30 August 2013

reading, authors, blogs

i finished reading measure of love last night, by blogger melissa ford, pretty much on the heels of her first novel, life from scratch. i read measure of love in chunks (chunks in the sense that i have demanding twins who never let me keep my kindle in my hands..), oftentimes in the middle of the night after waking up to soothe one or other of the boys. it felt good to READ, to want to finish and know what happens to these characters.. seriously, i cannot wait until the time that the twins let me sit with my kindle in peace. it'll come soon, right??

i enjoyed both novels, but definitely liked measure of love more. why? oh, for many reasons.. because i knew the characters better now, so it was more in depth, which is always better than the surface level of introductions.. because it focused more on blogging, communication and relationships, all of which i can identify with.. because i loved some of the new characters brought in..

another cool thing about reading these two novels was that i know the author.. ok, i don't "know" mel, but i read her blog, so i know more about her than i do many of my favorite authors (is that weird? i actually am not one of those people who feels the need to know a whole lot about the lives of my favorite authors/actors/singers etc. i am more interested in their fiction than their reality..). i read life from scratch because i liked melissa's blog posts, and the book synopsis sounded cool.. i read measure of love because i needed to know what happened to rachel and adam..

if haruki murakami or david mitchell had blogs, would i read them? i guess it depends on what they wrote about.. there were similar themes in measure of love, regarding readers of blogs, and why they read, and what happens if you change what you write about..

the coolness of reading novels by someone i know is akin to growing with harry potter.. i hope that there is some awesome series that the twins get to grow with too..

27 August 2013

twins august: one year!

the twins are one. oh my! a year ago, they were still in my tummy. i went to the hospital, my heart in my mouth the entire time. unlike other countries and hospitals, H was not allowed into the labor room, so i was on my own. i will never forget the moment the doc held up a tiny, grey mass to show me.. and then another. 

when i look at their newborn pics, i can hardly believe how tiny they were, how much they’ve grown. not just in size, but also in personality! from two helpless babes, totally dependent on me, they are now little boys with loud babbles and big attitudes! they can suddenly open doors and drawers, they eat a wide variety of foods, know the difference between real and fake phones, climb on to the bed and sofa, and so much more. 

when did all this happen? suddenly, they learn something new everyday, and i can barely keep up. ‘the days are long, but the years are short’. oh, SO SO true. each day of this year has been long, and the nights even longer. and yet, without me noticing, somehow it has already been twelve months! 

with the twins, i have grown too. i have more patience than i thought possible. (it is still not enough, but that’s a different story.) my priorities have changed. i have started cooking! i appreciate my mom (and my dad) so much more. 

i am ecstatic that they are growing, it is so wonderful to watch them learn new things (yesterday a learnt to throw a ball. he now thinks every single object in his hand is to be thrown. repeatedly.), take more steps towards independent walking.. and yet, i cry when i see their newborn pics, when i have to fold away clothes too small for them, when they crawl away from me to examine some new wonder. this is how everyone’s parenting journey goes, i know, but it does not make it any easier, or make my anguish any less poignant.

happy birthday my beautiful boys. may you always be in wonderment at the world around you.

02 August 2013

words, reflection, humanity

i love words. the written word is my manna. word play, word games, reading, writing are all my idea of fun, of intimacy, of creativity, style and just pure bliss. words are sacred.

so i am careful with my words. words are not just outside, but they come from within. they reflect your thoughts, your perspective, your very essence. i say what i mean, and i cannot abide those who don’t. those who gossip about others behind their backs, but then say nice things to their face. those who spill vitriol in anger, and then pretend that those were just words, just emotions spilling in the heat of the moment. sorry, i will take every evil thing you said in anger to heart. swearing, abusive language -i just don’t get it.

i read an article today, on the racist and sexist behaviour of indian youth delegates to china, which reminded me of another depressing article on swearing and rape in delhi. since being in india, i have heard more swearing and abusive language than all the years i lived in hk. ‘motherfucker’, ‘he was too busy fucking his mom/sister’ is all too common, and it particularly irks me.

what does this say about your perspective, your views on women, on your fellow men?

(it’s interesting how many hindi expletives are related to female genitalia. does this apply to other languages too?)

india is a place where so little value is placed on human life. there is so much pomp and ceremony, so many rituals to suggest otherwise, but in fact, humanity is not valued. on one hand, the number of people falling prey to extrajudicial killings, torture and completely unnessecary accidents are ridiculous. this is all just routine however. on the other hand, all individuals, all relationships are seen as a stepping stone to something better. the patriarchal, nepotic and corrupt nature of society means that wealth and/or influence are necessary to get things done. everything is weighed, no good deed is done for the sake of a good deed. being good, kind, tolerant and fair are seen as weak traits. aggression and rule bending are rewarded.

it is also a place where the ‘other’ is so truly hated and defiled. within the country, there are so many castes, classes, subcultures. and there is so much enmity amongst them. caste discrimination is alive and well, regardless of what the country's constitution may state. there are residential buildings of a particular ethnicity that deny outside tenants. jokes are rife regarding various groups of people.

01 August 2013


i just finished life from scratch, by melissa ford. it's a fun, light read. i was struck realizing that the protagonist rachel, and her husband adam, divorced from a lack of communication. the moment when rachel realizes that adam never wanted to be a lawyer, the moment when he is told that she only suggested vacations so they would spend time together, not because of any particular lifestyle choice.. those are the moments that have been replaying themselves in my head. how does one stay with a person for several years, and not know that they are unhappy in their career?

another moment that keeps nudging me, is when rachel admits that she never actually told adam what she wanted; she made references, indirect comments, but she never came right out and said it. how many of us are guilty of this? i certainly am.

in fact, i know i find it quite difficult to directly ask for what i want. i have been spoiled by awesome girlfriends who can read me so well, that i rarely have to spell out anything. i am generally shy at articulating feelings and needs that i deem quite private (or that i feel may make me seem needy/wanting/weak), plus, having to ask for anything makes me quite uncomfortable... and if i manage to ask once, i could never stoop to ask another time!

however i resolve this, rachel and adam brought home how easy it is to totally misread stuff, to miss huge stuff right in front of us.. honest, direct communication is oh so important..