Thursday, 31 January 2008

Famous Five

I am not at all sure what this summary of my posts is supposed to achieve. But then when ludwig sends me a tag, I feel I must comply. Besides, I am on the edge of my seat on a weekday afternoon at the home computer, having retired home hurt, and being deliciously out of touch of trouble-makers, having lost my mobile. And yeah, the ever-present monster is semi-asleep in between coughing bouts in the other room.

Here goes then.

Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the key words given (family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like). Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better.

The family is husband and monster-child. Monster-child's every cheeky comment and sputum analysis report is dutifully recorded here. The husband marginally features below. Let us talk instead about other family members. I have been meaning to crib about my parents, when I get around to doing that there will good material for this section. But till then...

Friends: In principle, I have tons of friends in tons of places around the world. Since I stink at having phone conversations, it is up to personal visits and cute exchanges on emails when we stay in touch. Heres one where I met a whole bunch of old friends and it was really timely.

Talk about myself, oh no, that would be so wrong, so unlike me. Heh heh. This entire blog is about exactly three people. Me Myself and I!! So lets skip on & refer to things I love, stopping merely to comment that I dislike spitting.

Your love: I generally dont write much about this, but perhaps this one?. Yes, its fair to say that although its been a gadzillion years now since I first fell in love on a basketball court of all places, sentiments are pretty much the same. Dashed funny the whole thing is.

Anything you like: I like so many damn things and write so often about things that I like that this could again contain my entire list of posts to date. What the heck, you guys. Anyway, for purposes of easy digestion here goes-
1. I like running.
2. I like to sleep near a wall. ]
3. I like PGWodehouse (perhaps not the man himself, he looks fat, I mean his books).
4. I like sports - here and here.
5. I have revelations and I like to make lists.

Kayo. Let us go ahead and tag choxbox (who may already have been tagged but has not responded yet so..), airspy (who seems to be hibernating this winter), csm (assuming he has not gotten mugged for his comments about Australian cricketeers), neha (who will deserve a break from her work right about now) & vanessa (who should consider writing new posts about all items based on life in new country).

Monday, 28 January 2008

The Day After Pongal

The day dawns bright and clear. Pragati can barely contain her excitement! She wakes up a full hour early, having tossed and turned through the night in a fever of anticipation. The slight January nip in the morning air is welcome. She rushes around the house, her usual routine with the milk and tea and breakfast and email and the newspaper. She lays out her sari for the day, finding and caressing the matching blouse. She goes to the little cupboard on the side and extracts a bright orange paavadai for the child. She is about to turn away when she remembers and opens the drawer and draws out tiny matching bangles and a necklace. Her little daughter would never agree to a paavadai without these accessories! So unlike Pragati, of whom, a close friend had once remarked , ‘Neither beautiful nor beauty-conscious.’ She gives in to a small smile as she recalls how amused she was by that comment, and, to the surprise of her friends, not in the least bit offended!

The clock needles march forward, somewhat slowly but surely. She has her cup of tea sitting at the computer, poring over her emails and updating her blog page with a photo of the child. She replies to a few requests for meetings, saying that she is out of the office in the morning but glad to meet after lunch. Shutting down the computer with a hurried glance at the clock, she steps in for her bath.

While she is in the middle of her shampoo, the child wakes and calls for her. “I am taking a bath” she yells back. “Okay” says the child and proceeds to sing a song to herself, which Pragati joins in, her voice loud under the water. By the time she steps out, the child has found the bangles and is wide-eyed and awake, a million questions coming out of her mouth. Where are we going (out), why the orange paavadai and not the maroon one (because the matching bangles and necklace were easily accessible), why are you wearing this sari (because you are wearing a paavadai), why does the octopus have eight legs (so it can move fast) and so on.

They rush through the morning milk and transactions regarding fruit and potty and bath, all the while pretending to be on a space-ship. The excitement Pragati had felt early in the morning is continuing strongly in the daughter, while the mother just feels a sense of tiredness. The festivities of the previous day, involving the two types of Pongal and the vadai (the eating rather than the making of these things taxes her energy, paradoxically). They peer somewhat quizzically into the fridge where a whole bunch of left-overs lie, the maid-servants having taken the day off, the dishes have remained there, she is not going to deal with this today of all days.

It is still 9 am when they step out of the house all ready in sari and paavadai and flowers in their hair. They skip down to the auto-rickshaw stand and climb in. Pragati feels a renewed excitement now, now that they are so close. She directs the driver and they head off in a cloud of exhaust. The child begins asking questions. Where are we going? (To Ammamma’s house). Why? (Because today is a special festival. Everyone goes to their mother’s house). Why are you so happy? (Because I am going to my mother’s house). Can we do this every year? (Sure! Of course! I wish…). You wish what? (Nothing, it’s a great day, lets enjoy it, no fussing or crying, okay?) Okay Amma, I am really happy, I want to hug you (I want to hug you too…)

I AM a rock....

One sunday, I am feeling second wind and jetting down from the 200meter mark at the Mumbai (Half) Marathon 2008. The next sunday, the very next one, finds me in Hyderabad. I climb a flight of stairs. I climb back down. And back again. Then I need to rest, cause my legs are aching. Well, this is how the die rolls.

On Monday after the race, I felt the snifflings of a cold coming on. I braved a bracing Mumbai evening weather without a sweater (Ha ha, I was thinking, I would look silly wearing my Patriots sweat-shirt now, although they are winning and all). But then I felt cold. The park was the destination of choice. I tried to concentrate on my book while she climbed slides or gingerly touched the sand. My teeth chattered and so forth. Somehow managed to put an end to my misery and return home for our discussions re: dinner. I chanced upon a cold glass of milk left over from the previous night in the fridge. Hah. Calcium, I remember thinking, before gulping it down.

Well that did it. As far as I can tell, my immunity was not at its peak at that time. The weather has been remarkably cold. I was tired out with lots of stuff all around. BOOM! I came crashing down on Thursday morning. I could barely breathe, and had this nasty hacking cough as well. I pushed it and just took some rest in the afternoon. Thankfully the mobile did not ring like crazy as usually happens when I take a nap in the afternoon (an event that occurs about once a year, the nap I mean). On Friday things looked desperate. The monster has not been particularly chirpy, health-wise either. Her complaints are: Runny Nose; Mysterious Stomach Ache; Convenient Cough and so forth. The manifestations are: Loss of Appetite; Restless Sleep; Increased Tension for Parents; Temper Tantrums by Mother.

I dragged into the hospital with my "Oh I am such a loser that no one can even accompany me to the hospital when I have this illness" look on my face. The driver had disappeared (His brother is sick right, they said when I called. Right, said I). I had to drive. I considered myself unfit for the exercise, but then, in the absence of a real choice, I did, finally. Anyway the doctor spent about half an hour cooing to a baby. I had a strong urge to walk up and say 'Hey that baby is too young to be sat up like that, its back will get weak' but resisted and put nose in book (Brick Lane; Monica Ali; better than my expectation, a dry sense of humour I liked). Finally she went into her room. I dragged myself in, putting on my "Oh I am so sick and here you were cooing to a baby that is too young to be sat up like that" look on. She declared my chest clear. Admired my blood pressure (which, despite my daughter's best efforts, stays remarkably normal) and pulse (which has clocked the precise number prescribed in all medical texts, mostly thanks to my running and general aerobic life-style). Gave me a charge-sheet of medicines. The usual amoxycillin and expectorant and what not. I spent more than a thousand Rs. in all on this. Basically the Rs.1000 I got back from Stan Chart for returning the timing chip after my marathon. Ill-gotten gains never stick to me you see.

I dragged back and picked up the child and returned home. Tried very hard to 'get some rest' as prescribed by doc lady. Ha. Try that at home with a four year old who (a) has a cold (b) has had tiffs with her school friends (c) is missing her neighbour -friend and (d) had her grandparents doting on her till yesterday. Ha. We managed to keep it all civil, for the most part, and got through with some measure of dignity till husband returned back home to complain about the two and half hour commute. He took a look at us and his face fell. We both looked like something the cat dragged in. He had to leave in a few hours to the US. We both were supposed to go to Hyderabad for a family function, which he was really upset about missing, the next day.

I put on my best "Oh I am so long suffering a woman" and "A woman can never get the rest she rightfully deserves" and, for good measure "We lose so much of ourselves every month that its a miracle indeed that we are so fat" looks in succession for him. I do joke about it but was a bit ragged Friday night. We talked and discussed and game-planned and finally decided the best bet was to postpone my morning flight to afternoon. I went to bed after the ritual of list-making. Powder-Pants-Tees-Paavadai-Sari-zzz...

Saturday was an exercise in determination, patience, and almost brought back my faith in the almighty. Well on hind-sight it was not so bad. She was so excited about the trip that I could constantly threaten cancellation, at the slightest deviation from the line I had drawn for her. She also loves planes and flights and since it was Republic Day, and I smiled and wished everyone a happy one, her mood was good. We ate lunch at home, drank hot chocolate in the airport, I burned my tongue in my hurry to finish mine so I could cool hers down for her.

The driver at the Hyd airport was quite surprised and alarmed when I pointed at the board. He is used to business travelers and their sophisticated wives. I still looked a little ragged, with nasty hair and a hacking cough and a green khadi kurta (for RD) over jeans. Child looked ragged too, snotty nose and dry skin (refused to let me touch cream to her face, monster) and sneakers. But he drove us in record time to destination, for once the streets were empty and the horn not required, as it was a public holiday.

The family rejoiced to see us, except for a second of worry because no one could see the child asleep in the car when I waved. The hotel rooms were fine and, of course, a cause of much excitement, what with the small wall mounted TV and the possibility of running from room to room. The function was attended, I managed, despite shaky hands, to drape the Pink sari this time. It felt fine, have avoided wearing it for long enough, and without my husband to joke about it, I braved it. My hair was still crazy but then it usually is quite bad so no one particularly commented upon it. The monster was arrayed in a spectacular paavadai created by its grandmom; with a matching bag, so attention was diverted from the grubby mother quite effectively.

We returned back home Sunday night at 11 pm. The monster had a dinner of about 37 red balls from the Jet Airways after-mint packet. I pecked at a few rice grains and mentally thanked the folks for my pack of curd rice with cashewnuts and pomegranate seeds (which I ate in the airport itself). My ear got completely blocked in the flight. I could feel it in my ears every time the pilot descended even a few meters. When I hit the sack, pausing briefly to cough and spit out a nice ball of phlegm, I remember thinking myself invincible. It must be how guys feel when they ride around on bikes without silencers at a trillion kilometers above the speed limit...

Monday, 21 January 2008

Half-Marathon; Insta-Massage

Well, I am back. I have done it. Third time. It went well, a bit of pain, a lot of joy, a few coincidences, and, at the end of it all, the usual feeling of achievement.

The story of the run is very simple this year. I had fun. Took it less seriously.

We managed to reach in good time, and make it to the special enclosure for chip holders. It was much better organised than the general junta enclosure. Mostly consisted of the serious runners. When we hit the start line it was just over 2 minutes from the start of the race (as compared to some 10 odd minutes last year). We did the usual obstacle race thing, avoiding walkers and other obstructive souls, up to Marine Drive. It cleared up real well after that, of course it helped a lot that we were somewhat at the head of the line. I was running with my friend V, who is also my training partner as it were. But we have discovered in the past three years that we have been running together that he is well ahead of me - in timing, leg strength, and discipline. I do well in terms of stamina, could match him, but he is definitely ahead. On saturday night I decided that I would do my best to stick to him, for however long I could, so that my time would improve. He did not seem to mind much so that was the plan.

Mentally, I was thinking I should stick to him up to the 11 km or halfway mark. But I could not. I lost track of him around 7 km itself, waving him on. I was doing a good pace anyway, when I hit the half-way mark, I must have been at my regular 6 min/km pace, as far as I could tell. Kilometers 13,14,15 were painful as usual. The slopes (I counted three this time!) were also painful but not as much as in earlier years. I could feel my strength on the slopes and also my breath was good. I did slow down somewhere here but not too too much, thankfully. The aches and pains set in, I fought them. While last year, it was mainly a cramp in the calves that was my downfall, this time, pretty much EVERYTHING was hurting. That point in the arches in my feet. My toe, which has been mysteriously injured for the past month, and which I had taped to its neighbour. My knees. Even what I consider my strongest part, my back, was complaining. Oh hell, I remember thinking, this race is going down. I had my excuses lined up. Lack of sleep (woke up at least five times for random things on Saturday night). Tough week (two trips to South Mumbai in my rickety Zen; waking up at 5 am everyday to catch up on work). The child having a cough and needing antibiotics and being all tantrum-y. Honestly of course, those things were irrelevant. The only excuse that would pass muster is that I had my period, raging, as it ever. My steady diet of extra calcium from milk, yogurt and supplements, should have helped, but only a bit.

Anyway I convinced myself that excuses are for pansies. I picturised my husband dissing the Indian cricket team, and Sania Mirza, and this and that person, for lacking the "Killer Instinct" and generally being Thayir Saadams. No way I was going to let go of the race then. I thought of the child, hopefully still asleep with its arms and legs all akimbo. I started reciting stuff. Anything I could lay my hands on. The Mukunda Maala (heres to Lord Krishna). The Vishnu Sahasranaamam (heres to Lord Vishnu). Multiplication Tables (which are more my usual fare). I thought of my dad, who claimed without fail that we only remembered god when the need was there. That brought a smile for sure. I convinced myself I was not remembering god. Like I would bother him (or her for that matter) with something as mundane as the running of 3 measly kilometers! Yes, lo and behold, I was at 18 km. That brought new strength and before I knew it I was at 20, and then I almost stopped again because there was this real loud helicopter hanging out and swirling the fallen leaves. But I did not.

The last 200 m (after the 200 meters left sign-board) were not 200 m really, thats my strong feeling, but maybe because I sprinted that part it felt like less. Don't know. Hit the finish at 2:17; which means I clipped 11 mins off of my last years timing to finish in 2:14. A little less than 6.5 minutes a kilometer. I allowed myself to pump my arms, I was happy!

I kept my eyes peeled on the Dream Runners, looking out for those giant shoulders. Somehow despite the rest of the gang being packed like sardines, they had given a wide berth to my husband. I bet they were scared of him! So anyway I picked him out relatively easily as he was walking to the start line but missed hitting his hand when he stretched it out saying Hey Kenny How much did you do? I sent him off to swim through the race and tried to penetrate the defenses to get my certificate.

The certificate thing was as messy as ever. Probably even worse than last year. But I found ludwig and one of these boys who work here. We lugged in line for a bit. I wolfed down this food packet they handed to me. Handed back transponder and they promised to mail the certificate later. Actually managed to meet a college junior. We exchanged batch dates and we found that our graduation years were: ludwig 1997 this guy 1996 me 1995. Total Auntie feeling but I recovered when this guy remembered me, and said OH You are Kenny the basketball player. OH YEAH.

On the outside, we found SrgntPepper, my husband and G. SrgntPepper and G were mouthing off at everything and everyone, I guess they were happy with their race! I was tempted to swear too but found that motherhood has mostly gotten that stuff out of me so I only got to bloody. Ah well. I had checked my bag, with my mobile, a banana, a photo of the child, and visiting cards of my husband and myself (for identity purposes) at the baggage thing. The token they gave me (of paper) had become naaassty thanks to putting it in my sock (I really do need clothes with pockets I guess) but they did not mind, they gave it back, that part was nicely handled.

We ate breakfast at Cafe Excelsior which is a small walk away. That rocked. I was thinking a bunch of eggs will hit the spot well. We all ate eggs. I asked for a tea without sugar, so harried waiter presented the tea with a flourish and called it too but then it had sugar. Oh well. It was still good.

On the way back, we thought we were so clever and all. The husband had bought return train tickets for all of us. We strutted into VT and climbed into a waiting train. Even found seats and admonished a boy (who was wearing the watch I wear these days, which belongs to husband) for throwing a bottle out of the window. But four stops before we were to get down we realised that we were sort of hemmed in. We started our movement to the door. Nice squeezing all around. One source of comfort was that in terms of smell we could take anyone on, all parts of body being equally capable of this feat. I tried to protect aherm delicate chest parts by having the bag in front of one of them and sticking the other one on to a sleeping baby. But then sleeping baby was carried by awake father and much wriggling of his hands later I was just glad to jump off at our station. I really should have gotten into the ladies compartment, idiotic move. Anyway we talked about how we had gotten that massage our bodies sorely needed. Haha.

At home, god bless them, my parents in law had a veritable feast with Aviyal and Sambar and Vadaam ready. I must have eaten about a kilo of rice. All of us passed out around 3 pm and the next thing that I could see was 6 pm. Thankfully the monster child had also woken up early and took this long nap just the same as us, did not wake up in the middle and scratch and wake me. Everything felt stiff and I felt enormously thirsty (not hungry any more). The arches of both feet hurt, and that was the extent of pain last night. Today that feels better too, and I hope that by Wednesday I will be ship-shape again, and back in my kick-boxing class...

Friday, 11 January 2008

Ha! So There...

So I was chilling with one of those most-ill-advised whiskeys one night at a strange party I found myself in. This guy showed up. A bit thankful and all cause I was almost falling asleep because there was one person in the entire gathering that I knew, and this person (i.e. my husband) was talking to someone who was staring at the ceiling the whole time. Anyway I started asking how his running was going, you know, cause the marathon is on the 20th and all. He told me in detail about his training, which seemed to be going real well, and miles better than mine, so sort of spontaneously I told him, dude you should run the full marathon next year, you seem to be doing so well. Now this person is SO super competitive that I routinely hide all my good and bad timings from him. But I was in a good mood, really, I meant what I said. Its a great thing to do, run the full marathon. The ultimate test of your everything in some sense (at least for guys, you know, because they obviously lack the anatomy required for carrying and delivering a child and stuff. HMPH).

So guess what he says. He says, oh with my job its too difficult to train for a full marathon. Ok I said, seemed fair. But you should go for it, he tells me. Now I really do think I am going to 'go for it' next year, despite the fact that my toe is supremely swollen a week before the half marathon this year, and my bones creak. And to be honest, I started the whole thing by blabbering with my big mouth and giving him unwanted advice. But nevertheless, I got SUPER angry. Maybe it was that sort of condescending-ish tone I detected in him. Maybe it was because I think (heart of hearts) that his job sucks big time and mine rocks hugely (OK I know that that is sort of not nice of me to feel like that, blame it on the anger..). I don't know, whatever, I was (still AM) mad.

So heres the deal right. I am by no means lazy. I love running as much as the next person. My job is cool (and it rocks, HA) and all but it comes with certain amount of responsibility. The work hours are somewhat flexible and if you are my friend you will know that I can make time for you 95% of the time. Like if you show up suddenly and want to eat lunch, most likely I will be game. I will not come up with weird excuses. I can usually move my commitments around, at worst pushing them over to a Saturday. I am in a lot of meetings through the day but usually pick up the phone anyway. The others are cool about it as long as I make an effort to convey that I am doing something and need to hang up for now. I am a bit scatter brained about calling back, but that is something I am trying to attend to, a character flaw you may call it. I spend a lot of time with that monster of my child. Used to do a lot more for her earlier but now that we are more friends than mother and daughter (well, sometimes at least), I concentrate a bit more on my work. I take weekends off, usually, though the past month and half I have been slogging through some saturdays and sundays as well. I work intensely hard through the day anyway with my exercise and motherly stuff and vegetable shopping and a hundred other things. Some of them are out of my personal interest, some are due to my job, and some are due to the fact that I am a committed parent (usually).

And then here is a guy, who runs, and does his super-important-job, is home for dinner every night, takes most weekends off, has a wife who is so super efficient that she plans their vacations and takes full care of the kids and the house and everything, who tells me my job is somehow less important and less time-consuming than his. Argh and a half.

Of course I did not react at him (rarely do that these days, after years of admonitions from my dad, I seem to be able to rein it in, till I get home and face my mom or husband, who get the brunt of my short temper). On our way back home, I say

"Hey this guy really pissed me off. You know he said ....."

"Whats wrong with that? Why should you get worked up about it?"

"Well, it was that tone, and the fact that he has NO clue what I do for my job or for the family"

"Yeah but what do YOU know about what he does at work, let me tell you, he travels and is out of town two days a week, surely you cannot train on the days you are out of town"

So it set me thinking, oh this guy is travelling for important meetings, maybe he does not travel well and gets tired and cannot exercise. Anyway I had to go out of town for a day on thursday. I ran around on wednesday afternoon at work, with my office door closed to prevent random interruptions, prepared my presentation, spoke at length to the creche people and the mom of the monster's friend regarding taking her to the school, explained to the driver a few times that he had to do a few complicated maneouvres through the day, told my parents-in-law that all they had to do was pick her up in the evening post five.

On thursday I woke up at 4:45 am and showered and stuff. The flight was at 6:30 am, was damn sleepy cause I only went to bed at 11 pm because the monster was asking me a billion questions. But I managed to catch a good nap on the flight, and then went to my meeting. The morning went in that, then lunch.

Since I was finished a bit early with my discussions, I had the chance to chit-chat with my uncle, who works next door to where I went. His daughter's wedding is coming up and we talked about that, always a proud moment for a parent I suppose!

And then, I had to look up ludwig to do some marathon related things, and of course because its always fun to see him. It was an interesting coffee where we compared battle scars and drank two cups back-to-back.

I hopped over and on to the flight stopping only briefly to pick up the customary book for the child at the airport book-store (I almost always buy her a book when I am in an airport without her). Back in Mumbai and home by 8 pm. I found her hanging out with grandparents and of course they insisted that she was most well behaved (we will take that with a pinch of salt, needless to say!). Anyway 8 pm meant I was home in time for her dinner. I felt very jubilant at this. I ate a bit on the flight so I was not starving, and, possibly this was going a bit over-board, but I took her bowl and actually fed her while telling her the story of the lions I saw on the plane TV.

And, bright and early on friday morning I went to my kick-boxing class. Partly this is foolish because of my toe problems, but I need to do this else I will feel fat, I mean I HAVE to get over this funny toe business by next Sunday. I guess I have now gotten over that remark, because it is true. With my job anything is possible, but not inherently, its because I will it to be so, and am willing to work as hard as required!!

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Its a mere 16 days away....

Its that time of the year again. Mumbai Marathon time folks. Get ready. Get geared. This is what I am going to do. No part of this map really makes sense to me. And this is the third time I am going to pound these roads. I just follow the junta. Jog Jog Jog Jog Jog.

Last year I had major calf cramps. I wish I could just forget that part. Put it out of my mind. Something had happened the year before, something to do with my toes, but thankfully, I have forgotten that.

This year, I have
1. New Shoes (not so new, have broken it in, have run about 40 km on it so far, should run at least 60 more before the day, so all broken in).
2. New Tshirt (Dryfit. whatever that might mean. seems to work though, placebo effect? mebbe).
3. Experience (yes dears, third year in a row at the Half).
4. Less Weight (it FEELS like I weigh a few kilos less though it does not LOOK like it).

On the other hand
1. My knees have begun to hurt. Possibly all the words of wisdom of all the folks who insist that at my age, running on the roads is bound to impact the knee. Possibly all in my mind.
2. My third toe on the left foot has been swollen for the past ten days. I have iced it. I have ignored it.

So its even all around. I am not raising any money this year. Which begs the question WHY AM I RUNNING? Why and whats the reason for? Well, apart from the fact that I need such a regular goal to get my ass out of bed early am for the work-outs. The tummy, its got to go babe, been carrying it around for four years now. Milind Soman is bound to be there. Has he shaved lately? Hey MAYBE I am doing this for ME. The Original KennyBunkPort of Maine. Yes. That is it. To remember and to forget. To feel young and to feel old. For the good and the bad.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

In Denial

So the new year has rolled in, as it were. The year has a nice round tone to it, summing to ten, being a leap year (my favourite kind), and having so many numbers requiring circles (which are the shape the child can most easily make with crayons). But somehow, I am not ready for it. I do wish I had the option of postponing it by a month or something. Everyone is going around making resolutions and cake shops are making ads about fat people breaking resolutions and of course the news magazines are compiling their lists of best of last years junk and somehow everyone around seems to have the absolutely right bang on attitude and me, well, I just feel like being in some asocial funk for another month and ignoring this Round New Year.

Snap out of it Kenny the husband offers. Why amma Why the child whines. Happy New Year madam people stretch their hands out for the once a year shake. Oh Yeah I forgot. Happy New Year to you too. And no, no resolutions. Well, perhaps just that one about junk food. If you don't mind much can I do this next month? What? That sounds weird? Whatever...

Urged by the husband's admonitions, I decided to make a list of things that were making me resist this New Year. As always, writing this stuff down makes (a) them feel trivial and (b) me feel organised. So here goes:

1. No December Vacation: I took a few days off early Dec & chilled out in Chennai, its true, but I screwed that one up with a tiring visit to Hyd at the end so that does not count much. Since then, I have been working working working nose to the grindstone. Talking to too many people. Have had people lying in wait outside the office informing people lying in wait outside the gate informing god knows who else, the minute I had a minute of breathing time. All of the above have gushed in and flooded me with their most trivial problems and threatened me with deadlines that made me not even think about my December Vacation till it was all gone...

2. That Aging of Bones: Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, call it what you want Baby, I still call it aging. I can feel it. Its creeping up on me. I will not laugh when I say Gout. The colder days feel worse. Its catching up. My knees wobble. My varicose veins are reproducing under my watchful eye. I have an intimate network of wrinkles on my face. So yes, not just bones, everything else too. I process alcohol MUCH slower than previously. Its irritating. One cannot get properly drunk when one can feel the morrow's pain already. Aging sucks. (Except for the white hair of course, I like that). A new year means a year added to the already large number.

3. Mona aur Tony: This is a problem. See, I like life to be sort of organised. Wake up at the same time every day and perform the same prescribed list of tasks through it and go to bed the same time every night. But then a month of boiling 1.75 liters of milk in the morning and putting in 4.1 scoops of coffee in the filter and eating 0.25 inch cut Papdi Subji, I need to mix things up. Which is difficult. The nature of my work is such. Cyclic. Same with household duties. Cyclic. Anyway mostly I hate the domestic part. Mostly I hate the maid. She spends 45 mins lolling around the place and last week I found six spiders the size of a wallaby around the house. I don't like having to TELL her to clean up. Goddammit its her job. And I kid you not, I see her growing fat in front of my eyes. Why? Because she is not cleaning properly. I digress. Mona aur Tony in my life. At home and at work.

There. I feel sort of better already. Maybe around mid-January I will actually admit that the new year is here. I might even welcome it. But no, no resolutions, no champagne. I hate champagne. Ta-Ta.