The kids had two days of holidays for Eid and Ganesh Chaturthi, The Husband was working both days. I thought I'd take a break. For once I'd drop the Scheduler Mom
attitude, let the kids be... not worry about whether they were having their daal, roti, subzi...
not worry about how much television they were watching... or how long they were at the neighbour's... that was the plan.
I thought I'd not bother with the festivals, either. Eid used to be special in Lucknow .. but we were not in Lucknow. Our only Muslim friend here, who's son is also Hrit's best buddy, had gone home to Kerala for the celebration so we were just not excited.
However, one can't really live in India and not bother about festivals. First I got a call from my mother. Here's how that went...
Ma: So what are you doing for Eid? Are you making Seviyan?
Me: I just didn't feel like it.
Ma: Arre, why aren't you celebrating? How can you not involve the children in Eid celebrations? You should dress them up, take them out, tell them why it's celebrated.
That's when I wished I could tune her out. But there's something about my mum. I just can't tune her out. Everyone else I can.. I'm actually quite good at it. I can read amidst the kids' ruckus, turn a deaf ear to The Husband, tune out to colleagues' wives chatter, make PC with all and sundry without bothering my brains but my mum.. she's a different story. Oh I'll oppose what she says when I don't quite agree.. but I'll always have a niggling doubt that she's right. She often is... but that's not the point. The point is that small 'niggle' will niggle and niggle and grow and grow till I find myself galvanised into doing exactly what she wanted me to. Humph! So much for turning into a grown up, mature, independent individual.
But I deviate.. on with the conversation...
Me (putting up the token protest and trying to go on the offensive): I'm not sure of the story myself. You never told us, did you? You never dressed us up either.
Ma: Well you were in Lucknow. You were part of that culture.. you got to soak it all up automatically but your kids need to be told about it all. Look up the story on the Net, get out the kurta pajama and chaniya cholis. And I did dress you up once.
Well she did.. but that wasn't on Eid and she DID NOT tell us the story.
Not that it mattered because by evening I was running around buying seviyans and milk, then surfing the Net, then digging out the kids' clothes. Then The Husband came and said we were to go to wish a friend Eid. The kids' got to flaunt their clothes and I got to eat the most delicious Sheer Khurma (that had simmered all night on a sigri... yum!). My seviyans turned out quite delicious too or maybe the neighbours were being polite. But then The Husband said so too and he NEVER tries to be polite so my Eid was pretty much perfect.
Then came Ganapati. Thank God Mum knows nothing about it (There's no Ganesh Chaturthi up North) and just as I was thinking of a lazy day the SIL called. She was bringing Ganapati home and we were invited. And so I ran from the gym, ran to pick some prasad so I could make my own petitions to the Lord, dressed up the kids and it was puja time. We drove through the roads teaming with drummers even as loudspeakers boomed bhajans in Marathi, waded through the crowds to pick up the idol, watched the SIL set it up, decorated it with flowers and thermacol, then put together the hundred other things needed for the puja, sang the aarti while the kids alternately clapped and fought for the bell. Finally we sat down to a hot lunch of chhole, bhature, kheer... really there's nothing like being with friends and family.
And here's my high five moment. I kicked off the four kgs I'd picked up In Lucknow during the vacations. Now I can look forward to some real weightloss. Since I'd set August as the deadline I'm pretty bang on with my target. Even the modaks I had recently haven't pushed up the scales so I'm pretty chuffed. Wish me more luck guys.