Wednesday, May 25, 2011

(a)breast and the gym

I don't understand (despite my age and relevant experience in dealing with men) why they can't look us in the eye when they talk... Why do their eyes either hover around our bodies or concentrate on some select parts (all you ladies reading this, you DO know what I am talking about...) ?

I am a very unapproachable person in the gym. I am serious about my work outs, so I go in, do my thing and get out. I don't smile, wave or acknowledge the presence of others in the gym (barring my trainer). Thats the way I am. I am also unapologetic about this.

Anyways, there are men in the gym who won't stop looking at you, trying to catch your eye, and if you do happen to see them watching you, some turn away, and some smile ... But they won't stop looking. Either they are deeply intrigued by the workout regimen I follow or perhaps amused. Either ways I actually don't give a damn.

Two days ago though, as I walked to the free weights area after 20 minutes of high intensity cardio(vascular workout) this guy looks at me and smiles and says 'Hi'.

I respond and go a step further and ask him how he's doing. That becomes his cue.

He tells me that he has noticed a 'lot of change' since he first saw me (which means I've lost some)...and then settles to concentrate on the part I've presumably lost most from (yep... as my trainer would say - pectoralis major and minor)...

In that instant I want to embarrass him so I follow his eyes and look at my own pectoralis' and then look at him... He looks up and realising what just happened, pretends to get busy with his work out without bidding adieu...

According to research men are breast obsessed...  Here's why:

They are nature's original milk jugs. Mounds of flesh that come in varying shapes and sizes and can be dressed in an endless array of fabrics and designs. 

Men find breasts calming
In a linear world full of hard edges and harder realities, breasts are soft, welcoming and nonthreatening (kind of like Al Roker). With their obvious connection to breastfeeding, and by extension childhood, breasts remind us of our halcyon days when our mothers protected us from all the world's evils.

Breasts are a symbol of fertility
A-cup or Z-cup, breasts define femininity in the same way that channel surfing and participating in fantasy sports leagues define masculinity. Breasts hint at a woman's ability to nurture and sustain life. 

Breasts are key in arousing women
Any good lover knows that a woman's breasts are closely connected to her primary libidinal zone. Therefore, another reason we like breasts is that we know if we handle these bikini stuffers properly, we can bring women to a state of heightened sexual arousal. Failing that, we can at least tell our friends we managed to get to second base.

Breasts are a home entertainment center
Who among us hasn't used a woman's breasts to play an engaging game of "Tune In to Tokyo"? More than just a milk delivery system, breasts are also a world of entertainment right at your fingertips. Let's face it: There's a reason why they're commonly known as "fun bags."

Men are stimulated visually
Unlike women, who can be aroused by reading a single passage in a Harlequin romance novel, men require visual stimulation. It's hardly surprising then that breasts, raised and perky as they often are, receive our obsessive attention. 

Breasts have the allure of taboo
The erotic allure of breasts is further heightened by the fact these "glands for the hands" are supposed to be kept under wraps and away from view. As Jerry Seinfeld so adroitly pointed out, if women kept their heads covered instead of their breasts, we'd all be heading down to the corner store to pick up the latest copy of Heads Illustrated. We always want that which we cannot have, and in that regard, breasts are the ultimate forbidden fruit.

Keeping abreast of the issues
Men are often accused of speaking to a woman's chest rather than her face, but are we really to blame? Our attraction to these "prisoners of the Playtex penitentiary" is simultaneously physical, psychological and societal. Therefore, go out and celebrate the breast. In fact, go out and celebrate a pair of them. You'd be a boob not to.

What would you want to say to this girls?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sibling Revelry

O (the daughter): "Mom, I had a dream last night and in the dream A (the best friend) and I were singers..."

Me: "Hmmmm....."

O: "Our band is called Soul Divas and we are very famous...."

A (the son): "You'll never be famous..."

O: "Shut up you idiot..."

Just another day of sibling revelry.... Sigh! These are the joys of motherhood I had anticipated and looked forward to!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Face Mask

Glad to know that the son will probably not gawk at beauty regimens women follow after I overheard this conversation last weekend.

Friends of the son drop in on a Sunday at about 2 pm.

I open the door and they look funnily at me. Then I realise why. I have a face mask on.

Anyway, I let them in. They start playing cricket in my living room (much to my alarm) and to avoid the mask from cracking my skin, I squeak, "Please boys. No cricket indoors. Go down and play."

This it seems makes them notice the "mask" again.

Next thing I hear son updating his mis-informed and unaware buddies in his matter-of-fact tone, "Hey, its not yuck thing ya. Its called a face mask. My mother applies it all the time."

My reaction: I laughed and the almost-dry face mask cracked and started to crumble...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day thoughts

I call her my miracle baby.

To first time parents the very conception and eventual birth of their prodigy is nothing short of a miracle.

To me, 'miracle' took on a whole new meaning. Because at 36 weeks of gestation as I basked in the satisfaction of a natural birth (thanks to the yoga I'd undertaken throughout my pregnancy under the expert guidance of an elderly loving lady who ensured I didn't miss the attention or adoration of my mother as I grappled my first pregnancy, a full time MA course in Journalism and the distress of Harish's transfer on a frigate in the light of the Kargil war)....I was in for a rude shock.

My gynae in Cochin (where my parents live and where I thought I would be most comfortable having my first born), a robust Catholic woman looked at my latest ultrasound and declared, "Your baby is in breech and won't move at this stage. Go home, take rest for two weeks and we will plan a C section after that. Decide on a date according to stars etc...thats how you Hindus do it...."

To me, it seemed like the end of the world. Throughout my pregnancy, like any first timer, I'd debated, discussed, researched and done all I possibly could to figure out if I should have a natural birth, an epidural induced C section or simply go under GA and have the baby... Thanks to my yoga teacher, my mom, aunts, granny and other well wishers I'd decided that I would prefer a natural birth because recovery would be much faster etc....

And now, this baby was ditching me! After 8 months of yoga six days a week including the shoulder stand and pelvic exercises, was I to go under the scalpel?

I cried loads and buckets...and did the next best thing - called my yoga teacher in Vizag. She was shocked too but gave me a suggestion - Do shoulder stand (sarvangasan) 4-5 counts three times a day for two weeks (the time given to me by the doctor). She promised it would help although she didn't say how.

By this time, my huge tummy made it impossible to do this asana without taking the support of the wall. But I tried to do it as diligently as I could.

In just about 2 weeks, one day I felt unbearable discomfort as the baby seemed to go crazy ... tossing, turning, kicking...and what not! Mom was concerned as she placed her hands on my trembling tummy, soothing my aching body, whispering to the baby...placing warm water bottles to help ease the tremors.

The next morning all was calm and apart from the occasional kicks, I felt nothing.

Two days after that I walked into the doc's clinic to 'decide' on the day when she would surgically deliver my baby. She checked me physically and asked me to take an ultrasound immediately.

Minutes later she announced, "Its a miracle! The baby has turned... It never happens at this stage of pregnancy...." and went on to tell me that babies use up all the space inside the uterus by this time and have no space to move let alone turn around ....

Ten days after that, my water bag burst in the hospital where I'd gone for a check up. In six hours, our bundle of joy was in our arms.

Today she is over 11 and we fight. A lot. I crib. She back answers. I rave & rant. She gets mad. But, we make up. We listen to music. We sing aloud. We cook. We dance and most of all, we love...

On nights such as this one, as I cuddle her to sleep, I marvel at how she is as tall as me now and has a shoe size larger than mine...when 12 years ago, she was a speck, a cell, a being I harboured for a few months...a little person who was born 2.6 kgs, pink, healthy and perfect in every which way! I wait, excitedly, for the first zit, the first crush, boyfriend, kiss....and I pray that she and I continue to love each other this way forever...

I also thank God and her for choosing my womb...for making me experience the joy of being a mother...for making me HER mother!

And hey, I cannot thank God enough for gifting me the mother I have - loving, patient and ever forgiving. There's a lot I have learnt from her and a lot I still have to emulate.

This Mother's Day, here's three cheers from one mother to her own mother, and to her child for making her a proud mother.... Life's come to a full circle....