I can make a mess

Sameeksha loves the Goddess Earth. Partly I think because her mom shares the name with the Goddess. One of her sincere oblations!

The Big Bully

Sameeksha at a Birthday Party. Boy! this one took us by surprise. Don't miss the cry of victory at the end. All this, for a balloon? :-)

Where's the abdomen.MPG

Driti will tell you.

Disciplining the Dog.MPG

Someone's going to make a great Mom! and its not me! :-)

Some Family Fun!

Saturday, 11 June 2010

We were to reach Golconda Resort at 11:30 AM. Ady had made arrangements at the resort and the Kiners were to join us there.
As usual, we reached at 12:45 sharp! It was nobody's fault (are you reading this as my fault? well.. ok.. ya.. it was me.. but for the record, it's not always me. Some other times, its something else, which causes me to be late, for example, spilled milk on the floor because Driti believes in feeding the Goddess Earth before she eats, and so on). The Kiners had reached at 11:30 AM. Punctual. And noticing the hosts missing, they decided to hit the pool!

Mikaela and Henry have 2 adorable children - Simon and Sidoney. Simon tries to copy the Indian accent and does a great job at it. His current favorite phrase is 'jolly good fellow'. Sido is a sweetheart! An absolute darling! She loves spending time with Sameeksha. She even pronounces the name accurately. Driti (Sameeksha) loves her too, and the girls always have fun together. Hugs overflow when the two meet. As Mikaela puts it...'Soul Sisters!'

So when we reached and Driti saw the kids in the pool, she wanted to hit the water too (literally!)And she readily slipped into her bathing suit! (she usually protests when we try changing her clothes). She looked adorable in her lil watermelon suit. To quote Sido " Her suit is so cute! I could eat her! I love watermelons!"

But Ady changed his mind, he said he'd rather play the other sports and hit the pool in the evening. It was very hot, and he felt the sudden change in temperature may not be very good for Driti. So the cutie had to get out of her suit, and we went up to the tennis court. Well, Henry, Ady and Simon did. And Mikaela and I voted for Simon as the best player.

Sido tried to climb over the see-saw. (teeter -totter, per Mikaela) She did not believe in the regular routine of sitting on it! She helped Sameeksha around it though and also helped her ride the toy horse.
After the game, Ady and Henry joined us and said, "the ball doesn't bounce well". Ofcourse it didn't! :-) Mikaela and I burst out laughing at the excuse the guys provided for a poor game. Simon was the rockstar! On the winner, Ady and Henry said that each had won the match. Now, the match was clearly not a draw, so am guessing, neither actually kept scores :-)

We then took off to the pool table. It was the Kiners vs the Singhs. And yes, the Singhs won the game (all credit due to Ady, I just made sure, I hit a ball, irrespective of whether it was ours or the Kiners'). It was a best of 3, and each game came with a bet. So we won, a dinner that Mikaela would prepare (well, Ady felt since he and Mikaela never cooked, it would be interesting to bet their cooking prowess), a trip to Ramoji film city. Sidoney wanted to baby sit Sameeksha as the third bet. So we let that be, ofcourse with the help of her parents.

We had to eat sometime! So we went down for a buffet lunch. Sido couldn't stop feeding the fryums to Sameeksha and Samee could not say no to Sido. Wow! they were literally drowning us in their love for each other!!! :)

Another round of pool and beer (which Samee and Sido tried desperately to get their hands on), preceded the swimming pool fun.

Samee and I were the only two people who did not know how to swim. So we had floaters around and she looked cute. (I am not commenting on how I looked. Please note, it was only for survival)

Driti almost fell asleep in the pool. Sido could not get enough of the water, Simon was a lil scared to enter the pool. Henry was the gymnastic stool for Sido, Ady the life-guard, Mikaela was the monkey in Simon's ball game and I was the novice- an almost first timer in the water.

Soon it was time for us to leave. We had to meet Shitanshu for dinner. It was his treat for the birthday last week! Alas! Sidoney and Sameeksha had to part. So Sido settled for a 2.5 hours of baby sitting the next day. And the fun continued the next day at the Kiner residence, while the parents went to the spa!

Not yet 'pass'ed the 'port'

Trying to renew your passport could be quite a task. I'm not sure about the other locations, but my experience in Hyderabad was a horrible one. Not so much in submitting your forms at the counter as in the process before that - getting a date in tatkal, and filling your form up.

The earliest date available on the site was 28th of July - this is tatkal mind you, so I should get my new passport at lightning speed when you compare it to the usual process of 2-3 months. But getting a date on the 28th of july would mean getting the date on my travel date. A little risky don't you think? I thought so too :-)

So somebody suggested that I should go through an agent, who can help me fill the form and get a date at the earliest.

So I found one. This person came with a very strong reference. I had little time and a huge task at hand. So I did what I had to do. I trusted him. I diligently filled the form and handed it over to him.

"How long will it take to get the new passport?" I asked him while handing over Rs 5000.
"Maaaaadam... long process madam. You will have to get the dates. Fill an online form, submit at the Passport Office, then get passport. It will take about 20 days." He must've seen the 'why do I need you?' look on my face, cause he quickly added..." But I will get it to you in 7 days madam!"

"Ok.. what are the forms that I need to be prepared with? I also want to get a passport for my baby. So can I do something for it right now?"

"You have to add spouse name madam" he said. He was using 'Madam' so many times, it was driving me crazy. But I did not want to correct his 'habit'. I needed an early passport. Too risky to rub the guy the wrong way now.

"Ok. and my name... I want to change it to Padmaja Ganeshan Singh"

"No two surnames madam.. only one. Keep Singh"

There he was ... deciding for me. He said I couldn't have both my maiden and married surnames on the passport. This was really strange. After a lot of protest.. no it's not what you're thinking, I agreed to drop the Ganeshan. He said it would take a lot of time to get two surnames added.

Finally, we came to the forms. "Just Bank statement and Marriage certificate along with a photo of ours to say that we were indeed married madam". He also said, it needn't be our marriage photo. Just any photo of the 2 of us together. Perhaps the husband's face, usually tells the story of his wife.. may be some male code that I can't decipher, and hence any pic would do.

I submitted all the documents to him. The Bank statement was an auto generated online document. It also came with a disclaimer that it did not require any attestation for validity.
But the guy refused to listen. "Panga ho jaayega madam", he said, trying to tell me that there'd be a huge problem if I did not get the statement attested.

So I requested him to go to the bank and get the statements. I gave him an authorization document.

For the first week, there was no call from him. There was no date at all to visit the RPO.
I followed up day in and out. I escalated to his manager. And miraculously, he called me the next day with a date. "June 4th Madam. Please get the documents I told you"

"Ok. is there anything else?"
"No Madam. That's all. And forget about the Bank statements. I will take care of it"
'Efficient' I thought.
So June 4th meant Friday of this week. I called him on Tuesday and Wednesday to check if the attestation was in place. I was getting a lil worried now.

"Don't worry madam.I'll do it na? You just come around 9 -9:30 AM on friday"

The RPO is in Secunderabad, and since I stay 25 KMs north, I need to plan to leave home at least an hour and a half early. And getting Driti ready by 7:30 was not something I wanted to attempt on the D - Day.

Thanks to little mercies like mom staying in Secunderabad, I decided to leave on Thursday with Driti and stay at her place.

I called the agent at 8:00 in the morning of the 4th.
"Madam. Your passport is damaged. Please get Rs 5000/ - And also get your 10th class certificate and 4 passport size photographs"

After troubling me through 2 weeks, this guy had the cheek to tell me the additional documents at the nth hour, that too, when I called. My passport damaged? He blew my lid off.
I yelled at his irresponsibility and unprofessional behavior. He hung up on me and asked me to find another agent. I spoke to his boss. The agent called me back in 2 mins.

Lucky for me, dad keeps a copy of all my documents.

The agent made me wait for half hour, before surfacing from some shady place. I was armed with Pappu, my friend on my side.

The bank docs were not attested. "Chal jaata madam", he said repeating what I had said. The documents did not need any attestation. I looked at the sadist for scaring me with the 'formalities' when they were nothing.

I submitted the documents at the passport office. The date of delivery was supposed to be 11th Of June 2010.

Here we are..

Dear Passport,
Where ever you are, please come to me soon. I promise I will take good care of you. I now know your worth.

Eagerly waiting for you,

The Alumni Meet

Somethings are an Experience, and cannot just be explained. What happened last Saturday was one such event.

Bidhan reached the place a lil earlier than us ... well he was on time, we were late. Pappu and Shitanshu were on the way, TP had just about left his place.

"Why do we always have to be late? Can't you plan things early?" Ady was really excited about this event and was looking forward to it the whole evening. So now, when my shoe broke, he was upset that we're losing precious minutes hunting for a shoe shop.

"Sorry Ady, I couldn't plan for my shoe to break before we started". I said wryly.

"No. I mean...", he was calm now, " Why are we late always?"

I looked at the invitation again. It said 7 onwards. And it was only 7:30.

"Ady, we're not late. Nobody would have come yet." "But for Bidhan", I quickly added.

So we searched quite a few places, before we decided it was best for me to go home and change my shoes. Thank fully, we stayed close by.

Venue:Boulder Hills - 8:00 PM
Event:XL Alumni Meet

One of the best meets ever. May be because of the friends, location, or simply because it took us back to college - The event was exciting.

We started off with the Karaoke, braying away the songs like a pro. TP, Bidhan, Meena and I were the official singers (well, we'd like to call ourselves that, although if you dig a little deeper, you may find that, we gagged and hand cuffed the DJ, before pulling the mike off of him)

We danced like maniacs. Pappu was the center of almost all songs.

"Bachna ae haseenon.. Pappu aa gaya!"
"Pappu can't dance saala!"

We danced like maniacs. Ady was only 7 drinks down. He said so even after he refilled his glass the 14th time. Bachchan songs are his favorite, so 'Bachchaaaaaan, Bachchaaaaaan' was his favorite attack on the DJ.

His boss was around as well, so he could not use any of his trade mark slogans.

We had some soft rock and roll numbers in between. These were special requests from the juniors. How were we to know? So.. "Ek, do, teen, chaar.. DJ ki...#$*$ maar"

Then we decided, it was high time we took on a rival neighborhood college..

"$%&* mar jaayega...#$$* ki maut...XL waale.. gayenge....mar gaya..$%#$%$##$#$"
That's all I can write here. You need to be in XL to actually decode this :-)

We surprisingly met a couple of our colony folks at the Alumni meet. The world indeed is a small place. Apparently the alumni meet is where we can socialize the most.

It was a well organized party. Thanks to the batch of 2011.

No meet is complete without the 'Summer of '69', 'XL ki kudiya', 'GMD', 'XL meri jaan'
So with this ritual, TP, Ady and Pappu decided they needed to add one more. At 12:00 AM, they decided to play C grade Dumb C with the juniors. And God. It was fun!

C grade Hindi films to a batch of ultra modern yuppies! To know the names of the movies, please reach out to me separately. This is a family safe post :-)

So if I were to give away awards:

Most romantic: Bidhan and Meena (non XLer)
The almost totally drunk: Pappu (he was 2 wines down and needed just one more, before the bar was out of stock. He refused to drink anything else)
Most energetic: Sowmya (danced to the maximum no. of songs)
Most sportive: Eresh (batch of 2011 and had the highest no. of slogans against him)
2 Idiots: TP and Bidhan
The 3rd Idiot: Chatur from the junior batch
The maximum no. of drinks: Ady.. 7 going on 7
Most passionate ex- flames: Ady and Sheetanshu!!!

This alumni meet by far is one of the best I've attended.

Truly the spirit of XL meri Jaan remains!