I thought it would be safe to leave my daughter and the baby lotion bottle alone for a few minutes. Never will I make the same mistake! I have found my freshly out of bath daughter looking more or less like the yeti, covered in baby lotion from head to toe. The few times I did find her, I’ve let her be thanking my stars that I didn’t leave my kajal or lipstick around her.

4.      Canvas for painting: When my parents come to visit, they showed my daughter how to use a pen. They drew flowers inside her palms and she walked around showing off the artworks to anyone who would look. She had discovered her favorite toy, the pen. Any time she manages to get hold of a pen, she goes to town not on paper but on her body. So, sometimes I find a toddler with abstract drawings all over her body at the end of ten to fifteen minutes’ silence.

Of course, there are messes to be cleared, there are clothes to be changed, baths to be given …but then these are the times I see my kid giggling, screaming and thoroughly enjoying herself. So then, sometimes I just let her be the kid she is. 

Now I hear that the new Pampers Premium care pants have been introduced which are extremely soft and comfortable and allow the babies maximum freedom to monkey around in comfort. I am looking forward to buying a pack to use for my little monkey while she tries to step out into the balcony to play in the rain.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This post is a part of the Pampers #SoftestForBabySkin activity at BlogAdda

Friday, October 16, 2015

All is Not Well!

There are days when you feel life flowing through your veins...you see everything with rose tinted glasses and you feel happy about life. And then there are days as these when you have to struggle hard not to end up in tears. 

You put up a brave face and get through the day even when you know that all you want to do is curl up on the bed and cry. 

It has been a tough week, a week where I've tried to do everything right...I'm on diet for weight loss, you see. 

I dont know if it's the scale or if it's me, but the needle seems dutifully stuck at the same point, day after day. It's as though it is silently mocking me and all the idiotic efforts I'm putting in, including calory counting and healthy eating. 

I am tired, embarrassed...and upset, and without anyone to confide in. So there you go, my precious little blog, you'll have to be my voice board for now. 

When everyone around you can't see beyond how you look, it pricks. You want to show the world that you're more than what meets the eye. You CAN lose weight, but will never trust another person to see the real you. When people closest to you choose to mock rather than motivate and tells how they'd choose to be with someone else because of the way you look, it hurts. When ultimatums are issued and you're made to feel small, you'll know what pain means. You want to tell them that "I'll lose my pounds but you'll never stop being a jackass!". And still you hesitate, because you dont know if you'll lose those pounds or not.

What an effing mockery I've made of myself with the self motivating talks and all the time spent on meal planning and work outs.

Not my best day! But this too shall pass!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Have You Heard Of The Transferkars?



Have you heard of the Transferkars?
The ruckus they throw, dear me, those neighbours.
They jump, they kick, they fight and roll.
Just to gain power o’er the elusive remote control.
Papa needs his dose of evening serials,
Dada, his shows follow forest trails.
Dadi must watch her fav’ chokeslam,
Mommy must cheer for her soccer team.
Kajal swears that “Winter’s coming”,
Missing G.O.T, oh dear!, most unbecoming.
Transferkars, they jump, they kick, they fight and roll.
Just to gain power o’er elusive remote control.



One fine evening, I knock @ their door,
“Please! Stop this madness!”, I implore.
“Before you bring your apartment down”,
“Let me tell you how we solved our TV misfortune”.
“My baby wanted to watch her cartoon”,
“Her granny couldn’t miss the serials @ noon”,
“Her papa wanted news apprised every hour”,
“Her Grandpa insisted, I must see the umpire declare a “Four!”
“Well, I had my movies & shows, of course”,
“But how’d we watch, just one TV, cause of remorse”
“We were anguished, tormented, troubled & dejected”
“When we met Rahul, your son, I swear, such a smart kid”
“He advised, matter of factly, Get Tata Sky+ Transfer!”


“Getting it set up, it’s such an easy affair!”

“Your fav’ shows, on PVR, record”
“Transfer to mobile or tab, have it stored”
“Watch it when you want to, your choice”
“You can carry it with you, so now, rejoice!”
“HD picture quality, Dolby digital + sound”,
“Live TV, Paused, Recorded, Rewound”
“500 GB Hard disk, 625 hours of content, it can hold”,
 “Video on demand, lo and behold”,
1 Optical S/PDIF, 2 USB ports,
3 tuners and Ethernet option, it supports,
“on your device, download Tata Sky mobile app”,
“Transfer your shows on iOS and android, asap.”
“Uhmm…, Aunty, You do have Wifi?”
“Yes”, I nod, the little genius!, my my.
“Register your device on the this free app”,
“And it’ll all be done”, oh he deserved a clap.



I paused for effect, Transferkars waited, intent.
I knew I had them, with a little push, they would relent.
“Right now, we have running, cartoons, news and the channel TLC”.
“All thanks to Tata Sky+ Transfer, you see!”
Grandpa has his tablet, Grandma, her TV,
Papa has his smart phone, the tab with cartoons for the baby.
 “Me? Well, I’ve got my phone, of course, silly!”
“I’m waiting for Holmes & Watson, Elementary!”
“We watch what we want, when we want, where we want”
“Thanks to Tata Sky+ Transfer”, blatantly I flaunt.

Transferkars, looked on, mouths agape in wonder.
Slowly it dawns on them, dear oh dear, their blunder.
Mobiles, they draw out, Grandpa and Mom,
The laptop, Kajal brings, from her room.
The TV, to Grandma, they hand off,
Papa Dileep hugs his laptop, what a relief.  

Papa gets to watch Diya or Baati hum,


When Dadi watches wrestling, bam bam!


Dada, on phone, is immersed in treasure hunt,


While Mummy watches interceptions, touchdown and punt.


Kajal lament over the Starks and swoon over Jon Snow,


While the little Master Chef watched ways to get perfect pie dough. 



Transferkars, look at them, full of glee.
Mobile entertainment, they enjoy, peacefully. 
Serials, sports, drama and cookery,
All they watch, in great comradery.
Have you heard of my neighbours, theTransferkars?
The (second) smartest family on the block, of course!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This entry was written as part of #TataSkyTransfer contest ( http://www.tatasky.com/transfer/) in association with Indiblogger. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Musings of a Food-Venturist




The characters and incidents in this write up is purely factual and any resemblance to anyone fictional is purely coincidental and unintentional
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I am born into a family of foodies. So it goes without saying that we jump at an opportunity to try out a new restaurant or cuisine that captures our interest. My parents and hubby tread safely when it comes to new cuisines but my sister and I go all out. We are what you can call food-venturists, you see. My sister normally emerges unscathed from such food-ventures but I cannot say the same for myself and end up in food-fixes occasionally.


Now, there are food fixes and then there are food fixes. Some, you can get out of…some, not so easy.


When food’s served, I always go in for my least favourite dish to get it out of the way. In the same First, let me tell you about the food fixes without a way out that I got into…
  1. Dessert disasters: On an occasion we had visited a Chettinad restaurant which had opened close to where we stayed in Dubai. We went to the restaurant and tried out the main course dishes which were excellent. When it came to desserts, everyone ordered for something familiar like kulfi, ice cream and so on whereas I, in a bout of food-venture spirit, ordered for something called “pal paniyaram”. 

    The desserts arrived and the one I ordered looked nice enough. I had the look of the proud parent of a prodigy as I goaded my sister about her safe choice of ice cream Sundae.

    Now imagine this in slow motion: Me, dipping my spoon into the bowl and taking the first spoonful of the delicate little dumplings swimming in the milk. Me having my first mouthful as my sister looks on, albeit enviously. My expression gradually changing from expectant to shocked to pained as a sugar explosion occurs inside my mouth. It wouldn’t be exaggeration if I said that my tongue was numbed from the sugar level in the dessert. My eyes tearing up, not from joy, but from the excessive sugar content in the dessert. Cut!

    What previously looked to me a medium sized bowl now looked like an uphill climb through Sugar Mountain. After a few spoonfuls, I gave up and ended up watching my sister enjoy her sundae a little too enthusiastically.

    On yet another occasion, we had been to one of the authentic vegetarian restaurants in Kuwait post the weekly grocery shopping. We had idli, vada and dosa to our hearts’ content and was given the menu to order desserts for ourselves. When everyone else opted for the safe option of gulab jamun, I opted for the exotic sounding Shrikand. The bowl with light creamy dessert garnished with pistachios was placed before me.  I dip the spoon into it and take the first mouthful and the first reaction was to control my Once again, The shrikand was extremely sour and tasted more like a poorly made flavoured yoghurt than the creamy dessert the menu promised. Once again, I had to forego dessert and watch the gulab jamuns in my sister’s bowl disappear.

  2. Self-made disasters: The genes related to aesthetics, cooking and everything remotely related to arts somehow managed to skip me completely and got transferred from my mom to my sister. This meant that my cooking skills range from 1 to 9 on a scale of ten depending upon the amount of luck I possess on any given day. So, my supply of luck must have been running pretty pretty low on the day I decided to make the vegetables and sprouts soup.
     On paper, this nutritious soup was a delicious and healthy combination of seasonal vegetables, garnished with crunchy sprouts and served in a mild Asian flavoured broth. In reality, it was a mix of overcooked carrots, mushrooms and beans and undercooked mixed sprouts which swam in a broth with plenty of soy sauce in an attempt to cloak the unpleasant taste. Since my husband came home later than me, I had to stick a post-it with “disaster” written on the pan as a warning so that he would avoid tasting it in case I wasn’t around.

    Now that I have regaled you with the food fixes that I couldn’t get out of, let’s move on to the ones that can be fixed, thanks to Tiny Owl. It was probably keeping in mind the likes of me, TinyOwl app for ordering food online was launched. It helps to order food based on your location, customer reviews and delivery times.  
              
   
       
Let me tell you about a few more food fixes since we’re talking about them anyways. 

3. Burnt food syndrome: As I previously mentioned, I am not a great cook…heck, I’m not even all that good when it comes to cooking. That explains why we have multiple pans with burnt bottoms in our household. At one point, both my husband and I used worked in night shift. This meant that once we’d come from office around 5 in the morning, we’d prepare our lunch and then go to sleep. My husband and I took turns to prepare the lunch and kept each other company until the cooking was done. So as usual, once the curry was on stove, I volunteered to stay up until it was cooked before hitting the bed. 

However, my husband insisted on my going to bed and promised to finish up the cooking. Overcome with sleep, I agreed immediately and went to sleep. What I woke up to in the afternoon was a house filled with smoke. I hurried out of the bedroom and I saw my husband sitting sheepishly on the sofa. Apparently, he had left the curry on the stove to simmer and had laid down on the sofa to wait for the curry to be done. Unfortunately, he had ended up sleeping and the curry had burnt to cinders by the time he woke up. 

What this meant was that we were left with a house full of smoke, a burnt pan, hungry tummies and plain rice for lunch.

Now if TinyOwl was available at the time, all we had to do would have been to browse through the restaurants and place an order with the restaurants which had the lowest delivery time and our lunch would have been a little more than the plain rice with curd and pickle.

  4. Road trips and food gripes: Both of us enjoy going on long drives and road trips occasionally. Since we stay   in Bangalore, Nandi Hills happen to be one of the one day getaway locations that we frequent.

Similarly, we have been on road trips to Goa and Mumbai. 


On most of our trips to Nandi Hills, we have had to satiate our hunger with bread omelette and watered down Maggi noodles. On the Mumbai trip, in the excitement of planning, we completely missed to pack food and was left stranded with very few options on the drive. We had to wait till 4 pm in the evening before we came across a decent restaurant to lunch at.



If we had TinyOwl installed on our mobiles, finding a restaurant to dine at would’ve been a much smoother experience because this app detects your location and suggests nearby restaurants.




1     5. The Unknown cravings: Most of the weekends, we plop down on the couch for movie marathon. By the end of the movie, both of us would be craving for something to snack on. Most often, I use my patent dialogue of “I’m hungry. Let’s eat something!” The conversation goes like this:



Me: I’m hungry, let’s eat something.

Hubby: Okay…you want me to make popcorn or get chips?



Me: No…I don’t feel like having popcorn or chips. Why don’t we order something? We can get the dinner too.



Hubby: Sure, why don’t you do the ordering then?



Me: Yeah…what do you want?



Hubby: I’m okay with anything, just go ahead and order.



Me: Okay….yeah, I’ll order. So….no specifications, right?



Hubby: Nope…!.



Me: You’re sure, right. What if I order and you don’t like it?



Hubby: It’s okay, just order alright… (Sounding mildly exasperated now)



Me: Okay…but…



Hubby: Look…let me order. What do you want to have?



Me: I don’t know.



Hubby: You don’t know? You said you were hungry.



Me: Yeah….I’m hungry but I don’t know what I want to have.



What you read above is the excerpt of a conversation that happens frequently in our household.



If you experience similar unknown craving, all you need to do is log in to TinyOwl and it will give a list of restaurants in your locality specializing in specific cuisines.
 

You can pick and choose the restaurant that will satiate your craving without having to go through the above conversation and a cranky husband at the end of it.



6. Restro-failures: For my sister’s birthday on year, we tried placing an order with this new Pan Asian restaurant in our locality. We ordered for Thai and Chinese non vegetarian food for the three of us. After a wait of 45 minutes and multiple phone calls, the food was finally delivered. Since we had a power failure and were too famished for the power to return, we decided to have a candle light dinner. We sat down for dinner and opened the boxes of red Thai curry and sautéed lamb.

 I took the first spoonful of sautéed lamb and munched on what appeared to be sautéed corn. I didn’t remember ordering for sautéed corn. Next, my sister opened the container of Thai red curry. In spite of a stirring around for a good two minutes, I don’t think she was able to find a piece of chicken in it.   We checked the third container and what looked back at us were not honey sesame prawns but some kind of green salad.

If we had TinyOwl app on our phones, a check on the customer rating would’ve told us which restaurant to skip and which one to pick:
 


At the end of another 45 minutes, a complaint call and patient waiting, I’m glad to say that we finally managed to get our order delivered.
     7. Hunt for cash: When it was just my sister and me at home, we’d order in fast food anytime a craving hit. I still remember that on one such occasion, we ordered for pizza from Papa Johns and was waiting for the delivery when it struck me that I had exhausted all the cash I had withdrawn. My sister had 200 rupees in her wallet and that was about it. We had approximately 20 minutes before we had to come up with another 600 rupees at 9:30 pm at night. 

The realization made us launch on a treasure hunt through the home to find if we had any cash left in any of our kurta pockets, bags or cupboards. We did manage to find a 500 rupees note in our clutch and the day was saved. 

TinyOwl understands that the lazy loafers like me might not carry cash around when a food craving hits and that’s why they have included the flexibility to make your payment using cash or credit/debit cards.



     Side note: This feature immensely helps when you’re penniless at the end of the month as well. :D


  8. Menu management: I haven’t seen the surface of my fridge in a long time. It’s because most of the area is covered with the delivery menus we receive along with our daily newspapers. Let me confess and say that I’m a hoarder when it comes to delivery menus. It’s not because collecting menus is a hobby. It’s only so that I can pick out the menu for a restaurant when we have to order food when we have guests or when we’re just plain lazy to cook. However, it does become difficult to manage multiple delivery menus and pick one and place an order. 

The creators of TinyOwl app understands this difficulty and has the helpful feature of saving order history included so that the next time you want to order, you don’t have to hunt down the menu.  


   9. Ease of use: TinyOwl also has a clean, hassle free look and makes ordering food as easy as doing a finger tap dance across your mobile screen.
 




It also provides the minimum order value for each restaurant so that you don’t end up disconnecting after placing an order just because your order doesn’t meet the minimum order value:
  

10. Surprise, surprise!!!: And as if all these features were not enough, TinyOwl also provides an array of discounts and offers to choose from any time you place an order for food delivery. So no more coupon hunt on the food coupon websites when you get the next hunger pang. 



I have installed TinyOwl on my smartphone so that from now on, my food-ventures would be eventful, only in the good way of course! Why wait, go ahead and take a look at the TinyOwl l app to help you start your food-venture:

https://itunes.apple.com/IN/app/id916154166?mt=8&pt=Website-iOS-Download&ct=NONE
 
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.flutterbee.tinyowl&referrer=af_tranid%3D3ST3WXX81YXXHWD6%26c%3DWebsite%26pid%3DWebsite-Android-1-
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This contest was written as an entry for Food Tales with TinyOwl contest in association with Indiblogger.