Friday, October 23, 2009

Madras Ahoy

Well I started this post as a Toys R Us/toys for kids in general rant. But then I figured I might as well make it a what's-up-in-my-life-now kinda post. I know it's very charitable of me, but I have since learned that I have a few more uncommenting readers and a couple more interested in the joining the Janani-blog-reader bandwagon, provided I get them a laptop from the US, bookmark my blog clearly as "Janani's Blog" in all browsers and leave a prominent link on the desktop. The lengths I go to make people read my blog! Whew!

As you all know, a trip to India is in the offing, and one of the highlights of the trip is that I get to meet my cute nephew/cousin A (Yeah our family relationships are pretty weird) From what I see in the pics, A is the cutest, sweetest, most good looking baby in the world (despite resembling his father! :-)) So I wanted to buy something for him and I headed into Toys R Us. After stopping for awhile in the Wii/Playstation aisle, I figured I would head into the preschool/infant section and be spoiled for choice. Boy was I wrong! What's with the toys for kids these days? Why do all of them have 1000 small loose parts that are definitely going to get lost 5 minutes after opening the toy. And why do all the toys make some sort of noise? My expectations were simple - I wanted to get something for A to play with, something that endures for atleast a month in entirety. There were a lot of walker kind of toys, but I didn't want to get those since his parents might have some definite ideas about that and buy that themselves. And for the same reason, I didn't want to buy any DVDs since his parents may have some rules about the kind of DVDs they want for their child. (Though I was sorely tempted to buy Blues Clues seeing the kind of publicity it gets on TV shows) Ultimately I chose to buy a Leap Frog product that makes a noise, but seems to be reasonable (atleast as per my standards). And also I like the ads on TV for Leap Frog and really think they are edutaining. And while I am at it, what's with all the pink and glitter for girl babies? I dream of having a daughter someday, whom I can dress in a pink frock and a bow, but isn't there something as too much pink? And I was also buying a baby doll for one of my aunt's friends. Most of them were cute and lifelike and said Mama, Papa and giggled to a good effect. And then I saw them. Pooping baby dolls. Ewwwww! Really, do kids like them? And more importantly do you want your kid to play with doll poop? Ewww!

And I was sorely disappointed with the service at Toys R Us. I walked to an employee and asked her for suggestions to get something for a 6 month old boy. Her only remark was to comment that I was in the right aisle before politely walking away. Contrast this with Barnes and Noble where I have been thrice to get books for babies and toddlers. The staff there were very helpful, walking with me across all the aisle and pointing the different kinds of books and what babies might like. And to top all these, I realize that the Leap Frog toy that I bought in Toys R Us is almost $8 cheaper online and in Walmart. Makes me feel silly now, taking the pains to go to Toys R Us. I have half a mind to return the stuff in Toys R Us and buy it from Walmart!!!

Talking about shopping for India, buying something for Appa has been an epic fail! :-( My parents never ask anything for themselves. Don't get me wrong here, they make me buy plenty from here, but everything is for someone else. When it comes them, they don't want me to buy anything that costs more than $1. So I was pleasantly surprised when my Dad, for the first time in his life, asked for something without my begging and cajoling. He said that he wanted a couple of good quality T shirts, which are collared and had a front pocket (for the times when he is in a veshti). So the next time I am in the mall, I figured I would check the out the T shirts and to my horror I found that none of the T shirts had a pocket on them. I became desperate and yesterday when I was in Kohls, I saw collared T shirts with a pocket on them. I called S in glee and discussed which size would fit Appa and then I noticed that they were full arm T shirts! I sorrowfully called home and told him I would buy shirts instead, which he didn't want. To cheer me up, he asked me to get a 2010 diary for him, the only stipulation being each day had 1 page dedicated to it (My father is an avid diary writing for decades now and he needs a lot of space for the kind of details he maintains in his diary) Again, after scouring Barnes & Noble, Borders and the likes I failed to find him one. So finally he asks for the DVD of a movie called "Seven Times Seven" that came in the 60s or for Laurel and Hardy DVDs with some specific episodes. Again, unable to find the movie DVD and the required episodes are spead over multiple DVDs which cost $45 apiece if at all they are available!

On the subject of buying things for India, I am really at a loss for what to get for everyone. I think people who lived in the US a decade ago had it easy, coz these days anything I mention has people going "Oh we get these in India now." Well, I am giving up on buying anything for anyone this time, due to the lack of time and monies. It makes me feel a little sad because I used to love getting stuff from V Mama when I was a kid. But then, you people get everything in India now right? :-)

Ok I have to sign off. Gotta go and buy random crap to take home :-)


Nimmy said...

I soo agree! India shopping is such a big hassle! They really do get everything in India! And I've bought more crockery than my whole house can handle (Thanks Mikasa!:)
I hope you were finally able to get something your dad wanted! :) ..diary writing for decades.. I shd probably get inspired and continue the hobby that was once so important to me in Bits! Neways.. have a safe trip back home. :)

Mukund said...

"good looking baby despite resembling his father"

Idu romba over !

Don't spend time/money on the shopping ... we really seem to get everything here.

RaviB said...

Go to megamart, you will find everything you want, even a tshirt that has 6 pockets ! Like the ad you were talking to me about today :P
And btw, dont forget to turn into a 'chamathu ponnu' before you leave for india. Hope you have a good trip home.

Sudarsan said...

Probably the best thing to do would be to get all those stuff here by your friend and pass it on to you when you land, coz no matter what, people still prefer items that are flown from the US. :)

Subs said...

hey know what - i am not even able to shop for myself out here in s'pore .. leave alone for others back home ..
i feel that stuff in bangalore was much better and cheaper (ob) ..