Monday, September 16, 2013

Mumbai meri jaan...

Hello Mumbai! I have been itching to write and bake but most of the time I have my 10m old straddled on one side and am running to catch up with my 5 year old who I am usually picking up from school or shuttling to a class or playing a funny one hand game of cricket where I am always balling.

I look pretty hassled if you would ever bump into me and have managed to reach school to pick up my elder one wearing my kurta inside out BUT life is slowly starting to sort itself out. I am managing to get 4-5 hours of sleep on a good night. The rainy weather that I don't like is finally going away. I have realised I cannot bake in the day with two kids going "Mama", "Mama" every couple of minutes. The last time while trying to pry my 5year old son's homework from my 10m old's hand I almost forgot to put in the flour into my cake and I am sure you non bakers out there also know that it's a pretty important ingredient for baking.

So while I have been trying to figure out how to be a mom to TWO, I have also been trying to find a schedule for my kids and myself and classes and am going to give you a lowdown of things that will help you only in the suburbs.... I am resourceful and can find some things out for you but for that you will have to email me.

I have been brought up in Mumbai and done my schooling here and then was out for about 10 years. I am finally back and trying to find my feet in this madness... the Mumbai scene has slowly and steadily absorbed thousands and thousands of people in it's fold. My son's first observation of Mumbai was that it was such a tiny place compared to Gurgaon - he felt like everyone was on the road which he found small, the cars he felt were tiny and even the houses and playground were mini compared to what he was used to. Must say he was pretty dissapointed with the move. But I have always looked forward to being back in Mumbai after having been away for 10years and am a little disappointed with it.

Small, small things have changed around here. I grew up in an area of Juhu and thankfully managed to find a house here again when I returned. Everything around seems familiar but different.

The beach where we used to run around in our childhood in free abandonment is hounded by 100's of photographers waiting to hold onto your child and take a "perfect smiley picture". It's filled with a crowd that looks unfamiliar and instead of screaming at your kids to hold onto you - you just turn to look for a safer playground for them which aren't many. Most of the buildings and bungalows have gone into redevelopment and eaten up into their parks where kids used to play. We barely have place to park our cars nowadays.

I used to go to Prithvi theatre all the time as a kid to watch plays but this time around I was in for a surprise. My son and I were booked to watch a play a couple of months back and reached 15minutes in advance to find a line snaking down the lane of Janki Kutir just to get inside. Over zealous mothers had their servants standing for them and when I reached inside there were seats with bags, bottled backpacks booked for the kids to just walk inside and take a seat without having to wait in line. And I don't think it's the kids who are brats but the parents who have so much money to spend on servant who just wait on hand and foot on them.

Earlier parks were filled with children and gossiping mothers but nowadays they are filled with all types of uniformed nannies, unassuming maids and some mothers even find it below their dignity to accompany thier kids to the playground as their friends would think they don't have a maid.

Since I am not a working mother to regain my sanity at some point in the evening I take my kids down to the garden. My daughter strapped in the stroller, my travel mug has some steaming masala chai and my son is told to do whatever he wants but WHERE ARE THE KIDS? Everyone mother I know seems to have a class phobia and I am pretty competitive myself (so note to self - must send Arav to all possible classes).

But, really how many classes can a poor 4year old do. I know some mothers who have enrolled their kids in 2 classes a day and that is after having gone to school. Why can't you tell your children about the national bird or the President of India - why do we need a class for that. I thought a class was like an extended playdate but not always. Beware classes also come with a lot of cliques involved mainly whether the other mothers feel if you are worthy of doing a class with them or not. Or whether you are able to shell out a certain amount of dough on a yearly basis - not important whether your child's innocence and playing years are at stake.

So, I have decided I am also going to ADAPT and CHANGE (well, at least try to). Since I have no time to bake - I am going to try and give out useful tips and information about classes in the area, food tips for kids, menu planners to help mothers who have school going kids and just fun information that I can collate as I am an internet junkie... and I look forward to you just reading my thoughts. And at some point when the stars align in my favor I may be able to enter the kitchen and follow my favorite passion - baking!

Till then I am going to leave you with a view of my house which always calms me and reminds me why I love this city inspit of its madness!

Shall be back soon...

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