Thursday, June 28, 2012

Drench me

A woman of divine beauty
Hair, the colour of ravens
Eyes, an ocean blue
Showering on me like a tempest
Rain - is that you?

Beloved of the mountains
Mourning of the clouds
Lullaby of a young mother
Ringing through the house
Rain - of course that is you

Bathing the villages
Gleaming through the paddy
Adorning your lover
In hues of green
Rain - in the laugh of the farmer do I see you?

In the joyous rapture of children
In the puddles on the street
In the hurried steps
Of a beguiling teen
A shared umbrella
and a cup of tea
Yes indeed Rain that is you!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Update on the pet post

We have finally decided to bring home a Labrador Retriever pup from a breeder here. The pup is one of six delivered a week back. We will have to wait another six weeks before the pup can call our home its own.

The kids have decided to call it Bolt. Shadow as suggested by my son was vetoed by my girl. My husband  probably would have been happier with an Indian name, I am okay with Bolt.

Please write in tips for training and making the pup feel at home without over doing it. This will be my first time living with any other species than a human (apart from fish who live in tanks).

At times I still feel a bit scared of living in the same house with a pet dog and not knowing what it is trying to communicate. Any suggestions are welcome. Balan please help. I have time till August.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The pet-shop story

My son loves animals. His love does not discriminate between species. Equally fond of birds, cats, fishes and dogs, he attracts the stray ones like a magnet and they follow him around till it is time for him to come home.

He always nagged me about buying a dog for him, I resisted not only because I am scared of dogs and so is my daughter, but also because so far we lived in an apartment and I did not want to share that space with a pet. I see raised eyebrows don't I? Especially Balan!

Finally when we moved to this villa and had space enough inside and outside to have the much desired dog, there was no stopping my son. Kids can be quite tenacious as we all know. So is my son...

He: "Mom, so are we buying the dog today?"
Me offhandedly: "Soon"
He comes around and stands in front of me: "How soon?"
Me: "Are you sure you can take care of a dog? I really do not know anything about dogs."
He: "Of course I can, I know everything, I have to take him for a walk twice and play with him and give him his food and clean his poop and pee. I will also teach him to do his 'business' outside the house, but that might take some time and of course you must be accepting of accidents once in a while."
Me thinking 'wow where did he get all that stuff from, and why can't he get his school project information from the same source that he got this stuff from?': "Hmm, seems you did your homework on pets. So what breed do you want?"
He: "A Golden Retriever not older than four months."
Me: "Okay so we have to find out how to go about getting a dog here, it might not be easy."
He: "I know all the pet-shops in Muscat, let us go and check them out."
Me: "We will and now please go and do your homework."
He: "I have thought of a name, I will call him Shadow"
Me: " Do you want a male dog?"
He: "Yes of course, a she-dog won't play with me. She will always sit and watch TV like didi. It has to be a male dog."
Me: "Hmm. Homework"

Conversations like this happen more than twice in my house, always initiated by my son and contradicted by my daughter. Amidst this, I started to shed my inhibition to dogs. Probably it was the mother winning over the woman. My husband who likes animals as well but has never had a pet except fishes in a tank was roped in. He looked at my daughter incredulously.

She: "I don't want a dog, He will bite me."
He: "It does not hurt that much, I was bitten once by a stray dog and had to take quite a few injections. A pet dog will be vaccinated so you do not have to worry about needles poking you."
She: "You gotta be kidding me! Why do we have to buy a dog, why cant we just have plants and fishes?"
He: "We have to get a dog so that you get rid of your fear, now that is a good reason, if any."
She: "Will it be a big dog? I am ok with a tiny pup, by the time he grows up he will know me and won't bite me."
He: "Lets see."
She: "I will not clean up after him, I am making it very clear right now."

Finally after a somewhat mixed consensus on the issue the research started. Research for anything is my husband's forte. He got in touch with expats leaving and wanting to re-home their dogs, with breeders, with pet-shops and pet-clinics. Responses were quick to come and as quickly discarded by him much to my son's angst.

Son: "This way we will never be able to have a dog."
Dad: "For you buying the dog is the end but for me buying the dog is the beginning."
Son: "I don't care, beginning or end or anything in between I want my dog."
Dad opens a link and shows him a site: "Read this and tell me what you feel?"

This is the link that we visited,

If you have trouble opening the link from here please copy paste 

on your browser to read

An eye-opener to people like me and my children, but not so to many others who own and love their dogs in this country. The pet-shop mentioned in the above link is a very reputed shop here. However, this is not just the case with this pet-shop. This seems to be true for most such outfits in Muscat. Now that the research has crossed the ornamental stage of cleaning the poop and naming the dog, my son has realised that a dog up for adoption is a much better choice than ordering a pup from a fancy pet-shop. However much scared my daughter maybe of dogs, she has also realised that if we finally own a dog, it will be very hard to see it suffer and die.

We are still looking for a young pup who wants a loving home. When matters get serious, it's funny how prejudices melt away.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Charity is funded

The right balance

I have not vanished again, just been busy and therefore away.

We moved house. There was the whole gamut of packing, sorting, discarding followed by unpacking, sorting and hmmmmphs saying, " Shit, I shudn't have thrown all those dusters aways, they could have been handy here. What was I thinking?" 

Well thats one thing that happened and then I fell ill which was the other thing that happened. Probably because the kids have never seen me lying down during the day with a grimace, my son thought I was going to die and he made a bunch of promises to me about doing his chores, homework and stuff on time everyday. he also said that he would not fight with his sister. On being told that I am just a bit ill and will be up and about in a couple of days his reaction was, " Oh,so its not cancer huh?" The C-word scare has passed on from me to him, not that I am free of it, but he has it too, the all pervasive fear of C-strike.

Then there was the job that I loved and was so happy doing for the first two years and in the last year it had become progressively hard to digest. I finally convinced myself to leave. I chose to be happy and bored over being agitated and argumentative over issues that could not be resolved. here is the low down.

My last three months working for the company I joined when it was just conceived was a whirlwind of desperation, trying in vain to get my passion back. I was and always will be passionate about writing and hence about my readers. I joined a company that focussed on readers and left the company that had turned into an advert-based catalouge churner. Every company needs money, and in publishing, advertisement brings in the dough, there is no denying that, technically I suppose the company has always been an advertising company, but for the better part of the last three years, it didn’t feel like one. It was an ad company only in the sense that a good TV show is an ad company: having great content attracts advertisers. But then the focus shifted. I could not accept editorial being sold. Fights ensued and we stopped seeing eye to eye.

In one of the bitter fights with my GM he said a line that will stay with me. The fight was actually between me and the AGM - Sales, and we had to rope in the GM as neither of us was budging. It was the usual war between a piece that I felt we needed to carry and the sales team head wanted dropped and replaced by an interview of the CEO of an advertising company. After an hour of heated words my GM said, " Sujata don't be naive, I think it is high time you realise that even charity is funded. Nothing comes free." Well, I agreed to that line but could not accept to live with that ideology and hence decided to leave.

It is more than 15 days now that I have left my job as Head - Editorial. It feels good so far and I am happy to be writing what I want rather than writing what the advertiser wants. Charity is definitely funded and I am lucky to have a husband who is paying my bills unconditionally. :):)

Please write in your comments on how far we should allow advertisers to rule publishing.