Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jumpstarting again!

A congratulatory call to an old school friend and blogger Artnavy brought to mind the fact that my blog has not been updated in 3 months! Thats a really long time.

So I have restarted for the umpteenth time in the hope this attempt lasts a while. Good luck to me...

I want to add a weekly or bi-weekly post about either an interesting new website or business I have come across. Maybe every Tuesday.. lets see how that goes.

A week of solitude?

Anan went off with her dad for a week to London. The house has been so quiet without her constant chatter and laughter that I can't wait for her to get back tomorrow.

She was like a cat on a tin roof, thats how excited she was about travelling. So when we told a couple of friends about her trip, the standard set of questions were:

a. What about her school?
Ans: What about it?

b. Won't she miss it?
Ans: I don't think she will miss it even one little bit.

c. How will she cope?
Ans: Cope with what? The school system that lays emphasis only on whether a child can write complete sentences in cursive? Whether she has complete grasp over multiplication and division by age 6?

What I would like to know is how her school will cope with a child who is well travelled, knows a smattering of languages and has a good grasp of geography, time zone difference, understands different world religions by observation, I could go on. Probably ignore this and continue to treat her just like another student. And this is what I could expect from a Montessori school!!

2. How will her dad take care of her?
Ans: The same way he takes care of her back home. For god's sake, he is her dad and an involved one at that. And she is a very easy to manage, smart kid.

Anyway, getting back to her trip, I think the one reason she has been so excited about going, is that there won't be mom to nag her about her eating, clothes, etc, etc...

So what has she been up to in the last few days? She has cajoled her dad into buying her a fairy princess gown with a tiara and shoes to match and has been wearing it all the time. Full paisa vasool on the purchase! She got herself a new wardrobe and looks like a total doll in it.

She saw the SA - New Zealand cricket match at Lord's las evening, though she was apparently more interested in watching the cheerleaders prancing about. Hmm, inspiration for the future, I wonder?

Managed to go on the London Eye and play in her favourite park next to it. Feigned interest in the waxworks at Madame Tussauds, but thankfully she was as uninterested in exploring it as we have been in the past. Too tacky and touristy!!

Today N plans to take her flying with him and hopefully have a fly for a bit too. Interestingly, there is not minimum age to learn how to fly. I am sure her dad can't wait to teach his kids flying.

I know you are having a great time baby, but your mum's missing you a bit too much.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This and That

Anan was describing to me, in action, the difference in dancing by "Tamil people" and "Hindi people"... The tamil people dance more of a bharatnatyam/classical style while the Hindi people shake their hips a lot more. How did you get to this conclusion, kiddo? I asked. Exasperated by my duh-ness, she replied: by seeing the TV people mummy! Wonder where she came up with the tamil and hindi people definition??? Definitely not from our home!
She went to school in Madras for a couple of months earlier this year and ran home one afternoon all excited, to tell me- Mummy, two boys in our school spoke only in Tamil to each other, just like the akkas (helpers). I think you put me in a Tamil school, by mistake!
Yesterday afternoon, sipping a cup of nice adrak chai, N and I decided, almost off the cuff, that it was time to move. We are definitely so done with living in the boondocks! We are off to join civilisation in Bangalore (quite ironical, eh?) and will move to Indira Nagar this weekend. Yippie 100 Ft Road & Koramangala with all the Restaurants and stores, here I come!
Had an argument with my by-the-rules teacher mother today about the importance of doing homework. I argued against the sanctity of schoolwork which she obviously found unforgivable, being a teacher. It was a funny debate and out of respect to my mom, I am not going to elaborate.
Last night, I noticed N read my blog. I know he goes through it once in a while, but it felt quite odd to watch him read my ramblings although he knows most of my thoughts. Hmmm...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Kaaradiya Nombu

Mum called Friday evening, to remind me to celebrate, (rather, do the cursory pooja at least!!) on Saturday evening. Since I am housebound with baby, my friend V enthusiastically agreed to get the nombu sharadu's for both of us, while I, with equal vigour agreed to make the adai/kozhakattais! Little did either of us remember that we stayed in the boondocks and not anywhere close to civilisation or Malleshwaram!

My mum promptly sent me recipes for the adai by email, which she seems to be perfecting (the email i.e.) Thanks mom.

So when I was in the midst of stirring the maavu mixture, V called to say she couldn't find the sharadu anywhere in this gaon, not even the Vaishnavite temple around the corner where they offered poonals instead!! So Whatever!!!!!!

So, we aborted the elaborate pooja plan, made our respective sweets and ate them! The sweet adai came out awesome, if I may say so myself.

Sweet adai/kozhakattai:

1 cup rice flour
3/4 cup powdered/grated jaggery
1/4 cup coconut ( I used a mixture of grated and chopped coconut for an interesting texture)
1 tsp elaichi/ cardamom powder
3 tbsp chauli/karamani/black eyed beans
2-2 1/2 cups hot water

Roast the karamani in a tsp of oil till it starts browning. Keep aside
Roast the rice till it turns reddish and keep aside
Boil the water in a heavy bottomed pan or kadai. Add everything except the roast rice. The rice should be added little by little and stirred briskly to prevent lumps. Once all the rice is added, simmer for a minute so that everything is mixed well. The result should be a thick paste. Let this mixture cool.

Then dab some oil on your palms and make mini rolls from this mixture- almost similar to tiny sausages ( appalling comparison, I know). Then steam this roll in the cooker on idli plates for 10-12 mins. Voila! Your adai is ready to be gobbled with a glob of vennai or unsalted butter as a dip!

P.S.: Amma, We did the whole pooja properly, except for tying the threads! Sorry about that.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Month 1!!

Its Friday the thirteenth again, though not in an eerie way, as today Baby Boy Blue completes a month! Happy 1 Month, sweet baby with the most amazing baby smell, that I can't stop inhaling.
You brought fresh joy to our life and changed our way of thinking... about a lot of things. Our next phase in life starts anew with you.. just like your sister transformed our life a few years ago!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Holi Hai!!

Oddly, the whole piece I had written about my dislike of Holi disappeared as if by magic when iwas trying to format the piece...hmmm, maybe a message in there for me! So instead of trying to trash the festival, I am going to go the peace route and wish anyone and everyone who does believe in it and enjoys playing with colours, a Happy and Colourful Holi!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bittersweet Fridays!

Today is Friday 26th February 2009.

Today my adorable baby boy Advait is 2 weeks old and has already settled into our heart and our lives like he was there forever.

Today is also 2 months since Appa left us. 7 exact weeks after he died my baby boy blue came smiling into this world. Those 7 weeks started at a very horrible low and ended with love and hope with Advait entering our lives.

And every Friday now, starts with my recalling the weeks that have passed since both events happened... Fridays will never be the same, especially this year!

I don't really know about time and wounds healing being true as yet as I fluctuate between being philosophical and still in denial about my dad.... And everytime I speak to N about him, he consoles me by insisting that Addie (blame my cousin AK for the nick that has stuck!!) will fulfil Appa's unfulfilled dreams.

Thats a tall order to follow Addie... your grandpa was a special person with loads of capacity to love.... I wish you luck!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Facebook v/s Orkut

I rediscovered Facebook today after just adding on a profile and sending the random greetings all this while. I have been using ORKUT all this while, but man, FB is so much cooler! So now, its tata ORKUT, hello Facebook!
The fb interface is far more fun and you can keep tabs on whats happening with everyone so much easier!

Monday, February 02, 2009

My world last weekend

Today started with Monday morning blues for Anan at school. The minute she starts asking why she needs to go to school, red warning alerts start sounding in our heads. Had to coax, cajole and almost threaten her at the school gate before she went in. Poor thing, she has so much more fun, exposure, attention and stimulation at home that I can imagine the school, as good as it is, doesn't stand a chance!

So what did we do last weekend? All three of us went for a sleepover to Srid's place in Thiruvanmiyur primarily to give the in-laws a break...from all of us. Had nice yummy dinner, played Monopoly, and slept late just to be woken up by the sun rays glaring thru the east facing windows at an ungodly hour of the morning. Wish I had the foresight to darken the room before going to bed. But fresh air nut that I am, it would have been impossible to close all avenues of oxygen!!! Anan, who was initially miffed that her boring parents were intruding in her space by coming along for the sleepover to athai's place, decided to sleep between Srid and Rags, to give the sleepover the authenticity we disrupted!!!

I slept most of Sunday, haven't slept so long in forever- slept for 2 hours after every few hours and woke up wide awake at 6 pm ready to paint the town red!!

Been planning to watch Abhiyum Naanum for a while.. actually we plan each evening, but never end up going. Aishwarya, who plays Trisha's mom in the movie was N's classmate at school eons ago.

Need to actually start buying stuff for the baby, but my mind is totally fuzzy and I haven't a clue where to begin! Sigh!!!!!

Bump tales

Chatted this morning with a close friend of mine, who is a few weeks ahead of me in the preg calendar... lucky her! She is almost due anyday now.

I was so kicked about the lack of MS (for the un-initiated, morning sickness) the first two trimesters, that my morning rushed run to the sink is quite the anti-climax. Unfortunately this also seems to coincide with the same time Anan brushes her teeth. Poor child! I hope I have not put her off pregnancy- she finds its alternately revolting and pitiable! And has decided that kickoo baby, as she has named her sibling, is solely responsible by kicking away all the time! And Anan in mummy's tummy was ladoo baby.

Time for a bit of a moan- about the swollen feet and hands and bump and everything else... about the back ache and sleeplessness and crankyness and moodiness and about wearing the ugliest, shapeless clothes every designed!

I have this sudden craving for thin crust pizza and a yummy pastry... hmm I need to convince N to tag along ..RIGHT NOW!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Marina scape

N and I went a little early for our walk in Marina last evening. Instead of our usual post-prandial stroll, we went around 7.30 pm. Surprisingly for a weekday, the beach- from Gandhi statue till the lighthouse, was moderately crowded..... with..... COUPLES only!!! No kidding, about 90% of the beach junta were made up of couples all at discreet intervals and in their own world and enjoying their apparent privacy.

We were the odd couple out, with me and my bump waddling and N playing with his new Blackberry Storm, but also enjoying our private time together.

If anyone is interested, not sure this latest Blackberry is creating any sort of a Storm as the keyboard isn't the greatest. Its almost like the i-phone and annoying for people without the slenderest fingers, which would account for most of the world I guess!

A spiritual sojourn

I wouldn't describe myself as particularly religious... or maybe actually ritualistic. But one thing I have appreciated in the past, and earlier this week was the 2 day trip to Guruvayoor. I find that I feel very peaceful in this particular temple, inspite of whatever is happening around. Also, I appreciate most things Keralite, like the food, the scenery and their traditional clothes- simple whites with a gentle border. We got Anan a paavadai in white with a gold border... which surprisingly she seems to have forgotten about, otherwise, it would have already become a brown/off white paavadai with gold border.

Anan, with the in-laws visited the elephant sanctuary at Punnathur Kotta, which is about 3 Km south of Guruvayoor temple. There are about 50 elephants there and she had the most fun ever watching them getting a bath and seeing the baby elephants eat. This is also the closest she has ever been to an animal.

After the trip, she informed me very seriously that she only saw boy elephants. When I asked her how she knew that, condescendingly she said, "Amma, all the elephants there had tusks, and only boy elephants have tusks, not girl elephants... didn't you know that?" No, my baby, I didn't. Looks like there are going to be lots of things you have to teach me now...

This visit is of particular importance to me as I marked off a month since Appa died. And it felt quite right to pray to a god he was named after.... Krishna. Still missing you dad.....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tears in heaven......

It is 28 days since Dad left us. The longing, sadness and regrets remain. My baby kicking constantly inside me teaches me about life and living..... as I lose a loved one, there is another one, waiting to brighten our lives... lifting us out of this dark abyss...making us believe in miracles all over again.

Some of the nicest memories of dad have been shared by his friends from his college- both IIT and IIM... I didnt know till now that he was called Pacha back in college, I always thought of him as Partha... His IIT classmates instituted an award in his name- a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 to be given annually through ENVIKAL to a teacher from the govt. school they sponser in Taramani.

Another classmate, sent this pic of dad from his IIT days, probably from an ID card.

For dad, a couple of lines from the very famous Eric Clapton song, Tears in Heaven....
Beyond the door
There's peace I'm sure.
And I know there'll be no more...
Tears in heaven

Anan-isms 1

Its really funny how Anan uses logic to her advantage.

According to her world view, when someone wants a baby, they get married. So when amma and appa wanted a princess, they found each other, got married and Anan was born. So far so good! This story lasted till we told her she was going to have a sibling. Her immediate next thought was- when amma didn't marry again, how could the baby be born? So we muddled along and tried to convince her that that theory held true for only the first baby.

Sshe has also decided that when she grows up, she will only marry her dad ( as long as he doesn't grow old like her thatha) so that she can continue to live with her parents - she is definitely clear she does not want to leave her home. So when I asked her, what about when she wants a baby, pat came the reply- amma, this baby that is in your tummy, that is actually my baby. When I grow up, I will be its mummy!!