This lovely, heartfelt song was composed by my mother for my five year old daughter. It’s an ode to the love and adoration grandparents feel for their grandkids ❤ I hope you enjoy it!
This lovely, heartfelt song was composed by my mother for my five year old daughter. It’s an ode to the love and adoration grandparents feel for their grandkids ❤ I hope you enjoy it!
There’s been a lot of debate about the ending of La La Land, the musical that almost won the Best Film at the Oscars. Obviously, if you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading now, because there be spoilers ahead.
The ending has been aptly described as ‘bittersweet’. People love it, people hate it. It’s been proclaimed as the best thing about the movie, and the thing that totally ruined it. Basically, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone), after two and something hours of being madly in love, decide to part ways in order to follow their dreams. In the final portion of the film, they meet five years later — they’ve found professional success, but lost each other. She’s married to the drummer from That Thing You Do and he’s alone, and there’s a gorgeous musical sequence as they think about what might have been.
On a purely visceral, emotional level, sitting there in the theater, the ending worked beautifully for me. I loved the bittersweet tone, the ‘what if…’, and the final lingering glance they exchange at the door, and got all choked up. Logically, though, I wasn’t sold. The more I thought about it later, the more I found I wasn’t convinced that they couldn’t follow their dreams and still invest in their relationship. Why couldn’t the jazz-loving Sebastian spend four months in Paris while Mia acted in her breakthrough film? He says himself that there are great jazz clubs there… so what exactly is the problem? Or why not even consider a temporary long-distance arrangement? They wouldn’t be the first couple or the last to Skype their way through a four or five month separation. Or why doesn’t she look him up after the four months are done and she returns to the U.S., if, as she says, she’ll always love him? I never got the sense that there’s any personal or professional incompatibility that necessitated separation. To me, it seemed like director Chazelle wanted this ending, this bittersweetness, and so he tacked it on. It didn’t feel like the relationship naturally found its way there.
The only sort-of explanation that’s offered is when Sebastian tells Mia that she has to give her 100 per cent to her dream of making it in the movies — no distractions or demands due to Seb and their relationship, presumably. Fair enough. But let’s see how that works out for Mia, shall we? (And this brings us to the part about the ending that really bugs me). Five years later, she’s a super-successful actress, yes, but she’s also married to Generic Husband Man, and has a Cute Toddler Daughter, who is at least two years old, maybe 2.5. Back-calculating, that means that she got pregnant just barely two years after breaking up with Seb. Let’s assume that this wasn’t a case of her getting knocked up and hastily tying the knot while showing off her six-month baby bump. That means she married GHM maybe six months before she got pregnant. They must have dated for at least six months-ish before they got married (this isn’t some quick-gun desi arranged marriage after all). So that means that she met and got into a serious relationship with GHM just barely a year (probably less) after breaking up with Seb, just about when her breakthrough film was wrapping up/getting ready to release. See the problem here? The logic doesn’t hold up.
So if Mia wasn’t so focused on career goals that she put her personal life/marriage/children a far second (clearly this isn’t the case if she is happily ensconced in domestic bliss and is preggers just two years later), then the choice was more Sebastian’s than hers. And this is more believable. Because he’s the one who’s living like a hermit at the start, and still is living that way, five years later. He’s the one who tells her they should go their separate ways. And all Mia does is agree. We never actually get to hear her point of view. She asks him, “Where are we?” and he tells her, and she agrees. That, to me, is really annoying on closer inspection. This is clearly a favoured trope of Damien Chazelle’s — the male artiste who eschews love for his art (e.g. Whiplash). Mia, really, has all the will and agency of a damp dish rag in this particular scenario.
That final sequence, where we see their life together if they’d never broken up, then, is truly her fantasy. That’s what she would have wanted, only she never fights for or even makes a case for it (see damp dish rag). Sebastian throws away their relationship and is content to ‘suffer for his art’ because, in Chazelle’s world, that’s what men do. And she fantasizes about domestic bliss with him, while sitting beside the man who was actually willing to commit to her, because… I don’t know… that’s what women do? (Not). Suddenly, it’s not all bittersweet and romantic anymore. It’s just… annoying and blergh. And also really unfair to GHM. Poor ol’ Guy Patterson of The Wonders deserved better.
Stage 1: Vigorous protest. The night before/the morning of the visit:
Kid: “But Amma! I don’t want to go to IKEA. I want to go to the park/beach/indoor play area with my friend! IKEA is booooring!”
Me: “No, it’s not! It’s full of interesting stuff.”
Kid (arms crossed): “Does it have clothes?”
Me: “Er… no.” (But it has toys. For once, I have enough thought-to-mouth-control not to say it out loud. We’d cross that particular bridge when we come to it <see Stage 4>).
“Shoes?” (My daughter, the diva.)
“Hairbands?” (Note: We’re currently obsessed with hairbands)
Me: “No, but…”
Kid (throwing up arms in exasperation): “See? It’s boooring!”
Stage 2: Enter Festival City Mall, where IKEA is located in Dubai. “Amma amma amma! I want to go on the toy train! I want the Sophia the Princess balloon! I want to go to that play area…” Curse you, Festival City. Why do you need to have so, so many distractions for the pint-sized brigade just outside the entrance of IKEA?? Do you not realise we parents need to reserve every ounce of our strength for the ordeal of the next 3 to 4 hours, as we stagger zombie-style through the winding maze with whining little person(s) in tow, laden with a shopping cart full of junk we don’t need, and unwieldy boxes and shelving units to store it all in?? We can’t be wasting energy battling past helium balloon and tooting red-and-yellow engines!
Stage 3: Enter IKEA. Cue amazement. “I LOVE IKEA!” This is the best portion of the trip, so one must make the best of it. The daughter has shelved the diva-ness and demands for balloons, and is totally charmed by the pretty, pretty bedrooms and kitchens and dining rooms on display. She pretend cooks at the kitchen, has a tea-party at the little kiddie table on display, lies on the beds (while I pretend not to notice), and generally makes like she’s living in a life-size doll house. “I don’t ever want to go home! Can we live here forever, amma?”
Stage 4: BOOM! By that, I am referring, of course, to the wretchedly attractive and colourful toy section of IKEA, strategically located at the halfway point of the maze, right about when your kid is getting bored of amusing herself with pots and pans and pillows, and is starting to get tired. What happens when a bored and tired little person who’s been looking at shelving units and kitchens is confronted with an oasis of toys? Exactly. BOOM!
Now, there are two options here for the also-starting-to-get-tired-and-cranky parents — a blanket ban on any more toys, and damn the consequences (you brave souls you), or multiple rounds of negotiations before you settle upon a mutually agreeable, not-too-outrageous toy purchase. We bought a stuffed cat, who has been christened Mia (don’t judge me… virtually every kid walking out of IKEA was carrying a stuffed animal of some species or the other.) Of course, sometimes the peace talks fail and you end up with a toddler lying on one of IKEA’s pristine aisles throwing an epic tantrum. Let’s have a moment of silence to express solidarity for every parent whose ever been in that position (there but for the grace of Mia go I.)
Stage 5: Exhaustion. This stage has both its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, your kid is too exhausted to wander off or break things or demand to buy new stuff, and is likely to sit in the shopping cart quietly for the first time in the entire expedition. On the other hand, she’s more likely to whine (“I’m huuuungry! Are we done yet??”) and make irrational demands like “Carry me!” and “I want to lie down!”. I settled this by placing a random cat-motif pillow I’d picked up (in keeping with the general feline theme of the day, and the compulsion one feels to buy random stuff at IKEA) on the handle of the cart and having her put her head on it. I no longer had a handle to push the cart with, but hey, the whining was down, so I’ll take it.
We eventually did finish and make it back to the car, stopping only 10 or 15 times to pick up Mia and/or the cat pillow along the way. Our annual visit was done; there were no tempers lost or tantrums thrown (only the husband’s blood and sweat lost over setting up the shelves later), and at least 50 per cent of what we bought was actually useful. As IKEA trips go, I’d give this one a Grade A – (half a grade point reduced for unnecessary purchase of cat pillow, which has already since been abandoned.)
Ladies, we need to talk. Again. For years now, I’ve been getting your travel itineraries, your bank/credit card statements, your phone bills, your job applications/CVs, your online shopping lists, even your missives to long-lost friends, etc. etc. because, it seems, a hundred or so of you believe you have my email address. *Deep breath*. In the beginning, I worried. I worried about you guys missing out on stuff. That I’m receiving so many of your private/important documents. I used to write back diligently, saying, ‘Yo, you’ve got the wrong email address’, and feel that glow of having done something good. But those days are long gone now. I’ve reached a point where, unless it’s a question of life-or-death, I don’t bother. I figure, if you couldn’t be arsed to properly remember or type in your own fricking email id, it isn’t my problem. Mostly, though, I don’t even notice them anymore. I just blindly go delete delete delete when I see random bills, office memos, PowerPoint presentations, etc. addressed to me from organisations I’ve never been a part of in my life.
However, you’ve succeeded in getting my attention. Again. Because now, I’m getting marriage proposals that ought to be going to one of you. And really, I draw the line at that. Is nothing sacred anymore?? Every morning, I open my inbox, and there they are, another four or five ‘expressions of interest’ from men viewing your profile on BharatMatrimony.com. I kid you not. Every day. I do feel a tinge of pride on behalf of us female DivyaKs (I’m sure you male DivyaKs are very attractive as well, no gender discrimination meant) everywhere… this is one popular profile. But I digress. I’d like to point out that I’m a much-married mom of one, and I, for one, don’t want any more expressions of interest from matrimony-seeking males. That part of my life is (thankfully!) done and dusted. No more, thank you.
But there you are, a lovely, talented, sweet woman whose only faults are having a) a wretchedly common first name, b) an equally common last name/initial, and c) an annoying inability to remember your own email address properly. And you can’t even be blamed for (a) and (b). Yet, you’re sitting there, day after day, staring at your email inbox wistfully, wondering why, why none of those matrimony-seeking men are interested in seeking matrimony with you. And scattered across the internet there are all those men, at least about 20 by my last count, staring at their inboxes, wondering sadly why this Divya isn’t interested in their expressions of interest.
And the wedding nadaswarams fail to play for another day. *wipes away a tear*
You see? You see, DivyaKs? This isn’t a joke anymore. You miss a phone bill, your company calls you. And you probably don’t want to see your credit card statement anyway. But this, this is a question of the rest of your life! You may never meet the man the you’re meant to be with because you didn’t check your email id properly while filling in an online form! This is tragic stuff, y’all. And let’s face it. This isn’t You’ve Got Mail or something, alright? You’re not going-to-meet-the-guy-anyway-because-you’re-destined-to-be-together-and-already-know-him-but-don’t-realise-it’s-him-until-the-last-five-seconds-of-the-movie. Because if that was our lives, we wouldn’t be on BharatMatrimony or Tindr or PerfectMatch or whatever, see?
So get your act together, ladies. This stuff is important. Check. Your. Email. Address. Repeat after me: “My email id is not your email id.” Stop signing me up for stuff I don’t understand or care about. Stop trying to marry me off to random men, when all the while, your Prince Charming is out there, pining away, staring at your profile. *sniff* Go! Change your email so you can be with him!
And please, for the love for holy matrimony, leave me out of it.
1. Wait until all the laundry baskets in the house are overflowing, and household members are starting to complain about running out of undergarments/towels/pajamas.
2. Sort into piles –> whites/dark colours/light colours, and pick the one that’s the biggest and/or most urgently required by said members (e.g. kid has no more clean undies = do whites).
3. Stuff as many of the clothes into the washing machine as possible without the warning light coming on. Or so that the machine can still sort of spin around. Yes, it’s tragic that there are still whites remaining the basket, looking at you accusingly because they know they’re not getting cleaned until next week, but hey, you need the machine to keep working, right?
4. Allow the clothes to sit in the machine for a few hours after completion. just sort of… resting. C’mon. They’ve just been spun round and round. They’re literally wrung out. I’m just giving them a chance to recover before grabbing and pulling them all over the place again.
5. Transfer the wet (and rested) clothes into a basket. Now, depending on my distraction/multitasking level, they might be allowed to ‘breathe’ in the basket for a little while before being hung out to dry. Who said that works only on fine wine?
6. Hang the clothes out to dry in the balcony, and put clips on each of them. This process can take anywhere between 10 minutes (adult clothes) to eternity (little, tiny kiddie clothes… this is possibly the hardest part of motherhood that no one ever warned you about).
7. Allow the clothes to hang out on the balcony for a while. Fresh air and sunshine are good, no doubt. But use your discretion. If it appears like the birds are starting to use your towels as a soft and comfortable perch, or that your clothes are developing a fine layer of dust on them, it might be time to bring ’em in.
8. Drape the clean(ish), dry clothes over the sofa of your choice. My favourite is the single seater right by our balcony door, but of course, the furniture pick is entirely yours. Prefer a side table or the couch? Go for it!
9. Fold the clothes when the sight of them cluttering up your drawing room finally starts to get on your nerves. Or when unexpected guests arrive. Whichever one happens first. Now allow them to perch, neatly folded and sorted, on the center table, waiting patiently to be put away. (In case of the unexpected guests, transfer to bedroom).
9 B. If folded clothes have not already taken residence on your bed, transfer them now.
10. When it’s time to go to bed, you may either a) actually put the clothes into the cupboards where they belong (least likely) or b) transfer them onto the dressing table (most likely) where they will remain, and be used as needed.
11. Watch sadly as the laundry baskets refill at frustrating speed with the exact same clothes you so slowly and painstakingly washed in Steps 1 to 10. Return to Step 1.
Moms, have you seen this one? If you’re like me, you’ve probably learnt to tune out whatever nonsense your kid insists on watching on YouTube. I usually just ensure she’s watching something kid-friendly and then block out the rest. But recently, the words of this rhyme filtered past my defences while the daughter was having her half-hour of YouTube time on the tablet (i.e. kid nirvana). Did I just hear what I thought I heard? Five strict mommies jumping on the bed? Uhm… what?
YouTube nursery rhymes are, of course, for most part, the absolute dregs. I’ve written on this in depth in the past, and won’t repeat myself. Suffice to say, the channels that advertise most aggressively, and therefore are most likely to be clicked by your YouTube video-surfing toddler, are the absolute worst. It’s like they set aside all their resources for the pimping and keep nothing at all for the actual content.
But, even by those low standards, this one is… uhm… strange. So you have five mommies jumping on the bed. There appears to be no cause to call them strict mommies — if anything, they seem to be all about letting their hair down and par-taying — but, apparently, strict they are. You have a grinning kid who calls the doc each time one of the mommies falls off the bed and bumps her head (you get the feeling she’s enjoying this role-reversal a little too much). At this point, you start to wonder… are these moms drunk and on a bender? ‘Cos lil monkeys falling off and bumping their heads… kinda understandable. Mommies, strict or otherwise, with such poor physical coordination? One too many bottles of wine would seem the most likely explanation for both the jumping and the falling (is that why they don’t seem strict too? Alcohol tends to do that). As an aside, who is this wonderfully available doc in these rhymes who picks up each time the mommy/kid calls with the exact same complaint? I must find me one of those.
But I digress.
Now, this is important — watch closely to see what happens after each mom has bumped her head. That’s right — she goes back to her regularly scheduled housework, like a good, chastened homemaker mommy. Her head hurts like a bitch (bump plus hangover… ouch), and she’s learnt her lesson. No more silly shenanigans for her! She’s going to stick to nice safe, ladylike activities like cooking and ironing and cleaning.
And that’s when it hits you. This video isn’t really strange at all. It might look like a silly, badly-animated nursery rhyme for kids, but it’s really a finger-wagging cautionary tale for mommies not to stray too far from the kitchen. No more mommies jumping on the bed! Except, presumably, with Daddy (oh c’mon, I know you were thinking that too). But only, of course, once she’s served him a nice hot dinner.
There. Aren’t all you good, strict mommies glad I brought this important video to your attention? (There are multiple versions for you to watch, in case you feel the message hasn’t hit home strongly enough with just the one). Now, please excuse me. I do believe there’s some housework I need to go finish.