Category: Husband

Ma ke haath ka khana #Mother’sDay

Ma ke haath ka khana #Mother’sDay

One Sunday the Husband said he wanted to eat aloo puri for lunch. The children chimed in their yays and I was game too. Not too tough to put together, thought I, as I put the potatoes to boil and got the dough going for the puris.

Half an hour later I checked on the bubbling curry on the stove. As the spicy whiff of fresh gram masala reached me I thought I’d done a decent job. I dipped a spoon into the pan and tasted the gravy. It was good but a tad less tangy. Also, it wasn’t the ‘right’ orange. So back I went to the fridge, got out some tomatoes, ground them, sautéed them separately then added them to the gravy. I’m not sure that’s the right way to do it but that’s just how I cook – tasting and adjusting, adding spices and ingredients till I get the flavour I like.

Finally lunch was done – a thick rich orange potato gravy, perfectly puffed up puris with dahi and salad. As the children helped lay the table I was happy with myself. Tucking into the food the Husband remarked, ‘We used to have aloo puri every Sunday but that used to be a yellow gravy, it wasn’t so thick nor so tangy but it was way spicier.’

Seriously!

After all the trouble I took to turn it from yellow to orange he says he wanted yellow? And ‘way spicier’? Would the children eat ‘way spicier’?

See, that’s the trouble with ma ke haath ka khana. While I was attempting to get as close as possible to my ma ke haath ka food the Husband was dreaming about a replication of his ma’s.

This, I’m sure, has been the undoing of many a happy marriage.

Mercifully ours stands on sturdier ground than the quality of aaloo-puri I turn out and thank goodness for that. All the Husband got for his pains was my routine dagger look. Gratifyingly enough the children ate on, unaware of this exchange of visual weaponry, gushing all the way.

I wonder now, if I was laying the grounds for more battles when they grew up.

Cooking has never been my forte but H and N don’t seem to think so. They happily eat up whatever I serve. When my dosas stick to the pan they fight for the broken bits insisting they’re the crunchiest, when my cake turns out hard they christen it biscuit-cake and munch on it and when my atta laddoos don’t bind well they scoop up the mixture with a spoon relishing every last bit.

They have made friends with all the various gourds and pumpkins I put on the table no matter how they’re cooked. Sometimes I wonder how they will reminisce about my food when they grow up.
Perhaps one of them will say something like, ‘You remember mom’s lauki?’ 
And the other one will reply, ‘Oh yeah that delicious watery gravy and the smoky smell (from the burnt bits)’.
‘Remember the time we had to scrape off the rice from the pan and it turned all crispy?’
‘Oh yeah,’ the other one will reply and then they’ll shake their heads together ruing that no maid could ever match the flavours of their childhood.

Quite unlike me, my mother is a talented cook, a really talented cook. From delicately flavoured Navratan Pulaos to cheesy Veg Au Gratins she has a knack for them all. Her melt-in-the-mouth pineapple pastries are the stuff of family legends. Once when I remarked to my friend that my mom was a great cook, she casually, rather patronisingly, dismissed it saying ‘all moms are great cooks’ implying that all children thought their moms were great cooks. That incensed me so much that I launched into a huge argument with her.

Now however, I wonder if there’s more truth in her statement that I cared to admit that day. Perhaps we just get used to what we eat through our growing up years. Or perhaps there really is something special in the flavours of our childhood, something that transcends the science and skill of cooking.

What do you say? Is there one thing no one can make quite like your mom?

PS: I still maintain my mom’s a great cook and I love H and N to bits for believing I’m one too.

Getting back, catching up

Getting back, catching up

The thing with staying away from your blog for too long is that you accumulate so much backlog. It’s almost like it was at work. What’s worse, when I do get back everything goes backwards. As in I begin writing with the most recent stuff because that’s top of my mind and then go back upto the time when I last wrote. That makes for a bad read. All topsy turvy. The solution is of course to be regular.
I have so many blogs to read and so much to write. How much can really happen in twenty days!

In a capsule then..
We went to bid farewell to Ganapati. This is something one must see to believe… the celebration, the drumbeats, the crowd and above all the Ganapati’s arriving in cars, in trucks, atop tempos,.. an amazing sight. Then Hrit Naisha had a World Fiesta at their school and much grief that caused me, but more on that later. They’ve been unusually trying these past few days and I’ve all but jumped down from my ninth floor home. On a happy note – I read some great books. And of course there is the weight loss that is slowly turning into an obsession.

First the weight loss. Yesterday was a landmark day because The Husband noticed, yes really he noticed. “You’ve lost a bit,” said he casually as I was ‘booting’ up after putting the kids to sleep for my nine O’ clock walk. “A bit” when I’ve lost almost 6 kgs and have been bragging about it all the time. But that’s the thing with The Husband… he won’t say it till he sees it. Which is why I NEVER EVER ask him the question I ALWAYS want to ask him, “Am I looking fat?” No point. He’ll say exactly what the mirror says.. and I know that already Thank You.

I’ve been supplementing the gym with short/long walks as and when I can. Being a stay-at-home mum does have its perks. It’s really not as tough to find time as a working mum. I’ve come to enjoy, really enjoy, the walks any day more than the gym. There’s the seductive Pune breeze, for starters, that seems to actually call out as soon as one steps out.

Best pals

Then I flicked The Husband’s ear phones and loaded some tracks on my mobile all on my own, despite being severely technologically challenged. So now I have the Senoritas, Darlings and Chamak Challos for company (Somehow the cheesiest of songs sound the best while I’m exercising) plus people in the society don’t expect me to stop and make small talk.. a smile, a wave and I’m on my way. What’s better I can go easy at the gym.

Control nahin hota
The eating, by the way, is progressing almost normally. The Husband went to Chennai and came back with a box of Mysore Pak from Sri Krishna. Someone, pretty aptly described it as a ‘ghee saturated sweet’. I dug in mercilessly.

Then he dropped in at Kayani Bakery the other day and got home with a huge pack of Shrewsberry biscuits and two cakes. Two, when he’s diabetic and I’m trying to lose weight. And it was a weekend. Why why why would he do that???? Had I not known him better I’d have thought he was trying to sabotage my weight loss. But The Husband wouldn’t bother.. he’s the most non-hidden-agenda-person I’ve ever seen. Anyway, I got through the biscuits in about three days. No one makes it like Kayani.

However, I neutralised it all with exercise. Isn’t that great? The gym closed for two days for some restructuring which is how I got back to the comp.

The target now is another five kgs till my birthday in December which I shall celebrate with a Cheese Burst Pizza and a bottle of Sprite. That should keep me going.

Afterthought: I have become my own Chinese Mum .

The Husband

The Husband

It’s been almost five years since I started this blog yet I’ve barely mentioned The Husband. Oh he’s been there all along… leaving wet towels on the bed, making shoe marks on freshly mopped floors, lounging endlessly before the television, getting onto my nerves yet somehow sorting out my life by his mere presence. He’s the one who pampers Naisha silly, banters with Hrit till he’s stamping in frustration, telling them stories of planets and volcanoes with the occasional prince and princess thrown in for Naisha’s benefit.
Well it’s his birthday today and it’s time he got his due. So here’s the story of how The Husband came to be christened ‘The Husband’ on Obsessivemom.
The blog, started off as a first person account from the twins’ point of view.. it was my perception of their perception of the world… complicated? I thought so too. By the time the kids were in their second year I gave up. Besides it is MY blog isn’t it? I deserved to have my say.. of course it’s another matter that it was still all about the twins, if not by them. At least the real obsessivemom got a voice.
The first thing I gave thought to, was the christening of the family. I was of course OM. I decided to let Hrit, Naisha keep their names. Before they were born we’d spent hours trying out all kinds of girl-girl, boy-boy, boy-girl combinations and all had come to naught at the time of the actual naming because we decided on something totally different. There was no way I was going through all that again.. so Hrit Naisha would be Hrit Naisha.
The husband was a different story. I wondered what to call him. The obvious option was of course DH, dear husband… but that sounded a bit corny to me… besides I knew it would come out sounding sarcastic if I was not in the best of moods, which was often back when kids were small and maids were scarce. So DH was ruled out.
I stumbled upon another one OA, other adult. Hmmm interesting.. except that involved the presence of at least two adults and I doubted if even one existed in our family.
Or there was BF, best friend. Sweet, I thought. The only problem was.. coming from an all girls’ school to me a BF was someone who sat next to you in class, or shared her tiffin with you, or watched your backside while you were picking up forbidden amlas from the school grounds, above all she was a SHE. Much later, as I entered my teens, BF changed meaning as well as sex turning into ‘Boyfriend’ which was really too juvenile to call the husband.
Then I thought of The Guy.. well he was The Guy in my life alright.. ummm but it sounded too impersonal .. no that was not quite right.
This was proving to be tough. I then considered Significant Other.. yes this was it.. the perfect fit. He certainly was my ‘significant other’. So there.. Id’ found a name for him. And then I looked at the acronym SO….what? Oops such a no no.
And so he remained simply The Husband or The Daddy. Nothing flowery, nothing mushy… direct, to the point, unpretentious.. .. just like him.
Besides, Shakespeare did say “That which we call a rose… DH, OA, BF… really what’s in a name? He’d remain the same – chronic workaholic, absentminded forgetter of birthdays, thunderous snorer. We’ve been together now for a decade and a half only because, despite it all, he let’s me be me.
Happy birthday Husband.
If only…

If only…

I stumbled across this ad for a ‘book store enthusiast’ at a book shop and for the first time in five.. or rather six years I felt the urge to get back to work. Working at a book shop would be a dream … the profile kind of fits me like a glove, at least to my mind.



Heaven, isn’t it?
Pic courtesy Google pics

 Sample this.. you’re supposed to
1. love books – I do
2. like to interact with people – I do
3. help customers find the right book to read – I’d love to
4. select books for schools to buy – Would be fun
5. read and write book reviews – I’ve done it before and enjoyed it

However, there’s no use getting excited because the store timings are 10 to 6 and the kids get back home at 12.45… *sigh*! I can’t even think of part time placement because the store’s on the other side of town. *deep sigh*.

For the first time I felt a serious twinge of regret. And what did The Husband have to say? “Take it up we’ll shift”.. Oh I know he didn’t mean it. It’s just not happening… we’re not leaving our house to go to a rented place. Besides, the kids’ school, The Husband’s office everything is around here.

Yet his thought made me feel strangely comforted. One day when I do get back to work one thing I can be sure of … his unstinted support. Amen to that.

Mohali ka mahaul

Mohali ka mahaul

Pic courtesy Google pictures
As India and Pakistan battle it out in Mohali there’s a battle raging at home too – the big battle for the remote.
Men in blue vs Chhota Bheem
The Husband came home early today ‘to watch the match’. But of course he’d forgotten he’d have to contend with the two young ones. The men in blue were competing with Chhota Bheem. “3 to 4 is our TV time,” announced Hrit indignantly when The Husband tried to wrest the remote from him. The Husband was taken aback at this utterly unpatriotic, totally unloyal, completely blasphemous response.
Saam Daam Dand Bhed …
He tried to get the kids interested. “Let’s all watch the match together,” said he. “It’s great fun. Those men in blue are from India.. that’s our team. We are batting and Pakistan is fielding.” “But I want to watch Chhota Bheem,” persisted Naisha. The Husband yelled out to me. “Hey look they’re not letting me watch.” Did I ever mention I have three children? Anyway as a rule I never interfere in their petty squabbles. Besides I was totally enjoying The Husband’s predicament… heh heh heh.
After ten minutes of coaxing he tried parental authority, “Now I’ll really get angry,” he said without looking in the least bit threatening. He did, however, manage to take away the remote and tuned in to the National Channel. Strange how kids catch on to these nuances. Hrit just knew he could get away with it and so swiped the remote and it was back to Chhota Bheem.
Finally then he used the bramhastra, “I’ll call mama. You’ll see what happens, then,” he threatened. Anyway the clock had inched its way to four O clock and TV time was up. Time to intervene, I decided. So The Husband settled down and the kids got up for their evening milk.
.. and then this 
The Husband’s troubles were not over though. A crow flew down to our balcony. “Arre why has the crow come here,” said he. “It never comes, does it?” (He wouldn’t know he’s hardly home at this hour, and the crow does come.) “It’s not a good sign,” he prophesied darkly, “we’ll lose.” And thus did cricket turn my pragmatic, sensible Husband into a superstitious 18th century man. The kids were summoned expressly to shoo away the offending creature.
The Husband sits there now as the fifth wicket falls repeating like a chant, “We’ll win. We’ll win. Pakistan doesn’t have it in it to make more than 180-200.”
In other related news …
I went to the vegetable vendor and saw rather sad-looking vegetable there. Said the lady, “Kya karein didi. Taazi subzi lane ka kya fayada. Do baje ke baad toh koi dikhega nahin adhe din ke liye kya karne ka?”
My sis and mom were thrilled to get half a day off from the premier educational institute where both of them are lecturers.
My neighbour who works with a telecom company also got a half day. He and his colleagues rushed off to the company guest house to watch the match unencumbered by wife and kids.
My oncologist sis-in-law called me on her way back from the hospital chatting while she drove ‘because the roads were practically empty’. “The hospital is deserted. Doctors patients have all gone home. My cancer ward is empty too, save for two patients,” said she. And the said patients, possibly terminal cases, rather than worrying for their lives were worried about India’s chances of defeating Pakistan. They were terribly upset that the ward didn’t have a TV set. So sis-in-law ‘reserved’ two sofas in the hospital lobby for them. At 2.30 they went down, drips and all, to watch the match. The less- serious patients made their way to the cafeteria. “But that’s normal,” she said, “We even schedule Chemos depending on Indo-Pak match timings.”

And there’s more. Says she, “I became sensitive to the importance of the game after I saw the passion of a favourite patient of mine.” A young boy of 23, he knew he had little time left. He was on morphine to keep away the pain. As an India-Pak contest drew close he requested, “Doctor don’t give me too much morphine I don’t want to fall asleep during the match.”
That’s cricket to people in India and that’s what an Indo-Pak match is all about.

Edited to add: At the time of posting India looks like it has a fair chance at a win. Fingers crossed… toes crossed too.

Edited to add again: Yay yay yay!!!!!

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On my other blog: Beat About The Book

Just Wodehouse #BookBytes 18

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