Feeling the rush - Filing the IT Returns!

Never, Ever, Ever delay the filing of your IT Returns till the last minute - unless ofcourse you are some super whiz and would exactly know what it takes, or your Dad is the IT honcho who can pull strings for you.

I always file mine on time. This time, I just hope I don't miss the deadline. Why you ask? Hmm...a long story.

I was on a break from work for a couple of months, so I lost touch with reality. I used to remind Ady, so... Ady's not to be blamed. FIL retired from work, so ITR was no longer a big deal for him - so he forgot to remind us. Appa gave up following up with me when I was married. There was 'another responsible person' to take care of me. And I hadn't corrected him. He didn't have to know the truth.

Only when I saw all the commotion in office, all the fuss about filing returns on the 26th of July, did I realize there was something that had slipped.

Thankfully I had my ITR handy. So I went to the helpdesk, (thank you Google) and filled in all my details and submitted. Ady's was pending. He was and still is in Seattle. So he'd be losing an additional day. He sent me the details. Since he changed companies, filling his form was a little confusing - even to the consultant - just making it clear before you start judging me. And 27th was Ady's Birthday. I couldn't yell at him for giving the details so late. So like a dutiful wife, I did my best to make the day special for him. So he literally had two days of freedom from the yelling - IST and PST. at 12:02 AM on 28th, i called him "Get the details. Why are you so late? blah blah.." knowing fully well it was all my miss.

Then the consultant sent in some details, home loan, sans home loan... some figures, which I did not like. But I decided to pay. it's better I do it on time and claim later. I'll prolly get the money back in time for Driti's wedding, some 25 years later.

Citibank did not deem it right to tie up with the tax department, and I forgot Ady's ICICI details. So I had to plead with Appa, and he is an SBI loyalist. SBI took a call and scheduled to make the online payment tomorrow. So no challan yet.
I canceled the payment finally. Browsing the unfriendly SBI site - calling the consultant a zillion times in between.

And then I wrote a step by step mail to Ady
1.go to http://www.tin-nsdl.com/
2. click on the 4th bullet: e-payment: pay taxes online
3. choose challan no.ITNS/ 280
4. choose 0021
5. enter your details : your pan is: BLAH23BLAH
6. Fill in address details: HOME YOU STAY IN
7. please give my email id and mobile no. as you wont be able to access yours
8. choose: 300 - self assessment tax
9. bank name - enter your bank icici (if you notice citibank is not listed and hdfc does not have so much money and my login has expired. that's why i cannot pay)
10. enter the characters displayed
11. it will take you to the login page of icici. enter the tax amount. don't enter anything else - surcharge etc. ENTER ONLY TAX AMOUNT. ( whatever the amount you think we should pay. i've given up here)
12. please check the details... does it say payment will be made tomoro, today etc... make sure payment is instantaneous. i got stuck with sbi, because payment was scheduled for tomoro and we did not have the challan no.
13. once you enter, you will get a cin generation (challan identification no) -
14. just send that to me along with all transaction details, like ref no etc.
15. just do a print screen and send everything
16. Also share your icici log in and pwd details, just in case.
17. Relax. I'll do the worrying after that.
18. I've crossed my fingers.

Of Oysters and Octopuses

A three year old, of a friend visited home last week. He and Driti quite hit it off. Well, she hit and he took off. But somewhere, at some level, some deep level - invisible to the naked eye, I think we saw some friendship brewing, 'cause my baby, did offer her prized 'dancing and noisy Pooh' to him to play with, and he suspiciously took it from her. She loved it that Ishaan was equally in love with her toy.

Ishaan and Driti's dads had gone to get some liquids, if you know what I mean. So,Ishaan's Mom suggested we switched to the Animal Planet, so there's peace and quite in the house. Apparently Ishaan likes to watch animals, and Driti likes to make the sound of animals - so we had reached a neutral ground.

They were showing something about Oysters. Every time they said Oyster, Ishaan said "Ball". Maybe he was referring to the pearl, we assumed. Pearl is also spherical.We corrected him every time -his mom and I - "Pearl baby not ball". But he kept saying ball. We let him be.

So when his father came in, we told him. But he had to hear it to believe it. He waited patiently for his son to prove the allegation. As expected, when the narrator was saying - Oyster, he immediately said, "ball".

"What ball Ishaan?" his father asked apprehensively, another proud parent. "He got up and kicked. "Fooball"
And we put two and two together. Oysters- Octopuses and football!!! He had been watching the game with his dad.
The poor boy was confused between Paul and a nameless Oyster. Who Knows? next time, it could actually be an Oyster! :-)

The Week that Was

This week's by far been the worst - at least health wise.

Driti and I were both down with the flu - I gave it to her, and then just when I thought I was ok, I had to give in to my silly urge for Schezwan Potatoes. Not that they were bad or anything, they were not the right recipe for getting back to health.
I didn't think twice before the indulgence, but I so do now!

I couldn't couldn't and one more time, couldn't eat anything else after that. It was always, inflow - outflow. So, nothing actually stuck in my body. Damn those potatoes.

So, Ady insisted I should visit the doctor, and the doctor - insisted I should get a shot, and the nurse, insisted it had to be on my vein.

A superb shot was followed by a seemingly unending list of medicines. What the hell's that? I have only one mouth. I can't take 7 at a go!

To add to the woe, my maid fell sick. Thank goodness, we decided to leave Driti in Amma's house. I finally realized I can't share sickness with her. Sickness and health is reserved for Ady - he married me right?

And now, Ady has to go to Seattle - on his Birthday! Could it get a little more cruel in here? Yes.. I need to travel 25 KMs - staying at Mom's place -one way. I just hope to God, come Monday - its a hale and healthy week. And Ady has a great birthday!

Play Date at Work!

Hema, my friend at work and I had long planned on getting the kids over - a play date may be. In her place or mine or maybe at the office, to let them see where their Moms worked, especially since its now Greatest place to work in India.

But, as usual, something always happens. Either Hema does not get a cab, or is too scared to travel with Anagha or Ady tells me not to take Hema to Archana's (another friend from office)house, because it's too far and Hema is totally pissed off that I didn't get my darling, or Hema and I are on a mutually exclusive set of days of break.

So today, we finally made up our minds, and decided come what may, we'll get the kids. We asked a few more colleagues to get their little ones too. The pact was to get as many kids as possible, just in time for TGIF. A &D were born a week apart, and they deserved to know the products of the notes their mothers exchanged. Yes, everything from morning sickness, to the brand of diaper, to the next career steps, Hema and I discussed almost everything. And it was time the girls met with each other, before Hema went back to the land of the Queen.

After a last minute cancellation by easy cabs, I arranged for another cab to pick her up. The princess of London needs help with the local four wheeler service.

The girls arrived at 2:30, mothers in tow. Vikram brought his little darling as well, the youngest of the lot. All of 11 months.

It was fun to see the whole office amused at the screeching sounds and baby talks.

The children had fun meeting with Aunties, and Uncles and playing with all kinds of balls. Small, big, pool.

Driti barged into a manager's cabin, followed by yours truly, not realizing he was in a call. She screamed, I screamed, only to be shushed, shoved and shown the door. Of course he did come back after the call to give her a big hug.

Driti, Anagha and Yutika were adorable together. The office and the swings did seem to entertain them.

It was a play date alright, but more for the parents than for the kids. I don't think they knew or really cared much about it. As long as they got their cookies and other 'vital' needs they were just fine!

Here are some pics!

Off the Side!

I'm hoping Sunday will be the last day for all the madness - atleast for the next month. - Is that too long a period already?

I'm talking about the new epidemic - football. Honestly, I don't like watching sports. Courtesy marriage, I've just started enjoying Table Tennis - the rally, not a full -fledged game. So if you start with your smashes, chances are you'll be playing with an invisible me for the next shot. So given my appetite for sports, it is but obvious that this season is a real pain ... everywhere. Added to this is Paul. Yeah! We did not have enough Soothsayers around already so we're turning to a skeleton less, bilaterally symmetric cephalopod.

I was thinking Cricket Matches were the only 'events' that came between me and the remote. It's always, "this is the most crucial match" - crucial for what? humanity? to remove world hunger? to discuss the brewing inter country nuclear issues? I fail to see the 'big' picture.

The numerous formats that they come in, only adds to the agony.' It's only a T-20, just 3 hours" - ok - maybe I can watch it like a boring movie, or "only a one day", or "only a series", or "the quintessential world cup". Now, where on earth did football come from?

I've been married only 3.5 years, so may be I've missed the world cup 'experience' of football in 2006 (heaving a silent sigh of relief here) . But this world cup, the only good things are 'Zakumi' and 'Waka Waka' Driti already runs to hold anything I hate the sight of - a cricket bat, a tennis racquet, the less intolerable badminton racquet, or the football. Is this where I see my future? Am I going to be a (dread dread) 'Soccer Mom'?

At this point, I actually like Blogger. The recommendation is to change racquet to racket - yep- great minds think alike. The sports industry is indeed a racket - against all sitcoms that loyal audience track.

If you're complaining about the sitcoms, as a waste of time - they atleast end!!
And they last only for a half hour - once a week. Okay sometimes.. once a day, but still - its only half hour!

The sporting events never ever end!!

And no...if the suggestion is to record the sitcom, here's a follow up: When do I get to watch it? There's always that crucial match that's on!!!

Is That So?

Driti now knows that a nod of the head in the up-down direction means YES and a movement from side to side means NO.

Ady actually taught her this. I've been trained to confuse everybody with my head bob like most South Indians. Is it a 'yes', is it a 'no', only the nodder knows. Our head bobs usually cover all the four directions.

With Driti, however, the problem is different. She sometimes gets confused between the meanings of YES and NO.

The answer for any sentence which starts with 'Do you want/ will you ...' is the vertical nod of head, even if she does not want what is being offered.

I speak to her in Tamil and she can clearly understand when I am asking her something. The questions usually start with Yenna - what, or end with appidia - Is it/ is that so. And her answer - always a YES.

Yes. I am an Engineer, I had to put my theory to test. She nodded her head in approval for anything from Do you want a slice of bread to a glass of pina colada to ... Do you want a hammer!!

Per Driti - 'A question always should be answered with a YES!' Only when they thrust something in your mouth, even if you don't want it, say NO. She is quite the positive person! :-)

What surprised us most however is none of the above.

After a triumphant pronunciation of 'cha-pa-ti', Ady and I thought of teaching her 'Encyclopedia'.
Czech does not exist anymore, so no point teaching her outdated info. We thought over the suggestion from our Senior in College, Jayadev and gave it up.

Today, early in the morning, we started with 'Good Morning' to which she responded with ''Mornin' as if to say, "that's all you deserve"

Then we tried 'Monkey' to which she responded with 'Monney' - "OK she's going in the 'right' direction", I teased Ady.

And then ... ENCYCLOPEDIA - her response startled us. She did not repeat or even try to repeat anything. Instead she nodded her head 'YES'
We weren't sure why. This is definitely not the response to Encyclopedia. Does she want it? Does she approve our usage of the word? She was confusing us.

We repeated the word a few more times - and the reponse remained the same.
Then we tried to split the word. Maybe she'll find it easy to pronounce? ENN CYCLO PEEDEEAA.
That's when Ady realized - "Hey this sounds like a Tamil question. 'Enna' and 'appadia'"
"What- cyclo-Is it?"

No wonder she was nodding her head. Baby girl felt we were asking her a question!

Aw.. She's teaching us soooo much! I hope we're able to impart as much knowledge to her as she is to us!

The Joy of sharing!

The soft drizzle, the gentle breeze, the lush greenery. It is the season when Zeus is in an especially good mood. It is also the time when we find a lot of couples walk hand in hand / under one umbrella - Raj Kapoor and Nargis style in Pyaar Hua Ikraar Hua.

It is also the season for flies and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes love the flavor of my blood. The extra tasty dish on the menu is seldom spared. It is also a reason Ady finds me a non- rain lover.Blasphemy!! I have to shut the doors, even if it is pleasant and drizzling :-(

Anyway, so this weekend, we visited Amma's house. And Driti found two flies.
She started running behind to catch one. Yes. Easy task! :-)

Amma told her.. "Eee", that's what a house fly is called in Tamil.

So she knew what her bait was called now. She kept running behind the flies the whole time with "Eee" The flies seemed to enjoy the play as well, cause they indulged her for a good half hour.
And then when Driti had to had to eat her lunch, we got her into the house. Amma had spilled some cloves on the floor.

"Ee.." she ran and picked it up! Fully satisfied that her mission was accomplished. Just when we thought she was going to put it in her mouth and we had to take swift action right away, she put the 'Eee" in Appa's mouth! Appa was stunned! Appa's mouth was still open, so she even shut it :-) He had no choice but to eat it now. And Driti was so happy she had fed grandpa 'food'

The kid likes sharing alright!

Mom Rules!

Driti's started going to Day Care. But she clings on to the teacher. She doesn't even look at the children there. "She prefers older and wiser people to young and immature kids", I keep comforting myself.

The other day, I went to the day Care to pick her up. She was sitting in the teacher's lap, refusing to get down. There was another boy, about a year older to her, also in the same boat... er .. lap, and the two of them were actually vying for a one-upmanship, or in this case, a one-upkidship.

"Driti see, Mamma", the aaya said, coming to the rescue of the teacher. Immediately the little elf jumped down the teacher's lap and came running to me. It was as if the teacher did not exist anymore. Arhaan, I found out the name of the other kid sharing the 'throne' with Driti, was her 'almost friend'. He tried playing with her and She prefered the teacher. That's why he mounted the lap. To sit with Driti. So cute! So as soon as Driti got down, he got down as well. The teacher came up to us - Driti and me, trying to kiss her goodbye. And No! She wouldn't let her touch her!

"This happens" the teacher said. "when parents come, children totally change", stealing my thunder. I thought I was that special person in Driti's life.

Arhaan came over "Deetee... bye..." and the girl... "Pffff..." she pushed her tongue out and hugged me tighter. Atta girl!No boyfriends just as yet. I hear her say... "My Momma's the best" If you put all the sounds together, you can hear her say that. Atleast I think so!