Terrifying bomb blast

There was a bomb blast outside the office of the doctor I’d written about in my previous post. This is the 9th bomb blast in 2 months in Guwahati. This one was particularly powerful, 6 people died and close to 40 injured. There were gruesome images in the media. I shudder to think that we were at that very place two weeks back. People are now avoiding the crowded market places and commercial areas. Its like the Guwahati in the 90’s. Terror in people’s hearts, except this time the people want peace and nobody wants to be liberated anymore.

Experiences outside a "baby doctors" office in Ghy

A crowded street in the middle of a market known as Fancy Market in Guwahati. Fancy is the corrupted version – used to be “Faasi” meaning “death by hanging”, which is what used to happen at the place long ago.

The area is full of godowns where Guwahati’s groceries, clothing and what name you pass through. Full of trucks full of goods.

The docs office is through a pharmacy on a crowded street. Nearby are shops selling clothes, grocery, auto parts, you name it.

I get a small card with a number 8 on it. Wait my turn outside the docs office on the first floor. Outside, 7 marwari kids with parents wait. The doc is a Marwari.

Doc calls out the numbers one by one. Interesting to look at the kids. There is a year old girl with kohl lined bright eyes, payal on her tiny ankles, huge black bindi to ward off the evil eye.

A 2 year old precocious kid. Howls when entering the docs office, holds on to the door and refuses to enter. Almost drags everybody out of the office. Somehow comes out smiling.

Our turn to enter. Doc is wearing a small teddy bear on his stethoscope. Very cute. Good for entertaining kids.

Baby gets examined, all okay says Doc. I voice the thousands of concerns I have. None of which seem to be justified. They are all the this-is-what-life-with-kids-is-about variety.

All well, get back home happy with Baby in arms.

mother’s day cake for my mother


Circumstances being different I may have forgotten this day. But hey, I am a New Mom.. and being a new Mom I can kind of guess the trouble my Mom must have gone through to bring us up. I felt like doing something special for her.. going out to buy something was difficult what with Xunjoni being awake. So I baked a simple cake for her.. I think she liked it. See the grin on her face 🙂

38 infants die in Kerala hospital due to unhygienic conditions

A news item appeared a few days back – 38 infants have died in hospital in Kerala due to unhygienic conditions.

The Kerala CM makes the claim that these reports are baseless. His logic, people are still coming to hospital for delivery, so that proves that the conditions in the hospital are hygienic.

As a new Mom, the images of the little infants dead in the hospital was haunting. The CM’s claim left me outraged. I feel strongly for the parents who had to deal with the loss of their child, and then the apathy of the govt.

A panel has been created to review the reason for the deaths. As with all other panels, this one too will file a report that will probably go unnoticed..meanwhile, the loss of a newborn will always be with the parents, whatever the panel report is.

Noyonika is whole of 1 month


We had a “Naam” at my parents house for Noyonika’s one month celebrations. Naam is an integral part of traditional Assamese Vaishnavaite culture, made popular by Srimanta Sankardeva.

The Naam at our house was sung by 25 Gopinis, women who sing the Naam to the accompaniment of a “Nagara” or a set of twin drums, and Taal ( cymbals).

Noyonika loved the Naam, she seemed to listen intently to the devotional songs and music.

Interesting ritual: The Gopinis held Noyonika, and asked us to “buy” her back from them. Ma had to pay up to get her granddaughter back!

A rose by any other name ..

Thus sayeth Shakespeare.

We don’t agree of course. We here refers to the legion of new parents who are going through the agony of picking a name for their very special newborn. Imagining somehow that this name will be the deciding factor for their future. Agonising over whether to go ethnic ( Sanskrit names are very popular these days), international ( Greek, Romanian, Italian, you name it), very local ( Gauri-like), or very practical ( names that people the world over can pronounce, a task virtually impossible).

When my daughter was born the choice of proposed names flew swiftly and smoothly – I ignored most of them. The variety of names could vie with Baskin-Robbins flavors. In fact some of them got dangerously close to food fantasies. For example, Tiramisu ( suggested by my husband and a deranged friend). I shuddered imagining the jibes my daughter would be subject to in the future. Then there were the names suggested by the grandfather – hearkening back to an era gone by. Names included “Tokapiaram” – the same deranged friend put the nail in the coffin on this one remarking that it sounded like a dhobi’s ( washerman) name. There were others that were highly religious names after the pantheons of Hindu Gods and goddesses.

We finally settled on the name Noyonika, meaning expressive eyes. Which is ironic, as she looks like she may resemble her Mom ( who has Oriental eyes, that are far from being expressive). We have to wait and watch.

Meanwhile, we call her Xunjoni at home. It is an Assamese name. It means Golden Girl. So far she has justified the name by being the reigning queen of our house.