Monday, November 30, 2009

The bad shin

Lots of people asked after the bad knee. Thank you :) I should say it is getting better. We did try to find a doctor nearby, but didn't manage. First we were not sure who to go to. Then we decided any physio/orthopedist should do. We even found a perfect clinic in Indiranagar. But then the doc wasn't in over the weekend at the clinic. He also apparently consults in Manipal but there too he was not available. So we gave up.

Subhash's mom is an acupressure specialist. And being the mamma's boy that he is, apparently he also learnt it while she was at it. So when we spoke to her on Saturday evening, she suggested he should try it. He was reluctant because he said it would pain a lot. I said its ok. I can take it.

BIG mistake. The pain when he presses the accurate point is like hell. (And as expected he said " I told you so") And he is quite a specialist in finding the exact spot corresponding to my pain area. Apparently it is the shin and not the knee. The pain, it takes the life out of you. But it did seem to have worked. After 4-5 sessions, my pain has gone down significantly. Added to that the ice pack treatment and the Bengay after each session. I am quite confident that with proper rest I am sure in a day or two I should be back on track(s) ;)

I love mamma's boys. When the mamma is nice, they turn out sensitive, chivalrous and sensible to a woman's needs. And luckily for me, the husband is one such ;) And I am hoping the son turns out one too ;)

Pheni in Sunnyvale and Bagels in Bangalore

To date the most hits on my blog through keyword search as per Google stats come from this post.

I just cannot believe it. After a good three years, this post still serves my blog some purpose and brings it some traffic, ha!

I was looking for Pheni in Sunnyvale.

So now what?

I am in the mood to eat a bagel :D. Yes, after years of eating whenever I wanted at Einstein Bagels in Madison and the Bagel Street Cafe in Sunnyvale, today, I felt a great desire for a bagel (actually I felt a similar desire even a bunch of months ago but lets ignore that) So I want to find out where I can find Bagels in Bangalore.

Bagels in Bangalore - Points me to some place in Sanjay Nagar. Too far.
Bagels, Airport Road - This one is my bad. Tells me I can go to Cleveland Airport to eat one.
Bagels, Airport Road, Bangalore - Ahh, I see one hit on an article in The Hindu which says the Oberoi hotel has it on their menu.

This makes me a little hopeful. Actually Subhash was suggesting this earlier, that Leela might carry some if they have a delicatessen. With the number of gora log that they serve, they should have some. So now onto looking in the Leela....

PS: Found out from Citrus (their 24hr coffee shop) in Leela, they do serve Bagels and Cream cheese for breakfast daily 6.30 to 10.30 AM. And I think if you are staying at the Leela you can order them anytime of the day. Yay!! So, this Friday, breakfast destination - The Leela :D

Friday, November 27, 2009

Another month

Like the time ticker on this blog says, today I am a 2 month old mom :) So far scraping through with minor hiccups.

I really hope my knee gets better, else tomorrow a visit to the doc looks unavoidable :( And I don't know how we will manage with the baby and all :(

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why no more?

I was answering a comment on my previous post when I remembered I wanted to do this one.

If someone were to ask me whether I'd like to move to another country now, I'd say I do not like the idea, for two main reasons - 1) Winter 2) Lack of household help. After two years of not scrubbing and cleaning and dish-washing and vaccuuming and what else not, I find it is not a very pleasant proposition for me to go back to it. I did that for about 7 years and I am heartily sick of it ;) When the maid ditches me I am more than happy to clean up the house to get rid of my OCD tendencies, but not on a regular basis and not full-term for sure.

What about other R2I folks out there? Do you like the prospect of going back to a foreign country (not necessarily the one you came back from) or do you find it to be an unwelcome proposition?

Looking for answers

One more philosophy - Man is always looking for answers.

I had this knee pain in both knees on Monday. I ignored it as it just looked like another case of muscles going and settling down in the wrong spots since there was a lot of "kluck kluck" when I moved my legs. Tuesday I went for a jog as usual, first few paces hurt the knees but eventually it fell into rhythm and I didn't feel anything. Towards Tuesday afternoon the knees had buckled and gone for a toss. As a result I had to give up morning jogs/walks for the past two days. I was very upset since very rarely do I have injuries and for probably the second time in my life I had to use Bengay to soothe the pain since I had to walk around with the baby etc. Get the drift? I was very very upset. I was even anxious that it was something serious that took toll on my knees. Last night Subhash was asking me if I changed my shoes recently when he saw the spot which I told him was aching. It was true. After a long time going around in soft padded flip flops etc, I had gone and worn those hard-soled sandals on Sunday when we went out. And I think I did quite a bit of walking in it. So that did it probably. It hurt my knees. And of course that fact that I ran with bad knees just went and aggravated the whole thing.

So till I got this possible answer to my question "Why did the knees suddenly start hurting", I was at complete unrest. The moment I found a possible answer, I was fine even though I still had bad knees.

Knowing the answer to why a problem happened makes us comforted for sure. For one it tells us exactly why we are in a soup which is always a first step to fixing it, if fixing at all is possible ;)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The synergy?

I work for a router which gets deployed extensively in service provider networks so invariably I end up being a customer to my customer :) It was Comcast in the US and Airtel in India. Both are major customers for us.

Why this now?

Well, today I had an issue with broadband. (Or so I thought, actually it was just a loose connection). And the customer service was prompt and complete. Then it got me thinking about what we do when we have an issue at Airtel. Pretty much the same. We have to get on calls whether its day or night.

But the synergy exists in economics too ;)

Cisco sells to Airtel ----> Airtel sells to me -----> I get paid by Cisco :)

It is a wonder we make any profits ? :)

Monday, November 23, 2009


I just realized that brilliance is not my thing in more ways than one.

I mean I always knew that I was never brilliantly intelligent but yes I was extraordinarily hard-working. People thought I was brilliant since I always aced my academics but it was just a donkey's job going over and over the same thing again till it sat firmly in my head. I used to tell my sister that she was definitely more intelligent than me, any day.

Anyways, coming to the point, what did I realize today. The same thing applies to my cooking as well. Some people dish out exotic dishes. Brilliant and exotic stuff. What I cook on the other hand is boring at best. The same kura (curry) and pappu (dal)/rasam/sambar menu day-in and day-out. Never even a flash of brilliance in that menu. But yes I do cook religiously every day, twice a day. See the pattern? Actually I didn't realize this today, I knew it a long long time back, but what I realized is that its all part of the same pattern.

Now I am thinking what else does it, this pattern, apply to? Turns out, even to my home-making skills..not a flash of brilliance in colours or palettes or show-piece selection. But whatever plain boring stuff I have, I meticulously maintain and clean it.

Damn!! I am boringly monotonous at best?!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Random thoughts

- I forgot to rejoice in the cyber world that SPAR now has a dedicated Lindt counter. For the past four months it has been so easy to pick up the Lindt stuff, no more searching for Lindt in aisles filled with Hershey's stuff!! Yay!!

- Little Italy has been happening weekly. Hmm..too much fat intake (when you count all the Lindt truffles I am eating). All that jogging will go absolutely waste! First Saturday we ate at Little Italy, then couple Saturdays we ordered take home because we had friends over with us, last night again went there since it was S's last weekend in Bangalore.

- So it is happening. S and V are moving to Hyd for good. We've stayed in the same city (first Sunnyvale, then Bangalore) for almost five years now. I cannot believe how fast time flies. And now they are moving :( We will miss you guys!!

- I realize time and again what it is to have a great family and at least one person (wink wink) who cares for your every wish and whim as if it was a command. Lucky lucky!! :)

- If someone were to tell me that a mom bonds immediately with her new born as soon as it was born, I'd think they are either kidding or they are super human. No such thing happened for me. First week I was zombied out, wondering who this new living being (read stranger) in our lives was. It took me nearly three to four weeks to wake up to mommiehood and only slowly did I start enjoying it. Now I love the baby and feel the bond with him. But initial days were a big blur and full of confusion :)

-Been having a power situation at home. For the past 48hrs, half the house is dark because something is getting short somewhere and its burnt out two of our MCBs because of the load. Luckily in the right places, the lights come on :) (read, the fridge, microwave and all 15A power circuits, the light over the stove, lights in both bedrooms etc) Hopefully situation will get better by tomorrow, the electrician has been too busy over the weekend.

On a closing note, here is one video I enjoyed watching very much when I was preggie - It is a NetGeo series but there is the whole video available on Google video.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Such is the state of affairs!

We are nearing 26th November and I can see a whole sleuth of TV ads/promotions saying "Is baar chup nahi rahenge" (This time we won't stay quiet). But I wonder. What else do we know to do?

There is Raj Thackeray and his whole Marathi manoos drama. Then I read somewhere about IAF's number two guy making discriminating statements against women. There is the whole Telangana Debate in AP (AP's politics is bound to grow dirtier by the hour very soon, that is another matter), there is Koda's infamous scam and how he calls it all a "framing by his political opponents". Everywhere, we are too busy fighting each other or are too busy trying to keep our lives on track, steering hard.

Subhash and I were discussing China yesterday and how we gradually but surely are losing more and more land territory to them and no one can say or do anything because its just become too powerful for anyone to speak up against it. Where will it end? Will we be taken over by communists and made to live like slaves? Well, who knows.

But where is the time to bother with anything else? Seems like we are so used to being divided and ruled, too used to being trodded upon, too used to being ill-treated, that we don't care anymore. It is sad, but true?

But then maybe, the world will end in 2012 after all !!

Stupid stupid Facebook..

Well, recently, on one of my colleagues' wall (AM's wall), I noticed his rant on how Facebook is throwing useless stuff at you.

-X is new to Facebook, help him/her get started.
-You have not connected with Y on Facebook recently, write on his/her wall.
-Z needs a profile picture, help him/her by suggesting one (This one is really WTH)

...and so on and so forth.

Now comes the final touch!

He joined Facebook this month.


I have already enlisted this guy as my son. Now why would Facebook want me to talk to my own son through his "Wall". Stupid, stupid Facebook! Or maybe Facebook wants the world to be taken over by social networking and ideally people in the same room should be writing on each others walls instead of looking at each other and talking. That would be so much fun!!

Write on my wall if you want to comment, OK?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Facebook status post

Once was the time when I used to put up Facebook status because what I wanted to say was too short for a blog post. And I hate doing short blog posts unless it is profound enough where the less said the better. Now I am doing a blog post because what I want to say is too many things for Facebook. Such is the reversal of technological fates..

-Me is filling out an insurance claim form and it took two lines to fill in my son's neonatologist's qualifications, there are so many of them!!!

Yeah, I read somewhere in Cradle's brochure that he is qualified in 4 continents. From his list I can make out that Europe (UK), Australia and Asia (India) are three. The fourth I am assuming is North America (US, of course!) And like I read on one of the blogs on the web, he is the most unassuming and down to earth person I have seen for all that huge string of qualifications he carries.

-Me is mighty impressed with The Cradle Bangalore.

I never praised the place on my blog before, but I just realized that. Its a "boutique" hospital and I must confess I wold have been highly uneasy with my pregnancy had it not been for this place :) Although we live at a 10 minute walk distance from Manipal and a 10 minute drive distance from CMH, we used to drive an hour each way to reach Jayanagar since my OB/GYN, Dr. Kini, didn't consult at their Diamond District Centre (that is also a 2 minute drive for us!). But then this kind of "going long distance when stuff is available at a much shorter distance is not new to me. (I went all the way from Tarnaka to JNTU College of Engg when I could have gone to Osmania University College of Engg which was 10 minutes from my place. Now I say that it was destiny because I had to meet Subhash et al, but now this parenthesis matter is getting out of hand so I will stop) There are a lot of blogs on Cradle and how it is so nice so I will not repeat it. It will suffice to say, I bet I wouldn't have found a better place even in the US :)

Now why I am impressed with Cradle? I needed Rohan's (that is the first time I am using his name!!) neo-natologist's Registration number and I called twice yesterday and the person who took my calls both times was feeling sorry since she couldn't give me the info as some other person who knew it was not around. She promised that she would call today and even for Cradle's standards, I thought that was a bit much. I was very much prepared to call them again today when surprise surprise, I got a call bright and early in the morning at 8, and she gave me the number. I am impressed. Period.

-Me got started on jogging alternate laps today.

Yay!! for that. And here is hoping that the 10 kilos is shed without much further ado and that I may fit back into my old clothes with much ease sooner than later.

-Me thinks the Leela Salon (M&W) experience gets worse with every visit.

Yeah it is The Leela and all, but this time I was more disappointed than the earlier ones. Normally when I don't have the luxury of time to visit my own hair guy across town on Richmond road, I settle for the Leela because its closer home plus they finish much quicker than my stylist. Its almost like eating at the Taco Bell vs at an authentic Mexican restaurant. Its is done in mass, attention is very little, attendants are more often than not grumpy unless you are a regular (and regulars are usually gore log or the Page 3 type desis), and this time I even had a sloppy person wash my hair and pour the water all over my neck. Tsk tsk tsk.. I guess I have been spoilt by my hair guy too much!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Not going the Green Way

My green card process has been one winding one from the start. Initially when the lawyers asked me to submit papers, I did a lot of dilly-dallying before I finally started the process a year after they first started asking me. I didn't want to apply for one, till someone told me it might adversely affect my growth in the company if I didn't.

Then the papers. My gosh! The whole process requires you to dig out your history which even you might not be aware of. Letters from college professors all the way to infant vaccine records (alternatively you can get yourself shot for those vaccines all over again). It was one big painful process every new step of the way.

Finally we cleared some all important stages. I don't remember the exact order or names (I was always very bad with it although I used to make everyone explain it to me over and over again). I think the first one was the Labor stage, then some I-765 and I-485 and some other myriad such I- stages. We had to go through biometrics (in which they asked me to remove my bindi for the picture and I was mighty put-off) and got our EADs and Advance Paroles.

Then we moved to India. I asked my lawyers if I should close the Adjustment of Status process since I was traveling long term to India and they said we were in a stage where for my priority date to go current it would take at least four years and I was ok till then. They suggested that I leave it as is so that is exactly what I did and came back. They kept coming back with requests for more documentation time and again which i very patiently supplied although I was never sure why we were carrying on with it. Finally they wanted one more biometrics appointment, which the lawyers kept postponing and finally couldn't postpone any further I think. Then I told them it was impossible for me to travel and eventually the lawyers said, that since there was no definite date and time at which I know I would be back in the US with the same employer, it was best to withdraw the application.

Now, I wish the lawyers told me this bit of info two years back when I asked them. I never told them that I knew when I would be back in the US, yet they kept the app active. Which is Ok, didn't do me any harm, except that they kept asking for documents, which, if you have dealt with USCIS, you know how quickly how painful it can get.

Well, so this morning, I shot off the email. Please withdraw my Adjustment of Status application. Apparently when I get back to the US, I can re-start the process provided I am still with Cisco and my priority date has not become history by then.

We will see :)

Back home and home-alone!

So we are back in Bangalore, me, Subhash and the baby. We had to really convince both sets of parents that it was quite OK and we would be able to manage decently. Everyone insisted that we should stay back in Hyd till at least the baby stepped into the third month. That was quite a jolly plan except for one catch: Subhash wouldn't be able to spend any time with the baby and all weekends would be gone traveling back and forth. He was asked to travel to the UK which made every one happy (because it was the perfect scheme and I could stay back in Hyd) but he turned it down (he really had to work hard to do it) and that made me happy ;) ;)

So we had to come back, the baby and I, so we could stay with the Dad. But parents were mighty concerned, naturally. How will I manage all day alone with the baby when he is gone to work. How will I manage household chores and the baby together. Etc. I too might have had a hint of doubt, but I was quite sure I would be able to manage so long as four things were done by the time Subhash leaves - a) his bath, b) my cooking for the morning, c) my morning walk and d) my shower. Plus I have a full-time maid, who comes in at 9 and leaves at 5. So it was not like I was going to be absolutely alone.

Yesterday was our first day home alone and I must say we mom and son managed quite OK. We bathed him and I cooked by the time Subhash left. Rest of the day was spent in unpacking, eating, and general smallish household chores while he slept. The maid is a saving grace, I think I wouldn't have been able to manage without her. She cleans and does all household chores, I just have to manage and direct her. He gets all active by 3 and doesn't sleep after that. Even up until three all he affords me is half an hour to one hour breaks while he naps. But all in all it was ok. I had to constantly feed him in the evening which sort of doesn't let me do anything else but that is also manageable. Evening when the maid left I caught up on one hour of sleep with him, since he doesn't grant me any longer sleep durations, he can't sleep for more than that much at a stretch nowadays during the day. I started cooking for the evening when he got all cranky but luckily Subhash was home by then. We had dinner by 9.30 and from then till 12 in the night we spent pacifying him and feeding him and changing him. So all in all it was a decent day I think.

The baby used to keep us awake from 11 to 2 in the morning every single day, crying for one thing or another, now the timings have shifted from 8 to 11. But still in decent waking hours so cannot complain :)

So went our first day. I am hoping with every passing day it gets better and better. Already today I feel we bathed him much better than we did yesterday. So here is to us!!

Monday, November 02, 2009

100s of schools of thought

Pregnancy invariably has brought in its wake one thing. Loads of advice. No sooner did I start telling people I was pregnant than I got loads of advice on what to eat, how to sleep, how to walk and so on and so forth. Especially on what to eat. So much so that within two days, although I was eating normally and was feeling just fine, and was doing quite good, I was feeling malnourished and guilty towards the foetus for not feeding it properly. I then asked my doc if there was anything special I need to eat and all he said was lots of vegetables and lots of fresh fruits. Sane advice for even a normal person, I think. He said be as normal as possible and so I stayed on through the pregnancy. I used to listen to advice but not fret over it if I didn't follow it. And it did do me a world of good.

Now post delivery, the advice and the notions are even more plentiful. So much so that it is overwhelming. Who should you listen to? what do you do when you hear completely contradicting pieces of advice. Do this, don't do that, if you do this the baby will grow well, if you don't do that the baby will be adversely affected and so on and so forth. It has been an internal battle to figure out and sort all the advice. Add to that some "traditions" which were extremely well meant for the times they were initiated in but probably don't hold much water now. And if you steer away from them you are outcasted. How do you deal with all the stress?

So my mantra has been simple. Follow the doc. Following his advice took me through a sane and safe pregnancy. He is the one who cut me up and stitched me back so he knows best about my stitches more than anyone else. So if he says my stitches have healed and I can "run, walk, cycle, hike, shop, squat, lift 20 kilos, anything" then so be it :) I will do all that I can so long as it is stress-free and doesn't break my back :) That way there is just one school of thought to follow and it keeps me sane :) For now it is back to the pregnancy routine of 30 minutes of brisk walking (I got back to my pregnancy lap time today!!). Hopefully soon I will be jogging too..

So what about you guys? Did you go through this roller-coaster of contradictory advices too? How did you deal with it?