an equation named ..

..August To-Do

3 Grad parties
1 Satyanarayana Puja
1 Ist birthday bash
1 Mehendi
1 Sangeet
1 Wedding
1 Reception
2 Birthdays
1 25th wedding anniversary
1 Varalakshmi puja to do
25 or more to attend
1 Weekend at the beach
1 Chess camp
Back-to-school shopping for school supplies
Back-to-school shopping for clothes for middle-schooler
Back-to-school shopping for munchkin
1 Thank-you dinner to host
1 End-of-summer party for tweens to host
1 Mathcounts team to arrange and prep
1 PTA meeting to decide on
2 Diwali dances to choreograph
3 Emails to reply to for Fall schedules
2 Deadlines at work
1 Bridal shower to organize
1 Summer picnic
1 Friendly neighborhood evening fiesta
To meet 2 Flute teachers and pick 1
1 girls nite out – date with Matt Damon

translates to

Stressful decisions on ‘what to wear’ – especially considering there’s an overlap of women in almost all of the desi events. Start the closet-rampage, as saris without blouses, and blouses with missing mates are discovered, only to find the absolute perfect one and realise no way that I could fit myself into it. The blouses have this sneaky way of shrinking on me. Crib and shout at anyone who dares cross my path. Bringing deafening silence on the top floor of home. Wish I could just wear ostrich feathers and be accepted with grace. Finally landing one only to be annoyed by some dumb lady who’d go ‘hey Rads, didn’t you wear this sari once already?’ wth!? or something more idiotic as ‘oh, that is so last year’s fashion’ – argh! My only retort’s that worked so far has been ‘would you rather see me without one’? Ive had shock, fear, annoyance and awe register – am yet waiting for that one bindaas brash head-on collision who does have a comeback! [it reallys isn’t hard, as mine isn’t the best one on earth, but retorts and comebacks come to me in slow motion. Born in the 70’s I stick true to my era of slow-mo movie styles]

Sulking away by the end of the day. Dealing with munchkin’s tantrums on ‘need-to-wear-a-new-dress’ EVERY single time or day. Having to convince son to wear something a little more respectable than his usual basketball jersey and shorts. Giving up on husband as he insists on his ‘campus-look’ at every event.

Dealing with crazy-screaming-cuckoo tweens and their massive appetites.[A mom-pop grocery shop would empty in the blink of an eye] Having to listen to their music at decibels that would bring the cops on sirens. Keeping the munchkin away from the huge tweens who refuse to see below their necks and bump into anything under 4 feet with no feeling or guilt.

Visit the mall to spend agonising hours on ‘what-to-buy’ for all the celebrants, and realising I’ve spent an incredibly ridiculous amount on the ‘others’. Feel terrible and in an effort to feel better fall for the temptation of a pedicure and maybe a new outfit with a “since-I-do-all-the-work-I-deserve-it” attitude.

Meeting the bride and all the friends I’d lost touch with over the past few months and having a blast dancing the night away. Feeling absolutely happy for her and the dude and grinning all the 3 days. Konjufying with the 1 year old, she’s a darling alright!

Start the annual search for the Varalakshmi CD on the night before, not finding it and succumbing to playing it online – thanks to google. Getting extremely exasperated that I can’t get the boorelu to stay within and not pop in the oil, cribbing to mom and in turn getting mad at her for some insane reason. Start the kumkum-vethalapakku route on the Friday with munchkin in tow, and drive like a madwoman dressed in pattu sari perhaps well into midnight.

Pouring over all kuthu songs in tamil [which KC has graciously collected for me] and finding an appropriate one in telugu to do a mix of both. Finding that eluding one semi-classical number that doesn’t put folks to sleep.

Deal with parents of kids at school who refuse to be gracious and modest or accomodating while I arrange for the team meetings. Lose my temper and say ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ and wonder why adults don’t behave like adults.

Losing a few pounds with all the stress and gaining them right back with all the yummy sundal, cake, desi food thats just way too hard to resist despite the sexy Guess jeans hanging in my closet which fit my every curve not so long ago, but refuses to go past my knees these days, mocking at me every morning.


Learn to say ‘no’ – just repeat after me ‘sorry, we cant make it’

Let me start now. Somebody, quick, ask me a question. I shall work on the ‘no’ starting now. 🙂

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34 replies on “an equation named ..”
  1. says: Twisted DNA

    “Somebody, quick, ask me a question”
    Will you send some boorelu to me? I don’t mind if they are crumpled. Do a couple of bobbatlu while are you are at it?

    Boy that’s a lot of things for one human to handle! You need:
    1 personal secretary
    3 baby sitters (don’t tell you teens I called them babies)
    1 Lame excuse to miss the dinners/parties
    1 conversion into atheism just before all pujas

    By the way, what’s with calling it “varalakshmi pooja”? I heard it only from non-ahdhraites (that is Tenlangana, Tamil Nadu bordering districts etc.) In Andhra is called “varalakshmi vratam” as indicated by the instruction books (“varalakshmi vrata vidhaanam” etc.)

    Twisted “The Andhraite” DNA

  2. says: madsies

    Boy o Boy lots to do and enjoy!!!
    The dress saga has always seem to be there – but whats the fun without going thro this!!!

    Twisted DNA –

    People in Tamil Nadu say – “Varalakshmi Nombu” 🙂

  3. says: The Pilgrim

    Looks like a packed schedule. Could I get an appointment – like next month for a phone conversation?

    Are you saying, you are not getting enough time to shop?

    I can supply you with the most innovative and believable excuses to miss some of the engagements. (Moderately priced too…)

  4. says: rads

    madsies – fun alright, just that this month’s looking like an overdose of it. I might just OD by Labor day.

    tdna – No! :p
    No boorelu nor bobbatlu for you. [read it like the soup-nazi style!]

    I did type in ‘vratam’ but considering it’s just u and madsies who are telugus and read me, I figured I’d standardize it for the rest. 🙂

  5. says: Anonymous


    how about finishing the july 2006 story? i am really curious what happened in the end (i just donated the local toyota dealership one arm and one leg last weekend). maybe i should’ve gotten a second opinion from … who was that now … mechanic mary?

    – s.b.

  6. says: maverick

    ok here’s my question:

    will u NOT send me a million dollars ? 🙂

    tht must be hell of august. i now realize y u were saying u discovered tht way too many people r born in summer 🙂

    dont force ur hubby to go beyond the ‘campus-look’, thts kooler these days in ladies (i’d like to believe) n defnitely more comfortable for we guys 🙂

  7. says: rads

    maverick – Noo. I will not send you a million bucks, maybe someone else will :p
    oh well, if that was the reason I’d gladly agree considering how much I am in love with nerds and geeks and the tousled look. But unfortunately, that is’nt the case.
    wait a sec, are you sneaking in the option to make the husband look attractive to other ladies?! 🙂

    sb – as the post claims, you will get a NO to your question. Am on a roll here! :p
    Mechanic Mary = Madsies. Click and ask away 🙂

    Pilgrim – Noo, to both your questions. A moment’s hesitation is like a click of the guillotine :p
    I should tap yours and tdna’s vast resources. You guys look like you know what you are talking! :))

    tdna – just realized you called me a mom of teens. Am a little crushed, I believe I have 3 more years to go before I qualify!

  8. says: Schmetterling

    i love your social life. it sounds like trophy wife-super mom-super girl really does. not that it’s not stressful. i usually end up in my campus look no matter how hard i motivate myself to dress up, unless there’s a pretty boy in question 😛
    today’s ponnu paathufying event had me in ripped jeans(which got ripped because i slipped and fell on ice, and then i cried, because i paid 40 bucks for the curvy express jeans) and my michigan t-shirt 🙂 suffice to say mom didn’t think it was amusing. the boy’s dad stepped on the frayed end of my jeans and i ended up tripping him. recipe for disaster number #9485.
    so go with tights, uggs and a school sweatshirt 🙂

  9. says: kuttichuvaru

    tats way too much on the schedule 🙂 a woman’s life is tough!! Thank God I am not one!!

    glad to help with the kuthu songs – least I could do…. I shall try to get u download links too 🙂

  10. says: kiwilax

    Ah the joys of being NRI and culturally-rooted too!!! I have now not even just stepped on the brakes – I have brought my social vehicle to a a screaming halt!!!! The engine will need to rev up for Navarathri (a mad 10 days), but till then, we are all steeped in winter blues and in semi-hibernation. Good luck with it all;-)

  11. says: rads

    tdna – yes, completely.

    kiwilakhs – we trudge on no matter the weather, such is our loyalties and propensity towards torturing ourselves! We try to ‘hibernate’ Jan-Feb-March 🙂

    KC – I know! Well, in all fairness, I think I don’t know how to relax, get quite restless if I don’t have all my 10 figers into everything I see. Curious cat 🙂
    Thanks for links pa, need Saroja Saaman nikalo. It’s hilarious.

    Schmetter – Ouch@ripping Express jeans. Those are some fine fit Express makes! I had one, say about hmm.. 9 yrs ago, and they fit soo good! 🙁 I have it saved in a precious chest as a memori of the good ol days.
    whats with all this ponnupakkal? :O Am shocked. Your act reminded me of Revathi in Mouna Ragam – if you are clueless on what am saying, just ask. 🙂

  12. says: Silvara

    LOL – i kinda wish I had half the things to do on your list because i am BORED at home. Yes I know I have lots to do but feeling uninspired so wouldn’t mind being busy in something else lol.

    I guess fortunately (or unfortunately?) we don’t go to many cultural thingies here – stick to the main ones for the sole reason that we would have to wear the same thing twice 😛 and people remember believe me lol. but then come all the other little functions so that goes totally out the window. Can’t win.

    Even Superwomen need some time to relax 😀

  13. says: SK

    Oooh boy Rads,
    I felt breathless and stressed out as I read your blog. LOL! :–))
    Reagrding the dilemma of what to wear, I like your husband’s ‘campus look’ attitude, I generally follow it. I dont even bother to dress up, so no one has any expectations. :–D Try it, will help with all the stress. He he.

    Btw, long posts nowadays, I am loving it! :–))

  14. says: Nandita Mundle

    At the risk of sounding like a complete moron…Whats konjufying?…
    and woah! your life seems hectic…and fun i guess???

  15. says: Ok

    DISCLAIMER: Err.. I made the mistake of starting to read the post just before we were going to a movie. Knowing rads I figured it wont be more than a few lines. But it seemed to stretch and stretch! So I have read only half. These comments are based only on that.

    COMMENT: Errr can I come and live at your place. I sorely seem to miss parties, sangeeths. I am fine with even attending a bridal shower. Can you squeeze in an invite for me please. You could be my grandmom. I mean I am 24 and you are 84.

  16. says: W H

    “Man is a social animal” certainly didn’t mean that you need to socialize to this extent….

  17. says: W H

    An afterthought: “Man is a social animal” didn’t imply man had to drink socially.

    :)) I’m serious.

  18. says: Schmetterling

    rads, i do know revathy in mouna ragam. it wasn’t the look i was going for at all. i was just plain not interested. and there’s way too much family around to make a point. So I just went with it. No one found it entertaining. They thought I was irresponsible, especially because my sister’s fiance’s parents were around, and it is such a *rotten* way to behave in front of *them*. Oh the woes of being a close-knit tambram family, and on the verge of completing the big 2-3. Oh the woes, oh the woes.

  19. says: rads

    schmetterling – I know, Ive been there. It’s torturous to say the least. You should elope. 😐
    [ok, am a crazed woman still needing a cup of coffee so don’t take my advice seriously:)]

    wh – alors! the humor’s back 😀
    The magic word being “need” – no, I don’t need to, some I like, some I have to, some I enjoy absolutely. So its a balance alright 🙂

    OK -lol@disclaimer. See, you ought not assume 🙂
    Since the object of the post is for me to practice saying ‘NO’ – I am forced to refuse your inviting yourself over. Sadly. Howmuch ever I’d love to tag you along and smear mehendi patterns all over your palms. Maybe the next time? 🙂

    Nandita – “konjufying” is Tamglish for cuddling/pampering – I doubt you’d know if you didn’t grow up down south 🙂
    It’s hectic, and its primarily August. It’s fun alright.. as long as I don’t think too much 🙂

    Archana – along the way dear, huffing and puffing along the way 🙂

    SK – lol, youre the only sweet one who’s loving my rambling. I can sense a groan in the rest of the comments 😀
    Campus look rocks. But then we have to age gracefully too.. unfortunate, but true 🙂

    Silvara – I know!! Aren’t the ladies ridiculously needing a life, keeping track of the rest of the junta’s wardrobes, for cryin out loud!!
    Want to try ordering some gift cards for me? Be my personal shopper 😀

    Dushti – I so badly need it 🙂

  20. says: Anonymous


    “”Man is a social animal” certainly didn’t mean that you need to socialize to this extent….”

    i think i know what some ‘real women’ will say: “woman is social! man is just an animal (in ‘campus clothes’, that too!).” 😉


    thanks for asking the question i was afraid* to ask.

    – s.b.

    * –> someone had asked some time ago (on terri’s) what ‘thayir sadam’ was, and i had smart alecked about a floating former iraqi dictator – so, i did not want to be on the receiving end of a similar pj :-).

    p.s.: rads, you are now racking up comments like a gilchrist one-day innings!

  21. says: Metlin

    Forget what all these other crazy people say. You just need one thing – a stiff drink to set your nerves straight and you’ll be peachy!

  22. says: rads

    Metlin – I knew you’d come through! Yes, that’s exactly what I need. 😐

    sb – 🙂
    thanks for that link to december dude. I have my 2cents in there 🙂

  23. says: Baliga

    @ ok: when u call any lady (84 or not) 84 you will not be the most fav person in the history of ever. small tip.

    @ rads: haha.. social whirl wind in store i see. and im in awe. i cant deal with even 2 social events a month with th ‘what to wear’panic…

    o and for those ‘this is so last season grannies’ those very same lines they use are ‘ like uhh so last season’.
    its not what you wear(last seaon or not) its how you wear it. 🙂

  24. says: Usha

    Superwoman, all the best and tell us how it all went!
    Sounds like a lot of fun though except for that bit about wearing a different dress each time and having to manage parents.

  25. says: rads

    Usha – It isfun, despite the stress. lol@superwoman, no no, just a CantSayNoWoman 🙂

    Baliga – Please believe me when I say it’s this particular August that we’ve been burdened.:)
    That is one heck of a line, am using it a zillion times over this month!

    Terri – Yes, now you know why I started working ;-))

  26. says: Ok

    Yey! I read it. But i see another super long post. I totally adore your posts. And the longer your posts the more are the comments. I am sure you have noticed they have increased from 15 -> 30.

    And I dont concur with you. Why do you want to say no? Its super fun.

    @ baliga: Hmmm is this why I am not so popular with women? 😉

  27. says: rads

    ok – youre good for my ego. Now, will you be my best friend forever ;-))
    So what’s fun now – tagging along to mehendi or getting it all over your hands? 🙂

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