Daily life

Cute find of the weekend

1:01 PM

Cricket indifferent lot, the World Cup has arrived. This means that unlike you managed to find your perfect match, your significant other has been sucked in and bowing to their flat screen.
Instead of trying to compete for attention you'll never get (11 guys hitting and chasing a ball alway come first), find ways to enjoy your free time solo.

Or, In my case, with a kiddo banned from watching cartoons (the Octonauts not being a cricket team). Fortunately, I was on the mission this weekend. Gracefully dumped on me by the school who decided to ask the kiddos to come in white ethnic wear to celebrate Republic day instead of letting them wear anything tricolour.
Got to love the specifics huh? White AND ethnic, not one or the other, nope had to be both. And, as it is the case with all these parental shopping assignment, the simpler it appears to be, the harder it'll get.

So, this Sunday, I safely abandoned DH in front of the flat screen (newly purchased, apparently the coming World Cup meant our old square and cathodic tube had to go). Ishita and I hit the mall instead. Me full of energy, Ishita full of hope at the idea of getting a fancy party dress.
3 shops later I was dragging my feet and Ishita kept whining that she didn't like the idea of getting a white kurta.
By the time we hit shop number 5, she was impossible, hungry, and I was just pissed at yet once again having to figure a holy grail-esque quest for yet another school commissioned outfit.

Left between the choice of exploding all over the place or committing a murder. I decided that the school could go get lost, grabbed the first almost all white kurta I could find in her size, red and orange accents be damned, then dragged Ishi to the leggings shelves to grab something white.
My primary mission accomplished, I zoomed to the food court for a pit stop. Marvelled at the fact that it takes only a little fast food crap to get a kid back to being happy an cooperative on a serious shopping expedition and we moved on to my secondary mission.

Because, yes I wasn't crazy enough to just go brave an entire mall of Cricket widows and widowers for one stupid white outfit. This lady is wise and prepared!

The second mission took me to the place any sane people would dread on weekends: Big Bazaar. This in India will understand (and possibly throw me some accolade or pronounce me crazy...I'll accept both). If you are unfamiliar with India, Big Bazaar would pretty much be the equivalent of Walmart in the US.
Just replace the half naked crazies by a horde bunch of crazy aunties and out of control kiddos. Picture a queue from hell at the only 3 cash counters out of 15 that are operational and you have it.

What prompted me to head there was finding a replacement for our wet laundry hamper, or possibly a hamper to store Ishita's stuffier while we highjacked her pink basket to do the trick. All the Kirana stores, junk stores and supermarkets closer to home proved to be fruitless.
I had hopes, hopes that Big Bazaar, the world champion of plastic containers and baskets would come to my rescue. And even more shockingly than all the other stores I visited came up as equally disappointing.

Not a single hamper with holes, or stupid collapsible springy clothes hamper in sight! Ishita lost patience in the temple of all things plastic very quickly and the whine monster menaced. Until she found what we will call the cutest find of the weekend :
Surprise cute find at Big Bazaar

An adorable green watering can! To be fair, we needed one, I just never really decided to go hunt that kind of elusive thing for years. The plastic toilet mug made the job a bit harder since we moved into this particular flat. Something with a longer spout would not hurt. But, seriously? All the way to the mall and Big Bazaar to just get a 160 rupees watering can? Really?
No way, if I were to go braving the mighty cash counter queue, I had the duty of at least checking if there were no other things I needed without actually knowing.

Except that I knew...

Or kitchen towels were all threatening on going thread bare, with a few alread half way there. I kept thinking to pick up a few at the first opportunity that never really showed up. So, trapped in Big Bazaar on a Sunday with a 160 bucks cute green watering can and a cranky daughter seemed like the perfect time to do it. This is the type of crap Big Bazaar tend to sell cheap.

Except that since the last time I needed some cheap kitchen linens, they have hyped their game. the linens in question were still fairly cheap, but remarkably cute too. Ishita fell in love with a set of two blue and white towels, and I agreed. We headed to the cash counter, got assaulted by Club Mahindra and Country Club while waiting and escaped without loosing too much sanity. Without any laundry basket or storage stuff, but in the procession of two cute items...CUTE.

The watering can alone had magical powers, it made Ishita happy to follow me in Lifestyle to hopefully find what we were looking for on sale. And we did...but that is another story.

We returned back home with our loot. Sorted out the mess in Ishita's room while DH watched India loosing against Australia and hung my happy looking dish towel in the kitchen. Towel that DH claimed looked really good...of all small things to notice.


  1. What an adventure! Of course you forgot the 2 person counter to tie all women's handbags while aunties in their 60s ans 70s are most likely to cut the queue!!

    1. I think they tie the handbags in Dmart only :-) I hate that store. Fortunately it wasn't the case in Big Bazaar, but yeah, queue cutting normally happens, though in that outlet they made clearly demarcated corridors to cash counters between wire bins of cheap impulse buy crap, so once you are in nobody can cut the line, it feels a bit like cattle being brough to the hot branding iron though.

  2. Anonymous4:16 PM

    I think you have been through a lot. World Cup this year is being held in Australia which has not been a happy hunting ground for India. I remember the last World Cup was held in Australia and New Zealand in 1992 when I was appearing for my Tenth Board Exam. Tenth Board was the most important event not just for a student but also for the entire family in those days. But we could not resist the temptation of watching the World Cup. Oh, the tension of the boards coupled with the tension of what would happen to the Indian team. Deliciously dangerous combination. Fortunately, India defeated Pakistan but was knocked out of the tournament.

    This time ofcourse, Indian team lacks experience/good bowlers and on bouncy Australian and Kiwi pitches, it is never going to be easy. Your DH would be disappointed, I guess.

    Cricket in our times was more like religion. Every Indian boy worth his salt, had to be good in cricket, or he was not man enough. Rites of passage, I guess. Anything would do, three stones placed in a row, three vertical lines on a wall with the juice of green leaves, wooden plank. He who owned the bat, ball and stumps could dictate the terms. He was the most sought after boy for friendship. He could threaten to take back his bat/ball, if he felt annoyed with a decision. The rules were modified depending upon the space available. Ofcourse, broken window panes was an unsavory outcome of the game.

    These days ofcourse the really elites of India don't talk about cricket. Cricket is old fashioned. Now, they say smugly "Oh man, you know I am a Manchester United Fan". Cricket is for common, unsophisticated folks.


    1. I try to hear as little as I can about cricket :-) but then I do that with just about any sports. I am really not a sports fan. In fact playing team games in PE was the bane of my existence. I hated them and I am pretty sure every single balls hated me too, basketball ball, tennis ball, football ball, baseball ball, volleyball ball....they were all out to attack me and kill me. I was a royal embarrassment to the human race when it came to PE activity that had to take place on solid ground. swimming was my thing, as were every water sports for that matter, including rowing. On good old solid earth I had two left feet and in Switzerland PE is subjected to tests and marks, you can actually flunk your school year if you fail PE, thankfully even if you suck at whatever sport they are testing you at, you can redeem yourself on behaviour as our attitude was marked as strongly as the sport we were practicing. Failure to be nice to the teacher, try your best and help clean the gymnasium could do more harm than your failure at throwing a Javelin.

      I sucked monumentally at throwing said Javelin, so I got 1 out of six as far as marks go, but because I was trying hard, and helping the teacher clean up after class, I got 6 out of 6 for behaviour, which meant I passed PE :-)

    2. Anonymous12:41 PM

      This set me thinking about how we classify recreational activities for boys and girls. We give bats to boys and dolls to girls, thus reinforcing gender stereotypes. The make believe doll game with the house and other accessories is nothing but an imitation of adult behavior and adult issues, marriage, dowry etc. The levels of negativity in girls games is sometimes frightening. I don't know why we as a society encourage such activities which breed negativity in young girls. I think it is an insult to the intelligence of girls. If I had a girl, I would rather tell her to go out and kick a ball than to arrange an elaborate make believe marriage with dolls. Competitive sport at least don't give you time to think and the adrenaline rush creates positive energy in your body.

      In India ofcourse girls are not encourage to play vigorous games so prevent any injury/darkening of complexion etc., which would act as a hindrance in future marriage. The public spaces are also not safe. Girls do lose out on physical exercises I guess. Swimming is ofcourse an elite sport with swimming pools located in five star hotels and clubs where common man cannot enter.

      These days ofcourse neither boys nor girls want to play and get dirty. When you can chat in air conditioned comfort, who want to brave the heat and play games. So, the hang around in groups, gossiping, talking selfies and listening to music. Children who do not play and sit on their asses is most irritating. One cannot blame them. Shrinking spaces do not give them the real feel to children. I mean how much freely can you play between cars who are ready to run you down. They go to park and elders scold them. People have fought cases in Delhi for the right to children to play in parks can you imagine. The court has upheld the right of the children to play in parks. But, this is a constant cause of quarrels between elders who want some peace of mind in parks and children who want to play. We were fortunate because our government colony had designated play grounds in each block which have now been encroached upon by government to provide parking to cars. Whenever I visit the colony it is sad to see the grounds getting shrunk by car parkings.


    3. This is exactly why in my home going out to the playground is non negotiable, it is an absolute must to end the day. I grew up playing outdoor (I just really suck at ball games), my parents pretty much made it a rule, that if it is not raining, weekends are NOT spent at home, we went cycling, walking, hiking, skiing, sledding and Yep my dad had a sailboat, so when the weather was nice we were on that boat a lot, Geneva has a big lake enough to enjoy, and we learned swimming in the lake too.

      This whole gender stereotyping drives me crazy, toys are far more biased nowadays than they were when I was a kid. Legos were Legos when I grew up, they came in yellow, green, blue, red white and black. And there was no special sets, just the basic bricks to build whatever you wanted. nowadays it is pirates for boys, pink girly crap for girls, and I mean crap, girl Legos teach girls to hang out at the beauty parlour and enjoy ice creams at the cafe.

      I let Ishita decide what she likes to play with, she has a mix of train tracks, Legos and dolls, and a few matchbox cars. That is what toys should be : gender neutral. And I think boys playing with dolls is cool too, growing up I had male friends who had barbie dolls and no one really worried. But in today's world it is apparently a really bad thing.

      I am a bit worried seeing all these kids scared of playing in the dirt, dirt exposure builds the immune system to begin with. Then playing outdoor has been scientifically proven to help children develop into well rounded and healthy individuals. Dwindling space is of course one problem, but in my area which is very green and has a lot of open space you surprisingly find very few kids out, they are all tucked in front of a tablet, or the TV. I even heard some ladies saying that their kids made the choice to watch TV instead of going out...made the choice? As a parent I make it my ultimate duty to keep her away from the idiot box, she doesn't have a say about it. As far as I am concerned she is allowed to watch it in the morning before school, and then not at all, she can whine all she wants, scream and beg, but the TV stays off. She knows it perfectly well and don't even ask for it or even feel like she is missing on anything, she spend all her afternoon free time eagerly waiting for park time.

    4. By the way, Ishita ows a cricket bat :-) a plastic one that she picked up when she was 22 months old. She happily took it to the playground as a toddler. She still plays with it on occasion but these days she prefers her skate board or her scooter over the bat, and her favourite thing is Gymnastics, she LOVES her gymnastic class

    5. Anonymous9:52 AM

      What is happening in India with children's games is dangerous because unlike the west, we always had limited opportunities of games and physical exercise. Two hours of vigorous football and cricket in the evening would be sufficient. Now, the same time has been taken over by tuitions for children. Parents have become lazy, they don't want to put an effort. Why do you need to send your children to tutions in lower classes. Then, they are also proud that their children are techno savvy and can operate a tablet at an early age. If you don't play at the age of 10 or 13, then when are you going to play. By the time you enter the higher grades, the competition hots up and then there is little time for play. No matter which stream you choose Science, Arts or Commerce, there is cut throat completion. Earlier, there was hierarchy in subjects. Intelligent people took Science, less intelligent opted for Commerce and good for nothing went for Arts. After opening up of the economy Commerce become a hot subject. Then, some smart guy discovered that Arts subjects of history, geography and political science gives an extra edge in the Indian Administrative Services Exam. Now, nothing is easy or relaxing. This situation will remain for sometime, I guess till we develop alternate avenues of employment for young people.

      Indian children have limited time and opportunity for recreational activities and parent should ensure that make the most of it.


    6. What is happening now in India is what happened a few decades ago in Switzerland, the realisation that there are no easy professions. Until the 70's apprenticeship professions were considered to be for the dumbs, lazy, idiots that could not study, until an acute demand for better service in these small fields started to sprout. People didn't want a hairstylist that just cut hair clumsily, they wanted an expert, ditto with building painters, carpenters and chefs. Because of it, apprenticeships in Switzerland are as though to master as anything, because you no longer just learn a menial job, you learn to be an expert in your field.
      I see more and more people here demanding more quality from what is considered cheap labour, as a result, things will start changing fast in India. Those who have the extra skills in any given field do make more money. All through history, success has always belonged to those going off the beaten track too. It is a harder, thoug her, scarier path however.

      What baffles me with tuition hungry parents in India is that they will put these small children in classes thinking they are doing what is best for their child's development when in fact scientific studies have proven that homeworks, tuitions and coaching do little good if any, but that a good night of sleep and plenty of physical activity will boos pt a child IQ.
      Kids learn through play, and lots of it, any play, it doesn't even have to be with fancy educational toys, just good old unstructured play time at the park with friends. Games of pretending we are in a jungle, or a pastry chef in the sand pit, or an explorer in a magical world. They all trigger creativity, enhance problem solving skills, social skills, verbal skills, cognitive skills and helps the body stay fit and healthy, play time outdoor also ensure the immune system stays strong and kids who get to play outdoor tend to fall sick less often.

      I have friends who brag about how their kids can switch on the TV by themselves, I actually feel prouder that Ishita doesn't know how to do it at age 5. She knows how to do a cartwheel, a tumble and hang upside down on the monkey bars instead...to each their own :-)

  3. Anonymous10:13 PM

    We didn't have too many dress up days when my sons were in elementary school, luckily. One son had to dress up like Mark Twain a few years ago, when he was 11, and I told him to be creative and figure out something. I have no patience for things like that! We have tons of Welmarts here in the US, so I feel your pain about waiting in line. Another thing I hate to do! It infuriates me because I wonder why Walmart built 40 registers but only opens 4. I usually go to Target. It's a little more expensive but cleaner and more predictable. Susan

    1. They love creating special days in schools around here, and it inevitably end up being a homework for the parents when you are having children in pre primary, level.
      I avoid big bazaar as much as possible, it is usually my last resort store for many things. The worst is the fact that the select few cash counters that are open also have a totally incompetent staff, rare are the time it was a painless process. Half of the time there is a problem with one of the product that refuse to scan, only for them to find out it is not in their database...if it was something exotic and imported fine, but when it is a pack of Maggi noodle they forgot to register with the promo price, that becomes ridiculous. Or the 20 rupees of bambino pasta that scans as costing 99 rupees. For that one they swore it was the correct price until I directly put the MRP under their nose, which resulted in them finding themselves in a pickle because they had no idea what to do, and me to tell them to just leave it, to have them tell me they could not just cancel that one pack of pasta because they didn't know how without the manager...they blocked the line for a solid 20 minutes before locating said manager to solve the issue.

      They are also tampering with the goods they sell, they prick holes in packs of packaged food to flatten them so they can put more in the shelves. A problem that has been brought up in social medias by many. They usually dismiss such complaints. The last place to ever go buy food if you want quality, they only really can be worth it in the household items department, where you can get lucky like I did this weekend.

  4. Anonymous3:13 AM

    Wow! Pricking holes in packages is pretty low! Can you imagine how fast it becomes bug-infested and/or stale? Gross! Incompetent cashiers are the worst!

    1. Yep it is low, and crass and unhygienic at its best, it compromise a quality product and could even give a bad name to the brand of the packaged food. They don't just do it in their low class big Bazaar outlet, one of my friend went to the high scale gourmet supermarket Food Hall which belongs to the same group, they were doing it there too, when she demanded to see the manager and showed him what his employee was doing this douche bag started telling the employee in hindi to take a break and continue punching holes in the bag after 5 minutes. Those who have complained to the FB page saw their complaints deleted. :-(


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