Second Move in 8 Months

So, the title says it all. We have moved house yet another time, the second shifting in 8 months. Yesterday was the grand day.

After getting all kinds of reassurances from the owner that the house was in spick-and-span condition, we had a minor shock when we moved in. The house reeked of fresh paint, the floor was covered in a layer of dust, the calling bell wouldn’t work, the newly installed wash basin had a leak and neither our bedroom, nor the kitchen balcony had a lock.

Of course, we immediately got into touch with the owner and he agreed to reimburse the one-time cleaning charges for the house. ANd then we got to work, cleaning and scrubbing. Of course, Little One was completely bewildered. He was in an unknown place, and neither his Dad nor Mom seemed particularly interested in him, with a scolding every time he tried to explore a new shelf, cupboard or even the floor. Finally, irritated with everyone and everything around him, he decided to do what he knew best. He sat on the floor and started to bawl.

Of course, that got everyone’s attention and soon he was in my arms. And when he got bored with me, he would jump into his Dad’s arms.

To tell more about the house, it is on the fifth floor, just 5 minutes away from my office and is very bright and airy. It has four (!!!) balconies, where we have a very nice view of the road construction and get a great opportunity to inhale all that dust into our lungs. Here are some pics –

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In the 5 years of my marriage, I have lived in 4 different houses, with this being the fifth one. I hope the next move will be to a home of my own, and I finally can live a settled life after leading a nomadic existence for ages.

Finding a Maid

BabyWe have a maid to care for Baby when we are off at work. The Maid is a funny being – she comes from a family of 10 – a band of 4 sisters and 6 brothers. She is a spinster and believes that all her brothers’ wives are devils in disguise….I’d rather not go into the reasons here. Her Dad is a drunkard (in her view) and her Mom has been a suffering soul in the midst of the fights between her daughters-in-law and her Significant Other’s drunken antics.

Recently, she got the idea that she was possessed being followed about by a Servantghost. The reason for this conclusion – she caught the scent of something that none of us seemed to notice and saw a shadow when she was alone :-). Actually the shadow was that of a curtain fluttering about in breeze.

Being the most superstitious creature I have ever known, she begged off work for 2 days to consult a Jyothish, i.e. an astrologer. The Jyothish even managed to identify the ghost for her – it was the ghost of her sister’s dead friend (I wonder how he did that – maybe he can google up Ghost locations!). And he declared that she had to wear a locket containing a few Scripture verses. Wonder of wonders, the Friend Ghost stopped bothering her 🙂 Anyway, that goes to prove the power of a subtle suggestion from the right quarter.

GhostShe takes care of Baby very well….however a few of her quirks are really unbearable. She keeps abusing her relatives to anyone willing to listen to her, and the language used is abominable. I don’t think I would hear stronger language even from  street fighters. I really wouldn’t like Baby to grow up hearing such language.

And now and then, she goes all dumb ( as in, does not speak to anyone) and her face looks as though a nest of wasps has attacked it (well, you get the picture). And we have no clue what we did to deserve it 🙂

And to top it all off, she keeps mumbling and grumbling to herself half the time.

So tell me folks, what should I do? Do I let her continue, or should I look for someone new?

Marriage and Babies

Spicy Saturday

Selected Spicy Saturday Pick in BlogAdda for 13-11-2010

In India, everyone (well, a lot anyway) seems to think that having a girl baby is a huge burden. There is the trouble of making sure that no one ogled her during her growing years, worries about whether she’ll get a ‘proper’ husband, then finding a proper husband for her and negotiating with the ‘proper’ husband’s family for her dowry.

You’d think that the family’s troubles are over once she is married and settled at her husband’s home. But that’s a far cry from the actual situation.

Almost from the very next day after a girl is married, all the older relatives think……no, let me correct that…they believe that it is their prerogative to enquire whether the girl is pregnant. And if she is not pregnant within the first year of marriage, then may God help her. She’d be bombarded with questions from every ‘well-meaning’ relative about the inappropriateness of being childless after one solid year of marriage. Add a few more months to that, and relatives will now be changing their tune, and giving subtle and some not-so-subtle hints about the various treatments available nowadays 🙂 All this hullabaloo even after the couple vehemently say that they do not want any kids for a few years. And if the couple turn a deaf ear to these relatives, then they head straight to the girl’s parents with their ‘anxiety’ over a 1-year old couple living childless.

Time passes by, and the girl becomes pregnant. Once again the tribe descends over her and pass remarks about the shape of her belly, how it is supposed to be shaped in case it is a baby girl, and how not for a baby boy. Every single female relative has a sure-fire way of predicting the gender of the unborn baby. And the grandmothers usually bless the couple with – ‘May you have a baby boy (always and forever, Amen!)’.

When I was pregnant, my mother took a look at my pregnant belly along with her sisters, and passed a comment like this – “I think it is a girl. In my days, it was customary that a pregnancy carried high and shaped like a ball was supposed to be a boy, while a low one without much protrusion was a girl. However, nowadays, it is the other way around.” And my mother was seconded and thirded by her sisters. Mine was low and rather shapeless and my mom voiced the thought of her generation (that is was a girl), but had all bases covered by saying that the new generation had it differently. So, in the same statement, she managed to convey that she was clueless about the gender of the child :-D.

Choosing names for a baby-in-the-belly is a non-fun activity. First off, there’s the uncertainty whether the kid is a boy or a girl.  Unlike in the West,  India has banned foetal gender determination due to the high incidence of female infanticide. Add a dash of well-meant predictions from every Tom, Dick and Harry about the baby’s gender, and you are ready to tear your hair out.

For some reason, every couple I have met seems to have loads of names lined up for a daughter. However, when asked about a baby boy, they are stumped for names. Names for babies are usually determined by the currently popular movies in theatres – when ‘Taare Zameen par‘ was released, ‘Ishaan’ was a hot favourite. ‘Auro’ became a runaway hit with its debut in the movie ‘Paa‘. The Twilight saga saw names like Edward, Victoria, Bella and Isabella soar in popularity.

Now the mom-to-be is at the hospital as per schedule for her delivery. But the predictions don’t stop even at this juncture. Some say that girls prefer to come out early, and others think boys would love to stay behind for some more time and needs to be kicked out of their cozy nest. Finally, after all the predictions and waiting, the little one pops out, and smiles that wonderful smile. Who cares if it is a boy or a girl now? She is HERE! 🙂