Mum’s packing again.

Mum’s packing again (we have to do it more than once a month it looks like). And I tell you, it’s the funniest thing. Even Papa finds it comical.

Her antics are the same every time. She starts off with a proclamation that she will pack light. That she will not carry a single, unnecessary thing with her. That we will make do and compromise. And then she whips out a small little strolley. Then stuff starts coming out of the cupboards….

They come. And they don’t stop coming. It’s a relentless parade of bits, bobs, the necessary, the trivial, the insane. She is torn between every two things. This or that? Or both? We see her despair mount with every item that she has to can. Like an addict fighting his inner demons, she resists her every urge.

Maybe one sweater will do. Oh, what if Zoe spills something on it. Naa. I shall manage.

I have my tablet sized phone and my suitcase sized laptop, can I squeeze in my iPad in the handbag. The changing bag perhaps. 

Of course Zoe needs those. What are you saying Mister!

And yes, I will read on the trip, and during the flight, and on the train ride too. Duh!

The turmoil mounts. And reaches a cresendo. Then the explosion happens.

Ugh, We are paying those buggers at the airline aren’t we. We might as well carry everything we need, want, potentially need and desire. 

Poor Mama. 

She then goes completely dotty and drags a humungous bag into the room. She then furiously rolls up every item in sight and stuffs it in the bag. After she’s through, I am positive there is no room for a single air pocket in there.

Papa sniggers covertly. And he whispers in my ear ” Mama is a lovely woman dear, but please I beg you, don’t pack like she does!”

Well. I have no idea who I shall grow up to be. Until then I shall watch the drama unfold between my two diametrically opposite parents.

Till next time..

ZOE.

P.S. I do my bit to help. I get into the case, and help Mama arrange stuff. Some things that I deem unnecessary I throw out. I also think I need some items of my own, so I bring in my favorites pots and pans from the kitchen and dump them into the bag as well. And yes, I know how a zipper works, so I can rearrange stuff when Mama is not in the room 🙂

Of unwitting absence.

It’s been a while folks! The blog absence and internet abstinence was unintentional; circumstantial. The H family was on a road trip. A trip initiated by grim events and complicated by urgency. We packed in haste and  hit the road unprepared. It is amazing how much life and thought are forced to change when you have a little human in tow. There was not a moment to spare and not a single wink of sleep could be wasted. We had to leave behind most of of connectivity tools and gadgetry behind, to make space both in bags and thoughts for other more important stuff. Even amidst the chaos that unfolded, we still had to worry about baby meals and diapers. Weariness is an obvious consequence.

We are home now. A shower and some home cooked food has mitigated the fatigue, hence the urge to publish a quick hello to you lovely folks. We shall hopefully resume our usual shenanigans here soon.

Till then…

Dr J.

Chillin’!

I love Saturdays (or Thursdays, depending on which part of the world I am in at the moment). It is a warm, fuzzy kind of love. It is conditional though. I wouldn’t love it if I were on call/ duty the next day. So yeah…

We are spending the evening chillin’ at home. Not in the least bit inclined to brave the traffic and get out. Nah!

Some coffee, some reading, some toys and loads of fun!

The only way to get things done.
The only way to get things done.
Trust me, the
Trust me, the caffeine is essential.
The end is near for the poor coffee mug it looks like!
The end is near for the poor coffee mug it looks like!

Hope the lovely folks in the GCC had a wonderful weekend, and here’s wishing all the others a lovely weekend ahead!

I hopefully will spend some quality time with The Blog this weekend (so do keep visiting!).

Till next time..

Dr J.

 

 

Thursday Troubles! What’s your Roadavataar?

Every evening, I come home bone- tired.

With a pulsing headache.

With ringing ears.

With teary, irritated eyes.

With a sore bum and achy arms.

No, it’s not my work that does that to me.

My work only gives me a creaky neck, a wonky back, dry, flaky hands and sore calves. Thanks to odd posture, endless scrubbing and perennial standing- in that order.

Everything else, is thanks to the inescapable, horrid, nausea- inducing traffic and having the ultimate misfortune of having to steer a motor vehicle in that madness.

My work is something I enjoy, it never gives me headaches. The ride back home always does.

I am a blubbering, swearing, irritated mess by the time I reach home. My joy killed. My life- force wasted. My energy drained. My sensory receptors overwhelmed.

The crazy zig- zagging of bikers, the compulsive honking, the bronchial death inducing smog, the signal- squabbles and the complete and total disregard for rules. The traffic situation in Bangalore is in dire straits.

My Roadavatar is one of feigned indifference. I pretend to not notice the pandemonium. I try and focus on the music and not swear at the guy who just cut across. I try to think happy thoughts. Of beaches. And French pastries. Of bilateral mandibular sagittal split osteotomies and facial bi-partitions. Of lacy Jimmy Choos and the limited edition Cartiers. I try.

Then there are days like today.

When I become a crazy, car chasing, honking, gesticulating mad-woman.

It all started at a traffic signal.

It was still red. With 5 seconds to go (yeah, we have timers here!), before it would turn green.

Mr. My Arse- is-on-fire-so-I-need-to-get-Home (AIOFSINTGH) starts honking at me to move along even before the signal turns green.

Well, that is almost the norm here. So I ignore him, and start to sing “we all go round the mulberry bush” in my head. Loud.

And once we all get moving, in the crazy impossible formations that happen right after a signal, Mr.  AIOFSINTGH continues his mindless honking. It almost has a tune to it. The most vile, brain- numbing tune there ever was.

I veer away from his path. He veers too.

He continues to honk. At me. At everybody.

I peek a look at my rear- view mirror.

He seems to be unperturbed. He does not seem to be particularly interested in me either.

I speed up. He is some distance away.

Yet, he continues to honk away.

It’s a disease I realize.

The sound does weird things to me.

I slow down and let him pass. I then speed up and get right behind him.

And almost unconsciously I start to honk. Persistently.

Almost magically, the tune is exactly the same.

I never knew I had it in me.

I honk and honk and honk. Exactly like he did!

I notice the man looking at his rear view mirror. Finally! Hallelujah!

He gestures with his hand. Asking what my problem was.

I smile.

It seems to irritate him.

I smile some more.

Then I overtake the irritated creature and drive away.

I can still hear him honking at the guy in front of him. Maybe he’s just honking at the universe. Maybe he’s pissed with his God and is venting his frustration. Or maybe he has “Honking Tourette’s”!

I come home in a decent mood.

I may have discovered the secret to staying sane in Bangalore traffic.

Give what you get. Be as mental as the others are.

Maybe it’s time to upgrade my Roadavataar. I guess the more time I spend irritating others, the less time I shall spend irritated.

And considering my “other home” is no better when it comes to bedlam on the roads (DOHA!), I guess it’s time I started working on some coping mechanisms.

What say folks?

 

 

Tailgating Land Cruisers (we know where they come from!), callous BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) buses and mental, bikers- there is no respite in sight!

😦

Till next time…

Dr J.

 

Goodbye Kannur! For now…

The wedding shenanigans concluded by Monday. At least for J and Lil’ Z.

With a train to catch, J decided to make a quick visit to the beach. A sort of goodbye.

A place of peace and calm for J. A place where Mr H and she had hid from the world. Six years ago. As newlyweds. (A story for another time, possibly!)

A massive triangular laterite fort, replete with a moat and flanking bastions, the St. Angelo’s Fort also called Kannur Fort was constructed by the first Portuguese Viceroy, Don Francesco de Almeida in 1505.

In 1663, the Dutch captured the fort from the Portuguese and sold it to Ali Raja of Kannur. In 1790 the British who seized control over the fort, renovated and equipped it to be their most important military station in Malabar.

Today, St. Angelo’s Fort is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India. The fort offers a fascinating view of the Moppila Bay and Dharmadom Island. Dharmadom Island, only 5 acres in area, is situated 100 metres away from the mainland in the Arabian Sea. The Moppila Bay is a natural fishing bay. A sea wall projecting from the fort separates the rough sea and inland water. Today, the bay has turned into a modern fishing harbour, developed under the Indo-Norwegian Pact.

The fort offers fascinating view of a natural fishing bay and a sea wall projecting from the fort separating the rough sea and inland water. (From keralatourism.org)

Lil’ Z had to see this place. Know it’s significance.

It was only a quick detour, en route to the railway station.

 

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The rainclouds gathered and the thunder sounded ominous war cries. It was time to leave. They shall go there again, soon hopefully; as a complete family.

They hopped onto a creaky auto- rickshaw with it’s almost- mental driver and headed to the railway station.

 

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J and Z seem to live out of these bags nowadays.

 

 

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For the uninitiated- An auto-rickshaw!

 

 

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Waiting for Kannur/ Yeshwanthpur Express to arrive.

 

 

Goodbye Kannur. For now…

Till next time…

Dr J.

 

P.S. And yes. Any folks heading to this land, please do hop onto one of the private buses that ply the Kannur- Thalassery routes. It will be an experience of a lifetime. But be warned though, it is not for the queasy stomached or weak- hearted!

And the passangers have no safety gear on! Source- www.theautomotiveindia.com
And unlike the F1 driver, the passengers have no safety gear on!
Source- http://www.theautomotiveindia.com

This is why I love to fly.

Dr J anxiously waits for the boarding call.

In the days gone by, she would have loved the waiting time. She would have strolled the stores and had cup after cup of bad, overpriced coffee and  doughy donuts.

But not today.

Lil’ Z isn’t a happy chappy. She was dragged out of her bed at 5 am. The worst time to do so. She was then fed and changed and strapped into a car- seat. She even missed her morning nap.

She had her breakfast, cold and quick. She squirmed in her Ergo. Disliked the creepy security lady. Did some wailing and head- banging. Scratched Mommy a bit and is by now utterly pissed. The little one is a seasoned flier but everyone has their off days.

J wishes Mr H were there. He would know exactly what to do. He would probably pull funny faces and make weird noises. If nothing worked, he would become a human swing set. And that for sure would calm her down. But he isn’t there. And she better get used to it.

They finally announce it’s time. The very young and the very old are called in first.

Still many booted and suited, fancy looking people pretend they did not hear the announcement and get into line anyway. They are neither young enough, nor old enough to avail the privilege. They stand anyway. Gently shoving and getting ahead.

J can never get over this weird behavior. It’s not like you get special seats if you enter first. The plane will not leave without you either. What does one gain by the all the haste and hurry? The pushing and shoving?

Is it an innately Indian thing?

We are programmed to come first. To stand first in class. To beat your neighbor’s kid in everything. To secure higher entrance (pre- university exam) ranks than your cousins and friends and parents’ colleagues’ kids.

Skipping queues is a specialty-  you are considered smart and resourceful if you can get ahead cheekily.

J decides to wait it out. To let all the rude crazies go in first. She was in no mood to fight the crowd.

She is the last to board. She plonks herself in her seat and releases the cranky, squirmy baby. Z and J both heave sighs of relief.

J had hoped to do so much. He camera lay untouched. Her book lay unopened. Her iPad lay switched off. He iPod is lost at the bottom of the deep, dark pit that is her bag. Her phone lay neglected.

Take- off is delayed. A very nice gentleman decided it would be fun to go absconding after checking in. He walks in, ten minutes after departure time. Unperturbed. Obviously unapologetic.

J was starting to think that maybe her love for airports and flying is eroding. Suddenly, all she could see were the inadequacies and shortcomings.

The seats seem cramped. Considering her small frame of 5 feet 3 inches and 100 lbs, that is saying something.

The food is borderline unpalatable.

The flight attendant’s tone is screechy and her make-up reminds J of Zhang Zyi’s geisha look.

And right about when irritation was simmering into anger, the captain spoke. A deep, lush baritone. Sensual and intelligent sounding. Apologizing for the delay and saying they were ready for take off.

Just then, Lil Zoe also gave up. Decided sleep was the best course. And as the plane taxied across the runway, accelerating; J felt her coiled mind unfurl, her tense muscles relax.

J gently placed the sleeping baby in the bassinet. She rummaged through her humongous carry- on for her dSLR. It was a clear, crisp morning. And the sights were utterly, truly breathtaking. The photos don’t even remotely do justice to it.

Taking off...
Taking off…
Bye Blr... Again!
Bye Blr… Again!
The morning sky over the outskirts of Bangalore
The morning sky over the outskirts of Bangalore
Wonder what those water- bodies are?
Wonder what those water- bodies are?
Still blurry...
Still blurry…
Fiddled with the settings and....voila!
Fiddled with the settings and….voila! I swear it isn’t a painting.
!
!
By now Zoe has joined Mama in the fun.
By now Zoe has joined Mama in the fun.
Halfway yet.
Halfway yet.
First peek at the destination.
First peek at the destination.
The greenery is almost entirely coconut palms
The greenery is almost entirely coconut palms…and yeah it’s a city, not the Amazon!
Almost there...
Almost there…

And then they landed. And J still loves to fly. So does Lil Zoe apparently.

Till next time…

Dr J.

An epic trip!

Hella folks!

It’s been barely four days, since I last spoke to you folks. But it seems like ages.

The trip was everything I had hoped it would be. And more. I met tons of family, had kilos of great food and soaked in the lush greenery and sticky heat that my “hometown” (different from my “home”) offered. It was akin to being the proverbial “prodigal daughter”. I was welcomed with open arms and willing smiles. I was spoilt for choice in terms of homes, food, people and places.

I have vowed to never let this happen again. Where I stay away for so long. Family is a blessing which should not be taken for granted, I realize.

The train ride back has drained even the reserve energy within and Lil’ Z must be wondering why she is waking up at a new place every morning. Probably the reason for her uncharacteristic crankiness.

I better snooze for a bit. Am back to work from tomorrow, after a very long hiatus.

Another era commences.

Will share more soon.

Till then….

Dr J.

Z’s a pro!!

Hello lovely people!

Mama is too busy to write to you folks. But she will be back soon…I promise!

We have been constantly travelling ….and are at yet another airport right now.

Mama is pottering around with my food and bibs and Sippy cups. Poor thing. Without Papa around, it’s hard on her.

She manages to do everything with one arm!

I have been having the sniffles and I hope this flight won’t be too uncomfortable. Usually I have a lot of fun in airplanes and don’t bother Mama much.

She calls me a professional traveller! 🙂

I will take you folks to loads of new and exciting places. Beautiful places.

See you soon okay?

Lil’ Z.

The Ladies Lounge! Impulsive, wintry baby buys!

Doha and Bangalore are both heading toward winter. The Bangalore of yore (when I was still in tights and pinafores!) was pretty chilly. Not any more. Winter’s now are barely cool. Chilly for a few days and then pleasantly cool thereafter.

Doha surprisingly is  colder. Last year, I spent half my winter in Doha and half in Bangalore. Must say, Doha beat Bangalore by a mile!

Currently, it is still raining almost everyday in Bangalore. The monsoon is making it’s retreat and winter’s being ushered in. Lil’ Z has been taking in the sights and sounds. All new and exciting. While I have been reacquainting myself with all things Bangalore. The familiar sounds of endless honking and the smell of smoke mixed with rain. Mum’s tea in the mornings and dad’s news summaries. It’s all good folks.

 

The storm gathers...
The storm gathers…

 

Thereafter.
Thereafter.

 

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The rains here are very different from those in Doha!

 

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Testing out the camera on the Lumia 1520..

 

The rains...
Grams’ thorny friends!

 

Lil’ Z and I decided to go on some city adventures, off on our own. We spent a pleasant, lazy, sunny Sunday afternoon updating the little ones’ wardrobe.

I am not daft enough to buy tons of baby clothes- though I am often tempted to. We buy only the bare essentials, since she outgrows them so soon. Zoe spent the first six months of her life in boring onesies and nightsuits/ babygrows. Comfort and warmth trumped style and aesthetics. But slowly, she is getting to that age when “cute” outfits start to fit. And now that she stands and am sure will soon walk, it’s time to phase out the gender- neutral babygrows and put on some girly clothes.

We also intend to travel quite a lot in the coming months. Loads of relatives and family to be met. Weddings to be attended. Interviews. Work related stuff. And the little one will have to bear with me and come along for the ride. So she better be prepared!

Here are some winter additions to her wardrobe. (My friends from actual “cold countries”-  please forgive my audacity for calling your summer wear as so!)

 

The basics- warm, fleecy nightsuits. Turns the little one into a cute, cuddly, live teddy bear!
The basics- warm, fleecy nightsuits. Turns the little one into a cute, cuddly, live teddy bear!

 

Another wardrobe staple.   A dusty pink. light cardigan.
Another wardrobe staple. A dusty pink. light cardigan.

 

No reason for picking these up, except that they were too cute to not buy! Will probably come - in handy when we visit family in Kerala.
No reason for picking these up, except that they were too cute to not buy!

 

To match the cardigan. Found it at another store.
To match the cardigan. Found it at another store.

 

A coat fit for a DIva!
A coat fit for a DIva!

 

I rarely ever put her in dresses. But I guess the time has come. Am a sucker for nautical prints.
I rarely ever put her in dresses. But I guess the time has come. Am a sucker for nautical prints.

 

Though she might wear these over some of the dresses buried in her closet.
Though she might wear these over some of the dresses buried in her closet.

 

Must have- tights in solid, basic colors.
Must have- tights in solid, basic colors.

 

No shopping trip is complete without some boots! Either for Mommy o"'''''''''
No shopping trip is complete without some boots! Either for Mommy or Zoe.

 

Blue, floral canvas.
Denim, floral canvas.

 

Every girl need her ballet flats!
Every girl need her ballet flats!

 

Picked up these random bits and voila, we have a perfectly co-ordinated outfit!
Picked up these random bits and voila, we have a perfectly co-ordinated outfit!

 

Of course, these are a no- brainer.
Of course, these are a no- brainer.

 

And yes, belated Diwali wishes to my Indian friends! To be honest, I did not quite enjoy being here for Diwali this year. Zoe hated the sounds of crackers and I spent a few, sleepless nights with a baby who’d wake up flustered and crying when some really smart person decides to fire up crackers at 1 AM!

 

Happy Diwali folks!
Happy Diwali folks!

 

Till next time…

Dr J!

 

 

 

Here and there.

Morning Folks!

This blog is finally going to be true to it’s name.

Shuttling between two countries.

And two fantastically vibrant and diverse cities.

One, an already bustling, crazy metropolis.

The other, just getting there.

The best and worst of both.

So much to come folks…

So much…

 

Let’s start with this morning.

Here.

And.

There….

 

map

 

The basics…

weather doha

 

bangalore weather

 

Just outside…. 7 am!

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7

 

2

 

4

 

On our way….

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0

 

8

 

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I am sure you folks can figure out which is where….

The weather Here is wet and gloomy, and there seems to be a sniffles- and- sneezes bug in the air.

There, it is sunny and bright, and almost pleasant. Winter is yet to arrive…

Have a lovely day y’all!

Till next time…

Dr J.