Category: Family Page 2 of 3

Missing Akka

Akka is the grandmother I’ve not spoken about much on this blog. My aunt’s mom, my Didu’s maternal grandmother. Majority of my childhood has been spent with my Didu’s maternal relatives just as hers has been spent with my paternal relatives.

School vacations were equally distributed with spending time in Pune and Ahmednagar. Ahmednagar is my aunt’s home. I have lovely memories of that house. It is in the main town of Ahmednagar, the town with loads of dust and heat. The house was bang on the roadside with Baba Aajoba’s small electrical shop in the veranda, the passage led to an open area in the centre of the house where the sun hit hard. There was a huge black jar kept for drinking water in which the water remained as chilled as it would be when kept in the freezer. The 4-year old me would ask Akka innocently, why her fridge was black while the one in my home was white. This one looks dirty, let me try scrub it and I would try scrubbing it for hours while all the elders would watch the fun! There was a small open water tank on the right side,which we term in Marathi as Haud. The kitchen was on the left hand side of the open area where Mami made her awesome food, especially her famous Khichadi. And finally, the main hall in the front, where Akka, Mama and Baba Aajoba would be seated watching TV.

When we cousins got together, we used to have a blast running around the small house especially the terrace. Baba Aajoba would be fed up with us constantly using his shop as our play area, climbing up and down the staircases and shouting hoarse from the terrace and playing games in the room on the terrace. At the end of the day, we would be dead tired and then sleep at night on the terrace cuddled up in Akka’s arms. Summer or winter made no difference to us – the bliss of being with loved ones makes you forget everything.

Mami would get me the fresh, hot diamond shaped Khari biscuit every time I visited Ahmednagar. Akka would take me around to meet her relatives and pamper me. I liked tagging along, I loved being pampered. She would bathe me every single day and scrub real hard with shikakai. It was her favourite!

We would often visit her brother’s fields and enjoy the amazing sugarcane juice and rides in tractor. She would keep getting goodies every single day that I spent in Ahmednagar and make me feel like one important lady!

Akka was a loving aaji to all her grandchildren. R was her favourite, probably her best friend. I, the outsider, was her favourite too, she told me that:-)

Once I moved on to engineering and MBA it became increasingly difficult to go to Ahmednagar and spend time with her. Mama changed the structure of the old house and we all felt a bit hurt. It was no longer the place we identified with and with that we felt our memories were lost. I lost the longing to visit and stay there. So my visits were sporadic and I only managed to meet Akka when she visited Talegaon at her elder daughter’s ( my aunt’s sister) place.

Mama, my aunt’s only brother passed away suddenly in Nov last year and with his demise Akka lost her will to live. I had met her last before I left for Dubai and every time I visited Mumbai I could not find the time to go meet her in Ahmednagar. She was getting increasingly weak and could not travel. Finally this March I squeezed a day, and went along with my mom and uncle to meet her and Mami post Mama’s death.

Her memory had gone weak I was told but I was gladdened to see her recognize me and speak with me. I don’t know what it was but I kept convincing Didu to come down to India for her delivery and not call my aunt to UK. I’m glad she did cause my aunt managed to meet her mom more often than she would’ve thought.

Akka passed away 2 weeks back on 22nd April. If Mama was around maybe she would’ve lived a few more years, but somehow the death of her only son made her feel guilty and she lost her will to live.

I miss her, it’s not easy to cope up with the death of grandparents. Didu and I’ve lost two in a span of 6 months – two wonderful ladies who loved us loads. They both passed away on a Thursday and ironically on the birthdays of their children.

I did not spend much time with Akka in the last 7-8 years as much as I would’ve liked to but I never stopped thinking about her. She loved Black raisins – I’ve sent a small pack for her every time I visited India. Had bought this time too and forgot to take it at the last minute. For the first time I would’ve given it to her myself and seen her smile – guess that moment was not there in my destiny.

I still thank god cause I got to meet her, sit with her and spend some time with her. She was a lovely lady, she reminded my mom-in-law of her own mother.

Akka I miss you, never been able to express myself enough, to you and neither to Mothi Aai, but you both have given me valuable lessons in life on how I should be to my grandchildren.

Thanks Didu for sending her snaps, the first one in her young days and the second a few years back.

8x10= 2=

Stubbornness is Hereditary!

Mumma is here since 2 months and will return to Mumbai on Saturday. In her last three trips to my house, no not house, let’s focus – my kitchen, in Dubai; she has had one complaint that my food processor does not grind dry spices/mixtures.

I make do with a mini-chopper which grinds it coarse and not fine. However mumma-the perfectionist, refuses to accept that coarse mixture. From the day she has landed, her only aim has been to find me a mixer that is similar to the one we get in India a-la Sumeet type.

The region known for famous brands in electronics and home ware appliances does not seem to have the kind of mixer she wants. So finally after a month of hunting, we came close to buying a Kenwood one which resembled the one she had in mind.

It was taken,brought home and inaugurated. Much to her chagrin the arrangement of the blade and the grinding vessel was exactly reverse to the one she had in mind.

So now it has been a further one month and she has still not stopped complaining. Her sole aim remains to buy me a one that can grind dry spices/mixtures. Well I’ve not given up either – trying to convince her that she comes here for 2 months in year and it’s fine not to have those kind of curries done, I manage to survive with my arrangement.

An Aquarian and  a Capricorn are at loggerheads over a mixer and people wonder why I’m stubborn! Well now you know – it is in the genes – it is hereditary! So all of you, who know me – stop complaining – the stubbornness  is not going away even if I try!

Rain Romance

It is raining in the desert land.Dubai generally gets a week of rainfall every December but last year it had also poured in April. This year the rains have set in and today was the day when this place received it’s heaviest rainfalls.

Needless to say the entire city was in a mess. Roads flooded, numerous traffic jams, and accidents. Dubai is not equipped to handle such rains and a little heavy shower can put the city in complete disarray.

But I love this weather – water all around , time for a nice walk in the rains, hot cup of tea with some onion pakoras! This weather takes me back to Mumbai’s monsoon.

I was ruing being in office today and updated my status message on FB and here is the little surprise I received from MDH in response to it in Marathi:

“Nako priye Ashi tu udaas hou,
( My love do not be so sad)
Sangatine Yaa pavsaat ole chimb hou,
(Let’s get wet together in this rain)
Kadhi kaandaa bhaji tar Kadhi vada paav khau,
(Sometimes let’s eat onion pakora, or sometimes vada paav)
Dubaichyaa Yaa pavsaat aapan harvun Jau”
(Let’s get lost in this Dubai Rain)
Don’t go by the English translation, the original Marathi one had me go all Ga-Ga over him again:-)

Do you do a ‘Home Audit’?

“The general definition of an audit is an evaluation of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project or product. The goal of an audit is to express an opinion on the person / organization/system (etc) in question, under evaluation based on work done on a test basis.

The in-laws and mumma are arriving ‘Together’ in the last week of this month. My niece is arriving the week before that – which effectively means I have only this weekend to be prepared for my yearly ‘Home Audit’.

I undertake the internal audit task once a month – mini sub-audits happen every weekend but the overhaul happens once a month!

When the family visits, I need to re-do the spaces at home. Make certain cupboards empty, make place for the big bags, ensure they can keep their medicines etc at arm’s length and more importantly see that the kitchen is stacked up with all the relevant items.

So I go on my ‘Home Audit’ and that requires planning. Audit planning is developing an overall strategy for the audit. The nature, extent, and timing of planning varies with the:

a) size and complexity of the entity home set-up for arrival of guests/family, weekly-daily chores

b) experience with the entity which is currently at 5 months,

c) knowledge of the entity’s business  – a comfortable abode for all

In case the family is visiting, acceptance sampling is a strict no-no. (Acceptance sampling is sampling to determine whether internal control compliance is greater than or less than the tolerable deviation rate.) The entire entity will be scanned and re-scanned to ensure everything is in compliance with GAHP (Generally Accepted House Principles – which is a manual compiled from mom and mom-in-law’s rules and regulations over the years)

The first step in my audit is the asset classification which takes up maximum time. I have a tough time determining non-current assets i.e. clothes that I no longer need, dusting cloths that need to be thrown, utensils that are not being used regularly, bills and receipts of ages ago that have been and will be kept in drawers for as long as we live.

I find every excuse in the book and outside of it, to keep every single clothing I have in my wardrobe. Now that we have our own wardrobes, I find it even more difficult to decide which clothing I can do away with. But I will need to empty at least 2 compartments – some will be done away with in our luggage bags or given to charity with a heavy heart. Yes it hurts – Not only the fact that some favourites have got old but also the fact that you no longer fit into the fairly new ones owing to the newly found pounds in your body.

I do not as an unwritten rule venture into classifying MDH’s possessions – he is even more indecisive than I’m, especially when it comes to the matters of the cloth. The fact that he is on a weight losing spree has meant that the luggage bags have been opened to bring out the old clothes which still look brand new. Necessary disclosures for the above will be provided to the home advisories when they visit in 2 weeks time.

Compliance to the Kitchen & Bathroom Laws is mandatory. Fortunately I’m most finicky about these 2 places in my house. I can still manage to stand messy wardrobes & cluttered desks, but I need my kitchen and bathroom to be spick and span at any given time of the day; therefore, inspection of these places will pass the audit test even if surprise visits are thrown. Just that that additional sets of towels and napkins need to be unearthed from the cupboards, as they will be changed more frequently than I do. The fridge though needs to be visited to check for any expired items which need to be done away with immediate effect; unless I’m dying for a lecture from the advisories. I do a frequent check but at times I tend to forget as well.

Masalas and all other food items need to be re-arranged, cans and bottles need to be filled up with the requisite pulses, dals, raw materials for breakfast items etc. I also maintain inventory tags especially for the masalas – I now recognize them fairly well but I can get lost at times – Chilly Powder with Dhana-Jeera in it, Plain Chilly Powder, Goan Fish Masala, Chicken Masala, Kala Masala ( all look similar – trust me!) I don’t take the effort to remember when I have an easy way out.

Provisions for future assets will be recorded as additional shopping is warranted for quilts and bed-sets since some old ones were disposed off when we moved recently. Plus we expect additional guests along with the parents – sister-in-law and husband, friend and his spouse, cousins in short spurts for the next 3 months – I need to ensure ‘the entity’ is well-equipped and well stocked to handle these peak periods.

The joint director of the entity i.e MDH will be put on a high alert in terms of ensuring that the newspapers are kept in the designated slot, the other joint director is not hurried in the mornings so that she does not forget her routine checks, clothes are not scattered in and out of the wardrobe, things are kept and not dumped into the drawers so that when required finding necessary things is an easy task, and not a project in itself and that he does not lose the encryption key, which he often tends to, when the tasks are delegated to him.

The other employees i.e. the cook and the cleaner will be given clear instructions once the advisories take custody of the entity for the next 3 months.

The purposes of these audits may be varied, but they all yield unique value to the auditee. Such purposes may include:

a) Gaining an understanding of the area’s operations They don’t need to understand they are subject matter experts in this area!

b) Evaluating the adequacy of the control structure for potential key issues and areas of concern – However perfect I maybe, mom and mom-in-law will always have their concept of perfection. I don’t think they agree with Aamir when he said in DCH that, ‘Perfection cannot be improved!’

c) Providing on-going feedback to area management I’m not sure this has ever stopped and it will ever. However, this time around I secretly hope that the other joint director gets it more

d) Validating and reviewing data for completeness – Numerous visits to shopping malls and supermarkets will evidence that all is still not ok with the data provided.

e) Accuracy, and authorization, benchmarking, or assessing a data centre for security, operations, application maintenance, and system implementations – Ok I compete against super high standards – my home in Mumbai – done up my mom, is one of the most neat ones I’ve seen. Her sense of arrangement, colour co-ordination and utilization of all spaces in the house is impeccable. My mother-in-law, well she could be a contender for Monica’s mom when it comes to cooking and cleanliness

However, I think I’ll still come out with flying colours, after all I’ve taken the best of the both worlds. Moreover if it comes to comparability (Users evaluate accounting information by comparison. Similar companies account for similar transactions in similar ways) at the end of it all – I still think I’ll pass!

How do you tell?

I haven’t been myself for sometime now. I’m trying to be chirpy and happy but am not. I’m trying to engross myself in work but it’s not happening. I’m trying hard to be strong but I can’t. I’m trying to get back to my routine but it’s not helping. I’m trying to keep myself occupied, with the dancing, with the writing, with the music and with the books; to take my mind off, nope that’s not working too.

I can see the problems and I cannot or maybe I’m not trying enough to find the solutions. I’m worrying too much and for the first time I am at a loss. It’s not me giving up or anything but I think I’m falling apart and getting weak.

It’s not that I’ve not seen death at close quarters; it’s just that the aftermath this time is playing havoc with my mind. The intention is not to get sympathy votes – I hate that. When people got to know me after Papa’s death and used to tell me, ‘Minal, we are sorry for your loss’ – I used to pray hard for that conversation to end at those very words. I don’t need the sympathy; I would tell myself I’ve been lucky – He was there with me for 17 years – some do not even get a chance to meet their father.

It’s just that I’m leaving for Mumbai again in a few days and meeting mom; and I do not know how to tell her to get on with her life. 12 years back I could, because she had so much to see and complete which Papa could not. She knew she had to be strong too and she did. Mom unlike me and Papa, is an introvert, does not open up to many people, but if you know her from close quarters, she is the most loving person you will meet. She is also very much in touch with the times and though she nags me at times, she often understands and lets me be. But she is very emotional unlike me and unlike her mother. Accepting things as is comes far easier to me than her.

She has tried her best but I know she has not yet fully recovered from the tragedy that struck us 12 years back, honestly neither have I. Sure it made us stronger and independent but it’s not easy. Having lost a parent I know how it feels. It makes you insecure, unsure and orphaned at whatever age you are. The only way is to see others who have faced worst and pacify ourselves in being lucky.

But then again how do I tell someone who has lost both her parents; that it is okay, accept and move on. How would I feel tomorrow if my daughter told me – ma you need to move on – this is how life is; well I know how life is, I have seen it much more than you – that’s  what I would think then.

I love mom so much, with all her flaws and limitations she has been the best mother to me and I would have none other in any other lifetime.

She too is feeling the same right now about her mother. Yes, her mother stayed with her the most and the longest one possibly can, but whether you are 5 or 15 or 30 or 60 you never stop being a daughter to your mother and your mother never stops caring about you even though you are independent and up on your feet.

So tell me, how do you tell a daughter to move on, now that her mother, her companion, her friend is not there anymore to walk the remaining path of life with her.

Mothi Aai…

What do I tell you all about a person with whom I’ve shared a love-hate relationship. I’ve known people who were doted upon by their grandparents and who have had all 4 grandparents around them as they grew up. Their grandparents were their best friends and confidants.

Take my mom for instance, she was her great-grandmother’s favourite, pampered by her to no extent and practically raised by her. Her grandmother adored her cause she was the first child in the house, the child of her first daughter. Mom often recollects those days and my aaji (granny) whom we fondly called Mothi Aai ( Big Mother) always had a tale or two to add to it.

I for one was not so close to my grandparents till I grew up. My paternal grandfather had expired when my Papa was a child and my paternal grandmother stayed in the village most times. Once she came to the city, she lived with my eldest uncle and I rarely spent time with her to develop any bond. All my life I had known only 2 grandparents – my mom’s parents; they lived in the same building as ours. Both my parents worked, so I was at their place when my parents left for work. I don’t recollect much but one thing I recollect was that I was not their favourite, Didi always was.

She was their first grand-child. When I was born they both wanted a grandson, but here was a grand-daughter and to some extent they were a bit disappointed. I took this to heart till I grew up and it affected my relationship to some extent with them, and kept me away from developing the special bond that my sister shared with them.

But despite these biases from her and my side – Mothi Aai took care of me in her own way. She would bathe me, massage me when I was a baby, put me to sleep and clean up my mess. I never realised the importance of these little things then, but I do now. I always had trouble with pus infections and it was she who cleaned it up for me with her soft hands, not once did I feel the pain.

I would throw tantrums while eating but she would patiently feed me and make what I wanted. I always preferred my mom’s cooking and she would get angry at me when I would tell her it did not turn out like mom’s. I loved to see her reaction and guess most times just said it to tease her.

Mothi Aai was an excellent cook, she knew that and she also knew that mom had inherited her skills. After my marriage, when I took charge of my kitchen she was pleasantly surprised to see me cook and cook well – she would often tell mom that I had inherited the best of both. Yes, I owe my cooking skills to her and mumma.

We shared a common love for non-veg food, no one in my house was as crazy after non-veg as we both were. My grandpa was a pure vegetarian and Mothi Aai a pure non-veg. I often thought that theirs was a love marriage as I could not fathom this difference in their eating habits.

Mothi Aai was an brilliant cook especially when it came to non-veg. Her ‘Kombdi – Vade’ were famous and so was her awesome Biryani. When my grandpa retired from his school they started a small business at home. She made the world’s best ‘Shankarpali, Karanji and Chakli’ and supplied in bulk daily to the likes of ‘Panshikar Hotels and Stores’ in Mumbai. So famous was her Diwali ‘Faral’ that people confirmed orders 2 months in advance.

She enjoyed cooking and loved feeding her loved ones. Every day in the evening, Didi and I would get hot, hot Shankarpali with Chai whose taste is still fresh in my mouth. Her Batata Wadas were the best of the lot better than any Mumbai Vada you would’ve ever had. The first time I made them they turned out exactly like hers and she beamed with pride.

We fought a lot, I found her too orthodox and she found me too rebellious and disobedient. I never took things at face value and always had multiple questions to ask. Why are we dong this, Why do I need to do this, Is it necessary to do this, What will happen if I don’t do it? Didi never troubled her and just listened to her quietly; me on the other hand was inquisitiveness personified and drove her nuts with my opinions. In short she would tell me you are a carbon copy of your dad. If she ever said anything against my father I’d fight with her like crazy and not speak to her for ages. If she would scold me I’d always retort – yes I know I’m your step-grand-daughter. That would anger her even more and she would shout if you were, would I’ve taken care of you? Our arguments would continue and eventually mumma would have to intervene and drag me away.

Mothi Aai and I grew a bit close after my Papa’s death and later after Didi’s marriage. Her other grandchildren were not living with her; she and I were stuck with each other:-) She kept mumma and me company till we gathered our lives and got back to our routine. She knew it was hard not to miss my papa but she tried in her own way to give us strength; after all she too had survived 5 years then post grandpa’s death.

She was most thrilled when I announced my marriage. She always felt I would never fall in love and never ever marry, and that worried her at times:-) She loved MDH from the moment he stepped into my house. She was always biased towards her grand-son-in-laws, be it MDH or my Jiju ( Didi’s husband). In her opinion, I was lucky to have found MDH not the other way around. I was dead worried about mumma being alone after my marriage but Mothi Aai gave me a promise which she kept till the very end.

For the last 5 years since 26Dec, 2004 – my wedding day; Mothi Aai returned to take care of her daughter. She never left my mumma alone for a single day and was there at my home every single night to keep her company so that she would not feel my or Papa’s absence. Nothing deterred Mothi Aai, not her age, not her health. She climbed down 3 floors from my uncle’s house and climbed up 2 floors to my mom’s house every single night. She refused to stay continuously at my mom’s house as she needed to pray to her family gods which were in her house.

She made her first foreign trip to my home in Dubai and that was the proudest moment in her life. Until 2006, having lived for 80 years, she had never been to an airport and never seen a plane. Till date, she told everyone proudly that she travelled abroad thanks to MDH and me. MDH held her hand the day she landed in Dubai and did not leave her side till she reached safely back home in Mumbai. She was so proud of him and doted on him. He was the grandson she always wanted, she has 4 adorable grandsons but remember I said she wanted one when I was born, I gave her MDH as my replacement and she was more than happy to welcome him.

Last Wednesday when I spoke to her, she and I were planning her second trip to Dubai. She wanted to see our new house and be driven around in our car. We were planning what she would cook when she got here and what places we must visit. But then the next day she decided to say her good-byes, no warning, no signs, just all of a sudden.

Mom called me at 9.30 on Thursday night and her voice was shaking when she uttered Mothi Aai’s name. At that very moment I knew what had happened. Mothi Aai was no more. My Aaji, my only granny was no more. When I was finally getting to be close to her and letting her know that how important she was to me, god decided it was enough.

People tell me she lived a good life, I know she did. She did not trouble anyone till her death, she was independent, loving, talkative and fun-loving. She travelled places and loved visiting people. She was fit and fine and on her 2 feet despite 3-4 operations. She refused to accept any diet restrictions cause she believed in enjoying her life to the fullest.

She had 5 lovely children, 2 wonderful son-in-laws, 3 doting daughters-in-laws and 8 loving grandchildren. She was not perfect, I know she was flawed, she had her biases , did not make the best mother-in-law but she learnt, tried and improved her self with times. She adjusted to her rebellious grand children and came down to being their friend instead of an over-bearing grandma.

I know she had her favourites and she did not deny it; but I know she had begun to love me equally and we were beginning to forgive each other for all our past misgivings.

She saw her only great grand-child, not many get that privilege today. When she would trouble Didi and me for one more grand-child, I would tease her as to how greedy she was being. She would hear me out and tell me do you know why I’m still alive Minu? It’s because I have the will and hope to see all the things I want to and enjoy what I desire. It keeps me going, all these things. Why should I be content and tell God take me away when I’m fit and fine, even today I can take care of your child single-handedly, even your mumma and aunts will struggle but I won’t.

I know you wouldn’t have Mothi Aai , I know you would’ve taken care of my little one better than anyone else. If I can gather even 25% of the will-power you had I know I will live a long life.

I’ll miss you, I’ll miss your presence forever. When I return to Worli now, there will be no one waiting for me so that we can enjoy Mutton Curry together, no one to get Masala Kaju for, no one to tease and fight all over again. But more importantly, I’ll never again leave the shores of Mumbai carefree when I board my Dubai flight. You gave me the comfort that Mumma was taken care of; I won’t have that comfort anymore.

You do know that I‘ll miss you even though I could never tell you how much I loved you. You were after all my sole grandparent. You knew that didn’t you?

Reliving some moments with you again:

That’s at my naming ceremony – I realised that my nose was like yours and Mami told me we both sleep in the same way. Guess you have left a part of yours in all of us.


That’s at your 50th marriage anniversary with the lovely family you and grandpa raised. Not many make it to their 50th wedding anniversary, you do know you were special


That is you with mumma heading for your first foreign trip to Dubai


That is at the Madinat Jumeirah with Burj-Al-Arab in the background

Madinat jumeairah 1

And finally your smiling face we will always remember, you lead a lovely blessed life.

Copy of scan0002

Mothi Aai we will miss you, you know that don’t you?

I don’t think you understand English

I’m back from my hectic trip to Mumbai (which explains the blog break). I used to meet little ‘C’ almost everyday when we were neighbours; now it’s almost once a week thing. C was on her vacation as well and I was going to meet her after more than a month!
MDH and I had picked up a “Amar Chitra Katha” book for her (She enjoys books thanks to her parents)

She had a cooking session in her school where they were given the recipe for ‘Cup-A-Corn’. So the day we visited her, she ensured her mother cooked the Cup-A-Corn.

C (only 4 yrs old) has her unique dishes such as tea with ginger-garlic, special lemonade and her latest craze of Glucon-D. So I keep asking her for her special recipes and she obliges immediately. Hot corn is my favourite snack and I know that she enjoys a little bit of attention, so I asked her if she would give me her recipe for the “Cup-A-Corn”

C made a serious face and promptly said, “But Minal Mavshi (That’s what you call your mom’s sister in Marathi ) it is only in English , I don’t have any other!

MDH almost spilled his tea and I had a dumb-stricken look on my face. Seconds later we burst out laughing. Hell, I’ve no idea why C would think I don’t understand English !!! I think it’s time to direct her to my blog and articles!

The 5 Best Things The Boy Has Done For Me

When I first started blogging in 2005 I was an active blogger. I would pick up interesting tit-bits regularly and put them up, cricket was definitely mentioned on my blog, and so were some random articles. The thoughts just flew. However since my move to Dubai, I am unable to devote much time to this space and surf different blogs, leave my comments and interact with interesting bloggers. (Trust me the interactions help a lot.)
Of late after getting back to the blogosphere, I’m discovering a whole new list of interesting bloggers. I’ve not yet managed to comment on all their posts but continue to visit them regularly. As I said I’m little devoid of original thoughts right now. Hence, when I saw this tag on OJ’s blog , I thought I would give it a shot. If you like it , do take it up!

5 best things the boy has done for me

1. Proposed Marriage and confessed his love:

All those who’ve known me are aware of the tough nut that I’m. I’m fiercely independent, extremely opinionated, forthright, and in-your-face person. I’m not an easy going person at all. I did not even believe in the concept called love! No wonder when he popped the question, everyone including my mom, my uncle-aunt, my sis, my best friends, reconfirmed with him if he was in his senses and knew what he was getting into! Apparently he did and he carries with him all their blessings and sympathies which have helped us in 6 years of a wonderful relationship.

As for me I thank god every day for making him pop the question. I did have a crush on him in college, but because of my stupid ego and inane fundae, I would’ve never confronted him and lost my chance for ever! He pretty much ensures that till date he reminds me of my foolishness:-)

2. Made best friends with my best friends

My friends are an important part of my life. They have seen me through the worst times and been there whenever I needed them. They have been my inspiration and I feel blessed having them in my life. There are a few close ones who will always be top priority in my life no matter what. I was not sure how he would accept that but I’m simply amazed as to how my closest friends have developed a bond with him. He is no longer their friend’s husband but their own friend. The ones dearest to me are dearest to him now. I have my favourites and am not the same with one and all but he on the other hand embraces each one with equal care and attention.

3. Makes the best tea in the world every day

Heads straight to the kitchen after freshening up and serves me a hot cup of tea every single day. He has taken sometime to do it but now it’s a routine. Though I constantly yell at him for not helping me around and never express my happiness over the little things he does on his own; his tea does make up for a tiring day at work and home

4. The London Surprise

Read about it here! I’m awful at giving surprises but he manages to spring one every time! This stands at the top. My friends think I can never match this one and I know I can’t! My girlfriends have given their husbands a torrid time after learning about this and my guy-friends ensure that I pass on the curses to him for setting such high-standards. They curse themselves no less for sharing it with their wives!
(There are tons more – All my birthdays & our anniversaries, Calvin and Hobbes -10 Anniv book , The God’s VCDs etc. Every little love of mine thought about and catered to, just to see a smile on my face! As I said the one above deserved a special mention as it stands high up on the list of millions!)

5. The Gentle Touch

Every single night, without fail he will gently tap my forehead till I’m fast asleep. Ensure I’m comfortable under the quilt and then go to sleep. Every single day, he thinks I don’t notice. I do and I’m miserable when he takes off on his business trips or heads home on family visits (when I can’t make it with him thanks to work:-( )

P.S: Yeah I love him, I don’t express or say it often but I seriously do!!!

Have u ‘C’een my little angel?

Shifted houses last week and it was an arduous task for someone who has never moved houses in her entire life. I first changed my house when I got married and all I did was pack suitcases to move into a set house! The second time around I packed the bare necessities to move to Dubai and the rest was set-up by the blokes from the Home Centres, Lifestyle , Carrefours and Furniture marts of Dubai!

I’m still overwhelmed by this whole shifting process. Friends and family are overjoyed with the new house but keep asking me if I’ll miss the old one. I surely will, it was not a lavish one but a sweet home for two which MDH and I had done up just fine. I was reminiscing my first days in Dubai in that house as I kept thinking what it is it that I’ll miss the most about that place. And to my and MDH’s realization there is only one thing, rather one person who makes that place richer and more lavish than all the villas and deluxe apartments of the world.

The first year she would only be friends with me and would run-away from MDH. The next year as she started hanging around at our place more frequently, MDH became her pal, her best friend, her buddy, her ally. He was her favorite as he is with everyone I know. (Yes I’m extremely jealous of him but I’ve resigned to that fact of life)

A bundle of energy, a livewire, loving & caring beyond her age, pretty, naughty, tantrum thrower, rockstar, terrific dancer, shy, talkative, artistic, graceful, obedient, respectful …have I missed out on anything?(P and A please fill me in!)

She has the prettiest smile in the world to greet you, so if you are having a hard day, drop in and visit her to drive the tiredness away. Her awesome tea which she makes with ginger-garlic and a pinch of ketchup is the most sumptuous tea I have ever had in my life. Now she has learnt to make ‘hot corn” and “lemonade” which she will be treating me to, the day I visit her next. She has gifted me the most precious gifts – a bracelet and pendant
(Handmade by her) and a spoon holder for the kitchen (hand-painted by her).

Her eyes lighten up every time one visits her and she has endless stories to narrate. If we think we’ll drop in for 5 minutes she ensures we stay on for another 50 minutes.

Her knowledge and diction of her mother tongue will put anyone to shame, and this inspite of having lived abroad. More than her I’m amazed by A and P. The nicest couple I’ve known till date and the ideal parents of my generation. No wonder she is turning out into a fine little lady.

Bless you little ‘C’, our little angel who is only 4 years old today. I’m yet to have one of my own and someday when I do, I’ll be glad that he/she will have such a lovely idol to follow. If she/he turns out to be 10% of what you are I’ll consider that God has blessed me! I hope and pray that we will be in touch and you will continue to light up the lives of one and all.

May you shine always, your journey has just begun and soon you’ll be sailing through it at thunder-speed. You have brought me more joy and happiness than my real ones have. There is reason when they say you don’t need to be related by blood to be called family. In the 3 years in Dubai, you, P and A have become my family.
In future wherever we will be, we will miss that smile and laughter every single day of our lives but we will thank God every day for giving us the opportunity to have known you so early in life!

Bless You!

Because He Loves Me….

I’ve been waiting to get my first vacation since landing in Dubai. The first destination was but obviously my good old Mumbai. I do not know how I’ve survived a good whole year without seeing that place.

Anyways, mumma planned her London trip and UK trip along with my niece to my sister’s place. That put me pretty much in a dilemma about my vacation , and after much contemplation I decided to plan a trip to UK.

Now at this point, a month back, I could not force MDH to join on my vacation as he wanted to save all his holidays for his younger sister’s wedding scheduled in Dec this year. Though I would miss him, I still did not pester him to join. I can be a very stubborn and adamant girl but this time I wasn’t. But, he did come around with me for my shopping despite his hectic schedules and prime office events.

Work was getting quite hectic (as always) before I was leaving for my vacation. I was spending long hours at the office to wrap up most of my work. In the meanwhile, MDH’s business trip to South Africa got planned during the same period as my trip. That was quite a reflief for me as it meant that he too would enjoy visiting a new country along with his work.

He then asked me for the visa application procedure for UK as his friend was travelling there. I detailed the entire application to him. One day he asked me if it was okay to give one of our suitcases to a friend as he was off on trip as well. Since this guy was a close friends of ours, I was more than willing to help. I was to leave on 17th May, Friday. The suitcase was gone by Tuesday.

On the day I was leaving, like usual I was late from office. Bags all packed , I was quite surprised to see the house in shape to lock it up. MDH informed me that he was to leave early the next day. I had one more worry on my head though, before leaving in the evening I had noticed a huge amount debited to my credit card, I could not see the details and told MDH to check for it. He did not let me do it that evening and told me he would take care of it the next day.

Our friend arrived at 10.00 p.m. to pick me up and I saw our suitcase lying in his deck, he said I will take it up to my house when I’m getting ready to leave. Then MDH and his friend started planning a late night show of Metro after dropping me. I was quite sad cause I really did wanted to see that movie. Another friend of ours who came to see me off, tried consoling me by saying that the UK trip was far more important than a film.

So there we landed at the airport and I was about to take off when MDH caught me and said I got something for you. I said, so where is my parting gift. He kept a piece of paper in my hand, it was e-ticket for BA flight 106 to London. I looked at it and said I know that I’m allowed 23Kg luggage, he said look at the name again!

I saw his name and freaked out. His business trip was his vacation with me to London. He had planned the entire thing out after much coaxing from his friends and my sister was his partner in crime. The friend who was travelling to UK was him, the suitcase was gone for him. The huge drift in my credit card bill was his ticket since our cards are billed together!!!

The clues were all there but I simply did not take any, cause he had convinced me well that he would not make the trip.

This was my best surprise ever!!!! He has surprised me in many a ways till date, ever since we started dating. This was totally unexpected but so much like him. Only he could think of doing this. I don’t even come 0.00001% close to surprising him.

Sure we fight like all couples, sure we love each other like all other couples, but I can tell one thing for sure with that his surprises are unique and none I know have received likewise!

He does priceless things like these which I treasure the most in our relationship. At the end of it all, he has and will always bring a smile to my face.

That’s why over and above being a great husband he makes one hell of a best friend to me!!!!

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