Like as if I needed technology to tell me who my friends were, yesterday I took the services of the Friendbot (seemingly the e-cousin of robot) on Facebook. The results, I must say were interesting.
It began with `Best Friend' and against it was the name of a friend of mine for past ten years and a really good friend too. I was impressed, alright; but for only as long as it took for me to get to the next line. Whatever followed was ridiculous. The Funny One (read friend), Drinking Buddy, The Trouble Maker and The Partier turned out to be nothing but a mishmash of names and titles.
It was my Drinking Buddy that was hilarious. There was the name of an epitome of teetotalism. I just couldn't help laughing out loud. Ash (name kinda changed)my drinking buddy? (Ha ha ...I wish). Actually she IS my best COFFEE drinking buddy :)
I later came across something called Stalkerbot, this electronic creature is supposed to let you find out the people who stalk you. Good heavens!! I don't even want to think about venturing into that :-I .
One of the first things I do when I wake up in the morning, is ask myself what day of the week it is. This morning when I did that, I couldn't help but smile.
If it is the first Sunday of August, Friendship Day it was.
As I let my mind travel back in time, it makes its way to what used to be our Study Hall in school. Around this time of the year, out would come our needlework boxes and from them, colourful embroidery threads. We'd knot the threads and pin them to the latches of our study desks and get lost in making friendship bands.
Back then, being boarders, we could only afford handmade bands and handmade cards. Things became different in college; pocket money could buy us cards from Archies and Hallmark and what more, we'd even find friendship bands there. The Monday after Friendship day, was the day to flaunt all the bands we'd earned.
For the past few years, I'd celebrated Friendship Day by taking some time off work and catching up with friends for a movie or a cup of coffee.
Now that everybody is married and `settled' -- so to say -- in different parts of the world, observing friendship day has further reduced to a several scraps on Orkut, scribbling on Facebook walls and a couple of calls.
Ways to celebrate friends have changed. But it will always be a noble thing to remember our friends atleast once a year and renew our vows of friendship.
A baby's first year is usually a very overwhelming and thrilling one for his or her parents. How else should it be if had so many firsts in it: the first smile, the first roll over, the first word, first tooth, first step...and the list goes on.
And why shouldn't it be overwhelming? After all each one of these firsts is undoubtedly a milestone, something you look forward to and celebrate once it is hit.
Our two-month old son will be getting the third shot in the list of his vaccines to be had in the first year of birth. His doctor says this injection just might give him a fever -- his first fever -- if he gets it. Now that's one `first' we are not looking forward to at all. :-(
4th of July: Yes Independence Day; American (and indeed a very American way to mention America's Independence Day). I take out a clean bib for my little one to wear (mind you, its brand new. I had saved it for inauguration on this day). On it is written: Baby's first 4th. There are a few small stars and one big star in the bib. And within the big star are a couple of tiny white stars on a blue background, which in turn lies against a backdrop red horizontal stripes on white (Yeah, the American flag it is).
The little red and blue bib was a gift from a friend, here in the US; a gift she brought when she came to see the little one. That sure is a sweet little patriotic gesture, thought I, when I was about to put it away at night.
I casually flip it over and what must I see --a tag which says `Made in China.' I couldnt help smiling. Very very American.
Having been living in the United States for almost a year now, if anybody were to ask me what America is famous for, I'd say: `Made in China' tags.
I wouldn't be surprised if even the American flags I see around here, were made in China.
One of my favourite pastimes these days, seems to be watching my newborn baby as he sleeps.
What joy it gives to look at those cute little hands and feet. I swear those pink fingers with those teeny-weeny nails on them are one of the most adorable things on earth. Oh! how I love watching his every small move, when he is lost in slumber. And those baby snores... they sure do put a smile on my face.
The little one's face looks so peaceful and angelic when he sleeps oblivious of all the worldly noises from near and far. Suddenly those tiny lips break into a smile. In no time there is a frown where the smile was. Sometimes it's a look that says he is just about to burst out crying. A second or two goes by and then that beautiful smile returns; only to be replaced by an expression that clearly says he is terrified by something, closely followed by some short and heavy breathing. The pained look on his face tugs at my heart and all I want to do is just wake him up and say: Its only a dream, son. But then, on second thoughts, I'd rather not! Perhaps it is nature's way of preparing him to take on just about anything. (or is it?)
The first trimester? I'd rather call it first Try-mester; for those were `three trying months' for me. Morning sickness, aversion to food and a persistant ennui seemed to have taken over me. I was losing sleep and so was developing those ugly dark circles around my eyes. Not that I didn't have them earlier, but they just got more prominent and I was beginning to look like a Panda bear. That was definitely not the best of times.
On the other hand, my kith and kin were learning of my having gone `the family way' and were congratulating me on the `good news.' With so much happening to me both mentally and physically, I wondered if it really was `good' news.
My OB-GYN had told me not to be weighed down by the uneasiness as the second trimester would soon be there and that, that was going to be the honeymoon period of my pregnancy. Now, that was a flicker of hope, so I waited eagerly. Impatient as I was, I had begun the countown to Week-12, when the first trimester would technically come to an end. Ninety odd days went by and there was no sign of that promising period I was looking forward to. Stupidity! wasn' it? I guess the dreariness of those first three months had made me so irrational.
It was not until a couple of weeks later that it finally happened - what they say -you wake up with a feeling that `something' is missing and you finally figure out that it's the morning sickness. Hurray!!
The second trimester The honeymoon trimester of preganancy was definitely better, although it was sans the exitement associated with the word honeymoon. Thankfully I was feeling better and eating better too.
My tummy began to stand out and it was bigger than my usual pounch, yet too little to suggest pregnancy. An awkward state that was. I just wished I could stick a little note announcing what stage of life I was in.
As the gestation period progressed there were a whole lot of activities: swallowing pre-natal vitamins, regular visits to the doctor, blood tests, listening to foetal hearbeats and the scans. When it was time for the second scan, everybody I knew and was in touch with, wanted to know what the sex of the baby was. For me that didn't really matter. All I wished for was a little one with no disablities. And ofcourse, the scan tells you only part of it so the worry stayed on for a while.
Another question I was asked every other day was what kind of food cravings I had. Haven't we all heard of expectant mothers yearning for tangy eatables like tamarind and raw mangoes and some of them developing a sweet tooth, longing for chocolates and sweetmeat? For me, there was none of that. There was no turning to baking or making my hubby go on a treasure hunt. Sadly I missed this kind of fun. We had nothing like that adventure that Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan had, one midnight in Salaam Namaste. That would have made my pregnancy more happening and my blog more interesting. But alas!
The second trimester just blended into The third trimester without any noticeable change such that I was almost oblivious of how far I was in terms of weeks or even months.
It was at this point that a whole new kind of fun came into the picture. The fact that I was getting big in the middle needs no mention. But being oceans apart from friends and family, I was thronged with mails and IMs asking me to send pictures, as they all wanted to see my `new look.' After some procrastination due to some kind of an embarrassment, I finally got down to taking some snap shots and forwarding them. Almost immediately came a chain of replies and comments, and `oh My!' weren't they so amusing; those reactions and the predictions(the boy or girl thing). The guessing game had begun and it was absolute entertainment for me.
The awkwardness had dimmed and I soon became the butt of my own jokes, telling people things like "I now look like I have a basket ball in my tummy." I even told another friend of mine (who calls me Full Moon, thanks to the shape of my face) that if he saw me then, he'd ask me if I had swallowed the moon.
Soon it was time for all the preparations for the `aane waala mehmaan,' as another acquaintance preferred to put it: the baby shopping, hospital tours and watching the oh-so-important birthing videos.
I dont know when exactly it all began, but in the midst of all this activity, the aches and pains began to creep in and remind me that I was in the third trimester of preganancy. Sometimes it was a back pain and sometimes some cramping in my abdomin or calf muscles and sometimes the whole of my system felt stiff. They only got worse as the days went by and just when I thought I could take it no more, they came: those contractions.
I'd rather not go into the nitty gritty of my labour, but one thing I will say: there came a moment when all the unpleasantness of the nine-month journey just faded into nothingness; the moment my little bundle of joy was placed in the cradle of my arms.
In the last few years e-revolution has climbed unfathomable heights, re-defined communication and undoubtedly shrunken the world into what is called the global village. The World Wide Web, which unraveled so many new avenues and gave us facilities we never even dreamt of in the wildest of our dreams, has just hit twenty years. Happy Birthday to the World Wide Web.
Dear WWW, Here’s wishing you a very happy birthday and many more years to live. Life must have been easier a few decades ago, but can it be any simpler now without you. You’ve become so much a part of your lives and I can’t even imagine a world without you. What if there was no Tim Berners-Lee and that document titled `Information Management: A Proposal?’ And what if it were never handed over to his supervisor Mike Sendall? Would we have ever known of WWW, which was once a vision, then a luxury and now an almost inevitable need?
Now that you have been around for a while and transformed the lives of us mere mortals, we are so hooked to you that I wonder what would become of us if some misfortune befell you?
Oh Gosh! What would I do without e-mails and IMs? How would I catch up with friends and family? What would I do without Orkut and Facebook? How would I vicariously attend weddings, see the better halves of my friends and their little juniors? And how would we reminiscence those good old school and college days?
Who could I possibly turn to if I couldn’t access the all-knowing Wikipedia, Dictionary.com and the omnipotent Google? Without you, how would I show off on Shelfari, the books I’ve read and the ones I am currently engrossed in? Now that I am taking a break from work, how would I keep in touch with writing if not for your connecting me to Wordpress and Blogspot? Sitting in San Jose, how would I know what was happening in my motherland, on the other side of the world if not for those online newspapers and live TVs you bring to my living room?
Online radios, movie sites and music videos on You Tube are also so much a part of my lifestyle. What if……. (oh, my head spins!!). Long live the internet, long live the World Wide Web. May you have many many more birthdays dear WWW. Happy Birthday once again.