When my sons were little….

Rachna and I have raised our two boys hands-on ourselves without any help from any ayah or mother or relatives. We are very proud of that. Now, they have grown up into two little brats who squabble a lot over many things but above all they are two good little fellas. But we still do remember the times when they were little and recalling their antics cracks us up.

As first time parents of a boy there was a lot of learning going on. We didn’t know that boys and girls have different types of diapers. The boy’s diapers had extra room for their wee-wee 🙂 Oh and one of the first lessons a parent of a boy learns is to keep the boy’s wee-wee down when putting a new diaper on the baby. So that when he pees it doesn’t wet the t-shirt or onesie the boy is wearing 🙂 Always attend to the wee-wee first and hide it under the diaper even when putting a new diaper. Because you never know when he will let out a golden fountain 🙂

The first two months for both our babies was a terrible one for us. The elder one had colic and the younger one had acid reflux. So, both of them used to keep us awake at night. For the elder one’s colic we used to do a small trick which we had picked up during our lamaze classes. We used to put him in the car seat and take him for a car ride. We used to keep driving circles of our block until he slept off. We would then silently bring him into the house on our tip-toes. But more often than not he used to wake up as soon as we opened the door of our house. Those were stressful times but it cracks us up thinking about it now.

Slowly we started to bring a routine on the boy. We used to give him a warm water bath before putting him to bed. We never missed to put a body lotion after his bath. It kept his skin from drying in the dry air of the summer. And, of course, a fresh diaper. Then feed him until he was satisfied. This routine never failed us in getting that much needed rest that we deserved after the whole day of looking after him 🙂 In the morning our little bundle of joy woke up with such sweet smell around him. It felt like to just keeping on sniffing him. He had to have his feed as soon as he woke up.

When my elder son grew up a bit it was his favroite past-time to ask me to draw his favorite logos when were retiring to go to bed. He used to watch a lot of commercials on the TV. So he was very familiar with the logos of the popular brands like Maruti, Hyundai Santro, etc. I had once indulged him by drawing him the logo of Maruti and Hyundai. And he would never tire of asking me to draw it again and again, day after day. And I would be very happy to do for him.

There were many such sweet little antics my boys indulged in when they were very little. More on them later. I was seeing this commercial on the TV when I felt I needed to relive these memories:

That moment when we moved lock, stock and barrel into our own house!

My Dad and Mom, both used to work. And with their meagre salaries they built the house that we grew up in. It was a painful time for us kids when we had to move into our own house. But, apparently, a joyful one for our parents. For, who would throw a lavish party to all their friends to celebrate our moving into own house. For us kids it was painful because we were being uprooted from the colony where we had all our friends. There was not a soul around our house in our age bracket who we could play with in the evenings.

And then we grew up. Went out of the house for our higher education. We got jobs out of our hometowns. And then we got married like everybody else 🙂 Our salary was much more than what our parents earned at their highest earning bracket. But still we could hardly manage to purchase a 3 bedroom apartment at a place of our desire. This is the big home market conundrum. Whatever be the times – your salary is never enough to purchase the house of your desire. We were in Pune when the bug bit us about purchasing our own house. We were getting a very nice apartment for, what seemed like a princely sum of Rs.20 lakhs, in Aundh. Which is a decent residential area in Pune. Even that was a bit of a reach for us at that time. And then things suddenly moved on the job front and I had to move to Bangalore. And our house search got hit for a little time. Also because in Bangalore I had to go for an onsite assignment almost as soon as I moved here.

Then after a few months after moving to Bangalore we started the hunt for a home again. And if prices in Pune were a reach then the prices in Bangalore felt far far away. We had to go more further out of the city to get a house which we could afford and it still costed at least Rs.10 Lakhs more than what we would pay in Pune. But we took the big leap of faith that all will be fine and we purchased our house after taking a hefty loan from a bank.

Then started the construction of the house. It was the most stressful times of all when the house was being constructed. We had to drive something like 15 kms one way to see how the construction was progressing. Every time we visited the construction site there, inevitably, used to be something or the other that the workers had done wrong or would have screwed up. There was one time when the new tiles I had brought for our house got stolen and we had to again go to the market and buy them. Then one time the workers had installed the bath tub with a reverse tilt so that water stayed collected in it. Oh, at that time I took a resolve that I would never ever construct another house in my life. I am still resolute on it 🙂

But when we moved to our new house with lock, stock and barrel that was a proud moment for me and my parents. Suddenly all the stress of the construction period had melted away. Life seemed good and positive. I was paying the EMIs to the bank to pay off my loan. But I was no longer paying a rent. I was paying money every month to appreciate an asset I owned. That feeling is just awesome and indescribable.

This is how MyUS.com cheats its users

Here is a chain of communication I had with MyUS.com on their Facebook page. Finally, when they couldn’t defend their malpractices they tell me to message them personally so that they may resolve the issue I have with them. All the details are in front of them. If they had any sincere wish to resolve the issue they’d have done it and told me “Here, we have resolved your issue!”. This only goes to show what crooks they are.

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Our family our backbone

I was looking at this commercial in the TV the other day. It is from HDFC Life :

It was such a touching commercial about how a single father encourages his handicapped daughter to learn Kathak, a dance form. It is like a complete film that has been shot in 3 minutes. It took me through my own journey when I was growing up.

I take pride in how self-reliant our family is. I wouldn’t be modest if I say that I am the most self-reliant person for at least 10 blocks around my house. I don’t have a problem cleaning our house windows myself; I haven’t seen anyone around changing their car tire themselves; I haven’t seen anyone making a wooden table or shelf for their house; I do the dressing of the wounds that my sons get now and then; I cook; I garden all by myself without the help of any garden worker; I can repair plumbing on my own; I wash clothes ( not in a washing machine), I wash kitcheware; etc. I can go on and on. But it seems like there is nothing I can’t do on my own. Sorry folks, this is not my most modest post 🙂

But if I think about it how did I become like this? It comes from my parents. My mother always had a maid for washing clothes and washing utensils. But she made us wash our under garments ourselves. I was very reluctant at the beginning. Why must I be washing my clothes when there is a maid coming, I’d say. But she never let go of it. She always insisted that we do it ourselves. And it became a habit. After taking my bath washing my under garments would become a habit for me. Another habit she inculcated in us was to wash our plates. After eating our food we had to wash our own plates and keep them for drying. It became a habit and has stood me in good stead. Whenever the maid doesn’t turn up it is me who does the washing of utensils at home, these days 🙂

My Dad was another avid Do-It-Yourselfer (DIYer).  He would keep me occupied during my weekends with his errands. He’d keep the weekends for servicing his scooter. I had to be with him and help him in getting the tools he asked for or for tilting the scooter suitably so that he could tinker underneath it. If some electrical equipment at house broke I’d again be beckoned as a helper to him to keep up the supply of tools he’d be asking for. We even white-washed the entire house with a spray paint attachment to our vacuum-cleaner once! And whenever he wanted to do gardening I would be the one who’d be digging the ditches and the vegetable beds. When our house was getting constructed he’d drop me at the site in the morning and come and pick me up in the evening. I used to be overseeing the work. This is how I spent my summer vacations. All these, I’d be doing reluctantly because I didn’t see any of my friends indulging in the same activities. They’d be happily playing their cricket. But when I think back the self-reliant person that I am is the result of all this I went through with my Dad and Mom.

This day I thank them for making me what I am.