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On Paternal Leave Part 2: Baby skin!

As my second nephew turns 2 this month, I look back at the time I spent at my sister’s place helping her out with postnatal care. My jiju had taken 3 weeks off work so that he could take care of the new mommy, the newborn and the new dada (my first nephew, 8-years-old). And while on this paternal leave, my jiju excelled like I have seen no other man among my relatives!

He did pass on some gems of wisdom about baby care, mommy care, tips about postnatal food (read here) and “The art of letting the mother sleep”!

So here I am, writing about how to keep a baby’s skin soft — more like the instructions my sis used to scream at us that time in all her disheveled glory.

What to do for baby’s soft skin:

  1. Bath everyday! It is still gonna be years before he learns to bathe by himself or fool his mom by simply throwing water on the walls to pretend he has — but at the moment it’s his parents who get to bath him. And it has to be everyday (unless it’s too cold).
  2. Maalish Karo! Aah the joy I used to see on my nephew’s face every time the amma used to apply olive oil or mustard oil on his body to give him a thorough massage… it was so cute! Amma decided to bunk for a stretch of three days, during which time I was given the duty of this daily oil massage routine. In just three days, the skin on my hands was glowing and super-soft. Just imagine what it must be doing to a baby’s skin.
  3. Uptan lagao bhai! My sister would bark this instruction at us once in a week, and my jiju and I would scramble to get the uptan ready. It used to be a mixture of atta, besan, haldi and milk mixed into a thick paste. It would serve as an alternative for soap. My sister’s logic was it’s not good to use chemicals on a baby’s soft skin daily.
  4. Cotton only! Yes, that was the dress code my little nephew would strictly follow everyday. Even today. The softness of cotton is what a baby’s skin should come in contact with always, my sister used to say. Synthetic or woolens can cause rashes, which is why it should never come in direct contact with a baby’s skin. So her mom-in-law made some really comfy tops and langots out of her old cotton saree (oh the softness of those fabrics was awesome)!
  5. Don’t touch my baby! Well, there were times when my sis was downright rude to people who would start doing heavy-duty coochi-cooing. Are your hands clean? Go wash your hands and then you can touch my baby’s cheeks — she ACTUALLY said that to an aunty once. She also told one lady off to not kiss her baby because she was wearing lipstick! Jeeta-jagta example of how a mother becomes super protective of her baby. My sister later told me that she stopped being pseudo polite after her baby developed big red pimples after one such coochi-cooing session.

Oh and yes, Pampers brings you the softest ever Pampers Premium Care Pants. Its cotton-like softness is #SoftestForBabySkin and allows it to breathe, thus keeping baby’s skin soft and healthy, and your baby happy.


If you thought selecting gifts for kids is easy…

Why the hell is it so hard to pick out gifts for babies. No, I don’t have kids, but I am in that age bracket where almost all my friends have kids/are pregnant/trying/trying frantically. And a direct side-effect of having such friends is that you get invited to a lot of birthday parties. So,”what to gift” is a recurring problem.

I know the world is full of baby-related items and every fourth shop in any market will stock toys and kids’ clothes. Okay lemme rephrase my question… Why the hell is it so hard to pick out gifts for kids that won’t make their moms go “oh not again”?

I am fortunate to have people around me who are well off in their life. They are able to provide the best of everything to their kids (sometimes more than what their kids need). So selecting gifts for their kids is a taxing task bhai!

If you aren’t creative enough, chances are that their child (or plural) would already have what you gave (maybe in plural too). If that happens, neither the baccha is excited at opening your gift, nor is the mom, who secretly adds it to her database of recyclable gifts.

I definitely don’t want my gift to be recycled. No No.

So what Mr Bachchan is saying these days in First Cry advertisements, that Bachchon ki shopping #BachchonKaKhelNahin, is 100% correct. (I accidentally read it as Bachchan ki Shopping at first, ha ha.)

So for years, I stuck to two trusted things — envelope mein cash for relatives’ kids and books for friends’ kids. One can never go wrong with these.

But now it seems the options are endless. I just checked out the online baby market (i mean baby-related-products’ market, you freak) and found many utility items that a mother or a child can actually use. People rarely gift useful things these days, don’t you think?

In case you think you don’t know the baby’s choice (oh yes, they are very fussy) or needs, then why not go for a gift voucher from I am always in favour of doling out gift vouchers as it gives moms the independence to get something their kids will enjoy or use.

I think I have given out a major spoiler alert for all my friends who have babies — they know what they are gonna get next time they invite me to a birthday party. And those who don’t have a clue and act surprised, I am gonna punch you hard — you are my friend and you still don’t read my blog!!!!!

Hailstorm in Mussoorie

I have never seen hailstorm of this proportion, the one that I saw in Mussoorie (Uttarakhand) in the first week of March 2015.

It started off as just small pearls dropping from the sky to suddenly stone-heavy balls hitting everything with brute force. I have visited Mussoorie many times, mostly during summer and monsoon months, but this one gave a feeling of what winter must be like up there in the hills! 🙂

Hail storm at Mall Road, Mussoorie.
Hail storm at Mall Road, Mussoorie.

IMA, where gentlemen become officers

The IMA passing out parade… an amazing experience.

A Curious Army Wife

IMA, where gentlemen become officers!

My friend’s brother had survived 18 months at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun and so it was indeed time to celebrate. She was going to come all the way to Dehradun to attend the Passing-out-parade, and since I was living in that city, I couldn’t have been happier (because it is quite far from all other cities and no one ever comes here).

Her brother, a skinny and dark GC (Gentleman Cadet, what all trainees at the IMA are called) was allowed to invite four guests to the passing-out-parade (POP) — a ceremonial culmination of their rigorous training. He ended up being swamped by 11 relatives and friends, all wanting to see him stomp the parade ground in front of the Chetwode Building like a crazy guy before he became an officer in the Indian Army.

Now this POP is a pretty sought-after function in and around Dehradun, with…

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Red Carpet!

sunshine-award-307x307Though you will notice that I have been blogging since April 2013, I actually started taking it seriously just a couple of months ago. And what an experience it has been!

Fellow blogger Annet Bell, who wrote some amazing stories about her time in India in, nominated me for two awards a couple of days back.

I read through the rules (quite excitedly I must confess), and realised I don’t get a trophy or a figurine! Hmmm.. now that’s a bummer, as I spent the first 30 seconds after reading that post thinking of places where I could display it! Stupid Anamika!


Of course, I now realise what a huge confidence booster these two awards are…however virtual they might be. So thank you Annet for thinking of me while nominating! 🙂

Section 1: Directions for you to accept the Sunshine Award and 1-4 for the Inner Peace Award. 

To accept this award, please do the following:

  1. Display the Award on your Blog.
  2. Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who awarded you.
  3. Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award – “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”
  4. Link your nominees in the post and let them know of their award  with a comment.
  5. Write 10 interesting things about yourself.

Ten interesting things about me (I am gonna keep it short):

1. I live in Dehradun (India) and find it too cold.

2. Which is why I can’t stop sneezing.

3. I love cats.

4. I am allergic to cats’ fur 😦 .

5. Which is another reason why I can’t stop sneezing.

6. I love reading books.

7. Cookery, travel and sitcoms are my fav shows.

8. I love maggi noodles (very very popular in India, not with moms though).

9. I can sleep for hours, even if I am not exhausted.

10. I am very very lazy… but you probably got that by point no.9 :).

Section 1a: Directions for you to accept the “Inner Peace” Award + 1-4  above.

The only “rule” for the Inner Peace Award is that you write a short piece on why you are accepting it.  I am giving each of you the choice of one or the other of these awards , or both as you decide. Nominate 3- 10 nominees as  examples of Inner Peace.

To be honest, the reason I am accepting this award is because it is the first one I received since I started blogging, and I would be a fool to not accept it (even if the title has nothing to do with me 😛 ). No seriously, I am anything but at peace inside, and the only thing I can related it with is Kung Fu Panda! 😛

My nominations for the Sunshine Award and Inner Peace Award:

Warning… if you do accept this award, there goes one hour of your time in writing this acceptance post. Pretty much like the never ending thank you speech after Oscars. 🙂 Cheers!


I just started watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S for the sixth time. And thanks to my worse than pathetic memory, I am enjoying every moment of it! I don’t know why but the jokes are still funny to me, even though the series is almost two decades old.

I didn’t have cable at my place, so I apart from catching the occasional episode at Ketki’s place, I didn’t really follow it with any dedication. It was when a friend of mine gave me a couple of episodes in his pen drive. I saw those 6-7 episodes many times and then pestered him to give me the complete set.

I was to leave for Bangalore in 15 days and finishing all those episodes before that looked as difficult as my BSc Math paper.

Each episode is 24 minutes long.

There are 24 episodes in each season. There are 10 seasons.

So 10x24x24/60 = number of hours I would need to finish this mountain!

Its 96 hours by the way, according to the calculator. Now I am awake for maximum of 12 hours in a day (I think I belong to the cat family, they sleep a lot you know!). Out of which I could easily devote 8 hours to watching Friends, since I didn’t have any college to attend.

Again, according to the helpful calculator in my laptop, I would need 12 days to finish it off. I had 15 in hand! Tough job my friend, which I completed and am still waiting for the President of India’s Letter of Appreciation.  I spent the next three days packing (refer to the previous post to know how much I hate it) and burning all the Friends episodes onto CDs (I didn’t own a laptop then and had complete faith in my parents that they would delete it the moment I leave the house).

Till today, this sitcom has helped me through rough days and bad moods. Laughter sure is the best medicine, especially when Chandler Bing is administering it to you. All these years, I have seen so many sitcoms and was thinking maybe I won’t find this one that interesting once I decide to watch it again (since it now belongs to another generation). I am being proved wrong right this moment… I just finished watching ‘Monica and Chandler get married’.

But now I have some doubts which I think earlier I was too naive to figure out. How on earth do all of them hang out in Central Perk in the middle of the day? Don’t they have, as Rachel puts it, “that work thing”?

And also, don’t they EVER lock their front doors? They just barge into each others apartments, which is fine by me. But living in a place like Delhi has taught me that if your front door is not locked, you move up the list of being potentially robbed or raped. No such issues in New York City?

Probably once I finish the 10th season, I would have some more such questions. And I demand the answers to them. Arnab Goswami, “how you doin’“!