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Raising E

It’s tiring bringing up a child in Bangalore. 
In my previous life, I made plans to take her to a place that mirrored “my" India. The India of malls and indoor play areas. I stopped taking her to public parks because I think they are disgusting.
The way I looked at it was:
I did not spend 9 months breeding a human, and x years raising it, to have her play in some rusty jungle gym, to discover a used condom, or find used syringes or get pushed around by lousy (as in, with lice) children. Yeah, the play area in my building was good enough. At least I knew that the kids who play there were clean. Sounds classist? You bet it was.
Nah. I just took my kid to The Oberoi - they have a lovely lawn there, you see. Who needs jungle gyms when you’ve got bread-loving koi fish. Who needs to deal with the ill-mannered kids of people-who-can-barely-make-ends-meet when you can be sure to be in the company of people who know what a social contract is. 
But on our way there, I’d check the rearview mirr…
Recent posts

Holes Dug and Breads Baked

There is a large pit to the south of the farmhouse. There are some torn cement bags and cartons in there. Clearly, it has been used for refuse before. I throw our kitchen waste in this pit. Funny the Dog visits this lavish buffet twice daily.

I dug a hole. It took me four hours to dig. It’s about 3 feet deep. It was supposed to be 3 feet long too but digging is tiring. The mud straddled a cliff, was compacted hard and was well on its way to becoming more cliff. An inverted spade with sharpened edges, some cute gardening granny’s tools, and lots of stabbing so therapeutic helped loosen the mud.

As I dug and shoveled, I saw earthworms in the soil; I took this as a good sign for a good spot for a new compost pit. Will this make good compost?

In the city, I tried to make compost with some earthen pots from The Daily Dump. A kind lady home-delivered the pots, along with some bags of weird soil-like substance, some bags of microbes, a minirake, and instructions on how to use all of them in…

The Politics of Breastfeeding

I breastfed E for 26 months. I did it because I had the milk and the time and the research-backed knowledge that breastmilk was best to raise a brainy child. In this world wreaked with violence, the existence of emotionally secure children would be beneficial for the rest of us.

The US, in what is being observed as a policy shift towards representing only corporate interests, threatened Ecuador with trade tariffs if it continued to promote a global health proposal that sought to promote breastfeeding and restrict the sale of breastmilk substitutes.

This scandalised the assembly of nations and many third world countries were bullied out of leading the proposal. Russia eventually backed it on the stance that it is unfair for a powerful nation (hegemon) to upend a notable cause through predatory tactics.

Yet, there are women who can’t breastfeed for as long or as much. To protect their feelings, should we promote breastmilk substitutes that could harm infants? This is the argument forw…

The Cat is Dead and the Washing Machine is Fixed

Bagheera was found dead this morning. In his pressure cooker box lined with a crochet blanket. He was stretched out and his eyes were open. CB and I joked last night that he was walking in the shadows of the valley of death. He probably was.

He was a good cat who had two good days of being a cat before he fell ill. We found a shady spot down the hill and dug a hole and buried him. That area will probably be the animal cemetery please don’t be like Stephen King’s Pet Sematary as I imagine we’ll go through a few of them here.

The IFB washing machine service technician turned up today. Finally.

I first contacted them in early June and the guy got here in early July. Not bad for rural India, I suppose?

I'm just glad I don't have to ask a human to wash our clothes anymore. I hated the plaintive subtext of handing over my dirty clothes to said human. “I’m too educated and privileged to wash my own clothes. Can I pay you to wash mine even if by hand?” As much as I hated this, every …

The Cat is Not Dead and Other Updates

The cat is still alive. I don’t refer to the cat by name anymore. I call it ‘cat’ in all the languages I know - 6 (not like anyone’s counting but maybe I am). It’s still alive. Barely. He consumes enough to subsist and so hangs on.

It’s mildly irritating. But then again, I have my period and my default mood is mildly irritated. Thanks to the Mooncup I don’t feel uncomfortable at all. Big shout out to my dad for finding out about this amazing product.

Read up about it. Be grossed out if you want. But know this - it has liberated me of my period. 5 days of ick is now 5 days of oh right cramp i have my period. I don’t even feel like there is a fluid collection mechanism in/on me. Unless you’re a user, you have no idea how much of a difference this makes.

I want to go all Mother Gaia and use my menstrual fluid as plant fertiliser but CB will have none of it. There’s a part of me that can see why but there’s another side of me that asks why not?

It’s still early days in planting, though. We …

On the Dying of a Cat

I was excited by the sudden addition of a kitten to the farmhouse. This is a house with rats and squirrels in its roof. It’s a complex society with a ramshackle hierarchy and every night, we hear the harried scurrying of rodents in the roof.

The kitten will grow into a cat called a mouser. Specifically trained to hunt and kill rats and other rodents. The workers brought him in claiming his need for a home as his mother had died.

CB fished out the box the pressure cooker came in, lined it with some comfortable baby blankets and set the kitten in. CB’s mother named the kitten Bagheera. Appa declared the kitten a girl.

Bagheera was not in good shape. Luckily, I had a dropper from E’s medication and we started drip feeding the kitten diluted milk. Within a day, Bagheera was lapping it straight from the saucer.

The next day it was egg yolk and milk then egg white and milk. Over a week, Bagheera was eating an egg a day. We also found out that he was a boy. Bagheera found his voice and made his …

Reboot.

It's been 19 months since my last post. Alot has happened since then.

I thought I'd give up blogging for good. A way to avoid talking about Alot. Maybe sneakily start yet another blog and website. Another way to avoid talking about Alot. Then I got a comment on the website. Out of the blue, nearly 3 whole years after it was posted. Something I wrote helped someone somewhere. Regardless of how much has happened, Headbath continues to be important and I will keep at it.

I may not be dishing out the bowls of sanctimonious mommy advice now, though. Mostly because I'm a part-time mother now. This is actually quite a big part of the Alot - I'd say the rump region.

In December 2016, I turned 30. I was lucky to have my eyes opened to a few truths about the man I married and chose to procreate with. There were a few ugly spats. I moved out in May. The hope was to attend couple's counselling, delve deep into the ills of our marriage, address the issues, and move on for the s…