Life's Like That

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dear Neighbour

Your baby is very cute. Thank you for saying mine is very cute too. I’m sorry I could not tell you her exact weight as of right now. I don’t keep weighing her you see, so the best I can do is tell you what she weighed at her last doctor check up, which might even have been last month. You and I evidently have very different parenting styles and I would not have given yours a second thought but for the fact that over the last month, every time we meet and discuss the kids, (seems to me that that is all you can talk about) you seem to be judging me and everything I say and do. It was kind of funny at first but it’s getting real annoying now.

Yes I have help for the baby. No I don’t go to work. I do take up freelance work, but you know what, even if I didn’t, I would have still had a maid. It does not mean that I love my daughter any less; it does not mean that I don’t look after her, it does not imply that I’m a rich bitch who will go to kiddie birthday parties with maid in tow. I love my baby to bits, but I need the occasional break from her to do other things…surf the net, go to the parlor, read, nap, even take a decent shower. No we are not, as you (rather rudely) put it, “rolling in money”..we are making other sacrifices and compromises to enable this and yes my husband is totally on board with it. You want to be Mother India and do everything for your son yourself? Good for you *clap clap*. But then, why does every conversation with you begin and end with you moaning about being tired or not getting any sleep or not even being able to go to the loo or comb your hair in peace?

Why are you constantly asking me about how much we spend on stuff and then judging me? Yeah Aahana was born at a speciality maternity hospital that’s quite a distance from home and comparatively expensive. We felt it was worth every penny and every long drive because the doctor and the hospital were both superb. I don’t see why you need to ask how much we paid for the delivery and then look shocked and inform me that you paid only 20k at this good hospital nearby. Again, good for you, but not for me thanks. Yeah we are still going to the same hospital to consult this paediatrician who has been seeing Aahana from the day she was born. True it’s kind of far, but again we love this doctor and the hospital which is so incredibly well organized that it makes the drive worthwhile. Don’t you think its rather rude of you to ask how much we pay for each visit and then comment about the price of fuel these days? My baby, my car, my money, my time, how the eff does it matter to you!?

I don’t give a rats ass how much you paid for your son’s pram or his high chair. The high chair we use was a hand me down from a friend (bless her) and the pram was a reasonably priced decent durable one. We did not really think about brands when buying it. Congratulations on spending 15k on a Gracco or Chicco whatever the hell it was pram and another 15k on some big brand high chair. I don’t care and I don’t understand why my choices should cause you so much concern! I am more intrigued by this contradiction in your character, cautious with money when it comes to doctors etc and yet so openhanded with it when it comes to branded kiddie stuff. Do you buy Baby Gap for your son, I really want to know, but unlike you cant bring myself to ask.

Get a life lady. Get out of the house a bit more. Take some time off from your maternal duties. I don’t know if you realize it but all you talk about is your son and your parenting experiences. And the price of things! Your earnestness is kind of tiring really. I suppose its not possible to suddenly develop a sense of humor, so I will forgive you for looking blank when I try to joke, but at least try and talk about something other than the kids and money once in a while. You will feel better trust me.

Yours sincerely

Increasingly Irritated Neighbour

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Wise Mother Speaketh..

Ever noticed how everybody and their sister feels free to give advice on pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing? Even mothers with one month more child rearing experience than you will give you advice. Why then, I thought, should I be left behind in the advice giving race? So here goes, pearls of wisdom from the Wise Mother…read and learn y’all


Do not take pregnancy books or websites very seriously. One weekly email alert ecstatically told me that the baby could now perceive light and sound and so shining a torch at my belly would make him / her squirm away from it…movement I would feel and presumably coo over. Feeling very much in the mood to coo I stood with my tummy bared in all its pregnant glory, shining a torch at it, and feeling more and more ridiculous with every passing second. The baby did not budge. She had obviously not been listening when I read that email update and did not know what was expected of her.

There will be people around you at all times who will try to stop you from doing anything resembling normal life activities. Please ignore them. You know you are pregnant and you should know what is ok to do and what isn’t. Driving wont hurt you, unless your doctor has specifically forbidden you to drive. The same applies to cleaning the house, cleaning the fridge, walking, fact squatting is good exercise and prepares you for childbirth. Just listen to your doctor and to an extent your mother. Ignore others..including your mother in law. Especially your mother in law.

This is an excellent time to express and vent. Feel free to snap at anyone who annoys you. In fact I suggest you seek out people you detest and tell them exactly what you think of them. You can always blame it on the hormones.


Is OMG awful. As I lay gasping and panting on the delivery table, I clasped the Boy’s hand and made him agree that one was a very good number indeed. I now think he was scared for the safety and health of his hand, wisely refrained from expressing a different opinion.

If you have ever had body image issues, are not comfortable with your body, or like me are just plain weird about having people or even photographs in the room where you change clothes..childbirth is guaranteed to cure all of that. Random people you have never seen before in your life will walk upto you and casually stick their hands right up unmentionable places. Yet more random people will come and take a quick peek in those same unmentionable places like its the most normal thing in the world. And after the first couple of times, you will be so completely beyond caring and so wanting it to be over, you might take to asking these random people for status updates.

Your water will break at some point during labor. It will probably be the weirdest sensation you have felt in a while. Do not, however, call the nurse frantically and say “eeeee I seem to be leaking fluids”. Apparently thats not an appropriate way to describe it and they might laugh at you..which might make you rather murderous. In which case, do stop to check if that irritating ringing mobile phone actually belongs to your partner before grabbing it and trying to do it some harm. Chances are it might belong to the hapless nurse and you will have to apologise profusely for your rashness.

Bringing up baby

Breastfeeding is hard. People told me this but I did not realize how hard till I actually got to it. Its worse than labour. Vent. Get help, hire lactation consultants, doulas, buy a breastpump, join a support group. If it sorts itself out then great; if not, then you need to adopt and adapt survival strategies. Strategy number one: Say to yourself that formula is not as bad as its made out to be. Remind yourself that no one has ever asked you if you were breastfed or bottle fed. That it didn’t make any difference to anyone’s life beyond a point. Strategy number two: Learn to lie. Childbirth somehow gives the world license to show an uncomfortable amount of interest in your mammary glands. Everyone from the maid to the aunty next door to the random man at the doctor will feel free to enquire you are “feeding”. Look them in the eye and say YES emphatically. Add a line about how you insist on giving the baby the verrrrrrry best. Telling the truth will mean unwanted and annoying gyan which you dont need to hear. Strategy number three: find a friend who has also gone through hell and back over the breastfeeding issue. Swap stories about other exclusively breastfed babies you might know who are colicky/ have acid reflux/have caught a cold/ have fever, and say “See breastfeeding is not the magic key to a problem free baby.” Strategy number four: Find a paediatrician who speaks your language. Most paediatricians are male assholes who have never gone through childbirth or breastfeeding themselves but who will spout gyan and judge you and assume that you haven’t tried. They will refuse to help you with formula feeding, and will keep telling you to continue to try breastfeeding. The baby’s hungry wails will drive you insane. Your sanity is as important as that breastmilk you want to feed the baby. Find a doctor who supports you and recognizes that you really have done all you could. Formula feeding or mixed feeding needs a doctors guidance on how much to give the baby...find a doctor who will listen and help.

Stay with your mother for 3 months if you can. This is the time when you will truly appreciate your mom. And no your mother in law, no matter how nice can never take your mom’s place.

If possible have someone else take the baby for the night once in a while so you can get some sleep. If you are bottle feeding then its no issue at all. In case you are breastfeeding, you can always pump and refrigerate. This really is important for your sanity.

Keep your sense of humor as close to the surface as you can. It will get you through the sleepless nights and the potty on your hand in the middle of the night episodes like nothing else can. That and quick access to Facebook and G Talk.

Ignore most people. God has given you two ears for this express purpose.gyan in from Ear One, gyan out from Ear Two.

Feel free to continue to snap and vent. This time you can blame it on sleeplessness.

Give gyan to other new moms. Its therapeutic. I strongly reccommend it :D

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

If anyone still read this blog then this post is likely to get a lot of people up and riled and ready to brand me a bad and lazy mother. But what the hell, I'll just say what I have to say anyways. Oh and the male of the species and non moms might want to skip this post :)

My baby is 23 days old. Im not able to breastfeed much. Ive tried and Ive tried, but it looks like Im just not lactating enough. The baby is hungry and screaming and even after nursing for 2 hours she will drink 60 mls of formula like she was starving. This whole process of trying to feed her has been nothing short of traumatic, involving a lot of tears..mine and the baby's. But the worst part is not the mental and emotional trauma one undergoes as one realizes that one cant even feed ones baby. Watching her root around and suck pointlessly and pull away howling is horrible, but whats even worse is dealing with people. Ranging from pediatricians to the well meaning aunt next door to even your best friend, breastfeeding elicits some STRONG reactions.

Im told that there are some countries like France where society as a whole considers breastfeeding unnatural and discourage mothers from trying to nurse. Breastfeeding in public is a hotly debated issue in most modern societies. I have full sympathy for women who need to nurse in a public place and are subjected to ill treatment. I have every sympathy for women in France who want to breastfeed but are pressurized by society into choosing formula or women who are forced to nurse in public toilets because people object to them breastfeeding in public. I wish people would show people like me the same courtesy of trying to understand the situation instead of standing on their moral high ground and condemning us as lazy selfish women.

Everyone knows that breastmilk is the best option for ones baby. From the moment one discovers one is pregnant, one doesnt even consider the possibility of formula feeding. You visualise yourself nursing your baby, and if you are me, you even read up on breastfeeding and the various holds and latching on. Then reality hits you with a bang in the hospital hours after the baby is born when nurses and doctors and lactation consultants come and pinch your breasts and shake their heads and say "ah well it takes 3-4 days for the milk to come in but keep trying to feed her as the more she sucks the more you will lactate." You try to forget about your newborn baby's hysterical heartbreaking howls and keep at it in the hope that you will indeed be able to feed the child properly in a few days time.

Then a week goes by and though you realize that its still not happening. You sit for hours trying to nurse. Your nipples are sore and bleeding from where the baby has bitten you in frustration.You consult a lactation consultant, you call a doula, you take the powders prescribed by your doctor, you try every home remedy you ever heard of. And your baby still howls and readily takes the bottle immediately after a 2-3 hour nursing session. More weeks go by and nothing improves. You slowly come to realize that this is how it is and accept the fact that the baby will have to have formula in addition to your woeful supply.

Except that at every point there will be someone telling you that you probably havent tried hard enough, that you probably gave up too soon. They will tell you their own experiences of sitting for hours and nursing with cracked bleeding nipples but not giving up because they wanted nothing but the best for their baby. Then there are the men...usually pediatricians, who tell you rudely that you didnt try hard enough to feed the baby, that any and all problems she might be having..ranging from colic to constipation to spit up is because she is deprived of breastmilk and is being overfed formula. They will refuse to prescribe any medicine or remedy and tell you to go and just keep breastfeeding her. You will come home and keep trying and trying with absolutely no result...she will still try to nurse for hours and still cry with hunger till you give her a bottle. And you will still cry with frustration and a sense of abject and utter failure as a mother.

Why do people just assume that one is giving the baby formula out of choice? When did an innocuous tin of baby food become a symbol of a woman's laziness and selfishness? If Im respectful of the fact that you breastfeed your baby, can you not at least try to respect the fact that I might not have had a choice in deciding to not exclusively breastfeed mine? Im trying to channel some of the spirit shown by pre baby Ron...that Ron would have told the breastfeeding nazi to eff off and mind their own business..yes the doctors would have gotten some choice responses as well. But turns out that Ron where Aahana is concerned. What is takes her place is a stressed out, guilt ridden, frustrated Ron, very prone to tears. Pardon this excessively sappy weepy self pitying post...I just needed to vent, and crying at home stresses everyone out..including the baby.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Conversations from a few years ago...

The scene: A coracle boat in the middle of the Kaveri river in Coorg

The charecters: Rahul, Ron, Ron's aunt, cousin, wildlife enthusiast mother and slightly psycho looking coracle man. All inside one small coracle boat. In the middle of the river.

Aunt *nervously*: Iss nodi main kumir...maane ki bole... crocodile hai?

Psycho coracleman *smiling happily*: haan haan bahut hai.

Aunt: Aen!!! Ki shanghatik!! Kumir aachey bolche je. (what!! OMG!! He is saying there are crocodiles)

Me: Ta ei jinishtaye othar aagey jigesh kora uchit chilo. Ekhon thaklei ba ki na thaklei ba ki. (we should have asked before we got into this contraption, now whats the point?)

Rahul *vaguely*: Kahan hai crocodile?

Ron and Aunt glare at Rahul...neither wants to see crocodile speeding towards them.

Psycho coracle man: hai hai idhar udhar hai. Subah aata hai.

Aunt: Obaba subah bolche!! Ki shanghatik. Aamra ebaar neme jai? ( Oh god, he is saying morning..shall we get off now?)

Psycho coracle man: nahin nahin madam darne ka nahi. Yeh sab friendly crocodile hai. *grins broadly*

Rahul *continued vagueness*: Haan see friendly crocodiles. Can any of you swim?

Aunt *most indignant and annoyed* Friendly crocodile aabar kya jinish hai? Jottoshob. Jano crocodile eshe joler niche Coffee Day te boshe coffee khawate niye jaabe. And no none of us can swim. (What rubbish as if friendly crocodile will take us for coffee underwater!)

Rahul: Heheh, I can swim.

Ron and Aunt glare again at Rahul.

Ron's mother *so far enjoying the coracle ride and keeping an eye out for sundry wildlife* : Ha ha friendly crocodile. Kintu ektao toh dekhte paarchi na *regretful tones* ( cant see even one)

Aunt *horrified* : Na dekhai toh bhalo. Dekhte pele toh heart fail korbe (its better we dont see them na, we might have heart attacks if we do)

Mom *in peaceful reassuring tones* : Na na chinta korish na, crocodile ki aar puro manush ke kheye felte parbe? Oi hath pa chnire nebe at most. Ekhon dupur belaye nishchoi pet bhora thakbe. Bhoye paash na. (no no dont worry, I dont think crocodile will eat any of us whole. Maximum it will bite off our arms and legs. Its afternoon na, must be well fed now)

Aunt and Ron speechless. horrified.

Mom *smiles beatifically* : Ei toh bhari handbag aachey, nehaat haan kore dheye aashle bag diye maarbo. Taatei paaliye jaabe. Mone nei Nandi Hills e dupatta diye bnador tariye chilam ( I have a heavy handbag, Ill hit the crocodile with it and it will run away. Dont you remember how I chased monkeys away on Nandi Hills with just a dupatta)

Cousin *very decisively* I have had enough. Ho gaya bhaiyya, abhi hum log ghar jayega. Where there are no crocodiles. Or monkeys. And somewhat saner people. Boat thamao.

Aunt * sadly* : Tor ma r mathaye cheet aachey. Din din barche bujhli.

Ron siiighs deeply in aknowledgement.

Thus ended yet another mildly insane outing with the menagerie I call family. We didnt see a single crocodile, friendly or otherwise during our visit, but my Aunt did get stung by some strange insect and bled from the sting for 24 hours. My mother peacefully reassured her that if she survived she would immune to all insect bites, if not, well too bad, she should'nt have gone for a walk at sunset. I dont think my Aunt likes my mother much after this trip. She definitely avoids planning any other vacations with her :)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Phew...long time indeed

So much has happened since my last post that I don't quite know where to start. Life changing stuff is underway, not the least of which is that I have quit my job. Yes! Ladies and gentlemen I am officially a bored lady of leisure and let me tell you, its a tough life. Man! Who knew there is so much to do around the house!? And you dont even get paid for cleaning behind the fridge and organising the cabinets and labelling the kitchen jars. Gah!

People's reaction when I tell them I have quit my job are...interesting, for lack of a better word. Some assume that this is a temporary thing and I am definitely going to rejoin the workforce in a few months time. Some are overly enthusiastic about it. Some, like EB, tell me I'm a fool and I should have stuck it out for some more time and remind me (like I need to be reminded of this particular fact) in his kind sensitive manner of the amount of money I'm losing out on. None can argue on the reason behind my quitting without seeming heartless and insensitive..its that compelling a reason trust me, but some have this look on their faces, like they are thinking "Nyaka! As if noone else in the world had pregnancy complications". My mother, typically, oscillates between telling me that quitting my stressful crazy job was the best decision I have ever taken, and that it was the worst thing I could have done with my life...that I will be bored and depressed beyond belief and will deeply regret it soon.

Happily, that day has not arrived yet. Sure, there are days when I cant think of a reason to get out of bed (that usually lasts till the hunger pangs set in and then Im out in a flash) but on the whole I'm at peace with my decision. The job was just that..a job. I never felt connected to what I was doing. In fact, many a time, I doubted the point of the whole PR especially. The job, the office where I worked was insane. There was no switching off from work. We all were, literally, on call 24x7. I understand thats how the field is, and that the concept of worklife balance in India is nonexistant but the stress was killing. The last straw was the unexpected complication in the first trimester. I was convinced it was because of the job and the stress. I spent 3 weeks of strict bedrest weighing the pros and cons of quitting. There was no doubt that I would have to take things a little easy in the months to come. There was also no doubt that I would not be able to take it easy in my job. To make matters even more difficult, Im one of those people who have grave ethical problems about taking salary and then saying that I would not be able to handle events or go for meetings...even if I did have very compelling reasons for both. The only pro in the situation that I could see, was the money. And as the boy put it, no amount of money would compensate if something went seriously wrong with the pregnancy. So I quit.

Ive been home for 2 months now. I feel better, physically. Its nice not to have to drag myself out of bed at 7.30 am everyday and drive to work even if I have had a rough night. Its nice to be able to take a nap in the middle of the day if I am feeling exceptionally tired. Its nice to be able to read whenever I want. Its nice to get the time to try n resurrect my dead blog. But the nicest thing of all? Having a HOT lunch everyday. Those of you with microwaves in office will never be able to appreciate this. I spent the first trimester shoving stone cold dabba food down my throat with copious amounts of water, while muttering "No you cant throw it up, the baby needs food", so yes a hot lunch is right at the top of of my list of all that is good with my life right now. If only some freelance writing work would come my way, along with some nice paychecks, my life would even be perfect :)

Now, excuse me, I have to go and check on the chocolate cake thats in the oven right now. Yeah, one of the other nice things...Im discovering a hithertho unknown masterchef within me. Im pretty awesome..even though I say so myself :D hopefully this blog will have plenty of content and tales of my kitchen related awesomeness if nothing else.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My family and other animals

Its Saturday afternoon, I'm rudely awakened from my post (heavy) lunch siesta, by a phone call:

My Mother (sounding slightly hysterical): Aami bari chere chole jaabo. (I will walk out of this house and never come back)

Me( not surprised or shocked by this oft repeated statement and still not fully awake): Uh hummm

Mom (hysteria increasing): Aar parchi na, as if I did'nt have enough trouble already. (I can't take it anymore)

Strange sounds heard in the background...

Strange sound 1: hoooooownooooooooohhhhsososbsniffsnifffff

Strange sound 2: hissssssmmmmmmmmaawwwwhissss

Me: Where are you? Whats that noise?

Mom: At home. (redoubled hysteria) Cats!!!! And your sister.

Me (truly baffled): Eh?

Mom (hysterical shriek): This girl. This unspeakable pest of a girl. Dukhana beral niye esheche. Cardboard box e kore. (Shes brought two cats home. In a cardboard box)

Me: Rather resourceful na...cardboard box and everything.

Mom(wildly) : Nongra aggressive bhoyanok beral. Kache gelei aanchre dichche. Aar fhyansh fyansh korche.Shunchish na. Ki hobe. (Dirty aggressive fiendish cats. Cant you hear? Scratching us the second we get close. And hissing. What to do)

Strange sound (reaching a crescendo): Sobsobsob whooonnnooooo...they are smaaaaall and scareddddd, sosbsosbwail wail...indecipherable something....

Me(enlightened): Oh Rimpu knadche bujhi? (Is that Rimpu crying?)

Mom: Knadche. Hrrrrrrmmmmmmpph. Syringe niye esheche aabar. (Crying. Has brought a syringe)

Me( somewhat alarmed): Sheki!! Syringe niye ki hobe!! Drugs nebaar taal korche naki? Tao aabar openly? (What!! Why a syringe? Is she planning to take drugs ? That too openly?)

Mom ( exasperatedly hysterical) Of course not. She is insisting that I feed the cats milk with a syringe. Erokom nyaka beral jonme dekhi ni. (Never seen such nyaka cats in my life).

Strange sound 2: Hiiiiiiiiiiisssssshisssssss meeeoooowwwww hisssssssss.

Me: Sounds scary. Why a syringe? Maane are you expected to inject them with milk? Intraveneous milk ki bhalo idea? (Is intraveneous milk a good idea?)

Mom(sounding quite loony by this time) : Jani na. Dhorbo ki kore. Aanchre dichche. Im covered in scratches. Syringe e kore doodh khawate koto shomoy laagbe. Aami Himaloye chole jabo. Oooohoooooohooooo. Tor Baba bari eshe ki hobe. O baba aabar box theke beriye edik odik palache ( I don't know. How will I catch them? Scratching me. How much time will it take to feed milk through a syringe? I will take off for the Himalayas. What will your Father say when he comes home? Oh God. They have jumped out from the box and are running here and there.)

Strange sound 1 : Wnaaaaaaaaahhhh leeett mee keeeeep theeemmm EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKK OUCCCCHHHH oooooooooooohhhhh

Me: She just got scratched didnt she?

Mom (Loon alert): Dhordhordhor....eeeeee normodaye dhuke jachcheee..Nyakami na koree dhoro na aapod gulo ke (Catch 'em catch 'em....they are going down the drain. Catch them cant you!?)

Me: Hmm, yes, so I will call you later. When things are calm.

Mom: Gelo gelo shooob gelo. (All hell has broken loose)

Ends call.

Say what you will about my family but we are an entertaining bunch. Not to mention unexpected.

PS: I cannot translate nyaka. It is beyond my linguistic abilities.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Inconsiderate Great Indian Junta

We went to watch a play yesterday. Waiting for Godot featuring Naseeruddin Shah, Benjamin Gilani, Randeep Hooda. Considered one of the most significant plays of the 20th century, it was certainly not entertainment remotely suitable for children, leave alone babies. The fact that it was a play, with actors performing live, makes it all the more important that there be no distractions/disturbances from the audience. Yet just as the lights dimmed, and the play started, a baby started wailing from somewhere behind us. For a split second I thought perhaps it was part of the play. Surely noone would be idiotic enough to bring a BABY to a play! But as it turns out, there are such amazing parents around. Thankfully they were ushered out immediately. The tickets clearly state that no children below the age of 8 will be allowed inside. Yet not only did these people decide to bring what looked like a 3 month old baby to the play, the organizers, who checked the tickets at the entrance, and could not have missed seeing the baby, allowed them to go inside anyways. With such display of stupidity and utter disregard of basic courtesy towards other people including the actors on stage, I only wish certain places would be declared child free.

I know I'm probably courting controversy by writing this, somehow to say that you dont want someones baby wailing through a theatre performance or someones child bonking you on the head as you try to eat your dinner at an expensive restaurant, amounts to you being a child hater, and that is completely unacceptable in this country. Especially if you are a woman. Im not a child hater. I like children as much as the next person and I positively adore small babies. Not in a play though. And not in a movie theatre. And not in a certain kind of restaurant. I have no problems with them on flights and trains...the parents do need to travel. I do however have a problem with inconsiderate parents. Sometime back, travelling back from Chennai on a train there was a 2-3 year old kid in the same compartment. As people started to go down for the night,switching off lights etc, this kid started crying. This was at around 10 p.m. The parents tried to shush her. She only got more hysterical. This continued till 11 p.m., when almost everyone was in their berths, clearly trying hard to sleep. The kid screeched and wailed louder with every passing second. Im not a parent, but it seems to me,that if your child has been screaming murder for more than an hour, you take the child somewhere else, with some fresh air and possibly more distractions, to calm her down. Walking up and down also helps sometimes as I have noticed in my limited experience. You don't just sit in a darkened compartment and shush the kid listlessly. Especially if you are in a public space with people trying to sleep. Especially when, unlike a plane, you have the option of taking the kid outside near the loos where the lights are on and there is fresh air and a door to prevent her screams from reaching the others. But that would probably be expecting a tad too much consideration from some people. After all, its a child. In India, you cannot object to anything a child does, even if it has been kicking you continuously from behind as you try to watch a movie. A child's kicking has to be forgiven and smiled indulgently at.

But then why just parents? We seem to be a nation of inconsiderate people. Last night as the play progressed, 2 people walked onto the stage, disturbing the actors who stared at them dumbfounded. They were upset about people who had parked their cars outside their garages and gates and chose to disrupt the play, walking onto the stage mid performance, to announce the car numbers and threaten to call the cops. Naseeruddin Shah exploded...and justifiably so..and stormed off stage followed by the rest of the cast. We sat shell shocked, not believing this was actually happening. Anyone who lives in Bangalore, knows Chowdiah Memorial Hall and knows that parking can be a problem. Of late, the organizers facilitate parking on this open area behind the hall. However getting the cars out of there after the performance is over can be a time consuming affair. Therefore, some people choose to park their cars in the narrow lanes around the theatre blocking the lanes, and evidently, blocking people's gates as well. These are educated, so called "cultured" people mind you. Driving the biggest and the best cars. The home owners are no philistines themselves. To own a home in that area you can't afford to be. The two people who walked onto the stage were well dressed affluent looking people, clearly well educated as well. Yet they chose to indulge in this appalling display of disrespect to everyone in that theatre. The organisers quickly called out the car numbers so that their awesomely cultured and educated owners could go move the cars. I'm glad, to say the rest of us sitting there sarcastically applauded each car owner as they walked out.

I don't know how things are in other countries. But Indians seem incapable of basic manners and courtesy. Just drive in any Indian city (especially Bangalore! OH. MY.GOD!!) and you will be left with no illusions about the courtesy offered by people around. In the absence of the manners chip in our collective brains, perhaps stringent rules would not be a bad idea. Child free zones, impounding cars parked in no parking zones, parking in a way that obstructs other vehicles from moving freely, immediate heavy fines for jumping lanes, heavier fines for jumping signals, maybe even suspension of licenses, immediate expulsion from movies or theatres for leaving mobiles on and answering calls / texting people during the performance (this too was in evidence last evening) would be a good start in my opinion. Are the authorities listening?