Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Naani and her love for Education

My Naani and her love for Education

I come from a simple family, a Marwari family.
My maternal grandmother- my Naani is a very simple but a very strong woman. She herself was not educated, I think till 4th or 5th grade. She got married very young as well. When she was in her teens I think. My Nana amongst a lot of other things was very supportive, a humanitarian and an open mind. My Naani had kids at a very early age. 6 total 4 boys followed by 2 girls. She always tells me, Your Nana and I were too young to realize any choices, for us it was a way of life. Everyone around us followed a pre-set path of life: For girls, Grow up, get married, enjoy a fulfilling family life. For boys: Study, get into business, get married and reap benefits of a beautiful family. Simple. She didn’t know there were schools for girls, since in the small town she grew up, there were none.
However after her marriage, she moved a bigger town. And realized what she had missed out on. My Nana, to be helpful would teach her to read and write. My Naani, is very intelligent and very religious and always striving to learn. She used the newfound love for books and read about religion. She learned at the same time that she was teaching her kids. She was sure: "So what if I didn’t study, I will ensure my kids will!" All 6 of her kids (Boys and Girls) would study. And all of them did. They excelled. All 6 of them, graduated. First in the community! One was an engineer, a lawyer, an accountant and so on. My mother did her MA in political science and was a topper. The extended family raised an eyebrow, told my Naani often: "Oh, your daughters will never get married, they are so educated". My Naani would listen and not get affected. My nana would smile and say, well at least they have wealth of lifetime: An Education. My mother and her sister got married- yes without dowry of course and to very qualified and highly educated men. The extended family did shut up!
My Naani never differentiated between boys and girls. Same rules applied to both. When her eldest son got married, the wife was not a graduate. My Naani supported her studies. Post marriage, her oldest daughter in law completed her graduate and post graduate degree. My Naani took care of the family, the grandkids, the kids and extended family. She wanted to have her kids be focused on the core things: Education, Religion, good Virtues.
My mother takes after my Naani. She found support in my father who is much more educationally inclined. My brother and I were raised with a very similar philosophy. When I told my parents about my inclination to complete my masters in United States; they say: It was the proudest moment for them. Once again, extended family was unsure: "Sending unmarried girl to US- only calls for trouble. She will be over educated! Get her married and then send her. What if she marries a Gora!" To all this, my Naani and my mother said: "So what, if she marries a Gora! She would have followed her dream of studying"
For my Naani- I was the first grand daughter going abroad for studies. I was the fruit of the "Love for Education" seed she had put in over 50 years ago. She is very proud of us. As a family matriarch, she has a very big family. She takes pride in saying: 3 of my grandsons are Engineers, 5 of my grand daughters are MA with honors, All her daughter in laws are graduates, even the same for her grand daughter in law’s 3 are CA's, 2 are CFA's, 2 are business owners and so on! I can see the pride in her eyes and the simplicity in her wisdom.
I have the right tools, the right virtues and have felt very strongly about "Women Education" I come from a family of strong educated and simple women. I only wish to continue the same legacy in my daughter and our future generations. I would like to submit this entry to the Indus Indus ladies International Women’s Day Blog Contest". Though its very close to the deadline, I nominate :Priyanka,Suba,Tina

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mommy's Girls!

I am blessed with a concoction of girl friends, spread across the globe. Tied to email chains, re-connected via FB, college mates, room mates, new friends, and oh yeah.. Those few, who still see through me.!. Gosh.. I hate them ;-)
But here is my lame categorization of friends whom all should have.. but a mom should have for sure!

Fashionista: Oh O... I can’t describe in words, the NEED for such. They are the ones who will keep you motivated to be always chick! These will do your eye make-up in 1/10th of the time it would take you. These would be the ones, who'd tell you what’s in and what's not. They will be your “Aunty-hood” check! These would be the ones who'd scrounge at your sneakers when you take the kiddo to the park. They'll recommend ballerina flats. They'll love you. They’ll keep you in the "look" and they will make sure you don’t miss out on "what's up" in the world of "in". You need them to feel like a girly girl for a long time!

The single friends: They will be the ones, who will grab you by the collar and take you for a brunch, a night out or just out. They will frown when you mention it’s late and you need to sleep. They will help you realize, you are not old cuz you have kids. They will energize you, make you laugh... and will talk about their latest "finds" (better half of course) and they astonish you with what's "out in market" and then they will make you love your man even more.. for not being one of those creeps.. I swear!

The Mom friends: :-) Oh, yes.. They will understand. You can go on and on with the "potty-training" stories without guilt. They will give you advice on what to do with the non-napper. They will always have the right distraction for the kiddo. They will be the ones, who'll make you feel: "you are not alone" all kids do this, and all mom's go through this. They will nod in agreement before you complete your sentence.

The Planners: They are always upto mischief, more trips, more gatherings and are always ready for fun. They will encourage you to come along for that one "dinner". They will be adore the kiddo and will always offer to help out! They'd understand the need for sitters and the importance of a date night and will always understand if you can’t make it. You can have a huge party at home, and never worry about them. They will fend for themselves and be the silent hosts in disguise.

The soul-searchers: These are the ones; you could meet for coffee and discuss anything under the sun. Careers, In laws, life, Shoes, Trips,.. anything. You will not be judged no matter what, they will just listen to you. They will also be heard. They will offer advice and be okay if you don’t follow them. They will never tell you, I told you so…and above all. They will be there through it all.

The Critics: Oh yes, you need these. They might criticize the food, the child rearing, the choice, this and that and anything and everything under the sun. They would make sure to have lots of advice for you. They will never mean any harm, but will not bite their tongue either. They might not be politically correct, but they will be right a lot of times! You’d love to hate them ;-) But you’d fight hard to keep them around.

Did I mention the others…. The adventurers, the partiers, the simpletons, the chefs, the funny ones, the readers, the writers, the super excited ones, the-drag-me-along, the i-am-up-for-anything-anytime, the constant daters, the work-o-holics, the mom-o-holics, the kid-o-holics, ……….Oh I can go on and on.

All of my girl friends will easily fall under any or all of these categories… and I love them very very dearly. They are my angels, my friends, my confidantes and my support. And oh yeah, my girly talk and gossip buddies! (SD winks!)

But yes………..if you ever have all these types under a roof at a time. It will be a riot!
Thank god. I am living in such a riot.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hair now.... Gone tomorrow!

Ok... fine.. Another girly girl post! So read with caution.. and yes SD, B.. i wont confirm that you read this or not! Promise. But I would prefer if you do read it!;-)

I was fretting and fretting. I knew I needed a change of hairstyle, more out of boredom than anything else. And also, because if I didn’t get the cut, I would be very nicely still tying my hair in my tiny pony tail (pig tail as some call it) and roam around town.
I am very bad at that. If my hair are in "pony" length. More often than not, they will be tied in one. Recently washed or not! As a mom-friend of mine says, it keeps the hair off my face and the kids in your face ;-)
I "used" to have lovely hair, and for some reason; they are still nice but not as nice! Blame it on chemicals, motherhood, stress (Haha) whatever! I blame my laziness!
But anyways, I got myself an appointment at a nice salon, kept 2 hours dedicated to myself. Had my family to watch V while I was gone. And I started the search: I googled images for "hairstyles" for three days in a row. I still didn’t know what to get!
Now, I am a "cheapskate" when it comes to haircuts. Historically, when I get a cut, I like to get my money's worth: Implying I need to change my look> When I had longer hair, it meant layers, it meant getting them shorter, change the style. With shorter hair, it meant just turning the look around!
I am a round face.. as round as it can be! I mean you can hold a compass on my nose and actually trace a circle ;-) You get the idea. While I was looking on google images, I would show them to SD and bhaia. They would smile non-chalantly, make some comment. Yeah, I would try to discuss with them and they would be supportive.. but as supportive as a guy can be! :-) But at least they listened to me. And didn’t mind me hogging the computer "checking" out pics of hairstyles. So after a lot of deliberation, I settled on one style. Conversed with one of my friends, weighed in the options and settled in for a "look".
So now, I am at the salon. I am speaking with the stylist, I give them an idea of what I am looking for.. Simple, different, Easy to maintain and oh yeah "cool"! She looks, moves my face around and says Three wonderful words: "Your face is round" well four! God D*** I*! Urgh!. So we discuss a bit more, and settle for something that I have had once before. I agree it did look good on me then, but I did want a slight change. A bit of variation was decided upon! A lovely head wash with the most relaxing conditioner and a chatty stylist! The next hour or so, went in lame conversations, sipping on amazing green tea at the salon and of course, moving my head around in all possible angles to get the cut! There were moments of me awwing the stylists' precision cuts, getting amazed by her patience and loving the look of cut inches of my hair and me telling the stylist: "Man this is an art; a very patient art!"

And Ta Da.. I got my cut! A line Bob with slight fringes (bangs!)! Hehe!
Don’t know if it did change my look or no.. But I love it! SD and my family adore it. But I am enjoying the look, the bouncy fringes! The icing on the cake was, V staring at me while brushing her teeth, asking me to bend down and exclaiming: "Mummy No Pony!"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Is less really more?

I have friends who will make a simple black shirt be a piece of art... They will be able to wear the same shirt with so many different accessories.. that it will always leave you wondering.. Is it the same shirt? They call it the "Classic Piece!"
It leads me to talk about The Uniform project. A fashionista friend of mine, introduced me to the project, and I must say, I have been hooked ever since. The project itself is ingenious. It is a lot of things; for me, its about sustainable fashion, fashion with a cause, the power of layering, mix and matching and above all doing it all for a wonderful cause. I, as you can imagine, am super impressed.
It somehow makes me wanna experiment. I am generally classified as boring with my "attempts". I am by no means am super stylish (Yes I know, I suck!), but at the same time, I can’t call myself simple. I am some what in between... like most! I like to dress well, but for me, I believe in comfort! I wear what I prefer... somehow is never the trend, its simpler.
On a nasty afternoon, right after I had V, a very dear friend of mine intervened and told me: you have to take care of yourself, to be able and willing to take care of others!
I heard what she was saying, that day, I was miserable, no sleep, an almost infant V trying to adjust to me, in my ugliest PJ's just trying on pre-maternity jeans which refused to fit.
Motherhood or not, we all have been there. For girls- it could be fat days, bad hair days or just.. Nothing fits phase! And a friend of mine who always says: "I have nothing to wear tonight" with a closet full! ;-) You know who you are!!!
Sadly, I am there as well, more often than not. And every time I peek into my closet, I’d see clothes hanging, but I don’t know what to wear! It’s a constant struggle. Like most... I don’t have a closet the size of a room. It’s just enough for me to be comfortable with. So back to square one.
Sometime I feel I don’t have enough clothes.. and then sometimes I am like.. enough is enough.. I haven’t even worn this in months now! And then it’s back to the "I dont have enough clothes" rant... urgh!
Funnily I know; the girls reading this are nodding! And the guys are grudging.
What is it... with us girls... we never know... .is less more.. or is more never enough?

Yes.. we'll invest in the quality versus quantity until the sale comes along in BCBG, where we will vow to not enter to avoid ugly temptation.. And then the next minute we will be out with our contented shopping bags claiming…. It was such a great deal! I haven’t shopped in so long!
On my previous post about shoes, a friend told me, as girls we can never have enough shoes, purses or clothes. Is that true? Are we that materialistic... or are we just not satisfied.
Or are the designers and artists doing such a great job, they increase our needs for "that one dress" even though we don’t need it!
May be.. less is not more.. its just less

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

To gift or not..

Valentine’s day is coming to town.. la lala la…. Hehe.. Ok, so SD and I don’t technically celebrate this day! I always find the restaurants pre-booked and too cheesy and too "red" for our taste. We try to have a simple but a memorable evening. A delicious meal indoors. Lots of sweet gestures to make the day memorable! And oh yeah, a gift!
I know, its a Hallmark Day....well marketed.. well crafted. But come on.. it doesn’t do any harm does it?
Though if you ask me what we did last year for V-day, I have no idea! I think we got V some cute red t-shirts.. and baby stuff! The one before.. hmm yes that one I remember. It was right after we had V. SD surprised me by coming home early.. got a lovely gift and amazing dinner reservations. It was our very first date after we became parents. He got a very cool watch for my mom as well! And for V, we got her- guess what: "Baby's first valentine" Bib. Original I tell you! ;-). One year, SD was travelling and came home later in the night. I had cooked up a fancy dinner at home; which included cute heart shaped cutlets, and S and G shaped patties. (Don't ask!) I was all dressed up in my amazing Blue Saari for the candle light dinner… technically fireplace light dinner ;-). I know one year I got a cute box of chocolates, which when you open it, plays a love ballad. Chocolates were eaten promptly and V loves it now; it’s her favorite play box!
So now, another Valentine's is looming.. and I know the sweet gestures, simple dinners etc will all follow. But I really don’t know what gift to get. And I don’t want to say.. no gifts necessary! Because they are! :-)
SD is not a big gift giver (!). Well per his standards he is, for a greedy me... he is not! So I will make him sweat it! I know I will! I will tell him, I want a gift, and he will have to wonder what! For V it will be easier.. I think I already know what we are giving her…a new book: Potty Training! (It counts … yes it does!) Ok fine, we will get her something cute! Now back to my husband SD- gosh!!! What do I get for him?
Electronics, Perfumes, Personal Accessories, Clothes, Shoes, Miscellaneous: WHAT?
If I get something for the house as his gift pretext. Its not fair! If I get something for us; realistically, I will be using it more! So what do you get for your husband.. as a surprise.. which he might not need, but you can create a need for it. Should be usable, easy to store (!) and definitely enjoyable! And his face would become child like and his excitement will be felt in the room! Advise please!

And SD... too bad, since I blog, I get help on your gift.. you still have to hunt and hunt for mine!
Or may be.. this year, I will go easy.. and actually just relax and enjoy the day! May be a lovely walk in the park will be perfect........hmmmm... Naah! Gift please ;-)

Monday, February 1, 2010

It’s been three days- come on!

What are you serious.. you haven't checked facebook in three days! What!
Yes.. all sarcasm, ooh's, and cheekiness included!

But that’s what I experienced a couple of evenings ago. Life has been busier with impending deadline at work! So stress aside, i was really enjoying any moment away from the computer! Which also turned up implying... no facebook? Besides going on FB from my blackberry during the elevator in between meetings or nature calls! I just did not have the time!
At home, my limited evenings were spent with V and daily stuff and then I wanted to be the farthest away from a thing called: Computer/Laptop/Netbook/iPad and all variations of technology. TV is fine, thank you very much!

The fourth day... however, I wanted to relax, read a few of favorite blogs, comment, check up the latest shoes, stories and the like! And oh yes, by all means check FB! But to get a computer at home, meant engaging two grown up men in the war of "Give me the laptop! You have been on it for XXX" With two laptops and three adults active on the lovely machine, well.. besides snatching it away.. there is little you could do! As I put forth all lame arguments to the “machine hoggers”...every thing fell on deaf ears.. and then I used the 'bhramastra'..or the magic words: "I haven’t checked FB in THREE days, come on!"
A fit of laughter ensued, a couple of disapproving head nods, and the looks exchange between the boys! And I was red faced! These two guys- mind you.. are not FB people! One is on FB but barely logging on.....and other refuses to acknowledge its existence!
But with this, I finally got the machine! Super excited, since I thought I would be on it for at least a couple of hours! It's been 3 days, come on!
But... all my checking, replying to my wall, updating others.. and re-connecting and seeing tagged pictures and albums.. and ensuring "All Izz Well" was done.. I was done in 15 minutes! Here goes my couple of hours plan. I thought!
Of course, I was in no mood to return the laptop to the machine hogs.. so I wrote this blog! ;-) In the process, I made a realization.
If I did have the time during the week- I would have been on FB everyday say, for 15 minutes... So for four days = 60 minutes. But I got the same stuff accomplished in 15 minutes. Implies in one fourth the time!
Now, Only IF I could use a similar formula to make my work for impending deadline get accomplished in 1/4th of the time and effort~

Anyways, I said to myself.. let go a little! Let me cure myself of this addiction - the FB kind of addiction! And 'Live a little'. All the self assurances lasted one full day- 24 hours!
I just got my own swanky machine (Yippiee!)... so now we have three adults, three machines and well no more arguing over whose task is more important. Last night, as I on my new superfast machine, checked news, and other stuff.. I kept trying not to type '' But alas, my fingers were not listening to my mind! It was really not my fault, before I knew it, I was back on it! Damn... so now I ask for help.. "FB anonymous" anyone? Hello......... Any takers??

PS: It just might be a good business proposition as well... VC's any one wants to invest in 'FB Anonymous" ?