Monday, November 17, 2014

Maska ... Butter ... Soap .... Mani ... Flattery and its Pseudonyms

Aaa flattery!!! It works in so many ways. Sometimes it brings down the ego in you and other times it lets you soar to different levels of pride.

And then sometimes it just makes you smile. I guess it all depends on who is using the words.

Living in cosmopolitan Mumbai and visiting Kerala every summer we learned so many different words for flattery
Maska mat mar! (Mumbaiya)
Dont put butter ! (Bandra!!)
Soap idale (Manglish)
Mani adikayale ( Malayalam)

Flattery has so many pseudonyms.  Flattery is an excellent way to get your work done (by someone else) or just win your way into their hearts!

Isaac has this annoying habit of rubbing my hand. Its like a soothing technique. He specifically pulls on the skin between my wrist and knuckles. It drives me nuts. The first time he started it was when we moved from the rocking chair to the bed to put him to sleep. Till that point we would rock him to sleep. But I was so pregnant and my tummy was so big that I could no longer hold him comfortably on my lap. Hence the migration to the bed and then started the hand pinching. At first I was willing to give anything if he would lie on the bed and fall off to sleep. But when 2 years later he was still pinching my hand, I started to lose it. In addition to everything else, the constant pinching hurt my hand and would keep waking me up.

I realized that he was hooked to it when on one particular train journey, I was switching back and forth between two sleeping places. Ziva still needed a night feed and my mom was sleeping with Isaac. Isaac woke up in the middle of the night and was upset with me not being besides me. My mom said he was all fine till he tried to pinch my mom's hand and realized it was not the same hand he was used to pinching! So every time he drifted off his sleep he would need my hand.

I tried all techniques to get him off this soothing technique. I slept with my hands crossed, I spoke to him and told him that my hand hurt. I made him sleep separately. I tried to bribe him. I threatened him. Nothing worked!

Then this one afternoon as we were getting ready to take a nap, we were reading a touch and feel book about a fluffy soft chicken. As he touched it I asked him 'Isaac what else is soft?'. I had expected him to say the bed or the pillow instead he touched the the skin on the stop of my hand and said
'Soft like this?'

Aaa Flattery you work in so many ways! Especially when you come in such a genuine form.

“In the best, the friendliest and simplest relations flattery or praise is necessary, just as grease is necessary to keep wheels turning. ” 
― Leo TolstoyWar and Peace

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The 'dil' and 'bill' advertisement - Financial peace for Children

Delight her 'dil' forget the bill. It is probably the worst advertisement I have ever seen.

I am tired of seeing all the bill boards of Property FOR SALE around Bangalore. Suresh and I have  a theory ... When you are in Bangalore all the bill boards are about property.
As you drive down towards Chennai you the bill boards change to Sarees. RMKV... Nallis ... and then some smaller ones you will not remember too much longer than a few 100 seconds. (Or maybe my lack on interest in sarees makes it easy to forget these advertisement).
If you start driving driving towards Kerala it is all about GOLD ... gold offers gold ... buy and win more gold. Handsome young movie stars advertising for gold (NOTE : Handsome not beautiful)

Mumbai is a little mixed ...Bill boards with the latest soaps ' Saas Aur bahu' ' Rishtey' .... and then those of big cars that you cannot possibly enjoy on the busy roads of Mumbai!
Isnt it awesome how are city bill boards know their residents and their interests so well?

So in the middle of crazy builders ads, this one caught my eye. It  had a little girl sitting with a teddy bear and her father holding a tablet in his hand as a present for the little girl. The tag line was that you if cannot afford it BUY IT ANYWAY and pay it off with EMI's. Really! And what is the message I give my little boy or girl. Its OK if we do not have money ... we have EMI's !

I am in the state where I am afraid of having an EMI for buying a house .... and that is considered an investment ... an appreciating investment. And here is an ad encouraging me to buy something for my 3/5 year old that once given to their hands may not survive more than a few hours!

As I read the ad to Suresh he let out a  'Hmphf' and asked which bank/credit card this was and when I told him the name he said
'Interesting - when I was growing up the tag line for this same bank was - Spend you money wisely'

Now time for some introspection
Suresh and I are terrible savers. We are foolish spenders. But somewhere between the terrible and the foolish we got ourselves into deep enough soup and credit card bills that we learnt to get out of debt. There was a time when we were each making $800 and had credit card bills worth a few 1000's. I still shiver when I think of those days. It was on one wisdom filled day that we cut up our credit  cards and got our act together and at least walked to the extent of not buying what we could not afford.

The current desire is to pass that financial peace to our children. We could try and leave them a huge inheritance ... but like the prodigal son in the bible, the two of them could blow it up in a matter of seconds and so what we really need to teach our children in financial peace. This means no EMI's  ... and no buying things if you cannot pay for it. Getting into debt is the easiest thing and getting out of it the hardest. Take it from someone who has been there.
I believe a part of the fault was the previous generation. They knew how to live within their means but did not share that wisdom with us.
Quoting Dave Ramsey here... '  most young couples expect to attain their parents’ standard of living within about five years. Only it took their folks 25 years to get there! It’s a trap. Don’t fall for it. '

I recently met a 23 year old who told me that she and her brothers were made to sit with an investment adviser by their father as soon as they got their first job and first pay. That was at the age of 16. They were taught to invest and save as soon as they were old enough to earn

I look forward to putting Isaac and Ziva through that. I look forward to telling them about the things we cannot afford. I look forward to talking to them about finance and saving and giving. I look forward to saying no to some of the things they want to buy because we cannot afford it. I look forward to passing the financial peace I received to my children at least in words. What they do with it ?... well that will be where I will be praying for them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wearing those Skirts ... Painting those nails

I am a jeans person. I am most comfortable wearing the same ragged jeans 24 x 7.
I rarely get a manicure and pedicure done. Once a month maybe once in 3 months. I rarely comb my hair straight ... I like it frizzy. I wait for it to dry now and braid it... I rarely let it open.

But having a daughter changes so much.

A few weeks back my maid came home laughing at what someone asked Ziva in the park and how she responded
Aunty XYZ to Ziva: Ziva you want to come for nail polish party
Ziva (Who I am sure has no idea what a nail polish party is ): Can I bring my mama too?

On second thoughts I think she does know what nail polish is ... else she would have said can I bring by papa too!!

More than anything I was thrilled that she wanted me to come along. I wonder how long that will last! I also wanted to knock Aunty XYZ on her head for asking my 3 year old for a nail polish party!!! But I did realize that I have a little girl and I need to start doing a few more girly things. This does not mean nail polish parties, but I think my little girl would enjoy painting  her nails. When I mentioned this to Suresh he flipped out! Oh God no ! was his response. 'I dont want her getting all crazy so young'
I responded 'If she is anything like me ... we wont have to worry about it'

A few days back I was wearing a wraparound skirt and swirled around to avoid a chair. The skirt did a little swirl. I saw that Ziva was noticing. She immediately got off her chair and started to swirl her dress.  
A friend of mine has been recently being showering me with a lot of beautiful colored trinkets and Ziva loves looking at me put them on.

While I do not agree with 'Run like a Girl' because my girl runs as fast as she can .... I think there are lot of things that a girl enjoys that should be enjoyed ...
Here is to many years of girly things ... painting nails, wearing skirts ... cupboard full of shoes ... long baths ...  combing my hair down ... wearing eye liners and earing drops!

And what about the boy... I recently wore blue colored eye liner and Isaac happened to notice it.
'Hi Amma your eyes are blue'
Thanks to the boys who will balance us out when we go crazy :)