Saturday, December 29, 2007

Inspired

Tonight, after nearly a year, I went to the theater to watch a Hindi movie and I am really glad it was 'Tare Zameen Par'. Not only does it a have a solid storyline and a strong message, but it stood out to me artistically as well. The simplicity of its creation made it appealing to me. It was not over dramatic in trying to make you sob and feel very sorry for the characters. It is not my intent to review the movie or tell you the story, the reason I'm writing about it lies in the fact that I strongly related to it in various aspects to the minutest detail. When I was in boarding school we used to push the food with the fork (held in our left hand) into the spoon (held with our right) and shove it in out mouths. That is exactly how they showed it in the movie. You the reader might be thinking - so what's the big deal - and I wish I could explain. It felt like I knew exactly how the nine year old boy felt the day his parents waved him goodbye his first day at boarding school.

A very inspirational movie and a must see for especially the Indian parents. Gosh, I think I'm in love with Aamir Khan all over again. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Think India

India saw the advent of its first television commercial in the late 70's. At that time they were sparse as was the programming. As Doordarshan launched its mega soap opera's, 'Hum Log' and 'Buniyaad' in the 80's we saw an influx of advertisers such as Maggi Noodles, Vicco and Nirma whose sales actually boosted for their price quality positioning. It was not until the early nineties with the broadcast of satellite TV by foreign programmers like CNN followed by Star TV and a little later by domestic channels such as Zee TV and Sun TV that commercials took a front seat in the Indian homes. Companies jumped in to sell their product to this vast population absolutely hooked to their television sets. Advertising companies went all out to be creative and thus started the legend of brilliant television commercials that not only sold products; but told stories, made us laugh and cry and most importantly THINK.

Since then, Indian commercials have gotten better and bigger and has left its mark on the global advertising world. They have in fact become mini-movies which casts mega Bollywod actors and uses background scores compiled by renowned music directors. Overall, they are creative, fresh, soul stirring and an absolute treat to watch.

Here are some of my recent favorites.



Monday, December 17, 2007

White Space

For all of you who know the designer in me as the advocate of 'white space' - this redesign was bound to happen. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hot Cross Buns

As my little darling snoozes on my chest, what better to do than play along with my fellow bloggers (ArSENik. to be precise ;)and disclose to everyone my taste in music. Now there goes my image!

Rules (as per 'I don't know who at this point'):
1. Put your MP3 player/Media player on shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write the name of the song no matter what.

IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY?” YOU SAY?
Ocean Monsoon Night - Prem Joshua
I think this is time to reveal I have ADD.

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
The language of Innocence - Bikram Ghosh
Me blushing & batting my eyelids :)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Jao Chere Chole - some Bangla band
No strings attached - what can I say.

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Yaad hai - The Salman & Shilpa movie on Aids
That's exactly how I feel - yaad hai woh life before husband and baby.

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Krishna - Colonial Cousins
I've been trying to tell my MIL that I am religious - no idea why she doesn't believe me.

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
O Rey Chori - Lagaan
Hmmm...should I be coming out of the closet???

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Lalkaar - Rang de Basanti
Totally.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
Purani Jeans - Ali Haider
So purani that we still haven't been able to convince dad to use a computer.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Masty Masty - Ali Zafar
Absolutely!

WHAT IS 2+2?
Woh Kagaz ki Kashti - Jagjit Singh
Mathematically challenged from birth, that ship has sailed since Madhyamik - never to return.

DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Khoya Khoya Chaand - Khoya khoya chaand
Currently she has switched from 'khoya khoya' phase to 'crying crying pacche' phase ever since she returned to Canada from vacationing in Kolkata.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Ban Ke Tera Jogi - Phir Bhi Dil Hain Hindustani
:)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Amader Janya - Suman Chatturje
Darshonik!

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Sabse bara Rupaya - Bluffmaster
Ha..ha...I wish!

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Chand Chupa Badal Main - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam


WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Kuch Khushbuye - The Salman & Shilpa movie on Aids
I think they are referring to my dirty socks here.

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Love Theme - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
If it was my pick it would have been 'ami kolkata-r rosogolla'. I would still be happily single till date.

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Rainforest - Vanraj Bhatia
Kinda like this one.

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Gaan Bhalobeshe Gaan - Chandrabindoo
Sa-Re-Ga-Ma

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Still Life - Prem Joshua
Even more darshonik...*dirghonishash!

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Earthquake - Vanraj Bhatia
What can I say - I'm only friends with people who are addicted to food which helps them sustain their very 'healthy figures'.

WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS?
Hot Cross Buns - Baby Genius
Reflects the random nature of my current life.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

In memorium


It is a bit eerie to some point that right after I write a post on the Indian Girl Child, we get a phone call on another relevant issue that has hit home. We are normally used to reading about social issues or watching them on the news and creating our own theories to discuss them in forums. We think we feel the pain and misery of the people involved in such incidents and try to sympathize or show our frustration towards this enlightened clan. It is however something else when such things happen to someone near and dear - it becomes REAL.

Last Friday, during our weekend calls to India, my husband found out that a very close cousin had been pronounced dead, after eleven days in a nursing home in Kolkata due to an overdose of sleeping pills. I had met her briefly on a few occasions during my wedding, from which I had deciphered her being a very successful, independent and confident individual with a very strong personality. Later I found out that she was indeed a favorite in my husband's family. Having lost her father at a very early age, she had taken over the family business and had run it successfully for several years since then. She single handedly traveled to various parts of the world making business deals at an age where we bunked college to catch the first day first show of Shahrukh Khan's new movie.

She wasn't labeled as the kind to have an arranged marriage. However, not having met her match, she was finally convinced by family to go ahead with it. The search began and a very suitable upper-middle class educated guy with a great job at hi-tech was found to tie the knot. It seemed to be the perfect social match, until after a few weeks of the wedding it was found that the guy had an illicit relation with his first cousin and the family had arranged his social marriage to keep that a secret from the community. Basically his marriage would act as a cover for him to continue his relation with his cousin. The groom and family also suggested to their bride to have an open marriage, where she would be free to have relations with other men as she chose.

The newly wed bride was distraught and her family immediately filed a criminal case against the groom and his family. As soon as the case was filed, the groom quit his cushy job and along with his family went absconding. For all of us who has any idea on the leagl system of India knows that any court case takes forever to get resolved. The humiliation is never ending and there is no guarantee on true justice being attained.

The result - a very young, beautiful, intelligent and sincere girl who having struggled all her life, finally gives up hope and commits suicide. She is taken to the hospital where her mother and sister prays every night in hope her child will come through. After seven days, of what I can imagine to the family as being 'hell', and having no will to fight for her dear life, her soul is finally put to rest on Friday, December 7th.

There are several such cases happening every year in India. The most common we hear about are Indian guys living overseas, ties the knot with a girl chosen by his family only to find out later that the guy is already married to someone in the country where he currently resides. Either the guys are too darned scared to let their parents know that he has already found someone who is not of his own caste or creed and agrees with this parents to get into matrimony to keep them appeased or the paretns do it knowingly to hide the fact that their son is (a) gay or (b) has married someone who is not a social match in their eyes. Either way, what I don't get is how can these people be so stupid to think they will be able to keep these second wives totally in the dark forever. And moreover, why would an educated person do something like this in the first place?

Over and over again, something like this happens and it crushes my hopes of seeing the developed India we so hope for. I continue to be drawn back to my motherland but I return just a bit more frustrated. I am often surrounded with guilt for not doing anything to rectify the situation, but I just don't know where to start.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Girl Child

I woke up this morning very distressed due to a report I watched on BBC World last night on how U.K. Indian women were aborting girls. The Oxford University study suggests 1,500 girls are "missing" from the birth statistics in England and Wales from 1990 to 2005. One British woman, who spoke to the BBC anonymously, said she had an abortion after a doctor in India found she was to have a fourth daughter. Last time I checked, finding out the sex of a baby in India was illegal. Then how was this happening? BBC did an undercover filming on a renowned gynaecologist, Dr Mangala Telang - a doctor recommended by the British High Commission to find out that not only does she secretly perform the ultrasounds to reveal the sex of the unborn child but also provides recommendations to those couples who wish for an abortion after having found out they are having a girl.

There's some disturbing new evidence in India about a growing gender imbalance in the country that's home to more than a billion people. A report published jointly by the Indian government and the United Nations Population Fund shows an alarming drop in the number of baby girls. An estimated seven million girls have gone missing from India's population over the last 25 years. Some of them will have been killed after they were born, or allowed to die within their first few days. But most of them will have been aborted. Selective abortion is happening all over India as ultrasound machines - which carry out the scan - have become cheaper, but it has always been worst in Punjab and Gujarat.

It is even more disturbing to find out that it is the elite class of India that mostly indulge in such practices mainly because they have easy access to ultrasound machines and have the money to pay for such illegal practices.

Whenever, I make a trip back to India, I find my friends and family gloating about how rapidly India is developing on its way to becoming a super power in the very near future. When I ask them questions on this growth, I often find out that their theories are based on availability of hi-tech jobs that have sprung up in the past few years due to heavy outsourcing from the U.S., easy access to foreign merchandise, huge lifestyle change that imitates the ones seen on Hollywood/Bollywood movies and most recently the increasing value of the Rupee. No one talks about education, the discrimination, the corruption, the superstitions that till date tie our society down and worst of all no one does anything about it. How does such a society develop? How does such a country become a super power? How come we don't admit what it true and try to bring a change?

I am proud to be a mother of a girl.

Monday, December 03, 2007

9 months

I know its high time I posted an update on Evani. Its just that I sometimes find it hard to believe that it has already been nine months. Time has just whizzed past and I'm lucky enough to have savored it all.

Measuring at a little over 2 feet and weighing in close to 17 lbs (not quite there yet) she seems to be preparing herself well for America's Next Top Model. She even has the attitude for it (oh dear lord - save me!) and will let you know when she is not pleased with anything. There are time she needs undivided attention, but luckily for the most part she is happy keeping herself busy. The two bottom pearly whites have popped out and she loves to chew on whatever comes her way. Her recent favorites are mom's chicken stew, bread and bananas. She can eat bread any time of the day and does an awfully good job pecking at it on her own. She absolutely loves to be entertained by dad, but when it comes to anything else she needs her mom. She will clap for you when you say 'tai tai tai...mamar bari jai' and if you are lucky enough, you'll get a squeal along with it. Her very active lifestyle takes her all around the house these days, however she still quite hasn't figured out how to go into the sitting position from crawling. Her body mass being on the lower side - she is sometimes still unstable while sitting and will occasionally topple over and will then go into a confused state of whether she should cry or not. She loves books, not to read but chew on them instead. Her vocabulary consists of 'ooohhhh' (she's been saying this for the longest time), dada, mamma, and occasionally 'babba' along with various other sounds she manages to do with the clicking of her tongue. She loves to explore under the couch, yank at any wires that accidentally come within her reach and lick any kind of phone she manages to get her tiny hands on. In fact one day I found my cell phone dripping in saliva after which it refused to work for one whole day.

All in all, she is 24/7 entertainment for us and growing rapidly each day. I am glad I live in an age where I can share her progress with all of you via my blog, pictures and video. She is very lucky to have all of you as her well-wishers.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Zzzzzzz..........

This is a first - I sat to write something and totally lost my chain of thought. Its only 9:30pm and sleep is devouring me from every angle. I haven't been this sleep deprived or tired in a while.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Kaleidoscope

The past week/weekend has been colorful (and sometimes the lack of it) in its own ways. In the seven years that I've been married, I've realized that spending a whole week with your vacationing spouse 'at home' can get a little out of hand. My schedule gets entirely thrown off track, house seems to get messier, chores keep getting suspended, and we end up sleeping for half the day, which means I have to cram everything I need to do in the other half. And life isn't half as colorful without some major poop duty. Evani has been going at it for nearly a week now. Not her fault though - I think she reacted to the yogurt I introduced in her diet a week back.

Speaking about seven years of marriage - this Thanksgiving morning after both husband and wife wake up, we wish each other a very groggy happy anniversary. Still trying to recover from the 3am diaper duty and in the process of another 6am one (btw, both of which hubby took care of as part of my anniversary gift ;), we joke about how life has changed and what a way to start this special day. This year we were hosting both lunch and dinner and I could see a whole day of cooking ahead of me. So I jumped at the opportunity of having hubby fetch breakfast - since that would be all the anniversary celebrations we would have for the day. So the day goes on. We (actually I) cook, clean, have my MIL over for lunch, clean up after lunch, prepare for hosting friends for dinner. All along we keep wishing each other 'happy anniversary' just to reassure ourselves that this day IS special and we WERE doing something about it. Just as I was finishing up the dinner preparations, hubby offers to take the trash out. Halfway yelling from the garage he asks me to check the trash calendar for recycle or green waste. I go to the calendar stuck on my refrigerator door and as I look for the date, I stand dumbfounded. I yell back - 'Honey, are you sure today is Thursday?' Okay, I'll admit, I did not say 'honey'. I'm a typical desi wife who is incapable of showing any public affection towards her husband. I get the reply - 'Of course - today is Thanksgiving AND our anniversary. Why do you ask?'
Me: 'Ummmm...apparently today is NOT our anniversary - the 23rd is tomorrow, Friday!'
Him: 'huh? Are you sure you are looking at the right month?'
Me: 'This is November - right?"
Him: 'Yup'
Me: 'Yes, I am looking at the right month'
Him: 'Today is not 23rd? Our anniversary is not on Thanksgiving?'
Me: at that point I can barely control my laughter at the whole situation and have to break it to him by saying 'NO'.

Life has surely changed drastically. We get along just fine even if we forget special dates (or mix them up), by not geting each other gifts and wanting only peaceful sleep or ready made food in exchange. No, Shomeek did not end up doing diaper duty the next morning of our actual anniversary and we did share the whole episode with our friends at Thanksgiving dinner and had a good laugh. But we did have Thai take out for our anniversary dinner on Friday. It was peaceful to sit at home and have a quite dinner watching Evani roll around on the floor in front of us and giggle and squeal in delight for no apparent reason. Life is colorful - it just depends on what patterns you make out of it.

Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'm sure I did.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Classical meets Contemporary

The past few weeks has been very invigorating due to several dance experiments and choreography. I had been in a mode of trance, where I lived and breathed dance till we got done with two of our shows last week which enthralled the audience. The satisfaction lay in the fact that we were able to introduced a whole new genre of Indian contemporary dance to Sacramento. more info and pics.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Blast from the past

Mrs. Dutta Roy of Gokhale Memorial Girls Hostel - our head matron, who referred herself as the MOTHER of GMGS. The reason I bring her up is because I very recently received an email from my cousin who mentioned having run into Mrs. Dutta Roy recently in Kolkata. She seems to be very lonely, having no one to take care of her other than a sister in the U.S. whom she is financially dependent on and has to live with her out of no choice of her own. She now wants to look for a place to stay in Kolkata and figure out a way to earn her own living. My cousin will be helping her and has asked me for some financial help which I will be more than willing to extend. After all I did spend more time with her than I ever have with my own mother.
The email took me back to the hot and humid Saturday afternoons, where we all lay in our 'girdle beds', too full of the chicken stew lunch to even move a limb. I can still here the mechanical screeching of the fans and the melodious "mathar ghono chool jokhon...morubhumi hoye jaye" followed by "shonibarer barbela...kyaaaNch" playing on the radio. We had not television in the hostel back then and the radio was the closest we got to entertainment. We would wait all week to grab the little black box on the weekends to listen to the songs of the year's biggest hit - QSQT. Aamir Khan was 'THE' man back then and his picture postcards were our most valuable possessions.
I cannot believe how time has changed and I've come such a long way in my life. My art teachers 'Practish' and 'Murgi' (I hope they are not reading this ;) would probably drop dead if they heard I had ended up being a Graphic Designer. I still remember scoring 8 out of 100 in one of my art exams. I was asked to draw a scene in the living room and my teachers had not been able to differentiate between wall, floor and ceiling in my sketch.
There is just so much I want to write about growing up in a boarding school. The most I miss is the friendships we shared. We were an extended family and we spent more time with each other than we did with our own families. Everyone had a reason for being in a boarding school at such an early age, and that reason made our bonds stronger. However much we loved staying with friends, we missed family big time. I still remember being admitted to Pratt Memorial hostel at the age of 5 and my very first day there I remember telling my aunt who had gone to drop me off, that I feel a pain in my chest. I wish I could have shed a tear that day - it might have eased the pain I felt.
I'm glad I received the email about Mrs. Dutta Roy. It made me think and thank a lot of people who played a major part in my growing up. Gokhale Memorial Girls School and hosterl - I shall always remember you.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

30

I realized I had really turned 30 when on Sunday Shomeek offered to take me out for an elaborate birthday breakfast at some fancy place and I declined the offer wanting to stay in bed for a while longer and had him get me a chocolate croissant instead from Starbucks. For years I had planned that I would really celebrate my 30th by visiting the hottest night spots in SFO. But I realized I no longer enjoy going to nightclubs and dancing to Usher or 50 cents - I would much rather pick up my saree at knee level and try to imitate the earlier Govinda moves to equally enthralling 'rickshawwalla' music. That is precisely what I did the Saturday night before my birthday. Thanks to Sacramento's late Durga pujo festivities, it was Ms. Jojo night on Saturday and the first time I ever heard the song 'oooi maa ami laaje more jai!' What can I say - but that song just brought the best of 30 yrs in me and the typical kolkata bishorjon dance came to life. I missed the old Jeetendra/Mithun look alikes sporting the tight white shirts, pants and shoes (yes, all in milk white) joining me in my venture, but there were enough intoxicated characters to keep me company.
My actual birthday on Sunday was on much higher standards though. My dance troupe had a performance at the California Telegu Samiti annual program and our performance was a HUGE success. Very much in contrast with my dance moves the previous night - that was a treat in itself. So behold my friends, at 30 I'm just getting started!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Lens

I always complain about Shomeek spending way too much money on his photography equipments for nothing, but I have to admit being very impressed with his recent purchase: the 17-40L Cannon lens. He purchased it right before we left on vacation and the pictures from our Canada trip turned out way beyond my expectations. However, the real reason for me liking the lens is - I think it does a good job when it comes to my pictures. I am usually not photogenic and very rarely like a picture of myself. However, this new lens (and of course Shomeek will kill me if I don't include his photographic genius) has surprised me each time and I am really beginning to like myself in photographs. So good job Shomeek and below is a shot from this weekend's Durga pujo that I really liked. Of course I was shunned by all the 'mashi's'...ooops 'didi's' actually for not dressing up to the occasion (meaning not enough bling).



Hail the Indian Super Hero!

Just thought I'd share some laughs ~

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pre-pujo depression

Yes, I did say 'pre' and no I'm not out of my mind, and a bigger NO, this is not a continuation of my postpartum depression and it is neither 'that' time of the month. The real reason: Sacramento is yet to see the face of Maa Durga and I cannot tolerate to see anymore pictures of my beloved friends on orkut, dazzling in their pujo attires. Which brings me to phase 2 of my depression - I have NOTHING to wear at our upcoming pujo this weekend. 2 reasons for that too - 1. None of my traditional clothes fit me post baby. 2. Whats the point in dressing up - my daughter will be drooling on the silk anyways! Well, usually I'm not that shallow minded as to have my attire dampen my spirits, but it doesn't help when we have Durga pujo after bijoya and 'Lokkhi'pujo (i refuse to say 'lakshmi').
Anyhoo...I will stop ranting now and maybe write about something fun for my next post, to get me out of this crappy mood.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A breather!

Who knew writing for the blog would eventually become a source of sanity for me. This past week was a whirlwind of deadlines and with the looks of it, seems like the next week will be equally crazy. When I made the decision to quit having a full-time job a couple months ago, little did I know that I would end up being busier than ever. My imagination actually entailed being able to spend quality time with my little one, read books, watch movies, listen to music, catch up with old friends. In reality I've done all (with the exception of reading, as I'm taking a break from after having read Shantaram recently which took me forever to complete)and much more. I teamed with my previous colleague and good friend Marcy (who I don't think reads my blog :() to start our own Graphic Design company while on the other hand I teamed with my friend Soma to start an Indian contemporary dance company. Both have been going well, hence my crazy work schedule. I am currently working on a corporate branding project and also choreographing simultaneously for two dance shows to be held a week apart from each other. Not to mention, I have to plan and communicate practice schedules, shop for costumes, prepare & rehearse, coordinate with organizers, create ads, go for client meetings, prepare boards for presentations, etc...etc...
Okay, before any of you get me wrong - this is not me whining, but me organizing my thoughts. I feel productive as ever, since I'm doing all the things that I've been wanting to do in my life. I'm glad to be free of the "be creative in your little cubicle between 8-5" work schedule while my daughter cried her lungs out in daycare. It just makes me so happy to be with her at home, and watch her grow ever day. Its like a miracle happening right in front of my eyes. I love my work and my family -and that I believe is my greatest motivation at this point in time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Happy Durga Puja!

Its that time of the year again when my heart aches for my hometown Kolkata and I wish I was there with friends and family. I haven't been home for the pujas for 8 years now, but I can still smell the pujo morning air, I can still hear the beat of the 'dhaak' (drum) and my feet do their own little 'dhunochi' dance. I'm not religious at all, but the goddess 'Durga' has a very special place in my heart. It used to be the only time in the year as a child that where we weren't expected to do homework for 5 straight days- that makes her special to anyone! :) The 'pandals', the 'adda', the 'fuchkas' and 'egg rolls', the new clothes and competing for who got the most number of new clothes that year, the flirting and infatuations, all of these memories still stir my soul. It is the season to love, laugh and let go. So my friends and family - many many miles away from me - I would like to tell you that I love you and miss you terribly in my life.

Shobaike amader torof theke sharodiyo shubheccha!


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The BIG move

Don't freak out - we did not move to a new house. However a major move did take place within our house this long weekend. Evani's crib was moved from our master bedroom to her nursery. She has been sleeping in her own room since Monday night. She is absolutely fine with it - basically because I don't think she can tell the difference. However both mom and dad are miserable (especially dad). We miss her terribly. The positive side to it is, our bedroom looks very spacious once again and we dont have to tip-toe to move around while she is sleeping.

On another note, Koko started eating apples since yesterday. She seemed to love it. I went all out to prepare it instead of giving her the store bought jars. Since I don't have a job now - I'm trying to save some moeny...hee...hee... We'll see how long that lasts.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Evani's first photo shoot

Our friend Kiran and Shomeek made a great effort at capturing some of Evani's cutest expressions ~

video

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Some precious moments

Finally I was able to capture her rolling over. Usually she never rolls over when I try to shoot.



Enjoying her bumbo seat. For my friends in India - this is NOT a potty even though it looks like one :)

Koko's intro to belly dancing

This Friday we met up with some of Shomeek's colleagues for dinner at a Persian restaurant. Who knew that Friday night was 'belly dancing' night at that place. Koko was tired and snoozing in my lap when all of a sudden the music blared and out came the belly dancer with her shimmies ( i hope that's how its spelled!). Koko jerked out of her nap and while I was scared that she would start shrieking at such sudden intrusion, to my delight she was actually mesmerized. With eyes and mouth (that's a constant) wide open, she actually was unable to blink. The belly dancer was kind enough to spend some quality time dancing for her most intrigued audience despite the fact that the parents did not have a single dollar bill to tuck in for her. I think Shomeek might go back next Friday night just for that missed opportunity. For all of you who do not know Shomeek that well, he does not miss an opportunity to either pose with or take pictures of belly dancers (atleast this time he had a good excuse)...so here goes~


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Solids

Evani started solids last night - Gerber single grain rice cereal mixed with formula. She was totally intrigued by the whole experience and did a pretty good job at actually getting the food down her throat. I wish I had some pictures, but I was too tired to take any.

Monday, August 13, 2007

India Day

This Saturday was our first performance after having formalized TranceFusion Dance Company. The event was 'India Day' celebrating India's Independence day on August 15th. There was a huge turnout of people from various parts of India. The featured charity was Ekal Vidyalaya, which runs schools in the remotest parts of India for underprivileged kids and adults. Photos were courtsey of Picmyfoto~



Sunday, August 05, 2007

Another milestone

Today Evani rolled over from her tummy to her back for the very first time in her crib. All this while she was turning sideways when laying on her back - but never turned over. It was a very exciting time for us - both mommy and daddy felt very proud and gave our little Koko lots of hugs - but then she wouldn't do it again..ha..ha..

Here is a clip of her from Friday

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Its all about me today...

Its been a while since I've written about whats going on in MY life. Don't worry, I will not terrorize you with picutres or video clips of me...ha..ha...

Evani's birth has been a life changing experience for me. I have learnt so much in these past 5 months and still constatnly learning something new everday. I feel I have changed in so many ways, some of which is good and some bad. I now seem to have immense patience and have learnt to let go of a lot of little things which would have driven me crazy during pre-evani times. On the other hand I'm an emotional wreck and realize how much I miss the presence of my mother. I constantly feel the need to be hugged and told what a good job I'm doing balancing baby, home and work. I know it sounds silly and is not in my nature to need such sympathy or reassurance -which then again brings me to think I have changed so much. I find myself constatnly thinking of my parents and friends back home and it makes me sad that they cannot be a part of my life right now and watch my little one grow.

On the other hand I have also been feeling that I'm not doing enough things that I'm passionate about -and one day I'll wake up and find myself very old and realize that I've lost a lifetime doing an 8-5 job. 5 days a week, and a bunch of chores on weekends and in the process missed out on these precious times with Evani. Hence, I teamed up with a friend and colleague and we opened our own design studio - Wacker Design Group. I pray we can make this work and I'm able to quit my full-time job soon.

I have also teamed up with my very good friends Soma and Sanhita to start TranceFusion Dance Company. We curretnly have 6 active members and we meet regularly twice a month for practise and hope to organize a fund-raiser end of next year. In the meantime we are open to performing at other events and might also start giving lessons.

I have submerged myself into establising the studio, dance and Evani and that has brought in a lot of positive energy in me. Talking about positive energy, I have also been going to a yoga fit class every Monday and Wednesday during lunch. That has helped me keep fit and control my weight. I only wish I could eat healthy -that is something I have no motivation in. In fact these days I don't give too much thought or time to food - which might be the reason my eating habits are detoriating.

I guess that gives a detailed snapshot into my life and activities which I have not been able to share with many of you in the recent times. I think I should also mention that my best friend, Sapto (the one who is in Canada) has been a pillar of strength to me all along and I wouldn't have been able to do anything without her love and support. I am also very thankful to my brother who is always there for me and who means the world to me. I wish I was able to spend more time with him.

Ohm!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Indian food with aunty Joy



Is she blogging?

This was towards the end of her keyboard mania and hence the crankiness. She started off having a blast. By the time we thought it would be fun to tape she was already losing interest. But I thought it would be fun to share anyways.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Annoprashon (Rice Ceremony)

In our culture there is a ceremony for when baby is about to start eating solids. The maternal uncle is responsible for feeding the baby his/her first bite of rice. The baby girl is dressed as an Indian bride. However in Evani's case she will not be starting solids yet. We just got done with the ceremony as last Sunday was an auspicious day for the event. BTW - hope you noticed that she got her ears pierced...YAY!!! The entire album can be viewed here

Here are a few glimpses~







And of course, what is Mala's blogs without some video clips?
Here is Evani with her uncle (my brother)getting ready for the ceremony to begin~



All our events is always about food, so as usual there was LOTs of it~



And here is Koko at her 'after party' with Baba~

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Another fun-filled week/weekend

Okay - so this past week was jam packed with activities. Celebrations started from 4th of July at the McDaids residence. Koko finally got to meet Pauline - her grandma from London who sends her all the pretty clothes. Actually Michelle and Joss did an excellent job in surprising Pauline with all the babies. There were lots of cuddles, smiles and love to share that day. Thanks so much for making the day so special for us. It was a joy to spend time with all the cutie pies. And of course special thanks to Joss for some top notch grilling. I wish I could post some pictures from that day (there were over 200 taken - thanks to Joy) - but I forgot to load the memory card in my camera and do not have any copies of the pictures from MC's camera yet.

As most of you know that both Shomeek and I love to travel. Its been a while since we went on a trip which makes us very uncomfortable. So last week we decided to get away for the weekend. After a lot of research we decided to visit Mono Lake (close to Yosemite). We also called up this lodge and reserved a little cottage for ourselves. But next morning I woke up with a not so good feeling about making the trip with Koko - so on instinct we cancelled. I still don't know if that was a good thing to do. Instead we decided to make a trip to Fremont to visit my nephews. Honestly, I've never been so excited in my life to go to Fremont - but it felt like an major outing for some reason. So we packed our bags and set out on Thursday night. Koko slept trhough most of the car ride and was very happy to see her brothers, mama and ninni ma (uncle & aunt) when we arrived. She took the whole trip very well -which made us parents gain some confidence for future trips.




Here is Koko conversing with Ron dada



We got back Friday afternoon and took the rest of the day to prepare for what was coming over the weekend. Saturday morning started with shopping at the outlet in Folsom. We were the first ones to enter the Gap store when it opened. We were there to buy gifts for Ronav's birthday and my nephews. Fortunately or unfortunately we were unaware that the kids and baby section was now a different store entirely. So we ended up buying "few" clothing items for ourselves. So much for trying to save some money. But it was fun shopping for ourselves and the kids and Evani enjoyed the pleasant morning weather. That evening was Ronav's third birthday party at Kemp Park in Folsom. My nephews were also invited to the party, so their whole family drove from Fremont and was staying over for the night at our place. A whole lot of fun followed.







Sunday morning Koko was in a happy mood and spent time with every family member in the house. Josh took over the camera and clicked some pictures which I might say is pretty impressive.







Sunday, July 01, 2007

Weekend activities

We had a really fun weekend. Friday we were visited by aunts Courtney and Marcy and uncle Matt. We missed taking pictures with Marcy and Matt - sorry! You guys have to visit again soon just to pose with us...:)




Saturday, Koko got to spend a lot of time with Dad. They read books, played with her favorite teddy (actually tried eating poor teddy) and then went on a short trip from her playmat to our bedroom door. I think she was aiming for the stairs. It is so funny to see her kick her legs and travel from point A to B. It is her new found skill and whenever she is put down - off she goes!







Also, I just had to share these pictures. Koko loves books - so in hopes of her becoming very scholarly - her Baba got her two onsies from Harvard when he was visiting Boston some time back on a business trip...no pressure at all! ;)
Do you think she's blogging????


Friday, June 29, 2007

Working out with Baba

Koko enjoying the outdoors

So here is Koko in our backyard, enjoying the good weather. Shomeek failed to mention he was recording - hence me posing like an idiot in the beginning, thinking he was taking still shots. Oh! and by the way - for all of you who don't know I chopped off my hair - here I am with my new look. I was losing hair like crazy...and with the new style my life is a lot easier.






Friday, June 22, 2007

Daddy's girl...

...and why not? After all daddy is not the one changing poopy diapers and shoving the yucky formula down her throat. Nah! I'm not bitter - only a wee bit jealous...:) So Koko loves to hear Shomeek doing his baby talk which makes her burst into giggles. So last week Shomeek had to go on a business trip for 2 days to Boston and oh boy - how badly Koko missed her daddy. The first night he was gone, Koko came home and got super cranky not finding dad there. She kept rotating her head and looking around for daddy. She wouldn't drink her milk and kept crying. I had to call Shomeek and put him on speakerphone to calm her down.

Lately we find her in a super good mood right after she wakes up in the morning. We put her down in the bouncer where she plays with her stuffed animals while we go about doing our stuff. The moment she sees one of us she gets super excited, giggles and throws her arms up wanting to be held. It is so darn cute.

Today being Friday, I had the day off and was able to spend some quality time with her. We played with toys, read books, talked to each other and even danced around to some disney music. She thorougly enjoyed all of it. Recently I've been putting her tummy down on my legs and doing some crunches (that's about all the exercise I manage to fit in my day). She loves when I lift my head up and kiss her tiny lips all along swaying her back and forth with my legs folded up.

Here is a clip of her right after she woke up this morning. She does sleep on her tummy (i know...i know...it is not recommended due to SIDS - but that is the ONLY way she will sleep, so I can't really help it!) This totally makes my day! :)




Sunday, June 17, 2007

Daddy's day

Our very first fathers day was indeed memorable. Morning started with changing into a cute 'I Love Dad' onsie followed by cuddle and conversation time with Baba. Baba received American Eagle t-shirts, movie tickets to Oceans Thirteen and brunch at Roxy. My entire visit to Roxy was surprisingly pleasurable. I was very entertained by the handsome waiters and my BIG eyes followed them whenever they crossed my line of vision (I wish Ma had recorded THAT). Pradeep mesho and Mouri mashi also joined us, which meant even more cuddles for me. I enjoyed my time with Baba very much.

Here I am, eyeing Baba's tomato juice.



Baba makes me SMILE



After brunch I decide to come home and entertain Baba.



I'm all dressed for Baba.




Posing...



Friday, June 08, 2007

Koko's conversations

So this morning she was in a very happy mood right after she woke up. For the last few days she has been cranky due to her early teething symptoms. However she seemed to be in less pain yesterday and had a good night's sleep. That must have been the reason for her early morning conversation.

Koko's spa experience

Koko is no different from us - she loves getting a massage. I tend to give her a full body oil or lotion massage ever alternate day (and I don't get paid for it!!!). Here is a glimpse of her enjoying it. When she grows older, she might kill me for posting her nude clip...hee...hee...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

More pics!

I was on a roll this weekend. There are several more pictures - but I'm too lazy to upload them all here...hee...hee...