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Entries in wife (4)


A toothbrush, napkin wrapper and an evening of shopping

Could have titled this post "three conversations" but that would be bland..

On recent Asia trips, I have started a new habit. Take the toiletries I use in the hotel room and put them in by backpack every day.. then bring them home, use them a few more times before throwing them. My little contribution to the "green earth" campaign? Actually not! 

A colleage told me that he saw a youtube video where the folks who come clean the rooms in star hotels in Asia, were caught on hidden camera, using the guest's toothbrushes in the toilet just out of spite. "Why take chances?" was my logic.

Came back from the trip and was about to throw the comb and brush (which had squished itself in my backpack and was not usable anymore) into the bathroom bin, and saw teh green glow of the sanitary napkin wrapper under the bin lid. Given my jet lag and my inclination to randomly burst out at my wife and kids for 24 hours after the trip, either when woken up or when asked to do pick up drop offs where I see myself unfit for driving, this wrapper put me on high alert. So the next day I was doing everything, as my usual being extra nice to my wife routine. Did not talk back, accepted last minute schedule changes, etc. I was tired and pissed off in general, but was okay with it.

Then we have a conversation where my wife asks me do take the kids somewhere, at the last minute and I said "fine!". My kids were genuinely suprised by this. After she left the house, they asked "what is going on?". She has asked you to do things quite at the last mintue since yesterday and you have been accepting this. This is the third time just today... Did you do something wrong? 

Me: Look, your mom has also been tired as I have been gone for a week. She is going through a busy time at work, has been doing all the driving by herself and also she is "aathula illai"!

"aathula illai" literally translates to "she is not in the house" and figuratively means "she is on her periods". The kids were rolling and laughing out loud. When I asked them why, they tell me that the only remaining box of pads was in our bathroom, and when they go to our bathroom to grab pads, they unwrap and put the cover and stickers in our bin.  The joke was apparently on me and I was being extra nice for no reason... I was going to ask "wait, how long has this being going on?" and was about to lecture them on the importance of using their own bin for their own trash as it is sending me wrong signals, and decided.. yeah, the joke was on me. It was okay to be nice to San even if for all the wrong reasons.

So I throttled back on the nice a little bit. I still had jet lag. An attempt to do yoga to fight jet lag ended up with me running out of the hot room to get rid of stomach acid and I really was unable to fight the afternoon nap, which ended up being more than a nap. 

I walk around after this "nap" in zombieland and overhear the wife and kids having a conversation about what to do on our 20th wedding anniversary. Instead of walking on by, made the mistake of blurting out,  "lets go somewhere local so we can have a day out and come back home by evening and celebrate dinner at home with family and friends"... the looks.. oh the looks I got in response! They were planning something else.. then the kids look at me and ask "wait ! isn't this YOUR anniversary as in both of you? so why is Amma planning something on her own. She said it is HER anniversary" . My response was "she is giving herself an award for putting up with me for 20 years! I might not even be invited to the celebration and won't be surpised if that happens!" 

This is shortly followed by me being asked to come along on a shopping trip. Went very very reluctantly because I was guilted into coming. Was answering phone calls outside a shop and was busy taking pictures of a crow inside the mall when we decided that one kid should go with each parent to shorten the shopping time.

Walked around with Jr. and found out through some Matlock / Colombo style detective work that she was going to go on a banquet with her Marching band and was planning to buy a "dress" for it. She tried some stuff and was not happy. Then I told her "it is cold out. you are doing straight to a dinner and coming back. just wear a nice shirt and a good sweater on top, which you have plenty of, no?" and she says "you are right. I will do that. it is a good idea!"  I was really surprised. Would I in this lifetime see my daughter become a value shopper like me? would she ever bargain with multiple vendors to find the base price and do a deal where they still make money and she would get a good deal? My head was racing with the possibilities!

Then we are having dinner and the little one says "I am Appa!".. I was a little confused. Is this some "We are with Paris" type thing she is starting, to make me feel better?! Turns out, she just realized that she eats just like me.. Her friends were telling her that she eats like a camel by moving her lower jaw out and she was watching me eat and realized she does the same thing. So, it wasn't some kind of solidarity movement. Just a bitter realization, but she was smiling and was giving me a "Guess there is no escaping the genes!" look. 

Later,  San shows me a few sarees online to see which ones I liked. Picked three on the a vs. b choices she gave and she said ...all those are old lady sarees. they are not "chinna ponnu" sarees... (Chinna Ponnu is little girl quite literally). On the one hand we have the bearded me trying to tell the world he is done with looks and has accepted his age while we have a chinna ponnu with two chinna ponnu's under the same roof. I did not even respond to that comment and just nodded, thinking "The generation gap between us is increasing rapidly!" 

Have realized over the last few months that it doesn't take much to make myself happy. I can be alone and reset myself. Can stare at myself in the mirror and come out with a "don't care" attitude. Feels more and more like I am forcing myself through the daily routines, as part of a responsibilty and commitment but take no joy in certain things like chauffering or even shaving anymore. San hates the chauffering equally as she does my beard. 

The life cycle was explained to us in middle school as a four stage process.. first stage, bachelor hood, 15 years of studying and being a good boy, then 15 years of married life and having kids, then 15 years of living in the forest and the last 15 of being an ascetic renouncing stuff. Now that retirement age keeps rising, even the Wikipedia entries for the four ashramas are being pushed to 24 freaking years each!!! I don't think I will live past 70 anyways, so the whole thing is messed up.

Maybe I have reached that stage in life where one is supposed to say bye to everyone and walk into the forest alongwith my wife, to live out our last years? Don't think "chinna ponnu" is likely to follow me into any forest anytime soon, or even a national park for that matter. It was my dream to rent an RV and just visit every national park in the continental US, go on long hikes and take time to photograph sunsets, with no time limit to come back to the parking lot. San used to share that dream, given we both liked long road trips before we had kids. I used to haul my camera bag and she used to carry my tripod and walk with me to watch / capture the sunset. Now I don't think all the time in the world is going to be enough for me to get to those same locations we visited before, from even the closest parking lots carrying that camera bag! 

My family tells me that my battery is low. I am not excited for anything anymore. I don't know why! Maybe I need a career change. Maybe all this travel has turned me into an emotionless lump. Maybe I am just too tired to fight the good fight on a daily basis. Maybe yoga has turned me into a very inward person who has become extremely selfish subconsciously (not my theory). Maybe I need some Glucon-D or Cinkara ?! (see, there is still a funny guy somewhere in there).

Still writing down these odd little conversations,  because this is what life is about in my eyes.. things kids say and do, how we evolve as children, as parents, how a mundane or not so mundane routine impacts us in ways that are deep, lifes little victories and defeats, perceptions right and wrong,  all over a span of few days, sometimes a few hours! 

A lot less grumpy today and the routine continues. Have to make an effort to find my interest in everyday things back to that stage where every little thing that my wife or kids did filled me with amazment and wonder. It is not their issue, it is clearly a waning of my ability to see the magic that is happening in front of my eyes. Need those special glasses back...

It will happen!


Happy 29-n-th birthday

Wishing Sangeetha a happy twentyninenth birthday!

The love of my life, who does a diving catch time and time again, to save this idiot from self destruction.

We are still getting over Thatha and the birthday plans are all canceled, but Surprise!

You didn't know I had these pictures of you, did you?

For my part, I will stop depressing the kids. For their part, they will surprise you by eating their breakfast on time (they have promised)

Happy birthday,

Your dear hormonal hubby!

ps. These photos were taken 29+ years ago..


Video Blogs made easy

Now that Blogger has introduced the instant video uploader (like the photo uploader), I am giving it a shot now.. I will fail in my duty as a technologist if I do not attempt to use cool stuff that gets unleashed on drooling engineers. So here goes..

Hope this works. By the way, after my wife sees this video, this feature might become moot for this blog! My first video blog in pre Youtube days took 3 hours to make and upload. With Youtube, it was 5-10 minutes.

Now it is 2 mins!!

Tell me if you like this..



Looks...There is more to it than meets the eye!

Warning : If you are not yet married and are considering getting hitched soon, please skip this post!! I really do not know if this will have adverse effects on you.

Was listening to NPR last month on my way to pick up Jr. There was a little piece in "All things Considered" which talked about how women choose their mates!

I have not been successful in finding a link within NPR for this, but here is an altenate link I found on Google which shows that this is indeed an outcome of some research..

Warning : If you have ignored my previous warning and have read this far and you fall into the Ferrari bucket, still actively looking for girls wearing White Salwars, please stop now! If you read beyond this, do so at your own risk!

Enough warnings. Lets proceed with the subject matter. Women select guys who look like their dad. Apparently they not only go for guys who look like their dads but also have similar traits, attitude to work, etc. In short they are looking for a younger version of their father who is not genetically close!

I am going to put this in perspective, on a personal level for the guys! You might have a lot more in common with your father-in-law than you know! Ever wonder how you can share silent moments with your FIL over events that unfold in your house when your wife and mother-in-law are present. Maybe it is not just a guy thing! It is two guys knowing that they share a mutual fate in the scheme of things, except one is going through an action reply, 25 years delayed!

I still remember three guys walking, one behind the other on the pavements of Pondy Bazaar, the day after my engagement, to buy things for my wedding. It was my FIL's FIL, my FIL and yours truly. It was the first time I got to meet and know about these two men! After all, I was going to be the third generation husband, in that family! We didn't speak much. More looks and nods than words were exchanged, on that particular evening. It was almost like a Chinese, Indian and Spanish person trying to communicate without knowing the others language. We still did communicate, and within minutes found that we had a lot of similarities. The three of us had very little in common when it came to physical stature or physiognomy but had very similar views on the few things we talked about! The old man is not with us anymore and I do not know why I keep seeing him in my sleep now, but it was funny, the way he would explain things to the FIL who would in turn explain things to me while we were walking in line!

On a separate note, I do not know if guys look for women who have similar traits as their mothers!! I always wanted to by anything but my father, when I became a dad, and I am failing at it miserably. The older I grow, the more I transform like him! This has set me thinking. I always used to blame my mom for all the things I did not like in my dad. Can I just conveniently blame my current transformations as due to my wife and on a stretch draw the conclusion that maybe my wife has some similarities with my mom ?!

This last line I know, will draw flames from the ladies, might even shut down this blog! But it is worth a thought! Could it be true that you are selected by the woman because you resemble her dad and you select her because she resembles your mom, but she turns you more into your dad than your father-in-law ? This is starting to sound like the story line for a K.B. movie!! I will stop here ...

Like the Shogun says, "Karma, neh ?"