Showing posts from July, 2009

HSBC Credit Card and the unending trauma

These are the details of my experience as a HSBC Credit Card holder. You can help me and possibly many others like me by circulating this link, taking the time to read this post, and advising me on what are my options now.If you are the independent type who believes in not learning from other people’s experiences, please continue using your HSBC Credit Card.26th April 2009After a long day out the previous day, as I was keeping away all the shopping and arranging my bag-I notice that my credit card pouch is missing. I go down, check in the car, all around the house and then not to take any risks, call up the Banks.ICICI assures me there has been no misuse, blocks the card.HSBC-yes there has been a series of transactions-of amounts adding up to approx 10K,, blocks the card and advices me to log a complaint with the police and drop a copy of that complaint to the nearest branch or ATM.I drop everything I was doing to rush and do all that.I couldn’t submit the papers to HSBC because there…

Of old friends and new..

Elena woke up in tears: Mamma, I dreamt that you had changed my school. I never want to change my school-I will lose all my friends……History repeats...Yeah, I knowMy Mom forcefully changed my school in 11th Standard-because my school did not have the science-maths combination, she wanted me to study. As I didn’t want to study anything, the combo just didn’t matter, but my friends did-so much, yet being a wimp whenever faced with emotional blackmail, I gave in.I hated everything about the new school, but most of all, I missed my old friends-the ones I had been with for the last ten years. I did my best to be rational, level headed, practical….etc. etc.. for a month.Then I rode my moped to my old school (wearing the wrong uniform) and went and met all my friends, teachers, and the Principal. Yes, it was one of my infamous U-turns. I felt so bad about my parents wasting, all the money on admission, uniforms, books etc, that I did study Maths privately, and managed to get through Engineer…

Inconvenient Truths

The awkward questions.My younger kid is always full for them, for starters:
What is S**?Me trying to be correct without being candid:
It means-Male or Female, Boy or GirlMy elder daughter, an old soul who knew what made adults uncomfortable and never asked us any of these questions, giggled:
Mamma she wants to know the other meaning, the one which people do……..I gasped: And just what is that?I had to confirm what she knew, she’s just turned nine.Elena: Oh Mamma, of course you know, all parents do….
and she refused to go into explanations
Shaken and determined to continue when Aurora was not around, I change the subject, for the moment.Princess Aurora, obviously did not stop there.
Another day at the dining table:Aurora: I will not force my children to eat Sambar.I at my most formidable: That’s a long time away, please finish yours.Aurora, determined to change the subject: Why is it a long time away?I refuse to be distracted: Please take a spoonful, your mouth is emptyAurora: A five year old… not bring us to the test

I was a bad student. The kind who do everything but study all through the year. But I was held up as a role model to the rest of the class and my cousins (and heartily resented for it), because I was very good at exams. I studied the examination system more seriously than my books. My success belonged more to strategizing and sheer luck than slogging-smart working as it is called these days. Yes, I seriously worked hard at getting marks, because my grades did matter a lot to me.And like most parents, I resolved I would not bring up my daughters to do the same.With them, I always emphasized that learning is more important than “mugging up and coughing out”. I’d prefer that they did reasonably well on their own, than “coming first” with spoon-fed answers and I never asked the teacher their “rank” in class compared to the others.Yet, when Elena showed me her test answer papers with 23½ out of 25 in four out of five of them-I couldn’t help asking:Why? When you know everything?These are ju…

As you speak, so you become...

Are you a Punjabi?

My mom-in-law asked one of the kids’ friends.

No, I am English.

No way, my mil insisted, tell me what language your parents speak in when they are at home.
Oh, they speak English and Hindi. They speak in Punjabi only with my grandmother.
There, I told you-this means you are a Punjabi.

The five year old clarified furiously:
No, It means my Biji is a Punjabi, I am English and my parents are Hindi, English and Punjabi!

My daughters speak Hindi (tinged with Punjabisms) with their “North-Indian” friends, English in school and with all other friends, and Bengali with grandparents. With us, they use all three.

They also sprinkle their sentences with quite a few Tamil expressions, learnt from the “day-care aunty”, Telegu words gleaned from the maid who works there, and a lot of Kannada absorbed from all around.

I wonder what they are…


No matter how fiercely you believe in it, a dream is a dream. When the morning alarm rings, you have to wake out if it and start your day.Is that how a kid feels when she wakes up to the fact that fairies exist only between the covers of books and Santa cannot be real?I saw it happening with Elena.How can Santa keep a track on how good each kid in the world was? How could he keep updated on all the changing addresses and reach every home in one night (that too riding on reindeers). How can he enter ours without the proverbial chimney? In fact Santa sounded decidedly witchy---quite like Loverna. OK-it had to be Mom.Yet, she announced, she would continue to believe in the magic-because she wanted her gift.She continued to believe in the Tooth fairy too.It was only when the distracted Tooth fairy forgot to exchange her tooth for a coin one night that she began to get suspicious. We blamed the traffic and the rains (as we do for so many things) and she agreed to give the fairy another cha…